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Old Oct 08, 2006, 11:42 AM
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Mini Pulse Build & Fly Thread

No doubt a lot of sport fliers are really excited about the upcoming Mini Pulse by E Flite. Good thing mine is due in tomorrow morning, but for now, I'de like to make a few observations based off what I've learned from the instruction manual.

I'm excruciatingly persnickety about how my gear goes into my airplane. A lot of this is from being such a perfectionist (meaning that my standards are much higher than my ability) that I wouldn't be happy even if I had painted the Mona Lisa, and a lot of this is from having seen so many silly little oversights destroy otherwise good airplanes. Hundreds of dollars, thousands of hours work, and all it takes is one loose screw or a wire out of place to wash it all away in a heartbeat.

Dramatics aside, this looks like it's going to be a pretty standard build. Maybe the cowling is going to be a little tricky (well, compared to a Mini Ultra stick, anway.....) and we all know how much fun wheel pants are, but the engine and radio installation is going to be a snap. The servo locations are already cut out, and assuming you're going to use HS55s, there's not going to be a problem. Canopies are always a pain, but there looks to be enough meat on this one to where it will attach quite nicely with Dubro self tapping Allen screws, which I like to use for everything. One tool does it all!

There is one area I'm not sure about as of now. I'm planning on jamming a 480 under the cowl, and assuming it will fit, the only issue is the mounting. This plane is designed for the 450, but the bolt hole pattern on the rear, where the motor bolts to the X mount, is the same for the 450 as it is for the 480. I recently got a 480 that accidentally came with a 450 mount. Horizon made it right by sending out a replacement, but while I had the mount, I trial fitted it to a 480. it fit. The holes that bolt the mount to the firewall are closer to center than on a 480 mount, and the bolts won't clear the motor when you go to put them in. I don't think this is going to be insurmountable because I can probably put the firewall mounting bolts in before I bolt the X mount to the rear of the engine. either that, or I can mount the X mount and maybe go behind the engine to tighten the bolts that attach the engine to the X mount. Then, all I have to worry about it the motor itself fitting inside the cowling.

One saving grace is that the Pulse comes with it's own special X mount, and it appears the offending holes just might be spaced further apart.....maybe far enough apart that this will alleviate the problem. We'll have to see when I have the mount in my hands.

That aside, I do have a 450 and a couple of 1320 battery packs in the armada, so this baby is going to hit the air tomorrow afternoon..... no matter what.

The attached photo shows the e Flite 480 with the 450 mount attached and a bolt pushed through. You can see how the engine is too big for the firewall bolt pattern.
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Old Oct 08, 2006, 11:54 AM
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Attached is a photo from the construction manual. It appears that the special Pulse 450 engine mount may have the firewall mounting bolts a little further apart, maybe enough to clear the 480 engine and make this installation a snap. My suspicion is that while E flite recommends the 450, they know there are plenty of sickos out there like me who don't know when to stop when we have enough power stuffed under the cowling....
......assuming there is such a thing as enough power.

Disclaimer: I photoshopped in the bolt to illustrate my point.
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Old Oct 08, 2006, 12:05 PM
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One last observation before I hopefully get my paws on the kit: I hope there's enough room under the battery tray to slide the speed controller under there. For one, I don't like to have a bunch of visible spaghetti in the airplane. I like to tuck the wires away and keep everything as neatly appearing as possible, so hiding everything under the battery tray is a good option. I use this trick on my Mini Ultras and the installation looks clean as a whistle.

Also, with both the battery and ESC producing heat, it makes sense to separate them, especially if the bottom compartment is well ventilated.

So, with yet another poorly photoshopped photo, you can see where I'm planning to put the ESC. It looks like the slots where the battery strap comes through might be (like it is on the Mini Ultra) big enough to slip the ESC-to- battery connector through from below and into the battery conpartment. All that's left is to run the wiring from the ESC to the reciever through the rear of the compartment that now houses the ESC....provided there's a hole in the bulkhead.

Oh, and also..........let's hope there's a hole big enough to slide the ESC into that compartment to begin with. it's hard to tell from the photos, but I'm sure loathe to start dremelling big holes in the bulkheads of a new plane.
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Old Oct 08, 2006, 12:33 PM
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This is one reason why the internet has made everything so much better. in the old days, you'de get a kit and you were pretty much on your own as far as building and set up. Now, you can get the instruction booklet months in advance and that gives you time to figure things out before you jump in and screw it up anyway.

Looking at this photo, it appears to me that my trusty e Flite 40 amp speed controller will slip nicely through and into the comartment under the battery tray. All that's left is to find a hole in the rear of this compartment to route the ESC-to-reviever wire back into the reciever compartment (under the wing).
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Old Oct 08, 2006, 12:47 PM
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Thanks for doing this, I am excited to see the build. I've been thinking of buying a MUS for AP...but since this is a similar config...I may decide to use this plane and have something that's a little more attractive and still do the job. The camera is just a small one which will easily mounted under the belly. Plus I already have the gear kicking around, I just need to buy the plane. So get building...
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Old Oct 08, 2006, 12:48 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Dora Nine
Thanks for doing this, I am excited to see the build. I've been thinking of buying a MUS for AP...
Oh, buy the Mini Ultra anyway. It won't kill you to have both of them, and we already know the Ugly Stick family is the grandest and most proven R/C aircraft of all time. I've got three Minis ready to fly hung on the ceiling, and two kits in the closet.

I've got two Ultra Stick 25E kits waiting assembly. Someone made me an offer I couldn't say no to on my first one, and now I'm sorry I don't have it.

Quote:
but since this is a similar config...I may decide to use this plane and have something that's a little more attractive and still do the job.
Yes, but the Mini Ugly.....errrrr, Ultra Stick isn't going to get any less attractive with a camera hung off it. Save the Pulse for when you want something pretty to fly.

Quote:
The camera is just a small one which will easily mounted under the belly. Plus I already have the gear kicking around, I just need to buy the plane. So get building...
Sometime we'll have to cololoborate on on-board video. I know exactly squat, but I'de like to learn. If there's a good lipstick cam available for $150 or so, that would be a gas.


MORE:

Part of the reason for writnig this is because everything about the sport is more fun when you can share it, and yes, that includes crashing, but lord forbid I do it in front of millions on the internet! Another reason is that when you write something like this this you have to think about what you're saying very carefuly, and that makes you see things you would ordinarilly miss.

And here's what I missed before............. You can see where I have marked "A" there is a slot that is presumably for one of the battery hold down strap locations. This is probably where i will route the ESC-to-reciever-lead back out of the ESC compartment, and into the battery compartment. Since in the photo it appears that the ESC-to-reciever-lead is already heading back to where I plan to put the reciever, there is presumably a hole already there.

Since E Flite seems to do things symetrically (something to be admired in aviation) I am again assuming there will be an identical slot on the other side of the tray. This is where I will route the ESC-to-battery-lead from the lower compartment and up to the battery.

While this may seem well thought out, inevitably something shows up that tosses it all into the fan, but we'll see. Mostly, I like the way E flite does things and seldom has one of their kits thrown me a nasty surprise. Of course, having said that, I may have just jinxed myself......
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Old Oct 08, 2006, 03:50 PM
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Doc...I appreciate you insight on the MUS. I'd like to buy both...but I have two JR 6102's...one with a full memory and the second filling up fast-believe me, I have plenty of "pretty" airplanes. I'm not sure I wanna buy a third 6102. Another forum I belong to their unoffcial motto is, "get both."

The camera I'm going to use (for a while anyway) is one of those small Apex type jobbies. I think it's only a 1.2 mp.. I got on this site it for 45 bucks. I haven't messed with it yet, but hope to real soon. It plugs into the RX and uses a spare channel...I had planned on using the "gear" switch since I will have this or the MUS as flapperon/spoileron. I need to get the plane in and out some tighter areas than the standard flying site. I also hope to get pics of others flying the local club too. As for hanging the camera, I hope to have something along the lines of a belly rack...similar to what you see on WWII fighters for external fuel tanks. This way, I don't "mess-up" the clean looks of the plane when not AP-ing.

Well, looking forward to reading the build thread...you'll have the plane tommorow huh? I'm hoping maybe this weekend for me.
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Old Oct 10, 2006, 12:26 PM
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Don't give up on me. I don't have the model yet, but I'll fly the thing the same day I do and I'll report back as soon as I can type it up.
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Old Oct 10, 2006, 01:41 PM
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I've been wondering where you've been....
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Old Oct 10, 2006, 01:42 PM
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The LHS had 2 on their shelves, I almost walked out with one a few days ago, and the one left almost followed me home last night. If I didn't already have too many models, it would have, like the Mini Funtana sitting at home waiting to get finished.

I eagerly await the flight report on your's when you get it up.

Mike
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Old Oct 11, 2006, 08:27 AM
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Hopefully we'll have something posted by late this afternoon. I got the plane about 5pm yesterday and worked on it until about midnight. It can be put together faster than that, but I work slowly and deliberately or I overlook things like tightening screws or making sure the controls move the right direction.

Most of the build went exactly like the instructions said they would. Everything fit really nicely and nothing went wrong except for a few minor details.

Initial Impressions:

Typically well done E Flite. Very attractive plane. Very.

This is a nice plane, but it's a bit dainty, so I went with the 450 instead of the planned 480. An E flite rep wrote on another forum that the 450 would be plenty and a 480 would just make the plane heavy. Having seen the plane, I now know he is right. One thing about E flite....... If they tell you something you can believe it.

I think this is going to be a really docile sport plane because it's got a lot of dihedral. It's probably going to fly really sweet and smooth, but I don't think it's the kind of plane you want to fling around like you can with a Mini Ultra. It's just not meant to be that kind of plane. I think this plane is meant to be the ideal first low winger, but it's so nice that most advanced pilots will like it for something relaxing to fly. I could be wrong, but we'll know when I fly it.

Two sides

Also typical of E Flite is that while most of the plane is perfect, there are one or two glaring annoyances. The first time I tried to take the battery hatch off the little pull tab on top pulled right out. I glued it back in and it pulled out again, so rather than put something nasty looking in the hatch to use as a grip, for now I'll pry it open with a screwdriver. It's not a huge problem....it's just an annoyance. The rest of the plane is done so well it's amazing that something like this got by the E Flite guys, but, then again, they let the Mini Ultras out without tail wheels, so I think they can nod off every so often.


Long boring rant....

There's really no nice way to say it. The spinner doesn't work on this plane. To be fair, the spinner is designed to work with E Flite's lineup of props, and not the APC prop I'm using. It's made to fit a smaller diameter gearbox output shaft, and it works fine for that because I've used them on my Edge 540s before with no problem. But, to fit the 450 with it's larger prop adapter, you have to drill it out. It's impossible to get it true without a drill press, which fortunately we have. However, when I tighten the prop down, the spinner backplate warps, and the spinner nose cone won't go on properly. Yes, we used the spacers and the spinner is put on properly. It just does work. Wait until that flies off and pokes you in the eye.

And, with the the spinner on, you've only got about two or three threads left on the adapter, so there won't be much holding that prop nut on.

I took the spinner off my Brio, but now the 450s standard prop adapter wouldn't seat down on the crankshaft, and when I tried to tighten the prop nut the motor would just spin. On a Mini Ultra you just grab the motor, but the cooling holes on the Pulse's cowling are so small you can't even get your pinkie in there. Running out of time, I used an aftermarket E Flite bolt on prop adapter (which fortunately fits the 480 as well, and I had a spare). Maddeningly, though, is that this adapter sits further forward and now there's a huge gap between the cowling and spinner. The cowling is already mounted about as far forward as I can get it, so this isn't going to work either.

Finally, I just said the heck with it and I'm going to fly it without a spinner for now. It doesn't look too bad and at least this will allow a bit more air into the cowling.

I've had a few problems with the standard Colet-type prop adapters that come with E Flite motors. They are a constant source of annoyance, and I've replaced them on every one of my 480 motors. Once I had one fly off while running a motor up in the pits, so I don't know what I was thinking by trying to use one again.

OK, maybe I've just got some sort of dyslexia with these spinners and adapters, but this is a plane aimed at the average guy, and if I can't make the spinner work after flying model airplanes for 50 years, I think they might want to refine this system a little.

Wow, now that I've burned E Flite really good, let me say I'm also probably their biggest fan. I absolutely love their Ultra Stick lineup and their power systems are the most trouble free things I've owned in all my years in the sport. Once in awhile they get something wrong though, but I'm more than willing to forgive them because they otherwise make such wonderful stuff and they stand behind it.

I recently built a pattern plane from another manufacturer that is considered one of the top elite, and that plane was nothing but one problem right after the other. On top of that, I must have got a bad one because I ran out of trim and now the plane is decommissioned and on display at the city dump. With this in mind, I think one or two minor annoyances can be overlooked since E flight otherwise does such a great job and makes such cool stuff.

End long boring rant....




Temporary Epilogue.......

OK..... we're ready to head out to the field and toss her into the air. I'm confident it's going to fly really sweet and docile. I'm sure I'm going to like it, but you never know if you're going to have a glitch, have a mid air or run out of brains behind the sticks. So, before we throw her to the winds, let me say this is a teriffic little plane that went together, minor annoyance or two aside, really well.

A typical E Flite project.
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Old Oct 11, 2006, 10:49 AM
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Wallpaper for Pulse enthusiasts....
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Old Oct 11, 2006, 01:34 PM
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I just got back and the Mini Pulse is an extremely nice airplane. Amazingly, it took no trim...........I mean zero trim. I follwed E flite's set up exactly, and it was absolutely dead on. High rate ailerons gave me three rolls in five seconds, which is perfect. The elevator was just right. One place I did deviate from the recommended set up was that I crammed as much rudder in it as I could, and that was just right too.

I flew out the 1320 pack, which with the 450 was about 20 minutes. I changed the battery, scratched my head thinking about what I wanted to change on the set up and couldn't think of anything.

It's really quite amazing. I took it out of the box, did what the directions said to do and the thing came out perfect. All I had to do was work the two sticks. I never touched a trim or flipped the dual rates.

Amazing.

The plane loops, rolls, snap rolls and spins just fine, but it's extremely stable. The dihedral keeps the thing level and tracking well, so it's hard to get into trouble with it. I tried a few slow rolls, and they were ok, but with all that dihedral you're going to have a compromise or two. Knife edge and slow rolls are do-able but a little sloppy. Axial rolls weren't perfect either, but the plane's sublime stability makes up for that.

The 450 is a nice little motor that runs forever on a small battery, and in this plane it provides just enough punch, but the operative word here is just. She will go vertical for a bit, but not out of sight. I'de say for the guy who is coming from a basic trainer, the power is just right. It's enough to have a little fun with but not enough to be scarey.

Landings were no problem and she slowed right don't. She doesn't have a single bad habit.

But, it's not the plane for me, which isn't necessarilly a bad thing. I think for the guy who wants a really good looking second-ever plane that he won't get into trouble with, this plane is absolutely perfect, but if you want to get wild the Mini Ultra Stick is much better. Too bad the Mini Ultra isn't this pretty.

I'm going to trade the plane to a freind of mine who I soloed last Saturday because it will be just right for him and he'll love the thing. In fact, when he saw it last night he tried to buy it from me before I could get it out of the box. I think he's going to be really pleased that all he has to do is just go fly it. I had fun building it, because it goes together so nicely, and I always enjoy sharing my experiences.......and I'm going to get my money out of it too, so I'm a happy guy as well.

But still, I'de have to give the plane five smileys because it does what it's intended to do even better than could be expected from it. Aside from the prop apdapter/spinner snafu, I've got no reservation in saying that anyone who has put together a trainer arf and soloed could whack this thing out in an evening with no help and then go have a blast flying it.

Very nice airplane and another E flite project that is very well done.

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Old Oct 11, 2006, 02:15 PM
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Thanks for the info Doc. This sounds like the plane I should of got for my second plane instead of MUS . Too late now as I'm getting pretty confident with the MUS. I'm still interested in getting one. Just not as much after reading you flite report.
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Old Oct 11, 2006, 02:50 PM
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Thanks Doc, This hasn't jaded me against the plane, just made me think it over. I have 2 Ultra Sticks, the 25E and a converted 60, and those are awesome for throwing around the sky. This may not really be what I am looking for just now.

Mike
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