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Old Aug 15, 2013, 10:01 PM
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Question
Does anyone use guitar strings for pull-pull rudders?

I have several friends who play guitar and just realized that I have access to a nearly inexhaustible supply of fine music wire and wrapped music wire.
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Old Aug 15, 2013, 10:09 PM
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My first impression is that it would be too brittle. It's one solid wire instead of more flexible multistrand.
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Old Aug 15, 2013, 10:59 PM
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Guitar strings are pretty darn tough, David, and made to exacting standards. They have great tensile strength, are flexible enough to be wound around a tuning peg and the ball at the end, and withstand many thousands of notes played. I figure they are at least worth some static tests.
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Old Aug 15, 2013, 11:27 PM
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This one set off a light bulb for me, having been a Banjo player, I'm thinking the wound string would be just the ticket. I will be testing this this coming weekend !!!
Great Idea peterlngh !!!
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Old Aug 15, 2013, 11:32 PM
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Thanks, chawkins. I have a selection on the way and will definitely report back. Hmmm. I bet that the fine strings would make great, low drag, flying wires on scale bipes and such.
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Old Aug 16, 2013, 02:32 AM
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Torsion springs

They also make excellent torsion springs on a pull/spring rudder or elevator - the DLG Mimi uses them and I have also used them for indoor models.
The wire bends to shape without breaking, and holds shape well.
Wide range of sizes, and cheap!
Cheers,
PeteM
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Old Aug 16, 2013, 06:31 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by peterlngh View Post
Guitar strings are pretty darn tough, David, and made to exacting standards. They have great tensile strength, are flexible enough to be wound around a tuning peg and the ball at the end, and withstand many thousands of notes played. I figure they are at least worth some static tests.
If they are new that's true. I gathered from you original statement you were talking about used strings the musicians throw away. If they have had them on the guitar for a while and they have been tuned past their elastic limit they will lose a lot of their tensile strength and be much more brittle than how they started out in life.
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Old Aug 16, 2013, 09:48 AM
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Don't guitar string (metal) stretch, i.e., when musicians are tuning? Do you want something that stretches holding your control surfaces in place? I'm thinking some non-stretch line would be way better.
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Old Aug 16, 2013, 09:58 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by jaizon View Post
Don't guitar string (metal) stretch, i.e., when musicians are tuning?
I would say that the amount of force reqd to stretch the strings during tuning would be manyfold what force would be on them if used for rudder cables, but once they have been subjected to that tuning force is what would give me pause for concern.
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Old Aug 16, 2013, 12:17 PM
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The plane that I'm thinking of trying the guitar strings on is long enough that I will need new strings for adequate length. The reason that they will be available so cheaply is that it's common to use one or two strings out of a set to replace the odd broken string between changing the complete set. The plan is that I will get my experimental samples by exchanging a new set for the leftover oddballs that inevitably collect over time. If/when I find a size that suits my purposes then I could always just buy single strings for future use.

Stretching might or might not be an issue but I'm not worried about strength. If I remember metallurgy 101 correctly I think that the strength actually increases as one stretches out a wire even if they do need to be "tuned" once or twice after initial installation. Plus, even if one breaks, I think it would be far more likely to happen on a landing than under air loads. I'm not happy with the "non-stretch" line I'm using now so I figure I might as well try a cheap alternative before ordering anything more expensive. I intend to test them out before I try flying and will definitely let you guys know how they work out.
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Old Aug 16, 2013, 12:46 PM
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Hardness usually increases after stretching but that may equate to more brittleness and lower overall strength unless done in a very controlled manner to only stretch a specific amount.

I would say the new ones would probably work fine.

I agree about the breaking on landing etc. vs. flight loads. The times that I have had servo arms snap off were a big jolt of a bad landing or ground loop that makes the rudder snap from side to side. Never had a cable break before.
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Old Sep 14, 2013, 12:30 PM
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Hi, guys.

I have about a dozen flights in and the wires work great. I'm using .017 gauge wire and the plane is a very inexpensive 2.6 meter semi-scale SG 1000 that lands fast and has a pretty large rudder that drags in the grass. I give them a pull test between flights and there's no stretching and no sign of breaking. Yet.
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Old Sep 15, 2013, 07:03 PM
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As a guitar player and glider guider I can attest that they work great for torsion springs on my DLG and would be fine on a pull pull system as long as they are long enough. There are different metals used in making them, some are nickel, bronze, steel etc... The stress on a glider is nothing like that imposed by Stevie Ray or Jimi. Your glider is safe!
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Old Sep 16, 2013, 05:22 PM
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Agreed on all points, electrich. I just feel a little silly not to have thought of all the things they could work for years ago. I gave up on the guitar playing myself due to a profound lack of talent but someone I know is bound to have a couple "orphans" of just the right size assuming they are long enough. Come to think of it; I can't think of any reason one couldn't splice them to whatever length is desired.
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Old Sep 16, 2013, 05:40 PM
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You can by single strings at a music store.
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