Brand New HK OrangeRX brown out/signal fade - RC Groups
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Mar 29, 2012, 11:12 AM
geekrawker's Avatar

Brand New HK OrangeRX brown out/signal fade

I see this question gets brought up from time to time. it would appear on occasion there are some bad factory runs. I have 8 orangeRX 6ch receivers now. No problems flying them in 48-51" planes. I ordered a few more last month to fill out some weight and installed the 2 new receivers in my new 51" 3dhs slick and new 3dhs Yak.

We'll the yak is no longer alive. Coming out of a knife edge spin i lost all surface control about 12 feet from the dirt. RIP. Checked the Receiver, light was solid! strange, didn't think it was the RX and maybe some other electro failure. Been flying the other new receiver in the slick now for about 3 weeks with no trouble. I adjusted my surfaces on high rate on the slick last weekend to get 35 degrees out of the ailerons. then the trouble started. I was getting intermittent signal loss in high g scenarios and holding full throw.

Doing Aileron rolls on high rates created a repeatable issue, it would roll rapidly like the fantastic slick does for about 5 turns, then it would loose signal, 1 1/2 seconds later, it wold start the roll again. I could hold this and let it signal loss about 4 times before i decide to stop and land. On landing, i lost signal again right after the gear touched. Check the receiver, no blinking! checked all the wiring for loose connections, everything is fine. New battery, no rolls but tried some harriers and tumbles. Same issues... on full throw holding the elevator in a harrier, got a signal loss again.... doing tumbles, signal loss!!

the light is never blinking after landing, so i'm wondering if HK had a bad factory run. I'm starting to think the death of the yak was related to the RX. going to swap the RX out for a genuine AR6200 and see if the slick still has issues. running a A30-12XL, 70A ZTW ESC with all HS85MG servos. wondering if i have a voltage drop when pushing those servos to max throw. Anyone else have the non blinking signal loss issue lately with the Oranges? Just a bit paranoid now and thinking about removing all OrangeRX from my models. I've been flying them for 8 months with no issues up to this month. The older Oranges still seem fine. Just problems with the 2 newest RX's.

Let me know your guys thoughts. Thanks!
Last edited by geekrawker; Mar 29, 2012 at 05:33 PM. Reason: wrong amp rating on my ZTW
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Mar 29, 2012, 01:01 PM
geekrawker's Avatar
got some talk started about the issue at the HK forums.. here is the link for research purposes. Never posted over there so not sure how reliable the info is. I would imagine its all good info, but check it out if you guys have some time and let me know your thoughts. some people are recommending smaller servos. i am bit confused there.
Mar 29, 2012, 01:30 PM
stgdz's Avatar
That sucks, I usually run orange rx in foams and 42" under planes. Anything bigger than that gets dsmx.

You should have enough power with the ztw on the servo bus.
Mar 29, 2012, 02:21 PM
Registered User
try thowing a capacitor on one of the endplugs of the RX, its possible the switch mode regulator is acting up. a capacitor in theory should help smooth out some of inconsistant voltages dips to the RX.

If the servos are pulling enough current the stock ESC bec power leads may be insufficient also. maybe a remote bec with heavier guage wire to the RX's battery port.
Mar 29, 2012, 05:29 PM
geekrawker's Avatar
ya i was thinking there should be plenty of power from the ZTW, I have a cap too but haven't used it in flight. When i tried the cap on the bench, i just let it sit there for a while and then removed power to see how long it would keep juice flowing into the RX. Didn't give it more than a few milliseconds. But still, it did keep the light illuminated a brief moment longer than without the cap.

I'm going to try a torque stress test tonight and weigh down the servos some and see if i can get it to freeze up, if it does i'll add the cap and see if that helps.

I have a UBEC on my quad i can move over and test also. Its switchable to 6v. At the time i ordered the 70A ZTW i didn't realize that it only delivered 5.5v, its not adjustable to 6v. So i'll run these tests tonight and report back. The guys on the HK forums have been helpful but most have been telling me to just put higher torque servos in the slick, or test it with an Oscilloscope which i don't have access to at this time. Wondering if i use some alligator clips from my multi meter to a striped servo tap will show me a brief voltage drop when putting some extra pressure on the servos.

My setup seems to be fairly common from reading the forums here so i still think its a voltage problem with the Orange and not the ESC. The other oranges i have work great, even flying one in my crazy 3DHS Velox VR1 has been A-ok, and a variety of other planes like the Extra 300 and Super Sportster. The Slick is my biggest 3D bird at 51", the other oranges i run at this time are in my Foam yak, Graupner Pedro Sailplane, my custom quad and a T-Rex 450 sport.

All this said, i'm picking up a AR6200 from a buddy who has switched to DSMX. i'll stick in it saturday and see how she flys. I bet it works perfectly, he has had a slick with the exact same setup and the only difference is the RX and his hacker was the V1 of the A30-12XL, mine is the V2.
Mar 30, 2012, 09:38 AM
Registered User
Do not be miss led by the "add a capacitor to prevent signal loss" as it just does not work to prevent voltage drop unless you use a capacitor so large (both physically and large farad count) that you need a large container for it. You would need one rated for at least 10 volts and so large you would over weight your plane.
Mar 30, 2012, 08:45 PM
Registered User
flypaper 2's Avatar
I had what I thought was the rcvr that crapped out when for no apparent reason everything just quit cold. Found out when I read the ESC instructions that on two cells I could use 4 servos and ony 3 on a three cell batt. When I checked it out on the workbench, on 4 servos the ESC got so hot I couldnt touch it. Then it shut off. As soon as it cooled off in about 10 seconds it turned back on. Went to 3 servos and everything was fine. You may be overloading your ESC by going to the higher throws. Why not back them off to the original point and see what happens?

Mar 31, 2012, 12:44 AM
geekrawker's Avatar
Well, I couldn't get the rx to quit on the table, even with some throttle, multiple surfaces moving and weighing ailerons down with washers and my hand. I went ahead and swapped out for a genuine ar2000 with sat. Close friend thinks it was signal fade, but I also dialed back all the servos 5 degrees each direction. Hoping if it's voltage, limiting the throw will put less draw on the esc. It was only freezing up when holding a surface for an extended time so I don't think it's the direction change spike in voltage.

. I'll bring my temp gauge Sunday and check the esc temp too. It's under the cowl hanging from the motor box and I can't get to it with the fingers. Plenty of cooling though, it's in a direct line with the bottom hole on the slick cowl.

We have a small Bermuda triangle at the club. It eats airplanes all the time, it claimed the yak and where the slick started ignoring inputs. Seen it eat 3 or 4 other planes personally over the past 6 months, and I've heard of more. Usually a signal problem. Only been a member 8 months, but the long timers are definetly superstitious about that spot. I plan on avoiding it Sunday
Last edited by geekrawker; Mar 31, 2012 at 12:53 AM. Reason: Forgot to mention bench test.
Apr 04, 2012, 09:54 AM
geekrawker's Avatar
Just wanted to follow up. No trouble with the slick reception at the club last weekend after dialing back all my surfaces by 5 Degrees and swapping out the Orange for a Genuine Spektrum AR2000 with Sat. Since this worked, i'm going to put the orange back in and see if i get the signal loss problem again.

I'll post my findings after friday, and close this thread down unless the conversation picks back up. I'm also ordering a bunch of Sat Units for the other Oranges i have. I'll do some range checks and let you guys know.

ESC wasn't even warm on landing, but i expected that. i stuck a 70amp ESC in it, but i could have gotten away with a 40amp. FYI our Bermuda triangle claimed another airplane over the weekend. Not sure how you can get such a random focused spot of interference in a wide open field. We are close to an airport though.
Last edited by geekrawker; Apr 04, 2012 at 09:59 AM. Reason: forgot to talk about the ESC
Apr 05, 2012, 12:42 AM
Registered User
Interesting. I bought 2 OrangeRx 9ch back in Jan. Using them on 2 quadcopters.

Both use mystery 20A's (hmmm, same as ZTW's). On a 4S battery 1-2 motors go nuts (noisy, unflyable) and on a 3S, they run fine, but eventually both cut motors at around 5-6min of flight, consistently. Upon a rearm after a crash they run fine til exhausting the battery... I logged my quad copter throttle input and it shows the Rx cutting out (for 3-4sec) then in when raising the throttle (e.g. looks like a square wave vs a nice ramp up).

Swapped both with genuine AR6100s, 4 flights, each 15-20mins long, no issues so far. I guessing BEC issues with the Rx with the Rx browning out or... defective Rx. I'll try the an independent BEC, after all, it's a 9ch Rx and it could need a more power than say, a 6ch, though I only have 5 channels in use. I'm leaning towards brown out as a buddy of mine has/bought the same Rx and his quad runs fine (but using m2mpower ESCs....
Apr 05, 2012, 09:43 AM
geekrawker's Avatar

I fly a rusty rev 8 frame with a Paris V4 board and a orange. No real trouble except i'm not a PID expert. Before i had the Paris v4 on it, i was flying one of Kanchana's custom integrated flight boards. It was crazy flakey, i couldn't tell if it was the Orange freaking out, or if it was possibly the controller board. I had no ideal how to tune PID at that time, so i changed out the flight board with the Paris V4, added a big UBEC from HK, and studied PID tuning.

The Paris exhibited some similar flight failures but no where near as bad as the previous board. It would randomly oscillate to the ground, like a motor lost timing, or the ACC would freak out. Once i studied PID and got the settings fine tuned i didn't have any more random flight failures. Strong winds will some times freak out the board and cause it to fall into a oscillation crash, so i don't fly on windy days.

All this said though, if you've seen that orange blinking, i would lean to a power problem... try a standalone BEC or a robust UBEC with switchable voltage and see if that helps the issue. If its oscillating, you'll see it... and thats a PID issue... if your just hovering around and it starts to wobble, then it starts to wobble bad and come down, your board is "over tuned" or rather the sensors are too sensitive. Take this with a grain of salt, i've only been flying multi-rotors for about 6 months, and it took me about 4 months to understand everything properly to wind up with a really stable bird that i can do AP and smooth video with.

While researching my Orange issues with the slick, i turned up a few forum pages on other groups where some are suggesting these oranges are much more sensitive to certain motor vibration frequencies. They say it acts like a signal fade and not a brown out or lock out. maybe try some thick foam double stick tape on the RX to help dampen some vibes? not sure about that though, i use some seriously thick velcro to secure my RX, i would think the thick velcro would have plenty of vibe dampening properties.

With my Orange troubles, nothing ever "reset" in the slick, surfaces would just return to 0 for about 1 to 1 1/2 seconds, then signal would return. Definitely not a reset, that seems to take a good 3 to 4 seconds with the orange and i don't bind surfaces to 0, so it would have kicked my servos out in weird directions if it was completely resetting.

I cant say for certain if it was fade from vibrations or voltage drop. I'll be testing the orange in my slick again this weekend to see.
Last edited by geekrawker; Apr 05, 2012 at 09:46 AM. Reason: just adding a bit more in
Apr 09, 2012, 05:20 PM
geekrawker's Avatar
Ok guys, going to close this down. i'm going to lean on possibly a voltage drop causing a minor fade in the signal when i had the throws set to 35 degrees.

I noticed my orange acted up my my VR some over the weekend. Same scenario flying on full rates with a max throw at 35 degrees. So i'll dial that one back some or swap it out for another AR6200. So i agree with the conscience on the web that we should limit the orange use to likely 42" sizes and smaller.

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