Futaba FG Gold Series Thread
Hello fellow modelers, I'd like to start a discussion thread devoted to upgrading these classics to 2.4 ghz. It would appear that firm information on modding these radios is sketchy at best (or the Iluminati wants to keep all the FGs for themselves
), So it would seem like a good place to share your experiences with installing internal or external 2.4ghz modules. Perhaps if the interest is high enough it might inspire some of the off-shore companies to introduce new modules or replacement boards to keep the radio case going for years to come.
And yes, I know there's tons of newer radios out there with more capabilities. There is something magical about the FG series. First off, it's a robust metal cased radio. Perhaps the finest mass produced combination of plastic and metal ever made. It has a feel that when you hold one can't be duplicated with the current bells and whistles plastic radios. When you held an FG, you were holding a real man's ( or women's) radio transmitter!
Secondly, it's nostalgia. The radios were a part of the best era in the US, perhaps the world. I had my best times flying R/C in the 80's and 90's with the FG. It's someones first radio or has been passed on from departed dads.
Lastly, they are durable. The only weakness is the plastic side flanges where the screws secure the metal face. Those were breaking frequently, and there's money to be made in the after market world replacing these.
In short, it's a great radio with a lot life left in it. So let's see how we can keep them going.
First, I'd like to share what I've learned in the last few days, established facts about extending the life of the FG:
- The radios can be upgraded once you determine where the PPM signal is coming from either off the module pins or the trainer cord connection. There are two models of FG/K, FGs can be upgraded to 2.4 ghz regardless of whether it's AM or FM
- External modules made by FrSky and Corona will work, but you need to fill in the gap left by the smaller module meant for later model Futaba radios. This is done with foam, but some enterprising soul should consider making a new adapter to replace the old module socket to be snapped into place, allowing it to fit properly.
I believe there is a place in this world for the FG. We have new cars, but we always admire the classics and want one. It's the same for these radio cases if not the internal bits, which could be removed and replaced with modern boards. And when it comes down to it, you hate throwing out good equipment when you see potential for a good restore. The batteries are still around from aftermarket companies and the new LiPos can be made to work in them as well.
Finally, there's alot of us who fly who really don't need or want the fancy stuff these computer radios offer. There are probably a lot of us who don't even use all the features they have. So let's talk about how you keep your FG going here on RC Groups.