Last year Hobbico brought out a great new product with the Anylink radio adapter. The AnyLink allows you to use your favorite transmitter to fly any airplane with a Tactic SLT receiver like those found in the Flyzone TX-R airplanes. This opens up many aircraft to pilots without the need to buy a brand specific radio. This year Hobbico has brought out a new option in the Tactic TTX650 6 channel computer radio. This radio is full of features that will allow pilots on a lower budget to still have a radio they can grow on for years. But don’t let it’s low price make you think it’s not worth a look for the experienced modeler. Just check out these features.
- 20 Model memory
- Easy-to-use pushbutton programming controls
- Intuitive, straightforward menus
- Large, easy-to-read graphing LCD screen with adjustable contrast
- User-selectable switch assignments
- 4 Programmable mixes and 8 pre-programmed mixes
- Airplane and helicopter programming
- Compatible with all SLT receivers and Tx-R aircraft
- Quad-bearing gimbals
- Adjustable stick length and tension
- Wireless trainer system with selectable channels
- Reversing, sub-trim and travel limits on all channels
- Dual rates and exponential (aileron, elevator, rudder)
- Digital trims with slow/fast adjustment
- One up/down timer, one battery timer
- Adjustable low-voltage alarm
- 4 “AA” alkaline batteries included
- Charge jack for optional NiCd/NiMH packs
- External antenna that rotates and folds for easy storage
I received my Tactic radio a couple weeks after they were first available to purchase. Having picked up quite a few TX-R airplanes from micros to outdoor parkflyers I was starting to have to juggle all the models in my regular radios. I now have a radio I can dedicate to the TX-R airplanes. For power the radio includes a tray for 4 “AA” batteries. I have not run them down yet so I can’t speak to how much flying you can get on a set but you can also use a standard flat NIMH or NICD pack and charge them through a charging port on the side of the radio. Plus the radio has an automatic shut down feature that if no control stick or switch is moved for 10 minutes the radio will start a countdown and shut itself off. This will help preserve your batteries and keep the radio signals cleaner at the field!
The interface is easy with clearly labeled buttons along side the 128×64 pixel LCD screen. Menu’s are easy to navigate and program. Setting up the basic controls is easy as it steps through the type of wing and tail with graphics to help differentiate between the choices. I am surprised at the number of included mixes included as well. From V-tail, to Delta, Helicopter swash settings and even some glider functions as well. Plus if it’s not in there you have 4 custom mixes to setup as well. Adding to the value is a firmware upgrade port that will allow the radio to be upgraded without sending the unit back to the manufacturer to get the latest updates.
The feel of the radio was pretty good. The gimbals are dual ball bearing and move smoothly and the anodized aluminum sticks are adjustable and comfortable in either a thumbs or pinching style. The switches are all assignable and the layout is fairly standard but all are easy to reach. This give each pilot a very customizable experience. The weight is lighter then other commercial radios but not so light that it feels cheap. The size is also a bit smaller then some of the more recent 6 channel radios but I like it for the fact that smaller hands such as my boys will be able to hold it and use the functions without struggling with the size a weight.
Speaking of having my boys use the radio I am really looking forward to taking advantage of the wireless trainer link feature with other Tactic radios. This feature lets you link two SLT Tactic radios together without the need of a trainer cord that can get in the way. The trainer setup also lets you tweak what controls you want to transfer over to the student radio so if all you want them to focus on is the elevator and rudder you can maintain control of the throttle on your radio while they focus on one or two controls at a time.
At a entry price of $149.99 as of this writing this radio is not the absolute cheapest out there but when you consider all the features included it’s perhaps the best bang for your RC buck out there right now. Additional receivers are pretty cheap too so if you have other planes besides your TX-R planes you want to run on this radio it’s as easy as picking up a spare RX from your LHS or Tower Hobbies and your ready to program in another model!
Look for more information here as I test out the radio on some TX-R planes and others and share my experience with you. From the start I’m excited to see what this full featured budget radio can do!