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Posted by Red.Sneakers | Nov 21, 2014 @ 10:07 AM | 976 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 back a little. Up we go again and yes, she is gliding much better.

Oh, what a joy. On my
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Posted by Red.Sneakers | Nov 18, 2014 @ 09:08 AM | 1,349 Views
Beaufort Scale for Wind Speed Estimation

The Beaufort Wind Scale is named after Sir Francis Beaufort, an admiral in the British Navy. He developed the scale in 1805 in order to estimate wind speed by noting how sails move in the wind. It turned out to be a great help and was later adapted for use on land.

Force 0
Strength: Calm
Speed: Less than 1 mile per hour (mph), less than 2 kilometers per hour (kph)
Observations: Tree leaves don't move, smoke rises vertically

Force 1
Strength: Light Air
Speed: 1-3 mph, 2-6 kph
Observations: Tree leaves don't move, smoke drifts slowly

Force 2
Strength: Slight Breeze
Speed: 4-7 mph, 7-11 kph
Observations: Tree leaves rustle, flags wave slightly

Force 3
Strength: Gentle Breeze
Speed: 8-12 mph, 12-19 kph
Observations: Leaves and twigs in constant motion, small flags extended

Force 4
Strength: Moderate Breeze
Speed: 13-18 mph, 20-29 kph
Observations: Small branches move, flags flap

Force 5
Strength: Fresh Breeze
Speed: 19-24 mph, 30-39 kph
Observations: Small trees sway, flags flap and ripple

Force 6
Strength: Strong Breeze
Speed: 25-31 mph, 40-50 kph
Observations: Large branches sway, flags beat and pop

Force 7
Strength: Moderate Gale
Speed: 32-38 mph, 51-61 kph
Observations: Whole trees sway

Force 8 - Force 12
RC Operations grounded
Also see Flying RC Planes in the Wind, click here

Posted by Red.Sneakers | Nov 14, 2014 @ 12:43 PM | 1,352 Views

Yesterday I broke my previous record with my umx Radian aka umx RAD II by posting a 32 min flight. Maybe not a big deal but I failed to understand why I got such long gentle glide slope on a totally overcast day. I will need to study air density & clouds during this winter. In the meantime here are my observations based on post flight research.

On a good day, a 150mAh 25C battery will yield a 15 – 20 min flight, so a 220 mAh 45C Mini Aviation battery should yield 22 – 29 min flight. The 32 min was a result of a “little help” in the form of the cloud structure. What I was failing to understand was why the excellent glide slopes for the entire flight with no sun to heat the earth to give me a thermal. Nimbostratus clouds covered the entire sky, with a homogenous gray appearance. Nimbostratus occurs along a warm front where a slowly rising warm air mass is present. “slowly rising warm air mass” explains why I had a good glide slope on the entire field, also helpful was some extra energy I was able to harness off the trees on every third glide or so.

“the ideal atmosphere temp is 15C = 59F > cold is good for flying > good air density” did not know this, helps explain why earlier this year during the cooler temps of the Spring I observed I was getting longer glide times than during the warmer summer days. Will have to watch & fly the glider more during these days next Spring.

“barometric pressure: 29.9"
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Posted by Red.Sneakers | Nov 05, 2014 @ 07:39 AM | 1,731 Views

Logger of altitude over time & temperature
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This is Part I “The Bench Test” of a multi-part review of the HK Altimeter. I will be using the sensor with my micro glider (umx Radian) to my HZ Champ to my 2 meter Radian. Will build a “Y” connector to allow power by the plane’s micro 1s battery, where weight is a consideration, like the umx Radian and for power from a separate 60mah 1s battery for the Radian. This way I can move it around from plane to plane without having to touch the Rx.

In summary, happy with the accuracy. The ground test (see below) showed Route A north was a mirror image of Route A south. It does seem to have a little ‘oscillation’ while standing still, maybe due to pressure or temperature changes, but acceptable for the price / performance.

Key Specifications:
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)

To complete the bench test, I made a harness to be able to attach a 1s battery for power.

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Then I did a timed bench test to see how much power it consumed. Power consumption is negligible.

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Posted by Red.Sneakers | Nov 02, 2014 @ 09:50 AM | 1,505 Views

I was using the X4 Port 1s Charger when all of a sudden its alarm went off & I heard my cat jump off the counter. Ran to see what had happened and one battery was smoking. I grabbed it & tossed it out the garage door. It smoked for a while and then stopped. Quarantined in a Lipo bag for observation.

Lessons learned.
[…] Keep Lipo batteries securely away from pets & animals
[…] ALWAYS charge in a Lipo Bag or other containment vessel

Decided now may be a good time to make an extension so I can charge the 1s batteries, 4 at a time, inside a Lipo bag. It may be over engineered but I used parts I had or were easy to acquire. The build sequence is: Adaptor / JST / 20 awg Silicone Wire / JST / Connector, with some shrink for good measure.

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Posted by Red.Sneakers | Oct 27, 2014 @ 05:01 PM | 1,701 Views

Even the Night Vapor, with an AUW / Flying Weight of 16.4 g (0.6 oz) designed for Indoor flight, deserves to fly free!

Born Free, Night Vapor HD (2 min 29 sec)

Posted by Red.Sneakers | Oct 16, 2014 @ 07:59 PM | 1,668 Views

Debrief Report
October 16, 2014

I went flying with the Sport Cub S2 today. Four other planes in the car, none were cleared to start their engines as the pilots were not certified for the weather conditions. I received a waiver after much to-do.

Here is the Debrief Report, may I suggest you view the video first, and then read the full report. Video takes a glimpse of 42 min of flight time. Showing off some practice runs, a cross wind landing, and bloopers.

Sport Cub Practice (3 min 9 sec)

Lessons Learned: Set the mechanical trim to match the flying conditions & your style of flying. Use ‘Bailout’ button to temporarily stabilize the plane. Practice, Practice, Practice.

The motor will pulse when the battery is losing power. The no-load battery reading was 3.68v (at 3.6v you are running on fumes). So if you hear the motor pulsing, I would suggest a quick landing to assure you have power reserved for finals. If it gets to an ESC Low Voltage Cutoff (LVC), try to land with a glide, set the throttle to zero until you need it, and you may have a small burst of energy reserved for the touchdown, if needed.

Report filed at: 13:21 hr
Location: Sparta, New Jersey, USA
Aero: Sport Cub S2 with AS3x & SAFE activated
Local Conditions: In between storms, partly cloudy, winds 3 mph [5 kph] gusting to 20 mph [32 kph]
Flight Plan: Bring it home in one piece; mission accomplished with a high Fun Factor.
Control Surface Rates: Full Rates
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Sticky: umx Spacewalker
Posted by Red.Sneakers | Oct 12, 2014 @ 06:04 PM | 1,654 Views

I present my umx Spacewalker. Cute little Intermediate ultra micro flyer. What I like about this plane is it: comes nicely painted; includes a pilot with windshield; includes a registration number; comes with a DSMx Rx, battery & field charger; and hangers in a box. This little fella will compliment my calm-wind flying fleet for home / park which includes the Night Vapor & LED Quad. Spectators love the scale look. In summary, once you get it dialed to your style of flying, it delivers a high Fun Factor.

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Basic Specs:
Wingspan: 16.5 in (418mm)
Overall Length: 11.6 in (295mm)
Flying Weight: 0.78 oz (22g)

Today I was at the Park. Jack & his G-pa came over to look at the planes. Little Jack (say 9 yrs) asked a lot of questions. So I asked if he wanted to see a little show. Took out umx Spacewalker. Asked if he knew how to throw a paper airplane. OK Jack, then I need you to help me by launching the umx Spacewalker. Asked for clearance to launch, noted the motor was 'hot', turned on the motor, asked him to launch. Release was perfect. Slow low flights, then I made a mistake, I asked Jack what he wanted to see. OK, got it, loops, high speed banked turns, low flight over the grass, low high speed banked turns over the grass, inverted flight, spiral, etc. Then I had to decline his further requests, he asked for a spin (by name), then for barrel rolls & hammer head, like this, he was showing me with his hands. I
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Sticky: Sport Cub S2
Posted by Red.Sneakers | Oct 10, 2014 @ 02:05 PM | 2,438 Views

I present my Sport Cub S2. As a Champ lover (I have 5 in active duty), this has many of the features I wanted to add to a Champ. The Sport Cub S2 comes with ailerons installed, dual aileron servos, aileron differential & aileron / rudder mix already programmed, three flight modes for different flying experiences, uses my 1S battery collection (from 150mAh to 220mAh), is FPV ready, is float ready, has a nice wing dark color leading edge, and comes with nice registration numbers. I will investigate floats, snow skies & LED lights later. In summary, I still love my Champs but the Sport Cub S2 has a place in my hanger for the added features & learning experience. Overall a nice plane for the price.

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Posted by Red.Sneakers | Oct 08, 2014 @ 10:24 AM | 1,934 Views
updated Nov 17, 2014
Folks typically ask me “How many planes do you have?” Guess the question helps them understand how committed I am to the hobby. While my situation is not unique, my modus operandi has been to stay healthy, experience, learn, share and grow as much as possible in a short period of time. I restarted the hobby 3 years ago. I do report ‘mission accomplished’, all with the unwavering encouragement of my wife, family & friends.

After restarting the hobby, in 3 seasons I have logged a total of 202 flight hours over 1192 flights, acquired 60 planes, helo’s & quads, attended 2 full scales airshows, sponsored an RC fun fly, buddy boxed children & adults (including 89 year old G-ma) on their first RC flight, presented static displays, gave a brief moment of joy to spectators , made new friends and blogged numerous times.

I have three flight venues: The AMA Club 25 miles from home, a local Park 5 miles from home & Home. I only go to the Club when conditions are expected to be conducive to having fun for 1 to 3+ hours. For short term weather conditions, I go to the Park. Home is usually reserved for those times where “I just need to fly”, usually indoors in the winter & dawn to dusk.

2014 has been the Year-of-the-Champ. I have logged 227 flights & 40 Champ flight hours.

OK, without further delay, here are the numbers to answer the question “How many planes do you have?” Data is sum total for 3 years. Planes range in size from ultra micro to 2 meter wing span.

Total Planes, Helo’s & Quad’s
60 Aero Acquired
-08 Gifted
-02 Mothballed
-06 Never to be flown
-14 Retired
30 in Hanger

I think that’s 1 too many in the hanger.

Sticky: Why I do it
Posted by Red.Sneakers | Oct 07, 2014 @ 09:02 AM | 1,890 Views

If you love it, share it. Originally posted by DWA in 2007. Here is a copy of the original work of art.

“My method of operation on RC Groups & Why I do it.

1. Share my thoughts with humility.
"Don't try to act important but enjoy the company of ordinary people. And don't think you know it all "
Romans 12:16 (NLV)
"Never let selfishness or pride be your guide. Instead, be humble and give more honor to others than to yourselves. Do not be interested only in your own life, but be interested in the lives of others "
Philippians 2:3-4 (NCV)
2. Respect others ideas with courtesy.
"We must bear the burden of being considerate of the doubts and fears of others..." Romans 15:2 (LB)
3. Share others problems with sympathy.
"Carry each other's burdens, and in this way you will fulfill the law of Christ. "
Galatians 6:2 (NIV)
4. Encourage each other with accountability.
"Let us consider how we may spur one another on toward love and good deeds. "
Hebrews 10:24 (NIV)
5. Always be motivated by love. Not by ego, pride, or materialism.
You must be motivated by love or you will treat people as projects. Treat them as people, as friends.
"Everything you do must be done with love. "
1 Corinthians 16:14 (NLT)
"Let love be your highest goal."
1 Corinthians 14:1 (NLT)

Why I do it.......because I like to help people.
And because I enjoy sharing my hobby with other people that enjoy this hobby.”

by DWA [Dave] Jul 12, 2007, 03:27 AM

Sticky: umx RAD II
Posted by Red.Sneakers | Sep 24, 2014 @ 04:07 PM | 2,000 Views

Retired my first umx Radian on August 3, 2014 after 18+ hours of flight time & many happy memories. Could not wait until next year, so I present my 'umx RAD II' placed into service on Sept 24, 2014.

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Basic Specs:
Wingspan: 28.7 in (730mm)
Overall Length: 16.5 in (418mm)
Flying Weight: 1.50 oz (43g)

If you are interested in the umx Radian, you may want to check out my first blog.
It includes a series of links to forum contributions by others & myself.
=> http://www.rcgroups.com/forums/showthread.php?t=2163964

Posted by Red.Sneakers | Sep 04, 2014 @ 05:23 PM | 2,891 Views

I love my HiTec X4 Port 1s Charger. It has saved me many hours of babysitting my 1s batteries. I typically use 4 to 8 batteries on any given flying session. Used to charge them on my larger charger, 1 cell at a time. I wanted the peace-of-mind of having individual battery monitoring. For longer cell life, I charge them at a 1C rate. Enter a new heli that uses a 1s – 500mAh battery with a JST plug not covered by the X4. Not doing this one battery at a time business again plus I wanted to charge it inside a Lipo bag.

So I bought an Ultra Micro MX plug to JST, made an extension of the JST wire & now I can charge multiple batteries inside the Lipo bag. Simple solution.

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Posted by Red.Sneakers | Sep 01, 2014 @ 05:55 PM | 1,940 Views

Pilots of Summer Operations Crew HD (2 min 10 sec)

As background, an AMA Club member called my small Hobbyzone Champ plane a POS & tried to kick me out of the club for flying it 400+ feet AGL. Funny, last year many of us had a great time flying the Champ during our lunch break or after the big planes were done for the day. Many club members have a Champ & or have flown full scale Champs. So my wife & I thought, hum, what can we do with this? Thus was born the Pilots of Summer aka POS Team. Such a fine fleet deserves a theme song, operations crew, new planes & pilots.

Just want to take a minute to give credit to the artist who contributed to this video:
Announcer: banjoman15 => www.fiverr.com/banjoman15

For those shaking their heads, here’s a footnote: “Laughter, along with an active sense of humor, may help protect you against a heart attack, according to a study by cardiologists at the UMMC.”

Posted by Red.Sneakers | Aug 26, 2014 @ 04:52 PM | 2,103 Views
Today was the best day for the 2014 flying season at the Club. No pictures, just a story. I woke with a clear head & energy. Looked at the weather forecast & oh my, I must go to the Club today. Packed up La Belle Dame, Retro Junior, Champ Clipper, Champ Camo & Champ XL Jr. When I arrived the weather was as expected. Slight breeze, no turbulence, etc. After a few hours I wondered why the ‘other’ guys had not arrived, then I remembered it was Tuesday which means they go indoor flying. Great, I have the entire field to myself.

The electricity was turned on so I could charge my batteries. I felt like I was babysitting a bunch of kids, could hear every plane saying ‘pick me, pick me’. Arrived at 09:30 & the last flight ended at 14:10 when wind & turbulence kicked in while I was flying LBD. Most horrible landing, no damage, brain fried, done for the day. When I filed my flight debrief report, I noticed I had flown a total of 2 hours of airtime. That mate, is a new record for me.

Now here is the funny story. I am flying, the sun at 12 o’clock, so not high and I hear someone approaching close to me. Cannot look so I say, ‘hello, who’s there?’ No answer & the person moves away. Well, I landed to make sure I was not being robbed blind. When I looked, the only other car in the lot is a police car starting to backup. Hum, wonder what caught his attention to make him park the car & actually walk to where I was? So on the way home got me thinking,
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Posted by Red.Sneakers | Aug 21, 2014 @ 08:48 AM | 2,180 Views

My new project is to develop a POS fleet. Ya, that’s right, the “Pilots of Summer”.
Planes will follow but I first have to commission artists to develop a theme song, secure the planes and recruit the pilots, chief mechanic & chief flight operations personnel.

The Pilots of Summer theme song is a collaboration of over 5 artists.
For some of you it may hit a cord, for others it may be a bit too ‘heavy’. Hope you enjoy it.
The Pilots of Summer fleet will be introduced in September, so stay tuned.

Pilots of Summer Theme Song HD (0 min 54 sec)


Posted by Red.Sneakers | Aug 17, 2014 @ 08:24 PM | 2,549 Views

The annual Red Sneakers Fun Fly was celebrated with the family
on August 17, 2014 at the Greenwood Lake Airshow in New Jersey.
My challenge is to present a gallery that captures our love for aviation.
Nothing beats experiencing our two year old G-son’s excitement seeing planes flying up & close.

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Posted by Red.Sneakers | Aug 13, 2014 @ 02:54 PM | 3,290 Views

I ordered the Adagio 280 as it had a nice look. Forget those expert pilots flying it inverted, I just wanted a sport glider, a little summer thermal touring and sport flying at other times. When I opened the box I immediately re-packed it. Was disappointed it had micro components for a $180 BNF Basic. Wow, that is expensive. How can I justify the expense? Mulled it over for days and then decided it was a 56.0 in (1420mm) wing span Micro*** plane. OK, large micro plane, full house, AS3X for wind, Park Flyer, etc., so I kept it. My disappointment is the vertical stabilizer was not 100% vertical. It is molded to the fuselage & I glued in the horizontal stabilizer before noticing. Lesson learned; always check the vertical stab before gluing the horizontal stab. May fix later with a flat carbon fiber rod.

Two best pictures are included in the video.
Maiden Voyage of the Adagio 280 HD (2 min 34 sec)
Basic Specs:
Wingspan: 56.0 in (1420mm)
Overall Length: 29.9 in (760mm)
Flying Weight: 12.5 oz (356g)

Posted by Red.Sneakers | Aug 03, 2014 @ 01:55 PM | 2,424 Views

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From time to time, I find myself challenged with the placing the Rx module & antennas in very tight places. In the past I have taped or glued the antenna in place. Sometimes the only way is to stuff the Rx into a ‘tunnel’ either in the front or back of the fuselage. Problem I always have when doing it this way is I have no guarantee the antenna will remain straight.

Here is an idea. I bought a plastic tube used by the RC car guys to maintain the antenna vertical on the cars - no RF issues & about $1. Just cut a small piece & tac-glue the tube to the Rx. Walla, the antenna stays straight no matter how much I manhandle it.

The tube can also be used in places you want to ‘string’ an antenna maintaining your option to easily remove it.

Posted by Red.Sneakers | Aug 02, 2014 @ 04:39 PM | 2,615 Views

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I always forget or second guess what servo setup does what
Drew up a simple chart with 4 servo configurations
Made a pdf that now is on my iPhone next to my Lipo Chart

Download the pdf below