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MZ-12 lock out issue

Old 06-19-2007, 09:32 PM
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Default MZ-12 lock out issue

Hi folks

My fellow RC friend need some help from you Futaba experts out in cyber space…..

Has anyone had lock out issues with the MZ-12? A fellow pattern flyer had his new MZ-12 completely lock out the receiver on his new Twister this past weekend. Luckily the plane was in the pits when it happened.

He was programming a mix into the radio when it stopped transmitting (in some fashion). The plane went basically into a locked out state (no fail safe... no response etc.) and he was unable to get any RX response to TX input whatsoever. When the TX freq and model was changed to another model it locked that model out as well (?)

We checked battery & regulator voltage (in fact we replaced both the battery & Reg with new units just to be sure) and all connections to the TX. We called some MZ-14 & MZ-12 radio guru's within our club and, after attempting frequency changes, modulation changes, re-stating the RX serial # and re-binding (using the RX switch "on" after starting the binding process trick), etc. we pretty much gave up trying to make this system function as it was designed to do. The key info I can add is that the RX made no blinking light response or twitching servo motions at all so we believe it was the TX signal at fault.

We replaced the RX with a 309DPS & swapped TX's back to an older 9C. Not the most ideal circumstances prior to a contest but it was the only way we could get him into the air. The plane was trimmed, a few mixes added as required and he managed to get in 6 rounds of the Masters schedule under somewhat frustrating circumstances for him.

When he got home he called (and e-mail) Futaba with the details of the problem and a request for advice. They said that the MZ-14 issues took priority (?) and that he would have to send his TX into Futaba to get checked out. (mmmm.... right in the middle of contest season? ... I guess that's the only option so what else can you do? ..... Perhaps Futaba could see it's way to send a "new" replacement TX to him ASAP and have him return the "2 month old" one for service/replacement/repair or even warranty replacement? Hey just a thought :-).

So before he sends this TX in, are there any Futaba MZ experts on line here that can clear the air on this problem and, if possible, suggest a quicker fix for this issue. You know the secret reset procedure that these new TX's seem to have these days. Any help would be appreciated. Perhaps some ferrite rings in the wiring al'a the MZ - 14 are in order... don't know for sure?

I am not sponsered by Futaba but have flown the 9ZAS WC II for the past three years (without a glitch) and have had excellent support from Futaba Team Pilots that I fly within my area so I am not trying to slag the product here... only try to help get it to work as designed.

Thanks in advance,


Old 06-20-2007, 01:41 PM
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Default RE: MZ-12 lock out issue

From your description, it's not possible to determine what the cause might be. You also did not say whether the problem was with the transmitter or receiver. If you used an R309DPS, you could have easily determined if the transmitter was operating properly. Then you could see what might have been the cause in the airborne system.

Even so, there's no description of how the system is installed in the airplane: what servos, how many, what kind of battery pack, how everything's installed, are there power supplies being used, and on and on and on. Long servo leads, a low battery pack, a battery pack that can't deliver enough current, noisy servos, and so forth, are also things that can cause difficulties.

One thing we've seen in a LOT of airplanes, especially F3A types, is a receiver held in the model with a velcro strap. There's usually about 1/4" of foam rubber between the receiver and the model's structure, and the velcro strap is then holding the receiver in place. That basically winds up compressing the foam rubber to uselessness, and you wind up with no vibration isolation at all. Unless you have an extraordinarily-low amount of vibration, we'd not be surprised if the receiver had difficulties after not too many flights. There should be about 1" of foam between the receiver and any structure, and the foam should not be compressed.

At any rate, if you cannot determine whether the difficulty is in the transmitter or receiver, then, yes, they should both be sent to us for examination. That's the only way we can see if anything's wrong with either of them. And considering the fact that the actual source of the difficulty may not be in the transmitter or receiver, don't be surprised if nothing wrong can be found. It all depends upon the actual source of the difficulty.

Old 06-20-2007, 08:14 PM
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Default RE: MZ-12 lock out issue

Hi Bill

First off thanks for your quick reply to my questions regarding my friend's MZ-12 radio issue.

Perhaps I should have been a little clearer in my explanation of the trouble shooting efforts we made. A functioning 309DPS was installed and the MZ-12 was unable to communicate with it as well hence my belief that the TX was the issue.

The plane is set up with a new Duralite 800 MAH Redundant 7.4 V (2S2P) pack connected to a 5.1 V Duralite Regulator (We checked the battery voltage under load as well as the end voltage out of the regulator (5.12 v) and all was good. We even changed the power supply with another new 800 mah pack and 5.1 regulator that I had in my flight box just to be sure. (Ya... I keep spares of almost everything!)

Anyway the power to the RX was good and ruled out as a potential source of grief (It was subsequently used to power the 309 RX/9C TX that we used to get the plane in the air.)

The RX was mounted on a thick piece of foam with a velcro strap and appeared to me to be well insulated from vibration. This plane is an E powered F3A ship running a Plett 30-10 EVO that produces little vibration compared to YS powered planes I have built & flown previously so I'll rule out vibration as a potential source in this case :-)

Servos are- Rudder: JR8411SA Elevator: Futaba 9650 Aileron: Futaba 9154 on Elevators

Although I was hoping for a quick fix from the "guru's" on line, I believe the RX and TX have now been shipped back to the Futaba service depot for service.



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