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Greeting and a Few Questions

#1
Hello everyone. I'm both new and old to the hobby. Old, in that I spent much of my teens and early 20's building and flying a variety of model planes including some RC. Balsa frames, with tissue paper and dope skins (or shrink-wrap plastic, which was just coming into vogue), and analogue radios were the way I was doing things back when I began... I'm also new in that I haven't flown anything in 22 years, unless you count the 2 chuck gliders I've made over the past few weeks as a soft re-entry into the hobby.

Recently, we moved to a small hobby farm, and so I have a bit of space to fly without having to travel to the nearest club field (which is a bit of a haul). As such, I'm interested in getting back into the hobby, but am looking to do so as a casual flyer and builder - e.g. no more 200 hour balsa builds for me, and I doubt that I'll be flying more than once or twice a month (SWIMBO, kids, jobs and other hobbies already keep me pretty busy). This brings up a few questions I am hoping people can answer:

1) What would you recommend as a good starting Tx for someone who ins't planning on having more than a few planes/Rx's, and who doesn't need a lot of bells and whistles. A lot of hobby shops around here sell cheap 6-channel "FlySky" brand transmitters (cheap knockoffs as far as I can tell), but at least on paper (and in the few reviews I've found) they have the range and features I need.

2) Are DMS2 Tx's and Rx's really compatible across brands? That seems too good to be true.

3) The scratch-build "movement" is very attractive to me - you get the joy of building planes without the time needed for balsa kits, plus they're cheap so when I crash (which I expect I'll do regularly), repairs/rebuilds are cheap and fast. What would people recommend as a good starting point for those kinds of planes? I'm torn between the swappable series and the Mighty Mini Tiny Trainer (but am open to other suggestions).

Thanks, and I appreciate any suggestions!

Bryan
 

FDS

Well-known member
#2
DSMX and DSM2 can be added to Open TX systems like the Taranis using a plug in module, whilst dedicated DSMX/DSM2 transmitters like Spektrum are going to be bound only to that protocol out the box.
Transmitters are a complicated decision and a lot depends on how much you have to spend and what other planes or multi rotor you might fly. For example if you have designs on Horizon Hobby BNF products then DSMX/DSM2 might be better. Some non Spektrum DSMX products bind better than others. I have an Orange TX, which is DSMX and binds great with my Super Cub as well as $15 Lemon DSMX receivers.

Lots of people here like the Scout, Sportster, Simple Cub and Tiny Trainer. If you have flown anything before any of the larger single engine or even twin FT designs should be ideal. It sounds like you won’t have to transport planes much so you can pick anything you fancy, as having removable wings isn’t a consideration.
I too built a few balsa planes in my youth and the discovery of foamboard has been great for my build times! It’s easy to build a whole airforce in a short amount of time and plenty of people here seem to be doing just that.
 

Headbang

Well-known member
#3
Welcome!

I can not say much about about FlySky, I have seen them at the field, and they seem to work.

DSM2 and DSMX are protocols for transmitters and receivers, if your transmitter supports it, you should be able to bind it. Brand does not matter. Servos as well are universal these days.

As far as plane choice, do not go too small, small is twitchy and can be frustrating. Try and stick with 1000mm (40") or larger wings for best success while re-learning. My 89" 3D plane is easier to fly then any 40 sized trainer I have ever flown. Bigger flies better. Swappable series planes have the advantage of being a reasonable size, you can just move a couple power pack C's around between planes, you only need 1 size battery for many builds, all making for a lower investment in the end.

As for advise... take your time, build square and straight. If you follow a FT build video to the letter you should have success. Read as much as you can. Ask for help when you need it! Heck ask questions for anything you are unsure of! If you have limited time to fly, build a few, that way when you bang one up, you can keep flying that day. Scratching building is the way to go for those with your experience. Nothing better then announcing to the wife that your newest plane only cost $1.25! AND HAVE FUN!
 

JTarmstr

Well-known member
#4
Hello everyone. I'm both new and old to the hobby. Old, in that I spent much of my teens and early 20's building and flying a variety of model planes including some RC. Balsa frames, with tissue paper and dope skins (or shrink-wrap plastic, which was just coming into vogue), and analogue radios were the way I was doing things back when I began... I'm also new in that I haven't flown anything in 22 years, unless you count the 2 chuck gliders I've made over the past few weeks as a soft re-entry into the hobby.

Recently, we moved to a small hobby farm, and so I have a bit of space to fly without having to travel to the nearest club field (which is a bit of a haul). As such, I'm interested in getting back into the hobby, but am looking to do so as a casual flyer and builder - e.g. no more 200 hour balsa builds for me, and I doubt that I'll be flying more than once or twice a month (SWIMBO, kids, jobs and other hobbies already keep me pretty busy). This brings up a few questions I am hoping people can answer:

1) What would you recommend as a good starting Tx for someone who ins't planning on having more than a few planes/Rx's, and who doesn't need a lot of bells and whistles. A lot of hobby shops around here sell cheap 6-channel "FlySky" brand transmitters (cheap knockoffs as far as I can tell), but at least on paper (and in the few reviews I've found) they have the range and features I need.

2) Are DMS2 Tx's and Rx's really compatible across brands? That seems too good to be true.

3) The scratch-build "movement" is very attractive to me - you get the joy of building planes without the time needed for balsa kits, plus they're cheap so when I crash (which I expect I'll do regularly), repairs/rebuilds are cheap and fast. What would people recommend as a good starting point for those kinds of planes? I'm torn between the swappable series and the Mighty Mini Tiny Trainer (but am open to other suggestions).

Thanks, and I appreciate any suggestions!

Bryan
Welcome to the forums!

I personally use FlySky and it works fine for me, not all that hard to use, range is ok and its cheap. however if your planning on buying a lot of bind and fly planes, unless you can swap the receiver out for a FlySky, its gonna be tough. If you already know how to fly i suggest something like a FT scout. If not then Tiny Trainer is the way to go (Or the FT Explorer is a nice pusher that's a bit bigger). The bigger planes definitely fly better but they also take up a ton of space and take more damage on average when you crash.
 

Jimun

Well-known member
#5
Welcome aboard. I have only been flying for a couple of months and looking at the ft planes and reading through the forums, I choose the Tiny Trainer and so I could learn with the glide wing, 3 channel, and then move to the sport wing, 4 channel. I also went with the specktrum DX6 G3 so I could have one to move up to 3d printed planes and not have to buy another one. The Spektrum DX6 G3 I got also came with the receiver with telemetry so it keeps track of the battery level. I scratched built the Tiny Trainer and I am getting the Simple Scout and the Explorer speed build kits for Christmas. I do plan on more scratch builds as well.

Just have fun and enjoy.
 
#6
Wow, fast responses - and on Xmas eve! Thanks for the feedback, you've given me a bit to think about.

@JTarmstr
Is it hard to find flysky Rx's? I'm guessing this has been an issue for you...and I take it that means they're not DMS2/X compatable.
 

d8veh

Well-known member
#7
My advice is to get a cheap transmitter that has an external module bay so you can chuck the standard module and get a 4 in 1 module, which will bind with just about any receiver, including DSMX/DSM2. the only other features I see as mandatory are dual rates and servo reversing.
 

Merv

Well-known member
#8
I use the FlySky system and I'm very satisfied, cheap, easy & reliable. What more can you say. FlySky is not at all compatible with DSX/DSM2
The only advantage Spectrum has, that's what all the ARF's use. If you are going to build your own, FlySky is the way to go.
My buddies all have Spectrum, they have a lot of compatibility issues not all Tx's will work with all Rx's. At least that's what they tell me.
I agree with @d8veh the 4 in 1 module is a great option.
 
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JTarmstr

Well-known member
#9
Wow, fast responses - and on Xmas eve! Thanks for the feedback, you've given me a bit to think about.

@JTarmstr
Is it hard to find flysky Rx's? I'm guessing this has been an issue for you...and I take it that means they're not DMS2/X compatable.
You can get a good flysky RX for between 10-20 dollars on Amazon. What i am trying to say (and what Merv said very well) is if you buy, say a HobbyZone champ. Your transmitter wont work with it and because the RX is integrated into the air-frame you wont be able to swap anything out. So yeah, DSM2 bricks wont talk with it. I have heard of additions you can buy that help your transmitter talk with other protocols but i am not sure how much they cost. I have never bought any larger airplanes but i am guessing on those you would be able to swap the RX (I dont think they integrate them) but then you have to set up all the rates and such.

For scratch building i have bought a few of the receivers and then i just swap them out. Price isn't bad, most spektrum receivers are around 10 dollars more.
 
#10
My advice is to get a cheap transmitter that has an external module bay so you can chuck the standard module and get a 4 in 1 module, which will bind with just about any receiver, including DSMX/DSM2. the only other features I see as mandatory are dual rates and servo reversing.
Any suggestions?
 
#12
I don't see myself buying a kit plane anytime soon, so a flysky is probably best for now. In a few years my son'll be at an age where he may start, so if I'm still flying I can upgrade then.
 

d8veh

Well-known member
#13
I like the look of the Turnigy 9X from Hobbyking.
https://hobbyking.com/en_us/turnigy...eceiver-mode-2-afdhs-2a-system.html?wrh_pdp=3
I think I heard that it's identical to the Flysky FS-TH9X. It certainly looks the same.

Flitetest themselves reviewed it in one of their videos and only said good things about it.

My flying buddy also has one and loves it, but he's swapped out the RF module and modified the transmitter to run the Open TX operating system. He had some reservations about the original RF module and blamed it on some range issues he had, which is why he swapped it. Obviously, if you get one of the 4 in 1 modules ($30 -$40), you won't have that problem. The module will pay for itself because these $5 receivers work perfectly with it in Flitetest planes, so transmitter, module and 4 receivers will only cost $110. You'll pay more than that for just the receivers from many other brands:
https://hobbyking.com/en_us/dsm2-6ch-with-case-and-ce-fcc-rcm.html

I use the Jumper T12, which comes with a Jumper 4 in 1 module for about $80- $100. It does everything you'll ever want, but it has the Open Tx operating system, which is not easy to figure out for a newb. There's another version that uses a different operating system (Deviation) that would be more like the Turnigy, so easier to learn; however, there are not so many of them around , which means help won't be easy to find if you get into trouble.
 

Arcfyre

Well-known member
#14
The TX question seems to have been answered, so I'll address the second part of your question.

I'd scratch build a simple Storch as your first airplane. Buy some oversized wheels (3.5+ inches diameter) for it to turn it into a "bush plane" and you have an ideal trainer to practice/relearn takeoffs and landings.
 

cranialrectosis

Faster than a speeding faceplant!
Mentor
#15
The Tiny Trainer worked for me. If you buy the speed build kit from FT, you get two wings a glider wing and a sport wing. The glider wing will fly slow and stable due to the polyhedral and is designed for 3 channel 'bank and yank'. The sport wing has ailerons and is much quicker while still being sane to fly and land. You can fly the TT on a 2s setup or a 3s setup when you want more speed and maneuverability.

The Tiny Trainer is best as a hand launched belly lander. The speed build kit is a great way to learn how FT builds planes and to get used to the cuts and scores used in FT plans.

All that said, the Storch is a solid platform to learn on too. It's big and gentle and has landing gear.

Either should serve you well.
 

bingo

New member
#16
Welcome, I personally use Hitec's Aurora 9 now but in the past used Spektrum DSM2 and DSM X. To my knowledge both are backwards compatible.
 

pressalltheknobs

Posted a thousand or more times
#17
...

1) What would you recommend as a good starting Tx for someone who ins't planning on having more than a few planes/Rx's, and who doesn't need a lot of bells and whistles. A lot of hobby shops around here sell cheap 6-channel "FlySky" brand transmitters (cheap knockoffs as far as I can tell), but at least on paper (and in the few reviews I've found) they have the range and features I need.
If you are looking for an inexpensive first TX for DIY builds then the FlySky i6 or i6X is a decent choice. It's a bit toy like and cheesy but It has all the basic functions you need (delta, vtail, 3 free mixes for differential thrust, model match etc.) plus it supports programmed failsafe and telemetry. The AFHDS 2A RXs are quite good and not expensive (~$10 to $20). The iA6B receiver is preferred but the iA6 is fine for park flier use. You can find this TX online with a receiver for around $50 to $60. If you are into DIY there is some hack firmware available for the i6 that will improve the utility of the telemetry features and add more channels. I believe there is a version of the 4in1 module that works with these also.

Do not get a FlySky i6S TX. It looks better but is multirotor only (no delta, vtail, free mixing)

I don't recommend the FlySky/Turnigy 9X because it is an old design which is missing many modern features. The new ones do work with FlySky's new AFHDS 2A protocol but only in a very limited way (no failsafe, telemetry, model match etc.) There is a lot about it on the web because it was an ideal radio to hack back in the day...but that time has passed and you can get more capable radios for less money than it takes to hack one of these into shape and the third party uypgrade boards are not longer used so its back to raw hacking.

Note that Hobby King rebrand FlySky as HobbyKing or Turnigy.

If you what something higher quality and have a bit more to spend the FrSky Q-X7 is much better and much more capable...perhaps too capable...you do have to do a little work to get the idea of how to set it up. A good range of rxs ($10 to $30)
https://alofthobbies.com/frsky-taranis-q-x7.html
You need to buy a battery and charger for it extra which makes it a bit more expensive than it first appears. Some just use 2S lipo flight batteries. However you get pretty much all modern features and you can get the TX to do pretty much anything you have in mind making ideal for build your own projects. Lots of help on line too. But it is a bit technical so be warned.

There is lots of information about the various brands in this thread...
https://forum.flitetest.com/index.php?threads/which-transmitter-you-should-buy.37966/

2) Are DMS2 Tx's and Rx's really compatible across brands? That seems too good to be true.

....
Thanks, and I appreciate any suggestions!

Bryan
No they are not. DSM2 is an obsolete Spektrum protocol that is know to be flawed and that Spektrum has been replaced with DSMX. Spektrum claim that DSM2 is mostly ok and for casual use it probably works fine but personally I would not use it for anything large, dangerous or expensive and certainly not where other's are flying DSM2. Other named brands do not support DSM2/DSMX. they have their own incompatible protocols.

There are compatible DSM2/DSMX modules available for radios that have that feature or have a hardwired PPM (trainer) out so it is possible to fly DSM2/DSMX with other brands. There are also quite a few off brand compatible TXs out there but most are not legal to use in the US because they are not FCC certified. That applies to Orange, Jumper and the 4in1 module. Note that Jumper has made an attempt at FCC certification but if you read it, its bogus because they claim 3 of the 4 internal TX chips are disabled...which is clearly not the intent of the TX or how it is sold.

If you want to fly mainly Spektrum BNFs then it's best to get a Spektrum TX. The DX6e is only around $150. There is always used but make sure it is a DSMX (X on the front) TGX. Some older Spektrum DSM2 TXs may have been upgraded to DSMX and that might be a good deal if the seller has proof that was done and you get a good price. If Spektrum still do it, its $75+ to upgrade but probably the DX6e has better features if you only need 6 channels ( flies most BNFs and most basic planes you might build)

If you only fly the small "toys" indoors or very locally then adding a 4in1 module to a TX like the FrSky Q-X7 may be attractive since it means you can still fly larger stuff in public with a legal system. All FrSky TXs have a JR style module bay and can support the 4in1 module "natively" (ie you can select the protocol on the TX)

The concerns with non certified gear are that 1) they may cause interference which can in theory get you a fine but anyway is anti social if it is the case and 2) any insurance you have may not cover you if you cause damage when using un certified gear 3) FCC certified gear may be required and any public event or club you attend. These issues may not be significant to you but something to be aware of.

EDIT: typos
 
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#18
Thanks everyone for the detailed replies - there is a lot for me to unpack in this thread! I should clarify that while we are on a small farm, the amount of flying space is limited due to 2/3rds of our land being forested (and there being a house and barns on some of the remainder). As such, I'm looking at park-flyer sized craft for the foreseeable future to fly on our ~1 acre of clear land.

I guess I shouldn't be surprised that Tx's are the more difficult decision to be made, and I think I have a bit more homework to do before I take the plunge. That said, budget is a consideration and the FlySky i6X seems to meet my foreseeable needs over the next few years.

Its great to know that there are a number of FT scratch build models good for a new flyer; sounds like there is at least 3 good options for me. I think I may get the Tiny Trainer quick build kit from FT - I like the easy 3Ch-to4Ch transition, and it would be nice to throw some $$$ their way as thanx for their videos and designs. Once I'm flying OK again, I think the Storch would be a good second plane to build from scratch, and would be a good plane to re-learn wheeled takeoffs and landings.

Thanks again everyone!
 

Merv

Well-known member
#19
fly on our ~1 acre of clear land.
Storch would be a good second plane to build from scratch, and would be a good plane to re-learn wheeled takeoffs and landings.
An acre is plenty of land to take off from and land on. It would be good to have 10-15 Ac of cleared land to fly over. When you crash, it's a lot easier to get you plane back from crop land than getting you plane stuck in a tree.

The Tiny Trainer, Storch, Bushwhacker & Simple Cub are all excellent choices. If you have a club near by, you should join it. They will be able to save you a lot of grief.