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Archive for January, 2013
Posted by DismayingObservation | Jan 29, 2013 @ 08:15 PM | 8,906 Views
It seems that high winds, a brief bout with the flu and a work schedule that's been deviating from the norm have all conspired to keep me grounded. Mike and Kyle from Aero-Model were kind enough to do a field repair on a Hacker motor of mine nearly three weeks ago at the AMA... and I still haven't test flown it. I hope to do so in the next day or two despite yet another schedule shuffling at work.

Credit for alleviating the flying urge has to go to the little indoor models. The new 1SQ super-itty-bitty quadcopter has been nothing but fun. I'm becoming fairly proficient now that I'm not trying to fly it like a cross between an airplane and a CCPM helicopter.

I must UNLEARN that which I have LEARNED.

Even if things don't go quite my way to put a big bird in the air, I still have the Helizone RC Lightning Bird I had the pleasure of reviewing and which is still on the main page of Ezonemag.com. I can also fall back on an E-flite Blade mSR and even a Heli-Max Axe CX Micro.

These little micro flyers are truly incredible. I don't know if they're the future of the hobby itself, but they are certainly in line for a bright future of their own.
Posted by DismayingObservation | Jan 26, 2013 @ 01:32 PM | 8,544 Views
Despite a slightly rocky start in which the 1SQ I bought at the AMA Expo coughed up its motherboard, all has been unicorns and rainbows (figuratively speaking) with the warranty replacement I received at the Hobby People store in Redlands, California.

Not only is this little thing a total blast to fly both indoors and out, it's even quieter than the original. My guess is that one or more of the motors wasn't working properly straight out of the box, leading to a very intermittent throttle control. Sometimes it would throttle up, often times not. Kind of a domino effect, but I'll leave that up to Hobbico's techs if they decide to evaluate it.

Flying a quad is decidedly different than flying either a plane or a helicopter, especially when doing coordinated turns. In close quarters, I've had the best success on this and the bigger quad I bought last year at the show by feeding in rudder, getting the nose pointed where I want and then feeding in bank and forward cyclic. It skids a bit in the turns, but they're nice and tight. Doing a coordinated turn in the traditional manner makes for too wide a turn.

The rainy weather here in SoCal means a delay in the maiden flight of the Foam-Tec Wingthing2 flying wing which I'm reviewing for "The E Zone," but at least I have the quad and a couple of other indoor choppers to satisfy the urge to fly.

Next on the list: Doing flips. Haven't tried it. Yet.

FYI, here's the link to the Wingthing2:

Posted by DismayingObservation | Jan 15, 2013 @ 10:22 AM | 8,939 Views
What do you call someone with enough tech savvy to spread their message to a bunch of unwilling computer users via other unwilling computer users (i.e., a zombie machine) but not enough brains to market a real product or service?

If you said "a spammer," you get a gold star.

Our beloved RCGroups.com has been getting hit by spambots which promote a site called "Fullmalls.com." They've been particularly active in the comments sections of the product reviews at "The E Zone."

Brand name stuff, impossibly low prices, broken English.

Hi, buddy: The website wholesale for many kinds of fashion shoes, like the nike,jordan,prada,****, also including the jeans,shirts,bags,hat and the decorations. All the products are free shipping, and the the price is competitive, and also can accept the paypal payment.,after the payment, can ship within short time.

I mean, really! How does a mere mortal resist such a siren song?

Fullmalls, it seems, advertises brand name products that it doesn't carry. If you're fortunate, you might get a knockoff sent to you. Otherwise, it's bye-bye bread. Gone. No chance of getting it back since my research says they only accept wire payments despite the claim of PayPal acceptance.

So, the questions are these: Why go through that kind of trouble to promote a ripoff which no one with an IQ above that of a zucchini would reply to? Why not put the same effort into a legit business?

Those are questions best posed by the sociologists, I suppose. In the meantime, enjoy some funny anti-spam cartoons which do a good job of summing up the problem.
Posted by DismayingObservation | Jan 13, 2013 @ 09:54 AM | 8,742 Views
December might bring Christmas, but January brings the AMA Expo to we here in Southern California.

I've been to several of these shows, but never before with my grandson. Just he and I.

Not only did he have the time of his little life, I walked away with one of the most precious memories I've had in years. Imagine a five-year-old steeped in absolute joy sitting in both a full-scale one-man helicopter and a full-scale glider while working the controls. Add to that a 65% Fokker Dr-I which just blew him away by its sheer size and a chance for the two of us to try out a Torrent RTR stadium truck for a few hot laps and you have the recipe for the perfect day.

We even built and flew a rubber-powered FF glider. I ran into old friends and met many of the distributors and vendors whom I work with on the authors' forum. Bruce Jenner was the featured speaker and he was as entertaining and engaging as you could imagine.

My grandson is a teeny bit too young for a flying toy - for now - so he walked out with a little R/C dune buggy among a bunch of other little freebies while I walked out with a new Heli-Max 1SQ nano quadcopter. My parents generally give cash at Christmas...and I generally wait until the AMA to spend it.

The quadcopter's battery has just finished charging as I write, so I'm off to try out my belated Christmas present!

The only downer is the fact I seem to have caught cold which started to really hit me at the end of the day. If not for that, I'd make that drive back to Ontario for the final day of the expo.
Posted by DismayingObservation | Jan 10, 2013 @ 06:45 PM | 8,150 Views
OK, so the title is a bit reactionary, but anyone who's ever slowed down a bit too much in front of a mall kiosk can relate.

I hadn't been to the local mall in a long time and I had a bit of time to kill before heading to work, so I swung by to peruse the record store (which actually DOES sell records) and see what I could see. I'd just eaten lunch, so one of the rather good restaurants in the place were out of the question.

No more arcade, no more toy stores and there was never a hobby shop in the place.

There are plenty of little kiosks in the main walkway selling everything from calendars to massages.

And toys.

Had to slow down for just a moment thanks to what looked like an RTF T-Rex 450 clone...which turned out to be nothing but a big 3.5-channel coaxial.

This was not a place with such helicopter fare as that from Align, SAB, Thunder Tiger, Blade, Heli-Max or Century, among others. You get the idea.

No, this was the realm of the Double Horse Volitation and the Yiboo UJ376 along with a handful of Syma IR controlled nano coaxials and something that looked like a clone of an MRC Hoot.

It was also the realm of an enthusiastic young salesman who couldn't wait to launch a Syma IR in the air, resplendent in its LED light display.

"Look! This flies good! It has a gyro!"

I secretly agreed the thing flew well; good thing I knew what a gyro was. "No, thanks. That big helicopter caught my eye and I thought it was something else....Continue Reading