Futaba 7C + timer glitch = valuable lesson

Took my brand new 7C transmitter to the field today for its "maiden flight". Did the normal prefilght checks: range, ailerons, elevator,
rudder, and throttle all doing what they should. The first 3 flights went without incident. Then I remembered this thing had a timer -- why not try it out?
I'm just a couple weeks from solo, so asked my instructor for some help setting it up, and away we go. Takeoff was normal: climb-out and left turn. Then, no right aileron to bring the wings level. Fortunately, my instructor was close by. I was able to tell him what was wrong, keeping my plane just barely away from the ground until he took the transmitter and was able to land it without incident. We found the endpoint adjustment for the right aileron set to 0%. I did some reading in this newsgroup and learned that this is a known problem with this transmitter and Futaba's very lame advice is not to touch the timer.
So I learned several important lessons today: 1)Preflight checks are not just for the first flight of the day, especially after fiddling with transmitter programming. 2)Try out the new toys on the ground until you know exactly what they do. 3)I need to learn how to fly with the rudder for that someday when a servo, etc. fails.
I don't blame Futaba for my own inexperience (neglecting a proper preflight), but they surely have a responsibility to fix this problem. I'm grateful to my instructor for being able to save my plane and feel for the guys who lost their's to this glitch.
Can't wait to get back out to the field and try again!
Regards, Ken
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Kind of makes you wonder if Futaba shouldn't have done a few more checks before they send out a product. Something like that should not have slipped through.
John VB
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Futaba should've discovered and fixed the problem before they released the transmitter. Maybe you can send it to Hobby Services to get a free fix. Give 'em hell!
Morris
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| Futaba should've discovered and fixed the problem before they released the | transmitter.
Yes, they should have. But these things are getting complicated enough that testing every possible permutation of the functions being used is tricky, and it's easy to miss something.
Expect to see this happen more and more as consumer devices get more and more complicated. Bugs just aren't for computers anymore (at least not for your standard desktop computer anyways.) I'm not saying it's right, just that it's reality.
| Maybe you can send it to Hobby Services to get a free fix.
Maybe? They absolutely should.
| Give 'em hell!
I doubt that'll be needed. I'm sure they won't give you any problems getting it fixed. All the 7cs should still be under warranty, but I'll bet they'd fix it even outside of warranty.
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I read about that (here) over a year ago. I think that's inexcusable on the part of the manufacturer. I have JR transmitters and find the timer very useful.
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Since the Futaba radios are being manufactured in China, the quality it dropped a lot. It is a feather the radios facts in Japan and in Taiwan they are excellent.
Best regards Joao Mano Brazil www.manorc.com
snipped-for-privacy@peoplepc.com (John R. Agnew) wrote in message

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| > Futaba should've discovered and fixed the problem before they released the | > transmitter. Maybe you can send it to Hobby Services to get a free fix. ... | I read about that (here) over a year ago. I think that's inexcusable | on the part of the manufacturer.
Are you sure it was over a year ago? The 7C hasn't even been out that long. First reference I can find to it in Usenet is Feb 9th 2004, and the stuff about it in Tower Hobbies is dated 03/08/04. The RC Groups review for it is dated 04/07/2004.
| I have JR transmitters and find the timer very useful.
Yes, timers are useful.
What is inexcusable is that this problem is not mentioned in their 7C FAQ --
http://www.futaba-rc.com/faq/faq-7c.html
(Oddly enough, their faq for the 7C talks about modules in several places -- except that the 7C doesn't support a module. So obviously keeping it up to date and accurate is not a priority.)
I imagine that Futaba will fix any radio with the problem free of charge -- especially since every 7C sold would still be under warranty. Has anybody bothered to ask them rather than gripe about it?
(I would, but I don't own a 7C -- I've got a 9C instead.)
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Doug McLaren, snipped-for-privacy@frenzy.com
Okay, who put a "stop payment" on my reality check?
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snipped-for-privacy@frenzy.com (Doug McLaren) wrote in message wrote:

Talked to a club member yesterday, who has a 9C and has no problem with the timer. Did the 9C originally have this problem? I don't own Futaba radios so don't know one from the other, but I remember reading about this problem, almost certainly here, about two years ago. John
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... | > I imagine that Futaba will fix any radio with the problem free of | > charge -- especially since every 7C sold would still be under | > warranty. Has anybody bothered to ask them rather than gripe about | > it? | > | > (I would, but I don't own a 7C -- I've got a 9C instead.) | | Talked to a club member yesterday, who has a 9C and has no problem | with the timer. Did the 9C originally have this problem?
No. Apparantly the 9C does have (had?) some problem with V-tails under certain conditions, but I've not run into it.
| I don't own Futaba radios so don't know one from the other, but I | remember reading about this problem, almost certainly here, about | two years ago.
You must have read something else then. The 7C hasn't even been out for six months yet.
Lots of the computer radios have had bugs in them. But the timer thing on the 7C is serious -- it could very easily crash a plane. Most of the others are just annoyances, or at least something you'd find on the ground before taking off.
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It doesn't matter whether you win or lose -- until you lose.
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says...

Futaba fixed the 9C v-tail bug around May 2002 (about 2 years ago). It was a fairly obscure bug that only affected 4 servo, full span aileron/flap configurations, with a v-tail, and using elevator compensation during butterfly (crow) deployment in the GLID2FLP model type. Last year when I inquired, Futaba support told me SN's starting with 0206 and higher were shipped with the fix. They also could upgrade buggy ones returned for service. Not any STK-THR/Timer problems like the 7C with the 9C.
Hopefully, Futaba will take similar action for this nastier bug in the 7C.
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Gregg Uhlendorf wrote: >

I spoke with Hobby Services (Futaba's authorized repair depot) regarding this problem, and while I'm not convinced they really understood the problem, they assured me that they could fix it if I send them the TX. I guess I'll give it a try and let the group know how it turns out.
By the way, I searched the 7C manual and addendum again (well, actually the PDF), but could not find the ellusive warning about fiddling with the timer as referenced in a previous post to this group. Anybody have a link to this?
Regards, Ken
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snipped-for-privacy@verizon.net says...

The 7C page on Futaba's web site has a little graphic at the top that says, "Important! Tech Notice". It links to: http://www.futaba-rc.com/techsupport/tech-7c.html
It says documenting the feature was a mistake, and not to enter a new timer throttle stick threshold. That's some slick BS.
If the person on the phone wasn't knowledgeable of the 7C problem and didn't confirm that there is a specific fix, it's dubious they can remedy it until the bug is fixed by the designers(if they ever do). I would guess you got a standard customer service line: "sure, if it's broke, we'll fix it".
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Ok,
Here's my scenario. 7CAF. I've been using my timer on switch D. I get a glitch at only one point of my range check. Motor off, wit antenna pointed (collapsed) at the Rx. Rx antenna wire is routed as th drawing below.
This happens while (near) on the ground and occurs with more than on Rx.
I'll try INH the timer this afternoon to see if it helps, but see pi for details.
Any ideas? Or am I sending this back in for warentee work.
Steve (aka CrazyHerb
+------------------------------------------------------------------- |Filename: Rx.JPG |Download: http://www.rcgroups.com/forums/attachment.php?attachmentid 78801 +-------------------------------------------------------------------
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For the benefit of those (me) that hit the middle of the thread, what exactly is the glitch with the 7C timer? Can you describe the situations where the TX goofs up?
I've been flying my 9CH for over a year and I use both timers (one up and one down) with both helis and airplanes and have never seen anything unusual happen.
tippy
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I had this problem today.
I had heard about this problem, but didn't really think about it. Wel I should have, I forgot that I had put the timer on switch D, and whil passing the radio to my instructor must have hit it. Luckily he wa able to save my glider. It got me thinking that I must have touched that button by accident th other day, when I nosed it into the cliffside. No real damage, excep for some torn covering and a broken leading edge. I got lucky. One of the guys here said I should go to the LHS and demand they tak it back and give me a good deal on the 9C, seeing as I almost lost plane (twice) and they should have known about the glitch
-- Navy Ai ----------------------------------------------------------------------- Navy Air's Profile: http://www.rcgroups.com/forums/member.php?action=getinfo&userid390 View this thread: http://www.rcgroups.com/forums/showthread.php?threadid $788
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