Friday, November 7, 2014

XG14 Spring Change

I usually adjust the spring tension on my transmitters to increase the tension and also install longer sticks.  This way I use more motion in control inputs instead of using really minute movements.  With the XG14 I had the tension close to the maximum with the stock springs but on occasion I would still end up with some aileron input at times like when pushing over and pulling back for a zoom launch which requires a lot of stick movement.

My solution is to get some stiffer springs in there.  I picked up a few sets from Radio South.  Installation requires some good lighting and some tools.  The transmitter back requires removing 3 screws to remove the plastic piece on the carrying handle and then removing the 8 screws holding the back case on the transmitter.  Next I adjusted the tension on the springs as low as possible to make spring removal and installation easier.  I used a really small flat blade screwdriver to grab the accessible end of the spring and pull that end off.  The spring is then pretty easy to pick up out of the back of the stick assembly with a small pair of pliers.    For installation, I took a piece of .020 stainless wire and bent a U shape in the one end.  Hook the spring on the inside end of the spring holder/adjuster and then slide the U shaped wire through the other end of the spring.  The wire can then be used to stretch the spring and pull it to attach the other side.  A really thin wire is required for this so that the spring end can slide into place on the stick assembly and so that you can still slide out the wire once it's hooked.

Fall weather is here and it's going to be cold the next few days. Next week looks like a chance to get out and try out the stiffer sticks.

Thursday, October 16, 2014

Ready for F3b Team Selections

September and October have been busy.  The new Freestylers with LDS finally made it to the USA. Both models have been built up. First testing went well but then I have a few setup days with the worst possible launch conditions.  A high building, light and variable winds, little lift.  One day I set up for the SW wind direction of 2-3 that was predicted and the best I got was an occasional 3-4 from the NW.  Painful launching conditions.  On the 12th, 13th, 14th I had a great practice up at the RISC fields with help from a bunch of RISC members that Alex was able to organize. Enough time on measured courses to get the base B distance judgement back, although it was still pretty safe flying without many cuts. 13th was overcast and any thermal activity was weak.  Plenty of nice launches around the 300M mark. 14th had a little more thermal activity when I flew some distance laps.  It was either great with multiple thermals in the 4 minutes or really nasty air.  Cruising for 30 lap flights was nice.   Field equipment was shipped today.  I didn't get the airplane packing completed.  Those will go tomorrow.  Then I just have to wait....

Thursday, August 28, 2014

XG14 for F3b

Last weekend was the first contest flying with the Xplorer at RISC contest in Rhode Island.  Awesome sod farm to fly on.  Much bigger than my local sod farm fields.  It would make a great F3b field.  I can't complain about a 1st place with the new radio.

This week I put the new receivers into my two Shooters.  I used the same base program as on my TD models and it was a lot simpler to setup on the F3b model after having been through two program conversions.  I place one aileron or one flap at a time on the new RX and go through the flight modes setting the wing surfaces.  This is the easiest way to set up the new positions.  One benefit of the XG14 is that I now have different launch modes available.  Previously I used a few custom mixes that were enabled in launch mode that would offset the flaps, ailerons, elevator from the base launch mode.  Now they are all individually settable which will make tuning the launch a lot easier.

This evening it was a nice NW wind and after some range checks and double checking all the mixes in all the flight modes, it was time to launch.  Launch presets were pretty close to what I had before.  But it will take some more flying in light wind conditions to be sure.  It's kind of hard to not launch well in the wind.  A few flights to check float, normal, speed presets went well as well as checking the elevator compensation at 25%, 50%, full flap.  Finally load up full ballast and try a few speed runs.

Saturday, August 16, 2014

XG14 Progress

First day out with XG14.  I ran through the normal brand new equipment check.  First flights were with a radian after some range checks.  It's a bit longer walk away from the models to get to the 40M range.  Just have to be careful in pointing end of antenna to get correct results.  Radian was uneventful including flying at long distance really low to the ground.  It's nice to be on a big sod farm.  

Next comes the Bubble Dancer.  A good check if the mix values and ranges and dual rates map over well from an old 9303 program.   Things worked just fine after fine tuning the elevator presets in the flight mode and launch.  The Brake Sys curve setup screen is nice to use in-flight for the elevator settings.  I found it really easy to use and see the output value.  It switches to the output value based on the stick position so there is no extra navigating to select a value.

I needed to get my Xplorers set up for the next contest.  Setup of my program on my Xplorer 1 was next followed by my Xplorer 2. Final verification that all the servos moved in the correct directions in all flight modes and no unexpected jumps in any servo positions when switching flight modes.  All the aileron to flap mixes work as expected as well as aileron to rudder mixes.   Both models worked just fine.

I was able to copy mix rates and approximate centers from my 12X programs.   For flap and aileron presets, I plugged both receivers in with one flap or aileron on the new RX and matched the preset positions between the two programs.   I switched to using the camber system offsets on the XG-14.  The XG-14 does not provide an easy way to see the absolute value of the trim offsets if you use the old trim offset method that you had to use for things like the 9303.  You still have the option of doing it either way but the camber system offset is much nicer to use on the XG-14.  The 12X had a quirk in the Delay feature if you used value set for each surface instead of the trim offset.  Only the trim offset fed into the delay feature.  That is gone from the XG-14 and both ways work if you happen to use delay to transition between camber settings.

The TLS1-VRO Vario is nice to use.  It was a calm evening.  Too much uptrim and you can see the stalls in the vario reading.  The best transmitter display resolution depends on looking at the data in Meters.  When you select feet, there is no decimal point.  When you select meters, then you get a decimal point so it will display rate changes down to .1 m/s

Tuesday, August 12, 2014


I finally have a new radio to set up for the models.  Time to move on from the 12X for my F3b models.  It definitely weighs a lot less than the 12X but that was never a problem.  The sticks are decent, I always used the higher end JR TX which had nicer sticks than the average radio.

One nice feature in programming is flight modes.  The  XG14 really allows you to define any combination of switches to select a flight mode.  Rather than selecting a 3-position switch for speed/normal/thermal, I can select a custom combination of switches for each flight mode.  This makes it easy to add a few launch modes and to use a stick position switch for a landing mode.   It's nice to now have 8 modes that I can easily assign and name.

The built-in mixes are all the standard mixes so its easy to copy a lot of settings from the 12X.  But I still need to measure the presets to verify things are being converted properly  And elevator trim settings and launch settings will take some flight time.