Radio Revolution

May 25, 2011 No Comments by

AIRTRONICS M11X

 

Not long ago, when you looked at the drivers’ stand at pro-level or local races, you saw an Airtronics radio in just about every hand. The advent of 2.4GHz has changed the mix, but Airtronics is back stronger than ever with the release of the M11X. What’s so great about this transmitter? The quick answer is just that-it’s quick; in fact, it’s amazingly fast. The M11X uses Airtronics’ latest 2.4GHz FHSS-3 technology. It also offers more features and adjustments than you’ll ever use. Add to the list that the M11X is easy to navigate, well balanced, lightweight and clearly high-quality, and you will start to see why Airtronics is well positioned to reclaim the top position in transmitters.

WHAT YOU GET

  • M11X transmitter
  • Airtronics 2.4GHz FHSS-3 Surface Receiver
  • Rechargeable 6-cell 1500mAh battery pack
  • Charger
  • Switch harness
  • Manual
  • Also available with servos

 

INTERNAL AND EXTERNAL TWEAKS

At first glance, you may not notice some of the subtle changes to M11X’s appearance. They include a new steering wheel, a relocated 2.4GHz antenna and a new carrying handle. The antenna can be bent 45 to 90 degrees from vertical, and it can be unscrewed for easy storage if needed. It now features 4-channel operation, which is perfect for vehicles such as the new Traxxas Summit and rock crawlers. The radio has been lightened by eliminating a rear module, and the M11X now operates on a 6-cell rechargeable pack instead of 8 AA cells. The included peak charger plugs into the back of the radio for convenient charging. Airtronics went inside the radio and moved around some of the electronics to give the radio the best possible balance.

“I DIDN’T HAVE ANY ISSUES WITH GLITCHING, AND THE RESPONSE TIME WAS SUPER FAST.”

Even the 2.4GHz technology was tweaked to make it as reliable as possible. Just like its predecessor, the M11, it can be switched for left- and right-hand opeation, and you can tweak the height and tension of the steering wheel to your liking. Throttle-spring tension can also be tweaked, and you can rotate the trim levers, if need be.

EZ NAVIGATION

You get the same easy-to-navigate menus that people have become used to with Airtronics radios, but there’s a bit of a twist with the M11X. One of the menus is completely customizable. Now you can set up all the functions you use the most in a single easy-to-use menu and don’t have to spend time searching though the standard menu to get to them. You’ll find all of the standard functions such as dual rate, expo and idle-up; a few of the functions really stand out.

HOT FEATURES

 

THE M11X IS LOADED WITH FEATURES-MORE THAN YOU COULD EVER THINK OF. HERE’S A LIST OF THE ONES I USE THE MOST.

ENDPOINT ADJUSTMENT

It’s very important to make sure your servos aren’t overextending themselves and that they are traveling the full amount. This will protect your servos and provide the most performance. I always check the endpoint adjustment after I’ve removed the servos to clean my vehicles.

TRACTION CONTROL

This basically works like ABS. You can tweak the settings to apply the throttle in a stepped fashion to give you control on loose surfaces. The HPI Baja 5B is known for not having a lot of rear traction. Using traction control on my buggy really made a difference in performance.

KEY LOCK

As the name implies, key lock is used to lock the keys to prevent any accidental changes in your setup.

TRIM AND SUBTRIM

I use these to ensure that my steering servo points my front wheels perfectly straight and that my throttle is set just right when off the steering wheel and trigger.

FAIL-SAFE

I use this with all my nitro vehicles. You never want to have a runaway. I really like that you can set the fail-safe to kick in when your receiver pack has reached a preset voltage.

IDLE UP

When starting your nitro engine after it has cooled down, it’s sometimes helpful to give it a little throttle while trying to fire it up. Sometimes you need three hands to make that happen. Hit the idle-up button, and it automatically bumps the throttle up to your predetermined position.

RECHARGEABLE BATTERY

I love this simply because I don’t have to wonder if the AA cells I bought are still good. I put the radio on charge just before I hit the track, and I know I will have plenty of charge for the day.

PEAK CHARGER

A lot of radios include a charger if they feature a rechargeable battery pack. The difference here is that they give you a peak charger. The LED on the face of the charger changes color to let you know when the charge is finished. Now you never have to wonder if you have a full charge before you hit the track.

“YOU DON’T HAVE TO WORRY ABOUT SOMEONE ELSE USING THE SAME RADIO CHANNEL AS YOU”

Throttle hold is used when setting up a nitro/gas-powered vehicle and uses a pushbutton switch to do so. You can use it to bump up the idle slightly when being refueled in the pits, so you won’t have to blip the throttle and push fuel out of the tank while it is being filled up. Compensation mixing is another great feature that will improve handling. If your vehicle needs a slight correction of the steering wheel when throttle is applied, you can use compensating mixing to fix that problem. It will automatically countersteer your vehicle when applying throttle to keep it straight. Nitro/gas users can also set up a fail-safe, which will kick in if there is a loss of signal or low receiver-pack voltage, and it can be set on all four channels. All the functions can be tweaked to the user’s liking.

TESTING

To to use the radio and receiver right out of the box you first must bind the receiver to the radio. This allows the receiver to communicate with your specific radio. I pressed a button on the receiver until the light on it was blinking and hit “Bind” on the radio. Navigating through the menus is very easy using the left and right arrowed buttons or by turning the knob on the face of the radio. Use the “Star” and “Enter” buttons to navigate the sub-menus and the “Inc” and “Dec” buttons to change your settings. I also set up the fail-safe while I was scrolling around the menus. Again, it was easy to figure out and to make changes to. I like the feel of the radio in my hand; you can easily feel the weight difference between the M11X and original the M11. All the buttons are easy to reach and use, and I like that you can customize the buttons and change their functions. I put the radio into my Team Associated RC8T truggy for testing. I didn’t have any issues with glitching, and the response time was super fast. I tested the fail-safe by running the truck on the starter box at � throttle and shut the radio off. The throttle servo immediately went into fail-safe mode and applied the brakes. Then I purposely went out with a nearly dead receiver battery, and when the voltage reached my set limit, the throttle servo responded.

 

VERDICT

I am a fan of the M11 and am happy to have the new M11X in my radio stash. The 2.4GHz technology gives you peace of mind, thanks to the fact that you don’t have to worry about someone else using the same radio channel as you. The 6-cell rechargeable battery is one of my favorite features. It lowers the weight of the radio and reduces its overall cost, as you no longer have to purchase AA batteries. The M11X’s ease of use also rates high on my list.

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