Setting and operating a failsafe Setting up a failsafe using Spektrum

Setting and operating a failsafe Setting up a failsafe using Spektrum
Setting and operating a failsafe
I’ve put this together as a result of the recent implementation of a new CAA ruling on
failsafe systems.
If a radio system is fitted with a failsafe, regardless of aircraft type, size or weight, the
failsafe must be used.
All 2.4ghz radio systems are fitted with failsafe of some sort and many 35mhz
receivers have failsafe systems enabled which should be set according to
manufacturers guidelines.
Models weighing more than 7kg must have a failsafe fitted regardless of the radio
system used.
This means that you must have a functioning failsafe if the option is available
and if the model weighs more than 7kg.
Described below is the method of setting a failsafe system using a Spektrum radio.
Other makes of radio may have different method of setup, however the requirements
still apply. You should consult your owner’s manual or a fellow club member if you
are unsure.
The basic purpose of a failsafe is to ensure that when a signal is lost, the aircraft
slows, thus reducing any potential impact speed. In reality, failsafe operation is very
rare and if it does occur it is usually only for a brief second.
It is important to remember that a failsafe will only work if the battery is connected
and is in operation, as the receiver requires power to activate.
Setting up a failsafe using Spektrum radio
Unfortunately there appears to be no consistency between different models of
Spektrum receiver. Some will only operate the throttle when the failsafe is activated
and others will move both the throttle and the control surfaces to a pre-determined
position. You should check the instructions accompanying your receiver to see what
type of failsafe system it has.
Setting up Spektrum Receivers with the throttle only failsafe system
When binding the RX to the TX the position of the throttle at the time of binding will
establish the throttle only failsafe position, therefore it is important that you set the
throttle to idle when binding the RX to the TX.
Extract from Spektrum:
With SmartSafe, when signal is lost the throttle channel only is driven to its preset
failsafe position (normally low throttle) while all other channels hold last command.
• Prevents unintentional electric motor response on start-up.
• Eliminates the possibility of over-driving servos on start-up by storing preset failsafe
• Establishes low-throttle failsafe and maintains last-commanded control surface
position if the RF signal is lost.
Setting up Spektrum Recievers with a Preset Failsafe system
If the signal is lost, all channels are driven to their failsafe position set during binding.
How To Program
1. Insert the bind plug and power on the receiver.
2. When the receiver LEDs blink, indicating bind mode, remove bind plug before
binding the transmitter to the receiver.
3. LED lights will continue to blink.
4. Move transmitter’s control sticks and switches to the desired Preset Failsafe
positions, then turn it on in bind mode. (This should be neutral control surfaces and
engine idle)
5. The system should connect in less than 15 seconds.
Whichever system you are using, the failsafe will need to be set, where possible, to
the 'preset' control method, rather than the factory default method of 'hold'.
Preset, means that using the transmitter and following the manufacturer’s
instructions, you ensure the flight controls are set to neutral, and the throttle is set to
idle if the failsafe is activated.
If 'hold' is used, all settings will remain in the same position they were when the
signal was lost.
Testing the throttle only failsafe system
With the model restrained on the ground, set the engine/motor running at full power
switch the TX off. If electric, the motor should stop, if IC the engine should go to idle.
Testing the Preset failsafe system
With the model restrained on the ground, set the motor/engine to full power and hold
the rudder/elevator/aileron to full deflection and switch off the TX. If IC the engine will
go to idle, if electric the motor will stop and the control surfaces will go to neutral.
All transmitters should be CE approved and should display the official CE mark.
Chris Berry Sep 2013
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