Saturday, 18 December 2010

I recently managed to buy a Futaba 9ZAP transmitter at a pretty good price and the dismal weather has given the opportunity to do some refurbishment to it.

From the start it was obvious that the eight cell NiCd battery was not holding a charge so I bought a pack of Sanyo Eneloops and fitted them. The battery in the 9ZAP is in a cassette so that it can be unplugged but this requires removal and dismantling to get at the cells. The cells themselves are wired to a circuit board so the old pack needs unsoldering and the new one fits right in.

There was a broken switch which I was going to put up with but Steve Webb Models can get the genuine replacements from Ripmax. These switches are much easier to replace than the ones in a FF8 or 9. Once the back of the case is removed the small section of the case holding a pair of switches can be removed and unplugged. The switches are soldered to a small circuit board and after a bit of unsoldering and resoldering they are easily replaced. One small gripe is that I don't really mind paying £7.99 for a sub-miniature toggle switch but think it a bit mean it doesn't come with a new nut/bezal to secure it in place. No problem using the old one I took off but stingy not to supply a new one!!

Before and after shots.


All I need now is for the snow to go away and I can try it out for real.

Sunday, 12 December 2010

Snow and very low temps

No flying because of the heavy snow and poor access to the hills. Minus 11 C one day so very cold too. Tempted to try Gallow Hill in the Sidlaws on Sunday but light NW winds put me off plus I guess the roads and parking will be difficult.
The last F3F competition was 23 October and that seems a long time ago. The weather has a lot to answer for.

I am being kept busy at times refurbishing a Futaba 9ZAP transmitter that I bought cheap secondhand. I originally intended buying a Futaba 8 or 12FG tx but can’t decide if the 8FG is good enough or whether I should save (hard) for a 12 FG. The thought of having to buy all those 2.4 mHz receivers is a bit daunting too!

The 9ZAP needed a new main battery so I have fitted some Eneloop cells which should give a significant increase in operating time. This job did require a bit of work in that the 9ZAP battery is inside a removable cassette which needs dismantling and unsoldering the old pack and soldering in the new one. Not difficult but not a two minute job.

There is a broken switch which I was going to leave knowing how difficult it is to change one on a FF8 or FF9 but it turns out that it isn’t too difficult to do on the 9ZAP so I’m waiting for new switch to be delivered. I hope it is the correct one but it isn’t too important because I can re-assign other switches.

The 9Zap is a much more capable tx than my FF8 and it has the big advantage of flight conditions which the FF8 doesn’t really have. Yes, you can have speed/launch/normal settings on the FF8 but that only presets the aileron/flap reflex or droop and elevator compensation. No ability to vary aileron or differential throw between conditions whereas the 9ZAP lets you do almost anything. (Once you work out the programming!) I can have the snapflap setting different for each condition too as well as have the snapflap on a curve to come in early.

Ready to try it out next time we get some good weather. My racers are still going to use my FF8 but the 9ZAP is programmed for the Spark I got from Dave Watson.