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Futaba 6XAS... pros? cons?

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Old 02-19-2003, 11:32 AM
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lownslo
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Default Futaba 6XAS... pros? cons?

Well.... this old goat is finally thinking about getting a computer radio. I have steered clear of them so far.... but..???? I am thinking of the Futaba 6XAS model. Can anyone eloborate on their thoughts and experiences on this radio? Good AND bad..... thanks.....lownslo
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Old 02-19-2003, 01:28 PM
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MikeL
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Default Futaba 6XAS... pros? cons?

It's an older design than its competitors, and hasn't been updated in some time. One of my flying buddies has one. Compared to my RD6000 it isn't very impressive. The 6XAS uses model numbers, rather than letters for naming. You'll have planes 1, 2, and 3 rather than Cub, P51, and Ult. That might not seem like a big deal, but it makes it much simpler to confuse your models in memory. It lacks an integral timer, which is pretty handy if you know how long your fuel lasts (set a countdown alarm) or fly gliders/electrics and want to track your flight times. The 6XAS has mechanical trims, compared to the RD6000's digital trims. The digital trims on the RD6000 are very well implemented, by the way. If you fly helicopters, or might have an interest in the future, the 6XAS is very limiting. It has only a 3-point pitch/throttle curve, which doesn't allow you to do more than basic flight. Most pilots that fly helis prefer a 5-point pitch/throttle curve that the RD6000 features. The programming on the RD6000 is excellent as well. It's layed out in an easier to use manner than my 8103. The 6XAS uses a much older structure that isn't as easy to grasp. The RD6000 will also work with any FM/PPM receiver on the market, as opposed to just JR or Futaba receivers. It gives you flexibility, which is what a computer radio is supposed to do.

Overall, I think the 6XAS is the worst buy for the money amongst the RD6000, 662, and 6XAS. It's one of the oldest radios in Futaba's lineup, and my guess is it's due for replacement sometime soon. I know there are many satisfied 6XAS users out there, but right now you can get much more radio for the same amount of money.
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Old 02-19-2003, 02:01 PM
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Default 6XAS is a good radio

I have two of them and a 9C. If you ever notice that when a 6XAS is posted in the radio for sale link it sales rather fast. $229.00 for a computer radio is not bad. Buy one, you won't regret it.
Carroll
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Old 02-19-2003, 02:23 PM
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Kwigen
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Default Futaba 6xas

Since it is your first computer radio I think you would want the manual trims of the 6xas. I fly both the 6xas and the JR 652. I prefer the feedback of the manual trims. Other than that they all have their weak points as well as their strengths. As far as the numbered airplanes identifiers vs the letters, most of my planes would require four letters to properly describe.
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Old 02-19-2003, 02:38 PM
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d plane boss
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Default Futaba 6XAS... pros? cons?

I bought a 6XAS last Christmas. I, too, wanted the convenience of a "computer" radio and the 6XAS looked about right for the features and the price. But believe me, the 6XAS just BARELY passes as a computer radio! It is so limited in so many ways - trim saving, for example, is awkward at best. In mid-summer I sold it and bought a 9CAF - wanted to stay with Futaba. Now here is a COMPUTER radio! And the programing is so much more intuitive than anything else I've seen. If you don't want to spring for the extra bucks, consider buying only the Tx. But in the long run, the 9C is a radio you'll be able to get along with for a good long time.
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Old 02-19-2003, 03:23 PM
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tiggerinmk
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Default Futaba vs JR

To my mind, the Futaba's have a cheap plasticy feel to them. The JR has a more solid quality feel.

The main issue with any radio is how it feels to you. Is it comfortable to use? The programming issues you can sort out later.

The main limitation, I think, with the cheaper JR 6 channels is the lack of a proportional flap knob. The cheapest JR with proportional aux channels is the 378.
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Old 02-19-2003, 05:57 PM
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Default Futaba 6XAS... pros? cons?

The 6xas is not a bad radio, but like others have pointed out, it is beginning to show it's age. It's programming is not very intuitive and the feature set is limited. Having said that, I've had mine for almost 5 years now, and just upgraded to the 9C (which is head and shoulders above the 6xas). I've not used the JR or others, so can not comment on the relative merits. If it was me and I already had futaba flight packs in my planes, I'd spring 40 extra bucks and get the 9C transmitter (available for 260-290 at servocity, bruckners and others).

Oh wait, I just did that

Joe

BTW, tiggerinva - I had so gotten used to the lightweight 6xas that my new 9C feels like it's got a brick in there. I'm gonna have to start working out so I can hold it
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Old 02-19-2003, 06:05 PM
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Default Futaba 6XAS... pros? cons?

I have to agree with MIKEL...I had both an RD 6000 and a 6xas. One for me and the other for my son...The RD 6000 beat the 6xas hands down for all the reasons MIKEL has listed. If there is one downside to the RD 6000 is that they didn't see the need to put expo or D/R on the rudder channel...not a big deal....but would have been nice.
P.S. I have since sold the 6xas and now own 2 RD 6000's
My 2 cents
Brian
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Old 02-19-2003, 06:09 PM
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ec121k
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Default Futaba 6XAS... pros? cons?

You can do alot better and not much worse than a 6XAs. If they still come with a 127DF receiver you have a nice piece of nearly worthless ballast.

If you want to stay with Futaba, go for the 9CAF. If you go with JR, look at the Chief Aircraft specials. They have the 8103 at $380 with digital servos and a .5 oz 7 channel receiver.

That system replaced my 6XAs.

I opened my 6XAs transmitter and wasn't impressed with the quality of workmanship (or lack of it). It is also nice to have mroe than 6 channels which you will find out once you get into the various program modes.

BTW, the 8103 has 8 digit/letter aircraft designations.
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Old 02-19-2003, 06:13 PM
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Flyfalcons
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Default Futaba 6XAS... pros? cons?

flynboy,
If you think going from the 6xas to the 9C is giving you a workout, you should try a 9Z! It's like a brick. Maybe some day I can afford one of those, rather than borrowing one to fly a friend's Zagi.

The 6XAS isn't a bad radio. It's no 9C but the price is definitely less. To learn the system, I set up my plane and sat down on the couch with the manual and proceeded to fully program the plane. After that I would take the manual with me to the field, but hardly ever used it. Now programming it is second nature. Unlike the JR662, the Futaba has proportional flaps. With the Futaba, you can either have a rate switch for the elevators and one for the ailerons, or you can put elev,ail,rudder on one rate switch. You get two free mixes and a bunch of built-in mixes. There is also the Airbrake function where you can preset a flap and elevator setting, so you don't need to use the flap knob if you don't want to use the flaps. The 6XAS comes with the nice BB servos (4), and looking in the new Tower catalog, they are sending you a nice-looking Tx case if you purchase it from them for 229. Considering I paid 30 bucks higher than that last summer for one, that's a great deal. Hope this helps!

Oh, and could someone please tell me why no one likes the 127df? I have a buch of these and have never had a receiver problem.

Comparing the 6 channel systems to the 8/9 channel systems isn't going to help much. Sure, you are going to get a better radio, but if you're only ready to spend what it takes to get a 6 channel then hearing something like "get the 8103" isn't going to do much.
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Old 02-19-2003, 08:53 PM
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Carroll-RCU
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Default 127DF, no problem.

I agree with FlyFalcons on the 6XAS. It's a good radio and you cannot compare it to the 9C or the JR 8103. The RD6000 cost about sixty dollars more.

Now, on the 127df, there is a thread on this where some were saying that the 127 was causing servo jitter and one even stated that the jitter caused him to lose his plane.

I checked with Radio South and they know of no problems with the 127 with the exception of when they were first introduced in which Futaba made some changes to the receiver.

I have six 127 that I have been using now for about three years along with several members of my flying club and have never heard or experienced these problems.
Carroll
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Old 02-19-2003, 09:18 PM
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MikeL
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Default Futaba 6XAS... pros? cons?

$60 more? C'mon, even Tower sells the RD6000 Super for $250.
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Old 02-19-2003, 09:48 PM
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Carroll-RCU
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Default Futaba 6XAS... pros? cons?

You didn't mention which RD6000 in your original thread.
Tower has the super for 249.99 to 289.99 and the sport model starting at 189.99 to 229.00.
Whole bunch of the RD6000 models.
Doesn't really matter though, I like the Futaba brand and you prefer the Airtronics brand (which is a good radio).
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Old 02-19-2003, 11:07 PM
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MikeL
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Default Futaba 6XAS... pros? cons?

Actually, I don't have any brand preferences for radios. I've got gear from Futaba, Hitec, Airtronics, JR, and FMA. It all works great together, and I buy the piece of equipment that'll best suit my purpose. None of the brands are clear-cut leaders in all fields, so mixing and matching is the only way to go in my opinion. From what I've seen, there isn't a 6-channel radio that can touch the RD6000 right now. It's the best bang for the buck. That'll change at some point, like it always does.
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Old 02-20-2003, 12:37 AM
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Flyfalcons
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Default Futaba 6XAS... pros? cons?

Carroll,
To continue what you said about the 127DF, the person in the thread where the 127DF was causing jitter found out that he really had a TX crystal problem. I'm still waiting for someone to explain to me why the 127 is a boat anchor and nothing more.
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Old 02-20-2003, 06:37 AM
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Default Futaba 6XAS... pros? cons?

I've had a few 127DF's and never had a problem out of any of them. I've also had a 6XAS and I can't say anything bad about it.
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Old 02-20-2003, 07:25 AM
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Default ?

Geeesh!

I have 5 127DF's and never any kind of problem- From my AT-6 to a Ducted fan F-15...

One person has a problem, posts it and everyone gets concerned- Get that duct-tape

I am with Mike L- The RD-6000 is a clear standout in the 6CH. field- I just retired my 6XA (Got a 9C ) and it also was flawless but the programming was vague...

Does the RD-6000/ super have Digital Trims?

Anyhow,
james
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Old 02-20-2003, 07:25 AM
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Default Futaba 6XAS... pros? cons?

I started out with the Futaba T6XA and still use it , going into
the third year. In fact I bought a second T6XA last November
from Tower while it was on special at $219.00 plus a $10.00
Gift Certificate good till April 30. The ergonomics and everything
about this radio suits me just fine. I like to keep things rather
simple, and to me it's the best of both worlds.
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Old 02-20-2003, 07:51 AM
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Default Futaba 6XAS... pros? cons?

Just a rough comparison of price vs features you get much much more for your money going with a 9C
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Old 02-20-2003, 01:29 PM
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Default Futaba 6XAS... pros? cons?

August 2001 R/C Report. Pete Waters/Radio Rumblings Pg 102, first column, second full paragraph.

"Every time I work on a Futaba 127DF receiver, I give it a good shake first. This checks the tightness of the internal circuit boards, as they are notorious for being loose, rattling around, and giving fits to the crystal components. After repairs, I re-install it with extra 1/16" foam over the interconnecting pins, which usually solves the problem."

He also goes on to say he has seen the same problem with some Futaba AM receivers.

Sooooooo, I say again. Nice boat anchor from the '80's.
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Old 02-20-2003, 02:06 PM
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Default 127DF receivers........???

I started this thread asking about the 6XAS radio. Since we got onto the 127DF receivers... I will relay something that happened to me. I started in R/C with that receiver and a Skyport 4 in a trainer. After I soloed and was doing OK, , I had a suspicious crash with that 127DF in the plane. I passed it off as pilot error. (after I got raised eyebrows from the "peanut gallery" when I said, "man....... it's like I took a hit"). That seems to be a well worn statement!!! Anyway, I lost a second plane on the first flight of 2002. I was using a different radio because I bought a Skyport 6 but I used the NEW 127DF in a different plane. Again.... I was still not that good, AND "winter thumbs" was accepted by me as a possible cause of yet another suspicious crash!!!
During last summer I was flying and the plane seemed out of "my control". The glitch didn't last long, and didn't get too bad..... but something happened I did not like. No one was even at the field with my channel 50. Sooooooo, I bought a new Hitec flight pack with 425BB servos. I think the TX is a 3500?? . Anyway........ so far, so good. Nothing suspicious since then. I was going to put that old 127DF in an LT-25 I am building for my son. The key word here is WAS. After reading the thread that was refered to above I changed my mind.
That is why I am thinking of a new radio now, AND the new RX and servos. (good excuse to buy a new radio.... I need a new receiver and some servos)!! ..... lownslo

PS. I am thinking of Hitec now.... but I want to make sure the servos in the deal are NOT the 422's. If I stay with Futaba I want to make sure the 127DF and 3001 servos are not the items that come with the radio choice.
Unfortunatly..... I don't know anything about these FM/PPM ? and PCM ? receivers and how compatable they would be if I needed to "fall back" on my old Skyport 6 TX, temporarely, in case of an unseen problem. (repair... dead battery, etc.)

Thanks again for all your input.. lownslo ..Bob
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Old 02-20-2003, 03:04 PM
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Default Futaba 6XAS... pros? cons?

I've never had any problems with a 127DF except one and that was because it was in a crash. It still worked after the crash but the engine vibration caused the servos to jump. Remember the 127DF is on the bottom end of the spectra for price, performance and reliability but if you ask me they are still great recievers.

As for the T6XAS I used one all last summer and for a first computer radio it is a good one to use. The only con I think it has is it lacks alot of mixing. It doesn't take long to use up all the mixing options. I've since upgraded to the 9C which will give me more mixes and more features to use.

I think the T6XAS would be a great radio to use... and if you don't want to use a 127DF go the next step up and go with a 148DF. They have 8 channels and the rx is half the size of the 127DF. You could even go with PCM recievers but I don't think you need too.

PS. If you have indeed had problems using the 127DF on channel 50 at your field and your looking to buy a new transmitter if I were you I'd buy another channel because it may be something on that freq and your field. You may have to buy new crystals or your planes but that's better than buying all new rx's if indeed that is the problem. I can tell you I've flown on channel 59 there are Greenwood with 127DF rx's and had no problems.
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Old 02-20-2003, 05:31 PM
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Default Re: Futaba 6XAS... pros? cons?

Originally posted by lownslo
I am thinking of the Futaba 6XAS model. Can anyone eloborate on their thoughts and experiences on this radio?
This old goat got back into RC again after a 14 year lapse. The 6XA and 6XAS was the most popular at our field. The price was right ($230) and much cheaper than my Kraft's, Pro-Line's Heathkits etc. The newer radios look gaudy. I miss the manual trims. I use very few of the computer functions. A built in timer would be nice. Have had mine two years and use it with two models. No problems. No regrets, however am considering the Hitec Flash 5 as my next radio just for electrics and I like to try different brands.

Rich Sanchez
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Old 02-20-2003, 06:42 PM
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Default Futaba 6XAS... pros? cons?

Rich,
You do know that the 6XAS does have manual trims, don't you?

Oh, and no matter what some guy from R/C Report rants about, if the thousands of modelers out there flying the 127DF aren't having difficulties with them, I wouldn't exactly classify it as worthless ballast. I trust my $1000+ planes with it and so do others.
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Old 02-20-2003, 07:54 PM
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Default Futaba 6XAS... pros? cons?

The guy from R/C Reports is Pete Waters who owns KMI up in Michigan. He is one of the most respected of service techs in the business and every bit as reputable as Tony Stillman. Maybe even more so. Judge for yourself. I used to fly Futaba radios for years. Back to 1970 in fact. I still do but not the particular receiver. And my planes don't even cost that much.

Good Luck.
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