Notices
The Clubhouse If it doesn't fit in any other category and is about general RC stuff then post it here at the Clubhouse.

RC industry in recession?

Old 02-14-2017, 07:12 AM
  #1  
nubiangoddess
Junior Member
Thread Starter
 
Join Date: Feb 2017
Posts: 1
Likes: 0
Received 0 Likes on 0 Posts
Default RC industry in recession?

They say the industry is in a recession. Is that true?
http://www.news-gazette.com/news/loc...x-workers.html

Last edited by Nathan; 02-15-2017 at 07:39 AM. Reason: Removed Libel and confidential internal communication
Old 02-14-2017, 09:21 AM
  #2  
tailskid
My Feedback: (34)
 
tailskid's Avatar
 
Join Date: Nov 2001
Location: Tolleson, AZ
Posts: 9,486
Received 4 Likes on 4 Posts
Default

Hummmm...nubiangoddess first post....

Last edited by tailskid; 02-16-2017 at 05:36 PM.
Old 02-14-2017, 08:13 PM
  #3  
rcjetflyer0718-RCU
My Feedback: (1)
 
Join Date: Dec 2001
Location: Fontana, CA
Posts: 306
Likes: 0
Received 2 Likes on 2 Posts
Default

There was a thread about one month ago here or rcg with a link to an article about this same thing.
Old 02-15-2017, 06:09 AM
  #4  
rcmiket
 
rcmiket's Avatar
 
Join Date: Dec 2003
Location: El Paso, TX
Posts: 5,215
Likes: 0
Received 0 Likes on 0 Posts
Default

"Worlds Largest" Really?

Mike
Old 02-15-2017, 07:52 AM
  #5  
topspin
 
Join Date: May 2005
Location: Sterling, VA
Posts: 1,168
Likes: 0
Received 0 Likes on 0 Posts
Default

Originally Posted by rcmiket View Post
"Worlds Largest" Really?

Mike
Really! Check out all of the stuff they own. There is more about the company but this gives you some idea of the size of the operation.
http://www.hobbico.com/locations.php
Old 02-15-2017, 03:22 PM
  #6  
tailskid
My Feedback: (34)
 
tailskid's Avatar
 
Join Date: Nov 2001
Location: Tolleson, AZ
Posts: 9,486
Received 4 Likes on 4 Posts
Default

...

Last edited by tailskid; 02-16-2017 at 05:35 PM.
Old 02-16-2017, 07:28 AM
  #7  
FlyerInOKC
My Feedback: (6)
 
FlyerInOKC's Avatar
 
Join Date: Nov 2004
Location: Oklahoma City, OK
Posts: 11,918
Received 49 Likes on 48 Posts
Default

Judging by what the local hobby shops around here have been saying the hobby has been in trouble for years. A lot of LHSs are hanging on by the skin of their teeth. Super Tigre is out production and looking for a buyer that is another clue.
Old 02-16-2017, 04:44 PM
  #8  
jollyroger
My Feedback: (6)
 
Join Date: Mar 2002
Location: central Lake, MI
Posts: 509
Likes: 0
Received 1 Like on 1 Post
Default

I don't know if there is a recession in the industry but I worked three tables at a swap meet down state last weekend and it was very slow. Manged to sell only one plane and a couple glow engines along with some odds and ends. We had ten planes out for sale all in good to very good condition and sold only one.
Either no one is interested in glow fueld planes or they don't have the money.
Old 02-17-2017, 08:48 AM
  #9  
topspin
 
Join Date: May 2005
Location: Sterling, VA
Posts: 1,168
Likes: 0
Received 0 Likes on 0 Posts
Default

So it looks like Hobby King, the Teflon hucksters of the hobby world may be feeling the pressure as well. Word is that their long time advertising guy, Stuart Warne, may be leaving. Also, last year, the FCC issued a letter of inquiry (LOI) to Hobby King directing the company to provide information and documents related to selling unauthorized radio equipment in the United States. In response, Hobby King’s owner, Anthony Hand, stated that Hobby King is a small company that would “soon be ceasing operations entirely.” I wonder if there is any truth to that?

I know their website is completely screwed up and they don't seem to be in any hurry to fix it. The FCC has more recently cited Hobby King and it looks like there may be some stiff fines associated with the action but it could take years before any settlement is reached.

So if Hobby King goes kaput I wonder who they will become next? Amazing United Hobbies? Hi Shi Ping Hobbies? Hard to say but they do have a history of slipping through cracks and coming out unscathed as some new LLC. Interesting times.

Last edited by topspin; 02-17-2017 at 08:52 AM.
Old 02-17-2017, 09:33 AM
  #10  
FlyerInOKC
My Feedback: (6)
 
FlyerInOKC's Avatar
 
Join Date: Nov 2004
Location: Oklahoma City, OK
Posts: 11,918
Received 49 Likes on 48 Posts
Default

Yep, and Hobby People went under too. I blame the industry itself, they took the hobby aout of it. First came ARF, then RTF, then BNF, then the airplanes/Helicopters with gyros, and then the Quads. They jumped on every band wagon coming down the pike to make it easier to fly and chase the instant gratification world. The only problem the more it went away from being a true hobby will you built what you flew the more it became just one fad after another. The newbies did have to make a commitment and soon they gre tired of their new toy and went on to something different. Now you have all these mailorder companies who's sales have cropped like a rock because their wares are no longer in fashion. You have distributors like Horizon Hobbies that no longer carry kits and no longer have to ability to manufacture them if they wanted to. The Hobbico/Great Planes company has it a little better they still have Top Flite and Goldberg but they need to start looking into adding to these lines iff they are going to survive. I see control line is making a comeback and that's good for John Brodak who's company is specializing in C/L with kits, engines, etc. When I was a kid FF Comet and Guillow were my low cost gateway to the hobby followed by C/L. Some of my friends started in C/L with Cox RTF C/L airplanes. The FF and C/L kits taught me skills I needed and I soon went into R/C from there. Maybe the renewed interest in C/L will get new blood into the hobby and grow an appreciation for building, its a lot easier to build a C/L like a Ringmaster then an R/C scale or even a trainer like an LT-40. Then maybe those experiences will lead to more R/C builder/pilots and start to strengthen the hobby as a whole all over again. Either way its going to get worse before it gets better. The small mom and pop Laser Cutting services are our only ace in the hole right now.
Old 04-13-2017, 04:16 AM
  #11  
moparbob498
Member
 
moparbob498's Avatar
 
Join Date: Mar 2017
Location: Homer City
Posts: 69
Likes: 0
Received 0 Likes on 0 Posts
Default

Hi all, my LHS also just recently closed, Whirlwind Hobbies & that's really unfortunate as I've gotten back into building, and trying to fly my creation ,
LoL this RC radio technology is smoking now, I always feel like I get the " Day late,dollar short"
Situation.....All the time. Well, I enjoy building them, hate to crash & destroy it, BUT I guess I'll just have to build another 1.
Sorry I got off topic...So have I gotten back into a dieng art/hobby? I'm unable to drag race or build my cars anymore, stupid back injury.. ruins your life, that does
Old 04-13-2017, 05:52 AM
  #12  
FlyerInOKC
My Feedback: (6)
 
FlyerInOKC's Avatar
 
Join Date: Nov 2004
Location: Oklahoma City, OK
Posts: 11,918
Received 49 Likes on 48 Posts
Default

Our radio technology keeps improving because the same technology is used worldwide for industrial purposes. The first FASST systems were out for more than a decade used to control industrial robots for manufacturing plants costing millions of dollars. That is why it was so much more robust than other systems, the technology was developed and paid for by a deep pocket industry.
Old 04-13-2017, 03:18 PM
  #13  
LJE4357
Banned
My Feedback: (74)
 
Join Date: Apr 2002
Location: Orlando, FL
Posts: 184
Likes: 0
Received 0 Likes on 0 Posts
Default

The Laser cutters have really come down in price. In 5 years we will be able to buy one for $500 to a $1000. They got solid state lasers diodes, almost up to 10 watts, that are more efficient than the CO2. Put 10 together in a prism you got 100 W, They just need to get the cooling system cost down. The power supply's are low voltage, but high current. No different than our electric motors. The X/Y tables have gotten so inexpensive you can make one for around $150. Also the overall size will get smaller especially the height.
Old 04-13-2017, 03:44 PM
  #14  
moparbob498
Member
 
moparbob498's Avatar
 
Join Date: Mar 2017
Location: Homer City
Posts: 69
Likes: 0
Received 0 Likes on 0 Posts
Default

Good Lord, see what I mean? I really enjoy building , & then to see it actually fly later, seals the deal for me, I'm working on a Pica spitfire 88" now seems the landing gear & check seem to be an issue I need to deal with, I'm still searching for any other ammendments, or modifications needing done yet

Last edited by moparbob498; 04-13-2017 at 03:44 PM. Reason: spelling
Old 04-16-2017, 04:38 AM
  #15  
fliers1
 
Join Date: Nov 2001
Location: Lockport, NY
Posts: 1,242
Likes: 0
Received 0 Likes on 0 Posts
Default

Originally Posted by nubiangoddess View Post
They say the industry is in a recession. Is that true?
http://www.news-gazette.com/news/loc...x-workers.html
Nubiangoddess,

Several years ago, when I had my hobby shop, I sent Hobbico what I consider a proven marketing plan. I never got a response, good or bad. Now I hear they are having financial problems. They had nothing to lose by at least investigating what I had to offer. Since I don't know if you were the sales person I was working with, I might have spoken to you about it

Last edited by fliers1; 04-16-2017 at 04:41 AM.
Old 04-16-2017, 08:14 AM
  #16  
LJE4357
Banned
My Feedback: (74)
 
Join Date: Apr 2002
Location: Orlando, FL
Posts: 184
Likes: 0
Received 0 Likes on 0 Posts
Default

Originally Posted by fliers1 View Post
Nubiangoddess,

Several years ago, when I had my hobby shop, I sent Hobbico what I consider a proven marketing plan. I never got a response, good or bad. Now I hear they are having financial problems. They had nothing to lose by at least investigating what I had to offer. Since I don't know if you were the sales person I was working with, I might have spoken to you about it

Well there number one Item today is Quad Copters. They could care less about model planes. Does anybody know who owns the new Quadcopter organization ? They are suppose to have over a million members. I don't even know how much it cost to join. I haven't even seen there website.
Old 04-16-2017, 09:10 AM
  #17  
LJE4357
Banned
My Feedback: (74)
 
Join Date: Apr 2002
Location: Orlando, FL
Posts: 184
Likes: 0
Received 0 Likes on 0 Posts
Default

Originally Posted by FlyerInOKC View Post
Our radio technology keeps improving because the same technology is used worldwide for industrial purposes. The first FASST systems were out for more than a decade used to control industrial robots for manufacturing plants costing millions of dollars. That is why it was so much more robust than other systems, the technology was developed and paid for by a deep pocket industry.
Our radio technology isn't as good as you think it is. The FCC actually allows us to use 1 watt output on our transmitters. When Spectrum came out with our first radios there were in the Blue Tooth business. The cost was cheaper to make a more sensitive receiver. When the modulation technology was improved it was a great idea. But they never changed the sensitivity of the receiver or the bandwidth. I'm sure we all remember on the old 72 mhz days, we were shot down by the pager services, or somebody turning on there transmitter by mistake. That's why we all used pins. We have to share the band with the low power market, they don't bother us. But here's our real problem. Ham Radio. They use the frequency band from 2.385 Ghz to 2.455 Ghz. Right in the middle of our band. Thats now a big problem, except for one big issue. They can use 1500 W of ERP. That means even if there 5 miles away. the front end of the receiver saturates and basically the complete band becomes worthless. And they don't even have to tell you. Basically no different than the old 72 Mhz days. We don't have that much trouble, mainly because the Ham radio operators don't build anything no more. But if your a builder, and have the know how, or buy some surpluss equipment and convert it over, you can use it. I have an RF amp that covers the complete band that puts out 100 Watts. I can also buy components to build a receiver. There is a ton of this stuff on E Bay. Most of you guys really don't know my back round. I have a BSEE, most of my career has been working on Top Secret Military electronics design. I mainly do design work on High Power RF transmitters above 1Ghz. I do a lot on all kinds of Power Supply design and High Power Motor Speed controllers. The biggest thing I do is Radiation Harden circuits from Nuclear weapons and back round space radiation. On of my best friends I worked with was Paul Messinger, I worked on several contracts with him. He was also a modeler. When he retired, from Lockheed, he retired an a Exeuctive Vice President. He tried to get me to move back to Lockheed in California. I told him they could pay me a $1000 a minute, There was no way I wanted to move back. I worked at Teledyne in Northridge before the earth quake shut it down. At least here in Florida we get a warning from a hurricane. I lost Pauls phone #. If anybody out there knows him let me know. He lives in the Port Angeles area. I lot a lot of stuff when my computer was hacked.

I also have a FCC General Class Radio Telephone License. In the last 2 weeks I been getting Emails about company's that are very interested in wanting to talk to me. I really didn't know what for. I don't watch the news because of my wife going to Dr's for the Cancer treatment and I been going to the VA to get my disability changed from 100% permanent, to 100% permament for life, to get my wife covered for CHAMP. Her Medicare Supplement Insurance sucks. I answered back to all the companys I wasn't interested in doing anything working for any company until my wife was done with Kemo. I told them I may be interested in Consulting after the first of the year. The day after I email them back I seen on the internet about the N. Korean crap. More people see the news than I do. Friday one of them called me about consulting because of the work I did on an ABM back when the MX missle was being developed. That ABM only had one location to be used.

I have a lot more stuff that you guys will hear about some day if your interested in know what I did.

Here is a few pic's of my shop, and electronics work area. You should have seen it 2 years ago.
The pic of the A4. That was the very first kit from Byron. I did a lot of testing for them. I was the one who found the flutter in the flying stab, and how to balance it.

Attached Thumbnails Click image for larger version

Name:	100_1273.JPG
Views:	626
Size:	1.68 MB
ID:	2210061   Click image for larger version

Name:	100_1240.JPG
Views:	616
Size:	1.08 MB
ID:	2210063   Click image for larger version

Name:	100_1241.JPG
Views:	626
Size:	1.15 MB
ID:	2210064   Click image for larger version

Name:	100_1242.JPG
Views:	637
Size:	1.31 MB
ID:	2210067   Click image for larger version

Name:	100_1247.JPG
Views:	632
Size:	1.24 MB
ID:	2210068   Click image for larger version

Name:	100_1277.JPG
Views:	626
Size:	1.66 MB
ID:	2210069   Click image for larger version

Name:	100_1278.JPG
Views:	628
Size:	1.73 MB
ID:	2210070  
Old 04-16-2017, 10:35 AM
  #18  
moparbob498
Member
 
moparbob498's Avatar
 
Join Date: Mar 2017
Location: Homer City
Posts: 69
Likes: 0
Received 0 Likes on 0 Posts
Default

That is so wicked sweet.! Also your electrical/mechanical- man - a extremely educated individual, so to speak.. outstanding
Old 04-23-2017, 05:29 AM
  #19  
jester_s1
Moderator
 
Join Date: Dec 2006
Location: Fort Worth, TX
Posts: 7,062
Likes: 0
Received 15 Likes on 12 Posts
Default

The hobby as a whole is in recession simply because building and flying model planes isn't cool anymore. In the 70's kids had pilot heroes to look up to; it was cool to be a pilot. They had Chuck Yeager stories to hear about. Commercial airline pilots were admired, and even basic air travel was thought of as glamorous. Aircraft were the cutting edge of technology from the 40's to the 70's, which just happens to have been the heyday for participation in RC modeling. One of the old guys in my club said that he remembers pattern contests in the 70's that would have 30 participants. Each would get to fly once, maybe twice, and they were happy with that. Now a good contest in the same area is 12 people, and that's pulling from the whole DFW area. But airplanes in general aren't cool or cutting edge anymore. Air is not the frontier; we have conquered it. The American frontier is now the virtual world, so now we have thousands of kids and teens who are into web design, programming, and the like. It's a perfectly valid hobby too, but in 20 more years it will be in the same position that we are in now.
There is no good reason to blame the vendors for ruining the hobby with easy planes to fly. Every business has to adapt to changing markets; they have to sell what people want to buy. Yes, I know that Brodak pretty much is the same company it was 30 years ago. But it's the exception. How many others decided not to change with the times and are now gone? Generally speaking, no business can survive when the market changes and they don't.

To fix the problem, there has to be some way to get kids to think that RC planes are cool again. The FPV and drone hobby that so many like to disparage is a possible way to do it as it does connect the aeromodeling world to the virtual world that so many of them care about. I've been so disappointed at the shortsightedness of RC airplane pilots who have nothing good to say about drones and drone pilots. Those guys are the very best potential customers we have for taking an interest in traditional aeromodeling and starting to fly planes and helicopters. The hobby is going to change because the next generation is coming up with new interests. We as a community can change with it, or we can watch it go away.
Old 04-23-2017, 06:31 AM
  #20  
moparbob498
Member
 
moparbob498's Avatar
 
Join Date: Mar 2017
Location: Homer City
Posts: 69
Likes: 0
Received 0 Likes on 0 Posts
Default

I can relate to the new helis & drone fpv jobbies , but with all that comes the loss of an education from an experienced rc pilot ect...& To me, that's bad ju-ju from the get go,last time I was involved in rc, there was no such thing as internet, just a library- commodore C128 &(a64- ect) was the PC in our house, my grandfather was a genius (in my eyes & who brought me up, Thank GOD. He worked at Fisher Scientific in 1943 -& I remember Heath kit stuff - he built our color TV's our stereo..& also started me off into warbirds , chemistry set, erector set, ect.. & I loved it.. Sorry I got off topic, but this grinds me, that times have changed, I fully understand what my grandfather mentornow, instant gratification without the understanding of " how -& can I improve it?" Attitude is gone, & that can't be progress - that's so backward philosophy to me. What happens to these people when the power is gone.? ����
Old 04-23-2017, 07:13 PM
  #21  
jester_s1
Moderator
 
Join Date: Dec 2006
Location: Fort Worth, TX
Posts: 7,062
Likes: 0
Received 15 Likes on 12 Posts
Default

Kids learn differently now. But they still learn. They may do it by staring at a screen, and it probably won't be as good. But there is definitely still learning involved in using drones, especially if one wants to go beyond the unbox and fly kind.

As for innovation and out of the box thinking to improve something, I see more of that with the drone hobby than I ever have in RC planes. In the 60s and 70s it was absolutely about innovation. But I've had old timers at the club give my models a dirty look because I needed to recover them and deviated from the trim scheme the ARF had. On that same note, I've had guys question why I'd even recover a plane rather than just go buy another one, and some of those were 35 year veterans in the hobby. I fly SPA, which is generally done by accomplished modelers. They will lose their minds over a fuselage being stretched two inches longer or a different airfoil being used on a 40 year old design. But the drone guys are constantly pushing the boundaries, experimenting with different frame designs, new firmware for ESC's, new motor designs, antennas that boost range, you name it. It's different for sure, but I wouldn't say at all that the drone crowd isn't learning and isn't getting creative to push the limits of what can be done. It's quite the opposite really.
Old 04-24-2017, 03:50 AM
  #22  
rcmiket
 
rcmiket's Avatar
 
Join Date: Dec 2003
Location: El Paso, TX
Posts: 5,215
Likes: 0
Received 0 Likes on 0 Posts
Default

Originally Posted by jester_s1 View Post

As for innovation and out of th But the drone guys are constantly pushing the boundaries, experimenting with different frame designs, new firmware for ESC's, new motor designs, antennas that boost range, you name it. It's different for sure, but I wouldn't say at all that the drone crowd isn't learning and isn't getting creative to push the limits of what can be done. It's quite the opposite really.
Now if we could only get them to become legal as far as " antennas that boost range," and get a HAM license than join the AMA and support the local clubs the hobby would be a better place. Policing themselves would go a long way to get the FED's off our backs..

Mike
Old 04-24-2017, 07:04 AM
  #23  
FlyerInOKC
My Feedback: (6)
 
FlyerInOKC's Avatar
 
Join Date: Nov 2004
Location: Oklahoma City, OK
Posts: 11,918
Received 49 Likes on 48 Posts
Default

Unfortunately the ones who need policing figure they are above the rules until someone with enforcement powers comes in and seizes their drones as evidence and hands them a fine and or jail time. They are self-righteous idiots that only care for themselves, if they screw it up for everyone else they will just move on to the next "cool' thing and screw it up for someone else. Give 10 years in the pen they will educate them.
Old 04-24-2017, 07:58 PM
  #24  
jester_s1
Moderator
 
Join Date: Dec 2006
Location: Fort Worth, TX
Posts: 7,062
Likes: 0
Received 15 Likes on 12 Posts
Default

You guys don't know the same drone users that I do.
There is nothing illegal about tweaking antenna design. The FCC doesn't care about antennas. They care about transmitter power.
A tiny number of drone users are brainless imbeciles who make messes for the rest of us to clean up. There are guys like that in planes too, and in cars, and in boats, and in racing, and in everything else. But by and large, the drone community is maturing and establishing its own set of self-preservation standards. I dare say RC flying wasn't anywhere near as responsible this early in the game as the drone pilots are now.
Old 04-25-2017, 03:51 AM
  #25  
rcmiket
 
rcmiket's Avatar
 
Join Date: Dec 2003
Location: El Paso, TX
Posts: 5,215
Likes: 0
Received 0 Likes on 0 Posts
Default

Originally Posted by jester_s1 View Post
You guys don't know the same drone users that I do.
There is nothing illegal about tweaking antenna design. The FCC doesn't care about antennas. They care about transmitter power.
A tiny number of drone users are brainless imbeciles who make messes for the rest of us to clean up. There are guys like that in planes too, and in cars, and in boats, and in racing, and in everything else. But by and large, the drone community is maturing and establishing its own set of self-preservation standards. I dare say RC flying wasn't anywhere near as responsible this early in the game as the drone pilots are now.


Which is the group I was referring too. You don't know the "droners" I've spoken with ( at the LHS ) who could give a crap about any laws.. There are more than just a "tiny number" just have a look at UTUBE..
Ya I also remember the day some 20 years ago when the FAA stepped in and made me register myself as a modeler.....Oh wait that never happened.
Mike

Last edited by rcmiket; 04-25-2017 at 03:56 AM.

Thread Tools
Search this Thread

Contact Us - Archive - Advertising - Cookie Policy - Privacy Statement - Terms of Service - Do Not Sell My Personal Information -

Copyright 2018 MH Sub I, LLC dba Internet Brands. All rights reserved. Use of this site indicates your consent to the Terms of Use.