Mini Review!

Futaba's 12FG 2.4 gHz Transmitter
By Mark Wingad

Futaba FG12 2.4 gHz TransmitterOkay so for sometime I have had a Futaba 12FG 2.4ghz version so how are they…

Now why did choose the 12FG. I’ve always used Futaba and found them to be easy to use and they have served me well. So the reason for change was that my Futaba 9 Cap had a few issues so I needed a new transmitter.

Right what can the 12FG 2.4ghz do….
Actually it can do 35MHZ PCM 1024 or PCM 35mHz 3G 2048 or 72mHz or French 2.4gHz (French uses less channels on 2.4ghz) That’s right its not just 2.4gHz with the right module it can do other frequencies.

So if you had 30 models and want to keep 35mHz and also go 2.4gHz you can buy a 35mHz module and have the best of both worlds.

The 12FG can use any of Futaba’s 2.4gHz  receivers from the 6 channel receivers to the 14 channel receivers. It has a 30 model memory with a SD card slot for over 1000 models if you choose to have that big a model airforce!

Menu please...
Right, so onto using the 12FG. It has 3 Menus.

  1. System: Transmitter hardware settings range check, mode, 
  2. Linkage: Model selection, model type, servo reverse etc
  3. Model Menu: for Mixing, pit curves, throttle curves, gyro, governor, dual rates

You only use 2 buttons for going through the menu’s one is the jog/dial button and one is the S1 button which when pressed takes you back to the top of the menu your in.

Now through these 3 menus you can set the 12FG up and then set up models you’ll find it takes a while to get used to where different things are when setting up models but like everything after a couple of models you’ll get used to the way it works and it does actually flow. You can set stick tension via an allen key with screws in the back of the set.

Now model setting up.
Plane’s and Gliders
Normal, 2 Aileron, 2 Aileron 1 flap, 2 Aileron 2 Flaps, 2 Aileron 4 Flap, 4 Aileron 4 flap,
4 Aileron 2 flap.   I think that’s all of them….

Tailless wing type:
2 aileron, 2 Aileron 1 flap,  2 Aileron 2 flap, 2 Aileron 4 flap, 4 Aileron 2 flap, 4 Aileron 4 flap. 

Rudder type:
Normal, Winglet ( 2Rud)

Tail type:
Normal, V- Tail, Ailevator

Helicopter swash types:
H-1, H-2, HR3, HN3, H-3, H-4, HE3, H-4X
Swash 120 to 140 and Mechanical mixing etc are all covered one way or another also does CCPM correction and has built in swash ring if you set it up.

Mix it up...
As you can see it can do just about everything and then it can also do a lot of mixing:
Ail to Camb. Flap, Ail to Brake flp, Ail to Rud, airbrake to ELE, Rud to ail, Camber mix,
ELE to Camber, Butterfly  and there’s even more…

Futaba FG12 2.4 gHz TransmitterYup, it will do it all and then some it’s just a case of learning the transmitter programming to do what you want it do and you can get it wrong!

I set up my helicopters Gyro and thought okay seems to work fine and then at the Club site  I took off in heading hold had a hover flicked in to idle up 1 and the helicopter swung around… Now while I caught the model and had it sat nose in trying to work out what had I done or not done to cause this to happen.

When you set up your Gyro or Mixing you need to select Group so that when you switch flight conditions there is no change if you leave it single then if you change flight condition the mix, or in my case, gyro condition won’t work. I can say it came as bit of a shock at the time!  Double check everything in all flight modes before you fly on the ground is my advice you never know.

Also beware it does have the control servos plugged into different channels, not the normal Futaba ones, so Channel 3 for example might be rudder but its all on a screen and functions are named with the channel so you cannot go far wrong. It does depend what model your setting up etc.

Switches and bits… 
Now it has eight switches. Six of these are 3 way switches so that’s 3 positions you can select for mixing or flight modes etc. One 2 way switch top left and one spring 2 way switch the same as the 9Cap on the top right.  There also 2 knobs on the front of the tranny and then 2 sliders one on the left and one on the right.  Every switch can be assigned to apart from top right which is throttle cut or training switch.

So you have all the mixing options and then a mass of switch’s to choose from and then its 12 channels as well… 12FG is one of a few transmitters that does more than 7-8 channels on 2.4gHz. This is ideal for Scale Warbirds, or Scale helicopters/gliders where you need more channels to operate the models with flaps/undercarriage/lighting etc etc.  The 12FG will just handle it all and I’d be impressed if you found a model it couldn’t handle! 

You can also do a software update on the 12FG. The Futaba upgrade adds mixing or even tweaks the 12FG, the software you can download and upgrade via the SD card slot inside the transmitter, a feature I’m sure a lot of people will find handy. Mine is on 1.3 and a fellow club member went from 1.1 to 1.5 which added some mixing to his unit.

Okay so what’s it like after 6 months real time usage:

Any negatives?
Okay I have one complaint and only one. The screen has no backlight which means don’t do what I did in a badly lit room and delete a model! Made me curse I can tell you but it is the one thing I do not like, the lack of a backlight. But then maybe I I shouldn’t of been altering settings in a badly lit room.

Models feel locked in when flown I have never had a glitch or a brown out (low receiver power) No range issues; never had to re-bind the transmitter or receivers it just works and works very well.  Setting the stick tension to suit how you want them is no problem, and in the hands the transmitter feels right/weighted right. It has the plasticy look of Futaba sets but I can live with that as i'ts not as bad as say the 6EXA.

Suit you sir...
I would recommend this transmitter to any aero modeller if you want a transmitter that does everything It works well and you if you want it to be future proof I’d say the 12FG is defiantly worth owning.  It does lack the model match by other transmitter manufactures but 35mhz does not have model match so I don’t see any issues there just treat it like 35mhz. Check the model is right BEFORE you fly and you’ll be fine. 

I would recommend it to anyone upgrading from a 6EXA or the 7Cap 2.4ghz sets as it will use those receivers and you can buy just the transmitter for £599 from Inwood Models (other suppliers available) with no receiver. So if you have chosen Futaba 2.4gHz the 12FG is a very very good upgrade route and probably the best and last transmitter you’ll ever need.

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Futaba FF12
UK Distrubutors

A great upgrade from the 6EXA or
7 Cap 2.4gHz

Probably the best and last transmitter you’ll ever need

£599 Tx Only