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How crucial is AS3X (for Ultra Micros)

Old 06-03-2015, 03:49 AM
  #1  
Romans5.8
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Default How crucial is AS3X (for Ultra Micros)

Hey all!

So I've been thinking about getting an ultra-micro for backyard flying. How crucial is AS3X? Reviews seem to suggest it makes all the difference. The reason I ask, is the UMX T-28 is on sale at the LHS for $85, but it doesn't appear to have AS3X. Should I skip it for an AS3X equipped ultra-micro?

-John
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Old 06-03-2015, 04:04 AM
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Fishbonez
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Well I have the UMX mig and Habu and they fly great. When the wind s blowing 10 + they are fun to wrap the day because the AS3x is really at work I don't owm a umx without so I cant compare but without the AS3X I think they would blow away
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Old 06-03-2015, 04:48 PM
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Rockin Robbins
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I have a micro T-28 without AS3X and I can tell you that AS3X is nice to have but nowhere near crucial. One thing it is guaranteed to do, for instance, is to suck the charge out of your batteries with the enthusiasm of a three year-old with a straw and a glass of chocolate milk.

It will smooth out flights in turbulence. It won't keep your plane from being blown away. AS3X doesn't make your plane heavier or faster. Those are the only two tools at your disposal to keep from being blown away.
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Old 06-03-2015, 05:42 PM
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Wildflyer
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Tiny light airplanes tend to be very twitchy in flight. A puff of wind that would not bother a plane weighing 2 lbs might blow a micro around pretty good. There are no hard and fast rules to explain exactly how your next flight will go.

AS3X is just an automatic stabilizing system, designed to make flying of planes less stressful. I have several micros with it and a couple without it. I won't fly my planes that don't have AS3X during windy conditions on the large paved area in front of my house (I live in a private, gated community, not on public street)

I also have about 10 other stabilized receivers in larger planes. I know one of them saved my EF Edge 540T from destruction one day. I use the stabilization during take-off and landing if windy.

I have not noticed a difference in flight time, but since the servos are operating more, there would have to be some shortening of flight time.

I short I like stabilization, at least until I get back to the flying ability I used to have. The better of pilot you are, the less you need it.
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Old 06-03-2015, 10:05 PM
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birdDog
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I have the UMX PT-17 and when it comes to rog take-offs, I'm a thankful for AS3X.
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Old 06-03-2015, 11:31 PM
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Romans5.8
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So I got the non-AS3X T-28. What a blast. Needed quite a bit of trim. And it became very apparent to me where AS3X comes in handy, especially looking at video of other AS3X equipped models. The wings danced around a lot and a little gust of wind here or there can really make it bank hard or nose up, and I imagine the Gyro will dampen those. Well darnit, guess I'll just have to pick up an AS3X equipped model like the Sbach and try it out
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Old 06-04-2015, 03:39 AM
  #7  
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The lighter and faster you go, the more you need fly by wire. Today Fly by Wire is so good you can learn to fly an RC without an instructor. I do not suggest it, but I only had one quick lesson. Next day flew 4 flights and not a sole in sight. It was windy that day and the plane landed like a helicopter. Took nothing but throttle to control altitude and decent.

A little puff of cross wind on take off or landing on a micro that catches the wing, and it is over real fast.
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Old 06-04-2015, 04:24 AM
  #8  
Romans5.8
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Well, it's ALWAYS been fly by wire. Fly by wire means that electronics control the control surfaces while the pilot makes inputs with a control system of some sort. Our electronic servos plugged into electronic receivers have been 'fly by wire' since the beginning of RC; it's not like we're in the plane pulling on cables and pulley's

But yeah, I imagine those gyro systems are helpful. My P-51 has AS3X, but I haven't flown it yet. Will maiden her shortly when I get out to the club.
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Old 06-04-2015, 05:10 PM
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Rockin Robbins
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AS3X would be MUCH better if you could turn it on and off like the SAFE system. And if you could alter the gains it would be on a different planet, expecially if these settings could be changed in flight. Then you could treat it like SAFE.

You might turn it on for takeoff and landing and off for higher flight out of the turbulence. It would be nice to turn down the elevator response when the plane wags its tail when flying a certain speed as lots of AS3X planes to.

Instead AS3X is a black box, always the same, always connected, not adjustable. It's still a great, but not essential, thing.
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Old 06-05-2015, 09:17 AM
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xmech2k
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RR, in the Spektrum series of rx's like the AR636, the AS3X is adjustable, with modes selectable on the fly. It's a tricky path though. As I understand it, some of the AS3X rx's that come in some PNP planes are not programmable, but are still labeled AR636. I think you have to look close at the small print model number or something to be sure. Anyway, the one's you'd like are out there. I got one from a new pilot who bought a Sport Cub as BNF, then wanted the AS3X rx and went back to the LHS to get one. The guy there probably looked it up, saw AR636, and sold him one of the programmable ones by mistake. Did him no good unless he programmed it, so I bought it from him but other than binding and checking that it connects properly to my smart phone for programming, haven't used it yet. May try it in my profile XF5U for fun.
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Old 06-05-2015, 03:27 PM
  #11  
flypaper 2
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The HK Orange rcvrs with the gyros system and the Lemons with the gyros work really well and are much easier to program.

Gord.
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Old 06-05-2015, 03:36 PM
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solentlife
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Originally Posted by flypaper 2 View Post
The HK Orange rcvrs with the gyros system and the Lemons with the gyros work really well and are much easier to program.

Gord.
But can you get them into the Ultra Micro models ?

But true that especially when flashed with latest FW (orange) - the adjustments are excellent.

Nigel
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Old 06-06-2015, 12:23 AM
  #13  
Rockin Robbins
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Originally Posted by solentlife View Post
But can you get them into the Ultra Micro models ?


Nigel
Sure! No problem! The plane will be too heavy to fly but the gyros will work GREAT!
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Old 06-06-2015, 02:55 AM
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flypaper 2
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This is a Cox P 47 with a 20 in. wingspan compared to my Corsair which is 15 in span. and they both work fine.
What's the problem?
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Old 06-06-2015, 06:14 PM
  #15  
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I can only fly my Mig 15 with AS3X in it when the wind to much any of the other micros I have. For that reason I really like it, at least I can fly when nothing else can.
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Old 06-06-2015, 06:29 PM
  #16  
dereckbc
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Originally Posted by Rockin Robbins View Post
AS3X would be MUCH better if you could turn it on and off like the SAFE system.
I think you can, at least the one in the Visionaire I have you can. They call on/off as 3D/Sport modes.

I have an Apprentice and it has an off mode called Expert, the other two are Novice and Beginner. The 3 modes are put on the aux channel 3-position Flap Switch in my setup.
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Old 06-06-2015, 10:53 PM
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flypaper 2
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I had the Mig 15 until I had a midair with another guy. It was one of my favorites.
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Old 06-07-2015, 09:49 PM
  #18  
Rockin Robbins
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Originally Posted by dereckbc View Post
I think you can, at least the one in the Visionaire I have you can. They call on/off as 3D/Sport modes.

I have an Apprentice and it has an off mode called Expert, the other two are Novice and Beginner. The 3 modes are put on the aux channel 3-position Flap Switch in my setup.
Hey Dereck! The Apprentice has SAFE plus AS3X. SAFE has three modes with expert mode being SAFE off. But AS3X is on duty 100% of the time there.

I don't know about the Visionaire.
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Old 06-08-2015, 05:20 PM
  #19  
Mogg2112
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I have a UM P-51 Mustang with AS3X technology on it. It definitely helps a lot in wind and I appreciate the stabilization it provides while flying. However, the system seems to have a mind of its own when you're powering on the aircraft and trying to get it to respond to your transmitter. It seems to only initiate when the plane is set down on a flat surface and the AS3X only kicks in once you give it a bit of throttle input.

My P-51 has this very weird rudder issue where the rudder control cuts in and out at random. I've tried taking the plane a part to see if it was a loose control rod or something caught in the linear servo gear, but it was neither of those two things. I'm starting to think the problem is stemming from the AS3X because the rudder seems to only initiate when I hold the plane and rotate it back and forth, instead of when I move the stick on the transmitter.

Thankfully, I'm able to control the plane just fine with just ailerons, but maybe I should try replacing the linear servo to see if that eliminates the problem.
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Old 06-08-2015, 07:47 PM
  #20  
solentlife
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Originally Posted by Mogg2112 View Post
I have a UM P-51 Mustang with AS3X technology on it. It definitely helps a lot in wind and I appreciate the stabilization it provides while flying. However, the system seems to have a mind of its own when you're powering on the aircraft and trying to get it to respond to your transmitter. It seems to only initiate when the plane is set down on a flat surface and the AS3X only kicks in once you give it a bit of throttle input.

My P-51 has this very weird rudder issue where the rudder control cuts in and out at random. I've tried taking the plane a part to see if it was a loose control rod or something caught in the linear servo gear, but it was neither of those two things. I'm starting to think the problem is stemming from the AS3X because the rudder seems to only initiate when I hold the plane and rotate it back and forth, instead of when I move the stick on the transmitter.

Thankfully, I'm able to control the plane just fine with just ailerons, but maybe I should try replacing the linear servo to see if that eliminates the problem.
I don't have AS3X ... but all the Gyro's and 3 axis stabs I have - all require stationary till surfaces flick or centre on initialisation. My 3axis takes about 15 - 20secs ... the Heli gyro is virtually instant.
If I don't wait - I get all sorts of weird actions as the 3 axis tries to reference but of course it cannot as you are now moving the model. My Donkey twin has 3 axis fitted and I forgot about it last time out ... switched on ... flicked surfaces to check right way ... fired up and launched ........... lasted about 45 secs in the air till she said enough ! I completely forgot I'd fitted it ... even with switching it out - the initialisation had not been made ...

Nigel
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Old 06-08-2015, 08:15 PM
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As Nigel says, you have to hold the plane still, doesn't matter whether it's upside down or sideways, but after you plug the batt. in, the motor will give a few beeps, Now you have to hold the plane still and wait for about 4 or 5 seconds till you hear another single beep. That tells you that it has just initiated and good to go.
My Pitts, Beast and Habu all do this.
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Old 06-08-2015, 08:57 PM
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Originally Posted by Rockin Robbins View Post
Hey Dereck! The Apprentice has SAFE plus AS3X. SAFE has three modes with expert mode being SAFE off. But AS3X is on duty 100% of the time there.

I don't know about the Visionaire.
Robin I guess it depends on what you call ON DUTY


The Visionaire has two modes, 3D and Sport. In 3D uses the gyros and holds the plane in any attitude you put it in assuming you have enough power applied to get enough air moving over the control surfaces for Post-Stall manuevers. It works so good you can hoover at take-off. Just point the plane straight up, apply power until the plane is weightless in your hands and let go. The plane will sit there and hanging on the prop, and you can see the gyros operate the elevator, rudder, and ailerons without you applying any input. If you want to go up, apply power, reduce power to go down.

When you go to Sport it does two things. Reduces the trows to 70% or somewhere around there, and turns off gyro control so it works like any standard 4-channel RX. Just like the Aprentice in Expert mode. Only difference between the Apprentice and older Visionaire is the Visionaire does not have 3 modes or a PANIC BUTTON. The newer Visionaire does have a PANIC BUTTON.

IMHO, and I have only been around the hobby for 2 years now, if you buy a Gyro RX be it Spektrum of Chi-Com Orange appears to be the same as the Visionaire RX with two modes, one with gyros on, and one with gyros off.

When put into the Apprentice, Visionaire or other factory plane, the RX is factory tuned for the model. Off the shelf add-ons you have to tune yourself.
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Old 06-08-2015, 10:15 PM
  #23  
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To answer the original question, it is very important. Now having said that I have stayed away from small micro airplanes because they are so unstable in even light wind. Well the new UMX system really does work. About 25 of us in my club have purchased the new Pitts S1 from UMX and to say the least it works great. The reason I have not liked them up to now is the system has on occasions fought the pilot, I never want to fly a plane that thinks it know more than I do. Well the new system is almost undetectable to the pilot yet it keeps the plane stable. I am very amazed by this new system and based on the results from our club members I can highly recommend it.
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Old 06-17-2015, 05:02 PM
  #24  
Rockin Robbins
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Originally Posted by abborgogna View Post
To answer the original question, it is very important. Now having said that I have stayed away from small micro airplanes because they are so unstable in even light wind. Well the new UMX system really does work. About 25 of us in my club have purchased the new Pitts S1 from UMX and to say the least it works great. The reason I have not liked them up to now is the system has on occasions fought the pilot, I never want to fly a plane that thinks it know more than I do. Well the new system is almost undetectable to the pilot yet it keeps the plane stable. I am very amazed by this new system and based on the results from our club members I can highly recommend it.
To answer the original question "I can highly recommend it" is a long way from "crucial." Crucial means that any micro absolutely needs it or the plane is an abject dog. Crucial means that any plane produced before Horizon starting hawking this thing is an inferior and poor flying bird.

That is absolutely false. There were great planes before AS3X was a gleam in someone's eye. There are lousy planes now, even with AS3X. Planes fly great because of basic aerodynamic design, not because they have AS3X. AS3X can make an already great plane better in certain conditions, but it can't rescue a lousy flying plane.

So AS3X is not crucial at all. It is a feature which changes the flying characteristics. In certain circumstances, like turbulence, it might be said to improve a plane and in certain other ways, like battery life, AS3X is not good at all. It's nice to have if you like to fly in marginally bumpy wind conditions that would be uncomfortable otherwise. But it is no more crucial than a spoiler on a car. If you race on a track that is fast enough it could be useful. Otherwise it's just a style statement.
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Old 06-17-2015, 09:12 PM
  #25  
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I'll chime in with a few thoughts........not a pro-con exercise.

With stabilization technology, particularly related to the UMX type craft out there now, I've always wondered if the technology is provided due to the craft size and design...?......having flown quite a few with and without the technology, my experience has been (with the stabilization) it takes the guessing/planning or thinking ahead 3 steps (out of the equation) which most experienced pilost find as the challenging aspect of flight.

I've also determined that quite a few of the UMX type craft do not fly predictably well without the technology. An experienced pilot can manage them but it can be a challenge that will, over time, wear out it's welcome. Fun for awhile, but many of us set them aside and continue on with our more traditional craft.

Given these experiences and those who I fly with, we believe the technology has a place within a niche setting........we do not recommend those type of craft for the beginner because it does not fully provide the level of confidence that will be required to manage a traditional craft without the technology. It most certainly provides a false sense of accomplishment that does not carry over to the skills that will be required if one decides to move up the ladder to the "real deal".........

That said, one who has some quality hours under their belt flying traditional craft, may find short term enjoyment and possibly an application like remote vid recording, a path to take with the technology.......it helps quite well in that arena.

Ya, I'm old school, but at every club or AMA event I've ever been involved with, out here in the "feel good, just do it, instant gratification"
environment, the traditional learning with tradition craft, is still the approach that keeps the majority of the newbies, converts and lookie-loos, engaged in this hobby longer and excelling "up the ladder" with confidence and enjoyment............
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