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Newbie Question(s)

#1
Hey guys, love what I've been reading so far, and I've really enjoyed watching FliteTest.

I had a Hawk Sky until a few months ago (got lost in a move, long story :p ).
I've been wanting to build a nutball, and work my way up to an FT Simple Soarer.
My really basic newbie question is, where do you guys get the builder boards I see on the show? You know, the large green mats with graph paper-like marks on them. I did several googles, but I mostly found info about organizations for builders. ;)

The other question is about parts for putting together a nut ball. I've combed through the parts suggested on the official nutball swappable article, and I've tried to find everything appropriate from HobbyKing's USA warehouse (trying to get it all together before thanksgiving so I can put it together on my 4-day break ;) )

Here's what I found, would any of you guys be willing to give it a glance and see if anything is the wrong part, or if I have missed anything? I will of course pick up the foam board and piano wire locally (I hope).
I will probably make my own control horns out of tongue depressors, because I don't want to wait for international shipping.

Here it is:
Turnigy TG9 9g / 1.7kg / 0.12sec Eco Micro Servo (USA warehouse)
http://bit.ly/1bmLepv

APC style propeller 8x4-E (USA Warehouse)
http://bit.ly/1hDdjBP

Hobbyking SS Series 18-20A ESC (card programmable) (USA Warehouse)
http://bit.ly/1gGzwgK

Hobby King 2.4Ghz 6Ch Tx & Rx V2 - Mode 2 (USA Warehouse)
http://bit.ly/18nhUAe

C2028 Micro brushless Outrunner 1400kv (22g) (USA warehouse)
http://bit.ly/1cRQKXY

Female XT60 connectors (5pcs/bag) GENUINE (USA warehouse)
http://bit.ly/1e1AYqy

Male XT60 connectors (5pcs/bag) GENUINE (USA warehouse)
http://bit.ly/HScDIX

ZIPPY Flightmax 1600mAh 3S1P 20C (USA Warehouse)
http://bit.ly/1bmLAMX

I promise the bitly links are legit, I just didn't want to paste in huge honking HK urls.
I was also worried about whether the prop would fit on the shaft of the motor, or whether it would work with the prop saver that comes with the motor (which I plan on using). Any ideas, guys?

Thanks in advance!
 

eagle4

New member
#2
hey mate, welcome to the forum and the hobby :)

For those cutting mats, you can find them in pretty much any craft store. there are 2 main types, Self Healing seems pretty popular. try going to Amazon and searching for craft cutting mat. But as I said, any craft store can help you out with that.

The battery you have in your list might be overpowered for the nutball. but it'll still work :)

Not sure if that motor comes with bullet connectors, if it doesnt you'll need to get some.

For your control horns you can also use gift cards, look up how Ed over at Experimental Airlines does it.

if the prop doesn't fit on the prop saver, just use a drill to help you out :)
 

RoyBro

Senior Member
Mentor
#3
My really basic newbie question is, where do you guys get the builder boards I see on the show? You know, the large green mats with graph paper-like marks on them.

The other question is about parts for putting together a nut ball.
I got a nice big cutting mat from my local hobby shop, who ordered it in from Tower Hobbies. It is a Hobbico Builders Cutting Mat.

If you are new to flying, I'd suggest building the FT Flyer instead of the Nutball. It is easier to fly than the nutball and uses the same electronics.

I think you'd be happier with the Turnigy 9x rather than the HK 6 channel. It will last you longer and is programmable from the front panel. You will need to purchase a transmitter module and receiver, and there are plenty from which to choose. I like the ones from FrSky.

I fly my FT Flyer with a 9x4.7 slow fly and a 2s 500mAh battery but the standard setup is an 8x4 and a 3s. I'd stick with a 500mAh-850mAh to keep the weight down. Remember that these planes don't have airfoils for lift.

You could just buy the swappable power pack from Lazertoys. It will get you started pretty quickly. It includes the following for $57.99:

(1) Lazertoyz Blue Wonder 2712-12 brushless motor
(1) 8mm Aluminum Motor Mount
(1) Prop Saver
(2) 8x4 props
(1) 10 Amp ESC (this is all you need will only pull 8 amps)
(2) Emax Budget Servos (1 plane) , or add the 4 servo option, this gives you 2 for each swappable.
(1) 850 mAh Lipo11.1V 3 Cell - 25C discharge and 5 C charge rate
(2) EZ Justers (for EZ pushrod adjustment)

Hope this helps.
 
#4
You guys are the best!
eagle4: I picked that battery because it had the usual connector. The weenie battery (used to 1800Mah batts with my Hawk Sky :roll eyes: ) that was recommended for the Nutball came with a connector I'm not familiar with, so I picked the cheapest one that came with the XT60 connector. Any ideas?

RoyBro: I went with the cheapest tx/rx that was available from the HK USA warehouse. I'm thinking hard about getting the 9x, I just didn't want to get a "big boy" Tx without really knowing which one to get.
Are the builder mats heat-resistant too? I'm thinking of soldering on them as well, since I will probably have to solder 1 or 2 batter connections.
I picked the nutball because the design and build looked drop-dead simple. I'll check out the FT Flyer build plans, though. The basic high-alpha the nutball is capable of looked fascinating too. I'm still a beginner pilot, but I've had decent amounts of simulator time over the years. I really loved my Hawk Sky, and even got in a flight video with a 808 #11 keychain cam (also lost in the move :p ):
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=EodbDRP8NWM

So, I'm not sure now whether I should go ahead with the Nutball or skip to the FT Flyer… The Flyer DOES look more like a real airplane, vs. a bizarre flying disc, following the principle of "a barn door will fly given sufficient thrust". ;)

Do you think that the lazertoys package is a good deal?

Thanks guys! You're the #2 reason why I love this hobby. (#1 being actually getting "in" the air! :cool: )
 

eagle4

New member
#5
if you get a smaller battery, you can always cut off the plug and solder on an xt60. just be careful that when you do you dont connect the wires with your wirecutters, you'll get sparks. or you could get, or make a connector that goes from the jst to the xt-60 connector.

the nutball flies great, but the ft flyer is better for newbies, if anything, order 4 servos and build both. with servo's and foam being so cheap, you'll have 2 airframes to play with.

the nutball looks simple, but its much easier to cut the straight lines of the flyer than the circle of the nutball in my opinion.
 
#6
if you get a smaller battery, you can always cut off the plug and solder on an xt60. just be careful that when you do you dont connect the wires with your wirecutters, you'll get sparks. or you could get, or make a connector that goes from the jst to the xt-60 connector.

the nutball flies great, but the ft flyer is better for newbies, if anything, order 4 servos and build both. with servo's and foam being so cheap, you'll have 2 airframes to play with.

the nutball looks simple, but its much easier to cut the straight lines of the flyer than the circle of the nutball in my opinion.
Thanks for the input again, eagle4. I will definitely take a good look at the flyer now, and I will downsize the batt too.

Are my motor and prop choices copacetic?
 
#7
Eagle4:
Good sir, I think you've sold me. I checked out pics and the plans and it seems to still be a super-simple build, and more of a real airplane than the nutball. I like the dihedral, too.

Is this something I can experiment with a KF step on, or should I leave well enough alone on my first scratch build? :eek:
 

eagle4

New member
#8
The great thing with this hobby is how you're free to experiment as much as you like, or as little as you like.
my suggestion would be for your first build to make it as Josh makes it. Once you've got it and you've flown and crashed it a few times, then feel free to start modifying it and having fun with the design. but its up to you, you're free to do what you want with your planes. after all, they are your planes :)
 

RoyBro

Senior Member
Mentor
#9
RoyBro: I went with the cheapest tx/rx that was available from the HK USA warehouse. I'm thinking hard about getting the 9x, I just didn't want to get a "big boy" Tx without really knowing which one to get.

Are the builder mats heat-resistant too? I'm thinking of soldering on them as well, since I will probably have to solder 1 or 2 batter connections.

Do you think that the lazertoys package is a good deal?
The HK 6-channel is OK but programming is limited, and you'll have to buy a special USB cable and program it with a computer. The 9x is about the least expensive transmitter that I know of that will grow with you. The model available from the HK US warehouse is around $57 but requires a transmitter module. So it is a "big boy" transmitter without spending hundreds of dollars. You should be able to get the 9x, Tx module and Rx for under a hundred dollars.

I don't know if the cutting mats are heat resistant. My soldering "station" is on a different table. But I swiped one of my wife's flat silicone kitchen hot pads (pot holders, whatever they're called). It works great for soldering and doubles as a non-slip surface.

I think the Laser Toyz package is a great value. It's how I got started. Also, you don't have to worry about the connectors as they are designed to go together. I think they use smaller connectors than you'll eventually want to use, but you won't have to do a lot of soldering up front to get in the air.

Is this something I can experiment with a KF step on, or should I leave well enough alone on my first scratch build? :eek:
I'd stick to the original plans to start. But of course once you've mastered the Flyer, you may want to try the KF step or even an undercambered wing like on the Old Fogey. And you can use the same electronics on the Fogey as the Flyer.
 
#10
eagle4 & RoyBro:
Super advice, guys. Thank you so much. I think I'll order the lazertoyz kit and probably get the 9x for only $20 more than the 6 ch one…
RoyBro, what do you think about the 9xr? I see that the module isn't included, where would I get one, and what kind? How much would that add to the price of the TX?

Thanks again, guys!
 

RoyBro

Senior Member
Mentor
#11
eagle4 & RoyBro:
Super advice, guys. Thank you so much. I think I'll order the lazertoyz kit and probably get the 9x for only $20 more than the 6 ch one…
RoyBro, what do you think about the 9xr? I see that the module isn't included, where would I get one, and what kind? How much would that add to the price of the TX?
The 9xr is an update to the 9x, but many think that the quality isn't as good. I just think it's ugly. In favor of the 9x is that it has a back light, programming port and dual training ports (both JR and Futaba) which can be used to buddy the Tx or for simulators. The 9x is easy to add a programming port and back light but it only has the JR style training port (which is no big deal). The biggest drawback to the 9xr for you right now is that it is only available from the Hong Kong warehouse.

The Tx module that I recommend is the FrSky DJT. Aloft is currently out of stock but Value Hobby has them available for around $22.90. Then a receiver will be from $15 to $28 depending on what you choose.

Don't worry about modifying the 9x. If you buy the backlight at the same time as the controller (white, blue or green) it's only around $6 from Hobby King. And if you're not comfortable with soldering, there is a drop in card available (Smartiparts) that will run about the same as shipping the 9xr from Hong Kong. But the DIY method is easy. I've done it a couple of times without screwing up even once.
 
#13
I was just checking some prices and saw that the US warehouse has the 9x WITH flysky (not FrSky) module and receiver in stock for $69.97. The transmitter isn't as good at the FrSky, but it will certainly get you started and at a much lower up front cost. You can always swap out transmitter modules when you outgrow the flysky.
Thanks RoyBro!
That's actually the one I ended up ordering. I also got the swappable electronics pack from LazerToyz, along with a battery charger, and a couple extra little goodies. I'm looking forward to building my FT Flyer and probably also a nutball fuse (will pick up some extra 9g gyros from a local hobby shop (wow, I actually found one!!! :p )).
I also bought a pack of firewalls direct from FliteTest. Five bucks is worth not having to cobble one together from tongue depressors or whatever I can lay my not-talented-or-experienced-at-woodworking hands on. :black_eyed:

I'm really excited about getting back up in the air.

Thanks again to both you guys for your encouragement and advice. It is very refreshing compared to what I have seen in other industries/hobbies, especially some Open Source development groups, where the package developers act like total jerks towards innocent user questions.

Peace out!
 

RoyBro

Senior Member
Mentor
#14
No problem. We are happy to help. It wasn't too long ago that I was asking the same questions. It took several mistakes (some not so cheap) to understand what I didn't understand. If I can help someone else avoid my mistakes I'm happy to oblige.

I consider myself a newbie flyer :black_eyed:, but an expert shopper :cool:.
 
#15
Looking forward to seeing your ft flyer mate. i find i usually pick up a bunch of 9g servos whenever i do an order for other parts.
 
#16
Thanks guys. I'll be sure to post some pics when I get my Flyer together. Going to go get some foam-safe spray paint (assuming such a thing exists) from my local hobby shop, and will probably get a handful of 9g servos for alternate airframes (now I understand the genius of the swappable series!).

I'm going to make my flyer as light as possible (use JUST enough hot glue, use paint and tape sparingly) so it can be as powerful as possible, since it is such a light thing.

Might invest in a stabilizer/gyro board at some point in the future, depending on how it reacts to the wind.

Thankfully, it is a lot less windy here in DFW than it was where I used to live (OKC, the tornado capitol of the world, methinks).

Cheers!
 
#19
if you want to paint your plane flitetest did an episode on minwaxing your plane, so the paint will stick and not ruin your foam.

http://www.flitetest.com/articles/minwax-on-your-plane
Thanks eagle4! I saw that earlier. I might try that after I build my first flyer (and crash it a few times ;) ).
I'm a little worried about the thrust/weight ratio, so I want to see how it performs before I add much weight to it.
From what I read, it sounds like applying the minwax after assembling the bird is the best bet, so I will probably do it that way.
I also read a suggestion about strengthening the rear fuselage and leading edges of the wings with barbecue skewers, I will probably do that.
 
#20
Hey guys.
I'm across the pond in the UK and have been learning so much about building through flitetest but I am having issues with the electronics.

I ordered from hobby king some 2s 500mah batteries, a 1300kv 24g motor and a 20a esc to power my ft delta but it has shorted 2 lipos now that worked perfectly fine on my little atom glider just half hour before.

Each time I used the same motor, could it be this that is causing my batteries to get puffy syndrome? My apologies if this seems a newbie question I am just moving across from unpowered gliders and am finding all the amps, watts, volts etc a little difficult to understand.
Many thanks in advance