[Courtesy of Jay Sloat sloat "at" idt.net, April 1999]
I finally pushed my old Frankenstien Roswell Frames as far as I could after 2 months of abuse and have transferred the electronics to my new set of carbon fiber reinforced frames. I have to say I'm happy with the changes even though I made a few mistakes along the way (which I'll share so others don't repeat it).
I was interested in reinforcing the major areas where my first frame set had repeatedly been broken due to pilot error and getting too bold too quick which is basically the 4 arms that hold the motors.
I purchased a package with two 4 foot strips of 1/4 inch wide CF ribbon from my local Hobby store for about $12 and used my dikes to subdivide about 3-4 feet of it into 1/16 inch strips. I measured these out such that one strip runs the entire bottom length of the struts on both sides (in the plane of the strut) and secured it with CA glue. You should use the variety of CA that is safe for FOAM. (Gold top. I didn't but lucked out). Additionally, I had experienced a number of breaks in the part of the arm that joins the upper and lower frame circles. I added a CF strip from the top down to the bottom choosing a path and angle minimizes crossing of the cutout holes. If you block these holes, then wind and eddie currents can negatively effect the flying. This immediately stiffened up the frames without adding a significant weight.
The last wear point I reinforced were the skids (foam)and I just cut some of the 1/4 CF and epoxied these to the bottom of the skid pads.
I was pretty tired when I finished because of the late hour and decided to spray paint the front arm Red. So I masked it off and gave it a good coat only to discover that the Paint was dissolving the foam struts! (Aaargh!! And the AFOT guys warned me about doing that long ago)
I was pleasantly surprised how quickly and easily it went to transfer the electronics to the new frames.
I've got about 30 flights on it so far and am very pleased. My worst crashes have come when a motor backs away from a drive gear and the craft flips over hard onto its head. I had that happen twice since the reinforcement and didn't break or harm anything. Finally I got smart and put some locktight on the engine screws. Duh!
Since I'm on a roll describing many of the mistakes I've made along the way I might as well add a few more.
* using a default settings of my 8Uhp radio, I found I had to reverse all channels on initial setup.
* Don't store your Roswell in direct sunlight in an enclosed hot car as the blades may warp/droop and generally become ruined.
* Don't turn off your transmitter before you turn off the craft. 90% of the time nothing bad happened but once, it took off on its own and crashed.
* Make sure the plastic nuts that hold on the propellers are at least finger snug. It not they fly off and you're shut down till you find a replacement.
* Make sure and use the clear cover over the electronics so you don't damage the expensive bits.
* I've learned not to do any fancy nose in stuff past the 3/4 discharge point since yaw capability gets especially mushy.
* Don't charge the batteries with more than the recommended currents. When new, I could get over 4 minutes on a charge but after 30-40 iterations of charging as high as 3.0 amps, the pack now has only about 1/2 its original capacity. I think something like 1.5 amps is about the max.