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Returning to the hobby

Advice on repairing a kit and on choosing a new radio

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Andy Kearl04/11/2019 10:07:42
3 forum posts

Hi All,

Having had a sort out I’ve rediscovered my old Vervon Vortex and would like to resurrect the same over the winter as it’s looking a little worse for wear, but not having flown for nearly 40 years I need some help .

I’d really appreciate some advice on the following topics;

1/ Recovering the flight surfaces; what’s the best choice today in regards to film?

2/ What aerosol paint would you recommend to repaint the fuselage or should I leave bare and put up with the ‘patina’?

3/ Radio choice. I used Futaba previously, but would like a steer in regards to a decent mid-priced radio. I’ve looked briefly at Spektrum, which seem pretty decent, but having been out of the hobby for so long and with the demise of many of the known brands in the intervening period I’m struggling to make sense...

Apologies if the above are well worn topics, but I’d really appreciate some help.

Cheers

John Wagg04/11/2019 19:36:54
14 forum posts
2 photos

My son bought me a FRsky Taranis TX/Rx for my birthday earlier this year. Very pleased with it but needed some getting used too with all it's computer related workings.

Prompted me to resurrect my 30 year Monterey glider. Needed the tail repairing as it had parted company from the fuselage

monterey.jpeg

Andy Kearl14/11/2019 11:00:57
3 forum posts

John, thanks for taking the time to post a reply.
That’s a nice model!

David Davis14/11/2019 12:04:32
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3465 forum posts
622 photos

I bought a Spektrum DX6i when they first came out and have been very pleased with it. About five years ago I bought a DX9 leaving the DX6i as a buddy box for trainees. I have had to return the DX9 for repair twice since then. It's a good job that I retained the DX6i it meant that I could continuue flying. Having said that, there are three other members of my club, regular flyers who use Spektrum radios and they've never had a problem. One uses a simple Spektrum DX5e transmitter which is similar to the transmitters of forty years ago in that it doesn't contain a computer for all of the bells and whistles which many of us never use. The other two use the more advanced modern DX8 transmitters. I also have the use and custody of a DX5e transmitter which I use if I ever have to instruct a Mode 1 trainee. I've never had any problem withit.

Futaba are the industry standard like Volkswagen cars. They are the most popular radio at my club.

FrSky are the new kids on the block. Our best pilot flies with FRsky equipment. I considered buying their equipment when I bough the DX9 but I'm not very computer literate and FRsky appears to appeal to those who are, so I stayed with the devil I knew.

Multiplex are made in Germany and have an enviable reputation.

Just my two pennorth!

Tom Satinet19/11/2019 09:24:07
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519 forum posts

1). profilm (oracover) or toughlon/lightex are good. Hobbyking film is supposed to be ok but I have never used it. Solarfilm has stopped production. But I feel the others are better anyway.

2) I've never had a particular problem with any "rattle cans". To be honest halfords stuff is pretty good.

3) WIth Frsky you need to ask yourself how good you are on computer stuff. If the answer is not very then I would avoid.

The reality is that the software on modern mid-low end TXs is miles better than it was even 10 years ago and every major brand sells reasonably priced trannies that can fly gliders with multi control surface wings, flying wings, electric gliders etc etc.

What's really important to understand about the modern situation is that you can ONLY use the particular brand's receivers with its transmitters. So look at RX cost. There are exceptions to this rule as you can buy 3rd party receivers from the likes of hobbyking for spektrum and futaba etc. Also a few TXs (frsky/jumper - both on open tx) allow you to use a different RF module (or in jumper's case come with a multi module). You can't use futaba TX and spektrum TX for example.

With regards to the FRsky I would buy the jumper t16 now as it seems cheaper and with a better spec and the software is the same (opentx). And you get a multi rf module.

Nigel R19/11/2019 09:52:57
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3164 forum posts
486 photos

1 Hobbyking film is good (when it is in stock, it sells out pretty quickly).

2 no idea, I'm afraid, I only really use film

3 "Spektrum, which seem pretty decent"

Spektrum are pretty decent. I use a DX8, I like it. DX6 is also excellent and lower cost. Their "sport" RXs (4 and 6 channel) are a good price.

You can also buy cheaper spektrum compatible (Orange) receivers from hobbyking, as well as the Lemon branded kit from other sources.

Almost everyone in my club uses spektrum.

Of the rest, a couple - both heli and/or multirotor guys - use frsky taranis TX, and the one guy who flies turbines has something extra fancy (jeti, I think?).

Peter Christy19/11/2019 11:14:39
1616 forum posts

Regarding FrSky being favoured by the computer literate, I would suggest that it is more a case of NOT having owned a different type of computer transmitter, rather than needing computer skills.

Setting up basic models on OpenTx is no more complex than any other transmitter. The main issue is that the OpenTx way of doing things is totally different to the Futaba/JR/Spektrum way, and this is what tends to confuse people coming from those systems.

OpenTx is very logical - just different. If you've never previously owned or used a computer transmitter, it is no more difficult to get your head around than the "conventional" way of doing things. Indeed, I would argue that because it is so logical, it is actually easier! And it is certainly exceptional value for money!

I have no connection with FrSky, other than being a (very) satisfied user!

--

Pete

Andrew Ray19/11/2019 11:23:43
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719 forum posts
19 photos
Posted by Tom Satinet on 19/11/2019 09:24:07:

3) WIth Frsky you need to ask yourself how good you are on computer stuff. If the answer is not very then I would avoid.

Definitely disagree with this statement as I am no good with computer stuff but have had 6 years with firstly a Taranis and then an X12S Horus. Once you get your head into the logical steps of setting up a model the basics become clear and straightforward and then you realise the immense adaptability of the system to do what you want.

Tom Satinet19/11/2019 13:00:34
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519 forum posts
Posted by Peter Christy on 19/11/2019 11:14:39:

Regarding FrSky being favoured by the computer literate, I would suggest that it is more a case of NOT having owned a different type of computer transmitter, rather than needing computer skills.

Setting up basic models on OpenTx is no more complex than any other transmitter. The main issue is that the OpenTx way of doing things is totally different to the Futaba/JR/Spektrum way, and this is what tends to confuse people coming from those systems.

OpenTx is very logical - just different. If you've never previously owned or used a computer transmitter, it is no more difficult to get your head around than the "conventional" way of doing things. Indeed, I would argue that because it is so logical, it is actually easier! And it is certainly exceptional value for money!

I have no connection with FrSky, other than being a (very) satisfied user!

--

Pete

Sorry Pete, but I don't agree with you there. Compared to a "super easy" tx like the hitec aurora 9 or the spektrum dx6i, it takes a lot longer to set up basic models on opentx - not least because the user interface on the taranis is bleep bleep**. Radios with predefined mixes are quicker to start with but less flexible by nature. It's a trade off of what you want.

I'm not anti opentx. I've got one of the first taranis' that came in to the country and still use it. And I used to use the multiplex p4000 "back in the day", which basically has the same software as opentx (contrary to popular belief that opentx invented this software type). I used a hitec aurora 9 for a few years, which is probably the easiest TX to programme I've had or encountered, but definfitely limited in possibilities vs opentx. I've never owned a spektrum TX but the DX6i seems pretty easy to make adjustments on from the limited fiddling I've done on them.

TBH the hitec aurora 9 is super easy to live with and a great radio for most people. Not that it was limited really. I flew f3b with it for a couple of years and it was good. Pity it didn't sell in the numbers it might have done and that hitec won't be brining out any more TXs or RXs.

Although it's probably a fair point that if you go in with no preconceived ideas it will be easier.

** to be fair I hear the later ones are a bit better. On the mk1 one it takes about 0.5 seconds after you press a button for anything to happen (if it does happen.......). The scroll wheel on spektrum is far better. The scroll wheel and interface from the JR9x2 the Taranis case is copied of was of course excellent, as were the sticks.

Peter Christy19/11/2019 13:55:02
1616 forum posts

Funny you say that. I have a selection of computer Txs - mostly JR, though I did have a Spektrum DX-7 when they first appeared. I also have three Ace Micropro 8000s, an early Taranis and bought a X10S a short while ago.

We have one club member with a Hitec transmitter, and he is always coming to me asking how to program it. I find it a total pain to work on, mainly due to a lack of familiarity (he is the only person I know using HiTec!), but also the completely illogical sequence in which buttons appear to have to be pressed to get it to do anything. It would probably help if he brought the book of instructions occasionally, but he never does. I'm not alone, as no-one else in the club can figure it out either!

On the other hand, we have another member who has just bought an X10S (latest version) after years of Spektrum use, and has taken to it like a duck takes to water! Even swapped it from mode 2 to mode 1 without a problem.

I guess it just goes to show that what is logical and simple to one person is confusing and non-senseical to another. I guess it just depends on your previous experience, as I suggested earlier.

--

Pete

Peter Miller19/11/2019 13:59:09
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10320 forum posts
1231 photos
10 articles

Fort coverimg you can still buy Solarfilm from them

**LINK**

The HObby King film is very like Solarfilm Supershrink Polyester which was my favourite covering of all time,

I swear by Spektrum. I bought one of gthe first Dx7s in the country about 11 years ago, never ha d a spot of trouble with it. Most of the club use Spektrum. I also use Hitec which is good although I beeve that they have stopped making transmitters. Service in in House at J.Perkins.

As has been said, The old rattle cans from Halfords are great.

John Wagg19/11/2019 16:34:55
14 forum posts
2 photos

I have had my Taranis for a few months now and quickly got used to it. The only thing you really need to know (and probably with other makes) is how to "bind" to the receivers. (not a problem on 27/35 meg's). Beyond that planes can be set as in the old days mechanically. No need to go into the programming but so much easier once you do. -- Ive now got 11 models programmed into the transmitter - just need some good weather to fly them.yes

Regarding "Solarfilm" you can still buy from them until stocks run out but no idea when that will be ? So I would order anything you want now.

Edited By John Wagg on 19/11/2019 16:35:34

Andy Kearl20/11/2019 07:19:09
3 forum posts

Thanks to all particularly Tom, Nigel and Peter for their covering recommendations and everyone else regarding radio choice. Definitely food for thought and the sound advise will help inform my decisions. Thanks again.

Stephen Smith 1420/11/2019 08:15:10
154 forum posts

Own 2 Aurora's a 9 and a 9x my son uses the 9 and the 9x is now raerly used as I have swooped to another brand. I also bought a taranis when they first came out.

The taranis I gave up on after a couple of weeks and sold it, on the other hand very rarely used the instructions for the Aurora and my son has never had the instructions. Previously I have used a jr388 a jr3810 and an origanal DX7 all of which where simple to use, unlike tha taranis.

A new member joined about 3 years ago never flown before and in his 60s he bought a Aurora and had no problems using it once he understood what things like rates end point subtrim etc where.

The only thing on the 9 which needed improving with the flashing light which needed to be red or blue depending on receiver type when binding this was improved to be much easier on the 9x

My currently used radio is very capable and relatively simple to program but have never seen any radio as easy as the Aurora

Tom Satinet20/11/2019 08:54:54
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519 forum posts

No I've never used an easier radio than the A9. Pretty nice box as well, ergonomically, I found. The taranis, which is copy of the JR9x2 case, I don't find as nice to hold or the switch positions as good. Last I heard on RCgroups hitec has given up on a new radio and are now concentrating on servos again. The hitec RF system is very solid but lagging behind now in terms of telemtry. I don't really understand how you can go that far wrong with it as all the mix settings are on one screen and all pre-programmed.

What I have seen is people using an Frsky module in an A9 so you get cheap receivers but with the ease of programming (And building quality). Although frsky receivers aren't really as cheap as they used to be.

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