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« on: July 20, 2009, 12:31:36 PM »
PankajC
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Hi All (esp. Anwar),
Am a beginer and was looking at various RC models available. Basically on the Indian online stores there is Futaba and then some mix of Chinese products.
So the question is what should we look for (apart from the budget available)? Is it enough just saying Futaba is best? Can there be a apple to apple comparison? For example in ebay stores there is a Futaba 6Ch going for approx 11,500 while there is a WFly 6ch going for less than 4,000. So what's special in Futaba

PS. All knowledgeable folks, please do not get offended, I am just trying to educate myself.


Pankaj
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« Reply #1 on: July 20, 2009, 12:53:19 PM »
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The best person to advice you on this is Chan as he has used both the radios systems.
sai
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« Reply #2 on: July 20, 2009, 01:33:09 PM »
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Hi Pankaj,

It is a question of reliability and peace of mind.  As Mr. Sai said, I have used Chinese systems, Futaba and Spektrum.. The Chinese systems are cheap and they worked well for me.. I had a Turborix (equivalent to the W Fly)!! But if you have the budget, then get a programmable radio like the Futaba / Airtronix / Spektrum!! They would last a lifetime and help you progress as you learn!! If you buy a cheap system now, you might have to upgrade in the future as you progress!!

- Chan
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« Reply #3 on: July 20, 2009, 02:35:13 PM »
anwar
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Also, one has to be really careful about price comparisons.  You have to look at the contents of each of the packages. Do they include servos ?  Do they include a receiver, batteries (what type of batteries) etc etc.

Futaba is established.  It is a top choice, and in general, they last many many years.  Futaba, JR and Hitec radios have been around for so long (I see one guy flying a 14 year old radio every week !).  These are built using quality components for the most part, and have had a lot of revisions "to get things right".  In RC, the "peace of mind" factor is pretty big, so people go for these.  Spektrum is JR for the most part, and Airtronics has a good name too.
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« Reply #4 on: July 20, 2009, 03:57:33 PM »
PankajC
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Hi Guys,

Thanks for the posts, but some questions still linger on...

1) Some of the brands listed are Futaba, Airtronixs JR, Spektrum .... any gradation, comparison available among these?
2) We talk of upgrades and programing capability of the branded radios. What are we referring to?
3) When we buy radio of one make/brand, do we need to get all related equipment -servos, batteries, crystals receivers etc from the same brand, or can they be interchanged?
4) What is the level of support available in India? For a newbie, even if I practice first on simulators, I am most probably going to crash first few times on actual flight. What happens to the radios (Tx,Rx,Xtal etc) in these conditions?


Regards
Pankaj
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« Reply #5 on: July 20, 2009, 04:17:14 PM »
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In case of conventional radios ( Mhz type )  you can use alternative  cheaper receivers.
In case of a 2.4 radio you have to use  receivers of only specific brands .

Eg : In case of 72 mhz Futaba  Radio you can use  turborix , GWS and corona receivers with the radio which are max 1/2 the price of a futaba receiver , same goes for W Fly as well.
In case of  a Futaba , Spektrum , JR or any  2.4 G  radio then  you have to use that specific brand's 2.4 G receiver only , this applies to 2.4 G modules of other brands like Assan or carona as well.

So for 2.4 G the receivers are specific but in case of Mhz radios you have better economics and more  flexibility in the long run.

In case of servos there is no restriction .

2.4 G  gives you peace of mind due to interference reasons , but would be more advisable for costlier set ups , in case of beginners since as it is crash possibilities are higher it would be better to  invest in a good solid crash resistant model than go over board on the radio.
Cos' what is important is maximizing stick time in the air .

Programing etc are excellent options to have but how many regular's have also used all the gadgets and options available on a fixed wing , heli's is a different story.

Two persons whom I highly respect for their technical knowledge Saju and Ismail , both I know have kept technology usage to the minimum required  as far as I know it  which proves the point  mentioned above.

Further as technology changes  by the time you get to be a proficient flier it is better to invest in the latest radio at that time
Sai

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« Reply #6 on: July 20, 2009, 04:46:43 PM »
anwar
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1) Some of the brands listed are Futaba, Airtronixs JR, Spektrum .... any gradation, comparison available among these?

The top brands (in no particular order) are Futaba and JR/Spektrum (roughly speaking, Spektrum uses JR's radio designs and JR uses Spektrum's 2.4 communication modules).  Airtronics and Hitec would come after that.  My personal observations, of course.

2) We talk of upgrades and programing capability of the branded radios. What are we referring to?

Programmable radios offer the following facilities (I am listing a subset, obviously there are so many features that there are 200+ page 3rd party books about certain radios).

1. Ability to store settings for multiple models, and switch between them. "Settings" would be things like servo direction, trim settings for each channels, end point settings for each channel etc.
2. Ability to "mix settings".  For example, if you want two servos to move in opposite directions when you move a single control stick, the radio can do that mixing for you.
3. Some higher end radios allow for the firmware to be upgraded by the end user (to fix bugs, or add new features). Like your firewalls, routers etc (if you are in the IT field), or even mobile phones these days.
4. One useful feature most people look for on radios is the ability to set timers.  That way you know how long you can fly safely before planning to land.  This is even more important for Lipo based systems, where the last bit of charge drains quickly.  And a timer that is activated by reading the throttle position is even better, so that you don't have to remember to manually start the timer.
5. For helis that require CCPM mixing, the radio needs to support that.  If you plan to fly helis, you are better off getting a good radio in the first place.

There are many other features, so I have started a thread on that : http://www.rcindia.org/radios-and-receivers/what-radiotransmitter-features-are-important-to-you/   Wink

3) When we buy radio of one make/brand, do we need to get all related equipment -servos, batteries, crystals receivers etc from the same brand, or can they be interchanged?

In general, try to get the same brand of receivers (and crystals) as the radios.  The exception is what Sai mentioned above, where you can go for cheaper receivers from other brands.  Servos can pretty much work with any radio, they are not brand specific. Batteries can be interchanged (not recommended) as long as they fit the space and they are having similar voltage ranges. Many people go for 3rd party lipo batteries for their TX, as they can last much longer before having to recharge them.

4) What is the level of support available in India? For a newbie, even if I practice first on simulators, I am most probably going to crash first few times on actual flight. What happens to the radios (Tx,Rx,Xtal etc) in these conditions?

The crash should not affect the radio/TX itself (unless you drop it on the ground or something!).  The recievers and xtals may get damaged in crashes, and you have to test them as much as possible on the ground after rebuilding from a crash.  Foam/sponge padding during installation helps !  Do a "range check" also after any crash.  If found glitching or otherwise defective, it is best to replace them.
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« Reply #7 on: July 20, 2009, 05:03:15 PM »
PankajC
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Thanks guys all your posts were most educating and detailed.

Regards
Pankaj
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« Reply #8 on: July 20, 2009, 05:24:52 PM »
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hey pankaj (bhaiya probably), this is what was the case with me when i started off i started with the w-fly or turborix 6ch 72mhz. these radios are excellent and also the rx can take a lot of beating (i have crashed planes from nearly every angle). Also i still trust this technology but they do not offer much of the programming ability which any of the futaba hitec jr or airtronics offer.

 personally i have recently converted to 2.4 ghz just a couple of days ago and use my rds 8000. first of all no more servo centering hassles with my new radio as you can center the servos from the screen and dual rates at the flip of a switch and mixing is just so simple and also naming your models is something i like.

please listen to this piece of advice go for a better radio for eg - jr, futaba, hitec and airtronics. i dont know how many times this has been repeated but once again please do listen to this as it will help you and only you. also the 2.4 ghz rx can also take quite a lot of beating just get a piece of bubble wrap over it.

also the airtronics rds8000 gives you 4 servos and batteries and chargers and all what you need. futaba 6EXAP is another good choice with all the things too but the airtronics one come with two more channels which might help you put in bomb drop box, retracts and many many many cool things. also it has a basic and advanced menu for you when you graduate.

final piece of advice go for 2.4ghz though there has been a lockout in sholavaram during chan bhaiya's flight dont worry these are extremely rare (i would recommend) as it has really less interference.


budget wise

4000-5000     -   turborix (will surely need to be upgraded after skill increases)
11000 and any thing above  -  go for futaba or even airtronics(more channels) oh dx6i is a cool radio tooo
 
and 6ch radio is the minimum i would advice


hope this helps



subbu
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« Reply #9 on: July 20, 2009, 05:55:05 PM »
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Subu ,
I guess you fly with Pramod and Sandeep , would be interesting to know the radios and the features  they regularly use  ?  Grin
BTW I have a JR 8 and a Futaba 6 Exa and can say with confidence there is nothing till date that I have done using a JR on a fixed wing that I could not  do on a Futaba 6 exa .

Lets have a looks at the basic channel needs  :
Throttle , Rudder , Elevator , Aileron's BASIC 4 , retract -5 , flaps 6

So retract is already covered in a 6 channel Subu , Flaperon mixing more or less leaves a channel free for any thing else .

It would be educational for me to know the  list of programing features  used on the fixed wing apart from dual rates which only a high end radio can do and cannot be done otherwise . these could be listed on the other thread of course.

I know for one that many use a Futaba Sky sport with V tail mixer to achieve   elevon mixing in fact Pramod is one of them as I understand  .There are exceptional flyers as well as technical experts who fall in this category.

Of course the use of features and technology is a personal choice like a mobile fully loaded with features 80 % of which a rarely used  .It is like in the case  of mobiles 90 % of the time it is used as a phone , sms, listening to music, e mails.

Hence it is the choice of the buyer and his budget .



sai
  
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« Reply #10 on: July 20, 2009, 06:38:12 PM »
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yes sai uncle you are right but think it out in this way

Throttle , Rudder , Elevator , Aileron's BASIC 4 , retract -5 , flaps 6

no flyer would just stick to his own stock plane would he ! i would like to experiment with high alpha, bomb drop, and vtol and may other experiments like tailless aircraft and many many many many more so having extra channels makes sense

if a flyer is satisfied with whatever plane he has and just like to experiment with small things and not much out of the ordinary the futaba 6exa is a very good option and its the buyers wish.

and pankaj (bhaiya) wait until august 4th might be that you win the futaba 6ch tx from our 2k sweepstakes

and also which plane are you going for ?
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« Reply #11 on: July 20, 2009, 06:47:32 PM »
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Hello uncle as per my understanding, channel assignement should be done as follows to have more features on ailerons like spoilerons and flaperons!

1. Elevator - 2 channels (for bigger planes)
2. Ailerons - 2 channels (minimum)
3. Throttle - 1 channel
4. Rudder - 1 channel
5. Flaps - 1 channel
6. Retracts - 1 channel
7. Smoke - 1 channel

This makes it 9 channels for a basic jet!! Or even for a 50cc scale plane.. Using Y harness is never an option because individual programming of servos becomes impossible and that shows during precision flying..

- Chan
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« Reply #12 on: July 20, 2009, 07:31:06 PM »
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Hello uncle as per my understanding, channel assignement should be done as follows to have more features on ailerons like spoilerons and flaperons!

1. Elevator - 2 channels (for bigger planes)
2. Ailerons - 2 channels (minimum)
3. Throttle - 1 channel
4. Rudder - 1 channel
5. Flaps - 1 channel
6. Retracts - 1 channel
7. Smoke - 1 channel

This makes it 9 channels for a basic jet!! Or even for a 50cc scale plane.. Using Y harness is never an option because individual programming of servos becomes impossible and that shows during precision flying..

- Chan

Chan ,
are we talking of a beginner  flying a jet or a 50 cc plane ?
I think the purpose and clarifications Pankaj asked is as a beginner.

So are we recommending a 9 - 10 channel set up to a beginner  Huh?

Subu and Chan ,
That is precisely the point you seem to loose the point  we have been asked a question by a beginner .
I know a beginner who bought a JR 9 and was  so lost with it that till date he is confused on how to use it , so much so he does not know what to do with it and consider's it a mistake .
I know of quite  few who went into 2.4G and  finally got back to the good old faithful Mhz radio as the found 2.4 G  receivers too expensive .


I guess he would be better tackling flying than be struggling with programing.

The reason you guys have had such fast changing requirements is that  you have  grown in this hobby at a blistering pace and have been able to fund your growth , that is not the case with everyone trying to enter . Not all can  nor want to set such a pace as far as a hobby is concerned .
Looks like you are ready to out grow your new futaba already Chan  Grin

As every one grows they want something better ,that in itself is the pleasure of it .
I am not preaching guys but I come across many beginners and know their thinking .


Sai
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« Reply #13 on: July 20, 2009, 07:51:56 PM »
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Chan

'Using Y harness is never an option because individual programming of servos becomes impossible and that shows during precision flying..'

Chan we are talking of beginners remember!!... Precision flying is ages away... Perhaps not for a champ like you!!

Pankaj

On the whole my advice is to go in for a Futaba 6EXAP (just basic receiver and tx)... Should be much less than Rs. 11500.00. It has all the programmability you need to get from an outright beginner to a sort of expert flying.
The logic:

a. As a beginner you would start with trainers (hi wing generally!!) either glow or electric. You do not start with big planes, because it would be low to middling budget. One does not start to run before one stands.
b. As skill increases, you would like to experiment towards aileron trainers, pylon racers, low wing trainers, deltas, combats,aerobatics, 3D etc....in that order! All this is within the general perview of the 6EXAP
c. Next comes, sports, war-birds etc. where things are a little above the 6EXAP capabilities
d. Why do you require programmability?
    1. To have one transmitter work with a number of models... This means one can have a max of 6 models being flown from one transmitter in the same field without having to fiddle with trims etc each time.. Tremendous capability !!
    2. To be able to reverse each individual channel (6EXAP has 6 channels or actuations which can be controlled), a great feat considering the difficulties of aligning servos, servo direction and push-rods
    3. To be able to go in for dual rates... a means of increasing throttle throws by command from the tx
    4. To be able to do programming of elevons (V tail ... To get both elevator function and rudder function from mixing two channels), flaperons, etc.

The last point perhaps also helps one to understand the difference between Chinese (basic radios) and Futaba. As eg., I can quote none other than Chan... He started with Turborix (Chinese) graduated to Futaba, JR and now back to Futaba... But as I said he is a champ... All  of this in one year. He is now on to Gassers etc. But looking at the time he spends on RC, it is what one can expect of him. More earthy beginners would take atleast 3 years to transform like him


So make your decision after a careful consideration... It is worth it if you are serious about the hobby

Saju
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« Reply #14 on: July 20, 2009, 08:03:32 PM »
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the conclusion to this - pankaj bhaiya pray to god that you win the sweepstakes  Grin Grin Grin and you get what you need or else go in for a turborix then migrate on to which ever you want and please do mention the plane you are going in for

and if you still are in doubt give me a call 09833036737 or even sai uncle or even chan bhaiya. we are here at your service in helping you.

please dont call between 8am to 3.30pm as i shall be in school


subbu
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« Reply #15 on: July 20, 2009, 08:34:24 PM »
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Subu (and all),

First of all I would definitely qualify "at least as uncle" if not a dinosaur.

I started meddling with aeromodelling about 25-28yrs back. Was into control line flight those days. So I used to spend a month building the plane with 2stroke engines available those days. Take off was never a problem, but landing was, so after every alternate flight it used to be a new plane all over again.........

In those days, Futaba was available (with some difficulty), but budget was not  Grin. More importantly, there were very few enthusiasts that I knew who were willing to train you on RC.

Anyways, I happen to browse eBay and came across something of a e-sky flight simulator. So a little bit of searching made me realise that the options have opened up in India and hence started looking at options of getting back into this hobby.

So for starters, am going to get hold of a simulator to practice my landing first.....
Next I would be going for a 6 channel Tx non-chinese make (can afford Futaba 6EXAP  now  Grin but something cheaper would always be better ).


Also, Chan, I am not looking to start with 50cc engine for sure. My ideal starter would need to be stable on slow speeds......

Cheers,

Pankaj
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« Reply #16 on: July 20, 2009, 10:47:30 PM »
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I see the Futaba 6EX proposed. It is a good radio for a decent price. 

But please be aware of the discussion below, and make an informed decision.

http://www.rcindia.org/radios-and-receivers/is-this-a-good-radio-offer/
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« Reply #17 on: July 20, 2009, 11:45:49 PM »
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Aaaargh!! I dont know how I get myself into this always  Wink!! I just suggested a radio that would never need to be changed for a lifetime considering my experience!! In a year I had to change 5 radios!!

1. Turborix 6 channel (non computerized FM)
2. Futaba 4 YF (non computerized FM)
3. Futaba 6EX (computerized 6 channel 2.4 Ghz)
4. Spektrum Dx6i (computerized 6 channel 2.4 Ghz)
5. Futaba 10CHG (computerized 10 channel 2.4 Ghz)

So I thought if someone can buy the last one initially, it would save a lot of redundant expenses!!  But frankly speaking, a 6 channel computerized system is all that a person would need to fly even jets!! Browse through jet rc forums and you would see my point!! And so many gassers are being flown on Dx6is!! Even my plan was to initially setup my gasser on my Dx6i, then I felt the urge to upgrade to 10 channels just because I had a hell a lot of programming options on my new radio!! I am a person who likes perfectly linear throttle control and that is where the features like throttle curve help me now!! But again a beginner will hardly notice the linearity in throttle unless when trying to hover!!

In my opinion, if on a budget, consider the Dx6i / Futaba 6EX and also go through the thread which Anwar has pointed out!!

As I had earlier pointed out, the difference between cheap chinese radios and branded ones is just the reliability and peace of mind!! I had a few crashes on my cheap radio and blamed it on the radio initially but later found that it was due a loose Rx crystal!! It served its purpose very well and I had to upgrade because I needed a programmable radio!!


And Saju uncle...thanks for all the compliments Smiley Smiley!!

- Chan
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« Reply #18 on: July 21, 2009, 09:57:42 AM »
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you guys also have to include the RDS8000 which is just 128XX will all the stuff Huh? where as a futaba 6EX is in the same price range but 2 less channels

as for my self i a have Futaba attack 4 and now I'm building my 8ch computer radio micro star 2000  Grin

i have to agree with chan 6 channel are more that sufficiency up to sport flying but if one wants to get into advance stuff then a higher channel radio is needed .

sahil
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« Reply #19 on: July 21, 2009, 10:00:42 AM »
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Aaaargh!! I dont know how I get myself into this always  Wink!! I just suggested a radio that would never need to be changed for a lifetime considering my experience!! In a year I had to change 5 radios!!

1. Turborix 6 channel (non computerized FM)
2. Futaba 4 YF (non computerized FM)
3. Futaba 6EX (computerized 6 channel 2.4 Ghz)
4. Spektrum Dx6i (computerized 6 channel 2.4 Ghz)
5. Futaba 10CHG (computerized 10 channel 2.4 Ghz)

So I thought if someone can buy the last one initially, it would save a lot of redundant expenses!!  But frankly speaking, a 6 channel computerized system is all that a person would need to fly even jets!! Browse through jet rc forums and you would see my point!!

Chan... You are trying to put the cart before the horse...  and go against nature. One has to go thru the learning phase... 'learn to stand before one walks, walk before one runs etc.'
And I didn't quote anything which is untrue... did I?

Pankaj,
I too started my aeromodelling some 30 years back... with own rubber powered glider, control line flying with Tiny-tot+mills 075 engine, skybee+2.5cc webra diesel, pacemaker+3.5cc diesel, cox 049+stunts with on-off radio(unsuccessful), lull, 20 years later realised easy availability of electrics and hardware and now very serious about catching up with fully electric systems... So we are roughly on the same wave-length... Only difference is I am in Chennai. We normally go flying in Kovalam (Mr. Sai, his son Venkat, self, sometimes Chan and time to time others) every Sunday.. 6.30am

Saju
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« Reply #20 on: July 21, 2009, 12:25:30 PM »
PankajC
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Learning to Fly



Hi Saju,
Thanks. Your post helped boost my confidence level.

On the whole I have been checking out the various e-stores listed in the forum and elsewhere, but somehow i could not see the radios at the prices being suggested in this thread earlier. For example hitec seems to be as costly as futaba( am I missing something?)
So where does one go?
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« Reply #21 on: July 21, 2009, 12:58:32 PM »
tg
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A 6ch radio will set you back by around 12 - 15 thousand  Roll Eyes for any of these well discussed radios. But as stated, once you get one, learn all you can with it and use it for a long long time Wink
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« Reply #22 on: July 21, 2009, 01:20:50 PM »
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For the Airtronics/Sanwa 8 Ch 2.4Ghz please visit the link below

http://www.rcdhamaka.com/index.php?main_page=product_info&cPath=89&products_id=225
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« Reply #23 on: July 21, 2009, 01:41:09 PM »
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Pankaj ,
My suggestion will be to buy a 72 or 40 or 35 Mhz Radio  take care that you dont get into exotic frequencies like 36 , 41 or 29 mhz . as receivers in these frequencies are difficult to get and expensive . If you do get these receivers the next problem is crystals .

Futaba 6 Exap is the best buy followed by a Futab 4 Exap ( 4 channel ) but with almost the similar programing as the 6 exap.
Original 2.4 G systems look attractive for a starter but set you back  heavily as far as receivers are concerned later.
Sai
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« Reply #24 on: July 21, 2009, 02:13:32 PM »
mpsaju
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Pankaj

The cost that you are looking at is the cost of the tx, rx, servos, rechargeable batterries, charger,etc. all from Futaba. What I am saying is that buy one 6EXAP +receiver as one set. You can use all other stuff from different people elsewhere. For eg. the rx works equally well with servos from other manufacturers, the tx battery for eg can be 8 standard AA size rechargeable NiMh batterries available at the normal departmental store. All this would bring down your cost of initial purchase to more manageable limits. I think Sai sells brand new Futaba 6EXAP + rx with crystals for Rs.8900.00+courier. Similiarily there could be others which I am not aware of.
Another important fact that I did not mention earlier is that the 6EXAP can work with any cheap rx available at low cost eg. The corona synthesised rx works very well with this giving one an added range of approx a mile and no receiver crystal and the cost of this rx is very low as compared to the original rx from Futaba. This is not the same with a 2.4Ghz system. In the 2.4Ghz tx, the cost of additional rxs are prohibitive (almost twice!).
If you buy servos separately, you need buy only the size that is required by you. The range of servos available starts at 3gms and goes on to 30gms and more. Typically a 9gm servo would cost you about Rs. 500.00.
This way your budget can be made lower and you can still enjoy the same benefits

Saju
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