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Old Oct 15, 2012, 02:21 AM
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Spektrum Brownouts

I have been having disconnect issues since the beginning of my journey into this sport. I have totaled 2 planes due to this and damaged a few others. I have not posted about this issue in any thread do to all the controversy surrounding it. Anything from its a myth to user error to 2.4ghz sucks etc.

Every time its happened I have tested every aspect of the plane fully afterwards. ESC, Motor, Receiver, Batteries, Connections. Everything always checks out okay. I have even went as far as load testing batteries. Nothing ever shown up as bad.

After my own experiences I finally came to the conclusion that folks in the brownout threads may have a point about voltage drops, ESC and reboots. To that end I went and put an order in for 10 Turnigy Becs. The 2 I already have were transferred over to 2 test planes that I will be flying for the next 2 weeks or more if needed to see if I Brownout.

I will post my results here as well as a video of my wing tester plummeting to the ground and then pulling up about a foot or so from the ground. I also have a video of my mini F-22 plummeting from the sky. I did get control back on that one but it was too late and I totaled the plane.

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Old Oct 15, 2012, 08:53 AM
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BEC is the answer, I put one in every plane now and I never have brownouts anymore.
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Old Oct 16, 2012, 02:54 AM
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Originally Posted by seojeff View Post
BEC is the answer, I put one in every plane now and I never have brownouts anymore.
I really really ( Did I mention really ) hope so. This is one issue that needs to go for good. Will keep this thread updated on how it goes.

Thanks for the post.

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Old Oct 16, 2012, 02:58 AM
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Brownout log

Will update this as to how the brown out issue is going. I am using Becs on 2 planes and cycling the same batteries through both. First flight I generally take it easy to get my bearings. Second flight is usually all out.

10/15/12 4 flights today. 2 on each plane. No brownouts. Planes seemed to run smoother than ussual ( may be in my head ).
10/16/12 4 flights today. No issues. Smooth as can be. I'm getting better at landing a faster heavier plane in turbulent winds ( No bent landing gear for a while now ).
10/17/12 4 Flights again today. Everything is going fine. No disconnects.
10/18/12 2 Flights today. No issues. Not feeling well.
10/19/12 4 Flights today. No issues.
10/20/12 2 flights today. 1 LOSS OF BROWNOUT/MOTOR . 2nd flight of the day. Running on 3 servos Rud/Ele/Ail. First time I have run this plane on 3 servos. Browned out on the motor about 4 or so minutes into the flight. Knew it immediately ( Loss in altitude ). Lasted 4-5 secs and then motor restarted. Reciever Light was blinking upon landing. Battery was at 6.79. These are new Turnigy nano techs. Had control the whole time it happened. A week ago this would have been a crash when you factor in how low I was ( I would not have had the altitude to recover ). The external Bec has paid for itself. I'm a believer. I have a vid if anyone is interested.

10/21/12 1 Flight today. Kinda short. Really rough 10mph plus winds. Bad landing ( Got a down gust just before touching down ).
10/22/12 2 Long flights today ( Used the big batteries ) No issues.
10/23/12 3 Flights today - No brownouts
10/24/12 2 flights today - Real windy where i'm at so was a bit limited. No issues.
10/26/12 2 flights today - No brownouts. First 2 flights on my DX8

10/27/12 Brownouts seem to be gone. Will report any here that occur. That's it for now.

Will continue testing and recording.


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Old Oct 16, 2012, 09:45 AM
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I had at least 3 crashes due to brownouts before finally realized that's what I needed to do. You can tell, if you're using OrangeRX, by the light on the rx when you land if you had a brownout. Those cheap BECs work fine for me eliminating those. I've yet to have one fail.


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Will update this as to how the brown out issue is going. I am using Becs on 2 planes and cycling the same batteries through both. First flight I generally take it easy to get my bearings. Second flight is usually all out.

10/15/12 4 flights today. 2 on each plane. No brownouts. Planes seemed to run smoother than ussual ( may be in my head ).

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Old Oct 16, 2012, 11:55 PM
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I had at least 3 crashes due to brownouts before finally realized that's what I needed to do. You can tell, if you're using OrangeRX, by the light on the rx when you land if you had a brownout. Those cheap BECs work fine for me eliminating those. I've yet to have one fail.
Thanks for the flashing light info. I did not know that was what it indicated. I have both Orange RX and 3 spectrum receivers. Will keep an eye out for flashing on landing.

I also read that you should always power off the radio between battery's. I'm going to start doing that too...

On the bec side I have 2 HK's and 10 Turnigy's on the way. Hopefully that will fully cure the issue.

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Old Oct 17, 2012, 08:48 AM
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It's not the same for every receiver but I know for the 6ch OrangeRx the light flashes in normal mode so if you land and the light is solid then you had a brownout during that flight.


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Thanks for the flashing light info. I did not know that was what it indicated. I have both Orange RX and 3 spectrum receivers. Will keep an eye out for flashing on landing.

I also read that you should always power off the radio between battery's. I'm going to start doing that too...

On the bec side I have 2 HK's and 10 Turnigy's on the way. Hopefully that will fully cure the issue.

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Old Oct 17, 2012, 11:44 AM
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It's not the same for every receiver but I know for the 6ch OrangeRx the light flashes in normal mode so if you land and the light is solid then you had a brownout during that flight.
Are you sure it's just brownout and not loss of link that MAY indicate brownout, but also a few other things that might force a Rx reset?
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Old Oct 17, 2012, 01:29 PM
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Honestly, I'm not 100% sure and there is no official manual for that RX.

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Are you sure it's just brownout and not loss of link that MAY indicate brownout, but also a few other things that might force a Rx reset?
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Old Oct 17, 2012, 05:51 PM
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Testing it

From my own testing last night... Turn receiver on. Plug battery in. Orange RX = solid red. With Receiver still on switch battery and Orange RX will blink but controls still active. So the blinking is caused by a disconnect. What kind of a disconnect is anyone's guess ( Esc, battery, signal loss, Etc ).

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Old Oct 17, 2012, 06:40 PM
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My research on this issue and my current understanding...

1.) Anything electronic with posted stats can be wrong, misrepresented by the vendor, faulty etc.

2.) A 2A linear bec ( Or one at any rating ) may not be able to function at stated amperage and may in fact be operating at considerably lower max amperage. These are the becs that are included with the cheap ESC's we buy.

3.) A cheap esc is just that. Its cheap and may or may not work as advertised at advertised amperage. See my video where a 30A esc catches fire at 20A or so amps.

4.) Servo amperage draw is variable depending on the plane, flight conditions, load, quality, etc.

5.) Batteries may or may not work as advertised. Damaged, worn out, faulty, Manufacturer misrepresented batteries may have nasty voltage/amperage drops.

So here I am a small foamy home builder. I build a plane like my DSE. It has really huge elevons. Plane has 2 servos, Esc with a 2a bec and a reciever. Battery is a 3s. Small foamy motor.

Its a nice windy day and off I go to fly. 3/4 through the flight I get a disconnect. plane goes down and i'm left scratching my head.

So what went wrong. The huge elevons are putting alot of stress on the servos raising amperage demands to the bec. add to that a windy day and more stress on the elevons. I'm now drawing more amperage out of those 2 servos than I would on a normal tame plane. I am now exceeding the amperage the bec can handle. Things are starting to heat up. Because its windy i'm running my motor alot harder pulling more amperage. Esc heats up. Bec heats up. Poof = we have a disconnect. Plane goes down.

As a foamy builder's we often build planes that really push the electronics, motor and servos. Often its not scientific ( That looks cool lets try it ). Control surfaces are often much bigger than needed ( Bigger is always better right? ). The list goes on... The end result for me is that I am pushing things and the end result is disconnects.

Anyways... This is my understanding of whats going on. We will see what happens here over the next few weeks.

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