Why do Radios range from $30 to $2,000 - RCCanada - Canada Radio Controlled Hobby Forum
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Old 07-23-2012, 10:05 AM   #1
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Why do Radios range from $30 to $2,000

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I am looking for a Radio tx rx for a but am miffed by the radical price differences in 9ch 2.4 ghz. ( Like HobbyKing Turnighy 9x9ch $54. vs Futaba FUTK9256 at $850. )
Yes I am aware that you get what you pay for, but I don't drive a BMW either.

I love quality but where does the quality start and then reach execess in a Radio?


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Old 07-23-2012, 10:17 AM   #2
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Re: Why do Radios range from $30 to $2,000

I agree with you and boy are you going to get a lot of differing opinions on this.
For the most part these itmes are manufactured by the same companies with a different Brand attached. ( Or at least that is what I have seen in other electronic markets.)
Some will use the same chip required but of an inferior quality while others will spare no expense and use only those components that meet thier Quality Control Standards.
Pricing as I see it is governed by what a Brand feels the people will be wiling to pay for thier items and a lot of times people will equate price with quality believeing that the more it cost the better it is. In some cases it may be true.
I could go on and on but it is Only My Opinion on what makes some things more expensive than others when they both do the same thing.
I suppose rather than speculate it would be interesting to hear the thoughts of Two Brands like JR and Futaba and have them explain without any BS what makes thier Radio Better than the other and why the huge price difference.
The problem is that neither would be honest and upfront about the question with out having to do sone serious damage control after the smoke cleared.
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Old 07-23-2012, 10:34 AM   #3
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Re: Why do Radios range from $30 to $2,000

There are a few things to take into account.

The major brands do their own R&T which involves engineers, technicians, trials... etc. This is expensive and the costs have to be recouped. The cheaper radios typically copy the designs of the major brands. Oh they may put the components into a different body but inside they copy the electronics (using lower quality parts).

Then there is quality control, some companies have it, some don't. When you have to reject a certain percentage of radios that don't meet the QC then that cost has to be factored in, when you don't reject anything because you have no QC program (or a mickey mouse one) then you're saving huge costs. Then there's the marketing, sponsorships, warranty... etc. All the costs have to be covered somewhere.

Don't even bother thinking BMW, think Toyota vs. Yugo and you'll be closer.
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Old 07-23-2012, 11:17 AM   #4
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Re: Why do Radios range from $30 to $2,000

I agree with Randy and will add.
I have an earlier Spektrum 7 that I now have 20 airplanes on and just bought another Spektrum 7s for one reason, "model match". I saw a guy wipe out $2,000 worth of airplane because he forgot to move from one airplane he had been flying to another. The controls all worked but ailerons where in reverse and in the excitement he didn't notice the error. He found out the hard way, on take off. I have had two occasions in 5 years when Model Match saved one of my airplanes.
The other point I will make is , living here in Canada where we have to send things out for service or warrantee, shipping back and forth to the USA is far enough for me. I have found the Spektrum quality to be excellent and I have found the service that I have needed, very little, has been the same. I will leave others to discuse the good and bad points of each of the units available. I think I have received my moneys worth, trouble free flying at less than $100 a year on the first ' 7 and expect the same from the second one.
Good luck on your choice. Glenn
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Old 07-23-2012, 11:46 AM   #5
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Re: Why do Radios range from $30 to $2,000

I've had the same experiences as Glenn. Horizon Hobby has excellent customer service and under many cases will repair or provide replacement parts for free or very inexpensively. Although I have never used them, I would expect Airtronics, Futaba, Hitec, etc. to offer very good service as well. You will never get that kind of service from Hobby King... ever.

Radios should be seen as a long term investment. Buy a good one and you'll only buy it once.
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Old 07-23-2012, 01:33 PM   #6
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Re: Why do Radios range from $30 to $2,000

Originally Posted by philipa_240sx View Post
Radios should be seen as a long term investment. Buy a good one and you'll only buy it once.
well said!
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Old 07-23-2012, 02:25 PM   #7
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Thumbs up Re: Why do Radios range from $30 to $2,000

I agree with Philip, you can buy a $100.00 radio but if you crash a $400.00 aeroplane with it then you have just bought yourself a $500.00 radio. Parts & service are a must & you will get that with major brands, I use JR & Horrizon's service is second to none. It is not very hard to invest $1,000.00 in an aeroplane now day's & your radio becomes a very important one time investment. Buy the most expensive radio you can sensibly afford in one of the major brands of your liking.
Good luck in your purchase.
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Old 07-23-2012, 05:18 PM   #8
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Re: Why do Radios range from $30 to $2,000

I agree with you all I had an excellent experience with horizon hobby and love my DX6i they even made it a dsmx for no cost and free shipping. You pay for quality....
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Old 07-26-2012, 08:03 AM   #9
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Re: Why do Radios range from $30 to $2,000

Used to be a time when a person crashed, they blamed the radio. (even if the pilot was a crappy flier... he still blamed the radio)

Since then radio quality has increased steadily to the point where radio failures were non-existant. The only times I have found a "radio" failure caused a crash, it usually ends up the owner didn't install the radio correctly, applied the wrong loads to it, or had damaged it in a prior dumb-thumb moment.

Nowadays, with the proliferation of "Cheap" radios, I have witnessed some unexplained crashes and I have to say, the first thing is suspect is the quality of the cheap radio. They are just not worth it, IMHO.
Redbaron sums it up nicely;
Originally Posted by Redbaron View Post
I agree with Philip, you can buy a $100.00 radio but if you crash a $400.00 aeroplane with it then you have just bought yourself a $500.00 radio.
My advice is buy a good, brand-name radio. JR, Spektrum, Futaba, Hitec or Airtronics.

All the rest are crap IMHO. Like everyone else here has said, buy ONLY 1 good radio and it should give you years and years of reliable service.
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Old 07-26-2012, 09:27 AM   #10
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Re: Why do Radios range from $30 to $2,000

a) some competitors/fliers want the programming functions offered by the high-end radios;
b) some fliers want a reliable radio that they don't have to send in for servicing;
c) some like to own the "best".

I just sold a Futaba 14MZ; the owner loves it.
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