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Old 05-06-2013, 05:51 AM   #1
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Default Spektrum DX8 Close Call

Last night, I was working with my DX8 transmitter and a model airplane. Late at night, went down to my workbench, and heard the DX8 issuing a beep beep, and the vibrator was in full swing. Forgot to turn the DX8 transmitter off. Take a look at where that transmitter wound up. There is nothing under the lower half of the transmitter, it nearly hit the floor.

Got to check the manual, and see if that vibrator can be turned off.

For the good news, that DX8 transmitter put on a total of 8 flights today, each about 6 minutes long on three different airplanes. The Spektrum 2000 Mah transmitter battery was pulled, and my West Mountain battery analyzer was used to plot out what was left in the 2000 Mah battery.

Results? That 48 minutes of flying took 25% capacity out of the 2000 Mah battery. The DX8 can easily handle a full days worth of flying.


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Old 05-06-2013, 05:53 AM   #2
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Yeah, that vibration warning is overkill. I think you're right, it can be disabled. Think I better do it, too. Glad she didn't go over the edge.
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Old 05-06-2013, 05:56 AM   #3
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Originally Posted by xmech2k View Post
Yeah, that vibration warning is overkill. I think you're right, it can be disabled. Think I better do it, too. Glad she didn't go over the edge.
Let me know if you figure out how to kill the vibrator. I couldn't find it in the manual first time through it.

I'd also like to find out how to make the one minute tic marker on the timer to make more noise. That tic can be very difficult to hear, if someone is running one of those noisy glow or gasser engines nearby.

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Old 05-06-2013, 06:19 AM   #4
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Don't think any of that is configurable unless the most recent update changed that. This is one of the biggest complaints for this radio and a reason I have been reluctant to choose it. Now if you spend twice as much for the 18 you get more options. Pretty mean spirited marketing if you ask me.

You are lucky it did not reach the floor. Others have been less fortunate. I can't understand the point of the vibrator for inactivity. If you are not close enough to hear the beep you certainly won't notice the vibrator. Ridiculous idea.
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Old 05-06-2013, 07:03 AM   #5
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Yeah, the vibrate on inactivity is pretty stupid. Even with the latest firmware update the vibrate still cant be disabled.

As for the added features on the DX18 being "mean spirited"... That's life i'm afraid. If they put all the features of the 18 in the 8 then who would buy the 18

I'm wondering if the new FrSky Taranis might stir things up among the established manufacturers somewhat. The Teranis looks to rival the very top of the range transmitters on features and all at a price of about $199 (when it gets here).. It's not the most stylish of Tx's, in fact there is something of the old Dx7 about it, but at the price and with the feature set it's hard to overlook.
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Old 05-06-2013, 02:18 PM   #6
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Wow - I will remember that lesson - thanks.

Can't agree though with the comments about the Vibration alert - I LOVE it on the flight timer at least (I use that overpriced 18 you are dissing ). I get it though but I needed sliders.

While the alarm is finally loud enough the vibe really helps me know it is time to land. I have not missed an alert yet on the timer function (you have to set both to run it defaults to only the alarm).

But I am not sure my vibe is enough to move the TX across the table either - maybe they tamed it down a bit. Not sure... Will test that!

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Old 05-06-2013, 03:22 PM   #7
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Don’t get me wrong, I like the vibration alert for some things, just not for the inactivity alarm when you are obviously not holding the Tx anyway.
Perversely you have the option of audible or vibe alert for all other alarms, but the inactivity alarm, which is the one alarm where you have no possible need for vibration, can’t be configured other than adjusting delay time until activation.

But I'd put this in the 'minor niggles' box. It's not a big issue providing you dont leave your Tx unattended and turned on near the edge of a table. On that subject... why is it that a vibrating DX8 never vibrates away from the table edge but always toward it. Is it the same law of physics that detemines that dropped toast lands butter side down


PS....No dissing of the DX18 here. I'd like to have one, I just cant quite convince myself i need one for the types of models I currently fly.
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Old 05-06-2013, 03:26 PM   #8
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There is always the option of opening it up and disconnecting the little vibrator motor or just take the weight off the motor shaft.
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Old 05-06-2013, 03:34 PM   #9
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Originally Posted by toddyrotten View Post
There is always the option of opening it up and disconnecting the little vibrator motor or just take the weight off the motor shaft.
Yeah, but the vibe is useful for other alerts. But if the risk of it walking off a table bothers you that much the disconnect option is of course available.
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Old 05-06-2013, 03:49 PM   #10
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Maybe that puppy just needs a leash. LOL
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Old 05-06-2013, 03:53 PM   #11
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Not dissing vibes or the 18. I'm a Spektrum user and would have an 18 if money was no object. But putting annoying features in a flagship $350 radio and then allowing full user configuration in a new flagship $800 radio perverse.

I would buy a DX8 with configurable alarms. Can't justify an 18 at this time. So I stick with my old trusty DX7. Are you listening Spektrum? Also, every advanced radio should be able to operate in silent mode so an owner can work on programming while family members are nearby and involved in normal activities.

It's clear that they listened to complaints from DX8 users about the inactivity alarms and trim indicators and that is a good thing for DX18 buyers. No joy for the DX 7 and 8 owners though.
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Old 05-06-2013, 04:32 PM   #12
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Each to there own but honestly I dont see the vibrating inactivity alarm as a velid reason for not buying the DX8. You can set the alarm so it doesnt activate for an hour. You can discipline yourself not to leave it turned on and unattended near the edge of a table! Push comes to shove open up the case and physically disconnect the vibrator.
IMHO it's just a very minor niggle in what is overall a great radio. I dont subscribe to the conspiracy theory that Spektrum deliberatly engineered in this issue to force users down an upgrade path. In fact is the 'disable vibrate on inactivity' option even available on the DX18?

***EDIT*** To answer my own question, I just dowloaded the DX18 manual and yes it appears the DX18 does indeed have the option to disable vibrate on the inactivity alarm. Hopefully this might be added to the DX8 at some future firmware update, unless of course it's somehow hard wired.
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Old 05-06-2013, 05:02 PM   #13
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Originally Posted by JetPlaneFlyer View Post
Donít get me wrong, I like the vibration alert for some things, just not for the inactivity alarm when you are obviously not holding the Tx anyway.
Perversely you have the option of audible or vibe alert for all other alarms, but the inactivity alarm, which is the one alarm where you have no possible need for vibration, canít be configured other than adjusting delay time until activation.

But I'd put this in the 'minor niggles' box. It's not a big issue providing you dont leave your Tx unattended and turned on near the edge of a table. On that subject... why is it that a vibrating DX8 never vibrates away from the table edge but always toward it. Is it the same law of physics that detemines that dropped toast lands butter side down


PS....No dissing of the DX18 here. I'd like to have one, I just cant quite convince myself i need one for the types of models I currently fly.

It probably goes the way it does because of the relative friction of the handle and the base, and perhaps the way the case is sloped when resting on the handle.

maybe a little rubber strip on one end or the other would keep it from 'walking'.

Ask me why your DX5e is doomed... and how to fix it.
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Old 05-06-2013, 05:31 PM   #14
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Originally Posted by Turner View Post
Not dissing vibes or the 18. I'm a Spektrum user and would have an 18 if money was no object. But putting annoying features in a flagship $350 radio and then allowing full user configuration in a new flagship $800 radio perverse.
I can tell you are not a marketing guy. If you sell your best features on your "low" end product you will never sell the high end stuff.

You ALWAYS put your best features with the product that will get more $$$.

Everything on earth does that. Do you buy a Honda DX, LX, EX? Or An Acura?

That is just a simple fact of life - you get more features when you spend more money - it is certainly not perverse.

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Old 05-06-2013, 06:46 PM   #15
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That's good to know that you can adjust the time on the inactivity alarm to one hour. That info is not in the manual that non owners can download. If you own the radio you can download updated information. What possible marketing strategy is there for keeping prospective buyers away from the latest information?

I may not be a marketing guy but the people who developed the inactivity alarm for the flagship DX8 without realizing that some would find it annoying and would like to be able to configure it really didn't have their thinking caps on, did they. This has been flogged to death on RCG and I don't want to repeat that here. Thanks for the updated information. I will take another look at the DX8.

The DX8 has had many changes since first introduced but the downloadably manual does not reflect these changes.
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Old 05-06-2013, 10:14 PM   #16
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Well, I got a chance to check my tx and as someone stated here, I can only see how to change long until you get that warning. I have Airware v2.06, but I understand there is a new version out with all that glider stuff. Don't know if it changed anything about the inactivity warning.
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Old 05-06-2013, 10:32 PM   #17
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Nope, i can confirm that the latest Airware doesn't change the inactivity timer functions. it just adds sailplane programming, everything else is unchanged.
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Old 05-06-2013, 11:11 PM   #18
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I just solved the 'problem' of the Tx vibrating itself off of surfaces.

The reason it 'walks' during vibration is because it rests on the rear carry handle and two hard plastic pips moulded into the bottom rear of the Tx. Because the 'pips' are hard plastic and the handle is metal it slides easily on hard surfaces such as a table. When the vibrate activates it slowly walks in the direction of the bottom of the Tx.

The solution is childishly simple. You just need a couple of small self adhesive rubber feet, ideally about 12mm diameter and 5mm deep. stick these to the rear of the Tx near the plastic 'pips'.

The Tx will now grip any smooth surface it is rested on and wont budge an inch when it vibrates.

How simple was that
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Old 05-06-2013, 11:17 PM   #19
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Thx for the fix, Jetplaneflyer.

And Kyleservicetech, I asked on the Dx8 thread here, and our new member, Andykunz, who I understand is on Spektrum's development team(?), responded here. Looks like we have to live with it.
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Old 05-07-2013, 01:52 AM   #20
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Originally Posted by rcers View Post
I can tell you are not a marketing guy. If you sell your best features on your "low" end product you will never sell the high end stuff.
Off topic, but my first job back in the 1960's was with a company that manufactured disk brakes for big (real big) three phase electric motors. The torque rating of the disk brake was controlled by a heavy duty spring.

The only difference between a 150 foot pound torque rating, and a 300 foot pound torque rating was a heavier spring. (The spring was a dollar cheaper.)

But going from the 150 to the 300 foot pound torque rating was a price adder of some $300.

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Old 05-07-2013, 01:54 AM   #21
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Originally Posted by xmech2k View Post
Thx for the fix, Jetplaneflyer.

And Kyleservicetech, I asked on the Dx8 thread here, and our new member, Andykunz, who I understand is on Spektrum's development team(?), responded here. Looks like we have to live with it.
Thanks for the referral to the Spektrum team. As for me, now that I know that DX8 can walk off of my desktop, I simply won't put it there during testing or what ever in my workshop.

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Old 05-07-2013, 06:57 AM   #22
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Originally Posted by toddyrotten View Post
There is always the option of opening it up and disconnecting the little vibrator motor or just take the weight off the motor shaft.
I picked up one of those tiny motors from the American Science center awhile back. Seems that little weight is pressed on, just about impossible to remove without wrecking the motor, at least on the motor I had.

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Old 05-07-2013, 07:02 AM   #23
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Originally Posted by kyleservicetech View Post
As for me, now that I know that DX8 can walk off of my desktop, I simply won't put it there during testing or what ever in my workshop.
Just stick a couple of rubber feet on the back and you never have to worry about it again. Speky probably should have put them on as standard. I cant believe I'm the first one to think of this fix, people have been banging on about this issue for ages and the solution was so simple.
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Old 05-13-2013, 12:25 AM   #24
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I made this trans. stand so it wouldn't fall over in the grass. Just coat hangar wire and heatshrink, it slips over the bottom of the trans. Just by chance, the heatshrink acts like a cushion and the vibration doesn't get to the table. Being an old phart I do forget to turn it off once in a while. forgetting is one of the privilages of being an old phart


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