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Futaba 12FG FASST first impressions

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Old 02-08-2008, 06:55 PM
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rconabudget
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Default Futaba 12FG FASST first impressions

I received my 12FG FASST system yesterday after a very long wait. Australia Post managed to loose it along the way! I have not yet had a chance to fly with it as Sunny Sydney has been grey and wet for the last couple of weeks [:@]

Well the first thing that I had to do was change it from Mode 2 to Mode 1. I know that it will need to be recalibrated but I am happy to live with the calibration being out until someone find a way to do it! The change took all of 15 minutes and didn't seem to be a problem.

Now on to actually using the radio to set up my planes. WOW!!!! Quite a change from the 9C I've been using but what an impressive radio!!! Well done Futaba[sm=thumbup.gif]

I tried using some SD cards in it. I had bought a 2Gb card that I decided to use in my camera and to use the 1Gb card from the camera. The radio did not recognise it on power up[&o] I then tried an SD card that came with a Nokia phone. Same problem. Even after reformatting on my PC. As a last resort, I tried the 2Gb card that I had originally bought. It worked fine. It turns out the other 2 are SD Ultra cards where as the one that works is not. Now I have 3870 models available

The first plane that I set up is an electric foamie (an S&B ME263 Komet) with a 607 receiver. This is a delta with no rudder. The only challenge was getting to grips with the change in channel numbering. Once I realized that you can see the assignment in the servo testing screen (and test the movements) it all became easy! The complete setup took me around 30 minutes.

The next plane was an electric Pitts with dual aileron. Took about 30 minutes too. So far I've changed over 3 planes and will continue to do the rest while the rain pours down.

The only negative comments I have are:[ul][*] The change in the plug used for charging the Tx is a pain. I had to make up a fast charge lead using the wire from the supplied charger (I can't use it here as it is a US 110v charger and we use 240v). I also don't believe in using those wall chargers. I only use a good peak detect charger on my radios. Making the fast charge lead only took a few minutes but it was a pain to do before I could use my radio.[*] The manual is really poor. Thanks to intuition and work done on this and other forums I managed to work around it.[*] It would have been better if it had LiPos
[/ul]

Once I've spent more time with the radio, and hopefully gotten to fly with it, I will update this thread.
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Old 02-08-2008, 11:06 PM
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d plane boss
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Default RE: Futaba 12FG FASST first impressions

rconabudget,
You say you hooked up a peak detection charger to your 12FG using the plug from your wall charger.
That must mean there's no diode in the Tx that would prevent your charger from "reading" the battery voltage.
So that's all it takes to quick charge the battery in the Tx case?
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Old 02-09-2008, 06:51 AM
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Default RE: Futaba 12FG FASST first impressions


ORIGINAL: d plane boss

rconabudget,
You say you hooked up a peak detection charger to your 12FG using the plug from your wall charger.
That must mean there's no diode in the Tx that would prevent your charger from "reading" the battery voltage.
So that's all it takes to quick charge the battery in the Tx case?
The diode would only prevent the battery from being discharged. Charging is fine. I'm not sure if there is a diode in the Tx as I've not tried to discharge the battery.
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Old 02-09-2008, 10:11 AM
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Default RE: Futaba 12FG FASST first impressions

But if the charger can't read the voltage of the pack. (because the diode blocks it) how is the charger going to read the peak of the battery?
I think this is what D Plane boss was saying.
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Old 02-09-2008, 10:17 AM
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d plane boss
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Default RE: Futaba 12FG FASST first impressions

That's right.
My Sirius chargers require there be no diode in the Tx charging circuit. They even show you how to jumper it out on the older models. I just ordered some 12FG charger plugs from Tower - for their CR2000 charger. We'll just have to wait and see if the chargers that require voltage feedback will work.
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Old 02-09-2008, 10:56 AM
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Default RE: Futaba 12FG FASST first impressions

Just curious, but doesn't Futaba use polyswitches for protection on their better radios, I know my 9C has the polyswitch, so you can cycle or read the battery voltage through the jack.
Pete
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Old 02-09-2008, 11:08 AM
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Default RE: Futaba 12FG FASST first impressions

I think you will come to like your 12FG FASST or FM. Three of us in our club have had the FM for a while and we are finding it a very capable radio for the money.

I fixed the non-lipo issue by making a two cell li-ion pack that fits well in the battery compartment. I do charge the battery directly; not thru the transmitter plug. Has worked wonderfully with no problems.

Your problem with the SD cards it not unusual. I have an Ultra card that has worked from the start. Just like with cameras, some may work, some won't. I do like being able to store 1200 models!

Your are correct about the manual, it sucks. It is the bare minimum to get you started. I hope someone comes out with an aftermarket manual.

Good luck!

Jeff
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Old 02-09-2008, 03:39 PM
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Default RE: Futaba 12FG FASST first impressions

The battery voltage will show up at the charge jack (less a very small voltage drop across the diode) even with a diode which only blocks current flow.
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Old 02-09-2008, 08:30 PM
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Default RE: Futaba 12FG FASST first impressions

For those of you interested in the 12FG charging circuit........
I talked with George at Sirius Electronics. He said to just try it. If the sirius charger worked, it meant there was no diode in the circuit. I jury rigged a plug and tried it. It worked just fine. Either the circuit isn't protected with a diode or it is protected with that polyswitch like the 9C.
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Old 02-09-2008, 08:54 PM
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Default RE: Futaba 12FG FASST first impressions

I have the 12FG and I charge and cycle, (discharge), through the jack on the back of the case. There is no diode.
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Old 02-10-2008, 05:02 AM
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Default RE: Futaba 12FG FASST first impressions

Well!!!!
The rain stopped and the sun came out today so I went hurrying down to the field to get some flying time on the new radio

I range checked the Komet and decided to get someone to launch it for me as I wasn't sure about the trims. What I didn't check was if the ailerons moved the right was[:@] It smashed into the ground breaking of the nose. Well, I jumped into the car and raced home to fix it. Fixed the aileron reversal and back to the field in less than 45 minutes (it helps that there is an electric field less than 5 minutes from home). Got the plane launched again only the realize that I had put the prop back on backwards. I was starting to wonder if I should go home and get back into bed and try again another day. Well I tried again and managed to get 4 more flights in before I had to go home (I had run out of leave pass[:'(]).

My initial impressions of this radio still hold up. It feels great in my hands. I feel more connected to the model and the balance of the transmitter is great unlike some other 2.4 radios that feel like they need some weight in the antenna.

I still have a lot of questions that need to be answered as far as the programming is concerned particularly around the group and condition functionality but I'm sure I will work it out. I can't wait to start to use some of the more advanced functionality. The more I get to use the radio, the more I feel that it was worth the investment.
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Old 02-10-2008, 05:06 AM
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Default RE: Futaba 12FG FASST first impressions


ORIGINAL: Flying Geezer

I have the 12FG and I charge and cycle, (discharge), through the jack on the back of the case. There is no diode.
I've been too excited about using the radio to analyse the circuitry around the charge jack so all I was concerned about was getting a charge in the battery. It worked well with my Supernova 250 and detected the voltage. That's all I was worried about. I am glad to hear it can be discharged through the jack too. The old 8U couldn't without the diode being removed. The 9C was fine. I tend to remove the battery from the radio when I discharge. It allows better ventilation of the battery and just seems safer.
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Old 02-10-2008, 03:55 PM
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Default RE: Futaba 12FG FASST first impressions

I have had my 12FGH a few weeks and charge it using my Robbe Infinity charger without a problem. I have never used the supplied wall charger.
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Old 06-25-2008, 09:33 PM
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Default RE: Futaba 12FG FASST first impressions

Can anyone tell me the size of the charge plug?

I bought a 12FG locally but it did not come with a charger. The importers tell me that it's not worth it because the 12FG is the only one in the range with 7.2V NiMH TX pack.

I've been charging the battery directly using and RX plug but it's a pain.

I can go to an electronics store and purchase a charge plug if i knew what size it is.
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Old 06-25-2008, 11:22 PM
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Default RE: Futaba 12FG FASST first impressions

I ordered a lead from Tower hobbies that is specifically made for the 12FG. It has the coax power plug on one end to plug into the TX, the other end has a standard Futaba plug just like the one on the battery or servo. I plugged the lead into a standard Futaba charge lead.

You could cut the lead and put banana plugs on it if you prefer.
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Old 09-28-2008, 09:35 PM
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Default RE: Futaba 12FG FASST first impressions

I think that these are the correct plug for the transmitter: [link=http://search.digikey.com/scripts/DkSearch/dksus.dll?Detail?name=CP-2199-ND]http://search.digikey.com/scripts/DkSearch/dksus.dll?Detail?name=CP-2199-ND[/link] - 1.7mm ID, 4.75mm OD - Plug, R/A to Wire Leads

I will find out for sure when my order arrives in a few days.
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