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  1. #1
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    Noobie Owner Questions

    Hello, today I have gotten an Aton. Im just here to ask some questions.

    1. How durable is it? Today, on my second flight due to wind, (stupid me) the Aton flipped over, 3 times. The rotors repeatedly tried too spin while touching the ground. Could this damage the motors?

    2. Is it advisable to use the camera legs for "protection?"

    3. Can you use other batteries with 1st generation Traxxas High Current Connectors?

  2. #2
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    It's really durable for a quad but you can break it . Flipped .. what mode are you flying in ? Flying in film mode when you are learning to fly you'll find the wind makes very little deference

    I never use the legs unless i'm carrying my GoPro I find it much more stable lifting off/landing with out them .

    Yes, I've used many different battery's with both styles of Traxxas connectors
    Last edited by hemidoo; 12-25-2017 at 09:07 PM. Reason: add

  3. #3
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    Thanks a lot for those answers. FYI, It flipped over right when I started to take off. Ive been in a loop of anxiety about damaging the Aton, especially the motors.

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    If not already done at the factory, most experienced Aton owners will recommend updating the firmware out of the box followed by a full calibration. If unsure which firmware you have, download the Traxxas FlightLink app and after connecting to your Aton, choose Firmware Update from drop down menu upper left of app screen. Second entry in list is ATON FMU Version and the most recent release is 3.3.2.13. If you do not have this version installed on your Aton, I strongly recommend you update because many users have reported issues with the previous version. Even if your firmware is current, performing a full calibration is always a good idea. Here's a link to a YouTube video I published that explains how to use the Flight Link app & has embedded links to the Traxxas videos explaining how to update the firmware (6:19 min mark) and perform a full calibration (17:44 min mark). https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=h_3Vik1MxdM And here's a direct link to the Traxxas firmware webpage where you can download the most recent firmware file https://traxxas.com/products/models/...ton?t=firmware

    Having said that, if you try to take off too slow, prop wash can cause the Aton to flip especially with legs installed. In film mode, there's an auto takeoff function that you could try to get a feel for how much throttle you need to apply to achieve a clean takeoff. Aton's motors should not continue to spin when they come in contact with the ground or other stationary object. Aton has a built-in feature that disarms the motors under those circumstances to prevent damage so if they're continuing to spin, that makes me think outdated firmware is still installed on your Aton. I only use the legs when filming as stated by hemidoo. They make it top heavy during take-off & landing and create extra drag when flying in sport mode. It's a very durable quadcopter but a hard crash will sometimes break the mainframe depending on the point of impact. It's not too expensive though & is easy to replace although it can be somewhat time consuming - especially the first time lol I've replaced mine twice so far but I fly pretty aggressive most of the time. Other than the mainframe, you may crack an occasional LED lense and will probably bend or break quite a few props. Some folks have had the motor retainer clip fly off in a hard crash which generally means a new motor unless you can find the clip which is very small.

    I love my Aton and it's the quad that really taught me to fly. Sport mode is a blast but you'll probably want to stay in film mode for a while, gradually increasing pitch angle with the app until you're ready to move up to sport mode. And don't forget AIRBRAKES!!! It works in all 3 modes & has saved me from many a crash. Check out some of my videos below & Good Luck With Your New Aton!!!

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=0Kzk5L_y76o

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=7oBKCBhbz0Y

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=FhIIxIULcco

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=m1yRH4IzOfs

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    Quote Originally Posted by hemidoo View Post
    It's really durable for a quad but you can break it . Flipped .. what mode are you flying in ? Flying in film mode when you are learning to fly you'll find the wind makes very little deference

    I never use the legs unless i'm carrying my GoPro I find it much more stable lifting off/landing with out them .

    Yes, I've used many different battery's with both styles of Traxxas connectors
    Make sure all your Prop's (Blades) are on in the correct location ... A's & B's

  6. #6
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    Quote Originally Posted by hemidoo View Post
    Make sure all your Prop's (Blades) are on in the correct location ... A's & B's
    Excellent advice!!! & a common mistake. A's front right & rear left - B's front left & rear right. Also make sure motor LED lenses have not popped out of the notches - just press em back in til they snap in place. Spin the props with your finger to make sure motors spin freely. Over tightened motor screws or debris stuck inside can cause them to bind. Make sure transmitter batteries are fresh - don't use Traxxas ones shipped with the Aton. Read the owners manual all the way through at least twice!!!

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    Nothing has broken. Yet... but thanks for this advice. Id also like to ask how hard is expert mode?

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    Very hard - at least for me. You need to constantly correct since there's no self leveling. I can hover and do a few slow turns but that's about it. Still working on it but it's a steep learning curve if you're used to flying with self leveling in film and sport modes. Some people say learn to fly expert from the start but be prepared to crash a lot & replace a bunch of broken props and other parts. This is me flying expert with the Alias and I'd strongly recommend it over Aton for learning to fly expert because Alias is much cheaper to fix https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=NejeZpK1Ziw

  9. #9
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    As Ghostrider says it's a huge jump in skills needed to fly expert mode . I've got a pile of broken parts but now I can buzz around in expert mode no problem doing multi rolls /loops ... way more challenge and fun for sure !!

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    I've been into edf jets lately

    Sent from my VS995 using Tapatalk

  11. #11
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    Quote Originally Posted by hemidoo View Post
    I've been into edf jets lately

    Sent from my VS995 using Tapatalk
    Wow that thing looks awesome! Really powerful too I bet. How fast will it go?

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    What do you know? I recently just had a nasty crash with the drone. I tried to use the air brakes in a dive, and it landed straight on the back right arm. Everything seems fine, except the back right arm, the light piece and maybe the motor. Would I have to completely take apart the entire drone and put it on a new main frame?

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    Quote Originally Posted by Ghostrider58 View Post
    Very hard - at least for me. You need to constantly correct since there's no self leveling. I can hover and do a few slow turns but that's about it. Still working on it but it's a steep learning curve if you're used to flying with self leveling in film and sport modes. Some people say learn to fly expert from the start but be prepared to crash a lot & replace a bunch of broken props and other parts. This is me flying expert with the Alias and I'd strongly recommend it over Aton for learning to fly expert because Alias is much cheaper to fix https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=NejeZpK1Ziw
    I actually have had the Alias for a pretty long time, and I have tried to use it in expert. However, it is so hard because anytime I pitch/roll in any direction, it just drops. For me, it doesn't seem it has a lot of power. Also, whenever I do a flip, it falls to the ground, maybe because my rates are to low.

  14. #14
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    Quote Originally Posted by feverdog11 View Post
    What do you know? I recently just had a nasty crash with the drone. I tried to use the air brakes in a dive, and it landed straight on the back right arm. Everything seems fine, except the back right arm, the light piece and maybe the motor. Would I have to completely take apart the entire drone and put it on a new main frame?
    Airbrakes needs time to react so don't expect to stop cold in a steep dive. Also, air brakes is press & hold not press & release. When you release airbrakes it automatically goes into film mode and will react accordingly based on the position of sticks.

    Yep, if the arm is broken, you're looking at replacing the mainframe. I guess some folks have tried to epoxy a broken arm but can't speak to that from personal experience. Same thing with the lens - you could try & glue it but will probably break again in same spot next time you crash. Replacing the mainframe is fairly involved since you are moving everything over to a bare frame but if you take your time it's not that difficult. A few things to keep in mind - one screw for each motor is under the arm lens so don't put it all back together only to realize those screws were left out. Don't over tighten the motor screws because they can go in too far & bind up the motor. Don't over tighten the prop screws because the tap threads can strip out - good & snug is all you need. Don't pinch the front antenna wires between the frame & lens & same goes for all the other wires. They need to lay in the channels just right to stay out of the way. The motor bullet connectors are a bear to get loose. Best way is to use 2 pair of needle nose with some kind of spacer in between & pry one against the other in a reverse scissor action to easily release the connectors. Take several close up photos from different angles as you go in case you forget & bag & label loose parts & hardware.

    Why do you think the motor is bad? Did it come apart? They're pretty durable so if still in tact try spinning it with your fingers with a prop attached. If it feels smooth with no rough spots, it's probably ok provided no wires are severed & even that can be spliced, soldered & heat shrinked. Here's a video (not mine) that gives a decent overview of replacing the main frame. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=I7M9whWL2Aw Those silver wires you see hanging out at the beginning are something he added - probably for a camera - & won't be there on a stock Aton.

    Mainframe - Traxxas part #7923
    Rear LED arm lenses - #7955 (set of two - clear)
    Motor - #7934
    Shop around for the best prices & good luck...

    My first broken mainframe - end of video: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=pKsx5SHq8GM&t=13s
    Last edited by Ghostrider58; 12-27-2017 at 08:23 PM.

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    It'll do about 120 mph on radar . not super fast . my friends jet does 220 !!


    Sent from my VS995 using Tapatalk

  16. #16
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    Quote Originally Posted by hemidoo View Post
    It'll do about 120 mph on radar . not super fast . my friends jet does 220 !!


    Sent from my VS995 using Tapatalk
    Holy Cow!!! At those speeds - one false move could do some serious damage! Better you than me my friend - I'd be way too stressed to enjoy it... lol

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    Quote Originally Posted by Ghostrider58 View Post
    Holy Cow!!! At those speeds - one false move could do some serious damage! Better you than me my friend - I'd be way too stressed to enjoy it... lol
    Oh yes, I've come back from the flying field with a bag of busted up foam trash a few times learning to fly !

  18. #18
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    Quote Originally Posted by Ghostrider58 View Post
    Airbrakes needs time to react so don't expect to stop cold in a steep dive. Also, air brakes is press & hold not press & release. When you release airbrakes it automatically goes into film mode and will react accordingly based on the position of sticks.

    Yep, if the arm is broken, you're looking at replacing the mainframe. I guess some folks have tried to epoxy a broken arm but can't speak to that from personal experience. Same thing with the lens - you could try & glue it but will probably break again in same spot next time you crash. Replacing the mainframe is fairly involved since you are moving everything over to a bare frame but if you take your time it's not that difficult. A few things to keep in mind - one screw for each motor is under the arm lens so don't put it all back together only to realize those screws were left out. Don't over tighten the motor screws because they can go in too far & bind up the motor. Don't over tighten the prop screws because the tap threads can strip out - good & snug is all you need. Don't pinch the front antenna wires between the frame & lens & same goes for all the other wires. They need to lay in the channels just right to stay out of the way. The motor bullet connectors are a bear to get loose. Best way is to use 2 pair of needle nose with some kind of spacer in between & pry one against the other in a reverse scissor action to easily release the connectors. Take several close up photos from different angles as you go in case you forget & bag & label loose parts & hardware.

    Why do you think the motor is bad? Did it come apart? They're pretty durable so if still in tact try spinning it with your fingers with a prop attached. If it feels smooth with no rough spots, it's probably ok provided no wires are severed & even that can be spliced, soldered & heat shrinked. Here's a video (not mine) that gives a decent overview of replacing the main frame. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=I7M9whWL2Aw Those silver wires you see hanging out at the beginning are something he added - probably for a camera - & won't be there on a stock Aton.

    Mainframe - Traxxas part #7923
    Rear LED arm lenses - #7955 (set of two - clear)
    Motor - #7934
    Shop around for the best prices & good luck...

    My first broken mainframe - end of video: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=pKsx5SHq8GM&t=13s
    I span that motor and it did feel rough when it span. Also, could any of the circuit boards be broken? That is the real maybe "Possible" breakage that gives me the most anxiety.

  19. #19
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    Quote Originally Posted by feverdog11 View Post
    I span that motor and it did feel rough when it span. Also, could any of the circuit boards be broken? That is the real maybe "Possible" breakage that gives me the most anxiety.
    Well sure they could be broken but do you see any visible damage or have you not looked under the hood? Remove the canopy (2 screws underneath the nose) & the roll hoop (4 screws-2 each side) & look for any visible damage. Cracks on the underneath side or battery door, cracks in circuit boards, loose or missing hardware, black or burnt looking areas, broken or melted wires, damaged GPS module under the roll hoop. Do the 3 wires going to the motor on the broken arm seem to be intact - not broken & no cuts in the insulation? If everything looks ok, REMOVE ALL 4 PROPS & LAY THEM ASIDE!!! I repeat for emphasis REMOVE ALL 4 PROPS & LAY THEM ASIDE!!! Then place your Aton on a bench, countertop, etc. If the one arm is broken badly enough that the motor lays sideways - prop it up somehow or tape it back onto the broken arm so it will stay upright. Next turn on the transmitter. Then put a charged battery in the Aton & plug it in. Does it power up & make the normal musical tone? Are the power & info LED status lights solid green? It probably won't acquire satellites if you're inside but give it a few minutes and maybe it will. If it doesn't get GPS lock, press & hold the arm/disarm button for 2 sec to override the satellite search function. Does the Aton arm? If so, do all 4 motors spin when you apply a LITTLE BIT of throttle? If so the circuitry is probably ok but you might need to change that motor when you change the frame if it feels like it's catching when you spin it with your finger. I would go ahead and order a new motor just to be safe & it never hurts to have a spare if the other one turns out to be ok. My guess is you're looking at a mainframe, LED arm lens, possibly an LED wiring harness for the broken arm & maybe a motor. Aton is pretty crash resistant but let us know what you find out...
    Last edited by Ghostrider58; 12-30-2017 at 10:39 PM.

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    I have not yet taken apart the quad. However, When I plugged in the battery, it made the musical tone. The power and info lights were solid green. I did this inside, so I didn't get a GPS signal. However, It was still trying to search for one. When I armed it, the props immediately went into idle power. Because I did not tape the broken arm, I did not want to give it a little bit of throttle. To me I think everything is fine. The motor didn't sound rough when it turned on. Ill report back on what I find when I replace the main frame.

  21. #21
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    Quote Originally Posted by feverdog11 View Post
    I have not yet taken apart the quad. However, When I plugged in the battery, it made the musical tone. The power and info lights were solid green. I did this inside, so I didn't get a GPS signal. However, It was still trying to search for one. When I armed it, the props immediately went into idle power. Because I did not tape the broken arm, I did not want to give it a little bit of throttle. To me I think everything is fine. The motor didn't sound rough when it turned on. Ill report back on what I find when I replace the main frame.
    Good news but you really should remove the props if you're going to arm the Aton inside. Good luck with the mainframe replacement & hope you get it back in the air soon.

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    Thank You. Just one more question (I know it is relentless). Does traxxas provide replacements for those flight control boards?

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    Quote Originally Posted by feverdog11 View Post
    Thank You. Just one more question (I know it is relentless). Does traxxas provide replacements for those flight control boards?

    Yes , You would need to call Traxxas support to get a replacement . You wont find any at the normal parts places .
    I bought a few wrecks off ebay and was lucky enough to make a whole Aton that flys well

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    I'm not sure if this is a good price. Jenny's Rc has the main board for $47.

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    Sorry for the beginner questions: Where is the serial # on the Aton quad . RE:charging the traxxas power cel 3-cell 3000 (3 amp ac charger). I tried charging using balance charger (3 amp AC charger). The main light on the charger next to where it says 3 amp keeps blinking while attempting to charge. I left it plugged in for approx. 6 hrs. The light kept blinking. Any suggestions ?

  26. #26
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    Quote Originally Posted by steve te View Post
    Sorry for the beginner questions: Where is the serial # on the Aton quad . RE:charging the traxxas power cel 3-cell 3000 (3 amp ac charger). I tried charging using balance charger (3 amp AC charger). The main light on the charger next to where it says 3 amp keeps blinking while attempting to charge. I left it plugged in for approx. 6 hrs. The light kept blinking. Any suggestions ?
    Serial number is under the canopy printed on a white sticker attached to the circuit board - it begins with an A. Remove the two front most screws under the nose & slide the canopy forward to gain access to the sticker. Two long tabs go inside rear slots when you put it back on. Make sure to connect the charger power cord to a receptacle first - then plug in the battery. A lot of folks complain that you have to insert battery plugs into Traxxas ID chargers REALLY HARD for them to work.
    Last edited by Ghostrider58; 01-05-2018 at 01:34 PM.

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    Ok, I am currently in the process of replacing the main frame. Everything I think seems good. However, that big square box onto of the roll hoop, looks like it is rusted, or burned. Is this normal or bad? (I'll guess bad :/)

  28. #28
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    Quote Originally Posted by feverdog11 View Post
    Ok, I am currently in the process of replacing the main frame. Everything I think seems good. However, that big square box onto of the roll hoop, looks like it is rusted, or burned. Is this normal or bad? (I'll guess bad :/)
    That's the GPS receiver and it should look like this - although mine has some slight discoloration & still works fine. However, if it's actually burnt or rusted that doesn't sound good. Just copy/paste the link below into your browser's URL address bar since it looks like it's non-clickable in this post.

    http://i.ebayimg.com/00/s/ODIwWDEyMTI=/z/iKIAAOSwWkJY8rOV/$_57.JPG?set_id=8800005007
    Last edited by Ghostrider58; 01-06-2018 at 03:23 PM.

  29. #29
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    I tested the quad out yesterday, and the GPS hooked up. The throttle, controls and also its bluetooth functionality worked perfectly. However, I noticed that one of the motors is very hard to spin. When I tried to test the quad inside my house on that same day (second flight after replacing the main frame), that same motor would not spin, and the quad immediately disarmed. I also noticed that its posture is not even, which I guess could be easily corrected by taking off the LED lenses and battery tray and re-tucking in those components and wires. Looks like I'm getting a new motor...
    Last edited by feverdog11; 01-07-2018 at 02:11 PM.

  30. #30
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    Quote Originally Posted by feverdog11 View Post
    I tested the quad out yesterday, and the GPS hooked up. The throttle, controls and also its bluetooth functionality worked perfectly. However, I noticed that one of the motors is very hard to spin. When I tried to test the quad inside my house on that same day (second flight after replacing the main frame), that same motor would not spin, and the quad immediately disarmed. I also noticed that its posture is not even, which I guess could be easily corrected by taking off the LED lenses and battery tray and re-tucking in those components and wires. Looks like I'm getting a new motor...
    Make sure the prop screws aren't too tight on that motor but like I said before - it never hurts to have a spare on hand. I bought 2 of these just after X-mas for a great price: https://www.ebay.com/itm/ATON-Quad-R...53.m2749.l2649

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    About the motors, (uh oh) I removed the lower frame and I discovered the female wires for the motors, like the wires themselves are really badly damaged. In fact, one of those wires were completely detached . This was due to the fact I didn't push the wires correctly into the groves. Is it possible to solder on new connectors or will I have to get a new lower circuit board?

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    Quote Originally Posted by feverdog11 View Post
    About the motors, (uh oh) I removed the lower frame and I discovered the female wires for the motors, like the wires themselves are really badly damaged. In fact, one of those wires were completely detached . This was due to the fact I didn't push the wires correctly into the groves. Is it possible to solder on new connectors or will I have to get a new lower circuit board?
    If you're handy with a soldering iron they can probably be fixed but based on all the trouble you've had so far, maybe you should take it to your local hobby shop & ask them if they can splice and/or heat shrink the damaged wires & replace the connectors if necessary.

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    Thanks, Im really tired of all my RCs breaking. Fortunately, I do have a hobby store which I live very close by to. If that doesn't do it, ill send it to Traxxas and let them take care of it.

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    Ok, just got back from my hobby store, and it works perfectly. All controls worked, that little beeping altimeter worked, as well as that auto takeoff feature in film mode. I think now everything is fine!

  35. #35
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    Quote Originally Posted by feverdog11 View Post
    Ok, just got back from my hobby store, and it works perfectly. All controls worked, that little beeping altimeter worked, as well as that auto takeoff feature in film mode. I think now everything is fine!
    Great news feverdog!!! Glad you're back up & flying & whatever it was that caused the crash - well just don't do that again lol I'd still suggest a firmware update (if you're not already running the latest version) & a full calibration which Traxxas recommends after a hard crash, major repairs, etc...

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    Thank You! There are just two minor problems that don't really mean anything. First, some of the holes inside the canopy and the roll hoop cover, they are stripped. Screwed them in to tight. Not a big deal since I am planning to get a black canopy and roll hoop cover. Second, the posture of the Aton is not even, which as I said earlier, could probably be easily adjusted.

    For the future, I am planning to use expert mode, which I will first get used to it with the Alias in expert mode (FYI: I have had an Alias for around 3-4 years by now). And when I master expert mode with the Alias, ill try it with the Aton. How horrendously steep is the transition between sport and expert mode?(I would guess terribly steep). I think I'm good in sport, but I have never tried expert and I am to scared. But anyway, the Aton is basically in top running condition

  37. #37
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    Quote Originally Posted by feverdog11 View Post
    Thank You! There are just two minor problems that don't really mean anything. First, some of the holes inside the canopy and the roll hoop cover, they are stripped. Screwed them in to tight. Not a big deal since I am planning to get a black canopy and roll hoop cover. Second, the posture of the Aton is not even, which as I said earlier, could probably be easily adjusted.

    For the future, I am planning to use expert mode, which I will first get used to it with the Alias in expert mode (FYI: I have had an Alias for around 3-4 years by now). And when I master expert mode with the Alias, ill try it with the Aton. How horrendously steep is the transition between sport and expert mode?(I would guess terribly steep). I think I'm good in sport, but I have never tried expert and I am to scared. But anyway, the Aton is basically in top running condition
    For the stripped holes a little hot glue shot works great for a fix .

    Sport to Expert is a big jump for most .... Start easy with learning to level/hover the copter quickly in expert

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    Also just to add on, can the atons electronics be destroyed if there is a little bit of water on them? I decided to fly in the rain for a short time, stupid me and I checked inside and everything seems to be dry.

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    Quote Originally Posted by feverdog11 View Post
    Also just to add on, can the atons electronics be destroyed if there is a little bit of water on them? I decided to fly in the rain for a short time, stupid me and I checked inside and everything seems to be dry.
    I'm sure it's not the best but I fly mine in light rain / snow all the time . I just dry it real well soon after i'm back in the house . Heck , I put mine up last week when it was -15f out there !
    Last edited by hemidoo; 01-12-2018 at 09:19 PM.

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    I've played around with expert mode but never gotten serious enough to really learn it. I can fly pretty well in sport mode but expert for me is like going back to square 1 and learning to fly all over again. Most experienced pilots say if you can't fly without self leveling, you're not really flying & I suppose I agree with that philosophy. I even bought a FPV racer, not recommended for beginners lol, and almost lost it first time out. It's been sitting in the case for months but this spring, I'm going to force myself to fly everything in expert until I'm good enough to take it to the next level. https://www.immersionrc.com/fpv-prod...ecial-edition/ Regarding Aton, air brakes works in expert mode as well which is a good safety net but definitely not a magic bullet.

    I don't understand this posture issue you keep describing. With a brand new mainframe, the quad should have all 4 arms touching on a level surface unless something's not assembled correctly. Are you sure the LED arm lenses are installed correctly? If I recall, there are little ledges on both sides of each lens that are supposed to fit up inside grooves in the frame. There should not be any gaps between the lenses & frame if you have it assembled correctly.

    BTW, can't help but notice no one is commenting either way on firmware updates & calibration. A lot of folks in other clubs seem to think that's really important (myself included) but not seeing that same attitude here in the Traxxas forum?
    Last edited by Ghostrider58; 01-12-2018 at 10:49 PM.

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