Futaba 12FG with Spektrum DM8 FUT MZ air module: howto buy, setup & use

After (way too) much fecking about I just got my Futaba 12FG model airplane radio transmitter to work with the spektrum AR500 that came with my Radian foam glider. I am writing this blog-post so I can remember how the hell I did it, and hopefully to help the next poor bugger who tries to do the same.

Setup: Futaba 12FG TX version 3.0 firmware. Spektrum DM8 FUT MZ Air Module. Spektrum AR500 RX.

Method:

  • Create a MODEL setup with settings you require and go SYSTEM->TRAINER->[ON,STUD,8CH,PPM] with whatever module you have been using prior to fitting the DM8.
  • Fit the DM8 FUT MZ module, antenna and plug as per instructions
  • Follow the BIND procedure as per instructions [RX system hookup incl bind plug, Power RX on (flashing), RX sticks to fail-safe, Press & Hold BIND button on back of DM8 module while powering on the 12FG TX. (RX led goes solid).
  • Now when power up 12FG should see “TRAINER STUDENT MODE” then FASST 7CH 2.4GHZ trainer student on the home screen.
  • Setup some velcro to stop the barely seated module from falling out while flying!

12fg spektrum dm8 fut mz 12fg spektrum dm8 fut mz

*more Photos

ISSUES: Could not find a single piece of documentation that explicitly told me which part number (or even model) goes with the 12FG. The closest I got was that the “SPEKTRUM DM8 FUT MZ” model works with Futaba 12MZ and 14MZ. I am happy to report that this “SPEKTRUM DM8 FUT MZ” model works with Futaba 12FG. As this (and this) forum post suggest – one needs to press on through various warnings, go thru the bind procedure and make various counter-intuitive menu changes in order to get it to work!

My first purchase was a “Spektrum DM8 FUT” (not the MZ version) which is physically bigger and does not have the wires with plug for the Futaba trainer socket (PPM Signal). Luckily a mate wanted that for a different Futaba TX and bought it from me.

My second purchase dsm2 air module fut mz – without rx (From Esprit model – cost me $45 with $13.95 postage) arrived just over two weeks after purchase. It all went together as advertised, although the fit of the module is rather flimsy & no lights came on in my first attempts causing me to worry that it wasn’t seating properly. When following either the 12FG or DM8 manual instructions for selecting PPM MODE (Only after much fecking about with binding sequence & menu settings in the 12FG did I see the big orange light come on & the “trainer student mode” message on power up on my way to the main menu with “FASST 7CH TRAINER STUDENT” message.

Error messages:

“RF MODULE IS NOT ATTACHED. CONTINUE? YES” on power up 12FG (prior to selecting TRAINER->STUDENT->PPM)

“NO MODULE” under “FASST 7CH” on Home Screen.

“RF MODULE IS NOT ATTACHED. CANNOT CHANGE” in FREQUENCY menu after clicking on FASST 7CH. Same error message when attempt to select PPM modulation [PCM-G3, PCM1024, PPM] under LINKAGE ->FREQUENCY as

Overall: a great idea, reasonably executed with piss-poor documentation and bog-ordinary distribution (especially if you dont want to by another spektrum RX).

Fang – Mike Seyfang

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About mseyfang

Interruptus Digitalis
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