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Expensive radio worth it?

Sea

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Hi all, I've been in the hobby for about a year and a half, and have decided to build an MT410 with my daughter to add to the RTRs we currently have.

My question is this: we almost exclusively bash our vehicles on rough terrain, and I'm wondering if I need to get an expensive radio for the new build, vs something cheap like the tactic I've been using that came with my Kraton?

More specifically, is the extra $150 for a Futaba going to make a $150 difference in handling?

What would you all recommend if you were budget minded?

Thanks!
 

jason.g

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I got my first mt410 over a year ago and just getting back into RC after many years away. Started with just a low end Spektrum dx2e active. I think it is 70 bucks tx and Rx. Works just fine ...probably similar in specs to the tactic you already have. My suggestion is if you are watching the build budget to spend more for a good steering servo...making sure it is at least 350oz-in torque. Savox 1270tg is what I run. There are better spec/more expensive out there...but it has serviced the mt410 well so.far and unlike my tx/Rx choice, I would not consider the servo a low end unit.
 

christian402

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I’ve read the expensive radios are better if you plan to race or bash in larger groups. I got one simply because I live near a track and hope to get into that more so.
 

Slevin

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There is no need for a fancy tx for bashing. I bought a Futaba 3PV for around $80 used. No need for anything more unless you really want one. If I were racing then that’d be a different story.
 

TBuggy

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Even if I never wanted to race and only bash I would get a radio that can be used for all of my cars. I like having one radio and not needing a different one for ever car.
 

Sea

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I got my first mt410 over a year ago and just getting back into RC after many years away. Started with just a low end Spektrum dx2e active. I think it is 70 bucks tx and Rx. Works just fine ...probably similar in specs to the tactic you already have. My suggestion is if you are watching the build budget to spend more for a good steering servo...making sure it is at least 350oz-in torque. Savox 1270tg is what I run. There are better spec/more expensive out there...but it has serviced the mt410 well so.far and unlike my tx/Rx choice, I would not consider the servo a low end unit.

Thanks, I've been finding this advice from others in my research as well, and I'll definitely get a good servo.

I’ve read the expensive radios are better if you plan to race or bash in larger groups. I got one simply because I live near a track and hope to get into that more so.

This is what I was thinking as well. Unfortunately no tracks near me, in fact RCs are banned from most all the skate parks and city parks in my area...

There is no need for a fancy tx for bashing. I bought a Futaba 3PV for around $80 used. No need for anything more unless you really want one. If I were racing then that’d be a different story.

Do you know how the 3PV would compare performance wise to something like the Tactic? What does it give you tuning wise? I've never played with one, and it looks like they're about $129 new.

Even if I never wanted to race and only bash I would get a radio that can be used for all of my cars. I like having one radio and not needing a different one for ever car.

I see the benefit in this approach, definitely be nice to really have a good feel for the rx regardless of vehicle, as they do respond differently. Problem for me is we're usually running 4-5 cars at once with the kids and friends, so I would have to have a number of expensive radios. How hard is it to switch back and forth between 2 radios on a single car - Say I had a high quality rx that only I used, but let the others play with the same cars with their respective cheap radios?
 

TBuggy

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I see the benefit in this approach, definitely be nice to really have a good feel for the rx regardless of vehicle, as they do respond differently. Problem for me is we're usually running 4-5 cars at once with the kids and friends, so I would have to have a number of expensive radios. How hard is it to switch back and forth between 2 radios on a single car - Say I had a high quality rx that only I used, but let the others play with the same cars with their respective cheap radios?

You would just have to bind your receiver and calibrate your radio every time you switch cars, instead of just select a different model on your radio. I totally understand what you are saying about getting the kids driving all at the same time and then in that case cheap ones may be better for your case.

Another nice thing about a radio that has a few more features would be that you can dial back the end points. So when you hand the radio of a car that may be a little over powered for the level of driver you gave it to, you can set it back to be more "controllable" for that driver.
 

WoodiE

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More specifically, is the extra $150 for a Futaba going to make a $150 difference in handling?

What would you all recommend if you were budget minded?
In my opinion, without a doubt Futaba is worth it.

I've owned a ton of different radio systems and my Futaba 4PL is by far favorite radio to date.

It's incredibly easy to program, tune, read/see display. It's very light and when you use a LiFe battery back it's lighter still and has an insane battery life. The range is insane. The balance and feel of the radio is unlike any other radio I've used.

My last radio was a Spektrum radio and I was running it with a 1/5th scale RC. I had range and issues with it cutting out. I guess the larger RC and vibrations was causing havoc for it. Replaced it with my 4PLS and never had another issue.

If you have the money, then I would for sure recommend checking out the Futaba 4PLS or Futaba 4PV. If you're looking for spend less than $200 and still get a nice upgrade then that's still do-able with the Futaba 3PV.
 

austinzippy

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We’ve moved to the Flysky GT5, really nice multi-car feature and 6 channels. We use the extra channel with analog knob to control our castle mamba ESC secondary control (power for the kids) output I don’t think I’d ever consider something else at this point.
 

Billl DeLong

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For a basher, I feel that most budget computer systems will do just fine, however the higher quality name brands ten to offer better precision and smoother control. Most bashers could careless about how smooth the feel is, and it's not something you can tell until after you use a quality system for a while then switch back to a budget system, then it's like WOW how did I ever drive with that budget system like that!

The older FlySky systems left me very disappointed for too many reasons than I care to list, just please trust me on this... I have not tested the newer GT5 but I don't like the way the swivel steering wheel can't be physically locked and that alone would be a deal breaker for me.

Of the nearly dozen budget brand systems I have owned over the years, the one that has impressed me the most is Radiolink, it's very smooth and I have been able to get the same 98%+ consistency on my lap times when I have used it as a backup radio when I have had to send my high end system in for service in the past.

If I were to invest in a higher quality Futaba, I would pass on the 3PV simply because it lacks "steering speed" adjustment, I would rather spend about the same money on a used 4PLS instead. This will become more important when you invest in a quality servo which will more than likely be faster than your reaction time can handle. General rule of thumb is to invest in a servo between 0.08 - 0.12 sec/60° but everyone's reaction time is different so there's no way to say specifically which servo is right for you. That're where having a radio with steering speed adjustment can tailor fit any fast servo to your optimal reaction time, where as you grow older, you will need slower steering response, etc.

Another brand to stay away from is Spektrum, I have seen compatibility issues with the steering speed feature on their systems not working with very many brands of servos :(
 
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Fnfancy

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I'll drop my opinion for any that care to read. Given the OPs description of circumstances, we are very much in the same boat. I too involve my child, son and daughter in my case, and also hand controls over to their friends, having as many as six cars being thrashed at once. I live off of tactic ttx300 radios, they are relatively cheap (around 50 bucks), offer a range I haven't found the end of, are very robust (read can be dropped by children) and, in my opinion, worth every cent. I refuse to be that dad that cringes when my child, or friend, drives almost any one of my trucks. In a hobby that is appealing to adults as well as kids, if you plan on sharing this hobby with children you have to invest in things that won't make you cry when they break! Don't get me wrong, I have two trucks that only my son or I can operate, the mt410 being one of them, but neither one has an expensive radio. Why, because my son still uses it, he's ten and likes to try and run up skate park bowls or bmx ramps and nine times outtakes ten, the TX goes flying. Well, that was long winded. Too long, didn't read: if children are involved don't bother with a nice expensive radio!
 

austinzippy

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The older FlySky systems left me very disappointed for too many reasons than I care to list, just please trust me on this... I have not tested the newer GT5 but I don't like the way the swivel steering wheel can't be physically locked and that alone would be a deal breaker for me.

:(

GT5 is pretty simple, nothing fancy on the swivel - it's fixed. The RC Network guy liked it a lot, so I tried it and decided I liked it better than our cheap futabas.
 

Billl DeLong

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GT5 is pretty simple, nothing fancy on the swivel - it's fixed. The RC Network guy liked it a lot, so I tried it and decided I liked it better than our cheap futabas.

I stand corrected, it's the Fly Sky NB4 that I was concerned with the swivel steering option that doesn't lock
 
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Sea

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Thanks for all the thoughtful replies everyone. Having never used a high quality radio, I guess I don't know what I'm missing. Sounds like I'll need to try it, but it may have to wait till the financial bite of this build wears off a little.
 

Budman

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if your gonna race their are benefits of better gear, but for playing around in the back yard their is no need. I just recently used a fellow racers raido post transmitter it seemed really nice and does everything you need race or bash 100$
 

WackyMacky

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Sea,
I'm in the same boat, 3-boys 5, 7 & 10. My three boys use the cheaper $30 Flysky GTE, for throttle control I put spacer behind the throttle so those little hands can't just send it easily ( also adjusted speed with pinion & spur combo's).
I ended up with the GT5 for the exact reason you mention I little all my boys drive my cars, it allows me to set the EPA throttle on the fly and slow down the steering. I also don't cringe when they drop it (which they have). My ten year old will be getting a GT5 on his birthday.
 

TBuggy

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Sea,
I'm in the same boat, 3-boys 5, 7 & 10. My three boys use the cheaper $30 Flysky GTE, for throttle control I put spacer behind the throttle so those little hands can't just send it easily ( also adjusted speed with pinion & spur combo's).
I ended up with the GT5 for the exact reason you mention I little all my boys drive my cars, it allows me to set the EPA throttle on the fly and slow down the steering. I also don't cringe when they drop it (which they have). My ten year old will be getting a GT5 on his birthday.

I like the spacer idea for the kids! Simple but affective!
 

Bennie98

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I bought myself a Graupner X-8N secondhand for 100€. Well worth the money. They sell them normally for 259€. But, the handling is something I never had with any other transmitter.
You can adjust the steering and throttle hardness. And you can adjust the lever for the width of your fingers as well.
But I had my doubts as well to buy an expensive radio before I saw this one on a second hand website. If not I would have bought the Sanwa MT-S, which you can get for around 179€. Should be ideal as well. :)
 

Gizmo

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+1 (y) for the Graupner X-8N!
I also bought it used and I am really happy with it. For me it is the same step up in driving feel as I had when I switched from Arrma to Tekno.
It just feels one or two classes better.
 
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