Search This Blog

Wednesday, October 4, 2017

Newest EXPs For Realflight G3.5 Through 7.5

You can find all of my Realflight planes at Rockin' Doc Austin's Knife Edge Swap Page. The ones on this page are just the newest ones. I'll be making more as we get more new EXP releases.

While I love my Realflights, one of the things I find frustrating is they are updated so often that if you have a year old (or older) simulator, a lot of the newer planes you can download from the Knife Edge Swap Pages won't work. If you have a 3.5, you can't download and fly planes made for 4.5 or newer simulators, and so on. This was quite maddening until I learned to make my own planes, and I have never had to buy a newer sim.

The good news is that planes made for 3.5 (and newer) will also work with newer Realflights, so if you have a good supply of planes you like to fly, there is no need to buy a new sim over and over and over. The newer planes that come with 7.5 don't fly any better or look any better than 3.5 planes, so I hardly see the point of buying a new sim every year when that money would about cover the cost of a new airframe instead.

As much work as these are, there had better be a lot of people enjoying them or it's simply not worth it. I recently bought a Realflight 6.5 and a 7.5 so I could test my planes on those, and so far they have all worked perfectly.

The New Planes
First, we really needed to have the new Extreme Flight 52" Extra EXP for Realflight, so I drew a color scheme to fit on an Extra I really like, the Extra330S BA_EA. This is the best flying plane I have found so far for Realflight. It's a little too easy, but the ones that are not too easy seem to fly really badly. This plane seems like a decent balance, but don't think the plane you take to the field is going to fly like this one. Install this first and you will have a working plane, then install the Extra EXP__CS files to install the color schemes.

The Extra330S BA_EA works with Realflight 3.5 right up to Realflight 7.5, so as long as you have one of those simulators, this plane will fly beautifully for you. I have tested these schemes on RF3.5, 6.5 and 7.5. I especially love these planes for the way they fly, but also because I think these are the best looking Extras we have ever seen.


There was not a good example of Extreme Fight's killer 60" Extra EXP available for Realflight G3.5, so I converted zillacapt's excellent 4.5 rendition of Jeff Boerboom's Extra 330. Conversion was the easy part, but I redrew every single pixel on the plane to get it that way I wanted it. This plane is also based on the Extra330S BA_EA.
We also needed a really good Laser EXP for 3.5, so again I trend to the Extra330S BA_EA . I scanned the decal sheet of my kit and then used the photoshop clone tool to essentially copy/paste the graphics on to the plane's artwork file, but I just made that sound a lot easier than it really was. The Laser has always been a really special plane for me, so I went out of my way to make this one as nice as I could. 
Same thing with the MXS EXP series. There was no good MXS for 3.5, but we still had the Extra330S BA_EA to build on. For the red MXS I cloned the artwork from the one that comes with Real Flight 7.5. That saved me some work, but it still drove me crazy getting everything to line up. Still, another important plane for me, so I had to take my time and get it right. On the white MXS, I had to start from scratch and hand draw every single pixel, another project that drove me crazy, but if people enjoy them it will be worth it.
 With the new Extreme Flight 52" Slick 580 coming out last April, 3.5 users were left out. The Slick has long been a solid favorite of many, if not even the most popular plane of recent times. As such, we really needed one for 3.5. I drew these up (again based on the (Extra330S BA_EA) so everyone with a Realflight could enjoy them.
 All of my Yaks are based off the one that comes with every version of Realflight, so all you have to do is install them and not worry about needing a base plane. The yellow was taken from several of the older yellow/black Extreme Flight Yaks made for Realflight, but I only used those as a pattern. I had to redraw every single pixel on the plane.
Sadly I cannot take any credit for the newest Russian Thunder Yak. This was drawn entirely by Roberto Padilla and I merely converted it to 3.5 and had the honor of uploading it. It's simply beautiful work.
I worked a bit with Herre1114's excellent Extreme Flight splinter Yak and converted it to G3.5, plus changed the black to blue like the production models. Again, I merely used the original artwork as a template, and had to redraw every single pixel. It's still hard, but it would have been impossible with my skills to draw it from scratch.

Of course, we can't forget the Edges These are based on the 50% Edge540 BH_EA. This is the upcoming  75" 3DHS Edge 540-2017_CS. You can't buy one just yet, but you can fly it on Realflight.

And here are the two original 48" Edges, with the red/white/blue (more terrific work from Roberto Padilla) also being available in a host of other sizes.

Saturday, September 30, 2017

Even More Reasons To Fly The Extreme Flight 52" Extra EXP

This year was a tough one on equipment. I lost my beloved blue 52" Extra EXP when I got distracted during preflight and forgot to put in one of the wing bolts. When I have an accident like that, I stay furious at myself until I can build a replacement and forget about it. So, as you can guess, I was in a hurry to get this project on the road.

 In the mean time I had the servos serviced and along with my power system, put them in a new 52" Slick. Now I had to buy absolutely everything for the new Extra, and not that long after a crash I didn't need. I was going to have to find a way to save some jack somewhere on this deal, and once again Hitec saved the day. To help get me back in the air quickly, my friends at Hitec were kind enough to send me some Hitec HS5085MG servos, which are the digital equivalent of the HS85MGs. Since the 85MGs were great, the digital version would seem to be an upgrade, so I thought it was certainly worth a try. It's really nice not to have to buy new servos for every new plane, especially when I don't have the money anyway, so a big thanks to Hitec.

 As we saw in 52" Extra EXP__What To Do With Your Spare HS85MGs you can get away with using servos you already had left over from your 51" Slick. Just about everyone had a 51" Slick that they either crashed or wore out, and a handful of HS85MGs in the spares box. Since scratch was really short for that project, I simply had those serviced and threw them in. They have been really great, but since they served us so well in the 51" Slicks for so many years, that was not really a surprise.

 Certainly Hitec's magnificent HS5087MH are better, and the benchmark for this size plane, but I've found the HS85s have been fine. The plane is not quite as crisp in response, nor should it be considering the HS5087MH is a more expensive servo. Still, so far my HS85MG equipped Extra has been stellar, so I go into this project with a high degree of confidence.

Specs And Stuff
Mostly I have found Hitec servos suit just about everything I have flown in the last ten years, so I don't spend a lot of time pouring over specs and comparing servos trying to find that extra one ounce of torque or tenth of a second in speed. I'm not a spec guy and this isn't a tech blog. I just share what works for me.

 I just fly them hard and they either work or they don't. So far I have been happy with all my Hitec servos, but if I ever found one lacking the plan was always to upgrade to the next best Hitec servo, which so far has never been necessary. The only time I have wanted a better servo was switching from HS65MGs to HS85MGs for the elevators of my 48" EXPs, and even that wasn't strictly necessary. I just felt better with a bigger servo back there.

 However, I know some of you want these details, so here we go.............

HS-5085MG Servo Specifications
Performance Specifications
Operating Voltage Range (Volts DC) 4.8V ~ 6.0V
Speed (Second @ 60°) 0.17 ~ 0.13
Maximum Torque Range oz. / in. 50 ~ 60
Maximum Torque Range kg. / cm. 3.6 ~ 4.3
Current Draw at Idle 3 mA
No Load Operating Current Draw 290 mA
Stall Current Draw 2150 mA
Dead Band Width 2 µs
Physical Specifications
Dimensions (Inches) 1.14 x 0.51 x 1.18
Dimensions (Metric) 29.0 x 13.0 x 30.0
Weight (Ounces) 0.77
Weight (Gram) 21.9
Circuit Type G1 Programable Digital
Motor Type 3 Pole Metal Brush Ferrite
Gear Material Metal
Bearing Type Top Ball Bearing
Output Shaft (type / Ømm) Standard 24
Case Material Plastic
Dust / Water Resistance N / A
Connector Gauge (AWG) / Strand Count 28 / 20 

 Sometimes tiny, little, seemingly insignificant things make a difference. At least visually the gold label on the H5070MG servos really looks good with the black servo and Xcessories titanium anodized servo screws, but we'll have a picture of that in the set up section. This servo certainly looks like a quality piece.

 Power System: ESC
One of the most convenient aspects of the HS85MG project was that I did not have to solder up a separate BEC, mount it, and fight with the associated rat's nest of wiring. The simpler I can make the plane, the better I like it. I can just fly instead of checking more stuff. The 5085 is also a 6 volt servo with no BEC necessary.

 Also nice for me is that I have spent ten years flying the Airboss esc with it's safety switch. When you use a separate BEC the switch no longer works, and I just cut them off to avoid confusion. However, using that switch is part of my preflight ritual sequence and I like the security it gives me.
Simplicity is also especially important for newer guys because they simply don't know how to do it, and how to set it up. I've done so many that they don't bother me any more, but I remember the first few took a lot of cursing and head scratching. The simplicity of the Xpwr 3910 motor, Airboss 80ESC and 6 volt servos makes the power system a bolt on, plug in and fly system. About the only thing you can get wrong is the motor polarity, but you won't be going very far with the motor running backwards, except maybe going backwards, that is.

Since I have written so much about this power system in previous articles, I am going to be lazy and refer you to 52" Extra EXP__Synergistic Integration and 52" Slick EXP__ The New Classic report. This installation is so simple that the ESC location is already figured out for you. I use a 1/4" balsa block to lift the ESC up enough to clear the first fuselage former, and I can slide it back a little more.. This gives you a little more slack in the wire and deans plug on the other end where you plug the ESC into the battery. It also shifts the weight back a little so I don't have to jam the battery all the way back.
 Extreme Flight also made little slots in the tray to accommodate the zip tie for securing the ESC. Both the Extra and Slick are loaded with nice features like these. and you really have to build one of these to appreciate how much thought went into these planes.

 Here's the balsa block I glue to the bottom of the motor box. I cut it to fit snugly between the carbon rails and glue it in with Zap medium CA. I seal the top of the block with thin CA and that makes the Velcro really stick down. Notice the bottom front of the motorbox where it is relieved to allow the motor wires to clear. This is just one of hundreds of little details you will find on these planes.

 By mounting the ESC on the bottom of the motorbox you get a super clean installation, the switch wires stay neatly out of the way, the wire to the receiver is just the right length, and the deans connector comes out a little further back to give you a little more wire to work with. The ESC is also in there pretty snugly and not going to go anywhere. That and it just looks right. It's a win all the way around.

Power System: Motor
I'm going to cheat here and copy/paste the information on the Xpwr 3910 motor. If you have already read 52" Extra EXP__Synergistic Integration you can skip the next part and not miss anything.
Motor: The motor of choice for this plane is a product of Extreme Flight's Extreme Power division (Xpwr). When the motor first became available I wanted to become familiar with it, so I tested it in my 48" Extra and MXS. It is smooth running, cool and reliable, just like the Torque motors I love so much.

 The 52" Extra and Xpwr 3910 were designed to work together as an integrated package. This motor delivers absolutely Xtreme sick power, 1068 watts at 72 amps (Xoar 14/8). When I tested this motor in a 48" Extra it was so overpowered that I was hanging on the entire time, so it ought to be perfect for the 52". 

Designed to work with either a Xoar or Falcon 14.8 or 15/7 propeller, the 3910 accelerates so quickly you can almost feel the plane trying to rip the transmitter out of your hands. This is the most righteously powerful thing I have ever flown.

 The sound of the 3910 is a little different to what we are used to. It is quieter and sounds more like (metaphorically speaking) a Mercedes than a Ferrari. I does not quite scream like a 2814, but it's sound is a little more muted and lower pitched. Perhaps this is because it's not working nearly as hard, which leads me to believe it could be even more reliable than what we are used to flying. More reliability was certainly not necessary, but it's always a good thing.

 Aside from being shorter, and bigger in diameter than what we are used to seeing in the 48s, there's really noting different in the way you install and use the 3910 in the 52" Extra. The mount appears to be the same one as used on the Torque 4016/500 MkII motors we fly in the 60" planes, so again I am happy to be working with something so familiar.

 The motor simply bolts straight to the Extra's firewall (using the included X mount) with no additional fitting or cutting. You just install it the same way we have been doing all along with all the other EXPs. This is not really a surprise because the two were designed to work as one integrated unit.

 Xcessories And Stuff
You can order your Extra with absolutely everything you will need, from the beautiful Extreme Flight anodized aluminum servo arms, the correct length Extreme Flight Xcessories Servo Extensions and even the Extreme Flight Xcessories Anodized Titanium Colored Socket Head Screws for installing your servos. As long as you have a receiver, you can order everything you need directly from Extreme Flight, get it all in one package and only pay the postage on one box.


While the Slick 580 came with Xcessories new Socket Head mounting Screws for attaching the cowling, the Extra was an earlier release and still comes with the silver colored Phillips head screws. Fortunately Extreme Flight has recently made these available separately and they are really nice pieces.

 As you can see, the head has a built in washer, It's all cast as one piece, so when working with the screws you can't lose the washer. The allen head is also the same size as Xcessories servo mounting screws, and the cinch bolt on the Xcessories arm. With the exception of the servo arm mounting screw, you can preflight the entire outside of the plane with a single allen tool. All we need now is an Xcessories allen bolt to hold the servo arm on, but I have mentioned this to The Boss and hopefully he is working on that.

 One of my dirty little secrets is that I drill the upper left had cowl screw first, and then install. If everything lines up perfectly I drill the rest, but if not, I am usually close enough that I can simply elongate the hole whatever direction I need to move the cowling. I tighten that down and after that it's really hard to miss getting the others just right. With the large head on this screw, you can cover that first mistake up pretty easily......and that's the secret to how I get my cowl alignment so perfect and my spacing to the spinner so tight.

 I also love the new Xcessories twisted servo extensions. Most importantly they work, but also important is that they look great, and the plane's order page specifies the ones you need to give you the perfect length to get a clean radio system install.

 Making the whole project a one stop affair, you can order absolutely everything you need for the plane (except the receiver, but Extreme Flight is working on that) directly from Extreme Flight, get it all in one box and avoid paying multiple shipping costs. Xcessories are also competitively priced, so by skipping those extra shipping charges, you actually get a better product for less money.

Batteries Extreme Flight recommends a 4s 3000-3300 mah capacity pack, so the perfect match for me is the new Thunder Power 4s 3300 70C Rampage packs. I've been perfectly pleased with my 55C Lightning packs, but I have not been able to kill any of them even through two years of blistering Florida summers. As such, I haven't had the opportunity to try Thunder Power's latest offerings, but we're going to correct that now with these Rampage packs. Being a high discharge rating means I can run them a little harder and maybe expect a little longer lifespan. Having more power is never a bad thing either.

I like the 12C charge rate because I can safely charge them at up to 39.6 amps. My Thunder Power
TP820CD charger puts out 20 amps per side, which means the bvest I can do is charge them at roughly half the maximum rate. While these packs are designed to charge at the full 12C rating, it never hurts to take it easy on your equipment.  I am guessing I can charge one of these in 10-12 minutes. If you have a 40 amp charger it would be frightening how quickly you could top one of these off!

 At 353 grams, they are not that much heavier than the 2700 packs I am using in my 48s, and light weight is always a plus. They are also not much bigger in physical size either, so you can move them around quite a bit to get your CG where you want it.

The specs below were copy/paste from Thunder Power's website. I kind of doubt I will be spiking the battery at 462 amps, so it's nice to have that much more safety margin than you really need. Under stressed equipment is more reliable and lives longer, and with money being tight, I've got to get through next year on just two packs. It makes sense to get the mega battery to start with instead of replacing cheaper packs more often,

Mounting Pilot X
This seems to be an area that gives the new guys a lot of trouble. It's not because this procedure is hard .... it's not .... you just have to know how to do it. There are a lot of different ways to do this, but I learned a lot of my building tricks on 3DHS planes, and I still use the method that was in those manuals at the time.

 On the Slick, Pilot X fits beautifully, but it's a little bit tighter on the Extra because the canopy sits a little lower, especially at the rear where we want to put him. Of course, we are trying to put a 1/5th scale pilot into what is essentially a 1/8th scale plane, so a little improvisation was going to be necessary.

 You could easily glue the pilot straight to the canopy rails because it fits fine there. Problem is, that looks kind of cheesy and makes the pilot look like an afterthought. I prefer to mount it on a balsa sheet. For this I used something out of my scrap box and I don't even know what thickness it is. I'm guessing it's something like 3/16 or so. Whatever it is, it had to be thin because we couldn't afford to raise the pilot up much.

 I use the canopy itself as a pattern and draw the lines on the wood with a sharpie, then cut to shape. Here it's hard to get it exactly right, so you may have to trim the wood. It's handy to have a nice straight ruler and sharp Xacto for this.

 I learned building model cars that black is a poor color because it looks fake. Of course, we are putting a fake pilot into a fake scale plane, but you don't want it to look like that. I found that dark greys or gunmetal colors looked more real, and for this pilot I used Model Master Titanium colored paint. Here it looks black, but it's just a trick of the camera. It's really more like a really dark gun metal.

I drilled a hole in the base and screwed the Pilot X to it., then secured it with a self tapping screw. Once I trial fit the assembly into the canopy and was satisfied with the fit and placement, I ran some CA under the pilot and let it wick in.

 Finally, I slipped the assembly back in and carefully ran a bead of thin CA where the base meets canopy rails. Be careful to use a drop at a time. A spill here would make an awful mess out of things. The Pilot ended up a little forward of where I wanted him, but the slope of the canopy makes that a little too tight. Where he is still looks pretty good, so I am happy enough with it.

As you can see, the build is going quite well. Usually I like to do a gonzo build session and do it all in seven or eight straight hours. I'll get all but a few things done, and then knock it off when I start to feel like I'm getting tired and not doing my best work. Then come back fresh, and finish up with plenty of time and energy to exhaustively check everything.

 This time my shop is trashed from getting ready for the hurricane, so I don't have a suitable building area. I've just got the kitchen bar, and limited time, so I am just picking away at the small jobs and only working 20 or 30 minutes at a time. I am always fresh when I start working. As a result, all of it so far is my best work and I am really pleased with it. This just reinforces my belief that you have to slow down, be patient, and not really care how long it takes. The result is more important that the time it takes to achieve it.

Set Up
There is not much different here from my other 52" planes. Since the pushrods are all the same length, and the servos bays are cut out and predrilled, it would be hard to get wrong even if you tried.

The plane flies fine with the recommended Xcessories custom G10 extension, but my style of flying has evolved to where I can actually use the additional surface movement. For most people I recommend using the G10 arm and I am sure you'll be happy with that. I flew my first one like that for awhile and loved it, but went for more throw just to see if it worked better. Pitch authority is not much different, but with more throw you do get a harder braking action when you rotate the plane. I find this useful for killing speed instantly so I can set up my slow speed maneuvers without the need to bleed the speed bleed off with a longer glide path. I can fly it right up to me and park it right in front of the camera, which makes good video.

Here you can see I use the log arm from the Hitec PN557090 servo arm set. Right now I am getting about 85 degrees, but I can still trim a little bit off the rear of the fuse to allow the connecting arm between the elevator halves to move more. At this time, I've got my end points set at 135%, so we are almost there.

 I was really careful with my hinging on this plane. I made sure I could get a full 90 degrees of elevator throw. I had to drop the servo down about 1/16" because the Xcessories 1.25 servo arm was just barely rubbing on the bottom of the stab a little, but then again, it wasn't designed to use that much arm anyway. Fixing this was no big deal and really not even a minor annoyance. I used an emery board to sand off just a little of the bottom edge of the servo opening, plugged the mounting holes with thin CA and toothpicks, and drilled new mounting holes. I've done all three of my Extras this way and it works beautifully.

 Again, I used the Hitec PN5570 arm, this tine the outer holes on the longest one. The Extra is so pitch stable that the additional throw doesn't make the plane any more difficult to fly smoothly, but it does make it a bit more agile. It also makes a jolly good speed brake, but you had better know what you are doing before you try that down low.
Here we deviate just a little from the manual. I have used the Xcessories 1.25 arms on previous 52" Extras, but that was so much throw I had a little trouble being smooth with it. Since my radio only has a high and low rate, there is no mid rate for me to use. I either have high or low, and I set up my high rate so I can fly it for everything but precision work. I turned my end points back to 100% and that made the plane more to my liking, but I hated giving up the extra servo resolution of maxxing out my set up.
I finally fell back to the reliable Hitec PN55709 short 7/8" arms, and maxed my travel adjustment (end points). This gives me about 35 degrees of aileron, which is fine for me. I can fly this smoothly, so this was a good adjustment. However, I love all of the Xcessories and love using the Xcessories servo arms. Since we don't currently have a 7/8" arm, I was going to have to improvise.

If you have triple rates on your radio, I suggest you use the high and low rate from the manual, and on the mid rate dial the aileron back to 33-35 degrees or so.

I found the PN55809 to be perfect for the rudder on both my 52" Extras and Slicks, so I used one here as well. For some reason I can't seem to explain, on this plane I had to use the second hole from the outside instead of the outside hole. Doesn't make any sense, but it works.


Having had such good results from the HS85MG equipped Extra, I knew this would be a solid project. There's not much to say about how well these servos work, because they just work, and do what they are supposed to do. That's about all you can ask from any product and more than a lot of other ones deliver. Personally I don't want my servos to sing and I don't want them to dance. I just want them to do the job with a high degree of reliability, and basically stay invisible. Like all my Hitec servos, the HS5085MG fits the bill rather well here, and I am always delighted with a product that just gets it done with no fuss or drama.

This is why I never even consider a servo other than Hitec. I trust the company, I trust the brand, and I certainly trust the product to protect the rest of my investment in the plane. What possible other reason could you have for choosing a servo?

 Speed is a little better than the 85mg, and not quite as good as the 5087mh . Centering seems to fit in the mold too, being better than the 85s and not quite as locked in as the 5087mh. We knew this going in, from reading the specs, but in the air it's a little hard to tell much difference. All these servos work so well that you can't tell them apart until you start really hammering the crap out of them in full throttle blenders, walls and parachutes. Then the higher voltage and more expensive HS5087MH servos deliver a little more speed, grunt and holding power, but most people just don't fly that hard. You can tell the difference, but then again, it's only at the outer limits where even the most daring pilots don't spend a lot of time.

 Since I am not a servo expert, it's hard to make a definitive decision on what servo is best for different types of flying, but I do know a little about piloting, and I am much more than reasonably happy with all three versions of the 85 size servo. The longevity, performance and reliability of the 85 class servos is industry standard.

 This article has gotten to be so long that we will sign off here and post a video showcase as the next article, with more flight observations and maybe some other updates For now, though, here's a video of my HS85MG equipped Extra. It's not quite he same thing, but it will give you an idea of how solid the entire 85 series is.

52 Extra EXP__Testing With Hitec HS85MG Servos from Doc Austin on Vimeo.

Friday, May 26, 2017

3DHS 48" Demonstrator__Too Much Joy

Too much joy, you know, like when you are doing something you aren't supposed to be doing and loving every second of it.,

 Remembering when we were young, the times we were doing something completely blissful was usually right before we got caught, and that instant lasts forever when you are flying a Demonstrator. It's so much fun you know that you are being a bad, bad boy. Truly, too much joy.

So, I just had to build a second one. You know, just in case.

My initial reaction to seeing the first photos of the Demonstrator was that, thankfully they finally put a nice landing gear on it, because the old Edge 1.5 Huck this plane is based on flew pretty well. Now it's going to be a nice plane. What caught me out was just how much nicer 3DHS has made this plane. The carbon motorbox, battery tray, anti rotation pins and supports, plus carbon reinforced servo mounts and cowl tabs not only stiffens up the plane considerably (which makes it fly and track better), but the bling value makes the Demonstrator as much fun to show off to people than any plane I can remember.

The capper is the superb printed color scheme with carbon style flames licking over the entire plane. From a cool standpoint, this plane is simply blinding.

Even though that's more than enough, that's not the real story behind this plane. The real joy is the most important part, which as always is the flying. I flew enough 1.5 hucks to know I was going to like this plane, but the surprise was how much better the improvements stiffened the plane, and how much better that makes it fly. I've got to be honest and say the 1.5 in my eye was never as good as the SHP, even for the new guys. Remember the SHP is my baseline plane, and I judge every other plane by how it compares to this. The 1.5 was a decent plane, but the SHP was always going to be better in every way. Now though, the Demonstrator is at least it's equal, so equal in fact that I can't separate them. If I had to choose just one, it would come down to flipping a coin.

As much fun as I have had over the last 10 years flying SHPs, the Demonstrator gives the same kind of giggles, only with sizzling coolness.

Servo Upgrade
I've been using Hitec HS65MGs in my current Demonstrator and while they have been great, after 300 really hard flights they are getting a little tired and I wanted to upgrade for this plane. They have been great, but since this is a new plane, I wanted the very best of everything for it, including servos.

My friends at Hitec RCD were kind enough to send me a set of HS5070MH servos, and the new Demonstrator was a good opportunity to put them into play. These servos run on 7.4 to 8.0 volts, and as such, have much better speed, torque and centering. This is going to show up big in how well the new plane will fly. There's going to be no stalling or blowback, which will give you a more responsive plane. Also, the plane will track like a laser beam with their precision centering. Major upgrade for only a few dollars.

 Also worth noting is that this HS5070MH is under stressed in this application, so they just sort of do the job loafing around. It's like using a hammer to drive a thumb tack, but the benefit is the servos are having such an easy time of it that reliability goes way up.

When I built the Murder SHP two years ago I went with the HS5070MH and they have been off the chain stellar. I beat that plane hard and often, and there was ever going to be a servo that screamed
"enough", it was going to be in that plane. Still, they are going strong.

 Since the Demonstrator is the same weight and size, this servo is idea and about as good of a servo as you can find in this size. The HS5070MH is the same size servo, and in fact even uses the same bolt pattern, but it's a little taller. Hitec kept this in mind when they designed the servo and they did not make it too tall for use in current planes. Basically, you can just swap the out for your HS65MGs and have an instant upgrade.

To feed these servo 8.0 volts, I rely on the trust Castle Creations 10 amp BEC. This is such a good little unit that I even use it in planes as big as my 60" EXPs.
 Power System
By now most readers know what's coming next. Of course, it was going to be a Torque and an Airboss.

But of course.

I started my association with Extreme Flight in 2008 representing the Torque and Airboss brands. That's 9 years of absolutely dead solid perfect reliability, so even if something else was recommended, and Torque and Airboss was still going to go into this plane. In this case it's my favorite of all of them, the venerable, versatile and bulletproof Torque 2814. I have flown this motor on 3, 4 and even 5 cells and it's always had great power, smooth running, perfect reliability and it's very own distinct turbine like sound. On 3s it just sounds like a sewing machine, on 4s it's like a turbine engine with the governor taken off and the throttle jammed open. On 5s it lets out a blood curling howl that's frightening to hear.

For those of you who are replacing their older beloved wire geared 48" Edges, or even SHPs, your Omega 130G will bolt right in and work just fine. The Omega 103 will work too, but you might find it to be a little underwhelming.

Worth mentioning is that if you buy the Torque/Airboss power system with your kit as a combo, you save about $70. That drops the price to where the motor is essentially almost free, or to the point the entire power system is very competitively priced with "budget" power systems that won't be nearly as good. If you already have a power system, that's good too, but if you need one for this plane, there's no better way to go than the Torque/Airboss power system combo.

I wanted to mount the ESC on the bottom of the motorbox, but I could not get the deans plug to come out where I wanted it. I may play around with it later, but for now it was essential to get the article finished and get some video in the can and on the net.

As such, I simply mounted it on the side of the motorbox and the deans plug comes into the battery compartment where it is out of the way for battery change out, but perfectly positioned to plug it into the battery.

Aileron Set UpSport flyers might think this set up looks wrong because the pushrod is not at a straight angle. The reason we set the pushrod this way is because in 3D we run so much throw that you want the pushrod as straight as you can get it at maximum throw. Bolting it to what appears to be the wrong side of the control horn actually gives you perfect geometry at full deflection.

In a major upgrade 3DHS is now supplying double ball link hardware. Ball links give you smoother, drag free operation, as well as eliminating any slop or looseness in the pushrod system. They are also much easier to set up that the old swivel connectors, You just bolt them on and you're done. I love this upgrade.
Elevator Set Up
Again, it's just a simple dual ball link set up. If you follow the manual, it's really hard, if not impossible to go wrong. The kit comes with hardened allen head bolts and lock nuts, so again it's just a simple bolt together operation.
I used the standard arm that comes with the servo and pegged my end points. This gives me slightly less than bevel to bevel deflection, so it's plenty of throw with no danger of the servo binding. Like the rest of my set up, this comes straight out of the manual. The entire plane is extremely well thought out.

You want your pushrods to be as straight as you can get them, so to achieve this for the elevator. I bolted the ball link to the inside of control horn. The alignment is absolutely perfect, which assures smooth operation and good centering of the control surface.

Ruder Set Up
I'm going to cheat a little here and point you to the picture above because it also gives you a good view of the pull/pull rudder cables. The slots in the fuselage come precut, so it's a simple matter to tuck the loose covering into the slot with a trim iron.

Pull/pull systems are not difficult to set up or maintain. You just need to know a few tricks, and you'll learn those on your own after you do a few of them yourself. The only thing that makes me crazy on pull/pull installations is that's it's not easy to do a clean looking installation. You've got the crimp piece and the wire loop and the extra wire hanging out, and to me I just cringe when I see work like that.

I think I've come up with a decent enough looking solution though. First, I slide the crimp piece very close to the threaded adjuster piece, and I pull the slack wire so tight that the loop you would normally see flattens out against the crimp piece. I crimp, run a little thin CA onto the crimp piece, and once the glue sets up I cover the whole thing with some heat shrink tubing.

It's not perfect, but it looks so much better than having everything exposed that I an reasonably happy with it. I am probably going to always have one of these planes, so I will work on making something even cleaner looking. I have a little bit of OCD on things like this, which always drives me to trying to do things better.

Here's what the cables look like hooked to the servo. You use that standard Hitec HS65MG servo arm that comes with the servo. Again, I got the crimp pieces as close as I could to the connector pieces, got the loop wire as tight as I could and heat shrunk the entire thing to make a neater looking package.

Radio Installation

Friday, May 19, 2017

Working With Pull Cable Systems

Еще раз спасибо моим друзьям в России, которые читали блог 1428 раз в этом месяце. Большое спасибо за отличную поддержку и, пожалуйста, расскажите всем своим друзьям. Также, это специальный привет моему другу Терранозавру!

I've had so much fun with my 48" 3DHS Demonstrator Edge that I wanted to build another one. I've been threatening to write an article on pull cable set up and this gave me an excuse to build another Demonstrator even though my first one is still in terrific shape. Maybe I'm just greedy.

For those who have never done a pull system, it can be quite intimidating, but it's really just as easy as using a pushrod, just different. Like anything else, you need to know a few tricks and you learn those by doing them, and hopefully, from reading this article.

Setting Up The Pull System

My first pull system had me scratching my head and cursing a little, but I learned enough from that to make subsequent ones go smoother. It's not that hard and there are no mysteries. After you do a couple you will wonder why you were intimidated to begin with. What I'm going to try to do is show you some of the little tricks I learned the first few times.

If there are any hard and fast rules they are that you want a drag free and slop free system. The rudder has to move smoothly with no drag coming from a bad hinge job or ill fitted tailwheel assembly. The swivel connectors on the servo arms also have to have no drag on them, and as little slop as you can manage without getting them so tight they drag. If there is ever any doubt on any part of this, always go for smooth and drag free, slop free operation. This is critical for good rudder centering and makes for a good flying and nice tracking plane.

Cleaning Up The Cable Exits
The slots for the cable are already laser cut into the fuselage sides, and the covering is slit so the wires can pass through. The first step it to tuck the covering into the slot with a trim iron. Get them out of the way so they don't put any drag on the cables. You can either cut them flush with the edge of the slot or tuck them in, but tucking them in makes for a neater and cleaner looking job. Here you want to use low heat to avoid the iron sticking and pulling the printing off. Take your time, do a neat job. I think you'll agree this looks a lot cleaner than leaving it loose.

The Cable Ends
Now, thread the ball link onto the threaded connector piece. You can either hold the threaded connector with a pair of pliers and spin the ball link on by hand, or chuck the connector up in a small drill and spin it into the ball link. If you have arthritis, using the drill will make life a lot easier.

The connector will be easier to handle this way because it gives you something to grip. I suggest threading it on all the way, then backing it off five turns or so. This will give you some additional adjustment should you need it later.

With any operation, the cleanest and most tidy job is going to be the best solution. The least clean part of any cable installation are the cable ends and crimp pieces, and I've done my best to make that neater. Here is how the manual calls for the cable ends to be assembled. This works really well, though it's a bit messy for my taste. We are still going to do it the way the manual calls for, though we are going to tidy it up a bit.

Follow the manual and you will get what you see below. Again, this works well, but we're going to clean it up a little. I've put a battery on the ball link to hold it down and aid in getting a better photo.

We are not really going to deviate from the manual here. We are just going to go one step further in making it look better. Again, the cleanest solution is the best one. What I try to do is eliminate the loop in the cable and the extra wire sticking out. First, I pull the wire in the loop tight enough to take the loop out. This goes a long way toward a cleaner appearance. Then I move the crimp piece closer to the threaded end piece to make the whole thing smaller and visually less intrusive.

Once you get it all lined up. take a pair of pliers and smash the crimp piece flat. Just to be sure, put a drop of thin CA on the wire and hold the piece so gravity helps it run into the crimp piece. Snip off the loose end of the cable and the whole thing looks a lot better. It's still pretty ugly. but we're not quite done.

Finally. I use a piece of heat shrink tubing to cover the whole thing up and make a nice presentation.

Setting Up The Servo Arms
Now we take care of the other end.  Here I am using the standard Hitec double arm that comes with the servo and the 3DHS swivel connectors. These are nice because they afford easy cable tension adjustment.

First, drill the outer holes in the servo arm with a 5/64  size drill. I use a little hand drill from the Hobbico set, but in a pinch you can get away with hogging it out by spinning #11 Xacto blade in the hole. Drilling can leave behind some flash around the hole, and this can interfere with the swivels moving smoothly. I use an emery board to lightly sand the top and bottom of the arm. Good, smooth operation will help with proper servo centering.

On the newest 3DHS swivel connectors the threads on the end are a little tighter so the nut spins on a little harder. This is a good thing because it makes it harder for it to come loose. Get the nut as tight as you can get it without introducing any drag. Again, you always want smooth, drag free operation on any control system.

As you can see, the threaded end is a little long, and you have a few threads sticking out. The reason for this is you want to put to put CA on these threads to lock the nut on. I like to use a T pin to apply some thin CA to the exposed threads, and after that sets up, a dab of medium CA. This assures it's not going to come apart.

When you put the arm onto the rudder servo, use the sub trim in the transmitter to center it.

Hooking It All Up
With the cables attached to the control arm on the rudder and cables run forward into the fuselage, now it's time to hook them to the servo. Here I run the forward threaded end pieces halfway into the swivel connector,  and this gives me adjustment both fore and aft, and remember, we have some adjustment in the rear if we need it.

Now you want the rudder to stay centered so you can get the cable tension close, and for this I usually tape the rudder counter balance to the fin. Since the Demonstrator uses printed covering, I don't want to risk damaging it, so I have the wife or a friend  pinch the two together. 
I like to install one cable at a time because it's easier that way and you have less chance of mixing the cables up.  You want the cables to cross over top of each other inside the fuselage so they line up straighter to the servo. By doing one cable at a time, you simply start with the left cable and attach it to the right side of the servo arm and the right cable to the left arm. I don't know why, but I always start with the left cable.

 Make sure you slide the crimp piece onto the cable first.  Starting with the left cable, run it through the right side forward threaded connector piece. Pull the cable tight. You want to be careful that you don't pull so tight that you start breaking things, but you want it tight enough that you won't run out of adjustment later. Usually the cables end up not being as tight as you thought you had them, so get the slack out. If it's either too tight or two loose, we left ourselves some adjustment by centering the forward connector pieces in the swivel, and remember we also left ourseves some emergency adjustment at the rear with the ball links.

 One neat trick here (see above) is to get the cable tight, then bend it backwards at the connector. This will help it stay tight and not slip while you are running the wire back through the crimp piece. You can see I pulled the wire tight and then folded it over the connector. You can pinch the cable down on the connector with one hand and it's not going to come loose. Then you slide the other end into the crimp piece with your free hand (which has slid back out of sight in the photo).

Like so............

Now you do the loop, which I did not get a picture of, but it's the same as we did on the other end and the same as in the manual. Again, I like to pull the loop tight,  but also again, be careful you don't slip and start breaking stuff. If it's all good and still tight, smash the crimp piece down to lock that part of the adjustment in. Apply some thin CA to the crimp like you did on the rear and it's almost done. Put a paper towel in the bottom of the fuselage just in case you spill any CA. From there, snip off any excess wire, remove the threaded end pieces from the swivel and use heat shrink on the end and crimp pieces.

Do the other side exactly the same way and you're almost home. Yes, I am well aware the rest of the radio installation looks like a rat's nest, but we'll clean that up later

You may notice that my connectors did not even need adjusting. I got the centering and tension
perfect just by pulling the cables tight. Like I say, they normally come out a little looser than you planned, and keeping the slack out to begin with made it perfect. After you do one or two of these you can expect the same kind of results. None of this is a mystery. You just need to do one or two to get used to it, and then it's easy as pie.

Now all  the hard stuff is all done now. All that is left is the final adjustment.

Odds are pretty good you have it almost perfect. You want the cables tight enough that there is no sag in them, and there is no slop in the rudder. On the other hand, you don't want to get the cables guitar string tight either. That will kill the centering. Just adjust the cables so there is no sag in them, and no tighter. Assuming the rudder and swivel adjusters move smoothly with no drag, the rudder should center perfectly. if not, you probably have it too tight.

Slide the forward threaded connectors in or out of the swivel connectors to get the rudder perfectly centered, then tighten them down.  Generally, you don't want the cables so loose that you can move the rudder, and you don't want them so tight that the rudder doesn't center properly. The best rule of thumb is to get them tight enough that they don't sag, and no more. If you get them guitar string tight the rudder will center poorly and eventually the servo will burn out. If you get them too loose the rudder can move when the servo doesn't and it will center poorly to boot, which is never good.

Another good rule of thumb is that if the rudder centers well, you are pretty close. Finally, as long as the rudder will repeatedly center, leave it alone!  If you get it right now, you may have to adjust (usually tightening) the cables once or twice over the lifetime of the aircraft, but outside of that, it's pretty maintenance free. A little patience in getting it right now pays the dividend of you not having to mess with it later.

Generally I try to take a little pride in my writing, but this procedure has been challenging to put into written word. I tried to explain this to a friend out of state over the phone and I did a poor job. Later he visited me and brought his new Demonstrator. It was finished except for the pull system, and I showed him how to do it in five minutes. Showing was a heck of a lot easier than explaining, and infinitely easier to understand, and I tried to keep that in mind when I wrote this. I hope you will find this clear and helpful.