RC Radios, Transmitters, Receivers, Servos, gyros Discussion all about rc radios, transmitters, receivers, servos, etc.

Radio Functions

Reply

Old 12-30-2004, 08:26 AM
  #1  
arceye
Member
Thread Starter
 
Join Date: Feb 2004
Location: midlands, UNITED KINGDOM
Posts: 99
Gallery
My Gallery
Models
My Models
Ratings
My Feedback
Default Radio Functions

This post is to ask do we really need to buy the best radio on the market?

During my short time of flying and watching others fly I have noticed that there are a lot of pilots who have the very latest radio's whcih cost a fortune just to fly a basic 4 channel plane. When I have asked them why they have spent so much money on a radio that they will never use the ability of it, the answer is always "I have lots of models and this can store all of them so only 1 radio is required"
After thinking a little about this and finding out what functions they are actually using I wondered why radio manufactures don't build a radio with more basic functions but a really high model storage, surely this would sell well as after all most planes only use 4 channels, or 5 with landing gear.

Surely it would be a great selling radio that had a more limited functions but huge model capacity, after all channel reversing on all channels, dual rates on aileron and elevator and a sub-trim for each channel are probably all that is needed.

This could then be a realatively cheap set that a lot of people would find does what they want without the need for them to buy an expensive radio that they probably will never use the functions its capable of.

I have seen so many of the older pilots seem to have a computer radio that they have no idea how to program anything other than how to change from 1 model to another, all they do is use the most very basic controls and trims.

This in no way a post to create any ill feeling it is simply an idea that it may be worth the manufacturers of radios to think about if enough people think the idea is a good 1
arceye is offline  
Reply With Quote
Old 12-30-2004, 09:38 AM
  #2  
smokingcrater
Senior Member
 
Join Date: Sep 2002
Location: Up north, ND
Posts: 2,353
Gallery
My Gallery
Models
My Models
Ratings
My Feedback
Default RE: Radio Functions

IMHO, the reason is probably cost. the cost to add basic computer control is going to be the same whether it is capable of just doing different models or something more advanced like the current generation of 6 channel computer radios. at that point it is nothing but programming, no additional hardware. so in other words the profit margin would be MUCH lower on these if the manufacturer sold them at a reduced price.

now what could be more useful is the current gen of computer radios having a basic/advanced mode. basic would be able to switch model, adjust endpoint, dual rates, reversing, and expo. no mixing, no flight conditions... and then just keep advanced in a preferences menu somewhere, so those of us that want it and use advanced features on every plane can...
smokingcrater is offline  
Reply With Quote
Old 12-30-2004, 11:55 AM
  #3  
JohnBuckner
My Feedback: (1)
 
JohnBuckner's Avatar
 
Join Date: Dec 2001
Location: Kingman, AZ
Posts: 10,419
Gallery
My Gallery
Models
My Models
Ratings
My Feedback
Default RE: Radio Functions

In addition to what smoking crater outlines above even the most basic modern computer radio of today with reasonable storage is selling today for far less than the least expensive far less entry units of just a few years ago.

Its not very far into the future that the featureless plain four channel and up units will be a thing of the past with the exception of some of the miniturized units for indoor or park flyers.

As far as four or even five channels being sufficient then perhaps you should peruse some common airplane catalogs. Virtually every airplane beyond trainers now use multiple aileron servos and the flaperons and other more advanced mixing is exremely popular. Something that requires a more capable radio. If you have never used expo for certain type airplanes or perhaps even simple aileron to rudder mix agine for certain applicable airplanes then you are missing a lot irreguardless of you skills old pro or relative new flyer and not learning or flying fully up to your potential.

I am a gympy old phart in a wheelchair and have been flying RC steadily since 1957 and one of those who strongly resisted the commputer types up untill only around 10 years ago quoting all the silly arguments like "crash switchs" and such. But when I did Man the lite bulb slowly begin to switch on. It does take a while to even begin to realize the power that has been presented to us buy that magic microproccessor.

Another old ego argument "I'am a good pilot and don,t need any electronic trickery" Kind of pails if you consider most general aviation aircraft indeed do resort to some mechanical mixing or aerodynamic trickery such a aileron differential.

I still also fly Controlline out of my wheelchair and this is made possible through that magic micro processor also and I always fly with a throttle provided by digitized signals over the wires and functions to operate three other channels on the airplane.

If you take the time to educate yourself and try it you soon will also never be able to go back to a basic four or six channel dinosaur. Radios I might add that use to cost more than the currant crop of very capable radios.

John
JohnBuckner is online now  
Reply With Quote
Old 12-30-2004, 11:56 AM
  #4  
JohnBuckner
My Feedback: (1)
 
JohnBuckner's Avatar
 
Join Date: Dec 2001
Location: Kingman, AZ
Posts: 10,419
Gallery
My Gallery
Models
My Models
Ratings
My Feedback
Default RE: Radio Functions

DP
JohnBuckner is online now  
Reply With Quote
Old 12-30-2004, 02:36 PM
  #5  
arceye
Member
Thread Starter
 
Join Date: Feb 2004
Location: midlands, UNITED KINGDOM
Posts: 99
Gallery
My Gallery
Models
My Models
Ratings
My Feedback
Default RE: Radio Functions

Smokingcrater
You make an excellent point there with the fact that its not the complexity of the computer that makes it expensive but the fact that there is 1 there however simple or complex it may be, also the idea of having the advanced section in there to keep the basic instructions away from the more indepth settings I could not agree more.

JohnBuckner
I have not heard the "i'm a good pilot so don't need the electronic trickery " saying from anyone
I would quite agree to the amount of powere a pilot now has because of the radio is often not known by the pilots who dont use the radio's they have.

MY thoughts about the radio computer being more basic and having more model memory were more based on saving some of the chip memory by having less complex programming so enabling the storage of more models.

thanks for your thoughts and replies
arceye is offline  
Reply With Quote
Old 12-30-2004, 04:11 PM
  #6  
Lynx
Senior Member
 
Join Date: Sep 2002
Location: Rochester, NY
Posts: 1,373
Gallery
My Gallery
Models
My Models
Ratings
My Feedback
Default RE: Radio Functions

Considering the cost of modern microprocessors and today's highly capable micro controllers I can't understand why the prices for computer controlled radio's is still so high. Micro controllers capable of doing all the mixing a modern transmitter does and manage the display costs less than 5 dollars in units of 100. The markup in the RC industry is just insane. Not much to be done about it though.
Lynx is offline  
Reply With Quote
Old 12-30-2004, 04:49 PM
  #7  
JohnBuckner
My Feedback: (1)
 
JohnBuckner's Avatar
 
Join Date: Dec 2001
Location: Kingman, AZ
Posts: 10,419
Gallery
My Gallery
Models
My Models
Ratings
My Feedback
Default RE: Radio Functions

Good point arceye. However old attitudes die hard and much more prevelent than you may think. You will over time see Just that type of quoted response however its worded when in reality its just covering up the old schools lack of willingness to learn something new. When modern computer type features became avaliable around the late 1980's while still not processor driven and therfore no storage. Features such as many types of surface to surface mixs, expotential, and independant end point adjustment, became avaliable the outcry from the diehards was substancial. An attitude of which I also was guilty. These radios functioned with out the processor through a system of up to 48 dip switchs and mini adjustable pots. These radios though very expensive for the time were wonderful but dare show up with one and you were made to feel anyone who would dare use a surface mix of any kind could not be a real pilot. So no in todays environment this is much more accepted but you will still see this a lot, Just mention the use of aileron to rudder mix and old attitudes will come to the surface.

Anyway back to the subject I don,t beleve there will be any new radios of mention that have lots of storage capacity with just a limited amount of electronics features. I don,t think the market is there and thats not a bad thing.

John
JohnBuckner is online now  
Reply With Quote
Old 12-30-2004, 05:55 PM
  #8  
Ed_Moorman
My Feedback: (1)
 
Ed_Moorman's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jan 2002
Location: Shalimar, FL
Posts: 4,059
Gallery
My Gallery
Models
My Models
Ratings
My Feedback
Default RE: Radio Functions

I would imagine a lot of the cost comes from screening and testing. Micro processors are cheap until you start screening to get the reliability up to 99%+. And I'll bet all the radios are tested before shipment. In a hobby industry where people are using disposable income for "toys", a manufacturer can't afford to have any kind of failure rate. If he gets a reputation of having a radio that might crash your plane, he can lost sales in a microsecond.

As for the old pre-computer radios with lots of pots for adjustment, I bought a JR Unlimited 8 with coreless servos when it came out in the 80's. I just laughed when guys said they wouldn't use that stuff. I had loads of more fun and flew better, too. Still do. Love my mixes. Give you an example.

Ever have a 3-channel plane that steered on the ground with the "aileron" stick? Try plugging the roll servo back into the rudder channel and using your left hand to ground steer like a 4-channel bird. But, set up aileron-rudder mixing-most radios have it now for adverse yaw-but set 100% mixing. Now the aileron stick also steers the rudder so when airborne you use your right hand for steering. Hey, you can learn to steer on the ground with the "wrong" hand, but why?
Ed_Moorman is offline  
Reply With Quote
Old 12-30-2004, 07:31 PM
  #9  
Warjet
My Feedback: (327)
 
Join Date: Jan 2002
Location: El Cajon, CA
Posts: 329
Gallery
My Gallery
Models
My Models
Ratings
My Feedback
Default RE: Radio Functions

We could have the latest and greatest in computer functionality, but it's a question of economies of scale. What are the total number of radios sold by each manufacturer each year? Does everyone buy a new radio each year? If you compared those numbers with the numbers of computer based gadgets like MP3 players, DVD players/recorders, auto engines, etc, the RC industry dwarfs in comparison. It's a matter of how many the radio manufacturers expect to sell in a given year. If Futaba could sell 200,000 new 14 channel TX's, the price would be cut in half (or more).
Warjet is offline  
Reply With Quote

Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off


Thread Tools
Search this Thread

Contact Us Archive Advertising Cookie Policy Privacy Statement Terms of Service