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OH BOY Big problem, please advise...

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Old 01-25-2002, 01:25 AM
  #1
seaducer
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Default OH BOY Big problem, please advise...

Hello all
Let me start off by saying my name is Drew, and I am a brand spanking newbie with RC planes. I bought an RTF with JR equipment installed, and last night I had a total system failure. I will list all the equipment I have first then describe what happened.
The Tx is a JR XF421 5 channel with 10.8V showing in the window at the moment.

The Rx is an R600 6 channel with only 4 servos connected.

The Rx battery is a JR Propo 4N600 600MaH

The servos (all 4) are JR 517 NES

I am sure this is all bottom of the line equipment, but from the other threads here I gather some of you guys are familiar.

The incident...

Last night I was continuing the break-in for the engine, and had been in the garage with everything going for about an hour. The temp was around 40 F. The plane had been in the garage for about three days temp ranging from 40 down to about 35F. The radio spent the night previous in the garage as well. It had been a week since I charged all components initially. I have been doing the breakin without the wings on the plane, however the Rx and batt. are under foam, only the servos were exposed to any exhaust, but no residue is inside the cockpit. After about an hour all control was completley lost, no movement whatsoever. The only thing that happened JUST prior to this was a restart, using an electric starter that touched only the spinner, which is plastic. FWIW it was connected to a mini size 12V battery sold at the LHS for this exact purpose. Let me take thee time now to apologize for all this info, I am sure only some of it is needed, but I have been in your position before, and hated having to ask for more info before supplying the answer, so you get ALL of it.

I assumed at this point the battery running the Rx and servos died, and thought it was cool that I would get complete service before power failure instead of a slow draw, but that seems not the case. I charged both the plane and Tx all last night, and the situation is the same. I removed the Rx cover and found no loose or disconnected wires. I removed and reconnected the battery from both the switch and receiver, then plugged in again. I get a little twitch on the servos when I work the switch, so I think I can eliminate that as the source. I unplugged each servo one at a time and no improvement. I don't have any test equipment for RC stuff yet. I can tell you that the Tx turns on, but I don't know if it is transmitting. I dont know if the batt is dead, charged, or shorted out, I can't tell if the Rx is Rxing. What type of test equipment do I need to chack all of this. I guess a Voltwatch for the battery, but is there maybe an all in one unit to check everything? I don't want to pay 100's$, but I would rather take only the defective part back for exchange than the whole plane. I didn't see any fuses anywhere, but maybe there is one?? I am so confused
Anybody have a clue, I would appreciate any advice or help.
BTW whoever started this site should be featured in Time.

Thanks, Drew
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Old 01-25-2002, 02:35 AM
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Default OH BOY Big problem, please advise...

Try Plugging the battery directly into the Rx bypassing the switch. this will at least tell you of its the switch
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Old 01-25-2002, 03:02 AM
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MTT
 
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Default Radio failure

I had this kind of problem once, and it turned out ot be a bad rcvr crystal. Same symptoms : servos would twitch when switching pwr on, and nothing after that. Try to get(borrow) a set of crystals and try again. Or take it to the dealer where you bought it and have him try it.

Hope this helps, Michael

P.S. The temperature in your garage should not be the problem. i have heard of radio gear filing at 10 below, but not at 40.
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Old 01-25-2002, 03:17 AM
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Default OH BOY Big problem, please advise...

Hi i have the same Radio in one of my planes.
It happened to me too. exactally the same (the servos twich but don't function etc) exactly, so after carful testing tha batts were good the swich was good all was good. So i sent the transmitter and recever to horizon hobby they found a questionable soder connection in the transmitter even though the transmitter skreen lit up an desplayed 10.6 volts etc.

They fixed it for free. I got it back in a week

ps. the radio was 2 weeks old when mine failed

ps. that is actulaly a good radio not bottem line like you say

any more ques. just ask
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Old 01-25-2002, 11:46 PM
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seaducer
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Default It works again, but for how long?

Hello all,

Thanks for your suggestions. I plugged the battery directly in to the reciever last night, and the elavator moved ever so slightly when I gave the command. I then plugged the batt. directly into the charger instead of going through the switch, and now everything works fine. Must be the switch, I thought. So I plugged the batt into the switch, figuring nothing would work and I could isolate the trouble that way, but everything works!!?? So, does anybody out there know of any test equipment I can purchase to check out the Rx, etc. Or, does anyone know what type of readout to look for in a meter, if I were to make up a set of test leads? I would like to ind the problem myself, maybe something I did caused it, or if a man. defect have only the bad part replaced.

BTW I didn't mean to imply that this equipment IS cheap stuff, only that IME "beginner" setups usually come with equipment that most advanced users have passed up as inadequate to their needs. If this is mainstream equipment thats great, because I won't have to upgrade until much later on. I do know JR makes allot of radios, and figured this was the "stock" gear, instead of the fully loaded model.

Thanks again,
Drew
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Old 01-25-2002, 11:56 PM
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Default OH BOY Big problem, please advise...

hey dude,
from what you did to trouble shoot the system, it sounds like you had a dead battery.....when you plugged the battery into the charger for a bit it took a little charge which was enough to operate your servos for a while.......at least that's what it sounds like from the way you described your trouble shooting procedure.......
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Old 01-26-2002, 12:03 AM
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Default same problem

i had the same problem in my quickie and it turned out to be a bad reciever crystal...i raced it one day and it worked fine up until the end of the day and even before i went to sleep when adjusting stuff but the nesxt morning i went to turn it on for a test flight and nothing worked and i knew the reciever was getting power because the servos would twitch when the swith was turned on so, i changed the crystal and it worked again and have been flying it ever since.

still don't know why it went out.the crystal wasn't very old (1-2 months) and there was no rough handling of the plane or reciver between the two days..........it makes you wonder though.
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Old 01-26-2002, 01:09 AM
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Default OH BOY Big problem, please advise...

Hello again,

I am starting to think ( actually I have been thinking all day, but my brain is just now starting to work...) that the lead from the switch to the battery might have been the culprit. When the problem first happened, it was just like the RC truck I had, batteries would go all out then poof! they died. So I plugged the "charge lead" into the charger, just like the first time and left it from 10 PM to 6 PM the following day, so it should have been fully charged. The radio was charging at the same time ( the IM didn't say anything about this, so I assume you can charge both simultaneously?) and showed a full batt. Any way, the problem persisted, and nothing changed until I plugged the battery into the Rx directly that I got any reaction at all, which was the minimal to get my attention. The Tx sent the signal, the Rx heard and moved the app. servo the right way. At this point I suspected a bad cell or a short in the pack, but plugged it in to the charger directly, bypassing the switch again. After an hour I plugged it back into the receiver and everything worked properly. That brings us to my other post today, about the switch. Tomorrow I am going to get a Voltwatch for the plane, and some servo connector leads if they are available to test the switch out. It is possible the lead to the batt. wasn't snugged down and the vibration from the engine loosened it enough that the conductors lost contact. I would think, though I am not sure, that if a crystal went, it would not start working again? I know a wire or connection shouldn't unless fiddled with, and I didn't muck with anything in the Tx or under any covers.
Thanks again, and any other ideas please post em, sometimes the obvious problem isn't so obvious...

Drew
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Old 01-26-2002, 02:20 AM
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Default Problem

Drew: It appears that you have completely eliminated the crystal potential, and all indications now point to the switch, and/or, associated wiring. From what you describe, your battery pack was failing to charge thru the switch, but the Rx ON side worked. Give that pack a good 16 hour charge without the switch in the circuit, and go from there. You may need to purchase a new switch harness, or make that company make good on it.

Jim Lynch - Moderator
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Old 01-26-2002, 03:09 AM
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Default OH BOY Big problem, please advise...

Drew, Just a quick thought but be sure the switch is in the off position when you want to charge the battery. In the on position it will not let the battery charge. You can check the switch with a simple volt meter. Use the ohms setting to check the leads and make sure they are not broken. Sounds like everything is working but you are not getting a charge to the battery through the switch.

Later Dave.
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Old 01-26-2002, 03:22 AM
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Default OH BOY Big problem, please advise...

Hey seaducer,that JR equipment is just fine for what you need.To me it sounds like a switch problem.I had the same thing happen with a futaba switch.Where in Jersey are you located,I work in northern NJ,at the newton airport in sussex county.If your not too far and are looking for help,shoot me an email.Maybe we can get together and get that thing in the air.
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Old 01-26-2002, 05:20 AM
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Default Pretty airplane

Jim that sure is a pretty airplane!
But who is that ugly old man behind it?
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Old 01-26-2002, 03:02 PM
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seaducer
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Default Thanks guys, looks like the switch

Thanks to everyone who posted. Looks like the switch was loose to the battery. Whew, well now that this crisis seems to be over it is time to go back to engine breakin! Wonder what I'll mess up next? It all looked so simple before I actually bought one!
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Old 01-27-2002, 12:42 AM
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Default Hints

Just want to say that if you are not associated with a local club, by all means find one. Go on line to the AMA site and get some ideas which ones are in your area.

Good stuff that JR equipment. I have a Single Stick PCM I bought in '90 and still use.

Good Luck,
Tony
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Old 01-27-2002, 05:06 PM
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Default Re: Thanks guys, looks like the switch

Quote:
Originally posted by seaducer
Thanks to everyone who posted. Looks like the switch was loose to the battery. Whew, well now that this crisis seems to be over it is time to go back to engine breakin! Wonder what I'll mess up next? It all looked so simple before I actually bought one!
Drew, glad you found it!! And don't feel discouraged - as you said, it looks so simple before you bought it...it might look a little hard now, but five years from now, you will be posting here "It seemed so hard right after I got it..."

Time and experience are the best teachers, and we have a lot of good teachers here, with both time and experience!!
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Old 02-01-2002, 08:09 PM
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Default OH BOY Big problem, please advise...

Drew,

No RC hobbyist should be without a volt/ohm meter. Simplifies troubleshooting this sort of problem!

Jim
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