New to RC - Have Boat - Need Radio/Transmitter


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Mike Rook

Unknown Member
Supporting Member
Aug 14, 2022
I hate these questions, but I've read/watched online and at local races until my brain is full and I haven't really seen anything quite right for a newbie/first timer (vs upgrading). I've picked up quite a bit from local races/racers, but the season is starting to wind down (one more this weekend). I picked up a boat (I'm sure there will be more) that's complete but for a receiver, and I need a transmitter. I don't need to pinch pennies, but don't need to throw them away either and my intent would be this is for the long term. With that said . . .

I'm fairly well set on Futaba, and it 'seems' that the 4PM is a great choice. Perhaps a bit overkill but I do like several features over the 3PV and the adjustability given my hands could be considered on the smaller side. I like the limited telemetry option but don't think I need to jump all the way to 7PX for all the extra stuff. I thought I was set on the 304SB receiver, but then really like (thanks Grimracer) dual antennas and gold pins (I'm a bit of a geek and don't mind a little overkill). I'm a bit miffed that from Futaba you can get the 204SB for a $40 discount in a bundle, but the 334SB bundle has zero discount (full price Tx/Rx), but whatever . . . my company does the same thing.

Appreciate all the opinions (you know opinions are like . . . everyone has one) and suggestions. Fairly well set on Futaba, open to everything else. Thanks for your time/help.

Mike Hughes

Well-Known Member
Feb 23, 2003
Well since you are starting out fresh, definitely go the fhss route since you want futaba. The fast systems are being phased out. There are quite a few great radios that use fast system. So if your buying a used one, you will struggle to find receivers. 3rd channel is something to think about with nitro boats. I am not familiar with all the new radios and how well they work with that. I do know the better ones you can reprogram all the knobs and dials on the radio to whatever you want. For your first radio, I would suggest a new one. Just eliminates you buy something with problems.

Mike Cathey

Well-Known Member
Supporting Member
Jan 5, 2006
If you decide you want to go with waterproof receivers, then you are going to have to go with Sanwa. Waterproof Receivers and servos sure make the radio installs much simpler and eliminate the source of most radio failures, the switch.

Hydro Junkie

Well-Known Member
Oct 2, 2006
Of the radios you mentioned, I would go with the 4PM. My reasons for this are:
  • slightly longer range (20 more meters in optimal conditions than the 3PV)
  • more model memories so you can use one transmitter for up to 40 boats or wheeled vehicles
  • you can change the speed of the steering servo, something I use with my 1/8 scale hydroplane (I run my rudder at 50% speed)
  • it is compatible with all of the latest receivers Futaba has that are FHSS
  • it can be operated on either 4 AA batteries or a LiFe pack.
  • the telemetry is a nice feature that I use to keep track of my receiver pack's voltage. By adding sensors, you can see motor voltage (for electric vehicles), RPM and temperature of the engine
  • as you already know, you can adjust the trigger location
Obviously, the choice is yours. I use the 4PLS with my boat. It has almost all of the features the 4PM has and has proven, to me anyway, to be a reliable radio. In fact, the radio has proven to be better than the person holding it on many occasions:eek:

Rod Fonda

Well-Known Member
Apr 30, 2021
I'm pretty happy with my 4pm,,as Mark has mentioned the features,,I'm using 4 nimh AA cells,,I wouldn't rely on the 3 alkaline AA spring box it comes with,,also,,I went with the 400mm antennae option/extra,as Mike has mentioned in his Futaba tutorials,,just to be sure,,so far ,no probs,,,using the 334 rx

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