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Old 03-25-2007, 03:41 PM   #1
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Default Need Your "Best Radio" Opinion Please!

Sorry if this isn't the best place for this quesiton, but it appeared to be where I'd get the most responses.

I've always had electric cars, but I'm now in the process of building my first gas buggy. (Mugen MBX5-R with an OS .21 V-Spec.) I'm to the part where I need to install the servos, etc. and guess what, I don't have them or a radio deserving of this quality car. My electric cars have basic radios and I never paid much attention to the quality.

Anyway I started doing some research. Talk about confusion. Ok I got PCM 2.4Ghz is the best. At that point I was lost. $ is not a concern, but Best, Most Features, Upgradable, Best Control, Response, Range, etc. are. I want a radio that I can use for racing and that has the least limitations. I appreciate your opinions.

To add to the confusion I started gathering all the info I could get and here is where I am now.

Ive researched this to death and after listening to all of the opinions from guys in my area and some veterans at the local hobby shops I was about 90% in favor of the following, but Id like your opinion (positive or negative) before I lay down some serious cash. Here is what I am thinking about:

Airtronics M11 (Transmitter Only No Receiver or Servos)
(2) Airtronics 94359z Servos (200oz-.10sec @ 6v)
Spektrum DSM 3-CH Pro Series Surface Module/Rx: AIR M8/M11

What do you think?

I thought I was close, but of coarse I am now confused again as people are telling me this is "not" a good choice. One guy said I would be slowing dowwn a good radio with the Spektrum Module. A number of others say to get the Nomadio Sensor or React. (No one in my area uses or sells them so I'm concerned about support). Also some tell me they are not durable radios. Sheesh!!! Some are crazy about Futaba 3PKS with FAAST tech, but others say it's not the best. Others like the Helios. I won't even throw JR in the mix. Too much to deal with!

I don't mind overkill. I find that in electronics if you don't use it today, you may be glad you got it for tomorrow. The problem is my knowledge of the technical side. I get lost in the testing. For example if 2.4 GHz is the best and Spektrum has such a good rep then how can someone say adding this module to an M11 will slow it down. I hope I can resolve this and get on to the part where I start this car up. So anyway I'm back looking for more help please...
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Old 03-25-2007, 04:01 PM   #2
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I won't tell you what's best. But imo 99% can't possibly say the Spektrum system is too "slow" for their talents. Many pros seem to do just fine with it.

I have heard one pro say he can feel a difference between the Spek and regular FM.

I'm using the Spektrum M8/M11 as are many of the fast club guys around here... I'm very happy with it. I would love to try the new Futaba system however.

I'm switching to Ace 1015 servos based on the huge props from everyone... so I would look into that. I do run a 359 and I like it too... but I just ordered a couple 1015s to try.

Some guys just like to put down what others have. You can't go wrong with a Helios, M11/DSM or the new Futaba system. Don't let others tell you it's junk because they have something they feel is superior.
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Old 03-25-2007, 05:32 PM   #3
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you've made a good choice. if i was buying new, i'd do that for transmitter and receiver...but i prefer JR servos myself.

imho....get yerself a good used M8 with a spektrum module. there is nothing wrong with the M11, but from what i've been hearing, alot of guys are shiming out the wheel on the M11 to make it feel more like the M8.

for us mear mortals, the regular spektrum is just fine. if, however, you are of the caliber racer that can feel that difference, then get the new and improved pro version of the spektrum. the pro version is supposed to have taken care of any lag that the original had.
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Old 03-25-2007, 06:41 PM   #4
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Default Nomadio React

Im gonna toss my vote out for the React. Of those that you mentioned, all are great systems. Personally though, Nomadio has the best customer service in the industry, as far as radios go. If at anytime you have a problem, simply email [email protected] . Within a 1/2 hr, someone will call you.They also have their own web forum, so you can look through there to find answers, tips, advice, etc. Also, as far as 2.4 systems go ( Nomadio, Spektrum, Futaba Fasst, etc... Nomadio works at 100 hz, and the others work at 50 hz. Would you feel the difference? Perhaps not...but just an extra lil bit to help you beat your competition And the React can be had for under $300.

www.nomadio.net/support
http://www.amainhobbies.com/product_...oducts_id/9956
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Old 03-25-2007, 06:49 PM   #5
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I've heard of alot of issues with the Spektrum which is why I sold my Mars R ( very comfortable radio and it killed me to part with it) and bought a 3pks with the Fasst system. I wanted a complete system from one manufacturer and Futaba has it all. I also run digital Futaba servos in all of my cars.

I will say the 3pks has more features than I will ever need/use, but it's nice to have them just in case. And it's menu is extremely easy to navigate, unlike the Mars I had.

So far, I've not had any problems whatsoever with the Futaba system, but I wouldn't mind trying the Nomadio React radio either. One thing I don't like about the Nomadio, is that it relies on downloaded updates/manuals and such from their website.

I"m still waiting for above the poster (0b4 ) to get his React
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Old 03-25-2007, 07:09 PM   #6
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Yes, the M11 is among the "best" radios. The shimming is not necessary at all. I own a M11 and dont like the feel of the wheel shimmed out. As far as servos stick with Futaba, Airtronics, JR, KO Propo or Ace and all will be great. The Spektrum is great, but the new Airtonics 2.4 Module for the M11 should be out soon I believe, which would be "better" than the Spektrum.
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Old 03-25-2007, 07:12 PM   #7
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search the internet and find pictures of the driver's stands from the a-mains of major events and take note of the radios that you see in the pro level driver's hands. buy the radio that you see the most of. my bet would be that you'll see mostly airtronics M8's and M11's.
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Old 03-25-2007, 08:00 PM   #8
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i run the M8 with the spektrum pro and love it. i would like to try the futaba 3PK with the fast system.
but find out who has the radios local and hold them to see how they feel in your hand. there is nothing worse than getting a radio and you not like the way it feels.
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Old 03-25-2007, 08:52 PM   #9
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I have the JR Z-1 (KO Propo Helios) and the Futaba 3PKS and I can't decide between them. They are both very comfortable for me. I loved my M8 but I couldn't stand the M11. It just didn't feel right in my hand.

Pretty much, you won't get a bad radio when you're paying that much for it. Go to your LHS and your local track and see if you can feel them. See if they'll put the batteries in them at the shop and make sure you pull up the antenna. If it doesn't feel good, don't get it.

One plus about the Futaba is it does come with the battery and the charger right in the box.
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Old 03-25-2007, 09:11 PM   #10
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The big three, Airtronics m-11, Futaba 3PK, Ko-propo EX-10 helios, I would put each one in your hand and feel witch one feels more comfortable to you and get that one. Either way you cant go wrong with any of these
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Old 03-25-2007, 09:59 PM   #11
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as far as the best radio's go, I agree with Kyle. But for comfort alone I prefer the Helios, or the JR z-1. Same radio, but the JR comes synthesized. I had an M8, but it never felt right, I kept having to re-adjust my grip during a race. And because of that I wouldn't drive as tight or precise as I know I could. I also heard that people liked their M8 over the M11, and the 3pk was a bit heavier than I cared for. But as soon as I bought my JR-Z1 and added the drop down wheel, It all came together quite nicely. Comfortable, easy to use, light weight, It all translated to doing better all around. So If you catch what I'm laying down, go for the JR-Z1 or the KO-Propo Helios.
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Old 03-25-2007, 10:35 PM   #12
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Helios, 3PK, and the M11 are definately the top three. I personally chose the Helios, because with the drop down angled wheel it is by far the most comfortable, and adjustable so I can set it up just how I like it so I can concentrate fully on my race, not on wrist cramps. A quick Helios review
Features: 9.5/10
Ease of use: 6.5/10
Comfort: 9.75/10
Reliability/performance: 9.5/10
Overall: 8.75/10

The menu is a bit of a pain to use if you have all the options turned on, since there are so many different option, you can actually set up smaller menu's, but its kind of a pain, and many of the features are a bit confusing to use/hard to remember (lap timer comes to mind). The jog dial is awesome though, makes the radio much easier to use. Thus far reliability has been perfect (4 months and one national race, so its still fairly new).

My take on other radios would be that the M11 is really easy to use with it gaint menu screens, but I don't like the feel of it, quite top heavy. The 3pk is pretty similar, but I've never tried the one with the drop down wheel, I do like the smaller wheel and really solid feel of the 3pk. Its probably the most solid feeling radio.

I owned a Nomadio Sensor for about 4 months, but it always glitched, was very awkward feeling and the menus were really slow to scroll through. Plus I hated the stupid finding of your car every time you flipped the radio on, its like it had to be at just the right distance of else to wouldn't work, and it had to be timed in a certain way of it wouldn't work and I'd have to shut both Rx and Tx off and retry. Basically the radio was a pain, it looked like a college students side project. The radio is an awesome concept and I can appreciate what it is trying to accomplish, but the execution just isn't right. 3 buddies of mine bought them with me, only one guy still has his.
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Old 03-26-2007, 11:01 AM   #13
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Futaba 3pks with futaba 2.4

I was running my futaba with hrs and crystals and doing great, then I went to spektrum pro and went to a big race...i was slow and I come off and my buddy says ' why you turning and straightening so late?' ...I take a practice and realize I have to turn before the car gets to the place it need to turn, delay....
I switch back to hrs crystals, fast again and turn on time...switch to new faast 2.4 from futaba and it is the same...


I am not going to argue but I and many others CAN tell
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Old 03-26-2007, 11:10 AM   #14
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Hey Jay, if that really is happening to you, you are probably in the wrong setting. Try turning your radio into the HRS mode. The Futaba Fasst system is just as fast as the regula Futaba. I think you just have your radio set wrong in this case.

If it is already in HRS mode, contact Futaba. You might have a problem with yours. I work in a hobby shop and have sold about 15 of these systems to some pretty fast racers and no one has been dissappointed with them yet.
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Old 03-26-2007, 04:25 PM   #15
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No, it is great with FAAST, it was with spektrum pro it was slow
thanks
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