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Old Dec 27, 2012, 12:51 PM
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United States, CA, Garden Grove
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Scale Electric Fliers, Help Me Decide Aurora 9 or DX-8

I am currently using a Hitec Eclipse 7 with 2.4GHz module and have three Optima 6 receivers for electric scale model flying. The Eclipse 7 has limitations for serious electric powered scale models which are resolved in the Aurora 9 and DX-8. I have a lot of flying buddies using the DX-8 and other Spektrum systems. Don't know anybody using the Aurora 9.

I have not been happy with user-friendliness of Hitec users manuals and instruction sheets which seem to assume that users are competition Sailplane, 3D and Heli fliers with a lot of computer transmitter mixer programming experience. However, It looks as if the Aurora 9 is easy enough to program with it's large touch screen graphics. I don't like the firmware updating procedures using the HP-22 etc. although it has some advantages over returning the transmitter for firmware updates as with DX-8. I also don't like use of online forums with links used for troubleshooting and programming Hitec stuff.

I don't have any direct experience with using the DX-8 but it looks to be as easy to program as the Aurora 9. Forget Hitec stuff that I already have, should I invest in the Aurora 9 or Spektrum DX-8. At age 74, I don't plan to buy any more new systems stuff in the future.
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Old Dec 27, 2012, 01:25 PM
AndyKunz's Avatar
Illinois
Joined Sep 2001
22,124 Posts
We had 400 radios that needed to be returned for updates, out of tens of thousands that were produced so far. Look for "Lucky 400" and you'll find that. All our other updates are done through your browser downloading a file - no need to disable your anti-virus to get the update to work. No need to buy a special cable to do it. The DX8 comes with an SD card, or you can use any from a camera or the discount checkout line at a store.

I suggest you go to your local hobby shop and see how they both feel. Also, ask at the shop - they might know of somebody else who bought one locally. Base the decision on the feel in your hands, the familiarity of programming, and how much local support you'll have.

Andy
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Old Dec 27, 2012, 05:28 PM
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Perth, Western Australia
Joined Apr 2008
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Happy A9 user

I'm a ex JR9303 (9XII in Oz) user and still use a DX6i for my indoor models. However I changed over to a A9 earlier this year after being impressed with a friends radio.

I got to say in my several years of RC (I started when I was 14) it has without doubt been the easiest radio to program and use that I have ever owned.

I've also been very impressed with the telemetry features and have set one glider up with the sensor pack and gps. The easy cockpit view (only speed and altitude displayed in big letters) has made thermaling a scale glider relatively easy!

But as you probably know, all the Optima receivers are able to provide main lipo voltage via telemetry through the SPC port. Very handy.

Also another deciding factor for me would be the price of the genuine Hitec receivers compared to Spektrum. I can pick up 7ch Optima's for under $60 from the USA posted to Australia!
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Old Dec 27, 2012, 05:34 PM
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United States, SC, Pawleys Island
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Yeah, if you can get to try them both out that would be best. You want it to feel natural in your hands and you want to see how easy the programming seems to YOU.

Personally I own the A9 and am extremely happy. I like that I don't have to use two RX boxes. I like the fact that there are no massive reports of the A9 having lockouts like I have heard about with the Spectrum. I also like the programming and find it extremely easy and intuitive. I don;t mess with the manual much at all.

I don't like that the A9 does not balance well (when it hangs on a neck strap it tilts so that the antennae side goes up. The antennae pointing down is the most natural position to hold a TX. So then you need to buy a balance adapter if you want to correct that. I personally use lipos in my TX so that makes the balance issue more pronounced. I had to make a special balance adapter for myself.

Having aid that I love my A9 at this pint. It feels great in my hands, it programs very easily. It works flawlessly. There seems to be no chance of a lockout. Oh, and the SPC connector allows you to keep constant power to the RX so if your BEC sags on you and you lose control of your servos, your RX will not lose its bind and will immediately work as soon as the BEC provides enough power to run the servos.

The update thing is a sore point. Having to buy the thingy to do updates is salty to the taste. But I have never felt the need for an update. It works great as is!

Oh yeah, if you do like to use Lipos for your TX, Hitec makes it easy as it runs on a 2 cell lipo. Spectrum has an unusual voltage need when compared to lipo voltage....
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Old Dec 27, 2012, 05:45 PM
cmd
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Niceville, FL
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I flown both the DX8 and A9 and bought the A9. It just feels better in my hands. I obtained a balancer to keep it hanging level from my neck strap. I've been accused of being a Luddite and am known as a computer user, not a programmer or computer geek. (I don't want to work on them, I just need them to work!) I didn't like needing to buy the HP-22 for updates, but I've had no issues using it for updates and to store my models' settings.
I find the A9 easy to program. The versatility is great. I fly big and small electrics (100 Watts to 1500+ Watts) gliders, prop planes, EDFs, and slimers as well. No issues. Rock solid.
Bottom line: I'm very happy with the choice I made.
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Old Dec 27, 2012, 06:33 PM
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United States, FL, Tampa
Joined Jan 2007
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I have been loyal to Spektrum for years. Had the older DX7 and recently had the Dx7S and a DX8. But I was talked into a A9 and won't go back. It's too easy to program. In my opinion. The A9 is Superior to the DX8
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Old Dec 27, 2012, 06:58 PM
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richard hanson's Avatar
United States, UT, Salt Lake City
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[QUOTE=
There seems to be no chance of a lockout. Oh, and the SPC connector allows you to keep constant power to the RX so if your BEC sags on you and you lose control of your servos, your RX will not lose its bind and will immediately work as soon as the BEC provides enough power to run the servos.

I guess this is a second battery?
I can't see how power is stored in any other method.
If the second battery is not up to snuff then the system fails ? As far as a lockout- any system can lockout if the antenna sysem is not properly setup.
No exceptions.
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Old Dec 27, 2012, 07:09 PM
most exalted one
BC Canada
Joined Aug 2002
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I picked up couple of A9 's for two club members, switched from DX8. Have anA9 myself. Optima 9's are available for $75 each in 3 packs.
That being said...you need to do the analysis. Nbody knows you better than you.
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Old Dec 27, 2012, 07:10 PM
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Illinois
Joined Sep 2001
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Dead View Post
Yeah, if you can get to try them both out that would be best. You want it to feel natural in your hands and you want to see how easy the programming seems to YOU.
I wholeheartedly agree with that.

Quote:
There seems to be no chance of a lockout. Oh, and the SPC connector allows you to keep constant power to the RX so if your BEC sags on you and you lose control of your servos, your RX will not lose its bind and will immediately work as soon as the BEC provides enough power to run the servos.
Ah, exactly like a DSMX receiver, very good!

Quote:
Oh yeah, if you do like to use Lipos for your TX, Hitec makes it easy as it runs on a 2 cell lipo. Spectrum has an unusual voltage need when compared to lipo voltage....
What? We use standard a LiPo (low C, perfect for transmitters). Nothing magical about the voltage, iit's the same standard values as anything else! When fully charged (8.4V) the Spektrum battery will last for several days of flying before needing a recharge. It even alarms you when the voltage is getting low so you can land and recharge if needed.

And for re-charging, there's no need for a special wall wart or anything. Just feed it 10-15V AC or DC and it's happy.

Andy
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Old Dec 27, 2012, 07:27 PM
Arcee Moron
Justapoke's Avatar
The Netherlands
Joined Jun 2012
680 Posts
Note that there are 3th party minima (FrSky) recievers available for the A9 at a very good price by Hobbyking and other stores. 8 Channel full range: $21,71 5 Channel micro: $13,13

http://www.hobbyking.com/hobbyking/s...Ghz_Hitec.html

More on the way I hope.
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Old Dec 27, 2012, 09:30 PM
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United States, CA, Cameron Park
Joined May 2007
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Another happy A9 user here. I have two units for over two years and have had only once a problem with my TX which was repaired with a two day turnaround free of charge. Their customer care is first class. Frankly I have almost never used the A9 manual as the A9 software is very easy to use and quite self explanatory. I agree that the online help/support labyrinth may be intimidating but at least its being constantly updated and you have a guy like Alan supporting you in no time.

I had in the past a DX7 and JR3509 but could not find until today a radio comparable to the A9 within this price category.

Good luck with your choice!
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Old Dec 27, 2012, 09:42 PM
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YellowJacketsRC's Avatar
United States, SC, Pawleys Island
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[QUOTE=richard hanson;23635803][QUOTE=
There seems to be no chance of a lockout. Oh, and the SPC connector allows you to keep constant power to the RX so if your BEC sags on you and you lose control of your servos, your RX will not lose its bind and will immediately work as soon as the BEC provides enough power to run the servos.

I guess this is a second battery?
I can't see how power is stored in any other method.
If the second battery is not up to snuff then the system fails ? As far as a lockout- any system can lockout if the antenna sysem is not properly setup.
No exceptions.[/QUOTE]

You can power the SPC port off of the main power lipo or off a second battery if you chose. I just power off the main. OF course nothing is FULL PROOF!

Yes any system can fail due to antennae problems. But My understanding is that Spectrum has lockouts due to interference from other radios when flying in a crowded environment like the Joe Nall. A9 does not suffer those (at least not near as many) reports.
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Old Dec 27, 2012, 09:45 PM
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YellowJacketsRC's Avatar
United States, SC, Pawleys Island
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Quote:
Originally Posted by AndyKunz View Post



What? We use standard a LiPo (low C, perfect for transmitters). Nothing magical about the voltage, iit's the same standard values as anything else! When fully charged (8.4V) the Spektrum battery will last for several days of flying before needing a recharge.
Sorry If I miss spoke. I thought that spectrum ran on something higher than 2cell and lower than 3 cell. Sorry and thanks for the info.

[/QUOTE] It even alarms you when the voltage is getting low so you can land and recharge if needed.
[/QUOTE]

Yes! The A9 will also do that as well as alarm you if your flight pack voltage drops too low.
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Old Dec 27, 2012, 09:47 PM
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YellowJacketsRC's Avatar
United States, SC, Pawleys Island
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Highfly! View Post

I had in the past a DX7 and JR3509 but could not find until today a radio comparable to the A9 within this price category.
!
I felt the same way when I bought my A9. But the new Futaba 8FG Super seems to offer some compelling competition.
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Old Dec 28, 2012, 12:33 AM
bryansifsof44's Avatar
United States, AK, Anchorage
Joined Oct 2011
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The Futaba 8FG doesn't have telemetry, so IMO the two don't compare. Used both the A9 and the 8FG, and the 8FG is a nice radio, but doesn't have the bells and whistles the A9 has. I am extremely happy with the A9 with one exception... the absence of satellite receivers or s-bus communication with helicopter flybarless controllers. I would like to not have to wire a traditional stye RX to the FBL controller. I did however order a DX8 for BNF capabilities... didn't want to, but will give it a whirl anyways so I could fly the small BNFs. I could of ordered a module but didn't want to tie up my main radio (A9) switching back and forth modules. I would like to try out the new Futaba 14sg with telemetry, but at $600 and pretty pricy sensors is out of my league as of now.
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