Spektrum AR500 problems

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Re: Spektrum AR500 problems

Postby dawgmckay » Thu Sep 23, 2010 4:30 pm

RCModelReviews wrote:I think Spektrum are being rather disingenuous these days by ignoring problems or simply claiming there are no problems, despite the huge (and growing) weight of evidence that suggests otherwise.

It's one thing having a problem, admitting it and fixing it -- it's another trying to fool your customers into believing that it's all their fault and that your product is perfect -- when it's clearly not.

I contacted Horizon about the problems I've been reading, and there response was "there is no problem that they are aware of"
I'm currently flying to .40 size glow planes on Ar500, so far without a problem.
Others at my field aren't so lucky.
Ar500 and an Ar6100 locks up with no throttle or other control on electric parkflyers
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Re: Spektrum AR500 problems

Postby RCModelReviews » Thu Sep 23, 2010 10:36 pm

Yes, but Horizon also claim there's no problem with the way DSM2 allocates its frequencies either.

Perhaps it's just easier to deny a problem than to fix it in some cases.
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Re: Spektrum AR500 problems

Postby zeek » Mon Oct 25, 2010 4:17 am

I had an issue with the ar500 I have in my OSFS52 powered Lanzo Bomber yesterday.

I installed this receiver in the aircraft about 18 months ago and ran it with a 4.8v NiMH flight pack. I use Hitec HS225MG servos ( because I had them already) and this combination worked well until about April this year when I experienced my first loss of control while thermalling at about 1000 feet. Fortunately the aircraft spiralled lazily down until I was able to re-establish a link, complete my round of the comp and land successfully. The aircraft performed flawlessly for the rest of the event and I put it down to pilot error.

Later, I read about the use of 6v packs for Spektrum to prevent brownouts, put 2+2 together and bought a brand new, off the shelf eneloop 6v rx pack for the Bomber. I tested combination over a 3 hour flying session a week ago involving one thermalling flight of 18 mins with no issues - and was pleased with the improved servo response. Yesterday during our Texaco event, the AR500 lost bind at about 600 feet and I had to power off/on the DX7 tx to get control back. Fortunately the wind was light, the engine was off and the failsafe was set so I had the time to recover. I was shaken but not stirred and completed another 2 flights without incident until the final round saw the ar500 lose bind again at about 300 feet. A similar off/on recovery was required to get it back. No more flights after that!!

I have three of these receivers in different stick and tissue old timers - another one in an antique powered RC1 which loses bind after the engine backfires on startup - so its not limited to just one receiver.

I have installed an AR7000 in the bomber now and will be conducting test flights at lower and closer flight levels to see if the Ar500 was causing my issues - but I think in my gut I know it is. Having read this forum and seeing others with similar issues with similarly aged ar500's, I think its time to review my use of 2.4 Ghz Spektrum gear.
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Re: Spektrum AR500 problems

Postby RCModelReviews » Mon Oct 25, 2010 8:50 pm

The most annoying thing with the AR500 (and other) problems is that Horizon won't even acknowledge them.

That so many people have had so many issues with a product would see to indicate that there is a major design flaw or there was a significant run of faulty product which made its way into the market.

Either way -- it would be nice if Horizon would step up and tell folks what they've found now that so many AR500s have been returned to them for repair/replacement.

On the other hand, perhaps they think it's best to keep quiet rather than admit fault. That does nothing for confidence in the product or the company I'm afraid and does customers a disservice.
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Re: Spektrum AR500 problems

Postby jonnyd4 » Sat Oct 30, 2010 9:23 pm

I have been using AR500 recievers up to now but after suffering exactly the same problems described by others have decided to give them a wide berth . I rang Horizon Hobby in the UK and they denied any knowledge of any problems . It is this more than anything else that annoys . it is clear that there is a problem so why deny it ? I have now bought a second hand Futaba TX From a clubmate And will now only use that as there are the FRSky RX's to use so there is no cost issue . I suggest people do the same and avoid Spectrum as thier attitude is to ignore the issue so we should ignore them .
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Re: Spektrum AR500 problems

Postby russzero » Tue Nov 16, 2010 1:07 am

hi ..
i had to join this forum to add my findings. until 2006 i flew using Sanwa FM 35mhz. ive been using sanwa gear since the mid 80,s.
i continued using it because of the amount of servos id collected. i put in hours of glitch free flying. disorientation on occasions .. pilot error. it happens.
i was also told that its not much good .. and that i should join everyone else by using futaba. yet id had no problems. i wasnt going to be moved.
i fly regular .. until recently where ive had to switch to electric due to field closures etc. most of the guys i knew have packed it in.
well i retired the old sanwa for some newer 35mhz JR. i had glitch free service albeit short. tempted by the thought of extra channels and the new 2.4g system i upgraded late 2009 to a DSX9 and a AR500 + AR6250 rx.

the AR500 went into the first plane. it made about 2 outings ... and failed most mysteriously while performing a routine climb out!!
plus the fact it was within spitting distance ... see the video here yourself. u can hear and see on the video as i frantically struggle to get the throttle to work to prevent a broken model. i can only thank the stars that i wasnt flying my fast wing. it could end my use of the field and risk a bad accident.
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=W1aAteNlwXU

i imediately changed the radio for the AR6250 and so far so good. i was advised by a local model shop to fit the add on capacitor to a spare chnl to cure the problem ... but i dont believe this to be a cure .. unless noise is getting into the supply?
it does little to hold up the supply when a couple of servos are being used.
today i was looking to get another reciever for a new glider .. plus im in the throws of resurecting a couple of old F3B gliders that also need some radios. i came across a note on the spektrum site about recalling the AR6250 rx. now im at a loss. for me (i have 2x6250 rx,s) theres been no issues yet with these .. but the AR500 im too scared to use. on speaking to the service centre .. i was told to return both AR6250,s for checking. yet i feel its the AR500 that needs looking at. :|

now im dreading taking my old F3B glider out on a slope bash ... as i fear the worse. all those hours flying back in the old days!
could be the end of an old glider because of this new SUPER technology. huh. whatever happens .. im hoping there will be a video.
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Re: Spektrum AR500 problems

Postby CouleeFlyer » Sat Jan 22, 2011 10:16 am

This is a great site - have been flying 2 1/2 years (800+ flights) and just found it while exploring problems with Spektrum AR 500.

I purchased two AR500's last year while at AZ Elec Festival - had troubles binding, but one worked and the other sat on the back of the bench filed under "later". I've been flying the one in a Hobbyzone Cub with no problems - good range - good behavior - often have to re-bind which seemed odd compared to my various other 7 or 8 Spektrum receivers.

Wednesday I was at the field and flew a trim flight on a Radian for a buddy who had crashed it lightly a couple of times. 1st flight was fine - light winds - landed w/ 11.4 volts.
Half way through the second flight during straight and level flight - lost all contact and "death spiraled" in from about 150 feet at about 400 feet away. Post Crash: bind still good, 4.9 v to the buss from bec, lipo 11.8 volt, put the whattsup meter on it and no apparent loss from any servo binding up - in other words just great except when it locked out for no logical reason - DX5e batteries on next to the top green. Other pilots here at the field WILL NOT fly any AR500 due to plenty of trouble over the last year.

Horizon Tech said there is no unusual problem w/ AR500. They did say send both the plane and transmitter in and they will check it.

Earlier this month I lost a nice profile Bipe w/ Saito 1.00 about 40 feet up on take-off with my DX7 and a DSM 6000 which I attributed to a "brown-out" , since the range check was good.
I'm flying all receivers with the Voltage Protection cap now, but Horizon said that was for "surface carpet racers" not airplanes, but it wouldn't hurt either. All of this is after we "killed" three planes last summer with my buddy's DX6-i that was part of the recall and we didn't know it. Maybe 72 mhz wasn't so bad after all! Nervous in Arizona! :ugeek:
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Re: Spektrum AR500 problems

Postby heliloco » Tue Feb 08, 2011 3:21 am

I was an early adopter of 2.4ghz technology. After a great deal of research, i opted to buy the new fasst 7c by Futaba not long after it became available.
This system proved to be very robust and served me well in electric heli's and electric parkflyers. As i was offered a job overseaes, I reluctantly sold my Futaba system. Being impressed by the new offerings coming on the market, such as the Hitec aurora 9, I thought i would consider buying this system on my return. After always saying i didn't trust spektrum/jr 2.4 offerings i thought perhaps I was being a little one eyed, as friends and other rc modelers reported good results with the Spektrum gear. So, cutting to the chase, i was tempted to buy the discounted rtr parkzone corsair thats comes with the Spektrum 5e and ar500 receiver, in order to fly during my one month vacation in NZ. At first i was less than impressed with persistent binding problems with the system. The transmitter even jumped modes on me, however after some investigation i found the mode switch had mysteriously jumped! After that everything seemed ok, and I had flown a few flights successfully. Then everything changed! i was flying the corsair on a calm day at my local park, at half throttle and had successfully done a aileron turn at about 150 feet, when suddenly the corsair went into a right hand spiral into the ground and i had no control whatsoever! To me this was some sort of lockout, so i tested the receiver walking around the park up to about 800 metres from the tx. I observed that the signal light switching on and off at various locations. I believe it either turns off or goes into failsafe. I know this is cheap radio gear, but this is ridiculous! My faith in dsm 2 (which was shaky at best) has gone! Opinions please!
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Re: Spektrum AR500 problems

Postby RCModelReviews » Tue Feb 08, 2011 3:31 am

It's pretty widely accepted (albeit not by Spektrum, to my knowledge) that there was a bad batch of AR500 receivers which caused problems such as those you describe. Spektrum's response was "send it in, we'll take a look at it" -- whereupon they often sent the customer a "new" (from a different batch) unit that solved their problems.

It's pretty hard to give specific answers in a case such as yours -- if you were flying at a park their could have been cordless phones, Wifi systems (with boosters), leaky microwave ovens, or even 2.4GHz video senders operating nearby that may have hit your two DSM2 frequencies -- depending on your position within the park.
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Re: Spektrum AR500 problems

Postby heliloco » Tue Feb 08, 2011 5:51 am

Do you have any idea about their warranty period. I wont be back in nz until early May. Its better i return to the shop, right?
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