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Airtronics MX-3FHSS 3ch 2.4 GHz Surface Radio Transmitter and Receiver Review

Airtronics introduces the new MX-3FHSS 3ch 2.4 GHz Radio Transmitter and Receiver with Frequency Hopping 2.4 GHz Spread Spectrum technology!

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Introduction


Transmitter Output Power: 80 mW
Transmitter Power Supply: Eight "AA" alkaline or 8 cell NiCd pack
Transmitter Weight:14.46 oz
Transmitter Frequency:2.4 GHz ISM Band
Receiver Frequency: 2.4 GHz ISM Band
Receiver Power Supply: DC 4.8-6.0V
Receiver Weight:0.51oz (14.5g)
Receiver Dimensions: 1.03"(L) x 1.18"(W) x .75"(H)
Fail safe limit: Activates at 3.6V
Manufacturer:Airtronics:Airtronics
Available from:Airtronics:Available from Hobby People
Retail price: $179.99

Airtonics, makers of the revolutionary MX-3 and MX-3S computerized pistol grip radios, have done it again with the introduction of the Airtronics MX-3FHSS (Frequency Hopping Spread Spectrum) system, a 2.4GHz Transmitter and receiver combo that offers drivers interference-free precision and performance. The MX-3FHSS transmitter and receiver work equally well in RC cars and boats!

Overview

System Features:

  • 18 model memory
  • Adjustable 70/30 throttle trigger
  • Large LCD screen displays
  • Digital Trim Indicators (throttle and steering)
  • Battery Fuel Tank
  • End Point Adjustment of Steering, Throttle, AUX
  • ARC adjustment of Steering, Throttle
  • Sub Trim Steering Throttle
  • Servo Rev Steering, Throttle, AUX
  • Battery Voltage Display
  • Audio On/Off
  • Non-slip rubber steering wheel grip
  • Low battery warning
  • Charge jack for optional NiCd pack
  • Sound beep (on/off)
  • High performance micro 3 channel receiver
  • One year warranty

Includes:

  • MX-3FHSS 2.4CHz Transmitter
  • 2.4 GHz Receiver
  • Switch harness
  • Receiver dry battery holder
  • Instruction manual

Requires

  • Eight ""AA"" alkaline batteries or Airtronics transmitter NiCd Battery Pack(700mah)

Transmitter

Install eight "AA" alkaline batteries in the underside of the transmitter, observing the polarity as shown in the battery compartment.

There is also a built-in charging jack for the optional 700mah NiCd pack.

Binding the Receiver and Transmitter

The binding procedure must be completed before using the radio and receiver. This will lock the receiver to the transmitter and set the fail-safe. It only takes a few seconds and is as follows:

  1. Turn the receiver power switch to On.
  2. Depress the Binding button on the receiver.
  3. Turn the transmitter power switch to On.
  4. After the transmitter and receiver bind together, the Bind LED will stay on.
  5. Test the throttle fail-safe by moving the throttle to full forward and turning the transmitter off. The Fail-Safe should move the throttle servo back to its Fail-Safe position.
  6. Binding and throttle Fail Safe is complete.

Selectable Audio On/Off

A nice feature of the MX-3FHSS is its selectable on/off audio beep. By default, the beep is present each time you press any of the input or trim keys, but it can easily be disabled by holding down the INC key and powering up the radio.

LCD Display Screen

Programming Functions:

  • Battery voltage
  • Servo Reversing
  • Sub Trim
  • Model Select
  • ARC(Steering and Throttle)
  • End Point Adjustment
  • Steering Dual Rates

The MX-3FHSS has a large easy-to-read LCD screen. Once the radio is turned on, cycling through the various programming functions can be done by simply depressing the left or right menu buttons until the function you want is displayed and the function indicator flashes on the LCD screen. Adjustments within each function such as Model Select, End Point Adjustment, Sub Trim and others are made by depressing the Increase or Decrease keys. After making changes to any function, you can immediately return to the battery voltage screen by simply depressing both menu buttons simultaneously. Note: after making any programming changes, it's recommended to switch the transmitter off and back on again before powering up the model's receiver. This procedure will ensure that the programming changes are saved to that model's memory. The model number is displayed in the bottom right of the screen at all times.

Trims and Trigger

The digital trim switches are all within easy reach on top of the radio and feel very solid. The switches themselves are large and have a nice feel to them. The trigger has a tension adjustment on the back of the radio.

Look and Feel

This is one stylish radio that is well designed, and the contoured grip is very comfortable to hold in your hand. It never felt too heavy or tiring to hold even after several hours of use. The rubberized steering wheel also provides slip-free control and is sharp looking!

Fail-Safe

Fail-Safe is a nice feature that applies the brake via the throttle servo if the receiver voltage drops to 3.6V or below. It is programmed during the binding process, and you can set the model to apply a predetermined amount of braking if the Fail-Safe activates. For instance, with a gas model, you can program it to apply moderate braking and stop the car. With an electric model, you can program Fail-Safe to return the throttle to neutral and stop the car. This will add braking power when Fail-Safe activates. Note: before programming the Fail-Safe feature, make sure to check that the throttle servo travels in the right direction and does not need to be reversed.

Manual

The manual comprises only five pages but is easy to follow and has well-illustrated instructions. Although I recommend reading the manual thoroughly before you begin, the MX-3FHSS is a breeze to program. In fact, I was able to locate most of the programming features without even opening the manual!

Receiver

The Airtronics 92324 receiver weighs just 14.5 grams and is barely over an inch square. It should easily fit inside most RC car and boat applications. At just 9" long, its antenna is noticeably shorter than most comparable 72mHz receivers.

RADIO TESTING

I conducted several tests with the MX-3FHSS, both with my electric racing boat and a friend's monster truck, and it performed flawlessly in all applications. Even after several hours of use in multiple locations, the radio gave perfect glitch-free performance. Even at long distances, there were never any issues with loss of signal or control. The receiver's actual range can vary depending on the application, but it is always a good idea to keep the model within good visual range so you don't lose orientation.

CONCLUSION

I was thoroughly impressed with the performance of the The Airtronics MX-3. It is an easy to program, no nonsense radio that features very simple, user friendly menus. It's also very affordable with many nice features that are normally found in more expensive radios, and it boasts the reliability of 2.4Ghz technology.

Pluses:

  • Superb styling
  • Easy to program
  • Very comfortable grip
  • Glitch-free performance
  • 18 model memory

Minuses:

  • Absolutely none!

The Airtronics MX-3 2.4 is a real winner in my book! Check it out at your local hobby shop or at Hobby People today!

Last edited by dawnron1; Mar 07, 2008 at 08:13 PM..

Discussion

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Old Mar 08, 2008, 09:00 PM
War Eagle!
Spackles94's Avatar
Birmingham, Alabama
Joined Feb 2007
7,876 Posts
Ronnie,

Nice job on the review -- very well thought out!

Man, pistol-grip radios sure have come a long way. I still have a circa-2001 Futaba two-channel radio, and back then I was really impressed that it had channel reversing AND analog trims for both channels.

I wonder, however, why the receiver is still almost 15 grams. A lot of 2.4gHz receivers for air systems are much lighter... I guess this one has a lot more "padding" to protect it from all the bumps and bruises? Also, I also wonder why the antenna is so long compared to those of other spread-spectrum systems...

Not that it's necessarily bad, but it's just interesting...

Again, fine job!
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Old Mar 08, 2008, 10:41 PM
"Have Glue - Will Travel"
dawnron1's Avatar
Ft. Worth, Texas
Joined Jan 2004
2,428 Posts
Thank you sir!

Ronnie
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Old Mar 11, 2008, 06:05 PM
Registered User
USA, OR, Oregon City
Joined Sep 2004
78 Posts
Can this radio change to left handed operation? There are still some of us out there!
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Old Mar 11, 2008, 06:07 PM
"Have Glue - Will Travel"
dawnron1's Avatar
Ft. Worth, Texas
Joined Jan 2004
2,428 Posts
Quote:
Originally Posted by dano02vfr
Can this radio change to left handed operation? There are still some of us out there!
That is a good question. The grip seems to be molded for a right hand. I don't know if there will be a left handed version available but I'll verify and let you know
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