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Mostly new to RC in Washington state. GoPro mount?

#1
Update 1: Added paint progress, new wheel pictures.
Update 2: Added post paint progress, assembled and detailed.

Hello all! My name is Brandon. I'm 30 years old, married, and have three kids. I'm an Automated Assembly/Robotics/Numerical Control programmer at Boeing in their main factory in Everett, Washington. I am currently assigned to programming robots that paint 777 wings.

I had a RC plane once several years ago. I only flew it twice, and it was run over by a car when it drifted into a road. Over $200 down the drain, I gave up.

My wife bought me a 3D printer for Christmas, and I quickly found models for 3D printed planes. Researching these brought me to the FT Youtube channel. After watching videos for about a week, I decided to ease back into it. My primary fear was that for whatever reason, I wouldn't maintain interest and end up wasting money as I had before. So I started with investing about $10 into building an airplane with no electronics. I decided on the Simple Cub because I've always liked the real life design, and I like the idea of starting with three-channel, and being able to graduate into 4. So, I purchased local materials for building the plane. I also designed and 3D printed a firewall, and printed control horns and wheels that someone else had designed.

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I was talking to one of my coworkers about this project and he was already familiar with FT. He later mentioned that he had a busted up Bloody Wonder (with B pack) he had built, a Spektrum DX6i, and Lipo charger he'd be willing to sell me. I ended up getting it all for a steal. I ended up buying new servos, a battery, and wire for push rods and landing gear. Sorry, I didn't get any pictures of installing that. All in all, I've invested less than $200 into this setup! So then I took it to the park with my oldest son for the first flight. I had my rudder backwards, but with a quick channel reversal, I was up in the air!

Video Link:
[video]https://www.facebook.com/theawesomehubby/videos/652214925116126/[/video]

I also had my son try to get it in the air, but no luck. When landing, the wheels would get caught on the grass, and the landing gear was slowly bending back and crushing the foam behind it. This caused takeoff to be difficult.

I took the plane out again a few days later. Again, every landing was smooth, except that the wheels would catch and it would nose over. Eventually, the firewall pulled away from the powerpod, causing down-thrust and made it unflyable. I have since covered the entire plane in packing tape, and added wooden reinforcements to the skewers and landing gear area. I still need to fix the firewall, and I plan to paint the plane. I'm also 3D printing much larger wheels that have spiralized spokes for "suspension" :D

20180214_195715.jpg

I have a GoPro session (the little cube) that I would like to put onto the plane to record flights. I know the plans have a cutout for FPV, but would I want to mount the GoPro in the same place? Or should I mount it on the wing, belly, etc?

Update 1: Sanded, primed, and painted first coat. Also finished printing new larger wheels.

Pre-paint:
20180216_194234.jpg

Primer:
20180216_194951.jpg

First Coat (Well, kind of two coats because the first coat dried so fast):
20180216_202141.jpg

New wheels:
20180216_203144.jpg

Update 2: Assembled, added window details, added tail number.

assembled after paint.jpg

assembled black.jpg
 
Last edited:

sprzout

Knower of useless information
Mentor
#2
Hello all! My name is Brandon. I'm 30 years old, married, and have three kids. I'm an Automated Assembly/Robotics/Numerical Control programmer at Boeing in their main factory in Everett, Washington. I am currently assigned to programming robots that paint 777 wings.

I had a RC plane once several years ago. I only flew it twice, and it was run over by a car when it drifted into a road. Over $200 down the drain, I gave up.

My wife bought me a 3D printer for Christmas, and I quickly found models for 3D printed planes. Researching these brought me to the FT Youtube channel. After watching videos for about a week, I decided to ease back into it. My primary fear was that for whatever reason, I wouldn't maintain interest and end up wasting money as I had before. So I started with investing about $10 into building an airplane with no electronics. I decided on the Simple Cub because I've always liked the real life design, and I like the idea of starting with three-channel, and being able to graduate into 4. So, I purchased local materials for building the plane. I also designed and 3D printed a firewall, and printed control horns and wheels that someone else had designed.

View attachment 102325
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I was talking to one of my coworkers about this project and he was already familiar with FT. He later mentioned that he had a busted up Bloody Wonder (with B pack) he had built, a Spektrum DX6i, and Lipo charger he'd be willing to sell me. I ended up getting it all for a steal. I ended up buying new servos, a battery, and wire for push rods and landing gear. Sorry, I didn't get any pictures of installing that. All in all, I've invested less than $200 into this setup! So then I took it to the park with my oldest son for the first flight. I had my rudder backwards, but with a quick channel reversal, I was up in the air!

Video Link:
[video]https://www.facebook.com/theawesomehubby/videos/652214925116126/[/video]

I also had my son try to get it in the air, but no luck. When landing, the wheels would get caught on the grass, and the landing gear was slowly bending back and crushing the foam behind it. This caused takeoff to be difficult.

I took the plane out again a few days later. Again, every landing was smooth, except that the wheels would catch and it would nose over. Eventually, the firewall pulled away from the powerpod, causing down-thrust and made it unflyable. I have since covered the entire plane in packing tape, and added wooden reinforcements to the skewers and landing gear area. I still need to fix the firewall, and I plan to paint the plane. I'm also 3D printing much larger wheels that have spiralized spokes for "suspension" :D

View attachment 102333

I have a GoPro session (the little cube) that I would like to put onto the plane to record flights. I know the plans have a cutout for FPV, but would I want to mount the GoPro in the same place? Or should I mount it on the wing, belly, etc?
Nice job getting it all together, and good on the reinforcements for the skewers - my dad did the same thing with his 3D printer, and made reinforcements. :)

As for the GoPro mount, I'm going to suggest that you try and mount it on the top of the wing. Several reasons for this - 1) You won't have the prop in much of the view (it'll look annoying to see it skipping throughout most of your video and having to try to see through it will give you a headache), 2) you'll probably find that it'll be easier to put it so that it doesn't affect your center of gravity on the plane. The GoPros don't weigh a lot, necessarily, but they DO weigh something, and that weight will affect your flight. If you can get it over your CG line, it'll be easier with flight and you won't be doing battle trying to keep the plane from porpoising or spiraling out of control. :)

I've seen some people position GoPros out on the edge of their wing, or back by the tail of the plane, but usually it's on some of the bigger scale planes that have a lot of power behind them, or that aren't really affected much by the weight - for the Simple Cub, strapping on 147g onto one wing is REALLY going to want to pull the plane in that direction, if it flies at all.
 
#3
Nice job getting it all together, and good on the reinforcements for the skewers - my dad did the same thing with his 3D printer, and made reinforcements. :)

As for the GoPro mount, I'm going to suggest that you try and mount it on the top of the wing. Several reasons for this - 1) You won't have the prop in much of the view (it'll look annoying to see it skipping throughout most of your video and having to try to see through it will give you a headache), 2) you'll probably find that it'll be easier to put it so that it doesn't affect your center of gravity on the plane. The GoPros don't weigh a lot, necessarily, but they DO weigh something, and that weight will affect your flight. If you can get it over your CG line, it'll be easier with flight and you won't be doing battle trying to keep the plane from porpoising or spiraling out of control. :)

I've seen some people position GoPros out on the edge of their wing, or back by the tail of the plane, but usually it's on some of the bigger scale planes that have a lot of power behind them, or that aren't really affected much by the weight - for the Simple Cub, strapping on 147g onto one wing is REALLY going to want to pull the plane in that direction, if it flies at all.
I had initially thought about mounting above CG on top of wing, but I was concerned that it would create too much drag, and that I'd have to trim elevator down.
 
#4
I went to fly it yesterday. The paint added soooo much weight! It's a little tail heavy now. I tried to level the CG by mounting the battery further forward, but couldn't quite get it perfect. I will have to add some weights to the front. It flew like crap, and I'm hoping that's why. I've also notices the elevator has trouble pointing up. The control rod bends when pushing. I'll have to troubleshoot that as well. Once I get all that sorted out, I'm going to add the GoPro. I've also been playing with the idea of using a gyro stabilizer.
 

rockyboy

Skill Collector
Mentor
#5
Welcome to the forums - and the RC hobby addiction! :p

I think there are enough people in the FT community that work for Boeing you could start your own Special Interest Group. :)

It looks like you're off to a great re-start in the hobby here, and as you're finding out there is a whole lot of it that's about problem solving. And we're all here to help with that too. For the elevator pushrod problem, try adding more little tubes around the pushrod and glued to the body to prevent it from flexing, and check out the horizontal stabilizer to make sure it didn't get warped during the painting (I had that happen on my Tiny Trainer).

I also try and build my foam board planes now so that the elevator pushrod goes over the top of the stab so that it's a pulling motion to "pull up" the plane. I can always cut the throttle to help it go down if the pushrod bends or has a problem giving it down input.
 
#6
Welcome to the forums - and the RC hobby addiction! :p

I think there are enough people in the FT community that work for Boeing you could start your own Special Interest Group. :)

It looks like you're off to a great re-start in the hobby here, and as you're finding out there is a whole lot of it that's about problem solving. And we're all here to help with that too. For the elevator pushrod problem, try adding more little tubes around the pushrod and glued to the body to prevent it from flexing, and check out the horizontal stabilizer to make sure it didn't get warped during the painting (I had that happen on my Tiny Trainer).

I also try and build my foam board planes now so that the elevator pushrod goes over the top of the stab so that it's a pulling motion to "pull up" the plane. I can always cut the throttle to help it go down if the pushrod bends or has a problem giving it down input.
Thanks for the welcome! What would you suggest to use as tubing for the push rods?
 

nhk750

Aviation Enthusiast
#7
Hey fellow Washingtonian! I'm down here in Renton. I started with the FT foamboard planes and have now moved on to balsa kits. I still fly my FT stuff and practice with them as they fly good and are cheap. But, you will find that you need to modify and reinforce them to last longer, like heavier gauge control rods to your tailfeathers, wing reinforcements, ect. I stopped painting mine too and just give them a quick coat of minwax to preserve. The Storch is a good workhorse for cameras, but its fragile. I have some threads here on the forum with motor mods and reinforcements.
I also have some store bought RTF foamies that are durable and fly great, but there is nothing like balsa.
 
#8
Hey fellow Washingtonian! I'm down here in Renton. I started with the FT foamboard planes and have now moved on to balsa kits. I still fly my FT stuff and practice with them as they fly good and are cheap. But, you will find that you need to modify and reinforce them to last longer, like heavier gauge control rods to your tailfeathers, wing reinforcements, ect. I stopped painting mine too and just give them a quick coat of minwax to preserve. The Storch is a good workhorse for cameras, but its fragile. I have some threads here on the forum with motor mods and reinforcements.
I also have some store bought RTF foamies that are durable and fly great, but there is nothing like balsa.
Finally! A fellow Washingtonian! Did you guys get much snow Sunday? We got 4 inches in Marysville, nothing in Everett.

I've seen some balsa wood kits, but I don't know much about them. I think my next purchase will be a Hobbyzone Sport Cub micro for flying indoors. With the built in gyro, I figured it would be a good intro to 4-channel.
 

rockyboy

Skill Collector
Mentor
#9
Thanks for the welcome! What would you suggest to use as tubing for the push rods?
Take a zip tie and loop it around the pushrod and back into itself and pull it tight to make a tiny loop - then cut off the lont tail at a sharp point and jab it into the side of the plane. Or hit the office break room for some hollow coffee stirrers - or strip some insulation from 12 gauge solid core copper wire. Or drill a little hole in a piece of gift card or credit card material and cut out little stand offs to glue into the fuse.

Once you get hooked into this hobby, you'll never look at a trip to the grocery or dollar store the same way again - everything starts to look like plane building material :)
 

nhk750

Aviation Enthusiast
#10
We didn't get any snow that stuck, but cold down here...The Hobbyzone cub looks cool and should be easy to fly, but probably not with any wind. Get into the foam board and foamy stuff first before balsa as you don't want to crash a balsa plane. I just crashed my Great Planes T-Craft while messing around and I am in mourning now...I think the stuff with SAFE is good to go for learning on. I flew a Fun Cub once that a friend had and it was the easiest plane I ever flew. He had a SAFE receiver installed.
 
#11
We didn't get any snow that stuck, but cold down here...The Hobbyzone cub looks cool and should be easy to fly, but probably not with any wind. Get into the foam board and foamy stuff first before balsa as you don't want to crash a balsa plane. I just crashed my Great Planes T-Craft while messing around and I am in mourning now...I think the stuff with SAFE is good to go for learning on. I flew a Fun Cub once that a friend had and it was the easiest plane I ever flew. He had a SAFE receiver installed.
The HobbyZone would be mainly for indoor flying.
 
#12
Another idea for pushrod tubing - the antenna tubes they sell for RC cars. I picked up a few loose ones from a local hobby shop, and they're just the right diameter for the rods on my Versa Wing to move freely without flexing. You can easily cut them to whatever length you need.
 

rockyboy

Skill Collector
Mentor
#17
I recommend running the lightest battery you can balance the plane with at first, and then move to heavier batteries if you really want a longer flight time or need additional weight to deal with a windy day, and are happy with how the plane is flying.
 
#19
I recommend running the lightest battery you can balance the plane with at first, and then move to heavier batteries if you really want a longer flight time or need additional weight to deal with a windy day, and are happy with how the plane is flying.
The only reason I want to increase battery size (Cells, not capacity) is for increased performance, not flight time. When I painted the airplane, it added a lot of weight and now it struggles with the stock setup. I've purchased a 4S battery to try.