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Partial Control During Combat Flying Heat?

Old 06-23-2003, 06:20 PM
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Default Partial Control During Combat Flying Heat?

This past weekend I participated in a air combat fly-in. During flying I experienced periods of limited control and on one flight total loss of control to crash. Other flyers have stepped forward to say they experienced some glitches as well.

I'm at a loss as to what caused this. When I flew by myself I had no problems and logically I started to think one of the other flyers' TX was interfering with mine, though my difficulties where loss of control rather than haphard movement of my airplane. This seams to be a remote possibility to believe because we were very significantly separate in frequencies.

I'm more inclined to believe I might have a problem with my RX. I am running with an 8-channel FMA RX and when I range check it my servos chatter at idle, though I have full control when I move my sticks. I have range check it well beyond 100'. (While I'm writing this it comes to mind that I did not range check with the engine running.)

Question 1: Is it possible for another TX to interfer with an airplane even with good frequency separation? If so, what's the best way to check for this?

Question 2: Is the chattering of my servos at idle a clear indication of a problamatic RX, even if I seam to have full control beyond 100' with the TX antenna unextended?

RX: FMA Micro 2000 8-channel RX
TX: Hitec Eclipse 7 with Spectrum on channel 53.
Servos: (3) Hitec HS-81
Battery: Hitec 270mah
Switch: Hitec flight pack switch
Old 06-23-2003, 07:11 PM
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Default Partial Control During Combat Flying Heat?

I would be less inclided to think it was someone hitting you and more inclined to think either your antenna is too close to something, or you could have a crack in a rec board or crystal. Did anyone else have problems or was it just you? If it was just yours, try another rec and it that fixes it, send that one in to be checked.
Old 06-24-2003, 01:55 AM
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Default Partial Control During Combat Flying Heat?

Originally posted by FLYBOY
I would be less inclided to think it was someone hitting you and more inclined to think either your antenna is too close to something, or you could have a crack in a rec board or crystal. Did anyone else have problems or was it just you? If it was just yours, try another rec and it that fixes it, send that one in to be checked.
Other flyers have stepped forward to say they experienced some glitches as well
Old 06-24-2003, 03:50 PM
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Default Partial Control During Combat Flying Heat?

Question 1: Not really. Nowadays (with narrow band), it's rare to get interference even on neighboring channels, unless someone has been switching crystals between hi-band and low-band. But on well-separated channels, no way.

Question 2: A chattering servo, in most instances, is the result of a bad servo. It can be an indication of many things, though. The list includes a bad TX (very rare), a bad RX (less rare, especially if the RX has been through a crash), bad switch connections, bad or long wiring, and metal-to-metal contact elsewhere on the plane.

To isolate the problem, you must switch components and try to duplicate the problem until the everything is eliminated except the culprit.

I do have a couple of questions, though, since you and other fliers have experienced this. Do only combat fliers experience this, or regular fliers, too? I have seen some smaller combat planes with some very irregular antenna routings. Can you describe your antenna routing? Lastly, did you experience this problem only at your field, or also at your home? Do you guys fly near a repeater tower?

- George

P.S. Generally, a range check should be done with the engine running, since metal-to-metal contact on a plane vibrating from the engine is one of the things you want to check.
Old 06-24-2003, 05:28 PM
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Default Partial Control During Combat Flying Heat?

Originally posted by mulligan
Question 1: Not really. Nowadays (with narrow band), it's rare to get interference even on neighboring channels, unless someone has been switching crystals between hi-band and low-band. But on well-separated channels, no way....
I do have a couple of questions, though, since you and other fliers have experienced this. Do only combat fliers experience this, or regular fliers, too? I have seen some smaller combat planes with some very irregular antenna routings. Can you describe your antenna routing? Lastly, did you experience this problem only at your field, or also at your home? Do you guys fly near a repeater tower?

- George

P.S. Generally, a range check should be done with the engine running, since metal-to-metal contact on a plane vibrating from the engine is one of the things you want to check.
This is the only airplane I have this problem. I have had problems in the past and have come to the conclusion they were switch related. Since I instituted new rules on my part -- I only use 2-pole switches, I haven't experienced loss of control. In those cases the loss of control was sudden and complete.

In this case the loss of control was intermittent and sometimes attributed to the type of flying being done -- these small combat planes are not constructed to high standards and usually cannot be trimmed for all speeds. This particular RX is used; I picked it up on eBay. I have been flying it for a few months and have not had any control problems when I was the only plane in the air. I even tested it between flights on Sunday and experienced no intermittent loss of control except when flying with others. The one flight where I totally loss control was preceeded by a period of intermittent control. Lucky for me the crash landing resulted in minimal damage that took a little 5-minute epoxy to repair -- it was back in the air before the glue was totally set.

Note: This was not the first time I have flown this airplane in combat -- I flew it a dozen times in April and then there were even more planes in the air at the same time. I had no hint of control problems then

FINALLY: I've just about got myself convinced the RX is not 100% and it just might be due to stepping on the antenna too many times. I have a new Hitec 555 and will replace it with that. I'll relegate the FMA RX to park flyers.
Old 06-24-2003, 05:55 PM
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Default FMA RX

Jim,
I have quite a bit of combat experience and have found that there are more problems with the FMA equipment than othere equipment. A used RX from Ebay is a not very comforting.
Third harmonic interference is usally found at close range not while flying out in the box.
Sparky
Old 06-24-2003, 06:14 PM
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Default Partial Control During Combat Flying Heat?

Hilleja, if others were getting hits too, did you happen to check what freqs were being affected? What is around the pilot boxes? Are they standing in chainlink areas or netting of some sort? Has anything changed recenly at the field, IE fences, antennas, anything like that? I have heard people say that chain link fences around pilot stations cause all kinds of problems. Just trying to get an idea of what is there. If others were getting hits too, then it doesn't sound like your equipt.
Old 06-24-2003, 06:33 PM
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Default Re: Partial Control During Combat Flying Heat?

Originally posted by hilleja

RX: FMA Micro 2000 8-channel RX
TX: Hitec Eclipse 7 with Spectrum on channel 53.
I thought I had read on here somewhere that there are problems with using FMA receivers with Spectrum modules, you might want to check it out...

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