As of 9/26 281 people have responded. But the ratios are holding pretty well:
Futaba Radio/Futaba RF............... 15.66%
Futaba Radio/Other RF................. 4.98%
JR Radio/JR RF ............................ 0.23%
JR Radio/Other RF........................ 6.76%
Spektrum Radio/Spektrum RF...... 10.68%
Spektrum Radio/Other RF ............ 0.36%
Airtronics Radio/Airtronics RF ....... 16.37%
Airtronics Radio/Other RF ............. 0.71%
Hitec Radio/Hitec RF .................... 4.59%
Hitec Radio/Other RF ..................... 0.36%
Multiplex Radio/Multiplex RF ........... 2.14%
Multiplex Radio/Other RF ................ 3.56%
Graupner Radio/Graupner .............. 1.78%
Graupner Radio/Other RF ............... 1.42%
Turnigy/TH9X Radio ........................ 2.49%
Turnigy/TH9X Radio, Other RF ........ 3.56%
Other Radio/Same brand RF............ 0 0%
Other Radio/different RF .................. 0.36%
Of the top 5, JR owners are the ones most likely to be using a third party RF system. Approximately 32% of the JR users who responded are using a non-JR RF system.
. It is possible some of these are using Spektrum modules, which work with JR receivers, and may have answered as using a non-JR module. It should be noted that there is a HUGE pool of module based JR radios out there which are easy to switch to third party RF. It should also be noted that there are more third party options for these radios than for many other brands so JR pilots would seem to have a wider range of choices. So, does this reflect dissatisfaction with the JR/Spektrum system or are pilots opting for third party system to access lower cost receivers or features not available from JR?
Futaba owners are the second most likely to be using a third party RF system. Approximately 24% of Futaba users responding are using a third party RF system.
Like JR, there is a HUGE pool of module based Futaba radios out there which are easy to switch to third party RF. And, like JR, it should also be noted that there are more third part options for these radios than for many other brands so Futaba pilots have a wide range of choices. So, does this reflect dissatisfaction with the Futaba RF system or are pilots opting for third party systems to access lower cost receivers or features Futaba does not offer? As many will recall, even in the 72 MHz world, some Futaba users were using Hitec synth modules.
Hitec likewise has a very large pool of module based radios out there. However, only 2% of responding Hitec users changed to non-Hitec RF systems.
Many of the third party modules made to fit Futaba radios also fit Hitec radios so Hitec users have a pretty wide choice of third party modules and options. What does that tell us about Hitec owners? Why are they less likely to switch?
Airtronics also has a large pool of module based radios, but it seems the third party module makers pay less attention to Airtronics as a market. Only about 4% of Airtronics users have switched.
There are third party RF systems out there that can fit Airtronics but the choice is much more limited than for JR, Futaba or Hitec. Shall we see that as a statement by satisfied customers or the lack of options which are available to Futaba, JR and Hitec owners?
None of Spektrum's radios are module based so it is much harder to switch a Spektrum radio to a third party RF system, but there are kits that will let you make the change if you are willing to solder. We see 3% have moved to another RF system.
So, are Spektrum users happy with their RF system for full house gliders or are they more locked in due to the challenge of making a change?
One listed, where third party RF exceeds the native brand, is the Turnigy/FlySky and the other labels on this radio. About 59% have changed to a third party RF system.
Is the native Turnigy/FlySky system not suitable for full house gliders or did users change for options not available from the native Turnigy FlySky RF system in order to use them for full house gliders?
- Just noted that Multiplex also has more users with third party RF than native. Sorry for the oversight. I don't have any specific comments here as I don't know the Multiplex line very well.
If anyone has comments about my analysis I would encourage you to post.
I have no loyalty or vested interest in any of these systems. I am personally a Futaba user but I don’t think that really influences my analysis.
Of all of them the Hitec really sticks out in that these radio systems are just as capable of being switched to third party RF system as the other top brands, but few have done it. I will note that, when RCModelReviews did a "shoot-out" of available RF module systems, Hitec tied for first place suggesting they had an excellent RF system. You can read the report here. http://www.rcmodelreviews.com/2.4ghzshootout.shtml
So, has Hitec delivered a quality RF system AND found the right price point to keep its users loyal? My observation is that Hitec receivers are typically lower in cost than JR, Futaba or Airtronics receivers. What do you think is the reason for this apparent loyalty by Hitec users?
People pick their radio for its price and/or features typically. In the 72 MHz world you could choose from a variety of brands of receivers that would work with your native RF system. This is starting to occur in the 2.4 GHz market as well.
If you don't like the RF system in your radio, you have choices. In the 2.4 GHz world you can swap out your RF system for a different one to have access to third party receivers. And we are starting to see compatible receivers emerge so you can keep your RF system but have access to compatible receivers.
We will see how the RC Radio/RF system market evolves, but this survey has brought out some interesting results.