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Radio problems

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Old 08-02-2010, 06:41 PM
  #1
MemoBill
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Default Radio problems

I need help solving a radio interference or malfunction problem. I decided to try electric power so I put together
a Valiant(a very good flying airplane by the way) with a Plettenberg 30-10 motor and Spin 99 controller.
The radio is a one year old Futaba 2.4 Ghz 12Z,new 6008HS receiver, new 5.2 volt regulator, new on-off switch, and a
Thunder Power 1390 receiver battery. I used Rhino 4900 flight power batteries and 5.5 mm bullet connectors.
I made sure there were no cold solder connections. The receiver battery was mounted in the front of the fuselage
behind the landing gear. I ran the battery cable and the controller cable in parallel down the same side of the fuse
about 0.5 inch apart. There were no filters in either cable.
I started flying the Valiant and was very happy with the way it flew and how well everything worked.
Now, thinking about it, during the first five or six flights the plane went into fail safe a couple of times for a second or two
but at the time I didn't realize it. I thought it was just my bad flying.
After about 10 or more flights with no problems it went in and out of fail safe for more than two or three seconds on one
flight. I was lucky and regained control. After landing I shook and pulled on all the cables while the motor was running
but could not get system to malfunction. I replaced the receiver, on-off switch, battery and regulator with known good
components from another airplane. I oriented the receiver antennas in another position but the same thing happened
and the plane snapped in on a landing approched breaking the left wing in half. After the crash everything seemed to
work o.k. on the ground. Thinking the problem could be the transmitter I put the receiver,battery, and regulator in an
old Venus 40 and I've had no problems, solid as a rock.
Thanks in advance for any ideas or suggestions.
Bill
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Old 08-02-2010, 06:52 PM
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rcpattern
 
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Default RE: Radio problems

How were your antenna's oriented in the plane? Were they 90 degrees to each other? Were they touching carbon at all?

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Old 08-02-2010, 07:07 PM
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Default RE: Radio problems

Hi Bill,

Sorry to hear about your problems with the Valiant. You said you ran the battery cable and the controller cable in parallel down the side of the fuse. How far were they running in parallel? That might cause you some problems. I have always run a filter on the cable from the ESC to the Receiver. Some folks never bother and don't have any problems. I have always run one and have never had a problem. You might try that. That being said, I don't think it would cause a failsafe condition however. It would cause noise in your receiver and you might get glitches but I don't think it would cause a lockout.

Are you sure your system is going into failsafe?

Antenna placement is important as mentioned in the post above. You should try putting your equipment into your repaired plane and then have someone hold it or restrain it while you do some range checks under power. Run up full throttle and see if you get any problems on the ground.

Steve
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Old 08-02-2010, 08:54 PM
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Default RE: Radio problems

Just curious, are you in normal or HS mode on your receiver?
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Old 08-02-2010, 09:59 PM
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Default RE: Radio problems

I had something similar happen to me when I switched to 2.4GHZ. I didn't crash but discovered that my regulator was dropping out because it was getting hot. I was using a 5.1 v regulator and a 2s lipo. The regulator couldn't dissipate the heat from dropping the voltage down from 8v down to 5.1v. I replaced the 5.1 v regulator with a 6 v regulator and haven't had a problem since.

I'm not saying this is your problem, but it's something to check.

Joe Dunnaway
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Old 08-03-2010, 12:52 AM
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Quote:
ORIGINAL: iflyrctoo

I had something similar happen to me when I switched to 2.4GHZ. I didn't crash but discovered that my regulator was dropping out because it was getting hot. I was using a 5.1 v regulator and a 2s lipo. The regulator couldn't dissipate the heat from dropping the voltage down from 8v down to 5.1v. I replaced the 5.1 v regulator with a 6 v regulator and haven't had a problem since.

I'm not saying this is your problem, but it's something to check.

Joe Dunnaway
Joe, were you running electric power at that time? I typically use about 50 mAh per flight in my electric power stuff, which equates to an average of about 300mA which would mean less than 1 Watt dissipation in the regulator. I doubt that is a problem unless the system was drawing a lot more current for some reason. I use a choke in the receiver to ESC cable now but I'm pretty sure I flew a lot of no problem flights before I installed it. However, I didn't have the receiver battery cables near the receiver/ESC cable. I'm kind of leaning towards that as the problem.

Jim
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Old 08-03-2010, 06:37 AM
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Default RE: Radio problems

What regulator are you running? I almost learned the hard way a lesson at the NATS 2 weeks ago. While running a YS 1.70DZ CDI and the Jaccio regulator setup, the regulator would not handle the current draw of both the plane and the motor. Brett Wickizer had a similar experience last year. It works fine on the first flight, but on the second one, the regulator apparently got hot and stopped working for about 2-3 seconds, fortunately I was on a long climb and the engine died and on the way down the regulator came back to life so that I was able to land. When I landed it was VERY hot. I normally run Ed Alt's dual setup and it has been bullet proof, but in the borrowed airplane I was flying it had the Jaccio installed. We immediately pulled it out and put the Tech Aero setup back in and flew with no issues. I wouldn't think you would be drawing that much on the electric side unless you had a servo binding or something.

Did you have your failsafe setup to do anything in particular, so that you KNOW it was actually going into failsafe rather than just a momentary hold due to lack of power?
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Old 08-03-2010, 11:21 AM
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Default RE: Radio problems

At the time I was running a YS and a Jaccio regulator. I agree that the Electric setup pulls a lot less than the YS did, but the regulator still has to drop the voltage quite a bit in the 5.1 v version. I know it was going into failsafe because I was running a JR 921 and if it loses power the Led's flash when the power comes back. They were flashing when I landed and the regulator was very hot.

Joe
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Old 08-03-2010, 11:38 AM
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Quote:
ORIGINAL: rcpattern

What regulator are you running? I almost learned the hard way a lesson at the NATS 2 weeks ago. While running a YS 1.70DZ CDI and the Jaccio regulator setup, the regulator would not handle the current draw of both the plane and the motor. Brett Wickizer had a similar experience last year. It works fine on the first flight, but on the second one, the regulator apparently got hot and stopped working for about 2-3 seconds, fortunately I was on a long climb and the engine died and on the way down the regulator came back to life so that I was able to land. When I landed it was VERY hot. I normally run Ed Alt's dual setup and it has been bullet proof, but in the borrowed airplane I was flying it had the Jaccio installed. We immediately pulled it out and put the Tech Aero setup back in and flew with no issues. I wouldn't think you would be drawing that much on the electric side unless you had a servo binding or something.

Did you have your failsafe setup to do anything in particular, so that you KNOW it was actually going into failsafe rather than just a momentary hold due to lack of power?
What you say is very true and I'm surprised the word has not been passed around the YS community. I worked with Troy N when the CDI first came out and all the guys were having weight issues with their biplanes so they wanted to run one battery and one regulator. I don't recall the numbers but the CDI plus the digital servos under vibration was pulling a lot of current. We played with heat sinks but I believe he settled on Ed's unit if it is the one that has a heat sink that is exposed to outside air. The Jaccio regulator will take 5 AMPS continuously if you can keep the temperature down. That means a heat sink and cooling air if you are dissipating lots of power. We didn't have this problem with NiCds because we were only dropping the voltage from about 5.9 volts to 5.7 or 5.1. The higher the voltage drop and the higher the current the more you need cooling. Personally, I would isolate the CDI with its own regulator which also acts as a very good filter to keep ignition power line noise out of the receiver and servos. Maybe that's what Ed's does? A second regulator would only add a few more grams. By the way, I believe the addition of a heat sink for high power installations is discussed in the Jaccio instructions.

Jim
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Old 08-03-2010, 04:28 PM
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Default RE: Radio problems

Thank you all for the suggestions. They are very much appreciated. The antenna's were 90 degrees to each other and not near any carbon. The receiver was in normal mode.
The regulator was a smart fly ignition 5.2 volt unit which I took out of my YS 170 Aries. It was used for the receiver and servos and always ran cool. I'm using it now in my
test plane Venus 40, YS 110 (Fun airplane, thanks Steve K)
Steve, I think you are right, it didn't go into fail safe, just long glitches. I tend to agree with Jim. The problem is with my cable routing and lack of a filter.
Once I get it going again I will test it on the ground many many times before I put it in the air.
Bill
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Old 08-03-2010, 04:50 PM
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Default RE: Radio problems

Hi Bill,

Make sure that when you are ground testing you try your range tests with the fuselage at different orientations to you (head on and direct at side). Hopefully it is just noise from the parallel line runs.

I am going to watch new Visa carefully for sure as well. I heard 5 beeps generated by the Castle Phoenix HV 85 on a couple occassions. I finally looked it up in the manual. It means loss of signal or degraded signal. Yikes... Maybe it was just that on those flights I had switched on my RX and powered up my batts before my TX was turned on. Normally I don't do that but it is possible that is what happened. I will pay particular attention to this next time out, in fact I'll try to see what it takes to make it happen. If I follow my normal startup sequence and then hear 5 beeps after landing then I know I have trouble.

Let us know how things go.
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Old 08-03-2010, 04:54 PM
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Default RE: Radio problems

A Venus .40 with a 1.10???
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Old 08-03-2010, 09:15 PM
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Default RE: Radio problems

The Venus 40, had a YS 63 in it for power, not a YS110
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Old 08-04-2010, 07:14 AM
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Default RE: Radio problems


Quote:
ORIGINAL: MemoBill

Thank you all for the suggestions. They are very much appreciated. The antenna's were 90 degrees to each other and not near any carbon. The receiver was in normal mode.
The regulator was a smart fly ignition 5.2 volt unit which I took out of my YS 170 Aries. It was used for the receiver and servos and always ran cool. I'm using it now in my
test plane Venus 40, YS 110 (Fun airplane, thanks Steve K)
Steve, I think you are right, it didn't go into fail safe, just long glitches. I tend to agree with Jim. The problem is with my cable routing and lack of a filter.
Once I get it going again I will test it on the ground many many times before I put it in the air.
Bill
If it didn't go into failsafe, this would indicate a power issue, not an interference issue. If you are getting noise, then it should've gone into failsafe.

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Old 08-04-2010, 02:47 PM
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Default RE: Radio problems

As a flying colleague reminded me today, the Jeti spin 99 uses an opto-isolator.
Doesn't that mean that noise from the esc can't get to the receiver?
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Old 08-04-2010, 10:01 PM
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Default RE: Radio problems

Hi Bill

Does your regulator plug directly into your receiver? If so, check the connector from the smartfly regulator which plugs into your receiver. This evening I was out flying and on my first flight the plane just didn't "feel" right. It dropped a wing big time on landing as well. I instantly thought of you. I was poking around and noticed that the connector from the smartfly regulator was wiggling on the receiver. I tried to push it in more but it didn't seem to help. I think the connection wasn't very good. So I put an extension cable on it and had the extension cable plugged to the receiver and I wrapped the connection from the reg to the extension cable in tape. I don't like the connector supplied with the regulator.

After my fix I never felt the same issues and it was rock solid. This might explain why I felt that some flights were great where
as other flights seemed to have some issues.

steve
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Old 08-05-2010, 10:32 AM
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Default RE: Radio problems


Quote:
ORIGINAL: f3a05

As a flying colleague reminded me today, the Jeti spin 99 uses an opto-isolator.
Doesn't that mean that noise from the esc can't get to the receiver?
There is conducted and radiated interference. The opto-isolator takes care of noise that could be conducted through the wire from the high voltage motor circuits to the receiver, but noise can be coupled through the air from one wire to another that is close to it. The toroid filters that are used, prevent noise that is picked up in the wires from radiation from getting into the receiver.

Jim
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Old 08-05-2010, 06:46 PM
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Default RE: Radio problems

this does sound like a power interuption to me too...

I have not yet had an interference with the FASST systems....

I am close to trying to use common power between the ignition and Rx's in my 40% Compy....
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Old 08-06-2010, 01:11 PM
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Default RE: Radio problems

Hi Steve
Yes I was using a Smartfly regulator plugged directly into the receiver when I first started having problems but I replaced it with another
regulator before I crashed. I'm using the Smartfly in my test plane now. I havn't had any problems so far but I will check the connector.
I believe now that my problem was interrmittent power failures. I have two receiver batterys that I use. One has a connector that doesn't
plug in as tight as the other. I didn't tape it. STUPID. I think I only had the problems when I used this battery.
Thanks everybody for taking the time to help me with this problem.
Bill
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Old 08-23-2010, 06:05 PM
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Default RE: Radio problems

wrong forum
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