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Old 07-31-2014, 07:02 PM   #1
Lenl1540
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Default Advice for Vintage flyer

Hi All,

I'm new to this forum but old to R/C. I am recently getting back into flying since I was diagnosed with Cancer of the Larynx due to exposure to Agent Orange while serving two tours as Combat Medic with the 25th Inf. in Viet Nam. As you can imagine, my life has changed quite a bit since the surgery and removal of more parts and pieces of my body.

I'm 66 and must keep my hobbies lite now, so back to R/C. I have several planes that I had built and flew 30 to 40 years ago and still have. I have three electrics which I enjoyed very much due to ease of use and low noise level. Of course, my radios and receivers are vintage also. I always loved my Cerrus 7 channel but now find that, although still like new, is vintage stock.

This is what I am trying to do, I have sourced new batteries for both my Cirrus transmitter and receiver (Waiting for delivery now.) When they arrive I will dry test all systems on the ground first. (I will be using my Great Planes, Kit Built, Piper J-3, Electrofly). If all goes well I would like to build floats for the J-3 but am not sure that the present electric motor will have enough power. The engine in it is a ferrous 600 type electric motor, with a home built variable motor control running on 7.2v -1200 mAh NiCd battery. When last flown, it was balanced and trimmed perfectly and once aloft, could be flown as a glider with no problems.

After many hours of research I find that great strides have been made in the field of electric flight since my early years of flying electric, all positive, and I would truly like to take advantage of all if the improvements, but am not afraid to admit I need some guidance from those who already are familiar with the innovations.

The J-3 is only using three channel right now - throttle, rudder and elevator. I would like to add Ailerons (which can be done easily) if you experienced water flyers think they would be necessary.

Thank you for your help and advice in advance,

--Len
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Old 07-31-2014, 07:48 PM   #2
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First... you need to verify the age of the vintage RC equipment. If made before 1991, it needs the sticker that says it was upgraded (or initially made ) to meet 1991 "narrow band" standards. If it does not meet that, then it is illegal to use. Some radios made as early as 1985 met the standard without modification.

1985 to 1991 we went through a transition and a change in what frequencies were legal and regulation about how wide of a slice of the frequency band a transmitter could use.

RE the cub and adding floats... you might be able to just upgrade to LiPo, reducing battery weight while adding duration, making up for some of the weight of floats and effectively gaining the power needed due to being near the same power:weight as you had using nickel based cells. Note that this would require careful monitoring of the batteries because LiPo does not tolerate overdischarge at all.
That is just one possibility...
You may be best off changing to a modern brushless motor + ESC and the LiPo batteries. The brushless motor will be somewhat lighter to deliver the same power. Lots more power AND duration is possible with less weight than the original system.

Its fine to fly off water without ailerons. The HobbyZone J3 ARF foamie has been doing that for years. Originally these were powered by a smaller "can" brushed motor and used NiMh batteries. (That version was still available last time I checked...) The modern version is the same foam airframe with brushless motor and LiPo.

The issue to watch for flying off water with a wood model is ANY water that gets in can cause severe damage through softening wood allowing warps and initiating dry rot or mold. A wood model that was not built with intention of flying from water is unlikely to be properly treated to deal with the inevitable water getting inside.
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Old 07-31-2014, 08:36 PM   #3
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Hi Lenl. Welcome to WF. If you want a good catchup on electric planes, check out Aeajr's thread on the subject, Everything You anted to Know About Electric Powered Flight. I learned tons from it.

I highly recommend the section on the 'new' lipo batteries care and use. The lipo's are a different animal than the nimh and nicad batteries.

When you see the advances in electric power, you might see it's worth repowering that J-3 with a new brushless motor and ESC. You'll be able to have way more power with much less weight.

Good luck and don't be a stranger!
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Old 08-01-2014, 03:27 PM   #4
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You are correct about water intrusion into balsa planes and extra precautions must be taken.
The electric tutorial will take me some time to get through ........but.....it looks as though repowering the planes that I have would be the way to go. Brushless and new batteries for them would be in the hundreds of dollars. I can not get an answer about the Cirrus radio's legality so that would be more hundreds of dollars for radio, servos and etc.

Unfortunately, cancer is an expensive proposition and leaves very little if anything at all, so I think the planes will stay in plastic wrappers until, or if, I can figure something else out.

Thanks for all of your help,

--Len
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Old 08-01-2014, 05:54 PM   #5
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Full RTF complete package deal 4 Channel foam Piper Cub can be found under $200 shipped to your door.
(Nitroplanes is currently sold out)

http://www.nitroplanes.com/dyrcaico.html Motor + ESC combos near $30

http://www.nitroplanes.com/79p-t6-6ch-radio-lcd.html 6 ch 2.4 ghz TX + RX for about $60

Cost doesn't have to be as high as you might think.

There are more choices than just Tower Hobbies and Horizon.
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Old 08-01-2014, 06:26 PM   #6
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Default Closer to doable

Thank you for your reply. Very enlightening. The 'out of stock' RTF looks very good.
When 'foam' was just coming in to flying, it was very fragile and looked upon as 'junk'. But now, as I do the research, I find that it has made major strides in durability and repairability. I also would not be as aggravated after a crash. Crashing a kit pane that you have spent 40-50 hours building is truly a "crushing" experience ( that I have had many times.)

A bucket wish - since getting close to death you think about these more often - Something I would love to be able to do before crossing over to the other side, is to see my fathers plane fly. The story - a very long time ago my father kit built a 'U" control stunt plane. He spent a very long time doing the build but never completely finished it or flew it. It would have been his first plane. He has now passed and I have taken the time to remove all of the old 'Japanese Silk' (That was the covering of the day.). Recovered it with Monokote, made the wing removable (for R/C electric access.) Installed the control tray and rods for R/C (ailerons, rudder and elevator) and a new set of light wheels.
I thought that if I could get familiar enough with electrics (with a lot of help from others) I might be able to get it off the ground at least one time - for him.

Thanks again,

--Len
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Old 08-02-2014, 11:54 AM   #7
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Originally Posted by Lenl1540 View Post
Thank you for your reply. Very enlightening. The 'out of stock' RTF looks very good.
When 'foam' was just coming in to flying, it was very fragile and looked upon as 'junk'. But now, as I do the research, I find that it has made major strides in durability and repairability. I also would not be as aggravated after a crash. Crashing a kit pane that you have spent 40-50 hours building is truly a "crushing" experience ( that I have had many times.)

A bucket wish - since getting close to death you think about these more often - Something I would love to be able to do before crossing over to the other side, is to see my fathers plane fly. The story - a very long time ago my father kit built a 'U" control stunt plane. He spent a very long time doing the build but never completely finished it or flew it. It would have been his first plane. He has now passed and I have taken the time to remove all of the old 'Japanese Silk' (That was the covering of the day.). Recovered it with Monokote, made the wing removable (for R/C electric access.) Installed the control tray and rods for R/C (ailerons, rudder and elevator) and a new set of light wheels.
I thought that if I could get familiar enough with electrics (with a lot of help from others) I might be able to get it off the ground at least one time - for him.


Thanks again,

--Len
Hi Len let me know when your ready to get that U Control planes power system, I can point you in the right direction, and it will be inexpensive to do, here is a video of me with my Brodack Control line Buster on Electric power

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=jch8uPBlvRQ

http://www.wattflyer.com/forums/show...ghlight=buster

http://www.wattflyer.com/forums/showthread.php?t=55444

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Old 08-02-2014, 11:55 AM   #8
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also what is the wing span on your J 3 cub and the approx AUW, I can get you a Motor for it with a ESC for next to nothing and its very good Quality stuff too

here is one example of a motor and Esc combo $36.99

http://www.graysonhobby.com/catalog/...nkb4q6b6m7von4

http://www.graysonhobby.com/catalog/...ies-p-898.html
$44.99

http://www.graysonhobby.com/catalog/...ials-c-22.html



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Old 08-02-2014, 04:47 PM   #9
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Hi Sheille
Since my Currus Radio Is no longer legal I will be forced to purchase a new outfit with servos and etc. When I contacted Futaba I got the quick shove to Tower Hobbies - no longer existing. (Won't be buying any Futaba anymore.) Kind of a shame, the radio is brand new, has seven channels, all reverseable, all with low/high switches, eight trim pots and a channel mix control.

I did notice that Grayson Hobby had a RTF, PBY, with all needed accoutrements, for a SALE price of $179.00 the package looks good. The flying video looks good. Now all I have to do is to save enough to buy it.
It comes with a four channel radio, batteries,charger and servos so I can start there. I would need to do a little custom painting to suit my realism style but it looks like it will fit the bill and get me in the air once more. I should be able to transfer the radio and RX to the Cub with the addition of new motor,servos and throttle control.

The J-3 has a 36" wingspan and is very light. I usually flew it as a glider once airborne and used the motor to get from one thermal to another. I could stay up all day as long, as the batteries held up. I normally had to power it to the ground to get it to land. A feather stall was almost impossible.

I will get with you when I'm up to the control line converted plane.
The videos are great!
Thank you again for all of your help,

--Len
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Old 08-03-2014, 12:38 AM   #10
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Originally Posted by Lenl1540 View Post
Hi Sheille
Since my Currus Radio Is no longer legal I will be forced to purchase a new outfit with servos and etc. When I contacted Futaba I got the quick shove to Tower Hobbies - no longer existing. (Won't be buying any Futaba anymore.) Kind of a shame, the radio is brand new, has seven channels, all reverseable, all with low/high switches, eight trim pots and a channel mix control.

I did notice that Grayson Hobby had a RTF, PBY, with all needed accoutrements, for a SALE price of $179.00 the package looks good. The flying video looks good. Now all I have to do is to save enough to buy it.
It comes with a four channel radio, batteries,charger and servos so I can start there. I would need to do a little custom painting to suit my realism style but it looks like it will fit the bill and get me in the air once more. I should be able to transfer the radio and RX to the Cub with the addition of new motor,servos and throttle control.

The J-3 has a 36" wingspan and is very light. I usually flew it as a glider once airborne and used the motor to get from one thermal to another. I could stay up all day as long, as the batteries held up. I normally had to power it to the ground to get it to land. A feather stall was almost impossible.

I will get with you when I'm up to the control line converted plane.
The videos are great!
Thank you again for all of your help,

--Len
Hi Len this motor and esc combo should work well for you. give the motor about 2 to 3 degrees of down thrust, no right or left side thrust should be needed, but you can add it later if needed, the down thrust will help to load the wing so it does not want to rise with throttle applied or want to porpoise during flight.

$24.99 for both the Motor and Esc

http://www.graysonhobby.com/catalog/...nkb4q6b6m7von4


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Old 08-03-2014, 12:42 AM   #11
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3 cell lipo, 1000mah $6.25 each, get 3 of them to keep you flying all day long


http://www.hobbyking.com/hobbyking/s...arehouse_.html


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Old 08-03-2014, 12:52 AM   #12
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If your going to be using a 2.4 radio system, you need to use a UBEC, and disconnect the bec normally red wire coming out of the ESC its cheap insurance form a brown out caused by low voltage going to the Receiver causing it to shut down and it will save your plane.

$9.99

http://www.graysonhobby.com/catalog/...nkb4q6b6m7von4

http://www.wattflyer.com/forums/show...highlight=ubec



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Old 08-03-2014, 01:00 AM   #13
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to keep things simple and inexpensive for now, this lipo charger will work well for you, you can get a better one later on, but this will do the job for now, i have this lipo charger and it works well for the smaller lipos 1000mah to 1500 mah, you can use it at home or in the field.

$19.99

http://www.graysonhobby.com/catalog/...nkb4q6b6m7von4


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Old 08-03-2014, 02:14 AM   #14
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Making it harder than it has to be... the issue with ESC's BEC not supplying adequate current almost never comes up on a 3 ch or slow flying 4 ch if the servos are adequate to the aircraft. The main time it comes up is when you are stalling the servos.
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Old 08-03-2014, 01:55 PM   #15
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Originally Posted by Lenl1540 View Post
Hi Sheille
Since my Currus Radio Is no longer legal I will be forced to purchase a new outfit with servos and etc. When I contacted Futaba I got the quick shove to Tower Hobbies - no longer existing. (Won't be buying any Futaba anymore.) Kind of a shame, the radio is brand new, has seven channels, all reverseable, all with low/high switches, eight trim pots and a channel mix control.

I did notice that Grayson Hobby had a RTF, PBY, with all needed accoutrements, for a SALE price of $179.00 the package looks good. The flying video looks good. Now all I have to do is to save enough to buy it.
It comes with a four channel radio, batteries,charger and servos so I can start there. I would need to do a little custom painting to suit my realism style but it looks like it will fit the bill and get me in the air once more. I should be able to transfer the radio and RX to the Cub with the addition of new motor,servos and throttle control.

The J-3 has a 36" wingspan and is very light. I usually flew it as a glider once airborne and used the motor to get from one thermal to another. I could stay up all day as long, as the batteries held up. I normally had to power it to the ground to get it to land. A feather stall was almost impossible.

I will get with you when I'm up to the control line converted plane.
The videos are great!
Thank you again for all of your help,

--Len
Hi Len the PBY from Grayson has a 2.4 Dynam Transmitter and Receive, IMHO, I would stay away from Dynam, from what I have read, they have a history of Binding problems and receiver problems when going from a 4 channel receiver to a 7 channel receiver, they just dont want to work, spend a little extra money and buy a Spektrum DX6i transmitter and ONLY Spektrum FULL range receivers, stay away from the Park flier 2.4 short range receivers, you will be glad you did. always use a UBEC with a 2.4 radio system, the 2.4 radio has a few issues with them, and using full range receivers and a UBEC will insure that you do not have any problems down the road, the 2.4 is not like the old 72Mhz, the old 72 Mhz only had one problem, that is is someone turns on the same frequency they could shoot you down, the 2.4 has masking problems, short range problems and low voltage problems, IMHO, i dont like 2.4 but a lot of people swear by them, to each there own, using a UBEC and full range receiver will help to insure you dont have issues with a 2.4 radio system,

http://www.amain.com/Spektrum-DX6i-6...FQeIaQod_n0A0Q

http://www.amazon.com/Spektrum-AR400...trum+receivers

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Old 08-03-2014, 03:03 PM   #16
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Thank you again for your reply's.
OK. So here is where I am at. The PBY was complete - radio, servos, receiver, batteries, charger, motors and the plane itself for $179.00. I know it's a cheap set up but everything is there but, I will heed your advice Chellie.
I need to keep the overall costs down as you know so.............................is there anything you could suggest, to purchase (a complete system - for lake flying) - for $250 or under and would not be a problem later?
I have seven planes that I have already kit or scratch built but they are made to fly from grass or black top. Keeping that in mind, I would need to purchase additional servos, motors, batteries, speed controllers and etc. so I need to keep this initial purchase as low as possible without buying 'junk'.

Thanks you all again,

--Len
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Old 08-04-2014, 05:08 PM   #17
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Hi Chellie and all,

This morning I tried to take a few pictures of the J-3 Cub. It turns out I was wrong about the measurements and I find that my camera is no longer recognized by my computer so I will describe what I found.
Last night I tried to charge everything up and try the J-3 (surface movement and motor control) indoors with my Cirrus radio. All worked but I was getting stray signals from all over - need to upgrade to new frequencies for sure.
The initial measurements I gave you were wrong. The plane's fuselage is 36" long and the wingspan is 60" (sorry no pix to see.) This would mean that the recommendations you gave were for a smaller plane.
If possible, could you revise the motor and etc. for the larger plane so that I can begin the orders.
First, what do you think about the Spektrum DX6i six channel w/ AR610 receiver? I would also need recommendations for four Spektrum servers and Lipo batteries for my first order.

Thanks again,

--Len
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Old 08-04-2014, 05:42 PM   #18
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60 inch span... that's probably a .40 glow size Cub. If built light it could fly just fine on a .25 as the 78 inch span Sig Kadet Sr kit as originally packaged called for a .35 (older engines which produced less power than modern of same displacement)

So about 400 watt to 500 watt electric should be more than adequate. You'd want to go with a power system more appropriate for a sailplane (relatively slow turning, and larger diameter prop) as opposed to something itenced for a pylon racer, so a motor meant for 3S LiPo and about 750- 850 kV.

http://www.nitroplanes.com/96m603-bi...826-870kv.html

40 amp ESC
http://www.nitroplanes.com/60p-dye-1004-40a-esc.html

11X7 prop

I have that exact setup in a plane and it works great. If desired you can drop in a 4S LiPo instead of 3S with no change of motor, ESC or prop.


*************

The Dynam radio issues tend to turn out to be lack of decent instructions... If you turn it on with the throttle arming switch in the wrong position you can lose bind. The radio doesn't come with instructions on how to bind the RX to the TX. But once you learn this its very reliable. I have the 4 ch and 5 ch Dynam transmitters that came with their RTF package deals. I have also given away a couple of these TX/RX sets. I only get the package with the radio in order to have radios to give away to people that bought cheap 27 mhz planes that have no useful range. (Harbor Freight) It only costs about $10 more for the RTF than for the ARF + a battery, so these radios are only costing me $10 when I planned to get the plane and a battery anyway.

Useful range testing of the Dynam radio that comes with the Dynam 1250 mm span (+/- 50 mm) series warbirds has proved it will work to fly them further than you can see the airplane. No issues at all once I learned to set the throttle arming switch correctly.

Always turn on the TX first and if the TX lights are blinking, turn off, flip throttle arming switch and then turn back on.... then plug the battery into the model.

T X lights blinking means bind mode.

If you plug in the model battery first that puts the model into bind mode and that will make it lose bind with the TX.
Easily corrected by then turning the TX on in bind mode, but then you have to wait for bind, then unplug the airplane's batter, and turn the TX off, then turn things on correctly.

*******************

Spektrum makes good radios. They also tend to be a bit expensive.

I have the DX-8 and the DX-18.

I do not buy Spektrum servos. I buy Hitec Servos. The Hitec give better performance for lower cost.

Note that if the servos will plug into the modern radio then you don't need to change them.

With one caveat... there were 3 pin-out plans for older servos (that I know of).
Early Futaba had male pins on a plug with a 90 deg bend and uneven pin spacing. I do not know the wire order on those...
Later Futaba and everyone but Airtronics went to + in the center pin female plug on the servo. This is the industry standard today even for Airtronics.
Airtronics used to have - in center, generally with 3 black wires and white stripe on the + wire.

Plugging in with + in center and a modern radio you can't hurt anything. if its wrong then just flip the plug around because it was "signal / - " reversed. No harm.

Plugging in with + on the side and a modern radio will destroy the servo and the RX. You CAN put a new plug on, moving + to center and it works.

Servos from 1975 that use 3 wires will still work. That is every 3 wire servo ever made.
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Old 08-04-2014, 08:03 PM   #19
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Originally Posted by Lenl1540 View Post
Hi Chellie and all,

This morning I tried to take a few pictures of the J-3 Cub. It turns out I was wrong about the measurements and I find that my camera is no longer recognized by my computer so I will describe what I found.
Last night I tried to charge everything up and try the J-3 (surface movement and motor control) indoors with my Cirrus radio. All worked but I was getting stray signals from all over - need to upgrade to new frequencies for sure.
The initial measurements I gave you were wrong. The plane's fuselage is 36" long and the wingspan is 60" (sorry no pix to see.) This would mean that the recommendations you gave were for a smaller plane.
If possible, could you revise the motor and etc. for the larger plane so that I can begin the orders.
First, what do you think about the Spektrum DX6i six channel w/ AR610 receiver? I would also need recommendations for four Spektrum servers and Lipo batteries for my first order.

Thanks again,

--Len
Hi Len This motor will work very well for you, on 3 cells or 4 cells, Heads up Rc is a great Vendor, lots of people here use Heads up Rc, good people to work with, Tell jeff that Chellie sent you

The DX6i and the AR610 receiver are very good, its a full range receiver.

http://www.headsuphobby.com/Firepowe...otor-E-685.htm

this motor will produce up to 70 oz of thrust, more than enough for a Cub I have this motor in a plane, Lots of power

ESC with a Switch mode bec, no need to buy a seperate UBEC with this ESC, ESC have Linear and Switching BECs, the linear is the weaker one that uses a resistor, and the switching uses Electronics for the voltage regulator.

http://www.headsuphobby.com/Sky-Powe...-BEC-H-110.htm

You will need a bigger lipo too

http://www.hobbyking.com/hobbyking/s...arehouse_.html

and a battery charger

http://www.hobbyking.com/hobbyking/s...arehouse_.html

and a power supply for the charger

http://www.hobbyking.com/hobbyking/s...arehouse_.html

http://www.headsuphobby.com/Sky-Powe...-BEC-H-110.htm

I may be getting Older, But I Refuse to grow Up I am Having to much Fun to Grow Up LOL
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Old 08-04-2014, 08:56 PM   #20
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Default WOW!

Hi Chellie,

You knowledge base about this topic just has me floored.................

I appreciate all of your help (and feel like I was just born yesterday.)

--Len
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Old 08-05-2014, 12:58 AM   #21
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Originally Posted by Lenl1540 View Post
Hi Chellie,

You knowledge base about this topic just has me floored.................

I appreciate all of your help (and feel like I was just born yesterday.)

--Len
Hi Len I have Learned all this Information on Epower From Some of the Best of the Best Here on Wattflyers After you have been here a little while, you will get a good Knowledge on E power too, Lots of Sharp People here that are willing to help the newby, Take care and have fun, Chellie

I may be getting Older, But I Refuse to grow Up I am Having to much Fun to Grow Up LOL
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Old 08-07-2014, 02:03 PM   #22
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Default Pix of 33 yr old electric CJ-3 about to fly again

Good Morning,

Finally got some pix of the CJ-3 to work:



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Old 08-18-2014, 01:50 PM   #23
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Default Confession



OK Chellie ( and all),

You were right!

I went over and over and over the budget but just could not come up with the funds for the nice radio you suggested and being worried about my health catching up with me and depriving me of doing this now, I opted for the Dynam PBY.

OF course, being a builder at heart, I went over the complete plane and scaled it and painted it to the "Srawberry -5" that found the Japanese fleet during the battle of Midway, WWII (I am working on changing the lighting system to mymc the scale plane now.)

Ground tested the plane for a few days to be sure of surfaces - added reinforcements where needed, etc- (NOTE: beware of the three blade plastic props - very fragile - already broke one.) The radio and transmitter have a secret code that links them but once linked I had no trouble - range was fine (NOTE : 2. be sure all connectors are tight and making good contact.) C/G turned out to be perfect. Degree of control surface throws were within spec. Plenty of power.

Now for the bad news: Maiden flight:
Ran PBY up and down the lake at various speed - checking for control limits - straight line performance - aileron turns - rudder turns - elevator reactions - all tests were fine. After getting comfortable (and adjusting the amount of control surface throw) I turned into the wind and started to bring up the power. At 75% she was ready to do a gentile lift off but I wanted to see how much power we had on full throttle in case of a problem on take off. Pushed the stick to full throttle and she lifted at a 45 degree angle and was climbing out quickly - almost ready for some down (reduced) elevator ---------------Just then I went passed a clump of trees, a large gust of wind cam from the left side and I was only 3 feet off the water. The left wing dipped, no time for left aileron, float cought water, she nosed in and flipped on her back.

OK, I had brought an electric speed boat to use as a Sea Rescue Craft. Got it out of the SUV, turned around, and found smoke billowing from the PBY. Th Cockpit came off and water was entering the fuselage. Sent the rescue boat out and retrieved both plane and cockpit.

Damage done:
-Both ESC'c Fried
-Lipo looks like a leaking balloon
-Some small foam melting - already repaired.
-Some moisture in the Receiver - dried it out - put it in another plane and it works fine.

Ordered two more ESC's with BEC's - Don't know if the motors are OK - have not had a way to test them yet.


Years ago, we always fused the positive side of the motor to prevent this type of thing. What are we doing now?

Thanks,
--Len

(PS - now getting daily 'Stick Time' on 36" high wing, tri pacer, trainer I built from scraps long ago - it flies better now with the new engine, battery, and tiny servos.)
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Old 08-18-2014, 03:24 PM   #24
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The motors rarely have an issue when the ESC burns out. Dry em out and prevent rust... should be fine.

Generally accept a nice gentle lift-off if that's what you get on a test flight.. Experimenting close to the ground (or water) can be dangerous.

You can put a fuse between battery and ESC but chances are that if water gets into the ESC you'll blow the ESC before the fuse. There is a product you can treat the ESC with to keep it from shorting out though. (have to look it up... forgot the name)

The battery probably went due to overcurrent when the ESCs shorted.
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Old 08-18-2014, 11:00 PM   #25
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soak the esc in corrosion x for a few days in a jar, that will seal them, I belive you can soak the receiver too in corrosion X too. the motors should be fine, apply a little oil to the motor bearings. Dry test your Motors to be on the safe side before hooking them up to your ESCs.

http://www.zoro.com/i/G2501213/?utm_...FcI7MgodvhwAIA


http://www.wattflyer.com/forums/showthread.php?t=35216

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