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Posted by dmrcflyr2 | Today @ 07:35 AM | 1,171 Views
Well in light of my recent loss of the Easy Stik, I have considered going back and using my lightly used JR XP6102 radio system. It is a 72 MHz system that I bought probably back in 2001-02. I have 2 receivers for it and plenty of servos; the transmitter has a new 2000 Mah battery pack.

After the failure analysis to include queries on this forum, it seems that the root cause for my crash was ..... me! It appears that I did not heed the instructions for proper RX/antenna placement and that the signal was shadowed for a time long enough to send the RX into fail safe mode.

A very valuable lesson was learned for sure. I know in the past with the older systems 'shadowing' was never an issue. There was a 39 inch long antenna sticking out of the airplane grabbing all of the signal. The receiver could be right next to the servos and it did not matter.

So I pulled my trusty JR system out last night, cycled the transmitter battery and brought it into work to check out the signal. Using an HP 8562E spectrum analyzer I checked the signal. The transmitter is channel 25 which is 72.290 MHz. The transmitter checks out perfectly. The signal is clean and strong. I think once the new Easy Stik arrives I might just put this system in it and go 'old school' along with the 30+ year old engine in the nose.
Posted by dmrcflyr2 | Jun 26, 2015 @ 07:22 PM | 875 Views
Yes, thanks to lots of rain and very soft sandy soil in FL, the 80T easily survived a nose dive into the ground. The only casualty were the headers. One smashed closed the other tweaked. I soaked it with alcohol and sprayed it off with the air compressor and that's it. I turns over freely and feels perfect. Coming from someone too willing to open up an engine.... Great engineering, Saito.
Posted by dmrcflyr2 | Jun 25, 2015 @ 06:49 PM | 1,149 Views
It was a bittersweet trip to the flying field today. It was going to be the first aerial videos using my new Mobius camera and I was excited. The first, and only flight, started out well. I started recording and took to the air. I made several circuits around the field and then the unthinkable happened.

I lost radio contact while flying straight and level. The Stik went from a straight and level flight into a dive straight into the ground. I was helpless as I watched my airplane plummet into the ground. 1 second after impact the sound wave hit me. it was a sickening CRACK!!

As I began the long walk to the impact site I contemplated what had just happened. I took the radio with me to see if all controls still functioned. When I got there the radio was unresponsive. The impact must have turned the switch off as it was in the off position. When I turned it on all control surfaces worked perfectly. I gathered up the Mobius and all I could carry in one load and walked back. The second trip I gathered all of the pieces I felt like bringing back.

There is good news and bad news in this story. The good news is that the Mobius and video survived the impact as you will see below. The bad news is that the Easy Stik is a total loss. The condition of the Saito FA-80T is unknown at this time, but I will be evaluating that very soon.

Amazingly the wing seems relatively unscathed. I will not be using it on the next Stik. Oh yes, I plan on replacing this airplane. It is a great platform for my twin cylinder engines.

Oh well, such is life. Now to check out my engine.

Last flight of the Easy Stik 60 (2 min 56 sec)

Posted by dmrcflyr2 | Jun 24, 2015 @ 06:00 PM | 654 Views
I recently purchased a Mobius and have been playing with it a bit in the last few days. This weekend I will be shooting some videos from my perspective with a hat mount and some from the Easy Stik. For now I have one of my girls 'gettin high' exercising those strong legs. Angel was being lazy....

Chloe exercise (0 min 59 sec)

Posted by dmrcflyr2 | Jun 13, 2015 @ 04:39 PM | 1,498 Views
I flew a few airplanes today and had a great time! My wonderful 10 year old grandson took the videos and he gets a bit better each outing. I flew my Value Hobby Easy Stik 60 with the Saito FA-90T and my SIG Astro Hog with the Enya 60-4C shown in my blog entry below this one.

This particular Enya 60 seems a bit more powerful than the other one I had on it before. They both have very good compression so I am unsure why there would be a difference, but there is.

The Saito 90T is getting broken in and ran flawlessly today. I did not touch the needle valve settings at all after the last run in my yard a few days ago. I had reset them and tached the engine for a bit of unloading in the air. This engine is very sensitive to the needle valve settings; one click of either carb in either direction can make a big difference on overall high speed RPM.

Easy Stik takeoff 1 (0 min 30 sec)

Easy Stik touch n go (0 min 27 sec)
...Continue Reading
Posted by dmrcflyr2 | Jun 06, 2015 @ 09:29 AM | 1,606 Views
It runs like a champ! After the disassembly, clean and re-assembly. Apparently I have the timing correct.
It started on the second flip of the prop. I am running an APC 13x6 with Omega 10% and a brand new Enya #3 plug.

Enya 60-4C: First start, first run (1 min 9 sec)

Enya 60-4C: First run (cont.) (1 min 3 sec)
...Continue Reading
Posted by dmrcflyr2 | Jun 05, 2015 @ 07:35 PM | 1,294 Views
So I am a sucker for a good deal, especially when it is a 4 stroke engine. This is the second Enya 60-4C I have purchased for under $85. This is is just as good as the $50 one. It is a used but low time engine which I will be running on the stand tomorrow.

As is customary for me and used engines, I first completely disassemble them to assess their true condition. Upon opening the nicely packaged box I find an engine that has some external wear on the finish, clearly it isn't brand new, but the aluminum is a bit tarnished. Still it is in very good shape. There are no surprises with the disassembly. No stripped screw heads, no over torqued fasteners. It is a bit gummed up but nothing a good cleaning won't remedy.

As each part was removed I initially soaked them in alcohol to begin to loosen the crud. As the exterior did not look as nice as I wanted, I decided to go to something a bit stronger. I soaked all parts in CLR. This is not recommended for Aluminum, according to the manufacturer, but I have used it before with very good results. The aluminum just needs to be VERY throughly cleaned immediately after removal from the CLR. I soak them in alcohol, used compressed air to dry and then coat lightly with 3-in-1 oil. The steel parts is where the CLR really works. Any surface rust is removed and things look almost new again.

The bearings were not in bad shape but the congealed oil residue had them looking a bit rough. The CLR makes quick work of that...Continue Reading
Posted by dmrcflyr2 | May 30, 2015 @ 02:04 PM | 1,901 Views
I was out last evening running about the 8th break-in tank through this engine when a scary thing happened. The engine just stopped while running at about 6000 RPM. Died, stopped. I had been monitoring the head temps and they were fine at around 175 each.

After it stopped it felt very tight when I turned the prop. Oh crap, what have I done? Well I immediately took it off the stand and brought it inside to cool down. After it cooled it still did not turn over freely. I did not feel or hear any grinding noises. I injected some Marvel Mystery oil into the port at the bottom of the crankcase to see if that helped things at all; it did not. I don't know if the front bearing let go or what, but there was one thing for sure, I wouldn't know until I took her apart.

So the disassembly begins. I took it apart with the back of the engine facing me and I kept all left and right side parts separate. I pulled the heads off and the pistons look just like new still. The valves look great. I had to pull the piston wrist pins and the piston heads off to get the connecting rods out. After each part removal I tried to turn the engine over to see exactly which part is causing the drag.

I found it. The right timing gear and cover came off and the engine freed up. Wow this is odd. The timing gear seemed to be somewhat seized on the shaft. It was quite hard to turn the gear but as soon as I loosened the set screw holding the shaft in place the timing gear began to turn...Continue Reading
Posted by dmrcflyr2 | May 23, 2015 @ 12:19 PM | 1,911 Views
After almost 27 years of patiently waiting to be run, this engine waits no more. I secured it to the stand and took it out for its first runs. The first run/tank went very fast due to the extremely rich setting. Heck I almost think more fuel was spraying out of it than was burning. I started with both needles at 3 full turns open, but almost immediately had to begin to close them up so it would run.

It was so rich most of the tank had to be run with the ignitors on. In fact as soon as I removed the one from the right cylinder it died and would not re-fire even when I put it back on. There are a few seconds of it just pumping fuel out before I killed the engine.

The restart I leaned a bit more so it would finish up without the ignitors on. I let it cool for about 15 -20 minutes while I topped off my ignitors again.

The second tank it started on the first flip already. I have run 3 tanks through it now but only shot videos of the first two tanks. It is well on its way to break-in.

FA-90T 1st run EVER. (1 min 27 sec)

FA 90T End of 1st run tank (0 min 45 sec)
...Continue Reading
Posted by dmrcflyr2 | May 21, 2015 @ 05:57 PM | 1,953 Views
This is the first ARF I have purchased from Value Hobby; I have bought servos from them but that is it. The price of their ARF's are very attractive and just beg you to take a chance on them. I have been eyeing several of thier airplanes for years but never pulled the trigger on one until now. I had been searching and thinking of the type of airplane to test fly my new twin cylinder engines on. The size, nose profile, and overall flight charateristics of the 'Stik' type airplanes were the deciding features for me. I have never owned or flown a 'Stik' before so this should be very fun.

The box arrived undamaged and the opening begins. I immediately found ONE of the reasons these ARF's are so inexpensive. They are not packaged in full color boxes as most kits/ARF's are. In fact I thought it was triple boxed, but in fact it was only double boxed. The inner box was just as plain as the outer; and as in good of condition too. ABout the only lettering on the boxes are the words "Made in China". What? I thought for sure these were out of Vietnam, but I guess not.

Once the box was opened I was pleased to see all subassemblies were individually bagged and nicely taped in place to keep them from shifting during transport. I removed each item and gave it a brief inspection. It was not my intention to begin building this tonight so further unwrapping was somewhat unnecessary. I did unbag the main section of the 2 piece fuselage. I wanted to set my Saito FA-...Continue Reading
Posted by dmrcflyr2 | May 20, 2015 @ 08:15 PM | 2,257 Views
It cost me several other engines but I think it was worth it now that she is here. I have scored the second Saito twin in a month. The FA-90T arrived at the front door today and man is she beautiful! This engine is the perfect compliment to the 80T. Granted it is not much of an increase in displacement but they have over 25 common parts. They also share the exact same mount/mounting dimensions meaning they will be an easy swap out of the same airplane.

At a few feet they look nearly identical but there is one major difference, the heads. The 80T has a two piece head while the 90T has the modern and currrent integrated cylinder head. I really doubt there is any difference in the carbs bodies. I am unsure how long the production run for the 90T was but the 80T was a very short 2 years. I think this is one reason you never see it mentioned in any manuals or the alpha engine codes guide.

So the first thing I did after opening the box was to remove the valve covers and check the valve lash. Two were out of spec and they were quickly reset. A few drops of oil on the rocker arm pivots and cover screw holes and back together it went. This 90T is NIB; it has never seen a drop of fuel. That is going to change this weekend though. I plan to begin the break-in process ASAP. No, no, no, I'm not keeping this a museum piece. It will be in the air very soon. In fact my test bed for these engines is due to arrive tomorrow as well, a Value Hobby Easy Stik 60.
Posted by dmrcflyr2 | May 08, 2015 @ 07:08 PM | 1,930 Views
So I started out with a Master Airscrew 14x6, the glow plugs that came in the engine, 10% Omega fuel. After prime the engine fired on the very first flip!! Being my first twin I was learning on the fly what it should sound like, what happens when a cylinder drops out, etc. It seems the engine likes the pressure tap on the left cylinder. ( I am referencing left/right from behind the engine) Anyway with setup as above I was able to tune it to nearly 8000RPM WOT. I could not get any more than that out of it for fear of leaning it too much. I did shut down the left cylinder once by leaning too much.

After the first two runs I changed 3 things.
1. Propeller from MA 14x6 to TF 13x6
2. Plugs: unknown plugs that came in the engine to Hangar 9 Super Plug
3. Installed a header from another Saito on the right hand cylinder for pressure tap. The original runs the pressure fitting was on the left cylinder.

I had a heck of a time getting it to start and run after these changes. WTH??? So I moved the pressure tap header back to the left side and I was finally able to get it started and running again. This really does not make any sense to me. But in the first video above, I did remove the pressure line once and it immediately dropped the left cyclinder.

Seeing as I am still very green to running twins, I am unsure what to make of this. it is also a bit difficult for me to know how to tune each carb. You can see in the videos I was using an IR temp sensor to read the head...Continue Reading
Posted by dmrcflyr2 | May 05, 2015 @ 06:20 PM | 2,494 Views
I realized one of my RC dreams! I have acquired a Saito twin, more specifically the FA-80T MKII. The FA-80T was the first twin cylinder engine that Saito mass produced. The MKI was introduced in 1981 and featured a singe carb. It was soon determined that the single carb was in adequate and the MKII with dual carbs was released. Basically they added the dual carb and designated it the MKII in 1982. This engine was only produced until 1983 when it was replaced with the FA-90T.

The 80T also has a two piece head assembly as opposed to the most common feature of Saito engines, the single integrated cylinder head. The 2 piece head has an advantage for me, which is the ability to remove and inspect the valves without completely tearing down the engine. A task I did last night when trying to determine approximately how much run time this engine has. My best guess is 1 gallon or less, but it is used.

This is not going to be a display only engine. It will be powering an airplane possibly this year and running even sooner. However, I am making the preparations to get it running this weekend if not sooner. I have a PSP Mfg. test stand with the back mount adapter. Tonight I drilled holes for the engine and throttle arm....Continue Reading
Posted by dmrcflyr2 | Apr 25, 2015 @ 04:44 PM | 2,184 Views
So, I have a crappy day at the field today. My GP Escapade is laid up for the time being due to a pancake landing I managed to excute. It was a gusty day again and as I was touching the rudder to straighten it out to land I must have had brain lock on the elevator. It was coming in at 45 deggrees to the runway and ideally I should have waited until just before touch down to straighten her out, i didn't. My flying skills were not up to the task with the huge rudder on this airplane. The result is the landing gear being ripped off the airframe and as a consequence rolling up under and damaging the wing. Easily repairable. I just seldom get in the mood to repair airplanes....

Then after that while flying my Tower Uproar, I did a slow fly by and while powering on to pull out, the engine flamed out. My only choice to make the runway was to turn immediately and do a downwind landing. It would have been fine if I had actually made it to the runway. The result was a broken prop, and my self esteem.

Fortunately, my grandson caught both on video.

Bad day at the field (0 min 12 sec)

Posted by dmrcflyr2 | Apr 23, 2015 @ 04:47 PM | 2,796 Views
Well, I did it, I bought another 2 stroke engine. What is with me? Well this just tripped my trigger as a good deal and I was not disappointed. For under $50 I scored a NIB Magnum XLS 40A.

I was quite surprised when I opened it up and all items were in bags, but wait. There happened to be two bags with muffler screws, gaskets, and carb attachment screws. Ok, a bonus, thats cool. What I did not expect was a carbuerator with a needle valve along with a bracket and hardware to make it a REMOTE needle valve assembly! Super cool! I am unsure if this is how all Magnums were sold, but if so, nice.

Heck I forget to mention one of the coolest surprises, an aluminum spinner nut!

No glow plug was supplied, but as luck would have it I stopped at the LHS today at lunch and picked up a new McCoy glow plug for it.
Posted by dmrcflyr2 | Apr 22, 2015 @ 06:05 PM | 3,145 Views
Once again, this forum is the best!! For about the 3rd time I have posted looking for something and a great member comes through for me! This time I was looking for an ACE R/C 4-40 Bipe kit. Well it arrived today! I am so stoked that I had to share some pictures.

So a bit of history. I entered this hobby back in 1988 while stationed at Whiteman AFB in Knob Noster MO. The RC club I joined was from Central Missouri State University in nearby Warrensburg MO. Anyone that knows that area of MO knows that Higginsville MO, the former headquarters of ACE R/C, was located 20 miles due north of Warrensburg. So I flew with the folks at ACE several times and back in those day ACE also sponsored an annaul float fly that was always documented in RCM and MAN.

So in all of my time there I never purchased an ACE kit. Don't ask me why, because for the life of me I do not know the reason. Well I never thought I would actually get my hands on a piece of history like this, but I did.

This kits looks 100% complete and still has the plastic wrap around groupings of wood parts. The decal sheet may not be useable however. I tried to unroll it and the stickers started lifting off having been rolled for so many years. The ffront windshield is a bit dented up, but again, no big deal. One thing I did find missing is the aluminum landing gear. Easily replaced.

I unrolled the plans, rolled them the opposite direction, very carefully, and then pinned them to my wall to flatten out....Continue Reading
Posted by dmrcflyr2 | Apr 18, 2015 @ 05:09 PM | 2,695 Views
So I took the Astro Hog out to the field along with my 9 year old grandson. He was the videographer. I gave him a quick lesson on the camera and the difficulties in following an RC airplane in the air and off we went. He did quite well too. I had to do quite a few edits and only a small sample of what he shot was really useable but it still was pretty darn good. Next time I will bring out the tripod and let him use that. The videos should be much more stable.

The weather conditions were warm, partly cloudy and a pretty siff breeze with some gusts. The Hog flies very nice with or without the wind. It performs much better than the pilot. The Hog is sporting an Enya 60-4C, 13x6 MA propeller and Omega 10%.

If weather permits tomorrow we will go out and I have him shoot some videos of the Escapade and Uproar.

SIG Astro Hog (1 min 2 sec)

SIG Astro Hog 2 (1 min 18 sec)
...Continue Reading
Posted by dmrcflyr2 | Apr 04, 2015 @ 04:54 PM | 3,620 Views
I have been primarily a kit builder the vast majority of my 27 years in the hobby. I have on several occassions purchased and flown ARF's. The quality of the ARF's available now is FAR superior to the first ones I bought back in the early 90's. Still I favor building my own airplanes because you have more options with regards to weight, wood selection, landing gear options etc. In the last month and a half I have built 1 kit, a SIG Astro Hog, and assembled 1 ARF, a Great Planes Escapade 61.

The SIG Astro Hog is a classic kit and flier and being an older design does not incorporate any laser cut parts. It is still an 'old school' build. While I was building this airplane I kept saying to myself, why is it designed like this, and why is this wood so heavy. The airplane is very solid and strong which means over engineered and heavy to me. Although I do not have a scale as yet I am unsure how much my Hog actually weighs, but I am sure it is close to the 7 - 7 1/2 lb stated weight. The specifications for it are:

Wingspan: 71"
Wing area: 824 sq in
Weight: 7 - 7 1/2lb
Wing loading: 21 oz/sq ft @7.5 lb
Engine range: 45-60 2 stroke/60-75 4 stroke (wheere did SIG come up with a 75 4 stroke size??)

I am powering my Hog with an Enya 60-4C engine and it provides excellent flight performance, in fact more engine is really just more added weight with less benefit IMO.

In contrast the ARF I assembled is the Great Planes Escapade 61. I think this airplane has been around...Continue Reading
Posted by dmrcflyr2 | Mar 29, 2015 @ 12:33 PM | 3,320 Views
I recently acquired 2 NIB engines and decided not to 'save' them for later. I put them on the stand and began breaking them in. At the time of running today the Saito has 2 tanks on it, the second being what is shown here, the Enya is on its third tank shown here. So obviously this isn't the best means to compare them, but this is how I did it.

The weather conditions were a perfect 65 F with humidity of 34%. I ran 10% Omega and identical 11x6 APC propellers. I started each engine up and allowed them to run at mid throttle for 1 minute to warm up. I then adjusted the high speed needle to peak RPM 1 time on the Saito and twice on the Enya. I did not let either sit at that setting for very long at all as you will see. I recorded a peak RPM and then showed a bit of the idling characteristics.

Each engine started right up once properly primed. Each engine reached a peak RPM of 11,040 RPM before I decided to back them off.

Here are some manufacturer specifications for each engine
Enya 46-4C
Weight 385g
Practical RPM range 8500-13,000RPM

Saito FA-50
Weight 435g

Saito 50 startup:
Saito FA 50 startup (0 min 38 sec)

Saito 50 runup to peak.
Saito FA 50 runup to peak RPM (0 min 46 sec)
...Continue Reading
Posted by dmrcflyr2 | Mar 22, 2015 @ 03:33 PM | 2,918 Views
I was at the field today flying the GP Escapade for the first time, which BTW, went fine. I saw a member here Ronwc and he metioned that he had a NIB Enya 46-4C. Of course I already knew this becuase I saw it posted on the forum before I even went to the field. Being a complete sucker for NIB engines, especially a 4 stroke, I had to take a look. Well once I got to his house the look turned into a transaction and now I have 2 Enya 46-4C engines. Well I certainly don't need 2 so I listed my tried and true used 46, opting to keep the new one.

Instead of keeping it new I immediately put it on the stand for a tank of fuel. I took several videos of the one tank I ran; they can be viewed here,

So I was comparing the 2 46's to each other an saw what I considered an amazing difference. I also have a NIB 53-4C and pulled it out for a further comparison. Can you see the difference in photo 1?

Well the new 46 I got today has the breather nipple on the back of the gear box instead of on the front end as the used 46 and 53 have. This strikes me as odd becuase both of my 46's are the latest Mark II version and it is differentiated from the original version by what is stated in the supplement. Yet they have the breather nipple in different locations. The 53 SHOULD have come out after the 46 Mark II, but yet it's breather nipple is in the same location as my original 46. Other than that the engines are identical.