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Nov 15, 2005, 02:57 PM
go flyin or die tryin
new flyer's Avatar

beginner dictionary.

if any newbies don't understand a term used on rcg or in any flight situation post the term here and i will find and post what it is or how it works ect i hope this will keep the non needed info out of this thread to make it easier to find what you need.

not sure if this will help any of you but i know that when i first started flying i had a heck of a time just figuring out what rx and tx meant. and what an esc was and stuff like that. i am hopping that people will see this and post anything that i forgot(i am sure there are lots) so that if a beginner doesn't understand what somthing means they can come to this thread and look it up with a search. i am not sure if this has already been done. if it has then it should be made a sticky cause i sure a heck couldn't find it when i neede an answer. i am hoping in my spare time to draw up diagrams of how different set-ups go so if a newby can't figure out where to plug what into what it will be here.well enough talkin here is the start. i will post diagrams later and if i think of something i miss i will post it to.hope this helps someone.

servo-receives signal from the receiver and controls anything that you can hook a control rod to.

receiver-(aka rx)- receives the signal from the transmitter.

transmitter-(aka tx)- broadcast a signal through the air according to witch way you push the sticks or witch way you flip a switch

lipo-(li-po)(lithium polymer) new very small very light weight batteries(more dangerous than nicad or ni-mh-may catch fire if cracked or bent or charged on wrong setting.

nicad-(nickel-cadmium) heavy batteries that can take some abuse and still be okay to use.

ni-mh-(nickel metal hydride) lighter than nicad batteries but about the same toughness.

esc-(electronic speed controller) receives a signal from the rx and controls the speed of the motor.

bec-(battery eliminator circuit) some receivers require a separate battery pack to control the servos and esc and 1 to control the motor. a bec gets rid of this problem. a bec takes a singal battery and sort of splits the electric into 2 so it can power the motor and rx using only 1 battery.

brushless motor- a motor that has no brushes and relies on a special esc to switch current on and off to certain coils in the motor to make it run without and contacts needed

outrunner- out-runners are brushless motors where th casing spins and the coils of wire are stationary.

inrunner- in-rrunners are brushless motors that look like normal brushed motor but on the inside the center is a magnet and the case has coils on it so that it needs no brushes.

brushed motor- a brushed motor has magnets on the casing inside. and the coils are in the center. the brushes conduct electric to a commutator. the commutator has little plates corresponding to each coil. when electric goes through one of the coils it becomes a magnet and turns to line up with the magnets in the casing. when it turns that coils plates slip from under the brushes and the next pair line up and that coil becomes a magnet. ect. ect. and so now it is spinning.

edf-aka(electric ducted fan) it is a circular housing with a motor in the center that spins a multi-bladed prop called the fan. used in many jet type planes.

gb-(aka gear box) Main purpose of the gearbox is to spin the prop slower than the motor's effective rpms which provides less speed but more torque.
The ratio of # of teeth on the pinion to the teeth on the spur determine the gear ratio.
Ie 10:66 would be 1:6.6 gear ratio.

Ailerons-Hinged control surfaces located on the trailing edge of the wing, one on each side, which provide control of the airplane about the roll axis. The control direction is often confusing to first time modelers. For a right roll or turn, the right hand aileron is moved upward and the left hand aileron downward, and vice versa for a left roll or turn.

Ailevators-Twin elevator servos plugged into separate channels used to control elevator with the option to also have the 2 elevator servos act as ailerons in conjunction with the primary ailerons.

Airfoil-The shape of the wing when looking at its profile. Usually a raindrop type shape.
For helis: The rotor disk is the effective wing, and airfoil refers to the shape of the blades.

Area-The number of square inches (or feet) of the wing. It's the wingspan multiplied by the wing's chord. The area of a tapered wing is the wingspan multiplied by the average chord.

Buddy Box-Two similar transmitters that are wired together with a "trainer cord." This is most useful when learning to fly—it's the same as having dual controls. The instructor can take control by using the "trainer switch" on his transmitter.

Flaperons-The movement of two aileron servos, both in the same direction at the same time, acting as flaps.

Flaps-Hinged control surface located at the trailing edge of the wing inboard of the ailerons. The flaps are lowered to produce more aerodynamic lift from the wing, allowing a slower takeoff and landing speed. Flaps are often found on scale models, but usually not on basic trainers.

lvc(low voltage cut off) once the device reaches a set low voltage it will shut off power to the motor so the batteries do not discharge to low

DVM (digital voltmeter) uses a digital readout to show voltage.


dihedral-amount of v shape in the wing

slimer-what rcers call gas planes

mixing-see post 13 for very good explanation (to much to copy)

FFF-FFF has 2 meanings

(1)-in the rc world one is fanfold foam it is a cheap foam that can be bought at lows or a similar store and is good for building planes.

(2)-fast forward flight usually used when talking about helicopters.

kv-RPM (in K's or thousands) per volt. Measure of electric motor output.

estimating motor needs-
Watts = Volts X Amps
50 watts per pound = scale flight
75 watts per pound = mild to moderate aerobatics
100 watts per pound = aggressive aerobatics
150 watts per pound = 3D flight

auw-All up weight. The flying weight of the plane with battery and everything.

wot-Wide Open Throttle

packaging terms
RTF-ready to fly
RR-receiver ready
ARF-almost ready to fly
ARC-almost ready to cover
KIT-collection of pieces
laser cut- pieces cut by a computer controlled laser
die cut-pieces cut with a die using pressure and a shaped blade


bump-used to get a post back to the top of the list

LHS-local hobby shop

pushrod-the rod that connects the servo to a control surface

crystal-the little square silver thing in the receiver and transmitter. it pretty much set the channel that the rx and tx work on. they must be the same channel for the rx to work with the tx.

prop saver-a prop saver is a device that holds the prop in place usually with rubber bands so that in a crash the prop can flex or bend from the shaft.


ROG-rise off ground with no stick input

ps if anyone has a better way to explain anything already here send me a pm and i will change the first post so that it is right on top and they don't have to look through the thread.
Last edited by new flyer; Sep 14, 2010 at 12:35 PM. Reason: spelling corrections
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Nov 15, 2005, 03:40 PM
UAV's are my bag... baby.
direwolf's Avatar
Some of this has already been done in the EFlight Wiki. All experienced pilots should write a few pages for it. I'm probably going to try to contribute some graphics as soon as I get some free time.

Here's the link...

-- Brian
Nov 15, 2005, 05:28 PM
Registered User
Nov 16, 2005, 02:49 PM
go flyin or die tryin
new flyer's Avatar
yeh but i wanted a local place for rcg users and not have to be link to another site and stuff but thanks for the links maybe i can copy some info from there and post it here.
Nov 16, 2005, 02:54 PM
Trapped in California
foamflyer's Avatar
Nov 16, 2005, 03:11 PM
go flyin or die tryin
new flyer's Avatar
where were all these links when i was strting
Nov 16, 2005, 03:52 PM
UAV's are my bag... baby.
direwolf's Avatar
You should PM JWarren and ask him to add this thread to his list of links in his sticky thread titled...
"Are you a begginer! Links to some of the best begginer threads!"

(and ask him to spell "Beginner" right.)

-- Brian
Nov 18, 2005, 10:36 AM
Registered User
The NI-MH batterys are heavyer than Ni-Cd or is this just me ????
but the Ni-Mh hold more capacity
Nov 18, 2005, 12:16 PM
Registered User
this definitely helps...thanks!
Nov 18, 2005, 12:22 PM
go flyin or die tryin
new flyer's Avatar
Originally Posted by chelsea_fan
The NI-MH batterys are heavyer than Ni-Cd or is this just me ????
but the Ni-Mh hold more capacity
ni-mh are lighter then nicad batts what do you mean.
Jan 21, 2006, 03:54 AM
Just call me crash.
FFF has two definitions that I found here: Fast Forward Flight and Fan Fold Foam. This may be old hat to some of you vets but not as obvious to newbies or those of us getting airborne again after a 10-year hiatus.
Jan 22, 2006, 11:09 AM
Night Flying
Ron H's Avatar
When comparing cells with the same dimensions, nicads are lighter. By capacity, nimhs can be lighter. A 2/3a kr600ae(nicad) cell weighs .63oz, and a 2/3a CBP 1150(nimh) weighs .7oz. For an 8 cell pack, that's about an ounce more.

However, 2/3aa CBP 750's(nimh) are only .49oz, so a pack simlar to the 600mah nicad can also weigh about an oz. less.
Mar 05, 2006, 02:11 PM
Proud member of LISF and ESL
Originally Posted by new flyer
if any newbies don't understand a term used on rcg or in any flight situation post the term here and i will find and post what it is or how it works ect i hope this will keep the non needed info out of this thread to make it easier to find what you need.

You are out looking for your first radio, an upgrade radio, you are reading ads and boxes and there are all these terms you don't understand. Something about mixing. Do you need that? Maybe, maybe not, but it would be good if you understood the terms. Here is a short discussion on surface/channel mixes. This occurs when more than one control surface is moved by a single input from your radio. I will only touch a few, but you will get the idea. I invite others to clarify or correct my comments and add where these mixes, or others, are used.

First, there are three primary control surfaces:

Elevator - Pitch or attitude control - nose up and down - usually part of
the tail

Rudder - Yaw control - nose left and right - usually part of the tail. On a
plane without ailerons, the rudder can work with dihedral in the wings to
roll the plane to effect turns.

Aileron - Roll Control - usually on the trailing edge and outer aspect of
the wings, though ailerons can extend the full length of hte wings in
aerobatic planes.

There are two secondary control surfaces, usually used in landing.

Flaps - These are a moveable part of the trailing edge of the wing that you
lower to slow a plane while adding lift to the wing and lowering the stall

Spoilers - Typically used in landing gliders or sailplanes, these are on the
top of the wing. When these are raised, they reduce, or spoil the lift of
wing in that area. They can help slow a plane down and raise the stall
of the plane causing it to descend from lack of wing lift. These can also
helpful in getting sailplanes out of strong thermals.


These two use two surfaces that are coordinated to create the function that
are typically performed by separate surfaces. When we move two of these
surfaces toghether we call that surface mixing.

V-Tail mix - comes from the fact that on a V-tail plane, you do not have a
separate elevator and rudder. The two V surfaces are mixed to perform these
functions. If you hit up elevator, both move up. If you hit right rudder
AT THE SAME TIME as up elevator, the tail surfaces move some more moving the
nose to the right as it moves up. So you have mixed the rudder in with the
elevator input. V-tail mixing. For this reason, the surfaces on a v-tail
plane are called rudervators; rudder/elevators

Elevon or Delta Mixing - Typically used on a flying wing, like the Zagis,
delta wing, like my Electrajet. They combine the function of elevator for
pitch, and ailerons for roll. This is elevator/aileron mixing. The
surfaces are referred to as elevons when they are used in this way adn are
usually located at the back of the plane.

Many of the newer non-computer radios include v-tail and elevon mixing
whereas it used to require a computer radio, or the addition of a special
mixing device in the electronics package. Many of hte low cost RTF 3
channel planes incorporate mixing in their design. For example the Aerobird
uses V-tail mixing. The F27 Stryker uses elevon mixing.


Note that none of these mixes are required to fly a plane

using a computer radio you can coordinate all types of combinations for
different effects. Some can be turned on during the flight. Flip a switch
and you will get a different behavior from the control surfaces for the same
stick input. I will use the convention of master/slave where one surface
gets the input and the other follows. For example, aileron/rudder would
imply that you input aileron control and the rudder follows without you
touching the rudder stick. While you can do this manually, some of these
mixes would be would be very hard to do by hand, and some can ONLY be done
from a computer radio. Many of these mixes require radios with 6-8 channels
and some require the radio be able to address 4 servos in the wings
independently, a feature of higher end radios.

Aileron/rudder mix - Coordinated Turn - On power planes and on sailplanes,
it is normal to add rudder to aileron input. This is called a coordinated
turn and is common to do manually on non-computer radios, but computer
radios can be set up to do this automatically. This results in a smoother,
more efficent turn.

Flapperons - Ailerons can act as flaps, used if you don't have flaps, for
landing control. These are known as flapperons which is a change in assignment of the surface from aileron behavior to flap behavior. This requires two servos for the ailerons.

Flapperons - flaps act like ailerons. Found this idea being used on a R/E
Flap sailplane. If you hit this link and read from post 49, you can see how
this is used. Interesting idea.

Differential Spoilers - You can take spoilers, at the top of the wings, and
tie them to the aileron function. Now you have your spoilers at different
heights causing a roll effect. Not as effective as ailerons, but it could
enhance the roll of a plane that does not have ailerons. To do this your
spoilers require two servos instead of one and they must be controlled from
separate channels. This would require at least a 5 channel radio..

Elevator/flaps - snap flaps - This is used in aerobatics or racing to effect
very very fast turns or very tight loops. When you pull elevator, the
elevator goes up and the flaps go down causing a change in pitch AND an
increase in lift in the wing. The plane will turn very tightly.
Careful, this can lead to a stall if you don't have enough speed but in the
typical application, this is done at high speeds, or in planes that have
very powerful motors.

Aileron/flaps - You can add the flaps to the ailerons so that the flaps move
with, and coordinate with the ailerons The flaps become extensions of the
ailerons for more control surface movement. This takes 4 wing servos, and
they must each be controlled from a separate channel on your radio. This
requires at least a 6 channel computer radio. Only more advanced radios can
do this. Likewise, the ailerons can be made to follow the flaps to multiply
the effect of lowering flaps. This requires a minimum of three servos, two
on the ailerons and one on the flaps.

Ailevator - on aerobatic or pattern planes they will split the elevator so
that two servos operate each half. Normally they move together to create
the normal elevator motion. However when you enable the ailervator mix, the
elevator halves will move with input from the ailerons causeing the plane to
roll much more quickly. This requires the two elevator servos to be
controlled from separate channels on the radio. Typically this requries a 7
or 8 channel radio.

Snap Roll - this is a mix that actually moves surfaces during a roll to
create a highly coordinated and highly repeatable type of aerobatic
manauver. Ailerons and rudder will be controlled. Elevator is likely to be
programmed in as well. I have never used this one, but it sounds cool!

Camber Changing Trailing Edge - Typically used on sailplanes, they use a mix
where the ailerons and flaps move together, typicaly not from one of the
sticks, but from a switch or dial. By moving them slightly up or down,
perhaps 1/16", you change the shape of the wing while it is flying. By
lowering the flaps and ailerons together you create a more under cambered
wing which generates more lift, but typically more drag. If you move
them up slightly, then it is called reflex. A minimum of three wing servos
is needed to do this. I don't know if this is used on power planes.

Crow, Butterfly or Airbrakes - Commonly used on sailplanes, this is a
breaking mix used to quickly slow the plane, often in contest flying where
you need a very precise landing. Both ailerons go up while the flaps go
down. Often there is some elevator mixed in to keep the plane level. This
would take at least a 6 channel radio that can take the coordination of as
many as 6 servos controled by one stick, lever, dial or switch.

Flight Conditions - Essentially this moves surfaces to a new trim position
based on some flight situation. It could be take-off or landing, or it
could be some point in an aerobatic routine. It might be a sailplane
circling in a thermal. Whatever it is, it establishies a new trim point for
the surfaces when there is no stick input. On my gliders, on winch
launching, I flip launch mode or launch condition and the ailerons droop 15%
and the flaps droop 25% to give me more lift during launch.

Imagine the fun you can have changing between different launch modes, or
moving from launch to standard flight mode to several enhanced flight modes,
to a camber change to 3 different landing modes.

Well, this is one of the values of computer radios. Not all computer radios
can do all of these mixes and there are other mixes not mentioned here.
However when you read the spec sheets, they will usually list Airplane
Mixes, perhaps Sailplane Mixes and some also do Helicopter Mixes.

You will also hear about mode 1 and mode 2. In North America, Mode 2 is the
standard. More on modes can be found here.
Last edited by aeajr; Mar 05, 2006 at 02:16 PM.
Mar 17, 2006, 03:17 PM
Registered User
SAPropbuster's Avatar
Don't know if this entirely fits here, but here goes.

How does the Timing Mode effect a brushless motor and What the heck is PWM?

I have just purchased a TP-15A (G2) ESC and there are two variable functions that I am not familiar with: Timing Mode & PWM. What do I set these to for my motor?
Choices for Timing Mode: 2*, 7*, 15* or 30* (* = degrees)
Choices for PWM: 8KHZ, 16KHZ OR 32KHZ
I will be using a BM 2408-21 with either a 2S or 3S 1000 mAh LiPo Battery.

Bob Severance
Apr 02, 2006, 04:25 PM
Team Me!
P-38J-Lightning's Avatar
Originally Posted by rocknbil
FFF has two definitions that I found here: Fast Forward Flight and Fan Fold Foam. This may be old hat to some of you vets but not as obvious to newbies or those of us getting airborne again after a 10-year hiatus.
Well i doubt if your in teh heli section someones going to mean how does it do on Fan Fold Foam

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