View Full Version : Newbie Radio Question

2014.05.30, 11:40 AM
I was browsing through the forums and I am gathering info on radios. Is there a serious difference in radio transmitters? I am interested in eventually racing 1/10 scale off-road and I was told that I could buy certain radios and just change out the module. I was looking at some of the new radios like the KO Propo EX-1 KIY and was wondering if there is a major difference in radios and which ones to stay away from? I don't want to spend a ton of money, but I would like something I can grow in to and expand. Obviously the new EX-1 KIY is not cheap, but is it worth it? Thanx!

2014.05.30, 12:36 PM
It is impossible to beat the old Futaba 3-PKS. Hands down the best out there even though it is right at obsolete. it is module based. Everything since isn't. It is easily switchable from left to right hand operation with the components it comes with. Nothing else is. Though a little top heavy(with lipo's) it fits any hand comfortably while most of everything else is made for, call it, smaller hands. You can still find modules for DSM, AM, FM, 2.4ASF(with minor modification) Futaba's own FASST 2.4. Most others don't. It is quite complicated but for a unit that does all the things that it can do it should be so make sure you get a manual.

After the Futaba my choice would be(if I were right handed) is the the Ko Propo ex-10 Helios. Very user friendly. Module based. No module mods needed for Mini-z but limited availability on Spectrum DSM components as well as the other modules. Smaller hands a plus.

The Newer EX-10 Euros is the same unit as the Helios except it's digital and requires a different strain of modules. It does have built in programming for board adjustments on the Mini-Z but more components are needed to utilize them.

Beyond those it is pretty much a crap shoot. I wouldn't even consider any of the new offerings from any of the top line transmitter manufacturers. Too single purpose. Not module based. Operating system can be hacked but at the cost of warranty consideration. High priced and based on the number of new aged transmitters I have seen for re-sale I doubt the dependability.

These are just my opinions and observations based on being involved with R/C since 1982.

2014.05.30, 01:14 PM
The Mini-Z modules are becoming uncommon in the marketplace, but like mleemor60, I also recommend getting a module-based radio, definitely versatile for various scales and something that you can grow into and will last a very long time.

Personally I use a KO Propo EX-1UR, it is clunky but I am very pleased with it, and I have 4 different modules for it. I don't use many functions other than steering curve, steering endpoints, and throttle endpoints, but having these options available goes a long way to tuning control to match both the handling characteristics of your car as well as the track conditions.

Wait for a good deal to come up on a 3PK(S), EX-10 Helios / Eurus, or EX-1UR for a second-hand unit. However, if you see a RF-901SM module, just buy it straight away.

2014.05.30, 04:02 PM
Only known 2.4ghz Radio Options for Mini-Z:

ASF Type ESC/Receiver:

EX-1 KIY(with ASF module)
EX-1UR (with ASF module)
EX-10 Helios (with ASF module)
EX5-UR (for ASF only)
Mars (with ASF module)
KT-18 (stock RTR radio)

M8 (with ASF module and PN module adapter)
M11 (with ASF module and PN module adapter)

4PK (with ASF module and internal mods)
3PK (with ASF module and PN module adapter)
3PJ (with ASF module and PN module adapter)

FHS type ESC/Receiver, also known as "Sport Models":

KT-19 (stock RTR radio)

PN Racing does make a 2.4 Spektrum compatible ESC/Receiver and it's been a welcome addition to the Z for some in my club because they can all use their fancy DX Radios now. Here's a link to their 03 version:


We have not found a compatible aftermarket FHS radio for the Sport Models yet but I'm sure one will turn up eventually. Dwight said something about a FlySky working with them but never verified on here yet.