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Old 08-17-2014, 02:56 PM   #1
Al R
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Default Old RC guy gets re-bitten!

I am a former RC (gas) flier and have competed at the pattern flying level. I have not flown in about 15 years, but am interested in getting into Electrics so I can fly in my back yard (not big enough for gas). I realize that I can't use my 40 to 60 sized planes for e-flight, so a new plane is a given (looking at the 'Twist 3D 480 ARF'). I also realize that I will need micro RX, micro batteries, electric motor, an electronic speed controller (ESC). However I need to conserve money and want to use whatever I already have (I just could not part with my old stuff, so I have all of it). I got a small quad copter as a gift and have been flying it around the back yard lots of fun, but not as fun as airplane flying! I'm afraid I've been bitten by the bug again!

I have a few questions I hope you all can help me with.

I have several Futaba radios dating from the early 90s. The servos are all 'standard sized' and are all 'narrow banded'.

Can I simply get a micro receiver that matches the frequency of my radio and just buy micro on-board batteries, RX and servos and use my radio? It seems that everyone is using the bind-and-fly system (my quad copter has it and I like it).

Any help you all can give me in getting back into model flight will be greatly appreciated!!
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Old 08-17-2014, 09:25 PM   #2
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Originally Posted by Al R View Post
. . . .
Can I simply get a micro receiver that matches the frequency of my radio and just buy micro on-board batteries, RX and servos and use my radio? . . . .
Any help you all can give me in getting back into model flight will be greatly appreciated!!
You sure can, but he there is a bit more to it than you mentioned.

Several outfits sell compatible micro receivers for use with the 72 band transmitters. I have a receiver and crystal purchased from HeadsupRC.com that works great. You will also need servos, a brushless motor, electronic speed control (ESC) appropriate to the motor, a flight battery or three, and a charger.

These all need to be matched to your plane, and thought-out beforehand. HeadsupRC has a Help and Information page that I highly recommend, and of course members on this forum will be willing and available. As a starting point, figure on 100 watts per pound of aircraft ready to fly and plan to work up or down with the power and weight as you find necessary.

Your existing servos are most likely history. The plugs may not be compatible plus they probably are too heavy. My Airtronics servos weighed 37 grams each and the new 9 gram ones are completely adequate. Plus, they are inexpensive compared to the old days.

There are some great helpers here on the forum, and specific questions get specific answers. Let the experts know what you are thinking and specifics on your plane(s). When ready to fly photos are always appreciated and has been pointed out many times here, without photos it didn't happen.

"Treason doth never prosper. What's the reason? For if it prosper, none dare call it 'treason.' -- Sir John Harrington
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Old 08-17-2014, 09:48 PM   #3
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Originally Posted by Al R View Post
I am a former RC (gas) flier and have competed at the pattern flying level. I have not flown in about 15 years, but am interested in getting into Electrics so I can fly in my back yard (not big enough for gas). I realize that I can't use my 40 to 60 sized planes for e-flight, so a new plane is a given (looking at the 'Twist 3D 480 ARF'). I also realize that I will need micro RX, micro batteries, electric motor, an electronic speed controller (ESC). However I need to conserve money and want to use whatever I already have (I just could not part with my old stuff, so I have all of it). I got a small quad copter as a gift and have been flying it around the back yard lots of fun, but not as fun as airplane flying! I'm afraid I've been bitten by the bug again!

I have a few questions I hope you all can help me with.

I have several Futaba radios dating from the early 90s. The servos are all 'standard sized' and are all 'narrow banded'.

Can I simply get a micro receiver that matches the frequency of my radio and just buy micro on-board batteries, RX and servos and use my radio? It seems that everyone is using the bind-and-fly system (my quad copter has it and I like it).

Any help you all can give me in getting back into model flight will be greatly appreciated!!

Older radios can easily be used and yes you will need to get a receiver or two. Micro receivers are a totally different animal though as they use different plugs and unless you are VERY adept at soldering small wires and/or making adapters for those plugs - I would not get any micro receivers.

If you have a Futaba radio that can accept MODULES in the back for frequency changes then you need to simply look online at getting a 2.4 module for the radio and use that - coupled with the appropriate receiver.

Futaba is an excellent radio - however they are also one of the MOST EXPENSIVE in the market today - for nearly everything - foremost of which is their receivers. Nearly any other system will have a receiver of the same quality as a Futaba at half or more likely less than half the cost of a Futaba.

It's all a learning curve my friend! If you want to stay with the Futaba and use what you already have then pick planes that are capable of carrying the receivers. The old 72mhz receivers are big as compared to modern stuff - but not THAT big. And servos are pretty much universal in use with radio systems. I personally have used the HXT 900 servos for nearly everything I've flown electrically for 6 years and never had a single one fail in flight - I've banged a few putting the planes in the truck and I've crashed a few - BUT - never a failure in flight. Great 9oz servo!

That being said, you'll have to set your own goals. Not knowing how large your backyard is... it is hard to recommend aircraft for you to fly there.

Electric flight is not any more difficult than gas - or nitro - is/was, but it does require a little different thinking in terms of time, weight and equipment. You will not be able to fly electrics for the same time lengths that your gas/nitro planes flew. Hardly. But the electrics CAN be just as fast and even more agile in the air and can land and take off in much smaller spaces.

CAN.

Big word.

Hillbille

It isn't the mistake that causes the crash - it's the time it takes to realize that it WAS a mistake!!
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Old 08-17-2014, 11:21 PM   #4
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Backyard is about 800 ft square. I have access to a lot across the street that I'd be TEMPTED to fly a 40-sized a/c in, but not quite large enough. I guess my goal would be to fly near my house (RC parks seem harder to find and more and more remote). I figured an electric would have vastly less chance of damaging things and people.

I know the batteries in the Futabas and the rx batteries are all deceased and would need replacing, so there would be a cost there for radio batteries as well as dealing with a 'changeover'. I'm not really a 'radio guy', so kludging TX and RX Systems really isn't something I'd trust myself with.

So maybe 'starting fresh' would be the best way to go - and (snif) sell my old stuff for funds.

Thanks for the guidance guys! RC people are still the most helpful and friendliest people around!
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Old 08-18-2014, 12:37 AM   #5
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Originally Posted by Al R View Post
Backyard is about 800 ft square. I have access to a lot across the street that I'd be TEMPTED to fly a 40-sized a/c in, but not quite large enough. I guess my goal would be to fly near my house (RC parks seem harder to find and more and more remote). I figured an electric would have vastly less chance of damaging things and people.

I know the batteries in the Futabas and the rx batteries are all deceased and would need replacing, so there would be a cost there for radio batteries as well as dealing with a 'changeover'. I'm not really a 'radio guy', so kludging TX and RX Systems really isn't something I'd trust myself with.

So maybe 'starting fresh' would be the best way to go - and (snif) sell my old stuff for funds.

Thanks for the guidance guys! RC people are still the most helpful and friendliest people around!
Modern (LOL! This means a system less than a year old - because at LEAST once a year - certainly once every two years - all the radio manufacturers come out with some sort of "new" system!) radio systems are all DIGITAL. No more analog anything!

LEARNING CURVE AHEAD!! BE PREPARED TO GET CONFUSED - TOTALLY AND OFTEN!!

If you are thinking of getting a newer system - then certainly do some research! Even if you decide to stick with Futaba - you need to do some research and find out what the pros and cons of the newer systems are.

Digital - not analog - trim switches - they won't "slide" anymore and instead simply "beep" once for each incremental movment of the surface - IF you can hear the beep! LOL!! (I can't - hard of hearing and high tone loss!). Well anyway you get the point. Do a little research in the threads and find out what's hot and what's not and how hard the radio you want is to "program" and if it has any drawbacks you might like to know about BEFORE you buy it.

Hillbille

It isn't the mistake that causes the crash - it's the time it takes to realize that it WAS a mistake!!
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Old 08-18-2014, 01:57 AM   #6
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Ok, thanks Hillbillie!! Hopefully I can find a local shop that can help me sort things out (that's how I originally got in to RC back in the late 80s)

Thanks again.
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Old 08-18-2014, 02:39 AM   #7
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Originally Posted by Al R View Post
I am a former RC (gas) flier and have competed at the pattern flying level. I have not flown in about 15 years, but am interested in getting into Electrics so I can fly in my back yard (not big enough for gas). I realize that I can't use my 40 to 60 sized planes for e-flight, so a new plane is a given (looking at the 'Twist 3D 480 ARF'). I also realize that I will need micro RX, micro batteries, electric motor, an electronic speed controller (ESC). However I need to conserve money and want to use whatever I already have (I just could not part with my old stuff, so I have all of it). I got a small quad copter as a gift and have been flying it around the back yard – lots of fun, but not as fun as airplane flying! I'm afraid I've been bitten by the bug again!

I have a few questions I hope you all can help me with.

I have several Futaba radios dating from the early 90s. The servos are all 'standard sized' and are all 'narrow banded'.

Can I simply get a micro receiver that matches the frequency of my radio and just buy micro on-board batteries, RX and servos and use my radio? It seems that everyone is using the bind-and-fly system (my quad copter has it and I like it).

Any help you all can give me in getting back into model flight will be greatly appreciated!!
When buying a new radio (And I suggest you do!), try to buy the best you can. As for brand names, all of them are pretty good nowdays, and all of them are running on 2.4 GigaHertz. That's just above the cellphone frequencies.

As for me, and my club members, 95% of them are running Spektrum radios. Spektrum has a feature called "Model Match", where it is not possible to take off with the wrong model programmed into your transmitter. If you have the wrong model in a different transmitter brand, and try to take off with reversed ailerons, that is an automatic crash.

FYI, the medium and higher priced Spektrum transmitters are capable of holding 10 or more different models in its memory. That memory also includes servo direction for all servos, servo trim for all servos and so on. If your transmitters LCD display doesn't show the same model you are trying to fly, your model is dead. (Can't take off if the motor won't turn)

Several of my RC club members have the Spektrum DX6i, a nice entry level radio for about $130 or so. You could easily spend half of that, just buying new Nih battery packs for your existing radios.
http://www.horizonhobby.com/products...ode-2-SPMR6630. This transmitter will also be compatible with all of the Horizon Hobbies "Bind and Fly" models. The starting price for a Spektrum 4 channel full range receiver is $29.00. There are also a lot of "Orange" and "Lemon" brand receivers available for Spektrum transmitters. Other reviews indicate these receivers work well, but for me, and my Kilowatt plus sized models, I stick to name brand Spektrum receivers.

As for which radio mfg is most popular, check out this pole:
http://www.wattflyer.com/forums/showthread.php?t=71276

Spektrum has one of the best warranties out there, they've been known to replace an obvious crash damaged receiver as "warranty replacement".

DennyV
Retired and the days are just too short, busier than ever!
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Old 08-18-2014, 07:43 AM   #8
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You don't list a location so check our map. There may be someone close to you that can help you learn the ropes again. There are two pages of the map.

https://maps.google.com/maps/ms?ie=U...4bc&dg=feature

Welcome back.

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Let's Help Newcomers! << Click Here
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Old 08-18-2014, 12:13 PM   #9
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I have three "new" radios, all 2.4 mhz and one is computer style programmable. Cheap. Futaba 4YF, no bells or whistles, coat about $150 with 4 micro servoes I have trouble seeing with my old eyes. As mentioned, Futaba Rx is expensive - 4YF Rx is around $47. And I have a Radiolink 4 channel from HeadsupRC = $50 w/Rx spare Rx cast $14. Servos from HeadsupRC are cheap, under $10.

Both my 4 channels have servo reversing switches and a mixer switch for V tail, flying wing operation. Dry cells for both Tx and the Rx/servos operate from the electric motor battery. The ESC has a lead that plugs into throttle channel to control motor speed and also feed juice to Rx & servos. A "fail safe" mode shuts off motor power when battery gets low and gives you plenty of time to dead stick land plane.

My other radio is a Tactic 6 channel computer rig and that's a whole new game - you can set so many parameters for a given model it will make your brain hurt.

As mentioned, visit HeadsupRc and study up.
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Old 08-18-2014, 01:16 PM   #10
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Hey Al! I think you'll enjoy the twist. With 15 years of non-flying you might want to consider a beat-em-up plane to get the reflexes back. An EPP foam profile 3D plane would be just what the doctor ordered. Chellie would be your go-to on doing this for not much money but a ton of fun. These guys are just about indestructible and fly great.

But the Twister looks like it would fly better. Not a 3D plane but plenty agile and like all the Hanger 9 planes just looks great.

I know you have a lot tied up in your Futaba radio if you used it for pattern competition. You'll find the same feature set in modern 2.4 Ghz radios at a price so low (by comparison) that you'll be astounded. The advantage of the 2.4 Ghz radio is that it is a computer. The receiver actually logs into your transmitter just like you log into Wattflyer. Frequency hopping just about guarantees nobody can interfere with your frequency, but even if another radio were to exactly duplicate your frequency (which is changing constantly as you fly) the fact that they wouldn't be logged in means that the receiver wouldn't listen to their commands. NO MORE frequency flags. NO MORE getting shot down when somebody switches on their radio for a servo check. If that saves one airplane the radio is free!

Somebody talk about failsafe! (hand off)
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Old 08-18-2014, 02:39 PM   #11
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Here's what I would do:

Get a micro receiver compatible to your favorite transmitter, and an inexpensive "plug'n'play" or "receiver ready" airplane with a brushless motor. This will allow you to do some flying to learn if you want to return in a big way, and if you do you can also be researching what 2.4Ghz system would suit you best. You will also need a few appropriate batteries and a suitable charger.

Even though I have two perfectly good 72Mhz computer transmitters I wanted to "modernize" and I went with a Tactic TTX650 and do not regret it.

BTW, how many people are using what brand of radio is irrelevant. Any of the name-brand 2.4Ghz systems will do the trick, so go with the one that has the features you want. If you like Futaba stick with it.

TP

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Old 08-18-2014, 03:24 PM   #12
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As for the plane, I'm sure the Twist is fun an all, but those thick winged funflyers are kind of a thing of the past. Since you're an aerobatic guy, you'd have more fun with, say, a 3DHobbyShop 42" AJ Slick (if your backyard is big enough for that kind of plane). It's a little bigger and would cost a little more to outfit, so maybe it's not your cup of tea, but I thought I should mention it.

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Old 08-29-2014, 04:45 PM   #13
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I think that buying a new Spektrum 2.4 Ghz set with a warranty is a good idea. The new DX-6 (6 channel) has all the latest features and will probably suit all of your needs. Since Spektrum is the most common, you can get help with programming from local fliers. There are some sources of information that will help you get up to speed about brushless motors, speed controls, lipo batteries and chargers, servos, programming of "computer" transmitters and set up of electric powered models. These forums are a godsend, just beware of fanboys and hearsay recommendations by others who are also recent experts. Go here and find "Everthing You Wanted to Know....." section:

http://theampeer.org/

Here's one
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Old 08-29-2014, 05:35 PM   #14
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40 and 60 size planes can be converted. Check out these threads:

http://www.wattflyer.com/forums/showthread.php?t=3297

http://www.rcgroups.com/glow-to-elec...nversions-247/
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Old 08-29-2014, 10:06 PM   #15
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Originally Posted by Al R View Post
I am a former RC (gas) flier and have competed at the pattern flying level. I have not flown in about 15 years, but am interested in getting into Electrics so I can fly in my back yard (not big enough for gas). I realize that I can't use my 40 to 60 sized planes for e-flight, so a new plane is a given (looking at the 'Twist 3D 480 ARF'). I also realize that I will need micro RX, micro batteries, electric motor, an electronic speed controller (ESC). However I need to conserve money and want to use whatever I already have (I just could not part with my old stuff, so I have all of it). I got a small quad copter as a gift and have been flying it around the back yard – lots of fun, but not as fun as airplane flying! I'm afraid I've been bitten by the bug again!

I have a few questions I hope you all can help me with.

I have several Futaba radios dating from the early 90s. The servos are all 'standard sized' and are all 'narrow banded'.

Can I simply get a micro receiver that matches the frequency of my radio and just buy micro on-board batteries, RX and servos and use my radio? It seems that everyone is using the bind-and-fly system (my quad copter has it and I like it).

Any help you all can give me in getting back into model flight will be greatly appreciated!!
if your on 72 Mhz, only use BERG or Hitec mini Receivers, all the other receivers dont like E Power very well and will glitch like crazy. tape the crystal in place so they dont vibrate out on the mini receivers.

http://www.thefind.com/instruments/b...annel-receiver

I may be getting Older, But I Refuse to grow Up I am Having to much Fun to Grow Up LOL
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Old 08-30-2014, 11:27 AM   #16
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Hi there A l
Welcome to the Wattflyer!
There have already been lots of good answers to you inquiry but i will ad
just a bit. I fly in my back yard all the time and its fairly small until i get
up over the trees. I fly foam planes that i build out of Dollartree Foam and
i mostly make them 30-40inch wingspan and weight under 16oz
For Electronics i get everything from Headsup RC and my TX and RX are
72mh I have been dealing with Jeff every since he started up and he has
always been fair and reasonable on price, so i highly recommend him.
Oh and i have never had any problems with the Receivers or Servo's from him.
Hope every thing works out good for ya!
Crash

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