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Thread: Bricked *two* flight controllers this weekend! Ugh...

  1. #1
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    Exclamation Bricked *two* flight controllers this weekend! Ugh...

    This weekend was not good to me. I had planned to take my Vortex 285 out for a spin, but ever since the "spanish moss" incident, I've had a problem with the on-screen display where the boot-up text won't go away when you arm the craft. It's kinda hard to fly when you have a full screen of text blocking your view! Also, the alert tones are going nuts now. As soon as the board boots up and the receiver links with the transmitter, I get this rising and falling series of alarm tones. Like 5 notes up, then the same 5 notes back down, on a cycle of about 2 seconds or so. And the LEDs on the back are all flashing white.

    I sent an e-mail to ImmersionRC asking for help, but evidently their customer support department is notoriously slow about replying. (Still haven't gotten an answer to a question I sent them 10 days ago!) So I figured I would try re-flashing the firmware to see if that helps.

    Several hours later (after I had run out of patience and profanity), I decided that the all-in-one flight controller / on-screen display board is toast. Kept getting errors when trying to flash the board, which is definitely not a good thing. (Crap!) Guess I'm going to have to replace the Vortex Fusion flight controller. Thinking about going with the Gen2 board that they use on the newer Vortex 250 though, because it's a better controller. 70 bucks though - ouch!

    So since it was obvious that I wouldn't be flying the Vortex, I thought I would break out my old 250 racing quad and give that one a go. It's running the old CC3D controller, and I knew I wanted to switch the receiver over to my new radio, so I tried to link up the Openflight (now Libreflight) software with my controller to make the change. Hah! First thing it wanted to do is update the firmware. I should have known...

    Given my previous experience with the Vortex, I really didn't want to do anymore firmware flashing this weekend, but it wouldn't connect until I updated, so in the end I gave it a shot. And what do you know? "Bootloader Failure"! AAAAAAAAAUGH!

    So now I have two dead quads, and a bunch of fully-charged lipo batteries that I'm going to need to drain back to storage voltage soon. Sigh.

    Guess I need to order TWO new flight controllers. Thinking about getting the Omnibus F4 for my older racing quad since it includes a barometer for altitude info, but for the Vortex I'm going to need to get the Fusion board from them if I want to be able to just plug and play. Just gotta figure out if the Gen 2 board will work with my old 285 Vortex...

    Damn. Would have been a nice weekend for flying. Oh well. Time to spend some more money...

    Adam

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    Quote Originally Posted by buffo View Post
    Damn. Would have been a nice weekend for flying. Oh well. Time to spend some more money...
    Man, that sucks. Sorry to hear about your woes. I saw your spanish moss crash. It didn't look too nasty but I am sure it didn't exactly warm your heart either. I know the feeling. RC sports have always been an expensive hobby. I used to race an RC-10 way back in the NiCd days. Every time I would wreck, I tried to tell myself "That didn't look too bad" and then being utterly dismayed when I saw the real damage. I have come to find that almost all hobbies are expensive. Not just lasers!

    Hopefully you get up and racing soon before the cold weather sets in.

  3. #3
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    The good news is that later this week in Charleston you won't need a flight controller for them. Just put them outside and they'll fly around on their own just fine.

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    Bradfo69 is offline Pending BST Forum Purchases: $47,127,283.53
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    Quote Originally Posted by araugh View Post
    The good news is that later this week in Charleston you won't need a flight controller for them. Just put them outside and they'll fly around on their own just fine.
    Ahh... friends. :-) Reminds me of a quote I heard during a best man's speech this weekend. "If I didn't like you.... I'd be nice to you." Lol
    PM Sent...

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    Quote Originally Posted by absolom7691 View Post
    I saw your spanish moss crash. It didn't look too nasty but I am sure it didn't exactly warm your heart either.
    Honestly I wasn't too concerned about that one. I mean, sure, it ripped out the antenna wires, but other than that I figured everything would be fine as it wasn't a particularly violent crash. (Trust me, I've had *far* worse!) And those OrangeRX satellite receivers are really cheap ($13!) So I assumed I'd be up and flying again in no time. (I keep spare receivers on hand, but not in my flight box.)

    I don't think the crash is what fried the flight controller though. Rather, I think I killed it back at the house when I installed the new receiver... I was trying to hook up the battery, and I was in an awkward position so it took a couple tries. The power no doubt flickered on and off rapidly (and repeatedly) during this attempt, and shortly thereafter I started having issues with the display.

    I decided to go ahead and order the Gen2 version of the flight control board for the Vortex. Once I get that one fixed, I'll think about what to do with my older racing quad.

    I used to race an RC-10 way back in the NiCd days.
    Oh *HELL* yes! Team Associated for the win!

    I still have an original gold-pan RC-10 (full bearing kit) that I used to race, and I also have a carbon fiber RC-10 chassis with the newer stealth transmission. Both running Airtronics XL2P AM radios and 6-cell NiCd batteries (mostly 2000mAh cells). I even have an RC12-L carpet racer! I spent a truckload of money back when I used to race in the dirt... (Mid 1980s to early 1990s) Crazy how cheap things are today vs back then. And it's astonishing how far the technology has progressed too! Between brushless motors, lipo batteries, and 2.4 GHz spread-spectrum radios, the sport has really changed from when I was heavily involved. (And FPV adds a whole new twist, especially to cars!)

    I recently picked up a very-gently-used Losi Mini-8IGHT truggy... I threw a cheap FPV camera on it and stuck one of my 3S lipo flight batteries in there. HOLY SHIT! It's literally too fast to drive full throttle, and that's with 4WD! Easily tops 60mph - probably a good bit more than that even. I need to gear it way down and install some heat sinks on the motor before I cook it. But damned if driving FPV isn't a lot of fun. Way better than the line-of-sight I was used to! (Of course, if I had a 12.6 volt battery in my old RC-10 back in the day, it would have felt like a rocket ship as well.)

    Hopefully you get up and racing soon before the cold weather sets in.
    Well, even in December it's still pretty nice in Charleston on most days. So I should have plenty of flying time. I just need to get everything fixed!

    Quote Originally Posted by araugh View Post
    The good news is that later this week in Charleston you won't need a flight controller for them. Just put them outside and they'll fly around on their own just fine.
    Man, I can't believe they ordered an evacuation for the ENTIRE SOUTH CAROLINA COASTLINE in advance of this storm. Jesus, talk about an over-reaction! It's not even going to hit South Carolina! But nooooooo... Let's evacuate all the way down to Beaufort just in case. (Idiots!)

    Tomorrow at noon they are going to REVERSE THE INBOUND LANES ON THE INTERSTATE! Yep, I26 will be 4-lanes-WESTWARD only starting at noon tomorrow. Thanks a lot, assholes! Do you realize what that's going to do to traffic? The entire greater Charleston metropolitan area (call it 730,000 people) is going to lose 4 or 5 days of productivity because of this. *All* schools are closing, the hospitals and nursing homes are evacuating, and businesses are being forced to close because their workers can't find anyone to watch their kids!

    Yet according to all the models, the storm is going to hit somewhere between Wilmington, North Carolina and Morehead City, North Carolina on Thursday evening. So split the difference and call it Jacksonville, NC. That's 200 miles north of us! (As the crow files.) Considering that the hurricane force winds only extend out about 30 miles from the center, I think we're going to be just fine even if the storm makes a last minute jog one way or the other, thank you very much. (And despite all the talk about how the 5 day forecast can be off by as much as 140 miles, we're talking about a 72 hour prediction here! Those predictions are normally within 75 miles of being dead-on!)

    Hell, I'm on the hurricane team at work (kinda had to be, since I'm a senior operator, and the infrastructure coordinator, plus I'm an EMT to boot). We had a 90-minute meeting this afternoon about the stupid storm, and the consensus was that we won't need to station the emergency hurricane team for this one, and we even delayed some of the normal hurricane preparation work because it won't be needed. Then I get home and find out that the rest of the state has lost it's collective mind over this thing. You should see the lines at gas stations and Wal-marts! Gah. I want to vomit...

    Quote Originally Posted by Bradfo69 View Post
    Ahh... friends. :-) Reminds me of a quote I heard during a best man's speech this weekend. "If I didn't like you.... I'd be nice to you." Lol
    Hehe! No worries. I can take it! (At least, I can take it when it's coming from you guys!)

    Adam

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