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  1. #776

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    RE: Nitromodels PREDATOR RQ-1B

    Yet another future Predator/Reaper builder here... I'm very interested in the FPV/UAV aspect of it. Problem is I can't find a Predator in stock anywhere in the world! Anyone have any tips or leads to a shop with inventory?
    -Smoky

  2. #777
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    RE: Nitromodels PREDATOR RQ-1B

    Smoky,

    I see that Nitro is still out of stock on the Predator, but I think that they are waiting for a big shippment to arrive
    so you could email them to see when they expect to have them back in stock. Also, check with TM Pro.
    http://www.tmprousa.com/UAV-EP/index.html

  3. #778

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    RE: Nitromodels PREDATOR RQ-1B

    Thanks Jeff! It may be a good idea to be more proactive about it. I was concerned though, thinking maybe these were all discountinued for homeland security reasons or something (or maybe just didn't sell enough). I'm watching the Nitro, the Excedy, the TM Pro, the Sapac (some of these may be the same model). Just waiting for one or several to be in stock. I wouldn't mind buying several different brands/wingspans to see which is best. Every forum/review has a different bent on which one is best and why.

    My objective is to go the full-9 with the autopilot. Use an Ardupilot or similar, dual cameras (one thermal), GPS tracking, groundstation waypoint management, etc. If I'm gonna do AP then why not do it in style, right? If all goes to plan then the manual control will be a backup system of sorts. The primary method of control will be sensor and gps navigation.

    So I need a good solid platform. Prob bigger is better for stability. But it needs to be able to fly the gear and not be flimsy about it. It may come to pass that I have to build from scratch. But since I've never built a plane that would be quite the challenge.

    Thx!
    -Smoky

  4. #779

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    RE: Nitromodels PREDATOR RQ-1B

    The TMPro predator is larger than the NitroModels version (74"), which would be a good thing as you are planning to put a lot of stuff into it. Hobbycity carries rthem for $62.40 + ship, but they are currently out of stock.

    If your goal is to create a drone, then this is actually rather unsuitable as a platform, although it looks tremendously cool. The flying characteristics are not the most stable, several people report folding the wings up during sharp maneuvers (especially likely if heavily loaded), and the large wingspan/short fuse/vtail have caused a few people to fatally slip inwards on turns. Also, the front of the plane is full of servos, batteries, and a receiver, and the back of the the fuse has an ESC and motor. Something like a high wing trainer wuld present much less of a challenge for a first drone/FPV/SPG guided plane.

    That said - if you go ahead with a Predator version of your drone, good luck, and please keep everyone here posted - I don't want to discourage you in the least!

    Regards...Chris

  5. #780
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    RE: Nitromodels PREDATOR RQ-1B

    Smoky,

    This is the Pioneer UAV and it looks almost like a basic wing-over electric trainer which would make a much better
    airframe for all that expensive equipment you will be using. The trainer would be a regular pusher configuration which
    is much more air worthy and the fuselage equipment bay/battery compartment is very large for all that gear. The flight
    is easy and dependable. You could always paint your choice of plane all kakie green and it will look like a Pioneer!


  6. #781
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    RE: Nitromodels PREDATOR RQ-1B

    Smoky,

    See!!!!!!!!!!! Chris and I were thinking of the same thing.......at the same time!!!!!
    OHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHH...............................Y EAHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHH

  7. #782
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    RE: Nitromodels PREDATOR RQ-1B

    Mendari,

    I found the info that your Dad was asking about and it can be found on page 2, post 38 & 39, of this build.
    I hope that this helps.





  8. #783

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    RE: Nitromodels PREDATOR RQ-1B

    Hi Guys,

    I've had a predator hanging up out of use for a year or so now. But it's time to crack it out; I'm looking to setup it up with some camera gear. I realise it's not the most stable of machines, but I've got it on hand so I'll give it a go before I look for something else.

    So, I was planning on putting a gyro in on aileron channel as I recall it used to rock around like crazy. But of course ailerons on this model run from two independent servos/channels. Sooo I could use a Y harness and run both servos from one channel, and then simply put the gyro in-line. But then I'm using the ability to program in aileron differential - Which I admit I haven't used before, but read it's a good idea for this one.

    So really my question is, is it more advantageous to run a) aileron differential with no gyro, or b) symmetrical throws, but gyro installed?

    Heh, or perhaps c) run the servos independently, with differential, using the gyro on only one side

    Thoughts??

  9. #784

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    RE: Nitromodels PREDATOR RQ-1B

    I don't think differential will help with any rocking problem - the intent behind it is to reduce drag on the aileron moving faster, i.e. the aileron on the outside of the turn, and I don't think your Pred has any particular issues there. As I think you said, programming differential in through your radio, but you (obviously) need to have the ailerons on different channels. I personally don't think you will be able to tell the difference if you program in differential.

    The gyro problem is interesting. I also thought about using a gyro for ailerons but I would think that a gyro on a single side would have a very non-axial effect that might be worse than not having it. I bought a gyro from Hobbycity and tried in on the pitch axis of a trainer I've used for video, with horrendously odd effects - MAKE SURE you set it up so that you can turn it off from the transmitter! A rogue control surface is not a good thing.

    Please let us know how you get on...Chris

  10. #785

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    RE: Nitromodels PREDATOR RQ-1B

    z

  11. #786

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    RE: Nitromodels PREDATOR RQ-1B

    I just got the predator and was looking at putting a contra rotating motor on i,t a ELE CR28M any ones input would be very helpfull - Thats like having 2 motors and all rest same build and will poss make a camera plane from it if it does fly ok
    Thanks
    Don
    Don Mowery rcskyjumper.com

  12. #787

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    RE: Nitromodels PREDATOR RQ-1B

    Interesting thought about using a tao prop setup - the motor you mentioned at 2.8 ounces is about an ounce heavier than a typical small Chinese 250W motor (plus a second prop). My predator has an AUW of 39-40 ounces, so a bit more weight would be doable. The main thing with this model is the ground clearance, so I am using a counter-rotating Master Airscrew 9x7 3-bladed prop. It takes off in a few feet, and flies around on about 40% throttle easily. I flew it yesterday on an overcast day, and am continually amazed at how hard it is to see what it's doing in the air. Luckily I got it back both times with no drama.

    However, if you look back through this message board you will see a number of references to the fact the this aircraft has some odd habits when banking and turning, and it might be prudent to take care not to get the cg wrong, or to overload the long narrow wings.

    Good luck and please keep us posted.

  13. #788

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    RE: Nitromodels PREDATOR RQ-1B

    Thats a nice plane,so how long did the entire build take? And how did you pay for the electronic setup??

    Thanks!!!

  14. #789

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    RE: Nitromodels PREDATOR RQ-1B


    ORIGINAL: R.c.king222

    Thats a nice plane,so how long did the entire build take? And how did you pay for the electronic setup??

    Thanks!!!*
    Sorry, not sure what you're asking about the electronic setup. I think it would take you just a few hours to put one of these ARFs together - you have to carefully align the vtail, as each side is mounted on two pins that go into the fuse. If I built another, I would use some triangle section bass wood and glue it at the mounting points.

    The flight gear I used was: an AR6200 Spektrum receiver ($70 new on Ebay), four HXT900 servos (about $3.50 each from Hobbycity) an RC1200 outrunner (probably $30 from Compass House Ebay Store) and 30A SuperSimple ESC (Probably $15 Hobbycity), 8.5x6 3-blade counter-rotating prop (probably $4 or $5 for a pack of 2 from Hobbycity.) You need a couple of servo extensions, and a battery extension. I mount two 3S batteries up front in parallel, side-by-side - it seems that a 1000mah and a 1300mah get the cg on spec. So the plane cost probably about $175 over the cost of the ARF, which was I think $75 plus shipping. So in total, I probably have spent less than $300 on this model. For comparison, most 25e-size electric models seem to cost $500-600 by the time they are in the air, a lot more if you buy brand name batteries, ESCs, and motors.

    Hope this helps...Chris

  15. #790

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    RE: Nitromodels PREDATOR RQ-1B

    Hi PapaJeff and hope all is well with you.

    Is that picture you posted of a Pioneer UAV a real one, or does anyone make a model? I wouldn't mind making up an actual UAV, but all the preceding discussion and my own (very limited, novice) experience tells me that I would need a reasonably big airframe to successfully put any equipment inside.

    I have an Electristar trainer that I have mounted cameras and other experiments on, but it is really a bit small to get a lot of stuff in. I also like the ugly utilitarian look of the Pioneer UAV !!

    Thanks!...Chris

  16. #791
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    RE: Nitromodels PREDATOR RQ-1B

    Chris,

    That isa photo of anactual Air Force Pioneer and I also wish that some RC company would make
    either a bigger Predator or another larger size model of a different UAV.I found a few sites that you,
    and the guys, might find interesting.
    http://diydrones.com/
    http://home.comcast.net/~bzee1a/Edwa...Edwards09.html

    http://www.defense-update.com/products/h/hermes-450.htm This exact UAV is the one that Danny Landis
    flies over in Afganistan. It's like RC has gone to WAR and is now mainstream.


    Let me know if you find anything of interest.

  17. #792

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    RE: Nitromodels PREDATOR RQ-1B

    Papa (or anyone that can help),
    I just purchased a used Nitro B UAV. It was stripped of motor and gear. I have no manual and I have some questions before I move on. Is the elevator suppose to be mixed with rudder or can I fly just elevator/aileron? Where is the balance point? As far as a motor, I would love to just be able to find one that will pop right in, but I have a Mystery outrunner that might work if I build an extension mount for it.
    Thanks

  18. #793

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    RE: Nitromodels PREDATOR RQ-1B

    PappaJeff,

    You have seemed interested when people find this kit in stock.  I actually found an e-Bay store that currently has more than ten in stock.  Ordered one today.  The link to the product:

    http://cgi.ebay.com/UAV-RQ-1-Predato...item45f08ac5b8

    I was reading about your build and got bit by the bug.  This is such a neat kit and looks like it's high quality and also fun to build.  I'm thinking that I'm going to add a camera, telemetry, and an EagleTree OSD (HUD) on my build.  If you would like I'll keep you posted.

  19. #794
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    RE: Nitromodels PREDATOR RQ-1B

    wl7cpa,

    Without a manual, I really don't think that you will have any problem adding the electronics if you
    just follow the first 10 or so pages of this thread. In addition, you will find a great deal more info
    from all of the other guys that have posted their experiences with the Predator. For the motor, I
    just used what Nitro recommended which was a 250 Watt basic ourtunner. If you plan to add a
    camera, I would suggest to go to a slightly more powerfull motor (350-400W), but make sure that
    it will fit in the "tail cowl."

    The Predator "V" tail was programmed to act as the elevator and the rudder, as well. I use a DX-7
    Spektrum Tx and had no problem with this function. The balance point (CG) is listed as 50-55mm
    back from the leading edge of the wing at the fuselage sides. I just found an extra manual and I
    would be happy to send it to you, so just email me your address. Also, keep us informed of your
    progress and have fun with your build.

  20. #795
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    RE: Nitromodels PREDATOR RQ-1B

    CaptNasty,

    Great find on all those Predators! I wonder how that Ebay seller got so many? Well, now there is a source for
    anyone who is looking for one. I have a feeling that you are going to enjoy building and flying your Predator.
    With all the camera gear you contemplate adding, I would suggest using reliable electronics, motor and
    accessories. It sure makes a big difference in your "comfortable feeling" as you fly your areal photographic
    airframe, don't you think? Now, of course you keep us posted on your project and photos or a video would
    also be most appreciated.

  21. #796

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    RE: Nitromodels PREDATOR RQ-1B

    Thanks for the reply papa. That helped a lot. No need for manual. CG was main concern. I ordered a motor from HeadsUprc, a 400 size and will take same stand offs you have used. I am going to give a steerable nosewheel some thought. I saw the fix in the blog. Looks good. If wx coops should be in the air Saturday. It has no decals so on the lookout for them...after it flies. Later alligator...

  22. #797

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    RE: Nitromodels PREDATOR RQ-1B



    I'll keep you updated on build progress.  I'm going to tackle it in phases.  First phase will focus on getting the predator flying as a typical R/C model with no telemetry, video, or HUD just 3rd person view.  After that phase I intend to add the telemetry, camera (Maybe pan & tilt), HUD, and a live video and data feed to the ground that will be recorded and telemetry collected on a laptop.  In the final phase, I want to fly the model in full First person view with video goggles (And a spotter of course so my AMA membership doesn't become an issue).

    The video system, telemetry, HUD and data downlinks will be a project in it's own right.  I have to figure out how to minimize transmitter interference and EMI.  I'm thinking a carbon fiber firewall or two might just be what the doctor ordered due to it's shielding properties.  I'm also going to have to figure out how to get the Airspeed and Altimeter sensor out on the wing of the plane (Hopefully without too much surgery!).

    As for the gear and electronics, I am going to use a JR 9503 DSM Transmitter and then the same motors, ESC, connectors, etc that you did.  I'm going to take my time on this build and really follow your build plan it makes alot of sense.

    I'm stoked over this project... why is it the Predator seems to have this effect on people?  I see this thread has been continuously active for 3 years now!


  23. #798
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    RE: Nitromodels PREDATOR RQ-1B

    Capt,

    It's amazing that the Predator UAV has generated so much interest and I am really surprised that it has
    continued for years. I truly believe it is because of hobbyists like you and the other guys that have contributed
    so much to this thread. I am enjoying the thread even more now! Hey, with all the carbon fiber that you are
    contemplating using, I suggest to be sure that you use one of the new Jr/Spektrum receivers that are
    specifically made for planes that have an amount of carbon fiber in the construction.

  24. #799

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    RE: Nitromodels PREDATOR RQ-1B

    I get a chuckle whenever I see the specs on the box for a Nitro Predator. It says "Flying Weight 1.2 pounds". Ha ha - mine has no extras (not even ground steering) and weighs in at almost 40 ounces (2.5 pounds) AUW. I suppose the 1.2 pounds is actually the airframe weight.

    By the way, Hobbycity has some of their slightly bigger Predators in stock for $62.40 plus $28 shipping. Theirs is 74" w/s and 34" long, and weighs 560g (= nearly 20 ounces), as opposed to the Nitromodels one at 63" w/s and 42" length.

  25. #800

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    RE: Nitromodels PREDATOR RQ-1B

    Hi I am a brand new member to this site. I have been reading all about building the Predator for the last 3 months.
    keeping an eye on the Nitro website and e-mailing them for stock info. They just keep saying check out site we will restock in 3-5 weeks. The other problem is the very high shipping costs to UK.
    So i have just ordered a preditor on Ebay company called Toyneer in USA as mentioned a couple of days ago.
    So far they have communicated very well and the shipping charge ivery reasonable. (I hope I dont have big customs charges when it gets to UK). If you read Toyneer feedback on E-bay you wil see they are selling these predators like hot cakes.


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