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Old 11-16-2015, 02:56 PM   #11
Mike Fry
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Re: Apprentice S15e Goes Rogue??


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Thanks for your reply.
I learned to wait the allotted time for the Rx to interrogate the servos and set itself up very early on in my learning to fly.
I will observe more closely during the power up sequence to see if there may be an issue between the BEC and Rx during startup.
Considering there are other good Rx options available (Lemon, Orange, others) and knowing the price of a replacement original Rx (in US funds, whichis considerable when converted to CAN funds), the original should be almost bulletproof.
Unfortunately because of my random experiences with loss of control, I guess the only way I will be sure I have corrected a possible Rx problem is to replace it with a new Rx (Orange has been recommended by many in our club).
I will post results after I try this.
Regards,
Mike
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Old 11-16-2015, 03:08 PM   #12
Daren71
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Re: Apprentice S15e Goes Rogue??

A fellow club member had a reciever quit on him. Found it on a range check, a servo wouldn't return to centre. New receiver and all was good. Another thing you could try, is remove each servo connector from the receiver, and plug it back in again. The pins could corrode slightly, causing a small bit of resistance.

Good luck. Daren
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Old 11-16-2015, 03:10 PM   #13
Mike Fry
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Re: Apprentice S15e Goes Rogue??

Hi Jamie,
Thanks for the reply.
I love the plane, which I have also crashed and repaired a few time during my learning to fly and achieve my wings.
I never thought the servos would be a problem, but I will definitely check mine out and replace them with better should I find any that are suspicious.
From your recommendation I take it that Hitec are good quality replacements.
For about $60-80 CAN to replace all with better quality digital servos sounds good to me, to ensure better reliability of the plane.
I will post if I find any issues with the original servos and what I do to repair or replace them.

Regards,
Mike
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Old 11-16-2015, 03:35 PM   #14
Mike Fry
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Re: Apprentice S15e Goes Rogue??

Hi Marc,
very good questions....
My experience is that it starts to over control radically, which I find very difficult to compensate for as I am still learning.
I have flown successfully in steady and gusting winds from changing directions up to ~20-25Km/hr with good control on the Intermediate Safe mode (about 50% on).
To qualify, I have not yet flown at minimum Safe on the Rx (Advanced mode).
I have progressed from full Safe on (Beginner mode), to Intermediate mode at about 50% Safe on which allows me good personal control, but will still return to Safe (straight and level flying) when I center the sticks.

To answer your questions as directly/honestly as I can....
When you loose control what does it do exactly?
It over corrects on all controls radically (climbs, dives, turns and banks excessively).

Does it just hold the previous inputs and doesn't respond?
No, it does not hold previous inputs (that would be like full Safe on, sticks centred)

Does it set a specific attitude?
No again.

Do some servos jitter?
I have not noticed servo jitter, but I will observe for this.

Is the esc very hot when you land?
No, the ESC is just warm to touch after flying for a normal battery cycle (about 12 minutes).

Has it ever crashed or been repaired?
Yes, several times, all pilot error Usually missed the field on landing.
Have successfully repaired several times.
I try to remember to check everything after crashing/repairing for full function and to ensure everything is secured.

Have you ever knocked a control surface when getting the plane to/from the field?
Very good question, but I have lots of room in my van and I make sure everything is secure during transport to and from the flying field.

You are the second person to mention servos, which I have not diagnosed in detail yet, but will be doing so very soon.

I appreciate your reply and I will continue to post as I continue diagnosing for a resolution to this random problem.
Regards,
Mike




Basically, any sl
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Old 11-16-2015, 04:09 PM   #15
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Re: Apprentice S15e Goes Rogue??

Thanks very much Gary, for your reply.
WOW!, I don't know where to start my response.
I will try to be brief and direct.

If the receiver has an LED, check after one of these events to see if it is blinking.
That is usually an indication there has been a Loss of Signal event, either due to range, a problem with the Tx or more likely a rebooting due to a power issue.
Some receivers seem to be more sensitive to voltage sag and can shut down and restart if it drops to that point.
I would have never thought of observing for these conditions, which are excellent points.
I will now observe for these signs.


As to why that happens there could be several reasons.
First is that your main battery is discharged too far.
You seem to be on top of that so not as to be a problem unless one is starting to fail.
I monitor all of my batteries after charging/balancing and after each flight to insure that they are in reasonable condition.
As everyone who has been flying for a while is likely aware, not all batteries are of the same quality standards.
The 3S E-flite batteries seem to discharge to a less balanced state than other #S batteries I have.
I don't know if this could (should) cause a problem, but is worth keeping a closer eye on.

More of a concern is cooling.
A lot of manufacturers bury their ESC/BEC inside the fuselage and do not provide adequate airflow.
NOTE: When looking at the specs on an ESC/BEC, they are usually rated only with the proviso there is a minimum 5 MPH cooling airflow. Without it and their ratings will be severely reduced.
True, but since I have cracked the cowl twice, I decided not to replace it again for a while because they are one of the more expensive components to replace on the Apprentice.
Without the cowl, cooling should be fine.
Couple that with flying in cooler weather, I don't see this as being an issue, for now anyway.

Also, an ESC can actually heat more at part throttle than full, so moderate throttle control is where you need cooling the most.
Guilty as charged.
Right now since I am still learning, I am not flying at full throttle as more experienced others routinely do.

Another check would be to feel how how the ESC is after one of these events or even at the end of a normal flight. If too hot to touch then that has to be dealt with immediately.
The reason for this is there is usually a temp sensor that can shut down the BEC output to the flight system if too hot. That heating can bleed over from the ESC at part throttle or from trying to deal with a low battery or too high a current draw.
I do routinely check this and around the RX for excessive heating.
Nothing abnormal for now, but I will observe for it more closely.

And now to the final check. Most onboard BEC setups like this are really only rated for 3-4A output and a large number of servos or supplemental systems can push that to or over the limits. This is especially true with digital servos, which by design are current hogs.
Your stability system is likely making small servo inputs on a relatively rapid cycle, more than would be expected with a completely manual setup.
Due to this the servos can overheat and fail, or wear out prematurely, (position pots). One test would be to have them move slowly and see if there is slop or erratic behavior.
This will likely be around center as that is where the system works the most.
I have not paid attention to this detail.
I will have to observe for these responses, Thanks.

That servo heating from rapid cycling is dealt with on some by purpose built controls, motors and cases with cooling fins. With a normal duty or lower cost servo having the body buried in the foam, you can imagine there would be no opportunity for it to handle a high-cycle workload.

You have offered very good information to observe responses for.
Troubleshooting intermittent or random problems can be very time consuming and expense will be incurred replacing suspected problem parts.
All as I can say is everything offered so far for my query is worthy of attention and further investigation.
I will post anything Valuable that is found through my further investigations.

Regards,
Mike
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Old 11-16-2015, 04:14 PM   #16
Mike Fry
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Re: Apprentice S15e Goes Rogue??

Hi Again Jamie,
The servos are going to be a priority to check for reliability because most of the replies mention reliability issues with cheaper servos.
I will post if I find anything during my investigations on this.
Regards,
Mike
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Old 11-16-2015, 04:16 PM   #17
Mike Fry
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Re: Apprentice S15e Goes Rogue??

Hi Daren,
Thanks for your tips, which I will try.

Regards,
Mike
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Old 11-16-2015, 04:36 PM   #18
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Re: Apprentice S15e Goes Rogue??

The servos are low budget servos but not a real problem. I've had 3 of these receivers,one in the apprentice then i bought two more to place in a sukhoi 29mm and an extra 260 because i figured i would have a safety net with the auto leveling of the safe receivers. The reality was,with my experiences, these receivers are vary unpredictable. I ended up crashing all three planes. Now i installed AR636 recivers in all my planes without any issues all summer. I wouldn't waste my money on a new E-FLITE safe receiver, just buy an AR636 which has 3x stability or a regular AR610 which are very reliable and proven receivers.
Good luck.
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Old 11-16-2015, 05:40 PM   #19
Mike Fry
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Re: Apprentice S15e Goes Rogue??

Hi Again Daren,
Sorry about your crashes.
Hopefully you were able to rebuild and fly these great planes again.
I have an AR636 which I was saving for my Avro Arrow EDF build later (next year, when my piloting skills are better and I program it correctly).
I also have a few new Orange Rx 6 ch with 3 Axis stabilization which I am thinking might be very suitable for the Apprentice.
Based on this reply, I will try one and let you know how it responds.

Regards,
Mike
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Old 11-16-2015, 07:22 PM   #20
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Re: Apprentice S15e Goes Rogue??

An orange receiver will slow your rolls down but it will be constant and 100 times more reliable then the e-flite "unsafe" receiver.
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