deckert's blog archive for January, 2008 - RC Groups
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Archive for January, 2008
Posted by deckert | Jan 30, 2008 @ 08:43 PM | 3,608 Views
Well I got the TC done today. Actually a nice looking bird. IMHO (E-Flite 450 TaylorCraft) Building went well, except, the cross frame the interior seats sit on, is painted balsa & not plywood. I broke it while attaching the recvr. with velcro. (VERY FRAGILE) Reinforced with new balsa underneath & on top. Fairly stout now. The bird has a top plate on the TE of the wing for mounting & stiffening. The plate sits on top of the wing, seems kinda hokey to me. Unk why they just didn't use a hidden joiner. Only real downside to this ARF is the gap between the wings & the fuse. Hardly noticeable tho. Stuffed a 2170 Evo25 in for power with the Park 450/890kv tied to a Castle 25 ESC & pulled with a 10x8 woody. Battery is really tight to get in or out tho. Sure seems to have the power but some air time will prove it out I guess. CG turned out to be @ 2.5" from LE with the lipo set 1/4" behind the firewall. E-flite states 2-3/8~2-7/8. Guess I can test run it inside to see what's happening motor-wise. Wish I had some test equipmet.

Weather here is horrible & supposed to get worse. Been blowing 20 plus for the past week or so and it's 40 degrees today.

Still in the process of finishing the cowl paint on the Cub. Should be a couple more coats & done with it. I hope. It's been over a week painting on it. I dry it in the oven after paint and resand w/600 wet between coats. That's why I built the TC, I got tired of watching the paint dry.

Posted by deckert | Jan 29, 2008 @ 01:09 AM | 3,565 Views
I think I shoulda been sniffing this paint instead of applying it. It sure couldn't be any worse. After my last last fiasco where the LAST COAT (6th coat) of Testors 1214 spray paint refused to set, I'm now into 6 coats of Top-Flite 7518. Where is the pigment with this paint? Just darn near clear coat. AAHHHRRRRGHHHH!

Massively PO'd here @ this juncture. But I gotta tread on. I swore to the wife I wouldn't start another build until the Cub was done. The promise went out the door today, with her understanding, because of my paint problems. She paints China so she really understands. Little tiny Hummingbirds on porcelain ear rings a little bigger then the size of a pencil eraser. Go figure. Point being, it looks as though I either need to switch paints or expend this can & hope. I can only get 2 coats a day between painting, cooking & sanding. However, the painting will go on.

In the meantime, something is needed to fill in the 'watch the paint dry' gaps. Therefore, I started the E-Flite Taylor Craft today. Got a couple of hours into it & all is basically well. The cowl just 'darn near fit'. The bird will be setup with stock specs from E-Flite. It's not exactly a hot rod. I'm just not sure this Park 450 with a Castle 25 ESC is going to push it for anything. Be running hitec 55 servos in it with supplied piano wire push rods. The motor mount is quite unique. All the backing nuts are set into a slider configuration on a diagonal. You could adapt a lot of...Continue Reading
Posted by deckert | Jan 27, 2008 @ 06:09 PM | 3,306 Views
Painting up the window frame plywood edges really cleaned it up. Now laying the cowl paint. Hope hope I hope nothing goes wrong again..

In the sorta strange dept. It's snowing here. Not that it never snows but it's actually calm. About 6" in the last 14 hours. Light and kinda fluffy. Sure covers this ugly country up nice...

Posted by deckert | Jan 26, 2008 @ 01:45 AM | 3,950 Views
Been a bad week for building. Re-doing the paint on the cowl has been very time consuming. Even oven baking the primer has been sloooow. 1st coat of Cub Yellow paint should be up for tommorrow. Lord I hope this paint job goes better then the last one. All servo horns/backup plates/screws are painted to help hide them.

The Elev/Ail servos won't fit in the pre cut openings so I had to build a new mounting plate. (Wing servo installs worked great) The dual elev. rod links from E-Flite are abominable. Well actually, the rods work, but the dual lock collar tie together dog and pony show to connect them as a single unit is a design of...I don't know what! I highly suspect they got an engineer involved, and a stupid one at that. I installed the rods, measured, marked, removed them & welded them together. I did make an offset kink in one of them to prevent binding when they're pushed. (up elev) Here again the poor steel raised it's ugly head wherein as I almost destroyed them with gas welding. Next time I'll use my own rods, if I can find a way to thread the ends as I'm unsure of what the LHS pre-made rods are made from. E-Flite 'should have supplied' a simple Al pillow block w/set screws to lock these rods together. The weight would be 1/2 of supplied matl. and would have been fully adjustable. Not to mention assembly time would save 30~45 minutes.

Went to install the windows........but, ya know there had to be a but in here, the window openings in the fuse aren't...Continue Reading
Posted by deckert | Jan 19, 2008 @ 11:04 PM | 3,662 Views
We're all, presumably, familiar with Murhys Laws'. Well they bit me yesterday with a vengenance. After laying down 6 coats of paint on my Cub cowl, the final coat never dried, un-beknownst to me. The last coat was from a different can. The cowl had set for 5 days due to other work. I was handling the cowl as I was making some new decorative exhaust from Al tube. Yes, I seen fingerprints on the cowl during handling but I figured I could wipe them off w/alcohol or soap, was I EVER wrong. The finger prints were imbedded into the paint. It wasn't as though the cowl was sticky. 3 hours to remove the old paint back down to the the fiberglass around the engine heads with a dremel tool & a carbide. Sanding the intricate molds was not an option. IE: You can't get there from here! I was really really .

Murphy still hadn't finished with me. after re-sanding, I started a new primer job, 30 seconds into it & the paint refused to flow. Hauled my rear end to the paint store ASAP and said your paint isn't working. They tested it & it flowed great, ran back home & realized I had grabbed the wrong can, I took the brand new clear acrylic up instead of the white primer. Back to the paint store again with the primer, they tested it & threw it out the back door, unceremoniously I might add. Back home with NEW primer. 1st coat on and am praying here.

Unk why the wife refuses to allow me to paint inside, so I prep, run outside under covered roof into 35 degree weather,...Continue Reading
Posted by deckert | Jan 15, 2008 @ 03:06 AM | 3,615 Views
Well I finally gave up & put the wings together Just no real easy way to get them as a 2 piece assembly. On the plus side, I remove the 2 diagonal strut screws from the fuselage bottom & the 2 screws on top, lift/slide the wing to the rear & it lifts right off. The model building gods were watching over me. Attached the front canopy today, decided not to glue it in but used 4 screws to lock it down. No pics but it fit GREAT & very tight. Another plus is I added a fuel guage. Wonder of wonders! Used a push pin and a safety pin combo of all things.

Test fitting today of internal electrics. Pre-thought was parallel 2ea EVO25/2170mAh batteries to make my 4200mAh needs. I had 1 ea anyway from my heli. I've never seen a 4200mAh lipo so I don't know the physical size. Looks as tho some rework in wiring is destined for the very near term. This is going to be one of those 5lbs. into a 3lb. box type deals. Plus the servo openings in the fuse are WAY OVERCUT FROM EFLITE so I'll have to mfg something different to mount the HS-85BB servos Maybe some polycarbonate from some old cd's I have laying around? I don't know yet. IF, & it's a big if, I can keep the ESC in the cowl under the outrunner, it'll somewhat simplify my battery install. I'm still & looking @ this jerkwater assembly from Eflite regarding the elevator pushrods. Two lock collars and some 5 minute epoxy, jeez, what a frickin joke. Maybe I could just mount the batteries externally, you know, one on ea. diag. strut support, like bombs? Sorta like the body pods from the helis from the MASH series. Well that thought indicates it's bedtime.......

Posted by deckert | Jan 13, 2008 @ 08:32 PM | 3,631 Views
Well after all the fit-refit-test etc.etc. I finally got the vertical strut braces completed & installed. Took about 2 hours ea. to mfg. each back one. Now these really add a finished look to the bird. (needs some touch-up paint) Finally have the cowl painted but need to complete it by doing the engine in black. Decided to cover the cooling intakes with sticky-back black covering. My paint-brush method looked horrible. They'll need to be installed as well. Got started on the wing servos.
I need to remove the wings to finish the servo install so it's going to be interesting how I can remove the wings since the wing struts are basically hard mounted. The top wing screws & single strut screw into the fuselage is the only point I 'hope' to remove. I knew going in this aspect was going to stink, but I also have a pickup with a canopy to haul it with fully together. I really wish there was a convenient way to have made the wing as a two part assembly, but...Servos & electronics next...

In FWIW Dept. I got tired of waiting for Specktrum to release their DX6i so this bird is getting a new DX7/7000 into it. I'm not going to repeat what the wife said but I'll bet most of you have heard the story.
Posted by deckert | Jan 11, 2008 @ 10:22 PM | 4,761 Views
A LOT of test work, cut-fit-throw-away & do again resulted in some damn fine final components, in my humble opinion. Granted these are not 'perfect per se' but all in all, they sure add a tinge of scale for this Cub. The base bolts from the diagonal strut brace supports to the vertical struts 'should' have been 2mm or 2.5 mm bolts/w/nuts. Unfortunately I only had access to 3mm @ the time. No time to cry here but moved on. Used 2.5 x 8mm mm bolts to attach the vertical struts to the diagonal strut brace clips. (custom made by me from brass) Also used 2.5mm x 8mm bolts for the brass right angles to the wing. Hindsight would have been 2mm bolts thruout for some scale. In deference to all this, I 'should' have changed all the diagonal wing struts to aluminum 3/8" airfoils, but........hindsight is 20/20. All in all, the bird is looking a LOT BETTER then the Eflite version. I'm still happy with the mods. Gotta get the nose painted...

Posted by deckert | Jan 09, 2008 @ 07:18 PM | 3,275 Views
safebet: A labor of love I guess. But way better then the Eflite LG that came with it. Boots are located wrong. Will remove & redo.
Maybe? since I cut the lower rod.
Posted by deckert | Jan 07, 2008 @ 11:48 PM | 3,214 Views
Let's face it, the phillips head LG brass screws from Eflite stink. They are WAY TO SOFT! After CA'ing the holes for the LG screws, I stripped the heads out 4 of them on the re-install. Unacceptable to say the least. Fortunately, my LHS had a bag of Dubro servo mount screws that use a hex driver for install. These should be standard as far as I can see. Albeit they're a bit to long, they're definitely the way to go for an install. I'll have to add some foam or balsa to cover of the screw tips to prevent electrical short/rubbing inside the cabin.

I've been sniping @ Eflite during this build, however, I'd like everyone to know, it's not so much as "what" they produced but rather "how" they supplied it. I surmise it's just a matter of go fly on the cheap vs. detail for more bucks & fly. Obviously, I've chosen the 2nd option. I'm certainly not griping about the money I've spent but rather, after many, many hours into this, I still believe Eflite could & should have provided some better detailing and supplies. This note on the LG screws just being the latest. I know I would have gladly spent another 10~15 bucks for some quailty upgrades that would have probably added another actual 2~3 dollars to the kit.

Before I ever CA'ed the LG screw holes, I stripped out 2 screwheads during install. Just unacceptable! B4 anyone goes here....I have over $7k in quality hand tools and they're not from sears, wal-mart, harbor freight or your local LHS.

...Continue Reading
Posted by deckert | Jan 05, 2008 @ 10:32 PM | 3,052 Views
After cutting the mono to small for the 1st try to lay on, here's the second try. I just can not believe the difference from this as opposed to what came from Eflite with the ty wrap skirts. The off side is laying there & needs installed. This one took an hour, mistake included.

Posted by deckert | Jan 03, 2008 @ 11:12 PM | 3,183 Views
Finally got the LG mods completed tonite by getting the shock bags on. Since I was afraid to bend my new mfg. LG for fear of breakage, I had to cut a 1/2" x 6" dowel in two lengthwise. Then I ran a taper nose carbide lengthwise down the center with a drill press at fairly low speed. Just chucked up the carbide & pushed the 1/2 of the dowel down a straightedge to keep it centered. Made a beautiful groove right down the center. Still had to router out more material but better to need to remove some more then start all over.

Effectively I had to make 4 ea. half pieces. That way I could just surround the lower brace rods & CA them together. I used ty wraps to hold them in place while curing. The lower bracing had a 3/8" section cut out (each side) that's centered in the bags and hidden. This should allow the new gear to still have some flex.

Used a circle template from my old pencil days of drafting & cut some 3/4" rounds from some black stickyback lettering tape. The same kind you letter vehicles with. 4 ea. of those were applied & cut to fit each end of the shock covers. I did use a hole punch to remove the center of the round so it would fit better. Press it down & slit the edges that extend past the radius to allow the material to lay flat. Took about 12 cuts for me on the 1/2" dowel. Then cut and overlaid around the circumfrence with same material. Again, the material needs to be wider then the length, by using a notching...Continue Reading
Posted by deckert | Jan 02, 2008 @ 08:08 PM | 2,889 Views
and 5 hours later, I finally got my tail wires installed on the Cub & I think they look great. Let's face it, I'm a lousy photograher because I shake. Wires are .038 dia. 80# test plastic coated fishing wire by Berkley, in black. Clips are brass from 12v electrical connections. Hammered out & drilled to allow the 2mm screws & cabling to go thru.

I drilled a hole thru the vert/horz stabilizers & inserted a 1/8dia. x .014wall piece of tube as spacer shims. This way when I tightened the screws, they wouldn't crush the balsa. (I think learned that here @ RCG from someones Blog) The screws are 2mm x 10mm & fit perfect inside the tube shims. I CA'd the nuts in place since I had about 3 threads projecting past the nuts. Maybe I should have used threadlocker but...?

After I mounted the brass brackets I started the fight with the wire. What an ordeal THAT was. I cut a plastic straw to use as a length guide @ the shortest point between the holes. 1 cable end is REAL easy to set with the loop & crimp, the other end is a real BEAR because this wire is not bender friendly, it's 'darn near like' spring wire. The short of it was, I finally won. Had 5 installs, which equals 1 mistake since there's only 4 wires. Used a single brass lug on the bottom w/3 holes in it. I screwed it into the Fuse tail after I CA'd the screw hole. (small wood screw) Pics not real clear for this. Much bend-test-bend-test etc. etc. resulted in cabling that is 'JUST BARELY SNUG' as to NOT warp/twist the tail feathers. Did I state how good this looks? Wow, what a difference.

Cowl & new exhaust received 1st coat of paint today as well. Moooovin on

Posted by deckert | Jan 01, 2008 @ 11:59 PM | 3,318 Views
I finally got my exhausts made. Sorta! And of all things, the foamy stuff some people use to build their planes. Sorta flexible so shouldn't get destroyed, nor destroy anything, in case of a nose over. Here's some more lousy pics of the cowl w/exhaust. These are kinda rough since I've never worked with this stuff before. But the look is going to be killer.....

Down side is I have enough of this foam stuff to build another 8~900 exhaust systems. Criminy! Tried 2 approaches for the exhaust. 1st was cut blocks & glue together then sand down. 2nd was to cut plugs with a hole punch (used for gasket material) & glue them end to end & then sand. 1st method provided better quality as it's easier to sand a block piece of the foam then to try & sand over the glue joints on the plug cuts. (2nd method)

Irrespective of the above, I have a lightweight method & product. Wow. All the hours of fussing, cussing & discussing & I wind up here. I can at least smell the cowl paint coming on. Yippee! Gonna have a drink tonite on this! Now I just have to build a better quality set with some patience. Ever onward...

I wish to extend a Hearty Thank You to RCG for providing a site for RC'ers to post & discuss RC. The help & info from this site & members has literally been invaluable. So to RCG, all of the members, (& the viewers) I wish you a Happy New Year.