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RC Radios, Transmitters, Receivers, Servos, gyros Discussion all about rc radios, transmitters, receivers, servos, etc.

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Old 09-14-2012, 12:00 AM   #1
RWK
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Default Do you use the ratchet on your throttle?

I just bought a new radio (Spektrum DX-18) and took it out for its first test drive today. On the second battery, I had an unexplained loss of power on the second battery of my Twist. I discovered (barely in time) that I had accidentally knocked the throttle stick almost all of the way down. I've always flown with the ratchet strap on the throttle and the new radio came without it installed. I'm thinking I better install it before the next flight, but I got to wondering:

If your radio gives you the choice, do you fly with a smooth throttle strap or a ratchet?
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Old 09-14-2012, 12:10 AM   #2
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I fly with the strip turned upside down. It gives
a "soft" ratchet. very light feel.

Helicopters don't really fly.......
They're just so ugly, that the earth repels them.
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Old 09-14-2012, 05:41 AM   #3
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I like a very strong ratchet.
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Old 09-14-2012, 08:41 AM   #4
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I fly various radios and each is different.

My Heli is non-ratchet so I can have infinite throttle control and not governed by ratchet steps.
My Fixed wings are with light ratchet and never really notice them ... to be honest I don't think I would bother to fit if not already there.

As to flying as you say and finding throttle is all way down ... do you only fly one stick and forget the other ? My hands are on BOTH sticks all time and I know exactly where each is ... maybe it's because I'm using throttle in turns, stalls, manouevres etc. literally continuously ?

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Old 09-14-2012, 08:47 AM   #5
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My throttle is low and slow for touch and goes, or full for altitude or stunts. I commonly would pull my cigarettes out and light up while knife edging my trainer.
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Old 09-14-2012, 12:57 PM   #6
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I use to fly my Helis with out ratchet so it would be a lighter feel but want ratchet on for my plans,then i just for got about it and just flew them how ever the TX was set-up.

My DX8 came with out the ratchet set-up so i fly with out it but now you have me thinking again,so should i fly with it on or off but to be honest i'll probably just leave it as is.

I'm with Solenlife as both of my fingers/thumbs are on the sticks 99.99% of the time.
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Old 09-14-2012, 01:22 PM   #7
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Originally Posted by solentlife View Post
As to flying as you say and finding throttle is all way down ... do you only fly one stick and forget the other ? My hands are on BOTH sticks all time and I know exactly where each is ... maybe it's because I'm using throttle in turns, stalls, manouevres etc. literally continuously ?

Nigel
+1

I was baffled by the OP's comment that you a dropped throttle - My thumb is on the stick ALL the time (that rudder stick should not be forgotten!) and the throttle - as you rightly point out is certainly key too!

And to get at the question - I am smooth for everything - LOVE it. Airtronics does that and I learned that way and loved no ratchet. I take it out of any system that has it.

I also love that the DX18 was the first radio I have ever purchased where the stick tension was tight enough out of the box with no adjustment. I like really firm feel it helps me avoid unwanted aileron or elevator input .

Mike
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Old 09-14-2012, 09:15 PM   #8
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Originally Posted by RWK View Post
I just bought a new radio (Spektrum DX-18) and took it out for its first test drive today. On the second battery, I had an unexplained loss of power on the second battery of my Twist. I discovered (barely in time) that I had accidentally knocked the throttle stick almost all of the way down. I've always flown with the ratchet strap on the throttle and the new radio came without it installed. I'm thinking I better install it before the next flight, but I got to wondering:

If your radio gives you the choice, do you fly with a smooth throttle strap or a ratchet?
Put me down for the ratchet on the throttle. As others have indicated I always fly with both transmitter sticks under my thumbs.

If you're worried about accidental starting of your motor, check your DX-18 and find out how to activate the "Throttle Cut Off" or similar name.
On my new DX8, I've set the throttle cut off control on the gear switch, so when the gear switch is thrown, the motor will NOT start with the throttle. Its a safety thing, especially with the Kilowatt plus models in my hanger. The DX8 also has the built in LCD display timer that links to the throttle position.

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Old 09-14-2012, 10:18 PM   #9
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Originally Posted by kyleservicetech View Post
Put me down for the ratchet on the throttle. As others have indicated I always fly with both transmitter sticks under my thumbs.

If you're worried about accidental starting of your motor, check your DX-18 and find out how to activate the "Throttle Cut Off" or similar name.
On my new DX8, I've set the throttle cut off control on the gear switch, so when the gear switch is thrown, the motor will NOT start with the throttle. Its a safety thing, especially with the Kilowatt plus models in my hanger. The DX8 also has the built in LCD display timer that links to the throttle position.

The 9x has a dedicated Thro Cut switch and the Trainer Switch toggles the Timer without any need for set-up ! But anyway - I'm surprised at OP post that he didn't know throttle was reduced !!!!

Nigel

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Old 09-15-2012, 12:39 AM   #10
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Originally Posted by solentlife View Post
The 9x has a dedicated Thro Cut switch and the Trainer Switch toggles the Timer without any need for set-up ! But anyway - I'm surprised at OP post that he didn't know throttle was reduced !!!!

Nigel
I bent up a giant scale model last year when the ESC shut off the motor. It was cold, some 45 degrees F, and I could not hear the motor or prop running. By the time it was figured out, the model landed off field.

After repair of that model, it was nearly lost again while flying with 30% expo. The elevator trim was WAY off, beyond the trim adjustment range. I had to fly the model with the elevator in the middle of the expo range, making the elevator extremely sensitive. That model was not fun to fly, I sold it to a club member for $10, and was glad to get it.

The timer on the DX7 can easily be set to run only when the throttle is above a preset percent of power that you select. It also allows using any switch for throttle cut.

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Old 09-15-2012, 01:02 AM   #11
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Put me down for smooth on the throttle, and both thumbs on the sticks. I didn't like the ratchet on the throttle as soon as I found out I could change it I did.
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Old 09-15-2012, 01:09 AM   #12
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Originally Posted by kyleservicetech View Post

The timer on the DX7 can easily be set to run only when the throttle is above a preset percent of power that you select. It also allows using any switch for throttle cut.
7 or 7s?

I don't think you can do that on the old DX7 one of my few criticisms of that system.
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Old 09-15-2012, 01:27 AM   #13
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Originally Posted by rcers View Post
7 or 7s?

I don't think you can do that on the old DX7 one of my few criticisms of that system.
Ah, yes you can on that old DX7. This is NOT original, I found it in the internet.

Electric Flight Safety
Ideally every electric aircraft you have should be equipped with an arming device on the craft itself (either and ESC switch or power interrupter plug) as well as having a throttle cut switch on your transmitter. Since electric motors can startup unexpectedly and inflict a lot of painful damage the double precaution can avoid some nasty injuries. Although an arming switch/plug on the aircraft ought to be sufficient on its own there are times when it is armed with the intention of flying but something distracts you and the aircraft is now vulnerable to a careless jog of the throttle lever, the transmitter becomes your last line of defense.
I have implemented a transmitter disable switch for all my aircraft (helis as well as conventional planes) this way the process is second nature to me. The idea is that whenever the aircraft is not expected to fly the transmitter switch is in the disable position. The moment before takeoff I switch it to enable, fly as required then the moment the aircraft touches down and I have completed taxiing it I always click the switch to disabled.
Some of the more advanced transmitters have the ability to set a throttle cut switch up within their menus however others need a little work to make it happen. Below I give the process needed to set up a Spektrum DX7, it is likely this technique can be used on other transmitters, it is well worth doing and if you are still unsure how try looking online for your particular transmitter.
In my case I use the switch at the top right hand corner of the transmitter as the kill switch, this seems to be a standard as far as I can tell, the DX7 does have a label saying HOLD for this switch (as well as Ruder D/R).

Setup Process For the Spektrum DX7 Transmitter:
From your selected plane setup menu (pressing scroll and select simultaneously) move to one of the mixing channels (I used Mix 3, for mixing with the gear switch).
Select source and destination for the mix to be THRO (short for throttle), the display should show:
THRO -> THRO
Now move to the rate section and set both sections to -100% (you will be able to set one of them with the throttle stick down and the other with it up).
Move to the SW: section and set it to MIX
Move to the OFFSET section and set it to -100%.
If you toggle the gear switch you should see the text to the right of the THRO -> THRO change from OFF to ON, when this reads ON the throttle is disabled (this should be with the switch pulled toward you).

[PROG.MIX1]
THRO->THRO ON
RATE: -100%
-100%
>SW:MIX
OFFSET:-100
Carefully try this out with your model turned on, with the switch toward you it should not be possible to start the motor at all (even helis should be disabled despite the position of the idle up switch). And, as always, check all remaining transmitter functions for both direction and unexpected operations. In case something else got changed by accident.
All that remains now is to cultivate the habit of ensuring the switch is in the disabled position whenever you pick up the aircraft and whenever it is not on the flying field.

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Old 09-15-2012, 02:23 AM   #14
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I am really tired - but that sounds like throttle lock (I knew you could do that) but not link the throttle to the timer.... ???
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Old 09-15-2012, 04:32 AM   #15
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I pinch the right stick with my thumb and two fingers but just use thumb on the left stick. It's an odd system, but it works for me. When I'm not actively making any inputs with my left thumb, it rests lightly on the stick.

Since I only use rudder with that particular plane for specific maneuvers, not when cruising, and was only making infrequent throttle adjustments, I was mostly just lightly resting my thumb on the stick. I think that's how I managed to reduce the throttle. I've since adjusted the stick tension on the left stick to near maximum and have done a number of flights (some on planes where I use rudder all the time and some without) without a repeat of the incident. I think the amount of tension on the throttle now is about the same as it would have with the ratchet strap but without the clicky feel. If it happens again I will install the other strap that came with the transmitter. Mostly I was wondering if there was a preference for the ratchet feel and added stiffness that it brings.
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Old 09-15-2012, 12:43 PM   #16
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Originally Posted by RWK View Post
I pinch the right stick with my thumb and two fingers but just use thumb on the left stick. It's an odd system, but it works for me. When I'm not actively making any inputs with my left thumb, it rests lightly on the stick.
That is exactly what I do.
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Old 09-15-2012, 12:56 PM   #17
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I have no use for the ratchet. It restricts fine throttle adjustments.
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Old 09-16-2012, 02:50 PM   #18
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On return home from assignment ... I now check my radios and the ratchet is so slacked of that it's not affecting throttle on ANY radio I have ...

That just shows how much it really effects matters .... !

Nigel

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Old 09-16-2012, 05:29 PM   #19
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I've only been at this for 6 months. Started with a DX5e that had the ratchet on. Then I bought a DX8, where the default is the ratchet off. I few a few times thinking I would eventualy pop off the screw cover and engage the ratchet. But I never did. Now, I'm used to no ratchet and not sure I want to go back to it.
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Old 09-16-2012, 06:24 PM   #20
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I've noticed that my modern radios if you do engage the ratchet have far more click points than my older radios - making for more fine control of throttle.
I think for fixed wing with or without isn't really an issue - but where a model may require constant fine throttle use as in helicopters - then the ratchet can be an item you don't want.

Nigel

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