work with two FASST? systems, or one FASST? and one 72MHz (w/ Square
Trainer Cord Plug)
working distance from student to instructor
signal loss or lag
I spend about 80% of my waking hours at the computer, I'm really not a
technology groupie. So, while many of my friends run out and buy the
latest and greatest gadgets, I would rather wait and get the things
that I actually find useful. I also like to wait until they get the
bugs out of any new technology before laying out the cash. That being
said, I also know a good thing when I see it.
it just so happens that my friend Geoff recently asked me to teach his
8 year old son, Jon to fly next season. Jon's a great kid and since he
accompanies us to the field most of the time anyway, I agreed.
I started going through my mental check list. "Let's see, I know I
still have an old buddy cord, but it's one of the round ones - I'll
have to dig out some of my older transmitters." Then, lo and behold,
Futaba asked me if I would take a look at their new "wireless buddy box
system". I didn't even have to think about it.
more cord? That's the best news I've heard since wireless TV remotes!
Sign me up!
WTR 7 FASST Wireless Trainer System Price:
Range: 30' (9.1m) Size:
0.89 x 1.59 x 0.52" (22.5 x 40.3 x 13.1mm) Weight:
first reaction to the new WTR-7 was one of surprise. I didn't expect it
to be so small. But it makes sense really, when you boil it down to its
essence, it's not much more than a 2.4GHz FASST receiver.
what have we got? The box contains the WTR-7, a cord, a small
screwdriver and a swatch of "Hook & Loop" material.
you get nervous, a screwdriver is not needed as there are no
adjustments to make. It is only thrown in to give you something to push
the binding button with (lest you try to stick something in there that
might do damage). In other words, it seems to me that Futaba only
included it as a means of "Idiot-Proofing" the system.
way this system works is so simple that even I understand it. You bind
the WTR-7 to the transmitter that the student will be using and then
plug it into the trainer port on the instructor's box. The "Buddy Box"
now sends a 2.4GHz signal directly to the trainer cord input on the
the transmitter being used as the buddy box must be a Futaba FASST
system; however, the instructor's transmitter can be on any frequency
(including 72MHz) as long as it has a rectangular trainer cord input.
bind the WTR-7 to the buddy box, you start by plugging it into the
buddy box itself. This allows the WTR-7 to be powered up without having
another transmitter powered up in the immediate area. Now the binding
process is just as easy as binding any FASST receiver; just turn on the
transmitter, and (using the provided screwdriver) push the binding
button. After a few seconds you will get a green LED and the receiver
this point, the WTR-7 is removed from the student's transmitter and
plugged into the instructor's box. That's it! All you need to do now is
coordinate your trims as you would with any buddy system and you're
ready to fly.
initially used my Futaba 10CAG as the Instructor's transmitter and the
system worked perfectly as expected. Then I got to thinking... If
you've ever noticed, most of the time you use a buddy box, the
instructor is holding the STUDENT's transmitter (Since that is the one
which is on the same frequency as his plane). There aren't too many
students who are using a 10CAG, but it just so happens that I had
recently put a Tactic 72MHz radio in an old Goldberg Eagle 400
electric, so I plugged the WTR-7 into the Tactic transmitter, turned on
the Eagle, and it still worked great.
not often that I get this lucky, but I was just finishing up when Geoff
called. He said that there was supposed to be a break in the weather
that afternoon and he had a few products to video tape. I told him to
make sure that Jon came along, and I put everything on charge.
information was correct and that afternoon it got dead calm - COLD, but
dead calm. After a brief going-over of the system and a good range
check, it was time to fly. Jon doesn't have much real stick time, but
he has spent many hours on his dad's simulator, so he picked it up in
WTR-7 worked flawlessly. I was even having a little fun walking around
as Jon flew. Unfortunately, the cold was getting to our fingers
quickly, so we kept it to one short flight, but it was plain to see
that when the weather breaks this spring, Jon and I will make good use
of this nice little tool.
WTR-7 is just the next logical step in this fast-paced world of
technology that we live in (or is that FASST-paced?). The system works
perfectly, it is easy to set up, easy to install, and it eliminates the
cord that has bound instructor to student for so many years.
is all I needed - one MORE reason to look forward to spring!
The comments, observations and conclusions made in this review are solely with respect to the particular item the editor reviewed and may not apply generally to similar products by the manufacturer. We cannot be responsible for any manufacturer defects in workmanship or other deficiencies in products like the one featured in the review.