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Spektrum DX6 and ST Salto

Programming error by me or misunderstanding of binding limitations?

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John Bisset30/05/2017 11:41:08
84 forum posts

Hello.

I am a ‘returned’ modeller, just coming back to the hobby after 20 or so years away.

This means that outrunner motors, LiPos and modern programmable transmitter/receiver systems are all new to me.

I recently bought a Spektrum DX6 radio system – with an AR610 receiver. I also bought my first ever ready made machine – an ST Salto – as a bit of fun since I used to own a Libelle sailplane and the Salto was a V tail version of that. I also rather liked the pop up fan motor arrangement

After some struggle with the, to me, unusual selection arrangements, I have the radio modelling a V tail sailplane and correctly providing the mixing required for the V tail. However, I can only get the system to bind with the throttle control selection set to a switch – most easily Switch A. That of course gives me only full throttle or motor off, no variability.

If I try to bind with the throttle selection set on the transmitter to ‘throttle’, I get ‘bind fail’ every time, with no other information. Most helpful! Am I wrong in assuming that since the radio offers throttle control options in the set up, it should accept them? Or is the problem that the radio is ‘seeing’ a sailplane not a power plane?

It is only while writing this that the possibility occurred that resetting the radio to see the Salto as a power plane may be the solution. Possibly my mindset in viewing the Salto as a (powered) sailplane and in thinking old style computer programming is the error.

Any comments from more experienced folk will be most welcome… Meantime I shall try re-setting the radio.

John

Colin Carpenter30/05/2017 12:21:17
546 forum posts
35 photos

Yes John you have got it ! Sailplane selection doesn't use the throttle for throttle !!!😤 Use ordinary plane if you want the throttle normal. I do for my 1500mm foamie motor glider. Colin

Ronaldo30/05/2017 12:33:42
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226 forum posts
17 photos
Yes needs to be setup as a power model. On my DX9 which likely may be similar to your Dx6, for powered glider it assigns throttle to aux 2 on the rx and linked to the switch or stick of your choice.

Ronaldo
John Bisset30/05/2017 13:57:19
84 forum posts

Thanks Colin, Ronaldo.

I'm not there yet- still getting 'bind failed' in the power mode so I must have something set incorrectly. Grr. Shall persevere. It is so tempting to assume it is a failing of the equipment, but since I can get the system to respond under sailplane setup, though only with all or nothing throttle, clearly it's me.

I have also just got access to a DX9 Ronaldo, so I may try that later. It sounds from what you say as though the DX9 may give me a variable throttle sailplane option.

Oh for the old days of comprehensive manuals which exhaustively stepped through everything. Once I get the feel of the logic used here, hopefully all will be easier.

Regards,

John

Colin Carpenter30/05/2017 14:17:59
546 forum posts
35 photos

DX 9 is no different to your 6 ,John. Colin

John Bisset31/05/2017 14:39:12
84 forum posts

Thanks Colin. I shall carry on trying to get the hang of the DX6 first then. I eventually found that changing 'Throttle' in 'Trim Set Up' screen to '3 -pos digital' allowed the binding to go ahead correctly. That gave me variable throttle on the lefts tick and a safety switch override cur-off too.

So that looks good, though I still don't understand that or what the other options offered really mean. I shall have to go through the set up processes and the various screens item by item, writing down as I go until I fully understand. Meantime, I can fly the beast, hurrah. (Pilots don't have to know what is going on behind the scenes...?) John

John Bisset31/05/2017 23:32:58
84 forum posts

Hmm. Some progress but rather one step forward, two back at times! OK - another question. I thought I'd set up my DX6 so that I had the ability to rapidly change rates for aileron and elevator to half throw. (I have that on my old Futabas - very useful when doing test flying)

I tried what seemed like the correct settings page – on ‘D/R and Expo’, but changing the switch settings – to use switches C & F for elevator and aileron rate change respectively,- and setting /or the ‘dual rate’ values kept causing ‘bind fail’ responses. So, I must be doing something wrong.

Help – anyone know what I should be doing?

John

Trevor Crook01/06/2017 07:40:27
799 forum posts
63 photos

John, I've got a 1st gen DX8 so I'm not sure I can help much. But I'm puzzled by the "bind fail" message. Do you keep trying to re-bind the tx and rx, or does this message appear after you've changed some settings on the tx, with the bind plug removed? It's not a message I recall having seen on my set.

I do have a simple 4 channel electric glider, and have the model type set to Acro for this, to get proportional throttle. I always assign the dual rate functions to the Flight Mode switch to 'tone everything down" if required. I also set the throttle hold switch to give throttle kill, to avoid accidents when carrying a "live" model. I could make notes of how I go through the menus to acheive this, but I don't know if the newer tx's have a different menu structure.

I completely agree with your earlier comment on comprehensive manuals. As things have got more complex, the manuals haven't expanded to suit. Somebody has written a series of books on various Futaba transmitters, I don't know if any exist for other makes.

Colin Carpenter01/06/2017 08:00:24
546 forum posts
35 photos

John. If you keep getting bind fail when making menu changes in the tx you are doing  something very wrong , or the tx is at fault. I have never seen this problem using tens of clubmates tx ! Colin

Edited By Colin Carpenter on 01/06/2017 08:00:47

John Bisset01/06/2017 11:34:03
84 forum posts

Thank you Trevor, and Colin.

Yes, I seem to be getting 'bind fail' messages quite frequently after making some attempted changes to the setup. Interesting that this is so unusual for you two.

Trevor, it is occurring after making changes, when trying to check what the effects of the changes are. When I revert to ‘known configurations, as is well and binding goes as it should. I have carefully checked again what I am doing when binding, with respect to what the manual says – all seems OK there.

I shall also check at my club soon; several folk there run DX series radios. I do hope this is not a transmitter fault Colin – intermittent problems are the very devil to prove! Presumably few of your clubmates will be making alterations to the System Setup at the field, hence not many fails. I am inclined for now to believe it is due to ‘operator error’; in my experience that was the commonest of faults! Plainly the wording and logic of the manual and the programming ‘does not compute’ for me ! Mind you, I do go back to the days of analogue computers…

Thank you for the comment about ‘Flight Mode’ switch Trevor. That is something I have not got my head properly around yet; what exactly is ‘Flight Mode’ and how do I set it.? The old Futaba FP 6 series has two switches just above the sticks which give half rate on elevator and aileron respectively. Very handy, and that is what I am trying to set up on the DX6. And failing, so far.

(‘Flight Mode’ sounds to me a bit like the very grand sounding ‘Ground –Flight’ switch in old British aircraft – a large and impressive bakelite contraption, usually mounted prominently on the panel. It looked worryingly important, but in fact was simply an electrical isolation switch to protect sensitive electrics during start up!)

Another try. My Flight Mode was inhibited – I reset it to Switch C, which told me ‘Enabled Flight Mode 2’, whatever that means, and then showed ‘MODE 1 FLIGHT MODE 1’ at the bottom of the screen. I tried to bind after that -got a ‘bind fail’, so I reset to inhibit in Flight Mode. All well again, system still happy to bind with the previous config’n. So plainly there is something else I need to do when tinkering with ‘Flight Mode’.

Honestly, if this model wasn’t a V tail I’d just drop back to my old Futaba and go fly. Part of the reason I bought the wee beastie was to see how they had modelled the elevator/rudder mixing box. Most disappointed to find they hadn’t.

John

Mr.B.01/06/2017 12:15:41
avatar
412 forum posts
26 photos

John,

In my experience (DX8, DX9 and G1 DX6 owner) the most common cause of "bind failed" is holding the Tx to close the Rx when binding. Hold them at arms length and it works. Could it be you are confusing this effect with your other actions?

Also, why are you continually trying to re bind? Bind it and make any changes to the Tx programming, it should not drop bind.

Flight modes allow you to set several function to one switch. If you have not programmed anything to this switch you will get the audio report when you toggle it will have no effect.

Dual rates are indeed set under dual rates and expo. Select the switch you want to use and set the rate and expo you want for each position.

Hope this helps

Trevor Crook01/06/2017 12:17:37
799 forum posts
63 photos

John, if I understand what you are saying correctly, you keep trying to re-bind the tx and rx. Once you have followed the bind procedure for a given tx-rx pair, you shouldn't need to repeat it. Go through the procedure to acheive a successful bind, then power down the rx and remove the bind plug. Power it up again, then it should all work, and you should be able to make any changes to the model you have set up.

As I said, I have never seen a Bind Fail message, but I would only expect it to appear during the bind process, which you should only need to do once. Sometimes binding can be unsuccessful if the tx and rx are too close together, make sure they are at least 1m apart when binding.

Both clubs I am in have plenty of Spektrum users, more than 50%, so if your club is the same you should find plenty of help.

John Bisset01/06/2017 15:40:19
84 forum posts

Trevor and Mr B. Thank you. That confirms things - I was over complicating things with the 'binding'. Silly- I realise I was thinking in terms of the receiver getting updated instruction from the Tx as used to happen in some old style drone aircraft (the full size ones, not models). Of course, it makes sense that, just as with the elevator/rudder mixing. All the fancy work is done at the Tx end. Clot. Essentially 'binding' is just like swapping crystals in the old set ups.

Also your comments about being too close are most useful. That might well explain what seemed to be random 'bind fails'. Shall stand back further.

I am most grateful for your help. Grr - this really is 'old dog new tricks'. Most annoyed with myself that ingrained habits and assumptions are proving harder to set aside than I'd thought ! Onwards. It all works now, so time to go fly.

John Lee01/06/2017 16:08:54
616 forum posts
46 photos

John, that's good.

However - & there is always a 'however'! - binding sets the failsafe conditions so you should rebind at the end of a set up if you make significant changes, particularly to the throttle channel. e.g. Reversing the throttle channel & then failing to rebind would trigger full throttle in the event of a signal loss.

Mr.B.01/06/2017 16:33:14
avatar
412 forum posts
26 photos

Yes, I was about to add that the only information saved on the RX is the fail safe positions (assuming it is not an AS3X gyro stabilized Rx). The controls will fail safe to the position at binding so if you subsequently find you have to revers the throttle things could get exiting. Not a clot, just something you didn't know that you now do.

"Stand well back" could be my motto.

Glad to hear you got it sorted. To the sky!

Trevor Crook01/06/2017 17:22:08
799 forum posts
63 photos

John, you are not a clot, things are a bit different with 2.4 sets, there's just a bit of a learning curve. That's where this forum and being in a club can help.

Fair point made about re-binding to set the failsafe - I didn't mention this in my previous post to avoid confusing you further. Of course, you can check the failsafe is set to close the throttle by switching off the tx with the rx still powered up - remove the prop during all setting up to be safe. If the failsafe is already set correctly, no need for another re-bind.

Happy flying!

John Bisset01/06/2017 18:58:46
84 forum posts

Thanks both. Yes, the failsafe of low throttle setting plus use of a Tx switch to inhibit is working. Having dealt with quite a few hand start - 'Armstrong Starter' aircraft over the years I am very wary of propellers of all sorts. Which hasn't prevented me being 'bitten' or perhaps nibbled by both model props and the fullsize, fortunately both firing at low power settings.

Peter Miller24/06/2017 11:04:50
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9857 forum posts
1157 photos
10 articles

In a fit of total insanity I recently bought the ST Models Salto. I carefully set it up as per the instructions on my Hitex Aurora 9 radio.

When it came to flying the model was almost uncontrollable.

After a very sweaty afternoon (Well it was 32F) I reduced all the throws by 50% and then set the low rates at 58% of the high rates.

After that the model became very nice indeed.

Question. Has anyone else found that the throws in the instructions are way too high?

Edited By Peter Miller on 24/06/2017 11:07:31

John Bisset24/06/2017 13:21:26
84 forum posts

Hi Peter,

I have been flying the ST Salto using a Spektrum DX6 with the throws as recommended by ST. It is very maneouvrable like that - I like to use my thumb and forefinger on the stick and fairly gentle movements. Take-off and climb is OK on full throw.

I did set up my transmitter so that I could switch in half rate for elevator and aileron. The aileron half setting is fine for smooth easy rolling maneouvres and balances well with rudder. Using the half elevator setting works fine for gentle flying but I find it better to take it out for landing, to give me more elevator authority. That said, my approaches are apt to PIO a bit because of the sensitivity.

The Salto tends to mush a bit at the stall, so approaches on the slow side don't work too well. I haven't got the hang of that yet - like the real thing she also glides well, so my approaches are on the shallow side. Hanging the motor out, but not running, adds drag - just like the real thing ! - which helps. Airbrakes would be nice; maybe when I get clever with the machine I could split the ailerons four ways for some crow braking!

I hope that helps.

John

Peter Miller24/06/2017 14:17:31
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9857 forum posts
1157 photos
10 articles

Hi JOhn

I do use thumbs on top of the sticks which is somewhat more sensitive but I was fightening myself silly at times.

Once adjusted to my levels the model flew like a dream. I wonder how many people have totalled their model before adjusting the throws.

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