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Old Dec 26, 2011, 09:20 PM
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Question
New to RC and want radio and Simulator first

I am another old fart that is bored and needs another hobby. I used to do U-control and gliders, long ago. I actually have a partially completed RC plane and engine in the basement. However, I want to start with an electric "park flyer" plane. I also want a 3D plane for grins.
I have been reading for days and have an idea what I want and where I want to start. I am having trouble with a few details. I want to buy a good radio and a good simulator and then, based on my experience with the sim, decide on a plane/motor combo. I'll get to the simulator part at the end and tie all of it together.

Radio: I was thinking I'd get a Spektrum DX6i or better. As I look toward the future, I want to do in-flight videos and stills. I have been looking at mini HD video-cams. I also want to do aerobatics; thus a 4+ servo radio and ailerons on the planes is a must.
Looking at the DX6i's, I found one that says, "DX6i DSMX 6 Channel Full Range without Servo MD2". Another says "mode 2", and has a 0-SPM6610 PN. Another, that is $50 cheaper says, "mode 2" with a PN 0-SPM6600. I don't understand what is meant by "without Servo MD2" and if they are "Mode 2" radios, should I care that they can't do Mode 1 (me being in the US)?
Also, looking at Spektrum's website, I cannot see how anything can be plugged into a DX6i for the Sim connection. I see multiple sites (including Amazon), offering Sim adapters that say they are for "JR" or Spektrum radios and have a mono OR stereo mini jack to USB cable. Is this what I need and where does it go? Are there hidden connectors/jacks that I cannot see in web pictures of the radio? I see no holes. Is this adapter just a simple stereo to USB adapter, where I'll need a cable with a male mono to stereo plug to make it work?

Simulator: I am not very concerned about the simulator's cost. I think it will pay for itself. I want realistic representations of planes and how they fly and respond using the real radio that I'll buy. The Slow Stick (as a first plane), appeals to me.
I have a very fast computer running Windows 7, 64 bit Pro with great, hi-res monitors.
The Phoenix Pro, Version 3, looks like a good candidate to me from what I've read. Please, let's not have another long thread about the best sim. I've tried to tell you what my criteria is and now I am willing to listen.Here, it's shown with a cable. Is this all I need to connect it to my PC?
Thanks in advance for any help!
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Old Dec 26, 2011, 10:27 PM
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Scargo,
Welcome to RC!
I was considering Phoenix also, but went with FSone V2 because of the online help, (here on RCG)
and the fact that they consider the flight physics are the most important part.
But you are right, just having a sim will do you a world of good and save you much grief and $$$!
I looked but could not determine if the adapter comes with the sim or if it's seperate.
Mike.
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Old Dec 26, 2011, 10:43 PM
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>I want realistic representations of planes and how they fly and respond using the real radio that I'll buy.

My 2 cents: Phoenix is not the optimal choice if you want simulator for planes...
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Old Dec 26, 2011, 10:49 PM
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I own both Phoenix and RealFlight 6 (RF6).

If you want to go with some Horizon Hobby planes, Phoenix is a reasonable choice (and a lot of people do). If you don't, stay away from it. If you go with the Slow Stik, there is nothing in Phoenix that is reasonably close. Personally, I would suggest you look into RF6. There are planes in RF6 that are close to the Slow Stik. There is also lots of user generated content, some of which is very very good. Phoenix does not support user created content. Realflight 6 comes with a controller (not a radio but laid out like a radio), so if you get that first, you can practice right away while you are deciding on the rest of the stuff.
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Old Dec 27, 2011, 01:38 PM
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thanks for the input. Can this discussion be expanded?

I am pretty ignorant. Armed with a little knowledge, I may be dangerous!
I don't particularly want a GWS plane; I want a stable, 36-42", park-sized plane with ailerons. Something I can learn on after mastering the simulator and hopefully something that can be very stable for aerial photography. Is it possible to have a plane capable of aerobatics and also capable of stable flight with a hacked/trimmed down Go Pro?
I don't want to paint myself in a corner by saying it is going to be a "Slow Stick" kit. I am very capable of building anything. I am a retired professional model maker. I have a wood shop and I have access to a machine shop. I build my own PCs.
I just want a simulator that gives me the best feel of flying planes of the type I am interested in. Does it really have to be a specific plane in the sim's library for me to be able to master the use of the controls?
I also need to know what I need to buy, if anything, that will allow me to use a Spektrum radio with the simulator.
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Old Dec 27, 2011, 02:21 PM
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Quote:
I just want a simulator that gives me the best feel of flying planes of the type I am interested in. Does it really have to be a specific plane in the sim's library for me to be able to master the use of the controls?
You'd be amazed how many people overlook what you just asked. Buy a sim, fly them all! That will help you in the long run, regardless of what type of planes you like to fly. Ailerons are ailerons. Are you picking up what I'm putting down, as my daughter likes to say? That said, there is so much more to RC than what a sim can give you. How to tune an engine, what sky space you can use at your local club field, the list goes on.
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Old Dec 27, 2011, 03:21 PM
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Most radios have trainer jack that the plug can also be used for the simulator cable hook up with the companies dongle or whatever method they use. The spektrum dX6i has this jack and the models above to. It has a memory for numerous planes for future expansion, They even bundle a DX5e with Phoenix, its a real radio that when not using the sim you can use for your real plane, the down side its only good for one plane unless you switch receivers, Just about any one of the sims will get you where you need to be, working on your skills to fly a real world plane.

When using a sim I always thought it was best to try once in a while to fly a plane beyond ones means until you start to get the hang of that then switch back to the easier planes.
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Old Dec 27, 2011, 09:25 PM
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Bought Spektrum DX6i and Phoenix 3 Simulator with cord

Thanks, Brentg, for the advice.
I found a bricks and mortar store nearby and bought the Spektrum DX6i after talking to a salesman who does R/C. Then, since they did not have a Simulator without a radio or controller, they opened the box and sold me the just the disc and cable for the price of the sim package without a controller. Such nice guys at Galaxy Hobby in Lynnwood, WA!
What I discovered is that the buddy jack, in the middle of the back of the unit, is a stereo miniplug and the cable has a proprietary module in the cable that adapts the signal to the software. Not just any Radio Shack cable would work.
The store also has RTF, ARF and kits. I am so excited!
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Old Dec 28, 2011, 06:11 AM
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Thats great, and you have lucked out having such a great lhs close to you. Sounds like the Hobbytown close to me great mom and pop shop.

I have all the sims and use a spektrum radio using the buddy jack system and it works fine and does not consume much battery power, When you plug in the radio it will turn on only the ppm section of the radio not rf.

I think you will be happy with the sim you got, For me they all serve the same purpose some are just, more of this and less of that, And maybe after you feel you dont need the sim down the road, You could peddle it and recoup some of your cash.

Good luck RC'ing
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Old Dec 10, 2015, 09:22 PM
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Hello Scargo:
I just stumbled onto this website and your history/discussion of RC Flying in this area. I'm not sure where to start - the short version is we are of the same mold - old school and always wanted to learn. I did the control line models as a teen60 years ago - but with today's technology, now is the time to step up to RC's.
I did not start with a simulator and I'm not a computer gamer - so I jumped in over my head buying a Corsair with Safe feature from HobbyZone.com - a nice set up but wrecked it and hit trees as no place was large enough to learn. So this past summer I joined Marymoor RC club to take advantage of their "buddybox" instructor assistance on Tuesdays. It was helpful but short lived and I still had to look for a place to fly - and of course joined AMA also, which was good as it has insurance in case I hit someone or a car. It was a tough start with crashes,etc - but the 36-48" wingspan models are the way to go - but one needs a high wing trainer, not the low wing warbirds. My Spektrum5xe was ok but only handles one plane, where as the 6i and 6 can be programmed for more. They recommend the Apprentice Trainer. The small 18" wingspan models are not fun as the wind blows them all over and you are really not flying them - plus they don't even allow them at Marymoor, they are the schoolyard models and don't require the room - but again I wasted money on a couple of them. So I searched around and flew at Pacific Raceways parking lot in Covington - but wrecked a lot even though the Corsair had a beginner, Intermediate and advanced modes. So, in still looking for a place to fly - I found the 60 acre Park in Redmond may be the next place to try. And I got a Sportsman S+ from hobbyzone.com - it's like an Apprentice but has GPS functionality , with Safe, hold pattern, autoland and a virtual fence mode - all very cool features. So, I can relate to your dilemma.
Getting back to the simulator issues - I ordered a download from rcflightsim.com called ClearviewSE for $10 and has different planes and views - I thought , yeah - to cheap, but it is very cool and realistic and works with Windows 7. They even guide you to a usb connector that works on your controller - right now I use a cheap one , but have it on order. So I guess this is not the short version - but I have really been discouraged until now and looking forward to checking out 60 Acres Park. Good luck in your adventures. BTW, I live in Renton.
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