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Jun 13, 2008, 01:02 AM
Embrace the suck
nauga's Avatar
After begging more help on the Yahoo group I think the hard stuff is done (famous last words?). The RF deck is radiating and it works with Hitec and Berg receivers (the only ones I've tested so far). Now I've got to stuff all the spaghetti back in the box and fly it. Then I've gotta dig out that old Proline

I've set up a couple of slopers for test, but barely touched the capabilities of the radio. I'll save that for later.

who will take this path again...
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Jul 10, 2008, 08:39 AM
Embrace the suck
nauga's Avatar
My camera is OTS but there has been some progress. The Tower demo is done - the encoder checked out, there's no point in continuing to install it in a junk case.

I got a World Engines "Expert" transmitter off eBay and spent the past few days cleaning it up and checking it out. Cool thing about this is it's a match for the first decent transmitter I had back in the 70's. I still think the gimbals feel nicer than anything I've tried other than Proline metals (and I've got a pair of those in reserve )

So I connected one stick assembly to the encoder last night and it cal'd and checked good, so the next step is to drill and punch the case for all the switches and display. Since I'm a little nostalgic I'm trying to preserve the original look (a little), we'll see how that works. Interestingly, the radio came with an engraved plastic nameplate attached (did we *all* have those back then? ), and it was a name I recognized from old modelling magazines. That may get mounted somewhere too.

and a box of spaghetti
Aug 05, 2008, 09:52 AM
Embrace the suck
nauga's Avatar
Bit by bit the switches make their way to the case. As of these photos I had not touched the pots for trim and channels 5 and 6. The new encoder will convert what was a 7 channel radio into an 8 channel - it gets a new switch on top, as well as numerous other assignable switches. It's worth mentioning that all the functions are assignable. I can finally get cross trims without rewiring .

who needs a teeeny little crowbar
Last edited by nauga; Aug 06, 2008 at 09:47 AM.
Oct 26, 2008, 01:14 AM
Embrace the suck
nauga's Avatar
4 1/2 months into a 2-week project .......
After some initial teething pains with the encoder due to a fried modulation pin on the main chip(*) and a very nice repair job by Gordon Anderson, the designer, this project is back in business. The WE Expert transmitter is a spaghetti bundle of wires but the encoder is mounted and talking to a slope Weasel. Now I've got to find the camera and some tie-wraps...and a labeller for the 20+ switches and levers, not including the sticks.
Makes an Evo look positively uncluttered.

(*) I don't know what caused this - it may well be infant mortality (it worked for me once before frying), or I may have done something wrong - but now I'm using all original wiring, batteries, etc, and it's working fine.

who holds his breath everytime he throws the switch
Nov 01, 2008, 05:56 PM
Embrace the suck
nauga's Avatar

Stick a fork in it, it's done!

It's tested, charged, programmed, and ready to fly. Now all I need is wind

The programming seems every bit as flexible as my Evo, and a 99 model memory should keep things open. All in all this has been a fun project...a little frustrating at times, but fun all the same. I'd do it fact, I still have that old Proline...

on to other things
Last edited by nauga; Nov 01, 2008 at 06:24 PM.
Nov 01, 2008, 06:20 PM
Registered User
balesse's Avatar
Very cool. Did it take long to get used to the programing? Did your old radio have digital trims? (These don't do they? The use the auto trim feature instead, correct?)

Hey, you should update your thread name to something more descriptive.

Let us know how it flies!
Nov 02, 2008, 07:42 AM
Composites Kid
Alex.Schweig's Avatar
Nauga, instant inspiration.
I just checked out the MicroStar page and its incredibly cheap! I think it adds up to less than 70 dollars for everything. I might just start my own... And put it in a Futaba Challenger case.
Nov 02, 2008, 06:04 PM
Embrace the suck
nauga's Avatar
Originally Posted by balesse
Did it take long to get used to the programing? Did your old radio have digital trims? (These don't do they? The use the auto trim feature instead, correct?)
The programming is, for the most part, intuitive. That's a good thing, because the documentation is pretty sparse. Considering the software is free, you can't complain, and it's pretty easy to figure it all out. I'm still working on mixer interactions and switching and all, but I've barely scratched the surface and I've gotten a 4-servo wing w/vtail all mixed up and ready using a 6ch receiver (my 'acid test'). As for the trims, it still has the analog trim levers, but you can zero these out with a button-push in flight (auto trim) or use a digital trim feature post-flight to recenter the levers while maintaining surface positions.

Alex: The encoder board and 'kit' is pretty cheap initially but there's a real time investment and you also need a lot of additional hardware in the form of switches and connectors and all that. Still, all in all it probably cost less than a comparable Futaba or Multiplex TX, but not by much, especially if you start with a decent TX (assuming you want quality stick gimbals). If you're going with a Futaba challenger, pay CLOSE attention to the details about stick pots and check yours out thoroughly BEFORE hacking it up to install the encoder.

Good luck, and if you decide to try it and need help, feel free to PM me.

charging the batteries again
Nov 06, 2008, 10:09 PM
Inciting Riots
village_idiot's Avatar
Next thing you need to do is buy a milling machine and make a Chidgey designed ball bearing single stick Or maybe modify the design to make a two stick radio.

I probably should have finished my M* build, but I just didn't like the way it was coming out, so I killed it. Moving on to the next option.

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