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Author Topic: Ready-to-fly micro RC  (Read 1624 times)
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simpleflyer
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« on: May 19, 2008, 01:40:12 AM »

A while back we purchased an Estes AeroX at Wal-Mart. It sat on a shelf for a while, until a few months ago when we decided to try it out. We were greatly impressed and pleasantly surprised by its backyard performance.

This led to an interest in backyard RC and we tried an Air Hogs Nano Hawk after reading favorable reports about the Palm-Z/Nano Hawk. Right off, the Nano Hawk did well for us. The IR system is designed for indoor use, but we quickly learned that it works even better outdoors in very low light and dusky conditions.

We started out with Nano Hawk #1 (the green dragon). Next we tried an Estes Fire Bug. We never could learn to use the hand-controller so now it sits waiting to be cannibalized for micro RC experiments. Then we found a single winged Nano Hawk. After many attempts to fly it, the receiver was found to be defective and returned. In its place, we got another Nano Hawk biplane (the black widow). Attached is a pic of our current micro-RC fleet.
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Ready-to-fly micro RC
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simpleflyer
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« Reply #1 on: May 19, 2008, 02:00:30 AM »

Dusk this evening was long and windless, so we took the 'green dragon' into the back yard for some flights. Flights were slow and stable, so we grabbed the Kodak and were rewarded with the flight shots attached. In the first and last shot, the 'post-its' added to the GD's lower wing can be seen. These were added in an attempt to improve slow flight capability and appear to work well.

Al
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skyraider
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« Reply #2 on: May 19, 2008, 08:37:43 AM »

Al,

Nice shots there!! Oddly, many modelers who wish to experience R/C don't realize that these are good trainers for very low cost. I still have the Estes sky ranger Corsair that I started with.

Sky
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simpleflyer
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« Reply #3 on: May 19, 2008, 03:49:31 PM »

Thanks, Sky. You are indeed correct. These little Nano Hawks are an excellent entry level RC model, especially for slow learners such as. Over the years, I've accumlated an old Berkely single channel escapement actuated Aerotrol system, Mattel pulse proportional single channel, and most recently a Hitec FocusIII system. All of them have been too intimidating for me to start beyond the planning and preparation stage. With the Nano Hawk, success was quick and the incentive to learn more is sustained.

Al
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Art356A
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« Reply #4 on: May 19, 2008, 05:43:29 PM »

I've been looking for something that I can buy off the shelf (cheap), learn to manipulate, and then transfer the innards into an elegant 18-20 inch stick and tissue cruiser with a lower wing loading than the foamie. Is one of these what I've been looking for? Which one?
Art.
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« Reply #5 on: May 19, 2008, 06:00:08 PM »

Art,

You are on the right track. Yes, start with one of these, fly the heck out of it and when the airframe is done in, transfer any working parts into whatever you have handy that can be converted within the same wingspan or slightly larger. For the money invested, you really can't go wrong.

As you gain more experience, you'll be trying new things, equipment and perhaps building your own motor and/or system. Half the fun is learning.

Sky
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exupery
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« Reply #6 on: May 19, 2008, 06:13:32 PM »

I've been looking for something that I can buy off the shelf (cheap), learn to manipulate, and then transfer the innards into an elegant 18-20 inch stick and tissue cruiser with a lower wing loading than the foamie. Is one of these what I've been looking for? Which one?
Art.
I've been wondering the same thing. Your micros look very similar to ones I had a chance to fly a bit when I was in North Carolina and met Andy Mitas (SFA member).

Have recently bought two miniature RCs. A micro helicopter and a Radio Shack twin motor job. Both are pretty hard to control. One question about conversion to something like above: Would one not have to use a larger prop and how would the tiny motor(s) handle it?
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« Reply #7 on: May 19, 2008, 06:31:02 PM »

I weighed out a couple of candidates. My first thoughts were toward the Fokker D8 from the Plan Page, but I think it's too big, 20.5" span, 45 gm AUW. The Miles Hawk dimer may be a little small @ 14.5" and 15 gm AUW, and very slim.
How about a Bostonian? I only have one, A General Aristocrat, @ 16" and 17 gms., with plenty of room inside. That looks like a fairly easy conversion.
But what's the right donor?

Art.
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« Reply #8 on: May 19, 2008, 06:43:56 PM »

Timely thread for me. Tomorrow I'm off to Princess Auto, they have a little foamy pusher bipe by Avion in their surplus department, 7.5" span. I've been thinking of a peanut pusher flying boat to put the bits in once I figure out how to fly the thing. $38.00

Hermit
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« Reply #9 on: May 19, 2008, 11:32:36 PM »

Art,
 
Quote
I weighed out a couple of candidates. My first thoughts were toward the Fokker D8 from the Plan Page, but I think it's too big, 20.5" span, 45 gm AUW

If you wanted to do the D8, might I suggest the Comet 15". Of course if you wanted to go with the larger D8, you would need a slightly larger motor and lipo to match. The radio gear would be the same. As you make progress through each step, you'll find yourself going to a larger motor anyway. The RC gear will come later as you find out just what you want the plane to do. A good source for motors is BP Hobbies. In some cases, you can get the whole flight system less radio from $15-30.00

Sky
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simpleflyer
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« Reply #10 on: May 24, 2008, 04:07:47 PM »

Thanks, Sky, Art, Ex, and Hermit for the comments and useful tips. We've been occupied with the AeroX for the last few days and evenings have been breezy so we haven't been flying the Nano Hawks recently.

Hopefully, by next weekend we should have a new addition to our hangar of micro RC models. An Air Hogs Aerosoar. We found one online at Wal-Mart for $20 plus tax delivered free to the local outlet. Looking forward to seeng how it works.

Al
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simpleflyer
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« Reply #11 on: June 07, 2008, 04:06:31 PM »

The Air Hogs Aero Soar arrived a few days ago. It works well. Due to the capacitor power source, flights are not long but this is offset by the short charging time. Due to our small living room, indoor flights are not great. However, outdoor flights in quiet air and dusk conditions are good. Here is a pic of the A-Soar: simple single wing design, very light airframe, geared pager motor, and 7 3/4 inch wingspan. Tx/charger uses 3 AA cells.
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simpleflyer
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« Reply #12 on: June 07, 2008, 04:31:09 PM »

Last night we went by the local Target store to check out what they had available in micro R/C models and came upon a clearance sale for Air Hogs U-Build-It R/C models. Building means sticking the wing and horizontal tail to the fuselage with sticky tape provided. For $10 one gets an 11 inch wingspan model powered with geared pager motor. Installed receiver with lipo batt, that controls motor power and a mini actuator driven rudder. The little pager motor is a bit anemic for this size model. But for ten dollars, you get an incredible assortment of micro R/C parts. Needless to say, I obtained 3 of them before they sold out. Going to start watching for sales more often. Almost forgot, the radio equipment is real R/C on 27mhz, not IR.
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« Reply #13 on: June 08, 2008, 10:20:12 AM »

Hi Guys,

You got some neat little foamy airplanes going in those posts, I am getting the idea that I should not overlook the toy nature of these airplanes. With the march in technology I see that they have all come a long way. Some great flight shots and write ups, they must fly well enough to satisfy the old school model airplane thinking, enough for me to take a second look and try one or two sometime. Super job, I have enjoyed the posts on these airplanes.

Sundance12
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« Reply #14 on: June 08, 2008, 10:54:34 AM »

Last night we went by the local Target store to check out what they had available in micro R/C models and came upon a clearance sale for Air Hogs U-Build-It R/C models. Building means sticking the wing and horizontal tail to the fuselage with sticky tape provided. For $10 one gets an 11 inch wingspan model powered with geared pager motor. Installed receiver with lipo batt, that controls motor power and a mini actuator driven rudder. The little pager motor is a bit anemic for this size model. But for ten dollars, you get an incredible assortment of micro R/C parts. Needless to say, I obtained 3 of them before they sold out. Going to start watching for sales more often. Almost forgot, the radio equipment is real R/C on 27mhz, not IR.


Al, It's a shame they don't make them 72mhz, so you could use them with something else!  Looks like you're having fun!

Dick
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simpleflyer
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« Reply #15 on: June 08, 2008, 03:52:11 PM »

Thanks, Dick and Sundance, for your comments. I am having a great time with these little guys. They are well suited for the backyard type of flying that I do. I am eager to begin tinkering with these latest UBI RC models. They should prove to be an enjoyable learning experience. I am finding a lot of data re these little guys at the RC Groups forum.

Al
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« Reply #16 on: June 08, 2008, 04:44:35 PM »

Have I already posted this? If so apparently not on this thread. Anyway picked up this little plane for $14.95 at Radio Shack and its the first one that I have been able to somewhat control.
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simpleflyer
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« Reply #17 on: June 09, 2008, 12:52:50 AM »

Ex,

We saw your earlier post re your micro RC model and had considered going by Radio Shack to check them out. Luckily, we went to Target first and were able to get the UBIs. We are studying up to get enough knowledge to open up one of these little jewels and put the electronics into something more flyable for our back yard.

Found an excellent source at:

http://www.rcgroups.com/forums/showthread.php?t=726199

Al
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simpleflyer
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« Reply #18 on: June 11, 2008, 08:12:38 PM »

Late yesterday afternoon, we had beautiful conditons for flying small models. When the sun went below the horizon, the conditions held so we took our Nano Hawk #2 , the Black Widow for some flying. We managed to capture attached images.

First one is kinda dark, but it shows the Nano Hawk in a good climb. The angle of the shot makes the model appear higher than it actually is.

The second one is clearer. The camera's flash managed to catch the NH very close up.

Al
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« Reply #19 on: August 05, 2008, 10:33:59 PM »

After a number of flights with the UBI and reading and reading about them on the internet we finally got enough nerve to open one up. It was not that difficult, but it taught me the delicate nature of the tiny hair like leads between the receiver and the actuator. We managed to bread both of the leads, but not at the same time, so we were able to identify where they belonged on the receiver. With the help of a magnifying glass and a low wattage soldering iron with a small pointed tip, we were able to solder the leads back in place.

Below is a picture of the electronics and power system of the UBI. A geared pager motor with a 4 1/2 inch prop. A tiny 2 channel receiver that controls the power and the rudder. Built into the receiver are the on/off switch and the charging socket. A Lipo battery for the receiver, motor, and actuator. And the actuator for the rudder. It appears to be a simple and basic system. If I get enough time and curiosity, I'll review some dormant electronics training and try to see if I can understand the inner workings of the little circuit board that is the brains of this system. But for now I will just tinker with it and have fun. Next step is to build a stick fuselage upon which to hang the UBI tail and wing and the parts in the picture below.
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