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Old 04-09-2007, 06:57 PM   #1
eyesoreracing
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Default Yellow Bee mods

Poking around the site I see there are a few others who have discovered the joys of Harbor Freight's Yellow Bee. While the simple challenge of keeping the Bee off the ground is fun for a while I find the urge to modify the Bee irresistable.

After a series of crashes shattered my first fuselage, I replaced it with a brick of balsa wood, positioned all the electronics and battery appropriately to balance the plane, and had it flying again for about $0.50. Unforunately, I never photographed the woodie, and the large surface area of the wood fuselage acted as a big rudder, making it really hard to control in a headwind. Late in its maiden voyage, it caught a gust and, despite my valiant efforts to save it, flew across a baseball diamond, over a very tall fence, past some large trees, over a house, past some powerlines, and finally disappeared several blocks away, presumably in someone's back yard.

The next serious mod was this one:


Unfortunately, I only took one photo of the mighty Bomber Bee before my camera crapped out. The four-engine bee was amazingly powerful and, in spite of the added weight, still managed to glide well.

The achilles heel of this design was the roll inertia from having those motors so far out on the wings. Once it started to roll, the bee didn't want to stop, and when it recovered, it would overshoot, rolling the other way. the torque reaction from all those motors didn't help, as every time I gave it throttle, it would roll left.

I had one harrowing flight with the bomber on a slightly windy day. After gaining some altitude for safety, a gust rolled the bee, and it continuted until it was inverted. I used the 4-motor power to pull out, but the speed was so high I could see the wing bending pretty severely. There were only a few more seconds of stability before it stood up on its wing again and nosed into the ground, shattering the fuselage (again).

In spite of my total lack of modding success so far, I still have a burning desire to make a Bee fly backwards. I want to keep it as visually normal as possible while moving the CG and reconfiguring the V-tail as a canard. I need to find a stronger tail material first, though, as it will, by design, always land on its tail.

Anyway, I've seen a few other Bee modders around (like the big foam glider with Bee power) so let's have everyone show their creations here in one place.
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Old 04-11-2007, 04:49 AM   #2
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Thats an amazing yellow bee. One question did you connect the motors for each side in series or parallel. I have two yellow bees laying around and I might try something like that.
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Old 04-11-2007, 05:27 AM   #3
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Talking King Bee

Yeh, good question, I have 3 .

Originally Posted by ih8nixon View Post
Thats an amazing yellow bee. One question did you connect the motors for each side in series or parallel. I have two yellow bees laying around and I might try something like that.
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Old 04-11-2007, 05:29 AM   #4
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I wired them in parallel and all four seemed to work at full power, so it made a lot of thrust. No idea how long the circuitry would have handled that amperage, but luckly it fell out of the sky before it could catch on fire.
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Old 04-11-2007, 05:48 AM   #5
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Yes that is the way to go. That way, each motor see's 4.8 volts instead of 1.2 volts.You go buddy!!!!!!!!!!! I'm off to do a 6 motor bee and I might add another battery pack (in parrallel). This way , the system only see's 4.8 volts and I don't lose power to fast. Take care, Scott.

Originally Posted by eyesoreracing View Post
I wired them in parallel and all four seemed to work at full power, so it made a lot of thrust. No idea how long the circuitry would have handled that amperage, but luckly it fell out of the sky before it could catch on fire.
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Old 04-15-2007, 12:07 AM   #6
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Default dats sweet,

WHoooo! dats sweet, lets see more? your bub stevecooper


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Old 05-24-2007, 07:24 PM   #7
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Originally Posted by stevecooper View Post
WHoooo! dats sweet, lets see more? your bub stevecooper
looks like the dog is having the most fun in one of the pics!
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Old 05-24-2007, 07:30 PM   #8
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Default I think your right!

visalia31; I think your right! here their hav'in fun and the dogs not!!!your bub , stevecooper


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Old 05-27-2007, 01:41 AM   #9
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Talking Dog Baths Self In Public!

If you noticed the expression on the fella's face on the far right, then, you would know the dog was licking himself.

Originally Posted by visalia31 View Post
looks like the dog is having the most fun in one of the pics!
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Old 02-04-2008, 07:43 PM   #10
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Default Modding the Yellow Bee

Hello Bee Users,

I too have the Yellow Bee, and when i first got it, the cashier mistakenly sold me the 2 year harbor freight warranty!!!!! ive gon through about 25-30 planes since then!! and now consider myself a Yellow Bee Pro! however i now wish to look into modding the bee. do you know what would be the best motor upgrade to try, keeping weight and battery power in mind?
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Old 03-17-2008, 06:00 PM   #11
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Default 3 prop yellow bee mod

Nice mod on the bee! here is one i just finished, used motor from destroyed bee and mounted using 6/32 1 3/4 hex nut and mounted in place of rear screw to mount wing. this plane screams now. only reduces battery time by about 3 minutes!
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Old 03-17-2008, 06:05 PM   #12
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Default 3 prop yellow bee

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Old 03-17-2008, 07:59 PM   #13
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Originally Posted by chaddmz View Post
Nice mod! I fear my Bee is on its last legs. It still flies, but it's due for a replacement wing, which is currently enroute from HF. That will make an extra $37 I've now put into repairing a $30 plane.

- Matt
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"The exhilaration of flying is too keen, the pleasure too great, for it to be neglected as a sport."
- Orville Wright
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Old 03-17-2008, 08:02 PM   #14
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well worth the $10 to replace wing! just make sure your using clear packing tape on the wings for a extra couple of crashes! either that or STOP CRASHING! LOL!
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Old 03-20-2008, 11:52 PM   #15
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what is the proper cg of "THE BEE"?
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Old 03-21-2008, 12:03 AM   #16
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Default cg for the bee

real easy to find, just remove landing gear and use a standard paint stick or any similar shaped piece of wood (you may need to apply a small piece of duckt tape to prevent sliding) using the paint stick mount to any vice like device to form a sturdy balance point. then set the plane on the stick making adjustments by moving forward and backwards intil the plane comes to a balance. due to the body of the plane being round it tends to roll so you will have to "feather hold" the wing tips until you find the cg.

this is helpfull when trying to add extra engines or larget batary packs.

have fun!
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Old 10-26-2008, 11:57 PM   #17
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Default Yellow Bee Balancing Act

I, too, have a Yellow Bee from Harbor Freight. I find that the term "flying" the Bee seems incorrect. It seems more like a balancing act. I launch by hand under full power & if there's no wind, it will climb relatively straight. Now for the balancing...in order to have directional control, I have to reduce the throttle. To go "straight" I have to increase the throttle. It gets to be a balancing act because if I cut power too much to turn, it will stall. As soon as the nose drops, it's over. I have yet to recover from a stall at anything less than about 100'. Reducing the throttle enough to decrease altitude for landing usually results in a stall & a less than graceful meeting with the earth. Any suggestions?
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Old 10-27-2008, 10:44 PM   #18
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If your Yellow Bee won't automatically recover from a stall within about 50 feet of lost altitude, then you need to add a bit of static "up" elevator to the tail wing. To do this, simply bend the static elevators on the tail wing upward a bit (not much--just a couple degrees at a time will do).

To gauge whether or not your YB is setup correctly, do this test:

In your back yard (or any other small clearing), without turning it on, gently toss your Yellow Bee forward (don't sling it, just gently push it off) from head level. It should glide smoothly and land gently on the ground. If it noses in, then you need to add up elevator to the tail wing. If it noses up and then stalls to either the left or right, then it has too much up elevator and you need to reduce it a bit. Keep trying until you get a smooth forward glide with a gentle landing.

Note that with the plane configured this way, you won't be able to fly it at full throttle for very long, or it will nose up and go into a stall. I get the best results by constantly pulsing the motor between medium and high throttle to get up to altitude, and then cutting the throttle completely and seeing how long I can glide. With the tail wing set with the correct amount of elevator, you can glide for up to 10 minutes at a time from a high starting altitude. Great fun!

- Matt
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"The exhilaration of flying is too keen, the pleasure too great, for it to be neglected as a sport."
- Orville Wright
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Old 12-09-2008, 04:33 AM   #19
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Thanks for that suggestion. I'll work on that next time I get to the field.

Duct tape is like the Force ... it has a light side, a dark side, and it holds the universe together!

AMA 914683 The name is Dan
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Old 12-24-2008, 10:25 AM   #20
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Default my 3 channel bee...

hi all. Thought you might get a kick out of my bee. She has mini servos , an esc and a gws pico 4 stuffed in her. shes powered by a 2 cell 350amh lipo pack and a 180 motor. I kept snapping stock wings so i made a new one from an old aerobird wing! Much stronger!!! I ran tubes down both sides of the boom for control rods. beat her nose pretty good getting the hang of her (hence all the tape). shes fast and quite responsive.


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Old 12-24-2008, 01:57 PM   #21
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tracebass::Your bee's a hole new bug!!! great job,! and Welcome to wattflyer! your gonna fit right-in,,,(were mostly a mess-o-nuts anyway! bub, steve


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Old 12-24-2008, 04:22 PM   #22
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Smile

tracebass:: Welcome to WattFlyer...

Tell us a little about yourself. Where you live? How long you been flying? What you thinking of building next? What's your screen name mean?

Take care,
Richard
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Old 12-24-2008, 04:43 PM   #23
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I had bought my dad one a few years ago for Christmas. I flew it around for a little bit and made my long approach towards me. I ended up catching it as it went by. Flight #2 didn't fair so well as dad was flying and he found the horse fence. It never did fly right after that, and crashed a lot. It's still in his basement all broke up.

-Travis "aka" CLSSY56

Winging It! with Travis & Jeremy
On FaceBook & YouTube
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Old 12-25-2008, 07:00 PM   #24
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Originally Posted by tracebass View Post
hi all. Thought you might get a kick out of my bee. She has mini servos , an esc and a gws pico 4 stuffed in her. shes powered by a 2 cell 350amh lipo pack and a 180 motor. I kept snapping stock wings so i made a new one from an old aerobird wing! Much stronger!!! I ran tubes down both sides of the boom for control rods. beat her nose pretty good getting the hang of her (hence all the tape). shes fast and quite responsive.
That's a great looking mod you did there. I've actually been toying with using a couple 4.3g servos I've got laying around to convert mine to a V-tail control system. Of course, I'd leave the stock dual brushed 180s on mine,although I would upgrade it to a 2S LiPo for power. The biggest thing I have to make up my mine on is whether I'd go with a push-pull fishing line system for the v-tail control surfaces, or use rigid push rods.

- Matt
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"The exhilaration of flying is too keen, the pleasure too great, for it to be neglected as a sport."
- Orville Wright
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Old 03-05-2009, 04:17 AM   #25
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I wonder IF a servo could be wired into the system. The control wire must run to both motors. If connected to a servo would it then move left and right when the motors change speed? IF SO just a fishing line, one servo and linkage would add rudder to thrust..I have been toying with this idea. We have two of them but in any wind at all they are a mess to fly. Instead I bought a Phantom..Almost the same but it has rudder and elevator. If this bird does not fly well I may built a Blue Core bi wing sort of like the Ace Bipe and put the Yellow Bee motor and radio on it..any ideas?
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