Air Radio Systems

I've been out of the RC circuit since 1973. My family is grown and I single
again. The hobby has grown into the computer age and beyond imagination.
Which is the best Air Radio system between 'JR' and Futaba? Your opinion
and WHY?
Example of choice: If you have a Futaba, can you use a second AirPack of the
'JR' brand with the Futaba, or vice versa.
Earl Of Troy snipped-for-privacy@Scherzinger.org
'AMA' #40329
Reply to
Earl Scherzinger
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Hi Earl,
I have computer radios from HiTec and Futaba. I prefer my Futabas. Though they have similar features, I get an impression of higher quality from the Futabas. If I were shopping for my first computer radio right now, I'd be giving the JR radios a long look. From what I've noticed in recent advertising, some appear to be an excellent value.
I don't believe you could make a bad choice between the Futaba or JR brands. As for compatability, I don't think you can use a JR Air Pack with a Futaba transmitter or vice-versa. You can buy HiTec Flight Packs with shift-adjustable receivers that will work with either of those brands of transmitters, I believe. I'm sure someone with more experience will set you straight on this as the thread progresses.
I guess life is pretty good when it's hard to pick between two brands because they both are so capable and have such excellent reputations....
Good flying, desmobob
Reply to
Robert Scott
JR and Futaba have opposite "shift" and will not work with each other, period. (excluding one new JR rx) They seem to have taken the position that they don't want you to be able to use each other's equipment. Many other brands, Hitec, Multiplex, Polk, etc allow you to select the TX shift so you could use any FM RX with them.
As to which is better, they're both excellent and the two camps will each have a hundred reasons why theirs is better. Go with the one you'll have the easiest time finding parts and service in your area.
Good Luck and welcome back to RC!
PCPhill
Reply to
PCPhill
Best value for the dollar IMHO are Hitec RCD which brand dominate the receiver and servo market. Transmitters are only up to 7 channels. Above 7 channels, then I suggest you look at Multiplex, Futaba and JR. I have no hesitation in using either of my Eclipse 7 or Optic 6 to control 1/4 & 1/3 scale as well as Park & Indoor models. - The only transmitters for which I do not have to find my reading glasses or a magnifying glass to read the screens and the most user friendly programming. The Eclipse is the only known TX on which software is upgradeable, when upgrades are available, without buying a complete new TX.
For further details please refer to: "Radio Systems, Accessories, Alterations and FAQ" at Alan's Hobby, Model & RC Web Links
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comprehensive list of all brands, individual manuals may also be downloaded for full comparison or email me direct for a full comparison (excel) " Eclipse vs Optic vs FF6 vs 9CAP vs RD600 vs JR652 vs JR3810 (8103)". This sheet has been sent to many viewers worldwide and no errors reported todate.
For a short form comparison chart= Hitec OPTIC 6, JR XP6102, Airtronics RD 6000, Super Futaba 7C direct from =
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Hitec TX are shift selectable and can be used with any JR or Futaba receiver/servo pack. Fully compatible as a buddy system with Futaba transmitters (using the Hitec trainer cable is preferred - refer to
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Hitec also produce the most reasonably priced USB simulator interface cable which operates FMS, EasyFly, Dave Brown RCFS V4, V5 & 2001 amongst others =
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regards Alan T. Alan's Hobby, Model & RC Web Links
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Reply to
A.T.
Earl: Another factor to consider is this: Customer support. While there's little doubt as to quality of the major brands, I have found Hitec's customer support to be 'waaay above and beyond. Beyond belief, in this day and age. For instance, I sent in an out-of-warranty receiver for repair, stating up front that it had been in a crash. They sent a brand new receiver, totally free and post paid. I've heard similar accounts from other people about Hitec. Needless to say they will be my exclusive brand of choice when buying anything in RC avionics. Bill(oc)
Reply to
Bill Sheppard
I once sent Duke Fox a .36X that had been plowed into concrete with a U-Reely handle mishap (I used it). He sent me a new engine with no bill. I was in the USAF at the time and it really impressed me.
Over a decade later I sent him a Fox Eagle .60 that I had played "incoming" with in a very dry and hard field of corn. Not having an APO address, I fully expected to pay near the price of a new engine. Instead he charged me 50% of the price of a new discounted engine. I think the only remaining piece of my old engine was the cylinder head, which he had cleaned up and bolted on the new engine. Fantastic service.
I have had similar experiences with Hitec and Magnum. That kind of treatment makes a lasting impression on a person.
All of the radios available today with a brand name sticker on them are great. You won't go wrong buying JR, Futaba or Hitec.
Ed Cregger
Reply to
Ed Cregger
The best are not just between JR and Futaba. Airtronics, Hitec and Multiplex, to name a few, all produce excellent radio systems. I have flown with all but Multiplex and all of them provided reliable, feature-rich experiences. You pick the one that meets your needs and is within your budget and forget the brand snobbery.
Reply to
Paul McIntosh
Hi Earl, IMHO, A comprehensive eval between JR and Futaba would result in a tie. I fly JR because I actually can feel the difference - *really*:). About four years ago I returned to the hobby after a 20 year absence. I started hanging out at a LHS and literally spent a few hours fondling JR and Futaba Xmtrs. I played with the JR 10X, 8103 and the two top Futaba models. In the end I chose The JR 8103 because it actually felt better in my hands. I actually coveted the 10X but I couldn't justify spending that amount of loot on a *dedicated* radio. Since then I have spent time flying a buddies birds with his Futaba Xmtrs. My JRs just seem to fit better. BTW, I sold my 8103 and bought the 9303 - love it. My advice is to hang out at the local field and choose the radio most prevalent - as long as it feels good.
Reply to
Ed Forsythe
Earl, Take a look at this new radio system.
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SPEKTRUM DX6 is new on the RC market, but I heard its great for indoor and busy rc club fields.
I do not have one myself, but will get it after the 1st to try.
Dan
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Reply to
TrueRC
I don't know how I could have forgotten Airtronics. I flew one of their rigs for a year or two and it was flawless in its operation.
I have never used Multiplex equipment, so I can't comment on that from a personal perspective.
My favorite personal rig at the moment is a JR 8103. I'm going to purchase the 9303 Tx later this winter.
Ed Cregger
Reply to
Ed Cregger
Thanks to all those who supplied me with very helpful informational web-sites and your personal help concerning the purchase of a new radio system.
It was a tossup between these three: JR XP 8103 PCM $399 Futaba 7CAP PCM $300 JR XP 6102 PCM $300
I was close to ordering a JR 8103 PCM before Christmas, but Horizon posted it as 'out of stock'. On the other hand, Tower Hobbies doesn't handle 'JR'. However, they do have a wide variety of brand radios. Strange, but Horizon and Tower Hobbies are BOTH located in Champaign Illinois. I can buy 'JR' or Futaba in our local hobby shop, but they add a State tax (7%) to my purchase. If I buy thru the mail, (no tax) saving about $21.00. Tower Hobbies has FREE shipping to members, if your purchase is high enough. They also give discounts! They're a tough competitor! All of this makes the Futaba 7CAP PCM very inviting from Tower Hobbies.
I have a couple months to decide, so in the meantime I'm going to give the other brands a good 'look-see' (a slang expression).
Thanks again to everybody for all your input. I'll keep watching for additional information.
Earl Scherzinger AMA #40329
Reply to
Earl Scherzinger
For that little bit of difference, I'd sure support my local shop, or they may not be there the next time you need them.
Reply to
St. John Smythe
Hi Earl, Please go to your LHS and play/fondle the 8103 and the 7CAP. make sure the sticks are set to the same length and dry-fly for 10 or 15' *then* make your selection. Please let me/us know which you selected and why - Good luck -
Reply to
Ed Forsythe

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