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Control line reels

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Control line reels

Post  ian1954 on Sat Jun 25, 2016 6:44 pm

As my control line experience progresses, I am getting ready to move to larger models (still under construction) so I thought I would get a stock of lines.

I couldn't believe how expensive they were here and not so easy to find. They are all imported from the USA but following Brexit - the price here will increase.






I managed to source some 1000 ft reels of 012, 015, 016 and 018 for the princely sum of £25 but then it came to reels to store them on. I had a couple of moulded ones and so I copied them ready for 3D printing.

I made them in two parts so that they press fit and lock together, I use Geomagic to design the parts (well not design - more plagiarise!) and then transfer them to Repetier for slicing and printing.



It takes about one and a half hours to print both "halves" including cooling so that I can remove them from the printing bed without distorting the hot plastic. I use ABS.



This gives me two parts.





These simply press and click together



I made two today



Plain sailing? NO!!!!! I made two lines the same length the other day and I coiled them up. When I took the tape off them to put them on a reel I had a clumsy moment and the wire went all over the place - looped and twisted! It took me an hour to untangle the damn things without kinking them!


Last edited by ian1954 on Sun Feb 19, 2017 3:04 pm; edited 1 time in total
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Re: Control line reels

Post  Marleysky on Sat Jun 25, 2016 7:39 pm

Welcome to the "long line" world of curls, kinks and snarls!!   lol!


PS: Real nice work on the printed reels! United Kingdom
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Re: Control line reels

Post  Cribbs74 on Sat Jun 25, 2016 10:38 pm

Ha, that is funny Ian. Guess you learned to never coil them off the reel. Also in case you don't know, be sure to wind them onto the reel under slight tension or you will have more of the same fun.

Once they stretch and get wound up a couple times they get easy to work with. Nice job on the laser reels! What a great tool and skill to have.

Ron
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Re: Control line reels

Post  RknRusty on Sat Jun 25, 2016 11:14 pm

Ian, you should be able to get those lines from a fishing outfitter, probably in the salt water tackle category. Maybe the reels too. Next time you make a reel, try one about an inch wide, you might like it better, especially for me, when reeling them in at dusk. Swaging tubes at sport shops are plentiful as well, though I expect you already have copper single barrel ones. The double barrel are good for your .027" leadout terminations at both ends. Just allow for interference at the bellcrank end. I have a hard time with my fingers wire-wrapping the thick leadouts, but swaging is arguably fine and suits me. I also use the black nickle ones, and I think they seem to be just as good. I've used copper single barrel crimp tubes for the flying lines on small planes, but for my stunters I wire-wrap them, all .015" lines. I will not use .012 on any .25 plus plane that I fly, they're fragile and I do not trust them. 7 strand is best, 19(I think) strand twisted steel is more troublesome.

When finished flying, before reeling them in, walk down the lines with an acetone soaked clean towel. Never roll them up dirty. Cut a strip of spongy styrofoam that fits snugly between the reel walls and use it under the clamp to trap the line ends that go to the handle. Then put the handle and spool in a ziploc bag until next time out.
Rusty

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Re: Control line reels

Post  Ken Cook on Sun Jun 26, 2016 5:35 am

I've had success by taking the line sets off of the reel and laying them side by side on the ground. I pin the end in front of me to the ground using a small screw driver. I then use two nickles pinching the line between them and run them out to the other end. Not only can it fix kinks, it can take the twist out of the line set. The opposing end has to be able to spin. I had 1500 feet of .018 that regardless of how you took it off the spool and put it on a reel it would bird nest the instant you pull off the clip.

The reels for control line are essentially too small. They coil the lines too tight and cause them to take a set. This is why 5" reels and as Rusty mentioned 1" wide work better. One more thing to mention, the Brodak reels have a slot down to the center of the reel on the fin around the perimeter. This is obviously to tuck the line terminations into when hooking them up to the reel and finishing rolling up. The problem with the straight slot is that it stresses the ends badly. Sig reels have a L shaped slot vs the straight which allow the terminations to lay in the same direction as the spooled wire. Your not taking it bending it over into the slot. Also never take the lines off of the reel by manually going over and under. Always roll them off.
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Re: Control line reels

Post  ian1954 on Sun Jun 26, 2016 6:48 am

Thanks chaps. What started as easy ended up time consuming and still will.

I had no problem taking the cable off the mother reel, laying it out and making off the ends. I made a little jig for this.

I made a little jig for winding up the ends and keeping them the same length and, as usual, I made a stock of various sizes and lengths. Unfortunately, before I made the reels so I just wound them up and taped them together,

Why do I make so many? They won't last me very long - I am clumsy and won't be able to always see them before I tramp up and down on them. I reckon that, with the materials I have, each set of lines will cost me less than 75p ($1 ?) a set. Half of that is the reel.

I went to the local fishing shop last week - the chap who runs it is in his 70's and looks at me with suspicion. I bought some swivels, lead weights, clips and an assortment of goodies - he doesn't stock reels! - only with fishing lines already wound on! Every time I go there, he asks me where I am going fishing - when I tell him that I don't fish and that I use this stuff to stop model aeroplanes flying away - he goes very quiet! I only usually go there for lead weights and airgun pellets.

I can see that a larger reel would be better but I want to be able to put them in my pocket. I have also thought about putting two together and keeping the lines separate.

And for Ron

Ha, that is funny Ian. Guess you learned to never coil them off the reel.

Ron




Sixteen "Bird's Nests" waiting to happen! I hope everyone learns from my mistakes.
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Re: Control line reels

Post  getback on Sun Jun 26, 2016 7:13 am

this is good information for me also , being I have never used the wire leads myself . Thank You for bringing it up Ian , and good looking reels too. Do you guys roll both wires up at one time or individually ? Eric
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Re: Control line reels

Post  Ken Cook on Sun Jun 26, 2016 9:06 am

Eric, reel them both up together. I like to use colored heat shrink tubing on my termination ends. I do this at my leadouts on the plane as well. I use red and green. No mistake on hooking the lines up backwards. This doesn't sound like it could happen, but it has happened to me more than once. I can't tell you how much fun it is to try and fly like with the controls hooked up backwards.
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Re: Control line reels

Post  RknRusty on Sun Jun 26, 2016 9:50 am

Ken Cook wrote:             Eric, reel them both up together. I like to use colored heat shrink tubing on my termination ends. I do this at my leadouts on the plane as well. I use red and green. No mistake on hooking the lines up backwards. This doesn't sound like it could happen, but it has happened to me more than once. I can't tell you how much fun it is to try and fly like with the controls hooked up backwards.
Lol, yeah, I've tried it too. I always do an elevator movement check last thing before turning 90* and waving my pitman off, on every flight, even if it's been hooked up all day.

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Re: Control line reels

Post  fredvon4 on Sun Jun 26, 2016 11:12 am

Take a look at these $1 each 5" and 7: reels

You have to make a balsa or hard wood center to roll them up

I saw these on another forum...I think BOTR.... and bought a few in both sizes  but have not yet transferred any of my made up line sets to the bigger reeles

http://www.piratetacklecompany.com/Williamson-Hook-Trace-Holder-p/th-s-l.htm
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Re: Control line reels

Post  ian1954 on Sun Jun 26, 2016 11:32 am

The Full Monty

https://www.wellsystackle.com/index.php?route=product/product&product_id=1268

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Re: Control line reels

Post  RknRusty on Sun Jun 26, 2016 11:42 am

ian1954 wrote:I can see that a larger reel would be better but I want to be able to put them in my pocket. I have also thought about putting two together and keeping the lines separate.
Cargo pants, Man! #1 glow igniter and chicken stick in my top right side pocket, #2 igniter in my right cargo pocket, 4-way cross wrench in my left cargo pocket with room left over for a 5"x1" reel. And my plastic hemostats to prevent fuel siphoning goes into my top left side pocket prior to priming and cranking.

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Re: Control line reels

Post  roddie on Mon Jun 27, 2016 6:08 am

Lots of great info here. Ken mentioned the Sig reels having that L-(actually a T) shaped slot for the terminations, which seems real important to me. Larger diameter reels make a lot of sense too. There are some things that just shouldn't be compromised for convenience-sake.
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Re: Control line reels

Post  pkrankow on Mon Jun 27, 2016 6:31 am

There needs to be a slot in the one side. Building up a thicker part so it can be cut with a saw is one way to do it., but the machine can probably print it in slot and all for you.

Very nice.

I have some rolled without reels, and yes they are bird's nests waiting to happen. A bit of care gets them unrolled and rolled onto a spool without much fuss. Putting a large tube (paper or PVC) inside helps with the not bird's nesting.

Phil
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Re: Control line reels

Post  Mark Boesen on Mon Jun 27, 2016 5:02 pm

years ago i saw somebody made a reel out of a couple small pie tins pop riveted together, i like the idea of larger reels for less coiling of the wire, the little sig reels work , but wouldn't be my first choice.
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Re: Control line reels

Post  Oldenginerod on Mon Jun 27, 2016 5:39 pm

This is all I ever used as a kid.

These were locally made by Aeroflyte, our biggest model stuff producer.  Storage reel and handle in one.  I recall that's about all anyone ever used out here at the time.  It had two separate grooves, one for each line.  You'd connect the lines and then just reel then out.  When you finished, you left them connected and just reeled them in again. A small piece of fuel tube jammed in each groove kept them in place.  The drawback is that you needed a separate handle for each set of lines if you wanted different lengths or thickness, and you couldn't alter line-spacing.  Actually, for smaller planes I just used to reel them out part way and use the pieces of fuel line to hold the line from spooling off further.  Seemed to work well for me at the time.
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Re: Control line reels

Post  ian1954 on Mon Jun 27, 2016 5:41 pm

Any thing much larger is beyond the capabilities of my printing machine. I am looking at this though.

I managed to unwind two coils without bird nesting using the tube method that Phil suggested. I used sticky tape wound on loosely with the sticky side outwards.

I will machine a slot in them - it will be L shaped and angled.

Strange - no one mentioned "Bird Nesting" anywhere else on the forum. I walked into that one and trod on it! Doh!
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Re: Control line reels

Post  roddie on Mon Jun 27, 2016 6:57 pm

Ian, I realize that you mentioned wanting to put the line-reels in your pocket.. but you may want to look at the lines (SS in particular..) as the one connection to the model.. that is the most important.. and needs to be optimized for ease of use and longevity. Being "me"... I thought about making storage-reels from the tops of large-plastic paint buckets. Shocked The 5 gal. pails we have here in the U.S. are 12" dia. and have flanges around the top.. for line to be wrapped around. Your pails in the U.K. must be similar. Cutting the top off a bucket wouldn't be difficult. I know that you've amassed a lot of paint-buckets recently.. The large diameter rings might be a better way to at least "store" all those coils that you've made.
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Re: Control line reels

Post  Oldenginerod on Mon Jun 27, 2016 7:27 pm

The good thing with the reel I pictured is that you wind the reel and not the line. As you wrap a line around a drum (even a kite string around a stick) it rotates the line and twists it in one direction. This will cause it to want to "escape" once you start to loosen it on the reel. Roddie would know that the one sure way to tangle audio (microphone) leads is to wind them up one way. You need to wind them "over and under", with each wrap cancelling the twist of the previous. You can't really do this with control lines, so rotating the reel is the only way that you can prevent twisting the lines. That's probably the thinking behind the Aeroflyte reel I have, as well as the Jim Walker U-Reely, and even the Cox Skylon reel.

Rod
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Re: Control line reels

Post  roddie on Tue Jun 28, 2016 5:34 pm

Oldenginerod wrote: Roddie would know that the one sure way to tangle audio (microphone) leads is to wind them up one way. You need to wind them "over and under", with each wrap cancelling the twist of the previous.
Rod

I'm really anal about my audio-cables. I coil them (the ones under 25') into 8-10" coils and put them separately into 1-gal. freezer storage "zipper-bags". This keeps them from getting tangled.. as well as keeps them clean. Most of my cables are 15+ years old. The only time I don't bag them.. is if they get wet.

A small dessicant-pack placed inside a zip-seal bag provides ultimate protection against corrosion and dirt for any materials that would be adversely affected by exposure to those environments. Anything having an electrical connection or physical metal-fatigue due to corrosion would benefit from such storage. Glow-ignition leads and Stainless Steel line-reels are just two areas where the C/L aero-modeler could greatly benefit. Quart-size "freezer" zip-seal bags are a good size.. and I use them extensively for "off the model" engine storage.
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Re: Control line reels

Post  Cribbs74 on Wed Jun 29, 2016 1:33 am

Don't over think this stuff. Reel them up and roll them off. I've never had a problem, even as a newb.

Had a couple small hiccups along the way, but it all worked out. Ian your reels will be fine.
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Re: Control line reels

Post  Oldenginerod on Wed Jun 29, 2016 2:00 am

Cribbs74 wrote:Don't over think this stuff. Reel them up and roll them off. I've never had a problem, even as a newb.

Had a couple small hiccups along the way, but it all worked out. Ian your reels will be fine.

True, but you can put twists in the lines by rotating the line around the stationary reel. You're better to roll the reel, especially if you roll them while still connected to the plane, which prevents them from rotating the twist out. I only ever used fishing swivels as a kid. I know Perfect sold exactly the same thing as line connectors, but these seem to be frowned upon these days. I never had one fail.
The most important thing is, don't get a kink. Once a line is kinked you should discard it
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Re: Control line reels

Post  ian1954 on Sun Feb 19, 2017 4:22 pm

I came across thes on Fleabay and ordered a few to try out.

http://www.ebay.co.uk/itm/262722499312?_trksid=p2060353.m2749.l2649&var=561655876339&ssPageName=STRK%3AMEBIDX%3AIT


I cut an angled T in the side and reeled in one of the line sets I had made up. Worked a treat and the handle folds in and locks the reel.

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Re: Control line reels

Post  wha-tah-hey on Sun Feb 19, 2017 7:47 pm

There's a thread on SH from a few weeks back about those same reels, Ian.
I ordered a few and, once lightly oiled, they spin easily. The hand grip is small for me but workable.
I cut off the rod guide and use the 2 molded (moulded) "hooks" to keep the lines somewhat separate during rolling.
I'm thinking of making up a glued in 2-part center divider to keep 'em completely apart... if I get ambitious.
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Re: Control line reels

Post  ian1954 on Sat Feb 25, 2017 5:47 pm

I haven't done any mods to mine yet but I think this is the link you mentioned

http://stunthanger.com/smf/open-forum/ball-bearing-line-reel-44864/

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Re: Control line reels

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