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Old Aug 19, 2003, 02:53 PM
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Riverview, FL
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What's a good 'next radio'?

I now have a futaba 6 ch radio (non-computer model T6YF) and am thinking about upgrading to a new system so i dont have to trim each plane for each flight. I currently only have 2 planes that i will be flying, but my garage is now 1 slimer fewer (hopefully 2 by the weekend), and these planes are inexpensive enough that i could see a small fleet in the garage soon. Granted, it isnt that difficult to do 2 adjustments to the trims, so let me know if I would not gain much if i went to a 'new-fangled' computer radio.

or do you think i should get another radio on a diff channel so if i am ever flying with others with the same channel, I could still go up.

thanks
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Old Aug 19, 2003, 03:36 PM
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What is your budget?

I would look at two radios:
Hitec Eclipse
Futaba 9c

If you buy the 9c it will last you a long long time. It has memory expansion for nearly unlimited model numbers (if the Eclipse had that - it would be my choice). It has more mixing and channels that you will likely ever use or need. It is an exceptional radio. But it is a bit pricey. If you think it is bad look at the 9z or high end JR

Transmitters only will be:
Hitec about $180-219(with spectra module - all the channels)
Futaba 9c about $270

Both are great values. Hitec gets the nod on service however, you just get limited to 7 model memory (my only complaint).

Mike
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Old Aug 19, 2003, 10:58 PM
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i am considering the futaba 6EXA - LHS has it for about $100 (tx only) and it looks like everything i need in a radio
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Old Aug 20, 2003, 05:08 AM
(aka Cliff Lawson)
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I'd also recommend the Eclipse 7 as a great value for money "next step" radio. What's more, you can later get the optional Spectra module for it which will allow it to operate on ANY radio channel so you are not limited to making a chanel choice up front.

Also, while you may not be thinking about helicopters right now, if you ever do then the Eclipse won't be found wanting in that department either!

Cliff
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Old Aug 20, 2003, 06:46 AM
Hooked Heli Human
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Western NC
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I 2nd what Cliff said.. I did tons of research and for the price and what you get in one package.. The Hitec Eclipse 7 is a great choice.. I got the spectra unit as well.. not only do I use it for my e-heli but I am going to use it for future helis and a newly built slowstick that I am going to use for aerial photography..
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Old Aug 20, 2003, 10:15 AM
an earth bound misfit, I
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St. Pete, Florida
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Does anybody know of another source for the Futaba 9C besides BrucknerHobbies.com . I was all set to get a Transmitter only until I realized the charger was an extra 25 dollars. That pushes the price to $285. Compared to $195 for the Eclipse 7. (with charger)

Seems to me that most transmitter only deals I've seen include the charger.

Wayne
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Old Aug 20, 2003, 11:06 AM
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Wayne

Servo City has them at $270 with free shipping.
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Old Aug 21, 2003, 04:18 AM
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United States, CA, Burlingame
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Got the Eclipse 7, for 2 years. Good radio but limited to 7 planes memory. Spectra module is also very nice, but no scanner available.


Now, I will replace it with the Polks Hobby Tracker II. 99 models memory, with full SHIFT accesses, synthetizer and scanner, out of the box.


The Radio looks not the best... but what's under the hood is unbeatable.

Look around, compare.... The Tracker II is the winner, on almost all fronts. And the price of $275 is FAR Cheaper. The closest next is MUCH more expensive.


Ezone Review on the Tracker II coming soon, but there are already few threads on it.



Anyway, I would recommend this radio very much.
Patrick.
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Old Aug 21, 2003, 05:04 AM
It's a Great Day to Fly
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Melbourne Beach, Florida
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http://www.hobbyhorse.com/hitec_trans.shtml

$219 with Spectra module and charger
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Old Aug 21, 2003, 05:12 AM
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The Eclipse limitation to 7 planes is a killer, in my opinion.

Especially since now, you add $60 to it and you get a MUCH better radio with even more functions
From http://www.polkshobby.com/

COMPLETE SYSTEM INCLUDES: TRACKER II, SEEKER II, 900ma batteries for trans. & reciever, dual charger, 1 servo, switch harness, and set button

And the Seeker II: Receiver is a full 8 channel SYNTHESIZED RECIEVER and may be used with any FM r/c system. It is self programing for CHANNEL and pos(+) or neg(-) shift (NO CRYSTAL NEEDED for the receiver !!!!!)


Sorry, but the Eclispe 7, goes down the drain, big time.... AND I loved my Eclispe 7. Just it is not worth it anymore, compared to the Tracker II. It was great, 2 years ago, not now.


Check also http://polkshobby.site.yahoo.net/ for more details and prices.
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Old Aug 21, 2003, 08:16 AM
an earth bound misfit, I
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St. Pete, Florida
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Patrick, I know the Tracker looks good on paper but I've read reviews here on the Zone that go both ways, so I'll wait until you actually are using it for a while before I fully believe you.

Thanks for the Servo city tip PDA. They have with the charger that Bruckner want an extra $25 for. Cool!

Finding an Eclipse is no problem, even Tower has them for $209 and with the frequent $15 off coupons they send out not a bad deal.

One person here on the Zone explained it as the Eclipse is one step up from a Flash 5 and the Futaba 9C is two steps up.

It's the seven model memory that worries me about the Eclipse. I'm already flying seven models with my Flash 5 on five memories and it is a pain.

Wayne
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Old Aug 21, 2003, 08:21 AM
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Wayne,


That's a wise approach, in general.
I should receive mine any day now, and will be able to confirm what's on paper or not then, indeed.


Also, the review coming on the Ezone, from Don, should shed some more light soon.


Patrick.
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Old Aug 21, 2003, 09:31 AM
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Quote:
One person here on the Zone explained it as the Eclipse is one step up from a Flash 5 and the Futaba 9C is two steps up.
I agree, and trust me I am a big Hitec fan. Their service policies keep me loyal. I have asked Mike at Hitec for a memory expansion, and they have no plans for the Eclipse with that. He did indicate they were working on a replacement for the flash we would be happy with.

I think the 9c is a good price and an excellent system. I don't have one yet, but it is my next radio. I don't think I will ever outgrow it. From owners I gather it does nearly everything. Considering all I use on most computer radios is EPA and EXPO (I don't even use dual rates now that I have fallen in love with EXPO) I don't demand much from my systems. I simply want more than 7 model memory!

The other thing is the 9c is a great looking radio. I really wanted to try the Polk, but it looks like an early 80's system, and uses mechanical trims - YUCK! They put that dude in a real case and add digital trims and I am all over it.

Mike
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Old Aug 21, 2003, 10:09 AM
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Redundancy is a good thing....

So, why not purchase more than one Eclipse? Granted, 7 model memory is a limitation, but I'm not so sure that the process of re-learning the ins & outs of a new computer radio system with higher memory is worth the bother, plus "all your eggs are in one basket", should the Tx need repair. One Eclipse, 7 models=$209. two Eclipse, 14 models=$418, three w/21 models=$627. Still a decent price, IMO. -thumbs
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Old Aug 21, 2003, 11:01 AM
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i only hope to have the issue of ONLY being able to fly 7 planes at a time
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