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At a crossroad, Stay with Airtronics or change to Futaba!

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Old 03-30-2002, 04:34 PM
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wringitout
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Default At a crossroad, Stay with Airtronics or change to Futaba!

I have only used Airtronics as long as I have been flying RC and have had good success with them. I have always used the lower priced 6 channel Vanguard radios for the type of models I have been flying. I am now begining to upgrade my models to the larger and more aerobatic type of models which demand a more complex radio system. I have never owned any other type of radio so I don't have any experience to rely on. After doing research, I have come up with two choices. One is the Airtronics RD6000 Super 6 channel PPM at $319.99 at Tower Hobbies and the other is the Futaba 9CAF 9 Channel FM at $379.99 at Tower Hobbies. They both look good to me. In reading some of the other threads in this forum it looks like the Futaba might be the better radio. One of our club members, who is a Futaba man, did say that he preferred the older 8 channel Futaba radio than the new Futaba 9CAF. He said that he did not like the 9CAF programing knob on the right side of the radio. I don't know anything about Futaba radios but I am leaning to switch to the Futaba 9CAF. Can any of you give me your opinion about these two radios? Also, your experience on the programing of the Futaba vs the Airtronics, especially the Futaba 9CAF will be greatly appreciated.

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Old 03-30-2002, 04:45 PM
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Default At a crossroad, Stay with Airtronics or change to Futaba!

Wringitout;
If you have Airtronics equipment why switch? RD6000 is a superb 6 Ch Radio with all the features of the High end Futaba's. Programming is straight forward nothing hidden and it holds 8 Aircraft memory. Owning 13 Airtronics radios, I guess i am a little biased but not really. I've purchased Futaba(6XAS) for my Son-in-law and grandson, but only because majority of the members at his field had Futaba and it was easier to help him with a trainer cord while I visited.
Do you have a Need for all the Bell and whistles of the 9 Ch Futaba? Especially when the 6 Ch will work for you with all of it's options currently available.
If you want another Radio or Radios in the mix look at the Hitec Spectra it has a synthesized Reciever so you need not worry about who's on your freq. and it's a 7 Channel and in your price range. It as well as Airtronics will work with your current equipment as well as JR and Futaba.
Multiplex Cockpit is another very nice radio but the price is a tad spendy,

Personally I wouldn't change stay with what you know Airtronics!
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Old 03-30-2002, 05:29 PM
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Default At a crossroad, Stay with Airtronics or change to Futaba!

The RD6000 is great. I've never used a radio that is so straight forward to program. It's got more features than other 6 channels radios.

My suggestion is something that's worked well for me. Shop for an Airtronics Stylus or JR8103 in the swapshop here. You're talking about spending $300-$400 bucks, and you can easily pick up either of those in great condition. They'll work with your existing receivers, which depending on how many you have might be a significant advantage.
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Old 03-30-2002, 05:50 PM
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Default At a crossroad, Stay with Airtronics or change to Futaba!

I would recommend that you go with the Futaba 9C. I think it is a lot better then the RD6000. The RD6000 and the 9C aren’t really even in the same class. The 9C is a lot more flexible then the RD6000. You can do more with the build in programming easer.
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Old 03-30-2002, 06:16 PM
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Default At a crossroad, Stay with Airtronics or change to Futaba!

Well Brian;
I see now your biased, typical brain washing by Futaba. You better go look at the features of a RD6000 Super before making comments like that. www.airtronics.net Brian The Stylist blows the Futaba 9 out of the water! : )


Mike;
Your right about everything on the Stylist but one thing the Stylist won't work with the Old **985 Receivers. I may be off a number on that receiver, but i know that the ones that came with my Quantum and Vision and Spectra's some wouldn't work. But all the Hitec and FMA, Futaba,JR's receivers do.
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Old 03-30-2002, 06:26 PM
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Chris 540
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Default At a crossroad, Stay with Airtronics or change to Futaba!

The Stylus sure is ugly!!

How old is it?? Doesn't even have a digital battery readout??

I don't like that add on card system either...

Chris
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Old 03-30-2002, 06:30 PM
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Default At a crossroad, Stay with Airtronics or change to Futaba!

LOL Chris;
Looks are deceiving aren't they? BTW the PCMCIA Cards are a fabulous feature, 50 Acft memory, Advanced Acro, Advanced Heli. The list goes on. Dang maybe I should get a sponsorship the way I talk up there radio's.
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Old 03-30-2002, 06:45 PM
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Chris 540
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Default At a crossroad, Stay with Airtronics or change to Futaba!

How much are the cards? Just seems like a way for airtronics to make more money...
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Old 03-30-2002, 06:48 PM
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Default At a crossroad, Stay with Airtronics or change to Futaba!

Chris ;
Memory card was about $70. The Special additional feature cards were about $100. little less but not much.
My Stylist is less than 2 years old.
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Old 03-30-2002, 07:23 PM
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Default At a crossroad, Stay with Airtronics or change to Futaba!

I wouldn't trade my Stylus for anythig else!

Alan Angus
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Old 03-30-2002, 08:33 PM
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Default At a crossroad, Stay with Airtronics or change to Futaba!

Well, I went through this exact thought process about a year ago, when I decided to get back into RC after a 10yr hiatus. Having a good stock pile of Airtronics gear (3 Vanguard TXs and hordes of RXs and servos), I was very tempted to stay with them. But when I looked at what Air has currently, I was very disappointed. The Stylus was unchanged from when I left RC 10 yrs ago. The only TX I considered then was the RD6000 super - but it is still a 6ch radio. This ruled out any possibility of quad servo wing with an onboard glow driver, which is a setup I've grown very fond of.

I finally went with a Hitec Eclipse with Spectra, TX only. This allowed me fly my old Air gear as well as other new RXs I buy from now on. I was happily learning to program my new 7ch radio when 3months later BAMMM!!!! Futaba came out with the 9C. I didn't even think twice before I went down to my LHS and ordered one - compatibility be damned.

Needless to say, my Eclipse doesn't get used much nowadays except to fly my old Air gear, which I use on my sailplane and electrics.

I'm not steering you toward any particular brand, just telling you my thought process. The one thing I will tell you is that if you are letting your stockpile dictate your choice of newer TX - DON'T. You'd missing out on a lot of very good choices.
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Old 03-31-2002, 06:49 AM
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Default At a crossroad, Stay with Airtronics or change to Futaba!

Originally posted by Scorpionjack
Mike;
Your right about everything on the Stylist but one thing the Stylist won't work with the Old **985 Receivers. I may be off a number on that receiver, but i know that the ones that came with my Quantum and Vision and Spectra's some wouldn't work. But all the Hitec and FMA, Futaba,JR's receivers do.
His Vanguard 6s likely didn't work with that form of PCM either.

The really unique and cool thing about the Stylus is the cards. I saw someone comment about it being old and not even having a digital battery readout. Well... the analog battery readout works just as well as the digital. The Stylus has been kept up to date with new versions of feature cards that keep coming out. Truth be told, it's a far more capable radio than the midrange 9C. It just doesn't have a jog dial. Gotta give those Futaba marketing boys some credit; they've sure sold a lot of radios with gimicks.

The only reason I didn't go with a Stylus is that I couldn't find a used one at the time. I'm happy with my 8103, but some of the capabilities of the Stylus still have me drooling. Especially stick switches. Argh...

It's too bad Airtronics doesn't have Futaba's marketing gang. They probably figured that with such a great product, they didn't need them. Too bad.

Of course, than it'd have a little jog dial too!
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Old 04-01-2002, 05:26 AM
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Default At a crossroad, Stay with Airtronics or change to Futaba!

Well, I'll have to admit, the jogdial is very nice. But of the many the reasons I had to get the 9C, the single biggest is its ability to switch between Mode 1 thru 4 in software. I fly Mode 3 and only very very few TX supports this. Never bothered me much with the old Vanguards, but these new computer radios don't work well if you plug rudder into the aileron slot.

Marketing muscle certainly helps. But with the features it has and a price tag of $360 complete, the 9C practically sells itself - no help necessary. Futaba's single page ad in the magazine and my subsequent looking up on the Tower website for detail info was all I needed to place an order. Hmm... some marketing muscle.

If Airtronics had anything close in feature and price, I certainly was blind to have missed it.
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Old 04-01-2002, 06:01 AM
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Default At a crossroad, Stay with Airtronics or change to Futaba!

Marketing is far more than advertizing.

The Stylus is really in the feature/price range of the 10X and 9Z.
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Old 04-01-2002, 06:59 AM
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Default At a crossroad, Stay with Airtronics or change to Futaba!

the next radio i want to get is the 9cap, i mean the features that things has are endless!!! lol, but really they are very neat, I've been hearing a lot about these Airtronics radios, but never had any experience with them, have to look more into them.
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Old 04-01-2002, 02:38 PM
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Default At a crossroad, Stay with Airtronics or change to Futaba!

From the looks of it...it wouldn't seem the Stylus could compete with the 10X or 9Z.
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Old 04-01-2002, 04:57 PM
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Default At a crossroad, Stay with Airtronics or change to Futaba!

I'm listing to all of you guys and getting an education. One thing I am looking for in a new radio is its ease in mixing controls like rudder to aileron, etc. Also, the ease in programing the different models. I have been impressed with the amount of knowledge and experience all of you have. I will try to make an intelligent decision in the near future. Thanks for all of your imput.

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Old 04-01-2002, 06:00 PM
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Default At a crossroad, Stay with Airtronics or change to Futaba!

Originally posted by Chris 540
From the looks of it...it wouldn't seem the Stylus could compete with the 10X or 9Z.
Not on the surface. Once you get beyond that and into the details, it becomes fairly obvious. Sometimes finding the right product takes a fair bit of research and reading.
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Old 04-02-2002, 05:28 PM
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Default At a crossroad, Stay with Airtronics or change to Futaba!

I don't know what you guys are talking about. My Stylus has a digital battery voltage readout, and an analog RF meter
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Old 04-02-2002, 07:54 PM
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Default At a crossroad, Stay with Airtronics or change to Futaba!

Well you guys, I finally made up my mind and ordered a radio. I was sent an e-mail from a fellow RC person who was reading this thread and he told me about a web site that I could get the Airtronics RD6000 Super for only $245. This web site is quantummodels.com. (This special price will only last until 11:00 AM 4-3-02). I checked it out and for the special price advertised and, for the things I wanted in a radio for now, I could not pass this special up. I also ordered some other stuff on this web site and, since my order was over $100.00, I didn't even have to pay shipping charges. That was a nice surprize.

To your Futaba folks, I know that Futaba radio's are great radio's with excellent features. I will still be looking to buy one of these radios also in the near future as my needs get more complex. Both radio's are excellent products.

Thanks again for all of your expert advice. It was appreciated.

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Old 04-03-2002, 03:30 AM
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Default Stylus Question

Here is a question that may lift my spirits again. I have also used Airtronics since I started flying years ago. The one major factor for me in staying with them is the excellent customer service, second being the fact that their hq is within driving distance.

Here is my question for any Stylus programing experts, how do I get 8 channels out of my "8" channel transmmiter. The problem I have found with the Stylus, is that you get 7 channels, the 8th is slot on the rx is shared and mix-able, but not a distinct and independant function. ie, if I wanted to control a servo to bomb drop, after I have used up all of the other 7 channel slots on the rx, the Stylus does not give me the option for that "8th" channel option. Is this the case with the JR 10x as well (which is a TX that I am considering for my turbines.

Thanks in advance,

Ray
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Old 04-03-2002, 03:36 AM
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Chris 540
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Default At a crossroad, Stay with Airtronics or change to Futaba!

8 channels doesn't seem very adequate for a top of the line radio. I'm not trying to put down the Airtronics...just pointing things out. What are your thoughts?

Chris
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Old 04-03-2002, 03:55 AM
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Default At a crossroad, Stay with Airtronics or change to Futaba!

Well Chris!
8 Channels really depends on the intention of the user. To have 10 channels for the sake of saying hey! I have 10 channels doesn't say diddly for the radio.

Personally/Primarily I fly F3A, FunFly,Q-500,QM and Dabble in 3D for relaxation. Never have I had to use more than 7 on these but I have with scale, I was always a little nervous putting a 10 Ft B-17 with lights going turrets rotating bomb bay going etc. Just thinking about what I had in it just wasn't fun. So donated it to the Museum. With a FW 190, Dago Red and a P51D.

10 Channels? Naaaah just can't see going to that trouble anymore. Funfly's and Racing don't need that as well 3D.
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Old 04-03-2002, 02:52 PM
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Default At a crossroad, Stay with Airtronics or change to Futaba!

A little late, but I will throw it in.

I have flown Airtronics since I started, 10 years ago already, and while I don't think there is any bad radios of the big 4 in the US, I have always felt Airtronics was top notch.

I flew 3 Quasars/Radiants (still do) , but when they changed to Z connectors and left the old users hanging, it just reminded me why loyalty to company is silly, all they are interested in is how much they can drag out of your pocket.

When I needed more channels than six, the Stylus was out of the running early, I looked at Hitec, even waited until they came out with the eclipse. But in the end I went with JR. The 8103 has more mixing than I ever will use, and feels very comfortable, but the best thing is, on planes set up for my Airtronics I didn't have to touch a thing, all channels were mapped the same. What a plus not to have to dig into 6 or more planes to change the reciever. I still like Airtronics, and a lot of its assesories are less money than JRs by comparison, but thats good, other than charge jacks all that stuff works fine on JR
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Old 04-03-2002, 04:58 PM
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Default At a crossroad, Stay with Airtronics or change to Futaba!

Here's my prefered setup for my .60 and up sport planes:

1. Aileron 1
2. Aileron 2
3. Flap 1
4. Flap 2
5. Elevator 1
6. Elevator 2
7. Rudder
8. Throttle
9. On-board glow driver

I say "prefered" because my 9c doesn't have 9ch on FM. So I've had to use a Y-splitter for 2 elevator servos. The fact is: any time your have a quad servo wing, you need a bare minimum of 7ch's to do any programmed mixes. This doesn't leave a lot of room for other things (retracts, smokes, and onboard glow, etc.) if you only have 8ch. The sailplanes don't need any less ch's, as 6-servo wings are becoming more and more popular. I don't know much about helis, though.

BTW, it's very nice to have on-board glow on a separate ch. slaved to the throttle. This way, I can turn the glow assist on/off and adjust the threshold independent of the throttle servo setting.

No doubt a basic 4ch radio will fly any plane just fine, without all the programming and mixing. But isn't that the very point of buying a more sofiticated computer radio? I wouldn't mind a 10ch radio at all - I can guarantee all 10 would be used up in a jiffy - but to me an 8ch would be the absolute minimum, which is why my practically brand new Eclipse isn't getting a lot of use lately. It has been relegated to park flyer and electrics duty.
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