Review: Sanwa MT-44 Transmitter Radio System

The Sanwa MT-44 is the successor for the MT-4S. Slotted for Sanwa’s mid/intermediate level but having top notch response times and features. It surely is a major contender as the king of the mid-level surface radios.

Here are some pros, cons, and observations. Things besides the usual like number of assignable buttons, lap timing, adjustable tension for the wheel and the trigger, etc. If you want those information then here’s a link to the official page of the transmitter.

Here’s a link to buy the transmitter : CLICK ME!

Pros:

  • Smaller and lighter compared to the Sanwa MT4/s and my 4PL. I weighed mine at ~425 grams with an 18650 battery and my name tag on it.
  • Firmware update process was way faster than I expected. Can be updated via microsd card
  • Has a microsd slot. Useful for transferring logged data.
  • Steering wheel has a nice black/dark chrome finish.
  • Build quality is to be expected. Buttons feel nice and flush. Selector wheel feels solid.
  • No inherent dead band on the trigger unlike the 4PL and 4PL-S.
  • Better transmission technology; FH4T vs FHSS. It is as fast as the flagship transmitter of Sanwa at the time of its release, the M12S. Both clocking in at 2.6ms response time at their fastest modes.
  • Display tells the time, date, and temperature as well as having a battery indicator besides the voltage indicator.
  • Any adjustment done to the trims, epa, d/r, etc. is numerically displayed unlike my old 4PL where it only showed an increasing or decreasing line/bar. This is especially useful for adjusting gyro gains.
  • Telemetry shows trigger and wheel movement graph real time, and receiver input voltage. Missing data will be mentioned in cons.
  • Battery type, and cutoff and warning voltages can be assigned.
  • If using the Sanwa lipo, you can charge it via an access slot at the bottom. No more removing from the transmitter.

 

Cons:

  • The folding handle does seem unnecessary at least for me.
  • Requires three AAA batteries unless changing to the Sanwa lipo or other aftermarket ones made for it or 18650 batteries. I suggest the latter since they’re much cheaper.
  • As mentioned above, aftermarket lipos are taylor made for it as its compartment wouldn’t accommodate just any 1s lipo.
  • The seam between the left and right housing seems more pronounced compared to my 4pl but it’s smooth to the touch.
  • Telemetry data doesn’t include motor RPM and temperature. Needs additional sensors.

 

Other observations:

  • The included rx-482 has such a small footprint and has no external antennae but the plugs are hard to insert and remove. Had to trim some plugs. I still like how small it is.

  • Had to change the start up to instant instead of demo in the system settings. It was slow to start up before because of the Sanwa screen showing first.
  • Wheel spring tension is softer compared to the MT-4 and MT-4S.
  • You can adjust the mode of the led; steady with adjustable brightness, wave or breathing effect, or simply off.
  • Menu is different from the MT4 series.
  • Body has a matte finish.
  • My electronics seem compatible at least with the shr modes:
    – OMG D2-LP-BM10S servo
    – Xerun V3.1 esc

 

If you’re coming from an MT-4 then the response time  might be worth the upgrade as it halves it as well as having a backlit display. If you have the MT-4S, I don’t think the upgrade is worth it unless you really like the aesthetic and want a lighter transmitter although I do like the menu better as well. For me personally, coming from the Futaba 4PL and having handled my friend’s 4PL-S, I can say it was worth the switch. The ease of navigation of menus, smaller size, lower weight, and especially the non-existent deadband in the trigger makes it all worth it.

 

 

 

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