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Old Dec 27, 2005, 05:18 PM
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Attn Futaba, JR, Hitec any other radio manufacturer

Attn Futaba, JR, Hitec any other radio manufacturer

Am posting this to a few forums in the hope a rep might see it...

I would like to make a suggestion...

Of course if its ever implemented or something like it then you are more than welcome to send me a eval product for my great idea :-) would perhaps need 2 since the second part of the suggestion was from a fellow flyer...

With the high end Futaba radio being built around Windows Mobile and JR playing catchup with whatever they are going to bring out for some competition I would like to see:

A programmable pre flight check list, where you can check off items on it before you transmit the throttle signal for the plane or heli etc etc...

There seems to be a lot of little mistakes made like sometimes forgeting to pull the antenna right out, not connecting fuel lines, not unclipping fuel stoppers etc etc made that could be easily solved if you could configure a preflight list and check these items off before going for a fly...

Common sense of course it has to be so you can turn it on or off if you dont want to use it etc etc...

I just think it would help solve a lot of little issues, and make a day that much more enjoyable instead of cranking over an engine wondering why it wont start when you fogot to put the back pressue line on or forgot to check the wing bolts were in after someone pulled you away to tweak a motor or something like that.

Of course if you wanted to make it real smart then you could have some of the checks set so they only need to be done once a day or others each flight, so under each preflight item set the frequncy of the checks to occur...
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Old Dec 27, 2005, 06:53 PM
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Why not make this a poll so that we can vote on whether or not we think it's a good idea?
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Old Dec 27, 2005, 08:06 PM
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Interesting idea. If you *really* want to get the mfgr's attention, I suggest going to their websites and getting their phone numbers. Another option is to post in the Hitec forum in RCG, and also the JR, Futaba, and Polk forums at rcuniverse.com - all these forums are actively monitored by mfgr reps:

http://www.rcuniverse.com/forum/forumid_52/tt.htm


Lance
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Old Dec 28, 2005, 07:39 AM
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Lance/Mike

You sometimes get a reply on RC Groups, you never get a reply on RCU...

I cant see the option to add a poll now the post is made either... I doubt there will be enough interest to bother anyway.
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Old Dec 28, 2005, 10:22 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by letmein
...Of course if you wanted to make it real smart then you could have some of the checks set so they only need to be done once a day or others each flight, so under each preflight item set the frequncy of the checks to occur...

Why not just aspire to have smart pilots instead of smart transmitters?

Even the large airlines have a manual checklist before flight.

Why should RC pilots expect anything different?

Asking a radio to do for the pilot what should be the pilot's responsibility sounds a little foolish to me.

Some things like a Throttle check (existing on ESCs now and on some transmitters) are already available.

-joedy
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Old Dec 28, 2005, 04:52 PM
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For a start..... there are too many different permutations and combinations to make this practical. How many different Aircraft / Heli's / Glider types are there ? If you take a modular radio, you could fit a surface module for your boat / car / tank / robot etc etc. How would you cater those these ? How much extra ROM would be needed to take up all of these options and at what cost ? The manhours involved in investigating even the basic possibilities would have to be taken into consideration and all in all would probably bump the price to an unacceptable level for something that perhaps 10% of users would appreciate.

In all honesty, I think its a non-starter.
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Old Dec 28, 2005, 05:34 PM
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man_man - arent you from McGregor UK... If so this is why you dont fully understand. You sell JR. JR dont use Windows Mobile for their Radios yet, heck JR dont even have the ability to store more than 30 Models in a radio.

Just to get it clear...

This would be the sequence of events:

1 - You put ya key/pin in the frequency board, you turn on your radio, it prompts you which frequency you want to use.

2 - You select the frequency and it scans to see if available then it transmits.

3 - On the Screen it displays a check list which you have programmed in earlier, this check list is saved with each model, beside each item is a check box which you tick of with your stylus or finger.

1. Check aerial up
2. Fuel Plane
3. Check Retracts
4. Etc
5. Etc

Sure there are too many different permutations and combinations, but the thiing is you are programming in the check list yourself... You are not relying on the manufacturer to come up with a check list which is what it seems like you are talking about.

As for storage, memory is cheap.

In all honesty, I think it is a starter and if its something that would make the hobby that much more easier to enjoy I think it should be considered.

Quote:
Originally Posted by mac_man
For a start..... there are too many different permutations and combinations to make this practical. How many different Aircraft / Heli's / Glider types are there ? If you take a modular radio, you could fit a surface module for your boat / car / tank / robot etc etc. How would you cater those these ? How much extra ROM would be needed to take up all of these options and at what cost ? The manhours involved in investigating even the basic possibilities would have to be taken into consideration and all in all would probably bump the price to an unacceptable level for something that perhaps 10% of users would appreciate.

In all honesty, I think its a non-starter.
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Old Dec 28, 2005, 05:42 PM
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Joedy - There is human error in everything, sure the large airlines have a manual checklist, i am also going to hazzard a guess that these pilots only fly the one type of plane mostly

They do not have a whole fleet of Planes/Helis each with different setups and different things to check. Do these airlines also only have a paper copy of this check list? I would say not, thats the advantage of the Glass Cockpit where you get all the info on your 2 or 3 screens and not have to flip through piles of useless paper.

What I am proposing is no different you have a manual check list which you program into the radio and its saved with that particular model.

As for your statement why whould we expect anything different... Well it is a hobby and if it makes it simpler and more enjoyable then why not ask for it.


Quote:
Originally Posted by Joedy
Why not just aspire to have smart pilots instead of smart transmitters?

Even the large airlines have a manual checklist before flight.

Why should RC pilots expect anything different?

Asking a radio to do for the pilot what should be the pilot's responsibility sounds a little foolish to me.

Some things like a Throttle check (existing on ESCs now and on some transmitters) are already available.

-joedy
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Old Dec 29, 2005, 12:11 AM
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In my opinion, I think the idea has merit and demonstrates some out-of-the-box thinking.

If I understand the idea, its really nothing more than a Memo Pad function commonly seen in PDA's. The user would add anything they want to the memo pad and use it as their own personal checklist. No pre-programmed templates are necessary, although they could be provided. Your wife could even sneak in a line ... "Honey, buy milk". In a CE environment, this would be straightforward to implement.

I should think there are many users who could benefit. As the general population ages and lifespans increase, the median age in RC may increase beyond its already high value. Some of the older folks that I fly with seem to have decreased short term memory ("forgetfullness") either due to aging or perhaps medication. Two that I know have launched their gliders off a cliff without remembering to turn their Rx's on! And these guys are bright guys (retired engineers) - this has nothing to do with intelligence.

I don't know when 14MZ-type radios will become commonplace enough to make the idea feasible. But a checklist/memo-pad function could turn out to be the RC-equivalent of Viagra ... few might admit to needing it, but more will actually use it


Lance
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Old Dec 29, 2005, 12:22 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by letmein
Lance/Mike

You sometimes get a reply on RC Groups, you never get a reply on RCU...

I cant see the option to add a poll now the post is made either... I doubt there will be enough interest to bother anyway.
BTW, Danny at the RCU JR forum is terse but proactive, as was Baxter in the Futaba forum the last time I looked. And mac_man seems to pull active double-duty at both RCG and RCU

I recall that when I (and others) pleaded for a JR synth module over a year ago in the JR forum, Danny forwarded the request, and its now a reality. It might have already been in the works, but I recall Danny actually replied.


Lance
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Old Dec 29, 2005, 03:43 AM
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The checklist could be active rather than passive, for example after switching on the tx it could check that the retract switch is in the down position before it transmits a signal - all it would need is a slight mod to the htrottle check that many tx already do. What I would like is a freely assignable list of switches and positions which they should be in before a signal is sent.

With my jets I have several extensive pre-flight checklists and I use them religiously because there are so many systems on board the model, but there are variations between each plane so different cards have to be carried and one day one of them will get lost. It would be nice to have them in the tx specific to each model. Another nice thing to have that I have encountered on some full -size airliners is a take-off test where you push a button and it rings a bell if everything is set correctly, in my model's case is take off mode switched on, is flap switch at the mid position, timer started and so on?

H
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