FUTABA 14SG - I don't get it. What is futaba doing? - RC Groups
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Oct 25, 2016, 02:44 PM
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alex26i's Avatar
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FUTABA 14SG - I don't get it. What is futaba doing?


I have owned futaba over the years. People love to yell "Rock Solid performance", And it is. I had a 10cg which I loved and it was very good for me and the range was Amazing. I also own spektrum and Taranis. Which both make a lot of sense to me. The menus and programming is easy for me. I thought well I guess it is time to update to the a 14SG or maybe even a 18sz. Now I have been using Taranis with my crossfire. And so far has performed just as well as my futaba but with more features. Such as talking and the mixes and flight modes all are great. Same for spektrum.

Here is where I get a bit upset with futaba. The 14SG menus are retarded and make no sense. Navagation is horrible with their touch wheel. I can't set switches by flipping them. Futaba costs 100$ or more for a receiver. And futaba still has not made a micro sbus. The 3rd parties have. Frsky has receivers and even Futaba Faast receivers. At a fraction of the price. The Frsky ones even many have full telemetry and full 16 channels on a receiver the size of a postage stamp at 26$. While futaba sells channels like they cost more? What is futaba doing? Is it just me or I don't get it? They are not even close to the function of a tarnanis. I for the longest time said Well I must not get it. It is just futaba has been in the game for so long. Then I came across flight Deck. And pretty much was ready to throw my 14sg out the window. I mean after you see anything is possible with the Open tx it is like Why bother buying a 150$ GPS unit to get feedback on the radio. A full flight computer with GPS is about the same price used. I don't know, can someone tell me what I am missing? I really feel like I am just wasting time with the High end Radios. The 14sg just seems to be lacking in the programming and logic area. The telemetry is a joke. Yeah I can get battery voltage feedback. And the gimbals don't impress me at all. People still praise this thing like it is the grail of radios. I think futaba doesn't get it. The simplest things such as small receivers and telemetry are a standard not a option. But they just ignore the market chugging along with Old dusty radios that cost a fortune.
Flight deck if your interested to see what I am talking about No way any futaba can do this, not even their 2k one.
Last edited by alex26i; Oct 25, 2016 at 03:01 PM.
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Oct 25, 2016, 02:55 PM
Froggy RC Pilot
LapinFou's Avatar
The good thing about Futaba, it is easy to sell them for a good price. Then, you will get lots of money to buy FrSky RX with tons of sensors.
I sold my T8J and 2xT6J + few RX. For the price I got, I've been able to buy 2 Taranis Plus with many RXs.
It was an excellent deal. OpenTX is so great and flexible, I'll never move back to a menu driven radio.
Oct 25, 2016, 03:27 PM
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Made in Austria's Avatar
I sold all my Futaba and Spektrum stuff and bought a lot of Frsky gear. I'm glad I did.
Oct 25, 2016, 11:00 PM
S.A.D. member
ivanc's Avatar
Futaba is still doing what they did 30 years ago - that is design what they think we need and offer it for sale. Until this model works they'll keep playing the game. When it stops working they'll also stop making hobby grade items. They are big in the "bigger toy" radios and the hobby stuff is just a side for them - actually I think like a hobby for the owner.

Ivan
Oct 25, 2016, 11:02 PM
S.A.D. member
ivanc's Avatar
BTW that might be a Japanese thing - look at Sanwa/Airtronics. They dropped the Airtronics brand and now the aircraft transmitters but they are still very strong in surface radios.

Ivan
Oct 26, 2016, 01:19 AM
Team Futaba
Silent-AV8R's Avatar
Quote:
Originally Posted by ivanc
They are big in the "bigger toy" radios and the hobby stuff is just a side for them - actually I think like a hobby for the owner.

Ivan
I can assure you that this is absolutely NOT the case. While the hobby end is a smaller part of their main business it is well more than a "hobby" for them. And BTW - Futaba is not owned by a single person/family.

https://www.futaba.co.jp/en/corporat...y_i/index.html
Last edited by Silent-AV8R; Oct 26, 2016 at 01:31 AM.
Oct 26, 2016, 05:39 AM
Registered User
alex26i's Avatar
Well I admire a product that just works. And that is what they have. I have never seen a glitch or a fault in the product. But come on, iPads and cellphones exist now. And all they did is make a 2k calculator.
Oct 26, 2016, 06:02 AM
Julian T
I am not sure what your issue is. You seem to be annoyed with Futaba for not making the product you want at the price you deem reasonable yet there are alternatives available that you prefer. Why not just buy the alternatives and give up on Futaba - that would seem to be the obvious course of action. If enough buyers follow your decision Futaba will either adapt or die in the hobby arena; if not - they won't! Either way you should be happy - win/win!
Oct 26, 2016, 09:51 AM
S.A.D. member
ivanc's Avatar
Quote:
Originally Posted by Silent-AV8R
I can assure you that this is absolutely NOT the case. While the hobby end is a smaller part of their main business it is well more than a "hobby" for them. And BTW - Futaba is not owned by a single person/family.

https://www.futaba.co.jp/en/corporat...y_i/index.html
And Bill Baxter is spreading BS about a RTN button hardware issue when it is obviously a FW issue as it is present only with 6.0 and not in 5.0.

What is Futaba doing about this? Users are sending their transmitters back and forth without any resolution.

When I wrote "owner" I did not try to imply a single person/entity. "Owner" could be any number of entities. This does not change the least the fact how a company operates though.

And I'm not afraid to sign my posts with my real name, not unlike some "Team" members hiding behind an avatar!

I know, I am starting to bite as Futaba USA starts to spread FUD due to being pressed by reality in current RC equipment market and Futaba Japan's hardheadedness to follow the 30-year old (and outdated) model.

Ivan
Oct 26, 2016, 10:26 AM
Julian T
I am not sure what FUD Futaba USA are spreading but it is a common tactic of large organisations when they feel threatened, and sometimes even when they aren't, as per IBM in the 60's, 70's 80's and even 90's. And large organisations also seem doomed to sooner or later try to hang onto outdated business models as that is what their senior management grew up with and succeeded with. Whether Futaba is large enough to ride the storm, as IBM did, and come out the other side leaner and meaner remains to be seen.

What they do have imo is a perceived quality product and that reputation for a solid radio link - something not all its competitors can boast - and again imo from subjective personal experience, not without some reason.

Julian
Oct 26, 2016, 10:28 AM
Sagitta Fanboy
Quote:
Originally Posted by ivanc
BTW that might be a Japanese thing - look at Sanwa/Airtronics. They dropped the Airtronics brand and now the aircraft transmitters but they are still very strong in surface radios.

Ivan
Airtronics is/was the US distributor of Sanwa. Sanwa effectively dropped development of their Air radios and as a result the US distributor dropped the Sanwa line (and also retired the Airtronics brand at the same time as the radio line was its last vestiges).
Oct 26, 2016, 10:40 AM
Registered User
alex26i's Avatar
Quote:
Originally Posted by juliant
I am not sure what your issue is. You seem to be annoyed with Futaba for not making the product you want at the price you deem reasonable yet there are alternatives available that you prefer. Why not just buy the alternatives and give up on Futaba - that would seem to be the obvious course of action. If enough buyers follow your decision Futaba will either adapt or die in the hobby arena; if not - they won't! Either way you should be happy - win/win!
You have a good point. And I do own other radios. I am mostly upset because They are one of the most expensive products and I expect them to deliver features for the price. retail a 14sg with a receiver 14 channels is about 500$. Or get a Horus that has color screen, a modal bay, 32 channels and talks in a sexy voice. I am upset because I just got a 14sg and was excited. Now I am not at all. And even more dumb now, that thy have radios based on number of channels. It is clear more channels doesn't cost more.
Oct 26, 2016, 10:49 AM
Registered User
alex26i's Avatar
Quote:
Originally Posted by juliant
I am not sure what FUD Futaba USA are spreading but it is a common tactic of large organisations when they feel threatened, and sometimes even when they aren't, as per IBM in the 60's, 70's 80's and even 90's. And large organisations also seem doomed to sooner or later try to hang onto outdated business models as that is what their senior management grew up with and succeeded with. Whether Futaba is large enough to ride the storm, as IBM did, and come out the other side leaner and meaner remains to be seen.

What they do have imo is a perceived quality product and that reputation for a solid radio link - something not all its competitors can boast - and again imo from subjective personal experience, not without some reason.

Julian
I agree they have a great radio link, and I do love that about them. They need to move forward with no question. Their telemetry is super weak. And these are no longer luxuries, they are norms. Weather the storm? I don't know, the Taranis seems to be as solid as Futaba for radio link for me so far. and they make faast receivers which would indicate they have a full understanding of the protocal. there is no way they can sit on their butt and expect this to workout.
Oct 26, 2016, 11:09 AM
Sagitta Fanboy
Quote:
Originally Posted by juliant
I am not sure what your issue is. You seem to be annoyed with Futaba for not making the product you want at the price you deem reasonable yet there are alternatives available that you prefer. Why not just buy the alternatives and give up on Futaba - that would seem to be the obvious course of action. If enough buyers follow your decision Futaba will either adapt or die in the hobby arena; if not - they won't! Either way you should be happy - win/win!
For someone with a longstanding loyalty to a brand, it can be both difficult & annoying to deal with issues like this, seeing a once-superb brand price itself out of the market while delivering poorly thought out product.

When I came back to the hobby last year, I immediately went looking for a JR radio, as that (and Kraft) was what I had flown in the past. I pretty quickly discovered that the current JR stuff was expensive and limited in features compared to the newer competition. I personally ended up flying JR/DSM2 (X9503) for a while then switching to FrSky because of the value prop (it cost me less to switch systems than to upgrade to telemetry-enabled DSMX)

Frankly, I wish JR was still an option for me. I love the feel of their stuff. But it's too much money for too little capability.
Oct 26, 2016, 12:10 PM
Julian T
Quote:
Originally Posted by alex26i
You have a good point. And I do own other radios. I am mostly upset because They are one of the most expensive products and I expect them to deliver features for the price. retail a 14sg with a receiver 14 channels is about 500$. Or get a Horus that has color screen, a modal bay, 32 channels and talks in a sexy voice. I am upset because I just got a 14sg and was excited. Now I am not at all. And even more dumb now, that thy have radios based on number of channels. It is clear more channels doesn't cost more.
Yep, that sucks. I have found caveat emptor applies even when buying 'quality' brands these days. The only slight consolation is a new 14sg probably won't have lost too much value if you decide to pass it on.