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Old Aug 30, 2014, 09:09 PM
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United States, TX, Katy
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SAFE mode troubles with Corsair, Turnigy 9XR and Orange DSM JR module - Solved

Hi folks,

My buddy (and me I guess) is in need of some help. Here is his equipment:

Turnigy 9XR radio , with the OrangeRX JR DSM module

Plane: Corsair BNF with SAFE technology
(http://www.horizonhobby.com/products...nology-HBZ8280)


The problem:
He is brand new to the hobby, I've been at it a year or two...just enough to be dangerous I guess.

The real problem:
SAFE mode isn't working/activating properly.

Things we did/tried:
- With *MY* DX9 transmitter, we were able to bind to the plane's receiver and could flip the switch changing channel 5 output and observe SAFE working in the plane as you would expect..... i.e. in beginner mode it tries to get the plane back to level...in advanced it lets it go. Also channel 6 switch activates panic mode. We only bench tested, but it all appeared to work as you'd expect

- It took us a while to figure out how to speak the language of his Turnigy 9XR radio, but I am pretty sure we eventually managed to set it up so that his 3 position switch was letting him output +100/0/-100 signals on channel 5 which would be for the safe mode. We setup his TRN switch such that if it was in default position CH6 output is -100 and if we activate the switch CH6 goes to +100 (I could have that backwards as he isn't here for me to see/verify)
The receiver seems to bind correctly to the planes receiver. We bound it, unplugged the bind plug with it still powered on, then powered down the plane-rx, then power back on.

*IF* we powered the plane and RX on with CH5 set so that the plane should be in beginner mode, we could observe the plane correctly moving the control surfaces when in beginner mode (we first had to arm it by momentarily throttling-up). *BUT* as soon as he flipped the switch to change CH5 output for either intermediate or advanced mode the SAFE seemed to be deactivated and could not be reactivated. We would flip the switch back and watch the onscreen monitor show CH5 going back to where we started it and it previously worked... but now SAFE mode wasn't trying to bring the plane back to level. We even tried another throttle up for a moment to see if somehow it needed arming again...no luck


So... we had it working with my DX9 radio, but not his Turnigy 9XR + Orange DSM module.... although his radio seemed to be controlling everything normally on the plane. I even stuck my multimeter leads to the servo pins for channels 5 and 6 on his receiver and could see the voltage change to those channels as he flipped switches to cause CH5 and CH6 signals to change. We simply didn't see *ANY* response from the plane's control surfaces indicating that SAFE was trying to level the plane.

I should mention that throughout this, we could see the actions of the AS3X system in the receiver. As we would move the plane around it would momentarily move the control surfaces...but it clearly wasn't acting like it was in beginner mode.


One other thing I had a peek at, but I can't say I know what I was looking for..... On the Turnigy 9XR radio it was set with a ppm rate of 22.5 msec. Could the issue be related to some sort of incorrect frame rate coming from the 9XR and the Orange module?

Thanks for *ANY* suggestions. My buddy left the house this evening seriously bummed out that we didn't manage to get his new bind-n-fly toy into the air today. Having said that, it is a good lesson for him that this hobby is as much about digging into the tech side of things as it is flying...
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Last edited by Flyswamper; Sep 01, 2014 at 08:58 PM. Reason: adding "solved" to the title
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Old Aug 31, 2014, 10:26 AM
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The bottom line is, that the DSM module on that HobbyKing TX is simply not compatible with the SAFE receiver from Horizon Hobby. SAFE equipped receivers are pretty much proprietary to the Spektrum brand. It doesn't surprise me that it won't work with a "clone" TX. The only solution is to get a genuine Spektrum TX.
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Old Aug 31, 2014, 01:34 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by chucksolo69 View Post
The bottom line is, that the DSM module on that HobbyKing TX is simply not compatible with the SAFE receiver from Horizon Hobby. SAFE equipped receivers are pretty much proprietary to the Spektrum brand. It doesn't surprise me that it won't work with a "clone" TX. The only solution is to get a genuine Spektrum TX.
I guess I'm not yet ready to accept that the *ONLY* solution is to get a genuine Spectrum TX. I would be first in line to agree that might be the easiest/best solution. However, I'm trying to help my friend out and was hoping the good folks here might share some technical insight as to what might be going on.

From all the google-searching/reading I've done last night and today, it seems like the main/known issue that people using an Orange DSM module like my friend has is that there is a chance of some type of unique-ID/address conflict happening if you have multiple radios/modules operating in the same area. While that is clearly a concern, it doesn't sound like that would have anything to do with the behaviour we were seeing with the gear sitting on my kitchen table.

After all, we had no troubles binding the planes SAFE receiver with the orange module. When we did so, we appeared to have full control through all the observable channels (CH1-4)... i.e. we had control of throttle, ailerons,elevator, and rudder. The plane would even *START* in beginner mode if we had channel 5 output setup correctly when we powered up and armed SAFE with a quick throttle burst... It just wouldn't go back into beginner mode after we'd changed the output on channel 5 away from beginner mode.

I'm still relatively new to all this, but it just feels to me that the *ONLY* solution isn't telling this guy that is brand new to the hobby that he can't use the gear he's got. Seems to me his radio is connecting via DSM (not sure if it's DSMX, DSM2... or any other details ) and that as long as it is speaking the DSM language through the RF airwaves there is no reason the spectrum receiver shouldn't respond as expected.

Last night we did some other testing that I didn't mention in my initial post. In addition to my DX9 I have 4 other transmitters at my house. I've got a DX4 that came with my Supercub (non-SAFE), another DX4 that came with my Delta Ray (which is SAFE and 4-ch), a DX5e that came with my safe-equipped Apprentice S15e, and a Taranis which I don't use with spectrum receivers but it does have the JR module bay and we *could have* have used for testing.

I *DID* try binding his Corsair's rx with my DX5e. It bound successfully and I had control of the ailerons,elevator, and rudder. But strangely I had no throttle control when we bound to that transmitter. I repeated the bind a couple different times with identicall results. Because we had no throttle with that Spektrum TX we weren't able to arm SAFE and couldn't test if the CH5 switch would get the plane to change SAFe modes correctly.

Thinking about it this morning..... I should have also tried to bind it to the DX4e that came with my Delta Ray plane. It seems to really be a 6 channel tx since it has the CH5 mode switch as well as a bind/panic button. We still need to see if we can't figure out why we are having trouble with the Orange module and his 9XR radio, but if the DX4e works I wouldn't mind lending that to him until we get this solved.

Based on the google searching/reading I've done over the past few hours... I've taken note that these Orange DSM modules have an issue which poses a risk of having a non-unique address/ID for the transmitter. While this is of concern and may be good reason to buy only spectrum branded TX... my friend has the equipment that he has and we are just trying to see if there is a way we can make it work!

One other testing idea that has fumbled through my mind... curious on anybody's thoughts as to the usefulness of it... I'm pretty sure I have a Spektrum 6 or 8 channel sport receiver sitting in my parts bin somewhere (need to dig it out to verify). Maybe we should bind his Turnigy9XR+Orange module to that Spektrum receiver and just hook up a couple of servos to each of the channels 1-6. Then we could at least verify that servos show the expected response when we flip the switches for channels 5 and 6 (safe mode and panic) for a *somewhat similar* spectrum rx.
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Old Aug 31, 2014, 05:04 PM
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My point, is, is it really worth all the trouble, when a cheap Spektrum TX would solve the problem?
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Old Aug 31, 2014, 07:36 PM
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Agreed if the priority is just a quick fix. But if there is a bit of knowledge somebody here has that would actually help solve the puzzle he'd have a much better solution and could take advantage of his turnigy 9xr radio.

Its hard to imagine that nobody here has used a 9xr and Orange module with a SAFE rx.

My latest suggestion to him is to bind that model in his 9xr to one of the other planes he has with dsm rx in it (he built a flitetest bloody wonder and spitfire). He can then connect servos to ch5 and ch6 and use servo movement to confirm what signal seems to be coming through....
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Old Aug 31, 2014, 09:06 PM
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I fully understand what you are trying to say, but, isn't the priority learning to fly the plane? How is that goal accomplished by messing around with the SAFE system on an incompatible TX? You might just end up messing up the system that allows this plane to be flown by a relatively new pilot.
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Old Sep 01, 2014, 12:00 AM
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With all due respect, you are trying to solve a problem he doesn't have. He's been flying already. He has actually built a flitetest bloody wonder and a flitetest spitfire and flown them both. And he's done so with his Turnigy 9XR radio and Orange 2.4Ghz DSM module. He's also gotten a decent amount of airtime flying some of my planes with me acting as the "instructor" and buddy-boxing through my DX9 wirelessly.

The problem (and the priority) we are trying to solve is to get his existing radio working with his newly purchased plane's rx so that he can enjoy SAFE mode without buying new gear. Undoubtedly, when we do solve it he (and I) will have learned something in the process too. If he simply takes the easy way out and just buys another transmitter he will have missed that learning, which I believe is as much a part of this hobby as anything else (even the flying). And to be frank, we didn't need to come to the forums to know that he could simply spend his way out of the problem.

I do thank you though. You did raise a good point and your continued chat in the thread helps to keep it alive which improves the odds that someone will come along and have some ideas/tips of things to look for and try. I think we may have found another fellow flyer in another forum that may have experienced a similar thing. We have a couple of ideas from him that will likely be tried. If it turns out successful, I'll try to make sure and post what we learned back here.

In the meantime... thanks again for the feedback, and we would politely ask folks for any tips/ideas or just things to think about which might help us get his radio working with his SAFE equipped plane-RX.
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Old Sep 01, 2014, 08:28 AM
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To date, I have had 3 RC planes with the SAFE system installed. I truly believe that what you guys want to accomplish is not possible. Horizon Hobby has locked down the programming on SAFE equipped planes; I believe this is to protect their patent on it. That HK TX might work on AS3X equipped planes, but I doubt it will ever work on SAFE equipped planes. I think this is why you haven't had any answers. Do you honestly think that Horizon Hobby would spend a bunch of money developing the SAFE system just to have it "cloned" by HK, just like their DSM2/DSMX transmitters and receivers have been. I hardly think so. You're friend's TX is NEVER gonna work right with ANY SAFE equipped RC aircraft.

Aside from this issue, why would he buy a plane with the "beginner" type SAFE system if he already knows how to fly?
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Old Sep 01, 2014, 10:14 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by chucksolo69 View Post
I truly believe that what you guys want to accomplish is not possible. Horizon Hobby has locked down the programming on SAFE equipped planes; I believe this is to protect their patent on it. That HK TX might work on AS3X equipped planes, but I doubt it will ever work on SAFE equipped planes. I think this is why you haven't had any answers. Do you honestly think that Horizon Hobby would spend a bunch of money developing the SAFE system just to have it "cloned" by HK, just like their DSM2/DSMX transmitters and receivers have been. I hardly think so.
Well... I'm certainly not an expert on the subject matter, but suspicion is that it can be done. Since there is only a RF link between the transmitter and the RX, as long as they are speaking the same language to each other (DSMX, or DSM2) my guess is that *provided* you get the transmitter sending the right signals through the airwaves that the receiver is unaware of the brand label that is stuck to the transmitter. The trick is getting the transmitter sending the signals in the way tha the RX needs them. The unit is already binding and controlling the plane.

On another forum a fella has indicated he had similar troubles, though it wasn't SAFE though. What he did observe was that if the channel output was set to 100 that the RX interpreted it as if it was at zero. When he set the limits/max output to something like 80 or 90 instead of 100 he got the right response on CH5/6. The guess is that output at 100 is being interpreted as being beyond the endpoint in the RX and it sets it back to 0. The solution was simply to adjust the end points.

Now... I haven't gotten together with my friend yet to test any of that. But this certainly seems like a good thing to test out. I think what we'll probably do is to plug his Orange module into the JR-slot of my Taranis radio and then we can map a couple of knobs/pots to channels 5 and 6. If it is an endpoint issue, we should be able to just turn the knobs and observe where the SAFE RX changes modes. Presumably we can then setup his radio to output a more limited endpoint range that keeps the RF signal to within the band that the SAFE receiver thinks it should be.

I'm really out of my area of expertise here, but this is the same reason that I mentioned the PPM frame rate in my original post here. My hunch is that it is related to something like the end points or maybe the frame rate... but then again, I'm not educated enough to fully understand what I am talking about on how all those pieces to the puzzle fit together.

Quote:
You're friend's TX is NEVER gonna work right with ANY SAFE equipped RC aircraft.
I hope you aren't correct, but I guess we will find out..

Quote:
Aside from this issue, why would he buy a plane with the "beginner" type SAFE system if he already knows how to fly?
He bought the plane because he thinks the Corsair is a cool warbird and I kept advising him to wait on any low wing planes like that. He had flown some of my SAFE equipped planes and decided that since the plane had SAFE in it which he could use as a bit of a low-wing/warbird training aide that he would go ahead and go for it.

I know there are folks on here that think that if you already know how to fly you have no reason to buy a plane with SAFE. Without getting into that debate, lets just acknowledge the fact that he (and even myself) are quite happy to buy a plane which has SAFE programming in the RX even if you already know how to fly (really well or just beginner skills). In that same vein of thought, even though I can fly it plenty good enough... I have a Flitetest Bluntnose Versawing myself which I setup with a FY-30 3-axis flight stabilization/gyro. I mostly fly in manual mode, but it's nice to have the ability to flip a switch (ala SAFE) and let the gyro's help you out. In a similar way, for my bigger longer range FPV plane I really enjoy having a full autopilot system in there..even though I already know how to fly the plane well enough manually.

What I have learned through setting all these up is that they all tend to require a bit of diagnostic and tweaking to get stuff working right. But.. once you do figure it out you can have a system that works well together. Of course, as you've pointed out... the other option is to stick with plug-n-play systems from one vendor and your need for diagnostics/tweaking will be greatly reduced.

Thanks again for the conversation. If any of this spurs thoughts in folks as to what to look for test then it has been helpful!
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Old Sep 01, 2014, 10:35 AM
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Try posting this question in the Radio subforum. Perhaps someone with more technical knowledge can help you. Unless of course you enjoy mindless bickering
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Old Sep 01, 2014, 11:12 AM
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will do... thanks for the suggestion!
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Old Sep 01, 2014, 08:58 PM
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Happy to report that the solution a fella from another forum gave worked like a charm. It seems that somehow the spectrum SAFE RX must be interpreting the endpoints a little differently. The solution is actually dead simple once you know what to look for.

All we had to do was to set the min/max limits for both channels 5 and 6 to be -80% and +80% instead of the default values of -100%/+100%. As soon as we did that he had all the safe modes working properly on the bench and we also had the panic switch working. Next step was to take her up for some flights. My buddy put 3 or 4 batteries through her today and all went well. In fact, the panic switch saved his bacon a couple of times I think!

Now.... if I were a betting man I'd bet that my buddy will eventually shell out the $$$ and get himself a nice spectrum transmitter. I got the impression he is a little envious/jealous of how easy it was for me to pull out my DX9 and just pick a plane/model without worrying about rebinding. Also he commented more than once about how cool the wireless buddy box setup is. But for now.... he's got his existing gear playing together nicely.... all is well!
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Old Sep 01, 2014, 10:52 PM
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Good to hear you got it solved. Happy flyin'.
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Old Sep 02, 2014, 06:06 AM
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Glad to hear it worked out. The 9xr with module will also work for wireless buddy box with the DX9. That's why I started to tinker with one to get as a back up to a dx9 And also for long range FPV with UHF module.

From reading this thread I'm glad you posted the question on FPVLab, too.
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Old Sep 02, 2014, 02:37 PM
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Good info---I know there were problems with Futaba and its DM8 module working with SAFE as well.

Jim
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