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Pancari's blog
Posted by Pancari | Dec 10, 2013 @ 02:14 PM | 2,383 Views
This is a Turnigy Magnetic Precision Prop Balancer.

I spend significant time on this prop last evening and returned to it the next day.

Changing the balance assembly change results.

Oils from your hand can be transferred to the props and change results.

Static electricity built up from sanding can change results and using an anti-static sheet on the balancing frame and your hands can make a difference.

Not Shown on Video

I've taken apart the assembly a significant number of times, not shown, and received different results.

I have placed the individual grommets on the shaft, spun it and found a consistent heavy side on both. Rotating the shaft will slightly change the grommet balance.

Is Prop Balancing a Myth? (1 min 5 sec)

Smaller props are more difficult to use on this large frame as the rubber grommet mass is too large. Ultimately the balancing equipment must be as small and accurate as possible.

For the record, This is an inexpensive prop balancer and props. I do like the magnetic effect to eliminate friction, full blade clearance and would not recommend it. Next purchase will be a DuBrow 499.

Your comments are appreciated.
Posted by Pancari | Dec 09, 2013 @ 03:52 PM | 1,648 Views
Let's assume the FAA will approve Amazon's delivery drones under the 400' elevation for a 5# package some time in the future. Unfortunately the logistics of this delivery system will never fly.

Fullfillment Centers
I live in Pennsylvania so let's look at the Amazon's current fulfillment center locations. Upon some quick research, I find 7 fulfillment centers in central Pennsylvania close to major roadways for truck delivery. They are Hazeleton, Brenigsville, Harrisburg, Lewisburg, Carlisle, Scranton and West Pittston. If you total up the population of these small towns your get 185,000 people and let's assume the population is within a 20 miles of the centers.

Let's consider opening a new fulfillment center in West Chester, PA for drone delivery. This will encompass 4 counties, Philadelphia, Delaware and Chester and Bucks County for a total of 2.6 million people. Now we're talking delivery.

Drone Range
And for this center to work drones will need a 40 mile range to hit the most easterly geographic points. So much for 5 miles.

Drop Off Point
Let's assume the system is automatic delivery based on address and that in the Amazon database each residence is defined by legal meets and bounds and let's assume can be defined by GPS coordinates. If you interpolate the center of those boundaries you could be dropping the package on top of someone roof, in a stream or into trees. It seems to me that the drop-off point will be manually selected and sent to the drone.

...Continue Reading
Posted by Pancari | Dec 08, 2013 @ 11:33 PM | 1,802 Views
I guess there's nothing worse that having a two grand flying a hundred feet up when a rotor comes off or a bunch of hardhearted birds feel like making you pay for free airspace.

A guy named Mark Mueller is working on the programming to manage this kind of disaster. Below is the link to the article and an interesting video as well.

Posted by Pancari | Dec 02, 2013 @ 07:35 AM | 1,624 Views
All this flying has to pay off sometime, right?

In 4 or 5 years Amazon is hoping to deliver to the public Amazon Prime Air, an autonomous octocopter delivery system for packages under 5 pounds to residences within 10 minutes of a fullfillment center.. Someone has to check those those props, change out a bad motor and manage the quads.

While the delivery system works on the addresses GPS, they need to consider just where the exact coordinates relate to the actual residence. If the AA delivers to your home that is covered with trees you've got a problem. If the coordinates locates the midpoint of your property line along the street with parking you've got a second problem. You would wonder if for each delivery someone using Google Maps or equal would identify a point that delivers to a level, open concrete area removing the automated process. I'm sure there will be an immediate email sent to the customer at dropoff.

The link below goes to a compelling 60 Minutes video on how Amazon works.

Amazon's business also effects my wife who is a postal worker and delivers approximately 60 packages a day from her truck. I'm sure everyone has driven by and seen packages located near doorways and there is theft going on. The PO workers have been told to do their best to hide the package, a challenging and timely effort. Recently the wife needed help placing a massive package to her truck and had to pull her truck back into the driveway and slid the it onto the ground. The homeowner came out and apologized to her as the box was 40 pounds of kitty litter. If the delivery was inner city, such effort cannot be made. There are multiple logistics issues to package delivery security. Fortunately I have a number of bushes and bench at the front of my home to hide my packages from China delivered to my home.

A USPS Sunday package delivery pilot program will begin next year in a few states.

I will admit, I am an EBay guy with a hefty PayPal bill each month.

The Amazon Air segment starts at 11:17.

Posted by Pancari | Nov 30, 2013 @ 08:10 AM | 1,479 Views
I started in engineering in the mid seventies when you drew on paper, had a table that dated back to Columbus and put bricks under the table legs to elevate the back and one of those articulated fluorescent lights hanging above your drawing. The attached photo shows a table on the left resembling the table I used. I would lean on my chest, see attached photo, to get tight control of my pencil and put the light a few inches from the table. I also ruined lots of shirts.After a decade of this kind of ocular abuse I began to hate light.

Before I began in engineering drawings were done with linen and ink and a quill. Ink was an art and one smear could ruin a drawing. Someone used to draw the design in pencil and it would go to the inkers where one guy was drew only horizontal lines, another for vertical lines, text, ect. Somehow things got build and most of that stuff is still standing today.

Flash forward 4 decades and one third of my office is lit where I sit, my chair is a bit low, my desk area is lit and my keyboard is 12" from my nose. Yes, I just grabbed a scale and measured it. And when I solder or work on my 450 quad, long story there, I need to be close. It doesn't help that my next prescription for a pair of glass will call out for a seeing eye dog. I need to be close to the action.

Remember when you were a kid and you sat close to the TV, same thing. You did that because you were unable to filter out side distractions. Now kids have Apple IPad's,...Continue Reading
Posted by Pancari | Nov 23, 2013 @ 06:18 PM | 1,752 Views
I am a car guy by nature since the 8th grade when I began carrying Car and Driver Magazine in my homework binder.

While I was looking at a Road and Track web site I came across an article on a new camera called "Bubl" that has 3 - 190 cameras installed. It's an interesting video and there is a guy with a 450 flying it attached to the underbelly.

While this technology is only WIFI, ha, for the moment, it won't take long till someone cracks it open and adds a 5.8, VTX.

Take a look at the video, it's worth your time.

Posted by Pancari | Oct 26, 2013 @ 05:06 PM | 1,766 Views
I just wish I knew his build list.

Posted by Pancari | Oct 08, 2013 @ 10:52 AM | 2,155 Views
I guess the words "Opps, sorry", really doesn't cover it.

Quadcopter hits groom in the head. // Epic Fail - Seriously (0 min 47 sec)

Posted by Pancari | Oct 03, 2013 @ 06:40 AM | 2,092 Views
Well, it looks like our hobby just took a hit in New York City, and when I say hit I do mean an exterior building wall and concrete.

This is the kind of activity should be flown during weekends when no one is around.

And the kicker is that the pilot had his face on the video. OOPPSSS!!!

Look, not everyone had full command of logic and reasoning. Let's do this simple test together, next time you go into work look at the people around you in a 20' radius and ask yourself if you feel they would pass your complacency test.

How did they do? Not good, huh?

As I am a self employed engineer and work from home I am proud to say that my yorkie Bella, 3, passes that test. Look at that face, who can't love a dog like that?

I live near Philadelphia, you know the O R I G I N A L capital of the United States and I R E A L L Y want to fly my DJI 450 in front of Constitution Hall. And when/if I do, it'll be when everyone is asleep on a cool fall morning when every police officer is still getting their coffee, my spotter is looking for them and I'm flying on the opposite side of the street.

It makes me think we need to pass a Pilot's Drone Test to fly one of these things because you know how such a test keeps incompetent drivers off the road. HAHAHAHAHAAAAA!

Posted by Pancari | Sep 15, 2013 @ 08:37 AM | 2,463 Views
I'm not a big TV guy, do we say TV anymore...and my watching is usually restricted to high action shows on extended cable and can count the number of TV shows I am dedicated to on my left hand while pointing wit my right. And with Burn Notice gone after seven seasons will no longer hear Michael's "When you're a spy" routine, except in reruns or on Netflix.

For the record, BN was cancelled because the production team lost the site that housed their production facility.


TV is for old people, like me, new generations, you now the ones, that have no manners and have a sense of entitlement for no reason consume their viewing from Hulu Plus, the networks on-demand section, Netflix and other sources.

And with every new season of television comes my continued decline of TV viewing. I decided to watch the trailer for ABC's "Agents of SHIELD", looks like an updated and multi-teamed X-Files or Fringe, off the Huffington Post web site and at the time mark of 13, 21 and 27 seconds heli's fly into the picture. First are computer generated nano quads first seen from the University of Pennsylvania's videos and then a matte black QR LB which looks excellent.

Perhaps it's time to go to Home Depot, get a can of flat black paint and do a paint job on your QR LB. Actually I did this to my hated orange-black V911 a year ago and my V929 canopy, I never completed painting my heli's color scheme as color is...Continue Reading
Posted by Pancari | Sep 07, 2013 @ 01:16 PM | 2,220 Views
Now look, there's a lot to read here and a video as well. And who really cares about controlling a cheap toy anyway, I just want the babe in black. Besides, I think it's a trick and she's doing it with her boobs. Quite frankly, they could make me do anything anyway.

Posted by Pancari | Sep 05, 2013 @ 09:23 PM | 2,685 Views

This is such a horrible accident and warns us that life can be taken away from us any time.
Posted by Pancari | Aug 06, 2013 @ 11:36 PM | 2,665 Views
I've had micro quads since the summer of 2012 and never put in significant practice time. It didn't matter if I flew my Walkera QR LB, V939, Hubsan X4 or my Vitality H36, I would fly for a short time, spin it, loose orientation, fly the quad into a tree or begin a slide and crash. Two weeks ago I decided to get serious, solve my errors and try to not make the same foolish mistakes no matter what I flew. The goal was fly a battery with minimal crashes or not get seriously out of control.

I decided on maintaining 6 flight rules

1. Keep the sun at my back.
2. Don't fly over 20' high.
3. Stand no less than 50' from trees.
4. Keep the circuit radius less than 30'.
5. Don't fly behind where I stood.
6. Stop trying to recover quad orientation beyond 75' and just land it.

Beginning with my H36, I hoped the orange color would help, flew whenever I could and needed to

1. Back off the rudder and tell my 60 year old thumbs to stop moving.
2. Control sliding with more aileron, re-orient the quad in the direction of the slide and power out of the drop.
3. Leave the toy controller home and use my dusty Tunigy 9x, turn down the rudder from 70% to 40% and increase rudder as my skill progressed.

I was working on counter-clockwise and Figure 8's but my camera turned off. I need core competence with all my quads before flying my Walkera QR LB and beginning the next project, which is a euphemism for spending more money.

Flying the Vitality H36 Aug 6 2013 (2 min 1 sec)

Posted by Pancari | Aug 05, 2013 @ 01:56 PM | 2,812 Views
When Brian Adam's released this song on Jan 18, 1983, he didn't have me bleeding in mind.

Everyone has a To-Do list, and sometimes I let the top line, "Do Client Work" sit and do things at the bottom of the list. Work outside, clean the basement, trim low lying branches in the yard, wash the car(s) and fly some helis/quads, you get the idea.

So during this low priority event my right hand and forearm got cut. Fortunately I'm not on Coumadin any longer and considering this is an RC web site, I think we can remove cleaning the basement as the cause.

So the question remains, what heli/quad cut like a knife?

The interesting part is that when I get cut, it's always the same heli/quad.

Here the list.

GW 9958, WLV911, V929, V939, Vitality H36, Hubsan X4, Walkera QR LB, Super FP.

You're guess.
Posted by Pancari | Jul 31, 2013 @ 06:02 PM | 3,189 Views
OstrichCopter Second Test 27 July 2013 [original video] (1 min 25 sec)

More information here and a video you may NOT want to look at is below.



Posted by Pancari | Jul 30, 2013 @ 08:35 PM | 3,363 Views
I flew my Hubsan X4 today into an evergreen tree 150' from where I stood in a large, open athletic field while trying to recover the orientation.

A month ago I did the same thing in a different field with a Walkera QR Ladybird.

Yes, I know, I suck and need much more practice. My mistake is attempting to recover orientation when it's too high, flying away from me and fail cut the power.

Below is an interesting link to some new technology developed at the university level. It really pisses me off considering the hit I took today.

Raffaello D'Andrea: The astounding athletic power of quadcopters (16 min 9 sec)

Posted by Pancari | Jul 21, 2013 @ 11:55 AM | 2,427 Views
I enjoy flying my Vitality H36, it’s inexpensive, well make, can be controlled with a Turnigy 9X, the WL 929/938 controller at 60% and use it as my quad trainer. My V939 has been retired and I’m questioning use of my V929.

A few weeks ago I treed my Walkera QR LB and thought I had a backup. While I looked for my spare QR LB I remembered the movie Mr/Mrs Smith with Angelina Jolie and Brad Pitt and the scene where Pitt found his hidden 9mm in a secret compartment in his home. I looked in my secret compartment and there was no quad inside.

I bought another QR LB that day and recently purchased a second H36 anticipating doing something really stupid again. I like backups and will do the repair when I get the time and parts. This philosophy came from continually breaking 9958’s.

I find the short leads on quad LOSI plugs difficult to handle and file the plugs for easy insertion/removal and created a YT video on this subject found in my blog.

The power wires are my nemesis as I pulled a wire on my original H36 board, screwed up while soldering, purchased a second board and again ripped a wire off weeks later and fortunately soldered the connection correctly.

Anticipating another wire pull on my H36 I CA'd the power wires and board and also CA’d my Walkera QR LB and new/used Super FP. I always mask the area with paper and tape as I once dropped CA on a V911 main gear and had to deal with the consequences.
Posted by Pancari | Jul 18, 2013 @ 04:28 PM | 2,605 Views
This is a trick question... Anytime.

The low ripoff price of the Traxxas QR-1 is $67, yeah, steep isn't it, well, how about 2 Hubsan X4's for the price of one plus some money leftover for a some color blades?

Sure the Hubsan X4 is inexpensive, small, a toy grade quad, the TX is cheap and the fake TX antenna can be removed, it hurts and drew blood when it hit me multiple times, can be seen when flying outdoors and it's equivalent to my V911's in indoor performance.

Hint: Change the front white rotors to another color using Traax blades.


Did I say it was inexpensive?

Well, it just got cheaper on FocalPrice.com and called a

JXD 385 2.4GHz RC 6-Axis Mini Aircraft

Yes, it's the old version, and last time I looked the only thing you can't have two of in the US is wife's. And ya know, one is more than enough for me. Perhaps that Rule of Thumb hold's in Europe and Australia as well.

Sure, someone on RCG called the X4 "cheap", had lots of problems and sold it a few days ago with parts for $25 bucks. I never had any problems with mine and it took A LOT of beatings. It's my life, my home, my money and at my age I chose whose opinions I respect. I call the shots in my life and I rarely give an apology to anyone for anything.

I had my X4 down the Jersey shore this weekend flying circuits while fighting a 14mph headwind that my Vitality H36 could not handle. I didn't have my camera with...Continue Reading
Posted by Pancari | Jul 03, 2013 @ 11:10 PM | 2,208 Views
FPV is a fascinating branch of the RC world. You can go low cost or go hard core with a large platform heli, mounted GoPro, document the incredible European cities or the Heartland of America and create a videographic masterpiece.

I live in an incredibly unphotogenic US suburban town and question if the financial and time invested in FPV would be worth the final product. “Oh, there’s a tree, and another tree, and another tree, and a mall with a big parking lot.”…… need I say more.

I've compiled a few of my favorite FPV vids that are photographically dramatic, compelling and hope you appreciate them as well.

San Francisco [TBS@USA 13/13] (4 min 58 sec)


...Continue Reading