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Posted by VicT | Sep 16, 2019 @ 03:50 PM | 446 Views
The cowl uses 3 screws to secure it to the nacelle. Once those are removed you still have to remove the spinner bolt, adapter nut, prop, and backplate. If you can’t remove the prop because of a jammed nut or stripped collet threads then cutting the cowl away is one way. Here is a cowl that uses red (or white) electrical tape to hide the cut line. The top tape can stay in place and act as a hinge. The remaining cut lines can be hidden or left visible as the 3 screws will secure the cowl to the nacelle.

I made up a tool to keep the the motor from turning while tightening the prop adapter nut. If you can’t keep the motor from spinning by gripping the spinner backplate you must grip the motor. Removing the cowl with this clamshell mod will allow you to do this and screw it back in place. If you have a prop strike and suspect a loose motor mount this mod allows you to inspect the motor area quicker because the prop will not have to be removed.

The top hinge can be made from any kind of tape. I have been using a Tyvek paper hinges on flaps and other flight controls and CA works excellent on plastic if it’s sanded first. However clear or electrical tape can be used.
Posted by VicT | Sep 15, 2019 @ 11:47 PM | 533 Views
The Esprit Prop Shaft Adapter is about 30 % bigger than the stock unit so you can put more torque on the nut and threads. This translates so about 30% more gripping power between the aluminum collet and steel 5 mm motor shaft. In Jason M’s video he recommends holding the spinner backplate or motor to keep the threaded adaptor from turning. This is done with one hand while the other hand uses a wrench to tighten the nut.

I made up a tool that slips into one of the 4 motor cooling slots and this keeps the motor/shaft from turning while the collet is being tightened onto the shaft. It’s a steel 6 “ mending bar that I cut with a hacksaw and filed down to fit the slot. It’s bent into an “S” shape to fit between the prop and plastic nacelle. The nacelle is cut out for clearance.
Posted by VicT | Aug 28, 2019 @ 06:07 PM | 563 Views
I know I tightened my prop adapter too tight because when I removed the nut I saw pieces of aluminum threads. The adapter threads were damaged beyond use. As an experiment I cut away the damaged threads and used the same nut on a thinner grey APC prop to see how tight I could get the nut without damaging the threads. I tightened the nut to finger tight and marked with a Sharpie pen the 12 o’clock positions of both the nut and threaded prop adapter. I then used a wrench to tighten 1/4 turn (3 o’clock). I proceeded to turn the nut to the 6 o’clock position. I then went to the 8 o’clock position and with a motor restraining tool tried to make the prop slip on the shaft. I could but it was difficult. I then removed the nut easily (not jammed) and inspected the threads and no damage was found. The black plastic 8 blade prop and the grey APC prop are similar but could have different compressibility so this test is only a guide.

I am waiting for larger 5/16 (5mm shaft, 8 mm prop bore) adapters from a non Eflite company to compare the gripping difference.
Posted by VicT | Aug 28, 2019 @ 02:50 PM | 576 Views
I flexed the two elevators to eliminate binding but did not check the elevator pushrods. I pried off the plastic cover and removed the output arm. I saw that I had about 5-8 degrees up and about 30 degrees down before binding. Using hemostats I pushrod back and forth on the pushrod about 100 times to eliminate the binding. Now I get about 30 degrees up elevator without binding. Now the elevator servo won’t get worn out as quickly. Such a shame there is not a redundant elevator servo on a Y cable to operate one elevator when the other one fails. See pics.
Posted by VicT | Aug 27, 2019 @ 11:51 PM | 748 Views
I like my new EC1500 but do not want to lose the 5 bladed prop and spinner in flight. The loss of control and crash into someone/something concerns me. Last week the right prop , spinner, and collet departed the motor shaft while I was applying full power on 4 S while on the ground. I had about 10 minutes of scale like flying two days before with no problems. Apparently that 10 minutes was enough to reduce the grip between the aluminum collet and steel motor shaft. I remounted the undamaged prop and re tightened the nut a little more than what I usually tighten and put a 4S and then a 3S flight in. On the post flight I found I could tighten the nut a little more so I did but then I felt less resistance. I tried to unscrew the nut but it had jammed on the aluminum collet threads. I made a slot on the end of the collet and with a screw driver was able to keep the shaft from turning while freeing the jammed nut. After the nut was removed I was able to remove the prop. I have not flown the EC 1500 since as I am waiting for collets (not Horizon/Eflite) that are bigger like the Timber, SR22 and other Eflite collet adapters. Horizon sent me some Zap Z-42 thread locker however I still do not know how much torque to apply without jamming the nut. I could measure with a torque wrench the foot pounds required to jam and damage the threads on a new collet and nut and use that for a reference or go to a different collet that has more surface area like the Timber and SR...Continue Reading
Posted by VicT | Aug 23, 2019 @ 10:46 PM | 1,003 Views
L APES (Low Altitude Parachute Extraction System ) is used by USAF C130 crews to deliver palletized cargo such as jeeps and other supplies. The EC 1500 could be configured to do the same maneuver using a 3 position switch. My DX9 3 position switch is automatically set up for ramp/door closed (position 0), ramp level (position 1) and ramp 20 degrees down ( position 2). A drogue parachute could be deployed using position 1 and could provide tension on a foam block inside the fuselage. Position 2 could release a loop of string similar to a sailplane/tow plane release system. The ramp servo or a Servo from a Y cable could pull the pin to release the loop of string.

Once the system is verified and validated other cargo could be made. A 30 foot banner could be towed and released 5 ft above the runway or 30 ft of ping pong balls tied together. The system should be as light as possible in case of an emergency such as a fouled chute or stuck cargo.
Posted by VicT | Aug 20, 2019 @ 10:57 PM | 765 Views
All controls were set to stock throws and settings. The elevator setting was neutral and I did not set the elevator down as shown on page 10. Takeoff was from asphalt into a 3 mph headwind using high rates with flaps up and SAFE Off. On downwind No trim was required so turned SAFE On. Tested the recommended flap settings and they worked fine with full or no power. Despite my previous concerns with asymmetric thrust there was NO Rudder required to maintain heading throughout the throttle curve. I did use more rudder for coordinated turns but found an aileron to rudder mix for scale like flying. The center section flaps really allow slow takeoffs and approaches. But with full power and full up elevator she accelerates at a 90 degree angle! At straight and level with max power I saw no aileron or roll oscillation. (On other 60 -70 mph models I’ve switched to the V900 RX to eliminate roll oscillation). With power off and full flaps and full up elevator there was no abrupt stall or tip stall. With full aileron added a gentle spiral of 3 or 4 turns was tested. Recovery is quick and easy by releasing sticks and adding power. I was having too much fun doing slow scale like touch and goes to do any extreme aerobatics and will test that out on another day.

I noticed that she does not want to slow down on landing roll out and I almost went off the runway pavement end 2 times! I could put Aerostar 60 amp RVS speed controls in for reverse thrust but I don’t want to give up the ramp/...Continue Reading
Posted by VicT | Aug 18, 2019 @ 12:20 AM | 1,016 Views
The EC1500 is the best engineered foamy I have had. The parts fit perfectly and it all works. Total time for unboxing and programming took me just over 3.5 hrs. Here are some notes:

The ESC has a blue EC5 (90 amp) connector. The Addendum recommends an adapter. I already had an adapter to convert the EC5 to an XT 90 yellow plug to mate with a 4000 65C Graphene Turnigy pack with a black XT 90 connector.

I used a blank model in the the Acro type and named it EC1500. I used an extension bind cable and used forceps to insert it into the 636 receiver port. After inserting the bind plug and plugging in the 4S pack I did not get a blinking LED on the receiver. I pushed in the connectors to the separate BEC and got a blue light on the BEC and flashing RX LED. I checked all the other plug connections to make sure they were seated correctly. I removed the bind plug and bound my DX9 TX to the RX. It bound standing 5 ft away and I could see the plastic elevator “stubs” move full up when I put the fuselage down into a dive. The ramp/door opened up and was hitting my fuselage stooge. I found out that the default switch is A. Position 1 is open and 0 is closed. So make sure your fuselage holder is clear of the ramp. I later put the Ramp/door switch on switch C (Chan 5) and set the speed to 3 seconds for 0 /up, 1 level, and 2 down. Custom voice for position 0 is “Door Closed”. Position 1 is “Door Open”. Position 2 is “Bombs Away”. NOTE: The Airforc/Coast Guard...Continue Reading
Posted by VicT | Aug 12, 2019 @ 02:26 AM | 1,173 Views
My flying buddy has a stock CA and a Walrus that he uses for thermal soaring and for full throttle aerobatic practice and experimentation. He was using a Timber X for aerobatic practice but it’s in need of major foam repairs. The CA is holding up to this type of stress with minor foam cracks and tears glued back with regular CA. He uses the CA SAFE System for “orientation recovery “.

The Walrus is about half the price and does not come with a RX so he is using an orange 5 CH RX for motor, rudder, elevator, ailerons, and flaps. The Walrus does not look like it would be a good sailplane because the fuselage is much fatter than the CA. However the Walrus is stiffer and there is less wing flexing. Walrus has a thinner wing section and with upswept wing tips has better rudder only roll coupling. The glide is faster and has better lift even without changing wing camber. The power to weight and aerobatics are better than the stock CA. The flaps offer full trailing edge camber with ailerons and can slow Walrus down unlike the CA. The Walrus prop shows stress marks and if it fails/seperates could cause a serious body injury during a power on hand launch. The Walrus would be a nice inexpensive aerobatic trainer/motor glider with the Timber X receiver in her. I'll be on the lookout for the similar looking but discontinued ELuna from Tower Hobbies.
Posted by VicT | Aug 02, 2019 @ 06:40 AM | 1,666 Views
The Valiant 1.3 Landing Gear (E-flite - Valiant 1.3 Landing gear set - 4955) can be used on other models with a little modification. I have purchased (under $15) and installed about 8 so far in Apprentices, Timbers, and Turbo Timbers. The gear comes with screws and a tailwheel that fits the Valiant. The gear might be on backorder and I had to wait a few weeks for my latest shipment. If you are looking for one of the best SAFE intermediate sport designs purchase the whole model (with the AR636 RX) as it’s my favorite plane to instruct with. It is slightly smaller, faster, and more aerobatic than the Timber but can land slow with the nice flap design.

For the Turbo Timber remove the screws that secure the stock landing gear. I put all the wheels, legs, springs and parts in a large plastic baggy. This way you can trial fit the Valiant gear into the battery bay without interference. The U shape portion of the gear is designs so that the battery can fit between the legs. I put the U shape all the way aft in the battery bay and secure it with low temp hot glue. If you need to remove the gear then use 95 percent alcohol and a small brush to break the bond. For my original Timber (that does not have the 4 carbon fiber reinforcement tubes) I made up some balsa ply sides to reinforce the foam fuselage. These sides support hardwood so the included screws can be used to remove the landing gear for float gear installation or for belly landings.

The wheel...Continue Reading
Posted by VicT | Aug 01, 2019 @ 11:32 AM | 2,311 Views
I recently got my old Radian Pro (RP) back. It was going to be converted to a Taranis TX/RX system for RSSI, Battery Voltage, Vario, and Altitude Telemetry. Eventually it will but I wanted to fly her with SAFE Self Level and so this is how I did it. The RP was flying using the DX9 Sailplane program with an old AR600 long range receiver. Flight modes and programming worked fine and I wanted to keep it but add SAFE Self Level using a new RX.

The Turbo Timber (TT) SAFE receiver was a new open stock version that Horizon programmed for the Turbo Timber. So I used a new model in my DX9, bound it (with the bind plug removed) and named it RadPro TTSafe RX. I connected the RP elevator servo to verify the old elevator servo would move and direction was correct. It was not so I reversed the elevator and with Self Level On put nose down, tail up and verified full up elevator. I then made sure that Rx Port Assignments channel 7 was on Aux 3 and that Channel Input Config Aux 3 was assigned to my B switch. The RX can turn SAFE On and Off with any channel that your TX has from 5 to 9. I then scrolled to the Monitor page to make sure that when the left and right sticks were down and in I read -100,100,-100 and -100. This was confirmed and I toggled the B switch until I saw the elevator and rudder twitch. Then I put the nose down and tail up to make sure the B switch turned SAFE on and OFF. The B0 position turns SAFE On and B1,2 turns SAFE Off.
The old AR600...Continue Reading
Posted by VicT | Jul 28, 2019 @ 11:38 PM | 2,025 Views
I was timing for a pilot during a recent Altidude Limiting Endurance contest (ALES). Most pilots were using the Radian motorglider and having trouble landing within the landing circle. Most were landing outside and getting zero landing points. The Radian has no flaps or spoilers so approach planning and touchdown is non standard. A random circling approach or a low fast approach is about all you can do. When you want to come to a stop you nose her in to the grass and hope that the spinner, prop, and motor are not damaged. Of course if you use motor you save your Radian but get a zero for the flight.

The stock Radian comes with a white plastic skeg that is about 1/4” high and protects the white foam from getting scratched. If the plastic supported a music wire skeg I think it would improve the concept of protecting the prop and also improve spot landings in grass and other runway surfaces.

The following pic and diagram shows the concept of the music wire skeg mod. I will be testing a main wheel and rudder wheel for maneuvering on the grass and hard runway with my Night Radian. Other ideas are encouraged and welcomed.
Posted by VicT | Jul 27, 2019 @ 09:46 PM | 2,277 Views
The Radian has no drag devices but you can use the prop to add drag. Go into your DX6,7,8,9.....TX throttle curve menu and change the straight line points to a lower slope. Turn the curve to on and change point 2 to 5%, point 3 to 10% point 4 to 25%. You will not see a curve but adjust the points so that at half throttle the prop just starts to turn. In flight when you might not be able to see the prop turning move the throttle stick to the halfway point and you will be in the area where the prop just starts to turn. You will be providing windmilling thrust which is actually drag. Make sure to close the throttle just befor touchdown to avoid a prop strike.
Posted by VicT | Jul 27, 2019 @ 09:24 PM | 2,094 Views
The stock plastic clevis that comes with the Night Radian and many other Horizon models has a weak “axle” that will bend and break when you try and insert it into another control horn hole. If you make the hole bigger and insert the axle into the hole and secure it with the rubber tubing it will work but if the hole is oversize then you will get slop in the elevator, rudder, aileron control. If the axle breaks, separates, and falls away you will have no control. In the case of no elevator you most likely will crash. Dubro recognized this poor design and has a metric plastic clevis that will fit the 1.3-1.5 threaded rod and has a larger and stronger axle. You will have to drill out the control horn holes for the Dubro clevis to fit but it works great and is a great replacement. Here is the link to the part:
Posted by VicT | Jul 08, 2019 @ 11:48 PM | 3,863 Views
I have a blog for a top battery door for the original Timber but this is for the Turbo Timber. It might work for the original Timber but you are on your own.

I’ve had no structural problems with this TT mod. I’ve had about 100 flights and with no crashes it has held up. If you crash or damage the model in any way the whole aircraft must be inspected and fixed before the next flight. In my experience most flyers and especially beginners try and fly with a damaged model without fixing the crash damage. Then they blame their crashes on the models design. Enough Soap Box. Read on if you want,
The TT has 4 carbon fiber tubes that connect the motor mount to the main cabin area. The surrounding foam supports the tubes and acts as a wind fairing. By cutting away the top surface of the fairing the tubes are not compromised.
The top cowl and windshield are cut away with a new small size box cutter. Remove the ESC and any light wires to eliminate accidentally cutting those wires. See pics
Posted by VicT | Jun 22, 2019 @ 12:51 AM | 4,165 Views
Retracts have been well worn and work good on plane stand but on takeoff they don’t retract all the way into the wheel wells. I am using 4S and amps are under ESC limit. I replaced old retracts with new ones (stock) to see if this solves the problem.
The old retract was taken apart for inspection and to see how they work. See pics

Today the maiden with new retracts went great. The wheels go all the way up to the worm gear “stops” and the tires are flush with the underside of the wing!
Posted by VicT | Jun 20, 2019 @ 10:24 PM | 3,499 Views
Takeoff was with Self Level Off so I could set trim. After trimming for hands off flight for 3 or 4 seconds Self Level was turned on. Roll and pitch limits were verified as well as hands off level flight with all flap settings. A full flap landing with partial power was completed. On the bench Self Level was turned off, the elevator marked on the fuse and TX trim returned to neutral. Then the elevator clevis was adjusted to bring the elevator back to match the mark on the fuselage.
I exported the settings to Dales SD card then imported the file to his DX9 TX. Wireless buddy box “fam” training will be next.
Posted by VicT | Jun 20, 2019 @ 03:10 PM | 3,116 Views
Having the V900 receiver installed in my AT6 Texan with flaps and retracts I figured it would work as well in the T-28. Today confirmed my hopes. I had to move the elevator servo arm 180 degrees and move the servo to the side to relieve push rod stress and I added a servo reverser to the aileron Y channel. However I did not have to reprogram the receiver using the Windows software and program cable. The receiver was purchased as an open stock and Horizon at my request put in the V900 settings before shipping it to me. The old receiver can be used for other purposes.

First step was to pry the stock 636 RX out of the foam fuselage and to remove the white rubber glue using forceps. Then servo plugs were removed and placed in the new V900 RX one at a time. Most of the plugs had ID tags on them. If yours does not have tags I recommend using painters tape (I like yellow) and then mark them with a black Sharpie marker. I added a short aileron extension to the bind port as it’s easier to insert and remove a bind plug that way. I used 3M Dual Lock to secure the RX to the white foam RX area. Inserting a small tool (piece of credit card) can easily pry the Dual Lock apart in case the RX has to be taken out for another plane.

I had previously bound the RX to a new ACRO model and got the B switch to turn Self Level on and off. I then rebound the receiver to the old T-28 Non Safe settings and the B switch worked to turn Self Level on and off. After binding the elevator was reversed as well as the aileron. Rudder worked. I could have reversed the RX 180 degrees and possibly have only one flight control to reverse but I proceeded with the old fashion way of rotating the elevator servo arm 180 degrees. At this time I also swapped out the white nylon clevis with the weak pin for Dubro’s new black nylon clevis with the larger pin. I had to drill out the elevator horn to match the .063 inch O.D.
To be continued
Posted by VicT | Jun 01, 2019 @ 11:01 PM | 1,374 Views
Spektrum technical recommends:

1. Start with a new model and not an existing model.
2. Bind it with the bind plug removed. Make sure receiver is blinking when you bind.
3. In System Setup Channel Assign assign a switch to turn SAFE on or off. Any switch can be used between channel 5-9. The gear channel is 5. If the gear is used for retracts then use channel 6 to activate switch B. I like to use Switch B because it’s the easiest to toggle on and off with the left forefinger pad. The middle position (1) can be set to On or Off.
4. Move both sticks to lower inside position. In the monitor screen make sure throttle, aileron, elevator, and rudder are showing plus or minus 100 percent.
5. Toggle switch B between stops (0 and 2) until you see a “twitch” in the elevator. Stop toggling when you see this and confirm the switch works by holding the model nose down and tail up. SAFE On should give you up elevator. Turning it off should give you neutral elevator. Put model into a bank. The upper wing aileron should raise trying to level the wing. If you don’t get this re toggle the switch again.
6 Once the switch is working you can name the model, select wing type (flaps), throttle, cut, rate switches, mix switches, and audio.
7. On first flight turn SAFE Off and trim the model at what ever minimum power is to maintain altitude (roughly 50 percent throttle) then land. If FM (flight modes) are used then trim for each flight mode such flaps up,...Continue Reading