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Red.Sneakers's blog
Posted by Red.Sneakers | Apr 21, 2015 @ 03:05 PM | 1,272 Views

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As an RCG member, whenever you read a post from Red.Sneakers you have the right to expect

---> I do not know everything RC

---> I do not know everything about aerodynamics

---> It will be based on my own experiences & opinions

---> It will be researched & tested, unless otherwise noted

---> If I make a mistake or find correcting information, I will go back & adjust my post

---> I believe in the “leap-frog” effect to learning, i.e. I have an idea, you improve it, I improve it, etc.

---> I will learn from others

---> I will share my knowledge

---> I will treat you with professional respect

---> If I am adamantly against something you said, I may PM you privately, do as you wish with it

---> I will take the time to link & cross-link to other sources

---> I will acknowledge the works of others

---> I have over 1300 missions totaling over 227 hours of airtime

---> My self-proclaimed RC pilot certification level is “mid-intermediate”

---> When no one shows any interest in my blogs, I will stop blogging

Why did I post this blog? Because I have found that sometimes when folks have been in a hobby for a long time & become ‘experts’, they forget about their own journey and are convinced they know what is best for the entire community. Subsequently, they don’t treat others with respect. What prompted me to write this blog are a few bad experiences I have had when I joined some new forums.

Overall, my experience with the RCG community has exceeded every expectation. I have learned & improved at a rapid rate. I have made new frineds around the world. Happy to be a contributing & consuming member.

Straighten up & fly right mate!

Posted by Red.Sneakers | Apr 16, 2015 @ 02:38 PM | 1,379 Views

This year my theme is Military & Gliders. Whenever I get a new plane with a rich history I enjoy researching its accomplishments. I am impressed with the EASYSKY B-17 Flying Fortress scale takeoff & landing, the fact it is BNF with AS3x, how well it taxi, battery included, overall quality construction, easy to assemble, detailed livery & last but not least, the fact it has a working rudder plus differential thrust. Kudos to the EASYSKY team. I could not find a pdf online of the manual so I scanned it & attached below.

This morning I was able to run to the Oval for the maiden just before the winds kicked in. The sun orientation was not optimal but manageable. I present the “B-17 Fortress Pilot Validation Trial”. I love the way this plane looks & flies. During the trails I stalled it (unintentional 1:45 in the video) & she recovered all by herself with no bad tendencies. At 2:04 I slowed the video a little to appreciate its flight characteristics & show how it does against a dark background with low light. Mind you, when there is no light source / angle to reflect color back you your eyes, everything will look black.

link to the full scale B-17 Pilot Training Manual click here
join the RCG discussion click here

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Readers choice. I had to add the sound effects for two bombing runs, it is a bomber after all.
Hope you enjoy the videos.

B-17 Fortress with Bombing Run ~ Pilot Validation Trial HD (2 min 39 sec)

B-17 Fortress Pilot Validation Trial HD (2 min 58 sec)

Posted by Red.Sneakers | Apr 11, 2015 @ 11:16 AM | 2,172 Views

2014 Video Gallery
& links to the build logs
see vimeo for comments on the video

Fly on La Belle Dame HD
also see Build Log La Belle Dame click here
Fly with Pilot Red Sneakers on La Belle Dame (3 min 13 sec)

Spring Snow ~ Low & Slow HD
Spring Snow ~ Low & Slow HD (3 min 15 sec)
...Continue Reading
Posted by Red.Sneakers | Apr 09, 2015 @ 09:02 AM | 1,781 Views

2014 marked the 75th anniversary of the Spanish Air force.
Festival aéreo internacional Aire 75 was held in October in Madrid, Spain.
Photos courtesy of photographer CarlosF Moscat

click ...Continue Reading for more pictures

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Posted by Red.Sneakers | Apr 04, 2015 @ 09:58 PM | 2,501 Views

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The umx Radian has turned out to be a very popular plane. Whether you enjoy altitude gliding, slope soaring, wind surfing, low flights, indoors or out, it delivers a high Fun Factor for all. While it is rated by E-Flite as ‘intermediate’, a beginner can enjoy the benefits of the design & AS3x after getting a few tips from a mentor or doing their study of the blogs. Expert pilots are amazed by who well it performs.

AS3x ~ Do I really … (read this first if you are new to the world of AS3x)

umx Radian ~ Mods & more ... (most popular)
pm or comment if you think I should add a forum post to this list of links

umx RAD II Sets New Record of 32 min

Increasing Your Fun Factor - umx Radian

umx RAD II

If you are into logging flights, you may also want to check out Flight Logger, Part II “1s Power Mod”

Flight Log Debrief Reports – 2015
search for " Radian " CTRL+F

"Tell me again, in a few lines, plain & simple, why in 29F (-2C) temps, a 150mah 25c battery
...Continue Reading
Posted by Red.Sneakers | Mar 31, 2015 @ 11:32 PM | 4,608 Views

After modifying HobbyKing Altimeter down to an all-up weight of 1.8 gram & powered by the flight battery, I have started to record some flights to learn more about the characteristics of my planes & help me become a better pilot. I will record more flights as the season progresses. They will be posted here, each with a specific question answered, like what is the glide rate, how fast can I loose altitude, why am I floating under Nimbostratus clouds...

Great little Speed Conversion calculator click here
Keep Warm at the Core! U & the Batts click here
Flight Logger, Part II “1s Power Mod” click here
Flight Logger, Part I “The Bench Test” click here
Join the RCG discussion click here

This blog includes reports for
~ umx Radian ~
~ umx Sport Cub S2 ~
click on images to view larger

~ ~ ~ ~ ~
umx Radian
Debrief report on a 13+ min thermal ride
Flight log from April 12, 2015
includes graph
click here

~ ~ ~ ~ ~
Sport Cub S2 Status II
No cam or graph
Debrief report on a 27+ min sortie
Flight log from April 12, 2015
click here

~ ~ ~ ~ ~
umx Radian
Wind Surfing
Max altitude 37 feet
Flight log from April 3, 2015
for video click here
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Local conditions:
… Aero: umx Radian
… Field: Oval
… Time: 12:46PM
… Temperature: 63°F
… Average Wind: 3 mph W
… Gusts: 12mph NW
… Humidity: 64%
… Pressure: 29.84" rising
… Cover: Stormy
… Streamers attached: no
… Battery: Mini Aviation 220mah 45C
...Continue Reading
Posted by Red.Sneakers | Mar 25, 2015 @ 10:14 AM | 3,029 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 to self leveling..
...Continue Reading
Posted by Red.Sneakers | Mar 20, 2015 @ 11:48 AM | 2,975 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
...Continue Reading
Posted by Red.Sneakers | Mar 13, 2015 @ 04:53 PM | 3,231 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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for more Flight Logs, click here

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)
Optional Wireless Reader "Bluetooth to FlyDream Altimeter (Android system )" click here

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
...Continue Reading
Posted by Red.Sneakers | Mar 12, 2015 @ 09:45 AM | 3,380 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. See X4 Adaptors for Molex Pico-Blade Batts.

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,
...Continue Reading
Posted by Red.Sneakers | Mar 01, 2015 @ 02:48 PM | 2,411 Views

I just love this poster!

Posted by Red.Sneakers | Feb 14, 2015 @ 10:23 PM | 3,140 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 =>

- Hover Training: Part 2. Crawl-walk-run =>

- Hover Training: Part 3. Maneuvering =>

You may also want to review the blog "Ya you, the Drone Operator"

Posted by Red.Sneakers | Feb 07, 2015 @ 01:21 PM | 5,000 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
...Continue Reading
Posted by Red.Sneakers | Feb 03, 2015 @ 05:13 PM | 4,559 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 =>

Get timely alerts on NOTAM/TFRs affecting Model Aviation on the Web

There are other websites you should be aware of:

The FAA Says You Can't Post Drone Videos on YouTube

No Fly Zone "NoFlyZone will be a trusted source of aeronautical data for the unmanned aircraft community"

RC Fly Maps "Our purpose is to connect people with safe places to fly their RC aircraft."

Posted by Red.Sneakers | Jan 19, 2015 @ 03:08 PM | 3,151 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 | 3,172 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 | 3,197 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 | 2,926 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 | 3,001 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 | 3,541 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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