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Old Mar 28, 2014, 10:58 PM
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Joined Mar 2014
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Help, signal loss

Hi guys I have been having signal problems recently and im baffled to what it is, ive been flying for 15 years and have come across many problems but this I dont get. I have the dsx9 tx and the orange reciever in a flying wing I use up the mountain. I have no problem binding it and I get the solid the solid orange light. Today I flew for 20 minutes and lost controll of the plane 11 times. When I landed there was a small led flashing in front of the solid orange light( which means its still bound to to tx) this light tells me ive lost signal and how many times with the number of flashes. I use 2300 mah 6v nimh battery that plugs in to rx and cant find a fault with the battery or any others ive tried as ive also heard people talk about "brown outs" the batterys seem fine though. Also I took my dads tx pcm9x and used that and it did the same thing. I though maybe the wire in my aerial on my tx may have got brittle and damaged but it cant be that either as its doing it on both. I have no faith in the gear anymore and have some nice models so any help on this matter would be greatly aprreciated.
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Old Mar 28, 2014, 11:51 PM
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SoaringDude's Avatar
near Sacramento, CA
Joined Aug 2010
692 Posts
Matt,

Sorry to hear you're having signal loss problems but at least your plane is still okay. I agree if you get the same problem with 2 separate TX's then the problem is something RX or power related. To eliminate the battery pack as a problem I would charge it up and then perform a discharge test to see if the actual delivered capacity of the pack is close to the rating. Your charger probably has a setting for this. Let me know if you need a better description of how to do this.

Next I would check for an intermittent power connection. One quick thing you can do is wiggle the wiring and shake the plane or bump it (gently) into the ground to see if a bump causes power to drop momentarily.

Next I would do a thorough range test (I'll describe how below) and see if the attitude of the plane has anything to do with the signal loss events. It might be something as simple as your antenna orientation assuming that your fuse is 2.4 friendly.

So here's how to do a good range test: Set your TX for low power and have one person hold your TX in the normal flying position standing up. Have the TX person slowly move the stick left and right so you are causing a known control surface pattern back and forth (or you can enable your RX's failsafe mode so your control surfaces snap to a known position whenever the RX loses contact with the TX).

Turn your plane's RX on and have a second person grab your plane. Have them walk 20 paces and then stop, turn around, and face the TX. What you want the plane holder to then do is hold your plane up and slowly rotate it though all possible attitudes as if it were flying. The idea is to see if you can find any "null" position where the RX signal is lost. Be sure to include attitudes that place your (carbon fiber) wings in the signal path between the RX and TX antennas. When the plane is being rotated be sure to include pointing the nose of the fuse straight toward the TX, and then point the nose 180 degrees away from the TX. These are the 2 most common RX null attitudes since the antenna wire is usually lined up lengthwise with the fuse.

If the 20-paces-out test works without RX loss then have the plane holder walk out another 10-15 paces and try the same sequence again. Keep doing this until you find the point where the RX is definitely failing. If the distance is much less than your radio manual says a range test should give you then you can start looking at your antenna orientation, broken antenna wires, etc.

If you suspect the RX itself it would be easiest to just swap it out.

Let me know if you have any questions about any of this.

Chris B.
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Old Mar 29, 2014, 12:06 AM
LSF303 / AMA Life Member
tkallev's Avatar
USA, IL, Wheeling
Joined Jan 2003
3,013 Posts
Orange RX ... you get what you pay for.
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Old Mar 29, 2014, 01:33 AM
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Joined Mar 2014
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Originally Posted by tkallev View Post
Orange RX ... you get what you pay for.
I have used orange recievers for a while, so has my dad and we have never bad any problems.
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Old Mar 29, 2014, 01:40 AM
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Originally Posted by SoaringDude View Post
Matt,

Sorry to hear you're having signal loss problems but at least your plane is still okay. I agree if you get the same problem with 2 separate TX's then the problem is something RX or power related. To eliminate the battery pack as a problem I would charge it up and then perform a discharge test to see if the actual delivered capacity of the pack is close to the rating. Your charger probably has a setting for this. Let me know if you need a better description of how to do this.

Next I would check for an intermittent power connection. One quick thing you can do is wiggle the wiring and shake the plane or bump it (gently) into the ground to see if a bump causes power to drop momentarily.

Next I would do a thorough range test (I'll describe how below) and see if the attitude of the plane has anything to do with the signal loss events. It might be something as simple as your antenna orientation assuming that your fuse is 2.4 friendly.

So here's how to do a good range test: Set your TX for low power and have one person hold your TX in the normal flying position standing up. Have the TX person slowly move the stick left and right so you are causing a known control surface pattern back and forth (or you can enable your RX's failsafe mode so your control surfaces snap to a known position whenever the RX loses contact with the TX).

Turn your plane's RX on and have a second person grab your plane. Have them walk 20 paces and then stop, turn around, and face the TX. What you want the plane holder to then do is hold your plane up and slowly rotate it though all possible attitudes as if it were flying. The idea is to see if you can find any "null" position where the RX signal is lost. Be sure to include attitudes that place your (carbon fiber) wings in the signal path between the RX and TX antennas. When the plane is being rotated be sure to include pointing the nose of the fuse straight toward the TX, and then point the nose 180 degrees away from the TX. These are the 2 most common RX null attitudes since the antenna wire is usually lined up lengthwise with the fuse.

If the 20-paces-out test works without RX loss then have the plane holder walk out another 10-15 paces and try the same sequence again. Keep doing this until you find the point where the RX is definitely failing. If the distance is much less than your radio manual says a range test should give you then you can start looking at your antenna orientation, broken antenna wires, etc.

If you suspect the RX itself it would be easiest to just swap it out.

Let me know if you have any questions about any of this.

Chris B.
Thanks chris, I did do a range check today and I got about 40 paces away with the button on tx pressed in. Its really strange as sometimes its happened at height other times when its been close to us. I check all the batterys again and try a different reciever. Unfortunately I have already lost a big electric pitts special to this and nearly my 4m dg808s glider so for the moment the foam wing will be the test plane untill I can figure this out.
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Old Mar 29, 2014, 02:42 AM
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LI, New York, USA
Joined Mar 2003
23,465 Posts
I had a brand new Supra Pro with Futaba gear that lost signal on the second day. Turned out the problem was a faulty on/off switch that was causing intermittent power loss. Brand new switch. Took me a while and a case of pulling the plane out of a tree top to figure it out.
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Old Mar 29, 2014, 03:14 AM
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Joined Oct 2003
1,705 Posts
Matt,
I would advise you to follow the steps Chris suggested. If you do not find a problem, if you have another Rx try it make sure you install it in the same manner as the first one. Try the new RX with both yours and your fathers transmitter..
If they still indicate a problem I would suggest that it is a power or servo issue..
It has been my experience that if the system is working but fails at close range it is normally a power or high drain servo issue. If you are over taxing the servos either with load or binding you can cause a momenatry power spike that can cause these kind of issues. Good Luck LJ
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Old Mar 29, 2014, 08:44 AM
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LI, New York, USA
Joined Mar 2003
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One last thought. I recently had a Spektrum DX5e/AR500 combo that I had been using for 3 years as part of a Radian RTF package. The Radio/receiver which suddenly started to fail range check. Tried another receiver and had problems with that one too.

Turned out I had two problems.

The power switch on the DX5e was having problems and would power the "on" light but I was losing signal. The second, which might be your problem, was a bad antenna. Somehow the all important last 30 mm of the antenna was damaged and this was causing a signal issue even thought there are two antenna on the receiver.

Horizon hobby replaced both, free of charge.
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Last edited by aeajr; Mar 29, 2014 at 04:25 PM.
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Old Mar 29, 2014, 04:14 PM
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Joined Oct 2004
500 Posts
What could possibly go wrong with a $ 12.00 receiver . The lake next to my field is full of them . Even the gators don't want them .
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Old Mar 29, 2014, 10:19 PM
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Joined Mar 2014
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Originally Posted by jetmaven View Post
What could possibly go wrong with a $ 12.00 receiver . The lake next to my field is full of them . Even the gators don't want them .
Its easy for you to say that when ive been using them for over 2 years in 600 + models with no problems. Your guessing its the rx when you obviously have never used them
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Old Mar 30, 2014, 04:28 PM
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You are correct , I do not use them based on the observed experience of others who did.
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Old Mar 31, 2014, 09:21 AM
Will fly for food
davidjensen's Avatar
Bellevue WA,
Joined Dec 2003
6,478 Posts
How have you arranged the receiver antenna's? How old is the battery? Is it a carbon fuse?
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Old Mar 31, 2014, 10:41 AM
Mark LSF # 3792
United States, TX, Garland
Joined Nov 2008
428 Posts
I'm not saying it is the receiver, but there have been many people on these threads and in our club that have had problems with "fruit" receivers. My first step would be to try a known proven receiver after the range check procedures listed above and perform those procedures with the new receiver.

In our club those that replaced the spoiling fruit found the signal loss problem went away. Also, I personally would not trust any airframe other than a foamy to a $12.00 receiver. I hope you have good luck with solving your problem.
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Old Mar 31, 2014, 11:24 AM
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BanditD's Avatar
United Kingdom, Hampshire
Joined Mar 2014
45 Posts
I was wondering if the problem you had was with the DSM2 receiver of the new DSMX?
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Old Mar 31, 2014, 11:41 AM
Balsa addiction since age 3
ScottSails's Avatar
Upstate NY
Joined May 2005
1,200 Posts
How about providing more info on the servos? # and type? Digital, analog. What connector are you using for power? Do you use a power switch in the plane or directly connect to the leads on the receiver?

Flakey (cold or broken) solder connection somewhere in the power line? Do you have another receiver you can test on the ground?

Have you done a load test on the battery? Is it dropping voltage under load?

Just some suggestions..
Scott
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