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HomeRC & PowerAircraftHelicopterRadio - Futaba FASST › I'm having to reluctantly change to JR after 20 years.
04-05-2009 03:36 PM  9 years agoPost 41
Bell Bloke

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UK

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Well guys we did the tests today and I have to say I am very shocked and kind of disapointed too.
We have videoed the test and I will post it once it is edited for clarity.
The test was a Futaba 35mhz vs Futaba 2.4 vs JR 2.4
Each system was put on 3 identical turbine helicopters in what we believed to be the best set-up.
Each system was tested in good dry conditions in a very flat Norfolk, England.
Each 2.4 system puts out 100mw and not the more powerful American 200mw signal.
All tests were done back to back at the same time in the same conditions.
So here is what we found:

The Futaba 2.4 is far more resilient to being 'blocked' or 'screened' by the turbine and by large lumps of metal than I had thought it would be. It copes very well in any orientation infact and although it is orientation is more critical when at the limit of it's range it is none the less far far better than I was lead to believe.

The old Futaba 35mhz performed 1/3rd better than the Futaba 2.4 radio, this was slightly surprising because you always think technology is going to give you more, but not surprising since I had heard that 2.4 is very directional and is supposed to be more line of sight....kind of...

Inspite of the new 2.4 Futaba being 1/3rd shorter on range than the old 35mhz Futaba. I found that the way the 2.4 Futaba system performed was far more progressive than the 35mhz system.
Basically what I mean by this is that the 2.4 system does not just shut you out and go into failsafe like the 35mhz does. What it does is go notchy and slightly stuttery long before an actual failsafe situation. This I have to say I like, because it gives you some warning of impending trouble and for that alone I would rather have it over the 35mhz in spite of it's shorter range.

So now the moment you have all been waiting for....'Drum Roll'

How did that bloody horrible, rubbishy unprogrammable JR set do.
Well firstly I have to say that I am used to having all my engine system switches on the right hand side. With the Futaba you can program and set your switches to do what ever you want, but can you with the JR..... can you hell.... it's a right pain in the A$$ to get those switches 'tricked' into doing what I want them to do. But via some very creative switch mixing that had me wanting to drive my car over the damn thing I got there in the end at the expense of an idle up.
THAT SAID!!!
HOW DID IT PERFORM???!
Well I have to tell you I am gob smacked, the JR set, totally out performed both the Futaba 2.4 and even the Futaba 35mhz set, and not by a bit, but by more than double the range!!
Now I am writing this through gritted teeth because, I am now totally sold on this JR set, and this means that we are going to have to learn to get along, because I am not giving it back now.
However not only did it out perform the Futaba, it also remained faultlessly smooth throughout, even in any orientation and even when at it's limits.
As you would expect with all those little aerials on it, the JRs range is totally unaffected by orientation and this is another deciding factor for me.
Finally the Big Bonus!!
Yes the JR set has a data logging system that records receiver signal strength during operation, a kind of 'black box' recorder for radio. I see this as a master stroke for the seriously 'Thorough' 'Picky' or 'Paranoid' flyer such as myself because it gives the only true feedback you will ever get as to the true health of your radio set-up, and for me that's something I've been wanting for more that 10 years and now I have it!!

Couple of final things to add to the mix...
In all of the tests Will and I were in contact with each other via our mobile phones which run at 900mhz. None of the radios even at the limits of their abilities were affected by this even when the handsets were placed simultaneously inches from both transmitter and receiver at range.
Also during the JR test, I also placed the switched on Futaba 2.4 set at point blank range along with my active cell phone on 900mhz and Will with his cell phone at 900mhz inches from the JR transmitter whilst he was more than a mile away and...not a single glitch!! This was unbelievably impressive and really showed us how absolutely bulletproof this JR radio link seems to be.

So what about Futaba are they an also ran? Well I have to say that for anybody out there flying Jets, Turbine Helis, or anything else for that matter, the Futaba 2.4 is perfectly fine and will never I'm sure have any range issues, ever. It certainly copes really well with having 'only' 1 receiver and orientation range is very stable.
BUT if you are paranoid like me and you have to have the best then right now the JR in my opinion is just totally 'out there!' Fantastic!! The best by far on range and features. As for reliability? Well only time will tell but both Futaba and JR have probably had their equel share of problems in the past, but for my sake I hope they are over that now.
So I'm converting to JR for now....
But I still hate the JR programming!

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04-05-2009 04:39 PM  9 years agoPost 42
Silvashadow

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Kent, UK

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Totally accept your findings. However just been told of some problems last week at the Charmouth fly-in that you may wish to investigate regarding JR performance on a crowded site.

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04-05-2009 06:06 PM  9 years agoPost 43
Bell Bloke

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UK

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Look I feel slightly bad about this result as I first posted this in the Futaba section.
I suppose in my heart of hearts I thought that they might turn out to be nearly the same range wise and that the JR data logger would be the deciding factor for me.
However like it or not, for me it is what it is and I can't get past that now. My hope is that Futaba will rise to the challange and come up with something better. Only time will tell.

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04-05-2009 07:04 PM  9 years agoPost 44
nivlek

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Norfolk England

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It is nice to be able to plug the logger in and verify that everything is as it should be . The only thing that the logger doesn't do that I think it should is to record the lowest battery voltage during flight . Reading the current voltage isn't half as interesting !

At the end of the day , it gets dark .

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04-05-2009 07:12 PM  9 years agoPost 45
greenboot

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Marblehead, OH

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I'm not sure what the point is when all radios worked to a suitable range. What did the helicopter look like at that distance? Could you possibly have controlled it visually? Additional range beyond what we fly is not a factor in my opinion. If Airtronics had a 10 mile range, would you be dumping the JR stuff?
I agree the data logging is a nice feature.

Tom

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04-05-2009 07:54 PM  9 years agoPost 46
Barney

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Inverness Scotland

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Very interesting results. Look forward to the rest of your findings especially the ranges you were achieving.

Interestingly my Dx7 and Futaba 12FG 2.4 one DSX9, one JR9X2 with SpeKtrum Module range check almost identically at 80m +.

We also have a 10X and a 2nd 9X2 on SpeKtrum a 2nd Dx7, DSX9 that range check 30 paces..JUST!

Now before you say they are not performing correctly the 10X (virtually brand new..6 flights old), and 9X2 were returned for servicing and the new SpeKtrum module was exchanged with exactly the same results. All these Radio's and modules etc are UK sourced through the usual outlets and none of them have experienced any range issues in flight.

About the Module Failsafes.

Not 100% on this but if your a SpeKtrum Module user as far as I am aware when you bind the system this also stores the Failsafe settings into the RX still giving you a failsafe even though the TX outputs a PPM signal to the module.

Nivlek you can use a DC-UP to log the inflight lowest voltage but it would be a nice addition to a logger.

SPARTANRC Team pilot

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04-05-2009 08:36 PM  9 years agoPost 47
Four Stroker

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Atlanta

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Bell Bloke What were these ranges that you speak of ? You haven't quoted any numbers !

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04-05-2009 10:42 PM  9 years agoPost 48
Bell Bloke

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UK

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The ground range of the JR 2.4 was 1 mile, the Futaba 2.4 was 0.4 mile and the Futaba 35mhz was 0.5 mile. It must be noted that this is a ground range and I so would expect all of the sets to do rather better in the air given that our test had various trees and hedges in the way of the signal although each system test as I said was under the same conditions.
Greenboot asked me if I could see a model from 0.4 miles well the answer is I could man standing in a field from 0.4 miles away but their is no way I could see to 'control' a model from that kind of range. However radio waves are a funny thing and range can be shortened by all kinds of stuff, ie wet ground, a tree nearby, power or coms cables buried under your feet, other radio signals etc, etc. With a good strong signal, you are better protected from a swamp or fade signal situation.

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04-05-2009 11:41 PM  9 years agoPost 49
Barney

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Inverness Scotland

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Very good info indeed Bell bloke. As a matter of interest did you also do a check on the reduced power(range check output)?

SPARTANRC Team pilot

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04-06-2009 12:54 AM  9 years agoPost 50
human213

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malibu

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Bell Gratis
The one thing I have as a habit when flying is super long
passes and turn arounds...it has become a joke at the field, but it is
part of the fun for me...

Thanks for this data, as no one else has bothered.
For me, since my exhaustive range testing has always put things
nicely for even my super long style, I am going to stick with my fx-40...

Programming, and the euro style transmitter, software, and switch moving made it not even a contest for me,as the link works in all my flight scenarios flawlessly.

That said, since the theoretical design and true hopping of the futaba
lends enormous technical benefit, I would like to see that effected
in an even greater range to cover noisy rf situations, etc. in our
real world testing.

Thanks Bell for your fine work; Futaba engineers, listening?

michael

Not everything that can be counted counts, and not everything that counts can be counted.

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04-06-2009 03:31 AM  9 years agoPost 51
Bell Bloke

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UK

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Many thanks folks, this test was for my peace of mind because I needed to know if there was a differance and if so which was the best one to get. Well now I know....for now anyway.
Barney, well funny you should say that but actually I've not done a reduced range check, but I will and let you know the outcome. However it may be that JR or Futaba reduce their powers by differant anouts for the reduced check so I don't feel that it will mean much in the real world if you get my meaning.
As for the future, well lets hope Futaba are watching....

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04-07-2009 09:35 PM  9 years agoPost 52
MattJen

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UK

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Interesting test Bell,

After weighing up all info i am still gonna go for the 10C, and remain with Futaba, as i only fly out at most 300feet, not even a 1/4 of the distances you do... so for my style of flying Futaba suits me..

Really interesting thread..

Matt

All The Best

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04-07-2009 09:47 PM  9 years agoPost 53
Wingman77

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Pulaski Tennessee

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I took an electric airplane with a spektrum micro reciever out 3500 feet a couple times and it still had solid reception.

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04-07-2009 11:15 PM  9 years agoPost 54
MattJen

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UK

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how did you know you had good reception ?
Did you have a data logger on to see you had no hits at that distance ?

Just interested... as that would have been right on its limits

Matt

All The Best

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04-08-2009 01:32 AM  9 years agoPost 55
DS 8717

rrProfessor

Here wishing i was somewhere else

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Dont need a data logger,the lights will blink on the reciever if you lost connection.

YOU ONLY LIVE ONCE..IF YOU LIVE IT RIGHT THATS ALL YOU NEED

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04-08-2009 10:40 AM  9 years agoPost 56
Bell Bloke

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UK

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I was looking at both, very clever system.... Come on Futaba lets see you go one better, that would be great!

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04-09-2009 10:58 PM  9 years agoPost 57
DougV

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Miramar, Florida - USA (Ft. Lauderdale)

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Hi guys, FWIW

About a year ago, I did this long range test with the FASST system using a 7C/R607FS set, and it was solid up to 1.2 miles. Now after seeing Bell’s test I said to myself maybe I’m wrong and I had too much beer that day, so I did the test again.

Using a TM-14/6014FS and 7C 2.4/R617FS, I left my friend there with the cell phone and the 2 receivers, all green so I located both radios on the passenger seat of my car and started driving. This is a long straight road with few trees around. At 0.7 miles the 6014 went red and at 1.1 miles the 617 started to go red/green.

It seems to me that the 7 channel rx’s has a longer range than the 6014’s, maybe next week I’ll test my DX7/AR7000.

Now... how the heck this guys managed to get 2.3 miles?
http://www.mfv-marbach.ch/index.php...2fg-24ghz-fasst

Regards,
Doug.

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04-10-2009 01:03 AM  9 years agoPost 58
Bell Bloke

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UK

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I know for certain that weather conditions and terrain have everything to do with range on the day. That is why we did our tests within minutes of each other t be sure to make it fair. I have no doubt that if you were to be on a hill peak with the transmitter and another with the reciever, then it may well be possible to get 3 miles since ground range is always shorter.

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04-15-2009 05:22 PM  9 years agoPost 59
jfint

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Simi Valley, CA

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I've been part of an experiment that was able to repeatedly and reliable "shoot down" the spectrum radio system with a $15 Chinese 2.4gHz video transmitter. If you turned on the video Tx first everything was good, but if you turned on the radio TX first, when you turned that nasty little video transmitter on you were done. Thankfully the prompting for this experiment was just a foamy crash so no pricey models were harmed, but food for thought.

Perceived reasoning: Spectrum does not frequency hop, and nasty little Chinese video transmitters happen to flood the first choice 2, 2.4 channels that the JR radio initializes too.

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04-15-2009 07:42 PM  9 years agoPost 60
Bell Bloke

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UK

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Oh bugger that's a pain, it's a good reason to keep Futaba in the frame.
I know that if Futaba come up with a data logger and some satelite recievers then I will be probably be getting into them again.
Thanks for that piece of info though things like this are very usefull to know, even if I don't see it as an immediate threat.

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HomeRC & PowerAircraftHelicopterRadio - Futaba FASST › I'm having to reluctantly change to JR after 20 years.
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