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Old May 18, 2012, 11:25 AM
Always Fly 2 Mistakes High!
RGS2010's Avatar
Houston, Texas
Joined Mar 2010
3,573 Posts
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Spektrum Vs. Futaba Vs. Hitec

Which new transmitter to buy...Spektrum/Futaba/Hitec?

Let me start by saying that I have been a Spektrum user for about 4 years. I started with a DX5e, then DX6i(DSM2), and most recently a DX6i(DSMX). Previous to that I was a Hitec user for 20 years before that with 72mhz. I switched because I kept losing communications on single phase rx's and there was a lot of competition for the frequencies at my field.

I almost dumped Spektrum last June when 3 of my planes lost connections and crashed while flying in the span of 2 weeks...all using the same equipment that had been reliable for several months previously. All were DSM2 receivers, two of those were Spektrum brand and one was an HK Orange6. There was talk at our club field about microwave interference and it had affected other Spektrum users (but never Futaba users interesting enough).

After last June I began using ONLY Spektrum brand RX's and have had no problems until last week. I was using the DSMX version of my DX6i with a Spektrum DSMX AR600 rx in my new electric HK P-38 foamie. It was maiden flight and it was hand launched. It took off quickly and rose to about 100 feet and began a left turn and then went straight up (lost all rc control) and came straight down with no power and at about 50 feet it "glitched" and lifted the nose a bit like it was trying to reconnect but then went straight down again and crashed nose first. When I got to the model it was still powered on and all of the flight surfaces operated normally! I can only assume it had no reception. Now, the receiver was in the center boom and was in there with LOTS of servo wires and battery leads passing in close proximity. I had the long end of the AR600 in a drinking straw that was glued inside the boom. I either had a "brown out" or there was just too many wires and it was a magnetic field problem preventing reception???

I really thought the DSMX with spread spectrum and frequency hopping abilities would be my final answer to rx connection problems. I realize that all issues can't be blamed on the Tx or the Rx.

I'm in the market for a new 7 channel or above TX with a couple of new planes that use more than 6 channels. So this is the reason for the thread...should I continue with Spektrum and continue to use the many planes with the many DSM2 and DSMX rx's or bite the bullet and make the change?

Your thoughts?

Russ
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Old May 18, 2012, 11:29 AM
3D, 1D at a time!
Park_aviator's Avatar
United States, TX, Plano
Joined Aug 2010
4,012 Posts
IMO, it's all personal preferance... I'm going to warn you, this post is going to be a complete Flame war. Everyone will vte for what they have. I'm personally going Futaba.

Sent from my SPH-D700 using Tapatalk
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Old May 18, 2012, 11:33 AM
Always Fly 2 Mistakes High!
RGS2010's Avatar
Houston, Texas
Joined Mar 2010
3,573 Posts
I hope to attract practical and useful information about each platform not emotional reactions.
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Old May 18, 2012, 11:42 AM
Air, Ground & Water
freechip's Avatar
Canada, ON, Rockland
Joined Aug 2008
23,308 Posts
The best radio you can buy is the one that fits well in your hands and you enjoy using. With that said the only way you can find this out is by visit LHS and local clubs.

This guy hates DSM2 but now with the DX8 and DSMX he claims it could be the best system on the market.
Review: Spektrum DX8 and DSMX (12 min 38 sec)


When the search noarrows down to a couple of choice then one needs to also factor in the cost of receivers cause after the initial purchase of the radio receiver cost play a big part, with that you you can't over look what you already have invested.

You are going to have fun reading all the posts you're going to get.
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Old May 18, 2012, 12:05 PM
Where did my plane go???
HHARRIS's Avatar
United States, CA, Tustin
Joined Nov 2008
638 Posts
Quote:
Originally Posted by RGS2010 View Post
Which new transmitter to buy...Spektrum/Futaba/Hitec?

Let me start by saying that I have been a Spektrum user for about 4 years. I started with a DX5e, then DX6i(DSM2), and most recently a DX6i(DSMX). Previous to that I was a Hitec user for 20 years before that with 72mhz. I switched because I kept losing communications on single phase rx's and there was a lot of competition for the frequencies at my field.

I almost dumped Spektrum last June when 3 of my planes lost connections and crashed while flying in the span of 2 weeks...all using the same equipment that had been reliable for several months previously. All were DSM2 receivers, two of those were Spektrum brand and one was an HK Orange6. There was talk at our club field about microwave interference and it had affected other Spektrum users (but never Futaba users interesting enough).

After last June I began using ONLY Spektrum brand RX's and have had no problems until last week. I was using the DSMX version of my DX6i with a Spektrum DSMX AR600 rx in my new electric HK P-38 foamie. It was maiden flight and it was hand launched. It took off quickly and rose to about 100 feet and began a left turn and then went straight up (lost all rc control) and came straight down with no power and at about 50 feet it "glitched" and lifted the nose a bit like it was trying to reconnect but then went straight down again and crashed nose first. When I got to the model it was still powered on and all of the flight surfaces operated normally! I can only assume it had no reception. Now, the receiver was in the center boom and was in there with LOTS of servo wires and battery leads passing in close proximity. I had the long end of the AR600 in a drinking straw that was glued inside the boom. I either had a "brown out" or there was just too many wires and it was a magnetic field problem preventing reception???

I really thought the DSMX with spread spectrum and frequency hopping abilities would be my final answer to rx connection problems. I realize that all issues can't be blamed on the Tx or the Rx.

I'm in the market for a new 7 channel or above TX with a couple of new planes that use more than 6 channels. So this is the reason for the thread...should I continue with Spektrum and continue to use the many planes with the many DSM2 and DSMX rx's or bite the bullet and make the change?

Your thoughts?

Russ
I'm going to keep this short.
I had 4 unexplained crashes over 5 months with DMSX. I was told bad installation, low battery, faulty switch and so on... I'm not bashing any brand just giving you my experience .. I did bite the bullet and have not looked back since! I switched to Futaba 6 months ago and have not had one single glitch since then(I fly roughly 10+hrs a week).Same installation and charging routine as when I had DSMX ,nothing has changed. I was so pleased with the performance of my Futaba radio I gave my girlfriend my old one(12FG,5 months old) and bought an 18MZ. Both have been rock solid for me!



HUGH (flame suit activated)
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Old May 18, 2012, 12:19 PM
Always Fly 2 Mistakes High!
RGS2010's Avatar
Houston, Texas
Joined Mar 2010
3,573 Posts
Freechip...yes that review is what kept me with Spektrum since he posted it. I REALLY wanted to stay with what I knew but I fly at Johnson Space Center in Houston and it is a NOISY electronic environment as you might imagine. Several of my Spektrum buddies have had exact same problems but NONE of the Futaba flyers have had even one incident. I have to pay attention to that.

HHarris...thanks for your experience...let me ask a Futaba question...are the FHSS rx's and the FASST rx's incompatible? What's the difference?
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Old May 18, 2012, 12:37 PM
Where did my plane go???
HHARRIS's Avatar
United States, CA, Tustin
Joined Nov 2008
638 Posts
Quote:
Originally Posted by RGS2010 View Post
Freechip...yes that review is what kept me with Spektrum since he posted it. I REALLY wanted to stay with what I knew but I fly at Johnson Space Center in Houston and it is a NOISY electronic environment as you might imagine. Several of my Spektrum buddies have had exact same problems but NONE of the Futaba flyers have had even one incident. I have to pay attention to that.

HHarris...thanks for your experience...let me ask a Futaba question...are the FHSS rx's and the FASST rx's incompatible? What's the difference?
On my 18MZ I can use both rx's. On my 12FG I can only use FASST rx's.

Here is a thread discussing the two(I have not read through it though).
Futaba FASST. Vs Futaba FHSS

HUGH
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Old May 18, 2012, 12:48 PM
Always Fly 2 Mistakes High!
RGS2010's Avatar
Houston, Texas
Joined Mar 2010
3,573 Posts
Hugh,

Yes I read that entire thread and it got off topic to telemetry more than anything else.

Which one is newer? Fasst or FHSS...more likely to be supported long-term? (I know that is only a guess at best)
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Old May 18, 2012, 01:04 PM
Where did my plane go???
HHARRIS's Avatar
United States, CA, Tustin
Joined Nov 2008
638 Posts
Quote:
Originally Posted by RGS2010 View Post
Hugh,

Yes I read that entire thread and it got off topic to telemetry more than anything else.

Which one is newer? Fasst or FHSS...more likely to be supported long-term? (I know that is only a guess at best)
I think both will be around(my opinion).. I "think" FHSS is newer but geared to mid price range transmitters.

HUGH
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Old May 18, 2012, 01:05 PM
Air, Ground & Water
freechip's Avatar
Canada, ON, Rockland
Joined Aug 2008
23,308 Posts
Quote:
Originally Posted by RGS2010 View Post
... I fly at Johnson Space Center in Houston and it is a NOISY electronic environment as you might imagine. Several of my Spektrum buddies have had exact same problems but NONE of the Futaba flyers have had even one incident. I have to pay attention to that...
Are you're buddies on DSMX or DSM2, you have to pay attention to that also.

I fly with SPK and surface with Futaba, my borther flies with Futaba and surface with SPK. Both systems have been flawless as for signal.

At the end of the day it's your money, hope you find the right radio for you and enjoy the hobby like I do.
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Old May 18, 2012, 01:35 PM
Always Fly 2 Mistakes High!
RGS2010's Avatar
Houston, Texas
Joined Mar 2010
3,573 Posts
Quote:
Originally Posted by freechip View Post
Are you're buddies on DSMX or DSM2, you have to pay attention to that also.
???

Both, why?
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Old May 18, 2012, 01:45 PM
Air, Ground & Water
freechip's Avatar
Canada, ON, Rockland
Joined Aug 2008
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Just curious to know if they were on DSMX since the nature of the protocol is to hope around similar to FUT then I would of suggested you give DSMX a try before putting it in the same boat as DSM2.
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Old May 18, 2012, 01:45 PM
Balsa addiction since age 3
ScottSails's Avatar
Upstate NY
Joined May 2005
1,223 Posts
Hold them all in your hand if you can... Some may feel funny, off balance or have gimbals/sticks in awkward to you locations.

Look at costs of receivers (more the merrier) and their sizes/weights (this can well trump the initial cost of the transmitter). Having access to Chinese compatible $20 receivers is a great option for SOME people. (Futaba and Spektrum have this option today).

If you fly Foamies - are there cheap receivers that meet the need and are light?

Do you need higher end features in the transmitter - comes down to planes you are flying.

If you fly very expensive planes - whom has the most success in your area (search these forums as well). I think you would be hard pressed to find a reasonably current Futaba user that is frustrated. I don't think you will have trouble with the others - regardless if the issues are user, radio or other as it is really impossible to tell these days.

Do you like bind n fly? - Spektrum

Do you fly electric - strongly suggest telemetry (which is lacking in Futaba unless you are a zillionaire)

Do you need to buddy box with others - what are they flying?

Do you need receivers at your hobby shop (or do you have a personal warehouse like most of us end of doing)?



PS - I fly none of the above...
I have never used Spektrum - two flying buddies have them - no issues
I have used older Futaba but not 2.4 - loved them. 2 buddies have 8FG - they are really nice
I have used Hitec - loved them but no experience with the 2.4 versions
I currently use (see my blog)
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Old May 18, 2012, 05:09 PM
The land down under
Australia, NSW
Joined Jul 2010
556 Posts
Aurora 9, the best radio to use for setup, good screen size, the best feeling gimbals (sub $700.00 radios), well priced name brand receivers (battery telemetry standard on all optima rx's) can use a spektrum futaba DM8 module (needs a small mod) so you can still fly BNF stuff & use your current spektrum receivers. So on & so on, the best thing you could do is feel all of them in your hands.

Telemetry such as rpm etc for mine is for the pure geek & is highly overrated bar the following, the standard Optima does give you either receiver pack for fuel powered or flight pack (lipo) or BEC voltage. I use use the later as it gives me info of the bec voltage, some like to use it for their flight pack but the BEC is what supplies my servos etc with power so i like to see it is maintaining it's voltage.

The other radio that i rate highly is the Sanwa/Airtronics SD-10G.
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Old May 18, 2012, 06:20 PM
Registered User
seefest's Avatar
United States, MA, Bristol
Joined Sep 2009
1,561 Posts
Quote:
Originally Posted by HHARRIS View Post
I'm going to keep this short.
I had 4 unexplained crashes over 5 months with DMSX. I was told bad installation, low battery, faulty switch and so on... I'm not bashing any brand just giving you my experience .. I did bite the bullet and have not looked back since! I switched to Futaba 6 months ago and have not had one single glitch since then(I fly roughly 10+hrs a week).Same installation and charging routine as when I had DSMX ,nothing has changed. I was so pleased with the performance of my Futaba radio I gave my girlfriend my old one(12FG,5 months old) and bought an 18MZ. Both have been rock solid for me!



HUGH (flame suit activated)
I don't think you need a flame suit. Money no object Futaba is the way to go. The 18MZ is a beautiful radio. Wish my wife would let me but one!

My Spek gear I had always had a solid signal, but the transmitters would literally fall apart in my hands. Very poor QC.

Best bang for the buck is the A9. Lots of features, good quality and low price brand name receivers(cheapest of all three by far)

I have owned and flown all three.

I have always heard good things about Airtronics as well, but have never used one.
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