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Old 03-26-2012, 08:05 PM   #1
Wildflyer
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Default Horizon Hobby does not like customized Transmitters

I have always had great service from Horizon Hobby service dept.

This last time, not so great.

I have a JR9303 on 2.4g. The Spektrum 2.4 conversion module was custom installed with an internal antenna lead up to a HH 2.4 antenna installed in the normal antenna location, on top of the radio. It looked just like the 2.4 9503. I was very happy with it, because I sometimes will put my left hand through the handle, palm out, allowing me to carry a sailplane with both hands, out to where I want to launch.

The left side rotating lever is called the "flap lever", in my radio it did not function. so I sent the radio in, with a letter inside telling them the following;

The flap lever does not operate, I will be using this TX for complex glider, please repair.

When I got the radio back, the report said the flap switch works just fine. And as a customer service, they replaced my old 2.4 module with the new design, using my circuit board, at no charge.

The flap lever & flap switch are two different things. The lever is active in glider mode, but not in acro mode. The switch is used for different things in glider mode.

He had not read read the letter about using the radio in glider mode. So I had to send it back again, with a letter clearly telling them to test the lever in glider mode, and to put my 2.4 module back to the way it was when I sent it in. Also to call me when they started working on it.

This time he tested it in glider mode and found the problem.

BUT !! They totally refused to put my radio back to the way it was, saying they do not do any custom work at Horizon Hobby.

So if your transmitter has been modified in any way, be careful if you send it in, they will put it back to stock. Include a letter telling them to not change the mods, but then in some types of mods, my guess they will refuse to fix, or will charge you full rate for repair.

I ended up spending over $25.00 to put my antenna back on top, where it belongs, because I ordered the wrong one first (my bad) plus $18.00 shipping because they didn't fix the right thing first. Total unnecessary cost almost $45.00

Sorry this is kinda long, but I wanted you to understand what happened. I had to wait about 3 weeks to write it because I was so

Dave R, Proud PGR rider.
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You become a master at repair.
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Old 03-26-2012, 08:58 PM   #2
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Hm, as much as I sympathize with you, I'm wondering if Horizon should have simply politely refused to carry out the work unless you agreed to their course of action. I suspect the claim is that for reasons of products liability, "they" restore transmitters to original specifications. Here is where I fault the tech or Horizon: you should have been notified, first, and at least YOUR PROPERTY returned.

But, as I've had wonderful service from Horizon, it's hard for me to be objective.
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Old 03-26-2012, 11:11 PM   #3
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Yes I have always had the best service from HH. But this was disappointing, I had not complained about the module at all, in fact I had said how pleased I was that is looked like a 9503.
They did not have to remove the module to service the problem. but he spent 90% of his time, removing it and changing it to the new module design.

He refused to just include the parts that he had removed from the TX the first time when he shipped it back the second time ( it was the same tech both times )

If he had just returned the old module case and the antenna, I could have put it back in 15 minutes and been happy. My phone numbers were on the first letter, so I think he should have at least called when he didn't find the reason I sent it in.

Oh well I will still fly JR, I am very happy with the 9303, and may get another one as a back up.

Dave R, Proud PGR rider.
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Old 03-26-2012, 11:34 PM   #4
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Default

Originally Posted by spad View Post
Hm, as much as I sympathize with you, I'm wondering if Horizon should have simply politely refused to carry out the work unless you agreed to their course of action. I suspect the claim is that for reasons of products liability, "they" restore transmitters to original specifications.
Agreed:
Before retiring, when ever I got a $$$$ control that had been modified by the customer, our direct orders from the QA and Engineering departments were to restore the control back to factory specificatons. Or return it as is, not worked on with a note inside the control indicating it was not repaired, and why. No exceptions. Some of the stuff our customers would to to our equipment severely affected the control's reliability.

In high voltage high current circuit breaker operations, every time somebody gets into high voltage and gets severely injured or worse, we as the deep pocket manufacturer of the backup circuit breakers are going to get sued. Even if our equipment was operating perfectly. Nature of the game nowdays.

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Old 03-27-2012, 01:11 AM   #5
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I am not surprised at all! I am sure you did an excellent "hack" but manufactures and suppliers and especially repair shops likely see quite the opposite. In fact - you voided your warranty by being in the case at all - they don't do that stuff to be mean, they just see rookie repair jobs and mods that in some cases are quite horrific.

Now they should have read your letter - that isn't like them at all. They really are one of the best in the business. Try Futaba with what you did. They would have sent it back - charged you and said "You voided your warranty".

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Old 03-27-2012, 01:22 AM   #6
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Or, said, "Not only 'No,' but H... No!"
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Old 03-27-2012, 05:48 AM   #7
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Default

The antenna conversion was done very well, by a qualified person.
it was done using all products made for Horizon Hobby 2.4 g radio systems.

All this required was to unclip one HH 2.4g Spektrum antenna and clip on another one. Second Spektrum antenna simply had long enough lead to allow it to be mounted on top of the radio. Not the high voltage/ high amperage stuff, like Denny used to work on.

The radio has no warranty, it was long past that before I got it.
As far as getting inside the radio case, they show you the six screws to remove, to open the case for control stick adjustments.
I even asked them about me adding a led "on light" indicator, the tech said "do it carefully, and we don't care, screw it up, it'l cost ya"

I am trained in electronics and hold a federal license to work on transmitters.

Funny thing is, I think this was originally unofficially done by a Horizon tech, at his home, using Horizon parts.

Dave R, Proud PGR rider.
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Old 03-27-2012, 02:25 PM   #8
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Originally Posted by Wildflyer View Post
The antenna conversion was done very well, by a qualified person.
it was done using all products made for Horizon Hobby 2.4 g radio systems.

All this required was to unclip one HH 2.4g Spektrum antenna and clip on another one. Second Spektrum antenna simply had long enough lead to allow it to be mounted on top of the radio. Not the high voltage/ high amperage stuff, like Denny used to work on.

The radio has no warranty, it was long past that before I got it.
As far as getting inside the radio case, they show you the six screws to remove, to open the case for control stick adjustments.
I even asked them about me adding a led "on light" indicator, the tech said "do it carefully, and we don't care, screw it up, it'l cost ya"

I am trained in electronics and hold a federal license to work on transmitters.

Funny thing is, I think this was originally unofficially done by a Horizon tech, at his home, using Horizon parts.
Try to view this from the perspective of a manufacturer who gets sued after your plane injures someone (a hypothetical), who sues: it must show that its design was not defective, or that it was not unreasonably dangerous-now, if "it" didn't restore your transmitter to its specifications, how would it go about doing that in any rational or simple manner?

You can bet the liability insurer has something to do with this "policy."

Also, you can bet that unauthorized modifications made by an employee on his own time, in his own home, are nothing more than ironic, but certainly not binding on HH.

Give the horse a rest.
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Old 03-27-2012, 07:14 PM   #9
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Default

Originally Posted by spad View Post
Try to view this from the perspective of a manufacturer who gets sued after your plane injures someone (a hypothetical), who sues: it must show that its design was not defective, or that it was not unreasonably dangerous-now, if "it" didn't restore your transmitter to its specifications, how would it go about doing that in any rational or simple manner?

You can bet the liability insurer has something to do with this "policy."

Also, you can bet that unauthorized modifications made by an employee on his own time, in his own home, are nothing more than ironic, but certainly not binding on HH.

Give the horse a rest.
Years ago, the company I worked for got sued when a little kid got into a substation and got severely injured after contacting high voltage on a competitors live front metal clad breaker that had its covers removed for maintenance.

Only problem was, all of the equipment that our company built that was inside that substation with the high fence around it had just been delivered and was still totally enclosed in their original plywood shipping crates.

The judge cleared our company of any wrong doing, but we still had to hire lawyers.

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Old 03-28-2012, 04:57 PM   #10
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The bottom line is that Horizon did you a favor by servicing your radio even though you modified it.

Here's a good test. Go get a Tunigy 9X transmitter and mod the antenna and Module. Now send it back to where you bought it for repairs and watch what happens. In fact, don't modify it and send it in for repair and watch what happens.

Horizon Hobby is not so bad after all.

The TRUTH is not always what it seems.
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Old 03-28-2012, 06:25 PM   #11
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"Tunigy:" now, that's funny! Yes, indeed, make that warranty claim, then hold your breath....
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