Since when did everything get so cheap? - RC Groups
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Jul 05, 2009, 01:37 PM
Ego varius quis.
Cheesehead's Avatar

Since when did everything get so cheap?

I tried flying R/C a few years ago and, after a few extremely expensive mistakes, gave up. A crappy ESC (the GWS ICS-50) cost $15 and burned out after two flights, while a higher-quality replacement - the Pixie 7P - cost $35. And don't get me started on batteries.

Recently, I figured I'd give it another go, and was amazed to find how cheap so many of the parts had become. For the price of an ICS-50, I can now buy a Hextronic 8A brushless speed controller AND a 12g brushless motor. And the batteries cost almost nothing at all!
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Jul 05, 2009, 01:56 PM
Registered User
Only in the last 12 months or so have things really taken off. Battery quality is the best. 2 years ago my batts would puff after 1-2 flights. It was hard to justify flying elec. I fly 5 different acro models. All work great, no failures. Batteries are now available cheap.
Competition in the industry has finally taken hold. Electric power rules!!!!!!
Jul 05, 2009, 02:55 PM
Deletedfor proving Nauga wrong
About years ago the "knock off" brushless motor/ESC market started comming on line. As more makers produce the same things, there's more price competition to try to gain or keep "market share"

Free Market Capitalizm at work.

Strange that Communist China is so good at competing in capitalist markets...
Jul 05, 2009, 03:19 PM
Detroit 2-stroke junkie
1320fastback's Avatar
Yea, little bit of competition from China has really brought prices down so the commoner can afford to fly electric.
Jul 05, 2009, 04:31 PM
Tree Fodder
MumblinBerk's Avatar
Theres quite a bit of "supply and demand" effect going on, as well.

With the (fairly recent) advent of better foam formulations, (epp / elapor), much more efficient motors and battery packs, suddenly small, light, durable planes become possible, and the hobby is more accessible to everyone.

Sales have gone WAY up over the last 6 years or so, as has the quality of RTF / ARF market. Hopefully, the trend continues. It's been pretty exciting thus far.

Just keep your fingers crossed the the government keeps their nose out of it for a few more years, before they legislate it into the dust.

Jul 05, 2009, 04:44 PM
Registered User
It's the result of US free trade agreements with non-free countries. US-made products will be competitive again when we're all living in dormatories at the edges of our cities while commuting to work on mopeds wearing smog masks. At least we can fly cheap planes for a while tho!

Jul 05, 2009, 04:59 PM
Suspended Account
Since Hobby Lobby decided to stay in business.
Jul 05, 2009, 05:17 PM
Sussex, UK
RobinBennett's Avatar
I think the big change was when United Hobbies (now called Hobby King) started selling the cheap Chinese stuff direct, with low margins. They put out of business the people who were importing the same stuff, sticking their own logo on it and selling it for only slightly less than the 'quality' US and EU made stuff.
Jul 05, 2009, 05:27 PM
Deletedfor proving Nauga wrong
The prices have been going down for RC stuff for a lot longer than that really...

RC has bennefitted greatly from the increased power and lower cost of computers and electronics in general.
The TX programming capability of the best radio out there in 1975 was essentially NONE. Even servo reversing switches were rare.
The cost of getting a 4 ch "40 class" trainer in the air (including 1 gal fuel, glow ignitor, fuel pump and starter) in 1975 was about $750 to $1000 and you could buy a darn good used car for that at the time. Now a 4 ch "40 class" trainer costs about $300 to $400 to get in the air... and you can't even buy a good set of tires for that.
Jul 05, 2009, 05:44 PM
Xpress..'s Avatar
Good thing china came along. Makes the hobby more affordable to those who are on a tight budget, or for those who aren't sure if they want to stay in the hobby.
Jul 06, 2009, 02:37 AM
Registered User
Threshold's Avatar
With the credit crunch here in the UK things have just got expensive again, going up by about 35%
Jul 06, 2009, 03:46 AM
Registered User
OneHundretMoons's Avatar
Ahh.. I remember the times when I was younger and my dad promised me to buy a helicopter remote controlled when I would achieve good results in school...that heli at that time did cost here 1500-2000 chf which is over 1000usd.

Now after the years...I got so interested into this hobby not just because I love it, I love the sky for years and years but because now I could afford an airplane myself..fixing aint costing to much except my current modell from Hype/Kyosho which is from germany and the parts for my plane are very expensive because of the euro.

But all in all I gotta say I am very happy the prices have come down.

I buy all accessoriers now from hobby city like batteries and servos,etc...
Here still the cheapest 1x 1800mah 3 cell battery costs here in a lhs a minimum of 60 chf which is 57usd.

But I like the way the thing that have changed to good,for all of us.

Lets hope it will stay that way for a good while.

Now I need only a FPV set to become cheaper and I have reached kinda my dream To sit or fly in my very own plane,even if virtually
Jul 06, 2009, 09:04 AM
Suspended Account
Originally Posted by RTFD
Since Hobby Lobby decided to stay in business.
Lol! That's a good one!
Jul 06, 2009, 10:38 AM
Registered User
flydiver's Avatar
Originally Posted by Cheesehead
For the price of an ICS-50, I can now buy a Hextronic 8A brushless speed controller AND a 12g brushless motor. And the batteries cost almost nothing at all!
Yep, some stuff is cheap. If you have a tendency to go down that path do your homework. The GWS ESC are cheap, some are not reliable and ALL have an unacceptable LVC. The Hextronic ESC are marginal. Lipos in general are cheaper but some of the eBay and 'Mystery' lipos can be a real disappointment.

TowerPro motors are cheap, work well for the price but bend shafts and can break wires pretty easily. Unfortunate as they are snapped up by newbies who can think all motors are this fragile.

The list goes on. It's like a great rummage sale, you are better off if you know your stuff.
Jul 06, 2009, 10:42 AM
Magicsmoke maker
Inflexo's Avatar
Pretty simple really... you get what you pay for (referring to uniquely manufactured goods, not sticker-jobbed clones).

As you say flydiver, that gear is bordering on "marginal" for the task it's advertised to do. I'd put my faith on the other hand in Jeti, CC and other similar brands that "appear" to be more expensive. I've compared the assembly, design and parts on a fair swathe of electronics from R/C and what you're primarily paying for is to have the gear work at the advertised specifications day in and out without unduly straining the parts. The operating envelopes of cheaper gear are a lot smaller than the quality productions of CC and Jeti alike.

... just an EE's take on things.
Last edited by Inflexo; Jul 06, 2009 at 08:43 PM. Reason: clarification

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