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New to the hobby and need radio help

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Old 07-01-2005, 08:31 AM
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mane3215
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Default New to the hobby and need radio help

Hey guys, I am new to this and am about to step up from my parkzone cub to a new plane. I want to get a nice radio I will not out grow and was looking at either the JR 8103 or the Junior 9303.

I get very confused with them however. Each one says that it will control either heli, plane, or glider, but then they sell all kinds of the same controller =). They sell heli versions and airplane versions. What I dont understand is if each one will do both heli and plane, why are there two versions? I cant find a direct compare chart or pictures so I hope you guys can shed a little light on it for me.

Thanks!
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Old 07-01-2005, 09:29 AM
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Rodney
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Default RE: New to the hobby and need radio help

All current brands are quite good. I'd get what the majority of the members in your club use just so that you have access to lots of experience should you have any problems. While there are other good ones, my personal recommendation is the Hitec Optic 6 as being the best value for your money right now. By getting it with Spectra module, you will be all set to operate any common brand of receiver whether it be positive shift or negative shift on any 72 MHZ channel. Whichever you decide on, first go to the local shop or find a friend with one and try it out for comfort and fit to your hands. All have a slightly different feel depending on size and shape of your hands and some will be more comfortable than others to use.
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Old 07-01-2005, 09:57 AM
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Default RE: New to the hobby and need radio help

If a radio transmitter isset up for all types of aircraft, and advertised as a Heli system, or Airplane system, the that usually means it it packaged with servos & airbore gear more suited that type aircraft.
Rodney has a good point about getting a system that your club memebers are at least familiar with, so they can help you. If you have never used a computer radio, it can be very overwhelming to learn without a little help. Many guys have computer radios, that have features they don't know even exsist in them.
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Old 07-01-2005, 10:02 AM
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Default RE: New to the hobby and need radio help

the heli and air plane version have one major difference... the throttle ratchet. The airplane version will have a throttle ratchet, simply put it indexes the throttle stick on small teeth that help hold it in place, this will make hovering a heli damn near impossible... so they leave it off the heli version. if you already had the air plane version you can loosen or remove the ratchet to fly heli's. you will also find some switch location/assignments are different but that's usually not a problem unless your use to flying the switches in a certain configuration. The software is the same in both types so each will work for plane's ,heli's and sailplanes as far as programing goes. personally I find the throttle ratchet useless and more of a PIA than a help... both of my 9C's have them removed and I only use one to fly my heli

if money is not an issue and you plan on sticking with the hobby buy the 9303... either will do but the 9303 has more features you may find you need later on.

John
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Old 07-01-2005, 02:02 PM
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mane3215
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Default RE: New to the hobby and need radio help

Thanks guys for the very informative posts. I am not too involved with any clubs around here, I have a few friends that fly and I just go with them. They all have JR radios, but the lesser models.

So JSN, you think I would be best off with getting the 9303 heli version? I am not worried about the cost as I plan on staying in it, and I hate spending more money down the road to upgrade when I could have done it from the start =). A lot of ppl don't realize when they buy lesser systems up front it ends up costing int he long run (Not referring to this specifically, but in every other hobby I have and thats a lot heh).

Thanks again!

-Chris
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Old 07-01-2005, 02:38 PM
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Default RE: New to the hobby and need radio help

Beside the throttle ratchet being disconnected ( you can go inside and reconnect it ) the difference on JR Heli and Airplane is the labeling of the switches. The Heli version will use Heli terms the Airplane will use aircraft terms and the servo number and type are different to suit the application. You can still use all versions of the software, Heli, Airplane and Glider. Both JR radios are very good choices. The 9303 is the latest model.

Rich

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Old 07-02-2005, 03:57 AM
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Default RE: New to the hobby and need radio help

If you have hte money, go with the 9303, just because it is the newer model. If you are flying airplanes, rather than helis, then get the airplane version. That radio should be able to handle just about anything you can throw at it!!!!!!

If you are looking at electrics vs. glow, chances are you will want a package with small servos and small receiver as most "standard" servos are too big for the small electrics and a micro receiver would be preferable.

You have selected an excellent radio, now just get the package right. If they all have large servo/receivers, see if you can get it without the servos and buy a flight pack for your plane. That is what I did with my Futaba 9C.
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Old 07-02-2005, 11:35 AM
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Default RE: New to the hobby and need radio help

Thanks for the info Staggerwing!

Thanks aeajr, I will be most likely going with the 9303, I was even consdierign two 8103's one for heli one for airplane =), but I think thats kind of a waste.

Right now I plan on being all electric, and eventually an electric jet. In a month or two after I get some training I also want to get the ark x400 electric mini heli. Thats where my dilema lyes. I am not sure if I should get the heli version of the radio or the airplane. Right now I am leaning towards the heli version, but having no experience with this stuff, and knowing no one personally that does, this is the only place I can turn =).

I will most likely just get the radio, and get the flight pack seperately. That way I dont need to worry about it.

Thanks guys! You have already given me a lot of help!
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Old 07-02-2005, 01:16 PM
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Default RE: New to the hobby and need radio help

I fly electrics and full house sailplanes. I have a Futaba 9C. I got the Heli version because of the placement of a couple of the switches. Other than that, not a big deal. There are two other 9Cs in my club that also fly sailplanes and they have the airplane version.

Whatever you get, you get used to it. Go post in the Heli forums and get their opinion. I don't know how important a smooth throttle is for Helis. I am very comfortable with using it with all my planes. That is just how my radio works. My other radio has the rachet and I don't ever really notice the difference.

One down side is the trainer switch is over the right hand. I think I would like it better over my left, where it is on the airplane version, but I rarely use it so, again, not a big deal.

Don't know if that was helpful.
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Old 07-02-2005, 01:21 PM
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Default RE: New to the hobby and need radio help

Thanks again, its a lot of help. It seems that more ppl get the heli versions and use them for planes over the plane version. Thanks a lot! I will post over in helis.
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Old 07-02-2005, 10:48 PM
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Default RE: New to the hobby and need radio help

When I moved up from the Hitec Flash 5 to the Hitec Eclipse 7, I had to spend MANY HOURS, not only trying to figure out the radio programing, but also which premix was needed to counteract the unwanted aerodynamic tendencies. I have said this in other threads, get a aerodynamic / acrobatic flight trimming chart (NSRCA Trimming Chart) and learn to recognize what the plane is doing in the air, THEN figure out what you need to do with the radio. One serious disadvantage of a radio with 7 switches is that if you accidently hit the wrong switch ........ I was doing a low inverted pass and accidently hit the flap switch.... you can guess the result.
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Old 07-03-2005, 05:01 AM
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Default RE: New to the hobby and need radio help


ORIGINAL: former spad

When I moved up from the Hitec Flash 5 to the Hitec Eclipse 7, I had to spend MANY HOURS, not only trying to figure out the radio programing, but also which premix was needed to counteract the unwanted aerodynamic tendencies. I have said this in other threads, get a aerodynamic / acrobatic flight trimming chart (NSRCA Trimming Chart) and learn to recognize what the plane is doing in the air, THEN figure out what you need to do with the radio. One serious disadvantage of a radio with 7 switches is that if you accidently hit the wrong switch ........ I was doing a low inverted pass and accidently hit the flap switch.... you can guess the result.
Never heard of the NSRCA or the trimming chart. Where would one get something like this?

As for all the controls, with control comes responsability and the opportunity to make mistakes. There is a lot to be said for a R/E sailplane and a two channel standard radio. Doesn't do much, but you can always be confident of what it will do.
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Old 07-03-2005, 10:06 AM
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Default RE: New to the hobby and need radio help

Thats a good question former spad brought up. I thought when I get the 9303 0r 8301 that when I get them they are !QUOT!stock!QUOT! so it will fly like a stock plane until I chose that I am comfortable with programming it. Is that not the case? Do I have to program everything before I fly with it? That gets me nervous =).

Maybe I should just opt for a quattro until I learn the hobby a bit better but really didn't want to buy a second controller, do you guy think I will be ok with programmable?
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Old 07-03-2005, 10:14 AM
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Default RE: New to the hobby and need radio help

Ed-Search under NSRCA and Trimming to find the chart; also Dave Patrick includes one with his planes.

Planning on buying one radio to last you for many years is not realistic; it would be obsolete in 3 or 4 years, or you may see another one that suits your purposes better before then. Your interests will probably change somewhere down the road. I only keep my best radio for a maximum of 3 or 4 years and if it still satisfies my needs, I buy another just like it, and either sell the old one or keep it for a backup. By then it will at least need new batteries and some preventative maintenance.

By no means is it necessary to use all the bells and whistles you will have at your disposal; I would stick with the passive controls which require no flipping of switches on your part to mess up. Exponential will make your planes fly much smoother and you won't even know it's there....Jim
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Old 07-03-2005, 10:53 AM
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Default RE: New to the hobby and need radio help


ORIGINAL: mane3215

I thought when I get the 9303 0r 8301 that when I get them they are !QUOT!stock!QUOT! so it will fly like a stock plane until I chose that I am comfortable with programming it. Is that not the case? Do I have to program everything before I fly with it? That gets me nervous =).
JR, Airtronics, Hitec, Futaba, Polk, and most of the other computer radios work as 4 channel radios right out of the box. You don't need to program anything. The Multiplex EVOs are different. They do nothing out of the box. You have to program them to do anything, but there are very few like that.


The only thing you will probably want to find is the servo reverse, ATV/EPA and dual rate features. But even they are optional. The rest of it can be learned over a period of months or years depending on how agressive you are.

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Old 07-03-2005, 10:56 AM
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Default RE: New to the hobby and need radio help

Great, again thanks. You guys have proved to be a wealth of info and have made me feel much more secure about my choice of radio!
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Old 07-03-2005, 11:06 AM
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Default RE: New to the hobby and need radio help

ORIGINAL: michpittsman

Ed-Search under NSRCA and Trimming to find the chart; also Dave Patrick includes one with his planes.

Planning on buying one radio to last you for many years is not realistic; it would be obsolete in 3 or 4 years, or you may see another one that suits your purposes better before then. Your interests will probably change somewhere down the road. I only keep my best radio for a maximum of 3 or 4 years and if it still satisfies my needs, I buy another just like it, and either sell the old one or keep it for a backup. By then it will at least need new batteries and some preventative maintenance.
Jim
Thanks for the tip on the search.

As for changing or replacing radios every 3-4 years as a matter of routine, I have never met anyone, other than the members of the factory teams, who do that, but I guess there are some who always want the newest. When you are ready to roll yours, let me know. I may know some club members who will be shopping for a deal.

Members of my club have radios that are 10-15 years old that they use every week. Perhaps they have been in for service once in their life. Probably received a new set of batteries somewhere along the way. But batteries are a lot cheaper than a new radio.

I have had my Futaba 9C for a year and have no intention of replacing it for the forseeable future. With unliminted model memories and 9 channel capability, unless I go into serious competition, I can't think of any reason I will need to replace it.

I also have a Hitec Prism 7X, which was replaced in the Hitec line by the Eclipse 7. I bought it used on e-bay. I would guess it is at least 6 years old. Maybe I bought it from you.

Had one problem with it. Hitec fixed it for free. Works like a champ! I picked up a second pack for it for $12 so I always have a fresh pack.

The JR 9303 is entry level professional equipment. Well beyond my budget or needs.

If you outgrow that, you better be getting paid to fly, or need more channels. Other than that, that radio will do pretty much anything your little heart desires, and with 30 model memories, you should have plenty of room for flyable planes.

I have flown with serious competition sailplane pilots who use that radio.
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