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Getting a PBY twin engine PNF up and running

Old 01-19-2016, 03:11 PM
  #1  
Texasmark
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Default Getting a PBY twin engine PNF up and running

Newbie's first post: Hi.

Bought a Foam PBY from Hobby King with everything but the radio system and battery. The radio is a Spektrum 5 ch. (as I recall) Tx with the AR610 Rx.

I know that my radio link is established as I can get the servos to respond to the Tx, including joystick control of ailerons.

I understand that the brushless motors are 3 ph (modified) AC so swapping any two of the (unknown, unmarked in the case of the HK, ESC) 3 power lines to the motor will reverse it's direction.

I have no response from either motor even when I connect the Rx directly to the motor ESC, rather than the dual control Y lead extender.

Battery is a 2200 mhr 11.1v currently sitting at 11.0v.

Where to continue troubleshooting?

Thanks,
Mark
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Old 01-19-2016, 03:52 PM
  #2  
Bald Paul
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Some radio / ESC combos require you to reverse the throttle channel. Did you get instructions with the ESC? On some, you have to plug the battery in at closed throttle, then move to WOT until you hear a beep, then return to closed throttle, at which point you'll get another beep and the motor will respond.

If you have two ESCs, it's a good idea to disconnect one of the red (+) wires from the ESC to the radio plug to power the Rx.
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Old 01-19-2016, 04:33 PM
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fhhuber
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Might have to go through some arming sequence that requires sensing certain position command(s)...

With some ESCs that means having to max out the ATV/Endpoint values of the radio... or use of the trim on a non-computer radio.
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Old 01-19-2016, 06:01 PM
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Remove props first!
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Old 01-19-2016, 10:16 PM
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11v's could also be below the lvc set on the esc. It should still beep and give you an arming noise though.
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Old 01-20-2016, 12:38 AM
  #6  
Texasmark
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Originally Posted by Bald Paul View Post
Some radio / ESC combos require you to reverse the throttle channel. Did you get instructions with the ESC? On some, you have to plug the battery in at closed throttle, then move to WOT until you hear a beep, then return to closed throttle, at which point you'll get another beep and the motor will respond.

If you have two ESCs, it's a good idea to disconnect one of the red (+) wires from the ESC to the radio plug to power the Rx.
Limited directions on what I need that came with the rx/tx, not the model. Main point is binding with rx. Then there were directions on reversing joystick functions based upon Mode 1 or Mode 2. Real fuzzy on the mode requirement. Tx has a mode switch but directions say that switching modes require electronic and mechanical changes. Mechanical changes seem to amount to moving the spring loaded control surface stick from the right to the left where the unloaded throttle stick is.....but I have no idea and nothing says that as setup it's in Mode 1 or 2.

Only beep I get is when I remove power from the rx with the esc plugged in. I have moved throttle joystick all the way from min to max and back and no beep nor response from either engine. Each engine has it's own esc....guess that's how it is; one esc per engine. Y harnesses supplied with kit for controlling with one rx and one battery.

Thanks for your reply.

Mark
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Old 01-20-2016, 12:39 AM
  #7  
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Originally Posted by birdDog View Post
Remove props first!
No props installed yet! Thanks.
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Old 01-20-2016, 12:40 AM
  #8  
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Originally Posted by hayofstacks View Post
11v's could also be below the lvc set on the esc. It should still beep and give you an arming noise though.
Doubt that as kit does specify the battery and it's 11.1v...3s. 0.1 volt is well within the operational window.
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Old 01-20-2016, 12:42 AM
  #9  
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Originally Posted by fhhuber View Post
Might have to go through some arming sequence that requires sensing certain position command(s)...

With some ESCs that means having to max out the ATV/Endpoint values of the radio... or use of the trim on a non-computer radio.
I attempted to find out the maker of the esc but no luck. Tried HK brand to see if I could get common specs and see if that wold work, but no luck. No idea where they get their "innerds" for their models when they supply everything but the battery and radio.

Thanks for the reply.

Mark
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Old 01-20-2016, 12:48 AM
  #10  
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Originally Posted by Bald Paul View Post
Some radio / ESC combos require you to reverse the throttle channel. Did you get instructions with the ESC? On some, you have to plug the battery in at closed throttle, then move to WOT until you hear a beep, then return to closed throttle, at which point you'll get another beep and the motor will respond.

If you have two ESCs, it's a good idea to disconnect one of the red (+) wires from the ESC to the radio plug to power the Rx.
This is one of my questions. I have plugged a battery into the "bind" port after binding to operate the servos and ensure that the rx-tx linkup is fine and the rx is ok....seems to be.

Question is, since the esc is supposed to power the rx through the "thro" port, can I" 1. Go to the bind port when the esc is connected and measure the + terminal of the bind port and see what voltage is applied to the rx from the esc?
Is there a voltage regulator (zener diode or such) that cuts the battery voltage down to 5v for operation of the rx and servos during a low battery potential safety situation meaning I couldn't get an accurate reading of the esc supplied voltage?

The voltage I applied to the bind port, after binding, to operate the servos was from a small 2s 7.4v battery just for the record and that worked fine for the servos.

2. Can I power through the thro and bind ports simultaneously with 2 batteries? Is the center pin on the radios a common bus? I'm assuming so since I can move servos with the esc plugged into the thro port and nothing on the bond port. If that's the case then connecting 2 power sources simultaneously would be death to the weaker....boom! However, depending on where the voltage dropping/5v regulating device is in the circuits, I might be able to. Where I'm headed with this is an attempt to determine if the esc is in fact putting out usable voltage to the radio that is strong/high enough to power the motors.

Regardless of what I have tried, I have had no movement out of the motors that I didn't physically provide stimulus.

Thanks for the reply,
Mark
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Old 01-20-2016, 01:50 AM
  #11  
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Originally Posted by Texasmark View Post
Doubt that as kit does specify the battery and it's 11.1v...3s. 0.1 volt is well within the operational window.
Actually, the 3S LiPo battery is 11.1 at essentially dead.
Going lower is not recommended for best battery life, even though it can survive down to 9.0 a few cycles. The mah left when the battery is at 11.1 will be appx 20% of rated... but if you use that 20% you'll be at 0.0 and the battery will be damaged. (possibly beyond recovery)
It should be 12.6 at full.
You do need to charge the battery.

But the props should still spin momentarily.

You said all the other controls respond?
that would indicate that its not a bind issue. Bind is all or nothing.

Try each other control... one a a time taking the stick full range and ensure they all respond and we are down to just a throttle issue.

Double check the connections of the throttles to the Y. One or both being backward (black/white or brown orange reversed) will prevent BOTH motors from responding. The motors should in that case be giving an occasional beep indicating that the ESCs can't find a working RX.

Spektrum/JR brown is the same as Futaba/Hitech black. (assorted other brands follow one or the other...) All brands currently have + as the center wire (except some micro systems using a much smaller plug on the servos) Plugging with + correct but the other wires backward does no harm, but just won't work.

You either have a connection error... or another issue with getting the ESC to initialize (sense that the RX works correctly and arm the motor) since you have at least one servo responding to the TX stick.

Plug just one ESC to the RX.. and make that work. Then unplug it... plug the other in and it should instantly work. Then Y connect. (with appropriate prevention of one ESC's BEC feeding back to the other's)

***********************

The 2 cell LiPo (7.2 v nominal, 8.4v full charge) direct connected to the RX is a dangerous experiment. The Spektrum RX can take up to 9.0v Many other brand RXs will burn out instantly. The servos are questionable at best if not specifically labeled for HV use. Most of the Dynam servos will burn up in seconds to a few minutes on just 5 cell NiCd which is 6.0v nominal.
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Old 01-20-2016, 02:58 AM
  #12  
Wrongway-Feldman
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With the esc connected to the receiver you should not also plug the battery in to the bind port. It is not only dangerous to the receiver, as fhhuber pointed out, but can also put the receiver into a bind condition.
That in itself can cause some of the problems you describe.
Normal spektrum bind procedure is to putt the bindplug in the bind/batt port. Power the receiver, then power up the transmitter while holding the bind button. When the flashing light on the receiver turns solid biind has been established. Next remove power from the receiver and turn off the transmitter. Then remove the bind plug.
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Old 01-20-2016, 03:11 AM
  #13  
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Most of the Spektrum RXs can use the bind port as a batt port. (actually the only ones I know that can't are the "Power Safe" which don't work with power supplied by an ESC's BEC either) Many label the port as Batt/Bind

Bind is by SHORTING the - with the signal pins of that port. The + and - are still bussed with the servo ports allowing ANY to be used to supply power. ("Power Safe" is different, expecting power to come via high current capacity input leads)

There IS a problem with plugging in an ESC with active BEC and a battery at the same time though... this can create all sorts of issues.
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Old 01-20-2016, 01:16 PM
  #14  
Texasmark
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Originally Posted by fhhuber View Post
Actually, the 3S LiPo battery is 11.1 at essentially dead.
Going lower is not recommended for best battery life, even though it can survive down to 9.0 a few cycles. The mah left when the battery is at 11.1 will be appx 20% of rated... but if you use that 20% you'll be at 0.0 and the battery will be damaged. (possibly beyond recovery)
It should be 12.6 at full.
You do need to charge the battery.

But the props should still spin momentarily.

You said all the other controls respond?
that would indicate that its not a bind issue. Bind is all or nothing.

Try each other control... one a a time taking the stick full range and ensure they all respond and we are down to just a throttle issue.

Double check the connections of the throttles to the Y. One or both being backward (black/white or brown orange reversed) will prevent BOTH motors from responding. The motors should in that case be giving an occasional beep indicating that the ESCs can't find a working RX.

Spektrum/JR brown is the same as Futaba/Hitech black. (assorted other brands follow one or the other...) All brands currently have + as the center wire (except some micro systems using a much smaller plug on the servos) Plugging with + correct but the other wires backward does no harm, but just won't work.

You either have a connection error... or another issue with getting the ESC to initialize (sense that the RX works correctly and arm the motor) since you have at least one servo responding to the TX stick.

Plug just one ESC to the RX.. and make that work. Then unplug it... plug the other in and it should instantly work. Then Y connect. (with appropriate prevention of one ESC's BEC feeding back to the other's)

***********************

The 2 cell LiPo (7.2 v nominal, 8.4v full charge) direct connected to the RX is a dangerous experiment. The Spektrum RX can take up to 9.0v Many other brand RXs will burn out instantly. The servos are questionable at best if not specifically labeled for HV use. Most of the Dynam servos will burn up in seconds to a few minutes on just 5 cell NiCd which is 6.0v nominal.
Confused me on the 11v 3s is essentially dead. 11.1v 2200 mah 3s is printed on the battery label. Is this like a 1.5v AA that is marked 1.5v but comes out of the box at 1.65? I have a Prophet Sport Li-Po charger that has sockets only for 2s and 3s batteries.

Read all that I could about Li-Po rules on safe usage and one was that you don't keep them charged to full voltage. I did not charge this battery upon initial receipt as I figured partial charge would work the system but not be a safety hazard as I am just in the "see if everything works before you button it up and go out for a test flight.

Will charge the battery if I have to....don't want to leave it fully charged and just sitting around for a week or so...read that's not what you do.....If I can get response indicating that things are working, I'll button it up and charge the battery for sure before I use any mah out of it to speak of. Or maybe just put a partial charge on it to make up for what I need in this initial testing would be the thing to do.....I'll do that...OK?
-----------------------
Thanks for the Rx DC power input spec. Seems I'm ok there for now on this brand of Rx. But on Rx power to operate, is there any way that I can ensure that the "thro" port is supplying adequate voltage from the ESC?

Can you measure the 3 ph AC to the motor, at the motor connections, 2 between 2 of the 3, with today's DMM? On ACV scale? If so, how does the AC relate to the battery voltage?
-------------------
Got the Rx input from one ESC directly at the ESC leads, no Y and no workie either. No beeps. No rotation period. Only beep I got was when I had Tx power on and unplugged the Rx.....since then I have read the proper sequence of Rx on last and off first and the reason why.
------------
Understand about the wiring color codes and 2 colors of gnd (-) brn,blk, and signal wh, yel. Designers were real smart putting the + in the center pin. I did recheck the proper orientation of the plugs of the ESC into the Rx jacks and they are as specified.....actually I initially misunderstood the instructions and had them reversed. That's fixed now.
--------------------------
In the "Norman new guy" confusion I accidentally bought 2 radio systems. The other is a Fly Sky. Was thinking about plugging that system in and see what happens.

I think I will charge the battery up to just under 12v and change radio systems. See what happens then. That for sure will eliminate the radio as the possible culprit.

Thanks again for your response and looking forward to your replies.
Mark
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Old 01-20-2016, 01:25 PM
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Originally Posted by Wrongway-Feldman View Post
With the esc connected to the receiver you should not also plug the battery in to the bind port. It is not only dangerous to the receiver, as fhhuber pointed out, but can also put the receiver into a bind condition.
That in itself can cause some of the problems you describe.
Normal spektrum bind procedure is to putt the bindplug in the bind/batt port. Power the receiver, then power up the transmitter while holding the bind button. When the flashing light on the receiver turns solid biind has been established. Next remove power from the receiver and turn off the transmitter. Then remove the bind plug.
I haven't had power to both plugs simultaneously as yet. Wanted to ask first. Glad I was cautious. On the Rx light the operating instructions say what you said about the Rx blinking when you plug in ESC power to the thro port but all I see is a solid somewhat dim light from within, not what I expected which would have been a bright blinking light in the small rectangle port (assume the port where the blinking light would be) just above the connectors. That light stays as is the whole time I have the 7.4 v battery connected (no ESC) to the bind port power terminals and while I am able to make a servo (only have aileron hooked up) function properly.....responds very well to joy stick commands.

The transmitter does the blinking on this thing. I power it up, the radio waves symbol on the front center of the Tx lights up brightly in a blinkiing mode, finds the Rx and locks into a steady light.

I have since read the instructions on the proper on-off sequence you mentioned for the Rx Tx.

Do appreciate your help sir.
Mark
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Old 01-20-2016, 01:36 PM
  #16  
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Originally Posted by fhhuber View Post
Most of the Spektrum RXs can use the bind port as a batt port. (actually the only ones I know that can't are the "Power Safe" which don't work with power supplied by an ESC's BEC either) Many label the port as Batt/Bind

Bind is by SHORTING the - with the signal pins of that port. The + and - are still bussed with the servo ports allowing ANY to be used to supply power. ("Power Safe" is different, expecting power to come via high current capacity input leads)

There IS a problem with plugging in an ESC with active BEC and a battery at the same time though... this can create all sorts of issues.
Ok. Will not use 2 sources of power simultaneously.

If I'm reading you correctly, there is a power bus along the receiver connector string where all the - terminals are shorted together and all the + are shorted together. If that's true that means that I can see what power the ESC is supplying to the Rx, by monitoring another set of pins, when I am trying to get a motor to respond to the throttle joy stick......but evenknowing that, I still need to know if the 3-AC wires to the motor are supplying adequate voltage.

What kind of initial phase to phase voltage is required to spin a rather small-Outrunner motor that uses a 2200mah, 11.1 V 3s battery to power a pair of them? SWAG?

Thanks,
Mark
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Old 01-20-2016, 03:56 PM
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Wrongway-Feldman
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I think may be over thinking the whole process.
Use the kiss principal.
Remove props first.
Start with a charged battery.
Check the Y connection from the esc signal/power lead for bent or broken pins. Also check that the female end of the wire isnt being pushed out on insertion.
. Next check the connections between the esc's and the battery to ensure no broken or cold solders.
Connect the signal lead from the esc to the throttle port of the receiver. Confirm proper polarity.
Ensure the receiver is bound. If unsure it is bound do a binding procedure.
After a bind is completed and everything has been powered off and bind plug is removed turn on the transmitter. Plug battery in to esc power.
You should hear tones at this point.
If no tones heard lower the throttle trims to lowest setting and try again.
If still no tones then center the throttle trim. And power everything down.
This time power on the transmitter and set throttle to full up. Power the transmitter and then plug in the battery. You should hear a series of beeps. After the beeps set throttle to full down.
At this point you should hear the esc initialize.
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Old 01-21-2016, 02:46 PM
  #18  
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Originally Posted by Wrongway-Feldman View Post
I think may be over thinking the whole process.
Use the kiss principal.
Remove props first.
Start with a charged battery.
Check the Y connection from the esc signal/power lead for bent or broken pins. Also check that the female end of the wire isnt being pushed out on insertion.
. Next check the connections between the esc's and the battery to ensure no broken or cold solders.
Connect the signal lead from the esc to the throttle port of the receiver. Confirm proper polarity.
Ensure the receiver is bound. If unsure it is bound do a binding procedure.
After a bind is completed and everything has been powered off and bind plug is removed turn on the transmitter. Plug battery in to esc power.
You should hear tones at this point.
If no tones heard lower the throttle trims to lowest setting and try again.
If still no tones then center the throttle trim. And power everything down.
This time power on the transmitter and set throttle to full up. Power the transmitter and then plug in the battery. You should hear a series of beeps. After the beeps set throttle to full down.
At this point you should hear the esc initialize.
Charged battery: I have a Prophet Sport Li-Po charger from Horizon Hobby. I charged the battery yesterday and max voltage was 11.5. Each cell was 3.8x volts. Apparently 11.5 is at least the 90% charge for the 3s battery.

Receiver is bound as I can control the only servo I hooked up; the aileron and it responds to the joy stick "with vigor". There may be tones but I am 90% deaf and possibly didn't hear them.

I did read up on the power on - off sequence and will do rx last on, first off.

I have some outside activities I have to tend to but when I can get back to this I will do as you said and get back.

Thanks for your time,
Mark
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Old 01-21-2016, 03:35 PM
  #19  
Bub Steve
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Full charge should be 4.20 per cell and 12,6V overall,, bubsteve
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Old 01-21-2016, 03:49 PM
  #20  
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Originally Posted by stevecooper View Post
Full charge should be 4.20 per cell and 12,6V overall,, bubsteve

Thanks. I divided 11.5 by 0.9 and got the same answer. As I understand this charger, it can run the charge on up to 100% if you want it but doesn't on a quick charge (with current limited on charging to what you select) for safety reason's I suppose.

Thanks,
Mark
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Old 01-21-2016, 07:39 PM
  #21  
Bald Paul
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Originally Posted by Texasmark View Post
Then there were directions on reversing joystick functions based upon Mode 1 or Mode 2. Real fuzzy on the mode requirement.

Only beep I get is when I remove power from the rx with the esc plugged in. I have moved throttle joystick all the way from min to max and back and no beep nor response from either engine. Each engine has it's own esc....guess that's how it is; one esc per engine. Y harnesses supplied with kit for controlling with one rx and one battery.

Thanks for your reply.

Mark
Okay, when I said that sometimes you had to reverse the throttle channel, I wasn't talking about Mode 1 or Mode 2. There is usually a function (either a switch or selection in the software of a computer radio) that allows you to change the direction of a servo when the input is applied by the control stick - i.e.: you move the rudder right, and the servo moves it left. Reverse the channel, and now right movement yields right movement. Same thing goes with throttle, and some ESC's require it.

One battery, two ESCs, two motors - your ESCs are connected to throttle channel of your Rx through a dual servo harness, but the red (+) wire from one ESC should be disconnected. The other ESC will provide power to your Rx. From the battery, you need a parallel harness to plug in both ESC battery leads. You shouldn't need any other battery. After that, it's just a matter of figuring out the arming sequence for the ESCs.

p.s.: try not to unplug or de-power the Rx with the ESC's still connected to the battery. Some ESCs will see that as a signal failure, and run the motor(s) at a fail-safe throttle setting. If you have a prop on the motor, and a body part near the prop, it's gonna hurt.
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Old 01-22-2016, 02:07 AM
  #22  
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Originally Posted by Bald Paul View Post
Okay, when I said that sometimes you had to reverse the throttle channel, I wasn't talking about Mode 1 or Mode 2. There is usually a function (either a switch or selection in the software of a computer radio) that allows you to change the direction of a servo when the input is applied by the control stick - i.e.: you move the rudder right, and the servo moves it left. Reverse the channel, and now right movement yields right movement. Same thing goes with throttle, and some ESC's require it.

One battery, two ESCs, two motors - your ESCs are connected to throttle channel of your Rx through a dual servo harness, but the red (+) wire from one ESC should be disconnected. The other ESC will provide power to your Rx. From the battery, you need a parallel harness to plug in both ESC battery leads. You shouldn't need any other battery. After that, it's just a matter of figuring out the arming sequence for the ESCs.

p.s.: try not to unplug or de-power the Rx with the ESC's still connected to the battery. Some ESCs will see that as a signal failure, and run the motor(s) at a fail-safe throttle setting. If you have a prop on the motor, and a body part near the prop, it's gonna hurt.
On your first paragraph, it would be nice if I knew the brand and model of the ESC. Problem Hobby King wasn't that kind!

On disconnecting power in a Y configuration whereby only one ESC powers the Rx. I fully understand what you are saying there and why it's probably necessary. So I will do that when I get back there probably tomorrow....didn't get through outside today, so no hobbying today!

Will do as you say and pull the esc power first, course with this rig, there are no switches or anything interrupting power to the Rx but the esc and I have been doing that as I recall here.

I'll get back in touch when I have some new information.

Thanks for staying with me on this.
Mark
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Old 01-22-2016, 01:09 PM
  #23  
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Mr. Bald Paul and other fine folks helping me.

This morning I got back to RCing. I did as told, Tx on first ,off last. Only powered rx by one esc....only connected one engine this am. Powered on the Tx. Plugged in the battery to the esc. with the thro lead connected to the rx thro port, throttle in min position.....rx on!

Listened carefully for beeps and got 3 (Morse Code) dashes and then 3 dots and all quiet.

Checked voltage on power buss (answered my own question there) and was 4.92 static.....Spektrum instructions says 3.5 is min to operate system. Ok there.

Crossed my fingers. Advanced throttle and nothing. At a loss as to where to go, wondered if mode was wrong of something, just started flipping switches and moving joy sticks while pondering my dismay.......guess what! I hit one toggle switch, upper right corner of Spektrum tx, throttle joystick was at mid position......BINGO.......engine bursts into life......WOW. WE made it happen!

Curiously I tilted the tx down and looked at the markings adjacent to the switch and lo and behold, it said "Thro.....Arm-disarm and had been in the disarm position all the while....heck I'm a newbie trying to absorb everything. Obvious that I didn't realize what that switch did and which position was correct to run the engine. Now who would have thought of that....dahhhhhhhh!

So I have what I need....tx-rx bonded, servo and throttle controls functioning. Looks like I can button up the model and complete what's left of the pretty much simple assembly process. I will disconnect power from one of the escs in the process of the wiring hookup.

Thanks for your kind words of information and encouragement.
Like most folks in need, I'll be back begging when I get in the next ditch. Grin

Mark
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Old 01-22-2016, 01:24 PM
  #24  
Bald Paul
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Glad to hear you're all set. That throttle disarm switch should be in the 'disarmed' position any time you connect up a battery. It's going to save your fingers one day!
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Old 01-23-2016, 01:14 PM
  #25  
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Originally Posted by Bald Paul View Post
Glad to hear you're all set. That throttle disarm switch should be in the 'disarmed' position any time you connect up a battery. It's going to save your fingers one day!
Hear you on that, or worse. The little 8x3.8 plastic props have some real sharp edges and imagine some real serious injuries if you aren't paying attention.
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While you are here sir and since this is my post I can deviate on subject matter if I choose..hijack my own thread..I guess, can on other sites):

This model comes with red plastic prop shaft hubs or cones or bullets or whatever you call the pointed "hootuses" that go on the prop shaft after the prop and securing nut.

1. Directions on the prop are absent from the kit instructions. The way I see it you press the plain nut into the plastic adapter that has the hexagon outline made to accept the first nut on the threaded shaft with nut toward the engine.

2. Next is the prop with the large diameter opening fitting over the adapter in step 1 and ensuring that the engine rotation and the prop are in sync such that air goes across the wings to provide forward thrust when driven.

3. Then another plastic adapter, solid except for the prop shaft hole in the middle...which doesn't really do a thing for prop alignment unless you have it tight against the front of the prop.....right???

4. Then the flat washer and self locking nut.

If I am wrong on any of that will gladly accept correction/criticism.

The bullet has cutouts to fit over the blades of the prop which suggests to me that if you are going to thread the unthreaded plastic bullet onto the shaft, when you get it down to the prop you aren't going to be able to completely get it over the prop.

So that says you remove the retaining nut, insert the prop into the cutouts in the bullet and thread all that onto the shaft.....but that doesn't make sense because you don't have a place for installation of the self locking nut that secures the prop to the shaft.

So my guess #3 is that since the bullet isn't threaded, you just push it on the threaded shaft until you get it all the way over the prop and rely on the plasticizers in the prop's plastic material to hold it in place. That makes sense as long as you don't do a lot of ons and offs which, to me, would wear/strip out the plastic bullet's inner diameter material and after a few it wouldn't remain securely.

What's the right way?

Thanks, again,
Mark
Texasmark is offline  

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