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Ultimate Budget 3D Foamie

Old 06-23-2008, 10:51 PM
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gzsfrk
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Default Ultimate Budget 3D Foamie



Ok, I recently picked up a Yak-55 3D profile foamie from Hobby Lobby, and I have to say that that is one amazing little plane, particularly for the investment. For anyone who's interested at getting started in 3D flying, I think it has to probably be the best kit value out there, especially when you mix it with some of the other fantastic bargains available.

I'm going to list out my costs associated with this plane as I have it configured. Bear in mind, the total cost I give at the end is, of course, assuming that you already have a 72mhz radio AND a balancing LiPo charger. Also, I don't figure in any costs for gold connectors for the motor (you can always solder those directly anyway) or a JST connector for the ESC to connect to the battery (or, alternately, a set of Dean's Ultra-Ts). Also, I'm assuming you have a GWS-style Receiver crystal and the corresponding crystal for your transmitter (or a universal module like the Spectra module in my Hitec Optic 6 transmitter).

Here's my 3D-a'la-Scrooge setup:

Blue Yak-55 3D Profile Plane - $11.90 (From Hobby-Lobby.com; shipping is about $8, but since I live near their warehouse in Nashville, I'm able to just drive up to their store and pick it up direct. )

Turnigy 2830 Bell style brushless motor - $9.95 (HobbyCity.com)

3 x 9g servos - $8.85 (HobbyCity.com)

GWS EP 1047 Prop - $0.90 (HobbyCity.com)

Flying 20A BESC - $10.84 (DealExtreme.com, so free shipping)

Mystery 900mah 15C 2S LiPo - $7.78 (DealExtreme.com, so free shipping)

E-sky 6-channel 72mhz Receiver - $11.98 (DealExtreme.com, so free shipping)


And that's it! Again, you'll need a couple other parts, but their cost is near negligible, and if you're a regular in the hobby, you should already have the following handy:
  • Transmitter - Anyone who's wanting to get into 3D flying should have at LEAST one 72mhz radio, even if they've already moved on to 2.4ghz. If not, it's usually not too difficult to find a very basic one used for around $20-$30.
  • Power connectors - One JST connector for the ESC will work (since JST is what comes preinstalled on the Mystery LiPo above), but you can use anything. Personally, I'm using Deans Ultra-Ts in mine.
  • Gold-plated bullet connectors - Again, these are optional, as you can always just solder the ESC wires to the brushless motor wires. But I used some 4mm gold plated connectors that I already had on hand.
  • Receiver crystal - The receiver above works with standard size GWS single conversion crystals, such as these listed on BPHobbies.com. But again, most people should be able to just dig one of these up out of their field box.
  • Balancing LiPo Charger
  • CA/Sumo/Gorilla glue (for assembling the plane)
So anyway, barring the above items, here's the total cost breakdown for the plane:

Hobby-Lobby.com
Plane kit: $11.90 + ~$8 shipping = $20

HobbyCity.com
Turnigy 2830: $9.95 + 3 x 9g servos: $8.85 + GWS EP 1047 Prop: $0.90
+ $7.80 shipping = $27.50

DealExtreme.com
20A Brushless ESC: $10.84 + 900mah 2S LiPo: $7.78 + 72mhz Receiver: $11.98 + free shipping = $30.60

$20 + $27.50 + $30.60 = $78.10 shipped


So just over $78 gets you an absolutely fantastic 3D trainer with just about everything you need. And even though I was at first a bit apprehensive that the 2S LiPo might not cut it, it will do straight up vertical no problem with the above configuration, and the battery gives 7 - 10 minutes flights doing constant aerobatics.

This plane flies incredibly good with this setup. Barrel rolls are snap perfect, with barely any altitude lost, even without compensating with elevator. I've already gotten good at doing harriers & hovers (I love hearing the kids down the street scream when I fly the plane up high and go into a hover and start doing aileron spins ), perfect knife edges, and I'm trying to get the hang of square loops (can't quite seem to get those to look right just yet--something to do with throttle management I think).

Anyway, just thought I'd share my cheapskate formula for 3D success. No one should feel obliged to follow my parts list exactly, but the above is what has worked great for me.

Last edited by gzsfrk; 06-24-2008 at 11:49 PM.
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Old 06-24-2008, 07:28 PM
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Hey gzsfrk,

I am looking to get into 3D flying for the first time. All this looks like pretty good info, the only question I have will the futaba 2.4mhz 6EX FAAST system with R607FS Receiver not work for this plane?

I bought the 2.4 specifically because i wanted to not have to ever buy a lesser controller(lesser meaning one you have to choose a mhz). I havent ever used a flatout type plane so im not sure if the weight is an issue or what the big difference is from a full fuse non foamie planes.

I am coming back to electric from flying nitro/gas planes, while I do love the nitro/gas I need something i can fly around the yard or the local park/school yard. And for a start seems like thse flatout models are the best option currently until i can get very good at controlling smaller planes in a much smaller area's than I have been used to with my nitro planes.

Thanks in advance.
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Old 06-24-2008, 07:36 PM
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I wouldn't worry in the slightest about this plane being able to carry most any reasonably sized receiver as I have it configured above. I plan on flying it later today with my FlyCamOne2 attached to get some in-air video of a flight, and I don't suspect it will have any problem at all. Besides, so far as I know, I don't think the FAAST receivers weigh that much more than the generic receivers I picked up off of DealExtreme. The only real reason I listed that receiver was to show how cheap you could get this plane in the air if you already had a radio. Of course, another FAAST receiver will bump the price up quite a bit more than what I came up with, but I'm sure it would work just fine.

Last edited by gzsfrk; 06-24-2008 at 08:05 PM.
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Old 06-24-2008, 09:38 PM
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Ah great news. Yea i wasnt thinking about buying another FAAST reciever i was going to pull the one out of my nitro planes and stick it on this one.

And you are infact right the size/wt of the FAAST receivers are much smaller and lighter than I had previously used in other planes.

I was just looking for something that i know can take some crashes because I do know I will crash quite a few times to start off.. I know I can do the basics like KE's and such on nitro planes.. but these planes made for 3D handle WAY differently than the planes I am used to flying with. I have been using the faltout models on the simulater and it cuts so much sharper and are even quite a bit harder to handle at first.


thanks for your help man!
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Old 06-24-2008, 11:04 PM
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Originally Posted by Mysticism View Post
thanks for your help man!
Happy to provide some info. Oh, and as to your worries about crashing--while it's true there's a good chance for some ground smacking while learning how to fly these things (I've been fortunate not to have any so far), you can take comfort in the fact that, due to the extremely light weight of these planes, they don't carry alot of momentum with them into the impact. Thus, while you might crinkle your foam, your electrics will, by and large, usually come out either undamaged or just slightly damaged. The two worst things that you should worry about are bent shafts and damaged lipos. Replacement shafts are only a buck, and the LiPos (at least the ones I listed above) are less than $8 a pop. And it takes quite a high speed impact, really, before either of those will happen. Unless you just have a signal drop and it plows in from 100' up, I'd say you won't need to worry about the electrics too much. Of course, the foam is far less resilient. We may well end up going through 3 or 4 of those before it's all over with.

And yes--you're absolutely right about the handling. I've never flown nitros, but I'm currently converting a heavy 56" wingspan nitro bird to electric, and I just know it's going to handle completely different than all my little light planes once it's done. By contrast, this little Yak can turn on a dime and rolls blindingly fast--I love it. Didn't take me too long to get used to, since I have a really light little combat delta that flies similiar (albeit with elevon-only controls). Still--the lightning fast response makes this plane a blast to fly, although I probably need to be careful about ripping the rudder off if I keep going full speed into those twister maneuvers.


Good luck and blue skies!
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Old 06-28-2008, 05:15 PM
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I just ordered a Yak and I am going to try your set up. I use 1000mah 2S on my combat foamies and already have 5 packs. If I can use the same pack on both planes that would be sweet.
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Old 06-28-2008, 10:04 PM
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Originally Posted by smokejohnson View Post
I just ordered a Yak and I am going to try your set up. I use 1000mah 2S on my combat foamies and already have 5 packs. If I can use the same pack on both planes that would be sweet.
So help me, one of these days I'm going to make the drive out to Tulsa and get in some streamer combat with you and LL.

And maybe while I'm out there, I can get the Lt. to teach me how to do the "Cobra" with my Stryker.
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Old 06-28-2008, 10:16 PM
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I don't think we will have any luck getting LL to try combat again...he seems pretty dead set against it. But that's ok we can talk Grasshopper into coming down with his neighbor and along with my FB we'll tear up the skies ,or at least a little foam .
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Old 06-28-2008, 10:37 PM
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Who knows, maybe I can join in.....
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Old 06-28-2008, 11:00 PM
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Anytime guys...anytime
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Old 06-29-2008, 11:52 PM
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This whole setup looks so tempting, I can't help myself. I'm getting one.
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Old 06-30-2008, 02:20 AM
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Can you guys suggest a stronger motor, prop, battery combo. I would like to have more then 6 min of flight time and more power. What do you guys think will be good?
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Old 06-30-2008, 04:16 AM
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Hobby Lobby sells them with a 400XT. Looks like it does a good job in the videos but I didn't see where it mentioned flight times.
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Old 07-23-2008, 02:50 AM
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Would a 2-cell 800mah lipo work with your set up???
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Old 07-23-2008, 05:06 AM
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Originally Posted by JaxFlyer View Post
Would a 2-cell 800mah lipo work with your set up???
Yeah, it should work fine--probably just be a little bit lighter. I fly with a 900mah 2S, so an 800mah should be fine, just with slightly shorter flight times.
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Old 07-23-2008, 03:31 PM
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Originally Posted by gzsfrk View Post
Yeah, it should work fine--probably just be a little bit lighter. I fly with a 900mah 2S, so an 800mah should be fine, just with slightly shorter flight times.
Thats GREAT!!! now I dont have to buy another battery for my new yak!
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Old 07-23-2008, 04:32 PM
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Hey smoke--did you ever get around to building your Yak? I'm interested to hear how you think it compares to your other flat profile foamie(s).

You too, Frank--did you ever end up ordering one?
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Old 07-23-2008, 07:28 PM
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Can anyone suggest a esc for this set up st hobbycity.com, because if there is than I dont have to buy anything else from online other than this.
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Old 07-23-2008, 09:13 PM
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Originally Posted by JaxFlyer View Post
Can anyone suggest a esc for this set up st hobbycity.com, because if there is than I dont have to buy anything else from online other than this.
This one should work fine. Just be sure to disregard the crappy instruction sheet that comes with it, and use this thread for information instead.
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Old 07-23-2008, 10:33 PM
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Originally Posted by gzsfrk View Post
Hey smoke--did you ever get around to building your Yak? I'm interested to hear how you think it compares to your other flat profile foamie(s).
Not yet...between my 1MORStick and the scratchbuild contest my bench is full. I need a bigger bench .


Originally Posted by gzsfrk View Post
This one should work fine. Just be sure to disregard the crappy instruction sheet that comes with it, and use this thread for information instead.
I think that 18amp esc is only good for 3 cells. I have 2 of them and can't get a 2 cell cut off to save my life. After much frustration I noticed in the description all it says is 3 cell. For a couple of dollars more they have the 20amp esc that says it is programmable for 2 or 3 cell cut off.

I will give it another go in the next few days and make sure I'm not just missing a step.
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Old 07-24-2008, 09:22 PM
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I just ordered this one sweet looking foamy. Can't wait to get it built!!!!

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Old 07-24-2008, 10:45 PM
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Originally Posted by smokejohnson View Post
Not yet...between my 1MORStick and the scratchbuild contest my bench is full. I need a bigger bench .
Take your time--I can wait. Just thought I'd check in. And since you mention it, I need to get in on some of this scratchbuilt goodness. Sounds like ya'll are just having a little bit too much fun.

Originally Posted by smokejohnson View Post
I think that 18amp esc is only good for 3 cells. I have 2 of them and can't get a 2 cell cut off to save my life. After much frustration I noticed in the description all it says is 3 cell. For a couple of dollars more they have the 20amp esc that says it is programmable for 2 or 3 cell cut off.
I used to think that as well, as I have a couple of these, and I was bummed at not being able to get them to work with my 2S LiPos. But using the instructions CHELLIE posted (in that thread I linked to), I was able to get my Mag8 to run off 2S just fine. It's what I use in my Pink Fury combat foamie now, and I have that ESC set up now to auto-detect and work fine with either 2S or 3S. Works great! But yeah, it does suck that they couldn't get their stuff together and ship it with an accurate instruction sheet.
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Old 07-24-2008, 11:05 PM
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Originally Posted by winmanair View Post
I just ordered this one sweet looking foamy. Can't wait to get it built!!!!

Great! Be sure to report back how the build and maiden goes. I like being able to compare my experiences to others building and flying the same planes. Helps me get a perspective on just how crazy I am.
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Old 07-24-2008, 11:07 PM
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I ordered my yak!!!
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Old 07-24-2008, 11:25 PM
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Originally Posted by JaxFlyer View Post
I ordered my yak!!!
Sweeeeeeeeeet!!!!

Hey guys, can you give me some more sources for what ESC's, motors, and servo's to use and where to buy in the US?

Thanks
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