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Inexpesive Electric Retracts

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Old 04-25-2015, 06:23 AM
  #51  
radfordc
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ram3500-RCU said, "Some thing new is just days away. It will be an affordable, yes extremely competitive" and then agreed with, "Buy cheap buy twice."

So which is it? Will the new product be expensive and high quality....or affordable and low quality. Apparently, it can't be both?
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Old 04-25-2015, 07:09 AM
  #52  
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Originally Posted by rcmiket View Post
Buy cheap buy twice. I've found over the years that while more expensive the quality remains long after the price is forgotten.

Mike
Not always true. I've seen expensive cheap also. i.e. Lander gear is expensive compared to the HK units and they don't work very good compared to the HKs. I'm not saying the $8 retract is as good as a Sierra or CJ but I've had good luck with the HK's in my size of aircraft. In electrics the Lado set I have, and you can call them expensive compared to the HKs are a high quality unit and way above the HK. So usually more money means better quality but not always so. I've always thought Robarts to be overpriced for the quality you get. Their plastic bodied retracts are no better than other brands and are $50 more in some cases.

A good friend of mine designed the electronics for electric retracts. He had perfected the circuitry and the motors then sold his design because he couldn't turn down the offer he got. The company who bought his design cheapened up on the components and the gear is not what it should be if they stayed with his components. He is kind of pissed and discouraged by what they did plus he signed a contract so he can't make gear anymore. He makes them for his own plane but won't even make me a set. He told me if they just stayed with the original design that everyone would be very happy with the electric retracts. I know his gear works great and he's never had an issue. He's flying 1/5-1/6 stuff too. Too bad companies take good designs, cheapen them up, then sell them to us, sometimes for a lot of money because we think we're getting quality.
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Old 04-25-2015, 07:15 AM
  #53  
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There was a Southern BC flyer that had his air retracts converted to electric by Down and Locked . Worked fine on the bench but failed to extended prior to landing I think it was due to the flying pressures and one or more of the gear failed to extend; may have been the nose gear. Result was some lost paint on the foreword section. Cause was the drive motors did not have enough power to extend which was changed by Down and Locked and then everything worked fine. This Could be the issue with the cheaper retracts . May work for a few times and then quit at a bad time with either the control board or drive system not being able to take the stresses. Lots of testing before marketing costs money but is a necessity for a successful product.

I have come to the conclusion I prefer the external control box with the drive system being just the motor and gearing system.

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Old 04-25-2015, 12:02 PM
  #54  
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Originally Posted by radfordc View Post
ram3500-RCU said, "Some thing new is just days away. It will be an affordable, yes extremely competitive" and then agreed with, "Buy cheap buy twice."

So which is it? Will the new product be expensive and high quality....or affordable and low quality. Apparently, it can't be both?
High quality AND competitive pricing even against the crappy imported junk. How, ingenious engineering, superior raw materials choices, cost effective manufacturing even for something not made in China for a change, and a good business model.
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Old 04-25-2015, 12:23 PM
  #55  
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Originally Posted by chistech View Post
Not always true. .
Been my experience it's true 99.9% of the time. Your mileage may vari.

Mike
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Old 04-25-2015, 12:32 PM
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I have the old version of the hanger nine p51 that has been rebuilt several times and I have used the real cheap HK retracts that operated for twenty wobbly flights, I now have traded them in for the metal trunion version of the same retract. They while not perfect are better than before but HK is a crap shoot, Bought four of them and three of them worked. Support is non existent from HK. The 5mm studs I have attached to robostruts is soft but usable so far. Definately don't trust in a giant scale master piece,but in a 20 year old arf I'll take my chances. Take risks on the plane but never on the safety of others or yourself.
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Old 04-25-2015, 12:42 PM
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Old 04-25-2015, 01:06 PM
  #58  
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Originally Posted by ram3500-RCU View Post
High quality AND competitive pricing even against the crappy imported junk. How, ingenious engineering, superior raw materials choices, cost effective manufacturing even for something not made in China for a change, and a good business model.
That sounds great. How will you market to people who think that because you're product costs less than the "high price spreads" it must be of lesser quality. Even you agreed that if you "buy cheap, you buy twice".
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Old 04-25-2015, 02:07 PM
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Not my company, not my job to figure that out. But, I have another good saying for you. Experience is the best teacher. The company has the experience along with a stellar reputation. I'm thinking it won't take long to demonstrate the worth and value of the product in the hands of knowledgeable rc enthusiasts.
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Old 04-25-2015, 06:20 PM
  #60  
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If you have a 40+ lb Corsair as i do,you definitely will not trust the "chink" gear ! Sierra or Robart,which i run now are just plain made studier than anything else. The Robart just plain works and keeps on working on air . They ALL require maintenance ,as full size birds do, and if you maintain them they will give you MANY years of great service.
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Old 04-25-2015, 10:06 PM
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If these are the more recent Robart gears I believe that they are using the Down and Locked technology that has been pretty successful . I could be wrong but heard somewhere that Robart bought out Down and Locked.....
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Old 04-26-2015, 04:28 AM
  #62  
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Tony, what HK retract would you suggest for a ~ 8-9 lbs King Kobra (tricycle gear).
And for those who think price=value, the right equation is money=perceived value. Whether the perception is justified or not it is an entirely different matter. Case in point, FrSky Taranis vs. Spectrum...
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Old 04-26-2015, 05:20 AM
  #63  
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ululi1970 -- I use the HK metal trunnion retracts #225000018. The nose gear on my Dirty Birdy is 225000017. I also put a strut on the nose gear and made it work, 344000013. I think if you search these numbers on HK web site, the correct items will pop up. Any problem, let me know, I'll send the link directly.

When I first set up the Birdy I couldn't figure out how to put an electric on the nose because it was tight in there and I couldn't find a product that worked. If you read the article I did on it in modelairplanenews.com you can see how I solved it originally, which wasn't really satisfactory. I kept at it and HK finally came out with a nose gear that fit. I don't use the steering tab they include with the retract. I put a pull-pull on mine, and use 40 pound test fishing line on it. So far, works perfectly.

I use Top Flite struts made for the P-47 or the Mustang 60 on most of the retracts in my planes. 5mm, they plug right in. They cost about $10 for a set. They are tough too.

There's no doubt that the larger planes need strong gear. Robart and others are definitely rugged but very over-priced in my opinion. When I was learning to land my AT-6 I tore up at least two sets of the stock gear that was included in the kit. After 10-12 flights, we put "U" shaped plywood plates over the plastic frames. That did the trick. But electrics are so much better, and I swapped out the mechanicals for the HKs and never went back. Be careful using heavy Robart struts with the HK electrics. If the HKs have a weak link, I think it's the worm drive. The metal seems like it would strip easily if the gear gets jammed and gets banged hard. On my H9 Spitfire I put Robart struts on it originally but they seemed too heavy. I took them off, put the HK struts on because they are lighter. I generally use foam wheels. Robart scale wheels are nice looking, but weigh 2 or 3 X the foam. I've also taken to putting the HK aluminum hub wheels/tires on some planes, and they are light, strong, and cool looking.

Two things I do sometimes with my planes. I do a loop, retract the gear at the top of the loop while inverted, and when I roll out or complete the loop, the wheels are retracted. Always draws some laughs and is easy on the gear. And second, land gently. That's the best suggestion of all.
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Old 04-26-2015, 05:36 AM
  #64  
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Originally Posted by wayneparrish View Post
If you have a 40+ lb Corsair as i do,you definitely will not trust the "chink" gear !
So you wouldn't use a gear rated for 25 lbs in a 40 lb airplane? Who'd a thunk!
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Old 04-26-2015, 06:01 AM
  #65  
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Originally Posted by stegl View Post
If these are the more recent Robart gears I believe that they are using the Down and Locked technology that has been pretty successful . I could be wrong but heard somewhere that Robart bought out Down and Locked.....
Started out that way. Robart now uses Chinese knock-offs of Down and Locked accounting for the problems they are having now). What you heard is false. WAY FALSE.
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Old 04-26-2015, 06:21 AM
  #66  
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Thank you Tony.
I will give them a try. And yes, I was planning to use a U-shaped ply backplate to mount the gear. The King Kobra has a foam core wing and the plate is pretty much the only way to go (with some other tricks) to make sure
the whole thing won't get ripped off.

As for landing gently, that goes without saying, though I am still working on that...
Alberto
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Old 04-26-2015, 06:41 AM
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The "U" shaped plate I was referring to goes on top of the gear and makes a sandwich.
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Old 04-26-2015, 06:55 AM
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Maybe I better clarify myself before I get crapped on too much....LOL Back in 2011 Robart " partnered" ( did not buy)with Down and Locked with their design and at that time used "made in America retract mechanism on their electric retracts with an external control box and not have the control unit on each retract mechanism itself like the Chinese and Eflite (made in china) electric retracts. The mechanical portion of the retract was made by Robart. What they do now; who knows. Once a successful item is made in a country ; quite often it is sourced out to another country because of the buck. Basically it is all in quality control and what is done and how fast it is done to correct flaws. Testing and correction is usually the key to success
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Old 04-26-2015, 03:51 PM
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I guess it would be the same if the U shaped plate is on the other side, making part of the mounting hard point.
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Old 04-27-2015, 04:20 AM
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You want to capture the mounting frame of the retract itself with the wood -- on both sides.
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Old 04-27-2015, 06:53 AM
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While quality and value are often related it is not always a hard and fast rule. I have found that you can often have quality and value depending on the intended use. Another words, what are your expectations for the product? I have purchased many things that were inexpensive and perceived as cheap but performed very well for my intended use. Case in point would be an angle grinder I bought from Harbor Freight for $15 just to use to sharpen my mower blades with. It performs up to my expectations for what I use it for and since I don't count on it to make a living or save my life, then the quality is acceptable for the price. On the other hand I have paid very good money for stuff that should have never been made in the first.place. My Dad was involved with R&D for all his life and I can tell you it is time consuming and expensive, and even when you think you have done it right something pops up that can kill your business. Just look at all the recalls for cars.
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Old 04-27-2015, 07:03 AM
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Originally Posted by Tony Iannucelli View Post
The "U" shaped plate I was referring to goes on top of the gear and makes a sandwich.
Some time ago someone here on RCU offered a set of aluminum brackets and plates to reinforce retracts, for, I think the Top Flite AT-6 ARF. They were offered at $30.00 a set. But, I think most could make the brackets themselves, and I mention the offer because the set wrapped around the retract as well as reinforcing the mounting plate. I think the retracts for which the brackets were made were mechanical, but the concept is valid for the electrics now so popular.

Sincerely, Richard
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Old 04-27-2015, 11:28 AM
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I have been using e-tracts for about 5 years. I find it best to use them and not argue with anyone on QC, cost etc. Its like a subject for some reason of politics.
I have luck up to 15 lbs , and my planes are not $2000, buy many close at $1200 to $1500.
I find much of the USA brands made in the USA have a lot of urban legend behind them when it comes to the reliability in electric. Again not speaking about Sierra, I have that gear in air power and its second to none.
When it comes to electric its getting more and more difficult to get the cheaper retracts because as soon as they come in stock they sell out.
I think supply and demand is a telling sign of performance over the long haul
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Old 04-27-2015, 12:55 PM
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The thing with electrics ; I believe that the durability of motor drive and electronic control board is the big thing as the newer mechanics are getting much better and of course even the "cheap ones" are improving and as they improve upwards so does the pricing.
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Old 04-27-2015, 01:13 PM
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I think the $30 gear from HK rated up to 12 kg was a "well kept secret". But, now the cat's out of the bag and it is getting hard to find them in stock. Like you say, the market will decide if they are a success or not.
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