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PZ Micro Citabria

Old 09-25-2008, 03:57 PM
  #1  
pburt1975
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Default PZ Micro Citabria

Thanks to Termite, I've got one of these jewels and a spare battery in route. I've searched a bit on it and about the only thing of concern I see is making sure the prop shaft and gears are lubed up well before the first flight.

Well?? It can't be that simple right? Surely there has got to be other little things that either need tweaking or just make it work better with some tweaking...

If you have one, would you mind chiming in on what if any improvements you have made to it? Or what you would change about it for slightly better performance or longevity.

This will be my backyard flier and my "in the trunk" plane. If it sees indoor flight, it'll be because it found an open window
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Old 09-26-2008, 06:39 PM
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Well, what I've found since posting this really doesn't open many doors. Looks like even a steerable tail wheel would be a NO-NO as the servo wont handle the stress and strip out.

What about props? could I swap out for the Cessna prop and get more speed out of it for flying in a breeze?
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Old 09-29-2008, 07:55 AM
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The Cessna prop will give you a little more speed but I don't think you'll notice!

Best thing for speed increase is to take out most of the down thrust in the motor mount!

As for any other tips just be sure it's lubeed omce in a while and treat it with care as they are delicate little birds!

Randy
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Old 09-29-2008, 02:52 PM
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Thanks Randy, looking forward to it. Now I just wish it would show up before the winds do, lol.
Would graphite be a better lube for it then oil? Wont oil attract more dirt? Or what about taking it the other way and going with a white lithium grease?

last thing, with removing down thrust, is it important to rebalance the plane, or will that just be a trim issue?
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Old 09-29-2008, 08:01 PM
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you could use a little white grease on the servo screw drive but i'd go with light oil on the motor gear shaft bushings.

don't put anything on the gears for drive unit as that will attract dirt ; not good!!!

as for removing the down thrust you may have to retrim but c/g stays the same

Randy
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Old 09-30-2008, 10:14 AM
  #6  
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Default citabria mods

If i had any technical skill i'd have done all the above....

I've made do with ..
taping the base of the tail plane at the joints
running some tape over the control horn (i had one pull though) have a look see you understand
buyin more batteries - you'll get hooked quick (one spare isnt enough )
silicone the wheels in the fuse - they get lose fast froma few "arrivals"...

mines just stripped out the servo for the second time, but i've had LOADS of fun and learnt to fly a little with it .. just wish they could make the servos stronger........

hope this helps
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Old 09-30-2008, 03:56 PM
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Thanks Lud, from what I've read, the Vapor has a new servo type, no issues so far with stripping out. I'd guess one of those would fit right on the Citabria board since they only changed the screw drive components.

I hope tomorrow evening I'll have a first timers flight report on the little bird, weather will play a big role, and hopefully no body is practicing on the baseball field
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Old 10-04-2008, 08:14 PM
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Originally Posted by pburt1975 View Post
Thanks Lud, from what I've read, the Vapor has a new servo type, no issues so far with stripping out. I'd guess one of those would fit right on the Citabria board since they only changed the screw drive components.

I hope tomorrow evening I'll have a first timers flight report on the little bird, weather will play a big role, and hopefully no body is practicing on the baseball field
Just caught your post in the Guillows thread. I tend to miss things at times.
I keep seeing these little planes at the LHS, and I'm getting more and more tempted each time. Part of the appeal is that you can always use the gear in other micro projects.

I'd like to hear how this flys. I was really tempted to buy a Vapor earlier this week. This past Thurs, I gave an electric rc presentation for a group I am in. There is a small gym right next to the room we meet in, and it would have been really nice to have one of these to fly there. All my micro projects are way too heavy, thus fast to fly in that small space.
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Old 10-05-2008, 09:25 PM
  #9  
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stable, forgiving, slow, easy.
purportedly remove some of the downthust and it's faster again..

with increased throws it will easlilyl fly loops, inverted, stall turns, i could never get it to roll nicely - only coming out from inverted flight, but that is more about my inexperiance than the limitations of the plane.

i would recommend one but for the fragile servo's

I'm now going to wait for the 4ch to come out....

i loved the plane
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Old 10-06-2008, 01:58 PM
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Hey Bill, Lud is right, its a great little plane. I've flown it in 3 tennis courts, a parking garage and my back yard. It flies great and will loop 10' off the ground from level flight, and I've not adjusted the throws. I had it doing hammerheads on my first battery in it.

Rudder authority at slow speeds is no where near what it is at higher speeds, so allow a little more for turns when going slow but yea, a real blast to fly. Winds were enough yesterday that at 3/4 throttle the plane would just sit in the air, and I still had that sense of control. Compared to the Air Hogs AA planes, I was really flying this instead of chasing it with opposite inputs.

1 thing I do need to work on, I cannot get it to come out of a tight turn (rudder and elevator input) with out porpoising. Im sure its more pilot then plane tho.
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Old 10-08-2008, 05:45 PM
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Last night was my first chance to actually fly this little bird in no wind and OMG what a nice plane. I thought it was good before in wind that was gusting enough to move it backwards while sitting on the ground, but getting it up into calm air was a whole new experience.

I was at a baseball field, running the bases with it at less then half throttle and not loosing any altitude in turns (new for me). Touch and go's off the pitchers mound and all. This little plane makes the smallest of flying spots seem huge. To extend my fun I'd fly up to tree top level, cut power and just glide it back down. Every little gust was enough to gain altitude, lol. Must have gotten 18 min off the first battery charge that way. Second battery charge I was doing backflips and trying to get the hammer heads a little cleaner and got about 12 min of flight time off the charge. Having to much fun with it, really to much fun.

I had considered adjusting some of the down thrust out to get it faster but dont really see the need in that. Sure its not lightening quick from stock but still plenty fast enough for its size.

BTW, I've got maybe 10 cycles through the battery. In that time I've become comfortable enough with both flying the plane and judging my distance with it, that I was flying it between my son and myself at 4' off the ground and with only 2' between us. Either one of us could have snagged the plane out of the air with ease.

The best I've done so far is to fly the bases 12" off the ground. Im going for lower tonight if'n there's no tall grass between bases.
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Old 10-09-2008, 02:52 PM
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You knew it wouldn't take long right?? Teaching a friend of my sons how to fly and she got a little jumpy on the sticks (was her 3rd flight with it) ended up bonking the nose and busting off the prop with portion of the shaft.

Think Im heading out to get a new motor/gearbox today and going to see if I can find a bearing and shaft to do the upgrade as well. Upgrade the busted one while I get to fly with the new one.

That is unless there's a better idea?

This will be good timing tho, will give me time for that second battery to arrive. 12-15 min of flight time just isnt enough when I get atleast 45 min of sunlight after work, lol.
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Old 10-10-2008, 06:41 PM
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Careful about expecting to get too much performance out of this little guy. It is better to enjoy it for what it is- a nice, fun little airplane. The wings won't take much more than what the stock setup puts out and the control surfaces are just to soft for hard snap rolls or faster speeds. And then of course there is the issue of the weak servos.

This is a great slow flyer with pleasant handling. My daughter took sidewalk chalk and drew little runways on the driveway and sidewalk for me to land and take off from. We pretended each site was a different airport and took trips around the country. Try landing on a 2ft runway- it's a fun challenge. Another thing I like to do is fly at about 4 - 8ft, flying in and around all the obstacles such as trees, parked cars, porch posts etc. So far I still have all original parts although the landing gear needs some reinforcement since the wire has slowly chewed up the surrounding styrofoam a bit.
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Old 10-10-2008, 07:47 PM
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LOL, it is what it is thats for sure.

I like the runway idea, will have to try that this weekend if I ever find the 20 min to hit the hobbytown.


Have you adjusted any linkages at the elevator or rudder for more throw? I havn't yet out of fear of pushing those weak servos to hard
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Old 10-10-2008, 09:08 PM
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Honestly, I've been happy with the moderate throw setting. It has a great scale feel to it on ROG takeoffs and landings. I suppose you could add more throw, just remember- those servos are $50-$60 bucks to replace.
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Old 10-10-2008, 09:18 PM
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Originally Posted by Bugwubber View Post
I suppose you could add more throw, just remember- those servos are $50-$60 bucks to replace.
yeah, is the main reason I have not touched'm yet. I'd almost like to build a plane for these electronics, but the Citabria treats them well for now.
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Old 10-13-2008, 04:19 PM
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Well HTUSA didn't have anything but a prop on the shelves for any of the Parkzone micro fleet, just happened to be the one I needed, surprisingly. Luckily there was just enough prop shaft sticking out for me to press the new prop on. Pushed in down as far as it would go, took a razor knife to clean up the nose of the plane where the prop was rubbing and Im off flying again!!

Last night it was perfectly calm and I really got to play in the back yard with this jewel and damn its the best purchase I've made in a long time. I managed a couple touch-n-goes off the cars, dive bombed my cat a time or 2 (he thinks the plane is his toy and chases it, no matter its altitude) and even took it on a tour of the neighbors yards at 5' off the ground, setting off one of their motion sensors, hehehe.. heck, I even raced the kids up and down the street, them on bikes and me flying the plane. Lost 1 time to the 9yo, but almost pulled it off with a last minute nose dive, lol...

Oh btw, its neetly packed in the trunk of my car today, supposed to be calm skys at lunch time, and at practice time, hehehe. Just thinking of the opportunities that come up to fly, because of its size, keeps me goin all day.
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Old 10-15-2008, 09:59 PM
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If Im already on my third set of batteries in the charger, does that mean Im addicted??

Took the dog out lastnight around 1030, the moon was out and lit up the entire sky. I just had to do some night flying Flew the entire battery out under the moon. Theres a RED led inside of the fuse that makes it much easier to see at night but there must be a bad connection on it because it would turn off and on at will, but not in any specific timing. It would just happen.. It only disappeared a few times on me, lol.. got the blood flowing again tho, man that was fun. I need more backyard planes, or a bigger back yard!!
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Old 10-18-2008, 12:01 AM
  #19  
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Default Stripped Servo on the Citabria

So the bad news...my rudder servo is stripped.

First bit of learned advice-
Before you do anything, make yourself a tray out of white poster board- fold up a 1/2" lip around the edges, and always hold the plane over it.

To attempt a repair a stripped servo, remove the receiver unit from the plane. A sharp xacto blade can easily slice through the glue holding it in place.

Should be easier to disconnect the control arms now.

On the back side of the receiver board, you will find 4 tiny screws holding each servo case to the receiver board. Remove those and any glue and the servo cases will will come right off.

I use the term tiny but perhaps microscopic describes these better. You will need your smallest Phillips head screwdriver. A piece of masking tape or magnetic tray will do wonders for keeping those rascals under control.

So now what?

The servo motor turns a gear which turns a threaded metal rod that runs the length of the case. When the rod turns, a black plastic control link moves up and down the rod to give you your control throw. There are hairlike metal fingers on the bottom side of the control links that contact strips on the receiver board. These are very important and very fragile. The contacts provide feedback to the receiver to let it know where the control link is.

On end of the threaded rod are two friction fit plastic keepers. Pull those off and put them in your parts tray. These are smaller than the screws.

Now you should be able to unscrew the rod from the control linkage by pulling gently on the gear while turning (cc of course). If the control linkage is severely worn, the rod may just slide right out.

The goal at this point is to somehow reduce the diameter of the hole in the control link. epoxy, plastic superglue, gorilla glue etc seem to be the likely candidates for filler material.

Now the fun begins-
Working the threaded rod until the control rod spins freely. It is this moment that will define the success or failure of your endeavor. Good luck!
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Old 10-18-2008, 12:16 AM
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You can order replacement servos now! Check the parts listing for the mCX Heli and you'll fin them; $10 - same exact servo as the rest of the PZ Minium series planes use!

The Vapor prop shaft replacement will work in all the other gear boxes too, just have to change out the spur gear and you are ready to go!

Randy
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Old 10-18-2008, 12:51 AM
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Originally Posted by termite View Post
You can order replacement servos now! Check the parts listing for the mCX Heli and you'll fin them; $10 - same exact servo as the rest of the PZ Minium series planes use!


Randy
Randy, I thought I read some where that the Vapor has a new type of servo, one with a metal slide instead of a plastic one, is that so? And if so, are the replacement servos for the Vapor that type as well?
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Old 10-19-2008, 04:44 AM
  #22  
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Sorry but they are still all coming with the plastic slider in them; I just used a couple of the MCX servo replacements to fix a couple other boards I had with bad servos today and they work perfectly.

Now to rebuild a couple planes to put on the classifieds!!!!!

Randy

BTW; sending a new shaft with the battery brother!
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Old 10-19-2008, 02:42 PM
  #23  
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Originally Posted by termite View Post
Sorry but they are still all coming with the plastic slider in them; I just used a couple of the MCX servo replacements to fix a couple other boards I had with bad servos today and they work perfectly.

Now to rebuild a couple planes to put on the classifieds!!!!!

Randy

BTW; sending a new shaft with the battery brother!
Thats cool man, at least they are selling the parts now and not making us buy a new board for a stripped servo.

Thanks Randy!
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Old 05-03-2009, 04:29 AM
  #24  
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I got tired of taking the NIMH batteries out of the Centurion transmitter everytime I charged them, so I added a Dean's plug to charge the batteries.

The biggest problem was the I couldn't find anyway to take the back off the radio. Therefore I simply drilled two small holes the same width as the solder tabs on the Dean's female plug. I drilled the center of the holes the same distance apart as the tabs center, about 1/2 inch above the battery box.

I then fished a wire through each hole down into the radio and back up into the battery holder. The positive and negative tabs for the batteries are circled in the picture below. The tabs slide out with a pair of needle nose pliers, so the positive and negative wire can be soldered to the tab. Replace the tabs.

Then solder each wire coming back through the two holes I drilled onto the proper tab on the deans plug. The deans plug "snapped" nicely into the two holes, and I secured it with a very small amount of superglue.

Works great with all my NIMH chargers.
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Old 06-09-2009, 06:26 AM
  #25  
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Anyone heard of the Micro Citabria / Micro Cessna possibly being discontinued? A LHS is selling both planes for $70 and is throwing in a free extra battery, spare wing, and motor. Shop owner told me he's closing them out and Parkzone will be coming out with new versions in late June for $100 that will not include transmitters. I sure jumped on one of the Micro Citabrias when I saw the price

Also... how easy is it to change all of the fuselage components over to a bare fuselage? I don't need to do this now, but it's always good info to know.

Thanks much!
Steve
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