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  1. #1
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    My Sad, now happy Alias Story

    Just thought I would let you guys know my story in case it helps anyone to have more fun with their Alias.

    I got an Alias at my local shop. I flew it and then at the end of my first flight a motor stopped. I don't know what happened, but it stopped.

    I checked online for answers and found this forum. It looked like a motor problem since many were having similar issues. So, I took it to the local shop and they said it was a motor issue. I called Traxxas and got a set of motors sent my way (Took about about 4 weeks).

    While I waited for the motors I really really wanted to fly. I ordered a set of motors from Dollarhobbyz but they got lost in the mail and Dollar Hobbyz never took care of me, in any way, even after many emails. Next I ordered some other companies small motors that I soldiered them to the Alias connectors.

    I ordered a $40 quad to try that while I get the Alias running. Not as good as the Alias.

    So I soldiered in the new motors and still some motors not working right! Crap! So I looked at this forum for hours until I saw one of the Marshals said to try reseting the accelerometer and it worked!

    My local shops demo model has had it's share of problems and they didn't know about the accelerometer reset. They have swapped many motors and in some cases it may not be the motors.

    Since reseting my accelerometer I have been flying and having tons of fun. The Alias is much better that the $40 model and I can get parts at my local shop. I just got another battery and recommend the Alias highly now that I have gotten over some issues.

    So, thanks to all of you for your great info you share!!!
    Last edited by ksb51rl; 05-06-2014 at 01:06 PM.

  2. #2
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    Update:
    I have been flying my Alias like crazy! Since reseting the accelerometer (Click to link to instructions), I haven't had any problems. I have now been flying so much I am replacing parts from crashes and normal wear and tear. After replacing the motors once, I have put about 15 flights through them. Much fun!

    -Tom
    ------
    Alias w/ camera, 1/16 Summit, Stampede.

  3. #3
    RC Turnbuckle Jr. Dadx2mj's Avatar
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    I reset the accelerometers often and it seems to fix any odd flight characteristics. As an example the other day when I would go from a hover to a fast climb by giving it full throttle the Alias would go up and to the right. Reset the accelerometers and it then lifted straight up as it should. I reset them not every time I crash or have a hard landing or notice any odd behavior in flight.
    BlindMan Racing
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  4. #4
    Traxxas Employee TireSlinger's Avatar
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    Sometimes my Alias will need a reset if I'm moving around a lot when I first connect the battery. Other times like Dad said it just seems to want a reset after a hard impact or something. It's a super easy fix.

  5. #5
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    I do not know a lot about the Alias at this point, but it is my understanding that in general and in particular with my build that accelerators should be calibrated with the flight control board level and stable. I am assuming the level is more for the gyros and the stable part is for the accelerometers which is in keeping with what TireSlinger is posting about regarding moving the quad around a lot during power up initialization. I try to minimize the amount of movement and duration of movement as soon as I connect that battery and place the quad on a leveled surface as quickly as possible. I carry a "X-Y" type spirit level in my Alias carrying case (the original box) and set the case to level as the launch pad. A cheap and effective temporary solution .

  6. #6
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    Are you sure that's necessary? Most of my quads only need to be still a couple seconds after plugging in the battery. Flat and level doesn't matter. Except on calibrations and I think only one of those.

  7. #7
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    Jeremy- I am not sure. On my SYMA X1's it is my understanding that the gyros initialize every time the quad powers up so it is recommended that they be be powered up on a level surface every time. I tested this and for the X1 what I believe to be true seems valid. I got into a habit of setting up a level launch pad for the X1's. After a year of this I now do it also for my my quad build, and now the Alias. I do not think that my build requires the level launch pad since everything has now been setup on the flight control board. I do not recalibrate it very often. The Alias is really an unknown to me presently. I have a lot to learn about it.

    One thing about having this habit of the level launch site is that it removes a possible initialization problem at power up and the launch area is free from mud, moisture, snow, and debris that could mess with the gears, motors, and drive shafts. It is an established habit whether or not it is needed with the Alias I hope to find out from people who have some experience with the Alias which I do not.

    I have very few good habits, just ask my wife. This may be one of the few.
    Last edited by jbrumberg; 05-06-2014 at 02:44 PM.

  8. #8
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    jbrumberg: Unlike the X1, you don't have to calibrate this each time or have it level unless you are reseting. It keeps the calibration until it gets out of wack. Try this next time you fly the Alias.... turn on the controller, plug in the battery to the Alias, don't level it, throw the Alias ( in this position "|") like a vertical frisbee then hit the throttle. It will right itself and it's a fun way to start flying! I can't do this this with the X1. Also, about keeping it free from mud, etc. I hand launch and if needed, hand landing too. Happy Flying!

    -Tom
    ------
    Alias w/ camera, 1/16 Summit, Stampede.

  9. #9
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    I believe that you do need to arm it before applying throttle. Until you have the arm-throttle down pat, I would be careful what you throw it over -- i.e. don't start by throwing it out over the swimming pool.

  10. #10
    Marshal ksb51rl's Avatar
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    My Sad, now happy Alias Story

    Quote Originally Posted by zengerg View Post
    I believe that you do need to arm it before applying throttle. Until you have the arm-throttle down pat, I would be careful what you throw it over -- i.e. don't start by throwing it out over the swimming pool.
    Absolutely correct. Also, do not take too much time between arming and throwing or you will hear the dreaded beat of the disarming and your Alias will land like a frisbee...or a lawn dart.
    Alt-248 on the number pad =

  11. #11
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    Thanks Tom for that hand toss trick. No I do not calibrate/recalibrate my Alias with each battery/power up, there has been no need for recalibration yet; but I have been launching from a level surface from habit strength and the manual recommends it. I have been doing some research about this initialization/initiation power up business since I posted previously. I saw an Alias review somewhere where this poster indicated that some initialization occurred during arming, but based on other "information" that he provided I question the validity of his claims. It gets more confusing to me when I read posts over at RCG where some posters report having no problems with the hand toss technique as you described (maybe you were one of them) and others posters report having problems with this method unless they launch first from a level surface and then do the hand toss the second scenario would lead some credence to some initialization going on at power up, but your from your reports of no difficulties would suggest that calibration is held in memory so there would be no need for a level surface launch as you suggested. So all things having been posted and read, with fingers cramping, and brain fried; I am just as confused as I was before. More research is needed as well as some experimentation. Again thanks for your input and the setting you used.

    I can definitely hand toss launch one of my X1's the results would be quite entertaining Just taking off from an uneven surface can be interesting as well.
    Last edited by jbrumberg; 05-06-2014 at 09:47 PM.

  12. #12
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    I am trying this reset process now as I have motor issues and only flew it maybe 3 times!! how long did the reset take approx? mine is still flashing the zeros back and fourth and it's been a couple minutes?

    Thanks
    Shawn

  13. #13
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    Quote Originally Posted by iifast4u View Post
    I am trying this reset process now as I have motor issues and only flew it maybe 3 times!! how long did the reset take approx? mine is still flashing the zeros back and fourth and it's been a couple minutes?
    I just tried it and it took just a second.
    ------
    Alias w/ camera, 1/16 Summit, Stampede.

  14. #14
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    I simplified my question and put it plain english over at RCG and spoonerrw saved my mental status from even further deterioration. He reported that according to a factory representative a while ago that after power up and arming, the Alias needs a moment to initialize which is probably why the manual recommends that the Alias be launched from a level surface.

    Thank you spoonerw.

    But as I did "major" in frisbee in college I can now see the frisbee toss working as well.

    I guess that I will sleep tonight
    Last edited by jbrumberg; 05-07-2014 at 01:59 PM.

  15. #15
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    thanks J... you are welcome .

    I haven't tried the toss method. I don't fly in the first two modes anymore though either. besides... I am left handed and my brain is wired backwards anyway, hahahaha . that probably would turn out very badly .
    Fly fast, Fly hard, and forget about the outcome.

  16. #16
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    Quote Originally Posted by iifast4u View Post
    I am trying this reset process now as I have motor issues and only flew it maybe 3 times!! how long did the reset take approx? mine is still flashing the zeros back and fourth and it's been a couple minutes?

    Thanks
    Shawn
    I did my orange one this morning, it was probably due anyway... a couple of seconds was all. when you press the right aux button, it needs to be a very quick press/release. I mean... press it and immediately let it go quickly. don't try to hold it in or it will not work. the first time I did this was when I built my orange one for testing the V959 motors. it took me a few tries to get it right. unfortunately though, if you still have been unable to get the Tx to bind with the Alias... you wont be able to do the accelerometer reset.
    Fly fast, Fly hard, and forget about the outcome.

  17. #17
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    I am done with researching the initialization question for now (fried my brain), but it does appear that the Alias flight control board functions in a manner similar to the KK2.0 version 1.6 flight controller which I also have. That board can be hand frisbee toss launched as well once it is initialized and once self leveling is enabled it too will self level as long as the revolutions of the aircraft do not exceed the resolution of the board's gyros. If the aircraft's spinning revolutions exceed the gyro's resolution rates flight and flight control will reportedly be erratic at best and there exists a high likelihood of a less than effective aircraft-ground interaction. This could explain the inconsistencies with the success of the Alias frisbee hand toss method of launch as reported at RCG. I am not yet ready to test this on my Alias, and no way I am testing this on my build.
    Last edited by jbrumberg; 05-08-2014 at 06:55 AM.

  18. #18
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    To see fast spinning, have you performed the x3 and x5 flips in fast mode (expert 1)?

  19. #19
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    Yes briefly, but that is not of my interest, but those acrobatic maneuvers are programmed into the board with the gyros and accelerometers involvement after power up and gyro initialization (apparently) at E1 rates with user command. The frisbee hand toss can start off before the accelerometers are enabled and after the gyros are initialized in select situations by the user. In these particular situations the gyros' resolution limitations can lead to control challenges. All gyros have some degree of resolution limitations. The Alias has high quality gyros based on what I have seen as evidenced by its ability to handle high spin rates under control. The Alias is a well designed quad. I am definitely not disparaging it. I have based my opinions correctly or incorrectly on the observations of others and available information about other flight control boards which appear to function in a manner very similar to the Alias as to gyro initialization and accelerometer function.

    As an Traxxas employee you are in a much better position to understand the workings of the Alias flight controller and have information available that is not available to the general user such as myself. I have two questions for you- does the Alias require a moment after power up for the gyros to initialize on a level surface? And, if initialization does occur, does it occur at power up, or after arming the quad?

    I am just curious as to how this flight controller works. I am sure other owner/operators are interested as well.

    I now have two Aliases. That is indicative in my interest in this quad. I just want to know more about them.
    Last edited by jbrumberg; 05-08-2014 at 10:36 AM.

  20. #20
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    Quote Originally Posted by jbrumberg View Post
    I now have two Aliases. That is indicative in my interest in this quad. I just want to know more about them.
    Does that mean you found the lost one?

  21. #21
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    No I wish that I had then I would now have three. No I am impressed enough in this quad that I went and purchased another one.

    Thanks for asking about #1 though Jeremy1.

  22. #22
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    Just so we're on the same page...When you say "frisbee hand toss" You mean the Alias is spinning many times before you give it throttle? Or just a couple of revolotions? I flick, toss, frisbee throw mind in the air and give it throttle works fine. But it is only rotating maybe 1 1/2-2 time before I hit the throttle. But it does work. I'll try a vertical toss tonite and see what happens.

  23. #23
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    HuskyDude this will be interesting. I suspect that if it is initialized while level everything should work in theory. I have no clue what will happen if it is initialized in an non level state or if one just plugs in the battery and immediately throws the quad from a "theoretical" perspective. The Alias qyros seem pretty high quality. Could you explain your procedure afterwards? Thanks in advance. J

    All for the "sake of science".
    Last edited by jbrumberg; 05-08-2014 at 03:14 PM.

  24. #24
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    Quote Originally Posted by jbrumberg View Post
    HuskyDude Could you explain your procedure afterwards? Thanks in advance. J
    OK home from work now and I just went out in the back yard. Put the battery in my Alias (at no time was it flat but still in my hand kinda hanging from one motor arm. Then I armed the transmitter and flung my it. It made a full revolution in the air before I gave it throttle. It corrected for my bad throw evened out and hovered. I did this several time. It did crash once because it was almost upside down before I gave it throttle...but it did try very hard to right itself. Maybe another meter of elevation and it would of recovered from that one too.
    I need to get to the park a really give it a full arm Frisbee throw like 25-30ft. and see what happens. But I'm pretty confident it will have the same results and hover.
    Last edited by HuskyDude; 05-08-2014 at 07:10 PM.

  25. #25
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    Wow!! Thanks for the information sharing HuskyDude. It is apparent that here is some excellent engineering behind the Alias FCB.

  26. #26
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    My Sad, now happy Alias Story

    A little late but I can also confirm the vertical throw. My LHS did this to a demo and it was one of the reasons that I bought the Alias. I was thinking to myself, if it can do that on its own then maybe I can fly this sucker! Having never flown before that was impressive.
    Last edited by ksb51rl; 05-18-2014 at 10:36 PM.

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