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Need help starting the hobby

#1
Hi guys,

I've been watching a looott of youtube videos about rc planes and stuff and i want to get into the hobby, but im scared to buy stuff in case it ends up being the wrong equipment. My goal is to scratch build my own fpv platform in a few months time.

I was hoping someone could recommend what sort of transmitter and any other equipment i should buy in order to get started.

P.S. I went onto the hobbyking website and the AXN FloaterJet really caught my eyes, so if you could advice me on what i'll need, that would be great

Thanks in advance!

Cheers.

Note: I hope i posted this in the right place. Please correct me if i didn't. Thanks!
 

pgerts

Old age member
Mentor
#2
If you like the http://www.hobbyking.com/hobbyking/store/uh_viewItem.asp?idProduct=8359 Axn - GO FOR IT!
You will get a lot of advice on the best radio to buy .....
My advice is to find someone in the neighborhood - please tell in your profile where you live - it will make help a lot easier.
Get a radio of the same brand that can be "buddy-connected" with someones who will help you the first time(s).

There are good computer radios with 6 channels but if you are into FPV soon you might want something more with telemetry so that you can get a warning of the battery level direct into your transmitter telling you when its time to think about landing.
 
#3
Im in Colville, WA. I don't know anyone who flies RC planes in my area because i just moved here about a month ago. In fact i don't think there are any hobby stores either, so i have to rely online for information and purchasing of equipment.

Is there any radio that you would recommend?
 

SkySlayer

ARC=Almost Ready to Crash
#4
Hy colflame,
From what I understood in your preview of yourself is that you've never flown, correct? and if so then that is the wrong plane to get and you should save money by buying a cheapo beginner plane to learn the basics before crashing an expensive plane. I would get the DX8 tx if you got the money because it will take you all the way.
 
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colorex

Rotor Riot!
Mentor
#5
Depends on your needs. If you are getting into the hobby for just a while, I'd recommend a DX5e as it's very cheap - but if you are going to get more than one plane, you'll get more benefits out of a DX6i or a Turnigy (there are other brands of the same item called FlySky, Eurgle) 9X.

I personally got a DX6i from a friend, and it has everything you need to get started and get to an intermediate level. And HobbyKing has the cheapest receivers for only $6, and they work really good.
 
#6
Oh ok. I actually want one for long term because i have several projects in mind such as a scale rc model of the harrier jumpjet and a prototype delta wing made of kevlar and carbon fiber, but thats for another time. Right now im aiming for long distant fpv so i'll probably go with the DX6i.

Thanks for your advice!
 

KKArioKA

Epoxi Flyer
#8
AXN floater or the BIXLER is the perfect first plane !!!

for the radio get the inexpensive HK 6 channel ... later you can upgrade to the turnigy 9X and still use the same receiver, leaving the HK 6ch for the simulator ( like i do )

GET LOTS OF SIMULATOR TIME !!!
 
#9
yea i've only flown a 2CH plane which used torque differential for changing direction, but thats about all. yea i'd like to buy the DX8 but i dont have that much cash since for the radio alone :(
 
#10
So far what i've been able to gather is get a cheap radio ( HK6 seems gud enough), AXN Floater or Bixler as the first plane, plenty of simulator time, and once im ready to move into intermediate planes, switch to a better radio and then take the big boys to the sky.

hope that seems about right :)
 

colorex

Rotor Riot!
Mentor
#11
Hey colflame, if you want to get into long distance FPV, I would recommend another plane, I would go for the Bixler, as it has a little bit more space for gear. Also if it's your first time flying, get a simulator first. It will save you a lot of money!

How long distance are you planning to do? Because I don't think you can't get far enough with any of the Spektrum systems. I don't know about the individual ranges of different systems, but 2.4GHz is the shortest range - then comes 72 MHz at about two or three times further (as they have higher power transmitters) and then comes UHF which requires special licenses but can go for 10 miles.

Don't get too excited and do stuff too fast - flying looks very easy when someone else does it - but it's not. That's where the fun is, in learning something that's not that easy. And that's where the simulator comes in to save your bucks.

As you've never flown before, the first time you launch the Bixler, it won't fly for more than a minute. Unless you practice on a simulator - trust me, I have seen both cases and it's an unbelievable difference in the first flights of trained and untrained pilots.

I'm not trying to scare you away from the hobby. I just want you to have the best possible learning curve.

Did I mention you should get a simulator? :)
 
#12
Haha yes you did :D I was hoping for maybe a 2km radius (more of a vertical range than horizontal). I actually wanted to build my own fpv platform, thats why i chose the FloaterJet over the Bixler to save some money. The FJ's just for a relaxed flight and for training mostly. Any simulators you recommend? :D
 

colorex

Rotor Riot!
Mentor
#13
Haha yes you did :D I was hoping for maybe a 2km radius (more of a vertical range than horizontal). I actually wanted to build my own fpv platform, thats why i chose the FloaterJet over the Bixler to save some money. The FJ's just for a relaxed flight and for training mostly. Any simulators you recommend? :D
Ok, great! The 200mW TxRx combo is great up to 1.2 miles (1.9 Kilometers) with the skewplanar and cloverleaf antennas. Check http://www.rcexplorer.se for a guide on how to make them.

If you just want the AXN for fun, then it is just perfect!

Do you have any scratchbuilt FPV platform in mind?
 
#14
Ok, great! The 200mW TxRx combo is great up to 1.2 miles (1.9 Kilometers) with the skewplanar and cloverleaf antennas. Check http://www.rcexplorer.se for a guide on how to make them.

If you just want the AXN for fun, then it is just perfect!

Do you have any scratchbuilt FPV platform in mind?
I was gonna build a custom built fpv platform not based on any current models. its was going to be a straight wing pusher plane.
 

Carbon

Elemental Madness
#17
Here's a thought: I got into rc about 4-5 monthes ago. Wait until the Bixler at the US warehouse comes back into stock: http://www.hobbyking.com/hobbyking/store/__18083__Hobbyking_Bixler_EPO_1400mm_ARF_USA_Warehouse_.html
I would suggest the plane I got, the super cub, but it has a prop in the front, not good for fpv. Go with the dx6i if you can from spektrum. I have the DX5e and it works great, but it doesn't have very many upgrade options for more channels and also doesn't have expos and rates. make sure to order the plane from the US warehouse because it will hopefully get to you in just a few days. I am in Vancouver, Wa and it gets to me in 3 days max(warehouse is just south of seattle). That's it! just the bixler and the battery, receiver and speed control. for fpv, go with the 5.8 200 mhz system:http://www.hobbyking.com/hobbyking/store/__15295__5_8g_200mw_FPV_Wireless_AV_Tx_Rx_Set.html
just because it has small antennas. If you want you can upgrade the power on your bixler later on. As for a simulator, I use the PhoenixRC simulator. It works really well and doesn't seem to slow down the computer at all. Just plug it in and play!
hoped this helped,
Carbon
 

WombatControl

Certified DT foam addict
#18
The Bixler isn't a bad first plane, but sometimes it's easier to start with a basic 3-channel aircraft. Some of the hardest aspects of flying is getting the basics down - orientation, flying in wind, etc. You want to make life as easy as possible for yourself when you start out. If you want to go with the Bixler/AXN, etc. get plenty of sim time first - even the free/cheap ones like FMS are good for the basics. If you want to get into 3D or learn more advanced techniques you may want to consider a "pro" sim like RealFlight or Phoenix. But any sim will do. I've heard good stuff about ClearView, but I've never used it personally.

Once you get used to basic flying, then you can start thinking of FPV. Don't rush into it - crashes can be expensive. Crashing with FPV gear is REALLY expensive. The Bixler is a good FPV platform to start out with since it has a nice roomy fuse and can be upgraded. The AXN is also a good choice - but you want to have mastered whatever aircraft you use before starting to put expensive equipment on it.

Scratchbuilding is fun, but really time consuming. You will need to learn to solder if you don't know already. It takes a while to get the techique right, so expect a little bit of a learning curve. You will also need to get a decent set of basic tools - nothing expensive, but you'll want to have metal rulers, a T-square, a Dremel tool, a drill, a vise, good pliers or a wire jig, etc. You will find yourself with a nice little workshop before you know it. :)

Start with something simple like a Nutball - it's an easy first build and really fun to fly.

I like working with Dollar Tree foam more than any other material - it's versatile, usually has decent quality, and most importantly it's cheap. There are several tutorials here and at RCGroups about working with it to create some really amazing designs.

One last thing - if you're going to do FPV, you will need a ham license to legally operate in the US. Can you get away without one? Yes, but I don't recommend it. Plus, the test is painfully easy and it's kinda interesting to get a look into how radio works. Plus, all you need to do to study is take the practice tests online and look through an outline or two.
 
#19
So should i go with the Bixler or AXN? After going through the reviews this is what i found out.

I know the Bixler has too much nose weight which could be taken out and use a larger battery.

The AXN's aileron and elevators are stiff n need to be cut n reattached wit packing tape and it also seems to be tail-heavy but that can be fixed with a 2200mah 3s battery. The AXN's motor mount also seems to be a problem after quite a bit of flight time.

So the bixler then?
 

Carbon

Elemental Madness
#20
good point about the 3 channels, but I wish I had gone with 4 channels to start out with. Adding ailerons isn't going to make it impossible to learn on. 3 channels gets boring fast. with a few hours of simulator time, 4 channels should be no problem. Then again, I'm a kid and learn fast so that might just me my opinion.