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Futaba 4GRS Review

Futaba 4GRS 4-Channel T-FHSS Radio Review

Twin stick radios are so old school that nobody uses them anymore, right??? That absolutely isn’t the case, in fact they are making a bit of a comeback thanks to the crawling/trailing and boat crowds. When Futaba announced the twin stick 4GRS it was actually a pretty big deal, it isn’t often when a new surface twin sticker hits the market. Does the 4GRS live up to the Futaba reputation? Does it have long range? If you are a pistol driver how hard it is to change over to a twin stick? Lastly, is the 4GRS worth your cash? Keep reading to find out…

From: Futaba
Direct Link: 4GRS Transmitter
Unboxing: BSRC Unboxes the 4GRS

Review By: Cubby
Pics By: Hollywood

Specs-

Transmitting Frequency- 2.4GHz T-FHSS plus S-FHSS
Number of Channels- 4
Telemetry- Yes
Display- Yes, backlit
Power Requirement For Transmitter- Four AA batteries
Transmitter Current Drain- 150mA or less
Transmitter Weight (measured by BSRC w/ four Energizers)- 639 grams
Receiver- R304SB
Receiver Weight (measured by BSRC)- 6 grams
Receiver Size- 23 x 35 x 12 mm
Warranty- 1 year
Street Price- $279

Primary Competition- KO Propo Esprit IV Professional

What’s In The Box- Transmitter, receiver, on/off switch, manual, and small plastic screwdriver.

Build Quality- We found no faults with the build quality.

Test Drivers- Iron Mike, Teemoe, Robbie G., Sam The Not-So-Noob, and yours truly.

Test Venues- Green Tree Park in Kirkwood MO, St Louis Dirtburners, Cliff Cave Park in St Louis MO, Minnie Ha Ha Park in Fenton MO, Glidden Park in Collinsville IL, and of course our local CostCo parking lot.

Set-up Notes- We ran the 4GRS in two different vehicles, a Pro-Line PRO-MT and in an Axial Yeti XL. We ran the Futaba off both RC Gear Shop and Castle Creations speedos and with Futaba, Hitec, and RC Gear Shop servos. Cell counts ranged from 2 to 6S of MaxAmps, Racers Edge, and Reedy LiPos.

Feel In Hand- Admittedly, nobody in our test crew had even held a surface style twin stick radio in a veryyyyy long time, but all of our test staff got along fine the ergonomics on the 4GRS. We would liked to have seen rubber grips where your fingers wrap around the sides of the case (stock is hard plastic), otherwise all was good.

Ease of Use- We found the 4GRS exceptionally easy to use. It was easy to jog through the menus and all the frequently used options were easily changed. Even our techno-phobic testers had no problem using the 4GRS.

Features- The 4GRS comes with all the features of a 4PLS, meaning, pretty much everything you can think of. It has telemetry (which we did not test), it has channel mixing, a 40 model memory, and pretty much every other bell and whistle you could ever use.

Glitching- We never experienced any glitching at all with the 4GRS.

Driving Performance- With our entire test crew being pistol only drivers, we couldn’t wait to go back to our roots and get in some twin stick action. What did we find out? Well… if you are used to a pistol, give yourself some time to adapt over to twin sticks. It didn’t take our staff long, maybe a half dozen packs or so, but the first pack we ran on 6S had people scrambling to get out of the way. Once we got used to the twin stick layout, we realized just how smooth the 4GRS was. Compared to a pistol, it felt more linear in both steering and on the throttle. No, we didn’t have another twin stick laying around to compare it to back-to-back, but all our drivers agreed that the 4GRS felt as smooth and linear as anything else they had ever driven.

Radio Range- How is the range? It is typical Futaba, really, Reallyyyy long. The 4GRS easily had enough range that you could barely see the car and you still had full control. We were never in a huge open area to test out its max, but we did step it off one time at just over a 1000 foot radius.

Durability Testing- Yes, we always have fun with transmitter durability testing. It was fun showing up at the local track then knocking the 4GRS off the rail of the drivers stand (a half dozen times), all the while other hobbyists thought we had lost our minds. Needless to say the 4GRS can take a good hit and still work fine afterwards. Heck, even its battery door stays on after being dropped 10+ feet to the ground. To boil it down, if you accidentally knock yours off the tailgate of your truck, you shouldn’t worry at all about messing it up.

Downsides-

We simply didn’t find much to grouch about on the 4GRS. The only thing we would have liked to have seen (like mentioned above) was rubber pads where your fingers rest on the side of the case.

High Points-

We found the menu system very easy to use. Even non-Futaba drivers can easily find what they need.

The twin sticker definitely turned some heads at the track, it’s not very common to see twin sticks up on the stand.

The manual is quite thick, but well written and easy to understand.

Best Hop-Up- Easy one here, a rechargable battery pack like the Futaba HT5F1700B 1700mAh. Seriously, a good rechargable transmitter pack is worth its weight in gold.


SUMMARY

Time To Bash: A It doesn’t take long to pop in some AA batteries and get the 4GRS up and going.

Car Show Rating: A Not that there are a lot of radios to compare it to, all our staffers thought the 4GRS was great looking.

Bash-A-Bility: A Yes, we did some ugly things to the radio and never broke a thing.

Range: A Futaba pretty much rules this category and the 4GRS is no different.

Value: B $279 isn’t cheap, but you do get a whole heck of a lot of bang-for-the-buck with the 4GRS.

Big Squid Rating: A- The Futaba 4GRS is a fantastic radio. It can take a beating, it has incredible range, and it drives as silky smooth as anything we’ve tested before. If you are in the market for a twin stick radio, do not hesitate to cut the check for the 4GRS.

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Posted by in Accessory Reviews, Transmitters on Monday, March 16th, 2015 at 11:17 pm

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