Freshmeat into the Grinder

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Freshmeat into the Grinder

Postby Oddnoun » Sat Jul 10, 2010 5:45 am

I am really glad I found this site and forums. I have been rather intimidated by the rcgroups and rcuniverse forums but found a lot of overwhelming information. It also seemed biased as vendors have their own sub forums. This site is really helping me out separating the wheat from the chaff and make sense of all my choices. I have been into RC land for about 2 years but all that time was spent on surface. I was bored with only racing half the year and then having my truck sit for the other half as my local track at the fairgrounds get shutdown in the summer for fair related activity.

I decided that I wanted to spend more time with my father and he has always had an interest in RC Airplanes. First, I found a super cheap DX53 and Blade MSR on Craigslist for $50 bucks was a great deal and super steal. After much crashing and learning how to rebuild the whole helicopter twice! Broke two main frames from going full throttle into the ground! I have learned a lot about flying the heli.

Then I found my way to RC Super Powers on Youtube and learned a lot about foamies and how they work. They looked really fun so I decided to get a plane instead of another helicopter so I can spend more time with my dad. This brought me into the Wild Hawk I got at Harbor Freight with a 20% off coupon. The radio was really bad so I got a AR6200 from my LHS and use my DX5e with it now and flys much nicer. After breaking the nose and front section pretty bad, hot glue and strapping tape to the rescue, I broke down and bought the Dynam RC Simulator.

The simulator arrived today and I have been working with FMS and having a lot of fun after about 30 minutes of calibrating.

This has been my journey over the past two weeks.

Now to the future!
Goals: (Everyone needs one)
1. Have run with air based RC be it planes or helis
2. Be as frugal as possible (If this means I use chinese items that is okay with me as I do not have $1500 to drop on a radio)
3. Practice every day at least 30 minutes on FMS with either a plane or heli (both is optimal so 1 hour a day)
4. Build the Blu-Baby Trainer
5. Learn as much as possible about RC flight power system (Thinking about buying Dave Power's book)
6. Gather the necessary parts to make the Blu-Baby fly
7. Acquire a functional and useful radio that will last me many years to come
8. Fly the blu-baby and learn how to land
9. Progress to stable FPV flights
10. Progress up to EDF jets
11. Progress to large scale RC

My travels though all of these goals I hope to keep me coming back to this site. I am really happy I found it since the product reviews are invaluable and the chance at winning stuff is always nice. Subscribe to the youtube channel! If you have any advice or pointers to help me along my way that is appreciated. The most helpful are PDFs or ePub books that I can put on my iPad and read when I travel for work.
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Re: Freshmeat into the Grinder

Postby RCModelReviews » Sat Jul 10, 2010 5:58 am

Welcome to the hood. Glad you like it. Keep us informed as to your progress., just the facts.
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Re: Freshmeat into the Grinder

Postby skyguy04 » Sun Jul 11, 2010 2:29 pm

My advice regarding a radio system would be to pick up a used 72mhz JR 9303 from craigslist, your LHS, or by asking around at your local clubs. This transmitter is exactly the same as the 2.4ghz version, except for the radio AND it accepts MODULES! This means that you can purchase any of the radio system modules reviewed on this site. I prefer the FrSky system.

I've gone through several radio systems and have probably spent the $1500+ you mentioned. In the end, I am now flying with the JR9303 + FrSky, which is an upgrade from my DX7, and costs less. Receivers are around $20 - $40, so you save there as well.

If you want to take advantage of all the Bind and Fly stuff from Horizon, you could even pick up a Spektrum module to fit in your 9303 for around $100 or less if you find one used. So it's VERY versatile. ... D=SPMMSJR7

Hope this helps!
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Re: Freshmeat into the Grinder

Postby Oddnoun » Mon Jul 12, 2010 10:20 pm

Wow that is probably one of the best tips I have received yet. I was looking at getting the Futaba 8FG and was confused by vendors selling a helicopter and airplane version but there is no mention of those two versions on their site. I might check around the local clubs to see if I can find the radio. I hope it is not too expensive if I am just going to throw a module in the back.

I went to the park this past Sunday and tried to fly the wild hawk and had so many problems with it and the electronics. So much so that I think it is now 100% totaled or going to require more time to invest in repairs than I like to involve in the next couple of weeks. This has told me one thing about RC flight. I need a simulator!

I went and got Phoenix RC and I chose it because of the price, I can use it with my DX5e and it is superior with regards to helis than real flight. I am more interested in Helis than planes but plan to learn to fly a plane at some point. With this realization I have begun my project to acquire, build and learn to fly a 400 size RC Helicopter. I am considering building a copy of the TREX 450 from or following the guide on for building the helicopter. I will put a more sophisticated radio on the device. My plan is to first get the radio and cable to use it on phoenix rc. While I develop my skills on the simulator I will be saving up and building the helicopter. I will still have my blade mSR to keep flying in the basement but for right now I do not want to invest into both types of RC air and the helicopter won as it feels a bit more challenging and more rewarding. This is just my opinion and my view at the moment.

My Plan
Find and Purchase a long term radio system to last me 3 years or more (Futaba 8FG or JR 9303 are two contenders at the moment)
Research RC Helicopters and get better understanding of helicopter flight (Very nice info at
Develop flying skills on the Phoenix RC Simulator (Need the new radio not sure how to setup the helicopter to work as I would expect in real life using the DX5e) NO BAD HABITS or relearning
Build 400 class RC Helicopter or find a cheap Blade 400 3d on craigslist
Fly for teh realz and have tons of fun
When son gets couple more years (he is 1 right now) have a good foundation to spend time together and keep him out of trouble
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Re: Freshmeat into the Grinder

Postby Mr Ed » Sat Jul 31, 2010 3:53 am

The 9303 is a good system and I have one, so I know a little about it and used it quite a bit. It really is a good transmitter and you won't go wrong with it, but then again, if you are looking into going with a 2.4GHz system, take a look at the Airtronics system too. You can get a new transmitter with the 7 channel receiver for around $350.00 and the 10 channel receiver for $400.00. I finally went with that instead of going the module route since I wasn't to wild about that wire hanging out the back and getting broken very easy. They have FINALLY come out with a fix for that, but that was right after I bought mine and I am happy I did.

The programming is amazingly simple yet is very powerful and you can do almost anything you want with it. The restrictions I had with the 9303 are now gone in the Airtronics system. If you can afford this one it would be a very good buy and I think it will last you for years. The one I'm talking about is the SD 10G and it is simply amazing. it's a 10 channel system, so you are not going to outgrow it any time soon and the price of new receivers are not outrages like some radios. For $49.00 you can buy a 5 channel receiver and for $120.00 you can get a 10 channel. Right now the only receiver on FHSS 3 is the 10 channel, but you can fly with the older FHSS 1 receivers too. The real difference in the receivers are that the ten channel will require you to use the digital servos and they cost a little more then an analog servo. The FHSS 1 receiver will allow you to fly with analog or digital servos. If I remember right they have a 5, 6, 7 and 8 channel receiver on FHSS 1 and a 10 channel on FHSS 3, but they are coming out with new receivers soon and will be the new FHSS 3 like the 10 channel receiver is now.

I still have my 9303 and am still using it on 72 which right now it's great, because most people have gone to the 2.4 systems and you are almost free to fly any time you want, but then again, if someone is on your frequency, you have to share the flying time. Your still stuck with that little problem unless you get the module that will change channels for you along with the receiver that allows you to change there too. One advantage to going with the 9303 and the modules is that you can fly on 72 and 2.4 with it. You just need the module and receivers to swap out.

I think by the time you get the 9303 and the module along with a receiver that cost more then an Airtronics, you are going to wind up paying close to the same price as the Airtronics SD 10G and the 7 channel system anyway. It's something to look into anyway.

Mr Ed
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Re: Freshmeat into the Grinder

Postby RCModelReviews » Sat Jul 31, 2010 5:07 am

Stay tuned, I'm planning a full comparison/review of all the "brand name" 8-11 channel radios in the near future, starting with the Hitec Aurora 9. I hope to include the Airtronics radio in that lineup., just the facts.
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