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Brownouts, first time

Old 03-21-2012, 01:56 PM
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Default RE: Brownouts, first time

Were any Military tactical aircraft in your area?
It's remotely possible that such aircraft might have certain equipment on, and in an "active" mode.
Old 03-21-2012, 03:04 PM
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Default RE: Brownouts, first time

Interesting thought, but I would say no. We are about 40 miles from the nearest Air Force base, and we do see tanker aircraft from time to time, but they are miles away. Ditto some helicopters, but not very often. More likely is the county tower that broadcasts every 15-20 minutes from the pump station. We've had four lost signals since August resulting in four crashes. Of course when a crash happens it's always tough to figure out why. Latest one was yesterday, with my Seawind, after two successful water flights. I can't believe the plane got wet inside, but this is what I mean when I say it's tough. Everything worked on the bench after the crash, except the motor, which did not even touch the ground in the crash. Battery read 3.98 across the board by the way. The Seawind had at least 30-40 flights, many off the water, never a problem or a drop of water inside. It's a wonderful little plane. We also had a total of 19 other flights yesterday with not even a glitch. I took my StykerQ to 950 feet, and my buddy took his Habu to 1020. Both on orange receivers with satellites, by the way. Seawind was also orange. We have hundreds of flights on those receivers and they work fine in my opinion. The brownouts were really a one-time event, and there were several issues on the same day. The crashes over the last few months included pilot error, a supposed pre-wired connector not soldered properly (it had no solder on it at all), water in an ESC (probably), and yesterday's mystery crash. But with hundreds and hundreds of flights since August, I'd say we are still very very lucky to fly where we do. We average 20 flights a day, three days a week usually. That's a LOT of flying. Being retired and being in Florida.... two great reasons to be in the hobby!
Old 06-26-2012, 06:42 AM
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Default RE: Brownouts, first time

I thought for a while I had the same problem. Got a flight logger. Maybe 6 frames, holds, fades per flights. Found out it was my ESC.
Old 06-26-2012, 06:49 AM
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Default RE: Brownouts, first time

Thanks StraitNickel. Since that day we have never had any problems. Vevy strange. Still doing a lot of flying, same environment, same equipment. Nary a glitch. Tony
Old 06-28-2012, 06:56 PM
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Default RE: Brownouts, first time

Last year, after almost a 40 year hiatus, I decided to get back into R/C planes.
I had a couple of problems on initial maiden flights with two planes. Loss of control in both cases.
Fortunately, I was lucky enough to recover both with only slight cosmetic damage.
Anyway - - One A/C partially recovered from total loss of control with a puzzling variation before it went into the tall grass.
Only the ailerons were responding, other control surfaces were (fortunately) at default (neutral)
The other was also in a fortunate location and flight mode, allowing it to also set down by itself in the tall grass.

Both A/C passed range and functional testing after the flight.
When all was said and done, I added an external BEC to the plane with the aileron control only symptom. This was based on the output current capability of the internal BEC (2A rated)
No further problems to date (knock on wood, etc.) As a precaution, I also insured that linkages, servo travel, etc. did not result in any servo or control surface hitting "stops".

I changed the receiver in the other plane, and, so far, have only used the original receiver for bench testing.


In a previous post, i mentioned military aircraft as a remote but possible cause. A lot of flight testing is conducted in the panhandle area and over the gulf, typically in areas around Eglin AFB.
In addition, tactical military aircraft radar can be extremely powerful, along with other microwave equipment that is almost unique to military aircraft.
Some of the microwave equipment, if set to full active mode, (usually done only in "controlled" testing, or in a hostile environment) may cause an R/C plane's receiver to malfunction.
Even certain military helicopters may carry some of the previously mentioned microwave equipment.

Imagine some poor rich kid in Afghanistan just flying his R/C plane up there a ways, and having it go down because he is in a "hostile" area.


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