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Old 03-21-2014, 01:16 PM   #1
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Default Reliable radio

Can I have recommendations for a reliable radio for the GT class beside Futaba.

What is wrong with Spektrum? Is this brand shameful to bring to the track?

Is Futaba for snobs - LOL

I need some choices because all I know is futaba...
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Old 03-21-2014, 01:43 PM   #2
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Originally Posted by evangelos View Post
Can I have recommendations for a reliable radio for the GT class beside Futaba.

What is wrong with Spektrum? Is this brand shameful to bring to the track?

Is Futaba for snobs - LOL

I need some choices because all I know is futaba...
Sanwa/Airtronics all the way. I've used them for many years without a single problem.

I have used Spektrum in the past and had many issues and I have seen others really struggle with the Spektrum kit. I've heard the newest versions aren't too bad. It's not about being a shameful thing to bring to the track - far from it - but experience has showed that it's not the best out there.

To me the best is Sanwa closely followed by futaba and KO Propo. There is very little between the 3 and it then comes down to personal preference and which one feels best in your hands.
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Old 03-21-2014, 01:54 PM   #3
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Quote:
Originally Posted by evangelos View Post
Can I have recommendations for a reliable radio for the GT class beside Futaba.

What is wrong with Spektrum? Is this brand shameful to bring to the track?

Is Futaba for snobs - LOL

I need some choices because all I know is futaba...
I've used Futaba since Hobby Shack did away with 'Cirrus' (Futaba).

I've run boats/planes/cars.........I don't believe I'm snobbish, I'll use what works and doesn't break my budget.

The guys (several) that I know of backing away from Spectrum brand was because of an actual posted notice (Savox notice) and malfunction if using Savox servos. Some electronic 'gremlin' does not work well there. I love the Savox servos because of the performance I've had from them for years. I've seen one of the first issues with Spectrum was the guys would toss the telemetry function in their search for the fix on their car's goofy problems. I know there will be the defense for the Spectrum...........I just don't dwell in that neighborhood.

I just use the 3MX and get the car around the track in a pleasing manner......
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Old 03-21-2014, 03:24 PM   #4
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Never had a problem with DX3s or DX3r Pro. Ran dsm1, dsm2, telemetrry, savox servos.

Good value, but higher end models do have better feel
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Old 03-21-2014, 03:26 PM   #5
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Originally Posted by dan_vector View Post
Sanwa/Airtronics all the way. I've used them for many years without a single problem.

I have used Spektrum in the past and had many issues and I have seen others really struggle with the Spektrum kit. I've heard the newest versions aren't too bad. It's not about being a shameful thing to bring to the track - far from it - but experience has showed that it's not the best out there.

To me the best is Sanwa closely followed by futaba and KO Propo. There is very little between the 3 and it then comes down to personal preference and which one feels best in your hands.
I second/ third that.
Sanwa M4 .....

Although I still have the M11. Been very reliable for me. Being "caggy" handed I needed one which can go "both ways" ..... lol

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Old 03-21-2014, 06:17 PM   #6
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Do you guys know of a radio that has a feature that applies the brakes when the battery on the radio or transmitter run low avoiding a runaway.

Another question on radios is that some brands offer few practical features for the next level up model. Are some brands worse than others in this area?

You guys have to take it easy on me as I have been away for quite a few years and don't want to jump in all the way because I dont know how long or how often I will be able to get out to the track so I am trying to walk the middle ground - it can be hard sometimes but I want to at least try...
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Old 03-21-2014, 08:13 PM   #7
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I can tell you that I have been running Spektrum now for a year with no issues. It is a great product and I use all of it. The radio and servos, with no issues. Very good prices also. I used it to win the Nationals last year, so no shame in having this radio at the track. Lol

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Old 03-22-2014, 09:40 AM   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by evangelos View Post
Do you guys know of a radio that has a feature that applies the brakes when the battery on the radio or transmitter run low avoiding a runaway.

Another question on radios is that some brands offer few practical features for the next level up model. Are some brands worse than others in this area?

You guys have to take it easy on me as I have been away for quite a few years and don't want to jump in all the way because I dont know how long or how often I will be able to get out to the track so I am trying to walk the middle ground - it can be hard sometimes but I want to at least try...
radiopost has built in fail safe on their 5 channel reciever system is fast fast and fully programable
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Old 03-22-2014, 09:43 AM   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by evangelos View Post
Do you guys know of a radio that has a feature that applies the brakes when the battery on the radio or transmitter run low avoiding a runaway.

Another question on radios is that some brands offer few practical features for the next level up model. Are some brands worse than others in this area?

You guys have to take it easy on me as I have been away for quite a few years and don't want to jump in all the way because I dont know how long or how often I will be able to get out to the track so I am trying to walk the middle ground - it can be hard sometimes but I want to at least try...
Yup. All the sanwa radios have fail safe built in and yes it actually works!
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Old 03-24-2014, 09:07 PM   #10
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I used to be sponsored by Losi (owned by Horizon Hobby... which owns Spektrum). I have been using the radios for about 5 years now and I like them. We parted under not so great terms and I considered selling just because I was mad but the truth is the product is good. I use Orion servos which are made by Savox and have been doing that for about 5 years as well. I really like the radios. Easy to navigate and very light weight. Truth is I think most of the higher priced radios are pretty good and I really don't think you can go wrong with any although they all seem to have some new product that has an issue every once in a while.

Futaba did with receivers that would overheat.. I saw some weird issues with KO as well.
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Old 03-25-2014, 01:09 AM   #11
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Futaba, Spektrum, Sanwa/Airtronics all good reliable radio electronics. All have small displays, Largest display is Airtronics M8/M11's, read by turning your wrist up and down, not
like Spektrum,turning wrist to a 12o'clock position. Awkward to me.
What it comes down to is, what feels good in your own hands! Who cares how much it cost as long as the individual is happy.
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Old 03-25-2014, 03:42 AM   #12
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Quote:
Originally Posted by scary_jerry View Post
I've used Futaba since Hobby Shack did away with 'Cirrus' (Futaba).

I've run boats/planes/cars.........I don't believe I'm snobbish, I'll use what works and doesn't break my budget.

The guys (several) that I know of backing away from Spectrum brand was because of an actual posted notice (Savox notice) and malfunction if using Savox servos. Some electronic 'gremlin' does not work well there. I love the Savox servos because of the performance I've had from them for years. I've seen one of the first issues with Spectrum was the guys would toss the telemetry function in their search for the fix on their car's goofy problems. I know there will be the defense for the Spectrum...........I just don't dwell in that neighborhood.

I just use the 3MX and get the car around the track in a pleasing manner......
My first AM radio 35 years ago was a 2 channel Sanwa for gliders... It worked fine, Futaba was the premiere radio system. Since returning to RC with my sons, we used Spektrum DX2, then DX3R and we've used Savox in nitro 200mm. We used the micro DSM2 at 5ms and we never had a problem.

We recently bought top end HV Futaba servos and a 4PKR, my son loves it, he thinks it's better... I've also had people try and convince me that seismic inverters improve the sound of CDs too... So make what you want of it.... If someone spends a lot of money on something, they'll convince themselves it's better, until a BETTER model appears on the scene.

IMHO it's wise to buy from reputable manufacturers that have decades of experience and integrity to uphold, it's not in their interests to produce poor quality. So SANWA and FUTABA are excellent choices and Spektrum have proven their worth in the scene as well.

For those who race nitro, a fail safe is only good if there's power, and 9/10ths of the runaways are caused by electrical faults, a rubber band to pull the carby closed is a MUCH BETTER option than adding more drain to the limited power available. EP racers have a large battery to supply power and don't have similar issues as the speedy should just shut down. More often than not it's the cabling that comes loose, grazes on the ground and fails, so it's more about taking care of your wiring than trying to create a fail safe that will fail as well.

As for servos, buy the best you can afford, buy a crimping tool and connectors as the servos are only good if they are connected well. Ive said it before that RC is a balance of compromise and we can't all go out and invest $1200 plus on radio gear as a newcomer. I would be as bold as to claim that for every SAVOX failure there was an electrical problem, we've owned several and none have failed.

LiFe is the savior of every RC enthusiast as the days of using LiPo and regulators just added one more electronic device that failed. Ive cooked a regulator wiring it backwards so unless everything is rated up to 8.5V for HV then save the extra few dollars and buy LiFe and omit more points of failure.

Finally, the dang batteries and switches are the major problem, they often have very brittle sharp heat shrink that wears at the wiring out of the battery and they should be inspected regularly. YEs, it's a major pain to recrimp them and I've learned to butt join the wiring just so I can get heat shrink down toward the base of the wiring.

Hanson hobbies has a great range of crimpers and connectors and you need to say a few prayers to various gods just to get all three wires of a servo crimped well. It's not easy but if you master it, you'll save a lot of money on damage and fried equipment. Doing batteries is dangerous so take special care to do one wire at a time leaving the other is the old connector.

So the moral of this story is....

The brand is only as good as the hand that uses it!
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Old 03-25-2014, 05:00 AM   #13
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Ive used ko propo, spektrum and airtronics.
My experience with them was all good. Just feel most comfortable with the M11x. The Ko was too small for me, I have big hands, spektrum was a little too light but could see why a guy like DJ likes it, always running 1 hour mains and sometimes (mostly all the time) 2 in 1 day. The airtronics is a bit bigger and heavier but I like that.
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