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A little help re: Engel Typhoon electronics

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A little help re: Engel Typhoon electronics

Postby Bob the Builder » Wed Oct 06, 2010 11:11 am

Gents,


I've got all the guts into my Typhoon project and everything is working (for now) except for the most important thing... that' being the Engel TMAX dive system.

I've double checked all of the wiring twice, and I'm relatively certain that it is connected correctly according to the instructions. I'm using an F-14 Navy Twin Stick for control along with the 12+2 transmitter/decoder module. The dive system is currently set up on channel 5 direct from the main receiver, NOT the decoder. Fine trim is connected to channel 6, again on the main receiver. Trim control is currently connected to K7 on the decoder, which is a proportional channel, but not direct from the receiver.

What is happening right now is that the system will operate properly for the main flood/dive operation. It does not respond in any way to inputs from Ch.6 or Ch.7. I tried swapping those channels out, but it makes no difference. I get no fine control or trim control. The units do not react in the slightest to these inputs. To further confound me, from time to time when I test, a command for neutral buoyancy will flood the tanks, but then immediately thereafter my stern tank empties and returns to fully retracted with the bow tank fully extended.

I've double checked and the F-14 is operating on PPM and the setting for the decoder is PPM as well.

I know the instructions say that the ballast needs to run off of true proportional channels from the receiver, and I do have both the main flood/blow function and the fine trim function off of true proportional channels (the two center sliders on the transmitter). Would having the trim function even plugged into the decoder cause this? I haven't had the chance to try disconnecting that yet...

Also, on a quasi-related note, I currently have my bow retracts working off of a momentary-retract and latching-extend switch on the 12+2 module. This is done so that the bow plane servo can remain actuated while the planes are extended. In a momentary setup, the relay does not stay actuated and the bow servo does not function. My issue is this: When the extend command is given, the switch latches, even when you return it to center position. If I forget to unlatch the switch, BOTH the extend and retract relays activate and all sorts of badness happens. Is there a switch that I can use that latches, but only when the switch is in the activation position? As it works now, the switch latches when you flip it down, but then to turn it off you need to return the switch to center position and then back to flipped position and then back again to neutral position (who THOUGHT of that?!?) Can I modify the existing switch to eliminate the latching ability so that the relay is actuated only when the switch is in that position?

Any help that you can offer would be greatly appreciated!


Bob
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Re: A little help re: Engel Typhoon electronics

Postby Sub culture » Wed Oct 06, 2010 11:30 am

Not hugely au fait with the Engel control system. Ramesh has the same boat so he can probably give you some pointers.

I would start with a process of elimination, by looping out the decoder and plugging the board into three conventional channels, just to see if the board works okay. If so then it may be an issue with the decoder, although to be honest I'm scratching my head wondering why this might be the case.

Regarding the problem with the retracts, this sounds like the relay used is a bistable (latching) one. These use permanent magnets to keep the contact bar in the last commanded position. They're very useful, but not so hot for the application you want. Sounds like you need either a single pole, single throw (spst) relay or a double pole, double throw (dpdt) relay. It would be helpful if I knew a bit more about the way your retract works. Can you draw a diagram, as I'm having trouble visualising it from your description.
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Re: A little help re: Engel Typhoon electronics

Postby Bob the Builder » Wed Oct 06, 2010 2:59 pm

Andy,


I popped an email to Gregor, and he actually got back to me within hours! Not bad for being in Germany!

He said that my issue is that I've got one channel plugged into the decoder. Now, granted, I'm not a R/C expert, but I don't see how one of the leads being plugged into a lead that is not inputting anything could affect the other two, but then again, its his board. If anyone knows it will be him. He told me that all three leads need to be plugged into true proportional channels directly from the receiver. I'll give that a shot and see what happens. From what I understand, either lead 6 or 7 can simply remain unplugged and that feature will be unavailable while the other two function as usual. If so, that's great, though it sucks to have the capability and not use it. The F-14 only has two free proportional channels that aren't being used (I've got two for throttles, one for rudder and one for planes.)

In regards to the retracts, he said that I can switch the decoder's memory function off and that would stop it from latching. I'll research how to do this and see if it solves the issue.
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Re: A little help re: Engel Typhoon electronics

Postby Sub culture » Wed Oct 06, 2010 3:27 pm

I've not had an opportunity to investigate how the Robbe/Futaba decoders work. I'm sure if I could hook one up to a scope it would offer more insight into why there may be a problem using these with the Engel board.
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Want to dive your boat in crystal clear water? Then you had better Dive-in- http://www.diveintomodelsubmarines.co.uk
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Re: A little help re: Engel Typhoon electronics

Postby Bob the Builder » Thu Oct 07, 2010 12:32 pm

UPDATE:

I found the instructions to switch the decoder to non-latching mode, and all of my peripheral functions now work great! It involved splitting open the decoder and snipping a jumper wire. Took all of five minutes and now everything works far better. One issue down, one to go (so far!)

The TMAX board is still giving me grief in that it is not recognizing inputs from channels 6 and 7, which control fine trim and pitch adjustment.

Gregor has told me that driving the main blow/vent function with a slider is not recommended, and so I've ordered a three-position switch from Ships N' Things to control that. Should be here in the next few days or early next week, I guess. I still have a hard time believing that this is the cause of my issues, but I'll give it a try anyway. Can't hurt anything.

Gregor told me to check my wiring for the sliding pots on the dive tanks, and that people often mess that part up. I'll go through it for the third time, but I am almost positive that I've hooked them up according to the instructions properly.

More research to come tomorrow AM!
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Re: A little help re: Engel Typhoon electronics

Postby Sub culture » Fri Oct 08, 2010 5:45 am

You can use any three way toggle switch with the F14, or in fact just push the wires together to just see if that is the problem (e.g. connect the yellow wire to the black or red wire or leave it floating for neutral). I have an FC16 which is virtually the same as the F14 but with a computer bolted on- they're easy sets to modify.

Image
'Why are you staring at an empty pond?'

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Re: A little help re: Engel Typhoon electronics

Postby Bob the Builder » Thu Oct 14, 2010 9:16 am

Alrighty...

So I have a three way switch installed and working properly. K5 is running off of that switch and K6 and 7 are working off of channel 5 and 6 of the transmitter, which are proportional sliders. If a photo is worth a thousand words, please check out this video and peruse a million!:

Looking for any input that anyone has at all. I'm stumped.

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Re: A little help re: Engel Typhoon electronics

Postby Sub culture » Thu Oct 14, 2010 11:28 am

I'm wondering if you have a dodgy slider pot on the tank that is doing the funny business. Perhaps swap them around (or is that a major hassle?) and see if the other tank acts the same.
'Why are you staring at an empty pond?'

Want to dive your boat in crystal clear water? Then you had better Dive-in- http://www.diveintomodelsubmarines.co.uk
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Re: A little help re: Engel Typhoon electronics

Postby Bob the Builder » Tue Oct 19, 2010 3:00 am

Great suggestion, Andy. I'll give that a shot as soon as I get back from Australia this weekend!

Bob
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Re: A little help re: Engel Typhoon electronics

Postby Bob the Builder » Thu Oct 28, 2010 12:36 pm

Well...

The "Ghost in the machine" seems to have been exorcised. I played with the board for a while last week and after my return to the original wiring, it suddenly... worked. It bugs the hell out of me not to know WHY it now works, but I'm not going to complain too loudly. As of right now, the ballast system seems to be working perfectly.

Moving onto trimming this weekend!

Thanks, everyone, for your help!


Bob
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