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Kmot's blog
Posted by Kmot | Apr 15, 2012 @ 10:53 AM | 7,860 Views
If I was in the market to buy a new top of the line radio I would be looking at the new 18 channel radios available. Lots of bells and whistles, and more channels than I need so that allows plenty of room to grow for whatever model may come along.

So there are two choices available, Futaba and Spektrum

Futaba wants $3000 bucks for their version.

Spektrum wants $800 for their version.

Hard choice, eh?
Posted by Kmot | Mar 30, 2012 @ 01:17 PM | 5,778 Views
I feel pretty good right n ow actually, and I did not take a Vicodan pain pill this morning. I am able to sit upright and type with both hands, unlike yesterday.

We arrived at the hospital again at 5AM like before. But things moved a lot quicker this time, because the lab results were all in order.

I was taken down to the pre-op area where I was asked a bunch of questions (this is done to be sure they don't make some of those horrible mistakes like happened a while back) to make sure everyone was on the same page. The nurse introduced herself and said "we are going to take good care of you" and that made me feel comfortable. The anesthesiologist introduced himself, asked a few questions, etc. My wife then asked him what type of drug was he going to use and he replied "the Michael Jackson stuff".

Once I was rolled into the operating room I had to flop over to the operating table. Man, was it narrow. I told the nurses "don't let me fall on the floor, you won't be able to pick me up because it will be like trying to pick up a Volkswagen!"

Shortly the anesthesiologist said "okay, we are going to put you to sleep now". I then jokingly asked "Am I going to hear some Michael Jackson tunes?" ANd the nurse said yeah sure and turned on some sort of radio or whatever and although it wasn't MJ it was a music song and I only remember about 3 or 4 seconds of it and I was gone. Next thing I remember was starting to come too in...Continue Reading
Posted by Kmot | Jan 21, 2012 @ 12:05 PM | 6,165 Views
Cold and flu season where you live?

My wife brought home a cold last Saturday, and I caught it last Tuesday night. It is a "cold from hell"! It is one nasty, miserable, head cold.

I am sick of being sick! I had my hay fever kick in three weeks ago because we have had a dry winter, and the winds have been blowing in pollen from the desert and mountains. Then I get this freakin' nasty azz head cold on top of it.

I just wanna SCREAM!!

AAAAHHHHHHHHHHHHHH!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Okay, that helped.
Posted by Kmot | Dec 24, 2011 @ 11:57 PM | 7,050 Views
Don't forget the true meaning of Christmas. Have a great holiday everyone!
Posted by Kmot | Sep 19, 2011 @ 11:44 AM | 7,612 Views
I went to the "Inland Nautical Society" of Riverside, California annual Fall Regatta yesterday with two of my model boats. I had my "Dutch Sloep", a work in progress; and I had my "Canadian Coast Guard 47' Motor Life Boat".

I drove both boats in the Navigation Course competition.

I won First Place in the Navigation Under 36" category with the Dutch Sloep.

I won Second Place in Scale Military with the CCG 47' MLB.


Posted by Kmot | Sep 16, 2011 @ 07:21 PM | 7,468 Views
I really do. I do not mope around thinking "poor me I always have bad luck".

But damn, sometimes I just really seem to have a string of bad luck!

I have crashed and destroyed two airplanes in the past month.

I bought a Hobbyzone Champ. It was defective out of the box, elevator did not work. My LHS guy exchanged it for me. I have been messing with the new one all day trying to get it to re-bind after losing its bind in the first minute or so of running. Nothing works. It won't bind. Gonna have to take it back too.....

Next, when putting some stuff away, a brand new built XPD-8 ducted fan jet that was sitting on a stack of magazines below my radio shelf, had a DX6 fall on it punching 4 holes through the styrofoam airplane, three in the wings and one through the top of the canopy. I took great care not to mess up the foam while constructing this model and now without ever having a single toss into the air it has been hammered.

What's next?
Posted by Kmot | Sep 11, 2011 @ 07:22 PM | 7,602 Views
Spent six hours covering today. I got the outer panels on both upper and lower surfaces done, and the bottom side of the wing done.

Have to take a break now, and spend time getting a boat ready for a regatta next weekend.




Posted by Kmot | Sep 09, 2011 @ 10:52 PM | 8,394 Views
I had been waiting a long time for Hobby King to restock their economical covering material and then when it came back into stock I immediately placed an order for some rolls of covering and it finally arrived yesterday. It's pretty good quality stuff, as it turns out.

Today I covered 4 parts: the two ailerons, the elevator, and the rudder. Took me hours and hours to do it. Covering is not one of my favorite things to do.

These parts represent 14 seperate sections of covering that was applied.


Posted by Kmot | Aug 17, 2011 @ 01:02 AM | 7,057 Views
I have been wanting a curio cabinet to display my customised engines in. I had priced some at the local furniture stores, and they are are all waaaay out of my budget range. Ridiculously so!

So once in a while I would peruse Craigslist and eBay for a deal. Well I finally found one!

A local seller had one that was just the right size to keep my wife happy, and just barely adequate for me but sometimes ya gotta compromise.

But I am very pleased with it, and I scored it for only $45 bucks. It is a mirrored, oak and glass 'half-hexagon' style and has three glass shelves. My radial just barely fits and I had to take the spinner off to get it inside. On my other engines I had to take the propellers off. But they still look good inside and it is really neat to finally have one.

Here it is when I got it home, without the shelves installed yet:



And here it is with the three shelves installed and some of my engines already in place:



...Continue Reading
Posted by Kmot | Aug 14, 2011 @ 07:11 PM | 7,782 Views
Here are all the custom engines I have built so far:

Saito FA-45





Saito FA-40 MkI

...Continue Reading
Posted by Kmot | Aug 10, 2011 @ 07:39 PM | 6,956 Views
Here is my latest customized engine. The Webra T4-60 was a unique design for it's day. Definitely out of the ordinary compared to all the other four stroke engines that were around in the 1980's.

This engine was locked up solid with dried castor oil residue, and so I overhauled it and painted and polished the various bits.

Before



After



More

...Continue Reading
Posted by Kmot | Aug 04, 2011 @ 06:31 PM | 6,512 Views
I am refurbishing an old Sig Kadet Senior airframe that I have had for about 5 years now. I bought it mainly for the engine, and initially toyed with the idea of flying the plane but I lost interest and put it in a storage shed.

I have recently come to the conclusion that todays modern radio components are not as solid as the radio gear from a decade or two ago. So I decided to put this plane together to use as a "test mule" to fly new radio gear (Read: Cheap China stuff) for a few flights to be sure it will function properly before trusting it to fly a new 'good' plane.

So, this plane will be the "beater bird", so to speak.

Here it is, before stripping the covering:





...Continue Reading
Posted by Kmot | Jul 18, 2011 @ 09:52 PM | 6,548 Views
Here are some videos of engines I have been running on my test stand recently.

If you are a motorhead you will like these. The typical 30 seconds videos of an engine running is definitely NOT my style!

Thunder Tiger F-54S On the Test Stand (3 min 57 sec)


...Continue Reading
Posted by Kmot | Jul 13, 2011 @ 10:42 AM | 6,380 Views
The hard part about building model airplanes from the ground up, is that when something goes wrong with the radio you end up losing the plane. All the months, even years of work constructing and detailing a nice model gets lost in a moment of a radio glitch.

The difference with model boats, which I also build, is enormous. If a radio browns out, nothing happens to the boat.

This is my Four Star 60. Or what's left of it. I maidened her yesterday. Had two great flights. On the third flight the radio linkup was broken and she nose dived into the ground. I'm really bummed out by that.

I built this plane starting five years ago. Took about a year to build and detail it. Then I hung it from the ceiling in my shop and just enjoyed looking at her for the next four years. But recently I decided I wanted to fly it so got it ready and this is the result.

I still have not determined the cause but most opinions are leaning toward Rx battery problems.

When we build a model from a box of flat wood, we invest ourselves into it. Unlike an ARF or RTF, a model built from a box of flat wood has a bit of our soul in it. So it hurts a great deal more if it gets wrecked.

I know that crashing is just part of the hobby. And I accept that. I have crashed planes before. But that doesn't lessen the grief for a special plane when it gets destroyed.

So, I am venting my sadness here, to help me get over it. And I will....
Posted by Kmot | Jun 23, 2011 @ 01:32 PM | 6,653 Views
My long suffering engine test stand chassis needed to be tightened up with a few more wood screws and it needed a new paint job. The original yellow paint looked good to me, but it never fully cured. Even after several years it remained tacky and would stick to the floor when I stood the chassis on end. I removed the PSP engine test stnd from it and let the chassis sit outside my shop for several months. The sun and rain from the different seasons gave it a beating.

It's only because I have been occupied with other things that I did not have a need for the test stand to run any engines. But I have a need again, and decided now was a good time to refinish it before the blazing full heat of summer arrives.

I used what paint I had on hand. And that turned out to be some glossy white house paint left over from a recent repaint of my house. To add a little interest, I painted some stripes on it. A friend of mine called it a "Zebra" test stand.

I sort of like that name, lol. Maybe I could market it and get rich. Not!

I also put some more wood screws in the top of the legs too tighten them up. And I added a pair of big lag screws in the back to hang some weight from when I run a big engine. When I first powered up my radial engine and started to rev it up it pulled the engine stand over and luckily I backed off soon enough. I had to place some bricks on the back of the stand to continue running the engine. Now I can just hang some weights.
Posted by Kmot | Jun 04, 2011 @ 02:01 PM | 6,715 Views
Got the Dubro Cub wheels mounted on my P-56.
Posted by Kmot | May 28, 2011 @ 10:55 PM | 6,910 Views
The "Brazilian Piper Cub", it is sometimes called. It's very similar, but it's not an exact copy.

This is an ARF from World Models. It is distributed in the USA by Airborne Models, LLC.

My super duper wife bought it for me last Christmas. I started building it two weeks ago and finished today.

It is powered with a Thunder Tiger F54-S four stroke engine, a Zinger 11x5 prop, and has Spektrum radio gear and a mix of servos from Cirrus and EXI.

The graphics in the kit are representative of the type of aircraft registration used in Brazil, but they are not a copy of any actual aircraft. The models color scheme was based on an actual P-56 and so I ordered a set from Callie Graphics in the same registration scheme.

This plane really needs some Cub style wheels and I have a set of the lightweight Cub wheels from Dubro on order.

I am quite pleased with the quality of the World Models kit. It was a pleasure to put it together....Continue Reading
Posted by Kmot | Mar 22, 2011 @ 09:16 PM | 7,277 Views
Here is a video of the first time my TVR1A engine has run on steam, being powered by my recently completed hand built boiler.

TVR1A steam engine and boiler (14 min 20 sec)

Posted by Kmot | Aug 18, 2010 @ 08:02 PM | 8,392 Views
A little update to my custom FS-400.

I made a brass badge, to replace the stock ASP badge. But I was really skeptical about trying to put some writing in it myself, and I also thought it too small and thin for standard engraving.

Doing some research on the internet, I learned there is a new method (to me anyway) called "laser engraving". And a laser engraver can do letters incredibly small. So small that you would need a jeweler's loupe to read them.

Well I found a local business that does laser engraving, and I contacted them. I have a logo I designed for myself back in the 80's. I have even had the logo made into stickers for fun. So I inquired if my logo could be copied and then engraved onto my brass tag. Well, the answer was yes, and no. Can't do color, and the image I had needed to be turned into something called "vector line art". Buggha!

Well, I futzed around with my image using Photoshop and eventually got the color removed and something that I thought might be usable. But one was a jpeg, and one was a png. All I could figure out. Never could figure out what vector line art was. Anyway, I put it on a CD and then went to the laser engraver's shop with it and the brass tag. They were able to clean up the image, smooth it out, etc and make a vector line thing that they could use. Sweet!

So I had them engrave the tag. It looks great! Couldn't make the letters black, but they stand out well enough. The holes got elongated and my little screws were now too small. So I had some button heads that were a little bigger and able to work but I had to use the original tag as a spacer so there is a slight double line. But later I got some 0-80 brass hex heads and washers and now just the single plate is on the engine.

It's kind of neat to have a custom tag on my customized radial engine.

The website for the laser engraver, if anyone is interested:

http://byfridayengraving.com/

Pictures of the tag now on the engine:
Posted by Kmot | Jul 30, 2010 @ 08:34 PM | 9,418 Views
Darned honey bees discovered my hummingbird feeder and took it over! They completely drained it in a matter of a few hours. And the poor hummingbirds could not get a drink. Then the bees found the one in my back yard too!

Stupid bees!

Busy Bees (3 min 2 sec)
...Continue Reading