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Returning to the hobby

Old 11-05-2007, 02:53 PM
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pet575
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Default Returning to the hobby

Well, I post this in the beginner thread because I probably should consider myself a newbie. In about 1996 or so, I successfully built an ARF trainer, got trained, and flew it pretty well. I moved up to a few other models, and last flew a Sig Kobra before crashing it and ending my career in 2000 or so. My budget got tight, so I sold all of my equipment off and I've been completely out for the last 6 years.

So, I'm ready to get back into the hobby again. I plan to get an ARF trainer and a 4-channel radio, and run an OS .40 or so in it. I'm assuming that there have been some technology advances in the past 5 years or so that I should know about? Anyone have any tips for equipment?
Old 11-05-2007, 03:03 PM
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Default RE: Returning to the hobby

I suggest a few modifications to your plan.

First, get at least a 6 channel computer radio. Then when you need your second plane, all you need to do is buy another receiver, battery, switch, and servos.

Second, if you buy a .40 size plane, buy a .45 (or thereabouts) engine instead of a .40. This size will be more versatile than a .40.

And finally, consider buying a traditional "second" plane instead of the trainer. I had about a 17 year layoff from flying and got out my old shoulder wing sport plane to learn again. Flying came back to me very quickly and I probably would have been bored with a trainer. If you're unsure, contact your local club and explain your situation. It's possible one of the instructors will have a plane that they'll let you take up, on a buddy box, to give you an idea how quickly things will come back to you. If you really struggle with it, you could choose a trainer. If it's as I suspect and things come back to you quickly, you can start with something a bit more advanced.
Old 11-05-2007, 03:04 PM
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Default RE: Returning to the hobby

Oh, and welcome to RCU and welcome back to the addiction (er hobby)!
Old 11-05-2007, 03:13 PM
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rlipsett
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Default RE: Returning to the hobby

If you are starting over again and have no equipment a spectrum radio might be a good choice
Old 11-05-2007, 03:18 PM
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pet575
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Default RE: Returning to the hobby

Thanks chuck. Good suggestions. Hadn't really thought about starting out on a shoulder-wing. Figured I'd be too rusty, but I do recall picking up the trainer very quickly so maybe that will benefit me. Despite that, I think I'd like to start with that .40-.45 trainer because my 2 year old son loves airplanes and I'd like to get him into the hobby when he is old enough. That trainer could be his first plane in a few years.

I understand the expansion to 6 channel theory-was just wondering if there was anything out there that was a lot different from what I was running, whether that be field/starting equipment, engines or radios. I used to run an OS .40 FP, a Futuba Attack 4 and had an electric glow plug lighter and electric starter that both hooked to a battery. Also had a hand fuel pump and various tools/spare parts in my field box.

Anything new and exciting out there for the basic technologies?
Old 11-05-2007, 03:20 PM
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pet575
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Default RE: Returning to the hobby

I'm not familiar with the spectrum setups. How do they differ from the traditional 4-channel, dual stick setup? They look complicated. And expensive.
Old 11-05-2007, 04:36 PM
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jagnweiner
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Default RE: Returning to the hobby

By saying "spectrum", I think rlipsett was referring to the 2.4 ghz systems that have just come out. Without going through the technology (which I don't understand), these transmit without using a specific frequency, so you never have to worry about what channel you are on or having someone shoot you down. The first manufacturer was Spektrum, which was somehow affiliated with JR. Futaba came out with its own system, called FASST.

I wouldn't say you need to spend the extra money at this point if you don't want to. I would recommend that you get a computer radio, however. You may not think you need 6 channels because you don't plan on flaps or retracts. There are several advantages to a 6 channel computer radio that you will use: end point adjustment (using the transmitter to precisely adjust how far your servos move), exponential (makes control surfaces less sensive near the center while retaining wide range of motion) and dual rates are a few. Most important in my mind, however, is the ability to use dual aileron servos without a "Y" cable. Many sport planes today use dual aileron servos, so this is a vital feature.

A good entry level computer radio is the Futaba 6 EXA. It is about $160-170, so it is not much more than an entry level 4 channel.

I also agree that you might want to start with more of a "second plane" like a Goldberg Tiger or Sig 4-Star
Old 11-05-2007, 05:28 PM
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Default RE: Returning to the hobby

Welcome back. I am too in the same boat as you are. I have been out for about 12 years, so I decided to get the Hobbico Hobbistar 60 MKIII. The nice thing about this plane is that it has a Semi-Symmetrical Wing on it instead of a Flat Bottom. So you still have the Stability of a High Wing Trainer, but you can do some Aerobatics with it later on.
Old 11-05-2007, 05:40 PM
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Default RE: Returning to the hobby

Another great choice is the Goldberg Protege. It is a high wing plane, but has very little dihedral and flys very nicely, and is a great performer, yet easy on the flyer as a trainer would be. Mine has an OS 75 AX engine which is quite capable. I also use the Spektrum DX7 radio system.

To answer your question, the Spektrum is very much like the JR (some say it IS a JR, but the manufacturer says no, it's not. Jury's out on that but that does not matter much.. it's a great radio). Anyway, the computer radio system is like most others, you wade through the various screens for setup and then go fly. It's nice because it has a multiple model memory, and is ready for either fixed wing or helicopter setups. It comes with four digital servo's. Very nice unit.

Once you get back, you will see that it's like riding a bicycle.. you never really forget.

Good luck, and welcome back.

CGr
Old 11-05-2007, 08:13 PM
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Steve Steinbring
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Default RE: Returning to the hobby

I just returned to the hobby after about a fourteen year layoff.

I had a couple of old Stiks in storage and a King Cobra. I recovered the 40 size Sweet Stik for my trainer it has a bit of dihedral and always flew well. It was not that big of a deal getting the ole bird airborne again and trimmed out. I was a bit shaky at first until I could get the bird stablized and re-trimmed. After that it was like riding a bike a bit wobbly at first, but it came back quick. Right now I fly alot of normal patterns for orientation and coordination to re-program the coconut computer sitting on my shoulders.

Next I rebuilt a straight wing Stik complete with tune pipe which I now have about a dozen flights on so far. Its alot quicker and certainly performs better than the Sweet Stik. Still having some poor roll issues to the left with it, but it flies fine for the most part.

Today I flew the King Cobra again for the first time since the layoff. Cleaned the dust off, gave the airplane some sprucing up and it was ready to fly. My King Cobra is an intermediate pattern ship with a 10CC Webra and a tune pipe. Once trimmed up the Cobra flew far better the Stiks far more stable and a better aerobatic bird.

My first flight was about six weeks ago, got my club checkride the second week of coming back. No instructor, flew as a guest flyer at the club I'd previously been a member of for a few days for practice and then took the checkride which was no problem.

The radio advice your getting is very sound! I had six obsolete Futaba radios leftover from before all with dead Tx and reciever batteries. It was not worth the cost of replacing batteries on old technology when I could get a new DX7 Spectrum for a not much more than replacement of batteries. The DX7 will fly 20 airplanes, the radio does so much more than any equipment I had before. Programming the DX7 is not difficult and the tech support for the radio is great if needed. So far I'm flying three airplanes and two helis operating the DX7. The Tx's memory recalls each aircraft separately, and its trim functions when selected. Plus you don't have to worry about getting shotdown by another flier with the Spectrum technology. Well worth the investment!

Good luck with your comeback, it won't take you long to be backup to speed.

Steve

Good flying and welcome back!
Old 11-05-2007, 09:24 PM
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Default RE: Returning to the hobby

Hey Pet575 welcome back to the hobby. I think '96 was probably the last Issue of the Tower catalog I had until this year. I just started building again.
A few things have changed, mostly the modelers. Watch out or they'll be suggesting ya put a blown 327 Chevy in your trainer ta make it fly like a helicopter.
If you like ARF's there is a ton of them out there, for good prices too. Glow kits are dissapearing, Electric egg cartons are popular now,jesh.
Electrics are also gathering steam, still trying to convince myself they are worth the price. Bought a charger though so I guess I am on my way, Ha.
Stick with what you know, You might get tired of your trainer quick but you can save it for your son 2 years Huh? I think I saw a kid in Model Airplane News that was about 3 flying helicopters.
As far as Radios go, a computer radio is nice. Ya can store the settings of different planes in one radio. Futaba makes A four channel computer radio, the 4exa, Thats only about 20 bucks more than a regular radio.
Thats a few things off the top of my head....
Old 11-06-2007, 09:30 AM
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pet575
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Default RE: Returning to the hobby

Thanks to all for the great advice. One thing I'd forgotten...how friendly and helpful fellow modelers are. Thanks again all, I hope to be back up in the air before too long.
Old 11-06-2007, 09:37 AM
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Default RE: Returning to the hobby

Where in MO are you located? Do you have a club that you will be joining and flying at?
Old 11-06-2007, 09:44 AM
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pet575
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I'm in Kansas City. There are two local clubs that are within 10 minutes of my house. I've flown at both of their fields. One is a grass runway, one is paved. Not sure which one I'll go to yet, but I'll definitely be joining one.
Old 11-06-2007, 12:05 PM
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Default RE: Returning to the hobby


ORIGINAL: jagnweiner

I wouldn't say you need to spend the extra money at this point if you don't want to. I would recommend that you get a computer radio, however. You may not think you need 6 channels because you don't plan on flaps or retracts. There are several advantages to a 6 channel computer radio that you will use: end point adjustment (using the transmitter to precisely adjust how far your servos move), exponential (makes control surfaces less sensive near the center while retaining wide range of motion) and dual rates are a few. Most important in my mind, however, is the ability to use dual aileron servos without a "Y" cable. Many sport planes today use dual aileron servos, so this is a vital feature.

A good entry level computer radio is the Futaba 6 EXA. It is about $160-170, so it is not much more than an entry level 4 channel.
When looking at radios also try to find those that support MULTIPLE "Model Memories".

That means that you can set up the radio for multiple planes and merely switch configurations on the TX at the field... ideally coupled with digital trims or the like.

If you do so with a multiple channel radio, it will serve you very well for many years. It will also save you the extra cost for all of these goodies, over and over again, as you'll only need one radio... It's also one less thing to have to carry with you when you go flying.

Old 11-06-2007, 01:39 PM
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jagnweiner
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Default RE: Returning to the hobby

opjose raises another good reason to get a computer radio, model memory. I just checked Tower and the 4EXA w/ 4 standard servos is $140, while the 6EXP (which is apparently replacing the 6EXA) is $180. I personally think it is worth it to spend the money now to have 6 channel capability. JMHO.

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