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Vintage Futaba Radios (Timeline guide?)

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Is there a guide or timeline of when each model was released?

Looking for the period correct radios for both a 934 and 935 (1976/1977) porches.

Thanks!

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I would be very surprised if you could come up with a timeline guide of Futaba radios. We've discussed the topic many times with Futaba buff, Crash Cramer. Anyway, what you need for your car is this:

futabaradio.jpg

That's the good old Futaba FP t-2F. It was made from the mid 70's until 1985 or 86 I think. The older model have the crystal soldered to the board, the newer ones have removable xtals. But they all look and feel the same. :)

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Here's mine that is original to my 935. Futaba FP-T2GS

Hard to find evidence of actual manufacture date. Futaba did it on the later radios but not sure if they did it this early.

bbe246d595bdc34d769f0a5287cde58d.jpg2cb356ce63659293a5906577a09e8f0f.jpg72e7b90ff20f97d501cde5f3daab6f05.jpg

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Thanks for that info!

I have a few of those radios around, I didn't know they dated back to 1977 though,

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Last two digits on my serial number are 79. Who knows though :/

Maybe Chris will chime in

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Okay OKAY, you guys ought to know I don't poke around on the forum as much. I spend too much time on the computer as it is and that is why none of my projects are done yet. LOL

I can say this, I dont have years of production figured out either, but there are some tells. That metal cased 2 stick that Erich has shown IS old as it has the old logo on it. I beleive the plastic case to be a later type, but don't know what year it first came out. The "octopus" blob on the logo is another way of telling some ages to the radios as well, the 80's certainly used the blob and the early 80's to the late 70's used what I might call a "tri-color" decal that included the blob on their servos. It has mainly silver outlining the part number on the servos and red and blue used on the blob logo. Then the later blobs simply use silver and red as well and then even later blobs use silver or gold color. IT is harder yet to get the right combination of servos to radio sets.

I will start with what I do know about the oldest stuff I own, the TX is the same FP-2F "BIG WHEEL" as I originally started off controlling my HotShot back in the old days, but the RX and two servos are in a beige case color, NOT BLACK. It has been stated in the OLDEST manual that I own for a Futaba FP2E and FP2F date printed is 1975, Feb to be exact, that the correct servo pairing for the radio set is either FP-S6 or FP-S7, I can't say as I have searched the ends of the Earth to source any S6 servos, but I can imagine that those too were in beige. As the later servos came, their numbers were included in the manuals as being part of the radio set, I have two other manuals here for the same radio(FP2E/F), one dated 1980 and another 1983. The 1980 printing includes servos S7, S12, S16, and S23(all these had SQUARE OUTPUT POSTS) where the 1983 printing has obliterated all those and gone to some of the last G plug servos seen in surface use the S28, S29 and S32(these are splined type). I can't remember when the S48 came out, but that might be the pistol grip generation of TX sets. I believe the last sets of servos that use or include the letters "IC" would be the s23 as I have one here as well as a couple of s26 which do NOT have IC on them. It is of note that the older RX for these series went black in case color too. I think the RX that first went black was the FP-R2GS or any of the G series, but again, I can only speak from what I own and I have a beige FP-R2F, so deduction on my part.

It is of note that the 1983 printing has a new twist to it, they mention the use of a 4 Channel RX, the FP-R4H, interesting since these are simple 2 channel TX, but I guess it was out there for ?????

Here is some data I can put together for possible dating of equipment too, the ADDRESS in Compton that Futaba has on its labels. My oldest manual has them at 630 West Carob Street where my later manuals show them at 555 West Victoria Street. If you are lucky enough to have Japanese address labels, it would seem the address hadn't changed, but I did notice a change in the name of the Building they were in. Oldest manual states it as "Super Bldg" where the later manuals have "Daido Bldg." Just a note on that.

I don't remember when the equipment itself started being made elsewhere, but I believe most of the oldest vintage stuff was made in Japan and marked as such.

So, I hope that shines a little light on some information about the older stuff. It is a bit frustrating, but I even contacted Futaba late last year and was nicely given the brush off about any type of history shown on their website. Either they don't care to take the time to document the progress they have made through the years or they don't have any resources in which to illustrate their progress. All the same it is a disappointment to me that they seem to not care about where they came from, only where they are going???

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Great reponse Crash, appreciate it!

If you don't mind, I would like to take a few pics of a couple "stick" Radio's I have that I think are a bit old. What's odd about them is, the throttle sticks are not aligned perfectly vertically, but at a bit of an angle. It's really quite odd and they are quite old (servo's for them have square output posts).

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Thanks Chris. I guess we all should be thankful for the efforts Tamiya is making in keeping records for every release they make. It is SAD that Japanese companies like Futaba or Kyosho doesn't show any care about their History and legacy. Too sad!

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Christian,

Go right ahead and shoot some photos, I know I am inept at getting good photos transferred over to this forum area, but I do have some posts in my TC Showroom. Put those photos up and I might be of help with deciphering what or when they came out. It is possible since there was some blurred lines in the early days, that you might have a radio intended for aircraft instead of surface. It was the early to mid '80s when the RC cars exploded on the scene that we were given the 75 MHz band instead of the 72MHz band like the aircraft. I shudder to think about being present when that learning curve was figured out!!!

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Great post Chris!

My 935's servos have the gold "blob" and are marked Made in Japan on the top part of the servo case.

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Hey NW, sounds like you have some lat 80's servos, you say they are model 935??? I think those might be metal geared or something better than standard 28 and 48 versions. Futaba did a switch when they went to the now common "J" plug and that was to add the number "1" to the servo model, so an old S-28 became S-128, specs stayed the same, just got the "new" J plug. Now I don't know when they began the run of 3000 series servos, but that would definately be the 90s, just don't have a time line and haven't found a Futaba catalog to buy from them either. Remarkably, there is some data on the old stuff, just not a definative time line and such. It is located here for receivers:

http://www.futaba-rc.com/receivers/old-receivers.html

NOW, if you want some information on the older SERVOS, here is how you find it:

From the page above click on the "Support" button at top right, then there is an ORANGE BAND that appears with some other options and there is one for "Discontinued Servos" along with some other data. Again, some information sure beats none altogether, but there is not a real life timeline. There used to be a nice Japanese language site ages ago with some nice photos and it looked professionally done, maybe even sanctioned by Futaba, but I haven't found it since my computer change over 5 years ago and I haven't fired up that old computer, it is likely dead from sitting in the garage so long, so I can't pull up old bookmarks either.

Hope you guys find more data and HEY, if you are after a part or such, I am able to make you a deal on individual things like servos or such if I have them spare. I think we all have a mountain of splined servo horns and perhaps servo trays to mount into fuselages, but I just might have something you need/want to complete a radio set. I have been at this too long for my own good. I finally had to throw a styrofoam tray away as I tried it with EVERY radio I have here and none of them fit the form, so it went into the trash. I didn't want to do it, but it was just sitting her collecting more and more dust.

Chris

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Yep, you can also see that the case has a nice MOLDED "Made in Japan" label on the top most part vs later versions with it on the bottom of the servo, near the four screws. They used decals with "Made in Taiwan" and I think some more modern stuff is now being labeled "Made in Phillipines"???? I haven't looked at every last servo and RX that I have laying around here.

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Ok, here are some pics of the radios I am talking about that don't have perfectly horizontal or vertical sticks.

They both came with 2 channel receivers and have the servos with the square ends.

http://www.bayarearidersforum.com/forums/attachment.php?attachmentid=457152&stc=1&d=1423164438

http://www.bayarearidersforum.com/forums/attachment.php?attachmentid=457153&stc=1&d=1423164438

http://www.bayarearidersforum.com/forums/attachment.php?attachmentid=457151&stc=1&d=1423164435

*I used another forum to host the pics, safe to click.

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I get "Invalid Attachment specified. If you followed a valid link, please notify the" and I'm fairly computer smart, being in IT and all.

Could you try again Indietrucks?

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Okay, well now that I see them, well, now I don't know much on those as they are looking like UK issued radio sets. It is the RIPMAX on the radios as well as the fact that they are 27MHz that notes how I figured that one out. It is now looking like you will need to get with someone in the know on the RIPMAX series.

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This here's the Futaba catalog from Spring 1985. In the last page you can see the 2F "wheel" transmitter in what must have been one of the last years of production (?). Also, one interesting fact is that you can see ALL of the logos Tamiya have had in one catalog's page!

Apparently the metal bodied two-stick transmitter was discarded many years before the 2F wheel type. I tend to think the plastic two-stick transmitters replaced it in the Futaba catalog (?).

quZgIwU.jpg

Thanks again for this fantastic catalog, Chris! :)

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I have to find mine here Erich, I think they are at a friend's house being scanned into my portable hard drive. You bet on the catalog, just sorry for that guy as he has a hole in his head. :o

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Isn't it funny how you could buy that smaller 2L transmitter for allowing you to reverse the servos since the old wheeler didn't have that option at all, it was real fun back then to instal the servos and steering and such. I think it is even funnier how that kid on the front cover is holding a very expensive TX for air control instead of the 2L which is being advertised as smaller in size for younger users. Hmmm Futaba, I think your photo guys and your PR guys ought to talk a few more minutes before the layout is finalized. :lol:

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[...] just sorry for that guy as he has a hole in his head. :o

Well, it is pretty obvious the guy already had a hole in his pocket.

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Yea, you noticed the price tags too. WOW, I think I pay about 20% of that on these older ones if I can get a way with it, but believe it or not, the old brown box with the wheel is selling sometimes on ebay for the same price as back then. Of course it is for a full set up, sometimes with a box and often times without the box. It is pretty crazy though. The Magnum Jr isn't pulling that kind of price just yet, just depends on the day and condition.

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