phil alvirez's blog View Details
Posted by phil alvirez | Mar 30, 2021 @ 10:22 AM | 5,134 Views
there is a time when suddenly you see the light. and the way is to see things from afar.
and to me is now. i have been into model airplanes since i was 5, and even with interruptions for building or even just flying, they have been in my heart all the time. my fascination was to catch a thermal (those days there was only free flight), and still is now. i fly sailplanes with remote control (r/c).
even if things have changed beyond the wildest dream. now we have this electronics technology everywhere. and this adds another factor that i wouldnt even think about before: that now i can detect thermals and chase them! so, whenever the weather allows, am at the field, having the time of my life!
but i got carried away with this fascinating technology. so many radios, batteries, motors, electronic speed controllers, batteries, whatever, so much to learn, to try, it has become and endless race to catch up, and that has brought us into a whirlwind that does not allow us to see what really is going on.
recently i have been struggling with some parts that are not behaving as expected, when i realized that, well, perhaps i really dont need them. that simple!
so am going back to basics. what i really need to hunt thermals?
and this also applies to whatever specialty you guys are into: what are you guys aiming at? are you enjoying it? that is what really matters!
are you going too far? thats up to you to decide. but this is just a wakeup call, thats all.
think about it... and enjoy this wonderful hobby the best possible way. cheers!
Bird’s Secret To Soaring Super High (3 min 9 sec)

and if you want to learn more-way more-about thermals, here is this:
Posted by phil alvirez | Nov 01, 2020 @ 03:14 PM | 12,020 Views
just in case you havent heard of the latest, here are some of the possibilities for better batteries:

Posted by phil alvirez | Oct 16, 2020 @ 09:32 AM | 8,346 Views
Posted by phil alvirez | May 28, 2020 @ 11:46 AM | 11,599 Views
see parts 1-3 at my blog
from time to time, model airplane magazines published articles on sort of science fiction by mad scientists that were performing experiments with remote controlled airplanes.
these were as rudimentary as they could be. free flight planes controlling just the rudder, and that happened erratically. it was sort of lottery to be able to change the direction of the plane now and then.
but, as i said, it was just trying the boundaries of the then fantasy of controlling something at a distance.
this took years and the contribution of countless (and nameless) folks to reach the point of being able to control also elevator, then throttle.
the gear consisted on a car battery placed on the ground that provided the power, connected to a control box that the modeler held in his hands.
those who were present were in awe, and talked about this for a long time to whoever were around.
then came reeds, that improved efficiency. there was 1 channel for left turn, and another for right turn.
when elevator was added, same thing: 1 channel for up, another for down.
then servos. nicads. years later, some1 released the 1st commercial radio control (kraft, i think). and expensive. heavy.
and they were flying on frequencies (72, 27), so you would not have interference.
i recall at los angeles, there was at a place called mile square, that was an emergency airstrip (dont know of still exists), that had large areas designated for each frequency where the ones that were willing to fly formed and awaited for their turn to fly.
it was until, on 2006 that horizon released the 2.4 with which apparently any number of planes could fly without interference.
now we also have cellulars, laptops, gps and whatnot.
boy, the world has come a long way...
Posted by phil alvirez | May 27, 2020 @ 06:23 AM | 20,582 Views
see parts 1 and 2 at my blog
also there was control-line: you fly the plane attached to 2 thin cables that are connected to a handle, like a pistol grip. you aim higher, the plane climbs. aim lower, it dives. turn and turn. and you had to overcome dizziness.
once you did, then try loops. wing overs. fly inverted (signals are reversed). then more stunts.
there was a competition pattern, where you had a sequence of maneuvers.
there was also combat, where 2 planes flew at same time. there was a streamer attached to the tail, and you aimed to cut it. the closer the more points you got.
and there was speed too.
we had lots of fun.
here, we could control the airplane.
a new experience.
Posted by phil alvirez | May 19, 2020 @ 07:51 AM | 10,584 Views
(see part 1 at my blog)
free flight
from my childhood i had this fascination with the matters of the air.
and it was when i discovered the library that i began to learn all about it.
there were books on aviation. and some on model aviation. and magazines.
and didnt have enough of all. as i began to build models, i had the chance to learn countless things on how to build them and fly them. but that meant to learn aerodynamics. a lot. otherwise the planes wouldnt fly. besides building accurately, there were all kinds of details.
the way was free flight. meaning, that once the plane is flying, it is free. you have no control over it.
there were 3 basic types: gliders, rubber powered, and engine. gliders could be hand launch or towline.
hand launch were the cheapest: just solid balsa wood. but had to be built accurately. otherwise wouldnt fly.
and then learned about thermals: updraft currents that could carry the planes away. magic! i learned to detect them and see my planes raising, sometimes out of sight.
and there were towline gliders: those were built up, like the kits i had been building, and that we towed and released up there, with more chances to catch a thermal.
and the rubber powered were another challenge: to deal with the torque; how to wind them, and the propeller: fixed, free wheeling, or folding.
the engine powered were the most expensive. engines were spark, then came glow plug...
an unlimited universe up there for me to enjoy.
( and if any1 has experiences, please bring them. this is for all to participate)
Posted by phil alvirez | May 18, 2020 @ 08:43 AM | 12,950 Views
life changes. it does all the time. some times gradually, others suddenly.
like now. things were different. better, we could say.
we had things that didnt appreciate. that will not have again.
in a sense, is like growing old.
still, we can count our blessings.
we still have things that we can enjoy.
for instance,we could find the way to fly our models. to adapt to circumstances.
may not be in close contact with friends, but still talk at a distance.
and we have means like this, where nothing has changed.
and we can watch the tv. and movies in the internet. documentaries. anything.
we still can exchange ideas, learn new things, new ways.
so much to learn.
if you also consider that we still can dream, to write about our experiences, fantasies, dreams, just as i am doing here now.
talk about our life.
so, why dont we start now?

1-let me tell you about my life with the air. flying things. the weather.
from my 1st memories, my fascination with the air has remained alive and well.
i recall watching in awe flies-how they fly-birds, airplanes. the clouds, the weather...
then i found at toys stores tiny gliders, and an uncle taught me to make paper planes.
and when i was 9 i saw at a gifts store a box with the drawing of an airplane, and i bought it. it was an airplane called apache (later renamed mustang).
it came with everything to build it: rolled plans, balsa sheets with printed pieces to cut; sticks for spars, tissue paper for covering, rubber strips, propeller blank, glue, and the plans were full of instructions. i had the time of my life!
it was the beginning of a long life of building and flying model airplanes-that still do and enjoy.
Posted by phil alvirez | Feb 21, 2020 @ 02:57 PM | 11,356 Views
once i was enjoying a perfect day, no clouds, just catching flies, when noticed a monarch butterfly doing its typical wandering flying, at about 30 feet, when suddenly she began to circle and stopped flapping its wings...and began to climb fast. she had got a surface thermal, the kind of rising warm air, and in no time disappeared. i couldnt believe my eyes. no idea that they know how to make use of those currents.
then began searching and found some data that sounds like sci-fi at its wildest. just look:
then, as if that is not enough, i learned about other that go even further:
and we are superior species?
Posted by phil alvirez | Jun 15, 2019 @ 02:44 PM | 11,380 Views
maverick 3-the ultimate
the maverick 3 is basically the same as the previous 2.
when realized that i couldnt find another way to improve its performance by design, i tried to improve its structure.
so the only change is the fuselage, which is now carbon fiber/kevlar.
i found the magellan 2 meters the most suitable. and it is (or was) available at the time.
Magellan-E - ICARUS
The Magellan electric is the continuing effort in development after the popular Carbon D-light and Koleos series of electric gliders from ICARE.They are based on the same moulded carbon D-box technology that made the Carbon D-light so successful. This type of construction results in a very strong, light wing and a very accurate airfoil shape over the leading edge - the most important part of ...

it ended up being stronger, with more room, and more streamlined. and still better performance!
i had to modify it extensively due to that it has a longer tail moment and shorter nose moment. the solution was to move the wing back 30mm. this required substancial changes, but works fine. also the tail is designed for v and mine is t. the end is wide open so i made a fairing to streamline it. but it worked fine.
Posted by phil alvirez | May 24, 2019 @ 05:56 AM | 12,105 Views
there are 2 choices:
1-if it doesnt break, dont touch it.
2- better try to make it so does not break!
which 1 you choose?
the truth is, both have valued points.
and we do 1 or the other all the time
lets consider 1 situation:
you have been flying certain plane without making any change or 'improvement' and it has been doing just fine...
or another: something has happened to you and you want to take measures to prevent it to happen again (or some say that this or that failed to them so you better do something to prevent it to happen to you).
so, what will you do?
i have some planes that have been flying without fault and keep them as they are.
on the other hand, i have had some failures with a plane and try to prevent that to happen again by doing whatever i can.
isnt this confusing? why 1 with 1, and another with another?
what do you do?
are we a puzzle or what?
or is this a matter of probabilities and risk factor?
Posted by phil alvirez | May 22, 2019 @ 07:43 AM | 12,223 Views
i have been flying gliders before i learned radio control. free flight. and designing them too. now am still into gliders (R/C), and designing some too.
when i learned about the radian, i got 1. after extensive flying it, i consider it great for catching thermals when there is not much wind. period.
not only that, is the fastest to get ready. stable, forgiving, reasonably priced, what could any1 else want? now they replaced it with the 1 with lights.
still, is a great plane for all around thermal flying.
every time i go to the field i carry 1, together with my own designs, and launch it first, just to warm up.
and i think that it is sad that the designers that work for large business are not known, but still, i wish this reaches him (them).
if so, thanks for a great design...
i also own the small version (umx) , and it performs great too.
tried the 2.6, but it is a horse of different color. not my kind of plane.
this is the 2 mt available now:

and now seems that it s available again:
so, whats the future? wonder why they are selling it through tower...but as long as it is available, everything is o k.
Posted by phil alvirez | Feb 16, 2019 @ 08:19 AM | 13,040 Views
the only regret is that my blog does not show visitors anymore:
it has not changed since i reported a fellow posting at a forum and was a conflict of interests. a coincidence?
Latest Visitors
The last 10 visitor(s) to this page were:
Al M Banged Up Bixler+ Don Stackhouse+ hard line+ HYA1023 jj604+ jruley Oceansun SpeedsterDEN+ Steve 0
This page has had 55,510 visit
update: may 5, 2019: 9 months so far!

look down here (post 7) at my blog for details
and this is the whole story (posted somewhere below):
lemon 0052 telemetry receiver and DX6G3 specifically
am starting a thread on the lemon 0052 receiver with telemetry and modulation DSMP and also compatible with DSMX and DSM2. am using it here with the DX6G3 radio. as this is a work-in-process, please check from time to time at the bottom as i may add something.
the receiver:
the radio:
the thread:
when i learned that this receiver was available i got 1. as i fly electric gliders it has several items that i use so would be very convenient.
then i learned that there is a forum where they are discussed so went there. there are instructions and data about it written by John (jj604), and is being used with the radios from horizon. John has been writing instructions for several products, some of them by lemon, without being paid (he has no...Continue Reading
Posted by phil alvirez | Nov 06, 2018 @ 03:20 AM | 13,146 Views
getting into this forum has been extremely helpful. i have found answers to many questions. problems, doubts, sources, everything.
i want to thank all who helped.
but am at the point where i have all that i need to enjoy this hobby at its fullest. no need for anything else.
i still may need to come back for details or unexpected problems, but otherwise you will not hear from me anymore.
seems that there are 2 situations: 1 where you are always searching for something else, and the other, where, as in my case, you got all that you need.
thanks again to you all.
Posted by phil alvirez | Oct 05, 2018 @ 12:23 PM | 13,472 Views
we are surrounded by them.
we could not live without them.

but, do we have an idea of what they are, and how they do what they do?
searching, i found this, that was very enlightening.
i hope it will be to you too.
or at least add something to what you already knew:

and more:

Posted by phil alvirez | Sep 22, 2018 @ 04:31 PM | 12,897 Views
i fly gliders with the purpose of catching thermals. no competition. just thermaling. some times birds are into same thermal and we fly together for a while.
i enjoy enormously doing so. and i wonder what would the birds think or feel when thermaling? they seem to be enjoying it a lot, otherwise wouldnt be doing it. some do it for gaining height and then head into the direction where they want to go. others to seek for prey or dead animals to feed on.
but others dont seem to go anywhere... just stay there seemingly forever.
as a matter of fact, when thermaling, i feel as if i were the plane. i am flying! and is an exhilarating experience to me. if you fly for thermal you understand (if not, you wont . ) all those birds that thermal...seems to me that it is the reason for them to be. and albatross, that spend all day, day after day soaring...i wish i were a bird that flies into thermals. wouldnt you?
Posted by phil alvirez | Sep 10, 2018 @ 02:55 AM | 14,593 Views
drive a car like a model airplane: by joystick!
and, as we drive in 2 dimensions, all is done with 1 hand.
and if you are left handed, drive it from the right hand seat.
when are the cars going to be available like this as an option?
i would get it as soon as it is available-as long as it is not more expensive. it shouldnt. should be cheaper as is easier to make. just think about it!
wouldnt you?
sadly, the problem that this may face is the resistance to change, as people is used to steering wheel.
what do you think?
the industry is increasing their use. see:
people used to resist safety belts:
and also made fun of me when i installed them in my car!
Posted by phil alvirez | Sep 03, 2018 @ 02:14 AM | 13,526 Views
after many radios and attempts to catch up, i have awaken to the fact that if you dont sit down and seriously consider what you want, is more likely that will stay on the roller coaster of the manufacturers/sellers of radios and electronics and keep buying their latest release-even if you dont need it (or cant use it!).
it has happened to me. i have so many radios that i will never use because i just wanted that new feature or promise that this new thing will solve my problem and at the end of the day, programming it was a headache and couldnt make it work. the 'experts' advice is useless because, or they really dont give a hut, dont give it, or is intended for some with a masters degree on radio electronics for wizzards on models-that i am not. and also that those 'experts' never get tired of talking me down as i were retarded. and manuals dont explain in detail all the steps to accomplish the goal. as exceptions, there are a few real experts that provide great help, but rarely all the details, and the multitude of devices that supposedly help to get something just make life even more complicated.
if you find yourself in this predicament, you understand my point of view. but if you are an expert in electronics, with many years of full training on all these issues, you will not. we are 2 completely different groups as far from each other as if we were from a far away galaxy. something like those from "3rd rock from the sun". if you have watched the show you will understand.
so here we are: keep buying any release, or stop buying that new gimmick that promises the solution to your situation and awake to the fact that you are hooked to the never ending craze of consumerism created by sellers. your choice.
besides...after all, i have everything i need for doing what i want!
Posted by phil alvirez | Aug 23, 2018 @ 01:31 PM | 14,069 Views
it is over a month since my blog is showing malfunctions.
1 of them is that my posts do not appear at my list, and the other is that the number of visits is very little (about 5 in 1 month).
i have contacted the administrators and after 1 week i was able to be able to see the posts i have posted, but not the correct visits.
but today is happening again. can not see my posts that i have sent.
this is the thread i started:

wonder what are the administrators doing to correct this anomaly.
i have reached them several times.
has this happened to anybody else?
see post 11, where it shows a fellow that contacted me pm and told me this:
how can you explain this?
aug 28: finally (for the 2nd time) i can see my posts! i hope this will not happen again. is very annoying.

Re: Blog visits
"Something is strange, when I visited your blog, I didn't see a counter or the last 10 visit list.
Originally Posted by Jeffery
I think if a user has their online status hidden, then their visits to blogs do not register on the last visited counter.
See if I have a visit visible, I have my online status hidden but have visited your blog."

right. i dont see it. thanks for telling. an interesting possibility.
but then, how comes that before i got lots of visits and then for a month i have just 5?
how could happen than before everybody was not hidden and now everybody is?
i had 54,996 a month ago.
update: now they tell me its a server problem. i hope some day they fix it!
but still am left without access to the posts i have sent. until when?
well, now at least i can see my posts again. has failed twice in 1 month.
has this happened to any1 else?
i used to have hundreds of visits a month (note: visits. this is different from views)
oct 12: update: so far i can see my posts, but visits show just a few, so they did not fix it. wonder why?