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D9 - RADIO - What
should I look for when I want to move up to a 7 or more channel
The choice of
a more advanced radio is one that you really must take a great deal
of care with because these radios offer lots of very different
features, many of which you may not want.
thing to realise is that although a particular radio system may
offer say 9 channels, some of these extra channels may well not
provide the functionality that you are looking for.
First of all,
you must remember that with a collective pitch helicopter, the first
6 channels are all needed just to control the helicopter and gyro
system, so a 9 channel is only offering you 3 more usable
channels. So the first thing you need to consider is what the extra
channels are to be used for.
For example if
are you going to have a scale body with retractable undercarriage
gear, you are not only going to need a fully switchable On/Off
channel to control them, but also some other control module to let
you set the speed of the retract operation. Some radios
actually let you adjust the speed of the servo that is connected to
a particular channel, which is great, but otherwise you will want
some other module to let you do this.
But if you
want an auto pilot system such as Alien Command or Helicommand, and
want to be able to control the functionality of those system from
your radio, you will need a full proportional channel as these
system need to be able to be set to a certain % for say On/Off or
worse yet, you may need a 3 position switched channel to provide
different settings in HeliCommand.
Some radios of
these types automatically provide extra features that are very
useful as a bonus, and they do not constitute an additional channel.
The best example of this is having Hover Throttle and Hover Pitch
controls on your radio to let you adjust the head speed at the hover
very easily while in flight.
Each type of
radio provides different features for the additional channels, so
you need to check very carefully before deciding on the right one
My own radio
of choice is a JR Propo DSX9, because of its overall versatility,
and the fact that it gives me 5 point curves, and 3 flight modes as
standard that can be increased to 5 flight modes if I use up one of
the additional channels. It also lets me set servo speed up on
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