RCU Review: Futaba Futaba TP-FSM Synthesized RF Module

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    Contributed by: Marc Vigod | Published: July 2005 | Views: 80281 | email icon Email this Article | PDFpdf icon


    The long awaited release of the Futaba synth module for the 9C and 9C super series has finally come to an end. This module is now available to owners of Futaba 9C and 9C Super series transmitters who have the need to change their frequency for use with receivers on any of the available 72Mhz channels.

    I myself am a 9C owner and my strategy in the past was to always get a different channel for every receiver as a hedge so when I was at the field with a couple planes hopefully one channel at least would hopefully be available. Well, this strategy worked for awhile with two of my other radios which had synthesized frequency capability but the 9C was fast becoming my "go to" favorite radio. I then found myself putting many of my new planes on the same channel that I had the 9C on. This was also fine until a couple new guys showed up at the field on my channel! So a quandry I was now in.


    Then it all came to a head just about 2 weeks ago from the time I'm writing this mini-review where I brought down one of my favorite planes to the field and had my 9C with me. Unfortunately my brain failed me as this plane was slaved to a diffrent channel AND setup for my Futaba 9Z rather than the 9C! So there I was sitting at the field with everything unpacked, setup and ready to go but had the wrong transmitter. I knew I could program the 9C quickly at the field to work with the plane but it was on the wrong channel. Very displeasing!


    Next a buddy of mine at the field, Stu, said "why don't you borrow my synth module?" Well, that literally saved the day for me. I popped in his Futaba synthesized module, dialed in my frequency, spent 5 minutes setting up the 9C for this plane and I was in the air! AWESOME! So of course I went home and had to order one after this.

    The great thing about a synth module is when you have several planes on different channels or if you buy a plane from somebody with an rx on a different channel you simply dial in the channel required and you are good to go. I loved that capability on my 9Z radio and could not wait until it was available for the 9C and 9C super series and thankfully anybody can now get one of these.


    The Futaba synth module works on the 72MHz band. It is compatible with the Futaba 9C and 9C Super series. It eliminates selecting and installing a unique transmitter crystal into the 9C whenever you need to change channel. Channel range is from 11-60. It comes with a plastic adjustment screwdriver to dial in your channel. It also has a cool safety sliding "shield" that you must open to dial in your channel and then close once done to protect from accidental channel changes. Futaba warranties the device for one year.

    The photos below show closeup (click for larger images) the safety shield and the action used to dial in the channel you require.

    Slide to open/shut safety shield
    Dial in your channel!


    The module itself simply plugs in to the back of your transmitter. Make sure when you do this that your power is OFF. You will hear a "click" when the module is in place.

    The 2 dials on the radio are marked x10 and x1. First slide the safety shield open to allow you to access the two dials. Next, using the supplied plastic screwdriver you move the x10 dial for the first digit of the channel (i.e. channel 55 you would dial the x10 to "5"). Next you dial the x1 to the last digit (i.e. channel 42 you would dial a "2"). Finally slide the safety shield shut. Finally just perform a radio and range check to ensure all is working correctly. That's it!


    These modules can dial any frequency so before you turn on your radio double check to ensure that you dialed in the channel you wanted AND that you have your frequency pin or whatever your field uses to allocate channels safely. Failure to do this could result in you shooting down another modelers aircraft so always be sure what channel you are on before you hit the power switch and make sure you have rights for that channel!


    I highly recommend this add on accessory to anyone who owns a 9C or 9C Super transmitter. The flexibility of not being slaved to one channel is extremely useful.

    Contact Information
    Futaba Corporation of America
    Distributed Exclusively in the U.S.A., Canada and Mexico by:
    Great Planes Model Distributors
    P.O. Box 9021; Champaign, IL 61826-9021
    Website: www.futaba-rc.com

    Available online at Tower Hobbies & Other Futaba Retailers
    Tower Hobbies Product Page Link

    Comments on RCU Review: Futaba Futaba TP-FSM Synthesized RF Module

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    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.

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