Saturday, 7 March 2015

All my RC plane building materials, tools, electronics and RC gear

Carbon fibre
Skyshark P4X woven tubes - Wing spars and tail booms
7.54mm OD x 825mm (32.5") - Kites and fun things                
US$3.50 each. Freight is about US$45 to Aus. These are woven carbon fibre tubes, which are lighter than pulltruded tubes and less prone to splitting. Great for big kite spars also.

6 x 1mm and 3 x 0.5mm CF strip - light weight spars and reinforcing
2 to 5mm CF rod and tube - wing tie downs rods and elevator axle
12k CF tow (ribbon of unwoven fibres) - reinforcing and repairs

Rubber bands Size 64 (87 x 6mm) wing tie downs - Officeworks
Buy a 500g bag, they need frequent replacing.

Tape and covering film
Iron-on document laminating film (covering) - EZload 
Scotch heavy duty exterior double sided tape (motor mount, servos) - Bunnings
Norton Bear cloth tape (reinforcing) - Bunnings
PPS clear 43 and 60 micron packing tape (covering, hinges) Officeworks

PPS coloured packing tape (covering - 5 pack) - Officeworks
UPDATE: October 2015 - Looks like this coloured packing tape is no longer available at Officeworks. Need to buy Hobby King covering tape or Ebay from now on.
UPDATE: Jan 2016 - KMart now sells coloured packing tape (Thanks Joe)

Scotch Transparent Tough Tape (joining, reinforcing) - Bunnings
This is my favourite reinforcing tape but it's more expensive. Strong holding, flexible and lighter than cloth tape. Used to join wings, hold landing gear on and to reinforce control horns and hinges. Use cheaper Bear cloth tape where weight and strength are not as crucial.

3M Blenderm Tape for hinges - HobbyKing

Hot glue gun - Crescent 60W Bunnings and this 12V battery one from Hobby King
Brown Gorilla Glue - ebay
Araldite epoxy 5 min - Mitre 10
Z-Poxy Epoxy finishing resin - ebay and Tates Hobbies Geelong
Foam Safe CA - Hobby King
Thread locker (Blue = releasable) for motor bolts - Supercheap Auto

Depron foamboard
6mm depron - Trade warehouse
I buy the 20 x 70cm x 100cm pack (Works out to 40 normal sized foamboards at $5.63 each). Useful to have some 3mm as well.

Beware - Paper-covered foam boards in Australia, like Quill from Officeworks, are much heavier and way more expensive than Dollar Tree foam board used by Experimental Airlines and Flite Test. Dollar Tree foam board is not sold in Aus so I use depron with tape or laminate covering. Depron is waterproof and lighter and much more durable than paper covered foam board.

Hot wire cutting bits
Knauf XPS insulation foam 30mm and 50mm thick - Bunnings
Hotwire wire - Sure Catch SS wire trace - 7 strand - 40kg (90lb)
Template aluminium - 0.3mm Weatherflash window flashing

Bits and pieces
Blank ID cards - Search Ebay for CR80 blank ID cards
Piano wire for Push rods (0.047" or 1.1mm) or Landing gear (2.5mm to 3mm) - Tates Hobbies 
Linkage stoppers - Hobby King
Z-bend pliers (worth having) - Hobby King

Good all round motors
Turnigy 2826/6 2200kV 
6x4" prop 23A max 270W 600g thrust 30 to 40A ESC
7x4" prop 34A max 380W 790g thrust 40A ESC

Turnigy 2826/10 1400kV

Smaller motor
Turnigy 2822/14 1450kV 
7x4.5" prop 18A max 215W 30A ESC.

Prop adapters
The motors above use 3.17mm prop adapters which are not sold by Hobby King!
One is supplied with the motor but you will need replacements.
Spares available at Banggood

Larger motors
Turnigy 2836/8 1100kV 
11x5.5" prop 26A max 300W 40A ESC

Hextronic DT750
11x5.5" prop 40A ESC. 3S or 4S battery

Note: Power, Current and Thrust values for a 3S Nanotech 2200mAH LiPo, measured with a  Hobby King Watt Meter

Motor numbers explained
2836/8 1100kV = 28mm diameter, 36mm long, 8 windings, 1100 revs per volt.
Note that none of these numbers tell you how powerful or how much thrust the motor produces.

Motor mounts
Aluminium 20mm x 1.6mm thick - Bunnings aluminium
Scotch heavy duty exterior double sided tape
Scotch Transparent Tough Tape

Motor mount bent from flat bar or cut from L profile stock.

Turnigy Plush 30A and 40A Hobby King 
Plush ESC programming card Hobby King

Cheap and light - HXT900 plastic gear micro

Transmitters and receivers
Turnigy 9X with add on backlight and OpenTX firmware via SmartieParts board
Turnigy 9XR Pro with OpenTX 2.1, 9X or FrSky modules
Taranis Plus with OpenTX 2.1

Taranis and FrSKY sensors and parts , Hobby King and

Experimental Airlines (This channel got me hooked)

Learned all I know about 9X, Taranis and OpenTX from -

Good flight videos -
HeppyKet - Sth Aus
Adam Fisher - Sth Aus
SpeedsterDEN - Denmark
28th St Air Land and Sea - USA
Martin Katera - Czech

Worth watching -
RC Model Reviews - NZ
Flite Test - USA

Tuesday, 3 March 2015

FrSKY Lipo voltage sensor

This sensor (cost about A$22) enables telemetry for the total battery voltage and individual cell voltages. Also called the FLVSS sensor.

It is small and lightweight and has a very clear OLED screen which means it can be used as a stand alone battery checker.

It plugs into the balance lead of the battery and connects to the X series receiver via the Smart Port.

This video covers connection and setup directly on the Taranis Plus transmitter. Spoken values and on-screen display of total voltage and the lowest individual cell voltage, with a little flight at the end.

FrSKY 40A current sensor

This sensor (cost about A$27) enables current, voltage and consumed mAh telemetry. This is one of the most useful modules for flying powered planes because it means you don't need to keep landing to check the battery level.

It plugs in-line between the battery and ESC and connects to the receiver via the Smart Port.

This video covers connection and setup using OpenTX companion, Taranis Plus transmitter and OpenTX 2.0. On-screen display and spoken voltage and mAh consumption values. Viewing of recorded logs in OpenTX companion.

Sunday, 1 March 2015

FrSKY GPS sensor

This is the FrSKY GPS sensor which enables position, altitude, speed and distance data on the Taranis. Cost about A$49.

The UP side must face upwards with a clear view of the sky, under foam may be OK.

Once connected it takes a few minutes for the sensor to acquire satellites. 
When it is ready the red led will change from fast to slow flashing and Lat and Long will appear on the telemetry screen 3.

This video covers connection and setup, how to enable spoken altitude, speed and distance values, telemetry logging and displaying flight tracks in Google Earth.