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Posted by flightengr | Mar 10, 2021 @ 11:55 AM | 12,609 Views
This is a collection of general information about using the Spektrum NX transmitter series.

Model setups for NX have a different thread in my blog. Info specific to RealFlight 9.5 and NX is in my RF 9.5 thread.

If you like videos, Spektrum has put together a great collection of instructional videos in a YouTube channel.

To compare features among the various NX models, and also compare that against other Spektrum transmitters, see the Spektrum air transmitter comparison chart (as of March 2021).

Here's a list of what's in the posts below.

- First Things to Do (Battery Charging, Find Current Version of Airware, Update Airware, Other System Settings)
- Using the Palette Utilities to Change Colors
- Setting the Clock Date and Time (and Time Zone and DST!)
- SD Card Information
- Accessing the Internal Storage from USB
- Model File Compatibility with Other Spektrum Transmitters
- Force Power Off
- Using the Screen Capture Feature
- Range Testing (with an explanation of Fades and Holds)
- Binding a Model Setup to a Receiver
- Adapter for Wired Trainer Port
- Contents of BNF and TEMPLATES Folders
Posted by flightengr | Mar 02, 2021 @ 11:09 AM | 7,085 Views
I'll share some setup files for the Spektrum NX series transmitters in this page of my blog.

In posts below you'll find:
- Acro (airplane) model with three transmitter flight modes (to go with three receiver flight modes) plus a throttle cut mode

I usually post a PDF file with each model setup that has step-by-step instructions for creating the model yourself on your transmitter. I always encourage people to do that, as you'll probably learn a lot about your transmitter as you do it. The transmitter manuals cover all of the configuration screens, but they really don't tell you what to do with them. The flexibility of the transmitter is wonderful, but it can be daunting to learn how everything works without specific examples and applications. I think it's helpful to go through setting up a model with a specific goal in mind.

I've posted model info specific to using the NX series with RealFlight on my RealFlight 9.5 blog page.

I have a separate blog entry about the Basics of Dual Rate and Expo.

There are other model files in other pages in my blog that have model setups for the Gen2 DX series which can be imported on the NX series.
Posted by flightengr | Jan 16, 2021 @ 11:21 AM | 16,228 Views
Here's a Windows-based program I wrote that lets you manage the sound categories on your Spektrum NX or DX Gen2 transmitter. While you can add and edit categories on the transmitter itself (System Menu > Sound Utilities), I thought it was easier to do it on a bigger screen with a keyboard and mouse.

To use this program, simply unzip the contents of the ZIP file below. You just run the EXE file to run the program - there is nothing to install. The ZIP file includes the default categories for sound file version 1.09 in an SPM file (also below), which I made before I started the development process.

The program requires .NET Framework version 4.7.1 on your computer. That shouldn't be an issue at all on Windows 10, as the most current version is 4.8 and has been for a while. Windows 7 users might be challenged by that if you haven't updated for a couple of years. Here's a link to download .NET 4.7.2 from Microsoft if you need to. (The download begins immediately from that page.)

The EXE file is not digitally signed, so your anti-virus software will question it the first time you run it. I'm very paranoid about security myself, so I understand you're taking a leap of faith using it. It's not a virus, and it doesn't work with any data it's not supposed to. It's written with Visual Studio for .NET 4.7. I don't know what .NET does by default for any program Visual Studio creates, but my code doesn't access the registry, the network, or any files you don't tell it to open or save.

As I created it, here's the SHA-1 Checksum for the ZIP File (version 1.1): 0eac758b7d6970e5bcf65b494d522c834d524994

Documentation with screen shots is provided in the PDF file below.

DISCLAIMER: This program and the process of editing SPM model files exported from the transmitter is not supported by Horizon Hobby. Use this at your own risk.

Version History
Original Version 1.0 - January 16, 2021

Version 1.1 - January 17, 2021
Added a clipboard feature that allows you to copy your custom categories within the same file or from one file to another.
Updated PDF file for NX series (2/5/2021).
Posted by flightengr | Dec 31, 2020 @ 03:24 PM | 14,074 Views
Below are some things I've learned about RealFlight 9.5 that may be helpful for other people with the program.

- Controller Setup with Spektrum WS1000/WS2000 USB Receivers
- Controller Setup with Spektrum NX Series Transmitters
- Add SAFE to Another Plane
- Installation from DVD with Norton 360
- Add Onboard Camera to a Plane
Posted by flightengr | Mar 31, 2020 @ 10:45 AM | 19,855 Views
Spektrum released a great new product in March 2020 - the AR637T receiver with AS3X and SAFE. It's the first receiver where Spektrum is supporting the notion of installing their SAFE technology in any plane you like. (It's been done withe the AR636 and even the Apprentice S receiver, but neither one of those solutions was officially supported.)

Below is my guide to the entire process of setting up an airplane to use an AR637T and SAFE. I approach the process as someone who is familiar with SAFE and wants to get SAFE working in the new airplane. Someone who is more familiar with AS3X may take a slightly different approach, but I think the end result is the same.

In a nusthell, here's the general approach I used. If you're used to using SAFE with an AR636 or an Apprentice S receiver, it's a rather different process, but I think this new way with the AR637T is a lot more intuitive.
1. Set up a model on your transmitter that can control the plane, and install the receiver. Initially, you don't worry about the fact that you're going to have SAFE or AS3X assistance from the receiver. Just make the transmitter control the plane correctly, including setting the correct wing/tail types, servo directions. and so on.
2. Once the transmitter has mastery of the flight controls, set up the receiver. There is no PC software needed - it's all done from the transmitter through a feature called "Forward Programming".
3. After everything is setup and tested, you can fly the...Continue Reading
Posted by flightengr | Mar 29, 2019 @ 08:18 AM | 15,569 Views
Here's a transmitter setup for the E-Flite V-22 Osprey VTOL airplane for the newer Spektrum "Gen2" transmitters (DX6, DX6e, DX7,DX8, DX8e, DX9, DX18).

I have also included a PDF file below with a full explanation (with screen shots) for how you would set up this model yourself on the transmitter. If you'd like to learn more about how your transmitter works, I'd encourage you to go through the PDF file. I took some snippets from the manual to help correlate what the manual is saying with the settings on the transmitter.

The PDF file also covers testing the setup without the airplane (using the Monitor screen), binding, and stick calibration.

If you aren't familiar with what "dual rate" and "expo" do, I have a separate writeup here on just that subject:

This setup is based on the recommendations in the manual with a couple of extras. I have used the flight mode feature of the transmitter to display the name of the current flight mode on the screen and use to voice callouts to announce the changes. I also added voice callouts on the throttle cut switch and the D/R and Expo switch.

The settings are as follows:
Switch B - Flight Modes
Position 0 = Multirotor Stability
Position 1 = Airplane Stability
Position 2 = Airplane Acro

Switch H - Throttle Cut
Position 0 = Motors Armed
Position 1 = Throttle Cut On

Switch F - D/R and Expo
Position 0 = High Rates (100% D/R, 10% Expo)
Position 1 = Mid Rates (85% D/R, 10% Expo)
Position 2 = Low Rates (70% D/R, 10% Expo)


Update 3/30/19 - Version 1.1 - Fixed a couple of small typos in the PDF (no change to SRM file)
Posted by flightengr | Jan 12, 2019 @ 03:53 PM | 17,255 Views
I recently purchased RealFlight 8 Horizon Hobby Edition along with a Spektrum WS1000 USB receiver. Being a big fan of Spektrum's SAFE (Sensor Assisted Flight Envelope), I wanted to pick up the only flight sim other than Phoenix that has HH planes and the SAFE stabilization included.

First I spent some time with the Spektrum WS1000. I wasn't sure what to expect out of it at first, but I learned that it's a Spektrum receiver that presents the radio channels (8 of them, as far as I can tell) to Windows as a standard game controller/joystick device.

Binding the WS1000 to the transmitter is a bit of a challenge, as you have to hold down the bind button on the WS1000 while you plug it into the USB port in order to get it into bind mode. But once you get the WS1000 into bind mode, it binds with the transmitter just like any other Spektrum receiver.

Once the WS1000 is connected, it presents the channels to Windows this way:

Throttle (Spektrum channel 1) = Y-Axis (DirectX Input: Y)
Aileron (2) = Z-Axis (Z)
Elevator (3) = X-Rotation (Rx)
Rudder (4) = X-Axis (X)
Gear (5) = Y-Rotation (Ry)
Aux1 (6) = Z-Rotation and Button 1 (button is pressed when channel is at -100%) (Rz)
Aux2 (7) = Slider and Button 2 (GetSlider(1))
Aux3 (8) = Dial and Button 3 (GetSlider(0))
Aux4 (9) does not appear to be mapped

You can see the channels in action pretty easily using the control panel in Windows. On Windows 7, go to "Devices and Printers", and you'll see one called "SPEKTRUM...Continue Reading
Posted by flightengr | Oct 26, 2017 @ 09:46 AM | 117,201 Views
This thread is for the highly-technical discussion around the finer points of modifying/customizing the settings file (SRM file) for a Spektrum AR636 receiver such that it has SAFE capabilities.

It's been recently discovered in the "E-Flite SAFE Receiver in Another Plane" thread (https://www.rcgroups.com/forums/show...-another-plane) that a great deal of capability exists in the AR636 for enabling and customizing SAFE features including self-level, bank angle limits, the infamous "throttle-to-elevator mix" in SAFE receivers, and panic mode.

The purpose of this thread is to discuss the fine details of the receiver configuration without clogging up the SAFE RX thread. When we've got this down to a science that more people can take advantage of, then we'll be able to discuss the application of these settings to other planes back in the SAFE RX thread.

DISCLAIMER: Use any of the information in this thread at your own risk! I can't promise that you won't mess up your receiver completely if you change settings. I also haven't flown a plane yet after making changes this way - I have only been experimenting on the ground!!

EDIT June 2018
We've learned a lot since this thread started! There is a lot of good information here, and really gets technical into the settings on the AR636 receiver that are directly related to Horizon's SAFE feature set. (There are more threads in the Radio section of the forum that get into...Continue Reading
Posted by flightengr | Jun 03, 2017 @ 07:58 AM | 52,639 Views
In 2016, Horizon/Spektrum introduced "SAFE Select", a new variation of their beginner-oriented SAFE stabilization system. SAFE Select is based on the AR636 receiver, which has proven to be very versatile for a number of applications based on the way it's programmed by HH.

A feature that was new with SAFE Select is the ability to adjust at least some of the settings in the AR636 using the Spektrum Programmer software (SPS). Prior to SAFE Select, the programming on SAFE receivers was completely locked out despite the fact that the AR636 is normally programmable from a phone app or the PC software.

================================================== ================================================== =
Edit - January 2019

What's in this thread?

The information in this thread has evolved quite a bit since it was first opened in June 2017. Although Spektrum still hasn't provided all of the tools to fully configure the SAFE features on an AR636 receiver, I've brought a lot of information together and developed a programming tool for SAFE with an AR636.

The information in post # 2 is an "old" way of manually changing the SAFE settings inside a text file that comes from SPS. That has been replaced with the program in post # 4.

Post # 5 contains some model setup files (SRM files) that provide a good starting point for configuring your own SAFE model.

If you have never installed a receiver with SAFE in another airplane, or you're new to SAFE,...Continue Reading
Posted by flightengr | May 11, 2017 @ 07:33 AM | 24,241 Views
This is some information I've collected about the transmitter setup for the E-Flite Convergence VTOL aircraft.
Posted by flightengr | Apr 10, 2016 @ 11:14 AM | 26,123 Views
As you can tell from some of my other blog entries, I'm a huge fan of SAFE in airplanes and I have installed the Apprentice S SAFE receiver in a number of other planes. I like the fact that SAFE will help keep me from doing something stupid that results in a crash and a broken plane.

Ever since Phoenix added support for autopilot electronics such as SAFE, I've had a desire to add SAFE to some of the other models I own in Phoenix that have SAFE receivers in them in my real fleet. I finally spent the time to undertake that challenge using Phoenix Builder.

How I Made These Models
Unfortunately, you can't edit the official models, but many of them have enough supporting files available to get you started on re-creating them. For these models I used the existing .geo and .bmp files that came with the official model. The .geo file contains the wire-frame model of the airplane and applies the "skin" (texture) from the .bmp files. I now have a much greater appreciation for all the work that goes into just that part of the process!

To get started, I created a new model in Phoenix Builder. Then, I imported the .geo file into a new model in Phoenix Builder using the "Import Mesh" tool. After that, I added the components (airfoils, control surfaces, prop, wheels) back in, one at a time. Fortunately, a lot of the information you need to do that is available when you edit the existing model in the simulator. It was handy to have the original model open in Edit mode...Continue Reading
Posted by flightengr | Nov 08, 2015 @ 09:22 AM | 22,838 Views
This document provides an overview of how to use telemetry with the Spektrum TM1000 radio system, including installation, connection of additional sensors, and binding to the transmitter.
Posted by flightengr | Aug 16, 2015 @ 10:49 AM | 25,182 Views
I now own my first biplane - a UMX Pitts! Since I'm a big fan of the SAFE flight technology to tame the plane down and reduce crashing, I converted this model to SAFE using the receiver brick from the UMX Habu S 180 DF (part # SPMA3165).

Although it's pretty straight-forward to remove the control board from the micro planes and replace it with another one, a couple of details made this conversion a little more interesting.

First, the control board is mounted vertically - not horizontally - in a Habu S, so the SAFE software is calibrated with that assumption in mind. In the pics below you'll see that I cut a C-shaped piece of Styrofoam to serve as a cradle for the board so that I could firmly mount it in a vertical orientation. It took a couple of attempts to make a piece that held the board snugly - I kept cutting out too much foam in the middle and then it didn't hold the board. I also found that it worked better with that little tab at the top to help the board stay vertical. Finally, I covered the piece of foam with Kapton tape (a film-like alternative to vinyl electrical tape) just to ensure the foam didn't short something out on the board.

Second, I've been complaining about the fact that the Sport Cub S adds too much up elevator in Beginner Mode when the plane is actually level. It turns out that the Habu S board does the same thing, so I had to be more creative. Both the SCS and the Habu S will eventually straighten out the elevator when the nose is pitched up at...Continue Reading
Posted by flightengr | Aug 16, 2015 @ 09:01 AM | 28,656 Views

The first PDF document is a full explanation of the process of mounting and testing a SAFE receiver in another airplane. It includes a lot of the basic tips that have been mentioned many times in the "EFlite SAFE RX in Another Plane" thread. (https://www.rcgroups.com/forums/show....php?t=2135213)

The second PDF document is a "cheat sheet" that I made to take with me out to the field so I always had a handy reference for testing the correct movement of the control surfaces. If there's any question in my mind, the answer is on the sheet! It's a two-page document, so it can be printed on both sides of one piece of paper.

If you're not familiar with the process of installing and testing a SAFE receiver, then you should go through the full explanation. The "cheat sheet" is only meant as a quick reminder for which way the control surfaces will move based on certain actions.

If you need help with transmitter setups, see this thread in my blog.
Posted by flightengr | Aug 16, 2015 @ 08:27 AM | 43,668 Views
The posts in this blog entry contain transmitter setups for the Horizon Hobby airplane receivers with SAFE (Sensor Assisted Flight Envelope). The setups are based on the original SAFE receiver from the Apprentice S 15e, but many of the other SAFE-equipped planes from HH use the same basic transmitter setup (three flight modes on the Gear channel, channel 5, and a push-button feature on the Aux1 channel, channel 6). I have used this setup successfully with the Sport Cub S, the Habu S receiver, and the Sportsman S+ with SAFE+. The exact features of each transmitter setting - primarily the push-button - may vary, in which case you may need to change the voice callouts to better fit the actual features. I would speculate that Horizon is making all of these SAFE models consistent so that their inexpensive transmitters included in the Ready-To-Fly packages can be programmed one way for many models.

SAFE Select: See post # 6 below for setting up SAFE Select receivers. Those are much simpler than the other SAFE receivers.

The setups are provided as SPM files, but each one is also accompanied by a PDF file that explains what the aircraft is looking for from the transmitter and how to set that up on the transmitter, step by step. I think it's important to understand how the transmitter works, and that understanding enables you to change the setup to your liking. You can't learn that simply by loading an SPM file!

NOTICE FOR Mini Apprentice S: The new 2016 Mini Apprentice S has a very similar setup as the previous SAFE aircraft, but the Aux1 channel should be left on NORMAL direction, NOT REVERSED! If you use any of the information below for the Mini Apprentice S, that's one change you'll have to correct in the transmitter setup. Panic is activated by a signal of -100% on that plane, not +100% like the others.
Posted by flightengr | Aug 16, 2015 @ 08:08 AM | 25,066 Views
When I first got started with this hobby, I quickly encountered the terms "dual rate" and "expo". It took me quite a while to fully understand how rates and expo really affect how the aircraft responds to the stick inputs.

To save other people some of that learning curve, here's a brief explanation of those concepts and what they really mean on a Spektrum transmitter.

Edited March 2, 2021 - Updated screen shots using Spektrum NX10
Posted by flightengr | Aug 16, 2015 @ 07:43 AM | 26,185 Views
The posts in this blog entry contain transmitter setups for the Blade 350 QX for various versions of controller firmware on the quad and for various transmitters.

The setups are provided as SPM files, but each one is also accompanied by a PDF file that explains what the aircraft is looking for from the transmitter and how to set that up on the transmitter, step by step. I think it's important to understand how the transmitter works, and that understanding enables you to change the setup to your liking. You can't learn that simply by loading an SPM file!

Finally, there's also a post that explains all of the 350 QX flight modes - how each mode works, how it behaves, and how it changed in the various versions of firmware.
Posted by flightengr | Aug 14, 2015 @ 03:03 PM | 25,184 Views
The first airplane I ever flew was the Apprentice S 15e with SAFE, and the rest is history. A friend of mine wanted to get into RC airplanes, but I watched him struggle with learning to fly a Sport Cub LP. I wasn't going to try it myself until I discovered the Apprentice S, which has self-leveling and limits on pitch and roll angles to help keep the plane under control and in the air. SAFE is a wonderful thing! With some help from an instructor at our club, we both became better pilots almost overnight!

Here are some mods I've done on the Apprentice S.

Bigger Wheels
My club field is all grass, so bigger wheels are never a bad thing. I put Du-Bro 3.50TL's on the stock shafts. The center hole on those wheels is 5/32" but the gear is only 1/8", so that requires a little bushing made from a hollow rod that's 5/32" outside and 1/8" inside. The stock nose gear needed a little bending as well to allow a bigger wheel to fit.

Spektrum TM1000 Telemetry System
I wanted to try out the TM1000 telemetry system, so I installed the TM1000 itself plus the altimeter module and the GPS module. The TM1000 connects to the bind port on the receiver; that's how it gets power. I happen to like the fact that pressing the little button on the TM1000 puts both the TM1000 and the receiver into bind mode at the same time, but I know other people insert a Y-cable and use a traditional bind plug when needed.
https://...Continue Reading
Posted by flightengr | Aug 14, 2015 @ 08:00 AM | 25,067 Views
The club field where I fly is in the middle of a large farm, which is wonderful because there are very few vertical obstacles and thereís open sky for thousands of feet. But of course itís inevitable that planes will go down in the fields. Typically the farmer plants corn, which is both good and bad for us pilots. Itís good in the sense that corn is tall enough and planted densely enough to save a lot of planes from making impact with the ground. The corn will ďcatchĒ a foamie and usually the plane will come out with minimal damage. Corn is bad in the sense that thereís zero visibility through the field when itís more than a few feet high, which is true during the entire second half of the flying season. So while the corn softens the crash landing, the challenge becomes finding the plane.

Thatís when a lost plane alarm comes in handy. Sure, thereís an assumption that the electronics on board the plane are still functional. But if that assumption works out, then you could find the plane by following the noise.

Iíve designed and built some alarms for my planes using some commonly-available parts on the Internet. It's the kind of thing you hope you never need, but it's nice to have.

First, you need a piezo buzzer to make noise. I lucked out and made a good choice from eBay on the first try. This is a buzzer thatís rated for input voltage anywhere from 3 to 24 volts, which means itís happy running off of one cell on a LiPo battery as well as other common kinds of...Continue Reading