Hi, I am in the planning face of building an EasyStar with ArduPilot, and I need to buy an transmitter.

I have been thinking of buying a Futuba 6EXP, 6EXG or 7C.

(Yes, I know about the cheap Turnigy, so now need to mention it.)

But which should i go for, 7C is much more expansive, so do i really need 7-channels to get ArduPilot working properly?
And if 6-channels is enough, should I by a transmitter with 2.4 GHz or not?

Hope somebody can give me some good advice.

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Of the list you've given, the 2.4GHz 7C is probably your best bet. Neither of the 6* radios seems to have a three-way switch, which limits you to at most two flight modes.

You might want to consider the Spektrum DX7 as an alternative. It's a better controller in many ways, though DSM2 is arguably a less robust communications link than FASST.
I don't know how price are in the states, but here in Norway 7C is about 110$ cheaper than DX7, and Futaba 6EXG is about 195$ cheaper than 7C.

(6EXG costs about 300$ including batteries here.)

Are these prices really worth it?

Two flight modes, does that mean manual flight + 2 modes, or manual flight + an other mode?
Have you looked at Hitec? The Optic6 works great and has the 3 way switch you need.
Sorry, I should not have assumed you were looking at US prices. Have you

There is no simple answer to "is it worth it", as I don't know what else you plan to do with the transmitter. If you intend to fly other models, then the answer is probably yes.

You need a switch with one position for each flight mode, and Manual is a mode just like the others. On a more complex radio you can mix switches together in a combinatorial fashion, but not on a simple radio like the 6EX*.

If cost is a major consideration, then you should definitely give the Turnigy etc. radio a look. The quality is a bit sketchy, but lots of folks are using it so most of its foibles are well-understood.

If you don't want to trust their RF link, you can always add on a FASST module, or go halfway and use something like the FrSky DIY unit.
How is the quality of Hitec compared to Futuba?
And how is it possible to have a 3 way switch, wouldn't the transmitter then need 7-channels? Or is the 3 way one channel?

The Turnigy 9x looks like a good choice, but is seams like they never have them in stock, and when, they are ripped away long before I get the chance to even look at it.
Hitec and Futaba are directly comparable quality-wise. Both are major manufacturers with large in-house R&D groups, substantial supply chains and first-rate customer service.

There are a couple of different uses for multi-position switches on R/C radios. The one we are interested in here treats the switch as though it was an analog control with a small number of distinct positions. The three positions are configured to send a signal corresponding to "low", "middle" and "high" respectively - this signal is assigned to a single channel.

Another option to consider would be looking for a second-hand set locally. Virtually any decent transmitter from the last ten years or so (I am still using a Multiplex 3030 for example) will do what you need, and most can be fitted with DIY 2.4GHz radio hardware without much trouble.
I have owned both Hitec and Futaba 72MHz systems and I would agree with Michael, both systems are comparable in Quality. I think Hitec tend to give you more features for your money. I don't have any experience with Hitec 2.4GHz systems so I can't comment on their signal integrity specifically. That said I currently own both a 72MHz Futaba 7C and a 2.4GHz Futaba 7C. I love them both I don't think you can go wrong with a 7C. As far as how many channels, you can never have too many! That really depends on your budget.More channels gives you greater flexibility especially in a acomputer radio with programmable switch assignments.

Whatever decision you make, be sure wherever you live you have a good support system for service. We place a lot of trust in these systems to work, and as with any piece of quality hardware they require some routine checks to make sure they are performing up to spec.

Nathaniel
Tanks for the replays, I got a great offer on a Hitec Optic 6 Sport for 31$, so I bought it.
It hasn't got 2.4 GHz so that's why is was so cheap.
But I thought it would be a good beginner radio, and I can always upgrade to something better later.
It's certainly a good beginner radio, but you may have trouble configuring the flight mode switch to produce an output that ArdruPilot can handle.

If you work it out, please post back here so that we can capture the information for other pilots, and have fun!
That should work fine! I believe switch 4 on that transmitter is a 3 position switch you can use for mode selection. This will take you a long way. Be sure to cycle the battery a few times and make sure the charge it's accepting is at least 80% of the rated capacity, if not replace it. Also be sure it will handle a load of at least .25A load without a significant drop in voltage. Lastly be sure to do a range check with your motor off and on to check for interference. I would also do this check from a distance of around 100ft (30m), with the antenna collapsed of course, while walking a circle around the plane. If your battery passes, and the range check turns up no interference issues with good range, then your set to fly!

Sounds like you got a pretty good bargain.

Nathaniel
The Sport doesn't have a switch 4.

Even with the regular Optic 6, there's no easy way to get the 'right' behaviour; you can use the flap lever but it has no detents so you're stuck guessing, or you can leave it in one position and burn two channels with a preset mixer.
Michael,

I stand corrected. The only listing I see on Hitec's support web site for a "Sport" version of the Optic 6, is for a 2.4GHz model. I assumed since it wasn't a 2.4GHz model that the Optic 6 FM must be what he was referring to. The manual here for the Optic 6 FM shows a switch 4. On page 14 of the manual it calls out three possible modes using this switch in the example setup. It sounds like you have some personal experience with this radio so I will defer to your judgment here.

Nathaniel

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