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Old Mar 05, 2015, 07:30 PM
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Futaba 12Z battery conversion

I've been a fan and user of the 12Z radios for almost a decade and my only complaint with the radio has been the high cost of the Futaba batteries. I was just about ready to switch brands of radios when I decided to try and make a common LiPo battery fit inside the radio without hacking up the battery door. I will document the conversion here.

Here's the battery I chose for the conversion: http://www.lowerheli.com/pulse-lipo-...x7-dx8-dx9-tx/

With the new battery I can fly all weekend on a single charge.

Best,
Jim
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Old Mar 05, 2015, 08:02 PM
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you have two 12Z and you complaint about battery price ?
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Old Mar 05, 2015, 11:03 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by reverse View Post
you have two 12Z and you complaint about battery price ?
Sure, when you compare battery prices to other batteries and not the transmitter. The Futaba battery prices haven't change since the introduction of the LiPos.

Jim
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Old Mar 06, 2015, 12:36 AM
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Cool fix. The batteries used in the 14MZ and 12Z were always the weak link in otherwise awesome radios.
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Old Mar 06, 2015, 02:20 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Jim Frahm View Post
The Futaba battery prices haven't change since the introduction of the LiPos.
there are plenty of similar batteries on ebay for half the price.
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Old Mar 06, 2015, 09:09 AM
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Jim increased the battery capacity from 2,200 mAh to 4,000 mAh as well. Seems like a great conversion. Battery life was the Achille's heel of both the 14MZ and 12Z. This is a great fix. If I still had my 14MZ I'd be all over this.
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Old Mar 06, 2015, 09:19 AM
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the original pack was probably made of two standard 18650 cells which are dirt cheap for regular 2,900mA capacity or a few $ more for the newest 3,400mA cells.
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Old Mar 06, 2015, 02:41 PM
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Nice mod Jim but not sure I can be bothered given the wide availability of cheaper (a lot) higher capacity direct replacement batteries than the Futaba offering. I did find the Futaba batteries have a slightly longer life - typically around 3 years with the use I give them against 2 years for the replacements but at around 3 times the price of the alternative higher capacity packs they make no sense at all.
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Old Mar 06, 2015, 02:47 PM
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I use Futaba 14MZ and I need 3 of the Futaba LT2F2200 (7.4 volt, 2200 mAh) Lithium-Ion battery to fly a whole day. I have lost count how many new such batteries I have bought during the years but I buy 3 new every second or third year. Transmitter battery I really want to be in top condition. I do not know what Futaba was thinking when they fitted such small battery in 14MZ and 12Z. In the tray version of 14MZ, FX-40, they have a large 7.4 volt 5000 mAh Lithium-Ion battery (LT4F5000). Such battery would have been much better in 14MZ and 12Z from the beginning.

/Bo
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Old Mar 06, 2015, 04:24 PM
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When I converted my first TX a couple of years ago the Sony camcorder batteries and the 18650 cells with the higher capacity were not to be found as readily as they are today. Now that I've converted several radios for myself and friends I find the conversion easy enough that it's not worth my time to have a couple of radios with different battery types.

I'm not trying to convince people to do the conversion, just letting you know it can be done with a little effort.

Best,
Jim
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Old Mar 06, 2015, 04:37 PM
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The first thing to do is remove the battery and module and then the back case. Once that's off then remove the two connectors from the battery circuit board to the power board. Now your ready to remove the battery tray and door.

Once that's done then you can remove the battery circuit board from the battery tray and start cutting the bottom of the tray out.
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Old Mar 06, 2015, 05:03 PM
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While waiting for the glue to dry on the battery tray I started working on the back of the radio which holds the battery tray. You need to make a new floor that's deep than the stock floor but not too deep to hit anything inside the radio. I drilled and taped the battery box hold down post with a 3mm tap and then used some 10mm plastic standoffs. The floor bottom is made from G10 material I had lying around.
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Old Mar 06, 2015, 05:04 PM
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I'll finish up tonight or tomorrow; time to go do some indoor flying.

Best,
Jim
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Old Mar 24, 2015, 09:02 AM
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Lipo 14MZ battery upgrade

Gentlemen I just recently purchased a wonderful second hand 14MZ. I love this radio but when it first came out the price was way out of my league. Recently I found out about the battery life issue with this radio. So I have posted this simple fix that I came up with to mod this radio by installing a Lipo battery without placing it externally on the radio. This simple mod also lets you use the stock battery. I like things to be clean and simple.





1.Starting with the battery case witch I removed from the transmitter case. The transmitter is really simple to take apart to begging with. There are plenty of YouTube videos on how to disassemble.





2.Next I cut rectangular opening on the right side of the battery compartment with a Dremel tool. Please be patience with this step since the plastic is a little fragile. I was able to keep the factory battery removal mechanisms. This will allow the lipo battery to have the necessary space required to sit nicely in the transmitter case.











3.Here is an example of a Lipo 2200 mah 7.4v battery installed in the battery compartment. Notice how the battery protrudes on the right side.





4.Installed on the back half of the transmitter case.





5.Next I drilled a hole on the inside off the battery compartment just below the factory charging plug. This area gave me the necessary room to place the Lipo connecting lead. On the back side of this holeI I tied a knot on the Lipo connector so when I disconnected the battery for re-charging I wouldn't inevitably pull the solder connections from the circuit board on the left side of the battery compartment.









6.Here are the pictures of where I connected the battery leads to. Pretty simple to determine where they go. All I did is followed the opposite side where the factory battery connects up to.




7. Here are some pictures of the stock battery and the lipo batteries installed. The cool thing is that I can switch between the two batteries if needed to.








8. Then all you do is put everything back together and enjoy the use of lipo battery on this awesome radio.






9. I was able to find two batteries that fit into this radio. One was a 2000mah Nanotech receiver battery and the other was also a Nanotech battery but form a Traxxas 1/16 model with a capacity of 2200mah. This battery fit but it was a little tighter than the 2000mah. Prodict ID for these batteries from hobbyking are,9210000008 and 9210000043.



10. I would think that the 2000mah battery wouldn’t last that long since the factory battery is 26oomah but to my surprise I tested it the other day at the RC field and after a usage of 3 hours or so with programming mixes on two of my aircraft with a total of 10 flights the battery was down to 82% by the end of the day. I was very impressed. The kicker is that the batteries only cost 12 dollars. I’m very pleased with the mod. Feel free to contact me if you need more details on this simple mod. Thanks and enjoy Carlos.
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