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mandevil's blog
Archive for February, 2012
Posted by mandevil | Feb 26, 2012 @ 04:21 PM | 2,841 Views
Completing the Build

"We're going to fly it on Sunday!" said my girlfriend on Friday. Well, if she says we'll fly it, you bet we will. Better to get working on the plane again. I haven't done any work during the week, so the weekend was the only time remained.

First I glued in ailerons servos. No problems there, but I discovered, that the push rods I ordered are completely ridiculous -- they might find some use in full size jet fighter, but not in Bixler. They were too thick and extremely stiff -- and of course they did not fit into servo arms. Oh well, I'm sure I ordered them following some list of supplies posted here on RCgroups. Never mind, I will use the original push rods and clevises.

Other job was extending leads from ESC to motor. After some discussion on local forum I decided to disregard all the advice (overwhelmingly in favor of soldering the whole cable run without any connectors at all) and I made set of extension cables. Sure, it's sub optimal, but with my soldering skills it is surely better than trying to solder the whole thing in one.

Now, time to glue in the motor. This was one thing I wasn't completely sure about, as I discovered that snug fit of the supplied plywood firewall means there's quite noticeable axis offset to the right. At first I thought I must do something about it, but then I reread the manual to my previous SkySurfer clone (real manual, not that rag Hobby King includes with the plane) and they specifically mention the...Continue Reading
Posted by mandevil | Feb 19, 2012 @ 04:09 PM | 2,766 Views
Today I continued building my Bixler.

First thing was to glue servos to the fuselage halves. It sounds like 10 minute job, but it wasn't easy at all. The main trouble was attaching the elevator and rudder control wire to the servo and to be, at the same time, able to screw in the servo arm. On the first servo I decided to unbend the "z" bend in the wire, but it is so stiff, that I barely managed to bend it back. On the other servo, I discovered, that it's better to thread the arm on the wire first, than manoeuvre the servo so that the screw can be tightened through the hole in the fuselage. The HXT-900 servos are not pefect match for Bixler and some cutting of EPP is necessary. For which I don't have the right knife, so I was using clumsy cardboard cutter. I glued the servos in with two-sided tape used for mounting mirrors and some smaller amount of hot glue for added security.

This is how the result looks like:


For the wings servos (ie. ailerons), the three-lead servo wire is too short, so extension must be made. After some deliberation and with some input from others, I decided not to bother with servo connectors and cut the existing servo wire and solder the wire in the middle. Seems easy, but for a neophyte hobbyst it was two hours job, since there were 12 soldered joints. This is how it looks:


Preexisting three-wire servo cable is cut, each cut about 1 cm apart.

...Continue Reading
Posted by mandevil | Feb 18, 2012 @ 04:01 PM | 2,416 Views
So, finally, I started building my Bixler. I am complete neophyte as actual building is concerned, so it is going to be a journey of exploration and learning.

The first thing to learn about is soldering. As the Turningy 30A ESC doesn't have any connectors on it's leads, the first task is obvious. Fortunately, my girlfriend gave me all I need for soldering as a Christmas present (I didn't know anything about it, she looked up everything). So I have nice soldering station plus all the supplies and utensils.

My motor, Turning D2826-6 2200kv outrunner, has 3,5 mm connectors on it, so I soldered matching female parts. These hollow connectors were no problem, just heat them up until solder melts, fill them with it and then sink the leads into the molten solder.

The other end, towards the battery, was a little more difficult. I use XT60 connectors for batteries, so I started heating the metal piece for the same process as with the 3,5 mm connector. It took forever and the result was, that the plastic of the connector melted and the metal pin became dislodged. Oh well, next time I solder the connector with the opposite piece plugged in and by simply melting the solder directly and filling the cavity with the melt.

After I was done with soldering, I needed both to verify my soldering job and to bind my new receiver with my transmitter (remember, I lost my plane, so the RX was lost as well). Amazingly, everything worked without a hitch, binding was successful, motor works, all the HXT-900 servos work. Looks like I am all set for further assembly.

For tomorrow, I'm planning extending servo cables. I have yet to decide whether I will try to make new connectors or will cut the existing cable in the middle and solder the wire in the middle. The other thing I'm considering is to stiffen the horizontal tail surface with a carbon rod.