We got all four seasons here in Sweden. Right now we’re in the dark and cold period of winter and even though it is a lot brighter than it was during the darkest time of the year it is still not bright enough to fly after work. This isn’t just bad since you’ll get a lot of time to upgrade and rebuild your models. I’ve spent the last couple of weeks to make a lot of modifications to my Multiplex Easystar. My goal was to create a plane that could be used in any type of conditions and also a plane that I didn’t have to be so afraid to use. Therefore I decided to make it lighter and cheaper. Since I already got a bigger model that is able to carry more weight I decided to just use a RMRC-540 camera instead of the Gopro Hero HD that I used to fly with before. I’ll make all high quality videos with my Skywalker or Tricopter and just fly cause it’s fun with my easystar.
This is what the plane looks like without wings. Let’s take a closer look below.
A lot of things have happened here. I did buy ReadyMadeRC Easystar pod with pan/tilt but since I wanted to keep it easy and light weight I decided to just go for the pan axis. I modified the original pan/tilt pod and routed a hole for the servo. Then I used CA-glue to attach the servo to the pod. The servo is equipped with a SSV4 servo stretcher that allows the servo to move up to aprox 170 degrees.
The camera is the same that I’ve used for a while RMRC-540. It’s really a high quailty camera but I decided to try out a new low light lens. Have a look on its size – it’s huge! I haven’t tried it in air yet but after a couple of tests in the backyard I can tell that it makes a lot of difference and I definitely think that it’ll make night navigation a lot easier.
If you look closely you can see three of the seven LED’s that I’ve mounted on the plane. The green one is located between the rudder servo and the pod and the other two (both white) are located on each side of the ESC.
A closer look of how I mounted the pan servo to the pod.
This were the place where I hid the lipo that powered up the camera and the transmitter. RMRC’s Easystar pod has a compartment at the rear for that battery. The 3S 500 mAh Turnigy lipo battery has almost the same size as the Immersion RC EZOSD that I’ll use which were great news for me. By mounting the EZOSD like this I can always reach the buttons and cables on the other side. Right under it is another LED.
The RC receiver is hidden inside of the body.
The EZOSD got a lot of problems acquiring satellites since the gps antenna was hidden under the motor and esc and in between a huge amount of cables. Quite soon I found out that it worked better if I moved the EZOSD a bit out of the body but the problems continued. I did take a look in my huge RC box and find the long EZOSD GPS Antenna cable that was supplied included in the EZOSD box. The modification is very simple to make. Just cut the EZOSD’s shrink wrap open and carefully take out the gps antenna. The EZOSD is basically just two parts (the OSD-unit and the antenna so it’s no risk that you take out the wrong part). Loosen the gps antenna cable from both the OSD and gps antenna (a good advice is to take a picture of how cable were connected before you take it out) and replace it with the new longer cable. Take it out in the direction you want to and add a new shrink wrap to the OSD. The next part is to add shrink wrap to the gps antenna and connect the cable to it – it’s as simple as that.
It’s not easy taking a picture of how the LED’s look like when it’s dark outside. I can tell you that it looks a lot cooler and better in reality. The LED-kit that I bought contained a total of 8 LED’s but I did just use 7 of them since I managed to break one of them when I did try to install it. There are four different types of LED’s in this kit:
- Always-bright (red, green and white)
- Strobe (white)
- Slow-flash (red)
I’m really looking forward to try these mods out. Feel free to contact me if you got any questions regarding these modifications or other RC/FPV questions.