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Radian and Spektrum

A basic question

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Timmo31/07/2017 18:14:39
16 forum posts

After a break of 25 years I'm getting interested in the hobby again. I used to fly thermal soarers – 2 channel only although even then the club was seeing more and more electric gliders and more reluctance to lay out the bungees.

Coming back to the hobby I've been doing lots of reading and feel that the Radian Glider (the standard model not the XL or UMX) is the model that I think I'd enjoy the most and that is also appropriate to my lack of experience. Having spoken to the members of a local club they pretty much advised me against Spectrum radio gear to due brown-outs and only one of them from about 25 was using Spektrum. The advice was to buy something like the Hi-Tec Aurora 9 channel or similar, Futaba and JR were popular. At this point I'm not willing to spend circa £300+ on a radio.

My current view is that I may be at least two, if not more, years away from really needing a complex radio although I appreciate the extra functionality and being able to have flight modes and mixing that a more complex model allows. I thought a 5 or 6 channel radio would be enough before I start spending too much cash.

Am I right in thinking that if I buy the Radian model and Spektrum radio I can literally assemble, switch on and do a test glide but if I buy a non Spectrum radio I need to buy and replace the installed Rx but that I would be able to use the pre-installed servos, or do I need to replace those as well?

What would you advise a beginner to do bearing in mind that I really want to see if I take to the hobby before spending lots of money? I should add that I really like the idea of the Flight Apprentice as a power trainer so again the chance to bind and fly using Spectrum appeals. I am however, concerned about the possible lack of reliability of Spectrum. My local model shop told me that they use the brand and have no problems although they also sell other makes.

I also intend to buy Aerofly (Mac User) and will be using the Tx for that as well.

Your thoughts and advice would be most appreciated.

ted hughes31/07/2017 18:31:27
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466 forum posts

If you want a Radian, you'll need to get the Eflite version ,as PZ no longer market the Radian (commonly called Radian1, to distinguish it from the Radian Pro, which you need to avoid as it is a very poor performer).

The Radian is a superb sailplane, the Pro is a dog.

Colin Carpenter31/07/2017 19:17:39
566 forum posts
35 photos

Nothing wrong with Spektrum. My DX9 has given me more hours use in 3 years since retirement than all others owned cumulatively since 1969 !😀 DSM 2 was rubbish but DSMX fine ! Seen a lot of Radians have problems though. Have a look at RC Groups . Colin

ted hughes31/07/2017 19:35:16
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466 forum posts
Posted by Colin Carpenter on 31/07/2017 19:17:39:

Nothing wrong with Spektrum. My DX9 has given me more hours use in 3 years since retirement than all others owned cumulatively since 1969 !😀 DSM 2 was rubbish but DSMX fine ! Seen a lot of Radians have problems though. Have a look at RC Groups . Colin

 

The radian Pro is universally reviled, and the XL needs beefing up, but the R1 is acclaimed.https://youtu.be/mxqguF8sZSw

 

 

 

Edited By ted hughes on 31/07/2017 19:36:25

Mark a31/07/2017 20:06:45
321 forum posts
3 photos

I've had both old and new DX8's and have had no issues with either of them so Spektrum gets a thumbs up from me. As has been said above the Radian pro is rubbish, I have the XL and its a really nice flyer and you can almost park it in the sky and it will more or less stay where you put it. Sure the tail wobbles a bit but I've never had any issues with it just loads of nice relaxed flying. The standard Radian is a good entry powered glider but don't discount the XL as its just as good but has more presence in the air due to its size.

brokenenglish31/07/2017 20:11:21
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464 forum posts
29 photos

Timmo, I started teaching myself to fly, about 5 years ago, and my first plane was the Radian, fully equipped with Spektrum. This was entirely successful, with a bit of help from this forum concerning the electrics and 2.4 GHz radio. The Radian is still flyable today, and I stayed with Spektrum. Now, having made a lot of progress, currently flying an IC Acrowot and Wot 4 XL (and half a dozen others, IC and electric), I'm still with Spektrum and Orange receivers, I've never had a radio problem and I certainly have no reason to change!

One observation comes to mind. Your clubmates advise against Spektrum but none of them is using it. One wonders where they got their knowledge from ...

Edited By brokenenglish on 31/07/2017 20:13:16

Michael Little31/07/2017 20:20:24
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54 forum posts
9 photos

Ive had a DX6I Since it was released and have never had that, however my Taranis X9D Plus (I think thats the name) has to be wary better value from my point of view. Ive taken it 0.7 miles away flying FPV and it was absolutely fine & I've never had a problem.

If you use Spectrum use DSMX and you should be fine!

Steve J31/07/2017 21:17:15
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1577 forum posts
47 photos
Posted by Timmo on 31/07/2017 18:14:39:

Am I right in thinking that if I buy the Radian model and Spektrum radio I can literally assemble, switch on and do a test glide but if I buy a non Spectrum radio I need to buy and replace the installed Rx but that I would be able to use the pre-installed servos, or do I need to replace those as well?

The BNF (Bind n Fly) version will come with a Spektrum receiver preinstalled for use with a Spektrum transmitter.

The PNP version comes without a receiver for people who want to fit their own.

I would have no problems recommending a Spekkie DX6 to a beginner. Nice radio for the money.

Steve

Steve J31/07/2017 21:24:58
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1577 forum posts
47 photos
Posted by Colin Carpenter on 31/07/2017 19:17:39:

DSM 2 was rubbish but DSMX fine

There is nothing wrong with DMS2 in a normal club environment. DSMX is better if there are lots of transmitters in use. New DSM2 transmitters cannot be sold in the EU as DSM2 is not EN 300 328 v1.8.1 compliant. My three biggest models are still on DSM2 and I expect them to stay on it for the foreseeable future.

Steve

Percy Verance31/07/2017 21:48:23
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8108 forum posts
155 photos

A multiplex Easy Glider or Solius could be a nice alternative to the Radian. A possible consideration with Spektrum is the fact that there is now no UK based service facility, and if any repairs or servicing are needed then it has to be returned to Germany. There are also now far fewer Spektrum stockists than a year or so back. This may or may not be an issue depending on your viewpoint.

There are several alternatives to Spektrum now, with HiTec, Futaba, Graupner and Frsky all current players in the 6/7channel radio market.

Before you actually buy anything Timmo, I'd make a point of visiting your nearest club a few times, and have a bit of a fly. That ought to give you a bit of a *feel* as whether you're going to more than dip a toe in, so to speak. It will also give you much more of an insight into what equipment is popular, and why.

 

 

Edited By Percy Verance on 31/07/2017 21:56:59

Colin Carpenter01/08/2017 10:45:02
566 forum posts
35 photos

I stand by what I said about DSM2 . In my club environment plenty of models went in unexplained. Since all using DSMX I haven't seen one ! Colin

Brian Hammond01/08/2017 14:46:36
315 forum posts

The DX6 is very good if you are a bit deaf as the bleaps are very loud and the Radian pro is excellent,I nearly lost mine this morning in a thermal, air that is not a vest.

Simon Chaddock01/08/2017 15:52:50
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5471 forum posts
2871 photos

Whether it a Radian or anything similar a foam electric powered glider is likely a good choice to come back into the hobby unless of course all you want to do is "to go 100 mph". wink 2 but I won't bother to post a link to thatvideo!

This sort of plane flies in a modest manner which gives you time to relearn the eye hand coordination, is reasonably crash resistant and 'power off' allows you to really appreciate how the aerodynamics work.

Tom Thomas 102/08/2017 04:09:17
3 forum posts

I had a radian and flew it for about a year firstly with a DX5e and then a DX6i.

Never had one problem.

The radian is a great relaxing bird, but the pro is a brick.

buster prop02/08/2017 21:41:21
471 forum posts
9 photos

I’m a long term Spektrum user, starting with the original DSM2 DX7, then a DX6i and now a DX7G2. The last two are DSMX but I’ve flown electric power, slope soarers and thermal soarers with all these transmitters and not had any trouble. In fact, I recently flew my Radian with an AR400 receiver to over 800 feet with the DX7G2. So yes, in my experience Spektrum is perfectly ok for a Radian. On the subject of gliders, I also have a Solius (with an AR610) and it’s more demanding to fly than a Radian. I like it but a beginner would be better off with a Radian in my view. I can’t comment on the Radian Pro, haven’t flown one, but reports aren’t good.

Timmo02/08/2017 22:10:30
16 forum posts

Thank you to everybody – lots to think about and consider. To clarify a few comments that I made; the local club I visited were very welcoming however, they are primarily a IC power flying club and that's not really my thing.

The club I belonged to years ago had a glider and electric field and a second location for anything that now includes jets. I liked the atmosphere of the glider part of the club. From memory they were flying Futaba, JR and Fleet but mainly Futaba. The power club I recently visited – a couple of members told me they switched over from Spectrum however, I think almost to a man they were all using top-end radios but I guess flying big 1/4 scale warbirds is never go to be at the cheaper end of the hobby.

John Leipold04/08/2017 05:48:47
1 forum posts

Hi All,

whilst not necessarily a help to the OP I would like to add some balance to the Radian vs Radian Pro views. I came back into the hobby 3 years ago after "dropping out" some 30 years previously and my re-introduction was with the RP/ Spektrum DX6i (unassisted). While I must admit I am all thumbs (no wait, that's probably not quite what I meant for rc) I haven't had too many problems. I had two LOS crashes due to brownouts caused by the inadequate BEC originally supplied and one due to a faulty aileron gimbal but apart from that (and the flexi-airframe that Radians/RPs are infamous for) have had an enjoyable experience with the Pro.

I do concede that it's not quite the thermal soarer that the standard Radian is but I've had flights of up to 45 min on the standard 1300mAh battery without difficulty and if I wanted more I'd go for something other than a "styrofoam" airframe. The RP is also unlike the Radian in that you do need to fly it and not set and forget but that's the beauty of the hobby isn't it, something for everyone.

As an aside, for those that haven't seen this videoclip, have a look at my experience with a curious eagle that flew with me a few months after I started with my RP. I was very fortunate that my son happened to be with me and also had his camera with him. The contact lasted for about 15 minutes and I was able to maintain height without powering up during that time - not wishing to startle him/her. It was an average day thermal-wise but a once in a lifetime experience.

Cheers

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=oPETgjxH0JU&t=244s

Tony Harrison 204/08/2017 15:19:31
233 forum posts
3 photos
Posted by ted hughes on 31/07/2017 18:31:27:

If you want a Radian, you'll need to get the Eflite version ,as PZ no longer market the Radian (commonly called Radian1, to distinguish it from the Radian Pro, which you need to avoid as it is a very poor performer).

The Radian is a superb sailplane, the Pro is a dog.

Oh dear! Is that why mine (bought s/h) crashed while I was learning to fly? The wings do seem a bit wobbly, and one of the wing servos seems to have limited travel. Should I persist with it, or swap for something else to learn on?

rgds Tony

brokenenglish04/08/2017 16:26:20
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464 forum posts
29 photos

Tony, don't say "Oh dear"! You in a perfectly satisfactory situation. Proceed with caution (persist!) and you have the knowledge that, if you're successful, then you're flying a plane that isn't particularly easy to fly. On the other hand, if you break it then, as a learner, it's not really your fault!

I started learning (on my own) with the standard Radian. I then tried a Radian Pro. I didn't like it and I broke it!
But I then tried the HK Walrus which must be an ideal first aileron model.

I've progressed a lot since then, but I still have my standard Radian and my HK Walrus, both still in excellent condition 5 years on....

gangster04/08/2017 17:00:47
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965 forum posts
17 photos

You seem to have club members speaking eruditely about "brownout". I suspect they have no idea what it means. Check it out on the web. It is a phenomena of supply voltage not the receiver .Yes some of the older dsm2 receivers were reputed to drop out on low voltage and take too long to recover. Other receivers were much more tolerant. However if someone tells you that their model crashed due to brownout it really means they were flying with poor wiring or flat batterys. Now the good news. With the radian you will be flying with receiver power supplied by the motor battery and the esc. The motor will be shut down by the esc and give you plenty of time to land. The next bit of good news is that dsmx receivers are more tolerant to voltage fluctuation and that is what you will get in a BNF radian nowadays I would suggest the best plan would to get one together with a Spektrum transmitter You may wish other BNF models from the same range later. I see no reason at all for paying lots of money at this stage if you don't want to. You will be joining thousands of other happy fliers on the BNF route. Oh yes I do use Spektrum but along side two other mainstream makes.

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