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Old Apr 14, 2007, 09:20 PM
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Joined Dec 2006
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E-starter on Heli radio gear

Hey guys, I hopped over from the helicopter forums recently. I have been flying Blade CX and CX2, Fixed pitch Dragonfly, and honeybee CP2 and Blade CP helicopters for a little while now, always been interested in fixed wing too though.

Looking for a good inexpensive start to fixed wing, I recently picked up a GWS E-Starter kit with EPS 400 for around $45 CDN.

What an excellent deal. I found the kit to be more than complete, the spare parts on the standard parts trees are a dream come true. The GWS glue works great when used like contact cement. The plane turned out much nicer than I thought it would, and I was pleasantly surprised by the substantial size and feel of the completed kit.

From a few feet off, this looks like a real plane, especially to a newbie like me.

I have a bunch of helicopter radio gear laying around, so rather than do the normal thing and get a proper airplane radio, I decided to try out the heli gear.

PLEASE! I know this is probably the wrong thing to do, I have listened to many tales of potential impending disaster from the hobby shop guys, and I know already, I will get a real radio soon, just bear with me here, please.

So at first I set up the E-starter with rudder and elevator only, both on the right stick. this worked ok for the maiden flight, I did crash, repeatedly, but this was expected by me. What I did not expect was how easy it would be to repair this plane, it was back in the sky in no time.

Second time out, I ran the plane with ailerons and elevator. This was much better IMHO and I thought I would leave it at that until I get a real radio sytem.

Then, I decided to try this setup;throttle(left stick),elevator(right stick up/down), with ailerons/rudder on same channel using a Y adapter (right stick left/right)...

Now when I turn, both my rudder and ailerons are activated by the same channel, and the two work together for smoother turns than just having rudder/elevator or ailerons/elevator.

All this is done on the right stick, throttle only on left. I have no programmable radio gear.

I realize there is much more science to this than what my pea brain could understand. I tried to do some research on this idea, but I got mired in information. Therefore, I just decided to try it, and after some adjusting of the control throws, it works great, for me.

Letting neither fear nor common sense stop us, my roomie and I applied this same method of radio control to his new GWS Funny Park , with ailerons and rudder on the same channel with Y adapter, and after some fine tuning, it works great also.

From what I have read, the Funny Park is normally kind of hard to control for a beginner, I am happy to report that we were able to get this plane in the air pretty quickly after some messing around with the CG.

We are using crappy Walkera 4 channel Helicopter radios, and the 4 in 1 RX that come with it. For those who may not know, these 4 in 1 boxes have Receiver,ESC,Gyro and mixer in one. They are not the right thing to use, so if you try this at home, please don't blame me if it blows up. However, they have woked great for me.

Does anybody use this combination of control, with the rudder and ailerons on the same channel?
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Old Apr 15, 2007, 09:39 AM
Yes, "that" Karl...
karl k's Avatar
Canada, BC, Burnaby
Joined Mar 2007
1,680 Posts
I've seen one other guy do that with a slow stick.

It gets you in the air, so that's good.

I'm sure you'll end up picking up a proper radio soon that can be used for both.

I went in head first when I started and got a DX7. This help me fly my Blade CPP a lot better as I could program how the heli would fly. The main help is that I made it a lot less twitchy around center stick by using expo.

I also use this radio for planes as well. Well worth the investment IMHO.

BTW, a DX6 or comparable 72MHz model will do the same job for you for less money.

Karl
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Old Apr 15, 2007, 02:51 PM
Just Keeping UP
United States, ID, Moyie Springs
Joined May 2004
1,771 Posts
Using one channel with a 'Y' cable for both rudder and aileron was the standard method for 'mixing' rudder and aileron before computer radio's. A computer radio just makes it easier.

As long as you don't go beyond the range of the radio's and their ESC limits, there is absolutely nothing wrong with using the helicopter radio's for fixed wing. The radio's don't know the difference! And neither will you!

With a little balsa/Depron, you could have a lot of fun! A twin using differential thrust for yaw (complete with gyro on yaw) would be easy. A twin flying wing by adding an external (inexpensive) elevon mixer.

A fancier, more expensive radio, just lets you do fancier stuff.

Nick
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Old Apr 15, 2007, 03:10 PM
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Joined Dec 2006
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Thanks for the input on this guys!

nfhill, thanks for letting me know that this is (or was) a common practice. I thought it seemed logical, and it has worked very well.

Your idea for a twin with gyro for yaw is brilliant, and I may have to try it. i have a couple of ducted fan units laying around from possible helicopter tail rotor mods, I have no idea if they would be strong enough to propel an airplane, but I will definitely have to try that also!

Note to others who may be tempted to try using a 4 channel heli radio, make sure you use the main motor channel for your airplane motor, and not the tail rotor channel, if you use the tail rotor channel, the gyro will try to use your prop like a tail rotor to correct yaw. Unless you can completely turn off the gyro,maybe.


Cheers!
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