Easy to learn even if you've never owned a
High value per cost ratio
A little something for everyone
The Futaba 3PM-2.4GHz MX radio was designed
with all types of surface vehicles in mind. Whether you bash in the
yard, race on the weekends, or rock crawl, the 3PM-X has something for
In this review we will look at the basic
features as well as the vehicle specific features of the 3PM-X.
Keep in mind this radio wasn't designed for
the professional team drivers, but rather those of us who dream about
being pro drivers and don't have the money to spend on the 3PK and 4PK.
The 3PM-X offers a good alternative for those on a budget.
3PM 2.4GHz MX surface transmitter and R603FF receiver Price:
$179.97 for transmitter and one R603FF receiver. Servos are not
Type: Pistol grip
Number of channels: 3
Band: 2.4GHz Spread Spectrum
Futaba servos recommended (digital or analog)
8 AA batteries for transmitter
6v NiCD battery for receiver
in the box are the 3PM-X transmitter, R603FF receiver, on/off switch,
instruction manual, and decal sheet.
3PM 2.4GHz MX radio is well built. I've had a lot of transmitters go
through these hands, as most of you have, and I can say this thing
feels tight. There is no slop or unwanted resistance in any of the
controls. The steering wheel is incredibly smooth and the trigger is
foam cushion on the satin chrome steering wheel is comfortable and the
trim adjustments are easily accessed.
antenna rotates half a turn which allows it to be angled toward the
right, left, or anywhere in between on the control side of the radio.
take a look at some of the features of the 3PM 2.4GHz MX transmitter.
FASST (Futaba Advanced Spread Spectrum Technology) sends twice as much
information to the receiver at eight times the resolution of standard
systems for incredible control and smooth servo travel. Frequency
channel setting is unnecessary. Shifting the channels takes place
within the 2.4GHz band automatically and minimizes interference from
other 2.4GHz systems.
3PM-X offers a ten model memory. Each of the models can be named with
up to 3 characters. There is also a model copy function to simplify
using the same model with different settings.
function "Auto Detect" is used to automatically determine which mode is
in use. The two modes are HRS and PPM. The active mode is displayed on
the start up screen.
3PM-X includes digital trims which are displayed on the screen for 3
seconds when adjusted. The digital trims include steering trim,
throttle trim, steering D/R, and throttle ATL.
the digital trim step function will change the amount of trim
adjustment applied with each click of the trim lever.
adjustment works on DT1, DT2, DT3, and DT4.
trim step function
dual rate adjusts the
amount of angle, or steering throw, the wheels will turn. It is
adjusted using the digital trim lever and is displayed on screen.
acceleration (ACC) is used to minimize the lag before the clutch and
brake engage on gasoline and nitro engines. This gives the smooth and
responsive feel of an electric vehicle.
speed can be adjusted if the servo seems to operate to quickly for your
driving style. This can be beneficial to correct over steer.
anti-skid braking system function applies the brakes so that the tires
of a gasoline or nitro powered vehicle don't lockup and result in loss
of control. The brake servo actually pulsates like full scale ABS
brakes do to ensure control through the entire braking process.
amount of return, cycle speed, and delay can be fine tuned to
accommodate your driving style and track conditions.
mixing is used to adjust the amount of braking used on the front and
rear tires independently. This function is beneficial for large scale
vehicles with a separate servo for front and rear brakes.
racing timer can be set to start automatically by the throttle trigger
or by using a switch. Up timer and down timer can be selected. A lap
timer can record 100 lap times and the total run time. You can also set
the race time.
alarm can be set to help schedule pit stops.
four wheel steering (4WS) mixing is used with crawlers and other
vehicles that have four wheel steering. The SW1 switch on the
transmitter's handle is used to toggle through four different steering
phase which turns the front and rear tires in opposite directions for
sharper turning. (F2)=The "same phase" turns the front and rear wheels
in the same direction (crab steer) for shifting the vehicle to the side
while remaining aimed in the same direction (driving sideways).
(F3)=Front wheels only. (F4)=Rear wheels only.
mode toggles between F1 and F2.
4cy toggles all phases.
specific functions, two rates can be set up, and switched with the SW1
switch simultaneously during a run.
function select lever assigns a function to different levers (digital
trims and switch levers). Trim positioning at each model call is
unnecessary because all the trim levers are digital.
is where you can personalize your radio trim levers by assigning the
functions where you want them.
select switch assigns a function the two installed switches.
adjuster function is used to apply steering wheel and throttle trigger
neutral position and operating angle corrections.
steering wheel tension can be adjusted from the outside using a
phillips head screw driver.
the mechanical ATL using a phillips head screw driver adjusts the
trigger stop position. This will effect the amount of throw in the
tension and mechanical ATL adjustment screws
is a list of functions offered with the 3PM 2.4GHz MX radio system.
the left side you will find the abbreviation and on the right there is
a brief explanation. The instruction manual explains these functions in
point adjustment (CH1, CH2, & CH3)
amount of throttle and braking
of steering servo. Helps to correct over steer
steering and throttle sensitivity around neutral
braking system. Pumps the brakes for better control
throttle and brake lag in gas and nitro vehicles (quicker response)
mixing (large scale gas powered vehicles)
mixing between steering, throttle, and ch3
safe function prevents runaway vehicle if signal should fail (possibly
due to low transmitter batteries)
and throttle trim
is used to set the neutral position of steering, throttle, and ch3
is used to check lap times, race times, and refueling
resets to original factory value
between HRS/PPM signal modes
select switch assigns a function to a switch
select lever assigns a function to a lever
trim step adjusts amount of trim adjusted with each touch of trim lever
2 selection is used to set up two rates for specific modes
mode selection lets you choose between 4 brightnesses of the pilot lamp
for steering wheel and throttle trigger neutral as well as operating
you can see the 3PM-X is not your average 2.4GHz radio. There are many
features and options that will allow you to fine tune your vehicle's
handling no matter what you drive.
instruction manual explains everything in great detail and supplies
illustrations when necessary. The Futaba 3PM 2.4GHz MX selection
screens are laid out well and are user friendly. You'll be fine tuning
your vehicle's performance in no time.
(DT1) and throttle (DT2) trim levers
Back of transmitter
3PM-X radio system we are testing includes the Futaba R603FF 3ch
receiver. This receiver comes with a 7 5/8" long antenna. The short
antenna is just one of the many benefits of the 2.4GHz systems.
battery tray can be easily replaced with a rechargeable battery pack.
Just remove the tray and plug in the pack. The 3PM-X already has the
charging jack there for you.
3PM-MX radio system includes a fail safe mode which allows you to set a
pre-designated position for a channel to enter incase the receiver
loses contact with the transmitter. Setting the F/S is quick and easy.
With the radio and receiver turned on, using
the controller set the channel or servo into the desired position and
push the F/S button on the back of the controller. The button will
flash green when you are done. Each time the receiver is turned off,
the fail safe needs to be reset.
For example, if I want the brake to be
applied on my nitro vehicle when the fail safe function takes over, I
would push the throttle trigger forward and push the F/S button on the
back of the transmitter. When the button flashes green I am done! It
really is that simple.
When the radio is set to HRS mode, the fail safe must be set through
the selection screen. Once the radio is turned on, use the select key
to select the F/S screen. Press the "CH" key to toggle through the
three different channels. Once you have selected the channel you want
the fail safe to effect, use the transmitter controls (trigger, wheel,
or switch) to set the position it will enter during F/S. Hold that
position and press (+) and (-) at same time and hold for at least one
second. The radio will beep when you are finished. You can set all
three channels and the transmitter will hold the setting for the next
time you wish to use it.
SERVO SETTINGS HRS/PPM
If you are using newer style digital servos, you can take advantage of
the HRS mode. In the high rate servo mode it utilizes the servo's
capabilities by delivering more power, higher speeds, and better
resolution to the servos that standard PPM mode will not. Those high
dollar digital servo can now operate to their full potential!
ROCK CRAWLER SUGGESTIONS
(four wheel steering)
or 3 position dig switch. First assign a lever for the dig function
(ch3). Then assign the digital trim step as a "2 position" or "3
re-asignment to your liking
can be set for up or down counting
and throttle exponential
(anti-skid braking). Control your vehicle during hard braking
acceleration (gas and nitro vehicles). Remove the slack in the throttle
and brake linkages
in an hour I had the 3PM-X receiver install into my truggy and all the
trims set. I had some soft foam lying around so I cut a piece to wrap
the receiver in. I then put my 6volt Futaba NiCD receiver pack in the
battery box along side the receiver.
routed the antenna straight up a shortened antenna tube and sealed up
the battery box. My RC8T with futaba radio system is now ready to go.
weather is wet and cold, 34Âº to be exact, and I
wasn't able to go to the track because of mud. Luck for me there are
always plenty of parking lots.
radio performed as expected, flawlessly. I took some of my other radios
and turned them on while testing the 3PM-X and there was no
interference picked up from any of them. The different radios I had
used were two 2.4GHz, a FM, and a few AM frequencies.
trims were easy to use and the radio fit my hand nicely. I did have to
look at the manual a few times to get used to what the abbreviations on
the screen meant, but overall it didn't take too long to figure out.
timer is definitely going to come in handy. I went ahead and broke in a
new motor while using the radio and the timer helped me to allow the
engine to idle for two minutes each time I started it before putting
around the driveway. I also used the timer for refueling. It's not a
good idea to let an engine run completely out of fuel during the break
haven't tested this yet but I know the timer will also help me pick the
fastest line and driving style. I'm kind of a b@lls to the wall driver.
Give it all you've got! That isn't always the quickest way around the
track though. This radio will help me hone my driving skills by
starting the timer, making some laps one way and then making some
slower and more precise laps. When I'm done I can look at the different
lap times to see which is more beneficial.
A.B.S. (anti skid braking system) worked great. Even on the gravel
parking lot I could see a difference in the amount of wheel slide. I
could obviously make the car slide by cranking the wheel sideways, but
when control is wanted it was as if I were gently applying the brakes.
I'm not sure about you guys but when I'm in an actual race it's
difficult to apply just a little braking, my adrenaline demands more. I
can see how this feature will come in handy!
didn't find the need to use the radio's lever relocation function but
it's good to know I can if the occasion arrises.
was using the PPM mode because my throttle servo is analog so each time
I turned the car on I set the fail safe. It literally took two-seconds
to do. It's nice having that built into the radio.
all the Futaba 3PM 2.4GHz MX radio system performed great.
Setting up 4WS
The 3PM-X test drive
Adjusting the A.B.S.
3PM-X is not your average computer radio. The many features that are
offered make this radio a one for all. Futaba had everyone in mind when
they created this radio, the 1/5 scalers, the rock crawlers, the on and
off road racers, the yard bashers, water craft, and anything else that
operates on a surface that requires three channels.
you on a budget? If you have a vehicle that uses three or less channels
and want to expand it's possibilities, the 3PM-X is definitely for you.
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.