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Nov 13, 2010, 05:05 PM
KB3VOJ
cherokee180c's Avatar
Quote:
Originally Posted by MK Ohio guy
FMkit I have tried 6-1, 6-2, 6-3, 6-4, all the way up to 6-9 and no tones. I have unplugged the beacon and held the button down while powering up many times, I still only get a dead, still carrier, no tones. Are the beacons checked prior to shipping? Have you ever heard of a beacon giving a good strong carrier w/no tone before this one?

The beacon always repeats my inputs as flashes so I know it is taking my requests.

Further instruction?
Check your security code on your FRS radio. It should be broadcasting on the long lights every 5 seconds as you see after 15minutes. I my motorola radio I think you have to set the security code to 0 for that channel to let you hear everything. Not sure if you checked this or not.
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Nov 13, 2010, 05:08 PM
KB3VOJ
cherokee180c's Avatar
Quote:
Originally Posted by MK Ohio guy
Here's my close-up. The positive wire on my beacon appears to be soldered to 2 through holes on my board. Say cherokee180c if you get your beacon running can you take another video of it< I would really like to hear what they are supposed to sound like because mine is silent. I get just a dead carrier.
Thanks, Mine is definetly not soldered to the 3rd hole from the left like yours it. It looks like it was lightly cold soldered to it, so I will resolder it to that tab and see what happens. I will post a short video. I was out all day.

FMkit, Just a dumb question, My Motorola FRS radio claims that channel 5 is GMRS/FRS and is 1 Watt. Only channel 8-14 is just FRS. I don't think this matters, but I just wanted to check. Also, I asked this earlier, but never saw any response. When the beacon is delay timer mode (ie 1Hz LED blink). I know a single click, resets the timer. How do you get to the program mode? Ie if you want to enter in 2.2, do you just click twice for the first digit entry, or click once to get out of timer countdown and then twice. The reason I ask, is I though a quick two clicks was how to bypass timer?

I am going to resolder my positive wire and then test out.
Last edited by cherokee180c; Nov 13, 2010 at 05:19 PM.
Nov 13, 2010, 06:00 PM
fast
fmkit's Avatar
there are no cold solder joints,
latest beacons w/JST connector have thick wires that would stress too much tiny PCB, two pads hold the wire better, that's all.

there is no programming mode
the transmitter always ready for user input
you can start entering numbers right after powering up, when LED is on or off, TX is active or in between transmissions

if the circuit gets input that is not single, two or six digits the entry ignored
single numbers used to change or read current status, 2 digits to change config, six to set custom frequency.

latest versions default custom freq. set 433.920MHz, click the button 6 times to read stored freq.
32 preset channels don't read back, you just activatte them w/ 3.x command (channel) and 4.x (standard)

good point about muted carrier, active CTCSS probably muting beacon carrier
cheroke, double click to bypass delay,
don't solder , flashing LED is an indication of properly working beacon, the microcontroller has to send commands via SPI to change LED status, if it does something then TX module responding controller commands.
Last edited by fmkit; Nov 13, 2010 at 06:05 PM.
Nov 13, 2010, 07:19 PM
KB3VOJ
cherokee180c's Avatar
Thanks fmkit. I pretty much know how the beacon works now and can set the parameters. You are not going to believe me when I tell you what I think is stopping the beacon from working correctly. Cold weather. As soon as I take it outside, which is a fairly warm 51 deg F right now. The beacon stops transmitting within a few minutes. I tested this inside by placing the beacon in the refrigerator after I had it beeping for over 15 minutes. Within a minute or so it stopped beeping and the LED goes off. Letting it warm back up, doesn't seem to get the broadcast going again, although the LED Light blinks solid every 5S like it is trying to broadcast. Here is a video of the behavior. You can FF to near the end after I thow it in the refridgerator.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=OycMdKiba5Q

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=TJG25BVus-U
Last edited by cherokee180c; Nov 13, 2010 at 07:46 PM.
Nov 13, 2010, 07:43 PM
Registered User
Quote:
Originally Posted by cherokee180c
Thanks fmkit. I pretty much know how the beacon works now and can set the parameters. You are not going to believe me when I tell you what I think is stopping the beacon from working correctly. Cold weather. As soon as I take it outside, which is a fairly warm 51 deg F right now. The beacon stops transmitting within a few minutes. I tested this inside by placing the beacon in the refrigerator after I had it beeping for over 15 minutes. Within a minute or so it stopped beeping and the LED goes off. Letting it warm back up, doesn't seem to get the broadcast going again, although the LED Light blinks solid every 5S like it is trying to broadcast. I will post a video of this behavior.

Mine has yet to leave my desk so at least in my case it's not temperature related. The security code has always been set to 0.

Fmkit do you want me to keep playing with the beacon or give it my blessing at this point in time? I'm pretty confident that this is a DOA
Nov 14, 2010, 03:32 AM
fast
fmkit's Avatar
MK Ohio,
check PM

cherokee, if LED continue flashing at cold temp. then you can change crystal trim - enter 8.x, because default value is 4 try first 8.3 or 8.5
crystal trim used to compensate tempreture drift , the modules use crystals rated 15ppm (pretty good), normally there is no need to trim crystal.
Nov 14, 2010, 06:44 AM
Registered User
Quote:
Originally Posted by fmkit
MK Ohio,
check PM

cherokee, if LED continue flashing at cold temp. then you can change crystal trim - enter 8.x, because default value is 4 try first 8.3 or 8.5
crystal trim used to compensate tempreture drift , the modules use crystals rated 15ppm (pretty good), normally there is no need to trim crystal.
If the crystal needs to be trimmed to work in the cold there is a BIG problem as I see it. I you lose a plane/heli with a beacon while winter flying and the crystal is not stable at all temperatures then it really isn't the best solution. We are putting these beacons on 4K MikroKopters and need a reliable solution to locate them should we have a fly-away. How can we set the crystal trim to work at 72 and 32 degrees Fahrenheit at the same time? Isn't there something a bit more stable than a crystal that will work in all temperatures?
Nov 14, 2010, 07:16 AM
fast
fmkit's Avatar
Quote:
Originally Posted by MK Ohio guy
If the crystal needs to be trimmed to work in the cold there is a BIG problem as I see it. I you lose a plane/heli with a beacon while winter flying and the crystal is not stable at all temperatures then it really isn't the best solution. We are putting these beacons on 4K MikroKopters and need a reliable solution to locate them should we have a fly-away. How can we set the crystal trim to work at 72 and 32 degrees Fahrenheit at the same time? Isn't there something a bit more stable than a crystal that will work in all temperatures?
The beacon (RFM42B module) use +-15ppm crystal, that is 13 times better compared to computer grade crystals rated +/-200ppm (clock refrence)
there could be small drift because of temperature but I doubt one can notice without test equipment. I don't know why cherokee's beacon drifted in cold, maybe because of crystal ? If the problem exist I'll write to HopeRF tech support for solution, so far their modules installed in my nunchucks and onboard receivers and I never had problems with frequency centering, I fly with digital stills cameras without worries about bad RC link.
Nov 14, 2010, 07:21 AM
Stuart
srnet's Avatar
Quote:
Originally Posted by MK Ohio guy
How can we set the crystal trim to work at 72 and 32 degrees Fahrenheit at the same time? Isn't there something a bit more stable than a crystal that will work in all temperatures?
As Fmkit says, normally temperature drift is not an issue, so there may be some other problem here.

About the only thing more stable than a crystal is a much higher spec crystal, specially selected and trimmed, that gets expensive and not likely to be seen in an RF module that costs between $5 and $10.

The other option is a heated crystal (crystal oven) but again expensive and very wasteful of power for this type of application.
Nov 14, 2010, 07:44 AM
fast
fmkit's Avatar
I wish cherokee had recorded battery voltage while in cold, Li-Pos known to underperform in cold. Try using NiMh or NiCad in extreme cold conditions.

The beacon draws full 1C while transmitting 1st tone using Turnigy 138mAh 1s
at the beginning of transmission battery voltage checked and if under 3.3v the cycle aborted. should I disable bettery protection circuit in next firmware version ?
Nov 14, 2010, 08:13 AM
Stuart
srnet's Avatar
Quote:
Originally Posted by fmkit
should I disable battery protection circuit in next firmware version ?
My inclination wold be to say yes, even though at 3v3 there is not much life left in the battery some would want the lipo to go on as long as possible.

But then there will be those who forget and leave the battery connected long term, resulting in a damaged battery.
Nov 14, 2010, 09:21 AM
Closet 'Air Supply' Fan!
rscarawa's Avatar
Fmkit. Can I get a ruling on the question from the two posts?

https://www.rcgroups.com/forums/show...&postcount=299

https://www.rcgroups.com/forums/show...&postcount=301
Nov 14, 2010, 09:26 AM
Registered User
In all fairness I believe cherokee had battery issues. I connected a freshly charged battery and threw it in the fridge with the beacon, hours later it was still throwing carriers so I took it out of the fridge and threw it in the freezer. It's been 30 minutes and it's still throwing a carrier so I'm convinced there isn't a temp. issue here.

Fmkit I'll bet this is the 1st time one of your beacons has experienced a deep freeze.
Nov 14, 2010, 10:13 AM
Closet 'Air Supply' Fan!
rscarawa's Avatar
Just tested my beacon with the L1d attached. After 25 minutes of continuously polluting FRS Channel 5 from up to 500', the device worked very well. Using only 1 cell of a 430mah 2s battery, I experienced only 0.04v of voltage drop. This leads me to believe I could power this transmitter at the current power setting for over 6 hours. I wish I knew what the power settings were though.

Peter, what are my options for power settings? Is it high, medium, low? Or are there more choices? Which one is default? Considering the consistency of my broadcast and the area I am located in, I would like to use the least power possible as to not hold the channel to myself within a 20 mile radius.
Nov 14, 2010, 11:12 AM
Registered User
barok's Avatar
Quote:
Originally Posted by fmkit
it is transmitting ! Have you done reset ? if yes set your walkie -talkie ch5 FRS, I shipped few beacons tuned to frequencies noted in order. If you asked specific channel and didn't reset the beacon it's not tuned ch5.

enter code 4.1 >> sets FRS standard
then enter 3.x where x is channel number

to transmit continously:
enter 5.2 for FSK dato mode (can transmit PPM too)
or enter 5.6 to transmit audio connected direct to crystal (22k/1n series)
it says ch. 5 on the shipped plastic bag.. so i set ch. 5 on frs.. upon connecting power to the beacon..i get two long tone.. so i'm on the correct channel..again at 15min. mark i get the tones..thats it..
i don't understand these entering codes..

ok..did the double click.button.. after 15 delay..now getting transmitting tone every 6sec.... left the beacon at home..walk a block up my street.. i get same tone..no fading or different tones..how do you get direction to the beacon..
Last edited by barok; Nov 14, 2010 at 12:56 PM. Reason: almost figuring out this beacon


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