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Old Dec 01, 2011, 06:43 PM
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Joined Jul 2011
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With the gyros on, my channel 5 is taken up with the mix for them, so I probably won't be able to add flaps. I do have functional flaps on my 55" wingspan T-34 Mentor warbird trainer.
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Old Dec 02, 2011, 11:13 AM
I use EXPO and Senior Rates
Rightfly's Avatar
United States, MI, Custer
Joined Jan 2010
272 Posts
Hi everyone, I am a new Sensei owner!

I received my Sensei on Wednesday afternoon this week – the $129 special that I applied a $20 off coupon. A great deal on what I think will be a great plane. I have been doing my 3ch flying this summer and fall with an Electrify Flylite, another great plane by Flyzone actually. I put the Sensei together Wednesday night. I was elated to see perfectly calm weather on Thursday morning, but one problem. I have not received the 2200 mah 3s battery so I put the Sensei on the CG Machine and balanced it with an 1800 mah 3s battery.

I have read all the posts in this thread so I was aware of the balance factor with a smaller battery. I added 35g of weight in the nose and it looked like my balance was dead on. With the battery fully charged I stepped out into my field to maiden the Sensei. (See the attached picture sitting on the CG machine.) The take off was great except I noticed a slight left roll which I corrected with 24 right clicks on the aileron trim. Everything else was great except it was obvious that it was still quite tail heavy. Landings were tricky but I got it down with 6 acceptable and one “oh no” landings. No damage though.

Last night I re-balanced by actually extending a line on the bottom of the wing from the CG markings and found the way the plane sat on the CG machine it was actually balanced ¼” aft of the marked CG – not good for a beginner. I moved the balance point ahead of the CG marks by 1/8” and added another 21g of weight – total now of 56g.

We are blessed today with a very sunny and calm day so I logged another 9 minutes with two landings. It is still tail heavy so I am going to move the balance point maybe another ¼” forward. I should wait for the correct battery but in December you cannot waste good flying days.

In one of the posts someone talked about the plane making an unexpected turn. The Sensei has the same servos as furnished in the Flylite. (not true - I discovered they are different, see my post 441) ... however the rest is true I had about 4 unexpected nose dives that really had me stumped. One day while preparing to fly I was checking control surface movement and suddenly the elevator stuck in the down position and I had to ‘shake’ the tx stick to get it to recenter. I abandoned the flight and rebuilt the plane with different servos and have not had a single control problem with the Flylite since. Just information but I don’t trust those little servos. (In the Flylite)

As far as rising off the grass , I have an area in my field with grass cut very short but it is not very smooth, so I will probably go to a 3 or 3.5 inch wheel. But is does handle my grass ok with the furnished wheels.

This is a great plane and thread as well - lots of experience to absorb.

This is the first time I have flown a 4 ch plane and not had to get the glue out or climb a tree. The plane is still in like new condition after 3 flying sessions.

Roger
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Last edited by Rightfly; Dec 03, 2011 at 04:17 PM.
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Old Dec 02, 2011, 12:41 PM
nwillitts
Joined Apr 2007
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spoilerons work better for landing on this plane.
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Old Dec 02, 2011, 10:23 PM
More Motors, More Fun... :-)
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Phoenix, AZ
Joined Jan 2008
700 Posts
I too purchased the Sensei with the $129 special with $25 off coupon. What a great deal!! One of those rare giveaways.

I bought the Sensei for those times when our club invites kids to "buddy box" and we need trainers. I should have bought a few more. I saw the 2 brothers review and that was helpful, but until you actually get your hands on it, it's just talk. I now agree with them that this is the best trainer out there.

I have many other ARF's and I have never had a better experience assembling a plane. I usually have to mod and replace things, but not this time. I did use 2 brothers info on drilling out the wing joiner to make it fit, but that was such an easy fix (I used a 23/64th drill bit, instead of a 3/8, it fits better ).

The drop box, is a real neat thing (and it's actually under the CG!), so those candy drops should be lots of fun.

In all, a great plane!
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Old Dec 03, 2011, 02:40 PM
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I just purchased mine and am already sorry. What a piece of crap design. You have to cut it apart to get to the motor. Same with esc. Hard to solder new connectors on as hard to change while in the plane. Who uses these connectors anyway. Never seen on as coming with batteries. Why not design it correctly so that a person could service or change motor, esc. nose wheel without surgery. After all I thought I bought a trainer. Ow well I guess I can wait till I crash it.
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Old Dec 03, 2011, 02:51 PM
I use EXPO and Senior Rates
Rightfly's Avatar
United States, MI, Custer
Joined Jan 2010
272 Posts
I want to correct something I said in my post a couple days ago, post #437. I made the statement in paragraph 5 that the servos in the Sensei were the same ones used in the Flyzone Flylite that failed. They are not the same ones, they are a little larger and sturdier than what is in the Flylite.

Sorry if I missled anyone, they looked like the same ones when I first looked at them, but on further inspection .....

Roger
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Old Dec 03, 2011, 04:09 PM
I use EXPO and Senior Rates
Rightfly's Avatar
United States, MI, Custer
Joined Jan 2010
272 Posts
Quote:
Originally Posted by NoResults View Post
I just purchased mine and am already sorry. What a piece of crap design. You have to cut it apart to get to the motor. Same with esc. Hard to solder new connectors on as hard to change while in the plane. Who uses these connectors anyway. Never seen on as coming with batteries. Why not design it correctly so that a person could service or change motor, esc. nose wheel without surgery. After all I thought I bought a trainer. Ow well I guess I can wait till I crash it.
Hi NoResults,

The cowl probably could have been done better for easier removal, but I would not remove it to change the ESC connection. I used an adapter sold by Tower Hobbies that goes from the existing Super Tigre connecter to a Dean's. Another advantage of the adapter is it gives a little more wire to finnagle around when connecting the bat. I bought this item:

http://www3.towerhobbies.com/cgi-bin...&I=LXXGN6&P=SM

You could also make your own adapter using a female 3.5 mm bullet connecter and short strips of wire to your connector of choice.

Hey, goodluck in the end I think you will like the Sensei.

Roger
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Old Dec 03, 2011, 07:46 PM
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Most important lesson I've learned....I learned today!

$7.29 for that little adapter? Highway robbery! I can buy adapters that change the plug type at LHS for half that much.

I put in my Castle Creations 10A bec to run my three gyros, servos and rx today and went out to the local flying field to re-maiden my Sensei with the gyros.

I was a long time getting it to where I was comfortable with attempting a take off, as it did not want to taxi straight with the 3 inch wheels I'd put on it. After much work and adjusting servo arm,etc, I finally took it up....only to crash after two circuits around the field.

It suddenly didn't respond to my tx inputs and started flying out of control. Don't know what happened, but it went in nose first beyond my view (over a hill). It took me 5 minutes to walk to it, but it was pretty easy to find, as the white tail was sticking straight up in the air in the middle of a recent harvested bean field.

I had reinforced the nose of my Sensei with four 1/8" x 1'4" x about 8" long hardwood sticks run back into the body of the plane from the nose. I thought this was smart, but the body broke in half behind the reinforcement sticks....just about even with the front edge of the wing. I do have a spare body that I can rig up, should this one not be repairable.

When I got back to the car with it, I just put it in and then put it away upon arriving home, without even looking over the damage. Maybe tomorrow I'll go out and play the roll of crash inspector and see what needs done with it. I didn't have the desire to do that today.

This was the first decent flying day we had in weeks. I had been tinkering with it all throughout those weeks while it was too bad to fly. Lesson learned...the best lesson I've ever learned about R/C flying: Do only one thing at a time to your plane, then make sure it flies like it should before doing anything else to do. Only one mod at a time!! I'll bet I made a dozen or better without any flights between making any of them.

I was bringing my plane around to me again, to get it back in closer to me and get it lined up to take it up 3 mistakes high to turn on and test out the gyros, but I never even got there before the crash.

I was surprised during ground checks that every single one of my control surfaces were reversed from what they should have been and I had to set them all back to their proper travel directions before taking off. For the life of me, I have no clue how they all got reversed!! This shocked me when I discovered it.

It will probably be spring before I get another chance to try everything out....and I think then I will disconnect two of the gyros and test them all out one at a time, before I even consider flipping all three on at the same time on a maiden flight!!

A couple of weeks ago I rebalanced the Sensei's weight laterally, but I realize now that I did not check that lateral balance after all the other changed I'd made to it since then....might have been part of my problem?
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Old Dec 03, 2011, 09:55 PM
I use EXPO and Senior Rates
Rightfly's Avatar
United States, MI, Custer
Joined Jan 2010
272 Posts
Sorry to hear of the demise of your Sensei Proweddingphotos. Maybe after evaluation you will discover it can be repaired. I had 4 bad crashes, nosed in hard with my Flylite that crushed the nose back to the wing. After the 4th repair it was looking pretty rugged. Hopefully yours can be repaired.

You are right about Tower's price on that adapter. I think they may have raised the price as i thought it was in the $4 range. I checked my invoice and they got for the full amount. I guess I gave a little of my Black Friday good deal back. I need to pay closer attention when I order.

I would have follwed my own advise and made one as I had also suggested. I got mine last Wednesday and have 3 short flights. May not have good weather until middle of next week.

Good luck restoring your airplane.

Roger
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Old Dec 03, 2011, 10:01 PM
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Joined Oct 2011
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How can you recommend this motor. The specs state that is designed for a park model weighing 20 - 30 oz. Hardly eneough to get the Sensi off the ground. But since the stock motor seems to be junk why not try it. Any other suggestions on motor. I have wasted the money to buy this hunk of crap and am not interested in putting another $100. into it so I will have a motor and esc that will work. Maybee I can sell it for $50. and take my lumps.
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Old Dec 03, 2011, 10:48 PM
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Didn't mean to be vague I was refering to an earlier post refering to the E-Flite 480 motor
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Old Dec 04, 2011, 09:36 AM
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Joined Jul 2011
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I have the E-Flight Park 480 with 10x7 prop on my Sensei, as others who tipped me off to using it do, too. It has plenty of zip with the right prop when used on the Sensei.

You've have to reverse the motor shaft, so that it comes out the other side of the motor to use it on the Sensei. How to do that is explained in a couple earlier posts in this thread. I'll let you look them up for that info.

It is designed to make a 30 oz plane fly 3D (hovering like a helicopter, suspended vertically only by the power of the prop moving)....which takes an awful lot of power.....like a bat out of...uh, a bat cave with a firey bottom!
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Old Dec 04, 2011, 12:48 PM
More Motors, More Fun... :-)
nioa's Avatar
Phoenix, AZ
Joined Jan 2008
700 Posts
Quote:
Originally Posted by proweddingphotos View Post
$7.29 for that little adapter? Highway robbery! I can buy adapters that change the plug type at LHS for half that much...........
Yes that is a bit much. But for those who can't or won't make it themselves it is there for them. The huge markup is just part of our hobby.

I use XT60 connectors since my batteries are Turnigy 2200's with the XT60's already on them. So as part of my "build" I had to remove the stock connector.

I just soldered 16 AWG silicone wire on a male XT60. Cut off the stock connector, and stripped the wires to the ESC (which are 16 AWG). Then I used 14-16 AWG non-insulated butt connectors to make the crimp connection to the new XT60 leads.


Pieces of heat-shrink were then used to insulate the butt connector. Easy. Oh... two hand towels wrapped around each side of the wiring you are heat-shrinking will keep the "heat" off the foam, and keep it from melting.

You can of course buy Deans's or XT60's, or whatever you use with leads already soldered on them, if soldering is not your thing. Then use the crimp. This way your not trying to solder very near to the planes foam battery compartment.


Note: if you do decide to use the crimp method, make sure you use a crimper designed for non-insulated terminals and butt connectors.

Why non-insulated terminals, then heat-shrink on insulation? I like the surety of seeing the "dimple" on the crimp when it is made. The insulated type of connectors tend to obscure the quality of the crimp that is made. When the crimp is made correctly it is just as good as a soldered connection. I rely on crimping because, it is not easy to twist wires together to make a connection, especially when your talking about thick 10 or 12 AWG wires. The barrel of the butt connector makes for a very professional looking and strong connection.

Also, buy the 3M brand of connectors, they are made in the USA. They are expensive, but if you are going to be in the hobby awhile, you will probably use them all up. The Chinese connectors tend to be very soft. You get what you pay for.

Nick
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Old Dec 04, 2011, 02:26 PM
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Obviously I am new to this hobby. After reading all the posts, I am wondering if I should fly the plane with the existing power plant and esc or should I just change them out before I try it. Also thanks to nioa and proweddingphotos and others for their suggestions. If I crash it, thats my problem, I just don't want to destroy it due to motor and esc or fire.
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Old Dec 04, 2011, 03:40 PM
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If it were me I'd change out engine and esc to better quality. If new to the hobby, I'd try to locate a local R/C club that was willing to teach you to fly using a buddy chord, so that they can possibly save your plane should something go wrong in midflight. That's how I learned. I believe you can locate area clubs by going to the AMA homepage, modelaircraft.org. That's how I was taught.
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