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B.Welwood's blog
Posted by B.Welwood | Oct 21, 2014 @ 02:21 PM | 1,401 Views
Got caught up tinkering around with multirotors and between that and a close family death and vacation commitments.... the weeks flew by (at least something flew).
I did get some slope flying in the last couple weeks, 2 maiden flights on one session and 3 on the next. No harm done to any airframe, so quite pleased about that.
Did get the GoPro out to do some helmet cam video. Have been doing some editing and uploading the results. I was very excited to get 35 minutes of nice video of the Bee2 maiden, complete with lights, low passes, couple tricks here and there and came home feeling pretty good about it.
Went to download the video for editing and discovered the lens cap was never removed... 35 mins of black video. Doh!
Tomorrow, I can upload a new video on the Windrider Fox... pretty happy with the way it came out. Here's one of the Hawk PSS maiden - Good Times Roll.
PSS Hawk (4 min 3 sec)

I had a real blast flying the Zulu. There's a local slope that I hope to try out with the Zulu on mild winter days... At least I can dream about it.
Geez, I sure envy the guys that can fly year round.
Posted by B.Welwood | Jun 02, 2014 @ 05:53 PM | 2,076 Views
Was hoping to get some quality slope time in this Spring. Unfortunately, yet again this year, the winds have not been very cooperative. Notwithstanding the flying conditions, I have managed to keep busy over the last couple of weeks.
Below is a pic of a lightweight jet sloper I recently acquired. The build was easy to do, but I changed things up a bit by making the wing and stab removable. I did get it out to the slope but didn't get a very good glide... even with full up trim it needed back stick to prevent it from diving into the ground. So I took it home and spent an hour peeling off the stab and putting some positive incidence into it. It is ready for another test. Sure looks pretty flying, I'm looking forward to getting it sorted out.
Been working on another project... a plank wing called Zulu. This design sports drooperons with are articulated leading edges. This is supposed to yield better maneuverability, something I am in favor of. I was held up for a while waiting for parts to arrive, but this project should be ready for test flying next week.
Getting to know this new Taranis radio better. I find that I prefer to do the bulk of the programming with the computer app. I thought I had enough receivers, but it looks like I'll need to order more soon.
Last, but not least, there's a FW450 multirotor project that keeps looking over at me and wondering when it will be finished.
Better get back to work.
Posted by B.Welwood | May 13, 2014 @ 05:35 PM | 2,745 Views
What follows is in no particular order of importance.

Revisited the Bee project I did last year.

After disposing of the Futaba 8FG system, it needed to be re populated with a new Taranis style Rx, and in the meantime, I acquired a SBUS signal inverter cable to replace the PWM wires that were there originally. A concurrent activity was the re flashing of the KK board to the latest OpenAero version. This meant that I needed to find and reinstall the atmega flash tool drivers again and after much tribulation everything worked out. Basic radio to KK interface is now done, just need to tweak the settings, work out the elevon mixing, set up a custom mixer, program the stability conditions, and of course re-do the lighting switch programming. Plenty of tinkering around with this thing to be had, but what the hey... we all like to tinker.

Doorbell rang on Friday. Here's a guy holding my Zulu kit and a few additional goodies inside. Kit itself is pretty simple, couple of foam cores, wing joiner ribbons, some hardware, and a center fin. I took a few minutes to lay out the servo cut outs and drooperon lines and will maybe do some cutting while I await the delivery of more components required by the build. Would like to have this one completed by early June.

Finished up another little sloper last week. This one is a PSS jet. Came out a little heavy because I made the wing and stab removable. Took it out to the slope but couldn't fly it because the wind was coming in too much from the North. Wish we had a nice North facing slope around here.

Also dropped in a frsky rx into the WR Fox sloper for when we finally do get cooperative winds around here. Gawd I sure like the looks of that little scale glider!

The Libelle finally got the rx and switch shoehorned into the front end and is pretty much ready for test glides.

Need to get out the Gopro, want to shoot some flying video if I can.

Nuff said for now. Time to get back to work.
Posted by B.Welwood | May 01, 2014 @ 01:45 PM | 2,788 Views
Couple of months since I last posted here.

Been busy with a few things. Started into another DLG build with a disser Edge air foiled wing. This one was going to have a conventional stab/elevator setup.... but thinking about this why not do it FF like the rest of the fleet. That way, the stabs are interchangeable if need be. This meant I needed to send away for another stab mount so things came to a standstill on this project. Now have the mount, so building can proceed.

I got caught up in the DreamFlight Libelle mania. Ordered 4 kits, 2 for me and two for David. Not too much of a chore to put these together but as usual I threw in a couple of changes. Presently shoehorning a bigger battery pack into the nose while trying to set things up so the pack does not jettison itself during launch. This one is primarily intended to be a sloper but I'm going to try doing DLG with it as well.

Radio stuff. Lots has happened here. Also got caught up in the Taranis cult mania. On a whim, I got onto a wait list for one and wound up buying one. Immediately fell in love with it... the Futaba FAAST system went up for sale and I'm now converted over to the ACCST system. Pass the Kool Aide.

Now that I've done that, the next order of business was to get my beloved Multiplex Evo converted over to 2.4. Sent an order to Wayne at Aloft for a hack module and with a little wiring and drilling, she's now a 2.4 darling. Did I mention that I love this radio?

Let's see, what else... Been working on a couple little slopers but no pics to check out yet. Purchased a Zulu kit last night, just have to check out this drooperon thing for myself. Also came up with an idea for this build, but this will not be disclosed in this blog installment.

That's enough blog stuff for now. Over and out.
Posted by B.Welwood | Feb 14, 2014 @ 09:55 AM | 3,357 Views
One of my recent goals has been to learn and apply the process of recording, editing and posting videos through the use of my iphone, ipad, and imovie software. To this end, I chronicled the assembly of a DLG from parts and ended with some suggestions around radio programming and flight trimming.
If you'd care to check it out, here are the links....

DLG Demo Introduction (12 min 15 sec)

...Continue Reading
Posted by B.Welwood | Oct 17, 2013 @ 11:14 AM | 2,474 Views
Well, the new Bee2 has been ready for a test flight for some time now, but we just haven't had the right conditions for it. I'm really disappointed at the so few slope flying opportunities this summer... mostly east, north and south winds instead of west. One of the other guys here has taken up RC sailing, I think I'll get a little more serious about quads.
Winter will be here soon enough. Faced with the prospect of time on my hands between shovelling snow and household chores, I've been looking around for something interesting and challenging to do. Came across Arduino.. and started checking out some of the videos about this stuff. Actually, there are many parallels between process control and programming and our RC worlds. Certainly there is a commonality of skill sets.
One of the videos suggested that the best way to learn about this stuff was to select some kind of project to do.... something that could be started simple and would facilitate added complexity as skills and learnings are mastered. Made sense to me. So, what am I going to do?
I did not wish to duplicate someone else's project, but there is a plethora of very cool projects done by others if one chooses to go this route. Looks like a few guys are doing quad copters for instance.
I have a daily ritual of walking for an hour... Doctor suggested this and wife insists this is the only way to counteract my love of food. Anyway, I use this time to listen to music and think. I've been using a lot of these walks...Continue Reading
Posted by B.Welwood | Aug 31, 2013 @ 09:50 PM | 3,644 Views
It has been a couple of weeks since my last blog entry. Since that time, some progress has been made and we are now into the final stages prior to a test flight. At least the glider piece can be tested.
Following the application of new stuff covering, the wiring could be finalized prior to applying the upper deck. I planned to employ an s-bus interface between the rx and the KK board, but discovered that a signal inversion cable must be used to do this, no prob.... a cable went into my next HK order.
While waiting for the cable to arrive, I applied the econocote color film on top of the new stuff. The process went well, the econocote sticks just fine. Next, the pod was fitted to the wing and the nose cone was made removable to provide the necessary camera mounting for FVP work or just recording on board video during flight.
The KK board needed to be re-flashed with the latest version of OpenAero to use s-bus. Did this and while at it, flashed the new KK board to 1.6.
A 2 week wait turned into a 3 week wait which turned into a 4 week wait and still no Hobbyking box with the cable. Tracking says it was processed on August 7 in Sinapore but who knows where it currently is. Well, I got fed up waiting and decided to use a traditional PWM interface to the KK board.
Now that the wiring is resolved, the top deck was finalized onto the wing top. Weight is currently at 32 ounces minus the lipo batteries for lights and motor system. A switch setup will be required for the motor lipo.
The pod was fitted for a 2650 mah 3 cell lipo and enough room in the front to mount the VTX unit, antenna, and of course the video camera. As a precaution, I mounted a fan unit on the video transmitter.
Here's some pics of progress to date, as can been seen this thing is looking like a blinged up glider with electric propulsion and FVP capability.
Next steps will be to setting up some PID values for the stability piece of OpenAero... Good thing my Tx has plenty of switches...
Posted by B.Welwood | Aug 14, 2013 @ 09:22 PM | 3,509 Views
As mentioned previously, we had visitors around here so I was not able to get much done by way of building (or flying for that matter).
My brother in law worked his way through my supply of beer and a large bottle of 20 year old single malt scotch that I had been hoarding for many years. That task completed, it was time for him and my sister to hit the road. Time for me to get back to work. I've got some progress photos to show.
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Description: This is what I'm talking about. Bottom view showing LED's, spar, servos, battery... ready for lam film covering and further equipment installation. Yes, shop is a mess... Wife is pissed.

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Description: Here's some of the stuff yet to be installed. Upper deck is white and will hold the KK board, lipo pack, LED wiring, etc. Orange thing is optional lower pod with motor, lipo and FVP stuff. Sorry, the FVP equipment is still in transit.
First steps in the build process was to fit some of the components into the wings and to do an install on the led strips. I decided to do 4 separate circuits, two on the top, two on the bottom. Being a glider guy (all about the airfoil), I decided to embed the strips into the wings rather than slap them on top of the wing at the end. I purchased the Preditor edition of the Bee and my plan is to adhere to the very cool stealth and low drag aspects of the design. The process of routing channels and installing the wiring was tedious, but what the hay, I've got the time...
Next order of business was to join the wings at the center, and to install the carbon ribbon spars. This step necessitated that the light strips be pre-installed.
Top photo shows joined wing. Weight so far is 15 oz. I also intend to experiment with wingtip plates, so I set up a method of mounting to facilitate this.
Next step will be to apply the 5 mil new stuff laminating film. Then the KK board, lighting switches, rx, servo pushrods, elevons, and upper PVC deck will be...Continue Reading
Posted by B.Welwood | Aug 02, 2013 @ 03:10 PM | 2,264 Views
Whatcha been upto Bob?
Well sir, turns out lots....

DLG stuff... put the finishing touches on the Viper II. This one was used to pioneer a few new things (for me) RDS flaperon control, pull spring rudder, and full flying stab. Finished weight is 10.5 oz. I owe a big Thank you to RCPC for the wonderful Evo DLG mixes and phases. The Viper will be next up on the DLG roster once the Gambler is finished with.
Smacked up the Gambler again the other night, no matter... all fixed again but starting to creep up a bit on the weight.
Found the canopy for the Fling DLG, now has a new rx and is all set for the slope ( at 16 oz. it is too frikken heavy to DLG).
Just about finished the Gladiator II. Geez I love the looks of this thing, but I expect it will spend most of its time on the slope.

I already have 3 flying wings, but that didn't stop me from buying a Bee 2 kit.
Not jumping into a build right away allowed me some time to figure out just what to do with it. One by one, things got added to the project...
Wouldn't it be fun to put some LED strip lights on this? Maybe some kind of switching to control the lights. OK, OK, the lights are a go.
Been reading up on this new flight stabilization stuff. Yessir, this geeky stuff appeals to me. Let's see... we'll put in one of those KK2 boards flashed with OpenAero2 software with sbus interface and the whole shebang switch controlled....
Now that we've got flight stabilization going, how about setting up a camera platform with...Continue Reading
Posted by B.Welwood | Jun 05, 2013 @ 05:43 PM | 3,333 Views
Couple of years ago, I ordered my first Weasel kit after checking out some of the X-lent videos posted here on RCG. The completed model is great to fly in moderate to stronger winds, especially after sorting out radio range problems I initially encountered while dialling in the trims.
So Dream Flight then offers a limited edition, black EPP version... Get em fast, cuz they're going fast... I ordered a black one and a regular white one as shipping for two is the same as one. Now I got 3 weasels. But then they go out of production altogether so maybe having 3 is not such a bad thing.
Seeing as how I bought a fairly good supply of laminating film, I decided to cover the wings on both models with this stuff. I was quite pleased with the results.
One thing led to another and before I knew it, the white one was finished... 13 ounces all balanced out and ready to fly. Thinking about future storage issues, I decided to sell this one, hopefully to a local sloper who will enjoy weaselling with others. Turned out a local guy checked it out and the sale was made.
With that piece of business out of the way, the next thing to do is finish up the black one. This will be a "traveller"... living in the box until assembly at a ridge just discovered somewhere.
With the EPP, laminating film and Ultracote covering the ready to fly weight came in at 12 ounces. I'm hoping this one won't be too difficult to pick out in a crowd...
Posted by B.Welwood | May 29, 2013 @ 12:20 PM | 4,485 Views
As indicated earlier, I decided to put the finishing touches on a warbird sloper that has been hanging in the garage for a few years.
By way of background, I was in a LHS one day and there's two warbird sloper kits sitting on the shelf... this FW190 and a Me109 (the P51 had already been sold). Couldn't decide on which one to get so the only solution was to get both. Besides, I purchased enough ultracote cammo covering to do both.
I built the Me109 first... 2 servos for aileron control, plenty of tape reinforcement, coro tailplane. It came out like a tank but flew nice at the local high lift slope. One day, I was running a local riverbank ridge and she went into a deep stall (I tried a loop but not enough airspeed). The Me crashed into the river and I dropped the Tx and began a 30 minute sprint down the riverbank while it drifted towards North Battleford. Lucky to get it back.
Back to the FW. Couple of guys showed up with their warbirds, a Spitfire and a Mustang. These were built lighter than mine and they were able to get higher and had more opportunity for combatting as a result. Seeing this, I decided to build out the FW lighter... One servo for ailerons and less tape reinforcement.
With a 2000 mah battery pack and 2.4 rx, it came out to 24 ounces and should be a fairly good performer if not a great ground-pounder. The servos have servo savers and the tailplane is balsa.
Here's a pic...
Posted by B.Welwood | May 24, 2013 @ 08:10 PM | 3,073 Views
Another weekend has arrived and so has the rain and east winds. Forecast for the next 4 days is not good. Nothing to do except work on planes.
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Couple more slopers are ready. The LeFish has a 2 pc wing and auw of 22 oz.
The other one an old-skool build, 2 channel with a Kevlar bagged wing, weight is 17 ounces.
Hope to put the finishing touches on a DAW FW190 that has been hanging in the garage for a few years. I have one leftover 2000 mah battery pack left over.
Posted by B.Welwood | May 19, 2013 @ 11:24 PM | 2,661 Views
TV reports wind out of the west at 17. There's enough daylight available to make a slope trip worthwhile and the radio and Zagi are already in the car. So, away I go.
Get to the ridge and find it vacant except for the mosquitos. Where's the 17? Barely enough wind to float the wind sock and certainly not enough to blow away the mosquitos. I chuck out the Zagi with the smaller battery park and she's way out ... all kinds of left turn and down trim. Even with corrections on the stick it would only mush along coupled with a wallowing. Needless to say, I wasn't doing many passes along the ridge before altitude loss meant a retrieval walk down the ridge.
Given the light conditions, the only thing to do was to play Zagi boomerang... throw it out, turn back and land back at the top. After dialling in right trim and adding a small amount to weight to the nose, it began to glide better... but only enough for a few passes during the stronger puffs.
A number of throws later, and the setting sun is shining in my eyes and my arm is getting tired. I've been here an hour and a half, so I call it a day and head home.
Wind forecasts for the next few days are not good, so I suppose one should take advantage of every opportunity. While waiting, there's plenty of shop chores to do while the arm get over the soreness.
Posted by B.Welwood | May 16, 2013 @ 03:20 PM | 4,100 Views
Finished weight is 20 ounces, includes covering job and bling stuff.
Guess I mixed up the blue & yellow strips during construction. Oh, well...
Couple of pics...
Posted by B.Welwood | May 13, 2013 @ 11:32 PM | 5,158 Views
Current project is progressing well, now at the covering stage. Neglected to take build-in-progress pics in my quest to get this one ready sap.
To weigh my covering options, I put the uncovered airframe and servos, batteries and rx on the scale. Comes in at 17 ounces. Using 3 mil new stuff on the wings should get it to 20 ounces. Hope this is still light enough to yield decent light air performance.
Given ths, I've decided to stay away from the paint.
Tomorrow, I'll get out the iron and begin the covering process.
Posted by B.Welwood | May 09, 2013 @ 11:36 PM | 2,621 Views
Finally get a notice that my package has arrived. So I hot foot it down to the local post office to claim my prize. Yessiree, another slope foamie kit.
Nice lady emerges from the back room with my package. OMG!
The box is so badly beaten up... holes all over and shreds of cardboard hanging off it, what the hell were those postal guys doing? Looks like it got skewered by a forklift or something. The counter lady even commented... "Gee... Hope there's nothing fragile in there..."
Get this ratty box home and open it up (real easy to do). Pleasant surprise, everything is intact. Nice job packing there Canuk!
Test fit of the pieces shows good moulding and engineering. While checking things out, I get an idea that might be fun to try with this project. First need to check out my inventory of spare parts.
Photos of build progress to follow....
Posted by B.Welwood | May 05, 2013 @ 11:30 PM | 3,314 Views
Yard work completed. West wind forecasted for today so last night was spent charging batteries. Sad thing, my Super Seven is not salvageable, even with a fresh pack it persists in reporting a low batt.
Decided to start the season with my refurbished Zagi. I stripped off the tape covering, added carbon spars, new rx, and managed to fit in a 2000 mah flight pack. Turns out it flew OK but required an on inordinate amount of up trim to compensate for nose heavy with the big batt. It mushed around with excessive drag on the elevens, so will swap out the 2000 pack with a 750 and get the cg back at 8.25 in. Good to be flying that old friend again.
Tried a few throws with the Alula. This thing continues to vex me, I suppose more trimming and cg adjustment is required.
Came home with two intact airframes and a sunburn. All in all, a good day.
Posted by B.Welwood | Apr 28, 2013 @ 10:55 PM | 2,961 Views
Spring is finally here. My building shop is in my unheated garage so therefore the building season is also about to begin.
I succumbed to the urge to purchase another airframe... What can I say... I'm an addict. Got an email that said purchase is on the way. Local hobby shop has the required servos in stock, another purchase trip scheduled for tomorrow. I need fresh CA too.
Still putting in time in PicaSim but seem to have "plateaued" on the learning aspect.
Final touches need to be applied on the Viper DLG but will plan to get the rust off with the Gambler first. Will try to record some video with the new camera.
Back hurts from yard work this weekend... Just need to power wash the deck, hose down the house siding and wash the windows and flying season can begin. I expect to wake up stiff tomorrow morning ( no, not that kind of stiff).
Nuff said for now...
Posted by B.Welwood | Mar 21, 2013 @ 11:42 AM | 3,184 Views
I've been spending a little time on PicaSim trying to learn the use of rudder control in my slope flying. Since my early days, I flew mostly elevator & rudder (on the aileron stick) and most of my slope experience is with elevator and aileron control... you know... bank & yank. The rudder stick was mostly unused.
After some time on the sim, I got not too bad although smooth implementation of aileron and rudder did take some time to achieve. I still have to consciously think about what I need to do. I need much more practice.
The biggest challenge for me is flying the LeFish inverted on successive ridge passes and coordinating the aileron and rudder inputs, as the rudder is reversed during this type of turning. For some reason, I seem better at left turns (aileron stick to the left and rudder stick to the right), on the rights I suck big time. Also, my ability to "concentrate" on what I'm doing seems to last a finite amount of time. Getting old, I guess. I've already killed a few schools of fish practicing this.
Trying to bring this level of discipline to your flying gives you a whole new level of respect for guys like Laird, Lange, and Henderson. These guys make it look easy.
One thing that I have been doing is to listen to a playlist on my ipod while running the sim. I run about an hour's worth of songs and they vary in tempo, the slower tunes allow mental "recovery" from the faster paced ones. This is nothing really new as I understand a number of slopers out there listen to music while flying. Also, this is a good way of timing your sim sessions.
As I write this, we are in the midst of yet another raging Spring snowstorm.
Think I will take a nap before shovelling out the driveway again, I'm running out of places to put the snow. Maybe put a little more time on the sim this afternoon...
Posted by B.Welwood | Mar 18, 2013 @ 02:51 PM | 2,948 Views
Finished up the annual chore of prepping the household income tax returns. For some reason this responsibility has been mine since ages ago.
Looks like I'll be getting a modest refund this year, e-file worked good and I've now got a couple hundred bucks to blow on the hobby.
Happened to visit Future Shop site next... what's this... a one-day deal on those nifty GoPro video cameras, plus 20% off on all accessories. Checked my local store... yessiree they had 3 in stock. Grabbed the Rabbit keys and headed over, lets see what do I need for accessories... one of those helmet mounts for sure, maybe an extra battery... see what's on hand when I get there.
Picked up the camera, a helmet mount kit, and a back-pack battery add-on. Spent the afternoon downloading manuals and software and figuring out how to run one of these. Oh SH*T! I forgot about a tripod mount. Looking through the stuff that comes with the camera, I find something that should work as a helmet mount. What to do about a helmet... checked the garage and found a bicycle helmet that should work fine. The camera mount fits it pretty good. (I look pretty dorky wearing it, but I don't care about that stuff anymore). Next, went to charge the add-on battery pack and find it is DOA. No problem, that pack makes the camera too bulky and heavy for a helmet cam anyway. Back to the store I go. Return the battery pack and helmet mount kit and pick up an extra battery, tripod mount, and micro SD card. All set. Here's a photo of the cam mounted on the helmet.
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Description: Helmet Cam is ready for action.
The camera mounts up to my tripod just fine, now time to shoot some test video.
I decided to do a bit of a demo video of the LeFish build.
Here are the results... (an HD video, no less)
New Project 2 (11 min 6 sec)

Now I am all set for shooting some flying video at the slope this year.