Futaba vs Spektrum? - RC Groups
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Oct 21, 2011, 10:39 PM
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Futaba vs Spektrum?

I am going to buy a 7 or 8 ch. tx. Problem is I am relatively new to flying and don't know which would be better. Futaba or Spektrum. I realize a lot of it is personal preference but any info or comments would be greatly appreciated. Thanks Tom
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Oct 21, 2011, 10:41 PM
I don't want to "Switch Now"
pmackenzie's Avatar
Main advantage of Spektrum is the huge variety of Bind and Fly models they sell.
They won't work with a Futaba transmitter.

Pat MacKenzie
Oct 22, 2011, 02:55 AM
Registered User
First, anything is better than a Spektrum

Then, be aware that Futaba is in a process of switching system and you might own next year a brand new end of life system !
Oct 22, 2011, 04:20 AM
Fast and low...
aa78's Avatar
Consider the Hitec Aurora 9 too. It can't be used with the bind and fly models with the included module (there is a mod to make it fly with them with a Spektrum module) but otherwise its an excellent radio system.

The programming is extremely easy and intuitive for any beginner and it has a lot of features which you can grow into as you improve your flying. Watch a couple of the A9 programming videos on YouTube and you will see what I mean.
Oct 22, 2011, 04:52 AM
Registered User
Shu its still civil.

The entry level market is quite competitive with lots of choices.

I hink it would be helpful to yourself if you have a look at what you to achieve in the hobby over the next year or two. That will help with helping you to seelct a Tx.

A lot of people see BNF (Bind N FLy) as an advantage. I don't because there are ways around it and still have the same airframe i.e. Plug n Play (PNP), Receiver Ready (Rx-R) and a lot of the really nice foamies are produiced by compnaies like Art Tech and J-Power and these are Ready to Fluy with their own Tx in the box. SO IMO BNF is not a reason I would advise on a Tx.

I would look at what your upper limit is spend wise.
I would look at compatible Receiver prices.
I would look at programming and features.
I would look at problem history.

Then I'd draw up a short list and come back with a more focused question. between perhaps 3 Tx.

Right now you're going to end up with pages and pages of advise without any direction. Each trying to steer you to their favourite brand.

I'll help with a Short list that will be at least future proof for the next 3 years:

Futaba T8FG (14 channel)
HiTec Aurora 9
JR XG 7 (XG8 announced for next year)
Spektrum DX 7
Spektrum DX 8
Turnigy/iMax 9X

I have not included Futaba's T8J or JR's new XG 8 bcause they are not available till next year some time)
Oct 22, 2011, 06:12 AM
60 years of RC flying
Daedalus66's Avatar
Just to clarify the BNF point. It's quite true that if you are talking about a bigger model like the Radian or Habu and have a Futaba radio, all you have to do is get the PNP version and install a Futaba receiver. But what people are really referring to by BNF is, in most cases, the ultra micro models, for which a Spektrum transmitter (or JR DSM) is mandatory.

The arrival of AS3X makes these models even more attractive:

The other big attraction of Spektrum is the ability to buy six Orange receivers to equip a whole batch of foamies for less than one of the cheapest receivers for the other system.

As for reliability, I'm into my fifth year with JR/Spektrum and still happy. (But some of my best friends fly Futaba, so I'm not prejudiced. )
Last edited by Daedalus66; Oct 22, 2011 at 07:02 AM.
Oct 22, 2011, 06:32 AM
Registered User
Just get a DX8 and forget about it, the biggest argument vs Spektrum went away months ago with their new DSMX system. (certain people still bring up those old flaws because apparently they cant move on )

The unique advantages are plenty.

Availability of the cheapest receivers, you can get $10 6 channel clone receivers.

Huge selection of bind and fly micro airplanes and helicopters, largest selection
of bind and fly park sized flyers also.

Model match, your transmitter will only talk to a specific models receiver if its on the correct memory slot.

If you are in the US, it also has the best customer support and excellent dealer support through your local hobby shop.
Last edited by pach; Oct 22, 2011 at 06:57 AM.
Oct 22, 2011, 08:25 AM
Registered User
richard hanson's Avatar
The Bind n Fly control systems as used in the micromodels have now become the systems of choice for many indoor model designers and builders .
Just look at the proliferation of aftermarket models which will use these systems
-The new AS3X is a proven system of 3 axis gyro incorporation -I can't wait to get my mitts on some of these systems.
We also fly outdoor models but this indoor market which some flyers tend to ignore IS the hottest part of the RC market .
Some of the guys here fly Futaba n Hitech but for small models ALL of em fly a Spektrum setup- the only real issues I still hear involving other brands is where compatibility with old 72 mhz equipped models is an issue
not an issue
PS- the 3 gyro incorporation is seen in the super tiny helicopters which are fully aerobatic

If you look at the hardware involved -you see only a little pc board about 1" square with a few ICs on it - these drive the same tiny screw type servos as seen on the fixed wing models.
The bad part of these things -is that my Bucker and Dalotel are just collecting dust.
Last edited by richard hanson; Oct 22, 2011 at 08:31 AM.
Oct 22, 2011, 09:36 AM
60 years of RC flying
Daedalus66's Avatar
I agree about the importance of the indoor model market as a driver of radio equipment. Most people here have some kind of Spektrum equipment for the small models, even those who use Futaba for the bigger stuff.

The AS3X should make Spektrum even more attractive from this point of view by reducing the barrier between indoor and outdoor flying. The stabilization system makes the AS3X models flyable in outdoor breezes AND improves handling to the point where an otherwise tricky model can be flown indoors (e.g., The Beast).
Oct 22, 2011, 10:03 AM
a.k.a. Matt Nelson
MattN's Avatar
Originally Posted by pach
Just get a DX8 and forget about it,
Unless you want to fly sailplanes - the DX8 doesn't have built-in sailplane mixing, and it doesn't have side sliders (often used to control camber).
Oct 22, 2011, 10:34 AM
Registered User
richard hanson's Avatar
Originally Posted by MattN
Unless you want to fly sailplanes - the DX8 doesn't have built-in sailplane mixing, and it doesn't have side sliders (often used to control camber).
Yes - It isn't a "glider "radio.
IF you fly powered gliders -it is a pretty good setup
From a pure market penetration viewpoint - the glider features really are not necessary.
PS I do have powered gliders and if i wanted a Glider radio -Iwould get something with batwings (fingertip sliders)
Oct 22, 2011, 11:50 AM
Registered User
tomle, all modern radios work pretty well so you were right in the first place...it mainly comes down to personal preference. I ended up with Spektrum, mainly because I enjoy very small and indoor models and no other manufacturer has anything even close to the Spektrum AR6400 series of "bricks". But I also use Spektrum for everything else now and I'm happy with it.

But if you want to fly only larger models and aren't bothered about buying BNF stuff then there's very little difference between them. Handle a few different transmitters and see if anything stands out that makes one of them better from your point of view .

Oct 22, 2011, 02:12 PM
Registered User
eaticus's Avatar
I went through that radio selection phase a few month ago...

I am a JR fan. I have been flying on JR X388 & 10SXII 72Mhz for the last 15+ years (and Airtronics a few years before that). I had no intention of making a change... until I got the TX wet (flying in the rain) and the touch screen stop working... I figure that was my queue to get into the 21st century...

I looked at Airtronics, Futaba, JR, and the low-priced models.

I end up with a DX8. why?

1. Overall Cost (I can run cheap $6 Orange RX on my park flyers)
2. Ability of flying BNF models (especially the UMX models)
3. Great Local Hobby Shop support of HH/Spektrum products (this is probably the biggest reason)

Now I have played with the system for a while now, I love it. Only drawback that I see is that is is only 8 channel. I would have like to get the DX10, but the cost is just too high.

One of fly flying buddies swear by Futaba. So I don't think you can go wrong either way!
Oct 22, 2011, 02:15 PM
Wrend's Avatar
You can always get more than one TX too...

I got a Spectrum DSM2 one for the built in receiver BNF micros. Anything I can put a RX in goes Futaba.
Oct 22, 2011, 04:47 PM
AndyKunz's Avatar
Originally Posted by tomle
I am going to buy a 7 or 8 ch. tx. Problem is I am relatively new to flying and don't know which would be better. Futaba or Spektrum. I realize a lot of it is personal preference but any info or comments would be greatly appreciated. Thanks Tom

Go to your local hobby shop and hold the various radios. You want one that is comfortable. Chances are, an 8-channel radio is going to be something you'll have for a while, so make sure it is comfortable to hold and easily updated at home as new capabilities are released.

Ask the man at the shop which they sell more of he or uses himself - that will be a hint because you'll want help at some point, and the guy at the shop is likely one of the first you'll turn to.

Then go to the local flying field and see what other guys have. If you have a problem at the field, you want to have a radio somebody can help you with. The last thing you want to do is be the only guy at the field with your brand of radio!

I work for Spektrum and I'd really like you to buy a DX8, but I'd rather have you buy something that you'll keep using, and will keep you in the hobby. You see, eventually you'll have to buy a Spektrum anyway because all those Ultra Micros are so cool nobody can resist them!


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