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Jun 24, 2019, 07:29 AM
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Spektrum Reliability


Over the weekend, I spoke to a fellow club member who flies 20cc gas planes. He flew an Extra with a DLE 20cc. His radio is a DX9 paired with a AR8010 receiver and uses a spektrum LIFE 2200 battery to power the system. I wasn't there when it happened, but I am told he lost full control of the aircraft to what he believes due to a failed receiver. The transmitter seems to be working fine still as he is using it to fly some of his other aircraft. This was his third year using the receiver with no issues until now. If not for his investment in Spektrum receivers, he would probably be ditching his Spektrum equipment.

I fly gas as well along with spektrum radio gear. My radio gear is powered by two LIFE batteries connected to two redundant power switches. My lone gas aircraft has a AR6600t receiver installed with about 30 flights on it. The remote receiver is mounted at least a foot away from the main receiver toward the tail section of the aircraft, and all antennas are a reasonable distance away from the ignition module. The engine is a small twin so the vibration is not as intense as a large single banger engine. I actively monitor the telemetry to assess the health of the radio signal. No holds to date. At most I have experienced 5 frame losses in a 8 minute flight so I think the installation appears to be 'ok'. Most of the time I there are no frame losses. So far I have been pleased with my system but I get a little uneasy everytime I hear about the "unexpected loss of control" incidents from fellow fliers.

I want to ask if there are any fellow gassers on this forum who fly spektrum. Is it sensible to cycle new radio equipment and servos every so many flights (or years) to ensure safety of the aircraft (and the surroundings)? Is spektrum a platform I can count on for large, expensive aircraft with IC engines? I have yet to hear of any Futaba related incidents related to "unexpected loss of control". To be fair, I know when vibration is involved electronic components will eventually fail due to fatigue over time. As we say in the rc community, stuff happens, but to me losing total control of a 9 pound aircraft with a spinning propeller when people and property are around is not something to fool around with.
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Jun 24, 2019, 09:45 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by AkronDon101
I want to ask if there are any fellow gassers on this forum who fly spektrum.
https://www.rcgroups.com/forums/show...-FASST-JR-9303
Jun 24, 2019, 10:10 AM
If it flies, I can crash it.
rocketsled666's Avatar
Spektrum equipment is no more or less reliable than anything else. And yes, every brand has people who complain it caused them to crash and they're dumping that brand. I started out in RC flying Futaba and never had any issues. I switched to Spektrum when the DX6i came out and have never had any issues.

If you're flying and you crash, there is no way to be certain if it was the radio unless the TX itself has failed and can be verified as still failing after the crash. The state of the wrecked airplane cannot be used to make this determination since there's no way to know what was damaged in the crash.

A single incident of a loss does not provide any data you can use to pass judgement on the equipment. But if you fly any vendor's radio gear and you crash a lot, it is almost certainly your fault. Because if you fly a particular brand and your failure rate is high and that's because the equipment is low quality, it's going to be low quality for everyone else and they should have a similar failure rate.

The fact that the vast majority of fliers with Spektrum are flying successfully suggests to me that isolated crash incidents are not an indication of a real problem with the radio and are more likely to be a case of cockpit error and a hobbyist who doesn't want to face that harsh reality..
Jun 24, 2019, 10:23 AM
AndyKunz's Avatar
Quote:
Originally Posted by AkronDon101
I want to ask if there are any fellow gassers on this forum who fly spektrum.
You might try asking guys like David Payne, Mike McConnville, Seth Arnold, Ali Machinchy, Craig Greening, Pete Goldsmith - you know, pros who have been flying, competing, and WINNING with Spektrum with their gassers for over a decade.

Andy
Jun 24, 2019, 11:21 AM
DJW
DJW
Registered User
In my experience, all radios out today are very reliable, and almost all "radio failures" seem to be pilot error that they don't want to admit, bad power to the RX, or setup problems. Especially gassers and big glow powered beasts, where the vibration will amplify bad setups.

And to answer your other question, I've been flying Spektrum since the first DX7, and currently have a JR 12x and Spektrum ix12. While my current fleet is all electric, I flew a 50cc 1/3scale Pitts for a couple years, zero radio problems with anything. Some instances of dumb thumbs and bad preflight checks resulting in crashes (including "watch this" moments).
Jun 24, 2019, 11:24 AM
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I know many pilots flying large gassers and jets that are using Spektrum equipment. Any receiver can fail for a variety of reasons. Redundant receivers are a good idea for larger aircraft. My gassers were all on 72MHz so I don't have any Spektrum experience with them though. I now only fly minquads and smaller electric planes.
Jun 24, 2019, 11:37 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by DJW
almost all "radio failures" seem to be pilot error that they don't want to admit
webbsolution come on
Jun 24, 2019, 12:00 PM
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richard hanson's Avatar
If a flier does not know how to analyze why the model crashed - then of course, stories about why seem plausible .
WHY?
posts describing some second hand info , obviously is of no real value
Learning to ask the correct questions is the key.
Until you can do that , it's just guesswork or opinion
Jun 24, 2019, 12:02 PM
Registered User
Any experienced pilot knows what radio failure feels like. Not fun at all. We make our own luck though as many times it's due to something wrong with the install. Still, it will to the best of us.
Jun 24, 2019, 12:02 PM
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Thread OP
As mentioned, I have some larger electric planes and the gasser flying off of the dx8 and after 50 or so flights between these aircraft this summer, there have been no evidence of radio issues. They all have some form of redundant power delivery to help prevent brown out. Second hand feedback from other users online and the guy in my club caused me to question what's really at play. Sure, it also wouldn't surprise me if a lot of these failures come down to something as simple as a bad switch under vibration.

Also, can Spektrum transmitters with a lot of usage be sent into the service for periodic checks on things like gimbals and RF board?

Volt_Ampere, by redundant receivers do you refer to having multiple satellite receivers or two full receivers?
Jun 24, 2019, 12:05 PM
Registered User
I don't know if Spektrum supports multiple full receivers. I have used multiple satellites. Some new FrSky receivers do support multiple full receivers on Sbus. (R-XSR for example)
Jun 24, 2019, 12:24 PM
AndyKunz's Avatar
Quote:
Originally Posted by AkronDon101
Sure, it also wouldn't surprise me if a lot of these failures come down to something as simple as a bad switch under vibration.
That is SOOO common. Watch for comments from vollrathd about his testing on that subject.

Quote:
Also, can Spektrum transmitters with a lot of usage be sent into the service for periodic checks on things like gimbals and RF board?
Yes, that's a service that we do. Nothing special, just send it in using the normal process.

http://www.horizonhobby.com/content/...service-center

Andy
Jun 24, 2019, 01:32 PM
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doug14's Avatar
I just had 12 successful flights with a 32cc gasser. crazy vibration. I was a little worried . but so far everything works good. I have 14 electric planes .1 gas. 8 race quads . 6 micros .all on spektrum. over the last 4 years
1000's of flights only had 1 plane fail. and 4 times now. I think I traced it back to the ar6600t..
but due to the fact I had my rudder travel at 110% so I could hold some serious knife edges .
I didn't have failsafe set up. so it's my own fault.

my radio has been used more then I ever expected . I actually have a brand new dx6 g3 in the box as a back up radio in case this ever fails or needs to be retired .

i fly with some guys that have been flying for over 50yrs and they say with gas planes the ignition can cause issues so tidy up wires and get ignition stuff away from rx .
love my telemetry tho. have my flight pack voltage on my ignition pack. rx voltage . rssi. now a optical kill switch. I can't see needing anything else.
the kill switch came in handy 2 times today.
Jun 24, 2019, 03:16 PM
Registered User
Thread OP
Thanks Doug. Yeah I have seen some weird stuff due to the ignition system. I actually have metal hose clamps around the spark plug boot so ensure good contact and EMI shielding. The remote RX is mounted in the tail section and the main rx is as far away from the nose as possible without interfering with the servo mounts toward the middle of the aircraft. Maybe if I can get a good year out of flying this I will stick a fresh new set of servos and receiver module to help extend the life of the airplane. I kind of want to keep this plane in good shape as it's currently my only gasser and it is by far the most fun to fly.
Jun 24, 2019, 03:19 PM
Stand by here come banana
Hughsey once see member friend lose Spektrum radio and crash!

Hughsey check plane and push rod for elevator bend, Spektrum not fail and elevator servo move but push rod bend and not move surface!

Hughsey crash two planes but not Spektrum fail, Hughsey crash but before Nimh battery die and Hughsey also crash A123 battery die!



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