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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)

Rob Ashley02/08/2017 16:36:11
246 forum posts
84 photos

I guess it also boils down to personal experiences too. I am a Futaba man and have been for the 25 yrs I have been modelling (wow that even makes me feel old). That was my first set and it worked perfectly, as have the other sets in the years since.

I did branch out to a JR set, but it would drop signal intermittently sadly resulting the loss of my much loved and very lovely SE5a - I had to put it into a boat to find the problem. I have also tried Frsky receivers but I find them hit and miss and some will not centre the servos very well and have excessive buzzing - putting a Futaba rx back in sorts out the problem.

I also have a mate who swears by Spectrum and some others that have had real problems with them causing lost models. I was on the verge if changing my fleet over to Spectrum when it was time for a Tx upgrade, but saw a number of problems friends were having and didn't think it was worth it. I have never owned one myself as I am still happy with Futaba and content to pay the prices for piece of mind, based on my own experiences.

Erfolg02/08/2017 17:06:23
11430 forum posts
1216 photos

I am reasonably confident, that the number of votes would be considered to be statistically significant sample size, by a statistician.

As Chris outlines, the wording of the vote is about what RC system you use. Just accepting this argument, the indications are that Spektrum sales have plateaud. My argument would be that the numbers indicated are broadly similar to previous surveys (although this is my memory talking).

I am sure that however imperfect this poll has been, it will be containing the sort of information that many in manufacturing and sales, see as invaluable.

The real wonder to me is the increasing usage of Frsky Radios, mainly because there are no major adverts for them. Also the Tarnis is a little techy for those of us who just see the Radio as a tool, that is essentially ready for use, with a supporting technical manual written using some foreign grammatical constructionssad. Non the less all those I have met, who are younger than me, find the Taranis great.

RCM&E seem reluctant to draw conclusions for us, I guess not wanting to risk upsetting people, who ever and where ever they may be.

gangster02/08/2017 17:07:06
969 forum posts
17 photos

I did not answer this survey as I did not know how to answer it I currently use three different radios

JR PCM 9x on 35 MHz for my I C planes. Lovely set of radio totally trust it and probably built better than current radios

Futaba 8j and the old Spectrum DX8 on 2.4. Both totally reliable and good radios although to be honest the Futaba looks and feelscheap and nasty compared to the Spektrum. If I was only allowed to keep one I think it would be the Spektrum. In 40 years rc flying I have never had any brand loyalty and have always bought what liked the look of I have used Micron RCME Skyleader Sanwa Hitec JR Futaba and Spektrum. In all those years I have had hundreds of "incidents" due to pilot error a handful due to battery or servo issues but none due to either interference or radio failure

john stones 102/08/2017 17:09:32
10757 forum posts
1481 photos

One of the best adverts for a product is satisfied customers, frsky has that in abundance.

Erfolg02/08/2017 18:02:16
11430 forum posts
1216 photos


Are you being provocative? You know that is very naughty. I will rise to the bait.

I have seen Spektrum radios where the switches on the side have apparently disintegrated, that the back covers on the cheaper sets, have not maintained contact of the pen type cells.

Where as my Futaba, is, oh. my god, has something fallen off?

I would hope that the Spektrum radios have improved there feel and quality as the cost of newer models has increased.

Being equally provocative, there is an area by our field called Spektrum corner, where all Spektrum equipped models crash, that is all two of them. I crashed at the other end of the field, although in my case, it was this operators incompetence.

The one thing Futaba radios are not and that is flimsydevil

Swissflyer02/08/2017 19:18:12
162 forum posts
41 photos

Well here is a slightly different slant. As an electronics engineer I am very conscious that the movements of my thumbs & fingers are translated into electronic signals by potentiometers.

Over time, and depending on the quality of the potentiometers, the tracks in those potentiometers wear and can create spurious noise that does not help flying at all (maybe you have heard a noisy volume control on a radio to understand the point?)

Let’s just say that I trust more the quality of the Japanese potentiometers in my two Graupner/JR transmitters over the more modern production of a neighbouring nation.

So when 2.4GHz came along I just replaced the 41MHz RF links with the “cleanest” 2.4GHz modules I could find. That let me keep those high quality Japanese potentiometers, all the settings in my two transmitters AND enjoy seven years of glitch free flying - wonderful smiley

I do have one model on 41MHz, it does suffer glitches where my 2.4GHz models notice nothing.

So I can happily focus on improving my flying ...

gangster02/08/2017 23:01:45
969 forum posts
17 photos

Ergolg Sorry my intention was not to be provocative it's a subject that people take very seriously. If you were to ask me what make of radio I would buy next I honestly would have no idea and would look at Futaba Spektrum Hitec or frysky with an open mind. In reality however I am heavily committed receiver wise to fhss and dsmx. You mention pen cells aaargh that is a phobia of mine and I would not fly with loose cells even if Rolls Royce made the TX . I am not familiar with the Spektrum range at the lower end of the food chain but looking at the prices am not sure what to expect. The only ones I am at all familiar is the old dx6i and the old DX8 and yes the Dx6i has the loose cell issue as does the equivalent Futaba. Neither manufactured made proper provision for rechargeable packs on the 6 channel sets. As far as the flimsy comment I maintain that the old silver DX8 feels and looks a far better quality piece of kit than the 8j same price and same position in the market) Like I said if I bought brand X last year it is quite possible that I would choose brand y next year I have had some fantastic sets of radio over the years ( mid range) but have usually changed them after about 10 years with whatever wows me regardless of manufacturer

Peter Jenkins02/08/2017 23:51:01
1291 forum posts
132 photos

One needs to differentiate JR 2.4 radio from the Spectrum technology and JRs own DMSS or XG range of radio. I started as a Futaba person but when 2.4 appeared, a month after buying a FF9 (argh!) I waited, and waited and waited for Futaba to produce a 2.4 mHz module. In the end, I went for a JR DSX9 set on the basis I could buy cheaper Spektrum Rxs as well. That resulted in me losing 2 models due to brown out - it took almost 3 secs for the Rx to come back on line with the then technology. When JR launched the XG series I went for the XG11 and have been extremely satisfied with it.

What I did notice moving from Futaba to JR was that programming the Tx, for me, was a darn sight easier with JR. True you couldn't use any switch for any function but then I've never found that to be a problem. Others might value this flexibility but I found it confusing and difficult to use.

I find that the Tx mixing capabilities are fine for all the flying I do including flying F3A competitively. As ever, one has to ask on fora for advice on how to achieve the really useful mixes since the JR instruction manual is like most others in being useless for anything other than the basics.

If JR decide to leave the model world, which I guess is looking that way, I will not feel I need to change until things start to break. At that point I think the Jeti radios will have another customer especially given the level of telemetry you get using a Jeti Mezon ESC.

Oh, I should say I started by building a valve carrier wave MacGregor radio. The Rx battery was huge but nothing like the Tx battery! Then progressed to building my own Remcon Quantum 6 - but only one servo amplifier as I found it very fiddly going. My Quantum 6 was a disaster as far as range went and despite taking it back to the Remcon I was told it was fine. I never flew it. Finally, I bought a Futaba M series. Lovely piece of kit back in those days but sadly I'd moved on to full size flying my then and never used the Futaba although I still have it.

Edited By Peter Jenkins on 02/08/2017 23:51:35

David Davis03/08/2017 06:01:41
3464 forum posts
621 photos

I praised the reliablity of my Spektrum DX9 yesterday but they say that pride goes before a fall!

Having finished work for the day at my new house, and what a bind that is turning out to be, I drove to the flying field with my trusty Irvine powered Stick and my Spektrum D9. I filled the fuel tank and switched on the transmitter. I was greeted with a series of perhaps twenty or thirty little beeps. This had never happened before but I took no notice and switched on the model. There was the usual click from the servos but when I tried to operate the controls I got no response at all. I checked the battery voltages but they were alright so I went home and tried the transmitter out on two other models with the same result. The beeping sound was caused by the transmitter sending the elevator trim to the full down position. Right-hand fore and aft trim, I'm a Mode 2 pilot.

There's obviously a fault with the transmitter and I will have to send it off to Germany to have it repaired. I'll let you know how I get on.

Fortunately I still have my DX6i which I can bind to my models. Having spent the last several months working on the house, I have only three serviceable models, the Stick, the club's ARTF trainer, and an unflown Veron Cardinal. My current batch of trainees are all Mode 1 and I have an old DX5 for them.

Incidentally there were two crashes at the club yesterday, one involving a tree. The pilots involved both claimed radio failure but in my view most crashes are due to pilot error. Not necessarily a piloting error you understand, if a connection works loose and the model crashes it's your fault! However, I was not there at the time so I cannot comment with any authority. The radios involved were Graupner and Spektrum. It just goes to show.

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