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Best radio?

Discussion in 'General Discussion' started by Davek, Dec 31, 2013.

  1. Davek

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    I know that the "Best Radio" is really a subjective question but....

    I wanna change out the stock radio for something programmable to change things like Yaw rate with expo functions. It's pretty pathetic that I haven't bought a radio tx in forever. Last one was a kopropo mars for racing cars and I have about 4 old analog airplane radios. My local dealer does Spektrum and seems pricy. Futaba has been around forever and I see the Frsky thread. I just have no idea whats really good for quadcopters?? Specifically things like the throttle lever on the stock radio is nice that it recenters when you let go instead of the usual indexed mode. Is it possible that some have that option while other don't? I also wondering what other specific options radios have that other simply don't?

    Thanks for any input.... I know this is a very broad question!!
     
  2. FlyingFish

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    I was in the same boat a few weeks ago. Did all kinds of research. Ended up with the Futaba 8J. Pretty easy setup. Works great. Plus a have a couple channels to grow into. I bought the Futaba because I trust them. Ive used Futaba for years with out trouble. I think ANY radio will be a huge upgrade over the stock radio.
     
  3. Davek

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    Yes, I keep getting this nagging thought about new radio all the time. Futaba's seem to be written about a lot on rc forums and thanks! That maybe a good choice! Spectrum has let me down and another case with power issues. My concern was a radio specific to a quads needs. Not sure that matters or not really but haven't bought anything in a decade.

    What about the receiver? Do you change that as well or bind to the existing one? I've added everything to this as far as fpv and osd and have no idea where the receiver is inside it. Just a big huge thing that says Naza M V2 :) the mystery box!!! lolz

    Edit: did you buy the 8jH version?
     
  4. krb

    krb

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    This is my first radio purchase, so take this all with that in mind.

    I agonized over this as well, and ended up buying the FrSky Taranis today. I was originally going to by a Spektrum DX8 because I have and some friends have Blade Helis, but once I looked carefully at the FrSky system, I was sold. I'm sure it'll be a bit difficult to figure out, but it seems like the best value for the money and I like to figure out things like this.I looked at it like this:

    - At my (lack of) skill level and distances I'm likely to need control for the next few years. I don't believe I'll see an actual difference in transmitting technology between the major brands. I also figured I wanted at least 6 but probably 8 channels. (4 typical flight channels, plus one for IOC mode, one for gps/atti/manual mode, and finally gimbal control, maybe one to spare. I was looking at Futaba, Spektrum, and FrSky.

    - If I want no change on the Phantom, I should get a Futaba. I think I can get it to bind to the Phantom without replacing the receiver. But, I would need a radio that had a module slot and a DSM2/DSMX module for my NanoQX.

    - Buy a Spektrum DX-something. Everyone else around me has one, why shouldn't I? This would mean putting a receiver in the Phantom. I was looking at the DX8. But, I didn't see a great option for the pitch control on the gimbal. I want a slider, or dial or something. In general, the more I looked at the DX8, the less I liked it for the money. I did get to look at several of them and DX6's. It seems like everyone has them around here.

    - Buy a FrSky Taranis. This means putting a receiver in the Phantom AND buying a JR-style module for DSMX/DSM2 to control the Blade gear. This is the most work I guess. However, it seems ridiculously cheap for the feature set. It's got what look like two nice sliders on the sides that I'll use for gimbal control. Unfortunately, they're hard to get right now and I suck at being patient for new gear. Luckily, rangevideo.com had them in stock this morning, that's when I got mine. It also seems like this is the only radio that doesn't force helicopter mixes on me. Finally, it's open source. That's not always a selling point, but in this case it was. If I REALLY need something fixed, I'll fix it.
     
  5. Davek

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    Thanks for write up KRB! Lots of info there. I think the spektrum is out but I really don't want to add more weight to phantom. Have any idea how much that receiver weighs for the Frsky?

    Thanks again for the info
     
  6. OI Photography

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    16.8g w/antennae

    I also recommend the FrSky Taranis, I think that's the best value available in an 8+ channel radio.

    However, if you can get by with just 9 channels, there's a cheaper option I went with in the meantime: use the same FrSky X8R receiver, but get a Turnigy 9x controller instead and put the FrSky XJT transmitter module in it. That will allow using all 9 channels of the Turnigy 9x. That setup can be done for about $130.

    Turnigy 9x: http://www.hobbyking.com/hobbyking/stor ... ouse_.html

    XJT Transmitter module: http://www.alofthobbies.com/xjt.html

    X8R receiver: http://www.alofthobbies.com/frsky-x8r.html
     
  7. krb

    krb

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    The product page at http://www.frsky-rc.com/product/pro.php?pro_id=105 says 12.1g. But I assume I'll be pulling out the existing receiver in the Phantom so I don't the net weight change will be less that 12.1g.

    You're welcome for the info, but it's just my mostly newbie impressions and opinion. I'm sure others here with more experience will be more helpful.
     
  8. Davek

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    Thanks guys! That's pretty cool that you can get a 9 channel radio for $57. I think after looking at stuff today, the Frsky seems amazing and a great price. Although, please correct me if I'm wrong but seems like the Naza module is the receiver from looking at the wiring. I don't see anything else inthere that looks like a receiver. I'm at 1285g so 15 more isn't that bad but does put me at the dreaded 1300g . It's such a flying pig at take off. I sometimes wonder if it'll take off or just roll over. My New Years revolution is to put my phantom on a diet! I may start drilling holes in stuff.

    I'll order the Frsky tomorrow. :)
     
  9. OI Photography

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    The stock receiver in the Phantom is a little board that sits to the side and just a bit lower than the main NAZA mount board. If you trace your antenna lead in from the leg hole, the place it connects to is the receiver. There will be one or two cables connecting that to the NAZA (which will be replaced by the one cable from your new X8R).

    BTW Dave, have you been out flying in W Austin yet, like around the hills and the bridge on 360? I'm dying to see some Phantom footage from anywhere around there.
     
  10. Davek

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    Thanks OP! I guess I'm a bit disconnected from what a normal receiver used to look like. Usually, it was a thing that has a bunch of crap plug into it. Much like the Naza. I was a bit freaked out when unpluged X3 to plug my osd into it. I was so worried about that poor wire not having a life anymore.

    As far as the Pennybacker bridge goes.... that's a great idea! I was out in an area today called Crystal Falls, you probably know it, and it is just as dramatic with canyons. But it was too windy today to fly. I am very aware of my wind since I race sailboats and it was just too much with +20. I'm curious what photography you do? I am a realtor and I am filming some higher end end homes with this. It's a start for me and i suck for the moment but trying to figure it out. Hearing about new laws is interesting too.

    This is the first home I filmed. Really crappy home but I tried and the listing agent liked it. I wasn't paid for this.

    https://vimeo.com/82923106
     
  11. OI Photography

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    If Butch ever quits, can I apply for his job?? :lol:

    Yeah, the stock Rx in the Phantom is non-standard, designed just for PPM or D-Bus output only, so no need for all the extra channel connections like a traditional Rx (saves space/weight). Your X8R and most other aftermarket models will look more like you're used to. That's part of what's cool about using D-Bus with the X8R and Taranis...the 1st 8 channels are fed to the NAZA over that, and the 2nd 8 channels can be connected to whatever you want through the traditional ports on the Rx. Or, vice versa, if you choose ;)

    I'm sure Crystal Falls is a great place to fly/shoot as well. In fact, you can probably follow the river to it's source, and every mile would produce great footage. I really wish I'd had the Phantom before I moved out of Austin, I would have headed straight to Mt Bonnell the day I got it.

    I've mainly done all sorts of event photography, and most of that was before digital cameras were the standard for pro work. Graduations, sports, concerts, just about anything that can be done in a stadium/arena/field/etc. Lots of other stuff too as the need and my interest arise. Early last year I decided to get back in to it and explore what I could do with a gopro, which led me to the Phantom. I'm starting with real estate since that's where there's already an existing demand, but will be expanding to every other market possible.

    Feel free to reach me by PM if you want to chat more :)