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Sullivan S522 Bulk Cable Kit
Easy, light, strong and not dumb
Text, photos and video by Tom Hintz
Posted – 9-22-2015
A friend told me about the Sullivan S522 Bulk Cable Kit and my days of fighting with manufacturer cable pull-pull systems was mercifully over. The most common pull-pull kits certainly were strong enough and done right, very secure. Others, like that in my ESM 88” Zero are absolutely frightening and promise a dead airplane eventually. I always suspected that there had to be a better way and that turned out to be the Sullivan S522 Bulk Cable Kit.
The Sullivan S522 Bulk Cable Kit is a solder type kit so you need that equipment and skill but both are common amongst RC enthusiasts. Not having to deal with the double loop configuration of traditional pull-pull systems makes it far easier to get the right length with the Sullivan S522 Bulk Cable Kit. Also, because there is no loop at all there is nothing to catch on surrounding structure so the Sullivan S522 Bulk Cable Kit makes an exceptionally clean system that is easier to install.
The Sullivan S522 Bulk Cable Kit comes with 30 feet (9,1 M) of .032” (0,81 mm) of brass plated stainless steel cable, about 30 feet of nylon cable housing and eight 2-56 brass solder couplers. You can get additional 2-56 by 1” brass couplers (Sullivan S512) in a package of 8. I wish the Sullivan S522 Bulk Cable Kit came with a dozen of these couplers but buying the extra packs of them is not a deal breaker.
Normally when my pull-pull cables are suspended I do not use the included sheath. However, in some installations the sheath can afford protection for the cable and can go a long way to insuring smooth movement.
In the Shop
It is important to remember that installing the threaded couplers on the wire depends on the principle that solder runs to heat. I dip the cable end in flux and run that in and out of the coupler a few times to get some flux inside. Then while holding the wire deep into the coupler hold the soldering iron on the coupler a ¼ or so from the end. When you have enough heat solder held against the cable at the end of the coupler will melt and be drawn into the coupler. After allowing the solder joint to cool I use a pliers with pronounced teeth to lightly “stake” the coupler in two or three spots to further lock the cable in place.
Another important point is using a good side cutter for cutting the cable. If you side cutter is old and beat up it will fatten the individual wires in the cable and make it very difficult to get into the coupler. This might be a good time to update your side cutter with a good quality new one and make your life in the shop a little easier.
Most times I will cut pieces of cable several inches longer than needed. I solder a coupler on one end and add the ball link. This way I can attach the cable at the more confined end and leave the other end or where I have more room to work. Sometimes it is just easier to do all of the soldering on the outside of the plane. In either case I put a ball link on a coupler and use that to determine the overall length of the cable needed. There is a good amount of adjustment on both ends of the cable providing “fudge” room to help get the finished length right.
The photos and video show my ESM 88” Zero that has 6 cable running from the servos to the tail. The elevators use one pull-pull, the rudder another pull-pull and the tail wheel another pull-pull. The rudder and tail wheel cables run to the same servo with the rudder attached at the ends of the double servo arm and the tail wheel cables connected inboard from the rudder to reduce the tail wheel travel somewhat. Using the Sullivan Kit this system is not hard to do but just imagine all the loops and cable ends of a normal pull-pull system…..
I know some will question using 2/56 sized hardware on a giant scale plane but this system seems to be stronger than necessary for the control surfaces of my ESM 88” Zero. On my 3D planes I use the heavier cables and the loop/loop attachments most planes come with because there is so much more room in those planes. Also the giant control surfaces, wild throws and much higher speeds all mean heavier control cables are warranted.
The Sullivan S522 Bulk Cable Kit has saved the day more than once for me when building a plane. This is a simple, strong solution for many planes that use pull-pull cable controls. The simplicity of the installation combined with zero snag factors and very capable strength make this a worthy addition to your next build that needs it.
The Sullivan S522 Bulk Cable Kit sells for about $28.00 (9-23-2015) but you get a bunch of cable that may cover two or three planes depending on the size. I know it adds to the cost of a build but it just might save the cost of a crash so that makes the Sullivan S522 Bulk Cable Kit a must-have for many of my planes.
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