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junkmunki

Acoms or Futaba?

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Reading something on another thread got me wondering about something. I can remember back in the early 80s when i got into RC cars, my local hobby store used to stock both Acoms and Futaba radio sets, but always, the deals seemed to tie the Acoms to Tamiya kits, and Futaba to Kyosho kits.

I always thought at the time that the Futaba Attack sets looked more interesting then the dark green Acoms radios, but apart from that, they were very similar in function.

I have a large collection of original boxed radio sets, and i've just looked and found that all but 1 of them is Acoms... :rolleyes:

Does anybody have a preference over which sets they use in their vintage models?

J

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Interesting. I have always thought Futaba to be more closely linked with Tamiya, as they both use the same servo spline standards. I choose Futaba gear for my restos as a result.

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Depends where you're from.

UK I think it was RIKO Richard Konstam who handled Tamiya & also Acoms, so those got packaged together. Some T kids even have RIKO on the  sticker sheet. ;)

Which radio brand did MRC distribute in USA?

Downunder we had ToyTraders who also did Futaba so our combo packs came with Futaba. Battery & charger were Ansmann towards the end.

In Asia didn't really see much retail-shrink wrapped combo sets, LHS just put them together ad hoc. Sanwa Dash, JR Beat 2 and that white Futaba Attack were common entry level sticks. Up in HongKong where shopkeeps might be better at upselling, Futaba Magnum was big but KO soon won many fans. 

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8 hours ago, TurnipJF said:

Interesting. I have always thought Futaba to be more closely linked with Tamiya, as they both use the same servo spline standards. I choose Futaba gear for my restos as a result.

Might be because the Tamiya branded Radiogear all look suspiciously manufactured by Futaba...? 

At the other end of spectrum is Hitec - nothing fits. T must really hate them :) 

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3 hours ago, WillyChang said:

Depends where you're from.

UK I think it was RIKO Richard Konstam who handled Tamiya & also Acoms, so those got packaged together. Some T kids even have RIKO on the  sticker sheet. ;)

Which radio brand did MRC distribute in USA?

Downunder we had ToyTraders who also did Futaba so our combo packs came with Futaba. Battery & charger were Ansmann towards the end.

In Asia didn't really see much retail-shrink wrapped combo sets, LHS just put them together ad hoc. Sanwa Dash, JR Beat 2 and that white Futaba Attack were common entry level sticks. Up in HongKong where shopkeeps might be better at upselling, Futaba Magnum was big but KO soon won many fans. 

I have a vintage Countach that originated in the USA, and as such has the MRC radio gear. Although it is badged as MRC, it looks very much like the Sanwa radio of the period. Maybe they were re badged for MRC.  The handsets were also a bit smaller than the contemporary Acoms or Futaba.

J

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24 minutes ago, junkmunki said:

I have a vintage Countach that originated in the USA, and as such has the MRC radio gear. Although it is badged as MRC, it looks very much like the Sanwa radio of the period. Maybe they were re badged for MRC.  The handsets were also a bit smaller than the contemporary Acoms or Futaba.

70s-early 80s that might well be the case! Sanwa did co-brand with Cox for US, then they used Airtronics didn't they.

ah yes MRC did have their own brand of radio gear... Google found some pics could be late 80s. They don't look much like any of the Japanese radios back then though... one looked suspiciously like Futaba G plug on the servos but the case moldings weren't anything like Futaba, much rougher quality too. Looks like early Korean manufacture.

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In the UK (in my limited experience) Tamiya kits came with ACOMS when offered as a combo with a radio. My Thunder Dragon did, and all the used stuff i have bought since i got back into it came with ACOMS if it was on 27MHz. Futaba was always either super expensive, or Kyosho, or both from my 13 year old perception. 

I still have one of 27MHz radios - my original Thunder Dragon handset. I LOVE the feel of the sticks and how geavy and solid it feels. I used Futaba Attack T4R 40mhz radios for about a year after one came with a used kit and worked better with modern electrics, but it felt cheaper and less solid than my ACOMS. I have a Flysky stick radio now and it's still not a patch on the stick feel of the ACOMS because there is so little force/resistance required to move the sticks, but in every ither way modern radios are better. 

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My original (and very first hobby grade RC (unless the Taiyo Metro Jet Hopper counted as hobbygrade 🤪)) Fox came as a package with Toy Traders Quick Charger with the timing dial, and Acoms Techniplus radio gear. Interesting that toy traders distributed Futaba back then @WillyChang 

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For me Futaba only, but only for the looks. I use these radios on everything except for the large one (it's missing battery tray).

30172501_Screenshot_2020-01-02Blissard(kyotoblissard)SeeInstagramphotosandvideos.png.903eddc702f7b84a0507f5f56f5bb631.png

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1 hour ago, Blissard said:

For me Futaba only, but only for the looks. I use these radios on everything except for the large one (it's missing battery tray).

30172501_Screenshot_2020-01-02Blissard(kyotoblissard)SeeInstagramphotosandvideos.png.903eddc702f7b84a0507f5f56f5bb631.png

Nice collection. I do like the chunky metal cases on the early Futaba radios.

Where is the forward and reverse stick on the wheel radio, and also, is the one on the left a single 4 way stick?

J

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2 hours ago, Blissard said:

For me Futaba only, but only for the looks. I use these radios on everything except for the large one (it's missing battery tray).

30172501_Screenshot_2020-01-02Blissard(kyotoblissard)SeeInstagramphotosandvideos.png.903eddc702f7b84a0507f5f56f5bb631.png

Nice transmitters! I have an old lp500s with futaba radio gear but no TX. It has a Fpr2g receiver and fps18 servos in dark brown cases. Do you know what tx that set would have had? Ive searched the internet but not found anything conclusive.

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The lp500s i bought has futaba radio gear and an acoms battery. It also came with this 3 page leaflet listing the benefits of acoms radio gear and why you should buy the acoms products.

 

20191116-135829.jpg

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2 hours ago, junkmunki said:

Nice collection. I do like the chunky metal cases on the early Futaba radios.

Where is the forward and reverse stick on the wheel radio, and also, is the one on the left a single 4 way stick?

J

Thanks!

You're right about the one on the left, it's a 3 channel radio with single stick for 2 channels, I used it for my vintage Kyosho Blizzard.

Forward reverse is on the side, it's very comfortable to use;

1.jpg.3261c22baf5d1f66f4c219bd9f026852.jpg

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1 hour ago, graemevw said:

Nice transmitters! I have an old lp500s with futaba radio gear but no TX. It has a Fpr2g receiver and fps18 servos in dark brown cases. Do you know what tx that set would have had? Ive searched the internet but not found anything conclusive.

Thanks! I have just checked and I have one FP-R2GS receiver that matches the wheel Futaba transmitter, FP-T 2F.

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13 minutes ago, Blissard said:

Thanks! I have just checked and I have one FP-R2GS receiver that matches the wheel Futaba transmitter, FP-T 2F.

I was hoping it would be a wheel one. My rx is not the fp-r2gs though, just fp-r2g. Ive no idea what the lack of S means though. It was 75mhz, which is illegal in the uk so i converted it to 2.4ghz.

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6 minutes ago, graemevw said:

I was hoping it would be a wheel one. My rx is not the fp-r2gs though, just fp-r2g. Ive no idea what the lack of S means though. It was 75mhz, which is illegal in the uk so i converted it to 2.4ghz.

It would make a perfect radio for LP500s. I don't know about the S too. I didn't know it was possible to convert the mhz on radios, I am clueless about electronics but my friend told me that they are all illegal to use.

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7 minutes ago, Blissard said:

It would make a perfect radio for LP500s. I don't know about the S too. I didn't know it was possible to convert the mhz on radios, I am clueless about electronics but my friend told me that they are all illegal to use.

This is mine

20191130-165846.jpg

When i say convert, what i actually did was rip everything off the rx pcb and solder jumper wires on to link the original rx pins to a 2.4ghz rx hidden inside the futaba case.

The rx was mint, still had the protective film on the label, so i felt a little guilty, but it was unusable so at least this way it stays in the model, i can still use the old servos and keep the old style plugs.

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46 minutes ago, graemevw said:

This is mine

20191130-165846.jpg

When i say convert, what i actually did was rip everything off the rx pcb and solder jumper wires on to link the original rx pins to a 2.4ghz rx hidden inside the futaba case.

The rx was mint, still had the protective film on the label, so i felt a little guilty, but it was unusable so at least this way it stays in the model, i can still use the old servos and keep the old style plugs.

I'm glad you could make it work legally and keep the style.

I am unable to see any of your pictures by the way.

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Thats weird, no idea why that would be.

Is it showing for other people?

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5 hours ago, mtbkym01 said:

My original (and very first hobby grade RC (unless the Taiyo Metro Jet Hopper counted as hobbygrade 🤪)) Fox came as a package with Toy Traders Quick Charger with the timing dial, and Acoms Techniplus radio gear. Interesting that toy traders distributed Futaba back then @WillyChang 

TT definitely had Futaba right up to their recent end, when it crossed the Nullarbor to Perth. No idea when they started... I only begun sticking my nose into TT wholesale lists ~20yrs ago. No idea who had Acoms account in oz, it wasn't Dawn Trading nor Model Engines afaik... so we pled ignorance & did some grey importing of Acoms radio sets around that time too. Those were Made in Malaysia units not Taiwan.

 

Which charger did you have? :) black rectangular box with knob to one side? Accumulated a whole bunch of various chargers, had to clear some to make room so I harvested the clockwork knobs out of them... only later noticed some are 15mins & are 30mins.

By mid 80s had moved to various AYK delta peak and Kyosho lambda detect auto chargers... always wanted a Tekin BC110 or BC112 though, dunno why - just looked cool in the magazine ads. 

 

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4 hours ago, WillyChang said:

TT definitely had Futaba right up to their recent end, when it crossed the Nullarbor to Perth. No idea when they started... I only begun sticking my nose into TT wholesale lists ~20yrs ago. No idea who had Acoms account in oz, it wasn't Dawn Trading nor Model Engines afaik... so we pled ignorance & did some grey importing of Acoms radio sets around that time too. Those were Made in Malaysia units not Taiwan.

 

Which charger did you have? :) black rectangular box with knob to one side? Accumulated a whole bunch of various chargers, had to clear some to make room so I harvested the clockwork knobs out of them... only later noticed some are 15mins & are 30mins.

By mid 80s had moved to various AYK delta peak and Kyosho lambda detect auto chargers... always wanted a Tekin BC110 or BC112 though, dunno why - just looked cool in the magazine ads. 

 

Yeah the black rectangular box with Toy Traders embossed in white, and a 15min timer

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We never got Acoms here in the states and I've always had Futaba gear. But I was super excited to get an Acoms controller with a lot that I got from a friend who bought all of his Tamiyas overseas in Europe and Japan. Kind of neat to hold one after all these years of wondering where you Brits got that goofy radio gear from :P:lol:  only fitting that my Acoms controller goes with my M01 Mini :wub:

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Personally, my favorite was always Sanwa/Airtronics, because that's what I started with. First an SR2 2-stick, and later the legendary XL2P, which I used for about 15 years. Loved that radio. Most other people I raced with went for Futaba or KO, it seemed, but the XL2P just felt right to me. I liked the balance. I have a Cox Cadet (rebranded SR2) that works great, and it's still my favorite 2-stick.

It's funny, the differences in dominant radio brand in different parts of the world. Acoms, which sounds like it was/is a huge deal in Great Britain, was almost unknown in the US. Futaba (Attack or Magnum Sport, usually) was the sort of default standard here, Airtronics was a distant second, and if you bought a combo deal from Tower Hobbies, you got a Kyosho Pulsar (which was made by KO, I think). For some reason everybody I knew avoided Hitec (then Aristo-Craft) like the plague. I don't know if it was the incompatibility with Tamiya kits, or the fact that their radios were a particularly unpleasant shade of brown back then, but everybody spent the extra $10-20 for Futaba or Airtronics.

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1 hour ago, markbt73 said:

Personally, my favorite was always Sanwa/Airtronics, because that's what I started with. First an SR2 2-stick, and later the legendary XL2P, which I used for about 15 years. Loved that radio. Most other people I raced with went for Futaba or KO, it seemed, but the XL2P just felt right to me.

I'm a huge Airtronics fan also!. Having raced with an XL2P for several years. I currently own three of them in pristine condition and unfortunately neither one of them work. Something internally fails after years which basically melts the battery holder. And Battery holders are getting to be rare. I keep striking out trying to find an XL2P that works and won't go all Chernobyl on me. 

I have two MX-3's, one regular and one synthesized. Love those radios dearly too. 

Lastly, I have a Blazer Sport that has the optional colored steering wheel and throttle/steering knobs.   

When Airtronics finally went out of business, it was a like a small piece of my childhood racing passed away. Same with Novak. 

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Airtronics = Sanwa, they just stopped using the name :) you get to buy Sanwa in USA now, don't you?

"Kyosho" Pulsar is a brandname of Hobbico... smells like they just stuck the kyosho name on. Wouldn't be sold outside as Datsun would probably object, Nissan Pulsar (Cherry?) and all that.

Looked at pics of Pulsar 2000... nah KO wouldn't make them so cheap plasticky. Plus it's Made in Korea, KO is always Japan afaik. Hobbico must just gotten some generic factory to crank them out... they also had their own Towerhobbies RC line anyways.

Kyosho in Japan otoh always featured WHITE servos & receiver in their 80s catalog cars. The moulding & plugs on these matched up with what Sanwa made in black for their own label.

Acoms boxes were cobranded RIKO in the 80s then by 90s "Asahi Radio" logo crept in. Acoms 227 were made in Japan originally then Hong Kong and Malaysia. 

In the early 2000s I dealt with a lot of Kyosho Alpha GP... they were the first decent/scale looking RC Subaru during the WRX craze. :) I could get them RTR painted blue or ARTR no radio unpainted; which I painted & radio'd myself. The RTRs had white Radiogear and they were moulded just like the then current Acoms Technisport... couldn't buy Kyosho Radiogear separately so I bought in Acoms for the ARTRs. 

Also found the same unit being sold as "JR Python".

Anybody see "AsahiRadio" anywhere else other than Acoms today?

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