• This site uses cookies. By continuing to use this site, you are agreeing to our use of cookies. Learn more.

I hate to ask but...

#1
OK I am sure this has been asked before and I have been out of RC for awhile,
Whats a good Radio [Transmitter and receiver] for a newbie? I want something relatively cheap and not too much smarter then me, I want something with 4 channels maybe six. the last radio I used was a 2 channel Circus Hobbies radio [anybody remember them]
Something I could grow with would be nice too, I am disabled and on a fixed income as well.
thanks for any help
 

FDS

Well-known member
#2
I would buy a 6 channel radio this time, it gives you more flexibility later and is no more expensive.
The key questions are what models do you want to fly with it? Are you keen on Horizon Hobby bind n fly or do you mostly build your own? Do you want to do both? Do you intend to fly quads in future?
The Flysky Fs6i is a great low cost transmitter for fixed wing, it has relatively easy set up with dual rates and expo plus mixing. However it won’t bind with DSMX.
 
#4
Ditto, I love my Flysky. Only limitation I don't like is only having 3 mixes. There are methods to add a DIY box to bind spectrum receivers, but you'll have as much money/time wrapped up in the mod as you would just buying a multi protocol transmitter. (but it's fun too!)

If you're computer savy and don't mind complicated mixing, the Jumper transmitters are a great deal too. I run a t8sg v2 and I love it. It's on the small side but if you've never had a monster transmitter you won't miss it. It's also a multi-protocol out of the box, but it's twice the price of a FS6i.

If you don't have any bind n flys and don't plan on getting any, go with flysky. If you do, consider a multi-protocol or a budget spectrum.
 

kdobson83

Well-known member
#7
I personally have a Flysky i6x. It's upgraded from the i6 but has 10 channels. You can find em all day long on eBay for $40-50 w/ Rx. I've even seen em on sale on banggood for >$40.
My throttle/rudder gimbal did go bad on mine about 6 months in cause me to crash two planes before I realized every time I moved throttle the rudder went bonkers. Ordered a $10 gimbal from banggood and about 10 minutes to replace.
I have since moved to a Spektrum DX8e to BNF to horizon hobby planes like my UMX Timber, to use Lemon Gyro RX's, and because the gimbals on Spektrum are AWESOME, but I still have my i6x as backup and soon to pass it on to my son when he starts flying.
The i6x is a great transmitter and WELL worth $50. Easy to use, lasts 4+ hours flying on a single charge of the 4aa batteries, has a range of 2-3 kilometers with it's dual antennas, and is light weight which is good for those extended flights.

Anyway, with your requirements, I'd say the i6x or i6 is your best option.
 

sprzout

Knower of useless information
Mentor
#8
I see these threads a lot, and there are several questions to ask before you buy ANY transmitter:

1) What do you want to fly? Quadcopters, Helicopters, gliders, warbirds that have retractable landing gear and bomb drop capabilities?

2) What features are you looking for?

3) Do you want to fly bind n' fly planes like the ones from Horizon Hobby, or are you willing to swap out the pre-installed receivers for a compatible receiver to a different radio?

4) Do you know how to get help for the transmitter you're looking to purchase? Are there other people at your field flying with it that can help you set it up if you need help configuring your transmitter?

5) How much are you willing to spend? And this question should NOT be the primary question to ask, because if it's all about cost, you're going to find cheap transmitters that will do the job for right now, but you'll end up spending quite a bit more in the long run.

For example - Let's say you want to fly gliders. Seems simple, right? At the start, you can get away with a 2 channel radio controlling rudder, and elevator. Then you hike up a hill, and throw it off, where you then fly it until you run out of updraft/thermal currents. But what if you can't find any thermals or updrafts? So you put a motor on it to get it up in the air. Well, that requires throttle to get it up, so now you're at 3 channels. Or you decide you want to have it towed up into the air, so you need a servo that can release the tow hook when you've reached sufficient altitude, right? That's another channel. So you learn to fly with that for a little bit, but you decide that you want more of a challenge with gliders, so you get one that adds ailerons. That's another channel. And then you add on flaps - yet another channel for the separate flaps for that, because they work independently of the ailerons.

It all stacks, and that's just for one type of plane. Now, that's not to say that you can't fly with a cheaper radio, but if you buy the cheaper radio and decide to move up, you now have to give up the radio you WERE using because it doesn't have the capability to support the multiple channels, or mixing, or computerized setup that the more expensive radios have. It's a "Buy once, save later" mentality.

Features are something else to consider. Do you want a radio that speaks to you and tells you how much time you have left on a charge, i.e., "30 Seconds remaining", or do you just want a generic beep as a warning? Do you want telemetry capabilities that read off of sensors installed in your plane that tell you how high/fast/far away your vehicle is? Do you want the capability to do mixing, so you can utilize differential thrust and allow twin engine motors to turn the plane as opposed to rudders? Not all transmitters have these features.

With regards to the bind n' fly question - there are multiple protocols out there for planes. Think of this as an "Android vs. Apple", "Ford vs. Chevy", "Playstation vs. Xbox" type of situation. Each brand/protocol has its pros and cons; each one has its followers. Personally, I like the DSMX protocol, which is the protocol that is used by Spektrum radios. But, there are others, like FASST, or FrSky, that operate on a different protocol. If you choose to go with something other than DSMX, and you want to go to the hobby shop and buy one of those bind n' fly planes that are already built and nearly ready to go out of the box, you'll need to swap out the receiver for a compatible receiver - which means added cost. Where some people have an issue with it is that buying a Spektrum branded receiver, you'll pay more for it vs some of the other brands. There are cheaper alternative brands that use DSMX, such as OrangeRX and Lemon, but many hobby shops don't stock them. You might run into that same issue with some of the other brands, such as the Futaba or FrSky brands - it simply may not be stocked locally, prompting you to buy them from an online retailer, which has its own pros and cons.

That also ties into assistance. If you are part of a club that has a bunch of people flying Spektrum radios, they'll most likely be able to help you set it up to fly properly. But try to ask that same group of people how to set up an FrSky radio, and it's quite possible you'll get blank stares, leaving you to figure it out on your own - which stinks if you're at the field and away from a computer or internet signal to get online help from.

I see @kdobson83 mentioned the DX8e, which is a SOLID radio, and what I'd recommend for most pilots who want to get into the hobby and expand up a little from the basics; It's theoretically possible you might need more than 8 channels, but 90% of the people out there flying in the hobby don't, unless you're doing the high end gliders, or warbirds with bomb drops and retracts, etc...The Spektrum brand is one of the easier radios to set up, it's a solid work horse, and it's compatible with all of the bind n' fly planes, but they're a little more expensive than other brands.

Ultimately, it comes down to the questions I asked above, and what you think is going to be best for YOU based on how you answer. The FlySky i6 or the Jumper radios might do what you need initially, but they may not last as long or have as much functionality as say, the Taranis X9D or the Spektrum DX8. It's really up to your needs and where you're planning to go with the hobby, where you ultimately want to end up, and whether you want to invest now, or spend a little now and then buy the gear you want for what you want to do later.
 
#9
Thanks guys you are a big help.
I am mostly going to build slow flying electric FB planes, my vision is not what it used to be.
I will be flying around my own property, It is mostly dirt and rocks but I am going to make a carpet runway after I scrape a section off, I would like to have a Quad some day but it will have to be a cheap one.
I will be honest with you, most of the terminology you guys are using I have no idea what it is so I am going to have to look it up. It has been almost 30 years since I last flew and crashed any thing. I have built a "Tiny Trainer" from scratch to start with, you may have seen it in another post, it is painted OD green with D-Day stripes. I wish I could fly it on June 6th but it will probably next year. Again thank you

Casey IMGP3755.JPG
 

sprzout

Knower of useless information
Mentor
#11
Thanks guys you are a big help.
I am mostly going to build slow flying electric FB planes, my vision is not what it used to be.
I will be flying around my own property, It is mostly dirt and rocks but I am going to make a carpet runway after I scrape a section off, I would like to have a Quad some day but it will have to be a cheap one.
I will be honest with you, most of the terminology you guys are using I have no idea what it is so I am going to have to look it up. It has been almost 30 years since I last flew and crashed any thing. I have built a "Tiny Trainer" from scratch to start with, you may have seen it in another post, it is painted OD green with D-Day stripes. I wish I could fly it on June 6th but it will probably next year. Again thank you

Casey
Nice job putting the Tiny Trainer together!

Completely understand about the vision; I have ocular issues as well and require glasses to see. :)

What I would recommend for a transmitter, then, based on what you're looking to maybe do in the future, is something that uses 6 channels, and uses either the DSMX/Spektrum protocol, or the FrSky protocol. The reason I recommend one of those two radios is that there are quads you can purchase that will fly under either protocol, and are cheap, but better than your standard "toy quality" quads that come with their own transmitters. There are Acrobees, BabyHawks, TinyWhoops, and Inductrixes that are usable by either FrSky or Spektrum radios (just make sure you look at which ones work with which before purchasing) if you want a small quad, and they're generally under $100 for something you can fly indoors or outside without a breeze.
 

FDS

Well-known member
#12
Many small pre built quads and the F3 Beecore type boards are available with a Flysky receiver inbuilt. Just be sure that you buy the version of the FS6i which does both AFHDS and AFHDS2, as that covers both the main Flysky types.
There is more multi rotor support for Flysky than DSMX unless you are only buying Horizon Hobby.
 

sprzout

Knower of useless information
Mentor
#13
Many small pre built quads and the F3 Beecore type boards are available with a Flysky receiver inbuilt. Just be sure that you buy the version of the FS6i which does both AFHDS and AFHDS2, as that covers both the main Flysky types.
There is more multi rotor support for Flysky than DSMX unless you are only buying Horizon Hobby.
Really? Who makes them? I know of TinyWhoop that's primarily DSMX, NewBeeDrone that's both FrSky (NOT to be confused with FlySky - they ARE different) and DSMX, Horizon Hobby's Inductrix line which is all DSMX, and Emax BabyHawk/TinyHawk series, which are all FrSky. I'd be curious to read up on the FlySky mini quads and see some reviews - I've not seen any out here on the West Coast other than the aforementioned ones...
 

Bricks

Well-known member
#14
I see these threads a lot, and there are several questions to ask before you buy ANY transmitter:

1) What do you want to fly? Quadcopters, Helicopters, gliders, warbirds that have retractable landing gear and bomb drop capabilities?

2) What features are you looking for?

3) Do you want to fly bind n' fly planes like the ones from Horizon Hobby, or are you willing to swap out the pre-installed receivers for a compatible receiver to a different radio?

4) Do you know how to get help for the transmitter you're looking to purchase? Are there other people at your field flying with it that can help you set it up if you need help configuring your transmitter?

5) How much are you willing to spend? And this question should NOT be the primary question to ask, because if it's all about cost, you're going to find cheap transmitters that will do the job for right now, but you'll end up spending quite a bit more in the long run.

For example - Let's say you want to fly gliders. Seems simple, right? At the start, you can get away with a 2 channel radio controlling rudder, and elevator. Then you hike up a hill, and throw it off, where you then fly it until you run out of updraft/thermal currents. But what if you can't find any thermals or updrafts? So you put a motor on it to get it up in the air. Well, that requires throttle to get it up, so now you're at 3 channels. Or you decide you want to have it towed up into the air, so you need a servo that can release the tow hook when you've reached sufficient altitude, right? That's another channel. So you learn to fly with that for a little bit, but you decide that you want more of a challenge with gliders, so you get one that adds ailerons. That's another channel. And then you add on flaps - yet another channel for the separate flaps for that, because they work independently of the ailerons.

It all stacks, and that's just for one type of plane. Now, that's not to say that you can't fly with a cheaper radio, but if you buy the cheaper radio and decide to move up, you now have to give up the radio you WERE using because it doesn't have the capability to support the multiple channels, or mixing, or computerized setup that the more expensive radios have. It's a "Buy once, save later" mentality.

Features are something else to consider. Do you want a radio that speaks to you and tells you how much time you have left on a charge, i.e., "30 Seconds remaining", or do you just want a generic beep as a warning? Do you want telemetry capabilities that read off of sensors installed in your plane that tell you how high/fast/far away your vehicle is? Do you want the capability to do mixing, so you can utilize differential thrust and allow twin engine motors to turn the plane as opposed to rudders? Not all transmitters have these features.

With regards to the bind n' fly question - there are multiple protocols out there for planes. Think of this as an "Android vs. Apple", "Ford vs. Chevy", "Playstation vs. Xbox" type of situation. Each brand/protocol has its pros and cons; each one has its followers. Personally, I like the DSMX protocol, which is the protocol that is used by Spektrum radios. But, there are others, like FASST, or FrSky, that operate on a different protocol. If you choose to go with something other than DSMX, and you want to go to the hobby shop and buy one of those bind n' fly planes that are already built and nearly ready to go out of the box, you'll need to swap out the receiver for a compatible receiver - which means added cost. Where some people have an issue with it is that buying a Spektrum branded receiver, you'll pay more for it vs some of the other brands. There are cheaper alternative brands that use DSMX, such as OrangeRX and Lemon, but many hobby shops don't stock them. You might run into that same issue with some of the other brands, such as the Futaba or FrSky brands - it simply may not be stocked locally, prompting you to buy them from an online retailer, which has its own pros and cons.

That also ties into assistance. If you are part of a club that has a bunch of people flying Spektrum radios, they'll most likely be able to help you set it up to fly properly. But try to ask that same group of people how to set up an FrSky radio, and it's quite possible you'll get blank stares, leaving you to figure it out on your own - which stinks if you're at the field and away from a computer or internet signal to get online help from.

I see @kdobson83 mentioned the DX8e, which is a SOLID radio, and what I'd recommend for most pilots who want to get into the hobby and expand up a little from the basics; It's theoretically possible you might need more than 8 channels, but 90% of the people out there flying in the hobby don't, unless you're doing the high end gliders, or warbirds with bomb drops and retracts, etc...The Spektrum brand is one of the easier radios to set up, it's a solid work horse, and it's compatible with all of the bind n' fly planes, but they're a little more expensive than other brands.

Ultimately, it comes down to the questions I asked above, and what you think is going to be best for YOU based on how you answer. The FlySky i6 or the Jumper radios might do what you need initially, but they may not last as long or have as much functionality as say, the Taranis X9D or the Spektrum DX8. It's really up to your needs and where you're planning to go with the hobby, where you ultimately want to end up, and whether you want to invest now, or spend a little now and then buy the gear you want for what you want to do later.

This should be made a sticky if there is such a thing here.
 

FDS

Well-known member
#15
The Beecore silverlight board on its own, the Emax Tiny Hawk, the Mobula7, BetaFPV 75x , Eachine US65 , Wizard 220 are all available with Flysky receivers. There are others as well.
The Tinywhoop is tricky to get outside the USA, not flown one. The inductrix is cool but not cheap.
 

kdobson83

Well-known member
#16
Lots of manufacturers are adding Flysky Rx's as an option for bnf as the Flysky protocol is becoming more and more popular. Flysky protocol is used in multiple TX manufacturers including Turnigy.
 

sprzout

Knower of useless information
Mentor
#18
The Beecore silverlight board on its own, the Emax Tiny Hawk, the Mobula7, BetaFPV 75x , Eachine US65 , Wizard 220 are all available with Flysky receivers. There are others as well.
The Tinywhoop is tricky to get outside the USA, not flown one. The inductrix is cool but not cheap.
Actually, Inductrixes (without FPV) are $40 US, and with FPV are $60-$180 US, depending on whether you want brushed or brushless motors, and you want a cheap transmitter to go along with it...

But, good to know that FlySky is being developed for others. We've only really seen FrSky and DSMX here in California for drone racing and micros...
 

FDS

Well-known member
#19
I agree more choice is better for everyone. Anything to get the entry point for useable, safe equipment down.
Here the inductrix is closer to $65.
What excites me right now is sub 250g developments, since so many places are getting dumb anti RC laws.
 
#20
OK thanks guys,I think I will order a FlySky FS6i next payday from Ebay, Now I have to find some 9gm servos, Are the ones FT sell on there store good? I would like to support them somehow.

Casey