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saabguyspg

Calling all DX7 users......

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Mr Pibb, I've been lurking around here for a few months just learning. I can't help think it might be simpler to use a second radio. Toddsmodels is advertising the nearly released DX6i for $180 USD - couldn't you run the headtracker through one of those, with an additional Rx onboard? Still cheaper than the module, and you get a second functional radio set in the deal. I am assuming of course that having two Spektrums running nearby will work ok, but isn't that exactly what Spektrum is meant to be good at? This way you also get to keep the supposed native DX7 DSM2 responsiveness, instead of introducing the lags of DX7 to PPM, followed by PPM to DSM2 conversions. I guess dragging two Tx around isn't all that elegant, but then it sounds like you will have a fair collection of cables and boxes and tripods as it is. What do you think?

Andrew123,

I considered that option already, but a few things lead me to the configuration with the external module.

Using a second radio means that there needs to be a second receiver on the plane and additional wiring to support it. Also, that receiver should at least be an AR7000 since I may do some "long range" flights and the smaller receivers won't have the range I'm looking for. AR6000's don't like the strong 900MHz video signals (trust me, I know this from experience!) and AR6100's only have a single (dipole) antenna and I've seen firsthand that their range isn't even close to the AR7000's.

In addition to not needing an extra receiver on the plane, if I want to do long range flights with the module I can change out the antenna on the module TX to a patch antenna that will have significantly better gain in one direction. I've gone 1.2 miles with the stock antennas (with scary results!). A good patch antenna could increase that range to over 5 miles easily.

On the same note, I also wanted to get an AR9000 receiver so I could set up failsafes for all channels so when I DO go long range and if I have reception problems I don't have to go through the scare I went through on my 1.2 mile trip. I nearly lost the Telemaster because the AR7000's failsafe is to hold the last known position of each control surface with throttle off instead of reverting to a preset failsafe position.

So, anyway, I did consider what you mentioned but decided to go this route for quite a few reasons.

Here's why I want a reliable longer range solution:

http://video.google.com/videoplay?docid=-5...77705&hl=en

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Mr Pibb, long time no see.... so how is your project coming?

You made an intersting point about the single antenna on the AR6000. I am using the AR7000 on my stryker for FPV (maiden flight today) and I wonder if the Futaba 2.4 system with the single antena would have the same interferance issues as the Spektrum?

I was planning on buying a Futaba 2.4 system so that I could head track with it but if the range is going to be affected by the 900mz video... then I would love to know!!!!

Good luck with your project and let me know how you go.

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so do we have any progress? did you buy the module mr Pibb???

I was thinking that this is a really great solution because you can append the extra two channels onto the end of the stream and have a 9 channel transmitter!! or had you thought of that already?

Anyway i am back looking at this or selling my dx7 to buy a futaba 10 channel 2.4......

I wonder what power the module requires? The other benefit is the ability to put your own patch ant. on the module and get huge range!

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so do we have any progress? did you buy the module mr Pibb???

I was thinking that this is a really great solution because you can append the extra two channels onto the end of the stream and have a 9 channel transmitter!! or had you thought of that already?

Anyway i am back looking at this or selling my dx7 to buy a futaba 10 channel 2.4......

I wonder what power the module requires? The other benefit is the ability to put your own patch ant. on the module and get huge range!

ALMOST there ;)

I did buy the module. While I'm waiting for the TrackR2 to be available, I wound up buying something else that will make things even easier to set up. I found a used JR 8103 that takes modules. :D I got it for around $100 including a case and a decent NiMH/NiCad charger.

Here's why it makes things easier:

First, the Spektrum module plugs right in to it so I don't have to worry about how to power it.

Second, using the TrackR2 I'll be able to go straight from the DX7 (slave) , to the TrackR2, then to the 8103 (Master) with the Spektrum module. I can still add external antennas if I want to.

Third, I've now got a second radio (that's actually more programmable than the DX7) that will help me get my son trained.

Here's something else I found out just fooling around with things: any JR radio will work as a slave and you can use your DX7 as a master if you want. You don't really need to buy a module if you don't want to. Just get a decent used programmable JR radio (72MHz stuff is getting cheap!), and you can use it as the slave radio and you're all set.

Anyway, I've been using the 8103 for FPV flying for now because it has two proportional dials that I can use and the pan/tilt channels for now.

Supposedly the TrackR2 will be available in a couple weeks. I'll be one of the first in line for the purchase when it is!

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cool thanks for the info! and the quick response... I am still unsure of my path, right now it's a wash if I sell my dx7 and buy the futaba 10c it will be the same cost wise as buying a module... but the futaba receiver(s) are more expensive...... though they are all full range... oh boy.

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Could you fellas make use of the below items for channel expansion??

8 additional Propo channels could be added as well...

http://www.harbormodels.com/Harbormain/Tem...m20-radios2.htm (Halfway way down the page).

Expansion Modules for F-14 Navy Radio

Multi-Switch 16 Module

This module expands one proportional transmitter channel into 16 switched functions. It features five 3-position switches, 2 on/off switches/momentary switches, and a 2-position momentary switch.

Multi-Switch 16 Decoder Memory

For each Multi-Switch module, one decoder is required at the receiver end. The decoder only occupies one servo channel, but provides direct control of 16 switched channels. Operating voltage 4.8-24V, up to 1.8A per output. It features memory function which can be switched off if preferred. All channels assigned to one physical switch can be switched on simultaneously. This decoder can also process the switched functions of the 8-channel switch module; in this case only 8 channels can be controlled. The output stage is short-circuit, reverse polarity and overheating protected. Cables are not supplied and need to be purchased separately as required.

Edited by W3FJW-Ron

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Well the only little drawback is that the TX-side part is made only for that oldie F-14 TX, so I guess quite a bit of hacking would be needed.

In nowadays' range there's a "8 proportional channel from one" module, but only for the 14mz. You can use 2 simultaneously, so you can get up to 26 proportional channels with the thing if you want :)

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cool thanks for the info! and the quick response... I am still unsure of my path, right now it's a wash if I sell my dx7 and buy the futaba 10c it will be the same cost wise as buying a module... but the futaba receiver(s) are more expensive...... though they are all full range... oh boy.

You could get a JR 6102 for just over $50 on e-bay. Maybe cheaper other places (RC groups classifieds?)

http://cgi.ebay.com/BRAND-NEW-JR-6102-COMP...1QQcmdZViewItem

IMHO that would be a cheap way to get head tracking working with Spektrum. Use the 6102 as a slave, DX7 as a master.

I haven't tried it yet, but you may be able to get the DX7 to transmit more than 7 channels when doing this. I need to hook up my AR9000 and give that a try.

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Hi guys, I am very excited to have a new plan for the DX7 people to head track.

I am going to put this idea out there and maybe someone wants to develope it with me. The theory is to solder one wire from each poteniometer in the TX and one to ground inside the tx. permenantly run these to a plug on the side of the TX. Now set the TX to accept all signals via the trainer port.

Next I have an Arduino board on the way which I will program to accept the four analog signals (resolution on the arduino is 1024) convert them into PPM signal and output to the trainer port.

Along the way you can append the signal with your head tracker OR easily add a digital input from an accelerometer, gyro, etc to the board for head tracking and have the Arduino add this to the PPM. This also leaves the possiblity that you can add one more channel of proportional control to display your OSD in different fasions.

one more thing, you may also be able to add more than the standard 7 channels to the stream and have them transmitted because I think the dx7 just forewards the whole ppm stream... so now you add some switches or prop. channels and a ar9000 reciever and you are really in buisness!!!

I am not the best C programmer so if anyone is fluent please give me a shout. If this works it could easily be built into a little box that sits in your TX and all one would have to do is an easy 5 wire solder job inside the tx... oh plus one wire for power ( it would not take much power at all you would never notice a difference)

Feed back?

Well the only little drawback is that the TX-side part is made only for that oldie F-14 TX, so I guess quite a bit of hacking would be needed.

In nowadays' range there's a "8 proportional channel from one" module, but only for the 14mz. You can use 2 simultaneously, so you can get up to 26 proportional channels with the thing if you want :)

Edited by saabguyspg

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Hi guys, I am very excited to have a new plan for the DX7 people to head track.

I am going to put this idea out there and maybe someone wants to develope it with me. The theory is to solder one wire from each poteniometer in the TX and one to ground inside the tx. permenantly run these to a plug on the side of the TX. Now set the TX to accept all signals via the trainer port.

Next I have an Arduino board on the way which I will program to accept the four analog signals (resolution on the arduino is 1024) convert them into PPM signal and output to the trainer port.

Along the way you can append the signal with your head tracker OR easily add a digital input from an accelerometer, gyro, etc to the board for head tracking and have the Arduino add this to the PPM. This also leaves the possiblity that you can add one more channel of proportional control to display your OSD in different fasions.

one more thing, you may also be able to add more than the standard 7 channels to the stream and have them transmitted because I think the... so now you add some switches or prop. channels and a ar9000 reciever and you are really in buisness!!!

I am not the best C programmer so if anyone is fluent please give me a shout. If this works it could easily be built into a little box that sits in your TX and all one would have to do is an easy 5 wire solder job inside the tx... oh plus one wire for power ( it would not take much power at all you would never notice a difference)

Feed back?

That's actually pretty clever........the more I think of it it's pretty darn freaking clever!

The only downside is that we're still missing the the mixing functions of the TX. It's really a downside for me because I have some elevon planes and headtracking is out of the question with any Spektrum radio without severe hacking (and reduction in features).

Spektrum should wise up and get user selectable trainer channels.

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Thank you!

I am with you about the mixing. I think if you set the DX7 to normal trainer mode and hit the trainer switch according to the manual "both the master and trainer must have the same mixes" so assuming the worst case scenario is that the DX7 does not mix any of the incoming signals before sending I think the signals could easily be mixed in the code before being converted to PPM. I don't see this as an issue exept for the fact that the arduino would have to be re-programmed for each plane.

The Arduino does however have eeprom memeory and you can hook up a small lcd to the arduino to ask for input such as mix for elevons, or even expo rates. or even pre program set model names. I don't forsee this to be an issue with a good C programmer.... there is where I lack... I am just learning C and it will take me forever compared to someone who is good a "c"

Thanks for the comment... if you have any more keep em coming.

Spektrum should wise up and get user selectable trainer channels.

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So basically you'd be designing a new radio... seems a bit complicated to me, not much point having a DX7 in the first place if all you're gonna use from it are the gimbals ;)

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>Spektrum should wise up and get user selectable trainer channels.

why do customers purchase spectrum with out having read the users manual before ?

if people did not purchase, and informed them why, it would have been fixed in a day !

I purchased a Multiplex Royal Evo9 due to the freedom to assign ANY function to any servo channel,

and this also apply to trainer input,

you can imagine series coubling 3 of them, so you can have 3 persons controlling features on the same plane

using 3 seperate tx units :-)

using only one radio channel and only one receiver in the plane, that is possible with a Multiplex Royal Evo9

if you only assign one function, you can series couble 9 of them :-)

Edited by ThomasScherrer

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why do customers purchase spectrum with out having read the users manual before ?

if people did not purchase, and informed them why, it would have been fixed in a day !

I purchased a Spektrum radio long before I had any idea I would ever need to use selective channel assignments on the trainer port. I'm sure that there are people just getting in to FPV that have made their purchasing decisions based on the JR/Spektrum limitation, though. Unfortunatly the market is probably small enough that they'll never realize that they're losing business because of a stupid self-imposed limitation in their software.

That said...my TrackR2 is on its way right now. There should be no problems going from my DX7->TrackR2->8103 w/spektrum module.

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why do customers purchase spectrum with out having read the users manual before ?

As Mr.Pibb said, a large majority have bought their radio before even learning about FPV and the related gear that leads to requiring that feature. As easy as that...

If you start trying to think about what you need, and what you could possibly need at some point in the future without even knowing it exists you run into trouble... or you buy top of the line and with user-upgradeable firmware to be able to add the future features easily, which I did, and have had about 3 new firmwares in 1 year all with nice new cool features :)

using only one radio channel and only one receiver in the plane, that is possible with a Multiplex Royal Evo9

if you only assign one function, you can series couble 9 of them :-)

Can do that with Futaba as well. Does get a tad expensive to use 9 radios for one plane though, and has the added drawback of requiring extra hands (sold separately) ;)

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OK, quick update:

Using the TrackR2 with the DX7/JR 8103 trainer setup WORKS!

At some point I'll try to update with more info. :D

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Hey all, I'm new.

I'm a little confused, is the DX7 transmitting to an ar7000/ar9000, or is the JR8103 transmitting to a different reciever? If the JR is transmitting, whats the point of using the DX7?

Edit: I guess I'm also confused about how a trainer setup works...

Edit: K, I now know how a trainer works, but would you have to flip a trainer switch to get head movement? I.E. No turning or control while moving the camera?

Edited by Wile_E_Coyote

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You're close.

As you said:

Edit: K, I now know how a trainer works, but would you have to flip a trainer switch to get head movement? I.E. No turning or control while moving the camera?

Indeed, if the tracker was connected to the DX7 and the JR wasn't there, this is what would happen. With the trainer switch released, the controls would go through, but not the tracker, and when the switch is depressed you'd have the tracker but no more control.

The above setup doesn't use the DX7's transmitter part. The DX7 has the trainer switch released, and actually only outputs the control positions on the trainer port. That one is connected to the tracker, which adds the tracking information to that stream, and sends it back out to the JR. The JR has the trainer switch always depressed, so its sticks never do anything. All it does is take the stream from the trainer port and send it to the receiver in the plane as is.

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That definitely helps clear things up for me, but a few more questions...

The trackerR2 is connected to the DX7, which is connected via trainer to the JR, which then sends the signals to the plane, which has a JR compatible FM receiver instead of an AR9000?

I guess if your not going to use the DX7 for its Tx (which I thought was the better radio, could be wrong) then why use it at all if the JR radio is compatible with the tracker anyways? Is it compatible?

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The 8103 has a Spektrum module inserted, so you can still use the AR9000 in that case.

By far, though, the easiest solution has been to purchase a used Futaba 9C and a Spektrum module to fit it. Spektrum is selling the Futaba modules dirt cheap to try to get people using Spektrum equipment. After going that route I wouldn't even fool with the other techniques.

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Thanks for the tip, now will be sending money order soon. My other DX7 can be used for my buddies to fly, and I can use it as a trainer I suppose. Really wish I had known I'd be wanting the headtracker beforehand...

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