Espritmodel.com Telemetry Radio

Hitec Aurora 9 Channel 2.4GHz Radio System Review

Budget priced, but feature-rich! Hitec makes its mark in the 2.4GHz realm with the revolutionary Aurora 9.

Splash

Introduction


Hitec Aurora 9 channel 2.4GHz System Specifications:Aurora 9 Transmitter
Channels:9
Model Memory:30
Model Types:Acro/Heli/Glid
Modulation:Hitec AFHSS 2.4 GHz PCM/PPM compatible
Battery:6 cell NiMh battery (2s Lipo option)
Weight (with battery):32.5oz 924g
Hitec Optima 7 channel Receiver
Size:57mm x 21mm x 12mm
Weight:15 grams (measured)
BODA Antenna Length:21cm case to tip
Manufacturer:Hitec
Available From:On-line distributors or your local hobby shop
Hitec Aurora 9 site:Aurora 9
Price:$429.99 - 529.99

The Hitec Aurora 9 channel, full-range system comes packed with features and programing options. And true to Hitec form, this system arrives to market at an aggressive price point. Do not assume by the price tag that you are getting a sub-par system. It competes favorably with systems that cost a great deal more.

The Aurora 9 is a module-based transmitter, packed with easy-to-use, intuitive software that is simple to program. The generous 5.1 inch display is backlit making it very readable and easy to see in all lighting conditions.

The Aurora 9 is described by Hitec as a "pure digital" system that offers that “connected” feel. The Hitec system AFHSS is adaptive, spread spectrum technology, but since it is module-based it will support the use of PPM or PCM 72 MHz frequencies with a new 72MHz module. This is ideal for those who still have a large number of 72 MHz receivers making it easy to use both RF technologies.

This review covers the Aurora 9 system with the 2.4GHz module and Optima 7 and 6 receivers.



SYSTEM FEATURES

Basic Features

  • AFHSS 2.4GHz / PPM / PCM compatible (once the Spectra Pro 72MHz module is released)
  • Easy to Read 5.1 inch, backlit, touch screen
  • User customizable menus
  • 3 multitasking digital trim switches
  • Fully assignable control switch, knob, stick and digital trims
  • 8 ball-bearing gimbals with adjustable tension and stick length
  • Full-sized comfortable hand grips
  • Selectable control stick mode
  • Power management system

Standard Programing Features

  • 9 Assignable control channels
  • 3 Model types (ACRO/GLID/HELI) programming
  • 30 model memories
  • 20 Character model name
  • 8 Flight conditions with 10 characters
  • Throttle lock
  • Fail-safe
  • Channel function
  • EPA
  • Dual rate & EXP
  • Sub-trim
  • Trim step
  • Servo reverse
  • Servo speed (Up to 25 sec in each direction)
  • Servo monitor (monitor & servo test)
  • 8 Programmable Mixes (5 x 2-Point , 3 x 7-point curves)**
  • Trainer port

ACRO Programming Functions

  • 9 Wing types (6 main wings, 3 flying wings)
  • 5 Tail types (main wing: normal, V-tail, ailevator) (Flying wing: 1 servo rudder, 2 servo rudders)
  • Quick model options select (Dual engine, retracts gear, airbrake, fuel mixture)
  • 7 Point throttle curve
  • Throttle cut
  • Idle down
  • Fuel mixture
  • Airbrake
  • Airbrake to elevator mix
  • Aileron to rudder mix
  • Elevator to camber mix
  • Rudder to aileron mix
  • Aileron differential
  • Aileron to flap mix
  • Camber mix
  • Flap control
  • 3 x Gyro sensitivity (ex: AILE/ELEV/RUDD)
  • Snap-Roll (4-Way switching multi-direction)
  • V-Tail
  • Delta mix
  • Ailevator

Glider Programming Functions

  • 9 wing type (6 main wings, 3 flying wings)
  • 5 tail type (main wing: normal, V-Tail, ailevator) (Flying wing: 1 servo rudder, 2 servo rudders)
  • Quick model options select (motor, retracts gear, airbrake)
  • Motor control (switch on/off)
  • Airbrake
  • Airbrake to elevator mix
  • Aileron to rudder mix
  • Elevator to camber mix
  • Rudder to aileron mix
  • Aileron differential
  • Aileron to flap mix
  • Launch (stick position auto cut function)
  • Camber mix
  • Flap control
  • 3 x gyro sensitivity
  • Butterfly
  • V-Tail
  • Delta mix
  • Ailevator

Helicopter Programming Functions

  • 6 swash types
  • Quick model options select (governor, needle control, fuel mixture)
  • 7 Point pitch curve
  • 7 Point throttle curve
  • Throttle cut
  • Gyro sensitivity
  • Needle control
  • Swash to throttle mix
  • Rudder to throttle mix
  • Fuel mixture
  • Throttle hold
  • Swash mix
  • Revolution mix
  • Governor

Radio System Contents

Hitec AFHSS 2.4GHz

The advantages of 2.4GHz are significant, and Hitec brings its own unique frequency hopping schema to the radio market. Featuring Adaptive Frequency Hopping Spread Spectrum Technology (AFHSS), the Aurora 9 uses a smart scan of the 2.4GHz band to ensure it picks the cleanest channels in which to operate.

The Aurora supports two modes for 2.4GHz operation, Normal or Scan. Normal selects the portion of the 2.4GHz band that was used when the receiver was originally bound. When operated in Scan mode the system searches the band, and it finds the least used channels for its use.

I used the system in normal mode at some large fly-in events full of 2.4GHz systems with zero issues. I would not recommend flying in Scan mode because if you lose transmitter power, the receiver will not reconnect until it can be power cycled.

All of my testing was done in Normal mode, and the Aurora worked flawlessly, providing interference-free operation even in very crowded RF conditions.

Aurora 2.4GHz Transmitter

This transmitter has a familiar, but modern look. One undeniable feature that dominates the bottom of the transmitter is the large 5.1" touch-screen, backlit display. The Aurora 9 case is black with attractive, chrome gimbal surrounds.


The Aurora is extremely comfortable to hold and has large rubber side and rear grips. The stick gimbals were smooth as silk, which was no surprise since each one is double ball-bearing supported. The gimbals had firm spring tension, my preference. If you wanted to adjust spring tension it’s an easy task: Simply remove the rear rubber grips and adjust the spring tension screws now accessible from holes left when the grips were removed.




With the short transmission antenna, and the 2.4GHz module, it has a bottom-heavy balance point when using a neck strap. It would have been nice to see the Aurora balance properly when using the short 2.4GHz antenna since most users will likely be using the 2.4GHz module with its short antenna. Use of a light 2s LiPo in the place of the 6 cell NiMh pack helps the tail-heavy balance a tiny bit. To address the tail heavy balance point Hitec has released a new neck strap balance for the Aurora.

The sticks have heavy knurling on the knob top and stick lengths were adjustable length. The switches, sliders and trim buttons were comfortably placed, easy to actuate and were well labeled.




The switch tasks are 100% user assignable... excellent! The Aurora 9 has eight switches, one momentary (trainer), five 2-position, and two 3-position. The Aurora also has three separate digital trim switches: LT, CT and RT for assignable use.

The Aurora 9 also includes sliders on the top right and left sides of the transmitter case. These operated smoothly with a pronounced ratchet that allowed precise actuation. I did find they were located in a position that caused me to unintentionally bump them while flying.




The power switch is situated well away from the joystick trims. The trim levers are digital and were intentionally placed slightly off stick centers just where you’d expect them. The program screen is located across the bottom of the Aurora 9 case. This large, 5.1 inch display was very easy to read and use. The icons for model settings, trim settings, broadcast indicator, transmitter power and timers were large and easy to read as well.

Touch Screen

Forget about all the dials, knobs, switches, selectors you have ever used to navigate radio system menus. The huge 5.1" screen on the Aurora was touch sensitive. So when you want to change a setting, feature or value you just touch it! The intuitive nature of making program changes in the Aurora will have you leaving the manual at home where it belongs.

The screen featured a backlight, that increased the visibility dramatically especially in low light or night flying conditions. The backlight on time settings were user adjustable, good as use of that decreased battery life.

A inexpensive plastic stylus makes programing easier. In the field the use of your fingernail or fingertip works fine in a pinch. It would have been nice to see a stylus included and have a custom slot for that molded in the Aurora 9 case.


Data updates and storage

For data storage, the Aurora 9 transmitter uses flash memory to hold model and data settings. It also offers a data port, for use with the Hitec HPP-22 PC interface box (not included). This interface allows you to connect the Aurora 9 to your computer and internet for updates. You could also backup and store model and data settings for model recovery.

Data Transfer

Another remarkable feature of the Aurora is the ability to transmit data stored in a model memory from your Aurora to another Aurora transmitter. Think of how many hours they spent figuring out how to set up that sophisticated model to get it flying just right, and now all you have to do is have them transmit all those program settings directly to you. I can just see it now, "beam me your setup" will be common practice at the field.

Telemetry

While Hitec entered the 2.4GHz radio market a bit later than some, they did not join the fray lacking new technology offerings. One of the industry leading features of the Aurora is telemetry. This means the receiver is not only receiving but is sending key voltage data back to the transmitter as well.

Why does this matter? The Aurora 9 displays that meaningful data, in this case the real time receiver voltage during the entire flight. If the receiver voltage drops too low an audible alarm sounds. Even more telemetry offerings will be available in the future, such as airspeed, motor data, operating temperatures and wet fuel levels.

Both the Optima 7 and 9 receivers include a data port that will be used for attachment of the external telemetry modules that will be available soon.

Charger

The North America version of the Aurora 9 transmitter includes a 120-240 volt six cell (transmitter) and four cell (receiver) wall wart type charger. Do not use the more common eight cell transmitter charger with the Aurora 9. This will be made easy since the charger uses a smaller ~2.5mm connector.

The Aurora comes with a standard six cell 1300mAh NiMh battery. This included charger should not be used if you switch to 2s LiPo cells. The Aurora has an internal diode, so battery cell maintenance discharging is best done outside radio charge jack.

Power Management System

The Aurora includes sophisticated power management settings in the software so the user can set screen backlight times, auto power off settings, battery type and touch screen lock.

Users can set the backlight setting to:

  • Always on
  • Always off
  • On for 10 seconds
  • On for 20 seconds
  • On for 1 minute
  • On for 10 minutes
  • On for 30 minutes
  • On for 1 hour

One reason Hitec used a less common six cell NiMh pack was that it enables the radio to support the use of a 2s LiPo pack since the voltage levels are similar. The sophisticated Aurora software even allowed me to change the voltage setting and alarms for either the included six cell NiMh pack or a 2s LiPo. Offering excellent versatility and the advantages of high capacity, low discharge LiPo packs is a heads-up play, Hitec!

I switched from the stock six cell NiMh pack to using a 2s 1500mAh LiPo for quick charging. I also like the fact that LiPos have very little self discharge, so they are always ready for use. Charging of LiPo batteries should be done outside the transmitter case.

Worried about over-discharge of a LiPo pack? Don't be. The software also allows you to set a power off voltage threshold, user-defined from 6.5v-6v.

The Aurora also features an auto power-off function, regardless of battery type. This enables the Aurora to power itself off when it senses that you are no longer using the system by monitoring switch or stick movement. I have used this feature on other radio systems, and it is a welcome feature. Admit it, we have all inadvertently left our transmitter on. This feature alone can save the cost of a replacement battery pack.

The Aurora supports the following auto shutoff intervals:

  • Never
  • 10 minutes
  • 20 minutes
  • 30 minutes
  • 1 hour

The Aurora also has a screen "touch lock" feature that enables the touch screen to lock. Touching the screen for two seconds defeats the lock. This is a great precaution making it impossible to inadvertently press and change something in flight.

Programming the Aurora Transmitter

The Aurora 9 channel system comes with remarkable, powerful programing options. Many systems take a while to master, but the touch-screen and intuitive Hitec software enabled me to master programing in seconds. I have yet to spend any meaningful time with my nose in the manual. Yes, it was that easy to use.

New model setup

Setting up a new model uses a unique and simple interview process. I found this method of model setup to be totally logical and progressive, making programming a new model a simple matter.

That interview process begins with model name. The name function supports a descriptive 20 character model name. The Aurora 9 supports 30 model memories. Users can also set up to 8 flight conditions, including Normal with 20 character descriptions. The system supports three model types: Aircraft, Glider or Helicopter.

After the model name setup the Aurora 9 system asks what model type to setup, ACRO, GLID or HELI. When you select ACRO it then asks what the wing type is:

  • 1 Aileron
  • 2 Aileron
  • 1 Aileron plus 1 flap
  • 2 Aileron plus 1 flap
  • 1 Aileron plus 2 flap
  • 2 Aileron plus 2 flap

Then it asks what tail type:

  • Normal
  • V-Tail
  • Ailevator

Then:

  • Single Engine
  • Dual Engine

Do you have retracts?

  • Yes
  • No

Do you have airbrake?

  • Yes
  • No

Do you have fuel mixture control?

  • Yes
  • No

At the end of the interview process a user has full control over the channel, joystick, switches and slider assignments. I like that the software did set defaults for the main 4 channels, aileron, elevator, throttle and rudder along with the joystick. You can change any of those defaults if desired.

Just as in Acro settings, the Glid and Heli model type options also ask you a series of questions enabling easy setup of all model types. I really liked the interview process that showed the careful thought that was used in development of the software.

The Aurora also has another feature that has quickly become one of my favorite features. Not only do you have the System and Model menus, but a user Custom folder. This allows the copying of commonly used programing options from the system, or model folders to the custom folder and enables lightning quick access to the items used most frequently without the need to search through several menus. Although the standard menu functions were very easy to navigate the custom folder was very helpful. The custom menu is unique to each model number as well.

The Aurora 9 also supports all of the programing functions you would expect from any high end computer radio system.

I really liked the dual rate and exponential program screen. The Aurora software developers recognized that this is a screen used frequently when setting up a new model. With full control over expo, dual rate, switch, offset and flight condition activation this screen is very powerful. That, combined with the touch screen input, makes these common setup functions quick and efficient.

This same screen in the Aurora also graphically represented the exponential and dual rate settings programmed. So now as you set throws, rates and expo you can quickly see changes represented in the graphic.

Transmit options

When the Aurora 9 powers up it welcomes you by name (once you set the owner) and then asks if you want to transmit. It was nice to be able to use the system without sending any RF signal during programming. A large icon on the main screen indicates if the system is transmitting.

When you are done with setup programing and want to start transmitting, you simply press and hold the transmit indicator icon on the main screen. The system then asks if you want to begin transmission. This feature, wisely, does not work in reverse and avoids accidentally stopping transmission.

Keeping with the user-friendly nature of the Aurora software, selecting a new model or changing models is very simple and just a matter of touching the model number or name on the main screen. With twenty character name support, it is easy to know exactly what model to select. A touch screen scroll bar enables quick access to the model desired. With the ability to support thirty model memories, it is nice to see a simple process.

The Aurora 9 has all of the programing options and features one would expect from any high end system. Users also have the ability to program seven custom, and one normal flight condition. This makes the Aurora a powerful system indeed.

I also appreciate the inclusion of a servo monitor. Monitor feature is something used when setting up new models. It was really nice to be able to see what servo movement the programing would evoke. Since the servos are not even plugged in you no longer have to worry about stripping gears or bending linkages, and yes I have done that.

The Aurora supports running the servo monitor screen in test mode. This allows the system to automatically scroll through full input cycles of all 9 channels without having to manually stir the sticks or switches. Nice.

Other program features

The Aurora 9 system supports eight user-defined programmable mixes. Hitec has also included eighteen preprogrammed mixes across the three model types as well. Those, combined with eight user defined mixes, should have you well covered for any of the wildest channel mixing needs.

The Aurora also supports servo slowdown which is useful for features like retracts (with proportional servos), flaps and other uses. This has a real benefit in flight, especially with slowed flap application, making flight transitions much smoother.

I was very happy to see trim step, or trim sensitivity, included on the Aurora software. This enables users to select the sensitivity of each digital "click" of trim. Having used this on previous radios, this particular feature is very welcome especially when flying a new airplane. You can set trim sensitivity higher for a new model, meaning each click offers more trim change. Likewise, on the other end of the scale you can decrease sensitivity and really fine tune settings with small trim steps. You can also use this feature, if desired, to disable the trim buttons.

The Aurora in combination with the Optima receivers fully support storing fail-safe settings. The manual recommends that users set up fail-safe settings so that in the unlikely event of loss of signal the receiver will revert to your specific preset fail-safe conditions. If you do not set fail-safe, the receiver will hold the last good signal received. Understanding that that may include full throttle shows the importance of setting fail-safe.

Flight timer

Another powerful feature of the Aurora has is the robust flight timer setup. The Aurora supports two timers per model with up or down timing functions. The timers are user-definable for a specific switch or throttle stick activation.

I use throttle stick timer activations. The timer start point can also be set based upon a specific stick advancement point. The timer starts when you reach that throttle setting and stops when you drop below that preset condition... excellent. This is an awesome feature for me, the guy who always forgets to start the timer!

Aurora Manual

The Aurora comes with a 132 page manual that is was easy to read, but I wished for a glossary for quick access page references.

The full Aurora manual can be found on the Hitec site here: Aurora 9 Manual

Optima 2.4GHz Receivers

Receiver compatibility for the Hitec 2.4GHz module currently includes the following models:

  • Optima 6
  • Optima 7
  • Optima 9

The Aurora 9 is offered in several different options with various servo, no-servo, and receiver setups. Users can select the options that match budget and needs.

All three of the current Optima receivers have a supplementary power connection point. The SPC connector provides power redundancy allowing you to power the receiver separately from the servos. The SPC port will power only the receiver.

This feature should avoid any brown out concerns. Since the Optima receivers will reboot at ~3.5v this is viable option to avoid that scenario. The SPC supports maximum of 35 volts input. In larger system setups powering just the receiver with an unregulated 2s LiPo is an option. Remember the SPC port will not power the servos, so the servo bus would still require separate power. Obviously, no servos can take 35v of input anyway.

One other great feature of the SPC port is for those who fly electric. Since the telemetry function "sees" the voltage off in to the receiver you could tap the flight pack power leads, or balance taps to power the receiver directly. This provided the motor pack voltage less than 35 volts (8s Lipoly). If this was done you could see your flight pack voltage displayed on the transmitter screen while in flight. Very cool!

Hitec is busy working on a number of new receiver offerings, including some smaller, lighter receivers. Best of all the Optima receiver line is very competitive in pricing. Nice!

Hitec Optima 7 Receiver

This particular review package came with the Optima 7 receiver. The Optima 7 receiver is a full-range, end-plug receiver that was compact and light.

Interestingly, to keep the receiver in the slim format case, the Optima 7 has plugs on both ends of the case. I really like this feature as you can plug throttle into the front side of the receiver making wire runs and installation neater.


I found the Optima 7 was easily able to fit in the tightest of applications.

Just like the Aurora 9 the Optima receivers also have sophisticated feature functionality.

The Optima receivers include an industry-unique, Single Boosted Omnidirectional Antenna that Hitec calls BODA. This antenna transmits telemetry data back to the transmitter for real time, in-flight data access. Today this includes monitoring the receiver voltage status, showing the power output of your on-board flight pack, regulator or BEC. The Aurora 9 sounds a low voltage alarm, warning you if the airborne battery was running out of power.

This receiver has a data port that will support the use of an additional add-on telemetry module. The data port is included on the Optima 7 and 9 receivers. Of note, the telemetry will only be available with the 2.4GHz module.

The Optima 7 receiver also supports firmware updates using the Hitec HPP-22 interface box. This receiver also supports fail-safe and hold functions, in the case of signal loss.

So many of the systems today offer antenna redundancy or even dual receiver technology. I can say that in the time I have used the single antenna BODA system on the Hitec I have not found a single instance of shadowing or range issues. It is clearly very technologically sound. Only the Optima 9 offers dual antenna redundancy, so that is available if you so desire.

Hitec Optima 6 Receiver

Hitec also offers the smaller, lighter Optima 6 receiver. The Optima 6 receiver is full range, and it can be used in any size or type of aircraft where 6 channels is adequate. It features the BODA antenna but has more limited upgrade options without the inclusion of data port for the telemetry module and data firmware updates. The Optima 6 does support receiver voltage telemetry.

ID Setup/Binding

As is the case with all of the 2.4GHz systems the receivers must be linked or bound to the transmitters. This enables them to communicate only with your transmitter, which is a good thing indeed. You simply press the button on the back of the module, then indicate on the touch screen to transmit. After that you press and hold the button on the receiver, then power the receiver on. The link process was very quick. Power cycle both the receiver and transmitter to complete the bind procedure.

Power down - Range test

The Aurora has a range check function that can be used to check your individual setup for potential installation issues. This power down option should give a usable range of about 100 feet or 30 meters. I was always able to get well more than 100 feet away, and actually have yet to find the range limit in power down mode. In power down mode the transmitter will constantly emit a very loud alarm, reminding you that it is not safe to fly.

PPM/PCM

It should be noted that standard 72MHz receivers can be used with this transmitter, once the 72MHz Spectra Pro 72MHz module is released. This brings excellent versatility with full support of your existing 72MHz equipment. That will be a great feature for those who might be considering a change to 2.4GHz but still want to use their investment in existing 72MHz equipment as well.

Flight Testing

I have flown the Aurora with a number of different models from 8oz foam planes to large club models. I have a cherished, but old model, the Skimmer 400 that always gets tapped for new radio testing duty. This 1.5m powered glider was easy to get to speck height and I was never able to approach anything that resembled a usable range limit.

After that came installation of the Optima 6 receiver in my well flown Trojan T-28. After set up of that model I have flown that model every spare moment I can. Rough job, I know, and the results were flawless.

After testing in 3 other models, including several large club field models, I can assure you the Hitec Aurora 9 system has performed flawlessly. I felt completely locked in and totally connected to each model at all times. Control response was very quick and robust. No question that the Aurora is a solid performer in the air where it matters most!

Streaming video
Type Name
Aurora 9 Online Vimeo video found here

If you would like to review more video, here is a link to the RCGroups thread where Hitec's own Mike Mayberry runs through some common setup options on the Aurora 9. Aurora 9 setup videos from Hitec.

Conclusion

I simply could not have been more impressed with the Aurora 9 channel 2.4GHz system. This powerful 2.4GHz system was completely bulletproof and 100% reliable during all of stages of ground and in-flight testing. I did not have any issue with hits, bumps or glitches, ever. This included test parameters at the local flying club where 98% of the pilots were using the 2.4GHz band. I felt totally connected to my models and experienced no issues with latency or signal delays.

The Aurora 9 has powerful, intuitive software. I found this box to be superbly easy to program. The large 5.1" LCD touch screen was very easy to navigate. The touch screen programing was simplicity at its best. If you wanted to change some feature or program you simply touched it on the screen. Nothing could be easier than that. I can honestly say this is the most intuitive radio programing I have ever navigated. The Aurora is simple enough for any first time computer radio user to navigate with ease.

Full switch and channel assignments show the power of the Aurora 9 system. Eight flight conditions and P-mixes are also available for your most demanding programing situations.

A feature that instantly showed me value was the ability to move regularly used menu items into custom folder. That enabled quick and efficient programing changes. This was perfect for field programming and was model memory unique. This is one of my favorite features.

Another great, cutting-edge feature is telemetry. Today, only receiver voltage is available. In the near future, a new data telemetry module will support items such as fuel level, RPM's, temperatures and GPS. Just the in-flight voltage was welcome. In fact, during some ground testing I was able to determine I had a 4 cell NiMh pack that was not putting out proper power under load. This automatically triggered the receiver low voltage alarm on the transmitter. In flight this feature alone could have easily saved me the $500 model it was installed in.

Newer firmware, available soon, will support a minimum and maximum voltage tracking during the duration of the flight. This will be great, as you do not really look down at the voltage numbers while in-flight.

The throttle stick timer activation is an excellent feature. I will never forget to "start" my timer again since it now operates using the throttle stick. For night and dusk flying the backlit display is very welcome.

The eight ball-bearing supported gimbals were smooth and precise. Switches were easy to find and actuate. I was very pleased to see the sliders on this high end system. Those are great for camber, flaps and any other desired proportional flight surface controls.

The Optima 6 and 7 receivers have all performed flawlessly in flight. Both the 6 and 7 are small, light and with the short BODA antenna they were easy to position inside the models. I really liked the slim case and end plug support as that made servo wire installation neat and tidy even in smallest fuselage.

With the optional Hitec HPP-22 PC interface box you can connect both the Aurora transmitter and Optima receivers (7 and 9) to your computer for firmware updates. With these updates the software on the Aurora is made even more remarkable as Hitec can continue to enhance these already advanced systems. Hitec has been seeking input from existing Aurora 9 users for items they want too see incorporated in future firmware updates. It is great to have a company that listens and reacts to customer needs. This interface box also supported model backup for data protection.

I have been reviewing various 2.4GHz radio systems since they appeared on the market. None has impressed me more than the Aurora 9. This system brings telemetry, a huge backlit, touch screen, powerful software and industry leading support. The Aurora 9 has been exceptionally reliable and the easiest radio system I have ever programmed.

Pluses:

  • Fantastically easy to program
  • Large 5.1" touch screen
  • Backlit display
  • Telemetry
  • Totally locked-in feeling
  • Trim sensitivity
  • Timer - Up or Down throttle stick assignable
  • Sliders
  • Gimbals are ultra smooth and precise
  • 2s LiPo battery support
  • Budget priced (Tx and Rx)

Minuses:

  • No model match feature
Last edited by pda4you; Jun 22, 2010 at 10:23 AM..

Discussion

Reply
Thread Tools
Old Jun 22, 2010, 03:19 PM
In love with aviation
flying-things's Avatar
Joined Apr 2010
387 Posts
Great review, I can see you put a lot of time into it!
flying-things is offline Find More Posts by flying-things
Reply With Quote
Old Jun 22, 2010, 05:30 PM
Registered User
United States, VA, Norfolk
Joined Sep 2007
419 Posts
Does anyone know if there is any plan to add multi-point programmable mixes to the A9 in a firmware change?
burke757 is offline Find More Posts by burke757
Reply With Quote
Old Jun 22, 2010, 07:09 PM
Registered User
Winnipeg, Canada
Joined Jul 2006
92 Posts
Quote:
Originally Posted by burke757 View Post
Does anyone know if there is any plan to add multi-point programmable mixes to the A9 in a firmware change?
P-mixes 6, 7, 8 are multi point mixes.
EK
ekletke is offline Find More Posts by ekletke
Reply With Quote
Old Jun 22, 2010, 07:19 PM
Hitec/Multiplex USA
MikeMayberry's Avatar
Poway, California, United States
Joined Sep 2000
4,193 Posts
Beat me to it!


Nice review Mike... the check's in the mail

Here's a shot of the battery management screen that will be in firmware V1.07 which allows the user to set a custom low voltage warning per model as well as the ability to see the lowest voltage realized during the flight. If flying an electric model you can tap power off the main flight battery (up to 35V) and plug this directly into the SPC which not only eliminates the chance of the BEC causing a brownout, but when setting the low voltage warning, you can fly as hard and as long as you want/can until the warning goes off with no worry of unexpectedly having the ESC cut power to the motor when the battery dumps.

Mike.
MikeMayberry is offline Find More Posts by MikeMayberry
Last edited by MikeMayberry; Jun 22, 2010 at 07:40 PM.
Reply With Quote
Old Jun 22, 2010, 08:28 PM
Registered User
S.E. Michigan
Joined Feb 2006
844 Posts
Model Match! Model Match! Model Match!
Lost_Dawg is offline Find More Posts by Lost_Dawg
Reply With Quote
Old Jun 22, 2010, 08:49 PM
Registered User
United States, VA, Norfolk
Joined Sep 2007
419 Posts
Excellent! Is there a list of what changes on firmware changes V1.06 and V1.07?
burke757 is offline Find More Posts by burke757
Reply With Quote
Old Jun 22, 2010, 10:45 PM
Team 3DHS
BoneDoc's Avatar
San Antonio, TX
Joined Sep 2004
15,632 Posts
Great review Mike!
BoneDoc is offline Find More Posts by BoneDoc
Reply With Quote
Old Jun 22, 2010, 11:12 PM
Registered User
Canada's East Coast, "An Ocean Playground"
Joined Apr 2002
4,180 Posts
How is the change in Tx antennas handled when switching from 2.4Ghz to 72 Mhz..?

thanks,
Bill
retiredVTT is offline Find More Posts by retiredVTT
Reply With Quote
Old Jun 23, 2010, 12:59 AM
Registered User
udogigahertz's Avatar
Deutschland, Nordrhein-Westfalen, Geilenkirchen
Joined Aug 2007
772 Posts
Quote:
Originally Posted by retiredVTT View Post
How is the change in Tx antennas handled when switching from 2.4Ghz to 72 Mhz..?

thanks,
Bill
What you mean? Should be easy:
Step one: Remove the 2,4 GHz-antenna,
step two: Insert the 72 MHz-antenna,
step three: Remove the 2,4 GHz-module,
step four: Insert the 72 MHz-module.

HiTec will deliver the 72 MHz-module together with the appropriate antenna, if they ever deliver that module.


@pda4you: Nice review, I can confirm every word. Well done.

Udo
udogigahertz is offline Find More Posts by udogigahertz
Reply With Quote
Old Jun 23, 2010, 04:14 AM
Registered User
Joined Aug 2002
5,811 Posts
A very good review.
Firmware update details and answers to other frequently asked questions:

Aurora A9, Spectra Pro & Optima - FAQ & Undocumented Features - Mixes, Setups, Tips. {Individual Links often updated}

Regards
Alan T.
Alan's Hobby, Model & RC FAQ Web Links.
A.T. is offline Find More Posts by A.T.
Reply With Quote
Old Jun 23, 2010, 08:33 AM
Registered User
pda4you's Avatar
USA, TX, Trophy Club
Joined May 2002
14,476 Posts
Thank you all for the positive comments. Glad so many of you know what I have found out, this is one supremely impressive system. Highly capable and priced at a point most of us can afford.

One issue - I now find myself "touching" the screen of my other transmitter's and nothing happens. Can anyone help me?

Mike
pda4you is offline Find More Posts by pda4you
RCG Plus Member
Reply With Quote
Old Jun 23, 2010, 08:54 AM
Registered User
Joined Oct 2008
18 Posts
The radio mudule is compaible with futaba ?? (i have two futaba modules in 72 and 50 Mhz for 9Cap)
jjsueldo is offline Find More Posts by jjsueldo
Reply With Quote
Old Jun 23, 2010, 09:08 AM
Registered User
udogigahertz's Avatar
Deutschland, Nordrhein-Westfalen, Geilenkirchen
Joined Aug 2007
772 Posts
Quote:
Originally Posted by jjsueldo View Post
The radio mudule is compaible with futaba ?? (i have two futaba modules in 72 and 50 Mhz for 9Cap)
No. Other than the original module wouldn't fit in that Tx.


Udo
udogigahertz is offline Find More Posts by udogigahertz
Reply With Quote
Old Jun 23, 2010, 09:17 AM
Registered User
Romania, Dolj, Craiova
Joined Sep 2007
14,417 Posts
Without a case hack, not.
But signals are combatible, you can drive a Futaba mobule from an Aurora.
Also, be aware that Aurora has 6 cells power, instead 8, so 7.2V instead 9.6V. For a crystal module there is no issue, because it is internally regulated to 5V, but a synth module will have power reduced due to this voltage reduction.
renatoa is online now Find More Posts by renatoa
Reply With Quote
Reply


Thread Tools

Similar Threads
Category Thread Thread Starter Forum Replies Last Post
Question Hitec Aurora 9 Transmitter & FPV Head Tracking WEREE Radios 6 Jan 18, 2010 02:26 PM
Sold HiTec Aurora 9 2.4 Ghz with two 7 ch Rx - brand new Cloud_Catcher Aircraft - General - Radio Equipment (FS/W) 5 Jan 08, 2010 11:04 PM
Discussion Hitec Aurora 9 Trainer Link jedorme Hitec/Multiplex USA 1 Aug 24, 2009 10:36 PM