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Old Sep 04, 2012, 02:42 PM
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Russ

That's a great looking Contender you have there thanks for sharing. Good luck with your maiden I'm sure it'll fly as good as it looks.

Regards
Mike
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Old Sep 04, 2012, 09:02 PM
ltc
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Has anyone moved their 2.4GHz receiver out from the recommended mounting location (under the bottom hatch along with the ESC) to a location more toward the rear of the plane, further away from the ESC?

I was planning on doing some low power range testing with the motor running, but it was torrential rain tonight after work.
I only did low power range testing with the motor off and never thought about any potential issues having the receiver right next to the ESC.
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Old Sep 04, 2012, 09:03 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by kingsflyer View Post
Well, it looks like the Mini Contender Review is at the top of the list for publication here on RCGroups.

http://www.rcgroups.com/forums/upcoming.php

I expect that it should go live in the next couple of weeks. Keep the faith.

McD
Why does it take so long?

We'll patiently wait to see your review Mike
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Old Sep 04, 2012, 10:29 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ltc View Post
Has anyone moved their 2.4GHz receiver out from the recommended mounting location (under the bottom hatch along with the ESC) to a location more toward the rear of the plane, further away from the ESC?

I was planning on doing some low power range testing with the motor running, but it was torrential rain tonight after work.
I only did low power range testing with the motor off and never thought about any potential issues having the receiver right next to the ESC.
AR6115 receiver, stock location next to a Phoenix 25. Zero issues (so far.)
2.4 doesn't seem to have the issues with EMI that 72 did. Russ Farris
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Old Sep 04, 2012, 11:38 PM
EDF all the way!
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I have my XPS Nano receiver in the back near the servos.
Bob
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Old Sep 05, 2012, 09:21 PM
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Completed a quick low power range test this evening, with the receiver and ESC in the lower hatch, as per the instructions.

Got about 60+yds before having signal quality and command issues. Slight difference between motor on vs. motor off.

Went back home and re-arranged the components. Placed the ESC under the cockpit in front of the battery, leaving only the receiver in the lower compartment, as close to the hatch as possible.
Ran 1 of the 2 antennae horizontal along the lower compartment; ran the other antennae vertically up from the lower compartment up into the cockpit area.

Unfortunately, the torrential rain started up again so I will have to wait for tomorrow to re-test low power range to see if there is any difference.
If all looks good, I will try for a maiden at lunchtime.
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Old Sep 06, 2012, 01:18 PM
ltc
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90 second maiden ends ...

Well, that was fun while it lasted.

Low power range, 100+ yards ...check
Balance ... check
Control surfaces/throws ... check
Batteries ... check.
ROG takeoff ... check
Initial trim ... check (2 clicks left, 3 clicks down)

Rolled over (uncommanded) and went straight in about 90 seconds into flight. Fuselage/cockpit completely destroyed (exploded). Zero damage to wing or tail.
It was nearly directly overhead when it decided to commit suicide.

Walked over to the wreckage. Everything was still plugged into the receiver.
Plugged the battery back into the ESC (had come out during the crash).
Checked all the servos. All were perfectly operational except for the left aileron servo.
It would only move in one direction and at neutral, it was buzzing/hunting.
This would explain the crash and the inability to recover.
There was absolutely no indication of any servo issues during the final build, control surface throws, deflections, radio setup at all.

Interesting, since the wing never made contact with the ground, so the chance of the gears stripping on contact were zero.

Swept up everything, put it back into the car and went back to work.
Will take the left aileron servo out and disassemble it to see what might have happened. I will also put it on my servo analyzer to try and see if there is anything else obvious.l
All 4 servos were brand new, Futaba S3114, as recommended per the kit.

Since the 70's, this is the first time I've had a brand new servo fail on a maiden flight like this.
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Old Sep 06, 2012, 01:25 PM
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That's a big bummer ltc! Especially when you do all the preflight details like you did. If anything I hope you can find the cause (bad servo?).

I've just completed the wing assembly last night, gonna start on the fuselage tonight. Boy what a horrible covering job on this one.
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Old Sep 06, 2012, 01:30 PM
Time for me to Fly...
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I'm about half way through the assembly of mine. If I'm lucky I may get it done just in time for snow to fly.
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Old Sep 06, 2012, 02:11 PM
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That is a huge bummer. Hopefully a replacement fuse and canopy won't be too bad, once the post mortem is done. Like you, I have been at the hobby a long time and things can happen. Let us know what you find. Russ Farris
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Old Sep 06, 2012, 03:33 PM
ltc
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It's definitely a servo failure.
I carefully disconnected the control rod from the servo, same result. Servo moves only in one direction when commanded from the transmitter and hunts around neutral.
With power off, any attempt to move the servo arm is difficult and discontinuous. it appears to be a mechanical failure somewhere in the drivetrain.
Wont' know for sure until tonight when I take it all apart and do a thorough failure analysis.
I dont' know if I should bother contacting Futaba based on what I find. I don't know their warranty on their servos these days ... besides a new/replacement $15 servo doesn't do me any good at this point.

I was flying at lunch with another experienced pilot from work. He double checked my preflight and did a seperate safety check before I took off.
He was also standing nearby when the failure occurred. At first he thought that it was odd that I would start doing low level rolls only 90 seconds into a maiden flight...then he realized I wasn't that crazy.

I will probably just put the Contender EP behind me and not buy/build another one.
I have a new Sebart Stev S30 kit that arrived this week so I will probably just build that one this weekend.
I had been planning on installing Futaba S3156 digital servos, but after this experience, I might just go back to the tried and true Hitec 5065/65 and be done with Futaba.

I will strip out all the motor/electronics and whatever else is salvageable from the remains, put it in a shoebox and maybe someday build another one.
As for the wing, it's in perfect shape, not a scratch... maybe I will just mount it on the wall in the workshop as a reminder, perhaps adding a Futaba decal just for humor.
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Old Sep 06, 2012, 03:35 PM
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Originally Posted by Caddguy6 View Post
That's a big bummer ltc! Especially when you do all the preflight details like you did. If anything I hope you can find the cause (bad servo?).

I've just completed the wing assembly last night, gonna start on the fuselage tonight. Boy what a horrible covering job on this one.
yes, my major disappointment with this kit was the quality of the covering.
hopefully it was just the first/early batch of kits and as they get more experience it improves.

apart from that, it seemed to fly pretty well !
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Old Sep 06, 2012, 03:51 PM
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Sorry to hear about your loss. I have never had a servo failure with the little Futabas, but that sure sounds like what happened. Have you checked to see if you can get a replacement fuselage from Tower?

McD
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Old Sep 06, 2012, 03:55 PM
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I've never had a servo failure like this before ... ever. I guess I have just been lucky all these years.

My LHS has a kit in stock (he ordered 3 originally when they first came out), so I probably would just buy a new kit, rather than try and order a canopy, cowl, fuselage, bottom hatch, etc...

I am concerned about the other 3114 servos anyways ... I will know more tonight after the teardown analysis.

I seemed like a fun lunchtime parkflyer, but I will probably just build the Sebart (the build quality is impressive) and leave this behind.
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Old Sep 06, 2012, 04:04 PM
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Tower does have all the spare parts in stock.

For a new fuse ($45), new cowl ($5), new canopy ($27), new decals ($6) ... $83 + ? shipping/handling, it would make more sense to just buy the kit at my LHS for $99.

My bride doesn't think I can accept defeat and says I will end up building a new one this weekend (marathon no sleep build session, just like the old days)... after 35 years together, she is probably right.

Of course, if I do, and I suffer another 3114 servo failure ...
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