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More Radio Advise

Old 02-05-2011, 08:22 AM
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scigs30
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Default More Radio Advise

I thought the recommendations for trainer planes was awsome. What about putting a list together for recommendations on a good 4ch. Radio system and servos for beginners that is easy to use and affordable. And maybe later down the line recommendations for good Nitro Engines. I would love to make recommendations, but all my gear is pretty old, still haven't upgraded to 2.4.
Old 02-05-2011, 08:49 AM
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HighPlains
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Default RE: More Radio Advise

My recommendation for the best 4 channel radio is any 6 channel computer based radio from any of the following (in no particular order):
Futaba
JR
Spectrum
Hitec
Airtronics
Old 02-05-2011, 09:05 AM
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Campy
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Default RE: More Radio Advise

I agree. You should get a 6 (or more) channel COMPUTER radio. Initially you will not be using all 6 channels
(or probably a lot of the features either), however by your 3rd or 4th plane you will be wanting the extra channels
and features.

If money is a factor, you may want to check out the 2.4 radios at http://www.leadershobby.com/ and
http://www.hobbycity.com. They are not brand names, however they are less than $100.

As for nitro engines I suggest staying with OS and Saito. They are a little more than other brands however they
are long lasting and have excellent warranties and service. Until you become experienced with nitro engines, I suggest
avoiding the Tower Hobbies engines. If you get a good one they are great, however a great many of them are
plagued with air leaks and carburator problems.

Hope this is some help.
Old 02-05-2011, 10:21 AM
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bigdanusa
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Default RE: More Radio Advise

I've never seen a beginner that had flaps or retracts on a plane so why would they ever need a 6 channel radio starting out?

Does a beginner need a 6 channel radio? No.

Does a beginner need a computer radio? No.

Does a beginner need a 2.4? No

I've been using 4 channel non-computer beginner radios for 38 years and my planes fly just as well as any other radios will make them fly!

I'm sure others will disagree, as usual, but I'd rather spend my money on fuel so I can fly more, rather than spending it on a fancy radio.

big dan
Old 02-05-2011, 11:14 AM
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Rodney
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Default RE: More Radio Advise

I agree, get the 6 channel versus the 4 channel as it is only usually about $20 more than the 4 channel and so much more versatile. Even if you are only flying small electrics, the ability to have two servos on the ailerons, the ability to have elevons, etc. more than justifies the small extra price. You will find dual rates and/or exponential a big plus for new and beginner flyers. The ability to be able to use a buddy box is also a big plus but that is usually available on the 4 channel as well but not always. Dual rates and exponential are also often missing on the bottom line 4 channel units.
Old 02-05-2011, 11:36 AM
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HighPlains
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Default RE: More Radio Advise

Right now you can buy some very good used equipment on 72 MHz as more people are switching to 2.4 G units. Often with extra receivers for next to nothing. You can fly analog servos and 4.8V nicad packs. Lots of good used equipment available, RC has never been cheaper to get into. My first 4 channel radio with no dual rates, servo reversing or anything was around $400 in 1970. That would be over $2200 in today's money. The best radio you could buy in 1970 was junk compared to the cheapest radio you can buy today from any of the major companies.

But if buying new, save up, get the computer radio with at least 6 channels and get it on 2.4G
Old 02-05-2011, 12:19 PM
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Default RE: More Radio Advise


ORIGINAL: bigdanusa

I've never seen a beginner that had flaps or retracts on a plane so why would they ever need a 6 channel radio starting out?

Does a beginner need a 6 channel radio? No.

Does a beginner need a computer radio? No.

Does a beginner need a 2.4? No

I've been using 4 channel non-computer beginner radios for 38 years and my planes fly just as well as any other radios will make them fly!
All true... but a beginner is far better off spending money on a better radio NOW, then wasting their money on a long string of slightly better radios as they progress.

And if they decide to jump out of the hobby, they'll have a radio which others may want to buy, instead of a cheapie no one wants.

Of course things like a built-in timer with auto-throttle start, alone can save the newbie the price difference for the better radio, in terms of not running out of fuel at the wrong moment because they lost track of the time. Or having someone else shoot down your plane, etc. etc. etc.



Old 02-05-2011, 12:43 PM
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bigdanusa
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Default RE: More Radio Advise

I'm going to call futaba and jr and tell them to stop making beginner radios because all you "old timers" in here finally moved up to 6 or more channels, computer radios, and 2.4 and think their beginner radios are a waste of money.

I'll bet most people that started in RC started with a 4 channel radio, just like most other beginners should!

big dan
Old 02-05-2011, 12:46 PM
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Default RE: More Radio Advise

I am a firm believer in the KISS principal.
Old 02-05-2011, 12:59 PM
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bigdanusa
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Default RE: More Radio Advise

I second that KISS theory.

big dan
Old 02-05-2011, 02:22 PM
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JimmyZep
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Default RE: More Radio Advise

Im a beginer and my 1st radio is a Futaba 6EX 2.4 6 channel computer.

Im very glad I went this way. Its real easy to set up the plane and no channel flags
to worry about.

I wont need a radio for quite a while, its money well spent.

And in comparison its still on the lower level price wise, top end radio's are a couple grand.

Jimmy

Old 02-05-2011, 05:57 PM
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jester_s1
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Default RE: More Radio Advise

I started with a 6 channel computer radio. It wasn't necessary for a trainer, but I took the advice I heard here and stepped up to the next higher level beyond the 4 channel. I'm glad I did. I could adjust servo travels to stop binding and get the throws just right, I could change throws at the field without touching linkages while I was fine tuning, and I was able to set up dual ailerons and flaps on my second model without having to buy a new radio. I'd say for the first couple planes I had, the computer radio saved me several hours of tinkering to get everything like I wanted it.

The beaten path is certainly the 4ch basic unit, flying fairly docile planes for your first 2-3 models. But that is a path that was beaten when any computerized radio was expensive and less capable than even the low-end units today. Now there is no reason not to have the helps that the programming gives you, and it will let you fly more advanced planes sooner if you want to.

As for recommendations, you didn't say what your plans are but there are two standouts in the value/features category in my mind. The first is the Spektrum DX6i. It's your basic 6ch radio that has the added feature that all the "bind and fly" planes work with it. That saves you a few dollars for every plane. The second is the radio I bought, the Airtronics RDS8000. It's 8 channels, but the features and programming are more like the typical 6 channel. It's a little cheaper than the Spektrum and the receivers cost about the same. As for servos, pick any standard ball bearing servo from any manufacturer and you'll do fine. All my sport models have either Futaba 3004's or Hitec HS425BB's. I can tell any difference at all between them in flight.
Old 02-05-2011, 11:40 PM
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radius1x1
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Default RE: More Radio Advise

I agree with Opjose. Why spend extra money later for a natural progression to a better radio? Spend the money ONCE and do it right the first time.
And no I wouldn't spend $3000 for gulf clubs, but I wouldn't expect a newb to start out with 2x4's neither. That's got to be one of the dumbist corallaries I ever heard!
Old 02-06-2011, 02:08 AM
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Default RE: More Radio Advise

AHHHH the old debate...alas..whether it is nobeler to fly a 4 channel radio to start or something to grow into as you progress....a very easy question that is very difficult to answer...
Me personally I started with a 4 channel then quickly moved to a 9 channel....thinking I'd never use 9 channels.....my first gasser I used 9 channels
I know you're starting out....but ask yourself how or what you want to fly..if you were a qualified pilot now.....if it's a big war bird or a larger scale gasser.....and if you were to crash that big airplane you know you'd get another one and fly again.....then get the biggest baddest 2.4 radio that you can.....
Or if you're a little uneasy about flying...and or 40 to 180 sized airplanes without any bells and whistles is ok.....then at least a 6 channel computer radio.....
You don't need 6 channels to start...but later if you add dual elevators or dual ailerons...then you can assign the second servo to a different channel...no Y harness and can add mixes have end point adjustments, dual rates, expo, and your transmitter works for different airplanes in your budding fleet with model memory
A basic 4 channel radio will not allow those features....to fly more than one airplane on the same transmitter.....you will have to set trims different (no 2 planes will use the same trim settings)...you may even have to reverse a servo from one airplane to another...this is done with the transmitter.....easy as pie with a computer radio it changes with model memory...
Dan of course you can fly with any radio you like....but life is alot easier and you can fly any aerobatics you wish with any airplane you wish with a computer radio......
Good flying to all
Old 02-06-2011, 02:37 AM
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mike109
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Default RE: More Radio Advise

G'day everyone.

It is a rare beginner that only has one model. Before long most have two or three models and if they start with a simple non-computer 4 channel radio they end up buying a second radio and then a third. That is what happened to me. In less than a year I had four radios. The rot stopped when I bought my first computer radio - a JR Computer Max 6. From then on, I just bought receivers and servos.

These days with cheap 6 channel radios like the Hitec Optic 6 and DX6 etc there is a number of relatively cheap 6 channel radios that can handle 8 or more models and have facilities for more than simple trainers.

I wish I had had the choice of something like an Optic 6 at the prices they cost today when I started out in 1989. Just the simple ability to handle more than one model is enough to make me suggest beginners buy some thing like an Optic 6 or its equivalent from the other makers.
Old 02-06-2011, 03:20 AM
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Default RE: More Radio Advise

The word "Cheap" tends to relate to "inferior quality". In the case of the radios mentioned above, well, a better word is inexpensive. The radios mentioned by Mike are good quality and very capable.

Any of the major brand manufacturers have low end, average, and high end radios available. As Opjose noted, there are reasons for choosing a radio with the capabilities you may not necessarily need right now, but will be there when you do need them.

CGr.
Old 02-06-2011, 04:20 AM
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mike109
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Default RE: More Radio Advise

G'day

I agree, they are cheap but really they are, as you say, inexpensive. (But cheap is easier to spell and I am lazy.)

I decided to look at my two favourite sites for RC gear and neither sells (or at least has listed on their web sites) simple single model 4 channel radios. They are just becoming extinct.

There has also been a rash of cheap (and this time I mean it) 2.4 Gig computer radios emanating from China. They all seem to work but they often have no manuals, no backup and no sure supply of receivers for the future so I am wary of them. Some are selling for well under $100 and I have even seen one system which cost less than $50. I would not be trusting a model and engine costing several hundred dollars to these systems but some people seem happy to do so. There also remains the question of whether these systems are "type approved" by the people who provide our accident insurance. In many cases, I suspect not.

Old 02-06-2011, 04:36 AM
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bigdanusa
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Default RE: More Radio Advise

A beginner can get a 4 channel futaba 4yf complete system for $129.99
http://www3.towerhobbies.com/cgi-bin...I=LXEFJ4**&P=0

If he starts off with a 6 channel complete system and wants a 2nd plane he still needs an extra flight pack that sells for $124.98
http://www3.towerhobbies.com/cgi-bin...?&I=LXMHB1&P=7

For the extra $5.01 he would have a new 4 channel transmitter, transmitter antenna, transmitter crystal, and a new transmitter battery pack along with a new charger...all for just $5.01 extra if he decided to move up to 6 channels, computer or non computer radios after buying his Beginner radio system. So, whats wrong with him starting out with the 4 channel?

big dan
Old 02-06-2011, 04:48 AM
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bigdanusa
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Default RE: More Radio Advise

To the OP...

I guess you'd have to contact rcken or minnflyer to post a list of good 4 channel radios. Most others in here don't feel a beginner should start out with a 4 channel.

Here's my list of good 4 channel radios....

http://www3.towerhobbies.com/cgi-bin...I=LXEFJ4**&P=0

big dan
Old 02-06-2011, 05:44 AM
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Default RE: More Radio Advise

Would it be wrong of me to advise you to go to www.webster.com and look up the correct spelling of advice?
Old 02-06-2011, 06:11 AM
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jester_s1
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Default RE: More Radio Advise

There's nothing "wrong" with the 4 channel radio listed above, but when you go to sell it when you outgrow it there's a rude awakening. The transmitter will be worth about $20 to someone who wants it for a buddy box. The receiver might bring $10, and the servos about $8 each.

Another, albeit more expensive option is this Spektrum unit.

http://www.amainhobbies.com/product_...tem-w-o-Servos

For $200 you can get a radio that has everything you need until you get into serious aerobatics or complicated scale models. You'll also need basic servos, so add $40 more to that. If you ever decide you need more, currently this until will bring $80-$100 used without the receiver. But many of us never move beyond sport flying, so you may never need another radio until you wear this one out.

So I don't see the point of starting with such a limited system. It will cost you more money, it is less capable, and it can't grow with you. I do understand that we RC'ers suffer from gadgetitis sometimes and buy more than we need, but on this topic the extra dough for a computerized system gives you so much. To put a new flyer using a radio that is essentially outdated technology makes no sense. It reminds me of when I was learning to hunt as a kid and guys would hand the 10 year old a single shot .410 or .22 because he "needs to start with the basics." The actual truth is that the beginner needs to start with every advantage he can get, and better performing equipment does have an impact on your success in the hobby.
Old 02-06-2011, 06:45 AM
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Default RE: More Radio Advise


ORIGINAL: pmerritt

Would it be wrong of me to advise you to go to www.webster.com and look up the correct spelling of advice?

YES

Jimmy
Old 02-06-2011, 06:47 AM
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Default RE: More Radio Advise


ORIGINAL: jester_s1

There's nothing "wrong" with the 4 channel radio listed above, but when you go to sell it when you outgrow it there's a rude awakening. The transmitter will be worth about $20 to someone who wants it for a buddy box. The receiver might bring $10, and the servos about $8 each.

Another, albeit more expensive option is this Spektrum unit.

http://www.amainhobbies.com/product_...tem-w-o-Servos

For $200 you can get a radio that has everything you need until you get into serious aerobatics or complicated scale models. You'll also need basic servos, so add $40 more to that. If you ever decide you need more, currently this until will bring $80-$100 used without the receiver. But many of us never move beyond sport flying, so you may never need another radio until you wear this one out.

So I don't see the point of starting with such a limited system. It will cost you more money, it is less capable, and it can't grow with you. I do understand that we RC'ers suffer from gadgetitis sometimes and buy more than we need, but on this topic the extra dough for a computerized system gives you so much. To put a new flyer using a radio that is essentially outdated technology makes no sense. It reminds me of when I was learning to hunt as a kid and guys would hand the 10 year old a single shot .410 or .22 because he "needs to start with the basics." The actual truth is that the beginner needs to start with every advantage he can get, and better performing equipment does have an impact on your success in the hobby.

Well said.

Jimmy
Old 02-06-2011, 06:53 AM
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scigs30
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Default RE: More Radio Advise


ORIGINAL: bigdanusa

To the OP...

I guess you'd have to contact rcken or minnflyer to post a list of good 4 channel radios. Most others in here don't feel a beginner should start out with a 4 channel.

Here's my list of good 4 channel radios....

http://www3.towerhobbies.com/cgi-bin...I=LXEFJ4**&P=0

big dan
This has been an interesting thread, I was basically seeing if minnflyer could put a small list together, but instead I am seeing a wealth of good information. Forums are great. For me I am still flying on a 4 channel Futaba that is pretty old. I also have a 6 channel that is old but I hardly use that. How about a list of 4 channel radios and a list of 6 channel radios?
Old 02-06-2011, 07:51 AM
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Default RE: More Radio Advise

I don't know, but I thing our good friend BIG DAN is on something!

His suggestion for the 4 channel radio (http://www3.towerhobbies.com/cgi-bin...I=LXEFJ4**&P=0) is this the same price of a much better 6 channel radio( http://www3.towerhobbies.com/cgi-bin...I=LXRXF4**&P=0). So, what a wreck ?!

I thing the bottom line here is to not be a cheap bast...d ! Because down on the road it will cost you more money! Nobody will want to buy a used 4 channel FM radio, so you will throw away your U$129.99.

Also I'll never buy a FM radio, at least a PCM 1024.

But, today a PCM it's also trash, nobody want it, unfourtunaly the way to go is a 2.4GHZ, that radio will have a resale value in the near future once you decide this hobby it's no for you

Not to mention that we are talking about a U$50 to U$100 in difference, not thousands or even hundreds! Between sometinhg that is already DOA instead a much better radio that will be much easier to setup, use and grow with you in the future.

That's my 5 cents!



PS: And yes, a beginner don't need a 6 channel to start with, but why not?!

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