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Old 08-10-2014, 10:14 PM   #1
Adam592
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Default Future RC Investments

Hello, I'm new to this forum and RC aviation as a whole, but am definitely looking forward to getting involved! The reason I'm posting today is to ask what equipment I should invest in next. I'm 15, so it sort of goes without saying that I'm really short on cash. I've currently got a HobbyZone Super Cub S and a ParkZone Night Vapor. I'm flying both with the Spektrum DX4e that came with the Cub. My dad has a HobbyZone Glasair Sportsman, and I will be able to use that as a 4 channel trainer. I do have the Phoenix 5 RC simulator, so that helps me to learn. I've been saving up some money to spend on some new equipment, but am not sure what I should invest in (i.e. transmitter, plane, batteries, stuff like that). Any suggestions?
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Old 08-10-2014, 10:32 PM   #2
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The best money you will ever spend in this hobby is on a good quality radio.

Planes, motors, batteries, chargers all come and go but a good radio will last you for years. Get as much radio as your money allows. The bigger the better as you WILL grow into it before you wear it out.

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Old 08-10-2014, 10:33 PM   #3
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Oh, and welcome to Wattflyer!

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Old 08-10-2014, 10:42 PM   #4
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Hi Adam!

Welcome to the hobby and to the site. You'll find that this hobby is full of cool people of all ages. My youngest flying friend is 9 and my oldest is 93 and we all have an awesome time!

I'll have to agree with FiremanBill that a good radio is the best investment you can make. Sooner or later, you're going to specialize in some aspect of the hobby, be it warbirds, 3D, aerobatics, multirotors etc. but a good radio will be a great asset no matter where yo end up. Since you started with Spektrum I'd suggest you move up to a DX9 next time you buy a radio. You may be to find a used DX8 for a good price too. That's also a great radio and happens to be my primary radio I fly anything from small quads to big 50cc gassers with.

The other thing I would invest in is a good charger. Good doesn't necessarily have to mean expensive. I have a Turnigy Mega 2x 200W that does a tremendous job as a field charger, for example. But if you want peace of mind, you may want to go with one of the premium brands. The Cellpro chargers are probably the best you can get, but they have a price tag that may be a bit steep.

In terms of batteries, I'd wait and see if I were you, since you don't know exactly what models you're going to fly. People love to hate Hobbyking, but I've had great luck with their Zippy batteries. I have a power system that pulls close to 3000W from a pair of Zippy batteries and they never skip a beat.

Welcome to the site and to the hobby! Don't be afraid to ask lots of questions!

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Old 08-11-2014, 01:38 AM   #5
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Thanks for the warm welcome! I've been considering getting a better radio, but haven't quite been able to justify the money. What all would I gain besides more channels? Right now, I can't really see a need for more channels for a while until I become proficient on a 4 channel plane and want to move up. However, it would be nice to not have to adjust the trim every time I go from the Super Cub to the Night Vapor. What about the DX6i? I can get a new one for $129 which seems like a pretty good deal to me. Also, about the chargers, what difference would it make? Currently, I just take one battery with me, go fly, charge it at home, and then repeat. That's just using the cheap charger that came in the RTF kit. Luckily, I'll be going to eWeek later next month, so hopefully I can get some good equipment at great prices there! Thanks a bunch for the help!
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Old 08-11-2014, 02:17 AM   #6
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DX6i would be a good radio for you at this point. And hard to beat at current prices. If you can swing it the new DX6 is even better but would have a steeper learning curve.
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Old 08-11-2014, 02:41 AM   #7
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Originally Posted by Turner View Post
DX6i would be a good radio for you at this point. And hard to beat at current prices. If you can swing it the new DX6 is even better but would have a steeper learning curve.
Ditto on the DX6i transmitter.

Several club members, along with my son are flying with it, zero problems.

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Old 08-11-2014, 02:52 AM   #8
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The DX6 looks nice, but I don't know if I could justify the extra $100 for the added features over the DX6i, which probably wouldn't get used much. How are used radios online? I'm not familiar with purchasing used items, so not really sure about how it all works.
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Old 08-11-2014, 02:55 AM   #9
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Buying used can save you some money and also be a nightmare. I'd be seriously considering a new DX6i. It's a great deal and you can get help form lots of people.
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Old 08-11-2014, 03:01 AM   #10
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I'll put some serious thought and consideration into picking up a new DX6i. I know this is a rookie question, but what all would I gain from upgrading the radio besides more channels and a fancy LCD?
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Old 08-11-2014, 03:09 AM   #11
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Hi Adam. The biggest thing about a computer radio like the 6i, kind of like you said, is it will be set up specifically for each model. Not only the trims, but any servo reversing that's necessary, dual rates, expo, etc. You can also do mixes, have flaps, retracts. You'll want all that eventually! The other bonus is being able to tune it to the model better than the Dx4. With dual rates, you can select just how much travel on each control surface, in each direction. you can have separate aileron servos for differential ailerons.... You'll appreciate it.
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Old 08-11-2014, 03:13 AM   #12
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I agree....the first purchase should be a good radio.

Save up......get something NEW that will be around for awhile, reliable, servicable, simple learning curve, self contained and programable.

Spektrum TX's/RX's are used by many, everywhere....!

The DX5e and DX6i are great entry level radios that you'll grow out of eventually, but get you started with the confidence (knowing it's not the equipment) that's keeping you grounded......and the selection of BNF or PNP craft that is (Spektrum) available, is very good...!

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Old 08-11-2014, 03:28 AM   #13
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Originally Posted by xmech2k View Post
Hi Adam. The biggest thing about a computer radio like the 6i, kind of like you said, is it will be set up specifically for each model. Not only the trims, but any servo reversing that's necessary, dual rates, expo, etc. You can also do mixes, have flaps, retracts. You'll want all that eventually! The other bonus is being able to tune it to the model better than the Dx4. With dual rates, you can select just how much travel on each control surface, in each direction. you can have separate aileron servos for differential ailerons.... You'll appreciate it.
That makes perfect sense. So with this radio, I'll be able to really get the plane(s) to fly just like I want them to. One thing that would be especially appealing to me is the trim matched with the model. Once already, I've had the trim messed up when I took the Super Cub up leaving me with a high speed taxiing mess. With the "Model Match" technology, does the radio actually pick up on what model is connected and automatically pick the right model saved in the radio?
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Old 08-11-2014, 03:58 AM   #14
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Yes. (Except it's not automatic. You have to select the model in the tx. But if you pick the wrong one, the plane won't respond at all. )And I've seen more than one crash from people having their tx on the wrong model and the ailerons are reversed. That couldn't have happened with a tx like Spektrum. Though shop around. I wouldn't doubt if the the newer Futaba's have this feature too. You're just hearing from us Spektrum lovers! I started with a Dx5e that came with the Apprentice and have worked my way up. And there are budget ones like Tactic. They'll have many of the same features, but they all vary. It pays to do your homework and see what you like best. A bonus with the Spektrums is they work with the ParkZone and E-flite bnf's, but not everyone likes their planes.
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Old 08-11-2014, 04:09 AM   #15
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Oh yeah, I'm not a huge fan of Chinese cloned stuff, but if you're really on a budget, the Hobby King Orange line of radios work (mostly) with Spektrum stuff, so I think you could still take advantage of the bnf planes that are Spektrum compatable. But the trade off is practically zero customer support. Spektrum has legendary customer support.
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Old 08-11-2014, 04:14 AM   #16
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So far, I really like the Horizon Hobby brands, and the fact that their BNF planes are for Spektrum heavily persuades me to stick with their brand. I'll definitely do my research and wait until eWeek to see of the venders there have any "spektacular" deals.
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Old 08-11-2014, 04:17 AM   #17
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I was actually just looking on HobbyKing's website looking for the DX6i, and saw their Orange RC equivalent. It's almost comical how close they look, down to the Spektrum logo that was just slightly altered!
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Old 08-11-2014, 04:20 AM   #18
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Originally Posted by Adam592 View Post
With the "Model Match" technology, does the radio actually pick up on what model is connected and automatically pick the right model saved in the radio?
The process with the Spektrum "Model Match" feature, is, you first name your model in your transmitters LCD display, like Adams#1. Then, read the manual, and "Bind" your airplane to model Adams#1.

From now on, that model will only respond when your transmitter shows Adams#1 as the selected model.

Case in point. I've got a Showtime 50 electric model, named as "Show50". Turned on the transmitter, it showed Show50. Turned on my Showtime 50 model, and. Nothing. Dead. Quit. Cycled the transmitter power, and model power, and, again. Nothing.

Then noticed that I had "Show50", model #8 showing on the transmitter LCD display. It should have been model #2. What I had done, was copied model #2 to model #8 for checking something. And, as far as the Spektrum system was concerned, model #8 was the wrong model, and it was not going to let me fly with it.

Returning the transmitter to Show50, model #2, and all worked perfectly.


I've also watched more than a few very nice models piled in because of the wrong model selected in the transmitter. Far as I can tell, only Spektrum/JR has that "Model match" feature.

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Old 08-11-2014, 04:24 AM   #19
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Where are you located Adam? I just saw a used Dx6i for $80 in the RCGroups classifieds in San Diego.
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Old 08-11-2014, 04:24 AM   #20
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That makes sense. I could definitely see where that feature could come in handy! Thanks for clarifying.
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Old 08-11-2014, 04:26 AM   #21
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Originally Posted by Adam592 View Post
I was actually just looking on HobbyKing's website looking for the DX6i, and saw their Orange RC equivalent. It's almost comical how close they look, down to the Spektrum logo that was just slightly altered!
Yeah
The counterfeiters are out there. As for me, every one of my dozen electric models have genuine Spektrum equipment.

http://www.wattflyer.com/forums/showthread.php?t=59662

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Old 08-11-2014, 04:26 AM   #22
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I'm in upstate SC. Is that something I can check out on their site, or do I have to be a registered user? Thanks for the info!
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Old 08-11-2014, 04:50 AM   #23
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My experience with used radios is not good. I feel like most get rid of radios for a reason, and usually a good one.

Get new if possible, whatever it is.

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Old 08-11-2014, 05:44 AM   #24
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It all depends. As I upgraded, I sold off my older tx's. Nothing wrong with them other than I outgrew them. But I know where you're coming from, fireman. I'm that way about cars!

Adam, I doubt you have to register at RCGroups to look at their classifieds, but you will if you want to respond to someone there. You can also click on 'places' in the black bar near the top of their page, then pick the closest place in the list that results, then next to the name of that place when it pops up, click 'nearby classifieds' to find the ones near you.

But it's up to you if you want to go used.
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Old 08-11-2014, 06:59 AM   #25
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Looks like you got some great advice already! A good radio and good battery charger is something that should and can last you for years. I have bought used on both things and have been pretty lucky. Just look at the person's trader rating and time on the forum. If both are high chances are you won't have any problems.

And there are a number of dealers on RCG's classifieds section so you may be able to score a new radio for cheaper than normal, but a used radio would work as well. I have sold my radios because I was upgrading. Newer radios have more features that allow the user to modify setting and such. That is the benefit of a good radio.

I don't think there are any "bad' radios out there right now. I hear complaints from all brands. Best to see which brand has the fewest complaints and what fits in your hands the best.

Couple links for you:

http://www.rcgroups.com/aircraft-gen...ment-fs-w-215/

http://www.rcgroups.com/aircraft-ele...gers-fs-w-284/

WF has a classifieds section as well, but there is not much traffic there. You can get lucky every now and then, but when I go to sell something and post it both places, it usually sells on RCG.

Also, if you are new into the hobby, finding a mentor in your area to help you through the learning curve is always a good thing. Have a look here on both pages to see if there are any: https://maps.google.com/maps/ms?ie=U...4bc&dg=feature

Good luck!

Frank

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