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Posted by scruffy1 | Feb 21, 2021 @ 01:55 AM | 11,208 Views
finally got my version of thomas b.'s little stunt machine together; the original thread is here :

it employs a kfm4 airfoil in depron, as is the rest of the plane, barring plywood motor mount and undercarriage former

for those that haven't encountered them, the kline-fogelman family of airfoils are very simple to build and perform admirably at the sizes employed in model aircraft

the step is a bit f..ugly, but in the air that's impossible to notice

if you like the idea, the cute "jupiter shrimp" (also a thomas b. design) might tickle your fancy

i modified the details of the trottel's fuselage section (a touch more taper for aesthetics, the motor has a cowl of sorts, and carbon spar nose surrounds to save it from gravel rash and prop bite), and added dual aileron servos to allow some embellishments with the controls (see later)

i also ironed 80 micron laminating plastic on the wing leading sections back to the step; a fold at the leading edge makes the entry sharp and consistent along the span, and strengthens the resistance to nicks from minor impacts - this is the same stuff used for document lamination, and i have since picked up a stash of 75 micron stuff that's as yet untested

the red stripes are 45 micron wing tape from hobbyking (old stock i have had for ages), while the wing tip plates...Continue Reading
Posted by scruffy1 | Dec 26, 2020 @ 01:12 AM | 18,772 Views
the project with the zohd drift made me decide that i may as well update the taranis x9d+ to the current iteration of version 2.3 because i don't have enough models on the taranis to make that potentially ruin my flying options

then i realised that the receivers and other frsky hardware i have are probably way out of date in their firmware, and the last time i had to update i was using a usb and frsky upgrade cable, but now that's redundant given the x9d+ can do it via the module pin outs

upgrade frenzy ! discoveries included the epiphany that the x4r receivers have a different pin arrangement on their smart port when compared to the grx-8, and that the x6r and the high sensitivity vario and the mini lipo voltage sensor use a normal servo connector but the plug that goes into the module bay has the red and black wires reversed because consistency isn't a frsky must-have

oh, and somewhere along the line the firmware nomenclature got changed so that eu is now LBT and the other option is fcc in the title

all was going well, until the grx-6... which doesn't even have a pin out for the smart port - just a row of pin holes, where one might solder the supplied connector - and thus have opportunity to change the firmware... which i don't even know needs changing unless i move to access from acsst

i googled and discovered i wasn't alone in this quandary, and note people had either gone the full monty, and soldered on a plug, or employed micro-grabbers and used the servo plugs for the power

looking at the pinhole sized mount points, i had a eureka!® moment, and grabbed a pin

i needed to slide off the cardboard shroud, and then using the crimped plug prised out of the servo lead, i made the requisite connections, and voilà

flashed without any problems - see below

next project - figure out how sbus works
Posted by scruffy1 | Dec 24, 2020 @ 01:32 AM | 15,366 Views
or anyone else with hyperopia, rather than simple old garden variety presbyopia

i bought an eachine vr007 pro to try out with my many mini-whoops, but in truth i had lost interest in the drones due to inertia and poor skills; it didn't help that even with reading glasses which will fit under the padding quite comfortably, the focal length of the vr007 still fell too close to have a hope of seeing clearly

i thought i'd be able to remedy the deficit with the adapter designed for the ev800dm but the size was not quite right

i prised the lens out of the plastic surround and chamfered the edges, expecting i could macguyver it into the goggles, but the fit was frustratingly slippery, and the parts sat on my desk as a reminder of my failure

six months later i purchased a zohd drift, figuring my disenchantment with the fpv project was more a reflection of my disinterest in drones, and that reverting to a fixed wing platform would play to my strength in that mode

the problem of my relative blindness remained unsolved... until today

on a whim i put the lens back in the frame, and lo and behold, with some further filing of the tabs at each side, it sat much more firmly in the space

into my stash of modelling shizzle, and out with some weird gelatinous servo tape, and a stash of velcro initially bought for lipo mounting, but never used

a bit of nip and tuck later, and the bits all fit well, with the added bonus that i can remove the adapted lens to clean both sides, as well as get at the screen in the goggles for the same maintenance

time to pull out the zohd drift and so some figuring for the ko-pilot lite

a few pics below for clarity; if all goes well enough i might be compelled to buy a more impressive set of goggles
Posted by scruffy1 | Aug 26, 2020 @ 03:12 AM | 14,775 Views
a year ago i bought a 1m epp foam glider from banggood, with some bizarre fantasy that i could construct a very light weight dlg utilising the wing and a bit of reinforcement

it took a few months for the wing to adjust to reasonably straight under some well applied weights, and not much longer to appreciate that there was no way this wing would survive a hefty throw to get to any altitude worth gliding, without adding enough reinforcement that the weight would make it a poor glider, plus the airfoil is a bit thick at 13% for that purpose, but probably pretty acceptable for simply gliding slowly

i toyed with the idea of making a nerf slope soarer using all the bits, but the fin is still not straight after all this time, and i am not a great fan of slope stuff really

can it really be almost 4 years ago that i made the frankenplane ? i learned a lot from that project, but mostly that big and heavy gliding things thermal well once you get them a few hundred feet in the air to where the big lift is, but also that years of flying the binary has made me rather enjoy the hunt for really iffy lift low down, and catching the nascent boomer from near the ground

so, to get that opportunity with the wing, it would need to either bungee (not with that wing structure), or preferably get hoisted by a pretty tiny motor

my last project using the same running gear (but bigger servos) was the canary - but it was a bit like the frankenplane in that the weight made it climb...Continue Reading
Posted by scruffy1 | Sep 16, 2019 @ 07:21 AM | 12,510 Views
subtitled "how to flash additional protocols to the irx4 (first version) using a simple usb link to the taranis x9d+"

okay, it's not actually magic, it's flashing new and clever firmware to allow additional protocols to be added to the multimodule using the same plain usb cable that you use to connect to openTx companion, rendering the usb cp2012 breakout and wiring to an opened multimodule redundant

trust me, you'll believe it is magic once you've done the upgrade

my considerable gratitude to pascal (hpnuts) and ben (benzo99) for their assistance in guiding me through a significant simplification in the process to upgrade the irx4 module (that's it in the picture in the post below this)

realistically, all you need is here :

anything else is linked conveniently from that link

the latest upgrade binaries are at

since i did it from scratch well over a year (or maybe two) ago, there has been a release of the "flash multi" app that makes it way simpler

the only bits you will need are :
and the phillips head screwdriver to undo the irx4

oh, and if you don't have one, the iRangeX irx4 module - go on, use my affiliate link and make me...Continue Reading
Posted by scruffy1 | Jul 09, 2018 @ 09:25 AM | 21,122 Views
i just received a silicon cover i bought from banggood, which had good reviews on the site but was always going to be somewhat of a leap of faith to purchase sight unseen

and the verdict ?

looks good, and feels really nice to hold - solid and grippy; stops the "clunk" when you put the radio down, and protects the bottom from gravel rash

buy it with my shameless affiliate link, and i can buy even more stuff, with no impost on you for using my personal referral

i'm impressed enough with it to feel compelled to at least bring it to the attention of taranis users who might not otherwise know it exists; seems there's a few variants for the qx7 and qx7s models also, in colours as well

enjoy !

Posted by scruffy1 | Jun 24, 2018 @ 05:28 AM | 22,003 Views
i always loved the idea of a seaplane, but most of them were either rather complicated, or looked like a recipe for drowning my radio gear (and the motor, and the lipo)

enter thomas B., prolific designer with a thing for depron and seaplanes; this is his great little pseudo-schneider entry, the jupiter shrimp (links to plans in that thread); he's a regular contributor to modell aviator, and makes me wish i was more capable of comprehending german - ah well... google translate to the rescue

to join the fun, you'll need :
(minimum) 4 channel radio
10-12amp 2-3s esc
3x 5gm (or so) servos
a swag of 6mm and some 3mm depron
a 460 mah or so 3s lipo
a small brushless outrunner to turn a 6-7" prop

the design is very basic; my build complicated it a bit; not necessary for a very fine flyer, but it's in my nature to take the road less travelled and the education gained towards my next depron build is its own reward

anyway, some pictures to grab your interest, and you can follow this link to the rest of the photos of my build
Posted by scruffy1 | Apr 28, 2018 @ 03:29 AM | 21,842 Views
one of a set of variations on this product, this thing is designed as spares for the full tiny 8x build, which comes with camera / rx / motors and tx at a considerably bigger price point than the bare guts

ebay are selling the spares here :

however, my interest was in using the frame and canopies to augment the options for my ever increasing squadron of boldclash b03 board based small whoops, and within limitations, this thing seems to fit the bill - with very minor modification, the b03 board will screw in there with the supplied hardware, although the rear mount needs some macguyvering

add some boldclash 8520 1s motors, and a nanotech 600mah battery and this thing hums nicely for close to 10 minutes, though probably less once it gets the camera on - the good news is that the canopies are identical mounting to the boldclash ones, so my already bundled up camera on the much smaller b03 frame should be a straight swap over

more details on the build over at the silverised b03 thread here :, along with more photos, but the general idea is demonstrated below

looking forward to some open space test flights - it's way crazy for indoors, and my yard is not big or clear enough, quite apart from the drop off to no-man's land at the back boundary
Posted by scruffy1 | Apr 15, 2018 @ 12:57 AM | 21,458 Views
yes, one is never enough

neither, does it seem, are lots more than one

on this occasion it's a slightly bigger one than the micro build in my previous post, but the frame is completely from scratch, and it's way faster and more dangerous - and i have the lacerations to prove it

a slightly more detailed description of the build, and pics are available over here :
Posted by scruffy1 | Apr 05, 2018 @ 03:47 AM | 21,076 Views
silverware flashable b03 - get some acro fpv action for crazy cheap !

the actual build is here, but the post below this in my blog contains the whole saga, plus other links for parts you might find useful
Posted by scruffy1 | Feb 23, 2018 @ 09:12 PM | 22,543 Views
just decided this is as good a place as any to maintain some links to my own posts, for reference

it's a work in progress, but should be current

feels free to post a message if any of the links are dead, and i'll try to update accordingly

some of the product links are affiliate codes; no extra cost to you, but i get a small kick-back for typing all this stuff to help you on your micro drone / fpv journey

my interest has been stimulated by the availability of silverxxx's silverware, a flashable firmware which can be written onto the motherboards of a selection of cheap and tiny drones, allowing them to be transformed into full acro capable fpv madness - like getting a tiny whoop but at the price of a toy drone

it all started back here and since then has gone bunta , appropriately, given where it originated

lots of others have joined the party, and there are even now pre-flashed boards at betafpv

yep, this thing is taking off, and deservedly so

if you have a soldering iron and some skills, aren't afraid of computers, and already have a taranis, you don't need much more than time and energy, and the compulsion to make something pretty amazing for very little investment of money

it's not the path more often travelled, but the company will be good (supportive players on the forum), and the rewards in personal satisfaction and rolling your own is hard to beat

c'mon, the adventure has only just begun

Posted by scruffy1 | Feb 10, 2018 @ 08:35 PM | 22,808 Views
full description over here, but it ain't rocket science

if you can't figure it out from the pictures, you'll have to click the link i guess

ingredients :
  • mini drones
  • original plastic clam shells
  • empty ice cream tubs

dimensions of the spacers will depend on your requirements, and they will need to be trimmed to stack comfortably, but it's easy enough

there ya go ! now you needn't hold back from buying some more drones, and as a bonus, more ice cream
Posted by scruffy1 | Dec 03, 2017 @ 01:26 AM | 22,523 Views
i'll hopefully post a bit about beginner's fpv stuff soon-ish, but as an interim taste, here's a few pics of my bespoke light weight micro-fpv camera mount for the bonsai - only half a decade after the early adopters suggested the possibility in my build log in this very blog back here

the initial trial with a similar tiny camera simply bunged on the nose with cable tie worked passably, but the nose obscured the view somewhat

raising the camera, and moving it forward takes full advantage of the 120º vertical field of view made a lot of improvement

full details of the "build" are over at the fpv threads here
Posted by scruffy1 | Sep 03, 2017 @ 02:35 AM | 23,054 Views
this is just a convenient reference in my blog to direct you to the more extensive review in the appropriate thread over at multirotor drones

i'd like to thank nigelsheffield for encouraging me to try out this mode of flight, because prior to actually having a go at it, i wasn't at all fond of quadcopters

on reflection, i had the same low opinion of dogs until i was obliged to live with one, and now she's my favourite pet; she likes my discus launch gliders more than this thing though

here's me fanging it (thanks to my son for the video, and also for demanding i buy the quad for his birthday... maybe at some stage he'll want to try it himself )

Eachine H8S-3D Fun!!! (3 min 25 sec)

Posted by scruffy1 | Aug 23, 2017 @ 09:51 PM | 23,579 Views
i have just received the above device for assessment, and there is a more comprehensive review (and more to come as i have a chance to test it out) over here:

in essence, this is a full range 8 channel receiver with an integrated high sensitivity variometer, specifically designed with glider pilots in mind

it's the perfect small package for f3k and their powered ilk, and small enough that it will fit in mosquito sized craft as well
Posted by scruffy1 | Aug 18, 2017 @ 05:49 AM | 23,265 Views
pretty much a blu-baby clone, and all credit to Tony65x55 for a great design which i have largely followed in proportions and layout

my spin on it is slightly larger (just shy of 37") and will use 2s for primary training,and probably 3s for the intermediate mode with ailerons and very likely a kline-fogleman airfoil - those things are fascinating and completely out of kilter with traditional aerodynamic profiles... and very easy to build compared to traditional streamlines ... i really feel the urge to try one

mine is also way more complicated than the original, because.... i can't help myself

anyway, this entry is just to announce the build, and direct anyone who is intrigued to check out the more protracted descriptions of the project, and a selection of photos of the process

hope you like it; there's a few pics below to get you clicking on this link
Posted by scruffy1 | Aug 17, 2017 @ 10:59 PM | 23,687 Views
everyone has their own ideas; do what you like, but here's what works for me

while i appreciate that local vendors may well offer advantages in terms of quality control and after sales service, you need to realise that they are selling the same stock as everyone else (unless you get burnt by cheap pirated knock-offs), but adequate research on the forums and using your google-fu will help you find significant bargains

please note that whilst i sometimes link "affiliate items" that garner me some small rewards for referral, that doesn't alter the price versus buying from a direct link, and i am very open about the process - in fact, i am often too lazy to modify the link to my benefit

in any case, my reviews and comments on stuff are without fear or favour - i have nothing to lose by telling it like it is, because if i think something is a steaming crock i won't be directing you to buy it anyway, and if it's good, i'm pleased to be able to enlighten you

when you buy local, the added cost is like buying extended warranty - you pay for it, you might benefit from it, but in effect you are buying something you hope to not need - it's a bit like disability insurance... which i admit i'm glad i have, because all the spare time i have to write on this forum is being sponsored by mine ... but my life is more valuable than toys, so i take a calculated risk on toys that i don't with my health
yes, that's what we play with, and i am happy to call it for what it is

in...Continue Reading
Posted by scruffy1 | Aug 01, 2017 @ 02:05 AM | 23,697 Views
the depron frenzy continues

inspired by the flydreams "bird type power unit" i set to it, and the result is documented over here

teaser shots below
Posted by scruffy1 | Jul 28, 2017 @ 03:29 AM | 23,544 Views
i'm in the midst of making a 24" (600mm) rudder / elevator, low wing. light weight depron plane

figured it belonged over in the foamies scratchbuilt, but posted here are a few teasers - further write up can be seen at the link :

depron is pretty fast and fun to build with, despite never having used it before - the foam-cure glue is interesting - still not fond of all the cobwebs it makes, but my technique is improving rapidly