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Transmitter question for Jet RC aircraft

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Transmitter question for Jet RC aircraft

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Old 11-10-2018, 03:20 PM
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Factorypilot
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Default Transmitter question for Jet RC aircraft

Hello sirs,

After a long time of being away from RC, I'm getting back into it. Was pretty surprised to find that JR is kaput, and Futaba has been purchased by Horizon by proxy of Hobbico, and Futaba's survival is in question since Spektrum is Horizon's baby (if I understand this situation correctly). Anyways, I've done some cursory searching and found that most people are using Spektrum (which was the off-brand el-cheapo transmitter when I left RC) or Frsky. As always, I am going to buy a setup based on what I will be flying in the future (jets) and not necessarily what I'll be warming up with for the next few months (EDF), and am completely unfamiliar with the quality or reliability of either Spektrum or Frsky brands.

Can you guys tell me a reliable setup for jet a/c would be as far as a transmitter is concerned? Eventually (and this is probably a couple years down the road), I'll want to get more and more into scale rc jets if that gives you an idea of what my plans are.

Thanks in advance for your assistance.

Last edited by Factorypilot; 11-10-2018 at 03:34 PM.
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Old 11-10-2018, 04:47 PM
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I switched from Futaba to Jeti this year because of the 900 mhz back up frequency. Very happy with Jeti flexibility and all the accessories. Check out Jeti.
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Old 11-10-2018, 04:51 PM
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Um Horizon didnt buy Futaba, FutabaUSA is up and running and nothing has changed for Futaba so don't cut them from the list for that.
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Old 11-10-2018, 04:52 PM
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It depends on your personal needs/ wants. I still have all JR equipment.

jeti seems to be the new cool kid on the block but for me they were very expensive and full of features I dont care about or want (I dont need my radio talking to me or telemetry etc).
if the time comes that I need to replace my transmitter it will be with a spektrum DX20. Mostly because it will still work with all my receivers.
i can't say anything bad about Jeti, it's just not for me personally.
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Old 11-10-2018, 05:34 PM
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This is a debate that has been discussed ad nauseam on these forums, but it is a valid question. You are going to get the guys that are strictly loyal to one brand, reps for one brand or another, or those that have bought something that they paid top dollar for and now it's the best thing since sliced bread. As stated above Futaba is doing well and is not going anywhere anytime soon. So let me give you my opinion and it is strictly my opinion. I started with Kraft radios in japan back in the late 80's and then moved to Futaba in the early 90's. When I look at a radio I look at the functions and things that really make it stand out for what I am doing. When it came time to buy my 14mz when it came out I looked at the main competition and decided that for the features that I wanted futaba was the radio for me. When it came time to retire my 14mz I looked at the JR, spectrum, jeti, and futaba. I really loved the Jeti line of radios and they were really doing some stuff that I wanted for my giant scale and jets, but to be honest I really disliked the REP for them at the time and the way he/they came off on the forums. When buying a product the person you are buying from can be just as important as the product itself, so I ended up with an 18mz. Now a friend of mine has a Jeti radio and the features and the telemetry are awesome, which is something futaba has been lacking in for awhile and he says the reps have gotten so much better for them. So now I am seriously looking at switching to a DS-16 or 24, going to try their test drive program to see if I really want to buy one. So my opinion is go to your local field and talk to the guys there and see what they fly, ask if you can hold it in your hands, do the research online, read the manual, watch the videos on youtube and make a really informed decision. This is what I do and every time I have had to change radios I have been happy with my selection. I can get the telemetry on my 18mz, but the implementation of telemetry on the Jeti is just done so much better and cleaner. I also am a computer scientist and love the fact that I can use the LUA programming language and add things to the radio that I need or want.

FYI...I am not a rep for anyone but myself. I don't get a discount on anything I buy so my opinions are my own.

Patrick
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Old 11-10-2018, 06:09 PM
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Originally Posted by FenderBean View Post
Um Horizon didnt buy Futaba, FutabaUSA is up and running and nothing has changed for Futaba so don't cut them from the list for that.
Roger. To be sure there are some gaps in my understanding in this area
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Old 11-10-2018, 06:14 PM
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Originally Posted by sirrom View Post
This is a debate that has been discussed ad nauseam on these forums, but it is a valid question. You are going to get the guys that are strictly loyal to one brand, reps for one brand or another, or those that have bought something that they paid top dollar for and now it's the best thing since sliced bread. As stated above Futaba is doing well and is not going anywhere anytime soon. So let me give you my opinion and it is strictly my opinion. I started with Kraft radios in japan back in the late 80's and then moved to Futaba in the early 90's. When I look at a radio I look at the functions and things that really make it stand out for what I am doing. When it came time to buy my 14mz when it came out I looked at the main competition and decided that for the features that I wanted futaba was the radio for me. When it came time to retire my 14mz I looked at the JR, spectrum, jeti, and futaba. I really loved the Jeti line of radios and they were really doing some stuff that I wanted for my giant scale and jets, but to be honest I really disliked the REP for them at the time and the way he/they came off on the forums. When buying a product the person you are buying from can be just as important as the product itself, so I ended up with an 18mz. Now a friend of mine has a Jeti radio and the features and the telemetry are awesome, which is something futabaOut has been lacking in for awhile and he says the reps have gotten so much better for them. So now I am seriously looking at switching to a DS-16 or 24, going to try their test drive program to see if I really want to buy one. So my opinion is go to your local field and talk to the guys there and see what they fly, ask if you can hold it in your hands, do the research online, read the manual, watch the videos on youtube and make a really informed decision. This is what I do and every time I have had to change radios I have been happy with my selection. I can get the telemetry on my 18mz, but the implementation of telemetry on the Jeti is just done so much better and cleaner. I also am a computer scientist and love the fact that I can use the LUA programming language and add things to the radio that I need or want.

FYI...I am not a rep for anyone but myself. I don't get a discount on anything I buy so my opinions are my own.

Patrick
Great response Patrick - thanks. I was curious about the telemetry aspect of some of the newer radios and you answered that. Most of the guys at the airfield I visited flew mostly EDF and most of them are using Spektrum. Seems like a few of the other guys here responded with a nod towards Jeti as well, so I'll give that a look. I sure do appreciate the insights.
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Old 11-10-2018, 06:16 PM
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Originally Posted by Viper1GJ View Post
I switched from Futaba to Jeti this year because of the 900 mhz back up frequency. Very happy with Jeti flexibility and all the accessories. Check out Jeti.
Thank you for the recommendation!
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Old 11-10-2018, 07:04 PM
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Most of my club's 27 jet guys are flying DX-18s or DX-20s. There are several unique programming features that work great for jets. The Gen 2s have been around long enough to have no bugs (i.e. not dealing with first year production models, etc.) The Wireless Trainer feature is great for training. I have one or two club members using old Futabas. But, Futaba is kind of in limbo with the demise of Hobbico and their Rxer selection is costly and relatively limited. I know of one club member who has had a Jeti for about a year now, but he is still flying with his Spektrum Txers. Can't beat the flexibility that Spektrum remote Rxers and say a powerbox or a Powersafe Rxer gives you these days. Then there is the telemetry aspect. Kind of nice to get an instant alarm when there is a flameout or when a battery is going weak, etc.. Voice is great when your flipping switches too. And lastly, for the price of one of these more expensive Txers, you can have two or three perfectly good Spektrum units that are pretty much designed & programmed to support jets really well. There are typically a bunch of Horizon jet guys at the larger meets to help you work out specific programming too. Don't get me wrong. I am brand loyal, as long as the brand works for me. If the DX-18 didn't work well, well I would be shopping around again.
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Old 11-10-2018, 07:46 PM
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I collected data at our recent jet meet and the top 2 brands were Spektrum and Jeti. 3rd place was a distant 3rd.

JS
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Old 11-10-2018, 09:19 PM
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Originally Posted by Len Todd View Post
Most of my club's 27 jet guys are flying DX-18s or DX-20s. There are several unique programming features that work great for jets. The Gen 2s have been around long enough to have no bugs (i.e. not dealing with first year production models, etc.) The Wireless Trainer feature is great for training. I have one or two club members using old Futabas. But, Futaba is kind of in limbo with the demise of Hobbico and their Rxer selection is costly and relatively limited. I know of one club member who has had a Jeti for about a year now, but he is still flying with his Spektrum Txers. Can't beat the flexibility that Spektrum remote Rxers and say a powerbox or a Powersafe Rxer gives you these days. Then there is the telemetry aspect. Kind of nice to get an instant alarm when there is a flameout or when a battery is going weak, etc.. Voice is great when your flipping switches too. And lastly, for the price of one of these more expensive Txers, you can have two or three perfectly good Spektrum units that are pretty much designed & programmed to support jets really well. There are typically a bunch of Horizon jet guys at the larger meets to help you work out specific programming too. Don't get me wrong. I am brand loyal, as long as the brand works for me. If the DX-18 didn't work well, well I would be shopping around again.
Great information man. Thanks!! Didn't know about the wireless training feature on the Spektrum models, I'd like to look further into that.
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Old 11-10-2018, 09:20 PM
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Originally Posted by jsnipes View Post
I collected data at our recent jet meet and the top 2 brands were Spektrum and Jeti. 3rd place was a distant 3rd.

JS
Very helpful; thanks JS.
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Old Yesterday, 12:09 AM
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I have been flying RC for 45 years and jets for the last 20 years or so, I´ve used Futaba, Graupner, Weatronic and now Jeti. I think Jeti has all that an advanced Jet pilot needs and I think that I will stick with Jeti for a while. But if you are looking for an advanced system, maybe you should wait and see how the new Powerbox Core system turns out. It is expected to be launched this autum.

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Old Yesterday, 12:42 AM
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Consumer grade go for spektrum or futaba... Professional grade go for Jeti...
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Old Yesterday, 02:31 AM
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Originally Posted by LA jetguy View Post
Consumer grade go for spektrum or futaba... Professional grade go for Jeti...








HMM,,,, Ali Machinchy is probably one of the best RC Turbine Pilots on the world, Definitely Professional Level. What radio do you see in his hands,, It aint a Jeti.
The Jeti has a lot of functions that spektrum does not have, their telemetry options are nothing short of amazing for sure,, but I have also seen mass confusion from tons of guys trying to figure their Jetis out too. I thought about switching a couple years ago, a jeti distributor was advertising a 10% sale on all Jeti items, when I called and was going to order, I found out that sale did not cover the transmitter, and after talking with the rep who was not very helpful or polite, take that as well as each brand has its own proprietary receivers as well, having multiple airplanes buying a new radio and all new receivers will be a hard hit. I decided that was not a route I wanted to pursue.
Each brand has its pros and cons. Spektrum has had a few stinkers with new products when they hit the market the big rx recall, and the issue with RF strength on the stealth series Transmitters, I think they learned from that, at least I hope they did.
It all comes down to what you feel comfortable with and trust. I am a Spektrum Guy, I started with DX6, then an 8, &9. When I got into turbines I started looking around for what radio most pilots had in their hands, and that brought me to the Dx-18G1, I now have HUNDREDS of flights with my DX-18G2. My next step will be to a DX-20. I have had a few issues with my radios thru the years, the plastic trim tabs breaking being one of them (I have no Idea why they keep using them, I upgraded to an aluminum aftermarket set) and the menu roller wearing out,,I had a rudder input on my first G1 DX-18 that would not center, that almost cost me an airplane. I have put a few holes in the ground , but I have NEVER lost a plane that had me suspecting my Transmitter. I also keep in mind that these toys we fly are controlled by electronics, and electronics can always fail at any point, no matter who makes them. The few times I have ever had a transmitter issue and had to send it in, Horizon has been world class in taking care of it, very quickly, and I have Never paid a Dime and that generates Brand Loyalty. just my 2cents...

Last edited by raron455; Yesterday at 03:06 AM.
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Old Yesterday, 05:12 AM
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Here is my take on radios for jets:
1) I would not buy a radio that can't indicate in real time the quality of the signal that the receiver is getting, and allow you to setup an alarm when is too low. This will avoid you flying around with marginal reception without realizing that your investment is at risk.
2) Telemetry is great to reduce risk(think about alarms for flameout, low fuel, low air pressure, Airspeed callouts, etc), if you are inclined to learn how to set it up, or have a friend who can do it for you. I have setup many for my friends and they are very happy to have it, even though they could not program them.

With point #1, many of the closed systems radio systems are out for me.
If you want telemetry, is either Jeti or maybe Graupner. Later on Powerbox Core will be an option. Others may have some level of it, but seem to be quite limited.

If you don't care about #1 or #2, then almost any modern radio will do as long as it have enough channels.

Good luck
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Old Yesterday, 05:50 AM
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My questions for any radio system is, will the manufacturer be here tomorrow and will MY radio still be supported 10 years from now?

Most systems today the first answer is a maybe and the second is no. That said, I find I use my Futaba FG Gold box as often as my Spektrum DX7. But, WWI types don't require a lot of extras either. For a jet I would definitely go with a computer radio. And it just so happens I too am currently looking for that special radio for a particular project. And right now I'm looking at Graupner and Futaba.

One thing I want in my next radio is the ability to monitor the cylinder temps of ALL (in my case 4) cylinders at once. Most radios these days seem to think I should be more interested in battery voltage instead. With the number of multi cylinders out there today, I would think a responsible radio company would develop a multi cylinder CHT system. But the idea falls on deaf ears.

I've become disenchanted lately with Spektrum both as a product and as a company. I've heard too many reports of issues. Mainly power brown outs. And I've not seen any real response from Spektrum other than some very good lip service. This is my experience, others may be different.

Last but not least, I don't know about other brands but I am tired of the seemingly constant software upgrades with Spektrum. They're worse than Microsoft Windows. But now that my DX7 is several years old, I can always hope they will quit supporting it soon.

I'm in this hobby to build and fly model airplanes. I want a radio that is ready when I am. When I spend more time tinkering with the radio settings than I do building or flying the model, I may as well go back to my job in Network Security. At least I'll get paid for it then.

Hadn't considered the Jeti but I'll look at it now. Way back when the Jeti was low on the desirable list. But then, so was Honda cars.

Charge light says the Futaba FG is ready. Time to go wiggle some sticks.
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Old Yesterday, 06:14 AM
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Originally Posted by raron455 View Post
HMM,,,, Ali Machinchy is probably one of the best RC Turbine Pilots on the world, Definitely Professional Level. What radio do you see in his hands,, It aint a Jeti.
The Jeti has a lot of functions that spektrum does not have, their telemetry options are nothing short of amazing for sure,, but I have also seen mass confusion from tons of guys trying to figure their Jetis out too. I thought about switching a couple years ago, a jeti distributor was advertising a 10% sale on all Jeti items, when I called and was going to order, I found out that sale did not cover the transmitter, and after talking with the rep who was not very helpful or polite, take that as well as each brand has its own proprietary receivers as well, having multiple airplanes buying a new radio and all new receivers will be a hard hit. I decided that was not a route I wanted to pursue.
Each brand has its pros and cons. Spektrum has had a few stinkers with new products when they hit the market the big rx recall, and the issue with RF strength on the stealth series Transmitters, I think they learned from that, at least I hope they did.
It all comes down to what you feel comfortable with and trust. I am a Spektrum Guy, I started with DX6, then an 8, &9. When I got into turbines I started looking around for what radio most pilots had in their hands, and that brought me to the Dx-18G1, I now have HUNDREDS of flights with my DX-18G2. My next step will be to a DX-20. I have had a few issues with my radios thru the years, the plastic trim tabs breaking being one of them (I have no Idea why they keep using them, I upgraded to an aluminum aftermarket set) and the menu roller wearing out,,I had a rudder input on my first G1 DX-18 that would not center, that almost cost me an airplane. I have put a few holes in the ground , but I have NEVER lost a plane that had me suspecting my Transmitter. I also keep in mind that these toys we fly are controlled by electronics, and electronics can always fail at any point, no matter who makes them. The few times I have ever had a transmitter issue and had to send it in, Horizon has been world class in taking care of it, very quickly, and I have Never paid a Dime and that generates Brand Loyalty. just my 2cents...
Great information; thank you. With respect to Jeti, I was curious about some of the things you mentioned concerning receivers, servos, etc. so I'll be looking into that. I too have heard of some issues (specifically brown outs) with the Spektrum, but even so there seems to be a favorable disposition towards the DX-20. I'm interested in product support after the sale, so I'll be researching that as well. Jannica mentioned waiting for the new stuff from Power core, but newer technology is a double-edged sword and I usually don't purchase unproven platforms in any venue. I'm just looking for something that is going to be reliable with great features and support. Very helpful information, I appreciate it.

Last edited by Factorypilot; Yesterday at 06:20 AM.
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Old Yesterday, 06:29 AM
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Originally Posted by Edgar Perez View Post
Here is my take on radios for jets:
1) I would not buy a radio that can't indicate in real time the quality of the signal that the receiver is getting, and allow you to setup an alarm when is too low. This will avoid you flying around with marginal reception without realizing that your investment is at risk.
2) Telemetry is great to reduce risk(think about alarms for flameout, low fuel, low air pressure, Airspeed callouts, etc), if you are inclined to learn how to set it up, or have a friend who can do it for you. I have setup many for my friends and they are very happy to have it, even though they could not program them.

With point #1, many of the closed systems radio systems are out for me.
If you want telemetry, is either Jeti or maybe Graupner. Later on Powerbox Core will be an option. Others may have some level of it, but seem to be quite limited.

If you don't care about #1 or #2, then almost any modern radio will do as long as it have enough channels.

Good luck
Thanks Edgar. Your points are well taken and I agree 100% that telemetry is going to be a must. I hear great things about the Jeti telemetry so I'll need to educate myself concerning the capabilities of Spektrum's DX-20 and Jeti's DS-16 / 24. After reading everyone's input, it's going to be between those two models.
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Old Yesterday, 07:14 AM
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Originally Posted by raron455 View Post
HMM,,,, Ali Machinchy is probably one of the best RC Turbine Pilots on the world, Definitely Professional Level. What radio do you see in his hands,, It aint a Jeti.

[snip]
That's really not a factor. He works for Horizon (i.e. Spektrum), so he has NO option to fly anything else. I don't fly Spektrum or Jeti, but both are options that are reasonable to consider - as are others. An educated consumer will make their decision on factors that matter to them, but for an educated consumer, what Ali flys has no bearing on what is best for them...

Bob
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Old Yesterday, 07:25 AM
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Professional grade and professional service go with Jeti from aeropanda.com and talk to Danny at 407-687-3126
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Old Yesterday, 07:41 AM
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When Jeti came out with their new 24 channel transmitter, what happened to all the folks that had Jeti’s “old” 16 channel?

They got new 24 channel transmitters too. For free.

Say what you will, if this kind of approach to technology upgrades is what a company takes, then it seems pretty reasonable to say that Jeti really cares about their customer base.

Now throw on top all of the goodies that Jeti offers?

You make the call.
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Old Yesterday, 07:43 AM
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I hesitate to post the following but will against my better judgement. I am not brand bashing. I flew JR/DSM and or Spektrum in jets from 2003 - 2017 with ZERO issues. I still fly a DX-9 on most of my non-jet stuff. I loved my DX-18QQ. I love Horizon Hobby and most of my non-jet products come from them. Many of my friends are Horizon reps. They are THE BEST in product support in the business whether it be technical support at Horizon or help from a rep at the field or event. As noted in my post above Spektrum is very prevalent in jets and as a brand are quite reliable...most all of our systems are quite frankly. We had 38 pilots with hundreds and hundreds of flights over 5 days at my recent event with 6 different brand Tx's ... no Tx related failures.

However, I don't know how the answer to the OP's question can be a DX-20 today. Since the OP says it will be a few years down the road for him to get into jets the answer then will likely be different than today anyway, but all we can talk about is what we know present day. Simple fact ... there have been significant issues with the DX-20 from its launch until now. I sold my DX-18QQ and bought a DX-20 when it launched which was bad right out of the box (along with a recalled 20 ch Rx). Most Horizon/Spektrum reps that fly jets do not even fly them to this day ... some do but most fly either a DX-18 of some flavor or the IX-12. I specifically looked for this at Super Jet South ... a few but almost no DX-20's flying ... many many more DX-18's or IX-12s. At my event a couple weeks ago, out of the 16 Spektrum TX's in use, only one was a DX-20. That DX-20 flew with complete reliability during the event. Not all DX-20's are bad, but how do you know which ones are? Some issues with DX-20's are well reported ... other MAJOR issues at major jet meets have not even been reported or spoken about publicly. The DX-20 just quietly went on backorder. I just checked and they still are not available and still no expected date on the Horizon website. If no issues with it then why? This is the flagship Tx, right?

If you have a DX-20 and its working well it will probably continue to work well. Many of them didn't. Is the problem fixed? What was the problem? Why is it not available from Horizon? I want the answer to be that the DX-20 is an awesome radio with zero issues ... I wanted that when I bought one (that was bad) and I still want it. We all benefit from more and more good, reliable options for high end Tx's with the features we want or need.

Look, we all know that any and all electronics can and will have an issue at some point. To me, flying rc jets has a huge responsibility with it ... to mitigate risk. I just don't see how a DX-20 ... can you even buy one anyway? ... is the risk mitigation answer and advice to give to a newcomer looking for advice. I am sure others' opinions will vary and I am wrong. I hope I am.

Whatever system you select, please learn how to use it properly ... you can make a good system fail with a bad setup.

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Old Yesterday, 07:48 AM
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I just read about 900 MHz and I wouldn't call it advantageous at all.
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Old Yesterday, 08:02 AM
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Originally Posted by jsnipes View Post
I hesitate to post the following but will against my better judgement. I am not brand bashing. I flew JR/DSM and or Spektrum in jets from 2003 - 2017 with ZERO issues. I still fly a DX-9 on most of my non-jet stuff. I loved my DX-18QQ. I love Horizon Hobby and most of my non-jet products come from them. Many of my friends are Horizon reps. They are THE BEST in product support in the business whether it be technical support at Horizon or help from a rep at the field or event. As noted in my post above Spektrum is very prevalent in jets and as a brand are quite reliable...most all of our systems are quite frankly. We had 38 pilots with hundreds and hundreds of flights over 5 days at my recent event with 6 different brand Tx's ... no Tx related failures.

However, I don't know how the answer to the OP's question can be a DX-20 today. Since the OP says it will be a few years down the road for him to get into jets the answer then will likely be different than today anyway, but all we can talk about is what we know present day. Simple fact ... there have been significant issues with the DX-20 from its launch until now. I sold my DX-18QQ and bought a DX-20 when it launched which was bad right out of the box (along with a recalled 20 ch Rx). Most Horizon/Spektrum reps that fly jets do not even fly them to this day ... some do but most fly either a DX-18 of some flavor or the IX-12. I specifically looked for this at Super Jet South ... a few but almost no DX-20's flying ... many many more DX-18's or IX-12s. At my event a couple weeks ago, out of the 16 Spektrum TX's in use, only one was a DX-20. That DX-20 flew with complete reliability during the event. Not all DX-20's are bad, but how do you know which ones are? Some issues with DX-20's are well reported ... other MAJOR issues at major jet meets have not even been reported or spoken about publicly. The DX-20 just quietly went on backorder. I just checked and they still are not available and still no expected date on the Horizon website. If no issues with it then why? This is the flagship Tx, right?

If you have a DX-20 and its working well it will probably continue to work well. Many of them didn't. Is the problem fixed? What was the problem? Why is it not available from Horizon? I want the answer to be that the DX-20 is an awesome radio with zero issues ... I wanted that when I bought one (that was bad) and I still want it. We all benefit from more and more good, reliable options for high end Tx's with the features we want or need.

Look, we all know that any and all electronics can and will have an issue at some point. To me, flying rc jets has a huge responsibility with it ... to mitigate risk. I just don't see how a DX-20 ... can you even buy one anyway? ... is the risk mitigation answer and advice to give to a newcomer looking for advice. I am sure others' opinions will vary and I am wrong. I hope I am.

Whatever system you select, please learn how to use it properly ... you can make a good system fail with a bad setup.
Hey Jamie,

I'm not sure why everyone seems to want to tippy-toe about their opinions on a certain brand, but I for one appreciate the candid feedback. I get that people have their opinions, but if there's a problematic system out there and those issues are matter-of-fact, dispassionate, and not anecdotal, then it only benefits the community (and the manufacturer for that matter) to know about it. If there are factual issues with a certain platform, then that's no one else's problem but the manufacturer...

Just a minor correction to what you said, I'll be getting into jet a/c here in the next few months; it's SCALE jet RC that I'll be evolving into down the road; knowing myself I'll be into that much sooner than that. I tend to go all-in when it comes to hobbies...

Anyways, just wanted to thank you again for the candid feedback. The experience in this community is a gold mine for someone like me.

Steven

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