I bought 5 second hand RC planes to get me started in Radio Control plane flying. 3 of them had Turnigy equipment with a Turnigy TGY 9X transmitter (with a Turnigy RF 9Xv2 protocol module) already bound.
But then I bought the new Jumper T-Lite transmitter with the JP4IN1 (multi-protocol) module from BangGood and I decided I wanted to stop using the clunky old 9X, and switch those planes over to my wonderful new T-Lite.
I thought – great, it’s “multiprotocol” – this should be easy, but when I tried to set the T-Lite to “Turnigy” – well it wasn’t there! No such option. No “Turnigy” at all not even close. So I got online, went to google, YouTube, RCGroups.com and I could not find anything that would tell me how to bind my T-Lite to the Turnigy 9X8Cv2 receivers that I got with those 3 second-hand planes.
I looked for binding the Jumper T16 – still no luck. Of course there was lots about binding the T16 in general, and lots of great info about binding the T-Lite to all kinds of receivers, but nothing about binding them with Turnigy receivers.
I did figure out that the Turnigy probably used AFHDS or AFHDS2a and I found this website that has a comprehensive list of all the possible protocols, but I still couldn’t figure out which protocol to choose. It was tantilisingly close, and I tried the two FlySky protocols that listed “AFHDS” but … no joy, and the light kept blinking and the receiver kept beeping.
Then I found a wonderful article on the FliteTest forum that gave me the final clue. It was just by pure chance, or persistent searching, because this article doesn’t say anything about Open-Tx or binding or any of those things, but a user called lrussi750 says one very important thing.
The (FlySky) TH9X and the (Turnigy) 9X are the same radio and the only difference I’ve seen is color. I have both radios.
Eureka! So – this should mean that if I select “FlySky” on my T-Lite it should be able to bind. Well I tried it and it works! This is a screenshot of the protocol setting I used to bind the Turnigy 9X8Cv2 receiver to my Jumper T-Lite.
Use FlySky – subtype (subprotocol) Std – and it will work!
I do feel kind of silly that I didn’t get it when I figured out that Turnigy uses AFHDS, but I am just so happy!
And – very happy with the Jumper T-Lite – what a great little radio.
But there are some details that make more sense to post as text, so I’m including them here.
As I worked through building the model, I realized that the numbered instructions should NOT be followed “step by step”. It’s not a big problem, just follow these steps and you will find that the model comes together much easier.
Install the mounting base for the motor and power system as per the plan at 1.
Install the electronics in the mounting base. The Instructions have this at step 6. Do the first few items from Step 6, but do not connect the servos to the pushrods yet, and don’t connect the elevator and rudder at the end of Step 6. Test the electronics with a transmitter – make sure the servos and motor are working.
Assemble the fuselage – but don’t put on the bottom yet. First insert the pushrods for elevator and rudder and connect them to the servos as per the pictures in Step 6. These can be connected to the elevator and rudder later, but it’s much better to connect to the servos now. Put on the bottom of the fuselage _after_ testing again that the electronics are working and the pushrods move back and forth, even though they are not connected to the rudder and elevator yet.
Don’t install the magnets in the fuselage in Step 2, so don’t following the printed instructions for this. Wait till you have the cowling finished.
Build the cowling, then line up the magnets in the fuselage with the cowling. Make sure to get the polarity of the magnets right so they click into place instead of pushing apart. This is covered in detail on YouTube here: https://youtu.be/RJmyAGB5h34
Build the wheels, but don’t put the undercarriage on the fuselage yet, wait till you have put on the wings first.
Assemble the wings. Instructions Step 5. If you are going to paint. Assemble but don’t install on the fuselage!
Optional step – if you want to paint, do it now before you put everything together.
Install the wings on the plane (this is the second part of Instructions Step 5).
Assemble the elevator and rudder and install on the plane, connect the control horns to the control rods as per the picture at the very end of Instructions Step 6. Test it again, make sure everything is working smoothly.
Install the undercarriage and wheels and put on the propeller.
Congratulations! Gong xi! You are done!
There are some things in the instructions that are not clear, missing or in a couple of places, just plain wrong. These are some key things you need to know.
Screws on the power frame go on the bottom.
If you need to remove the mounting base later for whatever reason (perhaps something isn’t working or you want to change the hole position you are using on the servo arms), then if the screws are put in from the top you will have to cut a hole in the top of the fuselage to remove the screws and slide out the mounting base. I did this, it wasn’t pretty.
If you put the screws in from the underside, they are easily accessible via the hatch on the bottom of the fuselage.
There are four “j” pieces to install on the power system mounting base.
The Instructions only show 2 – actually the picture shows all 4 pieces, but only has 2 red arrows showing 2 “j” pieces to be installed. Find all 4 of these and install them now. It will be very difficult to fix this later if you miss it now.
These two “j” pieces at the bottom are where the undercarriage screws onto the fuselage. If you miss these now you will not be able to install the undercarriage unless you cut open the fuselage and put the “j” pieces in.
Also – install the “j” pieces before you install “I”, so reverse these pictures.
Don’t put the tail peg in right away.
This is more of a suggestion, but I found it so easy to accidentally break the tail peg when doing other parts of the plane. Perhaps delay installing it until just before you put on the elevator and rudder. Also – soak the tail peg in CA glue/super glue for strength. It is very fragile and needs beefing up.
Watch out for the Q ribs
When building the wings there are whole lot of “R” ribs, but only 2 “Q” ribs which go on the very inside of the lower wing. Pay attention to this and don’t accidentally put the Q ribs somewhere else.
How to connect the pushrods to the servos
The Instructions at Step 6, picture 5 shows how to connect the “6” wooden pieces to the end of the pushrods and then attaching them to the servo arms. But the picture is all you get and it’s really not clear how to connect the wire pieces provided to the servo arms. Zooming in the picture on the instructions doesn’t make it clear, because the picture is so grainy.
So I made my best guess and here are pictures showing how I did it. Take note of the two pictures showing the pushrod connection to the servos. One works and one doesn’t. I tried the first and it seemed fine, but the plane flew around in a circle because the pushrods were catching on the inside of the fuselage. Do it the second way, this brings the rods down lower and away from the fuselage.
It works! (Maybe there is a better way, but this way works).
Glue the wheels (carefully!)
You don’t want the wheels to stick, they work and I got some really nice takeoffs from the kit wheels. I guess it should have been obvious, but the wheels need to be glued to the nylon bushes and the o-ring “tires” need to be glued to the wooden rims. If you don’t you run the risk of them popping off on the field. I used “super glue” (CA glue) because it is plastic to wood and rubber to wood. Be very careful not to get any glue inside the bush so that the wheel can spin nicely on the axle.
Reinforce the undercarriage
I flew my plane on a wonderful field with some very thick grass which cushioned my many crashes while I was tuning it. What did happen a number of times when crashing or even having a good landing, was the undercarriage would break off when it hit the grass. So I reinforced it with 4 pieces of carbon fiber rod. This also helped with the centre of gravity because the undercarriage is mostly forward of the CoG.
If using a brushless motor don’t install the lead weights as per the Instructions.
If you put the lead weight at the top of the special mounting base shown in “8. Assemble the Brushless Motor”, you will not be able to put the cowling on. Following the build instructions for “brushless motor”, the weight wrapped around the screw gets in the way, preventing the cowling from being clicked onto it’s magnet.
Instead, I suggest you install any weight required in the bays behind the motor, there is one at the top and one at the bottom.
You will need a lot of weight. The included weight was not enough to get the centre of gravity right for me. I had to add more, for a total of 12g, to get it the centre of gravity to where it should be according to the instructions.
I actually needed a lot of weight to bring the centre of gravity forward in order for the plane to fly. I didn’t keep track of it all, but here are some pictures. The weight that came with the kit + two pieces of solder + some ‘white tack’ plastic putty packed into the cowling. I’m sure it’s more than 10g all up.
Installing the recommended brushless MM1104 motor is tricky
There are combo packs online (e.g. Amazon where I bought mine) that include the recommended MM1104 motor from AEORC. When you try to screw the motor onto the provided special mounting base, it will not fit cleanly. I had to drill new holes because the provided ones didn’t line up with the holes on the triangular engine mount. Even then, one of the screws barely has any purchase on the mounting plate. It does work though, although it doesn’t look tidy, and the plane will fly with this motor mounted to the mounting base. Here are a couple of pictures that show how it looks:
I found transmitter setup was critical to getting the Sopwith Pup to fly well. The elevator is very twitchy, so I reduced the rate (weight) on the elevator to 66% and with a 35% exponential (expo). The rudder on the other hand needs all the throw it can get, so I have the weight at 100%, but the expo at 30% which worked quite well.
The model as built following these instructions, with painting, looks great! I am very happy with the look, everything is working and with some tuning after the maiden flight and some additional test flights.
But it’s very heavy. 65.5g total weight. The specifications for the plane say flying weight is 42-50 grams, so it is 15.5 grams overweight.
If I weight the model with the painting that I did, it comes out to 70g. I built the same model again without painting – 65g, but I don’t think I could get it any lighter.
I don’t want to break my lovely plane, so I have ordered a new kit, and I’ve built it again, bare bones, following my instructions above. So the extra weight isn’t a problem, it really does “fly like a bird”.
[And I’ve updated this blog based on the second build, so the hints and suggestions you see are what you need to build your own].
When I built the Dancing Wings Hobby Fokker-E (the small 420 mm wingspan version), I learned a lot of very interesting things. Well, I find them interesting. So I thought I would share them in case anyone else finds them interesting or even helpful.
The instructions are cryptic. A single page with lots of colour pictures and some limited and very tiny writing. I needed a magnifying glass to make sure I didn’t miss important details. There are lots of comments about the instructions from buyers, so I think others have the same problem I did.
You have to read and follow the instructions very, very carefully. I missed one piece, which I didn’t find before it was too late, simply by failing to notice the tiny label on a one of the picture steps.
The instructions also don’t include what you might think is very basic information. Glue is a good example. They don’t say anything about glue. I mostly used standard white wood glue, but sometimes Superglue (CA some people call it). For example I glued in the magnets using Superglue. I guess I made reasonable assumptions, and I think I got it right, but nothing – absolutely nothing in the instructions about what glue to use and where it should be used.
There is very little information in the instructions about electronics. The kit I ordered included a brushless motor, but the instructions which described how to install it described a different one, so I had to “figure it out”. There was nothing about how to install an ESC, receiver or servos.
The instructions do say which electronics to buy – but nothing about how to install them.
There is a Youtube Video! This was a great find, and very, very helpful. There is an animated video from Dancing Wings Hobby, that kind of shows how to put the kit together. Again it doesn’t mention basics like glue, but it does show the order very well, and even gave some additional hints about installing the electronics that you don’t get in the printed instructions. I built the plane with the video open on my laptop and paused in my browser. At each next step, I would hit play, wait a couple of seconds and pause again so I could see the next step. You can find the video here:
The instructions say nothing about paint or other decorations. The video does show some things like Iron Cross decals and a white rudder that are not in the instructions. They look great. So I painted the rudder white and made some iron cost decals by cutting out some Cricut black vinyl. I’m not sure if that’s what I was supposed to do (there are no decals in the kit), but I think it looks great.
After finishing and trying to paint the wheels, I realized that I should have painted them before putting them on. With all of the very fine detail, such as the rigging and struts, it’s almost impossible to paint after everything is connected, so ask yourself at each step – will I want to paint this? If so – paint it now before installing it. Some things I wish I had painted first:
The landing gear
The frame in front of the cockpit that holds up the rigging
White stripes on the wings to frame the Iron crosses (see some original pictures)
The railing around the cockpit
There are several small magnets included and the instructions are very precise about where they need to be placed, but gives no hint about polarity. For example it says to put two magnets on the underside of the cowling. This is to hold the cowling in place. Then somewhere else in the build it says put two magnets on the brackets at the front of the frame that hold the cowling. If you don’t think ahead, you could install these two magnets so that when you try to put the cowling on it will bounce right out, rather than clicking into place. You need to get the polarity right for each and every one.
The thing is – the different pictures and sequences don’t really join this together, so unless you hunt down the “other end” of the magnet you are installing, you won’t know which end is which. So here is what I do:-
Take the magnets apart in pairs.
Mark each magnet with a ‘dot’ using a sharpie to show sides that need to be apart
Find both sides of the magnet connection on the plans.
Make sure to install each magnet with the dot (from step 2) away from the other magnet.
The magnets are also a bit small. I guess this is my opinion, but there are two hints that I am right. The first is that the holes in the balsa for the magnets are far too big for the magnets provided. Around half the size. So even with copious Superglue, the magnet sort of floats in the hole for it. The second hint is that when clicking things like the electronics hatch on the underside of the plane in place, the hatch seems very loose. It feels like it might drop out, the magnet isn’t holding it very tightly. I bought some larger magnets and replaced some of those that came with the kit and got a much more satisfying “click” and much more satisfying and firmer hold.
I’m still building this model, so likely there is more to come. This is where I’m at so far:
Maiden Flight and Lessons Learned
Well it’s 7th July 2021 and this plane has flown! You can see the video on YouTube.
The carbon fiber rod in the kit that is for the elevator is very important. This should be the thicker 1.5mm rod and I used the thiner one. I had to fix that.
The rudder was very twitchy. I think this is because the rudder was not stable and was kind of flapping around a bit. The “paper” hinge for the rudder specified in the instructions needs to be fairly strong paper or thin plastic. I replaced the paper I had used with hinges left over from the Sopwith Pup. They are perfect – it would be great if they get included with the kit.
Center of Gravity is very important, I had to include a lot of weight inside the cowling in addition to the lead that came with the kit. Don’t worry, getting the CG right is more important than the total weight. My model is 68g and it flies just fine.
The plane tends to fly up and to the left. There is no down thrust or right thrust on the motor mount in this model, whereas the Sopwith Pup motor mount has a definite down/right angle to the mount. I added some packing on the motor mount to try to point the motor down and to the right.