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Spektrum DX6i PC Backup

Old 06-16-2008, 06:28 PM
  #1  
radweld
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Default Spektrum DX6i PC Backup

Now, to the best of my knowledge, it's not possible to connect your radio to your PC in order to program or backup/restore the model memory however it seams such an obvious option i don't understand why spektrum don't provide this facility. My radio has just died, literally just after I had landed my PZ T28, I turned it round, throttled up to taxi it back to me when it lost all power, I was surprised to see my TX was completely dead!

Now although I'm relieved this problem occurred after I had landed, I'm frustrated that after Horizon replace (or factory reset) the TX I will be left with a blank radio, I have 2x Helli's and 4x planes so there is quite a bit of re-programming to do. I'm not too fussed about the planes but I don't have the settings saved for the Helli (blade 400).

I wish it was possible to connect the radio to your PC and either backup/restore models or perform the initial programing this way. Maybe one day it will be possible
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Old 06-16-2008, 06:30 PM
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SkunkyMagoo
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So what happens if you remove the batteries to replace them, you lose all your planes then too?
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Old 06-16-2008, 06:44 PM
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the data is stored in flash memory so you can replace the batteries and not loose your models.

I to wish it had computer connectability, but that's an expensive feature for a "low end" radio.
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Old 06-16-2008, 06:54 PM
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Originally Posted by constantCrash View Post
the data is stored in flash memory so you can replace the batteries and not loose your models.

I to wish it had computer connect ability, but that's an expensive feature for a "low end" radio.
It can't be that expensive to do, the radio already provides Trainer USB connectivity and a USB lead to access the memory would cost an extra peanut to add.

Checked the specs of the DX7 and that doesn't look like it supports it either.
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Old 06-16-2008, 07:07 PM
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It doesnt support USB anything. The training is done through a MONO jack, you need an interface to use it on a PC as a joystick. Via a realflight interlink, or using something like smartpropo plus and ppjoy.

It is not just adding a small interface to the transmitter, it is everything behind that to make it work. Software development, operating system drivers, etc etc.
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Old 06-16-2008, 07:15 PM
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It's not that difficult to provide this kind of function, you can even program some Eflite brushless ESC's by a USB lead.

I'm no longer an electronics expert, my background is in computer design so I know how software controls register memory etc etc and that's all the settings in a computer radio are, memory settings.
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Old 06-16-2008, 07:19 PM
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Right, even my charger has usb functions for data logging. But the point is they set out for a specific price range, any more features would bump it out of its class.

It seems we are talking about two different features. You want to backup model memory. I want to use it as a joystick via USB which would cost a considerable amount more to develop.

What you want is very simple...and could most likely been done by yourself granted they use some sort of standard file system.
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Old 06-16-2008, 09:25 PM
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Are you sure you lost the settings? Im sure you didnt, if you did then this would happen every time you replace the batteries, or I would every time I take out my DX6's Lipo to charge it. And I know it doesnt lose settings cause I have done just that three times. Once to install the Lipo, and twice to charge it.

So if you have lost them it wasnt due to your battery going dead, it's got to be something else.
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Old 06-16-2008, 09:30 PM
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I think he is saying if/when he has to send in his sx6 for repair and horizon resets or repairs it he will lose all his data.
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Old 06-16-2008, 10:26 PM
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Originally Posted by SkunkyMagoo View Post
I think he is saying if/when he has to send in his sx6 for repair and horizon resets or repairs it he will lose all his data.
Yes, this is exactly my point. The real trouble for me will be trying to remember my Helli program settings because I had made loads of modifications to the original settings.

To me, when you have a device that stores data, you should be able to back it up. I had a quick look on line and the only vendor who does seam to provide this function is Futaba but the radio I looked at was 1500. That's exactly 1400 more expensive than the DX6i but it's also got 6 more channels than I need and loads of other stuff I don't need.

It just needs one vendor to take up the mantle and then all the others would probably follow. I know the Spektrum radios are entry level but they are providing features that punch above their weight.
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Old 06-16-2008, 10:41 PM
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Originally Posted by SkunkyMagoo View Post
I think he is saying if/when he has to send in his sx6 for repair and horizon resets or repairs it he will lose all his data.
You won't. As has already been pointed out, the data is saved to non-volatile memory. I've recently sent both a DX6 and a DX6i to Spektrum/Horizon for repair, and in both cases my model memories were unaffected.
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Old 06-16-2008, 10:52 PM
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Originally Posted by adhoc View Post
You won't. As has already been pointed out, the data is saved to non-volatile memory. I've recently sent both a DX6 and a DX6i to Spektrum/Horizon for repair, and in both cases my model memories were unaffected.
Mines got a pretty serious fault as it's totally dead. The shop I got it from said Horizon will likely perform a factory reset and if that fails, replace it. If this happens, then I lose the memories.

Wouldn't anyone actually like this feature?
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Old 06-16-2008, 11:01 PM
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Originally Posted by radweld View Post
Mines got a pretty serious fault as it's totally dead. The shop I got it from said Horizon will likely perform a factory reset and if that fails, replace it. If this happens, then I lose the memories.

Wouldn't anyone actually like this feature?
I would, but for different reasons. It would open up the possibility for virtually unlimited model memory. I could have a hundred models on a disk somewhere and upload the models I plan on flying that day.
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Old 06-17-2008, 02:16 AM
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Hmmmm, well a much simpler solution would be for memory cards to be employed such as what we use in our flycams and such. And im surprised it hasnt been implemented as yet. Especially since SD cards are so inexpensive and common in todays electronic devices.

Now as for your radio, im not sure what you mean by it being dead.
Dead as in batteries dead, or dead as in radio not operational even with fresh batteries.
So, have you replaced the batteries? Are you sure they are all in correctly, with proper polarity?

Also check the battery contacts, and insure they make good contact. It could be just that simple and would only take one of them being a bit too compressed and could have lost connection as you moved the radio around or even tilted it while holding it.
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Old 06-17-2008, 04:56 AM
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Futaba has some FASST radios that work with memory cards, but they are wicked pricey... this feature actually would cost quite a bit to add to the Spektrum radio. It would probably boost the price by $50 or more. The engineering required to make the memory accessible would require a lot of reconfiguration of the hardware and also re-programming of the software, which is not easy to do since it's embedded software. I can understand why Spektrum doesn't offer this in their low-end radios, but I don't understand why they don't make one available for a higher price, which has this feature.

It is not as simple as slapping a USB port into the memory... much more engineering needs to be done. This is the cheapest system available with expandable memory... it is $600.
http://2.4gigahertz.com/systems/futk9250.html

Memory cards are notoriously unreliable... I wouldn't even consider risking my plane on one.
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Old 06-17-2008, 05:00 AM
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What makes you say that? Solid state memory is the most reliable digital storage out there.
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Old 06-17-2008, 05:05 AM
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Originally Posted by SkunkyMagoo View Post
What makes you say that? Solid state memory is the most reliable digital storage out there.
Memory cards fail all the time, quite often. The problem is that memory cards are subjected to transport, disconnection and reconnection, and other abuse. It's not because of the way they are made, but the way they are generally treated.
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Old 06-17-2008, 05:09 AM
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Ahh, the way you said it at first sounded like the memory card was unreliable, not its use/abuse subjective to its owner.

Never had a card fail on me yet. Would be a cool feature, microsd even. Easy fix, usb interface to allow upload/download to the fixed memory.
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Old 06-17-2008, 05:15 AM
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On top of all Jasmine's points, add this... As soon as you open up a product to allow users to access and manipulate that product's data, you open a whole can of worms to prevent invalid or inconsistent data. In my job we just added a "simple" import/export function to a single function, and it has required all kinds of extra design, coding, and testing effort we didn't fully plan for. A real headache!

With a "closed" product, you only have to make sure the software is consistent with itself. With an "open" product, you have to assume that someone, somewhere will find a way to get "bad" data into the product... Probably not intentionally; for example, someone could write a third-party "model editor" or "librarian" to edit and manage sets of models.

I've seen this stuff happen with music synthesizers, but usually the worst that happens is a messed up synth that sounds weird or, more often, doesn't make any sound. Big deal; reset to factory presets. But, in the case of an RC transmitter, the results of bad data could include safety issues and property loss... I doubt Spektrum wants to open itself up to liability for problems caused by third-parties...
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Old 06-17-2008, 05:22 AM
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The only data that would need to be stored would be model setting values, nothing more. All of the interface and software would be on a non accessible flash rom. You could literally store thousands of planes on a 2gb card.

Of course you would do you pre flight checks as usual, if something is not right, do not fly...simple as that.

But now you are getting into the expensive software dev. The tx would need to be programed to verify the models data and look for any corrupt bits. You know...uploading....verifying data....done!

All in all, this would drive up the price WAY to much.

The dx6i is packed with enough features for me, and if I ever have more than 10 models 1) I am in trouble with my other half and 2) a 6 channel radio is probably something I would not even need.
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Old 06-17-2008, 05:25 AM
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Yep... and you gotta know embedded systems programmers are pricey - they must be programmers and electrical engineers. I don't do embedded programming for a reason - but I sure would love the salary
http://www.simplyhired.com/a/salary/...-Princeton,+NJ
http://www.simplyhired.com/a/salary/...l-Denver%2C+CO
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Old 06-17-2008, 05:27 AM
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I wouldnt mind that either Maybe then I WOULD have more than 10 models LOL
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Old 06-17-2008, 05:35 AM
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I have 12 slots used on my DX7 and only one of the planes is not flying, and I currently have one plane and one helicopter on the way - I'm getting close to using it all up, but most of my planes are very simple programming, although none of them are exactly the same. I didn't really need to put my Blade choppers on it, but they fly a lot better with it.

This is the current solution for model memory backup - old-skool but works great
http://www.spektrumrc.com/Articles/A...ArticleID=1713
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Old 06-17-2008, 05:39 AM
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Thanks for that link, I am sure I will need that some time. I just have no need for 7 channels. I dont think I ever will, I fly strykers and helis...if I can fly a blade 400 and a rex 450 or similar on a 6 chan I dont think I will need to upgrade ever.

What IS the 7th channel FOR?

We sure are drifting OT here....
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Old 06-17-2008, 05:45 AM
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Well we're still talking about how to back up Spektrum settings - there should be some of those sheets available for the DX6 too. 7 Channels is actually a very basic setup, which is why I went for the DX7 and skipped the DX6i...

Here's a sample setup for the new "Deuces Wild" twin from E-Flite:
Throttle - 2 channels - one for each motor, so you can trim them to work together properly - and you could program tricks, like some thrust differential mixed into the rudder.
Ailerons - 2 channels
Elevator - 1 Channel
Rudder - 1 Channel
Landing gear - 1 Channel

That's 7 channels - the plane could fly on 5 channels - 4 if you don't want good aileron trimming or flaps available, and don't want retractable gear. If you wanted to have a twin with seperate flaps, you'd be up to 9 channels - so you can use up channels pretty quick when you get out of the most basic stuff. Most people probably don't need this kind of thing, but a good number of us do.
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