Ceres as Christmas Present - RC Groups
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Jan 02, 2012, 06:04 PM
Thermal Wrangler
DrFragnasty's Avatar

Ceres as Christmas Present

If nobody got you what you really wanted for Christmas then DIY.

2nd hand Ceres F3B
  • AUW 2167g = 76.44oz
  • 4 x 171s in the wing
  • 2x 3401 ruddervators
  • 4-40 linkages
  • 5-cell Intellect 1600mAh
  • RS70 RX

Had a hell of a time re-setting the flap servo arms becuase I prefer the horn to face away from the flap for extra mechanical advantage. Previous owner had glued them all in with bog and the horn was screwed down tight with no access even with a 90deg Phillips head.

Solution a)
was to remove the servo.

Hint: heated screwdriver & scalpel blades can remove bog fairly easily.
Finally came out after some vibrant language.

Re-set horn and re-glued with low profile hardwood bearers.

Solution b) (the better option)
for the other flap servo was to simply heat a blade and melt the servo arm off at the spline. With that removed and plenty of access it's simply a matter of using pliers to undo the output shaft screw.

Replace with new arm and use a shortened M2 hex bolt as fastener and modify a hex tool to fit.

Should maiden off the slope today then up the line later. CG at Wurts-recommended 108mm.

What a Racket
Running 4x JR171 in the wing makes a noise like a Lancaster Park Flyer! Strong servo but noisy.
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Jan 02, 2012, 07:19 PM
vespa's Avatar
Yeah, used planes *always* require a thorough re-doing of the servo setup. And as far as I can tell, you and I are the only two people in the entire world to have ever mounted a wing servo correctly instead of sawing off all the mounting tabs and gluing them in. For removing horns in-place, I've had good luck trimming the little lip off the servo arm with a knife so that I can grab the screw with pliers, then I just grind 4 flats on the screw head so that it's easier next time. Anyway, now that your servos are fixed you should be able to get rid of those crazy bulging covers.

That's a great looking color scheme and the plane looks brand new! I have the plain white/red "Ceres" scheme and always wished I had something with a little more pizazz! Mine's the F version with heavy wings for an AUW of 85oz, it sure would be nice to take 10oz out of the wings!
Jan 02, 2012, 07:50 PM
You'll have fun with that! I have a Ceres F3F that weighs 92ozs. Still fly well in lighter lift and hauls. They accelerate really well and eats up ballast like candy. Great looking plane, enjoy!
Jan 02, 2012, 07:56 PM
I do this for fun!
Nice to see you can be vibrant under duress Chris

Very nice Chrissy present!!

Being you own Santa is clearly working well for you.

Have a great year,


P.S. one suggestion: I make it a practice never to use servo connectors as a way of switching power. I've seen too many pins retreat backward over time and no longer make a good connection. Can I suggest you change to something like a mini-deans instead?
Jan 02, 2012, 08:30 PM
Detail Freak
target's Avatar
Originally Posted by skyboyken
Can I suggest you change to something like a mini-deans instead?

PS. Beautiful plane! I recommend 107mm, and yes, you will feel a difference. Ballast tube center is on 107mm.

PSS. I sure wish that I knew how to mount servos properly.
Last edited by target; Jan 02, 2012 at 09:47 PM.
Jan 02, 2012, 11:36 PM
Eagle Butte User
PDX Slope Pilot's Avatar

Another Ceres owner here. Mine was built by none other than the guy above me. The Ceres was the first used plane I bought that I didn't have to undo building mess ups. I know he's not in the plane building biz but wish all mine were built this well.

Enjoy your Ceres. It's a keeper.


Jan 03, 2012, 12:44 AM
Registered User
Nice colour Chris

Lets see if its as quick as mine
Jan 03, 2012, 03:51 AM
Thermal Wrangler
DrFragnasty's Avatar
Maiden went OK. Love the colour scheme, very visible. Not as colourful as my mate Steve's Supra Pro but this paint won't make me infertile ;0)

Slope lift was fickle but enough to thrash it around a bit.

Roll rate is lethargic compared to the Vikos although the Vikos is insanely responsive.

Dropped differential in speed/ cruise modes to get the roll rate to comfortable levels.

Landing flap is awesome; guesstimate 60deg.
The bulgng servo covers are staying due to the slightly larger servo arm.
The elevator comp. was just copied from the Vikos and it's already pretty close.

Not too much to say really, fuss-free and pretty stable for the weather.

Mini Deans sounds a popular choice for RX batt connection.

Next-up; winch it and load it up (1300g of wing ballast = 3.4Kg)
Jan 03, 2012, 04:47 AM
Phil.Taylor's Avatar
Originally Posted by DrFragnasty
If nobody got you what you really wanted for Christmas then DIY.

2nd hand Ceres F3B
Nice Xmas pressie you've got yourself there

Great minds think alike - I did exactly the same!
awarded myself a used Ceres F3B a few weeks before Xmas
I also had flap troubles - zero on my JR Tx had the flaps at 45 degrees down - but easily sorted as the original owner/builder had used the factory supplied servo mounts so servos were removable

But the best Xmas pressie was the first F3F race with it - the Xmas race at the Bwlch in Wales on 28Dec - I did a 38.70 with it - my first ever sub-40


video of maiden - with glitching...

Ceres over Devon (2 min 58 sec)
Last edited by Phil.Taylor; Jan 03, 2012 at 05:14 AM.
Jan 03, 2012, 07:14 AM
Registered User
And Phil, here is that 38.70 run of yours
Phil Taylor, Ceres F3B, WoollyBacks 2011 (1 min 20 sec)
Jan 03, 2012, 07:58 AM
Detail Freak
target's Avatar
Great colors....

Last edited by target; Jan 04, 2012 at 08:31 PM.
Jan 03, 2012, 08:15 AM
Phil.Taylor's Avatar
Originally Posted by ceres-syd
And Phil, here is that 38.70 run of yours
Sorry John - thats not the sub-40 - thats a 52+ on the last round - bad air - very windy but no lift - and flying long...

Last edited by Phil.Taylor; Jan 03, 2012 at 08:44 AM.
Jan 03, 2012, 10:21 AM
Registered User
Sorry Phil, did it again
Still it shows your Ceres flying though.
Jan 03, 2012, 11:04 AM
Registered User
Avaldes's Avatar
Great color scheme Frag! The Ceres is a great flying model. The only thing that could make it better would be to have a nose cone instead of the canopy.
Jan 04, 2012, 06:54 PM
Thermal Wrangler
DrFragnasty's Avatar

Ceres Winching

Had a great day yesterday winching the Ceres.

Ceres F3B Maiden winching (3 min 42 sec)

Initial launch was safe with recommneded settings. Landed, more flap and a couple of clicks of up and try again with early pop-off.

Land, move towhook fwd and this time much better. Land, move towhook back a bit and early pop-off again. Ended-up with hook a tad back from front limit.

Added more launch camber with a click of down to keep it stable and it's pretty good.

Flew in wild thermal crosswinds. Theres was one period where the entire field went still and the Ceres was "lifted" by a giant hand. Not so much flying but mimicing a leaf in reverse disappearing upwards with bugger-all control; just enjoyed the ride.

One dive from height caused flutter. I've never had flutter in any of my gliders.

Landed and checked airframe, hinges, linkages, servos and it appears to be the left-flap servo is the culprit.

The 171s are going to get swapped for something else. Not sure how old they are but there's too much output shaft slop.

Adjusted differential and travel for ailerons and the roll rate is much improved.

Had 2 low "saves" (40ft) where I could take it back up to height working small but furious thermals. Wish I had the GoPro on for those ;0)

Landings are stable and it slows down very rapidly with full flap like a thermal ship. Best landing F3B ship I've flown.

The orange is a vast improvement over any other colours I've tried. Still, in a cloudless sky it's hard to see any glider IMHO.
Last edited by DrFragnasty; Jan 04, 2012 at 07:56 PM.

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