BernardW's blog View Details
Posted by BernardW | Aug 22, 2021 @ 11:55 AM | 19,806 Views
Just as a follow-up to my previous blog post, I've now had my 2nd Astra Zenica dose and had no reaction that I could pick, except perhaps feeling a little tired later. But that was absolutely the extent of it and it was so mild i don't even know that it was due to the vaccine.

I think I'd give the West Aussie state govt about 4 out of 10 for my experience that 2nd time, at best. 3 maybe. It was garbage... they booked me in 3 months in advance for the 2nd shot, all fine. I was booked in for Sunday 2 weeks ago. But, on the Monday before, I got an SMS "reminder" for my appointment to get the jab the following day, on the Tuesday. I called the health dept. to find out what was going on and they told me, oh we're not doing them on Friday, Saturday or Sunday any more, don't you read your emails? I had absolutely not received an email, call or SMS advising me that they'd changed the date. Not very good, guys! Some people will miss their doses if this is the way they conduct things.

So they've actually *reduced* access to the AZ vaccine from 7 down to 4 days a week, right during this massive drive to get everyone vaccinated. And not actually managing to even let everyone know when they've cancelled your booking.

So I *cancelled work to attend on Tuesday*, the whole reason I'd asked for the Sunday was that I was supposed to be working that Tuesday (I'm employed on a day-to-day basis, not full-time, so cancelling any shift is a concern, especially now when so much of the...Continue Reading
Posted by BernardW | May 16, 2021 @ 12:01 PM | 24,734 Views
I just had my AstraZenica COVID jab today and I'm getting a bit of a reaction. A lot of people do, I'm not concerned and I don't feel in any danger, but it's not 100% smooth sailing. They cleared it for 50-year olds just a few days after my 50th birthday and I know a lot of the jobs and venues I do are going to require it sooner or later so I thought, why not, it's free. Now about 10 hours later I've started to feel sore and mildly feverish... if you've ever had a dose of blood poisoning it's like that but a lot milder. Still not what you call pleasant.
Anyway. Still happy to do it. I feel it's worth it. I had my hepatitis A and B shots years ago and that made me feel rotten for 5 days, if that's what Hep feels like I'm glad I'm protected against it. 5 days mild symptoms to prevent years of potentially much worse, yep, sign me up.
Of course not everyone feels like I do about it and you make your own choices, I just wanted to report on how it went for me. I'm inviting any replies and discussion about it anyone cares to make. Good to discuss these things and get ppl asking and answering questions
Posted by BernardW | May 15, 2021 @ 01:40 PM | 27,068 Views
Originally Posted by flyerinokc
From the sound of it you would fit right in here in Oklahoma. If the wind ever stops blowing we'll all fall down! My sons have a friend who worked lights and sound on the Disney Tours over here I'm sure the COVID killed his business too. I know we have a lot restaurants and retail stores who have gone out for good with this mess. I was one of the lucky ones who stayed working, I was already working from home so our routine didn't change much.
Disney On Ice was one of the first shows I worked on when I joined the crewing agency that provides stagehands and other crew for the big concerts, in 2017 (I've been in the industry since 1990 one way or another but only joined that group more recently). I'm not allowed to publicly post details about the shows but I can tell you that Disney On Ice has been around for a good 30 years, more probably, and some of the props and equipment are even that old. Parts of the sound that I saw were very interesting, great cutting-edge stuff, but cutting edge for around 1995 - 2000

On that type of show it's more designed like a theatre setup than a big rock concert. The audience is mostly young families with many small children so you can't just blow them away with rock concert sound! So theatre sound is different, it's more about smaller speakers but more of them in more places, and you might have the music coming from one...Continue Reading
Posted by BernardW | Jan 28, 2021 @ 03:21 PM | 8,072 Views
Hi, I had no idea about this place, but in the Perth suburb of Malaga there is an absolutely outstanding centre that rescues and cares for native Australian animals. My friend found an Australian Raven, or what everyone around here just calls a crow, in trouble and having a real bad day, not sure what happened but he'd either bashed his head hard on something or had a shock as we found him at the base of a large power pole, unable to walk or fly and the ants getting all over him. And no doubt a cat would soon have come along too.
Some people DO care, when I arrived a young man and woman were both working out what to do, the guy on his phone to a vet and the woman just in the process of catching the bird in a towel. My friend had seen it on his way to take me to work so I grabbed my pet carrier and we returned to find these other two people there, and the young lady caught the bird in a light towel and loaded him into my pet carrier. Took it to a vet, who then directed us to a place called Native Animal Rescue in Malaga.
I had not heard of this place but I was extremely impressed. They are terrific, there are many large fenced off areas to protect land animals, like kangaroos, bilbies, quokkas, chiditchs etc., and many very large, very well built aviaries. The land animal enclosures have an outer electric fence to keep out predators, and an inner fence to keep the patients away from that. You can't go and meet the animals, because they're doing the right thing and keeping...Continue Reading
Posted by BernardW | Aug 02, 2020 @ 01:59 PM | 9,601 Views
I'm happy to see that the Federal Govt. has decided to withdraw its backing for Clive Palmer's High Court challenge to the WA hard border. I suspect they withdrew because very few West Aussies would likely vote for them in the next election (I think it's the 1st half of next year) if they followed through as the bid is deeply unpopular in WA, and from the little I've heard even people in the Eastern States don't like the sound of the challenge or of the Federal govt. supporting it. I'm sure that's not the reason they'll give publicly but hey, so long as they're out of it.

If you didn't know, I make a living as a live sound engineer in Perth, operating the PA system for live music in large pub venues. That was one of the first industries to be clobbered by the virus, but we've been able to work again for about a month now. Crowds in town are very busy again on the weekends when I work there. I've been talking with more of the "punters", the patrons and general public, at and around the gigs I've been to lately. From that and the media, I gather that West Aussies really do understand that we are in an extraordinarily lucky position, being able to see the footy at the stadium, go to gigs, drink in pubs, go to the supermarket without queuing, and generally living life the way we're used to. There's also a sense that that inevitably sooner or later, the virus will reappear, with that 2nd wave in Victoria and NSW. People believe it will surely cross...Continue Reading
Posted by BernardW | Jul 28, 2020 @ 06:07 PM | 14,990 Views
THIS IS A POLITICAL OPINION, and it's far from neutral - As far as I understand the forum's rules I can post this in my blog. If this is in breach I'll move it, with apologies. It's my own views and not in response to any other post on RCGroups.

I'm disgusted with this elite, self-serving billionaire charlatan Clive Palmer. Western Australia is trading, working and SAFE - no community COVID-19 transmissions for over 100 days, which almost anyone you ask will credit to the hard border in place between here and other states, and overseas.
Mr Palmer, now facing fraud charges of syphoning funds between his business interests and his political party, is being disingenuous here. He is all up-in-arms and self-righteous over being "denied entry" to Western Australia, and is therefore mounting a challenge in a high Federal court against the border itself - not whether he can have an exemption to cross it (he can!), but to tear it down for everyone. He is not West Australian, he's Qld-based, and has business interests here including owning the lease on a magnetite mine operated by a Chinese company, from which he's reported to have earned 100's of millions of dollars.
In fact, he WAS NOT denied entry here at all, despite the wording of several articles since then. See this -
containing this series of paragraphs -
"Mr Palmer also said he did not agree to "totalitarian" conditions which may have allowed...Continue Reading
Posted by BernardW | Jul 12, 2020 @ 06:29 PM | 12,040 Views
Hi, just had a brief chat in another thread about how younger people in the hobby seem to approach it differently. First of all let me say I'm very happy that there ARE new people entering the hobby (or sport if you prefer), keeping the clubs and stores open and generally keeping RC alive.

But there are definitely difference in the way younger and older generations approach it. I really don't want to be just another older guy having a go at the youngsters, after all when we're gone they will be the ones leading the way.

This discussion actually started out as why so few young RC flyers want to use IC engines, and some of us have picked up on them really not liking IC. I'm a bit the opposite, I think engines are a nice interest in themselves and I'm less interested in electric. That's because to me, it's not just about the easiest or cheapest way to get a model off the ground to fly it, the engine is part of the pleasure (though I'm a definite 4-stroke snob... not into screamers). I believe glow engines are still a good option for people learning to fly RC - they can be a lower initial purchase cost, easy to use if someone shows you how, and perform well. But they've been thoroughly out-marketed, I guess, by electric. What's the future for glow?

Anyway, everyone's invited to add their observations. I would REALLY like to hear from someone younger... what do you see yourself doing differently to the previous generations? What would you like to see happen in the sport of RC...Continue Reading
Posted by BernardW | Mar 04, 2020 @ 09:58 AM | 15,568 Views
Hi, just saw the news today that Perth RC Models and Hobbies store on Lord St, East Perth was "destroyed" (quoting channel 7) by fire today, and that report said damage was estimated at a million dollars.
This is sad news and a bit of a shock, can anyone confirm that the shop was really totalled? First report said it was "just the roof" but later it seems to have burnt out the whole store.
Perth RC is, IMO, the equal best hobby store in West Australia. Even if insurance was paid out tomorrow, every cent needed to replace every lost item, it'd still take a HUGE effort and a long time to get that store back to the state it was... imagine the years of hard-to-get parts for so many planes, cars, kits, choppers, you name it. Perth RC had taken over Aeroflyte and put some of the kits back into production, and I must say they look like very nice kits. So the East Perth store had *large* stocks of balsa and so on to make up many model kits, that can't have helped with the fire. They had a large laser cutting table and equipment to vacuum form plastic parts, and for die cutting balsa, though the laser cutting system looked like the heart of it to me. I saw some of the kits, the plans and fully and part-completed models, it was all excellent.
I really hope Aeroflyte Australia and Perth RC, not to mention Bryan, can bounce back from this.
Posted by BernardW | Jan 26, 2020 @ 12:37 PM | 14,280 Views
Very sad to hear about this -
The 3 American crew aboard that plane had come with it to Australia to help fight the fires, and perished doing it. This explains better than I can -

It says there are 80 fires still burning in NSW and half of them uncontained. So it's by no means finished yet. It's still very dangerous fire conditions across most of the country and they're burning all the time in other states too.
I think it's incredible what the water bomber crews do. These videos have most often been about the Large and Very Large Air Tankers but there are all kinds of flying machines throwing retardant against the fires. It must be so dangerous. All those fire crews out there are doing a fantastic job against those terrible fires and some are losing their lives to it. It really moves me.
Posted by BernardW | Dec 10, 2019 @ 07:53 AM | 12,301 Views
I hear that the bushfires in New South Wales now are at a point where several of the worst of them have combined into one gigantic "mega fire", of around 400,000 hectares, which is near as nothing to a *million* acres... that's not one large area that has some fire in it, that's a million acres that is burning. That's a serious conflagration. 680 homes destroyed, in NSW alone, this season so far. Even more shocking, 6 people dead already from it. What more is there to say about that?
I heard about the fires in California this year, they were especially bad. As you can imagine, we understand and sympathise about this type of fire. We've seen the devastation and known what it can mean to people, to families and communities. It's very difficult coming back from something like that, maybe hard than just going through it the first time.
So that million acres is the worst of the fires in ONE state. Last I heard recently there were large fires, many out of control, burning in FIVE states, and we've only got 6 plus a couple of territories (admittedly the Northern Territory is very big, bigger than some of our actual states). I live in Western Australia, the biggest state, and it IS a biggie. Right now big fires are raging in W.A. but not to the extent that they are in NSW or elsewhere, but there's nothing to stop them reaching that scale. It's happened before near here because Perth, where I live, is built on the edge of a forested area and the outskirts region we call &...Continue Reading
Posted by BernardW | Jul 03, 2019 @ 10:02 AM | 11,803 Views
I'm looking for ideas to help make interchangeable engine mounts for my current build. It's just a standard ply firewall, and I'm fitting a Saito 130TD (4-stroke glow twin cylinder). That should be a good match for this model but I have 2 other engines I want to use some time too, an FA-182TD and a YS FZ91AC. The 182 is very similar in weight and dimensions but it has a different mounting bolt pattern, though they both use a similar radial-type mount. The YS is a single cylinder 4-stroke and needs a standard store-bought 2 beam engine mount, but once again that mount will have another bolt pattern too.

There isn't room to drill all the different holes in the firewall and fit blind nuts, in fact for beam mounts I could even end up with holes overlapping. It's possible I could convert from one engine to another by removing the blind nuts and filling the holes, then drilling for the 182 or another mount, but it's a one-off, I couldn't go back to the 130 again later. The model has been designed around that engine so using the 182 with it is not a priority, but that engine and the YS haven't been used yet and it seems handy to use an existing model to try them with until I can build something else for each. The YS will hopefully get a Kaos 90 made for it. OTOH the Fa-130td would be worth trying in that model too, so if I had a reasonable method for swapping either the engine mount or the firewall itself I could get more use out of all 3 of my "big" engines, and...Continue Reading
Posted by BernardW | Jun 23, 2019 @ 03:54 PM | 11,822 Views
The mutant Stik-shaped model is coming along bit by bit as I can find the time. I've been using that build like a blog, for general model-related guff, and neglecting this page so I'll try to keep in mind what each is really meant for. What I wanted to post here is my good results with new tools, for me anyway, on that build. I made a little sanding jig like a bench hook with an extra base piece sticking out one side and that works as a track to slide a sanding bar along. The top piece of the jig is square to that edge so it's easy to sand a piece square. The sanding bar is made of 50 x 30mm rectangular aluminium extrusion with sandpaper spray glued to it, and a gap at the bottom to clear the base of the jig. It works great, especially for sanding the angles on the ends of the diagonal braces in the Warren truss rear fuselage sides. I mark the angle I want on each brace from the stringers then place it on the jig at roughly that angle, first to use it as a bench hook while I saw it then to sand it to fit. It works very well. I bought another 1 metre long piece of the same hollow bar as a long sander and it's also been very handy. I've got coarse 80 grit paper on one side and 180 on the other. So far I've used it mainly to true up the edges of full length balsa sheets for edge gluing, as I needed to join 3 sheets for each skin for the wing D-tubes. It gives a nice straight edge that's properly square to the face all the way along, which isn't guaranteed using a blade and...Continue Reading
Posted by BernardW | Apr 05, 2019 @ 12:43 PM | 12,083 Views
I'm a committed Titebond Original user, I used this for RC wherever possible because I had experience with it from general woodworking and I already liked it. When I started building RC models again I had been on a bit of woodworking kick before that and I'd been using Titebond (always Original, to me that seems best suited to modelling and if I do any other woodworking that's what I prefer for that too).. My 1st completed RC model was an RCM Trainer 60 where I used maybe 10 drops of CA on the whole thing, mostly just to harden the threads for holding the landing gear on. My 2nd was a Bruce Tharpe Engineering Venture 60, I used a lot more CA on that one. The plans and instructions call for CA but I subsctituted Titebond wherever I could, though I did use CA on many of the wing joints. Admittedly I wasn't using Zap or another specially developed hobby-type CA, I was using a hardware store super-glue type, though I did try and get the best I could find. I didn't know the difference then, I've tried Zap and it really is far better for model building.
I used to be able to get Titebond at two places, one a big hardware chain that's gone out of business called Masters, and another was the specialty woodwork sipplier called Carbatec, who are now the only place I know of. It seems they've actually dropped the price on Titebond since Masters closed, Masters used to be Really Cheap, Carbatec are merely Pretty Cheap but used to be far more than Masters. It's only $AU10 for 16 oz/473 mL...Continue Reading
Posted by BernardW | May 24, 2018 @ 03:07 AM | 13,229 Views
A little matter I've been meaning to bring up... does anyone else feel like those pod shapes on the bottom of the landing gear would be better being called "wheel spats" than "wheel pants"? I never heard of wheel pants until I started reading US hosted RC sites like this one. To me I'd always known them for years and years as Spats on fullsize aircraft. I will concede that I've seen them called wheel pants on fullsize too since then, but I'm pretty sure in Commonwealth countries the term is, or at least used to be, spats. Now, doesn't using the word "pants" for an aircraft part seem slightly silly? Even uncomfortable? The thing is, these pants don't go over any legs, they're just at the foot of the landing gear over the wheel. So if anything they're more like wheel shoes (that's not too bad either). And some Stukas had what they called :"trouser type" fairings over the fixed LG legs, they could certainly qualify as pants but few others have them, and fewer RC models. Isn't Spats just a better word, and doesn't make you feel so weird saying it? So the solution is obvious. Loud and clear, say it with me, call 'em Spats! from now on. So who's with me? Let's spread the word! Literally I mean, and the word is SPATS!
Posted by BernardW | May 18, 2018 @ 04:05 AM | 13,640 Views
Hi, just a place to continue the discussion started in John Morgan's build log about servo power. Stemming from the servo calculator page at
To me the real issue is what exactly is the airspeed to plug into those equations. I've seen all sorts of estimates for different types of models but really, they're guesses. Who can actually tell us a *measured* speed for, say, a warbird of JMorgan's type size and weight, or a sports 60 model, or a trainer, or what. It's not too hard to get pylon results as they're recorded to help judge the races, but I think we'll find they're little use against other types like the above. I saw a post about a 2m J3 Cub with a stall speed of 28km/h, landing speed 35 km/h and "best speed" (full throttle?) of 64. That's not much, 64 k's is just over 40 mph. All the assumptions I've seen for model speeds were much faster than that. A reliable speed is the first thing we need to use that servo calculator page.

Anything anybody would like to add about that, go for it, right here. Help yourself.
Posted by BernardW | Oct 18, 2017 @ 03:35 PM | 15,772 Views
Let me start out by saying I'm not associated with Hitec in any way, except that I bought one of their radio sets. I'm just posting about how much I lvoe it and can't get over what a good deal I got, and that I'm surprised not to see more of them around.

I still find it amazing that almost 2 years after I bought it you can still get this deal at this price... this is in Aus. dollars so the numbers are higher than in the USA. Middle of the 3rd row of this page:

That's the same deal i got, only it was from a different supplier who has now closed down. Mine was $10 cheaper at the time. So for $AUD 499 it's the Aurora 9X (not the plain 9, the 9X is better), Optima 9 rx with telemetry, 4 servos (Hs-5484HB), HD switch harness with a charging point, Tx battery with a basic wall charger, a crappy plastic cage for 4 rechargeable AA rechargeables for the Rx (I wouldn't use it, but it's handy for charging my TV remote etc) and various hardware. The same pack without servos is $50 less... or look at it this way, add 4 reasonable servos for $50. Right now one AUD is worth 78c US, so the package I got would be about $US 390. I still think that's a great deal for all that stuff. The Tx alone is $399 AUD, and the Optima 9 I think is almost $100 these days (for a while it was actually cheaper than the 7 channel).

I've posted before how much I like this radio and I know others who know what they're talking about (eg. hobby store staff)...Continue Reading
Posted by BernardW | Oct 18, 2017 @ 08:20 AM | 14,217 Views
Hi, I sometimes really stretch the boundaries of off-topic, and something came up on Club Saito that I'd like to continue if anyone's interested, so here's a place for that. I have a neighbour who was a fighter and bomber pilot, and bomber navigator, in WW2, single engined fighters (I don't know what off-hand so I'll ask him again before I try and specify what types) and definitely Beaufort bombers. Of course I'm fascinated to know whatever he'd like to say about flying those classic types, but actually I like the guy in his own right, not just because he's a flyer. He's a genuinely good bloke. I offered to come and help out with things he can't easily do himself, such as lifting or climbing ladders. He's still pretty game and doing remarkably well for a chap in his 90's, but he knows what'd happen if he fell off a ladder so he's wise enough to ask for help when he needs it, and it's a great excuse to have a chat with a nice, interesting fella.

We stopped and had a nice quiet beer, and he likes to chat but of course I always wish he'd tell me all about aircraft (I know better than to ask him to talk about the war, like most actual vet's I've met who were expected to take lives as part of their duty, he simply won't talk about it). But he knows I love my RC planes, and I said hold on, I'll go grab my laptop and show you some videos, and he was interested to see. I showed him some favourites, like the B-25 with twin Moki radials (really screams, that one, I wonder if it's...Continue Reading
Posted by BernardW | Oct 09, 2017 @ 03:18 AM | 14,548 Views
I enjoyed flying today and it went well. So long as there's not too much cross-wind to blow the model away from the line I can land as well as almost anybody at the field now, and so I should with the practice I've had. Every session I spend most of my time just running touch-and-goes over and over, it's great practice. I guess the spring brace for the landing gear works fine but I actually put it down nice and gently every time - except for the one occasion where I would have crashed into my own leg if I hadn't skipped out the way! Cross-winds - it was quite changeable today, eventually it settled into a genuine sea breeze, one of the first of the season, stiff and steady and actually quite fun to fly with if you take advantage of it, and straight down the 2nd runway. I could just about hover in it, strong breeze now is no longer a problem for me, and so long as it lines up with a runway it actually improves landings, you get great control and plenty of time. But until I figured out to use the back strip I was getting a little difficulty with the cross-wind component and nearly hit myself at one point.

But I did have two problems. The engine wouldn't reach peak RPM if I set wide open throttle, if I backed the stick off to about 2/3 or 3/4 it would actually rev fastest. I thought maybe the throttle was going past WOT and starting to close up again so I looked into the carby while operating it, but as I suspected, Saitos don;t do that, they hit WOT and...Continue Reading
Posted by BernardW | Sep 05, 2017 @ 10:40 AM | 14,347 Views
Hi, just a couple of ideas for possible flaps to add to my RCM Trainer 60. This was to be used in a PM then I reaslied I can't attach pictures to those. First image is a simple modification to my existing wing - split the ailerons into two sections, the inboard being shorter span and will be the flaps. I'd add an extra servo in each wing panel to control them, for a 4-servo wing, meaning I can run them as separate flaps, or together with the ailerons to restore the original aileron surface aera.
2nd versions, B, I'd only use if I were building a whole new wing for the trainer, which is actually a possibility. If I had a workshop area set up and ready to go it'd be so much easier to take on more of these projects, but as it is that's a little hard. Anyway, ideally I'd like more area for the flap surfaces, this is one way I can think of to do that. I'd also take the opportunity to mount the flaps' servos inboard in the wing centre section and drive them with torque rods. The main reason for that is to keep as much mass as possible inboard in the fuselage area, rather than out in the wing panels. I've read that you want as littlle mass out there as possible, I won't bother going into the reasons here but it should be obvious at least as far as angular momentum.

In the next image, version C is a possible improvement on A, which I could do relatively easily on the existing wing. The problems I see are lack of effective area for the flaps, so they're more like air brakes than a...Continue Reading
Posted by BernardW | Sep 03, 2017 @ 05:57 AM | 14,089 Views
Hi, nothing to report just yet, this is a placeholder post. I'm test-flying all these control system mod's tomorrow and I'll report how it goes. I'm really hoping the steering system on the ground now works reliably, that was why I started all thise work. It now has a spring-protected connection from the steering control rod to the steering and rudder servo, and hopefully instead of bending the axle or steering arm, any bumps on the ground or from skewed landings will now be absorbed by the springs. It got so bad for a while I couldn't taxi it at all, had to place the model on the runway and manually straighten the wheel, and it'd still swerve on take-off. Touch-and-go's weren't possible like that as the model would slice across the runway, further straining the steering. But this should fix it.

Also now using my best servos, which happen to be micro digitals, on ailerons. They'll be much faster, torquey and with much higher resolution than the Emax rubbish I was using before - they'd wanna be for the price anyway. If these work out well I might start budgeting and planning to get a couple more high-resolution servos, maybe Hitec D-625 ir 645. My Rx. can get up to 2048 steps of resolution with these, I'd need a Hitec Maxima to get the full 4086 but 11-bit would be plenty. The 5085's should give me 1024 steps, and the old analogues were probably equivalent to about 300. They were weak, stripped gears and were starting to act strangely so it was time to upgrade, and as I...Continue Reading