Futaba 4ex

This radio has been recommened to me for an IOM. Has anyone used one, or know any good or bad pionts about them.

many thanks

Don’t knowwhat the cost is but I think the DX6 is the best buy out there. Lots of comments on windpower and US IOM page.

BS…the Spektrum system though I am very interested in the system is yet not the best…wait a year or so.

Any FM will do fine, PPM or PCM…as long as you have all the controls you want…dual rate, aso…

I am a Futaba guy, but others are good as well

Ah, Wiz, why BS? What are you waiting for, what do you think is not ready yet on the DX6. I know I a very happy with mine as is almost everyone I’ve talked to. The only negative comment I have heard is the diigital trim adjustment which requires you to look at screen rather than feel the postion of the trim wheel. Lots of comments on the US IOM site.

Another issue, I can’t seem to download your photos on your new web site… They start to, then hang up after the first. Also your contact e-mail is not on your site.

Last, I really though the articles you have on bottom care, to wax or not, are very good. I have been bottom sanding now with 1500 grit and am in process of refininshing fin, bulb and rudder with Graphite expoxy,

ps, are you still happy with your ARES?

Almost any radio system (name brand) will work just fine, if it has enough channels to control the boat (two; rudder and sails). There are pros-n-cons about what mode (AM, FM, PCM, whatever) but in general, any of them will work. Same for the band, 27 Mhz, 75 Mhz, or 2.4 Ghz. The lower you go the more restricions channel wise, but that’ll only depend on your local conditions (how many other people operate at the same time).
I think the things to consider are how the radio feels in your hands, the number of channels available (extras always come in handy at times), and price (I’m naturally cheap, you know). After that, it’s more a matter of a ‘Fords/Chevys’ kinda thing. And naturally, friends don’t let friends drive Dodges! :slight_smile:

  • 'Doc

my web seems to work…sorry can’t access right now as I am on vacation in Europe…my email isn’t there anymore…SPAM…you can contact me from here.

It seems the Spektrum system has got a few troubles with the reception ON WATER! It’s not very clear yet, why I am waiting more.

I love the Ares more and more

I use whatever inexpensive 4-channel AM transmitter I can get. Usually, a replacement battery is more expensive than a new transmitter! I don’t have a need for digital trims or the other stuff; just rudder (with trim) and sheeting (with trim), and a basic 2- channel AM receiver. I only use the right stick anyway.

:Like Doc says- use whatever turns you on- you only need two channels for sails & steering.

The Spectrum range problem people refer to I believe is the earlier sprectrum module system and receiver that was built as an add-on to modular radios. The DX6, a competely new system has not had any complains about range for boats that I have read about. It is true that the DX6 does may not have suffient range for larger RC airplanes which is why it is recommended only for park flyers.

Because the Dx6 was designed for aircraft use, it does have sort of a limited range. But then, a 1/2 mile range is kinda short for planes when you think about it. It has some very nice features and I really like mine.

  • 'Doc

PS - If I ever have a boat get 1/2 mile from me, I figure it’s lost anyway. Or it’s in the trunk of someone’s car! (Don’t ask.)

Ok. So is the DX6 the one to go for then. I also have a Seawind and would like to use the same controller for both. Do all of the major brand servos etc plug straight into the DX6’s reciever?

I am not sure, my Futaba’s do. And I am replacing my sail winch with a Hitech 815BB next week. Getting from another club member today. The only strange connection is the battery lead and as I mentioned a “battery plus” store built my new battery and they had the connection. On some other board discussing the DX6 it was stated that Radio Shack had an eight cell holder that fit the Tx.

The point I mentioned earlier about the digital trim may be important, a few of my club members really don’t like it, but is common to all “computer radio”. By the trim I mean all radios have two trim wheels beside the sticks to input minior corrections, usually to offset mechical misalighment, or used by some sailors for minor changes without using the stick. In a non-computer radio the wheels are analog, that is there is a direct correlation between the wheel’s position and the amount of trim. You can feel the amount of trim you are using by the position of the wheel. In a computer radio, the trim wheel is digital and when you input trim onthe wheel, each step of trim is signalled by a beep and the amount of trim is displayed on the screen. As soon as you input a trim order the trim wheel returns to center and the only way you can tell how much trim has been used is to look at the screen.

Me, that doesn’t bother, some sailors it does.

Two other points: The servos that come with the DX6 are worthless in a boat, except maybe a footy. They are very small since the DX6 is really built for lightweigh eletric powered park flyers. Also an extra RX is fairly expensive, $49, but remember there is no crystal cost.

The real value of the DX6 is its frequency/channel freedom, no interference. At the lake I race on although we the sailors control frequency allocation, some power boaters show up and do not coordinate frequencies with us. That pissed me off numerous times and led me to the DX6. Also if and when I visit another club, I don’t have to worry if my frequency will be available.

As mentioned on another site the servo are valuable particularly to glider types and/or park flyers.
They sell easily locally or on rc groups.

Some power boaters seem to think that their boats are independant of the sailors or scale guys, don’t they? I have seen a few of them show up to the sailing lake, set up camp, and start up the boats without asking the sailors. Since they have no conflicts between themselves, they must obviously not be in conflict with anyone else within their 2km radio range! Some even seem to think that the sailors have a lesser priority on any channels they are using too, and because sailboats are ‘non-destructive’ it is their obligation to make room for the power boaters.

Make sure you ask them on the spot to coordinate, as you probably do with your fellow sailors. Don’t forget to have a channel tag or flag on your transmitter. If necessary, contact the Lake’s owner or the club the power boaters belong to to notify them they are probably conflicting, and need to compare radio frequencies any time there is more than one boat onsite.

For R/C Boats the most important factors in buying a radio are (i) sufficient range; (ii) resistance to interferance from other boats sailing and (iii) features.

Generally, stay away from AM radios. They are the most likely to get glitches from other boats. PCM and dual conversion FM radios generally are very good for most sailing applications. At most major IOM races you will competitors using either JR, Futaba or HiTec.

As to features, the more expensive the radio generally the more features you will find. As price goes up, sticks and pots have better feel. On a more expensive radio you can program travel, throw, and even end and middle points. Many people like the ability on computer radios to add throtle curves and dual and exponential rates which on r/c sail boats mean customized sail and rudder travel. More elaborate radios also allow for the programmig of many additional models on a single transmitter.

Finally, as to the Spektrum system. The point here is the system is currently under a year old. It is great in that you don’t need multiple cyrstals to find an available frequency. But the DX6 works better than the original module system first sold by Spektrum which had range issues and the company has announced more, higher performance products yet to come. I also know for a fact that Futaba will be releasing their own version of the spread spectrum system sometime down the road. So for this system, the question is how early do you want to buy into new technology? If you already own conventional equipment, it might be still a little early to buy a DX6. However, a number of competitors at the recent IOM races here in the US were using the DX6 without problems, so as a starter piece, it should be fine. And yes, the Futaba servos plug right into the receiver.

Anybody have any experience with the Airtronics EXZES?

I think there are some very important things to consider about the Spread- Spectrum radios that haven’t been mentioned yet.

One thing is the receiver’s and the servo’s tolerance for water. What if your DX6 receiver gets wet? Will it short out instantly, or spark, or just die quickly? If I had to buy a new radio system once or twice a summer because it got wet, I’d just stay with my trusty AM stuff.

I’m sure there will be inter-brand compatibility, but, like Wis says, not for a while. Probably some support for older servos and such.

I might get some FM stuff one day, and I don’t see any reason for getting away from analog equipment. You give up on true precision when you go to digital.