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Think again before buying a Spectrum or JR radio.

Old 01-02-2009, 10:32 PM
  #1  
b1srt4
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Default Think again before buying a Spectrum or JR radio.

I recently contacted Horizon Hobbies regarding a replacement antenna for my DX6 radio. (I purchased three (3) of them a year ago) They refused to send me one stating that the radio must be returned for them to replace the radio antenna. I told them the radio is out of warranty and I would relieve them of any liability for replacing the antenna myself. They still would not send one. They do not care at all about any inconvenience to the modeler, just the almighty dollar.

This is just a money grubbing tactic. There is no reason this antenna could not be shipped out to my home for me to replace. I have been in modeling for over 30 years. My first radio control unit was a Control Air Mule in the 60's.

I have had Kraft, Futaba and Airtronics radios and never had a request for parts refused. It is a sad state of affairs when the modeling industry manufacturers want you to believe you are to stupid to change your own radio antenna just so they can make an extra buck.

I would not buy another Spectrum or JR radio just for that reason; and I would advise everyone looking for a new radio, not to by the Spectrum or JR brands. I would look at the new Futabas. What’s even sadder is that we do not have a good radio like the Kraft made in this country any more. A radio that used to be made in the USA and one that you would never have this type of problem in acquiring parts.

Think again before you buy the Spectrum or JR radio types. The antenna is made of plastic and the joint is weak to start. At least find a manufacturer that will provide you with parts.
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Old 01-02-2009, 10:35 PM
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firemanbill
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why don't you just order one?

http://www.horizonhobby.com/Products...rodID=EFLH1058

It is a direct replacement.
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Old 01-02-2009, 10:36 PM
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Murocflyer
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Wow, replacment antennas, that's cool. Good idea.

Frank
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Old 01-03-2009, 12:06 AM
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darylm44
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Originally Posted by b1srt4 View Post
I recently contacted Horizon Hobbies regarding a replacement antenna for my DX6 radio. (I purchased three (3) of them a year ago) They refused to send me one stating that the radio must be returned for them to replace the radio antenna. I told them the radio is out of warranty and I would relieve them of any liability for replacing the antenna myself. They still would not send one. They do not care at all about any inconvenience to the modeler, just the almighty dollar.

This is just a money grubbing tactic. There is no reason this antenna could not be shipped out to my home for me to replace. I have been in modeling for over 30 years. My first radio control unit was a Control Air Mule in the 60's.

I have had Kraft, Futaba and Airtronics radios and never had a request for parts refused. It is a sad state of affairs when the modeling industry manufacturers want you to believe you are to stupid to change your own radio antenna just so they can make an extra buck.

I would not buy another Spectrum or JR radio just for that reason; and I would advise everyone looking for a new radio, not to by the Spectrum or JR brands. I would look at the new Futabas. What’s even sadder is that we do not have a good radio like the Kraft made in this country any more. A radio that used to be made in the USA and one that you would never have this type of problem in acquiring parts.

Think again before you buy the Spectrum or JR radio types. The antenna is made of plastic and the joint is weak to start. At least find a manufacturer that will provide you with parts.
Last winter I managed to stick the antenna of my new DX7 into the prop of my Nextstar. It was about 3* and the antenna just vaporized. I called Horizon and they told me the same thing so I boxed it up and sent it back with a letter stating that it was my error and that I would be happen to pay for the repairs. Within 2 weeks it was shipped back to me with with a new antenna and an invoice - NO CHARGE and no charge for the shipping. I call that great customer relations.

I believe they want the DX6i and DX7 transmitters so they can make sure they are tuned properly and comply with FCC regs.

And yes you can purchase a new antenna online for the Spektrum Tx that comes with the CX2. It is identical to the DX6 / DX6 antenna.
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Old 01-03-2009, 12:43 AM
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crosborne
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Originally Posted by firemanbill View Post
why don't you just order one?

http://www.horizonhobby.com/Products...rodID=EFLH1058

It is a direct replacement.
Does it twist like the DX-7? That would be cool. I modified my DX6 so that I can turn the Ant. 90 degrees and fit in mt Tx case.
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Old 01-03-2009, 12:57 AM
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Figure.N9ne
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Originally Posted by crosborne View Post
Does it twist like the DX-7? That would be cool. I modified my DX6 so that I can turn the Ant. 90 degrees and fit in mt Tx case.
yes it does. only thing is that it has a slightly difference size base so it'll sit loose on the dx7. a drop of ca and i've been good for about 6 months now.
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Old 01-03-2009, 01:01 AM
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65Knots750fpm
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Let's remember that Federal law says you have to be an FCC licensed technician to alter or tune a transmitter! So if you asked me to break the law or help you break the law you would be mad that I did not help?
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Old 01-03-2009, 01:44 AM
  #8  
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Waiting is a real pain, andd 65 knots is, of course, right.

I hope it goes well for you.

When I went to Spektrum (DX-7), I kept my old Hitec Optic 6-months later, I was able to buy a Futaba Spektrum module and now I have a cheap ($40) back-up. I hope I never need it, but....

Again, I hope it works out as my experience, until last week over a warranty claim on a GWS plane, is that Horizon is very reponsive and cooperative.
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Old 01-03-2009, 01:47 AM
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I've been die-hard Futaba since my dad bought me my first FGK gold radio. Love them. I just picked up an X9303, love it. I'm extremely happy with my JR radio and Spektrum receivers, really glad I made the switch, and I've read so many good things about their customer service. I know Futaba is great, and an industry leader with 2.4 technology. Nice to have some great choices out there.
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Old 01-03-2009, 03:07 AM
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Alpea42
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I had a Control Air Mule single channel radio in the 60's. And I worked in a hobby store that sold Kraft radios. In 1969 they were about $800 and up. That would probably equal $3,000 in todays dollars. It's no wonder they're not around any more
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Old 01-03-2009, 03:13 AM
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Airhead
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Interesting remarks and comments. I have a new DX6 that I have not taken out of the box yet. Hoping to build something good for it.. (or assemble)

I admit I do not know which way to go with my radios in the future. Spektrum or Futuba as for as 2.4's go.
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Old 01-03-2009, 03:21 AM
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Well, I've been a Spektrum user for 2 years now. Was my first radio setup (DX7), and I have been happy with it from day one. Take that for what you will.
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Old 01-03-2009, 03:25 AM
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Originally Posted by Yaniel View Post
yes it does. only thing is that it has a slightly difference size base so it'll sit loose on the dx7. a drop of ca and i've been good for about 6 months now.
That's good to know. I know it was a perfect fit on the original DX6, that is what I replaced it in.

Knock on wood, I have not had to with my 7. I have tried to be much more careful with it...:o
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Old 01-03-2009, 06:34 PM
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Is replaceing the ant altering or tuneing ? I think not.....if you tweak a pot or change out a resistor to a different value, then yes ...Dennis
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Old 01-03-2009, 06:54 PM
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Sky Sharkster
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Default Repair or Re-Tune?

Hello VX,
I don't believe replacing an antenna is considered "Modifying" a transmitter. Several companies make and sell "Rubber Duckie" short Tx antennas, and i have never heard of any legal problems associated with their use.
There is also at least one company (Multiplex) that provides information on changing antennas (and converting Modes) with their basic instruction and operating manual.
It seems to me that major manufacturers wouldn't sell replacement antennas (which most, if not all, do) if it were in clear violation of a Federal law.
But it may terminate their own brand guarantee, as with many electronic devices.
JMO,
Ron
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Old 01-03-2009, 06:56 PM
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pilotpete2
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I have the Spektrum and FASST modules for my 9C.
First thing I did for the Spektrum module was order a 2.2dbi RP-SMA antenna to go right on the back of the Spektrum module and toss the POS Spektrum conversion antenna in my junk box.
Where's the best place for the antenna? For me, anywhere but sticking out the top of the transmitter, Darym44, what say you
Peter
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Old 01-03-2009, 07:19 PM
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Bill G
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Originally Posted by firemanbill View Post
why don't you just order one?

http://www.horizonhobby.com/Products...rodID=EFLH1058

It is a direct replacement.
Hillarious!

Thanks Bill. I think I'll get one myself. You oughtta see the halfazz repair job on mine. The hinge pivot is not very repairable, as there is not much to glue things onto and is quite intricate.

Of all the repairs, so far the plastic railroad detail tubing wrapped around the antenna base, a safety pin hinge, and strips of hole punched metal to repair the pivoting mount, have worked the best. It looks like hell though. The metal strips with holes for the hinge come from S-connector and JST connector sets.
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Old 01-03-2009, 08:11 PM
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darylm44
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Originally Posted by pilotpete2 View Post
I have the Spektrum and FASST modules for my 9C.
First thing I did for the Spektrum module was order a 2.2dbi RP-SMA antenna to go right on the back of the Spektrum module and toss the POS Spektrum conversion antenna in my junk box.
Where's the best place for the antenna? For me, anywhere but sticking out the top of the transmitter, Darym44, what say you
Peter
I have a DX7 not a module. I have never looked at the antenna on a module so I have no basis to say.

I was just wanting to point out that Horizon can have excellent customer service. The only problem I have had in the past was their shipping charges and method to Alaska. But, the last couple of small items they have sent USPS in a padded First Class envelope so I am happy with that. Their charges are now about mid range for online stores and it only takes 3-4 days to get delivery.
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Old 01-03-2009, 09:04 PM
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b1srt4
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Originally Posted by firemanbill View Post
why don't you just order one?

http://www.horizonhobby.com/Products...rodID=EFLH1058

It is a direct replacement.
I asked the sales associates about that antenna and they said it would not work. Thats when I started to talk with the techs. Otherwise, I would have ordered one immediately.
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Old 01-03-2009, 09:09 PM
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Originally Posted by 65Knots750fpm View Post
Let's remember that Federal law says you have to be an FCC licensed technician to alter or tune a transmitter! So if you asked me to break the law or help you break the law you would be mad that I did not help?
Installation of a replacement antenna is not altering or retuning anything!
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Old 01-03-2009, 09:30 PM
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swass rc dawg
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i just had my motor channel go out on my dx6 receiver any answers on why
and any one know if this set up will work for this 32'' wing it has A speed 300 7amp esc 900 mah two cell battery
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Old 01-03-2009, 09:37 PM
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b1srt4
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Originally Posted by Alpea42 View Post
I had a Control Air Mule single channel radio in the 60's. And I worked in a hobby store that sold Kraft radios. In 1969 they were about $800 and up. That would probably equal $3,000 in todays dollars. It's no wonder they're not around any more
It would appear that we are very close in age so you should remember that Bell labs only started production of the transistor around 1947. The radio control units used by modelers was probably at its most expensive time. It was approximately two decades after this that the Control Air Mule was offered to modelers. Electronics of all kinds have been reduce in price for many reasons. My Kraft 6 channel only cost me around $300 back then, and with prices continually being lowered as all electronics have, I do not see the cost being $3,000 today. Some things on the radios are better and some are not, but the prices are equivalent to the manufacturing capabilities, materials, and time.
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Old 01-03-2009, 11:37 PM
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Originally Posted by b1srt4 View Post
I asked the sales associates about that antenna and they said it would not work. Thats when I started to talk with the techs. Otherwise, I would have ordered one immediately.

Well I beg to differ. I guess they have to say that since it is not a Spektrum part.

I replaced the one on mine and several other folks on this board have as well and it works like a champ.

I did a range check on mine at .33 of a mile and it worked with no problems at all. This was a ground check down the road and around the curve, out of line of sight. This image show where I was standing at our club gate and where the plane was on the field.

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Old 01-04-2009, 12:40 AM
  #24  
chimpanzee
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Originally Posted by pilotpete2 View Post
I have the Spektrum and FASST modules for my 9C.
First thing I did for the Spektrum module was order a 2.2dbi RP-SMA antenna to go right on the back of the Spektrum module and toss the POS Spektrum conversion antenna in my junk box.
Where's the best place for the antenna? For me, anywhere but sticking out the top of the transmitter, Darym44, what say you
Peter
Where's a good place to get a 2.2Dbi RP-SMA antenna?
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Old 01-04-2009, 04:19 AM
  #25  
65Knots750fpm
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Originally Posted by Sky Sharkster View Post
Hello VX,
I don't believe replacing an antenna is considered "Modifying" a transmitter. Several companies make and sell "Rubber Duckie" short Tx antennas, and i have never heard of any legal problems associated with their use.
There is also at least one company (Multiplex) that provides information on changing antennas (and converting Modes) with their basic instruction and operating manual.
It seems to me that major manufacturers wouldn't sell replacement antennas (which most, if not all, do) if it were in clear violation of a Federal law.
But it may terminate their own brand guarantee, as with many electronic devices.
JMO,
Ron
Originally Posted by b1srt4 View Post
Installation of a replacement antenna is not altering or retuning anything!
Do you know this? Or just think you know! Look on the back of your transmitter! That is a FCC permit number for that device. It certifies that device will perform its designed purpose within design specifications! Some parts are field replaceable. 72 MHz antenna no big deal! Designers and engineers decide this with FCC approval. Trading antenna between two devices makes me uncomfortable if it is not the designed replacement like the “rubber ducky” short antenna. It also has a FCC permit number.

All that said, just like running 85mph in a 55mph zone all is well till you see flashing lights. Is the FCC going to hunt you down for swapping parts on your radio, not so much!

But if you are standing in a court of law after injuring or killing someone with your airplane, radio failure or not. What do you think your insurance, the AMA, and the manufacturer of plane and radio will do when you have to tell the judge “Yes sir I broke federal regulation to save a few bucks”

Some things are just not worth it!
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