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Posted by VicT | May 20, 2018 @ 10:29 PM | 641 Views
If an Electronic Speed Control (ESC) fails in flight there may not be power to the receiver to operate your servos. The result will be a loss of control and possible crash damage to a person, place or thing. If the ESC fails on the ground before or after takeoff the risk of crash damage is still present but is minimized. The use of seperate receiver and servo battery power can be used or a back up pack but you will still be faced with a power off landing that might be cause damage. This is how I usually verify and validate new or suspect speed controls.

1. Measure the amp load (using a Wattmeter/ Current meter) and confirm it is below the rated amp load for the ESC. The amp load can be reduced by changing to a lower pitch prop or a smaller diameter. Reducing the cell count for example from 6 to 5 lipos will reduce the amp load.

2. Run the motor for at least 10 seconds with a prop and measure the heat of the ESC. Use an ingrared thermometer and ensure temps are less than 140 F. If you do not have one you should be able to keep your finger on the ESC for 3 seconds or more. If it hurts at 3 seconds the ESC is too hot and the resultant heat can affect or damage the internal electronic components. Increase ram air cooling and have more exhaust area than intake area. Keep the ESC from being insulated. Dont glue the ESC to the wood or foam fuselage. Keep the heat sink out in the cooling air flow.

3. For new speed controls or used...Continue Reading
Posted by VicT | May 15, 2018 @ 11:15 PM | 1,331 Views
Last week Sean from Horrizon Tecnical walked me through the programming of my Maule 636 receiver so I could use a switch or servo plugged into the ch 5 port. We got the servo working but later that day the ch 5 switch B operated both the servo and SAFE Self Level On/Off. I called Tech today and Joe walked me through the transmitter programming. After 3 or 4 binding attempts and programming changes we finally got it working but had to create a new model. The SAFE switch initially was the A switch and the servo was put on the E switch. I later put the SAFE switch on B where I am used to it. See screen shots of the final set up. Video shows a 12x4 Timber prop backing up.

Maule with Turnigy AeroStar RVS 40A ESC (0 min 16 sec)

Posted by VicT | May 10, 2018 @ 11:18 PM | 1,356 Views
Ive flown the Timber with stock floats from water and grass. Steering on the grass can be done but takes lots of power and is not accurate. To improve steering and reduce float drag on grass I installed two main wheels just aft of the CG and a left nosewheel that is controlled by the stock rudder servo. I use the stock steering servo arm and a wire pushrod. The right nosewheel is a castor design that follows the left nosewheel. I picked the tires that were soft and light with scale like hubs. Music wire axles and brass tubes are used for axle bushings and steering tubes. I am pleased with the tight turning radius on asphalt and look forward to grass operations. Once I activate channel 5 on the stock 636 receiver a two position DX9 H switch will operate a Turnigy reversible electronic speed control. This will allow reverse taxi and reverse thrust for braking after landing. See following video.

Maule M7 with amphibious float mod. (0 min 38 sec)
...Continue Reading
Posted by VicT | May 04, 2018 @ 10:51 PM | 1,013 Views
Thanks Lonny for weighing all the parts on your postal scale (ounces):

Landing gear and wheels 5.6
Nose cone and prop nut. .8
11x7 prop. .9
Fin and rudder. 1.1
Elevator and stab. 1.4
Right wing and strut. 8.9
Left wing and strut. 8.8
Fuselage. 27.7
Pushrods. 1.0
Misc. parts. 1.1
Wing tube. 1.4

Total. 58.7

An Thrust 22003S 40C lipo. 6.8

Total with lipo. 66.5 oz. .5 oz over compared to 66 oz. spec on pg 3 of the Maule manual
Posted by VicT | May 02, 2018 @ 09:48 PM | 1,922 Views
I put a broom handle on my driveway and placed my Maule on it to find the fulcrum point on the float bottoms. I put my 3200 3S 40 C pack in the battery bay. The fulcrum point turned out to be right where the step is located. So I found a pair of wheels that looked about right and cut out Lite Ply parts. I used 13 min epoxy and a clamp overnight. Measuring the width and length of the wheel box I used a box cutter to slice into the hollow floats as close to the step as possible. The nose gear will be a little more complicated as a pushrod will have to be installed to the left nose gear for steering. I would like to make the nose gear swivel forward and up (by hand) for water operations. The mains will stay fixed in place with the additional water drag a compromise. The rudder will be a swivel up and down ( by hand) as well. See pics
Posted by VicT | May 01, 2018 @ 10:36 PM | 2,214 Views
I removed the the water rudder and put on 2 layers of clear 20X tape to protect bottoms. Video shows takeoff and landing. Landing rollout is very short!

Horizon Hobby Maule M7 On floats (0 min 37 sec)

Posted by VicT | Apr 30, 2018 @ 05:52 PM | 1,424 Views
My packs are warmer than Id like so I added some exhaust stacks for better cooling. I cut the foam stacks away then took an old chrome antenna tube, notched the end and hand drilled out the holes. After cutting the antenna into two 1 inch pieces I damped (water mist) the foam and used white Gorrilla Glue on the chrome.

While in the area I cut out the belly for access to the ESC and battery compartment. I took the motor and wires out to prevent damage and used a large box cutter. Beveled cuts keep the foam from pushing through. Tape or CA will secure the belly pan. Now I can angle a larger 3 or 4 S pack. Replaced the stock velcro with my favorite strap and added some compression foam to the wood floor. I have a ISDT cell checker and alarm velcroed inside to the dashboard. That way I can view the capacity remaining (20%) while on the ground. On low flybys I can see the red LEDs flash also. With the belly pan removed I was able to route the balance plug from the dash to the forward battery bay.
Posted by VicT | Apr 28, 2018 @ 07:04 AM | 1,810 Views
I got this idea from Martin on the Maule forum. It frees up the 2 position H toggle switch which is easier to reach and can operate gear, motor reverse, bomb drop, tow release, etc. The knob is harder to accidentally put into the motor on position and the big label sticks out right in front. Use the Custom Voice Setup, Custom Voice Events, and for the right knob (RKnb) in the Gereral sound category scroll and set
0 Throttle Cut
1 Silence
2 Motor On

I used a small bottle of enamel paint from Testors to paint the red and white side of the rotary knob. This stands out and means more than the red heat shrink that I have on the 2 postion H toggle switch.
Posted by VicT | Apr 18, 2018 @ 10:07 PM | 1,507 Views
This is a lightweight version of my first skylight. It does not have the balsa frame with pins holding the clear plastic and does not have the plywood fuselage opening lining. So it is lighter and quicker to make. I use a Starbucks protein box for the plastic. Cut out the biggest rectangle within the top cover boundaries. The front plastic hinge has no overlap with the fuselage roof but the sides and aft clear plastic has a 1/8-1/4 inch overlap. Rather than using a frame to maintain the top airfoil shape the aft window is screwed down so the window is flush with an airfoil curve.
Posted by VicT | Apr 17, 2018 @ 10:52 PM | 1,025 Views
I will be using the struts because on the rigorous test flights without them I have found compression wrinkles on the top wing just beyond where the spar ends and the flap area begins. This is a stress riser due to the servo cutout area. The wrinkle is invisible until the wing tip is picked up. If a longer spar were used out to within 8 inches or so of the wingtip then there would no buckling. Horizon has no Maule spars for spares. So a substitute will be researched. Until then the struts will be used.

Plywood wing spar mod:

I cut out plywood wing spars with dimensions of 1/16 thick by 24 mm deep by 470 mm long. Each spar weighs 12 gms compared to each V strut that weighs 19 gms (w/o screws). The wing maximum depth is 30 mm so there is 6 mm between the spar and top of the wing.
Posted by VicT | Apr 13, 2018 @ 01:13 AM | 1,624 Views
The struts do offer extra strength but the spar tube ends where it contacts the the flap servo. This is where the stress riser is located and if loaded to failure this is where it will crack and cause wing folding. A full power vertical dive with SAFE/Self Level Off and a positive G pullout would cause a max load on the wing and possible cause a stress crack in the stress riser area.

I removed one strut and compared wing flex by resting one wingtip on the grass and bouncing the other wing tip up and down. I saw no difference in the two wing panels. There was no stress cracking or stretch marks. I the did inflight tests with full power 3S pack loops and max up elevator. I could not see any difference in wing flex between the panel with the strut and the panel with out the strut. I performed consecutive aileron rolls without seeing wing flex. I did not do spins, outside loops, or snap manuevers. I landed and inspected the wings for stretch marks and found none so removed the remaining strut for continued testing. I purposely made a hard landing and did not see any over stressing.

Im not advocating the removal of struts but it can be done if you are carefull and limit manuevers to non violent ones.
If a strut fails inflight the stock spar and wing appear strong enough for a normal descent and landing without fear of wing failure or folding. Of course owners and operators take full responsibility for their aircraft and safe operation.
Posted by VicT | Apr 13, 2018 @ 12:33 AM | 1,522 Views
The strap that comes with the Maule can be cumbersome to use when securing the battery. The velcro can be used to keep the pack from sliding and the strap keeps the pack from lifting away from the battery floor. There is an easier way and here is how:

Use EPP type scrap foam on the aft end (or forward end of pack) to keep the pack from sliding forward or backward. Use a piece of scrap foam on top so that the battery hatch just comes into contact when hatch is closed and latched. Tape the foam pieces in place with clear packing tape. With different size packs you will use different size end and top foam pieces.

Pics show an Admiral 2200 3S pack. The stock battery strap is folded on the floor and the pack sits on top of the straps.
Posted by VicT | Apr 10, 2018 @ 09:38 AM | 1,714 Views
Ive been installing an EMax servo for the other elevator half on Models I value. The cost is under $10 and I dont worry about the stock servo failing and causing a crash. Here are the servo specs:

https://alofthobbies.com/emax-es08md...-13-grams.html

If using the 636 RX and reversing is needed I position the servo or use an inline reverser.

The Maule was easy. Measure the length of the rudder servo forward and cut a small hole. You will find that it is hollow and no servo wires are close to being cut. The elevator horn was from spare parts and a Dubro 2-56 rod and black Quick Link clevis was used. After the new servo is glued secure and the new elevator pushrod and clevis are adjusted to length....... THEN cut the plastic joiner. I used an Exacto saw but a metal hack saw blade will do fine. Adjust the clevis so the left elevator is the same angle as right elevator. Move the Z bend at the elevator horn or the clevis at the servo arm in different holes to get equal angles with full up elevator. A 12 long Y cable was taped to a piece of music wire and pushed from the new hole to the receiver and plugged into the elevator port. The stock elevator servo gets plugged into the other Y end. The same signal and power goes to both servos so any fine tuning is done using different holes in the servo arm and elevator horn. A little dab of White Gorilla Glue on the 4 sides secures the servo.
Posted by VicT | Mar 22, 2018 @ 07:59 AM | 1,352 Views
After approximately 36 hrs of Valiant flying I have had to replace two tailwheel wires that seperated and fell away on the grass while touching down. I was able to find and recover both pieces and they broke in the same place. They were replaced with factory duplicates and each seperated in the same area. They broke just forward of the loop and from normal taxi, takeoff and landing operations. Each operator has a different type of mission flying and ground operation time will be different for accumulated time and stress. This Valiant has been used primarily as an inflight trainer with about 10 full stop landings for each 15 minute flight. Taxi out and in times can be estimated at 1 minute each or 2 minutes total for each 15 minute sortie. The runway has always been club mowed grass with minor bumps that have had no impact on damaging the tailwire.

The way I figured time is as follows:
In the Function List scroll down 11 lines and press Timer. Scroll to highlight Timer 1 then scroll past Timer 2 and stop on Timers Integrated. On the first line Model will show the total time that the named model program has been in operation. This includes non flying such as programming and adjusting. One could estimate that it takes an average of 1 hour initially to program all functions such as rates, mixes, modes, and audio events. If you have a log book you could create a more sophisticated method of tracking times and notes.

For this particular Valiant...Continue Reading
Posted by VicT | Mar 07, 2018 @ 10:48 PM | 1,037 Views
the purpose of this article is to show how to make a top battery door for the Valiant 1,3 m. The advantage of having a top door is that you can load and unload the battery with out having to invert the model. There is more room for larger batteries and there is less chance that the bottom door will open in flight.

Prepare by removing the RX and ESC. The landing gear can be removed. The pics show how I moved the gear forward to minimize nose overs. The gear moves the CG forward but I installed a 12 gm redundant elevator servo aft to compensate.

Using a new box cutter extend the blade a few inches and cut out the door using the dimensions given. Cut the 4 sides at a slight inward angle so that the door cant fall inward. Cut the plywood battery floor out using the plan dimensions. The holes are for ventilation and the velcro is from the stock front battery tray. The 1/4 inch square foam strips help compress the battery against the velcro strip. The counter sunk magnet and tin latch keep the door closed but a simple swivel latch will work....Continue Reading
Posted by VicT | Mar 02, 2018 @ 09:34 PM | 3,917 Views
Tinting the Commander canopy with Tamiya Translucent Purple spray paint

A clubmember friend gave me a spare Commander Canopy to modify. I removed the clear plastic from the foam using an old credit card. The glue is extra grippy and left small holes in the foam but can easily be reglued using a Canopy glue like Formula 560 Canopy Glue. While the canopy was removed another clubmember mounted a $30 video camera on a piece of foam with double sided fiberglass rug tape. A piece of velcro was used to retain the camera. Video came out very nice with just a little nose showing and some prop blur. It would me nice to set the ESC prop brake so no windmilling prop blur would occur.

At home I scraped off the grippy canopy glue and used Frogtape to mask the inside of the canopy. Using two coats of Tamiya Color 10-12 away I got the amount of tint desired. The next canopy I try will be using the Rit clothing dye as I think this gives a more consistent tinting. However it will be difficult to protect the areas where no tinting is desired.
I will be using 20X 3M clear tape to secure the canopy to the foam.
Posted by VicT | Feb 26, 2018 @ 12:15 AM | 1,736 Views
Those flying the E-Flite models with the AR636 SAFE Select receivers installed (and the Apprentice S receivers) know about the Self Level feature that by default is on the gear channel. Most use the B switch to turn Self Level On or Off. For the Apprentice S receiver you have the Beginner 0 position, Intermediate 1 postion and Expert 2 Position. The Intermediate postion 1 gives you increased angle of bank and pitch but does not offer Self Level. I stopped using the Intermediate position because its easier to turn self level off for trimming and/or inverted aerobatic manuevers. I stopped using the panic switch because it is hard to reach and you have to hold it down. I push the switch and program “Time Remaining” to hear what my countdown battery time is.

You can activate the gear channel on any 2 or 3 position switch if you want. However for quick access with out taking your right hand off the elevator/aileron stick most put the switch on the left side and the B switch is close enough to reach. Recently for the AT-6 Texan I put it on the E switch because I wanted to use the B switch to retract the gear and I never intentionally use the E switch.. Any switch can be accidentally turned Off and it recently happened to a pilot that was experienced with both his model and transmitter. It can happen to anybody that uses SAFE Select or the the Apprentice S receiver.

After applying take off power and rotating to a climb attitude with full...Continue Reading
Posted by VicT | Feb 07, 2018 @ 11:53 PM | 2,888 Views
The Pandora is a good advanced trainer because of her flying qualities and component designs. She has a top battery load system which is much easier/convenient than the belly mount of the Apprentice, Timber, and a Valiant. She can fly on 3 or 4 cells with the FMS 35 amp ESC (with different prop sizes). Because of her heavier weight she can handle higher winds. With the Apprentice receiver on Self Level/ Beginner mode she is a pleasure to fly. Using a 7 Channel TX and the Aux2 receiver channel flaps can be addded and used for more takeoff and landing performance.

You have choices of top or bottom wing and tricycle gear or tail dragger gear. The internal tailwheel tiller and axle will bind and fail over time. Rebuilding the internal plastic and metal parts is tedious and will fail after a few flights. When it failed I removed the pushrod and internal components to save weight. I then added a music wire axle and bent it to the bottom of the rudder. Wood and fiberglass cloth with CA bind the music wire to the rudder. I used the stock wheel. There has been no problems now with the tailwheel. See pics for details.
Posted by VicT | Jan 30, 2018 @ 09:44 AM | 1,821 Views
I ordered my tx from Brian (owner of Phils Hobby shop) in St Pete in Dec 2017. On Fri Jan 19 they called me and I picked her up for a cost of $586 including tax (just a charge cable, no case or receiver). Horizons online cost was $599.

Charge was about 50% so I charged it overnight and on Sat she was 99% charged. Orange raindrops (Boot up indication) took about 2 minutes then black screen then the Spektrum Airware took about 10 seconds.

Under System Settings I went to Product Information and pressed the REGISTER TRANSMITTER block. I filled out all the info using my old account user name and password. I received a confirmation that the TX was registered. It took a few days before I was able to see the radio on the My Spektrum site along with all the past transmitters that are registered.

I called up Horizon Tech Used the TX to update with the help of phone tech support. I asked for the Brittish voice and the talked me thru downloading and installing the software. I chose the female Brittish English and its a little better than the DX9 Brittish female English. Tech talked me thru updating the apps and there was no problem. I lost 1 test model so learned to back up models into hard drive or SD card before doing updates. (Although on 1/30/18 I did not lose my test AT6 model after a new Airware update!
Had trouble setting the local clock but finally figured it out. Emailed pics of Lonnies AT6 Texan and picked this from Gallery

On 1/29 from reading RCGroups I...Continue Reading
Posted by VicT | Jan 30, 2018 @ 09:29 AM | 1,893 Views
I ordered my tx from Brian (owner of Phils Hobby shop) in St Pete in Dec 2017. On Fri Jan 19 they called me and I picked her up for a cost of $586 including tax (just a charge cable, no case or receiver). Horizons online cost was $599.

Charge was about 50% so I charged it overnight and on Sat she was 99% charged. Orange raindrops (Boot up indication) took about 2 minutes then black screen then the Spektrum Airware took about 10 seconds.

Under System Settings I went to Product Information and pressed the REGISTER TRANSMITTER block. I filled out all the info using my old account user name and password. I received a confirmation that the TX was registered. It took a few days before I was able to see the radio on the My Spektrum site along with all the past transmitters that are registered.

I called up Horizon Tech Used the TX to update with the help of phone tech support. I asked for the Brittish voice and the talked me thru downloading and installing the software. I chose the female Brittish English and its a little better than the DX9 Brittish female English. Tech talked me thru updating the apps and there was no problem. I lost 1 test model so learned to back up models into hard drive or SD card before doing updates. (Although on 1/30/18 I did not lose my test AT6 model after a new Airware update!
Had trouble setting the local clock but finally figured it out. Emailed pics of Lonnies AT6 Texan and picked this from Gallery

...Continue Reading