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Old 02-24-2012, 01:45 PM   #1
chadew
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Default Service life of the 18MZ

I own a DX7 now and I have never had any problems with it. The programming works well, but I just donít like the feel of the sticks. I always used Futaba back in the late 80ís and early 90ís, and I am ready to switch back. I really like all the features of the 18MZ, but the 8FG will probably work for me for a while. My question is, how long will the 18MZ last before it is replaced with newer technology. The 14MZ seems to have lasted for several years. The 8FG has been around for awhile, how much longer will it last? I want to buy a radio that will be around a long time. I donít want to have to buy a radio ever couple of years.
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Old 02-25-2012, 01:24 AM   #2
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The 14MZ was out for 7 years before the 18MZ came out. The 9Z series before the 14MZ was around for something like 9 years, maybe more. Futaba tends not to take a flavor of the month approach. They only release radios when they are ready and they tend to keep them around for a long time. Add to that the ability to update the FG-Z-MZ line of Futaba radios over the Internet and I think longevity is not a worry.
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Old 03-03-2012, 04:08 PM   #3
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Hi,

When Futaba release 8FG Super with telemetry (FASSTest) built in from factory You should have a radio that will be good for many years I think. I do not know when 8FG Super with built in telemetry will be released but it can not be that far away. I have 14MZ myself that I'm happy with, and it was as mentined released early 2005 and is still a good radio but is perhaps not so hot anymore as far as to buy brand new since 18MZ has come. But second hand 14MZ shoudl be a good alternative.

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Old 03-11-2012, 06:59 AM   #4
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The 18MZ is a big step forward in that it is PC based. This has been a huge advance for industrial machine controllers as well.

The advantage is that it is almost future proof because the whole system is software based. The are no parts of the system that can't be changed except the physical levers and switches and these have been pretty much the same for years now. But what makes the system work is the software and this can be completely changed at a wim. So when the 3 axis gyro came out last year you just change the software and the system looks almost new again.

So IMHO the 18MZ might look expensive but you won't need a replacement for a very long time.
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Old 03-11-2012, 11:23 PM   #5
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My 14 mz is pc based also. Any hackers out there willing to help us add telemetry to the bugger. Half my stuff is spectrum, and if you buy most bind and fly like mcpx I'm stuck with my dm-8 module. I am the type to want to upgrade to the 18mz but they have locked out some of my favorite models by not supporting modules. Just a gripe but I'm hunting for any software hacks to make the 14 better, it must be possible because it's windows ce based. Have fun!
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Old 04-01-2012, 04:52 AM   #6
bossee
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14MZ:
Windows CE is one thing but You have the firmware and hardware what it need to have support for new features like FASSTest. If we can believe what Robbe/Futaba has written on their homepage it will be a 14MZ (and others) with built in FASSTest. For now FASSTest users will have to buy the external Futaba telemetry-box and new hybrid receiver (both not released yet) for FASSTest support and that is an expensive road. It is rather many sensors for Robbe/Futaba FASSTest on Robbe homepage but almost none is available to buy yet.

I think it is strange that Futaba has not made new TM-14 2.4 MHz modules for FASSTest so the former top of line 14MZ could get FASSTest that way with a firmware upgrade and use ordinary FASSTest receiver(s). But that seems to not happen. On the other hand how long could we expect a radio like 14MZ, first released in 2005, be in front line? But let's say I bought a 14MZ a year ago or so, and not be able to upgrade to built in FASSTest that would probably make me little dissapointed.
I have a 14MZ myself since 3 years back.

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Old 04-02-2012, 09:15 AM   #7
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It is more than a software issue to add telemetry to radios other than the 18MZ since the RF module must be able to receive the telemetry signal. SO while in theory you might be able to do a hack to display information you still have no way to actually receive that information.
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Old 04-02-2012, 09:17 AM   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by bossee View Post
14MZ:
I think it is strange that Futaba has not made new TM-14 2.4 MHz modules for FASSTest
I have not heard anything about this, but I would not be surprised if they did it, if it is even possible. It would also require FCC certification of the new module.
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Old 04-02-2012, 01:32 PM   #9
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I have a bad feeling they won't give us any more upgrades for the 14MZ. Maybe software but it may take someone with some ingenuity to give us a hacked firmwhere with integrated Telemetry. TOo bad we don't have enough hackers that own the 14 or there would be a huge amount of mods for the software.
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Old 04-02-2012, 02:36 PM   #10
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It will take an actual hardware change to allow for built in telemetry on the 14MZ. You would need to build the telemetry receiver into the RF module. Doing so will require recertification by the FCC since you have changed the RF deck. Plus you will have to somehow figure out how to change to FASSTest protocol so the hacked module can talk to FASSTest receivers.

Bottom line - not something that can be done outside the factory.
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Old 04-03-2012, 12:23 AM   #11
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I just noticed your on Team Futaba, does this mean you have inside info? Your telling me exactly what is needed for a module to work on the 14 and that the factory is the best one to build the module and I agree. I hope you have some sort of inside track becasue there would be alot of people that would buy a FASSTest module for the 14.

I have a feeling I will buy the 18 just because it exsists but I would love to keep the 14 for the the module option so I can bind and fly my MCPX and HPI 5B and Proboat Blackjack 55. I need telemetry on my boats so I can tune the RPM to the max. I guess I'll have to tack on a screen to the transmitter but that's alot of crap when your out on the beach.

I have 13 Spektrum recievers and have no problem replacing them but there are some bind and fly that I need spektrum and absolutely whould hate anything less than the 14 to fly with.

If you have any info please share I'm sure many people will be very interested!
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Old 04-03-2012, 08:49 AM   #12
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As Team Futaba members, when we receive information it is maybe a day ahead of public release. We have no ideas as to what Japan is working on. The only inklings we get is when some of the consultant pilots are trying new items or new software..
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Old 04-03-2012, 09:18 AM   #13
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Kevin is correct, Team members generally have no special inside scoop or prior knowledge of what is coming. Even the folks at Hobbico are sometimes surprised by Futaba. Futaba keeps new product development under tight wraps until they are ready to make the info public.

My statement about what is needed to make telemetry native on the 14MZ is based on what I know about how the FASSTest works. No special secrets there. Pretty clear that it involves the ability to receive signals from the RX. And in the US if you start messing around in the RF deck the FCC wants you to re-certify that piece of equipment.
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Last edited by Phaedrus; 04-03-2012 at 09:37 AM.. Reason: tie-poh
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