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Old Feb 16, 2007, 02:13 PM
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crossup's Avatar
Annapolis, Maryland USA
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Mini-HowTo
New Monolith INFO

As posted else where here, I have a very normal, common Futaba 8U and the Monolith.
Problem is the supplied cable causes the unit to immediatedly power the 8U and Monolith. Since programming requires turning the Monolith on and off, thats a problem.
Putting a switch in the red power line only prevents the Monolith from powering , but the 8U powers(or more precisely, the "encoder" etc NOT the RF) but the coder is computer run and takes a while to boot so powering it is not the best answer . Its powered because the Monolith plug has pins 4 and 5 connected together(btw, powering encoder this way turns off the RF, perfect)(5 is ALSO the red power wire).

Now according to Jason Toews Operations Manager at Plantraco, the solution for the 8U (and Im sure others) is to connect the red wire to PIN 1.
Pin 1 is powered WHEN the 8U switch is turned on. That was the "fix"

Now maybe this is NOT the intented mode of use but I would like to plug in the Monolith and have NOTHING happen. Then at my choice, I could power the 8U and fly using 72mhz OR flip the Monolith (I installed one) switch and fly UHF. My understanding is to do that I will have to use a STDP switch and
use the second contact pair to make the PIN 4 to 5 connection. That way the power is supplied to the Monolith AND the encoder is powered by pin 4-5.

Ultimately I intend to have BOTH my IR Tx and Monolith connected to the buddy plug internally and mounted on the back and handle externally. That way I can STILL use my buddy box port normally AND have the choice of using the IR or Monolith by just flipping one switch each.
FWIW, the 8U has a RF shielded case so the Monolith in only gonna work well outside (all you EE's an antenaa gurus ignore me). I find it fits well right on the back..just bare inpinges on finger room.
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Last edited by crossup; Feb 17, 2007 at 09:24 AM.
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Old Feb 16, 2007, 02:34 PM
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USA, IL, Round Lake
Joined Feb 2004
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Have you done range checking at all with the Monolith. Seems theres been chitchat about the range beeing very short. Thanks.
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Old Feb 16, 2007, 03:12 PM
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Annapolis, Maryland USA
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So far my range check has been limited to the lenght of my arms windy as hell here all week
I've heard the chatter...my first issue is to get it working easily and reliably- until I installed a switch I got programming mode a lot and nearly messed up some servos when that caused it to decide that centered sticks was the full range of motion....nearly cooked my Westekservo motor before I could unplug it..tried to run in alternating directions about twice a second..motor did NOT like reversing while still going the other way.
All is well now so soon I will have a working plane to range check with, thats the best way I think.

Quote:
Originally Posted by mrfliboy
Have you done range checking at all with the Monolith. Seems theres been chitchat about the range beeing very short. Thanks.
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Old Feb 16, 2007, 06:04 PM
Plantraco's Avatar
Saskatoon, Canada
Joined Jan 2003
2,236 Posts
Quote:
Originally Posted by crossup
As posted else where here, I have a very normal, common Futaba 8U and the Monolith.
Problem is the supplied cable causes the unit to immediatedly power the 8U and Monolith. Since programming requires turning the Monolith on and off, thats a problem.
Putting a switch in the red power line only prevents the Monolith from powering , but the 8U powers(or more precisely, the "encoder" etc NOT the RF) but the coder is computer run and takes a while to boot so powering it is not the best answer . Its powered because the Monolith plug has pins 4 and 5 connected together(btw, powering encoder this way turns off the RF, perfect)(5 is ALSO the red power wire).

Now according to Jason Toews Operations Manager at Plantraco, the solution for the 8U (and Im sure others) is to connect the red wire to PIN 1.
Pin 1 is powered WHEN the 8U switch is turned on. That was the "fix"

Now maybe this is NOT the intented mode of use but I would like to plug in the Monolith and have NOTHING happen. Then at my choice, I could power the 8U and fly using 72mhz OR flip the Monolith (I installed one) switch and fly UHF. My understanding is to do that I will have to use a STDP switch and
use the second contact pair to make the PIN 4 to 5 connection. That way the power is supplied to the Monolith AND the encoder is powered by pin 4-5.

Ultimately I intend to have BOTH my IR Tx and Monolith connected to the buddy plug internally and mounted on the back and handle externally. That way I can STILL use my buddy box port normally AND have the choice of using the IR or Monolith by just flipping one switch each.
FWIW, the 8U has a RF shielded case so the Monolith in only gonna work well outside (all you EE's an antenaa gurus ignore me). I find it fits well right on the back..just bare inpinges on finger room.


We started wiring with different pinout when we noticed an issue with Futaba transmitters. The more compatible pinout is Power on pin 1 of the Din6 - the latest manual is here,

http://plantraco.com/hobbies/help.html

and it shows a picture of the new pinout.


For your needs, I think you can put a switch on the power lead and leave signal and ground connected.
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Old Feb 17, 2007, 12:35 AM
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Annapolis, Maryland USA
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Done Deal

Okey, finally approached this like I meant it ...I put a bare DIN plug in the buddy socket, got a failsafe equipped plane as an RF test and applied my multi-meter to the pins.

Result: to make the Monolith power properly via a switch do this for the Futaba 8U:

Your DIN plug:

Connect Pin 1 in your DIN plug to the red wire now connected to the bridged pins 4 and 5.


My DIN plug connector shell was soldiered together, if yours is you will have to unsoldier that first.

In the Monolith do this to complete the mod:

My Monolith came with a 3/8" hole in one case end already, makes you wonder doesnt it?....if yours doesnt drill one the size of the mini toggle switch you use, use the end where end of the case where the cable comes out and make sure to place it high enough the switch will clear the PCB inside
Next unsoldier the red wire
You will need a couple of inches of similar sized or larger wire and use it to connect the PCB pad where the red wire was with the switch( use the common. contact if a 3 wire switch). Then on the other switch connection (or the N.O. contact on a 3 wire switch) the red wires from the cable.

Thats it, now you can plug it in and leave it in...

Disclaimer: by using these instructions you acknowledge that you accept the risks inherent in muckin' with electricity, tools and other fun stuff and further accept using a non standard NMEA wire color coding and the inevitable comments it will bring.
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Last edited by crossup; Feb 20, 2007 at 07:52 AM.
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Old Feb 17, 2007, 09:21 AM
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Annapolis, Maryland USA
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Monolith Range

Okey, I can now confirm the rumors of poor range. Using a Micro 9 servo rx on two cells/ESC, I'm getting around 20' but even at that glitches are common.
I decide to try hovering to see if being in the air and away from my body would help range but even at 10' I got some nasty glitches, it was only blind luck that
no damge was done landing inverted at full throttle during a glitch

I'm using a Futaba 8U with the Monolith mounted on the back. I've verified that full battery voltage is getting to the MONO, the RF deck is defeated when the MONO is on. My rx antennas are straight and sound.

Has ANYONE gotten a usable range out of their MONOLITH?
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Last edited by crossup; Feb 20, 2007 at 07:53 AM.
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Old Feb 17, 2007, 11:56 AM
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Saskatoon, Canada
Joined Jan 2003
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Something must be wrong - contact our office. Maybe we still have a bug in the darn thing.
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