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Old 10-31-2009, 06:16 AM   #1
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Default 2 channels for ailerons, 2 for flaps?

I have never owned a radio with more than 4 channels, and I am researching 6,7 and 8 channel systems to decide what to buy. I came across a post that said "It is very common to put the Aileron servos on Ch1 and Ch7..." and "Flap servo on Ch5 and Ch6...".

Why would one use 2 channels for ailerons and then 2 more for flaps, rather than a single channel with a "Y" harness for each function? I don't think the post was talking about mixing the flaps and ailerons, it sounderd like he was discussing separate flaps and ailerons (not "flaperons"). Even if I did have flaperons and needed to mix them, could I not just use 2 channels, 1 for each flaperon?

And while I'm on this subject, I'd appreciate some feedback on the number of channels you guys typically use in a plane. Once past the standard 4 channels, I can see using a fifth channel for flaps, and a sixth for retracts. What would I use a seventh or eighth (or more) channel for? I read posts where pilots are using 9, 10, or even 12 channel radios. Just curious about what these extra channels are used for.

Thanks!!
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Old 10-31-2009, 07:18 AM   #2
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Having each servo on its own separate channel allows for a lot more options as far as programing different flight conditions with the control surfaces.

For example you can do something called 'Crow' where both ailerons go UP while both flaps go DOWN to radically slow a model down. Thats commonly used on sale planes. Both ailerons still function as ailerons at the same time.

I often program in something called reflex on my ailerons where both of them go UP/DOWN to one degree or another when elevator is applied. That can be used to make harrier flight more stable or to tighten up loops and square corners or walls or to rapidly loose altitude while maintaining speed.

You can also program both flaps to move as ailerons to increase roll rate but have only the inboard sections go down as flaps. Or you could have inborad and outboard sections act as flaps and ailerons at the same time.

Of course, you need a radio thats capable of all those programing options. Most 8 or 9 chanel computer radios will have all the functions and programming options you would ever need.

Most 7 chanel or lower systems like a DX7 or a Futaba 7 channel radio for example will do many of them but not all. Fewer channels usually also means fewer programing options.

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Old 10-31-2009, 07:26 AM   #3
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Those extra chanels can come in handy some times.

I have a powered glider that uses 7 chanells - 2 for flaps, 2 for ailerons, elevator, rudder and power. I had a non powered glider for a while that used 8 channels. All of the above except of power but it had a tow release and a camera channel.

My last biplane used 8 channels - 4 for ailerons, 2 for a split elevator, rudder and power.

The most Ive ever used on the same plane was 9 channels. That was a Balsa USA Phaeton 90. 4 ailerons, 1 elevator, rudder, throttle, smoke system, camera.

I almost always use 2 channels for ailerons if possible. I like it for the flaps and reflex options as well as being able to independently set the servo sub trims to trim out the model. Its easier than re-doing linkages.

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Old 10-31-2009, 07:29 AM   #4
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Forgot your last question. I fly with a 9 channel Futaba. My next radio will probably be a JR 10 channel even though I have never needed all 10 channels.

Lots of guys buy the more expensive radios to get the extra programming options. Lots of extra mixes and nifty things you can do with the extra programing power.

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Old 01-21-2011, 01:21 AM   #5
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Default flaperons and spoilerons

Hi Larry,
wow a 7ch glider - sounds like one mean model . Speaking of multi channels and flaperons, I've got a few questions. I have a DX7 and want to set up a powered glider type like EZ star for some light sport flying and/or AP/AV.

1. Is my understanding correct that it is impossible to have an AILE gyro and flaps? Either gyro goes between Y-connector and Rx or 2 separate servos plug into AILE & AUX channels on Rx... Or gyro could go to 1 servo, but that's not the right way to fly.

2. Is it possible to set up flaperons and spoilerons simultaneously? Looked through DX7 manual but it is not very clear so I wanted to ask before playing with it. I wonder if there's a way to use AUX2 to toggle deflection "on/off", while using flap mix to guide which way it deflects? It seems to be what the manual is suggesting, but it's only in the context of flaps.
In the manual, for 3 position flap mix switch it says: up 100%, mid 0%, dwn 100% and for 2 position AUX2 it's 0 or 1.

3. What exactly is the convention for servo travel? I take it must be 100% of total range, not +/-100% from mid point?
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Old 01-23-2011, 11:42 PM   #6
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I'd like to know the answer to his first question, as I'm thinking of possibly adding spoilers to my Skimmer when I get a round tuit.

Originally Posted by Alaska View Post
I have never owned a radio with more than 4 channels, and I am researching 6,7 and 8 channel systems to decide what to buy. I came across a post that said "It is very common to put the Aileron servos on Ch1 and Ch7..." and "Flap servo on Ch5 and Ch6...".

Why would one use 2 channels for ailerons and then 2 more for flaps, rather than a single channel with a "Y" harness for each function? I don't think the post was talking about mixing the flaps and ailerons, it sounderd like he was discussing separate flaps and ailerons (not "flaperons"). Even if I did have flaperons and needed to mix them, could I not just use 2 channels, 1 for each flaperon?
<snip>
Thanks!!

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Teach a man to build a plane and he'll fly for a lifetime"
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Old 01-24-2011, 07:56 AM   #7
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Originally Posted by FlyWheel View Post
I'd like to know the answer to his first question, as I'm thinking of possibly adding spoilers to my Skimmer when I get a round tuit.
No need for "Y"leads.
Independent aileron channels allows easy set up of differential movement for instance, and have full control over each surface where mechanical setup is not desired. Reduces adverse yaw problems on many models.
There is also a safety factor in that if one aileron servo goes out, you still hopefully have a measure of aileron to work with.

Flaps need to work together, unlike ailerons which work in opposite, so that you can keep the flap horn mounting points symmetrical and reverse the appropriate servo. And one servo on flaps doesn't always work too well due to linkage rods flexing, been there.

Hope this helps.

So 1 x Thr, 2 x Ail, 2 x Flap, 2 x Elv, 1 x Rudder, 1 x U/C, well on the way to needing more.

Of course there are always items like the JR Matchbox, but for mine the less gadgets the better.
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Old 01-24-2011, 12:44 PM   #8
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Alaska, having only a Futaba 6EX I could have used an extra proportional channel on my last build (a Zenair 701). I had to arrange mechanical mixing from an aileron servo onto two separate flap servos, and to use flaps in the same sense had to mount one 'back to front'. An extra channel would have allowed me to reverse it electronically.

If you are into scale models then 'all the extra channels' (over 6) could be used for such things as bomb dropping, turning on or off navigation lights, operating functions (gunfire sounds etc.) on a sound system, making the pilot give the crowd a wave... all sorts of cool stuff!

Nice try - but no cigar!
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Old 02-02-2011, 02:33 AM   #9
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Originally Posted by Alaska View Post
I have never owned a radio with more than 4 channels, and I am researching 6,7 and 8 channel systems to decide what to buy. I came across a post that said "It is very common to put the Aileron servos on Ch1 and Ch7..." and "Flap servo on Ch5 and Ch6...".

Why would one use 2 channels for ailerons and then 2 more for flaps, rather than a single channel with a "Y" harness for each function? I don't think the post was talking about mixing the flaps and ailerons, it sounderd like he was discussing separate flaps and ailerons (not "flaperons"). Even if I did have flaperons and needed to mix them, could I not just use 2 channels, 1 for each flaperon?

And while I'm on this subject, I'd appreciate some feedback on the number of channels you guys typically use in a plane. Once past the standard 4 channels, I can see using a fifth channel for flaps, and a sixth for retracts. What would I use a seventh or eighth (or more) channel for? I read posts where pilots are using 9, 10, or even 12 channel radios. Just curious about what these extra channels are used for.

Thanks!!
That set-up sounds typical of a Futaba 9C, like the one I fly.

By having each surface on its own channel you can:

Set end points from the radio for each servo
Set subtrim for each servo
Change how the surfaces behave using mixing software.

Examples:

Ailerons work as usual and flaps are not used druing regular flight. Flip a switch and flaps follow ailreons to create flapperons for more roll authority. Go from mild to wild.

You can have them 100% match the ailerons or have them move something like 50% of the aileron movement. This is common on thermal and slope gliders.

With gliders we typically use camber changes when thermal soaring. Having the ailerons on separate channels allows me to drop the flaps 2 mm and drop the ailerons 2mm as well. Same for reflex where we shift the flaps and ailerons up 2mm.

When you land, you can drop the flaps or you can drop flaps and raise ailerons in a position called crow or butterfly. Again common on gliders.

Some sport pilots use snap flaps to square their loops or tighten their turns. If you have ailerons on separate channels you can move the whole trailing edge, not just the flaps.

Those are just a few examples of how you can take advantage of having a 4 servo wing on 4 channels.

Just because you have 7 or more channels does not mean you can do all of this. You need the mixing features too.

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