The flying monkeys got me...

Helis and fixed wing

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Thursday, May 11, 2017

Spektrum Alpha 6 Sucks.

This is the Spektrum Alpha 6 Stabilization system, using their AS3X technology, installed in my 26cc Waco. I hate this thing. I hated the first one, that malfunctioned right out of the box. I hated it when it turned out only one guy at Spektrum knows this thing, the manual is useless, and you have to connect it to a computer to set the gains, which requires you buy a separate cable (they gave me one free as we were trying to fix the first bad one). They sent me a free replacement which worked with a bit of tweaking. I hated it when no one could tell me when I would want to fly Rate Mode or Heading Hold Mode (best I could find was that in Rate the response deflection is momentary, in Heading Hold it stays on until ??. I fly my helis in HH, but am not sure how this applies to a stabilization system). Spektrum said I would want to fly in Rate. Or was it HH? I hate this thing.

I hated it today when I turned on the receiver  for the first time since the fall and it all seemed to work just fine, thought he gains seemed kinda massive. Went to dinner, turned it on again and now it won't even turn on (the receiver is on), nor let control commands pass through. I saw a YouTube post from Spektrum about the 1.2 Update, and tried to install it, but it says its not for my device. I hate this thing. I tried just resetting it up without using the computer, and it won't turn on, though I see a momentary flash as I power up. I planned on trying to use the Aux Knob instead of the 3-position Flight Mode Switch, because the Horizon guy suggested that the gains could be set using the knob. He didn't recommend Rate versus HH. I hate this thing.

I hated it when I tried to connect it to the cable and the computer. The Spektrum software would indicate "Cable Connected, No Device", no matter how I turned on what. Then it would, but then it wasn't. 

I hate this thing.  I am going to spend a little time trying to get it to work again, then when it doesn't, I am removing it and throwing it into the woods as far as I can. I am recharging the batteries and will try again later.

I hate this thing. 

I really, really, hate this thing.

UPDATE (5/12/2017):  This morning after charging the batteries, I had the same result. I videoed my attempt to get the Alpha 6 to turn on, and it did once out of all the tries, about half way through the video. I also tried changing the switch to the Knob on my DX8, but when it did turn on, it wouldn't respond to the knob, only the 3 way.I have removed it from my Waco and will send it and the other brick, back to Spektrum to see if they can get it to work. I really think its just bad luck... I hope Horizon will make good on these.

Horizon Hobby replied to my review and shared the difference between Rate and Heading Hold. Rate will make adjustments for turbulence, Heading Hold will hold position. In HH, if I put the plane into a knife edge, the unit will keep it there. For most flying, as I think they told me once before, Rate Mode will be the choice. 

I may try to install it on another plane. If I recall, when I was trouble shooting this last year, changing the model on the DX8 fixed the problem.

ADDENDUM: Put it on the Cornell and it still didn't work...  Put an Orange one in and it works fine.

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