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V-Man's blog
Posted by V-Man | Apr 20, 2015 @ 10:23 PM | 1,389 Views
Where I learn that I'm one of the idiots that run toward the fire rather than away from it. But sometimes it work -- the gas tank didn't explode, and the firemen only had to put the embers out (they got to throw the burned off BBQ off the balcony, though). Went through four extinguishers (and Dad, thanks for getting me one. Now I get it!)

Apparently I'm loud. When I yell "Fire!", they heard me four stories down and two buildings over.

Excitement over, we'll look at the damage in the morning. So glad the wife is out of town and that she missed this!
Posted by V-Man | Apr 19, 2015 @ 06:17 PM | 1,356 Views
Practice makes perfect, and having the right tools help! Pretty happy with my solder joints now!
Posted by V-Man | Apr 04, 2015 @ 12:41 PM | 1,768 Views
Picked up my latest order... Got a 100W motor to replace the 60W motor in my Mini-Beaver, and a 10-blade fan to go into the A-7 jet (black fan is the stock one that comes with the model).

And I have to start sanding the Stryker, getting it ready for the new power system...

Eheheheh...
Posted by V-Man | Mar 04, 2015 @ 06:30 PM | 1,900 Views
Just signed on for a new job, starting next Monday. Pays better than the previous one, so this should be a good R/C year!
Posted by V-Man | Jan 28, 2015 @ 05:45 PM | 2,642 Views
Due to a downturn in the precious metals business, my employer has been forced to do layoffs this week. Unfortunately, I'm one of the people affected by this.

I'm looking forward to my next challenge. Please let me know if you're aware of any medium-sized company in the Montreal downtown area looking for a producer/project manager with extensive experience in mobile and Web.
Posted by V-Man | Nov 28, 2014 @ 08:55 PM | 1,894 Views
Birthday gift came in today (had to order it). No more spending the afternoon charging plane batteries, this does four at a time...
Posted by V-Man | Nov 08, 2014 @ 12:21 PM | 2,819 Views
Went this morning and while it was good to fly and see the people, it was just too cold for both my fingers and the equipment. The former hurt, the latter have all sort of interesting malfunctions (tape doesn't stick, battery voltage sags, plastic becomes brittle, etc.).

Time to go build! Got plenty of projects to keep me occupied...
Posted by V-Man | Oct 08, 2014 @ 03:09 PM | 1,967 Views
My birthday presents to myself have arrived early.

Lots of work ahead on both birds, including major fuselage surgery on the jet and glassing for the seaplane. Follow the work in these threads:

A-7 Corsair II
S&R Catalina (to be added once I start the thread)
Posted by V-Man | Aug 08, 2014 @ 01:37 PM | 2,157 Views
Just realized that today is the fourth anniversary of my first solo flight on a R/C plane.

Granted, I'd been planning it since 1984 or so, but better late than never!
Posted by V-Man | Jul 12, 2014 @ 08:55 PM | 2,779 Views
Just a reminder for people to check out my YouTube channel:

https://www.youtube.com/user/CallSignVMan

Granted, I don't always have the most exciting videos, but it's neat R/C stuff nonetheless. And now that my group is trying to get some formation flying going, you can bet you're going to have fun footage. Mid-airs if anything else.
Posted by V-Man | Jun 29, 2014 @ 12:34 PM | 2,509 Views
This close!

Maybe I can offer a service where I inspect people's planes in the air. You know, in case you're wondering if the gear is down, or if you lost a hatch or something.

(Camera was in the nose of my plane, pointing downward.)
Posted by V-Man | Jun 03, 2014 @ 07:53 PM | 3,140 Views
I'm usually a flyer, but my group's been hit with a combination of crappy weather and the loss of our largest field recently. I thought that acquiring an off-road buggy would let me take in some quality RC time no matter the wind speed!

I just picked it up at the post office. It's a 1/10 Quanum Vandal 4WD electric buggy. Inexpensive, got decent reviews, and spares are available. I'm not intending to do any serious racing, just general bashing around, so I didn't feel the need to go whole hog on expensive brand names.

But of course the battery for it is still in transit, and I don't have any HXT 4mm plugs to make an adapter for my existing 2S batteries. Doh!
Posted by V-Man | May 25, 2014 @ 12:16 PM | 3,115 Views
Formation flying is hard! One of the two F-27 Stryker flanking my camera plane got too close during a turn and bounced off the top of my wing. No damage to either plane, thanks to quick thinking by the Stryker pilot.
Posted by V-Man | Apr 12, 2014 @ 06:49 PM | 3,215 Views
Some wind and gusts, but I took a chance anyway. I've waited long enough, gotta scratch the flight itch.

A bit rusty but it's coming back fast. Four batteries and came home with the plane in one piece. Sweet!
Posted by V-Man | Apr 01, 2014 @ 12:41 PM | 3,124 Views
Went to the field at the end of the street yesterday to check the conditions. Still soggy -- will be another week or two before I can fly there.

So close...
Posted by V-Man | Feb 20, 2014 @ 05:26 PM | 3,718 Views
Two things to take away from tonight's R/C power system test:

1) Racing propellers need to be balanced before use, no matter how you're looking forward to check the power output of the system.

2) Threadlocker is your friend. Use it.

The motor vibrated itself loose from the mount when I hit 180 Watts. No damage, thankfully.
Posted by V-Man | Feb 19, 2014 @ 09:39 PM | 3,709 Views
What are the odds? Got a new Turnigy Thrust 70A for the jet, and a 40A for another plane, and neither work properly (I've tested every other components of the power system and they all work flawlessly). The 70A complains once plugged in, and make the motor stutter slowly, and the 40A beeps once and then does nothing.

I'm pretty sure it's just a programming issue and a matter of finding the right combination of throttle position and beep timing. Still, it's aggravating -- I need them to get the planes ready.

UPDATE: got the 40A working. As I thought, it was a programming issue. Will try the same trick on the 70A, see if it works.
Posted by V-Man | Jan 26, 2014 @ 01:47 PM | 3,332 Views
I've brought the Albatros DII on the board to finish it, as I need the room! You can follow the construction here.
Posted by V-Man | Dec 16, 2013 @ 08:30 PM | 3,565 Views
A coworker used to be with a company that dealt with LiPo batteries for electronic equipment. When they closed, he bought hundreds of 1S cells for cents on the dollar. Knowing I have electric planes, he gave me three 1S, 2000 mAh cells today.

Not entirely sure what to do with them -- the individual cells are small but fairly fat, and assembling them into a flight battery wouldn't fit any of my planes. Plus I'm not entirely sure of where to put the balance leads and so on...

I'll have to weight them -- maybe I can fit a cell into a small quad or heli.
Posted by V-Man | Nov 30, 2013 @ 03:00 PM | 3,267 Views
Well, I'm an idiot. A lucky idiot, but an idiot nonetheless.

I was testing some racing props for next season and using the opportunity to bring my Lithium-Polymer batteries down to storage voltage for the winter. The speed controller I had on hand was too small for the amperage drawn, so I took the 55A one I had prepared last year for my 450 heli. Plug everything in, that's weird, no contact... wait... smoke? OH CRAP. RUN!

Made it outside with the battery, threw it in the emergency ceramic pots (I'm well prepared) and so no damage other than one heck of a fright. I went to see what happened, and yes, I'm an idiot. Soldered the battery plug in reverse (doh!). Burned a $10 battery and a $25 controller, but learned a good lesson: always assume that the equipment was prepared by a fool, even if it was you. Especially if it was you!