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Posted by VicT | Jan 14, 2021 @ 08:46 PM | 4,988 Views
This was the third time learning to fly the Eflite P39 Airacobra using the 12/8 APC prop and 2200 4S SMART lipo. Weather was 3 mph crosswind and 60F so we concentrated on low approaches and go arounds. We found out the lowest power setting for taxi and it turned out to be between 25-30% throttle setting on the DX6 (students) and DX9 (instructors) on screen display. We set throttle cut and moved the throttle up to 25-30% and then uncut the throttle. The P39 broke away from the fabric runway and with in 5 seconds (Throttle Cut Delay) the P39 reached a top speed of about 3-5 mph. We used this same throttle setting on the downwind and then on final with gear and flaps 100 the P39 had a nice descent. We kept her high to clear the 60 ft trees (that have claimed many models) and then once clear used full down (SAFE On limited to about a 40 degree dive) to level off in ground effect (5-7 ft). With only rudder she touched down smooth as silk with this 5 mph taxi power setting. No bounce no guessing when to flare just landing with power on. The hardest part is to take your eyes off the model and setting 25-30% throttle setting. No throttle curve or other adjustments needed.

We tried a 4 yr old 3200 4S pack and got more time but when the countdown timer said 20 seconds to land I made a steep descent clean and put the gear down at about 50 ft. The 2 second setting for gear and 100% flaps was just in time as I touched down in the grass 1 ft away from the fabric...Continue Reading
Posted by VicT | Jan 13, 2021 @ 08:40 AM | 5,357 Views
If you hate scrolling through the 512 voice commands, create a personal folder and copy your favorite voice commands to it. From the Function List go to System Setup>Sound Utilities>Select/Add Category>scroll down and select <Add new category> Give it a name and then select (Add Sounds to Category). Go down the list and select your favorite sounds.

I added about 64 sounds and then put them in alphabetical order. Go to Sort Sounds Within Category. Go down the list and drag the A’s to the top of the list.
Some of the sounds will do things for you. For example I put “photo click” on my I button switch. This takes a picture of what is on the display and puts it on your SD card. You can put “Time Remaining” on the I switch as well and it will tell you the amount of time left on your countdown timer.
Posted by VicT | Jan 06, 2021 @ 11:01 PM | 29,355 Views
The method described here applies to the Eflite Conscendo motorglider but can be used for other motorgliders.
When the stock canopy can’t be replaced or interferes with batteries and other components the plastic canopy is an alternative.

Start with an empty 2 liter soft drink bottle. The tinted green plastic showers the outline of a scale canopy and the tint filters much of the sunlight from fading the interior components.

The bottle has a vertical seam and label that should be avoided. The vertical seam can be used to measure a centerline of one or two canopies. The template plan shows dimensions for the Conscendo canopy. Use a Sharpie permanent marker and start by putting a mark 23 mm away from the bottom horizontal seam. The permanent ink is easily removed later with alcohol later. This initial mark is where the paper template can be taped in place along with small pieces of tape on the side of the paper template. The photo shows 2 canopy outlines on the bottle before they are cut out. The initial cut does not have to be exact as the canopy side edges should be cut with a straight edge and an Exacto #11 blade or a box cutter. The straight edges will be lined up along the decals and act as a straight hinge line with clear book tape. The inside of the canopy gets taped as well. The clear tape is used to make a band that slides aft and forces the canopy tight against the fuselage top and sides. After the canopy is hinged measure the circumference if the canopy and fuselage about halfway back. Pull out a piece of tape a little longer than the circumference and wrap it around the canopy with the sticky side out. This inner band will be covered with a second layer of tape on the outside. The outside band should be about half the width of the inner band. This will allow the band to be slid forward and away from the fuselage for final trimming with scissors. The band can be any width. I used scissors to cut a band about 1/2 inch wide.
Posted by VicT | Jan 04, 2021 @ 03:18 PM | 3,731 Views
This is a link to my Jan 4, 2021 post in the P39 thread:

The Airacobra has a nose wheel that most flyers replace with a stronger one. Our new US230 fabric runway will be used for initial flights and ground ops. Grass will be avoided as much as possible. Wireless buddy box for fam training is planned with student DX6 and Instructor DX9 and eventually an iX12 or NX10

A DX6 has been programmed with D0 switch allowing gear and flaps up, D2 Gear and landing flaps down, D1 with Gear down and take off flaps. Gear and flap plugs go into a Y cable and then into Ch6 of the 636B RX. Ch 5 is used for SAFE On/Off. This is KISS with gear and flaps either up or downs and the middle position for other stuff. After gear is retracted moving from D0 to D1 gives just take off flaps. Thanks for Jim Lafferty’s blog on his F86 that he did using the Apprentice RX. I had to use a servo reverser to make the flaps go in the same direction as the gear.

A canopy latch and CG string was added.

The 3 bladed prop vibrates and will be replaced with a 2 bladed APC in the 12-13 diameter range.

If I get one for myself I will be using a 12 inch folder on the 41 850 KV motor extended forward 2 inches for clearance on the nose strut. The dive speed should be at least 1.5 to 2 times the full throttle speed. An Aerostar 60 RVS will allow reverse prop on the B switch for deceleration and backing up. SAFE will be OFF as B switch also turns on SAFE Self Level.
Posted by VicT | Dec 25, 2020 @ 12:50 AM | 7,016 Views
My UMX Turbo Timber weighs 107.2 g W/O battery and with an 850 2S that weighs 46.6g is 153.8 ready to fly. At 28.348 g/oz this equates to 5.42 OZ. Removing the main landing gear saves 13.01 g. The 2 blade prop and spinner with an added 2 gm makes the RTF at 140.8 or 4.9 OZ

The stock 3 blade prop is 120 x 7 mm and weighs 2.07 g the new 2 bladed 130 x 7 mm prop and spinner weigh 3.38 g.

Static wattmeter using an 850 2S Eagle 30-65C with the stock 3 blade is 49.01 W, 6.35 amp and 7.66 V
With the 2 blade folder and spinner the numbers ar............................................47.8 W, 6.22 amp and 7.61 V

Removing the gear and exhaust should extend the Powe off power and gain.

On Sat 12/12/20 I got a 22 min flight at the local soccer field. Temp was 49 and winds 5 mph. The 850 2S had 22% remaining and storage voltage of 3.77 V. Flying consisted of mixed aerobatics and low passes and some gliding. No thermals as the sun was setting. The position, strobe and wing tip lights are nice and show up in the low light conditions. I landed a few times for some adjustments with moving the rudder pushrod to the innermost hole for more throw. At full throttle she is like a little pylon racer! The two bladed prop is a little noisy and I may try a small Graupner prop.

On 1/17/21 I flew after sunset with an old Turnigy Nanotechnology 370 40C lipo that was 83% charged. After using 5 min of motor time I had 30% remaining with 3.7 v storage per cell....Continue Reading
Posted by VicT | Dec 21, 2020 @ 11:45 PM | 7,367 Views
This is the device I got wired up from a clubmember:

The purpose is to power the receiver and 6 servos in my Conscendo EVO and any other model when an ESC fails to provide power to the receiver and servos. ESC can fail to provide power when a BEC circuit fails or a main battery fails to provide sufficient voltage to the ESC or receiver. It can be used to back up a stand alone BEC and battery Incase either of those components fail. However where there is limited space and weight concerns this 25 gram system works well. There are commercial devices with magnetic on/off switches that do the same but this is a low cost alternative you can solder yourself with the pics below. The device costs $4.95 each and there are other alternative methods to do the same thing. This is just one design that is fairly simple.

The way I use it is to measure the voltage of the 1S 450 lipo with a meter or with my iX12 telemetry when the JST connector is plugged in. I get an audio alert from my iX12 “Warning Transmitter Low Battery/Voltage”. I make sure all. 6 servos are working then plug in my 3S or 4S pack and test the motor. The audio alert is silenced because the 3S/4S is supplying normal voltage to the receiver.

If inflight I have no motor power and/or I get an audio alert then I glide in to land and trouble shoot the battery or ESC system.

With components that are at the end of their lifespan this is a way to prevent a mishap and damage to a person, place, or thing.
Posted by VicT | Dec 11, 2020 @ 06:34 AM | 11,157 Views
The Aero Scout LVC was demonstrated to Joe G my latest student. After flying about 25 min. We checked capacity remaining with a Cellmeter 8. It was about 15% remaining. I had Joe straddle the scout to prevent forward movement and had him apply full power. In about 3 or 4 minutes we could hear a gradual reduction in RPM. This took about 1 minute.

I’m not sure which is a better signal to alert a pilots to land but having a gradual reduction in power over 1 minute seems to be an adequate time to set up and land the Scout. I instructed Joe to immediately recharge his 2200 3S SMART battery up to a storage value of 3.7 to 3.8 volts per cell. This is equivalent to 3 x 3.7 or 3.8 or 11.1 to 11.4 total volts as measured with a Cellmeter 8.
Posted by VicT | Dec 09, 2020 @ 11:30 AM | 7,694 Views
I was using a 10/8 blades on the Art Hobby Low Drag spinner and pulling about 28 amps and 430 watts. I had spectacular vertical performance but after about 20 flights I started to hear misfires while under full power. In some cases I had to wait 10 seconds for the motor to start turning. Switching to 3 S eliminated the misfire so I tried a smaller prop and swapped out the 10/8 for 10/7 blades that are a different shape. Power now is reduced to 19-21 amps and 280-290 watts.

I recently completed a 26 min flight with full power climbs to check performance and I am still satisfied with vertical performance and full power aerobatics. I’m using the same 1300 4S Turnigy Graphene 75C pack and I only got one half second “misfire” for about 1 second. Capacity used was 92-14% or 78% with end voltage at 3.6-3.7. I recharged to 3.8 volts for storage.

The blades are less in pitch and shape. I am temporarily using bungee bands but now that I know the blades work will drill out the blades for a
Posted by VicT | Dec 08, 2020 @ 05:19 AM | 5,134 Views
“Lake Gladstone” is what I’ve named the small retention pond by the Gladstone dirt road gate to the West Pasco Model Pilots Association club field. If you stand on the grassy bank to the east the wind and sun are at your back and looking west you see the Publix store that opened in 2019. Here is a video ai took with my I phone stuck to my iX12.

There is not much head wind and I did not try and slow down so I touched down with a lot of energy. This resulted in a bounced splashdown. Even though I let the SAFE Level the wings just prior to splashdown the aileron effectiveness after splashdown diminishes because of the low airspeed. This can easily lead to one float digging in and causing a sudden yaw to that side. Then there is a good chance of a tip over and floating upside down. Even though you might be able to operate the motor submerged for a while to tractor back to the shore there is a good chance that you will burn up the ESC due to water infiltration or thru over amping due to a prop strike with something under water. I carry a telescopic painters pole with a coat hanger hook attached to the end. I can reach out about 14 ft to pull a float strut close in to the shore. Then I can lift the Timber up out of the water onto dry land where I pull the battery and rinse off with a fresh water spray bottle and can of compressed air.
Posted by VicT | Nov 30, 2020 @ 10:07 AM | 8,598 Views
Instructor over ride instructions

From page 227 of iX12 manual but applies to any talking DX transmitter.

Tips: fly the model with the student’s transmitter first. Trim her out so the first flight can be easy with hands off whether it be SAFE On or Off. Land and export the student’s settings on to an SD card so that the Instructor transmitter has the same settings. Import the settings into the Instructor transmitter. Insert an IP after the model name (to designate which is master) and proceed to System Setup.....Trainer..... and Wireless Trainer. Push on the Inhibit box so that it flashes and roll once to the right. You will see the box “Programmable Master” flashing. Press once to stop the flashing and scroll down to the box labeled Switch I. Now switch I is the old fashion 1980 method. Your finger will get tired of pushing the button all the time and a dent will be put into your finger pad. Use the technology! Press on the I switch box so it blinks and toggle a switch. I use the A switch because it is a two position switch that is easy to locate (at the top left corner). The audio will be set up automatically “Instructor has control” or “Student has control”. However if you use a 3 position switch (position C2 for example) you will not hear anything. You can leave this as mystery to figure out inflight or spend about 5 minutes going into the Digital Switch menu to change the numbers and then going into Custom Voice Events and finding the phrase in...Continue Reading
Posted by VicT | Nov 26, 2020 @ 12:58 PM | 5,123 Views
I found a loose stab on preflight caused by a broken CF stab joiner. I separated the 2 pieces and used the shattered ends as ends for the tube . I used CA and Monocote backing to glue the cracks shut. I found an inner CF tube and turned it down with 80 grit paper while spinning it in a Dremel. I used about 1.5 inches to joine he 2 clean ends together using CA.
I has to insert the repaired tube into the plastic fuselage hole one way as there was a repair bump that restricted entry.
This plane and parts are discontinued so parts are hard to get
Posted by VicT | Nov 04, 2020 @ 02:34 AM | 8,925 Views
This is the black Mirage with a 20 mm BL inrunner that was run on 8 Nimhs. Fan is 5 blades and 63 mm. I think it was a GWS or Wattage. It has fixed gear and last flew a long time ago. Lots of noise but not much speed. I was going to tru her with a 1300 3S but the ESC failed. I removed the fan to put a tractor set up for a quite but fast sport flyer.
Posted by VicT | Nov 02, 2020 @ 09:14 AM | 6,877 Views
Here are some tips to improve your taxi skills:

*Use full up elevator so prop wash forces the tail wheel down to the surface.
*Use high rate and/or SAFE Off to increase servo throws to the tail wheel. Use SAFE On for actual takeoffs as any wing lifting can be automatically corrected as soon as it occurs.
*Use throttle very carefully as too much throttle can cause right yaw. Advance throttle very slowly to “break away thrust” then reduce just a little to maintain a slow taxi speed.
*Remove wings for practice so no accidental takeoffs occur
*Use aileron into the wind to reduce crosswinds lifting a wing. Use spoilers while taxiing to increase weight on wheels.

For Spektrum radios that have a throttle cut screen use the Throttle Delay feature in the Throttle Cut menu:
Change the Delay from INH to 5.0 seconds. Cut the throttle, advance the throttle to take off power, un cut the throttle (H switch) and concentrate on left stick rudder control. Reduce up elevator 2 or 3 seconds later and use prop wash over the rudder to maintain directional control. Once in flight the throttle reacts normally with no delay. For subsequent take offs repeat the same procedure.
Posted by VicT | Oct 25, 2020 @ 05:58 AM | 4,943 Views
I got to maiden Jack W’s new Eflite Extra at Odessa Fl after a WPMPA club meeting. The 300 is popular with at least 3 other club members in our 100 member club. I know that some aluminum motor mounts have caused vibration and have failed leading to replacement. The music wire landing gear can get bent and I have retrofitted the 300 with a Dubro 40-60 nylon gear legs. This gear does not break or bend and can be screwed or bolted further forward to reduce nose over damage while moving on the surface. most likely Horizon will discontinue the 300 and fix the design adding a 637T for telemetry. Cost will increase but it will be worth it in my opinion.

Jack wanted to preserve the nice fragile stock prop from such nose over damage so replaced it with an APC plastic 13/6.5 prop. On run up on a 4S she caused severe vibration. The factory spinner was removed and this helped but the prop was removed and rebalanced. This still caused vibration. Luckily Manny came to Jacks aid with a brand new 13/4 APC still in the package. The bore was reamed out enough to easily clear the shaft adapter and the largest plastic ring was pressed into place. This took away all vibration (no balancing required using the ring) however when the nice looking plastic backplate and spinner was added the vibration returned. So the maiden was completed with out the spinner and backplate. Jack’s Wattmeter measured 45 A , 670 W on a 3600 4S Venom and 31 A 334 W on a Venom 3200 3 S. We got 8 min of...Continue Reading
Posted by VicT | Oct 23, 2020 @ 09:47 PM | 7,595 Views
The free flight models use a de thermalizer system to stop the model from flying away. I wanted to do the same with the Elf and came up with a system that uses the flying stab to stop forward motion and bring the Elf vertically down. I programmed the elevator rate switch C2 to give full up that stalls the model but keeps the model level as it descends. If I release full up elevator the mode resumes flying. The Elf has to slow down gradually before applying full up elevator to get the correct level attitude before the descent starts. My low rate C0 switch postion is programmed for the Launch mode. I have elevator trim set for a high speed throw with about a 80 degree climb angle. At top of climb I can keep her in Launch mode for aerobatics or move the switch to C1 for Cruise Mode with a little more up elevator, or go into Thermal Mode C2 with more up elevator. I have the rates adjusted so that full up stick gives me the correct elevator angle for a vertical fuselage level descent. The Expo is adjusted so that normal elevator travel is available but full stick gives me full up elevator.

In flight adjustment is required to find the correct angle. An incorrect elevator angle will cause a porpoise descent or stall repetition. To prevent a nose down crash release full up elevator to recovery from the stall/crash manuever. Your CG will have an effect on the angle. My CG is slightly forward (2.9 inches) from what Vladimir’s 2.9-3.3 inch range....Continue Reading
Posted by VicT | Oct 23, 2020 @ 09:01 PM | 7,402 Views
After the 6 year old 250 mah 1S battery failure the crash broke the phenolic rudder horn and nylon stab fixture. I used thin CA and accelerator to re secure the nylon to CF boom bond. For the rudder horn I replaced it with aluminum that is bent 90 degrees for a stronger bond to the fiberglass rudder skin. I measured the music wire diameter and used some spare wire to drill a hole in the aluminum for a no slop fit. To fill the void around the rudder slot I used brown Gorilla Glue to expand and fill in the void. I have about 20 throws with no cracking or damage to the repair areas.
Posted by VicT | Oct 23, 2020 @ 08:52 PM | 7,127 Views
I bought my Elf from Kennedy Composites in Jan 2014 and have about 35 hours indicated on my DX9 transmitter. She has an AR400 with out the case and Dymond D47 servos for elevator and rudder. I purchased the Shread-RC 240 mah 1S voltage booster/charger.

Last week on the 5th or 6th throw she lost power to the receiver and Elf impacted the soft ground hard enough to break the CA glue bond for the plastic stab fixture. I checked battery voltage and with 2 beeps this figures out to 3.5 + .2+= 3.7. However after cycling the rudder for about 20 seconds the red power LED extinguished. So with 6 years of use I figured it was time for some preventative maintenance.

I emailed [email protected] but with no response I purchased a 300 1S lipo from . The Shread-RC 250 battery weighs 6 gm and the RDQ 300 weighs 8 gm. It is longer than the 250 but fits on the boom between the servo and the boom nose. I cut the red and black wires and soldered them together then taped the battery and booster to the boom to locate the charging prongs and canopy opening. After finding the correct position I used Shoe Goo to secure the battery and booster to the boom. I recently got about 20 throws at the park with 10-12 winds and found no change in handling or CG.
Posted by VicT | Oct 18, 2020 @ 10:39 PM | 7,955 Views
I’ve been catapult launching my 64 gram Fox EPP free flight glider using 3 #64 rubber bands. They are tied to the end of a stick handle held in the feet hand. When stretched back about 2 ft and released the Fox climbs consistently up to about 30-40 feet. I’m a teaching my friends 7 yr old son how to launch and the effects of trim and CG.

Recently I started to fly my 4 ounce Elf with rudder and elevator. It’s got a wing tip blade for DHLG soft or hard throws however I wanted to see what a catapult system would be like. So I fashioned a music wire hook to the Elf Carbon fiber boom and used Gorilla glue for reinforcement. I will be using different rubber and bungee bands for experimentation. I have a stomp launcher that could be used as well. The objective is to have consistent launch angles and direction for indoor or outdoor confined space flying sites.

I tested Elf with winds 15-18 in a small park with 60 -80 ft trees surrounding the center field. I practiced tip launching about 20 times circling the wind shears. As long as Elf has airspeed over the rudder and stab you have good control. However a sudden tailwind wind shear can temporarily cause loss of control.
I used a stick with 3 # 64 bands and held it with my left hand and transmitter hand strap. I was able to get good smooth launches but only about 15 ft high where as tip launches were about 75 ft. So rubber has to be experimented with.

On post flight inspection the temporary hot glue repair to the rudder horn showed play. At home I made an aluminum rudder horn and bent it 90 degrees for a stronger glue joint. I used a rotary dental tool to rout out the old epoxy in the slot and used brown Gorilla glue this time. A clothes pin was made into a clamp while it hardens over night. A tube will be lashed to my DX9 to hold a launching dowel.
Posted by VicT | Sep 20, 2020 @ 11:21 PM | 5,724 Views
Mike K purchased a used Mini Apprentice from Mike B. This 48” span model will be able to handle winds better than his 4 ounce UMX Turbo Timber. I programmed his DX6 and trimmed her out with SAFE OFF then turned SAFE On. Every maneuver checked good except for aileron to rudder mix that I put into the transmitter. I did not know that it was already programmed into the AR636 A receiver. I think she went cross control similar to the larger Apprentice with the older Apprentice SAFE receiver. There was minimum damage and after replacing the stock prop with an APC 9/6E and inhibiting the TX aileron/rudder mix she flew fine. I like her more than the larger Apprentice because of the Re designed stab. This Apprentice came without a nose wheel and had been in a nose down crash as evidence from the compression wrinkles and a new cowl. I brought her home to make some improvements such as:
1. Adding a steerable tailwheel
2. Programming the ESC prop brake
3. Trimming the stock spinner to fit the APC9/6 prop
4. Glueing the bindplug receptacle to the fuselage side
5. Moving the 18 amp ESC forward to the motorway for more cooling air
6. Adding cloth covered bungee bands to replace the 6 rubber bands.

See pics and notes

The replacement motor melted the plastic motor mount and had to be repaired/replaced. I repaired it with thin aluminum sheet and went to a lesser KV motor the Conscendo Advanced 110 0 KV motor. Less amps but still enough power for sport ops. See...Continue Reading
Posted by VicT | Sep 17, 2020 @ 10:49 AM | 4,342 Views
An inverted crash can occur in a number of ways with the Conscendo BNF (SAFE is installed and Off).
A common cause is to roll inverted and then mistakenly pull up elevator to climb and you dive down. If you have enough altitude you can pull out level with out hitting the ground surface. This Immelmann aerobatic manuever is a simple one but if you mis judge the amount of airspace needed then you have to abort and roll level and pull to level. This takes practice and is risky.
Another cause of an inverted crash happened to me a few weeks ago. I was demonstrating the CE in a power off dive with SAFE On. After pulling level at about 20 ft AGL (above ground level) I pulled my DX9 B switch to 2 (SAFE Off), pulled up and added full power. I then went into a full aileron roll and with in 2 seconds I was diving into the soft ground. I had forgot to turn my aileron to rudder mix off and the rudder input stopped my climb attitude at the first 90 degree bank. When I knew the crash was imminent I did close the throttle and post impact damage looked very bad but amazingly the motor and electronics still worked! The nose had broken away and was easily repaired. The pic shows the front wing bolt fixture.
I was going over how to prevent this from happening again and thought of using the throttle to turn the aileron to rudder mix off automatically. I usually do aileron rolls at full power and use aileron to rudder mixing when flying slow or when cruising at half power. Here is what I do now for the aileron to rudder mix program:

The first thing to do is press/roll to System Setup then F-Mode Setup, then for Switch 1 set Thr. Stick. I usually set Switch 2 to Switch D but you don’t have to do this unless you want more nice things to have.
Next press the Back button and go to the function menu and scroll to Mixing. The pics below show BC and AC.