My e-Starter build, Obsessive-compulsive?? - RC Groups
Thread Tools
Sep 07, 2006, 04:29 PM
Tinkerer and piddler
ChromeDome's Avatar

My e-Starter build, Obsessive-compulsive??

My build followed the Grose family build fairly closely. This inspired me to get out my aging kit and build and fly it.
Grose family build

However, being a member of Alabama’s Rocket City Renegades I had to make some changes. Instead of carbon fiber rod, I bonded carbon fiber rovings into the fuse with diluted aliphatic resin AR (Elmer’s Carpenter’s). I used the same size CF tape as the Grose build and mine was all bonded in with moisturized polyurethane PU (Elmer’s Probond).

Attaching the wing with rubber bands drove some other changes. I looked at my 1 lb bag of #19 rubber bands and thought about how I like to fly “air show” style with low altitude 10g turns. One little screw at the TE and a small plastic clip at the LE did not look as secure as bands. Although the instructions are silent on it, there were two short bamboo skewers and the proper holes in the fuse so I went with that method. I suspect that this is for rudder-elevator only birds, so I changed the aileron servo area for some side impact strength. I screwed the servo to wood rails rather than gluing it in and put some CF strips down each side of the interior. Some soft packing foam was taped to the interior sides at the aft end to absorb aileron torque rod side impact in the event of a rough landing. Originally I went with all-wire aileron servo pushrods with ”V” bends, but they were a devil to adjust so I finally switched to DuBro connectors. They stick down and will probably be damaged someday, but in the mean time they are great. All the control surfaces are covered with paper bonded on with diluted AR. Someday I’ll make balsa ailerons, but these work for now. Because I’m mostly a slow flyer, I made the ailerons differential to avoid stalling one wing with a down aileron command at slow speed. It is about 50% differential. So far, that seems to work well. The servo wheel I used is in the picture. I added a 0.050” diameter CF rod to the leading edge of the wing and filament tape to the trailing edge.
Sign up now
to remove ads between posts
Sep 07, 2006, 04:45 PM
Tinkerer and piddler
ChromeDome's Avatar

more obsessive-compulsive build

I couldn’t get the GWS control surface hinges into place. The material is very soft so the servo loads will be low, but I couldn’t get them in place after smearing with GWS glue. I cut up a 5 ¼ floppy disk (remember them?) and made hinges. So far they have worked great and I haven’t stripped a servo.

For the power system mine uses the GWS “D” gearbox with a Razor RZ300 brushless motor from my SlowStick,. The motor is 20 grams lighter than the GWS 300C, so I went heavy on the front to keep the CG under control. I made the motor stick from spruce and stretched it 5 mm. A 1/16 birch firewall was PUed into place. Landing gear supports were made from tongue depressor wood PUed into place. Magnets (12 grams) hold the cowl on rather than the tiny GWS screws. I also used two CF strips in the nose but put them up the outside to tie in near the wing attach skewer.

I like the GWS battery placement because it is convenient and has good air flow. However, GWS battery boxes have popped open at inopportune times for me. It usually happens in a tight maneuver when the control surfaces are deflected, and when the battery leaves it unplugs itself freezing everything where it is. Not good. I’ve used rubber bands as an extra latch, but Velcro is better. I stitch it to cotton tape and bond the assembly on with diluted AR. I’ve never had one of these open up.
Sep 07, 2006, 05:16 PM
Tinkerer and piddler
ChromeDome's Avatar

end of build

After suffering through several wing folds on the GWS Pico Cub from strut failures, I toughen them up a lot.
1) I test the skewers for strength by bending and twanging them. One in my kit was punk and could be easily broken with three fingers. Bamboo skewers from the supermarket are exact replacements. The strength is variable—be sure and test them too.
2) I glue the attachments on with PU.
3) After bonding the clevises on the end, I either pin them or lash them on with unwaxed dental floss.
4) I put a piece of heat shrink tubing or a rubber band on the clevis to keep it closed.
I doubt that the e-Starter really needs the struts, but I’ve learned the hard way that the design is marginal. These changes will keep them attached.

Well, there it is -- a box stock e-Starter with just a few tweaks. Mine ready to fly minus battery is 392 grams (13.8 oz), heavier than the box weight of 370 grams (13 oz). The few tweaks are:
Longer spruce motor stick
Plywood firewall
LG supports
Differential ailerons
Paper covered control surfaces
Mylar hinges
Home-made cowl
Magnets for attach
Carbon fiber tape and rovings added
Rubber band wing attach
CF rod on wing LE and filament tape on TE
Hook and loop battery holder
Tail skid

Is all this necessary or is this a sign of obsessive-compulsive disorder? I don't know, but I do know that the plane flies well and is tough, having survived several unruly arrivals upon terra firma. The newest plane in the hanger is the favorite, and this is no exception. It is the most fun to fly.

I've posted some video. Hope you enjoy the video as much as I've enjoyed the flying.

video clips
Sep 07, 2006, 08:56 PM
Honey, I got more planes!
ghee-grose's Avatar
Nice build log, and great video!

I can guarantee you one thing.... your struts aren't going to be a failure point on that plane.

Lookin good!
Sep 08, 2006, 05:19 AM
0 Carbon fp? don't breed!
DarkHorse's Avatar
Love your video and commentary style .
Great insight evaluation of many E-Starter characteristics and moves. Excellent.
You put the manufacture's marketing team to shame .

I bet you had fun synchronising those video streams. Grrr .

Rolls where not pretty for mine until I learned to got the speed up, then
raise the nose up slightly before the roll. Adding more aggressive control surfaces helped.
Here's some video and info.
Last edited by DarkHorse; Sep 08, 2006 at 05:31 AM. Reason: typo as usual Grrr

Quick Reply

Thread Tools

Similar Threads
Category Thread Thread Starter Forum Replies Last Post
my brushless e-starter build thread FairlyFaded Parkflyers 2 Jul 16, 2005 09:17 PM
My E-Starter build fizzak Parkflyers 1 Oct 09, 2003 02:10 PM
My E-Starter is HOT, no, REALLY HOT! Foam Crazy Parkflyers 20 Aug 13, 2003 12:22 AM
E-Starter Build and Flight Report (Long) DavidJ Parkflyers 11 Mar 17, 2003 08:51 PM
Spanked my E-starter roguewolf Parkflyers 8 Feb 17, 2003 06:16 PM