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  1. #1
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    All Flight Problems Solved With Simple Fix

    Since I got the Aton I have experienced numerous flight problems (fly away, crash, not responding, etc) despite trying three different versions of Firmware (3.3.rc7.34, 3.3.2.5 @ 3.3.2.7) along with Level, Accelerometer and Compass Recalibrations. Some of the problems have been described in past posts. I was getting frustrated and losing patience with the Aton and Traxxas.

    I am happy to say I found a simple fix and after flying four times this week testing various features in both Film and Fast Modes everything appears to be operating correctly. I'm almost embarrassed to tell you how simple the fix was: I replaced the Transmitter AAA batteries even though the Transmitter Battery Level Display indicated they were at 100%!!!

    By chance I happened to notice that every time I hit one of the transmitter buttons the battery level indicator would drop from 100% to Near Empty. I figured it wouldn't hurt to replace the batteries and to my delight all the Aton problems disappeared. Then I remember having my Alias fall out of the sky one time and couldn't figure out why. Then I realized the signal was lost even though the Transmitter battery indicator showed 100%. Just for the heck of it I replaced the AAA batteries and had no more problems with the Alias.

    The moral of my Aton/Alias experience is: don't trust the Transmitter Battery Level Display. Change the AAA batteries frequently. After all, they are pretty cheap.

  2. #2
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    Have noticed the levels dropping to zero while flying outside in the cold but returning to 100% after coming in doors. Seems plausible but the aton is supposed to go into recovery mode when this happens and RTH and land. Will be changing mine out before I fly next time.

  3. #3
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    All Flight Problems Solved With Simple Fix

    But there is one problem with the simple fix. It's not really simple if you have no idea when your batteries are at the point where your transmitter would lose connection with the Aton. Should I change them every 10 flights? 20? 50? It seems like a huge inconvenience if, in order to save your Aton from destruction or possibly damaging or hurting other people or property you need to change your battery stack without knowing how low they are in the first place.

    At LEAST this is a promising step to solving some big problems if Traxxas hasn't figured this out already. They may have figured it out but haven't found a viable solution since this would be a bad hardware problem.
    Last edited by Slono; 02-19-2016 at 04:25 PM.

  4. #4
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    something i have noticed, is that my Aton Battery level gauge,, seems to fluctuate a lot. Especially when its farther along

  5. #5
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    All Flight Problems Solved With Simple Fix

    Quote Originally Posted by steves86ta View Post
    something i have noticed, is that my Aton Battery level gauge,, seems to fluctuate a lot. Especially when its farther along
    Mine does too. I fly it until the Aton battery indicator shows empty and when I land it can sometimes gain up to 2 bars of battery life, but usually only gains 1 bar (100% of the time).

  6. #6
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    i thought that even if you turned off the transmitter that the Aton was suppose to RTH? am i missing something? so my weak transmitter batteries affect the Atons ability to function failsafes properly and determine the home position?

  7. #7
    RC Qualifier Canuckvoip's Avatar
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    Interesting observation. I have never looked at the TX battery level while pressing buttons/flying, only before and after a flight.
    Using rechargeables allows for a "never ending" supply.

  8. #8
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    If you test across all 4 batteries you should have 6.7v if you have less than 6v then you need to change the batteries. I had the same issue with mine until I changed my batteries. Aaa is rated at 1.5v but a new one will show 1.7v.
    Fly it like you stole it!

  9. #9
    Marshal ksb51rl's Avatar
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    The OP never indicated the voltage of the replaced batteries. I am very curious about that.
    Alt-248 on the number pad = °

  10. #10
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    My aaa that came with the Aton had 1.3v each, right out of the box. I would be curios what his was as well.
    Fly it like you stole it!

  11. #11
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    Talking about «Rechargeable Batteries», and considering what 06redssr said about LOW BATTERIES/LEVEL GAUGE IN THE ATON TRANSMITTER...
    If using e.g. Eneloop 1.2v AAA batteries, compare to Energizer Ultimate Lithium (1.7v)
    QUESTION : Should we expect more SECURITY using stronger batteries like Lithium (1.7v) instead of rechargeables (1.2v) in our Transmitters ???

  12. #12
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    i shut my transmitter off durring flight to test what happens it went into RTH and came back no problem

  13. #13
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    Until i updated my firmware and it flew away
    Last edited by Turdpeterson; 02-19-2016 at 10:13 PM.

  14. #14
    RC Qualifier Canuckvoip's Avatar
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    Did you try to use the location beeper (right stick to bottom right)?

  15. #15
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    When I press the right stick to the bottom right mine plays, highway to the danger zone!
    Fly it like you stole it!

  16. #16
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    My Tx beeped when my aaa batteries were too low. And they always show high when I first turn it on but during flight they do go down a bar or two. Im debating on throwing in some rechargeable ones.
    Stampede Vxl Aton Summit

  17. #17
    Marshal ksb51rl's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Reavesbj View Post
    My aaa that came with the Aton had 1.3v each, right out of the box. I would be curios what his was as well.
    Are you sure about that? I consider alkaline batteries @ 1.3V to be almost dead.
    Alt-248 on the number pad = °

  18. #18
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    I've never checked voltage on AA or AAA. Didn't you I could. How do you check it?

    Quote Originally Posted by Reavesbj View Post
    My aaa that came with the Aton had 1.3v each, right out of the box. I would be curios what his was as well.

  19. #19
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    Does it really? If so, how did you get it to do that?

    Quote Originally Posted by Reavesbj View Post
    When I press the right stick to the bottom right mine plays, highway to the danger zone!

  20. #20
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    Quote Originally Posted by CuttinEJ View Post
    I've never checked voltage on AA or AAA. Didn't you I could. How do you check it?
    You can buy cheap battery voltage checkers online or harbor freight.

    http://www.harborfreight.com/7-funct...ter-90899.html
    Last edited by ryan93civic; 02-19-2016 at 11:49 PM.
    Stampede Vxl Aton Summit

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  22. #22
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    Love Harbor Freight. Love that place.

  23. #23
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    Guys, when I changed the batteries the old ones measured 1.25-1.30V. However, as I stated previously, my Transmitter indicated they were at 100%. Only by hitting a button did I notice they were near empty. I plan to check the voltage out of the transmitter more often since it costs approximately $2-3 a set to replace.

  24. #24
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    Question

    I checked my original Traxxas batteries which I had swapped out after having a couple unexpained RTL events and after reading about some bad Traxxas batteries in this forum. They averaged about 1.44V.

    I just checked the Duracell Quantum batteries I replace them with that have about 10-12 flights on them. I've still had unexplained RTL events with these batteries. They averaged about 1.48V.

    These Duracell batteries came from a bulk pack of 28 so I measured the remaining 24 left in the pack. The results were:

    1 battery read 1.61
    4 read 1.590 - 1.592
    14 read 1.582 - 1.588
    5 read 1.574 - 1.579

    These batteries have one of those built in testers on the side that you put your fingers across two points and a gauge shows the percentage of life left. They all showed very close to 100%, including those I took out of the transmitter that read about 1.48.

    This leads me to the following conclusions:

    1 - Fresh new batteries have voltage variation and may be below expectations

    2 - Apparently the Aton transmitter uses up AAA batteries pretty quickly, assuming those from the transmitter started out at about the same as the fresh ones. I have to wonder why they didn't use AA batteries instead.

    3 - Those built in gauges might be OK for checking if batteries are good enough to power your TV remote, but are useless for checking if they are good enough to fly our Atons.

    I apologize for repeating what I posted in another thread but....

    Have any of you who have found changing the transmitter batteries solved your issues reviewed your flight logs in Mission Planner for the flights when you had an issue?

    I've had unexplained RTL events and have reviewed the logs of those flights finding the RTL event entry, but never found any Errors or other obvious clues as to why it occurred. I also reviewed logs where I intentionally initiated RTL and found basically the same set of log entries. I would expect an error to be logged if the Aton lost the transmitter signal, but from what I can tell the unexplained RTL log entries look exactly the same as the intentional RTL events.

    That doesn't make sense. It kind of implies the Aton didn't lose the transmitter signal and the transmitter sent the RTL command on its own.

    I'm going to start checking and logging my battery voltages before each flight. I want to see if weak batteries are the culprit or if maybe my transmitter just likes to issue RTL commands on its own even with good batteries.

  25. #25
    RC Qualifier Canuckvoip's Avatar
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    It's not always about voltage. Many devices have high tolerance to voltage fluctuations. 4 AAA batteries in series at 1.5v will yeild 6v, but the device (in this case the TX) might be made with a voltage tolerance of 4 to 8v (or something). At that point, as long as you are feeding enough voltage, it is the amperage that matters, not the voltage.
    You may read 1.5 or so on a battery that will not work simply because there's not enough mah to power said device.
    Just a thought.
    My AAA rechargeables are holding up fine after 8 flights and they are rated at less than 1.5v each.

  26. #26
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    Im all for rechargeable batteries but I found this, not sure if it applies to our Atons Tx or not

    NiMH batteries put out less voltage than their alkaline counterparts (1.2V vs. 1.5V). Usually the difference doesn't matter, but sometimes it can. If a device really wants a lot of voltage then supplying it with less means you'll get much less runtime. Many devices, like digital cameras, are actually designed for the lower voltage of NiMH's so those devices are never a problem. But for other devices, the more batteries your device uses, the greater the risk that the voltage will be too low. For example, with devices that take...

    1 battery. The 0.3V difference between 1.5V and 1.2V is rarely a problem.
    2 batteries. Now the device expects 3.0V from alkalines but you give it only 2.4V from NiMH. The 0.6V is more likely to be a problem than it would be in a 1-battery device, but you're still probably fine.
    3 batteries. Now the differences are much more likely to manifest. I have lots of headband flashlights, and they're noticably dimmer and give less runtime with the 3.6V provided by the NiMH vs. the 4.5V that they're expecting from alkalines. Unfortunately there are few headlamps designed with NiMHs in mind, but both the Zebralight and the Fenix HL21 take a single AA and are super-bright. I have one of each, and I love them. (Here's a comparison of the various Zebralight models.)

    4 batteries. Now we're looking at a 6.0 - 4.8V = 1.2V difference. That's pretty sizable, and I'm not surprised by poorer performance at this point.
    Stampede Vxl Aton Summit

  27. #27
    RC Qualifier Canuckvoip's Avatar
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    Yup... completely depends on what the device voltage tolerance is. If the device requires a minimum of 5 volts, supplying it with 4.8 means it probably won't even start up/boot.

  28. #28
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    I have 2 sets of rechargeable AAAs just for this. I guess I better get a voltage checker and keep an eye on them too.

  29. #29
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    All my issues were with new non Traxxas batteries. I'm glad it worked for you though.

  30. #30
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    I guess what I am insinuating here is that the Aton TX obviously has a wide voltage tolerance, just like the Alias TX.
    Both of them have worked flawlessly with my rechargeable AAAs.
    I use a combination of Panasonic and Energizer Nimh rated at 1.2v 700mah. No problems here, just make sure you get as high mah as possible and they will last nicely.

  31. #31
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    I just put a brand new fresh set of Energizer Ulitmate Lithium batteries that each measured 1.80v consistently for all 4.

    This time before doing anything else I found an very level surface and did a full calibration to set everything to a baseline.

    Then I put the Energizers in the transmitter and took the Aton out to fly. Flying casually in Sport mode I had another random unintended RTH within the first 3-4 minutes flying. Again, RTH worked as expected so Still no crazy fly away scenarios but these random RTH instances are really annoying.

    Batteries apparently do not fix all issues, at least not in my instance.

  32. #32
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    Thanks PRGeno for taking the time to do that.
    Not that this helps much I ran 3 packs through today I'm at about 15 flights not one odd instance. I have done everything but fly in expert mode.
    Using standard energizer batteries fresh from the store day 1. Voltage at 1.43-1.45v

  33. #33
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    I switched the batteries back to the Duracell Quantums that read 1.59 and ran through 4 battery packs at different times of the day today in exactly the same location as always (I've only ever flow it in my backyard so far). I slowly gained confidence and got more and more aggressive (aggressive for me anyway) each flight as they went on without an RTH incident.

    I've gone more than this many flights before without an RTL incident, so I have no illusions that this set of batteries are the magic cure, but it sure was nice to have some uninterrupted fun for a change.

  34. #34
    RC Qualifier Canuckvoip's Avatar
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    Guys... have you ever gotten in your car in the cold and the meter reads 12v but the car doesn't start?
    It's because the battery no longer has the amperage to do the job of cranking the starter motor anymore.
    The Aton/Alias TX obviously works at 4.8v or maybe lower. I took the opportunity to open up the Aton TX and measure the voltage with a meter with my rechargeable AAAs in there.
    It read around 5v.
    As of this afternoon I have over 10 flights with zero issues on the rechargeables and the last flight showed lower than 100% for the first time.
    Quality batteries and best amperage are the deal, not simply voltage.

  35. #35
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    The tx has a very hard draw on the batteries. I only run energizer ultimate lithium, tx has 7.2v when you turn it on voltage drops to 5.8v that is a strong drop in voltage. So I agree with the above statement that the amp rating of the batteries is very important. To bad they don't rate batteries that way. My opinion is if you buy a $400.00 + dollar toy than you should run the best batteries you can in the tx. If saving money on cheap batteries is a big deal than you need to buy a Walmart drone.
    Fly it like you stole it!

  36. #36
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    If you had to list 5 battery brands to use in the Aton which ones would you recommend? Alkaline batteries only.

  37. #37
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    Fly it like you stole it!

  38. #38
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    My Aton has been automatically returning to home on every single flight I've taken it on after 1-2 minutes of flight. This is without even flying it far away from me. When it lands the "power" status light always starts blinking like it lost the transmitter signal. No flyaways luckily though. This is on stock firmware. Bought a microSD tonight and updated the firmware tonight and gonna go buy some higher quality AAA batteries since mine aren't really a quality brand to see if either of these things help in flights tomorrow.
    Last edited by Don135; 02-21-2016 at 12:06 AM.

  39. #39
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    Yes batteries have to support the current draw and that capability diminishes over time. The Aton requirement is heavier than your average TV remote and can cause far more havoc if the batteries fail.

    In my case I have used only new, high quality batteries, including the market mAh leader Energizer Ultimate Lithium, a high quality alkaline Duracell Quantum, and the batteries Traxxas supplied. I have measure all of their worthiness with an acknowledge standard testing method using a digital VOM while the battery was under load.

    I've had the same random RTH incidents occur regardless of which of these batteries were installed in the transmitter. It appears my testing has proven not "all flight problems solved with simple fix" as this thread might lead one to believe.

    My Aton's issue would appear to be either a firmware bug or over sensitivity to RF interference. But if this was the case I would expect there would be evidence of it in the logs. I also wouldn't expect to be able to immediately take back control simply by hitting the air brakes if it really lost the tx signal. But there is that 4 beep jingle burned into my brain announcing it's decided to return to home on it's own. I guess it's better than having it decide to fly away on it's own.

    I hope Traxxas figures this out because it's much more fun flying when I have control.

  40. #40
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    Quote Originally Posted by Don135 View Post
    My Aton has been automatically returning to home on every single flight I've taken it on after 1-2 minutes of flight. This is without even flying it far away from me. When it lands the "power" status light always starts blinking like it lost the transmitter signal. No flyaways luckily though. This is on stock firmware. Bought a microSD tonight and updated the firmware tonight and gonna go buy some higher quality AAA batteries since mine aren't really a quality brand to see if either of these things help in flights tomorrow.
    So I just went and did a flight after updating to the latest firmware and replacing the transmitter batteries. Same result, randomly started RTH after a minute or so, only this time I tried to use the air brake to stop the RTH, this resulted in an uncontrollable flyaway that was luckily stopped by a tree.

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