Distributed by: Great Planes Model Distributors
P.O. Box 9021
Champaign, IL 61826-9021 www.electrifly.com
Ok, so you've mastered the basic 4-channel trainer. What now?
Perhaps you want to add a couple of things to your next plane. The natural additions are flaps and retractable landing gear.
Plane (with flaps and retracts) purchased - Check!
Engine purchased - Check!
Radio purchased - Dang! You came up short on cash!
So what are you going to do? Well, you can wait and buy a high-end 6-8 channel radio with a high-end price, or you can go for the new Tactic TTX600. This radio gives you a full range system with a few simple features, and it won't break the bank!
Let's open the box and find out what we've got!
Digital Trims on Elevator, Ailerons and Rudder
WIRELESS Buddy Box System!
(Compatible with another Tactic 2.4 radio)
Elevon & V-Tail Mixing
Ball Bearing Stick Gimbals give Smooth, Precise Control
As in the TTX404 review, I decided to leave out the usual "Misses" section due to
the fact that while some features have been left out of the TTX600, they really can't be seen as a "problem" with the system. Although the TTX600 does incorporate Dual Rates, some
features you will not find on this transmitter are:
Receiver- Channels: 6 Modulation: FHSS spread spectrum Input Power: Four or Five "AA" Alkaline, NiCd or NiMH cells (or ESC/BEC) Failsafe: Throttle reduced, all other channels maintain last recognized positions- Also can be Programmed to a set deflection on Aileron, Elevator, and Rudder Channels. Dimensions: 1.8 x 1.0 x 0.5" (45 x 26 x 13mm) Receiver Weight: 0.29 oz (8.3g)
When I opened the box, I found a cardboard packing cradle instead of the typical foam packing surrounding the transmitter. This material did a nice job of protecting the contents, and all parts were in good shape! Speaking of contents, in addition to the transmitter, I found a 6-channel receiver, a switch with a charging jack, a 4-cell battery holder, and a neck strap.
The face of the radio is laid out very simply. All of the switches (and the flap knob) are easy to reach, and there is nothing on the face that is not needed. The aileron, elevator, and rudder channels all have digital trim tabs, while the throttle retains an analog trim "slider" switch.
There are four servo-reversing switches built into the face of the radio as well, but these are recessed. They are still easy to get at, but it's impossible to accidently bump them.
Reviewer's note - Portions of this review of the Tactic TTX600 are very similar to the review on the 4-channel TTX404. The reason for this is that the TTX404 and the TTX600 share much of the same programming and hardware.
The TR624 is a 2.4GHz, 6-channel receiver is the same one that comes with the Tactic TTX404. Additional receivers cost less than $30, but they will only work with Tactic radios. There is a single, short antenna, making placement easy in almost any fuselage.
The receiver will operate on a 4 or 5-cell pack (not included) and it features a programmable Fail-Safe. The receiver is already bound to the transmitter, and binding another receiver is as simple as powering up the transmitter and receiver, and pushing the receiver's BIND button until the LED glows red, and then goes out - release the button and the LED will blink once and then stay a constant red.
One other thing I'd like to mention is that the receiver immediately recognized the transmitter when powered up. Some receivers can take up to 3 seconds to "link" to the transmitter. While not a life changing item, I thought this was pretty cool for a 'budget-friendly' radio system!
The included instruction manual is very well written, and has great illustrations. The manual gives you all the specifications, as well as guiding you through set-up, binding (if needed for another receiver), and changing configurations for different types of planes.
The TTX600 requires four AA sized batteries. You can use either disposable alkaline or NiCd/NiMH rechargeable type batteries. The transmitter comes with a charging jack built into the case, and it will accept a Futaba transmitter charging plug. There are two warning decals - one on the battery cover and one over the charging jack that advise against charging alkaline batteries.
There is also a 4-cell AA battery holder to power the receiver with. Personally, I have not used one of these since I built my first R/C airplane back in 1992, but it is more cost effective than a NiCd battery pack.
ELEVON AND V-TAIL MIXING
To switch from Standard Mode to V-Tail mixing, turn the Tx OFF and move both sticks to the lower and outer positions (right stick to the bottom-right corner, and the left stick to the bottom-left corner). While holding the sticks in these positions, turn the Tx power switch ON. The LED will flash, accompanied by two audible tones. The V-tail mixing function will now be turned ON.
Repeating the procedure above with result in the LED flashing three times accompanied by three audible beeps to signal that the TTX600 has now switched from V-Tail to Elevon mixing. A third repetition will return the Tx to normal operating mode.
It is also worth noting that each time you turn the transmitter on, you will hear either a single, double or triple beep to let you know which mode is currently active.
WIRELESS TRAINER SYSTEM
To use the Wireless Trainer System, you must first have another Tactic 2.4 gHz wireless trainer-ready transmitter to use as the slave transmitter. Start by placing the INSTRUCTOR and STUDENT'S transmitters within 1 meter of each other, and make sure the throttle stick for each Tx is set to idle. Now, power up the STUDENT'S transmitter. Now, while holding the Trainer Switch on the INSTRUCTOR'S transmitter, turn the INSTRUCTOR'S Tx ON.
The LED on the teacher's Tx will flash 3 times to indicate it has become bound with the student's Tx. The teacher can then release his/her trainer switch.
When the training session has ended, with the model on the ground and all power removed from the model, place both transmitters within 1 meter of each other and simply turn the power switch for both transmitters to the OFF position. This will terminate the wireless link between both transmitters. When the wireless training option is to be used again, simply follow the steps above to re-bind the student's and instructor's transmitters.
I decided to install the TR624 receiver in my 1/4 scale Super Cub. I brought the plane and transmitter to my local field, and performed the range test. While I didn't get as crazy as Minnflyer did on his range test with the Tactic TTX404, I walked well past the minimum 100 feet required in the manual. I was probably closer to 300 feet from the plane, and I had no trouble with any loss of reception between the radio and the plane, even with the 28cc gasoline engine running!
The range test was completed with more than satisfactory results, so it was time to put the plane in the sky and test out the radio system.
I opened the throttle up and the Super Cub was of the ground and gaining altitude. I flew the plane straight away for several hundred feet so if the receiver were to lose its bind, the plane would throttle down and glide back to the ground (well, at least that's what the plan was).
As I made the first turn to the left, I again realized that the radio does not have exponential! That first half-roll to the left was a little more than what I was expecting, but once I remembered that there was no expo, I just moved the sticks a bit slower to get scale-like performance from the plane.
The flap knob worked well and allowed me to 'dial in' just the perfect amount of flaps for slowing my Super Cub down.
Now, as a fixed gear plane, I needed a way to use the fifth channel on the transmitter. It just so happens that on my Super Cub, I have the choke for the gas engine set up on a servo! And yes, it does work well too!
I also had a small electric ducted fan (EDF for short) jet along to test out the elevon function. Without using too many words, it worked perfectly too. I was able to switch the receiver from a large, scale plane to a small, foam, EDF model and re-program the transmitter in a matter of just a few minutes!
Well, that pretty much wraps it up. Let's face it, how many different ways is there to write the phrase "It works" without sounding redundant? So, without dragging on any further, I'll say "It works!"
One more thing I'd like to add - not only does it work, and work well, but you can have a 6-channel radio with a few handy features for less than $100.00!
The comments, observations and conclusions made in this review are solely with respect to the particular item the editor reviewed and may not apply generally to similar products by the manufacturer. We cannot be responsible for any manufacturer defects in workmanship or other deficiencies in products like the one featured in the review.