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Honest question seeking experienced answers

Old 01-04-2019, 07:19 PM
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rainedave
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Default Honest question seeking experienced answers

I am returning to the hobby after 8 yrs away.
I am replacing my 72mhz radio with a new 2.4ghz.
I want to use a Life/lifepo4/A123 battery pack in my transmitter instead of a nicd/nimh pack for a good number of reasons.

My question is:

Do you trust the very inexpensive batteries like Turnigy or Zippy, etc. from Hobby King in your expensive transmitters?
If not, can you recommend a brand and merchant that you do trust. I am willing to pay more for a pack that I will not worry about.
Thanks.
David

Last edited by rainedave; 01-05-2019 at 05:28 AM.
Old 01-05-2019, 06:17 AM
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Don't waste your money. Stay with your 72 MHz radio.
Old 01-05-2019, 06:27 AM
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Welcome back to the hobby. Many things have changed in the last 8 years

If you are buying a new 2.4 transmitter, why not use the battery that comes with it. That way the charger that comes with it will be compatible too

A few Spektrum bashers will come out on this but I have been using them for at least 8 years with zero problems. Probably 90% of the radios at my field are Spektrum and I can’t recall the last time I heard of anyone having any radio problem other than a few that show up with some off brands no one has heard of

My 2,4 transmitters have all used the Lipo batteries and chargers that came with the transmitters. It is probably a good idea to cycle the battery once or twice a year as with any battery. I fly a lot and charge my batteries in the TX once a week.

I fly nitro planes but am but am addicted to the E-Flite BNF planes. The manuals include specific settings for the various Spektrum transmitters So my feeling is why use anything else if you just want to fly

I am sure you will get other points of view but those are mine and I have been flying over 50 years and have seen it all. We have it so good equipment wise versus what we used in the past

Happy flying

bob
Old 01-05-2019, 11:48 AM
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mongo
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depending on what brand, and model tx set ya buy, a lot of them come with life batteries as stock.

research is your friend here.

and the life batt sets from Hobby king work well in the units i have them in.
Old 01-06-2019, 06:43 PM
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rainedave
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Thanks for the replies.
rgburrill, that has been what I've been thinking.
Old 01-08-2019, 08:04 PM
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Belive this one, I have many JR 8103 and JR10X and JR9303, for the grand kids and loaners that use DSMX modules or FASST modules, My preffered pack in these TX is a Gen I Thunderpower Blue stripe 2100MAH 3s 8c pack which fits perfectly, I charge them as Lion which will charge them to 80% them a rectifying diode drops it .5V so they pretty much run 11.3-10.8VDC all season with maybe charging 3X a year, so they moslty sit stored and totally reliable more so than any nicads of old and I was an SR pack fanboy which would charge to 11.3VDC back in the day.

I have not had any luck with Life packs from Turnigy and Hobbico, never lost a model but dissapointed one day fine , one day dead, scary, so for 6VDC I go with Geenuine A123 from Andy at Elctrodynamics, old timer RC guy in Michigan...........

Last edited by c/f; 01-08-2019 at 08:08 PM.
Old 01-09-2019, 08:23 AM
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Originally Posted by rgburrill View Post
Don't waste your money. Stay with your 72 MHz radio.
Just don`t ever forget to extend your antenna!
Old 01-09-2019, 02:26 PM
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I find the Hobby King LiFe transmitter batteries work great. They make several that are brand specific due to size requirements. HK gets a bad rap when many of their battery products are comparable to many other more expensive brands as far as reliability goes. My preferred LiFe batteries are genuine A123 but in some cases it is impossible to make a pack from these cells that will fit the space available in various transmitters. That's why we often have to go to other types / styles of cells for a transmitter battery.
Old 01-14-2019, 11:38 AM
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8178
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Originally Posted by rainedave View Post
I am returning to the hobby after 8 yrs away.
I am replacing my 72mhz radio with a new 2.4ghz.
I want to use a Life/lifepo4/A123 battery pack in my transmitter instead of a nicd/nimh pack for a good number of reasons.

My question is:

Do you trust the very inexpensive batteries like Turnigy or Zippy, etc. from Hobby King in your expensive transmitters?
If not, can you recommend a brand and merchant that you do trust. I am willing to pay more for a pack that I will not worry about.
Thanks.
David
Welcome back Dave. Good to see that you have returned and you will find most of the folks you remember moved to RCG.

Mike
Old 02-22-2019, 07:14 AM
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LiFe and A123 are NOT the same thing.
1. LiFe cells are built in a bag - just like LiPo
2. A123 are both a different chemistry (LiFePO4), 'and' they're built within a cylindrical metal shell like an old school NiCd

Re: your old 72MHz system w/new batteries - if it worked before it'll probably still work just fine with a stock replacement pack (NiCd or MiMH, doesn't matter). The transmitter's features? They may be good enough for you. Depends. Me? I like new radios for the features, not because of the transmission scheme.

As a highly experienced modeler I will say this; a new transmitter/receiver will be properly aligned, your old one? Who knows if the cat knocked it off the shelf and someone put it back without mentioning it? What I do know is by the time you pony up for a new battery pack 'and' prudently pay to to send it in for service/calibration, it'll mean the math for continuing to use it is going to change.

The point nobody is making is this; if you're willing to risk a model on it - and - risk injury to yourself or a friend, that's your look out because nobody is going to tell you what you can and cannot do. Bottom line? We all put on our big boy pants and self-certify before flying our models.

What I can also tell you is today's digital servos blow away any old school analog servo. Does it matter? Once again, it depends. Note, I don't post much but I do grit my teeth a lot due to what I read. Anyway, if you elect to go forward with a cheapo pack from HobbyKing, it'll probably be fine as well, but if it were me I'd at least stick to the original chemistry because the voltage will be exactly what the system expects, and you already have the proper charger, and knowledge of how to do it. Newer chemistries are different, you need to learn the ins and outs, and only a fool will tell you otherwise.

Source: I make ProModeler servos

Last edited by jbeech; 02-22-2019 at 07:24 AM.
Old 03-20-2019, 07:36 PM
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I wouldn't think of using 72Mhz RC system in an urban/city environment and risking being shot down by industrial systems and miscellaneous interference. I recommend a Spektrum system unless you are also a digital electronics hobbyist.

Spektrum has quite a range of discontinued and new transmitters. The entry level/cheapest rely on using a cell phone interface and use non-rechargeable 1.5 volt AA batteries, features are quite limited. The DX6 system has two versions, read the info about features and compatibilities. A six channel system can satisfy most modeler's needs using Y cables on ailerons, flaps and retracts. If you think that you will need more channels an 8 or more channel system may suffice. If your hobby budget is small, you might buy a used but newish 6 channel Spektrum system from somebody who is upgrading, but be careful.
Old 03-30-2019, 04:48 AM
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Hello guys,
I am also returning to hobby after 15 years away. My old Futaba 72Mgz is not working. I tried to change out older NiCad pack with a new Nickle metal hydrid pack, ( 15 yrs ago),and plugged in reverse polarity.
Plan on sending system in for repair and tuning but have not done it yet.
My question is, is it worth it? Should I just break down and buy a new 2.4ghz system? I have quite and extensive collection of planes which all have 72Mgz recievers in them and most are controlled from same Futaba transmitter. There is another Futaba transmitter which controls a few which only need 4 channels.
Will the newer systems work ok with older servos? would think that would not be an issue, but thought I should ask.
Craig
Old 03-30-2019, 06:56 AM
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Hi Craig,

Servo manufacturer here . . . yes, your servos should work fine. Doesn't address what's new regarding servos (digital, high voltage, more powerful, faster, etc.) but with respect to yours, yes they'll work as well as they worked before (and usually, it's good enough).

You reversed polarity when replacing the transmitter's battery? Ouch! really hate to hear this because manufacturers go to a fair bit of trouble to ensure these things can't happen (mechanically, e.g. with little tabs to preclude wrong-way insertion). Seems you defeated their best efforts - sigh. Anyway, now it's up to what reverse polarity protection they built into the circuit.

What did they do? Don't know, but this can be done with diodes or MOSFETS. Most likely a diode in this instance because they're such a cheap technique. Anyway, if it were me, before returning it for repair, I'd open it up and look for a diode, or something that acted like a fuse - especially because it'll be simple to repair. E.g. a soldering iron and a 50¢ component are your friends! With regard to tuning, unless you dropped it, it's probably fine. These systems aren't like the old days but are built with piezo crystals and generally either work, or don't. Regardless, you always confirm with a throw away model - just like you would a brand new radio system - right?

By the way, for anybody reading along wondering why I'm sharing this advice, it's to do with the value of an old 72MHz transmitter, which is low to everybody (except you). Basically, for what the repair (plus tuning is going to cost), plus shipping both ways, considering just 30 minutes of bench time for a technician is probably more than the transmitter's worth. So a replacement probably won't be much more if any than a new one. To be frank, if it were me, and I were going to bite the bullet for a new one I'd probably be looking at a new Futaba just because you know the 'Futaba-way' of programming. Otherwise, brand doesn't matter.

Last thing; with respect to having a bunch of models with 72Mhz receivers; yes, you can continue using them too if you repair the old transmitter. But you should know I've been buying Futaba-compatible FrSky receivers (for about $35 each) to use with my Futaba transmitter. I even use them in $3000 models with no concern whatsoever. My point being, at $35 a pop, the math has changed compared to how it was when receivers cost $150 each, understand?

Oh, and obviously, I use my own line of servos instead of Futaba!

Last edited by jbeech; 03-30-2019 at 07:01 AM. Reason: spelling
Old 03-30-2019, 07:51 AM
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KCCraig
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jbeech,
My Futaba 6AX did not have any way to tell which way was correct on polarity. no notches on connector, not even color coded wires. battery with proper connector would plug into the receiver either direction.
I am an electronic technician, and did open the unit up and look at circuits. To my dismay there is not any fuses on circuit board at all. Not even micro fuses. I could not find any damaged componets on board
as I am certainly capable of soldering in new ones and may even have in stock.
So thought I would send to radio south for repair and tune.
I would like to upgrade to a 2.4Ghz your price on recievers at 35.00 sounds good, my just go for it. Thanks for the reply and info
Craig
Old 04-05-2019, 04:20 PM
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Welcome back to the hobby and much has changed while you were away. First off if your 72 Tx is in good working order and is a modular unit you can easily switch it to 2.4 by using a FrSky module, which is a straight plug and play affair. Their systems have been proven to be bullet proof and cost a fraction of what other leading brands cost while giving outstanding performance.

Regarding Tx batteries, for some time now I have been using Life 3S 2000 mA battery from Hobby King in my Futaba 8UAF Tx which I upgraded to 2.4 with a FrSky module and to date have been quite pleased with it's performance. If you however like many others feel uneasy using a HK product check with Richard at Wrong Way R/C and he will be able to give you good advice and also provide you with whatever battery etc. you might need.

Last edited by karolh; 04-05-2019 at 04:24 PM.
Old 04-06-2019, 08:20 AM
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Assuming you will be flying electric powered models, they following may be helpful. Don't know what you already know!!

Recommend you keep it all as simple as possible and don't overthink everything. Buy a Spektrum 6- or more channel system depending on your level of interest in continuing with the hobby. Cheaper FrSky and other systems are great but not necessarily a good choice unless you are "into" digital electronics. A transmitter battery pack designed for your Spektrum transmitter will provide enough duration for an all-day flying session and recharge overnight . If you have model(s) that you are confident in flying, install, "bind" and range check the new receiver and make sure old servos and speed control are working properly. Binding procedures must be done "per the book" with prop off of the model for safety .
Receiver must be a couple of feet from transmitter during binding process. Throttle trim must be at zero. Listen and watch for required beeps and LED action. When motor will throttle up normally, install the prop and safely check for throttle action. Find, understand and use the transmitter's "throttle lock" and "fail-safe" safety features and test with prop outside, not on workbench ( don't ask). You will probably use lipo motor batteries and will need a quality charger that can balance and storage charge lipos properly and safely. Some have built-in power supplies others don't, and will need a 12 volt power supply. Read charger instructions carefully and understand charger settings that are proper and safe for your lipo packs. I buy lipo packs from Motion RC, they are tested before shipping and give good performance. If you charge lipos and postpone flying for a few days, use the storage charge feature to discharge lipos to 3.8 volts per cell. This will help battery performance and increase their useful life. Oh!, only buy name brand electronic speed controls with built-in "switch-mode" battery eliminator circuit" (BEC) that have the proper capacity for the number of cells in your lipo packs and number of servos in your models. Cheap no-name bargain speed controls often have "linear-type" BEC's that can overheat and cause brownout of power to the receiver resulting in a crash. Go to Dimension Engineering's website and read FAQ's on BEC's.
Old 04-06-2019, 09:32 AM
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KCCraig
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Karolh and E-chanllenged,
Thanks for the replies. My old transmitter does not accept any modules, I will not be able to update to 2.4 Ghz with this unit. Upgrading will require all new gear. I have like 6 models on this transmitter and another airborne pack waiting for model, all on channel 60.
E-challenged, I tried a couple of e flite models years ago, did not like them. I know much has changed in this area, just dont think it is for me. I am considering unloading all my glow engines and going strickly with gas engines. I did not understand most of your terminology when talking about electric models.
I have always flown with Futaba transmitters, but have used HiTec airborne gear. All my equipment is analog. My old tx is programable for end points, reversible servos, and model memory,
I am thinking I will spring for a new tx in 2.4 Ghz and convert my models over one at a time. I may have the old TX repaired and use it also for a while.
Old 04-07-2019, 04:59 AM
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KCC, I do think that when you make the switch to gas you will never go back to those messy glow engines. The only thing I sometimes miss about them is the smell of burning castor. When you say that all your stuff is analog I imagine you are referring to your servos which of course you will still be able to use on 2.4.

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