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Author Topic: Hobby king receiver stopped functioning after upgrades on RC Mower with arduino  (Read 1145 times)
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I have an HK-T6A v2 transmitter and receiver pair. I've had them for a while and just re-did m RC lawnmower and now the receiver does not appear to output any signals to the sabertooth 2x25 motor controller.

I have the receiver powered by the 5V out of an Arduino Uno r3 (via prototype shield). It's getting 4.98 volts.

The PPM output goes to pin 8 on the arduino (via the shield). Channel 1 and 2 go to the sabertooth motor controller.

I found that I had to connect the ground of the sabertooth to the ground on the receiver as well, otherwise the arduino, receiver, and sabertooth would seriously freak out.

The arduino is powered by a no-name chinese power supply board putting out 9 volts. The sabertooth is powered by the main 24V. It's main power is fed through a cheap 24V relay from china. The relay is activated by a switch that controls a total of 2 relays. It's also currently switching the brakes on the wheelchair motors too. That's just a temporary fix till I have a chance to edit the code on the arduino.

Last season I have the receiver powered by the sabertooth and there was a switch to turn everything on. All the stuff I described is new. About 30 - 45 minutes into mowing today, the mower just stopped moving. After some troubleshooting, it seems the receiver is not outputting any channel information, though it is still linking to the transmitter and also putting out something on the PPM out.

Is there anything I can do to try to fix it?

Are there any boneheaded mistakes I made?

I don't mind replacing the receiver, but I am worried about a design flaw that will fry the next receiver.

You can see it better here:

https://www.facebook.com/photo.php?fbid=10151590525710498&set=a.466046275497.284875.720010497&type=1&theater
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Could you reprogram the Arduino so it does something (light and LED?) if it receives a good signal from the receiver? It might help to identify where the problem is.

How is the battery in the transmitter?

...R
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I just swapped out the batteries in the transmitter. It has an indicator for battery level and is green, which means full power.

As far as led feedback from the arduino, I am using something like that already.  The arduino engages and disengages the brakes by throwing a relay.  The relay has an LED. When link is established the brakes are disengaged and do not time out to give me time to start the mower. No matter how I m9ve the stick and wait the led never turns off.  Which meand the arduino is not seing a varying signal, only the link.

Sorry for sp3lling... on the phine and editing is a pita.
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Sorry, but I can't make sense of your reply (nothing to do with sp3lling). I'm not sure if you are describing the ideal behaviour or the actual unsatisfactory behaviour.

And what do you mean by "the arduino is not seing a varying signal, only the link"?

...R

I just swapped out the batteries in the transmitter. It has an indicator for battery level and is green, which means full power.

As far as led feedback from the arduino, I am using something like that already.  The arduino engages and disengages the brakes by throwing a relay.  The relay has an LED. When link is established the brakes are disengaged and do not time out to give me time to start the mower. No matter how I m9ve the stick and wait the led never turns off.  Which meand the arduino is not seing a varying signal, only the link.

Sorry for sp3lling... on the phine and editing is a pita.
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Still on the phone. Pardon the jacked up spelling.

The arduino is monitoring the ppm out of the receivrr with is a combined output of all 6 channels of the receiver. Ppm is not something that drives a servo, pwm drives a servo.  The ppm signal tells the arduino if the receiver is on and linked to the transmitter. In other words if the transmitter is on and transmitting its carrier/link signal.  Once the link between the transmitter and receiver has been established the transmitter can start sending the varying signal to the receiver to move the servos.  The arduino would see this on the ppm signal. The arduino is not seeing any data from the ppm channel and the sabertooth is not seeing any data on the pwm channels.

The transmitter, when hooked up to a pc and using the right software, shows that the stick is transmitting on the appropriate channel and the appropriate signal. I suppose the actual transmitter in the tranmitter could be bad, but then why are we getting link? (Retorical)

Thanks for helping btw
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I'm still missing something ...

I have recently successfully programmed an Arduino to generate PPM to pretend it is a 7-channel transmitter so I have a little knowledge of the process (but only a little).

So are you saying that the receiver or transmitter has failed and the Arduino part is working properly? I had the impression from your previous post that the Arduino was getting something from the receiver.

In your original post you said " though it is still linking to the transmitter and also putting out something on the PPM out." What is that something?

Have you any way (such as another Arduino) to simulate the output from the receiver?

...R
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Quote
So are you saying that the receiver or transmitter has failed and the Arduino part is working properly?

Yes, that's what I am thinking.  I suspect the receiver because I had to double ground it (arduino AND sabertooth) to keep the receiver and maybe the arduino from freaking out since the receiver is connected to the arduino and the sabertooth.  I suspect that the double grounding it was only a temporary fix.

Quote
In your original post you said " though it is still linking to the transmitter and also putting out something on the PPM out." What is that something?
"That something" is the link between the transmitter and the receiver.  When I turn on the transmitter, an LED comes on on the receiver.  The receiver also sends out some data on the PPM out and the arduino reads it and determines that the transmitter and receiver are online.  The fact that there is an active link, I use that information to control some of the relays.  If it's a first power on, that's a special scenario and the arduino behaves differently (does not time out and change the relays).  The arduino is behaving as if it's a first power on and then it's not receiving anything else.  That means either the transmitter is not transmitting, or the receiver is not passing PPM to the arduino.  I also know, that in this case, the receiver is also not passing PWM to the sabertooth.  The receiver has 2 strikes against it.  the transmitter is also suspect because it was behaving oddly when I attempted to change some of the programming prior to all of this.

Someone on another board suggested using a servo on the PWM out, so I'll try that, though I suspect that will show the same thing as the sabertooth.


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Have you any way (such as another Arduino) to simulate the output from the receiver?

I have other arduinos, but I wouldn't know where to start mocking that up.  I have another arduino uno (2 actually), and an arduino Mega ADK I could feasibly use.

I have access to a wi-spy... that should help me know if the transmitter is transmitting or not.
« Last Edit: April 28, 2013, 09:20:51 pm by allanonmage » Logged

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The attached file contains the sketch I have written to generate a 7-channel ppm signal for input to a 2.4GHz R/C transmitter. It generates the PPM signal on pin 7 and varies the pulse width for channel 1 depending on the setting of a potentiometer with the centre connection on pin A2.

Basically there is an array of data which represents counts for Timer1 and each value is used in turn. Each interrupt toggles Pin 7 and sets up the count value for the next pulse.

It should work perfectly well if you modify it to ignore the potentiometer and you could try some options by hard-coding pulse widths in the array - just for testing.

...R

* TrainRadioPot.ino (5.62 KB - downloaded 70 times.)
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Little late for a reply, but.....
On the T6A's the red led means that the reciever is powered, not bound and recv'ng signals.
To test the transmitter/receiver binding, power the receiver with 5-6 VDC, hook up a servo to one channel, and turn on the transmitter, move the stick controlling the channel and see if the servo moves.
If so, move the servo to another channel and restart the test. If all six channel work, your good.  If not, try another receiver, it's cheaper.  You said that you tried to reprogram the xmittr, so it is also suspect.  Earlier, you said reprog of xmittr was successfull.  A straight story would make diagnosis much easier.
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I found out 2 days ago I missed a step in troubleshooting...

One of the wires to the sabertooth had broken. D'oh! I never did test with a servo though.

About the transmitter: the attempted reprogram seemed successful and was for a period of time. However I had probems with it, so that's why I initially suspected the transmitter.

The red light on the receiver does not immediatley turn on when I power it, it only turns on when the transmitter turns on.  It subsequently turns off when the transmitter turns off.  Are there different models with different behavior?

Thanks for the replies guys!
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Alan,

As far as I know, only the V1 & the V2.  I use several V2 receivers bound to a single V2 xmittr (one at a time, of course).  With all, after binding, I only get the red LED on the recvr when recvr is powerewd, regardles of xmittr being powered on or not (when doing the servo tests; always have xmittr on when recvr is connected to ESCs and motors).  I can not explain the diff in your experiences and mine with the T6's.   But, if ever in question, the servo test is a sure thing.

Also, when problems occur, remember that antenna orientation makes a BIG difference in range with the T6's. and the recvr antenna wire can be delicate.
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Thats good to know!

Allanonmage is my handle and has no bearing on my real name. In this case "Allanon" is a reference to a character in Terry Brooks' world of Shannara. He's a badass druid. The "mage" part was my own twist.
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Then may I just call you "Mage"?

Glad you got it sorted out!
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