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HomeAircraftHelicopterRadio - Futaba FASST › Futaba Service?
03-05-2008 12:27 AM  10 years agoPost 1
rcav8tor

rrApprentice

Toledo OH USA

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I just sent my 9Z wc2 to hobby services to have some service work done
on my working radio. Then i get this estimate for repairs for 349.00.
So now i will get into the meat of the situation. I sent the radio in for the switches on the top right of the radio the housing that holds them in place came loose for a unknown reason and the right gimbal was a little loose. the radio was 6 years old and very well cared for never dropped or abused. I also put a new antenna in it last fall. anyway here is why i think I'm being gouged.

Gimbal parts 20.00 fine
Case parts 100.00 i need a new case?
Ribbon cables 40.00 what the heck is this? i rebuild and repair CNC machines with 20 year old ribbon cables that still work fine and that is a lot harsher environment than a rc radio.
Antenna parts 25.00 i just put a new one in 3 months ago?
Lithium battery 6.00 fine it's 6 years old.
Miscellaneous parts 25.00 what is this?
Three hours labor 90.00 yes for putting parts i don't need.
FSS module parts 35.00 what the heck is wrong with the module the radio was working fine.
So i called them to see what kind of game they were trying to run on me.
In short here is what they said.
They couldn't explain why i needed a whole new case but the ribbon cables and the module parts needed to be replaced every few years.
THATS CRAP. I asked what was wrong with the antenna that i just replaced. They said it was dirty and tight. it's 3 months old and i live in Ohio how much use could it get in the winter. oh yea i used it 3 days before i sent it in wasn't tight then. must have shrunk in shipping. anyway thanks for reading my rant and buy stock in JR because
i won't buy anymore Futaba. Oh yea just for fun i belong to the Weak Signals in Toledo so when they come to the show i get to blast them in person. maybe three days in a row.

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03-05-2008 12:53 AM  10 years agoPost 2
wannabfishin02

rrApprentice

barnhart, Mo-63012

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Wow. I own jr, so a story like that makes me feel pretty good about purchase for service reasons. I have heard futaba was pretty harsh with service from quite a few people. I'm sorry to hear you having so many problems with them.

A bad day of flying is better than a good day of work

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03-05-2008 01:39 AM  10 years agoPost 3
jsenicka

rrProfessor

Eagle River, WI

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I have had my 9C in for service, and they essentially return the radio to as new condition. If anything is at all worn, it gets replaced.

Jim Senicka
Team Manager, GrandRC Flight Team

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03-05-2008 01:42 AM  10 years agoPost 4
Mutt

rrKey Veteran

M ca usa

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I have always had great service from futaba I use both futaba and jr and the worse service I ever had was years ago with horizon over a jr radio but that person is no longer with them and any service needs I have had since was fine just like futabas.

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03-05-2008 01:44 AM  10 years agoPost 5
Way2slow

rrVeteran

Jeffersonville Ga

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Everything I used was Futaba until a month ago. I was even holding out for their 10C 2.4 radio but, because of their "customer support" or should I say, lack of, I finally told them where they could stick their whole outfit. I now have a JR 9303 2.4 and in the process of converting everything over to JR as the funds allow it. I hope before long, nothing I have has a Futaba anything in it. Actually, I'm trying to avoid anything that requires dealing with Hobby Services but since so dam big and into so much of it, that's hard to do but I'm dang sure making every effort I can.

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03-05-2008 01:44 AM  10 years agoPost 6
tchavei

rrProfessor

Portugal

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Case parts 100.00 i need a new case?
lol

try to send in a 14mz (as I have) for a case replacement (mine had some paint flake off) and be asked for US$800... for that price I rather get a second hand 14mz

Tony

PS - I needed two switches a couple of weeks ago and I got the originals for 9€ ($14) each. I swapped them myself in 3 minutes.

Tony


--------------------
"Perfection and patience usually walk side by side..."

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03-05-2008 02:13 AM  10 years agoPost 7
fritzthecat

rrKey Veteran

Virginia Beach, VA

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The ribbon cables get brittle after about 5 years. Then you can't insert them into the plugs. So any 9Z older than 2 years (that would be all 9Zs) get new ribbon cables if you want them or not.
The FSS module output transistor is very sensitive to SWR. It 'fades' out when it gets too hot. Most likely the output power was a few % low so they replaced the transistor.
The Misc Parts are the sixpac of beer the tech had to drink after putting one of those @$$%! 9Zs back together.

Fritz - owns a 9Z with new ribbon cables.


'Send Money, Women and Guns!'

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03-05-2008 02:49 AM  10 years agoPost 8
Invrted1

rrVeteran

Cincinnati, Ohio

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Having read many stories just like this, it is really disapointing to see that Futaba has not changed their ways. I flew Futaba for many years, but I am now a very happy JR pilot. Your situation is just one of the many reasons why I will not fly Futaba any longer. It's Futaba service alright....from behind.

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03-05-2008 03:51 AM  10 years agoPost 9
Skidsup

rrNovice

PA

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Futaba service
The Misc Parts are the sixpac of beer the tech had to drink after putting one of those @$$%! 9Zs back together.

How true " @$$%! 9Zs back together" the above statement is

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03-05-2008 03:54 AM  10 years agoPost 10
Air_Alpheus

rrVeteran

Warrenton. VA

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hobby services are weird sometimes. I had bought a brand new 9Chp and during the very 1st flight with it, my helicopter basically fell out of the sky damn near killing people in the crowd. We had checked everything and come to find out that the potentiometer for the throttle stick had failed, you could see it had no movement in the servo test screen. I'm out almost a grand and almost killed someone and they wanted to charge me to fix the radio when I sent it in. I sent them a receipt that showed that the Tx was purchased less than 2 weeks ago. After allot of kicking and screaming they returned it to me with out charge, but they refused to pay for my heli damages. Later on I had purchased a 401 gyro from a guy that had it mounted on the top of a trex se that crashed and the paddle came down and hit the gyro and ripped it damn near in half. The guy gave me the gyro for 20 bucks and I figured even if I couldn't fix it myself I could send it in and have it fixed for less than a new one. I sent it in with a note that explained exactly what happened to the gyro. 2 weeks later I get a package from UPS and its a brand new gyro inside with a receipt that said your case has been evaluated and it was determined that the gyro would be replaced at no cost. I didn't get and I still don't to this day. In the end I have recently switched to a JR X9303 and I was the most loyal Futaba fan that ever was and I have to say I will not be returning anytime soon, I love my new JR...

Its What I dont Say You Should Be Worried About...
Bruce A Aunkst III
Team AirThunder

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03-05-2008 04:30 AM  10 years agoPost 11
wannabfishin02

rrApprentice

barnhart, Mo-63012

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It's really a shame that so many people have had bad service from futaba. I have heard of alot of people that love their radio's and Im a big fan of their gyro's. For all of our best interests, I hope they get their service straightened out.

A bad day of flying is better than a good day of work

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03-05-2008 06:11 AM  10 years agoPost 12
bellecrank

rrVeteran

Canada

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Is hobby services the Hobbico Futaba service center in Illinois? That is where I have sent my Futaba and have always got good service.

The initial story is a bit like the one I have relating to replacing the screen on a JR PCM10 II radio many years ago.

I personally think that you will find positive and negative stories for any brand.

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03-05-2008 08:21 AM  10 years agoPost 13
ROSSM

rrNovice

UK

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Are the people making these hefty repair charges actually Futaba OR are they franchised to do repairs BY Futaba and therefor have no hesitation to rip you off?

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03-05-2008 12:50 PM  10 years agoPost 14
w8qz

rrVeteran

Grand Rapids, MI - USA

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I can't believe that the ribbon cables needed replacing. I've worked on my 9CA (not sure how old it is, but certainly more than 5 years) to swap the switches on top to make it *almost* like a 9CH. I had NO problem with the cables. The radio works just fine. Typically, most ribbon cables are PVC insulated (and I'm positive Futaba didn't use anything special). PVC stays nice and flexible at room temps, as long as it is not exposed to UV, very high temps, or certain solvents. There shouldn't be any significant UV finding its way inside an enclosed transmitter.

This sounds to me like these guys are working on a 'parts' commision - the more parts they replace, the more they make.

I've got a broken Futaba receiver - wonder if it's worth getting that fixed? Maybe not.

"The helicopter is much easier to design than the aeroplane, but is worthless when done."

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03-05-2008 01:08 PM  10 years agoPost 15
doorman

rrProfessor

Sherwood, Arkansas

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Quick Rant!!!!!
I nave never gotten anything repaired by Futaba.... it is always the same story... it is more cost effective to replace it and the charge will be $$$$
Latest case.... sent in a Gy240 that took a hit on a rex... not a bad one, but it got awful "jumpy" (maybe nervous!!) and 3 servos.... two of which I figured were beyond repair but another that had just failed...
At the same time I sent a CSM to England for repair...same day shipped all....
About 22 days later I get a call from CSM that the sensor was bad and the total cost for repair and return would be $45.00... so I paid it an had it back 4-5 days later....
I hadn't heard a word from Futaba yet, so I called them.... and they were able to locate my service ticket.... Gy240 not repairable.... will supply new at $90.00.... (2) 9252 servos not repairable new $60.00 each.... and the 9250 has a burnt motor, not repairable and new $75.00.... total $293.00 shipped back to me....
They certainly have a different way of looking at service!!!!
I did not replace any of it with more Futaba equipment and will not...
They make some things that work pretty nicely, BUT there are others out there that do also and will stand behind their products, and I am going to stand with them....

JMHO Stan

AMA 2918-Team Spin Blades,,Castle Creations, Unique Aircraft

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03-05-2008 02:44 PM  10 years agoPost 16
jrvander

rrVeteran

Camp Foster, Okinawa japan

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Very bizzare indeed,

For every bad story about Hobby Services, there's someone who got a free replacement for X part, completely re-built radio, etc. I've personally been burned by Hobby Disservices on several occasions and I'm drifting away from Futaba because of it, but a guy I used to fly with got wonderful service; complete repairs on whacked radios, receivers and worn out servos, all with ultra fast shipping. Last month I order a couple of gear set for 9650 servos. Tiny little plastic gears that barely weigh anything and they charged me 9 bucks to send it on the back of a tortise. I just can't see the logic in maintaining that inconsistancy between customers.
I had an Eagletree datalogger go bad on me last week. Called Eagletree and they sent me the upgraded V3 as a warrenty replacement before I even sent in my bum V2. Now that's customer service!

- Jon

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03-05-2008 02:48 PM  10 years agoPost 17
BJames111

rrElite Veteran

San Diego, California

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Just so everyone is aware, Hobby Services is NOT futaba. It is an authorized repair center because Futaba is NOT made in this country. Not an excuse in any way, but just so you know, if you sent in an OS engine it would go to the same place...

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03-05-2008 04:48 PM  10 years agoPost 18
w.pasman

rrElite Veteran

Netherlands

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If they have to replace the case yes it will be a lot of work.

Probably part of the case broke, holding the switches? If they have to fix it they have to replace the case.

6 years *is* old for a radio. The plastic of my own Futaba Tx started to break down already earlier. Plastic gets brittle, antenna breaks loose, chrome starts to bubble, etc.

What exactly did you ask them to repair? If you ask complete refurbishing, this is what you should get! If you asked to repair a switch, this is not really what you expect.

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03-05-2008 05:37 PM  10 years agoPost 19
joeycoates

rrApprentice

Dallas, Texas

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I had to send a new OS 55ax in about 8 months ago, Hobby Services sent me back a brand new engine. But after reading some of the posts on here I sure do hope that I do not have to ever send my 14mz in, it just sounds like too much of a hit or miss situation. Like I said though, they were very good about my OS engine...

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03-05-2008 06:00 PM  10 years agoPost 20
Wyorcflyer

rrVeteran

Cheyenne, Wyoming USA

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6 years is old?
6 years *is* old for a radio.
I beg to disagree. I have three Futaba 6 & 7FGK radios that are over twenty years old and a Futaba 9VAP that was made in 1991, making it 17 years old. They are all in good condition and work perfectly.

I would be very disappointed if the life expectancy of the modern radios of any brand were only 6 years.

Jack Patton

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