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Feb 22, 2005, 12:36 PM
American MoonMan
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Build Log

SSV2 Build Thread - Comments welcomed

The StickStick Version 2
Materials and components listing Part #1
Major Components and materials

This material list includes the recommended components and materials needed to successfully complete the aircraft build. Alteration or substitution of any items listed here is NOT suggested, but can be done if needed. Sources provided here are known to carry these items, and have proven to be reliable and honest in their dealings with me to date.

1 - Typhoon 15 motor
1 - Cobri Typhoon mount
1 - Prop Adapter 3.2mm Dymond # 22136
1 - APC E 12X8 Prop Your choice
1 - Thunder Power Lipo* 3s1p 11.1v 2100mah Your choice
1 - Phoenix 25 ESC
1 - PHX-Link (optioal)
1 - Pentax Optio S4i/S5I/S5N** Recommended Your choice
1 - Plasma II™ Camera Mount
1 - PRISM IR switch
1 - GWS SS fuselage GWS#GW/AP086 Your choice
1 - GWS Slow Stick Kit*** Your choice
1 - 3/8” X 3/8” X 36” stick Hardwood Lowes
2 - 1/8” X 4” X 36” balsa Light sheet Your choice
2 - 6-32 X 2” metal bolt Tailfeather bolts Lowes
2 - 6-32 Nylon Wingnut or regular hex head nutsTailfeather mount Lowes
1 - 1/8” X 6” X 12” plywood Aircraft light ply Your choice
1 - Shrink Film covering Trans. Yellow is nice Your choice
1 - Seeker 6 FM receiver****

* Suggested LiPo battery pack. The battery box is built around this pack, but can be adapted to what is available in your area. Three packs are suggested for a serious AP system.

** While there are many cameras available, the Pentax Optio line has proven to be a very good selection. It is a perfect match for the PRISM IR switch. Soon to be released will be the S5N, which will make it the equal of any other choices out there. Light weight, loads of features, and 5 megapixel resolution make the S5N the best overall choice, but the S4I and the S5I are still VERY
good cameras to consider too.

*** You should acquire a full Slow Stick kit as many of the components included in it will end up being used for this build. Landing gear, one fuselage (two needed overall), black tree parts to mount onto fuselage. What you save in shipping and other costs will easily cover this purchase, and any other parts left over can be used as backup on a stock SS sport flyer. Well worth it.

**** This receiver is amongst the best dual conversion, programmable frequency, auto shift detect, long range receivers available. Will work with virtually ANY transmitter on ANY frequency to allow you field select any clear and open 72mhz aircraft channel you might need. Excellent price, lightweight (only .5 ounce), and full 6 channel operation. They are also available on other bands too, such as ham, 35mhz, and 75mhz if needed for other operations. The Tracker III 6 or 8 channel transmitter is also recommended. Full frequency synthesis, built in frequency scanner to check one or all frequencies for interference make this an excellent choice for serious AP work in the field. For this particular application, this is the MOST cost effective way of getting all the features needed to operate in a safe, and reliable way. The Tracker III 6 channel package is a most cost effective way to control you AP platform.

Part two of list to come later. Will contain mostly small hardware components.

Last edited by Joe Bennett; Dec 18, 2007 at 06:03 PM. Reason: Spelling and updates....
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Feb 22, 2005, 01:53 PM
American MoonMan
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SSV2 Materials list Part #2

More items needed to complete the SSV2 build.

2 - HS-55 servo *
1 - #2 screw (package, usually 10 each)
1 - Thin CA adhesive
1 - Thick CA adhesive
1 - CA Kicker
1 - Elmers All Purpose White Glue
1 - 5 minute epoxy

* HS-55 servos have proven over the years to be very durable and powerful for their size and weight. I have selected them from my experience. I have several that have been in service for over a year with no sign of problems.

This list will be edited and added to as the build progresses, so be sure to check it often for those changes.

Last edited by Dark Overlord; Mar 04, 2005 at 07:19 PM.
Feb 22, 2005, 02:45 PM
American MoonMan
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Step #1 Part A

Step 1 Part A

In this step we need to prepare the fuselage to accept all of the components it will carry.

Items needed for this step include:

1. Two Slow Stick Fuselages.
2. One 3/8" square hardwood stick.
3. Sanding block and/or wood plane.
4. Small hammer.
5. Drill motor and 1/32" drill bit.
6. Thin CA adhesive.
7. Small metal saw (hacksaw, dremal, etc.).
8. Small flat file.

The first thing that will need to be done is to look at the two fuselages. Each will have a slight curve to it, and it might even curve in more than one direction. They come like this, I have yet to find one that does not have this curve. Of the two you have, locate and identify the one that has the LEAST curve to it. Now, mark the TOP of the fuselage with a felt tip marker. The TOP will be the side that the OUTER curve side is on. We might as well use the natural curvature of the fuselage to add a bit of strength to our build. This curvature will act as a natural spring to the slight amount of weight our components will add, not unlike a flatbed trailer on a big rig. It will also provide a slight amount of "Downsthrust" on our motor installation, although none is actually needed. Do NOT try to straighten out this curve, or add any more than it might already have to it. YOU WILL DAMAGE your fuselage if you bend it at all. Set this main part of the fuselage aside for now.

Next, using the second fuselage, locate the end with the least curve to it. Measure and mark 8" from that end on the fuselage. Cut at this location squarely from the fuselage. Gently sand or file the cut edges smooth. Set this part aside for now.

Now, look at your hardwood stick. It should be fairly straight and true, and should have been selected for these properties when you purchased it from Lowes (less than a dollar there). This stick will become an inner stiffener for the front and rear ends of the completed fuselage. Measure and mark the stick at 12" from one end, and cleanly cut at this point. Now measure and mark the stick at 6" from one end and cut cleanly at this point.

You should now have two fuselage pieces (one the full length and marked as to its top, and one that is 8" long), and two hardwood sticks (one 12" long, and one 6" long). See photos of these four pieces below, as well as fuselage curvature too.
Feb 22, 2005, 07:52 PM
American MoonMan
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Step 1 Part B

The fuselage pieces are 10mm outside size. Thickness is ~1mm per wall. The hardwood sticks are also 10mm outside size. We will need to cut down the hardwood sticks to become a tight fit into the inside of the fuselage pieces. The 12" long hardwood stick must be sanded on its sides until it will begin to fit inside the 8" long fuselage piece. Once it begins to fit, you can gently tap it into place in the fuselage piece until it fully fills the fuselage from one end to the other, leaving a 4" length of the hardwood stick protruding from one end. The other end should be fully flush with the fuselage end. This end will become the new front end of the fuselage in a few minutes.

The 6" length of hardwood stick should now be sanded until it will fit into the tail end of the full length fuselage piece, and then tapped fully into place until it is flush with the end of the fuselage.

Once you have the hardwood sticks inserted fully into the fuselage pieces, insert the shorter piece fuselage into the long fuselage and gently tap them together until they fully seat at the junction point. You should now have a new fuselage that is 8" longer than the original stock fuselage, and is internally reenforced by the hardwood sticks at both the front and rear ends. Do NOT skip this step as the reenforcement is very important for strength as well as proper mounting of future parts.

Run a finger along the new joint area, and if it is not totally smooth, sand it gently with your sanding block to obtain a smooth surface. Insure that your previous marking as to the front/top of the fuselage are still viewable. Your fuselage is now 8" longer, stronger in the front and rear, and ready to accept the mounting of parts and components in the next step. We will also begin building the tail feathers and ready them for covering and mounting too. Later........
Last edited by Dark Overlord; Feb 22, 2005 at 08:19 PM.
Mar 01, 2005, 05:05 PM
American MoonMan
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Step 2 Part A

Now we are ready to build the tail feathers. Study the included photos and you will see how easy they are to make. First, using your 1/8" by 4" by 36" long balsa sheet, layout the vertical stabilizer. It is 4" at the root, and 8" tall. From the rear edge, measure 2" in and mark it at the top end. Make a mark that goes from that location down to the front bottom at a slight angle. Cut this part out of the full sheet by cutting it across at the top area, then cut the angle part off of the stabilizer. You should now have a piece that you can sand on the top front angle to round the leading edge like in the photo. You should now cut out the actual rudder. It is 8" by 4" from the remaining sheet. Once you have it cut out, measure up from the bottom rear 2" and make a mark there. Now you can draw a line from that mark down the the front of the rudder at the root. This is the angle you want to cut off for elevator clearance. Once done with that, you can round off the top rear and bottom rear corners to match the photo. To make the horizontal stabilizer, you will need to cut it from the sheet. It is 4" by 18". Determine which side you wish to make the front, and round the front corners. To make the elevator, you will need to cut out a piece from a 1/8" balsa sheet that is 3" by 18". Once done, you can round the rear corners, but only enough to take the sharpness off of them. Don't want to lose too much of our elevator. Set these parts aside in preparation for upcoming steps.
Last edited by Dark Overlord; Mar 01, 2005 at 05:14 PM.
Mar 01, 2005, 06:00 PM
American MoonMan
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Step 2 Part B

Tail feathers weigh about 1.7 ounces at this point (see photo). They can be lightened, but this may compromise their strength. Feel free to add a few lightening holes if you must, but it is not suggested. Next, we want to make the verticlel stabilizer removable. You will need to locate your 6-32 bolts (2 of them). They will need to be cut to a total length of 2-1/4" each, and this means removing the screw driver slotted end. Again, once you have them cut off, they should be no longer than 2-1/4" overall length. You will now need to mark the verticle stabilizer 1" up from the back bottom corner. Make a mark across at a right angle from the rear edge to the angled front edge. Along this line, you will need to measure from the rear edge to the center location of the rear mounting bolt. This distance is 1/2" from the rear edge to center. The front bolt is located at 3" from the rear edge to its center. You will now need to cut a slot at each of these locations that is wide enough to allow the bolt to fit snuggly. The slot should be only wide enough to require a gentle press fit, and only long enough for the bolt to just reach the line you had marked previously at the 1" from bottom location. See photos to get a feel for how this should be done. The 6-32 bolt is JUST the right diameter to allow it to center itself when you press it into the verticle stabilizer. With the verticle stab flat on your building surface, press the bolts gently into the slots making sure they end up straight and true. Using 5 minute epoxy, glue first one side, then the other when first side is dry. Make sure that you only use enough to bring the fill to the surface of the balsa wood. Any extra should be wiped off of the joints before the epoxy sets. Extra left when dry will need to be sanded smooth with the surface prior to covering later. Next you will need to cut two plywood support pieces from a plywood sheet. Each should be 4" long by 3/8" wide. These can be either 1/8" or 3/32" thick, whatever might be available from your LHS. Once you have these two pieces cut, you will need to drill matching holes in them to allow them to mate with the two bolts in the vertical stab. These will act to give us a firm mounting point on the top of the fuselage for the vertical stab, as well as being used on the bottom of the horizontal stab to keep from crushing the balsa when we mount the assembly. You should now measure and mark the fuselage tail area to accept the verticle stab assembly and the two plywood pieces. When drilling the fuselage, make sure you drill straight and true so that your verticle stab is square with the fuselage. Look at the photos and you will see the two plywood pieces against the fuselage. Temporaraly mount the verticle stab through the top plywood piece, then the fuselage, and finally through the bottom plywood piece. Maker sure all is square, and once you are at this stage, you will need to carefully glue the verticle stab to the plywood top piece using 5 minute epoxy. Make a nice fillet on each side, making sure that you do not glue the pieces to the fuselage. Allow this to dry thoroughly with the verticle stab straight up. Once dry, you should have a solid and straight assembly. Now, the second plywood piece should be glued to the bottom of the horizontal stab exactly on its center line. Be sure that the correct hole is orientated towards the front and rear ends. Use thick CA glue and allow to dry naturally for maximum strength. When this is dry, drill out the balsa to match the plywood piece and check your fit on the bolts. See photos for view of completed removable tail pieces and assembled horizontal stab. Next we will begin assembling fuselage components.
Last edited by Dark Overlord; Mar 01, 2005 at 11:42 PM.
Mar 04, 2005, 06:14 PM
American MoonMan
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Step 3 Part A

Landing gear modification

Due to the added weight that the SSV2 will carry, we need to modify the stock landing gear to better handle it without spreading upon landings. Set up with this type of wheels and new straight axle the SSV2 will land very nicely on concrete or asphalt, dirt, and even soft sand, and yes, even short grass. Longer grass can be accomodated too IF you flare on touchdown and keep full up elevator and insure you have NO throttle input. I have had much success with this landing gear modification to date. Now to the mod. To do this, we will need the following items.

Thick CA
CA Kicker
4 - small nylon tyraps
1 - piece piano wire 3/32" by 10-1/2" long
1 - Stock GWS Slow Stick front landing gear assembly
4 - wheel collars 3/32" size
2 - 2-1/2" light foam wheels w/1/8" holes in hubs
4 - servo screw sleeves (see photo) from Du-Bro Small Servo Mounting Hardware kit #114

First thing we need to do is to insure that the piano wire ends are cut off square, and have no burrs on the ends. This will become our new straight axle for the new wheels we will be using. Next, using the 4 servo screw sleeves and the wheel collars, mount the wheels onto the axle insuring that the outer collars are flush with the ends of the axle shaft. The servo screw sleeves are used to act as bushings inside the wheel hubs to allow the wheels to ride properly on the axle shaft which is slightly smaller than the wheel hubs. Make sure that you do not tighten the inner collars against the wheel hubs too much, it should be just tight enough to allow the wheels to spin freely and without too much play on the axle. Now, using the Stock landing gear assembly, and two of the tyraps, afix the old wheel mount location on top of the new axle and abutted against the inner wheel collar on one side. Tighten the tyraps as tight as you can get them insuring the they are all facing the same direction when tightened. Repeat for the other side. Once you have the tyraps tight, all facing the same way, and the stock assembly on top of the nex axle, and against the wheel collars you are ready to use the thick CA and Kicker to affix it all together. Place a drip of thick CA onto the area between two of the tyraps allowing it to soak in for a second, then using the Kicker, allow it to set. Do the same for the other side of the same set of tyraps, and then proceed to do the other end of the axle the same way. This will LOCK into place the tyraps allowing them to hold the new axle very securely. See the photos for more visual detail on this. Once your landing gear is modified this way, even hard landings will be much less likely to cause damage to any of the items suspended below your fuselage. Set this assembly aside for next steps. Up next will be setting up the fuselage future equipment mounting.
Mar 04, 2005, 07:09 PM
American MoonMan
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Step 3 Part B

Fuselage component locations

Look at the included photos to see the approximate locations that the various parts will be located at. These will change slightly as the actual components are installed (ie. servos, receiver, etc.). The order will be the same though, so you can install these parts onto the fuselage now in preparation to mount other components. You will notice that there are 3 of the rear landing gear/pushrod support assemblies installed onto the fuselage. I have extra ones and added the middle one to help support the golden rod push rod assemblies better when we get to that point. If you do not have an extra part to use, don't worry about it as I will also show how to support the golden rod using a different method too. This will just be easier to do. The part is available in the GWS black parts bag, so if you have extra ones, feel free to use it like I will be doing. Assemble your rear landing gear wheel and support wire as you would normally do, and install it into the most rearward support piece. Once you have these three parts in place, and the rear landing gear installed you should slide the two servo supports onto the fuselage. Make sure they are installed with the pieces facing properly to allow the servos to be mounted between them. Now, install the rear wing saddle. Next you should place the rear support leg assembly from the Plasma I Camera Mount onto the fuselage as shown in the photos. The front wing saddle/landing gear assembly is next. It should be slide back 8" (right at the new fuselage joint addition point) from the front of the fuselage. Next, the front support leg assembly should be slide onto the fuselage right up to and just touching the front wing saddle/landing gear assembly. This will do two things for us. First, it will help retain the landing gear wire in the wing saddle (I have actually had the gear fall off from stock Slow Sticks in the past). Second, when the Plasma I Camera Mount is located at this point, the mount and camera will be almost dead on at the CG point, thus allowing you to fly with or without the camera without adversely affecting the flight characteristics of the aircraft. Be sure the order of all these parts is correct, as it will be difficult to change them later once other equipment is mounted in place. I have also included a photo of the tail feathers mounted with the proper nylon wing nuts installed. Works very well. Tomorrow I will be installing the battery box/protector, which we will be building to fit two popular battery sizes. This will be the heart of the CG adjustment, and will be adjustable on the fuselage. ESC, motor, receiver, and other components will soon follow too. Be sure to ask any questions you might have about any of these steps in the question thread. I am happy to answer all of them.
Mar 06, 2005, 08:20 PM
American MoonMan
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Step 4 Part A

Battery enclosure/protector box

The box is fairly easy to construct, and you should verify that the battery pack you intend on using will fit properly into it. This one is built to handle the two types I am currently using. The inside of your box should be large enough to allow your battery packs to slide in and out easily. You can always use a little bit of foam scrap to make it a tight fit too if you desire. I am going to show you the parts via photos that I used to construct my box, and what it looks like at various stages. Exact size of components must rest on your measurements for your batteries. Look at the photos and you should have little problem building your enclosure. First thing you should do of course if to lay it all out on a sheet of 1/8" by 6" by 12" lite plywood. Once you have done that, cut out the individual parts, marking them with pencil will allow you to mroe easily assembly them later. Make sure that you make your end pieces large enough to completely cover the ends once you have the top, bottom, and side glued together. Take into account that the top and bottom pieces should be glued to the side piece so that the loose none of their area. The side piece should be glued to the edges of those pieces, as will the end pieces. Look at the assembled box photo to see what I mean. I used thin CA and Kicker to clue them all together. You will need to apply muliple times to insure a good glue joint on all parts. The end pieces also need to be long enough to reach to surface of the cover piece too. So, make sure they are long enough to do so, too long is good. You can more easily cut or sand off excess than to add it later. In the next step, we will add a little aerodynamic front to the box using some scrap balsa and a short piece of leading edge material. If you do not have the leading edge material, you can just use either a built up layer of balsa, or a small balsa block. Again, study the photos, and make your enclosure so that it will fit the type of batteries you will be using. We will also build the fuselage mounting parts and affix them to the enclosure too. This will allow the enclosure to slide fore and aft as needed to assist in obtaining proper CG.
Mar 07, 2005, 09:51 AM
American MoonMan
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Step 4 Part B

Battery enclosure/protector box

Looking at the included photos, you can see that I built a more aerodynamic front onto the enclosure. I used a piece of 1/4" balsa stock and a piece of leading edge stock. You can use whatever you may have on hand, and just build up until you have enough to round out the front similar to the photos. At the very least, you should built it out so that the cover mounting parts will have a purchase when we reach that stage. As you can also see from the photos, I built two fuselage mounting points (in this case from spare parts that come with the Plasma I(TM) Camera Mount). These provide a strong, firm, yet moveable mount that allows adjustment for CG later. I used thin CA to assemble and then affix them to the enclosure. Once on, I used 5 minute epoxy to fillet them to the enclosure and cover any gaps in the mount pieces. You can build a similar mount from the 1/8" lite plywood you have left over from the enclosure build. Be sure that you fully enclose the fuselage on all four sides as the gap left between the fuselage and the enclosure will be important for mounting and affixing components to the aircraft later. After all adhesives are fully dried and cured, sand to a smooth finish, and then paint to your choice of color. I usually spray first with several coats of clear laquire prior to the color coats. This helps seal and smooth any minor imperfections in the sanding and gives a better overall finish. Once I have the painting done, I will post photos of the final part of the enclosure build, the installation of the cover and latching parts, and the mounting on the fuselage.

I used spackle to fill the small gaps in the balsa and plywood, and then put a light coat of 5 minute epoxy over it all to help smooth the surface in preparation for final sanding.
Mar 10, 2005, 09:47 PM
American MoonMan
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Fellow builders,

Here are a few photos showing the battery enclosure/protector box. If you look closely, you will see how I affixed the cover to the enclosure. I actually used a very short piece of small dowling, a short piece of the red tube from a control rod assembly, one of those interesting Slow Stick pieces from the white nylon parts tree, and a clip that is normally used to hold screens into a window. Pretty straight forward once you look at the photos. You also need to be sure that you provide a small notch that will allow you to pass your battery wiring out of the box too. You will want to use a long #4 screw and a flat washer to allow the screen door clip to solidly be held against the cover piece. Be sure that you also harden the screw hole with thin CA to keep it from stripping out. Here are the photos.
Mar 10, 2005, 09:51 PM
American MoonMan
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More photos, including the covered tail feathers and the decals I made and placed on them. Also a photo of the battery box installed on the fuselage. I will begin placing the servos and control rods, receiver, ESC, and other components onboard next. Things are coming together, and I hope to maiden the SSV2 within the next few days if possible. Looking at the tail feathers closely, you can see that I decided to use actual hinges instead of strapping tape. Took some very close work to install them, but was worth the effort. I used two (2) on the rudder, and four (4) on the elevator. They are glued into their slots with Elmers as it gave me more working time than CA or epoxy would have. Very solid too. Here are some more photos.
Mar 11, 2005, 05:04 PM
American MoonMan
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Final Assembly and equipment mounting

Or how it all comes together........

Attached are some pictures of the final equipment mounting and locations. I had predicted that the AUW would be between 30 and 36 ounces. It came out at exactly 34 ounces with all equipment, battery, camera, and wing attached. Just slightly heavier than the SSV1 prototype. Look at the photos attached for the final equipment locations. It is all pretty straight forward. The installation of the control linkages came out very nicely with the addition of the third support piece for the tubes. A single tyrap at each location holds it all firmly in place. The servo supports should be held in place with a single screw once you have it all adjusted properly. Later I will take close ups of some of the various places like that to show exactly what I mean, but even without that, should not be too hard to discern from the photos. I did move the front wing saddle back about 1/2" to help with final balance. The CG is now at about 25% of the wing. Have not heard back yet on custom wing so will proceed with using the Miss 2 wing for now. Hope to hear soon though as the custom wing will allow complete breakdown of the aircraft for transport and even airline shipping in a nice guncase I picked up just for that purpose. Anyway, check out the photos below and in the next message and let me know if you have any questions in the question thread. If you want me to take any photos of a specific area, let me know and I will be happen to do so. I will be maidening her this weekend and will have a video and photos soon after.
Last edited by Dark Overlord; Mar 11, 2005 at 05:16 PM.
Mar 11, 2005, 05:08 PM
American MoonMan
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More photos, including two panaramic views showing both sides and all equipment (if you look close anyway ).
Mar 11, 2005, 11:37 PM
American MoonMan
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Here are a few more photos of the build. Pretty self explanitory actually. Some closeups and details.

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