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72mhz AM Transmitter

Old 03-23-2008, 06:06 PM
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Default 72mhz AM Transmitter

I was wondering if anyone still uses AM for 72mhz? I have an old Futaba radio from the 90's that is AM 72mhz and was wondering if it would be ok to be used by todays standards.

Thanks
Old 03-23-2008, 06:35 PM
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Default RE: 72mhz AM Transmitter

In a Word - NO! [&o]

AM signals are prone to interferance much more so that FM so it is much more likely to loose an AC due to a "Glitch".

The 1990 AM radios also were a wide band radio and would wash over three current channels (Primary, one above and one below).

Moderm FM transmitters are Narrow Band, so they are less prone to interferance and take up less space on the radio spectrum.

IF you have a 1990 vintage radio either throw it into the nearest land fill or give it to the nearest Museum. [:@] But for the sake of your own sanity and the safety of your local fliers, do not try to use it. [:'(]
Old 03-23-2008, 06:52 PM
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Default RE: 72mhz AM Transmitter

I have never had any problems with it and I'm using it with a mcr-4A reciever which has built in speed control for my sailplane which is the reason I am using the AM transmitter.
Old 03-23-2008, 06:57 PM
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Default RE: 72mhz AM Transmitter

Your AM radio is OK if it has been converted to narrow band. Otherwise, it is not legal for use on 72 Band. If it has been converted, it will have a gold sticker on it showing the date of conversion.
Old 03-23-2008, 07:00 PM
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Default RE: 72mhz AM Transmitter

If the transmitter is narrow band it is still legal to use in the U.S.

Some AM radios were narrow band, so, check the Futaba web site for info on determining if it is.
http://www.futaba-rc.com/faq/service-faq.html#q41

Assuming it is narrow band, it is ok to use. AM is theoretically more subject to interference than FM. One of my instructors still has one AM transmitter and uses it occasionally. He says he has never had any sort of interference with it but has had interference, on FM, on the same channel at the same field.
Old 03-23-2008, 07:04 PM
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Default RE: 72mhz AM Transmitter

Yea it has the gold sticker on the back..although it has started fading silver since its been around awhile. Its dated 1991.
Old 03-23-2008, 07:15 PM
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Default RE: 72mhz AM Transmitter

I say fly with it and have fun.

If you ever need a new receiver it might be hard to find.
Futaba currently has 2 and 4 channel units but stuff like this is likely just remaining inventory from when the radios were still being made.
Hitec has a 3 channel but I have no idea if it is compatible with your transmitter.
Old 03-23-2008, 07:16 PM
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Default RE: 72mhz AM Transmitter

Thanks for the help everyone. It has been about 6 years since I have flown (besides my helimax axe cp). Before that, I had not flown since 1994. I just want to make sure I want to keep flying again by using the equipment I already have before spending a lot of money because I know how expensive this hobby can get. Besides the boxy look of the transmitters, they work just fine and just need new batteries, so I am just weighing cost vs. old equipment. I currently have like 10 90's Futaba FM radios from 4ch to 7ch ( or more im not sure). But I am using the AM since the receiver I am using is AM and it has a built in speed control.
Old 03-26-2008, 02:58 PM
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Default RE: 72mhz AM Transmitter

I have two AM single stick transmitters (Ace) that are narrow banded and eight narrow band Futaba AM receivers that I have been using for the last 20 years without any problems or conflicts with other radios. AM is more prone to interference but interence is mainly a function of where you are flying.

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