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Range of Spektrum's AR6100 Receiver (don't make the mistake I made)

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Old 10-29-2007, 07:21 PM
  #1
Khatsalano
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Default Range of Spektrum's AR6100 Receiver (don't make the mistake I made)

This is a compilation of all the data I found on range issues with the AR6100 Receiver (and some related data on the other Spektrum receivers).

Hey all, I ran into some trouble recently with a lock-out as a result of range problems with my AR6100 and totalled my plane. No big deal, gots to keep the spirits up and repair by next weekend for flying! But I did do a lot of research that established by consensus that the AR6100 is a medium-ranged receiver. Spektrum/Horizon Hobbies does not state a range for their receivers but instead use vocabulary such as "Park" or "Reliable" or "Full Range" to describe their line of 2.4ghz receivers. In this thread, I'll compile some of the knowledge I found so that hopefully no one will make the same mistake as I did -- I installed an AR6100 receiver that was rated for "Park" flying into my Super Cub and I did indeed fly around a park. This park let me fly the plane comfortably about 700 ft away from me... which is the edge of the AR6100's range.

Of course, there are other issues we must also consider besides for range, such as strength of signal from the Tx, and line of sight/shadowing effects. A shadowed receiver antenna or antenna set can cause a lock-out and it takes anywhere from 7-15 seconds to reboot the AR6100 in my testing. This is why having the two-receiver systems is such a great way to get around the shadowing issue. But enough soft talk, here are some hard numbers for you all.

- K
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Old 10-29-2007, 07:26 PM
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Default RE: Range of Spektrum's AR6100 Receiver

This is my testing... originally posted here: http://www.rcuniverse.com/forum/m_43...age_170/tm.htm

Test #1 Full obstructions test: 200ft range.
My own range test was done by putting the broken SC with the AR6100 in the house at the front window. The binding button was not pushed in. I started walking down the street, and of course, there is a lot of 2.4ghz activity here where everyone has wi-fi. The houses are also going to play some blocking factor in the signal. At 115-125 paces, the signal cut out. It would lock back on around 100 paces. This is about 200 ft.

Test #2 Open-range test: 1000ft range.
In a more realistic line-of-sight scenario, I was able to do a 1000 ft + range test with the AR6100 and it was fine actually. It definitely has the capability of going that far and farther, but there is nevertheless a chance of signal drop out is all my observed data can attest to. It failed once at 700ft, and again and 1000ft. Again, this doesn't mean it will fail, it just has a chance of failing at these distances.

Test #3 Down-the-street test: 800 ft range.
I went about 800ft down the street with a clear line of sight, and signal was solid. I stepped behind a car, and instantly, BAM, signal was gone. Doing the same on the Rx end produced a dropped signal as well. This is why the AR6200 or the AR7000 or other series with two separate receivers makes such a big difference. It reduces the chance that an engine or a battery or any other kind of occlusionary interference has of interrupting your line of sight. Apparently, you can almost reduce the range to nothing of a 2.4ghz system if you put your Rx inside an upside-down coffee can.

Conclusion: I estimate the chance of signal loss at around 700ft and the probability goes up as you get farther out. The distance at which I totalled my plane due to signal loss was just under 700 ft. The max range I was able to test at was 1000 ft, but while it worked during my test, it also failed during my test meaning it has the capability to go this far, but not necessarily the reliability to do so. Seems like the AR6100 would be very suitable for a heli or an indoor flyer but a park flyer? I would say no if I was advising myself... the remnants of a crashed plane sitting on my desk is enough to convince me to spend the extra $30 and get an AR6200 or maybe a 7000 for my application.

Do not fall under the impression that these receivers can go farther than you can see. We all have different visual acuities whether with corrective lenses or not, so let's get to the hard numbers.

- K
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Old 10-29-2007, 07:28 PM
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Default RE: Range of Spektrum's AR6100 Receiver

This is data taken from: http://www.rcgroups.com/forums/showthread.php?t=670356 and credit goes to "Wind Junkie."

These values below are tested with the binding button pushed, "Inside" measurements are taken from inside a carbon/composite fuselage:

..............Outside Fuselage........Inside Fuselage
AR7000.........80 paces..................26 paces
AR6000.........55 paces..................19 paces
AR6100.........30 paces..................12 paces

- K
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Old 10-29-2007, 07:31 PM
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Default RE: Range of Spektrum's AR6100 Receiver

These are comments quoted from: http://www.helifreak.com/archive/index.php/t-40765.html

Fred Millard:

Flying a 450SE today with an AR6100, about 100ft up i and less than 100 yards crow's flight from my DX7 I feel pretty sure that I lost all response resulting in a serious crash.

Needless to say, I am very concerned of having this ugly issue raise its head in the future. I replaced the 6100 with an AR700 which I had lying around but I am not sure if it is going to make much of a difference. I did a range test with a couple AR6100, which worked up to about 50 feet notwithstanding that it is suppose to respond in test mode to about 90 ft. Has anyone else experienced this phenomena; perhaps there is a problem with my DX7, I don't know?


I spoke with Horizon today and was advised that the 6100 is a parkflyer receiver meaning that its range, depending on atmosphere conditions is between 600 and 900 feet whereas the AR7000 is a full-range receiver providing much further range. That's it. FM

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Old 10-29-2007, 07:32 PM
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Default RE: Range of Spektrum's AR6100 Receiver

From: http://www.rcgroups.com/forums/showt...=583877&page=6

Atlav8r:
Yes, our testing shows the 6100 at no more than 600-675 ft and we have seen no degration in the 6000 at well over 2000 ft. But yur results may vary so flyer beware.

- K
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Old 10-29-2007, 07:39 PM
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Default RE: Range of Spektrum's AR6100 Receiver (don't make the mistake I made)

By Andrew McGregor at: http://www.rcgroups.com/forums/attac...mentid=1465022

I trust the AR6000 and AR6200 based on experience in slope gliders and other sailplanes. But my experience with the AR6100 has been less than stellar. With no diversity, that receiver just isn't reliable at even a couple of hundred meters (well inside the distance I can see a 1.5m span glider). I've had lockouts every time I've tried one in a sloper, whereas the 6200 has been perfect.

The AR6100 is the one Spektrum receiver that truly deserves the parkflier tag. If I can fly the model and stay on a soccer or rugby field, it'll do, otherwise not.


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Old 10-29-2007, 07:42 PM
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Default RE: Range of Spektrum's AR6100 Receiver (don't make the mistake I made)

Here is an older thread from right here at RCU about crashes and the 6100 lockout problems:

http://www.rcuniverse.com/forum/m_5588121/printable.htm

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Old 10-29-2007, 07:43 PM
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Default RE: Range of Spektrum's AR6100 Receiver (don't make the mistake I made)

... And that's all I have for now! I hope this information, even though it was previously available, is now in one place so anyone in my situation in the future will not end up with a similar result. : ) Let's hear from you, and your experiences and tests too!

- K
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Old 10-31-2007, 03:00 AM
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Default RE: Range of Spektrum's AR6100 Receiver


This is a great compilation of information. Nice work.

I do have to comment on this one. This was done with the receivers INSIDE a carbon fiber fuselage. Not a recommmended configuration. I post the full quote below.

Quote:
ORIGINAL: Khatsalano

This is data taken from: http://www.rcgroups.com/forums/showthread.php?t=670356 and credit goes to "Wind Junkie."

These values below are tested with the binding button pushed:

..............Outside Fuselage........Inside Fuselage
AR7000.........80 paces..................26 paces
AR6000.........55 paces..................19 paces
AR6100.........30 paces..................12 paces

- K

You need to read the whole post to understand these numbers:


Quote:
Originally Posted by Wind Junkie
I haven't seen any of this info posted, so I ran my own experiment today:

I wanted to find out what the relative ranges of the AR6000, AR6100 and AR7000 were -- especially when used INSIDE a carbon sailplane fuselage.

Here's the equipment I used:

Spektrum DX7 TX
Spektrum AR7000
Spektrum AR6100
Spektrum AR6000

JR 4 cell Nicad pack

Hitec HS 85 MG servo

Cappuccino 2.6M Carbon fuselage:

http://www.soaringusa.com/products/p...ategory_id=291


I mounted the servo with a highly visible long "servo arm" made from yellow corplast so I could see it easily as I paced off the distance. The servo wire was fished through a wing root hole so I could leave the servo mounted outside the fuse for the tests that were "out" vs "in" concerning the fuselage.

The 3 receivers were bound to 3 different models in the TX, and I taped them to the box "test stand" as shown. They're off the ground about 1 foot which is typical for a Gas/glo fuel installation when doing range checks. This may differ from the "typical" sailplane range check, but all RX's were at the same height for the checks.

When determining the acceptable range, the TX "bind" button was pressed and held in during the entire range check. To verify control integrity, I oriented the TX antenna in various positions when testing "good" vs "no good", and always declared "good" when ALL TX antenna orientations were acceptable. I found that 2 paces was often the repeatable resolution in distance to re-acqure a control integrity condition once lost (ie: "no good", step 2 paces closer, declare "good", then back up 2 paces again to verify "no good").

Here are my results:

..............Outside Fuselage........Inside Fuselage
AR7000.........80 paces..................26 paces
AR6000.........55 paces..................19 paces
AR6100.........30 paces..................12 paces


Note the AR6000 displays a superior range check than the AR6100 in all cases. My guess this is due to the longer antenna wires of the AR6000.

You can see there =IS= a drastic attenuation due to the carbon fuselage. I consider the Cappuccino to be a typical carbon layup. The moral of the story is to be sure to range check your own installation. The accepted wisdom seems to be "30 paces is acceptable" and that is almost within spec for the AR7000 inside a carbon fuselage. It would be nice if the folks at Spektrum offered a remote antenna option on a new sailplane receiver. I didn't see this offered on the new AR9000.

I hypothesize that one may poke 2 holes in a carbon fuse to route the (longer) AR6000 antennae outside the fuselage, and obtain a superior range check than a fully enclosed AR7000. I did not verify this (yet). I consider the AR7000 antenna too short to attempt this.

Does anyone know if it would be possible to lengthen the antennae of ANY of these receivers to acquire better range -- especially for sailplane use?
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Old 10-31-2007, 09:53 AM
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Default RE: Range of Spektrum's AR6100 Receiver (don't make the mistake I made)

I have amended the data heading to avoid confusion, nice catch. Thanks!

- K
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Old 11-01-2007, 07:47 PM
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Default RE: Range of Spektrum's AR6100 Receiver (don't make the mistake I made)

Here is the latest word on the AR6100 directly from Horizon:

...thank you for the email. Go on and send the reciever in for
evaluation. The range is for parkflyer use only. 300-400 feet and slow
flying aircraft and micro helis. The AR6200 is a full range lightweight
receiver and you should be able to go as far as a full range plane.

Please send your AR6100 (along with a copy of your sales receipt if this
is a warranty issue) ...

I hope you find this information useful. If you have any further
questions, please reply to this email or give us a call at 877-504-0233.

Thanks,
Andrew
Product Support Team Member
Horizon Hobby Distributors
4105 Fieldstone Rd.
Champaign, IL 61822
877-504-0233
product support @ horizon hobby.com

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Old 11-05-2007, 09:30 AM
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Default RE: Range of Spektrum's AR6100 Receiver (don't make the mistake I made)

You guys forgot to tell what version of 6100 did you tested.

I'm been flying my 6100 in a Byp Yak, receiver inside the fuselage, never ran into a problem. Max Distance: 400ft
6100 Version: 1.2
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Old 11-12-2007, 02:19 AM
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Default RE: Range of Spektrum's AR6100 Receiver (don't make the mistake I made)

V 1.2 yes.
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Old 11-12-2007, 12:06 PM
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Default RE: Range of Spektrum's AR6100 Receiver (don't make the mistake I made)

strange --but we fly any of our 6100 rx' in flat foamies , out n up well over 1000ft - never a hitch- but the setups are quite open.
I won't recommend this to others -as I find somehow -any recommendation seems to be interpreted as "without reservations".
Then it becomes "it's your fault".
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Old 11-12-2007, 06:54 PM
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Default RE: Range of Spektrum's AR6100 Receiver (don't make the mistake I made)

I just flew the A4 w/ the AR6100e. No poblems, however I flew it in close. I'm still a little scared about the range issue. I did a range check by putting the jet on the grass and I walked about 90 steps and pushed the bind button and there was no response. The rx went into reboot. I could tell because I let go of the bind button and it took like 7 seconds for control to return. You can see the Rx placement in the picture attached. It was the first time I've ever used Spektrum equipment.
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Old 11-15-2007, 04:56 PM
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Default RE: Range of Spektrum's AR6100 Receiver (don't make the mistake I made)

Hi guys.

I just recently read a thread about the Spektrum 6100 series receivers going out in mid flight (due to low voltage?). I can't remember where exactly I read it or the exact details but I'm about to purchase a new Blade 400 helicopter and I don't know if its receiver (6100e) is one that has/had any problems.

Any insight on this is GREATLY appreciated.

Dave D.
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Old 11-27-2007, 02:21 PM
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Default RE: Range of Spektrum's AR6100 Receiver (don't make the mistake I made)

I use about a dozen AR6100 receivers - all fly well - to well over 500ft.

I just put one in my brand new $400 EDF Jet (Alfa A-4 Skyhawk) without a single worry.

I likely have over 1k Spektrum flights with ZERO issues. I think key to Spektrum is using good BEC's or 6v battery packs - they are voltage sensitve. Below 4.7v under load and you might be asking for trouble.

Just my $.02c

Mike
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Old 11-27-2007, 02:43 PM
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Default RE: Range of Spektrum's AR6100 Receiver (don't make the mistake I made)

I have been following this thread since about page 4 and I can appreciate the concern. I can only speak from personal experience, since I made the decision to totally convert over to Spektrum. I might have lost my mind, but the change-over will probably take all Winter to complete and while it is snowing outside, I will have a lot of projects to do! The reason for the change is for reliability and that "SECURE" connected feeling!!! Got why I'm so interested in this thread!

Now, I have not had a 6100 issue with range, at all. I do have some planes that I fly so high that it becomes a speck.......then just thermal back down.....and then do it again! They must be well beyond 1000 ft. up and never an issue (yes, the 2.1 version 6100). Also, several of my pals have a 6100's in their ALFA EDF jets and for sure they go fast, high up and far out! Again, I am sure that they exceed 1000 ft. in every direction without an issue.

Hey, maybe it's luck or a good batch of 6100's or our DX7's are from a good production run or our flying field's have very little air-wave interference or whatever! Like any new technology.....I'm sure that there are real issues that arise which need to be properly addressed by the Mfg. I would like to think that Spektrum appreciates hearing from you guys about the problems so that they become informed of these situations and that they can get them fixed. To me.....
that's progress! Have I missed in the entire thread....any direct response from Spektrum or Horizon?????? After all, you guys are kind of Spektrum field R & D,
so to speak.
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Old 11-28-2007, 11:21 AM
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Default RE: Range of Spektrum's AR6100 Receiver (don't make the mistake I made)

I'm still flying the A4 w/ the AR6100e and have got it pretty far out and had no issues. The only strange thing with Spektrum is when I go to turn on my Tx and then my Rx it takes anywhere from 3-15 seconds to connect. It's never the same duration of time. I'm not sure why it takes so long to connect sometimes.
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Old 12-04-2007, 12:55 AM
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Default RE: Range of Spektrum's AR6100 Receiver (don't make the mistake I made)

Thanks for all the responses guys.

I'm about to fly a mini-heli (first collective pitch) and am planning on using a Spectrum system. I'm not sure if I will wait for the DX6i or go with the DX6 or DX7. I have read one post where the user says the DX7 has a stronger lock on his model than his DX6 does. He had interference issues from a 2.4 Ghz router happy neighborhood with his DX6 but was cured when he swapped in the DX7. I didn't think the TX power would be higher in the DX7. I just thought it had more features.

Aside from the transmitter, I'm not sure which receiver I'll use but the previous testing is REALLY helpful. I just have to guage how far I might fly this heli. From what I've read these are the ranges:

AR6000> 2000 feet
AR6100> 300-400 feet
AR6100e > ?
AR6200> ?
AR7000> ???

Most if not all require a minimum of 3.5v .

Can anyone confirm that the DX7 transmitter puts out a higher power signal than the DX6? I wonder if the DX6i's output power will be increased.

What would you other 400 size heli flyers use?

THANKS!!!

Dave
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Old 12-04-2007, 09:34 AM
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Default RE: Range of Spektrum's AR6100 Receiver (don't make the mistake I made)


Quote:
ORIGINAL: Airforce7

I'm still flying the A4 w/ the AR6100e and have got it pretty far out and had no issues. The only strange thing with Spektrum is when I go to turn on my Tx and then my Rx it takes anywhere from 3-15 seconds to connect. It's never the same duration of time. I'm not sure why it takes so long to connect sometimes.
I have noticed the same thing with my 6100 end pin receivers. All of my others link within a second - but the 6100e takes 3-7 seconds......odd for sure...

Quote:
Can anyone confirm that the DX7 transmitter puts out a higher power signal than the DX6? I wonder if the DX6i's output power will be increased.
I think the power output is the same - the DSM2 is likely the reason you feel more connected on the dx7 - latency on that box is also industry lowest - - or very near the lowest.

The dx6i is DSM2 also and should be excellent.

And with all due respect - I have flown the 6100 receivers and can vouch that I can not find the range limit in the air. Ground testing on early dx6 and ar6000 receivers showed distances (gps verified) of over a mile. Range has never really been the issue - rather shadowing. You would not want to use a 6100 receiver on a large glow plane not because of range, but rather because a large metal engine could completely shadow the RX and antennas from transmission view - simple as that.

Mike
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Old 12-04-2007, 11:48 AM
  #22
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Default RE: Range of Spektrum's AR6100 Receiver (don't make the mistake I made)

I often wonder how much living in an urban area where there are tons of 2.4ghz signals going around compares to living out in rural areas as far as affecting the range of a Spektrum system. I recently did a live range test of my AR6200's and lost signal around 2000 ft. It quickly did re-establish itself though so no harm done. Altitude was less than 50 ft. I was purposely flying over the San Francisco Bay at low tide for extra risk factor ... haha. Actually, the tide was so low some people hiked out on a sandbar way out there and volunteered to pick up the plane for me if I couldn't bring it back under power. This test was done on a foam HZ Super Cub. I am satisfied with this range though because it was very very hard to see the plane at this distance, the only thing that helped me were the nav lights and landing lights.

I also often wonder how accurate individuals are at estimating distance and then measuring it to verify, like the poster above using GPS ranging or other measuring methods.

- K
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Old 07-17-2008, 09:31 AM
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Default RE: Range of Spektrum's AR6100 Receiver (don't make the mistake I made)

I just recently had a bad experience with carbon fuse and the 6100e, The receiver was inside the my Sky Sergio electric glider of which I had just changed over to the AR6100e. I flew into an area where it tipped over nose down (elevator), then proceeded straight at the ground in lockout. I was high enough, and got control and straightened it out for about 10 seconds or so... headed it back towards me and then it happened again.... straight into the ground destroying the glider. This plane had 100 or so flights with no problems 72 mhz. I did not do a low power range check (JR 9303 spektrum tx) before I flew, that might have saved the airplane... It did fly fine for the first 4 minutes, but I was flying in a different area at the field when it went in.

If you are planning on a glider with a carbon fuse, please surf the internet and get a good idea of what you may be up against. I'm a little disappointed with JR, as they do not seem to stress the boundary conditions of their receivers for different installations, my conclustion is that carbon fuses cam make a big difference with the receiver inside. The installation had one of the antenna leads taped to the receiver along the bottom of the fuse, the other lead was throught a hole in the side of the fuse, sticking out. I will only use the 6100 in my foamies (has been working great there), probably what the receiver was intended for... but not clearly stated from the JR (I appoligize if I have missed something).

..Rock..
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Old 07-17-2008, 10:24 AM
  #24
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Default RE: Range of Spektrum's AR6100 Receiver (don't make the mistake I made)

Correction to above.... I did look at the Horizon website, and the 6100 is listed as a park flyer receiver... I guess they really mean it!

..Rock..

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Old 03-11-2009, 08:55 PM
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Default RE: Range of Spektrum's AR6100 Receiver (don't make the mistake I made)

I wish I had seen this thread earlier [:@]. I have been flying the 6100 in my Skimmer 600 with no issues until today. Fortunately I was flying upwind and had found a nice thermal when I realized I had lost control. I was probably somewhere over 1000' out when this happened. The plane soared in lazy circles toward me and I regained control and still got a 15 minute flight on a 30 second motor run.

I did a range check after landing and got a minimum of 45 paces with the Rx antennas pointed toward the Tx and I quit at 90 paces when the orientation perpendicular to the Tx. I know Spektrum says 30 paces indicates a good range check but this was the first time I encountered less than 90 paces with any of my Rxs. Tx is a JR 9303 and the Rx was powered via a Jetti ESC; both of which have been flawless to now.

I'll probably put a 500 series Rx in this simple model.

John C
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