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Help! "Tx Signal Lost" Light, Tried All the Fixes I Can Find

Discussion in 'Phantom 1 Help' started by astroguy, Dec 21, 2013.

  1. astroguy

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    Two Days Ago: Was flying in a friend's sister's yard where I'm staying in Australia, just keeping it a few 10s m off the ground and getting some sunset pics. Went to bring it down and it darted off in a different direction. No idea what the indicator light was doing. Spent the last two days depressed, but after flyering this morning, was able to recover it. Based on the GoPro footage, it had a reasonably soft landing on a rooftop and was picked up by a dad with four children within 10 minutes.

    Problem: After checking out the GoPro and making sure that's working (ports/SD cover is missing, no biggie) and backing up the card after fixing it via Windows command-line, went to start up the quad to see if it would work. Battery that was in it probably went to too low of a voltage, it's not starting the quad and it's not charging. Used a spare battery. I get the "System start and self-check" series of RGYRGYRGYGGG, and then I get a rapid YYYYYYYYY... indicating "Tx signal lost."

    What I Tried:

    1. Replacing the transmitter batteries. Twice. The second time was with Duracell that has the little level indicator on the side, so I can see they are, in fact, fully charged.

    2. Hooking the Phantom up to the diagnostic software. It wouldn't let me do ANYTHING until I upgraded the firmware to 4.02. So, I did that. That's when a popup box said that there was a Tx issue that needed to be fixed. Duh ... that's why I connected it in the first place!

    3. At that time, I saw that the red indicator LED on the receiver was lit. So I went through the linking the Tx/Rx steps. MANY times. Two potential issues at this point: a) I had maybe half a second from releasing the link button while the LED was blinking to when it went solid again to turn on the Tx with the throttle down. Is that normal? b) The LED did not go out after this step. Usually.

    4. Following this, turning everything off, then on again, the red LED Rx indicator would be on briefly, then shut off, then turn on again after maybe 10 seconds. It would stay on for awhile, shut off for awhile, turn on for awhile ... etc. No idea on this.

    5. Used the Advanced Guide section A5 and went through the Transmitter Calibration. Twice. Same issues as before: Yellow status light blinking rapidly if not connected to computer, computer saying that Tx wasn't calibrated or maybe a firmware issue, and red LED Tx light on the Phantom control board still was usually lit. Sometimes not.

    6. Tried starting up the Tx with the switches up and throttle down, as per the DJI wiki. Note that I had always had the switches wherever I last left them and the throttle in the middle, as it is because of how the Phantom transmitter's springs are set.

    7. Triple-checked that the firmware actually is up-to-date now.

    8. Double-checked the connectors between the Rx and Naza. Still glued in on the board end, still solidly connected on the Naza end.

    Help? I've been working on this for a few hours while I have my friend's 5-year-old around me wanting to know when it'll be fixed and attempting to help me. Any ideas at this point? What have I not tried? If it matters, this is the Phantom v.1.1.1. And, it worked fine for probably 6ish flights before deciding it wanted to escape on Thursday.
     
  2. Davidlf

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    Re: Help! "Tx Signal Lost" Light, Tried All the Fixes I Can

    Hi
    If you have upgraded to firmware 4.02 have you downloaded the default parameters from the dji site and installed them ? Also in the assistant have you changed the receiver from ppm to d-bus?
     
  3. astroguy

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    Re: Help! "Tx Signal Lost" Light, Tried All the Fixes I Can

    I had not. I have now downloaded the "Phantom Default Configuration Parameters" file, went to "Tools" and Import Parameters and uploaded the new parameters. Re-booted everything, still YYYYYY... flash of no connection. Internal red receiver light sometimes on, sometimes off, but now it's usually off. Also went through item 3 (re-linking), 5 (Tx calibration), 6, 7 again ... no luck.

    Did them in order, so: Reinstalled the firmware v 4.02 (for some reason, when I start up the Naza-M v2 software, it keeps telling me about version 4.02, even though I have it installed); imported the parameters from September from the website; checked IMU status again; re-linked; calibrated Tx. The red light for the receiver now seems to be off most of the time ... so that at least is an improvement. Or at least it was; in this added sentence 5 min later, it's now mostly on. If I turn the Tx off, then on again, after about 4 seconds the LED goes off, only to go back on some arbitrary time period later. YYYYYYYY status light, though.

    However, when I plug the Phantom into the computer, a "CFG-ERR" pops up each time stating: "Configuration error, this may cause by firmware upgrade from old version.or abnormal Tx calibration. Re-calibratie your transmitter,and power cycle your controller and check all of the parameters." (their grammar is lovely)

    So, I've tried again to re-calibrate the transmitter, power-cycle the transmitter and Phantom ... no luck.

    Checked this on the View tab and the "RC" "Receiver Type:" is still on PPM.

    New ideas?
     
  4. Todesengel

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    Re: Help! "Tx Signal Lost" Light, Tried All the Fixes I Can

    Astro, with the update, you have to change the check block in the software to DBUS.
     
  5. Driffill

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    Re: Help! "Tx Signal Lost" Light, Tried All the Fixes I Can

    Astro where in aust are you? I'm in melb and if nothing is working for you I might be able to have a look??

    But I think it's something as simple as d-bus setting :). If you phantom has two antennas hanging out of it, you need to select d-bus, if it only has the one antenna wire hanging out it needs to be in PPM mode :)
     
  6. astroguy

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    Re: Help! "Tx Signal Lost" Light, Tried All the Fixes I Can

    Okay, I misread ... not "to PPM," but from PPM to D-BUS.

    That made some progress. But, the red light indicating transmitter signal loss is still caprecious. I say it's progress because when it is not on, I can actually go through the Naza software and calibrate, and I can start up the craft and do stuff (props off, of course). But as soon as it - for whatever reason - goes on and indicates signal loss, I can't do anything (so it's not a faulty LED).

    I can let it sit on the table for minutes and the red light will be on for some time and then off, and vice versa.

    I re-checked the hardware connections within the Phantom, but I haven't been able to undo the screws on the transmitter to see if perhaps there's a lose wire there. I'm thinking (blaming ...) this as almost certainly the reason for my fly-away incident Thursday night.

    Thoughts at this point?

    And Drifill, I'm staying with a friend's sister in Albert Park. Here until Saturday when I head to Tasmania for 10 days, then Sydney for 5, then back to Melbourne for a few days and then onto the Great Ocean Road, then back to the States. I brought this because of all the sight-seeing and I do landscape photography, so I wanted to get shots from 100-200m up on some beaches and forests and other areas I'll be visiting. Or even just 10m up.
     
  7. Driffill

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    Re: Help! "Tx Signal Lost" Light, Tried All the Fixes I Can

    Nice itinerary!

    I'm on holidays now (tho I somehow got swindled into working a half day tomorrow) but I've got nothing but free time after that :) jan 2nd I'm going to Canberra for the "Summernats" car show, I'm still debating on if I'll take my phantom, it wouldn't be an ideal place to fly.

    If you need any parts etc, there is a shop called "Ark RC" in Oakleigh (about 15mins from Albert park) they are a DJI Dealer, and should have spare Tx's Rx's etc . . . Tho you may get to tempted and leave with a fubuta etc :)

    I wanted to do a flight along the 12 apostles, but it would be just my luck that the day(s) I choose to make the few hours drive there would be to windy being along the coast to fly safely . . . I hope you have better luck than me
     
  8. Davidlf

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    Re: Help! "Tx Signal Lost" Light, Tried All the Fixes I Can

    When you say you have done the tx calibration are you doing it using the s1 and s2 switches and sticks (ie not through the assistant). I'm wondering if your initial problem was the "flyaway problem" associated with earlier firmware versions.4.02 is so say been adapted to counter this event happening so once this is sorted you should be good to fly.
    If you plug the phantom into the a assistant you should be able to check that all of the controls have the correct calibration, if they haven't try tx calibration as below. Maybe this is what you have tried already, just make sure you hear the correct signals from the tx so you know it has worked.

    1. Set the switch S2 at the OFF position, and the switch S1 at the GPS position
    2. Push the Throttle stick to the top position, and push the Pitch stick to the top position. Keep the Pitch stick at the top position manually since it can return to the central position when released.
    3. Turn on the Power Switch of the transmitter, you should hear the indicator sound of “Di—Di Di” from the transmitter repeatedly. Toggle the switch S2 to the CL position, you should hear an indicator sound of “Di” from the transmitter, in this case, the transmitter has entered the calibration mode. (During this period, the Throttle stick and the Pitch stick must be kept at the top position all the time.)
    4. Release the Pitch stick and pull the Throttle stick to the central position. Toggle the switch S1 to the ATTI position; you should hear an indicator sound of “Di” from the transmitter. Then move all of the sticks throughout their complete range several times. After this, put the Throttle stick to the bottom position, and toggle the switch S2 to the HL position, you should hear an indicator sound of “Di” from the transmitter, in this case, the transmitter has been calibrated successfully.

    Best of luck
     
  9. Davidlf

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    Re: Help! "Tx Signal Lost" Light, Tried All the Fixes I Can

    When it says throttle switch down , pull it all the way down , ignore the spring setting otherwise you will get a mis-calibration which will give an error.
     
  10. astroguy

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    Re: Help! "Tx Signal Lost" Light, Tried All the Fixes I Can

    Davidlf -- Yup, tried that, including today after making the D-BUS change. Re-linked the Tx and Rx, then shut everything off, then went through those steps to re-calibrate the Tx, and when it said to put the throttle down, I put it all the way down, not center. And I checked this in the Naza setup ... when the red light was off and it was connected with the transmitter.

    Driffill -- Thank you! I may need to make a trip to Ark RC before Saturday. Or, if not by then, then I guess when I get back from Sydney on the 12th. I'll at least call tomorrow and get their hours and when they plan to be closed -- my friend's sister's husband said that they may just shut down for two weeks.
     
  11. OI Photography

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    Re: Help! "Tx Signal Lost" Light, Tried All the Fixes I Can

    My guess at this point would be a faulty Rx or antenna leads. I don't know if you have access to a spare to test, but you can get a new one for $15: http://www.dronefly.com/ProductDetails. ... 2DAntennas

    The new antenna attachments in the D-bus style receivers like yours are supposed to help provide more a more reliable connection to the board, but it seems they can still be a common point of failure.
     
  12. astroguy

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    Re: Help! "Tx Signal Lost" Light, Tried All the Fixes I Can

    Took it into the shop and he concurred with me: Receiver is likely defective. I have two options:

    1. Wait 'til I get back to the US (Jan. 21) and then send it back to California to dronefly.com and have them replace it, since they're the ones from whom I bought it and the Ark RC place doesn't have any extra, or

    2. Buy a Tx/Rx and have them install it ... as Driffill predicted, he tried to sell me on a Futaba.

    Item 1 has the benefit of being cheap, relatively speaking, and should be under warrantee minus shipping. Maybe. It has the con of this trip being blown with respect to any aerial photography.

    Item 2 has the con of being expensive -- $285AUD for the transmitter/receiver, plus battery and charger apparently. It has the benefit of being a much stronger signal and larger range and less likelihood of losing the signal and getting lost. On the other hand, I had been considering a different Tx/Rx setup because one of the biggest cons of the Phantoms seemed to be its poor range and signal loss. And, if I were to buy it here, along with whatever to get the price above $300AUD, apparently I get 10% back in the taxes at the airport and with the exchange rate makes it relatively cheap compared with the buying the same model anywhere else.

    Thoughts?
     
  13. Driffill

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    Re: Help! "Tx Signal Lost" Light, Tried All the Fixes I Can

    Only $285 :)

    I have a bad habit of wanting "a burger with the lot" when it comes to electronics, I was eyeing off the Fubuta 8FG, a cool $500+ with accessories! with our $ falling in value currently, here and now is probably the best chance for you to save $$$ doing an upgrade (not to mention the nice little rebate you'll get when you leave).

    As you've seen, the quality of the Rx (and Tx) isn't great compared to some of the other options available, while I don't like your chances of winding up with 2 faulty Rx's the way I look at things is if the original solution failed, an upgrade (if available) is a smart move, and if your likely to upgrade to a better Tx/Rx later on, the time spent replacing it now becomes nugatory.

    That mentality can also prove to be costly, for example, my car needs a new clutch and an oil seal replaced on the front of the engine . . . While the engine is just about cleared front and back anyway, it's going to be dropped out and rebuilt! Bye bye remaining $$$
     
  14. phantomflyer

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    Re: Help! "Tx Signal Lost" Light, Tried All the Fixes I Can

    I've had an issue with my receiver before that it would lose transmitter when I was a certain distance away from unit but would work fine if I was near by!
    I've also suggested it was the receiver to another member when they could get the unit to do certain things but not the other like go into ATTI mode but loss Tx when they switched to GPS mode, Everyone kept saying it was this or that but after sometime he switched the receiver and sure enough it worked!!
    Not saying at all this is it but It wouldn't hurt to buy a $15 dollar Rx and try it and if nothing then at least you'll have an extra. It just seems to me if your Tx is working properly on your software then the Rx is the thing to check!!
     
  15. OI Photography

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    Re: Help! "Tx Signal Lost" Light, Tried All the Fixes I Can

    Futaba does make some very nice gear, but there's numerous other worthwhile options that often cost less. I agree with Driffill that if you were considering upgrading the Tx/Rx at some point anyway, this might be the best time to do it.
     
  16. astroguy

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    Re: Help! "Tx Signal Lost" Light, Tried All the Fixes I Can

    Thanks for the input, guys. Based on the GST scheme (that's what Australian customs calls it), and the current exchange rate, the $285 part that they'll sell to me +$15 installation to get to the $300 needed would cost about $243USD. And I need to factor in what it's worth to me to have it to use on this (likely) once in a lifetime trip touring at least certain parts of Australia.
     
  17. Driffill

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    Re: Help! "Tx Signal Lost" Light, Tried All the Fixes I Can

    GST = Goods and Services Tax, basically 10% on almost everything.

    with our $ at only 90 cents to the US dollar, you save another odd $20US and if you sell the stock Tx/Rx etc, you'll have gotten the 8J less than ~$150. . .

    . .I'm jealous