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Reflecting On My Hobby Part 2: Controllers

  1. murankar
    I am not dropping the hobby just assessing what it is I need to continue my enjoyment with it. My 570 is the bomb and will not give it up unless SAB discontinues the model. So to put the question to rest as of right now the 570 is not going up for sale. Nor is the rest of my stuff except the X3. Provided a fair offer is made. Due to the nature of my radio situation I don’t have much to talk about I wouldn't trade it for the world.


    Over the last 2 years or so my life has changed considerably. I got divorced, my mom died and I became unemployed and got engaged. Eventually at some point I was somewhat stranded 300 miles from my home with a broke car and yadda yadda yadda. So in short my life has come to a crashing halt and now that I am back to work I am slowly getting out of the pit I was in. Recently I found a channel on youtube called Vancity Vanlife. This guy went from a condo to a Ford E250 panel van. He sold his entire life to make a change in his life. That’s basically where this idea came from, going simple.


    As we grow in the hobby our definition of cheap changes. We begin to redefine what cheap means to us buy what we buy or get tired of buying. Ever since the beginning I have upgraded and upgraded and upgraded. All of my equipment since 2011 when I joined the forum have has gotten expensive if all you look at is the price tag. Like my radios that I have currently and if you don’t know what they are then here it is: I have a Vcontrol and a Specktrum DX6. That’s it and with this setup I can fly basically anything i want. To me thats cheap because I have to very reliable radios that I do not have to worry about.


    When I first got started I had this radio that had to be programed while hooked up the the PC. After one unintended spool up just inches from my face I said no way. That radio was cheap, price tag cheap; maybe $60. I replaced it with a flySky TH9X. During the next year that radio served me well till I bricked it trying to flash openTx to it. So I bought another flySky TH9x and managed to successfully flash openTx to it. I also went and added the frSky TX module to it. This setup worked well for some time. I eventually had enough of it when I crashed my Protos Mini, and Gaui X3 twice without explanation. I finally upgraded to the DX6 to get me back flying again.


    During my time with the DX6 it broke and had to be fixed by Specktrum. I boxed it up sent it off and next thing you know I got it back working just fine. There was some kind of issue with the TX hardware that got messed up after an update. I got the radio back free of charge and everything has been great since. So at this point my DX6 was a few months old and I loved the improvements over the TH9X. My definition of cheap has now shifted to the cost of a new DX6 radio. You don’t know what you don’t know, in this hobby this phrase is so true. I did not know what a Specktrum radio was like because I didn’t know. Its weird to think about but it’s true. It is kind of like saying you don’t know what you got till it's gone. My DX 6 has shown me what an entry level radio should be.


    After moving out of the house and into my moms at the end of my marriage I received my VA disability check that was backdated. I finally had gotten my official ratings from the VA and that was a great feeling. Lets just say I managed to clear almost all my debt at that time and I bought a new VControl. I also had to buy my first NEO to go with it. I got everything from helidirect and boy was I blown away. I was very shocked at the quality of the radio. It had a learning curve for sure but let me tell you, smooth as butter. I was hooked after my first hover.


    Without realizing it I redefined cheap yet again. This time it was with the VControl. But this time the definition was not the same as with the DX6. I basically told myself I will not buy anything inferior to the DX6and that it was my floor and the Vcontrol solidified my ceiling. We will do this a lot in this hobby until the hobby is no longer fun or to expensive to continue. We keep defining what we are willing to pay for a product as we grow. We tell ourselves that we “need” it. Air Jordan shoes won’t help you play basketball. Same with a radio and flying at a certain point, Just because you put a BeastX on your rig does not mean you’ll fly like Duncan Bossan.


    As of right now, as I reflect on what it is i want from the hobby I think this is the area that I am comfortable with. I have 2 radios that work, albeit they have broken switches but those are replaceable for a small fee. They both work on my sim, they both will fly my helis or a quad or what ever I wish. The DX6 gives the freedom to fly Blade products or home built quads while the VControl allows me the freedom of helis and quads (for a small fee for the add on for the Neo). Again this is what is working for me right now. This setup may not be for you but it is for me. If you ask me what the best is, I will respond with “My Vcontrol and DX6”.


    A question I am asking myself is “Would I do it the same again?”. I think I would reconsider the VControl. Don’t get me wrong its a awesome radio for helis but thats it helis and if you pay for the upgrades you can do planes and quads. What I struggle with is what would I have gotten in its place, the Graupner. Yes the Graupner MZ 24. At the time it was a killer deal with a full suite of hardware and telemetry. Graupner made an ESC, FBL unit and who knows what else. It was basically a VControl for half the price and I think you got a free rx with it. I do not regret my choices in this area at all. Just saying if I was to do it again I would go Graupner that’s all. There is a downside to the Graupner and that its mostly popular in Europe.

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