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Old Jul 01, 2012, 01:48 PM
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Another looking to upgrade radio question

Hello,

I've been reading up on radios quite a bit and at some point in the near future, want to upgrade. I currently have a DX4e that came with my Super Cub and while that works fine for the Cub and would work fine for a few other planes, I want to get some additional functionality and more channels, as I have an F-35 EDF waiting in the wings and probably other planes to follow.

I'm obviously fairly new to the hobby, but I'm torn between making a modest upgrade (say, a DX6i) or go for an 8/9 channel radio (DX8 or Aurora 9). Here are some requirements:

1. I see myself upgrading to twin motor EDF jets at some point in the next couple of years. As I mentioned above, I've already purchased an F-35 airframe and have the components to install to make it airworthy, but I am holding off and taking my time with the Cub to learn more and I'll likely scratch build a fairly disposable foam jet-trainer to use to train on EDFs before I go with the F-35 and others.
2. I will likely obtain a helicopter and glider/sail plane at some point.
3. The radio must allow for flaperon/spoileron and elevon programming. I would assume that this also means that the radio would allow the programming to reverse servos on individual channels as needed. I'm a little unclear on this; this is primarily where I need guidance. I assume if you have flaperons, the radio would reverse one channel while used as an aileron (assuming servos are oriented in the same direction) and not reverse either channel when used as flaps. Correct?
4. I currently have two sets of OrangeRX 6 channel receivers with the satellite receiver. These are the Spektrum compatible units since I need them to work with my DX4e. Obviously, it would be nice to be able to use them with the new radio, but if there is a really compelling reason to go with another vendor (Futaba or Hi-tec), I'd sacrifice those and either resell them or keep my DX4e around to use with them.
5. Because of return policies, reward points, and the fact I'm a Prime subscriber, any radio would be purchased from Amazon. This is one requirement I won't budge on.

So, even though I'm a noob in the hobby, am I jumping the gun with wanting to jump straight to a DX8 or Aurora 9 or should I do an intermediary upgrade to a DX6i first? One one hand, it would be cheaper in the long-term to go with the DX8/A9 right now since I'd be skipping the cost of the intermediary radio and they'd likely have all the features I'd ever want. On the other hand, maybe the DX6i would be sufficient for me for a few years and at the time it wouldn't be, maybe newer and better radios would be out that I'd want to upgrade to anyway even if I got the DX8/A9 now. What do you guys think? If you were in my shoes and had to buy a new radio in the next 2 to 3 months, which radio would you buy?
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Old Jul 01, 2012, 03:29 PM
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freechip's Avatar
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DX6i is a great radio but it is an entry level radio. The DX8 would be compatible with your current plane and serve you well for some time.

The best way to find which is best for you is hold both radios in hand and see which one you like best, feels best in your hands.
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Old Jul 01, 2012, 03:45 PM
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You should buy the best you can afford. If you want to keep compatibility the DX8 is the way to go. I love my A9 but it won't work with your Spektrum receivers.

Mike
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Old Jul 01, 2012, 04:11 PM
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Thanks guys. With regard to question #3 in my original post, the DX8 would be fine there?
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Old Jul 01, 2012, 04:15 PM
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Yes is supports those options. Setup involves reversing channels and sometimes I find it easier when doing setup to change the channels servos are plugged into. Standard operating procedure.
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Old Jul 01, 2012, 04:23 PM
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Definitely DX8 is the obvious choice. DX6i is OK for basic models but has only 10 model memories, lacks sophisticated mixing, doesn't do telemetry, is not upgradable, etc.

DX7s is a possible cheaper alternative to DX8 with many of the same capabilities. Compare prices and features carefully.
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Old Jul 01, 2012, 04:29 PM
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Cool. Any compelling reason to choose the A9 over the DX8 (ignoring my cheap Orange receivers for the moment)?
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Old Jul 01, 2012, 04:36 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by indycoltsfan View Post
Cool. Any compelling reason to choose the A9 over the DX8 (ignoring my cheap Orange receivers for the moment)?
Sure here is some items I love about the A9....
  • HUGE back lit touch screen - it simply rocks - touch what you want to change - just can't be easier
  • Intuitive programing - never looked at the manual (good as it is not so hot, just like Futaba and Spekky)
  • Smart program items - for example I love that I can adjust both right and left rates or other settings at the same time by touching!
  • Flexibility in channel assignment - and stick/switch can be any channel you want
  • It has the best "feel" in my hands of any system I have used
  • Sliders (but wish they had center detents)
  • Love the favorites folder for commonly used menu functions
  • Dedicated glider programing
  • Solid feel
  • Ultra smooth gimbals
  • Solid switches
  • Affordable receivers - full range telemetry 6 ch RX's are $38
  • Excellent service and support (Like Spekky Andy we have Hitec Mike)
  • Firmware updates to software, modules and RX's

I was very sad when the DX8 didn't have sliders and dedicated glider programming. A big miss in my book.

Mike
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Old Jul 01, 2012, 04:43 PM
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Get the DX8...
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Old Jul 01, 2012, 04:47 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by pda4you View Post
Sure here is some items I love about the A9....
  • HUGE back lit touch screen - it simply rocks - touch what you want to change - just can't be easier
  • Intuitive programing - never looked at the manual (good as it is not so hot, just like Futaba and Spekky)
  • Smart program items - for example I love that I can adjust both right and left rates or other settings at the same time by touching!
  • Flexibility in channel assignment - and stick/switch can be any channel you want
  • It has the best "feel" in my hands of any system I have used
  • Sliders (but wish they had center detents)
  • Love the favorites folder for commonly used menu functions
  • Dedicated glider programing
  • Solid feel
  • Ultra smooth gimbals
  • Solid switches
  • Affordable receivers - full range telemetry 6 ch RX's are $38
  • Excellent service and support (Like Spekky Andy we have Hitec Mike)
  • Firmware updates to software, modules and RX's

I was very sad when the DX8 didn't have sliders and dedicated glider programming. A big miss in my book.

Mike
Thanks. I've read good things about the A9 and was actually leaning that way before I posted this thread. It comes with the 7 channel or 9 channel receiver so I'd have at least have one receiver to start.
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Old Jul 01, 2012, 04:54 PM
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The A9 is a fantastic system no question. One of the biggest downsides is no BNF support - so I will always have a Spektrum system. I need to replace my old DX6i and DX7 and will likely get a DX8 for those models - maybe even a DX18 when they get back in stock.

Mike
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Old Jul 01, 2012, 05:12 PM
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Thanks Mike. I've got a tough decision to make!
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Old Jul 01, 2012, 05:16 PM
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One more dumb question. Am I ok with both analog and digital servos regardless if I choose the DX8 or A9?
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Old Jul 01, 2012, 05:45 PM
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Yes...
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