Alan 3D's blog View Details
Posted by Alan 3D | Jan 08, 2022 @ 03:41 PM | 30,247 Views
The older days when we used 72 MHz radio systems this was a common problem. Now that we're in the 2.4 GHz band it's less of a problem but can still happen. A servo always searching for the center position and it never finds it going back and forth due to a dirty rheostat is defective but if the center position is readjusted that problem can stop or just cleaning the rheostat internally.
Servo humming . A freer moving control surface may help this problem. Stiff moving control surfaces will make servo work harder and wear out sooner or even break. If you disconnect linkage and the servo continues to hum then there's something else wrong.

Electrical noise or interference can be combated by twisting servo wires to help prevent some problems with servo jitter.
Servos interfering with one another. Using capacitors or ferrite ring. The same is often done with the BEC or UBEC from the ESC to filter noise from switching power source.
When Servos generates noise in the system that is supplying the power and it feeds back to the other servos through the receiver which may be susceptible to noise. Rather than replacing the jittery servos, a capacitor could be installed at the receiver to filter out noise and give a little extra filtering to the receive from servo movements. If this does not solve the problem. You may isolate which servo is generating the noise by moving all control surfaces one by one. If channel one is moved and the servos jitter then it's channel 1. Go to...Continue Reading
Posted by Alan 3D | Jan 07, 2022 @ 09:19 PM | 25,252 Views
I fly mostly wood aircraft. I've flown a lot of foam aircraft too. Some drones I fly have carbon in them.

I have used straws or use clear tape to tape the antennas in place. I have punctured holes in foam and place the antenna in the hole. Taping a antenna to balsa wood, foam or monocot has very little or no effect.

Antennas can be affected by many materials especially anything that's conductive like carbon fiber or metal.

Carbon fiber or metal aircraft cannot have antennas on the inside of aircraft.

Fiberglass does change antenna characteristics so do not tape antenna to fiberglass but in most cases antenna can be inside aircraft.

When taping antennas, use clear tape. Other types of tape may change tuning characteristics.

Some heat shrink tubing does not affect the antenna much where is other heat shrink tubing could have a big effect on tuning of antenna. Clear might be the better choice including tubes or straws. Plastic will probably be okay. The darker the color the more effect it could have on tuning. A Microwave oven operates at a frequency close to 2.4ghz. you can test different materials in the microwave and see if it reacts to it. Set timer for say 20 seconds or so. Low Watt microwaves can run longer. If it heats up then it is reacting to the RF. In that case do not use that material. Do I have to say don't put the receiver in the microwave?

Mount antennas as far away from conductive objects as much as possible. Avoid running antennas...Continue Reading
Posted by Alan 3D | Jan 06, 2022 @ 12:20 AM | 41,942 Views
I've been using both types of LED strips for 12 years but haven't really put an awful lot of miles on them. What I have found is the first thing I noticed is those waterproof strips which are normally clear and thick turn yellow and affecting the color of LEDs after a couple of years. White waterproof strips will turn yellow. Just from being in storage in a air conditioned home.

The flat non waterproof type of LED strips are more aesthetic. They never change color. They are also flat compared to the others which lends them to be just taped onto a surface or just using the back sticky backing tape and sticking them on. I do both stick them on and then take them on with clear long lasting storage packing tape which will also help to protect them. I use a lot of that especially on foam. Makes wings and tails stronger.
The flat LED strips are also easier to solder and you simply cut them and solder to the terminals. The thick ones not as easy.

As far as how long the lights last I intend to think I'm leaning towards the flat strips but I don't really know.
Maybe after another 12 more years we'll see after I put some more miles on these lights.

I also like the three color green blue red combo which can make more color in combination. All three colors make a brilliant white with a slight blue tint. Any other combination will make a different color like yellow orange or purple I believe but don't hold me to that. I only use white red and blue myself. So you get a lot of colors out of one strip. If you get a control module for that you can do patterns and more colors but I just use the strip without the controller. Cheaper also.
Posted by Alan 3D | Jan 05, 2022 @ 08:10 PM | 45,287 Views
I basically found a new way to switch a servo signal remotely which is not at all industry standard and is more like a joy rig but I find it works. I would not use it for flight control surfaces just because it's an untested thing even though it works for me and what I want to do with it which is controlling non flight control surfaces. I'm basically using it with two receivers and could even use with three receivers.

I have a spare RC video camera switching device which I've been using one on my drone for three cameras. So I took my spare video remote switch and rigged it up to 2 receivers, one is the master receiver 1 that actually controls the switch and also feeds another channel to the switch and the other receiver 2 this there for another purpose. Basically the switch switches whatever channels from whatever receiver up to three signals. I'm just switching two signals at the moment. In this case I will use it to drive another module that remotely turns on/off 12 volt LEDs.

When I first connected my cameras to this RC video switch all the power or red wires feeding the cameras we're not a direct feed through from the input to the RC video switch. None of the cameras had power so after jumping all the red and black wires together to get all the cameras to work with power everything worked fine. I guess that's because some cameras work on different voltages so they were not connected even though they're marked as positive but in reality they're not connected....Continue Reading
Posted by Alan 3D | Jan 05, 2022 @ 10:52 AM | 47,323 Views
There are numerous reasons why an electric aircraft can start unintentionally and cause damage and harm. Some aircraft especially electric drones and heli's have just started up all by themselves and flown away. This can be avoided by understanding how it all works.

What is really important is to understand the radio system in which you are using and read the directions specifically for that radio system which includes a transmitter. If the transmitter did not come with that aircraft then that transmitter directions you will need read for the throttle settings and throttle features. Then after understanding directions you will test it on the ground preferably with the propellers removed. Or the aircraft tie down or held in place. Doing this indoors with all kinds of materials around it could prove to be a hurricane like experience.

What you'll do as a test is first engaged throttle to maybe 25% and motors will be running, then turn off the transmitter when it is in control of the aircraft. See whether or not the motors will continue to run at that speed with the transmitter turned off. Motors will either turn off or they will hold their position in speed. The other possibility is the speed of the motors will go to a pre-programmed position which could be anywhere from 0 to 100%.. For aircraft with flight controllers this can be more complicated requiring more expertise.

Another test is when the transmitter is in control of the aircraft, test if throttle will start,...Continue Reading
Posted by Alan 3D | Jan 03, 2022 @ 08:56 PM | 51,846 Views
Lithium battery fires are very intense and produce extremely toxic and explosive gases that are lethal and corrosive. The damage from the smoke alone can be huge. There is no container that can contain a lipo fire due to the high pressure and gases produced by a burning LiPo battery. If attempting to keep a battery sealed in a container will cause the reaction to be much more violent which could explode.

One way to extinguish a lipo fire is to use silica Sand.
Most White Sandy beaches is silica sand made from quartz. If getting it at the beach is not an option you can purchased it at home improvement and hardware store.

One reason that sand is used to put out a lipo battery that has caught fire is that the lithium metal inside the LiPo battery when charged will actually ignite when in contact with water. That is why the battery is vacuum sealed to keep out moisture and humidity. Some batteries may even puff up and that is the gas that is built up inside the battery but it's sealed inside. A battery that is not sealed will most likely accumulate humidity and moisture which causes a chemical reaction and in worst case scenario a fire.

If water is available that can be used also but it will not put out the battery itself but can extinguish some materials that have caught on fire. The drawback with this is lithium reacts to water creating unwanted gases that are even more explosive than without water. Must be ventilation.

A gallon of dry silica sand weighs...Continue Reading
Posted by Alan 3D | Jan 02, 2022 @ 01:02 PM | 51,388 Views
I have talked a number of times about how do you detect interference. One of my jobs used to be doing just that. Working in the industrial radio communications industry sometimes on towers as high as 2000 ft. I had $30,000 test equipment that I could do spectrum analyzations and more. So I do have work experience in the matter.

When I was in the industry and the equipment was being interfered with, all I had to do is disconnect the antenna cable from that equipment and connect it to my service monitor and see if it was interference there potentially interfering with this equipment or was it something more simple like a bad antenna, cable or connection.

What is different for Us RC pilots is where the interference is.

As an RC pilot I have seen many aircraft go down but only a few as a result of radio interference. Most of the time other than pilot error the aircraft went down due to a failure was because of the power source to receiver, defective equipment or bad installation, antenna orientation and placement and second would be mechanical failure. A distant last would be radio interference. Rare but does happen with equipment that usually is deffective or of very low quality. A system that is not working to its best is more susceptible to interference. Sometimes it takes two devices to add up to a failure. It could be a combination of both receiver and transmitter. Swap out one item and problem may go away. One example for me was I was using an aircraft...Continue Reading
Posted by Alan 3D | Jan 02, 2022 @ 10:25 AM | 43,984 Views
This thread/blog pertains mainly to remote control aircraft equipment at least within the early 2000s and present. It pertaining to programming only and not actual installation which is another subject altogether.

There are many brands of RC remote control equipment. Some have similarities and some not so much. We are not going to go in to detail but rather hit the more basics of equipment pertaining mainly to aircraft but I suppose could also pertain to some surface RC vehicles as well.

Some transmitters and receivers are limited or have no programming parameters. Whereas other RC equipment has many programming parameters. You do not have to know all of them but you should know the most basic and the most helpful programming aspects of these devices.

Programmable transmitters and receivers. Those that are programmable tend to have certain features which may include

Gyro stabilization settings
Auto leveling
Fail safe
Heading hold
Flight Mode
Aircraft types typically five types
Dual ailerons
Dual elevators
Dual Rutters
Dual motors
These settings may be in transmitter or receiver.

Servo Travel
Servo speed
Swash plate
Gear / auxiliary
Dual Flaps
Air brakes
Ignition kill
Just to name some but not all settings.
These settings tend to be in the transmitter only but are not limited to these, in fact there can be many more settings for example telemetry settings and so...Continue Reading
Posted by Alan 3D | Jan 01, 2022 @ 06:09 PM | 44,723 Views
I go back a ways in remote control first using 72 mhz in the US and my transmitter and receiver was am. then came FM and pcm. The problem for me was I could get easily knocked out of the sky even though I was the only remote control aircraft in the whole area. Was not even a flying field nearby because I was flying over the ocean. Problem with that is the ships going by use radar and ship to shore radio's which is more than enough to interfere with the 72 MHz radio which had no frequency hopping. Other radio transmitters could also interfere with 72 MHz including other RC radios.
Do not confused 27 MHz RC aircraft with 72 mhz. 27 MHz is a very low grade toy aircraft. They may work but can very easily be interfered with. Both 72 and 27 MHz uses a long extendable transmitter antenna which if you forget to extend could lead to a crash. And the aircraft antenna is usually hanging out the back because of its extra long length especially on smaller aircraft on 27mhz.

Fast forward to now the most common systems today use 2.4 GHz. The first thing you may notice right off the bat is there's no long extendable antenna like there was on the older 72 and 27 MHz transmiters. No long antenna to extend. Antennas are very short especially on the receivers where space inside the aircraft may be limited.
There are many different grades and quality radios using this radio band. There is toy grade usually under $100 and there's hobby grade which you can spend any amount from a low...Continue Reading
Posted by Alan 3D | Dec 27, 2021 @ 10:05 PM | 25,464 Views
I do not fly toy grade aircraft with the exception of two toy grade drones that I use for practice sometimes before I use my two other non toy grade DJI and Hudsan drones. I fly futaba and spektrum planes ON 2.4.

There was a 7 year old flying today and doing quite well. That's the youngest person I've seen fly reliably at my field. I was able to teach an 11 year old girl how to fly and she did well too a few years back.

The 7-year-old was flying toy grade aircraft like non spektrum or other brand non toy grade radios. The father said that they have some aircraft that will not work at our field which has a monster size cell tower on top of a warehouse shadowing our field. But the same aircraft will work at other locations other than at our field. For the most part there's not much interference where I fly but there is a strong microwave signal being beamed to the north that cuts right through the park of our flying field. Have one receiver that will be interfered with by that microwave signal if you fly directly into it but will be okay to the side of it. Receiver is a s603 Mrcron which was a very cheap receiver when I bought it maybe 10 years ago for a drone. Change that receiver and problem went away.
Without fail every time in the same exact spot the drone would hit the radio interference freeze for a few seconds and then return to home. So I know there is interference there but in general decent receivers and even some not so great receivers usually do not...Continue Reading
Posted by Alan 3D | Dec 17, 2021 @ 10:03 AM | 9,023 Views
I remember when I first joined RC groups in Dec 2019, it was not easy to get on the website to begin with maybe because of my small screen on my smartphone it took me quite a while to go through the hurdles that often made it so you would fail and not be able to register and get on RC groups in order to use the website for posting. But I kept at it and finally got on it. Don't know if it was me but it seemed pretty ridiculous. I have considered making an email address that some people who cannot get on RC groups will be able to contact some one who is registered like myself. I know there are people without a blocked and probably for good reason, I'm not interested in that I'm more interested in why it was hard for myself to originally become a registered member of RC groups user. Again it may have been me but don't really know.

Here's one example and maybe a solution if you have the same problem.

Attacking Posters and inappropriate postings.

Almost no one will attack you on your blogs that you create. You are the moderator. So they seem to know that you can delete them or they're not aware of your blog post. Don't know which is true.
Same applies to your for sale and want adds. Unwanted posts can be delete by the Creator of the post.

On forums, or threads If you post you're negative experiences of a product or thing, it is a guarantee that you will be attacked by multiple people in the industry and if...Continue Reading
Posted by Alan 3D | Dec 17, 2021 @ 09:47 AM | 8,846 Views
What's up with these guys doing knife edges with their wing tips just a couple inches from the ground. Are they doing anything special to keep the aircraft that accurately and precisely?
It looks like they're using a barometer and flight controller that keeps the aircraft at perfect altitude which would seem even more difficult in a knife edge. Or are they just that precise when doing a knife edge for hundreds of feet at a time with no change in distance from the wingtip to the ground while making multiple turns at the same time going back and forth.?

I am proficient in doing knife edges but I'm doing them usually 50 ft off the ground. I'm not going to do knife edges with my wing tips 5 inches from the ground. That could result in a cartwheel and crash.
Where I fly the field is nowhere near level and the grass tends to hide that fact how bumpy it is. Go to your field at night and use your headlights or a good spotlight and you'll see whether or not your field is bumpy or not. You might be amazed and you may not have even known where the bumps are. I've even lost temporary site of my aircraft when on the ground due to the fact that the field was so bumpy.
Posted by Alan 3D | Dec 17, 2021 @ 09:45 AM | 8,536 Views
Learn how to 3D: Rolling Harrier (3 min 46 sec)

I consider myself a good 3D pilot capable of doing many different stunts but the only time I think I can get even close to doing a rolling harrier is when I'm using an aircraft that is set up with stabilization and it's usually like a micro bind and fly yak 54 type of aircraft. My larger 3D aircraft for get it.

My large aircraft have no stabilization at all. It's all you whatever you do to it. I know the rolling harrier is probably the most difficult stunt to do taking a lot of stick movement and timing and I would say for some people like myself try but fail to make it happen.

I know there are different characteristics in every plane, even the same plane set up slightly differently. Example I have a 3D plane which I originally had it set up for power and I could hover and then flip the plane nose over tail and still say in the exact same place and hover. That is a stunt which I didn't see any of the other very experienced 3D pilots too but I could do it until I decided to tame down the aircraft with a smaller motor and battery lightning up the aircraft. After that I was no longer able to do that stunt with that exact same aircraft I believe mainly because of the power in weight change and I also change radio systems.

I've also noticed flight characteristics where sometimes a 3D aircraft will fly better upside down than right side up. Possibly top heavy? It appears to be. Some craft in a certain...Continue Reading
Posted by Alan 3D | Dec 17, 2021 @ 09:40 AM | 7,797 Views
Do you have permission to fly there let alone being there. Often being kicked out of a location is an issue with some RC pilots. Flying fields or Clubs require AMA insurance. Sometimes membership. Proof of AMA and or membership.

Obviously the type of aircraft will also determine where you can fly. Quadcopters have much more flexibility as far as fields are concerned having VTOL capability.

I FLY MOSTLY FIXED WING AIRCRAFT. Where I fly at my local park the field is nowhere near level and the grass tends to hide that fact how bumpy it is. Go there at night and use headlights or a good spotlight and you can see whether or not your field is bumpy or not. You might be amazed and you may not have even known where the bumps are. I've even lost site of my largest aircraft when on the ground at a distance due to the fact that the field was so bumpy when flying during the day. Didn't really know of the big bump even though I've stood on it many times for years.

Vertical obstructions
Trees, Poles buildings, Bridges, overpasses, mounds, hills cliffs or mountains or anything vertical. Sometimes less thought of obstructions are vehicles roads highways and people.

Is the field you are evaluating have tall objects most commonly trees, posts and buildings. I can say I've hit them all. I've seen other pilots do the same. You can judge direction but you cannot judge distance accurately. That's becomes an issue on landings where people try to come in as low as they can...Continue Reading
Posted by Alan 3D | Dec 16, 2021 @ 03:02 PM | 7,982 Views
This blog first getting into the non-switching power supplies inner workings and shows diagrams of how they work and how some can be modified.

If your charger does not have a built-in power supply then you'll need one or two.
You'll also need the right voltage and the right amperage. Most chargers are programmable for input voltage to a minimum shut off voltage and has a maximum voltage allowed. Maximum voltages typically 16 or 32v. Depends on charger. Putting way too high of a voltage could damage charger. A power supply with too much voltage swing in no load and load may not work for a particular charger.
Posted by Alan 3D | Dec 13, 2021 @ 12:58 PM | 9,579 Views
I have posted information on what I put my many LiPO batteries of every size in containers.

I will provide links at the end of this blog showing even more detailed pictures, not diagrams of the actual containers I use. This blog is going to show you diagrams only of what I do with my smaller batteries which also can be used for the larger ones also.

I have many containers, Ammo cans and tool boxes lined with drywall with individual compartments. The cans could be put inside AMMO cans and tool boxes BUT I HAVE NOT DONE THAT YET. The containers that didn't cost me anything are the recycled cans that would normally be thrown away. These are used for my many smaller batteries that don't need such a large container. I like the fact that I can separate as many batteries as I want preventing a chain reaction if the unfortunate event of a lipo fire. This is to reduce the effects of a possible lipo fire. My lipos are stored outside except for when in transit. This I believe can prevent or reduce the damaging effects of a lipo fire and smoke that has caused harm to people and property. The only issue I may have after taking all the necessary precautions is I am in close proximity of my neighbors, 50 apartments in my building and most often windows are open due to the year-round nice climate I live in South Florida. If you've ever seen in person a lipo fire and the smoke that comes with it you'll know exactly what I'm talking about. It's intense. If you store your batteries in your home, God help you. I know someone personally whose lipo batteries caught fire while he and his family were in bed at 1:30 a.m. . I have also talked to people at my flying Field who not only had the vehicle damage by a lipo fire but they know others who have also. There are those who would tell you it is not that dangerous. I suspect they are the lipo manufacturers or retailers. Yes they have attacked me because they don't like the information that I put online of my and other people's experiences.
Posted by Alan 3D | Dec 12, 2021 @ 03:46 AM | 5,982 Views
Excluding pilot error,
There are many things that can cause loss of control of an RC aircraft.
The link below will help on how to solve each problem.

Number one
BEC/ESC or battery receiver power. This is called a brownout when power to the receiver is inadequate. Most common. This is the one thing you need to know that is reliable. If you don't know then you need to find out. People will make assumptions that it was something other than that. It may not even have been a consideration because the aircraft worked fine on the ground. Often they never
figure out the problem and often spend an awful lot of time and money and not actually solving the original problem. They only think they solve the problem when the new equipment appears to work better than the old which may or may not be the case but only time will answer that question. If they had only changed out the power source to a reliable one they wouldn't have to go through all that and still don't know why and not know if the problem will eventually reappear. So this is the number one reason for loss of control and it's something you have to know whether your power system to your aircraft is up to the job. Minimum and maximum voltages in telemetry if available can be helpful in determining if the power source is good.

Number two
Defective equipment includes
receiver power.
Receiver range or, antenna or antenna orientation, defective receiver.
Transmitter power which can be either RF or battery, and sometimes...Continue Reading
Posted by Alan 3D | Dec 11, 2021 @ 03:50 PM | 6,145 Views
The more you know about your batteries the more you can get out of them.
This particular blog is to give you options for reducing the amount and cost of your battery inventory. I have also added other links below for other subjects about LiPO batteries. Battery bunkers, LiPO fires and cold lipos, internal resistance and so on.

I have a huge amount of LiPO batteries of every size shape and cell count, also lithium-ion and life batteries too. Having a specific battery for a specific plane can really add to your battery count. And keep in mind that your batteries are not going to last. Even if you hardly use the battery it will still degrade in time. So how to keep the battery cost and count down?

I have everything from one cell up to seven cell batteries. I used to do eight cells on some aircraft. Most of my smaller aircraft use three and four cells. My larger use six seven and in the past eight cells. With the combination of battery packs you can get the cell count you want for that particular milliamp hour and C rating which you want to be the same. I have many packs, most are for 2200 and 4,000 milliamp. So you'll use the 2200 together. Same goes for the 4000s will be used together with the same C ratings. If the C happens to be higher than that's okay but don't go lower. This will add weight though. For me I stick with 30C and higher. Some will use higher or lower depending on the application. There are those including myself who l used to use 2 x 3S or two...Continue Reading
Posted by Alan 3D | Dec 02, 2021 @ 12:55 PM | 14,962 Views
Using Satellite finder as battery operated field strength meter for RC.

I wanted a device that I could use to compare transmitters to one another as a reference without actually connecting them directly to the transmitter or antenna. I first tried using an old field strength meter in the past but the fact that there was no amplification inside the meter. The power SWR field strength meter WAS DESIGNED with a power scale for 10 or 100 WATTS, the meter had very little movement and some transmitters didn't deflect the meter at all. I found a solution. I needed something that would handle much lower signal strengths and cost next to nothing.
Posted by Alan 3D | Nov 25, 2021 @ 03:50 PM | 19,354 Views
The most common problems seems to be with LiPO or lithium batteries are with e-bikes fires but not limited to e-bikes. The bigger the device or battery the larger the risk.

I got to say the most scariest part of owning LiPO batteries besides the fire hazard is the fact that I ride the elevator up and down with those batteries while you're temporarily trapped inside the elevator until the door opens. I know there are some safeguards for elevators but that's more for not the elevator stopping on the floor that's on fire. If my battery is going up in smoke while I am in the elevator is the elevator going to stop and the door open or am I going to just have to ride it out. I'm guessing it will stop and open the door. It can happen in my vehicle too but I can stop and get out.

This is not fiction. This stuff actually happens and yes people get burned buy lipo fires and harmed by smoke annihilation and sent to the intensive Care unit. And yes some people do die.

I'm more afraid of the smoke myself cuz I have gotten my wiff of that smoke and it was bad. Wasn't trying to smell it but just was the lingering effects of the aftermath during a damaged lipo fire test outside in a completely open outside area.

I keep my batteries outside so not too much a problem as far as smoke damage indoors. That is if windows and doors are closed neighbors included.

Just thought this was worth mentioning although there's going to be some who wish I didn't. I don't care about them. Greedy bastards.