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Old Dec 24, 2014, 11:58 AM
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United States, CA, San Marcos
Joined Dec 2011
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RTF or better radio with BNF plane?

Merry Christmas to all.

I have been reading through many of the forums here trying to get the best information to begin flying. I am a complete beginner (using iPad/iPhone sims only).

Is it wise to just go with a RTF model first or to buy a used DX6 or 6i with a BNF a plane? I was hoping to find a used radio and Champ without transmitter. My concern is that the RTF transmitted with the Champ or Sport Cub S isn't up to snuff. Also, does it make more financial sense to get the better radio at the beginning? I am looking to see how you decided when you first began.

Thanks!
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Old Dec 24, 2014, 12:11 PM
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United States, CA, Rosemead
Joined Jan 2012
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the micro RTF transmitters are fine as long as you don't fly too far. if it were Dx4e/5e vs Dx6i, i'd tell you to wait. but since you're comparing the micro RTF radios to a full range Dx6i, then i suggest you get the Dx6i.
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Old Dec 24, 2014, 12:15 PM
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United States, MN, Fairmont
Joined May 2013
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Quote:
Originally Posted by phdrc View Post
Merry Christmas to all.

I have been reading through many of the forums here trying to get the best information to begin flying. I am a complete beginner (using iPad/iPhone sims only).

Is it wise to just go with a RTF model first or to buy a used DX6 or 6i with a BNF a plane? I was hoping to find a used radio and Champ without transmitter. My concern is that the RTF transmitted with the Champ or Sport Cub S isn't up to snuff. Also, does it make more financial sense to get the better radio at the beginning? I am looking to see how you decided when you first began.

Thanks!
it really depends. if you see yourself as super involved in RC, or soon to be, and plan to fly a lot, go with a better radio. you will need a better radio for most higher performance planes, and if you stick with this hobby you will have those types of planes, that will need a better radio.

But if you just fly once in a while to pass time, and are not really involved, and do not see yourself becoming involved anytime soon, the RTF radios will work, but just barely.
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Old Dec 24, 2014, 12:18 PM
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United States, CA, Rosemead
Joined Jan 2012
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there is a third possibility - you see yourself getting involved heavily but are absolutely terrible at flying models. high-end radio would be a waste in that case. probably won't be the case with you, but i considered that alternative when i started out.

ps - i'm only marginally terrible now at flying models, so i stuck with the hobby.
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Old Dec 24, 2014, 12:19 PM
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Joined Jan 2004
499 Posts
My first planes were RTF with Rx. When I got a few planes, it made sense to get an Rx with memory, in this case a Dx6i. I found it was better than the Rx that came with the RTF's; the stick "feel" was better, more controllability over travel, expo, etc.

Some will say "no get the Dx6". I recently got one, it's better than the Dx6i; but from a value standpoint, the Dx6i is still a good radio to get. And with many people moving to the Dx6, Dx6i used prices are getting soft.

I am keeping my Dx6i as a "backup" Tx. I'm keeping all my 1s planes which don't require a bind plug to bind in the memory. When I take my son flying, that will be the one he uses as well

Regards
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Old Dec 24, 2014, 12:26 PM
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I have got a champ for Christmas.I bought a dx5e to go with it.I bought it for range and simply because its bigger than the RTF tx.I also went for it because they are very cheap(here in the UK)and basic.Until I learn to fly I don't want the added confusion of learning how to use the radio.
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Old Dec 24, 2014, 12:27 PM
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@Joe:
interesting coincidence. i started with RTF radios, then got a Dx6i. just bought the Dx6 this month. yep, resolution is better the more you pay. i'm keeping the Dx6i for my planes and the Dx6 for my helis. for planes i don't want my thumbs to get spoiled by the Dx6. but my CP helis do benefit from the Dx6. my perspective is that the more demanding machines benefit more from the higher-end radio. again, its just my viewpoint - not necessarily the right way.
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Old Dec 24, 2014, 12:31 PM
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Joined Jun 2007
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Hi Ph. It's just a matter of preference. If you have a really low budget or aren't really sure you're going to stay in the hobby, getting that rtf with a tx might be the best choice to start with. If you know you're in it for the long haul, then that used Dx6 or 6i are better choices. Personally, I stayed with an Apprentice that came with a Dx5e. Eventually got another plane and picked up a 6i as I didn't want to keep re-binding the 5e. But I kept the 5e for buddy boxing with people who wanted to try, and it came in really handy.

It's said you should get the best radio you can afford if you know you're staying in the hobby. I believe that's true up to a point, as I've seen a couple of beginners crash due to getting outsmarted by their really high end tx's. So I think, if it's Spektrum you like, a Dx6 or 6i is a great intro to computer tx's. Good luck with whatever you decide.

Edit: Whoa! There were no replies when I started typing, my cat jumped in my lap to use me as a warmer for a few minutes, I come back to finish and all these replies! So if my answer seems a little bit repetitive, that's why.
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Old Dec 24, 2014, 01:48 PM
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United States, TN, Murfreesboro
Joined Apr 2013
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I fly many of my micro's with a stock rtf control. I have a dx5 and dx6 which I got later for BNF planes. But still fly many small planes with the toy control I just like it. There are fine for learning.
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Old Dec 24, 2014, 02:12 PM
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United States, CA, San Marcos
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Fantastic responses, thanks guys! I guess that since I have no experience flying, it is probably best that I stick with a rtf TX and see if I enjoy it first. Then I could keep flying the Champ or Sport Cub with a different transmitter that I pick up anyways.
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Old Dec 24, 2014, 03:05 PM
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United States, AR, Marked Tree
Joined May 2012
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Been some 20 years since I've flown for no reason - just didn't. Ordered a RTF complete. Fly now when weather permits.

Since I started flying, both my sons have a plane - one did BNF and the other RTF to see if he and his son wanted to get into the hobby.

I fly the RTF and Spectrum DX5E (5 channel) and like both.

Suggest you to see how enthusiatic you are about the sport without spending a lot of money upfront. But, that's just me.

Just a heads up - If you like it and enjoy, you will become addicted like the rest of us. Wish you well.
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Last edited by skillett; Dec 24, 2014 at 03:07 PM. Reason: spelling correction
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Old Dec 24, 2014, 03:18 PM
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Joined Oct 2014
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Moving up to a better transmitter should just be a natural evolution.
I was away from the hobby for many many years, I now use the TX from and RTF, an LP6DSM and fly 3 models with it.
I sort of plan on going to a more powerful TX next spring.
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Old Dec 24, 2014, 07:11 PM
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It is a very interesting hobby, however to have a good start is not easy. Some people started with full of excitement and bought expensive gear but cool down way too fast after a lot of crashes. Anyway get the cheapest rtf like the HobbyZone Duet. for less than $60 you can start flying. If you like it then a DX6i is a good start.

Edmond
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Old Dec 25, 2014, 08:53 AM
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United States, OR, Eagle Creek
Joined Apr 2007
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just a note one of the previous posts mentioned a LP6DSM , I had for a very short time a LP5DSM these transmitters came packaged with RTF kits and are considered park flyer only due to being LP= low power so be careful with flying very far out from you with RTF radios yet another reason that the DX6I and now the new DX6 have been so popular because they are full range transmitters . ever consider flying a stryker with a rtf transmitter not when they can be 1/4 to 1/3 of a mile down range in a very short time. Good luck with your choices. enjoy the hobby and welcome to rc groups!!


Merry Christmas to all
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Old Dec 25, 2014, 09:02 AM
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Joined Oct 2014
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That's important to keep in mind with just about all RTF transmitters, they're all low power output types.
Use some care and you're OK. Watch the wind!
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