R/C Resources Page

Sharing What I Know

please bear in mind that I'm no expert in r/c, but if you care to read, below are my own humble writings based upon my limited knowledge and experience.

Welcome to my resources page. I hope these would be helpful for you :

1. Locate a R/C Flying Club near you even before you start to think about taking up this hobby.
2. Know what you want in r/c flying. Gas, electric, handlaunch, gliders, pylons, indoors, slow-flyer, or even helicopters.
3. Visit the r/c flying club and get to meet the members. Know what they are doing and seek for members who share the same interest with you and are prepared to help you.
4. Watch them fly and gauge their flying ability, knowledge and experience. Some members may fly gas powered aircraft but do enjoy electric gliders too.
5. Look for a suitable instructor that is prepared to guide you. Don't ever try to go solo....that's like committing suicide :)
6. After your purchase, fix it up with the help and advice of your instructor. Ask questions when you don't know or not sure, even though it may be a dumb one.
7. If you go for electrics, choose the appropriate radio equipments. If you treasure your model, don't go for second-hand goods. Go for the best that you can afford.
8. If you make any conversions or modifications, be very wary of weight. Light weight is always the goal.
9. Do not be satisfied with advice given by members in the field. If you have doubts, post it on the internet like ezonemag.com (for electric flyers) and hear what they have to say. Sometimes, there are more than one way to go about solving a problem.
10. Crash is unavoidable, especially if you are a beginner. Therefore, make sure you choose the right model for practice. If you are into gliders, an electric powered 2 meter glider with high wing would be the best choice. HLGs' are cool too.
11. I started off with a foam based glider but I think going for a balsa kit would be a better choice due to its lightness and easier to repair. Then again, some might disagree. I guess its personal preference.
12. Always check your battery power, rudder, elevator, transmitter and other movable parts before launching off.
13. When you turn on the motor, always make sure the throttle stick is in the LOWEST position. A sudden spin of the prop will cause injury and mishaps.
14. When tossing your glider, always toss it LEVEL (not up) and INTO the wind direction.
15. If you are a novice like me, always bring your plane up to a high level so that you have room to recover from errors or incorrect maneuvers.
An account of what I did to my Highlander (by Mad Aircraft) :

1. Converted it to electric glider.

2. Radio equipment used are Futaba TX6As trasmitter plus receiver, 2 standard Futaba servos, Futaba MC114 ESC, Great Planes thrustmaster 550 motor and 7 cell 2000 mah battery pack.

3. Total built up weight was 4.2 lbs. Heavy, huh ?!

4. Changed 8x4 folding prop to 7x6 APC prop. Gained higher RPM.

5. Motor secured on a power pod from Great Planes and mounted on top of the wing.

6. Made the 2 meter wing into a 3 piece wing.

7. Use a coroplast vertical fin but changed the stabilizer to balsa wood.

8. Changed bolt-on wing to rubber bands mounting.

9. Radio components on glider were placed differently from original plan to achieve CG.

10. Holes were cut on the wing panels to lighten the structure.

11. On direct drive system. Thought of using gear drive but converted it back to glider.

12. Have since dismantled everything from my Highlander and its sitting on the shelf now. Finally realized that it's neither suitable for electrics nor soaring.

13. Final verdict : Won't recommend this model to anyone. There are many more better gliders out there at the same price range.


Some Smart Suggestions
When you cover your model, always start covering from the bottom with 1/4" to the side, then cover the sides with 1/4" over the top and bottom and finally cover from the top with 1/4" film over the sides. Using an Oracover Light film is better than Oracover or Ultracover coz the latter will add additional weight. Always charge your battery pack the night before flying. Peak charge it in the field prior to flying. A tachometer is very useful to check the RPM before flight. If you know you get 11,000 rpm but when you checked it, it's only 10,000 or less, then probably your battery pack is not fully charged.
If you use rubber bands mounting technique, it is advisable to cut out 4 small pieces out of an aluminium can to be placed at the leading edges and trailing edges of your wing where the rubber bands go over. Bend the aluminium pieces to cover the top part and little bit over the under side of the LE and TE. You can then get a piece of covering film and cover up the aluminium pieces to enhance the outlook. The aluminium pieces will help to protect the wing from being crushed by the tension of the rubber bands. For more torque and power, gear drive system is really helpful. It gives more flight time, better climbs and save battery power. With gear drive, you have the opportunity to increase voltage power. Like Paul Bradley says "the trick is to get everything in balance; just the right voltage increase, just the right prop, and just the right gear ratio. This takes some experimenting because the best set up will vary with different models."
You can make a 2 piece or 3 piece wing like on a 2 meter wing to make it easier for transporting it to the field. You would need tubing and music wire of a stated length. Will give you more insights into this later on. If you need some construction tips or advice on flying techniques, Buzzman may have something for you. And if you are new in electric r/c, Getting started in electric r/c is worth reading.
Changing a foldable 8x4.5 prop set to a 7x6 hard prop on a 550 motor actually increased RPM. You might want to give it a try. But shorter high pitch prop will make the model fly faster, not better climb. Try not to place your receiver unit or ESC infront of your battery pack where there is a high possibility of the pack crushing your vital electronic components due to high impact crashes.
When you cover your wing or fuse with film, be it on foam or balsa, always use the lowest heat just to make it stick lightly. If it doesn't stick, increase the heat just a little or keep your iron on the surface longer. I start from the middle and push it out to the tips or side. Once its covered, I increase the heat much more and go over it again. I learned that this way really makes the film tight and eliminate wrinkles. ....more to come....

Here is some general info on the best care and feeding of battery packs by Larry of SR Batteries.

1. Always slow charge a new pack at a rate equal to 10% of the pack's capacity. So, a 2000mah pack would be slow charged at 200ma. If you don't, you won't get the maximum life from your packs.
2. Slow charge again after every 5 or 6 fast charges. Again, if you don't, you won't get the life from your packs that you could have.
3. If you don't know if it's a fast chargeable cell, don't charge higher than 2C or 2 times the capacity of the pack. So, you'd charge a 2000mah pack at 4000ma (2x200=4000) which is 4 amps as there are 1000ma in an amp.
4. Fast charge cells can generally be charged at up to 3C.
5. Understand that fast charging and high discharge rates are hard on packs and it will shorten their life. However, by following the above routine of slow and fast charging, I'm using packs that are 3 years old and they are still going strong.
6. Never, never, never discharge your packs all the way down.
7. Let your packs cool until they are just barely warm to the touch before you start to recharge them.
8. In applications where the motor is run through the entire flight, the pack might be warm when you land and down right HOT 5 minutes later so don't be fooled into putting the pack back on charge too soon.
9. A pack doesn't become warm from fast charging. It becomes warm from over charging. A fast charged pack that isn't warm isn't fully charged.
10. A warm pack is done.
11. A HOT pack is being ruined and you better get it off of the charger asap.
12. The first charge of the day is never the best. In competition, always get at least one flight in to warm up the pack before an official flight. We're talking significant difference here.
13. A new pack might take 8 or 10 charge/discharge cycles before it will put out its best.
14. A pack that has been sitting in a drawer won't do its best until it has been charged and discharged a half dozen times. Don't just charge and discharge the pack. Go fly! It's more fun.

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