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Old Jun 20, 2007, 11:45 AM
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Kings Park, New York
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Question
Best 2.4GHz module for Futaba 9Z?

I posted a question this week looking for info on the FASST module to use in a Futaba 9Z WC2. THANKS to Julez and Pete for the great info!

But I just looked at the Spektrum and XtremeLink websites, and those modules look interesting as well. I would prefer using the Futaba module in a Futaba Tx, but that's really not a necessity. I'd be happy to use another if it were better. Can anyone recommend one over the other for a 9Z? I guess my criteria are (in this order) -

- Reliability (I like the reliability of Futaba products, but maybe Spektrum and/or XtremeLink are more reliable? I've heard that Spektrum can "cut out" early as the Tx battery runs down, and that Futaba is much better in this area.)
- Range (It sounds like they all have MORE range than 72MHz, but don't know which 2.4GHz would be best. XtremeLink advertises 5 miles!)
- simple operation (It sounds like they are all equally simple - just plug in the module, bind to the receiver, and go)
- "clean" antenna (I think XtremeLink wins here, with the closer fitting antenna and no wires necessary. Spektrum just looks messy.)
- more flexibility (It looks like with the XtremeLink, I could also use it in my Hitec Eclipse, and I MAY be able to run all 9 channels on the 9Z? - Can't tell from the website??)
- lower cost (XtremeLink probably wins here, but cost is my lowest concern).

Any thoughts?
Thanks!
Ken
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Old Jun 20, 2007, 12:20 PM
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9Z is 8 channels in PPM mode, just like the others, so you only get 8 channels from any of the current 2.4Ghz modules. And yes you should be able to run the XPS in your Hitec. The cost of the receivers from XPS is cheaper, including having (almost) a 6 channel receiver, and they have said they are thinking of making a tiny 4 channel receiver for the smaller than park flyers.

I really have nothing against the Futaba system except the price of the receivers, I just can not pay $100 for a receiver to go in a $20 plane that never needs to be more than a few hundred yards away. If Futaba had a $50-$60 park flyer receiver, then things might be a little different.

I like what XPS is trying to do, and I hope they succeed, and I did start to buy into their system.
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Old Jun 20, 2007, 02:05 PM
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VI: Thanks for the reply. I agree that Futaba's prices are too high, and the marketing hooples in the company are probably calling the shots nowadays. But I consider rc electronics (and especially receivers) as reusable assets that move from one plane to another. So an expensive receiver doesn't offend me as much as an expensive servo, for example, that can become toast in a crash. That being said, if I go with FASST, I (and I think most people) will only buy a few FASST receivers for my larger aircraft and leave everything else on 72MHz. So Futaba will be limiting their revenue by keeping prices high, and in effect, they'll capture a small percentage of the market. If Futaba is smart enough to produce a $50-60 6-8 ch receiver, they will clean up on the rest of the demand for glitch free flight.
Ken
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Old Jun 20, 2007, 02:28 PM
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What also bothers me about Futaba is that they already have a 6 channel receiver, but it apparently won't work with the 8 channel TX module??? With the short amount of time between when they released the 2.4Ghz 6X system and when they were planning on releasing the other systems, you would have thought they would build in compatibility with the first system.
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Old Jun 20, 2007, 04:42 PM
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Sounds like two groups in Futaba that aren't talking to each other...

OR, of course, it could just be those marketing guys again trying to get max $$ out of those of us who have existing Futaba Tx's, don't want to give them up, but still want the benefits of 2.4GHz. I suspect that Futaba will release a new and improved 6ch receiver in 6-9 months that WILL work with the modules, after all the early adopters have already spent good $$ for overkill 7ch receivers for their park flyers. Gotta love that capitalist system...
Ken
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Old Jun 20, 2007, 04:43 PM
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I left off the most important thought -

...the smart ones will wait 6-9 months!

Ken

P.S. - I'm not too smart .
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Old Jun 20, 2007, 05:44 PM
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Just remember that with the short antennas you can move the receivers around from plane to plane in some cases. I find a couple of float models with high wing config that I can transfer within a couple of minutes. I use extra leads and have them labelled so it is easy. Eventually I will have all the receivers but for now I can operate with fewer this way.
I am an XPS user and fan, BTW.
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Old Jun 20, 2007, 08:13 PM
You can call me FANBOY!
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Have an Xtremelink module in my 9Z and I love it, and you cant beat the price. I think technically Futaba and Xtremelink are pretty close, with Xtremelink winning by a hair because of the extended capabilities that will be offered with the system. I am personally kind of fed up with Futabas attitude toward the market regarding their equipment, which is reflected in their prices.
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Old Jun 21, 2007, 12:59 AM
PGR
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Quote:
Originally Posted by kenmalecki
But I just looked at the Spektrum and XtremeLink websites, and those modules look interesting as well. I would prefer using the Futaba module in a Futaba Tx, but that's really not a necessity. I'd be happy to use another if it were better.
I guess it's important to define "better" before we get too carried away, don't you think? About the only criteria we can use at this point is price. If performance and reliabilty will be part of the judging criteria, it will be necessary to do comparative testing but the Futaba 7, 8, and 14ch FAAST equipment isn't even available yet.

Here's something to ponder, though:

Hobby R/C only represents a small portion of Futaba's portfolio. The most common figure I've read is 5 to 7%. They're an industry leader in industrial automation and remote control, though, and they've been building radio control systems since 1962 and building spread spectrum equipment for industrial and military applications for 15 years or so. Futaba also makes their own proprietary ICs and holds dozens of patents for proprietary circuits used in their SS devices.

Futaba is the only player in the 2.4GHz hobby R/C game who can claim these things. They're the only one who can legitimately claim 15+ years of 2.4GHz and spread spectrum experience and they have a line of tried-and-proven equipment to back the claim up. Everyone else is using "technology by others" and reconfiguring it for hobby R/C use.

I'll be the first to say that the above information is no guarantee that Futaba's FAAST system will be "better" than the rest, but it gives me a lot of confidence that they'll get it right, if not "better".

As for parkflyer and ultra-light receivers that will be compatible with Futaba's higher-end FAAST TX modules, it simply has to happen. Futaba sponsors one of the biggest teams of RC pilots in the industry and those pilots also fly indoor events. Futaba isn't going to force those pilots to use old-technology (read: 72MHz) gear or entry-level FAAST equipment for any longer than they have to.

Pete
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Old Jun 21, 2007, 01:24 AM
PGR
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Quote:
Originally Posted by chrisf testpilot
I am personally kind of fed up with Futabas attitude toward the market regarding their equipment, which is reflected in their prices.
My nephew drives a Mitsubishi Lancer. He's put a big spoiler, air-management package, fancy wheels and tires, and a stainless exhaust system on it and stuck a couple dozen decals in the windows. He even put an Evolution hood with the little air scoop on it, and all the while he keeps criticizing the Evolution 'cause it costs too much.

What he won't admit is he really, really, really wants an Evolution and it just chaps his butt that his Lancer will never be one.

Pete
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Old Jun 21, 2007, 07:01 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by kenmalecki
Sounds like two groups in Futaba that aren't talking to each other...

OR, of course, it could just be those marketing guys again trying to get max $$ out of those of us who have existing Futaba Tx's, don't want to give them up, but still want the benefits of 2.4GHz. I suspect that Futaba will release a new and improved 6ch receiver in 6-9 months that WILL work with the modules, after all the early adopters have already spent good $$ for overkill 7ch receivers for their park flyers. Gotta love that capitalist system...
Ken
It are just the marketing guys, no technical reason whatsoever.

The 6ch RX currently sold is capable of doing 7 channels when adding a resistor.
It is just a software thing that it wont work with the 7 and 8ch module, as it does, after all, work with the 14ch module.

My question regarding this matter was deleted in the Futaba section of RCU

Cheers,

Julez
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Old Jun 21, 2007, 08:24 AM
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As far as I know, the FASST has been working with good result. Except some 6EX's basic fault, no RF issue. RX is also robust against the battery condition unlike AR6100 or AR7000. Why not wait until TM7 or TM8 on the market? XPS, I don't know. But I like genuine accessories for Futaba anyway.
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Old Jun 21, 2007, 09:02 AM
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Pete: I feel the same way and will probably buy FASST, but then what you say makes me wonder why Futaba didn't develop 2.4GHz for hobby use until Spektrum and XPS did. Large companies often lose vision and the drive to make their products better, and can easily get into a state of complacency, and that can translate to poor antiquated products, weak support, high prices, etc. Bigger isn't always better...

Regardless of which company we go with, we all have Spektrum and XPS to thank for taking hobby rc to the next level, and keeping prices down through competition.
Ken
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Old Jun 21, 2007, 10:52 AM
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Since I have a lot of proprietary equipment that I need to deal with daily, all I can say is that off the shelf components make a product stronger and help it evolve faster.

If Futaba had the stuff I needed in the pipeline, and at a better price, I might have bought their stuff. I'm sure it is really nice and works extremely well. But it isn't here, and looks like it will be more expensive for me in the short run. If I move up into larger aircraft, then the telemetry that XPS will be offering will be a desired feature.

And sometimes you have to take a (small) risk with the new guy so that they can grow to be one of the big guys. Competition spawns invention as was pointed out the the above post.
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Old Jun 21, 2007, 08:19 PM
You can call me FANBOY!
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Quote:
Originally Posted by PGR
My nephew drives a Mitsubishi Lancer. He's put a big spoiler, air-management package, fancy wheels and tires, and a stainless exhaust system on it and stuck a couple dozen decals in the windows. He even put an Evolution hood with the little air scoop on it, and all the while he keeps criticizing the Evolution 'cause it costs too much.

What he won't admit is he really, really, really wants an Evolution and it just chaps his butt that his Lancer will never be one.

Pete
Yeah but I dont want one I am even planning on buying Hitec servos for my current project. And you can ask some of the guys that I fly with, I have bad mouthed Hitec servos pretty bad on occasion. Truth be told by now he has probably spent what an Evo costs LOL!

As far as the other post, all that is assuming that Futaba is using their own chips, and I dont believe they are. Of course that is an irrelevant debate for another time.
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