|Mar 29, 2014, 12:35 PM|
Eflite SAFE RX in another plane
This thread was begun in order for RC pilots to discuss installing the Eflite SAFE Receiver that comes stock with the Apprentice S15E into other RC planes in order to benefit from having the 3 SAFE Flight modes (Beginner, Intermediate, and Experienced), as well as a "Panic" button, and AS3X. What began as an experiment with just a few planes has blossomed, at the time of this edit, into over 20 airframes of various sizes, configurations, and Mfgs. We welcome all who are interested in adapting a plane to the SAFE Rx or who are just interested in discussing the technology and its opportunities.
Here is a link to my Blog with a number of FAQs and Install Notes for folks who are interested in adapting this wonderful technology to their RC plane:
My YouTube page with a number of SAFE flight videos in various planes:
My advice to new SAFE pilots is not mess with any trim via the transmitter till you've maidened (including the landing) and seen how she flies out of the box with control surface centered only ( manually via clevis). Beware of just handing your plane over to an instructor to fly it first. Instructors are very experienced, but they are used to tweaking trim in ways that SAFE just doesn't need, OR, they adjust trims without having read the manual and dont wait for the "2 second no stick movement" rule. I have 0 tx trim on any of my planes and have had no SAFE related crashes. We have also heard about too many instructors crashing SAFE planes because they assumed they knew what SAFE did, without ever having flown one before or reading the manual. Instructors need to read the manual included with any SAFE planes, and need to understand the 3 SAFE modes (not just the Panic Button), as well as know how to bench test a SAFE equipped plane on the ground BEFORE a flight.
Planes which have been successfully equipped with an Eflite SAFE Rx and discussed on this forum are (updated as needed):
Dynam SU26 M
Durafly Fieseler Storch
Eflite Carbon Z Cub
Eflite Carbon Z Splendor
Parkzone FW190 A-8
Airfield 1440mm Zero
Parkzone Mosquito MK VI
Century Models Riot
Chris Foss WOT 4
Hawker Sea Fury -91-4 stroke
Mew Gull-70 - 4 stroke
Parkzone Sport Cub
Dynam F6F Hellcat
Easy Star II
Easy Glider Pro
Durafly Sky Mule
Durafly P-51 "Old Crow"
Hobby King L-4 Grasshopper
FT Old Fogey
PZ Super Cub
RCPowers.com SU-34 with elevons!
FlyZone Tidewater (needed reversers on all control surfaces)
Great Planes Electrostik
Step by Step Directions for setting up a Spektrum DX6, DX9, and DX18 transmitter with the SAFE Rx or SAFE Programmed AR636 receivers:
AND REMEMBER, THERE IS NOTHING YOU CAN DO WITH A STANDARD RECEIVER IN THE AIR THAT YOU CAN'T DO WITH A SAFE RX!
__________________________________________________ __________________________________________________ ________________________________________
Maiden with SAFE RX in another plane
A few weeks back I posted in the Apprentice S with SAFE technology thread that I was experimenting with the eflite safe receiver in a couple of other planes. Up until today, I spent my time learning on the Apprentice S (I've been rc flying a whopping total of just about 3 months), and fiddling with the eflite safe receiver in a Dynam SU-26 and a Durafly Storch. Well, today I got up the nerve to try out the SU-26 with the safe receiver installed. I picked the SU-26 because it seemed like a stable platform that could handle slow flight, being a sport/3D plane. I know "zip" about 3D and fly very conservatively (I am, after all, new to this). I have never flown or buddy boxed with anyone (let alone an instructor)---this has been all "solo-learning" with many of the pitfalls associated.
First off, my transmitter is a DX9. Switch B is used for the 3 modes (safe, intermediate, and experienced), dual rates are on switch A, the panic switch is the Bind button I, throttle cut is switch H. I flew the maiden 100% on safe mode from takeoff to landing. I used high rates (100%) with 50% expo on the aileron, elevator and rudder. All throws were to the mfg instructions from Dynam. You will see in the video that the plane is missing the spinner---that's because on my first take off attempt I had forgotten to ensure the prop was tightened and the darn thing went flying off before she left the ground-(I'll save that video for my memoirs, lol). I tightened the prop back on and left the spinner off for the maiden.
First off, let me apologize for the video--it was my first time trying to capture a flight with no help, so I just had my mini-dice cam velcroed to my hat--I'll try to adjust the fov better next time, but I wanted to at least capture this since I havent seen any videos out there yet showing the safe receiver in another plane other than the couple sold by Horizon.
The flight was really smooth--no issues, in fact, the plane flew really smoothly. I kept speeds to half throttle and just tried out the flight envelope in safe mode, which I found to be basically identical to the Apprentice S. I wanted to test the "oh crap" button, but I noticed that my elevator servo was acting a bit wonky after bumping the elevator hard getting it out of the car---I didn't want to tempt fate with "panic mode" until I had a better look at that servo. Getting it home, it looks like its partially stripped so I pulled it and will order another. I know the safe receiver didn't cause it because the behavior started before the safe mode or AS3X had been initialized. My landing was a little hard, as I am used to the Apprentice and cutting the throttle and the SU26 looks like it needs a tad more throttle on the final part of the landing. There was no damage or bending to the gear. Total flight was about 5 and a half minutes.
A couple of side notes---when I first installed the receiver I expected to have to adjust servo horn mountings, etc etc since it was the Apprentice S and the correcting control surface directions might be wrong for SAFE or AS3X. What I found was that (at least on the Storch and SU-26) everything worked fine and in the correct directions. On my next flight (after the servo fix) I will crank up the throttle and try the SU26 out in intermediate mode.
Again, I am a beginner pilot, learning this stuff all on my own. There is no way I could do that without this SAFE receiver, and it looks like its not just limited to using in the Apprentice airframe, which makes the benefit (and possibilities) all the more exciting.
Im sure I forgot something, so ask away if you have any questions---
(Yeah I know, fire the cameraman)
A bit better video of the SU29M with SAFE Rx
|Apr 09, 2014, 03:15 PM|
SAFE Rx in a Dynam SU26
Here is today's flight with the SAFE Rx in the Dynam SU26. The first flight (in the video) went off with out a hitch--I alternated between beginner ("normal mode" on the dx9 voice alert) and Intermediate mode ("rolling mode" on the dx9 voice alert.).
Unfortunately your pilot got a little cocky and ahead of himself during the second flight (not in the video, lol) and decided to do a couple of rolls in Expert mode. The first roll was fine, but the second one ripped the horizontal/vert stabs right off the fuselage and I went in nose first . Looks like the two screws holding the tail assembly on had come loose.--Im ordering another of these planes today and am gonna glue the tail assembly down as well as use the screws this time. Got lots of spare parts now too, lol.
|Apr 16, 2014, 12:53 PM|
Safe Rx in a Durafly Fieseler Storch
Here is what may be the first successful trial of an Eflite Safe Receiver (same as what is in the marvelous Apprentice S15 e) installed in a Durafly Fieseler Storch, on April 16, 2014 over Loma Linda, California. (My first attempt two weeks ago ended in an orange tree after I had my low rate set TOO LOW and I lost aileron control. I ordered a few repair parts, patched her up and tried again today with 100% throws on the ailerons). The entire flight was in Beginner mode. I have a whopping two months RC flying experience and am a terrible cameraman (mini dice camera on my hat, lol) but the Safe Receiver is making it possible for a beginner like me to fly a plane that before I would never have attempted. Now I can work my way through Intermediate mode to Expert mode (as3x only) on this plane as I progress. The battery is a Parkzone 3S 1300maH. The 5 minute flight could have been extended--I only put 400 maH back into the battery with 3.86 volts still remaining per cell. I was at half throttle most of the flight. he transmitter is a Spektrum DX9. You can hear when I test the flaps during flight--I landed with about 40% flaps. It is an ugly landing (apologies to you experienced pilots) but she made it, lol.
Here is the video (such as it is) as well as a shot of the Eflite Safe Rx installed. I also replaced the Storch's stock esc with an Eflite 30a esc.
|Apr 16, 2014, 01:24 PM|
nice. you're a SAFE adaptation ambassador. i'll take a rain check on viewing those vids but its nice to see someone documenting all these projects.
|Apr 16, 2014, 06:23 PM|
I'm just another noob trying not to crash. The Safe Rx is a marvel. I've got an eagle tree guardian in another plane, but so far the safe rx is my favorite. It's shortcoming is that it's limited to 5 channels, so I can have a plane with retractable gear or flaps , but not both. In a pinch I can usually go without the flaps if the plane has both.
|Apr 16, 2014, 07:30 PM|
just saw your vids. for a hat cam they're pretty good. or maybe its just that the one time i tried mounting a cam to my head (my glasses actually), all i got was runway even though i thought i was pointing at the plane.
i'm not sure if you qualify as a noob if you're flying balsa. and your flying looks good.
i'm still on foam
|Apr 16, 2014, 09:23 PM|
I just liked the look of the storch and for the price it's a bargain. You and the rest on these forums have likely forgotten more about flying RC than I know. I've been learning on my own so far. I'll likely reach out to a local club once I feel comfortable enough. My landings are a "crap-shoot", loll, and I fly very conservatively. For now I'm just plodding away.
|Apr 16, 2014, 09:48 PM|
Joined Sep 2010
Have you tried flying anything without the as3x and safe stuff? You might be selling yourself short. Many folks take to flying rc quite easily and do not find it that tough. You appear to have the basics underhand, and it might be time to try it on your own. You might be surprised if you haven't tried it yet.
|Apr 17, 2014, 07:14 AM|
United States, FL, Pace
Joined Mar 2013
Jim, you're doing something I planned to do.It's great.Where did you purchase the SAFE receiver?I tried HH and was informed they don't sell them yet.
|Apr 17, 2014, 07:50 AM|
Bobly---yep I tried---it wasn't pretty. As a newbie I shouldn't even be trying to fly some of these birds, but the safe receiver has given me the opportunity to try them out and then learn on them from there. As I work my way through the different modes of the different planes and keep on the sim I hope to be able to be more competent without any safe modes.
Robin--I have bought the receiver direct from Horizon Hobby . They list it with the replacement parts of the Apprentice S. Its pricy but it has kept me from having to replace airframes, lol.
I have also seen them on ebay but for the same price new. A few used ones that folks have pulled out of their apprentices have been selling there as well for a bit less.
The nice thing is that there isn't much in the way of internal receiver settings to mess with (actually nothing). You just need to make sure it is mounted correctly, that the control surfaces move in the correct directions, both for pilot input and safe corrections. Also, ensure you follow the directions for channels on your transmitter (ie reversing channel 5 on a DX9 or DX 18, so that the panic button works correctly and you understand which switch positions correspond to Beg, Int., and Expert modes).
|Apr 17, 2014, 12:25 PM|
No difference in setup with the taildraggers. Unlike the Eagle Tree Guardian which requires you you level the plane during setup so it knows what level flight is, the safe system only requires that the plane be "still" when it initializes. It knows what "level" is. (As long as the Rx is installed right side up, pointing forward in your electronics bay). If you are trying to install it in say, something like a Visionaire, where the Rx is mounted on the underside of the fuselage (upside down) then its a "no-go" for the SAFE receiver. It needs to mount right side up, so there are planes it will be suited for, and some it will not. Now I saw a post by a HH rep that said they have even initialized with the entire plane upside down and it still "knew " what level flight was--I dont know the details of that test but it was still installed right side up in the plane.
So far I have needed an eflite esc to get the motor to arm with the SAFE Rx. Not sure if thats becuase it is necessary or if it truly needs it to work. Obviously this is a work in progress, lol.
My next project is to mount it in an Eflite Splendor (taking the AR635 out).
Again, once installed you need to bench test it so that the control surfaces move in the correct directions both when the pilot inputs directly via the Tx and also the "correcting" directions when SAFE corrects for wing leveling and pitch/roll envelopes.
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.
First “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% (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 counteract a nose up or down attitude and will return to a neutral position when the plane is level again.
The second behavior is the beginner flight envelope. This is to keep the beginner pilot from overcorrecting with the sticks so he/she doesn’t roll or loop the airplane. The way to bench test it is to hold your plane level, then move the right stick to command a right or left bank of the aileron and then move your plane by hand to roll the plane in that direction. As you roll to a greater degree you will see the ailerons suddenly snap back to neutral, even though you have the stick pushed all the way over. The degree of bank that your plane is at when the ailerons snap back shows you the flight envelope for your apprentice when banking. It will not let you bank that plane to any greater degree than that. This protects the pilot from inadvertently rolling the plane from overcorrecting on the sticks. The same behavior can be demonstrated with pitch and the elevator. Pull the stick back to simulate a climb and then point your nose up—as you increase the pitch, at some point the elevator will snap back to neutral, preventing you from pitching up any higher than that point—this keeps the pilot from looping the plane.
The third behavior in beginning mode is AS3X. This makes corrections in pitch, roll, and yaw due to things like wind. With the sticks neutral just move your plane in pitch, roll, yaw, and you will see the control surfaces react to COUNTER that movement.
Second, in Intermediate Mode--- When you flip the switch to this mode, wing leveling behavior is turned off, the flight envelope is still restricted, but now you are able to bank your plane and pitch up or down and to a much greater degree than in beginner mode. Bench test as described above in Beginner Mode. You will still not be able to do a loop or fully roll the plane, but the flight envelop restrictions are greatly reduced. AS3X is also active in this mode. You can bench test this as you do in the Beginner Mode described above.
Third, in Expert or Advanced Mode --- In this mode, only AS3X is active. You will see the control surfaces react to changes in pitch roll and yaw with the sticks neutral. This stabilizes the plane in windy conditions. You have full control to loop, roll, invert, etc. You can bench test this as above.
I hope this helps.
At first as you move the plane around you might be thinking there is no difference between the flight modes, but thats because you are seeing AS3X working in all 3, but the Beg and Int modes are quite different as you will see when you perform the tests above. If you are looking for a mode in which AS3X is turned off, it doesnt exist--it will always be on, even in the advanced mode,
I use a DX9 so per the Safe instructons in the Apprentice S manual, I have channel 5 reversed so the panic mode works correctly. I have it mapped to my bind button. I have the 3 safe modes mapped to ny B switch, and Hi-Low rates mapped to Switch A.
--the above assumes you have the 3 flight modes assigned to a 3 pos switch, per the Apprentice manual.
|Apr 19, 2014, 04:09 PM|
My pleasure Robin---
I just snagged an eflite Carbon Z Splendor 55" on ebay. I'll be yanking out the AR 635 Rx out of it and installing a SAFE Rx. Will report how it goes.
|Apr 19, 2014, 04:28 PM|
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