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Old Dec 11, 2001, 03:51 AM
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Joined Dec 2001
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New to R/C electric (R/C anything to be exact!)

I was wondering if any of you have any sugestions (books, sites, etc.) that would help me learn the electronics needed for this hobby.

What I mean to say is, when I start something new I like to learn as much as possible about all of it that I can. I have seen several postings on here about how to build your own ESC. What would I need to learn about that kind of electronic work? I have searched the internet and found a lot of info, but I don't want to learn how to fix a TV or computer ( I know that, I am a computer programmer) just enough electronics (practice, theory) that is used in electric flight.

Also any sugestions on GOOD tool to determine what moter/prop/ESC to use would be great also.

Thanks!

Sorry if this sounds a little naive to some of you, I am just starting out in this hobby.
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Old Dec 11, 2001, 04:19 AM
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Outside of Dyer, Tn. USA
Joined May 2000
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Welcome to E-Zone!! The FAQ location is here:
http://www.ezonemag.com/pages/efaq.htm

It has a lot of the info that you need to get started. A word of advice when you decide to start buying, get a Push-E-Cat or T-52 plane, both made out of foam and both hard to destroy. Also get someone to train you. I wasted several hundred dollars on smashed planes before I listened to the excellent advice that the folks here were giving me. Speed control info was listed here on a thread a couple of days ago.

Have fun and good luck!!
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Old Dec 11, 2001, 06:11 AM
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N. Staffs, UK
Joined Jan 1997
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It's quite possible to fly electric planes without any more electronics knowledge than how to plug things together. I would suggest you start by learning more about motors, batteries, charging etc in which case the FAQ is a good starting point.

Getting into the electronics is rather more complex and most people never feel the need. For example, in order to BUILD an ESC you need the ability to read circuit diagrams, identify components and solder. In order to DESIGN your own ESC you need a lot more knowledge. But that would be the rough equivalent of learning about driving a car by designing your own V8 engine

Many people never get as far as building anything like that and wouldn't regard it as having anything to do with their hobby of building and flying electric planes. Can you be a little clearer about what your ambitions are in this area ?

If you're completely new to R/C in general another couple of sites worth looking at are, for basic R/C and plane info, the "Beginner's Info" at http://www.rcflightunlimited.com

and for how our radios work
http://www.torreypinesgulls.org/Radios.htm

Good luck - Steve
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Old Dec 11, 2001, 04:31 PM
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Joined Dec 2001
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Electronics

I had a control line P-40 Warhawk when I was a kid. It had a .049 Cox engine and was very fun to fly. Back then, R/C aircraft was VERY expensive, especially for a kid.

Flash forward 23 years (I am 33 now). I have a Computer Information Systems degree and have been reading a lot about ROBOTS and R/C airplanes. I guess I tend to learn more about whatever I am interested in if I can find out as much as possible about it BEFORE I dive into it. As for learning to drive, I started out working on lawn mower engines and full size CARS (because my dad was a mechanic) long BEFORE I learned to drive. Maybe that is what started the learning thing.

My plans are to get a Tx that will grow with me, something like a Futuba 6ch. Then get an electric trainer with just rudder, elevator and speed control. Something easy to learn on. Later on I want to get into glow planes but the thing I am most interested in this hobby is the ability to build your own airplanes. I have several ideas of designs I would like to do that I have not seen anywhere else yet.

My question REALLY is: (as simply as I can put it) if any of you that are proficient in the electronic workings this hobby have any recommendations in how to learn the electronics part of it any easier.

I looked on Amazon.com for several books on electronics, but which ones would be for the electronics used in this hobby?

I have been looking on the web for information, but I keep coming up with the BASIC stamp and PIC pages. Will these help?

What about the electronic and robotic kits from Radio Shack?

I feel that I should be able to learn this on my own without having to get a second degree in electronic engineering.

Thanks!
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Old Dec 11, 2001, 04:55 PM
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Outside of Dyer, Tn. USA
Joined May 2000
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You don't sound niave at all!! I'd suggest that you repost your question under a different title, you haven't gotten many hits with this post and the way you worded your last reply enlightened me as too your root question. Maybe "Basic Electronics" or some other title would pull some of the electronic geeks out of the woodwork! There have got to be some excellent basic electric flight basic info sites..... Good luck.....Once you start flying electric and see the combinations of making a plane fly slimers will be too boreing!!
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Old Dec 11, 2001, 05:17 PM
eschew obfuscation
Far north Dallas, Texas
Joined Oct 2001
118 Posts
Re: Electronics

Quote:
Originally posted by jcatron
I
My question REALLY is: (as simply as I can put it) if any of you that are proficient in the electronic workings this hobby have any recommendations in how to learn the electronics part of it any easier.

I have been looking on the web for information, but I keep coming up with the BASIC stamp and PIC pages. Will these help?

What about the electronic and robotic kits from Radio Shack?

I feel that I should be able to learn this on my own without having to get a second degree in electronic engineering.

Thanks!
To put it simply, there can be as much electronics as you want. From the very basic point of view, if you know how to operate a vacuum cleaner, then you've got it covered. One very basic suggestion is this:

Find a local club

Doing this will allow you to meet others and see what they do, use, build, fly, etc. You will get a better feel for what you are really after. Of course you don't have to stick with any one thing. You can go where ever your interest leads you. Some guys are aces in building with balsa but wouldn't have a clue about how an ESC works. Others can design and build ESC's but their planes are rough and crooked. Some guys can turn sheets of foam into artwork, but have others fly their planes first.

Some, like me, are pretty much average at everything. ;-)
There are a lot of focus points in this hobby and you don't have to pick just one!

Find a local club and meet some other guys that fly. From there pick a plane and radio system. Get it in the air. Then start figuring out what's wrong with it. What can you do to improve it. Listen to the guys at the club when they say "I wish I had an X" or "I wish I knew how to do Y". Eventually something will pop up that interests you, and off you go. If electronics are your thing, visit the indoor/micro forum and check out the "how to build an actuator" thread. That will give you an idea of how far some people will go, how different levels of expertise in different people can come together and everybody gets to learn something.
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Old Dec 13, 2001, 12:46 AM
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San Diego, CA, USA
Joined May 2001
241 Posts
It's simple, you have an esc, batteries, and motor. Red is positive, black/white is negative...There's nothing else to know. If you can build a computer, then you can build a plane. You complete your circuit after plugging the battery to the esc.

And of course, you already know, you learn from hands on experience with what works and what doesnt work. There arent really any books out there. The electronics of the plane is fairly simple. What you really have to worry now is the cg of the plane, that's important. Just get your plane and just do it, and don't even think any further about learning about electronics.
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