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Mar 31, 2020, 10:45 AM
Better SAFE than sorry!
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Setup Spektrum AR637T with SAFE

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 plane, and tune the AS3X gains for best performance.

There are some other great resources out there for the AR637T. First is the manual itself. This one is worth reading - it's a lot more extensive than binding the receiver and making sure you don't cause radio interference in the area around you! To find a PDF version, go to the Manuals and Support tab on the AR637T product page on Spektrum's Web site.

Another resource is a video series that Miguel Alvarez from Spektrum has put out on YouTube. This is the channel:
Those videos get into a lot more detail about the AR637T itself.

I'll admit that I don't have much experience tuning AS3X, so I'll defer to those videos for that portion of the process.

This document has five sections:
1. What is SAFE? - A general discussion of SAFE features and what they do.
2. Creating A Model On Your Transmitter, Install Receiver - A walkthrough of setting up a four-channel model (I happened to use a Timber) with optional flaps.
3. Configure the AR637T - A walkthrough for getting SAFE set up and AS3X ready for tuning.
4. Testing SAFE/AS3X Controls - Make sure that's all working before you fly, and how to fix it if it's not.
5. Additional Receiver Settings - More things you might find yourself looking for in the menu.

IMPORTANT: The AR637T will require you to tune the gains for AS3X and SAFE for proper flight. Such tuning needs to be done in a flight mode without SAFE self-level/angle demand or envelope limits enabled. You'll need to be comfortable flying the plane without SAFE in order to properly complete the set up the SAFE features.


Version 2 - April 2, 2020 - Added more information about the importance of tuning the gains correctly.

Version 3 - April 6, 2020 - Added telemetry auto-config to transmitter setup, fixed some typos.

Version 4 - April 9, 2020 - Added a few paragraphs about checking/adjusting SAFE Self-Level's perception of "level" at the end of Section 4.

Version 5 - April 14, 2020 - Added more info about how to read the telemetry in the Range Test screen (fades / holds / signal strength)
Last edited by flightengr; Apr 14, 2020 at 02:10 PM.
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