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Starting out

#1
I understand how most everything works, although I'm not sure how I am going to do the transmitter and receiver, does anyone have a video for a DIY transmitter AND receiver as I don't want to buy one myself
 

Vimana89

Well-known member
#2
That sounds ridiculously complicated. I'd much rather just buy a FlySky IA6, cheap, reliable, has expo and programming and all the stuff that would be hard if not impossible to do on a DIY. I'm sure there's somebody somewhere who could help you cobble together some 3ch thing with none of those features, but...why?
 

Vimana89

Well-known member
#4
Fair enough, I love to build my own plane designs...but I have trouble seeing how scratch building a TX and RX would be fun or showcase any creativity, or even give you a result that feels custom or fine tuned in any way. Complicated algorithms, lots of soldering, building a frame for it, making sure everything connects and is compatible with each other and the other parts you want to use...this sounds tedious, complicated, time consuming, frustrating, and would likely cost more and give you a far inferior product to just buying a TX and RX, so you can focus on making custom planes which believe me is challenging enough, and much more rewarding when your not banking on some project like this to fly them.

I'm no expert in fiddling with home made electronic stuff like transmitters and receivers, but I highly doubt anyone will tell you different than me about how rewarding or economical it would be.
 

buzzbomb

I know nothing!
#5
I can't imagine trying to make a transmitter and receiver. The electronic engineering involved puts it way out of the realm of DIY. You'd have to have one of each, and then have the skills to reverse engineer them, so you could make them. I'd say it's doable for an electronic engineer, with a background in radio transmission and access to and knowledge of a 3d printer.

From there it just gets mind-boggling. It's like saying "I like that Samsung phone, how do I build one?" You really can't.

Sorry, man. Some things just have to be purchased. :)
 

Vimana89

Well-known member
#6
I can't imagine trying to make a transmitter and receiver. The electronic engineering involved puts it way out of the realm of DIY. You'd have to have one of each, and then have the skills to reverse engineer them, so you could make them. I'd say it's doable for an electronic engineer, with a background in radio transmission and access to and knowledge of a 3d printer.

From there it just gets mind-boggling. It's like saying "I like that Samsung phone, how do I build one?" You really can't.

Sorry, man. Some things just have to be purchased. :)
This is exactly what I figured. Has somebody, somewhere done this? Probably, but for the average person starting out with no background in electronics, it would be near impossible for no real gain. If you have questions about building planes though, you came to the right place!
 

The Hangar

Well-known member
#7
I like building things myself as well, but a TX and RX are just beyond an average hobbyist's abilities. You can pick up a decent cheap hobbyking transmitter and reciever combo for $37, and If you feel like tinkering and a little project, take it apart and build your own custom case for it like peter sripol did in his DIY pocket transmitter found on the flitetest youtube channel. This will let you figure out how your transmitter works and let you put your own custom spin on it! Good luck and have fun!
 

Ketchup

4s mini mustang
#8
I like to make things myself instead of buying something like a kit
That works great for planes, quads, and other things, but for transmitters and receivers it probably won’t. As @Vimana89 said, somebody might help you make something extremely basic, but it would be much easier and better to just buy a transmitter and receiver. One reason is that since most good transmitters are made by large companies, they can be made cheaper and some companies have great customer service. An example of this is Spektrum. I have a dx8 and a few months ago a switch broke. All I had to do was send it to Spektrum and they fixed it and sent it back for free (I only had to pay for 1 way shipping to Spektrum). Another reason for why it would be better to buy is that some companies (I’m thinking about Spektrum again) release updates for their products. This means that it is easy to keep transmitters up to date. If you are very good with electronics and making your own stuff though, then go for it. But don’t forget to post your progress!
 

Hoomi

Well-known member
#10
I have been a professional electronic technician for over 40 years now, with nearly 37 years working in calibration and repair of computerized test equipment. I have experience in the entire spectrum of electronics, from TTL to high voltage analog, DC to microwave RF.

One thing I've learned in that forty plus years, is that some things are just better purchased off-the-shelf, rather than trying to build myself. You can waste a LOT of time and money trying to debug an unproven design, and when you start talking about something like a radio control unit for an aircraft, you run the risk of possible injury or property damage if its deficiency decides to manifest while your plane is in flight.

Good transmitters can be bought for under $50, and six channel receivers for $20. My Tx is a bit more expensive, but it has additional features such as multi-model memory. In all the times I've flown, it's never given me any issue, nor any reason to worry. It's also about as impervious to interference from other transmitters as any unit today can be, which is something I wouldn't want to bet a home-built would be.

Add to this the factor of trying to work in micro electronics and surface-mount components. Many of these components require an extremely fine solder tip AND a binocular microscope to properly assemble to the circuit board. One nearly impossible to see solder-bridge between two circuit pads can result in a destroyed component, or - worse - ruined circuit board. If you want your receiver lightweight and small enough to easily fit in an airplane, and that's what you're going to need to work with. I can tell you from experience, it's barely worth getting paid to deal with micro-circuitry like that, let alone doing it for "fun."
 

FDS

Well-known member
#11
Don’t forget second hand. You can often find very good kit for a decent price when people upgrade or move on.
Plus if you like modding there’s tons you can do to some TX’s like the Flysky FSi6 or the Taranis 9X to make them better.
The TX is also a SAFETY CRITICAL part of your kit, so having it be reliable and safe is very important. If you do not have a reliable link to your model you do not have control of it and are not flying safely.
 
#12
I have to agree with the others in the thread stating that building your own TX from scratch is both cost prohibitive and a potential safety hazard, not to mention the legal aspects.

However for something like a micro indoor plane and as a learning experience I would maybe consider getting a pair of bluetooth enabled prototyping boards, like the esp32 and using one as the tx and the other as the rx.
Range will be limited, but you will have 2-way radio communication and the ability to add a wide variety of inputs and outpouts to your device.
I would probably start with something ground based as my prototype, like a little rover robot, which is less likely do dash itself to pieces on any available surface.

I would certainly watch a build thread with interest.
 

Hai-Lee

Old and Bold RC PILOT
#13
Just a thought as I used to build my own Tx/Rx over 40 years ago, Back then the cost saving was really minuscule but I was in the trade and could get some parts for free. Nowadays if you just added up the cost of the parts alone it would exceed the price of a very good entry level system fully approved and guaranteed!

Sur it can be a buzz to accomplish something that many others can't but with the laws around Radio control aircraft both in force and yet to be enacted such a requirement could be so expensive and even illegal that most, (even tradespersons), would not consider it for any reason!

Buy a broken or damaged Tx and repair it if you want to tinker!

Have fun!
 

FDS

Well-known member
#14
My grandfather made his own radios in the 50’s. We found a few of the valve ones when we cleared out an old garage when I was a kid. They were huge! I think they were just the really basic non proportional type.
 
#15
I understand how most everything works, although I'm not sure how I am going to do the transmitter and receiver, does anyone have a video for a DIY transmitter AND receiver as I don't want to buy one myself
If you have a interest in electronics and still want to give it a go, this channel "electronoob" on YouTube has diy videos building Arduino based RC transmitters, ESCs, drones and lots of other stuff based around Arduino modules. He also explains how it all works in ways that most people can understand. I've been following him on Instergram and YouTube for a while and find it all very interesting.
instagram electronoobs
youtube channel electronoobs

 
#16
If you have a interest in electronics and still want to give it a go, this channel "electronoob" on YouTube has diy videos building Arduino based RC transmitters, ESCs, drones and lots of other stuff based around Arduino modules. He also explains how it all works in ways that most people can understand. I've been following him on Instergram and YouTube for a while and find it all very interesting.
That's very close to what I was talking about. The ESP32 is quite a bit more powerful than the arduino but can still be programmed through the Arduino IDE and it already includes the wireless functionality.
 

basslord1124

Well-known member
#17
I'm with the majority in that you're better off buying your own. BUT if you want to do some experimenting, there are folks who have taken older FM/AM Tx/Rx and converted them to 2.4Ghz. So you get a vintage looking Tx/Rx with modern technologies.