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Old 04-11-2013, 01:48 AM   #1
Platinum350
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Default Super Cub Range Check Problem

Hey guys,

New member here and just getting into flying. Bought a super cub last week and finally had the chance to smash it, I mean fly it yesterday. Prior to take off I performed a range test per the owners manual and I had some control for about 2 seconds then nothing. I'v been wanting to fly it so I proceeded w/ flight anyway which went well until I was about 200 feet or so (wide, not vertical) and then it just nove dived into the ground.

I'm not sure if I lost control because I went out of range or not, but I think I did. In an effort to fix the range test I've replaced the transmitter batteries which didn't help, adjusted the planes antenna and I re-binded my Dx4e transmitter.

Here is what I'm experiencing:
While 30 paces away from SC, I engage range test and will have complete control AS LONG as I have the transmitter 100% vertical (antenna tip facing the sky). I tried while kneeling and had 0 control over the planes functions. I tried it standing with the transmitter in my hands at about a 45 degree angle (most comfortable way I'd probably hold the transmitter) and had slight control for about 1-2 seconds then nothing.

My question is this normal?

PS sorry so long!!
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Old 04-11-2013, 01:52 AM   #2
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You want the Tx and Rx antennas at right angles to each other, so it makes sense that you're getting better results with the Tx antenna vertical, but that sounds like pretty terrible connection.

What's the Tx you were using before the Dx4e?

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Old 04-11-2013, 02:20 AM   #3
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I purchased it as an RTF w/ the dx4e, haven't used anything with it beforehand. I'm wondering if I should bring it to a hobby shop and try it with another transmitter?
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Old 04-11-2013, 04:20 AM   #4
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Try something first.

Don't stand directly in front of the plane. Step off a few paces to the side and then try it with the radio antenna not pointed towards the plane.

It might be you had the antenna pointed right at the plane, and it can actually cause a loss of signal between the tx and rx.

Also you should never point the antenna towards the plane in flight, for the same reason.

Like Mark touched on, when standing you had an angle between the the tx and rx, kneeling and changing the angle on the antenna probably closed the gap enough that you were loosing signal.

And yeah you need to try and keep the rx and tx antennas at right angles for best reception.


Give that a try, both the ground test, and not pointing the tx antenna towards the plane while flying and see what happens.

If it fails the ground check, stop!
Call Horizon and have them assist you. They have excellent customer service.

When I die, I want to go like my Grandfather did, in his sleep...... Not screaming like the passengers in his plane.
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Old 04-11-2013, 04:47 AM   #5
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Sounding like it stayed in range test mode when you tried to fly it.

Range test distance varies a bit. If walking a few feet closer makes it pass you're probably OK. You should have the system lose control during the range test with max range having the antenna pointed 90 degrees to the aircraft (antenna perpendicular to the line to the plane)

After a range test... turn off the radio system (both TX and RX) and then turn it back on before attempting flight. Once in range test mode sometimes they stay in that mode until power is cycled off and back on even if you are not holding the button.

Since you have had an issue that appears to be it stayed in range test, try seeing if you get at least double the test distance without putting it in range test mode. It should not fail before you get tired of walking away from the model. (you should need a telescope to see the controls move before it quits working) Have a second person stand by the model and give signals as to if the controls work or not.
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Old 04-11-2013, 05:38 AM   #6
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"(you should need a telescope to see the controls move before it quits working)".....lol

Gosh, and maybe craters on the moon too.....lol.....a good pair of field glasses would suffice, but the better choice is a partner with a cell phone.
Also remember, the range test referred to is at ground level, so the unobstructed horizontal distance will only give you an estimate and will not be the optimum flight range possible.

As Glacier Girl and mclarkson have suggested, I've used a similar method at soccer fields, where I've placed the plane at one goal line and stood or kneeled at the other goal and adjusted the antenna.......300' is a reasonable distance to check response and functionality.

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Old 04-11-2013, 06:25 AM   #7
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Originally Posted by mclarkson View Post
You want the Tx and Rx antennas at right angles to each other, so it makes sense that you're getting better results with the Tx antenna vertical, but that sounds like pretty terrible connection.

What's the Tx you were using before the Dx4e?
Actually best reception is when the side of Tx antenna faces the side of the Rx antenna. If either is pointed directly at the other reception is impaired. The 90˚ deal is when positioning two Rx antenna within an air craft. The strongest signal comes off the side of the Tx antenna and best reception is on the side of the Rx antenna. Two antenna within one aircraft are positioned at 90˚ so that one always has some side exposure facing towards the Tx.
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Old 04-11-2013, 02:50 PM   #8
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Funny, while my eye sight isn't what it used to be, I even in the beginning had a tough time seeing the control surfaces when doing a range check. Yeah you try seeing a micro bird's surfaces at a 100 feet away.
I primarily fly alone, and honestly never thought of the binoculars or telescope bit.

What I had in my field box, was 3 pieces of control wire with a piece of blaze orange tape hung from them. Had the other end bent into a V shape.
I simply slipped the V portion over the rudder/elevator/aileron on the bird.

Then even at a distance I could see the "flag" waving when I operated the controls.


And another bit on tx antenna to rx antenna relationship, and one of my umm, numerous blunders.


Was doing a range check on a new Slow Stick, with my DX6i. Sat the plane down, turned around and started walking away from it. While doing so I activated the range check on the tx. Counted out my paces, and turned around. And no plane in sight!

Behind me I heard a whirring noise. And here came the SS flying by.
It was making a circuit of the field just as nice as could be, without me doing anything.

Figured out I had blocked the signal when in range check and the rx reverted to fail safe. So it just upped the throttle and launched on it's own, with a smidge of up elevator and rudder to make it circle around.

Actually impressed a couple of kids watching, they were amazed I could take off and fly without even looking at the plane.

When I die, I want to go like my Grandfather did, in his sleep...... Not screaming like the passengers in his plane.
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Old 04-11-2013, 05:37 PM   #9
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Originally Posted by Glacier Girl View Post
Try something first.

Don't stand directly in front of the plane. Step off a few paces to the side and then try it with the radio antenna not pointed towards the plane.

It might be you had the antenna pointed right at the plane, and it can actually cause a loss of signal between the tx and rx.

Also you should never point the antenna towards the plane in flight, for the same reason.

Like Mark touched on, when standing you had an angle between the the tx and rx, kneeling and changing the angle on the antenna probably closed the gap enough that you were loosing signal.

And yeah you need to try and keep the rx and tx antennas at right angles for best reception.


Give that a try, both the ground test, and not pointing the tx antenna towards the plane while flying and see what happens.

If it fails the ground check, stop!
Call Horizon and have them assist you. They have excellent customer service.
Thanks for the help! I'm slightly embarrassed as I know this sounds ignorant but I'm kinda confused on the whole right angle thing. I feel like the Tx will be at all differnt angles to the Rx while in flight. So how do I keep it at a right angle during flight? Or is this only important during the range test?

I remember pointing the tx directly at the plane and had no control, so that clears that up!

I'll try checking it a few paces away from the side and see what happens. Thanks again for the suggestions.
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Old 04-11-2013, 05:46 PM   #10
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Thank you all for the suggestions, it's much appreciated. I especially like the idea of trying my controls at 300' or so w/o going into range mode.

I would like to also ask about my Rx antenna, I'm not sure the best way for it to be setup. Currently it's running inside the fuselage, under the wing and just the tip of it sticks out of where the wing meets the fuselage. This looks like how it was supposed to be.

I was wondering if I should put a small hole in the fuselage (near where it connects to the Rx) and tape it along the outer side of the fuselage.

Suggestions?
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Old 04-11-2013, 05:47 PM   #11
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Originally Posted by Glacier Girl View Post
And another bit on tx antenna to rx antenna relationship, and one of my umm, numerous blunders.


Was doing a range check on a new Slow Stick, with my DX6i. Sat the plane down, turned around and started walking away from it. While doing so I activated the range check on the tx. Counted out my paces, and turned around. And no plane in sight!

Behind me I heard a whirring noise. And here came the SS flying by.
It was making a circuit of the field just as nice as could be, without me doing anything.

Figured out I had blocked the signal when in range check and the rx reverted to fail safe. So it just upped the throttle and launched on it's own, with a smidge of up elevator and rudder to make it circle around.

Actually impressed a couple of kids watching, they were amazed I could take off and fly without even looking at the plane.
That's hilarious, would've been funny to see!
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Old 04-11-2013, 05:58 PM   #12
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Originally Posted by Platinum350 View Post
...So how do I keep it at a right angle during flight? Or is this only important during the range test?

I remember pointing the tx directly at the plane and had no control, so that clears that up!...
It doesn't need to be at a right angle but you do want the side of the Tx antenna facing the plane at all times. The transmitted signal from the antenna is like a giant donut tire and the antenna is the axle. You want to keep the plane in the donut. The signal off either end of the antenna is very weak.

Some bend the antenna to the side. I like to have it pointed straight up.

http://www.antenna-theory.com/basics/radPattern.html

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Old 04-11-2013, 06:08 PM   #13
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Turner.....is that a jelly filled or glazed donut....?......lol....guess you'd also need an altimeter and aneroid barometer to get a full spectrum range calibration......way to complicated for the OP's needs at this time....lol

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Old 04-11-2013, 06:11 PM   #14
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It's not complicated at all. Just keep the side of the antenna facing the plane.
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Old 04-11-2013, 06:44 PM   #15
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That diagram makes total sense, thanks for sharing. Whenever I hold a transmitter, I hold it at about a 45 degree angle which is most comfortable. So I'm assuming my signal is being transmitted from the back side of the antenna (side that would be facing me if I were holding it 100% vertical/perpindicular to the ground) while I'm holding it at a 45 degree angle. If that were the case then it makes sense that I lost control of the plane because it was in direct line of the tip/top of my antenna when it went down.

Sound about right to you?
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Old 04-11-2013, 06:51 PM   #16
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Yes I once lost control of my SC with an AR500 Rx. I looked down at the antenna pointing directly at the plane, turned the radio so the side faced the plane and regained control. I had just forgotten to bend the antenna up.
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Old 04-11-2013, 07:24 PM   #17
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Turn off ACT (Anti-Crash Technology) and see of that helps. I lost a brand new Super Cub once because of the stupid ACT. haha

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Old 04-11-2013, 08:17 PM   #18
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The silicone holding my new firewall repair should be set tonight so I will put my SC back together. I hope to fly it this weekend. I think I'll try a 300' distance check and fly if it passes that.
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Old 04-11-2013, 08:18 PM   #19
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Originally Posted by MisterNoob View Post
Turn off ACT (Anti-Crash Technology) and see of that helps. I lost a brand new Super Cub once because of the stupid ACT. haha
1st thing I did when I put the plane together. Does anyone know if it needs to be disconnected or is switching it off on the Rx sufficient?
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Old 04-12-2013, 09:17 AM   #20
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I always just left ACT disconected as to not accidently have it switched on
Oh by the way do you have your antenna like the one pictured here in the website. Buy your description I was not sure

http://www.rcboca.com/parts-accessor...h-6-sc-lp.html

Happy flying may your crashes be limited and if they are not limited let them be cool.
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Old 04-12-2013, 03:14 PM   #21
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Originally Posted by Fishbonez View Post
I always just left ACT disconected as to not accidently have it switched on
Oh by the way do you have your antenna like the one pictured here in the website. Buy your description I was not sure

http://www.rcboca.com/parts-accessor...h-6-sc-lp.html
Yea I think I'll disconnect mine too just to be safe.
Isn't that receiver? I think that's what mine looks like but would have to double check to be sure. My antenna is only about 6-8" long and runs along the cavity in the fuselage, on the side and pokes out from underneath the wing.
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Old 04-12-2013, 03:19 PM   #22
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So I did another range test last night and it's strange what happens. First time I did it I walked 90' from the planes right side and had full control during the range test. Tried it again and had no control. Walked about 300' or so and tried it again without being in range test mode and had control but seemed there were a couple times during the test it didn't respond.

I'm torn, I should probably send back to Horizon but now that it's fixed I'd rather fly it again and see how it performs lol.
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Old 04-12-2013, 05:11 PM   #23
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What ever you do dont fly it. Horizon has awesome customer service call them and they will make good. I have sent an entire crashed SC plane to them due to a sticky servo and w/out question turned around and sent me a brand new one in no time. I can not speak for them but I would definitely give them a call and see what they can do for you. The urge not to fly is tough but it will be far better to be able to trust your equipment and enjoy flying and learning from your crashes and or mistakes than to always wonder if this crash was because of something I did or because something failed.

Happy flying may your crashes be limited and if they are not limited let them be cool.
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Old 04-12-2013, 05:21 PM   #24
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Originally Posted by Fishbonez View Post
What ever you do dont fly it. Horizon has awesome customer service call them and they will make good. I have sent an entire crashed SC plane to them due to a sticky servo and w/out question turned around and sent me a brand new one in no time. I can not speak for them but I would definitely give them a call and see what they can do for you. The urge not to fly is tough but it will be far better to be able to trust your equipment and enjoy flying and learning from your crashes and or mistakes than to always wonder if this crash was because of something I did or because something failed.
Your right, thanks for talking me out of flying lol. I did speak w/ customer service and they said for me to send back the receiver and transmitter and they'll check it out, I'm going to do that tonight! I have to agree, that it would be much better trusting my equipment and to learn from my crashes.

Thanks again!
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Old 04-12-2013, 05:24 PM   #25
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Good move. Phew I saw disaster on the horizon and beleive me be I know disaster my first SC is called "flirting with disaster" or FWD

Happy flying may your crashes be limited and if they are not limited let them be cool.
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