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Multiplex EVO 9 for Sport/Pattern?

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Old 07-12-2006, 03:56 PM
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dmanson
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Default Multiplex EVO 9 for Sport/Pattern?

What are the pros and cons of a Multiplex Evo 9 for sport and pattern flying, particularly as compared to an Asian radio such as the Futuba CAP9?

I've searched the forums and found some opinions and many rants. Most of these are several years old and were written about the time the EVO was released. What I haven't found is a recent and balanced assessment based on extended use.

I have looked at the reviews, the owner's manual, and an extended tutorial. All of these lead me to believe that the EVO 9 is an excellent transmitter with good features and lots of flexibility. I also know that Multiplex has a large following in the glider community, but I haven't found the same following among sport and pattern fliers. Why is this?

As a builder of software, I find the Multiplex "programming model" easier to understand than Asian radio approach. This is a positive feature rather than an obstacle to be overcome. I do wonder, however, whether the "global" nature the mixes is a limitation to worry about. Will there be enough to support 10 to 15 models with dual ailerons and flaps as well as the standard controls?

Are there shortcoming in the EVO 9 that make it less than ideal for pattern and sport? The slightly higher price for Multiplex is not a primary concern.

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Old 07-12-2006, 05:29 PM
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HarryC
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Default RE: Multiplex EVO 9 for Sport/Pattern?

I use Multiplex radios and I only fly power models: jets, pattern, 3D and scale. The Evo has 2 shortcomings but whether they are a problem or not for you depends on the flying that you do.

1. The big bummer is that the expo value you dial in is fixed for that control for the flight. You get an expo on each of the 3 controls, but you can't switch it on or off during flight, and it can't be set to a different value in each flight phase (mode/condition in JR/Futaba speak). In most cases this doesn't really matter, but if you do 3D flying it can be very useful if not essential to have high expo on 3D phase and low expo in normal/pattern phase. There is a way around it using mixers and offset curves but it isn't a smooth curve expo, it kind of kicks in a bit suddenly. Everybody hopes that expo per phase will be in a future free software upgrade but there is no guarantee that there will be an upgrade, if there is when will it be, and no guarantee that any upgrade will have expo per phase.

2. The phase transition is fixed at some slow transition (I can't remember if it is 0.5 or 1 second) which is fine for gliding but we pattern/3D fliers tend to want instant transition. Again, everyone hopes this will be allowed in a future upgrade but..........

3. If you like to use sliders operated by your finger on the side of the tx eg for flaps or mixture control then the Evo is not so good, its two sliders are in the middle of the front panel.

There are a couple of quirks in the software which IMO are bugs but they are known about and can be worked around and don't cause a control problem, indeed their effect is so small that many people don't realise they exist. In fact Multiplex claims one of them is a feature! Ahem, I think not!

Global mixing and global assignment lists aren't a limitation, just a bit of an annoyance sometimes because if you want to tweak the input controls or mixer curve types or input switches then it changes it for all models using that mixer or assignment list so you have to create a new one. It's a couple of minutes of extra work, that's all. The global part of mixing is the setup of the mixer - which controls go in and what curve types they use. The actual values are held per model so a global mixer will happily cover many many models. If you have 2 aileron servos that are pure ailerons, not flaperons, then they don't even use a mixer at all unlike Asian radios.

It is otherwise a very good radio and far more powerful than the Futaba 9C. A friend of mine wanted to do some serious mixing on a quad wing Ultra-Stik but his 9C just couldn't do it. He traded it in for an Evo which does everything he wanted and with capacity to spare. It has flight phases which the 9C doesn't have. The Evo is a true 9 channel, whereas the 9C is an 8 channel in PPM and an 8+1 channel in PPM. If you fly with finger and thumb holding the sticks you can have control buttons on the Evo sticks. The Evo is very light and lasts for hours and hours on its battery.

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Old 07-12-2006, 05:45 PM
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Default RE: Multiplex EVO 9 for Sport/Pattern?

Thank you so much for your excellent reply. It is balanced and very helpful.

I, too, have an Ultra Stick and could not find a way to have my Futuba 9CAP do what I wanted, the way I wanted it. My son and I share that radio, but we're getting to the stage of needing another one, hence I'm considering the EVO 9. He will inherit the 9C--that's the cost of not having your own money.

I hope that I'll hear from some others.

Cheers.
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Old 07-14-2006, 09:12 AM
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Macchi
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Default RE: Multiplex EVO 9 for Sport/Pattern?

The other small annoyance I found with the Evo is its lack of multi-point mixing for aircraft. Only linear type mixing is possible (with or without offsets, etc...). Because of this you cannot dial in a non-linear, non-symmetrical mix for rudder/elevator in knife-edge, for example. Besides this and the much more important Expo deficiency, the Evo is a great radio and deserves consideration. Good luck with your choice!
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Old 07-14-2006, 09:18 PM
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Default RE: Multiplex EVO 9 for Sport/Pattern?

Thanks for your comments. If these are the primary deficiencies they are certainly things that I can live with. I expect that my skills will develop more slowly than new technology that will obsolete anything that's now out there. By the time I outgrow the current features the new stuff will be too appealing.

I appreciate your help.

Don
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