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Old May 12, 2010, 06:21 PM
Registered User
Joined Apr 2009
6,133 Posts
DLG transmitter mods and setups

Hello everyone,

Just thought I'd start a new thread on setup and configuration of transmitters for DLG. This may help some who are getting started and in any event should be a good exchange of information. I'd like to not have it get into a "my brand is better" type discussion, but instead have it be a telling of what and why. And it might be good if we avoid too much of the mechanics of how to set up something in programming or the thread could easily get bogged down. But if people have the capability and want to post their programs, this might be a good place.

I'll start with what I'm in the process of setting up.

Transmitter is Futaba 8FG, aircraft version. I have removed the handle on the back as I don't have a real use for it and figured to ditch the weight. It also packs better without the handle. I swapped the two rear top switches, to get the toggle switch on the left as I'm a right handed thrower. I have a vacuum desoldering gun which is the right tool for the job so if you are not used to doing this sort of thing either get Futaba to do it or perhaps Radio South if they will or ... YMMV. I am also putting in a LiFE battery to increase capacity some (perhaps not really needed on this Xmitter), to get it to hold charge much better than NiMH, and to reduce the weight. I don't like heavy transmitters for DLG. Now the 8FG starts out pretty light and I'm making it lighter. With Hyperion's LiFE battery I can still use the wall wart charger if I want which is a plus. I will also add some grip tape of some sort when I pick some up but it doesn't really need it. I just know that if there is any doubt about a secure grip of the transmitter, I'll back off the throwing power (as if I have any left) and that is not a good thing!

Oh, and I always max out the stick tension. It makes it much easier to tell where the sticks are when flying, which reduces the tendency to overcontrol. Soft sticks sell radios. Stiff sticks win...

For programming, I have set up the following:

Back left top switch - spring switch (now) is launch preset. This flight condition overrides all the others. Actuates some up elevator and a touch of down flaps. It also actuates a two minute timer. That is useful for practice, and if ever the timer forgets to tell me when it is time to start returning. Or if the timer's stopwatch fails...

Front top left switch - is a three position. Pulled towards me is my speed mode. Middle position is my cruise mode, and away from me is float mode (flight conditions).

A note on flight modes (conditions) - I don't use any delays. When I want something to change I want it to change immediately.

I have elevator -> camber mixing for all flight modes/conditions. I also have camber -> elevator mixing for all conditions. Now Futaba in its programming has the built in mixer set up so that elevator compensation for flaps act as centered about center stick position. We use the flap stick all the way up rather than with a centering spring, and it is better to have that be the neutral point in the elevator compensation curve. So I have set up my own multi-point mixer to handle the compensation instead of using the built-in one. That way, I can adjust the compensation curve and not lose my elevator trims.

The "throttle" stick is full time flaps, all conditions - though I'll be turning that off for launch if I haven't done so already. That could prevent bumping the flaps causing an ugly launch. I may turn off rudder in launch for the same reasons. Since launch is on a spring switch now I can't accidentally be in there.

I like having the flaps available all the time. It prevents potential costly errors and allows me to switch to speed mode before the catch if I want to, in preparation for a quick turnaround launch.

I also have the flap stick turn off the automatic elevator->camber mix as soon as it is moved down one click. That allows me to manually override the automatic camber setting if I feel the need. I haven't been using the feature but plan to experiment with it.

On the electronic trims, the one beside elevator trims elevator for each flight condition. I set the electronic trim by the flap stick so it trims elevator for all flight conditions simultaneously. That becomes my thermal drift trim or if I want to make global adjustments for the flying conditions.

I don't use aileron->rudder mix. My thumbs do that for me. YMMV.

I don't use differential, or I should say if I set any at all, it is so that the plane when rocked over small angles does not generate a pitch response.

There are no dual rate switch settings or exponential settings.

That's it.



Edit - LiFE battery didn't work, as it won't fit. Bad choice of battery on my part. I mis-read some stuff when bouncing sites. Also on programming I made it so rudder is disabled when launch preset is applied. So if I bump the stick on a throw it won't matter as much.
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Last edited by G_T; May 20, 2010 at 12:26 PM. Reason: more info
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Old May 12, 2010, 07:48 PM
USA, PA, Marysville
Joined Nov 2009
448 Posts
Thanks ,I'll be able to use this thread.I'm setting up my 1st on a 9303.Already pulled some hair out trying to get both ailerons workin just so I could center the servos.
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Old May 12, 2010, 08:30 PM
Launch high. Fly low.
United States, CA, Lake Elsinore
Joined Aug 2003
4,237 Posts
One of the best mods i've ever seen was from John Erickson... He put a cabinet door handles on his 9C tranny. Worked great to keep the tranny completely secure during the spin! I've been trying to find something similar to put on my 10C... maybe something softer - like a strap
My mod that I've used for a while now is rubber band on the flap stick to keep it up... I wish they would come up with something internal. LOL

Jun C.
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Old May 12, 2010, 08:56 PM
Hey was that a Thermal ????
Joined Nov 2009
2,448 Posts
I have done a couple of minor things to my 7202.

I put skateboard grip tape on the back so it is easier to hold with one hand. Another option would be the adhesive backed stair tread pieces.

The other one is a big one, I replaced the gear switch with a momentary switch. I had a push button switch in there and when it finally dies I put a spring loaded toggle switch in there. A simple mix makes this my launch pre-set switch.
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Old May 12, 2010, 09:35 PM
Paul Naton's Avatar
Lewisburg, PA
Joined Apr 2002
1,001 Posts
I'm working on the final sections of the a new DVD, the Handlaunch Master Class 3, which will be out shortly.

I cover in detail computer radio set up strategies for HLGs, and combine that with advanced plane tuning techniques.

A big focus will be tuning for launch, optimizing and applying flight modes, and trouble shooting handling issues. If my SD10 shows up in time, might cover some of its features for HLG.

This just might be the most useful of the HLG DVD series. Will let you all know when its up on my site.

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Old May 12, 2010, 10:07 PM
Challenge is rewarding
djklein21's Avatar
San Diego, CA
Joined Aug 2004
5,532 Posts
Originally Posted by jcats View Post
One of the best mods i've ever seen was from John Erickson... He put a cabinet door handles on his 9C tranny. Worked great to keep the tranny completely secure during the spin! I've been trying to find something similar to put on my 10C... maybe something softer - like a strap
My mod that I've used for a while now is rubber band on the flap stick to keep it up... I wish they would come up with something internal. LOL

Jun C.
Not that I condone an eslastinator, but Steve Meyer did an internal mod to his Tx. It shouldn't be too hard.
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Old May 12, 2010, 10:13 PM
hass-alfed and bass-ackwards
carlsoti's Avatar
United States, AZ, Chandler
Joined Jun 2008
5,337 Posts
For my first "decent" radio, I got a cheap, used JR 7202(72mhz). I figured that going cheap for my first DLG radio would be a good idea, just in case I accidentally fling it while learning to launch.

The only mod I've done is to put a momentary switch on the gear channel, and swapped the placement of a couple switches so the momentary switch would be on the left shoulder of the TX. This allows me to use mixes for any launch setting I might need, though elevator for the initial rotation is all I've needed so far.

It doesn't have tons of different flight modes and all the other fancy stuff some guys have. I've got a 3 position flap switch, a "launch switch", and a handfull of available mixes; I don't need much else to learn to soar.
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Old May 12, 2010, 10:14 PM
Launch high. Fly low.
United States, CA, Lake Elsinore
Joined Aug 2003
4,237 Posts
I heard about that at the IHLGF actually. Would love to see it.
GUZ, from the AZ crew did the same thing.
One thing about the elastinator (LOL I like that name), is that I can easily take it off when I fly my tigermoth.

Jun C.

Originally Posted by djklein21 View Post
Not that I condone an eslastinator, but Steve Meyer did n internal mod to his Tx. It shouldn't be too hard.
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Old May 12, 2010, 10:47 PM
Registered User
Canada, BC, Burnaby
Joined Nov 2002
254 Posts
Joe Wurts Evo 9 setup?

A long time ago (before I had an Evo) I thought I saw somewhere that Joe Wurts had given out his Evo 9 setup. This is the one he described in RCA Handlaunch Pro Clinic DVD. I've tried searching here but could not find it. If it's available somewhere I would appreciate it if someone could post it or a link to it.

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Old May 13, 2010, 01:07 AM
Where is the lift?
cptsnoopy's Avatar
USA, AZ, Phoenix
Joined Nov 2005
6,647 Posts
Evo-12 (or 9)
I throw righty but fly mode1. Don't know if that would make much difference.

3 flight modes on 3position right side switch. cruise/float and shallow thermal/steep bank thermal

left 3position side switch turns on and off the 3 flight modes on the right side of the tx, the flap to throttle mixing and alternatively activates launch mode. The momentary button below on the left side activates camber and up elevator for initial launch and simultaneously resets and starts the flight timer when released.
2position switch above right gimbal turns on and off dual rates. velcro glove holds tx well enough to provide reliable launch button push without having to worry about launching the tx.

Each flight mode has its own trim memory. The momentary push button mixes need to be adjusted in the mixer section of the programming. Thermal drift of the servos/receiver requires elevator trim in each flight mode and is a little bit of a pita to deal with from morning temps to daytime temps.

When I catch with full flaps, I simply move the 3position left side switch with my finger tip and the flap to throttle mixing is canceled and the flaps jump up to launch mode setting. Using the same finger I press the momentary launch button until the DLG is near vertical and release. The flaps move from camber to reflex and the tail moves down to the launch setting. As the DLG is climbing I verify the throttle is moved back to the "flaps up" position. As the a/s decreases and I am starting to push over I use my left finger to move the 3position switch down to cancel launch mode and activate the 3postion switch on the right side and the flap/throttle mixing. Now I am in normal flight. I normally use the 3positon switch on the right side to adjust camber for the 3 flight modes. I use the flap/throttle mixing for gross flap changes such as loosing altitude quickly and or landing.

The Evo12 and Evo 9 can be used with XPS, Spektrum, Hitec and Futaba 2.4 modules for up to 9 channels.

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Old May 13, 2010, 01:24 AM
Registered User
San Gabriel Valley, CA
Joined Mar 2008
1,773 Posts
Thank you, Gerald.

Lucky me having you choosing 8FG. Once I figure out how to transfer data via email. I would ask your setup, if you don't mind :-)

One question: how many LiFe cells? 2 or 3?

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Old May 13, 2010, 01:50 AM
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Joined Mar 2003
3,148 Posts
One thing I've noticed a few guys discussing lately is that they have a two stage launch setting. One stage, usually on a momentary switch, is to get the plane to rotate immediately after release, so there may be some up elevator, snap flap, and a little right rudder. Once this switch is released it goes into the second stage of launch mode which makes the reflexed wing climb as straight as possible to the top of the launch.

I bring this up because sometimes planes feel a little more comfortable to fly with a CG that creates positive stability at speed - which means that the plane can have a slight curve back over your head on launch. This seems to be a real issue with Vandals for instance. Now you can trim it out to be straighter by moving the CG back, but then it may not fly in other modes as you want it too.

SO recently I've considered using one of the three flight modes on the 9303 3 position switch as a phase 2 launch mode, leaving me with a normal speed mode and a slighlty cambered mode, and additional camber on a slider if needed. So much for keep it simple, eh?

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Old May 13, 2010, 07:20 AM
Thermal Hunter
jnoel's Avatar
United States, PA, Phoenixville
Joined Jan 2005
334 Posts
So...how about a little order or thought pattern to the whole Flight Mode thing...
Since I am just also setting up my first "true" DLG.

1. Speed mode = Flaperons level to bottom . (Launch in this mode correct ?)

2. Crusie mode = approx. 2mm down (When..go to right after the launch ?)

3. Thermal mode= approx. 4mm down

A fill in the blanks ...or play by play from launch to landing would be great.

This would also make the programming easier ...knowing why
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Old May 13, 2010, 10:07 AM
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Therwil, BL, Switzerland
Joined Nov 2006
85 Posts
jnoel: Your settings are (at least approximately) correct for the AG455ct airfoil with typical wing dimensions. They can vary with different airfoils and wing designs, though. You launch in speed mode and switch to cruise or float mode when pushing over on top. If you set the plane up relatively stable, there is no need for a momentary "launch mode" unless you're after the last possible feet.

PS: I feel answering such questions in detail is not the intent of this thread so lets not start a long discussion about actual flap settings.
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Old May 13, 2010, 10:10 AM
Steve Meyer
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Mt Pleasant, WI
Joined Jun 2005
1,186 Posts
Originally Posted by jnoel View Post
So...how about a little order or thought pattern to the whole Flight Mode thing...
Since I am just also setting up my first "true" DLG.
Okay Noel I will add to my comments what you are looking for.

BTW Gerald a great thread, thanks for sharing a lot of information. I put a lot of thought in about optimizing my radio configuration, much of it may just be familiarization, because the less I have to think about on my radio the more I can take time to analyze my surroundings and watch the plane.

Grip: I want the radio to fit my hand well with out having to put it in a vise grip hold on it. Their are times when your hands may be wet from dew or sweat so a good grip is important. I have dropped my radio at least once a year and with the strategic placement of stair tread tape, I do not plan on doing it again. See images.

Launch mode: Is a combination of Speed mode, typically neutral trailing edge and elevator trimmed to not "plow in". I will also fly plane very fast in speed and trim out any unwanted roll or yaw that may not be noticeable at slower flight. Launch trim Small amount of up elevator to allow plane to go vertical. I have been toying with the idea of a launch mode activated by the momentary switch, where separate trims can be set. At this point it just gives me a bit of up elevator, and in some cases a bit of rudder. (probably compensation for a crooked rudder )

These switches have to be easily set by my left index finger as my right hand is grabbing the plane tip. Ideal My logic for trailing edge switches is the same as JW has written about in the past. I want the switch to work the same as any other control pull for slow push for speed. So my flight mode switch is forward for speed and right next to it is the launch (momentary) switch. In one move I can push forward on mode then pull next switch for launch.

On the 9303 (helicopter version) the mode switch is in front so as I push forward my finger would follow through to Trnr switch which is set to give launch setting. On the SD-10G my finger has to move less rear switch sets flight mode then pulling forward on switch in front to obtain launch mode. (Still debating if this is ideal as it seems that my finger needs to be a little bit longer to comfortably change flight modes.) I usually only have to apply launch mode for about 1.5 seconds about .5 seconds after release.

Flight modes: I like a delay between flight modes, for a few reasons. With superfast servos there is such a quick change in flight surfaces that the planes attitude will change abruptly, and my theory is any quick changes is wasting energy and also makes plane a bit more difficult to read. Also if I am not sure what flight mode I am in I can flick the switch without any big consequences since the surfaces do not move very far during the time it takes to flip quickly back and forth. The 9303 has a great feature that cancel a delay, I set that to down elevator so if I am in a jam, usually sink or close obstacle, pushing down will instantly set trailing edges to the mode I want. For Noel: So on a typical AG wing, center position of flight mode switch is Cruise +2mm, pull forward for Thermal, +6mm.

I set throws for each mode. Speed; less throws, very little rudder mix, exponential. Cruise; standard throws some exponential. Thermal; cut down on throws expo on ailerons, rudder, very little expo on elevator. Thermal is especially good for light air.

Camber slider Some of my mixes have been influenced by flying Unlimited TD planes. Using a separate camber slider works well in turbulent conditions, when you are trying to slope trees or other obstacles, or there is no air moving. I allow the camber slider to add to thermal mode camber as in dead air more camber equals more hang time at least with a typical AG airfoil. Even when I am in cruise or speed the luxury of adding a bit a camber even for a brief period is helpful.

Landing I have no landing mode for DLG per say. Since my left thumb does not work as well as I like I do kick in full rudder comp when stick is at 80% I just recently added an internal elastonator to the 9303. It was a simple mod the only downside a failure of the elastonator means the stick will be flopping up and down, so I pack a backup external elastonator.

This has worked great as I can work the stick with my thumb all the way till catch, the stick then returns as my finger moves to the flight mode and launch switch. A good grip is important (see above). I used the internal mechanism to also create a dampening effect so the stick does not slam to the top. I'll post pictures soon as I have had requests for this.

Hope this is not too long of a read. Back to work.
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