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Posted by PeterVRC | Dec 23, 2014 @ 07:24 AM | 3,679 Views
I had been keeping an eye on this jet for a LONG time!! I always wanted to get it, but anything from "LX" - also known as "Sky Flight" - costs a lot to get to Australia! Typically $300 to $340 for a kit version of their stuff! And that is not because it is 'good' stuff at all! In general LX (Lanxiang) have many weaknesses in each of their models. Things that are made too weak... fail... don't work properly.
This fact also makes the "$300 kit" a bit rich to even risk to get! But you can always 'fix' all the shortfalls..... and there is no other twin 70mm A-10 to get if you want that specific plane!

After LOTS of monitoring of forums about this LX A-10 I finally decided to RISK getting one, to see if it could be all 'fixed up'.....
AU$304 delivered.... that was using EMS post, and it took 7 days from order to the door. (Just the KIT remember!! sigh).

Posted by PeterVRC | Dec 15, 2014 @ 05:45 PM | 2,341 Views
Time for a new jet..... ummm, not really - but I got one (two) anyway.
"But I don't have a swept wing single seat fighter... from the 40's - 50's... and didn't have 'Super' in its name".....

The FlyFly models are always a great base to build upon! Though a LOT to do to complete them into a truly good model. In some ways it can be better getting some other decent brand PNF, except they always need CHANGES anyway! And this is pretty big - versus the Freewing 1200mm Sabre with its 80mm EDF.

Surprisingly it took FOUR DAYS, including the weekend(!!) to go from Order to my door, from China! Hobby88 are always reliable and prompt, though sometimes they can be a bit delayed in getting some models out the door and I think that is when they do not actually have one right there in a box ready to go. But nevertheless they are super service!
Shipping to Australia cost as much as the kit!!! Ouch!

Some pre-reading of forums and other owners info - done over the last year or so also(!) - gave me good ideas of what to expect and what I would likely do to mine. Quite a few mods to do, as is common here!

Posted by PeterVRC | Nov 16, 2014 @ 07:12 AM | 2,622 Views
Ever since I had the Skyzone goggles I had seen they have a 'serious problem' with their Button layout.
With three buttons per each top end, for various control functions, they are quite raised 'domes' and thus very easy to press. You might think that is good.... but it is actually BAD!!
This is because you have to reach up to feel where they are, when you are using the goggles - or more importantly, there are times you grab up the top and you do not even want to touch them... but DO !! eg To adjust them on your eyes (eye-cups). Or even when you put them on, or take them down.

All of the buttons, except just the BAND button, are 'instant acting'. Click them and they do their task right away! Which means a number of possible cases of "I didn't really want that!" occurring. The two most disastrous being the CHANNEL button - changing a channel and you lose your FPV video link(!!), or the Internal Camera button toggling the view to be the goggles front camera instead of the FPV video feed!
I had actually changed Channel by mistake once when I was flying the PT-17 FPV and it was about 200 metres or so away!! I could only see a speck of it, but luckily my memory of where it was (seen in FPV mode) meant I could locate it in the air rapidly by LOS, plus then was VERY LUCKY that what I chose to do made it climb and enable me to lock onto WHAT it was doing very well. In 95% of cases losing FPV video would have been fatal and a crash really!

It is somewhat weird that...Continue Reading
Posted by PeterVRC | Nov 16, 2014 @ 06:45 AM | 2,536 Views
This is a 3 Axis DIY Head-Tracker as designed by Dennis Frie here:

That thread is pretty straight-forwards... sort of... but it seems that some people still have problems building it and getting it working. All I can say is that I have built two, and both were very easy to make and worked perfectly right away. So if you make them 'properly'...... they work. And they work excellently too!

I have two sets of FPV goggles which both have Head-Trackers in them. But both are 2-Axis 'older' generation Head-Trackers. Just 2 Axis is not that bad, but the DRIFT and ERROR they have is totally unacceptable! It makes them almost unusable, seeing you have to constantly Reset the Head-Tracker's center point as you fly around - seeing they drift astray almost continuously!

This DIY Head-Tracker has 3 Axis support AND it never drifts any amount at all !
This is what you want in a Head-Tracker and thus makes it worthwhile to even have it as a unit you have to attach to the top of 'nice trendy and sleek' FPV goggles! Which ruins their good looks, but function wins over form!!

Posted by PeterVRC | Nov 10, 2014 @ 11:51 PM | 2,536 Views
I decided to get a 'large' Flying Wing for FPV - because so many people say they are great for that!!
I bought the KIT version so I can fit the electronics and motor that I want.

I bought the Turnigy XP 3542-1000kv so that it has a bit more power than stock.
I am also aiming to run 3S and 4S 4400mAH batteries, with just a Prop change to use 3S or 4S.
For 3S I will use a 10x5 Aeronaut folding prop.
For 4S, and aimed for fast zooming around at shorter ranges, I will probably use about a 8x6 APC prop.

I will use an OpenLRS 433MHz RC TX/RX setup, but still just 5.8GHz FPV for a start - this might be able to do 5km approx max. Then I will get 1.2/1.3GHz FPV stuff later, to hopefully go out past 20km.
For long range I will carry a GoPro also - probably with a tilt only gimbal on the nose. Though maybe tilt/roll if I can fit that.

.......Continue Reading
Posted by PeterVRC | Sep 25, 2014 @ 08:54 PM | 4,361 Views
I am focussing only on 5.8GHz FPV setups so far. Maybe I will go to Long Range one day, but not for now....

After buying LOTS of various FPV items I have quite a lot of 'sub standard' items(!!) and some 'great' items! So I decided to make a list of what is good and what is NOT good to get!
What is "good" today might not be good tomorrow!! It is an ever changing world of electronics and FPV goodies!

I will just keep updating this thread as I go through more things over time.....
Posted by PeterVRC | Sep 24, 2014 @ 05:08 AM | 3,667 Views
There are some 'nuisance problems' with FPV Goggles that are perpetually annoying.

For all use:
1) A need for power - a battery that you need to fit or hold somewhere

For use with Head-Tracking:
2) A lead going to your TX
3) Having to press the Head-Tracker Reset Button, which are ON the Goggles, quite often.

After a bit of investigating and thinking I decided on a 'fix' for all of these issues in one swoop.....

Posted by PeterVRC | Sep 17, 2014 @ 07:06 PM | 2,998 Views
For FPV there is quite a large range of options as to what Camera you use. So I will cover all the ones I have tried and what pros and cons each have.

1) 808#16V2 (720p - CMOS)
2) Mobius (1080p - CMOS)
3) FH18C (520tvl - CMOS)
4) CAM5820 (380tvl - CMOS) with 20mW 5.8GHz inbuilt TX
5) Sony SuperHAD (600tvl - CCD) boardcam
6) Sony HADII (600tvl - CCD) minicam

I also have several pan, or pan/tilt setups - plus Headtracking via goggles or separate DIY unit, so I will cover those also.

Posted by PeterVRC | Sep 10, 2014 @ 08:47 AM | 3,296 Views
After fun with the FPV250's I decided to get something a bit bigger, to carry decent FPV/Camera payloads and be able to do more 'useful' missions. More stable... more efficient... longer flying...

There are lots of cheap X Frames around, but this H frame stood out with a bit more character. It cost a bit more than many X's, but it can also fold up into a nice small rectangle - so it won out as my final choice of the many options there are.

I have not decided on what motors and ESC's yet - nor even the Flight Controller!
I am thinking APM, but next in line could be a KK2.1.... but it will be something with GPS and thus RTH and Waypoints capability.

I have to go and do some reading and assessing of what things to use with it.....

.......Continue Reading
Posted by PeterVRC | Sep 09, 2014 @ 09:45 PM | 5,440 Views
First lets go over a few “FPV Goggle’ details…..

In order to make the smallest possible unit (Goggles) designers have chosen to use two very small display screens – one per eye. If you were to use a single display screen it would need to be 3.5” at least, so that both of your eyes can see it all – because your eyes are spaced apart and separated by your nose!
So, now we have two very small screens, and we need those to be very close to our eyes – to keep the whole goggle unit ‘short’ and small. This means we need lenses to magnify what we see of the small screens, and they need to have a LOT of magnification! Also, the more they magnify the screen image, the larger a screen result we “see” – it is forming a Virtual Screen, like watching some large TV that is further away from us! That is pretty cool really!
The larger you want that Virtual Screen to be, the more magnification you need.

The lenses are already a very complex shape because they need to ‘convert’ a ‘round’ camera source – that is our eye – into clearly seeing a rectangular screen. This is a complex lens shape to create! It is also a very ‘thick’ lens, because of the complex shape and it needing to have a huge ‘convex’ curve for magnification. The more magnification the greater that curve must be and then optics get more and more difficult to produce with clear results.
Most are done in plastic. Some are done in glass (very few!).

The goggle Specs pretty well always give a FOV – Field Of...Continue Reading
Posted by PeterVRC | Aug 26, 2014 @ 06:19 PM | 3,244 Views
This is a continual electric models question.... and it never seems to get a solid answer! Though it is also possible there CAN'T be one fixed solid answer!

Question: "Can I connect multiple SBEC's outputs together?"

Note I said SBECs.... not BECs - being that a SBEC is still a BEC, it just specifies what type of regulator is in the BEC. The S means it is a Switching Regulator - as opposed to a Linear Regulator. (Maybe Linear BECs should have been called LBEC's long ago....)
I never use Linear BECs, as they are inefficient and can even be dangerous (to failure), so I am only concerned with SBEC's here.....

To be technically sound I pop the centre (red +ve) pin out of all SBECs/ESC's bar one and heatshrink over them so I can reverse that change easily in future if need be.
Though I am not ONE HUNDRED percent sure how much of an issue having multiple switching power supplies (SBECs) all feeding one point is.....

Say you have a quadcopter with 4 ESC's/SBECs.....
You would have 4 systems (SBEC circuits) that are highly likely outputting DIFFERENT voltages, eg Say one is 5.07v, one is 5.10v, one is 4.95v, one is 4.98v..... A regulator circuits work by feeding back the output to comparator circuitry so that it adjusts the output to be what it wants it to be, thus a constant loop correcting it to be 'right'. That 'right' value is whatever their components and trimming set it for. eg the 4.95v. Each ESC/SBEC will be a bit different in its output voltage aim...Continue Reading
Posted by PeterVRC | Jul 03, 2014 @ 06:48 AM | 5,681 Views
Another Glider !! A pretty big one!

When I fly my Fox 2320mm glider around, it is quite relaxing and somewhat fun really - versus the hectic pace of EDF jets, or even warbird prop aircraft. Seeing it is such fun I saw the FlyFly 4000mm DG-808S and decided I wanted a 'proper' thermaling glider, rather than just the Fox sports glider. Having 'just' TWO gliders isn't being too greedy! (??)

The DG-808S is a Composite fuselage, and Balsa Sheeted wings and Tailplane that are covered in some form of Monokote = all of it is a shiny white finish, much like any real glider is. NOT "just" an EPO foam glider, like the Fox is. Not that foam gliders are really anything sub-standard at all, but you are unlikely to get a 4000mm (or even 3000mm) foam glider.

I read up a lot about it, as per I do for all aircraft before committing to buying any, and it seemed it was a very good buy. Such a large glider for its price, though AU$320 delivered seemed a lot to me! But many people are paying AU$400 at least, and out towards AU$1000 for some! So this is a BUDGET way to get a 4000mm glider!


Note the 5/10 Rating now......
I did this because of the very weak fiberglass fuselage, and even worse 2K paint they have on that! The fuselage is plain/raw fiberglass - not Gel Coated fiberglass - which is then spray painted with 2K paint. This paint is very 'rigid' brittle stuff, whilst the fiberglass is NOT! Thus it is quite easy for any flex in the fuselage to cause the 2K paint to...Continue Reading
Posted by PeterVRC | Jun 20, 2014 @ 10:38 AM | 6,122 Views
Well, I did have a weeny 4" one for indoors already. And had another 4" one a year or two ago....

This all started when a friend 'made' a 600mm Quadcopter, but has no idea about electronics, RC stuff etc.... so I offered to set it up and get it going. That was fun!
I already had helicopters (300, 450, 500) years ago, so I knew how to fly these things anyway, though it was still a bit 'new' and I had not flown a helicopter in over 6 months either.
Buzzing around I then decided to put my FPV gear onto it and learn that.
About that same time I ran into a few guys with quadcopters and seeing theirs (FPV) racing around it made it even more interesting!

So the two sources 'merged' to lead me into getting a 250mm FOV spec racer type. Firstly because of what those other guys had, but also when I saw HobbyKing had a kit for $110 !! Versus 'good' ones can be $250 to $500 ! Yet reviews on the HK one (a Diatone brand frame) were good too.
I also had a KK2.0 flight controller already from a year or two ago, so that meant I would finally pout that to good use too! That was a good excuse to throw into the mix!

The kit turned up on Wednesday.....

.......Continue Reading
Posted by PeterVRC | Jun 20, 2014 @ 10:02 AM | 4,134 Views
Over the 5 or so years I have had a LOT of batteries! Too many to count really!
Too many failing to count too!

Because batteries cost a lot in Australia, the 'cheapest' way to get them is via HobbyKing Aust, seeing they ship by sea in quantity and then the cost to the buyer is lower by some amount. BUT they do not have any good/great batteries really!
Zippy - very average, if just.
Turnigy Blue - average
Nanotech original - dubious
Nanotech A-Spec original - great! (and costly)
Nanotech A-Spec G2 - I didn't risk buying any because reports on them are poor!

The biggest failure is "dropping a cell", or few.....
If you overstress a battery - running at very high currents, over what it can do viably, AND/OR overheat them - whether puffing or not - then they can be permanently damaged. And fairly easily too!
This is very EASY to do with EDF aircraft!! But still occurs in prop aircraft too - just not as often, seeing they run way less relative power (Current/Amp) levels.

Worse is when they fail for NO reason of over-stress or anything known! And that is too often! This is possibly because the HobbyKing range are NOT very good batteries really. None of them, bar the A-Spec original. Not cell matched well (though they claim they are) and poor QC overall I would say. Thus sub-standard cells get into the total set of battery cells often enough.
So maybe buying TRULY GOOD brand batteries is better????

ThunderPower are supposed to be 'great', and COST a LOT.... but...Continue Reading
Posted by PeterVRC | Apr 18, 2014 @ 07:48 AM | 4,658 Views
I will finish this more later.....

It has finally come to light how there is a big issue with being tail heavy!
Not the usual 'It will be hard to control', 'It will be over-sensitive', though they are still true also..... but the 'Stuck in a hover" potential, which will leave a plane with no ability to exit from that!!

I must have been a bit slow to co-relate the data (!!), but via an F-35, F-22 and F-4, all encountering that BIG issue, it finally all makes sense!
If you are tail heavy beyond "Point X" - and that does not mean a "ton", it could be just 10mm more rearwards CofG, or whatever, per a given plane - once the plane pivots into an AoA greater than "Angle Y", it will reach an equilibrium of factors that KEEP it there!
High AoA... like 70deg or more... which then causes huge drag.... needs max power just to stop it falling out of the sky.... has no 'proper' airflow over control surfaces, so they become TOTALLY inefficient and have no authority at all then.
So it is then STUCK in this state, because nothing you have control over can achieve anything - except reducing/cutting power which will make it descend if you do that correctly... or totally stall out and fall out of the sky if you do not!
And I mean it is STUCK there..... it is not going to slowly come out of it... because the equilibrium of all factors is just right to sustain it, and as mentioned there are no controls YOU have to alter that.
A gust of wind might be...Continue Reading
Posted by PeterVRC | Apr 11, 2014 @ 11:42 PM | 5,554 Views
Seeing I have a few 7S powered aircraft now, SPARKING when you connect a battery up is a notable issue. Connectors get charred... their tips/edges eaten away by the fusing... and it can't be good for ESC's really.
This issue really begins at about 5S, and by 6S it really is a problem that should be dealt with. Then 7S upwards... DEFINITELY needs attention!

An Anti-Spark system is just a method of making a Battery to ESC connection WITH RESISTANCE in-line so that the ESC Capacitors do not charge up in "An instant" and thus draw a huge amount of current at that instant - that "Instant' being the split second your connectors first touch each other the slightest bit! And that is what causes that "Arc Welding" spark!
Theoretically, a Capacitor connected to a Voltage source, with zero resistance in-line, will charge INSTANTLY.... and the 'opposite side" of that is that the current level will be INFINITE for that micron in time! Of course the battery can only supply X Amps.... but at 6S levels that could be 200 Amps+ !! Luckily it is only for the micro second!

You can buy some nice connectors these days that have the Anti-Spark Resistor system built into them. So for $8 to $10 or so you can have a very easy solution.
For now I am using a home-made system... outlined below. It costs under $1 per plane....
Posted by PeterVRC | Mar 09, 2014 @ 03:33 AM | 5,873 Views
Back to the SAME T-45 kit as the prior destroyed one.
A new build log because many things will be done differently - for one thing it will now get Retracts.

It will also get all moving tailplanes, with Anhedral, as per the real T-45. Certainly not a necessity to do(!!), but it will be an interesting realism aspect to have this time. Versus the also "interesting" tailplane responses all of my all-moving tailplane aircraft end up having! Hyper sensitive and they amplify any servo/drive sloppiness big time! So you have to engineer them well !!

The new kit comes with different plastics... they have all been pre-cut too their finished shapes. And they have all been done very well ! So that is a nice positive addition.
BUT... my kit was missing DECALS !
Luckily I has never used the ones from the prior T-45 !!

Posted by PeterVRC | Feb 24, 2014 @ 04:59 PM | 6,523 Views
I did need an F-4....... (and a few other jet types still).....

FlyFly make great 'Baseline foam' aircraft kits!! Like getting a blank canvas of a very good aircraft base, and then you cna make of it what you want. Something very simple and and-launch... all the way to a fully decked out full-house model!

I WAS going to make the F-4 a very quick build, and hand-launcher....
Making them a hand-launcher need minimal work, almost purely assembling it as it comes.
Hmmm.... well, there are always areas that can be improved - notably the FlyFly standard tailplane pivot system!! And a bit more....

This would be the best FlyFly 90mm jet I them all. Extremely well thought out and constructed. Also a great finish really. Mine was EPO and I suspect that EPS versions are a little bit rougher, as usual. EPS being better for major work to be done on, but EPO being a better finish and a bit better a long term lifespan.
I was happy that it was EPO.... (When ordering I didn't know what it would be)

AU$170 delivered.... which puts it pretty much in the range of most typical 90mm jets, if you add up costs of extras need etc, to get it all to a flying model. So it is not any great bargain, but a fair enough price I guess, in those relative terms.

There are not many nice pics of FlyFly kits - all the pieces, laid out nicely to see etc.... and I forgot to do that myself this time too!! BAH.

Here are some general pics I found:
Posted by PeterVRC | Feb 03, 2014 @ 07:14 AM | 5,983 Views
Hmmm, I have had this Bixler 2 for quite a few months now but never finished it. And it seems I never added it to the Blog list.

I bought it as a kit so I could set things up as I want, and choose items I want for it. The aim is to run a "full house" FPV setup in it. eg Cyclops Storm for its stabilisation, but mainly OSD and Return to Home ability. Pan and tilt camera - which I have made up my own gimbal to do.

To me, these forms of 'simplistic' plane are a bit 'rubbishy'. Very minimal foam and strengths - JUST up to their task, with some flex. eg They do not compare to a scale model, like a warbird or EDF jet. These are more like a Wright Flyer in simplicity and being minimalistic.
So when I got it and saw it, I cringed a bit - but I am sure it WILL do what it needs to do.....

Posted by PeterVRC | Jan 19, 2014 @ 04:13 PM | 7,559 Views
A glider??? YAWN...
I think I have owned ONE glider in my life before....

I was thinking about getting a DLG (Discus Launch Glider), just for some 'short lived' park fun, but then I thought "That would be VERY short lived fun" (per flight)! So I went hunting for a REAL glider to get....

It came down to two choices.... both from HobbyKing as usual.
1) FOX, which was a 2320mm wingspan, aerobatic/sports glider
2) Minimoa, which was a 2000mm wingspan scale 'gliding' glider

I read up on both, and both got great reviews from owners, so it was actually a tough decision.
FOX.... "Hmmm, 320mm more...." and "Sporty", which might make gliding a bit more interesting! Thus it won the tender.... JUST.... and even as I ordered it I was still wondering of it was the right one to choose. Both had their own small differences in what they were, and intended to do.... and each case had great appeal.

I think I might have chosen the WRONG one..... (more on that later)