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Old Nov 29, 2006, 10:23 PM
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jthsiao's Avatar
San Diego, CA
Joined Nov 2006
43 Posts
Build Log
Building a Predator Bee by a First Time Builder: Please Advice!

Hi everyone,

My friends took me out to the slopes of Poway earlier this month to show me their how their planes fly and after seeing their planes in action, I was hooked! After doing a bunch of reading on this forum and asking around with the people that flies the local slopes around here, I've decided to build a "Predator" Bee from Karl. I placed an order with him last Monday and it arrived last Friday, even though Thursday was Thanksgiving! He has been very quick in responding my e-mail queries and suggested that I post my questions here where everyone else can also chime in. Since I'm a first-time builder, please let me know if you see me do anything wrong. I hope to learn a lot, since this is my first build, and am documenting it so hopefully other beginners in the hobby won't make some of the mistakes that I am about to make. I need all the help I can get!

Here are the list of supplies that I've thought of so far:

Items already gathered:
Predator Bee kit (Predator Wings)
Hobbico Air Alert Low Voltage & Lost Aircraft Alarm (LHS)
Quik-Cure Epoxy #5 (LHS)
Zap CA (LHS)
3M 400 grit sand paper (LHS)
5/32 brass rod (LHS)
HydriMax Ultra NiMH 6.0V 1450mAh battery pack (Tower Hobbies)
Hitec 72MHz dual conversion receiver crystal channel 37 (Tower Hobbies)
Hitec micro switch harness (Tower Hobbies)
Hitec trainer cord (Tower Hobbies)
Scotch Extreme bi-directional tape (Staples)
Scotch Mailing & Storage tape, clear tape (Staples)
Staples masking tape (Staples)
X-acto knife

Items en route:
Hitec Optic 6 with Spectra module (Power Hobby)
Hitec Electron 6 receiver (Power Hobby)
Two Hitec HS-85MG servos (Power Hobby)

Items yet to buy:
Ultracote
Sealing iron
Goop
Goop thinner
Foam brush
Spare foam
thin poker rod

The reason why I listed where I got my supplies is to let others know where I got them. I would have never thought to look for tape at Staples, I didn't find out until one of my flying friends told me today. I was looking for bi-directional tape for a while and I couldn't find it anywhere! The people at my LHS didn't even know what I was talking about when I asked them. And, if I am buying from a less than reputable dealer, please point that out as well. I hope with the researching that I've done, the purchasing part of the hobby would go smooth.

At this point, I would like some feedback on my list of things to buy. Am I missing anything? Did I get too much? And, for those items that I haven't bought, are there any suggestions on what exact model to buy and where to buy them? If you have feedback regarding anything else, I'd love to hear them too!

Thanks for bearing with me, I know it's quite a bit to read through. I look forward to all of your feedbacks. This should be a fun adventure!

- Tony
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Old Nov 29, 2006, 10:33 PM
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codezilla's Avatar
Chino Hills, CA
Joined Feb 2003
2,370 Posts
Officemax & hobby people also have Bi-directional fiber tape.

Everything looks good. I didn't need Epoxy & extra foam when I built my Bee.

Adrian
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Old Nov 29, 2006, 11:00 PM
Gravity sucks
SrWade's Avatar
United States, WA, Richland
Joined Mar 2006
2,499 Posts
Tony,

Exacto knives are okay, but for their extreme sharpness and versatility I prefer to use an Olfa 300 snap off blade cutter. You can extend the blade to any length you need to get the correct depth of cut and when the tip gets dull you just snap it off. You can purchase them at www.olfablades.com.

Another item I find invaluable is some sort of adhesive remover. After cutting a few strips of 3M Extreme Strapping Tape, you will probably find that your scissors or knife blade is getting sticky, making if dificult to cut the tape. Wipe it with a cloth wetted with remover and you are back in business.

Enjoy the build and be sure to sign up for the January 13 Poway Combat Day.

Mike
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Old Nov 29, 2006, 11:04 PM
cody303's Avatar
Louisville, Colorado
Joined Nov 2003
782 Posts
The battery is big you may end up nose heavy. I assume they are AA cells so you will have to cut some foam out of the nose to make them fit, which is not the best thing to do. The battery is usable, but you may want to use what Karl suggest on the build CD.

Little Cody
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Old Nov 29, 2006, 11:10 PM
ALL IN !
Louied's Avatar
Carlsbad, California, United States
Joined Feb 2004
2,786 Posts
I was wonder is the 85 Mgs servos are what is recommended ?

I thought Karl told me something bigger. I may be wrong though.

Have fun take your time And you are missing the most important part. 12 pack of your favorite beer for the build.

Louie
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Old Nov 30, 2006, 12:23 AM
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codezilla's Avatar
Chino Hills, CA
Joined Feb 2003
2,370 Posts
Quote:
Originally Posted by Louied
I was wonder is the 85 Mgs servos are what is recommended ?

I thought Karl told me something bigger. I may be wrong though.

Have fun take your time And you are missing the most important part. 12 pack of your favorite beer for the build.

Louie

The servo pocket is molded for standard sized servos. I would think 85mg would be a bit small.

Adrian
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Old Nov 30, 2006, 12:32 AM
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Daemon's Avatar
Lakewood, Colorado
Joined Aug 2002
28,663 Posts
Definitely stick with standard sized servos (like the HS322) and save the
85MG's for something else. Standards are cheaper and usually quite strong
plus the molded pockets are a perfect fit so the servo won't move
around over over time.

And while a Bee will fly OK with a 4xAA pack in the nose, it will
be a bit nose heavy and you won't really get the higher performance
of the Predator Bee kit with its lighter weight and rearward CG.

ian
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Old Nov 30, 2006, 12:36 AM
TD- F3K- Slope - What to fly?
Dale Thompson's Avatar
Cupertino CA
Joined Aug 2005
1,507 Posts
Switch to a AAA pack mounted in the back of the battery compartment and go with the HS322's.
It will make everything much easier
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Old Nov 30, 2006, 12:38 AM
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jthsiao's Avatar
San Diego, CA
Joined Nov 2006
43 Posts
Quote:
Originally Posted by codezilla
Everything looks good. I didn't need Epoxy & extra foam when I built my Bee.
Karl suggested using epoxy to glue down the servos. What did you use?

The extra foam is there for me to practice covering. Since this is my first time, I didn't want to try covering without any practice!

Quote:
Originally Posted by SrWade
Another item I find invaluable is some sort of adhesive remover. After cutting a few strips of 3M Extreme Strapping Tape, you will probably find that your scissors or knife blade is getting sticky, making if dificult to cut the tape. Wipe it with a cloth wetted with remover and you are back in business.
Is there a specific adhesive remove that you have in mind? I knew I forgot something!

Quote:
Originally Posted by SrWade
Enjoy the build and be sure to sign up for the January 13 Poway Combat Day.
I've signed up already. I'm on channel 37. And, I've already staked my claim on the Goat prize.

Quote:
Originally Posted by cody303
The battery is big you may end up nose heavy. I assume they are AA cells so you will have to cut some foam out of the nose to make them fit, which is not the best thing to do. The battery is usable, but you may want to use what Karl suggest on the build CD.
Yeah, I realized that when the battery arrived. When I made the purchase I was just thinking that, "Sure, the more volts the better." But when I got it and realized that it's 5 AA's instead of 4 AA's, I started to wonder about the weight and CG implications. That's the reason why I posted my batteries up, I was hoping someone would correct me. Do you know how hard it is to get the CG right with this battery pack? Should I just buy another one and save this one for another plane? Can I counterbalance with weight on the tail? I read somewhere that it's better for the build to come out nose-heavy than tail-heavy, since it'll take less weight to move the CG back.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Louied
I was wonder is the 85 Mgs servos are what is recommended ?

I thought Karl told me something bigger. I may be wrong though.
The HS-85MG was recommended by some of the other slopers flying around here, something about durability and saving weight. Karl recommended a standard size HS-322HD servos in his build directions.

Actually, come to think of it, would the combination of my heavier batteries and lighter servos put the CG back to where it's supposed to be? Karl recommended 8 1/4" to 8 1/2" back from the nose for the Bee. Does someone know just be looking at the configuration or is it one of those build it and see kind of thing?

Thanks for the feedback guys and I'm looking forward to your replies!

- Tony
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Old Nov 30, 2006, 12:45 AM
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Daemon's Avatar
Lakewood, Colorado
Joined Aug 2002
28,663 Posts
Regardless of whether you could offset heavier battery with
lighter servos, you've got other problems.
You'll have to cut away foam around the battery bay to make
the larger battery and that'll weaken the nose.
You'd also have to fill the existing servo bays up with some other
foam which will eventually crush and allow the smaller servos (less
total surface area) to move around.

A 4xAAA 720-900mAh battery pack in the nose, and HS322HD servo
combo will fit the existing bays and make the CG come out perfectly.

As for gluing the servos in with Epoxy.. maybe Karl's build CD is out of date
but he uses Goop for almost everything, including gluing the servos in
these days.

ian
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Old Nov 30, 2006, 01:05 AM
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jthsiao's Avatar
San Diego, CA
Joined Nov 2006
43 Posts
Quote:
Originally Posted by Daemon
Regardless of whether you could offset heavier battery with
lighter servos, you've got other problems.
You'll have to cut away foam around the battery bay to make
the larger battery and that'll weaken the nose.
You'd also have to fill the existing servo bays up with some other
foam which will eventually crush and allow the smaller servos (less
total surface area) to move around.

A 4xAAA 720-900mAh battery pack in the nose, and HS322HD servo
combo will fit the existing bays and make the CG come out perfectly.

As for gluing the servos in with Epoxy.. maybe Karl's build CD is out of date
but he uses Goop for almost everything, including gluing the servos in
these days.
Thanks for the feedback Ian! It looks like I'm making a trip to the LHS tomorrow.

A couple of questions regarding batteries and servos:

1. What is the approximate flight time per mAh? I.e., how long would a 650mAh battery (recommended) last? And I assume the ratio scales up for a 720-900mAh battery as well? I'm shooting for about 4-5 hours of flight time so I can get a good day's worth of flying in.

2. How well would the HS-322 servos hold up? I know they are bigger and fit the slots better, and I know you guys combat a lot there in CO. I assume since you guys are recommending it, this servo will hold up to the beating? I configured with MG servos so my servos won't strip out as often from being beat up by others and crashing on my own. How long will the HS-322 servos last me before it needs to be replaced?

I realize that there are no hard answers for these two questions, so I'm just hoping for ballpark figures on them. Please give me your best guess, I won't hold you to them.

- Tony
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Old Nov 30, 2006, 01:27 AM
plane obsessed
Cody WIlson's Avatar
Denver, CO.
Joined Nov 2003
3,885 Posts
A 700 mah pack should last you five hours easy on a full charge. But watch out- NIMH batteries need to be cycled a few times to get maximum capacity.

322HD's will be fine

Happy flying!

P.S.- Like Ian said use goop to mount your servo's- but be gentle with the stuff. Remember you might need to remove them someday: just put a dab - a healthy dab of goop in the bottoms of the servo bays. Not enough to squirt out and gum everything up- just enough to cover one side of the servo. Try not to get it near any of the scews that hold the servo together incase you need to get into it someday.

Good luck, and feel free to ask any questions you want- it's better to get it built right the first time! You will enjoy the plane more!
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Old Nov 30, 2006, 02:00 AM
Where's the wind?
the_canuck's Avatar
United States, CO, Denver
Joined Jun 2004
5,855 Posts
If ya think 700mAH isn't enough, I stock 1000mAH AAA packs.

Hey Karl, check your PM's. I'll take a bunch of Bee kits off you hands.

Andrew
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Old Nov 30, 2006, 07:27 AM
Life is Good!
Tank52's Avatar
Germany
Joined Apr 2005
1,200 Posts
I use a product called Goof-off. You can find it at most home centers, better hardware stores, and likely WalMart, etc. Also works great for removing 3M-77 overspray on your covering material. I've used it on ultracote with no problems.

Quote:
Originally Posted by jthsiao
Is there a specific adhesive remove that you have in mind? I knew I forgot something!
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Old Nov 30, 2006, 08:33 AM
Fly~Crash~Repair~Repeat
SLO Soarer's Avatar
San Luis Obispo, CA
Joined Aug 2005
302 Posts
That's exactly what I was thinking Tank. Goof Off works great. There is also a product called Goo-Gone which is not quite as good. It still works but I think it's a little lighter strength than the stuff Tank recommended.

Patience is a key ingredient too. Take your time, finish the build, hit the slopes, and happy slamming. Good luck with the Goat....


Dave
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