The contents of the “Starter set”
|Overall Length:||Depends on configuration|
|Fits:||Futaba, Hitec, JR, Spektrum, possibly others.|
|Manufacturer:||3D Hobby Shop|
I first saw BIGSTIX at my local field, on a new flyer's radio. This gentleman has severe arthritis in his hands, and just can’t grip the stock transmitters stick tops. He brought his trainer out to the field along with his radio, and I flew the maiden / trim flight on his trainer, using his radio outfitted with BIGSTIX. Having family members who teach the handicapped, I regularly become the guy who ‘gets’ to modify toys and computer hardware to adapt to these users' needs. I instantly saw the potential benefit of these BIGSTIX as an assist device for those flyers who find it difficult to grip stock transmitter stick tops.
In the process, I also found out how much these BIGSTIX help an average flyer, like myself, with no physical restriction to blame for any poor flights.
BIGSTIX are currently sold in 2 flavors -- a set threaded for Futaba / Hitec radios, and a set threaded for JR / Spektrum radios.
The “starter set” comes with 8 pieces:
Sets of 1” extensions are also available to further increase the overall length.
I found that, with 2 extensions, the sticks were long enough to grip full-palm, like a joystick.
The machine work on these aluminum BIGSTIX is excellent. All threads were cut cleanly, and mating surfaces matched up well. The “crown” style stick tops offer positive grip, without biting into your thumbs. Also, the BIGSTIX, and their extensions are hollow to reduce weight on your transmitter's gimbal. Even with 2 extra extensions, my transmitter was still able to center the gimbal quickly and positively without adjusting the stick tension in the radio.
Now, I’m a finger / thumb “pinch” flyer, and I found that using the included extension (making the sticks themselves just over 2” in total length) was perfect for me. The added length increased the precision around center-stick, allowing me to dial out some of the exponential I had on elevator and aileron. I also noticed my fingers weren’t as fatigued after a long flight, or extended sim flying.
Well, honestly, anyone -- whether the pilot has a difficult time grabbing the stock, short transmitter sticks, or would like a little more fine control over their transmitter sticks. I know the added length seriously helped my precision, and "smoothed" out my flying by a significant amount.
Fliers who may benefit from these as an assistive technology would include those with:
I managed to get 3 other fliers at the field to fly with these stick tops on their radios. The overall response was quite impressive. One flyer even went as far as to offer me money to buy them on the spot.
Some of the comments I received were, “I feel more connected to the plane”.. “These really make it easy to make small corrections in flight” .. “My fingers aren’t going numb after a couple minutes anymore” .. “Id give these 5 stars” .. “2 (less stressed) thumbs up!”
I had to cut out openings in the top layer of foam inside my transmitter case to allow room for the added stick length, but even with the sticks in place, my radio still fit in its case!
About the only thing I would change would be to split the bottom of the BIGSTIX so it could be used as a jam nut to secure the BIGSTIX to the transmitter stud like the factory stick tops do. This, however is not a show stopping issue.
I really dig these sticks...They feel nice, and have honestly done a significant job of smoothing out my aerobatics. Ive been flying with them for almost a month, and about the only drawback I've seen is needing to explain what they are to other flyers at the field who comment about how big the sticks are on my radio. Ive also seen firsthand just how helpful these BIGSTIX can be for a fellow flier, to allow him to overcome his arthritis and continue to enjoy the hobby.
For the money, BIGSTIX are definitely worth a try!
Got 'em on three Optic 6's, they will not be coming off! I also fly finger-thumb and the grip,the feel, and the touch is much improved. No more panicking searching for sticks after a transmitter adjustment. Thats one less excuse for less than stellar landings. Thanks Ben.
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