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Futaba 14MZ - 12Z Futaba 14MZ and 12Z Help and features Support Forum


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Old 12-17-2008, 12:10 PM   #1
RBeaubien
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Question Model File Editor/Converter 14mz/12z/9303/10x/12x

I want to see if there is interest in a model file editor that will open model files from Futaba 14MZ/12Z/12FG and/or JR 9303/10x/12x and allow editing and/or converting between any of those radios. If anyone is interested in such a utility, please let me know here. I would also need to know if anyone would be interested in helping test such a utility during development.

The utility would be able to do the following

1. Read .mdl files from Futaba 14MZ/12Z directly from memory card
2. Read .mdl files from Futaba 12FG after user moved file from memory card to harddrive using other available utilities.
3. Read model files from JR 9303/10x/12x after user moved files from radio using the PC link.
4. Allow editing all model files (to the extend I can decypher)
5. Convert model files from/to any of the above radio formats
6. Maintain database of model files and history of specific model files.
7. Generate XML file detailing model file definitions.

+ any other good features you guys can come up with.

I already have a good headstart on the Futaba file format thanx to Finless Bob and can already make changes to that format. Its simply a matter of mapping the location of all the radio features.

Let me know....
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Old 12-17-2008, 12:37 PM   #2
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How about editing the software of the TX, would that be possible?
Asigning gyro.menu to gear channel on a 9303 for example.
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Old 12-17-2008, 12:42 PM   #3
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That's a whole level of difficulty higher. Especially with the JR products not being able to take a firmware update through any standard method. It also requires intimate knowledge of the hardware and how the software interfaces with it. Unless JR / Futaba publish a SDK (software development kit) for their radios, that won't be happening any time soon. :-)
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Old 12-17-2008, 04:27 PM   #4
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I could help test with a 12x if needed. Have programming experience.
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Old 12-17-2008, 05:20 PM   #5
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That's great Azlum. Actually, the first thing I need is a sample model file from your 12x. I need to look at the file format to see what I am getting into. If you can create a basic Airplane, and a basic Heli file and send them to me, that would be very helpful.
rob<at>koolsoft<dot>com.

Thanx,
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Old 12-17-2008, 05:27 PM   #6
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I would love to be able to tweak model settings via computer like I was able to do wth the Hansen Hobbies CAMPac reader/writer when I had my 9C. Now with the X9303 I'm wihout that neat feature.
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Old 12-17-2008, 06:10 PM   #7
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Email with files sent.

Let me know if there's anything else I can do to help.

Edit: Well I was bored so I decided to zip up the 12x transfer software so you can try those files in it. Maybe it will help you figure out the file format.

http://www.azlum.org/mirror/PCDATA%20Transfer.7z
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Old 12-18-2008, 03:19 AM   #8
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It took a few hours, but I have the JR 12x storage system figured out. They put some deceptive practices in play to make it hard to figure out, but I "stumbled" upon it. For the technically curious, they calculate a 16-bit checksum starting from offset &H10, XOR the bits, then subtract &H1111 from the result just to make it more difficult to figure out. I have also looked at the 9303 and 10x formats. They are very similar so figuring out those formats should not pose a problem either.

Basically, I am now mapping both the Futaba and JR file formats out so I can begin writing code soon.
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Old 12-18-2008, 05:48 AM   #9
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Sounds awesome.... keep up the good work
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Old 12-18-2008, 07:50 AM   #10
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Quote:
It took a few hours, but I have the JR 12x storage system figured out.
Cool... just got a 12X and I was poking around in the file myself but realized I didnt have the time to spend like I did on the 14MZ many moons ago. The checksums on the 14 were easy to find. I bet figuring out the XOR thing was fun

Also you notice there are things in the 12X PC software editor that you can set that are not in the menu on the radio? Nothing in the manual about them either.

Now if I could just figure out how to get into service mode on the 12X

Bob
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Old 12-18-2008, 09:15 AM   #11
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I have a 10x and a 2.4 9303 I would love to
share models between them.
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Old 12-18-2008, 09:45 AM   #12
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The checksums were easy to find, just hard to figure out what they were doing. It's like everything is done backwards in the file. The XOR was easy to spot too. Any changes in the file, and the checksum would decrement, not increment. It was that subtraction that I stumbled on only because I happed to look at a second file and noticed a pattern using the same testing sequence.

As far as noticing the things the software lets you edit vs the radio, since I don't have a 12X, that would be sorta hard. :-) Troy Newman is going to loan me some of his radios for testing including as 12X when I am ready to start testing. My goal is to be able to upload/download from the radio directly without JR's software.

Troy want's to get into service mode as well, he just hasn't been able to get that out of the techs at horizon yet. I'm sure he will keep working on them.
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Old 12-19-2008, 03:18 PM   #13
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Is the latest 14MZ model file format available anywhere? I know some work was done on it in the past I'm interested to see if their are any updates.
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Old 12-19-2008, 03:30 PM   #14
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In looking at the file format, I'm sure any changes to how the firmware dealt with things only used the extra space in the file, or extended current use of same fields. Pretty sure nothing moved from old format. I have what Finless sent me plus what I have worked out in the past couple of days. It's only a start to a VERY LARGE file (128k). By contrast, the JR 12X does quite a lot in a 3678 byte file half of which is used for checksum values. It's really sort of impressive.
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Old 12-19-2008, 03:51 PM   #15
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Are you planning to share the file format for a group development effort or are you planning on doing all the development yourself?
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Old 12-19-2008, 04:07 PM   #16
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I haven't decided yet. Some of it depends on the answer I get back from Futaba and/or JR on publishing the details of their respective file formats. My original thought was to publish the file formats, but do the development of this particular application myself, or if I found someone here with the same passion I have and appropriate skills, split the development, but for the most part, keep that private.

It is looking like a fairly large project and I will likely change my mind if other skilled developers want to participate.

Are you a developer? If so, what do you think and what do you program in?

I have been developing software for 29 years (15 professionally). I currently develop in Microsoft .NET technologies using Visual Studio 2008, VB, and C#. I'm self employed and have owned my own development company for the past 12 years.

Any developers that want to be involved with this, please let me know so we can talk about how to handle the details of any joint development.
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Old 12-19-2008, 04:23 PM   #17
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I'm a developer with over 20 years of professional experience. I've done Microsoft in the past, but have focused strictly on Java/J2EE enterprise application development and integration for the last eight years and in recent years focusing on web services/SOA.

Java would be my first choice, but I can understand that it might not be everyone's first choice.

My main interest would be creating useful utilities using the model memory map, but don't have any plans for a large development effort at the present time.
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Old 12-19-2008, 04:29 PM   #18
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I would have no problem giving you the file formats when I am done with them (or if you want to help decypher them). The JR format is going to be the easiest because they already have a PC program to change settings. I can quickly change a setting, save the file and analyze for the change. The futaba is going to be a lot more challenging since I have to do it all in the radio. Any help you want to provide in this area would be greatly appreciated.
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Old 12-19-2008, 07:57 PM   #19
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The nice think about making the file formats public is that once released anyone can develop whatever they feel is necessary w/o depending on anyone else.

I did start working on some code to reorder the models in the 14MZ when it was revealed where the data was stored in the model memory, but I didn't finish it and now Futaba has added that feature to the radio.
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Old 12-20-2008, 12:16 AM   #20
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Well, before I make that information public, I will wait for the response from both Futaba (Hobbico) and JR (Horizon). I can see where they might object to that. I'm pretty sure they don't have a leg to stand on if I release software that modifies files without giving away their "secrets".
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