Futaba 10C radio modified for Spektrum module compatibility


The Futaba 10C radio (non-module version) is [Tom]’s transmitter of choice. Unfortunately,  it isn’t compatible with the Spektrum DSM2 technology modules he wanted to use. So, being the crafty guy he is, he decided to hack it so it was.

Upon opening the Futaba transmitter, he realized that the non-module version of the 10C didn’t really seem that different than a module version. His transmitter just has a pcb hardwired in place where the modules would otherwise go. He soldered a 4 conductor audio jack to the unused pins on the pcb in the transmitter, then mounted it in the case with some J.B. Weld. He then wired and mounted the receiving jack in the module case. A small 6 inch audio cable bridges the two devices, and velcro holds them neatly together.

He discovered that certain modules have problems with the channels being out of order. Unless someone comes up with a firmware hack, there’s no way to remap the controls. So, some modules are just not compatible. [Tom] gives a very nice video walkthrough after the break. Check it out.

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Adding shoulder buttons to an RC transmitter


[Gerard] does puppeteering and animatronics work, and to remotely control his creations and characters he uses an off-the-shelf remote control radio. It’s you basic 6-channel setup, but [Gerard] wanted a way to control eye blinks and other simple actions with the press of a button. Sure, he could use the toggle switches on his transmitter, but he wanted something that wouldn’t require turning a servo on and off again. To fix this problem, [Gerard] added shoulder buttons to his transmitter with only a little bit of soldering.

[Gerard]’s transmitter uses toggle switches to send a signal on channels five and six. To add his push buttons, he simply drilled a hole in the plastic enclosure, installed a pair of push buttons, and wired them in parallel to the toggle switches.

Now [Gerard] has momentary switches on channels five and six, perfect for making his creations blink. Since the buttons are wired in parallel with the switches, flicking the switches to the ‘on’ position in effect takes the button out of the circuit, just in case the transmitter gets jostled around.

Parts: 4×20 VFD character display (NA204SD02)


Futaba makes vacuum florescent character displays that can be used as a drop-in replacement for common character LCDs. VFDs have a wider viewing angle, and generally look cooler.

Futaba’s character displays can be interfaced using the standard 8-bit or 4-bit parallel LCD interface, or a simple two-wire protocol. The protocol type is set by resistors on the back of the display, so it’s not particularly easy to change without a hot-air rework station. Today we’ll demonstrate a serially-interfaced VFD using the Bus Pirate.

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