John, sorry for all the mess and confusion. I really just want to get you flying safely and I understand the budget constraints.
Please, just use a common sense check and make sure your setup works as intended on the ground with the props off once you build it. In other words, follow the standard build instructions, calibrate the ESCs and everything per the directions and then do a radio check. Arm the quad, spin up the motors (with no props) and turn off the transmitter and see what happens. I personally wouldn't fly it without doing this test.
I know I'm a pain, but I honestly would like to see you have great success on the first flights out and not have a crash due to something dumb like a crappy receiver.
That was a random flyaway, there's no telling what caused that. It's pure speculation to blame the receiver.
I'm not saying that wasn't the cause, but it could have just as easily been the ESC or APM.
I've used the 9X transmitter plenty with no problems. Millions of the transmitters have been sold under a handful of brand names. I haven't seen very many complaints online for how popular they are.
Believe me they wouldn't be selling like hotcakes and constantly out of stock if they weren't being used. People would be screaming like bloody murder all over the internet if the problem you mention was anything more than a 1 in 1000 hardware problem.
Production errors do occur, there's really nothing you can do about it. The soldering on my 9X is better than my 3DR radio or APM2, so it's not a poorly made product.
So I stick by my recommendation. Lot's of people far more experienced than me also recommend the unit.
So you have three of them that you've been flying for years with no problems, then you borrow one to a noob and he has a problem that was possibly caused by some sort of TX/RX problem... so now you think 9X's are crap?
I think your expectations are unreasonable.
I'm going down the exact same path.
I've used a Turnigy 9x for about 6 months. I believe it's just a rebadged version of the FrSky. Very early on, I reflashed with ER9X firmware because the stock firmware sucks. Very happy with the ER9X version.
Never had problems with the standard Tx/Rx, but I have the aerial on the quad hanging down in the clear and I don't fly that far away anyway (no FPV ... yet). However, after reading of that unfortunate flyaway, and looking at how my $$ investment in the quad is going northwards, thought I'd better sort out Failsafe.
Have just received one of the DHT internal Tx modules. I also got the DR8-SP Receiver because I'm interested in the Telemetry side and it was only a few dollars more - for example, onboard battery voltage. There is a version of firmware for the 9X that can display Telemetry on screen, although haven't looked too closely at that yet.
There's a good video on the Tx conversion using the internal FrSky DHT module Here
One minor thing - there are 2 types of FrSky Rx modules - 1-way and 2-way. If you are using the 9x on multiple models either make sure all Rx modules are the same type, or you have to throw a switch attached to the FrSky Tx to talk to one or the other. I'd recommend those with model no. starting with D which are all 2-way.
One other thing I also got was an LCD Backlight for the 9x screen.
I've never read anything from anyone claiming to have had this freezing problem. I'd be really surprised if it's never happened to anyone given the number of units out there. But the same goes for any popular transmitter.
The one case I've seen is the "flyaway quad" issue referenced and that poster had no idea what actually happened. Note that nobody here is claiming that it actually happened to them personally, just speculating.
Maybe it is a problem. If so the warnings should be backed up with evidence.
Jake, this is what I've been trying to get at. Prove to yourself this test. (I would but it's not like I'm going to go out and by a 9x when I have a DX8 and DX6i).
Take your quad with no props, arm it, spin it up to half throttle and turn off the transmitter. There is no danger if the props are off. According to what we've seen, a stock receiver you claim to be using will continue to output the same signal, thus the quad should sit there motors spinning.
Need more documented proof ?
have a Sky Surfer and a PZ Radian, Glider, a Turnigy 9x, 500mw 5.8mhz video TM/REC, Fatshark stock goggles and can't get the range out of my turnigy to fly every far, I have lost it after doing a range test and did not go as far as my test? I think I just need a better radio and go from there? I have lost two sky surfers in one week, they just fly away!? I found one but it was messed up bad but what can I say? I'm trying and running out of money fast! I'm on 2.4mhz with my Turnigy 9x
Yet another thread of a 9X with a different APM, and again, the pointers at teh radio receiver failsafe not working. http://www.rcgroups.com/forums/showthread.php?t=1628068&page=18
Who's fault it is?
I say it's DJI's! Because their product didn't do what it was supposed to!
They says it's mine! Because my radio didn't have a fail safe!
So was it my fault? My Turnigy 9X that didn't have fail safe? What would a transmitter fail safe have done to avoid this if the wookong fail safe itself was already activated and DID NOT WORK!!!!?
Please, do the test and prove to yourself it either works or doesn't.
I have done some tests with the 9x.
With USB connection only (no LiPo) looking at the Radio Setup screen in MP, I pushed the throttle up and saw the bar move up. Then I turned the Tx off and ... no change at all. Tried it with other controls and the same result. When radio contact is lost, the current settings are held. So, if you're climbing at the time, goodbye!
Then I tried another test. Throttle up again and disconnected the Throttle lead from the Rx to APM. To my surprise, the result was exactly the same - the throttle setting in MP did not change! So, got the trusty CRO out and scoped up the throttle signal. When the Tx is turned off the throttle signal disappears from the output of the Rx.
So the freezing appears to be the reaction of the APM to loss of signal - it's nothing to do with the Rx. I can only assume that failsafe types of Rx, on loss of signal, present the failsafe signals on the outputs instead.
I can understand why the APM holds the last known settings - you don't want every small glitch in reception getting through. However, it appears there is no timeout and so it holds the settings all the way to the scene of the accident!
Mind you, the same thing will happen with a failsafe system if the Rx loses power.
So, perhaps the better solution lies in a change to the APM code.
Ok, so hang on a minute...
You're telling me that the fly-away of my 2-day old quad was NOT due
to the 9x I was using but rather an issue with the APM? Everyone
busted my chops for flying with a 9x which doesn't have any failsafes
and told me to drop some loot on a much better system w/ failsafes -
even though folks have been using that 9x for years w/out issue, including the buddy I borrowed mine from. Granted I may not have tested properly, but if what you're saying is correct it wasn't even a function of the remote and failsafes would have done no good anyway.
Let's also add a point that my flyaway, after being high enough to barely see and escaping the multi-mile square park I was in, DID appear to cross paths with an airliner. Now, I don't live in CO, but this sounds eerily similar to my experience.
So I lost a 600$ quad because of the APM hardware? Not cool, at all. Now I have to rebuy and rebuild everything from scratch - a money maker for 3DR I'm sure, but when does profit overrun safety, and how many near collisions from flyaways do we need to have hit the news before something is done to not only improve the safety but sufficiently alert customers to the safety/failsafe mechanisms that exist?
Now that I'm building another quad, how safe do I feel in learning to fly it without the fear of a repeat incident? Maybe spending $10k on a mikrokopter for my photo/video endeavors isn't such a bad purchase after all...
Woah, hang on there!
If what Dave just said is accurate, then the APM code he was using at the time is dangerously bad and this needs changing ASAP.
Loss of a valid PPM signal for > 0.5sec (maybe less) is a situation where the failsafe must cut in, no matter what - if the RX loses power or the PPM wires become disconnected the APM should be shutting that flight down.
- It's not like we're in a vibration-free environment, so both of these could easily occur.
It's a V2. I'm using stock firmware at the moment. I'll probably flash er9x when I get some free time.
I've been looking into the issue and some are having it while others say the throttle drops and the other channels hold last input. I'll try to do some testing before I flash the firmware.
I wouldn't call the APM soldering "bad"... It's not the best but it's not any worse than most IPC class 1 boards.
I think the geofencing is working now. So set that up.
The APM code needs some work apparently. I'm barely past ground testing and there seem to be a handful of issues popping up already.
As cool as the APM is there is still a lot of work to be done before it's ready for non-developers IMHO.