RC, photos & tech


Turnigy Model Be Found

Going by the name of the Turnigy "Be Found" device, I get the impression it supposed to help you find your model if in the event of a mishap, it goes down somewhere hard to find. I've got a number of issues with this which I'll outline below. But then take a look at the website description ( and it describes it more as a pre-flight safety check device to audibly warn you if either your battery voltage is low or you lose the radio link during the pre-flight check you do before every flight (right - every flight).

From the website:

"This Handy unit will emit a loud beep if your receiver loses radio signal or when the voltage of your models radio system drops below 4v. Perfect for testing ground range of receivers and ensuring that your radio system has not dropped to an unsafe voltage before each flight."


Let's assume the low voltage part of it works (I'll have to assume because I didn't bother testing it), let's take a look at the worse case scenario where the model is lost in-flight and has to be retrieved in thick bush. Here are the drawbacks and why I reckon it won't work;

  1. It didn't beep when I switched my Tx off. That's a pretty drawback as number one. Am I doing something wrong? Check the youTube video for how I tested.
  2. Of all the models I've seen crash, the battery pack is quite often not connected to the receiver anymore (ie no power to the buzzer).
  3. I reckon it introduces another likely point of failure. The in-line connector for the servo was a bit dicky and bent and the plastic cover stopped me from plugging it in properly the first time. 
  4. If I have to rely on the low voltage buzzer to go off while I'm searching for a lost model, I could be waiting a while for the pack to drop below 4V.
  5. Even as a pre-flight check device, if I'm standing 10-15 meters away from my model at a busy club field, and it did start beeping, I'm not convinced I'd hear it.


Overall, as a safety device, I don't think it adds much value and your radio setup is probably better off without another point of failure being introduced (even if it is only on one channel). This one is a Pass.




Using the HobbyKing servo tester to setup servo arms

Installing servos and getting the arms in the right position can be a pain if you haven't got around to setting up and connecting your transmitter yet. A servo tester like this one means you can find the centrepoint and test the throws all without the Tx. In the photos and videos below I've got three Hextronik HX5010 servos installed and pretty much centred without using any radio gear.





OrangeRx Futaba FASST won’t centre


Setting up the Seagull Decathlon radio gear showed the twin elevator servos wouldn't centre when the sticks were released. Swapping out the HobbyKing OrangeRx Futaba FASST Compatible 8Ch 2.4Ghz Receiver for a genuine Futaba receiver showed that the problem wasn't with the servos as the genuine Futaba Rx worked fine. By default the HobbyKing FASST receivers are set to HS Mode for digital high speed servos which is not so great for the analog servos in the Decathlon. The Frsky manual shows how to change between the modes as does this YouTube video.


Flite test: how to add lights

So far I've built the extra 300 foamy and added a HK401B gryo and I still haven't flown it. Maybe I should add some lights just for good luck

21Nov/100 extra 300: Gyro install

I haven't even flown version 2 of the extra 300 foamy but what better plane to try out the hobbyking 401B Gyro on. I had problems getting it to work with the Fly-Dream 2.4Ghz receiver so I swapped over to a JR 36MHz synthesized Rx and it worked a treat.


Inside the eHawk 1500

inside the eHawk 1500

The eHawk is about ready to maiden. Inside the fuse I have a JR RS70 receiver velcroed to the side of the fuse, a HobbyKing 15-18A ESC to the other side and a Turnigy 1200mAh 3S Lipo in the middle with velcro on the bottom. I haven't checked the CG yet but it looks like I should be able to move the battery back and forth pretty easily. The trusty old Futaba FF7 36Mhz transmitter will provide control. I included pics of the Futaba Tx and JR Rx just because some people don't know that the two brands will happily work together. Why did I buy the JR Rx if I was using the Futaba Tx? Probably because the Futaba Rxs were too expensive (not that the JR was chickenfeed either).

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30Oct/101 extra 300 v2

Version 2 of the extra 300 is coming together. This time I'm using 6mm depron as opposed to the 5mm foamcore artboard that I used to build the first one. Turns out the cardboard skin on either side of the foam is just too heavy.


Ehawk build 3

Ok so I've skipped a few steps but I want to try out the wordpress app on the iPhone for some more real time blog updates.
So here's the Ehawk just waiting for the hobbyking futaba 2.4 ghz compatible receiver. Backorders are due to be filled October 15. Soon after this bird can fly.

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eHawk 1500 – Build 02

From the manual. "2. Locate the torque rod connector then thread the connector on the aileron torque rod."

A pretty basic step, just make sure to screw the connectors on each rod to an even depth to ensure equal movement of the aileron servos.

Aileron torque rod connector

Aileron torque rod connector

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eHawk 1500 – Build 01

"1. Remove aileron then center all CA hinges in place. Apply tiny epoxy in the torque rod hole then install the aileron. Secure all hinges with thin CA glue. After cures, make sure aileron moves freely."

  • The aileron sticks a bit on the torque rod. Patient jiggling will eventually see it loose.
  • Sometimes pushing the aileron onto the hinge will force it back into the wing. To make sure the hinge stays centred, use a pin. When the aileron is on, pull the pin out and glue.
  • Don't go overboard with the epoxy otherwise it will be squeezed out and bind the aileron.
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