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  1. #1
    abufletcher's Avatar
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    RDS8000 Transmitter gimbal wire failure?

    A couple of days ago one of my models crashed due to some type of radio failure. But not complete failure. I had some control. After the crash, I checked all of the radio gear and discovered that the rudder, elevator, and throttle were all working fine. But I was getting no response through the #2 aileron channel. I tried swapping in other servos and none worked on that channel. So I was assuming it was a problem with the Rx.

    But then it occurred to me to check one of the other models I had set up on this same transmitter...and sure enough, the ailerons on that second model also didn't function. When I first switched the Rx on there was some weird fast twitching and then it sort of went dead and then when I moved the right stick (aileron on my mode 2 radio) right and left there was a bit of stuttering slow-motion movement. All the other stick functions were fine.

    So the problem is clearly with the Tx. As one final check, I bound the Rx from the crash with a second (newer) RDS8000 that I purchased recently and the Rx and all the servos worked perfectly. I have heard that some people have had issues with the stick connecting wires on the RDS8000 (and other radios) breaking loose over time. I've had this RDS8000 for about five years.

    Can this sort of thing be repaired?
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  2. #2

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    RE: RDS8000 Transmitter gimbal wire failure?

    you can send it in to Airtronics, and they can fix the connector wires, and while its there, they can check for any other potential issues..
    Or.....
    if you are good with a soldering iron, you can replace the wires yourself.. I have heard of people having good luck using some heavy duty Servo wire to replace the original wire that's in the gimbal assy..
    Craig.
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  3. #3

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    RE: RDS8000 Transmitter gimbal wire failure?

    I would send the radio to Sanwa in Osaka.

  4. #4
    abufletcher's Avatar
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    RE: RDS8000 Transmitter gimbal wire failure?

    I'll ask my Japanese clubmates about the possibility of repairs in Osaka.

    Does anyone else find it EXTREMELY WORRYING that the wiring in a transmitter itself can fail? I'm used to thinking about possible failures with the radio gear mounted in the model. And I carry out regular checks on that equipment. Furthermore, this issue of the gimbal wires failing on the Tx is almost certain to occur while flying, when you're throwing the stick around.

    But who would ever think of regularly opening up the back of their Tx every few flights to see if the wiring is still connected? If we were supposed to do that, you'd think that transmitters would come with snap-off backs. [:@] Are we just to assume that any RDS8000 more than a couple of years old is no longer trustworthy?


  5. #5
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    RE: RDS8000 Transmitter gimbal wire failure?

    Well, honestly, this is (I thought) a pretty well known problem...at least, on this forum and other ATX forums, it has been mentioned many times over the years. Sorry to see your plane crashed as a result of this. Standard response to questions about the RDS8000 has been to send it in to ATX for service right away.
    Gold Wing Su-26m/DLE-30, Twist 60/Saito 1.15, Airtronics 2.4 Ghz SD-10G.

  6. #6
    abufletcher's Avatar
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    RE: RDS8000 Transmitter gimbal wire failure?

    Someone over on the Scale Forum mentioned that this problem had been discussed here, so I come over to check but didn't look for any specific threads.

    So what's the solution? Do I just wait for my new RDS8000 to eventually fail and destroy another model? I always check servo functions before each and every flight. But it seems to me that, purely on statistical grounds, this is going to be a failure that will almost always happen in the air vs. on the ground. I mean, it's not like I'm going to slam the sticks around for 10 minutes before each flight to see if I can make the Tx fail...and then go flying.

    Do I send the Tx in for regular servicing ever year...every six months? Do I learn how to check the wiring myself? I've been using Airtronic radios for 10 years and never had a Tx failure so maybe it was just my turn. Still...

  7. #7
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    RE: RDS8000 Transmitter gimbal wire failure?

    It is a one time fix as I understand it...once the fix is done, you won't have to worry about it again.

    Of course, you could always upgrade to an SD-10G which is a *much* better 2.4ghz with even more features! (All your RXs are compatible!)
    That's what I did...and I keep the RDS-6000 around as a backup.


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

  8. #8

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    RE: RDS8000 Transmitter gimbal wire failure?


  9. #9
    abufletcher's Avatar
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    RE: RDS8000 Transmitter gimbal wire failure?

    So...I turn the damaged RDS8000 over to remove the 8 screws holding the back on...and the throttle/rudder stick just drops out on the floor!!! This does not inspire confidence. Once the back is off, the disconnected (red) wire is immediately apparent. Also apparent is what dinky wire they've used. I'm no electronics wizard, but these wires look like they are just waiting to fail. [:@]

    I might go ahead and fix it...or see if I can get Airtronics to fix/upgrade it next August when I'm in the US (close to the ATX facilities)...but right at the moment I don't see me ever using this again on any of my precious scale models. The question is whether I can be certain that another brand radio (Futaba) is going to be better.

    Sorry to say, but if and when I get a new radio, it WON'T be Airtronics. A more likely choice for me is the Futaba 8J.
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  10. #10
    abufletcher's Avatar
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    RE: RDS8000 Transmitter gimbal wire failure?

    ORIGINAL: mschulz531
    Of course, you could always upgrade to an SD-10G which is a *much* better 2.4ghz with even more features! (All your RXs are compatible!)
    Since I don't fly, and never will fly, anything but WWI models most of the "additional features" of the SD-10G are wasted on me...which means wasted money buying one. The RDS8000 does everything I want...well maybe almost everything I want. But you absolutely have to be able to depend on your radio gear when you're putting it in a scale model you've spend years building.

  11. #11

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    RE: RDS8000 Transmitter gimbal wire failure?

    I'm hoping that an Airtronics service person will say something here. That's not me. But when I first heard about this potential problem, I called Airtronics and the rep told me that the failures were due to insufficient slack in the wire. So every time you moved the stick to an extreme there would be a pull on the wire, eventually leading to a failure. If there was sufficient slack in the wires, there would be no problem.

    So you wouldn't need to re-inspect every year or every six months or anything like that. Just inspect once to see if any wires go tight at the extremes of stick movement. Of course, it doesn't hurt to take a look around from time to time, like when you are replacing the battery.

    Any brand radio can have a manufacturing problem. All it takes is a new employee on the job not getting things quite right before somebody else notices his mistake. Training and quality assurance are ongoing efforts in any manufacturing facility. The important thing is that when a company discovers that they might have a problem they need to communicate it to their customers and recommend a remedy. I think Airtronics did that, but not at the level of a safety recall as is done in the auto industry. There's just not enough money in model airplane equipment to make that possible.

    I try to follow this site just to be aware of any issues that may have come up with equipment like mine. That's my own personal safety program.

    Dick

  12. #12

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    RE: RDS8000 Transmitter gimbal wire failure?

    I believe that this was a problem whith a few Tx's that shipped and when it was published, I checked my RDS8000. Mine seemed to have sufficient slack in the wires and I have used it for years with no trouble. I think that you got one of the unlucky radios. Every manufacturer has produced bloopers, it was your bad luck to get one of Airtronics' stinkers. To me, sanwa owes you a lot more than a Tx repair!

  13. #13
    abufletcher's Avatar
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    RE: RDS8000 Transmitter gimbal wire failure?

    ORIGINAL: AwwNaww
    To me, sanwa owes you a lot more than a Tx repair!
    I'm starting to feel like this too. [:@] But based on the emails I've gotten from ther service rep, I'm not hopeful. The rep said the wiring repair would be covered under warranty but not the gimbal repair.


  14. #14

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    RE: RDS8000 Transmitter gimbal wire failure?

    Your Tx antenna and one of the switches seems to be broken as well. This might explain the reply from the service rep. Did you drop your radio once before?


  15. #15
    abufletcher's Avatar
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    RE: RDS8000 Transmitter gimbal wire failure?

    I don't recall dropping it, but it may have gotten rattled around a bit in the transport case. Both the switch and the antenna base seem very delicate. Luckily since I only fly WWI and didn't have any need for the 3-position switch. And a bit of tape stabilized the antenna base.

    I was just hoping that Airtronics might be big enough to offer to replace a 25 cent switch and a 10 cent piece of plastic seeing as a known QC problem with the gimbal wire cost me a $300 model.

  16. #16
    Slope Pilot's Avatar
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    RE: RDS8000 Transmitter gimbal wire failure?

    I've had good luck with JR radios. The only time I had to send my XP8103 in once cause I got the battery wires wrong. Black to red and red to black.
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  17. #17

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    RE: RDS8000 Transmitter gimbal wire failure?

    I had less luck with JR: pots failure.

  18. #18
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    RE: RDS8000 Transmitter gimbal wire failure?

    I had to replace the pots in my Futaba 7C 72Mhz radio after four seasons. I'm surprised that abulfletcher is so upset about having a service issue after half a decade of reliable operation with his RDS8000.

    Nobody likes to lose a model, but it's part of the sport. Transmitters wear out, servos fail, glow engines shed bearings, electronic speed controllers spontaneously combust, covering quits sticking, batteries give out; sometimes you catch the problem before crashing if you're lucky.

    You had a good run, abulfletcher. Why not spend $179 for another new RDS8000 and an extra 92824 receiver and simply plan on replacing the transmitter 5 years from now? $36 per year doesn't seem like an outrageous price for an RC radio system.
    When everybody is out to get you, paranoia is just good thinking!

  19. #19

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    RE: RDS8000 Transmitter gimbal wire failure?

    Did I read somewhere that the SD-10G doesn't have moving pots with flexing wires ? I like my RDS8000 just fine and have not had a broken wire problem to date, but an improved design without flexing wires would be a big plus in the decision to buy a new transmitter.

    Dick

  20. #20

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    RE: RDS8000 Transmitter gimbal wire failure?

    The SD10G gimbals are great. No problems at all.


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