• This site uses cookies. By continuing to use this site, you are agreeing to our use of cookies. Learn more.

Recommended Transmitter for Scratch Builds (For an RC Noob)

Hi everyone! Brand new here and to RC in general, but looking to get started. After watching through a great deal of the scratch build videos, I'm excited to start building them for myself both to learn how to fly (and not burn my wallet as I learn) and to enjoy the building process.

Throughout the videos I noticed that the guys use very nice transmitters (All over $300 here in Sydney) and I wanted to know if there are transmitters that others here could recommend that would get me through a progression of scratch builds including the Baby Blender which I hope to be able to build for myself one day.

I'd rather spend $350 on a transmitter now, than $150 now and $350 in 6 months when I fin myself hooked on the hobby, but if there is a decent tx that I could dedicate to the scratch builds from the guys here now for a good price I'd be interested in input.

Thanks all!
You don't have to spend 350 on a transmitter. Wait for the next shipment of Turnigy 9xR's to come in at Hobbyking and get one of those with an Orange RX module or a FrSky module. That will put you back about 100 bucks, give you more radio then you need and not have any limitations. Later you can upgrade the battery to Lipoly. By more then you need I mean by my experience. I've got several computerized transmitters with all the bells and whistles but I find the option I use the most is the model memories. Multiple models on one transmitter. It's made me kinda lazy about model setup where they all used to be he same mechanically so that my non computerized radios didn't have to have the trims moved to the correct places.

If you want to go cheaper, Turnigy also makes a 6x system for 30 bucks, shipping will make that more and this system would fly everything I fly from my SPAD USS down to 2 channel 1/2A ships. Again, it's just the ability to set multiple planes up on the same transmitter without having to do so mechanically on the plane that I use the most.

The other nice thing about the 9xR is the module based output, so you can have an Orange module in the back and use a bunch of those Orange, 6 channel receivers that are 6 bucks instead of the average 25 dollar receiver and have multiple foamies for much cheaper then switch to a FrSky module or one of the high output systems while still using the same transmitter. The new 9xR looks to have the features of my 450 dollar JR 8103s when I bought them. You'd do fine with one of them.


You said all that needed to be said. The 9XR is the way to go.

Now, I happen to know that you are an admitted Cub hater... It must go back to something that happened in your childhood. That is an issue worth discussing. ;)


Old age member
chrisipeters;39259.. Throughout the videos I noticed that the guys use very nice transmitters.. I'd rather spend $350 on a transmitter now said:
Seems like you are smart when you look at the videos.
If you really need something to fly a lot in all weathers and with planes you might have spent 100s of hours building (not foamis) then you will not regret spending the extra dollars.
Look at the radios Josh and David and other (flying) pilots uses - there is a reason they have choosen those brands.


Epoxi Flyer
Josh Bixler doesnt need a 350 dollar transmitter either hehehe and YES there is a reason why he uses it !!

if you can, place your order NOW on the 9XR they will never come to stock .... i mean when they restock is a matter of seconds to go out again ....

what im trying to say: you should buy it in backorder, so it will be reserved for you when they restock !!


Flying Derp
If you really need something to fly a lot in all weathers and with planes you might have spent 100s of hours building (not foamis) then you will not regret spending the extra dollars.
Look at the radios Josh and David and other (flying) pilots uses - there is a reason they have choosen those brands.
The one I see Bixler flying in all the recent videos is the Futaba 8FG which was given to them by Hobbico for a review. If someone gave me an 8FG, I'd for sure be using that over the 9XR. Yes, if money's no object to you then get a "nice" radio like the 8FG, or the Aurora 9, or the Spektrum DX[1]8. But know that the 9X[R] has the same or more features for a fraction of the cost. I've been flying my 9x/FrSky for the past year and I really like it. I use it for both glo and electric planes. The old guys at my field have the mentality that if it's not expensive it's not good, so I've caught some flak over it.

A new member of my club has an 8FG and I got to handle it. I have to say that I like the feel of my 9X much better. The 8FG doesn't have a contour on the back to wrap your fingers around. It's smooth and tapers and felt as if it could slip out of my hands. It was also smaller than the 9x. I almost had bought an 8FG, but I'm glad I didn't.

My one complaint with the 9X, since I have the ER9x firmware (this seems to be what the 9XR come loaded with), it takes me a while to program a plane if it's more than a simple four channel electric. the interface isn't very user friendly. But from what I hear, neither is the Futaba 8FG.

The Aurora 9 is supposedly one of the easiest to program, which is what prompted me to order one last week (after watching many video reviews on the youtubes). I'm addicted to transmitters, though, so I'll probably buy a 9XR when they come back in stock too.
Once, a long long LONG time ago, I worked all summer picking range at the golf course and when I was done I had saved enough money to buy a Kraft built Tower 6 channel with 5 servos. Somewhere around 89-90 my wife bought me a JR 6 channel radio for christmas as I had found a kit of the first successful plane I had, an Andrews Big H-Ray on a half price table, that was already half price, and thought I might start flying RC again. I was flying CL at the time. Several years later, and two children, I was tired of wiring planes up to match so that I could fly them with one transmitter and so as a cash strapped young father I did what anyone would do and sold Plasma, twice a week, for quite some time till I saved up about 400 dollars, the price for either an Ace Micropro or a JR 388. I remember picking the kids up from daycare and driving down south to the only hobby shop I knew of in Oak Park mall (kc guys will know) taking them and a wad of money in and the sales clerk just spewing about the wonders of the Micropro, which had servos that pretty much matched the ones I started with 15 plus years ago, that you had to buy extra as well as receivers that was only a little more then what I had while blocking out the sign that said, JR 388's on sale now! for about 350. My 6 channel would work as a trainer box with the 388. I bought it. When I got home I found in the mail a check for my birthday from my parents and one from my inlaws, in all I had about 150 bucks extra. WOWIEE I had a new computer transmitter, money enough for a whole new plane or a good engine?? Sure, I know exactly where the veins in my arms are and can guide the nurse the the sweet spot UNDER the scar on my right arm (nobody uses my left arm, noboby! them veins is flat) but it was worth it!

And now I show you a radio 10 times more powerful then what I paid for in Blood Money for 50 bucks (about 5 donations). The radios I fly with today share the same features and the only reason that they cost as much as they did was I bought it last year. If I was in the market for a new radio this year, the cost of that radio would be 50 bucks. I'm not a pattern pilot, though I have flown pattern. I'm not a race pilot, though I certainly have flown my share of races and even one a couple. I'm not a Sailplane pilot, though I have been seen on the cliffs of Wilson State lake for the Midwest Slope Championships. I am not a combat pilot, though really I am, I'm just in hiatus. I am a decent sport pilot with a bunch of practice under my belt, and a little rust because my golden years are about 10 years in the future so I spend most of them now babysitting. The big folks in the hobbies with the advanced skill sets wouldn't fly the transmitters that Josh or I or 90% of the hobby would use because they're sponsors wouldn't put up with it. And while a 12 channel system may be necessary with some specialized setups. I have to have a couple bomb drops along with separate flaps and ailerons to use all the channels I generally do. I don't have anything with retracts on it right now and half the time I have flaps it's actually flaperons. So I use 5 maybe 6 channels.

The ONLY reason I spent 3-400 dollars on a system ever was to store model memories so that I could have one transmitter and a bunch of different models/receivers. Memory is cheap. Why the heck are we having to pay soooo much for the ability to access it?

So, some high level scale or pattern guy has a 1200 dollar 12 channel platinum cased transmitter. Well I know guys that drive porches and I always ask them the same thing. "Where do you put the rototiller?" I drive a much cheaper Ford F150. Buy a good system that has the features you need that is compatible with the equipment you may already have or at least compatible with as much as you want and pay as little as possible for it. You can trick out this new transmitter with everything it can be tricked out with and still have money left over for a wonderful vacation to Lucas, Kansas and the Garden of Eden. Or you can buy a high dollar name brand transmitter that will do the same thing. They are all good, quality systems. Some of them however just got caught raping their customers. Their equipment was probably made across the street if not in the same factory as this system was. They've just been charging 10 times more for it and sponsoring a bunch of show teams with the difference.

It's your blood, errr, money.
Last edited:


Propaganda machine
May I summarise, MrClean?

Get a 9X(R).

There is one spanner in the works though... Those 'certain brands' also own the MAAA (in a roundabout way). If you want to join a MAAA club you'll have to get rodgered, in a roundabout way, by one of those companies.


Old age member
I have not worked at a golf course as Mr Clean.
My first radio was an "old" 1-channel system.
Soon a got my first "real" Futaba 5 ch - expensive 27 MHz system - it was 1969.
Then after many years i got a 35 MHz Hitec - and the world was open to get any receiver - all (almost) was compatible.
When the chineese come out with cheap systems and "everybody" could buy something to fly it bacame dangerous - my plane was controlled down by someone with the same frequency - and i decided to get me a 2,4 - there were only 2 brand at the time.
I got the brand with the cheapest receivers - not the cheapest transmitter.
I also got some features that i did not know about.
- I got model match - i can not start my plane if i have nog got the correct setting in my transmitter - there are now more systems with similar function and just one saved (not crashed plane) will be worth the cost of the transmitter.
- I got compatibility - when i needed more than my 20 model memories and got a new radio of the same brand i could still use all of my +20 recievers.
- I got telemetry so that i can see some important things like signal quality if i need to fly far away. I can se remaining fuel/battery in the plane if i want to fly a long time.
- I can expect to get compatible receivers 5 years from now to my system.
If i was to start with the hobby today and did not know how long i would be in the hobby and how many planes i would build then i would certainly get med a new 9X or an orange TX and take the chanse to get me a system with more features if i still was active a few years from now.
Yes the Turnigy transmitters are the way to go. If you want a nice radio that isn't to expensive get Turnigy. For more expensive if you so choose to go this route, I reccomend looking into a spektrum transmitter like a DX8 or Hitec's Aurora 9 because they have both heli and airplanes and also have telemetry. If you want a good transmitter and like to read Futaba is the way to go (their radios are very complex and you really have to have knowledge from the manual to use them. Hopefully you'll be happy whichever way you go and enjoy the hobby. Good Luck!
My first radios came in RTF airplanes and Helis. I purchased just this last summer a DX8 after being in the hobby for 3 years or so. I feel left out- I don't have a cool story about all my radios!!
You've had three RTF Radios and presently have a top of the line Sport Computer radio with plenty of planes in it's future. If you don't have stories yet it's only because you've just started writing them.

You should be building, go, get busy.

Believe it or not, you'll blink and start talking like I do. Where did the era of buying engines, then mufflers and not having to solder your own equipment go?


Propaganda machine
Wow, not having to solder up your gear? I can't imagine it! I'm a relative newbie, getting into the hobby in what really is a golden era for it...