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View Full Version : 4PK with Mini-Z ASF install - a HOWTO


TheSteve
2012.02.03, 12:03 AM
This thread presents a very simple way to install the KO RF-901SM module into the Futaba 4PK or 4PKS transmitter so it can be used to control a Mini-Z, Dnano etc.

I realize there is already a thread for this topic however the information given isn't super clear. This howto is to present a clear and simple mod for people.


This mod requires only the 4PK, the RF-901SM module, heatshrink, a servo extension and some double-sided tape.
Only 6 solder connections are required!

Here we go:

#1 - Open up the plastic casing of the RF-901SM module, carefully remove the board from the casing, make sure the antenna is straight and the antenna wire will gently pull out. Cut your servo extension and solder it to the three points on the bottom of the board as shown in this picture:

http://www.psycho.ca/4pk/4pkmod-1.jpg

#2 - Remove the black plastic extension on the bind button and then slip some heatshrink over the tx module. Lightly shrink it and then use a sharp knife to remove the material blocking access to the bind button and LED. You're goal is to have something that looks like this:

http://www.psycho.ca/4pk/4pkmod-6.jpg

#3 - Open up the Futaba 4PK transmitter. You will need to remove the top push button(it pulls off) and the upper rubber grip as its hiding one of the screws. Once its open you can easily slide the battery tray out and set it a side. This is what the tray you're removing looks like:

http://www.psycho.ca/4pk/4pkmod-4.jpg

#4 - Gently lift the trigger assembly and the charge jack PCB's out. They will both come out easily and can gently be moved out of the way so we have better access to solder the other end of the servo extension lead. Solder the three connections as shown here:

http://www.psycho.ca/4pk/4pkmod-2.jpg

#5 - Put the charge jack PCB and trigger assembly back into place carefully. Make sure no wires are pinched or will get pinched when the back cover of the radio is reinstalled. Route the extension over to the right and then down the grip assembly. You will need to use a knife to cut a small notch in the top of the battery compartment so the extension will not get pinched when reinstalling the back cover. It should look something like this:

http://www.psycho.ca/4pk/4pkmod-3.jpg

#6 - Reinstall the back cover of the 4PK making sure no wires are pinched. You can then apply some double-sided tape to the module and install it in the front of the battery compartment with the antenna routed along the back or front of the compartment. Plug the servo extension connectors together to complete the installation of the new transmit module. To keep the main battery pack from moving around I use a little double-sided tape on it, that way it will not fall out when binding a new car. The completed install should look like this:

http://www.psycho.ca/4pk/4pkmod-5.jpg

#7 - Create a new model for use with your Mini-Z, Dnano etc. The default settings you should use are:

RXSYS - RX TYPE: FASST-C1
RESPONSE: NORMAL(GENERAL)

EPA - ST LFT: 50
ST RGT: 50
TH FWD: 60
TH BRK: 60

SUBTR - TH :F 30

You can of course fine tune the settings from there - too much steering ATV can/will break the servo, so be careful turning it up!

To control your MiniZ you move the power switch to the left "DISP ON" position, to use Futaba FASST you move it to the right "PWR ON"

For binding just open the battery compartment, push the button and turn the 4PK on, wait for the LED to go out or dim and then push the bind button on your MiniZ and turn it on. Once the LED on the MiniZ turns on bright turn both the 4PK and the Mini-Z off and then back on.

As with any howto you perform this mod at your own risk. If its beyond your skill level ask a friend for help! Questions/comments let me know.

If you've just performed the mod welcome to a whole new world of Mini-Z control!

NoBrainer
2012.02.03, 02:14 AM
Great how to!
Thanks man!

TheSteve
2013.03.06, 03:17 PM
Thought I would bump up this thread with the additional info needed if running a 4PK with the mr03ve brushless system installed into an AWD car.
This programming prevents the red light from flickering on the car which is indicating a loss of signal.

OK, 4PK programming. There are several menu options in the 4PK, they change depending on if you select level 1, 2 or 3. I use level 2 for all of my models.
There are also several types of mixing but the easiest one I found to use was the one labeled "boat". Select that menu and then the following options:

*TRG-BRK > NORMAL

*TILT MIXING
CH1>3: -100
CH3>1: 0
MODE: ON

That is all you need to do.

This commands channel 3 to do the opposite of whatever channel 1 is doing(Channel 1 is the steering channel). On the mr03ve electronics channel 3 doesn't appear to be used at all(I don't think it supports tikitiki) so using it is no problem.

If you then select the "SERVO" menu you can see bars that indicate the position of the steering, throttle etc. When you move the steering wheel you should see the channel 1 and 3 bar graphs moving in opposite directions.

I've driven quite a bit with this setup and its working flawlessly with the 4PK so I'm sure you'll be 100% when you made the change, no more red light flickering or loss of signal.

trexflyer02
2013.03.06, 05:38 PM
Great walkthrough. I did this on my old 4PK about 4 months ago, and on my new 4PKSR just a couple weeks ago.

One thing I will add - if you want a removable setup, servo plugs will push right onto the pins under the RF board in the radio.

Also of note: interesting that only 3 wires are required. The walkthrough I followed (also on this forum somewhere) showed 4 wires and I have done two radios like this just fine.

TheSteve
2013.03.06, 06:07 PM
The 4th wire is there for legacy purposes, in the past it indicated that a module was present in the radio(back when Futaba had socketed modules). The radio generally had an indicator to tell you if you were transmitting or not. The wire was always optional on ground based Futaba gear and now that there is no expectation of a module with the 4PK series its not required at all(but shouldn't hurt anything if connected).

trexflyer02
2013.03.06, 07:44 PM
The 4th wire is there for legacy purposes, in the past it indicated that a module was present in the radio(back when Futaba had socketed modules). The radio generally had an indicator to tell you if you were transmitting or not. The wire was always optional on ground based Futaba gear and now that there is no expectation of a module with the 4PK series its not required at all(but shouldn't hurt anything if connected).

Good to know, thanks for the info.

Gonzo007
2013.03.23, 11:31 AM
Just spent the morning installing a ASF into my new 4pkS. Steve did the install in my old radio, and I am glad I did this one. Great How to Steve. Works like a charm. Keep the howto coming.

Colin

rcmichie
2013.07.25, 04:17 AM
Great walkthrough. I did this on my old 4PK about 4 months ago, and on my new 4PKSR just a couple weeks ago.

One thing I will add - if you want a removable setup, servo plugs will push right onto the pins under the RF board in the radio.

Also of note: interesting that only 3 wires are required. The walkthrough I followed (also on this forum somewhere) showed 4 wires and I have done two radios like this just fine.

Just to make sure in order not to waste money (I just want 1 TX for both my 1/10 scale RCs AND for my Mini-Zs): so it is also possible to do this mod with the RF-901sm module on the 4PKSR (I repeat the 4PKSR)??? I can find a lot of references to this mod on the 4PKS, but not the 4PKSR...

TIA

trexflyer02
2013.07.27, 10:36 PM
Just to make sure in order not to waste money (I just want 1 TX for both my 1/10 scale RCs AND for my Mini-Zs): so it is also possible to do this mod with the RF-901sm module on the 4PKSR (I repeat the 4PKSR)??? I can find a lot of references to this mod on the 4PKS, but not the 4PKSR...

TIA

Yes!

I did this to my brand new 4PKSR about 3 months ago and have no regrets, it works flawlessly.

rcmichie
2013.07.30, 06:02 PM
Thanks trexflyer02; I'll be heading to my LHS tomorrow for the new 4PKSR then ...

TheSteve
2013.07.30, 08:02 PM
Its the best MiniZ control money can buy...

TheStig
2013.08.01, 07:55 AM
I won a 4PKS-R at a recent 1/8th scale race. I'm so glad someone bumped this thread :) Now I can control all my vehilces with one radio :)

rcmichie
2013.08.29, 02:47 AM
Great walkthrough. I did this on my old 4PK about 4 months ago, and on my new 4PKSR just a couple weeks ago.

One thing I will add - if you want a removable setup, servo plugs will push right onto the pins under the RF board in the radio.



I finally got my 4PKSR today, and want to start installing the RF901SM module. Since I'm very bad at soldering, I'm trying the "removable setup", but this confuses me a little bit; servo plugs only have 3 wires/pins, but the connections on the 4PKSR RF board are on pins 1,2 & 4 (starting from the right); so how can you push a servo plug right onto the pins?
best regards

trexflyer02
2013.08.31, 02:40 AM
I finally got my 4PKSR today, and want to start installing the RF901SM module. Since I'm very bad at soldering, I'm trying the "removable setup", but this confuses me a little bit; servo plugs only have 3 wires/pins, but the connections on the 4PKSR RF board are on pins 1,2 & 4 (starting from the right); so how can you push a servo plug right onto the pins?
best regards

I used two plugs right next to eachother, and there are some open slots.

rcmichie
2013.09.01, 03:24 PM
I used two plugs right next to eachother, and there are some open slots.

Thanks,

I've tried this also, but my fitting with servo-plug wasn't very snug; so I soldered the cable anyway.

rcmichie
2013.09.01, 03:35 PM
This thread presents a very simple way to install the KO RF-901SM module into the Futaba 4PK or 4PKS transmitter so it can be used to control a Mini-Z, Dnano etc.

I realize there is already a thread for this topic however the information given isn't super clear. This howto is to present a clear and simple mod for people.


This mod requires only the 4PK, the RF-901SM module, heatshrink, a servo extension and some double-sided tape.
Only 6 solder connections are required!

Here we go:

#1 - Open up the plastic casing of the RF-901SM module, carefully remove the board from the casing, make sure the antenna is straight and the antenna wire will gently pull out. Cut your servo extension and solder it to the three points on the bottom of the board as shown in this picture:

http://www.psycho.ca/4pk/4pkmod-1.jpg

#2 - Remove the black plastic extension on the bind button and then slip some heatshrink over the tx module. Lightly shrink it and then use a sharp knife to remove the material blocking access to the bind button and LED. You're goal is to have something that looks like this:

http://www.psycho.ca/4pk/4pkmod-6.jpg

#3 - Open up the Futaba 4PK transmitter. You will need to remove the top push button(it pulls off) and the upper rubber grip as its hiding one of the screws. Once its open you can easily slide the battery tray out and set it a side. This is what the tray you're removing looks like:

http://www.psycho.ca/4pk/4pkmod-4.jpg

#4 - Gently lift the trigger assembly and the charge jack PCB's out. They will both come out easily and can gently be moved out of the way so we have better access to solder the other end of the servo extension lead. Solder the three connections as shown here:

http://www.psycho.ca/4pk/4pkmod-2.jpg

#5 - Put the charge jack PCB and trigger assembly back into place carefully. Make sure no wires are pinched or will get pinched when the back cover of the radio is reinstalled. Route the extension over to the right and then down the grip assembly. You will need to use a knife to cut a small notch in the top of the battery compartment so the extension will not get pinched when reinstalling the back cover. It should look something like this:

http://www.psycho.ca/4pk/4pkmod-3.jpg

#6 - Reinstall the back cover of the 4PK making sure no wires are pinched. You can then apply some double-sided tape to the module and install it in the front of the battery compartment with the antenna routed along the back or front of the compartment. Plug the servo extension connectors together to complete the installation of the new transmit module. To keep the main battery pack from moving around I use a little double-sided tape on it, that way it will not fall out when binding a new car. The completed install should look like this:

http://www.psycho.ca/4pk/4pkmod-5.jpg

#7 - Create a new model for use with your Mini-Z, Dnano etc. The default settings you should use are:

RXSYS - RX TYPE: FASST-C1
RESPONSE: NORMAL(GENERAL)

EPA - ST LFT: 50
ST RGT: 50
TH FWD: 60
TH BRK: 60

SUBTR - TH :F 30

You can of course fine tune the settings from there - too much steering ATV can/will break the servo, so be careful turning it up!

To control your MiniZ you move the power switch to the left "DISP ON" position, to use Futaba FASST you move it to the right "PWR ON"

For binding just open the battery compartment, push the button and turn the 4PK on, wait for the LED to go out or dim and then push the bind button on your MiniZ and turn it on. Once the LED on the MiniZ turns on bright turn both the 4PK and the Mini-Z off and then back on.

As with any howto you perform this mod at your own risk. If its beyond your skill level ask a friend for help! Questions/comments let me know.

If you've just performed the mod welcome to a whole new world of Mini-Z control!

Works perfectly!!! However 1 small remark regarding step #7: after changing the radio to RXSYS - RX TYPE: FASST-C1 in DISP ON mode, you also need to switch off the radio and switch it on again (otherwise the radio stays in FASST-C2); it took me about an hour to find out why my mini-z didn't want to respond to any controls after the binding...

crf131
2013.11.05, 09:34 AM
can you use the 902sm module for this conversion, seems everyone always uses the 901?

TheSteve
2013.11.05, 04:35 PM
can you use the 902sm module for this conversion, seems everyone always uses the 901?

The 902sm doesn't use the same signal input format so it won't work. It must be a 901sm.

crf131
2013.11.15, 08:43 AM
Thanks very much for your help. I was able to get everything running last night. Works flawlessly! (even better than the Eurus since you don't have to swap modules)

cowboysir
2014.01.08, 09:26 PM
So what did I do wrong if I get full lock and full throttle? I haven't investigated thoroughly yet since I got a low battery warning but I'd like some advice for when I get a charge on it...

TheSteve
2014.01.08, 10:08 PM
So what did I do wrong if I get full lock and full throttle? I haven't investigated thoroughly yet since I got a low battery warning but I'd like some advice for when I get a charge on it...

Did you program the model memory for the proper receiver type?

cowboysir
2014.01.08, 10:14 PM
That sounds like my problem....

I'll let you know

cowboysir
2014.01.09, 07:45 AM
yep....that was it. (reading all instructions is hard):rolleyes:

Looking forward to using my new for me radio!:D

dameetz
2014.05.07, 11:07 AM
Anybody having a range issue with this mod? I modded my brand new 4PKSR with a brand new KO 901 Module following exactly like in this thread it, initially it worked fine but after 2 months of using it, sometimes when I switched on the car, it does not recognised the bind and if it did it takes a longer time (when it it did not recognised the bind usually I just switch it off and on again) during driving on the track I also noticed it lost its bind momentarilly for a couple of seconds, after that it worked back. Today, i decided to do a range check and found that my car stopped receiving signal just after like 20-25 ft. I also noticed the red light on the module sometimes flickered and this is the time when my car lost its bind, I checked all the wiring and everthing seems normal. What could be the problem?

mleemor60
2014.05.07, 11:35 AM
If the light flickers then it is losing power albeit momentarily. Any power loss has to be attributable to a connection issue whether it seems normal or not. Look everything over more closely with magnification if necessary.

TheSteve
2014.05.07, 11:48 AM
Yep, there is a loose connection somewhere, could even be in the connector if you used one.

dameetz
2014.05.07, 12:05 PM
If the light flickers then it is losing power albeit momentarily. Any power loss has to be attributable to a connection issue whether it seems normal or not. Look everything over more closely with magnification if necessary.

Thanks for your input, i ll closely check the wiring again tomorrow and possibly re do with a new wiring, hopefully that will be the case. I just dont want to buy another module just after 2 months of using it.

Maybe I should explain in detail about the 'red light flicker', it actually does not flicker on and off a few times (like if you have vibration on a loose connector), when i switch on the radio, sometimes the red light does not light up at all (like in off position) and without doing anything (like trying to knock/shake it)all of the sudden it light up. This happened during driving as well, sending my car without control for a few seconds until it light up again.

Now regarding the range issue, is it normal for an ASF transmission does not go out that far like the normal 2.4g radio with normal receiver? It is so frustrating at the moment coz we are moving to a bigger size rcp track. Maybe I did not noticed it before because the track was really small before this one and the car never travel that far from the driving stand. Is the 4PK 6v operating system limiting this range compare to what the module were design for?

TheSteve
2014.05.07, 01:20 PM
The 2.4ghz module runs at 3 volts internally(it has its own regulator) so the 6 volts used in the Futaba is just fine. I haven't noticed any range issues myself. I am quite sure you have a wiring/connection issue or there is something wrong with your 2.4ghz module. I'd recommend you re-do the wiring, hopefully that solves the problem and the module is just fine.

Traveler
2017.02.26, 02:50 PM
I have one of these modules that has been modified, but I don't have one of the Futaba radios. Can I still plug in into my KO radio as is to see if it even works? Here is a picture of what I have. Thanks!

http://mini-zracer.com/forums/attachment.php?attachmentid=35069&stc=1&d=1488142207

mleemor60
2017.02.26, 04:14 PM
Marwan, do you have a Euros radio? I don't remember. if you do I have a 902SM module available. I just picked up a 4PKS so maybe we can work something out.

Traveler
2017.02.26, 05:24 PM
Sounds good Mike!

J-Milz
2017.06.07, 02:30 PM
Will this mod work on the 4px??

TheSteve
2017.06.07, 07:56 PM
I don't know anyone who has tried it. Does the 4PX still have an old school trainer port that looks like a headphone jack? I do know it doesn't have the dual position power button which might be an issue.

cowboysir
2017.07.11, 09:33 AM
A quick bump for this thread:

I purchased an MHS-VE board and once wired I experienced intermittent reception problems and a flashing red light on the board.

I used TheSteve's info in post #3 of this thread to clear up issues... no reception problems any more.