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Old Nov 12, 2010, 06:33 PM
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Who makes a 'basic' sailplane radio???

This may come off as more rant than question but...

Why the heck doesn't anyone produce a 'basic' sailplane radio in the $200-$300 price range?

I'm aware of the JR 9503 and the Hitec A9 and some other 9-12 channel rigs that'll do just about anything possible for $400-$1200. But for what I want from a rig they are all major overkill. It's not really the price it's the complexity of the programming and the fact that I just don't want about 60% of what those radios can do. I can barely keep it straight what the switches on my DX6i do.

To give an idea of what I'm saying, so far the closest rig that appeals to me is the Hitec Optic 6. It has a couple standard sailplane mixes (camber-crow), a couple flight modes, and a fifth proportional control (side levers). If it had one more channel to control separate flap servos, ail-flap mixing, and smaller RXs it would be exactly what I'm looking for. As it stands it's probably what I'm gonna go with anyway.

So is the radio I'm looking for out there and I just haven't found it yet?

.......Mike


ps... Don't even get me started on the Spektrum DX8. Talk about features I couldn't care less about (telemetry, SD card extra model memory, heli anything, and a twist knob for the extra proportional control that I'd have to let go of the ail stick to use). And what were they thinking mixing the heli and acro programming instructions all together throughout the manual? Gimme a $25 discount and keep the heli programming, I'll never use it.
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Old Nov 12, 2010, 06:58 PM
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Michigan's Upper Peninsula
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Mike,

I'm sure some other ideas on particular radios are coming your way, but thought I'd give you some input on my experience with the Optic 6.

My oldest radio (about 6 yrs) is an Optic 6. I originally flew it on 72mHz but have changed it over to 2.4. It's a solid radio but I do understand your desire for separate servo control on flaps although I am not flying full-house. On 72, I used the Berg RXs. Compact and very reliable. Since I've gone the 2.4 route, I have found room for both the Optima 6 and 7 in the rear of my pods, even my skinniest ones.

I originally had the same concerns about size of the Rxs, but cut a scrap of wood to the same size as the RXs and did some trial fitting. You may be surprised.

The only aftermarket change I did on the Optic was to go over to NiMH batteries on the TX to extend time. I still fly two of my sailplanes on my Optic and that is many hours a week.

I have no particular brand loyalty, but the Hitec equipment has served me very well.

Good luck on finding a good radio for you.

Dave
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Old Nov 12, 2010, 08:11 PM
planepainter
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Mt. Juliet, TN
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I bought my Spektrum DX7 almost two years ago and have never had an issue with it. With that said I agree about the manual. It is not written very clear on certain programming and almost every plane out at the field that has had a drop out and other issues are Spektrum.
If I had it to do over again I think I would try Futaba. I hear they are very good sets and easy to use and program.
But never having ever owned one, it is all anecdotal.


PP
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Old Nov 12, 2010, 10:24 PM
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Dave,

I appreciate the comments about the Optic 6. As I said it's likely the one I will eventually get. It seems like the best compromise of simplicity vs. features vs. price. Every time I tell myself "just buy the 9503 or the A9" I start reading their manuals and end up right back at the Optic 6 saying "yup, that's all I really want".

I'd be interested to hear from other Optic 6 owners, good or bad. Most of what I found searching is several years old.


PP

I don't have a problem with Spektrum. I like the DX6i. I chose it over the 7. And the new DX8 just has too much stuff I don't care about and don't want to pay for. The manual format is different from both the 6i and the 7. Those manuals separate the heli and acro programming instructions into totally different sections. The DX8 manual jumbles them all together.

Maybe I'll have to take another look at the DX7 but I think I've read that it takes some mixing gymnastics to do full house sailplane functions like camber, crow, and ail/flap.


I suspect the reason there isn't a radio like what I want is because it would kill sales of the higher end radios to guys who just can't do without those couple extra features the low end radios are missing.

.......Mike
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Old Nov 12, 2010, 11:29 PM
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Keremeos, BC Canada
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Man, I hear ya! I have been flying REALLY basic radio for decades now, starting with Ace s/c gear. My most complicated radio has 4 channels, with no auxilliary functions, no screen, nothing: we get along fine. Because I don't fly any form of competition (silly me, I go out to have fun), I need crow/mixing/model memory/etc like a moose needs a hat rack. Nowadays, I just hope that my old Futaba doesn't crap out, 'cuz buying what I want (range is VERY important where I fly) will be a real problem...
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Old Nov 12, 2010, 11:54 PM
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meridian, idaho
Joined Sep 2005
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Here is a cheap 4 channell 2.4ghz radio systemj that I use. I have been flying it for a couple years now with no problems...

http://www.hobbyking.com/hobbyking/s...idProduct=8338
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Old Nov 13, 2010, 03:58 AM
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Bradford West Yorkshire, UK
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Best basic I bought, "Sanwa Mini-Two" Rock solid, never a glitch, a basic Two function unit.

Regards Ian.
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Old Nov 13, 2010, 08:23 AM
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Michigan's Upper Peninsula
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Mike,

You may want to check out Airtronics as well. Seems there are quite a few fans of their radios. It is in your price range, has 8 channels and looks like it has enough sailplane features to keep you happy.

Here's a link: http://www.airtronics.net/index.php/...y-rds8000.html

Dave
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Old Nov 13, 2010, 08:34 AM
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United States, OK, Moore
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Quote:
Originally Posted by bluefork View Post
Here is a cheap 4 channell 2.4ghz radio systemj that I use. I have been flying it for a couple years now with no problems...

http://www.hobbyking.com/hobbyking/s...idProduct=8338
Am I seeing that right? 23 bucks for the Tx and Rx?
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Old Nov 13, 2010, 09:50 AM
planepainter
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Mt. Juliet, TN
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Mike, I don't know how the manual for the 6 and 8 compare but I do have some experience with the 7. I admit that I am not the brightest bulb on the Christmas tree but I can usually figure things out. When it came to slaving an aux channel to the throttle channel for my OLYIII so I could adjust the spoilers separate, I had to give up and call Spektrum for help. For transmitter dummies like me I would prefer that the manual would say something like: 1.Do this. 2.Do this. 3.Do this.

But I am sure there are some gurus here that will come back and tell me that it actually does....


PP
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Old Nov 13, 2010, 09:59 AM
I don't want to "Switch Now"
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Toronto (Don Mills), Canada
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Quote:
Originally Posted by LVsoaring View Post
Am I seeing that right? 23 bucks for the Tx and Rx?
Yes, and for $55 (+shipping) you can get a 8/9 channel that has sailplane programming:

http://hobbyking.com/hobbyking/store...idProduct=8992

or in stock for $60

http://www.leaderhobby.com/product.asp?ID=9394001220239

I have not tried the sailplane programming, but it is in there.

Pat MacKenzie
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Old Nov 13, 2010, 11:30 AM
planepainter
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Is it possible that a good rc radio for sailplanes can cost only $54.00?
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Old Nov 13, 2010, 12:16 PM
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Chandler, Az.
Joined Mar 2008
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Good at any price(?)

Don:

The pricey part of any transmitter is in the quality of the mechanics (sticks, switches, etc.) and not in the electronics, I noticed that the transmitter uses 8 dry cells (not rechargeable). In all, $54 for the transmitter is reasonable, but be careful of the cost of shipping.

Bob
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Old Nov 13, 2010, 12:46 PM
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Toronto (Don Mills), Canada
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You can put NiMh in it but despite the fact that the rest of the design is clearly a JR copy the polarity of the connector is Futaba. I reversed mine.
Price includes a receiver, and new ones are $9.
Channel order is also Futaba.

Stick quality is not bad, feels better than a DX6 to me. Trims kind of suck, slow to respond to quick pushes. Only one 3 position switch, the rest are two position. And the timer beeps every second for the last minute - quite annoying.

It has a range check function, but I am not sure it actually works since I was unable to get out of range at our field.

So far I have only flown it in a foamy warbird, but it worked just fine as far out as i could fly it.

Pat MacKenzie
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Old Nov 13, 2010, 02:11 PM
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Thanks for the suggestions. I'll have to give the Airtronics 8000 another look. I did consider it at one point but moved on for reasons I can't remember.

Geeze the Hobbyking TX is almost cheap enough to just buy and try.

......Mike
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