Slowstick question and need recommendation for transmitter...

Hi, all:
First thanks for taking time to read this thread. I read a lot of web sites and FAQs already but I'm still a bit confused. I just got into
the RC hobby and have got myself a Blade CX RC helicopter (RTF with stock 72mhz radio) and a Wing Dragon (from lobby-hobby, come with a cheapo 27mhz transmitter). I also accumulated a lot of hours already on RealFlight G3 simulator. I'm hooked with this hobby, and after 10+ minor crashes, I think the Wing Dragon will be retired soon (it has got glues everywhere...). Here are my questions:
1. I'm thinking of getting a slow flyer that could handle a little bit wind. Is GWS Slowstick the best choice? It seems that there are a lot of slower flyers on the market (e.g. ParkZone Slo-V, which is similar to Slowstick)...is there any slow flyer modle that could handle 5-8 mph of wind?? 2. Generally speaking, is the V-tail design better for windy situation?? What other advantages the V-tail design has?? (e.g. easy to repair?? etc.)... 3. I'm hoping that I could "recycle" some of the parts that I already purchased (Blade CX and Wing Dragon) on my next slow flyer. The problem is that the quality stock transmitter (72mhz) that come with the Blade CX does NOT has servo-reverse feature, while the Wing Dragon stock transmitter is a cheap 27mhz one (although it does has servo reverse). Could I maybe recycle one of them for my next slow flyer?? Also, for the longer run, if I'm going to stick with this hobby for a long time, it seems that a lot of people recommend the Hitec Flash 5 FM radio (but these posts were back in 2004).. Is there a newer model or more updated recommendation for which radio to get (at least 4 channels with 5+ model memory)...? Thanks! 4. What's the differences of FM and PCM radio?
Thanks!
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T. T. wrote:

Mostly I think it just looks cool and trendy. Very few full-scale aircraft have V tails because in return for giving a very slight drag reduction they are very to independently adjust vertical and horizontal areas (basically you have to change the angle of the 'V', where with a standard tail you just add area to one surface or another).

Yes you can. You used to be able to buy reverse servos, but if you still can they aren't common. Being weird (and being good at soldering itty bitty things) I just reverse my servos as needed, or rearrange linkages.
If you have ambitions to start building your own stuff you could also recycle that Wing Dragon by building a new wing and empenage for it (assuming that the fuselage isn't too banged up). Just find a set of plans for a similar-sized, lightweight wing and start building.

"FM" radios use something called pulse position modulation (PPM) -- they send out a string of pulses, with varying gaps between them. Each servo gets a pulse equal to the gap between corresponding pulses from the transmitter. The "FM" just means that the pulses are sent as frequency shifts rather than as amplitude changes (which is what "AM" means).
PCM stands for "Pulse Code Modulation". It's still sent as frequency shifts, but a string of binary numbers are sent to the receiver, which decodes them and turns them into pulses for the servos.
When it first came out PCM was more reliable than PPM, but receiver technology has advanced, so if you buy the right receiver it'll be plenty stout enough.
--

Tim Wescott
Wescott Design Services
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Dear Tim, thanks so much for your explanation. That was really helpful. Thanks again for your help! :-)
By the way, given limited budget, could you maybe recommend some transmitter models for me?? I think I will probably use this transmitter for a while (and for at least 2-3 other planes, including maybe a heli), so probably it would be a wise decision to invest for a good transmitter... any recommendation would be highly appreciated. Thanks again! :)
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I'm also a newbie to this hobby. Did a lot of research and currenty building a cessna.
I can't answer your questions on the planes but for the transmitter, my recommendation is if you decide to buy another tranmistter (for the long run) then take a closer look at Spektrum DSS. I spent lot of time on researching transmitters and problems with using it in the field and had closed-in on tracker III from polk hobby and Specktrum DSS (And bought Specktrum DSS).
I have one and I'm very happy that I made the right decision.
T. T. wrote:

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Geekay, thanks a lot for your recommendation, I will take a look at Specktrum DSS. Ideally, as I still have some gift certificate from towerhobbies.com, I would like to buy a transmitter from towerhobbies.com if possible. Where did you get your Specktrum DSS? Is it a 4 channel or 6 channel model, where did you get it and how much did you pay for it? Is there any RC transmitter review sites that I could take a look?? Thanks!
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| Geekay, thanks a lot for your recommendation, I will take a look at | Specktrum DSS. Ideally, as I still have some gift certificate from | towerhobbies.com, I would like to buy a transmitter from | towerhobbies.com if possible. Where did you get your Specktrum DSS? Is | it a 4 channel or 6 channel model, where did you get it and how much | did you pay for it? Is there any RC transmitter review sites that I | could take a look?? Thanks!
Google for `Spektrum DX6'. Add `review' if you want reviews.
Going price is $200 for the TX, RX and 4 servos. It's six channel. I'm not aware of anybody selling it for less.
Here's a review, though it's from the people selling it, so take it with a grain of salt --
http://www.horizonhobby.com/Explore/Article.aspx?ArticleID 35
Tower Hobbies does not sell it, sorry. (Tower/GP/Futaba/OS/etc are all in bed together, and Horizon/H9/JR/Spektrum/Saito/etc are all in bed together, but the two camps almost never mix.)
I do think it would be the best deal for your money, for new equipment. (For used equipment, you might be able to find a good deal, but for that you have to know what you're getting and how to evalulate it, and that comes with experience.)
--
Doug McLaren, snipped-for-privacy@frenzy.com Don't get even -- get odd!

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Doug, thanks so much for your reply.
By the way, do you know if 'Spektrum' sell receivers and servos seperately? I'm planning to buy 3-4 RC planes (might including a heli) for the next 3-4 months, could I maybe use ONE 'Spektrum DX6' transmitter and install seperate receivers/servos in all these 3-4 RC planes?? How is the price of the Spektrum receivers compare to regular FM/PCM receivers (is it much more expensive??) I assume that I just have to get the receiver from 'Spektrum' and could use regular servos on the receiver, is this the case? Also, is Spektrum DX6 good for electric RC helicopter?? Many thanks!
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| Doug, thanks so much for your reply. | | By the way, do you know if 'Spektrum' sell receivers and servos | seperately?
They do. Though of course, you can use servos from others as well.
| I'm planning to buy 3-4 RC planes (might including a heli) for the | next 3-4 months, could I maybe use ONE 'Spektrum DX6' transmitter | and install seperate receivers/servos in all these 3-4 RC planes??
That's what we do with traditional gear and computer radios. Works well.
| How is the price of the Spektrum receivers compare to regular | FM/PCM receivers (is it much more expensive??)
I looked it up online, and it was right at $50 for a RX, which is about the same. (PCM Is a lot more expensive.)
| I assume that I just have to get the receiver from 'Spektrum' and | could use regular servos on the receiver, is this the case?
Yes.
| Also, is Spektrum DX6 good for electric RC helicopter?? Many thanks!
I'd say it's perfect.
--
Doug McLaren, snipped-for-privacy@frenzy.com
I have a great new motivation tecnique, it is donuts, and the
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Receivers and servos are available seperately, the receivers run about $55 and don't require a seperate crystal of any kind. You can use your choice of servos and aren't required to buy the "Spektrum" model.
The Spektrum system is excellent for flying helicopters, I know several dedictated electric and nitro heli pilots at one of our local clubs who swear by the Spektrum system for their helicopters. I'm told that the Spektrum doesn't have all of the advanced mixing of a dedicated helicopter radio, but that it's good enough for all but the most advanced 3D flying.

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I got mine from my local LHS in San Jose. It was on a deal for $189 but the normal price is $199. It comes with 4 servos and a receiver. I think its deal even when it is not on sale.
It has 6 channels, I anticipate I'll never run out of these 6 channels for the next few years. It has 10 model memory and a guide that explains the features for airplane and helicopter seperately.
The receiver antenna is only 3.75 inches and the transmitter antenna is about 10-25 inches (sooo short, I never measured it). It works on DSM technology and this means you don't have to worry about accidentally shoot down other planes or get shot down by others.
It feels great when you go to your local flying field and casually start flying your plane without queue or waiting for channel availablity. No rules....Just fly :)
This Tx recommended only for park flyers (==> smaller planes) currrently even though it has more than adequate range for flying bigger planes. To me 1/2 a mile is way more than enough because at that distance your plane will usually look like a dot (Unless you plan on remoting a full scale airplane).
Do a google and also visit for more details. http://www.spektrumrc.com
Welcome to RC Flying !!!
T. T. wrote:

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| It has 6 channels, I anticipate I'll never run out of these 6 | channels for the next few years. It has 10 model memory and a guide | that explains the features for airplane and helicopter seperately.
You'd be surprised. It's not hard to find six channels not to be enough. But then again, this is just the first version ...
| It feels great when you go to your local flying field and casually | start flying your plane without queue or waiting for channel | availablity. No rules....Just fly :)
You should still let people know that you're there, especially if you're flying near the others but still several hundred feet away.
I know that if we're flying at our field, and we see somebody set up at the other end of the field and pull out a plane, we all land proto and send somebody over, because the assumption is that they don't know anything about channel control. In many cases, they have 27 MHz gear and we're safe, and in most cases where they have 72 MHz gear they're on different channels (thanks to dumb luck), but nobody wants to risk their planes, and people are going to react similarly until they know you're not a threat.
| This Tx recommended only for park flyers (==> smaller planes) | currrently even though it has more than adequate range for flying | bigger planes. To me 1/2 a mile is way more than enough because at | that distance your plane will usually look like a dot (Unless you | plan on remoting a full scale airplane).
Glider guys regularly fly 1/2 mile away. A 2 meter plane (on the small side for a glider) at 1/2 mile is a bit bigger than a speck at 1/2 mile -- it's tiny, but I can still see where it's pointed and such.
But yeah, most people will never fly more than even 1/4 mile away.
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| 1. I'm thinking of getting a slow flyer that could handle a little bit | wind. Is GWS Slowstick the best choice? It seems that there are a lot | of slower flyers on the market (e.g. ParkZone Slo-V, which is similar | to Slowstick)...is there any slow flyer modle that could handle 5-8 mph | of wind??
The problem is that what makes a plane fly better in the wind is that it flies fast. The slower a plane flies, the less it can handle wind, so `slow flier' and `flies well in wind' are two things you don't normally get together.
Heavier wing loading usually gives you a faster plane that handles wind better, but it's then faster ...
The glider guys add ballast (weight) to their planes to help them penetrate the wind better. The extra weight makes them glide less well, but everything is a trade-off.
For an electric, you could add a larger battery or some ballast yourself (but that's waseful on an electric) but you may end up with a plane that can't fly. Usually people end up with a few different planes that work under different conditions.
| 2. Generally speaking, is the V-tail design better for windy | situation?? What other advantages the V-tail design has?? (e.g. easy to | repair?? etc.)...
V-tails have a bit less wind resistance (and only a bit) and they tend to get damaged less often in landings and take offs (beceause the bulk of the tail is not down there right next to the dirt. I had a fire ant mound rip off the horizontal stabilizer of a glider once on a landing -- that probably not would have happened with a V-tail.)
The disadvantage is that they're a bit less precise for flying (and this is very subjective) and they require some mixing. They're also a bit harder to build.
| 3. I'm hoping that I could "recycle" some of the parts that I already | purchased (Blade CX and Wing Dragon) on my next slow flyer. The problem | is that the quality stock transmitter (72mhz) that come with the Blade | CX does NOT has servo-reverse feature
I don't know how appropriate the Blade CX TX would be. It may do some of the mixing needed in the TX rather than in the 4-in-1 unit.
| while the Wing Dragon stock transmitter is a cheap 27mhz one | (although it does has servo reverse).
27 MHz doesn't automatically mean cheap, though often they do go hand in hand.
| Could I maybe recycle one of them for my next slow flyer??
Probably, but you might run into some trouble.
| Is there a newer model or more updated | recommendation for which radio to get (at least 4 channels with 5+ | model memory)...? Thanks!
The Spektrum DX6, like others have suggested.
| 4. What's the differences of FM and PCM radio?
About $200. :)
You don't want PCM. It's mostly used by the giant scale planes, some glow helicopter pilots, and the battlebot crowd. Nobody uses PCM on slow fliers.
--
Doug McLaren, snipped-for-privacy@frenzy.com Heisenberg may have slept here.

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