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Thunder Power RC ProModeler
Aaron29

rrProfessor

USA

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It's not really the brand, so much as the design. The issue with the cheaper radios is bushing gimbals. Especially if you are a 3D flyer. Bushings are wearing out if you're stickbanging. Then things get sloppy.

But honestly, by the time you're getting gimbal slop there's a slew of other things that probably need to be looked at. Any radio that gets frequent use should be sent in occasionally for maintenance.

For example, potentiometers, in particular, are very prone to failure, even and maybe especially with gentle flying. In fact, just to hover is terrible for a potentiometer, as the pot is grinding away in one location all the time. Radios can also lose signal strength without any obvious signs. There's another thread on that around here somewhere. In other words, these radios aren't buy and fly forever. They need love.

Buy one with the quad bearings. The cheaper ones are meant to be discarded before they wear out. Remember, a lot of this hobby is for the flash in the pants crowd. If you're wearing out equipment, get something quality. But that doesn't mean the end of your problems. Pots are the same on 100$ or 1000$ radios, and need maintenance. So buy quality, and have it inspected periodically.

06-08-2016 06:57 PM
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Four Stroker

Elite Veteran

Atlanta

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Pots are not the same on $100 and $1000 transmitters. In fact the pots on the 18MZ are very expensive. Futaba with the new (sort of) white pots probably has the longest lasting pots in a cheap radio - say 14SG. The flexible wires running to the inner gimbal will eventually fail as well. Not to mention switches and of course batteries.

If you are serious about the hobby get a JR XG14 (great sticks) OR a Futaba 14SG (talking telemetry).

Bending twisting antennas will turn out to be a very bad idea. Tested an old Spek module radio with the funky wire antenna thing. It was down 30 dB from the best transmitters at the field.

06-08-2016 07:41 PM
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ICUR1-2

Key Veteran

Ottawa, Ontario

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I agree definitely worth saving up for a higher quality radio, Hoping by end of summer but at least I'll be able to transition to another brand over the next year.

spending time, paying attention

06-08-2016 07:48 PM
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wjvail

Key Veteran

Meridian, Mississippi

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I recommend to others they buy the best radio they can comfortably afford.

The reasoning follows a path I've seen many times. It goes something like this.

-- I only need a 4 channel radio. I'm just learning and my trainer only has 4 channels. Job done. I'm happy.

-- Two weeks later. I like that new Aresti 40. Will my radio hold 2 or more models? A: No. But the 5 channel would have.

-- My 5 channel is great but I'd like to try a heli. Will my radio do that? A: No. But the 6 channel has a heli mode.

-- I'll never need 14 channels. 10 is all I could conceive of. A: Maybe true but the 14 does ____________.

You get the idea.

Not everyone will see the benefit of a $3000 18 channel. Understood.

I know it sounds like a sales pitch. It is not. Buy the best radio you can comfortably afford.

Bill

"Well, Nothing bad can happen now."

06-09-2016 01:27 AM
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Aaron29

rrProfessor

USA

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I agree, to a point, but the most radio I've ever bought was an 8FG, and it will do more than I or 95% of pilots ever need.

I usually steer guys towards the $4-500 8/9 channel offerings. The 8/9 channel offerings are the best balance of capability, price, quality and resale. The 14SG I'd put in this category. In fact I used to steer guys toward the 8FG for the extra channels.

I went straight for an 8 channel as my first. Took that on advice to buy a good 8 channel radio you can grow into. It was 72mhz so I'm not using it anymore, but it would otherwise still be able to meet my needs. Because of that, I steer guys toward this level. They'll know if and when they need more. I don't steer toward the high end stuff. If you are going need an 18 channel radio, the resale on your 7-9 channel will allow you to decide that when you need to. I would never steer a guy toward that much radio "just in case." You're not choosing for life. It's a radio and can be traded up when the time is right. But I'm with you in that 4/5 channel offerings are just not enough capability to grow much, they are "entry" level quality, and don't resale for crap. I'd stay away from them unless you are on a tight cash flow.

06-09-2016 06:27 PM
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