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Old Aug 05, 2013, 11:03 PM
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N Cal
Joined Jun 2003
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Sailplane Radio

Im trying to figure out my next radio purchase. I want to get a radio specifically for sailplanes and keep the cost reasonable, say under $500. I just reviewed the Airtronics SD10G owners manual. I am overwhelmed after reading thru the 212 pages. How can this radio be one of the easier ones to program? It will take hours of reading and trial and error to set up a full house sailplane. Is it really so complicated or am I over roeacting? I welcome any feedback.
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Old Aug 06, 2013, 01:03 AM
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Central California
Joined Dec 2006
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Quote:
Originally Posted by winghead View Post
Im trying to figure out my next radio purchase. I want to get a radio specifically for sailplanes and keep the cost reasonable, say under $500. I just reviewed the Airtronics SD10G owners manual. I am overwhelmed after reading thru the 212 pages. How can this radio be one of the easier ones to program? It will take hours of reading and trial and error to set up a full house sailplane. Is it really so complicated or am I over roeacting? I welcome any feedback.
I use both a DX8 and a DX18. With the announcement of the DX9 and it having basically the programming layout of the DX18 and full house sailplane programming it should be just what your looking for. All of the DX radios have the most intuitive programming I know.If you kind of understand basic radio programming a person can just about stumble through it without a manual IMO.
If you need help the DX radios are probably the most widely used and easiest to find someone who can help.
The price is well within your budget.
What radio are you currently using?
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Old Aug 06, 2013, 03:30 AM
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Sverige, Värmlands Län, Filipstad
Joined Jan 2009
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Futaba 14SG has sailplane settings (and airplane + heli settings). For sailplane this radio has something named Conditions" that is very flexible thing that You for example can use for various phases of the flight (start/lanch, flying, landing etc). 14SG has not Conditions for airplane (but it has for heli also) - Futaba want airplane pilots that need Conditions to buy their high end radio (18MZ, or the older FASST radios 12FG/12Z/14MZ that also has Conditions).

http://www.futaba-rc.com/systems/fut...4sg/index.html
http://www.futaba-rc.com/systems/feature-compare.html

Futaba 14SG has telemetry so You can buy various sensors like vario sensor (Futaba have 3 vario sensors, one simpler and two more advanced).
Telemetry sensors (overview from Robbe/Futaba in Germany):
http://www.robbe.de/rc-fernsteuerung....html?limit=45
(Tower Hobbies in US has many of the Futaba sensors)

I'm not sure if latest 14SG firmware has support for all Futaba telemetry sensors yet so You have to check on that. There was a new firmware release (2.02 ) not long ago for 14SG in Europe but the US version is not on Futaba US website yet.

/Bo
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Old Aug 06, 2013, 05:42 AM
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Joined Sep 2002
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Quote:
Originally Posted by winghead View Post
Im trying to figure out my next radio purchase. I want to get a radio specifically for sailplanes and keep the cost reasonable, say under $500. I just reviewed the Airtronics SD10G owners manual. I am overwhelmed after reading thru the 212 pages. How can this radio be one of the easier ones to program? It will take hours of reading and trial and error to set up a full house sailplane. Is it really so complicated or am I over roeacting? I welcome any feedback.
Setting up an full house glider is very easy. The SD-10G comes with all the nessesarry templates and mixes already set. Of course, you have to do the servo adjustment by yourself. But this is true for all radios on the market.

Btw, the mentioned 212 pages explane Heli and Aero settings as well.
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Old Aug 06, 2013, 07:51 AM
Air, Ground & Water
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Canada, ON, Rockland
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You should wait until the DX9 is released and in stores so you can hold it in your hands and then make your decision.
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Old Aug 06, 2013, 10:15 AM
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N Cal
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My current radio is a DX7. The DX9 is a good choice for me because I can slave the DX7 radio to the DX9. Also, I should have mentioned that the main motivator for buying a new radio is I want telemetry capabilities. After dealing with the DX7 programming, I want my next radio to be simple and intuitive to program. Like my Apple electronics.
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Old Aug 06, 2013, 10:19 AM
Air, Ground & Water
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Canada, ON, Rockland
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Then you will love the new WLT wireless trainer function and voice alerts. Having telemetry spoken to you should be very interesting and worth the wait.
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Old Aug 06, 2013, 10:30 AM
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UK
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Frsky Taranis.
Can out-program any of the radios mentioned above, 16 channel, very cheap Rx, amazingly low price Tx.
for USA see http://www.alofthobbies.com/
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Old Aug 06, 2013, 11:09 AM
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Cant go wrong with Airtronics for sailplanes. Also sailplanes tend to be flown further out than most other typrs so link quality should also be a considerstion.
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Old Aug 06, 2013, 11:33 AM
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Central California
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Quote:
Originally Posted by winghead View Post
My current radio is a DX7. The DX9 is a good choice for me because I can slave the DX7 radio to the DX9. Also, I should have mentioned that the main motivator for buying a new radio is I want telemetry capabilities. After dealing with the DX7 programming, I want my next radio to be simple and intuitive to program. Like my Apple electronics.
I used a DX7(original) for quite a few years before I got my DX8. The Airware Dx radios(7s,8,18) are a huge step farther towards ease of programming then my DX7(original) was. Like freechip said above the best thing to do is to go to a LHS if possible or find someone who has one and hold it in your hands and play with the programming a little.
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Old Aug 06, 2013, 01:20 PM
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United States, CA, Pleasanton
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I have both a 14SG and a Taranis. If you know anything about logic, programming, running a spreadsheet program, I would recommend the Taranis. It has more features and programming ability plus the receivers and sensors are vastly less expensive.

I personally find the OpenTX programming model much easier to understand than the Futaba one, but I've been a professional SW engineer for many years.
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Old Aug 06, 2013, 02:25 PM
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LI, New York, USA
Joined Mar 2003
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Do you have a smart phone? If you try to use every feature on that phone you will have to go through tons of documentation and spend weeks working on it. Or you can learn the basics first and then get comfortable with the 20% of what it can do that you care about.

Same goes for radio systems.

Choosing a Sailplane Radio - What to Consider
http://www.flyesl.org/forums/topic.asp?TOPIC_ID=223

If you are flying mostly RES, any 6 channel computer radio will give you all you would need.

If you are flying full house gliders as a casual sport pilot who doesn't need EVERY feature a competition pilot would want there are lots of radios in the $100 to $250 that will meet your needs. In some cases you give up some mixes or you will have to create your own mixes using "mixers, but you can fly a full house sailplane with them.

Heck, you can fly a full house sailplane with a 5 channel standard radio. I don't recommend it, but you can.

Tactic 650
Hitec Eclipse 7 Pro or Optic 6 sport
Spektrum DX7s
Futaba 7C or 8J
JR XG6
Airtronics RDS8000


Radios I would suggest for consideration by competition pilots flying full house gliders that would be around $500 or less:

Brand Name Radios

Airtronics SD10G
Futaba 8FG
Spektrum DX8, DX9
Hitec Aurora 9 or 9X
JR 9503 or XG8


Open Source radios under $200 - A class all by themselves

FrSky Taranus
Turnigy 9XR with FrSky RF module
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Last edited by aeajr; Aug 06, 2013 at 02:46 PM.
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Old Aug 06, 2013, 02:46 PM
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N Cal
Joined Jun 2003
236 Posts
It will be interesting to see how many sailplane pilots switch to the 9X. Depending on how fast the competition reacts, it could be a lot. A year from now your list of what SP pilots are using could look alot different. I appreciate your informative answers. Very helpful in sorting this out
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Old Aug 06, 2013, 03:26 PM
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Pilots who already own a descent sailplane radio do not need to switch.
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Old Aug 06, 2013, 03:39 PM
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LI, New York, USA
Joined Mar 2003
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Originally Posted by Pippin View Post
Pilots who already own a descent sailplane radio do not need to switch.
Agreed.

I own two Futaba 9C Supers. I have had them for over 5 years and they serve me as well today as they did 5 years ago, even though they are long discontinued. They were very easy to update to 2.4 GHz. They do everything I need them to do so I have no reason to change.

I expect many current users of sailplane radios will be like me. But, of course, there are always those who must have the newest, shiny toy. That means that we get their old, lightly used sailplane radios at a great price.

I love this hobby!
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