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Old May 25, 2012, 09:46 PM
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Control Rod connection failure - repair??

I have had my Stratos for about 3 weeks now and love it. I find it very flyable in a variety of conditions, including some fairly heavy winds (maybe up to 12 MPH). I am very happy with the plane and have racked up 4-5 hrs of flying time so far with it already.

I ran into a problem today that I am looking for help to effect a repair. The "splice" between the main control rod and the end that screws into the clevis has come apart on the end that connects to the servo. I started having problems with the control rod becoming too long and unable to adjust it short enough to get to neutral rudder. This continued to progress until today when I noticed that the "wrap" around the joint where the two shafts connect on the servo side looked like it was split and upon further investigation, this joint has actually failed and is completely apart now. In reviewing this in hindsight, I had noticed today that when applying left rudder, the whole control rod on the servo side was flexing quite a bit due to the fact that the length was extended too far and I believe that my continued flying under these conditions has contributed to the total failure of the joint, as an observation for others.

With that said, I am clueless as to how to repair this "splice" and am thinking it is going to be fairly difficult to do with the control rod in position on the plane. If I were to remove the short piece that connects directly to the servo and reattach it to the main control rod, then I have no clue how I would ever get this back together on the plane considering how the angles need to be in order to get the end back into the servo connection, besides the fact that I can't really think of a good way to actually "bond" this splice together. In reading some of the earlier posts, it appears that this connection is originally glued but it obviously has a plastic or rubber material over whatever connection type was originally made between the two rods.

Is this a CA fix? Do I need to wrap it with something to improve the bond beyond just the CA? Am I even close on my thinking on how to repair this failure? If I were to purchase a new control rod assembly, I am clueless as to how it can be installed on the plane while a complete assembly. I

I was looking forward to a Memorial Day weekend of flying as I expect the winds to be on the calmer side the next few days here in Central IL, but now I am skeptical that I can get it back airworthy over the weekend. And I just got my 3rd and 4th battery today, too. Glad I got my 80 mins of flying time in today before I had the total failure. Weather conditions were wonderful today for flying this particular plane. ..... lol

Thanks ahead of time for any insight others with more experience might offer me on the best way to affect a repair for this failure.
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Old May 26, 2012, 01:23 AM
da Perfesser
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United States, WA, Spokane
Joined Apr 2012
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Quote:
Originally Posted by marktrott View Post
I ran into a problem today that I am looking for help to effect a repair. The "splice" between the main control rod and the end that screws into the clevis has come apart on the end that connects to the servo.
Mark,

This is very alarming.

I wrote this post:

http://www.rcgroups.com/forums/showt...7#post21444971

specifically to prevent the issue you've unfortunately encountered.

It's scary to think that, even with taking the precautions identified in the above post, the link between the short and long pieces of control rod may come apart after 4-5 hours of flying time.

Gosh, if that link is coming apart after just the little bit of stress that 4-5 hours of flight is putting on it, well, geez, all our Stratoses are in danger of similar control rod failure.

I know this is just a "Beginner" area, but, fortunately, there are a number of MUCH more experienced RC pilots here that I'm sure can help us all learn how to reinforce the control joint you've seen fail so all of us can avoid a similar failure.
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Last edited by YosefAugers; May 26, 2012 at 01:58 AM.
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Old May 26, 2012, 08:29 AM
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I think the bond came loose before whatever is covering this joint actually failed. I started having problems with the control rod being too long but didn't realize why in time and when I started looking closer at what was going on, I could see that the joint by the servo was being flexed in such a way when applying left rudder, that it was loading up that joint. I trying to see if I could slide the joint to make it smaller and that is when I realized that the outer covering (of some sort of plastic it seems) was actually split and I was able to pull the joint completely apart. Upon attempting to put the control rod back into the joint is when I realized that the "covering/coupling" had actually split down the side and had no integrity left.

It is "killing" me that this happened on Friday evening before this wonderful flying weekend ..... lol I am hoping that at 10am I will find out that Slot and Wing in Champaign is open and maybe I can find a way to repair this and still salvage the weekend.

Happy Memorial Day to everyone!
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Old May 26, 2012, 08:39 AM
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USA, VA, Chantilly
Joined Apr 2002
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Sounds like a butt joint with shrink wrap covering. I'll have to go look at mine to confirm. The simplest fix is a small piece of carbon rod or paper clip wrapped with thread and hit with CA and accelerant. If you want it to look better, take a piece of shrink wrap and put it on the rod before the repair and then shrink it down after. -- ggunners
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Old May 26, 2012, 05:45 PM
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Originally Posted by Ginohio View Post
O.K. beautiful evening here tonight very low winds..So I decided to take the Mini Super cub I bought out for a maiden..Have had it for awhile now but too nervous to try it until I got my stratos few weeks ago.. I was just practicing some hand launches and landings..after a few times I was turning a bit and just let her glide down...I really like how this plane will glide btw...after a few times of this I noticed that the bird was not turning as I hit the rudder, leave it to say the screw that holds it to rudder clevis was gone.I did finger tighten them before launch btw..So now I thinking...I shaould have brought the stratos also..so go back to house and get the stratos and had her flying for about a minute...long time for me..lol...and it was going towards the utility lines and I over correct and broke the rubber nose off. I going to local hobby shop tommorow to get some CA glue...would you advise sticking a couple toothpicks in the nose for more support? for those that haven't broken the nose off yet it has a round weight in the back of it I guess for CG it is right there where the nose came off...I can post a better picture if needed...Thank You all for the help..
G

Attachment 4872019

Here is the rubber nose with the round weight in the foam
I broke my nose off and never found it. Do they sell just the nose? A new fusealge is expensive!
Any ideas how to repair it and still keep the C.G. close to stock?
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Old May 26, 2012, 07:22 PM
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Airworthy again

Just to let everyone know, I am air worthy again after getting the control rod spliced back together. I used some thread and lashed the two pieces by the servo together, and then dropped some CA on the joint and I think it turned out pretty good. I went over the top of the splice back at the collet just to strengthen up that end, too. Took it around for a quick test flight and all seems well but a bit too windy for any lengthy flights or enjoyable flying ..... lol

Thanks for the confirmation of how that original joint was made and the suggestion for repairing it. I have deemed it a success for now.
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Old May 27, 2012, 10:00 AM
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United States, CA, Oceanside
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I got up at 6 AM and consulted the Oceanside, CA airport weather report and they reported 0 MPH wind speed (actually about 1 MPH). I got dressed and drove out to my favorite spot and flew my Firebird Stratos for over an hour. I had a blast to put it mildly. I got her up 4 times and ran through 3 batteries. Since there was no wind I basically flew at just a little over 1/2 throttle to conserve battery power. On the first flight I landed a little rough, but no damage done. The last three times I did perfect 3 point landings on the dirt portion of the field. NO wind, just the conditions I had been waiting for. I hope this keeps up today. I really got to hand it to Horizon Hobby/Hobbyzone. The Firebird Stratos is everythng they say it is and more. I recommend this plane to all newbies, like me! A couple of more months, and I think will be ready for an e-Flight Apprentice; I can't wait.
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Old May 27, 2012, 02:23 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by BigD1961 View Post
I broke my nose off and never found it. Do they sell just the nose? A new fusealge is expensive!
Any ideas how to repair it and still keep the C.G. close to stock?
Repair - glue some foam rubber on the nose? It once took me two days to find where I'd embedded the nose in the earth and was thinking of getting a little rubber dog or cat "squeeky toy" and gluing that onto the nose. I was also thinking of getting some little battery-powered toy that had flashing lights and gluing that onto the nose for some weight.

CG - see my blog for how to check CG and how to keep the proper CG after removing the nose weight.
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Old May 28, 2012, 09:46 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by YosefAugers View Post
Repair - glue some foam rubber on the nose? It once took me two days to find where I'd embedded the nose in the earth and was thinking of getting a little rubber dog or cat "squeeky toy" and gluing that onto the nose. I was also thinking of getting some little battery-powered toy that had flashing lights and gluing that onto the nose for some weight.

CG - see my blog for how to check CG and how to keep the proper CG after removing the nose weight.
I added a metal nut to the front and glued in some foam from the packaging. Looks like crap, but should work good. Probably just beat it up again next time so.......
Thanks for the tip on the CG, it should work great.
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Old May 28, 2012, 02:27 PM
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Had a great flying day in Temecula, CA today. My brother's wife picked up a Hobbyzone Firebird Commander 2 for him yesterday. I took my Firebird Stratos and Champ up to this house and we got up early today after I spent the nght and went flying about 6:30 AM today. Now wind up there. We had a blast. I flew my FB Stratos 4 times and my Champ 3 times and he flew his Commander 2 twice and I flew it once; I made a perfect landing too. He has never flown an RC plane before and he did really well. He flew OK, but had a less that graceful landing, no damage though. The FB Commander 2 is two channel and very easy to fly; I was surprised how durable it is. Any way, we are both hooked on this hobby now.
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Old May 29, 2012, 01:58 PM
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Joined Aug 2009
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Nose Weight

My son's friend crashed his Firebird and broke the nose off. We were unable to find the nose weight in the tall grass. Anyone have any idea how much weight is in the nose or the cg location? Horizon is no help. They are telling me to buy a fuselage. That is a bit much for a minor accident.

Thank you.

Cool Hand Luke
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Old May 29, 2012, 02:13 PM
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Just read YosefAugers's blog. Thanks for the tip. Found the CG under Specs from Horizon's website.

YosefAugers if you still have the nose weight could you weigh it for me?

Thanks.

Cool Hand Luke
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Old May 29, 2012, 04:27 PM
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Originally Posted by BigD1961 View Post
I added a metal nut to the front and glued in some foam from the packaging. Looks like crap, but should work good. Probably just beat it up again next time so.......
Thanks for the tip on the CG, it should work great.
The nut and foam did the trick. I just guessed at the nut size/weight but it was really close. I balanced at the slots in the battery tray as suggeted (great info btw) and added a couple of washers with some tape to try balancing it, and it flew well. I will probably cut out the battery slot as suggested before the next flight to get a little room for fine tuning.
On another note: I am wondering how much the difference in flying there will be, if I turn off the training program? It seems I stall it too often now and I am wondering if the training technology is over compensating too much for my flying (in) ability? I fly ultra-micros and a mini super cub well, but still consider myself in training, hence the purchase of this plane. I have a new Sensei waiting for me to improve......and an Icon A5.......
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Old May 29, 2012, 04:40 PM
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Joined Aug 2009
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Spoke with Horizon again. I spoke with Nick and he wasn't sure how much the nose weight weighed. It put me on hold and did some research. He was able to take the nose weight out of a Firebird and was able to weigh it. The nose weight is 1/2 oz.

Airplane is fixed and ready to fly.
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Old May 30, 2012, 01:36 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Afraidtoregister View Post
It contains 4 mixes:
~Low throttle has elevator mixed in to keep nose up for landing
~Rudder has elevator mixed in to maintain altitude in turns
~Rudder has throttle differential mixed into the two motors so turning doesn't require as much banking
~Gyro stabilized wings
What is the source that says the Stratos has "Gyro stabilized wings?"
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