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Old May 01, 2010, 10:52 AM
Sir Crash Alot
Tallahassee, FL
Joined Feb 2010
73 Posts
Build Log
ProJet MQ-9 Build (Tips/Tricks)

As a number of you have, I too have also received my MQ-9 from NitroPlanes and started building.

When you make new posts make sure to give it a descriptive "Title" so everyone doesn't have to read through the entire post to see what it is about.

Hope you all will join me.
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Old May 01, 2010, 10:57 AM
Sir Crash Alot
Tallahassee, FL
Joined Feb 2010
73 Posts
Hatch Magnets

CHECK!!! your polarity.

I found that not all of the factory installed magnets (in the fuse) were oriented with the same polarity in the same direction.

DO NOT ASSUME THEY ARE THE SAME!

it is a little frustrating when you put your magnets in what you thought was the right direction only to have your canopy begin floating.

I recently discovered how useful hot glue can be and used it to install the hatch magnets. I think it will work well for this application.
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Old May 01, 2010, 11:02 AM
Sir Crash Alot
Tallahassee, FL
Joined Feb 2010
73 Posts
Landing Gear Cover

I installed the Main Landing gear this morning and the attempted to place the cover over them only to find that the included hex bolt and washer hardware interfers with the cover.

I had to mill out some small reliefs on the sides of the cover to allow it to seat correctly.

I used two (2) "small" dabs of hot glue to secure it. Have your cover at the ready and put a dab of hot glue on the "embankments" of the landing gear mounting area and then quickly move the cover into place.

I like the hot glue in this case because this cover should not be something that is removed frequently and if there is a need there is just enough room between the cover and the fuse to insert a sharp exacto blade to cut through it.
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Last edited by NewEMan; May 01, 2010 at 11:31 AM. Reason: Picture Added
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Old May 01, 2010, 11:41 AM
aka MadMan
rjmanzuk's Avatar
San Diego, CA (USA)
Joined Aug 2006
633 Posts
Retractable Landing Gear?

Quote:
Originally Posted by NewEMan View Post
I installed the Main Landing gear this morning and the attempted to place the cover over them only to find that the included hex bolt and washer hardware interfers with the cover.

I had to mill out some small reliefs on the sides of the cover to allow it to seat correctly.

I used two (2) "small" dabs of hot glue to secure it. Have your cover at the ready and put a dab of hot glue on the "embankments" of the landing gear mounting area and then quickly move the cover into place.

I like the hot glue in this case because this cover should not be something that is removed frequently and if there is a need there is just enough room between the cover and the fuse to insert a sharp exacto blade to cut through it.
To give the bird a more "scale" look in flight, I'm considering retractable landing gear. did you consider this? If so, why did you decide to go with the fixed? If not, I'll start searching for something suitable and report back. Or, if ANYONE connecting with this thread has done so, I'd appreciate the feedback here.
Cheers
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Old May 01, 2010, 12:21 PM
Sir Crash Alot
Tallahassee, FL
Joined Feb 2010
73 Posts
Retractable Gear

Quote:
Originally Posted by rjmanzuk View Post
To give the bird a more "scale" look in flight, I'm considering retractable landing gear. did you consider this? If so, why did you decide to go with the fixed? If not, I'll start searching for something suitable and report back. Or, if ANYONE connecting with this thread has done so, I'd appreciate the feedback here.
Cheers
I did consider retracts, but given how little room there is to work with inside the fuse I chose to just use the fixed on this version. Not that it could not be done with some work; and realisitically a fair amount of modification to the fuse since the main gear retract backward and the nose gear mounting point is much further back. I would just prefer to build the retracts into it during construction rather than tear this one up.

I almost bought 2 specifically for these reason, but decided that since the proportions where not equal across the whole model I had a couple of good reasons to use this one as is and pull dimensions off it to create a slightly larger scratch version wherein I could add/consider everything I wanted.

I would love to see someone's craftmentship in making this mod to the stock configuration.
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Old May 01, 2010, 06:17 PM
aka MadMan
rjmanzuk's Avatar
San Diego, CA (USA)
Joined Aug 2006
633 Posts
Quote:
Originally Posted by NewEMan View Post
I would love to see someone's craftmentship in making this mod to the stock configuration.
Well no-one has ever accuse ME of craftsmanship, but you have to admit that the stork turns into an eagle when she tuckes her legs in ...
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Old May 01, 2010, 07:32 PM
Sir Crash Alot
Tallahassee, FL
Joined Feb 2010
73 Posts
Retract Yes/No/Maybe Discussion

Quote:
Originally Posted by rjmanzuk View Post
Well no-one has ever accuse ME of craftsmanship, but you have to admit that the stork turns into an eagle when she tuckes her legs in ...
Oh come on, You know you can do it.

My father suggested that she would look best in the air not with just her gear tucked in, but with some Hell Fire Missiles nestled under her wings. NitroPlanes shows that you can purchase some armament seperately, but I have yet to find the actual item page...not that interested anyways, too much drag for this version - maybe the next.
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Old May 01, 2010, 07:40 PM
Sir Crash Alot
Tallahassee, FL
Joined Feb 2010
73 Posts
Antennas

Well, of course I am not following the instruction's order of construction...where would the fun be in that.

The two antennas that are mounted on the top forward area of the model require some trimming.

I had to remove the paint/gel coat form the lower portion (stem) of each that slips into the fuse, and a little bit from the mounting holes.

For the antenna on the "canopy" I taped it down center and straight and put a small mix of epoxy on the step from inside the canopy.

For the antenna on the fuse just aft of the canopy I slipped my finger inside the fuse and put a small piece of tape under the aft antenna mounting hole to create a bottom, then filled it with epoxy and inserted the antenna, then taped it down center and straight.

It came out looking pretty good. At first I thought the aft antenna did not take because it felt like it wiggled a bit under pressure, but I noticed that it was the fuse around the mounting point flexing.

All good, I just won't use that antenna to pick up the model.
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Old May 01, 2010, 07:54 PM
Sir Crash Alot
Tallahassee, FL
Joined Feb 2010
73 Posts
Horizontal Stab Construction/Installation

The instructions don't really say much about the order of operations for getting the horizontal (and/or vertical stabilizer) installed.

This is what I did and found that it worked well. There actually is a Right and Left stab. Look at the leading edge and put the exposed covering overlap on the bottom.

First, NOTE OF CAUTION, the installation hole/point for the forward alignment pin in the horizontal stab does NOT have a back stop inside the stab. After clearing the way (a bit of balsa, etc. blocks the hole), if you push the pin in fast you may lose it.

Install the control arm in the elevator, install the elevator onto the stab, and for your sake don't just dump Thin CA in the hinge point to staurate the hinges as shown in the YouTube build video; unless you are proficient at doing so. Use the proper device to extend your bottles tip cappilary into the hinge point. It'll save you some CA and prevent gluing the whole thing together...anyways, I digress.

Once the parts are together hold the stab/elevator vertical, insert the control rod (you will need to enlarge the factory hole using a #10 .193" drill bit) (make sure the control rod ball link is pointing up when it will be fully insert, always test fit first), rotate the assembly down and insert the aluminum spar and alignment pin.

I only insert 2" of the aluminum spar so that I would have a bit showing beyond the spar tube inside the fuse so I can make arrangements for making the stabs removeable. And I set the alignment pin half in, half out...I think 11/16" was the half way mark.

The design of this suits it well for being removable. I may trim the spar tube and install a keeper of some sort on the spar...

OH, and the same installation principles apply to the vertical, albeit inverted, stab/rudder.
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Last edited by NewEMan; May 01, 2010 at 10:17 PM.
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Old May 01, 2010, 08:00 PM
aka MadMan
rjmanzuk's Avatar
San Diego, CA (USA)
Joined Aug 2006
633 Posts
Quote:
Originally Posted by NewEMan View Post
My father suggested that she would look best in the air not with just her gear tucked in, but with some Hell Fire Missiles nestled under her wings. NitroPlanes shows that you can purchase some armament seperately, but I have yet to find the actual item page....
I think I'll play with the RLGs, and see what I can come up with. Everyone is invited to play, folks.

Did you notice that the exploded parts photo on the main site does include those Hellfires that your Dad suggest, and even shows them in another photo as being sold separately. But, like you, I couldn't locate the ordering page. I DID find some others for the F-16 and F-4 models, but those sure aren't air to ground missiles ... look like air-to-air birds, and those wouldn't much be to "scale", would they.

Remind me to tell you the story of our having fired an AIM-92 Stinger from an R/MQ-1 Predator at an approaching Iraqi Mig ... and died to tell about it! But, I digress ...

Those missiles won't add enough drag to worry about ... not with bigger motors and props at our disposal.

Have you selected your propulsion mix yet? Motor? ESC? Prop? Battery?
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Old May 01, 2010, 08:38 PM
Sir Crash Alot
Tallahassee, FL
Joined Feb 2010
73 Posts
Motor/ESC/Batt/Prop Discussion

Quote:
Originally Posted by rjmanzuk View Post
Have you selected your propulsion mix yet? Motor? ESC? Prop? Battery?
Not yet. I want to get all the "junk in the trunk" first to see what kind of space I am dealing with in the aft.

The guy who did the YT build video put all his gear up front which necessitated running long "heavy" gauge wires back to the motor, etc. Putting all that stuff up front makes a mess. Plus I want the space up front for UAV navigation equipment.

I may try to mount my battery over the CG and put the ESC in the intake scoop.

My choices of motor/esc/batt will probably be delayed for a while. But I know I am going with a three blade prop. Probably an 11".

Correct me if I am wrong, but the fuse's scale ia about 1/10, which puts the prop at about 11". There is about 7 1/2" from the center point of the prop when the vertical stab skid strikes ground so this should give me about 2" clearance. The grass might get cut if it han't been mowed recently, but I've flown from worse.

And I have to do some calculations. I am going to be going for duration since my intent is to fly programmed grid circuits and not just Sunday flying.

Have you any thoughts yet?
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Last edited by NewEMan; May 01, 2010 at 08:47 PM.
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Old May 01, 2010, 09:19 PM
Traded in the F15 for MQ9
F15Ejetmac's Avatar
Alamogordo, NM
Joined Jul 2008
51 Posts
MTS Ball Mod

Fist off, nice job guy's, I used the hot glue on my intake and satcom radome magnets as suggested, worked great.
I have been thinking of all kind of mods....then I keep comming back to the weight.......then I go off into what if land:
Retracts, I thought of moving the mount back to behind the satcom rear bulk head and re shaping to match the real thing, the big problem is that it will not turn very well on the ground, and thats a big deal to me.
Heck with it, Im building it mostly stock, the major things I will be doing will be to minimize weight.

The MTS ball is all whacky with that snout on it. I got some plexiglass from lowes ($2) used the all scratched up plastic that came with the kit as a template. Then I cut that whacky snout off the ball. I used some painters tape on the new glass, trimmed, test fit and when I was happy, I used some 5 min epoxy to glue it in and fill the gaps. Its not perfect, but with a repaint of the ball and some black pinstriping tape I will make it look real good. Here is a pic of the work so far. I am much happier with this shape.
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Old May 01, 2010, 10:19 PM
What goes up...
Krylon's Avatar
England
Joined Apr 2010
198 Posts
Any chance you could measue the diameter of the top of the ball please?

I want to start looking for a totally clear dome that will fit in its place.

Oh and cool mod. looks better than the snout. do you plan to use a fixed camera or fit a pan / tilt to it?
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Old May 01, 2010, 10:57 PM
Sir Crash Alot
Tallahassee, FL
Joined Feb 2010
73 Posts
Quote:
Originally Posted by Krylon View Post
Any chance you could measue the diameter of the top of the ball please?

I want to start looking for a totally clear dome that will fit in its place.

Oh and cool mod. looks better than the snout. do you plan to use a fixed camera or fit a pan / tilt to it?
It is 3 1/8" across the top.
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Old May 01, 2010, 11:23 PM
What goes up...
Krylon's Avatar
England
Joined Apr 2010
198 Posts
Thanks,

this is the type of thing im thinking of for camera fitting:

http://www.rcmart.com/catalog/rc-cam...ml?language=pt

should give a nice clear view hopefully. Wont look as realistic as the grey ball, but i intend to fly it a little higher than that will notice
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