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Posted by Red.Sneakers | Mar 25, 2015 @ 10:14 AM | 1,961 Views

Stagility mode for SAFE equipped planes.... Its not just for quads anymore!
Work of Genius for Dummies
Contribution by RCG member dacaur .
too good not to archive
= = = = =

So having recently gotten a blade 200QX, I have been doing a lot of reading on quads, and stagility mode is something that's come up..... Stagility is a mix of stability, and agility.... Basically it allows you to have full control when you move the right stick (assuming mode 2) but takes you back to beginner/self level mode when you let go of the stick!

So I thought, well, my sport cub S, along with any other plane with SAFE, delta ray, apprentice, super cub S, etc, has self leveling mode, so why cant we use stagility on them?

Well, turns out, we CAN!

I like to fly around in beginner mode, for carefree flying, but like to do stunts too, so I have to switch it to advanced for my stunts, then back to beginner...

Well, not anymore. Now I can fly around, using the rudder to turn, and be in beginner mode, but as soon as I want to to a loop, or lose altitude fast, all I have to do is use the right stick, and its in advanced mode until I let go of the stick, at which point it goes back to self level, all automatically!

Stagility V2 is here, new and improved, no elevator flutter like V1 had....

What this does is use panic mode to give self leveling, then moving the right stick turns off panic mode, and you have full advanced mode until you release the stick, at which point it goes back
...Continue Reading
Posted by Red.Sneakers | Mar 20, 2015 @ 11:48 AM | 1,743 Views

Let’s see if I got this right for setting the timer based on aero / battery performance.

Benchmark data

Note: This only applies under normal operating temperatures, not under cold or extreme conditions. The same battery was used for all tests. Each test started with a just-charged battery full capacity. The objective is to get back to the airport before LVC kicks in.

---> 220 mah = Battery Rated-Capacity

---> 176 mah = Practical-Capacity is 80% of rated (220x0.80)

---> 018 mah = Reserve-Fuel-Capacity is 10% of practical (176x0.10)

---> 158 mah = Target re-fuel at end of sortie (176-18)

Results of Benchmark Test

---> 108 mah = The refueled mah back up to 4.20v after a 5 minute, takeoff, level touring, & landing sortie, the test

---> 300 seconds = 5 minute duration of benchmark sortie (5x60)

---> 0.36 mah = Amount of energy used per second (108/300)


---> 158 mah = Target re-fuel at end of sortie (see above)

---> 0.36 mah = Amount of energy used per second (see above)

---> 439 seconds = Target fuel usage (158/0.36)

---> 7 minutes 19 second = Rated timer setting (439/60 = 7.31 = 7 minutes 31/100 seconds) (60x0.31 = 19 seconds)

---> 30 second = Target return-to-airport allowance after the timer expires

---> 6 minute 49 second = Theoretical timer setting (439 –30)/60 = 6 minutes 82/100
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Posted by Red.Sneakers | Mar 13, 2015 @ 04:53 PM | 1,863 Views

Finishing up some winter projects. The umx Radian has been fitted with a Flight Logger, measuring altitude & temperature during the flight time. The challenge is to maintain the weight penalty as low as possible.

Flight log from March 16, 2015
[best glide = 15 sec motor run to 147 feet AGL
with a 1 min 40 sec glide to 50 feet AGL
or an average of approx 1 foot descend rate per second]
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(click on picture to view larger)
click here for a great flight with thermal activity
click here to see what a ride under a Nimbostratus cloud looks like

Key Specifications:
Ultra Micro Y Harness for Single Battery FPV (SPMVC1101)
HobbyKing Altimeter
Price: under us$30
Dimensions: 21x13x5mm
Weight: 1.3g ~ 1.4g (sensor Only)
Working Current: ~ 7mA
Operating Voltage: 3.7 ~ 8.4v
Sampling Frequency: up to 8hz (sampled 8 times a second)

Here is what was on my mind:

--> Update: Oh my, looked under the hood & realized the logger uses what appears to be Molex Pico Blade connector. Opens up a world of possibilities to shave a few grams off the weight - the "Y" connector also uses Pico Blade connectors.

--> The naked sensor weighs in at 1.4 gram, so that is the minimum weight penalty; however, we need some wire connections for the power

--> Here is the third revision I made. Very carefully removed the black & red wire from the logger & "Y" connector. Inserted the "Y" connector wires into the logger connector. Cut the white jumper
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Posted by Red.Sneakers | Mar 12, 2015 @ 09:45 AM | 2,018 Views

X4 Micro AC/DC 1-Cell LiPo Charger Part No: 44212
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This is my 3rd & final blog on this charger. After much to-do, many of us believe the MX port on the X4 Micro AC/DC 1-Cell LiPo Charger Part No: 44212 is NOT a Molex PicoBlade port as required for charging the typical E-flite 150mah or similar batteries. Hi-Tec will not confirm nor deny the extract configuration of the MX port but they are providing a free adaptor: MX port to the typical E-flite Molex PicoBlade batteries.

Alert: DO NOT plug your E-flite 150mAh 1S 3.7V batteries (or others with the same Molex PicoBlade connector) directly into the MX port as they may be damaged. Use an adaptor with the proper battery connector.

The minimum specification for the charger is a 0.10 amp charge rate. There seems to be an issue with the manufacturing process as the two I have had only allow a minimum charge setting of 0.12 or 0.13 amp.

So the first question is why buy this product?

- The X4 is a good value, notwithstanding the MX port issue & minimum charge rate setting

- It comes ready for an AC / DC power source

- It has a “Molex” / “Molex R” / “MX JST-ZH” / “mCPX” battery port

- It charges 4 batteries at a time, each independently monitored

- A simple adaptor can be made or purchased to charge other 1s batteries with different connectors

- Hi-Tec provides one free MX port to E-Flite PicoBlade battery adaptor, if you need more or did not get one, just
...Continue Reading
Posted by Red.Sneakers | Mar 01, 2015 @ 02:48 PM | 1,698 Views

I just love this poster!

Posted by Red.Sneakers | Feb 14, 2015 @ 10:23 PM | 2,417 Views

I am a fixed wing RC pilot. Have tried my hand at some small helis & quads. The transition from fixed wing requires a learning curve. Most importantly, controlling a heli requires minor & constant stick input. Once the heli starts to get out of control, pilot corrective oscillation can quickly lead to a crash. I have watched folks just sit there and practice hovering. While I know a clean hover takes skill, I wondered why? Once you master the hover you can then advance to practicing controlled ‘flight’.

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by Dave Scott Lessons in proactive vs. reactive flying Helping new helicopter pilots learn to hover with greater efficiency and fewer mistakes. Featured in the December 2014 issue of Model Aviation.

I was catching up on my AMA Model Aviation magazine and read the article by Dave Scott. These are great articles and worth reading for beginners and as a refresher after a long winter. Checked on the internet and noticed the articles are available on pdf. Here are the articles:

- Hover Training: Part 1. Ground School => http://www.rcflightschool.com/60helihover.pdf

- Hover Training: Part 2. Crawl-walk-run => http://www.rcflightschool.com/61HoverPractice.pdf

- Hover Training: Part 3. Maneuvering => http://www.rcflightschool.com/HeliHoverManeuver.pdf

You may also want to review the blog "Ya you, the Drone Operator"
=> http://www.rcgroups.com/forums/showthread.php?t=2339555

Posted by Red.Sneakers | Feb 07, 2015 @ 01:21 PM | 4,240 Views

This is my first year flying in cold temperatures. It all started when a friend from Australia felt bad I was not flying in the winter & gifted me a Tx glove to keep my hands & Tx warm. Thought all I had to worry about was staying warm, acquired all the gear I needed for my area. Great, I got it now. Wait, there is still an unsolved mystery behind door # 3.

Cold temperature increases the internal resistance of a battery, effectively lowering the discharge “C” rating. While using a 45C battery is better than using a 25C battery, it may not be enough to give you long flight times. So what is the answer? Keep the Lipo batteries warm “at The Core” until you are ready to use. It also helps to keep the motor running at all times so the heat generated by the battery helps keep the core warm while in flight. For extreme conditions, you may want to consider installing the battery in a ‘blanket’ of sorts to slow down any cooling effect the wind / temps may have. There are many ways to keeping a battery warm until you go use it. In my search for a “battery warmer”, I found the HK Battery Warmer.

Here is what was on my mind (click on picture to view larger):

- I need to control the temperature of the batteries. The Warmer gives settings between 77F ~ 25C to 113F ~ 45C. It will cycle on /off based on the temperature you set.
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- I need to keep the unused batteries warm until use. A Lipo battery at 50F at the core can lose as
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Posted by Red.Sneakers | Feb 03, 2015 @ 05:13 PM | 3,825 Views

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Please note, a Drone = any unmanned aircraft system! Heli, Plane, Balloon, Rocket, etc.

"Know Before You Fly is an education campaign founded by the Association for Unmanned Vehicle Systems International (AUVSI), the Academy of Model Aeronautics (AMA), and the Small UAV Coalition in partnership with the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) to educate prospective users about the safe and responsible operation of unmanned aircraft systems (UAS)."

Ya, that's right, You! If you fly anything outdoors, this applies to you & your 'drone'.

So best check it out => www.knowbeforeyoufly.org

Get timely alerts on NOTAM/TFRs affecting Model Aviation on the Web
=> http://www.modelaircraft.org/members...bs/notams.aspx

There are other websites you should be aware of:

The FAA Says You Can't Post Drone Videos on YouTube
=> http://motherboard.vice.com/read/the...eos-on-youtube

No Fly Zone "NoFlyZone will be a trusted source of aeronautical data for the unmanned aircraft community"
=> https://www.noflyzone.org

RC Fly Maps "Our purpose is to connect people with safe places to fly their RC aircraft."
=> http://www.rcflymaps.com

Posted by Red.Sneakers | Jan 19, 2015 @ 03:08 PM | 2,453 Views

I commonly relocate the tail wheel of my ultra-micros from the rudder to the fuselage to prevent damage to the rudder when landing on the grass or doing near vertical landings. However, a fixed tail wheel is not friendly to taxing on a hard surface. You can always learn to drive with the tail up. A simpler solution was needed, one that would not add any discernable weight to the tail. Original weight 0.2 grams, Finished mod weight 0.2 grams.

RCG Member teflon97239 challenged the umx Sport Cub S2 forum to come up with a rotating tail wheel for the ultra-micros. Looked at some of the larger models for ideas. Off I went to the LHS to see what I could find. Here is one solution.

Still a work in progress. Feel free to post your ideas.

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- Start with the normal tail wheel removed from the rudder, 0.2g
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- Cut the wire
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- Get a piece of Carbon Fiber Square Tube (I like the stiffness) 2.5mm OD x 1mm ID and some old micro wheel hubcaps (wrong cut, to be revised)
...Continue Reading
Posted by Red.Sneakers | Jan 19, 2015 @ 09:57 AM | 2,450 Views

I like to standardize my DX9 Tx settings, just makes it easier to add new models & remember what’s what. Here are some of my standard settings for all my umx aero & some other models. Setting may not apply to some aero. As every model is different, please bench test all your settings using the monitor & during a pre-flight check. I will tweak these settings for each model & after some flight tests.

I have also included a copy of the DX Custom Voice Alerts as reference, see footer for pdf file. Suggest you print it and highlight those you normally use. By knowing the sequence number, you can find them faster once you know how many positions you travel with one roller roll, like a dance: fast, fast, slow.

Wireless Trainer = Master has All controls (co-pilot controls assigned at the field)
-------> Switch = A
-------> Master Over-Ride = Inhibit
Trainer Alerts
-------> Instructor = Voice = Instructor Control
-------> Student = Voice = Student Control
-------> No Signal = Voice = No Student Signal

Servo Setup
-------> Ail = 98 / 98%
-------> Ele = 98 / 98%
-------> Rud = 98 / 98%

D/R (default High / Mid / Low) & Expo (not used)
-------> Ail = 100 / 85 / 70% Switch = F
-------> Ele = 100 / 85 / 70% Switch = G
-------> Rud = 100 / 85 / 70% Switch = C
Note the switches are those located closest to the corresponding stick

Throttle Cut (default for Cut = switch up)
...Continue Reading
Posted by Red.Sneakers | Jan 07, 2015 @ 11:54 AM | 2,477 Views

Many times when flying some touring sorties, I or onlookers ask, “how high was it?” So I decided to permanently install an altitude sensor on the umx Sport Cub S2 aka Taz. I have a Champ with an altitude sensor and have found you can hone in your altitude estimate by comparing to the reading.

Follow the pictures for a step-by-step guide and weight penalty. Stock unit was 5.8g, mod unit is 3.6g. As shown in the blog “Champ Dreamer w/ streamer & sensor”, the altitude sensor consumes very little power.

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Posted by Red.Sneakers | Jan 06, 2015 @ 11:53 AM | 2,224 Views

Spring is around the corner bringing us calmer winds & fair weather. From time to time, I run into a youth and / or adult that expresses serious curiosity about RC Flying. The AMA insurance covers members when we take up a new pilot for the first time while using a buddy-box system. My new DX9 allows for a wireless setup which is much more convenient.

I have always struggled on how to give those interested more information while respecting my own privacy & their own. Today I came up with a new card that links newcomers to the AMA & RCG websites, allowing them to get both a free youth membership & contact me anonymously via RCG.

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Here is a sample of my script for the adult:
“For more information on the hobby, visit the AMA website. Youth get free membership & insurance. If you have any questions, feel free to contact me anonymously at RC Groups. My insurance covers me only for the first time I take someone up, if you run into me again and want to fly one of my planes, you’ll need to show me your AMA Card.”

Posted by Red.Sneakers | Jan 05, 2015 @ 02:48 PM | 2,306 Views

After some discussion on the Tx value for Throttle Cut, GooberSB posted some excellent comments that I want to preserve in my blog. May be interesting reading for some.

by RCG Member GooberSB

“The sign of the value depends on the transmitter being used. Some have a range of 0 to 100 but most now seem to have a range of -100 to +100 (or even -150 to +150) So, on many new transmitters the throttle cut value should be negative.

What that value should be depends on the throttle value saved by the ESC during calibration or the value hardcoded into the ESC firmware (if it doesn't allow calibration). This is entirely for safety purposes but can cause serious harm if not used carefully.

When calibrating an ESC the lowest throttle value in the high-low range is remembered and treated as "0" throttle by the ESC. Any value above this minimum is throttle input. This is why calibrating an ESC with throttle trim set to the lowest value or using the throttle hold/cut switch can be very dangerous. If the model is ever powered up with a higher throttle value (due to trim tab centered or throttle hold/cut in the "off" position) the motor will turn.

Some ESCs require a calibration sequence, some do it automatically when they initialize, and some do not let you change the throttle range at all.

I haven't seen a UM brick yet that allows calibration so that takes the worry of setting the minimum throttle too low with trim and throttle cut out of the picture.
...Continue Reading
Posted by Red.Sneakers | Dec 20, 2014 @ 12:16 PM | 2,842 Views

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Nimbostratus clouds covered the sky, enabling the pilot to enjoy some long power-off glides. Temp 28.7F (-1.83C), pressure 30.15 & falling, average wind 2mph N, potential gusts up to 16mph ENE, elevation: 612ft. Winter gear, hand warmers & Tx glove secured. Timer set for 4 min 40 seconds. E-Flite 150mah 25c batteries could not handle the harsh conditions; they kept cutting out after a few minutes. Landed and refueled with Mini Aviation 220mah 45c Avgas batteries. These batteries performed great in the cold, allowing for two 10 minute sorties.

After being in the hanger for 140 days, Champ Dreamer is back in the air for his first test run with a borrowed set of wings. Dreamer only had 3 hours of air time before his last mission when he got stuck in a thermal and landed with a cracked wing. His permanent wings are at the painters being stenciled with his new name “Stratus”. Stratus, was commissioned due to being fitted with an altitude sensor and touring AGL beyond his size.

Old reliable, Champ Clipper, has also been taken out of the hanger after 84 days and fitted with a new fuselage. Historically, Clipper was originally Champ JTF Clipper, while undergoing certification testing, due to his clipped wings (17.3 inch – 440mm wing span versus stock of 20.3 inch – 515mm). After many test flights, he was fitted with his own fuselage and renamed Champ Clipper. After 16 hours of air time, his electronics where deemed unreliable and he got a new fuselage. Due to his war bird like prowess, he was renamed Champ Snoopy.

Both aero are awaiting a new Sport Cub S2 model motor & prop. While they wait, the pilots are enjoying some relaxing winter sorties.

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Posted by Red.Sneakers | Dec 17, 2014 @ 10:02 AM | 2,663 Views

A friend on RCG group told me about this method for creating decals for planes. I finally tried it and it works really well. Here are the steps:

- Prepare a sheet of your favorite images

- Print your color image on paper using a color laser printer or find a store that will print laser for around 50 cents
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- For best results, wash hands before starting to remove excess grease & dirt from your fingers.

- Cut the image you want to use, leaving space for handling. Later you will trim to the final size

- Cover with clear packaging tape, overlap tape if needed
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- Using a soft but firm tool, press the tape onto the image, first using a horizontal then a vertical motion
...Continue Reading
Posted by Red.Sneakers | Dec 16, 2014 @ 08:16 AM | 2,695 Views

Winter flying can be very challenging vs a clear lazy summer’s day. More flight planning should be done for a safe & enjoyable flight.

Flight Planning for this morning. Temperature 38F and warming, Wind Chill: 38F, Pressure: 29.8, Average Wind: 4mph from the North. Winds shifting from North-West to North. Observed, on the internet from a local weather station, sustained wind speeds (in MPH): 4, 0, 6, 4, 0, 4, 2, 1, 0, 3, 0. Starring out the window at live conditions, high clouds are moving like a runaway freight train. Storm front moving in. Prevailing winds mapped on google earth indicate a downwind emergency airport available for emergency landing. Risk is max recorded winds NW 22mph, if encountered, emergency landing & activate rescue crew. Little turbulence expected. Elevator mechanical trim set for windy conditions. Acceptable conditions for my experience with the Sport Cub.

Cleared for low & close test flights of the Sport Cub S with floats, nav streamers & GWS 5x4.3 prop. Video glasses ready, all hanger preflight ok. Off to the park I go. Film on the 10 o’clock news.

= = = = =
10 o’clock news reel

Navigation Streamers HD (3 min 17 sec)

As pilots, we have to fly the weather we encounter not what was forecasted during the flight planning phase. Took off in choppy air. Ok, we have turbulence at low altitude. Then some sustained heavy wind kicked in. Activated emergency landing procedure at alternate airport 400 feet
...Continue Reading
Sticky: DX9 Dual Timers
Posted by Red.Sneakers | Dec 06, 2014 @ 04:15 PM | 2,718 Views

On the DX9, I like to set my dual timers. Every sortie is flown under different conditions, so I make my estimations as to the battery capacity based on the style & conditions for the sortie. I then depend on the timers as my co-pilot. Timer 1 is set as a battery count down timer and timer 2 as a flight time timer. I set it to squawk on many events. I don’t like the voice of each timer to step on each other, so timer 1 is set to xxx minutes plus 40 seconds. Not making it an even number gives some separation to the two timers when squawking the events. I find it much more pleasant. The possible combinations are many. Here are the settings I have settled on. Share your experiences with timers.

Timer 1

Page 1
-------> Mode: Count Down
-------> Time: xxx min 40 seconds
-------> Start: Thr Stick
-------> Over: 5%
-------> One Time: Inhibit

Page 2
-------> Every Minute (Down): Voice
-------> 1 Minute: Voice
-------> 30 Seconds: Inh
-------> 10sec to 1sec: Voice
-------> Expiration: Voice
-------> Every Minute (Up): Voice

Page 3
-------> Timer Start: Voice
-------> Timer Stop: Voice
-------> Time Reset: Voice

Timer 2

Page 1
-------> Mode: Stopwatch
-------> Start: Thr Stick
-------> Over: 5%
-------> One Time: Active

Page 2
-------> Every Minute (Down): Inh
-------> 1 Minute: Voice
-------> 30 Seconds: Inh
-------> 10sec to 1sec: Inh
-------> Expiration: Inh
-------> Every Minute (Up): Voice

Page 3
-------> Timer Start: Inh
-------> Timer Stop: Inh
-------> Time Reset: Inh

Posted by Red.Sneakers | Dec 03, 2014 @ 04:01 PM | 2,649 Views
Some of the new Spectrum Rx are sending out telemetry data without any additional modules installed. This data is “Frame Losses & Holds”. I have encountered one that in addition sends out the Rx voltage. All you need is an Rx that will send the data and a Tx capable of receiving the data. I have not found a list documenting which ones send telemetry data, so with limited research & contributions from others, here is a list. Let me know of other Rx that you have confirmed send data and I’ll add them to the list.

See attached picture

Also see “Frame Loss & Holds Telemetry ~ DSMX” How to program your DX8 or like Tx
=> http://www.rcgroups.com/forums/showthread.php?t=2217400

Posted by Red.Sneakers | Dec 01, 2014 @ 09:55 AM | 3,042 Views

umx Sport Cub S2 Flight School HD (5 min 43 sec)

Spring Snow ~ Low & Slow. Sport Cub S2. Music: Winter Wonderland ~ Holy & Ivy. Get your popcorn, sit back & enjoy a relaxing flight.
...Continue Reading
Posted by Red.Sneakers | Nov 21, 2014 @ 09:07 AM | 2,860 Views

It’s a beautiful day at the park, clear blue skies, light and variable winds with a few cumulus clouds. Thinking if only I can get under one of the cumulus clouds that are slowly building, I should be able to ride a nice thermal. Tx turned on, umx Radian placed in the trunk of the car upside down, away from the wind, battery connected, plane kept perfectly still for 5 seconds until the gyros initialize. Picked up the plane and secured the battery. Walked to the launch site ready for some fun. Flicked the throttle on/off to activate the AS3x. Pre-flight check confirms all systems are operating correctly. Assured take off area was clear and off we went with a power climb to 200 feet. Leveled off, slowly cut power and it started to porpoise. Hum, wonder if I leveled off and gained the proper amount of speed before cutting the power. Short power climb across the field, nice level off, slowly cut power and bam, she is gliding very nicely.

I turn into the wind and she catches a small gust of wind, oh boy, here we go again, porpoise starts. The gust created extra lift causing it to stall and start the dance. So when she pitches up, I tap a little down elevator to gain speed. Great, she levels off to a great glide.

As she is embracing the sky, I get some porpoise every once in a while. Conclude I have not found the sweet spot for today’s flying conditions. Land & move the battery position a little. Up we go again and yes, she is gliding much better.

Oh, what a
...Continue Reading