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
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
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....
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!
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
comprehensive list of all brands, individual manuals may also be
downloaded for full comparison or email me direct for a full comparison
" 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
For a short form comparison chart=
Hitec OPTIC 6, JR XP6102, Airtronics RD 6000, Super Futaba 7C direct from
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
Hitec also produce the most reasonably priced USB simulator interface cable
which operates FMS, EasyFly, Dave Brown RCFS V4, V5 & 2001 amongst others =
Alan's Hobby, Model & RC Web Links
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.
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.
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.
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.
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
My favorite personal rig at the moment is a JR 8103. I'm going to purchase
the 9303 Tx later this winter.
Thanks to all those who supplied me with very helpful informational
web-sites and your personal help concerning the purchase of a new radio
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
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 -