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Fail safe options, FYI, discussion

R/C Submarine modelers

Fail safe options, FYI, discussion

Postby Art Broder » Mon Nov 17, 2008 10:37 am

Most modelers are aware of the advantage of having a device to cause a model sub to surface in case of a loss of radio signal. Many dedicated electronic, and other, failsafe devices have been produced and have worked well.
Now that some smaller models are being built, there is an alternative to installing a separate failsafe device. Sombra Labs receivers have a built in failsafe function. This failsafe option can be programmed for any channel, and is an advantage for RCABS users who use a single servo to alternately switch the air pump, or the air release valve, on and off.
Are there other receivers with this capability?
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Postby KevinMc » Thu Nov 20, 2008 2:03 pm

So far as I'm aware the Sombra Labs Rx stands alone in the "75MHz with built in FS" market.

It's a good topic to discuss actually because it's important to understand the subtleties and consequences of installing a receiver with a built-in failsafe. Although it may seem obvious, if you're setting up a new boat or retrofitting an existing boat with an SL-type receiver down-stream failsafe devices won't work if the Rx failsafe is turned on. (This isn't a problem, you just need to choose which FS you want to use.)

There can also be other odd behavious to take note of as well. I recently installed an SL Rx in my KILO where I previously had Seeker 6. I wanted to continue using the failsafe function in my ADF, but I noticed while confiming its operation that the ADF was taking longer to kick in failsafe mode when the transmitter was turned off. In fact what was happening was the SL Rx was "holding" a signal for a second or so after I'd switched off my Tx, so it was taking that much longer for the ADF to see a loss of signal... Again, it's not a problem but it is an oddity to be aware of.

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Postby aquadeep » Thu Nov 20, 2008 7:03 pm

Futaba makes a 8 ch PCM reciever with a failsafe on any channel that so far has no bad behavior.


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Postby KevinMc » Fri Nov 21, 2008 8:41 am

Hi Dave,

While it is true that you can have Futaba's receivers converted to 75MHz after the fact (or perhaps as a special order) it's not a catalog item on 75MHz. I would go one further to say that it's also not in the same class as the SL receiver because you can't disable the failsafe if you don't want it. (Which I don't)
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Postby Chuck Chesney » Fri Nov 21, 2008 11:22 am

I recently purchased a couple of the Sombra Labs receivers, and can say without reservation that they are the best I've seen in over forty years of R/C model activity. They are really small, have the user option of activating the fail safe, will work on any FM frequency, and have only one major weakness. They seem to be very picky about having only a five volt input. They tend to get a little unstable at six volts, or any voltage that exceeds five volts by very much, in my experience.
I ordered them directly from Sombra Labs, in Canada. They are a real bargin, and I will probably buy a couple more of them, particularly with the trend towards gigahertz frequencies, which could make support for 75mhz tend to drop off in the future.
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