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Random Loss of Radio Signal! Help!

Jackson T

Well-known member
#1
I upgraded from my Spektrum DX4E and AR400 about 5 months ago to an OrangeRx TX6I and OrangRX R615X receiver. Ever since, I have these random losses of control. They don't happen every flight, and more on some planes than others. Sometimes I'd fly out really far from myself, turn around, then lose signal when I'm more than halfway back. When it loses signal it more often than not gives control input instead of activating FailSafe and gliding down, causing one of my planes to roll upside down and pull up (the new down). I asked Hobbyking for a replacement receiver, but it had the same problem too. I then asked for another replacement, and the next one had the same problem! I've lost count of exactly how many, but there were more after that. One of the receivers actually had a different problem, where it only had around 40 metres (133ft) range. I decided to borrow a friend's DX4E to see if maybe it was a defective transmitter instead of the receivers, but so far it is having the same problem too. Has anyone had this problem before? Does anyone fly with OrangeRx R615X receivers or the TX6I? This issue (and my stubborness) has destroyed my first balsa plane that I built with my dad, an FT Mini Arrow, an FT Goblin, and an FT Simple Scout so far. Any help would be HUGELY appreciated!!!
 

Hai-Lee

Old and Bold RC PILOT
#2
I upgraded from my Spektrum DX4E and AR400 about 5 months ago to an OrangeRx TX6I and OrangRX R615X receiver. Ever since, I have these random losses of control. They don't happen every flight, and more on some planes than others. Sometimes I'd fly out really far from myself, turn around, then lose signal when I'm more than halfway back. When it loses signal it more often than not gives control input instead of activating FailSafe and gliding down, causing one of my planes to roll upside down and pull up (the new down). I asked Hobbyking for a replacement receiver, but it had the same problem too. I then asked for another replacement, and the next one had the same problem! I've lost count of exactly how many, but there were more after that. One of the receivers actually had a different problem, where it only had around 40 metres (133ft) range. I decided to borrow a friend's DX4E to see if maybe it was a defective transmitter instead of the receivers, but so far it is having the same problem too. Has anyone had this problem before? Does anyone fly with OrangeRx R615X receivers or the TX6I? This issue (and my stubborness) has destroyed my first balsa plane that I built with my dad, an FT Mini Arrow, an FT Goblin, and an FT Simple Scout so far. Any help would be HUGELY appreciated!!!
I do not think that it is the Rx or their range but rather the antenna placements.
The biggest issue is that the servo leads and the like can actually block the radio signal totally when the plan assumes a certain position WRT the transmitter. It does not always occur in the same place on the field for different aircraft and sometimes the servo leads can move in flight and the LOS problem may occur or not because of their exact position.

Try using Rxs with very long antennas or a satellite Rx and the problem will most likely disappear!

Have fun!
 

Jackson T

Well-known member
#3
I do not think that it is the Rx or their range but rather the antenna placements.
The biggest issue is that the servo leads and the like can actually block the radio signal totally when the plan assumes a certain position WRT the transmitter. It does not always occur in the same place on the field for different aircraft and sometimes the servo leads can move in flight and the LOS problem may occur or not because of their exact position.

Try using Rxs with very long antennas or a satellite Rx and the problem will most likely disappear!

Have fun!
That makes sense, as the original receiver (the AR400) had one short antenna and one long one. The R615X receivers only have short antennas, so there aren't many options. What would you suggest? That doesn't fully explain everything, but that makes the most sense so far. Thanks!
 

Hai-Lee

Old and Bold RC PILOT
#4
That makes sense, as the original receiver (the AR400) had one short antenna and one long one. The R615X receivers only have short antennas, so there aren't many options. What would you suggest? That doesn't fully explain everything, but that makes the most sense so far. Thanks!
As for the LOS problem I had a similar ongoing issue years ago and I would crash one or two planes every flying day. It took me ages to work out why! I now use a different radio system that has very long antennas, (2 of), on every Rx and now I am a club committee member who teaches others to fly and helps them build and setup models. They only real change was using a radio system where I could get the antennas clear of all metal structures, and wires.

Others, especially newbies, still buy and use the spektrum Rxs without satellites or lang antennas and they crash due to random LOS problems regularly! I started building and flying sings, (flying wings), so that I could get the Rx a long way from other things like the motor, battery and ESC plus I had plenty of scope for its exact location and only 2 servo leads to be concerned about.

If you can try elevating the Rx above the wires and the like on a plane you can afford to crash and repair and do your own experiments on what layout works best for you!

Have fun!
 

Jackson T

Well-known member
#5
As for the LOS problem I had a similar ongoing issue years ago and I would crash one or two planes every flying day. It took me ages to work out why! I now use a different radio system that has very long antennas, (2 of), on every Rx and now I am a club committee member who teaches others to fly and helps them build and setup models. They only real change was using a radio system where I could get the antennas clear of all metal structures, and wires.

Others, especially newbies, still buy and use the spektrum Rxs without satellites or lang antennas and they crash due to random LOS problems regularly! I started building and flying sings, (flying wings), so that I could get the Rx a long way from other things like the motor, battery and ESC plus I had plenty of scope for its exact location and only 2 servo leads to be concerned about.

If you can try elevating the Rx above the wires and the like on a plane you can afford to crash and repair and do your own experiments on what layout works best for you!

Have fun!
Ok, will do! What radio system do you use? Would using a satellite receiver help?
 

kdobson83

Well-known member
#6
You said it only does this on certain planes? Which ones? What kind of esc are you using? How many servos? I ask because I had a similar issue with my mini guinea. It was fine with the 4 original servos but when I added the 5th servo on the cargo door, it would cut out in flight. It would work fine until I got up in the air using all my servos, and the amperage draw for the Bec on the esc would cause a brown out. I would only loose control for a second or two and was able to recover after the receiver linked back up after the brown out.
Check your Bec, see what the output it. Rule of thumb is .5 amps per servo. So if you have 4 servos, you'd need your Bec to be at least 2amps. If your trying to use 4 servos on a 1amp Bec you could be having brown out issues. The larger the battery the more amplified this issue can become. The Bec is also called a Battery elimination circuit. It cuts your battery voltage down to 5v which is what your receiver and servos use. If your using a 3s or 4s it's gota cut that voltage down to 5v creating heat. The more servos you have the more work the Bec has to do also creating more heat. Too much heat causes a brown out, or your receiver to shut down temporarily. When it turns back on and reconnects you gain control again until it over heats again, causing intermittent signal loss.
Check your Bec amperage. If your close to, or over the .5amp per serving rule, then get an esc with a bigger Bec on it or get a Ubec to power your receiver.

I had this exact issue on my FT Explorer with flaps and my Mini Guinea with cargo door. Both fixed by using a UBec. In fact, I use esc's with no Bec and add a UBec to all my scratch builds that have more than 4 servos now.
Anyway, don't know if this is your problem but it's something else to look out for. Let us know if you figure out the issue.
 

FDS

Well-known member
#8
I use the Lemon RX’s with my Orange TX6i and they have been superb, no signal loss in any direction, without a satellite. I always ensure my RX is near the bottom fuselage hole on FT models and that both antennae are in different poles, so 90 deg to each other, if possible one facing down with the tip clear of the fuselage.
 

Merv

Well-known member
#9
I have these random losses of control.
I agree with @Hai-Lee your problems are likely antenna placement.

I highly recommend you watch the series How to be successful in FPV by IBcrazy. He gives a lot of information about how antennas work and how to properly place them. This information applies to all antennas, not just FPV antennas. When I switched to 2.4gHz, I had the same problems with loss of signal, I was even considering going back to 72mHz. Then I stumbled across this series and learned how to place my antennas correctly. Now I don’t have any more signal loss problems.

 
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Namactual

Well-known member
#10
I have had no luck with the OrangeRX's and my DXe. I bought two brand new ORX's and bound them both to my TX without issue, but soon after I starting having interment signal loss. This was thankfully on the ground and never in the air.

I can say that it was not a voltage or range issue, but beyond that is anyone's guess. My fix was just to use Spektrum RX's and I never had an issue since. Same airframe, same electronics and the ORX's would just stop responding after a random amount of time.

Take this post for what it is, just my experience with ORX's. I know others use them without issue. Maybe I just had 2 lemons. Either way, I would never trust them in anything I fly.
 

Merv

Well-known member
#11
Any help would be HUGELY appreciated!!!
One thing to know is, the active element. It is the exposed wire at the end. This what you care about, it should be fairly straight. It needs to be a specific length and away from anything metal, carbon fiber or electronic (ESC & battery). Those items will block the signal. If you have a 90 degree bend in the middle of the active element you will cut your range. The black part (in this picture), you don't care about, can be any length, tie it in a knot, hide it in carbon fiber. It's just the antenna lead.

If you fray the shielding (the lead) you will allow unwanted rf signal in, which will kill your range. The antenna must be repaired or replaced. To repair, just cut off the frayed coax and solder the remaining coax back onto the Rx board.

 
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kdobson83

Well-known member
#12
Take this post for what it is, just my experience with ORX's. I know others use them without issue. Maybe I just had 2 lemons. Either way, I would never trust them in anything I fly.
Speaking of "lemons", Lemon makes a good dsm2/dsmx receiver. I only own one orangerx, and about 7-8 lemonrx's. No issues with any of them.
I hear Admiral makes a decent dmsx Rx too. It's what motion RC uses.
Anyway, I use lemon Rx because I can't/don't want to spend $40+ on a receiver. And $30 for a gyro+ lemon Rx is MUCH more palatable compared to $100 for Spektrum.
 

Namactual

Well-known member
#13
I use lemon Rx because I can't/don't want to spend $40+ on a receiver.
I agree 100%.

I use a FlySky i6 for everything I build. The i6 is a great radio and it's dirt cheep. The only reason I bought the DXe was for the bind and fly E-Flight, Blade stuff. The DXe came with one AR610 Rx which I did install on one of my hanger queens. The gimbals on the DXe are a lot nicer than the i6, but the Rx prices turned me off.

That is why I ended up trying the ORx's. After the issues I had with both of those, I can not get myself to even consider them. It would be one thing if they just did not work at all, but the fact that they seem to work and then quit at random times is a deal breaker for me. Again, I am just glad I found the issue before I got in the air.
 

Hai-Lee

Old and Bold RC PILOT
#14
Ok, will do! What radio system do you use? Would using a satellite receiver help?
I use FlySky BUT there is nothing wrong with Spektrum as long as you get the proper Rxs to suit your purpose!

For your info here are a few links to info on spektrum compatible Rxs;
https://www.spektrumrc.com/Air/Receivers.aspx
https://www.hobbygulf.com/orange-rx.html
http://www.lemon-rx.com/

You should be able to find a cheap and long wire dual antenna Rx to evaluate you suspected Rx antenna placement issue.

Have fun!
 

kdobson83

Well-known member
#16
Thankyou everyone for your input! I am quite busy for the next week or two, but I will try moving the receiver antennas around when I get a chance. Thanks again!
Feel free to grab a friend and do a range test. Have him hold the plane and you the Tx, then walk about moving the controls and motor. Maybe even have him spin around with the plane. Simulate it being in the air. Could help you find the problem without crashing. Lol
Good luck.
 

Jackson T

Well-known member
#17
Feel free to grab a friend and do a range test. Have him hold the plane and you the Tx, then walk about moving the controls and motor. Maybe even have him spin around with the plane. Simulate it being in the air. Could help you find the problem without crashing. Lol
Good luck.
That's a great idea!
 

Headbang

Well-known member
#18
So after my own experiences over time, and asking others in my club. It seems more experience this issue then not. The fix seems to always be the same. Antenna placement. Or more often, a sat rx. It is common on orange, lemon, and cheaper spectrum sport recievers. It is never a distance issue, but rather happens in certain orientations. Often noticable at the same spot at the field while flying the same direction.

That being said tho! The symptom should be a motor cutout and loss of control, and it should be very short lived. If the motor stays running and or controls jam in an odd direction, and or it takes a long time to recover (like the time it takes to boot an rx) then it could be the bec causing a brownout as others have said.
 

sprzout

Knower of useless information
Mentor
#19
Another thing to consider that points to antenna placement - a good portion of Spektrum radios have diversity antennas on the transmitters. This is common in the DX6, DX8, and so forth. The i and e series (DX6e, DX8e, DX5i, etc) do not have Diversity antennas.

I mention this because in reading on the Orange TX6i, I don't see any reference whatsoever to diversity antennas, and I'd bet dollars to donuts at its price point, it probably doesn't have them.

How does this affect you? Well, if both antennas on the receiver are facing the same way or in a line, you won't get a strong signal in one direction, and it has the potential to drop signal. Is this the main cause of your signal loss? Possibly; it's certainly a factor in your signal.

I would definitely recommend trying to relocate the antennas - put one at 90 degrees from the other, if you can - see if it gets better.