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Newbie saying hello and a couple of questions

#1
I've been a fan of FlightTest on YouTube for a couple of years now, occasionally commenting on the videos. However, I've never actually flown an RC plane. It's something I've been wanting to do since I was a kid, but have never been able to afford. However, I did get myself the cheapo WLToys F949 for Christmas, I've just been waiting on a good enough day to try it out. Here in Oklahoma, windy days are more common than days where you can fly these kinds of planes. Soon enough I'll get out there, it's warming up, just waiting for the right day so that if I kill my plane, at least it'll be a nice day out lol.

So anyway, I've been wanting to build one of the DIY planes with some dollar tree foam board. But I started looking into the cost. For a decent spektrum Tx and Rx, it's about $150. Batteries are about $15-$20 each. Servos are about $15-ish depending on if you want to go cheap. Motors can vary pretty drastically in price, plus the ESC. I did find a cheapo Asian motor with no-brand ESC for like $14. But the power packs from the store here are $60-ish, which would be motor kit and servos, which isn't too bad. Then chargers, and this apparently is where it can get super expensive. Anything from $60 to $300. Then a glue gun, connectors, soldering kit, etc which I can get on the cheap from harbor freight. So while I do like the "free" diy, it seems like it would still cost over $250 - $300, even doing it relatively "cheap". It seems if you want to get relatively decent stuff, it's going to be $500 or more, just to get started in DIY. Maybe I'm looking at things wrong though, I dunno.

So, I guess I'll try out my F949 for awhile and see if this is something I would even be interested in, which was my whole purpose to begin with. I haven't even really started browsing the forums yet, as I've just been a video watcher thus far. So I'm sure I can find some tips and tricks to save money here and there. I'll be reading, and possibly commenting from time to time. Feel free to give me any advice or point me towards some helpful threads :)
 
#2
Hi! Welcome to this hobby! If you want to go cheap, the Fly-Sky FS-i6 Tx and Rx cost just $40/$50. It has 6 channel (10 if you modify it). I've been using it since I started. I don't know why people use Spektrum, I've always found it expensive. Also, the FT Powerpacks are a good option for a first DIY kit. However, you can look for similar electronics in Hobbyking or Banggood. I bought my own "Powerpack" for less than $60 (including 2 batteries) in Hobbyking.
If you can buy foamboard in a local shop, you can print the plans of a FT Plane and build it wihout buying the kit, which is also cheaper. The problem is that the FT Foamboard is way better than the normal foam (it's lighter and stronger).
And, as an advice, I don't recommend using a Mighty Mini as a first plane. I tried to do that since I thought it wasn't complicated, but bigger planes are easier to fly. After crashing a lot the Mighty Mini Corsair, I printed the plans of the FT Sportster and builded it, and it flies pretty well. After almost a year, I haven't flown the Corsair yet, I'm really afraid of destroying it.
Good luck! If you need more help, you just have to ask!
 

Kananga

Active member
#3
Initial start up cost from nothing will always be a bit more expensive but if you get into the hobby some good choices now will see you right for at least a few years.
Once you've got everything it really will be just a foam board to buy for your next plane.

It's still cheaper than an Easter weekend in the pub ;)
 

Merv

Well-known member
#4
If you buy the popular name brand stuff, your prices are about right, maybe a bit high. There is much cheaper stuff available, look at Banggood, HobbyKing & eBay.
 
#5
If you buy the popular name brand stuff, your prices are about right, maybe a bit high. There is much cheaper stuff available, look at Banggood, HobbyKing & eBay.
I've never ordered from banggood, I always thought it was more of a wholesale site than for individuals. I may have to check it again for some of the "ok to be cheaper" stuff like servos, cheap motors and batteries and what not. Stuff you don't need to be good on your first few builds since they're likely going to get wrecked anyway lol.
 

FastCrash45

Well-known member
#6
I found 10 tower pro 9 gram servos for $15 on eBay. Put on the US only filter so you get the stuff quick. Found sets of 4 30amp ESC's for $20 and 2212 motors in abundance.
 
#7
I use HobbyKing's Turnigy motors and they work well, and they cost $15 or less. I also buy the ESCs and servos in that website (basically the entire electronics). I don't like to buy in Banggood for electronics, but they sell Emax stuff, that isn't bad, though.

Also, remember selecting the Mode that you want before ordering the Tx. I forgot to do that and I had to disassemble the entire FlySky to put the Rudder in the left joystick.
 
#8
I found 10 tower pro 9 gram servos for $15 on eBay. Put on the US only filter so you get the stuff quick. Found sets of 4 30amp ESC's for $20 and 2212 motors in abundance.
I think I'm watching those right now. I think I had everything added up to $91, which was the flysky Tx/Rx mentioned above, those servos you mentioned, a battery for about $12, and a cheap motor kit that had an ESC and a couple props. So I was like ok, not too bad, just add in a cheap charger and I'll be ready. To start getting the foam board. That's when I was thrown off by the cost of the chargers. I know my WLToys comes with a cheapo USB charger. But it looks like for anything that's not a flat cell, you have to spend like $60+ on a charger? Though maybe you can use adapters and still use the cheap chargers. I've looked at a few threads and it looks like people have said both ways, but obviously the more money you spend the happier you'll be. I just don't have $600 to throw at a hobby right now.

I'm trying to treat this like I did learning to ride a motorcycle. You don't get a Hayabusa or Goldwing for your first bike. You start off with something that's one foot in the junkyard. Because you're going to drop it sitting at a stop light, or hit the back break too hard while making a slow turn. You need a "trainer", aka my WLToys plane. But you don't go from that bike to a busy either, you need a mid range bike like a shadow or a non-racing ninja. That's where I'm thinking the DIY finally steps in, get a decent Tx/Rx and etc and start building small easy stuff. Then, after you've mastered those, you're ready to move up into the big leagues. Get your 1700+ CC cruiser or 900 HP racing bike. Ok, so not quite that simple, but, you get what I mean, hopefully lol
 
#9
I use HobbyKing's Turnigy motors and they work well, and they cost $15 or less. I also buy the ESCs and servos in that website (basically the entire electronics). I don't like to buy in Banggood for electronics, but they sell Emax stuff, that isn't bad, though.

Also, remember selecting the Mode that you want before ordering the Tx. I forgot to do that and I had to disassemble the entire FlySky to put the Rudder in the left joystick.
Yeah, I saw that the one I'm watching on eBay is mode 2, or left throttle, which is what I saw on a FT video before. Very good tip to make sure my first build is like my 949 and doesn't confuse me with the backwards controls lol.

I attached the no-name motor kit thing ($13.99 for all of it) I was thinking of getting for my first DIY build. It says it's 2200 KV which I think is actually a little much for most of the smaller planes I'd want to build. Though I think a previous reply may have been more accurate in that I'd probably want a big but slow "real" plane, as I'd want to make sure I can see it better, as I've seen way too many fail videos of newbies getting confused as to which way is which and end up turning their twisty loop into a nose dive straight to the ground. Hopefully a bigger plane would help with that. Thankfully I have a pretty massive field within walking distance (but who walks with this stuff these days) to where I live, so that would be a huge help I think in that I wouldn't have to drive long distances just to partake in my hobby. Though I could swear I remember hearing a long time ago that someone took an old abandoned airfield in the Oklahoma City area and turned it into strictly RC use. Haven't really tried looking or joined any local clubs yet. I want to practice by my house and get at least to where I'm not crashing every 5 seconds so the boys don't try to use it against me lol
 

Attachments

#12
IMax makes an exact duplicate that is $20 it's the imax b6. Look around on eBay and you'll find one.
That's EXACTLY the kinda thing I was looking for. I knew there had to be an "entry level" that wasn't the USB style for the little mini flat lipos like my mini quad takes. Which is what I was seeing with people using adapter leads and I was thinking man, that looks like it would take forever and likely isn't safe at all lol
 

Kendalf

Well-known member
#13
My view of these DIY foam board planes is that while the initial investment is a bit high (mainly in the radio and electronics), over time the cost/value ratio really goes in your favor as you start reusing these electronics in other planes. For the cost of two store bought bind-n-fly planes you could build and fly a dozen or more foam board planes of all different varieties. There is considerable "replay value" to building your own planes as long as you stick with it!
 
#14
My view of these DIY foam board planes is that while the initial investment is a bit high (mainly in the radio and electronics), over time the cost/value ratio really goes in your favor as you start reusing these electronics in other planes. For the cost of two store bought bind-n-fly planes you could build and fly a dozen or more foam board planes of all different varieties. There is considerable "replay value" to building your own planes as long as you stick with it!
Yeah, that's why I'm seriously starting to look into it now. My little 949 was only like $30 so it wasn't a big expense for a trainer. Only problem I'm having is that today would be a great day temp wise, but there's 25 mph wind with gusts up to 36 :/ Usually like that around here. I figure if I can get enough cheap DIY stuff to get me started, I can slowly upgrade to better stuff while I'm learning. Rather than save and spend the big bucks up front only to be yet another person trying to get rid of stuff I never use anymore.
 

FDS

Well-known member
#15
Those cheap motors are very heavy and not very good, for only a small amount more you can get a better one.
Spending money on a TX is never wasted, they go with you, unlike the planes which tend not to. Plus they hold their value, second hand is perfectly fine. You do not need to buy brand new Spektrum to fly.
 

FastCrash45

Well-known member
#16
That's EXACTLY the kinda thing I was looking for. I knew there had to be an "entry level" that wasn't the USB style for the little mini flat lipos like my mini quad takes. Which is what I was seeing with people using adapter leads and I was thinking man, that looks like it would take forever and likely isn't safe at all lol
Mine is a detrum and I've been using it for years. They charge all my 2s to 6s lipo at up to 5amps depending on capacity. Charges my 5200mah battery in about 1 hour to 2 hrs. It may have been considered an entry level but it's served me well.
 
#17
Those cheap motors are very heavy and not very good, for only a small amount more you can get a better one.
Spending money on a TX is never wasted, they go with you, unlike the planes which tend not to. Plus they hold their value, second hand is perfectly fine. You do not need to buy brand new Spektrum to fly.
https://rover.ebay.com/rover/0/0/0?mpre=https://www.ebay.com/ulk/itm/223340086242

That's the one I'm considering. It's not the latest and greatest, but, based on some reviews I've seen, shouldn't be too bad. While not a good spektrum, it may be good enough to get me started, but not one of the cheapo ones maybe? Kinda like, a 500cc motorcycle in my above metaphor. Maybe not something you'd want for your first, but decent enough to last you until you get a real one :D
 

Jimun

Well-known member
#18
Welcome to the forums. There is a lot of good advise here, all learned through experience. I have only be in this since last fall and I started with the Tiny Trainer. I choose it because of watching the flite test videos for beginners and reading here what others were saying to start with. I did spend about $270 for a Spektrum DX6 G3 with a receiver and also got a power pak, batteries, charger and firewalls and control horns. The cost did add up quick but I had some money saved that I could start with. I did spend more on the tx with rx but I was planing ahead on what I am wanting to fly later. When buying a charger make sure it comes with the battery connections you are using or you will be ordering them later like I did to be able to charge your batteries. The others are right about starting with the DT FB because a few dollars to replace damaged parts is better then spending $10's to $100's for the replacement parts. Plus you can have you replacements made in around an hour and not have to order and wait for it to be shipped to you.
 

FDS

Well-known member
#19
I tried it on my first FT plane, it was too big, didn’t fit the firewall and made the whole thing too nose heavy as well. Then the ESC went in something else and was so bad I took it out after two flights. If you are building a Tiny Trainer or any of the Minis then this motor with any 20A esc like this one with a 6x4 prop will give great all round performance on 2s and vertical “sport” flying on 3s. You can run something like the Tiny Trainer off smaller 500-850mah 2s lipo that are under $10 each.
The FS T6 is a decent cheap TX, lots of people here use that or the FS i6. I got a$50 TX for my first one, still use it on my fixed wing stuff after 4 months flying and 6 FT planes, definitely no need to spend big bucks.
If you aren’t set on an airframe then the Tiny Trainer is my recommendation, it’s modular, tough, adaptable and easy to fix. Mine went from this
73DCEAE1-02D0-4AC9-900A-06AB7CBF2B2B.jpeg
To this
image.jpg
in 40 mins after I hit a steel post at 15-20mph this morning. Plus there’s tons of mods for it.
 

FastCrash45

Well-known member
#20
https://rover.ebay.com/rover/0/0/0?mpre=https://www.ebay.com/ulk/itm/223340086242

That's the one I'm considering. It's not the latest and greatest, but, based on some reviews I've seen, shouldn't be too bad. While not a good spektrum, it may be good enough to get me started, but not one of the cheapo ones maybe? Kinda like, a 500cc motorcycle in my above metaphor. Maybe not something you'd want for your first, but decent enough to last you until you get a real one :D
That or the fs-i6. I just got mine with receiver for the same price. Impressive little radios for the price.