Electric Training If you are new to electric learn more about them here or ask questions.

ParkZone J-3 Cub Electric 3ch Beginner ?

Reply

Old 07-30-2005, 01:49 PM
  #1  
cirduck
Junior Member
Thread Starter
 
Join Date: Jun 2004
Location: granbury, TX
Posts: 3
Gallery
My Gallery
Models
My Models
Ratings
My Feedback
Default ParkZone J-3 Cub Electric 3ch Beginner ?

Howdy All !

First Post Anywhere RE: R/C Air. Bear with me as I intoduce myself. I am an 'older'
gentleman (57 but who's counting ? lol) that built and flew freeflight, U-control, single, two and 3 channel airplanes for the biggest part of life; off-n-on. Built several for my kids and me - the last a motor glo powered Goldberg Glider (3 ch) about 10 yrs ago.

As kids got older with other interests, and went to H.S. and college, expenses kept me from pusuing this interest - other than reading about it and day-dreaming. Now that one has completed schooling, one near finished with college, and the youngest half way through university the wife said "just buy one !' so I did, settling on the J-3 Electric Cub from ParkZone. ( I don't have a lot of time to build, and much of my equipment would need replacing )

Out of the box, the rudder would not zero at neutral trim (slight left) although nearly full right trim would correct. The instruction manual (not as complete as it should be, IMO) says it would still be ok to fly in this condition, but my instincts said "no way" so I adjusted the clevis at the rudder horn until satisfied.

I live well out in the country (and have most of my adult life) so I learned literally seat-of-the pants the hard way to fly. Only much later as an adult did I join AMA (off and on a couple times) but time/distance kept me from participating in local clubs. I am self-taught; but I don't necessarily recommend that approach to R/C or even U-Control Flight - READILY recommend seeking assistance if it is available.

First Flights last Sunday (Jul 24), wind very light with occassional light gusts; not calm but nearly so. She took to the air as if born for it and tracked straight away from a hand-launch with a noticeable sustained climb at full power (not really a shallow climb, but not alarming either). Thank the Lord above I remembered one of the first 'Rules'
Get Up ! (altitude). I was most pleased with myself as I gently turned her to the right, leveled and chopped throttle to about 1/2 as she was quicker than I really wanted her to be (wanted SLO for my first time back in over a decade !). As I input my second turn to the right (at this slower speed) the response was markedly slower and I was guilty of over-controlling resulting in a near wing-over losing 40-50 feet even with the Mode 1 coupling (slight up elevator coupled to rudder input) active. NOTE to Self and Others:
This plane does not self correct as a trainer or sailplane would ! Some input is going to be required ! Worse, as the Cub was now comming back parrellel to me, in my panic
I momentarily lost correct orientation giving reverse (improper) input than as desired - I luckily recovered a mere 15 - 20 foot above the ground !!

Gaining altitude and easing the throttle back up to about 2/3 I let her go out some before turning again. Whew ! Man-o-Man am I RUSTY !! I wallowed around for 5 or 6 minutes making lazy BIG turns while my heart rate returned to a more normal setting.
The manual says to bring her in nice 'n level chopping throttle at about 10 feet, thence holding slight up elevator. Did so once only ! The landing thus attained is still quite rough - hard actually. Knocked off my battery cover and spinner, and popped off two rubber bands. Very minor (no damage really, other than a small nose scuff) but distressing.

Having also purchased a second battery pack, I readied the little Cub for another flight
(and feeling more humble) while the first pack re-charged. This time I took my time getting more acquainted with control and kept throttle at 2/3 after climb-out, except for landing. No stunts attempted, just lazy turns, gentle climbs and dives. For landing I started well out and eased her down at 1/2 throttle following base turn. At about 10 feet I cut throttle to about 1/3 and thence slowly eased off. When the cub was about 5 feet and nearly in front me I then cut throttle, and input up elevator at about 2 foot. Almost too much flare, but the landing was not nearly as rough.

Made four more flights practicing control and slo flight at 1/2 and 2/3 throttle except landing as above. Landings much better now !! Getting the hang of that final flare.

This morning under light wind took her out for two more lazy flights. More confident in my control inputs but still have her in Mode 1. Took her up a third time and this time (wild hair, I guess) I tried a loop at full throttle. Nearly lost her on top (stalling) but recovered without a scare this time. Going around twice I tried again, this time entering from a shallow but real dive. Wasn't pretty but she did it ! And that's when I decided I JUST HAD TO WRITE THIS POST !

Am I pleased with this little Cub ? Yes ! Is she gentle ? Yes ! Is she a trainer ? NO.
Is this Cub suitable for a begginner ? Sorry ParkZone, but if no previous 2 ch experience or better, you need to seek some assistance. Will she take a lot of time to learn ? No. Can she get you in trouble if not paying attention ? Yes.

Overall Value per $$ B+. Overall Fun A. Major shortcommings: 1. Manual could do better. 2. Rechargeable Trans Batteries would add little to overall cost and would be worth it.
cirduck is offline  
Reply With Quote
Old 08-02-2005, 04:21 PM
  #2  
L0stS0ul
Senior Member
 
L0stS0ul's Avatar
 
Join Date: Mar 2005
Location: Ashburn, VA
Posts: 599
Gallery
My Gallery
Models
My Models
Ratings
My Feedback
Default RE: ParkZone J-3 Cub Electric 3ch Beginner ?

Sounds like a pretty successful maiden for ya. The cub was my second real plane after graduating from the Hobbyzone Firebird commander. I've only crashed the cub one time badly due to a distraction that caused me to loose sight of the plane. From now on I don't take my eyes off the plane ever. I'd like to make 2 recommendations to you.

1. Upgrade the landing gear to 2 inch foam wheels. I used dubro super light wheels and the extra clearance is great.
2. Upgrade the prop to a GWS EP 8060 Slow Flyer prop.

I use those 2 upgrades and the plane can now take of from the ground easy. You'd be surprised how much better the performance is with the 8060. Some people have gone up to the 9070 but even with the 2 inch wheels I still scrape the ground on landing with the prop. 8060 is just fine for me.

Looping the plane is fun but there are a few other things you can do with it. Try some inverted flight sometime. The plane hates it but it's fun to try and beat your last best time for inverted flight. Another thing that is fun is to do snap rolls with it. Basically get it up high (cause this is an uncontrolled manuever) and then pull the stick back and to the right fully. The plane will stall and wing over very fast. You can get it into some crazy situations like that and it's tons of fun to recover. I know one day the plane will eat dirt with me doing these things but hey that's what it's for hehe. It's done it's job and I learned a ton on it.

Good luck to you. Have fun. It's a great plane.
L0stS0ul is offline  
Reply With Quote
Old 08-02-2005, 09:38 PM
  #3  
Spare Parts
Junior Member
 
Join Date: Oct 2004
Location: McLean, VA
Posts: 1
Gallery
My Gallery
Models
My Models
Ratings
My Feedback
Default RE: ParkZone J-3 Cub Electric 3ch Beginner ?

Congratulations on your successful flights! I learned to fly on the Cub about one year ago. I didn't have any help, so needless to say, I crashed quite a bit. But I still enjoy flying the Cub.

As a couple of suggestions, you might try a prop saver. You can either make your own, or buy some for a few dollars. The prop saver keeps you from bending the drive shaft if your prop hits the ground. I have straightened out my fair share of bent shafts, but the prop saver ended that problem. If you get really adventurous, you can rig the Cub to drop parachute men or use the add on modules that HobbyZone makes. You'd need to do a little soldering on the circuit board (need to add a connector to the circuit board-where the white tab sticks up is where you'd connect the module) and pick up a transmitter that is designed to handle the module (they are sold for $26 and they were intended for the Aerobird Challenger-use the same Cub Channel/frequency). Once you attach the module to the underside, you can drop parachute guys, or bombs or even use the lighting system or combat module (if you want to Dogfight against other Cubs-for some reason).

If you ever crash you Cub, don't throw away the parts. You can either rebuild a new one, or despite opinion to the contrary, all of the components can be moved over to a Slow Stick by GWS. I've crashed enough Cubs that I have made SS's for several friends. Now we use SS's with Cub parts to have Dogfights, try to crash into one another, and just plain old have fun.

Anyway you look at it, the Cub is just one great plane!

Spare Parts

PS You're lucky to have a wife that encouraged you to go buy a plane. I'd hang on to her!
Spare Parts is offline  
Reply With Quote
Old 08-04-2005, 06:01 PM
  #4  
cirduck
Junior Member
Thread Starter
 
Join Date: Jun 2004
Location: granbury, TX
Posts: 3
Gallery
My Gallery
Models
My Models
Ratings
My Feedback
Default RE: ParkZone J-3 Cub Electric 3ch Beginner ?

Howdy Lost !

Yeah, as she sits no realistic expectation of a successful ROG takeoff. Tried a couple but really no way even off paved surface.

Have come to the same conclusion re: larger wheels, so I really appreciate your input regarding the DuBro ultra lite 2" foamies.

LOL ! A tip-stall 'snaproll' is most likely capable by the this neat little Cub - as I found out the hard way on flite #1. May have to try one or two deliberately rather than by accident.

As for inverted . . . . I think I'll practice a bit more first, lol. Some loops when I stretched out on top some have shown me that your statement "she doesn't like it"
is likely right on the money lol !

Right now, I am going to stay with the factory prop. More than enough thrust for my rusty thumbs presently - actually very honest when mentioned I'd rather do slo and lazy until I shake the rust off. However - I will take your suggestion re: the GWS props
into serious consideration as I gain more air time.

Thankyou greatly for your insightful reply !
cirduck is offline  
Reply With Quote
Old 08-04-2005, 06:13 PM
  #5  
cirduck
Junior Member
Thread Starter
 
Join Date: Jun 2004
Location: granbury, TX
Posts: 3
Gallery
My Gallery
Models
My Models
Ratings
My Feedback
Default RE: ParkZone J-3 Cub Electric 3ch Beginner ?

Howdy SpareParts !

Yes I can easily see how a newbie would "crash-burn" with this little ParZone Cub without some assistance. I thankyou for the 'congrats' - but you deserve more of the same because you didn't give up ! While I DO like this little Cub a lot, now, I can honestly say I would not recommend it for a brand new newbie.

One question though - and I'm a returning member to the R/C Air Fraternity, so forgive me a stupid question, I am not familiar with a prop drive saver. Sounds very much like a worthwhile addition (even as I hope I never NEED one, lol). How and where can I get or build one ?

Thanks !!
cirduck is offline  
Reply With Quote
Old 01-03-2006, 08:14 PM
  #6  
thinx2much
Junior Member
 
Join Date: Nov 2005
Location: Memphis, TN
Posts: 10
Gallery
My Gallery
Models
My Models
Ratings
My Feedback
Default RE: ParkZone J-3 Cub Electric 3ch Beginner ?

Cirduck,

I, too think that congrats are in order. I'll add my experience to it, and it should make you feel even more proud.

I come from a family that drives, flies, operates, controls, and invents all kinds of stuff. Two uncles still build and fly real airplanes from scratch, and they are in their late 70's. Up until now, I thought I had inherited that gene. I have never met a vehicle, toy, or machine that I can't operate quite well. It's part of my identity. I've competed at a local level in everything from skateboards and bikes to cars and boats. I've never caused a crash with any vehicle, never lost control. I've saved other people's lives from the mistakes they make on the road. I don't know why I never got into this hobby before, but on my 37th bday, wifey bought me a ParkZone cub. I didn't have anything to compare it to, or any experience whatsoever. I memorized the manual and took the bird out to a big open space. I did have the same issue with the rudder being off center. I used a small, long strip of tape attached to the side of the fuse to add enough pressure to align it. Worked well.

Maiden: I did great! Boy, it was faster than I thought it would be. Then, after my first perfect turn, with the thing pointing at me, I got my directions confused, panicked, and flew her into the ground, hard, from about 100 ft up. Rebuilding was fun, except that the plastic inside the fuse that holds all the gear was very cheap and brittle, and didn't hold repairs well. But I got her back almost to perfect.

2nd Flight: Caught a gust of wind just after launch that sent her off course farther than the control thows could overcome. Crashed, but not hard. Cracked the nose. That's what tape is for. Decided too windy to take a chance, took her home.

3rd Attempt: MUCH better. One turn, two, three, motor stopped. I started floating her down, just right, motor kicked back in full throttle while I had lots of control input going on, hit the ground hard with motor at 100%. Total rebuild. New fuselage, shaft, gearbox, cowl, battery door, etc. Gearbox off a few degrees starboard, but LHS says is normal. Bought a second battery. I'm an optimist.

4th Attempt: Now I'm a little weary.... My confidence is a little....., well, little. No wind. Everything checks out perfectly. Back in the air! two or three pretty good turns later the motor cuts off, then on, then off, etc. I shut it down, but was headed toward some trees at the time, and you can guess the rest. More tape, back in the air. Same thing. Go home, test motor. Fine. Back in the air, same thing. Range test over and over, fine. Back in the air, same thing. Take a deep breath, go home. Try another day. Took to LHS for help diagnosis, checked out fine.

5th Attempt: Same thing. But by now, I'm p.o.'d, and I keep trying to fly the darn thing anyway. Basically, I destroyed the plane that day.

The next week at the LHS buying heli parts (yes, I'm a glutton for punishment, but I was doing pretty good on my Blade CP heli) the manager says probably the radio gear was the problem. Instead of buying more parts, he made me a good offer on a new one in the box. I took it, but got it's sister the Super Decathlon. When I opened the box, I was very pleasantly surprised. It is much higher quality, even though the same company & price. Looks much better, more solid, better components. I was pleased, but also still a little cautious.

Went back and bought a simulator- Real Flight G-3. Then I had to go buy a new computer to run it. Then I had to go get a better graphics card for my new computer so it would really run it. At this point, the wife is starting to look at me as if I don't know what I'm doing... She's totally right. There really wasn't anything in the sim that compared to the Cub or Decathlon, but I still practised my tail off on everything. I can now fly every plane in the sim without crashing, in 10 mph wind with 16-18 mph gusts. I have spent probably 40 hours on the sim, just practicing the basics.

6th Attempt: Shiny new plane, beautiful day, though just a little windy. Beautiful take off, climb, turn, and I brought her down and landed just so I could say I flew it, which to me requires a safe, deliberate landing. Wind started gusting, and dust was flying from a construction site, so I did something totally out of character, and took her home.

7th Attempt: Today, actually. Ate lunch in the car and took her to a football field. Light winds, probably 5-8 mph. All tests perfect. Great take off from the parking lot (I taped a 1/2" piece of dowl to the tail to protect the skin- no wheel there,) nice gentle flight into the wind. Made 2 good passes down the field. Then on the third, left rudder wouldn't work. Quick thinking, I made a wide right one instead and brought her back around, cut power and landed. Since I couldn't use right rudder, the wind pushed it a bit and I cought some prop and loosened one of the friction-fit landing gear. Tested perfect. Tried again. Left rudder worked, then didn't. I couldn't pull her out that time. Crashed. Taped, tested, flew. Crashed.

On the cub, I was convinced that after the first crash, it was mostly mechanical failure. This time, I just don't know. I'm spooked. For xmas, the wife bought me a gorgeous EFlite mini-edge 540, brushless, lipo, everything, just waiting to be put together. I'm afraid, though. Very afraid. If I build it, I might actually try and fly it. And if that happens...

Anyway, sorry for the long note, but you should be proud. You are a better man than I.



thinx2much is offline  
Reply With Quote
Old 01-05-2006, 12:41 PM
  #7  
Leo L
Senior Member
 
Join Date: Oct 2005
Location: Flushing, NY
Posts: 783
Gallery
My Gallery
Models
My Models
Ratings
My Feedback
Default RE: ParkZone J-3 Cub Electric 3ch Beginner ?

Sounds like you might be getting radio interference. Since both the Cub and Super D are on 27 mhz, any interference on that freqency would cause problems with both planes. I presume that your wife included a new radio system for your mini-edge. Before flying the mini, try putting the new components into the Super D. If the plane still has problems, you'll know that it wasn't the radio. If it flies well, you can practice with it until you get better, and then move up to the mini. Either way you win.
Leo L is offline  
Reply With Quote
Old 01-05-2006, 01:27 PM
  #8  
thinx2much
Junior Member
 
Join Date: Nov 2005
Location: Memphis, TN
Posts: 10
Gallery
My Gallery
Models
My Models
Ratings
My Feedback
Default RE: ParkZone J-3 Cub Electric 3ch Beginner ?

Leo-

I thought about that, which is why I went to 2 different fields which both range tested great, but I think you are probably right anyway. For the Mini-Edge, I bought the brand spankin' new Spektrum DX6 kit. How's that for a jump- 27 mhz to 2.4 ghz. That was one of the reasons I bought it. It only came with one receiver of course (itty-bitty thing, too, can barely fit the servo plugs in it,) and I have that in a heli. Helis don't glide well without power, so I'm keeping it there for now. I've got 2 more receivers backordered since mid-December, but they don't even have a date yet. Plus they are $60 a pop, and then you have to buy a speed control, which if you're going to do that, might as well upgrade the motor, and.... it never stops, does it?

A local member of a club with 20 years exp. has offered to instruct me, so I'll start from scratch this weekend. I'm really looking forward to it. Trying on my own I had to make alot of assumptions, and probably did some things that are going to look pretty silly after I see them fly... I'm probably going to have them fly the Decathlon this weekend. It doesn't have a buddy box connection. I just want to make sure that it IS set up correctly, and see how they handle it. They all fly nitro, of course, so it'll be a mosquito to them.

thinx2much is offline  
Reply With Quote

Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off


Thread Tools
Search this Thread

Contact Us Archive Advertising Cookie Policy Privacy Statement Terms of Service