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2.4 GHz - A Broad Market Review

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Old 07-19-2007, 11:52 AM
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Default 2.4 GHz - A Broad Market Review

2.4 GHz AIRCRAFT SYSTEMS
A BROAD MARKET REVIEW
by Ed Anderson
aeajr on the forums

This broad market review is provided to help prospective 2.4 GHz users understand what is going on in the market. As each of the 2.4 GHz brands uses a different communication standard, they are not compatible with each other. This mean that a decision to move into the 2.4 GHz is also a decision to use oneof these 2.4 GHz implementations. I am going to examine what factors might influence one's decision to go with one or the other.

It seems the 2.4 GHz airplane radio system market is growing fast. New flyers are adopting it quickly and existing pilots seem to be very interested in moving to this new environment for its promised safety and perhaps its faster response. Manufacturers are now incorporating 2.4 GHz into RTF models. In my opinion, 2.4 GHz is not the wave of the future, it is the wave of today.

If we look at the currently available players we see Futaba, Extreme Power Systems and Spektrum. JR is shipping 2.4 GHz systems based on the Spektrum standard, so I will group them with Spektrum.

If we look at forum buzz as a market indicator Spektrum/JR appears to be the dominant player with complete radio systems, announced transmitter modules for JR and Futaba and a wide selection of receivers. Spektrum has been shipping 2.4 GHz radio control systems for several years and has a large user base in airplane and RC cars and boats. Spektrum products are available from a variety of hobby stores and internet sites.

XPS started shipping in April 2007. They would seem to be a distant second with a broad selection of transmitter modules and a couple of receivers. They are sold from the XPS web site only as far as I can determine.

Futaba started shipping an entry level 6 channel transmitter/receiver combo around April as well. They have announced upgrade modules for Futaba module based transmitters but they have not started shipping as of this writing.

I am not going to focus on the specifics of their respective technologies except as to how it would impact a user. They all seem to be getting good reports so it appears they all work. While there are more problem reports on Spektrum, their installed base is huge compared to XPS or Futaba so you would expect to see more problem reports. I don't see this as a negative indicator and reports are that Spektrum is doing a good job with customer service.

Note that high carbon content fuselages and some metallic coverings have always been a problem as these can block radio signals. For 72 MHz, where the receiver antenna is around 40 inches, this has been something that can be managed as the antenna can easily be routed outside the plane. On 2.4 GHz systems the antennas are tiny. Users are trying a variety of methods to get around the carbon fuselage issue. If your planes don't have carbon or metal fuselages, this is not an issue, but if they do, be aware that it could interfere with the 2.4 GHz signal. Do some reading to see what is working and what is not. Make sure you do careful range checks before you fly to insure you have good signal and no dead zones where the signal is blocked.


XPS - Extreme Power Systems
www.extremepowersystems.net

XPS chose to go after the larger plane and experienced flyer market first. They are only selling after market transmitter modules. They are not offering an XPS transmitter. So, their target market is upgrade modules for existing owners who have module based systems. This addresses the mid market to high end users and really does not address the entry level market at all.

XPS initial offering is based on 8-10 channel receivers and a receiver design that calls for a little more room in the plane than the other brands. If you are flying glow, gas, medium to larger electrics and gliders with large spaces in the fuselage, it seems that XPS has options for you. However if your transmitter is not module based, or if you are buying your first radio, you can't choose XPS. While XPS modules have more brand transmitter coverage than Spektrum, you have to buy someone else's midrange to high end transmitter first in order to adopt the XPS standard.

XPS has been more willing to share range specs than the others. They have a small 6 channel receiver coming that looks good, from a specs and a price point of view. The published specs say 1500 foot rated air range. That would be great for most planes under 60 inch wing spans which is a huge part of the market, especially the electric market. For planes larger than that, their larger receivers will probably fit and do a good job.

For most slope gliders under 2M, the bulk of the slope market, the 6 channel will probably be fine. For other gliders the XPS receivers could be a problem either for size or range. For hand launched gliders their new 6 channel may or may not fit and have enough range. For thermal duration gliders that are 1.7 M or larger the 6 channel probably does not have enough range. For these larger gliders, it remains to be seen if the 8 and 10 channel XPS receivers will fit in many of the narrow fuselages, but range does not appear to be an issue.

XPS seems to handle low voltage receiver pack or BEC issues better than Spektrum. Specs suggest that the XPS systems are faster to reboot if the pack has a momentary drop below a critical voltage level. This can occur if servos demand a lot of amperage causing a sag in the receiver pack or BEC voltage. I don't know how Futaba handles this.

XPS also promises 2 way telemetry in the future. That could be a nice plus for XPS users.

XPS uses a channel hopping approach to frequency management. They say that they can have over 100 simultaneous users. With XPS you are highly unlikely to get locked out due to the radio slots being all used up by XPS system users. Even at large events with a hundred or more pilots, some will be on XPS, some on other 2.4 GHz standards and some on 72 Mhz. Available channel space for XPS users should not be a problem.

If another major radio provider, like Hitec or Airtronics were to announce alignment with XPS that could be a big boost for XPS market share and acceptance across a broader range of users. You could then buy a transmitter that is XPS based. Or, if retailers were to sell new transmitters with XPS modules then you could buy a Hitec Optic 6 or a Futaba 9C, for example, with an XPS module rather than a 72 MHz channel module. It will be interesting to see what develops in the market.


SPEKTRUM
www.spektrumrc.com

Spektrum targeted the parkflyer and micro heli market first when they released their DX6. New RC pilots could buy a cost effective 6 channel computer radio with a good range of features as their first transmitters and have no frequency control issues to worry about. Reports suggest that this is the fastest growing part of the market and one that will readily adopt a new standard so this was a good starting point for building a new installed base. Once satisfied with the Spektrum system these new flyers would likely stay with the Spektrum standard. Based on forum buzz, the DX6 is still selling well as the price is holding up with little discounting being seen.

The follow on DX7 works with the 6 channel DX6 receiver so there is an upgrade path within the Spektrum label for those who want more channels and more features. Now that JR has adopted the Spektrum standard, you can buy a full range of transmitters that will work with Spektrum receivers.

If you are a new flyer, or if you are flying small planes or tight fuselages, Spektrum has a wide selection of receivers going from micro receivers to 9 channel multi-receiver offerings. With JR adopting the Spektrum standard and modules for Futaba coming out, Spektrum's base can expand even further. Spektrum has established itself as THE dominant standard in the 2.4 GHz airplane/heli market. They also have a major position in the RC car market. It is unlikely that Spektrum will be the only major standard, but it will certainly be one of the main standards.

Reports suggest that Spektrum's receivers are more vulnerable to low voltage pack problems as their receivers are comparatively slow to reboot and reacquire the transmitter signal. However, now that this is known, with proper planning this should not be a major issue as you should take it into account in your installation. While they have been resistant to releasing any numbers on receiver ranges, the user community has been active in establishing some acceptable ranges for their receivers. Seems Spektrum has been conservative in their marketing information and their receivers can be pushed out further than would have been initially suggested.

Spektrum's channel management approach limits their system to 40 simultaneous users. While this number seems large compared to typical pilot population at the field, as 2.4 GHz becomes the standard and frequency control starts to go away, will Spektrum users be locked out at large events? While you might only have 5 Spektrum pilots in the air at one time, you could easily have more than 40 Spektrum users at an event. If you have 40 Spektrum based transmitters turned on in the pits, will you be locked out from flying even as you approach the line? Again, we can expect that many pilots will be on other standards, but will this become an issue in the future? It is something to consider if you frequent large events.

FUTABA

What of Futaba? It is too soon to tell. There don't seem to be that many 6EX 2.4 GHz systems out there yet. Those who have them seem to report that they work well but many are dissatisfied with the features of the transmitter and the price for the features provided. However this does give Futaba an entry level system for new buyers, though more expensive than the Spektrum DX6. If you take the price of servos into account, it is about the price of the DX7 but with a vastly more limited feature set than the DX7.

We really can't rule Futaba out as they are a major force in the market. They are just a bit late and slow to get up to speed and their prices are higher than Spektrum or XPS for the features delivered. Futaba seems to be focused on Futaba customers at this time as they have made no announcements of modules for other brands. Once they get rolling, they may become a major player in this 2.4 GHz market. I am sure their technology is good, but will it be niche, like PCM, or will it become a market standard. Only time will tell. If Hitec, or someone, else were to adopt the Futaba standard that would be a huge boost for their market position. This is the dark horse player at this time.


A Personal Prospective

As an experienced flyer who already owns two module based transmitters, I like that XPS is available for just about anything including my Futaba 9C and my Hitec Prism 7X. If I go with the XPS standard and want to move to an EVO, Hitec, JR or something else in the future, my XPS receivers would work with those transmitters. The fast reboot of their receivers and the promise of two way communications between receiver and transmitter is very attractive.

I like that Spektrum has such a large user base, as there IS safety in numbers. However that could be a lock out issue looming for the future. And they don't have a module for my Hitec transmitter. They have full range as well as micro receivers so they have receivers for each of my planes. With JR on board, this standard is well established.

I fly a Futaba 9C but do not consider Futaba as one of my likely choices based on price, availability and the fact that I would be locked in to a Futaba brand for any transmitter upgrades. Futaba could become the PCM of the 2.4 GHz world, maybe better but brand specific. That does not interest me at this time.

If I was going to buy today, I would buy Spektrum based on the selection of receivers and the ability to fit their receivers in my planes. My electric planes tend to be small and light. Some of my gliders have really tight fuselages and I will need LOTS of range for the gliders. Spektrum has receivers that meet these size, and range specs.

Your needs will be different, but I hope this summary is useful in your choice. They all seem to work well enough to be considered for your next purchase. It is just a matter of what works best for you.

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Old 07-19-2007, 01:28 PM
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Default RE: 2.4 GHz - A Broad Market Review

Thank you for compiling and presenting this information in an easy to understand, converstional format while keeping personal biases out.

You eliminated much of my confusion!!
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Old 07-19-2007, 01:39 PM
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Default RE: 2.4 GHz - A Broad Market Review

That was the idea. Glad you found it useful.
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Old 07-19-2007, 04:49 PM
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Default RE: 2.4 GHz - A Broad Market Review

I'm amazed that none of the RC press has picked up on the fact that Futaba's FAAST system is *not* one
standard system. There are multiple incompatible FAAST systems!

The Futaba FAAST modules for the Super 9C will *not* control the three R606FS FAAST receivers that work
with my Futaba 6EX w/2.4GHz FASST system, and the two extra receivers I purchased for it.

For more information about this lack of support, see:

http://2.4gigahertz.com/modules/modules-receivers.html

And also see:

http://2.4gigahertz.com/faq/faq-6ex-2_4ghz-q902.html

Older Futaba FAAST receivers are already being left behind by the FAAST modules for the Super 9C. This really
makes me mad.

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Old 07-19-2007, 05:13 PM
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Default RE: 2.4 GHz - A Broad Market Review

Spektrum has a similar situation in that their AR6000, sold with the DX6 will work with the DX7, but not with their modules.

I don't know if the 7C 2.4 GHz will work with the R606FS or if it is a total orphan.
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Old 07-19-2007, 06:06 PM
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Default RE: 2.4 GHz - A Broad Market Review


ORIGINAL: aeajr

Spektrum has a similar situation in that their AR6000, sold with the DX6 will work with the DX7, but not with their modules.

I don't know if the 7C 2.4 GHz will work with the R606FS or if it is a total orphan.

At least Spektrum makes it clear which receivers are DSM1 and which are DSM2.

Futaba does not mention that there is a FAAST1 and a FAAST2, at least, which is
misleading. They call them all FAAST, which makes a consumer think that the
transmitters and receivers will all play together. How many incompatible FAAST
implementations are there? I now know of at least two.

I feel like a fool for spending $90 a piece for the Futaba 6 channel FAAST receivers
which won't work with the FAAST module for my Super 9C. If I had know that they'd
be orphaned a month after I purchased them, I sure would not have purchased them.

Chris Shaker
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Old 07-19-2007, 07:07 PM
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Default RE: 2.4 GHz - A Broad Market Review

Chris,

I understand your frustration. At least if you have the 6EX you can still use them, or sell them with the 6EX as a package. Not what you wanted but at least it is an option.
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Old 07-19-2007, 07:27 PM
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Default RE: 2.4 GHz - A Broad Market Review

For the R606FS
This is the Futaba R606FS 2.4GHz FASST 6-Channel
Park Flyer to Giant Scale Aircraft Receiver.
Compatible with the Futaba 6EX, 12FG, 12Z and 14MZ 2.4GHz systems.
NOT compatible with the Futaba 7U, 7C, 8U, 9C or 9Z systems.

The R607FS which has one more channel and is the exact same size, weight and costs only $10 more will work with all FASST transmitter combinations. The R607FS is supposed to be available next month.
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Old 07-19-2007, 08:52 PM
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Default RE: 2.4 GHz - A Broad Market Review



At least Spektrum makes it clear which receivers are DSM1 and which are DSM2.


And Futaba has a [link=http://2.4gigahertz.com/modules/modules-receivers.html]chart[/link] showing which receivers will work with which modules. How much clearer could it be?

Later;

D.W.
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Old 07-19-2007, 09:08 PM
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ORIGINAL: d_wheel



At least Spektrum makes it clear which receivers are DSM1 and which are DSM2.


And Futaba has a [link=http://2.4gigahertz.com/modules/modules-receivers.html]chart[/link] showing which receivers will work with which modules. How much clearer could it be?

Later;

D.W.
Good chart. It shows that the current receiver works with the 12 and 14 channel module systems but not the 7, 8 or 9 channel systems. Seems a bit odd to me. Do you know why?

Is there also a chart that shows which transmitters each receiver will work with? Will the current R606FS work with the 7C 2.4 GHz or the 12 FG 2.4 GHz?

Funny that there is no 9C 2.4 GHz system offered. I guess that will come later.
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Old 07-19-2007, 10:09 PM
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ORIGINAL: aeajr


ORIGINAL: d_wheel



At least Spektrum makes it clear which receivers are DSM1 and which are DSM2.


And Futaba has a [link=http://2.4gigahertz.com/modules/modules-receivers.html]chart[/link] showing which receivers will work with which modules. How much clearer could it be?

Later;

D.W.
Good chart. It shows that the current receiver works with the 12 and 14 channel module systems but not the 7, 8 or 9 channel systems. Seems a bit odd to me. Do you know why? They use different technology much like there is a difference between DSM1 and DSM2 which are only one way interchangeable.

Is there also a chart that shows which transmitters each receiver will work with? Will the current R606FS work with the 7C 2.4 GHz or the 12 FG 2.4 GHz? I guess you didn't read post #8 above which is from their tech notes on Tower's site. Answer is still "NO" for the 7C and "YES" for the 12FG. Did you actually look at the chart?

Funny that there is no 9C 2.4 GHz system offered. I guess that will come later.The 9C is a MODULE radio. 2.4 GHz modules are scheduled for release later this year. BAX has replied in several threads that there is no intention of a dedicated 2.4 9C system, only a module based system.
Funny that you claim to be non-biased because I see little but bias in your writings. Of course you are entitled to that. Just be honest about it.
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Old 07-19-2007, 10:24 PM
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Default RE: 2.4 GHz - A Broad Market Review

ORIGINAL: bruce88123


ORIGINAL: aeajr


ORIGINAL: d_wheel



At least Spektrum makes it clear which receivers are DSM1 and which are DSM2.


And Futaba has a [link=http://2.4gigahertz.com/modules/modules-receivers.html]chart[/link] showing which receivers will work with which modules. How much clearer could it be?

Later;

D.W.
Good chart. It shows that the current receiver works with the 12 and 14 channel module systems but not the 7, 8 or 9 channel systems. Seems a bit odd to me. Do you know why? They use different technology much like there is a difference between DSM1 and DSM2 which are only one way interchangeable.

Is there also a chart that shows which transmitters each receiver will work with? Will the current R606FS work with the 7C 2.4 GHz or the 12 FG 2.4 GHz? I guess you didn't read post #8 above which is from their tech notes on Tower's site. Answer is still "NO" for the 7C and "YES" for the 12FG. Did you actually look at the chart?

Funny that there is no 9C 2.4 GHz system offered. I guess that will come later.The 9C is a MODULE radio. 2.4 GHz modules are scheduled for release later this year. BAX has replied in several threads that there is no intention of a dedicated 2.4 9C system, only a module based system.
Funny that you claim to be non-biased because I see little but bias in your writings. Of course you are entitled to that. Just be honest about it.
I did not go back throught this thread or any other thread to see if anyone else had posted information related to your post. I asked you if there was a chart for the purpose built radios. Thanks for the info and the sarchasm.


I made no claim of being biased or unbiased. Where did you read that?

I have no interest in any of the systems and I don't own any of them. I just gather, digest information for my own use as I plan to go to 2.4 GHz some time later in the year and need to decide which will meet my needs. When I gain a lot of information, I sometimes present that informatoin for the benefit of others. I just call 'em as I see 'em.

I welcome the info you provide as well, despite the sarchasm.


BTW, the chart is for module systems ONLY and says NOTHING about what will work with the purpose built transmitters. Did YOU read the chart?


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Old 07-20-2007, 01:50 AM
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Default RE: 2.4 GHz - A Broad Market Review

It could be a hell of a lot clearer. They could define the different incompatible levels or versions of FAAST, as
Spektrum has done with DSM1 and DSM2, instead of lying by omission. By not documenting different versions
or implementations of FAAST, Futaba has fostered the illusion that its FAAST products are one standard, and
will all play together. That is certainly what I thought when I purchased their products a month ago.

That chart didn't seem to be referenced anywhere in the online documentation for the 6 channel Futaba FAAST
system when I purchased it, nor in any of the documentation for the extra receivers that I purchased for it.
I didn't notice any such information in the glowing articles about the Futaba 6 channel FAAST radio set I
purchased, either.

I was unhappily surprised to find that chart in the online Tower web page just before ordering the module that
would not have worked with my brand new FAAST receivers. Did you know about the chart before I pointed it
out in my post?

All of my radios up to this point have been Futaba. That is more likely to change now.

Chris Shaker



ORIGINAL: d_wheel



At least Spektrum makes it clear which receivers are DSM1 and which are DSM2.


And Futaba has a [link=http://2.4gigahertz.com/modules/modules-receivers.html]chart[/link] showing which receivers will work with which modules. How much clearer could it be?

Later;

D.W.
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Old 07-20-2007, 06:14 AM
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Default RE: 2.4 GHz - A Broad Market Review

I first saw that chart about 6 weeks ago, if memory serves, but I can't be sure.

Yes there seems to be two FASST implemntations but, unlike Spektrum, they don't seem to be generational. DSM was replaced by DSM 2. Here we have a case of a standard that works with their 6, 12 and 14 channel systems and another standard that works with their 7, 8 and 9 channel systems. I can't even imagine how that would work.

Since there is not going to be a 9C 2.4 GHz, one would theroize that the 9C is up for replacemet by some new model in the near future.
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Old 07-20-2007, 06:47 AM
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Good chart. It shows that the current receiver works with the 12 and 14 channel module systems but not the 7, 8 or 9 channel systems. Seems a bit odd to me. Do you know why?

Is there also a chart that shows which transmitters each receiver will work with? Will the current R606FS work with the 7C 2.4 GHz or the 12 FG 2.4 GHz?
It gave me all the information I needed to make a choice. Can't see how it could be plainer.

Later;

D.W.
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Old 07-20-2007, 08:17 AM
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Default RE: 2.4 GHz - A Broad Market Review

Actually my concern is not anything to do with compatible or not receivers.

What is missed in this layout is that dedicated 2.4gHz ground up DSM2 radios bring features that benefit flyers in a big way and are totally missing in all of the module radio conversions (including Spektrum modules). Futaba did not see any value in making the features like model match and smart safe (when you turn on the rx first) features in their radios which might be due to their using chip designs not originally for RC. To me these things offer way more value than the simiple 2.4 freq thing. The JR 9 channel is not a module system so it does bring those features with it as well.

I think it would have been good to point these issues out in your comparision. Extreme is also just a module frequency upgrade so it leaves itself a generation or two behind the DSM2 radios. I think these should be important considerations to someone making a decision.

Thanks for your writeup, it has obviously given people something to think about.

J

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Old 07-20-2007, 08:20 AM
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Default RE: 2.4 GHz - A Broad Market Review


ORIGINAL: cjshaker

Did you know about the chart before I pointed it
out in my post?
Yes, I have known about it for some time now. It's what I used to make my latest purchase decision.

Later;

D.W.
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Old 07-20-2007, 08:48 AM
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ORIGINAL: aeajr

I have no interest in any of the systems and I don't own any of them. I just gather, digest information for my own use as I plan to go to 2.4 GHz some time later in the year and need to decide which will meet my needs. When I gain a lot of information, I sometimes present that informatoin for the benefit of others. I just call 'em as I see 'em.
I see where you are coming from with your report, however it is all based on second hand information and manufacture hype. It is impossible to remain unbiased with this type of reporting because you do not know how biased the original items your report was based on were. I feel that a report by someone who HAS used all of the present systems would be much more useful. If I had the writing skills to do so, it would be an interesting project. However, I know my limitations and also know that it would be biased somewhat.

All I can say is what I have said before. I have used all 3 systems, and have decided to go with Futaba for my use. Their scheme of things appears to be the most robust, uses hardware dedicated to model use, and is based on their years of experience in the field. And (here comes the bias portion ) theirs is the only module based system that will allow me to make full use of my 14mz transmitter.

Later;

D.W.
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Old 07-20-2007, 10:02 AM
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Default RE: 2.4 GHz - A Broad Market Review

So, DW, did you buy your 14Mz 72mhz Tx before you decided to go Futaba 2.4 or not? If yes, then your opinion is probably so biased as to be worthless. If I'd laid out a few grand on a TX a year or so back, there's no way I'd suddenly dump it in favour of a rival manufacturer, I'd stick with it, as you have.

And aeajr - thanks for the summary, most informative. I didn't notice any anti Futaba bias.
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Old 07-20-2007, 10:58 AM
  #20  
flyingfever
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Default RE: 2.4 GHz - A Broad Market Review

Wow!

I was all wound up and ready to go spend some money on a new radio system.

Now I guess I'll keep my wallet in my pocket. At least for the near term.[&o]

On the up side, at least it is never boring!

Fever
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Old 07-20-2007, 01:04 PM
  #21  
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Default RE: 2.4 GHz - A Broad Market Review

How did you find out about the chart?

I have purchased two Futaba FAAST systems so far, the ground based system for use in
my boats, and the 6EX FAAST system for my helis and foamies. I never saw that chart
nor the different versions of FAAST mentioned before those purchases.

None of of the articles on these new radios I read seemed to mention that fact, either.
If I'm wrong, I'd appreciate being pointed to articles that mentioned the incompatibility,
or the different versions of FAAST for airplanes.

I purchased both radios from my local hobby shop, D's Hobbies, in Bend, OR, and they also
knew nothing about the incompatibility or different versions of FAAST before I pointed it out
to them.

As I said, I only found out about the incompatibility and the different versions of FAAST from
the chart from the Tower Hobbies web site the night I was going to order the FAAST module
for my Super 9C.

So I am very curious about how you found out about the different versions of FAAST, and
how you found out about the web site.

It'd be interesting to see how many forum readers knew about the different versions of FAAST,
and the incompatibilities before reading about it in these forums.

Chris Shaker



ORIGINAL: d_wheel


ORIGINAL: cjshaker

Did you know about the chart before I pointed it
out in my post?
Yes, I have known about it for some time now. It's what I used to make my latest purchase decision.

Later;

D.W.
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Old 07-20-2007, 07:26 PM
  #22  
aeajr
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Default RE: 2.4 GHz - A Broad Market Review


ORIGINAL: flyingfever

Wow!

I was all wound up and ready to go spend some money on a new radio system.

Now I guess I'll keep my wallet in my pocket. At least for the near term.[&o]

On the up side, at least it is never boring!

Fever

Flyingfever,

What were you planning to buy and what has caused you to put it on hold?

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Old 07-20-2007, 08:17 PM
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Default RE: 2.4 GHz - A Broad Market Review


ORIGINAL: cjshaker

How did you find out about the chart?
I don't remember for sure. Probably did a google for fasst module.

Later;

D.W.
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Old 07-20-2007, 08:55 PM
  #24  
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Default RE: 2.4 GHz - A Broad Market Review

Look at this site and note that is says the F7C is compatable with the 606 Rx http://2.4gigahertz.com/systems/futk7000.html so that suggests that the others will be also.
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Old 07-20-2007, 10:12 PM
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Don J
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Default RE: 2.4 GHz - A Broad Market Review

Ed,

Thanks for the breakdown on some of the different manufacturers!
Nice to see it in one place versus endless searching on the web!
I have been watching some of the 2.4 Ghz systems this year and will take the plunge eventually.
Just not right now.
I feel Spread Spectrum is a great move for the R/C world, but at 2.4 Ghz
I feel the RF portion will have a few hurdles to overcome.
I think there will be great improvements to come.
This could be Futaba's reason for falling behind.
Anyway thanks again for your post, it has cleared up a few questions for me!

Don J
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