• This site uses cookies. By continuing to use this site, you are agreeing to our use of cookies. Learn more.

Where has the customer service gone?

rsawyer

Junior Member
#1
Well, I'm new to the hobby. My son and I are building the FT22 and have it looking good. Our radio arrived today, and I am a little ticked at HobbyKing right about now. I want to post my story here so other newbies will learn from my folly.

So my five year old say some youtube videos and said, "Dad can we do that?"

"Sure, we can build anything, as long as Mom says it's ok." I said

So with the Commander and Chief's permission we picked out our speed build kit, order the necessary electronics and away we go. I wanted to get started as cheap as I could and could not decide on a transmitter. Do I spend a little more money now and get something I know will work well, or do I save a little now just in case this hobby goes the way of the dodo when baseball season starts. After hours of spec searching and price hunting I decide to get the HK-T6A V2. It's not a super sweet setup, but it looked as if it would work well for our single trainer. It can be programed for elevon mixing from my laptop and I had done my research on the product and found it would do everything we would need.

So the radio arrives today and we unbox it, and it feels ok. I keep looking in the box for a USB cable of some kind to connect the tx to my laptop. After I realized there isn't one in the box, I don't really care, I have a ton of them anyway. So I start to look around the tx for the usb connection so I can get this thing programmed and ready to fly. NO. NO USB Port. Just my luck, it must connect to the trainer port on the back with a special cable that got left out of the box for some reason. So I email HK right away, then being the IT guy that I am decide that if it does hook to the PS2 port on the tx, it can only have 4 wires and a ground, and to talk to another tx it would have to be serial. So I get out my #1 tool (Google) and my USB to RS232 converter. Peace of cake right, I don't have to wait on no stinkin' cable. I'll just make one.

So I began my google search with the phrase "HK-t6a Serial Adapter". Bam! Right there it is, "How to make your own...", hold on, wait a second, What the...There it is 3rd on the list "Hobby King 2.4Ghz 6Ch Tx USB Cable"! Sweet, it's cheep and it's in stock in the USA. Checkout time. $18.00 S&H? for a 60g cable? From the US to the US. I think not. Back to plan A. After reading a few articles and some trial and error, its clear to me that I will have to spend some money on a TTL Serial Adapter to get this to work. So I get this one from NewEgg on the way. http://tinyurl.com/qa74l6c

Now that I've spent my afternoon getting the part I need to setup my tx, I get madder and madder at HK for not including the stinking cable. It states clearly on their site that advanced features must be programmed on a PC. Why not throw in one more sentence with a link to the USB adapter you know everyone is going to need. ERRRRRRRR! I mean it's a $3 dollar part? Come on. If I had known about it I would have ordered it at the time anyway. Either make it clear that I'll need it or include it. Don't think you'll trick me into ordering it once I get the tx and pay you again for shipping.

My rant today is not a knock on the tx. It seems to be good enough for what I need. Once I get it to where I can use it I'm almost certain it will get my son and I to our first crash. Instead my rant today is on the Hobby itself. I like Flite Test because of the content that my son and I can enjoy together. The community seems to be a great place to learn from one another. What I found most goofy in this whole conundrum was that HK looks like the best place to go to get what you need. Then you get hit with crazy S&H fees, BTW the USB Adapter from NewEgg, FREE SHIPPING!! I think it would be great if there were more resources for the newbs out there, and I'm not talking about how stuff works resources. I'm talking about better product reviews, retailer reviews, etc. Where the best place to buy stuff from would be a great start. HK is a good source for parts, if you know what you're looking for and are ordering enough to justify the shipping.

I am well aware that this is par for the course when getting into something new. There will be little things you learn along the way. My goal though is to make sure that when I learn something new, I share it with the FT community. It will not help most of you, but those that start in the hobby after me will get a first hand account of how their not the only person who is new to the hobby and if I can help one person thats good enough for me.

I look forward to finally flying the FT22 and I promise to post some photos as soon as I can. Thanks for the great work you guys do here. I hope to someday be as helpful to others as you guys have been to my son and I.

Fly Safe!
 

Biff45452

Senior Member
#2
It's not that they're the best. It's that they're so cheap.

A radio and receiver for $30 when just a receiver would cost more than that anywhere else is crazy. In fact i'm amazed that that tx can be programmed. There is a youtube channel called rcmodelreviews and I think you'd get some good info from there. He reviews a lot of HK stuff and he reports truthfully if it's any good.

You get what you pay for is true sometimes.
 

Balu

Moderator
Staff member
Admin
Moderator
#3
Hm, I think you are getting something wrong. Forgetting or missing parts when ordering stuff online or buying in a local hobby shop is a big part of this hobby that makes the whole experience fun.

You have no idea how often I went back and forth to get parts for my Anycopter - and sometimes while flying I keep thinking if it's still missing something (it must be that, because it's not my style of flying! ;) )
 
#4
Hobby King is a great resource but with certain caveats, as you have seen. Make sure go really read through the reviews, on all warehouses webpages because their system separates some it seems. You know google is your pal so check there before ordering anything complicated like a radio. You will.pay more but for something complicated, and likely to last a long time, I would get it from a stateside shop.

HK has been my go-to place.for.batteries, cheap servos and motors but I (and many) have found places in the states with good service. I think there is eve a thread devoted.to if it here on FT. Try BuddyRC, HeadsUp RC, Aloft Hobbies, LukesRC. Those are.all great places I use.

Good Luck, welcome, And please pardon my thumbs... :)
 

Craftydan

Hostage Taker of Quads
Staff member
Moderator
Mentor
#5
RSawer,

Welcome to the forum and welcome to the insanity :black_eyed:

It's harsh getting hit by this right up front, but this won't be the last time that after CAREFUL research into something new/cool/interesting you will go to build and half way through . . . dang. I really need a new/unbroken/different/out-of-stock/hard-to-find part.

You're suddenly stalled waiting for something that should have been ordered on day 1.

It hurts.

Bad :p

Sometimes you get lucky and somebody suggests something that you can scrounge and you're back up running.
Sometimes you get clever and can MacGyver the solution yourself.
Sometimes you just get to wait.

Take heart. It's worth it. Get the plane in the air and flying (although your maiden flight might be short :eek: ), and the feeling you and your son will have will be worth the head bashing struggle. Even through the struggle, you're getting time to spend with your son, building memories. That stupid-cheap-missing-parts-radio won't be more than a footnote in the "flying together" Story you and your son are building :)

Take what you learn (HK's listings, and in general their parts should be taken with a grain of salt) and use it to make the story better.
 

abieex

Member
Mentor
#6
Relax and enjoy! You will learn the same lessons we all have learned. HK is a great resource most of us use but they are only one of many. I spend way more time researching parts than I do buying them! Good luck and welcome!
 

rsawyer

Junior Member
#7
Thanks for the moral support. I had to vent last night. I mean it's almost a required component for the tx. Just put it in the box. I did forget the point of my rant when I got done. The point I sat down to express was, if your not sure, ask someone. It never hurts to get others opinions. That's what I wanted to pass on to the other newbs. And don't rush as you've all pointed out. Thanks again for the support. Here's a pick of the pre paint FT-22 image.jpg B
 
#8
Welcome to HobbyKing.

Personally I will probably NEVER do business with HobbyKing. Hilarious shipping charges, a stunningly low satisfaction rate across many forums and lack of ability when it comes to customer service. (according to posts on the interwebz).

I'd rather deal with a US company and pay a little more.

Nice work on the 22!
 

Balu

Moderator
Staff member
Admin
Moderator
#9
The only thing I don't like with HK is that they are selling me stuff without CE marking which means I'm going to have to discuss with customs tomorrow if a part is allowed to be used in the EU or not.
 

Tritium

Amateur Extra Class K5TWM
#11
99 percent of my HK orders are direct from HK US Warehouses West or East since they are now stocked pretty well. Shipping is usually via priority mail at the standard USPS priority mail cost. EVERY project I build (RC and otherwise) ALWAYS has items I FORGOT (or did not KNOW to order because of insufficient research) that delay the project.

Thurmond
 

makattack

Winter is coming
Moderator
Mentor
#12
Sorry you had to deal with that frustrating experience, but as you can see it isn't unusual, and I'm afraid it doesn't go away. I just find other tasks I can do while waiting for the missing bits. You probably need to install some software for that tx. This happens to me even when doing simple projects around my simple home. Good thing the hardware store is only 10 minutes walk away.
 

rsawyer

Junior Member
#14
Already started the poly coat. Just gotta finish off the bottom. Here's a photo of the paint scheme my son requested. image.jpg It may end up to pretty to fly(crash)
 

earthsciteach

Moderator
Moderator
#16
Cool paint scheme! Yeah, the frustration of that right off the bat is a kick in the rear. Like others have said, hang in there! It is worth it. There are other online vendors who you can buy components from (not nearly as comprehensive as HK, but a better experience). HeadsUpHobby.com, Graysonhobby, alofthobbies.com, and many others are fantastic.

Welcome to the forum!