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Pumpkin drop event

why not cheaper?

#1
so before you go all judgy on me, i have almost no experience when it come to electronics in the rc-departement. So i bought this WLtoys V666 quadcopter witch made me very happy and included a controller. I only paid around 120 euros for this. So imagine my surprise when i looked on the internet to buy a controller and receiver for the micro trainer plane build from flite test and found out i costs almost 200 euro's. Why is it that these controllers are so expensive while i bought an entire quadcopter with controller for only 120 euro's? I'm sure there's a reason i just don't know what it is
 

rcspaceflight

creator of virtual planes
#2
Resolution. The difference is their resolution.

I don't know if you saw the X-Wing episode with the toy grade rc plane, but the reason why Peter was saying that you show flick the stick instead of holding the stick over is because the channels are basically either on or off. Maybe a few steps in there. But most of the cheap transmitters have each channel either center, left, or right, and nothing inbetween. Where as the hobby grade stuff has a lot of steps inbetween.
 

pressalltheknobs

Posted a thousand or more times
#3
200E isn't that much more than 120E. If it was 2000E then I could see it as being questionable difference.

Making a packaged item allows you to cut manufacturing costs and control inventory costs. Hobby stuff is generally better made, more powerful and more flexible to use than toy stuff and is made and sold in lower volume so it costs more. Making and selling separate plugable items adds to the costs at all stages. Just the way things work.

The real question is how in the world they can make something as sophisticated as your toy FPV quadcopter and ship it half way around the world to sell for only 120 Euros retail. It's really amazingly cheap.

But all of this stuff is really amazingly cheap when you consider what's involved.
 
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razor02097

Rogue Drone Pilot
#4
so before you go all judgy on me, i have almost no experience when it come to electronics in the rc-departement. So i bought this WLtoys V666 quadcopter witch made me very happy and included a controller. I only paid around 120 euros for this. So imagine my surprise when i looked on the internet to buy a controller and receiver for the micro trainer plane build from flite test and found out i costs almost 200 euro's. Why is it that these controllers are so expensive while i bought an entire quadcopter with controller for only 120 euro's? I'm sure there's a reason i just don't know what it is
This is a simple one to answer. A toy grade transmitter are for toys. An RC hobby grade transmitter is for RC models. Here are some key differences that I can think of off the top of my head.


  • Toy grade transmitter has limited range. Those little transmitters are only designed to go maybe 100 meters if you're lucky. The antenna is usually mono pole linear polarized (a piece of wire) and the output is nowhere near what you would expect out of an RC grade transmitter.
  • Toy grade transmitter typically has a proprietary protocol or very limited applications. When you buy a toy quad the receiver, flight controller, and ESCs are integrated on a single board. This makes it difficult if not impossible to use on a different application. Depending on the model you may or may not be able to get a receiver to hook hobby parts to. Therefore every toy you buy will have to use a transmitter that came with it.
  • Toy grade transmitter has limited features. An RC grade transmitter will typically have features you will never find in a toy grade transmitter. Reversing channels, proportional channels, and in the case of computer transmitters mixes and reassigning channels.
  • Toy grade transmitter fit and finish. Most toys are built to a budget the same as most hobby grade transmitters. A toy grade transmitter will usually have everything soldered to a single board where a hobby grade transmitter will have supported gimbals and switches attached to the case.



All that said the WLtoys transmitter you have is pretty good for being a toy grade transmitter. It should run most WLtoys products. But that's about it.
 

ZoomNBoom

Senior Member
#6
As others pointed out, there is a fair bit of difference between those toy grade transmitters and programmable RC grade transmitters, and the price difference is not that big. That WLtoys transmitter is far more comparable to a ~$50 turnigy transmitter than a ~$200 taranis/DX6. And even the turnigy will give you 5-10x better range.

That said, manufacturers probably do have a nice margin on the midrange and particularly high end transmitters. When you look at whats inside, there isnt anything remotely expensive in them. Price differentiation is often done based on software features that require no more than the processing power of a ~$5 atmega microcontroller.

The situation today is way better than it was 10 or 20 years ago, back then you might pay several $100's for the luxury of things like a $5 LCD or more model memories, which required about the same amount of memory as, well, a casio watch or something. I remember paying around like 100 euro (before the euro existed) for an extension module what was essentially two switches and two potentiometers for a Robbe Mars radio.

Thing is; we often use these transmitters to control planes that cost many times more, in which we invested countless hours of work, and which have the potential to do some damage if things go wrong. So most of us dont mind paying a little extra to ensure the manufacturer has enough margin to engineer its PCB's properly, for decent QA and is not produced exclusively with the cheapest components on the market and soldered together by people who cant solder. The price tag alone wont guarantee you that, but brand reputation to some extend does.

IOW, even though the difference isnt quite as big as you believed, its probably true most of our RC transmitters are still "overpriced".