Need advice about RC options for ultralight paper airframe project

Discussion in 'RC Aircraft & Watercraft' started by liftline, Sep 29, 2010.

  1. schorhr

    schorhr Member

    As with all rc models, its partial trial and error, but seems like you'll get that thing flying in no time :)
    Hope the shipping arrives quickly and does not get held up in customs to long...
  2. liftline

    liftline Member

    The Flysky FX/RX arrived from HobbyPartz today. A lot quicker than expected - they shipped it priority (pricey) instead of my requested free shipping. Nice looking units, but missing were the instructions (can be downloaded in pdf form, but that's 22 pages to print), the programming CD and the bind plug. Plus, they shipped it priority mail instead of requested free shipping. HP includes a handy customer support link with the confirmation E-mail, so I'll see how well and quickly they make things right.

    Nice to have the receiver in my hands - leaves a lot of room in the fuselage.
  3. schorhr

    schorhr Member

    Quick indeed! Did they charge for it though?
    The online manual is normal with the cheap china stuff... though half of the manual is about inserting batteries, not using it in the rain and not feeding it to toddlers ;-)
    So no need to print....
    If you want, there's software available to use the programming cable with a simulator , such as the free FMS.
    Reciever- did you take off the housing?
  4. liftline

    liftline Member

    Not absolutely sure they charged me, but somebody got dinged for $15.30 priority mail! :eek: My invoice said free shipping, so if that means spending so much on a $32 order that is fantastic service, but a terrible business model.:twisted: I'll have to check my credit card statement.

    The packaging came with absolutely no documentation. Very little English on the box. No parts list, no URL, I Googled the instruction manual myself. The manual says a programming CD is supposed to come with the package, at least I think it does, the English is, ahem, unconventional? ( Not that my Mandrin is any good). Thought I was missing some kind of cable binder, the bind plug. Then I realized they meant "blind plug".

    I suspect the program I need can be downloaded somewhere, that will be fine. If everything ultimately works as advertised this will be one fine bargain!

    Have not removed the case, not sure if I will. Might not buy me much, since I'll likely need some ballast to get the CG right.

    As the parts start coming in I'm using the suspense period to write a spreadsheet program so I can know where to place all my propulsion & avioncis components to get the CG just where it needs to be - basically perpendicular to the leading edge of the lower wing (easy to remember, very convenient).
  5. liftline

    liftline Member

    OK, LIPO chargers. Need one. I've done my research and realize the LIPOs are different breed, need to be treated with respect. Need to be inspected. Can burst into flame. Scary thought for a paper airframe.

    This one from Hobby king looks reasonably priced & delivery is pretty quick. Will it meet my needs?
  6. schorhr

    schorhr Member

    Happened to me once as well- might be for "new customers" to hook them? We will never know :)

    That's what you get when ordering in China/Hong Kong.
    They do have a link on their shop page, else it's the same as the t6a mentioned on rcgroups or hobbyking.

    Bind Plug-
    If it is the 2.4 GHz version you should request they send you the Bind Plug. You will need it to pair reciever and transmitter. While it was common to use crystals of the same channel, this works digitally (transmitter ID). Even though it should come pre-bound/bind, it could happen that you need it.
    It's just the small "wire loop plug", so you can easily "short" the pins if you really need it, but you should get what you ordered.

    - Housing & Weight
    Builds allways end up heavier then on paper ;-) You should use position and additional battery to get it right ;-) But if it really does not matter, the housing will offer protection to the rX board. Else a bit of styrofoam/wrapper o shrinking tube will do.

    - Software download
    See the Hobbyparz description ("Installation tips Link: Click Here " - Lots of info there too.) or google for t6a, what the radio usualy is called.
    If you're lucky, the radio will work out of the box as a "dumb" transmitter. But the advantages of beeing able to program it are to remember for the future. You can change stick movement, expo, mixing (ailerons!) and all that.

    The cable is other then the simulator cables, but some tools are available that will translate the readings into USB Joystick gibberish.
    ->T6sim soft and PPJoy program to get virtual Joystick

    Good idea :)

    With $17+10 shipping is just ~$5-7 more expensive then at ebay, and the charger seems to be mostly identical. Some reviews of the charger are not so good, but I think it will not be worse then the ebay ones?
    The only thing to look for, is that you can not charge your Lipos with more then recomended. Usualy, especially for larger packs (unless more expensive newer ones) you can charge with 1 C.
    Example: A 140mAh battery can only be charged with up to 140mA, so it takes ~1hr to charge. The $5 chargers only support 700mA+ charge, so you need one with 100mA+, or often written in Ampere 0.1A or .1A.
    That is the main thing right now. All these cheap chargers will do, but of course, they are not really good.

    My goal is to get people started in the hobby with low cost components. I myself started with a $400 Radio and a $120 charger- and both are just sitting arround collecting dust, as my cheap china radio set and this charger does a much better job ;-) The charger is more expensive but you'll get $4 worth of points for buying it at Hobbyking.
    So that's $23+10sh-4 Bonuspoints =$29 compared to the $27 cheaper charger, or $20 to the ebay one.
    All should work just fine.

    My experience is that starting with cheap but good entry level components is much better then getting the "pro" stuff right away. You can waste hundreds and even thousands of dollars on radio gear and chargers... But even if, you can just sell the china stuff (usualy at a still decent price) or make a other newbie happy ;-)
  7. liftline

    liftline Member

    Many thanks for the analysis & advice! I've had less confidence in the LIPO element of my project than any other. So, looks like the cheap charger will work & risk is manageable. I'll place the order. Might as get the boosted ESC while I'm at it. And the props I forgot.

    I'm pretty sure I'll have to tweak my pre-exisiting consumer expectations to the Hobby King/Partz business culture. Not a problem, if I must do a few downloads to get a working $32 6 channel system I'll still be one very happy newbie! Cheap is good, second best solution tomorrow trumps best solution next month (usually)!

    I'll probably get the courage to crack the receiver case when spares are on sale again!

    "Builds allways end up heavier then on paper" - even when your build is made of paper.
  8. schorhr

    schorhr Member

    No problem :) Not that much that can go wrong... though in the xufo-forum there was just recently a report of a x-twin airplane lipo bursting into flames... mid-air ;-)
    I never had troubles, not even with the cheapest kind. As long as you charge them correctly and don't short it (Maybee this has happened?) it's all easy going. You should however charge them - as I allready said - non conducting and fireproof spot. Some use flower pots, some use the "Lipo charging bags".
    Hobbyking or bag

    I might be able to try the 1s rX thing tomorrow, not sure though.

    Well, "you get what you pay for". They save on everthing... Shipping, material and so on. But thanks to the internet, no trouble. I just hooked up my girlfriends's t6a radio (from ebay), and it works out of the box for regular flight. Just plug in Servos and ESC as you want. Heck, it's even voltage-reverse-proof (at least this version).

    I was at a local hobby store today to get "just a few parts". If I would have ordered them and waited a few days, I would have payed 10% of what I spent today ;-) It's allways the same issue. Service VS price, Cost VS shipping-time, etc.

    The Hobbyking t6a radio reciever was easy to open, and doing so and removing the secondary reciever reduced the weight by half. (THe ebay radio has no satelite secondary reciver)

    Charger: I'dd recomend either the $20 or if you want a good one with a lots of cable get the one from Hobbyking I recomended.
    Nothing critical. And even if you do not have a voltage supply with 12v/1.5A or more, a cheap china Wii Powersupply will do the job.

    :) :) :)
  9. liftline

    liftline Member


    seems kind of right in a way. My research turned up anecdotes of batteries catching fire after a bad crash...but I'm not sure if these disasters might not be urban legends!

    I'm going to be one of the some. Got pots, got sand, save $$$

    You are a lucky man to have a girlfriend who shares your hobby! My ex wife is sculpted into the cockpit of the big SAAB jet! 55% of SAAB cars are bought by women and the Swedish air force does have female fighter pilots. So, the guy who commissioned the model commissioned a 1/4 scale female pilot too!

    Order off to hobbyking for charger, ESC with booster and props.
    I can find a 12 v supply locally, use the car battery too.
  10. schorhr

    schorhr Member

    Hehe, then Flower Power it is :)
    But lipo explosions rearly occur. Most the time it's either over quickly, or they show signs of "dying" (extreme inflation of the encasing etc.)

    Yeah, she got hooked with the X-UFO quadrocopter and the X-Twins :)
    But beeing made into a model and inside the cockpit is really cute.

    Sure, the car battery will do for a charging supply :D
    Looks like you have a good basik kit for building as soon as all the parts arrive... what possibly can go wrong? Hehe.
  11. liftline

    liftline Member

    ... what possibly can go wrong? Hehe.[/quote]

    For starters, the boosted ESC is 20 deep in backorder at HobbyKing, so I'll just go with the one I already have. Or I could look for another vendor.

    Ex wife in G suit and Swedish AF helmet. Zealot software seems to shrink stuff, but you get the idea.

    Attached Files:

  12. schorhr

    schorhr Member

    Neat :)

    Can't try my GF's rX, seems to be yet another clone, so it's a different type then the $32 tx/rx set...

    Well, try, and else order it- other sources are r2hobbies and ebay.
  13. liftline

    liftline Member

    Waiting for parts...waiting for parts....

    Downloaded and read the CT6 manual. It would be nice to use the charger port in the transmitter to charge those 8 nicad batteries I'll need to buy. The Flysky manual suggests using a company dedicated charger to avoid excess heating. Can't find anybody selling a Flysky charging unit, do you have any knowledge of a generic that will work safely? Does the 250 mA static current specification in the manual perhaps refer to max safe current for charging the transmitter batteries?

    Programming the transmitter will give the user happiness :oops: according to the manual. So, I Downloaded and installed the programming software (CT6config) and the driver. Everything seems in order, but paranoid sort that I am I made sure I backed up everything on my hard drive beforehand. Especially the latest modifications to the Se5a kit!
  14. schorhr

    schorhr Member

    I'dd recomend charging them in a external charger (faster, safer, can be charged with your lipo charger as it supports nimh/nicd as well, all you need is a battery holder--- or a cheap dedicaded AA charger) or exchanging the batteries of the transmitter with a lipo pack (some hacking required, and a lipo warner for $2).
    If you need cheap rechareables check hobbyking or get 4 AAs at ebay for ~$2.70 (specified at 2500mAh, probably a lot less, but for that price a steal).

    Programming the transmitter will give the user happiness
    It is really true ;-)
    Backup the original radio setting, too. :)
  15. liftline

    liftline Member

    Right, I seriously over-thought the nicad charging problem! :v8: . Externals are very cheap and can be picked up at the local "big box store." That little charging socket in the transmitter just sucked me in!

    If I'm going to safely charge my lipo battery, I'll have to engineer an access panel to remove it from the aircraft. Not so hard, cardboard boxes do have lids! Or alternatively, get a very large flowerpot. I had originally intended to just put a connector plug on the outside of the fuselage and mount the battery semi-permanently. That's what I did for my early powered paper planes, which used a pager motor, and a capacitor fed by a 9 volt battery. I guess I could still get away with leaving the lipo "in situ" and charging the model in my fireplace or outdoors.
  16. schorhr

    schorhr Member

    Just use your all-in-one Lipo charger for the nicd/nimh :)
    Pick up a AA tray at radio shack or ebay
    and read the manual on the lipo/universal charger
    But yes, dedicated AA chargers are cheap too.

    Lipo as transmitter battery
    Due to constant voltage of lipos followed by a rather quick voltage drop, land as soon as the battery alert turns red, or use a lipo warner ($2)

    Lipo-in-plane: Millions of RC toys (Silverlit, Airhogs, Airace... Planes and Helicopters) run on Lipo and get charged inside the plane. So no real trouble, as long as you do not charge it ontop of a big pile of hey and TNT, while going grocery shopping. But a fire proof mat / flower pot / cork plate etc. does never hurt.
    What is great about taking it out is that you can just fly while the other charges.

    Happy building!
  17. liftline

    liftline Member

    Happy building![/quote]

    Waiting for the post man!

    Dedicated nicad AA charger with batteries included is very cheap and available locally.

    Radio Shack has an inexpensive 12 volt power supply so I don't have to always use my car battery.

    Looks like electrics are really dominating my local hobby store this season. Lots of new Parkzone models. The sales staff says electrics are taking over with the younger crowd, all the newbies are starting electric and staying with it. Never heard talk like this last year!
  18. schorhr

    schorhr Member

    I use an old printer ac/dc adapter :) Else a $3 Wii power supply will do, you might find them cheap at the local store. It has 3Amps so its strong enough...

    When I started back 99/2000 electric models was allready the way to go for beginners. NiCd are heavy, but a speed 400 motor would cost less then $10... And now with Hobbyking and eBay, getting everything for the hobby is possible for under $70... (regular sized plane)- cheaper then any gas powered rc motor :)
  19. liftline

    liftline Member

    Waiting for parts...waiting for parts......:sleeping:
  20. schorhr

    schorhr Member

    Give FMS a go :)

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