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"vintage" Futaba equipment

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Old 02-26-2005, 07:25 PM
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papermache
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Default "vintage" Futaba equipment

Fellow modelers,
I recently acquired a couple of older (probably 1980s) Futaba radios and servos and I have some questions about them.

1. The receivers and some of the servos have the old (I think "G") style plugs. Does anybody make an adapter so I can use "J" plugs (especially on the battery connection)?

2. I'm sure this equipment will have to be "gold sticker" upgraded. Is there anybody around who does that? I'm saying that because of the red frequency stickers on the Tx and Rx.

3. some of the servos have square posts instead of splines. Can I still get servo arms of this fashion? (The new spline arms fit on the square posts, but I have my doubts about the safety of that kind of setup.

I'd appreciate any comments, suggestions, etc.

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Old 02-27-2005, 12:50 AM
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Default RE: "vintage" Futaba equipment

With a servo going to $10 or less, and a complete four channel radio going for about $100, why get yourself involved in this?
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Old 02-27-2005, 01:35 AM
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Default RE: "vintage" Futaba equipment

Radio South is the place for this kind of work. <www.radiosouthrc.com> Here is their web site piece about narrow banding:

FREQUENCY CONVERSIONS

The FCC requirements for "gold" is -55db sidebands at +/- 20Khz. An additional requirement is the frequency accuracy must be within +/- 1.5 Khz from center frequency. Most transmitters can be "gold stickered" at a cost of $15.00. Pro-Line systems are $40.00, due to special components needed to update them. Kraft systems are $50.00 for pre-1976 transmitters, and $25.00 for 1976 and later versions. Frequency changes are common in order to obtain a frequency that is less crowded or to move away from known interference at a local flying field. Costs vary from system to system, due to the price of xtals required for the change. Most newer systems use dual conversion xtals in the receivers. Prices vary, but most Dual Conversion systems are $49.50 (tx and rx, including tuning) to change. Single conversion systems are usually $39.50.

I still like the older Futaba Txs, especially the FG series. If I had a good one, I believe I'd let Tony gold sticker the transmitter and get a new flight pack to go with it. Although Curtis is right, the new radios are so cheap and reliable....
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Old 02-27-2005, 09:41 AM
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Default RE: "vintage" Futaba equipment

As far as I know Futaba never sold a dual conversion narrow band AM receiver. You will need one when you narrow band the transmitter. Your best bet for the receiver is the Hitec RCD Platinum AM dual conversion unit. They are no longer made but occasionally you can find them in the RCU market place. RCD has a G and J connecter model. I haven’t seen any listed on ebay for a very long time.


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Old 02-27-2005, 10:21 AM
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Default RE: "vintage" Futaba equipment

Paper,

I've already done this and got multiple t shirts for it. First off, it is a simple matter to get the Tx's gold stickered BUT.....not only do you have a 25 year old radio... you have a possibly 25 year old TX battery which will cost you no less that $25 to replace. So, you've got $40 in the Tx. Futaba did make an AM dual conversion receiver, the R 114H.. but it is only 4 channel. The RCD platinums (when you can find them) are the way to go.... and you still have a 15 year old receiver. Quite honestly... I LOVE the sticks/TX layout and own 4 working 7 FGK systems.. but three of them are FM (worth the change).. and I was able to pick up a R 114 at a swap meet for $5.. so I fly it too. With the modern equipment being so reasonably priced, there is no way I would do that again... I'm an electronics tech and even though it is possible to switch servo leads to use your old servos w/a new receiver.. I wouldn't do it. You will still have 25 year old servos plus you will pay $3 or so for a new lead to solder in. You just don't fly a $500 airplane w/$5 servos. There is being frugal.. and there is just not thinking. I would never "upgrade" an older radio again. Yes, all 4 of mine work like new... but... they are NOT in any plane that I really value. It's really fun getting some of the comments at the field on the old Gold Futaba Txs.... but...as I said before... I wouldn't do it again.

Deadstik......[8D]
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Old 02-27-2005, 06:31 PM
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Default RE: "vintage" Futaba equipment

you can use a older wide band rx with a narrow banded tx. Its NOT ILLEAGEL You just have to make sure to secrure the pin on both sides of your frequency as well as the one you are on.
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Old 02-27-2005, 10:51 PM
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Default RE: "vintage" Futaba equipment

Although it is true that our frequencies are separated by 20 KHz, and that the old receivers are selective to about a 40 KHz wide band, there is another problem that you should be aware of. That is the image frequency can mix with the LO (Local Oscillator) and pass into the IF (Intermediate Frequency) filters. The image frequency is 910 KHz from LO frequency, so you could be shot down by a transmitter on the other end of the RC band.
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Old 03-05-2005, 01:01 PM
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Default RE: "vintage" Futaba equipment

hi

any radio equipment produced before 1992<thereabouts> is not legal to use for rc flying. Tx and Rcvr must be narrow banded. Cost of conversion of Tx and buying a new narrow band receiver is normally greater than new modern gear.

happy flying
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