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Old 04-24-2014, 06:25 PM   #1
vimy
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Default What Mode to Use?

For new flyers, the inevitable question comes up of what transmitter mode to use. For most of the US, Mode 2 is preferred. In Australia where I live, Mode 1 is the dominant mode in use.

Having started out as Mode 1, I was curious about other reasons for the choice of mode that flyers prefer. Then I saw this article by Martin Newell and his reasons for choosing, well, something completely different. Mode 4

His reasoning is compelling for those who may wish to go further with their flying and choose 3D or pattern flying.

For those coming off a 3ch plane which is already Mode 4 and going 4ch, staying with the Mode 4 configuration makes more sense.

http://mnewell.rchomepage.com/Techniques/Tx_Modes.pdf

http://mnewell.rchomepage.com/
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Old 04-24-2014, 06:38 PM   #2
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Basically the 'unusual' modes 3 + 4 are fine if the person is a good flyer and does not need assistance from others.

It's a bit like custom cars fitted for people who have a disability or function that dictates a system to match. The car is basically only drivable by them.

Your title is a bit misleading as it implies a question as often is asked : What mode should I buy / use.

There is also a lot of mis-information put out as well .. so many times I read that UK / EU is Mode 1 ... where tha comes from I have no idea as majority of flyers I know and have flown with have been Mode 2 .. but yes there are a number who I know flew Mode 1 .. in fact many of them could fly BOTH modes .. Why ? because of teaching others .. who generally were buying Mode 2 radios.

Many Champion Aerobatic guys I met years ago were Mode 1, and Prettner explained it well one day ... that stick interaction is less on primary controls with Mode 1. Seemed to work for him !!

Anyway - I've yet to see anyone fly Mode 3 or 4 ... so it will be interesting when I do.

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Old 04-24-2014, 06:49 PM   #3
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Mode3 and mode 4 are not going to prevent getting help... they just prevent passing the box. You have to use a buddy box instead.

With modern radios you can buddy box just about anything.
With the Polks Tracker III you can buddy box with any brand since it has assignable channel order to go with any of the 3 common orders
JR made a cable to "translate" between JR order and Futaba order.

We don't have to force left handed people to fly right handed.

So go ahead and use whichever mode you want.

I changed from Mode 2 to Mode 3 after appx 30 years of flying due to issues with my right hand. It took me just a few flights to get comfortable with it. I can now safely fly a plane using any of the 4 modes... but I do best with Mode 3.
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Old 04-24-2014, 06:59 PM   #4
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We all talk buddy box .. but in all the years I only remember myself carrying the lead for Futaba M series .. a Din lead .. later I carried a JR lead as well .. but they ended up getting dirty in bottom of my flight box .. I stopped.

Generally I saw people handing the Tx over ..

I used to carry my DSC lead for my JR .. but got so fed up with people telling me to 'switch my Tx off because I didn't have the Freq. peg' .. that I stopped using / carrying that. I was fed up explaining that my Tx was not actually transmitting .. it was passing signals to the Rx via the lead for test ..

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Old 04-24-2014, 08:08 PM   #5
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Mode 1 vs Mode 2

I like mode 2 because the right stick has roll and pitch just like a full scale plane. This is just instinctive for me and I wouldn't consider switching. I will never need what mode 1 offers.
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Old 04-24-2014, 08:08 PM   #6
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I still occasionally bring the Tracker to the field because it will buddy box with just about anything... and I have the adapter cables to do it.
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Old 04-24-2014, 08:24 PM   #7
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I learned mode two, which is the dominant mode here in the UK.. I did try mode 1 once many years ago. I thought it might reduce inadvertent elevator to aileron 'mixing' and so help with precision aerobatics. The flight lasted about 10 seconds and resulted in a total loss of the model.

I stuck with mode two ever since.
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Old 04-24-2014, 09:06 PM   #8
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Originally Posted by JetPlaneFlyer View Post
I learned mode two, which is the dominant mode here in the UK.. I did try mode 1 once many years ago. I thought it might reduce inadvertent elevator to aileron 'mixing' and so help with precision aerobatics. The flight lasted about 10 seconds and resulted in a total loss of the model.

I stuck with mode two ever since.
Couple of pals of mine .. they owned Solent Models ... long gone now ... but anyway - they kept pushing me to go Mode 1 as I was interested in Aerobatics ...

Like you JPF - I tried and failed ... but I was lucky as Tony, one of them, was with me and grabbed the Tx before it went too bad. I never tried it again.

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Old 04-24-2014, 09:23 PM   #9
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Was that the same 'Solent models' that made 'Solent Sailplanes' slope soarer kits?

If so I've got one of their products in my garage, it's a Solent Sailplanes Ridge Racer.
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Old 04-24-2014, 09:26 PM   #10
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You can't just switch modes without going back to playing student... either buddy box or pass the box.

It takes a little while to train yourself to use the different control setup. Some may be able to do it rapidly, others my have to essentially go through the whole training process again if they switch TX modes.
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Old 04-24-2014, 09:36 PM   #11
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Originally Posted by JetPlaneFlyer View Post
Was that the same 'Solent models' that made 'Solent Sailplanes' slope soarer kits?

If so I've got one of their products in my garage, it's a Solent Sailplanes Ridge Racer.
No actually they were separate companies...

Solent Sailplanes was run out of a lock-up in Southampton .. I knew the guy. I had his Ridge Recruit... Biggest problem was the eggshell fuselages he had .. but they did fly well.

Solent Models was a proper model shop in Southampton centre.

Another company that often got mistaken for them ... SoMoSo ... an engineering concern. I wish I could get one of their remote barrel silencers they used to do ! Had one on my 60 Merco boat engine ... excellent. Need it for my RCGF gasoline engine ..

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Old 04-24-2014, 09:37 PM   #12
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Originally Posted by vimy View Post
For new flyers, the inevitable question comes up of what transmitter mode to use. For most of the US, Mode 2 is preferred. In Australia where I live, Mode 1 is the dominant mode in use.

Having started out as Mode 1, I was curious about other reasons for the choice of mode that flyers prefer. Then I saw this article by Martin Newell and his reasons for choosing, well, something completely different. Mode 4

His reasoning is compelling for those who may wish to go further with their flying and choose 3D or pattern flying.

For those coming off a 3ch plane which is already Mode 4 and going 4ch, staying with the Mode 4 configuration makes more sense.
]
I'd suspect that anyone that learned on Mode 1 will stay with it, and the same with Mode 2. Trying to switch back and forth could cost a model.

Years ago, I saw someone flying a Gentle Lady sailplane that was obviously in serious trouble. Offered to land it for him, and he instantly gave me the transmitter.

I quickly found out he had the elevator reversed. On purpose. Got it back on the ground OK, but if that had been a fast model, it would have been splattered.

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Old 04-25-2014, 02:40 PM   #13
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I wasn't being mischievous or misleading by posting this, those who are using Mode 1 or 2 and are happy with it best not change.

I is an interesting observation by an experienced flyer in Martin Newell, who saw the technical reasons for choosing a mode carefully before you start learning.

New flyers at least have the choice of Mode 3 or 4, if they feel more natural to use.

I did ask my model supplier where I bought my DX 9 from, if it didn't matter if there were mixed modes whilst using the buddy box, his answer was that it didn't.

Personally, even if I were an extremely skilled flyer and I am no where near that. I would be very loathe to fly someone else's aircraft if I were invited to. Not out of disrespect, but purely because I would hate to have an accident with it. So someone using another mode would not concern me.
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Old 04-27-2014, 04:39 AM   #14
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Which Mode? It doesn't really matter.

Mode 2 most closely aligns with what a full scale stick and rudder aircraft would use.

Pitch and roll on the stick = right stick on the radio

But in practical terms, it is a matter of what is flown around you. If your friends fly Mode 2 you will likely learn mode 2. If your friends fly mode 1, you will likely fly mode 1.

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