Another addition to the saitek pro flight panel line up is the Saitek Pro Flight Radio Panel. So far I have already reviewed the
- Saitek Pro Flight Multi Panel which allows you to control AP functions
- Saitek Pro Flight Switch Panel which allows you to toggle lights/power switches
The Saitek Pro Flight Radio Panel is the same height and width of the previous panels and it can be stacked next to or above the other saitek panels. The radio panel allows you to do exactly what you imagine it should. It allows you control the radio settings on planes. Luckily on one panel unit, you can actually control 2 radios.
Once again saitek have gone out and looked at radio planes on real aircraft and have modeled a realistic enough yet generic enough radio panel for you to use with your civilian aircraft flight simulator (ie MS flight sim). It costs around the same as the other panels on offer by saitek and is much cheaper than building your own or purchasing a real copy of another radio panel.
Inside the box you get:
Saitek Pro Flight Radio Panel Design
The radio panel allows you to control 2 radios. On each radio you have a main LED display with the radio frequency, the mode selector, frequency tuning knob and finally a frequency switch button. The unit plugs in via USB and like most of the other panels you will want to use a powered usb port or hub. You can add multiple saitek radio panels, removing the need to use the mode selector switches. IE, one panel for NAV 1/2 and another panel for COM 1/2.
Installation is painless however you are required to install the drivers that come on the CD in order for it to work with MS Flight Sim. The unit is detected immediately and without problem.
Saitek Pro Flight Radio Panel Features
- Switches and big LED display
- Works with Microsoft Flight Simulator X and 2004
- LED displays mirrors radio display in MS Flight Sim. You no longer have to refer to the radio stack on screen
- Standby switch so you can quickly quickly flick over to another frequency
- Twin concentric adjustment dials
- USB Connectivity
- Works on all versions of Windows
- Works with both MS Flight Simulator 2004 and X
- Buy Saitek Flight Radio Panel at Amazon
In terms of usability, I found the same problems that most users have discovered. The selector knob on the left hand side requires an excessive amount of force to move. You will need to securely fasten the radio stack in order to turn the selector knobs without the unit moving about on the table. The radio panel does not weigh a lot which is understandable considering all that is inside of it are light weight electronic parts.On the other hand, the radio frequency knobs are too easy to turn. Even more puzzling is that the frequency step increments are not standard with each click of the knob. With that slight imprecision it takes a lot more needless fiddling around to get exactly the right radio frequency dialed in. Fortunately the LED display is big, bright and very easy to read. You will not find yourself squinting into an LCD screen anymore trying to read the tiny numbers.
The best part of the unit undoubtedly is the price. The relatively cheap price is the major pulling point in favor of the Saitek Pro Flight Radio Panel. In fact it packs two radios per panel. You will be hard pressed to find anything as usable for that price bracket.
- Cheap price for 2 radios
- Quick simple installation, works flawlessly with MS Flight Sim
- Streamlines the process of using on board radios when you fly IFR
- Strange behavior of the rotating knobs
- Mode selector knobs very hard to turn
- Light, need to be mounted or safely secured
- No word on x plane support
Check out what other users had to say…
Amazon Review #1
Overall, the product is great! I am an ex cockpit builder (long ago) and have spent over $900 for the part to do what this does. That said, you get what you pay for and in most ways more than you paid for in my opinion. The function knobs on the left I like. They are more sturdy and some say touch to turn, but not me. I think it may be because the knobs on the right are [...] Read the rest of the review >
Amazon Review #2
Nice unit.Works with windows 7 (in comp mode)However. the knobs to select the modes are extremely difficult to turn.. Therefore I gave it 3 stars. I believe they are to small Need a lot of finger strenght to turn Overall a good unit [...] Read the rest of the review >
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