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Futaba 9Z

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Old 11-24-2005, 03:58 PM
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EngineDesigner
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Default Futaba 9Z

I was wondering about opinions on the Futaba 9Z. I want to get one for Christmas, but still dont know if I should get that or something else. This would be my first high-end radio, and I am still a very novice pilot, but with big dreams. It is probably too much radio for me, but yet I still get drawn to it everytime I look thru the catalogs. Please post your opinions, thoughts, and experiences with this radio. Thanks in advance.

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Old 11-24-2005, 10:06 PM
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Default RE: Futaba 9Z

I bought mine because I got tired of running into things the transmitter couldn't do. Now I believe that there will never be a case where I cannot do what the model demands.
True the transmitter is expensive but if you take care of it you will probably never have to buy another. Just my 2c.
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Old 11-25-2005, 08:47 AM
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Default RE: Futaba 9Z

Your only concern would be the fact that the 9Z is on the way out. It has been around for almost 13 years.

The big question is "when?" Those who might know aren't talking. There was some unsubstantiated rumor that Futaba has actually stopped producing the radio. But I think it safe to say that the 9Z's days are numbered. The concern here, of course, being "how will I get it fixed when it needs it?" I've been through this with a JR PCM 10 SXII, so it is not idle speculation my part. Some folks say that, even if The Empire's service department has problems repairing a 9Z, Tony Stillman at Radio South has plenty of parts and expertise.

This situation has caused me a lot of grief. I am thoroughly in love with my 9Z, and almost bought another one NIB for a spare when told that the 9Z was definitely going to be dropped. After three years, I am very comfortable with the radio and do NOT want to change yet again. After a lot of thought, I have decided not to worry about it and drive on. When mine needs replacing (as it eventually must), then I'll see what is available. I decided against a new spare because, in time, the available parts WILL run out.

With all of that said, I think you would be relatively "safe" getting one. While I'm certain that Futaba is working on a replacement, I also do not think that replacement is close to being ready. You'll get many good years out of it; if mine died tomorrow, I would not regret having bought it, and would probably get another one.

And pay no attention to those nay-sayers who claim it is hard to program, etc. I doubt there is anyone more computer-crippled than me, and it took me about a month to get familiar with the three menus.
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Old 11-25-2005, 08:52 AM
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Default RE: Futaba 9Z

I recently went to the 9ZAP WC2 from a 9CAPS so I have a few thoughts you might want to consider.

As noted above, there doesn't seem to be anything you can't get this radio to do. However, it's not as user friendly as the 9C is with it's native programming options. The manual is not really explicit, but there are quite a few more helpful pieces of information on Futaba's website, as well as some helpful posts here on this forum.

Once you start to get the hang of programming the 9Z and learn it's 3 letter abbreviations, it's pretty easy to figure out the basic setups and if you've done mixing stuff that pretty much falls into line with other radios. It took me three days to figure out how to best setup triple rates for my Funtana since there are so many ways to do it and I got quite frustrated to begin with. Then I setup my second and third models in a couple of hours each...

So if the price tag is not a problem and you realize it will take a little time to learn the radio, I'd say go for it. You won't be disappointed IMHO.
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Old 11-25-2005, 02:05 PM
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Default RE: Futaba 9Z

I have a 9Z, I think Zeeb is spot on with his posting. Also about a month ago I sent back to Futaba an old 8UAP radio that the antenna had completely pulled out. This radio has been discontinued for several years and Futaba was able to replace the back case, antenna, and wiring. I mention this because they seem to have some resource for there discontinued line. The 9Z is one heck of a radio, learn the logic and it'll do anything. I have been able to get answers here, and on the Futaba faq's page for all the Knots I've tied up with this system. I've been using mine for 5yrs and it still impresses me with its capabilities. Its only limits come from me
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Old 11-25-2005, 06:16 PM
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Default RE: Futaba 9Z

Thanks for the responses guys, but do you think this is too much radio for a beginning pilot?
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Old 11-26-2005, 02:08 AM
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Default RE: Futaba 9Z

Beginning pilot? Hmm... that may be likely. I recommend a used 8 channel radio if you're new, but, dunno. I think it just might be a little too much, Unless you're building something really extreme from the start, or, if you intend on getting into 3D r/c helicopters within months <--- Then I recomend it. Some guy at our field got to a step above ace in flying ability (can do everything) in less than a year of flying. Now that's dedication. [X(]
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Old 11-26-2005, 08:12 AM
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Default RE: Futaba 9Z


ORIGINAL: EngineDesigner

Thanks for the responses guys, but do you think this is too much radio for a beginning pilot?
To be honest about it, yes.

If you are not the type of individual who enjoys say, making your computer do things other folks don't know how to do, this radio will drive you crazy before you learn to setup just the basic functions.

I'm relatively new to this hobby as well, and I went to a 9CAPS radio when I fixed my Nexstar trainer after it's first wreck. I elected to go with the individual aileron servos with separate functional flaps and needed a different Rx and Tx. The 9CAPS was way more than I needed at the time, but it has served me well as I got more experience and bigger more complicated models. It's also WAY easier to program even though that will seem daunting the first time through, it will do virtually anything you might want to do at this point, and it's about 1/3 the price.

So pick what you really want, but I'd suggest a new 9C Super first...
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