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scruffy1's blog
Posted by scruffy1 | Mar 07, 2014 @ 11:57 PM | 1,239 Views
ever so slowly i have been competing the work on this little beauty, and with the exception of some finer details on the programming, and finalising the launch peg, it's pretty much good to go

but enough redundant discussion; you can read all about it over here, or skip the earlier bits and catch up from here and onwards for the more recent work

as always, easier to look at the pictures, so here's a selection; the full thread's worth can be picked over here to quickly peruse the latter parts of build

enjoy !
Posted by scruffy1 | Dec 21, 2013 @ 05:37 AM | 2,421 Views
it had to happen some time

the surprising part was that it has been both times in the last two overly firm "arrivals" that it has been equipment, and not the pilot that takes the blame

after the mini-DLG spiralled in (and was finished off by an enthusiastic retriever living up to his pedigree), i have been slowly completing the binary 900 between distractions, and almost all my air time has been on the pitts epp, which i still love to bits as an all round fun flyer

until the elevator servo failed at around 10 metres up in a steep dive, and due to my normal response in near death circumstances being to point upwards and hit full throttle, i lacked the finesse to roll sideways and climb knife edge

despite going in hard, the only other part i think is a goner is the 1300mah lipo which took it on the nose also, and was a little inclined to puff marginally at full charge, plus the second cell is consistently a little (last charge 0.09v) under the others, despite being lovingly cared for

still, at around 100 flights i am prepared to retire it for safety; i've had my money's worth

likewise, at 250 flights as my first aerobatic full house, the pitts has served me well, and i have been eyeing the durafly hyperbipe as a worthy biplane successor (gotta build the reaktor yet too)

then i got nostalgic, and realised that between some 20 minute finish cure epoxy for all the bits that split some, and the blenderm to reattach the upper aileron and secure the partially...Continue Reading
Posted by scruffy1 | Sep 18, 2013 @ 05:01 AM | 2,891 Views
okay, so it has taken an inordinate amount of time to start to actually do the project, but on the plus side that's been time to hone my building skills with foam, and to get a feel for DLG with the (late lamented) mini DLG - may it rest in pieces

but the upside of its sad demise was that after the somewhat disappointing performance of the canary (another slow to mature project), i am really keen to have another DLG in the squadron - the mini was a great incentive to go to the park almost every day for some painless exercise

my original blog for this build is to be found here, but it's so ancient that i am starting afresh, although it is a good prelude on what is about to happen, describing my planning back in those innocent days before practical experience with foamies or DLG's - the interesting thing is that not much has changed with regard to my concept, but the details have evolved in light of other builds

i note that all the other build logs i have found seem to be for the v1 (rudder and elevator), and the aileron and elevator version (v2) has missed a detailed work log - and the building instructions supplied online by the maker are rudimentary

so, down to work

the original instructions suggest joining the wing halves, and then slotting the aileron hinges and cutting the servo holes for the aileron hardware

that seems counter-intuitive, given you need the wing inverted to get at the space for the aileron servo pits, and the dihedral will make that...Continue Reading
Posted by scruffy1 | Sep 08, 2013 @ 06:28 AM | 2,197 Views
first flights this afternoon - success

see the latest info here, or knock yourself out and take it from the top

in any event, it's a nice consolation to have a glider to play with after the premature and sad death of the mini DLG

ah well, plenty more where that came from...

up next, the binary 900, unless the reaktor grabs me first
Posted by scruffy1 | Aug 08, 2013 @ 08:09 PM | 2,409 Views
well, you can make sure you have a wingman on the field with a stop-watch and a good sense of duty

you can buy the hobbyking altimeter, and earn me some bonus points using my link; that works well on so many levels , but the gratification isn't instantaneous

however, if you own a spektrum dx8, you can select the trainer button to be a start / stop switch - but the very clever part is that if you hit the "clear" button (top left near the LCD screen) it resets the timer to zero

who'da thunk it ? not me, obviously, but someone on the dx8 thread here answered my query for "how to" almost instantly and so now my joy in flying DLG has just notched up another step
Posted by scruffy1 | Aug 06, 2013 @ 05:00 AM | 3,427 Views
what good is a mini DLG without a means to obsessively assess performance ?

actually, it's fantastic ! but the ability to measure altitude and also duration of flights is a big plus - it's really hard to go solo and manage a timepiece, let alone triangulate an altitude measurement from a single point... in fact, the last part is impossible

enter the hobbyking altimeter (cue fanfare of appreciation)

previously i was resigned to looking down at the clock on the dx8, and doing some basic subtractions after the flight ended - this required diverting my gaze from the flight to catch a glimpse of the time elapsed from initial power up of the tx/rx, and then remembering some obscure number like 12:37, then rechecking after i caught the returning plane, or touched down

clumsy, cumbersome stuff in the digital age, although i suspect i will still do it even with this baby in situ because that's how obsessive compulsive traits are, really

however, now i have this it auto-starts on plugging in the battery (gaining power from a spare plug on the rx), and records until power down - potentially for 63 hours per the included instructions, sampling once a second (with the option of 2 or 4 or 8 samples per second, programmable)

weighs in at 1.4gm per my digital scale (they claim 1.3), but there's a further 1.2gm for the power cord = 2.6gm airborne weight

the data downloads to your pc (and possibly mac with some fiddling) via usb - the software emulates a com port; the set up for win7 64bit was painless as described here...
  • install the software first (see attached zip files) - com emulator before the altimeter software
  • then plug in the connector via usb and it will autoinstall the driver for the device; mine came up as com4
  • you then need to open the software, press the FD-A<>PC icon, and make the com port setting to whatever "devices and printers" information tells you is the auto-assigned one by win7, and away you go !

    simple if you follow the directions

i'll post a sample graph once i do some flying
Posted by scruffy1 | Jul 28, 2013 @ 07:19 AM | 2,572 Views
a compilation of today's launches, to show how it goes...

mini DLG (3 min 31 sec)

Posted by scruffy1 | Jun 13, 2013 @ 03:44 AM | 2,627 Views
well in honesty it's a bit hard to do a build log about a plane kit that consisted of 7 flat pieces of epo foam, but it requires a bit of enthusiasm to squeeze the parts together, and some finesse to glue them appropriately square

it takes less effort to burn out the motor using a too large prop for the available amp rating (although it went up like a rocket before the sad demise of the windings)

further details over in the 3d foamies forum are now up; it's a work in progress really

edit : and now plan b
more details over at the link above, but waiting on better weather to get airborne again

and some further decorations because if i am going to crash and burn i will do it with style
Posted by scruffy1 | May 01, 2013 @ 09:10 PM | 3,505 Views
i have been guilty of procrastination on building the binary 900

goodness, over a year already...

anyway, i saw this sweet new toy and couldn't resist ! a more detail appraisal is to be found over here

for those interested, the "new" version is presently on backorder at hobbyking, listed as mini DLG composite discus launch glider, but i bought mine (the older version) from stella via aliexpress.com listed as mini DLG glider (or more verbosely "New! Standard Mini DLG glider yellow Balsa Radio controlled RC model airplane 2 servos pre-assembled removable fuselage head ")

it arrived really fast (just over a week) in perfect condition
Posted by scruffy1 | Jan 11, 2013 @ 05:05 PM | 3,166 Views
despite my best efforts at after flight assessment of battery use, i still find i am often very conservative with my predicted air time, and discover once i get home that i have only drained ~60% of the juice from my lipo

i had previously tried the 4s version with two buzzers, and although i was impressed by the piercing alarm, i was less enamoured by the fact that it wouldn't be quiet at peak volts until it dropped off to somewhere under 4.2v

easy to hear, hard to ignore, impossible to shut up early in the flight

so i bought its smaller brother, the 2-3s lipo alarm

works like a charm ! 4.5gm to carry aloft - negligible for the extra time you buy with it

whereas i was landing my pitts epp after 6 (to 7) minutes due to paranoia, i find that the dx8 timer makes my aware that i am getting towards the last few minutes, and the on board beeper tells me "time to land, really" - pulsing to full throttle confirms the voltage under load is getting low-ish

residual charge is at just under 3.7v per cell back at base, using the incredibly handy 6s lipoly cell checker


i could probably go longer, but 8-9 minutes is a very fine flight time and i don't mind a little stretch after that duration of looking up

buy one, and a cell checker - the combination for under $5 total is great value


Posted by scruffy1 | Dec 01, 2012 @ 03:50 AM | 3,170 Views
finally got it all together satisfactorily, and loving it

pitts redux (3 min 3 sec)

Posted by scruffy1 | Nov 21, 2012 @ 04:57 AM | 3,313 Views
here's some gratuitous shots of the tidiness that is my almost complete pitts epp

the build blog documents my thought process and the eventual outcomes of my various decisions

if you have the urge to build one you will find the details simplify your job as the included instructions are a little light on for actual measurements

you can make up your own, sure, but feel free to plagiarise my work to ease your burden

i'll update with some flight reviews once the wind moderates
Posted by scruffy1 | Oct 18, 2012 @ 05:30 AM | 4,165 Views
ah, hobbyking, you've done it again

i killed my spitfire it has a fierce tip stall just like the big one... or more correctly it had one, and too low for me to save it, as i was distracted fiddling with the trim at rather slow speed

still, i did get the opportunity to extract the servos and esc, and that's all that was needed for the pitts epp

so, while i am close to finishing the durafly slick 360 v2 and only need to mount the hardware and hook up the controls in my cuckoo, i have started another plane

i guess i always enjoyed building rather than flying, and foam is ridiculously easy to start

so, presently i am agonising over substituting carbon fibre spars in place of the supplied fibreglass rods, and i have already added carbon fibre tissue with finish-cure epoxy to the struts because i am learning the technique and it weighs ziltch for the strength it gives

i have also dragged out a really ancient hitec hs100 for the paired ailerons; it was my most micro servo way back when i scratch built a thermal glider last century; at 25gm it is a monster compared to my current (largest) 9gm from the spitfire

i've taken some education from here and a huge dose of inspiration from this video

Pitts-EPP from Hobbyking 1/2 (6 min 39 sec)


anyways, there are 3 x 1300mah batteries here without any other appropriate plane now, and i am eyeing off the belated spittie's plastic battery cage and rear wheel steering mount too

pictures as i progess to follow, but here's a teaser of the contents of the well packed (double boxed) contests for starters

please note that this build log will be continued over here in the parkflyers
Posted by scruffy1 | Sep 14, 2012 @ 10:13 PM | 3,691 Views
some further work detailed over here; a brief pic for encouragement
Posted by scruffy1 | Aug 30, 2012 @ 08:48 PM | 3,702 Views
i got miffed at the alligator clip chewing my wires when i tried to do fine (and even less fine) work, and came up with this idea

follow the link for more pics, but basically silicon fuel tubing plus teeth = mouth guard

a picture as always is worth 1k words
Posted by scruffy1 | Aug 26, 2012 @ 06:43 AM | 4,252 Views
a long time ago i crashed my slo-V and broke the motor mount and prop; after a protracted hiatus i ordered in replacement parts, duly fitted them, and then discovered that i had also stripped a servo in the first "return to earth"

the resultant more dramatic return was neither many nor happy

long story short : i discovered that carbon fibre is strong but brittle, and the fuselage was as shattered as my dream of flight

i measured all the proportions of the various parts in relation to the fuselage and stored them for future reference
a little surgery on the remains, and all the fittings were retrieved, although the control rod guide was reluctant to come away from the fuselage, and was simply amputated fore and aft with the fuselage still inside it

meantime i had started on my frenzy of procurement from hobbyking, and thought that i could source a piece of square section 8mm tubing; i couldn't, but then i decided why not go for the 8mm diameter carbon tube, and (bad pun alert) "wing it" from there

the two major obstacles were the round section of the fuselage, and the slightly short stock available

i overcame that by gluing the tail mount almost as far as physically possible, and reinforcing the overhang with a balsa splint into the tail tube, then reinforced it with epoxy and microballoons

using that as the reference, i threaded on the wing mounts and tightened the front mount with a zip tie, then used cyanoacrylate on the wing...Continue Reading
Posted by scruffy1 | Jul 08, 2012 @ 02:45 AM | 4,106 Views
because i can

bonsai 1 (3 min 42 sec)

Posted by scruffy1 | Jul 05, 2012 @ 08:58 AM | 4,155 Views
over here to view another current project

i meant to get started on the canary, and then the binary 900, but a confluence of circumstances and i'm presently building a variation of this


Posted by scruffy1 | Jun 30, 2012 @ 07:55 AM | 3,945 Views
bonsai (4 min 25 sec)

Posted by scruffy1 | Jun 28, 2012 @ 03:31 AM | 4,244 Views
just a brief entry to direct people back over to my thread on the bonsai, and my experiences with 3s

enough to note here that success is the result - but read the details here

woo hoo !