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  1. #26
    rhklenke's Avatar
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    RE: Weatronics....considering a change .is it worth the investment?


    ORIGINAL: Woketman

    Bob, I fly Futaba so I am NOT bashing Futaba. But what I find inescusable is that the top brands do not give a real time indication of signal quality. Some sort of alarm to let you know that the signal being received in the aircraft is getting weaker than a set amount. Maybe the new Futaba 18 does this, but certainly not my 12FG. Weatronics allows you to see this. Were it not for the legendary crappy customer service, I'd be flying brand W.
    Well now that there is telemetry in the Futaba systems, I too would like to see signal strength as one of the parameters that could be sent/stored. However, I have *never* had a occasion where I wanted to see it, so not having it was not a big deal to me. The FASST RF link has been rock-solid for me in much more harsh environments that typical RC applications, so I have not had the desire to monitor the signal strength.

    The data is out there on the receiver sensitivity of the FASST system vs. its closest competitor and it is so far superior that its no wonder the FASST link performs better. Before I'd go to any other system, I'd want to be sure that it had similar performance. *That* is the best way to prevent loss-of-link, so I'd want to be sure that I was not giving up that quality just to get telemetry...

    Bob

  2. #27
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    RE: Weatronics....considering a change .is it worth the investment?


    ORIGINAL: rhklenke


    ORIGINAL: Woketman

    Bob, I fly Futaba so I am NOT bashing Futaba. But what I find inescusable is that the top brands do not give a real time indication of signal quality. Some sort of alarm to let you know that the signal being received in the aircraft is getting weaker than a set amount. Maybe the new Futaba 18 does this, but certainly not my 12FG. Weatronics allows you to see this. Were it not for the legendary crappy customer service, I'd be flying brand W.
    Well now that there is telemetry in the Futaba systems, I too would like to see signal strength as one of the parameters that could be sent/stored. However, I have *never* had a occasion where I wanted to see it, so not having it was not a big deal to me. The FASST RF link has been rock-solid for me in much more harsh environments that typical RC applications, so I have not had the desire to monitor the signal strength.

    The data is out there on the receiver sensitivity of the FASST system vs. its closest competitor and it is so far superior that its no wonder the FASST link performs better. Before I'd go to any other system, I'd want to be sure that it had similar performance. *That* is the best way to prevent loss-of-link, so I'd want to be sure that I was not giving up that quality just to get telemetry...

    Bob
    Bob, where can you find this data? I checked the Futaba site and it only lists dimensions, current draw, weight. Weatronics lists receiver sensitivity at -100db. Thats pretty darn sensitive. I'd like to see how it compares to Futaba and others.

    Mike


  3. #28
    rhklenke's Avatar
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    RE: Weatronics....considering a change .is it worth the investment?


    ORIGINAL: luv2flyrc


    ORIGINAL: rhklenke


    ORIGINAL: Woketman

    Bob, I fly Futaba so I am NOT bashing Futaba. But what I find inescusable is that the top brands do not give a real time indication of signal quality. Some sort of alarm to let you know that the signal being received in the aircraft is getting weaker than a set amount. Maybe the new Futaba 18 does this, but certainly not my 12FG. Weatronics allows you to see this. Were it not for the legendary crappy customer service, I'd be flying brand W.
    Well now that there is telemetry in the Futaba systems, I too would like to see signal strength as one of the parameters that could be sent/stored. However, I have *never* had a occasion where I wanted to see it, so not having it was not a big deal to me. The FASST RF link has been rock-solid for me in much more harsh environments that typical RC applications, so I have not had the desire to monitor the signal strength.

    The data is out there on the receiver sensitivity of the FASST system vs. its closest competitor and it is so far superior that its no wonder the FASST link performs better. Before I'd go to any other system, I'd want to be sure that it had similar performance. *That* is the best way to prevent loss-of-link, so I'd want to be sure that I was not giving up that quality just to get telemetry...

    Bob
    Bob, where can you find this data? I checked the Futaba site and it only lists dimensions, current draw, weight. Weatronics lists receiver sensitivity at -100db. Thats pretty darn sensitive. I'd like to see how it compares to Futaba and others.

    Mike

    This was posted by Turbotronic WRT the new JR DMSS vs. Spektrum. I thought that I recalled seeing a -100(ish)dB number for FASST too, but I can't seem to find it now...

    ORIGINAL: Turbotronic

    JR DMSS is a completely different design to spectrum. Internally the RF front end is by Texas Instruments not Cypress. In fact the same RF front end as Weatronics for example. The RX has 2 complete RF sections for diversity on seperate identical PCB's. In principle these boards could have been sattelites like spektrum since they use a 4 wire bus as does the telemetry units.
    The Ti chipsets have the ability to be truly FHSS in the sense they can maintain a very high rate of channel switches while using all the available channels. Sensitivity is 105DB as opposed to 96 for Cypress. A massive difference.
    From a purely technical aspect in terms of technology used it is on par with weatronics and probably a slight edge on Futaba (which has a single RF front end with switching antenna).
    Finally JR saw the light on Spekrum. Now I can happily be proud of JR again.
    Make no mistake. This is by far better than anything Spectrum has to offer.
    Andre

  4. #29

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    RE: Weatronics....considering a change .is it worth the investment?

    That is crazy. I don't care how technically superior the equipment is SUPPOSED to be, I want proof! I wanna see the signal strength or some way to KNOW how much margin I have in the link, not just blindly saying that my gear is the best.

  5. #30
    rhklenke's Avatar
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    RE: Weatronics....considering a change .is it worth the investment?


    ORIGINAL: Woketman

    That is crazy. I don't care how technically superior the equipment is SUPPOSED to be, I want proof! I wanna see the signal strength or some way to KNOW how much margin I have in the link, not just blindly saying that my gear is the best.

    Really? How much data did you have back in the 72 MHz days? These 2.4 links are *vastly* superior to the old 72 MHz links. I understand that you may want the data, but I have enough experience with this kind of stuff to know that I, personally, don't need to see it. That's not "crazy," its just my opinion - based on a lot of experience.

    Probably the difference is that I see FASST work way beyond the distance that I can see a 13' wingspan aircraft on a routine basis, and that's plenty of proof to me and tells me *much* more that a record of signal strength on a typical RC flight ever would. YMMV...

    Bob

  6. #31

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    RE: Weatronics....considering a change .is it worth the investment?


    ORIGINAL: BaldEagel

    "The data told us that the cause of my lock out and subsequent crash was due to poor signal strength. I do see this as being a real advantage over other systems because if I did not have this data, I would have had to diagnose the crash by eliminating all of the items that can cause a lockout. Batteries, cables, plugs etc would all be suspects. With the data that the Wea system provides, we could at least narrow it to the Tx/Rx link."

    Also not trying to be a jerk, but if the RF link was good enough to transmit/receive data why was it not good enough to drive some servo's?

    Mike
    Valid question, I would add with all the telemetry why was there no warning if the signal quality was bad the whole flight? I was under the impression this was the case.
    Andre


  7. #32

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    RE: Weatronics....considering a change .is it worth the investment?

    You are correct: we did not have any down linked data back in the 72 MHz days. I also did not have a smart phone then. Does that mean that I am all for giving up my smart phone now? Of course not! Technology marches on! The capability to give us this info is there and I feel that it is almost unforgivable that brand F does not let us use it. Again, you may say/think that Futaba's link is so very good, I want the proof! You are probably correct 99.5% of the time. The downlinked signal data would be primarily for the 0.5% of the time that you are wrong. Or at least for attempting to avoid that 0.5%!

  8. #33
    luv2flyrc's Avatar
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    RE: Weatronics....considering a change .is it worth the investment?


    ORIGINAL: rhklenke


    ORIGINAL: Woketman

    That is crazy. I don't care how technically superior the equipment is SUPPOSED to be, I want proof! I wanna see the signal strength or some way to KNOW how much margin I have in the link, not just blindly saying that my gear is the best.

    Really? How much data did you have back in the 72 MHz days? These 2.4 links are *vastly* superior to the old 72 MHz links. I understand that you may want the data, but I have enough experience with this kind of stuff to know that I, personally, don't need to see it. That's not "crazy," its just my opinion - based on a lot of experience.

    Probably the difference is that I see FASST work way beyond the distance that I can see a 13' wingspan aircraft on a routine basis, and that's plenty of proof to me and tells me *much* more that a record of signal strength on a typical RC flight ever would. YMMV...

    Bob
    I have to respectfully disagree, I would much rather have the information telling me that the link is good rather than blind faith based on the system's good performance history. Don't forget, that even though you have never experienced an RF link failure with Futaba, other people have , many of them having many successful flights before the one failure.

    I flew JR/Spektrum DSM2 in all my planes for years and it performed flawlessly. I switched the jets to Weatronic for the added features and security but, still fly the giant aerobatic stuff on DSM2 with never a glitch. Still I can't discount the fact that other's have had failures.

    I'm sure Weatronic can fail too but, the difference is you will know what happened or what didn't happen ie. battery failure, servo lock up etc.

    Mike


  9. #34
    rhklenke's Avatar
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    RE: Weatronics....considering a change .is it worth the investment?


    ORIGINAL: luv2flyrc

    I have to respectfully disagree, I would much rather have the information telling me that the link is good rather than blind faith based on the system's good performance history. Don't forget, that even though you have never experienced an RF link failure with Futaba, other people have , many of them having many successful flights before the one failure.

    I flew JR/Spektrum DSM2 in all my planes for years and it performed flawlessly. I switched the jets to Weatronic for the added features and security but, still fly the giant aerobatic stuff on DSM2 with never a glitch. Still I can't discount the fact that other's have had failures.Β*

    I'm sure Weatronic can fail too but, the difference is you will know what happened or what didn't happen ie. battery failure, servo lock up etc.

    Mike

    I didn't mean to imply that I wouldn't like to have the information, I just don't *have* to have it to have faith in the system. Also, in my case, its *not* blind faith, it is very well informed faith based on extensive use beyond what the system sees in every-day RC use. Based on that, I'm certainly not going to change to another system that I have no experience with just because it can tell me how good or bad the link is during flight. If I wanted that, I'd have changed to Spektrum, but why would I go to a worse link just because it has telemetry?!?! That would be crazy...

    Bob

  10. #35
    Lance Campbell's Avatar
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    RE: Weatronics....considering a change .is it worth the investment?

    The company is certainly full of challenges to work with and get support from, but after using their systems for the last few years, in my Futaba 14mz, I'd be hard pressed to give it up.
    It's been like there has been this curtain pulled back, and I can see what's really going on.

    For example, I can look at signal strength on each antennae and connect that with its gps location, essentially being able to 'fly' it around it's recorded track on a laptop afterwards, and see weak area's.

    I've fine tuned my antennae locations 5 times in my SR-71, slowly stomping out weak area's, that without the information, I would have been clueless about. What's enlightening is that there are specific angles and distances, that can be weak area's, and I would have never known. Is it nice to know, that on a particular flight, 5 times, I was down to 10% signal strength on both antennae's, hovering just above a failsafe? To me it is.

    I also like knowing exactly what airspeed my bird takes off at, lands at, what a good approach speed looks like, what a good landing pattern speed looks like etc.... Connecting airspeed with gps track, lets you see what is going on at any part of the flight.

    A feature not often noticed on the big receivers, is that they run on, and only drawn down battery 1, until it reaches a certain voltage, then cuts to battery 2. It doesn't draw from both at the same time. So if everything is working properly, that's one less battery to keep charging back up. Or, if what happened to me last outing, it has cut over to battery 2 way earlier than it should, something's up, and I've got this blinking red light in the plane telling me that it's kicked over to the backup battery, and that I should dig into it. If for some reason, battery 2 fails, it will try back to 1, then 2, then 1, doing it's best to keep running. I really like this concept better than drawing down 2 batteries at once.

    Lastly, I really like the flexibility in the totally open way the receiver's can be setup with a laptop. I've got 24 servos plugged into the receiver, and can adjust any one of them, in travel distance, curves, put them on any channel, reverse them.. anything you could do to a servo can be done on this simple interface on the laptop. I've got one setup that when I throw a switch, it sequences 4 servos, one at a time, in an order and and pace that I can easily control.
    I guess another way to look at it, in a single receiver/box, I've got the equivalent of 15 matchboxes, power handing system, 3 gyros, and a gps, with a 'fail-on' switch keeping it running.

    It's not for everyone. If you like digging in and learning something just a bit technical, I think it's a great solution. If you don't want to know anything about the details, and just want to crank out 15 flights a day, day after day, it might not be for a person. I'll also say that the instructions are decent, and the system is pretty intuitive / easy to figure out. I think that for most people, they have good results with the gear. The problem is, is if you go off the path, and do have an issue, getting support and guidance from Germany is very difficult. The problems that others have had, are all quite valid, but have been exacerbated by poor response from Germany. If they were handled with what should be a pro-active customer service attitude, like many of us are used to, it probably would have diffused many people's irritations.

    I've had my issues as well, but eventually gotten most of them resolved, but not without an enormous amount of patience.
    Would I buy their system if I had it to do over again? Yes. Do I wish they would get a clue on the public facing / customer service side of things, yes.

    From my understanding they are primarily a collection of electrical engineers, and the gear is all made in Germany, so from a quality and design stand point, I see why it's so far ahead of offerings from the competition.
    I just wish them luck getting the service / PR side of things on a better track, because it's more of an anchor holding them back, to their success than they seem to let on.

    Lance

  11. #36

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    RE: Weatronics....considering a change .is it worth the investment?

    Lance
    Do you have airspeed capability or is it ground speed? If you have airspeed I would like to know how you did it and the hardware used?
    SidGates
    Web: http://www.sidgates.us

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    RE: Weatronics....considering a change .is it worth the investment?

    Sid, I don't know what Lance uses, but Wea sells an airspeed sensor which is actually just the SM Modellbau sensor
    http://weatronic.e-vendo.de/Telemetr...t=40&c=41&p=41

  13. #38

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    RE: Weatronics....considering a change .is it worth the investment?

    Thanks Harry. I didn't know they had it. Then I think I need is English voice file to use it easily.
    SidGates
    Web: http://www.sidgates.us

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    RE: Weatronics....considering a change .is it worth the investment?


    ORIGINAL: sidgates

    Thanks Harry. I didn't know they had it. Then I think I need is English voice file to use it easily.
    A popular use would be as a slow speed warning on landing approach. What do you not understand about "Achtung. Schnell!"

  15. #40
    Lance Campbell's Avatar
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    RE: Weatronics....considering a change .is it worth the investment?

    It's just the built in ground speed / gps calculated speed. I know it's been quite accurate and consistent, in my experience. Bear in mind, the wind on any given day will have to be taken into account.

    For example I was working with a friend that also has Weatronic, and kept landing his Kingcat too fast, and almost getting into trouble with the bouncing cycle.
    To prove a point, we went up and stalled it 3 times at high altitude, and found that it stalled at 37, 37, and 38 mph with full landing flaps, on our 3 samples.
    Then we looked at his landings, and saw his average speed he was touching down at was 60+ mph.

    Great example to have peace of mind to get deeper into the stall, set it down on the mains first, and keep the nose gear from touching first. Being able to shoot a perfect landing, and see what that looked and felt like, and then look at the speed you touched down at, in this case say 45-50 mph, and realize you still have a very comfortable margin above stall (just incase a headwind suddenly disappeared on you), is quite nice.

    By looking at the gps height, second by second, and spotting the moment it stops descending, it's easy to see the touchdown speed.

    These are the types of things that never even occurred to me when I was getting started with the system.

    Lance

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    RE: Weatronics....considering a change .is it worth the investment?

    I just tried to post a fairly long reply and RCU lost it. Will try again later.

    Sid
    SidGates
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  17. #42
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    RE: Weatronics....considering a change .is it worth the investment?

    Hey Lance great post. Question, on the 14MZ do you run in PPM mode and if you do how many channels (out of the TX) do you get? And can you use the MPDX-1 with your set up?

    Thanks in advance
    Matt

  18. #43
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    RE: Weatronics....considering a change .is it worth the investment?

    Ideally, airspeed from a pitot source would be way better than GPS for understanding the aircraft's handling. Pitot airspeed is what could tell us what's happening with the air molecules across the wing creating lift (or not!). I think that's why Sid asked.

    Some ECUs have limiters using pitot airspeed correct? Can we get that info in telemetry with systems on the market? While were at it, can I have AOA too? If I say please?

  19. #44
    rhklenke's Avatar
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    RE: Weatronics....considering a change .is it worth the investment?


    ORIGINAL: Chris Smith

    Ideally, airspeed from a pitot source would be way better than GPS for understanding the aircraft's handling. Pitot airspeed is what could tell us what's happening with the air molecules across the wing creating lift (or not!). I think that's why Sid asked.

    Some ECUs have limiters using pitot airspeed correct? Can we get that info in telemetry with systems on the market? While were at it, can I have AOA too? If I say please?
    The Spektrum telemetry system has pitot airspeed as does the Eagletree. I haven't looked up much detail on the Futaba system, but I'd be surprised if it didn't have an option for pitot airspeed - its a cheap sensor.

    AOA is much harder - the sensors are *much* more expensive and too big to be used on a typical model - although they can be mounted on one, they don't look very good!

    http://www.rcatsystems.com/pdf/ab_probe.pdf

    Bob

  20. #45
    David Gladwin's Avatar
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    RE: Weatronics....considering a change .is it worth the investment?


    ORIGINAL: bigbri

    Thanks guys. ....it seems to me from this thread weatronics has some customer service issues Also seems over complicated, along with limited, if any customer support I think the best thing for me right now is to stay with Futaba ..it has.been a solid system for me

    The Weatronics system is only as complicated as you wish it to be, but the "complications" greatly enhance the all -round peformance and capability of the system A Micro receiver, (an extremely capable unit , available with 3 internal gyros, freely programmable and assignable to any and all channels, for example, can be used as a plug and play receiver just like any other receiver. Just bind it to the Tx and off you go, introduce further aspects later as experience and requirements dictate, all part of the fun !

    Having evaluated many aspects of performance, particularly currents, on some large models using the larger 12-22 receivers the Micro receiver is perfectly capable of flying quite large models so a Micro plus a Powerbox Sensor switch for voltage regulation is installed in two largish jets (Reaction and Revision) and that combo has just gone into my refurbished BVM F4 with Pegasus power.

    Lance mentioned antennae orientation and location, (I remember assisting him with that at Dayton on the SR 71) At Jet Power (where several display models were displaying Weatronics logo) I was shown and purchased new receiver "patch" antennae which further effectively improves (5 to 7Db) receiver sensitivity and greatly reduces the affect of orientation inherent on the current dual aerials. I will evaluate its benefits on a Reaction before installing in my SkyGate Hawk.

    The new Weatronic transmitter will not be available until next summer and is different in that it does not offer "channels" but functions. More later when I get more detailed information.

    Having used this system since its inception (and now using 3 Tx systems, 2 12Xs and a 10X) and with 13 receivers, (all types, 12-22s, Micros, Smarts and Clever plus a Tiny coming) in use I have a reasonable amount of experience with this system. I would argue, based on that experience, that it is by far the most capable, safest and flexible control system ever offered for R/C flying.

    Customer service IS improving. (and it needs to !)

    Regards,

    David




  21. #46
    Lance Campbell's Avatar
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    RE: Weatronics....considering a change .is it worth the investment?

    To Matt's question, my 14 mz is running in 'PPM 12' mode, so I've got 12 channels available. I don't use the MPDX-1 on my setup. I just plug everything straight into the 12-30 receiver (it has 30 plug in's for servo's). I don't have a single 'Y' in the plane. Everything simply plugs straight into the receiver, nice and simple.

    David raises a good point, that it can be simple if you want it to be. I've just got a Weatronics micro receiver in my trusty, now 13 year old (and almost 700 flights) F-15, and really don't pay any attention to it, and just go flying like I used to before. I checked the RF signal quality a bit when the receiver was first installed, but since then, don't worry much about it.

    I'd heard about those patch antennae's as well, and am very interested to learn more about them. The SR-71 antennae positions are now acceptable, but there are a few angles and distances, that for a very brief moment, I get less than ideal signal. Do I ever notice or feel it in flight? Nope. But still I can see it's there, and would like to improve it.

    Now that I'm getting more comfortable with the bird, I'm flying it further than before. Much to my surprise, I'm reaching points that I'm flying a half a mile away from my location, on the far sides of turnarounds. Knowing the signal is solid in those specific places is a nice piece of mind.

    Lance

  22. #47

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    RE: Weatronics....considering a change .is it worth the investment?

    I have several models with the micro rx and a 6 channel β€œclever”, as per others have posted they need no more programming than the failsafe being set, so it is not complicated at all. I have a couple of the 12-22, they too can be left at default and only have the failsafe programmed, but as David G has said, they and the micros etc do allow so much more to be done if you want to. In my jets with brake parachutes I have used the rx programmability to make the chute doors servo and the chute cable release servo behave as if they are quite independent of one another despite being run from just one channel using a two-position switch from the tx.

    I find the rx data log invaluable especially the frames received data, as I like metal coated scale jets which have the potential to give 2.4ghz a hard time. Without data, you may have control but don’t know how close to the edge you are, and one day may just step over the edge. I recall Ali suffering the loss of a large metal coated F-86 on Futaba FASST that he was flying for someone else at an event in the USA a few years ago, and it was attributed to signal blocking. On my F-100 the data showed that one of the aerials was often being totally blocked by a large stripe of carbon fibre nearby. I could not feel that when flying because the other aerial was still receiving ok. Without data, I would have said the system was perfect, no problems. With data I could see that on those occasions I was relying on just one aerial and thus the redundancy had been lost. If that other aerial had encountered a problem at some time in the future, control could have been lost for some amount of time. Having the data showing me that there was a problem made me do something about it until the new data proved my attempts to sort it had actually worked. Combining the frames with the GPS data lets me see that when my metal-coated models are turning at up to Β½ mile away the data link is still good on both aerials. I know that the system is not near the edge and that gives me peace of mind.

    David, most interested in the patch aerials, they have been in Wea’s shop for quite a long time but with no clear guidance on their performance compared to the conventional aerial. If they can be better, I would be v interested for some of my models. If you are at Wrtn tomorrow I can quiz you about them!

    H.

  23. #48

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    RE: Weatronics....considering a change .is it worth the investment?

    I hope David will reply here about the Patch Antenna.
    SidGates
    Web: http://www.sidgates.us


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