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Looking into new radio. Need opinions on Futaba 10JA and 10CAG specifically

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Looking into new radio. Need opinions on Futaba 10JA and 10CAG specifically

Old 08-05-2014, 10:50 PM
Sky Surfer
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Question Looking into new radio. Need opinions on Futaba 10JA and 10CAG specifically

Hey all,
How are you all doing? I recently got back into the hobby by assembling a big stick 60 with an OS 91 w/pump. I'm having fun so far, but I'm seriously putting some thought into replacing my 9CAG radio with the new 10JA. It's either that or get the module for my 9C and just stick with that. The only thing that doesn't impress me about the 10J is that it doesn't come with batteries lol! I've thought about the 10CAG as well, but the cost of the 10J is way more affordable. I've been looking for reviews on the 10J, but I haven't been able to find any. Not real reviews anyways. Not from real people who've used the radio.
The questions I have are this: Would I be better off just getting the module for my 9C and going with that instead? I know how hard it is to order parts for the 9C, when I had to go through backorder just to get a new antenna it was a pain. Cost is a factor too. Buying a whole new radio means new recievers for all of my planes, etc. Also, would I be able to transfer the memories from my 9C to the new 10J radio or 10C radio if I chose to go that route? Everyone at my club has Spectrum or other brands of 24meg radios. No one at the club has much to say about Futaba radios, so I'm coming up a blank as far as info on Futaba radios, especially the 10J. When I first started in the hobby I used JR radios, first a simple 4 channel, then JR's 72meg 8 channel, whatever it's called. I found the 8 channel ok, but it was so complicated to program that I sold it and got my 9C, which I found much simpler to set up my planes on. I'm a sport pilot, so I really don't need a premier radio. I felt my 9C was perfect for me, but I really need to get into 24meg if I can. maybe I'll just go with the module for my 9C and invest in a Saito 120 for the Edge 540T that I want to resurrect. Everyone seems to think Spectrum is the greatest, but I'm a Futaba fan from way back cause my 9C is just an awesome radio, and I want to go with what I know works. Thanks all. Matt
Old 08-06-2014, 09:59 AM
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If you are still looking, I'd recommend that you at least look at the Tactic 6 channel unit. IMHO, it is the best buy for the money right now. It is very similar in many respects to the Futaba except much easier to program. Also, receivers are reasonably priced and performance is excellent. I have the Tactic, the Spectrum 6i, Airtronics and the Futaba (low end on all of them) and the Tactic is in my opinion much the better. The good thing is that all of them are quite good and you will probably be satisfied with whichever one you choose.
Old 08-06-2014, 01:23 PM
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I wouldn't buy a radio without telemetry with voice notification. I have the FrSky Taranis and it is unbelievable for the money. Full telemetry with voice. Receivers are about $20 to $30 each and usually include receiver battery and signal strength telemetry functions. Lots of information around RCU on the Taranis and it's only $200.00.
Old 08-06-2014, 03:13 PM
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You can buy a telemetry module for that 9C for $22. Then the receivers are just slightly more:
You wont have voice alerts but you can have that later if you get aTaranis.You will be able to use the same Fr-sky receivers.
Futaba is a good radio but compared to the chinese radios its way over priced. And remember the Futaba is now made in China
Old 08-15-2014, 07:36 AM
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the Futaba 2.4GHz module from Tower is $170.00. I have been flying the Hitec module in my 9c for years, since they first came out. Here is a link for a Hitec module and (2) 9 channel receivers for $199.00 http://www.rcplanet.com/Hitec_Spectr...FUoS7AodrngA1Q . I too love my 9c and have no plans on replacing it anytime soon. Hitec optima 6 channel receivers are $35 to $40 depending on where you buy them, substantially less than Futaba receivers. The Hobby King has chinese receivers for $20 for a 8 channel.
Old 08-16-2014, 05:21 PM
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Telemetry is a nice to have, but don't forget we've been flying without it for a long time. I would certainly choose a reliable radio with the features I like and need over another radio that has voice prompted telemetry but missing something else.

I have a Futaba 8J. I won it at a contest and have it listed for sale. I'm mentioning that because it's similar to the 10J. It is a really nice radio. The programming is really complete, the feel is really nice, and FHSS is the most reliable 2.4g technology. If I had won the 10J I might have kept it, but I have a 10ch radio with oodles of capability so the 8 didn't feel like the right radio for me.

A module is not a bad idea - you can keep flying what you have if your radio is working for you. Most people fly 2.4 so you shouldn't have much trouble flying anything on FM. The module would help divert the cost of upgrading to 2.4 (can buy more radios instead of new radio) when you eventually do.

The 10J doesn't come with batteries because everyone wants to use something different. My radio came with a battery and I replaced it almost immediately. Some guys like lipos because they charge fast and last a long time, some guys like nicd because you can use a wall wart charger and forget about it. Less waste is not a bad thing. They do give you a battery box if you want to try the radio with AA's while you decide what battery system will work for you.

I don't want to start a brand war, but I will say sticking with Futaba is a respectable desire. I have an Airtronics and am looking for something new - there are only 2 other brands I'm considering and leaning heavily toward one.
Old 08-19-2014, 06:54 AM
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The FAAST module is $170, the Futaba FHSS module is $90, both at Tower. (both for 8, 9 and 10C)
Old 08-28-2014, 04:31 AM
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This is really a tough question, when you really stop to think about it. The Futaba 9C is a great radio, and it upgrades to 2.4Ghz really easily using virtually any kind of RF Module and receiver you'd like. You can upgrade it to Futaba FASST, Futaba FHSS, Spektrum DSM2, FrSky 2.4Ghz, Hitec AFHSS, or most any other system on the market. What if you drop a couple of hundred dollars on a module and receiver package, however, and the screen goes out on your old 9C radio system?

I guess the best upgrade path for you depends on your answer to this question: If your Futaba 9C broke tomorrow and it was going to cost $200 to repair it, would you fix it or shop for a new radio? If you'd fix it, you still really like your Futaba 9C and investing in a 2.4Ghz module for it is a smart choice. If you wouldn't pay $200 to repair your 9C, you probably already have an itch to buy a new radio system, and adding a 2.4Ghz module to your old radio won't scratch that itch. If you put off buying a new radio now, you'll likely just talk yourself into it a few months down the road.

There are enough fans of the Futaba 9C that they are still bringing good money on the used market, whether at auction or here at RC Universe. If you're just getting back into RC flying, you could sell your 9C to help fund the purchase of a new radio system and then simply add receivers as you ready more planes for flying. If you went with the Futaba 10J as your new radio system, the cash you'd get for your old 9C transmitter would buy you a few extra receivers.

You have a lot of choices, but I think you should gauge your fondness for your Futaba 9C and then let that guide you to the best option for you.

Last edited by bigedmustafa; 08-28-2014 at 04:44 AM.
Old 08-28-2014, 04:37 AM
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All 3 are great radios,
10CAG is is about on par with your 9C as is...its 2.4ghz, but that and 1 channel is all you really gain for the $600 you spend if your a sport pilot.
10J has telemetry as well and would be a decent upgrade from the 9C. its also at a much better cost point

9C is still a great radio, several at our club are still flying with them on 72mHz...

I think if it were me today, I'd probably keep the 9C, and use it as is to get myself back off the ground... and grab a 10J and use that in new planes going forward.

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