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May have figured out what killed my plane- DX5 power glitch

Old 06-28-2012, 04:39 AM
  #1  
CNY_Dave
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Default May have figured out what killed my plane- DX5 power glitch

Was testing out the servos etc on my new plane, AR6210 RX with satellite, DX5e, when the plane stopped responding. Walked to the front, peered in the hatch, yellow sig light is out on the RX and the lost-link red LED is flashing that it has lost signal once.

Wiggled the sticks, shook the TX, no idea what's wrong. Did not regain link until I power cycled the TX, then it was solid over multiple powerups on TX and RX.

I recall there was someone who had a problem with the power switch on their DX5 (was too sensitive and they had to mod it to keep it from glitching) so I fiddled with the switch.

Sure enough, a slight pressure off to the side or even down could power cycle the TX by briefly shutting it off.

But, that's not what happened when it lost sig.

Fiddled with the power switch some more, and multiple times I was able to get the TX to stop transmitting, sig led on the RX out, but WITHOUT glitching the LED on the TX and without the TX making its startup beeps!

Holy crap!

Would not resume transmitting until it was power cycled.

Seems as though if you cycle the power fast enough the processor (or something in there) locks up but the reset circuit doesn't catch it and reboot things like during a power cycle.

Also telling was sometimes when momentarily cutting power (faster than you can cycle with the switch off-on) when the RX regained the signal the sig LED would flicker then become solid.

I wonder how many planes have gone down because of this? In addition to my flightstar 40 which crashed due to probable signal loss.

I wonder how many brownouts (with a DX5 TX) were really this issue?

Going to have to find that repair thread and see how to disassemble this thing down to the switch.
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Old 06-28-2012, 05:08 AM
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flydiver
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you might want to watch this:
Faulty Spektrum DX5e Radio
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Old 06-28-2012, 02:23 PM
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Yeah, that's it, mine's not as sensitive though, and when it happens sig never comes back, as opposed to most cases he showed where sig does come back.

Now I really need to search for that repair thread I dimly recall.
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Old 06-28-2012, 05:18 PM
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OK, have read enough to realize knowledge of this issue needs to be more widespread, and also apparently the DX5e has two power switches in parallel for different circuits, one goes to the actual radio stuff and the other to the LEDs/beeper and who knows what else, that's why the TX function can cease with the LEDs on.

I think the easiest fix is to remove the rear panel, bridge the switch connections with wire to 'on', and add a good switch to the battery feed from the battery tray. Will need to put the switch where it can't get jostled, of course.

I don't see a compelling reason to replace the parallel-switch action of the original switch as it does not seem there is a timing issue where one circuit needs to go hot/go dead before the other.
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Old 06-28-2012, 05:25 PM
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flydiver
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Why not send it in? Horizon has a good reputation for fixing their stuff.
Their one drawback is they will never admit to actual manufacturing deficiencies or well known problems with their products.
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Old 06-28-2012, 05:36 PM
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I am guess they would just put a new switch of the same design in that would eventually cause the same problem.

Much better to actually bypass the crappy component.

Dave
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Old 07-05-2012, 03:41 PM
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Opened up my troublesome DX5e yesterday, as some have I also also found the slider did not seem to be allowing the switch to travel all the way to either the 'on' or 'off' positions, the 'off' position might not seem to be a problem but the 'off' contacts seem to be involved in the trainer port, so some of the circuit is different when using it as a buddy box.

Something interesting I saw on the 'off' contacts, I was ohming the critter out and saw a dozen ohms across one pair of the 'off' contacts and 200 on the other pair, after working the switch directly a few times with the slider off this dropped to 1-2 ohms.

I think this shows an important component of the failure, that being full travel of the switch is critical to fully wiping off the oxide buildup on the contacts, probably when you set the switch to off or on the contacts actually travel a bit past their rest position, but when restrained by the slider slot the contacts just bulldoze crud up to bu not past their rest position.

Another aspect I also found is that if the switch was not fully in the 'on' position, the long switch arm restrained from the last bit of travel, the entire switch arm is 'rocked' back a tiny bit (tilted towards the 'off' position), so not only are the contacts not fully in position, but the spring pressure on them is actually reduced because if the arm is cocked, so is the actual slider in the switch. In this condition the degree of contact was very susceptible to very small motions of the switch arm.

So it seems like the problem is a perfect storm of crud buildup and reduced pressure on the contacts and the arm being able to transmit tiny motions right through to the contacts, all due to the slider not letting the switch achieve full travel.

What's funny is the hole in the plastic looks adequate, but the thick plastic decal actually has a slightly smaller hole.

Dave
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Old 07-06-2012, 02:14 PM
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At the risk of cross-posting...exactly three of mine, before I gave up on the DX5e and upgraded. Luckily they were smallish foamies and repairable.

Originally Posted by CNY_Dave View Post

Holy crap!

I wonder how many planes have gone down because of this?
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Old 08-12-2012, 01:39 AM
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Well crap - I've got a DX5e on the way...
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Old 08-12-2012, 03:17 AM
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Just do a vigorous 'tap test' on the bench once in awhile.

I had to bypass the switch completely, my attempted fix wasn't reliable in a later bench test.
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Old 12-02-2017, 01:11 PM
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Default Spektrum DX5e Tx on/off s/w repair/rewire

Apparently many have had this same problem. I have lost two Apprentice S 15e Trainers, $300.00 each, which came with the Spektrum DX5e T/X. They just flew away when they would not respond to the T/x commands. I thought it was my being new to RC flying but finally realized the T/X was powering off on its own accord.
I recently contacted Horizon, vendor, and all they would say is that it was out of production and that no parts were available. When I asked if they were aware of said on/off switch problem, which by the way, I learned about from this forum while searching the web for a possible fix, their Tech. just kind of grunted. He had no comments other than, "that item is out of production and no parts are available."

I thought about bridging the switches solder points on the circuit board with some small, (18ga.), wire but I am not exactly sure as to where the bridges should be soldered. I realize that this will create a constant power on so I intended to, as in the forum, place an on/off switch at the battery supply leads.

Has anyone addressed this issue, successfully, or could anyone advise me as to how to accomplish this repair successfully. (I have two, (2), Spektrum DX5e T/x that have this same defect!) Each Apprentice S 15E I lost came with the Spektrum DX5e Transmitters and both transmitters on/off switches failed.

It is very discouraging for a beginner, like myself, to lose two planes due to a faulty switch! I thought it was due to my inability as a beginner and almost quit the sport. But I haven't given up yet.

Any advice would be greatly appreciated!

Thanking you in advance,

Sincerely,

John Jordan----"Bosco"
Wrightsville Beach, North Carolina
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Old 12-02-2017, 01:35 PM
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Hi Bosco ... its an old thread - over 4 years old - but for you its a current problem. I would suggest Direct PM to the above guys for what they ended up doing ?

Have you thought to replace the 5's and end the tale of woe ? A 5 today is pretty limited and if you move up model, will basically be an ornament.

Nigel
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Old 12-02-2017, 03:47 PM
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Bosco.....like Nigel said, time to move up the TX ladder.

Making repairs to the DX5e might be a good project to tinker with during spare time, but you'll loose confidence in it (and most likely a $300.00 plane) if the repairs don't last.

There are many new and reliable (under the $200.00 range) transmitters available today. All programmable and with various "model memory" capabilities. The best investment one can make in the RC hobby is a good, reliable, proven TX.............You won't be disappointed, even your skills and enthusiasm will increase while working through the learning curve and no longer worrying whether or not problems are the equipment or just dumb thumbs.........
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Old 12-03-2017, 04:07 AM
  #14  
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This is surprising to see this issue showing up now. As solentlife has written this is an old thread and for that matter an old issue.
I had one of the original releases of the DX5e when it was DSM2. Those had the faulty switch and when I sent it back I received a new DSMX version. I would be surprised if you are having problems with a DSMX model but it isn’t impossible.
There are many new models to choose from now so it is time to put the DX5e into the transmitter case to be used for a buddy box but not a primary Tx.
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Old 12-05-2017, 02:40 AM
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Bosco
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Default Spektrum DX5e on/off s/w issue

Yes, I agree with Nigel's advice for me to invest in some new, dependable, electronics. I will trash the Spektrum DX5e stuff and start anew with a new radio system. This will allow me to concentrate on flying skills and negate the constant fear of losing control of the airplane. I thought that my losing control of the airplane was something I was doing wrong. Being a novice in this sport, knowing only what I had read and thought I knew, I started the RC Flying learning curve. I learned it ain't as easy as I thought it would be!

Anyway, would some of you experienced pilots advise me as to a Quality mfg., brand, of RC radio systems. I want elev, thr, rud, ail and couple extra channels. A 6 channel radio will be all I need to learn and when I become proficient as a pilot, I will upgrade to a more advanced system.

Could some of you experienced pilots offer some recommendations as to who mfg.'s quality RC Radio Systems. All my receivers and existing stuff is geared for the Spektrum DX5e, it is compatable with Spektrum DSMX/DSM2, 2.4 Ghz. system. I guess this means new receivers are most likely going to be needed too.

Educate me! There are no hobby shops, with knowledgeable people to talk to, where I live and the internet seems to be where most the RC commerce is being done leaving no one to ask for advice.
Suggestions Please. I am 70+ years old and high tech. stuff is difficult to keep up with for my tiny brain!

Thanking you in advance,

Bosco
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Old 12-05-2017, 02:56 AM
  #16  
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Where are you pointing the antenna on your DX5?
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Old 12-05-2017, 03:39 AM
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Originally Posted by Bosco View Post
Yes, I agree with Nigel's advice for me to invest in some new, dependable, electronics. I will trash the Spektrum DX5e stuff and start anew with a new radio system. This will allow me to concentrate on flying skills and negate the constant fear of losing control of the airplane. I thought that my losing control of the airplane was something I was doing wrong. Being a novice in this sport, knowing only what I had read and thought I knew, I started the RC Flying learning curve. I learned it ain't as easy as I thought it would be!

Anyway, would some of you experienced pilots advise me as to a Quality mfg., brand, of RC radio systems. I want elev, thr, rud, ail and couple extra channels. A 6 channel radio will be all I need to learn and when I become proficient as a pilot, I will upgrade to a more advanced system.

Could some of you experienced pilots offer some recommendations as to who mfg.'s quality RC Radio Systems. All my receivers and existing stuff is geared for the Spektrum DX5e, it is compatable with Spektrum DSMX/DSM2, 2.4 Ghz. system. I guess this means new receivers are most likely going to be needed too.

Educate me! There are no hobby shops, with knowledgeable people to talk to, where I live and the internet seems to be where most the RC commerce is being done leaving no one to ask for advice.
Suggestions Please. I am 70+ years old and high tech. stuff is difficult to keep up with for my tiny brain!

Thanking you in advance,

Bosco
"I learned it ain't as easy as I thought it would be!"........Don't feel bad about that even at the "mature" age..........many younger novices have experienced similar results when beginning.

"All my receivers and existing stuff is geared for the Spektrum DX5e"..........Since you own DSMX/DSM2 receivers, why not use them with a Spektrum DX6...? Even consider later, to upgrade to a little more functional DSMX class that can be used in several +6 channel air craft.

Although there are a few other "non" Spektrum 6 channel transmitters that are compatible with the DSXM protocol, It only makes sense to stick with what you are familiar with......and continue to grow with the knowledge you have gained........For under $200.00 there are quite few options in the 6(+) channel family, not just Spektrum. But like I said, consider what you have experience with, purchase what is proven and provides good customer service, reliability and technical support here in the U.S.A....!

There's a reason Spektrum is so popular.....research the Internet and it may help you make a sound decision.......
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Old 12-05-2017, 04:12 AM
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Bosco
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Default Spektrum D5e on/off

Yes, I agree it would be easier and cheaper to continue with the Spektrum line but after my problems with the DX5e, which was my first RC gear, has made me a little hesitant to purchase another Spektrum product!

Are any of the newer models of Spektrum Transmitters considered to be a well made and reliable product? I realize I am not purchasing a top of the line, professional grade radio. For $200.00, or less, a GOOD Novice Entry Level Radio is not what I got from my first purchase.

Spektrum, (2017/2018) dependable and well received Radio's that you and other experienced RC pilots consider to be good and solid as an entry level radio.

I am ready to get back out there and crash another time. I spend more time fixing the damages to the plane's foam than I do with flying the agravating things!

Thanks,

Bosco
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Old 12-05-2017, 06:49 AM
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Take a look at these....:

https://www.horizonhobby.com/dx6e-6c...ceiver-spm6650

https://www.horizonhobby.com/dx6e-6c...-only-spmr6650

https://www.horizonhobby.com/dx6-6-c...ode-2-spmr6750

As far as reliability, very few have had issues or complaints......they're not Spektrum's "top of the line", but very good "modern" entry level transmitters........around the $200.00 range.

There are other brands like Turnigy and FrySky that fall under the $200.00 entry level range. All are popular but fall short in some areas like RX compatibility, power supply flexibility, intuitive programming, memory storage (SD card) compatibility and on-screen visibility.......to name a few.

Suggest just take your time and research the Web, check out other Web forums like this and if you have a chance, visit an RC flying club field and nose around, observe what the majority are using.....bet you'll find Spektrum's are very popular.
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