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Old 07-31-2006, 09:05 AM   #1
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First Radio ?

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Looking to buy my first radio, I checked out the club that I will be joining most of the guys out there use Futaba radios, I was told to get the 6EXAS model, I was wondering if I should look at this model or the next level up 7ch one, should I go PCM or just FM, or look at other models that are compatible, and would serve me for awhile.
Sure could use your help!!! :
Thanks to all that respond.
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Old 07-31-2006, 10:23 AM   #2
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Sparky, you have no idea what a can of worms you open with a post like that! It's like going to the Legion and asking what's better, Ford or Chevy?

About the only strong advice I'd give is to get a computer radio, with a few model memories, dual rates and expo. I'd say 6 channels is probably going to serve you well for awhile unless you plan on getting into gliders or bigger planes with flaps/retracts/spoilers...

Apart from those features, the rest is really up to you. Hitec, Futaba, JR and Airtronics all make good radios, and all are supported well here in Canada.

Some people argue that different makes/models "feel" better in their hands. That's truly subjective and less a functional choice than a personal one.

I use JR radios, but mainly because the first radio I bought was cheap - a secondhand JR XF421. I've since moved up to the XP8103, again more because it was a computer radio available at a good price than need of 8 channels. Also, since I had a bunch of JR receivers, it made sense to stick with JR.

If you want flexibility, HItec radios are shift-selectable, so you can use them with JR/Airtronics receivers as well as Hitec/Futaba. But that's really a non-issue, since you're going to be picking up your receivers anyways - it's not that hard to specify shift when you order one.
Eagles may soar,
but weasels don't get sucked into jet engines.
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Old 07-31-2006, 11:53 AM   #3
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buy the most ya can for the money ya have. futaba is fine. a 9cap looked after will last many many yrs. I have an 8uaf that has lasted 10 plus will do virtually anything ya want as the 9 cap will as well. ya do get what ya pay for. if its not in your hands should be in a case. Jr 9303 same thing fine gear
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Old 07-31-2006, 07:28 PM   #4
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I agree with the first post, This is a very big topic. I have a Hitec Optic 6. I like my radio. Does everything I will and most people will need to get into Rc flying. It will cover all the bases. Plane, Heli and Glider. Good Price $200 with flight pack included. Computer radio with all the major features and more. It is an all around great radio for the money. If you get really into flying and need more features then you can upgrade at that point down the road. I think any more then 6 channels for a new pilot is a waste of money since the extra cash will be handy for upgrades to planes and things needed.
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Old 07-31-2006, 07:52 PM   #5
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I am: Wayne MIller
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Optic 6 - go for it


I agree with Aceplant00, I have an Optic 6 with the selectable channel spectra module as my second radio (my first is a JR 9303), and I like it very much.

Another nice feature that was not mentioned is the selectable shift - you can run any standard FM positive or negative shift receiver - great feature - stored with each model. If I have one thing I would like to see improved is displaying the model name during flying - it only comes up when first turned on, after that, only the model number is displayed.

The price is right for the radio with servos, receiver and batteries. It is also serviced in Canada by HiFlight, who are a great group of people.

Hope this helps.


Wayne Miller
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Old 07-31-2006, 10:04 PM   #6
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I'm afraid i have to disagree with everybody here and say that JR is the only way to go....why? Becuase it's what I fly...therefore it's the best....LOL

Just kidding!

As far as brand goes, just get whatever the local guys in your club are using. I would also recommend getting a 8 ch+ computer radio as it will have more options than you will need for many years to come, unless you plan on getting into scale or giant scale gassers. it will also have a much higher resale value when you go to sell. I have an 8103 JR and i outgrew it about a year ago, but i'm into large scale gassers so i'm trying to get the most out my airframe. The 8103 is somewhat limited in that sense, however i'm that 10% that actually would like to have more features than the 8103 offers.

The Futaba 6ch radio that your club mates recommended will work great unless you want to get into IMAC or scale stuff. Good luck.
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Old 07-31-2006, 11:58 PM   #7
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I vote for you to go with the club. Each club seems to have a favourite radio. If you go out and get something different, it is harder for them to help you program it, can't be used as a buddy box if you want etc, etc.

Brand name doesn't really make a difference. The features are what you look for, and if you go out and get one with too many features, you'll want help from others. 6 channel is nice to start with, but a 4 channel will do your basic stuff. I used a 4 channel for the first 3 years I flew. Flaps on planes were locked in the up position, and I don't have a plane with retracts even now.

It all comes down to what you can afford though.
Michael Gyger
MAAC 58295
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Old 08-01-2006, 08:42 AM   #8
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First Radio ??

Thanks guy`s for your input on this topic, I like the hitic optic 6 or the futaba 6exas for my first radio, sure it will last me for awhile.
And spend the money I save on other supply`s to get started on flying.
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Old 08-01-2006, 09:55 AM   #9
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Sparky, just a lil pointer here

I am an owner of a Futaba 6EXAS and have found the Optic 6 to have a few more features.

Also the Optic 6 does not limit you later on (if you plan on upgrading)to either Futaba or JR. The optic 6 is shift selectable, so it'll work on both futaba as well as JR receivers.

Another good feature is that the Optic 6 can be synthesized. this is not possible on the Futaba 6EXAS.

If i were u, i'd go with the Optic 6
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