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Mark Harris

Using computer joystick to fly F-27 Stryker :D

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Ha! A much more enjoyable experience? Your video showed many enjoyable crashes! :P And that dual rocket motor business was NUTS! How many Stryker platforms do you go through a month? LOL!

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Yeh i just put every crash i had footage for at the end for laughs. The red plane is the "basher" of sorts. Its the one you do evil things to. Its 60% tape, 20% foam, 20% other stuff lol.

Generally only 1 fuselage every 2 months or so on the performance planes, they then replace the basher bodies.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=y1H9F_SNFZE is the full rocket plane video :D

There is nothing like pushing the throttle forwards and seeing the plane go SCREAMING forwards. Brushless is awesome.

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I am actually thinking of getting one these planes and putting my own electronics and brushless systems in it. Do you really enjoy how they fly? Do you think they would work well for FPV? And which brushless system would you recommend?

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My F-27 is incredibly fast and agile. It can fly verticaly almost as fast as it can horizontally. Gains a few hundred feet of alt in a matter of seconds, you can even launch it vertical if you want :) They are a great deal of fun to fly and look truely magnificent in the air. F-27's can also take a heck of a beating (as you've seen a little of hehe), as they are EPP when you crash really hard you can just epoxy them back together and its good as new.

You can buy all the spare parts for one and put them together to build you plane rather than buy a boxed one - its a heap cheaper.

You will need:

- Fuselage

- Covers/hatches

- Vertical stabilisers

- Control rods

- Elevons (after the first set you can make your own from balsa)

- F-27C engine mount (if possible. The B ones tend to fall apart under a brushless).

Once you get your body you will want to sand it down with wet and dry to remove all the bumps from the foam injection, then you can cover it in solarfilm/solarlite or Polyproplyene tape. The film/tape holds it together in a crash so you can pick it up and fly again, it also helps absorb some impact. I've seen a brushless F-27 go into the ground at full throttle from around 400metres up and be picked up and flown again right after - all thanks to the tape on it. Put hinges on the flaps, it lets them move smoother/faster and also lets them move under the air force of 200+km/h.

If you have a A/B motor mount (2 rings that hold the motor, like mine) you will want to epoxy your motor to the mount at the bottom.

I have a Himark A28/15, 22 000rpm motor. You can go bigger if you want but it really doesnt need it. The biggest prop you will fit on a F-27 is 7", i use a 7x6 prop but if you went with a more powerful motor you could go to a higher angle. I have an Align 35amp ESC, but the motor only draws about 20 so its all good. Make sure your lipo can handle the amps or you may end up with a flying fireball wheee.

I just have a JR Max 66 ADT (6ch) radio with a RS70S reciever, you only use 3 channels for the plane. Any micro servos will fit the wings, i use Hitec HS-81's they are pretty quick and have a load of torque for what its going to be doing.

FPV is possible, i've been working on a system myself. I have the camera, transmitter and reciever just no headset - bit short on cash at the moment.

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Cool! Thanks for the comprehensive info! You definitely helped me decide to get one of these planes! Yeah, I'll watch current draw...I do not like flying fireballs. I always err on the side of safety with my batteries and ESCs because I don't like the idea of a plane just shutting down in mid air due to heat or a battery dying or whatever. I've been flying FPV with my Slow Sitck for two years now and am ready to move to a more agile, faster plane that can handle wind better. Hmm...I wonder what 200k/mh would look like from the cockpit view? :blink::D

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The F-27 also glides very well, so if you set your shut off on the ESC to say 10v or so you can actually glide it for about 30 minutes after you fly up a few hundred metres, some people use them as flying wing slope soarers i'm told.

The F-27B covers are all vented, the C ones are even better vented to keep things inside cool.

The F-27 can handle pretty much any wind we've flown it in, and i live in Perth (windiest capital city in the world).

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-AT-Mark

Hi!

Could you please describe your code / way of apporach to this project a bit closer? (or is there a separate threat?)

I am very interested in replicating the Joystick-controll for my plane...

Greets,

Marcus

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Those who dont speak english as a main language may have found me talk a little fast hehe.

What I used is EnduranceRC's PCTx which plugs into a USB port on a PC. This acts as a Trainer for your radio, plugging into the trainer port. You send this your servo positions and when (on my radio) the trainer button is held down it relays these onto your reciever.

While you could take this input from anything - say the USB input from the Emagin Z800 visor for pan/tilt I use my X-45 joystick. I just read in the axis positions, convert them to the correct number range, mix them for delta wing and then send them to the PCTx.

Hope this helps a bit more, if not don't feel silly and just ask questions. Not everyone is a computer programmer or understands the ins and outs of such things - especially when explained by one lol.

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Cool! Thanks for the comprehensive info! You definitely helped me decide to get one of these planes! Yeah, I'll watch current draw...I do not like flying fireballs. I always err on the side of safety with my batteries and ESCs because I don't like the idea of a plane just shutting down in mid air due to heat or a battery dying or whatever. I've been flying FPV with my Slow Sitck for two years now and am ready to move to a more agile, faster plane that can handle wind better. Hmm...I wonder what 200k/mh would look like from the cockpit view? :blink::D

I have a dream of flying my Stryker FPV. It is extremely hard to get the Stryker past 100mph due to the draggy nature of the airframe . . . but it easily hits 70mph on a 400 size brushless motor by putting about 220 watts to it. Here is a video of onboard action (four different cameral angles - side, front, back and down) on the Stryker to give you and idea of how fast one needs to react with this plane at high speed. PS - the action heats up when the Elvis song ends.

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I havent found it to be too draggy, try sanding your whole plane down with ultra ultra fine sand paper to remove all those injection bumps. You can also shave off the fake intakes for a little more speed. You may also want to play around with different props, i need to do the same. I'll probably go buy a bunch of different props next weekend when i'm at the shop and see if i can find out whats best for my setup on the camera plane. With the camera onboard the plane is drawing 30C from a 2200mAh 3S battery. Camera is not hooked up yet, will get getting my cable to hook it up to the laptop on monday/tuesdayish.

I took my plane up today and with the extra weight on the nose for the camera and tx it was struggling to break 150km/h ever mind 200 :( I've re-covered it in solarfilm, it adds a little extra weight but looks much nicer and is soooo smooth!

I've just finished adding rudder controls to my performance/aerobatics body which should spice things up a little, i need to get some new engine mounts though. Currenlty i've just got a A/B style mount and the motor is only epoxied onto the base of it. Massive shortage of engine mounts in Western Australia right now haha.

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Very interested to try an FPV on this . . . can you post a pic of your current set-up so I can see how/where you mounted your cam and tx? Do you have any FPV video on this platform you can post as well?

Thx.

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I still dont have a way to record my video, will be getting that on monday to see how it goes, sadly i wont be able to try it until the next sunday. Will be at the hobby shop working all saturday then have a work dinner (my main job) on saturday evening which cuts all of saturday out.

Some pictures:

side-view.jpg

video-tx.jpg

top-down.jpg

No other electronics in the plane at this stage. This is how i have my other electronics configured:

electronics.jpg

You can probably see i've cut sections out to allow the rx to fit in with the ESC flat for cooling and not having the ESC on top of the RX - the hope is to remove any chance of glitching there ever was :)

rtf.jpg

Ready to fly, all hatches on.

rudders2.jpg

rudders3.jpg

My simple little rudder system :) Its 2 servos on a Y harness. Should be interesting to see what it does when you use them haha.

Edited by Mark Harris

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Looks good. I have never seen anybody use the Stryker for FPV before. Looks like you are going to break new ground.

I ordered a 500mw tx/rx with a patch att, KX131 camera and some I-Theatre goggles to try out. Never even flown FPV before so it may be a bit much for me on the Stryker but I will give it a shot. I will probably take it up to altitude with my eyes and then coast around with the goggles for the first couple flights.

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Hmm, took the plane up last night just looking at the laptop screen while a friend flew it. Running the camera off the same lipo as the battery does not work - WAYYY too much feedback, the esc buggers the whole video to bits.

Looking at how to mount another battery on the plane up the back somewhere. I'm not sure if this was an effect of the battery or not, but anything over 30m range was reallllly start to push the video to the point that it was dropping out and just giving "snow". Near the end of the battery the signal was starting to shift so you have half a frame at the top and half at the bottom lol. I'll play with another battery and if that doesnt improve the range see about a blackwidow or something.

I think for FPV i'll have to use a glider - putting more weight with servos onboard i think is really starting to push it. The F-27 also is not incredibly stable - as you've seen it bounces around all over the join in the air especially when there is wind like we get in Perth. I'm thinking to learn on, something slow and stable is going to be the key.

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Mark:

I wonder if you were not too nose heavy with all the video stuff up front like that?

I tried a camera on my Microjet and talk about unstable. It would probably take a TOP GUN to pilot that thing FPV.

I think what I will do for the first flight is get the wife to wear the goggle while I take it up as high and far as I dare and see if I get cut-outs. I will use a separate 2s with voltage regulator. The suspense of trying this out is killing me. I guess this hobby only gets more and more expensive as we keep trying to recreate the excitement of that first rc flight and crash!

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haha it does get more and more expensive. I'm about to start working at the local hobby shop so my prices will drop a bit, and i'll have a bit more money to spend on it hehe.

It was very nose heavy, as in the CG was moved forwards approx 3cm. I just changed the trim up a little and it was fine. Little more drag from the flaps but fine :) A second battery mounted right behind the motor should balance that out some more as well.

Are you sure a 2S will provide the voltage you need? Or are you going to use a switching regular to switch it up to the required voltage? My camera/Tx need at least 9v each, when you go below 8.5v, quality on both drop off very rapidly. Remember 2s is only 7.4v.

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I bought the rx/tx from rangevideo.com. It requires 550mah at 5 volts so I should be good to go. I was impressed with the video clips they have on their site - looks as good as Black Widow but less money. I got the wide angle and the super wide angle less. I figure the super wide would look real cool on the back of the Stryker looking down a bit to show the whole plane moving through tht air.

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I'd love to see the video you get off it then.. I have some realy light 2cell lipos which would be great for powering that sort of thing.

If you like what your getting and i cant get mine much better i might have to look at getting one myself.

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Hey Mark:

Finally got the equipment from Range Video and it works very well. The image is very good with the KX-131. Because I have never flown FPV before, I decided to put in all in an Easy Star. Got my wife to act as a spotter and took it up about 1000 ft with naked eyes and then put the goggles on - wow, what an experience. I flew around for a full 8 mins without removing the googles and landed FPV too, wind was 20 kph which was far from ideal but I did manage to land a hundred yards from my lawn chair. My spotter would give me occasional comments like "okay you are over building X and it is just a dot so bring it back towards us". I felt like I was in the Twilight zone as I aimed it directly at me on the ground and saw myself flying toward myself. :blink:

My only critic of the Easystar is that it gets pushed around quit a bit in the wind and the stock rudder is a little small for high winds. I know with the Stryker I could cut through the wind much better so I think I will give it a shot on the Stryker soon.

Unfortunately, I don't have an Archos or any means of recording my flights with the KX-131. I may wait till spring to get it since it is starting to get below freezing here and I think it will be painful to fly during Jan and Feb.

Have you done anymore FPV on your Stryker? (that little bay in front of the battery looks like a perfect space to install a servo/KX-131.)

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I felt like I was in the Twilight zone as I aimed it directly at me on the ground and saw myself flying toward myself.

haha thats pretty cool, sounds like your getting some really decent range. What antennae are you using?

Have you done anymore FPV on your Stryker? (that little bay in front of the battery looks like a perfect space to install a servo/KX-131.)

No i havent, i've been waiting for better antennae to arrive so havent been doing much with it. I think it may be a little too bouncy to fly FPV with a stryker here in Perth, so i've been flying a 2m thermal glider (much more suited to our weather hehe).

By 10am wind gusts are 17km/h and its 30c (86f). By 3pm its 38.5c and windspeed is upto 30km/h with gusts of over 40km/h. Well that was saturday anyway. It was fairly carm (under 15km/h) until about 1pm yesterday and only got to 33c so it was a really nice day to get out and go thermal gliding.

That area in front of the battery is what i have been using for the video gear :) I've just put rudders on my stryker so its not so good for video any more hehe.. too touchy and just wants to do insane aerobatics :D

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I will trade your wind for my cold, lol.

I am using a 3dBi whip on both tx and rx and it is good for at least 500 metres all around. I have a 14dBi patch that I used on the second flight. I pointed it straight up and got more interference but I now learned that it should be pointed at the plane so I will ask my spotter to do that next time.

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