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Returning to the hobby

Old 05-15-2016, 04:57 AM
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kestrel0222
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Default Returning to the hobby

Hi everyone,

It’s been a while since I’ve posted here. I am re-entering the hobby of R/C flying.

I started flying back in 1973 and flew until 1989. My aircraft of choice was what is now called “classic pattern” and scale aircraft. Now that my children have grown and left the nest, I find myself wanting to re-enter this great hobby. However, this time, I will be flying sailplanes.

Obviously, a lot has changed since the late ‘80s, especially with radio technology. As I start to research which radio to purchase, there seems to be a lot more options.

Sorry in advance for the “simplistic” question, but what type of radio should I be looking at? I am looking for a radio system that has at least 6 channels (possibly 8 - 9 channels – for future use). My budget for a complete radio system is around the $300 mark. Any advice/suggestions would be a great help.

Thank you,
Old 05-15-2016, 05:32 AM
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Rob2160
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Originally Posted by kestrel0222 View Post
Hi everyone,

It’s been a while since I’ve posted here. I am re-entering the hobby of R/C flying.

I started flying back in 1973 and flew until 1989. My aircraft of choice was what is now called “classic pattern” and scale aircraft. Now that my children have grown and left the nest, I find myself wanting to re-enter this great hobby. However, this time, I will be flying sailplanes.

Obviously, a lot has changed since the late ‘80s, especially with radio technology. As I start to research which radio to purchase, there seems to be a lot more options.

Sorry in advance for the “simplistic” question, but what type of radio should I be looking at? I am looking for a radio system that has at least 6 channels (possibly 8 - 9 channels – for future use). My budget for a complete radio system is around the $300 mark. Any advice/suggestions would be a great help.

Thank you,
Hi Tom and welcome back.

Radios certainly have changed a lot since 1989 and it all good - the quality and features available today are far better than anything I flew with back int he 80s and 90s.

The brands names are all fine, Spektrum, Futaba, JR, Hitech. However in your budget range you really can't beat the FrSky Taranis - it will do everything a more expensive radio can do and often more.

You may hear they are complex to program but I imagine any 2016 radio will require a learning curve. You won't get more features for $300 in any other radio. By a long shot.

Take a good look at it as I really can't recommend it highly enough - there is not much information about it here on RCU but a huge thread on RC Groups with many active members who will answer any questions you might have.

There are different models depending if you are a thumb or tray flyer and (X9D or X9E models).

A very good supplier is Aloft Hobbies - I am an Aussie but visited their store earlier this year north of San Fransisco and the guys are very friendly and helpful.

Hope that helps.

Rob.

http://www.rcgroups.com/forums/showt...6206&page=3212

https://alofthobbies.com/radio-gear/...nsmitters.html
Old 05-16-2016, 05:22 AM
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Rodney
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You will find it hard to beat the Tactic TTX850 for utility, reliability, ease of programming, bells and whistles. Also, very inexpensive receivers when compared to most other brands. Right now you can get the transmitter for $179 at Tower Hobbies and if you watch for adds you can beat this by a great deal. Recently you could (maybe still can) get the transmitter and an 8 channel receiver for $150. While all the major brands are good the best buy for your money right now is the Tactic. I have Futaba, Spectrum, Hitec, Airtronics and Tactic and, when compared dollar to dollar, the Tactic outshines them all and is the easiest one to program. Now Tactic has lower priced transmitters that work well, just limited in features.
Old 05-16-2016, 07:23 AM
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I second Rodeys motion!
The open source radios such as the Taranis can be daunting for someone without a lot experience with computer radios.
Pete
Old 05-16-2016, 07:44 AM
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Rob2160
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Its true a simple radio will get you started quicker and I have only heard good things about the Tactic TTX850.

A few things I forgot to mention though that might be beneficial if you are flying sailplanes, the Taranis allows you to add various telemetry sensors, variometer, GPS etc. These give you position, Speed and altitude information.

If you plan to fly at long distance and altitudes the RSSI provides peace of mind that you are still well within range and everything can be logged so your flights can be reviewed later. Also the battery voltage sensor can tell you when the flight pack is getting low.

This shows some of the telemetry data available. The learning curve is a little steeper but the results are worth it in my opinion - telemetry adds a whole new dimension of fun to the hobby.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=UPzQjd4tovE RSSI tells you how strong the signal is at the receiver. (Received Signal Strength Indicator)

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=uP-6PeVJut0
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Old 05-16-2016, 01:22 PM
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kestrel0222
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Thanks everyone for your replies!! Lots of great info here, and you've given me much to think about. The more I research different radio systems, I can see that they offer sooooo much more then then did the last time I used one...
Old 05-17-2016, 01:10 AM
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Originally Posted by kestrel0222 View Post
Thanks everyone for your replies!! Lots of great info here, and you've given me much to think about. The more I research different radio systems, I can see that they offer sooooo much more then then did the last time I used one...
Ain't that the truth! 1980 vs 2014

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Old 05-28-2016, 02:31 PM
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kestrel0222
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Wow..... The Kraft that I had had round gimbles.. I also had a radio that looked just like my Kraft... Except is has made by "Royal"... That one was blue... How times have changed!!!
Old 05-28-2016, 08:35 PM
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Originally Posted by kestrel0222 View Post
Wow..... The Kraft that I had had round gimbles.. I also had a radio that looked just like my Kraft... Except is has made by "Royal"... That one was blue... How times have changed!!!
================================================== ====================
Kestel,
I am the "Royal" guy from the 60's,70's,80's. I closed Royal Electronics in 1983. I have been flying the Taranis for 3 years with no control problems but a couple of mechanical problems. Once the programming buttons came loose inside the Tx now I have a trim lever that is loose on one end. Personaly I like a real crisp possible feel an cent on the sticks so we hand made metal centering arms for the sticks. Aloft now offers the metal arms as a spare part.

Rob is right about the programing can be challenging but I feel it is worth it. There is excellent help on line with the programming. I have sensors for altitude and for airspeed besides the built in telemetry.

I have only used the X8R receiver but friends have used ohers to. I recently ran a full power range check F-15 but haven't flown with it yet.

Sid

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