Equipment & Tools
(& Where To Buy)
These are some miscellaneous ramblings related to equipmentwhich could be used with the T-52.
*** The radio?
With a T-52, I'd highly recommend using micro servos - like the Hitec 81's - inexpensive but light & strong enough for the T-52. Also, use a micro receiver - like the Hitec Micro 555.
many great radios out there with all sorts of fancy functionality. I prefer simple, cheap, easy to use & reliable radios. It's true there's fun to be had with elevon mixing & so forth when you use your radio with other planes. There are almost "zillions" of usable options when it comes to radios - based on my experience, I really like the Hitec radios because of their reliability, & number of useful features. Most especially, Hitec radios are particularly attractive because they offer specific configurations which are designed for our facet of the hobby - e-flight! For example, the Hitec Focus III FM Micro System comes with a Feather Micro Receiver, 2 HS-55 Feather Servos. This is a great, inexpensive way to get into R/C. This radio would be a good one to start out with, however, I wouldn't recommend anything less.
If you can afford it, get "more" radio, because you will probably make use of the additional features.Ultimately, in my opinion, and based on the types of planes I fly and type of flying I enjoy, I would buy a Hitec Flash 4 SXG Glider version (Stock # 154722). Personally, I would rather not spend more money on a radio system than the Flash 4 SXG - it has everything I would ever want in a radio system.
Somewhere in between the cost of the Focus III FM Micro & the Flash 4 SXG would be the Hitec Focus 4 FM. Hobby Lobby is a phenomenal place to buy Hitec radios because they can sell you any combination of transmitters (lower cost 3 channel to expensive computer radios) with a perfect, unique combination of micro servos and receivers, designed specifically for our e-flight requirements (micro servos & receivers). I bought two Hitec Focus 4 FM radios from Hobby Lobby and they have performed flawlessly. Hobby Lobby "bundled" these transmitters with the lightweight, smaller receivers and servos - perfect for e-flying!!! BTW, I had a minor problem with one of my orders Hobby Lobby and the owner fixed the (minor) problem with great speed and courtesy. He's a very nice guy to do business with.
*** Which motor?
With my T-52's, I have tried two solutions which work, option #1 is simpler and cheaper whereas, option #2 performs better:
1 - Stock Speed 400 6V motor using direct drive 6x3 prop.
2 - "600" size reverse direction motor (Magnetic Mayhem reverse) using Master Airscrew 3:1 drive w/12x8 folding prop
Motor setup #1 is less expensive & easy, but the plane will not fly as fast nor will it gain altitude as quickly.
Motor setup #2 is more expensive & requires a bit more work setting up, but the plane will leap out of your hand (using 8 AR cells) and the vertical performance is . . . well, fantastic compared to the Speed 400 setup. This combination yields a very nice amount of thrust (compared to the Speed 400 direct drive setup) but does not make the plane go that much faster, keeping it easy to control.
There are also several other motor options which I haven't tried yet. These options include using a "480" class motor with direct drive, and also using a Speed 400 motor with a reduction drive unit (there are several reduction drive units which are designed to be used with the Speed 400 motors).
Finally, regarding motors, please keep in mind, most "stock" DC motors which use brushes on the commutator (like the inexpensive Graupner Speed 400 motors) will need to have the brushes "broken-in" BEORE they are used - see the link at my web site for more info. This is very important!!! The Magnetic Mayhem motor has "pre shaped" brushes, so the break in is VERY DIFFERENT - and easier.
*** Which ESC (Electronic Speed Control)
I am recommending using the Pegasus 35 ESC from Castle Creations - this ESC works well with either Speed 400 motors or the larger "600" class motors & a reduction drive unit. The Pegasus 35 is also very light - I love mine (I have two) - they work great!
*** Which battery packs?
You've got to consider several factors when choosing battery packs, including, but certainly not limited to the following:
1 - Battery Type (NiCd, NiMH, et cetera)
2 - Capacity (500, 600, 800, et cetera, mAh rating)
3 - Discharge rate (AR, AE, et cetera)
4 - Number of cells
5 - Weight
6 - Cost
7 - Life cycle (how many times can it be recharged)
Considering Nickel Cadmium (NiCd) batteries, just a few years ago, 500 AR's were available - they would "let out" power fast, giving great performance. The AR's duration wasn't very great (because it was so fun to go so fast). Now, the 600 AE's are available and their performance is "okay" - they have decent duration, but the power you get out of them isn't as good (compared to the AR's).
In addition to Nickel Cadmium batteries, we now have Nickel Metal Hydride (NiMH) batteries. Radio Shack sells an 8-cell, 1420 mAh (milli-amp) pack which I've found delivers adequate performance, similar to the AE's, but the duration is really phenomenal compared to the 600 mAh NiCd's. I'm considering using these packs more & more as I enjoy their duration. These are, in my opinion, a perfect match when using the motor combination #2, listed above, however, they are also "adequate" when using with the Speed 400 motor also.
There are many different types of batteries out there. Regardless of which type of batteries you use and regardless of which motor (& drive system), with the T-52, you'll want to use 8 cell packs.
*** Charging the battery packs
You'll need to use a variable rate, peak detection charger. I recommend the Hitec CG-335 - it costs about $85, and has several useful features. It has been very reliable. You should NEVER overcharge your battery packs (regardless of which type you use). As general rule, you should not use charge rates which exceed the following:
500 AR batteries - maximum charge rate 2.5 amps
600 AE batteries - maximum charge rate 1.5 amps
*** Final notes & opinions
If you want a higher performing T-52 I'd recommend using motor setup #2 (see above) and use the Radio Shack batteries - this gives very nice performance, but when throttled back, you can easily get 10 minute flights (assuming the NiMH packs were charged properly & all components are installed & working properly).
There are many tools I'd recommend - (wife just brought home barbeque for lunch, so I gotta go)
If you use the Master Airscrew reduction drive unit, I'd highly recommend getting one of these: Bolink gear puller (see Tower Hobbies info below).
More on this later . . .
*** Misc. Info
Here's a list of SOME items I use, including the source where I obtain them (prices & information current as of 30-Jun-00 - click on theYELLOW text for a link):
- P35J, $49.95 (plus $5 shipping) (this is the Pegasus 35 ESC)
- KYOG2711 Magnetic Mayhem reverse motor ($18.99)
- MASG3030 Master Airscrew 3.0:1 gearbox ($19.29)
- MASQ1500 Master Airscrew 12x8 folding prop & spinner ($ 9.49)
- BOLC3120 Bolink gear puller (a very handy tool) ($ 9.49)
- LXN747 Hitec/RCD CG-335 Peak Charger Rx/Tx Batteries ($84.99)
(all over the place)
- Cat.#: 23-331 ($24.99) 1420 mAh NiMH battery pack
Orders only 800,442,6755
- T52 Trainer ($29.00)
- Hitec HS 81 micro servo ($21.00)
- Speed 400 prop adapter ($ 6.00)
- Grish Tornado 6x3 soft prop, 2 pack ($ 3.00) (ask them to drill the props!!!)
- Sermos power pole connectors, 2 red, 2 black ($ 3.50)
- Graupner 6V Speed 400 motor ($10.00)
- 8 cell, 600 mAh battery pack ($24.50)
Brentwood, TN 37027
Phone: (615) 373-1444
- http://www.hobby-lobby.com/hitec.htm (the best place to get Hitec radios)
- HLAN3505 6x3 AeroNaut Folding Prop for SPEED 400 ($11.20) (a bit pricey for a prop, but I've had great success with this prop on a few of my Speed 400 direct drive T-52's). Based on my experience with teaching my son's how to fly - this is a fairly durable prop as well. Highly recommended also if you want to try thermalling with your T-52.
- check out Hobby Lobby for batteries, motors, ESC's, chargers and many other items too!!!
Astro Flight Inc.
Marina Del Rey, CA 90292
Phone: (310) 821-6242
- http://www.astroflight.com/powersupply.html - this has proven to be a great, relatively inexpensive way for me to use the Hitec CG-335 inside the house
I'll update this with more info later. Yes, I realize there are MANY places where you can buy R/C e-flight related items - the sources I've listed here are the ones I've actually done business with and, based on my experiences with all of them, they are all businesses I highly recommend. I also realize there are MANY types of items used with R/C electric powered planes. I am simply recommending items I have used which, based on my experience, all perform very well.