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Member postings for Bruce Miller 2

Here is a list of all the postings Bruce Miller 2 has made in our forums. Click on a thread name to jump to the thread.

Thread: Programming AR636A
11/06/2019 07:09:52

Alec - Spektrum want you to rush out and buy their bluetooth adaptor:

"A Spektrum AS3X Bluetooth Adapter is required for Android device use. Part number SPMBT1000 available at your local hobby shop or HorizonHobby.com
The Audio Cable (SPMA3081) or the USB Cable (SPMA3065) No longer functions with the latest version of the Android compatible Spektrum AS3X Programmer App
"
(From the fine print under Android App on Google Play)

So, you are correct that it has been changed and you pick to option you like - Bluetooth Dongle or Lugga-Laptop. Both will cost money! Or ask around if anyone has an abandoned iphone/ipad you can use instead? I would guess that the iphone App will go the same way eventually (if not already - not checked recently, App info blurb doesn't say so).

Weird they would make this Android App change for " the next generation Spektrum™ AS3X receivers" when currently only the four usual old variants are listed as compatible...


26/02/2019 07:08:45

Yep, you need a spare channel ON YOUR TRANSMITTER but not on the receiver.

I have same as you describe with all 6 output channels in use and the receiver can use all 6 output channels but needs 7 INPUT channels to also swap Flight Modes. You can use AUX 1,2 or 3 (if Gear is in use)

I have AETRGF from my DX9 doing their usual servo thing on output sockets 1-6 and AUX2 is FM switch using a 7th Tx channel. Works fine.

If you only have a 6 channel transmitter then Flight Modes not an option unless you can do without flaps.

23/02/2019 03:47:50

PM sent for your email address.

Some early ones were definitely 'locked' (like the infamous Sukhoi one) but I have a few more recently that I have been able to reprogram to my tastes despite the hobby shop telling me otherwise. Some are programmed using the ipad app and some with my PC (but not both???). If it isn't going to work - the failure is clear so you will know for sure, then try the other programming method before trying to 'update' to 1.42, and before quitting. Good luck! GENERALLY speaking I have had more respond to the ios APP than the PC programmer.

p.s. I have posted my learnings before in this thread and have not changed my views with further experience. Receiver 'updates' are not coded (up to 1.43 anyway!). Transmitter updates ARE and must be generated after registration and login.

Let us know, Bruce

Thread: New Drone Laws from 30/5/2018
10/06/2018 09:03:47

Regulation reduces the likelihood of Abolition. The Major players in local freight delivery would jump at the chance to send their autonomous drones all about without you pesky aeromodellers getting in their way! It is also far easier for Authorities to BAN everything than to regulate sensibly. We need rules to educate/prosecute the 'few' before they ruin it for the 'majority'.

 

Your forum can get quite tied up in small details and definitions, some maybe even hysterical? We all just want to get more folks flying (anything) for fun - safely – there is no 'US and THEM'.

 

The Australian experience may clarify things a little for what to expect, as it sounds just like we have already what you're describing in these posts. I hope you find it interesting:

 

In Oz 'Standard Operating Conditions' apply for everybody without permission to do otherwise. Maximum 400ft AGL, unaided daylight line-of-sight only, 30 metres from people in all directions, not over crowds, not within 5.5km of Aerodromes etc – i.e. to “not create a hazard”. One can also undertake commercial work within these restrictions with aircraft under 2kg. Landowners have some exemptions for flying over their own land.

 

'Unmanned Aviation' Control Hierarchy:

1. Civil Aviation Safety Authority (CASA i.e. your CAA) are the top level aviation authority.

2. Licensed OPERATORS are the ones who hold operating certificates, obtain permissions (from CASA) to fly outside the 'Standard Operating Conditions' and produce 'operations manuals' to document procedures and practices to safely operate as they have been authorised.

3. Authorised PILOTS, who fly under a Licensed Operator in conditions as per 'Operations manual'.

 

In a commercial scenario – a Business would be a Licensed OPERATOR and seek permissions to fly higher, closer, or whatever. They would undertake extra commitments such as using aviation radio to talk with Towers or aircraft, check of NOTAMs, built-in equipment redundancies, have proven 'Return To Home', transponders to show on ATC radar, even seek issue of NOTAM. These would be part of the operator's risk analysis and all submitted to CASA in an Operations MANUAL when seeking approval for a mission, or a location – to obtain an Operating CERTIFICATE. Flights “for any form of economic gain” with aircraft over 2kg, or outside 'Standard Operating Conditions' must be performed by a CASA-Licensed PILOT (TYPE approved), flying for an Licensed OPERATOR. Individuals can apply to be Licensed OPERATORS if they do the paperwork and pay the money. A Licensed PILOT can fly under anybody's Operating CERTIFICATE (with their permission) so, for example, some training schools allow past students to fly under their O.C. on a casual basis and thus get paid for any commercial work. Note: Operator arranges own aircraft checks, overseen by operator's appointed mechanic.

 

In a recreational scenario – our MAAA (equivalent of your BMFA) has the status of a Licensed OPERATOR and maintains a detailed Operations MANUAL of standard procedures (e.g. line of sight, max 400ft AGL, 30 metre rule). Since not flying “for economic gain” our MAAA can authorise pilots through it's instruction programs, Solo and 'wings' assessments (equiv. BMFA 'certificates'. This is the level where aircraft DEFINITIONS become significant – NOT at a government (legislation) level. Any desired Height extensions (event or permanent) or near-Aerodrome flying is requested by pilots via their club through the MAAA and get approved by CASA. CASA may issue NOTAM and make additions to Aeronautical Charts as appropriate. Note: NO approval for flight beyond unaided line of sight (pilot OR spotter if FPV) as MAAA specifically exclude this. Heavy or Large models are scrutinised & certified (same as BMFA) by MAAA appointed inspectors.

 

The positive of this is you CAN fly anywhere CASA allows you to – they control the sky & ONLY CASA can restrict airspace (e.g. over royal weddings). Landowners & councils cannot stop you overflying property – they can only legally stop takeoffs and landings on their ground. Caution if you have a camera on board that you will have PRIVACY laws to consider.

 

So it's not the end of our hobby, but BMFA do need to jump in and establish their position. Support them.

Good Luck!

Edited By Bruce Miller 2 on 10/06/2018 09:08:21

Thread: EDF and different ESC
29/11/2017 01:05:22

If it's not giving full power have a go at setting the END POINTS in the ESC. Typically this involves powering up at full throttle position (restrain your plane and remove props if applicable) and waiting a few seconds for some audible signal then lower throttle to minimum setting awaiting more confirmatory beeps then you're done.

Worth a try as it can do no harm and is very quick. Do check your own ESC manual or look online for other ESC settings to experiment with but usually the defaults are okay.

Thread: Black Friday deals
25/11/2017 07:48:34

Seconding DonF:

HK's FREE SHIPPING IS ACTUALLY GENUINE. I placed my order and all screens showed 'free shipping' until I got to Paypal and found the freight added. Placed order anyway as I need the parts, then next day received Apology email blaming Paypal for adding back the freight, a full freight REFUND and a discount voucher code for my next purchase. Pretty GOOD customer service I reckon... Good one HK!

Happy Customer (who just has to find something expensive that I didn't realise I needed, to buy with my discount)

Thread: Hobbyking
25/11/2017 07:44:32

You'll probably find the BLACK FRIDAY specials are ONLY from US and Global warehouses, just like if your local warehouse doesn't have stock of something - it doesn't show as an option you can choose for that item EVEN if you chose a particular warehouse when you started your search.

Once the silliness of the season goes away, you should be able to buy normal stuff from where you'd like. Try a regular item and see if it come up with your favourite warehouse.

BTW HK's FREE SHIPPING IS ACTUALLY GOOD. I placed my order and all screens showed free shipping until I got to Paypal and found the freight added. Placed order anyway as I need the parts, then next day received Apology email blaming Paypal for adding back the freight, a full freight REFUND and a discount voucher code for my next purchase. Pretty GOOD customer service I reckon... Good one HK!

Happy Customer

Thread: Which model flight simulators work on windows 10.
16/11/2017 08:11:11

Yep - Realflight will work great on Windows 10 - I only have up to version 6.5 but many others have run up to version 7.5, which is still available. If you have a really old simulator program, Windows10 can be set to run it as though it is an older Windows version.

WARNING - don't buy Realflight-X unless you have a super-computer or your kid moved out and left you a mega gaming computer. Graphics are extremely 'power-hungry' and quite honestly - not worth the effort! I go back to Realflight 6.5 more often as all the models I love have been 'posted' by (other far more clever) users for me to download and enjoy. SOME can be migrated to Realflight-X but not all. The 'better' graphics are for other people who're watching over your shoulder!!!

Thread: li ion/li po ????
16/11/2017 07:52:45

Golly you lot make a confusing topic no less confusing! I don't think anybody has said anything WRONG prior but there is an elephant in the room that some have just touched on. Also, there is an increasing use of the lesser-known (but more common) type in our flying fields.

Lithium batteries labelled as "Li-ion" are very common outside our hobby and I bet everyone has many: Mobile phones, digital cameras (check your GoPro) and any gadgets with 'rechargeable' batteries installed will mostly have "Li-ion" cells. You can charge them for days, run them down until gadgets turn off, leave them in any state of charge for ages and generally be quite careless with them. They only say "must use included charger" so nobody has to worry about correct charging voltage. Most only bear a "watt-hour" rating and do not state any voltage. Then we enthusiasts come along with our super-dooper universal chargers that can actually charge them to correct specifications.

In our transmitters and models we commonly use Lithium batteries as either LiPo or LiFe due to their high energy density (Big capacity for small volume) and fantastic power output ('C' rating), or their proximity to voltages we are trying to replace (eg LiFe for NiCd pack replacement). There are many videos around of these spectacularly bursting into flame so we must respect the correct charging rates and voltages, as well as handling.

Yes, they are both sub-classes of "lithium Ion" batteries as MattyB found on Wikipedia, but the term is also used as another sub-class for the various "no-chemistry-specified batteries" in our everyday devices. Sure, batteries do work on ion flow, and Lithium is in there, it's the other components that are the decider.

An interesting new option for our 'sport' is the "Lithium-ion" range by Titan power (advertised in this magazine, I'm sure?? or Google "gettitanpower" ) which uses the properties of slightly less volatile Lithium cells to make batteries that have lower C ratings but can be safely and repeatedly run down to much lower voltages than LiPo or LiFe. So batteries can be assembled with larger capacities for longer duration of flight packs or more reliable receiver power. Their website is worth a quick look if you run a multirotor or FPV plane and like long flights. And - you are NOT stuck with a little cylindrical format.

So - "Li-ion" sits alongside LiPo and LiFe as a type of "Lithium ion" battery. "Li-ion" is thus the generic group name for various non-specified Lithium based batteries, AND the shortening of the common name for any Lithium based battery. Clear as mud...! But, BobC correctly summarised "in practise they seem to be defined by nominal cell voltage"

Knowing the correct charging parameters is critical for all types - remember that a dodgy "Li-ion" battery grounded the entire 787 Dreamliner Jet fleet in 2013! (specifically = Lithium Cobalt Oxide)

"Know, Charge" and take care.

Edited By Bruce Miller 2 on 16/11/2017 07:56:12

Edited By Bruce Miller 2 on 16/11/2017 07:56:42

Thread: 1s Lipos - how to rig a balance-lead to fool charger?
05/02/2017 11:43:30

Yep Phil - quite right. FMA wiring is MOST unusual. Apart from the Revolectrix manual I have not come across it. As I posted, everything I have ever bought (or seen of others) is wired XH which really has become our industry standard. I also was a little alarmed that an early post was giving wrong advice and I wanted to amplify your simple message that the negative wire is the constant and must be respected. In years to come somebody may well read our posts and not realise the importance of your message. That's it from me on the topic "I know no more, yet now know more."

Edited By Bruce Miller 2 on 05/02/2017 11:46:37

05/02/2017 10:21:46

Isn't it great these forum-thingys to see other's practical solutions to our 'common' problems. "Necessity is the mother of all invention" etc. We all see things from our own experience. I know nothing about those 'DLG' you mention I was only seeing from my perspective where three batteries is nice for a little indoor heli session. Thanks for your original post - interesting topic. Nice safety message to put about. Cheers.

05/02/2017 08:42:24

Posted by Phil Green on 03/02/2017 22:44:17:

Posted by Dickw on 03/02/2017 18:24:02

I would try making up a 2s balance lead for the cell with the +ve of the cell going to middle pin of the 2s balance plug and the –ve of the cell going to the -ve pin of the balance plug. That is not trying to fool anything, but just confirming to the charger that only 1 cell is connected

The right way to do it.

And now the wrong way:

Posted by #### on 03/02/2017 20:25:36:

So what I would do is to make up a intermediate connector in the main lead with a ‘balance’ pair attached to the main neg and pos and then using a redundant 2s (three pin) balance lead but leaving off the black neg at the end. ....

Yes, I afraid I wasn’t absolutely clear on this, either. With the greatest respect to Dick, I would place the red pos balance wire from your 1 cell in the first positive end of your balance plug (whether 2, 3 or 4 cell is unimportant) and the black neg next to it. The black wire acts only as the neg for a one cell, but both neg and pos for a two cell; in this case it would usually be a different colour.

Very diplomatic Phil - and absolutely correct! yesHowever I think in the interest of 'responsible forumming' (?) we should leave a clear explanation in our trail.

A few years ago when I purchased an amazingly versatile REVOLECTRIX charger (which is never reviewed - do you not have them in the U.K?) I learned that there are TWO standards for battery cell sensing - one seems unused (but would work Peter's suggestion) and the other has become the industry standard as far as I can see and is the 'right way to do it.'

FMA WIRING - the first cell is connected to the first POSITIVE pin and the last pin detecting a NEGATIVE connection generates the cell count for the charger.

XH WIRING - (used for every battery and charger I've ever bought) the first cell is connected to the first NEGATIVE pin and the last pin detecting a POSITIVE connection generates the cell count for the charger.

The importance of this is that the first NEGATIVE pin on the charger MUST connect with the negative side of the battery and the matching first cell of the balance port wire. If you connect the main charge leads first (as you should) and then the balance plug wrongly made backwards using one suggestion earlier in this forum topic - the negative 'balance lead' meets the positive of the 'charge wire' passing current through your expensive charger - BANG - need a new battery and charger (if you're lucky!)

Grab pen & paper draw a quick circuit diagram to see what I mean - 1-cell battery's 2 wires incorrectly placed at the wrong end of a 3-cell (like FMA wiring) meeting a 'live' charger's XH wired socket... When POS meets NEG it always ends in disaster!

So I'm glad Jonathan got the correct advice and the proof is in his charging success. I thinks folks are assuming their chargers are far more intelligent than they really are. Balancing IS very important for multiple cells but a single cell by definition does not need balancing so the manual insisting on balancing is an over-assumption by readers. The charger needs to sense the right voltage in the right place to commence charge - simply a safety design for when multiple cells are in use. The successful solution is evidently proof of this.

Jonathan - I was wondering from your first post - why not just make a lead to charge TWO batteries??? (see Parallel Charging in Jan RCME) I made a lead from cheap chinese parts to charge three at a time of the tiny single cell batteries in small models and my charger just sees a 3S 300mAh. Likewise battery meters report all 3 cells separately with a button push.

Finally (sorry) somebody reported their battery meter wouldn't work with one cell which is usually correct - somewhere in the fine print mine says that minimum 2 cells needed to work but watch out as a very small 2 cell is drained quickly if you take too long! So a (very) cheap multimeter with a custom lead is quite handy to measure a single cell's voltage.

So many plugs - so many chances to 'short' circuits...!

Thread: Programming AR636A
30/01/2017 00:55:21

Pete - surely you can borrow an iPad from somewhere? It's easier to read at least. Only need it for a short time. BTW an iPhone 4 CAN be upgraded BUT our advice from the apple genii (?) is NOT to! face 9

24/01/2017 12:47:57

Aww sorry - it is indeed the very 'pukka' "SPMA3081 AS3X Programming Cable - Audio Interface." I've not read of an alternate that works. Spektrum very cleverly gave them away with the early 'stock' AR636 purchases. That's how I got them (both) otherwise I wouldn't have known how useful the programming capability is.

IMHO it is probably worth buying one (and now I know - NOT the USB version unless you need it for updating) as these are great receivers with all the settings kept in the receiver rather than your transmitter, and switchable stability when you want it.

24/01/2017 09:21:48

Thing I Learned today...

Recently bought a lovely big foam Eflite P2 Prometheus which stated that it contained an AR636 receiver. Ever doubtful I purchased it based on the passing mention that it was programmable with the optional cable etc...

On receipt it actually contains the 'dreaded' AR636A and despite my many attempts the PC programs for both Programming and Updating just would not detect the receiver being connected at all, with or without the battery powering the receiver. So I can't register my purchase as I can't get a serial number, can't program it in the receiver rather than the transmitter like Spektrum insist we must. The plane flies lovely but it is rather like it is being flown by somebody else, or like flying a 'drone' as it has too much gyro stabilisation for my liking.

Today in desperation, JUST before I went out to buy a replacement receiver, I dug out my old iPod and the 'Audio Interface' lead and fired up the AS3X programming APP. I much prefer the PC versions as they usually 'just work' whereas the APP is flaky and most often fails to connect. After the expected plugging and re-plugging, powering and re-powering in every possible sequence of connecting and booting the APP I hit the 'magic' sequence and IT WORKED!!!!

So now I have successfully reprogrammed my AR636A using the APP and 'Audio Interface' lead that I could NOT do with the PC programmer nor PC Updater and the 'USB interface' lead. YAY

I really like to be able to switch OFF the AS3X and yet retain one 'emergency' flight mode really gyro-locked in for windy days when I probably shouldn't be flying or for trying ridiculous new tricks! I Like that Rates and expos are set in the receiver (like failsafe) so any alternate Tx can just bind and fly without further setup. I also like to shift the ailerons to different channels so differential can be applied and flapperons etc. I quite like that AR636 series are so much more than a normal receiver (Spektrum - how about adding 'Main Pack Voltage' telemetry?) and now I can program my new one I love them again...

WHY are Spektrum so secretive??? Nowhere does it say the APP is the only way these days... (I hate that APP)

07/09/2016 04:45:01
Posted by Trevor Crook on 06/09/2016 15:43:25:I would be interested in a detailed description of how you reprogrammed yours.

I fear you're going to be sorry you asked!!! As Far as registering, I can't explain why you couldn't register your AR636A. Mine worked using the 'slightly incorrect' AR636 listing. Maybe you had the serial number formatted wrongly? BUT REGISTERING MIGHT WELL BE A WASTE OF TIME!!! See below.

There are TWO programs to download from the Spektrumrc.com AR636 info page: the "PC Firmware updates" and the "programming options" choosing PC Android or Apple and is the fun one to actually program your AR636 later. The page is a little unclear!

The "PC Firmware Update" program calls itself "Spektrum Updater" after you install it on your PC. This little gem MAY help solve your problem. IYou'll need the USB cable and NO battery. (Note that you DO later need a battery to operate the "Spektrum Programmer" via USB on a PC - so I assume battery power must put into some other mode??)

It will show you receiver's:

  • Device Name (both my ARF receivers show up as AR636!)
  • Serial number (that you can copy and paste into registration fields if you want to do that)
  • Version (must be AT LEAST 1.4 to be able to receive programming) **LINK**

The reason I think registering might be a waste of time is that currently you can now ONLY download version 1.43 which clearly states in big red capitals:

NOTICE:

This software is intended for use in open stock AR636 receivers. Do not use in AR636A receivers that came installed in BNF or RTF aircraft or helicopters.

So the current update is no good to you, thus there is no point registering your receiver.

I have now checked and both my ARF based AR636(A) receivers are very happily running Version 1.42 and can be programmed successfully on both PC and iPad programs. My old sportcub was updated my me Dec 2014 and the new Pawnee Brave was delivered with that version installed.

SO, having just re-read many forum posts I think having version at least 1.4 up to 1.42 should solve this dilemma for most users for the problems I have read they've come up against. (I am happy to be corrected by anybody who actually knows! BTW - WHERE are you hiding??)

The problem is where to get Version 1.42 "spmrx.sax" update file which was superseded in the March 2015 by the release of Version 1.43.

I have my copy of 1.42 but there is some conjecture on other forums that each download is actually coded to the receiver serial number like the updates for a transmitter but the spektrumrc updates page is mischievously misleading:

  • Note: All software files are unique to the serial number registered online and will only work with the matching transmitter. Using an SAX file created from a different account or serial number will fail.

It does NOT say RECEIVERS!! I believe this does NOT apply to receiver updates.

I'm pretty certain I downloaded only one update and applied it to BOTH of my AR636 (boxed product - not from ARF planes) receivers to get them to 1.43 using the PC program "Spektrum Updater" mentioned above with no problems.

My Version 1.42 "spmrx.sax" file is 37kb so can be easily emailed and will be a three minute experiment for you to try. Ask around if any mates have it - was around as free download from Aug 11 2014 to Mar 23 2015 and you're using it on genuine spektrum receiver so shouldn't create any copyright issue. I'd be happy to send my copy if you can work out how to use the private email service on here.

Sorry I couldn't be more compact - there's a lot to tell. You gotta try it - I NEED to know how you go. thumbs upthumbs downquestion

06/09/2016 14:14:45

Thanks John, I have long-ago seen some of Andy K's writings, but my point stands - that last week (before investing in my new BRAVE) I had googled every search I could think of, including searching SpektrumRCs own website and could find no detail on the programmability of 'AR636A's. I did not come across Andy's article that you mention.

I think that if Spektrum made this information available in an easily FINDABLE form, that natural 'chickens' (such as me) would buy the AR636 instead of the cheaper 6 channel receivers, or happily invest in HH's RTFs knowing the receiver was usable later in another model. Just seems odd for them to be so secretive and leave info to be dispersed by staff writers in forums, and hence Trevor's original question on this forum. I have read many similar in my quest for info over recent years. There are quite a few 'youtubes' on the topic also, some completely misleading! So, I suggest, there is an information vacuum that is stifling sales of a good product.

Over to you, Spektrum...

06/09/2016 07:03:52

Trevor, DID you ever get an answer? I also find Spektrum's LACK of information on programming/lockout for these receivers really frustrating as we've all read stories about the first AR636S (in the Sukhoi) being locked into some really bad presets so most people pulled them out and had better Sukhois then sold the locked receivers onto other poor suckers who gained unflyable models!

I first bought a Parkzone Sportcub, chosen as it came with the STOCK AR636 (i.e. not the S version, well before the A version came out) which was NOT locked and fully programmable once I obtained the leads to do so. I'm quite glad I did as the presets for that model are dreadful and I find best flying with it OFF but have set up some really locked in heading and rate mode holds for learning tricks or landing in a gusty gale. You have 3 separate sets of gain settings to switch between in flight.

Yesterday I purchased an Eflite Pawnee BRAVE containing the newer AR636A (as in your question) and to my delight have found it IS PROGRAMMABLE. I prefer the PC programmer as the iPad programmer was too often glitchy and needing restarting, also PC can SAVE before trying changes. I have been able to set my favourite presets (including OFF!) into the receiver, then disconnect and verify from my DX9 telemetry screen that they are in fact set, and by moving the model around confirm that AS3X is working or OFF and rates as set do change as expected.

There you go - proof that the AR636A is programmable, and while it is preset to a model when pre-installed, these settings aren't valuable data, and don't be afraid to play around, but I recommend make one setting NO gains so you can switch to 'manual' and get home in one piece if you've created a monster!

As far as information on the AS3X - again I can only criticise Spektrum for no written explanations being found anywhere. I recommend the "SpektrumRC" youtube channel as they have an entire playlist on the AS3X which goes through the iPhone/iPad app (but the PC programmer is even easier to use) setup and programming, but has many gems of information in the passing conversation. This is a very long video series which could easily be made into a short text! Oh well guess that's the way of the world.

Likewise the magazine reviewers never explain the extended benefits of programming these receivers, probably because Horizon Hobby never tells them and they don't actually try. Do they think plane flyers don't like to tweak things???

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