RC Radios, Transmitters, Receivers, Servos, gyros Discussion all about rc radios, transmitters, receivers, servos, etc.

ok, getting confused...which Radio??

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Old 08-18-2006, 12:12 PM
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Toker41
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Default ok, getting confused...which Radio??

K...I was going to pick up a Hitec Optic 6, but have been reading about on going problems with glitching with the synth mod. Then I'm thinking maybe the Tracker III, but am finding limited info on it. I need a Tx with synth to use with BOTH parkflyers and glow. I don't want to be stuck on one channel with it so the synth is MUST. I also need easy programing....really easy, and at least 6 model memory so that I can store trim settings and use it on several planes. I need to keep it under $250. Please, any suggestions? I'm ready to buy, but really having trouble narrowing it down.
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Old 08-18-2006, 02:26 PM
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redfox435cat
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Default RE: ok, getting confused...which Radio??

I konw people will want to fight me tooth and nail but don't do the tracker 3, these people just have to defend there stuff. they are total crap and service reps could care less, the 5 guys at out feild that have all have retired them. their recievers are good and recommend them but the TX, don't touch. Go for a futaba 9 CAP or JR unit with a synth Mod
[link=http://www.chiefaircraft.com/rcmsec/Models/RadioControl/Futaba/FutabaRadios.html]9cap[/link] unless you just don't care about your models and love trying to figure out why your plane went down all the time
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Old 08-18-2006, 02:46 PM
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Default RE: ok, getting confused...which Radio??

Nice, but at $439 it's a bit steep.
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Old 08-18-2006, 04:39 PM
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Default RE: ok, getting confused...which Radio??

you get what you pay for, the ability to change channels, that not a cheap feature, but buy what YOU want
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Old 08-18-2006, 06:36 PM
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Default RE: ok, getting confused...which Radio??


ORIGINAL: Toker41

K...I was going to pick up a Hitec Optic 6, but have been reading about on going problems with glitching with the synth mod. Then I'm thinking maybe the Tracker III, but am finding limited info on it. I need a Tx with synth to use with BOTH parkflyers and glow. I don't want to be stuck on one channel with it so the synth is MUST. I also need easy programing....really easy, and at least 6 model memory so that I can store trim settings and use it on several planes. I need to keep it under $250. Please, any suggestions? I'm ready to buy, but really having trouble narrowing it down.
Tracker III. Very good radio, easy to program. Has trainer feature, alpha naming, 99 model memory, drives + or - shift receivers, or you can use the Seeker receivers.

Best wishes,
Dave Olson
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Old 08-18-2006, 07:22 PM
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Default RE: ok, getting confused...which Radio??

IMHO, the Tracker seems to be a good product, but mainstream products are usually the best bet in terms of availability, compatibility and support. I won't/can't comment on the Tracker as I have never owned one. I have been using the Futaba 9ZAP for a long time on more than 10 aircraft, mostly gassers, and I have never had any problem, I use a mix of xtal and synth RX's off of the synth TX module. I only use Futaba RX's so can't/won't comment on the compatibilty of other brands. I have had problems when I tried to use other brands with my TX but won't start a flame war.

Decide what you want and just do it. Chances are that you will be happy with your choice even though others will try and give you a hard time.

Safe Flying!
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Old 08-18-2006, 09:58 PM
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Default RE: ok, getting confused...which Radio??

Tracker have a good enough range for glow? We fly at a BIG field.
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Old 08-18-2006, 10:13 PM
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Default RE: ok, getting confused...which Radio??


ORIGINAL: Toker41

Tracker have a good enough range for glow? We fly and BIG field.
Yes, of course. The Tracker III has full range. I was surprised with the range check on mine, it was farther than most range checks I've seen at our field. Usually by the time you walk into the alfalfa at the end of the field, the range check is complete. I had to walk past the alfalfa and out into the beans to get a servo jitter.

Best wishes,
Dave Olson
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Old 08-22-2006, 10:37 AM
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Default RE: ok, getting confused...which Radio??

Sometimes I tend to research a purchase to death. Well I am at it again. Of course I am looking at the Optic 6, Eclipse 7, 7cap, and the Tracker III. Yes I am too cheap to pop for a 9C or whatever the JR high end is. I am most interested in glitching, interference. The funny thing I notice at the several flying fields I visit is that whenever one of the high dollar whizbangs has a problem it is blamed on the field. Whenever a low dollar radio has a problem it is blamed on the radio. The vast majority of interference type wrecks that I have seen seem to be a problem in the airplane rather than the transmitter. My questions are:

Is there a difference in the signal quality of these radio's?

Are the transmission specs and requirements the same for all brands?
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Old 08-22-2006, 03:34 PM
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Default RE: ok, getting confused...which Radio??

eglitch,

I'd suggest you consider finding a used 9C -- someone who'se bought a 9c super for example. Then you spend the same amount of money but get a lot more radio....this is a great radio with a great reputation and a lot of great features. I've flown everything on this, from indoors through the 1/3 scale GP Extra my hubby Mike and I designed.

Have a great day and happy flying!

AnnMarie Cross
former senior manager, Futaba USA
President, Crosswinds Equine Rescue, Inc www.cwer.org
author of Futaba 7C and Futaba 9C User's Guide manuals, now avialable from Tower Hobbies!!!
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Old 09-12-2006, 10:20 AM
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Default RE: ok, getting confused...which Radio??

I bought an Optic 6 Tx with the synth module and use it with Airtronics, Hitec, and Berg recievers. I've had no problems with any of these combinations. I feel that the Optic 6 is the best value in computer radios on the market. It has features that others don't in this price range and also the upper end. How many transmitters can you buy that are shift selectable?

My friend bought a Seeker from Polk's. It works well, but for some reason, channel 11 won't work. Polk's has been totally unresponsive to his calls.[]
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Old 09-12-2006, 04:31 PM
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Default RE: ok, getting confused...which Radio??

I would NOT get a Optic 6. They are having major problems with them and should recall them.
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Old 09-12-2006, 04:49 PM
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Default RE: ok, getting confused...which Radio??

I understand that some are very defensive about what radio is best. I have had
both good and bad results with most brands of radio's. I would really like to hear
from someone that knows about the actual signals being sent from the transmitter.
These are the two questions.

Is there a difference in the signal quality of these radio's?

Are the transmission specs and requirements the same for all brands?

Just this last weekend I was flying an airplane that has been very reliable
for many years. It is a Hitec 555 in a Sig Seniorita. I use a Hitec Flash 5x.
After thermalling for about 15 minutes at a very great distance I decided to land.
When I was in a landing approach there were 3 other transmitters between me
and my plane. As it passed closest to the other transmitters I received a full down
elevator long enough to hit the ground. Would another transmitter have kept that
from happening?

I fly many different brands of receivers with this radio and even after that incident
I had no other issues so I would guess the transmitter has nothing to do with it.

Just looking for a secure link
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Old 09-12-2006, 07:28 PM
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Default RE: ok, getting confused...which Radio??

All radios have a secure link when they are working right, at present i dont think any one
brand has a significantly better range than the next. pcm or ipd can sometime allow a
little better immunity to some types of interfernce but they all have their limits.

At present i use Hitec overall i have good sucess with them not 100% trouble free but ok.
if i was to buy a new set up today it would most likley be a Futaba 9C because of the
features and i see a lot of them and here way more good reports than bad.

I have a Optic 6 and so far i like it but i think Hitec may cut to many corners with the
quality on some of their products trying to keep the price down.

Also from what i here on RCU fourms i would be a little afraid to buy a tracker also.
I do wish that all the RC radio manufactors would realize that their radios are sometimes
are installed in some very exepensive models and not cut any corners with quality.

Also there is the safety factor to consider when flying model airplanes and we all want
the most reliable product possible.
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Old 09-13-2006, 05:44 AM
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Default RE: ok, getting confused...which Radio??

There is cetainly nothing wrong with the Optic 6 and I am curious to hear about 'all' the problems that they have.

Another radio to consider is the new Multiplex Cockpit SX. Seven channels, 12 model memories, synthesized, excellent mixing capabilities.
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Old 09-13-2006, 04:28 PM
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Default RE: ok, getting confused...which Radio??

Yes there is a BIG problem with the Optic 6, and I'm so gald I read up on it before I bought one. Check out this thread:

http://www.rcuniverse.com/forum/m_44..._1/key_/tm.htm

Not only is there a big problem, but they know about it and still will not recall the unit. Some one is going to get seriously hurt or worse. People are losing planes because of this unit. I suggest reading the whole thread.
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Old 09-13-2006, 06:41 PM
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Default RE: ok, getting confused...which Radio??

did they also metion that if you put the wrong trainer cord, a standard round futaba cable which is just like the hitec specialy cord in it can shoot someone down within 3-4 channels? Couse it wouldn't matter to the person using it since your radio won't work but who ever is on the flight line heads up. BUt hey you saved 20 bucks over a futaba unit
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Old 09-13-2006, 06:54 PM
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Default RE: ok, getting confused...which Radio??

I went with the Futaba 9CAFS super, which was about $150 more than the Optic 6. I really was interested in the Hitec, but I just can not afford to take that kind of chance with any plane I own. I'm not made of money, so I can't risk losing hundreds in planes because I wanted to save $150.

I don't really understand the difference between the Futaba 9CAFS FM, and the 9CAPS PCM. They are both switchable between PCM and FM, so I don't see any difference between them. Unless one is a rachet throttle for planes, and one is smooth for helis?
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Old 09-13-2006, 08:21 PM
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Default RE: ok, getting confused...which Radio??

They are selectable for FM and PCM for all 9C's. The FM and PCM thing is really a big joke and just an advertising ploy. The ONLY three differences are:
the reciever in the box is what the transmitter is labeled as,
the transmitter is labeled differently if it's a PCM or FM (again, all 9C's can do both)
the transmitter defaults to the modulation type you see on the box.

The H and the P just have to do with the ratcheting on the throttle. One is smooth, one isn't.

Some suggested mods to the 9C (only if you want them):
Remove the ratcheting from the three knobs on the face by bending the metal tab that makes the clicking noise. The ratcheting reduces precision and it doesn't help. keep it if you like it.
Remove the ratcheting on the sliders by sanding off the tab that sticks out off the rotating part of the slider. If you look at the slider, you'll see a slit. Get a section of fuel tubing, and with some ingenuity, cut it so it fits in there, and the sliders on the side will be smooth like the 9Z and 10X.
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Old 09-13-2006, 09:04 PM
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Default RE: ok, getting confused...which Radio??

JR and Futaba programming is different. I find Futaba programming to be convoluted, but then I have been using JR since 1983 or there abouts. Probably a long time Futaba user would say the same about JR. I will also say right up front that I am not familiar with the lower end and JR sport radios. JR has a 2 tier menu with a Systen Set-up menu for model selection, wing type modulation, etc., major items you generally set once and leave alone. They also have a Functions menu for dual rates, end points, mixing, etc., stuff you might want to change at the field.

JR programming has stayed the same for the basic items over the years. Naturally, new functions have been added, but if you were comfortable with the old 347 or 388, you would have no trouble setting up a 9303 for basic items. The JR 6102, 8103 and 9303 all program the same except for additional functions in the 9303. My buddy's 6102 is, for all practical purposes, just like my 8102 except you can turn the gear switch off and use that channel for mixing. This makes it a real 6-channel radio rather than a 5-channel with gear which most people don't use. You can easily do dual aileron servos for flaperons and dual elevator servos.

My experience helping people with Futaba programming is theirs has changed significantly with different models over the years.

The method of program entry is personal preference. Personally, I liked the buttons on all my previous JR 8102s as compared to the rotary selector on my 9303, but that's my preference. Many people equate the rotary selector or the little dial Futaba uses with ease of programming. I think they're sales gimmicks myself. The guys at my field that have the Futaba 9C's don't seem to do any more with their radio than I did with my 8102. My 9303 has many more functions I now use, like a twin engine set-up, mate channels, flight modes, throttle curves.

I also happen to like the 3+1 trim with a manual throttle trim so I know where it is when I start and I can feel it to shut down. Futaba and Hitech seem to put the cut button in a different place on different radios. Probably if I owned one, I could find it.

I also like that JR has not changed its module design or connector from the 1980s. I have upgraded receivers and bought new transmitters a lot cheaper than buying a whole new radio and my modules always fit. Futaba can't say this.

I did have a Multiplex 12 channel for a while, but I must be too used the JR programming because I could not get it to do what I wanted and I read every book known to man on it. I'm probably getting old and set in my ways because the Brits and other Europeans love it.

And from my experience with a buddy's Eclipse, don't even mention ease of programming and Hitech in the same breath. I do love their servos.

In the end, it is personal preference, sort of like I prefer the cruise control on the turn signal stalk on my GMS truck as opposed to the steering wheel of my wife's Dodge mini van. Pay your money and take your choice.

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Old 09-14-2006, 09:16 AM
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Default RE: ok, getting confused...which Radio??

Ed,

I can understand that you like the JR radio's and the way they program. I agree that once we get used to a particular style it becomes second nature, but I can't believe you like trying to find the cruise on you GMS(?) truck behind the steering wheel. I drive 35000 miles a year and having the controls on the steering wheel where your hands are supposed to be is much easier for me too.

I am not trying to hijack the thread but I think Toker41 is asking about reliability. I think transmitter failure is way down the list on why airplanes fail. I really don't want to spend all my time programming my radio for throttle curves, or mixing for knife edge. I try to hold the controls where they need to be. When all the fancy mixing and switching gets figured out in the transmitter it still has one important job to do and that is to send a 20ms frame at the right frequency and power level to the receiver. My questions remain:

Is there a difference in the signal quality of these radio's?

Are the transmission specs and requirements the same for all brands?

Thanks,
Orville
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Old 09-15-2006, 08:31 AM
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Default RE: ok, getting confused...which Radio??

The Hitec Eclipse 7 channel with synth module is in your price range. Might be worth consideration. When considering a synth module remember that the Futaba version is not compatible with some other receivers such as the berg series. JR and hitec don't seem to be suffering this malady.

I agree with Ms. Cross, a good used radio may be your best bet for your price range.
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Old 09-15-2006, 09:41 AM
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Default RE: ok, getting confused...which Radio??

The Hitec Eclipse 7 is experiencing the same problems as the Optic 6. These problems seem to be with the synth module, and the connections. I would avoid both units until Hitec steps up and recalls their defective products. Paying to ship my new TX to Hitec so they may put used parts in them to make them work correctly is not something I am in the market for. In my opinion, it is only a matter of time before someone gets seriously hurt with the Optic 6, or Eclipse, and law suits will follow since this is a problem they are very much aware of, yet let their defective product remain on the market for the unaware consumer to buy.
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Old 09-15-2006, 10:34 AM
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Default RE: ok, getting confused...which Radio??

Toker41,

I can understand that if the module is loose it will eventually cause intermittant connections, but of all the Hitec radios we have in our area I have not heard of one of these failures. It seems that as soon as one vocal person has an issue or failure word travels fast and can hurt that product. I really try to stay as objective as possible. I am not in love with any one brand of any product.

I can understand your decision on the radio, I hope it works out for you.

Orville
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Old 09-15-2006, 10:55 AM
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Default RE: ok, getting confused...which Radio??

THis is more than one person having a problem. I would not have ruled out the Hitec if it were only one person having a problem. Anyone considering one of these TX's really needs to read this. It is not only a lot more than "one person" having a problem, but also shows that Hitec is very aware of the problem. Also, the problem with the unit does not always show up right away. There are people that have used the Optic and Eclipse for months before the problem showed up:

http://www.rcuniverse.com/forum/m_44..._1/key_/tm.htm

Anyway, last time I will try to educate anyone on this thread on the matter. Someone on this site pointed this out to me before I made the mistake of buying one, and the only way to thank them is to do the same for someone else. You can be an educated consumer, or an uneducated consumer. Choice is up to the individual. I will ALWAYS be an educated consumer, as I research everything possible about a product before buying. My money is hard earned, and spent wisely. I can not take chances on losing planes that I do not consider "disposable" by using a Tx that is known to have a problem with the synth module. My last post on the matter. Good luck.
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