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-   -   HELP! Spektrum DX7 radio failure? (https://www.wattflyer.com/forums/showthread.php?t=22015)

Mike Freas 08-20-2007 10:04 PM


Originally Posted by Lieutenant Loughead (Post 255052)
Mike -- yeah, I agree. However, I'm getting a failure of some kind, and I KNOW it's not the battery. :rolleyes:

Lip84 -- you would have to remove the power pin from the ESC servo connector. Then, simply attach your battery to the BAT connector on your Rx. :)

In talking with Spektrum, this seems to be the mode Spektrum wants everyone to be in. These radio systems seem to be designed around those monster RC aircraft you see at giant scale fly-in's -- not the parkflyers you and I fly... :rolleyes:

LT,

Yeah I agree you don't have a power problem.

Lip,

If your talking about having a dual power system like the big boys it's going to get expensive and heavy really quick. The big dollar birds us a board to power the servos from a seperate power source capable of running more current then the RX can handle. The only thing the RX does is provide the signal.

Lip84 08-20-2007 10:05 PM


Originally Posted by Lieutenant Loughead (Post 255052)
Lip84 -- you would have to remove the power pin from the ESC servo connector. Then, simply attach your battery to the BAT connector on your Rx. :)

In talking with Spektrum, this seems to be the mode Spektrum wants everyone to be in. These radio systems seem to be designed around those monster RC aircraft you see at giant scale fly-in's -- not the parkflyers you and I fly... :rolleyes:

Wouldnt pulling the power cord on the ESC's connector result in having a live wire just hanging out in the fuse?

I am confused as to why they would want you to run with a separate rx battery on the smaller parkfliers...it would seem there is so much less draw/load on the system that it shouldnt be a problem. ??

Mike Freas 08-20-2007 10:10 PM


Originally Posted by Lip84 (Post 255060)
Wouldnt pulling the power cord on the ESC's connector result in having a live wire just hanging out in the fuse?

I am confused as to why they would want you to run with a separate rx battery on the smaller parkfliers...it would seem there is so much less draw/load on the system that it shouldnt be a problem. ??

A bit of heatshrink will take care of the wire but without a ground it's not a problem.

I still feel that the problems with the Spectrum systems are very few. How many units have been sold to date? 200 thousand maybe? Lt's continual problems are the only I have heard off. I'm sure there are more out there but the percentage is still very low. To bad Horizon will not just replace the entire system for him because of all the troubles he has had. Lemmon law?

brnyrbbl 08-20-2007 10:38 PM

LL, I now have a problem with my DX7. Although it isn't related to your problem, I pulled out the TX battery at the field for a friend to use since his was dead. After 15 minutes of "power on" he was getting the "low battery" alarm (DX6). I was upset because I had just pulled it off the charger after charging it for 24 hours. The McNair brand NiMh batteries aren't very good from what I have read. Now, I left the battery out of the TX all day and put it back in last night. I powered on the DX7 to be greeted with a "Backup Error". Hmm.. google time.. I found that the only way to fix it is to send it in to Horizon for reprogramming. Spektrum uses a flash memory for the software which in my opinion is lame. The software should have been on a non volatile hard coded chip so it couldn't be erased. Only the user options should be on the flash memory. Heck, if they wanted they could have set it up to be reduntant and have it on both a hard coded chip and the flash memory. That way if one fails, the other can still boot the system.... I'm waiting for a response from Horizon on what to do :(

Lip84 08-20-2007 11:37 PM

Hey Barney,

Do you think that Spektrum Tx's dont like to have the battery removed? This is sort of a dumb move by spektrum if it is the case.

Lip84

brnyrbbl 08-20-2007 11:40 PM

From what I've gathered, it can happen if you remove or plug in the TX battery while the power switch is on. Still lame if you ask me. They should have designed it to be protected by fuse or other device to guard against this sort of thing. So to be safe, make sure the TX is OFF before plugging or unplugging the TX battery.

Rabbitcreekok 08-21-2007 01:09 AM

Most JR and Spektrum transmitters have a internal battery that maintains the programming in the TX if the battery runs down. This battery has to be replaced every few years, 3 to 5 years. It can be replaced at the factory without losing the programing. It must be sent in to be replaced. It is not user replaceable.

They just don't seem to tell you much about the battery. I would guess that your battery ran down while your battery was out of the transmitter. If you have removed it earlier for any reason, it might have helped deplete the backup battery.

Hitec and Futaba do not have such a battery. All the data is flashed into memory.

brnyrbbl 08-21-2007 01:28 AM

The DX7 doesn't have a backup battery either. It's also uses a flash memory but plugging in or unplugging the battery with the power switch on wipes the flash memory. Poor design in that regard. (I don't remember having the switch on, but who knows??)

Lip84 08-21-2007 01:40 AM

I mean no offense to you Barney but it is pretty much common practice to always turn off an electric device before adding/removing a power source. Perhaps you are so used to this that you thought you already had when you hadnt or perhaps you acctidently bumped the switch while you were fiddlin with the batt in the back?

marchino61 08-21-2007 03:50 AM

Flash Firmware is the Norm
 

Originally Posted by brnyrbbl (Post 255081)
Spektrum uses a flash memory for the software which in my opinion is lame. The software should have been on a non volatile hard coded chip so it couldn't be erased. :(

I think you will find that many electronic devices put their firmware in flash nowadays: for example, mobile phones, PVRs, MP3 players and DVD drives to name but a few.

The advantage of this is that the software can be upgraded by the customer or dealer if a bug is found.

What is weird is that the flash can be erased by something as simple as removing the battery with the device switched on. It's lucky this does not happen with mobile phones, as I have had several phones lock up on me and the only way out was to remove the battery with the phone switched on!

brnyrbbl 08-21-2007 04:34 AM


Originally Posted by Lip84 (Post 255269)
I mean no offense to you Barney but it is pretty much common practice to always turn off an electric device before adding/removing a power source. Perhaps you are so used to this that you thought you already had when you hadnt or perhaps you acctidently bumped the switch while you were fiddlin with the batt in the back?

Well, I can't say for sure, but I think the power switch was off. The only thing I can think of is when I let my friend borrow it he may have accidentaly left it on when he took the battery out. Since I'm not sure I'm not pointing any fingers. I build my own computers so I am familiar with making sure everything is off before connecting or disconnecting power leads. It was just bad luck I guess. I'm still not sure that's what caused it. Others have had the same problem and I have only seen 1 reference to it being the switch in the on position when installing the battery. Another reference said it will do the same thing if the power is left on and the battery goes completely dead. I have never had a problem with any "flash memory" device before so I haven't a clue what really caused it.

Rabbitcreekok 08-21-2007 05:19 AM


Originally Posted by brnyrbbl (Post 255255)
The DX7 doesn't have a backup battery either. It's also uses a flash memory but plugging in or unplugging the battery with the power switch on wipes the flash memory. Poor design in that regard. (I don't remember having the switch on, but who knows??)

In the March, 2007 issue of R/C Report, the magazines owner, Gordon Banks reviewed the DX-7. On page 30, he talks about the Backup Error Display saying, and I quote "This too has been ignored in the DX-7 manual, but is well covered in the XP6102 instructions. I believe (but can't tell for sure) that it works the same way here. If the five year lithium backup battery (to protect the programming when the regular battery is dead or removed) fails, the screen will show the words "BACK ERROR".

I think this is pretty much what you said happened.

This is a 15 page review in his magazine and he is usually correct in what he says. Thats 15 pages with no ads or pictures.

Thought this might help.

brnyrbbl 08-21-2007 05:45 AM

I'll look for the XP6102 instructions and see what I can find. Thanks Rabbitcreekok! Do you remember if it can be fixed by the user or does it have to be reprogrammed now?

brnyrbbl 08-21-2007 05:51 AM

Here is what I found in the xp6102 manual. It is a 6 channel so I'm not sure it's the same as the DX7 but I will check.

All preprogrammed data is protected by a
five-year lithium battery that guards
against main transmitter battery failure.
Should the lithium battery fail, the display
will indicate BACK ERROR. If this occurs,
it will be necessary to replace the lithium
battery and reprogram all data. All
transmitter programs will return to the
factory default settings, and the data
you have input will be lost. When it
becomes necessary to replace the
lithium back-up battery, contact JR

Horizon Service Center. Due to the
possibility of extensive damage caused
by improper removal or replacement,
only JR Horizon Service Center is
authorized to make this change.

Rabbitcreekok 08-21-2007 05:54 AM


Originally Posted by brnyrbbl (Post 255532)
I'll look for the XP6102 instructions and see what I can find. Thanks Rabbitcreekok! Do you remember if it can be fixed by the user or does it have to be reprogrammed now?

Gordon stated in the review that it has to go back to Horizon or to a repair shop to be replaced. It is not user replaceable. And the programming is gone.

If it is returned before the battery dies, Horizon can replace the battery without losing the programming.

Rabbitcreekok 08-21-2007 05:56 AM

By the way, how did you get that manual posted. Did you scan it or copy it of Horizon's website?

brnyrbbl 08-21-2007 06:05 AM

I just downloaded the manual in PDF form then copy/pasted that section.

BobMaine 08-21-2007 02:55 PM

DX7 Manual
 
Speaking of the DX7, is anyone besides me disappointed in the quality of the manual? To me it seems not muct time was spent proofreading it and several sections are very "thin" or lacking in detail. A couple of examples: The same paragraph on the bottom of page 31 is also on 33?? The procedures that tell you what keys to press to program a specific function don't say how to get out of the (or end) programing sequence and go back to the preprogramming screen?? (I did figure it out) On page 56 it mentions "mixing a channel to itself" but doesn't explain how to do it. On page 45 it says "to enter the system mode" but should be "function" mode I believe. On page 21 at the top there is a brief mention of the "Throttle Alt" function but I didn't see and thing that describes it... There are others. I looked on line but there didn't seem to be any updates to the manual.

Lieutenant Loughead 08-21-2007 03:02 PM

My guess is that the internal battery (lithium button cell) is dead. When you removed your Tx battery for your friend to use, your flash memory was deprived of power for a long enough duration of time that the memory was lost.

Your experience makes me think we ALL can look forward to such problems in 3 to 5 years (when our internal lithium button cells die).

tclaridge 08-21-2007 03:38 PM

I have had problems with range checks and radio linking if the TX or the plane is flat on the grass (concrete seems better). But you should have the Rx and the Tx at least 6" above ground when turning things on or range checking. I lean my planes against something to get them flat off the ground when doing a range check.

Also, here is a good post up that summarizes some of the Spektrum flight failures that are not related to range or signal. The problem is the BEC and servo draw. We must equip our planes correctly!

http://www.rcgroups.com/forums/showp...postcount=3030

Lieutenant Loughead 08-21-2007 03:42 PM


Originally Posted by tclaridge (Post 255652)
I have had problems with range checks and radio linking if the TX or the plane is flat on the grass (concrete seems better). But you should have the Rx and the Tx at least 6" above ground when turning things on or range checking. I lean my planes against something to get them flat off the ground when doing a range check.

Also, here is a good post up that summarizes some of the Spektrum flight failures that are not related to range or signal. The problem is the BEC and servo draw. We must equip our planes correctly!

http://www.rcgroups.com/forums/showp...postcount=3030

Sigh... :rolleyes:

marchino61 08-21-2007 06:28 PM


Originally Posted by Lieutenant Loughead (Post 255643)
My guess is that the internal battery (lithium button cell) is dead. When you removed your Tx battery for your friend to use, your flash memory was deprived of power for a long enough duration of time that the memory was lost.

Your experience makes me think we ALL can look forward to such problems in 3 to 5 years (when our internal lithium button cells die).

Actually, flash memory is non-volatile - it does not require any power source to retain its contents.

Lieutenant Loughead 08-21-2007 06:49 PM

So, it's a corruption issue. Something is trying to read from, or write to memory while power is removed?

brnyrbbl 08-22-2007 03:27 AM

LL, here is the response and my email to Horizon. I thought it was funny but doesn't give me confidence that the support staff is very well educated in their product. I clearly stated I had a DX7 and the response from Horizon said DX6..
**my email to the Horizon support**
Hello,
I purchased a DX7 back somewhere around March of this year. I have been having problems with the TX battery pack holding a charge. Even after 24 hours of charging I only get 10-15 minutes before the Low Battery alarm sounds. Today, after the TX had been sitting for about a month, the battery was dead. I charged it up but now get a "backup error" when I turn it on. Any help is appreciated.

**Horizon's support response**
Aaron,
If you were having battery problems in the DX6 before & it sat
on the shelf for a while, the battery pack may have gone dead. Once that
battery was dead it is possible that it might have drained the charge
from the back-up battery. I would say it would be best to send your DX6
into us for a check-up.


Please send your DX6 along with a copy of your sales receipt to (ONLY if
it is a warranty issue)

Prof100 08-22-2007 03:31 AM

Horizon has no idea what it means to have customer service or customer support. I can't imagine buying one of these and having any problems with it that requires service.


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