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Oct 05, 2019, 12:19 AM
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Preventing snags with the EC1500 drop linkage

Dropping parachutes and other things from the cargo bay can get caught up and snagged with the drop linkage. Covering the drop linkage can minimize “hung loads”. Here is one way to cover the linkage.

Remove the wings, stab and fin. Place the fuselage on your lap or in a foam cradle. The drop linkage extends out towards the center of the cargo bay and can be moved closer to the fuselage wall. To do this first power up the fuselage and extend the ramp fully open and remove the bolt and nut from the ball link on the ramp/door. A small pair of forceps can be clamped on to the nut while a long Phillips head screwdriver unscrews the bolt.

With the ramp/door disconnected insert a small box cutter between the servo sides and the foam. This will cut the bond between the glue and foam bond. Be careful not to cut the servo wires. Now move the servo fore and aft with your fingers to further loosen the glue/foam bond. Do this until you can pull the servo out and away from the foam cavity. Do not use plyers or Vise Grips as you can squeeze the servo and damage the internal gears.

With the servo removed use a small box cutter to remove the foam servo support structure. With the structure removed use a Dremmel tool to grind away a deeper servo pocket. Be careful not to break thru the fuselage wall. Test fit the servo into the deeper foam pocket. When satisfied glue the servo into the pocket. I used regular Gorilla Glue on the sides and bottom of the servo but first I lightly misted some water into the pocket. This glue expands into the crevices but takes overnight and 24 hrs for a full bond. If I had to do it again I would of lightly misted the servo pocket with Kicker/ CA activator and then covered the servo with painters masking tape. Using 100-220 grit sanding paper lightly sand the tape and use regular CA on the tape while holding the servo firmly in the pocket. Use the CA sparingly as you don’t want CA getting inside the servo gear train.

Now with the servo and linkage closer to the fuselage wall there will be more space for loads and less protection to put around the servo and drop linkage.

Now what to use to cover the drop linkage. I initially wanted to use Tyvek paper from the US postal, UPS, or Fedex envelopes as the paper is hard to tear and is flexible enough to wrap around the drop linkage. If you lightly land the paper and use Kicker/activator regular CA will hold it to the foam fuselage sides. A paper pattern should be made up first before cutting out the Tyvek “curtain”. Unfortunately I did not have an envelope so I used 3/32 inch balsa pieces to frame around and protects the drop linkage. The hardest part is reconnecting the the ball joint bolt and nut. I had to extend the ramp fully and use two pairs of forceps to get the bolt and nut secured. If I had to do it all over again I would have cut away the side of the fuselage to modify the servo pocket and make a Tyvek curtain. The fuselage side could then be glued back in place and the cut lines could be painted over with matching paint. See pics
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