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HELP! Spektrum DX7 radio failure?

Old 07-16-2007, 02:15 AM
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Lieutenant Loughead
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Default HELP! Spektrum DX7 radio failure?

Hi.

I had two lockout radio failures on my Spektrum DX7 radio this afternoon.

Do you know what caused this?

Spektrum DX7, AR6100, Phoenix 25 ESC.

The first lockout radio failure recovered in 10 seconds.

The second lockout radio failure recovered in 25 seconds. The airlpane almost hit the ground!

Please help!
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Old 07-16-2007, 02:50 AM
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What do you mean by "radio lockout failure"? Did your voltage to the RX drop below 3.5v? If so, it was probably a reboot.

If that is the case, you may want to use a separate radio battery or employ a UBEC to make sure your radio voltage stays up where it needs to be.
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Old 07-16-2007, 03:38 AM
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Originally Posted by Lieutenant Loughead View Post
Hi.

I had two lockout radio failures on my Spektrum DX7 radio this afternoon.

Do you know what caused this?

Spektrum DX7, AR6100, Phoenix 25 ESC.

The first lockout radio failure recovered in 10 seconds.

The second lockout radio failure recovered in 25 seconds. The airlpane almost hit the ground!

Please help!
Has your AR6100 had the upgrade?
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Old 07-16-2007, 03:48 AM
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I don't know what upgrade you are talking about. Maybe not. How can I tell?

After flight battery voltage was 12.02 volts.

"radio lockout failure" means "no control from transmitter" and "airplane was flying level, with a slight left turn". Maybe it was AR6100 failsafe positions?

I can't tell if there was power to the prop or not. Both times, the airplane descended gently. The second time, I lost visual over the trees and thought it landed on the roof of a building. Then I saw it at the far end of the parking lot, about 100 yards away, and regained control about 10 feet off the ground!
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Old 07-16-2007, 05:04 AM
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It's that AR6100 as your culprit.

If it does not have a tiny sticker that reads V1.2 (or maybe V1.5) on the end of the case it has defective software and needs to be returned to Horizon for test and upgrade.

I lost my Simple Stick to this problem.
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Old 07-16-2007, 12:36 PM
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Originally Posted by Lieutenant Loughead View Post
I don't know what upgrade you are talking about. Maybe not. How can I tell?
See the Bulletin here" http://www.horizonhobby.com/Products...ProdID=SPM6100
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Old 07-16-2007, 02:12 PM
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Good catch; I forgot about that software snafu.
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Old 07-16-2007, 09:01 PM
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All five of my AR6100's have a little sticker which says "v1.2" on them.

I have had this same issue on three of my aircraft now -- I lost my GWS P-38 this morning; airplane and 4s 3150 mAh LiPo destroyed.

I called customer service. The GWS P-38 used an external BEC, which was a "red flag" for customer service. At their request, I am shipping the transmitter and all receivers back to them for testing.

Looks like I'm not flying for a while...

Gotta be honest here --> I'm really not happy with a 10 second "glitch" on this Spektrum radio, when the software decides to "reboot"... When it glitched, my old 72 MHz radio only glitched for a second or two...
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Old 07-16-2007, 10:17 PM
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[QUOTE I called customer service. The GWS P-38 used an external BEC, which was a "red flag" for customer service. At their request, I am shipping the transmitter and all receivers back to them for testing.[/QUOTE]

I would not be surprised if they had said no external BEC was a red flag for them. I believe Spektrum receivers are sensitive to low voltage which might occur when running without an external BEC.
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Old 07-16-2007, 10:47 PM
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This doesn't sound like an issue with the external BEC, it sounds like a low voltage issue. Perhaps a servo was binding and dropped your voltage too low?
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Old 07-17-2007, 03:06 AM
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Not on three different aircraft!
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Old 07-17-2007, 03:14 AM
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Why not? while it may be coincidental, this also is the first time I have ever heard a complain of your kind. Though in your second post, you said you "lost visual over the trees and thought it landed on the roof of a building". If you flew behind a building, you may have lost the link between the TX and RX. 2.4 GHz is LINE-OF-SIGHT and as such, if you have something between you and the plane it can lose signal. (Of course, you should never let your plane leave your sight, because then YOU CAN'T SEE IT. So, maybe that is what caused the problem in at least one instance.

Also, if you flew behind a line of trees, and there was dense foliage, that can block your signal as well.
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Old 07-17-2007, 04:03 PM
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Sigh -- despite what you are suggesting, this was not pilot error. ??

To this point, this radio (Spektrum DX7) has lost radio contact four different times, on three different aircraft. All four times, the aircraft was in plain sight (not behind a building or tree) when radio contact was lost...

It was after radio loss and uncontrolled glide that the aircraft disapeared behind the trees and the building -- all I could do it watch! (See the attached picture, notice how the red line intersects the two trees to the south of the main building.)

The first radio contact loss was at about 50 feet of altitude.

The second radio contact loss was at about 75 feet of altitude.

The third radio contact loss (see attached picture) was at about 100 feet of altitude.

The fourth radio contact loss was at about 100 feet (disaster of a crash -- airplane BOUNCED 5 to 6 feet in the air after ground impact; airplane and battery destroyed).

Again, Spektrum has agreed the transmitter sounds broken, and has asked me to ship it back to them for repair. I shipped it today. I will let you know what happens.
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Old 07-17-2007, 06:24 PM
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Well, I am sorry for your losses, and look forward to what Spektrum has to say.
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Old 07-17-2007, 08:26 PM
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Originally Posted by Lieutenant Loughead View Post
Again, Spektrum has agreed the transmitter sounds broken, and has asked me to ship it back to them for repair. I shipped it today. I will let you know what happens.
So, if they find the unit defective, are they going to replace your loss? Most companies have a disclaimer that they will only replace their broken unit. It will be interesting to see how they address this issue. You did perform your radio signal check right?
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Old 07-17-2007, 09:15 PM
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Bottom line...Horizon and Hobbico both have millions invested into spread spectrum technology; and both will do whatever it takes to make people happy.

I have witnessed a few 'loss of signal' instances; all of which had their antennas straight and pointing to the gound (I know...I know...we could usually get away with that with 72)....one was low RX pack voltage.

Chris Klick was flying a 180MPH with one at SEFF when he lost link....with the antenna straight out and at the ground....

As soon as he said "I've lost it" and held the antenna skyward, she re-linked. I was standing next to him spotting.

Quique had his Giant scale on Spektrum dump in the weeds....when he got back to the pit, they pulled his RX and found that, mistakenly, a low voltage RX pack was installed.

Personally, I have never had a hiccup on mine and I use 6100's + 7000's....

But yes, it sounds like a TX issue to me; three planes/three different rx's is absurd....If I had a million dollars, I would bet you are right and it is a TX issue. Stinks, nevertheless.....sorry to hear about it brother.

Keep on Horizon, though, they will do you right. Sorry to hear about it man....stay strong.

--C
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Old 07-17-2007, 09:28 PM
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This is very curious. I have been doing tons of research on the DX7 as I am looking to purchase the spektrum system in the near future. In all of my searchings I have not seen anything like this. I would have to agree that the Tx is broken somehow. That is the only explanation, even the software reboots shouldnt take 10-25 seconds.

I hope it works out and I am sorry to hear about the loss of your P-38..thats is one expensive loss with the plane, batt, and both engines...ouch

My Condolences,

Lip84
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Old 07-17-2007, 09:31 PM
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Originally Posted by DIALED/CHUCK View Post
Bottom line...Horizon and Hobbico both have millions invested into spread spectrum technology; and both will do whatever it takes to make people happy.
-Do you know anything about espritmodel? I was looking to get a DX7 from them. The price is the same as Horizon so I might just go with Horizon if they have an excelent reputation for customer service.


Originally Posted by DIALED/CHUCK View Post
Chris Klick was flying a 180MPH with one at SEFF when he lost link....with the antenna straight out and at the ground....

As soon as he said "I've lost it" and held the antenna skyward, she re-linked. I was standing next to him spotting.
--C
-Is the spektrum similar to the ol 72mhz in that you arent supposed to point the antenna directly at the aircraft for fear of swamping the rx with signal? Why do they recommend pointing the antenna at the ground? Why did the signal reconnect when we pointed the antenna up?
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Old 07-18-2007, 12:40 AM
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Originally Posted by Lip84 View Post
-Do you know anything about espritmodel? I was looking to get a DX7 from them. The price is the same as Horizon so I might just go with Horizon if they have an excelent reputation for customer service.
I purchased my DX-7 from Esprit and they gave great service. If your transmitter fails while under warranty, Horizon will service it under warranty, no matter where you purchase the equipment.

I purchased mine from Esprit because they offer different packages than those offered by Horizon. They rearrange the contents to give you more what you want. I did not want a large receiver or servos and that is what I purchased. Good folks.


Originally Posted by Lip84 View Post
-Is the spektrum similar to the ol 72mhz in that you arent supposed to point the antenna directly at the aircraft for fear of swamping the rx with signal? Why do they recommend pointing the antenna at the ground? Why did the signal reconnect when we pointed the antenna up?
Don't know the answer to that question. This is the first I have heard about a problem with the antenna pointing at the ground. Looking forward to someones response.
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Old 07-18-2007, 12:45 AM
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The only time I have heard of a problem with antenna orientation is when the antenna is pointed DIRECTLY at the aircraft. The radio waves eminate out from the antenna shaft, so pointing the tip of the antenna at the receiver exposes it to the weakest signal.

I always have my TX antenna angled so it is exposing the side of the antenna shaft to the aircraft, exposing it to the strongest radio wave eminations.
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Old 07-18-2007, 01:19 AM
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Originally Posted by Lip84 View Post
-Do you know anything about espritmodel? I was looking to get a DX7 from them. The price is the same as Horizon so I might just go with Horizon if they have an excelent reputation for customer service.
What Jim said...


-Is the spektrum similar to the ol 72mhz in that you arent supposed to point the antenna directly at the aircraft for fear of swamping the rx with signal? Why do they recommend pointing the antenna at the ground? Why did the signal reconnect when we pointed the antenna up?
Only time I saw issues is when people DID point their ant at the ground with the 90 degree swivel not bent to 90 degrees. (making the ant less efficient). The tip of their antenna was pointing at the grass.

--C
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Old 07-18-2007, 03:27 AM
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Okay -- I'm hearing different things here...

1) The radio will fail if the antenna points at the ground. (I'm sure I did not do this.)

2) The radio will fail if the antenna points directly at the aircraft. (It IS posible I did this.)

So -- what's the deal? Maybe both statements are true? I know you're not supposed to point the antenna at your head -- the way I fly, if i bent the antenna 90-degrees, that's exactly what I would be doing...

What's the best way to orient the antenna? ??
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Old 07-18-2007, 04:07 AM
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[QUOTE

What's the best way to orient the antenna? ??[/QUOTE]

I don't believe it makes much difference. I personally fly with the antenna at a 45 degree angle pointing towards me.
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Old 07-18-2007, 04:31 AM
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Originally Posted by Lieutenant Loughead View Post
2) The radio will fail if the antenna points directly at the aircraft. (It IS posible I did this.)
This is called the 'cone of silence' picture your antenna mast sticking up vertical. The radio waves come off of it in well, waves which are emanating out away from the mast. If you were able to see the waves and looked down from the top of the antenna the waves would spread out like ripples in water. since they spread out -sideways- when you point the antenna at the plane it sees no signal.

It's best to have your antenna on the TX bent at 45 deg or 90 deg depending on how you typically hold your TX. The idea is to try keep the TX mast vertical.
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Old 07-18-2007, 05:28 AM
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Originally Posted by Lieutenant Loughead View Post
Okay -- I'm hearing different things here...

1) The radio will fail if the antenna points at the ground. (I'm sure I did not do this.)

2) The radio will fail if the antenna points directly at the aircraft. (It IS posible I did this.)

So -- what's the deal? Maybe both statements are true? I know you're not supposed to point the antenna at your head -- the way I fly, if i bent the antenna 90-degrees, that's exactly what I would be doing...

What's the best way to orient the antenna? ??
Just to clarify one thing, the radio will not fail due to the antenna pointing any direction. The receiver may not see an adequate signal and go to a failsafe mode. The DX radios failsafe modes are determined when you bind the receiver to the transmitter. Or there is a factory default if you don't rebind the receiver after it is installed in the airplane.

I don't think you are going to get brain damage by pointing the antenna at your head. Makes no difference. Your head is already surrounded by the radio waves coming off the antenna, as well as about a million or a billion or so other radio waves.

Now if you make a hat out of tinfoil, preferable heavy duty Reynolds Wrap, the radio waves will bounce off the hat and be directed to the receiver in your airplane and reception will be improved. Also your status at the flying field will definitely change.
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