View Full Version : Guttless P-40 Educate me please?
03-04-2006, 04:01 AM
I just purchased a Cox P-40 Micro Warbrd and since I've just started into electric RC, I need some advice on what system to put in it. I currently have a PZ J-3 and a PZ P-51. I would like to buy a decent transmitter and system for the P-40 that will allow me to transfer to other planes as I progress. I don't mind spending a little money but don't want to spend a fortune on one. I assume (and I know what that means) that the servos, ESC and batteries could change depending on what type of plane I'm building? Can you guys recommend a good system for this little bird that will also work well for others? I love warbirds so I'm pretty sure my next plane will also be another warbird. Open for recommendations on that too.
Looking forward to your help.
03-04-2006, 12:23 PM
Hi Tom, Welcome to Wattflyer! Regarding the Cox Micros, I finally got to see these fly last weekend, 4 of them, in fact. They had been equipped with a variety of lightweight servos, in the 3-5 gram range. Hitec 50's, Blue bird or Blue Arrows and one had the smallest GWS Picos. Most were installed into slots in the fuselage (both sides) right behind the wing. Receivers were the new FMA Direct Micro, latest Hitec Feather. One flew with the stock motor, others had been upgraded with brushless Fiegos or similar "IPS"-sized B/L motors. They fly great! What a hoot to see these tiny models buzzing around. They don't like the wind, though, as you might expect.
Radios are very much a personal choice; All the major Asian brands are good, the Spektrum may be the "Future" of R/C, I love my Multiplex Evo.
I will say that buying a "starter" 4 channel radio now, then having to upgrade to a better model (more channels, programming, computer functions, etc) is not cost-effective. If you can afford it initially, a computerized, 6 (minimum) channel, 10-20 model memory, full-function TX will save you money overall. Yes, it's overkill for "Park" models, but if you stay with R/C flying chances are you won't be flying them forever. Heli's, multi-function gliders, models with flaperons, 3D, etc all have requirements that can't be met by a "starter" radio. Sooner or later you will need dual rates, mixing, expo, model modes, assignable switches, digital and sub-trims, and a lot of other stuff that may not seem important now.
Ergonomics are a big factor with TX's. I suggest you make a list of the radios (brand and model) that have the features you want; Take the list to a hobby shop or your local flying field and ask to "try" the radio. Not fly with it, of course, but hold it, feel the size, balance, controls, the overall layout of the bits you will be using. Ask questions, look at the screen, check the instruction manual. Research!!! The more "hands-on" information you have, the better the chances you will buy a radio that suits you. Remember, models will come and go, but the radio is the one component you wil be using every time you fly!
Well, that's my $.02, Good luck!
03-04-2006, 12:47 PM
Sharkster.....excellent advice on the radio!
03-04-2006, 03:02 PM
Thanks a lot for the reply. It really does help. It appears that the servos, receiver, batteries and ESC can be very different depending on which plane you choose but the transmitter as you say will carry forward. For some reason I have always been drawn to warbirds and when I started flying glow over 20 years ago, I never really felt it was wise to start out with them so I stuck to high wing trainers and sport planes. Not that I'm older, (not necessarily wiser) I don't feel like I'd be much in to 3D but I can definately see needing channels for flaps, retracts and so forth. I only bought the P-40 because I saw it on clearance for $17 and couldn't pass it up. I suspected they would hate wind. It's my intentions to go larger rather than smaller, but thought it would be some thing to throw in the car for a quicky when the wind was right. I was out yesterday flying the PZ J3 in winds gusting to around 12mph and although it did ok, it really was more work than fun. I like to fly and not worry about every little gust.
Thanks again for the input.
The Older I Get, The Faster I Was!
03-04-2006, 04:09 PM
What is it about the Spektrum that you feel will be the radio of the future? Back in the day, when you bought a radio, you also picked the frequency you wanted. Is this still the case? I see the Spektrum DX6 going for just under $200 is this a good radio? Maybe I need to take a trip to the LHS and see what's there and actually get my hands on one instead of all the cyber shopping I've been doing huh?
03-04-2006, 06:06 PM
Hi Tom, thanks for the kind words! The Spektrum radio operates on the 2.4GHz band, a much higher frequency band than our current 27 or 72MHz signals. A lot less RF interference, static, and resulting glitches. In addition, the DSM system scans the open channels (out of 80 choices), locks onto 2 adjacent (clear) channels and transmits on both simultaneously. The dedicated receiver has 2 short antennaes and captures either one or both signals at the same time. It's all automatic, no mechanical selection involved. If another Spektrum TX is switched on, their system does the same checks and avoids your frequency, goes to another, and so on.
The Transmitter (their first one, I'm sure there'll be others!) has 6 channels, 3 programmable mixes, dual rates + expo for aileron and elevator, flight mode switch and CCPM for Helis, 10 model memory and fail-safe.
The two main negative comments I've read are; No dual rates + Expo for rudder channel, and range is only advertised as sufficent for "Park Flyers". In other words, it may not be "Full Range", that is really a factor when flying sailplanes, which tend to get pretty high up and far away. Smaller models can't be flown too far away since the pilot wouldn't be able to see them clearly. There are already user comments stating that they have flown 2 meter gliders to the edge of visibility and had no range problems.
In any event I'm sure Spektrum will address these concerns in future radios and it's just a matter of time before other brands offer the DSM system also.
Right now, many flyers are addressing the "overcrowded" frequency issue by using synthesizers to select an open channel. Most high-end models of 72MHz radio brands offer this option. Drawbacks of this solution are that the 72MHz band is already crowded, another radio can still "shoot you down" and you must have RX frequency crystals for any channel you wish to use. Lately I've seen a dial-a-channel system on 72MHz for both TX and RX but haven't used it. I believe it's sold by Polk hobbies.
My guess is that (unless there are any major problems as yet undetected with DSM) within a few years all radios will be DSM and frequency control as we know it will be a thing of the past.
Also I didn't address in my first post your question about using components on models other than the "Micros". If you buy the very smallest servos for the micro planes, they will only have enough torque to be used on other small, lightweight models. These are usually (but not "officially") called "sub-Sub Micros or "Nanos"". "Micros" and "sub-micros" on the other hand, 5-10 gram servos, more than 10 in/oz thrust (roughly), can be used on small to medium models. Most flyers end up with a lot of sub-micros and a few sub-sub micros for special applications. Cost is, of course, a factor also. Receivers, generally, same thing, with the added factor of the range issue. The very lightest RX's are mostly single-conversion and have a shorter range. Dual-conversion FM RX's have the longest range. There will be disagreements about that statement but generally speaking, the lighter and smaller the RX, the shorter the effective range. Part of the range issue is not how many conversions but the number and quality of filters used to stop unwanted "noise" from affecting the reception. I'm sure the electronic guys are going to rake me over the coals for this but that's my story and I'm sticking to it!
Well, hope some of this is useful, good luck with the "Warbirds"!
03-05-2006, 12:22 PM
One thing I've personally noticed. It seems there is way more used "JR" equipment that goes up for sale. I've noticed way, way more tx's and receivers from that company in the used sections of various forums. This is great for someone on a budget who might want to take advantage of the odd "used" deal. I use Hitec Flash 5, and Hitec Prism 7 radio's, which work fine. If I was to do it again, I'd be buying something from JR just because of what I said above.
I'd love to go with spread spectrum, but right now it would be a drag to have to replace the 10 or so receivers I have in my various planes. No doubt though, that technology is the future!
03-05-2006, 07:48 PM
Ok, so for a guy who only has two Parkzone systems and no extra equipment, I pretty much have a clean slate. I would like to have a reasonable system that will take me into the future several years and several planes. So, if it were you guys starting all over today, which way would you go? Is that a wide open question or what?
03-06-2006, 12:42 PM
Hi Tom, for a first FM radio system now, my choice would be a "full range" RX and TX, but bear in mind I fly gliders and powered gliders in addition to electric Old Timers, warbirds and sport/aerobatic. Since the Spektrum is so new and as yet unproven to match the useable reception range of the best dual-conversion FM 72mH transmitters and receivers it would not be my first choice. A mid-price Futaba, JR, Hitec, Airtronics or Multiplex with synthesizer would serve you well for the next several years. The downside of this choice is that the RX's from these systems would not be compatible with a DSM system later.
If you don't plan on getting into gliders for awhile (at least until Spektrum develops a full-range system) the DSM system is probably a better choice.
If you live near an R/C flying field it would be a good idea to spend a few hours there and ask questions, talk to users of different systems and get a "feel" for what people are using, what they like, don't like, etc. There may be some DSM users who can give you first-hand feedback on the system.
03-07-2006, 02:05 AM
With your and other people's help this is all starting to get a little clearer. I'm traveling this week and had a chance to stop in to a really nice hobby shop in Archdale, NC today. There was a fella named Richard there that was very helpful. I took the information you gave me, along with an article about the DX6 I read on the plane today and got to look at several systems. I really like the Spektrum but am a little concerned that it has to use a spektrum receiver and can only use micro servos. At some point, I would like to move up to some larger planes and I would assume (there I go again) that I would need larger servos. Correct me if I'm wrong here. I looked at the Futaba 6EX PCM and the 7 CAP, The JR 6102 with micro servos and regular servos, and the JR sport. I really like the idea of no one interferring with me on the Spektrum and more importantly, me interfering with them but the micro only servos concern me. Both Futabas and the JRs look good and it really looks like it comes down to what you want to use them for since they all have slightly different features.
03-07-2006, 02:48 AM
Hi Tom, looks like you're narrowing it down! I could be wrong but my understanding about the Spektrum is that (like all the Asian radios and the Multiplex, which is made in Germany) you can use any servos with it. The primary difference is the way the transmitter and receiver process the signal; That's why you can only use their receiver. But I can't see how they could have "dedicated" servo connections, they have no way of knowing what type of (for example) speed controller the user has. You might want to check this out with Horizon Hobby in case I'm wrong, but I'm pretty sure any size and brand of servos, ESC's, Gyros or other components will plug right in. If you get back to the hobby subject maybe they'll let you try another brand of servo in the Spektrum RX.
Other than that, it's up to you!
03-07-2006, 03:05 AM
I may run back over one evening this week and ask if they'll try some different servos with the Spektrum.
Thanks again for all your help.
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