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kgfly
02-21-2007, 07:22 PM
Breaking news, Spektrum have leaked info about their soon to be released Tx modules for multiple radio brands. :D :D :D

This will bring joy to many and disappointment to some.

9-ch for JR (3810, 9303 style)
8-ch for Futaba MZ style
8-ch for Futaba 7/9c style

No official announcements of price/availability but there is lots of speculation going on out there. Also no info about 8/9/10 channel Rx yet.

There are also rumours circulating that there is a DX10 in the works.

http://www.helifreak.com/album_mod/upload/9abccef13fec649bc31949a7f72d5fdb.jpg

Certainly competition for XPS/XL especially if the Spektrum units come out first. Still stock DSM2 technology so no telemetry which gives XPS/XL a winning edge for the proportion of customers who want it.

Jason Bell
02-21-2007, 07:26 PM
Futaba has officaialy been blown away :roll: Im getting that module for the MZ series.!!

Danal Estes
02-21-2007, 09:41 PM
Hmmm... back to the programability of the 9303 = Good.

Latency of a module instead of DX7 = Bad. But probably not that bad... after all the 9303 worked great before everybody became aware of this whole latency thing...

Can't wait for JKOS to get one and measure the latency.


And, that JR module can go in a Graupner MX22. This just may push me over the edge into MX22 land.

DavidH
02-21-2007, 10:01 PM
Mongo,
Peter Wales frequents Helifreak. He posted here couple days ago.

David

kgfly
02-21-2007, 10:10 PM
Remember that the latency for PPM on most Tx is much lower than for PCM (although not for the 9C which still suffers from CCPM-mixing constipation). For the 9303 it is 24ms vs 36ms. So the likelihood is that the 9303+Spektrum combination will not be significantly, if at all, slower than the 9303+PCM. All the Spektrum has to do is sample the PPM stream, tx the dataframe and then decode and output at the Rx.

XPS claim that their total latency from module input to Rx output is max 2.3ms. If Spektrum is similar then 9303+Spektrum will be better than 9303+PCM and rival DX7 latency :)

Sadly for 7c/9c/9z owners the PPM latency is 65ms (vs 68ms for PCM) but at least it shouldn't be any worse with Spektrum than it is with PCM.

Latency measurements can be found here: http://runryder.com/helicopter/t172571p1/?highlight=9c+latency

What you won't get with your old Tx plus a Spektrum module is the ModelMatch or the ServoSynch features. ServoSynch reorders the channels based on the mix chosen in the Tx and this is a big contributor to the DX7's outstanding CCPM performance. ModelMatch is a nice safety feature. On the flip side you get all the features of your favourite Tx (plus retain all the model memory programming).

Danal Estes
02-21-2007, 10:35 PM
Good summary Ken. The measurements you link to on RR were performed by JKOS... that was why I posted my obscure reference about him getting one of these to test. :D

I'll probably buy one of these, and then fly the 9303 and DX7 back/back (no matter what the numbers say) and see if there's any real difference.

Truthfully, just before all the DX6 stuff hit, I was seriously thinking about a Graupner MX22 with a 72Mhz module. Now, I have to consider: 9303 (already have) + Spektrum Module, or DX7 (also have) for a while, or hold out for a DX9 (or DX10) if these truly come to pass, or MX22 + Spektrum module. Life's hard, you know :lol:

spork
02-21-2007, 10:46 PM
Sadly for 7c/9c/9z owners the PPM latency is 65ms (vs 68ms for PCM) but at least it shouldn't be any worse with Spektrum than it is with PCM.

I can tell you that for me less than 1/10th second latency is a non-issue. Interesting side note. When sprinters begin a race they measure the pressure on the starting block. If the runner pushes off the starting block LESS than 1/10th second after the pistol, he is guilty of a false start. I take that to mean they feel the very fastest possible reaction for a professional athlete in their prime is at least 1/10th second.

Question about the 7C - since it doesn't use a module where will this thing go? Will it get the PPM signal from the trainer port?

Thanks for the good news Kenneth. It'll be crazy for me to join the 21st century :mrgreen:

EDIT:

Simple reaction time is the time it takes to react to stimuli. The average human's reaction time falls somewhere between 200 and 270 milliseconds, although athletes and others who train themselves can achieve reaction times approaching 150 milliseconds.

Danal Estes
02-21-2007, 10:54 PM
From Horizon hobby, via Todd's Models:
As you know Horizon has always focused itself in serving our customers as best as we possibly can. This is done in many ways. The obvious would be the Team's support in the field, Customer service here at Horizon, Product support both internally and externally, and perhaps a less obvious but an important form of serving, would be to listen to our customers needs. Products like the Blade CX, 8711 servo, 9303, many of the Hobbyzone products, EFL products are all a direct response to listening to what our customers need to have a good experience with this great hobby.

In the interest of listening to our customers, and due to the almost overwhelming feedback we've received, Spektrum has decided to release modules for most of the popular JR and Futaba module radio systems. I know almost all of you have asked at one point or another when Horizon was going to produce DSM modules - so I thank you and hope our response is affirmation we do listen to our customers. So it's great news again, the Spektrum Team has done it again and produced a plug-and-play module system that will plug right into your 10X, 10sx, in fact all the 10 series, plus the 8103, and 9303 systems. Although these modules will plug into your 10ch systems, there are only 9 PPM output channels available which limits us to only 9 channels in the receiver. In the case of all Futaba module based radios- the PPM output is limited to 8 channels, this includes the 14 and 12mz systems..

Up to now, there have been questions about the speed of an aircraft module system and we are happy to report that the system will be slightly faster than you current system in PCM mode. It will however, be slightly slower than the DX7 and future ground up systems. Backward receiver compatibility is an extremely high priority for the Spektrum team and our customers, but unfortunately, the module interface does not afford us with a way to support the DSM1 AR6000 parkflyer receiver. The module will be compatible with the AR9000, AR7000, and the AR6100 receiver as well as all upcoming DSM2 receivers.


Guess that answers the latency question. Like I said, the 9303 in PCM mode was just fine. They say it will be faster than that & slower than the 7. Sounds darn good.

kgfly
02-21-2007, 11:22 PM
Question about the 7C - since it doesn't use a module where will this thing go? Will it get the PPM signal from the trainer port?
My mistake, I thought the 7C was modular like the 9C. So you are out of luck there. The good news is that XPS are releasing a module that connects via the trainer port so you could still move into this century using their solution. Even better would be to replace your 7c with a DX7.

Of course Spork, any of these steps would require you to actually spend some money :shock:

BTW - The latency argument has been done to death. I don't know if I could tell the difference but many others say they can really feel the difference and the competition level pilots find they have to adjust their inputs to provide less lead to the heli with a DX7 than a 9c so there is something to it. If you look at the results in the link I posted you will see that it is not only the average latency but the huge spread of latency in the 9c that is particularly bad. It is not hard for the brain to adapt to a fixed offset but very hard to accommodate a wildly varying one.

kgfly
02-21-2007, 11:40 PM
Someone found some initial pricing - Ouch!

Spektrum
SPMMSFUT9 DSM2 Air Module System FUTABA - HITEC w/AR9000 RX $299.99
SPMMSJR9 DSM2 Air Module System JR w/AR9000 RX $299.99
SPMMSMZ9 DSM2 Air Module System FUTABA MZ w/AR9000 RX $299.99
SPMMSJR7 DSM2 Air Module System JR w/AR7000 RX $239.99
SPMMSFUT7 DSM2 Air Module System FUTABA - HITEC w/AR7000 RX $239.99
SPMAR9000 AR9000 DSM2 9ch. RX $169.99
SPM9549 Spektrum Flight Log $29.99

I wonder what the "Flight Log" is all about ? These prices make XPS very attractive:

XtremeLink
Futaba 9C/9Z/8U/3PK/etc. transmitter module with your choice of receiver below:

w/6 channel park flyer receiver - $139
w/8 channel receiver - $179
w/10 channel receiver - $199

Futaba 14MZ/12Z transmitter module with your choice of receiver below:

w/6 channel park flyer receiver - $139
w/8 channel receiver - $179
w/10 channel receiver - $199

Hitech Optic 6, Eclipse 7, etc. transmitter module with your choice of receiver below:

w/6 channel park flyer receiver - $139
w/8 channel receiver - $179
w/10 channel receiver - $199

JR transmitter module with your choice of receiver below:

w/6 channel park flyer receiver - $139
w/8 channel receiver - $179
w/10 channel receiver - $199

Receivers:

6 channel "park flyer" - $59
8 channel - $99
10 channel - $119
16 channel - $149 (preliminary pricing)

spork
02-22-2007, 12:24 AM
My mistake, I thought the 7C was modular like the 9C. So you are out of luck there. The good news is that XPS are releasing a module that connects via the trainer port so you could still move into this century using their solution. Even better would be to replace your 7c with a DX7.

I would've thought either module simply takes the PPM signal. If so couldn't I plug either module into the trainer port?

Of course Spork, any of these steps would require you to actually spend some money :shock:

Heck, not spending money is 2/3rds of the hobby for me. That would spoil all the fun. If I can spend 3 hours soldering mismatched failing LiPo cells together to make fewer working packs and save $10 I'm in heaven. :mrgreen:


BTW - The latency argument has been done to death. I don't know if I could tell the difference but many others say they can really feel the difference and the competition level pilots find they have to adjust their inputs to provide less lead...

You make a good point, and I'm embarrassed that I brain faded on something I studied and worked on in the old days. I was quoting reaction times; that's quite different from the question of "control in the presence of delays". Many years ago I wrote a simulator for the orbital maneuvering vehicle that was to dock with the shuttle's robotic arm. We studied the ability to perform the maneuvers with control delay. It's surprisingly difficult, and yes, much more so if the delays are not consistent. I suspect that a 1/10th second delay would be quite noticable for things like controlling your mouse. Now I'm tempted to write a little program to test this theory.

Oh, and by the way, at those prices I'll be living happily in the 20th century until the fuel runs out and the ice-caps melt (in other words about 10 more years). :mrgreen:

kgfly
02-22-2007, 12:37 AM
I would've thought either module simply takes the PPM signal. If so couldn't I plug either module into the trainer port?
Well functionally they need the PPM signal plus power. I don't have any idea what else the pins on the modules expect to see from the host Tx but with enough poking around perhaps you could get a Spektrum Tx module to work via the trainer port of any Tx.

ozace
02-22-2007, 12:39 AM
i am pretty sure the prices are full retail, expect street price to be much lower like on the dx6's and 7's

kgfly
02-22-2007, 01:12 AM
AFAIK in the US the street price for the DX7 is only about 10% below the $349 that it first started at so I am not so sure.

Hmm, OK perhaps the MSRP was $499 on the DX7 but the opening real price was $349. If the same 30% margin applies to these modules then that will indeed make it more competitive with the XPS MSRP.

spork
02-22-2007, 02:05 AM
Well functionally they need the PPM signal plus power. I don't have any idea what else the pins on the modules expect to see from the host Tx...

If I recall correctly there are only four pins on the module. I'm guessing they're

1) chassis ground
2) signal ground
3) signal
4) 5 volts

In no particular order.

I was surprised how easy it was to find the PPM signal in an ancient AM TX to drive FMS with. So it might be fun to try one of these out (if only I still had a TX with a module).

Paul Hinz
02-22-2007, 08:56 AM
The infomation below is from the Horizon Dealer site as to what the Flight Log is.

Spektrumís Flight Log is compatible with Spektrum AR9000 receivers. The Flight Log displays overall RF link performance as well as the individual internal and external receivers link data. Additionally it displays receiver voltage.

Displays antenna fades

Displays Frame losses

Displays Fail-safes

Monitors Receiver battery performance


Paul

RCHeliJim
02-22-2007, 08:58 AM
I wonder what the "Flight Log" is all about ? These prices make XPS very attractive:


I would gladly pay a few more bucks to get the product from a company that I know will be around 5 years from now and from a guy (Paul Beard) that has been nothing but nice and helpful. XPS has been playing a game with its customers - they may end up with a solid product, but their marketing will leave some with a bad taste for them.

Spektrum has been solid and proven for quite some time now - and they do large test groups before release - not just in house. XPS has publically said that no testing will be doneof their product outside of his own place (except the few demo flights that have been done). Independent testing is very important in my opinion, and Spektrum has been doing that with their products (I have talked with a few of these beta-testers before the DX7 came out)

Tom Fiddler
02-22-2007, 02:36 PM
"We have a booth for Toledo and will be selling the produc there. "
The above is a quote from the XPS site forum.

I also heard that the Spektrum JR module will come out in april and will be followed by the Futaba one a month later (from someone who called Spektrum)

Just passing on what I read. :lol:

kgfly
02-22-2007, 05:08 PM
So now we have seen the details of the Spektrum module solutions I find it less appealing:
- cable from Tx module to remote antenna looks like a potential problem
- very expensive
- lots-of-little-boxes paradigm is a PITA. The AR9000 has 2 internal Rx but you still need at least one satellite Rx then the optional telemetry Tx
- Telemetry is only about the RF link/RX status (although I imagine this may expand in the future)
- end-plugs on AR7000 and AR9000 are a good thing

IMO the packaging, features, prices and convenience of XPS is way ahead of the Spektrum modules for most Tx (probably not the MZs):
- integrated stub antenna on Tx (no fragile coax to damage)
- single box Rx solution with a single integrated stub antenna (no special mounting requirements)
- integrated telemetry
- programmable failsafe on all channels on all Rx
- single channel DSSS with as-needed frequency changes
-6/8/10/16ch Rx (vs 6/7/9) but no end plugs
- much lower prices

However actual performance, quality, support and longevity of the company are all valid concerns. XPS have said their modules will be for sale at the Toledo show (April some time) so that will be a hard deadline for them to meet or else lose any credibility. Such fun :)

CRAZYKEV
02-22-2007, 05:39 PM
Pic of the antenna arangement. Works for me :mrgreen:
http://i19.photobucket.com/albums/b181/Crazykevwrx/SPMMSJR7-450.jpg

DavidH
02-22-2007, 05:45 PM
What is amusing. XPS has not updated there website since November of 2006.
It is amusing they would update it the day after Spektrum anounces they will have SS modules for radios April 10th.
Seems like XPS has been polishing the mirrors and gassing up the smoke generator again.

David

redneckteddy103
02-22-2007, 06:14 PM
here is the priceing

retail = retail
map = manufactor ajusted price


AR9000 DSM2 9-Channel Rx
SPMAR9000
Retail: $229.99
MAP: $169.99


Spektrum DSM2 AIRMOD JR W/AR7000RX
SPMMSJR7

Compatilbe with the following JR Radios:

347
388
Unlimited 8
PCM10
PCM10S
PCM10SX
PCM10SXII
8103
9303
10X

Retail: $329.99
MAP: $239.99


Spektrum DSM2 AIRMOD JR W/AR9000RX
SPMMSJR9

Compatilbe with the following JR Radios:

347
388
Unlimited 8
PCM10
PCM10S
PCM10SX
PCM10SXII
8103
9303
10X

Retail: $369.99
MAP: $299.99


Spektrum DSM2 AIRMOD FUT W/AR7000RX
SPMMSFUT7
Compatible with the following Futaba Radios:

7U Series Radios
8J Series Radios
9C Series Radios
9Z Series Radios
FN Series Radios

Retail: $329.99
MAP: $239.99


Spektrum DSM2 AIRMOD FUT W/AR9000RX
SPMMSFUT9
Compatible with the following Futaba Radios:

7U Series Radios
8J Series Radios
9C Series Radios
9Z Series Radios
FN Series Radios

Retail: $369.99
MAP: $299.99


Spektrum DSM2 AIRMOD MZ W/AR7000RX
SPMMSMZ7
Compatible with Futaba 12Z or 14MZ Radio Systems.

Retail: $329.99
MAP: $239.99


Spektrum DSM2 AIRMOD MZ W/AR9000RX
SPMMSMZ9
Compatible with Futaba 12Z or 14MZ Radio Systems.

Retail: $369.99
MAP: $299.99


Spektrum Flight Log
SPM9540

Retail: $59.99
MAP: $24.99

spork
02-22-2007, 06:18 PM
Now I'm tempted to write a little program to test this theory.

Well, I have a little program, but it could really use some polishing. I'll make it so you can set the latency and see how the control feels. I will say this, 100 msec latency is definitely noticable.

I'll post the final program so people can play with it if interested.

DebianDog
02-22-2007, 08:56 PM
Pricer than I thought it would be

kgfly
02-22-2007, 09:37 PM
Scroll up about half way you will see I did a price comparison between Spektrum and XPS. XPS is a lot cheaper. The Spektrum module and Rx prices seem very high to me. Certainly a DX9/10 would make more sense to me than a new 9303+Spektrum module.