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Old Apr 01, 2014, 06:32 AM
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Melbourne, Eastern Sub.
Joined Sep 2004
260 Posts
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Getting back into the hobby

After a few years out of the Hobby due to work commitments, I plan on getting back into it. When I left, the Spektrum DX6 radio had been in place and I think the DX7 had just been released. HobbyKing / Turnigy were, to me, unheard of.

Have the old frequency radios totally been replaced by 2.4 (even at the club level?)
Do I just throw out my old radio gear? Hitec Flash5 and Futaba 9C as with the receivers?

What's the general opinon on HK? Are they the ultimate online source for most parts now?
It seems like I am up for a new radio, so what are the ones like from HK (eg Turnigy 9XR) ? Is there a choice of 2 different technologies with the 2.4 (like it was with JR v Futaba)


Could people throw in some phrases/topics that I can research up on, to get up to scratch quicker?

Cheers Corey.
p.s. forgot to mention, flying E-planes and slope
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Old Apr 01, 2014, 02:56 PM
ooooh yeah
Frenche's Avatar
Ballarat, Victoria, Australia
Joined May 2004
1,535 Posts
No need to throw out your old transmitter, I'm still running min 9c with a Spektrum 2.4 module plugged in the back. You will need new receivers though if you go down the 2.4 route. Not sure if the Flash5 can take a module though.

Most companies use their own proprietary 2.4 systems so they are not cross compatible unfortunately, having said that Hobby Kings "Orange" brand makes ones that work with Spektrum and Futaba systems and are pretty damn cheap. I've used them in everything from park fliers to ducted fan jets and never had an issue.
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Old Apr 01, 2014, 04:47 PM
Jets Suck (and blow)
Peril's Avatar
Australia, QLD, Deception Bay
Joined Jan 2008
1,789 Posts
Most older quality radios that use PPM mode (36mhz JR, Futaba etc.) can be converted to 2.4ghz. eg. Buy the Frsky hack module from HK, install it yourself as I did, you wont look back! Full telemetry radio for under 40 bucks, Rx price well under $30 and very reliable, better than my 36mhz stuff and never had a problem. If you want a brand new radio look into the FrSky Taranis, very good reports on this one.

HK sell cheep stuff, I use them a 'lot' but be under know elisions that it is always 'quality'. Buyer beware, do some research on google and you then know what it is you are buying and if any mods are recommended.

Quality stuff still comes from the USA, but you will pay for it.

Welcome home
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Old Apr 01, 2014, 09:51 PM
Ian Macgregor - AMAS President
Joined Apr 2013
127 Posts
Not sure that the USA has a strangle hold on quality. There are some bargains to be had at Hobbyking.

Everyone would be familiar with the hxt900 9g Servo
http://www.hobbyking.com/hobbyking/s...?idProduct=662

Do read the reviews on the product and speak to a few blokes at the field. They will steer you in the right direction.

If you can fit a module in the back of your radio do look at an FrSky Module. Very popular piece of kit and of the highest quality in my opinion.
http://www.hobbyking.com/hobbyking/s...8FR_II_RX.html

if you are in the market for a new radio take a look at the Taranis. Every bell and whistle comes with this one and its well priced
https://www.hobbyking.com/hobbyking/...m_Mode_1_.html

Kind Regards,
Ian Macgregor
AMAS
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Old Apr 01, 2014, 11:00 PM
Learning 3d at ascot
russgt's Avatar
Australia, WA, Perth
Joined Dec 2013
78 Posts
If you buy from HK get stuff through the aus store. Much quicker and cheaper postage.
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Last edited by russgt; Apr 01, 2014 at 11:06 PM.
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Old Apr 02, 2014, 05:15 AM
Registered User
Melbourne, Eastern Sub.
Joined Sep 2004
260 Posts
Thanks guys, keep it coming.

Full telemetry radio - Is this a must have nowadays? It seems to me more for those wanting to log their planes route/distance/alt etc. Do some get it for the digitalised voice output only? Should it be on the list of must haves if purchasing a new radio for general flying?

Deans plugs overtaken by XT60...... hope they are easier to pull apart than the deans were.

Will start looking into DSM2 / FASST /ACCST next....... geez
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Old Apr 02, 2014, 06:31 AM
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Australia, NSW, Hornsby
Joined Jul 2005
509 Posts
Raven,
I returned to the hobby about 2 years ago after 15 years off. I upgraded my 9C with the Frsky module & later added the telemetry screen so I could monitor battery voltage in flight rather than timers & guesswork & could not fault this setup. I just recently upgraded to a Frsky Taranis as I wanted the Vario tones & logging but if not for that would still be happily using the 9c. There isn't much that radio won't do. Don't upgrade unless there is something very specific you need that the Futaba doesn't do.

I also have a Flash 5 converted with a hack module but find it has dated quite badly. I only use it as a travel radio now so I can take a cheap foamy slope soarer on the family holidays & steal a few minutes of sloping here & there & won't shed any tears if stolen or heat damaged in the car.

2.4 protocols are generally manufacturer specific similar to the old PCM. JR TX needs JR RX, Futaba TX needs Futaba RX. There are exceptions such as OrangeRX & Lemon using the OLD DSM2/ DSMX Spektrum protocols & FrSky make a Futaba compatible RX.

Again, I use Frsky mostly. I have an Orange module so I can use the Bind & fly planes (Spektrum protocol) but don't trust it for larger models. Others swear by Spektrum. Personal chioce I guess.

As for Hobby King, It's a matter of choice.
They are cheap on most things, on some things VERY cheap.
Their customer service is appallingly bad to the point of disgusting. You need to weigh your options & decide whether price is more important than customer service.
I buy what I can locally but where the price difference is huge then I take a punt & buy from HK..

Welcome back to the hobby.

Al
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Old Apr 02, 2014, 06:34 AM
Registered User
Melbourne, Eastern Sub.
Joined Sep 2004
260 Posts
thanks Al
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Old Apr 02, 2014, 07:03 AM
Registered User
Australia, NSW, Grafton
Joined Dec 2012
432 Posts
G'day Corey,
I would not be too fussed about full telemetry gear unless you are really going to get super serious.
I, too, wandered away from the hobby for nearly thirty years and was amazed at the changes that had happened and mostly for the better I think.
I simply stayed with the brands of radio that I knew before hand. Futaba and JR.
Both are priced nicely and I found myself going for Futaba 6 EX for no other reason than I liked the feel of it over the JR. Both offered features close enough to each other as to not bother me so it was a hard call as such.
I have since gone to the Futaba 8J (cause I wanted eight channels and a three position switch for flaps).
Unless you are a complete radio guru, understanding the protocols of each probably does not matter for the average club pilot. The Futaba 6 EX is Fasst and the 8J is S-FHSS. Can I tell the difference, not a hope. I am just happy that they work when I want them to.
I purchased both my radios from hobby shops and I am glad that I did as I did need a little bit of help understanding the set up on the 8J. They put me in touch with a five year old and he sorted me out. Well not quite that bad, I was over reading the instruction and I now find the 8J very simple to use.
As you would remember (unless there has been too many good nights) there is no right or wrong here, just what suits your needs and likes.
I am positive that you will be happy with what ever gear you get, it is all good stuff at the better end.
One thing I would advise however, is avoid 2.4Ghz receivers with a single aerial. Dual diversity is the only safe way to go here. I have seen two models go down when they lost signal using single aerials. I believe the aerial found its way into a signal shadow and did not have enough time to rebind.
Welcome back to the salt mine.
Regards and respect
Daryl
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Old Apr 02, 2014, 07:17 AM
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CaseySP's Avatar
Canberra Australia
Joined Feb 2007
1,304 Posts
Quote:
Originally Posted by ravencsr View Post
After a few years out of the Hobby due to work commitments, I plan on getting back into it. When I left, the Spektrum DX6 radio had been in place and I think the DX7 had just been released. HobbyKing / Turnigy were, to me, unheard of.

Have the old frequency radios totally been replaced by 2.4 (even at the club level?)
Do I just throw out my old radio gear? Hitec Flash5 and Futaba 9C as with the receivers?

What's the general opinon on HK? Are they the ultimate online source for most parts now?
It seems like I am up for a new radio, so what are the ones like from HK (eg Turnigy 9XR) ? Is there a choice of 2 different technologies with the 2.4 (like it was with JR v Futaba)


Could people throw in some phrases/topics that I can research up on, to get up to scratch quicker?

Cheers Corey.
p.s. forgot to mention, flying E-planes and slope
No need to throw out the old gear. I still fly my JR 36MHz PCM and its brilliant now everyone else has converted to 2.4GHz.

In the past on a typical day I used to have about three others on my channel, nowadays mine is just about the only key in the frequency board.

Have seen a few crashes over the last couple of weeks with planes on 2.4GHz going down - one was a small park flyer using a Spektrum TX and Orange RX that lost signal and was a fly-away until the perimeter trees snagged it, the other was a beautiful large scale Cessna that inexplicably performed a dive into the ground from straight level flight. I had my own loss of a Pilot Tiger Moth flying with a Turnigy 9X 2.4GHz that stopped responding on a pass down the strip centre line and eventually slowed/stalled into the ground next to the perimeter fence - also a total loss.

The only crash I have had over the past few years on 36MHz PCM was pilot error with a small fast ducted fan I let get too low and slow.

Nothing wrong with sticking with 36MHz PCM in my books - I also use 2.4 GHz, but only on small foamies.
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Old Apr 02, 2014, 05:29 PM
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Grantham Kid's Avatar
Australia, QLD, Grantham
Joined Oct 2012
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I had a HiTec Optic 6 and used to get annoyed with the long antennas, then one day the Rx decided to reduce range drastically. Plane survived OK. Good excuse to fit FrSky and since then, never looked back. I use it for my Quads and glider and a few other small planes. also have a 9X that I converted to FrSky as I love FrSky gear.
Receivers are cheap compared to many other brands and totally reliable with excellent range. You have the option of Telemetry for just a few dollars per receiver more and if your TX doesn't have a suitable screen you can buy a clamp-on Telemetry screen for just a few dollars.
There are many options with FrSky and I am glad I made that choice.
Receivers can be bound to either Tx and they have a great Failsafe system which I believe is almost mandatory today.

If you decide to go the Telemetry way. One of the FrSky Display Screens comes with the Tx module incorporated into it so that is another option.
Either way, telemetry or not, if you start to get out of range, your Tx will start beeping at you giving you a warning. This is great if you are flying gliders or long distance stuff.
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Old Apr 03, 2014, 12:12 AM
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Canberra Australia
Joined Feb 2007
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Grantham Kid View Post
Either way, telemetry or not, if you start to get out of range, your Tx will start beeping at you giving you a warning. This is great if you are flying gliders or long distance stuff.
That's interesting! Does the Turnigy 9X (native) do this as well?
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Old Apr 03, 2014, 05:22 AM
Chasin' that Neon Rainbow
Grantham Kid's Avatar
Australia, QLD, Grantham
Joined Oct 2012
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Quote:
Originally Posted by CaseySP View Post
That's interesting! Does the Turnigy 9X (native) do this as well?
No, Only the 9X with the FrSky Module fitted. I looked at a few systems before I went FrSky and it's the best choice I ever made. The 9X needs a bit cut away from around the module pins in the TX case to allow it to pop in properly but that is simple to do. The Rxs are also compatible with Taranis so they are a very versatile system.
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Old Apr 03, 2014, 06:53 AM
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Canberra Australia
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Ah thanks. I was wondering as on the Tiger Moth's maiden flight the 9X transmitter starting beeping (more of a continuous tone) a few minutes in and for no apparent reason. No switches were touched, TX battery (LiPo) had good charge. Turning the TX off and on after a rushed landing cleared the beeping and it has never happened again.

Then flew a few other planes on this TX (different RXs) and it has been solid. Put the Tiger Moth up a couple of weeks later for its second flight and it lost the link and crashed. Before I fitted the RX to the Tiger Moth for its maiden I tested it thoroughly in an old foamy basher - again not a problem.

Maybe the problems were linked to the silver covering film on the Tiger? Maybe the ESC/BEC? Doesn't like balsa and ply but is okay with foam? Who knows?
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Old Apr 03, 2014, 07:08 AM
Chasin' that Neon Rainbow
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Australia, QLD, Grantham
Joined Oct 2012
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Lets just say, I have had very short range problems with silver metallic coverings. You must ensure antennas are external and well positioned when using that stuff.
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