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Apr 08, 2012, 09:40 AM
Preparing for Retirement
Discussion

Request RC Radio History Lesson


Question for the veterans,
Please let me know when 2.4 was taken over by AM/FM/PCM?

I have been out of the hobby for 20 years and noticed that 2.4 has taken over.
Funny...I remember back then when PCM was the greatest thing and if you were flying AM you were at risk.I do recall interference issues with all 3 where our club was, still inside city limits near the power lines.

Very curious of what I missed...
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Apr 08, 2012, 11:54 AM
Registered User
Air radios on 2.4 came out around 2005 I think, but I wouldn't say they had "taken over" until maybe 2009ish. I guess it depends on whether you mean most sales, most in use, or most in existence.
Apr 08, 2012, 12:41 PM
Bo Edström, Sweden
Hi,

I believe Spektrum was first on hobby RC market with a 2.4 GHz surface radio system. I think they showed something already in 2004 or 2005 but at first they released 2.4 GHz modules (and receiver) that fitted other brand radios like Futaba, JR, Hitec, Airtronics. It was used by RC car drivers I think. Shortly after Spektrum made their own DX3 2.4 GHz complete surface radio in 2005, and in 2006 I believe the first 2.4 GHz Spektrum air radio was released. Futaba came with 2.4 GHz modules for their module radios like 12MZ, 14 MZ etc in 2007 if I remember correct. So 2005-2007 2.4 GHz started to be available and today it is almost only 2.4 GHz radios that is made for hobby RC use.

It is natural to choose 2.4 GHz radio today when starting in RC (new or comeback). Many brands and models of radio to choose from today. You have the main brands like Futaba, Spektrum, JR, Hitec, Airtronics, Graupner etc, then You have many clones (copies) from China that are cheaper.

I started to fly RC in 1973 and used AM then (German Robbe 4 ch that was actually a Futaba and after that I got a US made EK Logictrol 7 ch).
Now I use 2.4 GHz radio (since 3 years back), a Futaba radio (14MZ).

Most radios are like small computers today with display and wheel/knobs/touchscreen to make settings. Some radios are very advanced and can be programmed to do almost anyting you could want to program for an airplane or helicopter etc.

Today also a new thing has risen on the horizon and that is telemetry - data from the plane can be sent down to transmitter for display and or sound alerts. Reciever battery voltage, various sensors like GPS speed, height, variometer, current/voltage of external batteries (for electric planes), temperature, RPM, fuelflow (and fuelmeter) etc.
One if the most advanced radios today is Futaba 18MZ but many other radios are very good and can do many many things also. I think You will be amazed what modern radios can do today compared to a radio 20 years ago.

Popular radios today for airplanes/helicopters are 7-8 channel radios like Futaba 8FG Super, Spektrum DX7/DX8, Graupner MX-16 to name a few.

So You are planning a comeback in the hobby?
What radio did You use last time 20 years ago?

/Bo
Last edited by bossee; Apr 08, 2012 at 12:53 PM.
Apr 08, 2012, 04:02 PM
Registered User
Around 2005 Nomadio (http://nomadio.net/) and Horizon (Spektrum) introduced 2.4GHz to the hobby world. Also Nomadio did the first Airtronics surface modules.
Apr 08, 2012, 08:37 PM
Registered User
Spectrum was the first to release a 2.4 radio for park flyers using JR mechanics. It was until quite a while later that Spectrum released a JR based 2.4 radio for general RC flying. At first, Spectrum stated that they would NOT release a 2.4 module for other radios and did not admit that they were developing modules for JR and Futaba radios until XPS announced that they were releasing their 2.4 modules for Futaba and JR at Toledo. I don't remember which was first to actually start delivery of 2.4 modules but I think it was XPS.
Apr 09, 2012, 11:19 PM
60 years of RC flying
Daedalus66's Avatar
To be more precise, the DX6 was officially announced in October 2005. The first we had in our area were in the winter of 2006 and were used for indoor flying.

The DX7 (which brought DSM2) was announced almost exactly a year later in October 2006.

The modules for JR and Futaba radios were announced in February 2007 and became available late spring, as I recall.

The mass transition to 2.4 really began in 2007 and accelerated in early 2008 with the announcement of the Futaba 7C using the FASST system. Other manufacturers shifted quickly to 2.4. Almost no radios on the old FM frequencies remained available and prices dropped rapidly on used FM equipment. By 2009, flyers using 2.4 greatly outnumbered those on FM at many club fields.

Also in 2009 Horizon Hobby launched the hugely successful Ultramicro BNF models, starting with the Vapor and soon including the Sukhoi and P51.

Over the next two years, very low cost 2.4 equipment was developed, enabling manufacturers to use 2.4 in an ever-increasing range of low-cost RTF models. The first clone DSM2 compatible receivers became available at very low prices (under $10) and FASST-compatible receivers followed.

in 2009 and 2010, 2.4 modules from Assan, Fly Dream, FrSky and became available to convert older radios.

DSMX was announced by Spektrum in February 2011, though the technology had been already been secretly included in the DX8 when it was released in the fall of 2010. This development meant that essentially all the new 2.4 systems were using frequency-hopping spread spectrum (FHSS), though they remained mutually incompatible.

Telemetry became widely available in 2011, with the DX8, Hitec Aurora 9, and low cost FrSky modules.
Last edited by Daedalus66; Apr 10, 2012 at 07:18 AM. Reason: Filling in the details
Apr 09, 2012, 11:32 PM
どうもありがとうミスターロボット
Wrend's Avatar
Quote:
Originally Posted by bossee View Post
...

Popular radios today for airplanes/helicopters are 7-8 channel radios like Futaba 8FG Super, Spektrum DX7/DX8, Graupner MX-16 to name a few.

...
Just a slight correction here. The 8FG is actually a 12+2 channel radio with the version 3.0 firmware update or later (current version is 5.0).
Apr 10, 2012, 05:20 AM
Registered User
Quote:
Originally Posted by Daedalus66 View Post
To be more precise, the DX6 was officially announced in October 2005. The first we had in our area were in the winter of 2006 and were used for indoor flying.

The DX7 (which brought DSM2) was announced almost exactly a year later in October 2006.

The modules for JR and Futaba radios were announced in February 2007 and became available late spring, as I recall.

DSMX was announced in February 2011.
Your timeline is dead on. So we've only had 2.4 for 5 years. It seems like just yesterday that "park flyers are going to ruin our hobby" was the propaganda as more and more people started havingfull range 72 systems in aircraft that didn't reqire skill or a club to fly...
Apr 10, 2012, 07:17 AM
Registered User
I bought an XPS module for my Evo in July, 2007 and the Evo version was not released until at least a year after the Futaba, JR, and Hitec versions. The first XPS was released at Toledo so it must have been in 2006. I have used my Evo with XPS since September 2007 without a single failure of any kind. All my models built since that time have been on 2.4 with XPS and I now have only two models still on 72.
Apr 10, 2012, 07:20 AM
60 years of RC flying
Daedalus66's Avatar
Quote:
Originally Posted by Brian Dorff View Post
Your timeline is dead on. So we've only had 2.4 for 5 years. It seems like just yesterday that "park flyers are going to ruin our hobby" was the propaganda as more and more people started havingfull range 72 systems in aircraft that didn't reqire skill or a club to fly...
Yes. The shift to 2.4 really got going in summer 2007 and was virtually complete by 2009. I've now filled in some of the details in my previous post.
Apr 10, 2012, 09:19 AM
Taranis Tyro...
MattyB's Avatar
Quote:
Originally Posted by Daedalus66 View Post
Yes. The shift to 2.4 really got going in summer 2007 and was virtually complete by 2009.
That's probably true in the mainstream gas/electric power world, but it's not correct for glider guiders - only pretty recently has 2.4GHz started to outnumber 35MHz in our club here in the UK, and many people are still reticent about kitting out their carbon F3X birds with 2.4. FPV is I believe also an area where 35/72MHz still dominates because of swamping at the plane end if both systems use the 2.4GHz band.
Apr 23, 2012, 04:16 AM
Registered User
Good question and good answer.
Apr 23, 2012, 06:35 PM
Proud member of LISF and ESL
We all have different perspectives on this.

Yes, Spektrum DX6 came out in 2005 and kicked it off. But 72 MHz still dominated till around 2009 when it would be hard to find a new 72 MHz radio on the shelves.

I fly competition sailplanes in the Eastern Soaring League. Up till 2010, less than half of the pilots were flying on 2.4. In 2011 I think we tipped over to more than 50%.

I would say that about half 60% of my sailplane club has move to 2.4 or started on 2.4.

Today, ESL contest registrations for the TD events is 75% or higher.

Today I don't think you will find any new 6 channel or higher computer radios for sale on 72 MHz from Futaba, Hitec, Airtronics, JR or Spektrum. There are still some non-computer radiosavailable on 72 MHz, but they are older models that may just be flushing through the system.

So, we are fully into the age of 2.4 with 72 fading fast.
Last edited by aeajr; Apr 24, 2012 at 02:10 AM.
Apr 23, 2012, 08:15 PM
AndyKunz's Avatar
It really depends on where you fly and with whom. The conversion happened quickly in some places, and others have been a bit slower. Old guys with heavy investment into older technology didn't jump ship quickly, but as far as new radio sales by 2008 it was already measurably harder to unload a 72MHz transmitter. I kinda felt bad for distributors who were caught off guard by the Spektrum revolution. At the shop I worked the sales for one brand virtually stopped because they didn't have a 2.4gHz solution.

Andy
Apr 23, 2012, 10:11 PM
Thermals, Tom
RyanNX211's Avatar
Quote:
At the shop I worked the sales for one brand virtually stopped because they didn't have a 2.4gHz solution.
Sometimes, good things come to those who wait...


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