Anybody still using a Futaba FC 28 ? - RC Groups
Thread Tools
Oct 27, 2017, 06:30 PM
Registered User
Discussion

Anybody still using a Futaba FC 28 ?


Just curious, I have a couple converted to 2.4GHz still going strong after 18 years.

Apart from telemetry these radios still do all one can possibly want

Cheers
Sign up now
to remove ads between posts
Oct 27, 2017, 08:35 PM
▀ ▄ ▀ ▄ ▀ ▄ ▀
penso que nunca esteve disponivel nos estados unidos, nem sequer os modelos actuais em formato 'tray'
Oct 28, 2017, 04:59 AM
Registered User
Thanks.
Oct 28, 2017, 08:10 AM
Bo Edström, Sweden
Was this Futaba FC-28 radio the first really advanced tray radio from Futaba? At it's time I'm sure it was one of the most advanced radios as far as capabilities is concerned?
I know one top aerobatic F3A pilot used it back in the days, Wolfgang Matt, with his Saphir II 4T(4-stroke YS-120) 1991-1992 and Rubin (4-stroke/YS-120) 1992-1994 planes. See photo below.

I have read the conversion to 2.4 GHz can be easy, just install a Futaba TM-8 2.4 GHz module and that's it, ready to use (with a Futaba FASST receiver). Maybe need to be the V3 FC-28 for this, I do not know.
You then could even even use Telemetry if one wanted by using the special Futaba/Robbe receiver R6308SBT (FASST with telemetry and S.BUS2) and Futaba/Robbe external telemetry box F1666,
http://www.ripmax.com/Item.aspx?ItemID=P-R6308SBT
http://www.modellbau-jung.de/Fernste...OB-F1666&p=128

I use such receiver and telemetry box with my 10 years old Futaba 14MZ (with Futaba TM-14 2.4 GHz module). Works great. This special receiver and telemetry box was/is avaliable only in Europe (was never sold in US).
FC-28 Manual in English for anyone interested to see it's capabilities is here:
http://rc.zomputer.hu/manuals/fc28/fc28.htm

/Bo
Last edited by bossee; Oct 28, 2017 at 08:56 AM.
Oct 28, 2017, 01:38 PM
Registered User
Yes, it's this radio. I have one still in 35 MHz and the other two in 2.4 GHz Futaba FASST.
In the pic the one on the left has an internal Futaba 2.4 GHz module while the one in the middle has the external Futaba TM 8 module.

All three are equipped with the fantasticl Eneloop NiMh cells. The one on the left has an external pack that is practical for "fast" charging.
Never, ever had a problem in all these 18 years with these radios. OK, the ocasional glitch in 35MHz with electrical models, but never a crash. In 2,4 GHz never a glitch. I am using Futaba R 617 receivers.
Can't find a worthwhile reason to upgrade to newer systems.Thank you for the reference to the external telemetry part. Maybe one day I will get one but so far I fail to really justify the need.
My other radio is a Spectrum DX6e for those irresistible Horizon Hobby bind and flight micro helis . Great radio too the DX6e, never a problem with it.

Cheers
Oct 28, 2017, 07:23 PM
Submarines, etc.
tsenecal's Avatar
I own two of them, one has a robbe multi-prop encoder, and i have 75mhz, 2.4ghz and 433mhz modules for them. i do not use them for aircraft, however...

i did have to have one repaired, but that was a couple years ago, before robbe disappeared.
Oct 28, 2017, 10:05 PM
▀ ▄ ▀ ▄ ▀ ▄ ▀
Quote:
Originally Posted by joao
All three are equipped with the fantasticl Eneloop NiMh cells
compraste as 3 usadas
Oct 29, 2017, 01:20 AM
Registered User
Rudix's Avatar
As a keen "tray flyer" I have always liked this radio and I was sad when it was discontinued. Over the years I have used tray radios from Simprop and Graupner as well, theses days I fly FrSky X9E and X12S tray radios. If I could find a FC 28 locally I would buy it just to add it to the collection
Oct 29, 2017, 04:27 AM
Bo Edström, Sweden
What years was FC-28 in production? 1989-1994?

- FC-28 V1
- FC-28 V2
- FC-28 V3

I have read that it was possible to upgrade the radio by Robbe in Germany back in the days, a V1 upgraded to V2 (rather modest cost), a V1 or V2 upgraded to V3 (rather high cost).
A V3 was possible to upgrade by user to V3.1, 3.11 and latsest 3.20 as I understand it.

And as with most high end radios they should last for many years, but pots and batteries need replacement sooner or later. Possibly also any internal Lithium battery if the transmitter has that.

Eventually a radio is so old that a Futaba service center will not be able to repair it (no spare parts for example) and then it is probably wise to put it on the shelf and have it as a retro radio just for fun. To be able to use same radio for 18 years as joao has been able to with his FC-28's is a testimony to Futaba quality in my opinion, assuming You use them regularly.

/Bo
Last edited by bossee; Oct 29, 2017 at 04:34 AM.
Oct 29, 2017, 06:04 AM
Registered User
Ahhh, another FC 28 user! Tsenecal, I wonder if you can describe the problem you had as that was the reason for starting this thread (sharing problems and fixes)

After I bought the first FC 28 brand new in 1999 (the one on the left)I ended up having two more as in 2008 I broke the 35 MHz antenna (my mistake) and when I went to purchase a new one, was alarmed when I found the FC 28 had been discontinued in 2006, so I went looking for another FC 28 as back up.
The other two were purchased used, but in great full working condition in the German ebay where they still pop up frequently. They are all version 3.1 so there is no conflict when sharing models.

Rudix: here is one just for you
https://www.ebay.de/itm/Robbe-Futaba...0AAOSwH3hZ9H~0

Bo: yes, the internal Lithium battery (like in the Futaba 9 ZAP I think) will be a problem sooner or later. Never changed it in any of the three radios but I keep them always with the batteries connected to hopefully minimize the internal Lithium battery use, that being one of the reasons for choosing the Sanyo Enelloops as they have a very low self discharge.

Another potential problem is the aileron potentiometer’s wires breaking due to fatigue as I fly mode 1 and the throttle goes many times “up and down” full range while the ailerons are applied. Mode 2 flyers are much less susceptible to this problem as the throttle is in the rudder stick and the rudder usually has much less “action” than the ailerons, at least in fixed wing models. This is my main fear with these old radios as I use them on a weeky basis.

Many moons ago I had aileron twitches in a Futaba FF7 (Mode 1 too) and I personally changed the aileron potentiometer only to find that the problem persisted and it was the wires the cause.

Still managed to purchase an internal Robbe-Futaba 2.4 GHz module (installed on the left transmitter) but soon later Robbe went bankrupt and had to install a less convenient external 2,4 GHz module in the other (attached image).
Bo, I do not know the production years for the several versions. I think V1 appeared in 1996 and I know V3 was discontinued in 2006.

I must say the Futaba FX 22 has tempted me several times but somehow managed to block the urge

Cheers
Last edited by joao; Nov 01, 2017 at 06:50 AM.
Oct 29, 2017, 06:38 AM
Bo Edström, Sweden
Quote:
Originally Posted by joao
I must say the Futaba FX 22 has tempted me several times but somehow managed to block the urge

Cheers
Or maybe the new Futaba FX-36? It is the tray version of 18SZ.
http://www.ripmax.de/futaba-fx36-2-4ghz-r7008sb.html
But it has a hefty price tag of about 1575 Euro (US$ 1830). Lindinger and Schweighofer for example has it (but not yet in stock).
They say on Lindinger webshop about FX-36 that it has Potless Precison Control, not sure exactly what that is, but I suppose there is no pots on the sticks so no wear on such.

/Bo
Last edited by bossee; Oct 29, 2017 at 07:01 AM.
Oct 29, 2017, 06:59 AM
Registered User
Thanks Bo, Oh yes, the FX -36 ....lovely radio no doubt, but I just can´t justify spending that amount of money on it.

I just hope the FX-22 successor will be reasonably priced

Cheers
Oct 29, 2017, 12:40 PM
Submarines, etc.
tsenecal's Avatar
i purchased both of my fc-28s later in their lives, used, off of ebay, one from greece, and one from netherlands, both in 2014. the first one had problems with its RF board, the board that the module plugs into, and while it was being repaired, i figured i needed a spare, which is why i bought the one from netherlands. based on the effort it took to get the first one repaired, i doubt if i will ever be able to get any service work done on them again. since i live in USA, and knowing that they were out of production, i sent mine to radio south http://radiosouthrc.com, it took him several months to get replacement parts from robbe. with robbe now gone, i think he no longer has a way to get spare parts.

as for any of the newer radios, they are all 2.4ghz, which doesn't work for submarines.

as to the FC-28, the only thing i don't like about it is its analog trims. i think digital trims would work better for a radio designed to work with multiple models.


because of the points that others have brought up, the FC-28s are basically back-up radios now, i have since bought a taranis x9d, tried a taranis x9e (tray radio, but i hated it) so, now, in an effort to get a tray radio that will work with submarines, i am building my own, basing its design on the FX-22.
Oct 29, 2017, 03:00 PM
Registered User
Rudix's Avatar
Quote:
Originally Posted by bossee
They say on Lindinger webshop about FX-36 that it has Potless Precison Control, not sure exactly what that is, but I suppose there is no pots on the sticks so no wear on such.

/Bo
Hi Bo.

I suppose they use the Hall effect sensors that is now also used by Jeti en the X10S Frsky radios, no more pot wear worries and they are oh so smooth

Rudi
Oct 29, 2017, 03:10 PM
Registered User
Thank you for the reply tsenecal, glad that you solved the RF problem.
To me the analogue trims have the advantages of a very fast action with large displacements if needed (as in the first flight of a poorly constructed model ) but I concur that globally digital trims would be better.

Thank you for the link, I have ordered some high tension springs from them in the past and the service was topnotch.
If you ever need an extra FM 35 MHz module for the FC28 for your submarines pm me as I have several that I do not use.

Greetings “from this side of the pond”


Thread Tools

Similar Threads
Category Thread Thread Starter Forum Replies Last Post
Discussion Antenna for Futaba FC-28, what is on 9Z? is there a 10mm rubber ducky? tribologist Radios 9 Jun 26, 2017 02:03 AM
Discussion Anybody use 6v NiMh with older futaba 72mhz receiver? Neb_16 Fuel Plane Talk 9 Apr 21, 2017 01:58 PM
Discussion Anybody using a hobby king orange module in a futaba ? rabidrue1 Radios 0 Apr 20, 2016 09:11 AM
Anybody still using Sanyo 110 NiCd cells? Jim Robinson Parkflyers 9 Aug 01, 2004 11:10 PM
futaba fc-28 smau1 Electric Heli Talk 17 Feb 13, 2002 09:44 AM