Newb and Transmitters. - RCCanada - Canada Radio Controlled Hobby Forum
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Old 11-24-2006, 03:41 PM   #1
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Newb and Transmitters.

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I've been doing allot of invetigation lately and it seems that the more I read and learn about transmitters, the more confused I am. Like, here's a dumb question. What's a "buddy"/"trainer" box? Is that a transmitter without the transmitter crystal? What/how do you use it to train? Sim only?

Here's the main thing I'm looking at. I'm new to the sport. I am interested in getting a 6 channel receiver that will keep with me while I change plane models or add models. Basically, I wanna buy one transmitter and don't want to be buying transmitters as I go along adding and swapping planes.

What do you guys suggest? Is it even worth it to go 6ch right away?

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Old 11-24-2006, 04:20 PM   #2
Dave Holmes
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The cost difference between 4 and 6 channels isn't all that much, and you will want the two extra channels fairly soon even if you don't put flaps and retracts on a model.

A true buddy box is just a transmitter with a bunch of stuff left out. It has the controls, but not the capability to transmit. It is connected to the transmitter that works (and which flies your model) by a special cable available from the hobby shop, at swap meets, etc.

While you are learning, you, the student have the buddy box in your hands while the instructor has the "real" transmitter in his. As long as he has the "Trainer" button or switch activated (depending on make and model) you will have control. When (not if!) you get into trouble, the instructor merely releases the switch/button and instantly control passes back to the unit in his hands.

However, all transmitters can act as a buddy box merely by connecting them together with the requisite cable. However, the "slave" transmitter must not be turned on, and I even pull the crystal out of mine when I am using it as a buddy box. I do this so that if a student flicks the power switch on "to see what it does" it can't cause another fliers plane to crash.

Also it is definately best to have the buddy box the same make as the transmitter.

This is by far the safest way to learn to fly.

Hope this helps
Dave Holmes

The older I get, the better I used to be!
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Old 11-24-2006, 04:51 PM   #3
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Well my thoughts on a radio transmitter are that they are personal preference just like a car or truck Some people JR is only way to go for others is Futaba
1. Yes at least 6 channels or functions
2. At least 4 or more model memory
3. Computerized for sure allows so many adjustments and functions right from the radio
4. Synthesized now this was a biggy in my choice for a radio
Allows me to tune in (dial in Any receiver available) in otherwords you buy a plane with a JR receive in it on channel 14 . Push a few buttons turn some dials your all set Terrific deal on a helicopter on channel 58 with a futaba receiver same thing click twist push and you are ready. Well its a little more than that but you get the idea.

Now I believe futaba has come out with one of these radios but could be pricey My Radio is a Hitec Eclipse with spectra modual These can be bought around the $200. mark. Check out Hobby wholesale or Great hobbies, But check there stock. There is a store on that other RC site south of the border that has them listed for sale under Radios of course This is a link to one they have for sale
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Old 11-24-2006, 05:59 PM   #4
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It is 100% worth every penny if you are serious about staying in the hobby to buy atleast a 7ch radio. As someone already mentioned the typical brands are either Jr or Futaba, and some use Hitec. I strongly reccommend either a JR 7202, or a Futaba 7C. I have 9C, and love it, I have used a 7C and it is equally as nice. I have tried the JR 9303 and was a great radio and I am told the 7202 is very similar.

Either way you can't go wrong with a nice 7ch radio, as it will last you a very long time.

Good Luck!!
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Old 11-24-2006, 10:08 PM   #5
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ubergolf. (I forget your name)

how much are you prepared to spend?

Are you wanting it now, or in a couple months?

Do you have any gear right now, or are you starting out totally fresh?

You can get flying with a new radio for around $120. (radio, receiver, batteries, servos, switch...basically everything electronic to get you flying).
Or, you can spent 2500 for the most expensive radio in the canadian market. There is a huge range, and I always try to advice new guy's based on their budget.

In a couple months there is going to be a 7 channel spectrum radio coming out. I think this is going to be a very viable option to look at.

4 channels is all I flew for the first 4 years of actually flying. I now have a 6 channel, and I would like to get a 9 or more, but it's not in the budget just yet. I'll be making do until the time is right.

Multi model memory is a nice feature, as I can gaurantee you will end up with at least 2 models you want to fly without swapping your receiver back and forth.
Michael Gyger
MAAC 58295
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Old 11-24-2006, 10:52 PM   #6
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Have you ever noticed that if you glance quickly across your name, it seems to read "MacGyver"? It always does for me. (note to self: stop posting on friday nights...)


Do not be hesitant to pick up a cheap 6 channel transmitter. I'm also a newbie and I own two, and have no problems with either of them (one is a airtronics VG600 and the other a JRXF622) The airtronics is limited, as it is not a computer radio, but it does its job in flying my trainer. I use my XF 622 to fly my SPAD (soon to be SPAD's). These are both good radios, and nowhere within 5 years of top-of-the-line. I'm thinking about selling my trainer setup with my Airtronics radio, but I think my (six channel) XF 622 will last me at least another year with its limited 2 model memory. By then the current top-of-the-line Tx's will be cheap!

However, if you are very committed to the hobby, I could definately see the benefits of buying a top-end radio off-the-start. I'm just relaying my experiences as a fellow n00b.

All the best,

Ben Hindmarsh

"I keep planting planes, but they just won't grow!"
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Old 11-25-2006, 12:04 AM   #7
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My 2c. Get the very best radio you can afford.
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Old 11-25-2006, 07:50 AM   #8
Kevin McGrath
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Buy a new six channel entry level computer radio of the brand most used at your field usually Futaba or JR.
These units have all the features you need for the first years of your R/C adventure and then some and are familar to the other members of your club and their instructors.
You need maximum reliability,instruction and air time as you start out.
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earthquakes.........but today there are more people in the way.
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Old 11-26-2006, 03:07 PM   #9
Gary Maker
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Personally speaking, (MHO) the best bang for your buck is a Hitec Eclipse 7 computer radio. It has all the features you'll need for years and compared to other brands with similar features its half the price.

I've used this radio for a number of years now, the last three years for IMAC competition and have never had a problem. You can purchase the system in several formats from TX with Spectra ( synthisized module to select every channel on the chart ) or as a complete package with everything you will need to setup and fly a plane/Heli/glider.

It has 7 model memory, seven channels, and many preprogrammed features, also 4 built in mixers to setup your plane any way you desire. And is has trainer features as well.

Just my personal opinion but its a really good buy for a system with this many features.
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Radios used: Spektrum DX6i
Current builds: 1/4 scale J3 Cub & Neiuport 17 and KMP B-25.
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"Time flies like an arrow - fruit flys like a banana." Groucho Marks
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Old 11-27-2006, 09:55 AM   #10
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Wow! You guys are awesome. Thanks for your opinions. Alot of good solid info here. Since the start, I've been partial to the Hitecs. Don't know why 'cause I've never used one. Or any other for that matter. I just don't want to make a uneducated decision. Futabas seem to be the brand of choice but can be quite pricy and since I'm starting out, I don't want to spend a mint only to decide that I would have preferred a different model/brand once I was experienced.

As of now, I'm leaning towards the Hitec eclipse model or just getting an RTF with an included transmitter and learning/mastering it. we'll see.

Thanks again guys.

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