RANGE PROBLEM...please HELP!!! - RC Groups
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Jul 24, 2001, 01:58 AM
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I've been flying for a while and never once range test my receiver/transmitter before take off-big mistake! Last Sat. I got my Dymond's Take it easy ready for flight-tested the servos, motor, and the control surfaces and everything seems to be in order-as I tossed it level-it started to gain speed and altitude but after gaining about 10 to 20 feet in height-the notor quits and crashed!!! I tested my receiver with my other planes and sure enough, as I tested the motor as I walk away from it, the motor quits, as I walk closer, the motor starts again- can I safely say that it's my receiver that's causing the problem?? or is it my transmitter? I also checked my crystal-I even have a spare and tested both-with the same result?? I will appreciate any input from you fellow flyers with the same experience.
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Jul 24, 2001, 02:09 AM
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Keithw's Avatar
What motor, ESC, & receiver (Rx)
how close is everything, particularly the motor to Rx & ESC to Rx

does the antenna run anywhere near the motor or ESC supply wires

try twisting wires together- particularly long servo wires, & also power wires/ motor wires if they can be twisted.

If it's a brushed motor, check the condition of the brushes. Worn brushes can arc badly causing interference.
I found one of my motors where the brush spring jammed on the holder, so once the brush wore down there was no longer full pressure on the brush- hence lots of arcing.

sounds like the RX is probably the problem- check the antenna wire hasn't broken at the point it exits the case. Pull it a bit to see if the plastic begins to stretch & the wire pulling apart.
I had a slopie that broke the antenna wire at the case- it was fine close in, but 10 -20 ft away it lost signal, & hence control.

[This message has been edited by Keithw (edited 07-24-2001).]
Jul 24, 2001, 09:41 AM
Registered User
Check the receiver antenna carefully, particularly if it's been in a recent crash.

Also check the Tx antenna, make sure it's screwed in all the way. If you've had the Tx for a while there could be corrosion in the antenna as well.

Do you know anybody with a Tx on the same frequency/modulation/shift as you? If so you can quickly determine if it's the Rx or Tx.

I wouldn't worry too much about checking all the typical interference causes since this is clearly a range problem, not interference.
Jul 24, 2001, 10:34 AM
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Far4nugn's Avatar
tnsfrk, I feel your pain, as I had _exactly_ the same thing happen to me Saturday with a new Philip-E sailplane. After I launched, about 20ft away, motor quit and servos didnt respond at all... sickening to see your plane going down when there's nothing you can do about it huh?!....

When I got to the plane, it was responding again. I'll check my antenna connection when I get home....

Good luck.

Please keep us updated!

Jul 24, 2001, 10:15 PM
Registered User
Thanks much fellow flyers for confirming a range problem with my receiver but instead of opening it up-I returned it back to Hobbypeople for exchange. And yeah-it really thought me a very expensive lesson-my favorite glider's fuse all messed up-I just ordered a new fuse and canopy at RC-Dymond, somehow the motor and the folder survived a nose dive at 20 feet. I wonder how many of us don't even bother to range test before tossing their planes. It was just my glider's fate that day because I brought with me 2 other planes, my Kyosho ferias and my SST 09 which I ROG when flying them-I would have noticed the problem without crashing, oh well. Thanks again feloow flyers.
Jul 24, 2001, 10:46 PM
Registered User
Hi, always sad to hear of model crashes.

I always check the range of of a new ( or repaired ) plane using this procedure:
If no one is available to help, tie it down on a table or something so it is not right on the ground

With the antenna on the xmitter fully down-

1. Check the range, motor off. Should be 50 to 100ft.

2. Have someone hold it BY THE WINGTIPS ( to avoid their body influencing the antenna)
Run up the motor and verify that the range is the same or only slightly different

If motor off is bad, you have a radio / antenna problem.

If motor off is good, and motor on is not you have a noise problem.

I have cured " unflyable" motor on problems by just moving the reciever antenna to the other side of the fuselage! Also, keep motor power wiring as far away as possible from ANY servo etc. leads.

Sounds like yours is radio and I think you did the smart thing.

All the other advice is good stuff, too.

Do you have any other planes on the same channel to verify the transmitter? Maybe a fried with the same brand reciever would let you put your crystal in his to check that part.

Hope the trouble is found in the Rec. and the fix is cheap.


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