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Spektrum rant

Old 02-06-2015, 06:45 AM
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jester_s1
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Default Spektrum rant

Yes, this is going to be a bashing post. I've owned exactly 4 Spektrum products in my 9 years in RC, and have exactly a 100% failure rate with them. I take good care of my things and I don't have trouble with any other brands, so the issue is not me. Here's the history:

1. 4.8v NiCd receiver battery- less than 20% capacity when new. I would have lost a plane had I flown with it without cycling it first. Battery was replaced for free by Spektrum.
2. DS821 servo- To be fair, there were 4 of them in the helicopter I was using and only 1 failed within the first 2 years. I'm just glad it failed on the ground instead of in the air. Replaced for free by Spektrum.
3. DX6i radio- Bought used when it was just over a year old from a club member I trust. Had a bad rudder pot. Cost me $20 to ship to Spektrum for repair and have it shipped back to me.
4. DX6i radio- Less than a year old, same problem. There is a history of bad pots on this radio, yet Spektrum has never addressed it nor issued a recall. I'll have to send this one in too for repair.

Yes, I realize that there are many RC pilots who have been lucky with Spektrum products and will defend them. But you have to admit that this brand has a much larger number of problems than any of the others. And I don't buy the argument that there are more problems because there are so many more of them out there. Futaba sells a lot of radios too, but we don't hear about them losing bind while in flight or browning out or having bad pots. Spektrum makes junky stuff (or more properly speaking, has their items made for them in cut rate factories) and then invests in a good repair department. It's a bad business model that shouldn't be thriving as much as it is.
Old 02-06-2015, 06:54 AM
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I have Had Three DS 821 Servos Fail ....I won't use them for anything ....They just flat Quit working...
Old 02-06-2015, 01:03 PM
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Originally Posted by jester_s1 View Post
4. DX6i radio- Less than a year old, same problem. There is a history of bad pots on this radio, yet Spektrum has never addressed it nor issued a recall. I'll have to send this one in too for repair.
Yes we did. The affected radios were recalled, pots replaced, and returned to customers AT NO COST.

If your radio is in the batch that was bad, it's free.

And usually it's free (you pay 1-way shipping) for many customers. I think honey vs. vinegar makes a difference.

Andy
Old 02-06-2015, 02:37 PM
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jester_s1
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I didn't know about the recall, but after checking neither of mine would have been affected. They were bought well after the pot problem was supposedly fixed (that was 2009). For the first one, Spektrum didn't charge me for the pots, but they did charge for the shipping. My point though is that a component so critical and so wear prone as a pot should be quality. It's not like using pots for stick control is a new thing, so building a quality one is pretty well known in the industry. Spektrum chooses to buy the cheapest components they can and then figures on replacing the ones that fail. We can spend our money with better companies than this.
Old 02-06-2015, 02:50 PM
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You have every right to believe what you want, but what you said is incorrect.

Andy
Old 02-08-2015, 07:22 AM
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jester_s1
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What's incorrect? I've looked at these pots. I'm not an electrical engineer so I'll admit that there are people who know a lot more than me, but it's easy enough to see they are cheaply made. And since this is an ongoing problem with DX6i radios (do a search if you want), that tells me that Spektrum simply doesn't care about quality. From what I see, every single product they make aside from the high end radios have chronic reliability problems. No other manufacturer comes close to the issues that Spektrum has had and continues to have.
Old 02-08-2015, 10:21 AM
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Originally Posted by jester_s1 View Post
No other manufacturer comes close to the issues that Spektrum has had and continues to have.
I don't think any other manufacturer has as many 2.4GHz radios out as Spektrum. I'll venture to say, that 99% of the problems I've seen when tracked down to an exact cause, it's user initiated.
Old 02-09-2015, 03:27 PM
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jester_s1
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I hear that one a lot from Spektrum fans. I agree with you there are a lot of their radios out there. And I'll also agree that not every failure, maybe not even the majority of them, are caused by defective equipment. But my experience with them has been a total bust, and there are plenty of other anecdotes out there of similar experiences.
Old 02-09-2015, 04:04 PM
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PLANE JIM
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I have had nothing but excellent support from Horizon and Spektrum products.


1. broke antenna off -rit was replaced and radio returned in one weeks time-it cost me but I was at fault
2. 9303x Transmitter became latent after leaving in direct Texas sun in bed of pick-up for four hours-sent transmitter in to Horizon with note explaining what I did and what the radio was doing-sent back to me in two weeks with RF deck replaced at N/C.

Not saying your not having problems but support after the sale is really something to say in this hobby and keeps me coming back -l really like this new 9x

Last edited by PLANE JIM; 02-09-2015 at 04:12 PM.
Old 02-09-2015, 05:58 PM
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Originally Posted by jester_s1 View Post
I hear that one a lot from Spektrum fans. I agree with you there are a lot of their radios out there. And I'll also agree that not every failure, maybe not even the majority of them, are caused by defective equipment. But my experience with them has been a total bust, and there are plenty of other anecdotes out there of similar experiences.
I think that is the bottom line Jester, it comes down to a person's experience with the product. If I had received your two DX6is both with pot problems I would likely be ranting also

Some people have better "luck" than others and I think its unfortunate if you have a few problems with the one brand. My experience with Spektrum has been good, my first DX8 had the pot problem but was fixed for free under the recall and has been great ever since.

I read so many great things about the Taranis I bought one a few months ago… It was my turn for bad luck as the one I received had several problems, two switches didn't' work, one slider was broken out of the box and the throttle trim would only trim down.. I didn't expect to have a problem but had 4 in a new radio.

I ended up replacing those parts myself and the radio has been perfect ever since.

Sorry you had these issues with your Spektrum Gear, it helps us all when you post about your experiences as these things do happen.

I'd give you my DX6i if had brought it to the USA as I never use it anymore though it has been perfect for over 4 years. (I'm in Dallas on Friday)
Old 02-09-2015, 07:33 PM
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I have been around a long time. I had a Futaba that made me run from them and never look back. I had a Hitech that was flawless for 1 year then it never worked again after repeated repairs. I have not flown spectrum, so I can not say if they are or are not good. I have not had a problem with any of my Airtronics radios. Only time I have lost signal was when I did not put a strain relief on the 72mhz antenna and it pulled off the Rx in flight. I have been flying a 9x for a couple years now, no problems. Yet I know that some people will have problems while others do not. I have helped people program their radios and watched them struggle, yet it works great for me? It is like they have some strange force that just makes the radio freak out. My brother, batteries go dead, looses the memory, switches break and so on. He has issues with almost every radio he has owned. They work great for me. I work on computers for a living. I have seen desktops just have issues with a user. Swap it out, problem is still there, swap it out with a different brand, problem goes away. No rhyme or reason behind it. Just strange how things work with some but not others.


Buzz.
Old 02-10-2015, 11:23 AM
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jester_s1
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Rob2160-
That's really nice of you. But I'll get this one fixed just like I did the other one and it will be fine. On a side note, I'm in Fort Worth which is just west of Dallas. You didn't say what you were doing on Friday, but if you'd want to come out to my club in Benbrook with me you'd be a welcome guest.

blvdbuzzard- You're right, the randomness of it all makes it hard to explain the problems. It's not like with cars where there may be 50,000 of them on the road, all with maintenance and repair records. Everything we have is anecdotal and dependent on the accuracy of the individual reporting it.
Old 02-10-2015, 11:35 AM
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Yeah, there's WAY MORE than 50,000 out there. Of each of our radios. But you're right, just like cars the publicly available information is anecdotal and dependent on the accuracy of the individuals reporting issues with their radios.

Andy
Old 02-10-2015, 12:02 PM
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jester_s1
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Hey Andy, any chance of you guys developing a radio that works better? Maybe Airtronics would be willing to give you some tips.

Seriously though, it would be really great if I could stop getting DX6i radios with pots that go bad in a year. Or at least if Spektrum would stop charging me for return shipping when I have to get them fixed.
Old 02-10-2015, 12:08 PM
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Is their quality why so many of their top former Team guys are flying Spektrum now?

Most of our customers don't get charged for return shipping. Have you tried using honey in the correspondence with them?

Andy
Old 02-10-2015, 02:29 PM
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6 yrs on the hobby, all of them Spektrum, had Dx5,7 and now 18. Also countless receivers, no problems!!
im actually thinking about the new black Dx9.
Old 02-11-2015, 12:47 AM
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Originally Posted by jester_s1 View Post
Rob2160-
That's really nice of you. But I'll get this one fixed just like I did the other one and it will be fine. On a side note, I'm in Fort Worth which is just west of Dallas. You didn't say what you were doing on Friday, but if you'd want to come out to my club in Benbrook with me you'd be a welcome guest.

blvdbuzzard- You're right, the randomness of it all makes it hard to explain the problems. It's not like with cars where there may be 50,000 of them on the road, all with maintenance and repair records. Everything we have is anecdotal and dependent on the accuracy of the individual reporting it.
Thanks for the offer Jester and I wish I could visit your club, but unfortunately it is a whirlwind schedule. Arriving late Thursday, spending all day in a course on Friday and then off to Montreal on Saturday morning. Next year I'll aim for a free day.
Old 02-11-2015, 03:54 PM
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Andy- I'm not sure what constitutes using honey. I called and with a calm and respectful voice I described the problem and told them how old the radio was. The tech was immediately familiar with the issue and gave me instructions for sending the radio in. I didn't yell or accuse, only sought a solution. And they charged me the return shipping. I suppose I could have gotten more pushy about it and asked to escalate the issue to a supervisor, but that shouldn't be necessary.

As for why some of the top pilots fly Spektrum, I'd fly them too if I got radios for free and got free replacements too if anything went wrong. To be fair, I know there are a number of very good pilots who buy their own Spektrum radios and love them. You guys have an excellent marketing department and you got into the 2.4ghz game first. For better or for worse, Spektrum is the go to brand for RC right now. But quality control is sorely lacking, especially in these lower end radios.
Old 02-12-2015, 06:23 PM
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Originally Posted by lopflyers View Post
6 yrs on the hobby, all of them Spektrum, had Dx5,7 and now 18. Also countless receivers, no problems!!
im actually thinking about the new black Dx9.
I got that Black DX9 and absolutely love it-I know there is no difference between the Black Edition but it sure looks nice!
Old 02-12-2015, 06:25 PM
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Thanks for letting us know, Jim! I'm sure you'll love it!

Andy
Old 02-19-2015, 09:06 AM
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[QUOTE=jester_s1;11980559]Hey Andy, any chance of you guys developing a radio that works better? Maybe Airtronics would be willing to give you some tips.

Ah.....let me see. Could it be that it's because they are sponsored by Spectrum? I'm not about to join in on the rant. I just purchased a new DX6 just to get a taste of a newer radio. i was blown away with the capability of an entry level radio.
Old 02-19-2015, 09:42 AM
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jester_s1
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I like the features of the radio too, whitey-RCU. I hope they upgraded to a better quality pot on the new version that you have.
Old 03-17-2015, 07:59 PM
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For those who care about the end of the story, the DX6i came back from Spektrum service week before last. The technicians report said not only did they replace all 4 gimbals, but also the RF board and the antenna because they failed in testing. I hadn't noticed the antenna being broken, but they said it was. So I very much appreciate Spektrum/Horizon's customer service department for doing such a thorough job completely for free and without even asking about the original purchase receipt. If the part of the company that builds these junky products were run by the same kind of people who do the repairs on them, Spektrum could probably shut down most of its competitors within 5 years. As it is, they are a company that builds radios that have every major component fail within a year of the original purchase and give the customer a very courteous service experience. So I guess Spektrum deserves one of these :$
Old 03-18-2015, 04:24 AM
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I started with Futaba back in 1985, got my first Spektrum (the original DX6) which came with a Trex 450 combo in 2007. Moved up to a DX7i and now have a DX9. I might have had problems with the DX6 but couldn't pin it to the radio because I beat the hell out that heli learing to fly it. Altho the problems reported here seem to be legit I have seen guys turn final too slow and stall right into the ground then hold their radios up and call out "SPEKTRUM!". Most people I fly with use Spektrum or Jr systems and seem to do fine and their reputation for customer service goes a long way.

No finger pointing here, just my personal experience.

Rick
Old 03-18-2015, 06:04 AM
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I have been a Futaba user all my life, other than Kraft radios I'm the 70's. I thought I'd try the new DX6 because of reviews and the fact I have a lot of bind and fly planes in the hanger. I was using a Futaba 9c with a Spectrum module and that worked fine until a faulty trainer cord cooked the transmitter. Anyways, back to the DX6. If it proves to be reliable, it is one heck of a radio. It is much mor user friendly than the Futaba 8J, by a country mile. It feels better in your hands and seems like a leap in technology compared to a number of Futaba systems I've been using ( 10 Cap, 9 Cap). The only Mickey Mouse thing for me is the dry cell battery setup. Would have been nice to come with a lipo. I purchased a Pulse 4000 mah lipo for it and it's the cats meow. So far, so good....we'll see over time.

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