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BJ Craft Agenda w/Brenner V4 Drive

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Old 04-14-2017, 11:19 AM
  #1
TonyF
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Default BJ Craft Agenda w/Brenner V4 Drive

Okay, I know the Agenda has been around for a while. I've seen a lot of very happy pilots with G2 models. But until recently I wasn't one of them. But BJ has sent me an Agenda so I thought I'd share my techniques and experiences with it. I may be repeating stuff that is already out there and I am going in to some detail. But maybe I'll help someone out there.

Here it is out of the box. It's been a while since I've received one and BJ Craft has greatly improved their shipping container. Very well packed. I suppose someone will always figure out a way to damage one but this box did a good job on mine.

First job was to take the V4 Drive and the Kontronik 650 motor out of the Episode to begin the Agenda installation. I took the time to thoroughly clean the drive. Looks like a lot of parts but the V4 actually has a lower parts count then the V3.

In the Episode I used the thin carbon fiber triangle mount that the V3's came with to mount the motor. I decided I wanted a larger footprint for this installation so I used a different mounting plate that I had on hand. I had to do a little grinding for it to fit the 4mm screws used on the 650 motor. Note the marking defining top and front. I like to keep track of that in case any asymmetry should creep in.

Here's the drive unit slipped on to the front of the motor. It mounts like a lot of prop drivers on electric motors, with a split collet.

I had a template for the installation of a V3 unit in to an Agenda that I did earlier for Matt Griffitt. I had to do a little geometry drawing on it to locate the center. I could then locate the four holes for the new mount on to the template. Once done with that I could drill for the 6-32 aluminum screws used to mount it on to the wood. I just use a good grade of 5-ply 1/8" plywood for this mount. Others go exotic with carbon but I'm cheap. And wood is a lot easier to work with then carbon. And it is plenty strong enough for the job. Removing the pounding vibration from an IC engine also helps a lot.

Note the four donuts to mount the blind nuts to the former. They are 1/4" 5-ply.
I was a machinist in my youth so many of these techniques come from that background. Plus I always did well with geometry!
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Last edited by TonyF; 04-14-2017 at 11:25 AM.
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Old 04-14-2017, 11:24 AM
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Now I took the 1/16" ply nose ring spacer I made up several installations ago and lightly tack glue it to the nose. Just three very small spots of medium CA is what I used. This creates the slight spinner gap you need for a smooth running system.
BTW, the airplane is exactly as I received it from BJ Craft. I'll note when I have to do any work on it.
Now the motor with the former bolted on using the vibration dampeners is slipped in to the fuse from the back. The drive unit is then installed on to the motor, making sure it is seated all the way back on the motor shaft. Then the backplate of the drive is centered up on to the fuse and taped in place.



After taping everything in place, the former and motor should be slightly loose in the fuse. You should be able to rock the motor slightly. You do not want any pressure between the fuse and the former at this point. If you do, it is very likely to distort things and the motor will not stay aligned after you glue the former and remove the tape. So for here, slightly loose is good!
Building turbine jets a few years back I was introduced to Loc-Tite Hysol 9462 epoxy. It is by far the best adhesive to use when gluing to a fuse. Good for a lot of other things, also. Big thing about it is that it is thixotropic, which is a $10 word for it stays in place. It will not run or sag. It comes in the tubes and you use a gun to expel the glue. Before that you install a tip on to the gun that mixes the epoxy as it goes out the tip. I try to keep my glue jobs reasonably neat so after I get the glue in place I try to clean it up using mixing stick and Q-tips.
Here it is after gluing. OK, not my neatest job, but it was late at night! Last pic was this morning after removing the tape.
BTW, when the glue is drying, do not leave the fuse horizontal. Put it on the tail and block it up so the nose is pointing straight up. This will relieve any stress from the weight of the motor that might deform things causing a loss of alignment.
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Old 04-15-2017, 05:08 PM
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J Lachowski
 
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Mine has just over 150 flights on it with the 650-830 and V4 on 22X20 and 22X22 Falcons. Dave Snow assembled mine. Just make sure the wing and stab alignment are on. Dave had to reset the stab alignment on it. I hated the plane early on. Turned out I was flying it too slow. I don't even use the brake, just a low idle and is a happier flying setup for me. It is just a draggier airframe in comparison to my Allure. I also fly it with 6000ma packs. Also have an Invitation. Dave had to reset stab on it, as well. Agenda is much easier to fly with the Contra in comparison to the Invitation on a 3-blade.

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Old 05-10-2017, 10:23 AM
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So on to the rear support. The needle bearing in the grommet has worked for me so that's what I'll use here. The frame is held in the fuse with the rubber grommets and the formers glued in to the fuse. I like to make everything up outside the plane then fit it to the fuse assembled. Just as with the front former don't have it tight anywhere. I had to do a little grinding here and there to get it right before I glued it in with the Hysol.

Here's the nozzle I use when I glued this stuff in. BTW, after using it if you put it in the freezer it will stay good for a day or two. You can take it out and re-use it. I warm it up a bit with a heat gun after taking it out of the freezer. I also mark it and the cap so I know what orientation to install it.

I like to use some of the Hysol around the landing gear mounts. Just a little insurance if you have a rough landing. When this glue cures I'll remove the rear support and the power system and glue everything up solid on both sides of the formers. Now on to other stuff!
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Old 05-10-2017, 10:28 AM
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The last few pattern models I have done I've installed a removable battery tray. I make it out of a good grade of 1/8" 5-ply plywood. The cross pieces are 1/4" carbon fiber tubes. The mounting pieces are 3/8" plywood, with the front hold-downs 1/8" ply. I saw this system on another plane and I really liked it. If you have to do work on the model it's nice to be able to remove the tray. Plus If I need to change the position for CG I can make up another tray. And it's pretty simple to make.

Once it's in place I use the Hysol on the 3/8" mounts to permanently attach them to the fuse.
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Old 05-10-2017, 06:45 PM
  #6
Bubblehead575
 
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I clean out my Hysol nozzles by taking a little plastic tubing and a syringe (without needle) and flush it with Acetone. I use a jar filled with Acetone and draw the syringe full, then connect the tubing to the Syringe and nozzle. Then flush the nozzle into the jar containing the Acetone. I then refill the syringe and flush it again. I then just leave tube connected and draw and flush through the nozzle until clean.

I have be using the same nozzle for several years. and half a dozen or more planes.
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Old 05-11-2017, 08:42 AM
  #7
rm
 
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I really like that trey mounting method. So simple.
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Old 05-11-2017, 09:51 PM
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Sorry for the slow updates, but RCU is getting increasingly difficult for me on my 10 yr old computer! BTW, I am much further along on my Facebook page.

This is the first pattern model where I am doing everything in the order that I like. It is much easier to install the motor mounts and battery tray before anything else on the fuse is done. Now that they are done I like to do the rudder hinging. I like to hinge the rudder with pin type hinges. This lets me use a long piece of 1/32" wire for the hinge and allows the rudder to be removed if needed. I start with locating the positions of the 4 hinges on the already beveled and covered rudder. I cut a slit with an X-Acto knife at each location. I then cut a bevel at each location to allow for the barrel of each hinge. Then I use a saw blade to open up the slit for the hinge to fit. Each of the hinges are coated with vaseline at the hinge barrel and then slid on to the 1/32" wire. I then use 5-min epoxy to glue them in to the rudder. Let the epoxy sit for 1/2 to 1 hour, letting it fully harden. It will then allow the hinges to crack loose and be free. Now I mark an accurate centerline on to the fin, mark the hinge locations and cut a knife slit. I use the saw blade to widen the slot and cut the chamfers for the hinge barrel. Then I install the rudder on to the fin, sliding the hinges in to the slots.
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Old 05-11-2017, 09:58 PM
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Now is when you have to check the accuracy of the hinge slots. Most of the time the centering of the rudder to the fin will not be correct. Now is the time to check that and adjust the hinge slots with the saw blade to move the rudder sideways until it is centered. First pic shows the rudder off center. Then the remaining show a correctly set rudder. Sorry for the somewhat poor pic quality.

I like to use the hysol for gluing the hinges in to the fin. It is an excellent bond plus it gives me plenty of time to get things positioned correctly. I use a short nozzle tip and insert glue in to the hinge slots, then some on to the hinge. On the hinge just make sure glue is in the holes of the hinge and then just some on each side. Only put some on the tip of the hinge. You don't want too much clogging things up. I insert all of the hinges about 1/2 way, then using Q-tips I clean off the excess glue. I then slide the rudder all the way on to the fin. Again using q-tips I clean off any excess glue, then tape the rudder in place, making sure it is centered on the fin. Now you let it set overnight and once cured it will be cracked loose and you'll be good to go.
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Old 05-11-2017, 10:03 PM
  #10
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Using the templates BJ Craft supply with each model, I now mark off and cut the cooling holes. I used a pic on BJ's website to locate the holes. I put masking tape on the fuse where the holes will be located. On the lower side holes I can tape the template in place then run a sharp knife around the inside of the hole to cut the tape. It's actually good to put a little pressure on the knife and score the paint when you do this. That makes it less likely that the paint will chip when the hole is cut out.

Once I've done the knife work I remove the template and the tape from the inside of the holes. This leaves a great guide to use when cutting the holes in to the fuse. Tape is put on to the fuse at the locations for the front intake hole and the bottom exit holes. There's no real good way to tape the templates down so you use them to mark the tape.
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Old 05-11-2017, 10:09 PM
  #11
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To cut the holes I use a dremel with a carbide bit. I use an 110vAc dremel as I don't think the battery powered ones I've had turn up fast enough. The faster these things turn the less likely they will grab and make that big huge hole I'm sure many of us have done before. I use the dremel to rough out the holes then a selection of Perma-Grit tools to finish them. This makes for nicely finished work keeping things looking neat.

I started with the intake holes. I first cut away the tape on the marked lines. Then grind out the holes with the dremel and use the perma-grit tools for the finish. I then take some 400 or 320 sandpaper and give the edges a light sanding.

Now 16 more holes to go!
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Old 05-11-2017, 10:11 PM
  #12
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Next I installed the landing gear legs. I was happy to see that gone are the days when you had to work on the fuselage openings to install the gear. I didnít have to open anything up. But not gone is the difficulty in getting the gear bolted in. It is really fiddly to get the backing plate with the blind nuts installed in the correct position so that it engages the bolts. What helped for me was to use slightly longer bolts then supplied and grind a point on them. This acts as a lead and makes engaging the nuts much easier.

I was a little tempted to do what I have done in the past, and that is to glue the blind nut plate to the LG leg. You then have to cut a clearance slot in the fuse for the plate to slide in with the gear leg. Itís underneath the gear so it doesnít look that bad. But I wanted to keep this fuse pristine so I fiddled with the gear until it was mounted.
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Old 05-21-2017, 06:14 PM
  #13
TonyF
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I think the wheel pants on the BJ Craft planes have gotten kind of a bad rep. If done correctly I think it is a great system. I have never broken a pant after I learned the right way to do this system. In most of the BJ Craft kits there is a plywood sheet that has some small donuts laser cut. This kit didnít have them so I made some out of 1/8Ē ply. These donuts are glued in to the wheel pant where the bolt goes through. Vaseline up the bolt, slide it and the donuts in to the pant as in the pic. Use just a bit of CA to tack glue the donuts to the pant. Then, and this is important, glue them in using Hysol. Put a filet of epoxy all the way around the donut. DONíT be tempted to just use CA. It will break loose and the pant will slowly be destroyed. Now for the installation of the wheel and pant. Sorry for the poor quality of the pics. I didnít look at them until after everything was done! Take the long bolt supplied and partially insert it in to the wheel pant. Once it is in install two flat washers. These center the wheel in the opening. Then run the bolt through the wheel until it is just sticking out of the hub. Then take one of the locknuts, run a bolt through it once, and install it on to the axle bolt. It is installed with the plastic locking ring engaging the bolt first, putting the flat side of the nut against the ply donut. I use a pair of hemostats to hold the nut as I work it in. You will have to spread the pant open more to get it all in. Once the nut has engaged the bolt, continue screwing it in until it tightens against the wheel, and then back it off a bit to keep the wheel free to turn. An issue I see with a lot of BJ Craft models is that the wheel pant assembly moves around. This ability to rotate is why I like the system. If you hit a bump the pant will move instead of breaking. But you donít want it to mode on the slightest touch. So I glue a piece of 120 grit sandpaper to the LG strut. This adds friction to help keep the pant in alignment. Once that is glued on, bolt the assembly to the leg using a washer and a locknut. Tighten it up using a nutdriver, keeping the axle bolt still. Once itís tight, check the wheel to see if it still is free to spin. If not, grab the inside nut with those hemostats and back the axle bolt off a bit until it is free. Doing the installation this way works well and keeps the pants in alignment.
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Old 05-23-2017, 03:30 PM
  #14
TonyF
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To finish off the landing gear I installed the tail wheel. The supplied tail wheel assembly works great if installed correctly. I start with gluing in the nylon pivot bearing. It has threads on it, but donít be tempted to screw it in to the fuse. Youíre likely to break something back there. I cut a hole in to the fuse that allows the bearing to slip in. I then Hysol it in place. Make sure to put a piece of masking tape on the end of the bearing. This will keep any Hysol from entering the pivot hole.

Once the glue cured you can then install the tailwheel strut. Make sure to loc-tite all the setscrews when assembling it. Then drill the hole in the fuse for the screw that holds the bracket in place. A #70 drill will do the trick.

I do something a little different then the supplied parts for the tailwheel steering. Iíll cover that later.
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Old 05-23-2017, 03:33 PM
  #15
TonyF
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BJ Craft supplies two wing adjusters with the kit. The intent is to mount the wing using just these two, fly the model, make any adjustments, then glue in the parts for the remaining two locations. I prefer to use adjusters at all 4 spots right from the get-go. This keeps the wing solid throughout the trimming process.

I actually prefer the supplied adjusters, but I didnít have 4, so I used the two BJ adjusters in the front and two Gator adjusters in the rear. Make sure that you get all the slop out of the Gator adjuster by making sure that the screw is properly tightened. After this was tight I found there was still a little play where the centerpiece was rocking on the adjustment bolt. So I carefully put a little thin CA in to the threads. Once it cured I could break it loose and the play was gone. If you get too much CA on yours and glue it solid, please donít blame me!

The BJ craft adjusters need to be centered and the bolt tightened up. They are then ready to glue on to the fuse. The Gators need a mounting plate. I guess you could bolt them directly to the fuse, but they need to be angled slightly to accommodate the fuse taper. I made some mounts out of 1/8 ply and then some spacers out of balsa that I sanded to the correct angle.

BTW, the tool in the last pic is invaluable. It is a Great Planes product and it works great for marking hole locations. It has a long 1/16Ē drill with the cones and spring. Get one if you donít already have it.
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Old 05-23-2017, 03:36 PM
  #16
TonyF
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Here are the finished mounts for the Gator adjusters.
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