Spektrum AR500 problems

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Spektrum AR500 problems

Postby RCModelReviews » Tue May 04, 2010 5:20 am

Who's had problems with Spektrum's AR500 receiver?

Give us some details and any insight you might have into the problems or their effects.

Is this just "bad luck" on the part of a few modelers or is there a deeper design or quality control problem happening here?
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Re: Spektrum AR500 problems

Postby wldingrod » Tue May 04, 2010 6:54 am

I have not had any problems with mine,I have a tx and rx that you can use for testing if you want,bruce
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Re: Spektrum AR500 problems

Postby RCModelReviews » Tue May 04, 2010 6:56 am

Thanks, I might take you up on that if the problems overseas persist.
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Re: Spektrum AR500 problems

Postby Bane » Tue May 04, 2010 8:09 am

I've been in the hobby for about year and a half now, and this AR500 came with my first radio Spektrum DX5e . I had it in two different models, and had some 40 flights with both of them. I had four really strange losses of control while model was in the air and on relatively short distance to the model. It seemed like it totally looses connection with the radio and model just starts falling down like a leaf. Twice it did fall down, first time it was Multiplex Minimag, so no big damage. I've blamed it on my own inexperience. The second time it was in different model, and it was coming towards me. At some 50m from me it just lost control and strayed hard to it's right, fell like a leaf, very near couple of friends. Not a nice feeling at all!
When I walked to it and picked up the model, all seemed to work properly. Again, there was very little damage as it is a 700g electric balsa model.

Early this year I replaced the radio with Spektrum DX7 and so far (some 15 flights) I haven't seen a single glitch with the same model, same setup and same AR500 in it.

Anyhow, the twice it happened model was relatively high so I had time to react and I really had a feeling I have no control over it.
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Re: Spektrum AR500 problems

Postby Fly2High » Tue May 04, 2010 3:54 pm

I heard that the AR6250 that so many of the discus launch guys are having issues with is similar to the AR500 (in RC groups hand launch forum)

Can the AR6250 also be tested?

Should a separate thread be opened for the AR6250?

Frank
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Re: Spektrum AR500 problems

Postby RCModelReviews » Tue May 04, 2010 8:29 pm

Spektrum seem to be blaming the issues on an early batch of receivers that must have slipped past QC -- does that sound reasonable?

It strikes me that this situation is just as bad as Futaba's zero-GUID, in fact a whole lot worse because if people are using these faulty receivers then there is a very, very high chance of losing a model.

What should Horizon be doing to mitigate this situation?

Offering all AR500 users a free replacement (including postage)?

Given how much money they must have made in recent times and the scale of the problem, I personally think that this would be the only sensible way to handle the issue.

Yes/no?
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Re: Spektrum AR500 problems

Postby Fly2High » Thu May 06, 2010 12:05 pm

Then why has so many discus launch glider pilots with the AR6250 had so many problems also? As far as I know it is the same as the AR500 except it is 6 channel and 2 long antennas. I think internally, they are identical.
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Re: Spektrum AR500 problems

Postby flying-things » Thu May 06, 2010 10:28 pm

This isn't reasonable at all in my opinion. It is not a "small batch of rx's that slipped past quality control" there are hundreds of crash reports, involving hundreds of people, rx's, setups, airplanes, etc.
I think horizon should try to find the source of the problem first. It may be a firmware problem, so under rare circumstances the rx fails, or it could simply be poor QC. However, if these are made in the same factory as the other "reliable rx's" why should there be a difference in QC?
My suggestion would be for people to only use the ar500 in cheap sport models. The problem isn't range- it is unexplained loss of signal. WE should all open up the rx when we buy it, check everything is sound, and also range check, check that the failsafe works, and also check the quick connect. For now, I think that is all we can do.
RCModelReviews wrote:Spektrum seem to be blaming the issues on an early batch of receivers that must have slipped past QC -- does that sound reasonable?

It strikes me that this situation is just as bad as Futaba's zero-GUID, in fact a whole lot worse because if people are using these faulty receivers then there is a very, very high chance of losing a model.

What should Horizon be doing to mitigate this situation?

Offering all AR500 users a free replacement (including postage)?

Given how much money they must have made in recent times and the scale of the problem, I personally think that this would be the only sensible way to handle the issue.

Yes/no?
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Re: Spektrum AR500 problems

Postby Philby » Fri May 07, 2010 12:38 am

Here in the UK it is known that there was a problem with the Quick connect on this Rx taking up to 2-6 seconds or more to reconnect when the voltage dropped below I think 3.5 volts. This was well discussed on the RCM&E magazine website forum and is where I found out about this potential problem. The problem was "fixed" by sending the Rx back to Horizon Hobbies (UK) and having the firmware flashed to a later version. This supposedly only affected earlier production versions, I have 3 AR500's and one I had to send back for this remedy fix. A friend purchased a new AR500 last week and after testing was found to still have this Q.C. problem so they are still out there! Should anyone wish to know how to carry out this test, it is to turn the radio on let it settle into its boot-up routine then turn the Rx power off then back on and you should have regained control back almost immediately [0-1 second max.] ( the orange light will flash to let you know there was a problem with the voltage supply) if it takes a couple of seconds or more then suspect the firmware could be an older version;. I fly 2 of these Rx's in EDF jets and one in a 30EP sized Extra 260 And so far have had no problems.
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Re: Spektrum AR500 problems

Postby Fly2High » Fri May 07, 2010 5:05 pm

Question:

Do the AR500 and the AR6250 draw more current when first powered up?

If you have a brownout and are moving fast or fall form the sky or whatever, is it possible that the servos will be heavily loaded requiring a higher current draw sustaining the brownout or failing to allow it to reconnect?

I do not think I am describing the situation but I hope I got the jist across that is it possible that during recovery from a brownout, there is a reason for a higher current draw and that keeps the receiver from actuating the servos?
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