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What's the main radio brand you fly?

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Q: New Poll - what's the main R/C brand you use (2014)?























Older set  




(1982 votes)

Frank Skilbeck21/04/2014 21:01:59
4570 forum posts
101 photos
Posted by Erfolg on 20/04/2014 21:32:29:

Except, that is, Spektrum and Frsky, which do appear to be the leaders of innovation and the inclusion of telemetry, for the masses. It does seem that both companies can see that there is more to be won by either licencing technology to other users or developing an open approach to technology. Both seem to be are aware of the benefits of keen pricing relative to capability.

Where are Frsky leaders of innovations, what they are doing is offering a good product at a very competitive price, and to get into the Tx market they have adopted an old tx case and off the shelf Open tx programming, wise moves but hardly innovative. The rest of their development is by following other manufacturers but at much more competitive price point. Even Spektrum got into tx manufacturing this way by originally tying up with JR for their initial offerings. Neither company has led in telemetry (but Frsky do very low cost telemetry systems), and Spektrum have lagged in telemetry but have been very active in developing specialised Rx's for flybarless helis and also with inbuilt stabilisation systems. Spektrum have probably also been very popular because of the BnF models especially the micros (I know I have a Dx6i and several BnF models and a Blade 300 heli)

Other companies have opened up their telemetry protocols to 3rd party developers.

Erfolg21/04/2014 22:50:44
11558 forum posts
1274 photos

Frank by innovation, I am making reference to both manufacturers have introduced ideas and products that have not been available.

If you take Spektrum, they introduced 2.4 as a system to the mass RC market. You may argue that 2.4 has been available for many other devices, or even that Fred made a set for personal use. As far as the majority of modellers are concerned they were the first.

I have nothing against JR, my own interpretation is that JR got into bed with Spektrum as they had been wrong footed, and correctly saw the need to be a "me two". OK they have now gone their own way, in the same way as Futaba. I imagine either as a way to differentiate themselves, or may be they believe that they can produce a better system, or may be they felt that they were at the mercy of Spektrum. Who really knows, I know you are unlikely that they will be open as to why.

As for the much maligned by a vociferous section of the modelling community, Frsky. In their case they have introduced the concept of open systems to the present 2.4 RC world. Yes we all know that open systems have been around from the last century, UNIX comes to mind. It is the idea as applied to the present RC world, where most manufacturers seem to be going out of their way to lock people into their products. This approach reminds me of servo plugs. where many were different, such as Sanwa, or crystal that oscillated at different frequencies, for a particular channel, or even many Lipo balance leads and plug arrangement. All designed to maximise profit for the trade, with no benefit to the end user.

With respect to Telemetry, it is about from my understanding, integrating the RC control system with the telemetry packages. I have seen Jeti stuff, not really main stream without having deep pockets. Eagle tree which are stand alone and also come at a price. In this area it is the manufacturers who are making telemetry a for all concept, much more plug and play.

I guess you are looking for step change innovation, I respect the successful incremental innovations, where small, but useful developments are made and implemented. Both are innovators, both deserve recognition to their contribution to the development of products that we all benefit from.

Dave Bran22/04/2014 06:17:25
1898 forum posts
5 photos
Posted by Bill_B on 15/04/2014 12:56:52:

There is only one Radio for serious glider pilots, Multiplex.

But then who wants to be serious....................its supposed to be fun.................

I had difficulty with this poll, since I use Futaba, Spektrum, Taranis, Planet, etc, etc, all regularly, and some days almost equally.

John Allen22/04/2014 08:25:59
217 forum posts
33 photos

Started with Multiplex, took a break, came back with McGregor, took another break, came back with Futaba, 6EX, then 7C, 8FG, now on FrSky Taranis.

My Futaba gear is now up for sale, all the genuine receivers are already gone.

will -022/04/2014 09:35:13
582 forum posts
19 photos

The main radio brand that I fly is JR

the radio brand that I hold is multiplex

Cross compatibility - remember that?

Prop Nut22/04/2014 15:03:04
336 forum posts
1 photos

Interesting that JR comes out so low against Futaba and Spektrum. In my club a large majority use JR, although many are the older models like the DSX9.

Erfolg22/04/2014 16:35:05
11558 forum posts
1274 photos

I keep looking at the chart and keep thinking not a lot has changed in some ways.

I look at the number of votes, and think is the number of votes statistically significant? I then think was is this a sample of, the number of forum members, UK RC aero modellers?, the number of people who have spotted the post. What is the appropriate method for determining significance, is it Students "t" test, or one of the other methods. I then think, thank God, BEB will tell us.smiley

I have been contemplating how sets are purchased. I guess mainly over the counter at the LMS? If that is the case, then the penetration of the Taranis is most remarkable, as I think it is mail order only, with only one UK outlet?

The rest have really remained much the same, excepting Futaba, who do seem to have lost ground, as others have observed.

Perhaps some one can say with some authority, do the figures to a large extent reflect the past? Or is there some way of separating out the changes in the last three years. I have this feeling that there is inertia from past purchasing, disguising the extent of change.

Franks comments have troubled me, his and my view of innovation. What is it? As with many of the forum members, as part of my studies, there was, in todays speak, a module, from memory, called "design and innovation". At the time I thought I knew what innovation was. Something new. Yet today i see that as invention. I was thinking of electric hybrid cars, often referred to as innovative. Yet some time in the early 20th century Porsches first vehicle was by a hybrid, the Lohner-Porsche. At present i think it is "the bringing together ideas and technology in a way that has an impact". It is on this basis I think that both Spektrum and Frsky can be called innovative. Not necessarily new. Here I am thinking of Dyson, using cyclones, which have been used for donkeys years, including the industrial movement of materials, from one place to others. Or windmills, as old as the hills themselves, even if you. call them turbines. But I guess there are more encompassing and definitive views of innovation.


Edited By Erfolg on 22/04/2014 16:35:35

Edited By Erfolg on 22/04/2014 16:38:04

John Lee22/04/2014 16:46:34
686 forum posts
52 photos

I've been using JR since the X347 days (late 80's?) when I moved over from Futaba. However having spent the best part of £1500 on a DSX12 a few years ago only to find that JR subsequently abandoned DSM2 and left it none upgradable I've become somewhat disillusioned with the brand. It's a great set and 100% reliable but when the time comes to replace it I think I'll be looking elsewhere.

Biggles' Elder Brother - Moderator22/04/2014 18:46:24
15748 forum posts
1460 photos

The sample size is not an issue for us here. At over 400 from a population of around 30-40 thousand our sample size is enormous in statistical terms and if it were a genuinely random sample would yield a result in which we could have a high degree of confidence it is within 0.1% of the actual value.

But the devil, as always, is in the detail. Above I said "and if it were a genuinely random sample" - there lies any issue we may have with the result. Our sample is not truly random.

1. It is self selecting - i.e. it consists of those people who want to say what Tx they use. Such an effect could introduce a bias in favour of those who may have ulterior motives for such a disclosure - such as wishing to condemn or particularly promote one type. Examples would be, if Brand X users were above averagely pleased with their transmitter they would be more likely to vote. Conversely if people moving away from Brand Y were above averagely disaffected with their old Tx manufacturer they might be either less likely to vote for it (if they hadn't changed yet) or more likely to vote for its replacement.

2. Its done on an internet forum. You could argue that such places are more populated by people with a particularly high level of enthusiasm and who are above-averagely interested in technology. Thus maybe they are likely to change their Tx more often for a newer, technologically more sophisticated, version than is the case in the hobby at large? In short they may be a more technologically dynamic group then the average modeller.

These are just two ways in which this sort of poll can introduce a skew or a bias in the result and they are far more significant than sample size - about which we do not need to worry.

So, statistically is this waste of time? I would say no. Firstly, yes the above effects will skew the result, but I do not think that they will do so massively and to a degree which makes the result meaningless. Such effects might be introducing an error of 1% or so but I doubt its more than that.

Secondly, what removes this effect, and makes the whole process more reliable, is comparison with earlier polls done under the same conditions. Both polls will suffer from the same skew or "zero error" but relative changes between them would be more accurate and basically free of such an offset. So, while we may need to be a little bit circumspect in claiming that, for example, "9% of Tx owners are using HiTec" - given that at the last poll in 2011 that figure was 5%, we would be justified in stating with some confidence that the number of HiTec users has significantly increased, in fact nearly doubled, in the last 3 years.


Erfolg22/04/2014 19:59:55
11558 forum posts
1274 photos

I did wonder how many people were members of this forum. I am guessing that non UK members are a very small number.

Strangely to me, the only Hitec set I have seen, and also used, is the one I had for my "a" test campaign. Not denigrating it in any way, I did think, that to use it was just the same as others, from its era. Which obviously then had me thinking, why are we all so tribal about the set we use.

I had wondered about the effects of bias, particularly given the passionate views/beliefs of some users. At the same time, I did think, if we are all biased, it will not matter.

It does seem that particular brands do dominate specific clubs, why?

I will be looking forward to your conclusions with respect what actually is happening. I am thinking along the lines, at what level of sales and support, does it not make sense for any one to be a UK agent for a brand. Perhaps that is a little controversial.

I have wondered how much brand loyalty determines what we buy. I always drove triumphs then Leyland cars, even though they had the same faults across the range and model after model. it took my wife to change my mind. Where as she bought a TR7, and decided it was rubbish, after gearbox issues, head gasket failures and leaking, She bought a BMW, which had no issues, which was passed on to me, as was her replacement Porsche and so on. These cars were built like tanks with similar reliability. In the mean time, my farther continued with Leyland and Rovers, with nothing but trouble, which I was asked to help fix. All the time with my ears being battered with, you can not beat British engineering, just wait, when your foreign junk goes wrong................................ All of which proved to me, that some of us (that is me) cannot see the truth when it is staring at us, where as others, have no tribal loyalty and will not tolerate second best, if there is something that is better.

Biggles' Elder Brother - Moderator22/04/2014 20:55:17
15748 forum posts
1460 photos

I think any conclusions, based on so far, can be equally well drawn by any one Erf.

First it seems that brands like Jeti. Graupner and Multiplex continue to enjoy a constant, but very small, dedicated following in certain quarters in the UK. Their sales in mainland Europe are probably much higher and bear in mind that Germany for example is a much bigger R/C market than the UK.

Brands like Planet, Jamara and Turnigy seem to have failed to establish themselves in the UK at all over the last 3 years. Its hard to see they have much of a future.

Taranis has done well - its only been available for 9-12 months and has grabbed 7% of the UK market in that time with no advertising. That figure is slightly higher than I was expecting, the calculation I did on the "worried men" thread would have lead to a prediction of about 5%. Still they have clearly made an excellent impact in a short period. Only time will tell if it is long lasting and continues to grow.

JR are hanging in there well. They are maintaining a small but significant share of the market. If I was them though I might be slightly worried that my market share appears to be static - not growing is one step removed from shrinking! Especially when your share is already quite small and you have a lot of potential to grow.

HiTec are one of the "stars", they have clearly done well - pretty well doubling their market share over 3 years. They have to be doing something right. It will be interesting to see where they are in say another 2 years or so.

Spektrum are in an interesting position. They are now effectively joint number one with Futaba - whereas they were in the number two slot 10% behind. So on the face of it that looks very good. But the concerning thing for them must be that they have not drawn level by increasing their market share - it has gone up, but only marginally. The reason they are joint first is that Futaba has dropped back to Spekky's level not that Spektrum have moved up to Futaba's level. This indicates that the market is becoming more wide spread. Before number one was 41% market share - now its only 33%

Futaba's result is, I'm afraid to say, exactly what I expected when I started the "worried men" thread. They have effectively lost a quarter of the customers in 3 years. Looking at the figures - some have gone to Spektrum, and some have gone to HiTec. But I would suggest that the biggest defection has probably been to Taranis.

So, if these figures are reasonably accuarate - and bearing in mind we are discussing comparison with a previous poll on here so skew effects should not be large - then:

HiTec and Taranis should be planning a party.cake (a small one though!)

Spektrum has grounds to be quite pleased with itself, but having few thoughtful moments. beer

For Multiplex, Graupner and Jeti its business as usual in the Stratosphere. tea

For Jamara and Planet, I'd be thinking of getting out of the Tx market! vamp

And for Futaba - They need a new idea and it better be a good one! The clock is ticking clock


Max5022/04/2014 21:29:17
178 forum posts
8 photos

One stratospheric Jeti user here. Although I still use my Futaba until all the receivers are changed.

Frank Skilbeck22/04/2014 21:47:10
4570 forum posts
101 photos
Posted by Biggles' Elder Brother - Moderator on 22/04/2014 20:55:17:

For Jamara and Planet, I'd be thinking of getting out of the Tx market! vamp


Maybe we are bit narrow minded, I can see the simple Planet systems being very popular with RC boats, tanks and cars etc. Heck I even helped somebody set up a Spectrum for a radio control train system and for what they wanted the Tx to do they didn't even need dual rates never mind smart mixing. Have a look at what Multiplex have done with their simple Smart Tx to make it control up to 9 functions on tanks and trucks etc.

Biggles' Elder Brother - Moderator22/04/2014 22:15:59
15748 forum posts
1460 photos

You definitely have a point there Frank - we should of course add the caveat that the results here are pretty well 100% a aeromodelling point of view.


Edited By Biggles' Elder Brother - Moderator on 22/04/2014 22:16:53

Vecchio Austriaco22/04/2014 23:45:52
1498 forum posts
707 photos

As it looks I missed an interesting thread during my removal time. But being on a business trip again I found time to catch up

I use JR, as I see it as reliable and it is compatible (or was before systems developed further) with Spektrum. means I can use all my Spektrum receivers and change only the programming of the model. and as a back-up I still have my DX7 which had some start-up problems but after being repaired never let me down since 2008.


Steve Bentley23/04/2014 10:59:28
5 forum posts
2 photos
Posted by Dave Bran on 22/04/2014 06:17:25:
Posted by Bill_B on 15/04/2014 12:56:52:

There is only one Radio for serious glider pilots, Multiplex.

But then who wants to be serious....................its supposed to be fun.................

I had difficulty with this poll, since I use Futaba, Spektrum, Taranis, Planet, etc, etc, all regularly, and some days almost equally.

I was on MPX (35mhz), and had to make a decsion when it came to the radio I'd go with for 2.4Ghz because of the incompatibility, but also features that are glider friendly..I looked at them all, MPX included...and have gone for a Graupner MC20. It's really quite a bit of kit.

Brian Clamp23/04/2014 11:41:23
107 forum posts
59 photos

Poll is a little confusing especially when you look at the results.

does the question refer to the transmitter or the receiver used?

i voted JR as that is my tranny but I mainly use SPECTRUM receivers. May be that is why SPECTRUM is coming out on top.

Results of the poll could be inacurate.

Clive Hall23/04/2014 11:51:50
93 forum posts
44 photos

My vote had to be 'Other' , because . . .

For many years I flew JR only, then a Spektrum DSX9 joined in. Now I fly almost exclusively a JR PCM10SX or a JR PCM9X with a FrSky module and FrSky 8 channel receivers, so in the next year it seems likely that they will mostly be mothballed or sold and replaced by a Taranis.

aidan mcatamney23/04/2014 12:03:42
39 forum posts
13 photos

i have been using futaba eversince i started flying in 1986. i find it very reliable and it never lets me down. if its not broke dont fix it.

Roger 223/04/2014 12:09:42
145 forum posts
7 photos

Hi all

I have flown since the 70's, starting with a 27 Mhz Mc Gregor system .

When 35Mhz came in I settled with Futaba and have never looked back. I now fly Futaba 2.4 Ghz and absolutely trust it, I use the FAAST system.



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