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Would you trust Spektrum with your $10k jet?

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Would you trust Spektrum with your $10k jet?

Old 11-26-2023, 01:48 PM
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Ken Bryant
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Default Would you trust Spektrum with your $10k jet?

I know this sound like Iím starting a radio war or som BS like that. Well itís an honest question. I have a Spektrum IX14. I hear allot of people saying donít use Spektrum in a Turbine jet. I ask why and get allot of 3rd, 4th, to 20th party hearsay.

I believe, someone some place had a problem.. but there are no specifics. Iím presently using my Spektrum to fly my 91Ē 75cc Extra NG and many other electric planes and foam jets.

FWIW, I ordered a BVM Bandit Evo so thatís the start of my journey into this and I honestly donít want to bury it due to a radio. Iím considering JR, Jeti and Powerbox. Futaba is out as one flying site in the area is known very well to cause major problems with it.

Old 11-26-2023, 02:20 PM
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I have been flying jets for over 6 years on Spektrum RF equipment. Never have lost a jet or large plane due to RF issues. We also have ~30 jet pilots in our organization. Most of them run Spektrum RF gear. I currently have an IX-20 and NX20. Actually, I have been using Spektrum over 15 years on planes and helis w/o an RF issue. I do pay particular attention to proper RF setup when building. If I see an issue at our events with Spektrum RF gear it typically is placing a remote receiver in a bad spot in the plane. But even then, I can't recall seeing a plane using Spektrum RF gear go down due to an RF issue. I have seen a couple jets using Futaba go down. The old days of Spektrum Brownouts have been over for at least a decade. I have seen planes go down for battery and fuel issues though.
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Old 11-26-2023, 02:28 PM
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100% Not.

I was a JR/Spektrum guy for a long time. I lost trust in the system when i started having problems with the Tx and Rx linking up once everything was turned on. Tx-on, Rx-on rx lights would go solid as if everything was fine, but there was no reaction to transmitter inputs, absolutely nothing. You'd rebind the rx/tx and the lights would go solid and still nothing. Unplug remote rx's thinking maybe one went bad, go through the entire binding process and still, solid lights, no response to tx inputs.

Go home and everything would work perfectly fine without even doing anything. Go back to the flying club the next day, week, month and it was 50/50 on if it would work or you'd go through the same process all over again. Sometimes you'd just have to wait 10 minutes and it would start working or stop working.

I had this happen with both the JR 11X and 12X w/ 6 channel, 9 channel and 12 channel rx's. Every time i would send the afflicted rx and tx combo back to horizon, they would always be returned saying nothing was wrong with them. I finally succumbed to the fact that maybe it was my home club that was the problem. I ended up visiting three other clubs (50+ miles away) in the same state and would occassionally have the same problem. I attended an event 400+ miles away, same problems. Finally ended up moving 1000 miles away, four different clubs, all 50+ miles away from each other, same problems.

All of that happened over about 18 months. I think in total i had 6 or 8 receivers that had the problem and none were ever said to have any problems according to horizon.


I finally switched to Jeti and have been happy ever since.
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Old 11-26-2023, 03:48 PM
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My take on Spektrum. I got one of the DX7 setups when they first came out and with one of the power safe receivers I flew a 40% Extra and with the standard 7 channel RX did some .40 size pylon racing without any issues. I went with another brand of equipment that had better sailplane options at the time. Fast forward 10 years later and I went into the deep end and got a Jeti DS16. Currently flying giant scale gas, pattern and sailplanes and kicking myself for not switching sooner. The big selling points to go Jeti is with a jet you will likely go with a central box and satellite receivers much like what I have on my 35% Extra. As standard you can go with a 3rd RX that becomes your on/off switch for the airplane, yes a bit of a novelty. You can also activate telemetry to display current used out of your RX packs, real time current draw and what I think would be very helpful on a jet, interior temperature. Of course it will do data logging and you have an option for 900 mhz backup. To be honest, I haven’t bothered to look at the features of the high end Spektrum setups but if you are reading between the lines I think you have determined that Spektrum isn’t even on my radar.
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Old 11-26-2023, 05:03 PM
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No, I wouldn't. With spektrum, you only have 1 rf module in the tx so if that goes bad, you're screwed. I've seen it happen. Just get a jeti or frsky and be done with it. I got a ds16 II and love it so far.
Old 11-26-2023, 05:56 PM
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The old Ford vs Chevy conversation. Myself Iím a happy spektrum flyer with all size jets. All systems have their issues but you need to do what makes you feel comfy.
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Old 11-26-2023, 09:13 PM
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I flew a BVM Bandit Evo on Spektrum and I had no issues but I think you will be fine. What is concerning especially from Best of the West some Spektrum users had lock outs and fail safe warnings due to bad firmware.

But that said all my jets are on Spektrum and yet to have an event like the above, that said if one brand sells way more users than the other one, there is a chance Brand X is going to see more issues than brand Y.
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Old 11-26-2023, 09:56 PM
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Plenty of big name pilots flying on Spektrum radios, actually I think some of the BVM guys fly on Spektrum 👍
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Old 11-27-2023, 04:45 AM
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I just got my turbine waiver. Have about 65 flights with turbines. Been useing a NX10 and ar14400 receiver with no problems. Got the NX10 when they first came on the market. Use it on other planes no problems. Also use Futaba with no problems. I think you should use a radio that you will have confidence in.
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Old 11-27-2023, 07:06 AM
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I've flown well over a dozen jets with my gen 1 DX18 (w/updated firmware) and have never had an issue. I'm currently flying 2 turbines and 4 giant scales (more smaller planes on the regular 6 and 8 channel RXs) with the older AR12310T and AR20310T power safe RXs. Some of the 3D guys had issues a while back with the powersafe RX when combined with the AS3000 gyros, but as far as I know it was limited to high current draw situations and was never a problem for jets. Regardless, the issue was corrected with a firmware upgrade. As stated above, all systems have issues, fly what you're comfortable with and what works for you.
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Old 11-27-2023, 08:12 AM
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Originally Posted by invertmast
100% Not.

I was a JR/Spektrum guy for a long time. I lost trust in the system when i started having problems with the Tx and Rx linking up once everything was turned on. Tx-on, Rx-on rx lights would go solid as if everything was fine, but there was no reaction to transmitter inputs, absolutely nothing. You'd rebind the rx/tx and the lights would go solid and still nothing. Unplug remote rx's thinking maybe one went bad, go through the entire binding process and still, solid lights, no response to tx inputs.

Go home and everything would work perfectly fine without even doing anything. Go back to the flying club the next day, week, month and it was 50/50 on if it would work or you'd go through the same process all over again. Sometimes you'd just have to wait 10 minutes and it would start working or stop working.

I had this happen with both the JR 11X and 12X w/ 6 channel, 9 channel and 12 channel rx's. Every time i would send the afflicted rx and tx combo back to horizon, they would always be returned saying nothing was wrong with them. I finally succumbed to the fact that maybe it was my home club that was the problem. I ended up visiting three other clubs (50+ miles away) in the same state and would occassionally have the same problem. I attended an event 400+ miles away, same problems. Finally ended up moving 1000 miles away, four different clubs, all 50+ miles away from each other, same problems.

All of that happened over about 18 months. I think in total i had 6 or 8 receivers that had the problem and none were ever said to have any problems according to horizon.


I finally switched to Jeti and have been happy ever since.
Usually what you refer to above is caused by the remote Rxer connections. A lot of folks never clean their connectors, yet they leave the planes exposed over the winter to extreme temperature changes. As the planes warm up condensation forms. Eventually the connection to the remote receiver is disrupted due to lack of maintenance. A little contact cleaner annually works wonders. Also, I have seen poor connections caused by reusing crashed harnesses. While the remote Rxer appears intact, the harness is intermittent due to deformed female connection pins. IMHO, Jeti is a nightmare to learn to program, and if you are out there in a world that has 80-90% other brands, there are very few Jeti experienced pilots to offer any knowledgeable help, etc.. This year at Rosewood, a pilot with a new plane identical to mine could not get it flying hardly at all. Several of us tried to give him a hand. But we all ended up walking away and the plane never flew at that event again. Two of the potential helpers were also flying Jeti. They did not know how to fix this guy's issues either. I recommended starting with a new model. Point being, if you buy into a seldom used product, you may wind up in an environment where there is no expert around to help you figure things out. Just a thought to consider, especially, it you are switching from a brand you know well.

Last edited by Len Todd; 11-27-2023 at 08:15 AM.
Old 11-27-2023, 08:30 AM
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Originally Posted by Len Todd
Usually what you refer to above is caused by the remote Rxer connections. A lot of folks never clean their connectors, yet they leave the planes exposed over the winter to extreme temperature changes. As the planes warm up condensation forms. Eventually the connection to the remote receiver is disrupted due to lack of maintenance. A little contact cleaner annually works wonders. Also, I have seen poor connections caused by reusing crashed harnesses. While the remote Rxer appears intact, the harness is intermittent due to deformed female connection pins. IMHO, Jeti is a nightmare to learn to program, and if you are out there in a world that has 80-90% other brands, there are very few Jeti experienced pilots to offer any knowledgeable help, etc.. This year at Rosewood, a pilot with a new plane identical to mine could not get it flying hardly at all. Several of us tried to give him a hand. But we all ended up walking away and the plane never flew at that event again. Two of the potential helpers were also flying Jeti. They did not know how to fix this guy's issues either. I recommended starting with a new model. Point being, if you buy into a seldom used product, you may wind up in an environment where there is no expert around to help you figure things out. Just a thought to consider, especially, it you are switching from a brand you know well.
I would disagree regarding the difficulty of learning Jeti. Soon after I purchased mine, my flying buddy that was well versed in Jeti moved a few states away. Without his help I have been relying on the great videos put out by Harry Curzon and Jeti USA ( Esprit ) and have been able to get my giant scale aerobatic aircraft as well as sailplane and helicopter programming down without any real issues. IMO there is more information available then with Spektrum. I heard many times of guys calling HH and did not get the programming help they needed.
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Old 11-27-2023, 09:11 AM
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I have a iX20SE and will only run it on my mini Sebart hawk with a K45 as goes for jets ... otherwise its been relegated to foamies duty. I hate to say it but the radio is a piece of junk. Physically its cheap plastic, and the gimbals are garbage too. My throttle stick gets stuck and overall they do not feel smooth. My sliders are coming loose, and the software is slow and locks up sometimes. I have not had any RF issues, but the range on these does not compare well to other radios . I regret spending the $$ o nthis based on a friends well intended recomendation ....Afterthe ix20 disappointment, i decided to just upgrade my aging 18mz at the time to a new Futaba 32mz and this is what all my mid-range jets and models are on. Most recently I ended up adding a Jeti DS-24, and have been puting all my more substantial models on this radio. The quality is tops , and the redundancy options are the best feature. Jeti was very easy to figure out. A lot easier than some of the limited programing on the ix20 in some ways.

This is just my opinion, and my personal experience FWIW .. .
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Old 11-27-2023, 01:00 PM
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Originally Posted by Len Todd
Usually what you refer to above is caused by the remote Rxer connections. A lot of folks never clean their connectors, yet they leave the planes exposed over the winter to extreme temperature changes. As the planes warm up condensation forms. Eventually the connection to the remote receiver is disrupted due to lack of maintenance. A little contact cleaner annually works wonders. Also, I have seen poor connections caused by reusing crashed harnesses. While the remote Rxer appears intact, the harness is intermittent due to deformed female connection pins. IMHO, Jeti is a nightmare to learn to program, and if you are out there in a world that has 80-90% other brands, there are very few Jeti experienced pilots to offer any knowledgeable help, etc.. This year at Rosewood, a pilot with a new plane identical to mine could not get it flying hardly at all. Several of us tried to give him a hand. But we all ended up walking away and the plane never flew at that event again. Two of the potential helpers were also flying Jeti. They did not know how to fix this guy's issues either. I recommended starting with a new model. Point being, if you buy into a seldom used product, you may wind up in an environment where there is no expert around to help you figure things out. Just a thought to consider, especially, it you are switching from a brand you know well.
While i understand where your coming from, this happened with receivers that didn't use remote Rx's and those that did use the remote rx's, we replaced the harness' and the remote receivers with other known functioning units (even using them out of a Horizon Reps own personal airplanes that had flown successfully that same day) and still had the same problems, so it wasn't a faulty connection, harness or remote receiver.... and even if it was, that should of been found in any one of the numerous repair return trips.

As for programming the Jeti to be a "nightmare" it is not difficult to program, it is just a different philosophy compared to other makes. "could not get it flying hardly at all" doesn't really tell what the problem was and could of been any brand radio's problem, not just a Jeti problem.
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Old 11-27-2023, 02:42 PM
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My last Spectrum was a DX 18. Didn't work right out of the box. Sent it back for repairs. Received it and 2 switches just fell out. Fixed them. Got a email DONT FLY UNTIL YOU CHECK THIS....., Got a new power save RX and got another email....SEND IT BACK. Switched to Jeti and never looked back!

Last edited by tp777fo; 11-27-2023 at 02:47 PM.
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Old 12-02-2023, 09:05 AM
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IMHO is interesting to exploit this days the radios with dual 2.44 GHz and 900 MHz radio link as a extra safety measure for any jet, fast plane, heavy warbird etc.
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Old 12-03-2023, 06:19 AM
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Originally Posted by Ken Bryant
I know this sound like Iím starting a radio war or som BS like that. Well itís an honest question. I have a Spektrum IX14. I hear allot of people saying donít use Spektrum in a Turbine jet. I ask why and get allot of 3rd, 4th, to 20th party hearsay.

I believe, someone some place had a problem.. but there are no specifics. Iím presently using my Spektrum to fly my 91Ē 75cc Extra NG and many other electric planes and foam jets.

FWIW, I ordered a BVM Bandit Evo so thatís the start of my journey into this and I honestly donít want to bury it due to a radio. Iím considering JR, Jeti and Powerbox. Futaba is out as one flying site in the area is known very well to cause major problems with it.

I have used Spektrum in our turbine models since it was available, and never had a problem. We have eight turbine models currently, all Spektrum. My 20+ year old BVM F-100 started life with a JR 72 MHz system, was up graded twice with DSM2 radios and right now is in my shop getting a new DSMX receiver with AS3X, plus a new KingTech K130.

Most unexplained crashes get blamed on the radio. On most of those that actually were carefully investigated it turned out to be a battery problem. Earlier this year at an event a guy had a radio (not Spektrum) just go dead in flight. We found that what happened was that a flap servo had a gear that broke causing the flap to jam just before coming all the way up causing a large drain on the battery. On the third flight the servo finally smoked itself and finished off the battery. The servo case was melted and both batteries were dead. With the anti-Spektrum folks out there had this been a Spektrum they would have blamed the radio with out any investigation.

A friend had an unexplained crash with a Spektrum and went to Jeti, and about a month later lost another big model to the Jeti. Or did they both go down due to battery problems?

In my part of the world there are probably 10 Spektrum for each other radio brand. If reliability were the same for all brands you would expect to see 10 times more Spektrum failures, but you donít. There are so few actual radio failures that you canít really get statics.

There is a lot of misinformation on line. A couple of years ago there was a thread here on RCU where people were talking about all the crashes that were occurring with Spektrum. If you took the time to take notes you found out that world wide there were less than 20 crashes over a couple of years being reported, but about 5 guys with multiple crashes each keep re-telling their story time after time making it look like they were dropping like flies.

In the end pick a brand that has what you want, they are all pretty good, I just like Spektrum.

Steven
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Old 12-03-2023, 01:39 PM
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Originally Posted by S_Ellzey
I have used Spektrum in our turbine models since it was available, and never had a problem. We have eight turbine models currently, all Spektrum. My 20+ year old BVM F-100 started life with a JR 72 MHz system, was up graded twice with DSM2 radios and right now is in my shop getting a new DSMX receiver with AS3X, plus a new KingTech K130.

Most unexplained crashes get blamed on the radio. On most of those that actually were carefully investigated it turned out to be a battery problem. Earlier this year at an event a guy had a radio (not Spektrum) just go dead in flight. We found that what happened was that a flap servo had a gear that broke causing the flap to jam just before coming all the way up causing a large drain on the battery. On the third flight the servo finally smoked itself and finished off the battery. The servo case was melted and both batteries were dead. With the anti-Spektrum folks out there had this been a Spektrum they would have blamed the radio with out any investigation.

A friend had an unexplained crash with a Spektrum and went to Jeti, and about a month later lost another big model to the Jeti. Or did they both go down due to battery problems?

In my part of the world there are probably 10 Spektrum for each other radio brand. If reliability were the same for all brands you would expect to see 10 times more Spektrum failures, but you donít. There are so few actual radio failures that you canít really get statics.

There is a lot of misinformation on line. A couple of years ago there was a thread here on RCU where people were talking about all the crashes that were occurring with Spektrum. If you took the time to take notes you found out that world wide there were less than 20 crashes over a couple of years being reported, but about 5 guys with multiple crashes each keep re-telling their story time after time making it look like they were dropping like flies.

In the end pick a brand that has what you want, they are all pretty good, I just like Spektrum.

Steven
I would add to what Steven said by saying the brand/model that fits your hands comfortably. if it isn't comfortable and easy to feel/reach the switches with your size of hands - looking for them makes you then ask: where did my plane go?" when you look back up... not a good feeling.
Greg
Old 12-03-2023, 03:32 PM
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Originally Posted by jetflyr
I would add to what Steven said by saying the brand/model that fits your hands comfortably. if it isn't comfortable and easy to feel/reach the switches with your size of hands - looking for them makes you then ask: where did my plane go?" when you look back up... not a good feeling.
Greg
Yep, the main reason FRSKY and Jeti arenít on my lists of possibilities. My large hands and the way I hold the transmitter makes it pretty much impossible for me to use them. Tried holding both, just canít get my fingers to lay down on the top of the case.

Steven
Old 12-03-2023, 07:11 PM
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Originally Posted by S_Ellzey
Yep, the main reason FRSKY and Jeti arenít on my lists of possibilities. My large hands and the way I hold the transmitter makes it pretty much impossible for me to use them. Tried holding both, just canít get my fingers to lay down on the top of the case.

Steven
Ditto! Ain't ergonomics wonderful?
Old 12-06-2023, 08:55 AM
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I've been with Spektrum for over 10 years with no issues other than watching my P51 that I have owned for 25 years go right into the ground. I had absolutely no control over the model. I have 2 jets that I fly with Spektrum and it's been fine so far. Everything was flown with PS receivers also. I am considering jumping ship to Jeti just because of the one crash. I have the big BVM F18 and I don't want to see that happen again. I guess nothing is perfect but maybe Jeti with the dual band is a better option. Still thinking about it.
Old 12-06-2023, 10:49 AM
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Core/Atom is a lot easier to program than Jeti (my personal opinion, I've fooled with both) and a solid RF link doesn't need 900mhz backup.

Plus I just can't get used to the feel of a Jeti.
Old 12-06-2023, 02:55 PM
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From what I have seen at my and other events:

A few of the Mode 1 guys are using Jeti (I think I have run into two). Not sure why. We just don't see many Jetis here. When it came out, I was given a couple hours training on the DS 24. It just seemed like going through the programming pain of swapping to Jeti would be too costly for many features I would not ever use, etc. Given a solid protocol like DSMX and good Rxer positioning one does not need a RF Backup (e.g. 900 MHz) Being a Ham Operator for over 50 years and experienced in RF equipment helps one to know when one has a solid RF Link. Dual Band RF equipment comes with their own set of complexities. KISS.

PB CORE is the second most used Txer here. They are fairly expensive, and the variety of available receivers seems limited, to me. I have considered swapping. But it would mean a dozen receiver swaps too = very expensive to swap now. I do like PowerBox receiver units with three Spektrum Remote Rxers though. I have 7 PBox units. However, I do NOT like that the PBox Mercury is now limited to only two remote Rxers. Can't get 360 degree polarization with two Rxers. PBox has great Forum support.

Probably because their transmitters are easy to program, cheaper and 14+ channels Spektrum receivers are typically readily available I still prefer Spektrum. Also, Spektrum's past service is unmatched by any of the other brands. Watch the forums and anyone can figure that out. Even today's "downgraded service," is still good enough for me. My IX 20 has been solid, and it was fairly easy to switch from DX to IX. My NX20 is even easier to program than the IX and the NX is cheaper. Spektrum has great forum support via RCGroups.

When I got a couple hours of training on Jeti and tried fiddling with CORE, I found in general that making the switch from one brand to another is hard. But if I started out on CORE or Jeti, I bet the basics for either would be easy to learn. Switching, ... probably not so much.

We only have two Futaba users in our 120 (30+ Jet Guys) member organization. One has a lot of crashes some of which have been found to be transmitter issues. But then Spektrum has had their share of these in the past too (e.g. early released DX 18s.) Also, I know there currently is a bug in the NX20 that precludes establishing a wireless trainer link to a DX20. But my NX20 has been a solid transmitter, other than the wireless trainer thing, which Spektrum is currently working on resolving.

In our school program I work with Kids 10-17 years old. How the transmitter fits in the variety of hands sizes does not seem to matter much. However, I have some kids with very small hands that cannot easily pinch the sticks. But typically, I give these kids a strap and they are able to manage the given fit. I figure anyone can get used to the fit they have in short order. I have flown with and w/o pizza boxes. Once I get used to where the flap and gear switches are, I am good to go.

Just my thoughts.

Last edited by Len Todd; 12-06-2023 at 02:57 PM.
Old 12-06-2023, 09:08 PM
  #24  
CARS II
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I’ve used JR and Futaba mostly, switched to Jeti ( it was time to get a new radio ) I went with Jeti because it is so versatile, took about a month to learn the basics and away I went, love my DS12 Jeti, it can do the same as the Jeti DS24 for a lot less and it is much lighter than the 24.

I now have a DS16v1 as a body box to be use for training new jet guys and New Jeti owners.
Old 12-07-2023, 03:39 AM
  #25  
David Gladwin
 
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I have to disagree with Len Todd that PB receivers are limited.
There is a range of 10 units from the tiny indoor 5 channel to the new 14 (expandable to 15) channel receiver.
I am currently installing 14 ch units into my BVM F4 and Paritech DG, superb devices.
I think every reasonable requirement is covered !
As my main jet group now mandates dual receiver batteries, ( something I have ALWAYS done) on the 14 I connect the MPX plug into the MPX socket on the receiver, retaining telemetry, the other output from the PB Sensor switch feeds into a servo socket. Works perfectly.

Last edited by David Gladwin; 12-07-2023 at 03:45 AM.

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