Re: Reduced range

In addition to the knowledeable posts so far..
I have found siting the plane on frozen water/ice
substantially reduced the range on a range test...
I have to stand or have the plane held on its nose (rx
antenna vertical) to do a decent range check... same on wet
(saturated) ground...
Dave
>I tried to fly my Extra 300s today. It's fitted with an Airtronics RX and
>>TX. The rx has a 6 V battery and the tx has a 9.6V battery.
>>
>>So I took the plane to a frozen pond hoping to fly...winds 8-10mph. During
>>preflight I noticed that I wasn't getting the normal range when checked at
>>about 100ft away. Anyway to shorten things I didn't feel comfortable so I
>>packed it in and went home. I had a friend check the voltage on both tx and
>>rx. The tx voltage was good 9.6 - 10 V. However, the rx was down to 5 and
>>5.1 V. Is this normal for the Airtronics rx battery pack? Would this
>>reduce the range? It was sitting idle for about week and half, so I had it
>>on charge for about 8 hours this morning to top it up. I'm wondering if
>>it's still good? Any suggestions? Thanks in advance.
>>
> Couple things here set me wondering.
>You state a receiver 6 volt batt, yet you call it an Airtronics battery pack.
>Now if it is a pack that came with the radio, I believe it is a standard 4 cell
>nicad which is a 4.8 volt rated battery. The exception is if you added a 5 cell
>pack. Did you do that?
>
>The receiver 4 cell will often charge close to a 6 volt indication, but will
>not stay there long and rather soon will be back to the 5-5.2 range. >
>You stated that you live in cold area -- frozen pond -- so is your equipment in
>a room temperature or in a colder place?
>Nicads loose a good bit per day until down to half capacity. A week in cold wx.
>would be a significant reduction.
>If you truly have a 6 volt batt. and you use the standard wall-wart to charge,
>it will not charge. You should check the output of the charger as you will need
>at least 7 volts to charge the 5 cell batt and 7.5 will be better.
>I use a 7.5 volt 300 ma for charging 5 cell packs and any batt over 800ma. >
>So if you are using standard packs your 8 hour charge on a cold system with a
>supplied wall-wart is well in the ball-park. Need more info to better analyze. >
>HC
Reply to
dgamblin
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| I tried to fly my Extra 300s today. It's fitted with an Airtronics RX and | TX. The rx has a 6 V battery and the tx has a 9.6V battery.
`The rx has a 6 V battery' -- is that a 5 cell NiCd pack, or is it a 4 cell alkaline pack? Or something else? | So I took the plane to a frozen pond hoping to fly...winds 8-10mph.
The radio waves would bounce off the pond (or a lake), but I wouldn't expect that to make much of a difference in a range check.
| During preflight I noticed that I wasn't getting the normal range | when checked at about 100ft away.
How far away did you get before you saw servo chatter with the antenna all the way down? If it was 100 ft, that sounds good and it sounds like it's time to fly ...
| Anyway to shorten things I didn't feel comfortable so I packed it | in and went home.
Prudent.
| I had a friend check the voltage on both tx and rx. The tx voltage | was good 9.6 - 10 V. However, the rx was down to 5 and 5.1 V.
If a 5 cell NiCd/NiMH pack is at 5.1 volts, it's almost dead, and you should not be flying with it. It won't show reduced range, as it'll work just fine at that voltage -- but it will not last much longer. Perhaps only a few minutes longer. Time to charge.
If that was a 4 cell pack, then that voltage sounds ok, though it's possible if the battery wasn't previously fully charged that it's almost dead now. Or it might be fine. You just don't know, which is why you need to always fully charge it.
| Is this normal for the Airtronics rx battery pack? Would this | reduce the range? It was sitting idle for about week and half, so I | had it on charge for about 8 hours this morning to top it up.
Unfortunately, doing a short slow charge to `top it up' is problematic. Either charge it for the full 16 (or whatever) hours, or don't fly.
A better solution is to get a peak charger, even a cheap one. Then in an hour or so, you'll be SURE that it's fully charged. Something like one of these (depending on your budget and power source) --
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(of course, these are only a few of many possiblities.)
| I'm wondering if it's still good?
Not enough information to tell. Ideally, you'd cycle your cells, but that's outside the scope of this post. ( But the Triton charger, listed above, can do it for you.)
| Any suggestions?
Already made ...
Reply to
Doug McLaren
If your battery packs check out as per the previous posts, then you probably have one of two things - a broken antenna wire on the rx (it may be kinked somewhere- the most common problem - especially check where it is pulled tght on the outside of the fuse), or otherwise your tx aerial is loose.
Easiest is to check the range against another one of your planes if you have one. If the same thing happens, then its obviously limited to the one plane and it must be either the batteries or the rx. (I'm betting on the rx)
Hope that helps.
Reply to
CG

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