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View Poll Results: Which Radio and Which RF system are you using?
Futaba Radio/Futaba RF 69 16.20%
Futaba Radio/Other RF 21 4.93%
JR Radio/JR RF 57 13.38%
JR Radio/Other RF 29 6.81%
Spektrum Radio/Spektrum RF 49 11.50%
Spektrum Radio/Other RF 2 0.47%
Airtronics Radio/Airtronics RF 65 15.26%
Airtronics Radio/Other RF 3 0.70%
Hitec Radio/Hitec RF 50 11.74%
Hitec Radio/Other RF 1 0.23%
Multiplex Radio/Multiplex RF 11 2.58%
Multiplex Radio/Other RF 17 3.99%
Graupner Radio/Graupner RF 6 1.41%
Graupner Radio/Other RF 8 1.88%
Turnigy/TH9X Radio (all flavors) Turnigy/FlySky RF 14 3.29%
Turnigy/TH9X Radio (all flavors) Other RF 16 3.76%
Other Radio/Same brand RF 4 0.94%
Other Radio/different RF 4 0.94%
Voters: 426. You may not vote on this poll

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Old Sep 17, 2012, 03:11 AM
Proud member of LISF and ESL
LI, New York, USA
Joined Mar 2003
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Rotozuk View Post
I just meant the 4 main suppliers of radios.. Just distracted here..

I think the largest % of radio users are Spektrum, but I don't think a poll like this will actually show that..?
That would only be possibly true if we restricted ths poll to radios bought in the last few years and only on 2.4 GHz. This is not about what is the most popular radio but what brands are used for flying FH sailplanes. I would not expect Spektrum to be one of the leaders although they are making a pretty strong showing for a brand that has not had a sailplane redio untill the DX18.

Also, Futaba, JR, Hitec and Airtronics have decades of lead time on Spektrum. Spektrum has only been around a few years. They didn't even exist when I started flying 9 years ago.
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Old Sep 17, 2012, 03:26 AM
Happy FPV flyer
Kilrah's Avatar
United Arab Emirates, Dubai
Joined Sep 2006
4,577 Posts
9X with open9X and FrSky RF. It's my main and only radio now, after I upgraded from a Futaba T14MZ.
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Old Sep 17, 2012, 03:41 AM
Proud member of LISF and ESL
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Kilrah View Post
9X with open9X and FrSky RF. It's my main and only radio now, after I upgraded from a Futaba T14MZ.
I had a feeling the 9X might make a strong showing. It has taken 5% of the votes so far which I think is significant considering it is not a main brand radio.

After 200 votes, Futaba and JR continue to hold the top spots with a combined total of over 41% of the overall votes with about 25% of their owners using a third party RF system.
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Old Sep 17, 2012, 05:23 AM
C9X Developer
Joined Jul 2007
244 Posts
Turnigy 9x+open9x on three full featured sailplanes (fox 3m, asw 17 4m and a self made one)
I'm a little biased (being one of the contributors to open9x/companion9x) but actually the radio does what I always wished from a tx set.
About radio setup:
Main radios:
Turnigy 9x case + ersky9x board (arm processor) +FrSky ht module.
Turnigy 9x case + gruvin9x board +FrSky dht module. (i like this one as i have two rotary encoders usable in flight phases as fine tuning control
Spare radio:
Turnigy 9x stock board - FrSky dht module

Other radio available
Graupner Mx16 FM 40/41 Mhz
Graupner Mx12 FM 40 Mhz
Hitec Flash 5x FM 40 Mhz
and several older ones for my private collection
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Old Sep 17, 2012, 06:50 AM
Registered User
Dallas, TX
Joined Jan 2005
2,162 Posts
18MZ is my main radio. The second most used is a 9303 with a XPS module and then an A9.
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Old Sep 17, 2012, 07:27 AM
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Woodstock 1's Avatar
Ireland, County Kerry, Kerry
Joined Dec 2005
6,940 Posts
I stand in awe and amazement at people who have and use a number of completely different radios ...
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Old Sep 17, 2012, 08:04 AM
Proud member of LISF and ESL
LI, New York, USA
Joined Mar 2003
24,369 Posts
After 205 votes we see 28.39% are using an RF that is not made by the maker of their radio. It is an interesting trend.

Clearly the world is changing...again.

Only a few years back I think we would have expected that number to be less than 5%. In the 72 MHz, 50 MHz, 35 MHz world you did not need to change the RF in your radio. The most common exception to this that I know of was using a Hitec Spectra frequency synth module in a Futaba radio. This way you could easily change 72 MHz channels to avoid frequency conflict. I am not aware of other examples but I sure there must have been others.

There was a wealth of third party FM receivers that would work with the RF system in your radio. If you had a Futaba radio you could be flying Futaba receivers but you could just as easily use Hitec, Berg, GWS and other brands of receivers. Everyone could build and use FM/PPM as frequency and protocol. Only FM/PCM was propriatry to brand and maybe that is why is was not as popular as it might have been, considering some of the superior features it offered.

As we moved to 2.4 GHz we had Radio/Receiver lock-in. You buy a Spektrum radio you have to use Spektrum brand receivers. But over time third party options have became more abundant as the module based radio community opted to keep their radios but change to 2.4 GHz, and not necessarily one that matched their radio. Spektrum really got this going when they produced Futaba modules, but XPS and others were soon there too. And people bought used module based 72 MHz radios and switched them to 2.4 GHz using third party RF modules. If you have a JR or Futaba based radio there are probably 10 third party 2.4 GHz modules to choose from.

Now we have external modules and new internal modules that can be added to radios whether or not they are module based. XPS and AnyLink are just two examples that connect through the trainer port.

And everything old is new again. Again we have third party receivers that work with the RF systems that are made by the radio manufacturers. Today you can buy buy FASST and DSM2 compaitble receivers from several sources, some of which have good reputations. Can Airtronics, and Hitec compatible 2.4 GHz receivers be far behind?

So, will the growing trend of using third party RF modules slow with people going back to using the radio maker's RF system and just buy third party receivers? Will the wide assortment of third party modules start to drop in favor of compatible receivers? Who knows?

And here comes OpenSource. Now we have a whole new category of radio that is breaking onto the scene, OpenSource. There are several examples and more coming. No longer do you buy a radio and depend on that manufacturer to update their software to give you new features. You buy the radio and load the software of your choice, software developed by third parties in the OpenSource community. You can keep the standard software or choose from several others. The Turnigy 9X/Fly Sky TH9X, represented in this survey, is probably the most popular example of this today. But there are several others coming very shortly.

As with many new technologies, initally there is a lock-in. You buy the radio and you have to buy that brand of receivers. Then the third parties jump in and give us choice and options. Sometimes we choose the options for price, sometimes for quality and sometimes it is for flexibility. But I think we can say that radio brand/receiver brand lock-in is coming to an end in the 2.4 GHz market. I have 4 different modules that work with my radio that allow me to choose receivers from at least 10 different makers.

I hope the votes keep coming in so we can get the best profile of what people are using.
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Old Sep 17, 2012, 11:12 AM
LSF303 / AMA Life Member
tkallev's Avatar
USA, IL, Wheeling
Joined Jan 2003
3,125 Posts
While many people are having success with the China-copies, their products' are still suspect with not having the same part spepcifications ... if people are comfortable putting $10 receivers in $3,000 aircraft, well, my hat's off to you.

I wouldn't touch those products for anything more than a foamie park flyer and would worry all the time about that!

YMMV ...
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Old Sep 17, 2012, 12:18 PM
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Luis Moya's Avatar
Mexico
Joined May 2004
228 Posts
Airtronics

Airtronics 10SG.

All the best,

Luis
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Old Sep 17, 2012, 04:48 PM
Lost at LAX
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United States, CA, Torrance
Joined Dec 2005
2,558 Posts
JR 9303, Spektrum RX's
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Old Sep 17, 2012, 04:55 PM
Proud member of LISF and ESL
LI, New York, USA
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Quote:
Originally Posted by tkallev View Post
While many people are having success with the China-copies, their products' are still suspect with not having the same part spepcifications ... if people are comfortable putting $10 receivers in $3,000 aircraft, well, my hat's off to you.

I wouldn't touch those products for anything more than a foamie park flyer and would worry all the time about that!

YMMV ...
Well said Tom. I will point out that not all of the third party receivers are $10. Many of them are many times that price. And quite a few of these third party systems are finding a strong following and a lot of success with high end pilots. Some are reported to be better than the "brand name" stuff.

So far I am using brand name stuff in my main gliders for 2.4. But I have purchased one third party FASST receiver, though I have not used it yet. It will be for my Easy Glider. The nice thing is that I can buy the brand name Futaba receivers for $90+ for my big planes and buy $20 FASST compatibles for my other planes. Putting $90 receivers in a $90 foamy is somewhat distasteful.

I have flown Futaba for many years but most of my receivers, including those in my high end gliders, were Hitec and Berg. So the idea of using third party receivers or RF systems is not a new concept for me or for many others. We did it in 72 MHz and I think we will see more and more of it in 2.4.

But, as you said, YMMV. The great thing is that we have a choice.
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Old Sep 17, 2012, 04:58 PM
Registered User
United Kingdom, Glos
Joined Feb 2009
543 Posts
Multiplex Royal Pro 9 M Link with vario sensor in larger scale sailplanes (i.e. 25 year old Pat Teakle 1/4 scale HP 18) and Multiplex Cockpit Sx 35 mhz and with FrSky module on some others.

Use Spektrum Dx6i on some electrics and the BnF stuff, but Dx6i mixing doesn't cut it with slope soarers. BTW thought it was interesting that there is one Spekky user who uses a different RF, not the easiest modification.
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Old Sep 18, 2012, 01:53 PM
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Belgium, Flemish Region, Oosterzele
Joined Dec 2001
5,461 Posts
Quote:
Originally Posted by tkallev View Post

I wouldn't touch those products for anything more than a foamie park flyer and would worry all the time about that!

YMMV ...
MMDV my genuine Multiplex 2.4 cost me 2 planes,I've seen Futaba and Spectrum crash. I still have to see the first hint of a problem with Assan( flying it extensively for more than 3 years now, so does my flying buddy) , FrSky, and yes, even Flysky.
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Old Sep 18, 2012, 03:18 PM
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We have passed 230 votes and they keep coming in. Based on the single vote in the "other" category it would seem we have covered the full spread of radio brands in the survey.

While the order remains Futaba, JR, Airtronics, Hitec for the top four, the spread is only 21% to 16% so we are very evenly distrubuted, much more so than I expected and the gap from first to fourth seems to be holding pretty steady.

Spektrum has been hovering around 10%. While most of us would not think of the Spektrum line for full house sailplane radios till they introduced the DX10, it is clear that Horizon has done a good job of helping Spektrum pilots set-up for full house by publishing templates for their radios, focused aroudn the Radian Pro. Those templates can be leveraged for other full house gliders too.
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Old Sep 18, 2012, 06:31 PM
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Multiplex came in a bit over 5% and Graupner around 2.5%. Both are well known brands for sailplane pilots, but not very well known in the USA so no surprise about their standings.

The interesting one is the X9, coming in at around 7%. That is a pretty respectible showing. A little more than half are flying a replacement RF system. This would probably be the split between the lower end glider pilots and the higher end glider pilots. Based on what you read on the forums, I would expect that replacement RF system to be mostly FrSky.

There is nothing scientific about this survey, just interesting to see what people report.

If someone wants to take this to the next level you can run a similar survey by brand and list out all the radios that brand produced for the last 30 years and see what people are really flying, including the third party RF systems they are using.

It would be interesting, for example, to see how many full house pilots are still flying on 4-6 channel standard radios like the Hitec Laser 4 or Laser 6. It might be interesting to know whether they are still on their original AM or FM systems or if they have been moved to 2.4 and with what 2.4 system.

Surveys can be fun. I hope people keep posting, but the % seem to have stabalized and the order does not appear to be changing.
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