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Old May 03, 2011, 10:54 PM
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Lost my love for the Champ

I may still recommend it to beginners but my affection for it went South. Chinese circuit board is tiny and linear servos are part of the circuit board. After impact it appears the rudder servo gear moved forward and is jammed solid. No movement whatsoever. This leaves me with a plane in great shape, other than a few minor glue repairs, that is pretty much useless .. unless I choose to spend good money after bad and pick up a $50 fuselage with electronics + shipping. Then your left rebuilding a plane that has hair sized control wires and more cheap Chinese circuitry. Need a microscope to work on this model.

Not giving up on the hobby but will get quality components and finish building my foamie with the SC wing. 'The Chump' is still a good way to experience flying but the wrong kind of damage leaves me with a Mickey Mouse Tx, 4 miniature low amp batteries only good for the Champ, cheap charger, and a plane that will look okay hanging from the ceiling in the shop. With a foamie built from quality parts, repairs can be accomplished on a piece by piece basis. On a Champ, if one component fails ie: circuit board, any servo, ESC, Rx etc. the whole thing is garbage. IMO this $100 was an expensive 2 hours of flying time. On the other hand, the $200 spent on the sim, G5.5, provided many hours of entertainment.

Don't expect this hobby to be inexpensive, I am willing and able to spend plenty more if I choose, but not to spend good money after bad.


Rant over, sure I'll hear from the other side
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Old May 04, 2011, 12:09 AM
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White Rock BC/Blaine WA
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I'm pretty sure you can replace the servo's in those things. I think the part you need is an 'eflh1066', though maybe someone that has done this could chime in and confirm that. Or go ask in the 'official' thread.

Looks like it'll cost you about $10. Good thing you're flying a nice cheap plane where all the electronics are Chinese eh? Imagine if it had been built in the states, that servo would have cost $40!
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Old May 04, 2011, 01:34 AM
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yep, the servos are fairly easy to replace. Just need a small tip soldering iron and a magnifying glass. Still cheaper than a new board. You can leave the old servo leads on the board and splice the new ones in. Beats trying to solder on a "blackie"

P.S. you can't blame damaged components from crash damage. It only gets worse, dude. gravity is a bitch
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Old May 04, 2011, 03:01 PM
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Thanks for taking the time guys, appreciated.

All my initial 'googling' yielded many repairs but not the one you mentioned about the servo replacement only. Now that I know it's possible, just may throw another $15 at it .... see if my big mitts can get in there. Some of the smallest phillips screws I've ever seen, see why you suggested a magnifying glass, maybe a small Hubble would be more appropriate
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Old May 04, 2011, 03:28 PM
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I would be surprised if you actually need to replace the servo- how did the gear move forwards? Did it just slip on the shaft?


Dave
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Old May 04, 2011, 04:38 PM
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Originally Posted by CNY_Dave View Post
Did it just slip on the shaft?
Just 'slip' on the shaft? Isn't that the same as 'stripped'? It's a tiny nylon arm on a tiny fine threaded shaft, isn't it? It may thread back into position but it'll probably never be as strong as it was.

I know the micro crowd has come up with tons of 'fixes' for the all-in-one brick that controls those planes but I agree with the sentiments in the OP. I bailed on a micro Citabria, before breaking it, for the same reason. Too many failure points concentrated in a single expensive component.

Not knocking the micro birds. I get that they are a lot of fun. But, I see them as something of a specialty niche and not really the best place to start in the hobby. That is unless you're equipped for, and comfortable with, 'micro' soldering and mechanical repair. Or you don't mind spending over half again the cost of the plane every time something breaks.

........Mike
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Old May 04, 2011, 07:29 PM
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Originally Posted by CNY_Dave View Post
I would be surprised if you actually need to replace the servo- how did the gear move forwards? Did it just slip on the shaft?
Dave
There is 2 gears on each servo, the larger of the 2 looks like it is rammed tight up against the plastic housing. You can't see the 1/32" of shaft between the gear and housing. You can see shaft on the good servo. Jammed rock solid, can't pull it away, gears won't move at all. They will rotate on the good servo. As someone mentioned, gravity is a b****.

I may throw another $15 at the thing, going to see if I have a screwdriver half the size of a pinhead. My soldering iron is too big for this type of soldering, as it stands, contemplating do I tool up for this miniature stuff or move up to larger models, ... which was my initial plan. Either way, it's great the guys here are pointing me to my options.

Mike explains the situation well.
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Old May 04, 2011, 08:28 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by immelguy View Post
There is 2 gears on each servo, the larger of the 2 looks like it is rammed tight up against the plastic housing. You can't see the 1/32" of shaft between the gear and housing. You can see shaft on the good servo. Jammed rock solid, can't pull it away, gears won't move at all. They will rotate on the good servo.
Oh wait, I kinda missed the "gear" thing. I was thinking the linear control arm stripped on the threaded shaft (that happens too). If it is 'just' a case of a drive gear slipping on the shaft you may have a shot at fixing it. Might only take some creative and gentle prying to get the gear back where it belongs.

......Mike
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Old May 05, 2011, 01:28 AM
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I had this happen several times with my UM P-51. What I found was that on inspection, the gear had either slipped off, the linkage was jamming in the fuselage, or the gear ahd a fine particle of something stopping its travel - often this particle was glue since the last repair.

As an aside, do not try pulling the servos sliding control horn. A much better way is to turn the gear manually and put it back into place that way. Look for obstructions and reboot/rebind the system. Hopefully you'll be where you need to be.

Cheers - boingk

PS: Check out stevensaero.com for models that use the insides of these models... brilliant kits and well worth the conversion if you get tired of the UM Champ.
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Old May 05, 2011, 05:30 PM
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bigger planes have theier share of crashes too. It cost a lot more in most cases. The bigger it gets, the more it costs.
Radio Shack has the small precision screwdrivers kits (3 + and 3 - sizes) for under $10.
and a cheap pencil soldering iron is about $10 too. I was able to solder these with a regular sized soldering iron. You'll be amazed at what you can do. It's not laproscopic surgery.
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Old May 05, 2011, 08:54 PM
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Thanks for the suggestions,

The servo is jammed, no way that larger gear wants to turn and I gave it a good go. Kicking around my options and may try another servo. Going to pick up a lower wattage soldering iron and a larger set of miniature screwdrivers.
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Old May 05, 2011, 09:43 PM
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Try getting a glasses repair kit from the dollar store. Usually comes with a super tiny screwdriver.
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Old May 06, 2011, 12:24 AM
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the screwdrivers your after are called "watch makers set"
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Old May 06, 2011, 06:47 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by immelguy View Post
Rant over, sure I'll hear from the other side
Well, I don't know. Maybe not. I happen to like my Champ (been flying it about 4 months) quite a lot. But it doesn't mean that you need to like it.

I've slammed mine around a lot and used a little clear tape and bits of glue to keep it flying. Sounds like you've had a bad experience. I've had a similar (but unrelated) bad experience with an mSR micro heli. But... I did get it repaired and I'm back flying it again. I once had the (it turns out) naive thought that RC flying meant flying only. Actually learning to fly means crashing. Bigger planes crash too and it does seem like they are even more expensive to repair. Sorry you are having the difficulty. I share your pain. I got pretty upset at the problem with my mSR after such a good experience with my Champ. But... I eventually calmed down and got back to learning how to fly RC.
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Old May 06, 2011, 08:10 PM
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Thanks guys,

Picked up the screwdriver(s) I needed today at the Dollar Store, all I need now is a lower wattage soldering iron which I will grab soon. I will attempt the repair as the bench time is a good way to spend a rainy day.

A member here on the forum may possibly have a spare servo, he had sitting around, on the way. Won't mention his name till I have his permission. Isn't that a generous offer and another great feature of this forum. Not enough can be said about the help from forum members. I will go out of my way sometime in the future (when I have a spare parts bin) to return that favor to some member.

Everybody has ther own experience, as MiddleMarc mentioned, quite possibly mine can still change
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