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Futuba 2-channel Stick Radio Evolution 1 year 9 months ago #71894

Futuba 2-channel Stick Radio Evolution 

This follows on from the thread on Acoms 2-channel radio evolution ( tamiyabase.com/...ution.html . I never thought I’d care enough about the Futaba brand to research even part of the history, but 10 years has changed my mind.

In the 80s in the UK, Acoms really was the brand of choice, Futuba was what you got if the local model shop had run out of Acoms, or if you (or more likely your parents) were “rich”. I suppose it shows how few problems we had (or were aware of) in childhood if the worst taunt you could use against someone was that their parents had spent an extra fiver on their radio gear ;) 

Futaba still have a reputation as being a bit better than Acoms, which is only marginally deserved IMO – and I think comes mostly from the halo effect of their expensive high-end, multichannel flight gear. I understand that Futaba did start with “cheap” 2-channel sets before Acoms, and in my experience a Futaba transmitter the same period as the Acoms mk.I or II is more likely to be working than its Acoms counterpart. 

From what I can see, it’s Futaba Corporation of America - even if a lot of the equipment is labelled as being made in Japan, and later, Taiwan - that we have to thank for the basic 2-channel sets that gave control to (at lease some of) the RC cars of our youth. 

It does have to be said that Futaba are still a going concern, whereas Acoms were allowed to die by their new owners, after abandoning the “new” 2.4ghz options in favour of a short run of an older model. 

Futaba were more adventurous than other manufacturers when it came to trying out new design elements, such as antenna locations, straps, reversing switch locations and battery access, and notably, a very early implementation of a steerwheel transmitter.     

Unlike Acoms, Futaba didn’t use a consistent naming convention for their 2-channel sets, although there were many “Attack” models. For most, the chrome New Attack R is the archetypal Futaba transmitter.  

Another point to note is that a lot of the Futaba transmitter models stayed in production (or were at least catalogued) for a long time, often in parallel with similar, better or more recent versions. The FP-2TF steerwheel TX for example, ran from around 1975 to 1985, despite the FP-T2L and 1st generation of the "Attack"/R also being available.







FP-2TF 

Period: 1975 on

TX: FP-2TF. Folded metal case with a textured tan finish. Decidedly not a 2-stick model, this featured a steerwheel on the front panel (operated with the right hand) while the throttle is a slide switch on the right-hand edge of the case, operated from behind with a finger on the left hand. Antenna is on the left side of the case. 

RX: ? 

Servos: FD-26? (square design, beige, square outdrive & 90 degree plug with 3 external pins).  


  

    



M Series

Period?

TX: FPY-2M (? unreadable on the photo example I’ve seen). Similar beige textured, folded metal case as FP-2FT but with 2 stick layout, trim tabs & battery power meter.

RX: FD-2RM (? unreadable on the photo example I’ve seen).

Servos: ?


 



Medallion “M” Series (mark I?) 

Nb. You might think it’s “Medallion 2”, but I’ve never seen a “Medallion” or a “Medallion 1”, I believe the “2” simply refers to it being a 2-channel set. 

TX: very possibly the same as the “mark.II”? 

RX: FD-52M/A. Has 3 rows of sockets required for the “old” 3-pin servo plugs. Usually seen with the blue protective film still on the metal badge. 

Servos: FP-S23 or FP-S26. Both of which are very similar to the FP-S123 below but with right angle plug with 3 external pins. ‘23 has white outdrive and moulded in maker/model info, ‘26 has black outdrive & stuck on metal plaque.  

Battery case: notable in that it fully encloses the 4x AA cells, is split halfway and requires a (flat bladed) screwdriver to open/close. Has a particularly large on/off switch.  

Box: Believe it’s the same as the Medallion mk.iii – very dark green with lighter green, large and white small lettering. Internal polystyrene clamshell. Manual & TX pennant also included.   







Medallion “M” Series (Mark II?) FP-2GS  

Period: Similar to Acoms mk.II, Mid 1981 until late 1983? Definitely 58024 Sand Rover, up to 58041 The Frog(?) 

Available in 27Mhz and 72mhz AM. 

TX: FP-2GS. Black (or possibly very dark green, or even brown) plastic case, 50mw output. 7-section telescopic antenna. Long sticks on a small transmitter. Horizontal analogue battery voltage indicator. No servo reversing switches. Tuning crystal access on back panel. Battery hatch on back is very small & requires 4 batteries to be put in the correct orientation, then slid to the left before adding another 4x AA cells. No scope for lanyard, no carrying handle. 

RX: FP-R102GS. Black case, 3 sets of vertical 3 pins, crystal goes in horizontally. 1070mm antenna 

Servos: FP-S123. Black. Have a very square design with square outdrives. Leads terminate with conventional 3-pin plus. 

Battery case: notable in that it fully encloses the 4x AA cells, is split halfway and requires a (flat bladed) screwdriver to open/close. Has a particularly large on/off switch. 

Box: Super dark green (or maybe just black) with lighter green, large and white small lettering. Internal polystyrene clamshell. Manual & TX pennant also included. 

180-day guarantee only valid in the continental US, Hawaii and Alaska (!) 



















Note this TX with the same model number, but no mention of "Medallion" or M-series. I believe that having the band permanently displayed was a result of US legislation preventing swapping of transmitter crystals. 
 





Medallion “M” Series (mark III?) 

Period: ? 

TX: Has same badging as above, but the TX is quite different visually. 

RX:

Servos: ? 

Box ? 





Bionic Gold (“mk.I” ?) 

Period: ?  

TX: appears physically identical to the “Medallion” Mk.I/Mk.II TX but with different text on the badge panel. 

RX:

Servos: ? 

Box: grey with white & large orange, drop shadowed text 



  



"L Series" - FP-T2L & FP-T2LGX

Period: c1978? on 

TX: FP-T2L, black, aluminium sticks, tubular chrome handle. No visible reversing switches. Crystal is still on the back, small battery access plate as per the “Medallion” types, above, but this does gain a mechanical throttle spilt function, and a charging socket. FP-T2LGX also has potentiometers for end point adjustment on the top. 

RX:  FG-R2GS. Made in Japan.

Servos: FD-33M. Made in Japan, black, very square design with square outdrives, right angle plugs with 3 pins with slightly gap between +ve and -ve 

Box: White with French Blue graphics (nb dirty great black & white RIPMAX (UK importer) logo on some, or white with large green graphics.    

  






FP-T2MR (RHS Antenna) 

Period: ? 

TX: FP-T2MR. Black with central carrying handle, the design is somewhere between Acoms mk.II and III. The most distinctive aspect is the antenna on the right-hand side of the case. Tiny servo reversing switches on underside. 

RX: FP-R102GS. 

Servos: 2x  FP-813B 

Box internal expanded polystyrene clamshell.  






Attack-R (1st gen., brown/grey plastic)

27mhz and 72mhz versions seen. Made in Japan.

Period: 1984/1985?

TX: FP-T2NR. Grey/brown case with large black area around sticks. Has servo reversing switches on the underside. Analogue voltage indicator. Also note the raygun gothic antenna base.

RX:  FP-R2GS, FP-R102GS

Servos:  FP-S28







New Attack, New Attack R, New Attack BFR (2nd gen., chrome)

nb: the following chrome Attack, Attack-R and Attack-BFR (basic, servo reversing, built in failsafe and servo reversing) models are not sequential, they all came out at the same time. Also see note on Attack-4, below. Seen in 27mhz and 35mhz bands.





New Attack (Chrome)

Period:
 1985/86? Made in Taiwan.

TX: FP-T2NBL. Black case with large metal badge on front lower. Styling very similar to Acoms Techniplus mk.III, but has servo reversing switches on the underside. Analogue voltage indicator. An unusual feature is the built in wrist strap fixed at the top left of the case. Also note the raygun gothic antenna base.

RX: FP-R112JE

Servos: FP-S148     





Attack R  (Chrome)

Period: as Attack (Chrome)

TX: FP-T2NBR. As Attack (chrome) (FP-T2NBL). "R" means this model has servo reversing switches.

RX: FP-R102GR 

Servos: 2x  S3003 

Box







Attack BFR  (Chrome)

Period: as Attack, Attack R  (Chrome)

TX: FP-T2NBFR. As Attack (FP-T2NBL) and Attack R (FP-T2NBR) "R" means this model has servo reversing switches, BF possibly stands for "Built-in Failsafe" as this model has "ASP", an extra potentiometer and switch on the underside that set the throttle to zero when battery power drops below a preset level - so remaining battery can be used for steering. I'm not aware of this function extending to subsequent models, but most modern gear has something similar built in.  

RX: FP-R102GF or FP-R102GR 

Servos: 2x  FP-S128 or S3003 

Box


Attack-4

As Attack (chrome) but with 4 channels (each stick has 2 degrees of movement). I haven't seen an Attack-4R or Attack-4BFR, but wouldn't be at all surprised if they also exist.   







Attack Gold 

Period: c. 1986? (Porsche 959 etc)

TX: FP-T2NBR. As Attack R (FP-T2NBR) with different print on badge panel

RX: FP-1R12JE

Servos: ?

Box

(thanks to blakbird for pointing out that this one existed) :)





Attack Sport 

Nb also see Bionic Gold mk.II 

Period: ?

TX: FP-2NCR. Black case with large metal badge on front lower. Styling very similar to Acoms Techniplus mk.III, but has servo reversing switches on the underside. Analogue voltage indicator. An unusual feature is the bult in wrist strap fixed at the top left of the case. Also note the raygun gothic antenna base. 

RX: FP-R102JE 

Servos: FP-S148 

Box: White with extensive green print. 






Bionic Gold (“mk.II” ?) FP-T2NCR  

TX: FP-T2NCR. Has nothing in common with the earlier “Bionic Gold” model, this one is an Attack Sport with different print on the badge panel. 

Box: Same as “mk.I” Bionic Gold, but with large “New” text in white. 







Attack SR  

(possibly mk.I (white TX) and mk.II* (grey TX)?

Period: 1988/89 to 1993? (and 1996/1997*?)

* Information from  stingray-63

TX: FP-T2VR. 5-LED power display, servo reverse switches are just beneath it.  2 colour versions, one has an off white case with black stick gimbal area & grey details, others are grey and black. 27mhz seen in both colours, 72 and 75Mhz only seen in grey (so far).

RX: FP-R112JE. Quite a small unit, it has extra protrusions either side of the crystal to protect it. This clearly annoyed owners at the time, I’ve seen many where these “ears” have been cut off (usually very badly). Antenna 486mm or 490mm. Made in Taiwan. 
Same for mk.2*? or later? versions

Servos: FP-S14B? (or S3003 for mk.2* or later versions?)

Box: White with extensive green print, polystyrene clamshell. 







  




Attack II 

Period: c. 1995 (Thanks Ducksnuts)

TX: FP-2CR. Simple black with screen printed white logo. Another “front loader” like the T2DR, having the same layout under the (revised) cover. Basically a smaller, more bulbous case on the same TX. 

RX: FP-R122JE (Confirmed by Ducksnuts)

Servos: S3001 (Ducksnuts) or S3003

Box: Black with blue sunburst










Tamiya Adspec Sport 

TX as Attack II




Attack T2DR 

Period: 1995?-1998? 

Available in AM, 27, 29, 40, 41, 72 and 75mhz versions. RX is labelled AM, but there are no frequency markings on the TX at all, only on the box. 

TX: T2DR, black case with red screen printed graphic, 2-LED battery indicator. Unusual front loading, double stacked 8x AA battery compartment that also hides the servo reversing switches, charging jack and crystal – and spare crystal slots - is a novel bit of design, but still this TX is a bit of a let-down with very cheap feeling sticks and a rather monochromatic colour scheme. Throttle split only available with internal fiddling. Power output not stated. Made in Taiwan. 

Manual: Noteworthy for being glossier than it needs to be, about 50% being safety warnings, and the typos on the cover: “For Car’s And Boat’s” - for car’s and boat’s what? 

RX: FP-R122JE. Description as above. 

Servos: 2x S3003, made in Taiwan. 

Box: Blue/green with large black/blue panels with white text & line drawings.

















Ripmax "Futaba Inside" RTx-2

TX:
As Attack T2-DR but with blue/white Ripmax badging






Tamiya Adspec GS

TX: As Attack T2-DR but with white Tamiya branding.



C&F 2DR 




Kyosho 2DR




Attack T2ER 

Period: 1999-? So 58320 Porsche 911 GT1 98 LM on? Definitely includes early Wild Willy 2 

27 or 40mhz, the latter being much more common? 40mhz version doesn't mention the band on the TX, but the 27Mhz does. 

TX: T2ER, conventional functions but heavily styled black case with “aluminium” painted front portion 

RX: FP-R122JE. Description as above. 

Servos: S3003 (FP-S14B also seen)

Box: White with extensive purple-blue print & full colour TX pics (also seen white with extensive green print). 




















Attack 4WD

High Lift (tanks & 1:14 truck too ;) ) era, 2007-2014 & probably later

TX:  T4VWD, 27 Mhz AM

RX:  R-124H, shift gate included

Servos: 3x S30034x AA holder & harness

Box: thoroughly modern black with red graphics & white line drawing




2HR

Period: 2015 to present (2022)

First (?) 2.4GHz 2-channel Futaba set.

TX: T2HR. Back to a front loading battery (4x) panel, which also hides the reversing switches. Offset throttle neutral by removing rear cover & fiddling, throttle ratchet ditto but also needs bits purchasing separately.  

RX: R202-GF 

Servos: not supplied in set




Attack 4YWD

Current (80-100 GBP)

TX: 2.4Ghz, 4 channel

RX: R214GF-E, 4 channel

Servos: none





edits: 30jun22 Moved Attack II from end to between Attack SR & Attack 2DR based on information from Ducksnuts
          6jul22 Added M-series (metal TX), Attack and Attack BFR models. Added Attack Gold (thanks blakbird)  :) 
          7jul22 added Ripmax RTx-2, tidied introduction.
          10jul22 added FP-T2GS (non-"Medallion"/US version)
          11jul22 added 2HR
          21jul22 revised 2ER section, more pics
          27july'22 bigger heading text, added "plastic" Attack-R; added C&F 2DR, Added TX-T2LGX
          29 July  2022 - added Tamiya Adspec Sport, Added Attack 4WD & Attack 4YWD

          30 july 22 - added note on (chrome) Attack-4
          16aug22 - "New Attack" box & 27mhz T2ER
          18aug22 - added Kyosho 2DR



 
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Last edit: by Jonny Retro.

Futuba 2-channel Stick Radio Evolution 1 year 9 months ago #71895

Images for Medallion “M” Series (Mark II?) FP-2GS
 

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Futuba 2-channel Stick Radio Evolution 1 year 9 months ago #71896

More images for Medallion “M” Series (Mark II?) FP-2GS

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Futuba 2-channel Stick Radio Evolution 1 year 9 months ago #71897

Images for:
Medallion “M” Series (mark III?)
Bionic Gold (“mk.I” ?)
FP-T2L
FP-T2MR (RHS Antenna)
Bionic Gold (“mk.II” ?)
FP-T2NCR

 
 

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Last edit: by Jonny Retro.

Futuba 2-channel Stick Radio Evolution 1 year 9 months ago #71898

Images for

Attack Sport

Attack R

Attack SR


 

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Last edit: by Jonny Retro.

Futuba 2-channel Stick Radio Evolution 1 year 9 months ago #71899

Images for Attack 2DR
 

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Futuba 2-channel Stick Radio Evolution 1 year 9 months ago #71900

Images for Attack T2ER and Attack II
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Futuba 2-channel Stick Radio Evolution 1 year 9 months ago #71903

Still an awesome source Jonny.
For rhe attack sr, there was 2 versions. The grey white like on your pict is the first gen and the second one is a middle grey. I have these futaba during almost all the 90's. 1996 or 97. Same period as the sanwa dash saber. From remind, I had the sr with my nostalgic pureten gp kyosho and my mrc patriot wich one is from 1996. And lot other sr for divers rc during this period.

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Last edit: by stingray-63.

Futuba 2-channel Stick Radio Evolution 1 year 9 months ago #71904

My favorite among the Futaba range is the Attack R. Think I have 3 of those..

But my all time favorite radio is still my Sanwa Dash which came with the Celica GRB I bought from a classmate back in 90/91. Simple and a bit rugged looking.
The following user(s) Liked this: stingray-63

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Last edit: by caprinut.

Futuba 2-channel Stick Radio Evolution 1 year 9 months ago #71905

Yep the dash is awesome 

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