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Mike.K

Advice please. Futaba 7c transmitter failure.

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My transmitter packed up tonight in the workshop. Perhaps one indication of impending doom occurred last month when Riddlesdown member, Steve Fysh first flew my SE5a and the small Ultra Stick. The transmitter on some model numbers refused to change from heli to fixed wing. In addition, I`d also had peculiar difficulties with jittering aileron servos on my Fokker DVII. I`ll add that all three models were all fitted with individual Futaba FS617 receivers.

Whilst I was working on the DVII in the workshop tonight, the 7C transmitter screen started flickering and produced odd hieroglyphics before totally failing. Whilst the transmitter still seems to be working, the mode/page, end and select buttons have now stopped functioning. The same with the rotary press selector. To all intents, this transmitter is unusable.

Can anyone give me any pointers as to my next line of action, please. I suppose the TX and perhaps RX should be sent to Ripmax Service which I believe is in Enfield. It appears LCD screen units are still available but am loath to buy one without knowing if it is indeed the screen alone that has failed.

Used FASST 7C transmitters are a rarity on eBay in the UK. I know they do come up from time to time. I`ve created an alert so will just have to sit back and wait for someone to list one. I have seen a new unit advertised by  UK model shop but suspect the listing is old and the unit perhaps no longer current. That is my last resort for obvious reasons of a price of about £238. Does anyone in the Club have a used and operable 7C for sale or some other brand of transmitter with FASST type technology for sale and workable with  FS617 receivers? Please contact me if you know one that might be available. 079 74 131127. £75-90 seems to be about the going rate.

I have a 6EX here which is compatible with the 617 receivers but I find that transmitter less than easy to input. So I could do with another 7C as a matter of urgency. Until that happens or I can get the failed unit repaired, I`m grounded!

All advice gratefully received.

Many thanks,

Mike Kennedy

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Well..............

I'm not sure why you find the 6EX difficult to input, but that in itself is a worry since most (if not now all) transmitters are going to seem more complex initially till you get your head round them.  While FASST is a robust system, it's long obsolete and support is now fast disappearing. I have two 6EX (well actually six but the others are 35MHz!!) and a 10CG, so do have experience and am not just spouting regurgitated internet rubbish!).

As FASST was going obsolete (near five years back!!) I converted to FrSky with a batch 2 early Taranis and bought a FASST Module for it. That module in itself is now long obsolete!

I suggest you think long and hard before committing more money towards FASST good though it "was", as in the scheme of 2.4GHz you are dealing with time expired equipment and TBH anything you buy may well have a very limited service time left.

There are private individuals who try to support obsolete systems. One of the highest regarded is Mike Ridley (no personal experience).

His site and details are here www.modelradioworkshop.co.uk

Personally I'd consider it time to move on, and FrSky the way to go. I use Spektrum, Futaba FlySky, and FrSky so do not have brand myopia.

 

With Futaba, jittering servos (that are OK on other channels so not the servo) is usually dirt on the relevant Tx potentiometer track. The fix is easy, disconnect the battery, remove the case rear, and give the pot a good spray of contact cleaning fluid from an aerosol tube inserted by the wire exit to wash it out, then work it a few times. Do not power up till all the fluid has evaporated!  My old 35MHz tx get the treatment around annually due their little use.

Your other issue actually sounds more like supply issues, maybe black wire corrosion on the battery power feed wiring, look for corrosion at terminals, "black" copper wire and/or green verdigris.

 

Edited by Bravedan
It merged an addition!

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I can personally vouch for the FrSky systems too. I know that me being younger and more adept at these sorts of things does perhaps bias my opinion slightly, but I really did find my X9D unbelievably easy to set up. For example, I cannot begin to work any of the similar systems from Futaba, Speaktrum, etc without consulting a manual first. The other advantage to the FrSky system is that it can be as complex as you want to make it.

Price is also a large factor as you say, and by way of comparison, a brand new QX7 is only £103 as opposed to a second hand 7C for potentially £90. Even a very capable X9D (such as mine; 5 years of my flying style and still going strong) is around £165.

Food for thought perhaps, and more details can be found here - https://www.t9hobbysport.com/rc-gear/frsky-taranis-transmitter

 

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To reinforce Ben, cost is of course not just the Tx but also the cost of the Rx's, but FrSky Rx are very reasonably priced.

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Thank you Dave and Ben for your comments. All good stuff.

However, before your three posts appeared this evening, I found what appears to be an almost unused 7C on ebay for £95 including post. The "buy" button has been pushed and money paid. The job is done and there is no turning back. That should be on its way tomorrow. A quick, compatible fix which continues to align with the  six 617 receivers which I have inherited or otherwise acquired. The 7C with the duff screen can be fixed in due course with no rush to get it done. Rob Newman at Avicraft knows the guy who does the Ripmax, Enfield repairs, so that is a possibility. Thanks though for the heads up on the lead you gave me, Dave.

I do take your point about moving on as regards technology. All very valid points but for the time being, I just need to keep my pile of bits clanking along and will update when finances allow...that will have to be after Christmas. To update to the level of equipment as currently nailed into my various models would cost me more than just the cost of a transmitter replacement or refurbishment. I`d have to replace all the receivers as well. Dave makes this point in his second post tonight. So I`ve taken a line of least resistance which I hope will get me going again at the least cost and with the least inconvenience...namely incompatibility. I`ve no intention of becoming an ace pilot. I`m too old for that. I just want to lurch a model round the field at slow speed and fly within simple parameters. Thanks though for the advice on the FRSky gear, Ben. Something to think about for the future. Yes, its great to have all new gear but somewhere I have to draw a financial line. It is similar to me knowing that my supercharged Jag could do with a replacement update, but doing so would cripple me in the pocket. So you keep what you have spluttering along for as long as it is economically viable. Over the last two months, I`ve worked my way through nearly 2k on modelling stuff when quite frankly some new socks would seem to be the more urgent priority!

I also have two 6EX transmitters available. I found the 7C rather easier to set up than the EX and for some reason, the 7C is favoured in that respect by the two Riddlesdown guys who recently flew my small Ultra Stick and the SE5. They seemed relieved I had a 7C on the day rather than a 6EX. I`m a newbie as regards the gear currently in use having last stirred the sticks on Skyleader Clubman and SL units of forty years vintage. That is a basic set up but we managed ery happily on that gear at the time. It did what it said on the box and there were few better alternatives. The new gear is still rather a mystery to me and I`m learning in slow time how it all functions. I can say it is a LOT more complicated than the gear I used all those years back.

So there we have it. I appear to have dug my way out of the hole and acquired a similar unit to the one that failed. These things are sent to try us.

Thanks you both for the advice.

All the best and see you both at the EGM. Please make yourselves known to me. I`m still getting to know eeryone.

Mike

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Now, I was beginning to like you and then you mentioned Sk*****er radio gear........(SPIT)  🤣

(Their display team were a "hated competitor" back when Fred Flintstone and I went flying, and WE of course used THE best, Futaba M Series, TEE HEE)

I still use a T7CP 35MHz for Phoenix Simulator operation. With no crystal there's no power drain on the RF so it lasts AGES between charges. I have to say though its menu system is total rubbish and extremely constraining compared to Taranis and Horus!!

I still have my 27MHz "M" Series (two transmitters and a clutch of Rx and a big pile of servos) and with the occasional kick and prod it still works, as do the black and red labelled servos (for alternate direction!!) At the time I was not only flying but also racing 1/12th and 1/8th Stock Cars, 1/8th being all weathers outdoor, down in the dirt and oil, a pretty hard use for any radio. It still survived.

For the record, it is possible to put a FrSky "hack module" inside most transmitters which then sends its RF to much cheaper FrSky receivers. Or one can be externally mounted feeding from the trainer port. Can even be made switchable so FASST use continues till it finally dies. You are still constrained by the original Tx firmware menu system, though I guess you'd find that an advantage. Might be worth considering if you get to need more Rx than you have, or Rx start failing, though I have "spare" FASST receivers, another avenue.

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