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Spektrum bad for boats.... Myth or real?

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Spektrum bad for boats.... Myth or real?

Old 09-07-2007, 07:48 AM
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steelydano
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Default Spektrum bad for boats.... Myth or real?

I have heard scattered reports of this radio not liking the water, signal issues. I am skeptical but thought better to ask and hear from the boaters rather than chance it.
Old 09-07-2007, 08:57 AM
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LtDoc
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Default RE: Spektrum bad for boats.... Myth or real?

Mostly myth. The only issue with any 2.4 Ghz radio system is that water penetration isn't very good, so, the 'sub-guys' probably shouldn't use a radio on that band. And like any new product, there were development qwerks, things that 'they' just didn't think of immediately. Those 'qwerks' were corrected. The other manufacturers producing 2.4 Ghz radio systems will also run into those 'qwerks', just something that should be expected with something 'new'.
Aside from all the other features 'Spektrum' radios have is the fact that man-made interference isn't as much of a problem as with systems that use a lower frequency band than 2.4 Ghz. There just isn't that much 'interference' in the microwave bands, especially the way the channel selection is handled.
'Spektrum' (or Futaba, or any of the others) does not produce miracle workers, a 'cure' for all problems. They do make some nice radios though. I can't honestly say that everyone should get one, unless they really need one or two of the systems features and can afford them. Am I absolutely, unconditionally, completely happy with mine? Of course not. There are things that I wish were just a little bit different. Then again, I say that about everything, so big deal...
- 'Doc
Old 09-07-2007, 10:14 AM
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buckshot2104
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Default RE: Spektrum bad for boats.... Myth or real?

the spektrum radio works just fine on my 1/12 scale boats have not had a pob with it at any of the races that i have been at.
Old 09-07-2007, 12:54 PM
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Default RE: Spektrum bad for boats.... Myth or real?

All my scale boats have been converted to Spektrum. Not a single problem with it. I don't have any subs, though.
Old 09-07-2007, 02:33 PM
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Doubledog
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Default RE: Spektrum bad for boats.... Myth or real?

How many run them with a hatch? I'll be using mine (Futaba FASST system) on an Enforcer Team Pro. My radio box is setup to have the Rx sit as high as possible in the top tray and run the wire straight out the top. EVEN then, I'm still only getting 2 inches of wire out the top~! (sorry for using exclimation) but this worries me. My antenna is only 6.5inches long.

My buddy said that these systems work fine and are sort of like an X-ray as they shoot through the glass hull??? Not being one to believe hear-say, I'll believe it when seen for myself. He also mentioned that his system has had issues when it gets lost in a rooster-tail.?

I'm skeptical but have dropped almost three bills on this system with two Rx's.
Old 09-07-2007, 02:38 PM
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Default RE: Spektrum bad for boats.... Myth or real?

Most plastics, GRP, dry wood, are transparent to radio waves at any frequency. Metal acts as a sheild, carbon might.
Old 09-07-2007, 02:52 PM
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Doubledog
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Default RE: Spektrum bad for boats.... Myth or real?

I can respect & understand that statement but it doesn't fully answer the question in regards to having 2 inches of Rx wire sticking out. Would you run it?
Old 09-07-2007, 03:43 PM
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Default RE: Spektrum bad for boats.... Myth or real?

There is no wire sticking out of my hulls.
I have run both boats out 400ft plus and not had a problem with the radio reception.

Both recievers are down in the hulls, at about or just below the water line.
Behind about 2" of pink foam at the bow of the fire boat, or side of the SDM tug.

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Old 09-07-2007, 04:51 PM
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buckshot2104
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Default RE: Spektrum bad for boats.... Myth or real?

i have only 2 inches sticking out on my pro boats and have no problems at all.
Old 09-07-2007, 05:16 PM
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Default RE: Spektrum bad for boats.... Myth or real?

None of my boats have the receiver wire outside of the hull. All of them have the receiver and wire completely under the deck and hidden from view.

If you read up a bit on the technical side of the 2.4Ghz radio it will explain how that is a short radio wave frequency and so requires a short antenna. That is the reason for the shorty antenna wires.
Old 09-07-2007, 06:00 PM
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Default RE: Spektrum bad for boats.... Myth or real?

I, on the other hand, have seen Spectrum radios fail in boats, but not the Futaba FASST systems. I was at a race where a boat went totally out of control and hit the bank in the left hand turn, yet on the stand, the radio worked fine. Next run it was a repeat of the first. Swapped a 75MHZ RX for the 2.4 and had no further problems. No other components were changed other than the RX
Old 09-07-2007, 07:21 PM
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Default RE: Spektrum bad for boats.... Myth or real?


ORIGINAL: Hydro Junkie

I, on the other hand, have seen Spectrum radios fail in boats, but not the Futaba FASST systems. I was at a race where a boat went totally out of control and hit the bank in the left hand turn, yet on the stand, the radio worked fine. Next run it was a repeat of the first. Swapped a 75MHZ RX for the 2.4 and had no further problems. No other components were changed other than the RX
Can you clarify the version of transmitter and reciever in this case?
It would be good to know.
Old 09-07-2007, 10:51 PM
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Ron Olson
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Default RE: Spektrum bad for boats.... Myth or real?

I've seen 2 Spektrum radios fail. One the boat wasn't more than 100 feet away and the other may have been from a RX battery pack dying. I've heard of the early systems having problems with the wires around carbon fiber or tuned pipes. There were other issues weith the early ones also as some curcuits on the boards were hitting the top of the RX case bending them over or breaking them.
Old 09-07-2007, 11:04 PM
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Default RE: Spektrum bad for boats.... Myth or real?

I have always had my eyes pealed for people having issues with the 2.4 systems because I like large/expensive boats and wanted a system where I would never have the risk of someone using my frequency or a failsafe not functioning with a range issue. I would never want an incident due to radio failure - especially with the liability risks associated. Until I read the post by Hydro Junkie I had never read of a boat going out of control by a radio using 2.4ghz and with failsafe set (Did not see mention of if the Failsafe was set in Hydro Junkies incident - be nice if he would verify).

I have never had an issue with any of my Spectrum systems (though sometimes have had delays getting one to bind). I also use the Nomadio Sensor radio and have 97% piece of mind with it (better than the 90% piece of mind I used to have with my PCM radios).

Old 09-08-2007, 12:01 AM
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Default RE: Spektrum bad for boats.... Myth or real?


ORIGINAL: Hydro Junkie

I was at a race where a boat went totally out of control and hit the bank in the left hand turn, yet on the stand, the radio worked fine. Next run it was a repeat of the first.
Was that an IC boat, or an electric boat?
Old 09-08-2007, 02:05 AM
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Default RE: Spektrum bad for boats.... Myth or real?

Sorry, but I can't really give you much info on the radio, but here's what I do know:
driver was on a 4+' platform and roughly 8' above water
Boat was scale 1980 or 1985 Miss Budweiser
TX had mounting molded in for 27/75MHz antenna with 2.4 antenna coming through the back cover
boat was approx 75-100' away from TX and failed to turn or throttle back on command from TX
failsafe did throttle down engine but there wasn't room enough to keep boat from hitting bank
Old 09-08-2007, 02:11 AM
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Default RE: Spektrum bad for boats.... Myth or real?

I really wish the gassers/nitro guys would show pics of their setups.
Old 09-08-2007, 11:08 AM
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Default RE: Spektrum bad for boats.... Myth or real?

If it was a nitro/gas setup, I have heard that the DX6 system was subject to signal reduction if it was blocked by a big chunk of metal. I.E. a big gas engine or exhaust pipe. The newer DX7 system is supposed to be able to get around that problem by use of the second satellite receiver.
Old 09-08-2007, 02:19 PM
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Default RE: Spektrum bad for boats.... Myth or real?

After posting on Jims, it looks like I'll go out the transome. Seems to get more outside the hull & up that way. Will post pics in the next week or two on the Team Pro build thread. Thanks g uys.
Old 09-08-2007, 02:55 PM
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Default RE: Spektrum bad for boats.... Myth or real?

regardless of signal loss with a DSM system, if you have gone thru the proper binding process between the TX and RX ans set the reciever to go full brake when signal is lost you will be good to go. If you just bind them without telling the receiver what to do in the case of a signal loss it will just go to the neutral setting.

All that being said there are about 5 of us that run at a local pond and 3 of the 5 use spektrum and the only issue that we have ever came across was low receiver battery. No runaways and no gliching
Old 09-13-2007, 03:06 AM
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Default RE: Spektrum bad for boats.... Myth or real?

I've been running a futaba FASST radio in my gas mono in big competitions with zero problems. I have no aerial outside the boat and the boat including engine/ pipe cover is made from carbon kevlar and the radio box is carbon fibre with a lexan cover. I leave one aerial inside the box and the other sticks up about 2 inches through the radio box cover inside a piece of silicone tube but this is still completely covered by the C/K cover. I've range tested it on a big lake at approx 300 ft by switching off the tx and switching it back on again. The system goes to failsafe with 20% throttle and then regains the signal almost immediately. This is good enough for me after years of glitches with the gas boats on 40 mhz. I just put all my expensive Multiplex radio equipment up for sale and ordered a FASST FF9 transmitter and a few receivers for all my nitro boats too and I'll buy the 12G when they when they available on FASST next month.

Old 09-13-2007, 07:44 AM
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LtDoc
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Default RE: Spektrum bad for boats.... Myth or real?

Here are my requirements/expectations for a "perfect" radio control system.

1. Affordable! That particular characteristic varies a bit depending on what 'extras' might come with the thing, or it's abilities, or the state of my bank account.
2. Have more control channels that I actually need. One of those 'just in case' thingys, you know?
3. Convenience/user friendliness. If it requires a huge 'learning experience' to be able to operate it I probably won't enjoy using it much. Not that I'm all ~that~ dumb or uncoordinated, but there are times when 'multi-tasking' just ain't my thing. I wanna play, not work!
4. It should be 'common' enough that everyplace has things that will work with it, fix it, or there's someone who can tell me what the $#i^ I'm doing wrong.
5. Reliability. Not much explaining required, is there, within reason? 'Course, my expectations might be a bit unreasonable too.

Those are qualities that probably everyone wants. Anything after that is just an extra 'doo-hicky' that I might like, but isn't really necessary.
The band that a system works on only has significance because of range and interference issues (and legality). The 2.4 Ghz band is nice because it isn't as prone to interference as some other bands (yet). It also has 'qwerks' that make it less than absolutely 'perfect'. So what, they all do. The 'key' there is to adjust to those 'qwerks'.
Does who makes the thing make a huge difference? No. One of those "Ford/Chevy" thingys. If one manufacturer comes up with an idea that sells radios, the other manufacturers will have it too, just a matter of time. (Latest example of that is 'Spektrum'/Futaba!)
The only way to have a "perfect" radio system is to have it custom made and infinitely variable. I'm not holding my breath on that one... neither is my banker.
- 'Doc
Old 09-13-2007, 10:19 AM
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Kmot
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Default RE: Spektrum bad for boats.... Myth or real?

Hey Doc, I have just the radio for you! The Futaba 14MZ. It's only $3000 and then you can get the 2.4Ghz module for a mere $350 extra. Such a deal!

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