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Old 03-29-2011, 04:58 AM   #1 (permalink)
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Default Upgrade to 12FG or 12Z?

I want to get a new heli TX (currently have the 10CHG) and was hoping that Futaba will bring out a new TX in line with my itch. It seems less likely, so I’m thinking of getting either the 12FG of 12Z (I also considered the 14MZ, but do not like the touch screen at all) and would appreciate your feedback on a couple of points:
What battery life do you get out of the 12 (1700 mAh Nimh or 2200 mAh Lion)? Anybody use a Life battery? I currently use a Lipo TX pack on the 10CHG which gives me about a month of flying time - is there a comparable battery to use for the 12?
I really like the backlit screen of the 10CHG which is a big plus in making changes to models in poor light conditions – does the 12 have a similar backlight or is this a problem?
Can both the 12FG and 12Z be firmware upgraded?
Looking at the TX latency report (see http://rc.runryder.com/helicopter/t172571p1), I see that the 12 has a similarly poor latency to the 14MZ. Is this an issue or has anything changed?
Is there anything else I should consider between the 12FG and 12Z? Any problems or issues I should be aware of?
Thanks for your help.
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Old 03-29-2011, 07:46 AM   #2 (permalink)
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I'm a 12FGH fan.

It can do almost all of what the 14 can do for less than half the money. Have a look at the various manuals on the Futaba web site to get an idea of what the TXs can do.

But it's the 12FGH for me.
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Old 03-30-2011, 04:59 AM   #3 (permalink)
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Originally Posted by ozsteel View Post
I'm a 12FGH fan.

It can do almost all of what the 14 can do for less than half the money. Have a look at the various manuals on the Futaba web site to get an idea of what the TXs can do.

But it's the 12FGH for me.
Thanks for the reply. I'm aware of the fucntionality, but my concern is battery life (or other options than stock), latency and the lack of the screen backlight. Of course, it has more functionality than the 10CHG, but the majority will not be needed for flying helis. I've heard the quad bearing gimballs are kick-ass!
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Old 04-02-2011, 10:11 AM   #4 (permalink)
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BUY A SPARE BATTERY
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Old 04-03-2011, 10:45 PM   #5 (permalink)
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I don't have personal experience with it but I'm sure the 12FGH is a fine radio. I have a 12Z and if you've considered the 14MZ, I'd very much recommend the 12Z. The programming is virtually identical. The 12Z won't allow model names as long as the 14MZ will and the 14MZ has a couple of sliders the 12Z doesn't but that's about it. I've got a friend who flies the 14 and he had a couple of issues with it. We were able to copy his flight programs to the Compact Flash card and install it in my 12Z and it loaded the flight programs with no problems. He was able to fly his models with my transmitter while his was out being repaired. Bottom line is, as far as we've been able to tell, there's nothing the 14MZ will do with regards to the "flight" programming that the 12Z won't. Only the design of the programming interface is different but that's no big deal. As far as battery life is concerned, I generally get just under 2 hours on a charge which is way better than any other transmitter I've owned. As four stroker suggested, buying a backup transmitter battery pretty much solves the problem, if two hours isn't long enough for you!

I don't think you can go wrong with any of them though, it just depends on what you want to spend.

Good luck & Fly Safe,
Steve R.
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Old 05-02-2011, 09:49 AM   #6 (permalink)
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I was in the same situation. After holding both units, the 12Z won hands down.

The 12Z takes a camcorder battery, they are inexpensive. The 12FG can use a Lipo for the TX, this one is very popular.
http://www.rcaccessory.com/pe2600tx-2S.aspx

The 12Z is not backlit, but it is not needed at all. Backlit displays will eat up a battery quickly. My only regret is buying a JR 12X and not getting the 12Z when I wanted to.

I owned a 14MZ when they first came out. IMHO, the 12Z is the best radio on the market. Worth the additional $$'s over the 12FG.
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Old 05-02-2011, 10:11 PM   #7 (permalink)
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I owned a 14MZ when they first came out. IMHO, the 12Z is the best radio on the market. Worth the additional $$'s over the 12FG.
I totally agree although I am biased. I bought a 12Z about three or four months after they came out and am totally satisfied with it. My best flying buddy had gotten hold of a 14MZ and I really wanted one but just couldn't see paying the $2000+ price tag. The 12Z seemed like a real bargain at $1400 and it is. As near as we've been able to tell, there's nothing the 14 can do in terms of actual flight programming that the 12 can't. There might be something somewhere but we haven't found it yet. In fact my buddy had a problem with his 14MZ. One of his models started glitching in a very specific way. Naturally, we thought it was something going wrong with the model. He switched to his backup bird and it started glitching in exactly the same way which pointed to the transmitter. We were able to save his flight programs to the compact flash card and transfer them to my 12Z. He then flew his models with his programs (created on the 14MZ) using my 12Z transmitter while his 14 was off getting repaired. The only thing we had to modify was the model names. The 14MZ will allow longer model names than the 12Z can recognize. That's been the only issue we had doing this.

The 12Z is still an expensive radio and maybe for most there are better "bang for the buck" radios out there but if you'll looking for a "do it all" radio that you'll likely never outgrow but without necessarily having the fancy bells and whistles, it's very hard to beat the Futaba 12Z.

FWIW!

Fly Safe,
Steve R.
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Old 05-05-2011, 08:39 AM   #8 (permalink)
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Originally Posted by Intrepid175 View Post
I totally agree although I am biased. I bought a 12Z about three or four months after they came out and am totally satisfied with it. My best flying buddy had gotten hold of a 14MZ and I really wanted one but just couldn't see paying the $2000+ price tag. The 12Z seemed like a real bargain at $1400 and it is. As near as we've been able to tell, there's nothing the 14 can do in terms of actual flight programming that the 12 can't. There might be something somewhere but we haven't found it yet. In fact my buddy had a problem with his 14MZ. One of his models started glitching in a very specific way. Naturally, we thought it was something going wrong with the model. He switched to his backup bird and it started glitching in exactly the same way which pointed to the transmitter. We were able to save his flight programs to the compact flash card and transfer them to my 12Z. He then flew his models with his programs (created on the 14MZ) using my 12Z transmitter while his 14 was off getting repaired. The only thing we had to modify was the model names. The 14MZ will allow longer model names than the 12Z can recognize. That's been the only issue we had doing this.

The 12Z is still an expensive radio and maybe for most there are better "bang for the buck" radios out there but if you'll looking for a "do it all" radio that you'll likely never outgrow but without necessarily having the fancy bells and whistles, it's very hard to beat the Futaba 12Z.

FWIW!

Fly Safe,
Steve R.
Thanks Steve, I'm sold on the 12Z and the only reason I haven't bought one yet is due to the rumours of a new Futaba TX this year. Don’t want to upgrade twice in one year.
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Old 06-03-2011, 07:09 PM   #9 (permalink)
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Hey HG, I am also looking to upgrade to a 12, so thanks for posting this question.
I like my 8FG, but want something a little classier. Not a fan of the 8's plastic feel, lack of rubber grips and poor alarm sound on the timer, which can hardly be heard whilst flying. Other than that the 8FG Is a good radio, just want something better!
Also wondering if there will be a new 12 shortly??????

G

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Old 06-04-2011, 07:07 AM   #10 (permalink)
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Quote:
Originally Posted by g-bru View Post
Hey HG, I am also looking to upgrade to a 12, so thanks for posting this question.
I like my 8FG, but want something a little classier. Not a fan of the 8's plastic feel, lack of rubber grips and poor alarm sound on the timer, which can hardly be heard whilst flying. Other than that the 8FG Is a good radio, just want something better!
Also wondering if there will be a new 12 shortly??????

G

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Yep, am definitely holding back now that the 18 is on the way – not sure if I will be able to resist it once available though…total overkill for helis but I love toys…
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Old 06-04-2011, 12:05 PM   #11 (permalink)
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If there is a new 12 channel in the works I doubt it will come out too soon after the 18MZ hits the market shelves. If there was one by this time next year I would be surprised.
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Old 06-04-2011, 12:27 PM   #12 (permalink)
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Originally Posted by Heli G View Post
Yep, am definitely holding back now that the 18 is on the way – not sure if I will be able to resist it once available though…total overkill for helis but I love toys…
I'm curious to see what they're going to "want" for the new 18. The 14MZ was generally sold for $2000+ when it came out. I had paid $1300 for a synthesized 9Z back in the early to mid 90's and swallowed hard on that one. I bought the 12Z for $1400 after they came out, about 11 to 12 years later, and considering the improvements in programming flexibility and the greater resolution (2048 vs 1024), it seemed like a relative bargain but for me, $2000+ for the 14 was a bit much especially considering that most of the differences between the two were bells and whistles, 90% of which I'd likely never use anyway. At least that was my attitude toward the 14MZ when it came out. All I've seen of the new 18 so far is a few pictures and basic specs. I'll see what I think of it when I find out what they're going to want for it!

Fly Safe,
Steve R.
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