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Field Flight Box/Stand

Old 03-30-2003, 11:09 PM
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lslewis
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Default Field Flight Box/Stand

My original field box is going on 40 years. Fixed and repaired again and again. Time for a new one.

Looking for something that opens up so I do not have to squat or bend over (old knees). I know about the Sidewalk Flyers unit but I have not found an alternative. The Sidewalk Flyers unit is OK but would like to see alternative designs before I commit.

I would be interested in plans but only as a last resort.
Old 04-02-2003, 12:29 AM
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Default Field Flight Box/Stand

I also considered the Sidewalk Flyers box. Problem for me is twofold - our field has no tables, and is all dirt and rocks. Crawling about in the dust to assemble planes gets old in a hurry.

I stumbled across this box on eBay.



Its expensive, but I really like it. Excellent craftsmanship. Mine was supplied assembled but not finished. I stained it with walnut stain and several coats of marine-class urethane.

Brought it out to the field for the first time this weekend. It isn't often that my fellow modelers ooh and aah over a (wooden) box!

The builder in question now has his own site. He also makes two styles of box, differentiated by the way their innards are arranged. http://planepals.com/

Shortly after I ordered (and paid for) mine, I discovered that someone else sells the plans for this box! Cost? $10 bucks.
Here's the link: http://www.geocities.com/traviscouch/backsaver.html
Old 04-02-2003, 12:53 AM
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Rocketman612
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Default Flight Box

I've seen one of these and they are a real work of art. However they weigh a ton! If you can't back up to the field and off load you will get a Hernia
Old 04-02-2003, 02:55 AM
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mscic-RCU
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Default Field Flight Box/Stand

They ought to be a work of art for the price!!!
Old 04-02-2003, 08:58 AM
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lslewis
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Default Thank You!

Exactly what I was looking for. Now I got to come to grips with the $ and the weight.
Old 04-02-2003, 03:33 PM
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DMyer
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Default Field Flight Box/Stand

I have had that pictured box/fieldstand for about 10 years and I am generally satisfied. I have had a couple minor repairs as well as the foam cradle protection wear out. It is heavy, but I must say, mostly by the amount of crap you can put into it. The actual weight of the box empty is only about 5-8 pounds(guestimate). The one thing I really like is the ability to stand and work on a model while having your most used tools close at hand with a built in table to put parts/tools that will keep the smallest stuff from rolling off into the grass/dirt/pavement. I keep the weight down a bit by putting all the wet stuff(fuels) and other heavy messy stuff in a plastic storage bin which I can carry separate.
Old 04-03-2003, 09:46 PM
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Default Re: Thank You!

Originally posted by lslewis
Exactly what I was looking for. Now I got to come to grips with the $ and the weight.
I'm still putting the finishing touches on mine. I don't have the fueling "stuff" installed yet (the electric pump just arrived yesterday) and I'm going to add some external tool holders to the side panels as its a bit of a hassle to root through the deep drawers whilst looking for the right-sized balldriver.

As for weight - its OK so far. Mine is made out of maple, (not plywood) so it isn't terribly heavy to begin with.

I'm going to use a 10-cell nicad pack for power instead of the usual 12V 5A motorcycle battery. I've been using a similar pack in my 'sailplane' field box for a while. 1000 mAh weighs 10 oz. and is plenty powerful enough to power a quick charger.

I also use nicads on my starter - 12 1700 mAh cells. Tons of power and only needs charging once every other week.

These are great as they only weigh about a pound-and-a-half as compared with the 4 - 6 pounds of the ever-popular 12V gel-cell.

I haven't decided whether to use a gallon-sized fuel bottle or just a 2-quart-sized one. The guy at planepals.com recommends that you use a 1-gallon can as the fueling caps that fit onto fuel jugs don't give you a lot of clearance at the top and are wide at the bottom. (sounds like a girl I knew once. ) I use one of the slimline fueling caps which connect through the side as opposed to the top; it fits fine.

Gonna work on the plumbing issues to-night. For those of you that PM'ed me I'll post a couple of pics later.
Old 04-04-2003, 12:30 AM
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lslewis
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Default I Did It!

I went and spent the big bucks for an Ospray.

I weighed my existing field box/stand a 1955 model which has come to end of life. 26 lbs!

The PlanePal is 13.5 empty so my goal is to load up only essentials.

I have found a sealed 12V SLA at 1.3 AH that weighs 1 pound which should run my starter. The fuel pump draw is insignificant. That is about all I use. For fuel I have always used a 1 quart bottle. That will give me three or four flights with my Avistar and that is enough for this old pilot.

Mine should come next week.
Old 04-04-2003, 07:45 PM
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Default some progress.

lslewis - good on ya. You'll enjoy it. Is yours coming stained & clearcoated or will it be unfinished?

Did a little work on the box last night. Mounted the power panel. (easy) and the fuel pump (difficult) - one of Slimline's 'boxxer' pumps. (I had an outstanding credit with them, so why not?)

The fuel pump is mounted inside the box, oriented horizontally. Its right behind the neck of the fuel jug - this is a good way to use an area that would normally go to waste. Its screwed to the wall using a couple of 6-32 blind nuts and some SHCS bolta rather than the supplied wood screws.

I stuck my existing fuel bottle/pump in to check the fit. Looks like it will work just fine.



Ignore the epoxy & sawdust on the floor

I'm oging to keep an eye out for a suitable fuel can, though.

I was going to run the pump's power lead through the side of the starter compartment to the power panel, but I don't have enough clearance to get the drill into place (from either side). I guess I'll run the power lead out the bottom of the fuel compartment. I'm going to have to drill a couple of holes in the bottom in otder to secure the battery, so what's one more?

I also lined the drawer bottoms and sides with some self-adhesive felt blankets. It looks good, and will keep tools from gouging the wood.

I also added some small furniture glides to the bottom. When the legs are folded up the box rests on the wooden leg-mounts, which don't slide over the carpet in my SUV very well. The glides solve that little problem.
Old 04-04-2003, 09:00 PM
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lslewis
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Default Great Ideas

The slides, the blind nuts vs wood screws, the felt in the drawers will be added to my list of things to do.

I normally carry a one quart fuel jug, it is enough for a morning of flying my .40 Avistar. It keeps the weight down. I think I will secure it with velcro.

I asked Ken not to cut out the power panel. I do not use a cable for the glow plug so that feature is no help, so the meter doesn't do anything.

I need the reversing switch for the fuel pump and a couple of banana sockets for my starter. That is easy and I may just mount the stuff directly thru the wood panel.

I use the charger output for the glow starter so I have not made a final decision.

I purchased the unit finished oak.
Old 04-05-2003, 08:47 AM
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bigun5
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Default Field Flight Box/Stand

I built my box out of birch plywood. It resembles the boxes you are talking about, except for the legs. I have a golf cart with a bed on it that I use to transport all of my stuff to the field with. No carrying or setup comes ready to go.
Old 04-09-2003, 07:20 PM
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Default small update.

Finished hooking up the fuel pump, power panel and fuel tubing.



As I mentioned earlier, the pump is screwed to the back wall with 6-32 blind nuts and SHCS. No way these will loosen over time.

I ran the power line for the pump straight down the back wall and out the bottom, then into the battery compartment. If you look closely at you'll see the wires just to the right of the pump - I drilled two small holes and ran the power wires through those as a strain relief. I used small pieces of plastic shrink tubing over the wires at the points that pass through he drilled holes as chafe protection.

The battery is a 10-cell 2200 mAh nimh pack. These are old Panasonic cells - IIRC I originally picked them up for use in an electric sailplane but shelved them 'cause they didn't do well when asked to supply 30A +. Go figure.

The pack weighs just over a pound.

Just remembered something. I need to add a fuse to the main power leads just in case something gets behind the power panel and shorts something!

I used the leftover felt from the drawer bottoms to cover the bottoms of the holes where the starter & charger live. I also covered the floor under the fuel jug. I'm still keeping an eye out for a suitable fuel can so as to maximize the usage of space inside - the felt will keep the can from scuffing the floor of the box.

Only thing left to do is to install the external tool holders. I'm waiting on their arrival.

One unexpected bonus is this - the box is so nice that guys aren't comfortable borrowing tools & other misc bits without asking - which means that all of my tools come home with me! Nothing worse than being at home working on a project and realizing that <name-withheld-but-you-know-who-you-are> has my only 5mm balldriver...
Old 04-09-2003, 08:03 PM
  #13  
BillHarris
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Default Field Flight Box/Stand

Nice Box!

I thought about making up an "all in one" box/stand/etc like that, but decided to stay with the modular approach.

My flight box is modelled after the old Sig/Goldberg design: holds basic tools, glo-igniter, 1/2 gal of fuel and Kavan starter w/ nicad pack. Special tools are carried in a fishing tackle box, and other "stuff" is in a Rubbermaid tote box. The assembly stand is made up from PVC pipe and fittings.

FWIW. Even I may get fancy some day...

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