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Old 08-22-2013, 08:21 AM
  #1
Chris kerby
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I know this may open a can of worms, but really can't make the decision.
I am looking to upgrade my radio but not sure which is the right route to go.
Been using JR DSX 9 and Spektrum DX8 but really need more chanels. I have been offered a Futaba 14 mz at a good price but for a little more money could buy the FG14 or have even considered JR XG11 and now even the XG14 even though not that keen on the look of the XG14.
Spektrum DX18 also considered but read and heard to many bad stories about it
To be honest I do fancy the MZ14 but is the FG14 any better really can't make my mind up.

Nightmare making the right choice, just don't want to make the wrong choice.

Chris.
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Old 08-22-2013, 08:29 AM
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There is nothing wrong with the Spectrum DX18. I have been using mine for 2 years with out a glitch or upgrade. (If it ain't broke don't fix it). Easiest radio to program, Bar none. If they are good enough for Ali Muchency and Dustin Buescher (spelling) they are good enough for me.

Last edited by Terry Holston; 08-22-2013 at 04:00 PM. Reason: Sprlling
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Old 08-22-2013, 11:29 AM
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Buy whatever radio your heart and wallet tells you. You will hear good and bad stories about any radio.
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Old 08-22-2013, 11:32 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Terry Holston View Post
There is nothing wrong with the Spectrum DX18. I have been using mine for 2 years with out a glitch or upgrade. (If it ain't broke don't fix it). Easiest radio to program, Bar none. If they are good enough for Ali Muchency and Dustin Buecher (spelling) they are good enough for me.
+1 I have had my DX18 for almost as long but upgraded (!) to the QQ recently, absolutely no issues with either other than the QQ in that the finish is peeling off the case.

Peter
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Old 08-22-2013, 12:58 PM
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Chris kerby
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I agree never had any issues with my DX8 and i do like the DX18 its just reading things on these forums can put you off, but I suppose all manufactures have had there problems.
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Old 08-22-2013, 02:29 PM
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I wouldn't bother with the 14MZ. Although it certainly has excellent programing, it's a dinosaur in the RF department with no telemetry. Telemetry just keeps getting more and more useful as more and better sensors come to market. Why go with a radio that has 0 future?

Mike
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Old 08-22-2013, 04:23 PM
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No issues with the DX 18. Seven jets on it, love it.
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Old 08-22-2013, 07:30 PM
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I love my 14mz! I used it to learn the Futaba language before investing in my 18mz. If your a techy & like state of the art technology, it will be hard to beat Futaba.. unless your talking price, then not so much
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Old 08-23-2013, 05:30 AM
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Originally Posted by BlueBus320 View Post
I love my 14mz! I used it to learn the Futaba language before investing in my 18mz. If your a techy & like state of the art technology, it will be hard to beat Futaba.. unless your talking price, then not so much
What makes it "state of the art"? They use the same RF technology in their $400 radio as they use in their $3k one?

State of the art are offerings from some of the Euro companies ie. Jeti, Weatronic using patch antennae, redundant transmission and reception, rf data logging. Even the Spek DX18 uses dual diversity antennae. Futaba rates way down on the "state of the art" list. #1 on the price list though.

Mike
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Old 08-23-2013, 06:05 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by luv2flyrc View Post
What makes it "state of the art"? They use the same RF technology in their $400 radio as they use in their $3k one?

[snip]

Mike
So does Spektrum and their's is the only RF link that *requires* multiple receivers, RF data logging and analysis, etc. to achieve a reliable RF link - because the sensitivity of the front-end of their receivers (which was designed for short-range links) is 20 dB or more worse than any other...

Bob

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Old 08-23-2013, 06:40 AM
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Love my Futaba radio. Would never go back to anything else. My planes live allot longer when I have control of them

I did get use a DX18 a little bit ago and it was very easy to program. But I did not like at all how it felt in my hands. But that's just me and everyone's hand is different. But after the lockouts I had with the DX7 and DX5 I would never use anything they make again on my own plane. I know its a whole different system now with the DX18 but I don't really care because what I got now works perfect.
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Old 08-23-2013, 09:22 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by rhklenke View Post
So does Spektrum and their's is the only RF link that *requires* multiple receivers, RF data logging and analysis, etc. to achieve a reliable RF link - because the sensitivity of the front-end of their receivers (which was designed for short-range links) has a sensitivity that is 20 dB or more worse than any other...

Bob
Disagree with you Bob, the DX-18 does not use the same antenna arrangement as their lower priced stuff. As far as the receivers go, any range testing that I have seen published gives no advantage to either Spek or Futaba. Even though the brand I personally use does not use the multiple receiver/ sat arrangement, I can see it's advantages particularly, in terms of reception quality and path diversity.

The only 2 RF failures that I have seen both occured this year, both with Futaba, one 14mz, one 18mz. Both jets, on the ground about 800ft down the runway after landing, with the futaba antenna bent and pointing the other way, probably the worst situation for RF performance.. Turbines shut down when RF lost.

Personal opinion, if there had been multiple receivers on board or a patch type antenna at the transmitter end, likely no RF loss.

Anyway, my original comment eluded, don't be fooled by the price, its not a "state of the art" RF setup. There are more SOA systems available. Just look at the Jeti transmitters, far more high tech and 1/2 the price.

Mike

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Old 08-23-2013, 09:43 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by luv2flyrc View Post
What makes it "state of the art"? They use the same RF technology in their $400 radio as they use in their $3k one?

State of the art are offerings from some of the Euro companies ie. Jeti, Weatronic using patch antennae, redundant transmission and reception, rf data logging. Even the Spek DX18 uses dual diversity antennae. Futaba rates way down on the "state of the art" list. #1 on the price list though.

Mike
I'm not well versed on RF technology, I just plug it all up & fly my jets without ever having a problem (JR & Futaba) as of yet. I recently switched back to Futaba after a decade stint of JR, because in my opinion side by side comparisons "Nothing even comes close" to the 18mz. From the hi res screen, digital camera, telemetry, versatility of programming, being able to move any switch anywhere, programmable verbal announcements of switch activations, to the command of toga thrust. It goes on & on! I'm not bashing any brand, but to say the 18mz is not a "state of the art radio" is ludicrous.
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Old 08-23-2013, 09:51 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by BlueBus320 View Post
I'm not well versed on RF technology, I just plug it all up & fly my jets without ever having a problem (JR & Futaba) as of yet. I recently switched back to Futaba after a decade stint of JR, because in my opinion side by side comparisons "Nothing even comes close" to the 18mz. From the hi res screen, digital camera, telemetry, versatility of programming, being able to move any switch anywhere, programmable verbal announcements of switch activations, to the command of toga thrust. It goes on & on! I'm not bashing any brand, but to say the 18mz is not a "state of the art radio" is ludicrous.
yes, it's a beautiful radio, just found it odd that they did all that work on it and left the most important element, the RF connection to the model to be somewhat"old school".
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Old 08-23-2013, 10:04 AM
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You can find problems with either brand. Had a DX18 supposedly lock out a few weeks ago at my field, but really who knows what happened, how neat the install was, if radio & turbine equipment were adequately separated, how was the rx mounted.. So many variables! I believe all major brands of radio are pretty good now-a-days, but make no mistake about it, the "Futaba s.bus 18MZ" is currently the Rolls Royce leading the pack, & if it were wiped off the face of the planet today, We'd have a huge gap to fill from the closest competition.
Jay
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Old 08-23-2013, 11:16 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by BlueBus320 View Post
Ybut make no mistake about it, the "Futaba s.bus 18MZ" is currently the Rolls Royce leading the pack, & if it were wiped off the face of the planet today, We'd have a huge gap to fill from the closest competition.
Jay
Well, if we all thought it was, we'd all own it. Not too many guys in jets that couldn't afford the 18mz if they thought it was the best.

Mike
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Old 08-23-2013, 11:31 AM
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I'm not sure I've ever heard that aspect of it debated. I've only heard "Is it worth 3 times as much to have my radio talk to me?", or "I don't need a color picture of my jet", or "Futaba programming just doesn't make sense", but I guess your perception is your reality & if you feel your DX18 is the technologically superior choice, then rock on, but IMO comparing them side by side to the average human would linearly be like comparing a standard phone to a smart phone.
Although I must say, some of those standard phones make VERY clear calls... Gets the job done for cheaper

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Old 08-23-2013, 11:52 AM
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I went through this very same decision a little while back and came to the conclusion that there isn't really anything available at the moment that ticks all the boxes for me. I prefer the functions and programming of the Futaba 18MZ but don't like the balance or the feel. Anything else in Futaba's range is either old generation or limited in functions. I've flown one model with the DX18 and it feels nice but I wouldn't trust it on my models (plus I don't like Horizon's software upgrade policy). JR doesn't offer a premium TX at the moment that has lots of channels and top end programming. In the end I have decided to wait and see if Futaba or JR come out with anything new in the near future. Until then I'll just have to pray that my old TX keeps going - if it does fail then I would have to go with the 18MZ as the best of the bunch at the moment; but it's not perfect.
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Old 08-23-2013, 12:51 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by luv2flyrc View Post
Disagree with you Bob, the DX-18 does not use the same antenna arrangement as their lower priced stuff. As far as the receivers go, any range testing that I have seen published gives no advantage to either Spek or Futaba. Even though the brand I personally use does not use the multiple receiver/ sat arrangement, I can see it's advantages particularly, in terms of reception quality and path diversity.

The only 2 RF failures that I have seen both occured this year, both with Futaba, one 14mz, one 18mz. Both jets, on the ground about 800ft down the runway after landing, with the futaba antenna bent and pointing the other way, probably the worst situation for RF performance.. Turbines shut down when RF lost.

Personal opinion, if there had been multiple receivers on board or a patch type antenna at the transmitter end, likely no RF loss.

Anyway, my original comment eluded, don't be fooled by the price, its not a "state of the art" RF setup. There are more SOA systems available. Just look at the Jeti transmitters, far more high tech and 1/2 the price.

Mike
Yea, its an old debate, but if you *must* have multiple receivers in order to achieve acceptable performance when other systems don't require it, then its not an advantage - in fact, its somewhat of a liability.

I've seen, and experienced, the same issue with ground range on my Futaba 12FG - the runway at Kentucky Jets seems to be a place particularly prone to having an engine shutdown after a long landing. However, I've seen it there with Spektrum systems as well as Futaba with no one system being better than the other. The 2.4 GHz frequency doesn't lend itself to long range with the receiver is near the ground. Luckily its not as much as a problem when the plane is in the air...

I know that the DX-18 has a different antenna setup than other Spektrum systems, but again, I don't see the benefit if other systems can achieve the same performance and reliability without it. In addition, there appear to be other issues with the DX-18 that give me much more of pause then the RF link...

The Jeti stuff looks nice, but I don't have any real experience with it and I thought that I'd heard that it had problems early on.
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Old 08-23-2013, 12:56 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by BlueBus320 View Post
Ibut I guess your perception is your reality & if you feel your DX18 is the technologically superior choice, then rock on, but IMO comparing them side by side to the average human would linearly be like comparing a standard phone to a smart phone.
Sorry, just to clarify, I don't use a DX-18 either, and I only think it's antenna arrangement is superior to Futaba's, not the quality of it or the programming.

I do think some of the Euro radio's are superior in quality and design to the 18mz. ie. Jeti, Weatronic.

Mike
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Old 08-23-2013, 03:30 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by luv2flyrc View Post
Well, if we all thought it was, we'd all own it. Not too many guys in jets that couldn't afford the 18mz if they thought it was the best.

Mike
I bought my 18mz the same day I lost $6500 worth of jet flying on brand "X". 7 different models and a couple hundred flights later I'm still very happy with it. Never a single glitch or pause.

There's a lot of great, reliable radios out there and I'm sure the DX-18 is one of them. You might be able to say it is a better value that the 18mz but in my opinion you can't say it is a better radio.
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Old 08-23-2013, 03:40 PM
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My .02

Futaba 18MZ is the Cadillac!

The 14MZ is in a whole different (better) class from the 14FG. Had one for more than a decade and it worked awesome! Once you use a radio with a touch screen for a while you will never want to go back to not having one which brings me to my opinion on Spektrum

Spektrum DX18 is a lot of radio for the money and it works excellent. The price point prevents a touch screen apparently but still great bang for the buck.

I have a good deal of experience with all of the above radios with the exception of the 14FG although I did just help reprogram a jet for a guy who moved from a 12FG to a 14FG. The 14FG was cumbersome to program to say the least....

Thanks-
Sean
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Old 08-23-2013, 04:30 PM
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My 12Z is 7 years old now, and I've had my 18MZ for less than a month. All that time, I've never had a glitch, hold, pause, lockout or other such nonsense. Fasst just works. ONE receiver and no excuses needed. The 18MZ is staggeringly expensive but the very best often is. Is it a good value? I won't claim it is, but I'm sure glad I didn't settle for less! I've heard a rumor that Spektrum's next radio will not only have voice prompts, it will be able to yell "I ain't got it" in several different languages.

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Old 08-23-2013, 06:07 PM
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My 12Z is 7 years old now, and I've had my 18MZ for less than a month. All that time, I've never had a glitch, hold, pause, lockout or other such nonsense. Fasst just works. ONE receiver and no excuses needed. The 18MZ is staggeringly expensive but the very best often is. Is it a good value? I won't claim it is, but I'm sure glad I didn't settle for less! I've heard a rumor that Spektrum's next radio will not only have voice prompts, it will be able to yell "I ain't got it" in several different languages.
Now that's funny!!!!
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Old 08-23-2013, 06:22 PM
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Now that's funny!!!!
+1 but not close to being true..................
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