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Lost a plane today

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Old 04-21-2012, 06:53 PM
  #1
Mpizpilot
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Default Lost a plane today

So I decided to get wife into rc finally. Put together a tower trainer with a dx5e radio and spektrum AR600rx. Took her out today, had her slaved to my 9303. Took the plane up and about 5 minutes into the flight I was locked out for a couple seconds, regained control and landed.

I removed and reorientated the rx and tried again. Got a full flight in with no issues. We went up again, this time about 10 minutes I lost complete control of the plane and it went straight into the woods. Took 1 hour to locate. Total loss.

Now I've been in the hobby 20 years, flown everything from sailplanes to 40% iMac for years and I understand crashing is part of it. My issue is crashing when it's beyond your control. To be honest,I've been flying most of my latest planes with the HK orange rx's with zero issues, even the $6 6 channel rx's have been great for me. I guess my gripe is that my only name brand rx cost me a plane. It's a shame too, because she was really starting to enjoy herself and I had to explain that this doesn't normally happen.

When I took a break from the hobby in 2007, I gave up my sponsorships, one of which included futaba(last futaba tx was a 14mz 72mhz). I came back in and decided to go back with who I started with(JR) and make the jump to 2.4ghz. I never had a complete loss of control back in the day, now after today I'm questioning my decision on both fronts.
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Old 04-21-2012, 07:05 PM
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Default RE: Lost a plane today

What batteries and what servos were used?
Some of the newer servos can cause high current draw, resulting in a low voltage situation at the receiver.
In an ideal situation, the servo travel in the transmitter should be set so that the servos never hit the stops, and the control surfaces never go to the limits of travel.
Were you, by chance, using a NiCad or NMIH battery pack, and if so, how many cells in the pack.
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Old 04-21-2012, 07:26 PM
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Default RE: Lost a plane today

Futaba 3003's and just a 4.8v nimh pack. Nothing crazy in this plane, no binding on linkages.
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Old 04-21-2012, 07:42 PM
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Quote:
ORIGINAL: Mpizpilot

Futaba 3003's and just a 4.8v nimh pack. Nothing crazy in this plane, no binding on linkages.
I would not think the 3003's would put much of a load on the Rx, but it is wiser to use 6v batteries instead of 4.8v batteries. If the servos won't handle 6v, then use a voltage regulator. It is especially important to know what the Max Current your system is drawing and use Rx batteries with more than enough Capacity.

Does your receiver have a warning light to indicate a Brownout, if it occurs? If not, you will not be able to tell if you had a serious voltage drop unless you measure the Rx voltage while stalling all the servos, manually. The voltage Before and After a Brownout may look normal. Your AR600 can connect to a Spektrum Flight Logger, after a flight and before you turn off the Rx Power. It will indicate the current Rx voltage, Fades on each Antenna, Frame Losses, and Holds (Failsafe Events). It is also useful when doing Range Checks.
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Old 04-22-2012, 03:07 AM
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Default RE: Lost a plane today

6 vollt RX batteries!
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Old 04-22-2012, 05:49 AM
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Default RE: Lost a plane today

Mpizpilot,
Sorry to hear about the crash.
I would take all of your radio gear including servos, switches, batteries, wire extensions and set this up on the ground and perform some range checks to see if you can determine a cause for the crash. I am surprised that you were getting HOLDS with a Tower Trainer, with no ignition, no carbon fiber or other RF shielding material. The 4.8V battery is within the RX requirements and there should not be very high current drains with a Tower Trainer, but see if you can check the voltage with the system on moving the servos. If you cannot determine the cause of the problem I would ship all of this equipment to Horizon to see if they can diagnose a problem.

I had something similar to me happen. Horizon found the problem to be a corroded fuse contact in the TX. I had been storing it outside in my shed, and I live in Houston
I store inside now

Keep us posted on what you find out.

Good luck,
Keven
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Old 04-22-2012, 07:08 AM
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Default RE: Lost a plane today

The flight logger sounds like a great idea, gonna purchase one today. As for voltage, there is no way I should need to run 6volts on a trainer.
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Old 04-22-2012, 07:12 AM
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Quote:
ORIGINAL: BuschBarber


Quote:
ORIGINAL: Mpizpilot

Futaba 3003's and just a 4.8v nimh pack. Nothing crazy in this plane, no binding on linkages.
I would not think the 3003's would put much of a load on the Rx, but it is wiser to use 6v batteries instead of 4.8v batteries. If the servos won't handle 6v, then use a voltage regulator. It is especially important to know what the Max Current your system is drawing and use Rx batteries with more than enough Capacity.

Does your receiver have a warning light to indicate a Brownout, if it occurs? If not, you will not be able to tell if you had a serious voltage drop unless you measure the Rx voltage while stalling all the servos, manually. The voltage Before and After a Brownout may look normal. Your AR600 can connect to a Spektrum Flight Logger, after a flight and before you turn off the Rx Power. It will indicate the current Rx voltage, Fades on each Antenna, Frame Losses, and Holds (Failsafe Events). It is also useful when doing Range Checks.
I understand where your coming from, and if this were happening with any of my own airplanes (large scale aerobats and warbirds with multiple digital servos etc) I wouldn't think twice, but this is a lousy 40 size trainer with standard servos. The equipment is not in a high stress environment
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Old 04-22-2012, 07:33 AM
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Quote:
ORIGINAL: Mpizpilot


Quote:
ORIGINAL: BuschBarber


Quote:
ORIGINAL: Mpizpilot

Futaba 3003's and just a 4.8v nimh pack. Nothing crazy in this plane, no binding on linkages.
I would not think the 3003's would put much of a load on the Rx, but it is wiser to use 6v batteries instead of 4.8v batteries. If the servos won't handle 6v, then use a voltage regulator. It is especially important to know what the Max Current your system is drawing and use Rx batteries with more than enough Capacity.

Does your receiver have a warning light to indicate a Brownout, if it occurs? If not, you will not be able to tell if you had a serious voltage drop unless you measure the Rx voltage while stalling all the servos, manually. The voltage Before and After a Brownout may look normal. Your AR600 can connect to a Spektrum Flight Logger, after a flight and before you turn off the Rx Power. It will indicate the current Rx voltage, Fades on each Antenna, Frame Losses, and Holds (Failsafe Events). It is also useful when doing Range Checks.
I understand where your coming from, and if this were happening with any of my own airplanes (large scale aerobats and warbirds with multiple digital servos etc) I wouldn't think twice, but this is a lousy 40 size trainer with standard servos. The equipment is not in a high stress environment
It is easy enough to borrow a Hangar 9 Current Meter or a Wattmeter, connecting it between each servo and the Rx or between the Rx battery and the Rx and measuring the Voltage Drop and Current Draw with all the servos Stressed. At least you will know what Capacity battery you should be using. You are just guessing when you say there is no Stress on the radio.
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Old 04-22-2012, 08:15 AM
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Quote:
ORIGINAL: Mpizpilot

Futaba 3003's and just a 4.8v nimh pack. Nothing crazy in this plane, no binding on linkages.


For 2.4 gHz you cannot use 4.8 Volt receiver packs - it needs to be 6V packs. (nicad or even 6.6V for LiFE PO4 packs).

I use the 6.6 V packs very successfully - never had a problem on any of my 13 JR 2.4 gHz receivers using 6 or 6.6V.

If you don't want to go to 6 or 6.6 V, don't use the your present system - The voltage drop will getyou on 4.8V nicad pack.

Also, nicads and NMH packs are "last century technology". Many hobby shops are not even selling them anymore. The new standardis 6V , even 6.6V soon. All quality servos are designed to take 6 V or 6.6 V .
You get much better servo performance with 6 or 6.6V.

Word of caution - do not use el cheapo servos - mostly Chinese origin servos with 6 V - they may not handle it.
All high quality branded servo's comes with performance specs for 4.8 and 6.0 V.

Just a heads up.

Cheers

Bundu
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Old 04-22-2012, 01:00 PM
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Default RE: Lost a plane today

Go to a 6 volt battery and be sure to check the voltage under load.

Or, stick to 4.8 Nimh and wonder.

Just my thoughts.
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Old 04-22-2012, 01:18 PM
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Default RE: Lost a plane today

Now you tell me.........been using 4.8 for 2 years now.....Boy am I dumb.......I should have been crashing......
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Old 04-22-2012, 01:48 PM
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Default RE: Lost a plane today

Hi,
You should buy a lottery ticket for you are lucky to not have crashed.

Spektrum recommends that you go to 6V - they do not recommend 4.8V as the voltage is too low for the 2.4 gHzsystem - check out their tech website.
The 4.8 V nicad voltage pack goes back at least 40 years to a time that rechargeable batteries was nicads and that happened to be their voltage. ....and nothing changed for about 40 + years. With planes getting bigger, faster, the electronic gear manufacturers are using the massive leaps in battery technology to produce higher performance electronics - transmitters, recievers, servos. Check the specs of all quality servo's and you will see they give a performance spec for 6V as well.

I also used 4.8 v nicad packs from the 1970's onwards -lost many planes (black death etc), it was only when I switched to9.9 V LiFe PO4 packs for transmitters and 6.6 V receivers that I realized how technology have developed. About 2 months ago I forgot my 9.9 V LiFe PO4 powered (2100 mA battery) Spektrum transmitter on. I discovored it 32 hours later - still switched on and was reading 8.9 V. I charged it up and was ready again. If you leave a 9.6 V nicad powered Tx on for 4 hours, the batteries will be dead.
Same goes for the Rx packs. The 2.4 gHz receivers needs a higher voltage to perform better.

As I mentioned, I've been to a number of hobbyshops that don't stock nicads or NMH batteries anymore - they are toxic to environment, is much heavier, is totally outperformed by the LiFE and Lipo techologies, and is slightlly more expensive than the LiFE PO4 packs. So why pay more for a heavier, toxic and less performing battery thatcauses black death problems?...

See attached the comparisson I made of the packs I have,

Some of the really high end large plane servos can operate at 11 - 12 V

Cheers

Bundu
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Old 04-22-2012, 02:52 PM
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Default RE: Lost a plane today

Wow, sorry to hear that. This is going to scare your wife for a couple of weeks.
I have three thoughts:
If my plane gave me a warning, the brownout before the blackout I would not fly her again until I was sure it was going to respond.
I never ever use 4.8 v batteries with 2.4 systems
I has a couple of problems before w the AR 600, 620. I think there was a defective group 1 yr ago. It was even recalled.

I agree with you, if I crash a plane due to dumb thumbs it hurts but a receiver issue is devastating
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Old 04-22-2012, 03:03 PM
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Default RE: Lost a plane today

Battery technology has evolved to save weight and provide extended time duration. Nicad and Nimh don't measure up on these two accounts. New technology and old technology have there place in our hobby and should never be used as a sales gimmick. I have used both types but I prefere the old technology for safety and ease of operation. As far as the new technology used in our airborne system it occurred for convenience and cost. Remember 2.4 GHZ is a shared frequency used by others in the communication industry. I still fly on 72mhz but only use the top end receivers and transmitters and have never experienced a problem. I can't address the problem the poster had with his system but he is not alone and that is a fact not fiction.
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Old 04-22-2012, 03:17 PM
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Default RE: Lost a plane today



Sorry for your loss.....

We have a saying in our club, friends don't let friends fly spectrum! We
have seen many ( more the 10) planes with spectrum go down ( not with newbie pilots either).... even with 6 volt batteries.

I hope the new DSMX system will be kinder to spectrum buyers in the future.

Chris923
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Old 04-22-2012, 03:54 PM
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Default RE: Lost a plane today

Wow, not to use 4.8V with 2.4 is news to me. I have three older planes with 4.8V Rx batteries. Two of them are 60-size warbirds which use JR retract servos that are only rated for 4.8V. These are fairly complex planes tht use 7 or 8 channels for flaps, retracts, etc. Quite a few flights, never a brown out or any other sign of problems. One spectrum and two JR receivers.

These planes have fairly good size NIMH packs (~2100mAh) that have been well taken care of, but the packs are 3 - 5 years old. I had one of the mechanical retracts bind up last month (worn out Robarts) and it did not cause a brown out (and least nothing I noticed flying the plane).

Greg
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Old 04-22-2012, 04:02 PM
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I buy them (lottery tickets)all the time........not much luck there......One of my planes is a quarter scale nosen kit....So far, so good..........now that I said something, watch what happens.........and it's going to be all your fault..........LOL
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Old 04-22-2012, 04:33 PM
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Has anyone read where any radio supplier states in their liteture  not to use 4.8 volt battery packs with 2.4 radio systems. I have gone to 6.0 volt NiMH packs due to what I have read on this forum. I have not found any informatio on batter use with my DX7 or DX8  literature re 6.0 volt battery use. I think a clear statemen from radio suppliers not to use 4.8 volt rx batterys would go a long way in confidence building for their product..
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Old 04-22-2012, 04:44 PM
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Quote:
ORIGINAL: BuschBarber


Quote:
ORIGINAL: Mpizpilot

Futaba 3003's and just a 4.8v nimh pack. Nothing crazy in this plane, no binding on linkages.
I would not think the 3003's would put much of a load on the Rx, but it is wiser to use 6v batteries instead of 4.8v batteries. If the servos won't handle 6v, then use a voltage regulator. It is especially important to know what the Max Current your system is drawing and use Rx batteries with more than enough Capacity.
I know Five (5) 3003 servos will brown out the RX on a 4.8V AA RX pack.
Even without the servos hitting the stops it sags the 4.8V batt enough to be an issue.

Now, I use a pair of 6.0V 2100mah packs on seperate switches in all of my planes.

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Old 04-22-2012, 05:57 PM
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Sorry bout the loss but it is pretty well known that spektrum receivers and 4.8 volt packs are dangerous when mixed... THere just isnt enough voltage between operating and reboot.. Do yourself a favor and switch to life packs.. I have ran a bunch of older servos on them- even a couple of retract servos and they are fine.. On some of the older futaba servos i have seen them jump around a bit the first 30 seconds or so after turning on after a quick charge but they settle down as the pack voltage stabilizes..
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Old 04-22-2012, 06:07 PM
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Quote:
ORIGINAL: flycatch

Battery technology has evolved to save weight and provide extended time duration. Nicad and Nimh don't measure up on these two accounts. New technology and old technology have there place in our hobby and should never be used as a sales gimmick. I have used both types but I prefere the old technology for safety and ease of operation.
I believe the newer technologies also improve safety through failsafes, higher data rates/wider channels, better signal quality and reduced susceptibility to environmental issues such as vibration.

Quote:
Remember 2.4 GHZ is a shared frequency used by others in the communication industry. I still fly on 72mhz but only use the top end receivers and transmitters and have never experienced a problem.
You do realize that there are other 72MHz band users besides model aircraft, I hope. Wireless microphones, for instance. (Hopefully) unintentional simultaneous use of the same frequency by another pilot will shoot you down in an instant - with 2.4gHz, the equipment "time shares" and will ride through a collision with other transmitters. Even interference from adjacent channels and/or harmonics can disrupt 72MHz.

CW communications may be much easier to understand, but it's also much easier to shoot somebody down. The rules of the road for 2.4gHz ensure that far more users can access the band than was possible with old designs.

One thing that 2.4gHz equipment has done for you is that most of the modelers have moved up to it, allowing far fewer users to have to worry about at the frequency board.

Andy
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Old 04-22-2012, 06:17 PM
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Quote:
 Now you tell me.........been using 4.8 for 2 years now.....Boy am I dumb.......I should have been crashing...... 
Sebo, some of us caught your sarcasm [8D] and know what you're getting at.

I've yet to see a 2.4 system spell out '6.0 V only', and have seen many 2.4 flights on 4.8 packs. That said, I've backed into using 6V packs (eek! nicad & nimh!) for better servo speed, but have always made sure the receivers and servos were up to it.

You don't get longer duration from 6V either, just faster speed. The increased duration thing is a myth. Think unicorns.
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Old 04-22-2012, 07:13 PM
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Quote:
ORIGINAL: eddieC

Quote:
Now you tell me.........been using 4.8 for 2 years now.....Boy am I dumb.......I should have been crashing......
Sebo, some of us caught your sarcasm [8D] and know what you're getting at.

I've yet to see a 2.4 system spell out '6.0 V only', and have seen many 2.4 flights on 4.8 packs. That said, I've backed into using 6V packs (eek! nicad & nimh!) for better servo speed, but have always made sure the receivers and servos were up to it.

You don't get longer duration from 6V either, just faster speed. The increased duration thing is a myth. Think unicorns.
I know I have seen some 2.4 manufacturer's recommending the use of 6v Rx batteries. When Brownouts were first identified, the firmware in the receivers were updated to keep the Reboot time to a second or so. It was also pointed out that the high current draw on the Rx could cause the Rx voltage to drop below critical and force a reboot. Everyone was advised to make sure the capacity of their Rx batteries was more than sufficient to avoid a rapid voltage drop and subsequent Brownout if conditions forced an extreme current draw on the Rx. It was also advised that using 6v Rx packs instead of 4.8v packs would also help prevent a Brownout.

While this advice may not have come directly from the manufacturers, why risk using 4.8v packs to save a couple of bucks. It makes sense to use 6v Rx packs. Most Spektrum receivers warn you, if a Brownout has occurred, with a Blinking light. Failsafe does not kick in if you have a Brownout.

Check out A.T. website or Red Schofield's web site and see what is posted about 2.4 Rx batteries.
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Old 04-22-2012, 07:40 PM
  #25
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I wasn't being sarcastic...........................I just guess that ignorance works for some people (being me).
Seriously, I never knew any better 'till now.......I will probably go with 6 volts the next time I buy a battery..
My 4.8 volt batteries charge up to 5.7 and 5.9.....Maybe my meter is in error....I don't know, but I won't change anything until I do encounter a problem.
I've been flying since the late 1970's and only lost one plane due to battery failure........and that was because I had a dead/bad cell.
Sorry if I offended anyone..........just telling it like it is.
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