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Author Topic: High aspect-ratio A6's  (Read 1595 times)
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Flyguy
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« on: January 30, 2019, 06:20:20 PM »

Thought I'd post a few things on my A6 progress, started in the 'trying to get back into indoor' thread. Some other club members are also thinking of or are building high AR A6's, so I'll try to get some other pics as well; I also know a few people here mentioned trying it, feel free to post if you like.

I'm continuing this year with my 24" A6, AR of 19.2; I built a second one, though I'm flying a lot more carefully this year! The pictures show my second A6 (same as the first one), came out pretty much on target at 1.19g, like the first one. The first one has consistently done 6:30+ (max of 6:53) the last few flying sessions, so I've been trying to break the '7 min barrier'. I won't lie - I'm pretty excited about today's results.

Flying was a little tricky because the air was choppy, thanks to the record cold, nevertheless the first test flight was 5:47 (20' altitude) followed by a full flight (up to 32') of 7:00 min, finally! I was celebrating that flight and thought I'd squeeze in one last (third) flight (had to leave early today), and that one was 7:26, woohoo! Neither flight went above 32 feet - I've learned the hard way (last year) that going above that is the kiss of death at this site, so I stay below the lights these days if possible. So I'm very happy, though I think that might be approaching the limit at this site (I thought 7 min was), though maybe on a day with a little warmer air... plus I should probably pay attention to the rubber quality, I'm just using whatever I have on hand, can't really do much else (any way to get the legendary 99 or 06 stuff? I pretty much just have 2018). Of course I'll keep doing a little experimenting, but I'm very happy to finally shatter that 7 min barrier that has been haunting me! The high AR A6 seems to have potential.
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Flyguy
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« Reply #1 on: January 31, 2019, 11:51:37 AM »

I'm making the prop shafts a little differently these days. For the first way, I get some 3/16" x .032 bass strips from the local art store. I then drilled a .012 hole in the center - I have a block I made a few cuts in and I use the one that seems to give the straightest hole, it's a little tricky and you need magnifying glasses, but with a few tries I could get a few good ones, i.e., goes in in the center and comes out at the center. Then I left a 1/32" hub in the center and sanded the rest down to .021, that part is a pain and takes a little time, you have to be careful and check frequently. The only good part is that when done, you can then slice off three 1/16" spars that are ready to go. The top prop in the pics below show this type of spar, you can see that it's been drilled in the center.

Recently I found that you can buy .021" bass strips on the net by doing a search on 'scale lumber', so I tried the overlap approach that Olbill uses. In this case, all you have to do is cut two strips. I then fully form the front wire, including the 90 bend at the front. Then I lightly push the wire on the bass so that it makes a small indent. Then I lay the wire on one strip, put a dot of white glue on it, and then put the other strip overlapping on top, I put it against a ruler to keep it straight and weigh it down, and bango you're done. When dry, I hit the front of the wire with some thinned ambroid. Part I like about this approach is that it's easy and fast, no lengthy sanding! Bottom prop in the pics shows this type of prop.

I've flown dozens of flights with both types of spars and haven't noticed any difference as of yet (the 7:26 flight used the overlapping spar).

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Olbill
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« Reply #2 on: January 31, 2019, 11:57:09 AM »

Impressive work and results!

I make almost all props with separate spars joined at the middle. It's very easy to get matching properties with the spar halves this way. The only exception is my carbon rod LPP spar that has to be made in one piece.
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Flyguy
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« Reply #3 on: January 31, 2019, 12:25:47 PM »

Thanks Bill, yes I agree that you can get nice matching using the spar halves, though the one piece A6 spars also seem to work nice, its just that I always go for the laziest approach, so my sanding one piece A6 spars days are over!

The one I'm still debating about though is for F1L. I like that you can match the two halves by weight, along with flex, so I've made a few that way. However sometimes I get a really nice straight strip and so I've made a few where it's just one piece, tapered towards the tips. The top spar in the photo below is an example, the bottom spar is actually two pieces, but you can't see it because I wrap the middle with a little white tissue at the end, didn't do that for the top spar yet. You can still check each 'half' for thickness and flex, but not for weight. Both ways are just as easy in this case, because you're sanding the spars either way. I like that the one piece approach saves a gluing step, but either way in this case seems good. Haven't noticed any differences flying-wise so far, either way these high-flaring F1L props are tricky!
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Olbill
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« Reply #4 on: January 31, 2019, 01:28:56 PM »

I just got a Leo F1L pitch block from Mike Kirda. I'm going to reform some symmetrical blades on the new block and see how that compares to my flaring props.
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Olbill
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« Reply #5 on: January 31, 2019, 01:41:16 PM »

How about bringing your models to Kibbie this year? Don Slusarczyk (Cat 2 record holder) and I will be there along with Andrew Tagliafico and maybe a few other A-6 fliers.
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Olbill
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« Reply #6 on: January 31, 2019, 02:26:58 PM »

There's one other advantage to separate prop spars for F1L. The grain direction in the spars will make them stiffer in one direction than the other. When you build with separate spar halves you can orient the grain in the same direction in both spars.
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Flyguy
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« Reply #7 on: January 31, 2019, 06:36:53 PM »

I just got a Leo F1L pitch block from Mike Kirda. I'm going to reform some symmetrical blades on the new block and see how that compares to my flaring props.


We're on the same track, I got Leo's pitch block from Mike a few weeks back and have made two props with it so far, talked with Mike about it a little. All my area is in front of the blade, picture below, you can see that the blades have a lot of curvature. The block is 23p, then I set the blades rotated up to 28p and compared that to a 28p prop and I thought it was good. However the best prop I have so far was formed on a 28 block and set at 26p, so who knows, and they are all actually pretty close - I've been consistently doing, in Cat II, over 12 min with either Leo's prop or my other props, so I don't have any verdict at this point, I'll continue to do some tests. Bill - it would be extremely interesting to hear your results when you try it, though it's probably different for symmetrical blades, but please post on that, I've been wondering about it myself and was thinking of starting a thread on that reporting what I found.
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Flyguy
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« Reply #8 on: January 31, 2019, 06:49:37 PM »

How about bringing your models to Kibbie this year? Don Slusarczyk (Cat 2 record holder) and I will be there along with Andrew Tagliafico and maybe a few other A-6 fliers.

That sounds like fun, but I'd have to make a box to carry the planes on a flight, which I've been thinking about but I'm not sure I'm at that point yet. I have thought about maybe Kent state, another Cat 2 site (like Teaneck, but higher) that's only a 7 hour something drive, have to see if anyone else here is interested in going. The tempting part about that one is it's hard not to think that if the A6 does almost 7 1/2 min with a strict 32 ft. limitation (and so-so rubber), like last week, then maybe it can get up around the 8 min range with an extra 10' of climbing space like at Kent!
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Olbill
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« Reply #9 on: January 31, 2019, 07:58:13 PM »

I'll be at Kent also. I haven't done as well at Kent as at Rantoul which is a good bit lower. I'm not sure why that is. For awhile I had the Cat 2 record set at Kent; then I broke it at Rantoul and then Don broke mine at Rantoul. I would expect Don to be over 8 minutes at Kent.

Part of my problem is that I can't steer so the model has to do its thing without my help. The lights at Kent are really bad about snagging models so I usually try to do safe flights there. My winning flight last year probably hit 10 times but still was only about 7 1/2 minutes.

I don't know if you do Facebook. Nick Aikman had an interesting answer to someone who was suggesting that some bad blocks of balsa that he recently got could be used for A6's. He posted a picture of your model and said something to the effect that good wood was just as important in a high quality A6 as in any other kind of model.
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Olbill
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« Reply #10 on: January 31, 2019, 08:02:51 PM »


We're on the same track, I got Leo's pitch block from Mike a few weeks back and have made two props with it so far, talked with Mike about it a little. All my area is in front of the blade, picture below, you can see that the blades have a lot of curvature. The block is 23p, then I set the blades rotated up to 28p and compared that to a 28p prop and I thought it was good.


I've never been successful running pitch that high. Maybe there's something magic about Leo's prop that makes it perform at higher pitch.

My new prop had a setback today when I couldn't find a good set of old prop spars. Tomorrow I'm going to have to taper a piece of wood and try to remember how to make F1L prop spars.
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« Reply #11 on: January 31, 2019, 08:14:53 PM »

I'll be at Kent also. I haven't done as well at Kent as at Rantoul which is a good bit lower. I'm not sure why that is. For awhile I had the Cat 2 record set at Kent; then I broke it at Rantoul and then Don broke mine at Rantoul. I would expect Don to be over 8 minutes at Kent.

Part of my problem is that I can't steer so the model has to do its thing without my help. The lights at Kent are really bad about snagging models so I usually try to do safe flights there. My winning flight last year probably hit 10 times but still was only about 7 1/2 minutes.

I don't know if you do Facebook. Nick Aikman had an interesting answer to someone who was suggesting that some bad blocks of balsa that he recently got could be used for A6's. He posted a picture of your model and said something to the effect that good wood was just as important in a high quality A6 as in any other kind of model.

Cool, let me see if I can get there. Kent lights sound the same as Teaneck - real killers and you're gone if you hit them, that's why I stay below 32'. Steering isn't a problem since I don't do that either, but floor space is pretty tight at Teaneck so I make fairly tight circles; looks like there's more floor space at Kent.

No I don't do Facebook, damnit, that's neat about Nick, yes I'm using his balsa for the A6's (that's probably why some of them were underweight)! Hey does that mean that I get ahead on the queue if I put in another balsa order?  Wink

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« Reply #12 on: January 31, 2019, 09:30:52 PM »


We're on the same track, I got Leo's pitch block from Mike a few weeks back and have made two props with it so far, talked with Mike about it a little. All my area is in front of the blade, picture below, you can see that the blades have a lot of curvature. The block is 23p, then I set the blades rotated up to 28p and compared that to a 28p prop and I thought it was good.


I've never been successful running pitch that high. Maybe there's something magic about Leo's prop that makes it perform at higher pitch.

My new prop had a setback today when I couldn't find a good set of old prop spars. Tomorrow I'm going to have to taper a piece of wood and try to remember how to make F1L prop spars.

Yes that's what I thought as well - it climbed higher at a lower torque, so I thought wow the increased curvature helps since the 28 p 'Leo' version was better than the other 28 p I had, although the 28 pitch still seemed to be a little too high. So the next Leo prop I made was 26 p and I had high hopes for that one, but it was surprisingly a bust, however I think the real problem in that case was that the spar for that prop was too flexible, the high curvature probably emphasized that problem, so the verdict is out, I'll make another one.


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« Reply #13 on: February 02, 2019, 06:30:11 PM »

Sorry to be off topic again - but to finish the F1L prop info I flew my new Leo style prop today at 24p and 22p. It got better times at each reduction in pitch but generally horrible times. Best was 7:54 at St. Lukes where I've done 14 in the past. Then I removed all the blade area behind the spar on one of my new flaring props and set it to 22p. I . This did 7:51. It would have been more but I had to relaunch after a wall hit. I used the same motor for all 7 of my flights with the last 3 or 4 being close to max winds.

Both of my new stabs are garbage. Will have to try again on the stabs to get under 100mg without warps.

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Flyguy
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« Reply #14 on: February 02, 2019, 07:30:45 PM »

Sorry to be off topic again - but to finish the F1L prop info I flew my new Leo style prop today at 26p, 24p and 22p. It got better times at each reduction in pitch but generally horrible times. Best was 7:54 at St. Lukes where I've done 14 in the past. Then I removed all the blade area behind the spar on one of my new flaring props and set it to 22p. I . This did 7:51. It would have been more but I had to relaunch after a wall hit. I used the same motor for all 7 of my flights with the last 3 or 4 being close to max winds.

Both of my new stabs are garbage. Will have to try again on the stabs to get under 100mg without warps.

That's OK on the off topic, should have put 'with a little F1L' in the title (can't edit titles right?), this is very interesting info. That was quick for tests! Sounds overall like your experience was similar to mine. Another problem is that you might need slightly heavier rubber for the Leo prop, seems like all that curvature increases the drag, but I'm not sure based on my own tests because -

-here's what happened with my first test a few weeks back. I had a 15" prop with a 24p blade set to 28, did some flights with that, then did some flights with a Leo blade of 23 set to 28. Had to wind first prop to high torque of .30 and got 12:50, height of 32' no touch, rpm of 92 (the required high torque is why I think that 28p is too much and I've gone down to 26). Next flight was with Leo prop, same rubber but wound to much lower torque of 0.20. Surprise was that it did 12:31, 32' no touch, rpm of 86. That's why I had high hopes with the Leo 26 the following week, but it had problems, though again I think that was a spar problem.

I made a new 27p prop, picture below, with the difference that the spar is now in front of the blade, we'll see how that does. I'm also going to give the Leo blade another shot, you can see in the photo the Leo block and the first Leo blade drying on the pitch block, 25 p this time. Wish I had more time to test all these props! Thanks again Bill for the info, I might go down to 22 on the Leo based on what you said.
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« Reply #15 on: February 02, 2019, 08:12:56 PM »

I just formed my blades with the tip 7 1/2" from the left edge of the block. I'm not sure how you would form the blades at a different pitch. Move them on the form? I actually didn't ask Mike what the pitch of the block is.

Today's motor was 1.4g x 18". It's pretty ridiculous for an 8 minute flight but at 13 or 14 minutes it's in the ballpark.

I was back to twisting the MS before launch in order to get an initial turn. I forgot on the last flight and hit the opposite wall. (launch torque .23 in-oz). West Baden, Kent and Kibbie will be easier but if the model doesn't wake up soon it won't be making the trips.
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« Reply #16 on: February 02, 2019, 08:51:02 PM »

You form the blades the usual way at whatever the pitch is, the Leo block is 23 p, so you just form 23 p blades. However, when setting the blades on the prop spar, you rotate them up to a higher pitch. So instead of setting them at the usual angle for 23 p, which is 42.5 degrees at 4 inches, I set them at a higher angle. Leo mentions increasing the angle by 7 degrees, but 7.5 degrees will give you the same angle (50 degrees) at 4" as for a 30p prop. I was wondering about this myself and made the graph below, which helps to understand it. The Y axis shows the prop angle and the X axis shows the distance from the center in inches. The solid curve shows the blade angles for a 30 pitch prop. The dotted curve shows a 23 pitch prop where the angle of the blade was rotated up by 7.5 degrees at 4 inches, which gives 50 degrees at 4 inches, same as a 30 p prop (I did mine at 28p). First, the plot shows that having a lower pitch means that the angles vary more, the line is more 'curvy'. Second, compared to the straight 30p prop, the 23 prop 'rotated up' to 30 p has higher angles towards the middle and also a little towards the tip. So, 'rotating up' in essence adds a little 'wash-in' at the center and tips.

I was wondering about that because I know that F1D people have added wash-out to the tips, not wash-in. You can kind of do that by 'rotating down' - e.g., form the blade on a 28 p block and lower the angle to that of 26 p at 4 inches, that's what I did, that's the best one so far but I'm still working on it.

Holy cow, 1.4 gram at 18" that's huge! that encourages me not to be scared of trying some higher rubber weights, right now my motors for the 28 p props are 1.3 g at 20" and that seems heavy, my 13+min flight was on a 1.2 g motor. I have a long way to go on F1L because I just started flying it this season, whereas I had last year with A6 to make lots of mistakes and learn something!


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« Reply #17 on: February 02, 2019, 10:53:37 PM »

I guess I misunderstood what you were saying about what pitch the blades were formed at. Anyway, my models have a really hard time launching at higher torques. I guess I need to build a copy of Leo's model and give up on mine.

Fun fact about Leo unless he's changed recently - he uses 1g of rubber on his F1L. I think it's some sort of religious belief. I used to try to convince him to use more but getting beat sometimes changes my viewpoints.

The reason (in my opinion) for washing out the tips on VP prop blades is so when they are at extremely high pitch the tips will still give some thrust. For my F1M the prop blades at the root at launch are pretty much perpendicular to the direction of rotation. Most of the prop is stalled but still has enough thrust to keep the model in the air.
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« Reply #18 on: February 02, 2019, 11:20:25 PM »

So far I've been OK at the higher torques, it chugs around at a near stall for a bit until a little torque burns off and then takes off. I see I spaced out above and gave my A6 motor sizes, forgot we were talking about F1L! The F1L sizes I've been using are 15" at 1.3g for 28 p and at 1.2 g for 26p, though I'm still in the early stages on this. You're 18" motor is pretty long!

Fun fact about Leo unless he's changed recently - he uses 1g of rubber on his F1L. I think it's some sort of religious belief. I used to try to convince him to use more but getting beat sometimes changes my viewpoints.

Yes that's damn light! I was using a 1 g motor when I was using a 14" prop with a 28 pitch, but went heavier for the 15" prop, also 28 p. But Leo's prop is symmetrical and mine has all the area in front of the blade, so that's another reason why I think I need heavier rubber, like at least 1.2g. I've been looking at both the 'going slightly heavier' and 'going slightly lighter' routes but I don't see any clear winners - nice example is that I have two flights both exactly 12:50 one with a 1.3 g motor and 28 p prop and one with a 1.2 g motor and a 26 p prop, and so? indoor is difficult!

The reason (in my opinion) for washing out the tips on VP prop blades is so when they are at extremely high pitch the tips will still give some thrust. For my F1M the prop blades at the root at launch are pretty much perpendicular to the direction of rotation. Most of the prop is stalled but still has enough thrust to keep the model in the air.

Yes agreed and that makes perfect sense, pretty much the same reason you use washout in the tips of a wing. But I don't know, you can convince yourself of anything if you argue long enough, I was thinking for example that, for Leo's prop, maybe the higher angle near the hub slows down the prop but the relatively lower pitch in the middle of the blade keeps it flying? (a variation on the washout argument). In any case I thought I knew something about props but these days I'm thinking I'm lost in the woods! I need to get in more flying time so I can try these things and see what happens, frustrating to wait a whole week to only be able to get a few precious hours!

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« Reply #19 on: February 08, 2019, 12:05:27 PM »

I need to get in more flying time so I can try these things and see what happens, frustrating to wait a whole week to only be able to get a few precious hours!

Speaking of frustrating, there was an accident this week and the bus was delayed for over an hour, so I barely had time to run in, get a few flights, and race out (I have to get back by 1). Did set a new high time for my F1L of 13:42, but it only went up 28 ft., which leaves 5 feet to spare, would have been nice to get in another flight with a little higher torque! in any case it's looking good, the 26p prop seems to be good, though as usual I have some others to test, will report back on that later.

Getting back to A6's, below is a photo of my flying buddy Tom Juell's high aspect ratio A6. Beautiful work (as usual), came in close to target weight. He's since built another wing that's lighter and I think it's now around 1.19 g. He had some problems with it turning the wrong way for a few sessions, I think due to the tips, but he's since fixed it and also has another wing version with some polyhedral. Flew nice this week and did a respectable 5:30.

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« Reply #20 on: February 14, 2019, 09:35:28 PM »

Just a quick note on how I'm doing A6 motors these days, not saying it's the best or only way, just saying this is how I do it. My bias was that, back in my heydays of indoor flying in the 60-70's, I never used O-rings for either my ministicks or EZB's, didn't need them, so that's my bias. So I was initially doing that with A6 as well, however I had some cases (with maybe only 200 winds left) where the motor slipped off the front hook (I've never had that problem with the rear), so I started using O-rings. However, I found that just using an O-ring alone for the front doesn't solve this problem, you have to use an O-ring and a sleeve. Eventually I started thinking why even bother with the O-ring, just use the sleeve, and that has worked really really nice, no problems at all. For the 'sleeves' I've used 1/16" heat shrink tubing and slightly larger sip straws, I like the heat-shrink tubing the best. I can just tie all the motors and then slip on the sleeves, I leave them back a bit on the motor, first pic is motors lubed and ready to go. Then I wind the motor, attach it to the hook, and slide the sleeve up against and slightly over the hook (the sip straws go up more since they are larger), second pic shows fully wound 20" motor (on a 6" stick!) with sleeve ready to go. I've been doing this on my F1L motors as well, keeps the rubber nice and centered and so far I've never had any problems.
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« Reply #21 on: February 14, 2019, 10:11:26 PM »

i guess I'm more fumble fingered than most but I'd never get the motor hooked up without o-rings.
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« Reply #22 on: February 14, 2019, 10:22:01 PM »

I kind of was the opposite on this - the pennyplane size O-rings are easy to get on, but the small f1d ones I have were a real pain in the neck with fully wound motors, difficult to get on, at least for me. I thought it was easier to just let out a few winds and hook on, since that's what I'm used to doing anyway. The other thing I like is that you have to put on the O-ring when you tie up the motor, but not with the sleeve approach, you can add it later (with a little wire puller). But of course you can also leave on the O-ring and do the same thing with the sleeve. Given that I'm admittedly not an O-ring person, I'm glad the sleeve-only thing seems to be working!
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« Reply #23 on: February 15, 2019, 01:19:55 AM »

I'm sure I've posted this before. Now I use cocktail straws for sleeves instead of the red polyimide sleeve. The only place I could get the polyimide was from Ray Harlan. He would give me a few short scraps of it when I saw him at contests.
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« Reply #24 on: February 15, 2019, 12:11:52 PM »

The 1/16" heat shrink tubing works nice and you can get it anywhere. Part I like is that it buts up against the hook and slightly covers it, keeps the rubber nice and centered, as the picture shows.

Yes, cocktail straws are also good, I bought a box of 1000 online for $5, pic below (multiple lifetime supply, I'd be happy to bring a few dozen to a contest if you want some!). These are the same as what you show, they go completely over the O-ring and hook, as in your picture, you can also do it without the O-ring if you like, pic below.
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