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Posted by VicT | Jun 17, 2020 @ 05:46 PM | 7,058 Views
The purpose of this How To article is to explain how to use Flight Modes on the DX9 transmitter for elevator trim.
Any of the talking DX transmitters and e (non talking computer transmitters) have the programming waiting for you to use. Flight modes can be used for other trims and things but this will cover elevator trim only.

Background: Elevator trim will change according to the airspeed of your model. If there is any incidence between the wing and stab you will have pitch up according to the airspeed. If you have little to no incidence then there will be little to no pitch up with airspeed changes. If you want to fly inverted with out having to hold any down elevator then you might want to have no incidence and/or move the center of gravity back so that there is little to no elevator stick required. Assigning a switch to give you a certain elevator trim to fly hands off might be another use of flight mode trim however this article is for basic flight control where minimizing pilot workload is the goal. This article is aimed for those that do not understand the value of using transmitter flight modes. The article does not go into flight modes for receivers or stabilizers or gyros. Transmitter flight modes can be used for receivers such as the Apprentice receiver, the AR636 receiver and the AR637T receivers. The 636 receivers usually are programmed to provide pitch up with full power. Many find this reduces pilot workload. Others don’t like it...Continue Reading
Posted by VicT | Jun 09, 2020 @ 04:21 PM | 9,307 Views
I ordered these cells about 2 months ago and they showed up in May, 2020.
Model 3S1P
Capacity 3.5H
Cell NCR18650GA-3.5 Ah
Nominal volts 12V. Charging voltage 12.6 V

Weight is 155 g or 5.5 OZ with the included XT60 and balance plug

With the Flyzone 850 KV motor and 13/4 APC prop amps were 15 and watts 192. The Beaver struggled to slide thru the tall grass but once airborne she flew fine. I might try a little larger prop like a 13/6 to see.

A 3S 3200 40 C Thrust pack weighs 253 g or 8.7 oz and can provide more power but does the Beaver need it?

I tried a 4S 1800 lipo pack today and she was able to plow thru tall wet grass with the floats. Lots of thrust but not much room in the top battery hatch. So I swapped the 40 amp for an Aerostar 60 amp RVS as it’s about the same size as the Eflite 40. The RVS has a prop brake and reverse function if the receiver and transmitter have an extra channel. The Apprentice receiver is limited to thr, ailerons, elevator, rudder, flaps, and a hidden channel to turn Self Level On and Off. So eventually I will use a 636 or 637T receiver. For now the ESC will give me a prop brake for better glide and dead-stick operation.
Initially I thought I could mount the Aerostar 60 just aft of he dummy radial engine but there is no room so it sits vertically up against the foam firewall inside the top battery hatch. A popsicle stick is Gorilla glued horizontally to keep it from moving around. I’ve programmed my DX9 throttle curve to get the prop brake at the throttle stop and windmilling drag from about 1/4 to 1/2 inch throttle above the stop.
Posted by VicT | May 28, 2020 @ 04:04 PM | 3,659 Views
I purchased an open stock AR637T receiver a few weeks ago and finally got about 5 minutes of flight today (5/28/2020) after replacing the AR636 receiver that came with the Turbo Timber (TT). The TT had flown the day before and I had programmed her with 5 flight modes using the throttle stick as 1 switch for 3 modes and the D switch for 2 modes. Dual rates, expo, and mixing had audio working fine. I removed the 636 RX and white silicone from the foam and made a plywood floor for the 637T RX. I followed the installation manual and bound the RX to the TT program. I had to reverse the elevator and aileron servo direction. She flew the next day and without SAFE or AS3X I noticed my TT as being very sensitive and not forgiving like the 636 RX.

I had been following the manual included with the receiver and got this far before asking Dave A. HELP.......

Forward Programming -> Gyro Settings -> First Time Setup The transmitter will prompt you for all setup steps.
IMPORTANT: Before proceeding with setup, read every information screen that appears on your transmitter
Select NEXT at the bottom of each page to continue.
3. Followtheon-screenpromptstosettheorientation.SelectContinueto complete the two-step auto detection process, or select
Set Orientation Manually. Verify the orientation is correct.
4. Youcanassignanyopenchanneltoaswitch(trimmer,knob,e tc)forgain, and assign that channel for gain. You can assign a switch to a channel from the Forward Programming menu so you don’t have to exit the menu. We recommend using a trimmer, knob, or slider for gain, which will enable you to change the gain value on the fly.
When the setup screens are complete select Apply.
3. AS3XTuningBasics:
1. Perform a control surface direction test, and AS3X reaction test.
2. Test fly the airplane to verify the configuration. In-flight trim changes do not require any further updates.
Posted by VicT | May 22, 2020 @ 10:53 PM | 6,227 Views
My last instructional flight using Ralph’s New Turbo Timber went well. Winds were a direct cross at 10-15 mph but the 5 second throttle cut delay gave him time to concentrate on rudder corrections. Only 2 out of the 8 takeoffs were aborted for insufficient/ late rudder. What was frustrating were the 4 nose overs during the 2 taxi ops. Fortunately no one else was flying and the walk was only 100 ft or so to right the Timber.

The included floats will be mounted to reduce nose overs in the grass and pig sand that we have to contend with. I have used clear packing tape to protect and strengthen float bottoms. However I remember having to repair broken Apprentice floats and using aluminum duct tape. So I used the same super sticky aluminum duct tape on the floats to protect the bottom and to add a scale effect. I weighed the floats and strut pieces ( minus the rudders) at 239 gms and after at 274 gms for a net gain of 36 gms or 1.2 ounces for both floats.
Posted by VicT | May 19, 2020 @ 10:09 PM | 10,810 Views
Russ C installed an AR636 RX in the belly with connectors facing aft. Using the program cable and Windows PC he reversed 2 axis. I used my DX9 TX and created a new model (Russ Walrus) using the ACRO menus for simplicity. Both flap servos are on a Y plugged into CH 6, and both aileron servos use a Y cable plugged into ch 2 (ail). Audio is “Flaps up, Thermal mode, and Landing mode” on switch D 0,1,2 using channel 6. Audio is “On, Self Level and Off for switch B 0,1,2 using ch 5. ( Gear). “ High Rate, Mid Rate, and Low Rate “ are on switch C 0,1,2. Switch G audio is “ Aileron, Rudder, Mix On, Mix On” for G 0,1,2. Audio for switch H 0,1 is “ Motor On, Throttle Cut”. Switch I states the motor countdown time remains the the total flight time using timer 2 stopwatch. In the “thermal mode” the flaps deploy about 5 degrees down and the elevator trim switch is next to the throttle ( cross trim and FM flight modes are selected for seperate trims for all flight modes Speed, Launch, Thermal, and Land. Walrus will be trimmed hands off with power off and flaps up using mechanical clevis adjustment on the elevator. When full throttle is used for the Launch mode some up elevator trim will be determined to achieve a hands off 45 degree pitch angle. When throttle is retarded to off the elevator trim for a fast glide “ Speed mode” will be set. Thermal mode will have some up elevator trim and Land Mode will have 100% flaps and down trim. For go arounds in the thermal and land...Continue Reading
Posted by VicT | May 15, 2020 @ 07:27 AM | 5,916 Views
My Eflite AT6 Texan has a scale canopy with lots of detail inside. The front has a foam tung that locks in place and the rear has a large magnet. Past experience has shown that magnets fail in various ways so I installed a latch made from 1/8” thick plastic. It is screwed to a wooden dowel that is glued to the foam fuselage.

This has worked fine for the last 20-30 flights but recently the canopy departed while inflight. Onlookers tracked the free fall and it was recovered undamaged. The fuselage plastic latch had cracked and failed.

I made another similar latch but made out of aluminum. I cut it out with scissors and bent it 90 degrees then cut the corners and de burred the edges with a sanding block. The pine wood dowel is 3/8” O.D. and about 1/2” long. It is drilled for a number 8 screw for the aluminum latch. A 3/8” brass tube with “teeth” is used as a “cookie cutter” drill. The dowel is glued in to the foam with fast setting CA glue or better yet slow curing Gorrilla glue. The screw should be tightened just enough so that the aluminum is held in place but able to turn 90 degrees to unlatch the canopy.

This design can be used to secure hatches and doors as well.
Posted by VicT | May 06, 2020 @ 01:47 PM | 6,851 Views
I picked this up in 2013 at Midsouth Hobbies in Memphis. The box had 2 scale fuselages and stabs with canopies and one set of wings. The 2.7 wing panels had aileron servos pre mounted and fit the DG 600 fuselage. The other fuse needs wider chord wings. Fuse looks like an ASK 21.....will tackle that another day.

The DG 600 was meant for slope or aerotow. The nose has a 4 mm hole for the tow release and the canopy extends right up to the nose. I could cut the nose and put a 30 mm spinner on but figured I would try a scale yoke and extended out runner with a long shaft. I purchased an X power XC3223/10 LS 1200 KV 490 W (45A max) motor with a 4 mm shaft . Pictures show the Grob G 103C with the prop mounted. The motor weighs 135 G and I was worried about the CG so put a 60 A ESC, and 4000 mah 3S Graphene full forward just in back of the motor. I taped temporarily 2 HS80 MG servos on the outside of the fin. She balances between 25-33% of MAC so no other mods will be needed. I could reduce the weight of the battery to maybe a little 1000 mah 3S but would have to move the elevator and rudder servos forward and run wire or 80 lb pull strings to torsion elevator and rudder springs like the DLG designs do. An AR636 or new AR637T receiver will have to be solidly mounted for easy access to servo plugs. The fiberglass fuse and canopy are big and in excellent condition. The flat plate little stab and elevator are scale looking and use 2 metal bolts that will be...Continue Reading
Posted by VicT | May 02, 2020 @ 10:47 PM | 7,059 Views
This applies to any taildragger but works very well with the Eflight Turbo Timber and DX6,7,8,9 and up transmitter. The purpose is to reduce pilot workload, and to have better control for safer takeoffs.

Taildraggers should be taxied with full up elevator to put more down force on the tailwheel. If too much throttle is used Timber will take off or nose over into the ground. A frequent mistake is for pilots to use too much throttle to take off. The thinking is the quicker you get in the air the safer you will be. However in reality the sudden prop blast over the left side of the fin (and P factor) will immediately yaw the plane to the left. Full right rudder may not be enough. A fence collision is frequent when a direct crosswind is present. Applying full power on a 090 heading will frequently result in a 360 takeoff heading. Here is a tip that you can practice.

Slow taxi is a difficult maneuver to do as the power band on Timber can be very sensitive. Too much power and Timber will takeoff in 1-2 feet. Stretching out the throttle curve can help so that the throttle is less sensitive in the lower power curve. Once you get proficient at slow taxi applying power above taxi power becomes a challenge. An easy and consistent throttle acceleration method is to use the built in throttle delay in the Throttle Cut menu.

After setting up Throttle Cut on the H switch go to the bottom and select 5 seconds for throttle delay. When you release the throttle cut...Continue Reading
Posted by VicT | Apr 30, 2020 @ 01:13 AM | 7,483 Views
There has been much progress in reducing “pilot workload” for radio control flying. Technology has reduced the need for 72 MHZ separation and transmitter impounds. Lithium batteries and electric motors have reduced noise levels so pilots don’t have to drive further away from cities. Small models can be flown indoors with no wind in air conditioned comfort. Modern transmitters with audio can tell you what switch has been moved and what it’s suppose to do. We don’t have to look down and lose sight of our models. Some features don’t change much. Our modern Spektrum ( and other) transmitter throttles have an upper and lower stop. In between these stops are detents or “ bumps” that you can feel and adjust on the back of the transmitter with a small Phillips head screwdriver. Some pilots like to feel no bumps and prefer a “smooth” throttle. If you are constantly moving the throttle every second to maintain a hover then you probably prefer a smooth throttle. If you are just starting out you probably don’t care and use whatever the transmitter is set to when you begin to fly. If you want the throttle to stay in a certain position while flying you probably want the detents somewhere in between smooth and extreme. There is a center tone default for the Spektrum transmitters that you can inhibit or assign an audio word to let you know that the throttle is close to mid position. This tone can be distracting and a nuisance to some pilots and not even be...Continue Reading
Posted by VicT | Apr 22, 2020 @ 03:57 PM | 7,785 Views
The Calypso fuselage can easily be bent and compressed from minor landing impacts. Rods provide tensile strength but do not offer any shear strength. That’s why I made a 6 gram keel out of 1/16” plywood. It runs from the motor mount area to the top of the wheel well. The keel could support a small wheel or skeg just aft the folding parked prop. This would protect the belly foam .
Posted by VicT | Apr 17, 2020 @ 05:59 PM | 4,995 Views
The original power system had a heavy 8 ounce brushed motor bolted to the firewall and Nicad/Nimh cell packs were loaded under the wing near the CG. To remove the power pack two wing bolts had to be removed. I got my heaviest motor ( 7.6 oz Jeti Phasor 30/3 ) that would fit in the narrow nose up against the firewall. I then got my heaviest most expensive 3 cell pack ( 4000 mah Graphene) and it balanced but to save weight and cost I tried a 2200 3S pack right up against the motor. This balanced but would require a battery tray or stick. So a canopy had to be cut out.

I used a Sharpie to draw a canopy using the original black painted canopy sides but made curved corners to maximize strength in the weakened opening. Using a PVC saw I started at the rear top and finished using a fine tooth Exacto saw. 1/32 plywood support tabs were CA’d to keep he canopy from falling thru the opening. A 1/32 ply canopy sill was cut out to install later. An exhaust hole aft of the wing was cut out using a Dremel. A white plastic spoon could be cemented over the oval hole .

To reduce the cost of motor and battery I taped an Apprentice motor to the outside firewall and with a 2200 3S up against the firewall the CG was obtained. I found two bolts and the firewall holes lined up with the Apprentice motor.
A 30 amp ESC from a Kunai is connected to the motor with a blue EC3 connector.

A new model with B switch for channel 5 was set for SAFE Select On and Off and TS was...Continue Reading
Posted by VicT | Apr 11, 2020 @ 05:28 PM | 7,364 Views
I got the Turbo spinner from Aloft Hobbies. It’s a 38 mm OD with a 3 mm collet. I have 10/7 blades and bungee bands to park the blades flush with the fuselage. No flite report yet.
Posted by VicT | Apr 09, 2020 @ 11:51 PM | 4,994 Views
The original X440 has a nice fiberglass fuselage but getting the battery in and out requires removal of the wing with 2 wing bolts. A one bolt system could be incorporated but getting the battery into a proper CG position and keeping it from shifting is a challenge. A canopy could be cut out but it’s a lot of work. Here is another way using a sliding battery stick/tray made from plywood and 3M Dual Lock fastener tape.

Most conventional models have a CG (center of gravity) between 25 to 33 percent of the wing width (chord). Specifications may give you a distance from the leading edge of the wing back to the CG. As a rough check we use our fingers ( or CG stand) to balance the model and move the battery (usually) forward or aft. We verify the CG using various checks during flight to see if it suits our style of flying. The forward 25% usually results in more stable flying and the 33 position results in less stable but more responsive pitch. Once you find your favorite CG point it’s a good idea to mark it for future reference when a different battery is used or modifications are made. With the X440 I use a music wire “bridle” to balance the model when loading the battery. The bridle is inserted into the fuselage with the wing removed. The battery is placed so the fuselage is level. If I want to move the CG a little forward then I place the battery so the fuselage is a little nose low or high for a more rearward CG. Once I have it set I fly to confirm the new position. Here are some pics to show how it’s done.
Posted by VicT | Apr 08, 2020 @ 12:57 PM | 5,847 Views
The easiest way is to use 1/32” plywood cut out 1/4 inch larger than the oval shape that you want for the canopy. Soak it in water for 20 minutes then wrap it over the area where the canopy is to be cut out. Keep it in a low humidity area overnight. Unwrap the ply and cut it out with scissors. Cut out the canopy with a thin Dremel wheel or with a thinner diamond wheel from Harbor Freight. The plywood sill now gets epoxied to the canopy opening. Clamp with hobby clamps ( clothspins can work)

Instead of plywood fiberglass use 60 min-24 hour epoxy and fiberglass cloth. This is stronger and insures a better shape. Purchase a roll of clear Monocote or use scrap backing from a colored roll of Monocote. This material does not stick to CA or epoxy and its free usually. Cover the area of the canopy with this material and tape it in place. Lay the cloth 1 -3 once/sq yard over the clear plastic. Carefully brush the epoxy on to the cloth and roll toilet paper over the cloth to remove as much of the epoxy as possible. Don’t scrape the epoxy away as it will disturb the weave of the cloth. You can add another layer of cloth and repeat the process. When epoxy fully cures and is hard you will not have to sand the epoxy. Cut out the sill to support the canopy and epoxy in place.
Posted by VicT | Apr 07, 2020 @ 06:35 PM | 7,230 Views
X440 flew great at 20.1 ounces. Started off with a power off hand toss to make sure the V tail ruddervators were set up properly. Second toss was at half power then at full power she accelerated vertically and after 5 seconds shut the motor down for glide trim. She picked up light lift and after thermaling for a few minutes tested higher speed and she did surprisingly well. If you are used to foamy motor gliders with thick wings you really get better performance on a thinner built up wing. I miss having flaps so approach and touchdown made it a little more difficult. I flew for about 5-8 minutes and only used 25 seconds of motor. The 10.5 blades draw 13 amps and 187 watts on the Turnigy Prop Drive (28-30 800 KV max amps is 20 , 1050 4S Lipo and 20 amp ESC.

On Tues July 7 I flight tested an old XP3 DHLG wing on the X440 fuselage. A hand launch proved she glided hands off with no trim needed so I used full power to climb for about 5 seconds and trimmed her out for cruise, thermal and landing modes. The Kevlar and CF wing is the thinnest of all the wings flown and the performance is so much better. I can lower the whole trailing edge about 3-5 degrees for camber thermaling and with position 2 on my DX9 D switch get real nice slow approaches and touchdowns with 45 degree down flaperons. Roll control is reduced so I have to be on top of maintaining wings level. The V tail ruddervators help out either mixed or un mixed. I’d like to put a stabilizer in...Continue Reading
Posted by VicT | Apr 02, 2020 @ 10:02 PM | 9,129 Views
x440 was purchased us ed in good condition with a brushed geared 480 and no ESC

Proposed :

motor is an Axi 2820-10
40 -60 amp ESC with brake
12/6 folder
3-4 S 2200 Graphene lipo
2.4 Spektrum 6 ch RX

Wings are approx 170-180 grams

A Prop Drive 28-30 800 KV is 66 grams and good for 300 watts max amps is 20 from 3-6 S

Approx weight of proposed items are 749 grams
Total RTF 929 grams or 32 oz

My concern is that there will not be enough nose weight compared to the original motor and nicad cells.

However a preliminary check shows that this will not be a problem with a 2200 4S Graphene pack or a smaller lighter 1000 3 or4S pack.

I have a Kunai wing that fits the X440 fuse. It is heavier than the stock 440 wing. With 2 spoileron servos she weighs 262 grams which is about 80 grams heavier. Wing area of 308 sq inches would be higher and put the combination into a Warmliner class. Stock X440 wing is 10% thick , Kunai is 9.6 % thick....Continue Reading
Posted by VicT | Apr 01, 2020 @ 06:34 AM | 6,242 Views
Mar 31, at WPMPA using Flyzone Calypso motorglider with flaps for testbed. Hand tossed glide to adjust elevator clevis position. Full power climbout SAFE Off (B2) flew OK with no limits during looping and rolling and diving. Was able to control plane. Light 5 mph winds so AS3X gust mitigation could not be seen.
With SAFE On (B0) and full power and full up Calypso climbed at an 85 degree angle and wanted to roll to the left. After landing Dave adjusted the TX elevator angle and on 2nd test flight the adjustment worked perfect with a 80 degree pitch but without any roll. To test out position B1 “intermediate” I saw no limits for pitch or roll. With power off I pushed down elevator and she went into a vertical dive but I could not pull out with up elevator. It was as if the elevator was lost or locked out. At the crash sight we collected pieces and at the pit table both elevator and rudder servos worked fine in B0 and B2. We decided not to experiment with further B1 testing. The Calypso was CA glued and reshaped back together for further testing. The motor works but the spinner and SMART battery can’t ge used due to impact damage. I ordered a 637T open stock to be programmed by Horizon for the Air Tractor program to test in a Test plane.
To be continued.
Posted by VicT | Mar 21, 2020 @ 11:15 PM | 6,029 Views
My elevator servo did not work on my pre flight. I thought I would have to replace the elevator servo so removed the left half of the fin area to inspect. In hindsight I should have looked first at the receiver connector and then any secondary connector before the cables enter the reinforcement tube. It was a loose connector! While I was in the area shortened servo cables making the area less cramped and with less weight.

I have a Heron fuselage that comes in two halves. I wont glue the two together but use clear packing tape so if inspection or repairs are needed I will slit the tape, open the fuse and troubleshoot, fix, then join the fuselage haves together with 1/2” wide clear tape along the seem.
Posted by VicT | Mar 20, 2020 @ 11:39 PM | 8,437 Views
I had total electrical failure when the male metal prongs lost contact. It happened 2.5 minutes into the flight while on a power off approach to a go around. At 10 ft I advanced power and there was no power and no control. Fortunately the FMS T28 glided onto the grass with gear and flaps up. It was a maiden flight and an inner gear door broke away as it failed to retract after takeoff. When arriving at the scene the AR636 had no power but the balance plug showed 45% remaining. The ESC SMART fan was not on.

When the IC5 battery connector was held (with 2 hands and with considerable force to disconnect) power returned to the receiver! Subsequent movement revealed intermittent power. When the connector was inspected the male plug’s slots were opened with a small knife to improve contact with the female brass tube. Subsequent wiggling of the IC5 connector indicated positive contact with no loss of power.

A second flight was completed with no loss of power.

Back home I took apart an XT 90 male and female connector. The IC5 and XT90 have different plastic bodies but similar brass gold flashed male and female parts. After removing the male and female parts I made a tool to check contact and to increase the male’s circumference for better contact with the female tube part. I used a piece of music wire and tapered the end to insert into the male connector to spread the slots apart. I drilled a hole in the end of the female tube to make it easier to remove from the male end after checking the tight fit.

The plastic bodies of our various connectors indicate that sufficient contact is present to prevent slippage but not necessarily the contact pressure of the internal brass parts that are more important. I will be cutting the outer plastic bodies to relieve plastic contact and will be using this tool to increase metal contact and insure power is not lost.
Posted by VicT | Mar 15, 2020 @ 06:02 AM | 8,331 Views
I was asked to maiden a UMX Timber at the club field. Winds were 15-20 with gusts so I called the 3 local indoor basketball courts to see if they were “open”. All were in use so I found a stand of trees about 50-60 ft high and used the “wind shadow” to maiden and trim out . Beyond the wind shadow vertical shear made flying nearly impossible and that’s where SAFE really helps maintain control and helps in getting the model down to the ground before crashing or getting lost downwind.

Two days later I stumbled upon the release of the UMX Turbo Timber and ordered her! When I maidened mine inside a local indoor court I hit a padded wall and separated the nose! OH Well! With tape and FoamTac the cracks are hardly noticeable. At partial power she flys slow with full flaps with down elevator put in the transmitter flap menu. In System Setup I Select D as having 3 flight modes. On the Trim menu I change Normal to flight mode. This allows 3 different elevator trim settings for the 3 different flap settings (“flaps up”, “takeoff flaps”, “landing flaps”). After setting partial power with full flaps I use my left thumb on the motor trim switch (Cross trim makes it elevator trim) to fine tune pitch. This works with SAFE On or Off.