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Thinking of jumping ship from Futaba to Hitec

Old 01-16-2010, 10:11 PM
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hoppyflyer
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Default Thinking of jumping ship from Futaba to Hitec

I have been using Futaba exclusively for more than 20 years for both ground and air. I have been procrastinating on making the decision of switching to 2.4 because of the expense of converting 12+ air models to the new technology. I have not purchased any 2.4 radio equipment for air yet. I have been looking at the specs of the Fut 10c and the Hitec A9 and now leaning towards the A9 because of the new features, ease of programing and certainly the price of the radio and receivers is very appealing. I hate to jump ship but I feel Futaba should give THEIR customers that have purchased thousands of dollars worth of equipment over the years a real incentive, not a slap in the face. I would like to hear what your thoughts are on this topic.
Old 01-16-2010, 11:36 PM
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Default RE: Thinking of jumping ship from Futaba to Hitec

I found this on another RCU thread:


For those of you that have A9's on backorder with Tower, they have lowered their price to $399.00 with the 7 channell Optima receiver. I called them to ask if I need to cancle my backorder, and re-order at the new price, and they said no, they would adjust it automatically so I could keep my place in the backorder line. Using a Super Saver code, knocks of an additional $60.00, so for $339.00, it sounds like a pretty good deal, plus the two extra receivers for $40.00. Just a FYI for you guys...

Old 01-17-2010, 09:18 AM
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Default RE: Thinking of jumping ship from Futaba to Hitec

Keep in mind that you don't need to convert all 12+ aircraft at once.
Old 01-17-2010, 11:06 AM
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Default RE: Thinking of jumping ship from Futaba to Hitec

I, too, have only used Futaba for many years. I've been looking to upgrade from 72MHz to 2.4GHz but didn't want to buy a bunch of receivers. But along came this deal from Hitec where you get an awesome radio that comes with 1 receiver, a coupon for a second receiver for free, and another coupon for a 3rd receiver for $39.99. I'm currently on the back order list with Tower Hobbies and I'm excited to hear that they dropped the price another $30!

I used to be in the mindset of brand loyalty, but with so many people being loyal to certain companies, these companies sort of take us for granted. The proof of this is in their prices. The Futaba 10CG sells for $650 with 1 receiver. A JR X9503 sells for $550 with 1 receiver.

If I stuck with Futaba and got the 10CG with 3 receivers, I would have paid an additional $470 over the price I paid for the A9 ! To me that's another model I can buy now.

Don't fool yourself into thinking that you should be loyal to a brand. They need to be loyal to their customers by giving us the best products for the lowest prices - and good competition helps balance this.
Old 01-17-2010, 12:38 PM
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hoppyflyer
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Default RE: Thinking of jumping ship from Futaba to Hitec

Dszydel
You wrote exactly what I am thinking. It seems as though Futaba and JR have left the door wide open for Hitec to come in and take many of their customers based on PRICE and features. Unlike with the 72mhz radios you once you commit to a brand name you have to stay with that brands receivers. I have some friends that have already started converting to Fut and JR 2.4 and are now thinking of selling them so they can switch to the Hitec A9
Old 01-17-2010, 02:40 PM
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Default RE: Thinking of jumping ship from Futaba to Hitec


ORIGINAL: dszydel I, too, have only used Futaba for many years. I've been looking to upgrade from 72MHz to 2.4GHz but didn't want to buy a bunch of receivers. But along came this deal from Hitec where you get an awesome radio that comes with 1 receiver, a coupon for a second receiver for free, and another coupon for a 3rd receiver for $39.99. I'm currently on the back order list with Tower Hobbies and I'm excited to hear that they dropped the price another $30! I used to be in the mindset of brand loyalty, but with so many people being loyal to certain companies, these companies sort of take us for granted. The proof of this is in their prices. The Futaba 10CG sells for $650 with 1 receiver. A JR X9503 sells for $550 with 1 receiver.
If I stuck with Futaba and got the 10CG with 3 receivers, I would have paid an additional $470 over the price I paid for the A9 ! To me that's another model I can buy now. Don't fool yourself into thinking that you should be loyal to a brand. They need to be loyal to their customers by giving us the best products for the lowest prices - and good competition helps balance this.
As an added bonus if buying an Aurora 9ch,exisiting Futaba owners wanting extra receiverscan also upgrade their module based Futaba TX with
Spectra 2.4GHz Module & 2-Optima 7Chcombo being cheaper than simply buying two extra 7ch receivers.
Further information
Coupons and Pricing Comparisons

Aurora A9 - Fly RC Product Review by Scott Stoops with Bob Aberle & Thayer Syme
Aurora A9, Spectra Pro & Optima - FAQ & Undocumented Features - Mixes, Setups, Tips. {frequently updated}

Regards
Alan T.
Alan's Hobby, Model & RC FAQ Web Links
Old 01-17-2010, 04:37 PM
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Default RE: Thinking of jumping ship from Futaba to Hitec

ORIGINAL: hoppyflyer
I hate to jump ship but I feel Futaba should give THEIR customers that have purchased thousands of dollars worth of equipment over the years a real incentive, not a slap in the face.
What incentive are you looking for?
What did Futaba do that you consider a slap in the face?
===
Carrell
Old 01-17-2010, 07:39 PM
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Default RE: Thinking of jumping ship from Futaba to Hitec


ORIGINAL: carrellh

ORIGINAL: hoppyflyer
I hate to jump ship but I feel Futaba should give THEIR customers that have purchased thousands of dollars worth of equipment over the years a real incentive, not a slap in the face.
What incentive are you looking for?
What did Futaba do that you consider a slap in the face?
===
Carrell
I feel that I was being a loyal customer by spending thousands of dollars over the past 20 yrs and encouraging many newbies to use Futaba products. Futaba is offering a WHOPPING $20 or $25 trade-in for a radio that they were selling for $300 approximately a year ago as an incentive to buy a 10 channel radio with a 14 channel receiver (???) that cost $650. Hitec can sell a 9 channel radio (with more features) with a 9 channel receiver and (2) 7 channel receivers for less than $500. I feel that Futaba's offer is a slap in the face. I don't mean to be blunt, but you asked.
Old 01-17-2010, 09:01 PM
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Default RE: Thinking of jumping ship from Futaba to Hitec

They're a business, not a neighbor.
Old 01-17-2010, 10:46 PM
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Default RE: Thinking of jumping ship from Futaba to Hitec

I've thought about this quite a lot myself. I've been flying since I was 8 - almost 30 years now - hard to believe. One of my first radios was a Futaba FG (gold box).

I had a Jr. in the late 80s and early 90s and really really liked it but I got it as someone else was getting out of the hobby and would have never been able to afford it. For a long time Futaba has been the best, most economical bet (in my opinion).

One of the advantages that we have lost with the 2.4Ghz revolution is the ability to purchase receivers made by folks who aren't the transmitter manufacturers. Of course if you want PCM you have to go with your brand but for FM/PPM you could pretty much do as you pleased. For me I spent a lot of money on HiTec receivers - still far less than I would have on Futaba. I buy Futaba servos and my 9CAP Super was intended to last 5-10 years. If I go back and look at the price of an RD127FM I believe they were over $100 probably closer to $120 than not. Now we look at futaba's 7 channel 2.4 Ghz rx and it is $100 - ostensibly less than the RD127. The problem is - with Futaba's (or any other brand) 2.4Ghz technology we can't just go out and buy a hitec rx and go fly. We have to buy Futaba. This is a significant loss for the breadth of competition in our hobby. We have to purchase more complete systems than just parts. The 72Mhz dual conversion receivers I was using were in the $50 range with crystals (typically electron 6s).

I have also noticed that the prices of Futaba's radios have increased quite a lot these last few years. Inflation has been fairly stable so I don't think that would explain it. I've also noticed, as a side note that quite a bit of Hobbico's product line has increased in price. Look at OS Engines - the prices on their new line of alpha 4 strokes is way past ridiculous in my opinion. The OS 70 Surpass II was $209.99 when they discontinued it and the 56a is $284.99, the 72a (what would be the replacement of the 70SII I imagine) is $349.99. That is a 60% price increase. I won't be buying that engine I suspect...

My 9C Super when I purchased it with 4 3151 Digital servos and a 9 channel RX was $399.99 - with discount out the door it was $384.99. The 8 FG is $479.99 and the 10C is $649.99 both without any servos. Quite a bit higher in price - they can say that they have more and better features but they are competing in the same space as the 9C was so in my opinion they should be priced in that space (or does that space even exist anymore?).

So being budget minded myself I started considering the alternatives. I've been a fan of HiTec for some time and used them for parts like servos and receivers for some time. It depends on the servo type on if I go futaba or hitec. I find futaba's standard gear to be very good for my purposes and HiTecs mini (HS-65s and 81s) to be fine but a little pricey. With my appreciation for Hitec already cemented jumping to their gear is more of a step. At the recent AMA show I looked at the gear - I didn't even bother picking up a Futaba radio.

I don't think Futaba has slapped me in the face - their prices for the RXs compared to their 72Mhz gear is less I believe but it is still too high. Since I can't buy any other brand support gear I've got to consider another brand's system.

With the spectra module my 9C has a longer life - with their competitive prices Hitec has won a customer over. I will be considering an Aurora in the future because as it stands now I have 3 of their 2.4 Ghz receivers and plans to order even more in the coming months.

Hobbico, in my mind is either being really successful with other modelers or really foolish with their prices. I honestly don't know their financial position but in the most recent years I have been ordering less from them and shopping more at my local Hobby People and other shops. I know that is good in general but Tower, Great Planes, OS and Futaba have been staples in this hobby for me since day 1. Seeing them fail for me would be sad.

I wish that they weren't pricing themselves out of my reach. I've had wonderful experiences with them ( and a few less than wonderful), their service and their support have almost always been above and beyond. The thing is - I've had nearly equal expereinces with Global and Hobby People.

Just my few cents...
Old 01-17-2010, 11:27 PM
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Default RE: Thinking of jumping ship from Futaba to Hitec

Even though I have always considered myself bias toward Futaba, this was only because of all of the inexpensive aftermarket items geared toward them. I have actually bought all Hitec stuff for the last 10 years other than the Transmitters themselves.
I have no loyalty to brand per se, so this is not a dilemma for me. The products that Hitec are offering are just too much forward in their thinking to ignore. The low battery rx voltage is a huge step forward. This feature alone is almost priceless. This feature is included even with a simple module upgrade for your Futaba. The ability to run a singe, seperate power supply to the RXer, seperate from the servos, and all of the telemetry that will be available soon as well. Not too mention the overall value. Futaba and JR have to be scrambling.
My only loyalty is to bargain, quality and innovation. There is no reason for you to feel guilty. Seems like a false dilemma to me.
Old 01-18-2010, 05:13 AM
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Default RE: Thinking of jumping ship from Futaba to Hitec

Some thought on Futaba and Hitec

...I wouldn´t blame Futaba/O.S. but only the US-importer. In Japan, the O.S. 72A costs only a couple of bucks more than the 56a. The 72a is priced between the 56a and 82a. Ask the US-importeur about its strange price politics. I guess they think the 72a might be the hot seller. Anyway.

If you look at Futaba in the US you should really consider the special offers.

Before I would buy the A9 I would try to imagine how this radio looks in your hands after a couple of days on the field. Would you still be happy having saved some bucks after your next pay check has arrived?

And look at Futaba, there are some new kind of RX Data bus system in the pipe.

Furthermore, if you get the T10 with the 14ch Rx you have already establish a basis for upgrading your hanger with the 12FG or 14ch radio. At Hitec, it rather looks like that people will be restricted to only 9ch for a long time to come.

I do not know what you want to fly in the coming years but I would keep my options open with a Futaba radio. Otherwise, you might be starting again re-equiping you models with new recievers.
Old 01-18-2010, 08:30 AM
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Default RE: Thinking of jumping ship from Futaba to Hitec


ORIGINAL: BuschBarber

I found this on another RCU thread:


For those of you that have A9's on backorder with Tower, they have lowered their price to $399.00 with the 7 channell Optima receiver. I called them to ask if I need to cancle my backorder, and re-order at the new price, and they said no, they would adjust it automatically so I could keep my place in the backorder line. Using a Super Saver code, knocks of an additional $60.00, so for $339.00, it sounds like a pretty good deal, plus the two extra receivers for $40.00. Just a FYI for you guys...

Can you still get that deal or has it already passed?
Old 01-18-2010, 08:36 AM
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Default RE: Thinking of jumping ship from Futaba to Hitec

I would call Tower Hobbies and ask them. I just spotted this on one of the Aurora threads that I subscribe to, but I have not gone to Tower Hobbies to check.
Old 01-18-2010, 09:03 AM
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Default RE: Thinking of jumping ship from Futaba to Hitec

Yep, a friend who has only owned high end Futaba in the past showed up at the field a couple of weeks ago having upgraded to 2.4 with a Spectrum DX7 saying, "it has all the functions I use". Is there a shift away from buying something at any price just because it has the most bells and whistles or loyalty?
Old 01-18-2010, 09:14 AM
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Default RE: Thinking of jumping ship from Futaba to Hitec

Looks like the best through tower right now is the $399 - the current offer of $20 off... for $379. As long as I order before march I think you get the 2nd receiver free etc..
Old 01-18-2010, 09:33 AM
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Default RE: Thinking of jumping ship from Futaba to Hitec

If I get one, I'll be selling my 9 super with a 72 synthesized module + spektrum module and probably 8 receivers...

Are the switches on the Aurora layed out the same as the 9c?

Mainly the spring loaded switch. Is it on the back left or can it be moved?
Old 01-18-2010, 09:34 AM
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Default RE: Thinking of jumping ship from Futaba to Hitec

I have owned quite a few RC radios over the past 32 years. I moved to my first computer radio (Futaba T6XA) because the previous owner of an aircraft I purchased had used that radio and I needed to set End Points for the Retract Valve Servo. It was so much easier than changing it mechanically.

When evaluating a new computer radio, I seem to find it hard to imagine what I would use all the new features for or whether this new radio has a feature I need until I have had my hands on it for a few weeks. Just seeing it in a Trade Show or at an LHS is not enough.

I will never say that "This radio has everything I need" because a month later, I may have a new aircraft where Extra Channels or Extra Features would make the job much easier.

I have a JR XP9303 and a Hangar 9 P47-150. I have Dual Ailerons, Dual Elevators, Dual Flaps, and Dual Retract servos. That alone would eat up 8 channels if I did not use some JR Matchboxes. I always try to use Mixed Channels for Ailerons, Elevators, and Flaps so I can Match each pair of servos and take advantage of other features. In the case of the Retracts, I wanted one to go up Slower than the other to look Scale. I will not use a Y harness, especially for Elevators and Flaps, because I almost always have to Reverse one servo for those controls. A 10 or 12 channel Tx and Rx would suit me better, for this aircraft, but for all my other aircraft, a 9 channel is fine. Matchboxes are expensive.

I have a friend who set up his BVM T33 Turbine jet on a DX7, with 3 or 4 Matchboxes, but he soon upgraded to the X9303.

There is always at least One feature, of a higher end radio than the one your have, that eventually lures you into Upgrading. I like having lots of extra Model Memories so I can experiment and still have a Stable Model Memory to go back to.
Old 01-18-2010, 10:38 AM
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Default RE: Thinking of jumping ship from Futaba to Hitec

I have had:

6EXA
7CAP
9C super

Now Aurora 9

I was almost ready to make the switch to Futaba 2.4 but the receiver pricing was way too high. My son gets the hand me down R/C equipment so it looks like he will get the 9C with Hitec 2.4G conversion. Hitec makes some great equipment at reasonable prices. So in 3-4 years I can upgrade knowing I got value for what I paid.

Most of my receivers for the Futaba were Hitec(for gas and electric) or Hobby city(for indoor). I don't feel bad selling a $50.00 Hitec 72MHZ receiver for $15.00 but I will not pay $100-$150 for a Futaba 2.4G receiver.
Old 01-18-2010, 10:47 AM
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Default RE: Thinking of jumping ship from Futaba to Hitec

Except for a few PCM Rx's, most of my Rx's have been Hitec FM/PPM, as well.

T6XA, 7AUPS, 8AUPS, 9CAP, JR XP8103 and XP9303, plus a number of earlier Futaba Tx's since 1978.
Old 01-18-2010, 12:26 PM
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Default RE: Thinking of jumping ship from Futaba to Hitec


ORIGINAL: Pippin

Some thought on Futaba and Hitec

...I wouldn´t blame Futaba/O.S. but only the US-importer. In Japan, the O.S. 72A costs only a couple of bucks more than the 56a. The 72a is priced between the 56a and 82a. Ask the US-importeur about its strange price politics. I guess they think the 72a might be the hot seller. Anyway.

If you look at Futaba in the US you should really consider the special offers.

Before I would buy the A9 I would try to imagine how this radio looks in your hands after a couple of days on the field. Would you still be happy having saved some bucks after your next pay check has arrived?

And look at Futaba, there are some new kind of RX Data bus system in the pipe.

Furthermore, if you get the T10 with the 14ch Rx you have already establish a basis for upgrading your hanger with the 12FG or 14ch radio. At Hitec, it rather looks like that people will be restricted to only 9ch for a long time to come.

I do not know what you want to fly in the coming years but I would keep my options open with a Futaba radio. Otherwise, you might be starting again re-equiping you models with new recievers.

I've been very happy with my 9C for some time - I am a sport flyer - I don't have a lot of complex models. the 12/14 channel radios are far and away more than I would ever spend on a radio. Well, unless I came into some serious money but if you don't play the lottery you can't win the lottery.

I like the 10C but compared to the Aurora and what I need (I've never used the 9th channel on the 9C) historically why should I spend $200 more for the transmitter and then another $30 for every airplane I want to fly with it over the hitec?

I flew with a futaba 5 channel FG from 1989 to 2000 when I upgraded to a computer radio (6EXA). The 6EXA was a frustrating radio since you couldn't name your models at the time (I think it can now). Then I upgraded to the 9C which has been my favorite radio.
Old 01-18-2010, 02:18 PM
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Default RE: Thinking of jumping ship from Futaba to Hitec


ORIGINAL: jonkoppisch If I get one, I'll be selling my 9 super with a 72 synthesized module + spektrum module and probably 8 receivers...
Are the switches on the Aurora layed out the same as the 9c? Mainly the spring loaded switch. Is it on the back left or can it be moved?
All switches are individually assignable.
The spring loaded switch is right rear to accomodate majority of users. Thespring loaded switchis easily swapped over, and http://www.rcgroups.com/forums/showpost.php?p=14099858&postcount=2712] "No,it will not void the warranty... we will allow this swap by the user." [/url] - Mike.

Details of how to open case with pictures under last section of post
http://www.rcgroups.com/forums/showp...90&postcount=1]"[/b]If ever absolutely necessary to open case"

Aurora A9, Spectra Pro & Optima - FAQ & Undocumented Features - Mixes, Setups, Tips. {frequently updated}

Regards
Alan T.
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Old 01-18-2010, 04:41 PM
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Default RE: Thinking of jumping ship from Futaba to Hitec

That sounds good. I like being able to put spoilerons (for doing sudden stop walls) on the left back spring loaded switch. That way, I pull it and it's on and just let go for off... Real quick!!!
Old 01-18-2010, 05:10 PM
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Default RE: Thinking of jumping ship from Futaba to Hitec

...it looks like Hitec´s A9 is a great radio and a nice upgrade for all those 6EX users etc. The price is right too.

But I would rather prefer spending 30$ more per plane and get Futaba (I use Sanwa myself but I like Futaba as well). If you get a 10ch warbird these mentioned 30 bucks are a piece of cake. What are 30$ anyway? I would strongly recommend a 10ch system too.

If a reasonable priced Rx matters I would also look at Sanwa/Airtronics. If you like a silver Tx case...

The A9 holds its own place if you want to play with a integrated flight infotainment system and the additional sensors.

Imagine, your next plane should be a Texan II with retracs, steerable front wheel, dual elevator servos, in short, all these amenities of a modern 10ch Tx used. With the A9, you have to find a compromise. Personally, I would not shift any $ for an upcoming compromise. With a 10ch in your hangar you can dream about lot´s of nice planes with lot of features.
Old 01-18-2010, 05:27 PM
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Default RE: Thinking of jumping ship from Futaba to Hitec

ORIGINAL: Pippin ...it looks like Hitec´s A9 is a great radio and a nice upgrade for all those 6EX users etc. The price is right too.But I would rather prefer spending 30$ more per plane and get Futaba (I use Sanwa myself but I like Futaba as well). If you get a 10ch warbird these mentioned 30 bucks are a piece of cake. What are 30$ anyway? I would strongly recommend a 10ch system too.If a reasonable priced Rx matters I would also look at Sanwa/Airtronics. If you like a silver Tx case... The A9 holds its own place if you want to play with a integrated flight infotainment system and the additional sensors.
Imagine, your next plane should be a Texan II with retracs, steerable front wheel, dual elevator servos, in short, all these amenities of a modern 10ch Tx used. With the A9, you have to find a compromise. Personally, I would not shift any $ for an upcoming compromise. With a 10ch in your hangar you can dream about lot´s of nice planes with lot of features.
Please refer to:
Hitec Aurora 9Ch, Futaba 10C Faast and JR X9303 - full comparison noting that the Aurora has already had new features added (e.g. 18 digit user name) and every Aurora TX can be readily upgraded with all new firmware. No need to keep buying new TX.
Hitec Programmers -
Download updates for Aurora , other Hitec 2.4GHz & Digital systems
Aurora A9 - Fly RC Product Review by Scott Stoops with Bob Aberle & Thayer Syme

Hitec Aurora Interactive Homepage

Coupons and Pricing Comparisons


Regards
Alan Tong (Hitec NZ).
Alan's Hobby, Model & RC FAQ Web Links


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