It’s raining non-stop in Miami so I’ve taken the opportunity to build and repair. This time I’m cutting some carbon fiber rods that will be going into a 30″ Dead Simple Wing. I use a Chicago Electric Dremel-like rotary tool with a cutting blade to snap 2 CF rods down to 18″
Presented in HD 720p Thanks to my new Flip UltraHD:
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).
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.
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.
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:
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.
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.
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 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 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.
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.
@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:
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:
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.