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Radio System Recommendations

Old 12-14-2005, 07:13 PM
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Sayonara
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Default Radio System Recommendations

Friends,
I tried posting this in the radio section and did not have any luck.

I have a few questions regarding Radios and receivers.
Currently the boat I am working on has a very basic Futaba pistol grip radio. I would like to upgrade to something that could run multiple boats. (at different times of coarse) I plan on visiting the lake and would like to only have one radio system. Also, I dont want to feel like I have to upgrade as my boat projects increase in complexity.

Here are my questions:

1. Recommendations for a multi-model radio system. Futaba?, Airtronics?, JR?
2. Can any transmitter work with any receiver or do they have to be from the same brand?
3. What type of receiver would you recommend for boating?
4. Fail safe????

Thank you everyone for your help.
Old 12-14-2005, 07:56 PM
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Justaddwata
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Default RE: Radio System Recommendations

You have a few options with radios (and failsafes).

I use 3PK's (I have two) and currently run them with the Spektrum DSM TX module. 3PK's have 10 model memories (you do not need to reset all your trim settings between boats). Shopping around you can pick up a 3PK in the $200 - 300 range. You dont need the DSM Modules. Aim for 75mhz and try to avoid receivers that are HRS (High response) as they require digital servos. The 3PK has failsafe built in.

There are several other pistol grip radio options with multi model memory (usually 3 or 6) which will be sufficient. Options for failsafes include add on units (about $20 each) which are quite effective.

I am no pro when it comes to what RX with work with what TX. I tend to stick with like brands and my preference has been with Futaba radios and High Tec servos.

I am sure others will chime in also. Radio preference is often a personal choice. I do find the 3PK is hands down the most popular radio with serious boaters (common at the races).
Old 12-14-2005, 08:34 PM
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Sayonara
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Default RE: Radio System Recommendations

Over the last few weeks I was liking the sounds of the 3PK but not liking the price. Im thinking about a nearly new JR XS3 in the RCU classifieds. no servos though. I have a futaba and a Hitech in my 43 Challanger. and need to find out if this combination will work.
I too have a lot of good experience with the Futaba's from RC cars. This JR XS3 radio however seems pretty reasonable at $80 shipped. And Im glad I could find something on RCU and not ebay.

Any thoughts on the XS3

Thanks a ton - as usual!!!
Old 12-14-2005, 11:08 PM
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FROGMAN524
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Default RE: Radio System Recommendations

I loved the XS3 when I used it on my 1/5 scale FG Marder gas car. It was great, great battery life, great response, easy to operate. It's a good radio at a good price new, $200.00 is the fully synthesized one and it uses it's own synthesized reciever.
Old 12-15-2005, 12:53 AM
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Default RE: Radio System Recommendations


I prefer the JR R1 myself with the built in Fail Safe and PCM Modulation. It will run up to 10 Models too. The Futaba 3PK is another good choice that has all the goodies too. Look around, be patient and you can find them for a very reasonable price. I have had and used the XS3 and the XR3i and they don't compare.
Old 12-15-2005, 03:50 AM
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Justaddwata
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Default RE: Radio System Recommendations

I paid $240 for my first 3PK on e-bay and $190 for my second (not on e-bay). Both brand new. Shop around !!!

There are a few new options with the DSM 2.4Ghz technology that may be worth exploring also
Old 12-15-2005, 10:57 AM
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Default RE: Radio System Recommendations

Just out of curiosity, what does everyone think of the m8??
Old 12-15-2005, 11:07 AM
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xxxboatworks
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Default RE: Radio System Recommendations

I would go with the 3pk. I've had a few and they have all been very reliable.

Matt, you got a new 3pk for 190? WOW! who gave you such a good deal??
Old 12-15-2005, 12:43 PM
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Default RE: Radio System Recommendations

Let me throw another option at you. If you can handle a transmitter with twin sticks, what about a Futaba 9C? Yes, it's a 9 channel with twin sticks, and thought of as an aircraft radio. It does, however, have available 75MHZ modules and everything else the 3PK has EXCEPT the wheel and trigger controls. The only other drawback is it runs around $400. The nice part is it can be changed over for aircraft in about 30 seconds, if you ever want to go that route. That's the reason I bought mine, to handle multiple hydroplanes and multiple aircraft using the same transmitter. Think of how much money that could save you in the long run
Old 12-15-2005, 01:12 PM
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Default RE: Radio System Recommendations

You will have a hard time convincing Americans (me included) to use a stick radio on a boat or car. Pretty cool that you can switch that 9c to 75mhz. Never knew you could do that. Probably a popular radio for the robot guys.
Old 12-15-2005, 03:03 PM
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Default RE: Radio System Recommendations

DT, If you are looking to upgrade, I would stay with Futaba. There are lots of JR and Airtronics users and I'm sure they are good as well but I personally have never had a Futaba unit fail unless I have bashed it into the ground or sunk it first. There is no advantage of one brand over the other. But when you start trying to mix them TX, Rx, battery, switch, Servo, you will run into compatibility problems. So stay with one brand if possible.
As for a recommendation on Rx I would go with an FM system vs AM to eliminate interferance from the boat or elsewhere and I would go with the 75MHZ vs the 27MHZ to get away from the old CB interferance that is still possible. If you budget can stand it get a frequency synththized TX module so you can switch freq to the model as well as the saved trim settings on the numbered (named) model.
I know you want to have one tx but if you ever want to run with a guest and introduce them to boating you will be sorry you can't run two boats at the same time.
Old 12-15-2005, 05:03 PM
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Default RE: Radio System Recommendations

It was a great deal indeed XXX - But I was sworn to secrecy
Old 12-15-2005, 07:33 PM
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Default RE: Radio System Recommendations

I agree that the FM 75 Band is the better choice but PCM is the BEST Choice and will always give you the least chance for interference or glitches.

I picked up my last couple of JR R1,s I bought on Ebay for around $150.00 with one PCM RX too. PCM Units with a Failsafe are hard to beat

I used to own all Futaba Radios and had a BAD streak of bad luck and went to all JR Stuff. I still kept one Futaba PCM 1024 TX and RX though. I am not knocking Futaba stuff, they make great equipment, I was just frustrated []
Old 12-16-2005, 09:50 AM
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Default RE: Radio System Recommendations

Becasue this is basicly a matter of safety I'm adding a few things. A 50 mph boat out of control could severly injure some one even on shore.

I would
A. buy new equipement to be sure is hasn't been abused or damaged , plus you get a warrenty
B. FM at least yes pcm is better but stay away from AM (before the stink starts , FM has less problems than AM)

Stick , wheel, Futaba , JR, Airtronics the choice is yours , they are all good
Old 12-16-2005, 01:55 PM
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Default RE: Radio System Recommendations

XXX, I actually orderred it with a 75 MHZ module and receiver. It still has all the aircraft and helo programming as well as assignable switches, so why not use it for both? I figured I would use it for my hydro fleet until I get my airplane finished, then buy a synth module and receiver. Then I can do anything with it

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