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Old Nov 20, 2009, 10:41 PM
"RC ADDICT" in Toronto!
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Toronto Canada
Joined Aug 2004
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Aurora 9 or Futaba 10CAG or Airtronics 10SD-10G?

Guys ...

I'm in the market for a full function 2.4Ghz radio now that I've "tested" 2.4Ghz for the last 2 to three years with my relatively cheap BUT trusty Futaba 6EX.

But here's my dilemma ... I can't decide between Hitec's new Aurora 9, Futaba's 10CAG or Airtronics' 10SD-10G! I like some things about all of them and have a few dislikes about them too.

Now since I've always been a Futaba man my first tendancy was to lean Futaba'a way but one of the things that I do NOT like about them is the fact that their receivers are very expensive relative to the others. So here're my likes and dislikes about these three:


Futaba 10CAG

Likes ...

- Looks great! (Cmon' everyone like a cool looking toy! )
- Proven 2.4Ghz technology (first hand experience)
- It's a Futaba!

Dislikes ...

- Expensive receivers
- Programming can get a little complicated. Now keep in mind that since I've never owned another brand I have nothing to compare the programming ease (or lack thereof) to. However I have heard that Futaba's are notoriusly unnecessarily complicated in terms of their programming and I must say that it's stumped me more than a few occasions EVEN with my simple 6 channel TX! (6EX)


Hitec Aurora 9 (Keep in mind this is only based on what I've read and seen online)

Likes ...

- Love the touchscreen. (the size especially)
- Inexpensive radio AND receivers relative to the others.
- Programming features up the ying yang!
- Reportedly easy to program

Dislikes ...

- Not in love with the plasticky look
- REALLY not in love with the wire hanging out back!
- Concerned with the fact that its so new there may be quite a few bugs to iron out. (bugs are reportedly starting to show already. Re: servo wagging, hard to see screen in bright light etc)


Airtronics 10SD-10G

Likes ...

- Looks great AND looks expensive! (Cmon' everyone like a cool EXPENSIVE looking toy! )
- Proven 2.4Ghz technology (I have not found any reports about brownouts, glitches etc)
- Reportedly one of the easiest radios to program!
- Appears to have a TON of programming features.
- Reportedly the fastest radio in its class. (not a biggee for me but ... )
- Receivers appear to be cheaper. (at least cheaper than Futaba)

Dislikes ...

- Could the display screen be any smaller?
- Availability (radios and receivers) seem to be a lot less than the other brands.
- It's an Airtronics! Before you stone me for making that comment ... what I mean is that I'm thinking that there must be a reason that the Airtronics is not NEARLY as popular as the other players in this market. Some folks in my club have never even heard of the brand! So the question is ... what is that reason?



So ... you see my dilemma.

Now based on my needs what would you guys recommend?

- I'm just a sports pilot. (but want a radio that I can continue to grow into and have for at least a few years)

- Programming ease is very important to me.

- I'm budget conscious.

- "Looks" are somewhat imprtant to me.

Now before you give me your 2 cents, I'd really appreciate your being as unbiased as possible. I'm sure that the Futaba guys will have their reasons for recommending Futaba, the Hitec fans recommending the Aurora and the Airtronics owners ... theirs as well.

So ... it would be nice if I can get feedback from people who have experienced all three radios ... not necessarily OWNED all three, but at least had some experience with them.

Thanks in advance for your help, guys!

Colin
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Old Nov 21, 2009, 04:28 AM
most exalted one
Canada, BC, Blind Bay
Joined Aug 2002
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I have a Futaba 9C, just sold a JR XP9303 and would suggest the Aurora is the best value considering the deals with coupons and 6 channel rx price. It's still up to you!

Now if you would really like flexibility then get an earlier 10c or a xp9303 and use Hitec 2.4 or SPektrum 2.4 or XPS 2.4. With 2 of those no cable required.
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Old Nov 21, 2009, 06:48 AM
"RC ADDICT" in Toronto!
wollins's Avatar
Toronto Canada
Joined Aug 2004
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Quote:
Originally Posted by 4*60 View Post
would suggest the Aurora is the best value considering the deals with coupons and 6 channel rx price.
That's my thinking too but one of the bigger concerns I have with THAT radio is the "bug issue" which all new radios tend to have ... I know with a little time those will be sorted out but dunno if I have that time.

Have any experience with the Airtronics?

Colin.
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Old Nov 21, 2009, 07:59 AM
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USA, CA, Merced
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3 good radios.

the futaba is a bit behind on features (with the exception of a swash ring, which the 10CG series have but neither the A9 nor SD-10G are so equipped).

a modular version of the 10C (no swash ring) would let you use your existing FASST equipment(with TM-10 Module), as well as whatever other module you want that's available (spektrum, 72MHz PPM/Futaba PCM, others).

if you're not married to FASST, or are fine with just continuing to use your 6EX for models so equipped, then both the SD-10G and A9 are giving you better programming features for your money, as well as ball bearing gimbals and the use of more economical receivers.

Of the two newer offerings, the Hitec is a stronger offering for the experimentally minded enthusiast, with a stronger offering of mixes, flight conditions, and assorted tuning capacities.

however, the SD-10G is (IMO) a stronger offering for a contest minded flier, because it supports stick and logical switching, as well as offering more adjustable curves (for rates/mixes etc).

I think most sport/sunday flyers fall more into the contest paradigm than the experimenter, but most people tend not to exploit the minutia of their radios programming, so both radios are excellent offerings and it's only on the sharp ends of their respective capabilities that you start to get much differentiation.

the A9's larger touch screen will make programming it more convenient and intelligible, but the SD-10G isn't a very cryptic beast, and it has some nice usability features like direct model select and the display button for powering up the programming electronics.

the A9 is modular, which currently doesn't havea benefit but HiTec is planning to release their spectra pro module for PPM/QPCM on 72, and it's not inconcieveable that spektrum or another mfg will offer a module that works with the Aurora, so definitely a point to the A9 over the SD-10G on this front.

receiver price wise, the 7ch ATX and Hitec are within 5-10$ on most comparable receivers, with the notable exception of the 10ch atx being ~$160 vs the (coming soon) Hitec 9ch being ~$99, but the SD-10G is also a very high speed low latency system when paired with the 10ch rx, so it's not apples to apples.

futaba also offers low latency with their 10C/10CG/8FG models, and their high speed (HS) receivers are available down to a 6ch park flyer size, the long antenna version of which is likely fine for most sport use and is not terribly expensive.

unless you're into helis, I'd probably not get the futaba (and I say this as a happy 12FG owner), and between the A9 and the SD-10G, I have to give the nod to the SD-10G until the A9 has a little more time on the market and a little more chance for any problems to crop up.

however, extending this into the future another couple of months, barring any teething problems, it'll be a toss up between the two of them, coming down to exact uses and users preference.

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Old Nov 21, 2009, 09:30 AM
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Mcminnville, Or USA
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All three choices are acceptable, you could even throw in the new 8fg from futaba.
I am in no rush but in a couple of months or so I am going to buy my first 2.4 setup. And Im pretty sure I am going with the Hitec A9.
The screen problem with the A9 is overblown....I think most of the people complaining just need to take their sun glasses off.
I do think you would appreciate the programming ease of the A9 and the lower Rx costs.
Good luck and lets us know what you buy.
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Old Nov 21, 2009, 09:44 AM
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Bedford, Texas
Joined Dec 2006
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My recommendation--Get a JR 9303. Spektrum technology is unsurpassed and the receiver selection is best of all 2.4 radios. At least consider this option before buying. Otherwise, you will will be making a biased choice. Any one of the three you mention is no better than second place in my book. Good luck
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Old Nov 21, 2009, 10:20 AM
"RC ADDICT" in Toronto!
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Toronto Canada
Joined Aug 2004
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I have to be honest ... even as I was writing my plea for help I was leaning about 55/45 towards the SD-10G. Danny ... I really appreciate imput such as this since it seems like you have a grasp over the features/pros/cons of each of the radios. (so makes it seem more unbiased) I also admit that I'm leaning even moreso since I'm not a heli guy (and really don't think I will be anytime soon) so the Futaba is moving into a distant third at this point.

Zero ... you make good points ... I'm getting the sense that the sunlight visibility thing IS overblown and I like the fact that their receivers seem to be the most value as well ... however I am a bit concerned about their one antenna receiver technology in their lower channel receivers since I'll be getting into full carbon ships in the near future. BTW, as much as they make out that the programming on the Aurora is easy ... based on the programming questions in the thread and the solutions that are being presented it seems anything but!

On the other hand, any of the programming videos/posts etc on the SD-10G do seem to make it look easy. Now keep in mind as a sports flyer the most complex programming that I will probably be doing (at THIS point anyway) will be the basic flight mode mixes ... but if and whenever I "move up" programming ease will become very important!

Quote:
Originally Posted by Electricrod View Post
My recommendation--Get a JR 9303. Spektrum technology is unsurpassed and the receiver selection is best of all 2.4 radios. At least consider this option before buying. Otherwise, you will will be making a biased choice. Any one of the three you mention is no better than second place in my book. Good luck
Hey Erod ... obviously you're biased in favour of JR! Ironically I personally believe that Spektrum technology is the LEAST robust of the three so for ME they aren't even in the running ... but no matter I appreciate your input too!

More input from more users with experience in all three will be greatly appreciated!

Colin
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Last edited by wollins; Nov 21, 2009 at 10:26 AM.
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Old Nov 21, 2009, 11:19 AM
F3P, Slap, IMAC, Helis
Joined Jun 2007
286 Posts
I have been flying the Hitec A9 for about 2 months now in helis and planes up to 35-40% planes for IMAC and have not had any problems with it. I have flown 14mzs and 12xs and I have to say that this radio I like better. The program is by far eaiser and superior Also it a ball-bearing gymbols which the 9303 and 10c does not, dont know about the Airtronics 10. I havee played with the Airtronics and it felt like a toy compared with the Hitec. Also the Hitec telemetry, which is a nice feature. The screen issue is not really an issue cause most guys are wearing polarized sunglasses and your not going to able to see any lcd screen with those. Another good thing about the A9 is that it is enxpensive and so are the recievers. The Jr 9303 is a nice radio, I borrowed my buddies for NATS this year but the Hitec can do more with it. Like mixes stuff for you when you are setting up an IMAC plane or a plane with multiple tail servo, and I can program any switch/stick/button to do anything I want. which is really nice. On the heli side it has 140 degree swash menu which is really nice, and the swash mixing menu. Hope this helps

Forrest
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Old Nov 21, 2009, 01:43 PM
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United States, AZ, Peoria
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As a JR user for 30 years + I switched to the Airtronics SD10G 2 months ago. Sinced then I have not had a single glitch. The binding process is a peice of cake with no "bind plug necessary", and no remote receivers to worry about.

As far as the size of the LCD screen, I find it easy to use and read. The programming is about as simple as it gets.

Travis
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Old Nov 21, 2009, 03:32 PM
I want to bark at the moon
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2 weeks in SoCal 2 weeks in WA
Joined Mar 2009
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Bubba Gump View Post
I have been flying the Hitec A9 for about 2 months now in helis and planes up to 35-40% planes for IMAC and have not had any problems with it. I have flown 14mzs and 12xs and I have to say that this radio I like better. The program is by far eaiser and superior Also it a ball-bearing gymbols which the 9303 and 10c does not, dont know about the Airtronics 10. I havee played with the Airtronics and it felt like a toy compared with the Hitec. Also the Hitec telemetry, which is a nice feature. The screen issue is not really an issue cause most guys are wearing polarized sunglasses and your not going to able to see any lcd screen with those. Another good thing about the A9 is that it is enxpensive and so are the recievers. The Jr 9303 is a nice radio, I borrowed my buddies for NATS this year but the Hitec can do more with it. Like mixes stuff for you when you are setting up an IMAC plane or a plane with multiple tail servo, and I can program any switch/stick/button to do anything I want. which is really nice. On the heli side it has 140 degree swash menu which is really nice, and the swash mixing menu. Hope this helps

Forrest
I don't think the aurora has even been out 1 month. You must have gotten a special PVT model. But so far I have not heard anything negative regarding signal which is great.
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Old Nov 21, 2009, 06:42 PM
F3P, Slap, IMAC, Helis
Joined Jun 2007
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Originally Posted by guantamanera View Post
I don't think the aurora has even been out 1 month. You must have gotten a special PVT model. But so far I have not heard anything negative regarding signal which is great.
guantamanera,

I had one of the pre-porduction models for testing and feedback before they came out. now I have a production model. The system has been test in many enviroments, Joe Nall, IRCHA, JR fest, and Efest and not a single glitch.

Forrest
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Old Nov 21, 2009, 07:49 PM
Hitec/Multiplex USA
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Poway, California, United States
Joined Sep 2000
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Originally Posted by wollins View Post

however I am a bit concerned about their one antenna receiver technology in their lower channel receivers since I'll be getting into full carbon ships in the near future.
The Optima 6/7 have the ability to have two antennas.

Mike.
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Old Nov 21, 2009, 10:47 PM
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The airtronics and hitec are in my mind, nearly equal. They are not the same, but they have different features that balance out. They should have more programming over futaba, and they are cheaper so futaba is last on the list. Now you just have to feel the radios. I think the aurora 9 is an awesome bargain, but the sd-10g is also quite irresistible. Both bring new features or features that have only been seen on more expensive radios.
The aurora 9 wins on value(touchscreen telemetry you name it) , but the sd-10g has been out longer, (personally, I'd wait another month for the aurora to be tested) and has lower response time.
The aurora has a jr trainer port, and the sd-10g has the airtronics trainer port.
The airtronics has a better design than hitec (radio looks nicer)

In the end, it is a really hard decision, if the aurora had been out 3 months, I would recommend it. If the sd-10g could match the aurora for cool innovative features, I would recommend it.

As a warning, I have no experience with the fore-mentioned radios, I am only offering this info as a reference.

Lucas
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