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Old Mar 20, 2010, 02:20 PM
Warbird E-Pilot / Hack Builder
Peoria, Arizona
Joined Feb 2009
366 Posts
Discussion
advice needed for Spektrum problem

I have been using a DX6i with AR6100 receivers for a couple of years now. I have 48" wingspan and under foam planes. With hundreds of flights logged, I can say my radio lost contact with the plane 4 times for certain. I started using a UBEC on all planes, and the last couple of radio glitches did not cause a blinking light "brown out" indicator on the RX. The place we fly is in the city and may have a lot of RF in the area.

Just today My Parkzone T-28 lost all control at the left end of the pattern maybe a couple hundred yards out. Lucky I had a couple of hundred feet altitude. No control movement at all. It was gliding away unpowered for maybe 6 - 8 seconds. I moved the throttle stick forward and waited for it to regain contact. It dropped out of sight behind a wall, then a second later the radio must have regained contact because the plane was full throttle climbing up, so I was able to fly it back and land. Using a UBEC. RX light solid. No shadowing, nothing but foam between me and the RX.

I am getting frustrated because I can't trust my radio.

I have read where DSM2 can pick two channels too close together and they both get hit.

I have two options I am considering; Replace all my AR6100 with AR6200 (which still uses DSM2 which may not be good) or get a new Futaba 2.4ghz radio and some of the new 4 channel receivers. I would appreciate your opinion on which way to go.
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Last edited by Larry076; Mar 20, 2010 at 04:38 PM.
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Old Mar 20, 2010, 07:53 PM
Air, Ground & Water
freechip's Avatar
Canada, ON, Rockland
Joined Aug 2008
24,355 Posts
Radio glitches wil not cause the led to blink as this feature is to indicate lost of RX power.

AR6100 would be more prone to shadowing then the AR6200 with its sat RX.

I have had my DX6i for over a year BUT long way more flights then 100 as I use my DX6i with my heli, edf jet, PKZ SP Decathlon, PKZ F4U Corsair.

But the only model with AR6100 is my heli (CX2) my Decathlon and edf jet both have AR500 and my other planes have AR6200.

You should maybe consider using AR500 for your 48" and under foam planes if all you need is 5ch or the AR6200 for those that need 6ch.

But if you want to go with Futaba they are still very good radios.
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Old Mar 20, 2010, 11:40 PM
Registered User
Melbourne, Australia
Joined May 2006
6,407 Posts
Scary situation. Hard to say what is the cause. You could consider getting an AR6110 which in addition to brown-out indication provides "hold" detection. The LED will flash to indicate how many times it lost signal. This would give you some indication of whether there is a signal problem, but of course at the risk of losing your plane if it is a bad incident like the one you describe.

You (and you friends?) could invest in one of the low cost spectrum analyzers (eg Wi-Spy 2.4i $99) to actually gain insight into whether you local flying field has serious noise problems. See review here: http://www.rcmodelreviews.com/wispy24i.shtml

Without knowing the cause, switching brands might not be the solution. However, if you do want to change, then based on some fairly insightful and quite transparent end-user testing, the FrSky solution seems an excellent choice for high noise rejection. See review here: http://www.rcmodelreviews.com/frskyreview.shtml If you want a low cost solution then combining an iMax/Eurgle/Turnigy 9X Tx with the FrSky JR-style Tx-module and Rx (they have 8ch and 4ch 2.6g) might appeal.

If you want to go with Futaba and like helis, then skip the 6EX and consider the 7C as your entry point. For a very fine radio the 8FG is the sweet spot in terms of features and performance per dollar but is in the $500 bracket.
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Old Mar 21, 2010, 12:38 AM
Warbird E-Pilot / Hack Builder
Peoria, Arizona
Joined Feb 2009
366 Posts
Other flyers at this field have good luck with the AR6200, maybe the extra receiver helps. I went ahead and installed a AR6200 in the Trojan, and changed nothing else, so this will be the test.
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Old Mar 21, 2010, 04:28 AM
Where is the lift?
cptsnoopy's Avatar
USA, AZ, Phoenix
Joined Nov 2005
6,474 Posts
After what we experienced today at our 3+ meter glider contest, I have given up hope for the Spektrum technology. I switched to FASST but I suspect the other hopping systems might provide the same improvement such as Hitec and Airtronics. By "we" I mean myself using a AR9300 and another pilot with a AR9300. Good luck with whatever you decide to do. It is my hope that Spektrum is developing something more reliable than DSM2 and will implement it sooner than later.

Charlie
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Old Mar 21, 2010, 06:50 AM
60 years of RC flying
Daedalus66's Avatar
Canada, ON, Ottawa
Joined Feb 2006
16,757 Posts
I would not consider an AR6100 suitable for use in a 48" model, especially in an area of high RF activity and with buildings that will reflect signals. This pushes the limits of "park Flying" in my view.

The obvious replacements are the AR500 and the AR6200.

The problem with Futaba is the cost of receivers -- over $100 for the full range ones, even the four channel.
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Old Mar 21, 2010, 06:51 AM
60 years of RC flying
Daedalus66's Avatar
Canada, ON, Ottawa
Joined Feb 2006
16,757 Posts
Quote:
Originally Posted by cptsnoopy View Post
After what we experienced today at our 3+ meter glider contest, I have given up hope for the Spektrum technology.
What did you experience?
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Old Mar 21, 2010, 12:27 PM
slow but inefficient
Ron Williams's Avatar
Riverhead NY USA
Joined Dec 2000
3,097 Posts
Have you checked out your transmitter battery? I had similar problems and sent everything back to Horizon. They tested and said everything was fine except that my Tx battery was erratic. I changed it out and all my problems disappeared. There are others at our field who've had Tx battery problems. It seems that a cell can get an intermittent fault that is not evident until the battery is watched over a period of time while in use.
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Old Mar 21, 2010, 01:21 PM
Registered User
Crowthorne, Berkshire, UK
Joined Apr 2002
211 Posts
I concur with Daedalus - the 6100 is sold as a "Park Fly" Rx and although this is a vague specification I would regard 48" as bigger than park fly. The AR500 is a cheap alternative if you want full range, I have one that's worked fine in smallish models. Anything above about 50" I'd go for the 6200 to get the second set of antenna as insurance.
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Old Mar 21, 2010, 01:28 PM
60 years of RC flying
Daedalus66's Avatar
Canada, ON, Ottawa
Joined Feb 2006
16,757 Posts
There are three factors in the park flyer size issue.
First is flying distance. It's not that 48" is too big to be controlled by a park fly receiver but that by the time you get to that size, you tend to be flying farther away.
Second, bigger models are often (but certainly not always) heavier, fast and more potentially damaging to people or property, and if so deserve better signal reliability, as is provided by "full range" receivers.
Third issue is that some larger models have big chunks of conductive stuff like engines or batteries that can shadow a receiver if it doesn't have two separated antennas.
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Old Mar 22, 2010, 01:41 AM
Where is the lift?
cptsnoopy's Avatar
USA, AZ, Phoenix
Joined Nov 2005
6,474 Posts
Quote:
Originally Posted by Daedalus66 View Post
What did you experience?
3 holds in one 10 minute flight. pulled the 9300 and put in the 8 channel FASST. Installed the FASST module in my Evo and had zero problems the rest of the day. All other components were exactly the same and did not charge the Tx or Rx receiver battery before the next flights. The other person was just as lucky. Had holds but reconnected before impact and was able to land safely also. He put his glider away for the day. These gliders cost way to much to be dealing with this kind of "maybe it works, maybe it don't" stuff.

Charlie
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Old Mar 25, 2010, 04:12 PM
jib
Chief Mechanic for my son
Covington, WA
Joined Oct 2008
377 Posts
I'm running the AR500 in all (five) of my non-park flyer planes. This includes 60 inch wing span and .61 sized engines. We have had no issues.

I place the receiver as far back from the engine as normal length servo wires will allow and at least (I'm guessing) 3-4 inches from the battery in balsa and coroplast planes.

The AR500 is the least expensive, full range receiver Spektrum offers.

jack
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