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NexSTAR EP with PA-2 (pilot assist)

Old 03-22-2008, 11:27 PM
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floridawen
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Question NexSTAR EP with PA-2 (pilot assist)

The Hobbico NexSTAR EP (electric) comes with a “PA-2 sensor” which is basically four photocells , each 90 degrees from each other, inside a round housing mounted under the fuselage of the plane, connected to an electronics module. When its electronics are properly adjusted and the sun is at least 25 degrees above the horizon, its job is to return the plane virtually from any altitude to straight-and-level when the sticks are released. There is an adjustable gain which determines how fast your plane stabilizes. It is recommended that this be set at 35% of total gain.

http://www.futaba-rc.com/radioaccys/futm0999.html

Did anyone ever use this feature on their NexSTAR EP and does it work well ?? One guy at the RC Club I just joined said he used his for the first week then disconnected it, but it DID help him learn without a “buddy box” or assistant next to him, and he did not crash or end up in the tree tops with his NexSTAR.


I have not flown (or even purchased) an RC plane at all yet, just spent less than a week with my RealFlight G4 simulator.

Last edited by floridawen; 03-23-2008 at 12:23 AM.
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Old 04-02-2008, 05:49 PM
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I would suggest going on a buddy box with any RC plane if you haven't flown before. The help of an experienced pilot goes way beyond just getting you out of a sticky situation. The coaching and encouragement do wonders to help maintain your "cool" in flight when you might get disoriented briefly. That is what the Assist does, level out your plane for you but it doesn't give instantaneous feedback like a pilot standing next to you in what to do. Also Join AMA and get the benefits of membership. The NexSTAR EP is a large plane and requires a large area to fly, It should not be flown in areas like you might fly a Aero or other small park Flyer. Most RC clubs will let you fly under tutelige without AMA only briefly. I have an ElectraStar EP and it flies well [about the same size as the NexSTAR but fewer perks] but it is not a plane I would fly at a small venue like my Beginair.
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Old 04-02-2008, 06:13 PM
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Originally Posted by Superbee View Post
I would suggest going on a buddy box with any RC plane if you haven't flown before. The help of an experienced pilot goes way beyond just getting you out of a sticky situation. The coaching and encouragement do wonders to help maintain your "cool" in flight when you might get disoriented briefly. That is what the Assist does, level out your plane for you but it doesn't give instantaneous feedback like a pilot standing next to you in what to do. Also Join AMA and get the benefits of membership. The NexSTAR EP is a large plane and requires a large area to fly, It should not be flown in areas like you might fly a Aero or other small park Flyer. Most RC clubs will let you fly under tutelige without AMA only briefly. I have an ElectraStar EP and it flies well [about the same size as the NexSTAR but fewer perks] but it is not a plane I would fly at a small venue like my Beginair.
Thanks for the advice, I will take it........ and about AMA, I joined them 3 weeks ago (I tried to get my number I had in 1960's but it was already recycled) got a new number and card and joined a local RC Club in Lakeland, Florida (PropBusters RC Club). There are quite a few guys there that will "buddy-box" with me and help me along. As much as I practice on my RealFlight G4 simulator I know I will "freak out" and not be as "cool and relaxed" as I hope I would be, flying my new plane. Some one jokingly told be to bring an extra pair of undies ................
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Old 04-02-2008, 06:28 PM
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A plane you might look at is the Electrastar EP. It is just about the same size as the NexSTAR EP. It sells at Tower Hobbies for $199. I purchased one last year before the Nexstar came out for 299. I fly with 2-8.4 v NiMhD. I get about ten minutes flight. but I am ready to land in 10 min. I have some large 7.4 and some 14.8 v LiPos but havent flown with them yet. The Electrastar really flies well.
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Old 04-02-2008, 07:10 PM
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Originally Posted by Superbee View Post
A plane you might look at is the Electrastar EP. It is just about the same size as the NexSTAR EP. It sells at Tower Hobbies for $199. I purchased one last year before the Nexstar came out for 299. I fly with 2-8.4 v NiMhD. I get about ten minutes flight. but I am ready to land in 10 min. I have some large 7.4 and some 14.8 v LiPos but havent flown with them yet. The Electrastar really flies well.
I did consider the ElectriStar EP but the 4-channel radio that came with it was not nearly as "good" as the 6-channel Futaba 6EXAP that came with the NexSTAR, and I wanted a "better" radio so I bought the NexSTAR EP. ALL the reviews I have read on the ElectriStar EP said it truly was a great plane. I hope it's brother the NexSTAR EP can live up to being a fine "trainer" as well. I still am "afraid" of Li-po's :o I bought two 3600 mAh, 9.6V, 8 cell NiMH's for it.
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Old 04-02-2008, 07:40 PM
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This sounds just like the ACT tech that's in a lot of the HobbyZone/ParkZone planes. And from what I hear, it's crap and can kill your plane, especially flying at low altitudes. Heaven forbid you should fly over a large, bright white tent and your plane suddenly decide it's going to crater itself.

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Old 04-02-2008, 07:54 PM
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Originally Posted by gzsfrk View Post
This sounds just like the ACT tech that it's a lot of the HobbyZone/ParkZone planes. And from what I hear, it's crap and can kill your plane, especially flying at low altitudes. Heaven forbid you should fly over a large, bright white tent and your plane suddenly decide it's going to crater itself.
I was told by quite a few people, actually MANY, to TURN IT OFF and NEVER use it. Some suggested to actually disconnect it and remove its wires from the receiver. I can understand what you mean by flying over a bright white tent as it looks for "light" (sun) and tries to keep the sun on "TOP" of the airplane. The sun angles are also a major factor for this device to keep the plane "level" and it even states about sun angles and when NOT to use it in the manual. The ONLY time it seems to do what it is designed to do is in the RealFlight G4 Flight Simulator and that's all !!
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Old 04-03-2008, 08:24 PM
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I bought that system years ago when I was learning. I put it on my own glo plane. It does work.

It also tells you not to fly over water or anything reflective. Remember though, it does nothing unless you are giving NO stick input. It won't dive into the ground unless you let it. Your still in control.

I flew in fields and never had a problem. I'm not saying use it, a buddy box is the better route, but it does work.
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Old 04-04-2008, 11:35 AM
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Originally Posted by SUPERSPORT View Post
I bought that system years ago when I was learning. I put it on my own glo plane. It does work.

It also tells you not to fly over water or anything reflective. Remember though, it does nothing unless you are giving NO stick input. It won't dive into the ground unless you let it. Your still in control.

I flew in fields and never had a problem. I'm not saying use it, a buddy box is the better route, but it does work.
Since I was removing the original Futaba 72MHz Receiver in the NexSTAR EP and replacing it with a new Receiver (2.4GHz) I got with my recently purchased Futaba 7C RC System (on sale at Tower) I decided to disconnect and REMOVE the entire PA-2 (controller and sensor) assembly. Now I have to get a piece of white plastic , cut it out and cover the hole where the sensor was. The entire PA-2 assembly w/ orig. instruction book, is sitting in a plastic bag in my workshop.

And YES, I plan to "buddy-box" my new NexSTAR Select EP (electric) with the new Futaba 7C !! I'm just hoping our RC Club has a "buddy-box" for the NEW 2.4GHz Futaba, or can you use just ANY Futaba "buddy-box"
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Old 04-04-2008, 06:59 PM
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I still have mine also plus another. My FIL bought a Nextar 40 and I took it off before he even flew it. It wouldn't have helped him anyway. 3rd flight he ran it out of fuel and went down in a corn field. The farmer found it 3 months later with his corn picker.

I looked in my 6EX manual. It should only be hooked to another micro trainer jack. Mine lists the T6EX, T4EX, T6EXA, T7C, T9C, T12Z, T14MZ, and FX-40.

Look in your manual but they should be the same.
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