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Tamiya Leopard 2A6 works with programmable radio (Plus mix settings)

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Tamiya Leopard 2A6 works with programmable radio (Plus mix settings)

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Old 11-08-2019, 02:43 AM
  #1  
dingobattler
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Default Tamiya Leopard 2A6 works with programmable radio (Plus mix settings)

EDIT: DO NOTE THE VIDEO BELOW IS OLD - YOU CAN NOW ACTIVATE THE GBS AND COMBAT WITH A SINGLE FLICK INSTEAD OF 2 FLICKS. SETTINGS BELOW

While building my Tamiya King Tiger, a thought came to me - I need a radio, but I don't want 6 Futaba attacks lying around. I want a programmable radio. Also, with my recent club battles, my Leo has suffered from slow reaction speed, slide the slider up, flick the barrel stick up, slide it back down. Plus, we fight on a slope, so I constantly have to adjust barrel angle.

I had a belief that all rumours on how the Tamiyas can only work with FM radios, or even analog radios actually boiled down to user error. Plus, DAK runs their tanks on Spektrums. Either way, I could take my radio and fly planes if it didn't work. So I bought my first programmable radio - a Spektrum DX6e with an AR610 receiver. Second hand, so I only got it for half price, which made it cheaper than my Futaba attack.

Either way, its time to drive a stake deep into the heart of this rumours and kill it once and for all - I attach videographical evidence that I can fire the cannon with a flick of a finger, change lights with a flick of the finger, CHANGE GUN BARREL STABILISER (This has been the most persistent belief of them all) and combat lights with a flick of 2 switches.


I spent 2 hours doing it all. The first 1hr 15 minutes stupidly spent binding, and messing around with the direction you plug the channels in, which was 100% user error on my part. Suffice to say, you can save that time if you remember that you need to rebind on every single separate model selection. Also, the white wire faces inwards towards the words.

15 minutes to mess with the channels, rearrange them, so that left stick is throttle and turret rotation, right stick is turret elevation and turning. I had to reverse throttle and turret elevation (basically both sticks that pointed upwards). Throttle = Throttle, Aileron = Turret rotation, Elevation = Barrel Elevation, Rudder = Turning

30 minutes to mix. First bit is the master (ie. the key), then second bit is the slave (ie. the input), switch means which switch will activate such a setup, in the case of tanks, it'll be the master, but I can see how people will set it up both master and slave as channels for aircraft manoeuvres. Use Heli settings. Commentary below.

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This is for firing the main gun. Elevation -125% (remember this is reversed)
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This is for changing the lights. Airleon right 125%
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This is why using heli mode is important - You need the swashplate settings to modify the travel positions of the aileron so that moving in using the switch will affect elevation at the same time. Remember to de-select position 1 and highlight position 0 and 2.
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This is position 0 to activate the combat lights. As you can see from the photo, travel right 125% and elevation -125% (negative as controls are reversed) This should be a single flick to position 0
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Pretty much the same as above. Single flick to position 2.

If you don't have a programmable radio, my #1 recommendation will be the DX6e - You literally can change which stick is self centring with a flick of a switch (on the back), so you can fly planes, helis, on both mode 1 and 2. No need to unscrew it and mess around with the internals. I'll caution on Turnigy, as there's a hidden setting to unlock anything beyond 125%. Plus Turnigy's settings apparently aren't the best.

If there's a will, there's a way. Its like all things in this hobby, 90% of it is problem solving, but the rush you get from solving it is what makes it worth it.

Peace out.

Last edited by dingobattler; 11-09-2019 at 12:54 AM.
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Old 11-08-2019, 03:39 AM
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Default Went to this radio 4 months ago for the Leo 2, LOL.


Thank you for the rc radio video tip. Though, a better Leo 2 transmitter solution was reached months ago, but prefer a dedicated transmitter. Took 5 minutes to setup, plug and play is OK too, LOL Just took more than a decade to find that better solution!


Tamiya Leo 2.




Works great.



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Old 11-08-2019, 03:56 AM
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Originally Posted by Pcomm1.v2 View Post

Though, a better Leo 2 transmitter solution was reached months ago, but prefer a dedicated transmitter.






Nope. When it first came out, you were insisting that anything other than a FM radio would not work, and even if it did, that the GBS would not work with it. You were the one persisting that the Leo2 will not work with anything other an FM radio till last month when I showed you that it works with a 2.4 ghz attack. This post is basically proof from me to kill off more of this misinformation.

Also, for the same cost, you get a infinitely superior radio with 6 channels that can control tanks, boats, helis, quads, planes on the fly on both mode 1 and mode 2. Plus, you can set the firing switches are on the right to fire on the fly, while moving both the tanks and the barrel, like it does in real life, whereas the Tamiya ones has switches on the left in an akward spot. You need to stop, aim and shoot WWII style. The Spektrum is a no brainer if you can spend 45 minutes to set it up.

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Old 11-08-2019, 04:07 AM
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Back at at you dude, nope. Things changed and I generally do not fix what is not broken, but I had the Tamiya radio for an Abrams build and it does work very well with my Leo 2. One transmitter for several models is not a good idea, specially for aircraft and using the brand you selected. And precludes enjoying running more than one of your rc tanks at a time with friends.

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Old 11-08-2019, 04:13 AM
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Thanks for the video, very usefull for killing that myth, Dingo, but I am sorry to disagree a with you bit. Even when that Spectrum is a very nice radio, any other radio using Erskytx software, or Opentx software is much better, and also cheaper, because the mixes and the things you can do are infinite and beyond. Ersky-opentx updates about every week with new and more features. They even added some things under my request!

Anyway no matter what John said, it is much better to use a decent radio than that new overpriced tamiya-futaba radio for many many things, for mentioning just a small bunch:

More channels. Some aftermarket boards are now needing 16 channels in SBUS mode. In one of my tanks I am using 24 channels.
More buttons for activating more functions (I do have 40, yes, 40 positions in the switches, and sometimes I need to program logical switches for triggering all the functions in some of the 1/16 scale tanks I have.
You can simulate inertias and momentums and make the tank feel like a real heavy tank instead of a toy, if needed or wanted. No king tiggers jackrabitting anymore.
You can simulate gear changes even with the old tamiya electronics or 2 euros ESCs, like the real thing (I did videos of that, if somebody wants to watch them just tell me)
Programming advanced functions, like the turret turning faster when the tank is running full speed (like the real Tiger 1)
To see in your radio screen how much battery is left in the tank. (important when using LIPOs or battling) And also some other things interesting for the flyers guys, like real speed or GPS coordinates in case of a crash.
Sound/alarms in your radio (for example if you run out of battery, the radio vibrates or beeps.) In my case, when I press the machine gun or the cannon fire, the radio vibrates.
Bluetooth conection to program the radio with the computer, or controll a buddy
Use of multiprotocol modules, making your radio compatible with most of the brands. I have turnigy, flysky, frsky, spectrum and some other receivers working with the same radio and module.
But again, the super flexible programming, making you able to send any signal in any switch, mixed with anything you might dream.

And that and much, much more for less the price of a tamiya radio. Tamiya radios are only fine for either beginners or those who use their tanks mostly as self queens. Nothing bad against that, but it is what it is.
Funny that Daryl Turner is mentioned here often. Well, after talking with me he jumped into this kind of radios and he told me it changed his hobby life and stopped using the tamiya-futaba radios.
At the beginning it might look a bit complicated, but as they say, short time pain, long time gain.

I will try to create an entry of my blog about the radio and radio tips soon, for those who have interest.

And please, dont start conflicts and discuss like civilized people.
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Old 11-08-2019, 05:16 AM
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Originally Posted by Rad_Schuhart View Post
Even when that Spectrum is a very nice radio, any other radio using Erskytx software, or Opentx software is much better, and also cheaper, because the mixes and the things you can do are infinite and beyond. Ersky-opentx updates about every week with new and more features. They even added some things under my request!
I just looked into this. and it seems that what you're saying is correct. Does Opentx allow mixing multiple channels into a single switch? That was what was lacking in my mixes, where I had to flick 2 switches to get combat lights and GBS.

I wanted to get the Turnigy 9x, but couldn't find out enough info. It seems like everyone here and on other forums were recommending the Spektrum over others, especially Turnigy 9x which was why I picked it up. Apparently there were issues with the hardware like broken switches and sticks. Plus firmware needed to be flashed to get Opentx into it, as the native firmware was apparently really bad and hard to use. Also, with the easy mode change, plus with the massively discounted price made my choice for me. Again with the same issue - Too much hearsay and not enough guides. I would have to flash the firmware and program in an open source program, which is great when you're good but very hard as a beginner. It wasn't a risk I wanted to take. This was why I created this thread as a guide, as I had none.

I use my tanks for club IR battling for now, so not too concerned about geardowns for now, but a writeup would be great for future use.
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Old 11-08-2019, 05:58 AM
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Originally Posted by dingobattler View Post
I just looked into this. and it seems that what you're saying is correct. Does Opentx allow mixing multiple channels into a single switch? That was what was lacking in my mixes, where I had to flick 2 switches to get combat lights and GBS.

I wanted to get the Turnigy 9x, but couldn't find out enough info. It seems like everyone here and on other forums were recommending the Spektrum over others, especially Turnigy 9x which was why I picked it up. Apparently there were issues with the hardware like broken switches and sticks. Plus firmware needed to be flashed to get Opentx into it, as the native firmware was apparently really bad and hard to use. Also, with the easy mode change, plus with the massively discounted price made my choice for me. Again with the same issue - Too much hearsay and not enough guides. I would have to flash the firmware and program in an open source program, which is great when you're good but very hard as a beginner. It wasn't a risk I wanted to take. This was why I created this thread as a guide, as I had none.

I use my tanks for club IR battling for now, so not too concerned about geardowns for now, but a writeup would be great for future use.
Hi, Turnigy 9x radio time is gone, and it indeed needed to be flashed and modded, because its standard firmware makes the radio almost useless. About enough info, sorry to disagree, but there are TONS of info regarding the 9x radios. You will find most of it under "er9x" which is the software the radio needs to have flashed. Anyway as I said, its time is gone, and now there are much better alternatives out there for a very affordable price.

For the price of that extreme limited futaba radio over our lines, you can get for example this:
https://www.aliexpress.com/item/4000...chweb201603_52

Even when I do not have one, as far as I know it is amazing. Another option, and cheaper, the Taranis QX7 which is the radio I recommended to Daryl and is the one he uses as a main radio now.

And yes, with erskytx, er9x and opentx you can combine any mix of any channel of your need on every switch. Do you need to combine 32 channels in only one switch? you can.
Do you need to combine several positions from 8 channels at the same time in one switch? you can.
Do you need to have a delay up in one channel, delay down in another channel, slow up in another, and some other mixes like +51 - 37, 0, +5 at the same time, in one switch? you can.

For the people who uses very limited models, they wont understand and wont need that, but for those of us who like to have tons of functions in a model, this is a need.

Just remember the benedini miniand micro soundcards, that quite a lot of people has. It plays 16 custom user sounds and lights combinations in only one channel. How in the hell do you trigger those 16 posittions with only one channel in a non very deep programable radio? It is just not possible unless crazy complicated things like flicking 16 times one switch to one side, and one to the other. Plain stupid and useless.

Anyway I dont want to discourage you at all, do enjoy your radio, but if in the future you want to upgrade, the posibilities will be there. And probably you can sell that spectrum and get a brand new better radio with open firmware for some of the money. And dont forget the flysky receivers are available for 5 euros, lol. that counts too.
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Old 11-08-2019, 06:09 AM
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Originally Posted by dingobattler View Post
I use my tanks for club IR battling for now, so not too concerned about geardowns for now, but a writeup would be great for future use.
There are many things you can do, for example programming recoils. Video from rc tanks australia:

Gears changing (useless for a ir battle, but great for fun and experimenting) my own video: (yes, It needs explaining, I will do it in the future)

Me, playing 24 user sounds with a tank:
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Old 11-08-2019, 09:43 AM
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“That rc glitch thing again and not a good enough solution for sure.” The goal is to find a Tamiya Leo 2 rc system that works seamlessly and what you “dismiss” is still a stabilization glitch. Reference from your above post. “This is to activate GBS. It cannot be used alone. The best way to do it is flick this switch, then the switch for firing the main gun. Then reset both switches. Not an issue, since you'll only use this once if you want this function.” Maybe another few hours programming and you will resolve the problem. And the Futaba FM does not have your operational issue. Nor the does the black Tamiya radio.

Rad your info is important and good to know and for a build past four channels I will try the gear you recommend, but kinda over kill for a Tamiya 4 channel rc tank model. FYI, my models are built with a dedicated, designed purpose in mind: some are backyard IR fighters, some are runners for kid play and one is a prized shelf queen. Happy to learn Daryl has adopted newer rc tech, but this was the same gentlemen who handed off the Tamiya stabilizer issue on to me to figure out. He couldn’t get the thing to work during the Leo 2 build and is/was a plug and play advocate and certainly no beginner, LOL.


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Old 11-08-2019, 12:20 PM
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Originally Posted by Pcomm1.v2 View Post
“That rc glitch thing again and not a good enough solution for sure.” The goal is to find a Tamiya Leo 2 rc system that works seamlessly and what you “dismiss” is still a stabilization glitch. Reference from your above post. “This is to activate GBS. It cannot be used alone. The best way to do it is flick this switch, then the switch for firing the main gun. Then reset both switches. Not an issue, since you'll only use this once if you want this function.” Maybe another few hours programming and you will resolve the problem. And the Futaba FM does not have your operational issue. Nor the does the black Tamiya radio.

Rad your info is important and good to know and for a build past four channels I will try the gear you recommend, but kinda over kill for a Tamiya 4 channel rc tank model. FYI, my models are built with a dedicated, designed purpose in mind: some are backyard IR fighters, some are runners for kid play and one is a prized shelf queen. Happy to learn Daryl has adopted newer rc tech, but this was the same gentlemen who handed off the Tamiya stabilizer issue on to me to figure out. He couldn’t get the thing to work during the Leo 2 build and is/was a plug and play advocate and certainly no beginner, LOL.
All my models are a strange mixture of backyard runner, IR battler, childproof, self queens and some sort of multimedia-music-lights-functions things at the same time. Yes, my models are not the best on any of those aspects, but the overall result I think it makes the job or at least we are happy with them..

Saying the futaba/tamiya radios are better than the advanced ones because they are plug and play, is like saying the heng longs are better than tamiya because they come ready to run.
Also for everything there is a learning curve, something that took our colleague half an hour today, he can replicate it now in a minute or two. WIth a bit of easy programming (which is selecting a couple of things in the radio menu, no writting codes and needing a degree for that) he will be able to sort the issue soon. BUT also, even if he does not want to do it, he can still use the radio and activate the functions like the tamiya/futaba radios, just with the sticks, straight out of the box. That I already told you many times, all those radios work plug and play straight out of the box with the tamiya tanks, and all the functions can be triggered with the sticks, trims, and so on.... BUT the option of using the switches and using the sticks only for tank movement is also there, and it is very, very nice.


At the other hand: A radio with 16ch may sound overkill for a tamiya 4ch tank. Yes, but that is because you are just counting the channels. Sure you have 12 extra unused channels (that you could well use adding all kind of lights, smoke, moving hatches and so on to any Tamiya tank.) But even if you dont add anything else, you can benefit of the TONS of other functions mentioned above, and many, many more. And that is the origin of discussions that I had with you regarding the radios. Why to spend 150 euros in a tamiya radio that does almost nothing, with same functions than a 25 euros hobbyking radio, when for way less the futaba price you can have a super computerized and much advanced radio that will let you do whatever you might wish with any model, ranging from drones to boats and of course our tanks? I guess you wont really understand it until you try it. And really, as I told you many times, most of those radios will work straight out of the box with the tamiya tank without doing anything. There might be some small exceptions where you need to do minor tweaking (like in fact some of the spectrum radios, which come with some flying models predesigned, and it is better to just create a new one) But that is all. There is one thing that I keep telling to everybody, at least under my experience: The most important part of the model, is the radio. It is the radio what really lets you do marvels, and that you will never be able to achieve with the futabas because even the most expensive futaba is limited with a bad software.

I trully hope everything is clear, and again I dont want anybody to tell me I am a seller, because I am not, nor I dont work for any brand. As you have seen in my videos I a super moded th9xb with an 9xtreme board (not made anymore, making a plain radio useless for me and most of us) but I have recommended radios from Frsky or Jumper.
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Old 11-08-2019, 12:40 PM
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Agree, mostly, and trim tab rc radio operation is dated. Switches and knobs are superior. To clarify, did not mean that one rc radio is intrinsically better than another. Did claim that the rc radio that “works smoothly”, every time, without operational glitches is the rc system I would spec into a build, regardless of how many channels offered. Just as long as there were enough channels for the tasks at hand. When the need arises, I will try out your recommends.
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Old 11-08-2019, 11:37 PM
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Originally Posted by Rad_Schuhart View Post
WIth a bit of easy programming (which is selecting a couple of things in the radio menu, no writting codes and needing a degree for that) he will be able to sort the issue soon.
Which I've now easily done in less than 15 minutes. Now even the GBS and combat lights are single touch. Check out the edit to my first post. Programmable radios are indeed superior. For the same cost of less, you get infinitely more out of it, with literally no downsides at all. Thanks for the encouragement. Even happier now. Hope this encourages users here to use programmable radios.

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Old 11-09-2019, 06:14 AM
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Yes the Tamiya recommendation is very outdated and no longer relevant,

And should be dismissed for the updates and upgrade functionality of programmable radios

Indeed whether brand X or the FineSpec, they are BOTH programmable radios, so let the out-dated Tamiya comment die.
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Old 11-09-2019, 08:12 AM
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Originally Posted by heavyaslead View Post

Indeed whether brand X or the FineSpec, they are BOTH programmable radios, so let the out-dated Tamiya comment die.
Calling the "FineSpec" programable, is an insult to programmable radios. The FineSpec is just a plug and play radio for children or absolute rookies with a very proud price tag.

I am going to give you an example of what I am doing now in a RC armored vehicle with the size of a kubelwagen.
1 st channel goes to throttle. But even when there is a normal gearbox, I do virtually change the gears like in the videos above, even simulating the jolt and clutch. That you can´t do with the finespec.
2 nd channel is steering, but with a programmed curve. That you cant do with the finespec.
3 rd channel is servo turret rotation, when the stick goes to original´center position, the servo does not move the turret to its original position. That you cannot do with the finespec.
4 th channel is elevation, same specs as channel 3
5 th is the smoke machine, programmed with curves, so there is more smoke when I want. Also I can switch it on and off with a switch. Nope, you cannot do that with the finespec.
6 th vibration unit. It vibrates when the car is idling, and the faster it moves, the slow it vibrates and even stops vibrating. the vehicle also vibrates when shooting the main heavy auto cannon. Nope, the finespec wont do that.
7 th triggers some auxiliar sounds in the benedini mini board. You cannot do it with the finespec, because you ran out of channels.
8 th 16 yes, sixteen user sounds and light combinations and also adjustable volume in ONE channel. Machine gun, commander voices and so on. Yes, you guessed it, you cannot do it with the finespec.

So if a very decent and capable programmable radio cost the same as the finespec, why in the hell buy it? the only reasons I can imagine is being die hard Tamiya fanatic, being very happy with an ultra limited and unrealistic model, or just don't even knowing you can do that, because tons of people stills recommends the futaba 4ch radio. The FineSpec is almost as outdated as the old attack radios. It is crazy it has been released this year, because for me, it is like a 20 years old radio, and it is absolute useless for ALL my models.

And this is in a small scale 1/16 car, kubelwagen size. Imagine what you can do in a big model.
I hope this brings inspiration to people that want to bring life to their models.

Last edited by Rad_Schuhart; 11-09-2019 at 10:28 AM.
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Old 11-11-2019, 10:52 AM
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OK so you're going to parse hairs with a Mustang GT and a Cobra...
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Old 11-11-2019, 12:40 PM
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Originally Posted by heavyaslead View Post
OK so you're going to parse hairs with a Mustang GT and a Cobra...
Sorry but I don¨t get what you mean at all... As you might know English is not my native languaje so there are some things that I just dont get.
Could you please explain what you mean?
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Old 11-11-2019, 12:46 PM
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Originally Posted by heavyaslead View Post
OK so you're going to parse hairs with a Mustang GT and a Cobra...
heavyaslead, Had the FineSpec for the Tamiya Abrams since the first of the year, now running the Leo 2 very well. Happy to read dingobattler finally figured out his new rc gear. And enjoy Rad’s “go cheapskate or go home rc radio opinions”, so passionate and so problematic.

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Old 11-11-2019, 01:04 PM
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Originally Posted by Pcomm1.v2 View Post


heavyaslead, Had the FineSpec for the Tamiya Abrams since the first of the year, now running the Leo 2 very well. Happy to read dingobattler finally figured out his new rc gear. And enjoy Rad’s “go cheapskate or go home rc radio opinions”, so passionate and so problematic.

If you are only getting the cheap part means you are not getting what I am trying to explain at all. It is not about being cheap, it is about not paying a lot of money to something that is worth next to nothing when there are much much better alternatives for way less money. But yeah, somewhat you are right and I am indeed cheapskate and very passionate. I would love to see more people with the same passion and with more ideas, so I could learn more from them and use them on my models. In fact, most part of what I do are other guys ideas, compiled in one, but the more, the better!

I guess I am just bored of seeing (sorry guys,) boring tanks with almost no functions moving like cheap race car toys.
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Old 11-11-2019, 01:35 PM
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Default OK I bought a cheap new FlySky LOL.

An rc tank is an rc tank, infrared games add some fun interest and past that rc tanks are kinda dull, not exactly creative. Even Tamiya got the sound effects wrong for the M1A2 tank, the cannon ejected a brass shell hitting the floor (it does not use brass shells anymore). Still, I enjoy the long build process of the Tamiya RC Tank Kits and all the rest does not matter to me. It was a goal years ago to build as many of the kits that interested me.

Let us know if the Chinese rc gear is still working after a few years, that is what I mean by problematic, that is my worry. Though, for fun, I am converting a HG 1/12 RTR MRAP 6x6 to a 16 channel Jumper per your idea recommends. Found the cheap radio on Amazon. LOL.




Converting to 16 Channel RC Gear.





Last edited by Pcomm1.v2; 11-11-2019 at 02:10 PM.
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Old 11-11-2019, 01:53 PM
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Well, if it helps, my chinese radio is lasting for about ten years and I do use it a lot. It is my main radio and most of my models are controlled with it.

Regarding tanks not being creative, I disagree a lot with that. Problem is mostly the size, but tons of things can be fit on it!

Keep us updated with that awesome truck, but which 16ch flysky did you get? I do not recall recommending any flysky like that. Do you mean the Jumper t16 with hall sensor gimballs?
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Old 11-11-2019, 02:07 PM
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Default Not that cheap, this one on Amazon.



Jumper T16 Open Source Multi-Protocol RC Radio Transmitter with JP4-in-1 Module Mode 2
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Old 11-11-2019, 02:12 PM
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Ah, that's the one I thought. If i needed a new radio Id get the one I linked in aliexpress because that one is the upgraded version with hall effect gimbals and metal menu roller, but even when I dont have one, according to what I have seen and read, it seems to be very good.

If you need assistance you might find some forums and there is a couple of specialized facebook groups with it.
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Old 11-11-2019, 06:15 PM
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Originally Posted by heavyaslead View Post
OK so you're going to parse hairs with a Mustang GT and a Cobra...
The new finespec and programmable radios are completely dissimilar. The finespec comes with pre-programmed functions, but is completely not programmable, and still falls under the category of non-programmable.
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Old 11-11-2019, 06:37 PM
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Default Arrives Wednesday.



Upgraded Jumper T16 Pro Hall Sensor Gimbals 2.4G 16CH Open Source Multi-Protocol Radio Transmitter. Mode 1.
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Old 11-12-2019, 12:08 AM
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Originally Posted by Pcomm1.v2 View Post


Upgraded Jumper T16 Pro Hall Sensor Gimbals 2.4G 16CH Open Source Multi-Protocol Radio Transmitter. Mode 1.
That is the one! Please tell me how it goes. I dont know if it comes with a receiver, but due to it comes with a multiprotocol module you can use tons of brands. The Flysky/turnigy 8ch receivers are good and cheap (about 6 eurs)
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