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transmitters for the beginner

Marzipan

Active member
#1
what transmitters around the $100 range are well respected and recommended for a beginner?

I have read the write up that's stickied, but I don't understand most of it...terms and phrases I don't know with the concepts, theories and functions behind them.

from what I have grasped, I'm pretty sure I want to have something with at least 6 channels. I could write a wall of text why, but I'll just say I want 6 channels at the minimum, 'because of reasons'. :LOL:

thank you all for your time and attention!

PS - I am in the process of watching the 10 beginner videos and I did purchase FT's Book of RC Planes, which appears to be the script for the videos.
 

JasonK

Master member
#2
What do you want to fly?

one option would be: Flysky FS-i6X
the Jumper T-Lite JP4-in-1 Multi Protocol Open TX 2.4GHz RC Transmitter w/ Hall Gimbals hits your price range and has a 4-in-1 module, which means you can bind it to just about everything.

I have used the Flysky listed. My main TX is a different brand Open TX (same software as the Jumper T-Lite) but was around $160. I also have some spektrum TXes. For the price range, I would pick the Jumper T-light for the 4-in-1, but the Flysky might be easier to setup if you don't need all the functionality.

If you really plan on getting into things, I would suggest looking for something with a JR bay, but I don't see anything in your price range with one. a JR bay will let you get a different TX module like Express LRS, Ghost, etc (protocals that give you various improvements over the 'standards' like longer range/penetration/update frequency/etc).
 
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Merv

Legendary member
#3
Here is a good place to start your search, the prices listed are out of date but plenty of good information.
https://forum.flitetest.com/index.php?threads/which-transmitter-you-should-buy.37966/

I agree that 6 channels are enough for most people. Look for a transmitter with module memory, 10 will be enough for most people. Take a look at the cost of the receivers, as you progress you will want several, some brands of receivers are quite expensive and most brands are not compatible with each other. Everyone has a reason why their brand is the best, they all work equally well. If you have a club nearby, join it & buy a brand they are familiar with.
 

kilroy07

Legendary member
#4
I second the Flysky. You just can't beat the price point for beginners (you should be able to find one online for around $60 new). Especially with additional receivers (6 channel) at around $15 each (iA6B).

If/when you want to upgrade, it'll be a good backup or use it to have a friend (or young one) join you at the airfield.
My personnal experience has been great, sure the gimbals (sticks) are not hall effect (glass smooth), but I have had my Spektrum loose signal where as the Flysky has never let me down (even in crowed events such as combat at Flite Fest.)

Open TX is a bit of a dip in the deep end of the pool for a beginner I think.
 

PsyBorg

Wake up! Time to fly!
#5
I don't get why everyone bashes on Open tx being hard to work with. Its sets up and does EXACTLY the same thing as any other radio for basic use. The only difference is it allows for far more expandability then most other radios. It seems complicated because you can do one setting in several places for added channel management or simple setting up a base file if you use the same set up on all your models like channel assignment for the base 4 channels and any expos you like as well as common switch settings.

It STILL sets up just like any other radio for the basics and you need look no further then you already do UNTIL you need or WANT to. Spectrum is way to brand locked and their base models offer very little features. Even their top of the line stuff is limited to what they THINK you should use and how THEY would apply it. Open TX allows for exploration and growth.

Flysky to me is to remedial to be really effective after your fist 10 hours of flying where growth and expansion is concerned.

I prefer Taranis for what I do and yes I get the new protocol is proprietary just like Spectrum. The nice thing about new FRSky and old is you can get the 4 in one module and cover nearly every radio protocol made Just like Radio Master. Radio Master seems to be OK gear but I don't think their low and mid range radio quality is on par with bigger name brands. Their upper end radios seem ok in that department and are becoming quite popular. You just have to understand they have their own branch of open TX due to how their multi protocol system works unlike the 4 in one module that will plug into any JR style bay.
 

kilroy07

Legendary member
#6
I don't get why everyone bashes on Open tx being hard to work with. <snip>
If this is for me, I wasn't bashing OpenTX or saying it was hard to work with.

I based my recommendation on Marzipan's statement "I have read the write up that's stickied, but I don't understand most of it...terms and phrases I don't know with the concepts, theories and functions behind them."
That statement made it clear to me, that maybe a basic radio was all that is necessary, the fact the i6x comes in at just over half the stated budget leaves some wiggle room for some extra receivers.

When I got into RC about 5 years ago, I acknowledged was going to make mistakes. I don't think my initial choice in radios was one.
Sure, it's "remedial" but that's okay when your only flying a 3 channel fixed wing and learning.

At some point I WILL get a open TX (Most likely a Jumper) so I'm not a hater, I just honestly don't have a need for anything more than what I've currently got.

Now, if you plan on getting into rotorcraft or quads, then yea, maybe the Flysky is too basic. But for a basic, completely capable beginner radio I stand by my recommendation.

So, @Marzipan if you haven't figured it out by now, this is one of those coke/pepsi, thin/thick crust pizza, highly emotional and loaded type questions that seems to get a rise out of everyone.

My suggestion is DON'T get a flysky because I said so (or an open tx because Psyborg says so) we both make valid points (as do the others posting here) the important thing is you take it all in and decide what's best for you!

Good luck and welcome to the community!
 

daxian

Elite member
#7
i started my journey in rc with the flysky fs ia6 ,a budget six channel system that has good range, comes with a reciever
and does everything needed to get you flying ! its only failing, in my opinion, was it only had 20 model memories .
 

PsyBorg

Wake up! Time to fly!
#8
If this is for me, I wasn't bashing OpenTX or saying it was hard to work with.

I based my recommendation on Marzipan's statement "I have read the write up that's stickied, but I don't understand most of it...terms and phrases I don't know with the concepts, theories and functions behind them."
That statement made it clear to me, that maybe a basic radio was all that is necessary, the fact the i6x comes in at just over half the stated budget leaves some wiggle room for some extra receivers.

When I got into RC about 5 years ago, I acknowledged was going to make mistakes. I don't think my initial choice in radios was one.
Sure, it's "remedial" but that's okay when your only flying a 3 channel fixed wing and learning.

At some point I WILL get a open TX (Most likely a Jumper) so I'm not a hater, I just honestly don't have a need for anything more than what I've currently got.

Now, if you plan on getting into rotorcraft or quads, then yea, maybe the Flysky is too basic. But for a basic, completely capable beginner radio I stand by my recommendation.

So, @Marzipan if you haven't figured it out by now, this is one of those coke/pepsi, thin/thick crust pizza, highly emotional and loaded type questions that seems to get a rise out of everyone.

My suggestion is DON'T get a flysky because I said so (or an open tx because Psyborg says so) we both make valid points (as do the others posting here) the important thing is you take it all in and decide what's best for you!

Good luck and welcome to the community!
No sir.. Its not aimed specifically at you old friend. Its a transmitter topic and that's usually the first argument to keep people from even looking into open tx. Like you said its a Ford vs Chevy thing. Just trying to show all the options like in anything else I do here to try n help people.
 

Marzipan

Active member
#9
what other OpenTX transmitters come with USB-C? so far I've only seen the Jumper RC T-Lite with that in their specs.

mini and micro USB are dinosaurs and horrible! C is bigger, I know, and that can still be a problem for smaller items that have onboard charging capability, but the...beveled(?) ends almost always lead to be plugged in upside down so often that you ruin the connectors and plugs, killing whatever item that had them. though...the RC community is very DiY, so perhaps a solder job isn't out of the question.
 

Marzipan

Active member
#11
My Radio Master TX16S has USB-C for charging and data cable/link.
have you gotten a chance to try the JRC T-Lite? if so, what are your thoughts between the two transmitters?

edit - oh, scratch that. I read that as TX6S, which I recall being around $100....the TX16S is much more, so not a fair comparison at all.

another question. for the price of the T-Lite, it appears users / testers were surprised to see it had Hall sensor gimbals for the sticks at that price point. how many gimbal sensor types are there?
 
#12
The sensors can be potentiometers, hall-effect (with the main microprocessor interpreting them), or digital hall-effect (with a microprocessor dedicated to just the gimbals and reporting positions digitally to the main microprocessor). You can also have a single 2D hall-effect sensor, or a separate sensor for each axis.

Separate from that is how many ball bearings are on the gimbals...cheap ones have none, better ones have a pair per axis.
 

Marzipan

Active member
#13
The sensors can be potentiometers, hall-effect (with the main microprocessor interpreting them), or digital hall-effect (with a microprocessor dedicated to just the gimbals and reporting positions digitally to the main microprocessor). You can also have a single 2D hall-effect sensor, or a separate sensor for each axis.

Separate from that is how many ball bearings are on the gimbals...cheap ones have none, better ones have a pair per axis.
oh wow. that is quite a bit more complex and detailed than what I found online. what I read was that potentiometer is physical, kinda like a brushed motor while Hall Effect is digital via magnetic readings, like a brushless motor.

is there anywhere to read up on the pros / cons for the different Hall Effect configurations?
 

kilroy07

Legendary member
#14
Hall effect are usually better all around. No physical contact, so they won't get sloppy with age (or corrosion.)

I admit I had not looked into radios for awhile (I'm back from a 2year hiatus.)
The T-Lite looks really interesting.
 

PsyBorg

Wake up! Time to fly!
#15
@kilroy07 is spot on but I would like to add they are far more accurate and precise. control surfaces on fixed wing tend to have play in them across the physical movement of their operation so you really cant feel it as much. I fly mainly multirotor and the precision difference of hall effect to analog with potentiometers is like the difference between driving a 60's era Volkswagen vs a 2000 something Bugatti Veyron
 

Grind

Active member
#16
I'm of the "buy once, cry once" opinion. Sure, Open Tx may be more than you're looking for right now, but as you learn more, you won't need to buy a more advanced system later.
That's why I chose it a few years ago, when I got back into the hobby, after a few-decade hiatus.
 

Marzipan

Active member
#17
I'm of the "buy once, cry once" opinion. Sure, Open Tx may be more than you're looking for right now, but as you learn more, you won't need to buy a more advanced system later.
That's why I chose it a few years ago, when I got back into the hobby, after a few-decade hiatus.
I am of the same mind...especially because T-Lite can store so many profiles. I have small hands too, so the complaint of the switches getting in the way of those with bear paws won't be a problem for me. the big knock against the T-Lite is it's battery and how it is not sufficient when you add a module for additional protocol support.

on the battery thing, I heard the reviewer comment about a battery mod, but didn't elaborate. YouTube has pulled up mod's showing the use of Lipo, but because Lipo is so finicky I'm not sure that's the way I would want to go. how would a bunch of high cap NiiMH batteries hold up to the power draw? they can be had up to 2800mAh for AA now.
 

JasonK

Master member
#18
I am of the same mind...especially because T-Lite can store so many profiles. I have small hands too, so the complaint of the switches getting in the way of those with bear paws won't be a problem for me. the big knock against the T-Lite is it's battery and how it is not sufficient when you add a module for additional protocol support.

on the battery thing, I heard the reviewer comment about a battery mod, but didn't elaborate. YouTube has pulled up mod's showing the use of Lipo, but because Lipo is so finicky I'm not sure that's the way I would want to go. how would a bunch of high cap NiiMH batteries hold up to the power draw? they can be had up to 2800mAh for AA now.
the battery that the T-Lite uses is a li-ion cell, not lipo (different chemistry and min/max voltages). given that the voltage range for those are are 2.5-3.0 for the min and 4.1-4.2 for the max, you might have trouble working out an AA NiMH battery pack that would give you similar voltages

the jumper is rated for Voltage: DC3.5-4.2V, which will be really hard to get with NiMH cells (see below).

NiMH cells start at about 1.5 V right when fully charged, drop to about 1.2 V most of their discharge life, and are pretty much empty at 900 mV

4.2 / 1.5 = 2.8
which means 3s NiMH might get your voltage to high for the device (if it expected 4.2 max, but the 4.5 might be ok), but the nominal would be 3.6 [which is on the lower side of the 'working' range for a li-ion cell. 2s NiMH would be to low all around.
 

Marzipan

Active member
#19
hmmm, well, guess it's good I'm not in a rush to buy my transmitter. I'll hobble along with the EZ packs and the two and three channel power packs. get some experience and learn!

are there any other transmitters that have a similar design (game controller) to the T-lite while keeping a similar level of features and functions, perhaps better, while maintaining the modest price? I know of the FrSky Taranis X-Lite, but their cost is 2x or more than the T-Lite.