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Can it be done?

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JohnnyB06/05/2013 18:56:18
258 forum posts
38 photos

Hi Guy's,

This question came up this afternoon while discussing my future tuition at the Club.

I have a Futaba FF9 tranny with a Spektrum plug- in module,converting the tranny to a Spektrum effectively.

Now, my potential tutor has a Spektrum DX6i tranny and we were wondering if they could be used together as a buddy set-up. I didn't have my tranny at the field today but we are intending to try the system out on Wednesday afternoon.

Does anyone know if this set-up will actually work? My tranny has the square buddy socket, and the Spektrum 6 has a round socket!! I'm hoping a conversion/adapter can be used if indeed the actual set-up will work.

I've got my fingers very tightly crossed on this outcome.

Hoping someone can help.


SDF06/05/2013 20:41:13
55 forum posts
6 photos

I could never really see the point of buddy leads. What is the problem with passing the TX between tutor and trainee? Thats how I learnt to fly. Keep it simple.

Sandy Colquhoun06/05/2013 21:00:08
29 forum posts
6 photos

Hi Johnny, the socket on your transmitter is on the back of the Futaba case, going straight into the PCB and hasn`t anything to do with the module, which concerns itself with sending out the signal. when you`re under instruction your transmitter is usually switched off, and the signal goes out from the instructor`s gear. This would mean putting one of the instructor`s receivers into your model. Though it isn`t impossible to make up an interface between the two transmitters, it`s probably more trouble than it`s worth. Handing the set back & forward isn`t ideal either. When trouble comes it`s generally on you before you know it. No chance of borrowing another Futaba tranny is there? Then it would be simple to link them.

Biggles' Elder Brother - Moderator06/05/2013 21:34:01
15748 forum posts
1460 photos
Posted by SDF on 06/05/2013 20:41:13:

I could never really see the point of buddy leads. What is the problem with passing the TX between tutor and trainee? Thats how I learnt to fly. Keep it simple.

It's also the way hundreds of people learnt how to destroy their models. Buddy leads save models to fly another day - its as simple as that. Yes you can learn without one - just as the very first aviators learnt to fly without any instructors at all - but their death rate was quite spectacular!

On the question of if it will work - I would agree with Sandy in that I can't see how it would. The buddy lead simply picks up your stick positions - the output from the Futaba buddy socket will be pure Futaba - with or without the module.


Phil Green06/05/2013 22:16:27
1542 forum posts
314 photos

Sorry no, you cant. Well, not directly, although you can interface anything to anything if you're determined enough! 

Quite apart from Spektrum buddy signal being AC coupled and Futaba being 5v DC, your Futaba outputs its channels in a completely different order to Spektrum. Your instructors Spektrum setup is like yours, Throttle on ch1, Aileron on ch2, Elevator on ch3 and Rudder on ch4. However your Futaba generates them as Aileron on ch1, Elevator on ch2, Throttle on ch3 and Rudder on ch4. This is the order they come out of the buddy port.

The reason you havent noticed this is because the DM8 module rearranges the channels into Spektrum order before transmitting them.

You can in fact buy an intelligent buddy lead which does all the channel-swapping and the level conversion to connect Futaba to Spektrum, but I would suggest as others have, that a second Futaba tx and a simple Futaba buddy lead would make a better setup. 35mhz transmitters are ten a penny now!

Once your A test is in the bag, you can use your setup to help others learn!



PS I'm not a huge buddy-lead fan either!


Edited By Phil Green on 06/05/2013 22:27:46

Concorde Speedbird06/05/2013 22:20:00
2721 forum posts
632 photos
Posted by SDF on 06/05/2013 20:41:13:

I could never really see the point of buddy leads. What is the problem with passing the TX between tutor and trainee? Thats how I learnt to fly. Keep it simple.

I agree, that's what I did to learn and it worked fine, no point in putting another wire in the system in my opinion. Each for their own though, as long as people are learning happily.


crispin church07/05/2013 08:13:19
442 forum posts
102 photos

the only way without buying a flash lead to do it for you

on your futaba need to change the leads around on the pots on channel one and three but you will end up with trims in the wrong places witch can mess you up and unless ff9 can put expo on all 4 channels you will not have expo on elevator

it does work well i done it on ff6 to use with DX6I

JohnnyB07/05/2013 17:29:26
258 forum posts
38 photos

Thanks so much for all your considered replies. I really thought I might be hoping for a bit too much especially as I knew nothing about the theory of the subject!

So, to solve the problem in an instant, I have ordered a Spektrum DX6i tranny. This will allow me to "buddy" with quite a few instructors in the Club,if need be. I really do think its essential to learn with the "buddy" system. Having used this system in the past I think it's the ONLY way to go, particularly when flying close to the ground,ie during take- off and landing for instance.

Thanks again to all of you for taking the time to help me out. Very much appreciated.


Devon Flyer07/05/2013 18:52:56
622 forum posts
Posted by SDF on 06/05/2013 20:41:13:

I could never really see the point of buddy leads. What is the problem with passing the TX between tutor and trainee?

Q.What is the problem with passing the TX between the tutor and the trainee?

A. An almighty big one when the trainee flies a different mode to the tutor!!!

I've lost count of the number of novices planes I've saved from destruction over the years by using a buddy lead.

SDF07/05/2013 19:51:42
55 forum posts
6 photos

Are you trying to tell me you can't fly both the popular modes? devil

Devon Flyer07/05/2013 19:59:10
622 forum posts
Posted by SDF on 07/05/2013 19:51:42:

Are you trying to tell me you can't fly both the popular modes? devil


I can actually fly both Mode 1 and Mode 2. smile p

However, my 'normal' mode is Mode1. If I was playing 'pass the tranny', there is always the danger that I would revert to my 'normal' mode and hence trash a novices plane.

Cross mode buddying with a lead solves any problems that might arise.

John Olsen 108/05/2013 05:02:41
446 forum posts
23 photos

Well, having gone through the learning process over the last couple of years...I find some of you guys a bit unbeleivable. I would just about bet that I could have got a model into the ground faster than you could get the transmitter off me, get your thumbs on the sticks, and save it. I found the buddy process really helpful, and I think it probably saved the club trainer several times. I suspect the process of grabbing the Tx off the learner would be much more unsettling for the learner than just saying "I have her". I wonder how often the changeover is fumbled?

If the simplest technology was the best, we would still be using stone axes.


Peter Miller08/05/2013 08:25:21
10513 forum posts
1246 photos
10 articles

Try teaching someone with Parkinson's disease without a buddy box lead. IT would have cost them (and me) about twenty or thirty models

Devon Flyer08/05/2013 18:15:32
622 forum posts

Can someone, who can't see the point of buddy leads, please explain how you are supposed to 'snatch' a tranny off a trainee when they are using a neck strap or a transmitter pretty much every trainee I've ever taught has used? dont know

Edited By Devon Flyer on 08/05/2013 18:16:59

Johnny Kirkham08/05/2013 18:44:16
180 forum posts
49 photos

I learned to fly in the early 70's, my dad taught me by passing the box purely because at that time when RC equipment was very expensive we couldn't afford two sets. Would i learn that way today?? dont be daft, for the cost of a couple of quid for a lead and for the pleasure of having an instructor "hold my hand" and to be able to take the controls in the dying seconds of flight......its a no brainer!! Buddy lead all the way


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