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  1. #1
    Nathan King's Avatar
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    SD-10G & RX700 Range Check

    I just purchased an Airtronics SD-10G with the seven channel RX700 receiver. After installation and configurationin my 2M pattern model the radio only range checks out to exactly 50 feet (used a measured string) on low power modebefore loss of response. The model was elevated three feet off the ground with no obstructions for the check. The transmitter antenna was oriented vertically. Obviously, I am extremely concerned as the instruction manual recommends 90 feet. I realize there was an issue with the FHSS-1 receivers range checking low, but this is a reduction of 45%! I have both antenna wires oriented at 90 degrees in plastic tubes precisely as instructed in the manual. The coaxial cables are not kinked or otherwisebent acutely. These tubes are away from servos, batteries, and wiring. What can I do to attempt to remedy the issue?

    P.S. Some additional tests at varying angles had an observed range as low as 27 feet before glitching occured!
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  2. #2
    Nathan King's Avatar
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    RE: SD-10G & RX700 Range Check

    Here is a photograph of the installation. The wooden cradle is where the fuel tank sits.

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  3. #3

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    RE: SD-10G & RX700 Range Check

    Limited range check can be caused by a number of things.

    We suggest unplugging all but one servo and trying it again. In many instances it is a servo causing the limited range.

    Also, if the range test was in a confined area such as on a street or parking lot, you're going to get bad results because in low-power mode, other nearby obstructions can cause issue.

    Because you say you're getting reduced range at other angles, I would suggest moving one of the antennas as well. From batteries to wing joiners, esc's to power cables, you could be seeing some 'signal blockage' from obstructions in the plane.

    -Mike
    Mike Greenshields - Product Manager
    Airtronics - Global Hobby Distributors

  4. #4
    Nathan King's Avatar
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    RE: SD-10G & RX700 Range Check

    Unplugging the individual servos in every possible permutation made no change. Ieven hung the antenna wires outside the aircraft where I could physically see them during the entire range check. I also bypassed the regulator and switch harness.

    I just found out that my radio is part of last year's recall. I'm a little shocked as it was issuedlastNovember, but Iguess the radio I bought had been sitting on the shelves for some time and the shop staff was eithertoo ignorant or lazy to check their inventory when they no doubt received the recall last year. Just my luck...


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  5. #5
    mschulz531's Avatar
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    RE: SD-10G & RX700 Range Check


    ORIGINAL: Nathan King

    Unplugging the individual servos in every possible permutation made no change. Ieven hung the antenna wires outside the aircraft where I could physically see them during the entire range check. I also bypassed the regulator and switch harness.

    I just found out that my radio is part of last year's recall. I'm a little shocked as it was issuedlastNovember, but Iguess the radio I bought had been sitting on the shelves for some time and the shop staff was eithertoo ignorant or lazy to check their inventory when they no doubt received the recall last year. Just my luck...


    Where did you buy the radio?
    Good thing you found this during a range check instead of in the air!


    Gold Wing Su-26m/DLE-30, Twist 60/Saito 1.15, Airtronics 2.4 Ghz SD-10G.

  6. #6
    Nathan King's Avatar
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    RE: SD-10G & RX700 Range Check


    ORIGINAL: mschulz531

    Where did you buy the radio?
    Good thing you found this during a range check instead of in the air!


    I purchased it at a local HobbyTown USA store. I am very careful with my set up because I have a considerable investment in my pattern model and because I'm a perfectionist. What I don't understand, though, is if my range issue is related to the recall. The recalls simply states "momentary loss of signal when using the SD-10G in FHSS-1 modulation
    typically in crowded environments." My environment was not crowded, and it's a range issue - not intermittent signal loss.
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    RE: SD-10G & RX700 Range Check

    The recall has nothing to do with range. And it has nothing to do with your radio at all unless it was made and sold to the shop before November of last year and they never sent it back to be updated.
    Mike Greenshields - Product Manager
    Airtronics - Global Hobby Distributors

  8. #8
    Nathan King's Avatar
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    RE: SD-10G & RX700 Range Check

    Thanks Mike and everybody else. The situation has been remedied, and I'm now getting impressive range checks. I look forward to many years of pattern flying with this excellent radio system.
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  9. #9

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    RE: SD-10G & RX700 Range Check


    ORIGINAL: Nathan King

    Thanks Mike and everybody else. The situation has beenΒ*remedied, and I'm now getting impressive range checks. I look forward to many years of pattern flying with this excellent radio system.
    So what was the problem, Nathan?

    What did you do to get "impressive" range checks?

    Your reply might help other flyers with a similar problem.

    Regards,

    Dennis
    Dennis D MAAC 9412L
    IMAC 3821 Team Airtronics

  10. #10
    Nathan King's Avatar
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    RE: SD-10G & RX700 Range Check


    ORIGINAL: DennisD


    ORIGINAL: Nathan King

    Thanks Mike and everybody else. The situation has beenremedied, and I'm now getting impressive range checks. I look forward to many years of pattern flying with this excellent radio system.
    So what was the problem, Nathan?

    What did you do to get "impressive" range checks?

    Your reply might help other flyers with a similar problem.

    Regards,

    Dennis
    Yeah, sorry. I was rushing out of a café for an unexpected meeting when I posted. My field has a large metallic radio impound that seemed to be the cause of the issue despite being a ways off to the side. Moving further away into a completely open field yielded a successful range check slightly exceeding 90 feet. My 72MHz range checks were always fine there, but apparently the much higher frequencies are less forgiving of objects in the vicinity.

    Mike nailed it when he said (emphasis added):

    Also, if the range test was in a confined area such as on a street or parking lot, you're going to get bad results because in low-power mode, other nearby obstructions can cause issue.


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  11. #11
    Nathan King's Avatar
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    RE: SD-10G & RX700 Range Check

    Apparently the issue is not resolved. When I came back to the field to actually fly I conducted a range check which produced uncommanded movement at about 15 - 20 feet in all orientations with the receiver light blinking/flickering. The only difference between this check and the previous successful check was other radio traffic, which shouldn't matter. A flying buddy had his SD-10G, so we bound my airplane to his radio. The range check also failed. At this point I think it's safe to say that my transmitter is not at fault. The issue lies with either my setup or the receiver. To further narrow things down I am going to borrow an Airtronics receiver from him for testing purposes. If I get problems then I know my setup is still somehow at fault. If it works then there is an issue with the receiver. I will provide an update this evening.
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  12. #12
    Nathan King's Avatar
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    RE: SD-10G & RX700 Range Check

    I tried another receiver - no improvement. Then, just for grins, I range checked my airplane with an RDS8000 and got really good results (over 100 feet). Obviously this is perplexing. Is there some sort of backwards compatibility problem with FHSS-1 receivers with the SD-10G? I would think not as they are bundled with the radio?
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  13. #13
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    RE: SD-10G & RX700 Range Check


    ORIGINAL: Nathan King

    I tried another receiver - no improvement. Then, just for grins, I range checked my airplane with an RDS8000 and got really good results (over 100 feet). Obviously this is perplexing. Is there some sort of backwards compatibility problem with FHSS-1 receivers with the SD-10G? I would think not as they are bundled with the radio?
    I'm starting to think your TX needs to be inspected by the (excellent) tech support folks at Airtronics!
    At least I would before I flew any plane of value with it.


    Gold Wing Su-26m/DLE-30, Twist 60/Saito 1.15, Airtronics 2.4 Ghz SD-10G.

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    RE: SD-10G & RX700 Range Check


    ORIGINAL: Nathan King

    I tried another receiver - no improvement. Then, just for grins, I range checked my airplane with an RDS8000 and got really good results (over 100 feet). Obviously this is perplexing. Is there some sort of backwards compatibility problem with FHSS-1 receivers with the SD-10G? I would think not as they are bundled with the radio?
    I have one of the first 100 SD10Gs that were sold here and have had no problems with any of the combination of receivers. I have 2 airplanes with the 10 channel receivers and 4 with the 8 and 7 channel and have never had a range check issue. Even with some pretty compact installations. Since the radio is still under warranty I would send it in to Airtronics for inspection. They are very thorough and fast. If it comes back with no detected problems, you will have to look at your installation again.
    Gaines

  15. #15
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    RE: SD-10G & RX700 Range Check

    Nathan King and I fly at what must be the most heavily Airtronics-centric flying club in the midwest. We have 25 or 30 members flying various SD-series radios, RDS8000s, and even a few folks flying Airtronics 72Mhz gear. We're Airtronics fans, which is what makes this current issue so frustrating.

    What we're seeing are SD-10g transmitters failing range tests with various FHSS-1 receivers. We can rebind the exact same receiver in the exact same plane with the exact same setup and environmental conditions and batteries to an RDS8000, and the radio setup range tests perfectly.

    I saw the same thing in a Great Planes Escapade .60 ARF a couple of weeks ago. Harry Perkons was using an RX500 receiver, and his SD-10g failed the range test while my RDS8000 passed easily. Nathan's plane failed the range test with two different SD-10g transmitters paired to an RX700 and a 92824, then passed the same range tests using two different RDS8000s.

    When re-testing Nathan's 2M Icepoint pattern plane, one of the pilots noticed that the receiver LED was going dark for a split second periodically. The LED should be solid blue, but it would go dark for a split second quite frequently when range testing either of the SD-10g transmitters. During successful range tests with one of the RDS8000 transmitters, the light would stay solid blue much more regularly, only darkening once in a great while.

    This range test failure problem only seems to affect the SD-10g, it is very consistent, and it is easily reproduced. The consistency with which rebinding to an RDS8000 eliminates the problem seems to rule out batteries, installation, environment, or receiver failure. We haven't had the opportunity to retest a range check failure with an SD-5g or SD-6g yet. By all appearances, we have a problem with our SD-10g transmitters.
    When everybody is out to get you, paranoia is just good thinking!

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    RE: SD-10G & RX700 Range Check

    I have a really dumb question, so please forgive me if I'm out in left field. I am an RDS8000 user with no experience on an SD-10G.

    The 8000 is FHSS-1. The -10G can be FHSS-1 or FHSS-3. Is it possible that people are forgetting to switch their -10G transmitters when using the FHSS-1 receivers ? Or will the receiver not bind at all if you attempt to use a -3 transmitter with a -1 receiver ?

    Dick

  17. #17
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    RE: SD-10G & RX700 Range Check


    ORIGINAL: otrcman

    I have a really dumb question, so please forgive me if I'm out in left field. I am an RDS8000 user with no experience on an SD-10G.

    The 8000 is FHSS-1. The -10G can be FHSS-1 or FHSS-3. Is it possible that people are forgetting to switch their -10G transmitters when using the FHSS-1 receivers ? Or will the receiver not bind at all if you attempt to use a -3 transmitter with a -1 receiver ?

    Dick
    they will not bind.

    Mike r

  18. #18
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    RE: SD-10G & RX700 Range Check

    We're definitely setting the modulation to FHSS-1. Trust me, I checked!
    When everybody is out to get you, paranoia is just good thinking!

  19. #19
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    RE: SD-10G & RX700 Range Check

    My radio is being exchanged. An Airtronics rep said the RF amplifier was bad. It's curious as two other radios were experiencing similar problems. In any event, I'll wait for the new radio to come in and see what happens. *fingers crossed*
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    RE: SD-10G & RX700 Range Check

    I had similar range test concerns with my SD-10 purchased in May. Range testing was done in two places, at the field during a contest and in my small back yard. Both were close to other 2.4 ghz transmitters (radios, internet and telephone). Range for my RX500 and RX600 receivers was roughly 40 feet. The RX700 range tested at 65 feet. This is the distance when dropout (twitching of servo) was noted.

    I sent my SD-10 and RX500 and RX600 to Airtronics service to be checked out. Airtronics reported that everything was fine with the radio and receivers. They checked internal connections for broken wires and checked the range and function. The technician I talked to said he would expect this type of performance range checking in a noisy area.

    I neglected to say that my Futaba 9CAP with Futaba 2.4ghz module had full performance in low power mode well beyond this distance.

    Nathan King, can you report back with your range test after repair.

  21. #21
    Nathan King's Avatar
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    RE: SD-10G & RX700 Range Check

    Will do. I still have not received the replacement yet.
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    RE: SD-10G & RX700 Range Check

    3 things to consider.

    1. our low power mode is very low-output, the thinking is that a true low-output will prevent "false positives". the downside is you get some "false negatives" sometimes.

    2. a range test in a crowded 2.4GHz environment or just "crowded" environment will cause "false negatives" as well. Sanwa engineers recommend a range test be done in an open field with no other obstructions or radios within a couple hundred feet.

    3. electronically noisy servos can cause low-range just as much as an antenna in the wrong place. Try unplugging all but one of the servos and see if the range changes.

    Mike
    Mike Greenshields - Product Manager
    Airtronics - Global Hobby Distributors

  23. #23
    Nathan King's Avatar
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    RE: SD-10G & RX700 Range Check


    ORIGINAL: MikeGreenshields

    3 things to consider.

    1. our low power mode is very low-output, the thinking is that a true low-output will prevent "false positives". the downside is you get some "false negatives" sometimes.

    2. a range test in a crowded 2.4GHz environment or just "crowded" environment will cause "false negatives" as well. Sanwa engineers recommend a range test be done in an open field with no other obstructions or radios within a couple hundred feet.

    3. electronically noisy servos can cause low-range just as much as an antenna in the wrong place. Try unplugging all but one of the servos and see if the range changes.

    Mike
    I did numbers two and three on your list with no success but will update the thread when Ireceive the replacement, which should be very soon.
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  24. #24
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    RE: SD-10G & RX700 Range Check

    I've gone back and started re-testing the range check on some of my planes. Not surprisingly, planes that I've been flying for a while on FHSS-1 receivers and my SD-10g without incident have range checked just fine.

    I recently range checked my Imagine 50 pattern plane and my Super Decathlon; both are being flown on my SD-10g with 92824 receivers. I want to range test a plane with the 92824 receiver that I loaned to Nathan King for testing. That receiver failed a range test with Nathan's (second) SD-10g transmitter, but tested perfectly fine with an RDS8000 using the same setup, batteries, servos, environment, and range check situation.

    My theory is that we're seeing a compatibility issue between certain hardware/software/firmware versions of the SD-10g transmitter and certain versions of the receiver hardware/software/firmware.

    If I can find a receiver that range checks perfectly fine with my transmitter, and another receiver that doesn't pass a range check with my SD-10g but passes just fine my RDS8000, I will send my SD-10g in with both receivers for further examination.

    One problem with trying to do this is I may not have the hardware/software/firmware on my SD-10g that is causing the problem. I haven't yet seen a range check fail with my own SD-10g; it was purchased in July 2010. It is from the serial number range listed in the service bulletin concerning temporary lockouts on FHSS-1 receivers, but I never sent it in because I wasn't experiencing any problems.

    The very consistent and easily reproduced range testing failures that I've seen on SD-10g transmitters owned by Nathan King and Harry Perkons took place on transmitters newer than my own. I wonder if the range check failure issue might be exclusive to newer hardware/firmware/software versions of the SD-10g.

    We'll get all of the SD-10g owners in our club together and try to do some more extensive testing once Nathan King's transmitter comes back from being serviced.
    When everybody is out to get you, paranoia is just good thinking!

  25. #25

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    RE: SD-10G & RX700 Range Check

    Nathan, try annoying them (hobby clowns) about, when i asked about it on Friday they said not to worry about it its being taken care of, though to me it seems like it has been taking foooooooooorrrrrrrrrrrrreeeeeeevvvvvvvvvveeeeeeeee rrrrrrrrrrr and its not even my radio.
    -Casey


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