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Posted by AEMontoya | Sep 13, 2014 @ 02:44 PM | 1,180 Views
I decided to make a portable system that interconverts between an aerial platform and a handheld platform. The result is a Flexacopter with detachable arms that is mated to DJI retracts and that can have handles attached to it. Below are some pictures/info along with a short video demonstrating the conversion process.

Multicopter Specs:
-Flexacopter frame with removable arms and various custom parts
-Wookong-M main controller w/ 50 waypoints
-DJI Ground station
-Plettenberg 15-34 Orbit (445 kv) motors
-Mejzlik 15x5" props
-Quadpower 10,000 mAh 6s 25C lipo
-DJI s800 Evo retracts modified to fit Flexacopter
-MGM X2 Series Multicopter ESCs

TX and RX
-Dual RX for one-button switch between single and dual operator (6208sb and 6303sbt)
-Futaba 12z
-Futaba decoder
-5.8 GHz vTX
-IRC dual RX
-8" RMRC monitor
-Velbon Ultramax iL tripod

Gimbal
-DJI Zenmuse z15n
-Sony Alpha Nex 5n
-Sony 20 mm pancake lens

Case
-Pelican 1610 with custom clips, straps, microcell foam, ...

AUW: 16 lb (7.25 kg)
Flight time: TBD

Aerial & Handheld Gimbal Solution (4 min 32 sec)
...Continue Reading
Posted by AEMontoya | Aug 20, 2014 @ 10:27 PM | 1,038 Views
I recently purchased a 14mz, and it dawned on me how nice it is to have a backlight. I therefore decided to add a backlight to my beloved 12z. Below is a brief recount of how I accomplished this.

I first looked into using an electroluminescent panel, but found from others that it is not possible to take this approach with the 12z, since it is impossible to remove and re-attach the very fine cables running to the back of the LCD. I therefore decided to use LEDs. The LEDs I chose were elliptical, 5 mm, 3.4 V, 20 mA, ultra bright LEDs, which I ordered from Mouser (they have no purchase minimum). The product number is:
C5SMF-GJN-CV0Y0792
Green
I chose green for two reasons, the LED display is green, and the Futaba radio label is lit with a green LED during normal operation. I chose elliptical bulbs, because they radiate light in a fanlike pattern, thereby allowing for only 2 LEDs to light the entire length of the LCD screen as well as minimizing light coming out through the screen.

I also purchased a generic 82 Ohm resister, which I ran in series, along with the two LEDs. The only other purchase was a sub-mini on-off switch (actually, it was an on-on switch, but they both serve the purpose). These two items were bought at Fry's Electronics.

The pictures below provide a brief summary of how everything went. Don't forget to "View All Images in Thread" so that you can see the end results....Continue Reading
Posted by AEMontoya | Feb 09, 2014 @ 12:12 PM | 2,487 Views
I decided to make a Phantom and complete AV setup using some spare equipment I already had sitting around. Below are the results and specs ...

Motors: 2216 1100 kv TMotors
ESCs: 30 A Afro (Had to put custom LED strips in arms)
Lipos: 2x4s 2700 mAh 30C TP
Props: 9x5 Graupners
FC: WKM w/ 50 waypoints
iOSD: Mark II
Gimbal: H3-2D
Camera: Hero 3+ Black Edition with lens focus mod
RX: Futaba 6203SB
TX: Futaba 12z
vTX: 2.4 GHz 600 mW IRC
vRX: 2.4 GHz IRC Duo with Cloverleaf antennae
Monitor: 8" RMRC powered with 5000 mAh 2s lipo
Tripod: Velbon UltraMax iL (best tripod for size/weight/height/quality/price)
Case: DuraTool MJ-139-20.5
Foam: High density microcell

AUW: 1950 g (with H3-2D, Go Pro, 2x above lipos, and vTX)
Flight Time Fully Loaded: 11:30
Plenty of power and performs well on both 8x5 as well as 9x5 Graupners

Anyway, so far I've put about 10 flights on her, and I'm pretty happy with the results. Due to the heavy weight and small form factor, she's pretty steady. Motors/ESCs barely get warm to the touch.

Here is the first video with this setup:
Zion, Bryce, Grand Canyon 2014 (5 min 23 sec)

Posted by AEMontoya | Jul 15, 2013 @ 06:15 PM | 2,103 Views
This is my newish Sobakin Stinger, along with some of the basics of the setup.

Specs:
AUW: 300 g (10.6 oz) with 1250 mAh
322 g (11.4 oz) with 1750 mAh
Wingpsan: 73 cm
Fuse Length: 44 cm
COG: 25 - 27 mm

Setup 1:
Motor: Neu 1105 2Y (kv = 5000)
ESC: Thunderbird 36 A
Prop: Graupner 4.7x4.7
Battery: TP 45C 2s 1250 mAh or 1750 mAh
Servos: Futaba s3110 all around
TX/RX: 12Z/R617FS 7-ch
Spinner: 25 mm Al Bullet E-Spinner (from Espirit)

Setup 2:
Same as above except
Neu 1105 2.5Y (kv = 3800)
3s 1250 mAh
APC 4.1x4.1

Control Surface Settings: See pics below (Coming Soon)

Unilog Readouts: Coming Soon
Posted by AEMontoya | Feb 15, 2013 @ 07:43 PM | 3,586 Views
Specs:

AUW: 48 oz (w/ 5000 mAh 2s lipo)
Wingspan: 71"
Wing Area: 427 sq. in
Airfoil: HD 46 thinned
Fuse Length: 37.6 in
CG: 70 mm from leading edge at root

Setup:

Motor: Neu 1506 1D w/ 6.7 GB
ESC: cc125
Prop: 16x16s
Battery: TP 2s 5000 mAh 65C
Servos: HS 125 MG all around
TX/RX: 12z/R617FS

Control Surface Settings: See pics below

Unilog Readouts: See pics...Continue Reading
Posted by AEMontoya | Jun 08, 2012 @ 04:48 PM | 4,413 Views
Up for brief review is the Tahmazo Thrust Meter, which I orderd from Singapore Hobby Supplies for 112 USD, shipped. Overall, the meter does what it says it does (see picture of box label) and I am pleased with the purchase. I tested the meter against a $500 laboratory scale as well as a $40 kitchen scale and found the meter to be accurate within about 15 g (the unit is precise to 5 grams and has a range from 5 to 10,000 g). The operation of the meter is quite simple (although the inclusion of some sort of instructions/paperwork would have been nice). A metal plate with a universal crosshair design allows for the mounting of the motor (a puller is set up as in the pic; with a pusher, you'd have to reverse the direction of the motor and flip the prop. Either way, the motor diameter must be between 12 and 50 mm). Since I use motors with a gearbox, I had to use a drill to increase the diameter of the hole in the middle of the crosshair; no big deal.There are three buttons that form a "smiley face"--. The lower one turns the unit on and off. The "left eye" tares (resets) the unit, and the "right eye" selects between kg, lb, and oz. A backlit (constant) LCD displays the readouts. When thrust is applied, the device will give a real-time readout until the readout settles on a constant value for about 1.5 seconds. At that point, whatever this thrust reading is will be displayed constantly on the screen, until the tare button is used to reset....Continue Reading
Posted by AEMontoya | May 24, 2012 @ 05:10 PM | 3,933 Views
In my quest to cut down on torque roll when launching my Viper F5B, I used a bunch of parts I already had to make the power train shown below. I have yet to fly with this setup, and will report back when I get around to it.

Mega 16/35/1
KPG 4.2:1 GB
Jazz FAI 18 ESC
TP 5s 1800 mAh 65C
AUW of Viper = 38.0 oz

Static Unilog readings with 12.5x14 RFM (modified 14.5x14)*
Watts: 3050 W
Amps: 180 A
RPM (Motor): 52,000
RPM (prop): 12,400
Thrust: 115 oz (measured with commercial thrust meter)
Max motor T: ~150 F
Max battery T: 130 F
Max ESC temperature: 122 F
*I did 10 bursts of about 2 seconds with 45 seconds in between (total motor run time of 20 seconds)

Static Unilog Readings with 12.75x16 RFM (modified 16x16s)*
Watts: 3450
Amps: 205 A
RPM (Motor): 50,400
RPM (prop): 12,000
Thrust: 105 oz (measured with commercial thrust meter)
Max Motor T = 135 F (57 C)
Max ESC T = 145 F (49 C)
Max Batt T = 135 F (43 C)
Battery Capacity used = 30%
*I did 6 bursts of about 1.5 seconds with 45 seconds in between (total motor run time of 10 seconds)


Below are my Static Unilog 2 read-outs, Mega's recommendations, and some pics of the gear.
Posted by AEMontoya | May 24, 2012 @ 02:44 AM | 4,286 Views
I decided to make a 5s 1800 mAh lipo for my Stratair Viper. Neu Batteries makes one, but it only allows for bursts of up to ~150 A. So, I decided to make two 5s 1800 mAh 65 C batteries out of two 4s 1800 mAh 65C batteries and one 2s 1800 mAh 65C battery. The job is pretty easy, and took me about 2 hours the first time through. Below are some pics of what I did.

Battery Specs:
5s 1800 mAh 65C
117 A Cont / 234 A Burst
20 A max charge rate
250 grams
30x42x98...Continue Reading
Posted by AEMontoya | May 22, 2012 @ 01:10 AM | 4,792 Views
Mini Corado-Electric (All CF Version)

I purchased this plane built from DBox.

Setup 1:
Neu 1110 2.5D (kv 3800/old version)
KPG 25/5.2:1
14x12 Aeronaut
Ice Lite 100
4s 2200
Watts: 1400
Current: 100 A
AUW: 36 oz

Setup 2:
Mega 16/35/1
KPG 25/5.2:1
16x17s
Jazz FAI 18
4s 2200
Watts: 2300
Current: 160 A
AUW: 39 oz
CG = 75 mm
Here's the only way I could get Setup 2 to work:

MC Battery Installation.MPG (0 min 26 sec)
...Continue Reading
Posted by AEMontoya | Apr 19, 2012 @ 05:47 PM | 7,116 Views
I bought a secondhand 12z and the battery time for the two Futaba batteries that came with it was not very long (maybe 1.5h). Rather than pay ~$85 for new Futaba batteries or $35 for slightly lower quality Sony NP-570 batteries, I did what a few others have done: I replaced the original cells with Fromeco Relion cells. Below is a step-by-step DIY that expains the procedure.

First, here is a comparison of the cells:

Futaba (Sony)
7.4V/17Wh/2200 mAh

Sony NPF-570
7.2V/15.8Wh/2200 mAh
These won't read 100% charged in the radio even when fully charged

Fromeco Relion
7.4V/18.5Wh/2600 mAh

I purchased two nearly new Relion 2600 mAh packs for $25. However, most vendors sell them for ~$35 a piece....Continue Reading
Posted by AEMontoya | Jul 22, 2011 @ 05:29 PM | 6,145 Views
StratAir Viper (2X carbon, with flaps)

Wingspan: 55"
Fuse Length: 34.5"
Weight w/o battery: 29.5 oz
AUW (oz)............Battery...........................Run time to 50% lipo (s)
34.9..................TP 3s 1750 mAh 45C..........55
41.8..................HP 3s 4200 mAh 45C
39.5..................TP 4s 2650 mAh 45C
42.2..................HP 4s 3300 mAh 45C
42.5..................TP 5s 2700 mAh 65C
Power Setup: Mega 16/35/1 + Kontronik Jazz 150 A ESC +14x14/16x17s
Radio Setup: AR 6255 Rx + Hyperion DS09 AMD all around & CC 10A BEC off main lipo

Setup 1
3s 1750 mAh + 14x14 RFM
Results: Do not try this setup! It is grossly underpowered and will hardly even get the plane up off the ground. 3s with this setup = potential crash.
Setup 2
3s 4200 mAh + 16x17s RFM
I do not even plan to try this setup, as it will likely be underpowered just like Setup 1 above.
Setup 3
4s 2650 mAh + 16x17s (I decided not to start with 14x14)
This setup flies great, although launches can be tricky due to torque roll. Adequate speed is necessary to avoid stalls.
Setup 4
4s 3300 mAh + 16x17s
Setup 5
5s 2700 mAh + 14x14
Setup 6
5s 2700 mAh 16x17

Flight results hopefully coming soon....Continue Reading
Posted by AEMontoya | Feb 12, 2011 @ 11:20 PM | 8,501 Views
StratAir Viper (3X carbon, with flaps)

Wingspan: 55"
Fuse Length: 34.5"
AUW: 39.5 oz (w/ 3s 4200 mAh lipo)
Power Setup: Mega 16/35/1 + Future 18.149F ESC + 3s 4200 mAh/4s 3300 mAh + Graupner 4.7x4.7
Radio Setup: AR 6255 Rx + Hyperion DS09 AMD all around + Outrage XP25 450 mAh lipo & CC 10A BEC
Motor Run time on 3s 4200 mAh: 1 min 30 sec WOT (to 45% capacity)
Amps (Static): ~130 A (w/ 4s lipo)
Power: ~1850 W (w/ 4s lipo)
Approximate Speed: 200 mph (w/ 4s lipo)...Continue Reading
Posted by AEMontoya | Sep 27, 2010 @ 12:47 AM | 8,259 Views
The wing bags shown below may be made as follows:
1) Purchase a generic, silver-backed windshield sun screen for about $5 from your local automotive store (either both or only one side may be silvered)
2) Trace the patterns of your wings and stabilizers on the foam side of the material, making sure to produce both a top and bottom half for each wing/stabilizer. Notice that in several of the below pictures there is a thin liner located where the wing/stabilizer bags overlap. This liner is found along the perimeter of most generic sunshields, and I simply traced the wing/stabilizer patterns so that the end of each bag lined up with the perimeter. The results are more for style than for function.
3) Cut out the shapes, making sure to leave a border around the lines you trace (~ 0.5 cm) so that when you sew the complementary halves together, the wing will be able to fit. Also, make sure that you cut a bit of extra length of material at the area where the two wing halves meet. This is so that some overlap is allowed for when the bags are placed on the wing, in this way holding the wing bags securely (a bit of Velcro may also be used between these overlaping sections).
4) Use a zig-zag pattern on your sewing machine to produce a stitch as seen in the picture below
Posted by AEMontoya | Sep 16, 2010 @ 03:42 AM | 7,943 Views
Avionik B-2001L

Wingspan: 67"
Fuse Length: 41"
AUW: 50 oz (w/ 4s 4200 mAh lipo)
CG = 69 mm
Power Setup: Neu 1509 1D (reinforced wind) + 6.7 GB + CC 125 (w/ heat sink) + 3s/4s 4200 mAh + 16x17 RFM
Radio Setup: Ar 6255 Rx + Hyperion DS09 (ailerons) + Volz Wingstar (flaps) + Airtronics 94761 (elevator) + Eneloop 4-cell 800 mAh

Setup 1
Above power setup on 4200 mAh 3s lipo
Watts: ~ 3,000 W
Amps: ~300 A
This setup is reasonably fast and provides about 15 climbs on the above battery (to 50% capacity). Motor, ESC, and battery are slightly warm afterward.

Setup 2
Above power setup on 4200 mAh 4s lipo
Watts: ~ 4,500 W
Amps: ~ 390 A
This setup has great speed/power (especially given low AUW) and provides 20 seconds of motor run time (to 50% battery capacity). Motor, ESC, and battery are warm afterward, but not too hot to touch....Continue Reading
Posted by AEMontoya | Jun 05, 2010 @ 02:30 AM | 7,864 Views
The purpose of this blog is to provide a mini review and simple build log for the Ocelot Electric. My goal is help those who are beginning, just as the RCGroups community has helped me to get into this great hobby.

Ocelot Electric, X-tail, Single Carbon, w/ Flaps
Wingspan: 58"
Fuse Length: 35"
COG = 57 mm
Setup 1
AUW: 32 oz
Motor setup: Neu 1105/2.5Y/4.4:1, 13x9 RFM, TP 3s 1750 mAh/45C, CC45 ESC
Radio setup: AR6200 6-ch Rx, Hs-56 (ailerons), Hs-65 (flaps/elevator), JRX9303 Tx
Average flight time: 45 min (mixed sport flying)
Power/Current: 440 W / 55 A
Setup 2
AUW: 37 oz
Motor setup: Neu 1110/1Y/5.2:1, 13x9 > 13x13 RFM, TP 3s 1750 mAh/45C, CC125 ESC
Radio setup: AR7000 7-ch Rx, Hs-56 (ailerons), Hs-65 (flaps/elevator), JRX9303 Tx
Average flight time: 30 min (mixed sport flying)
Power/Current: 615 W / 70 A (13x9), 714 W / 85 A (13x13)
About 25% faster, power on and off, than Setup 1
Setup 3*
Same as Setup 2 except: TP 4s 2650 mAh/45C battery, cooling scoop added to fuse, servo/Rx mounted further aft, ESC BEC disable and replaced with CC10 A BEC, winghole for servo wire harness had to be lengthened, battery must be mounted through wing saddle instead of canopy, and ~ 1 oz counterweight had to be added near motor to maintain COG
AUW: 42.5 oz
Average flight time: 35 min (mixed sport flying)
Power/Current: 1130 W / 104 A (13x9), 1750 W / 130 A (13x13)
Thrust: 185 oz (13x9), 115 oz (13x13)
About 25% faster, power on and off, than Setup 2
*...Continue Reading
Posted by AEMontoya | Dec 25, 2009 @ 03:01 PM | 7,886 Views
I am reluctant to do this, but I will be selling my Suprise 9 airframe and all of its accessories (with everything, it's Bind 'n Fly if you have a DSM-compatible radio). Only once the airframe sells will I be willing to part with any of the accessories. Also, the individual who buys the airframe will have dibs on these accessories and will be elligible to buy the complete package. I will not sell any accessories unless and until the airframe sells, as I may just decide to keep everything. I am asking $XXX shipped for the airframe (CONUSA only). I recently called SUSA and was told that a new one would run for about $XXXX. Please see photos and/or PM me for details. It pains me to sell this, but I am in need of money right now and don't think I'll get around to flying this fine bird for a while.

Here are some spec's on the plane:
Wingspan = 63"
Wing Area = 333 sq in
Length = 33.25"
AUW = 47 oz (2.95 lb/1,343 g) w/ pictured setup
Wing Loading = 20 oz/sq in
Fits 4s snugly and will handle 5s as well
Fuse is 2.4 GHz friendly kevlar/carbon
Wing has balsa skin and strong carbon...Continue Reading