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Feb 01, 2009, 04:23 PM
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Ive finished putting the lights on the Nutball ...NK2 ... A total of 34 lights which draw 0.6A when running
The lights are fixed on the top surface..

This is just using standard 3mm LEDs, not high intensity. Bought from an ebay shop from china..

pic 1 is the view from below
pic 2 is the view from the top
pic 3 is the day view
Last edited by davereap; Feb 02, 2009 at 04:27 AM.
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Feb 02, 2009, 06:41 AM
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I thought I would now experiment with low cost materials..The CF rods were costing about 15-20 per plane...So a visit to a DIY store found some 60cm green garden sticks on offer.. a pack of 25 cost 1.00 (normally 2.50)

After all kites were made wth bamboo and silk long before we had modern materials

The garden sticks seem to be split cane, so will bend to some extent, ..yes they do..

Now how do we soften the material to bend easily? I know steam will do it, but how else?

I am just trying very hot water.,, I have now bent a stick round a 9" saucepan and it is clamped there to dry out..

My other half must think I am loopy
Last edited by davereap; Feb 04, 2009 at 09:51 AM.
Feb 02, 2009, 11:54 PM
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mark963's Avatar
I've started piecing together the Zlowest flier. The directions are just a series of pictures and not in high enough resolution to tell which way some part go. I'm a little disappointed in the quality of the shrink tubing they supplied to hold the rods together. It's the PVC variety that stretches easily and can be easily torn. I'm still hoping this is a nice flier when its done.
Feb 03, 2009, 01:40 AM
Flying Models for 57 years!
Sixter's Avatar
mark963: They have a PDF Installation Manual Download for your Butterfly Kite. Its located between the 4th paragraph and the Picture of the LED's on the Kite. Click here-->
How long did it take for you to get your Kite after you placed your order?

Feb 03, 2009, 05:07 AM
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the heat shrink is just for getting it together at the build stage.. all the joints are then retied well with thread and CA glued to fix... pdf-pic 16 instructions and again at pic 21
I had a read through the instructions.. the only thing I did not like was the heat shrink as a link on the control horns.. It does work, and it will be ok on a slow and light flier, which this is, but I always end up with too much slop when ive done it this way.

I had the heat shrink links like that on the NK1 kite but they were partly responsible for the poor control I had at faster speed.. They were then replaced by normal horns on balsa.. these were fixed to the elevon's rods at the same location

Have you used google sketchup yet...its a free download..designing your own kites is easy using sketchup's tools..
Here is the Zlowest plan from the instructions, put into sketchup with dimensions added to make to 800mm span
Here is also the SketchUp file which when loaded to SU will let you do a resize to whatever span you like..

theres a new modified plan at post 336 for the zlowest
Last edited by davereap; Apr 20, 2009 at 03:58 AM.
Feb 03, 2009, 09:18 AM
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edited by request...sorry
Last edited by davereap; May 29, 2009 at 04:20 AM.
Feb 03, 2009, 09:22 AM
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Thanks for pointing those out!!

I'm pretty sure the PDF wasn't there a couple weeks ago. When I asked, they emailed a zip file "ButterflyerManual" containing the jpg's - one page of the PDF was one jpg file, but there were no instructions, comments or words at all. I don't remember exactly, but it seems like it took about 2 weeks to show up.

The thread included is also very thin and can be snapped pretty easily, but they included a lot of it. I guess you're meant to wrap and wrap and wrap. I really didn't like the look of the control arm connection. I'll at least use polyolefin heat shrink or maybe just some thin vinyl tubing to connect them.

I'll have to download that google sketch up. I get a little worried about that sort of thing though. I installed Google Earth for showing gps logs and found it installed their web browser and an auto updater that want to access the internet every few minutes. I guess we have to fight to keep our computers our own now.
Last edited by mark963; Feb 04, 2009 at 10:56 AM.
Feb 03, 2009, 12:44 PM
Flying Models for 57 years!
Sixter's Avatar
Hi Guys
I have been looking at Go Fly Kite Singapore's site for a few months. I am very interested in owning a RC Kite. I wanted the Diamond from Go Fly Kite Singapore until while viewing a video the announcer quoted a price of $600.00 Silver Dollars . That put that fire out quick . So, I have been looking at other sources such as the IFO ,Zlowest and a few Elcheapo's. My next step was putting together a list of parts to build a RC Kite. I have been flying RC Models Airplanes since 1974, RC Helicopter since 1990 and a RC Scratch Builder since 1986. I Also fly High Performance Aerobatic Delta Stunt Kites. So, my knowledge is vast. While catching up on the latest NutBall news I ran across davereap's post about RC Kites . That's how I found this Thread, Looks like you guys have a great start here on Building RC Kites. I ordered some LED's from here --> I have a pile of 3mm, 2.5mm, 2mm and 1.5mm CF Rods. Thought about using Solar Tex for covering apposed to Ripstop. Right now I am looking for mounting tray's like they have on the Zlowest see picture. From what I can find, there is very little RC Kite flying here in the USA and the UK. But it's a big thing in Singapore!

Feb 03, 2009, 12:57 PM
Flying Models for 57 years!
Sixter's Avatar
I bought my HP Aerobatic Delta Kite here:
On their site they also have supplies to build Kites:
Check out these links, you may see something that will help in the construction of your RC Kite. They carry CF Rods of all sizes and up to 48" long. Fittings to connect several CF Rods together. Dihedral Fittings. Fabric, Vinyl Tubing for joints and etc. Check it out

Last edited by Sixter; Feb 03, 2009 at 01:04 PM.
Feb 03, 2009, 06:02 PM
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700 singapore dollars for the SB42 kite plus postage...(300 +) nearly gave me a heart attack

Solartex worked well for Richard see post 40.. it gave a good results and didnt warp his framework..the old fashioned texture rather than the full colours lets the lights through the best..other than that, my dressmaking lining material is good, cheaper but takes more trouble to glue down.
using my material it will cost less than 1 to cover the frame below

Mounting trays.. simple rectangles of 1/8 balsa hot glued across the fuz rod will hold your servos just fine.. I also fix the servos directly on with hot melt (Cool melt type).
I have also tacked the wiring and lights direct to the fabric with small blobs of cool melt glue every couple of inches...and it all seems just fine and well stuck.

EDIT.... Do not use garden canes...even if you can build the kite nice and flat, they will later warp and your kite will not fly well

Ive been messing with split cane garden rods.. 60cm long coated with a horible green dye/preserver..
First wash off all the dye you can, otherwise your hands go like shreks..

By soaking in hot water you can induce better bending to the canes

Select the best rods for the job.. none of them are straight, but pick similar pairs and use them on opposite sides of the kite.

The most important thing is to have the whole kite as flat as possible, with no unwanted warps, so even with bent rods always tie them in so they are bent in the plane of the kite wing, not tied in so they work to bend up the wing. You can sort this out by lying them on a nice flat surface and then getting them fixed in the same flat position

It took a bit of work and a lot more thinking but I have built a smaller NK1/IFO type which seems to be flat enough

The best thing is its cost....about 80p this to approx 15-20 for Carbon rods... for me its worth the extra bit of effort needed to get good flat results

The framework is 25" long by 22.2 wide
The weight uncovered is 2.25oz
since the pictures were taken I have added an extra length as a doubler to the front curve, and cut off the protruding section at the rear of the fuz length
Last edited by davereap; Feb 26, 2009 at 06:30 AM.
Feb 04, 2009, 01:58 AM
Reap the wild wind
headlessagain's Avatar
like the garden split cane idea but not sure it would survive my style of indoor "flying". I supose you could use carbon for the prop loop/bumper and it would be easier to bend. Look forward to seeing the finished kite plane and video.
Feb 04, 2009, 04:16 AM
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I am looking forward to getting some more videoing done, with the lights on, but we are having a little snow here. By the time the snow goes The cane kite should be all done.
Two videos so far
video 1 the NK1
RC Night-Kite....NK1 testflight (4 min 7 sec)

video 2 the Nutball NK2
Nutball Night Kite NK2 (3 min 12 sec)

I doubt that the canes will survive heavy crashes, but neither do the thinner CF rods. They should bounce off walls ok at indoor speeds
I have already smashed a couple of 2mm rods, and I am sure the bigger ones break if you hit too hard.

I will let you know how much punishment they will take, but they look good and strong enough at the moment.
They are cheap enough to double up around the main frame for that extra bounce strength. And the frameworks come out very light, so doubling up wont make any significant diference especialy if building an outdoor Night Kite

As a matter of interest the canes are on average 5mm diameter
And they weigh 6 gms each... a same length CF 3mm rod weighs 6 gms...same length 4mm tube weighs 9 gms
Cost 1x 60cm cane = 10p 1 x 60cm 3mmCF rod = 1.80p
Last edited by davereap; Feb 04, 2009 at 07:07 AM.
Feb 04, 2009, 10:48 AM
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Heres one way how to do the hinges for your control surfaces...the picture is not to scale

order of binding

4 tube sections to the rear cross piece of the airframe use about 1/2-3/4" at each end of each elevon...( thats 2 each side of the fuz)..and make sure they line up ok

now cover your main airframe with fabric

Bind 1 rod to an elevon frame... put a 1/4" spacer tube on the rod ...slide the rod into one tube on one side of the main airframe.

Put a spacer on an unbound rod ..slide the rod into the tube at the other end of the elevon you are fixing...bind this rod to the elevon.(the trickiest bit)
Once this is bound you should have an elevon which is nicely hinged and which can be covered
Last edited by davereap; Feb 26, 2009 at 06:27 AM.
Feb 04, 2009, 06:44 PM
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StephanB's Avatar

rotating illuminated kite

a friend of mine is working on 3d-vectorized kites for a long time.
Check out his last project:
This is a barrel-roll-kite with a 3d-vector unit and leds. I really love this video.

Here's his (german) homepage: (about kites)
Running his page through google translator should give you a good impression. there are lots of interesting videos.

Have fun
Feb 05, 2009, 06:54 AM
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Thread OP
Excellent and weird.... love it ...I will have to have a good read on his site...

EDIT.... Do not use garden canes...even if you can build the kite nice and flat, they will later warp and your kite will not fly well

Back to the cheapo cane kite...the NK3...
It is all covered now. That poyester liner material is working out great. I use UHU por to fix the material.
Run glue just over the frame where you want the fabric.. leave to dry at bit but not fully.. pull the fabric as flat as posible and rub down along the framework.
Cut around the frame leaving about 3/4" extra. Turn the frame over.
Now put more glue onto the fabric each side of the frame and on the frame. let it dry a bit. Pull the overlap round the frame and stick it down.
Where youve got rods crossing fabric but not overlaped/wraped around ..cut a strip of cloth and glue it along the rods and down onto the fabric either side of the rod.

With this covering... you can heat shrink it to get rid of excess wrinkles..
It shrinks then relaxes just slightly leaving the covering flat but not drum tight.
Like with the balsa frame models, you can remove some warps by twisting, then heat shrinking the covering

Design ..the triangular holes are there to make the fitting of your gear easier, and to give the kite some extra features, I like my servos on top, battery below.
It makes life easier, letting you glue on platforms where wanted (for servos etc).

The weight all covered is 4 3/8oz, Ive still to fit a vertical tail, but I thought I might cheat here and just stick a depron one in place for quickness..

If you want a removeable tail the easiest method is used on the NK1..
Fit two 1" vertical tubes to the fuz, at the LE and trailing edge of the tail.
Bend a semi circle using 2mm CF rod and push fit in these tubes.. the tension will hold it tight.. Bind another 2mm CF rod along the bottom of the tail from front to back..(to the rods not to the tubes)
The tail unit can now be removed and covered.. to replace it just needs slight flexing to get the rod back into the tubes, and its tension will hold it firmly in place

I worked it out that so far the airframe cost adds up to less than 4... and 2
of that is the motor mount

edit...just had a brainwave..ouch....why not combine depron and kite. it will be easy with the cane kite ,the depron can easily be glued to the wooden frame work.. A fuz can be fiited below to act as a skid.built using two layers of 6mm .. the servos etc can be fitted into or onto the fuz... The fabric wings will let the lighting through..

Last edited by davereap; Feb 26, 2009 at 06:31 AM.

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