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  • October 30, 2020, 10:47:42 AM

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Author Topic: U/Tronics still viable?  (Read 170 times)

Offline Mark Reynolds

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U/Tronics still viable?
« on: April 25, 2020, 08:20:54 AM »
I mentioned to a buddy in my R/C club that I was going to give control line a try again after several decades away from it and I was interested in building a scale model at some point.

(Once I get back into the groove of ukie flying with my old Fox 35 and Flight streak)

He said he had a U/Tronics handle and decoder that he would give to me. I'm guessing that I need insulated lines as well for this?

I'm not familiar with these. Given that I already have a number of radios from R/C I'm not sure that I want to deal with that.

Just wanted to know what the current conventional wisdom was regarding these systems.  They seem similar in concept to Model Railroad DCC.

Thanks...

M

Online chuck snyder

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Re: U/Tronics still viable?
« Reply #1 on: April 25, 2020, 10:19:28 AM »
Viable? Yeah. But as you mentioned insulated lines will be required.
I guess you fly R/C. If you have a 2.4 Ghz system you can easily use that. You'll have useful capabilities like end point adjustment, servo reversing, mixing, etc. that the U/T does not have. I fly with my regular handle in my right hand and do everything else with my left, the same as I'm used to when flying R/C. I use a transmitter tray and neck strap. Well except for bomb drop; I set that up as full right "rudder." I have two scale models left. I fly one with my JR radio and use the DSC function with insulated lines. The other model is on 2.4.
Chuck

Offline Fred Cronenwett

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Re: U/Tronics still viable?
« Reply #2 on: April 25, 2020, 10:46:37 AM »
Soon as the rules were changed in 2013 to allow 2.4 Ghz I converted my entire fleet from down the line electronic controls (insulated lines) to the 2.4 Ghz system.  I fly with a stunt handle, basically a traditional 2-line setup, the lines and the electronics have nothing to do with each other.

I have not flown a model with the insulated lines since 2013, 2.4 Ghz is the way to go in my mind. I converted my P-51 to down the line electronics in 1989/1990, so my last 3-line model was built and flown in 1988.

Another suggestion - have a dedicated set of lines / handle for each model and only use those lines for that model. That way you never have to adjust the neutral elevator everytime you fly. You adjust the handle once then put the lines in a plastic bag. because I fly small and large models they all use different diameter lines and length so I now have a large collection of sets of lines.

You can you use any 2.4 Ghz radio you want

1) RC car pistol grip can be made into a handle
2) Hold the RC car pistol grip in your left hand while flying the model with a stunt handle in the right hand
3) clip the traditional "RC" transmitter to your belt or hang it off your neck with a strap and fly with a stunt handle

Fred

Fred Cronenwett
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Model Aviation CL Scale columnist

Offline Fred Cronenwett

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Re: U/Tronics still viable?
« Reply #3 on: April 25, 2020, 10:56:32 AM »
You can also setup a model to be flown as an RC or a CL model with a 5 minute conversion

1) if the elevator pushrod is attached to a servo it is an RC model
2) if the elevator pushrod is attached to a bellcrank it is a CL model

My Piper cub can be converted for RC use in 5 minutes and back again to CL. I just don't use the ailerons and rudder during CL flying. I just add the wing tip weight, lead out guide, move the pushrod to the bellcrank and the flying lines

Also remember that any model that weighs less than 20 lbs can be converted to CL, the larger the model the higher the line tension.
Consider taking one of your older RC model that you have a not flown lately, install a bellcrank and connect the elevator pushrod to the bellcrank. Use the same 2.4 Ghz radio you would have used to fly it as an RC model.

Fred

« Last Edit: May 10, 2020, 08:15:57 AM by Fred Cronenwett »
Fred Cronenwett
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Model Aviation CL Scale columnist

Offline Mark Reynolds

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Re: U/Tronics still viable?
« Reply #4 on: April 26, 2020, 07:54:03 PM »
Thanks, Fred & Chuck.

Sounds like the best plan..

Since 2.3 gHz is allowed that is what I'll use.

I have plenty of radio systems and too many RC planes... I'll find something to convert over.

M.

Offline David Murrell

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Re: U/Tronics still viable?
« Reply #5 on: May 04, 2020, 02:38:04 AM »
If you prefer the KISS principle Brodak still supply 3 line sets, "Roberts" handle and 3 line bell crank if you only want throttle, or add 2.4GHz for other functions. If you feel like a bit of metal bashing there is a simple 3 line bell crank/handle system that is easy to make.
Personally, I prefer the throttle on the handle for better control and response, be it 3 line, insulated line or RC Car handle.

The other question is, which do you prefer, pull to open or push to open the throttle???? (I vote for push)

Cheers

Offline Jim Carter

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Re: U/Tronics still viable?
« Reply #6 on: May 04, 2020, 11:12:30 AM »

Very nicely presented Fred.  Very nice!  Thanks!

Offline Fred Cronenwett

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Re: U/Tronics still viable?
« Reply #7 on: May 10, 2020, 08:30:05 AM »
When I was flying at Whittier Narrows in the Los Angeles area in the 1990's we had one club member who watched us fly with the down the line electronic controls. He told me over and over and he really really liked the 3-line handle and controls, we challenged him to build and fly an airplane with the electronic controls  (he used the single function servo driver, throttle only setup). He told me over and over that we was going to hate the electronic controls, so I made him an offer to buy all of his equipment that he purchased for the price he paid if he hated the electronic controls.

After the first test flight with the model was flown with a 2-line stunt handle and set of lines and a single channel servo driver hooked to his belt he landed, put the handle down and walked up to us and asked....

How do I convert those over to electronic controls right now...he was pointing to his other models that still had 3-line throttle control set-ups in the model.

I have also had models ground loop on me several times (coming towards me) and I simply throttled back and shut down the motor, electronic controls and 2.4 Ghz does not care if you have line tension or not, you always have control of the throttle. Unless you have line tension with 3-line you do not have control of the throttle.

Fred
Fred Cronenwett
AMA 3879 - CL Scale
Model Aviation CL Scale columnist

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