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How obsolete is an old Futaba AM transmitter?

Old 06-23-2003, 02:02 AM
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Default How obsolete is an old Futaba AM transmitter?

I just got an old (10 yrs?) 4-channel Futaba AM transmitter in with a bundle of used airplane parts. Is this transmitter legal any more? I thought I understood that there was a major switch in frequencies about 10 yrs ago, and that all the older transmitters were scrapped.

But I'm a complete newbie, so perhaps I misunderstood completely. Even if illegal, can I disable the transmitter somehow and still use it with a flight simulator (presuming I can figure out how to connect it to my PC of course!). Or am I still beaming out banned airwaves...

Thanks for any advice you can give. I'd hate to get off on the wrong foot in a new hobby!
Old 06-23-2003, 03:16 AM
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Default How obsolete is an old Futaba AM transmitter?

www.futaba-rc.com

Go to the Futaba site above and check FAQ's and there will be a listing of the models numbers that are still legal. Also check on the back of you radio for a gold colored sticker labeled RCMA and a date. This would indicate if the radio had been updated to "narrow band" standards. Those standards took effect in 1991.

John
Old 06-23-2003, 03:44 AM
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Default How obsolete is an old Futaba AM transmitter?

The frequency's weren't really changed, the bandwidth of the signal was reduced a bit to squeeze more space and eliminate problems. Namely they went from 10khz bandwidth to 5 (I think at least) You should still be able to get the transmitter narrow banded if it's not, it's usually just a matter of swapping out a few of the components on the board and checking the RF signal on a scope to make sure it's clean enough.
Old 06-23-2003, 04:17 AM
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Default How obsolete is an old Futaba AM transmitter?

Originally posted by Lynx
The frequency's weren't really changed, the bandwidth of the signal was reduced a bit to squeeze more space and eliminate problems. Namely they went from 10khz bandwidth to 5 (I think at least) You should still be able to get the transmitter narrow banded if it's not, it's usually just a matter of swapping out a few of the components on the board and checking the RF signal on a scope to make sure it's clean enough.
Actually Lynx, they went from 20Khz bandwidth to 10Khz (channel freq 5Khz). Although there are a few places still converting wide-band radios to narrow-band, it is illegal to do so.

If your radio is narrow-band, it is legal to use. I still use my old AM Futaba Attack Tx.

If you're unsure if it's narrow-band, click here to check.
Old 06-23-2003, 04:48 AM
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Default How obsolete is an old Futaba AM transmitter?

Chall - if you want to add a trainer port to a radio which doesn't currently have one (like a Futaba Attack) for use with a sim, check out http://users.belgacom.net/TX2TX/. It worked with mine, so I will be retiring it as soon as I replace the AM Rx with an FM Rx.
Old 06-23-2003, 12:41 PM
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Default Thanks!

Thanks to everyone. These answers have been immensely helpful!

C. Hall
Raleigh, NC
Old 06-24-2003, 12:56 AM
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Default Epilog

Just a postscript... the Futaba unit is Model FP-T4L (72.830 MHz/Ch. 52) and appears to be obsolete. I pulled the crystal to avoid broadcasting, and was able to wire it for use with the FMS simulator after first finding where to tap off the signal; then using a single transistor to invert the signal.

I'll post the details on the FMS website under "Futaba FP-T4L" in the Parallel Port forum.

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