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HomeAircraftHelicopterAerial Photography and Video › Transmitter recommendations for AP
01-12-2009 05:18 PM  9 years agoPost 1
DigitalGuy

rrNovice

Orange County, CA - USA

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Okay - I'm still a newbie. I'm getting involved in R/C Helis with the goal of adding AP to my current work of forensic photography and image analysis. I'll only be doing this work as it applies to forensics. I've been using my RealFlight sim for a month, I've been flying my mCX every chance I get for a week. I want to learn to fly before I instantly crash anything very big. And, I'm starting to feel comfortable.

I think I'm a month or two away from getting my first outdoor helicopter, but I am considering getting a good transmitter now. I asked for advice in the Beginner forum, and several people said getting a good Tx is a good idea, one person suggested that I'd be wearing it out, and that if I get one too soon, there may be a better one coming out soon. Both views seem to have their merits. One issue I don't want is to end up with more helicopters or more transmitters than I need to do this in a sensible manner. Of course, that may be expecting the impossible.

My questions are:

1 - What should I look for in an AP transmitters - brands, features, number of channels, etc.?

2 - Can you recommend a specific make/model?

3 - Should I get this now, or wait - and if I wait, should it just be until I get that first outdoor model, or should I wait until I am starting to take aerial photos?

Thanks!

George

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01-12-2009 05:47 PM  9 years agoPost 2
theslayer

rrApprentice

Munich-Germany

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Well basically you have 2 choices:
1) YOu use one TX for flying the heli and one TX for your camera-man stearing the mount. then 2 easy TXs will work, perhaps DX-7/FF7 or one 2,4ghz for flying and 72mhz for the mount, where it isn't that dangerous to have a glitch
2) you take one TX with a lot more channels, such as: Fut T10/T12/T14 or a Spektrum/JR 9303 or the new JR 12X
Then you bind both the reciever on the heli and the one on the mount to the same TX.
basically i am using a DX-7 right now and still shooting solo, but my mount isn't steared right now. As soon as i have all servos etc. i will buy myself a JR 9303. Especially cool are the sliders on the side of the TX for the Tilt/pan servos or the Stabilizer gain.

I'd get the right TX now, i have a crappy remote control with 500hrs on it and still going strong, so no problem in my eyes...

Daniel

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01-12-2009 10:04 PM  9 years agoPost 3
BigguyOz

rrKey Veteran

Forster, New South Wales, Australia

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Transmitters don't wear out. That advice was wrong. Buy at least a 9 channel radio. thee days, starting from scratch, I would go 2.4Ghz on the control radio, and if adding a downlink, go ffor a different frequency band for that.

Tony Stott

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01-12-2009 10:10 PM  9 years agoPost 4
rroback

rrElite Veteran

Irvine (UCI), Ca

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Buy the most expensive transmitter you can afford. I'd give that same advice for a battery charger. I bought cheap, then bought again, then upgraded, then upgraded, each time adding new features, I wish I had just bought my 14mz 10 years ago! ( not that it existed).

Rhett..... I can't fly, but the Profi sure can.

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01-13-2009 04:15 AM  9 years agoPost 5
Dakine

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OC, Commifornia

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I wish I had just bought my 14mz 10 years ago! ( not that it existed).
Do the math, back then it was called, 4mz .

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01-13-2009 04:15 AM  9 years agoPost 6
nooobs

rrElite Veteran

web

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George

Glad you've taken the plunge.

Just like Rhett, I wished I had purchased the 14MZ...

Rosauro

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01-13-2009 04:35 AM  9 years agoPost 7
Guido44

rrApprentice

Near Chicago, Illinois

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George,

Here's some of what I have:
Transmitter

Camera Switch

TX/RX 900 MHz

Camera Mounts

Battery Charger

All or most maybe more than you willing to invest right now. Depends on your budget.

The 2.4 GHz transmitters are great if you are worried about interference, but the receivers cost more if you buy extras.

If you decide to use the 2.4 GHz, you have to use something other than 2.4 GHz for video TX/RX. I have a 900 MHz.

You don't have to buy a "camera switch", I have a nice Canon for the BLIP, but I also have a Cheap HP camera that I simply epoxied a micro servo to the top.

For the Triton2 charger, I converted an old computer power supply for my 110V to 12V DC power supply.

I hope some of this is helpful. There's better more expensive stuff out there, and much less expensive. You get what you pay for. SHOP AROUND for good pricing. lol

GOOD LUCK, It's a lot of fun

dan

http://www.danfarinastudios.com/

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01-13-2009 04:41 AM  9 years agoPost 8
just4fun2

rrApprentice

torrance

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only the futaba 9C and bigger transmitters will support headtracking gyro thru the trainer port. if your out there flying under goggles and want to pan and tilt you need a Futaba radio. I preffer the 9c as it's simple and will do everything you need. It also runs at the correct voltage to power the headracker, unlike the Futaba 9Z or thier other lower voltage 10-14ch radios.

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01-13-2009 04:55 AM  9 years agoPost 9
jamesp

rrNovice

Geelong Australia

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2) you take one TX with a lot more channels, such as: Fut T10/T12/T14 or a Spektrum/JR 9303 or the new JR 12X
Then you bind both the reciever on the heli and the one on the mount to the same TX.
Correct me if I'm wrong, but I believe 2.4G transmitters from JR & Spectrum will only bind to 1 receiver because of the Model Match feature. Futaba 2.4G transmitters and all 35/36/72MHz transmitters will drive multiple receivers. Any expert opinions out there?

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01-13-2009 07:11 AM  9 years agoPost 10
mwp

rrApprentice

Chatham, Ontario, Canada

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Correct me if I'm wrong, but I believe 2.4G transmitters from JR & Spectrum will only bind to 1 receiver because of the Model Match feature.
The receiver is bound to the transmitter's one particular model memory. Any number of receivers can be bound to the same transmitter and model memory.

hope that helps
Mark

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01-13-2009 10:07 AM  9 years agoPost 11
Seablade

rrKey Veteran

earth

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One of the nice things you have in your favor right now is that the JR 12 channel is finally out in some stores. Just so you can make better comparisons.
Your at the point where your going to make an investment in a piece of equipment you need to know subconsciously. Using your Tx has to be like reaching into your camera bag for a lens without thinking where your hand is going.
So what I'm saying is go to the hobby shops or clubs in your area and try out the Tx's to see how you like the feel of them on your hand because they do feel different. There is not a tremendous difference in size, but it is a big enough difference that you feel the difference in reaching for the switches with your fingers. Ideally, your fingers not on the sticks should be able to have the reach so the ends of them can fit in-between the toggles, your ring-finger and pinky are supporting the Tx. That way you can flick a toggle without having to search for it.

Buy more then you think you need, because what your doing now will change as new things come to market or you expand your skills.
You can do what most of us have done and buy small and wind up spending more money and time getting more channels. So this will save you money and "experience time" if you just go more from the start.

The DX-7 will work for basics, but when you start trying to add a stabilizer it can be done, but it is too complicated in setting it up without having a extra channel and switches to dedicate to the stabilizer. Your not going to fully utilize a multi axis camera mount with them.
So immediately your in the 9 channel range and your choices are the JR9303 or the Futaba 9's(PCM) or 10C.(both PCM or 2.4gHz)
Again, if you ever move up to a fully multi-axis camera mount you'll wish you had more channels.
A 12 channel will work for AP perhaps easiest of all because of the extra channels. Your choices are the JR 12 channel or the Futaba 12Z or Futaba FGH. Both the Futaba's are available in PCM or 2.4gHz.

One thing that irks me is that the Futaba's have different programming between them. Each one designed at a different time in life to incorporate the thinking at birth. So when somebody talks about setting up a 12Z, it is not the same on the 12FG or the 10C. It's not a major problem, but it is a thinking problem if it is a new radio for you and your using info from the forum to help you get started. It is no big deal though. When you get used to thinking "Futaba" it works out easy enough.
I haven't tried the Jr 12 in use since I switched to Futaba so I can't comment on the programming consistency between the 9303 and 12.

There is the issue about using video downlink frequencies compatibility with the Tx and this is something you need to research to find out more about.

The 14 channel is great if you have the money for it or can really justify it. It really does more then you need, right now..., but it will do everything you need. (these are tax deductable justified expenses if your doing AP photography for a living.)

Two other things.
First being whatever radio you buy-get a hard shell radio case for it.
Second which I'll catch some noise about is try the Phoenix simulator to see how you like it as opposed to the G4. Both work, it's just another "personal preference"!

"Vini, Vidi, Velcro"

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01-13-2009 06:22 PM  9 years agoPost 12
efliernz

rrVeteran

Hamilton, New Zealand

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I run a DSX9 (JR 2.4G 9ch) for the heli and DX7 on the tilt-only camera mount with a separate operator.
If I'm shooting solo (out playing - not earning) I can control the tilt with a rotary slider on my heli tx. That is the main reason to run a 9ch or better radio... simply better options.

Pete, Trex500, Trex600E, Streched 600, DSX9, DX7, Low-volt alarms - check the gallery for my alarms

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01-15-2009 04:53 PM  9 years agoPost 13
DigitalGuy

rrNovice

Orange County, CA - USA

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Thanks for all the help!

Your advice leads to another question. What do all the channels get used for? Being such a newbie, I would have thought that a single channel controlled all aspects of the helicopter. Obviously, that's not the case. So, is one channel dedicated to lift, another to rotation, another to forward/backward movement, another to sideways movement, etc.? If so, once we get past those four, what else is controlled? I assume from some posts that there will be a gyro for stabilization. What else?

If there's a good thread or URL with this kind of info, I'd love a reference to it.

Thanks again!

George

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01-15-2009 05:01 PM  9 years agoPost 14
Seablade

rrKey Veteran

earth

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http://www.raptortechnique.com/index.html

look at his "How To Electronics"

"Vini, Vidi, Velcro"

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