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radio recommendation

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Old 12-12-2004, 02:47 PM
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smapdi636
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Default radio recommendation

Hello.

Newbie here looking for a radio recommendation. In reading these posts the typical answer seems to be "get the best you can afford". Trouble is ... there seems to be a ton of options and it seems like it would take me a month of research just to understand what I do or don't need. So I'm hoping I can describe what I want to use the radio for and get a little bit of direction.

I am interested in r/c plane & helicopter usage. I plan to purchase Reflex XTR and also a T-Hawk beginner plane from readytoflyfun.com. I will most likely get the T-Hawk combination with controller so the recommendation I'm looking for here is mainly for the Reflex simulator. I want to try both plane and heli simulations so I want a controller that is suitable for both. If I end up doing ok and enjoying the simulator then I can consider the real thing.

Any help is appreciated! Thanks
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Old 12-12-2004, 03:37 PM
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Default RE: radio recommendation

If you can afford a Futaba 9C (maybe the 9C special if you're into helis) then I don't think you can go too far wrong.

Lots of people rave over the 9C and it does seem to offer a lot of flexibility and power.

I fly a Hitec Eclipse 7 and, while it has its strengths, it's nowhere near as capable as the Futaba and, after seeing what other club-members can do with their 9C, I'd swap it in a heartbeat :-)

Those who advise you to get the best you can afford are not wrong, its surprising just how quickly you can run out of channels and model memories with a budget set if you become addicted to the hobby.
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Old 12-12-2004, 09:35 PM
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Default RE: radio recommendation

Thanks for the reply.

I'm hoping I can go with a smaller investment until I can figure out if I want to go further with this.

I found Tower Hobbies lists [link=http://www.easyrc.com/radiosystems/radiosystems2.html]some beginner information[/link] with 2 recommendations for beginner radios that are helicopter-friendly:
[link=http://www.towerhobbies.com/products/futaba/futk23.html]Futaba® 6VH 6-Channel Heli System[/link] and
[link=http://www.towerhobbies.com/products/towj60.html]Tower Hobbies System 3000 6FM Radio[/link]

Any opinions on either of those?

Also I'm not sure how exactly to figure out which radios are compatible with the different connectior options for Reflex XTR.
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Old 12-12-2004, 10:26 PM
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Default RE: radio recommendation

Another *very* sweet combination is the Hitec Optic 6 with the Hitec PCM receiver, or a Berg 5 or 6 channel receiver.

The Optic 6 transmitter can be had for $110 (without RF module) at Servo City and an RF module is just $25 (bringing the total price to $135 (or you can buy the Optic 6 *with* module for $150 -- I have no idea why it costs $15 more to buy the module already installed when it's just a simple user-fitted part -- go figure.

The PCM receivers are about $100 or the Berg ones are from $60-$80 depending on the model. Batteries, switches and servos would be extra of course but ServoCity do some nice bundles if you don't want to go the Berg receiver way.

I'm still waiting for my Optic 6 transmitter to arrive but so far most of those who have bought them seem to think highly of them -- so fingers crossed. I'll post my opinions once it's in my hot little hands if you like.
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Old 12-12-2004, 11:15 PM
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Default RE: radio recommendation

Hmm... Based on my limited understanding so far, that seems to have a lot of features for the price. I'm assuming I won't need the RF module just to use the Reflex XTR simulator?

Also do you know which Reflex XTR version would be compatible with this radio?

REFLEX XTR SIMULATOR WITH AIRTRONICS PLUG
REFLEX XTR SIMULATOR WITH FUTABA SQUARE PLUG
REFLEX XTR SIMULATOR WITH FUTABA/HITEC ROUND PLUG
REFLEX XTR SIMULATOR WITH JR PLUG
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Old 12-13-2004, 09:03 PM
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Default RE: radio recommendation

The following is a summary of essential features related to airplanes and
gliders. Many of these radios have helicopter features but I don't review
them. I have researched these for myself or friends. You will have to read
the manuals to confirm how they apply to you. I include links to the
manufacturer's/distributor's product page, where available.

Prices shown are approximate value for radio alone either in a package, or the
radio purchased by itself including battery and charger. Groupings are based
on my estimation of radios with comparable levels of features. Your mileage
will vary. Ease of use is subjective so it is not included here. If you note
an error, please let me know.

Unless noted otherwise, all radios have Low Battery Warning, Digital Trims,
Timers, End Point Adjustment, Dual Rates
and Exponential on Ch1&2; some include Ch 4. All include elevon and V-tail
mixes. In most cases, not all mixes or features are available at the same
time on the same model. Unless stated otherwise radios do not have support
for 4 wing servos or split elevator servos.

This article may be useful in understanding the features I mention here and
their value.

Radio Systems Part 2 - Computer Radios - The right choice for almost everyone
http://www.rcezine.com/cms/article.php?cat=&id=65


Entry level Computer Radios 5/6 channel - approx $90-110
If your focus in on parkflyers, RES sailplanes, aileron sailplanes or glow
planes, these are very capable for the price. In addition to the basic 4
channels they have retract, flap and/or split aileron capabilities. These
make great first radios for the committed new pilot, providing features beyond
the 4 channel "standard" radios at a small incremental investment. For many
pilots, these may be all the radio they will need for years. They will fly
more advanced planes, like full house sailplanes or aerobatic planes, but may
not be able to bring out all the plane can offer.

Hitec Flash 5SX -
http://www.hitecrcd.com/Radios/Flash5.htm
5 Channel, 5 Model Memory, Ch 1/5 provide dual ailerons management for
Flapper, Flaps on 3 way switch or Throttle Stick. Aileron-Rudder mix. No
user defined mixes.

Futaba EXA -
http://www.futaba-rc.com/radios/futk55.html
http://www.rcuniverse.com/magazine/a...?article_id=82
6 channels, 6-model memory, Prop Flaps chi 6, Flapperon using 1/6, 1 user
defined mix. No timers.


Mid Range Computer Radios 6/7 Channels Approx $130-160 for the radio.
These radios provide a richer feature set than the entry level computer
radios, primarily in more model memories, more surface mixes and switch
assignability. These radios can bring out more of the capabilities of more
advanced planes and give you set-up options the entry level computer radios
lack. If you have been flying a while on a 4 channel radio and now want to go
to more advanced planes but keep the price "reasonable", this might be the
group to consider. If you are a new flyer with a larger budget, these may be
a good fit. Some have limited split elevator features for larger or aerobatic
planes. Read the manual carefully on this. For example the 7C can operate
split elevator servos, but can not trim them in flight.

Hitec Optic 6
http://www.hitecrcd.com/Radios/OPTIC.htm
6 channel, 8 Model Memory, Model naming, Spectra channel synth option, Change
channel module, shift select, Switch Assignability, flight modes, 2 user
programmable mixes, and a variety of standard mixes.

Futaba 7C
http://www.futaba-rc.com/radios/futj69.html
Review
http://www.rcuniverse.com/magazine/a...article_id=321
Review - also compares it to the 9C, the 6XAS and the JR 6102
http://www.rcgroups.com/links/index.php?id=4405

7 channels, 10 Model Memory, Model Naming, Switch Assignability, Flight Modes,
3 user programmable mixes a selection of standard mixes.

JR 6102
http://www.horizonhobby.com/Shop/ByC...odID=JRP6664**
Review
http://www.rcuniverse.com/magazine/a...article_id=305
This is a futaba 7C review, but the author compares it to the JR near the end
of the article.
May be helpful if you are trying to compare the two.
http://www.rcgroups.com/links/index.php?id=4405
6 channels, 10 model Memory, model naming, Selectable switch locations,
Direct Servo Connect (DSC), 4 user programmable mixes, a variety of standard
mixes,


Hitec Eclipse - The Eclipse is an older design but has some nice features and
is quite popular. It is distinguished from the group above in that it has
some support for a 4 servo wing and perhaps a mix or two more but still in an
under $200 radio. If you want to fly full house sailplanes, or aerobatic
planes with the flaps following the ailerons, take a look at the Eclipse.
Other than that, most of its features can be found in the previous group at
lower cost. While switches are not generally assignable, many people don't
feel this is all that important.


Hitec Eclipse 7 - $180- for the radio
http://www.hitecrcd.com/Radios/eclipse.htm
7 channels - 7 model memory, Shift select, 3 conditional mixes per model,
Channel change
module and Spectra frequency synth, Five user programmable mixes, conditional
mixes, a variety of predefined mixes


Futaba 9C - about $280
http://www.futaba-rc.com/radios/futj85.html

Futaba 9C 8 channels in FM, 9 with PCM - approx $280 for the Radio alone
9C has unlimited model memories via removable modules 7 User-programmable
Mixes + 6 defined mixes, 4 snap roll programs, two servo elevator support, 4
servo wing support, customizable trainer program.

The Futaba 9C - Unless you have a large budget, I would not consider this a
first radio. If you have outgrown your entry level or intermediate computer
radio and want a significant jump in capabilities, take a look at the Futaba
9C. The Futaba 9C is an advanced sport radio, or a budget competition radio,
that has virtually all of the features that advanced sport power and sailplane
pilots are likely to need. I would not call it a professional or serious
contest radio, but you can enter into those realms with the 9C. It has a very
strong following.

The 9C is the first radio in the evaluation group that has
full support for 4 servo wings, split elevators and a broad selection of
standard and user definable mixes that serve acrobatic and sailplane pilots.
It also has extensive Heli programming but I have not evaluated that.

Model memory is unlimited based on 8 internal supplemented with removable
CAMpacs with 6 or more models. Channels can be changed via removable a
module, and a channel synthesizer has just become available. You can move
programs from one 9C to another by swapping CAMpacs between radios.

As an instructors radio, the trainer feature allows the instructor tremendous
control over the student's flying experience. It has a large selection of
predefined and user definable surface mixes and is pretty easy to program.

Many call this the best bang for the buck on the market under $300. This is
the one I purchased after looking at all the ones above and below, so this is
the one I know best.


$400+ for the radio alone

Royal Evo 9 & 12 -
http://www.multiplexusa.com/Radios/royal-evo-9.htm

Airtronics Stylus - 8 Channel
http://www.airtronics.net/stylus.htm

JR 9303
http://www.horizonhobby.com/Shop/ByC...odID=JRP9269**

In my opinion, these are the top of the line of the consumer radios or perhaps
are the entry level professional grade equipment line. You name it, they
probably do it. They have completely different approaches to how they provide
their features. More than I can cover here. If you have the bucks, check
these out. More than I wanted to spend and more than I needed. Both are
awesome!

If you have $2000 laying around, check out the Futaba 14MZ
http://www.14mz.com/
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Old 12-13-2004, 09:18 PM
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Default RE: radio recommendation

WOW. I'll spend the next day or two (hopefully at work) digesting this. Thanks!
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Old 12-14-2004, 11:01 AM
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Default RE: radio recommendation

Awesome information, and right at the best time as I am also in the market for a Radio. So far I will be flying the CG Eagle 2 w/ os .46ax

My question is, If the 9C is in my budget should I jump right into it or should I start out with a 4-Channel basic beginner radio like the Futaba 4YF?

I don't want to out do myself and I don't want something that will take me years to learn how to use properly.

Thanks!
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Old 12-14-2004, 01:58 PM
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Default RE: radio recommendation

If you are looking for the most for the dollar, check out the Hitec Optic 6.
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