RCU Review: Dynamic Web Enterprises Mini Stik

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    Contributed by: Greg Covey | Published: December 2003 | Views: 30222 | email icon Email this Article | PDFpdf icon
    Mini Stik

    Review by: Greg Covey

    Dynamic Web Enterprises
    159 Little Robin Road
    Amherst, NY 14228
    (716) 636-4908
    (866) Fly Micro
    Fax: 775-295-1552

    Watch video of the Mini Stik
    6.36 MB

    Excellent Quality
    Good flight response
    Rugged Plug-N-Play design

    Can be tailheavy
    Poor instructions
    Kenway geared motor
    becomes weak

    I've been waiting a long time for a Ready-To-Fly (RTF) 1 ounce micro-plane to come along and the Mini Stik at Dynamic Web Enterprises (DWE) was a perfect plug-n-play solution for their RFFS100 receiver/controller module. Designed by Dan Leonard, this little micro flyer can handle up to 5mph winds, but is more fun to fly indoors or in very calm outdoor conditions.

    When I was given a chance to fly the new Mini Stik at a local indoor meet by DWE owner Dan Hurd, I liked it so much that I had to review it. The Mini Stik can take off the floor, fly loops, or just cruise around calm and slowly. It is a fantastic flyer right out of the box that can take a crash without falling apart!

    16 inches
    Wing Area:
    50 sq. inches
    30 grams
    Kenway M-20 LV geared motor
    10 cm plastic prop

    Plug-n-Play Actuators
    To-Fly less receiver and battery

    Preparing the Model

    The Mini Stick will plug right into a DWE RFFS100 module, or, with a little extra work, can be soldered onto the JMP Combo narrow-band receiver. The model comes packaged in a protective box that can be re-used for storage or safe transporting to the flying area.

    The actuators require
    no alignment in their
    custom coil housing.
    The pre-mounted actuators on the Mini Stik for rudder and elevator control eliminate most of the drudgery associated with a micro-flight project. This is a great feature for entry level micro-flight enthusiasts! The actuators require no aligning since the magnet is held in the center of the coil. The terminated wires simply plug into an RFFS100 module. The elevator and rudder control surfaces can be easily aligned at the field without any tools by sliding the metal rod inside the shrink sleeving.

    The linkage is adjustable at either end by forcing the metal rod in the sleeving.

    The DWE RFFS100 module simply plugs into the Mini Stik.

    The RFFS100 module simply plugs into the Mini Stik. You only need to wire up a single Lithium battery cell.
    Jean-Marie Piednoir (JMP) has designed and produced a new 72 Mhz FM receiver that is narrowband with built in ESC and two actuator drivers for a complete 3 channel system.

    With a little extra work, the JMP Combo receiver (shown with a nickel) can also be made to plug into the terminated wire ends. You can either solder some pin receptacles onto the board or simply solder the actuator pins to the receiver as I did. The advantage of the JMP receiver over the RFFS100 module is that it is a single-conversion narrow band receiver which will reject interference better. This can be advantageous when flying in a group setting.
    Here is an interesting picture showing the size comparison between my 2/3 scale GWS Lite Stik (left), the Mini Stik (center), and part of a GWS Slow Stik (right). The little 16" span Mini Stik seems dwarfed by comparison.

    The Mini Stik wheels even have a GWS-like look to them.
    My plane seems to balance fine with the Kokam 145mAh cell
    and Azarr M-72U antenna up front.
    The Kokam Lithium pack is secured just behind the motor for proper CG

    Here is the RFFS100 module installed in my Mini Stik and a close-up look at my battery and antenna placement. The Kokam 1s2p pack of 145mAh cells is placed just behind the motor for proper CG. The pack weighs 0.3oz with connector.
    The Kenway geared M20 motor is slip mounted on two carbon rods
    The close up photos of the geared M20 motor and mount reveal that it uses two carbon rods for a simple push-on fit. Depending upon the LiPo cell used, you can optionally pull the motor assembly forward to help balance the model. In my case, I used 2 Kokam 145mAh cells in parallel to add a bit of extra weight and increase the flight duration. The 2-cell pack (1s2p) has about a 300mAh total capacity. I also mounted my Azarr M72-U antenna up front on the top side of the fuselage.

    The M20 gearbox has two carbon rods for mounting that are slid "bayonet style" into silicone tubing for the motor mount. Simply grasp the black shrink tubing behind the motor and pull the whole gearbox out about an 1/8" to 1/4", if needed, to help balance the model. You can also give it some down and right thrust by this same method. The silicone tubing acts as a vibration dampener and a quick change motor mount.

    The empty Mini Stik weighs 1.0oz so I'm ready to fly at 1.3oz with my 2-cell 1s2p Kokam 145 pack. I set my Futaba Super 8 transmitter to allow for a 30° swing in either direction for both rudder and elevator.

    Indoor Flight Testing:
    The Mini Stik has plenty of rudder authority for ground steering
    I could easily fly in a small area and loop the plane indoors
    The Mini Stik nears the top of a loop and can turn sharply when needed
    The Mini Stik flies ahead of the GWS Lite Stik.
    Landings can be graceful or hard without damaging the plane

    Outdoor Flight Testing:
    I flew the Mini Stik outdoors in an empty parking lot. It had no problem taking off from the paved surface and I managed to avoid the snow hazards. The colder outside temperature and slight breeze reduced my flying time to about half of the indoor flying time
    (15 minutes outdoors vs. 25 minutes indoors).
    The Mini Stik is a great micro flyer! It will handle up to about five mph winds but is a lot more fun indoors or when it is very calm outside. You can perform touch and goes, loops, and even hammer heads. Assembly time for the plane has been eliminated and it doesn't take long to plug in an RFFS100 or wire up your favorite micro receiver like the JMP Combo receiver with ESC.

    My flight times were about 15 minutes outdoors (in the cold) or 25 minutes indoors using a 300mAh pack. The construction quality was excellent and I was very happy with the care in shipping and reusable packaging design.

    The motor seemed to gain strength after several flights. Initially I heard some bearing noise in the motor but a drop of fine oil eliminated the problem. Overall, I feel this model is a very flexible micro flyer and the design has removed all of the drudgery related to magnetic actuators and building tiny planes. It is a complete joy to fly!

    Dynamic Web Enterprises
    159 Little Robin Road
    Amherst, NY 14228
    (716) 636-4908
    (866) Fly Micro
    Fax: 775-295-1552

    Comments on RCU Review: Dynamic Web Enterprises Mini Stik

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    The comments, observations and conclusions made in this review are solely with respect to the particular item the editor reviewed and may not apply generally to similar products by the manufacturer. We cannot be responsible for any manufacturer defects in workmanship or other deficiencies in products like the one featured in the review.

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