"AS3X" and "SAFE" receivers from Spektrum

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"AS3X" and "SAFE" receivers from Spektrum

New postby retiredVTT on Wed Sep 23, 2015 10:32 pm

Recently there have been different Spektrum receivers come out that contain gyros and are programmed to make corrective maneuvers to the model. The idea is to assist the pilot in windy conditions or to actually bring the model back to a level condition after it has been put into an out of control situation.

A couple years back one of the first AS3X receivers was the AR635 and although it was programmable by the purchaser, it involved a very detailed and scary procedure. So most owners left it alone, and used it as it was setup by Spektrum.

So a year later the 635 was replaced with the AR636 receiver which was labelled to have the AS3X features and was now programmable either from a smart phone or a PC provided you had the required cable, sold separately.

A third receiver, known simply as a "SAFE" receiver showed up in models from Horizon Hobby and these receivers contained the features to actually prevent the model from being banked to far over, and in some cases provided control to return a model to level flight when the "panic button" on the Transmitter was pushed.

Somewhere along the way, modellers naturally thought...."if I can replace that "635" receiver that is so hard to program, with the newer "636" that is a jewel to program, I would have a much better setup in my model", (such as the Eflite Splendor).

However, this is where it gets somewhat tricky....lately a number of models have been put out with AR636 receivers that not only have the AS3X circuitry (gyros to assist the three main control axis) but also contain "SAFE" circuitry. These AR636 receivers are being billed as "programmed for operation in ONLY this model". Initially they said if you tried to reprogram it you lose the "SAFE" feature; later they said it was not programmable by the purchaser.

This has created a backlash of comments from buyers, who obviously wanted to be able to reuse this receiver in another model with different gyro settings. To complicate the situation there still is a model AR636 receiver (with open stock software) sold separately, and THIS one is programmable via the smart phone or PC. It has this part number: SPMAR636
I don't know if the other 636 receivers have different part numbers, but lets hope so..!

Recently I purchased a used Parkzone Sukhoi 29MM which has the AR636 receiver with both AS3X and SAFE. Two of these showed up on our For Sale thread in the same week, so I searched out the thread on RC Groups and sure enough, buyers are having some problems with the model; such that the designer Mike McConville came on the thread and made several posts to assist those who had bought this model.

I gleaned through the many pages of posts and have collected some info that I have attached here as a pdf file. It might help future buyers of these models.


Bill
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Re: "AS3X" and "SAFE" receivers from Spektrum

New postby astroflyer on Wed Sep 23, 2015 10:58 pm

I'll just add one comment to your excellent handiwork Bill.

The SAFE receiver in the new parkzone Ultimate2 which is essentially the same as in your sukhoi IS programmable and not locked down. The uproar over the locked down sukhoi receiver no doubt is the reason for this.

Tom T-28 and I were enjoying our ultimates at the ASRCM field this morning. SUPER airplane!

Doubt I'll change the default receiver settings and am flying the plane as is. However it is really nice to know that I can reprogram and use that receiver in anything I might want in future.

Your sukhoi receiver BTW can and is being used by others in other planes, cavaet being similar style plane and servos moving in the same direction.
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Re: "AS3X" and "SAFE" receivers from Spektrum

New postby wildblue30 on Wed Sep 23, 2015 11:19 pm

Hi Bill,

Very informative and interesting summary. I am up to about page 120 (out of 341!) on the Su-29MM thread on RC Groups. After our conversation at the field, I did some checking on the Horizon website. As you suspected, there are indeed separate part numbers for each variation of the AR636:

AR636 6-Channel AS3X® Sport Receiver (SPMAR636)
AR636 F4U Corsair SAFE Replacement Receiver (SPMAR636F4U)
AR636 SAFE® Replacement Receiver: Sukhoi SU-29MM (SPMAR636SU)
AR636H Replacement AS3X Helicopter Receiver: 200 SR X (SPMAR636H)

I also noticed that the AR636 on my SU-29MM does not have the interface port on the side that the Sport Receiver has. This is disappointing to those of us who a) want to make small gain adjustments to our models and b) want to move the AR636 to another model at some point.

On the bright side, yesterday I tried moving the clevis from the outer most hole on every servo horn to the second outer most hole. I was happy to see that the oscillations at high speed (like we saw the other day) almost completely disappeared! And yes, this was flying in precision mode. I suppose this is the mechanical equivalent of lowering the gains..

Jeff
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Re: "AS3X" and "SAFE" receivers from Spektrum

New postby astroflyer on Thu Sep 24, 2015 7:37 am

I've never seen any oscillations on the sukhoi at high speed in precision mode. I did have a bit of noise from the rudder servo that I thought might be slight oscillation but could never see it. In 3d mode though, severe elevator oscillation at pretty much any speed. I gave up on 3d mode and just sport fly it.

And if you plug in a battery with your switches in any positon other than precision, you'll get about 1/8th inch of up elevator. Not sure why they programmed that in, but sure throws you for a loop the first time you fly a previously trimmed airplane with that happening. Lol Also when you first start your takeoff run in precision, watch your elevator give a quick but thankfully brief burst of down elevator. Not sure why they programmed that in either, other than perhaps to raise the tail on takeoff.

At the first of this season I installed an ar610 receiver and turned it into a regular airplane. Like that the best.

BTW, try an APC 11/5.5 prop. You'll like it.
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Re: "AS3X" and "SAFE" receivers from Spektrum

New postby retiredVTT on Thu Sep 24, 2015 1:00 pm

Thanks Al and Jeff for the valuable posts made here. I find it amazing to have so many AR636 receivers that are basically different from each other. Sort of buggers up the resale trade among modellers.

With my Sukhoi, this is one time that I'm glad I got it at a half price sale. Just disappointed that the Rx can not be slipped into my Splendor.


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Re: "AS3X" and "SAFE" receivers from Spektrum

New postby astroflyer on Thu Sep 24, 2015 3:05 pm

Very confusing. You would have to be really careful buying a used AR636. There was a chap on rccanada last week selling one which as it turned out in conversation was from the sukhoi. His pricing came down drastically after that fact was divulged, still too high for that particular one though IMHO.

Not sure why you'd want one of the 636's for the splendor though. The 635 in that plane is excellent, somewhat confusing to program but doable. I have several which I have programmed and I like them a lot.

The setup pre-programmed into the splendor is perfect for that plane. No need to change anything. I've test flown two and they both were very smooth on that receiver.
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Re: "AS3X" and "SAFE" receivers from Spektrum

New postby retiredVTT on Thu Sep 24, 2015 7:36 pm

True Al, the Splendor and Visionaire models with the AR635 that I have seen, work well for the first year or two then they appears to start wiggling their rear ends, etc. I believe it is generally a servo problem, but in some cases the 635 gets blamed, and flyers want to readjust it. Like a lot of things, the second generation of this receiver, the 636, has a big improvement wrt programming.

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Re: "AS3X" and "SAFE" receivers from Spektrum

New postby steve on Thu Sep 24, 2015 8:47 pm

On a side note, I was at Great Hobbies today and oogled over that new Eflite Ultimate that you mentioned here. I didnt buy it but it sure is pretty.
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Re: "AS3X" and "SAFE" receivers from Spektrum

New postby astroflyer on Thu Sep 24, 2015 11:04 pm

steve wrote:On a side note, I was at Great Hobbies today and oogled over that new Eflite Ultimate that you mentioned here. I didnt buy it but it sure is pretty.


I love the ultimafe steve. Flew it again today in about 20kph winds and it was rock solid. I could see the ailerons reacting to the wind gusts while the plane tracked absolutely true. Great power, very smooth and very pretty in the air.

DSC_8442-1.jpg
Tom and I at asrcm on wednesday
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Re: "AS3X" and "SAFE" receivers from Spektrum

New postby astroflyer on Thu Sep 24, 2015 11:26 pm

Programming the 636 in my p-51 was more frustrating initially than any of the 635's. First cable I bought plugged into my PC but all you could do with that was register the receiver. Bought a second cable for the tablet/phone app which turned out to be intermittent with my tablet. Then they finally brought out the pc software and I finally was able to tweak the gains down slightly for the higher speeds I was flying the mustang. And the app/software took some getting used to and wrapping your head around such things as the heading hold settings in addition to the gains. Better than stick adusting the 635 for sure but I still came away underwhelmed with the tablet app in particular.
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