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Old Jun 12, 2007, 09:13 PM
Robot, RC Pilot & Builder :-)
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Roanoke, VA, USA
Joined Jul 2006
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My Fleet of RC Aircraft

Here's some info about my small fleet of RC aircraft.

I began flying RC in the summer of 2006, and I have five aircraft, all electric, foam, park flyers. Here they are in order of aquisition and building:
-GWS Beaver
-GWS E-Starter
-GWS Formosa
-Multiplex EasyStar #1
-Multiplex EasyStar #2

Each of these planes has been destroyed (i.e., broken into at least two major chunks) at least a few times... And all are still flying. I guess I don't mind taking calculated risks with these foamies, I just repair them and they are ready to fly again. I don't fly near other people or their property, but I do fly near trees and the ground.

I have been learning to fly "Video Pilotage" aka "FPV (First Person View)", i.e., with a miniature, wireless video camera mounted in the plane, near the cockpit location, to fly by the imagery radioed down from the plane. I have had a few successful FPV flights, and a few "non-successful" FPV flights (i.e., crashed). FPV has brought the newbie excitement back to me, shaking hands, the adrenaline pumping, etc.

Here are some pix of the planes.

Clear Skies,
Kevin

PS - Here's my hobby web site about robotics, I should update it with RC flying info: www.RoanokeRobotics.org
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Old Jun 12, 2007, 10:15 PM
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Japan
Joined Jan 2007
30 Posts
Hello Kevin,
I am surprised that you have already flown 5 planes within a year. And interested in your skill and passion in working the HMD and gimbals.

I saw your site, I do not know Virginia well, I wish you would update the site.
Thank you again, good your hobby life and for our children in future.
Enoki,
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Old Jun 14, 2007, 01:37 AM
Robot, RC Pilot & Builder :-)
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Roanoke, VA, USA
Joined Jul 2006
4,181 Posts
Hello Enoki,

Konichi wa!

Thanks for writing. I see from your site that you design and build mechatronics, that's very cool. I got into RC through hobby robotics, and I appreciate how cool mechatronics are. I wish I knew more about them. What sorts of mechatronics do you design and build?

I'm impressed that you found my blog, and that you are from Japan. I have not yet visited Japan, but I (and also my two children) would very much like to visit Japan. One of these years, I am sure my family will visit Japan.

I am flying electrically-powered aircraft, so that makes it easier than dealing with gas engines like you fly, I think.

HMD's are actually something I work on in my career, as I am an optical engineer; I design and build lens systems. I also work with many mechanical engineers, who design and build gimbals, and they have taught me a lot about gimbals; in fact, my FPV spotter is an expert in gimbal design. However, my home-made HMD is extemely crude, a shoebox with a TV receiver in it! And my gimbal is just a bunch of balsa and spruce attached to a couple of servos.

Enoki, thanks for noticing my blog and my site. I appreciate your comments.

Thanks,
Kevin
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Old Jun 14, 2007, 04:22 PM
It Wasn't Me!!!!
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Joined Feb 2005
821 Posts
Kevin,
I just happened upon your site and I am impressed.
I too have a monitor for viewing the camera POV and use both 1.2 and 2.4 GHz to downlink the video.
I use a paint roller pan turned upside down for mounting my 2.5" LCD monitor.
Keep up the good work.
C-YA RL
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Old Jun 14, 2007, 07:17 PM
Robot, RC Pilot & Builder :-)
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Roanoke, VA, USA
Joined Jul 2006
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Hi Inspector,

Thanks for your kind words. I'm not quite sure how you are using an upside down paint roller pan; do you have any pictures posted with the details? I checked your blog, and while you have nice photos of your aircraft, I couldn't find a pic of anything that I recognized as a paint roller pan. I'm very curious how you are using that.

In your profile pic, it looks like you might be wearing some sort of tubular backpack as part of your FPV gear. Is it part of your FPV setup? Your setup looks cool.

Thanks,
Kevin
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Old Jun 14, 2007, 10:05 PM
It Wasn't Me!!!!
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Joined Feb 2005
821 Posts
Kevin,
My avitar shows my rig. The backpack contained a video camera that did the recording with the reciever mounted on top and my home made patch atenna mounted on top of that. I have since upgraded to digital recording with the recorder attached to the back of the hard hat. I attached a paint roller pan to a modified hard hat and cut out the bottom of the pan so I can still see the aircraft (AMA Rules).
The hard hat allowed me more options for mounting equipment and I can go onto a construction site and be legal. LOL
I mounted the 2.5" color monitor to the inside front of the pan where I can adjust the color-contrast-and volume.
The attached photo was taken 2 weeks ago at the Morriston, FL fly-in and shows the latest modifications. The video reciever is now in front of me where I can adjust the angle of the antenna and any fine tuning that may be needed.
I currently have 4 planes with video equipment, with another on the way. Some have the ability to tilt and some to pan, but no tilt and pan together yet. How do you control the tilt and pan function. At present I am using the flap knob on channel 6 to do this operation.
My first was a GWS Beaver which is shown in my blog.
It has been a lot of fun this past 2 years and I hope to continue to improve my skills.
Keep up the good work and here is the last video I took at SEFF in April.

Seff 2007 (8 min 32 sec)


C-YA RL
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Old Jun 15, 2007, 10:15 PM
Robot, RC Pilot & Builder :-)
kevinhines's Avatar
Roanoke, VA, USA
Joined Jul 2006
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Quote:
Originally Posted by InspectorGadget
Kevin, My avitar shows my rig. ... It has been a lot of fun this past 2 years and I hope to continue to improve my skills... How do you control the tilt and pan function ... C-YA RL
Hi RL, Thanks for posting the pic and the explanation. Your FPV set up is very cool, and I enjoyed your video. Nice flying in your video; which aircraft were you flying?

The hardhat is a great idea. I need to go the the hardware store and pick one up for my FPV setup. And I can see you have the hardhat counterbalanced with a piece of gear on the back of it; that is a great idea.

Wow, you flew in Morriston, FL... that's not far from where I am, at least part of the time I am in Orlando. When you are in the Central Florida area, I'd enjoy seeing you fly your FPV set up. I typically fly at a site located south of Orlando International Airport.

For control of pan & tilt:
-1. In some flights, probably the majority of my flights, I had no gimbal at all, and just had the camera fixed, facing forward and downward (saves weight with no extra servos), and it's also easier to fly as there is less to think about.
-2. For some FPV flights, I used the left stick to control pan & tilt of the camera gimbal, operating two servos (when I did this, I temporarily moved throttle control to a slider on the side of the Tx).
-3. In some flights, I used a switch for tilt and the rudder stick for pan.
-4. I bought a headtracker unit from RCAnthony's website, and I am planning to use it as I build up my skills.

RL, I look forward to seeing your future FPV activities.

Best Regards,
Kevin
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Old Jun 16, 2007, 02:15 AM
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Japan
Joined Jan 2007
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Hello, Kevin san
I am very glad that you saw my site. Welcome for learning Japanese language. I bought a book of Persian language 20 years ago, but...

I designed control devices for APWR(Advanced Pressurized Reactor) and fax machines before. Almost I was engaged in R&D, now I design bio-medical tools for medicine, handling human tissues, blood, protein. And I design labor saving machines for auto parts industry sometimes.

As for fax in Japan, the Government opened communication regulation 20 years ago, conventionaly dominated NTT family(NEC, Fujitsu, Oki etc). Canon, Ricoh, Brother, Sanyo, Sharp, Sony, Toshiba, Mitsubishi, Hitachi etc burst into the market. A panasonic brand fax made in China sells $135 aftermath. There is no enough design job in commodity field. Major electronics makers have moved design centers to China. Intel and TI closed development in Japan and moved there. Pfizer closed a labo last year, who fired 600 researchers. Our salary is too expensive in the global competition.

If you plan to visit Japan, I recommend in spring or fall season. It is extremely hot in summer in Kyoto, Tokyo. Let me introduce a episode in summer in Japan. Excited mass media informs the highshool baseball championship in every summer. Japan stopped yakyu(a kind of baseball) as an American enemy sport once. After the Pacific war, SCAP banned traditional judo or kendo, may recommend baseball. After SCAP government, the Korakuen Baseball Park of Tokyo was full of people enjoying professional baseball games, in those days when big newspapers had provocated anti US movement(GO HOME) for long eagerly as well as the war. I remember playing the students' marching, shouting 'go home USA, anpo hantai' with my gang.

Japan revived traditional highschool yakyu cooperating with the newspapers. They admire boys' atitude, simple hair style of imperial soldiers or monks, and their pureness. Players were doing Nazis style salute on the opening ceremony, when I was a boy in 60s. Matsuzaka is one of hurlers of the championship winners. At noon on 15th August, the boys stop playing yakyu remembering the memorial day of surrender.

Common people knew how media inspired propaganda in bad manner 70 yeas ago. Big newspapers persuade people to obey their opinion, as before. I think it is good young people in Japan do not read such the newspapers.

Good future in our next generation.
Thanks, Enoki
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Old Jun 16, 2007, 10:58 PM
Robot, RC Pilot & Builder :-)
kevinhines's Avatar
Roanoke, VA, USA
Joined Jul 2006
4,181 Posts
Quote:
Originally Posted by Enoki
Hello, Kevin san
I am very glad that you saw my site. Welcome for learning Japanese language...
Konichi wa, Enoki san,

Arrigato. I love learning new languages, and about 15 years ago, I almost took a 1 year assignment to work at Olympus in Japan. I would have loved to do that, and I still want to try working and living in other countries, including Japan.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Enoki
I designed control devices for APWR(Advanced Pressurized Reactor) and fax machines before. Almost I was engaged in R&D, now I design bio-medical tools for medicine, handling human tissues, blood, protein. And I design labor saving machines for auto parts industry sometimes.

As for fax in Japan, the Government opened communication regulation 20 years ago, conventionaly dominated NTT family(NEC, Fujitsu, Oki etc). Canon, Ricoh, Brother, Sanyo, Sharp, Sony, Toshiba, Mitsubishi, Hitachi etc burst into the market. A panasonic brand fax made in China sells $135 aftermath. There is no enough design job in commodity field. Major electronics makers have moved design centers to China. Intel and TI closed development in Japan and moved there. Pfizer closed a labo last year, who fired 600 researchers. Our salary is too expensive in the global competition.
Enoki, I am sorry to hear about the downturn in the fax industry in Japan. It is not pleasant to go through something like that. In my experience, in the optical industry, all large scale production of optics has moved to third world countries. Here in the US manufacturers tend to either outsource the production of their optics, or they specialize in either R&D and/or rapid prototyping. I specialize in R&D, and I know a lot of people who have had to change jobs or careers, as the manufacturing has moved overseas. I used to work for Leica, a German & Swiss optics company, and they lost their optics manufacturing facilities to the US and to Japan, then we lost them to other, less expensive countries. An entire division of J&J that I used to work for closed up and no longer exists. I know how you feel.

You adapt and change and you will do well.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Enoki
If you plan to visit Japan, I recommend in spring or fall season. It is extremely hot in summer in Kyoto, Tokyo. Let me introduce a episode in summer in Japan. Excited mass media informs the highshool baseball championship in every summer. Japan stopped yakyu(a kind of baseball) as an American enemy sport once. After the Pacific war, SCAP banned traditional judo or kendo, may recommend baseball. After SCAP government, the Korakuen Baseball Park of Tokyo was full of people enjoying professional baseball games, in those days when big newspapers had provocated anti US movement(GO HOME) for long eagerly as well as the war. I remember playing the students' marching, shouting 'go home USA, anpo hantai' with my gang.

Japan revived traditional highschool yakyu cooperating with the newspapers. They admire boys' atitude, simple hair style of imperial soldiers or monks, and their pureness. Players were doing Nazis style salute on the opening ceremony, when I was a boy in 60s.
I was also a boy in the 1960's, and remember going to baseball games with my family back then. The type of salute you mentioned was also used in the US before the war, but during the war it became associated with the Nazi government in Germany, and so it has no longer used in the US since the war. When my father was a child in the 1920's and 1930's, he remembers they would salute the American flag with that type of salute at the beginning of each school day. Since the war, US civilians now salute the American flag by placing their right hand over their heart.

I am very glad to live today, when Japan, the US, Germany, the UK, the Netherlands, Italy, Canada, etc, are all powerful forces to promote democracy and human rights in the world. Each of our countries is different, and we have different cultures, but I believe our countries are all moving in the right direction, towards more human rights for all people, and we all work to make the world a better place for everyone.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Enoki
Matsuzaka is one of hurlers of the championship winners. At noon on 15th August, the boys stop playing yakyu remembering the memorial day of surrender.

Common people knew how media inspired propaganda in bad manner 70 yeas ago. Big newspapers persuade people to obey their opinion, as before. I think it is good young people in Japan do not read such the newspapers.

Good future in our next generation.
Thanks, Enoki
Enoki, Arrigato for writing to me. You are teaching me about Japan, and I am glad you are.

Thanks,
Kevin
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Old Jun 18, 2007, 08:10 AM
It Wasn't Me!!!!
InspectorGadget's Avatar
Joined Feb 2005
821 Posts
Florida Flyers

Quote:
Originally Posted by kevinhines
which aircraft were you flying?
That was my STS, which is listed as Recon1 in my blog photos. The camera is mounted out on the port wing with the tilt servo mounted on the starboard wing for counterbalance.

Quote:
Originally Posted by kevinhines
And I can see you have the hardhat counterbalanced with a piece of gear on the back of it; that is a great idea.
YES, that is my digital video recorder.

Quote:
Originally Posted by kevinhines
When you are in the Central Florida area, I'd enjoy seeing you fly your FPV set up. I typically fly at a site located south of Orlando International Airport.
OIA is only 1.25 hours away. Send me a GPS or map location and I may plan to visit you so we can fly together.

C-YA RL
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Old Jun 21, 2007, 12:09 AM
Robot, RC Pilot & Builder :-)
kevinhines's Avatar
Roanoke, VA, USA
Joined Jul 2006
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Quote:
Originally Posted by InspectorGadget
That was my STS, which is listed as Recon1 in my blog photos. The camera is mounted out on the port wing with the tilt servo mounted on the starboard wing for counterbalance.
Sounds nice. Hmmm, I looked through your blog, but I couldn't find this airplane, maybe I just missed it. Do you have any photos of the camera mount with the tilt servo?

Quote:
Originally Posted by InspectorGadget
YES, that is my digital video recorder.
You are giving me lots of good ideas, many of which I will have to try doing myself.

Quote:
Originally Posted by InspectorGadget
OIA is only 1.25 hours away. Send me a GPS or map location and I may plan to visit you so we can fly together. C-YA RL
That would be fun. I'll be tied up this weekend, but perhaps sometime soon. It would be cool to see you fly with your FPV setup.

Are you in a club? I'm not in a club, although I do have an AMA membership, mainly so that I can fly at clubs as a guest.

I fly with a loose knit group of friendly guys at a location we call Boggy Creek, or just BC. I am sure there is a post in a thread with a map to the location, so I'll look for that, in order to post a link. Our location is not a club, simply a huge field directly south of OIA, and just maybe a half mile to the northwest of the intersection of Boggy Creek Road & 417.

Best Regards,
Kevin
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Old Jun 21, 2007, 08:10 AM
It Wasn't Me!!!!
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Joined Feb 2005
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OK Kevin,
You asked for it and here it is---my Recon1.
Yes I am in a newly formed club where I serve as Seceratary. We fly at a now closed landfill just a few miles from my house.
A huge field sounds nice as long as I can do an ROG with my foamies .
I hate hand launch they never seem to turn right.
I look forward to the Boggy Creek flying field location information.
Enjoy and C-YA RL
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Old Jun 26, 2007, 05:28 PM
Robot, RC Pilot & Builder :-)
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Roanoke, VA, USA
Joined Jul 2006
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Quote:
Originally Posted by InspectorGadget
...my Recon1...
RL, Your Recon1 airplane & FPV setup are very cool. Thanks for sharing these photos. That's a great setup you created for the tilt function for your camera. I'd enjoy seeing it in action!

Quote:
Originally Posted by InspectorGadget
Yes I am in a newly formed club where I serve as Seceratary.
Nice. Which club are you in?

Quote:
Originally Posted by InspectorGadget
A huge field sounds nice as long as I can do an ROG with my foamies .
We do ROG takeoffs, as well as landings, in the road alongside the field. We just have to watch out for cars. We often spot for each other, checking to see if the road is clear for landing (if the pilot can't take his eye's off the plane to look at the road.)

Quote:
Originally Posted by InspectorGadget
I look forward to the Boggy Creek flying field location information. Enjoy and C-YA RL
Here's a link. If you scroll down to where it lists Boggy Creek, and click that link, the marker for BC will pop up.
http://maps.google.com/maps/ms?ie=UT...&t=h&z=10&om=1
One of the local (Orlando) veteran RC pilots created this map, and it's a great resource for our local RC pilots.

I may fly at BC this coming weekend, and possibly the next weekend as well. Just PM me and let me know when might be good for you to visit and we can fly together.

However... My video camera stopped working recently, and it may be a couple of weeks before I get another. So I won't be able to do FPV flying (only regular flying) until I get another video camera for the plane.

I had been thinking of getting a higher resolution camera anyway, so I may take the plunge soon.

Best Regards,
Kevin
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Old Jul 02, 2007, 10:14 PM
It Wasn't Me!!!!
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Joined Feb 2005
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Quote:
Originally Posted by kevinhines
Nice. Which club are you in?
Avon Park Aeromodelers.

Sorry it took so long for me to respond as I had a he of a week. I flew Sat & Sun morning at our field. If I see that I can come and fly with you some weekend I will PM you.

To bad about your camera. I hope you find another one that suits your needs without spending a lot of $. I am currently building a new plane to fly the latest video equipment I bought. 2.4GHz 200mw transmitter and cased camera with a 36mm lens.
I'll try to post more video as soon as I can get some spare time to edit it.
Have fun and C-YA RL
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Old Jul 09, 2007, 11:14 AM
It Wasn't Me!!!!
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Joined Feb 2005
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One in My Fleet

Kevin,
Here is the blue core Citabria that I made and was telling you about.
What do you think???
The second one you have seen in person.
I am working on the videos shot on Saturday. Thanks for posting the photos---they were GREAT.
C-YA RL
http://www.rcgroups.com/forums/showp...&postcount=519

http://www.rcgroups.com/forums/showp...3&postcount=80
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