jump to navigation

Recall Notices — July 2011 27Jul11

Posted by tanker in Advanced, Beginner, General Heli, News, Products, Transmitters.
add a comment

ICE HV120There have been a few important product recalls over the past few months. Certainly the biggest is Castle Creations’ recall of all Phoenix ICE HV120 ESCs and a recall of the recall including the HV160. Castle is asking customers to return their HV120s for replacement because of a risk of total failure in a small number of units. There is also the August recall of all BEC Pro units as well. Again, a small number of units, especially in higher vibration environments, were failing. If your unit does not have a ‘ICE 2’ or ‘Ver 2.0’ sticker on it for the BEC Pro return it to Castle.

The new Spektrum DX8 transmitter has had a couple of recalls as well. First is a chance of un-commanded servo movements in some of the initial units. The latest one is a problem with certain receivers that may result in a ‘hold’ (loss of control). If you have a DX8 be sure to check your transmitter against the advisories to see if you need to send it in for repair.

[Updated: 26SEP11]

The Ultimate Guide to the Spektrum DX8 — Review 20Apr11

Posted by tanker in Advanced, Beginner, General Heli, Products, Publications, Reviews, Transmitters.
add a comment

The Ultimate Guide to the Spektrum DX8Chuck Bassani wrote a nice guide to the new Spektrum DX8 transmitter. It is entitled, surprisingly, The Ultimate Guide to the Spektrum DX8.

The book is a small 95-page, black and white, soft-cover. It has plenty of well done photos and covers pretty much anything you need to know about the DX8. It covers both helicopter and fixed-wing functions.

Of course your first question might be, “You need to read a book to use the DX8?!” Well good question! But no you do not. We have found the DX8 much simpler to program overall than the DX7. But this does not make Chuck’s guide superfluous. There are a few advanced features in the DX8 that will be new to many flyers especially those coming from the DX7. The Guide explains all you will need to know. We found it helpful with our first heli setup on the DX8 to explain the various gyro options. Recommended.

Note: When moving from the DX7 to the DX8 be aware that the DX8 uses 0 to +100% for HH and 0 to -100% for rate mode. It also reads true values rather than having to multiply by 1.4 like previous JR/Spektrum radios.

[Updated: 22APR11]

Spektrum DX8 — Videos 03Sep10

Posted by tanker in Advanced, Beginner, General Heli, News, Transmitters.
add a comment

DX8 and BertBert Kammerer has done a nice video that goes over many features of the new Spektrum DX8 transmitter. The video is 13min long.

Horizon Hobby also did their own video that covers the DX8 (8min).

If you are considering the DX8 it is well worth checking these out. Also see Spektrum’s announcement.

Spektrum DX8 Officially Announced 24Jun10

Posted by tanker in Advanced, Beginner, General Heli, News, Products, Transmitters.
add a comment

Spektrum DX8Spektrum has now officially unveiled their new DX8 radio. The DX8 is the long awaited successor to the DX7 and brings with it not just 8 channels but a host of other nice improvements. More importantly, this radio has a number of great features for heli pilots including,

Electronic E-Ring
When programming the cyclic and pitch mixing for a helicopter, it is possible for the sum of the two mixing values to exceed the mechanical travel limits of the servos. This can cause them to be overdriven into a locked position. Spektrum AirWare’s Electronic E-Ring prevents this by automatically limiting servo travel if the sum of the cyclic and pitch values exceeds servo limits.

Built-In Telemetry. Fly Smarter with Vital Model Feedback
The DX8’s built-in telemetry feature gives you vital, real-time information about what’s happening with your model in flight; information that can prevent crashes and maximize performance. The telemetry data appears in an easy-to-read format on the large backlit LCD screen so you can reference it at a glance. You can also have the DX8 alert you with an audio or vibe alarm whenever any telemetry values exceed limits you define.

The long-range telemetry module that is included with the DX8 will provide a steady stream of data in models that are flown to the limits of sight. A smaller, lighter telemetry module with sufficient range for park flyers or helicopters will be available separately. Both telemetry modules will be compatible with any DSM2 receiver that is equipped with a data port.

The DX8 will initially be able to track four key safety and performance factors:

Battery Voltage
Never again will you have to wonder whether or not you have enough voltage to keep flying. Being able to monitor voltage will also help you detect a worn out battery pack before it prematurely ends your flight. The telemetry module is plugged into the receiver and will automatically relay receiver voltage. A separate sensor for tracking main battery voltage in electric aircraft will be included.

JR 11X Radio — Available for Pre-Order 26Apr10

Posted by tanker in Advanced, Beginner, News, Products, Transmitters.
add a comment
JR 11X

JR 11X

Horizon Hobby now has the new JR 11X transmitter available for order. It ships with the R921 receiver. If you are looking for the next step up from the JR 9503 then the 11X is worth a look.

We are waiting for more details on the upcoming Spektrum DX8. Obviously if you need more than eight channels the 11X may be a no brainer. The DX-8 has telemetry that provides real-time battery voltage, which could be very useful.

[Updated: 24JUN10]

New JR X9503 Radio 12Jan10

Posted by tanker in Advanced, Beginner, General Heli, News, Products, Transmitters.
add a comment

JR X9503

Horizon Hobby just announced a new version of JR’s venerable 9-channel X9303 transmitter the X9503 (available soon). It is essentially identical to the X9303 but now has 50 model memory and a back lit screen. Horizon has a quick video discussing the X9503. It ships with the R921 Rx but no servos. The biggest disappointment is that it does not have the same 2048 resolution as the DX7 SE (and 12X). [Note: Radio Control Heli Pilot Vol 2 2009 magazine has an article that states the JR 9303 radio does have 2048 resolution when used with the AR7600 receiver. We assume then that this holds true for the X9503 but have not seen anything official in this regard.]

Horizon Hobby also has a number of other interesting videos on their various products.

[Updated: 12FEB10]

FlightPower EVO-TX LiPo — Review 27Jun08

Posted by tanker in General Heli, Products, Transmitters.
add a comment

I love my Spektrum DX7 transmitter but I am lucky if the battery that came with it lasts even a day at the field. This would not be so bad if you could charge it quickly but the trickle charger takes 24-48 hours to bring the battery back up to around 11.1v. What is worse is that the spare batteries I bought hold a charge for even less time than the original battery. (more…)

Spektrum Deluxe Transmitter Case — Review 02Mar08

Posted by tanker in General Heli, Products, Transmitters.
add a comment

Spektrum Deluxe Transmitter CaseAfter some delays Spektrum finally released its Deluxe Transmitter Case. The case is specially designed to carry the DX7, or other 2.4Ghz transmitters (and could easily carry FM-style transmitters with little to no modifications). The case is 12 x 16.5 x 6 inches in size and made of aluminum similar in design to the Align T-Rex 450 case. It is a strong sturdy case that will protect its contents from major drops and dings but is not made of solid aluminum so anyone falling or jumping onto the case would damage it. (more…)