Tuesday, July 16, 2013

Tamiya Multifunction Control Units

When the Multi-Function Units for the Tamiya Tractor Trucks, Tanks and Highlifts were introduced the industry was still using AM/FM Analog Crystal radios. Fast-Forward to today and 2.4G Digital radios are the norm. Below you will find some info on a 2.4G Analog radio we got to somewhat work with some Tamiya MFU's.

The Futaba ATTACK “Model T4VWD” 4 channel analog stick radio is the reccommended radio for Tamiya MFC (Multi-Func- tion Control) units, in our Tanks, Rigs and Highlifts for the U.S. market. This radio is no longer available in the U.S. market and there’s no direct replacement.

While you can still find these radios in local stores or around the world online, they are becoming harder to find.

The Futaba “SKYSPORT” series is another radio that will work with the MFC units. These units may require you to reposition the MFC channel leads to different receiver channels to get all the functions. The SKYSPORT would be similar in setting up compared to the ATTACK radio. Make sure to follow the MFC manual closely.

Today’s Radios are moving from analog to digital trim with some sporting onboard computer screens. Along with these new radios come digital trims, but the MFC’s require analog to work correctly. Analog trims slide back and forth, while digtial trims act more like a momentary toggle requiring you to press it multiple times to reach the end. Therefore, radios with digital trims do not work correctly with Tamiya’s current MFC’s. They use the ana- log slide trims to reach through into a channels end point to gain more functions than just 4 channel functions will provide. They were not designed to work with the newer digital trims.

Consumers have tested, in getting newer digital trim radios to get most functions from the MFC, and achieved mixed results. In no way are these “plug-n-play” as the ATTACK radio is.

Futaba is now introducing the new “SKYSPORT” 2.4G with analog trims. The SKYPORTS are designed as aircraft radios, which makes their left sticks non-centering. They can be used for ground vehicles by adding some addtional parts.

The new SKYPORT is 2.4GHz so there is no frequency issues with ground use.

By adding:
Futaba HSP78901 and HSP67450 (Please see last page for diagram)

You can make the left stick self-centering for correct throttle usage.

The SKYSPORT T4YF comes equipped with the R2004GF 2.4GHz 4 channel receiver and no servos.

We used this equipment to test our MFC units for compatibility.

Using this equipment, we found that: 

Tanks - All functions work correctly, only channels 2 & 3 need
to be reversed from the MFC to the receiver.

Highlifts - All functions work correctly, channels 2 & 3 need to be reversed from the MFC to the receiver. Slight issue on light functions explained on next page.

Semi Trucks - This radio is not compatible with Semi MFC

T4YF usage with the Highlift MFC unit

Receiver leads 2 & 3 from MFC need to be reversed when plugged into reciever. MFC lead #2 plugs into the receiver
#3 channel and MFC lead #3 plugs into the receivers #2 channel

Switching of the light options on the highlift MFC normal- ly requires you to move right trim all the way down and
tap the right stick down to toggle between light functions.

With the T4YF you need to move the right trim almost all the way down aprox 2-4 clicks from bottom in order for it to switch between light functions

*Please remember the Tamiya MFU's were designed to work with the Futaba Attack analog radios. Use of any other radio will require some testing and modifications to what the manual states for setup. You may experience some feature loss with a non attack radio.


  1. Got my tiger working with a DX6i. But as this post states, it was a bit "fiddly" to get right. http://tamiyatorg.blogspot.com/2012/10/84273-tiger-i-early-production-full.html

  2. I use DX-5e and DX-6i with all my (12) Tamiya tanks and I get all functions to work and experience very little chatter or other reported problems. I however do modify my radios with buttons and don't use the standard configuration. I add push buttons for all functions and that eliminated the need for extreme trim behavior.

    I would encourage Tamiya to adapt the 2.4 g technology as it enhances the functionality of the battle experience eliminating channel conflicts and is just better all around equipment for a multi tank environment.

    Most members of DAK (www.desertarmor.com) are already on the 2.4g scene.

  3. Any details on why T4YF won't work with semis? thanks

  4. I'm using a Dx8 with my tank and it took a little time to iron out all the trim settings but it is fully functional and reliable.

  5. He works with Futaba J10 ? You have to configure? I need more channels for that reason to switch to J10 .

  6. I've set up a large number of model tanks and trucks fitted with multifunction units using hitec and futaba 2.4ghz radios with digital trims. The method I use is to set the end points on any channel with an auxiliary function to 75% travel, program the multifunction unit, then set the end points back up to 100%. Once it's set, if you for example select first gear in your lorry and start driving it then it behaves normally, but if you shift it into first gear then back to second it operates the auxiliary function. It works fine and as I say, I must have set up 50 models using this method over the last few years including several of my own models. I also have sequence mixes set up on my Futaba 12FG which operate off one switch, for example on my hauler one of the switches activates a timed offset mix which operates the remote start-up/shut-down sequence.