Category Archives: How-to

propsaver

Stuff You Should Love: Prop Savers

If you’re flying like me, you’re probably replacing propellers and bending motor shafts like there’s no tomorrow. This is especially true if you’re flying from a grass field. The problem is that when your propeller hits the ground, either it takes the force of the impact or, if it’s still turning with throttle, it can bend the motor shaft.

Early on when I started flying RC I kept hearing about prop savers. I didn’t really get the benefit until I used one myself. Now I use a prop saver on every 3 or 4 mm motor shaft! I’d love to say I have no more broken props or bent shafts but all I can say is that it has drastically reduced prop fatalities and shaft replacements.

Here’s how a prop saver works

It’s a small aluminum ring that fits on the motor shaft like on Figure 1. It has two milled, threaded holes where little screws go and it comes with one or two rubber bands (you only need one).

Figure 1: Prop saver installed on a motor. Notice the rubber band holding the propeller on.

After putting the prop saver on the shaft you tighten the screws so that it doesn’t spin free from the shaft or slide off the shaft. You then put the propeller onto the front of the prop saver and attach the rubber band from one screw, around the front of the propeller and onto the other screw.

Now your prop has some room to flex back-and-forth and spin free from the motor a little. So if you hit the ground, the rubber band takes the force a little instead of passing it to the prop or shaft.

Prop shafts are cheap! You can find one at a local hobby shop for about 3 or 4 bucks but you can buy a pack of ten (3mm) online for less than three dollars! (or 4mm for less than four)

 

They come in all shapes and sizes but all do the same function: save props… and shafts.

 

txs

Understanding Transmitters – via HoverAndSmile.com

I just ran across a great series of articles written by Eric of HoverAndSmile.com where he explains in detail a lot about transmitters and how they work. He has made it very easy to understand for those who have never flown RC before or have little experience doing so. I’d like to share these articles with my readers since I know many of you are new to the hobby. Here are articles One, Two and Three.

  1. RC Transmitters Part 1 – Types of Transmitters, and what it all means
  2. RC Transmitters Part 2 – Binding and Model Memory
  3. RC Transmitters Part 3 – Dual Rates and Exponential

Neat Way to Solder EC3 Plugs

For many new RC pilots, soldering has to be one of the most dreaded tasks they can’t avoid forever. A fellow flyer, iflyforfun has made a video* on soldering EC3 plugs that makes it easy for just about anyone to solder them. His trick is simple yet very effective:

For more info about this video visit the thread at the Super Cub Club:
http://supercubclub.proboards.com/index.cgi?action=display&board=tt&thread=3481

*please not that I did not make this video or help with it in any way; iflyforfun has allowed me to share it with you.

glues

Top 5 Glues For Building With Foam

Electric RC flight has come a long way the last few years and foam as a building material has revolutionized the way we’re building park-flyers. While we’re pretty set on what kinds of foam work great for building planes, we’re still exploring the hundreds of bonding materials to find those that do not damage our foam, have a strong hold and weigh as little as possible. Here are some of the best glues to use on foam like Depron, EPP, EPS, EPO, paper-faced Foam Board and the most common foams used by foamie modelers.

GORILLA GLUE

As far as strength and (light) weight go, Gorilla Glue takes the cake. It dries white and sets in about 30 minutes. It foams up a little to fill gaps, something many modelers dislike because it tends to squeeze out of joints and onto clean surfaces. An easy fix is to cover the surface with clear tape right after gluing. This not only helps keep the foamed-up glue in, but it also hold the two parts together until the glue dries. To help speed-up the setting process, I wet both surfaces to be glued right before applying Gorilla Glue. Other modelers like to mix 1-part Gorilla Glue to 1-part water-based glues like Elmer’s School Glue and even 3-parts Gorilla Glue to 1-part water! Gorilla Glue goes for about $5 for a 2 ounce bottle and it can be found at Walmart, The Home Depot, Lowe’s and virtually every hardware/craft store.

FOAM-SAFE CA

Cyanoacrylate (CA) adhesives are among the most common used in modeling. They are fast-setting and hold a decent bond. For the ever-growing foam business within RC, new foam-safe CA glues have appeared in the last few years. They come in various viscosities like thin, medium and thick. Most commonly used is the thick, slow-curing CA. This is due to foam’s porous properties and the need to fill the gaps in it. Foam-Safe CA is worked onto one surface with a long tip and a toludine-based activator is applied to the other. When both surfaces are joined, there are only about 3 seconds until the glue sets. Since CA doesn’t hold the strongest of bonds, it is not the best choice for models that will endure high speeds or stress on the airframe. I like to keep it in my field box for quick fixes only since it’s very expensive locally (about $8 for 1 ounce of CA and $10 for the activator). Found only at Local Hobby Shops and online Hobby Stores.

HOT GLUE

Hot Glue comes in solid “sticks” of various lengths and diameters and is melted with an electric gun that also squeezes it out of a nozzle tip. Many modelers like hot-glue for building with foam. It holds a strong bond and is easy to work with but it stays a bit flexible — which might be a good thing in a few applications, but not most. Make sure the gun is set to low temperature and you won’t damage the foam. With Hot-melt Glue you’ll get a strong, inexpensive bond in seconds. The Gun can be found for as little as $5 at Walmart and the sticks for about $3 for a few dozen.

EPOXY

Epoxy is a popular, strong and inexpensive adhesive but it adds a bit of weight to models. There are a large selection of Epoxies to choose from. Most users like 5-minute Epoxy since it sets quickly. I, personally, am not very fond of it since I have found other glues that out-perform it. It comes in two chemicals in gel form. You mix the two by way of a stick or paddle and apply it to the surfaces with such tool. Epoxy can be found at home improvement and hardware stores for $4-10 per 1 to 2 ounce syringe.

OTHER GLUES

Lastly, not a glue but other popular glues for building RC planes with foam. The list includes Ultimate RC Foam Glue, Fab-Tack (very similar to URCFG), some Elmer’s glues, silicone caulking (very heavy!), UHU Por, UHU Creativ and an endless list of adhesives that dominate the modeling world. I suggest trying Gorilla Glue, Foam-Safe CA and Hot Glue before any others. If you aren’t happy with those, try reading through the RCGroups.com and RCUniverse.com forums for other ideas and stories.

How to Tweet to @rcfinder South Florida RC Twitter Group

@rcfinder is our very own South Florida Twitter resource for RC communication. It’s a Twitter group that lets any follower to post to it, allowing all other @rcfinder followers to receive the Tweet via their timeline and optionally via text message. We keep each-other updated by sharing events, videos, links, news and flying locations like parks, schools, etc.

You can post Tweets to @rcfinder, all you need to do is click “Follow” at twitter.com/rcfinder, then send a Direct Message (DM @rcfinder) to the group with your post.
Here’s an example Direct Message:

rcftweet2

Begin all tweets with “DM @rcfinder” and follow it with your message.
GroupTweet takes care of posting all Direct Messages received to the timeline in just minutes, like this:

rcftweet4

Easy! If you enable Mobile Updates you receive all Tweets written to @rcfinder on your mobile device. So this opens up a new way to communicate amongst ourselves; you can now send your flying location to @rcfinder and others who see it can reply to you and possibly join you at the field.

Great. Enjoy it and if you have any questions contact @rcfinder or @maydayrc.

Flaperons Using T6A Radio

Recently, I was discussing the T6a radio at the Super Cub Club when the topic on flaperons came up. I decided to give it a try with my SC.

I started out with a servo on CH1 for the left aileron and a servo on CH6 for the right aileron. I programmed the first mix (MIX1) for standard ailerons as follows:

  • Mix Num: MIX 1
  • Source: CH1
  • Des: CH6
  • Up Rate: 100%
  • Down Rate: 100%
  • Switch: ON

If all you want is ailerons, this is where you can stop. Next, for flapperons, I used up the remaining mixes (MIX2 & MIX3). MIX2 for CH1 (Left Aileron) and MIX3 for CH6 (Right Aileron):

  • Mix Num: MIX 2
  • Source: VR B
  • Des: CH1
  • Up Rate: 75%
  • Down Rate: 75%
  • Switch: SW B
  • Mix Num: MIX 3
  • Source: VR B
  • Des: CH6
  • Up Rate: -75%
  • Down Rate: -75%%
  • Switch: SW B

This results in the ability to switch flaperons ON and OFF with Switch B (SW B) and adjust the angle of the flaperons by rotating Pot B (VR B).

There are many options and settings to play with here, including aileron differential; to read further, see the RCGroups.com post where I found the info I needed.

Here’s the video and the link to where I found the instructions: http://www.rcgroups.com/forums/showpost.php?p=12916824&postcount=1705

Follow the thread at SCC: http://supercubclub.proboards.com/index.cgi?board=pb&action=display&thread=2948&page=2 starting with Reply #19.