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Newbies: Tips and Information Section of HF, specifically for Passing along info to newcomers to the hobby. Setup, tweaking, orientation practice, etc.


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Old 03-01-2012, 04:30 PM   #1 (permalink)
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Default Need Some Radio Clarity

Hello all, MadMechanic again!

This time with radio transmitter questions. I (like many other new pilots) am going to be buying my first good transmitter in the next week (that is the plan anyway), and I am hopelessly lost/confused by everything I have been reading lately.

Do I want 7 channels or 6?

Do I want a Futaba, Spektrum, or Hitec?

DSM2 / DSMX? FASST / FHSS / S-FHSS?

Ease of programming, quality and feel of the unit, quality of support for the unit?



These are all the questions I keep asking myself when I am doing google searches and once I think I have an answer I find another article that makes me doubt my decision...

So...here I am, humbly asking for some definitive advice. I know that the popular choice these days for entry level pilots is the Spektrum DX6i. Being your basic, 6-channel transmitter and relatively cost effective, I'm just not convinced its the right one for me.

I don't plan to buy a lot of bind-n-fly models, so I'm open to buying another brand of transmitter.

I don't ever plan to fly nitro or a helicopter larger than 450 (proximity to housing and area to fly in restrain me to electrics (for noise) and 450 size max).

I want to buy a good transmitter that will be with me for many years to come, I see it as a "one-time" investment that is important in fueling my growth in this hobby, so I don't mind saving a little extra and buying a good transmitter.

That being said, I found out I can get a Spektrum DX7s new with an AR8000 Rx for $300 (before tax/S&H). I can also get a Hitec Eclipse 7 Pro with two Optima 7 Rx's for the same money. I'm tempted to go for the Hitec because it has a backlite screen, comes with two transmitters and has more swash plate configurations built-in (it will do 90, 120, 140, and 180 swash plates).

Beyond this though I'm completely open to ideas and considerations, even going to a 6-channel if it makes sense. I do not however, see a need to get an 8-channel Tx (like a DX8) unless someone has a compelling reason.

Thanks for the help guys!

-MadMechanic
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Old 03-01-2012, 07:00 PM   #2 (permalink)
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You might want to consider a Flysky 9x as well. It's not for everyone, it's more of a tinkerers radio, but with custom firmware you end up with an extremely powerful modular transmitter for under $100.00.

Here's a great article about it. (page 100)

http://www.rcsoaringdigest.com/pdfs/...-2011-0708.pdf

A few quotes from the article:

"I donít know how many other people are quite like I am, but I just love finding little gems of items that are cheap and with a little tweaking turn out to be awesome."

"I had expectations that the firmware would be better than the original, and would be user friendly, but I was blown away by just how many useful things were in this firmware."
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Old 03-01-2012, 07:12 PM   #3 (permalink)
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Ok now that is interesting. I often like to tinker with stuff, so this is a viable alternative to consider. Now, I see you can get a newer FlySky TH9X, any idea if this custom firmware mod works with this updated transmitter?

EDIT: Disregard my question, I just read your signature where it mentions a TH9X with custom firmware.
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Old 03-01-2012, 07:27 PM   #4 (permalink)
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Well I'm glad you took a look. If you have any questions, let me know.

One thing that most people always ask is what's the difference between the Flysky TH-9x and the Turnigy 9x. Well, same internals, but the Turnigy has been modified by Hobbyking so that the antenna is on the main body of the radio, and then it's hardwired to the removable module, thus rendering the removable module basically non-removable
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Old 03-02-2012, 02:35 PM   #5 (permalink)
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"Deleted, due to lack of knowledge"

Also, I've heard and read that Futaba is a more reliable/secure radio system than Spektrum. Futaba has been around for a long time, so it might just be true. I use a Spektrum DX6i and haven't had any problems.

Last edited by TexasC; 03-02-2012 at 04:23 PM..
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Old 03-02-2012, 03:36 PM   #6 (permalink)
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>I don't know this for sure because all I've used are fly-barred systems, but from what I've read there are only certain transmitter systems that will work with the fly-barless systems.

That's a first. I've never heard anything like that.
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Old 03-02-2012, 03:54 PM   #7 (permalink)
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I thought flybar-less was a function of helicopter mounted electronics, so basically the transmitter doesn't know and doesn't care if the helicopter has a flybar or not.

I'm going to have to research this now.

For the time being however, I'm only planning to fly flybarred heli's. Keep it "simple" and less expensive.
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Old 03-02-2012, 04:01 PM   #8 (permalink)
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Quote:
Originally Posted by MadMechanic View Post
I thought flybar-less was a function of helicopter mounted electronics, so basically the transmitter doesn't know and doesn't care if the helicopter has a flybar or not.

I'm going to have to research this now.

For the time being however, I'm only planning to fly flybarred heli's. Keep it "simple" and less expensive.
And the other way around...the FBL controller is plugged into the receiver. It has no way of knowing what kind of radio you have

The signals coming out of the 9x receiver are no different than the signals that come out of any other brand. The only thing I can think of is that a FBL controller might require a radio where you can turn off CCPM mixing. The 9x can obviously do that.
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Old 03-02-2012, 04:22 PM   #9 (permalink)
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Quote:
Originally Posted by lanman123 View Post
And the other way around...the FBL controller is plugged into the receiver. It has no way of knowing what kind of radio you have

The signals coming out of the 9x receiver are no different than the signals that come out of any other brand. The only thing I can think of is that a FBL controller might require a radio where you can turn off CCPM mixing. The 9x can obviously do that.
Ok, I stand corrected. I see where the 3GX has sensors for Spektrum and Futaba, so I figured that the sensor was needed for it to work. I stand corrected.
Isn't the flybarless system part of the receiver system? Why the ports?

And, I see where the Align 3GX connects directly to Futaba and Spektrum receivers. It even states on its website that its
Specification :

Spektrum and JR Satellite antennas support (Replaces original factory receiver )

Futaba S.BUS system support

I was under the impression that you needed this satellite reciever that's D2M2 (Spektrum and JR) compatible for the whole thing to work.


So, that's why I thought the flybarless gyros were band specific.

Again, I'm just a newbie, so I'm probably wrong.
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Old 03-02-2012, 05:17 PM   #10 (permalink)
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So, if I have a Walkera Devo 8S, I can use it with the 3GX, BeastX, Futaba CGY750, etc.?
That would be great, so that I wouldn't have to buy another transmitter.
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Old 03-02-2012, 05:25 PM   #11 (permalink)
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The 3GX, The BeastX and the V-Bar are setup to accept the JR/Spektrum Satellites so that it binds as a receiver (No receiver necessary). The 3GX and I think the Beast now have adapters to use the S-Bus with Futaba.

You can run any radio you want with a flybarless system but you'd also have to run the receiver. With the Spektrum / JR it's plug and play not to mention eliminating a bunch of wires..

I've flown both Futaba and JR/Spektrum.. I prefer JR/Spektrum.

It's all about preference.. Ford vs Chevy vs BMW..
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Old 03-02-2012, 05:37 PM   #12 (permalink)
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>You can run any radio you want with a flybarless system but you'd also have to run the receiver. With the Spektrum / JR it's plug and play not to mention eliminating a bunch of wires..

Thanks...that's the conclusion I jumped to after having a quick look at some manuals.
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Old 03-02-2012, 08:41 PM   #13 (permalink)
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Quote:
Originally Posted by BrockJ View Post
The 3GX, The BeastX and the V-Bar are setup to accept the JR/Spektrum Satellites so that it binds as a receiver (No receiver necessary). The 3GX and I think the Beast now have adapters to use the S-Bus with Futaba.

You can run any radio you want with a flybarless system but you'd also have to run the receiver. With the Spektrum / JR it's plug and play not to mention eliminating a bunch of wires..
Now it makes sense..... THANKS!!!!
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Old 03-02-2012, 09:18 PM   #14 (permalink)
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When I consider purchases, I think about LOCAL support. What are people at the local club flying. It does sound like you will br in the neighborhood by yourself, but you may want to join one once you catch the heli bug. Trust me on this one......you will catch it! IMO JR/Spektrum are the most diverse and universal when it comes to component gear. There are a bunch of cool little BNF's out there to just bang around and tinker with. With the JR/Spek, you are most likely to be able to pick something up like that with no hastle.

Spek....at least the DX7s (for telemtry which is very good to have for monitoring your batteries)
JR.....9503

It would be quite difficult to outgrow these two examples.

my 2c

BTW Welcome to helis!!!
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Old 03-02-2012, 10:04 PM   #15 (permalink)
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Ok, time to let loose a huge pack of worms.

So, both of my local hobby shops are primarily Spektrum dealers, so if I wanted local hobby shop support or immediately available Rx's, Spektrum would be the "better" way to go. However, I am concerned about the reliability of Spektrum's system.

I've been trying to read as much as I can on this subject and I keep reading about random connection loses from Spektrum's stuff, even the new stuff.

Now, it is entirely possible that this is just the talk of anti-spektrum pilots, but I also have never read a single complaint about Futaba's gear.

Now, I understand the pros of your local shops stocking what you fly, but when it comes to my radio gear I don't mind buying something online if it means I get a quality, fault-free product.

I am seriously considering buying (and probably will buy) a FlySky TH9x to use with my first 450 build, and it nothing else it gives me and my friend something to play around with and hack/mod for other RC projects. But as the quality/expense of my builds increases, I think I would feel the most comfortable with a good name-brand radio with the more expensive birds.

So, with that said, just how good is Spektrum's signal/connection reliability these days?
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Old 03-02-2012, 10:11 PM   #16 (permalink)
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By local support, I meant the local flying club. Just for help with programming and stuff. Sorry for the confusion. I neglected to proof my previous post. I think you have peaked my interest on that other radio.
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Old 03-02-2012, 10:21 PM   #17 (permalink)
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Ah, gotcha, regarding local clubs, I'm not sure if there any near me; however, if I'm honest I'm not entirely sure how to go about researching that topic.
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Old 03-02-2012, 10:30 PM   #18 (permalink)
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Hi there

Having fun yet ??

Im not a spectrum devotiee (like ford vs chevy)
Consistant feedback from people Im around is that futaba is kind of the benchmark for quality in radios.

Nevertheless I have two spectrum radios an older dx6 and a dx7, a Walkera 2801 pro and also an older JR brand XP783. I've never heard of FlySky TH9x but Ive only been in the hobby since 1996.


My take on it is that the 2.4 gig technology sets all brand as equals in signal reliability and strength.

I would suggest (for the long haul) a dx 7s or dx8 (the 8 has reportedly has some bugs being worked out of it at the cost of some consumer crashes - only a couple.

Which ever you were to choose, what is important is lots of channels! You will use telemetary feedback sooner or later if you stay in the hobbie and that means more channels!

Cheers R4C
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Old 03-02-2012, 10:34 PM   #19 (permalink)
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The stock 9x radio is not all that much different than any other radio. If someone at a club cant figure a 9x, then they probably wouldn't be much help anyway
It has pitch curves, throttle curves, end points, reversing, 3 flight modes, a gyro menu etc etc etc. A Ford truck is different than a Chevy, but that doesnt mean you should buy a Ford just because your neighbour has one.

If you go with 9x firmware, then the radio is like no other. But for that, there is a huge amount of help on the 9x forums. If you have a question, it will get answered. If there is a bug, just mention it and it will get fixed. I noticed an issue with the timer once, where it didn't work right if you had it set for a certain period of time. I mentioned it on the newsgroup, and a new firmware update was released within 2 hours. Try that with a Spektrum!
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Old 03-02-2012, 10:37 PM   #20 (permalink)
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>Which ever you were to choose, what is important is lots of channels! You will use telemetary feedback sooner or later if you stay in the hobbie and that means more channels!

The 9x comes with an 8 channel receiver, but with the 9x firmware, you get 16 channels to work with. It also supports telemetry if you use a Frsky module.

Edit: I'm pretty sure this is the module to get if you want telemetry. The 9x radio with ER9 firmware has full support for it.

http://www.hobbyking.com/hobbyking/s...e_V8FR_RX.html
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