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Posted by Suenaga | Oct 18, 2014 @ 06:55 PM | 931 Views
Here is today's Carbon Z Cub flight equipped with a SAFE Receiver from Eflite, with views from 3 cameras (ground, over left wing, facing forward). The Dubro 6" inflatable tires make for a nice soft landing. Take-off was with half flaps, landing with full flaps. All stock except the tires and the Xoar 15 x 6 wooden prop.


Carbon Z Cub w/SAFE Rx multi-cam Oct 18, 2014 (3 min 49 sec)

and practicing landings and take-offs with flaps the following day:

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Posted by Suenaga | Oct 12, 2014 @ 03:27 PM | 826 Views
Im still working on my throttle management with the Durafly Fieseler Fi-156 Storch at slower speeds--here is this morning's practice flights--I still have much to learn but its getting a bit better--


Durafly Fieseler Fi-156 Storch Throttle Mgt Practicce (3 min 19 sec)

Posted by Suenaga | Oct 11, 2014 @ 06:27 PM | 1,061 Views
Here are today's (Oct 11, 2014) flights with my SAFE Rx equipped Airfield Zero (1450mm). On-board and ground view cameras.


Airfield A6M Zero w/SAFE Oct 11, 2014 (4 min 49 sec)

Posted by Suenaga | Sep 27, 2014 @ 03:05 PM | 2,010 Views
Today's maiden of my Eflite P-51D equipped with an Eflite SAFE Rx. Onboard camera is a Mobius and Hat Cam from the ground is a GoPro 3+. Transmitter is a DX9. No flaps were used for landings or take-offs. The first landing was a bit bumpy as I held up-elevator for too long on touch down. This bird likes to land like my ParkZone FW-190. Final landing was much better, even with the small pebbles dotting my landing strip.


Eflite P-51D Maiden w/SAFE Rx (7 min 3 sec)

Shorter raw 3 minute ground version:
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Posted by Suenaga | Sep 24, 2014 @ 10:41 PM | 1,943 Views
Here is a quick video of bench testing the control surface correction directions for the Eflite SAFE Rx (originally found in the Apprentice S RC plane). In this video I have installed the SAFE Rx in Eflite's new P-51D. This will also be applicable to bench testing the SAFE programmed AR636F4U found in the HobbyZone Corsair S. I want to do a longer more detailed one in the future, but I had a few requests to throw something together soon so this will have to do for now.


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Bench Testing the Eflite SAFE Rx (8 min 26 sec)

Posted by Suenaga | Sep 24, 2014 @ 07:34 PM | 1,610 Views
I received my new E-flite P-51D today. A very quick build and I managed to install the SAFE Rx without too much trouble. I installed it in the same place as the AR636 was, except I installed it right side up, hanging (attached) from the top of the Rx--I needed to cut a tad of foam as the SAFE Rx is a bit wider than the AR636, but it was very easy. Because the servo leads exit our of the top of the SAFE Rx, I used the existing opening for the rudder and elevator lead wires and expanded it a bit so the protruding servo leads on the top of the SAFE Rx could easily fit into that open space.

I did not hook up the flap servo as I am short one channel on the SAFE Rx. The gear went into the open Aux 2 channel.

I fired her up, and all control surface correction directions were perfect. No modifications or servo reversers were necessary, The P-51 uses the same aileron and rudder servos (and in the same configuration) as the ParkZone FW-190 and ParkZone Mosquito, neither of which needed any mods as well.

One interesting thing---the P-51 comes with a long wire labeled "bind" already inserted into the bind port of the included AR636. It has the red wire "cut". When I tried to use this long "bind" wire to bind my SAFE Rx to my DX-9, I kept getting "Bind Failed". When I pulled out that long wire and inserted a spare regular old shorty Bind plug, she did a Bind on the first try. Below is a pic of that long Bind wire, and the short one I normally use. . I've since learned that the long "bind" lead is just a bind extension. You still need to insert a bind plug into the long lead to bind. Must be because the rx is pretty inaccessible once you get the wing on.

The maiden will be Saturday morning.

Bench Testing the Eflite SAFE Rx (8 min 26 sec)

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Posted by Suenaga | Sep 21, 2014 @ 05:23 PM | 1,625 Views
Today's Flight Ops with my SAFE Rx equipped Airfield Zero 1440mm wingspan (57 inches) on a gloomy Southern California morning. A bit of a bounce on the landing, but she flies and handles really well.


Airfield Zero over Loma Linda Sept 21, 2014 (3 min 13 sec)

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Posted by Suenaga | Sep 20, 2014 @ 07:20 PM | 1,751 Views
Today I did some test landings and take-offs with new wheels on my HobbyZone Corsair S equipped with the Spektrum AR636F4U Rx. These are 2.5" Dubro Diamond-Lite wheels that I fitted on the Corsair in place of the stock wheels which I felt were too bouncy on my hard dirt runway. I fitted these same wheels on my Parkzone Mosquito, and while there is still some bounce, it has lessened significantly and I think the wheels look nicer. It was also a good chance to see how the Corsair S performs in some light to moderate winds which were blowing at a steady 15mph with gusts to 25. It was fun to see how she seems to stop in mid-air and float into the wind, as well as how quickly she lifted off the ground---one take-off wasn't much more than about a 18-24 inches before she was airborne.


Corsair S in Wind Sept 20, 2014 (3 min 28 sec)

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Posted by Suenaga | Sep 07, 2014 @ 04:19 PM | 2,429 Views
I have completed the first phase of my flight tests with the new AR636F4U SAFE enabled receiver in two planes with very different airframes. I chose the very stable high wing trainer, the Apprentice S, and the Sport plane from Dynam, the SU29M, for my first tests. The AR636F4U is the receiver found in HobbyZone's (HH) new Corsair S, a SAFE enable warbird that is a dream to fly compared to what many people are used to with RC warbirds. Of course I have experimented extensively with the SAFE Rx found in the Apprentice S in other planes, but I was curious to see how this new SAFE programmed receiver would perform. After the first day of unsuccessful tests yesterday, after which I discovered I had broken my own cardinal rule of SAFE technology, "ALWAYS BENCH TEST ALL SAFE CORRECTION DIRECTIONS FIRST", and found that I had been trying to fly with my rudder direction reversed (DOH!), I found that both test planes, the Apprentice S and the Dynam SU26M, needed a servo reversing wire between the rudder servo and the Rx to get the rudder to move in the correct directions for both SAFE and AS3X. I set out again this morning...... bench tests completed, pre-flight done, and ready for action!

Both planes flew very stable with the AR636F4U receiver. All three SAFE modes worked correctly, as well as the Panic button. I did notice that I was achieving a greater bank angle in beginner mode on the Apprentice S than I was used to with its stock SAFE Rx. I was able to...Continue Reading
Posted by Suenaga | Sep 03, 2014 @ 08:50 AM | 2,838 Views
Spektrum Transmitter screens can be tough to video, so I put a couple of videos together (with voice and without voice), slowed it down, and added some notes. Not exactly "27 seconds", but it may help. Set your YouTube settings for 720p resolution. These directions are the same to set up an Apprentice S, Corsair S, SU29 Sukhoi, or any other plane you may be installing an Eflite SAFE Rx or SAFE programmed AR636 into. The video follows what the manual says to do with each.

Start with a clean model.

Ensure that you have the aux 1 channel REVERSED

Go to channel assignment screen (pic below) and ensure that channel 5 is assigned to "gear"

Then go to the next screen, the "channel input" screen (pic below) and make sure the gear channel is assigned to switch B and the aux 1 channel is assigned to button i.

Then you are all set for the Corsair S, Apprentice S, or other plane you have installed your SAFE Rx into. You can set up timer, throws expo, throttle cut as normal on your dx9 if you want those features. If you have retracts or flaps and a DX 9 or DX 18, you can use the aux 2 port on the SAFE Rx and assign a switch. You can only have one or the other (flaps or retracts).

To review:

With DX6, DX9, or DX18---
Verify aux 1 is reversed
Aux 1 is mapped to button i (panic)
Channel 5 is set to gear
Gear is mapped to switch B (safe mode switch) On switch B Beginner mode is position 0, Intermediate mode is position 1...Continue Reading
Posted by Suenaga | Aug 31, 2014 @ 04:18 PM | 1,995 Views
Here is a video of this morning's maiden flight of my new ParkZone Mosquito Mk VI with SAFE. The SAFE receiver performed as expected on this beautiful twin engine warbird. Because the battery hatch is underneath the fuse, I plugged in the battery and initialized the SAFE Rx with the plane inverted. This was done for all 3 flights today with no issues. The SAFE Rx knew level and performed well. A beautiful plane to watch streak across the sky in scale fashion.


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PkZn Mosquito MK VI new 2.5in Dubro wheels Sept 10 2014 (1 min 16 sec)

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Posted by Suenaga | Aug 30, 2014 @ 06:57 PM | 2,078 Views
This has been on my "to do" list for a few months now. Ever since installing a SAFE Rx into my first plane after the Apprentice S, I have wondered how SAFE would work with a multi-engine RC plane. Today my new Parkzone Mosquito arrived (with the optional retracts, of course) and I couldn't wait to put it together!

I had studied the manual in advance and could see that the placement and orientation of the control surface servos and horns is nearly identical to that of my Parkzone FW-190. This was a good sign since SAFE installed into the FW190 without any modifications at all. Another thing I was concerned about was the twin 18amp Parkzone esc's which I was sure were linear esc's and not S-BEC's, I wasn't sure if I was going to run into any problem getting them to accept the throttle points from the SAFE Rx. Finally I was most worried about how to actually mount the SAFE Rx. The Mosquito's battery hatch AND electronics/servo bays are accessed from underneath the fuse. The installed Spektrum AR610 is mounted in the fuse upside down, like the elevator and rudder servos. That won't work for the SAFE Rx. It needs to be securely mounted right-side up in the plane. Hmm what to do about that....?

So, the build went well with no missing parts, no damaged pieces, and the retracts installed as per the manual. I did need a couple of servo wire extensions to reach from the rx to the servo leads in the wings. I left the AR610 Rx installed so I could bind it...Continue Reading
Posted by Suenaga | Aug 28, 2014 @ 04:22 PM | 2,666 Views
Below is a summary of what each of the 3 modes of SAFE do, and what you can expect to see when you activate them. This applies to BOTH the Eflite SAFE Rx and the SPMAR636F4U currently sold in the HobbyZone Corsair S. If you don't see this behavior when bench testing DO NOT FLY. Recheck your transmitter setup. I have an earlier blog entry that gives a typical description for setting up the Spektrum DX9 for SAFE. For instructions with other Spektrum transmitters refer to the Apprentice S manual or the Corsair S manual. Both can be downloaded for free from the Horizon Hobby website.

Here is a brief description of the 3 flight modes and the behavior you should expect in each, as you test. Ill try to explain how the Safe works in each mode and how to bench test it to verify each of its behaviors (there are 3) is working, and in which mode.

“Beginner Mode”--- In this mode, there are 3 behaviors that the SAFE receiver exhibits.
The first behavior is wing leveling. After running the throttle up to 25-30% (pretty sure that’s the number), SAFE (and AS3X) starts working. To test wing leveling, do the throttle run-up, and then with sticks at neutral (throttle down, lol), dip your model’s wings in either direction and you should see the ailerons respond to correct the roll. As you roll the model back to level flight the ailerons
will reset to neutral. The same will happen with pitch – ie your elevator will respond to counter-act a nose up or down attitude and will return...Continue Reading
Posted by Suenaga | Aug 28, 2014 @ 04:04 PM | 2,845 Views
I get a lot of questions with regard to the Eflite SAFE Rx and the channels/ports it contains. Here is a quick breakdown:

Bind Port---yep, you know what that is. The only difference I've found is that a separate UBEC cannot be plugged into this port (at least it wouldnt work when I tried it with my Airfield Zero (1440mm)

Channel 1--Throttle (open port on rx)

Channel 2 --Ailerons (open port on rx)

Channel 3-- Elevator (open port on rx)

Channel 4 --Rudder (open port on rx)

Channel 5--3 SAFE modes-Beginner, Intermediate, Experienced--uses the Gear channel, that you want to assign a 3 position switch to (no open port on rx)

Channel 6 (Aux 1)--Panic mode--this is the channel that must be REVERSED when using some Spektrum transmitters, such as the DX6, DX9, and DX18. If using these tx's and you don't reverse this channel, you will be stuck in "Panic" mode. It will seem like beginner mode is on all the time. This is the single biggest error people make when setting up their transmitters with SAFE. (no open port on the rx)

Channel 7 (Aux 2)--this is an open port that you can use for retracts, flaps, lights, etc. (open port on rx)

So in effect, the Eflite SAFE Rx is a 7 channel receiver (2 of which, channels 5 and 6, are reserved for the SAFE system). This makes it nice if you want to use the SAFE Rx in a plane that has retracts or flaps.


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Posted by Suenaga | Aug 28, 2014 @ 01:41 PM | 2,882 Views
This is just a great flying plane, esp for beginning pilots that want to get into warbirds right away. The SAFE programmed AR636F4U Rx behaves exactly like the SAFE Rx in the Apprentice S. The transmitter programming is exactly the same as well. Below are some pics and a video of my recent flights with this new plane. I will be experimenting with the new SAFE enabled AR636 in other planes in the near future. The only downside to this new Rx is that with the SAFE programming, the use of flaps/retracts may be prohibited. It does not have the extra channel (aux2) that the original SAFE Rx has, and channels 5 and 6, even though they have open ports on the Rx, are used by the SAFE system for the 3 SAFE modes and Panic, respectively. This issue may be resolved if the Rx can be programmed by the user at some later date similar to the way current open stock AR636 Rx's are now, with an iphone or PC.

The only non-stock items on this plane are a 3 blade Parkzone prop that I switched out for looks, and a new Sullivan rubber tail wheel--- the Parkzone Prop is for the ME-109. The new prop is in the first video, the stock 2 blade prop can be seen in the still photos below and in the second video (maiden). I replaced the tail wheel as it is made of very soft foam and doesnt hold up well to the dirt and small stone runway that I use.


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Corsair S w/Pkz 3 Blade Prop Aug 23 2014 (4 min 58 sec)

HobbyZone's Corsair S Maiden Aug 16 2014 (4 min 37 sec)

Posted by Suenaga | Aug 28, 2014 @ 12:54 PM | 2,951 Views
I finished installing a SAFE Rx in a 1440mm Airfield A6M Zero. I had to pull out the aileron servos and remount them in the opposite direction (not just the servo arms, the entire servos had to flip because they were mounted on their side (unlike the Eflite CZ Cub and Splendor mods). The rudder and elevator directions and Safe correction directions were fine. Because the Airfield Zero has flaps and retracts, I chose to connect the retracts to the only available free Rx port (aux2) making the use of flaps a non-option. Again, as per the Safe Rx norm, the aux 1 channel is reversed in the DX-9 transmitter for the panic button (I use the bind button "I" on my Tx for panic button). The 3 SAFE flight modes are assigned to the B switch, just like on my other SAFE mods.

After doing the mod to the aileron servo positions (and corresponding aileron servo horn positions), all control surface directions via stick input were correct. I then tested SAFE and all SAFE correction directions on the control surfaces were now correct.

This model comes equipped with a separate U-BEC which presented a few challenges fo me. The SAFE Rx would not allow me to use the bind port for the U-BEC (normally you can do this on a regular rx), so I was forced to use a Y lead for my throttle servo/UBEC so both are plugged into port 1 (throttle) of the SAFE Rx. The other issue is that currently I need to follow the initialiation procedure below when I connect a battery in the plane. If I try...Continue Reading
Posted by Suenaga | Aug 28, 2014 @ 12:44 PM | 2,809 Views
The Parkzone FW-190 is a blast to fly. My model is equipped with the Eflite retracts whcih I plug into aux2 of the SAFE Rx. All servo directions were correct out of the box so no modifications to the model were necessary for SAFE. The model was set up in my DX9 as per the Apprentice S directions. I assigned a switch for aux 2 to operate my retracts. Its a tight fit in the fuse for the SAFE Rx but she fits!


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Below are some videos of the SAFE equipped FW-190

ParkZone FW190-A-8 Maiden Flight with SAFE Rx (2 min 24 sec)

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Posted by Suenaga | Aug 28, 2014 @ 12:36 PM | 2,872 Views
The Durafly fieseler Storch is one of my favorite planes to fly. She is a beautiful Balsa/wood model that flys extremely well with the SAFE Rx. No servo direction modifications were required--She was good to go for SAFE "out of the box". I did replace the stock Turnigy esc with an Eflite 30a SBEC on the recommendation of other Storch owners that thought the stock esc was "unreliable". Below is a video of the SAFE equipped Storch along with a photo showing the placement of the SAFE Rx in the fuselage. I swapped out the main gear wheels and the tail wheels for a larger size to make for easier landings. This plane has flaps, so I plugged them into the aux 2 port on the rx and set them up for about 1/2 flaps when activated.

The recommended battery is a 2200mah 3S but I have learned that the perfect battery for this is a 1300mah 3S. She flies beautifully with the smaller battery and flight times are 7 minutes and could be stretched to 8 easily.


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Durafly Fieseler Storch Flight Sept 3 2014 (2 min 29 sec)

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Posted by Suenaga | Aug 28, 2014 @ 12:31 PM | 2,781 Views
The install of a SAFE Rx in the Dynam SU26 M is very simple. The SU26M required no changes to servo directions--they were good "out of the box". I did find that the elevator and rudder servos on the stock SU26 are not good quality so I ended up putting some cheap $8.00 Hobby People servos in to replace them after they started to fail. After a few months with the new servos they are still operating fine.

For the install of the SAFE Rx all that was required was the install of the Rx in the correct orientation (same as in the Apprentice S15), and my transmitter (DX9) was set up exactly as it is for the Apprentice S. I also needed to swap out the Dynam's esc (Detrum brand). I have had several of these Detrum esc's and have not found one yet that will work with a SAFE Rx. I installed an Eflite S-BEC 50a which works perfectly. So far I have discovered that any esc which is an S-BEC works fine with the SAFE Rx (Eflite, Hobby people, etc). If the esc isnt an S-BEC type I have found that the only was to enter the programming mode and set the throttle points was to use a generic rx like the Spektrum AR610 and program the throttle points with that and then switch it out with the SAFE Rx and all was good. The Detrum, however, wouldnt work with the SAFE Rx no matter what I tried.


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Here is a flight video of the SAFE equipped Dynam SU26M.

Dynam SU26M with SAFE Rx--Beginner Mode (2 min 1 sec)

Posted by Suenaga | Aug 28, 2014 @ 12:24 PM | 2,983 Views
Steps to follow installing the SAFE RX in an Eflite Splendor.

1. Remove the AR635 receiver from the Splendor.

2. Install the SAFE Rx in its place. you can use servo tape or velcro, but make sure the SAFE Rx cant move or shift.
Ensure it is installed right side up and facing forward. The back end of the SAFE Rx is the end with the servo leads plugged into it.

3. Plug in the servo leads to the SAFE Rx (aileron, rudder, elevator, throttle. For the Splendor, the aux 2 port will remain unused.

4. The splendor comes with an eflite ESC which is compatable with the SAFE system.

<Its time to set up the transmitter>

5. Set up the Splendor as a new model with the following steps. How you set it up with the safe system will depend on the model of spektrum tx that you have .
I use a DX-9. The Apprentice S manual has the directions to
set up the SAFE system on different transmitters. Find the transmitter you have and ensure you follow those specific set up directions. Remember to start with a clean, new model on your tx for the Splendor.

6. Start with a new model in your memory. Set it up as an airplane with normal ailerons, no flaps. Name it "Splendor' or whatever you want. It needs to be a separate model than your Apprentice S, if that model is also on your Transmitter.

7. Go into your servo settings and ensure that the Aux 1 channel is "REVERSED" (if for a DX9, DX6, or DX 18). This is your panic mode channel. You must have this channel "REVERSED&...Continue Reading