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  • Multi-function boards

    It seems lots of planes are coming out with multi-function mixing/lighting boards.

    This idea may simplify things by reducing the number of different boards (or at least the complexity of special boards for specific models.)

    How about putting the lighting on one board and any mixing/sequencing on another?
    Certainly the lighting boards would be capable of being standardized with maybe one or two jumper settings to do what is appropriate for many models
    Mixing/sequencing per model could just be jumpers and/or pots to control timing.

    Then those of us who don't use the sequencing/mixing, instead using advanced computer radios, can pull the other board out, removing some unwanted weight, making space for a gyro or something else we may want (like a separate RX system battery)

    Goal being to help both sides (production and purchaser) reducing the number of different boards which would make the per board cost less (higher numbers of any one board makes it cheaper per board) Reducing the number of different boards you have to stock and increasing the ease of doing something different for the end users.

    I'm now at the point of only light being hooked up to the multi-function board in my F-14. That's a large board doing very little.
    FF gliders and rubber power since 1966, CL 1970-1990, RC since 1975.

    current planes from 1/2 oz to 22 lbs

  • #2
    I agree. However, the market that MRC appears to be shooting for is the beginner and intermediate flier. Having a plug and play system that just works is perfect for that. Us old salt's can just unplug stuff and go around it if need be.

    On the L-39 I was grateful for the Blue Box. When I added a couple lights to the plane, the controller was built in.
    Meridian Aeromodelers, Meridian MS

    Comment


    • #3
      You're right, Seaviper. From a mass market point of view, I made the call that a few people choosing to remove a blue box that doesn't weigh much and didn't cost much is easier than expecting everyone to manage a tangle of wires themselves. Our target market is the convenience of PNP, the added benefit being factory wiring is covered under factory warranty. Additionally, the new MFCBs add functionality that give pilots options, such as your example of adding additional LEDs without adding additional devices.

      I'd add that Freewing wasn't the first to consolidate its wires in foam PNPs. One example is FMS, who has used multi-connectors that pre-date Freewing by a couple years. In fact it was based on customer feedback and their requests that we added the blue box in the first place to Freewing models in ~2014... Before that time, models like the Stinger 90 and early 80mms arrived with a tangle of wires and without any baked in LED solution. Another good comparison is the old Freewing B-17's wiring (without a blue box) versus the newer B-24 wiring (with blue box). The new style setup process is considerably simplified for the end user.

      Comment


      • #4
        Alpha, I like the idea of 'The Box' as those assist in eliminating some wiring mess and allow quick disconnect, but are these going to allow us newbies to adjust light timing and gear door sequencing? I notice almost all the aircraft now come with some nav lights, goodie lights, and gear doors. Best, LB
        Captain: Got any ideas?
        F/O: Actually not.
        — Captain Chesley B 'Sully' Sullenberger III and F/O Jeff Skiles—

        Comment


        • #5
          I love these "boxes". I can see the day coming when all a modeler has to do at the field is plug in the wings and that's it - go fly the thing. I'm not what you call a "newb" but I remember that when I was, worrying about the sequence of blinky lights and door sequencers was the last thing on my mind. It is still the case for me today, even though I can easily yank out that controller and do all that stuff myself.
          FMS has the right idea with their latest F7F. Plug in the wings and those bullets match up and it's ready to go (except for maybe one more plug per side). If only they got it right as some people had problems with the plug system making the proper contacts. Then comes the FW/FL B-24. It is my least favorite plane to take to the field, not because I don't like the plane but because of all those bloody connections - 8 power connections and 2 throttle plugs, plus ............. Unlike some guys at the field, I don't like spending all that time messing with my planes before getting them into the air. Those other guys love it because it gives them the time to BS with the boys. If I want to BS with the guys, I'll meet them at Starbucks. All that yapping turns a 3 hour day at the field into a 5 hour day at the field and it's not mostly flying, which is why I go there.

          Comment


          • #6
            Originally posted by Elbee View Post
            Alpha, I like the idea of 'The Box' as those assist in eliminating some wiring mess and allow quick disconnect, but are these going to allow us newbies to adjust light timing and gear door sequencing? I notice almost all the aircraft now come with some nav lights, goodie lights, and gear doors. Best, LB

            Hey Elbee, both MFCBs have options for both Single Stage and Dual Stage door sequencing. As far as "light timing", the flash intervals can't be changed by the user (if that's what you're talking about). If you're talking about timing a landing light to only turn on when the gear is down, then yes, the MFCBs also have ports for that function, called "Take Off Light". The smaller MFCB-E, for example, has two ports specifically for this purpose.

            Comment


            • #7
              Xviper, I love that you say "yapping". I thought I was the only one.

              Comment


              • #8
                Originally posted by fhhuber View Post
                It seems lots of planes are coming out with multi-function mixing/lighting boards.

                This idea may simplify things by reducing the number of different boards (or at least the complexity of special boards for specific models.)

                How about putting the lighting on one board and any mixing/sequencing on another?
                Certainly the lighting boards would be capable of being standardized with maybe one or two jumper settings to do what is appropriate for many models
                Mixing/sequencing per model could just be jumpers and/or pots to control timing.

                Then those of us who don't use the sequencing/mixing, instead using advanced computer radios, can pull the other board out, removing some unwanted weight, making space for a gyro or something else we may want (like a separate RX system battery)

                Goal being to help both sides (production and purchaser) reducing the number of different boards which would make the per board cost less (higher numbers of any one board makes it cheaper per board) Reducing the number of different boards you have to stock and increasing the ease of doing something different for the end users.

                I'm now at the point of only light being hooked up to the multi-function board in my F-14. That's a large board doing very little.
                Fhhuber, I re-read your post and wanted to point out that Freewing's older LED driver system did just that --the LED driver and the Gear sequencer were separate. If you're only looking for a small box to drive your F-14's LEDs, consider getting the older bit of kit.

                https://www.motionrc.com/collections...-controller-v3

                Comment


                • #9
                  Originally posted by xviper View Post
                  Then comes the FW/FL B-24. It is my least favorite plane to take to the field, not because I don't like the plane but because of all those bloody connections - 8 power connections and 2 throttle plugs, plus .............
                  I initially had the same thoughts as you on the B-24 but after taking it to the field a couple of times I've got it down now so it's assembled and ready to fly in 10 minutes, same for the disassembly.

                  Originally posted by xviper View Post
                  All that yapping turns a 3 hour day at the field into a 5 hour day at the field and it's not mostly flying, which is why I go there.
                  Yapping, ha ha, I see that Alpha commented that he says that, you guys are not alone, I say it from time to time myself.

                  Comment


                  • #10
                    Originally posted by Alpha.MotionRC View Post
                    Hey Elbee, both MFCBs have options for both Single Stage and Dual Stage door sequencing. As far as "light timing", the flash intervals can't be changed by the user (if that's what you're talking about). If you're talking about timing a landing light to only turn on when the gear is down, then yes, the MFCBs also have ports for that function, called "Take Off Light". The smaller MFCB-E, for example, has two ports specifically for this purpose.
                    Alpha, Does MotionRC build another control module that allows adjustable flash intervals for a series of lights? I am thinking for the F-4 I'd like to sequence the 'approach indicator lights' (Christmas Tree) on the nose gear door and also the Spitfire/Seafire variant has 3 belly light indicators for a similar system. Best, LB
                    Captain: Got any ideas?
                    F/O: Actually not.
                    — Captain Chesley B 'Sully' Sullenberger III and F/O Jeff Skiles—

                    Comment


                    • #11
                      Originally posted by Alpha.MotionRC View Post
                      Xviper, I love that you say "yapping". I thought I was the only one.
                      "Yapping" is the noise that comes out of "clap traps". No, I don't want to hear about your grandkid's tonsilectomy or what your wife said to you when the UPS truck came with a big box ...................... AGAIN! and how you need to hide the next box better so she doesn't ever see it.

                      Comment


                      • #12
                        Originally posted by dkalwishky View Post
                        I initially had the same thoughts as you on the B-24 but after taking it to the field a couple of times I've got it down now so it's assembled and ready to fly in 10 minutes, same for the disassembly.
                        I have mine down to 10 minutes, too. BUT, in that time, my flying buddies have flown twice.

                        Comment


                        • #13
                          Bingo....!

                          Comment


                          • #14
                            Originally posted by xviper View Post
                            I have mine down to 10 minutes, too. BUT, in that time, my flying buddies have flown twice.
                            It's interesting how we all look at things differently. It takes longer than 10 minutes to get my first set of batteries charged so for me it's not wasted time. I used to charge them in my office a hour or so before I'd leave work but it became a hassle to lug everything into my office then there was the worry that if I stepped out and one of them caught fire that I'd burn the place down.

                            Comment


                            • #15
                              Originally posted by dkalwishky View Post

                              It's interesting how we all look at things differently. It takes longer than 10 minutes to get my first set of batteries charged so for me it's not wasted time. I used to charge them in my office a hour or so before I'd leave work but it became a hassle to lug everything into my office then there was the worry that if I stepped out and one of them caught fire that I'd burn the place down.
                              It is interesting, isn't it. Charging batteries is time I spend in front of the TV watching a favorite recorded program. The charging time doesn't invade my consciousness. It's just doing it in the background. When I get to the field, that time is precious as I've got things to do in the other parts of the day. (I don't make a day of it when flying.) I don't mind the "yapping" when it comes to helping another flyer with his plane or talking about what the next "bestest" plane is going to be, but the most enjoyment I get is from actually being in the air with my buddies as we fly together in formation no matter what we fly. Of all of us who fly at that field, I'm one of the few who have the most complicated planes with respect to putting together and taking apart. Most guys simply get to the field, pull out a complete plane, throw in a battery and they are in the air within minutes of turning their car off. I have many of these planes myself, but I also have more variety of planes. In the summer, I take 4 to 6 planes with me. Only one, maybe two, are so big that they must travel dismantled. Up until the B-24, the most tedious to fly are my big sailplanes and those take less than 5 minutes to get ready. Even my big Corsair and CZ T-28 don't take more than 5 minutes. I look very carefully at how much it takes to take apart and put together any plane before I buy. The B-24 was one that I felt I "had to have" and at that time, it was time I bought another plane from MotionRC. The next large plane I buy will have to have "ease of assembly at the field". Those control boxes are like "sliced bread".

                              Comment


                              • #16
                                I can’t get my MCB-E control box to work correctly in my CZ T-28.
                                Everything is working correctly apart from the nose steering and the landing light. Both function is reversed.
                                The nose steering and the landing light are only active when the gear is retracted. They should only be active when the gear is down.
                                I have tried everything and I am at a loss. I even tried signal reverser in each respective channel. I tried to bypass the blue box just for the gear channel; on this instance I have nose steering at all.
                                i have also tried the search function but I was unable to find anything.
                                I would be grateful if anyone could offer a solution.

                                Comment


                                • #17
                                  Originally posted by t01ga View Post
                                  I can’t get my MCB-E control box to work correctly in my CZ T-28.
                                  Everything is working correctly apart from the nose steering and the landing light. Both function is reversed.
                                  The nose steering and the landing light are only active when the gear is retracted. They should only be active when the gear is down.
                                  I have tried everything and I am at a loss. I even tried signal reverser in each respective channel. I tried to bypass the blue box just for the gear channel; on this instance I have nose steering at all.
                                  i have also tried the search function but I was unable to find anything.
                                  I would be grateful if anyone could offer a solution.
                                  I have a CZ T-28 myself and I seem to recall that the wiring in it is fairly simple without the use of a control board. So, if I understand you correctly, you've added one of these control boxes out of a newer Flightline product for reasons that I can only assume is to control lights that you've added and to control steering servo at times when the nose gear is down. The T-28 was pre-control board era. This T-28 was made by FMS with Eflite parts (or specs). The retracts themselves are already the type that is slowed down and the steering servo was always separate from the rudder servo and could have been put on a separate channel so it could be operated only when the gear is down if the owner so desired. These control boards use common grounds and some common power leads and even some signal leads are common. Some Eflite parts (and FMS parts living up to Eflite specs) can be atypical of the usual bits and pieces found on other planes. Retracts already have that extra circuitry to make them work as they do and even those big servos can have unique properties. They may not be compatible with the control board you're using. You might be better off to wire the retracts and steering and control surfaces directly to the RX as they were intended and do a mix so the steering works only when the gear is down. As for the lights, you might consider going with a light controller and hooking that up to another channel where you can do a mix to control them as you wish.

                                  Comment


                                  • #18
                                    Originally posted by xviper View Post
                                    I have a CZ T-28 myself and I seem to recall that the wiring in it is fairly simple without the use of a control board. So, if I understand you correctly, you've added one of these control boxes out of a newer Flightline product for reasons that I can only assume is to control lights that you've added and to control steering servo at times when the nose gear is down. The T-28 was pre-control board era. This T-28 was made by FMS with Eflite parts (or specs). The retracts themselves are already the type that is slowed down and the steering servo was always separate from the rudder servo and could have been put on a separate channel so it could be operated only when the gear is down if the owner so desired. These control boards use common grounds and some common power leads and even some signal leads are common. Some Eflite parts (and FMS parts living up to Eflite specs) can be atypical of the usual bits and pieces found on other planes. Retracts already have that extra circuitry to make them work as they do and even those big servos can have unique properties. They may not be compatible with the control board you're using. You might be better off to wire the retracts and steering and control surfaces directly to the RX as they were intended and do a mix so the steering works only when the gear is down. As for the lights, you might consider going with a light controller and hooking that up to another channel where you can do a mix to control them as you wish.
                                    Xviper, thanks for the reply buddy.
                                    So the answer is the the steering servo is not compatible with the board.
                                    I have by-passed the blue box for the landing gear but that didn’t solve the problem.

                                    Comment


                                    • #19
                                      Originally posted by t01ga View Post

                                      Xviper, thanks for the reply buddy.
                                      So the answer is the the steering servo is not compatible with the board.
                                      I have by-passed the blue box for the landing gear but that didn’t solve the problem.
                                      I can't say for sure that the steering is not compatible, just that it may be odd enough that it can't be run through a control board. Now, the fact that you've by-passed it and it still doesn't do what you want might tell me that having it hooked up to the board may (or may not) have shorted something out. I would suggest testing each component (NOT the lights) using a servo tester to make sure that all the retracts and control surface servos and steering servo work as they should.
                                      I'm using an 8-ch Rx and my steering servo is plugged into ch. 7 and mixed to only work when the gear is down. All my retracts are hooked together using a 3-way "Y" and goes via a single plug into the gear channel. AIL are "Y'd" as are the flaps. If you want to run the lights off the control board, you may have to put power into the board in some way so that the lighting circuits are energized, since in the planes that use this board normally, it's one or more of the plugs coming from the RX that's provides the positive lead for the board. Because you won't have any other leads coming from the RX, you need to provide some way to run power and ground to the board but you won't be able to use the different features of the lighting circuit of the board as there's nothing else plugged into it. For the lights to know when to turn on and off (as in when the gear goes down), you need to tell the board when the gear is down and that's not possible if you don't have the retracts going through it. Testing lights directly through a servo tester is not a good idea as this can and likely will burn the lights out as soon as you plug it in. That's where a light control box comes in handy. Those can be found and purchased as a spare part from some of the older Freewing products like the 90mm Venom.

                                      Comment


                                      • #20
                                        Originally posted by xviper View Post
                                        I can't say for sure that the steering is not compatible, just that it may be odd enough that it can't be run through a control board. Now, the fact that you've by-passed it and it still doesn't do what you want might tell me that having it hooked up to the board may (or may not) have shorted something out. I would suggest testing each component (NOT the lights) using a servo tester to make sure that all the retracts and control surface servos and steering servo work as they should.
                                        I'm using an 8-ch Rx and my steering servo is plugged into ch. 7 and mixed to only work when the gear is down. All my retracts are hooked together using a 3-way "Y" and goes via a single plug into the gear channel. AIL are "Y'd" as are the flaps. If you want to run the lights off the control board, you may have to put power into the board in some way so that the lighting circuits are energized, since in the planes that use this board normally, it's one or more of the plugs coming from the RX that's provides the positive lead for the board. Because you won't have any other leads coming from the RX, you need to provide some way to run power and ground to the board but you won't be able to use the different features of the lighting circuit of the board as there's nothing else plugged into it. For the lights to know when to turn on and off (as in when the gear goes down), you need to tell the board when the gear is down and that's not possible if you don't have the retracts going through it. Testing lights directly through a servo tester is not a good idea as this can and likely will burn the lights out as soon as you plug it in. That's where a light control box comes in handy. Those can be found and purchased as a spare part from some of the older Freewing products like the 90mm Venom.
                                        Thanks for the great explanation bud. The stock receiver is 6 ch so I will leave it as it is. I have now Y’d the steering to rudder and into the Rud ch on the blue box so the steering works when the gear is down but steering is also works when the gear is up (just like the stock set up). If I ever have to put a different receiver I will go with 7ch and over and will mix the steering as you have suggested.
                                        As for the landing light that it is only active when the gear is retracted and turns off when the gear is down. I will stick that into strobe ch and I will be happy with that.
                                        Thanks for taking time to help me out, I appreciate it.

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