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Non profit youth group.... Radios and recievers

Well we are getting ready to head up a youth group for boys and girls and would love to get them into building and flying.... like with anything these days.... it all boils down to cost. Looking for some insight for radios and receivers that will not break the bank and will give these kids something more in life than living life through TV or video games. Any thoughts or suggestions would greatly be appreciated.

Looking to do scratch builds from Flite Test.
Don't forget servos. It is generally easier to pull a receiver and move to a different plane than a servo and four servos cost more than most receivers do.



Skill Collector
The Turnigy and FlySky systems on HobbyKing work just fine for FT park flyers (I went through both of these radio on my way up to the awesomeness of the Taranis). From a transmitter perspective, it's really hard to beat the cost and functionality of these - $25 and $45 for radio/receiver combo, and additional receivers are between $6 and $12 each.



The downside to these is HobbyKing international shipping and no compatibility with any of the BNF models you might run across or be able to get donated. The i6 model does have student/trainer support, but check the cable compatibility before planning to connect it to another radio model.

The other good option I see for you is the very cheap end of the Specktrum compatible DSM2 format. I have had great luck with the LemonRx receivers, and they are super cheap (around $6 each). http://www.lemon-rx.com/shop/index.php?route=product/product&path=59&product_id=93 I have 10 of these now and haven't had a single issue.

These receivers will bind up to any DSM2 compatible transmitter, so there are lots of affordable radio options. For a radio with expo and dual rates you could go with the OrangeRx 6 channel much cheaper than any of the Spektrum brand transmitters


But the little Parkzone / Hobbyzone / eFlite MLP4DSM transmitters that come with everybody's Ready to Fly kits will work with Lemon receivers too - and lots of modelers have these just hanging around collecting dust. They are all over eBay for $20 or less - asking around for donations could get you a box of them quickly too. These don't have any expo or rates controls, but for starting out you can limit the rates with the servo linkage just fine.





For an instructor radio, you could get any one of the cheaper Spektrum models with a trainer capability, and either bind the student radio right in if the big one supports wireless, or build one of these cheap modules for around $15 to turn a wired trainer port into a wireless one.


For a programmable instructor radio the cheapest option would be the OrangeRx I linked to above, but the wireless buddy box would need to be wired up slightly different to match it's cable connection.

The big advantage to staying with DSM2 signals with a youth group is the compatibility with 90% of the Bind and Fly market here in the US. Allows planes, receivers, and transmitters to more easily 'fall into your lap' and be used by students with the rest of your radio gear.


Skill Collector
Don't forget servos. It is generally easier to pull a receiver and move to a different plane than a servo and four servos cost more than most receivers do.

Good point - there are usually some 'slow boat from china' ebay deals that get 9g and sometimes 5g servos down to a reasonable cost for foamy planes. Also keep an eye out for sales - I just picked up a box full last week from http://headsuphobby.com - they were having a sale on low end 9g servos for $2 each :)
Great idea BigAl, I wanted to do the same with my group but it's very hard in a not for profit organisation.
The other options I was thinking of looking into were simulators like Phoenix or Realflight that way those who seem interested could possibly step up to a real flight limiting the amount of planes required for a starter. Also a lot of companies love the idea of giving to a good cause (especially if they can use it to their advantage) so maybe a little email to a marketing dept or two might get you some freebies or at least a good discount :)

Best of luck and keep us informed as I'm really interested in how it all works out for you.
will do. we are in the building stage of the non profit and hoping to be moving along next year. In the mean time I am learning how to fly and getting ready to get a few builds under my belt. Nothing better to be learning while you are teaching....lol.
I have a few radios and other parts if you want them, the radios, I can not sent with battery.
Semper Fi from the Army guy, you can PM me.
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Just my 2 cents, but there are a bunch of really good cheap options on amazon.

I have been using these “miuzei” SG90 servos on all my builds with great success. they are bare bones 9g servos, but pretty dependable at that. You can get a 10 pack for less than 18 dollars prime to your door, making each servo worth about $1.80.

For power setups, I usually spend a bit more but have been recently experimenting with this cheapo a2212 combo I found on amazon. I was actually pretty impressed with how well it worked out, pretty good performance and power, and great durability. I have been running this setup on my FT Mini Arrow on 4s for over a month now, without issues. Top speeds nearing 80mph! This setup is 15 bucks with prime.

For receivers, of course it depends on what protocol you are running. I run spektrum so I found multiple options for around 20 bucks a pop. My favorite is a knock off of the ar6210 that has very little performance differences to the genuine product, at 1/3 of the cost.

There is also the HK OrangeRX route. I have heard good things but I have never tried it myself.

LemonRX Also has lots of good options in the DSMX market, many less than 20 bucks. I have tried a few of these with good luck as well.

Either way, with these electronics you will be off to a good start. I would reccomend staying with simple planes like the FT flyer, delta, and nutball, or the ft22 and other single sheet wings. It will make it less complicated, less expensive, and easier to learn on. Good luck!