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Old 05-01-2021, 07:19 AM   #1 (permalink)
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Default Connecting Lemon RX DSMX Sat to BeastX V4.2

Had a bit of a mishap during my last session - heli just shutdown completely while in a hover and gracefully fell to the ground.

Finally had time to go over everything and I've traced the cause to a dodgy Sat adapter cable (BXA76009). At least I've proven my failsafe in action...!

I don't have a spare, and can't see any available to buy anywhere in the UK. So, I've tried simply connecting it with a standard sat cable to to the white pin port on the side of the MB as per the manual.

The sat lights up solid red and the MB boots, but does not complete initialisation. Rebinding the sat using a bind tool I have doesn't help. Spent a fair bit of time search the web for answers but they still elude me.

What am I missing here?
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Old 05-01-2021, 09:13 AM   #2 (permalink)
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This is from memory, but do please check it out. I do not think 4.2 supports direct connection of a sat. I think they only implemented that port, @ 3.3V, from version 5 onwards. Probably wrong, but check it out.

If you tracked it down to the sat adaptor lead, maybe it is just the wiring of the leads. If so, that could easily be fixed.

Check it with a multi-meter. The adapter should output 3.3V, and signal should be passthrough. You should also get 10K between signal and positive, because I think there is a pull up resistor in there. Check for 10K to ground too, because it may be pull down, though I think it was the other way. Could have been 1K, I forget, but you should read something.

Might only be the connectors themselves, or the wires to the pins. They are quite fragile, so check these things to the wire itself. It's faulty, so you can't make it worse by messing with it.

I made two of my own, based on a thread in this forum. That's an option too. Walter from BeastX told us all how to do it, which was nice.
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Old 05-01-2021, 09:18 AM   #3 (permalink)
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Quote:
Originally Posted by sutty View Post
This is from memory, but do please check it out. I do not think 4.2 supports direct connection of a sat. I think they only implemented that port, @ 3.3V, from version 5 onwards.
Thats correct.

From the BeastX Wiki...

5.0.3

Basic functionality

Spektrum/JR remote satellite can be directly connected to pin board of MICROBEAST PLUS (Spektrum Adapter not required anymore); see manual for further information.
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Old 05-01-2021, 09:30 AM   #4 (permalink)
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The thread in question is all interesting, but it gets better after Walter from BeastX chimes in. He is one of the lead developers, as you will see.

https://www.helifreak.com/2540248-post74.html
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Old 05-02-2021, 05:19 PM   #5 (permalink)
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Thank you gents. Sometimes, when browsing the BeastX wiki, I forget to remind myself that some pages might not relate to the version I have...

Anyway, I pulled off the heat shrink covering the adaptor's board and right away, one wire came away from it.

In light of the fact I can't easily source a new adapter cable, upgrading firmware being relatively costly (not having a USB2SYS) and for the sake of a single solder connection, I've decided it's high-time I learned to solder!

A reasonably-priced soldering station now on order along with a few other bits, I'm going to try soak up the information within this beauty of a post and hopefully do a decent job first time.

P.S. My BeastX was sold as a v5 but ended up being v4.2 which funnily enough, was a discrepancy I didn't bother to escalate with the seller at the time...
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Old 05-03-2021, 02:40 AM   #6 (permalink)
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I am quite happy with v4.2 on all of my units - it does everything that I need an FC to do for me. If I remember correctly, I think Sutty is still on v3 for the same reasons

Thanks for the soldering tutorial link - well worth archiving
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Old 05-03-2021, 06:48 AM   #7 (permalink)
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Oh please don't get me wrong, v4.2 does me just fine. I just find it mildly amusing that being mis-sold regarding the version has found some way to cause me a tiny spot of bother

It's a good thing however - it's pushed me to finally buy some soldering gear and learn. Considering I know how to stick weld steel, learning to solder is well overdue!

Reading that link makes it all sound rather complicated and involved, I hope that it's actually much easier and simpler than he's making it out to be...
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Old 05-03-2021, 10:08 AM   #8 (permalink)
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It is! I have been soldering since I was a teenager - I am no expert but I think that I mostly produce a decent joint. For me, the key is to make sure that you are using a suitable tip for the job and that the iron is hot enough. I suspect that many people struggle because they try to solder with too cold an iron. Nothing more satisfying than a nice shiny joint, where the solder flowed exactly to where it was supposed to

Practice makes perfect, so spend some time experimenting with odd bits of wire and gash terminals of some sort. Quite a fun activity, actually.
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Old 05-03-2021, 10:11 AM   #9 (permalink)
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I'm currently giving it a go right now. I can see how it would be satisfying once you have the hang of it, but bloody hell it's frustrating me at the moment!

I've managed to de-solder the three leads running from the PCB to the sat connector and trying to re-solder them back in. I have the wire sticking up through the hole in the PCB but whenever I apply heat and solder the solder just wicks up the wire end and doesn't stick to the PCB and make the joint.

I've got my iron at 380C and using flux.

EDIT - I have a feeling I've ruined this.... the connections on the PCB don't look too good
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Old 05-03-2021, 10:27 AM   #10 (permalink)
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What I do is apply the tip to area to be soldered and then apply the solder to the tip so that it runs off the tip, into the joint. Are the contacts on the PCB clean? Sounds like they may need cleaning up - a light rub with a small piece of fine emery paper should do it. I presume that you are using a solder suitable for electronic work?
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Old 05-03-2021, 10:41 AM   #11 (permalink)
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I did try it exactly as described - tip to work area then solder to the tip.

I think where I went wrong was the de-soldering - in trying to remove all the old solder I think I've burnt/damaged the contacts. As you can see in the photos they're definitely NOT clean or shiny. I've tried some emery paper but they just aren't coming up clean.

The solder I have is some old stuff I had lying around - about 1mm in thickness but no label on it.
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Old 05-03-2021, 11:11 AM   #12 (permalink)
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I really don't know what happened to the contacts - they just seem to have vanished. I can only assume that they were so delicate that I've removed them completely with the emery paper?

I remember why I've never enjoyed soldering; each time I've tried learning it in the past, it's always been on minute connections which require skills beyond a beginner's I guess.
I'm gutted and infuriated I've buggered it up.

As for the repair, I figure I may as well buy a USB2SYS interface now and just upgrade my BeastX to v5 so that I can connect my sat directly to the white port. It costs the same as the bloody sat adapter....

EDIT - is it free to upgrade firmware versions, as long as you aren't getting the pro features? Do I need to worry about the unit already being registered by the previous owner and causing problems?
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Old 05-03-2021, 11:19 AM   #13 (permalink)
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I wouldn't call it a disaster from looking at it close-up and it doesn't look like you have 'bridged' any of the joints. If the joints feel secure, I would be inclined to just try it out and see what you get. If the solder is 1mm, one would think that it is intended for electronic work - hard to say though as there is solder and then, there is solder!
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Old 05-03-2021, 11:28 AM   #14 (permalink)
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Ha! I wish that was my work Cyclone!

I'm actually referring to the three holes to the right - that's where there should be three nice, shiny and clean contacts ready to accept the three wires for the sat connector. Somehow I've managed to destroy them....

The wires soldered to the board in my pictures are ones which were done at the factory...
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Old 05-03-2021, 12:12 PM   #15 (permalink)
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Sorry

OK, that being the case then I think you definitely do have a problem and it is as you say. I thought that the three holes were for the wires to go through and that you had decided to circumvent that complication. I am clearly not familiar with the unit in question!
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Old 05-03-2021, 12:32 PM   #16 (permalink)
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I have to laugh at my incompetence here!

Seriously though, I do wonder where I went wrong. Here's what I did;

- Selected finest soldering tip (fine enough to partially fit through the PCB holes we've been discussing)
- Set iron to 380C (350C seemed too low)
- Put some flux on the existing connections thinking it would help clean them as I removed them
- De-soldered the connections for the 3 wires I wanted to fix/reattach. Held iron on for approx. 10-15 seconds each time.
- Cleaned PCB in Iso Prop. after it had cooled
- Tried to clean contacts with emery paper
- Gazed upon the destruction.
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Old 05-03-2021, 01:12 PM   #17 (permalink)
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The temp should have been ok at 350-370C(depending on the solder) and the tip size sounds right.

I think that it would have been the 10-15 seconds number that did the damage. You should be able to just to rest the tip on the joint briefly, 2-3 secs at most, for the wire to come away and ditto when re-soldering.
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Old 05-03-2021, 01:30 PM   #18 (permalink)
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Is see copper still. Yes, the pads have gone, but maybe it can be made to function.

Good fun learning, and in any case, you needed a soldering station, plus it was broken anyway.

See those two shiny bits of copper? Is that the output side?

If it is, plug it in, and measure across those two small pads. Do you get 3.3V?

If you do, you can still make it work.

I agree 10-15 seconds is way too long. The solder should have melted almost as soon as the hot iron touched it. What you may lack, is a solder sucker, or solder wicks, to remove old solder. 10-15 seconds of a hot iron probably burned the pads off the board.

Let us know if it reads 3.3V.
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Old 05-03-2021, 02:02 PM   #19 (permalink)
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That makes sense, thanks Cyclone.

The wires didn't want to come out without heating for such a length of time so I wonder if I wasn't touching the tip in quite the right place (hard to see as so small) or whether my soldering station is poor. It did seem to get decent reviews for a budget station however...

I'll look at getting hold of some old electronics that I can practice de-soldering and re-soldering to PCBs on. It's something I definitely want to become proficient at.

Out of interest, the work I attempted to do - should that be fairly straightforward for a beginner? It seems to me that something so small would be on the limit of what someone could manually solder and perhaps a job for someone with established skill?
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Old 05-03-2021, 02:13 PM   #20 (permalink)
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@sutty - sorry didn't see your response before replying to Cyclone..

Wholeheartedly agree with you, definitely a good learning experience and I'll ensure I get plenty more use out of the soldering station.
You're also dead on - my solder sucker hasn't yet arrived and I decided to work without one. Oops.

Yes, that copper is on the output side. However, my multimeter went AWOL quite some time ago. Guess it's about time to get another one on order!
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