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Beginners, how many read,,,


flytilbroke
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As so many begginers obviously ask pretty much the same questions I wonder how many have read the full "BEGINNERS START HERE" article on the front page of the Forum?

Some of the questions beginners ask are best answered at a Model Flying club, yet many ask on the Forum about, for example, new IC .engines which they are having trouble starting.

Should the starting method for IC engines and dangers inherent with power and props be published up-front on the Forum?

A Question to recent new fliers (within the last two years?). What are your thoughts on the above and what do you think would have helped you the most?

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I always tell the people I have taught to fly to read up on all information they can get. Obviously top of the list is the "Newbies" Forum here and then branch out from there onto the other interesting forums. 

Also try to pass on as much written literature as possible as a kind of  "homework".  Sometimes wonder why I bother as the same mistakes are repeated the following week !!  Oh well, at least the 2 gents I am instructing at the moment do listen and are coming along nicely.  Sometimes think that I have forgotten more than most people will know (or I am able to remember !!) as I have at my home in South Africa, magazines going back to the late 70's and onwards from there.  Always nice to look back and see just where we have come from...."you tell the kids today and they don't believe you" (Monty Python - Yorkshire Men sketch). 

The radios we have today take most of the head scratching away in not having to actually plan the radio installation.  Always instruct people to go back to basics and not rely on electronics to get around basic installation problems.  Firmly believe that people don't read instruction manuals and then wonder why it doesn't work properly.

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Agreed but:

Most younger people (many of the newbies?) have an inherent belief in their own abilities and taking advice (or reading instructions) does not come high on the list. Its a fact of life so if you give advice expect the same questions and mistakes to be repeated. You just have to accept that modern kits & radio  mean that newbies can be tempted to run before they can walk.

Being honest, just how many of the answers to the basics did you learn the hard way? I certainly did but to me overcoming the problems was, and still is, half the fun, flying (well?) was a target, not always achieved!

All the experienced can do is keep advising and hopefully some will actually listen.

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  • 2 months later...
maybe it would be far better if all modelers were to start at the beginning like we did many years ago bye building a proper free flight kit and learning how to trim it so as it would fly and not land up as a pile of scrap on the ground when i started rc was only a pipe dream but we certainly learned the theory of flight very quick .
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Being a beginner the problem newbies have compared to you old foggies is ARTF.I ask lots of questions on this forum all mundane to you chaps but all confusing to me.Then when I get to the field I ask again and slowly for this new kid of 64 it starts to come together and mean sense.Both areas of expertise are needed, take the forum as the theory and the field as the practise.You all mean so much to me and I  love you  all and its great talking and reading about model aeroplanes
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Personnally, for at least a young begginer such as my self, I disagree with a few of the things said above; For one, I read the instructions, because I don't want to break anything which I just spent a years low pay work funding, and because I can't stand it when people claim that something won't or doesn't work when if only they had read the instructions.... Grrrrr! Second, with regand to the comment with computor radios, it takes up such a long time to find out how to and impliment things, that it just isn't worth it, but then some time in the future, I will say, discover how nice it is to fly heli's and then will be able to use the 120 degree thingy on my radio so I don't have to fiddle about with mechanical systems.
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Also being reasonably new to R/C I find it easier to ask sometimes if I get stuck. I do read instructions but sometimes they just seem to assume you know what is meant when in fact if it is the first time one has come across something it seems like black magic. 
 
It is a hobby that is very complex to a newbie, sometimes it is impossible to know how much you do or don't know! - I mean where does one start, I started with electric foamies over two years ago but it is only now I can make sense of something like motocalc and get some sort of understanding of why the magic smoke use to escape from my motors sometimes and why Timbo is always talking about KV ratings (I still don't think I have a full grasp of it all), it is at times very difficult to absorb all the information available and actually put that into any sort of practice.
 
Eric I'm not giving up my DX7, having spent today on the wing of my E-Flite Sea Fury, I'm not sure I would  have ever got it all to work properly without a little tweak of things here and there so I'm keeping it  (anyway it did SAY to do just that with a programmable transmitter in the INSTRUCTIONS )
 
It's funny really,  you see exactly the same thing on full-size pilot forums, sometimes one wonders if newbies ever read any of the text books or even have an instructor... but then there is an old saying that goes something like,
 
"the only daft question in aviation is the one that wasn't asked"
 
It would be nice to think experienced modellers could have the same view and accept sometimes that newbies might ask the same old stuff over and over - I think to be honest it is the same on any forum and I know I'm as guilty as anyone else of doing it.
 
 
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Wow, I thought this thread had just faded away.
 
Most newbies to any subject have many of the same questions or concerns. I know I did, on more than one subject over the years.
 
Most of our engine manuals say, do this, they will work. Normally they do. Sometimes they don't for just a few reasons. So, that is why I wondered and I am not alone, why not have this on a tutorial. This is common practice in industry.
 
 
Birdy, common sense tends to be an aquired ability. A lot of modelers get hurt by Props, including me, once  , yet I have been noted for looking for the safe, practical, way of doing something.
 
Gemma, one step at a time is something you seem to have cracked  I think most experienced modelers do have the view you speak of. Yet, can we try to formulate a better way for some things? For some people? (not picking on you  
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My instructor called in yesterday to see why Id not been to the field ,work commitments.He recently acquired a small diesel forC/L.He showed me various fingers with black bruises under his nails where it had been catching his fingers when it had kicked and gone backwards.His been a modeller over 40 years and helps me immensely especially on the safety aspect,and his fingers (he has still nearly10) show me just how careful you need to be,
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H'mm. Two things come to mind.
 
1. Kids don't read manuals. They open a box (be it a game, model, whatever), try and make it work, and if it doesn't go on-line and look for videos to show them how. That's how they learn. And they learn very quickly as well. IT is easy to bemoan the loss of a certain type of culture, but these kids will be paying our pensions, and if we want them in the sport then we need to cater for the way they learn.
 
2. In my brief immersion to this sport, I've found everyone incredibly helpful and patient. What is different from MTBs (and this may be because the average age is higher in RC flying) is the attitude of experienced flyers in wanting to help and support people new to the sport. I've learned alot reading this forum, reading some of the articles, etc - but I have learned far more, and far quicker being shown how stuff works.
 
It seems there is a difference between those who just want to fly, and those who enjoy building, problem solving and all that good stuff. I'm firmly in the first category so this may skew my thinking.
 
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I'm not sure really how it can be done better, on many forums for example it is the recently ex-newbies that are best placed to answer the newbie questions because they are somehow more tuned into the questions, it is less tiresome also because they generally enjoy being able to answer questions that a year or two before they might have asked themselves. Someone with more experience tends to give a more generic answer rather than just saying, "pull the orange wire and it will work".
 
The trouble with tutorials etc is it is fine when it works, it is when it doesn't that the problems start. If you have a specific problem you are trying to solve it is unlikely you will start by reading pages and pages of beginners notes which won't address exactly why your 2.4GHz receiver is not able to bind (put the throttle plug in the right way dummy - I might be dumb but I thought there was some logic in the fact the brown wire might have been +ve) - it seems funny but I can still remember just what it was like the first time I had to do it, it took me all evening, reading instructions, looking on the web, worrying that I had damaged the expensive equipment I had just bought, worrying that the equipment was somehow faulty, it drove me insane yet now I just bung the things in and bind them without a second thought. If I see someone else asking the same thing, I know all too well how annoying it is!
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I am still quite happy to help when I can with newbie questions. Alex has described very well how a lot of people now go about trying to aquire knowledge. I did this by usually first reading up on something, then if possible seeing it done. This raised some questions which with a different type of tutorial could well be answered in the way peolple now look for answers.
 
When I re-started model making after a break of 40yrs, Radio Control had appeared, turns out... long since.    Not really, I had seen this at Loch Insh, at arms length, and said I will do that someday. My current learning really started wirh the use of Glow motors, picking up what some guys localy had learned, the main thing was "why won't the thing run properly",  took us a while due to much conflicting advice from elsewhere, some of which was not helpful at all. None of us had long term experience.
 
We picked up on a bit here and a bit there. Now it all mostly seems easier.
 
Alex has described very well the reason I started this thread, Is there a way for beginers to learn by a method they like and understand? I think there is and asked really would it help to do something different for them, instead of just pointing out the tried and tested route.
 
Another chap is thinking now of doing a video for this purpose, I suggested to him, a new thread specificaly to discus what should be included in his video
 
 
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