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Evening flight and a transmitter question

Old 07-02-2015, 11:46 AM
  #1  
woodmangler
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Default Evening flight and a transmitter question



This was the flight I did the same evening as the crash. After I landed and switched the camera from my hat to the plane.

I finished working on the Apprentice last night. Honestly, I can't believe how I escaped any major damage!

A few dings and dents, and a slice in the wing I fixed with glue and some packing tape, and all seems good to go now.

..... except, I am afraid to fly since this is the second instance of losing contact with the transmitter.

I ordered a satellite... can't hurt right?

The range check doesn't seem to give any insight into losing contact. It doesn't seem to be a range issue since I have had the plane a LOT farther away from me than it was when it lost contact and crashed.

I have been reading a lot the past couple of days - basically reading the difference between the Dx6i and the Dx6 - BIG price difference.

Looking at about $80 more for the Dx6 - not a whole lot in the long run I guess....

What do y'all think?
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Old 07-02-2015, 01:15 PM
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solentlife
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I don't use Spektrum ... but will pass this ...

Satelite Rx's as I understand it - were a solution to early days of 2.4Ghz where the short stub antenna was often shielded and radios hadn't really got into stride.

Various "solutions" came out from manufacturers ... Hitec I believe developed the Dipole antenna - which FlySky uses on their Rx's ... a single antenna with Dipole end ... I forget the actual name for it.

Other manufacturers such a FrSky put dual antenna on single Rx's ... with very quickly making them true dual antenna instead of competitors split single antenna.

As Rx's improved the use of single antenna improved to such that FrSky offer Parkfly 4ch Rx's with over 1km specified range.... vs competitors still in the 300 .. 500m arena.

As long as antenna is installed in reasonable manner and clear of CF or metal .... then it should work.

Another aspect : 2.4Ghz is subject to limitations that FM never suffered. Literally 2.4 is line of sight ... if an object is between you and Rx - it can be affected. Believe it or not ... a chain-link fence was told to me by a RF engineer could be really bad.
A forest of trees .... metal tower structure .... in fact he was surprised about the conditions we use our 2.4 systems and expected to work in.

So ...

clear area
antenna in clear part of model (I often poke a hole through side of fuselage !)
Keep LoS clear

Nigel
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Old 07-02-2015, 01:21 PM
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solentlife
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Dings and dents .............

I usually have two solutions for this.

a) Small cracks and dings / dents. Gorilla Glue (I use PU glue from local shop - same stuff, much cheaper). Apply ... let it foam up. Cut and shape. It not only fills but reforms into a strong foam holding the two sides etc.

b) With hobby knife cut an angled 'square' section out to make the repair more easy and be able to cut piece to fit cleanly. Again PU glue to fit piece. Foam up ... set ... cut and sand.

Paint and bobs your aunts brother ...

Nigel
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Old 07-02-2015, 01:46 PM
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solentlife
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List of models flying on 4ch Parkfly FrSky Rx and single antenna :

Badius F3A
50mm EDF
Hummer 3D
Zlin 3D
Mintana
Donkey Twin
and others ...

I have no problems flying such models on the little 4ch parkfly Rx ... as it has a spec'd 1km range. It's actually become my Rx of choice unless I need aux ch's.

Nigel
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Old 07-02-2015, 03:19 PM
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JetPlaneFlyer
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Different manufacturers have different solutions to 2.4GHz antenna diversity. For Spektrum most of the full range receivers use a satellite. The receivers that dont have the satellite usually have two different length antenna coming from the receiver so they can be placed in different parts of the plane.

Regardless of brand it's generally only the short range 'parkflyer' receivers that only have a single antenna.

As you say, a satellite cant do any harm.
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Old 07-02-2015, 04:41 PM
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dahawk
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Wood,

I have the DX9 but the software is basically the same for the newer DX6 except the 9 has 9 channel capability versus 6 channel. Both have voice alerts, large amount of model memory(250), wireless buddy box capability etc. Might seem gimmicky to some but I've found the voice alerts very helpful.

For $80 bucks more I'd opt for the DX6. It's not like you'll be buying a new radio all the time. All part of the initial infrastructure buys like getting a good charger.

On rx's, I've run the gamut. Original Spektrum, Orange, Lemon, etc. I only use satellite's on a few larger models.

Hawk

Hawk
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Old 07-02-2015, 05:25 PM
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pizzano
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A satellite can't hurt.......mostly use them on heli's........a true duel antenna RX will work great, and is more than enough, but not really necessary for parkflyers.......If Spektrum is the choice, the AR400 is a very good alternative.........for any Spektrum DX6i, DX6 and up.......
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Old 07-02-2015, 06:22 PM
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woodmangler
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Default I have a Lemon Rx DSMX receiver

instead of the hunk of junk, err, I mean the wonderful SAFE (stands for Standard Airplane Failure Exercise) receiver...

But I digress...

Anyway, one of the antennas on the SAFE Rx was really long... kinda snaked it's way around the electronics compartment.... the other was short

The Lemon has 2 really short antennas...

Meaningless? - stuff like this does make me wonder why one would have a long antenna and the other has really short ones.

I tried telling my wife it's not the size of the antenna but hey, she wont listen...
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Old 07-02-2015, 06:57 PM
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JetPlaneFlyer
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Antennas....

The two on the standard SAFE Rx are separate antennas, each capable of receiving a signal independent of the other. One is short and one long so they can be positioned in different parts of the plane and in different orientations. This is what I was referring to as 'antenna diversity' i.e. having two operating independently and positioned differently. If gives more reliable reception at range because at least one antenna is likely to be well positioned to receive a signal.

The two antenna on the Lemon Rx are actually just two ends of a single dipole antenna... so it's just a one antenna. The potential problem is if that antenna gets 'shaded' from the signal by something solid like the planes battery, motor, etc and/or if the orientation of that single antenna isn't good (2.4GHz antennas are directional) then reception is reduced and at range maybe lost.

A single antenna is fine for close range but isn't recommended if flying larger models at longer range, hence the satellite which adds the second antenna.
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Old 07-02-2015, 08:49 PM
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Rodneh
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A second antenna does nothing in so far as increasing range, it just help to insure that the signal is not masked (one or the other antenna should be unmasked if properly placed). By having the two antenna at right angles to each other, you are also improving the ability of one or the other of the antenna to be properly phased with the transmitter antenna. Realize that the antenna is only that last 28 to 33 mm bare wire end on the end of the coax connecting the antenna to the receiver; i.e. all the antenna are the same length, the cable connecting them to the receiver can be any reasonable length. Any conductive material between the receiver antenna and the transmitter antenna will weaken if not completely block the signal. If the receiver antenna is pointed directly at the transmitter antenna, the signal is also severely reduced. With a single antenna, this will always happen if the plane is in a certain attitude. It just normally happens for so short a time you do not notice it. For instance, if your antenna on the plane in in line with the horizontal for/aft axis of the plane and you are comming in for a landing flying directly toward you, your signal will be very weak, possible enough to cause a drop out. For best results, when using single antenna, have it mounted vertically in the plane and then keep your transmitter antenna vertical while flying. Unless you are directly overhead you will have the best chance of always getting a good signal.
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Old 07-06-2015, 12:47 AM
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AEAJR
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You have already received good comments on receivers and antenna. My insight is, whenever you think it is the receiver, it isn't, it is usually the power.

Check all of your connections, wiggle wires, shake the plane while someone slowly moves the sticks. Watch for loss of signal in the surfaces. Spektrum receivers have a specific blink pattern if they loss power or brown out. Read the manual for our receiver.

When you are sure it is not the power and are certain it is the receiver, check the antenna connections, especially if the plane is in a crash. Then do a range check from ALL angles to be sure there are no blind spots.

Then go check the power again.

Check the switch on the radio. Bank on the switch on the radio and see if you lose connection with the plane. Just wiggle it and see if anything happens to the plane.

Then wiggle wires again, shake the battery, shake the plane.

90% of the time it is a power issue.
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Old 07-06-2015, 01:28 AM
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woodmangler
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Originally Posted by AEAJR View Post
You have already received good comments on receivers and antenna. My insight is, whenever you think it is the receiver, it isn't, it is usually the power.

Check all of your connections, wiggle wires, shake the plane while someone slowly moves the sticks. Watch for loss of signal in the surfaces. Spektrum receivers have a specific blink pattern if they loss power or brown out. Read the manual for our receiver.

When you are sure it is not the power and are certain it is the receiver, check the antenna connections, especially if the plane is in a crash. Then do a range check from ALL angles to be sure there are no blind spots.

Then go check the power again.

Check the switch on the radio. Bank on the switch on the radio and see if you lose connection with the plane. Just wiggle it and see if anything happens to the plane.

Then wiggle wires again, shake the battery, shake the plane.

90% of the time it is a power issue.
Thanks - I would not have thought of any of this to be truthful.

I have a Lemon 6 channel receiver, having removed the Spectrum.

I have a Dx6, a lipo for the Dx6, and a satellite antenna on the way. I had to sell my house and now live in my truck to afford this, but...

I will do a complete wire check and the shaking tests...
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