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Sanwa MT-44 or Spektrum DX5 Pro

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Sanwa MT-44 or Spektrum DX5 Pro

Old 02-14-2020, 01:43 PM
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Default Sanwa MT-44 or Spektrum DX5 Pro

Hello,

I decided to buy a new Radio and am now stuck between the Sanwa MT-44 and Spektrum DX5 Pro.
Till now, I only used the radios that came with the cars (Traxxas, Spektrum DX2E).
I'm leaning more towards Spektrum, since I already have some Spektrum receivers, and I also used Spektrum Air radios in the past for helicopters, but then switched, when I got into FPV Quads because of the poor range.
...but reading through the web, most say, that Sanwa is better (faster, better build quality, better feel...)
I also must say, that I have bigger hands and maybe MT-44 is too small for me.
Other things to note are, that I am no competition racer and I drive only off-road cars (buggies, truggies and crawlers).
I also don't have a way to try these radios, since there is no shop near me, and everyone that I know has either Futaba or those budget Spektrum or Traxxas radios.
Does the DX5 Pro really feel plasticky and has a glitchy screen when scrolling throught the menu?

Thanks.

Last edited by UFOking; 02-15-2020 at 03:05 AM.
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Old 02-15-2020, 07:39 AM
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IF, and that's a big IF you are seriously considering Spektrum, then I would take a closer look at the DX6R which promises some really nice features as shown here:

https://www.rcgroups.com/forums/showthread.php?3525321-DX6R-Gets-Smart-Technology%21


I personally feel that Spektrum is not worth the risk for club racing, but in your case they would be an excellent option to consider for a basher. If you think there is any chance that you might get into club racing or drive in an area with 8+ other radios in operation at the same time, then I would definitely avoid Spektrum.


Sanwa makes some really good stuff and I recently tested the M12S, but I quickly discovered the radio wasn't for me, while it was comfortable to hold and performed extremely well, I went stir crazy with the clumsy jog wheel and was extremely frustrated with the menu layout which was far too impractical for me so I quickly sold the system and went back to the color touch screen on my Graupner X-8E, it's hard to recommend Graupner right now because the USA Distributor is going out of business, but you can get the X-8E for $230 on clearance before they shut down on Feb-25... my X-8E is approaching 4 years old, I had to replace the steering drop down after 3 years of use. Supposedly Graupner Global will remain in business so there is promise to still get replacement parts.


Another color touch screen system to consider is the Kyosho KT-432 which is limited to 6V on both the Tx and Rx as its main drawback, but for a basher that system seems very enticing to me.


Not saying you should limit to color touch screens, but after using that feature for so long, there is no way I can go back... it's like comparing a flip phone to a smart phone just for perspective.


Anyway, good luck on your decision!
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Old 02-15-2020, 07:54 AM
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I currently have a Spectrum DX6R and I'm not entirely impressed with it. Most of the people at our Club use Spectrum and I've not had any glitches or bugs with it. My main issue with it is it's battery life. Most days it won't even make it through a race day, so I always carry a charger with me.

I previously had a Spectrum DX3S which I loved. But I wanted to upgrade so I got the DX6R. The DX3S would last months before I had to replace the AA batteries. So I'm currently looking at the DX5 Pro as my next radio. But I haven't looked at Sanwa, so I might start looking at what they have. If you have any questions about the DX6R I can try my best to answer them for you.
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Old 02-15-2020, 08:37 AM
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Thanks for the feedback on battery life for the DX6R... in contrast the battery life on the Graupner X-8E is solid... it uses a mini-USB cord which typically charges the included battery in about an hour at the track and that charge lasts a full race day, I don't have to charge the Tx again until the beginning of the next race day at the track. Also don't need to remove the battery when charging either which is another plus.
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Old 02-15-2020, 09:23 AM
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Spektrum DX6R is to expensive for me and I also don't want to run Android on my radio. The other thing is battery life on the radios with color display.
I would consider Graupner if the situation wasn't as it is.
I came down to either Spektrum DX5 Pro or Sanwa MT-44.
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Old 02-15-2020, 09:30 AM
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I would recommend reading the manual for each respective system, try to get a feel for the layout of the menu layout and how practical it will be to get to your desired program settings, for example I often change the steering speed and switch model memories each race day, just wasn't practical to get to those settings on the M12S so I ditched that radio, not sure if the MT44 uses the same menu layout but that would be a deal breaker for me if it's the same layout. Not sure what the menu layout on the DX5 is, for all I know it could be worse

I recently tried to help a racer adjust the steering speed on their Spektrum and that feature was buggy, the racer quickly ditched Spektrum and went to Futaba, he had no regrets making the switch.
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Old 02-15-2020, 10:27 PM
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Bill, did you know you can make custom menu pages on the MT44 and M12s? It is possible to add model selection and steering speed to their own menu page for quick access. Also, both radios have 'direct model select' feature which lets you hold a button while powering on to either enter the model select screen (MT44) or to power on directly into the model assigned to that button (M12S). They also have a 'basic mode' which greatly reduces the complexity of the menu, removing the pages (system/setup/racing/custom) and just having all essential features readily available. I think you could get the radios working more to your liking using these options.

The DX5 menu is more simple but also has its own quirks, and I don't really like the scroll wheel navigation.

The Sanwa-compatible receivers are only about $40 and work great, and are very compact. Personally I'd choose the MT-44 all day out of only those two options. Have you considered a cheaper radio like the Futaba 3PV? I've got large hands and found this radio to work well when I had one, plus if you're crawling or bashing in the rain and manage to drop the radio I'd be much less worried with the lighter and cheaper Futaba! It doesn't have the same physical adjustability as the MT44, and it tends to be more the trigger and steering position/throw/tension adjustments that make a radio feel good to me.


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Old 02-16-2020, 10:19 AM
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Originally Posted by mushroomed View Post
Bill, did you know you can make custom menu pages on the MT44 and M12s? It is possible to add model selection and steering speed to their own menu page for quick access. Also, both radios have 'direct model select' feature which lets you hold a button while powering on to either enter the model select screen (MT44) or to power on directly into the model assigned to that button (M12S). They also have a 'basic mode' which greatly reduces the complexity of the menu, removing the pages (system/setup/racing/custom) and just having all essential features readily available. I think you could get the radios working more to your liking using these options.
Thanks for sharing this feature, I may have jumped the gun to ditch the M12S, would have been nice to give that a try, my patience wore thin trying to get the radio programmed, model naming was VERY painful to the point where I already swore off the radio by the time I finished entering my first model name

I truly have been spoiled with color touch screens, don't think I can ever go back, ha!
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Old 02-16-2020, 01:11 PM
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I have a DX5R, not the Pro. Had I known the Pro was coming out, I likely would have waited a bit on my purchase but I'm still pleased with it. the 5Pro is just as capable as the 6R, just without the Android stuff. I saw all the reported problems with the Android apps and had decided the 6R was not for me. The 5Pro also comes ready to use a Lipo where as you have to send in the 5R for an update to use Lipos.

I found the 5R good bang for the buck for features/price. The fact that you have other Spektrum receivers makes it a good option. However, I would verify those receivers are compatible with the newer TX's. The other benefit I saw was that Spektrum has a representative who logs onto this forum to assist owners from time to time. That's a huge plus for me (which is similar with Tekin).

I don't think you can really go wrong with either purchase. Just look at what makes the most sense for 'you'.

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Old 02-17-2020, 01:00 PM
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UFO - the jumpy screen you noted people talking about when was the original 5R came out in like 2016/17 - fixed a long time ago. If you are worried about big hands... I think the 5Pro is one of the most ergonomically adjustable radios on the market. Super easy to change wheel location, angle, actual wheel size. Feel free to PM if you have any other questions. Oh yea, the 5Pro comes with a AA tray, but there are accessory Lipo's you can use also. Lots of options.
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