3D Robotics

How to mod a Multiplex EasyStar

I was reminded by the Pict'Earth guys last weekend that one of the best all-purpose planes for carrying cameras, GPS recorders and any other sort of equipment you want to test is the Multiplex EasyStar, a virtually unbreakable powered glider. Because it's made of elastopore foam you can carve out the equipment compartment to carry pretty much anything you want, and the same foam protects everything in case of a "hard landing".

EasyStars are available for $54 without the radio equipment. This post is just a quickie to show you what else you'll need top make them good UAV platforms.

Although the kit comes with a brushed motor, I suggest you upgrade to a brushless so you can carry heavier loads with ease. This motor is a perfect fit and has power to spare. I matched it with this ESC. As always, you'll want Li-Ion batteries if you can afford them. An 11.1v, 2200 mAh pack will allow you to fly for more than half an hour under power. A 6x4 prop fits perfectly

For a radio, almost anything with six channels or more will do. The EasyStar has compartments pre-cut for servos; the HITec HS81s fit them best.

Finally, here's an important point. With the more powerful brushless motor, you'll find that rudder is really too small to be effective. You need to make it bigger to increase its "authority", which both helps in more extreme moves and at slow speed. The easiest way is to glue or double-sided-tape two business cards to the rudder. Here's a picture of one such mod (I didn't bother to trim mine as neatly as this guy did):

Once you've done all that you can shove all manners of cameras and such in the equipment area. If you don't want to carve holes in the bottom, you can always just bolt a camera to a bit of wood and strap it to the top, like this.

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  • Hello all,

    wondering, as the link to the replacement motor is dead: what type of motor would be a good substitute? As a newby, I am a bit lost in all the different types, mounts etc that are being offered. 

  • Thx for the help guys, I am going to use a Spectrum DX7 to retool the plan, seems to be pretty easy so far. I'll let you know how it works out! Thanks agin or all the good comments, this board is great! I'm sure I'll have many more questions :)

  • Moderator
    Again, be careful about powering up the plane before you know you have a signal from the TX.
    I add a cutoff switch wired before the motor so you can work with the radio RX being powered without necessarily running up the motor.
    The are several threads here at DIYDrones that show the damage even the default motor and prop can do if not treated with respect.
    In my younger days I had forgotten the proper sequence for powering up the TX before the RX a few times...lucky no one ever got hurt, but I've scared myself a couple of times!
  • Moderator
    @David, You are right about expecting status lites.
    What does the manual say? Or check the Hitec web site.
    The TX should have some LED to show its up and running.

    Are we sure the AA batteries are any good?
    If it wants Alkaline AAs, we can't use 4x nicads instead since the rechargeables are rated @ 1.2 volts each, nt the required 1.5v... But the transmitter still would indicate if it was on or not.

  • Moderator

    Have a look online for BMFA training manuals, some very good free advice for early RC flying. I am on an uber slow connection right now so can't find them.

    Start with good habits and stick with them.

  • Hi Guys, yeah, the TX uses 4 AA's (mine does out of the box, you can mod it to use rechargeable). I'm giving the RX a full charge before I call it quits. I would just think with new batteries the TX should at least light up status lights on the TX?

    Thanks guys!

  • Moderator
    Also, if that model of radio is a 3 channel, then you will have to upgrade before adding an autopilot.
  • Moderator
    You have to be positive that the transmitter is charged up and working before switching on the battery for the plane.
    If the TX aint working, then of course the servos and motor have nothing to control them... Not safe!
    Not familiar with that model HiTech radio, so I don't knw if they use alkaline AA, lipo, or nicad for the radio batteries, but if the are rechargeable, then its a good bet that they won't work right out of the box, (in fact it's not safe to use LiPo's without charging them).
  • I bought the EasyStar, first thing, the RC Transmitter didn't power on NEON-SS FM, not a light to be seen, the second thing, maybe my misunderstanding, the plane when connected to the battery, went nuts, the servos were just going wild, the motor was sputtering. Not that happy with my internals, the plane looks great. The RC gear...not so much on the working side.

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