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Old RC equipment advice

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I have two complete sets of Futaba RC equipment, one Acoms set, a couple of spare Acoms servos and one 4 channel controller that I think was from on old plane my dad had. All  will be 25 plus years old. I think it all worked last time I used it, possibly except one of the Acoms recivers,  that possibly died. I know technology has moved on and I haven't kept up since I last used it many years ago, 20200414_202815.thumb.jpg.7eff7926dd5202116b7f5c15777ac474.jpgso I'm needing a little advice please. 

Can I fit new ESC's  to the old sets, or am I stuckwith the 3 speed motor control? Are they compatible? Also all my old kit had a separate battery pack for the receiver, in so cars that I have that will be fine, but it doesn't fit in my Manta ray. So can I buy a new compatible  receiver for these?

Also is there any useful guides for someone looking to buy new RC equipment as I mind it a bit of a minefield. And I have no idea what is best when it comes to new motors and what all the different numbers and models mean. Feel a little lost with it all.



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Hi . You can fit an ESC to old radio equipment . You have a mixed bag of old radio kit there . You need to identify which servos will fit into which receivers ( receivers all appear to be 27MHZ ) . This is all a bit of a minefield as regards testing it all out . The big receiver at the top is very old and only certain Acoms servos will fit it due to the servo plug clips , so set that to one side along with any servos that you have that fit to it . For simplicity for now focus on the Futaba receiver in the pic and see if you have a servo that fits it and take the Futaba handset to make up a 'set' , put batteries in handset and use one of your AA battery pack and plug it into the BATT. port receiver , plug in the selected servo in the receiver , match up the handset and receiver crystals switch on handset and see if you have any life in the servo from either left or right stick . If it works you can start from there , if it doesn't try another servo or receiver ( either could be faulty)  . This is going to be a lot of testing and swapping but that is the principal to check out your gear . Only matching MHZ bands are compatible ( ie , 27MHZ receiver to 27MHZ handset ) . You can buy a servo tester cheap on eBay which is a quicker way of testing out servos . Once you have got a working set ( receiver & handset need to work on both channels) you can buy an ESC - Hobbywing 1060 is a popular choice  which will also eliminate the need for a AA battery box and you won't need the servo for the old MSC that you have . If your old gear is dud , then go straight for new 2.4g handset and receiver 1060 ESC and a new 540 motor and NiMh battery pack / charger  . You can go budget to start with to get things rolling then move up in price range if you want

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PS , the 2 smaller receivers are fitted with BEC , 'Battery Eliminator Circuitry' which does away with the old AA battery box anyway and you can still use them in your cars without the AA box and with the old MSC and are still compatible with an ESC .

The Mata Ray should be easy to convert if the receiver and steering servo works . You need to remove the MSC , MSC's servo and resistor which will leave room for the ESC . Simply plug in the ESC into the vacant channel left by the old MSC servo and connect up . The 1060 ESC is ' plug and play '

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Whatever you decide, please do not use the radio set designed for airplanes on ground vehicles.  Airplane radios are on separate frequencies from ground vehicles for a reason.   Yes, I know "nobody is using FM radios to fly these days", but it's still against regulations and you don't want to be "that guy".

Secondly, make sure you put three 0.1uF capacitors on any brushed motors that you connect to an ESC in order to minimize electric arc noise.  One cap between motor - and motor can, one cap between motor + and motor can and one cap between motor - and motor +.   This is especially important for AM radio systems.  The last thing you want is your new ride to hit the curb because of a radio glitch.  That said, I would ditch the AM radio and get at least an FM/PCM or even a new 2.4GHz system for the better reliability of control and less worry about glitches.  But I understand money may be tight these days (and every day).

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I feel you.  I was in the same boat about 30 months ago.  

I too use a lot of Hobbywing 1060 ESCs.  

Out of 4 ESCs here, the smaller one on the far right is Hobbywing 1060.  Actual Hobbywing 1060 has red heatsink.  This is another brand with the same spec (Duratrax?) 


If your receiver can take the plugs you see here, it's all good.  

It's got little connector tabs. You can choose NiMH or LiPo battery.  Forward/Brake or Forward/Brake/Reverse or Forward/Reverse.  



At the beginning, I took one step at a time.  

I forgot what I got first.  2.4ghz radio was a bit later.  So was LiPo battery and the charger.  I probably started with an ESC too.  Hobbywing Quicrun 1060 is a good ESC.  Only about $13 for a clone, about $20 for Hobbywing.  They both work just fine.  Ebay, Amazon or Hobbyking are common places to buy from.  

There are 3 types of motors now.  Old school brushed motors?  Hobbywing 1060.  If you want to try Brushless motors, there are sensored ones and sensorless ones.  They use different ESCs, usually.    Sensored brushed motors?  Tamiya TBLE02S costs about $25-$30 on ebay. TBLE02S can also handle brushed motors down to 25t (Sport Tuned motor).  It's a very rare brushed/sensored-brushless ESC.  But if you want to stay with brushed motors, dedicated Hobbywing 1060 is better because it can handle twice hotter motor (down to 12t).   

Sensorless brushed motors?  They are often sold as a motor/ESC combo.  Sensorless could cog.  It's a jerky hesitation at low speed that could happen only sometimes.  The ESC doesn't know what speed the motor is actually turning, so there could be a conflict.  That's why sensored motor was born.  It can takes care of the cogging issue, but because of the feedback, the acceleration is wee bit slower.  There are also rare sensored/sensorless ESCs too.  


If you want to rebuild it, you can equip full ball bearings.  That alone should improve the speed 15-20%, run time about 10%.  5x11x4mm (aka 1150) bearings are the most used bearings, the next common bearing would be 5x8x2.5mm (aka 850).  If you search by their sizes, you can get a little bag of 10 for about $3.50.  Rubber shielded ones are good for off roaders.  

If you don't want to bother with old radios, 2.4ghz radios are cheap.  Flysky GT3C is about $45.  Unlike GT3B (that I have), GT3C uses only 4 AA batteries to do the same things.  


Flysky is reliable despite its price. It has more functions than old AM radios: 3rd channel, exponential, dual rate, ABS, End point adjustment, of course servo reverse and trim too. 

If you want even more functions, RadioLink 6GS is a 6 channel radio.  It has a gyro in the receiver for $65 per set (radio and receiver).  If the chassis over-steer or under-steer, the gyro will decrease or increase the steering input to compensate.  Or turn off that function, if you so choose.  Fancy new techs for not a lot of money.   


Futaba 3PV costs about $120.  The cost is worth it only if you are racing.  Because 3PV is rather simple in functions, but has faster response time.   



Did I mention, all these computer radios can control 10 cars? (one at a time, not all at once)  In case of Flysky GT3C, each receiver costs about $7 (below).  No need to buy a new set of radio every time you buy a new kit.  Just mount a $7 receiver and use the existing transmitter.  The only problem is because these are so cheap, my RC cars are breeding like bunnies...  

But you won't have the bunny problem if you go with Futaba because their receivers are quite expensive ($40 each).  Radiolink's receivers are $25 each, but at least those are gyro receivers.  


Just thought some of these items can be a good starting point, for later when you want to expand a little.  


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