How to Convert the Mini Super Cub to DSM2 and Double the Flight Time

Spektrum Flexibility in a Fun Little Plane

Out of the box, the Mini Super Cub is good fun. It has a 2-channel esc/receiver combo and a stock Hobbyzone transmitter. It's a decent start, but I like to go out in the field with one superior radio - my Spektrum DX7. On a side note, after using mine for 9 months, I'm grateful I waited until I could afford it. The DX6i was tempting me with its lower price, but thankfully I stuck to my guns and saved my dough. I would have used all my model memory up by now and been wishing for a more.

I modified my Mini Super Cub using a Spektrum AR6100e receiver, a brushed speed control, and two 3-wire servos so I could enjoy the advantages of my DSM2 radio to the fullest with this fun little plane. The whole operation was easy, and allowed me to use expo, sub-trims, throw rates, dual rates (awesome for buddy box flights), etc. etc. etc...

As sweet as it is to fly the Mini Super Cub on a high end radio, the ten minutes I got from each charge of the stock battery tended to leave me wanting more. I shopped around for an alternative, and it doubled my flight time! Even if you don't have a DSM2 radio, or plan to get one, you should still change out the stock battery for the bigger battery that I recommend, because that $10 investment bought me 10 extra minutes of full throttle flight for every charge - a total of 20 minutes of speedy responsive flight. Don't get me wrong, this is still a Cub - no 3D flyer, but great fun to loop around the park.

Who:

Hobbyists who have swapped parts on RC planes before

Skill Level:

Basic - familiarity with drills, screwdrivers, and epoxy glues

What You Need:
  • 800 mah Li-Po battery
  • double stick foam, epoxy, or hot glue
  • 1 to 2 hours

Stock Parts

  • Hobbyzone Mini Super Cub RTF RC Airplane

Upgrade and Mod Parts

  • Spektrum DSM2 (or your preferred DSM2) 6-channel radio transmitter
  • Spektrum DSM2 AR6100e (or your preferred DSM2) 6-channel radio receiver

Here are the simple steps to convert a stock Mini Super Cub to a DSM2 capable park flying super star:

  • Step 1 : Remove the main wing. Pry up the bottom cover with a flat lever of some kind. It's held in place with double stick tape. Take your time on this to make sure it's a clean job.
  • Step 2 : Remove the two staples holding the linkage in place - they're held in with a little glue, but very easy to remove.nLoosen the control linkage at the elevator and rudder. I found just under 1/2 turn for mine was more than enough.
  • Step 3 : Find the wire that run from the sensors to the board. Cutting them about halfway works well so you can use either end again if needed. Next use a solder gun to remove the motor wires from the receiver board.
  • Step 4 : Turn the plane right side up. I used a small pair of needle nose pliers to remove most of the glue holding the receiver board in place. When you've removed most of the glue, carefully remove the receiver board. I started by freeing up the "brick" (receiver) from the plane. Then I slowly removed the rudder and elevator linkage. Once again take your time, or you'll break something.
  • Step 5 : You should now have room to spare to solder your new speed control to the motor, making sure you check the correct polarity. Then run the battery lead down through the foam, and the receiver wire into the back underside compartment. After making sure the wires are nice and neat, secure the speed control to the inside of the fuselage.
  • Step 6 : Then I trimmed the ends of my servo arms to make them a lil' bit shorter, and carefully inserted one of the control linkages into the end hole on the servo horn. I test fitted it, and found it to sit nicely. I trimmed the next servo are the same way, hooked the linkage to it, and set it in place as well. I looked at the control surface linkage and found one was very close to not being long enough and the other had extra. The linkage that was running short I hooked up with the control surface in the neutral position and locked it down. Then I went back and checked that the servos could swing and move freely without obstruction. When you feel everything is in the right place, secure the servos with glue, epoxy, or whatever means you like.
  • Step 7 : Now it's time to route your servo wires. I found it worked well to run them into the underside of the canopy with the speed control lead. Then hook the speed controller into the throttle channel, the elevator into the elevator channel, and the rudder into the aileron channel.
  • Step 8 : Turn on your transmitter and bind it to the receiver, then it's time to set the servos up. Make sure your trim settings are in the neutral position, and the control surface linkage is loosened up. If the servo horns are not 90' from the servo (or close to center), remove the screw holding the horn in place, and wiggle the horn off. Now get the horn as close to center as you can. You can fine tune it using sub-trim on your transmitter. Now hold one of the control surfaces in the neutral position and tighten up the hold down screw.
  • Step 9 : Now check the operation of the motor and control surfaces. If your motor spins backward reverse the wires. If your control surfaces move in the opposite direction, use servo reversing on your transmitter. I set my throw rates up as follows. I made no changes to the throttle and rudder channels.
Review:

I didn't fly my Mini Super Cub right out of the box. I kind of regret it, but I hope to sell the receiver/servo board with transmitter in their unused condition on ebay to help pay for the new parts I put into it. Also, I enjoy introducing others to the world of RC, so I wanted to be able to fly with a buddy box set-up. Not to mention carrying around a bunch of transmitters is silly when I have 20 model memory. The use of Expo and Dual Rates is very nice too. I have flown with both the stock battery and the larger ones stuffed into it. I have noticed a small difference between the two batteries in the way the plane flies. However the extended flight time is well worth the extra weight.

I have logged many, many hours on my regular Super Cub, and I was anxious to see how the little gal flies. After a pre-flight check to confirm everything was working properly, off I went. From a still position I threw the throttle to full and she went up into the great blue yonder. I was pleasantly surprised at how fast she is in the air, and she climbed rather quickly. After a few minutes of tooling around I thought it time to put her in high gear and let her rip - click, click went my D/R switches, and swoosh she went. Loops? No problem. Barrel rolls, no problem. Even snap rolls and death spirals are completed at dizzying speed.

After about 5 minutes of flight time I thought I would drop her back down into low gear. I started at about 100' feet up and killed the throttle. I floated dead stick with a hint of down elevator to prevent a stall. When I got down to about 20' feet I started the throttle back up - beginning with about 1/3 throttle and very slowly dropping the throttle stick. I wanted to know how slow and low I could go. At about 1/8 throttle and at a fast walking speed I found the stall speed. She went down faster than I could compensate with full throttle and full up elevator. I can fly my Super Cub at a walking speed with no issue all day long, but the Mini is just not as slow.

The abrupt stall is the only thing I don't care for on the plane. Given the chance - yes, I would definitely buy it again.

The Next Thing To Try: Throttle and Elevator Mixing for Flatter Flight at All Motor Speeds

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