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control feel

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Old 07-09-2005, 01:20 PM
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former spad
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Default control feel

How is a plane / radio set up to get a good "control feel"? I put this question in this thread because it seems a lot of guys here have much experience. I realize "feel" of the tx sticks is a very subjective. I seem to have a lot of difficulty getting it right in different planes, so I am going to list the factors I am aware of and see if anyone else can provide additional insights.

1 eliminate linkage slop and use strong / fast servos
2 use servo EPA close to max and adust pushrod linkage mechanically to get desired maximum control surface throw
3 use D/R settings to obtain settings needed for different flight modes ie landing vs 3D
4 use EXPO to reduce sensitivity of tx stick around neutral (typically no EXPO is needed on low rates)
5 use aerobatic trim charts to set CG, engine thrust, wing incidence etc
5 use premixes to minimize bad aerodynamic tendencies
6 DON'T CRASH before you can get it all figured out (This is my biggest problem)
7 Stick with one specific design until you get it right

I wonder if having 5 point curve programing of contol surfaces is more helpful than basic D/R and EXPO. My tx does not have 5 point curves for control surface channels. Do different brand tx's have different responses to changing D/R and EXPO?

Any other suggestions?
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Old 07-09-2005, 03:22 PM
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Default RE: control feel

The Futaba and Hitec radios I use both have %s for expo and D/R, variable in 1 or 2 % increments. As for stick feel. I suggest you throw away some, not all, of your criteria and simply set things up so it feels right for YOU.

Dr.1
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Old 07-09-2005, 04:42 PM
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Default RE: control feel

My question is "HOW" to set up plane / radio for best feel, which ones do you think are NOT important?
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Old 07-09-2005, 09:22 PM
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Default RE: control feel

Getting your thows right is the easiest and most noticeable thing to do. It drives me nuts to fly a plane with throws out from where I think they should be. If your plane is somewhat fast, give reduced aileron and elevator throws a shot for a few flights. I think most pilots use way too much throw on such planes -- but if you don't like it, switch back!

Also for faster planes, it's really important to have high rates for landing since your landing speed is so much different from cruising.

After that, I've found CG to be really important, particularly for landing. Nose heavy makes you sink more and makes the plane not want to flair, tail heavy makes it flighty and the stall nastier.

The rest I mostly consider fine tuning (unless it's way out of whack..). What you want to fix depends on how you fly your plane -- you might check the pattern, 3d, or pylon racing forums depending on which most closely matches your flying

Oh yeah -- on fast servos, I actually prefered the way one of my models flew with slower aileron servos; makes it feel a little smoother. This was a jet that wouldn't look right rolling abruptly, like I said it's all about what seems right to *you*
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Old 07-09-2005, 10:18 PM
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Dr1Driver
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Default RE: control feel

My question is "HOW" to set up plane / radio for best feel, which ones do you think are NOT important?

OK, here's what you want. Set up the linkage for best possible mechanical advantage to the servo. That means a short servo arm and longer control surface horn. Be sure all your linkages are as friction and slop free as possible. Use mechanical settings to limit or adjust control throws before you use electronic ones.

Now, I WILL tell you which ones I think aren't important. I think exponential is far superior to dual rates. It's always on, so it's available without having to flip a switch. It's infinitely adjustable and comes on smoothly so there's no sudden jump like there is between D/R settings. Also, you never have to search for a switch or wonder which position the switch is in during the flight.

Balance the plane farther forward for a softer, less responsive feel to control movement. Conversely for a quick response. Don't go beyond 25% to 33% either way.

Learn throttle management. Speed makes a BIG difference in how a plane responds.

Build your plane straight and square. A straight plane always flys better.

Build your plane light. A light plane flys better, too.

Dr.1
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Old 07-10-2005, 10:47 AM
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Jim Thomerson
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Default RE: control feel

If you really want to feel the airplane flying, you will need some wires between your handle and the bellcrank in the airplane.

Sorry, I couldn't resist.

Jim
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Old 07-11-2005, 07:35 PM
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Default RE: control feel

Since my transmitter has 4 sticks, 13 buttons, 8 switches, and 2 knobs, my hands are pretty full. Would you recommend I hold the U control handle in my teeth or between my knees?
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