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Multiplex Easystar Ailerons mod, brushless motor, custom FPV pod, camera and Fatshark 5.8ghz FPV set
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Published
Jun 26 2011 by FaTe
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The IcanFly project failed but is not forgotten just in a bag in the shed now! Moving forward I decided on getting myself the most talked about plane for FPV flying which is the Multiplex Easystar.


*ES - Easystar


The ES as standard is 3 channel controlled: Rudder( Yaw left/Yaw right), Elevator (Pitch up/down) and Throttle control over the 400 in-runner brushed motor supplied with the model (the ESC (Electronic Speed Controlled) is not included). I ordered a Turnigy 2200kv brushless in-runner motor which is a 400 fit, this means no modifications are required to fit it. Simply install the motor where the original would go. I paired this motor with a Turnigy 30AMP plush ESC.

Notice I fitted my ESC on top of the fuselage for maximum air cooling, this saves from having too add air duct pipes in the fuselage.

I give the Easystar it's maiden flight after the aileron modification shown below and decided it is not necessary to extend the rudder or elevator control surface area's as many people do. The ailerons add massive amounts of roll which is A) fun but B) gives more control in higher winds and landings (in any winds).

On with the mods!
/media/Easystar/Easystar-aileron-mod-1
The ailerons start (from the fuselage side) 20CM out, each aileron is 30CM wide by 4CM long. I used trusty clear duck-tape for hinges.
/media/Easystar/Easystar-aileron-mod-2
The servos are located at the end of the spar rod area so that you don't accidentally block the support rod passage. I cut the outline the scraped out the middle.
/media/Easystar/Easystar-aileron-mod-3
You can see how the servo sits pretty flush in the wing.
/media/Easystar/Easystar-aileron-mod-4
The servo cable is ran down the seam line already there saving from making additional cuts. A Futaba Y-lead is used to connect the cable when the wing sections are inserted at the field.
/media/Easystar/Easystar-aileron-mod-5
Another view angle.
/media/Easystar/Easystar-aileron-mod-6
The 2 finished wing halves, A simple horn was screwed into place and control rod used with an adjustable collar so it's simple to adjust the pitch.
/media/Easystar/Easystar-FPV-pod-1
Next is making a pod for the FPV gear. As I wanted all the FPV kit powered off it's own battery to give a piece of mind to get a constant video feed lol. First I drew a template around the original pod and then on 1MM ply wood cut out 2 full templates all as one.
/media/Easystar/Easystar-FPV-pod-2
You can see the bent sections how the wood glue fills the void creating a solid join. The 1st template I scored (slightly cut into the wood) along the bend line and bent the wood at the angle needed and the same on the other side. The 2nd template I cut into 3 sections on the joins and doubled up the back using wood glue to sandwich the pieces together solid.
/media/Easystar/Easystar-FPV-pod-3
Perfect copy of the original stock fit.
/media/Easystar/Easystar-FPV-pod-4
I added a strip across the back and used the same wood glue to fill the bent area's which further strengthened the shape.
/media/Easystar/Easystar-FPV-pod-5
I want to use 11.1v 1300mah lipo battery packs (3 cell) to power the FPV gear so first is a slot area for it too sit in securely. The side struts are double ply dimensions: 8CM*2.*CM then angle cut ends to suit.
/media/Easystar/Easystar-FPV-pod-6
The video transmitter gets hot so air flow is highly important, by mounting it in front of the battery it gets a constant airflow during the entire flight. Note there is an additional support on top of the battery area which sits the transmitter up right straight and not slanted like the battery.
/media/Easystar/Easystar-FPV-pod-7
The camera is yet too be mounted at this point but total weight for the entire kit as it would be on the plane being 184 grams.
/media/Easystar/Easystar-FPV-pod-mock-fit
Testing the pod in the Easystar which you can see with the aileron mods and pod all in place. The camera will be in a fixed position so I can create my first proper cockpit dashboard, also Mikey checking out the new gadgets.
/media/Easystar/fatshark-headset
These are the FatShark 5.8ghz video goggles I'll be using to fly :D
Now it's important you don't just go buy an Easystar and add all the FPV gear straight away, ensure you have a couple of flights without any FPV equipment at all. I know there are plenty of OSD (On Screen Display) systems out there that can provide data on the screen but I like old school. For this reason I wanted to build a proper dashboard in the view of the camera to monitor like a real aircraft cockpit.
/media/Easystar/Test on laptop
Here you can see the whole thing in action using the video > USB dongle I'll be using to record the flight while I view real-time. The pod is on the right powered by it's own 1300mah 11.1 volt 3C lipo, that's transmitting too the receiver on the left which is powered by the same specification lipo pack of it's own.
/media/Easystar/Pod-stage-1-finished
I cut a little slot out on the back top and wood glued a small metal rod across the gap solid in place, this forms a place to loop velcro over in order to secure the battery pack.
/media/Easystar/Pod-stage-2-finished
The wiring has been wrapped up underneath to keep it out of the way but also makes operating the pod a simple case of putting a charged lipo battery pack in and inserting the 2 plugs for power. When your at the field you don't want to accidentally forget some part of connections or such, a simplistic design will lessen the chance of an accident later.
/media/Easystar/Pod-stage-3-finished
I've nicely sanded the whole pod down and added a simple screw on the front of the canopy so the back slots into place then screw through the front secures the pod in place. I didn't want a reflective surface on the pod as light could reflect too the camera view effecting white balance, that's why I choose the easiest and cheapest method by far: Black Permanent marker! For as far as I could reach all around the pod, singular colour hides little gaps well and it makes it look like a blacked out canopy which I like.
Finally our pod is complete and ready for use! Now to maiden the Easystar with FPV gear, check out the video:
More to come but for now we're FPV flying!
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