Saturday, 21 January 2012

Cockpit SX M-LINK goes F3F

As we roll into 2012, I'm at last migrating my F3F models from 35 MHz to 2.4 GHz. Yep, it's time to recognise that the world is changing, and most competition pilots have already made the switch. And it may seem a little thing, but having a tiny little aerial in place of the enormous 35 MHz fishing rods will make it easier to negotiate the rocks and rabbit holes which pock some of our slopes.


The first to get the M-LINK facelift is my Sting. Out goes the 7 channel Micro IPD receiver, and in its place is a shiny new RX-7-DR. This rx has higher sensitivity than the DR 'light' as well as built-in telemetry of  voltage and signal quality. Controlling this little lot - until my Profi 4000 is converted to M-LINK - is my Multiplex Cockpit SX M-LINK transmitter.

Cockpit SX M-LINK goes F3F'ing

One thing holding me back from 2.4GHz was the shielding effect of carbon, a particular concern with F3F models. So I was pretty careful with range testing. With the model pointing directly at the transmitter, range exceeded the recommended minimum of 100 meters. With the model pointing the other way range dropped to 80 meters. Before the first flight I set the failsafe to deploy 20% spoiler, in order to provide a visual  warning of any problem.

Well so far I've completed two flying sessions with the M-LINK system installed. Both were completed without a hitch, even with the model flying out well away from the slope. However it wasn't particularly thermic so ultimate range checks will have to wait another day.

A word about the radio... some of you may know that I'm a great fan of the original Cockpit SX. With few changes (apart from the rf link), it's no surprise that the M-LINK version is also a joy to programme and use. The new version also benefits from more model memories (18).

Any complaints are pretty minor. In fact my only real niggle is to do with the balance with that tiny 2.4 GHz aerial, as the transmitter now has a tendency to tip up when using a neck strap. Balance without the neck strap is fine though, and it remains a splendid radio for discus launch gliders.

M-LINK  receiver now installed in the Sting


Back to the Sting... another test session will be needed in thermic conditions before the M-LINK installation can be considered permanent. At that point I will also convert Profi 4000 (this being my primary F3F radio).

4 comments:

guddl said...

Hi,

I'm using a Cockpit SX M-Link too. And last year i looked fot the possibility to log all the telemetry stuff.

With the Unilog2 you can log all the data from the M-Link receiver on a 2 GB SD card. Very nice. So you can analyze everything at home.

I dont' know if you know the Unilog2. Here is the link Unilog2 from SM-Modellbau Sorry only in german :)

Cheers,
Andreas

RC Soar said...

Hi Andreas, thanks for the heads up. By coincidence, I have just emailed SM Modelbau for some info on the GPS logger - perhaps the Unilog2 would be a simpler alternative as I don't need the GPS function. Cheers!

Anonymous said...

Hi Andreas, here is my solution to the poor transmitter balance:

http://www.rcgroups.com/forums/showthread.php?t=1362033#post22943436

Hope this is of use to someone who owns this fantastic Tx.

InvertedSnap

Anonymous said...

Hi Andreas,

I solved the poor Tx balance by doing the following:

http://www.rcgroups.com/forums/showthread.php?t=1362033#post22943436

Hope this helps.

InvertedSnap