• This site uses cookies. By continuing to use this site, you are agreeing to our use of cookies. Learn more.

Noobie Questions

Icemanxxxv

Junior Member
#1
Okay so I am 50 and just getting involved in the hobby. My life's work has been as an A&P Mechanic for SWA. I have the skills required and the tools to build everything from Big Block V8's to small foam airplanes and have done both. I have built and flown many free flight and C/L aircraft as a kid and adult but it has been a long time since I have flown anything. I have wanted to fly R/C since I was a kid but the cost were prohibitive. Electric flight is the direction I have chosen since the gas thing seems to be a bit more demanding to me.
I'm working on my Nutball and should have it finished soon. I plan on building most all the Swapables as it seems to be an inexpensive way to go, and they are some cool designs!
I realize that I need a radio, receiver, speed control, motor, batteries along with a charging system. I have filled my Hobby King shopping cart more than once, but have not pulled the trigger on the order because i want to only make one order so I have everything turn key sort of speaking.
I have some questions about components: Do servos come with wire harnesses? Do I need connectors for my motor, battery or anything else? What else would someone need who is just starting? Is there a list of accessories that would be necessary? I'm looking for an A to Z list of what one absolutely needs in the field would be nice.
Thanks;
Icemanxxxv
 

earthsciteach

Moderator
Moderator
#2
Welcome to the forum!!!

It sounds like you are the kind of guy who has plenty of tools on hand, already. Those are the often forgotten expense in getting into this hobby.

Servos DO come with the necessary wiring to plug into the receiver. You may or may not need to order connectors for your motor. Some are sold with them, some must have connectors bought separately. Be sure to check the motor description before ordering. Battery connectors are one of those pain-in-the-butt things. Each vendor seems to sell batteries with a different connector. Hobbyking sells batteries with XT60 connectors. If you are buying from them, may as well stick with that style. You will most likely have to buy the matching XT60 connector for your electronic speed controllers (esc).

Here's a link to matching sets:
http://hobbyking.com/hobbyking/stor..._Adapter_Set_T_Connector_EC3_TRX_Tamiya_.html

You can also buy just male or female, as needed.

In terms of things that sneak up on you, here's an article about the hidden costs of flying RC. I'd bet you have a lot of this stuff already covered.
http://flitetest.com/articles/the-hidden-costs-of-rc-flying

Hope this is helpful. If you have any other questions, just post them up!
 

Tritium

Amateur Extra Class K5TWM
#3
XT-60 connectors on Hobby King batteries are on the smaller mAh batteries. Once you reach about 3000 mAh the connector is 4mm bullet and below 1000mAh it may be a JST.

Thurmond
 

Icemanxxxv

Junior Member
#4
Welcome to the forum!!!

It sounds like you are the kind of guy who has plenty of tools on hand, already. Those are the often forgotten expense in getting into this hobby.

Servos DO come with the necessary wiring to plug into the receiver. You may or may not need to order connectors for your motor. Some are sold with them, some must have connectors bought separately. Be sure to check the motor description before ordering. Battery connectors are one of those pain-in-the-butt things. Each vendor seems to sell batteries with a different connector. Hobbyking sells batteries with XT60 connectors. If you are buying from them, may as well stick with that style. You will most likely have to buy the matching XT60 connector for your electronic speed controllers (esc).

Here's a link to matching sets:
http://hobbyking.com/hobbyking/stor..._Adapter_Set_T_Connector_EC3_TRX_Tamiya_.html

You can also buy just male or female, as needed.

In terms of things that sneak up on you, here's an article about the hidden costs of flying RC. I'd bet you have a lot of this stuff already covered.
http://flitetest.com/articles/the-hidden-costs-of-rc-flying

Hope this is helpful. If you have any other questions, just post them up!
Does one need a power supply for the charger or can I hook it right to the battery of my car through the cigarette lighter? My car is also equiped with a 110v plug in that is powered when the key is turned on.
 

Tritium

Amateur Extra Class K5TWM
#5
Some chargers have a power supply and most will plug directly to your battery via Alligator clips. If you will look at a recent post on this forum you will see charging IN the car is a BAD idea as one forum member lost his car and RC stuff to a LiPo fire.

Thurmond
 

Tritium

Amateur Extra Class K5TWM
#7
Yea, Dell server power supplies in the neighborhood of 60+ amps are available on e-bay for under $20 shipped. (get one with a fan)
N750P is a good one. It does require a jumper be constructed to activate it from the back panel and the fan is LOUD unless you do a modification to slow it.

Dale-howto-DELL57A-04.jpg

Thurmond
 
Last edited:

FlyingMonkey

Stuck in Sunny FL
Staff member
Admin
#8
In terms of things that sneak up on you, here's an article about the hidden costs of flying RC. I'd bet you have a lot of this stuff already covered.
http://flitetest.com/articles/the-hidden-costs-of-rc-flying
That article is BRILLIANT! The author is clearly a genius!


Some chargers have a power supply and most will plug directly to your battery via Alligator clips. If you will look at a recent post on this forum you will see charging IN the car is a BAD idea as one forum member lost his car and RC stuff to a LiPo fire.

Thurmond
Even if the charger doesn't come with a power supply chances are you have some outdated electronic device that can be utilized as one.
Charging inside the house can be a bad idea too. Building a waterproof/fireproof system that can be left outside might be a good idea.

Hmmmm... maybe I'll work on that. Solar panel, a deep cycle battery or two, a plastic tub and a ceramic container. That should do it.
 

Tritium

Amateur Extra Class K5TWM
#9
Actually a container built from 1/2" cement backerboard (RediBoard) and taped together with Duct tape would work very well for an enclosure. I charge inside BUT I stay with the system throughout the process. I really think that most of these fires are because of severe battery abuse / crashes after which the battery should have been retired but did not happen due to frugal attitudes.

If not then the manufacturer is as liable as any of the Laptop manufacturers whose product exploded or burned customer property.

Thurmond
 

FlyingMonkey

Stuck in Sunny FL
Staff member
Admin
#10
If not then the manufacturer is as liable as any of the Laptop manufacturers whose product exploded or burned customer property.

Thurmond
I had an AWESOME battery explosion (posted on here somewhere...) that had no flames that I saw, but it shot a streamer of folded paper out and little foil sheets were everywhere.
 

Tritium

Amateur Extra Class K5TWM
#11
Yea, I got excited about this in the beginning and took one of my older puffed batteries and shot it with a rifle. Got a tiny puff of smoke and nothing more. I then threw it in a bucket of water and got another tiny puff of smoke. What a letdown. :(

Thurmond
 

MrGravey

Senior Member
#12
I'm just getting to a place where I have the basics all covered myself so a lot of this is freash in my mind. I should be working but we are slow and I have a computer setting in front of me so I'll share. This might be a long one but I want to be sure I don't leave something vital out.

Power!

You need a charger. If you already have one make sure it will charge the kinds of batteries you plan to use.

http://www.hobbyking.com/hobbyking/..._6_50W_6A_Balancer_Charger_w_accessories.html
http://www.hobbyking.com/hobbyking/...attro_4x6S_Lithium_Polymer_Multi_Charger.html

The first of those is teh Accucel 6 and is a great charger. I started with that one and it was always great, I do still use it. I now have something very much like the 2nd charger I listed. Another member of the club ordered that exact charger and loves it too. They are almost the same and work in the exact same way, the 2nd just has 4 of the first in it.

You will need a way to power the charger. This has been touched on but there is a bit more information to give I think. Both of the linked chargers will hook up to a car battery and work fine. If you want to charge in your house some options for affordable power supplies have also been mentioned in thread. I have one of the modified server power supplies. I got it at SEFF this year. I didn't know enough at the time to build one, but they are pretty simple. My power supply will run 2 of those 4 port chargers at full power with no problem.

Batteries can be talked about for years and there would be something left to mention I'm sure. The FliteTest guys to a great job of making this easy when you are starting and you will grow pretty fast if very little effort. The best advice I can give here really is in connectors. I put the same things on everything. I don't want to deal with 100 different connectors so I just make everything XT60 as soon as I get it. Female on the batter and male on the ESC is the standard layout.

I can see no reason not to balance charge your batteries all the time. It might take more time but it certainly keeps the battery healthy. Truth told it doesn't take that much more time on batteries in the sizes used for FT stuff anyway. I like batteries with 2C or better charge rates but I never go over 2C even if the battery will let that happen. More batteries is the trick, not faster charging. The faster you charge in shorter that total life of the battery in general. That said if you get a multi-port charger remember most only come with enough cable and balance board for 1 port. You will need to get the rest.

Radio!

http://www.horizonhobby.com/products/dx6i-dsmx-6-channel-full-range-without-servo-md2-SPM6610

I picked up a DX6i with a reciever when I started. They are available, they are reasonably priced, and everything you need is in the box. There are a ton of people that love and hate this radio so do your own research and make your own call. I personally liked it well enough to get me hooked so bad I had to have something more. Now I fly the DX8. If you know you are going to be flying for a while go ahead and get that. I just got the DX6i because I didn't want to get bored flying and back out of the hobby with $400+ in a radio I'm not using.

Using Spektrum radios will give you access to all the BNF (Bind-N-Fly, means everything you need but the radio is in the box) stuff Horizon puts out and OrangeRX. OrangeRX can save you some money on recievers in the future if Hobbyking learns how to keep them in stock. As it stands you have to buy them from eBay most of the time and people love to jack the price up. Still not bad, but you would think HobbyKing would stop it.

Misc

I'm assuming you have a ton of tools because it really sounds like you do. All kinds of tools are needed. Things you might not have that you certainly need are as follows:


I'll think of more I'm sure but for now this is a lot of stuff to get your hands on. I linked to HobbyKing as much as possible but to be honest I can't stand shopping with them. The price is right, but it seems everything worth buying is out of stock all the time, and then you have to worry about shipping time too. They are a little bad about these things. I'll include links to companies I have used with much more success (assuming you are in The States, I honestly didn't look before)

http://www.graysonhobby.com/catalog/ (LOVE THESE GUYS!)

http://www.altitudehobbies.com/index.php?route=common/home (most motors on swappables for me come from here)

http://www.atlantahobby.com/store/pc/home.asp

http://www.lazertoyz.com/ (I have had a little trouble with stuff from these guys TBH. Slow shipping and items not in the box. I hate to bash at all because they support the show, but they are a little hit and miss from personal experience. Then again maybe its just me.)

If you need something more let me know. I'm happy to help if I can and if I can't it will be a chance for me to learn something new too.
 
#13
I think the most valuable tool a modeller can have is a squeaky garage door.

Or just be irritating so she doesn't mind the peace and quiet. Either would work fine.
 

MrGravey

Senior Member
#14
I think the most valuable tool a modeller can have is a squeaky garage door.

Or just be irritating so she doesn't mind the peace and quiet. Either would work fine.
Ehh, it certainly helps to have an understanding wife. Supportive would be even better but you have to take what you can get. My wife is very good with me on this so life is grand. She even lays out the plans for me when I'm trying to make a new scratch build. I'm not sure you can be in the hobby and married if your wife isn't at least ok with the time this takes.
 
#15
OK. I know this if going to sound like a really stupid statement/question. That said I cannot seam to do a hand launch with out the plan going nose first into the ground. I have checked the CG, zeroed the servos and trimmed them level. No matter what I do I get a little height and it crashed nose first. Last time it hit so hard my motor bent it's shaft and power pod go mangled. The good news is only a little bit of glue to the air frame and it is almost good as new (Thanks Josh). Any recommendations are welcome. I have a jr xp9303 mode 2, Rudder doesn't seam to be a issue, or at least I do not get that far for it to interfere. 35 years ago I flew rc gliders of the huge hill behind my house, never had a problem, never flow power before. Can the ft flyer take off from the ground? I have never seen anything than a hand launch.