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Old 12-29-2012, 12:00 PM   #1
Crawgator
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Default What controller to use?

Hello all,

Title should have said how many channels for controller.

I'm new to the hobby of RC heli's. I have a DX7s and the phoenix sim. My intent is to eventually work my way into aerial photography with quads's etc...

I have been reading all that I can and one of the questions I have is how many channels do you need when running a rig for ariel photography? Something like a DJI 550 or something similar with a Go pro or something similar.
Is 7 enough or do I need 8 channels or more? The DX7s I have I can return and get an 8 channel.

Last edited by Crawgator; 12-29-2012 at 01:49 PM..
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Old 12-29-2012, 03:00 PM   #2
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The DJI 550 with NAZA and GPS is nice for sure. Better to have extra channels than not enough.... Don't forget about add-ons like the lights etc that needs to be controlled.

DX8 is what I use and wish I bought it first (instead of the DX6I).
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Old 12-31-2012, 02:48 AM   #3
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If you are willing to shell out enough money the get a DX8, I would definitely check the Futaba 8FG out: http://www.futaba-rc.com/systems/futk8010.html They are roughly the same price but despite the name the 8FG has 14 channels where DX8 has only 8. You can never have too many channels! I currently use 12 and all I have is DJI Naza + GPS + three axis camera gimbal.
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Old 12-31-2012, 02:12 PM   #4
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Thanks for suggestion.

Question of Futabo. I have used them for my buggy and truck racing and they were good controllers. How do they rank against the Spectrum?
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Old 01-01-2013, 11:46 PM   #5
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When a Boeing 727 was crashed for the Discovery Channel, they used a Futaba 8FG.

http://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/mcmu...tid=cover3#/10
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Old 01-06-2013, 11:05 AM   #6
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I'm in a similar position as the OP, relatively new & by no means an expert, but I have been doing extensive research the last month on quad-FPV flying. My readings have pushed me into a complete gear overhaul out of CP helis.

If you can, find people in your area utilizing various setups. This is especially important for flight controller handling and transmitter selection. So find someone running Naza, KK, MultiWii, ArduCopter, etc. I got to push the sticks around on a Naza/GPS quad and loved its behavior, so I ordered one. In that same flight I learned I definitely don't want a DX8 (what my friend is running).

Transmitter selection came down to the Futaba 8FG Super, JR XG8, and the Hitec Aurora A9. The 8FG will take you very far with its 14 channels & S-bus cabling, but I didn't like the feel of it in my hands and it lacks telemetry. Key point there. I thought telemetry was a luxury until I saw it on-screen and realized its true value. The A9 was a little heavier & hideous, but comes LOADED with functions (incl. telemetry) for the price (cheapest of the 3). After watching extensive reviews on all units, I chose the XG8 with the new DMSS tech. Ergonomically & functionally, it was the best choice for me (I'm a smaller guy).

If you're serious about AP, you'll probably find yourself needing more channels in the future. A basic quad can run on what, 5 channels? But throw in GPS, gimbles, LEDs, camera triggers, etc and that DX6i or 7 grows cramped really quick. If you want channels and don't mind the light, toyish look/feel of the Futaba unit - get it. I see them on eBay around $429 including a R6208SB receiver (FASST & S-Bus compatible).
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Old 01-06-2013, 12:04 PM   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by whiplashWho View Post
I got to push the sticks around on a Naza/GPS quad and loved its behavior, so I ordered one. In that same flight I learned I definitely don't want a DX8 (what my friend is running).
Thanks for the info Whiplash. Can you elaborate more on why you didn't like the DX8?
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Old 01-06-2013, 01:15 PM   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Crawgator View Post
Thanks for the info Whiplash. Can you elaborate more on why you didn't like the DX8?
For my hands it's a little clunky feeling. I'm pretty picky about the contour & shape of things though; stems from my guitar & violin background. It just felt off.

The DX8 is priced higher than it should be, in my opinion. Sure, it brings telemetry to the table, but so does the JR XG8 for $399 + shipping on HeliPal right now, includes 8 channel receiver (FYI the XG8 is usually around $489 - $500). Or, at the same price area the Futaba brings 6 more channels AND S-Bus. This is all my opinion, but the DX8 lost in comparisons.
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Old 01-06-2013, 02:02 PM   #9
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Thanks for the follow up. I will check more into it. I don't want to lose the bind and fly ability for alot of the blade models. Another issue for me is the shop I bought it. I bought it 4 days before Christmas. They have no issue with me swapping it out for another receiver but all I have seen there is the Spectrum line.
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Old 01-07-2013, 10:06 AM   #10
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IMO, I would never fly Spektrum. All I see online is a never ending stream of tales of woe, and I've seen it in person at my field as well. I really don't know why it is as popular as it is. Oh, that's right, advertising dollars. That's where your money is going, not the product.

One guy at my field has his lock-out inflight frequently. He actually has to turn off the Tx and back on again really quick to regain control. It's insane. A couple times, he's had two different Rx seemingly actually lose the bind with the Tx.

My personal recommendation:

Pick up a good used Futaba 72MHz 9CAP. Swap in FrSky 2.4GHz modules. The 9C is a nice feeling unit, has 8 channels, and uses replaceable modules which leaves you open to all sorts of options such as UHF or whatever.

FrSky modules are top performers, rivalling FASST in reliability. They also have an excellent telemetry system. All at a very reasonable price.

So, that's what I'm using now. But I'm also building a totally custom Tx from scratch. Commercial grade controls, with an FrSky Tx module, telemetry, and video screen, all built into a rugged Pelican case.

The reason is, I prefer to fly with a tray. But I carry the Tx in a case anyway. So I'm bringing a case, and a tray to the field already. And I can't get the switch layout I need on any available Tx. And I want a 7" screen for FPV. The only thing is the Pelican 1500 is a bit heavy, it'll be a sit-down affair.
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Old 01-07-2013, 11:35 AM   #11
Crawgator
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Thanks for the info! Spektrum is pretty prevalent around here.

Quote:
Originally Posted by R_Lefebvre View Post
IMO, I would never fly Spektrum. All I see online is a never ending stream of tales of woe, and I've seen it in person at my field as well. I really don't know why it is as popular as it is. Oh, that's right, advertising dollars. That's where your money is going, not the product.

One guy at my field has his lock-out inflight frequently. He actually has to turn off the Tx and back on again really quick to regain control. It's insane. A couple times, he's had two different Rx seemingly actually lose the bind with the Tx.

My personal recommendation:

Pick up a good used Futaba 72MHz 9CAP. Swap in FrSky 2.4GHz modules. The 9C is a nice feeling unit, has 8 channels, and uses replaceable modules which leaves you open to all sorts of options such as UHF or whatever.

FrSky modules are top performers, rivalling FASST in reliability. They also have an excellent telemetry system. All at a very reasonable price.

So, that's what I'm using now. But I'm also building a totally custom Tx from scratch. Commercial grade controls, with an FrSky Tx module, telemetry, and video screen, all built into a rugged Pelican case.

The reason is, I prefer to fly with a tray. But I carry the Tx in a case anyway. So I'm bringing a case, and a tray to the field already. And I can't get the switch layout I need on any available Tx. And I want a 7" screen for FPV. The only thing is the Pelican 1500 is a bit heavy, it'll be a sit-down affair.
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Old 01-07-2013, 12:05 PM   #12
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Yeah, I know it is, and I don't get it other than the marketing.

I've been a Futaba man all my life, but I really like the FrSky stuff. I was out of the hobby for a while, and when I got back in, I didn't want to have to buy an all-new 2.4GHz Tx when I had this nice lightly used 9C already. And given the price of the Futaba stuff, I tried the FrSky. It's great.

I'm sure I'll face the wrath of the Spektrum fanboys, but those are just my observations.

I wouldn't use it if you gave it to me for free.
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