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  1. Exclamation HUGE distance problem! 
    #1
    Join Date
    06-30-2003
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    canada, near Ottawa
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    I've had my 57MAGNUM for 3 or 4 years now and from then till now I still have my distance problem. It gets maybe 150-200 feet away then looses total reception. I have to walk towards the boat to get it to respond again. Great thing those failsafes! I started out with an AM hitec 2ch stick radio. Figured it was AM so I went FM. No diff so I now have a spectrum, totally in awe when it didn't make a diff again! WTH is going on here?! Can anyone give me some possibilities? I'm thinkin coil, but this was since day one with a brand new engine. 260pum-zen. I thouoght nothing wouold interfier with the spectrum radio? or so we are led to believe
    I read somewhere that sparkplug noise interfierence would be a thing of the past with the spectrum radio. Wouldn't the coil noise be considered the same as sparkplug noise? I really need a solution here!

    Thanks All!
    Chris
     

  2.  
    #2
    Join Date
    04-18-2004
    Location
    Colorado
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    You're using the stock spektrum reciever?

    Have you checked the batteries? Stupid question, but all I can think of at the moment.

    I don't see what it could be, as my Manta Ray has never had problems out to about 2000 feet or more with a Hitec Aggressor CRX.
    Last edited by Chris LaPanse; 04-08-2006 at 10:24 PM.
     

  3.  
    #3
    Join Date
    03-24-2006
    Location
    West Linn OR
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    8
    A buddy of mine got a spectrum and had the same problem! The antena in the reciever was not conected?He sent it back and still waits for a new one to come back! I also run a Hitec Aggressor CRX with SPECTRA,never had a problem with my race REVO or in my boat. Hope it helps?
     

  4.  
    #4
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    06-30-2003
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    canada, near Ottawa
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    I asked Tony and he told me to wrap the coil in tinfoil and see if it makes a diff. Well today tinfoil is made of aluminum but I did it anyway and I get a big diff in range. Not big enough, but very noticable. Maybe twice the range. Keep in mind this is still the spektrum which brags 3000feet. I got maybe 400feet with the coil wrapped in aluminum foil. So... Anybody have a coil for a 260zen?

    Chris
     

  5.  
    #5
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    03-28-2004
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    germantown, WI
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    just out of curiosity...do you always run at the same place? i had a problem at a place once and it turned out to be the location! there was some funny signals going on there. high tension wires can throw a lot of interference out (for example). could be something like that.
     

  6.  
    #6
    Join Date
    04-18-2004
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    Colorado
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    True. The location I run at has a lot of interference, and although FM radios work fine, an AM radio has about 10-15 feet.
     

  7.  
    #7
    Join Date
    11-29-2003
    Location
    Oklahoma
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    160
    Chris,
    Odd. Aside from the problem very strong 'noise' can cause witrh radios, where is the antenna? Not really a problem with the 'Spektrum' but certainly a consideration with most AM/FM radios. Higher is always better (higher meaning outside of the hull in some cases). Doesn't do much for the 'looks', but does help with control/range.
    I think the 'noise' thingy is the culpret, at least more likely. Good luck.
    - 'Doc

    PS - When you do find out what's doing it, I'd certainly be interested in knowing too!
     

  8.  
    #8
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    06-30-2003
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    canada, near Ottawa
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    No, not always in the same place. I ran my boat in 5 or more different areas. Always the same result. Now I only bought the spektrum this year so I've only tried that radio in one place, but my buddy stands beside me with his fm radio and goes as far as we can see there. those coils are expensive! I'll order a new engine before I pay full price for one of those.
     

  9.  
    #9
    Join Date
    08-08-2002
    Location
    Kalamazoo, Mi.
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    You mentioned using a failsafe. You shouldn't need it with the Spektrum and hope that you're not. If you continued to use it with the other systems, it could be the failsafe making you lose range, a big complaint of some of them.
    Is the problem only when running or when you range check it?
     

  10.  
    #10
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    06-30-2003
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    canada, near Ottawa
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    No I don't use a failsafe with the spektrum. The receivers have them built into every channel. Which in a sense covers the cost of a receiver plus extra. I've never range checked it. Just happens while I run it.
    Found a coil at HorizonHobbies for a mere $33.95 compared to others at $49.99. Ordered it today and hope to see it for the weekend coming. I don't mind not getting full range out of a radio, but I do want to be able to ride out as far as I want and turn around on my own free will and not the radios. 400 feet was a guess, but thinking of it now it seems more like 300. Not as much fun when the boat shuts down trying to do a speed run that lasts 5-8 seconds and then you have to turn around and do it again the other way. Next time i go I will make a video of the distance and put it on rcflix.com just so you guys can see what i am talking about. Its really only a 5second run away from me then it's out of range. Try imagining it like that. When I go boating I never turn around when I want to. It's always when it's getting out of range. It's been like that for three years with this boat and 3 radios. AM, FM and now 2.4GHZ.

    chris
     

  11.  
    #11
    Join Date
    03-28-2004
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    germantown, WI
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    maybe it's thoses nasty gremlins, again...little %*%^'s are always trying to ruin somebody's fun. but seriously, this is just wierd. can't say i've heard one like this yet.
     

  12.  
    #12
    Join Date
    04-01-2006
    Location
    Upsate NY
    Posts
    46
    I've been thinking about this for a couple of days...If you have had this problem with three radios I would bet it is not directly related to the transmitter or receiver...as they have been changed. That said, the obvious culprits like metal to metal contact and wire routing are usually easy to eliminate, and I'm sure you are using a resistor plug in the Zen. Not so obvious is lack of receiver power and/or inductive interference. You haven't mentioned what kind of servos you use, but if it's a quarter scale, digital, or inexpensive high torque type, especially on the rudder, the current drain can really cause some glitches. On most of my rudder servos I use another servo plug and split the power wires off the servo (red/black) and plug them into a y-harness off the battery/switch slot and then plug the 'signal' wire from the servo into the chan 1 slot. Some guys just use the y-harness to plug the servo and the bat/switch into chan1 and the servo power (amp draw) will still bypass the receiver BEC yet the receiver remains powered through the chan1 slot. All this said I would also try different servos in case one is causing interference. I would also make sure that the travel on the servos isn't allowing one to over travel and stall (big current draw!). If you use NiCd or NiMh try another battery. Sometimes they look like they charge ok, but they could be weak putting out the volts n' amps. I've even seen corrosion internally cause a weak bat to bat connection that emanates interference. If you use alkaline and a 4-cell holder use the bats for 2.5-3 hrs of run time tops...and try a new bat holder too. Last, make sure the coil/plug wire is not corroded and fully seated in the coil. Maybe you will get lucky and the coil will fix it!! I hope you figure it out. Theres nothing more nerve wracking when driving one of these things than when you know at some point you may have less than 100% control!! Regards, RC
     

  13.  
    #13
    Join Date
    12-05-2005
    Location
    Lynchburg Va.
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    21
    I am no expert, but did you cut your reciever wire? That could have messed up your range.
     

  14.  
    #14
    Join Date
    08-08-2002
    Location
    Kalamazoo, Mi.
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    Start with the process of elimination. It takes time but it's better than losing control of the boat and doing serious damage to the boat or property.
    Check for a crack in the spark plug or replace it if it's been in there for a while, metal-to-metal contact all over. Shaking the boat while it's not running might bring out the problem with the radio system on.
     

  15.  
    #15
    Join Date
    06-30-2003
    Location
    canada, near Ottawa
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    Thanks for all the ideas guys, they are all great ones. I do have a Y harness on my 1/4 scale Futaba rudder servo, my antena wires have never been cut and it now sticks out of the radio box so its away from all power sources. It's my second steering servo and don't remember how many throttle servos have passed through it. I use white grease on my connections to avoid corrosion. I've tried all different types of batteries. NiMH mostly, but I tried alkaline too. Didn't help. I use a battery LED indicator to show battery power and always run it while it's in the green. It's my 4th or 5th spark plug. All stock type with the R in the model #. CMR7H I think. I did get a little more range now that my grey coil is wrapped in aluminum foil. This has been a problem since the boat arrived new so it can't be corrosion on the spark plug wire although it may be seated badly. I havent tried pushing it into the coil to see if it's loose. My coil is here in town, but it's at UPS office and can't get it t'ill monday now. Would you believe UPS wants 40% of the parcel value in a brokerage fee on items shipped from the USA 40%!!! Thats over 2X more than the government wants from me. The parcel was $50US and they want $12cdn in tx and then they want another $34 in fees! Are they crooks or what?!

    Thanks for all your help guys

    P.S.: I tried uploading the range test video to rcflix, but for some reason it never shows up after it's done.
     

  16.  
    #16
    Join Date
    11-29-2003
    Location
    Oklahoma
    Posts
    160
    FlyerCAN,
    "Are they crooks...?"
    Gov.: Of course they are, they're politicians aren't they?
    UPS: Sometimes. That's cuz they're amateur politicians.

    - 'Doc
     

  17.  
    #17
    Join Date
    08-08-2002
    Location
    Kalamazoo, Mi.
    Posts
    3,195
    I'm guessing that they coil could solve your problems.
    The next time, have it shipped via the USPS, a lot less hassle. Have the paperwork showing that the value is $15.00 or less or have them show it as a gift. Shipping to Canada is a pain in the butt for us here in the States. With iit being less than 200 miles away from me, it's easier and faster for me to ship to Germany than to the Great White North.
     

  18.  
    #18
    How hard to borrow an engine & drop it in the boat for one run? Maybe 20 minutes work at the water if that. See how the other guys engine does in your boat or even swap your radio for their boat . Thinking out loud.
     

  19.  
    #19
    Join Date
    06-30-2003
    Location
    canada, near Ottawa
    Posts
    399
    I would like to have borrowed his coil, but his is mounted under his carb still and it's his new boat so I wouldn't dare ask to take out his motor before he ran it. His older boat had a homelite 30. He did upgrade to a 23zen, but it was fairly old and the coil was different then I guess. So I have to wait...
     

  20.  
    #20
    Join Date
    04-12-2002
    Location
    Winter Haven, Florida
    Posts
    367
    Another trick you might try is to replace the stock coil plug cap with one equipped with a internal resistor. They're available at most small engine/generator dealers (I use a small Honda generator cap on my boat) and this could reduce the "noise" given-off by the coil and/or the plug itself.

    RickE
     

  21.  
    #21
    Join Date
    06-30-2003
    Location
    canada, near Ottawa
    Posts
    399
    Quote Originally Posted by RickE
    Another trick you might try is to replace the stock coil plug cap with one equipped with a internal resistor. They're available at most small engine/generator dealers (I use a small Honda generator cap on my boat) and this could reduce the "noise" given-off by the coil and/or the plug itself.

    RickE

    I did think of that as my problem but someone(a mechanic) told me that all caps were like that now so I didn't bother. Maybe I will try that tomorrow.

    Thanks RickE

    Chris
     

  22. Angry  
    #22
    Join Date
    06-30-2003
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    canada, near Ottawa
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    Well its not the grey coil so its back to square one.
     

  23.  
    #23
    Join Date
    11-29-2003
    Location
    Oklahoma
    Posts
    160
    This is a real long shot so take it for what it's worth.
    I just realized you're using a 'Spektrum' radio (not to observant sometimes). Does it have the receiver 'binding' reature and if so, make sure the 'binding' button isn't stuck in. That reduces the power to about 1/2 and might be at least part of the problem. I really doubt it, but maybe...
    - 'Doc
     

  24.  
    #24
    Join Date
    08-08-2002
    Location
    Kalamazoo, Mi.
    Posts
    3,195
    Oh boy, back to square one! I'll bet that you're having fun now.
    Something is telling me that it has to be something that is giving off electrical interference in the engine or driveline if with all of the radio systems that you've used. it has to be a nasty one if it's messing with FM and the Spektrum radio.
    I've heard recently that the Spektrum isn't made for boat use as the signals seem to be getting bounced off the waters surface but nobody bothered to tell the boaters until too late.
    Keep at it as there are a lot of us that are curious as to what the problem is and put that sledgehammer down!
     

  25.  
    #25
    Join Date
    03-28-2004
    Location
    germantown, WI
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    1,496
    dude...i just have to say that i'm surprised you kept at it this long! i too, am curious as to what it is. i think we've covered everything here in the forum. when you figure it out, let us know...me for one, i'm STUMPED!
     

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