RCU Review: Futaba 7CAP

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    Contributed by: Marc Vigod | Published: April 2004 | Views: 136613 | email icon Email this Article | PDFpdf icon
    RCUniverse Futaba 7CAP review

    One Futaba 7CAP 7-Channel Aircraft Radio with
    Four S3151 Digital Servos
    R138DP FM receiver
    600mAh NT8S600B TX battery
    600mAh NR-4RJ RX battery
    FBC-19B (4) Wall charger
    Servo accessory bag, frequency flag set, neck strap, on/off switch,
    and instruction manual
    One Year Warranty
    Street Price: $319.00

    Available from: Local Hobby Retailer
    Online at: Tower Hobbies

    Transmitting Frequency: 72 MHz band
    Modulation: FM/PPM or PCM, switchable
    Power Supply: 9.6V NT8S600B NiCd battery
    Current Drain: 250 mA
    Run Time: Tested at RCU over 1H 45M on stock battery

    FP-R138DP PCM Dual Conversion Receiver:
    Receiving Frequency: 72 MHz band
    Intermediate Frequency: 10.7 MHz & 455 kHz
    Power Requirement: 4.8 - 6V NiCd battery
    Current Drain: 16 mA
    Size: 2.56" x 1.42" x 0.85" (65mm x 36mm x 21.5mm)
    Weight: 1.42 oz (40.3g)

    S3151 Standard Size Digital Servo:
    Control System: Pulse width control, 1.52 ms neutral
    Power Requirement: 4.8V
    Output Torque: 43 oz/in (3.1kg-cm) at 4.8V
    Operating Speed: 0.21 sec/60 at 4.8V
    Size 1.59" x 0.79" x 1.42" (40.5mm x 20mm x 36.1mm)
    Weight: 1.48 oz (42g)

    Futaba has just unveiled their newest radio system, the Futaba T7CAP, which is perhaps what you could call the "little brother" to the extremely popular Futaba 9CAP 9-channel system. The 7CAP carries forward many of the wonderful features that made the 9CAP such a hit. Features such as the "Dial n' Key" programming wheel which makes changing any setting on the radio a fast and simple task. The intuitive software interface from the 9C has also been incorporated into the 7C along with most of the features and customizability that appear in the higher end 9CAP.

    The entire system ships in a variety of configurations which allow you to pick and choose whether you prefer a 7 or 8 channel receiver, if you want PPM or PCM modulation on your receiver, and also what choice of servos you want. The other major option is whether you want the airplane version or the heli version of the transmitter which is designated by the "A" or the "H" in the transmitter/system name. Below you can see the 7CAP system as it ships
    (click for full size images).

    A matrix of the currently available options is shown below:
    System Rx (Qty.) Sx Tx NiCd Rx NiCd Bands (MHz) Modulation
    R127DF (4) S3004 600mAh 600mAh 72 FM
    R127DF (4) S3151 600mAh 600mAh 72 FM
    R138DP (4) S3151 600mAh 600mAh 72 PCM
    R138DP (2) S3151 600mAh 600mAh 75 FM
    R127DF (4) S3151 600mAh 1000mAh 72 FM
    R138DP (4) S3151 600mAh 1000mAh 72 PCM

    The 7 channel 7CAP bridges the gap between the 6 channel 6XAS system and the high end 9 channel 9CAP system (as well as the 9ZAP which is at the very top of the Futaba line). The entire system retails for around a street price of $319.00 which includes the 7CAP Tx, R138DP PCM Rx, 4-S3151 digital servos, instruction manual, full nicads and charger.

    The transmitter has a 10 model memory which allows you to store all your favorite models directly into the transmitter and choose them at will via the programming interface. The 7CAP uses an EEPROM memory chip which has the benefit of retaining settings even when the transmitter battery is dead or if it is removed. Nothing to service and nothing to fail which could eventually be the case with a backup li-ion battery. The sticks on the transmitter are adjustable in both length and tension by the user to customize the feel.

    The basic 4 channels are controlled by the two sticks while the remaining 3 channels are controlled by switches and a knob (the knob is proportional). The other switches are used to control functions such as expo, dual rate, programmable mixes, etc.


    The screen is large and I found the graphics and text easy to read. The display itself has adjustable contrast which you can access by pressing and holding down the end button while on the home menu and turning the dial. A few of the basic and advanced screens are shown below as examples. The basic and advanced screens are covered in more detail in the following paragraphs as well.

    The main screen
    First "basic" menu screen
    Second "Basic" menu screen
    Third "basic" menu screen
    First "advanced" menu screen
    Timer setting menu screen

    The tools to program and adjust settings on the 7CAP and 9CAP are among the easiest and fastest I've ever used. To access the menus just hold down the mode/page button and then use the thumb wheel to select the item you want and then press the wheel to enter that selection screen. The two buttons on the right hand side of the display are used to navigate up and down certain menus. To exit any menu just press the end button which lets you "climb out" to the main screen. The learning curve is very small. An error has occurred in the display of this article. A notice has been dispatched to our Editors. Thank you.

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