Who makes the best radio for sailplane use? - RC Groups
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Dec 15, 2005, 06:29 PM
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Rick James's Avatar

Who makes the best radio for sailplane use?

This should be an interesting thread for those who fly sailplanes. Some things to consider essential are servo reversing, end point adjustment, servo centering, V-tail mixing, CROW mixing, camber mixing of four seperate servo's (one for each aileron and one for each flap), elevator compensation for flap and camber deflections, tow hook release and perhaps a retract switch for scale sailplanes. Let's hear which radio's work and which don't!
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Dec 15, 2005, 06:53 PM
Fly R/C writer

I have used the Futaba 8-U, 9-C, 9-Z and the JR 9303. To date, I prefer the JR 9303 as it has more capability than anything else other than the 9-Z, but the 9-Z is not easy to program.

Mike Lee
Dec 15, 2005, 07:34 PM
jcosta's Avatar
Multiplex Profi 4000
Multiplex Royal Evo 9-12
Graupner MC-24
Graupner MC-22
Dec 15, 2005, 07:42 PM
Born to be free
tommyt's Avatar
You're gonna start a war

Lots of good radios out there as long as you stick with a major brand.

I switched from Futaba to JR ooohhh... sometime around 1990...

I think JR is more sailplane friendly than any of the others. Quality and service are top notch.

Flying a JR 388, 8103, 9303 and a 10x.

It's like their slogan says: "JR...Feel the difference"

Oh, and Graupner is JR in a differend package with slightly different firmware for the European market.

Last edited by tommyt; Dec 15, 2005 at 09:07 PM.
Dec 15, 2005, 07:44 PM
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Yardbird's Avatar

Do sailplane pilots consider a build in timer or timers to be a good feature?

Which radios have internal flight or motor timers?

I'm about to upgrade and was wondering.

Dec 15, 2005, 07:57 PM
Registered User
tnavressdog's Avatar
Is anyone using the Futaba 9Z for sailplanes? I was looking to buy a synthesized 9C since I've outgrown my 6xas and found a 9ZHP synthesized original for less than the 9C. Thus I bought it and have heard about the difficulty in programming. So is it worth it? What infinite flexibility is there with the 9Z over the 9C I also hear about?
Last edited by tnavressdog; Dec 15, 2005 at 09:20 PM.
Dec 15, 2005, 08:30 PM
Registered User
Jr gets my vote. 8103 or 9303. You will love the ease of programming. Jon
Dec 15, 2005, 08:39 PM
LSF V,LSF Secretary,AMA Lifer
Robglover's Avatar
Everybody makes a great radio for sailplane use. If you are a great pilot.

What you really want to know is who has the firmware installed in their radio that best suits your needs and capabilities.

If you are the consumate bit twiddler then you will demand the Multiplex Profi 4000.

If you want to fly with the most "user friendly" system then you'll probably wind up with a JR9303.

If you're not paying close attention then who knows, or cares.
Dec 16, 2005, 02:07 AM
jcosta's Avatar
Originally Posted by Yardbird

Do sailplane pilots consider a build in timer or timers to be a good feature?

Which radios have internal flight or motor timers?

I'm about to upgrade and was wondering.


Timers are usefull. I know the Multiplex and Graupner/JR radios have several timers.
I have an extra installed in my Profi 4000 that tells me through an earpiece the time either ascending or descending (in German only, unfortunately), or a lap counter for F3F/F3B that can be increased every time the elevator or aileron stick input is bigger than a given value...
Dec 16, 2005, 03:53 AM
JART Builder/flyer :)
Leif's Avatar
I second the Graupner radios, I love my MC-24.... It has twelve channels, timers galore, Plenty of pre defined mixers... lots of free mixers, 6 flight modes, you customise the radio with the switches and knobs and buttons you want, in the positions you want, Any channel can be mapped to any reciver output, and it supports lots of different radio modes (PPM pcm etc). Big display, very helicopter friendly as well, and I think it is easy to program to boot.....
Also the MX-22, MC-22 and dont forget the MC-19. These are all great radios.....
The downside is that they are expensive, specially the MC-24. I know you can get 72 MHz modules for them if you order from Graupner, so they should be usable in the US if you want to pay the price....

This is just my oppinion but I love my MC-24 and would heartily recomend it to anyone....
Dec 16, 2005, 03:57 AM
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Tuomo's Avatar
Originally Posted by Leif
This is just my oppinion but I love my MC-24 and would heartily recomend it to anyone....
90% of the worlds top F3J/B flyers seems to share that same opinion.

No alternative for MC-24 if you want the best transmitter
Dec 16, 2005, 05:37 AM
Vintage Flyer

Best Sailplane radio

Well I have a new JR 9303 which is quite a nice radio, BUT
my trusty ACE MP8K is still the best!!
It actually is much easier to program than the 9303, and WILL DO EVERYTHING the 9303 can do.
And better yet, it's MADE IN THE USA!!
It also has an ALL METAL CASE which protects it from interference.
I've had my MP 8000 for 11 years now, bought it at the annual Toledo Expo.
For those who don't know about ACE radios, the MP 8000 programs with the sticks, and is VERY EASY to do!
I also have BOTH AM and FM capabilty with the flick of a switch!
It simply has an AM RF deck in it, and an FM RF deck in it.

Blue skies!

Ercoupe Ed
Dec 16, 2005, 08:44 AM
Closet 'Air Supply' Fan!
rscarawa's Avatar
I am not familiar with the graupner radio line in any level of detail. I have been flying the JR8103 for many years and have been pretty happy with it.

Someone was talking about programmablility. Do some of these manufactuers allow the user to have access to the low level code in the xmitter? If so, that would be a really powerful feature but potentially dangerous too. There are times I would like to change the way the 8103 does its camber control so that I can have a little more flexibility with camber on launch as well as better motor control if I get an electric sailplane. For motor control, I would have to put it on a toggle switch. It would be nice to use that switch to say, "in position 0, left stick vertical movement controls throttle, in position 1, it is for camber control" or something like that. That is just one example of flexibility that user programming would allow. Maybe some of the newer radios allow that now.

By the way, when they say the JR or Futaba is programmable, that is giving the manufactuer too much credit. The 8103 has a 'User Interface'. I want to download the firmware to my pc and recompile it and then reflash the system! That is programmable.
Dec 16, 2005, 10:39 AM
Registered User
Sorry this is a boring answer but if you have a local club, my advice is to check and see what they are flying with. This ensures you will have people to help you get the radio programmed and sorted out. At the club I used to belong to, the most popular were the Airtronics Stylus and some of the JR radios.
Dec 16, 2005, 08:57 PM
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R.M. Gellart's Avatar
Mr. Nibler has a great point, what ever is the most used in your club lends itself well to getting the help you need when you start up. Case in point, at a club I am around, a guy went full tilt and got MPX since he is in to German everything, which is great, except. When trouble time arose, he could not even single surface adjust on the field and no one was able to help.

At least around our part of the world, it is JR as the predominate radio with Stylus close behind. The part I like about JR is the fact that we get to fly with JR factory guys, they support our needs to the "T", and no manufacturer is supporting soaring in the U.S. at their level.

I fly a 9303 on all my TD and HL stuff but I still have kept my older Stylus since I have a couple of old programmed up complicated ships on it and do not want to go through the work again. i am a wimp.

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