Spektrum or Futaba 2.4 gh radio?

Before I invest in my f1rst radio system, I would appreciate some input. I am a beginner, and, at 62, don't see myself
going beyond sport flying. My plan is to start with slow, park fliers. Perhaps later I might move up in size and performance, but for car space reasons, to no more than a .40 size aircraft. I also want to use the TX with the G3 simulator. I have definitely decided on a 2.4 gh system. There are three available:
The new Futaba radio at $219.99.... http://www2.towerhobbies.com/cgi-bin/wti0001p?&W 1314955&I=LXPZT8&P=K
The DX-6 park flier system from Spektrum at $199.99 http://www.spektrumrc.com/Articles/Article.aspx?ArticleID 35
The DX-7 system from Spektrum at $399.99 http://www.spektrumrc.com/Articles/Article.aspx?ArticleID 24&Page=1
My questions are: 1. What are the key differences between the Futaba and the DX-7? 2. In a full sized radio, is the DX-7 worth the extra $ compared to Futaba? 3. With the proper servos, is there adequate range to the DX-6 to safely sport fly a .40 sized airplane?
TIA
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| I also want to use the TX with the G3 simulator.
G3 comes with a perfectly fine controller of it's own -- you don't need to pick a radio that is compatible with it, though they can all be made to work.
| The DX-7 system from Spektrum at $399.99 | http://www.spektrumrc.com/Articles/Article.aspx?ArticleID 24&Page=1
Actually, it's $350 rather than $400.
| My questions are: | 1. What are the key differences between the Futaba and the | DX-7?
Well, they work differently internally.
The DX7 has a lot more computer radio features than the Futaba -- more mixing, better display, etc.
The DX7 comes with digital servos. The FASST system comes with none.
The DX7 has more channels (7 vs 6) though you probably won't need all of them.
| 2. In a full sized radio, is the DX-7 worth the extra $ | compared to Futaba?
Depends on if you need the extra computer radio features. You might not for your first plane, but your second might.
| 3. With the proper servos, is there adequate range to the | DX-6 to safely sport fly a .40 sized airplane?
Spektrum says no. Though it's not just about range -- they're also worried that the big engine could block the signal even if the plane isn't too far away.
--
Doug McLaren, snipped-for-privacy@frenzied.us Many are cold, but few are frozen.

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Many are cold, but few are

One other point to consider is that the DX7 (which is down to $339 at Horizon now.) needs two receivers tied together, but Futaba advertises their system only uses one.
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Many are cold, but few are

I own a DX7 and to me the two outstanding features are "Model Match" and "Servo Sync", in that order. Nearly everyone who has a computer radio will attest to at least once having chosen the wrong model on their transmitter and consequently crashed or seriously damaged their model. Servo Sync is extremely useful for R/C helicopters employing Collective/Cyclic/Pitch/Mixing (CCPM).
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One thing to remember is: you are restricted to "only the brand and type receiver that comes with the system" You will not be able to purchase and use a Hitec receiver with a Futaba. The receivers are quite a bit more expensive than standard ones.
Many are cold, but few are

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| One thing to remember is: you are restricted to "only the brand and type | receiver that comes with the system" You will not be able to purchase and | use a Hitec receiver with a Futaba.
(I'll assume that you're talking about spread spectrum gear. And if so, you're correct.)
| The receivers are quite a bit more expensive than standard ones.
Not that much.
Spead spectrum :
Spektrum AR7000 = 7 channel, $100. Spektrum AR6100 = 6 channel, park flier, $50. Futaba R606FS = 6 channel, $90 XPS 6 ch park flier = $60 XPS 8 ch = $100
72 Mhz :
Hitec Fusion = 9 channel, synthesized, $100 Futaba R148DF = 8 channel, crystal, $100 Futaba R148DP = 8 channel, PCM, crystal, $130 Futaba 146iP = 6 channel, PCM, crystal, park flier, $80 Futaba R319DPS = 9 channel, PCM, synthesized, $180 Hitec Electron 6 = 6 channel, crystal, $55 Multiplex Mini DS IPD = 9 channel, synthesized, $93 Hitec HFS-05MS = 5 channel, crystal, park flier = $30
Considering that all of the spread spectrum gear basically has the same features of PCM receivers, and doesn't need to mess with crystals at all (so you probably should compare to synthesized receivers), the price difference really isn't that big once you stop looking at the low end receivers.
For example, the Futaba RX generally meant for 0.40 sized glow planes is the 148DF, at $100. To be fair, you can same some money by getting a Hitec RX, but not that much.
The SS gear is way cheaper than synthesized PCM gear.
--
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After their numbers dwindled from 50 to 8, the other dwarves began to
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| One other point to consider is that the DX7 (which is down to $339 at | Horizon now.)
Where? http://www.horizonhobby.com/Products/Default.aspx?ProdID=SPM2710 still says $349.99.
Oh, I see -- http://www.horizonhobby.com/Products/Default.aspx?ProdID=SPM2720 is $339.99, but that's with mini non digital servos and the park flier RX.
| needs two receivers tied together, but Futaba advertises their system only | uses one.
The Spektrum AR7000 RX is tiny, even when all combined. The pictures make it look big, but if you look at it, it's tiny. 13 grams total.
The Futaba R606FS RX (which comes with the FASST 6EX) is 10 grams.
For a park flier, you can get the AR6100 for the DX7 and it's only 3.5 g.
For comparison, Futaba's venerable (and discontinued) R127DF RX is 40 grams.
Considering that the original poster wants a 0.40 sized plane, I don't think 3 extra grams from the AR7000 would really be a problem.
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I have been kicking this around lately. I'm an Electronics Tech and Engineering Tech ( Elect) for lots of years. I've been keeping an eye on the various SS technologies available.
Futaba's system is a frequency-hopper. IOW, it changes frequencies within the band to establsh the link between Tx and Rx. This probably increases the latency. (time between when you move the stick and when the servo moves), but no big deal. Futaba's radio has two antennae, located perpendicular to one another and separated a bit. Futaba has only one Rx on the market announced. My take is that they're rushing to catch up.
Spectum started out with a park flyer system with limited range; probably because of Tx low power output and a short antenna that could be masked by masses in the model, at long range. The new DX7 Spectrum radios transmits on two freqs in the band and use two Rx & antenaes to get frequency redundancy.
Futaba sells the Tx and Rx for $210. Spectrum Sells the Tx, RX, servos, switch, battery and servos for $350.
It depends on what you want.
CR
.
BCRandy wrote:

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Very helpful responses - thanks to all. I'm going to go with the DX-7 - it has more features and offers more flexibility in the long run and, as pointed out, the cost isn't really that different. I'll pick up the small RX for my park flyer.
One final question.... Can different brands and models of servos be used with the DX-7? I don't see why not, but would like a little reassurance.

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So far, yes. Once the RX decodes the TX output, the communication with the servos follows the industry standard.
You may already be familiar with the differences between the plastic housings on the servo leads (Futaba, JR, Airtronics). I think there has been a move to the "Z connector" (based on the JR design?) which makes it easier to mix brands of servos without having to modify the housings.
                Marty
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Go for the AR6100 instead of the AR6000... It is DSM2 capable (the latest Spektrum), and it is nice and small. However, AR6000 works with both DX6 and DX7. AR6100 is DX7 only.

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I'm down at SEFF this week and there are many DX7s, DX6s, and even a few of the Xtreme Links systems in evidence. I'm flying my DX7 with all three RX models(Ar6000,6100,7000) with no problems, on everything from a Slow Stick, Sr. Telemaster, and a LMR Electric Glider. I've had the glider close to specked out with no problems...
PCPhill

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