The Futaba 4PLS is my latest toy, I was out using it on the weekend and I wanted to give an early review. This transmitter is loaded with features, some of the basic features that drew my attention include:
– T-FHSS, FHSS and S-FHSS capable
– Digital trims
– 40 model memory
– Large 128 x 64 backlit LCD display with contrast adjustment
– User updatable software
– Steering wheel/trigger adjustment
The transmitter looks and feels well made. In fact, it survived a 4 foot fall to the ground, not a scratch. I read on forums, where some people find the steering wheel small, I didn’t find this to be a problem. If it is something that bothers you, it can easily be fixed by taking a foam wheel grip from an old transmitter and placing it over top of the current wheel foam. You can always replace the wheel all together. Initially the transmitter felt a little top heavy to me, that feeling quickly went away and I never noticed it again. By the end of the day, the transmitter felt great in my hand and very natural.
The LCD screen is was easily readable even in the sunlight. It was nice to see any adjustments I made by simply looking down and not having to turn the transmitter to a contorted angle to read the screen.
The trigger position and tension can be adjusted to your taste but I was happy with the stock location. The trigger felt great and wrapped around my finger nicely, which made using the brakes very easy. I found the trigger and wheel to be very responsive and not sluggish at all.
Steering trim and Throttle trim are easy to locate and easy to adjust, even while on the move. I broke a camber link on my RC and used an extra that was laying around, this threw the alignment of my vehicle way off. I was able to easily make adjustments on the 4PLS, to compensate for the terrible alignment.
The range on this thing is crazy, I went as far as I could, approx 700ft and was limited by space, not the transmitter.
The 120 page all English instruction manual, is easy to read and well laid out. It does a decent job of explaining all of the functions. Although I did find myself using the internet to figure out what was meant by a few terms.
The Good: Durable, Large Backlight LCD Display, Easy to navigate menus, Overall feel, The Range
The Bad: The joystick used to navigate the menus can be a little sensitive and if you are moving too fast in the menus, the sensitive joystick can cause you to skip past your intended selection. Not a deal breaker, I just slowed down a bit in the menus and problem is solved.
Other: You may want a case to help protect your investment. The only other thing to consider would be a LiFe battery Transmitter Pack, the Futaba 4PLS requires 4 AA batteries out of the box. This is a great transmitter and receiver combo they came bound together from the factory and binding new receivers is easy and quick. The PLS is a huge step up from the Traxxas TQI I owned. I would have no problem recommending it to anyone. It is great to have a system in place that I know can handle so many different applications, you never know where this hobby will take you.