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RC Radios, Transmitters, Receivers, Servos, gyros Discussion all about rc radios, transmitters, receivers, servos, etc.

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Old 08-03-2011, 02:29 PM   #1
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I have been looking for a new radio and currently have Dx5e. I almost bought the DX6i but got cold feet due to hearing about all the problems related to the Spectrum radios. Now that being said my DX5e radio and receiver have been sent back 2 different times both handled well by Horizon, there customer service is good but it is frustrating to have to send back the equipment each time. It does not give me much faith in there radios.

The question is I'm looking at a Hitec Aurora 9 as a replacement radio, they seam to have happy customers? I haven't seen that much bad about the radio.

My problem buying Hitec is that Horizon has a lot of planes that I plan to buy and the BNF is a nice option which means if I bought a Hitec i would be buying a new receiver at the same time.

I understand that the DX8 has had some problems also? The DX6i seams to be a adequate radio for what I really need and will fit the bill for the BNF planes but the Spectrum line radios seam to be problematic from post that I have read.

I have read the reviews for many radio's some seams to have a lot of fluff and roses in the review's.

I would like to hear from people with Spectrum and Hitec and Pro's and Con's and how these radios have held up so far.

Thank you,
Richard
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Old 08-03-2011, 02:51 PM   #2
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There are a lot more Spektrums out there than any other 2.4GHz make. Since I have one and I know 30 or 40 other people with them and none of us have had even the slightest problem I always assume that the reason you hear about more problems is because there are simply more around to go wrong .

OTOH I can't say anything about Hitec Auroras because I've never seen one....which sort of reinforces my original point .

Steve
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Old 08-03-2011, 02:58 PM   #3
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The A9 simply rocks. It is the best 8-9 channel system on the market right now IMHO.

You point out a great weakness - it is Hitec not Spektrum so the BNF and Ultra Micro stuff won't work on the Hitec. That is a factor for sure. That is the reason I keep a Spektrum system in hangar.

What I really love about the A9:
  • Touchscreen large and backlit
  • Easiest system to program in 33+ years of flying - excellent UI interface
  • Sliders (something that the dx8 did not have!)
  • Switch and joystick assignment 100% user controlled
  • Voltage telemetry with no add-on module
  • LiPo support

I am very happy with the A9. Happy to answer any questions you might have.

Mike
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Old 08-03-2011, 04:12 PM   #4
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Originally Posted by slipstick View Post
There are a lot more Spektrums out there than any other 2.4GHz make. Since I have one and I know 30 or 40 other people with them and none of us have had even the slightest problem I always assume that the reason you hear about more problems is because there are simply more around to go wrong .

OTOH I can't say anything about Hitec Auroras because I've never seen one....which sort of reinforces my original point .

Steve
I know a guy who actually *did* have a problem with his DX8. It cost him a plane. However, Horizon Hobbies replaced not only his transmitter and plane, but also gave him a "goodie-bag" with receivers and servos as a compensation for his pain and suffering. IMHO, that speaks volumes too.

AMA #959089
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Old 08-03-2011, 07:04 PM   #5
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Thank you for your replies, I understand that Mike stated that Hitec is fantastic and with 33 years experience that speaks loud and clear.

Mike, what is the average cost for a 6-7 channel receiver? Have you had to deal with Hitec for anything and how did they handle it, good service? How long have you had it? Does it stand up well to day to day use?

I also see what SlipStick NJSwede mean with customer service and the massive amount of radio's being sold. They just came out with the DX7s? Not sure about being one of few people to have one. I'm struggling with the thought of keeping 2 radios and not being able to use some of the BNF planes out there. For example I bought a micro 4-Site and I am flying it with my DX5 which is a hand full with out expo.

I will not bash the Spectrum radios, I just want a quality radio if I'm going to spend the money for nice radio to last me 5 years or so.

I guess a keeping the DX5 to fly the micro's and get the Hitec for the more advanced planes would totally out of the question I guess.

I'm interested to hear any opinion's pro's or cons. Is there things that you are unhappy with in regards to a spectrum DX8 or 6 or 7 or Hitec?

Sorry for the questions its a lot of money to spend and I hope to choose wisely.

Richard
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Old 08-03-2011, 07:16 PM   #6
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Hi Richard
Pleased to meet you
Ive been a JR man for a long time, have a JR 12X at the moment
Mighty fine TX's
You might want to look at the JRX9503
Do enjoy
Take care
Yours Hank

"When wild the head-wind beat,Thy sovereign Will commanding, Bring them who dare to fly, To a safe landing."
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Old 08-03-2011, 07:30 PM   #7
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Thanks Ken, I will look at that one and see how it compares..
JR will do BNF right?

Thanks Richard
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Old 08-03-2011, 07:37 PM   #8
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Originally Posted by Hose Man View Post
Thanks Ken, I will look at that one and see how it compares..
JR will do BNF right?

Thanks Richard
Hi Richard
Yes indeed they surely do
Take care
Yours Hank

"When wild the head-wind beat,Thy sovereign Will commanding, Bring them who dare to fly, To a safe landing."
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Old 08-03-2011, 08:32 PM   #9
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Originally Posted by Hose Man View Post
Mike, what is the average cost for a 6-7 channel receiver? Have you had to deal with Hitec for anything and how did they handle it, good service? How long have you had it? Does it stand up well to day to day use?

I'm interested to hear any opinion's pro's or cons. Is there things that you are unhappy with in regards to a spectrum DX8 or 6 or 7 or Hitec?

Richard
So receivers in 3 packs for Hitec are about $37 each from Tomsrc.com. An excellent deal for a full range telemetry enabled 6 channel receiver. The 7 channels are a few bucks more. That is lowest in the industry (other than Chinese stuff).

Hitec service is second to none. Hitec and Horizon are the top of the heap. Hard to say who is better - both rock!

I have had it since April 2010.

It is holding up well - but as all RC systems TX's needs a little TLC as it is easy to break switches and stuff if you lob it around.

Yes there are some items I don't like:
  • No center detentes on my sliders (fixed on new versions)
  • REceiver reboot voltage too high (just like Spektrum RX's) at 3.5v New Minima receivers are 2.6v so they are fixing that too...
  • Neck strap balance point off with 2.4ghz module installed (how 99.9995% of the systems sold use that module instead of 72mhz!)
No system is perfect but the lack of sliders and touch screen programing has the DX8 in the background for me. I still have and use a DX7 for my UM stuff.

I have had the DX6i and still have the DX7. The DX7s is due out soon - that might be worth a look for you too. The DX6i is OK but seems very cheap and like a hunk of plastic. My son used that system till he stopped flying and it was fine for him.

I did the review for both the DX7 and the A9 linked below:
http://www.rcgroups.com/forums/showthread.php?t=1179322

It has some good vids on the A9 UI so you can see how it works.

Mike
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Old 08-04-2011, 09:23 PM   #10
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I believe I will purchase a Aurora 9, I just like that the videos that show the ease of programming and use of that controller.

I will keep my DX5 for the micros

Thank you for all your help everyone.

Richard
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Old 08-05-2011, 02:39 AM   #11
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Originally Posted by Hose Man View Post
I believe I will purchase a Aurora 9, I just like that the videos that show the ease of programming and use of that controller. I will keep my DX5 for the micros. Thank you for all your help everyone. Richard
Problem already solved:
Spectra 2.4GHz module - Spektrum DIY US$3.00 Conversion - Fly BNF's. with DM8 for MZ and DC/DC converter.

and much more under Hitec USA Support Forum Sticky (associated Forum):
Aurora 9, Spectra Modules & Optima Transceivers
- FAQ & Undocumented Features
- Mixes, Setups,Tips. {Individual Links often updated}

Alan T.
Alan's Hobby, Model & RC FAQ Web Links
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Old 08-05-2011, 03:13 AM   #12
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Originally Posted by Hose Man View Post
I have been looking for a new radio and currently have Dx5e. I almost bought the DX6i but got cold feet due to hearing about all the problems related to the Spectrum radios. Now that being said my DX5e radio and receiver have been sent back 2 different times both handled well by Horizon, there customer service is good but it is frustrating to have to send back the equipment each time. It does not give me much faith in there radios.

The question is I'm looking at a Hitec Aurora 9 as a replacement radio, they seam to have happy customers? I haven't seen that much bad about the radio.

My problem buying Hitec is that Horizon has a lot of planes that I plan to buy and the BNF is a nice option which means if I bought a Hitec i would be buying a new receiver at the same time.

I understand that the DX8 has had some problems also? The DX6i seams to be a adequate radio for what I really need and will fit the bill for the BNF planes but the Spectrum line radios seam to be problematic from post that I have read.

I have read the reviews for many radio's some seams to have a lot of fluff and roses in the review's.

I would like to hear from people with Spectrum and Hitec and Pro's and Con's and how these radios have held up so far.

Thank you,
Richard
Everybody but one member in our club that went to 2.4 Ghz, went to Spektrum/JR. One member did have a little problem two years ago on a DX7. Spektrum took care of it.

I've got two DX7's, the primary one is now on its fourth flying season, and outside of replacing the transmitter battery, its been flawless. The backup DX7 has not been needed. Three years ago, I saw some Spektrum factory reps fly a $$$$ wet turbine model with the DX7 transmitter. That says something I guess. The DX7 has been around for some 4 years or more. The updated DX7 has the newer software that allows you to fly a model when 100 other 2.4 Ghz radios are turned on.

Nice thing about Spektrum/JR is their "Model Match" feature. If you've got a number of models programmed into your transmitter, model match makes it impossible to take off with the wront model programmed into your transmitter.

If the transmitter/receiver models don't match, your model airplane won't go, everything is dead.

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Old 08-05-2011, 05:02 AM   #13
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Originally Posted by kyleservicetech View Post
<snip>
Nice thing about Spektrum/JR is their "Model Match" feature. If you've got a number of models programmed into your transmitter, model match makes it impossible to take off with the wront model programmed into your transmitter. If the transmitter/receiver models don't match, your model airplane won't go, everything is dead.
Discussion has been revived several times this and other forums with clear majority, now similar to international forums, no longer favouring "model match" with it's own inherent problems. Aurora model selection process has more flexibility and permits use of multiple transceivers at the same time. Like playing a musical instrument, one quickly adapts to slight changes and appreciates overall benefits of an enhanced system.
The Aurora 9, when first powered up, displays model name, module type, and frequency (displays Normal or Scan Mode for 2.4Ghz or Frequency and whether PPM or QPCM for 72Mhz etc) for verification and user then selects "Yes" to transmit or "No". "No" provides use of menu to correct model name/RF output type, set up or re-program a model whilst saving battery power. One icon permits user to return to transmit screen without cycling power.
For those that really want "Model Match" there are aftermarket alternatives, such as ModelGuard but even Modelguard are now offering two for one after earlier discount offers, and with low sales evidenced their pages, confirming Model Match is not as popular as a few would have the many believe.

Alan T.


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Old 08-05-2011, 05:34 PM   #14
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Originally Posted by A.T. View Post
The Aurora 9, when first powered up, displays model name,
The Spektrum/JR radios also display the model name and so on. I suspect most computer radios also do the same.

As always, when investigating buying an RC radio system, check out what your fellow club members are using, and use that information as part of the decision on which mfg radio to buy.

I've looked at the Modelguard website. Looks like it uses about $5.00 worth of parts, along with the usual markup to pay for labor, assembly, and so on. I've done a LOT of work with those little microcontrollers, the software to do the Modelguard is fairly straight forward. You'd be hard pressed to build one from scratch for $20, but they can buy in large quantities, that really drops the cost. I suspect even for the discounted price, they are still making money.

But, this thing apparently requires a dedicated channel on your receiver. Spektrum/JR is automatic, and it prevents the model from flying if you've got it wrong. I'd be concerned about hearing this alarm if you power up your radio when other model engines are running in the pit area. (My hearing is not the best.)

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Old 08-05-2011, 05:50 PM   #15
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Alan,

This radio option gets better and better. Thank you.

Kyle, I understand the Spectrum radios have good customer service even though mine has had issues and they were always handled well by Horizon but the Aurora appears to be more for the money as opposed to the DX8. I haven't found as many negative responses about the Aurora radios either, as stated above Horizon probably sold more radios increasing the probability of manufacturing errors also which I understand.

I watched Mike's review on RcGroups for the Aurora 9 and have reviewed the DX8 also and the price of the DX8 compared to the Aurora is one point and the other is the programming which seams very fluid on the Aurora which as a my first real radio I believe will be a asset.

I am not sold on the Model Match really, I believe I would want to choose which model and do a Pre-Flight Check before I fly. I guess I want to be for sure that all is checked out before I fly, planes aren't cheap.

I understand I'm new at the planes and I don't know it all( never will ) but hope to pick all you guys more experienced flyer's brain's to make a somewhat educated decision and buy the right piece of equipment.

I appreciate all everyone's help and advise allot.

Richard
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Old 08-05-2011, 05:57 PM   #16
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Originally Posted by Hose Man View Post
I am not sold on the Model Match really, I believe I would want to choose which model and do a Pre-Flight Check before I fly. I guess I want to be for sure that all is checked out before I fly, planes aren't cheap.
Richard
Preflight checks are always a good idea. Model match really comes in handy when the pilot flys two or three models interchangeably in one afternoon. (Charge one, fly the other, then switch models, and do it again!)

In fact, I've finally decided to hang a red flag on the prop of all of my models immediately after landing as a reminder to charge the danged battery. Nearly took off three weeks ago on a Showtime 50 model that only had 30% of its battery capacity left at a local electric fun fly. Got hit with a LOT of questions on "What do you have in that thing" (Hacker A50-16S, 16X12 APC-E prop, 7S2P A123's, 6800 RPM pulls it straight up out of sight)

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Old 08-05-2011, 06:54 PM   #17
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Model match can be useful if put that way.

I have to say this hobby is extremely addicting. One plane is not a option, I started with a Mini Super Cub, taught myself to fly then made it brushless, then a super cub with a 3530 brushless and now a 4-site all with 4-5 months, I forgot my favorite plane Taylor Craft. That has only a couple of flights on it.

With the the ever growing hanger I want a radio that will work with planes that I have acquired and having a good radio is key and that being said cost is always a factor and when you are looking to spend 3-500 on a radio you really want to study up on the pro's and con's because it has to last.

Does make me wonder why more people don't have the Aurora though
Is it just that Horizon has more marketing $$$$

Richard
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Old 08-05-2011, 07:45 PM   #18
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Originally Posted by Hose Man View Post
Does make me wonder why more people don't have the Aurora though
Is it just that Horizon has more marketing $$$$

Richard
Good question. If my sagging memory is correct, Spektrum came out with the first 2.4 Ghz radios. And some surveys have indicated that Spektrum/JR has the majority (Some 70%) of the 2.4 Ghz radios sold in the world.

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Old 08-05-2011, 08:07 PM   #19
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Hitec was SUPER late to the game.

Spektrum was the first 2.4GHz air system - the remarkable DX6.
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Old 08-06-2011, 01:47 AM   #20
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Originally Posted by rcers View Post
Hitec was SUPER late to the game.

Spektrum was the first 2.4GHz air system - the remarkable DX6.
H'mmm
My sagging memory was correct. Now I'm working on remembering my name

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Old 08-06-2011, 01:52 AM   #21
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I go into the other room to fetch something for a plane I am working on. I get to the other room. I forget why I am there. I go back to the room with the plane. I instantly remember what I needed. I immediately go back for the item. I get back in the hobby room and guess what? That is right I have forgotten again.

Brain fart.
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Old 08-06-2011, 02:04 AM   #22
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Ok is it bad when it happens at 38?

Kyle and Mike, thank you for all your help and I'm sure that I will need it again once I receive the radio. Next week I will order the Aurora, I have to get more money in the hobby bank account, do you think its bad if you have a dedicated bank account just to Rc Planes?? I hope there is no intervention in my future because I need more Planes
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Old 08-06-2011, 02:08 AM   #23
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No I think a dedicated account is a sign of well dedication.
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Old 08-06-2011, 02:09 AM   #24
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Originally Posted by rcers View Post
I go into the other room to fetch something for a plane I am working on. I get to the other room. I forget why I am there. I go back to the room with the plane. I instantly remember what I needed. I immediately go back for the item. I get back in the hobby room and guess what? That is right I have forgotten again.

Brain fart.

LOL
Somewhere I read that if you forget where you left your car keys, that's just getting old. If you forget what your keys are for, that's Alzheimers.

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Old 08-06-2011, 10:55 AM   #25
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As we get older we all become more and more interested in the hereafter. We walk into a room, look round a bit puzzled and say "What on earth did I come in hereafter ?" .

Spetrum were first, Futaba then took several years to get their 2.4GHz offer going and Hitec arrived a couple of years later. So it really only sells to newcomers to the hobby who haven't already got planeloads of the other (incompatible) makes. And I've still never seen a Hitec Aurora 9 round here so I guess they're doing even less promotion over here than they are in the US .

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