YarSmythe's blog View Details
Posted by YarSmythe | Dec 14, 2006 @ 10:54 PM | 7,574 Views
...I can already hear readers saying "Huh??" "Why??" "Are ya crazy??"

First, I love my 109 LiPo charger. Works great...yadda yadda. But I've always felt it was missing some basic 'charger' essentials:

1) START button
2) ON/OFF switch

I don't know about you but I would like my charger to start working when I tell it to...not when power is suddenly applied. Yea, it works great if your manual connections to the battery or power supply go smoothly....but it ain't that way if you still use alligator clips and struggle to get a good connection. Perhaps I'll get ribbed by those 'geeks' out there who have mastered the ability to conduct electricity with any piece of scrap metal. Me? My hobby room is layed out funky and getting to the shared 12V panel isn't that easy.

The second problem: the ON/OFF switch. Why wouldn't you want one of these? Again, if you have a setup like mine where your power source is nowhere near the charger, you've got to 'move' around to manually pull the cables out. I can't just turn off the power supply because it happens to provide 12 volts to other devices. My solution was to purchase a Radio Shack 30A 12V lighted switch and plug it into my 109. In doing so, I've gained a few benefits:

1) I get to tell the charger when to turn on, not my power source.
2) It's right there on the panel. A short distance between charging cords and Amp knob.
3) It's pretty darn bright. If the LCD is not clearly...Continue Reading
Posted by YarSmythe | Dec 10, 2006 @ 08:04 PM | 7,645 Views
I built a Carl Goldberg Electra a few years ago and it flew great. One day I got a little cocky and tried to catch it. >SNAP< goes the wing.

The covering was removed last year and I fixed the break...along with adding a second top wing spar for strength. However, while I had the covering off, I decided to rebuild the wing with spoilers. This plane floats...and landings are extremely long. If you plan on building a kit someday, take my advice and add some spoilers. You'll need them.

In no way do I claim to be a master builder. However, I have been in this hobby for 20+ years and can glue balsa together like the rest of them. The following is my quick scheme to add spoilers to my existing wing.

First, my wing is one piece. Strong and quick to assemble...but a pain in the butt to handle and fit in the car. My spoiler installation is only going to work if you assemble your wing in one piece. The design is pretty simple: One Hitec HS-55 servo will pull two wires leading to the spoilers. The servo will be unserviceable so adjustments will need to be made at the spoiler. I picked up an E-Flite pull-pull cable set that should work nicely.
Posted by YarSmythe | Sep 03, 2006 @ 05:42 PM | 13,516 Views
In the early 80's, my father bought and built a kit from Midwest Products called the "LiveWire Champion MkIII". He didn't like that long name and shortened it to The Yellow Peril. I typically call it the "Champ".

He flew it successfully for a few years. After one pretty serious wreck, the tail was severed. It was shelved away for a few years until I came along and rebuilt the tail. I flew it for many years with an O/S .20 engine. About 4 years ago I threw on an old Master Airscrew brushed motor that 'barely' got it airborne. Due to the weight of the battery and the poor performance (both motor and flight characteristics), I too, shelved it.

My father has been gone for 10 years. I miss him a lot. He got me in this hobby over 20 years ago and every time I'm in my hobby room I feel his presence (and sometimes his instructions!). Something made me look at the ol' Champ in the closet and dust it off. Maybe it was time to install some new electronic goodies and fly her again.

The monokote on the wing had aged badly. It had several holes and tape patches. About a month ago I removed all the covering (took a week), repaired several broken ribs and sheeting areas, and recovered it with TopFlite Monokote Cub Yellow. Looks good!

I then purchaed a new Himax 3618-2300 from Esprit Models (50% off) to replace the brushed motor. After quickly installing it, I decided to give the plane a 'test flight' just to see how well everything was...Continue Reading
Posted by YarSmythe | Aug 21, 2006 @ 09:02 PM | 8,520 Views
I normally would start a thread in the forums to talk about a new plane...but since my blog is empty...I figured I could discuss my 'mystery' ship so I don't bore the regular forum readers out there.

What we have here are the spare parts from an Esky Honey Bee. It flew just fine the first month or two. After a few crashes, she stopped being user-friendly. I probably spent more money on blades, motors and rotor parts than the cost for the copter itself. After the last crash, I yanked off all the electronics and hung the "shell" in my son's room.

I've got a perfectly good radio, receiver and two micro servos...not to mention the 400 size motor. A ton of Dow Fan Fold Foam has been sitting in my garage for over a year and some new Midwest foam has been on my mind for the past month. Now is the time to dust off the kitchen counter and put knife to foam and get cracking.

...as they say, more to come!