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Old 12-21-2011, 02:18 AM   #1
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Default New member - RC Jeff


I really tried to find the new member thread but couldn't. i wanted to introduce myself. I recently bought my first rc plane, Ive wanted one since i was a young kid, im now 40 : ) I bought an Eflite Apprentice. It was about double what I wanted to spend, but I definitely wanted airelons so my lhs recommended it and i bought it. My goal is to eventually work my way up to a turbine jet someday.

As for the apprentice, i've had lots of trouble - most of not related to actual, in the sky efforts! Motor was doing the low power "surging" which from what Horizon told me seemed to be inadvertent esc programming for a 4s but as you know it is a 3 cell battery.

in short, I am trying to get through the frustrations and learn to properly fly. i am hoping that once I do, i will love it and have great fun - and then introduce myself to the club members at a field i wont dare to go with my plane yet.


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Old 12-21-2011, 02:35 AM   #2
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Hi Jeff and welcome to Wattflyer
You will really like the Apprentice I have heard only good things about them. As far as you motor problem I wish I could help but horizon do have a good Customer Service I am sure they can work with you some kind of way.

If you read the stickies in the beginner section here there is some really good advice by AJARR. I must admit his advice was one of the main reasons I was actually able to get my Super Cub in the air with success.

The folks here have the best experience and advice I think that can be found anywhere on the interenet

Do not fear going to the club with your plane If the club has any credibility they will welcome you and your plane. Walk up introduce yourself and do not be afraid to admit you are a beginner. Everyone started at the beginning. Have a blast learning and once you get the bug it becomes a drug.
Flying RC is my crack I must admit it

Happy flying may your crashes be limited and if they are not limited let them be cool.
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Old 12-21-2011, 03:43 AM   #3
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Chicago? That's my old hometown! Where are you at? Anyways, welcome aboard RCJeff. The Apprentice was my first RC, and I don't think it's pricey for what you get. My Apprentice is still with me after I guess it's been 3 or 4 years now. I kind of cheated and had a huge head start from years and years....and years, of flight sim experience. Not RC sims but like Microsoft Flight Simulator and X-Plane. Then I got RealFlight v3.5 when the guy at the local hobby shop suggested it rather than the RC helo I was in there to get. Glad he talked me into it!

But I digress! I think the Apprentice is one of the best trainers due to it's size, durability, great flying characteristics, and I prefer 4 channels. Depending on where you're starting at in your skill level, yes, you should get an experienced flyer to help you get started, and even do some buddy-box flying to keep the hobby more affordable at first. (Less crashes!) Fishbonez is absoloutely correct about going to a club field and bringing your plane. You're likely find people there who are more than happy to help.

You made a wise choice instead of choosing a thrust vectored twin-edf that goes 100mph, like some people do. I've moved on to a couple of warbirds and edf's, but I still take the Apprentice out for touch and go practice to reinforce the basics.

I guess you're only issue now is you'll need snow-ski's. I'm lucky to not have that problem here! Maybe Santa will bring a sim to practice on for a while?

Good luck and keep us posted on your progress!
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Old 12-21-2011, 05:04 PM   #4
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Welcome Jeff,

I'm relatively new to the RC world myself being back at it for about year after a 30 year layoff. Lived in Crystal Lake in the 80's. There's a club in Hoffman Estates near Golf Rd and Higgins(72) in the Forest Preserve. That's where I first flew a Joe Bridi balsa gas trainer that I built myself from a kit circa 1981. No foam or electrics back then. On the Apprentice, good choice. Our club trainer guys highly recommend this plane and e-flight(Horizon) makes some really great quality stuff.

When I decided to get back into the hobby, I started out by hanging out at the field , observing, asking questions and getting to know some of the guys. Most RC clubs welcome new members with open arms. Make sure to go ahead and get your AMA card if you haven't done so yet.

Like Fish, I started with the HZ Super Cub LP. Being surrounding by all the "heavy metal" at the flying field, at first, I felt like a baby learning to walk and talk. No need to fear the embarrassment. Might hear a few undertoned chuckles but most guys are there in your camp wanting you to succeed and progress. The SC is still my dear friend and am modding her out. Have graduated to some slightly higher performing planes like the AF Cessna 182 , the PZ T-28 and am now building scratch foamie pusher jets like the F-22, F-4 Phantom and F-15. You really get to know your plane by building them and you gain a sense of accomplishment when something you build actually flies.

These planes are a riot to fly and cheap to build. When you crash, and you will crash, it's not like you just lost a $400-$500 plane. More like $30-$50.

I too was drooling over EDF's at first. I want to eventually try them but from what I've seen, it's mainly a speed thing. For speed, I bought a HK Radjet pusher that apparently will go over 100mph. That's still alot to handle(at least for me) on a 1000 ft field surrounded by trees.

My recommendation from lessons learned would be to find a club, spend some time on the buddy box with an experienced pilot, buy a sim (Real Flight, Phoenix), get a good battery charger/balancer, standardize on a connector like deans or ec3, and check the related threads here and other sites like RC groups.com. There's always someone with experience that can chime in. I've never been involved with a hobby that has the plethera of information available as does RC.

Alot of experts here(myself not included) willing to help with what you may even think are "dumb" beginner questions. No worries.

I've learned alot in the past year. Like Fish metioned above, it's highly addictive. No huge cash outlays but a constant stream of little ones that add up.I keep Hobby King pretty busy with servo purchases and the like and I do support my LHS.

I justified it by giving up golf-lol.

Enjoy !

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Old 12-21-2011, 08:44 PM   #5
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I solo'ed on an Apprentice and I've posted a picture of mine below. It doesn't look like yours. It is one of the best trainers on the market. Find a club and hook up with an instructor. There is no better way to learn to fly.

Surging, as you experienced, is sometimes due to the ESC reaching low voltage cutoff - a feature designed to keep lipo batteries from discharging and getting ruined. Most ESC's go into the surging rather than just stop. It tells you you went too far on that battery. The ESC's in the RTF planes aren't of the best quality either. If you can find something, try substituting another ESC.

Good luck. Here's what my Apprentice looks like today.

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Old 12-21-2011, 09:20 PM   #6
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FMW, did you make those floats? Looks very cool

Happy flying may your crashes be limited and if they are not limited let them be cool.
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Old 12-21-2011, 11:56 PM   #7
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Welcome to WF Jeff! Sounds like you've already gotten some excellent advice. Don't be afraid to ask questions if you run into problems!

Take care and thanks for posting at WattFlyer!!

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Old 12-22-2011, 01:38 AM   #8
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Welcome aboard Jeff

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Old 07-18-2017, 12:58 AM   #9
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I have an apprentice with floats that I tipped last summer. The ESC was ruined so I replaced it. Now I am getting the motor surging on high throttle and it never really achieves top rpm. I messed with the programming on the ESC and wasn't able to correct the problem. I also checked my battery and it is giving 11.3 volts (with no load). Anybody have an idea?

What should the ESC programming be set to?
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Old 07-18-2017, 06:44 AM   #10
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Welcome, sir.

dmartyna, 11.3 sounds pretty close to discharged (3.76V/cell). Fully charged, you should have about 12.6V (4.3V/cell).

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Old 07-21-2017, 12:58 AM   #11
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Welcome RCJeff! You came to the right place. Have a seat by the fire and here's a beer!

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