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Anyone else think they should bring back retro-radios?

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Old 05-05-2010, 09:28 PM
  #1  
el-John-o
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Default Anyone else think they should bring back retro-radios?

So there is a recent trend of auto manufacturers bringing retro styling to their cars (think, new Camaro, Challenger, Mustang), well I happen to think that the older Futaba radios look great, they are nice and heavy and rock solid (but that isn't always desirable I guess.) I have two 'older' Futaba radios, my main tx, a 6XA (where the screen is at the top, a more logical position if you ask me), and a Futaba Conquest 4 channel that I have dubbed "the brick" that I use for a buddy box, nice tight stick movements, its heavy etc. Personally, some of these newer radios like the DX6i (esp. the DX6i) remind me of those 3 channel AM radios included in the Hobbyzone parkflyers, they look like they are targeting a toy market (now I know they perform great and I'm sure it's a great radio regardless of its appearance). Anyway, anyone else feel the same? Maybe it's just me but I would be exstatic if they would bring back the older styles integrated with the new technology. I LOVE my 6XA, and I will use it until I have a model that needs 7 channels or more, or I can truly, truly justify getting 2.4GHz and not using my favorite radio.

I also like manual trim levelers, again, this could also be 'just me', but I love how I can have the manual trim levers, save it into memory on the 6XA, then just center the trims and I fly just as if it were a digital trim radio (set it once and forget it, essentially) but still trim it up using the sliders.

Thoughts?

John


A futaba 6XA similar to mine, just to clarify I am not talking about the newer 6EXA.
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Old 05-05-2010, 10:22 PM
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Default RE: Anyone else think they should bring back retro-radios?

You getting back some old familiar items you had on your older radios is about like the manufacturers coming back out with single stick radios. I just don't think it will happen.
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Old 05-05-2010, 10:36 PM
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Default RE: Anyone else think they should bring back retro-radios?

Well, ironically it's not "old familiar", since I'm fairly new to this hobby, so I'm going in with no experience either way and I prefer the older stuff, but it's more styling that I prefer, and the heavy, well build radios (while currently it seems that more plastic and lighter weight is the way to go, which I understand, but it just feels better to me to have the heavier radio).  And yeah, the digital trims are here to stay but wishful thinking will remain with me that something with those analog/saveable trims will come out again.
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Old 05-06-2010, 12:26 PM
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Default RE: Anyone else think they should bring back retro-radios?

The Spektrum DX5 is a current model with mechanical trims
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Old 05-06-2010, 01:30 PM
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Default RE: Anyone else think they should bring back retro-radios?

The old Futaba Gold series had a practical bent.

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Old 05-06-2010, 01:41 PM
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Default RE: Anyone else think they should bring back retro-radios?

The DX5 is not a computer radio nor does it have model/trim memory.

For example, with my 6XA I have mechanical trims, like on non computer radios, but then, once it's nice and trimmed out, I land the model and then go into the trim memory (TMEM) mode and set it to that model, then, when I fly again I center all of the trim levers. So in essence, I get the mechanical trim feel, but I can still save it in the memory, just like if I want to switch to another model it will automatically adjust the trims accordingly. It's kind of a "best of both worlds" thing that I wish someone still made, but of course, I doubt they would ever do it in a 7+ channel radio, which is what I would need, since I am going to stick with this 6 channel until I have a reason not to.

-John
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Old 05-06-2010, 01:49 PM
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Default RE: Anyone else think they should bring back retro-radios?

Why not just buy an old radio, if that's what you want?  They're cheap and readily available.  If you want 2.4ghz, stick a 2.4ghz module in one.
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Old 05-06-2010, 02:29 PM
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Default RE: Anyone else think they should bring back retro-radios?

The DX5 is not a computer radio nor does it have model/trim memory.
Right, it's pretty much the equivalent of your Conquest but on 2.4 gHz. I have two T6XAS, very similar to the T6XA, and I like them a lot.

I'd never expect to see any of the 'big' players introduce anything like them going forward. The manufacturers are convinced that the market wants bells and whistles, and they are probably right.

The only way to get a "heavy, solid feeling" radio is to buy an old one. The Futaba 7UAFS uses the same modules as the 9C, so it can easily be converted to 2.4 gHz. It has mechanical trims with trim memory. The regular 7U does not have trim memory.
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Old 05-06-2010, 08:52 PM
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Default RE: Anyone else think they should bring back retro-radios?

@Mike - Sorry, I guess your not getting the point of this thread, this was just a nonesense thread expressing my view that "They don't make 'em like they used to."  I DID buy an old Radio, for no other reason than it was inexpensive and I was using a cheapie 4 channel, and I absolutely fell in love with it, I had also used for a short time a friends JR Computer radio and I just didn't like the way it, or my 4 channel felt, but I love my 6XA.

@Carrelh, hmm, wonderful suggestion, something I might do.  I know they sell high strength gimbal springs too (or, you know, I can grab some for much much cheaper at the hardware store I work at, since they don't say R/C), maybe I could do that and toss some CG Altering weights in there LOL.

Nah, I'm quite positive like the rest of you guys that they will continue to move forward, bells and whistles or not I really hope that the other manufacturers don't take to Spektrums more recent styling on their midrange models (DX6i, again)  I guess they just look too much like toys to me, like I should be flying some airhogs thing or something, lol, maybe it's just me.

-John
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Old 05-06-2010, 10:00 PM
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Default RE: Anyone else think they should bring back retro-radios?

"The manufacturers are convinced that the market wants bells and whistles, and they are probably right."

Hey, I admit that I am a sport flyer. My knowledge is limited any maybe I don't know what is best for me. Or maybe I do! I want a radio that I can operate without looking at it. Isn't it important to look a the airplane and not be glancing a the TX? It's like playing a musical instrument. IF you are looking a the keys or frets you have a problem. I was justt griping abut my 6ex 2.4 in another post. I do find it awkward to fly. It is mostly because of the layout. I find my Real Flight simulator fake radio easiar to use than the Futaba.

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Old 05-07-2010, 12:24 PM
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Default RE: Anyone else think they should bring back retro-radios?

Scot, you are right that being able to manipulate the radio without looking at it is important.

You should not actually change any of the programming with the plane in the air. You do need to be familiar enough about the radio's layout to hit the trim tabs and the various knobs and switches by feel. This is hard for me and I do sometimes have to look down.

To make it easier, all functions that use a switch or knob should be the same for all models.

Example: If the 'dual rate' switch is on the right for model "A" it should also be on the right for all other models; and the direction you flip it for 'Low' and 'High' should be the same for all models.
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Old 05-08-2010, 07:25 AM
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Default RE: Anyone else think they should bring back retro-radios?



IMHO, as long as you stay with the major brands, there is no comparing the quality of the latest equipment with the older stuff. Yeah, they may have had more metal in them but, particularly in the case of the t6xa/t6xas (I had both)the engineering and parts quality in the newer stuff is miles ahead. Again. IMHO, the "feel"of my 9CAPS and 10CAP is far superior to that of my T6xas.

Just a thought. I have seen several threads where folks bemoan the digital trim system. Why is that?Why would you even use trim tabs after the model has been properly trimmed and mechanically adjusted?Throttle kill?Put it on a switch. Most, if not all, of the modern TXs have a throttle kill function. On Futabas it's assignable to any switch you want.

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Old 05-09-2010, 12:29 AM
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Default RE: Anyone else think they should bring back retro-radios?

I agree with the model should be trimmed afterwards, I just find it easier to trim using manual trim levers, maybe from some experience flying full scale and having a huge trim dial, I like that manual feel versus push a button, see what happens, push it again, I just like having a "mini-stick" so to speak.

And yes, I do FLY without looking at the radio, but even when flying I prefer this layout to those of others I've used.  My only gripe to my T6XA is the trainer button, versus the trainer switch, I don't like it as much and I always feel like my finger is going to slip off of it, unless I move my hands away from the sticks.
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Old 05-09-2010, 03:05 PM
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Default RE: Anyone else think they should bring back retro-radios?

When I'm up there flying looking at my plane and wiggling the sticks I might as well have a turnip in my hands.
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Old 05-09-2010, 03:27 PM
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Default RE: Anyone else think they should bring back retro-radios?

"I have seen several threads where folks bemoan the digital trim system. Why is that? Why would you even use trim tabs after the model has been properly trimmed and mechanically adjusted?"

OK, so the airplane if flying along and I need to make it stop rolling right. When I let go of the stick to adjust the trim I have limited time to mess with the trim. With a old style trim wheel I can fly the airplane with the trim and make quick ajustments and feel what I am doing. With the new buttons I find myself poking away going back to the stick to keep form crashing then poking at the trim repeat until it works. I can not feel the right vs left button. I can't read Brail either. So I have to look down while the airplane is misbehaving. IMHO this is bad. Bottom line, it is just really awkward.

I really do not understant the why of the new system. The wheel trims acted on the pot that the stick moved. The pot was mechanically moved slightly. A pot is sill used by the stick on new radios. Please someone explain it to me, I see no reason whatsoever that the old system could not be used on a modern radio. Maybe cost? I'd pay the small difference in manufaturing costs.
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Old 05-09-2010, 03:50 PM
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Default RE: Anyone else think they should bring back retro-radios?

One reason is, with multi model memory and with mechanical trim, you would need to retrim for each plane as you change planes. The digital trims stay with the planes.
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Old 05-10-2010, 11:16 AM
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Default RE: Anyone else think they should bring back retro-radios?


ORIGINAL: Flypaper 2

One reason is, with multi model memory and with mechanical trim, you would need to retrim for each plane as you change planes. The digital trims stay with the planes.
Actually you don't, the T6XA/S has trim memory, once it's trimmed out you save the trim positions, then center the trim levers, as long as they are centered, you can pick whatever model the the computer will adjust the zero position to wherever your trims were (for example, 3 clicks left trim, saved, then centered, so 0=-3, if that makes sense). So yes, I have model memory, each mode trimmed out, but if I need to make an adjustment I do it with the manual levers, I like it.

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Old 05-11-2010, 07:09 AM
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Default RE: Anyone else think they should bring back retro-radios?

You missed my point.

Surely you aren't saying that you need to trim your plane every flight. That would bring up a whole new set of suggestions.
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Old 05-11-2010, 09:42 AM
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Default RE: Anyone else think they should bring back retro-radios?

Only on the cheapest of the entry level radios did the trim lever mechanically shift the pot, even my first 4 channel AM (Conquest) had trims with their own pots.
I'll take digital trims any day, even on the throttle. I prefer to kill my engines with a kill switch assigned to the spring loaded trainer switch on my radios.
Since when do you need to let go of the sticks to change trim? Not if you get used to crossed trims, ah, there we go, more bells and whistles
Pete
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Old 05-11-2010, 11:48 AM
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Default RE: Anyone else think they should bring back retro-radios?

If you fly like a full-size aircraft pilot, you'd wind up re-trimming the elevator for different flight conditions. I always liked to be able to shift the elevator trim when I got ready to land...throttle to a certain point, slow the model with the stick and then trim the elevator so that I had the "perfect" glide speed. I then only needed to pay attention to the ailerons to keep the wings level, and use the throttle to moderate the descent rate. You can do this with analog or ditital trims...with the digital trims, you just learn the number of beeps to move the trim to the desired position. You then move it back to center after the flight.

Remember, all trims need to be centered before flight. That means that when you find the desired trim positions for the controls in your normal flight configuration, you adjust the linkages so that the control surface has the proper trim when the trim is centered. Flying with offset trim can be a problem...too much trim offset will restrict control movements, so you adjust the linkages to get the transmitter's trim centered.
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Old 05-11-2010, 10:23 PM
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Default RE: Anyone else think they should bring back retro-radios?

No, no, I'm saying that a computer radio with manual trims are the "best of both world" No I don't need to re-trim it every flight but if I DO need to adjust it, even just on the maiden, I prefer the way manual trims work. Now, im sure as I get more experienced I could become more comfortable with digital trims, but for now, I really like my trim levers.

Edit: Although I will admit, I think this post HAS missed my point (partly my fault), I just noticed the last few posts discuss features, my whole point, originally, was I liked how the old radios looked better, and new features/old features, I wonder if there will ever be a "retro" trend like is happening right now in the auto industry. A new Mustang, meant to look somewhat like a classic mustang (Or better example, new Camaro), has all of the bells and whistles a 2010 car should have, but it LOOKS like a '67.

Maybe wishful thinking But hey, I still like "the brick" (My affectionate name for my Conquest).

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Old 05-12-2010, 01:07 AM
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Default RE: Anyone else think they should bring back retro-radios?

Bill do you think there may be a possibility of Futaba coming out with a single stick or at least some way of separating rudder and throttle on the same stick?
Terry
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Old 05-12-2010, 05:39 AM
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Default RE: Anyone else think they should bring back retro-radios?

I can see retrimming for fullsize, but not for models. Wouldn't be wanting to hold back stick for the time it takes to do a landing circuit with the much more load on your hand compared to your thumb or fingers on the stick.
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Old 05-12-2010, 08:49 AM
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Default RE: Anyone else think they should bring back retro-radios?


ORIGINAL: Lazer

Bill do you think there may be a possibility of Futaba coming out with a single stick or at least some way of separating rudder and throttle on the same stick?
Terry
There's no way to tell, since Futaba doesn't discuss things they're working on, however, we'd think no. That's because there's always been such a low demand for the single-stick units, and they are more costly to make because of their low demand and the complexity of the stick assembly.

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Old 05-12-2010, 09:02 AM
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Default RE: Anyone else think they should bring back retro-radios?

Still working on a system to fly my planes with a computer joystick plugged into the trainer jack, but it's coming. Twist for rudder and a roller on top for throttle
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