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backdraft310
02-23-2007, 11:38 AM
What is a good brand of radiio and how many channel's should i get ect. I am new to all of this and just looking for a bit of input before i spend money on something

spitace
02-23-2007, 11:58 AM
Okay backdraft, heres the basics.

Radios are catergerized by:
Computer/ Non Computer
Channels.

Their are many more things but they are the basics.

If you are getting a first radio a good choice would be a 6 channel computer radio.
The two main brands i can recomend are JR and Spectrum.

The JR MAX66 and the Spectrum DX6 are virtualy the same ecept for the frequency, the spectrum system has a thing called spectrum modulation, which means that your radio will scan the radio waves when it turns on, and select a free channel, this means it is almost impossible to get shot down.

The more information you give us about the type of model you are flying, your experiance level, etc, etc. the more we can help you.

Regards,
James

Sky Sharkster
02-23-2007, 12:27 PM
Hello Backdraft310, Welcome to Wattflyer!
Just about all the major brands of radios are good, Airtronics, Futaba, Hitec, JR, Multiplex, Spektrum. They offer similar features, have a varity of price ranges (except Spektrum, only 2 at this time) and have U.S. service locations. Here's a thread explaining most of the options;
http://www.blackflight.com/intro_rc/intro_rc_radio.asp
Beyond that, the choice is personal; Like cars, flyers usually recommend their radio above all others!
Most people start with a 4 channel radio, this will control rudder, elevator, ailerons and throttle. Generally, this will be sufficient for your first few models.
Before long, you will want more functions, and (usually) they can't be "added on" so you end up buying a better radio within a year or so. Because of this, it is more cost effective to get the better radio right off, even if you don't need every feature at first, you will grow in the hobby and the radio can grow with you.
So, instead of suggesting a 4 channel "starter" radio, I'll make this recommendation;
At least 6 channels
Computer Radio, LED/Graphic Screen
At least 15 model memory
Dual Rates
Exponential
Flight modes/menus like "Heli" "3D/Acro" "Sailplane"
Mixing, "V" Tail, Heli, assignable mixes
Sub Trims or Digital Trims
Timers
Yes, this sounds like a lot of stuff you don't need now, but if you stay with R/C, you will! A radio with these features will cost about $200 or more. Virtually all the accessories like servos, receivers, gyros and speed controllers are interchangable (with a couple of exceptions, like Spektrum receivers) so your main choice is the transmitter and brand.
If you go to a hobby shop or flying site, take a look at what folks are using and ask questions; Do your research and you should be OK!
Good Luck,
Ron

Leo L
02-23-2007, 01:08 PM
Hi Backdraft,
Welcome to R/C flying. I presume that you have already decided to go with ARF (almost ready to fly), PNP (plug and play), or kit planes, all of which require you to furnish the radio, as opposed to RTF, which come complete, including the radio. I usually recommend beginners to start with an RTF, because it significantly reduces the number of variables that need to be attended to, allowing the new flyer to concentrate on learning how to fly, instead of learning how to troubleshoot a plane at the same time as learning how to fly.
Assuming that is your decission, there are two ways you can go: a full function system that will last you for years, but is a considerable investment, or a basic system that you will probably outgrow in a few years, but will save you a lot of money at this time, allowing you some excess funds for the inevitable replacement and repair parts that you will be needing as you learn to fly. The two other responders gave you very good information regarding top of the line equipment. If you decide to go for the basic system, consider getting the "replacement" transmitter and receiver for the ParkZone Typhoon. The transmitter is a 5-channel unit that costs around $30. The receiver costs around $26. They won't give you all of the frills of the computer systems, but they will get you flying, with reliable equipment, at a very low cost.

backdraft310
03-09-2007, 11:44 AM
thanks for the info on this post sorry i did not reply very fast to all your replys been a bit crazy here. Im still shoping for a radio any comments;s on this one i think this is what i will go with
http://h1070425.hobbyshopnow.com/products/description.asp?prod=AIR90330F

smokejohnson
03-09-2007, 01:53 PM
I don't know if it's comparing apples to oranges but $314 seems high. http://www2.towerhobbies.com/cgi-bin/wti0001p?&I=LXNZC1**&P=0
http://www.atlantahobby.com/shopexd.asp?id=5261
http://www.horizonhobby.com/Products/Default.aspx?ProdID=JRP6654**

N3CLI
03-09-2007, 02:26 PM
thanks for the info on this post sorry i did not reply very fast to all your replys been a bit crazy here. Im still shoping for a radio any comments;s on this one i think this is what i will go with
http://h1070425.hobbyshopnow.com/products/description.asp?prod=AIR90330F

Be sure that whatever radio you do get has small and light servos if you are going to fly all electric planes. Weight is a factor.

Good luck and welcome.

Fred:D

BatteriesIncluded
03-09-2007, 03:04 PM
While we are on this subject I have a question that I have been wondering about for awhile. If you buy into a spektrum DX6 or DX7 (seem to be favored on these forums) do you have to use the AR6000 receiver with these radios? Will these radios work with ANY other receivers? Just curious because I see alot of the Spektrums being bundled for sale with the AR6000 receiver.

JWilliams
03-09-2007, 03:34 PM
While we are on this subject I have a question that I have been wondering about for awhile. If you buy into a spektrum DX6 or DX7 (seem to be favored on these forums) do you have to use the AR6000 receiver with these radios? Will these radios work with ANY other receivers? Just curious because I see alot of the Spektrums being bundled for sale with the AR6000 receiver.Currently the ONLY radio that works with the DX6 is the AR6000. They are sold out almost everywhere because of high demand, which is why they are above MSRP of $50 right now. I do not know if another manufacturer will ever come in and offer cheaper ones or the AR6000 price will go down. Surely at some point...

The DX7 can use the AR7000 (its standard, full-size 7 channel rec, which has two parts and retails much higher than an AR6000), OR the AR6000 (losing a channel, obviously) OR the AR6100, which is a scaled down version of the AR6000 and costs the same and to our disappointment runs only on the DX7. I believe it's something like half the weight of an AR6000.

wksaz
03-11-2007, 10:05 PM
Hey backdraft, If you are interested in an Airtronics radio, just go directly to their website, they sell direct for a pretty agressive discount off of MSRP. This link is to a RD6000 that includes 4 micro servos a 6 channel micro rx for 283.95.
http://www.shopatron.com/product/product_id=AIR90330FMH72/143.0.535.73.68.0.0

They are a nice radio, I have a VG6000 Computer system (cheaper) with a similar flight pack with 2 servos and I am very happy with it. I got the system and a nice old timer style ARF called the Sky Rover as a package for 220.00 including the esc and motor. http://airtronics.net/images/Sale.jpg
This deal is still going on. The VG6000 is quite advanced and really intuitive to program and use.

I also own a Spektrum DX 6 and these can be had almost everywhere right now with the AR6000 RX and 4 S75 micro servos for around 200.00. This is a super buy as well. A very good choice but not quite as easy to see what you are programming, but still not bad. I would buy another one of either.

Hope this helps......

Brady t. wksaz

Solid Hit
03-11-2007, 11:15 PM
As long as you are going with the 72 band - where 90% of all flyers are at this point - consider one with the spectra module so that you can change to any frequency on the 72 band when you want to.

The Hitec Optic 6 is a great radio for the price and a good example of that feature. You can use ANY receiver on the 72 band in ANY frequency. http://www.hitecrcd.com/Radios/OPTIC.htm

ratbastid
03-12-2007, 01:26 AM
I confronted this question myself recently, and I settled on a DX6.

Why?

- Spektrum technology seem to me like the wave of the future
- Plenty of users already (I'm not a bleeding edge kinda guy)
- 6 channels is more than any plane I'm currently considering requires, and plenty for my current beginner plane plus whatever accessories I might want to add to it.
- Mixes and models include all types I might want to fly anytime soon
- D/R and Exp on right stick (not on left stick's horizontal, although that's hackable) is way better than the RTF radio I've got now
- Programmable mixes let me play with new options on my current trainer (flapperons, A-R mixes, etc)

I don't know if I'll stay with the DX6 forever, but for the flying I can foresee myself doing in the next several years, it should be all the radio I need and more.

wksaz
03-13-2007, 08:30 PM
Well, I flew some more yesterday with the DX6 and I agree with ratbastid on all of his points. I now really see no reason to NOT buy that instead of another system, especially if you are thinking in the 200 plus range already. If money is no object then go to the DX7 and just buy the AR6100 and some micro servos to go with it. MY .02

I was a little leery of the supposed range limitations of the DX6 so I flew my rather large (for a parkflyer) 50" span plane so high up that it was a spec and still had full control. :) :D :cool:

I'm a convert.........

It really is the wave of the future I think. The flight pack and RX are small and light enough for anything I see myself flying.

JWilliams
03-13-2007, 08:52 PM
I was a little leery of the supposed range limitations of the DX6 so I flew my rather large (for a parkflyer) 50" span plane so high up that it was a spec and still had full control. :) :D :cool:How far away was that really, though? I read somewhere of a guy running out of range after several hundred feet with his AR6100 but I think it may have been faulty hardware or something. In regards to the AR6000 part of the reason I did buy it is that people said its range was so good, in excess of 2000 feet (I think it's been tested even further) and one would have to have binoculars to competently fly a park flyer at that range.

wksaz
03-13-2007, 09:25 PM
Hello Jwilliams, I'm thinking it was 500-700 feet AGL. I know this is no feat of greatness for the DX6 but as some have expressed range concerns and have pooh-poohed the DX6 for its so called "limited range" I thought that a practical analogy from an actual user might help.

Yes, you are totally correct, the range is much more than practical for the type of models the DX6 is intended for. My goal was to reassure myself that if I could see the aircraft, I could control it.

I read somewhere in another thread that the range issue is more of a antenna shadowing problem than a range limitation. That is the reason for the new "dual rx" to extend the practical range of the DX7 by reducing the chance of shadowing.

wksaz

BatteriesIncluded
03-19-2007, 06:54 PM
Analysis Paralysis!

Working for many years in the computer industry I understand completely what some people go through in trying to decide what technology to buy. I find myself currently the victim of analysis paralysis while trying to select a radio to buy.

I've been trying to get by with a cheapo Esky radio that I got with an RTF Heli but I'm looking at what my future plans hold. I've got 2 RTF's in boxes waiting to be built, one of those Delta quick builds (found here in the Delta forum) ready to go, and have the plans for at least 2 more planes I defintely want to try building. That cheapo radio is just NOT gonna cut it!
So here is where the paralysis sets in. I'm down to two radios and am having a tough time deciding on which one.

I like both the Spektrum DX6 and the Hitec Optic 6. The rating by users are basically a tie. Both of these will probably do what I want them to. Fly electric planes and helis.

The Spektrum DX6 has that wonderful anti-glitch 2.4GHz spread spectrum technology. The thing that REALLY bothers me about it is that I hate proprietary technology. Buying this radio locks me into ONE receiver from ONE manufacturer who can ask any price for the RX that they want. DX6 users are helpless and at their mercy. I've seen the posts here and on other forums about price gouging these RX's. At $50.00 they are NOT really
what I would consider an agreeable price for an RX. Especially if you have to buy a few.

The Optic 6 has an incredible amount of features and options for the price.
The Spectra Module is the kind of thing that I would really like in a radio. Being able to choose any frequency channel in the 72MHz range is a real seller for me. Unfortunatley, it is also the one thing that everyone complains about. It seems that the modules are constantly having problems with fitting into the back of the radios securely enough. A finger tap may cause a glitch! However, the radio fitted with one channel is extremely well liked and received by almost all who own one.

So here I am... I've analyzed myself into a state of buyer's paralysis.

JWilliams
03-19-2007, 07:09 PM
Analysis Paralysis!

Working for many years in the computer industry I understand completely what some people go through in trying to decide what technology to buy. I find myself currently the victim of analysis paralysis while trying to select a radio to buy.

I've been trying to get by with a cheapo Esky radio that I got with an RTF Heli but I'm looking at what my future plans hold. I've got 2 RTF's in boxes waiting to be built, one of those Delta quick builds (found here in the Delta forum) ready to go, and have the plans for at least 2 more planes I defintely want to try building. That cheapo radio is just NOT gonna cut it!
So here is where the paralysis sets in. I'm down to two radios and am having a tough time deciding on which one.

I like both the Spektrum DX6 and the Hitec Optic 6. The rating by users are basically a tie. Both of these will probably do what I want them to. Fly electric planes and helis.

The Spektrum DX6 has that wonderful anti-glitch 2.4GHz spread spectrum technology. The thing that REALLY bothers me about it is that I hate proprietary technology. Buying this radio locks me into ONE receiver from ONE manufacturer who can ask any price for the RX that they want. DX6 users are helpless and at their mercy. I've seen the posts here and on other forums about price gouging these RX's. At $50.00 they are NOT really
what I would consider an agreeable price for an RX. Especially if you have to buy a few.

The Optic 6 has an incredible amount of features and options for the price.
The Spectra Module is the kind of thing that I would really like in a radio. Being able to choose any frequency channel in the 72MHz range is a real seller for me. Unfortunatley, it is also the one thing that everyone complains about. It seems that the modules are constantly having problems with fitting into the back of the radios securely enough. A finger tap may cause a glitch! However, the radio fitted with one channel is extremely well liked and received by almost all who own one.

So here I am... I've analyzed myself into a state of buyer's paralysis.I am biased because I went with the DX6. For me it was a decision between a $200 DX6 (though I did get it for $180 shipped in the end) or a $100 el-cheapo, because $100 is decent money. I never even for a moment considered an FM $200 range radio.

The RX for the DX6 is expensive, but a decent FM RX is still at least half the price, I think. In reality, though many people do use different RXs for each plane, I plan on using this same RX for multiple planes. They're pretty easy to move from plane to plane. Eventually the price will come down on the RX, I presume. If it does not, the DX6 will always sell for good money if I get sick of it.

It was a thread I made somewhere on these forums that clinched it for me. Basically every single person was saying to get a DX6. There are people with $400 radios they never use anymore and just use their DX6 and I've seen no real rebuts to the claim that it's one of the biggest RC revolutions. Also, though I don't know how often it really happens (obviously sometimes), I didn't want to get shot down. I would rather crash based on pilot error or build error rather than something totally out of my control. If I crash now I can be confident it was my fault; either I did something stupid while flying or didn't put the plane together strong enough.

wksaz
03-19-2007, 08:47 PM
Hello All, I just thought it may be of interest, I just picked up an AR6000 at one of the LHS's and paid 44.95. I thought I did pretty well, they had more in stock as well.

The price may even come down more, but not at all bad to me for what you are getting.

Glitch free, very small and light, 6 channels and BEST of all, no freakin antenna wire.:D I'm sold.

My only complaint of the DX6 is the supplied TX battery, it is too small for all day use. I assume to save $ but so are most all tx packs that are included in mainstream systems.

JWilliams
03-19-2007, 08:57 PM
My only complaint of the DX6 is the supplied TX battery, it is too small for all day use. I assume to save $ but so are most all tx packs that are included in mainstream systems.Agreed, the pack is a bit lame (8 600 mHa NiCDs, AAA size). I think it can supposedly go for two hours, but I don't necessarily believe it would last that long, but an easy upgrade and definitely one that can wait for a while. I certainly don't anticipate having enough lipos any time soon to burn through two hours of flight time in a day anyway!

BatteriesIncluded
03-19-2007, 09:09 PM
Hello All, I just thought it may be of interest, I just picked up an AR6000 at one of the LHS's and paid 44.95. I thought I did pretty well, they had more in stock as well.

The price may even come down more, but not at all bad to me for what you are getting.

Glitch free, very small and light, 6 channels and BEST of all, no freakin antenna wire.:D I'm sold.

My only complaint of the DX6 is the supplied TX battery, it is too small for all day use. I assume to save $ but so are most all tx packs that are included in mainstream systems.

This sounds promising.... I may just go for it now. Where did you get the AR6000?

JWilliams
03-19-2007, 09:48 PM
Wow, just checked ebay and indeed these are more available than they were two weeks ago. Already there are some for $54 shipped with the "buy it now". That's good news.

wksaz
03-19-2007, 11:32 PM
Hey, BatteriesIncluded, I got mine from a place in Phoenix called Franks Hobby House. I don't know if you are local or not but you can look them up on dexonline.com and call them, maybe they ship.

Last week I checked at another LHS in Chandler and they also had the AR6000 in stock. I think they were under 50 there as well.


wksaz

backdraft310
03-22-2007, 11:04 AM
All this talk is great info for me. I am still looking at radios, as you can see I like to do my home work. Whats word on the street about Futaba radios here is one I have been looking at any input would be great http://www2.towerhobbies.com/cgi-bin/wti0001p?&I=LXKSB5**&P=0

ratbastid
03-22-2007, 02:20 PM
In my opinion, a 4-channel computer radio is false economy. It won't be long before you'll have a use for a fifth and sixth channel, and you'll be sad if the radio you invested in doesn't have that. For just a bit more you can have a Futaba 6 that you can really grow with.

Re "word on the street", Futaba has a great reputation. But if you're spending over $140 already, you should drop an extra $30 and get a 6EXA.

smokejohnson
03-22-2007, 02:26 PM
I agree with ratbastid. If or maybe I should say when you get ready to upgrade to a 6 ch you may have a hard time selling a 4 ch. But then again I still have and use my first radio and will use it as a buddy box for my daughter when she is old enough. FWIW you can pick up a good used 6ch for around $100.

BatteriesIncluded
03-22-2007, 05:44 PM
All this talk is great info for me. I am still looking at radios, as you can see I like to do my home work.

I still haven't come up with a final decision either. Toss up between a DX6 and an Optic 6. How do these compare for flying Helis... anyone here use the DX6 for a CCPM heli?

Aero Ace Ace
03-22-2007, 06:59 PM
If you aren't sure if RC flight will be a big hobby for you, buy a cheaper 4 channel non-computer radio for now. I use an Art-Tech (http://www.bphobbies.com/view.asp?id=V469339) that was $30 and works fine. If you will be learning with an instuctor then you need a more expensive radio with a buddy box. You should decide on a plane before you buy the reciever and servos.

If you are sure this will be a long term commitment, then go ahead and slurge on a programmable 6 channel.

JWilliams
03-22-2007, 07:24 PM
If you are sure this will be a long term commitment, then go ahead and slurge on a programmable 6 channel.Yep, I'd say do it right or go super cheap. If he finds he likes it, as he will, then he can just have a spare cheapo receiver for something else. On the other hand, if he doesn't like it and just bought a DX6, he can sell the kit for decent money anyway.

I know I'm normally very cheap but I find I hardly ever regret spending money on the more expensive item, whether it's a transmitter or snow blower or whatever, get whatever will make you smile when you look at it (oh, how shallow!).

backdraft310
03-23-2007, 01:41 AM
Ya i have to say $30 or $40 bucks is just pocket change so i think the 6 ch would be the better buy long term. What i plain on doing is i have a super cub from hobby zone, as most of you know the radios in that airplane is not the best so i am going to replace it. but i would like to get something that i can use on other airplanes to so i think the 6 ch might be what i will go with