Tactic TTX850 Review
Review by Adrian Apodaca, RealRCReviews Owner
Modulation: FHSS spread spectrum
Battery: 4.8V 1000mAh NiMH
Low Voltage Alarm: 3.20-6.00V
Memories: 30, with copy function
Stick Modes: Four
Trims: Digital for channels 1-4
Timers: Count-up, Stopwatch, Count-Down, Flight Timer
Charge Jack: Futaba compatible
Trainer System: Wireless-Tactic SLT compatible, and Wired
- BUDGET FRIENDLY!
- Solid Feel
- Rechargeable battery included
- Antenna inside handle
- Tons of switches
- Plenty of flight modes
- Wireless/wired trainer compatible
- 30 model memory
- Timers with sound and vibration alarm
- Fixed wing, helicopter and multirotor support
- Backed by Hobbico
- Though absent of SD card, models can be shared wirelessly
- Can’t use with other brand receivers
- No SD card
- No voice function
- No adjustable volume for the beeps.
If you are reading this review, you are likely newish to the RC hobby and want to step up to a real (more than 4 channel, and computerized) radio, you are floored by radio prices, or you are looking for an inexpensive radio for travel. That in mind, lets proceed.
RC aviation is a great family oriented hobby. Most pilots and clubs are friendly and helpful, but let’s face it, we all know pilots can get kind of snobby about their radios. That is the primary reason at most fields, you will usually see Futaba and Spektrum radios in everyone’s hands. They are great radios for sure, but if you look at their prices, Spektrum DX7 $300, DX9 $450, Futaba 7C $299, 8J $279, you can be left with a little sticker shock… and we aren’t even talking the price of receivers yet! Futaba 8 ( FHSS system) channel receivers will run you $60 and Spektrum 8 channel receivers will set you back $129! Read on after you pick your jaw off the ground.
Many folks like myself, start out with an RTF (ready to fly) aircraft because we are not sure how well we can fly or how long the hobby will keep our interest. Then, once we find ourselves wanting to buy more airplanes, quads or helis, we realize we need a real radio. One that can store most of our models, and one with a lot more features than you get with an RTF stock radio. So we go to the hobby shop, or get online and are faced with the prices I mentioned above. Ouch! We know we want to move into bigger planes with more features like flaps and retracts, but feel kind of stuck. If you buy an expensive radio, you kill off some of the funds you were hoping to put toward your new aircraft with those extra features.
Enter Tactic. The 8 channel Tactic TTX850 radio retails for $179 and 8 channel receivers are $40. Factor in Tower Hobbies coupon codes and now you are paying even less. I know what you are thinking… you get what you pay for, so the expensive brands must be better. That was my reaction when I first read about Tactic. So how good is it? Let’s talk about that now.
Out of the box:
The TTX850 is a nice step up from the TTX650 (my review on the TTX650 is here). The TTX850 feels substantial, good weight, good ergonomic design. No need to worry about AA batteries with this one as it has a rechargeable battery that you charge with the included charger. You also get a few plug adapters just in case you travel overseas with your transmitter or if you live outside the USA. You also get a neckstrap, which is great, some companies aren’t including them with the radios anymore. The manual is pretty robust and detailed so if there is something you can’t figure out, you’ll find the answer there.
The SLT protocol is as solid as any other out there. Back a few years ago, when I was just flying Spektrum, a few friends of mine scared me by telling me that Spektrum radios would be the death of my models. I was still kind of new, so I took their advice and got a Futaba radio. After meeting some big names in RC (even a few sponsored by radio companies) and talking to them about radios, they confessed that it really came down to personal preference… that pretty much all major brand spread spectrum modulations were pretty solid and equal. I’ve done some of my own range testing and have found no reason to disbelieve this fact. Also, since this radio uses SLT, you’ll be able to fly all of Hobbico’s TXR (transmitter ready) aircraft, which currently offer an array of planes, helicopters and quadcopters.
When you are setting up your new aircraft, programming it correctly should not be a difficult chore. Some radios make it one for reasons beyond me. I just the user friendliness of a radio by how quick I can set up a model with flaps and retracts. I was able to set up a plane in less than 15 minutes. I even did so without using the menu. Granted, I have some decent experience with programming so I knew what I was looking for. However, even a relative newbie will find programming with this radio extremely straight forward. I love that like the high end radio systems, the TTX850 also allows you to assign switches and channels to your liking. You are not tied into their template at all. You’re switches and sliders can control anything you want them to. Another great function is the wireless trainer option. You can “buddy box” with a compatible transmitter wirelessly. No need to stand shoulder to shoulder with your student/instructor any more. The TTX850 lacks an SD card, but honestly, you don’t really need one since you can share your model setups with a compatible transmitter wirelessly!
If like me, you like flying helicopters and multirotors also, the TTX850 has you covered. When you choose between airplane, helicopter and multirotor in the model setup, your menus will change accordingly. There is even support for using a gimbal for your FPV or aerial photo/videography.
The TTX850 feels good in your hands and has a nice weight to it, not too heavy and not too light. The sticks are nice and tight, pretty much the way I like them. The gimbals are nice metal and grip your fingers nicely. In particular, I like the location of the sliders and that they have a notch when they are centered. I like using the sliders for my flaps and the halfway notch makes it easy to know when my flaps are at 50% deflection. The location and ease of the menu buttons make it pretty easy to enter a menu during flight, though I would not recommend doing that unless you are more of a veteran pilot. Of course the backlit screen is great feature too, making it easy to read your screen in less than perfect light.
The modern consumer is a strange bird these days. Sometimes good products get overlooked because they are less expensive, while other products may sell by the crate because a certain price point creates a false sense of confidence. Clear your head of those notions with this Tactic radio. Not only is it a solid radio at a budget price, but it is backed by one of the HUGEST, most reputable names in RC, Hobbico. If you are a newbie, have confidence in this radio. You’ll be able to outfit several planes with Tactic receivers for the price you’ll pay for 1 receiver from some of the other companies. Since I already have Spektrum and Futaba radios, this is the one I use when I travel and when I fly off of water. I’d rather drop a sub-200 dollar radio in the drink than one I paid close to $500 dollars for. Also, I don’t see any point in spending 80 to 130 dollars for a receiver for a small foamie. Tactic 6 channel receivers are only $20! I won’t touch the Chinese knock-off brands, so these give me a cozy feeling knowing I can call a friendly office in Illinois if I ever have an issue. If you want a budget price radio, with premium features, pick one of these up with confidence. Don’t let the hobby shop or any of your friends snob you up to a more expensive radio if you want to keep to a certain budget… and you’ll giggle every time they buy an expensive receiver lol.