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Posted by Slider2732 | Nov 19, 2015 @ 11:44 PM | 855 Views
A few years ago, I built a plane with no conventional wings.
It was a variation of Willard Custer's Channel Wing concepts.
I wanted to build one slightly bigger, using the same sort of motors. It would be 2 channel, but featuring an actuator rudder mod to the ITC receiver.

Total weight: 1oz, 27 grams
Length: 13", 33cm
Wingspan: erm, 0"
Receiver: 2 channel Interactive Toy Concepts (replacing an Estes due to low range)
Motors: Cut down ducted fans from a Radio Shack Twin Turbine, with 6mm motors
Rudder modification: 450 turns of 40AWG, neo magnet, wires connected to +Left and +Right of the motors
Lipo: 1S 150mAh

More info about Willard Custer and his amazing lift principles:

Channel Wing 2015 - No Wings ! (2 min 17 sec)

Posted by Slider2732 | Nov 02, 2015 @ 12:27 PM | 1,011 Views
Those of us with now aging 2 channel birds from the mid 2000's are likely finding that the lipo's have busted. Nearly all toygrade models house the lipo's within the foam shapings. In other words...the planes are toast.

I decided to resurrect an ITC F-22 2 channel aircraft and by a probably unconventional method - to Bahoma the battery connections !

The aircraft had been gutted, back in the golden oldie days of modding, by cutting the thing apart and re-using the components. So the circuitboard was put back in, the motors hooked back up and then the mod was done for the lipo.
As it happens, a fave route back then for these was to slice off the nose. That enabled easy access of the parts. As bad luck would have it, the nose was missing, so I used one from another similarly fated F-22. The battery area was now exposed outside the canopy area...hmmmmm
By attaching small round neodymium magnets to the relatively thick power wires, they could be bent to approximate the connections of a small 90mAh Bahoma fitted lipo.
It worked great...a fresh battery being able to be plopped right in there and the connections simply 'snap' on to the lipo for flight.
CG was a bit off, so a piece of Blu-Tak sits in front of the lipo.

Altogether, it looks so wrong, but flys so right and there need never be an issue with a dead internal lipo ever again.

Flight video - no sound due to being on a homemade hatcam that doesn't have a microphone (Hubsan X4 2MP camera). Shows the flight traits well though, especially fullscreen in HD.

FrankenRaptor - Field (1 min 18 sec)

Posted by Slider2732 | Oct 26, 2015 @ 12:50 PM | 1,357 Views
I've been building supercapacitors from common kitchen ingredients and, now with the weight down to 1 gram, they are ready for some simple freeflight trials. Grpahene is on the way, for the next stage of these caps...looking to emulate the cells made by Robert Murray-Smith, TinMan and Lasersaber - but for R/C use
Details of construction, run time tests and a step by step build video can be found on my YouTube channel, username Slider2732.

The following was written for an very good friend of many years, who is following along with the developments. But, it makes sense to keep you guys in the loop too:

Carbonacci Flight Trials

Carbonacci - carbon because of the wing structure and there being carbon in the flight cell, bonacci from Fibonacci because i'm hoping it will be the first of a series.

Yesterday evening saw the first ever flight trials of a personally homemade supercap.
But, let's not be grandiose here, the final result was borderline for the 5g build, or at least the aircraft itself was pitchy as hell and glides were hit and miss even when not powered.
I have to strengthen the wing somehow due to flexing, which, at only 5g for the whole thing is disturbingly rubbish.
The Carbonacci is a rebuild of the one I made a couple of weeks back. it just seemed to be the right platform, with its floaty nature and slow performance. But, by the end of those original flights, the wings had proven to be a bit too flexible and i'd shelved it.

The ITC gear came off and the 2x...Continue Reading
Posted by Slider2732 | Oct 14, 2015 @ 10:17 AM | 2,299 Views
In talks with a good friend, we were looking at uses of the famous Rolls-Royce Merlin engine. He discovered that a testbed for the engine was found in what many may consider an odd choice...a Hawker Hart biplane !
The Hart itself apparently proved itself so nimble and effective in testing, in flight trials with a Rolls-Royce Kestrel V12 up front, that the design was developed into a fighter and renamed the Demon.

Well I just had to have a go at this lol. The pointy nose was a good reason for one thing, nearly all else from the 1920's/1930's having radials.
Scale bipes are not something i've any experience with whatsoever, which was another good reason for trying it.

Wingspan: 14 1/2", 370mm
Length: 12 1/2", 320mm
Weight (with 250mAh lipo): 1oz exactly, or 27g
Receiver: ItCanFly 900MHz

Controls and throttle, elevator and rudder.
The prop and gearbox are from a Silverlit SingleWing, with a replaced motor now, which made all the difference !
450 turns of 40AWG from an old relay for the rudder actuator.
Similar for the remote actuator for the elevator, but with finishings similar to ItCanFly or Planraco remote actuators.

A fellow called Bill Bailey saw the bipe in the background, of a recent actuator building vid that i did. He expressed interest in seeing it fly, so the vid was done of this in the air.
Hawker Demon - for Bill Bailey (4 min 33 sec)

Posted by Slider2732 | Oct 07, 2015 @ 10:55 PM | 1,458 Views
Fun project !
I couldn't afford one of the Air Hogs new X-Wings, so built one to a similar size.

Take out tray foam for the wings, Dollar Tree foam for the fuselage (2 pieces wide)
ItCanFly gear
7mm motor with Hubsan X4 quadcopter prop
2x homemade Plantraco type remote actuators for the elevons
AUW 23 grams

The concept for the build, was that the wings can be thought of as 2x flying wings, 1 with dihedral, 1 with anhedral. They were sanded with that in mind, with opposite washouts etc.
The canards are similar to the Air Hogs variant and are the first i've ever put on anything, so that was a good experience also.

A trick it can do, is to spin madly and then recover, as shown in the vid. What happens, is that from some backyard freeflight testing, it was found that the CG being too far back with make the X-Wing spin around. In R/C flight, holding the elevons up for too long causes a stall, so the X-Wing spins around.
That was used to good effect (fortunately captured on the camera) when it did it, spun madly to the ground and landed on it's tail like some kind of gymnastic maneuver lol !

Some pics and the flight video

An R/C X-Wing (2 min 29 sec)

Posted by Slider2732 | Oct 02, 2015 @ 05:49 PM | 2,336 Views
I've always enjoyed building micro models...mainly because whatever mischief they get into and whatever sort of crash they find themselves having, they can be picked up and flown again immediately.

This one, the White Spitfire has been great fun.
Some build pics, in flight pics and a flying video are below.

A 3 view was found of a MKV Spitfire online, not sure where from to be honest now. It was then scaled around to fit on an A4 sheet for printing out. That reworking is included below.
Dollar Tree foam for the profile fuselage, take out tray type foam for the wings.
Receiver: ItCanFly, only motor and rudder.
Motor: 7mm, though 6mm and 8mm were tried. 8mm saw it go vertical ! with a great 40ft or so loop...and the thing has no elevator !
Prop: Hubsan X4
Actuator for rudder: 500 turns of 40AWG + neo magnet in the rudder itself.
Lipo: 90mAh Bahoma
AUW: 12 grams
Wingspan: 12"

Initially, there were rudder problems, but the change to blenderm from floppy disk material sorted that out. I also slightly oversized the rudder.
With all the motor swaps, the nose ended up less than ideal, but it goes like a dream, for a 2 channel.
The Hubsan X4 'spare' 2MP camera was fitted to it, for a fun photo recon mission..which was successful. Simply to get a pic of me flying her around (Snapshot still from the video).

This Spitfire featured in a recent video, where I put the camera on an old baseball cap, to get footage when at the flying field. It shows the traits well
Skip to 4:00 for the flying.

Homemade Hat Cam (5 min 32 sec)

Posted by Slider2732 | Sep 30, 2015 @ 09:39 PM | 1,365 Views
Back by no demand in particular, i've decided to start up my Blog again.
A lot has happened over the past couple of months and a record of it would be good to look back on. Hopefully interesting to you folks too.

Beginning with - flying on 1 aileron.
I've got near zilch history with ailerons. The first thing ever flown with them, was about 2 months ago, the ItCanFly Canard aircraft. However, after experiencing rolls and other traits, the bug bit and I just had to try it out with a scratchbuild.
2 larger planes had been built, but it's far easier to carry a 16" foamie in a plastic bag to the local field and that's what seems to have happened. As such, this one became my daily flyer of the past week and first homemade aileron aircraft to fly.
(Click photo's for larger versions)

A bit of pencil doodling:

Then the plan was mostly ignored and the scratchbuild was on its way.
Material used was Dollar Tree foamboard.
Wingspan 16", length 14", high'ish wing and no dihedral.

The fuselage went well, especially the turtle deck. The fuse is a V shape, which would allow for a receiver to go inside, the linkages to protrude from the sides and elevator actuator wiring to run inside. Also motor mounting would be easier and cleaner than say a profile build.
...Continue Reading
Posted by Slider2732 | Aug 19, 2013 @ 12:42 AM | 5,875 Views
The Hubble space telescope has taken a seemingly surreal picture of the comet ISON, incoming and apparently something that will be visible with binoculars in November.
The image has caused quite a stir on a conspiracies messageboard that I looked at this evening (won't mention it, but it has 3 letters and i'm not a member there). The link to something was what I immediately thought of, for the 'what if'.

The idea, is that you go here:
It's the .edu site where such Hubble pics can be viewed and inspected.
Zoom out a bit (using their controls) and find the comet, mid top to the right a bit, with tail pointing left, quite easy to find it.
Now, zoom in a bit to the comet.
All normal right ?
Now, use the 'Darker' function 3 times.
What do you see ????

Here's what I see !

Which reminds me of one of these !

And here's a 3-View:
...Continue Reading
Posted by Slider2732 | Aug 02, 2013 @ 08:30 PM | 4,802 Views
After 2 years of sitting on a shelf, it was time to take the 20" StormRunner out for a flight.
The motors needed a drop of oil on the shafts, due to the Oklahoma humidity rust damage. An upper wing fence needed to be replaced (at the field) and the foam body is a yellowy brown from being stuck up a tree for a week in summer 2011 !
The lipo was also changed for another 300mAh 1S cell.

But it still goes

StormRunner after 4 years (2 min 19 sec)

It's built from parts of an Air-Hogs mini Storm Launcher.
2 channels
Differential thrust steering
Front edge flaps were added in late 2009, to test slow speed stall capabilities and it's sat with them in place ever since.
Posted by Slider2732 | Jul 20, 2013 @ 12:26 AM | 5,231 Views
This is a flight of Eteel, the 18" wingspan version of a smaller model I designed back in 2011.
It's a design that noone else seems to have done...Richard Keller worked for the Horten brothers in WWII and was employed to calculate wing loadings etc. He was an excellent artist and came up with a tailed version of the now famous Horten IX.
See July 2011 Blog posts for construction details.

Using a self wound CD-Rom motor salvaged from an old drive, dollar store foam and elevons as control surfaces, it always did fly pretty well.
It has sat since early August of 2011 and even uses the same Hobbyzone 2S 300mAh Li-po battery as back then.
Neither it or I have flown since (been doing electronics projects), so today was going to be a ginger fingered time of it !

Other notable spec perhaps is the Spektrum AR500 receiver - no casing and lightened to 3 grams.

I was delighted with the flight

Eteel - homemade, first flight in 2 years (3 min 1 sec)

AR500 receiver
2X JR-SM8 servo's for the elevons
CD-Rom motor - all is stock except I rewound it as 20T Wye
GWS 5x3 prop
2S 300mAh lipo
Posted by Slider2732 | May 14, 2013 @ 11:11 PM | 9,466 Views
The builds over the last couple of weeks have given rise to a competition idea.
To race along a 10ft (3Mtr) flat straight track in the fastest time.
International competition is the idea.

With the Blue Dragster (in a post below) having won the first race of 4 self made cars, it was time to build something faster !
A new build of lighter and hopefully even faster Dragster.
People may think that a 100W solar panel would be the way forward..but...would such a panel have too much weight and crawl the vehicle off the starting line ?
'Smallest Car in the World' panels have been used throughout builds so far. Only 0.5V for voltage but 150mAh of current !

How did it do ?
Answer is here:

Solar Speed Raceway - The Challenger (2 min 18 sec)

The Single Panel Racing competition is open to anyone and everyone.
The basic rules are:
Single solar panel
No battery
10ft (3Mtr) straight and level racing track
A clock to be shown (to avoid claims of editing)

YouTube videos should be uploaded and the link messaged to me in a YouTube PM.
Updates of the leaderboard and highlights of the submissions will be summarised in videos on my channel at regular intervals. Plus, updates will be given here on my RCGroups blog. That way, everyone knows what to beat !

A solar panel manufacturer would be an ideal sponsor and/or prize giver for the winner at the end of this years competition - End of September 2013.
Know anyone ?

Posted by Slider2732 | May 12, 2013 @ 02:14 AM | 8,164 Views
The first Single Panel Solar toy Racing of 2013

4 little cars that i've converted or built from scratch, powered by solar and a green end 6mm motor.
All use the same solar panel, from those little Smallest Car in the World's that you may have seen. The solar panel puts out 0.5V and 150mA.

The idea, is to perhaps encourage folks to build and race such cars, using just 1 solar panel of any size.
100 Watts could be the size, or one of these dinky ones. Any single panel.
International racing would be to compare run times, by showing YouTube videos of the cars themselves from around the world.

A fun video, to hopefully start other peoples builds rolling:

Solar Speed Raceway (4 min 20 sec)

Posted by Slider2732 | Apr 27, 2013 @ 10:36 PM | 6,257 Views
Made from spare car parts, a finger nail file and white glue, this is my Solar powered Dragster.
The idea, was to make as light a vehicle as possible, with some size about it and to look like a Top Fuel style 1/4mile Dragster.

The motor and gearbox are from a 'Smallest Car in the World', also the solar panel and the front wheels. The blue spoiler and cockpit canopy are from a Micro Terrain Titan shell, cut down with a Dremmel and then sanded. The main frame is a fingernail file.
The faux suspension on the blue shell was removed while cutting and forms the front bumper.
The rear axle was made from a sewing needle, where the ends were snipped off and wire outer insulation was used to give the correct spacings.
Depending on how it goes in the sun, it may be fitted with a Turbo Boost nitrous oxide canister...or, in other words, a capacitor across the motor.

Happy with the 10g final weight

Solar Dragster (2 min 14 sec)

Posted by Slider2732 | Apr 12, 2013 @ 12:18 AM | 6,344 Views
With the weather warming up now, it was time to try out something fresh...a gold plating kit.
A very kind friend had sent me his old kit some months ago, but it was too cold to try it out. I'd tried to plate a USA quarter back in February and got 1 little dab of gold on it..oops
The other day went much bettter though in the 80F or so temperature and I managed to plate 2 of them before wondering about something else to try - a Kidco 1979 Corvette

The Corvette had been a tatty horrid orange colour and had recently been stripped and sanded down to bare metal, then polished. There's a video of that on my YouTube channel from about a month ago.
It was ideal to try the gold on.
I set the unit at 3V, clipped one lead to the body and put a cotton bud in the other clip lead. Then, soaked the cotton bud in gold solution and began to electroplate.

Worked out great ! and has probably put a little value on the vintage car too.

Gold Plated Corvette - 1979 Kidco (1 min 10 sec)

Posted by Slider2732 | Apr 02, 2013 @ 08:07 PM | 7,189 Views
Long time no post

Thought you micro car guys might like to see this.
After the arrival yesterday of 5x 'Smallest Car in the World' tiny solar powered cars, I set about some modifications.
What could be done with them ?
Well, for one thing, make one even smaller, so I did:

Smallest 'Smallest Car in the World' (1 min 53 sec)

The wheelbase is now no longer than the length of the solar panel and all 4 wheels will fit on a 25c USA coin
Also converted one to have a slightly more realistic car type body. The body came from a pack of tiny plastic cars which I had no idea what they may be used for...suited this well, even with the surfboard looking solar panel on the roof.

Next, I took a measurement of the voltage and current from the solar panel, under a Fire Storm flashlight - 0.5V but a huge 150mA
The motor is a 6mm green end cap coreless, so not too bad on current, but pretty low performance. However, hmm, what in fact could the system shift just on flashlight power ?
Selecting a HotWheels CUL8R (been out for about a month), the conversion began. They have a metal body and plastic base.
The rear end needed a lot of Dremmel'ing, trial fitting and more Dremmel'ing. Then, two replacement axles made from safety pins were found to be bent, so I swapped to a knitting needle. Snipped the ends and test fitted the length. Much better and much truer rotation.
The panel was glued to the hood of the car and the wires run inside to the now glued motor/gearbox.
So that's rear wheel drive, front mounted 'power plant'.
Runs great and I can't wait for the rain to quit to try it in the sun

Solar powered CUL8R (1 min 48 sec)

Posted by Slider2732 | Aug 20, 2012 @ 03:36 PM | 7,394 Views
A prototype possible product idea, that was tested during the lightning storm last week of my last post.
Your opinions would be appreciated, to help further the project and to see if you guys would be interested in it.

I enjoy flying my Syma S110g outside in the late evening calm outdoor air. Punching the throttle to full and watching it zoom upwards towards a star lit sky is an incredible sight....and a lot of fun can be had if that zoom goes a bit too high and the infra-red glitches !
The problem though, is anywhere to land or takeoff.
The heli can be seen well, but the ground can't.
Wouldn't it be good to be able to takeoff and land, from something looking like a lit up helicopter landing pad ?
Wouldn't it be great, if there were no batteries needed ?
It occurred to me, that something needed to be done, something I could get a lot of use out of, that would just work, with no fuss or bother.

The idea became the Thortz Energy HeliPad, a possible product from my new start up company, aiming to offer fresh energy technologies for R/C and the home.
The helipad features 4 flashing lights, one at each corner of a landing area that's just about right for small heli's.
Simply push the Earth energies collector piece into the ground and the lights begin flashing on the HeliPad.
Takeoff and land from the HeliPad...all night if wished, there are no batteries to go flat, ever

Here's a demo video of the prototype being tested:
HeliPad Prototype (1 min 27
...Continue Reading
Posted by Slider2732 | Aug 13, 2012 @ 03:36 PM | 7,219 Views
Not a good idea to fly in this

Real Time Lightning - August 12th (1 min 33 sec)

The video was taken by my wife last night and shows the huge constant power of storms here in Oklahoma. We didn't get any rain from it (it was about 20 miles away) but the light show was well worth recording.

In fact, I did fly my Syma S110G helicopter during the lightning, testing out an Earth energy prototype HeliPad, for lit up night flying with no batteries required...more details about that in my next Blog post
Posted by Slider2732 | Aug 11, 2012 @ 07:20 PM | 7,698 Views
11th August - my Birthday - i'm 43
Heck, that's a 4 in front
Still, plenty of drive to build stuff. So, here we have a (self) eagerly awaited conversion...the Signature Models 1:32 1930 Pierce-Arrow Roadster.

And why? Because in 1931, the inventor of R/C models, Nikola Tesla, apparently converted a Pierce-Arrow car to run on absolutely nothing !
Power was from within the atmosphere, converted by a box on the passenger seat and sent to an 80hp A/C motor under the hood.
Full details here:
The electric motor for this conversion is the armature assembly from a small cassette player type, the black box is a 24LC21 microchip (legs removed) and with 2 pieces of a resistors legs as the 'stout rods'. The antenna at the back is made from a piece of copper wire, formed to look like an antenna.

The DeLorean project was to emulate an interesting set of modifications by some folks, who actually make the cars look more realistic, by cutting stuff to allow doors and more to open. Details of the DMC-12 can be found in my last Blog post.

Tesla Pierce-Arrow conversion + 'Open the Doors' (2 min 47 sec)

Posted by Slider2732 | Aug 09, 2012 @ 01:45 AM | 7,481 Views
After seeing a couple of YouTube videos about people modifying the actual metalwork of Mattel Hotwheels model cars, I decided to have a go at opening a drivers door.
The car chosen, was probably the daftest possible for a first attempt...a DeLorean DMC-12 - with gullwing doors that open upwards !

First job, would be to take the car apart. Using a Dremmel and a standard round spinny bit, the 2 tabs under the car were drilled out. The base of the car then dropped from the rest. A standard drill with a very fine bit would also work and for the next part, in case folks want to try such modifications.
Removing all but the metal shell, the car was set for some metal work.
I'm not sure how others do this, but to get a good idea of the door shape on the inside of the shell, I drew a very fine line of the outside, on the inside, with a Sharpie.
Next, the Dremmel was used for some very fine scratching really, along those Sharpie lines.
About 3 hours later (yep, really that long), the car was ready for the final part.
Using a sharp hobby knife, the cuts were made on the outside of the shell, along the door frame. That way, the last little bit is cut with much more precision than simply drilling through.
Part of the blue glazing plastic was cut and glued back on to the door. Also, part of the plastics of the interior was cut away, to make it look more like an opened door.
The door now sits quite snugly opened, without needing glue or something to keep it from falling back down.

I'm happy with the result
Next for the car, might well be some interior lights, to bring it more in line with previous conversions as can be found on my YouTube channel ( )

Here are some webcam pics of the car.
Posted by Slider2732 | Jun 12, 2012 @ 11:23 PM | 9,142 Views
With reference to my last post yesterday....
The rest of the repairs to the old SWP were completed today.
A new aerial was made from 30 gauge enamelled wire, then the connections made to the receiver, for the motor, battery and actuator.
The CG was approximated and after checking the controls out, seeing if it actually did anything, my wife and I set off to the flying field this evening.

After correcting the tail heavy and motor adjustment issues, the end result is that this old lady is back in the air !
Flight time from the 3 pack of 180mAh Ni-MH's is approx 6 minutes, which is great for the age of those too (found in a bag of parts). The SWP handled any wind without issue, as these always used to and even with the 2 gram gain to 27g, against 25g stock, the bird has plenty of power.

The video shows the first couple of flights and the final trimmed flight. Delighted with this project and glad I decided to fix it up.

'Vintage' SWP -Rebuild+Flight (1 min 56 sec)