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The 2018 Transmitter Survey!

Time to put our finger on the pulse again!

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Q: What is the main brand of transmitter you use?

 FrSky
 Futaba
 Graupner
 HiTec
 Jeti
 JR
 Multiplex
 Spektrum
 Other


Erfolg06/12/2018 11:24:18
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11122 forum posts
1086 photos

Today O2 network has operational issues. Some are saying that they are in a state of near panic, being unable to do this or that, or receive information etc. Others are reporting that it is a massive inconvenience. Go back to the 70s with respect to there were no mobile phones etc. Go back further most people had no phone access, that was other than a red box a mile away.

In my opinion it is the same with "Buddy Systems", great to have them. It is easy to overstate how essentially the facility is.

In this period, where brands are disappearing. Some of those that are still about, often use a multiple of systems in their ranges, which often lack compatibility. Then there are the new kids on the block.

With these limitations, being confident that you will consistently find radios to buddy up to, could be less certain than a few years back. But above all flying as suggested with a single Tx, with an instructor present, is not a problem, in reality. As many others will have seen, even buddy systems have played up in use.

PatMc06/12/2018 20:45:21
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3928 forum posts
492 photos
Posted by Julian Thacker on 06/12/2018 09:56:41:
Posted by PatMc on 05/12/2018 21:23:40:

Don, I don't see how it's any more of a gamble than with the instructor on a buddied Tx.
It was the norm at one time & there were no more training disasters then than there are now.

Having trained many pupils for many years with and without buddy box I would say It depends on the pupil! It is (imo) beyond argument much less stressful for the instructor to be able to take control without having to grab the tx from the student. Some students, and not only older ones, take quite a while before they can fly a circuit anywhere near reliably. Having to repeatedly get the tx back before recovery is annoying to both student and instructor. It is also (imo!) beyond dispute that some students get to a level where they can fly fairly confidently most of the time but can suddenly get 'lost', and that can require very swift response from the instructor. The BB is much faster!

Once the pupil is getting to the landing stage the buddy box is the only way to save some of the arrivals that may not rekit the model but will most probably end proceedings for that model that day.

Some students also find it helpful to use a neck strap and recovering the tx in a hurry becomes virtually impossible.

So yes, it's possible to train without but the buddy box is an instructor's best friend (imo!).

Julian

My advice was based on the information that Bob, the person asking for advice, isn't a rank beginner. He has been flying multi rotor for 4 years and a 2 lb AUW foamy for an undisclosed period. He doesn't say which foamy or what the 6lb model he wishes to progress to.

I'm not saying using a buddy box isn't desirable or even the best option, only that it isn't a necessity, especially given Bob's experience with the probability that he won't need extensive instruction.
However depending on what the model is that he intends progressing to it may be that an intermediate trainer would also be called for.

Perhaps Bob can fill in the blanks re what the foamy is & what the 6lb model is.

Denis Watkins06/12/2018 20:57:13
3196 forum posts
147 photos

Agree totally with PatMc, and the sensible comments.

Over decades, have used half and half buddy and non buddy training, and they both work with no appreciable increase in the destruction of models, or time to train

It is down to the individual, how soon they " click "

The time is NOW, that we are faced with different Tx Manufacture ownership

And rather than loose even One flying day, then Pass the Tx between us until we solve the buddy.

At my club, new members are asked to buy, permanently or temporarily, a DX6i if they are a complete novice

Or, if they have partial skill, then their own Tx of choice is passed between instructor and pupil

Bob Smitham07/12/2018 01:39:29
11 forum posts
3 photos

Lot's of advice in those reply's thanks for the input.Hiya Pat I'll fill in the blanks. At the moment fixed wing wise a few hours on a 800mm wing.Now flying wings are very popular with quad flyers as their first foray in the fixed wing world.Why I'm not sure.Maybe just a fashion or more likley a spare multi rotor motor and ESC will power most one meter and below wings.So with a foam wing costing from £5 home built , too around £50 for a fancy model it's a cheap and easy way to give it a try.The down side being if the COG isn't perfect they are a hand full for a beginner.Prior too my wing I did try a few flights on a Bixler a much better option for a new flyer IMO.Cruising at 40kph and hitting 110kph at times with the 800mm wing on a 2204 motor was more stressfull than fun for the first half dozen flights.At the moment a home made foam board plank around 800mm is taking the knocks.When I'm proficient with this model.I have just finished a 1200mm V tial with a 1250kv motor and 5000mha batt.AUW around 2lb.From other flyers who have followed similar path I'm told the larger model will be more akin to the Bixler and easier to handle..My next step is a laser cut kit trainer.I'd like too see how balsa builds are engineered before attempting a scratch build direct from plan.Sorry for derailing thread.

Erfolg07/12/2018 18:43:35
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11122 forum posts
1086 photos

I have found this this series of surveys quite interesting. My initial assessment was probably wrong in that I saw Futaba as doomed.

I saw the willingness of Spektrum to permit second tier manufacturers to benefit from a degree of openness with respect to access to their technology as the way forward to total domination.

Frsky appears to be a disrupter, no doubt hated by the old guard and some of the new pretenders, as they provide quality products and systems.

I never anticipated the demise of JR, nor some of the less than transparent issues with Graupner or perhaps Multiplex.

I see again i am no Nostradamus.

I have learnt a lesson, that old men or perhaps that is just men, like their bling. At this time why else would anybody spend so much on a Jetti system. There are just to many other very capable products at a fraction of the price. They just lack Bling and charisma. Now if I could just afford an Aston Martin, or maybe a Lamborghini, not practical but a very high bling rating.

This series of surveys seems to indicate that the future is very hazy in deed, with many surprise emerging from the haze.

As for wings, no more difficult, in most cases than the average trainer. i would go as far as to say my wings are easier to fly than many trainers.

PeterF07/12/2018 20:12:08
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354 forum posts
552 photos
Posted by Erfolg on 07/12/2018 18:43:35:

I never anticipated the demise of JR, nor some of the less than transparent issues with Graupner or perhaps Multiplex.

I see again i am no Nostradamus.

....

This series of surveys seems to indicate that the future is very hazy in deed, with many surprise emerging from the haze.

Herein lies the great shift that has occurred over the past few years and trying to look forward, past performance is no guarantee of future performance. I find that in hindsight that I am no Nostradamus either.

When I went to 2.4GHz from 35MHz I chose Hitec Aurora 9 because I fly electric mainly (only now) and at the time this came out on the receivers you could power the Rx function directly from the flight battery up to 32V then power the servo bus seperately from an RX pack or BEC, no brown outs and loss of the radio link. You also got the flight battery voltage read back to the TX as this telemetry was built in. Ground breaking at the time and now Hitec are giving up the game and have pulled the plug on their next gen Tx. Who could have predicted that. I still fly with the Aurora, still think it is a great standard level radio, never had any question about its performance, but if I want to get a slightly better Tx now, then I have to jump ship and with 18 receivers that will be an expensive change, and one that no one could have expected.

Edited By PeterF on 07/12/2018 20:13:04

Martin Harris07/12/2018 20:38:13
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8015 forum posts
203 photos

Did you miss the nearly £3000 Futaba MX18? I made the not inconsiderable investment of well under half the cost into a Jeti DS-16 over 5 years ago, prompted by my previous investment in receivers and sensors to use with my module equipped Futaba transmitter. Confidence in the equipment controlling my models is the paramount consideration and my experience of and the reputation built by Jeti swung my decision that way after several months of consideration.

Any bling aspect (although I'm quite attracted to its utilitarian and simple clean looks) was very much overshadowed by an expectation of long life and accessible factory support. After those 5 years, there isn't a mark on it (and I'm notoriously careless with my equipment) and it performs far better and has far more facilities than when I bought it.

Yes, there is the undefinable pleasure of handling the solid machined alloy casing when I lift it out of the case and the odd occasion when taking the back off to make an adjustment or switch change reveals the beautifully engineered innards so I suppose you could call it bling but there's no intention of flaunting it - it's a personal satisfaction as far as I'm concerned.

Would I have considered a Taranis if they'd been available when I bought my DS-16? With the benefit of hindsight, yes I would have given it serious thought, but having made the investment, I have honestly never regretted the outlay, which diminishes as the years pass.

Which brings us nicely back on topic.

This survey really misses the mood of the market. I haven't considered buying a transmitter in nearly 6 years - and don't expect to be in the market for many years. My contribution to the survey therefore makes little indication of any trends and while the same question is repeated annually, I'd suggest that many of us are in a similar position.

PatMc07/12/2018 21:32:11
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3928 forum posts
492 photos

I think you're right, Martin.
To find the trend the question should perhaps be "What brand of Tx have you bought in the last "X" months"
The current results must include a number of 35MHz Tx's, which inflates the % of all but Spectrum, FrSky and I think Jeti who have only ever made 2.4GHz RC equipment.
The use of different brand 2.4GHz modules in Tx's may also distort the results.

 

Edited By PatMc on 07/12/2018 21:54:39

PatMc07/12/2018 21:52:43
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3928 forum posts
492 photos
Posted by Bob Smitham on 07/12/2018 01:39:29:

Lot's of advice in those reply's thanks for the input.Hiya Pat I'll fill in the blanks. At the moment fixed wing wise a few hours on a 800mm wing.Now flying wings are very popular with quad flyers as their first foray in the fixed wing world.Why I'm not sure.Maybe just a fashion or more likley a spare multi rotor motor and ESC will power most one meter and below wings.So with a foam wing costing from £5 home built , too around £50 for a fancy model it's a cheap and easy way to give it a try.The down side being if the COG isn't perfect they are a hand full for a beginner.Prior too my wing I did try a few flights on a Bixler a much better option for a new flyer IMO.Cruising at 40kph and hitting 110kph at times with the 800mm wing on a 2204 motor was more stressfull than fun for the first half dozen flights.At the moment a home made foam board plank around 800mm is taking the knocks.When I'm proficient with this model.I have just finished a 1200mm V tial with a 1250kv motor and 5000mha batt.AUW around 2lb.From other flyers who have followed similar path I'm told the larger model will be more akin to the Bixler and easier to handle..My next step is a laser cut kit trainer.I'd like too see how balsa builds are engineered before attempting a scratch build direct from plan.Sorry for derailing thread.

Bob, perhaps it would be best if you started a new thread with the pertinent points from your previous posts & including the details given above.

Personally I think you may have less but different instructional needs from what most of us have assumed. I also think that you may be typical of a new trend of "beginners" who have multi rotor experience but who now either want to switch to fixed wing models or want to fly both types of models.

Erfolg07/12/2018 23:07:26
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11122 forum posts
1086 photos

In principal Patmac I agree, it is year on year sales that show trends. Yet getting at these numbers I suspect will be very difficult, in a reliable way.

One of the issues is that there are so few of us. The BMFA generally quotes about 36, 000. More recently others have suggested a number south of 33, 000. If you double these numbers you only arrive at a figure circa 70,000.

If you make a jump into the dark and then suggest that 10% of us modelers replace or buy an additional set, the sales annually are only about 7,000 sets.

It does appear looking for the small changes that occur when all historic and current sales are consolidated, that Futaba are now holding onto a steady new sales scenario. On the other hand it appears that the initial sales surge of Spektrum has now been reduced.

With some such as Frsky, it does appear that all their sales are relatively recent.

Jetti are now very popular in our club, particularly if yo fly a jet or big IC. I see it as ironic that the initial necessity of avoiding the investment in Injection Moulding tooling, has been made into a virtue. It was either a folded metal case, or a machined billet. Hmm billet looks a lot better, folded case that is 60s naff. I am sure that the std, of design and finish are exceptional. Tet a lot of budget stuff also strives to be high quality, although the component layout will be functional, rather than aesthetically appealing.

Martin Harris07/12/2018 23:47:33
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8015 forum posts
203 photos

I've had a fair amount of experience working on plastic moulded cased equipment, radios, TVs, laptops, telephones etc. over the years and almost invariably, once the plastic is a few years old, screw posts crack and lose their inserts, retaining clips break and casings crack. Repairs are seldom totally successful and long term reliability must be compromised by improperly supported PCBs, damaged casings etc.

While cheap to produce in large numbers where the investment in moulds can be amortised, the durability of the billet case must be a bonus for the long term end user. I don't think this real benefit is being used to justify it not being financially beneficial to not produce it in plastic - given a choice at a similar price point I would definitely opt for the machined billet version.

I did mention my unmarked well used well over 5 year old transmitter in my previous post - what I omitted was that I once dropped it from waist height onto a well baked grass runway - I broke a switch but the transmitter escaped otherwise unscathed.

P.S. For info, it's Jeti with just the one t....from the founders' names Mr Jelen and Mr Tinka - and I bet very few of us pronounce it the way it was intended (me included!) ..."Yeti"...

Edited By Martin Harris on 07/12/2018 23:53:50

Trevor08/12/2018 09:12:43
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319 forum posts
47 photos

Martin, your earlier post on why you chose Jeti applies, word for word, to myself, except my original Jeti Tx module was housed in an old Multiplex Profi 3030. This 3030 still does service as a trainer Tx and so I can't agree that a plastic case inevitably leads to problems when it is a few years old. It clearly depends on the plastic, but that Profi case seems as robust as ever. I'm not sure how old it is, but I bought it at a Sandown show, so it's definitely getting on a bit!

Trevor

Martin Harris08/12/2018 11:22:33
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8015 forum posts
203 photos

There are certainly variances in the type and quality of plastics and kept out of the sun as much as possible, a good quality plastic transmitter case can last very well if used with a measure of care. I've seen numerous Futabas with plastic damage and laptops seem very prone to breaking thread lugs when they are removed - heat may play a big part here and most thermoplastics seem to get more brittle due to degradation from factors such as mechanical stress, heat, UV and oxidisation. Although not strictly casing parts, there's a thriving market in replacement rollers for Spektrum transmitters for example.

Just to complete the comparison Trevor, (can I assume you're TrevorH in another forum?) I've retained my old (repaired!) Futaba FF9 with its Jeti module for buddying as well.

Edited By Martin Harris on 08/12/2018 11:23:11

Erfolg08/12/2018 12:19:29
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11122 forum posts
1086 photos

I remember when studying in "materials technology" being taught about UV degradation, that photons would break a bond in the polymer leaving a dangling bond, which would then energetically favorably cross link with a oxygen molecule, resulting in Embrittlement. Then again Environmental Stress cracking was yet another issue. An other issue was plasticer migration, instability caused by fillers and pigments.

Yet I have a probably 30 something old Sanwa 2 channel set used on a electric buggy in the garden, showing non of the issues.

Moving onto Aluminum, the lectures here were about, there being no significant pure aluminum. Mostly alloyed, the principal being Silica, the more exotic precipitation hardening. Each type having there own stress or corrosion issues. Then Mazak die casting and its issues.

In the real world there are problems with all materials, yet many manufacturers do control the problems well once understood. Although they are always there.

I am now onto my 8th RC set, mainly because we went from 27 to 35 to 2.4 which led us to ever more capable sets especially the bells, whistles. Durability has not been an issue for me. It has been more about desire, I want, it would be nice to have.

I understood the first users I saw and knew with Jeti sets, they wanted telemetry to give them an edge for a 30s climb out, how many watts were being pulled, the altitude time profile, together with the mixing capabilities for reprofiling for flight phases and then landing braking. Now I just see others who like the jewelry, rather than pure functionality. Just like B&O i the 60s the kit works well, but it is the styling and its distinctiveness that seems to attract some.

Hmm, why not. I just happen to be attracted more by a price, capability and a given, that is reliability. Which is my one concern with a particular make. That has been re-enforced by noting that new purchase Futaba, does not seem to have anything like the frequency of claimed issues.

If I buy another set today, it would at this time probably be a Frsky, yet come tomorrow who knows

Don Fry08/12/2018 14:29:31
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2883 forum posts
35 photos

I agree, sets physically last forever. But in the old days, you got the next big thing.

Now I got a Spektrum DX9 when they came out. And with the software updates, it continues to do what what I want. Frisky, if I were replacing today MIGHT get a look in. Cost for the same thing basically. But there is the no reason to change over. So that's 5(?) years use, and no temptation too move. And I'm not the only one with that attitude.

Fly planes, does what it says on the tin, and little to get exited about.

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