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What's the main radio brand you use 2017?

2017 update

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Q: What's the main radio brand you use?





















(904 votes)

Percy Verance01/08/2017 17:04:38
8108 forum posts
155 photos


For some, the LMS itself is no longer available..........

ted hughes01/08/2017 19:26:24
466 forum posts

A recent thread was about people having trouble with Spektrum radios.

I said "why buy one?" and got a lot of flack, one of most telling arguments being: Spektrum had more reported problems because it was so popular, well this poll shows it makes up just 30% of all radios used!

Percy Verance01/08/2017 19:53:15
8108 forum posts
155 photos

Thirty odd years ago Futaba was hugely popular, and seemed the default choice at the time. Virtually every model shop worth it's salt held stocks. I don't recall many problems with it back then though despite it being very popular......

Erfolg01/08/2017 20:07:10
11396 forum posts
1209 photos

It is one of the aspects that I have noted, that non of the major brands, collectively seem to have any reliability issues, that is excepting perhaps one. Given that Futaba, JR and Hitec probably have a greater combined market share, I would expect there fault rate to be similar to another major brand. Possibly more significant is that probably most Futaba owners ( I am one) have had their sets for several years, rather than the some of the brands in use.

Although not as popular I cannot but notice that Frsky never seem to report reliability issues that effect successful flying. As an aside I use a number of Fasst Frsky receivers, which I guess are not measured in this poll, they seem to be extremely good.

ted hughes02/08/2017 02:30:19
466 forum posts

The graphs show the trend is to Spekrum, although they have not yet completely dominated the market.

Cheap, but not wholly reliable.

I would happily recommend Spektrum to a newbie who wanted cheap and cheerful, but would not fly it myself.

Edited By ted hughes on 02/08/2017 02:32:59

Percy Verance02/08/2017 06:43:31
8108 forum posts
155 photos

A good point Ted.

Given the marketing strategly now adopted by HH, it may seem much less likely they'll hold their position in the market, let alone build on it. The indications so far seem to suggest that some Spektrum users - and possibly potential users - are now looking at alternatives.

A similar poll in say a couple of years time could well read very differently........

Edited By Percy Verance on 02/08/2017 06:54:07

David Davis02/08/2017 06:51:58
3442 forum posts
613 photos

I am a member of a small multi-national club in central France. Of the the twenty odd members from four different countries, all of the Frenchmen except one, use either Futaba or Graupner equipment. They seem to spend a great deal of time on the ground programming their equipment.

Four of us, a Dutchman, a Frenchman and two Englishmen use Spektrum and seem to fly more than the Futaba users.

I have used Spektrum equipment for years. Currently I use a DX9. I use my earlier DX6i as a slave transmitter when training beginners.

I've never had any problems with Spektrum's reliability.

Percy Verance02/08/2017 07:04:33
8108 forum posts
155 photos

Unfortunately David, there are some who have, and in this game mud tends to stick.

During flying sessions over the past few years, I myself have observed a number of issues with the said equipment. Oddly, even some very experienced flyers seem to experience these issues.

Perhaps part of the problem is that many saw the introduction of 2.4ghz as some sort of Holy Grail, with all previous problems simply just going away. It's not the case of course, as 2.4ghz equipment requires just as much - if not more care - during installation than did 35mhz.

In this hobby there always will be those whom have a penchant for fiddling with things unnecessarily. I once flew with a chap (RIP Colin) who used to constantly twiddle the mixture screws on his engines prior to take off. I did no such thing, but flew about ten times as much as he did. He even felt the need to fiddle with his Laser 150 constantly, whereas I simply flew mine year in, year out minus the fiddling.

Edited By Percy Verance on 02/08/2017 07:09:51

colin weaver02/08/2017 08:06:36
23 forum posts
4 photos

As an `old fart' I go back to 1978 with Fleet, then Futaba, and now FRSKY modules in my old Futaba Tx's. Also I have a couple of Hitec Optic Tx's, again that can have Tx modules fitted. I had a couple of component failures, Zener diodes etc, with the Fleet in the early days, and PCM lock out with Futaba 35 MHz - went back to Dual Conversion Rx's.

FRSKY has been rock solid for me for the past 4 years, but recently had some glitches; another friend with FRSKY telemetry has found low RSSI values across a defined line across our patch, but it comes and goes. We wonder if 2.4 Ghz is getting swamped at times ...... but a bit of a mystery.

Colin W

Devcon102/08/2017 08:18:27
1378 forum posts
486 photos

For next year's survey it looks like there will be a new kid on the block with PowerBox Systems high end offering.

Ralph Hopper02/08/2017 08:51:01
3 forum posts

Futaba always best

Edited By Ralph Hopper on 02/08/2017 08:52:43

Jon Laughton02/08/2017 08:56:18
1178 forum posts
105 photos

I continue to happily use Futaba without any problems and will for the foreseeable future

Interestingly I know of a very knowledgeable and supremely well qualified UAV expert in one of our top UK Universities (not LJMU) who has investigated different radios and refuses to use Spektrum - he recommends Taranis and Futaba.

(No names no pack drill wink)

MattyB02/08/2017 09:51:09
1960 forum posts
30 photos
Posted by Devcon1 on 02/08/2017 08:18:27:

For next year's survey it looks like there will be a new kid on the block with PowerBox Systems high end offering.

Not totally new - they acquired Weatronic when they went insolvent last year, and their offering will be built on the Weatronic RF protocol. Personally I can't see why anyone would buy one though; Weatronic had a tiny niche following for very high end (mostly jet) modellers in Europe, but if you want a top quality set with loads of integrated telemetry options Jeti are now way ahead.

Edited By MattyB on 02/08/2017 09:53:03

Steve J02/08/2017 10:11:52
1577 forum posts
47 photos

Posted by MattyB on 02/08/2017 09:51:09:

Personally I can't see why anyone would buy one though;

The only reason that I can think of for Powerbox's decision is that they see significant opportunities in the commercial UAS market.


Erfolg02/08/2017 11:40:42
11396 forum posts
1209 photos

Of hand, it is not clear o me that Spektrum have continued to make inroads into the market. I am sure that Beth Ashby have access to the previous surveys undertaken, or just the trends during the period of this survey. All in all, at a glance all the brands seem much the same, with regard to market share. It would be interesting to get Beths views on how equipment usage is moving. I am sure that she will be far more detached from the emotions that many of us suffer from, just taking a view from the numbers.

Perhaps the one surprise for me is that I did expect Futaba use to be falling away, primarily due to both high prices and an apparently incoherent product range.

I wonder Frsky will continue to grow their market share as there product range expands, together with their reputation for rock sold performance at attractive pricing points?

I thought from observation that Power box systems were the province of the Large Model brigade, particularly when there is a high current draw due to the servo use? But then again, I am a Luddite and know very little about the products.

old yorkie02/08/2017 12:25:13
54 forum posts


Percy Verance02/08/2017 13:52:30
8108 forum posts
155 photos

There is little doubt Futaba are losing their way in today's market. They no longer seem to have the knack of producing radios the majority of people want to buy. If they did, they'd be selling better than they currently are.

I have actually heard of some shops not bothering to stock Futaba as it no longer sells. That would have been unthinkable 35 years ago.They're no longer the kings of slick marketing either. Back in the 70's the Futaba adverts alone made you want to own and fly their gear, and thousands did, me included.

Edited By Percy Verance on 02/08/2017 13:55:56

Chris Walby02/08/2017 14:18:56
1005 forum posts
236 photos

I think people are missing a valid point, this survey is not representative of sales, merely that of the people who subscribe and actually vote.

IMHO its very distorted to be able to draw detailed conclusions unless you include all the people who have access to the forum and their vote.

Just my away!

Michael Little02/08/2017 15:13:36
54 forum posts
9 photos

I use Taranis most as i had a DX6 but needed more channels and the value for money is very important for me at the moment having a young family, so the 9 channels on the Taranis was a lot cheaper than a new spektrum. Only reason i have kept the Spektrum Really is my Taranis doesn't seem to work with the Realflight 7.5 Sim i like to practice on.

Percy Verance02/08/2017 15:39:29
8108 forum posts
155 photos

But Chris, this forum is what we have here, so that's what we have to go with I guess. In any case, might it not be fair to assume that what we see/hear on the forum could well be representative of what's happening elsewhere too?

It isn't as if the forum represents a mere handful of experiences or opinions. There are thousands of members I believe?

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