RDS8000 Low Voltage Questions

There seems to be some worry about receiver resetting if the voltage goes low or “browns” out.

There’s lots of discussion on this due to some problems with some early 2.4GHz systems from our competitors… It seems they’ve addressed it and the problem is long-gone on any new systems.

Anyway, the big question is: How does Airtronics RDS8000 operate?

 1. The receiver is actually made to work down to under 2 volts. At 2 volts the servos do not work. So, LONG BEFORE the receiver computer would give out and have to “reset” in a “brown-out” situation, the servos will cease to work and you would probably crash anyway. I know that’s harsh, but regardless of system, brand, band, etc. if electronics run out of voltage completely they stop working.

2. If for some reason the radio turned off and back on in the air or did brown out (maybe due to a bad servo or wiring?) the receiver resets in less than half a second typically. It’s quick enough that it’s hardly felt.

 I saw a video of somebody showing one of our competition’s receiver resetting when he turned the receiver battery off and back on. He said that this was quick and faster or as fast as anything on the market.

Our resets just as fast as what this guy showed in his video. So, I’m inclined to think ours resets about as fast as anything else.

 Bottom Line: Low voltage should not be a problem, reset time is at or above the industry standard, our receiver works down to a rediculously low voltage anyway, and in all of our testing thus far, we can’t get the receiver to fail and reset unless we turn the power off completely.

Suggestion: Make sure your receiver and transmitter battery packs are in good shape and you will not have a problem from low-voltage.

 -Mike

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7 Responses to “RDS8000 Low Voltage Questions”

  1. Johnny (Cap10b) Says:

    Mike,
    This blog is great. You know all my friends are JR and Futaba and they have been nagging, begging, and ridiculing me to change brands. But I like my Stylus and continue to be amazed at the programming ease and the sophistication of the software. But I was really worried when I heard Airtronics was sold. I thought “There goes the Brand” But you have literally saved the day. I have never seen so much positive feed back from the corporate office as you have published. It makes my heart sing to see all the new products being offered and the price reduction in some cases. Also I recently overhauled some servos that previously were told parts were not available any more and I bought them straight off the web sight. You have restored my faith in Airtronics

    This is going to be a great year ! 2008 will be great !

    Johnny

  2. mikegoesflying Says:

    Wow, awesome comments. Thanks!!!

    A few things…
    1. Airtronics didn’t actually sell. It’s always been owned by Sanwa in Japan. They simply changed the style of distribution much like Futaba did so many years ago. In fact this change really marks a new committment from their management in Japan.

    2. We are actually the “agent” for Sanwa which means we get to act like a customer instead of an employee. This makes us work harder because we take on more responsibility, but it makes Sanwa work harder too because they now have to please us. We don’t have to blindly accept anything.

    3. The people who made that original Stylus you like so well are the same engineers, all these years later who will work on the 10 and the 14 channel radios. They enjoy what they do and now that they’re in a position to design new airplane radios, they’re pretty happy about it. Happy engineers means better product.

    And they will be making a 2.4GHz module for you later this year for that Stylus.

    4. I’m glad you are experiencing good service with us. That warms my heart as much as anything anyone has ever said here. The reason we exist is to serve our customers and in the last year, we’ve put a lot of work into service. Certainly we are not perfect, but we strive to be better every day. It’s been about 6 months since we completely overhauled our customer service department and brought in Airtronics. That’s a lot to do in a very short time…

    Johnny, thanks for the great comments. It has truly made my day. I too think 2008 is going to be a great year and for Airtronics, it will be fantastic!

    So tell your friends to knock it off and ask them when was the last time they directly messaged the Product Manager of their brand?!!!!

    Airtronics Rocks! Thanks for the continued support!

    Mike

  3. Ed Anderson ( AEAJR) Says:

    In referece to your statement about max number of 2.4 GHz radios on at one time as being about 36 +/-, was that a result of an actual test that was run? If so, can you share how the test was conducted?

    XPS claimes they can have over 100 on.

    Futaba, to the best of my knowledge has not posted a limit.

    You say Spektrum is 39 based on their documentation. Although It seems it should be 40, not 39.

    So, why would your estimate of a mixed environment be around 36?

    I am not saying you are wrong, just trying to understand. This has been a topic of great debate and I don’t know of anyone who has actually tested it.

    Thanks

  4. mikegoesflying Says:

    OK< let’s start here… I’m not saying I’m 100% right. What I’m saying is that in my experience when actually turning on a combination of the different technologies, I found that they all worked smoothly when kept below about 36 or so…

    Here’s the process behind what I said…

    The band is pretty big, each company divies up the band differently.
    So Spektrum says on their website that they cut it into about 79-80 frequencies and uses two. As you said, xps is essentially cutting it up into 100 and using 1 (although how it uses it is totally different than how Spektrum does, you should refer to their website for technical specs and information. Obviously each company individually is the best source for their technical info and their take on these subjects…)

    Frequency Hopping like Futaba and Airtronics is cutting it up a little differently and then bouncing between them.

    And remember, to be practical, they all have to be able to play together and not cause any other brands to “lock out”. There are now 5-6 different technologies that could be in use at the same time at some events, and they are all using the band differently.

    Our empirical test was based on having other brands of FHSS running at the same time ours was. We also had the Airtronics car DSSS system in use (which is much like Spektrum’s airplane radio, only they use 1 frequency at a time).

    Also, others in the industry who work pretty closely with some of our competitors had told me privately that their systems when used in a similar “combined” environment was seeing that anywhere from 28 to 36 radios was about all that could be used without the systems starting to slow down, get delays, have the DSM/DSSS stuff not be able to turn on, etc…

    Forget theory, I personally wanted to see what happened to our system as well as the others I had available to me when you started turning them all on at the same time.

    We tried several combinations all with about the same result…
    Once you started mixing significant amounts of each type of technology, the radios started slowing.

    In each case, when we go to about 38 total radios on, when you tried to turn on more of the the DSM/DSSS stuff they would not find an open frequency.

    With all of the transmitters right on top of each other and the receiver and the tx on opposite sides of the big collection of transmitters, the FHSS receiver would slow down enough to feel it. It didn’t glitch or go crazy, it just stopped moving smoothly because the information was not getting there complete and often enough to keep things working smoothly.

    If you took the transmitter and receiver away from the stack of radios, the radio began working smoothly again. Indeed I was trying to use this in a worst-case-scenario.

    So, my result that is realy more anectdotal than scientific or official, seems to agree with what I’ve been told about the saturation point.

    My “estimate” was not based on theory but instead by simply turning on a bunch of the radios to see if I’d feel comfortable flying with ANY of the brands after 40 of a combination different technologies were in use at the same time. The result was that frankly speaking, I personally would NOT be comfortable with that.

    Yes, different combinations, proximity, etc., will provide a different result. My point is better SAFE than SORRY. Why not just put a reasonable limit of about 30-36 radios on at one time. You’ll never have them step on each other, you’re never pushing the technology, and it seems like a really easy way to have peace of mind while ensuring no one is stepping on each other. All the brands should play well together this way…

    And when I’m flying a 10,000 dollar airplane, peace of mind is a good thing.

    I’ve repeated this test with different combinations of radios now including a TON of RDS8000’s turned on at the same time with the others. The result is pretty much the same. 30 of anything on had NO perceivable different in performance.

    Start turning on 40 or more of any combination and they either don’t work at all like the DSM/DSSS stuff or they start slowing down/delayed response.

    Final Note: I am NOT the end-all-be-all god of 2.4GHz. I am simply sharing my practical world experience.

    If other people gather up 50-100 radios as I have done, start using them in different combinations, and show that 100 on at a time is no big deal, then I’ll be proven wrong and good for them. I’m ALL for expanding our knowledge of the practical use of this technology.

    We’ll see if anyone actually does this in REAL LIFE and not just in some theory that’s never really tested…

  5. Skip Dorman Says:

    Hey Mike, Does the RDS 8000 have “servo sync” and “model Match”?? Of ccourse I realize these are Spectrum Terms but does the RDS have the Airtronics version? Thanks Skip D

  6. mikegoesflying Says:

    The RDS8000 does not have those features.

  7. mikegoesflying Says:

    Just to followup, we continue to test for saturation and find that generally the number still stands at about 40 when all different types of 2.4GHz systems are in use.

    We continue to recommend that some “total” limit of radios in use at one time might want to be considered at major events.

    Mike

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