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72 MHz or 2.4

Old 04-18-2014, 10:45 AM
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L8cruiser
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Default 72 MHz or 2.4

I am just getting into the hobby. I picked up two planes at a yard sale for 10 bucks. The planes are both trainers and have engines, receiver and servos already mounted. I know 10 bucks, what a great find. Ok my question is what kind of transmitter should I buy. The receivers are both 72 MHz. Should I switch them out with 2.4 receivers or leave them and buy a 72mhz transmitter. Also will the servos fit all makes of receivers. I am overwhelmed by all the technology and varieties of radios. Thanks for any input.
Old 04-18-2014, 11:21 AM
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opjose
 
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Who makes the receivers?

If you can find a transmitter with the same frequency the receivers use and the SAME "SHIFT" pattern, you may be able to use them.

That said, the hobby has moved onto 2.4 some time ago, and you are buying into older technology, not that it doesn't work fine.

2.4gHz offers no need of watching a frequency board for a free channel. But you are tied to the manufacturer you start out with.
If you do delve into 2.4 you are best off choosing a name brand transmitter, and one that will probably cost far more than you ever expected to pay.

It makes no sense to go out and buy a cheap 2.4gHz transmitter only to replace it a few months later due to incompatibility with what you really want.

I would advise you to not worry about those two planes. Find a local club, check out a meeting, go and visit the field and see if they offer training.

If they do, sign up and go through it. You'll find help with your purchased planes in the process.
Old 04-18-2014, 11:54 AM
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L8cruiser
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The servos are made by JR. Will the servo plugs fit any receiver or JR receiver only. I would like to get a local club member to teach me on my trainer. Since I don't have much time or money in it, I thought it would be good to learn on. Also what do you mean by the same Shift Pattern ?

I see a Spectrum DX5e 2.4 with receiver advertised for 89.00
Is that a good radio to start out on ? If I place that receiver in my trainer , will it work with my JR servos. ? Thanks for your advice.
Old 04-18-2014, 12:18 PM
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JohnBuckner
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Originally Posted by L8cruiser View Post
. I know 10 bucks, what a great find. .

Actually it will possibly be the worst find you will ever make in the hobby if it results in you squandering money on an obsolete system. The airframes may be fine and the engines also may work well for you and maybe the servos but even those can be unusable with modern equipment and it all depends.

There are so many pitfalls when folks start to piece systems together, the new folks stand little chance of success without far more expenditures than they expected.

I have done many buyouts and piece systems together properly for new folks and its not for money as many I just give away, Its to promote the local club and pass it on. What I now do on these buyouts is to remove all the old radio system that are not 2.4 and unless the systems are genuine museum pieces I destroy the radios and Rx's. Yes they can function but they will only cause excessive cash flow for unsuspecting new folks.

I am sorry if I sound harsh but I have seen many hurt by the so called great buys. What Oppose has suggested about is absolutely what you need to do first and that is spend no money (none) until you hook up with your local club. These foks are your future flying buds and make no mistake this hobby/sport is also very much a social one.

Enjoy

John


If you like take some good close pictures of the servo labels and the servos plug then we can tell tell you of the servos usefulness.
Old 04-18-2014, 12:28 PM
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Cashpoboy
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72 MHz is fine. I fly it all the time without a problem. Yes it is yesterdays technology but the AMA still recognizes it and it is safe.
Because it it 'older', you can pick up transmitters for dirt cheap. RCers everywhere cannot even give them away typically. I do a ton of trading and I know this to be true.
I do recommend getting connected to a local club. They will be your best bet to get off on the right foot. Talk to lots of the members because you will get tons of different opinions. Unfortunately it is a characteristic of the hobby that everyone thinks their opinion is the only 'right' one. If you talk to several members you will find someone that you get along with. If they have been in the hobby a few years you have found gold.

Nowadays $100 will get you all you need if you look around or go to swap meets.
Old 04-18-2014, 12:33 PM
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JohnBuckner
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If the servos plugs are JR then you will be able to plug these servos directly to modern equipment.

Do not under any circumstances try to use old unknown batteries regardless of what any former owner has said.

The whole modulation shift thing positive, negative does not apply with 2.4 systems.

All the majors have excellent entry level systems and I much prefer Hitec.

John
Old 04-18-2014, 12:38 PM
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JohnBuckner, please don't trash the old 72 MHz receivers. Put them on an auction site where someone who still uses 72 MHz can buy them. And definitely don't trash any high-end 72 MHz computer radios (e.g. 9CAP). They are sought after.

But I agree, for a newbee just starting out, go straight to 2.4 GHz.

And to the OP, please get connected with a local club and find a mentor. Having an airplane is not nearly as important as finding a good instructor. The club may even loan you a trainer and radio to get you started.

Last edited by JPMacG; 04-18-2014 at 12:41 PM.
Old 04-18-2014, 04:05 PM
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JohnBuckner
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Originally Posted by JPMacG View Post
JohnBuckner, please don't trash the old 72 MHz receivers. Put them on an auction site where someone who still uses 72 MHz can buy them. And definitely don't trash any high-end 72 MHz computer radios (e.g. 9CAP). They are sought after.

.

Let me ask you sir? what would you do if your field came under direct attack by a few hoodlums that had an extreme chip on their shoulder who set up camp at your gate in the open desert and said to hell with frequency control, to hell with AMA and to hell with any club!

The prime perpetrator gathered up any old stuff he could scrabble together and peddled it to unsuspecting newbys at the local highway swap meet just a mile away with wonderful promises of what he was gonna do for them at the free flying site. Ya sure and were left trying to pick up the pieces for the poor victims and indeed victims is exactly what they were.

There were many cases of shoot downs but of course since they were free spirts we had no recourse Finally in order to prevent compete range wars I was able to convince the club to simply commit to a complete changeover to 2.4 most of us were already there anyway and in order to dry up the source of supply to these 'gentleman' we had club trashing partys of all the old Vanguards and Conquests .
Well guess what their source dried up and they moved on our field was saved from eminent shut down. However we continue to recommend 2.4 only at the field and most of our club are thankfull that all those old 72's were destroyed in this area. And agine I am not talking about collector items and yes I have a substancial collection of such as well as some treasured nine channel single sticks on PCM however these will never ever be seen in the local highway swap meet or into the hands of people like that agine.

Now back to the L8cruzer it would be a major financial mistake to not now embrace 2.4 while you still can economically and what I always tell all my new folks who care to listen as fresh start new folks it is also important to buy the most capable modern radio system you can. And like I posted above I prefer Hitec and specifically the Hitec Eclipse Pro. Not the most expensive and not the cheapest but an ideal starting point.

John

Last edited by JohnBuckner; 04-18-2014 at 04:10 PM.
Old 04-18-2014, 05:11 PM
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oneaew@msn.com
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I have 10 futaba radios i have 10 planes>>all on 72 no trouble>> been flying from 1948 iam 82 and to late to change the radios now
Old 04-18-2014, 05:23 PM
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JPMacG
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Well, that certainly is a troubling story. My club is fortunate to have never experienced such a thing. It is good you were able to control it by drying up the local supply of 72 MHz radios.

Still, maybe you can sell your 72 MHz equipment only to buyers who are far away>
Old 04-18-2014, 06:23 PM
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Uncas
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72 Mhz is fine. I am still using it - and the used equipment is a bargain.
Old 04-18-2014, 06:28 PM
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JohnBuckner
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Not worth the effort for a radio that at best is not worth over five or ten bucks such as most of the Vanguards or Conquests or worth feeling guilty about if I did sell it for more.

I do have one treasure though in an Airtronics Prism 7 PCM. Yup Airtronics used the Prism moniker even before Hitec and this radio that is just prior to the micro processor controlled radios and while it is a one transmitter one airplane radio it does have almost all the other modern fancys including expotentials and numerous mixs. But it is all controlled by 48 tiny dip switchs and pots under a front door.


John
Old 04-18-2014, 06:56 PM
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2walla
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Go to the local field and see what people are using. You are going to want somebody to buddy box with and if you buy brand x and everybody has brand y... You may be screwed.. I gave several of my old 72 transmitters/receivers to newbies as they still worked fine and helped em get going. I would rather give it to someone that can use it than sell it for peanuts... If you decide to buy a new radio, i would get at least a 6 channel model that has a few model memory. The dx5 works but only does one model.. Kind of a waste. At least get the dx 6. You will want a bind and fly plane eventually if you stick with it. I know a few 3000 futaba transmitter owners than secretly have a dx 6 so they can fly spektrum bind and fly stuff when their buddies aren't watching...
Old 04-18-2014, 07:10 PM
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PatrickCurry
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Another vote for heading to the local club first before you do anything. 2walla is dead on about the buddy box situation if you need or want to go that route. Also, there's almost always someone at our club willing to give or loan a radio or receiver to someone to get them started. No sense in spending the money until you see what everyone there is running. And hey.... welcome to RC and RCU!
Old 04-19-2014, 01:15 AM
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The best thing you could do is obtain a new 2.4Ghz radio with 2nd rx, 2 new switch harnesses, new rx batteries and just keep the original servo's.

The running around to find a 72Mhz tx on the same frequency of the two rx's will cost a few bucks even if you could get the TX cheap. It's a step backwards and if you want a 3rd plane your now stuck buying 72Mhz rx's and trying to find crystals.

I haven't yet moved to 2.4 only because I have heaps of 36Mhz (Australia) stuff that works fine and a single TX that will talk to all of them (frequency and modulation wise), but I'd never recommend anyone to take a step backwards with radio gear.
Old 04-19-2014, 05:54 AM
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I'd like to back up the conversation just a bit, because the OP may not know what he's getting into. I would never discourage anyone from doing this hobby, but a good first experience requires having the time and money to get good equipment running right. If a guy goes into this thinking it's only going to cost $100 for everything, he's going to be disappointed.

Old planes- The wood may be fine, but do a close inspection for glue joints coming loose and covering that has gotten brittle. You should be able to pick up the planes and flex all the parts with moderate pressure and not hear any movement or noise. You should be able to poke the covering with your finger and have it stretch a little and then come back. Your finger will go right through old covering, which means an in flight failure is likely. Have a look at the hardware as well. Nylon clevises and control horns get brittle with age. You should be able to bend them really far with no cracking.

Old engines- The engines are likely gummed up from old castor oil hardening in them. You can soak them in fuel or denatured alcohol to loosen them up. If you have an old crock pot 24 hours with some antifreeze on low temperature will dissolved every speck of that residue. You'll also need to clean out the needle valve seats, fuel passages, and the spray bar in the carburetor. Then you'll be able to evaluate the engines. Hopefully they'll still have good compression and won't need new bearings.

Old servos and receivers- Usually, these will be fine. Usually. A lot of that depends on how they were stored. In a garage or attic they are protected from the elements and usually do ok for 10 or 15 years. Out in a shed though can destroy them in short order. Open up the cases and have a look at the circuit boards. If you see nice clean components you are probably ok, but any corrosion means getting new gear. The last test for receivers is an engine on range test. You want to see if vibration is going to affect anything. Servos are good if there is no corrosion or broken gears and they move smoothly with stick input and return exactly to center EVERY SINGLE TIME.

Buying 72mhz radios- If you can find a 6-8 channel computer radio it could save you some money. Understand though that you'll likely be buying crystals to change your receivers to the right channel for the radio you get, and you'll also probably need a transmitter battery unless the seller has replaced it in the last couple of years and you trust him. I wouldn't suggest using anything that's analog because the computer features make setup and flying so much more enjoyable. Comparing your options among radios that are worth having, you could probably find an Airtronics or JR 6 channel computer radio for around $40, then pay another $25 for a good battery for it and $15 for crystals to get the frequency right. So that's $80. Or you could buy a similar new radio in 2.4ghz for around $200 and an extra receiver for about $50 more. Option one is likely going to mean you'll be buying the better radio later anyway but keeping the cost down now, whereas option two gets you set up for the next several years of flying.

Other costs- You'll need a club membership if you want help with flying (and you do). You'll need field gear and fuel, basic hand tools and CA glue for repairs, new batteries and a charger, and planning for funds to move on to sport type planes once you're done with training. If you keep an eye out in the classifieds or on Ebay you can sometimes find starters and glow drivers, but you'll still need batteries to power them. Never buy used batteries ever. Asking around the club for guys selling the gear you need can often turn up some good stuff, especially when they know you have already invested in planes and paid the membership fee.

I'd say $300 is probably a good budget to get you going in the hobby for this year if you go cheap on your radio. Next year is up to you. The option is always there to keep flying trainers, but the point will come when your skills are being held back by them. $10 could very well be a great buy for the planes you have if the engines and airframes are good, but you should understand that you can't skimp on anything in this hobby and be successful at it. Best of luck to you.
Old 04-19-2014, 07:11 AM
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First off, I'd like to welcome you to R/C!

Secondly, I agree with the others who recommend visiting your local flying club.

I'm relatively certain that once you do, you'll be convinced to go 2.4GHz.

I see many clubs using the Spektrum brand almost exclusively. I prefer Hitec myself.

On the other hand I've been flying on and off for 24 years and only this last December did I sell my Futaba 9CAP!
Old 04-19-2014, 07:45 AM
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I was told yesterday at a local hobby shop that the AMA is now telling people they CAN'T use 72MHz where everone else is using 2.4GHz. Get this, it's because the 72MHz interferes with 2.4GHz. I told the guy he was full of crap but he insists there are "AMA people" in Los Angeles banning 72MHz. Anyone else hear of this BS?
Old 04-19-2014, 08:00 AM
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RightWing
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The AMA recognizes 72MHz as a valid frequency.

That being stated it's quite possible for a club to ban it's use. Most likely citing reducing risk exposure to the club etc.
Old 04-19-2014, 08:59 AM
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The servos should be compatible with JR and Spectrum. So I would buy a Spectrum or JR transmitter with receiver and another receiver for the other plane. That said now that everbody is on 2.4 GHx the 72 MHz is just fine. Never had interference other than a very short glitch on 72 since the 70's or so. But i guess I am just lucky.
Old 04-19-2014, 09:10 AM
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flycatch
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Your description of the receivers leaves a lot to be desired. Forget about 72mhz and go with the crowd.
Originally Posted by L8cruiser View Post
I am just getting into the hobby. I picked up two planes at a yard sale for 10 bucks. The planes are both trainers and have engines, receiver and servos already mounted. I know 10 bucks, what a great find. Ok my question is what kind of transmitter should I buy. The receivers are both 72 MHz. Should I switch them out with 2.4 receivers or leave them and buy a 72mhz transmitter. Also will the servos fit all makes of receivers. I am overwhelmed by all the technology and varieties of radios. Thanks for any input.
Old 04-19-2014, 10:30 AM
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Well, I used a Futaba 9CAP as my main radio for years on channel 39. I flew 35%-40% 3D planes, turbines, etc... and never had any issues. It's funny to me that not so long ago in the past we all had 72mhz radios and it seemed to work for us all then. Now you'd swear people act like they never knew how they even managed to fly on those radios. I now fly with a Futaba 12FG on 2.4 and the only nice thing is not having to worry about frequency pins.
Old 04-19-2014, 10:43 AM
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Jim Branaum
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Originally Posted by L8cruiser View Post
The servos are made by JR. Will the servo plugs fit any receiver or JR receiver only. I would like to get a local club member to teach me on my trainer. Since I don't have much time or money in it, I thought it would be good to learn on. Also what do you mean by the same Shift Pattern ?

I see a Spectrum DX5e 2.4 with receiver advertised for 89.00
Is that a good radio to start out on ? If I place that receiver in my trainer , will it work with my JR servos. ? Thanks for your advice.
All the 'advice' to go cheap and buy older technology is not terrible, it is just more risky (especially if you live in a fairly high modeler density area) and not long lasting. The risk is that some kid down the ways will get a 72 MhZ radio on the same frequency and shoot you down. I lost a 30% Laser that way. However if you are in an area where there are not many fliers, good luck.

Getting that $89 radio is an excellent choice - IF IT HAS BUDDY BOX CAPIBILITY (I don't know the low end market these days, but there were some that did not). Yes your JR servos will work with it. That radio is taught to speak to THIS receiver or THAT receiver and it does not talk to the wrong one. Some of the old middle to high end stuff would talk to multiple different models, but would shoot you down because there was no 'insurance' that if you selected Plane 1 your model was Plane 1. I watched more than one loose birds to that mistake.
Old 04-19-2014, 11:28 AM
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ka8jvx
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I sent an email to L8cruiser offering an excellent JR SX-600 6 ch. radio trans. and rec. I will send it to you free of charge if you will email me your name and address. Have not received a reply to my email so maybe he (she) will see this here. This is not a scam. I have gone 2.4 mhz and will never need the 72 mhz radio.

KA8JVX

Last edited by ka8jvx; 04-19-2014 at 01:29 PM.
Old 04-19-2014, 01:30 PM
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I'm still using 72 Mhz and it works fine. And I'm also a big fan of pre-owned planes and engines - if you're careful you can get good deals. And everyone is dumping FM, so you can get receivers and radios cheap. And most of the time I"m the only one at the field still on 72, so no chance of interference. On the other hand, I AM the only one at the field on FM (which occasionally prompts some of the older, opinionated gents to ask "why?".) I haven't converted due to cost - I have about 20 planes now, and am on a limited budget. Though have heard good things about the "Orange" series of 2.4 receivers on Hobby King. So - 72 works and is affordable for a newbie, but the longer you're in this hobby the more planes you'll own and the more expensive the conversion to 2.4, when you DO convert.

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