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I have several wonderful old live-steam locomotives with horrible old-style glitching radio control.  Now I am considering upgrading to the popular Spektrum DX-6 but I see that Futaba has a competing system for the same price.  I would appreciate informed comments on the relative merits of these. 
 

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I use the Spektrum DX6 and have no experience with the Futaba unit; but, it's the technology which makes the real difference.  If the Futaba uses the same technology, then your only consideration would be the price and whichever one seems to offer the easiest controls to use.  I found the difference between conventional radio control and the Spektrum to be an incredible improvement and I'm sure that you will be very happy with either.

Llyn
 

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I own a Futaba 9CAP, and I recently bought a DX7. I chose the DX7 because of the availability of exceptionally small receivers for it. Overall, I'm happy with it. That being said, Futaba has been around for a lot longer - I was using their radios to fly R/C planes back in the mid and late 80s, and were around long before that. Their quality is terrific, and ergonomically, their gimbals are, imho, far superior to the Spektrum's.

Given the above, your two purchasing points would be overall quality vs. receiver size. My humble opinion of course. :)
 

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The DX 6 has been discontinued. You can still buy one while the supply lasts. You may have trouble in the future finding the AR6000 or BR6000 receivers. (the only difference is the fail safe modes - not really important for a steamer) The DX6i is a DSM2 mode system like the DX7 and replaces the DX6. A DX6 transmitter will not bind to the DSM2 type receivers. I use the fancy system in my helicopter, but it is totally unnecessary for locomotives and much more expensive than a DX6.
The remote receivers for a DX 7 really small and cool - so I do agree with Dwight that if you don't mind the cost, they are neat.
 

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John,

Now don't go getting all the people on the board here in a fit that they have to buy a new radio and trash their old DX6. You are forgetting the fine print that says a company is required to produce spare/replacement parts for ten years after the products initial release.

I had sent an email to Spektrum (aka JR) early on when the "DX6 Extinction" was starting. They said that yes, the DX6 line would be discontinued, but the receivers would be made available so long as there was demand for them. Somewhere I have the original email from them...somewhere.

I can't justify the cost of the DX7 because I have a hard enough time filling up the 6 channels on the DX6! Now, the DX7 is extremely cool, no doubt about it, and I do see one in my future...after the DX6 ends up in a pond or run over or something like that :)
 

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Rats. I have a bunch of the receivers, and planned to sell them for exorbitant prices to fund my retirement. So much for that idea. However, I would still suggest getting the DX6i for the newer technology. DSM2 is a significant upgrade, and the future RXs will no doubt be even smaller.
 

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John
I recommend the D-5.  Outstanding amount of options, flexible programing, very advance circuitry, no interference(except around females),  and waterproof.  Price is a bargain- 2 for 1.  Gives one a better perspective on the "real hands-on experience" of the 1:1 scale operations and it is always charged!
 

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I posted a presentation I put together on fitting RC to an Aster Berkshire that might be of interest (it's a big file - 2.5GB - so you might want to think twice if you are using dial-up!)

1stclass.mylargescale.com/zephyra/berkshire%20radio%20control.ppsx

This was based on a Spectrum DX7 which I really like. It allows, for example, the mixing of controls so that you can get the blower to crack open automatically as you close the throttle.
 

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Posted By Charles on 01/16/2008 11:30 AM
John
I recommend the D-5.  Outstanding amount of options, flexible programing, very advance circuitry, no interference(except around females),  and waterproof.  Price is a bargain- 2 for 1.  Gives one a better perspective on the "real hands-on experience" of the 1:1 scale operations and it is always charged!


Charles, what's the range on that D-5, somewhere around three feet? It's probably not too flame resistant either. I think it sounds similar to my 0-5-0 switcher's capabilities.    /DesktopModules/NTForums/themes/mls/emoticons/whistling.gif
 

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It's one of the best transmitter ever.  There is not finer touch than the D-5 relative to control what makes things go!
 

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Posted By 212 degrees on 01/15/2008 12:55 PM
I have several wonderful old live-steam locomotives with horrible old-style glitching radio control.  Now I am considering upgrading to the popular Spektrum DX-6 but I see that Futaba has a competing system for the same price.  I would appreciate informed comments on the relative merits of these. 


I have a DX-6 and I am installing a Futaba FASST 2.4Ghz 6EX in a friends loco. The settings for the servos (ie travel limits, reversing, centering) are so similar that I could step through the mode switches without reading the manual. (Who reads those things anway? (O.K. I had to read the Spektrum manual, but don't tell anyone.))

I Imagine the range on the Futaba is closer to the DX-7 but in our live steam world, I would guess it would be fairly difficult to drive one's loco beyond the limits of the DX-6. I think it would be also more fair to compare the 6EX to the DX-7 due to the fact there are no "park flier only" resrictions on the Futaba, but then again that's mostly a range thing.

So far the only major difference that I have noticed is the antenna not only folds but it rotates 90 degrees allowing it to be stored in a smaller box. Also, an additional receiver for the Futaba seems to be a little more expensive than the DX-6's.

I guess it comes down to a matter of brand loyalty or preference. After all, I was using Futaba radios in the Seventies and they had been around a while before then (1962). These are my opinions only, I really don't think we need to go into processing rates, bit resolution, latency, etc unless you are a crossover hobbiest, and have ever considered flying R/C airplanes or helis.

So I read all this junk I just wrote and wondered if I just made the waters more murky than before, so I re-read your post and feel I need to say this: any of these radios that I spoke about will completely ELIMINATE any and all glitching. you will be happy with the switch to 'spread spectrum'.
 
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