|Sep 13, 2012, 12:01 AM|
Bienvenue Matt! Welcome back from France.
3D Printer! Wow! the possibilities are exciting and a demo at the next EFSIG meeting would be very interesting. (Illawarra Model Aero Club Electric Flight Special Interest Group)
If I have to put the antenna outside the case I had in mind making a silicon rubber mould for a fibreglass recessed housing in the top forward face of the Tx to permanently house the antenna. The slot would be dog bone shaped with finger access at each end to
1) allow the antenna to be installed and
2) allow the antenna to be raised to a semi - vertical position if necessary to achieve better range.
Let's see what my range tests produce....
|Sep 16, 2012, 01:07 AM|
Small delay to range tests. The FrSky DHT module did not work. The LED on the small PC board which is next to the momentary switch blinked continuously. It was not possible to put the unit into bind mode so no binding was possible.
A friend just happened to have a DHT module spare which is now installed in my Tx and working properly with telemetry for Tx and Rx RSSI and receiver battery voltage.
Don't forget the connections between TXD and RXD are crossed when wiring the DHT module. Ie the RXD from the pin on the ErSky9x board goes to the TXD terminal on the DHT module and vice versa. It's in Brent's 'Care and Feeding' post #2 of the ErSky9x Ver B1 Users Area.
|Sep 17, 2012, 04:34 AM|
In my experience in R $ D for a vehicle manufacturer many years ago, there were many occasions when all the calculations and theories were for nought when the tests were made and the results collated. And then you had to justify your employment and work out why the theory did not work and what went wrong - and what needed to be done to solve the problem.
In this case the results were the exact opposite:
Range with ariel inside case = 84 metres.
Range with ariel outside case = 121.5 metres
|Sep 17, 2012, 04:47 AM|
Ever since you posted about plastics absorbing microwaves and your microwave oven tests on plastic coupled with the knowledge that it is possible to warm up epoxy in the microwave I have had concerns over epoxy fuselages and 2.4!
I know this goes against common wisdom and I have 2.4 aerials inside fuselarges but I am ever mindfully of your comments on the radio absorbsion of some plastics.
Have you got a sample of cured tx case epoxy that you can microwave test?
Do you have any ideas on the reasons for the reduced range?
|Sep 17, 2012, 05:14 AM|
I tested a piece of off cut glass and resin when I trimmed the top part of the case and commented on the reults earlier in this blog. It did not get warm. However the test I did today is remarkably conclusive that the relative permitivity of the case in it's finished form is much higher than the microwave oven test would indicate.
It is now filled, primed, painted and clear lacquered. So there is a list of potential culprits in addition to the epoxy resin.
I have previously come to the conclusion that receiver ariels should preferably both be outside the fuselage, well away from any carbon and not contained in a plastic tube.
I have some tubes which passed the microwave oven test fitted to gliders with carbon fuselages to keep the ariels well away from the sides of the fuse ie the lesser of two evils is to have them inside a tube which has been tested and is relatively safe. I have not had range problems with these models.
I have some more tests to do tomorrow if it does not rain including a test with a carbon base for the tray Tx.
|Sep 18, 2012, 02:38 AM|
The range tests today showed that the transmitter ariels - (sometimes called Rubber Ducky ariels after a manufacturer who made short stubby ariels for all sorts of uses and frequencies) are definitely not all the same. I measured the range until my Er9x hand held transmitter showed no signal received at the Rx. Ie the telemetry screen showed the "No Data" message. I tested five ariels as follows:
#2 = 112 metres
# Spare = 108 metres
#1 = 107 metres
# DFT = 104 metres
# DHT = 97.7 metres
So there's a 15% or so variation in range just due to the Tx ariel.
I tested an alternative DJT module with the best ariel from above and measured 142 metres and on a second attempt 148 metres until drop out. Compared with the original DJT module the second is much better at more than 30% more range.
I think they all have more than enough range as I have been using Ariels #1, #2, #DHT and #DFT without range issues in real life. Same for the two DJT modules. The red alarm signal starts at about 45 metres give or take 5 metres or so and continues until after dropout so there is plenty of "headroom" once you hear the red alarm also to reacquire the signal once it has dropped out you have to walk back towards the model between 8 and 15 metres.
|Sep 18, 2012, 04:29 AM|
New Tx Ariel mounting. Range tests tomorrow; weather permitting.
|Sep 19, 2012, 05:04 AM|
The range test was successful. The ariel orientation makes a difference.
I used a different location to do the tests today so I tested both the best DJT module and best ariel from yesterday against the tray Tx. The tray radio was slightly better than the handheld but the difference is negligible. With the ariel rotated parallel with the top of the case it was about ten metres worse than with the ariel vertical in about 100 metres range.
The first test flight should be possible tomorrow depending on the weather.
|Sep 25, 2012, 03:00 AM|
The radio has now been used for one F5B hot liner and one F5J competition sailplane. I flew in an F5J competition last Sunday where the radio performed faultlessly with the model range at the limit of my eye sight.
The controls are comfortable but could be improved. For use in flying aircraft where the throttle stick is used in the conventional manner the present layout is more than satisfactory. However where the stick is in the fully forward position, say when used for flaps or spoilers or CROW the throttle switch is about 5 mm too close to the top of the stick. On the left side however the position of the IDO/1/2 switch is excellent even though it as a mirror image of the throttle switch position on the right side. I would not make a lopsided layout so I would move both up about 3 mm. The layout pictured below has not been altered to show the ideal position. I am a little smaller than 50th percentile male dimensions so have about average hand size; perhaps a little smaller.
The radio now talks to my laptop computer - well, the Windows partition anyway. I have not actually saved any models or updated the firmware yet, but that will come when I have another model or two loaded. Loading SAM-BA under Windows is a pain compared with loading Eepe or the KK Multicopter programs onto the Mac partition. (I hate Windows BTW) The driver installation took me ages due to my ignorance not recognising the difference between the System library and the library folder associated with the software. (I hate Windows, did I say?)
The tray support frame is 6 mm chromed steel rod which is the material used to make the tea towel rail. The radio balances OK but would be better if the arms to which the straps attach were 20 mm further forward. The drawing below is traced from my original item but the dimension for the strap attachment arms is increased by 20 mm.
The canting of the sticks so that the fore/aft axis is 3.5 degrees inward at the top is quite comfortable for me and I would make another exactly the same. YMMV.
|Sep 26, 2012, 04:51 PM|
I built it for my use. I have an ancient Robbe/Futaba FC28 which is way out of date and rather difficult to program. I wanted to replace it but can not afford to buy a Jeti DX11.
I also wanted to use an old JR 388 which I could not bring myself to throw away, which had better gimbals than the Eurgle. I could have used all the parts out of my second Eurgle but I also wanted the added development opportunity of using the ErSky 9x motherboard and associated firmware. Of course the better screen with built in backlight was also an attraction.
I am now making a case for a friend who has been very generous to me in the past. I will see how much effort there is in just making it before I make a decision about possible sale to forum members.
|Sep 27, 2012, 04:39 PM|
Joined Aug 2004
Congratulations for the great work. The final product has a very nice looking and seems very solid and complete.
I'm also in this hobby for a while and still keep my FM Futaba Conquest (maybe around 20 years old).
If you decide to sell it, please let us know.
|Nov 13, 2012, 10:58 PM|
Putting voice annunciation on my ErSky 9x board.
Upgrade the ErSky operating system as follows:
Use SAM-BA to upload the latest version of the ErSky 9x firmware. Or you can just use companion9x, and it will call SAM-BA to use your file wherever it is!
Latest release here:
1: Download and install the SAM-BA program. You must also instal the USB drivers that come with it.
SAM-BA User Guide:
http://www.cs.jhu.edu/~cliang4/public/d ... rguide.pdf
2: Now that SAM-BA is installed , you need to go the folder where it is installed. Now locate the tcl_lib folder , and save the ZIP in it.
NOTE: This a New Version ..Do not use the orginal I posted , it will cause an Error.
The ersky9x_rom.bin file needs to be in the same folder on your hard drive as the SAM-BA program. Go to "my computer" and double click on the "C" drive. double click on the 'Program Files' folder. Then double click on the 'ATMEL corporation' folder. Double click on the samba_2.11 folder. There you will find the samba run time executable (the icon has drawing of a chip on it) together with the tc-lib folder (where you put the usb driver software when installing the samba usb driver) and the uninstall program. drag and drop the ersky9x_rom.bin file into this folder then follow the instructions for starting SAM-BA here:
at the second post by SkyNorth.
When you have loaded the .wav voice files into the root directory of the SD card correctly, the first screen, 'long left' on the Tx menu, has an option for setting the sound mode. Set this as "speaker voice". In the second screen "long right", on the second line is the place where the .wav file for the name of the model is defined. The line "Voice Index" is set to the number of the .wav file corresponding to the name of the model. In the folder with the .wav files there is a text file which describes what sound is included in each .wav file.
A Micro SD card and a reader/writer which plugs into a USB port on your computer is needed.
I purchased mine from her:
Then download the sound files from the link at the bottom of this post.
Open the .doc file at the bottom of the list. This explains that the files in red colour are for use by the system and can not be moved. Numbers starting at 0260.wav are model names and you will probably need to make your own or get someone else to do it for you. Numbers in black are free to use for voice annunciations which you may need to make for your aircraft. For example I use the ID0/1/2 switch for flight mode programming so I needed a voice file for "Landing Mode", Thermal Mode" and "Race Mode". See below about making voice .wav files.
Then learn how to program the voice files into your Tx here:
Making a voice file on a Mac.
You can make a voice file using your own voice or one of the Macintosh voices in .m4a file format using apps you already have that come for free with Mac. You then have to convert it to ,wav format using an app like Switch File Converter:
Using your own voice:
Open Quicktime Player. In the drop down menu 'File' select 'New Audio Recording' A graphic similar to an audio playback graphic will appear. It has a red dot in the middle. Click on that dot and speak to the installed microphone usually at the top of the screen. Click on the dot which is now a black square when finished. Save the file to the desktop. It is in .mov format. Open Switch Audio Converter. Drag and drop the .mov file into the big space in the middle of the application. At the bottom left corner select .wav as the output format. At the bottom of the page is a button labelled Encoder options. Select 'Custom' as the 'Settings' option. Then select 8 bit for Er9x or 16 bit for ErSky 9x use and click OK. It doesn't matter what else you select they will revert to 'auto' anyway. No I don't know why. Select the location where you want the file to end up and then click on the 'Convert' button. That's your .wav file finished.
Using a Mac voice.
Mac have had text to speech capability since about 1988. Highlight any text or list of names and numbers and press a keyboard shortcut ( 'apple' + 'esc' in my case)and it will speak the text. (your mac may have a different keyboard shortcut - see later)
In short to record a .wav file for your SD card: open iTunes, open TextEdit,. Open Switch. Write your annunciation (ie model names) on a single line in TextEdit, highlight it and press 'ctrl' + click the mouse, from the menu select 'Add to iTunes as a spoken track'. Go to iTunes page 'Recently Added'. As detailed above, drag and drop the m4a file into the Switch window. Select the .wav format. select the custom encoder option and 16 or 8 bit . Convert the file and you are done.
Now there are many Mac voices and the default (Alex) is probably not what you want as it does not match what others have already recorded because they are all female and this voice is male. Go to System Preferences and open the Speech Preferences. Depending on the age of your Mac there will be a variable number of voices and the quality will be variable. My ancient MacBook has 5 male,5 female and ten novelty voices. The male and female voices have a 'Stephen Hawking' monotonic sound and could be used, but don't match what has already been done. My iMac with OS 10.8 has only 6 voices total of much better quality, but you can download up to 20 or so specifically for different languages ie an Italian voice for italian language text to speech. I used the Australian English voice 'Karen' which is a slightly softer but close match to what has already been done and has no Stephen Hawking effect. In recent OS's you have to download your voice from a list under 'custom' in the list of voices.
Your shortcut to speaking text and adding text to iTunes as a spoken track may be different depending on the age of your Mac. Look in System Preferences - Keyboard Shortcuts - Services . Here you can tick the box for 'Add to iTunes as a Spoken Track' and define your own shortcut. This command line will then appear in your ctrl + click menu.
Here's a link to help explain system settings for various operating systems:
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