Go Back  RCU Forums > Radios, Batteries, Clubhouse and more > Control Lines
 1/2A control line... line? >

1/2A control line... line?

Notices
Control Lines For all you fly-by-wire fanatics!

1/2A control line... line?

Old 09-30-2008, 04:30 PM
  #1  
Senior Member
Thread Starter
 
ProBroJoe's Avatar
 
Join Date: Sep 2004
Location: Annapolis, MD
Posts: 981
Likes: 0
Received 0 Likes on 0 Posts
Default 1/2A control line... line?

Hi all,

Being new to C/L and having just completed a 1/2 Sig SkyRay, I'm wondering... what do I use for line? I see mention of "dacron line", but what is it? Where can it be found? Are there alternatives? Is there something like spiderwire that I can pick up at Walmart? I'd rather not have to send away for something and prefer a more off the shelf alternative. Ideas?

Thanks!

-Joe
Old 09-30-2008, 04:54 PM
  #2  
Senior Member
 
Phlip's Avatar
 
Join Date: Nov 2002
Location: Auburn, MA
Posts: 635
Likes: 0
Received 0 Likes on 0 Posts
Default RE: 1/2A control line... line?

Spiderwire is actually preferrable to dacron lines in my estimation. I've used both. Braided steel lines might be the best, but Spiderwire is a close second, and a lot cheaper!
Old 09-30-2008, 05:22 PM
  #3  
Senior Member
 
Join Date: Oct 2002
Location: Austin, TX
Posts: 4,086
Likes: 0
Received 2 Likes on 2 Posts
Default RE: 1/2A control line... line?

Many years ago, I used to fly 1/2 A airplanes on heavy white thread lines. If you are just getting started in CL and want to be able to fly round and round and do loops and lazy 8's, thread is fine. For flying 1/2A stunt competitively, I use .008 cables from Sig.
Old 09-30-2008, 08:05 PM
  #4  
My Feedback: (1)
 
Join Date: Dec 2007
Location: Madrid, IA
Posts: 234
Received 0 Likes on 0 Posts
Default RE: 1/2A control line... line?

You hit the nail, Joe. If you don't have steel stranded, then Spiderwire is about the best next choice. Be sure that you get the "Fusion" type (braided) - not the super-monofilament. Another brand is Berkley Fireline. You should get about a 20' test line, which will also say something like ' 8-lb test diameter (.3 mm) ' or something similar. You should also be careful to use something like a "Palomar Knot" or a fisherman's "Half-blood" knot (google them for diagrams on how to tie them). Most often, the knot will become the weakest spot in the line, and if the line is going to break, it will be at the knot (I have broken Spiderwire lines at the knot a couple of times). As for cheaper or not, steel stranded in 1000' reels (at $30 per) is cheaper than the Fusion type fishing lines, in 125 yard reels (at about $15 per) , but individual line kits are going to be more expensive than Fusion. Oh, as for the dacron lines, you can usually get a spool of dacron line and a handle in a kit at hobby shops that carry control-line stuff pretty cheap, but it probably isn't worth mail-ordering. Incidentally, what are you going to use for a handle?

Mike A.
Old 09-30-2008, 09:06 PM
  #5  
Senior Member
Thread Starter
 
ProBroJoe's Avatar
 
Join Date: Sep 2004
Location: Annapolis, MD
Posts: 981
Likes: 0
Received 0 Likes on 0 Posts
Default RE: 1/2A control line... line?

Thanks for the replies guys - there's a lot of good information here!

I just raided my wife's sewing box and found some "cotton wrapped polyester button and carpet thread" which I cannot break by hand, and some straight nylon upholstery thread, which is also impossible to break without cutting though my hand. I think for the first time out I'll give 'em a whirl (sorry for the bad pun). As for line length, what do ya'll recommend? I'm thinking 30-35' - sound about right?

It's kinda neat being able to say that so far, I have $0 in the project. The kit was a gift, the glues and paints I already had on hand and the engine was put together outta my "spares" box... (It's a Golden Black Widow Bee which runs rather well and consistently.)

As for handles, I have three to choose from... I'm guessing if I swap out the leads on the center handle in favor of something lighter, that will be my best bet, yes?

Again, thanks!

-Joe
Attached Thumbnails Click image for larger version

Name:	Bz78919.jpg
Views:	221
Size:	64.3 KB
ID:	1044066   Click image for larger version

Name:	Hc93812.jpg
Views:	663
Size:	31.2 KB
ID:	1044067   Click image for larger version

Name:	Ou49595.jpg
Views:	251
Size:	37.8 KB
ID:	1044068  
Old 09-30-2008, 09:43 PM
  #6  
Senior Member
 
build light's Avatar
 
Join Date: Nov 2005
Location: Crete, NE
Posts: 2,246
Likes: 0
Received 2 Likes on 2 Posts
Default RE: 1/2A control line... line?

Joe, for starters use the thread but I would measure out at least 35 to 37 feet. Less diametyer will have you screwing yourself in the ground. No need of that
The thread will be light but draggy. The .008 wire is your best choice for future use. Trust me you will love it.

As for the handle, just choose the one that feels most comfortable.

Did you build this one? The finish is really first class.

Robert
Old 09-30-2008, 09:55 PM
  #7  
My Feedback: (18)
 
049flyer's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jul 2002
Location: Prescott, AZ
Posts: 1,133
Received 10 Likes on 10 Posts
Default RE: 1/2A control line... line?

I would use 30 ft lines for the first try. I would not try longer lengths at first unless the plane is very light, under 5 1/2 ounces. The most important consideration in control line flying is line tension, lose it and crash. Shorter lines will help insure tight lines and protection from the occasional wind gust. You will turn a bit faster though so be ready for it.

If 30 foot lines work OK, try a longer lines after a flight or two.

.008 cable is very nice to fly with but it is very fragile. It kinks and breaks easily.

Be sure to launch at the correct area of the circle with respect to the wind. Never launch into the wind like you would an RC plane.

The Skyray flies well and is very stable. Have fun!
Old 10-01-2008, 07:49 AM
  #8  
gcb
 
Join Date: Oct 2002
Location: Port Ewen, NY
Posts: 3,440
Likes: 0
Received 4 Likes on 4 Posts
Default RE: 1/2A control line... line?

Joe,

Nice job on the Skyray. Make sure you use a narrow spacing on the handle. This will give you less sensitive controls for those first few flights.

Good luck with it.

George
Old 10-01-2008, 06:46 PM
  #9  
Senior Member
 
jeffie8696's Avatar
 
Join Date: May 2007
Location: Muscatine, IA
Posts: 5,299
Likes: 0
Received 2 Likes on 2 Posts
Default RE: 1/2A control line... line?

I use spiderwire exclusively due to the cost $0.00 from an old fishing reel my brother gave me.
I have to ask. How much pull is there on a 1/2A plane that 30 lb test line is needed? I have no idea what the test is on my spiderwire but I am sure it ain't 30 lbs. Wouldn't the lightest line that has a good reserve strength be best in terms of drag and weight?

Oh yea. Great looking plane!!
Old 10-02-2008, 06:11 AM
  #10  
Senior Member
Thread Starter
 
ProBroJoe's Avatar
 
Join Date: Sep 2004
Location: Annapolis, MD
Posts: 981
Likes: 0
Received 0 Likes on 0 Posts
Default RE: 1/2A control line... line?

Thanks for all the kind words guys!

As far as that "first class finish", I'm a little ashamed to admit it's just Rustoleum. Yea, I know it's heavy, but I did hit the balsa with a coat of sanding sealer before I painted it in an effort to keep the wood from soaking up too much paint. I really wanted to try my hand at a doped finish, but my LHS wanted an arm and a leg for the stuff - I would have been almost $30 into it, had just enough supplies to do the job, and stuck with a color I wasn't too interested in. [:'(] Good news though, she only weights 5 3/4 oz (with the tip weight and lead out lines installed) so I guess I didn't do too bad!

Hopefully I'll be checking in with a flight report before too long...

-Joe
Old 10-02-2008, 07:45 AM
  #11  
Senior Member
 
jeffie8696's Avatar
 
Join Date: May 2007
Location: Muscatine, IA
Posts: 5,299
Likes: 0
Received 2 Likes on 2 Posts
Default RE: 1/2A control line... line?

Make sure you get video of the maiden. I want to see YOU get dizzy and fall down.
Old 10-02-2008, 11:38 AM
  #12  
My Feedback: (1)
 
Join Date: Dec 2007
Location: Madrid, IA
Posts: 234
Received 0 Likes on 0 Posts
Default RE: 1/2A control line... line?

ORIGINAL: jeffie8696

I use spiderwire exclusively due to the cost $0.00 from an old fishing reel my brother gave me.
I have to ask. How much pull is there on a 1/2A plane that 30 lb test line is needed? I have no idea what the test is on my spiderwire but I am sure it ain't 30 lbs. Wouldn't the lightest line that has a good reserve strength be best in terms of drag and weight?

Oh yea. Great looking plane!!
There are a couple of issues here that are not readily apparent - first, go ahead and use the cotton thread or even the nylon thread for first flights - if you can't break it by hand, it is probably strong enough. However, the reason they sell dacron and people recommend Spiderwire is that other lines stretch under load (actually, all lines, even steel lines, stretch). Dacron, Spiderwire, and Steel stretch much less than cottons, etc. Nylon and monofilament fishing lines are very stretchy and the difference in the flight "feel" will surprise you. Also, the fiber lines will be more draggy than a smooth plastic or even stranded steel.

As for diameter, you need to consider more than just the pull of the plane in flight. Again, tying a knot in the fishing lines or threads builds in a very weak spot, and you don't have much control over how weak it gets. Be sure and pull test any new set of lines - I'll throw in a number here - 1/2A combat planes, which are pretty light but about as fast as any 1/2A are pull-tested to 15 pounds at a contest. This should be a safe number for sport 1/2A's also, then. But if you use 20 lb. test line and the weakest knot becomes 1/2 as strong, then you wouldn't pass a pull test. Also, if the plane should get "loose" on the lines, come in on you, then suddenly get tight again, the shock will be MUCH greater than whatever it's normal pull is. (I once had a 1/2A Lil Jumpin' Bean straighten out both LARGE connectors when it flew across the circle at about 10 feet and hit the end of the lines on the downwind side). So the lines need to be big enough to withstand a shock load of several "G's".

All of the above has to do with flying safely and not putting other people, yourself and your plane in danger. The real long and short of it is, if you fly over grass and one line breaks, a 1/2A will most likely start doing loops and eventually crash going very slowly - in other words, without hurting itself much. But getting into good habits is important - it will eventually save you from crashing a bigger, faster more expensive model. People give advice based on experience (either theirs or others) - usually there is a real-world situation that actually happened that makes that advice something to at least consider. All the advice about test loads and all the rule-book line sizes and pull-tests are based on probable flight loads that one might encounter, and then they are increased to provide a safety factor. In the end, it is still possible to pass a pull test and have lines fail for no apparent reason in flight, it's still possible to fly successfully dozens of times and then have lines break when pull tested. You just try to minimize the chances of it happening, and the consequences when it does happen. Last, the reason for asking advice is to try to learn from other people's experience - everyone's opinion should be added in to ones final decision. We once had a "newbie" show up at the field with a Sig Skyray .35 that he built on his own - for lines and handle, he had one of the Goldberg 1/2A handles and two of the 60 foot spools of dacron lines tied together on one end with an overhand "granny" knot. This is what the local hobby-shop clerk had advised him to get and that was his only data-point. Thank goodness, he had not tried to fly by himself at a local park or schoolyard.


Old 10-02-2008, 02:07 PM
  #13  
Senior Member
 
jeffie8696's Avatar
 
Join Date: May 2007
Location: Muscatine, IA
Posts: 5,299
Likes: 0
Received 2 Likes on 2 Posts
Default RE: 1/2A control line... line?

Yes. I agree. [8D]

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
Trackbacks are Off
Pingbacks are Off
Refbacks are On


Thread Tools
Search this Thread

Contact Us - Manage Preferences Archive - Advertising - Cookie Policy - Privacy Statement - Terms of Service

Copyright © 2024 MH Sub I, LLC dba Internet Brands. All rights reserved. Use of this site indicates your consent to the Terms of Use.