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Futaba 'Gold' Series

Written for 'RCMW'.

Transmitter - Receiver - Servos - Battery, charger and switch harness - General feel - Conclusions

It seems strange that, even in this age of affluence(?), any manufacturer or importer can afford to turn down an offer of two pages of free advertising. Having reviewed one of the three 'medium-tech' outfits currently available (the Sanwa 'DB Laser' ), the idea was to proceed with the other two as a logical follow-up. Since we have recently reviewed a JR outfit (Max 6), it seemed prudent to wait a while before reviewing that company's 'Apex' equipment and proceed straight to the Futaba 'Gold series.

An example of this equipment was promised by the importer but took some time to appear. We have since received an example of the 'Aero' version for examination. As regular readers may know, we do like to include both the 'Aero' and 'Heli' versions, but this will not be possible in this case. Unfortunately, the only items received were a transmitter, receiver and instruction manual so it will be necessary to draw on previous experience of Futaba servo's in order to give a full picture.


This has the fairly standard construction based on a folded aluminium front and rear with plastic side plates. The front panel is anodised in a gold colour - hence the name. Three versions are available, having 5 (FP-T5FG/K), 6 (FP-T6FG/K) or 7 (FP-T7FG/K) channels. The differences are a little complicated so lets start off with the items common to all three and then describe each in turn.

Common items. Obviously we have the usual two dual axis sticks and these have adjustable lengths and separate trim levers. Throttle trim is only effective on the 'low' end of the travel. The on/off switch is a slide type with guard and a power level meter is fitted. A folding handle is fitted to the rear of the case (missing on the review sample!). Reversing switches, travel adjustments, etc. are located beneath a removable panel in the rear face of the case.

Two sockets are located in the left hand side panel to cater for charging and a trainer cord for 'buddy-box' operation. This feature is selected by means of a 'Trainer' switch fitted to the case top. The instructors transmitter is the 'master' and does the actual transmitting and its trainer switch transfers control to or from the students 'slave' transmitter, which must have it's switch in the off position. Some thought has obviously been given to this set-up, since the switch is springloaded in the off position, which ensures that the instructor normally has control and has to make an effort to transfer control to the student.

A recess in the right hand side panel allows the aerial to be stowed away inside the transmitter case.

5 Channel. All five channels have reversing switches and the operation of the fifth channel is by means of a toggle switch labelled 'gear'. Dual rate switches are fitted to the aileron and elevator channels.

6 Channel. As for the 5 channel with the addition of a lever on the lower left side of the front panel to operate a proportional sixth channel. An additional reversing switch for this channel is also fitted.

7 Channel. Another lever at the lower right hand side of the front panel controls an additional proportional channel together with a reversing switch. Dual rate is also fitted to the rudder channel on this version only. Aileron, elevator and rudder channels also have 'Adjustable Travel Volume' in each direction - in other words, adjustable end points.

An additional, three position, switch on the case top allows you to select aileron/rudder or rudder/elevator mixing. This is fully adjustable and can be set to work in any direction.

You may have noted that all the transmitter type numbers given above have the suffix /K. Another option is available via transmitters having the suffix /E. These have switchable and adjustable exponential control response in place of the dual rate facility.


This is a fairly compact 7 channel unit which is supplied with all the above transmitters. Servo connectors are an integral part of the circuit board as is standard practice on most equipment these days.


These are the well established FP-S128 types, which are a low cost type having moderate torque. Four of these are normally supplied, together with an extension cord for the aileron servo.

Battery pack, charger and switch harness

Here again, non was supplied for our examination, but it would appear from the instruction book that the battery is a 'flat-pack' type with a capacity of 500 mAH. It seems that the charger has a fairly novel type of charging monitor consisting of a single LED which changes colour depending on the type of charge being carried out. Charging the receiver only produces a green colour, while charging the transmitter produces a red colour. If both are charged simultaneously, the colour is orange.

General feel

The transmitter balances nicely in the hand with the aerial extended and the sticks fall in just the right position for operation by the thumb end. Some thought has obviously gone into the position of the auxiliary control lever which are also in just the right position for the the thumbs. It was not possible to form any real assessment of the stick feel since both units appeared to be be broken on one of their axis'!


A competitively priced set which caters for those who require a little more than the usual number of control options but do not wish to go to the expense of purchasing a set with all the 'whistles and bells'.

The 'buddy-box' facility is a valuable facility which is becoming somewhat difficult to find in most equipment. Its operation seems to be commendably fool-proof.

We have some small misgivings about the number and location of the switches on the top panel. In an emergency, it may be difficult to find the right one. A brief examination of the 'Heli' version indicates that it has seven switches in close proximity, one of them being the invert switch!

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