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Posted by verticalspark | Sep 04, 2016 @ 11:18 PM | 1,275 Views
It's been a long time coming but I am officially done with quads. I love them, I push them beyond their limits and usually don't stop till I crash. Then it sits on my bench for a week or two before new parts arrive and I rebuild.

That was a good and fine until sine things changed. I recently had a little girl and I can no longer take the time/money to crash, fix, tune and fly. Planes are just as fun to me and the time from crash to flying is quite short. I may end up getting back into quads but for the foreseeable future, I'm done.

Posted by verticalspark | Apr 17, 2016 @ 03:59 PM | 2,205 Views
So once I got a hold of the X Maxx I have been playing with it every chance I got. So far I have broken an upper arm, hub and wheel. I launched it over a hill and slammed it into a rail road tie sideways. That ripped out the entire metal hub and dog bone.

Overall, I am quite happy with the X Maxx. It's a huge truck takes most abuse that I can throw at it. Just like the T Maxx on steroids. It takes a ridiculous amount of abuse and comes away happy as ever.

Pros: It's massive! It will take most abuse that you can throw at it and keeps going. It's water resistant and loves to play in the mud. It will be sure to put a smile on your face anytime you drive it.

Now for the cons. Price. It's an $800 truck and DOES NOT come with batteries. It's another $200 for two 3s 5000mAh packs and a charger. So how you are at $1K which for most of us is quite a lot. My only other real complaint is the price of extra batteries. At $64 per 5000mAh lipo or $115 per 9000mAh lipo, it's a bit pricey to get an extra set.
Posted by verticalspark | Apr 10, 2016 @ 09:50 PM | 1,905 Views
So today was the 1 year SCORCH anniversary! Was a great day to fly and hang out with friends. It was about 17 members that showed up and had everything from helis to planes to cars and quads. It has been a great year and can not wait to see what happens in the next one.

I also purchased a Traxxas X Maxx and E Revo from someone just north of me. I was looking for the E Revo but the X Maxx was an added benefit. Both have been a blast but the X Maxx is so massive that is widely fun. But it also has some massive drawbacks that most dont see until they have one.
Posted by verticalspark | Feb 06, 2016 @ 03:55 PM | 2,111 Views
I picked up a used traxxas summit a couple of weeks ago with the idea of going FPV. Well I got one of the cheap sets from rctimer last week and today I hooked it up. I have moved the "light bar" back one and mounted the camera. I got all excited and took off and had a blast! Until I managed to get the vtx wet and it stopped. But I have a spare downstairs and I'm going to corrosion X everything so next time I won't kill everything.
Posted by verticalspark | Feb 03, 2016 @ 11:01 PM | 2,918 Views
I finished converting the DJI F550 from a hex into a y6. All went well but on the maiden flight It went into VLC and broke the landing gear. After adjusting the voltage cutoff and installing some HK 190mm landing gear and an action cam gimbal kt back to normal minis the gimbal control. One of those small little things I forgot to order.

I received all the components for the Goby 180 and just need to do a little research on it. I have the motors ans Escs but I need to learn to solder the lemon rx to the naze32 and how kt all goes together. I am used to adding everything without worrying about weight so trying to keep the weight down ks a new thing....Continue Reading
Posted by verticalspark | Jan 10, 2016 @ 09:46 PM | 2,563 Views
So today was another bad day in the world of flight. While landing on the strip with my wing I went a little long and slammed nose into a 2X4 at the end of the runway. Pretty sure I destroyed my camera.

And as I was flying my F550 it went into a dive and try as I might, I could not pull out of it. It bounced pretty high and broke 3 arms and a motor. Going to see if I can turn it into a y6.

And to top it off, my laptop died today. Been a great day.
Posted by verticalspark | Jan 02, 2016 @ 01:22 PM | 2,758 Views
So I finished building the CPO tri and got all excited. I took it outside and spun the motors up. Double cheeked that everything was going the right way and pushed the throttle up a little. Just about 6" off the ground, the rear servo crapped out, dropped the motor full left and its started to spin with zero control. Thankfully I was on the grass so I just cut the motors and called it good.

After the crash of the wingnetic I cut off both of the wings to find that only one was actually glued on which is the most likely reason for the high speed spin. One of the forum users noted that he could take off vertically so I installed some CF rods so I could try as well.

BUT WAIT! Thats not all...If you call in the next 30 min we will include TWO! Thats right folks we will include TWO modifications this poor plane so CALL NOW!

I happen to have a few 9g servos laying around and am going to start laying out rudders. Does this wing need rudders? No. Is there any reason to chop up a perfectly good airplane to install rudders? No. But yet, here I go. That is the next project as I wait for a new ESC. By the time this poor thing flys again it will be a completely different plane.

And last but certainly should have been at the beginning of my post, My wife and I are expecting our first child I cant explain how excited I am but now all there is to do is wait.

Posted by verticalspark | Dec 14, 2015 @ 09:01 PM | 2,586 Views
So I finally got around to building the tri. Its been two days and I have almost everything wired. Turns out that I need a few servo extensions. I started with the tail mechanism as that was going to be the most infuriating to build. I have seen most people use the steerable nose wheel kits together to make the tilt mechanism but all the hobbytown usa has was wing attachment kits and the pieces were shaped roughly the same so I used them instead....Continue Reading
Posted by verticalspark | Dec 10, 2015 @ 08:33 PM | 2,617 Views
So I got the wingnetic from HK during one of the sales and a couple of 800mAh 3s to go along with it. I got a few flights with it and found that it needed a little nose weight with the 800 moved all the way forward. It few great for the price point!

That was until on a flight I got a little too close to the ground and pulled up at full throttle. It immediately did a tight aileron roll and nosed into the ground a full speed. After a quick look the nose was split and the wing was separated from the fuse.

Took a few min and looked through the threads to find that some of the wingnetics wings aren't glued thoroughly and can come separated in flight. That would explain the tight roll with no input. Ordered some new parts and Ill get it back in the air ASAP.

Posted by verticalspark | Nov 22, 2015 @ 05:28 PM | 2,793 Views
So Im building a CTH Pinata. Its a pretty sweet little plane once I figure out where to put everything for FPV. Scratch that, Figured out where and how to manage the FPV set. Took a little bit of creative wiring and some hopes and dreams but it works now.

I have several of these Fli-Power motors laying around with matching 60a ESCs and have decided to build a massive tri. And the best part is that its going to be a acro tri. No FPV this time. Just going to build it out of some sheet wood, use a CC3D acro+ and a 4s. The only real issue is that I have to buy some props.

And I started a new hobby, aqua gardening. I like having fish but really to me there isnt really exciting about it. So I decided that I would start a aqua garden. The container is an EcoQube C that just completed a KickStarter campaign and I love it so far.
Posted by verticalspark | Nov 13, 2015 @ 08:03 PM | 2,933 Views
Looks like I have a new toy. Short review after some flights tomorrow.

Posted by verticalspark | Oct 10, 2015 @ 04:31 PM | 3,183 Views
I remember it like it was yesterday...because it was. I went flying at a new spot about 15 min from my house. The area is closed due to a massive flooding a couple of weeks ago. It was a pretty massive flood as it washed out a complete section of walk way. Well since its pretty much closed and nobody can access it unless you are up for a walk and most people are too lazy to go that far out of their way.

So I set up in the middle of the flood area that was now dry and started to fly. I ran a couple of laps on each battery with zero problems. That was until I was half way through my third lipo. The river runs on along the south side of the open area. I exited the one of the laps and my signal and video all at once and the last thing I saw was the river coming fast.

That was it, never saw it again. I spent about 3 hours searching the river and its banks to no avail.
Posted by verticalspark | Oct 04, 2015 @ 06:43 PM | 3,820 Views
So today I mounted up the motorcycle with all the RC gear and drove to SCORCH. About half way there I hit a fog bank and it was so thick that I couldnt see more than 100' in front of me. So I kept driving hoping for it to turn out nicer. As it turns out, the sun came out and became a beautiful flying day.

I got the 280 in the air and its a blast to fly! Its a handful at the very least but its fun to play with. The camera on the other hand is crappy. Its a 700 line but it cant control the contrast so when you fly anywhere towards the sun everything becomes black and you have to pray you dont crash. Gotta fix that soon.

As for the 550 hex, I just ended up removing the gimbal and hard mounting the GoPro to the front in between the two front arms. While I can no longer get the beautiful sweeping AP shots, I can play with the F550 harder than it was meant to do. So some FFF and a couple of backflips and front flips and I was happy again.

As for the dominators, I have to contact fat shark tomorrow about them. They are less than 6 months, only used a dozen or so times. Never dropped, always taken care of and like I said, only turned on less than a dozen times. The problem is that when you plug them in, all I see is solid colors that shift and end up at a green screen. No static, no changing channels, nothing. The battery is at full charge, the rx is plugged in, the antenna is screwed on solid. Couldn't figure it out by myself so Ill call them tomorrow and hope they can fix it.

Flying the F550 at SCORCH (7 min 41 sec)

Posted by verticalspark | Oct 02, 2015 @ 08:14 PM | 3,854 Views
So the other week I spent a good amount of time with my buddy Tom fitting props for the F550 on a 4s. After a good amount of swapping we found the 9x4.5 is the perfect prop for good camera stabilization and great punch out. So I ordered a few 4s but I havent gotten them yet.

So me being me I decided to fly with a full rig on a 3s. Not that difficult but it lack the punch of a 4s. After a few short laps my GoPro decided to die and I was left LOS. Not that big of a deal as I fly within LOS every time I fly. I was bringing it down from about 60ft and the props started to cavitate in its down wash. Well that coupled with the wind of an incoming storm I managed to flip it upside down at 10ft. It rocketed down into the ground and bounced a couple of times.

I walked over to the hex and found it surprisingly unharmed. No so much as a scratch. But my 4s should arrive shortly and I will be able to fly some decent times.

Posted by verticalspark | Aug 25, 2015 @ 05:18 PM | 4,203 Views
So the stars aligned this week and I got 2!!!! new toys. The NightHawk 280 Pro came in from yesterday and last weekend I purchased a DJI F550.

One of the guys decided he was selling his F550. Standard motors/esc combo but has the WooKong-M as well as the LK24 Data Link. So I decided to buy it from him. I was then that I realized what he was giving me. He gave me the F550, x468 gimbal with savox servos, 2 lipos for it, a 1.2 FPV ground station (1.2 rx, Case and LCD screen), 1.2 transmitter to hook to a GoPro (1-4), A box of extra parts along with a SPMAR7610 rx for the radio, 4 extra ESCs for the f550, 2 extra motors for the f550 and 4 motors and 4 60amp escs for an extra quad.

Then I spent the better part of the day with the president of SCORCH (Tom) working with different motor/lipo settings. We settled with 9x4.5 on a 4s for roughly 125 watts/motor at full throttle which is 25 watts under the max rated current. I currently use a 3s with some 10" props but it is under 80watts/motor and just seemed sluggish with inputs.

As for the NightHawk Pro, I received it the other day and havent gotten to play with it yet. At first glance, the quad is very well built. The Instruction manual is very well written and not Engrish from what I have read. The diagrams are very nice and point out the main points. I will give an update on both of them when I get back from a short trip.

...Continue Reading
Posted by verticalspark | Aug 05, 2015 @ 07:46 PM | 3,345 Views
So over the last couple weeks I went on a short motorcycle drive. Left from colorado and drove to south carolina and then to florida to surprise my mom, dad and cousin. I drove somewhere just north of 5,ooo miles round trip. And I have to say I love this bike.

I finally got a voltage step up for my camera so I will be able to complete my FPV system for a modified flite test kracken that I am currently building. Hoping it will be finished by this friday so I can take it out and give it a maiden and see how she fly with FPV.

I also saw 2DogRC was selling a set up emax frame with a complete FPV setup for just over $200 so I ordered it. The good news is that I already have that exact same frame so any crashes I will have plenty of spare parts.
Posted by verticalspark | May 17, 2015 @ 10:47 PM | 5,134 Views
So I bought the Emax 250 quite some time ago. After a substantial time procrastinating I finally started working on it. The plan was to cut and solder the motor wires to the ESC with no connectors so lighten the load. After several attempts I failed and managed to fry 2 ESCs and a motor that is stuck in a jitter mode. Not a huge deal but now I was faced with either stick with the stock motors and ESCs or going big.

So I decided to go with some Cobra 2208/20 2000kv motors running some 6x4.5 props on a 2200 4s. Going to have to order them when I get some of the money back from some of the items I have invested in.

And I finished the plane for my wife. Its a great plane and I have it finished except for the fact I didnt read the entire page for the HK tx. Seems one of the channels is reversed and I cant do it without the correct cord that I ordered shortly ago. Hopefully everything I ordered will be here within the next 3 weeks.

Posted by verticalspark | Apr 27, 2015 @ 06:46 PM | 4,506 Views
So my wife decided she wants to learn to fly! Was planning on rebuilding a slow stick for her to learn on but after searching I re-found the MiniBipe from I saw the original and the uber large bipe but after looking I think this is going to be the best setup for her. Im hoping her flying will cruse into quads or helis, but honestly so long as she is flying Im happy.

But in other news I got everything to start FPVing on my 250 quad and I received a set of upgraded motors for my Hubsan X4. Hoping to beat the crap out of those.

Posted by verticalspark | Mar 28, 2015 @ 11:02 PM | 4,624 Views
If you live in/around Colorado Springs and you fly ANYTHING please drive out and meet us! SCHORCH is a AMA club that is about 15 miles east of the city that is devoted to mainly to Helis and multirotors including FPV. Please come out and visit on Saturday. We meed up at 9am to hang out and fly what we have.

This being said, we have a geographic feature that I am fairly sure no other club has. THE PIT!. We have a pit that is roughly 400' across and about 20' deep right off one of out main flight lines. Right now its used to fly in with any and everything that can fit in it but it will be used for FPV races! Thats right, you read that right, FPV RACES!!!!! Most clubs around the country have kicked the heli guys to the curb and straight out banned any FPV which is a HUGE part of the hobby and growing. We dont have a course right now but over the next several week we will build some gates that are perfect for flying FPV in the 250 class.

The general feeling of the club is amazing and like nothing that I have ever been a part of before. I have flown in parks for most of the last 10 years with no AMA what to speak of. After hanging out with these guys I have learned that nothing is like having a bunch of friends to hang out with and fly. The knowledge is this club is amazing and everyone is happy to help if they can.

I have a feeling that this club will set the standard for FPV and Helis very shortly. Please feel free to join us weather to fly or just to stop by and hang out. This is a rough map of our club. If you have any questions please feel free to ask me, I will answer. If your around, feel free to insert these directions into your phone and show up anytime after 9 on any saturday and somebody will be sure to be there flying something.

All aerial photos are thanks to Kenny and his Inspire1

Posted by verticalspark | Mar 24, 2015 @ 11:12 PM | 4,802 Views
SCORCH - Southern COlorado RC Helicopter is a group for those interested in flying RC helicopters and multi-rotor machines. The purpose of the group is to connect with other heli pilots to share knowledge, skills, and foster friendships. And those of us who still fly some planes

So over the last couple of months I have been meeting with several guys and we go out and fly. Seems most of us have been flying around Colorado Springs and it seems only a couple of us knew. So Tom made a MeetUp account to get us all together. Since then we have grown to a dozen plus some and love anything heli...and planes (I'm one of those guys)

In the last several weeks Tom has done his best to find us a "home" for a AMA sanctioned club. And he has succeeded in most spectacular form. He found and staked a claim at a local airport and got some land we are allowed to use.

We will "break ground" this weekend on what can be considered a club. The aerial pic posted doesent do it justice. That little outline box is roughly 80 acres. That and once done we will have one of the most unique features of any club that I have ever heard of. Oh, and the back drop isnt half bad either.

More to come, more to see and more to do.