General Electric Discussions Talk about topics related to e-powered RC flying

Another Apprentice Bites The Dust

Old 08-18-2015, 05:28 AM
  #1  
dereckbc
Super Contributor
Thread Starter
 
Join Date: Jun 2013
Posts: 1,220
Default Another Apprentice Bites The Dust

Sorry if this is long. Perhaps some of you might remember when I joined about 2 years ago when I took up the hobby again after a 35 year weekend off. Anyway my first topic was reporting a crazy unexplained crash occurred with a Apprentice S 15e. Many thought pilot error because I was a beginner, and that was understandable. I reported:

Was flying straight and level at a normal 1/2 throttle. I was just doing laps around the field practicing when out of the blue the plane went crazy. I mean violent hard snap roll, Twist-N-Turn-Crash-N-Burn. Panic button did not do a thing as I had ample altitude to push it many times before impact. Bottom line is plane went STUPID. Anyway the problem was a known defect of Receiver Brown-Out. The BEC circuit was undersized and would Brown-Out sending. HH did the right thing and replaced it.

So anyway today while at the field there is this one newby that has 2 of the dang Apprentices. Don't ask me why, I don't know. Anyway he was flying one today just making laps around the field, then Pow, the plane went ape-chit Twist-N-Turn-Crash-N-Burn.

I told him I knew what I think happened, but also stated that was discovered early in the release phase 2 years ago when I bought mine. That is when he told me it was his first one he bought two years ago.

I have now personally witnessed 2 Apprentice plane crashes caused by RX Brown-Outs.
dereckbc is offline  
Old 08-18-2015, 03:24 PM
  #2  
firemanbill
Community Moderator
 
firemanbill's Avatar
 
Join Date: Sep 2005
Location: Sevierville, Tennessee
Posts: 20,593
Default

Well that's not good.

It amazes me how companies tend to let stuff like that go. It's easier, and probably cheaper, to replace units when customers complain and bring it to their attention than it is to replace and revamp the entire product line.

I bought a $75k 40' Cyclone camper back in 2013. Everyone kept saying how bad the tires were that were being put on new campers. Cheap chinese crap tires called Towmax. Well I figured surely not and these folks just weren't towing properly. 3 blowouts on one trip and several thousand dollars in damage before the camper was even a year old proved me wrong.

I managed to get a small settlement out of it but not nearly enough to cover the cost of new tires and fix all the damage.

Back to the Hobby side. I see the same thing happen here time and again too. Just easier to fix the problems for those raising the issue.

Not the best way but it is what it is.
firemanbill is offline  
Old 08-18-2015, 05:03 PM
  #3  
dereckbc
Super Contributor
Thread Starter
 
Join Date: Jun 2013
Posts: 1,220
Default

Originally Posted by firemanbill View Post
It amazes me how companies tend to let stuff like that go. It's easier, and probably cheaper, to replace units when customers complain and bring it to their attention than it is to replace and revamp the entire product line.
That is the way any business works, and even household budgets. You have to minimize losses and maximize profits.

Now I will give HH credit for the way they handled it. They did not duck and dodge the issue, and replaced my plane with a controller with larger BEC. So they did make a production change to fix the problem, and took care of the customers who had the early models with defects. IMO that is excellent customer service which brings back customers.

Sort of like a local Diner you frequent. You get a bad meal once in a while. Bring it to the owner/manager attention, and they make it right. You are back next week at your usual time.
dereckbc is offline  
Old 08-18-2015, 05:27 PM
  #4  
firemanbill
Community Moderator
 
firemanbill's Avatar
 
Join Date: Sep 2005
Location: Sevierville, Tennessee
Posts: 20,593
Default

Agreed on both counts, just the cost of doing business.

Horizon has the best customer service out there, I haven't dealt with them since the merger a a while back so would be curious to see if it has changed at all since before that happened.

I have always had great interactions with their support staff.
firemanbill is offline  
Old 08-30-2015, 11:41 PM
  #5  
LSP972
Member
 
Join Date: Jul 2013
Posts: 114
Default

Horizon still has most excellent customer service; I used it last week.

And Spektrum radios are still browning out, it would seem. Makes me glad I elected to stay with my two discontinued Futaba radio systems (9Z and 12Z) via buying 2.4 modules for them, when I switched to electric two years ago.

.
LSP972 is offline  
Old 08-30-2015, 11:59 PM
  #6  
JetPlaneFlyer
Super Contributor
 
JetPlaneFlyer's Avatar
 
Join Date: Mar 2009
Location: Aberdeen, Scotland
Posts: 6,120
Default

Modern Spektrum gear is no more prone to 'Brown-out' than any other system. Brown out is in fact not a radio problem as such, it's caused when the supply voltage to the receiver drops too low causing the receiver to shut down. Admittedly 'too low' on older Speky receivers was a little higher than some other brands, but that's addressed on the newer receivers.

As the OP noted, the actual cause of the problem was thought to be an undersized BEC
Anyway the problem was a known defect of Receiver Brown-Out. The BEC circuit was undersized and would Brown-Out sending. HH did the right thing and replaced it.
That would be a problem regardless of radio brand, there is no receiver made, even by Futaba, that will work if it's not supplied adequate power.

The plane going "ape-chit Twist-N-Turn-Crash-N-Burn" is quite unlikely to be a 'brown-out' anyway. A brown-out simply causes the receiver to turn off and so the servos to freeze in set position. Suddenly going 'crazy' is more likely due to some other cause.
JetPlaneFlyer is offline  
Old 08-31-2015, 01:37 AM
  #7  
firemanbill
Community Moderator
 
firemanbill's Avatar
 
Join Date: Sep 2005
Location: Sevierville, Tennessee
Posts: 20,593
Default

Oh that 'ol Spektrum brown out thing. Yeah they do it if not set up right.

Every year when I go to the big meets like SEFF you hear about all the spektrum problems. Take a walk down the line though and see how many Spektrum/JR (DSM/2/DSMX)users there are compared to Futaba or other brands.

We did a rough count and using our heads figured the SEFF event runs about 85 to 90% with this brand radio.

So it goes without saying there will be more reports of brown outs, lock outs, bad radios, etc. Most, not all, but most if the issues we see go back to improper set up, or user error is you will.

Now I will say this. I got a Futba 14SJ just for my big stuff and flying at crowded events.
firemanbill is offline  
Old 08-31-2015, 02:02 AM
  #8  
arizona98tj
Member
 
Join Date: May 2015
Location: Bemidji, MN
Posts: 57
Default

Originally Posted by LSP972 View Post
Horizon still has most excellent customer service; I used it last week.

And Spektrum radios are still browning out, it would seem. Makes me glad I elected to stay with my two discontinued Futaba radio systems (9Z and 12Z) via buying 2.4 modules for them, when I switched to electric two years ago.

.
You did notice that the OP clearly stated that the BEC was to blame, not the Spektrum receiver, right? Give me a lousy BEC and I can brown out anything....it isn't difficult.

Edit: I see JPF already mentioned it.
arizona98tj is offline  
Old 08-31-2015, 02:19 AM
  #9  
firemanbill
Community Moderator
 
firemanbill's Avatar
 
Join Date: Sep 2005
Location: Sevierville, Tennessee
Posts: 20,593
Default

Yeah I saw that mentioned and that is why I said what I did. no doubt people jump to conclusions before even reading sometimes.
firemanbill is offline  
Old 08-31-2015, 02:50 PM
  #10  
LSP972
Member
 
Join Date: Jul 2013
Posts: 114
Default

Well, I have seen many more complaints on the various fora about this issue with Spektrum radios than anything else. It may well be due to the greater numbers, but not all of those people can be setting it up wrong, have bad ESCs, whatever.

If you consider that jumping to conclusions, then I guess I'm guilty.

.
LSP972 is offline  
Old 08-31-2015, 04:34 PM
  #11  
firemanbill
Community Moderator
 
firemanbill's Avatar
 
Join Date: Sep 2005
Location: Sevierville, Tennessee
Posts: 20,593
Default

conclusions, maybe. I see a lot of folks who never have a single issue with the JR/Spektrum technology.

The silent majority so to speak. Human nature is to get on your soapbox when things go wrong and go along your merry way saying nothing when things are going well.
firemanbill is offline  
Old 08-31-2015, 04:48 PM
  #12  
AirMonty
Member
 
AirMonty's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jul 2015
Location: Indiana
Posts: 24
Default

I love my apprentice and it is currently my favorite plane to fly. I fly without the SAFE mode. I am not a Spektrum fan either, as I have had several issues with brownouts and binding can be a royal pain. I switched to a different transmitter/receiver combo and have never experienced a brownout or binding issue using it with five other planes. Hearing what happened to the OP, I'm thinking that maybe I should replace the Apprentice receiver (and Spektrum transmitter) with another brand.
AirMonty is offline  
Old 08-31-2015, 04:51 PM
  #13  
firemanbill
Community Moderator
 
firemanbill's Avatar
 
Join Date: Sep 2005
Location: Sevierville, Tennessee
Posts: 20,593
Default

The apprentice is a cool plane for sure. Flew a couple different ones belonging to friends. Actually taught one guy at our club how to fly on his.
firemanbill is offline  
Old 08-31-2015, 05:28 PM
  #14  
JetPlaneFlyer
Super Contributor
 
JetPlaneFlyer's Avatar
 
Join Date: Mar 2009
Location: Aberdeen, Scotland
Posts: 6,120
Default

Originally Posted by AirMonty View Post
Hearing what happened to the OP, I'm thinking that maybe I should replace the Apprentice receiver (and Spektrum transmitter) with another brand.
The OP said that the problem was a bad BEC.. As already stated if the BEC cant supply stable power then ANY receiver will fail.

So rather than waste money changing receivers and transmitters which are working perfectly well, why not change the component that (according to the OP) is causing the problem.. The BEC?
JetPlaneFlyer is offline  
Old 08-31-2015, 05:41 PM
  #15  
xmech2k
Ya got any Beeman's?
 
xmech2k's Avatar
 
Join Date: Apr 2009
Location: San Diego, CA
Posts: 3,099
Default

Originally Posted by JetPlaneFlyer View Post
The OP said that the problem was a bad BEC.. As already stated if the BEC cant supply stable power then ANY receiver will fail.

So rather than waste money changing receivers and transmitters which are working perfectly well, why not change the component that (according to the OP) is causing the problem.. The BEC?
Because as he said, that other brand tx he got didn't suffer any brownouts, so those other radios don't need electricity to work. It's obvious, isn't it?
xmech2k is offline  
Old 08-31-2015, 07:15 PM
  #16  
firemanbill
Community Moderator
 
firemanbill's Avatar
 
Join Date: Sep 2005
Location: Sevierville, Tennessee
Posts: 20,593
Default

Originally Posted by xmech2k View Post
Because as he said, that other brand tx he got didn't suffer any brownouts, so those other radios don't need electricity to work. It's obvious, isn't it?
I want one of those!
firemanbill is offline  
Old 08-31-2015, 09:28 PM
  #17  
fhhuber
Super Contributor
 
fhhuber's Avatar
 
Join Date: Mar 2013
Posts: 4,786
Default

Spektrum "browns out" at appx 3.85 v. (Highest voltage measured when I forced a brown-out in testing)

Others mostly drop out below 2.75 v. They hide the bad power better. That doesn't mean the power issue is fixed...

Below 3.85V your servos may be delivering less than 50% of rated torque and may be responding at 1/4 speed. The system isn't functioning correctly. The RX system power issue needs to be fixed.

72 mhz tended to not drop out before the voltage was too low for the servos to move at all. that got people used to supplying less than adequate power and getting away with it. the Spektrum brown-outs suddenly started appearing simply due to that fact.

If we had been used to verifying that we had adequate power to the RX system for the maximum possible in-flight loads then we would NEVER have seen a Spektrum brown-out without blaming it on the correct source...
THE PERSON WHO DIDN'T SUPPLY ENOUGH POWER TO THE RX SYSTEM.

I have almost every Spektrum RX they made since DSM2 came out. (3 or 4 each for many of them) I have never had a brown-out in flight. I do testing on ground to ensure that I can't pull RX voltage below 4.2 v with half of the servos stalled. My systems in planes using 6S LiPo or higher can't have voltage at the RX pulled below 5.0 v with ALL of the servos stalled.
fhhuber is offline  
Old 09-01-2015, 01:05 AM
  #18  
AirMonty
Member
 
AirMonty's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jul 2015
Location: Indiana
Posts: 24
Default

Sheesh, I don't come on here to get flamed or mocked. I know some people are big fans of Spektrum, and that's fine, I am not.
AirMonty is offline  
Old 09-01-2015, 04:09 AM
  #19  
fhhuber
Super Contributor
 
fhhuber's Avatar
 
Join Date: Mar 2013
Posts: 4,786
Default

I don't come on here to watch people flame perfectly good equipment DUE TO THEIR OWN ERRORS.
fhhuber is offline  
Old 09-01-2015, 12:23 PM
  #20  
LSP972
Member
 
Join Date: Jul 2013
Posts: 114
Default

Originally Posted by fhhuber View Post
I don't come on here to watch people flame perfectly good equipment DUE TO THEIR OWN ERRORS.
Really?

So tell me how, by using the FACTORY-SUPPLIED equipment, and accessory items (i.e., batteries/connectors) that the factory recommends, is MY error?

I get the voltage drop thing; back when I flying helicopters, some guys found out about this the hard way with a couple of heading hold gyros and tail rotor servos. The other servos were sucking so much power during hard 3F that the power to the gyro dropped below the threshhold and locked it up.

But I have a half-dozen Horizon e-ships, all using Horizon-supplied motors and BECs and the recommended batteries… and Futaba receivers. No brown-out… or any other… problems so far, aside from having to expand the endpoints on the transmitter throttle channel for a certain Horizon-supplied BEC.

And if you think that the gently negative comments here constitute flaming, well… not much I can say about that.

.
LSP972 is offline  
Old 09-01-2015, 12:28 PM
  #21  
LSP972
Member
 
Join Date: Jul 2013
Posts: 114
Default

Originally Posted by AirMonty View Post
Sheesh, I don't come on here to get flamed or mocked.
No worries, bud.

Fanbois will be fanbois…

.
LSP972 is offline  
Old 09-01-2015, 12:31 PM
  #22  
AirMonty
Member
 
AirMonty's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jul 2015
Location: Indiana
Posts: 24
Default

Originally Posted by fhhuber View Post
I don't come on here to watch people flame perfectly good equipment DUE TO THEIR OWN ERRORS.
It's funny how that perfectly good equipment failed to work perfectly, yet other equipment has. I own three brands of radios and the other two do not give me problems like the Spektrum equipment does. One example: I had taken the ESC (which had the BEC onboard) out of a wrecked plane that used Spektrum equipment that was range tested, yet lost complete signal within 100' of me and the battery was nearly fully charged. The ESC/BEC has worked fine in a different brand of radio/receiver through many flights. I sent the Spektrum receiver in to Horizon and they said it was fine, so it must have been my fault, huh? I must have been pointing the antenna at it directly or something else stupid, because it surely can't be the infallible Spektrum equipment. I don't think so pal.

My Dx6i had previously been sent in to Horizon for repair and to this day works fine with the Apprentice and another plane I own.

I am entitled to my opinion just as much as you are yours. If you want to keep flaming me, I'll just go away, and will not argue the merits of a particular radio brand, so have at it.
AirMonty is offline  
Old 09-01-2015, 12:50 PM
  #23  
solentlife
Super Contributor
 
solentlife's Avatar
 
Join Date: Oct 2010
Location: Ex UK Brit now in Latvia west coast - Ventspils
Posts: 12,336
Default

"Spektrum "browns out" at appx 3.85 v. (Highest voltage measured when I forced a brown-out in testing)

Others mostly drop out below 2.75 v. They hide the bad power better. That doesn't mean the power issue is fixed..."

And I thought I was alone saying this again and again and again - that many other Rx's do not fail at same level of voltage as Spekie. I conducted tests on my FrSky Rx's ... 4, 7, 8ch versions, old and new. They stayed locked on signal even after servos basically were so slow and low voltage to be unusable.

I agree though that voltage drop is an item we should reduce to a minimum ... but it is surprising to me that Spekie still sits higher voltage limit than most others ... Surely it would be sensible for them to follow others and have lower voltage limits ?

Sure servos stall easier due less torque ... slower etc. - but at least I am confident that I will at least have some sort of control.

Oh and Firemanbill .......... JR and Spekie are not joined at hip now and haven't been for some time. I heard there was an in-house disagreement ...

Nigel
solentlife is offline  
Old 09-01-2015, 02:40 PM
  #24  
firemanbill
Community Moderator
 
firemanbill's Avatar
 
Join Date: Sep 2005
Location: Sevierville, Tennessee
Posts: 20,593
Default

Originally Posted by solentlife View Post
[COLOR="Blue"]

Oh and Firemanbill .......... JR and Spekie are not joined at hip now and haven't been for some time. I heard there was an in-house disagreement ...

Nigel

Not joined at the hip but they still run the same system, DSM2/DSMX.

The newer DMSS system JR runs is not a spekie system for sure. Works much better.

And yeas I still use my 'ol JR 9303 DSMX in most of my smaller bind-n-fly stuff. Futaba is my radio of choice now though for my big stuff.
firemanbill is offline  
Old 09-01-2015, 05:21 PM
  #25  
solentlife
Super Contributor
 
solentlife's Avatar
 
Join Date: Oct 2010
Location: Ex UK Brit now in Latvia west coast - Ventspils
Posts: 12,336
Default

Originally Posted by firemanbill View Post
Not joined at the hip but they still run the same system, DSM2/DSMX.

The newer DMSS system JR runs is not a spekie system for sure. Works much better.

And yeas I still use my 'ol JR 9303 DSMX in most of my smaller bind-n-fly stuff. Futaba is my radio of choice now though for my big stuff.
I wasn't trying to be rude .. but letting peeps know that JR and Spekie only have same parent now ... they have divided seriously and do not support each other in any way.
I accept that older generation gear from the Joint days is same systems ... but later is completely separate and not compatible with each other, without changing modules.
Its a bit like Continental and Pirelli Tyres ... and various other manufacturers who divided their lines ... and some on pretty nasty terms as well !!

Nigel
solentlife is offline  

Quick Reply: Another Apprentice Bites The Dust


Contact Us Archive Advertising Cookie Policy Privacy Statement Terms of Service

Copyright © 2018 MH Sub I, LLC dba Internet Brands. All rights reserved. Use of this site indicates your consent to the Terms of Use.

Page generated in 0.11652 seconds with 12 queries