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Old Mar 12, 2009, 12:47 PM
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Modifying Futaba 6ex Transmitter for dual throttle and other things-

So I am thinking of buying a new Futaba 6ex 2.4Ghz radio to upgrade my charter fishing boat with some more channels. I have looked at the Robbe Navy F14 dual stick and although I like the future expandability of it, I don't like the price and I really like the new 2.4Ghz stuff. I did contact a few hobby shops about buying the Robbe dual stick throttle and install it in the new radio. They said it has been done but doesn't always seem to work right. Hmmm. Plus the dual throttle module is about $125 on it's own. Anyway, what fun would that be?

So my thought is to modify the left gimble area of the transmitter to put both potentiometers on their sides and make my own throttle sticks that will resemble the Morse controls used on the real boat.

On the right gimble, I wasa thinking of turning one of the potentiometers facing straight up and using something of a ships wheel for the steering control.

Which leads me to another question. If I am only using one of the channels on the right side gimble for steering, is there a way to basically drop the other potentiometer and subistitue a on/off type of switch on that channel instead?

I've read through some other thread on this forum and have seen some dual throttle modifications, but not so much on the other gimble. Ideas?

I attached some pictures to give an idea of what I have in mind. If I use a wheel for the steering, I will lock it in to place to prevent the up/down and left/right movement that it would normally have on that side.

Thanks for any input-

bob
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Old Mar 12, 2009, 01:08 PM
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Hi there. I am after a 2.4GHZ set. The problem I have is only 4 channels are proportional and the other 2 are on/off. After reading diffrent threads I got an underlying fell that. With these new set the software knows what the input should be.Ie on an old 40MHZ you could remove an on/off switch on channel say 5 and put a on/off/on switch or a rotary knob.But with the software in 2.4GHZ they know whats what and were it is and wont allow change.
The thing you might want to check is the vale of the pots to make sure they are like for like.

John
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Old Mar 12, 2009, 01:26 PM
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Hi Cos918,
When I contacted the hobby stores (one was in England) and they said the Robbe Dual stick module doesn't always work in other radios, my first thought was the pot values are just not right. That's why I would just use the pots that come with the 2.4Ghz radio and re-adjust them to where I want them.

The question I keep hitting though is, if I use channel 1/2 for throttle and then channel 3 for steering, can I get rid of the pot on channel 4 and somehow turn it into an on/off type of setup with a new switch?

bob
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Old Mar 12, 2009, 01:43 PM
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Does the Robbe Navy F-14 have a removable RF Deck? Since it is really a Futaba built unit can't one of the 2.4GHZ modules be plugged in?

I know I can buy one for my Super 8 futaba unit.

Steve
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Old Mar 12, 2009, 01:46 PM
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Joined Dec 2002
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It sounds like you are getting good information and advice.
I seem to recall interest in swapping the Robbe/futaba sticks with
older FM futaba systems, but no on actually tried it due to cost.

There is one documented older Robbe conversion, but is was a direct
stick change out.

I have talked to two people about 2.4ghz switch conversions. One person
worked on my radio, and told me what COS918 speaks about. That the programming
is looking for specific inputs. And in the end said, "It does what it does, and it
was all you can expect."

The Second person went as far as contacting Horizon, or Spektrum and discussed
the programming and circuit design values. The intention was to provide an after
market mod for people wanting more functions. Unfortunately, it could not be done
with circuitry alone, and again became a programming and software issue.

There are several people that have done physical mods to the gimbals, and
produced dual throttles on their transmitters. Some physically create a whole
new custom transmitter box.

A ships wheel should be no problem.
As for removing the second potentiometer, on one side,... It will most likely have
to remain as a potetiometer or slider, and moved to three positions in a general fashion.
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Old Mar 12, 2009, 04:41 PM
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Thanks for the reply Umi. I don't know why this didn't hit me earlier. On the real boat the throttle control is on the right side of the wheel, you steer with your left hand and move the throttles with your right. Might as well go with that configuration on the transmitter if I'm going to mod it this much anyway. I also thougt that the "extra" channel not used by the new steering configuration will have to remain a slider type switch. I wonder if I email Futaba with some questions if they will answer. Anyone ever get a decent response from them?

bob
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Old Mar 12, 2009, 05:03 PM
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Ok, email was sent to Futaba tech support asking if I can somehow turn the "elevator" channel into a on/off flip switch. We shall see.
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Old Mar 12, 2009, 05:40 PM
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United States, Death Valley
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Futaba's gonna say get stuffed, it's not in their interest at all for people to mod their radios

You can use the pot channels in any way you want, the pots are normally 5k, which means when the stick is in the center, the ohms should be about 2.5k in the center of the pot, 4-5k at one extreme, and about .5 or 1.5 k at the other end,

Simple, using the appropriate value resistors and a switch, you can make a simple curcuit. remember, the stick pots are essentially variable resistors.

A 3 position switch for example would read ~4.5k at one end, 2.5 in the center, and ~1k at the other end.

A 2 position switch would be ~4.5k one end, ~1k the other.
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Old Mar 12, 2009, 05:48 PM
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Hi Silent Hunter,
Most likely Futaba will tell me to pound sand...oh well. Once I get one of these in my hands, first thing I do will be to tear it open and measure the pots. Should be a fairly easy transition to a switch...I hope. Famous last words.
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Old Mar 12, 2009, 05:54 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by SilentHunter
Futaba's gonna say get stuffed, it's not in their interest at all for people to mod their radios

You can use the pot channels in any way you want, the pots are normally 5k, which means when the stick is in the center, the ohms should be about 2.5k in the center of the pot, 4-5k at one extreme, and about .5 or 1.5 k at the other end,

Simple, using the appropriate value resistors and a switch, you can make a simple curcuit. remember, the stick pots are essentially variable resistors.

A 3 position switch for example would read ~4.5k at one end, 2.5 in the center, and ~1k at the other end.

A 2 position switch would be ~4.5k one end, ~1k the other.
That does make sense, that if you set a proportional channel up with
a three position switch with three resistance values, that the computer would read them and set the servo appropriately. That could work.
.
.
.
I think the issue has been that the new computerized
radios won't understand the extra input if someone was to
try to make a two postion switch into a three position or multiplex switch.


..._____________________...


xx29l9,

Where are you sailing?
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Old Mar 12, 2009, 06:19 PM
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Joined Jun 2008
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I'm thinking with some serious coding.. You could change up the new computerised sets.
Would only take a programmer to write up some basic block code (think PLC's) and some kind of interface to reprogram it. If that's even possible to reprogram it.

Although I am now thinking of trying to drop a robbe twin stick into a spektrum radio.. Shame that the sticks alone cost £110 here
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Old Mar 12, 2009, 06:22 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by xx29l9
Hi Silent Hunter,
Most likely Futaba will tell me to pound sand...oh well. Once I get one of these in my hands, first thing I do will be to tear it open and measure the pots. Should be a fairly easy transition to a switch...I hope. Famous last words.

Hi there i look froward to your findings . Please do keep us posted even if it doesn't work.

SilentHunter What you say seams to make sense. Do you know if this has been done.

john
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Old Mar 12, 2009, 06:25 PM
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Yep, Ive done it a while ago, works fine. Just get the resistance values right.
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Old Mar 12, 2009, 06:56 PM
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You know, the dual throttle thing has it's coolness factor, but if you setup your twin motor boat to operate with tank-like steering from 1 stick, you can drive rings around someone with those dual sticks. Just use the elevon mixing function.

Umi that radio is the bomb, I want to do something like that sometime.
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Old Mar 13, 2009, 12:02 PM
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Below is Futaba's response to my email....to be expected I guess.

Thank you for your recent e-mail.

You may be able to modify that. Unfortunately, due to liability and warranty considerations, we cannot support or advise on any conversions or modifications for any products we distribute.

Sorry, we couldn't be of more help to you.

Sincerely,
John G.- PS9004
Product Support Lead Technician
Futaba Programming Technician
Great Planes Model Distributors
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