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Intermittent range problem with Airtronics Stylus / PCM / Flair Tiger Moth

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Old 09-03-2005, 07:41 PM
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EdwardB
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Default Intermittent range problem with Airtronics Stylus / PCM / Flair Tiger Moth

Airplane: Flair ¼ scale Tiger Moth, Laser 150 4-stroke with McDaniel glow driver, Airtronics Stylus, channel 42, with new Airtronics PCM receiver. Hitec digital servos (5625 and 5645’s), Hobbico gyro, 1100 mah 6.0V 5-cell NiCad pack, cycles normally. There are no long servo runs. The only extensions are the (2) 10 inch extensions to the lower wing aileron servos.

This airplane is new this summer. The first five flights were with all the same equipment, except a Hitec SuperSlim receiver and a different Stylus transmitter, on channel 29. Note I flew this exact equipment (including the engine) without a single glitch in a Super Cub ARF for probably 15-20 flights to break in the engine, and have confidence in the set-up. The day of the Tiger Moth maiden flight the radio was perfect. Total of three flights. The second time out I got several elevator glitches on the first flight, but seemed to correspond with an electric being started up in the pits, so decided that was the problem. On the second flight, the elevator hit a couple of times again, and then also either aileron or rudder. They were brief bumps, but still enough to get my attention (!!!). I immediately landed, understanding now there was a problem. Someone suggested that all the metal-to-metal rigging on the Tiger Moth, although tight, perhaps was causing interference. This sounded possible. I’ve had excellent luck with Airtronics PCM being perhaps more resistant to interference. Since others were in use, I purchased a new Airtronics PCM receiver. I also switched to my other Stylus radio on channel 42 since I was only using it for one model.

At the field today, after assembling the Tiger Moth with the new PCM receiver, the range test was less than one fourth the usual distance I get with all my set-ups (including other Airtronics PCM’s). Also strange was the radio was going into PCM lockup, rather than failsafe as programmed. The surfaces would just stop where they were at. After discussing, we tried some tests. I removed the steel wing rigging (pretty extensive on this model) and now all worked normally. My usual excellent range, and fail safe was working properly. To confirm, I put the rigging back on, and range checked again. Again it failed. Now it seemed the problem could be turned on and off. Someone suggested trying to re-orient the receiver antenna. It’s in a tube in the bottom corner of the fuse going to the tail, as far away from everything as possible. I pulled the antenna out, and draped over the side of the fuse. Now range was normal – with the rigging. Now we’re getting somewhere it seemed. I taped the antenna along on the top of the fuse, to simulate possibly having it externally mounted, and again the range tested normally. Finally, I pushed the receiver antenna back into the original tube in the fuse, to confirm one last time that I could switch the problem on and off, but now it range checked normally. I tried for 5-10 minutes to get the radio to fail (everything back to original) and it seems normal.

There’s no way I’m going to fly it until I can figure out what the problem is. There are no known field interference problems with either of these frequencies. There were no other radios at the field on my frequency. I have an on-board battery indicator (Expert brand, for 6.0V) and it was showing full charge at all times. I’m guessing the problem I was seeing as glitches on the Hitec analog receiver are causing the PCM to lockup, but that’s only a guess.

I’ve included a picture of the Moth to give an idea of all the rigging. Metal-to-metal is also happening with the functional landing gear, the pull-pull rigging on the elevators and rudder, and even all the surface hinges (metal straps with washers and cotter keys). All of this is exactly per the kit design, and included with the kit from Flair.

Sorry for the long explanation. Hope it makes sense. Anyone else flying this Tiger Moth, or some other scale plane with a bunch of steel rigging, and seen anything similar? Any experience or suggestions with this radio combination, even though my experience to date has been excellent? Suggestions for what I should try?

Sorry for the long explanation. Hope it makes sense.
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Old 09-05-2005, 05:31 PM
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Default RE: Intermittent range problem with Airtronics Stylus / PCM / Flair Tiger Moth

Edwardb---I am having the very same problems with my Flair Tiger moth and I thought it was the Ryobi engine with CH ignition that was causing my problem but you are flying a glow engine and experiencing the same lock out problems. My radio is a Hitec Prism 7 with a PCM reciever.. I have changed the rigging to 60 lb. test steel wire with clevises that will close tight---no improvement. I have installed a vertical antenna with some improvement but not cured. I have been thinking about changing the surface hinging to robart type hinges to eliminate the metal to metal contact but haven.t done that yet. If i find a solution to this problem I will post it or you can contact me at eacol@shaw.ca.
Earl C.
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Old 09-05-2005, 08:22 PM
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Default RE: Intermittent range problem with Airtronics Stylus / PCM / Flair Tiger Moth

I had a similar problem, albeit with a glow engine (no ignition involved). It took a while for the light to dawn but it occurred to me that I had an antenna running in close proximity to a couple of servos... Got glitches even when the servo's weren't moving (though still receiving current).

Repositioning the antenna away from the servo leads cured my problem. I don't know if it would help in your case, but you could try repositioning it and see if it changed the glitch situation..

Bob
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Old 09-06-2005, 09:16 AM
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eacol
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Default RE: Intermittent range problem with Airtronics Stylus / PCM / Flair Tiger Moth

Thanks for the input Bob ---I have changed the antenna routing twice and installed a vertical whip ---no improvement. Have to keep plugging along.
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Old 09-06-2005, 12:53 PM
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Default RE: Intermittent range problem with Airtronics Stylus / PCM / Flair Tiger Moth

Have you tried a different receiver? Once saw a case where the guy had no problems, until the aircraft was turned on its side. Then the servos would glitch like mad. Sent the receiver in and the repair facility found a bad "filter" crystal in the receiver.
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Old 11-08-2005, 10:11 AM
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eacol
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Default RE: Intermittent range problem with Airtronics Stylus / PCM / Flair Tiger Moth

I solved my glitch problem. I removed the ryobi engine with CH ignition and installes a Quadra 35 engine with Magnito ignition. This eliminated any and all interference. I presume the strong ignition signsls were being picked up by all the metel wires used for pull pull systems and braceing causing the reciever to be confused where its signals were comming from. Any way I now can fly my Tiger without worry of interference,
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Old 09-02-2009, 11:48 AM
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Default RE: Intermittent range problem with Airtronics Stylus / PCM / Flair Tiger Moth

Hi Guys

I am building a Flair Tiger Moth as (believe it or not) my first build (and this is my first post).
 
Having read some of the above and see that there could be possible problems with interference in the electric department, could someone possibly give me some advice on what servos to get for this specific model and other bits that I may need to complete the kit?

I have the basic kit and the Laser 180 4 stroke engine, (thats it right now and goodness knows if I need anthing else for the engine). I appeciate that I perhaps should start with a smaller and easier model, but I am taking my time and am really enjoying this challenge.

I guess it would be easy to phone up the model shop, however, I am always a firm believer of going streight to the horses mouth, actual builders/flyers of this wonderful kit, hence you guys.


I have enjoyed reading your posts and thank Edward B and Cybertom for their previous posts on construction of the TM from a few years ago, they have been very helpful to my project.

Best wishes to you all.

Tigermoth Q (Quintin)
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Old 09-02-2009, 12:24 PM
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Default RE: Intermittent range problem with Airtronics Stylus / PCM / Flair Tiger Moth

Ed,
I have a Stylus on 72Mghz and have used my PCM and PPM FM receivers all in big gas aerobatic planes. We have a very large club so any radio is going to be tested as I usually fly with a full flight station ever week. Some things I noticed on my Stylus.

1. Stylus receivers and Ch Ignitions dont get along very well had to really work hard to get a glitch out of a 35% MX2 with a BME102
and CH Ignition. All new equipment, The solution was to run the JR Noise Filters on all the leads coming to the receiver. (The ignition was a good 24" away from the receiver and 18" away from batteries) Still we fought it till we changed over to the filters.

2. I fly PPM FM first get a good RF link then switch over to PCM and usually never have a problem. If your getting PCM lock out
and you have not had your radio service for a long time you might consider sending it in.

3. Make sure your receiver is the 92186z receiver as this is the newest (aside from the 2.4 series) receivers they offer and now they are obsolete.

4. Check your Stylus transmitter pack to make sure all is well, I had a pack go intermitten without cause and it scared the living daylights out of me on preflight with my 35% Giles 202 (had I not caught it I would have destroyed the plane)

5. Metal shrouds, stays, keepers, nuts, cable attachments, flyiing wires, tail wheels, landing gear all add up to many metal to metal contacts. While you cant get rid of all of them, start by going with Kevlar where ever possible. Break any direct metal contacts with plastic, nylon, anything non conductive.

6. Spark plugs, ignition wires, ignition battery packs, ignition on/off switches make sure they are all in good working order and not
transmitting RF noise, Wrap the plug leads in wire mesh, keep the battery away from the ignition, make sure the switch is good
and not worn internally.

7. If all else fails, change to a PPM FM system and go with a Smart Fly System or switch to a 2.4 system and start over again.

Its there somewhere you just have to find it. One step at a time.

Good Luck

Jds



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Old 09-02-2009, 02:41 PM
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Default RE: Intermittent range problem with Airtronics Stylus / PCM / Flair Tiger Moth

Interesting this thread re-appears after several years! After trying everything I could think of, and not having a reliable fix, I sold the Tiger Moth. It was a beautiful model, but not fun to fly thinking any flight could be the last. This is supposed to be a fun hobby, right? If I still had it around, I'm positive 2.4 would have solved the problem. I only have 1-2 planes left on 72, everything else is now Spektrum 2.4, and for me has been perfect.

Tigermoth Q (Quintin) There's really nothing too special about setting up this model. Flair's instructions were "interesting" to follow but everything is there. Like I said in the previous paragraph, I would for sure only fly it on 2.4. I kept my Laser 1.50 and still fly it regularly. Today in fact. It was OK power for the Flair Tiger Moth. The 1.80 should be great. Enjoy!
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Old 09-02-2009, 03:13 PM
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Default RE: Intermittent range problem with Airtronics Stylus / PCM / Flair Tiger Moth

Hey
Those old biplanes get under your skin, I had an old Concept Fleet that I flew years ago, Id give almost anything to have another one.
But what a hassle that plane was. Took 30 minutes to set it up and 30 minutes to take it down. It was an all day plane for sure.

LOL

jds
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