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Standard as-received
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How do you like your gimbal spring tension ?

Old 08-18-2005, 09:39 AM
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Default How do you like your gimbal spring tension ?

Guys, I thought it will be interesting to find out the statistics on how r/c pilots like the tension of their transmitter gimbal springs. There are four categories to choose from:

Standard as-received - which means you like it the way you received it
Standard increased - you increased the tension of the standard springs
Standard decreased - you decreased the tension of the standard springs
Heavy duty - you changed the standard springs with heavy-duty springs

If you adjust the springs differently for different channels, mention it in your post. Thanks !
Old 08-18-2005, 04:44 PM
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Default RE: How do you like your gimbal spring tension ?

I voted standard as recieved but it is different for each radio. My JR radio is fine for tension but i flew an Optic 6 for example and it was way to loose that i was overcontrolling almost.
Old 08-18-2005, 05:53 PM
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Default RE: How do you like your gimbal spring tension ?

Heavy Duty. JR
Old 08-18-2005, 07:28 PM
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Default RE: How do you like your gimbal spring tension ?

I like mine with just enough tension to get a positive nuetral, and no more. When most people fly one of my models they comment about how "loose" my sticks feel. It's also a lot quieter when I let one spring back to center.
Old 08-18-2005, 07:38 PM
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Default RE: How do you like your gimbal spring tension ?

Heavy duty from Radio South
Old 08-18-2005, 09:35 PM
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Default RE: How do you like your gimbal spring tension ?

14MZ with heavy duty Radio South springs. They felt excessively stiff at first but now I am so dialed in and flying with better control, that other radios feel overly soft and sloppy.
Old 08-19-2005, 02:36 AM
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Default RE: How do you like your gimbal spring tension ?

Standard. Tried more and less but did not like it. I guess it depends what your used too.
Old 08-19-2005, 03:48 PM
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Default RE: How do you like your gimbal spring tension ?

on my 14MZ i use the 9Z springs since the ones the mz comes with are way too loose

Old 08-20-2005, 06:56 AM
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Default RE: How do you like your gimbal spring tension ?

I like "standard increase" on elevator and rudder. I then use "heavy duty" on aileron. That way I can "feel" the neutral position and have less of a chance of putting in any unwanted aileron input during a quick pull on the stick. Great set up for Pattern and Pylon racing.
Old 08-20-2005, 01:03 PM
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Default RE: How do you like your gimbal spring tension ?

Flying with KNOBBY radios has its own "spring preference" challenges...

Dear Rajul:

The PIPE Here again...and for those of us who DO fly only with KNOBBY, single stick yours truly...'s a bit MORE complex than with a dual stick Tx !!!

Firstly, I've found that the elevator axis USUALLY has to have a bit stiffer spring force than the aileron function, and that's usually due to the weight of the rudder knob at the end of a hollow (for the rudder pot's wires) joystick shaft. These can easily be made from 1/4th inch coil diameter hardware store extension style helical springs, the ones that use a 0.025 to 0.032 inch (0.64 to 0.81 mm) diameter spring wire in them...and those "hardware store" extension springs have enough length in them to make upwards of four to as many as half a dozen "stiffer" extension springs for the needs of two or three more joysticks. I've done this sort of thing many times before on my own knobby radios, so I know the sort of springs that are good to adapt for the purpose, and what needs to be done to those hardware store units, to make them usable in a knobby radio's single joystick.

But ONE thing that HAS been hard to change, for a knobby radio's "signature control", is the force needed to turn the rudder knob!

The Ace RC/Dunham and later all black plastic Kraft/Heathkit rudder knobs used circular planform, round-cross-section music wire springs of about 0.025 to 0.032 inch (0.64 to 0.81 mm) thickness...and the all-plastic construction of the moving parts IN those knobs made using any sort of "stiffer" spring a problem, because the plastic internal knob pieces responsible for centering the rudder knob MIGHT break if a stiffer circular spring was made up from, say, 0.047 inch/1.2mm thick music wire.

Since the Ace RC/Dunham rudder knobs ARE no longer available, I've been able to get "basic info" on the innards of the JR rudder knob, used on the vintage Century Seven knobby radio they used to make, to help create a "new" rudder knob assembly based upon it, for guys like myself who have always built their own knobby radios.

The JR Century 7 rudder knob DOES use a very small extension-style coil spring to provide the centering force, much like the earlier Kraft/Heath rudder knob that had a machined aluminum rear section, and that used a "whole and intact" miniature "RV6" style of potentiometer, had in it.

I'll be using a Bourns 3852 "Series 162" style pot, with a appropriately-sized 1/8th inch (3.2mm) diameter shaft, in my rudder knob design, and adapting the machined aluminum piece that Tony Stillman sells to retrofit the JR Century Seven rudder knob when its equivalent plastic composition "pot holder" piece gets broken, at the back of that rudder knob...which holds the "whole, all-in-one-piece" rudder pot, AND clamps the entire knob assembly to its hollow joystick shaft...into the design of my new rudder knob to reduce the number of new parts that need to be designed and made, as much as possible.

The main knob barrel of the prototype rudder knobs would be cast in epoxy at first, within silicone rubber molds made for the purpose, to try getting a prototype knob or two fitted out onto my pair of 1980-vintage, owner-built Ace Silver Seven knobby radios (one of which is in that photo of mine in this post) in about the next year or so to try them out.

The knob centering spring on my design COULD be selectable for stiffness, as there would be metal centering plates and parts in my rudder knob design, just as the JR Century Seven knob and that early Kraft/Heath design used to use...and a company like McMaster-Carr could easily have a suitable helical extension spring range, suitable for providing variable spring force to suit different RCers' needs.

So, with a new design of rudder knob available, rudder centering forces SHOULD be variable for knobby fliers' needs depending on the spring selected within the scope of that new rudder knob design I'm intending to come up with as the next six months or so elapse...and, for the elevator function spring on a knobby radio's single joystick, the usual need for a stiffer knob to offset the rudder knob's weight will most likely always be there.

Yours Sincerely,


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