Mar 31, 2011

XT60 Adapter

I have only one airplane still using NiMh batteries, and it connects to the ESC using Deans connectors.  Since switching to Hobbyking for most of my supplies, I've switched over to XT60 connectors.  The NiMh's still have lots of life in them, so I want to continue using them, but I also want to try flying the plane with LiPo's as well.

The solution was to make an adapter from Deans to XT60.  I searched around and found a spare female Deans plug, and a female XT60.  Using a file, I filed the XT60 till I could get the deans to fit into it, then I soldered the two together.  Next I used hot glue to fill the gap to prevent shorting.  Last I wrapped it in electrical tape because I don't have any heat shrink big enough to do the job.  Here are the photos I snapped with my phone while making the adapter.  I'd guess you could create a similar adapter with other types of connectors as well.

Soldering the two female part together

Filling the gap with hot glue so it won't short

Wrap with electrical tape or heat shrink.  

Mar 30, 2011

Airplane Storage

As my number of planes grows, I'm finding that I have to use storage space more efficiently. I've always favored hanging my planes from the ceiling to get them out of the way. The problem was, when I used string to hang the models, getting them down from the ceiling could be a line tangling ordeal.

While looking on the forums one day I found an alternative solution the involves using bent wire to hang the plane.  Using wire coat hangers I was able to make a few hangers for my lighter planes.  Obviously, for a heaver plane, you'd want to use thicker wire, and fuel tubing or pipe insulation to protect your planes finish.

Using this method, I'm able to hang most of foamies in a manner that makes them easily accessible.  I'm using an inch wide nylon strap to hang my glider, as I haven't bought tough enough wire to make it a hanger.  

Mar 23, 2011

Extra 300 Flight Video

Here is a quick video of the Extra 300 flying around by the house.  You'll note that there is plenty of power to take off vertical, and to exit a hover when things go wrong.

Finishing the Extra 300

I started working on the Extra 300 back in November of 2010, and I finally got the electronics that I've been needing from HobbyKing to finish the project.  When buying items from HobbyKing, try not to order anything that is out of stock, as it will delay your shipment.

As you may recall, I got the plans for this plane from RCPowers, its one of the free planes they have posted on their site.  The plane builds quick, and the gear install is simple, just slice the foam, slide in the servos, hot glue, and stick everything else on with velcro.

Turnigy 1300mah 2 cell LiPo
Mystery 20 Amp Brushless Speed Controller
Turnigy 28-26 16amp 1900kv Brushless Outrunner
GWS DD-9050 Prop
3 - 900gram hextronic Servos
6 channel Spektrum compatible receiver

The plane flies well, except for a few issues with the structure that need addressed.  The tail twists when doing a roll, so that the plane looks like its a quarter done with the roll before the tail moves from horizontal.  To fix this on the next plane, I may double up the fuselage, in addition to the carbon fiber tube that runs the length of the fuse.

The other problem that developed was flutter of the elevator and rudder, because the pushrods weren't stiff enough.  To fix this I added two small pieces of tubbing glued to the fuselage, this took out most all of the flutter, but it still appears at the top end of the speed range.

The power system provides ample power for hovering, and flight times are around 8 - 10 minutes zipping around the sky.  Total weight comes to 9.5oz without the battery and 11.5 oz with the battery.  Overall, this has been a fun plane to build, and I'm already looking forward to a rebuild :)  This plane should help me push my flying ability, without breaking the bank account.

Mar 19, 2011


Over at RC Groups I ran into an interesting lightweight stick type model.  The Gym-Blu by Gene Bond.  The plane is a quick build with few parts, and everything is affixed to a stick fuselage.  The plans call for a 3/8" square stick, which I couldn't find anywhere, so I used a 3/8" dowel and its really too flexible.  I'd recommend using a 1/4" stick.   I lengthened the wing to 32" to lessen the wing loading as I knew my plane would be a little heavier.  To strengthen the wing, I heat tempered the foam with a heat gun.  It adds strength without the extra weight of carbon fiber.  The plans don't seem to have the C.G. location noted, but I've found its about 2.3" back from the leading edge of the wing, when the wing position on the plans is used.

Total weight came to 5 ounces dry, and with the battery it weighs in at 6.75 ounces.  Recommended weight for indoor flying is 5oz all up weight.  At it's current weight it still fly's quite slow and has a very shallow glide path.  I used a bottle cap motor mount hot glued to the fuse stick, a different motor mount would help save weight.    

2 -5gram Hextronic servos
12 amp speed controller 
6 channel Spektrum Compatible reciever
2 cell - 800 mah Lipo battery
1 - Turnigy 2204-14T Electric Motor
GWS DD-7035 Prop

The v-tail configuration makes this plane a little less responsive when going at lower speeds.  Be sure to keep some air moving over the tail, or controls will get soft.  Overall the plane is a great flier, very fun to fly, and fun to build as well.