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FrySky Taranis vs Futaba T16SZ

Old 06-28-2017, 12:28 PM
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musicminister187
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Default FrySky Taranis vs Futaba T16SZ

I've been delaying getting into this hobby for a long time now but I'm about to take the leap. This would be my first radio and I'm looking for something future proof. After much research it's either Taranis or Futaba. If I go Taranis it would be the upgraded "GetFPV M9" version but the carbon is out. This would be for different type models; from sailplanes (which I'm starting with), drones (FPV), gas planes and even long range FPV in the future. The only other brand I would consider after much research is Graupner but very unlikely because of it being less popular.

The price of the Taranis is good but it has been around for quite some time and don't want to get something that has done it's time. I'm wondering if I should go with the Taranis, get the Futaba later or wait for the soon to be released T16SZ I need a radio that feels good and that can easily handle UHF customization. A reliable link is the most important factor for me.

My Questions: Which is known for better range? Is it easy to use Futaba with long range systems? What are the Futaba's main limitations? Is a Futaba T16SZ more future proof than a Taranis X9d Plus although it's open source? Should I be too concerned about not having a radio that talks to me? Is Graupner as good as these middle ground Futabas? Thanks!

PS: I don't care for Horizon BNF stuff. Thank you.

Last edited by musicminister187; 06-28-2017 at 12:43 PM. Reason: forgot a word or two
Old 06-28-2017, 04:23 PM
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karolh
 
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The responses to this should be quite interesting so I think I'll stick around to see just how it turns out. By the way my vote is for the FrSky Horus.

Last edited by karolh; 06-28-2017 at 04:25 PM.
Old 06-28-2017, 06:00 PM
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My vote definitely on Frsky, any radio that have TX module upgradable and backed with community forum support (http://openrcforums.com/forum/) and also custom upgrades (http://www.open-tx.org/) gets my vote. Been flying FPV long range on FrSky a lot. Was ex-Futaba user here.

Flying on Frsky tx:

Last edited by ican3d; 06-28-2017 at 06:02 PM.
Old 06-28-2017, 06:25 PM
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musicminister187
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The Horus has a lot of range issues according to videos and forums. I'm not sure if it has been sorted.
Old 06-28-2017, 06:27 PM
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musicminister187
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Originally Posted by ican3d View Post
My vote definitely on Frsky, any radio that have TX module upgradable and backed with community forum support (openrcforums - Index page) and also custom upgrades (http://www.open-tx.org/) gets my vote. Been flying FPV long range on FrSky a lot. Was ex-Futaba user here.

Flying on Frsky tx:
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Ud4Z8SLtzwA
Thanks, what Futaba radio did you own?
Old 06-28-2017, 06:36 PM
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ican3d
 
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Originally Posted by musicminister187 View Post
Thanks, what Futaba radio did you own?

Used to own Futaba T8J (2.4) and Futaba 6EX (72 crystal) for several years before our community get hit with signal lost flying nearby town and wifi tower. Then got into FrSky ACCT protocol....sold my Futaba. Had many happy long range flight since then.
Only use Futaba and Sanwa for racing R/C cars only, FrSky for flying.

Last edited by ican3d; 06-28-2017 at 06:40 PM.
Old 06-29-2017, 11:27 AM
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musicminister187
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Originally Posted by ican3d View Post
Used to own Futaba T8J (2.4) and Futaba 6EX (72 crystal) for several years before our community get hit with signal lost flying nearby town and wifi tower. Then got into FrSky ACCT protocol....sold my Futaba. Had many happy long range flight since then.
Only use Futaba and Sanwa for racing R/C cars only, FrSky for flying.
Are you using the X9D? Are you familiar with the Horus?
Old 07-14-2017, 05:06 AM
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paulahills
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The Futaba is a 7 channel radio and is actually more expensive than the Taranis which has - more channels - telemetry - open source programming - a better battery - etc, etc etc
Old 07-14-2017, 07:38 AM
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Originally Posted by ican3d View Post
Used to own Futaba T8J (2.4) and Futaba 6EX (72 crystal) for several years before our community get hit with signal lost flying nearby town and wifi tower. Then got into FrSky ACCT protocol....sold my Futaba. Had many happy long range flight since then.
Only use Futaba and Sanwa for racing R/C cars only, FrSky for flying.
I too had very similar issues and switched from Futaba to FrSky ACCT protocol and all my problems went away.
Old 07-16-2017, 02:30 PM
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8178
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Originally Posted by musicminister187 View Post
The Horus has a lot of range issues according to videos and forums. I'm not sure if it has been sorted.
Although it looked like a range problem, it was never was. It was a firmware problem in the RF board that was causing the receiver go through a very fast failsafe and then reconnect. FrSky got on the problem very quickly and had a fix in firmware release 1.2.20. October 28, 2016. It was highly intermittent and I never experienced the problem.

The Horus X12S is an amazing system.

Mike

Last edited by 8178; 07-16-2017 at 05:23 PM.
Old 07-16-2017, 05:24 PM
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musicminister187
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Originally Posted by 8178 View Post
Although it looked like a range problem, it was never was. It was a firmware problem in the RF board that was causing the receiver go through a very fast failsafe and then reconnect. FrSky got on the problem very quickly and had a fix in firmware release 1.2.20. October 28, 2016. It was highly intermittent and I never experienced the problem.

The Horus X12S is an amazing system.

Mike
Thanks Mike, input appreciated.
Old 07-20-2017, 04:09 PM
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8178
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Originally Posted by musicminister187 View Post
Thanks Mike, input appreciated.
There are some X12S high resolution images posted here on RCU http://www.rcuniverse.com/forum/rc-r...orus-x12s.html
Old 08-01-2017, 04:01 AM
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rc34074
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I doubt you will get many Futaba users responding here they will ignore this post so this will only get you taranis support responses.

It would be interesting if there was a way to get or maybe do a poll of how many use Futaba vs taranis.

Also- how much time would you need to spend setting up the Taranis vs the 16 channel Futaba. People who are kind of into programming will not mind programming the Taranis. on the other hand the futaba manuals and kind of poorly written so you will need to spend some time figuring out their manual.

Futaba gives you a receiver that has I think 7 channels that you can plug what I call standard servos into, but if you go past that many channels you need to get into their sbus servos and most of them are pricey. But sbus saves on some wiring hassles. If you don't want to go sbus you can buy their 14 channel receiver which is designed to run standard servos on 12 channels.

very few have interference issues with the 2.4 system that the 16sz has.

Ed
Old 08-01-2017, 05:58 AM
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A couple of my flying friends here and mostly the quad guys have Horus radios and just can't stop grinning about their toys. The first time I held one in my hands it just felt and looked like a very high quality unit with super smooth gimbals. If I was in the market for a new radio it would be one based on the FrSky system and quite possibly a Horus.
Old 08-06-2017, 09:08 PM
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the pope
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The Horus is indeed a nice radio and now that hitec have their new flagship 16 channel (?) Theres lots to choose from . I like em all although Ive never had a spektrum one . Cheers
Old 09-24-2019, 02:36 PM
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mtcarey
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Default TX Module for x12s. For JR 2.4 receivers

What TX module would work in the x12s fir JR DSSM DSM2 receivers.
Old 09-26-2019, 05:32 AM
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If you mean the Horus X12s, this would be just the ticket.
https://m.banggood.com/IRangeX-IRX4-...l?rmmds=search

this version will only work with Open Tx. If you're running FrOs, then you'd need the version with the selector knob to set the protocol you want to run.
I use the version that fits the X-Lite to fly DSM2/DSMX bnf stuff. Works like a charm!
Pete
Old 09-30-2019, 02:44 PM
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I was an early FrSky adopter and purchased a very early Taranis and I just upgraded it to the latest firmware. It runs as fast as it always has. These radios run very simple software compared to mainstream Windows or Mac computers. Worrying about a Taranis being “future proof” is not a valid concern in my opinion. The processors on these radios are well able to run OpenTx for a very long time.

I love the Taranis and in over 5 years of use have never experienced one problem. One of the best features that isn’t often mentioned is the availability and cost of replacement parts. You can easily purchase any Taranis part online from buttons, switches and antennas to mainboards and gimbals. No longer do you have to send your radio in to have it repaired, buy the part for a few bucks and fix it yourself. I broke my antenna and bought a new one for less than $5.00 and replaced it myself.

Aloft Hobbies is “ground zero” for all things FrSky. https://alofthobbies.com/


Last edited by 049flyer; 09-30-2019 at 02:48 PM.
Old 10-02-2019, 03:08 AM
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bem
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Hi,
A FrSky radio, Taranis (like X9D Plus SE 2019 or X9D Plus 2019) or other models like the Horus X10S Express, with Open TX software installed should be more flexible in programming then a Futaba T16SZ (has Futaba own software only).
On the other side Futaba radios are known for very good 2.4 GHz signal reliability and rather good quality in general so that can be a plus for the T16SZ.

If You are into FPV flying and want/need long range FrSky has a "900" MHz transmitter module R9M 2019 You can plug in to a Taranis TX or Horus TX, so You get long range with a suitable FrSky receiver (I do not know how long range but it is considerably longer then using 2.4 GHz).
A Futaba T16SZ can be equipped with a "900" MHz TBS Crossfire (and Crossfire receiver then) for long range.

A Futaba T16SZ with Crossfire is more expensive then a similar FrSky radio with RM9 module and suitable Crossfire receiver.

I have not used any FrSky radio, not Crossfire, but I have used Futaba radio for many years (14MZ).

/Bo

Last edited by bem; 10-02-2019 at 04:43 AM.
Old 10-02-2019, 10:35 AM
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Long time modeler, and while I've been off and on with Futaba for a very long time, I'm no longer "recent" on their current offerings...so read with that provision!

I too have a 14MZ. Since replaced with a couple Taranis's (Taranii?) With the Futaba I always had to take the manual with to the field, for even "simple" things. ("Hmm, how in the heck do I enable flaperons?", etc.) OpenTX does take some time to learn the logic flows, but once you understand, an awful lot can be done on the fly.
Futaba has never been a tech leader. Sometimes they bring out systems that are on a par with the most advanced systems, but many times they lag just a bit behind. Can be good or bad, depending on how bleeding edge you want to be.
Once you buy a Futaba, that's it. Buy a new transmitter if you want major new functions (beyond some basics like bug fixes, or modest software changes).
Factor in the cost of additional components - especially receivers, sensors and batteries/chargers. Futaba has never been shy about charging at the top end of the market. Sure, there may be clones you can get, but then why are you buying a higher end system but going to take a risk buying off brand components?
Futaba equipement IS very high quality, a big part of the cost. Frsky electronics are good, but cases, fit and finish, etc. are not at the same level.

The OpenTX world is about as "future proof" as one can get - they release major new versions about once a year or so, and always maintain compatibility with the "older" systems (such as the original X9D). There may be some hardware updates (the M9 gimbals, for example), many of which can be retrofitted to the older equipment.

It still irks me that I have a $2,500 tx system that was to be as "future proof" as was reasonable to expect...and it is very hard and very expensive to find batteries, let alone TX modules and/or receivers, that would allow me to continue to use it. Yet for under $300 I have a radio/rx combo that runs rings around it in capabilities, and is still "current".
Old 11-28-2019, 12:35 PM
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I have 2 futaba 7c transmitters. It only has one $70 reciever that is compatible. So I have a dozen models all with that reciever. I’ve been looking to upgrade my transmitter since mine are getting old. Which $300 radio were you referring gi to that runs circles around your futaba.
Old 11-28-2019, 04:42 PM
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I believe he was referring to the FrSky brand Taranis or Horus model radios.
Old 12-15-2019, 02:26 PM
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I've used Futaba and Airtronics (Sanwa). Never got into Spectrum or JR when they knocked frequency hoping over their original two channel systems. Airtronics was more flexible and feature/price competitive than Futaba but the FRsky features and price blew me away. I've switched over to FRsky Horus 10S and sold everything else. I found it much easier to program than the others and flawless in operation. I use FRsky's own OS and havnt looked at Open TX yet. If I have a question I get an answer directly from FRsky pdq. I use the built in telemetry features in the RX and tried some of the fancier stuff (Speed, height....) with audio messages also. Everything works flawlessly. With full function 6 channel RX at $26 and 8 channel at $32, you cant beat this stuff IMO.
Old 08-10-2022, 09:30 AM
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Really interesting topic. I have had radios from all the main brands over the years and currently have 3 in use.

A Futaba 3VCS with FASST, used for cars. An old Sanwa RD6000 6 channel radio and a FrSky Taranis XD9 plus SE on TBS crossfire, used for Drones, but soon - on my 3D fixed wing aircraft as well.

I'm not a fan of changing things, just for the sake of it. I'll only spend coin if I can see real advantages by doing so.

Opentx is something that I first came into contact with during the first lockdown, so I'm still reasonably new to it. However, there are obvious advantages to an open source operating system. The obvious one is how powerful it is, enabling a high degree of customisation. It's a little like Android vs IPhone.

Intuitive systems definitely help users get where they want to be quicker, but people are all different. Futaba's tendency to split functions up over different parts of the menus can be frustrating, but foibles are something all the systems have.

I'm never likely to change from my 3VCS for surface use, but for flying, Opentx is likely going to be my first choice for the foreseeable.

The obvious advantage to these newer, Opentx systems are higher performance and lower cost. The latest colour, touch screen variants allow much easier programming, which is terrible news for me because I've just got used to Opentx Companion! This is increasingly redundant if you have a giant touchscreen built into your radio.

My 35mhz radio is no longer permitted at my local club, so I'm forced to change the receivers over to my FrSky stuff. I'll get over it. So far, the change over is smooth and Flaperon mixes and throttle cut functions are readily setup in Opentx.

Looking at some of the lower end Futaba stuff made me wince - it's very difficult to justify spending that sort of money when you can have a better specced radio master for the same dosh.

As for quality, well, I believe my 3VCS was state of the art when I got it and higher quality is difficult to find. My X9D Plus SE has excellent quality overall - ballraced Hall effect gimbals - the only let down being a slightly hollow sounding case and buttons on the front that feel like they're about to fall into the gubbins. Very picky, minor complaints.

Looking at the signals produced from ACCST vs Futaba's FASST on a scope, there really doesn't look like much difference - bar the fact that they are inverted to each other. FASST is supposed to be the king of range (definitely bourne out, for surface models) but my crossfire system/receivers are good for >25km. For LOS flying, FrSky X8R receivers are good for >4km. You'd need a pretty big aircraft to fly at those kind of distances!

At my local club, the jet flyers are using FrSky stuff on ACCST or ACCESS/Archer and have zero problems.

As an old school RC enthusiast, I still look at Futaba as a likely answer to all of my RC requirements, but then my bank account says 'nope'. And that's without adding a wife into the equation.

Edgetx will be the next thing, just when I get into my groove - you can count on it.
Old 08-10-2022, 11:47 AM
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An old thread, but to pile on -
It took me a long time to make the jump and abandon my Futaba 14MZ for a Taranis, but I finally trusted it after several years of dual use. $$ Cost of ownership was the big issue. While OpenTX can be deep to learn, I eased into it and have fully embraced it.

Current market observations:
Futaba - I'm not current with them anymore. Very high quality. Still needs lots of funds. Does almost anything a conventional plane/heli would need. Can't comment on multirotor functionality.
OpenTX - development has slowed way, way down. Still the standard for the ultimate in flexibility of use. Can be installed on many brands (Frsky (older models), Jumper, RadioMaster, and others)
EdgeTX - an offshoot that is still 99.8% OpenTX. Meant to be an experimental platform to test new features that may go back into OpenTX. Adopted by one brand (RadioMaster) since it supports their touchscreens. Not risky, but they do warn that due to the intent of being cutting edge (hence the name) there are chances of incorporation of new features causing rare issues. In effect, users are always beta testers.
Ethos - Frsky (Taranis/Horus) hired away one of the prime developers of OpenTX for their "from scratch" new system. They saw the market as a race to the bottom (cheapest) from other competitors also using OpenTX, and introduced their own proprietary system. Very "OpenTX" like, without being as deeply "geeky" as OpenTX can get. Great reviews. Still missing some bits that are like OpenTX (full computer interface, etc.) but being constantly improved. Like Futaba, will lock one in to one brand. Frsky still sells its older models that run OpenTX. The future of their support for that system is unknown, but cloudy.
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