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New Noob, Any Tips?

#1
Hey I'm about build the FT Explorer, and the swappable pack both flown with the Dx6 Transmitter. If anyone here has built the FT explorer or swappable pack I would love to know any tips from you guys, and am still very interested in tips from anyone else who has some experience.
 
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Snarls

Gravity Tester
Mentor
#3
Welcome to the forum ReinventingTheWing!

If this is your first scratch build RC plane and you are using the FT cut kits, then a good idea is to trace each foam part on some paper before you assemble the parts. That way if you crash and damage a piece you can use the traced parts as templates for cutting new parts out of foam board. The free plans will also allow for this, but it will be easier to use the traced parts than printing tiled plans and assembling them to get the part you need.
 
#4
Enjoy and have fun. Explorer is a great plane. Love mine.

I re-enforced my wing with a paint stick as there is a lot of feedback the wing fails under heavy loads.

Avoid flying directly toward the green ;)
 
#5
Thanks every one, I'm building a laser cut speed build kit. I would love to do scratch builds later but I still have not found a good option for purchasing foam board in Australia. The only foam board I could find was for architects to make models and costs around 15 bucks a sheet. So I decided it was cheeper to just buy the kit. If you know any good way of getting foam in Australia please do chime in. Thanks Snarls, Ill be sure to trace them! Also DharanFlyer did you put the paint stick on the outside of the wing or push in through? Would love if you could send a pic!

Thanks everyone I really love the community base, should have more questions in there future especially when I build a mount for my GoPro.
 

Gazoo

Active member
#7
I have used a "yard stick" to strengthen the wing. I just slid it trough and it provided enough strength to keep the wing from bending.
 

PsyBorg

Fly Angry
Mentor
#10
Welcome to the forums mate. You will have a great time with the FT planes everyone does. even us quad pilots that have dabbled in them. Nothing says the paint stick HAS to go on the inside it just looks better if you do. They are easier to install during the build but can be added after I suppose. I would question is effect though if put in afterwards as proper gluing for it to be effective may not get the results you desire for the added weight. Out side on the wing may be better if your wing is already complete.

In any case keep the windows up and the grass stains down and have fun.
 

Hai-Lee

Old and Bold RC PILOT
Mentor
#11
Thanks every one, I'm building a laser cut speed build kit. I would love to do scratch builds later but I still have not found a good option for purchasing foam board in Australia. The only foam board I could find was for architects to make models and costs around 15 bucks a sheet. So I decided it was cheeper to just buy the kit. If you know any good way of getting foam in Australia please do chime in. Thanks Snarls, Ill be sure to trace them! Also DharanFlyer did you put the paint stick on the outside of the wing or push in through? Would love if you could send a pic!

Thanks everyone I really love the community base, should have more questions in there future especially when I build a mount for my GoPro.
Just a little north of you I have plugged myself into the local ART and Picture framing shop and get a discount on my sheets of LARSON.JUHL MEGAWOOD FB sheets as well as the off cuts from the framing of pictures.

I have even been able to negotiate a BOX quantity price where I do not need to worry about freight costs. The most I pay for a sheet is $9 AUD though if I take into consideration the offcuts and the box pricing it approaches $6AUD per sheet.

As for tips with the FT Explorer I recommend that you know and use "Expo" and I did have to use a skewer to stop the tail insert from sliding around in flight and changing trims:rolleyes:. Mind you mine has 100s of flight hours and is over a year old now.

To help with initial balance and to keep water out, (early morning dew), I fitted a narrow wheeled undercarriage which is great for landing and taxiing but makes takeoffs ridiculously long because the tail slides along the ground and I must wait until the wing generates sufficient lift at a low angle of attack to become airborne. (I just got tired of throwing it:eek:).

If ever in Brisbane, (Northside), come and visit or club and local flying fields!

Have fun!
 
#12
Ok ill probably put it on the inside then I have yet to assemble it because its still in the mail, I'm not to worried about that little amount of weight as long as it doest mess up my CG. Thanks everyone so much for answering my questions, I have two more though for now. Does anyone have the Dx6? And if so how has your experience been, thats the transmitter ill be using. And is it hard to make a mount for a go pro on the FT explorer?
 

Hai-Lee

Old and Bold RC PILOT
Mentor
#13
Whilst I do not use the DX6 many in our club do and they seem to perform quite well. Just a note though, those using the DX6e and the DX6i have had a rash of programming changes including servo reversals and the like. One user of a DX6i had the servo reversal happen whilst adjusting his models trim in flight with the unfortunate but expected results.

It is simple enough to mount the GoPro on the Explorer. Some users remove the nose and mount it in the front of the battery support, some just mount it on the top of the fuselage nose, and others cut the nose and make it specific to the mounting of the GoPro.

Just a thought though, Make a second nose specifically for the mounting of the GoPro and that way you can quickly swap the nose to have a joy flight or a videoed flight subject to what you want.

Have fun!
 
#14
Thanks every one, I'm building a laser cut speed build kit. I would love to do scratch builds later but I still have not found a good option for purchasing foam board in Australia. The only foam board I could find was for architects to make models and costs around 15 bucks a sheet.
Ran into the same thing when I was building my first plane. I've seen some foamboard sheets in Officeworks but they're $13 and look to be a lot more dense and the dollartree foamboard that flitetest use for their kits.

There's an article about buying foamboard in Australia here https://www.flitetest.com/articles/foamboard-in-australia, and while it's probably a bit out of date now, it does confirm that our options are fairly limited.

I'd strongly recommend buying a 50 pack of foamboard from flitetest (or one of their affiliate redistributors). If you're just getting into flying then you're going to crash, and having a large stash of foamboard to draw on for repairs makes that a bit less of a bitter pill to swallow. If it weren't for being able to rebuild/repair planes I probably would have given up a long time ago (but then again I'm not a very good pilot :p).

The shipping costs to get a package that size from the states are massive, it probably doubles the all up cost (I think it came to a bit less than $200 all up). However:
  • The overall cost per sheet comes to about $4 a sheet which is far cheaper than anything you'll get in AU.
  • It will last you a long long time. A mate and I got a box of 50 early last year and we just got half way through it (and have built at least 9 planes from it).

So while the outlay is initially expensive (relatively) it will save you money and frustration in the long run. If you can go halvies with a friend, or someone else close by then that definitaley takes the sting out of it.

Hope that info helps, and hope you have much success with your flying!
 

Gazoo

Active member
#15
Does anyone have the Dx6? And if so how has your experience been, thats the transmitter ill be using.
I use the DX6i. The only issue that I have is that there is no backlight on the display. It makes it a little hard to read especially in low light. Other than that, I have had no problems. Never a servo reversal problem but I use the trim switches while flying and never have actually gone into the menu. I would think that going into the setup menu while flying (with any radio) would be a bad idea. At least for my skill level.

I also have used receivers from OrangeRx, LemonRx and PowerUp. I like the PowerUp Rx but it is bulky with the plastic box on it. I really like the LemonRx DSMX receivers though. They are very inexpensive and I have never ran into any binding or connectivity issues. I bought direct from LemonRx.
 

JimCR120

Got Lobstah?
Site Moderator
#16
I had a DX6 but then bought a DX7 for basically the same price and sold my DX6 at a discount to another forum member. Operationally the only difference I see is a knob and the DX7 comes wiht a rechargeable 7.4VDC. I've liked them both and hope to learn to take more advantages of their features.
 
#17
Thanks so much for all the advice hai-lee! Thats to cheep I will have to look into it!! And I will absolutely make a second nose! Are you in the FT groups? If you are you should join FT Down Under, if your not you should join FT groups and then FT Down Under. I would love to meet up sometime and have a fly! Well have to keep in touch. Thanks for the advice mrf on the foam from FT I will have to get my hands on some! Thanks so much Gazoo thats awesome to know! Are any of the receivers over 6 channel or is that where the DX6 stops? Thats Jim I'm glad you've had a good experience with the DX6 ill be getting one very shortly in the mail and cant wait. Ive herd the battery life is a killer is that true or where they using bad batteries?
 
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JimCR120

Got Lobstah?
Site Moderator
#18
I have neither complaints nor a good reference regarding battery life in the Spektrum radios. I was happy to move to the 6VDC range instead of the 12VDC (8 AA's) some radios have. I only fly a few times per week and maybe charge my rechargeable once or twice in the month. When I used 4 AA's I was swapping them out less often than that if I recall correctly. It's so infrequent that it hasn't been a concern but if it becomes one I suppose I'll get a second rechargeable. I'm not at that point, not yet anyway. But like I said, my flying is what I would call leisurely.
 
#19
Ok thanks! I am a lot less worried now. Ive flown with other transmitters and never had a battery problem so I was slightly worried that I would be constantly recharging batteries. The guy I saw on YouTube said that his flight sessions were being cut short on the battery life of his Dx6. He must have had dollar store batteries. ;)
 

Gazoo

Active member
#20
Thanks so much Gazoo thats awesome to know! Are any of the receivers over 6 channel or is that where the DX6 stops?
All of the Rx I use are only 4 or 6 channel. I don't think that the DX6i is good for more than 6. Of course, for every thing I do, 4 is usual, 5 for flaps and 6 if I want to do a bomb drop or something. I haven't done any retracts or anything that complex.