By Mark Lane
meet on the
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Use of “Park Flyer” RC
systems can be questionable at fields such
as WingMasters since their intended use is
satisfactory only for small planes and
helicopters operated at short range, maybe
500 feet max. Improper placement and
orientation of the receiver antenna can
reduce the range even more.
placement and orientation is very important
with 2.4 gHz systems, whether Park Flyer or
Full Range to ensure reliable control and is
particularly important with Park Flyer
systems operating near their range limits.
Antenna configurations vary between
manufacturers and within manufacturer. The
low cost receivers use a single short
antenna extending about 2 inches and are the
most prone to signal loss. Better receivers
use two antennas. This allows for separation
of them so that if one antenna is
momentarily blocked by components within the
aircraft from the transmitter signal the
other receives the signal. It also allows
them to be oriented at right angles for best
continuous signal reception under various
flight conditions to minimize the potential
for signal loss.
Safe Mode (standard with most 2.4 systems)
If your plane gets beyond
its reliable operating range where the
receiver senses momentary loss of
transmitter signal, the receiver can go into
“Fail Safe” mode where it will attempt to
reestablish the RF link with the
transmitter. During Fail Safe mode, most
systems will turn the motor off and freeze
the controls in their last position. (Some
systems allow the owner to preset throttle
and servo positions). Once in fail safe
mode, reestablishing the link between
receiver and transmitter, and therefore
possibly allowing the pilot to regain
control is automatically done by the system
but may take several seconds. We have
measured as much as nine seconds, a long
time when your plane is headed towards earth
with the controls frozen. Refer to the
owners’ manual to determine if it’s included
in your system and the procedure for setup.
Regardless of the type of
radio system, it is important to always
range check the system when it is installed
in a new airplane, after any major repairs,
or when there is any question as to its
2.4 gHz Receiver “Brown
2.4 gHz receivers have a
minimum input voltage around 3.5 to 4.0
If the supply voltage drops below
this, the receiver will quit working.
When the voltage returns to a
satisfactory level, the receiver will take
up to several seconds to “re-boot” and
operate normally again.
ESC – BEC’s
Most receivers and servos obtain their power
from the BEC (Battery Eliminator Circuit)
that is built into many ESC’s. The output
voltage of most BEC’s is about 5 volts.
“Linear” BEC’s are the least
efficient and generate considerable heat.
They are also more likely to intermittently
put out a lower voltage as servos are
actuated or when they become very warm.
“Switching” BEC’s are more efficient,
run cooler, and do a better job of
maintaining their output voltage.
It is also possible to
purchase a stand-alone BEC that is often
called a UBEC.
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