View Full Version : float rudder help!!!!

04-14-2009, 03:26 AM
hi picked up a pair of .40 size fiberglass floats on craigs list installed them on .40 size conversion, i ordered a water rudder from maxfordsusa.com trying to install it having trouble getting it installed can not get it to center it is binding some where but not able to fix it any suggestions or photos on water rudder instalations

Floats Water Rudder

http://www.maxfordusa.com/images/products/display/DSCF2059.JPG (http://www.maxfordusa.com/images/products/detail/DSCF2059.JPG)

04-14-2009, 08:25 AM
Without seeing it in person its really hard to diagnose problems like this.

Can you post some close up shots of the actual install and how the cables are run and what servo your using? That may help.

04-14-2009, 11:00 AM
Without seeing it in person its really hard to diagnose problems like this.

Can you post some close up shots of the actual install and how the cables are run and what servo your using? That may help.

ok i will do that tonite thanks

04-14-2009, 11:47 PM
s3003 servos i did try the cable that came with the rudder but it had some kinks in it so i switched to the golden rod with long control wires atatched but it still will not go to nuetrul help!!!!! please

04-15-2009, 05:37 AM
Id guess the main problem is the golden rod and the way you have it mounted.

GoldenRods have a lot of slop in them at the best of times but they are even worse if they are allowed to flop around. They need to be supported all along their length to work best.

You have a long section between the ends that is unsupported which makes the slop worse. Also, the long distance between the ruder horn and where the GoldenRod is first anchored is bad.

Turn the rx on and leave the rudder at neutral, then take the water rudder and try to move it back and forth by hand you will feel the slop in the system. As long as there is slop in the linkage system you will never get the water rudder to center properly.

This is an ongoing problem with many planes like yours. The best way is to mount a servo on the float and run a servo wire up to the rx and Y it into the rudder chanel.

The problem with doing that is getting water into the servo thats on the float. The servo may fill up with water and go nuts while the plane is way out on the lake and you wont be able to taxi in. You need to take extra care to water proof the servo but there is still that risk no matter what you do.

The other option is to try running some pull pull cables some way.

Ive also seen people add an additional servo up front on the bottom of the plane with only the controll horn sticking down thru the fuse, then run a direct controll rod back to the water rudder.

One other option is to link from the stearable nose wheel leg with a dirtect controll rod.

You will have to decide whats best for your situation and how often you switch back and forth from floats to wheels. All of them are a hastle of one sort or another.

Thats one reason I dont bother with water rudders much any more. The only planes I fly off the water that aren't full time water planes are my big 3D type foamies. The rudder is large enough and the throws are large enough where I can get away with no water rudder.

On calm days you dont need a water rudder but if there is much wind they can be a life saver.

04-15-2009, 10:46 AM
thanks larry i have considerd the 2nd servo method trying to figure out where to mount it thanks for the reply

04-15-2009, 05:32 PM
On water proofing servos here are a couple of tips.

Seal the seams in the case. You can use Blenderm tape or silicone caulk or hot melt. Dont forget the hole where the wires exit the case. Water will get sucked into and around the rubber grommet.

The next big leak area is around the servo shaft. Some guys have used heavy duty grease or vasilene and smear some around the shaft. You will ned to re-do that every few flights.

You can also find a small 'O' ring thats a snug fit on the shaft and is thick enough to fit snugg between the case and the bottom side of the servo horn. Some grease on the O ring helps too. Make sure the O ring doesnt creat a lot of extra load on the servo or you will have centering problems again. The O ring needs to fit 'just so'.

If you do all that you will be relatively safe but your still at risk on hot days flying off cold water. On a hot day the air in the servo expands and leaks out. Then when cold water hits the servo case that air cools and creats a partial vacuum inside which will tend to suck water in anywhere it can.

You can also open up the servo and coat the circuit board with CorrosionX. Dont get any on the potentiometer. It will mess it up.

Good luck!

Nitro Blast
04-16-2009, 12:07 AM
I had virtually the exact same setup and removed the play enough to make it useable buy just securing the loop of rod to the float leg.

I actually just used Zip ties through two little holes I poked. Just anchoring the loop down to the float leg mad all the difference in the world.

04-16-2009, 02:53 AM
i'm thinking i will try that before trying to install a servo that will be the last resort thanks

Nitro Blast
04-16-2009, 05:50 AM
I looked closer at your photos, and heres my suggestions.

Shorten the hard wire to sections as short as possible, not as long as possible. Shorten the goldenrod down by what may be 3 or 4 inches. Secure the goldenrod at its closest point (at the rear of the plane) and as far forward along the rod as it can sit on the fuselage (to the front of the plane). You will then have two hold downs. Add one more in the middle of the fuse span, so you have three hold downs. If you are not concerned about appearance, you can CA glue the rod down the entire length of the fuse. Secure the rod at the point it crosses at the rear leg of the floats, and then again just before it exits to the rudder.

Short and tight is much better than long and sloppy. Your primary concern is the drag caused by the loop. If the bend in the rod does not change, make it as short as possible. Don't make it so short that the bend in the rod is made tighter. Ideally, the middle of the loop should be the point at where it touches and is secured to the float leg, just about in the middle.

Do I see a nose wheel control rod connected to the rudder also? Disconnect it. Remove that drag. You dont have to remove it, just take it off the servo horn.

Jim Casey
04-16-2009, 12:54 PM
A few observations:
1. A little offset in a single water rudder is not too big a problem since it is only used for taxiing anyway. As soon as you goose the throttle your Water rudder will be out of the water in about 6 feet. AND if it's just a little sloppy, it probably will self-align with the pressures of the water on it.
2. The loop forward from the rudder to the water rudder will never be precise. The only way to make a rudder-to-water-rudder connection accurate would be to use pull-pull linkages and your plane would be difficult for that since your entire rudder is on top of the elevator. Not impossible, just a bit more involved.
3. An improved routing for the gold'n'rod would be from the NOSE GEAR STEERING arm, straight back to the water rudder. Gold'n'rod is much more precise and effective when it is straightened out.
4. Align the control rod with the water rudder horn. In the pic (98968)you have the control rod running down the centerline of the float and then a sharp kink over to the end of the water-rudder horn. That kink may be a lot of your problem as it causes a lot of friction.
5. I have never had success with servos in the float, unless you call soaked and corroded servos "success". Consider that as a last choice unless your family name is "Futaba" and you have a straight-line supply from the servo factory.

Good Luck

Fast Guy
04-19-2009, 02:38 PM
On my Electristar I connected the cable to the nose gear and ran straight back to the rudder. No slop in the rudder steering at all.