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How can I get FULL resolution on ALL channels of a Futaba 14MZ or 12Z

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Old 02-09-2007, 06:52 PM
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RKSWS
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Default How can I get FULL resolution on ALL channels of a Futaba 14MZ or 12Z

We have been using the Futaba 9Z radios for more than 10 years now to control animatronic/robotic characters used in movies and have been generally happy with them and the level at which we can customize the models, etc. We recently bought a 14MZ and 12Z in an attempt to replace our aging stock of 9Z's but soon found out that appearently on both of these new radios only the joysticks and the center dial are at full resolution. All other dials and sliders are not at full resolution. They are not even close to 1024, let alone 2048. On the Servo Slider page you can see the percentage numbers for the joysticks and the center dial go up or down 1 step at a time (as long as the center dial has been set to "1 step" ). However, all the other channels (sliders and dials) go up or down 6 or 7 steps at a time, which is more like a resolution of around 400 instead of 1024 or 2048. It is very noticeable on the movement of the servos that are connected to those particular channels.....instead of a smooth sweep the servo arms jump from position to position (about 5 to 10 degrees apart).

I guess this is not a problem for flying airplanes or helicopters, but for what we do we need to have more than 5 channels with 1024 or better resolution. Ideally it would be good enough to have 8 channels of full resolution plus a digital channel, like our old 9Z's.

I have contacted Futaba tech support (hobbico) several times and they have said that they can't do anything about this issue and suggested that I contact Futaba Headquarters. I did that as well and one RC person that I spoke with did not know anything about this and forwarded my question to somebody else who still has not contacted me.

So I decided to post my questions here and hope that someone on this board can help.

1. Do you guys know of anything that I can do (as far as settings on the radios) to make it do full resolution on at least 8 channels? I have already tried changing it to 1024 mode and it did not help.

2. Do you think the cheaper simpler European T-12 FG may have full resolution on all channels? I would think that it would be the same as the 12Z and 14 MZ, but on the Robbe website it says: "......The new PCM 2048 system offers twelve channels ´with a resolution of 2048 steps,.....". I think they may have just assumed that it would have 2048 resolution on all channels, but in reality it may still be the same as the 12Z and only have it on a few channels.

I am hoping that one of you will point me to a setting on the radios that I did not know about which will give me full resolution on all channels, however, if there is such a setting then even Futaba tech support does not know about it.

Thanks in Advance,

RKSWS
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Old 02-09-2007, 07:36 PM
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Default RE: How can I get FULL resolution on ALL channels of a Futaba 14MZ or 12Z

My son did some special effects years back a sci Fi thing -"visitors from planet 9 or something like that
I had also built my own radios from ACE equip and looked at what the movie guys were doing.
and looked at the limitations ----
FWIW --If Iwas in your shoes --I would look hard at buying two inexpensive Spektrum DX7 radios - stuffing the tx guts in one tray - which the operator could use to access four - two axis gimbals and sliders etc as desired. there are 20 seperate descrete output codes so a person could make up a board with all the controls desired. Using up to 20 sets of controls for example
The problem with aportioning the output of the 1024 PCM etc--is just part of the limitations of those designs.
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Old 02-10-2007, 11:19 AM
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Default RE: How can I get FULL resolution on ALL channels of a Futaba 14MZ or 12Z

Make your needs known to the manufacturers. With the bandwidth they have on the SS systems they can give us much better resolution for all systems. We are going to need better servos to use it though
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Old 02-12-2007, 01:30 PM
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Default RE: How can I get FULL resolution on ALL channels of a Futaba 14MZ or 12Z

Thanks for your response.

Before the 9Z's came out we used to have the Futaba 7 channel radios (can't remember the model number now). We used to open them up and stuff the guts in a case and install four joysticks on the case (as you described). However, after the 9Z's came out we took a different approach and installed custom circuit boards in the radios that allowed us to tap in to the inputs with an external joystick box which had 6 2-axis joysticks and other inputs. This allowed us to leave the 9Z'z intact so that they could be used as a standard radio. So if nothing was connected to it's inputs then it was just like a stock radio, and if we needed more channels (or a specific type or controller) we could connect external inputs to one, two, or more 9Z's.

More than 80% of the time we need at least 8 or 9 channels, but no more than that. Using a single DX7 would not give us enough channels, and using two of them with a controller box would give us more than 9 channels (which we don't need 80% of the time) and it would make the package too bulky and inconvenient. It would be fine for the 20% of the time when we do need more channels and a quad or 6 joystick box, but that is not what we need most of the time.

Another thing that is a must for us is being able to assign any input controller to any output. You can do this with the 9Z, 12Z, and 14MZ......however, most other radios that I have looked at (including the Futaba 9C) the joysticks are fixed to certain outputs and need to be mixed to control other outputs. Does the DX7 have full input to output assignability?


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Old 02-12-2007, 01:40 PM
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Default RE: How can I get FULL resolution on ALL channels of a Futaba 14MZ or 12Z

I just got an e-mail from the person at the Futaba Headquarters here in the US who deals with the hobby RC products. He said that he forwarded my concerns and questions to Futaba Japan and would get back to me with their response in a couple of days.

I don't know if there is anything they can do for the current models, but as you said maybe they can incorporate some changes in their future models (or future versions of the current models).

I will post what Futaba Japan's response is when I get it.

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Old 02-12-2007, 06:32 PM
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Default RE: How can I get FULL resolution on ALL channels of a Futaba 14MZ or 12Z

Have you considered the Multiplex 9 or 12 channel radios, that have equal status on all channels and channel assigning?

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Old 02-13-2007, 12:51 PM
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Default RE: How can I get FULL resolution on ALL channels of a Futaba 14MZ or 12Z

Thanks for your reply HarryC. I have considered the EVO12. I have one right now for evaluation and actually you helped me (on another forum) with some problems that I was having with the channel assignments of the sticks. I still think that the channel assignments are easier on the Futaba, but I can learn to do it the way that the Evo12 does it. There are a couple of other issues that may make it hard or impossible for us to switch to the EVO12, but I think I should post those questions in a new thread about the EVO12.

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Old 02-13-2007, 06:00 PM
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Default RE: How can I get FULL resolution on ALL channels of a Futaba 14MZ or 12Z

If you're considering the Evo12, you might also consider the MPX Profi 4000. This may be more radio than you need but it IS extremely flexible, and offers full resolution on all channels like on the Evo but actively encourages the addition of extra switches and potentiometers.
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