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Spectrum Lockout Help

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Old 02-18-2008, 01:34 PM
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Cambo
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Default Spectrum Lockout Help

Hi everyone. I have had a DX-7 since christmas. It has so far been a great setup until today. While my helicopter has enjoyed several succesful flights without a problem (knock on wood). My 27% CAP 232 almost crashed today. It was flying straight and level when i noticed the plane had very funny behavior. It didn't seem to be responding to what I was telling it to do. I got the control back and again it start to act funny. I got the control back again and for what seemed like a decade it locked out again. The plane rolled onto its back and started heading toward the ground. I didn't panick and got control back. It was probaley no more than 10ft off the ground when i regained control. I gunned it, pulled out, and imidiatley landed. Unfortunatley, because there was a few other people test running there engines on the ground I couldn't tell if the plane went to idle or not. So i am not sure if it had a voltage brownout or lost the signal. Now, i am not going to go around bad mouthing spectrum. I rather would like to solve this problem.

The setup for this plane envolves 6 s3305 high torque (125oz in at 6v) servos (not digital), 1 standered servo for the throttle, 2 matchboxes, 2 6v hydrimax 2/3A cells, 2 HD EMS on/off switches, and my biggest concern the ar6200 reciever.

Now, when i ordered the ar6200 with the Dx-7 i figured i could save a few bucks because i didn't need the extra channel. However I was alarmed with how tiny the reciever is compared to the ar7000 that is in my 50 size heli, wich has 4 high torque digital servos, 1 high speed throttle servo, governor,gryo, futaba HD on/off, with a big 4.8v 2000mah reciever battery. I recharge that bird after every flight. Even though the AR6200 is full range i am concerned that it can't handle the electracil system of such a big plane.

However, maybe my range check wasn't sufficient enough and it has a blind spot at the spot in the field. I lost the signal before in the same spot in the same orientation but assumed that it was from the rain that had just stopped that day.

Both switches are fully functional and the batteries unloaded read 6.67v. I don't have a loaded tester yet so i have to use my charger. At the field, i had my dad hold some of the control surfaces to simulate hard flight loads on the control surfaces and i saw no loss of power.

I think that it is either the ar6200 or is is the position of the reciever in the plane. I haven't done a full 360 degree range test before. I wish i had.

Any thaughts or coments would be apreciated.
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Old 02-18-2008, 03:00 PM
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Default RE: Spectrum Lockout Help

I am new to the 2.4 realm myself, but there few a couple of things that i make sure i do when setting up a new plane.

1: put both receivers as far away from the engine as possible. The engine is the biggest thing on your plane that can block the signal since 2.4 is a VERY line-of-site frequency.

2: put a slight bend in your Tx antenna as to not point it directly at your plane when flying. Apparently the "cone of silence" is bigger than 72 mhz.

3: re-bind your Rx after initial setup of your plane and once again after the maiden. this way all of the trims will be logged into the failsafe.

4: Check your Rx batteries with a load put on them, the one from futaba is pretty nice.

Since you have such a redundant system, i have a hard time believe that it was a "brown out." I would lean more toward signal loss for one reason or another, and the plane going into failsafe. Like you said, do a little better range check on it and even experiment with moving the receivers around. I use the 6200 in a 47" electric w/o any problems and will be using it on a bigger plane in the next week or so.
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Old 02-18-2008, 04:03 PM
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Default RE: Spectrum Lockout Help

Hi JCB, thanks for the imput. To reply to some of your comments.

1. The reciever is at least 20" away from the firewall. I think i am safe there but you never know
2. I did have a bend, 90 degrees to the left. Maybe it shouldn't be at 90 degrees?
3. System was rebound
4. Again, i don't actually have a load tester but my charger shows the batteries at well over 6V


I think that i am going to end up moving the reciever somewhere else in the plane or rearange the electronics in some way.
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Old 02-18-2008, 07:52 PM
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Default RE: Spectrum Lockout Help

Update:

I just did an engine off range check, no wing just the fuse. Anyway, i noticed a few things in particular that were alarming to me. First, when the transmitter was aimed at the planes side i was able to get between 65-70ft before i lost the signal. However, when the transmitter was facing the front of the plane, at the engine, i got conciderably less distance, about 25-30ft. Second, i got several more feet, i would bet betwen 20-30 from the first time i range checked it with the engine on. After further observation I also noticed that the reciever when it is jumping in and out of the signal at the end of its range check felt/looked very similar to what i saw in the air. The plane seemed to intermintantley gain/loose control.

I really do not think this was a brown out. Although, I wish I had pulled the wing off to see if the lights were flashing indicating that happened. Non the less, i am not running digital servos and i am using 2 6v batteries. I can not imagen both batteries dropping down to 3.5v under the load they would have had in the air. Even though i was pushing the servos pretty hard it seems unlikely they could have drawn down the current that much.

I can only assume that my loss of signal before and the loss in signal today is a result of poor reciever placement. I am going to rearange the reciever and sub reciever and try again next weekend.
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Old 02-18-2008, 08:57 PM
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Default RE: Spectrum Lockout Help

sounds like you are on the right track. I really don't think it's the 6200 that is causing problems, it's more likely the placement of the receivers. Given that your plane uses a big motor, has a big fuel tank, and uses a couple of batteries, there is a lot to block the signal. You could always get a longer cord for the satellite receiver for a few bucks. You could always try different orientations of your Tx antenna, although the chance of that helping may be minimal.

Also, in the case of a brownout, i don't think the the 6200 blinks like the jr R921 or the new 7000's do. My R921 will blink upon testing whereas my 6200 will not.

If you have any pics of your receiver setup, more people may be able to chime in with some help.
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Old 02-18-2008, 09:26 PM
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Default RE: Spectrum Lockout Help

Good point JCB, i will try to get some pics in tomarow. Can the longer satelite cords be purchased from horizon?
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Old 02-19-2008, 12:19 AM
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Default RE: Spectrum Lockout Help

You should check with Horizon to see if there are any firmware updates available for your receivers. I believe they have extensions available.
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Old 02-19-2008, 08:43 AM
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Default RE: Spectrum Lockout Help

I thaught that all new recievers after like June of last year have a the firmware update?
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Old 02-19-2008, 10:38 AM
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Default RE: Spectrum Lockout Help

A couple of thoughts....

60 to 75 ft. on a range check is not good enough. The manual tells you IIRC, thirty paces or 90 to 100 ft. All my Spektrum/JR 2.4 stuff will go substantially farther than that.

I suspect that your rx does NOT have the software update but you can do the check to verify.

I've found that the rx's range does not seem to be affected if it's in between voltage regulators like those used on Li-Ion setups, but they don't like being near the batteries. If either your main or satellite rx's are close to, or between your batteries that may be an issue.

The AR6200 is a full range rx and works just fine despite it's small size, being the same size as the AR6100 but having a satellite rx.

I don't think it's a power output problem as I've been flying a glow model with five of those 3305 servos and one 3004 on the throttle with no problems, but I'm a bit concerned about it as there is no continous discharge capability listed for them on the Empire's website. That is the critical issue with any of the NiMH batteries as some have a high impedence (internal resistance in each cell) which prevents a decent continous or burst amperage output rate. While I've not had a problem with that battery so far, I think I'm going to change it out for a VPX size A123 pack.

Yes you can purchase longer leads for the satellite rx and I suggest you get some ordered. Initially they did not offer an extension, you just had to replace the lead, but now those are shown on recent Spektrum literature. I think that may be just asking for trouble by introducing another connection to possibly fail, but your choice on replacing it or buying the extension if HH has them yet. I find that the six inch lead which comes with the rx is a bit short in most cases to get the satellite rx away from the main rx, so most of mine are either the 12" or 24" length.

Hope you get it worked out, please let us know what the final resolution is?
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Old 02-19-2008, 03:52 PM
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Default RE: Spectrum Lockout Help

Zeeb, I was actually counting in paces, not ft. My bad. I can't seem to find the satellite extensions on horizon.


Edit:

I ordered a 24inch extension from HH. The 12inch wasn't instock and the 24 was only a dollar more. If anything it will get a little better seperation between the two. Zeeb, i think you mentioned a problem if the reciever was between 2 batteries? Anyway, my reciever is beteen 2 matchboxes although the antena is parallel to the matchboxes if that means anything. When the new cable extension comes in i am going to really move the electronics around to see if i can get a more reliable signal. I have been fighting glitches with this plane since i got it even with 72mghz. On 72 it would do this thing were it would drop the engine to idle and go to full right rudder. Other times the plane would role onto it side.
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Old 02-19-2008, 05:44 PM
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Default RE: Spectrum Lockout Help

I have been fighting glitches with this plane since i got it even with 72mghz. On 72 it would do this thing were it would drop the engine to idle and go to full right rudder. Other times the plane would role onto it side.
If it was glitching with the 72 mhz RX in it...sounds like it MAY NOT be RX related.
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Old 02-19-2008, 06:27 PM
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Default RE: Spectrum Lockout Help

The earlier Hydramax cells had high impedance -
really NFG as rx packs
You really ought to have a load tester which will show voltage depression at say 3 amps momentary.
then discharge your pack to about half of it's capability and load test it - this is to show what may happen as the cells gradually loose power .
Any 2.4 system is more sensitive to low power and the tricky part is that for some people - doing a good low power check -is tough to do and see without a sensitive meter
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Old 02-19-2008, 09:07 PM
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Default RE: Spectrum Lockout Help

I bought 2 JR ar9000 receivers back several months ago, along with the 2.4 module for my xp9303....Installed one receiver in my Great planes RV-4....It's strapped to the mounting plate right behind the fuel tank; and the satellite around 12" behind the main, with the antennas vertical on the satellite, and the battery is a 1650 6V strapped right next to the main receiver....everything seems happy, and works great!
BUT.... the second receiver I used in my Davis Acro pro with a 3W 70 twin is a different story.
Flying was great for about 8 or 9 laps around the field, and was just starting to feel good about everything, and lost control... got it back right before it went in....just like Cambo.
I was under the understanding before I went 2.4, that is was resistant to more than 72mhz receivers were..... like engine noise,kill switches, batteries...etc.
Believe me, I'm not here to give advice, but am all ears.
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Old 02-19-2008, 10:29 PM
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Default RE: Spectrum Lockout Help

ORIGINAL: dick Hanson

The earlier Hydramax cells had high impedance -
really NFG as rx packs
You really ought to have a load tester which will show voltage depression at say 3 amps momentary.
then discharge your pack to about half of it's capability and load test it - this is to show what may happen as the cells gradually loose power .
Any 2.4 system is more sensitive to low power and the tricky part is that for some people - doing a good low power check -is tough to do and see without a sensitive meter
I used a load tester from another guy at the field. It was after 6 flights (i can't remember what the load was). It never read under 6.2V. These are the newer hydrimax cells. Maybe they are not sufficient though.
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Old 02-20-2008, 11:05 AM
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Default RE: Spectrum Lockout Help


ORIGINAL: flynut007

I bought 2 JR ar9000 receivers back several months ago, along with the 2.4 module for my xp9303....Installed one receiver in my Great planes RV-4....It's strapped to the mounting plate right behind the fuel tank; and the satellite around 12" behind the main, with the antennas vertical on the satellite, and the battery is a 1650 6V strapped right next to the main receiver....everything seems happy, and works great!
BUT.... the second receiver I used in my Davis Acro pro with a 3W 70 twin is a different story.
Flying was great for about 8 or 9 laps around the field, and was just starting to feel good about everything, and lost control... got it back right before it went in....just like Cambo.
I was under the understanding before I went 2.4, that is was resistant to more than 72mhz receivers were..... like engine noise,kill switches, batteries...etc.
Believe me, I'm not here to give advice, but am all ears.
I discovered the battery location issue while moving stuff around to slightly change the CG in a 28% size gasser. It was the first gasser I put the 2.4 system in so I was taking readings from the data logger on the R921 rx's. When I moved a battery that was just in front of the main rx, my readings got better. As I said, the dual voltage regulators don't seem to affect the main rx's antenna readings but they got cleaner when I moved that battery. I use two satellite rx's and I also found that rotating the antenna plane a little bit on those improved the readings a bit as well. The satellites are mounted with velcro so they can be rotated if need be, one in the forward area of the fuselage right below the wing tube and behind the exhaust cannister, the other is in the aft section of the fuselage. The readings from the front satellite rx indicate no real problems with that location, but the aft mounted satellite is rather consistently showing very few fades if any, and no frame losses on the system at all.

Glitching that was there before with your 72MHz system is also a matter of concern. While the 2.4 system is more immune to the usual interference causes, any radio system can be affected by lots of interference but you may have servo/lead/battery issues which were not resolved in your previous install and would most likely cause issues with the new radio as it is much more voltage sensitive as Dick mentioned.

Dick's comments on the Hydramax batteries are the same as I've heard before, but after I'd changed over to those batteries. I've been kind of nervous about it since the 3305's can pull some power and Futaba warns you to only use them with NiCD batteries for that reason. However, the little VPX size A123's can put out more amperage than a Li-Po so that should take care of anything those servos can pull...[8D]
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Old 02-20-2008, 05:08 PM
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Default RE: Spectrum Lockout Help

I am thinking of sending it in for the new firmware upgrade. I am still not sure if i have the new software or not.

Edit: I sent my ar6200 and ar7000 in for the upgrade.
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