The flying monkeys got me...

Helis and fixed wing

AMA 957918
IRCHA 4345
AMA Intro Pilot Instructor

Saturday, January 26, 2013

DX8 won't bind...hope its the antenna.

Decided to brave the 27 degree weather and light winds and put the EXI450 FBL up. Ended up freezing while trying to figure out why it would bind, drop bind, but not set off the drop blink on the reciever.
I wrapped up and went home and trouble shot the bind issue. I found my radio would not bind, with any of my helis. It bound with my Sim Stick on my Phoenix sim however, before the antenna broke again. In Bind mode it would hang for several seconds in BIND, then TRANSMITTING, which it has nev done... and then reboot into the model. Meanwhile the reciever would keep on blinking.
I had noticed that the antenna wasn't attached at the knuckle earlier, and had snapped it back on. I wondered if the wire had become disconnected inside the radio (the fact that the wire is so long in the pic above shows it wasn't internally plugged in anymore). In trying to fix it I accidentally cut the wire with a screw as I was thinking it was a bad idea to do what I was doing because it was likely to cut the wire. Crap. Tried soldering it, but the distal end was too close to the plastic antenna (broke toow short on the antenna end), and couldn't get a decent solder. I also wasn't sure how much tolerance the antenna has for being shortened but suspect there isn't much problem with a 2.4ghz quarter length antenna bein a mm short). But there is a problem for it being 1/3 its length. Not doing the math, I really don't know how short it could be, but even when I did find the plug disconnected inside, it still wouldn't bind.
Getting the back cover off this thing was a PITA. You have to remove the usual screws, then peel off the rubber hand grips, all four if them, to get at the last two screws and release the sides. Not sure how I am going to get it to stick back together.
I replugged the antenna wire, not sure when it had come unplugged. Was it the problem I had in the field? I didn't go about this as methodically as I usually do... Was it the software upgrade? I don't recall but I am pretty sure I had to rebind the aircraft with the radio when I upgraded the Airware on the DX8.
So I ordered an new antenna from A Main Hobbies. I will replace it, put the radio back together, and hope that's all it takes to get the bind problem solved. I hope that the sign was TRANSMITTING, that the antenna is the problem.
Please... let this solve the binding problem. Grounded for now.
UPDATE (2/4/13): The antenna came in on Saturday, and I installed it today (thanks A Main Hobbies for shopping so fast!). It was very, very easy to replace. The instructions are available on the interwebs, and a copy comes with the antenna. Took a couple of minutes, a couple of screws and that was it. The grips, which I worried about getting to stay in place as I had to divide the double sided tape holding them in place, went back on without a hitch, and laid down perfectly, no issues. I didn't have to replace the tape. You have to carefully direct the rubber pegs into their holes and the grips return to their stock position with a little coaxing of the edges.
Fired up the transmitter and she bound immediately to the reciever! The problems were all related to the antenna. Problem solved!

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