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Posted by MikeAnderson | Apr 30, 2010 @ 12:14 PM | 3,097 Views
Last fall I decided that I would go 2.4GHz in 2010. I had been reading about all the great features Hitec's new Aurora 9 system had, especially the built-in telemetry. People were describing programming & configuration flexibility that sounded a lot like what I could do with my beloved Multiplex Evo 9.

When Multiplex announced last fall that they would not be bringing their new m-link system to North America, I decided to violate one of my personal golden rules regarding new products: Never buy the first generation of anything. I ordered a A9.

When it finally arrived in Feb I liked it right away. It felt good in the hands and the touch screen was everything I expected. It wasn't long after that I discovered a problem with the gimbals while setting up a plane. Thinking that it might be a firmware upgrade thing I waited some more to get the HPP-22 PC interface device to download the latest firmware. But Hitec mucked up their servers the same day my HPP-22 arrived and I had to wait even longer.

After all that waiting, the gimbal problem did not go away. I posted a description of the problem here, wondering if I was alone with this issue. It didn't take long for the thread to start filling with reports of the same problems.

I called Hitec and was advised that there was nothing they could do over the phone so i had to send it back to Poway CA, where it remains still. Solutions are not yet known.

The best explanation that I've read online is here on...Continue Reading
Posted by MikeAnderson | Apr 30, 2010 @ 11:47 AM | 3,065 Views
Wow it's been a long time since I've posted anything here. Can't believe how fast time has flown. Now that I'm no longer writing for MAC Magazine, I can try to contribute her a little more often than once every 3 years.
Posted by MikeAnderson | Jan 21, 2007 @ 10:44 AM | 4,744 Views
Here's a quick recap from last night's third indoor session at Carleton University. I'd estimate we had 24 pilots. (Sorry - No photos this time - I left my camera behind - too much airplane stuff to carry)

Bill Nickel is still working the bugs out of his large, coroplast B-24 Liberator target drone. The idea is to have this very tough model fly slow circuits, trailing several streamers, while a swarm of IFO's try to make cuts and/or knock it out of the air. So far it isn't slow and it doesn't turn well. But Bill isn't the type to give up easily & I'm sure we'll be doing this event soon.

The combat round had 11 IFO's and Sev Fontaine's little balsa cabin plane. We teased him greatly during the pilots briefing but he ended up with the longest streamer after a four minute round!! Sev walked away with his second Sombra Labs Lepton 5 Rx of the season. Amazing that his plane wasn't just shredded by an IFO. My plane was knocked out when someone sheared off half my prop!

We ended the evening with a carrier landing event. A twenty foot square of floor was marked off with 4 orange cones and a transmitter case was placed where the superstructure should be. We each had to take off from the deck, make one circuit and bring her down on the deck, stopping as close to the centre as possible, all while standing on the flight line about 60 feet away. In the event of a tie, judges would add or subtract 'style points' for the flight. Everything from 3D bipes to IFO'...Continue Reading
Posted by MikeAnderson | Nov 29, 2006 @ 11:52 AM | 6,010 Views
Some of you have been asking me for "the full resolution" versions of the photos posted here. These are all full-res.

New realisation!!! RCGroups auto compresses files being uploaded. Check the notes for the photo attached below.
So it seems that I can post full resolution images, but not original compression images.


I use a Nikon D70s digital SLR which records 3008x2000 pixel images. They are recorded in-camera as JPG's with the least compression possible. Whenever I need to e-mail these files, I typically increase the compression by about one third. That gives acceptable image quality without having to resample.

Until I decide to load up the old credit card again, I am using the stock 18-70 mm lense although I'm drooling over the can't-get-it-anywhere-even-if-you-wanted-it 18-200mm VR.

So to get close-ups of little planes flying way off on the horizon, I shoot normally then crop to the plane. Otherwise you'd see a plane occupying only a small portion of the full image, which isn't very useful.

So whatever you see here that is smaller than 3008x2000 pixels has been cropped.

Some images have been adjusted for exposure & only if really needed. I try to do the least post-processing possible.

Shooting fast-moving objects
First I set the autofocus mode to continuous. While I'm holding the shutter release partially down the object in the centre of the viewfinder is constantly being refocused.

Next I change the metering mode to...Continue Reading