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Pls help, transmitter issue?

Old 11-27-2020, 08:31 PM
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Fillmore Farmer
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Default Pls help, transmitter issue?

Hey guys,

About 4 years ago I bought a 2-meter power sailplane off Amazon, it's a popular 2-meter model which today is sold by VolantexRC....but nowadays I notice they don't sell radios with their planes anymore. Anyways, I used it for a while and then let it sit. It's a 5-channel plane with ailerons, elevator, rudder, flaps and motor speed control. I bought new batteries all the way around (Tx & Rx).

When I turn the transmitter on, a green light instantly comes on (indicating power)....and the sailplane responds with all controls but no motor! The other thing I notice is that about 10-20 seconds after the trans is turned on, a red light also comes on. I figured perhaps weak batteries but no matter how fresh the AA batteries are, the red light always comes on after a few moments. Again, all the control surfaces work fine so I can fly slope but the motor simply won't work.

If I had to guess, I'd say the red light means low battery and the lack of motor is the way it prevents you from flying (or forces you to land if you're flying). But I have new batteries and this damn red light simply won't stop coming on. I'm ready to just buy a new radio system (throw money at it) but I'd like to get this one working OR get a good referral to a simple 5-6 channel system that I can hopefully just plug the existing servo's into.

Huge thanks for the help!
Old 11-27-2020, 10:32 PM
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Hydro Junkie
 
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Is there a name or model number on the transmitter? That would make it easier to help troubleshoot the problem
Old 11-28-2020, 07:18 AM
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daveopam
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If the red light was not coming on I would say the ESC is the problem. Could also be your TX is getting a ESC malfunction signal from the RX. The make and model of the TX would help in getting your question answered.

David
Old 11-28-2020, 11:13 AM
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Fillmore Farmer
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Originally Posted by Hydro Junkie View Post
Is there a name or model number on the transmitter? That would make it easier to help troubleshoot the problem
There really is no name on the transmitter....or if there was, I forgot it. The radio is at another property so I can't just walk to my garage and get it. It's a very popular manufacturer that you see on Amazon, today they call themselves VolantrexRC but some 4 years ago it was called a Phoenix 2000 TW 742-3 and it came with their own radio system. Today the same model is sold without radio, almost makes ya wonder why that is....maybe radio failures?

Anyways, I was into R/C long ago, even worked at Hobby Shack before they became Hobby People and then went out of business. This new 'binding' thing is new to me. In looking at the receiver, I'm not seeing any button or way to enter binding mode. As for the transmitter, the green light comes on immediately when turned on....and all the control surfaces respond (but not the motor) and then, about 10-15 seconds later the red light comes on. When the red light is on, there is no change...the ailerons, rudder, elevator and flaps all work fine (which I presume it means the system is binded) but the motor simply won't work. I too figured it was an the motor speed control malfunctioning but then why the red light on the transmitter?? And I don't think the receiver sends any signal back to the transmitter....if it did, it could mean system fault and it's showing an error on the motor speed control....but no, this little receiver couldn't be sending a signal back to the trans, could it??? Also, how do I re-bind the trans/receiver? Thanks!
Old 11-28-2020, 11:20 AM
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The radio is at another location so I can't check it now. It was sold through Amazon as a Phoenix TW 742-3 and it came with a radio. Everything worked fine but now the motor won't respond and, coincidently, a red light comes on about 10-15 seconds after I turn on the transmitter. So the green light will come on and all the control surfaces immediately respond (ailerons, elevator, rudder, flaps) but the motor is dead. I figured the red light was a low-battery but even with new batteries it still comes on.

It seems like the red light means something is wrong and by not letting me use power it forces someone to land or not fly. Could the ESC be bad and the receiver is somehow sending a fault message to the transmitter and that's what the red light is about? Could this be a binding issue even through all control surfaces are working?

I can just throw money at this and replace the radio system but I'm hoping to not need to change-out the servos so which radio system is simple, intuitive (not requiring studying a manual for hours with someone who can't write English) and could easily be bought? I can afford good stuff so cheap isn't the primary thing, I just want something that plugs into existing servos and is easy to program/use, thanks!
Old 11-28-2020, 11:27 AM
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I looked at the receiver, it's so simple & tiny.....but it did occur to me that perhaps the technology is here where even cheap systems have receivers that can send signal back to the transmitter to show a fault. The green power light comes on immediately and all control surfaces respond fine....only the motor won't respond, as it to force you to land or prevent you from flying. I changed to new batteries twice and still the red light comes on. Sometimes the motor will make a glitch noise or respond for an instance but then it's dead.

The manufacturer, in bad English, told me to re-bind the system but I'm not seeing a button anywhere on the receiver and I'm unfamiliar with binding (I'm old-school back when we had flags on our antennas!). I don't think this is low-battery, it's either:

ESC fault being sent back to transmitter indicated by red light or...
Lack of proper binding (not likely since all control surfaces respond and I can slope this plane w/o power) or....
Transmitter error and the red light comes on to advise user it's not functioning correctly and throttle is killed for safety

Dude, I can just throw money at this and buy a new radio system but I'd like one that plugs into the existing servos and I don't want to make a mistake and buy a cheap system. Back in the day Futaba was the best but today there's a lot of new stuff on the market. On Amazon they seem to get a lot of good reviews for FlySky but what I'm looking for is something where it's intuitive: I don't have all day to struggle with some poorly written instructions and a system that's tricky/mysterious to program. Just a good 5-6 channel radio and I prefer a system with rechargeable batteries included. I guess I need to take a pic of the servo connections so we can determine which style they are and which radios would plug right in. I'm told servos are pretty universal nowadays, yeah? Thanks!
Old 12-01-2020, 06:21 AM
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Steve Collins
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Futaba is still the best, most reliable radio system. I would advise keeping a watch in the classifieds as there are frequently some outstanding deals on used radios. Rather than staying with a low end radio, you would be better served to move up to as much transmitter as you can afford. I think you will be frustrated trying to find a transmitter that is so easy to program that you won't need a manual. Youtube is your friend. Literally hundreds of videos on there about programming just about any radio currently in use.
Old 12-01-2020, 07:09 AM
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Some ESC's have to be armed by advancing the throttle to max for a second or two then return to low throttle before the motor will run. What type of battery and voltage are you useing to power the ESC?
Old 12-01-2020, 04:16 PM
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What I would do, to isolate the issue is:
  1. Swap the servo and ESC connectors at the receiver. If the servo still works, using the throttle control, then your problem has to be someplace else in the system. If the servo doesn't respond, you have an issue with the radio system that would require either repairing or replacing. Personally, I would replace it with a quality system, such as a Futaba. I have a hard time recommending a brand that has not been around for very long as they may not be worth the time or money spent on them.
  2. Verify you have power going in to your ESC. This would only take an inexpensive multimeter to check
  3. Verify you have power going to the motor. Again, an inexpensive multimeter would give you your answer. Since there are three wires going from the ESC to the motor, I would look for voltage between all three combiniations
  4. Verify the motor spins freely by turning the prop by hand. If there's any drag or binding, that could be your issue. I would replace the motor and try again
Just throwing money at the plane isn't going to fix anything. The basic troubleshooting I described above will help in making sure any money spent will be on things that will fix the problem

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