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First Build questions

#1
I'm going to build a FT Commuter. I went into 2 local Hobby store and wanted to buy all the electrics so I could be airborne asap. They were absolutely no help! I showed them a list of stuff I needed and one guy said, "So you want me to find the stuff for you?". Kind of a let down. He said I need to buy one of his ready to fly planes. I want to build one and learn to fly..
So is there a list I can take to a store here in the Dallas area or just order from Flite Test and wait for it to come in?
 

evranch

Well-known member
#2
The Commuter is a power pack A model, so the stuff listed on https://store.flitetest.com/flite-test-power-pack-a-radial-edition-flt-3057/p983483

is basically what you need:

(4x) 5 gram servos
1806 2280kV motor
20A ESC
6x3 props

plus:
2s battery, ~650mAh
4 channel receiver
micro/mini size control horns
pushrods
BBQ skewers
good quality packing tape or fiber/repair tape

Do you have a transmitter?

Some hobby shops suck this way, there is more profit in selling RTFs than in parts so they push you to buy something expensive and crash it. Hopefully you can find a shop that supports scratch builders. My local shop really changed in the course of a year when they discovered combat flying, and now stocks plenty of cheap servos and affordable motor/ESC packages for foamboard planes.
 
#3
I need to get transmitter also. I was going to get a 6 channel, is a Spectrum a good brand? Or should I spend some more and get a 8 channel?
 

evranch

Well-known member
#4
Spektrum is a premium brand and were long considered the go to choice in RC. Their transmitters are great quality and so are their receivers. There are also a lot of clone receivers for them as many people consider their receivers on the expensive side.

Recent years have seen a lot of competitors move into the market that make good transmitters at more affordable prices. Most of these transmitters use OpenTX, a powerful but somewhat complicated programming system.

- FrSky make the popular Taranis series, which I use. They have their own protocol and receivers, and a module bay at the back to add other protocols. I use their R9 long range module in that bay. You can also install a multiprotocol module for compatibility with other receivers.

- Jumper transmitters are more affordable and compatible with almost all receivers thanks to their "4-in-1" module that comes included. This includes Spektrum as well as RTF park flyers, toy quadcopters etc. Their receivers use the FrSky protocol. The most versatile out of the box.

- FlySky is not to be confused with FrSky. They are not OpenTX based and have their own protocol and receivers. Their system is the cheapest, but it's very functional and a lot of people use it.

You need at least 6 channels if you want to be able to fly quadcopters as well, for mode switching and arming. In the non-Spektrum brands, it's rare to see less than 8 channels now. Few people actually *need* 8 channels though, unless you are flying a very complex model with differential thrust, flaps, retractable gear etc.

Most of my receivers are just 4 channel on my regular planes, but I would not buy a 4 channel TX.
 
#5
Spektrum is a premium brand and were long considered the go to choice in RC. Their transmitters are great quality and so are their receivers. There are also a lot of clone receivers for them as many people consider their receivers on the expensive side.

Recent years have seen a lot of competitors move into the market that make good transmitters at more affordable prices. Most of these transmitters use OpenTX, a powerful but somewhat complicated programming system.

- FrSky make the popular Taranis series, which I use. They have their own protocol and receivers, and a module bay at the back to add other protocols. I use their R9 long range module in that bay. You can also install a multiprotocol module for compatibility with other receivers.

- Jumper transmitters are more affordable and compatible with almost all receivers thanks to their "4-in-1" module that comes included. This includes Spektrum as well as RTF park flyers, toy quadcopters etc. Their receivers use the FrSky protocol. The most versatile out of the box.

- FlySky is not to be confused with FrSky. They are not OpenTX based and have their own protocol and receivers. Their system is the cheapest, but it's very functional and a lot of people use it.

You need at least 6 channels if you want to be able to fly quadcopters as well, for mode switching and arming. In the non-Spektrum brands, it's rare to see less than 8 channels now. Few people actually *need* 8 channels though, unless you are flying a very complex model with differential thrust, flaps, retractable gear etc.

Most of my receivers are just 4 channel on my regular planes, but I would not buy a 4 channel TX.
You've been very helpful, thank you so much!!!
 

K3V0

Well-known member
#6
Welcome! I’m sorry your local hobby shop was unhelpful! I suppose they want you to spend with them but that’s no way to build a customer base! Looks like @evranch was very helpful to you! The list of tx (transmitters) was great! I use flysky, which is cheap but works great. Recently though I have wanted some of the features that a nicer spectrum would give me. If I had invested in it earlier I wouldn’t have so many fly sky receivers now😆. Good luck on your build! We want to see how it turns out for you!
 

Hondo76251

Well-known member
#7
Sorry to hear the local shop wasn't helpful. Sadly that's been my experience with many shops. The closest one to me is 100 miles away so it's just easier to order online.

I started with spektrum, I have not regretted it. I figured it was a good investment when I started, something i could grow into and it's worked well for me.