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HelicopterGasser Model RC HelicoptersOther › Spectra Vs. Predator - Another Perspective
07-09-2008 10:14 PM  9 years agoPost 21
Helizrule

rrVeteran

Lake Ariel, PA

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Quality

I just finished the assembly of my Spectra less the electronics and I have to say this is one high quality machine. The instructions seemed long at first but they really just well written with explain everything in detail. This thing is built to last.

One mile of road will take you one mile. One mile of runway will take you anywhere in the world.

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07-10-2008 01:39 AM  9 years agoPost 22
rbort

rrProfessor

Franklin, MA - USA

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Ace

No, I don't believe they are sealed though they are stamped "made in japan" -- they just have the metal sheilds on them.

You're getting alot of dirt in your bearings because you're flying out of a parking lot. I tell this to people a 100 times DONT FLY in a parking lot and many still do it, even the guy with the Bergen with the blue canopy that posted a video recently. I understand he doesn't have much of a choice in his case but if you do I highly recommend going to a grass field.

The I was a beginner back in 1991 I used to fly from a parking lot with my first heli, a Concept 30. I got grit all over my heli from the dust kicking up and my one way bearing would keep sticking every so often I'd have to grab the rotor and force it free. Not to mention what my little OS32 was sucking in with no filter...

That's all bad but wait until you crash in a parking lot and it will hurt like a son-of-a-bitch! If it ain't broke, its disfigured (scratched) from the pavement and repair costs will by much higher...

I can't stress it enough...

-=>Raja.

MA 1005 H280, 4112 flts
Raptor 90 H300, 274 flts
Spectra 27 3DMax, 3187 flts
Whiplash V1 27 3DMax, 1418 flts
Whiplash V2 H300, 168 flts

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07-10-2008 05:46 AM  9 years agoPost 23
Excalibur

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Destination: Earth

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That's really interesting about the bearings. I bought the greaser specifically to pack all the bearings in the PGasser, but I don't think they were of the same quality.

You're right Raja, I noticed the other night that "Japan" is stamped on all of the shields of the bearings in question, I just didn't think they could last that long without some kind of lubrication. It certainly sets my mind at ease a little more.

I've stalled a bit right now on the build because I need to decide which engine to go with, which will affect my gear ratio. Right now I'm leaning toward the TRM or Hanson 260PUH but need to talk with both Al's again to help me with the decision. Can I get something in the neighborhood of 6.43 gear ratio for the Spectra?

Xcal

Camper Fuel: It's Not Just for Breakfast Anymore

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07-10-2008 05:54 AM  9 years agoPost 24
Excalibur

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Destination: Earth

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Could you post the manual that you created? Perhaps it would be beneficial to others...
Hi Avi:

The complete pdf file is almost 5-megs, so I didn't think I could up-load it here, but if somebody knows a way please let me know.

For anyone interested, PM me your email address and I'll be glad to send it to you. It really is a cool way to build the Spectra with all the info laid out in front of you on facing pages.

Xcal

Camper Fuel: It's Not Just for Breakfast Anymore

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07-10-2008 06:24 AM  9 years agoPost 25
Avi

rrApprentice

Israel

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The complete pdf file is almost 5-megs, so I didn't think I could up-load it here, but if somebody knows a way please let me know.
Send it to me and I'll post a link.
yadgar - at - cs -dot- technion . ac . il

Avi

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07-10-2008 01:06 PM  9 years agoPost 26
jschenck

rrProfessor

La Vista, NE.

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btw, I did push in some grease on my mainshaft bearings for my Predator when I did the one-way clutch fix. As I take apart the heli further (as needed) I will grease the other bearings.

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07-10-2008 05:43 PM  9 years agoPost 27
AceBird

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Utica, NY USA

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You're getting alot of dirt in your bearings because you're flying out of a parking lot. I tell this to people a 100 times DONT FLY in a parking lot and many still do it, even the guy with the Bergen with the blue canopy that posted a video recently. I understand he doesn't have much of a choice in his case but if you do I highly recommend going to a grass field.
I know Raja, it can't be helped. The grass field is 45 min. away. Most of the time I don't fly for long and I don't want anyone around me when I do. My concentration is not that good.

Ace
What could be more fun?

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07-10-2008 06:14 PM  9 years agoPost 28
rbort

rrProfessor

Franklin, MA - USA

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NP I understand

But don't blame the Century bearings on this being bad. Its the environment that they are in that's causing your issue.

If nothing else can't you find some school soccer or football field to fly in? Many times in the evenings the students are gone and no-one is around, with some of them having the fields tucked in the back so no-one really sees you from the road. Either that or a park of some sort. Anything would be better than a parking lot per say except for choose a place with many places to land. I hate taking off from a 10x10 spot and fly over some woods or something where there is no suitable landing place but where I took off. You always need to plan for an emergency landing spot in case, and I am uncomfortable when I'm flying somewhere with limited landing spaces.

-=>Raja.

MA 1005 H280, 4112 flts
Raptor 90 H300, 274 flts
Spectra 27 3DMax, 3187 flts
Whiplash V1 27 3DMax, 1418 flts
Whiplash V2 H300, 168 flts

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07-11-2008 05:49 AM  9 years agoPost 29
Excalibur

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Destination: Earth

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Thanks Avi - it's on it's way. . .

Xcal

Camper Fuel: It's Not Just for Breakfast Anymore

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07-12-2008 06:18 AM  9 years agoPost 30
Avi

rrApprentice

Israel

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I posted it on a fresh thread

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07-12-2008 06:51 AM  9 years agoPost 31
Excalibur

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Destination: Earth

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Good job Avi. . . thanks for posting the manual. Can you post it in this thread instead? I think more people will see it that way.

For anybody who wants to print out the manual for their own use, remember to print it out double-sided. I set it up so that when it is printed and spiral bound, it will lay flat on the workbench with the written instructions on the left side, and the assembly diagrams on the right. If the written instructions continued onto the next page, I simply duplicated the drawing to keep it in sync. This has proven very effective in my current build. Oh, BTW, it is optimized for a rear-facing engine and front-mounted fuel tank.

On to the build. . .

Since I have not resolved my engine/gear ratio decision, I have moved on to other sections to keep making progress. Tonight I tackled the swash plate and wash-out assembly. The swash plate is very solid and smooth, but had some kind of plastic (delrin?) flashing inside around the pivot ball. This was easily cleaned up and removed with a wooden q-tip or screwdriver. The ball links went in easily and quickly with no real problems. This swash plate is built better than the original Predator swash, but the new predator swash is probably just as robust, as I recall when I replaced the original.

One interesting thing about the Spectra swash plate, there are four set screws that screw in at 90 degree angles on the bottom ring of the swash. According to the manual, these are tightened only lightly when the heli is new, but after 20 gallons of fuel can be tightened more to take up any slop that may occur in the swash plate. This is a cool maintenance feature and something I had not seen before. We'll see how this works out a year or so from now when I've put in some time on the bird.

The washout arms are a little more tricky to deal with than the Predator's, mainly because there is more assembly. There are pins that connect each arm and washout link that then require little tiny-ass "C" clips to be installed on each end of both pins. If your ham-fisted or vision impaired, do this part of the build somewhere that if one of the clips pops off you'll be able to find it (ask me how I know). It wasn't terrible, however, and I had them together within ten or fifteen minutes. Minair was also nice enough to provide an extra thank God, because one popped off and flew somewhere in my workshop. I need to go back and find it I guess.

Hope all this is making sense, I'll keep posting if it proves helpful.

Xcal

Camper Fuel: It's Not Just for Breakfast Anymore

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07-12-2008 08:34 AM  9 years agoPost 32
pgkevet

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Wales

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If your ham-fisted or vision impaired, do this part of the build somewhere that if one of the clips pops off you'll be able to find it (ask me how I know). It wasn't terrible, however, and I had them together within ten or fifteen minutes. Minair was also nice enough to provide an extra thank God, because one popped off and flew somewhere in my workshop. I need to go back and find it I guess.
Older eyes had trouble with that too! How much easier just to have used a bolt and nut! - a servo case bolt would be about right..

pgk

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07-12-2008 08:49 AM  9 years agoPost 33
Avi

rrApprentice

Israel

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Link to Excalibur's manual

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07-12-2008 04:02 PM  9 years agoPost 34
rbort

rrProfessor

Franklin, MA - USA

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Tip in order here

As far as assembly for the washout links with the c-clips, I use a Weeha socket wrench that is very small, I think 3.5mm to fit on the c-clip and then put the shaft against the table and push down with the weeha driver on top of the c-clip and its on the shaft! I find this is the easiest way to install them.

-=>Raja.

MA 1005 H280, 4112 flts
Raptor 90 H300, 274 flts
Spectra 27 3DMax, 3187 flts
Whiplash V1 27 3DMax, 1418 flts
Whiplash V2 H300, 168 flts

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07-12-2008 04:34 PM  9 years agoPost 35
victor55ca

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Vancouver BC

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I dorked my Pgasser last year and replaced all the mast and clutch bearings with the green sealed bearings from boca. It was only $30.00 and it just seemed worth it for less hassle down the road. I don't think Century uses the best bearings but their price may reflects that, nothing is for free.

Vince

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07-12-2008 05:27 PM  9 years agoPost 36
pgkevet

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Wales

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my tip

My answer was to put the c-clip on top of a piece of corrugated cardboard and the pin on top (held in forceps) and tap..the pin went through the card but the clip didn't

pgk

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07-13-2008 02:37 PM  9 years agoPost 37
AceBird

rrElite Veteran

Utica, NY USA

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Clarification:
Is this a c-clip or a c-ring? A c-ring is a wire rolled into a "C" shape that will push over a shaft or pin end. A c-clip is a stamped piece of sheet metal in a "C" shape that is not recommended to push over a shaft or pin because it will twist and bend out of shape.

Ace
What could be more fun?

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07-13-2008 03:12 PM  9 years agoPost 38
pgkevet

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Wales

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..it's a stamped piece of tempered metal in a c-shape - or better described as a curved 'E' shape. It obviously works but lacks elegance.

pgk

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07-13-2008 03:45 PM  9 years agoPost 39
Eury

rrProfessor

Dover NH

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If you do lose the clip, and the spare, those are common on RC cars. Any hobby shop would have them in the car section

Nick Crego

Citizen #0168

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07-16-2008 06:36 AM  9 years agoPost 40
Excalibur

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Destination: Earth

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Ok. . . Tail rotor assembly:

Overall, things went pretty well until the end (more on that in a minute). One thing I'm noticing, the assembly diagrams and written instructions make the Spectra look like a nightmare to put together, with many more parts than the Predator; but that's simply not the case.
When you actually get down to building an assembly, it actually goes together fairly quickly and easily, with some very clever and thoughtful engineering evident in the assembly. This certainly eases the overall build process and makes for an enjoyable experience.

The tail rotor hub is easy to build, but highly time consuming to balance (as suggested by the manual). The suggest adding "shim" washers under one of the retaining screws in the blade grip to balance the assembly. It would have been nice to have a few extras. I had to scrounge around for an old tin can and fabricate my own to install. Again, not hard, just time consuming.

The pitch-slider assembly was really well done and went together in a matter of minutes, no real problems here. I love the way everything is supported with bearings, it just makes everything real smooth. The double-bearing pitch links are very cool and clever design, with more miniature bearings in each. The pitch yoke is held onto the slider with TWO retainer rings for safety, glued together with a touch of thick Cyano (super glue).

There really was NO assembly of the actual tail rotor gear box, as this was complete right out of the box and no need to tear it down to redo it. I have been finding that assemblies built by Minair in the factory are done correctly and need no tear-down / re-assembly. They are just good to go. This was such a RELIEF! After all the dickin' around I had to go through to get the Predator tail rotor gearbox together and battle with gear mesh, loose set screws, etc., it was nice to just pull this one out of the bag ready to go. The actual case is a SOLID piece of machined metal (no half-shell), and looks pretty well sealed. The drive coupler that slides into the torque tube is also installed and ready to go. There is little slop or play in the gears, which is nice. This is also a confidence inspiring assembly.

The bell crank assembly was easily attached to the mounting frame on the gearbox with a long "special" philips head screw. Here again, there is a deviation between what the instructions say and what is reality. The screw is listed as "0097" in the instructions, but "0093" on the assembly diagram. In addition, it screws all the way into the mounting hole and out the other side, so it is plenty long. The instructions, however, indicate that it should only thread part way in, and then a set screw is supposed to be inserted from the other side to lock it in place. In reality, just apply blue loctite to the threads and screw it all the way in and snug it down.

The tail rotor hub has a very clever design where it attaches to the actual gearbox drive shaft. Instead of having the set screws aligned perpendicular to the shaft on the top and bottom, they are set in at a 45 degree angle. In addition, these set screws have machined points on them that lock into small counter-bored holes in the drive shaft. The result is a locked assembly without the possibility of the tail rotor hub spinning loose from the shaft. VERY COOL!

The final step involved hooking up the two pitch pivots to the actual grips, and this is where there is a problem. When I tightened the two pitch pivots to the grip arms, it caused binding when actuating the pitch slider assembly. Closer inspection revealed some misalignment in the assembly. When I took them back off, the pitch slider worked smoothly again. This is where I left it. I will finesse this assembly together and get it working smoothly and post the fix and some pics hopefully tomorrow night.

All in all, the tail rotor assembly is again a very well designed system, and the solid metal gearbox and non-assembly made this part quite enjoyable. In this case, I have to award the points to Spectra for robustness and clever engineering, as well as a solid, no-nonsense tail rotor gearbox.

Xcal

Camper Fuel: It's Not Just for Breakfast Anymore

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