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Spektrum DX9 Telemetry Possible Report Error?

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Old 05-20-2017, 12:40 AM
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djmp69
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Default Spektrum DX9 Telemetry Possible Report Error?

I put "possible" in the title because it might be user error. Using a DX9 with an AR9030T RX. I got it set up easy enough, and the voice alerts tell me what I want to know with exceptions, and herein lies my confusion. For status, everything is fine but it does not warn of anything. Meaning, if the battery or switch goes out for example, if I disconnect the battery or just turn the switch to off, the DX9 just keeps repeating the voltage STATUS as if the battery were still connected and operating just fine--it doesn't go into WARNING mode. Same with fades/holds. Now, the GUI shows that there is no voltage in this case, but that is pointless if I'm flying--I want to keep my eyes on the plane, which is the whole point of the voice alerts. Not to mention, if I have a switch go bad or a loss of power, I want to know about it immediately. I guess flight log helps in retrospect, but that does nothing for me in the moment.

Something tells me that I don't have something set right or activated, help please?

Thanks In Advance
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Old 05-22-2017, 08:27 AM
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AndyKunz
 
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It's a bug in the current version. It's corrected for the next version. The workaround was posted in February on RCG : https://www.rcgroups.com/forums/show...ostcount=44966

If the workaround isn't enough, roll back to the previous version ("A") because that doesn't have the issue. That's why both versions are still on the web.

Hope that helps!

Andy
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Old 05-22-2017, 11:53 AM
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Wow, back in February and still no fix? By "version" I assume you mean the airware version? I tried the "clear" method, didn't work. I turned on the radio, powered up the RX, scrolled over to the Max/min telemetry screen and pressed clear, nothing changed. I'd rather not roll back to a previous version that was replaced by the current version make things "better", any idea when "the next version" will be available? Are there any other issues with this RX? I just checked the website, looks like the updates are up to 1.11? My TX is sill 1.07, so it looks like a problem that's been there for a while. I'd try an update, but as my system is otherwise working fine, I'm a little hesitant to introduce other "problems".

Don't get me wrong, I do appreciate the suggestions, just a little apprehensive about using a setup with problems that have been known and no fix for almost 5 months.

Thanks again!
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Old 05-22-2017, 12:09 PM
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UPDATE: Just had a thought... the version of which you speak, is that the firmware for the TX or the RX? I forgot receivers can be updated as well...
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Old 05-22-2017, 04:53 PM
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Originally Posted by djmp69 View Post
Wow, back in February and still no fix? By "version" I assume you mean the airware version? I tried the "clear" method, didn't work. I turned on the radio, powered up the RX, scrolled over to the Max/min telemetry screen and pressed clear, nothing changed. I'd rather not roll back to a previous version that was replaced by the current version make things "better", any idea when "the next version" will be available? Are there any other issues with this RX? I just checked the website, looks like the updates are up to 1.11? My TX is sill 1.07, so it looks like a problem that's been there for a while. I'd try an update, but as my system is otherwise working fine, I'm a little hesitant to introduce other "problems".

Don't get me wrong, I do appreciate the suggestions, just a little apprehensive about using a setup with problems that have been known and no fix for almost 5 months.

Thanks again!
Transmitter - I don't work on the receiver team.

The fix was made back in February, shortly after we became aware of it. Fixes are not published except about every 9 months on average, though there is no set calendar date for them.

Sounds like you missed three updates.

Andy
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Old 05-22-2017, 07:19 PM
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Got it. I was just confused because you said the "workaround" was posted back in Feb, and the way I read it was that the fix in the new version hasn't come out yet. Big whoops. Ok, so ill update and catch up with the rest of the world, lol. Hope that does it,

Thanks again Andy!
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Old 05-24-2017, 01:20 AM
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OK, so I've updated to 1.11, now everythings wonky, as I feared would happen, and the telemetry is behaving exactly the same.

First, all my custom sounds disappeared. No worries, had to re-import them. Minor 5 minute annoyance. Next, now whenever I stop my timer, she says, "Timer stopped", and then REALLY loud yells "VOLUME 100", and the volume indicator flashes so that I'm in change-the-volume mode. Sure, having a choice of different buttons is cool, but just about every other switch or control on my TX I use during preflight, so no sense in starting the timer when I'm not even flying yet. I guess I could use the bind button, but that button has always made me nervous unless I'm actually binding.

THEN, all my models' throttles have this annoying loud beep at mid stick. Ok cool, gotta go thru all 20 of them and change it somehow. Not sure how, but I'm sure there's a way. There'd better be a way. PITA, but not the end of the world.

Only spirits know what else this update has changed.

EXCEPT, what it was supposed to have changed--that, it didn't even try.

She still reports the last known voltage, 0 fades, 0 holds, etc like nothing is wrong, every minute, even when the battery is disconnected from the receiver. When I disconnect the battery, the GUI takes about 5-10 seconds to show no voltage (of course by that time your aircraft is in the ground, and you still have no idea what happened), but max/min page and voice alert still say whatever voltage the battery was at before I disconnected it. I even let it sit for a while in case it needed to catch up. Still said the same thing for three minutes. I tried the hitting-the-clear-button-on-the-max/min-screen method, and it did clear the GUI values, but the TX still reported that I had healthy battery voltage. So I tried repopulating with auto-config. Of course, you can't remove that "sensor" from the list because its integrated, and the DX9 won't let you "empty" that entry, but I thought reautoconfiging might help.
Nope. Reee Jected.

So seems like I'm now in a worse position with the 1.11 version than the 1.07 version, maybe shoulda stayed at 4 firmwares ago? Any ideas how to get this system working normal and correctly?
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Old 05-24-2017, 02:04 AM
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UPDATE:
I tried rebinding, no joy, same performance. I tried auto-config in both function and system--of course in system list RF is interrupted, and the RX has to be sending for auto-config to work, so that won't work. It seems as if the receiver is just destined to send out the last known information and that's that. Which is pointless in a bottom line scenario. It might seem anal, but it would help to know what happens when it happens instead of trying to figure it out with pieces of an aircraft that is once again a kit, which is what I thought part of the advantage of telemetry was. If there's something I'm missing, I really hope that's the case, please someone let me know!

Gotta get some sleep now, but the only thing I can think of is maybe somehow finding out if there is an update for the RX, if there is one update it, hopefully that helps?
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Old 05-24-2017, 05:42 AM
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1) Custom sounds - that's always the case when you change the sound file.
2) Did you press BACK instead of CLEAR to reset the timer? The BACK button on the main screen has been access to the volume control as long as we've had volume control.
3) The spirits know because the read the PDF
4) The voltage, like RPM, is filtered and therefore the display does not show instantaneous change; however, the alarms are based on the immediate value received from the device. Always been this way, always will be.
5) You can turn off the Rx Voltage report by going into the screen and turning it off there.

The problem I thought you were trying to solve was that you weren't getting an alarm when the voltage is low. That's what CLEAR on the Min/Max screen is the workaround for. Next version has it corrected, as noted earlier. If you don't have a receiver giving you telemetry data, IT CANT'T ALARM! This is because of (4) above. The alarms are generated as telemetry is received. No telemetry, no alarm.

Andy
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Old 05-24-2017, 12:11 PM
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Exactly my points.

(2) As you said, the back button "...has been access to the volume control as long as we've had volume control." However, for the past two years that I have been using the DX9, whenever I hit back button to start or stop the timer, the voice alert has NEVER said anything else except "timer start" or "timer stop". Since the update, it yells "VOLUME" after saying "timer stop", and there seems to not be a way to change it. If there's a way to stop the "volume" voice alert and make it like it was before the update, please let me know

(3) I say the spirits know, because the update changed things that are not covered in the pdf--I know because I did read the PDF and a few things I experienced are not in it

Now the main event, lol

(4 and 5) What I mean by turn off, I mean for auto-config. If you have to redo it, I read that you go into the list, "remove" the sensor from the list (make the slot empty), and auto-config again. I've read so many posts where this has fixed issues. But not in this case. As far as I've been able to find, youu can't empty the RX Voltage slot. If there's a way to do this, please let me know.

And you are correct, the problem I'm trying to solve is that there's no alarm when the voltage is low. . It's great to have knowledge of your RX voltage, when it gets low, too low, etc. BUT, if your power system fails, ISN'T THAT LOW VOLTAGE? So low as to no voltage? If it really is as you explain it, then that's pretty pointless. Why would the TX keep reporting something that's not there? If there's no power, why can't the TX not realize that it's no longer getting information? Imagine a rock or something blowing a hole in your gas tank, but your gas gauge still reads that your tank is just about full? You said that "If you don' have a receiver giving you telemetry data, IT CANT'T ALARM!" Which, again is exactly my point. If there's an interruption (power out), there should at least be some kind of warning like "telemetry stopped" or "telemetry failed" available. Or here's a good one, "No receiver voltage" or "Receiver Voltage zero". I understand that there will be a lag, since it takes time for the communication. I'm just glad that lag isn't there when I'm trying to control my plane. BUT, in the case where there's a catastrophic event, there's no way of telling what happened if the TX keeps reporting that everything is fine, especially if everything is in pieces on the ground. I know, I know, that's the same as if I didn't have a telemetry capable RX, but that's what I bought this for, and now I do have a telemetry capable RX, that's how the DX9 and others like it are advertised.
I know i can be done, because other systems do it. I guess that's why I'm having such a hard time with this. I have actually witnessed two different systems in particular that do this--if you switch off the power, an alarm sounds, and the TX actually tells you that the receiver voltage is low, then that it's zero. So it IS possible to have an alarm without telemetry data. One system I saw do this is actually comparably priced to Spektrum, so it can't be a price issue. Now if this has been addressed in an update, I guess I'll wait for almost another year for it to work as it should. But if not, Spektrum might want to take a hint from other systems, as they seemed to have gotten such a seemingly simple thing right. I'm just saying, Spektrum is really good in so many other areas, this small improvement would make it that much better and do what it claims to do totally.

Thanks again
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Old 05-24-2017, 12:22 PM
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I just thought of something. What you're saying can't be right, because If I switch off the battery, or disconnect it, the battery icon on the DX9 screen goes empty instead of showing a grayed in area indicating power. So Why can't there be an alarm for it? So it seems that there CAN be an alarm. It's done graphically, Spektrum just needs to incorporate an audible, because you shouldn't be looking at your screen while you're flying, you should be looking at your craft. More importantly, if there's no power, wouldn't that create fades or frame losses, even holds? True, because if I cut the power, then reconnect, the DX9 reports holds and F-losses.

It can be done...

Last edited by djmp69; 05-24-2017 at 12:23 PM. Reason: typo
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Old 05-25-2017, 11:06 AM
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Just heard from product support at HH, finally got a handle on this. It could have been done, but just wasn't done for logistical reasons. There's no audible alarm to keep from being annoying basically. They explained that if there was an audible, every time the TX was turned on, the alarm would sound if the RX wasn't on. For example if you wanted to just check something, or make an adjustment and didn't need to turn the plane on. Or every time you finished a flight and turned off the plane, the alarm would sound. This does make sense, but it just seems like the option should at least be there, and a way to cancel the alarm. Like for example, hitting clear. That would also help with the "oops, I left my radio turned on," which happens a lot. I know there's the "system idle" alarm, but the DX9 is capable of so many other redundancies, why not one more? Couldn't hurt.

Now, anyone know of how to get rid of the pesky "VOLUME" voice every time I hit the back button so it can work the way it used to?
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Old 06-02-2017, 07:23 AM
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Sorry, I've been offline for a bit due to not having access to a machine. I think you're probably better off getting your answers from the guy who designed the radio, but whatever.

The way the system works is that it requires a positive data indicating a fault condition in order to alarm. What that means is, it requires reception of a value that falls into the alarm range in order to generate a particular alarm.

The fact that the icon goes away doesn't mean that the voltage is low. It means that the data is not being received. Those are two very different conditions. You don't want a low voltage alarm because you flew outside of telemetry range. For that you would want a telemetry range alarm (google "Spektrum Telemetry Range Warning" for more info), or a "no telemetry" alarm (we do not generate this as an alarm).

How is the system to determine if the lack of telemetry data is due to there being no power to the receiver, or to the transmitter having a temporary loss of telemetry signal? It can't. Therefore, to generate a low voltage alarm when it stops getting data would be erroneous.

I'm sorry that you do not like the way our system provides telemetry data. I do maintain a database of customer suggestions for new features and changes - it has over 200 items in it right now, and it's the source for many of the improvements that are in the next release. Most of those requests are posted on RCGroups in the Radios forum, and many others have come in via e-mail or other direct customer requests. A good number of them have come from me and my cow-orkers.

Andy
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Old 06-02-2017, 10:08 AM
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"I think you're probably better off getting your answers from the guy who designed the radio, but whatever,"? This is the section of the forum that is labelled "Radio Manufacturer Direct Support" is it not? Silly me for being in the wrong spot.

At any rate, I understand how it's designed to work. It doesn't work like other systems do, with COMPLETE telemetry. I get what you're saying, and again, I'll point out that it's not that it's impossible to do, the system just isn't designed to do it. Other systems are designed that way, and that's fine. Like with other shortcomings of Spektrum I have learned to live with it and work with it. Everyone has to do that no matter which brand of equipment they use. My issue is that if your aircraft has a catastrophic event, how are you supposed to figure out if it goes dead-stick because the power system failed, or if it was due to radio signal interruption? In both cases as far as I know, a dead-stick can be the result, and while you most likely won't be able to rebuild the bird, at least knowing such information would be helpful in knowing what to do with the next one or things to avoid. I have two aircraft right now that went in for whatever reason, and I'll never know what happened. Wasn't doing anything crazy, no reason for them to go in except power failure or signal interruption. Simultaneous power failure from two separate sources? I think not. But I'll never know. That's why I bought this telemetry setup, to aid in figuring that out.

If there is a power outage, even if the RX can't transmit telemetry because there's no power, the TX still has power and knows the last known telemetry sent. So if there's a power failure before any holds or too many frame losses or any other signal problems, the TX could warn of that.

It's not so much that I don't like the way the system works, I'm trying to understand if it's because what I'm looking for is not possible or if it's because I'm doing something the wrong way. If the answers I get don't make sense to me, I'm going to question those answers to better understand what's going on. If something doesn't make sense to me, I'm going to try to figure out why, and that means part of that quest is to seek answers from the company. You, as a representative of the company, and being in the Radio Manufacturer DIRECT SUPPORT section of the forums are part of that quest.

Andy, you have always been really helpful, and I appreciate that. In that respect, I'm going to be cautious and try not to take your responses as dismissive and condescending. On this issue however, I think we're destined to not understand each other, so I'll put this one to bed. Thanks for your help thus far and in the future.
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Old 06-02-2017, 10:52 AM
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Definitely not dismissive and with no intent toward condescending. Our Product Support people are good. Several of them follow me on RCGroups because it gives me a forum to provide all the information that is missing from our manuals. We're all on the same team, but we come from different angles.

When you are flying and lose control due to a power loss, you generally don't care right that second what happened. You want to still pilot the aircraft even though it doesn't respond. That's why you have a telemetry log file to review to review data afterwards. And believe me, those are a wonderful analysis tool.

Total and complete loss of power is an unusual event. I have never seen it outside of another far greater catastrophic failure, but I've seen brown-outs develop both on the sticks and in a log file. Those are easily tracked. If power goes away suddenly, you are going to see it too late to do anything anyway. Don't get hung up on the one-in-a-zillion and lose sight of the common, helpful stuff.

The telemetry log file is going to help you know why you lost power, as part of a complete review of the crash site including checking wiring conditions, connections, switches, and remaining power if possible. Failures like that are few and far between. But no amount of telemetry can tell you why all the time.

I had a friend who accidentally half-discharged his rx/servo pack before taking off. He went in. He had assumed that his transmitter or receiver failed. He had no idea until we were looking at the log file - then it was obvious. The log file showed his battery voltage dropping rapidly as the gear came up, and then continuing on down. Nothing would have saved his plane once he started his takeoff roll. Alarm? Set too low, and he never did an "all gauges" check before take-off. Full-scale uses a preflight for a reason... If only he had looked and seen the voltage at start-up!

Another guy thought he had a radio failure. He did - all the wires were burned by the turbine exhaust because the duct came loose in flight. A photo of his last pass showed it sticking out the tail at an odd angle. Telemetry looked great until everything was shorted out. 3 seconds to fireball - telemetry wouldn't matter. A photo answered all the questions, but how many people fly with cameras taking snapshots continuously? Telemetry isn't going to answer all your questions, but the log file is going to go a long way in the right direction. Much better than instantly knowing your receiver stopped communicating several seconds ago (telemetry loss isn't captured instantaneously - it takes a few seconds for it to expire the data).

If you want to see how telemetry is going to help you, do a more realistic scenario for the 99.999% of us. Put a power supply on your system, and drop the voltage over a couple seconds from "good" to "bad." You'll see the alarm on your transmitter. You'll get the "low battery" speech. That's how systems fail in flight. If the power goes from "all is well" to "nothing" in 22ms, look for a shoe bomb in the rubble, or Russian SAM sites nearby.

Andy
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Old 06-02-2017, 10:55 AM
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Originally Posted by djmp69 View Post
It's not so much that I don't like the way the system works, I'm trying to understand if it's because what I'm looking for is not possible or if it's because I'm doing something the wrong way.
Cutting power instantaneously is not how power failures happen in virtually all flights, so doing that in my mind would be "wrong way." That's why I suggested the power supply in the previous post.

If the answers I get don't make sense to me, I'm going to question those answers to better understand what's going on. If something doesn't make sense to me, I'm going to try to figure out why, and that means part of that quest is to seek answers from the company.
Hopefully my message above was sufficient in attaining that goal.

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Old 07-26-2017, 12:35 PM
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Originally Posted by AndyKunz View Post
Cutting power instantaneously is not how power failures happen in virtually all flights, so doing that in my mind would be "wrong way." That's why I suggested the power supply in the previous post.



Hopefully my message above was sufficient in attaining that goal.

Andy
I was just wondering abou the event where the battery becomes disconnected suddenly, you know, a lead pulls loose, etc. Now that should not happen if you set up your plane correctly I know, but things happen. I think I have finally wrapped my head around this, Andy, correct me if I'm wrong, please. But it seems like what you're saying is that if the plane stops responding due to a signal interruption, I would know because of the frame losses/holds alarms. In that case, I would most likely have some kind of warning that the signal is degrading before loss, and I should land quick. BUT if the plane stops responding, and I haven't heard the frames/hold alarms, that would indicate that most likely there was a sudden power failure. Hope I'm right, and finally understand the design? If so, I guess I was just confused because of the way a few other systems work and alert to various situations in a different way. Again, thanx for our patience and help.
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Old 07-26-2017, 01:10 PM
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Originally Posted by djmp69 View Post
I was just wondering abou the event where the battery becomes disconnected suddenly, you know, a lead pulls loose, etc. Now that should not happen if you set up your plane correctly I know, but things happen.
In the event of a battery becoming disconnected, the transmitter isn't going to be able to tell you much of anything useful. QOS data is not transmitted constantly. It's like everything else - it has to take its turn for a packet to ride in. Read the Spektrum Telemetry PDF for more detail on that.

If you're using the Public Beta version released last Friday and you have a telemetry loss alarm configured, then it at most could tell you that telemetry data isn't coming - several seconds after your plane stopped talking. But if it was a total power failure, unless you're in a glider you already know your plane isn't responding.

I think I have finally wrapped my head around this, Andy, correct me if I'm wrong, please. But it seems like what you're saying is that if the plane stops responding due to a signal interruption, I would know because of the frame losses/holds alarms.
Perhaps. It could also be that you went out of telemetry range, or that the antennas' orientation to one another was poor, or that a slow power loss that wasn't set to alarm occurred but due to telemetry sensors never had an opportunity to be sent down.

You could be using the Signal Strength alarm to know that if your aircraft is within telemetry range. That function came out in November 2016.

In that case, I would most likely have some kind of warning that the signal is degrading before loss, and I should land quick.
Signal doesn't degrade in a digital system. It's all there, or it's not there at all.

Back in the old MHz days with FM you can feel the plane getting hits. Controls become sluggish and jumpy.

When PCM came out, people complained about the fact that they didn't know they were getting glitches (either on-frequency interference or low signals from the tx). In a PCM system, it's all or nothing. Same deal with 2.4gHz.

However, signal strength does change - but that's really not too important because our systems operate below the noise floor. In a relatively clean RF environment you can use signal strength properly, and our system supports that. (See the Signal alarm in the Flight Log section of the Telemetry config). You could set a signal strength alarm - use either dBm or %R (%Range) mode rather than RSSI (%) mode for best results.

If you feel like control is degrading, there are a number of other places to look first. Most often it is due to servos being over-loaded (aerodynamic loading), servos with bad gear trains, batteries with insufficient current-sourcing capability, under-sized wires that are limiting current, an under-sized BEC, or bad switches in the power system.

BUT if the plane stops responding, and I haven't heard the frames/hold alarms, that would indicate that most likely there was a sudden power failure.
Not necessarily. It could also mean that you went out of telemetry range, or that the antennas' orientation to one another was poor, or that a slow power loss that wasn't set to alarm occurred. Those are more likely imho.

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Old 07-27-2017, 11:22 PM
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MAN, that's some really helpful info Andy, thank you very much! I think I'm getting the hang of this telemetry stuff now. I'll be sure to look into the signal strength alarm, good heads up! Of course just like all the other Spektrum morsels, it is a tool and shouldn't be a crutch or replacement. And knowing nester how to use the tool is key, so thanx again for steering me straight!
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