circuitfxr's blog View Details
Posted by circuitfxr | Feb 22, 2015 @ 01:31 PM | 12,615 Views
Hi everybody. Things are really changing since my last update. I now have a new car (Thanks to a nice tax refund). I also have some new R/C toys on the way. I have a nice FPV quad in transit so I can get some arial footage of my boats as they run the pond. I am still working on the Chameleon and am waiting for some new parts to arrive to get her ready for a maiden voyage outside the bath tub. Next update when the gets here.
Posted by circuitfxr | Dec 26, 2014 @ 10:39 PM | 8,758 Views
Thought I would share a story about how I experienced a Christmas miracle this year.
I know some people would say that well timed occurrences are just a matter of coincidence, but I know there is more to it.
This story begins with my teen daughter who doesn't have her drivers license. She took on a part time job with a large pizza company. She wasn't getting enough hours to make enough money to pay her bills. She began looking for alternate work that could supplement or replace her current income. The problem is that she is limited to a small area due to having no transportation. To help her find a better job, I began trying to barter for a gas scooter for her to use. I couldn't just put out any money to make this happen as I had just spent a small fortune getting my car repaired. Bartering was the only option to make this happen.

Being a single parent, I don't have any "extra" money available to buy a scooter.
For a month and a half I scowered Craigslist and e-bay looking for someone to trade with. I gave up trying the day before Christmas eve. I began praying for guidance and help to resolve the problem. On Christmas eve morning I got an powerful urge to check Craigslist one last time.

To my surprise there was a new listing and the guy was willing to trade. After a morning of phone calls and e-mails, we finally came to an agreement. The scooter was located about 55 miles from the house and I didn't have a truck to...Continue Reading
Posted by circuitfxr | Dec 23, 2014 @ 12:40 AM | 8,519 Views
Hi everyone. With Christmas just a couple of days away, I took advantage of a rare opportunity. I caught a Christmas elf lounging on my couch. Usually these creatures stay out of sight in isolation. The typical domain is a bedroom.
I caught this one in the open and it didn't even run away when the video camera was discovered. We may never get a better view of the elusive "Teen Elf".

I thought maybe Santa would be missing this elf, but apparently he is too busy to answer the phone right now. Enjoy this incredible, up close footage of a Christmas Elf at rest. Merry Christmas everyone! Ho Ho Ho

Spying on a Christmas Elf (2 min 6 sec)

Posted by circuitfxr | Dec 15, 2014 @ 09:54 PM | 7,877 Views
Its that time of year again! As a Christian, Christmas is a big deal for me. No...not because of presents or time off work. It is a time for us to reflect on the birth of Jesus. At the risk of sounding like a "bible thumper", the thought of The divine being / creator taking our form and living as one of us to guarantee our everlasting life is just mind blowing! Add to the fact that he chose to be born in the most meek and humblest way. No fanfare or extravagant trappings, no big party or celebration. Just a small child wrapped in "rags" sleeping with animals in a manager that is meant for feeding livestock.

In my opinion, this makes all the hustle and bustle of our modern day Christmas celebration seem a bit out of place. I enjoy the opportunity to slow down for a few minutes and appreciate the wonder of the season. A peaceful feeling of contentment and goodness fills my very being and helps me to be a little more tolerant and a bit more cheerful. I see the little things like a smile, a friendly gesture, or just the beauty of the colorful lights and it calms me and tells me that all in the world is going to be alright. Each of us tends to be a bit more generous and forgiving.

So...if you don't get that RC gift you really wanted, or the holidays are getting you stressed, take time to give of yourself and your time to make someone else's Christmas a bit happier. You will get back the joy you give ten fold. There is no need for expensive presents, or fancy wrappings. Just bring a joyous heart and share the joy with those around you.


It only takes 2 minutes of your busy day to find this. We all have busy lives with work, children, in-laws, travel plans, etc. but take just 2 minutes to reflect on the real reason for the season. YULE be glad you did!


I am so thankful for all my friends and fellow hobbyists here on RCG. May all of you have a Joyous and Blessed Christmas this year.
Posted by circuitfxr | Nov 02, 2014 @ 07:34 PM | 8,390 Views
Hey all...Its been a while since the last update so here is the latest. My focus has been on the Slip Slider (Chameleon). The newest info is that I fried the ESC that was supposed to be for this project. Once the majic blue smoke has been released, there is no going back.
Although I found the programming instructions and user manual, I could not get the ESC to drive the motor correctly. I suspected the ESC was faulty but could not be sure until it smoke under normal testing. There were no shorts in the wiring and there was no other external factors that would contribute to a catastrophic failure. I have to assume there was a manufacturing defect of some sort. Since there is no way to prove the unit wasn't hooked up incorrectly, the warranty would not be honored. The ESC only cost $10.00 anyway, so it is acceptable losses.
I assumed that a big name like Turnigy would have a very low failure occurance, I guess I was just the lucky one. I have a new ESC on order that is a bit more robust. I am hoping it will work correctly so I can do some functional testing. Please check my build thread for more details. Thread is in Dock Talk and called "EDF powered Foam Board Hydrocat". Stop by and check it out.
I also did a float test of the Chameleon and you can see the photos in my build thread. That's all for now. I am doing this around my work schedule and things are getting busy right now. I'll do more updates when I can.
Posted by circuitfxr | Sep 19, 2014 @ 03:09 PM | 6,943 Views
Hey all....I'm going to change gears and go back to the rogallo tow. The build for the Slip Slider is still ongoing, but I have to report that I finally got the boat tow to work. There were many obstacles and problems along the way and I have to admit that the flight was rather short. That's the good news. The bad news is that when the rogallo crashed into the lake, she capsized the tow boat! Oh no Mr. Bill!!
LOL

I spent almost 20 minutes trying to retrieve the boat and rogallo. Although some water made its way into the overturned boat, all the electronics stayed dry and functional. Neither vessel sank. (Foam board Rules!) Unfortunately, the rogallo didn't fair too well and came back to me in splinters. (see photos in my thread titled "New Foam Boat build")

Here is a video of the flight :

RC boat tows a rogallo glider (0 min 27 sec)

Posted by circuitfxr | Sep 07, 2014 @ 10:44 AM | 6,114 Views
Hi everyone. Like the title says, I have been working a lot lately and haven't had much time for play. The latest news is that I have assembled all the parts using hot glue. The new brushless motor for the EDF has arrived and is installed. I am waiting on the ESC and receiver to arrive.
I went and bought the paint for this project, but that will have to wait until I use filler, sand and seal the areas first with polyurethane.
I chose to use the Krylon products this time. We'll see how well the do. I have added some photos of the paints and their special properties like adjustable spray nozzles and one is a primer and finish paint. More updates as progress resumes.
Please see my build thread in Dock Talk for details and pictures
Posted by circuitfxr | Aug 26, 2014 @ 05:31 PM | 5,476 Views
HOWDY! Yeah, I'm being silly. The new build thread is up and going and a good deal of progress is already happening. This time I am building a cross between an unlimited hydroplane, an airboat, and a catamaran. (YIKES!)

LOL Not as bad as it sounds. I am very happy with the design. It is yet to be proven on the water though. I have incorporated some of my "folding" techniques in assembling the components for this one. There will be fewer seams, therefore fewer chances for a leak! Ta Da ! (that's the concept anyway)

Please see the build thread in Dock Talk for all the details. The latest news is that my brushless motor for the EDF arrived today. As usual for this poor boy, the mounting hardware for the EDF fan blade and the motor shaft, don't match.

After channeling MacGuyver, I cannibalized the collet on a different motor I had laying around and made it work.

I'll throw a few highlight photos from the thread here, but please come visit the build and drop me a note. I love hearing from people. A big thanks to the excellent plane guys here at RCG. I gleaned a huge amount of information about EDF's and brushless power sources from their threads.
Posted by circuitfxr | Aug 01, 2014 @ 12:38 PM | 5,474 Views
Hi everyone! Sorry for the long delay in updating things. I have been busy settling into a new job. Now that things are back on track, I have decided to start a new build project. This will be an original design by me, not a from an existing plan.
I am still going to use the foam display board as the building material.

I decided to get a bit adventurous. I like the flexibility of an airboat to run on water and marshes and some types of land. However, the hull design of most airboats is well... "ugly". I am not too fond of the idea of a big spinning prop being topside either. Airboats are notorious for poor steering also. They tend to slide sideways quite a bit when turning. So, I am designing a more "modern" version of a simple airboat design and am incorporating some catamaran styling into the hull.
(I know...that has already been done by many model airboat manufacturers before) I am adding a new twist in the propulsion though.

The concept is to use an EDF mounted vertically with its thrust pushing downward. A chamber under the hull will direct the thrust out a rear facing nozzle.
This will eliminate the topside spinning prop. Having the thrust exit below the hull should give a more controllable "push" to the boat without having to adjust the thrust angle like a topside prop.

Steering will still be accomplished with air rudders, but, since there will be no prop wash/thrust to buffet them, they will give a more stable...Continue Reading
Posted by circuitfxr | Jul 05, 2014 @ 07:35 PM | 5,997 Views
Hey all. Not a lot going on here lately. My new job and the recent holiday have been keeping me a lot busier than wanted. A person once said..."The greater the intellect, the greater the need for play"
I am learning that as I learn more and more about the world around me, I am indeed in need of much more play!

When I was unemployed, I had a lot of time to chase ideas and try new things in this hobby. I am now trying to get back to the hobby I love and am still working on the previous challenge of flying a glider with a RC boat tow.

Seems I have the correct flight item now. I am just in need of some good weather and better memory to make it happen! LOL
I am going to try again tomorrow (Sunday) if the weather permits.

Has anyone else felt like they have to MAKE time to do their hobby?
Now that I am in the over 50 club, I am looking forward to retirement soon and the ability to play at my hobby full time! Until then, I could use some encouragement and prodding from all of you to keep it going.

Thanks for letting an old man ramble...I feel better now.
Posted by circuitfxr | Jun 29, 2014 @ 04:48 PM | 5,557 Views
Hello everybody! I know its been a while since hearing anything new on this thread. My apologies. I have finally acclimated to my new job and have started to get back to the hobby! YAY!

I decided that today (Sunday) was good time to make a run to the lake and try the boat tow of the rogallo again. All seemed well at first...

Battery pack charged over night (check)
New batteries for the transmitter (check)
Spare batteries for the camera (check)
Boat tested on the stand (check)
Tools and equipment packed and checked (check)
Rogalla checked over for any problems (check)

All was good as the young and beautiful assistant and I headed to the park and lake. Arrival showed no one using the pavilion....excellent!
I get everything setup and turn the camera on and I get the message :
"Out of memory" A quick check reveals that I forgot to put the SD card back in the camera after using it on the computer. (problem 1)
I forgot to bring the smartphone that has a camera (problem 2)
The wind starts picking up so I tethered the rogallo and had it flying like a kite inside the pavilion. (you'll have to take my word for it because of problem #1.

Encouraged by the kite flight, I decided to see if my assistant could snap some pics with her cell phone. Her phone mysteriously gets a dead battery. (problem 3)
At this point I was about ready to give up, but being stubborn, I pressed on.
I figured I could at least get some fun run time with the Who-Doggy.
...Continue Reading
Posted by circuitfxr | May 24, 2014 @ 10:20 PM | 5,651 Views
Well, all the pomp and circumstance is done. The party was a great success and I have a link to the video for anyone who is interested.
I officially have a High School graduate in the house!
Now the "real" fun begins... Looking for a job!

It was good to see family and friends again.

Wildwood Middle High School Graduation Ceremony (13 min 55 sec)

Posted by circuitfxr | May 22, 2014 @ 02:12 AM | 6,302 Views
WOW! I can't believe my "little girl" is graduating High School! Where did the time go? Times like this make me feel old.
Graduation ceremony and party after will happen on Friday. I spent the whole day cleaning and prepping. I am hosting a post ceremony get together for family and close friends.
Got the news today that Kim has received "chords" for Fine Arts. (She was involved in art classes all 4 years) She will get to wear those at graduation. She also received 2 awards for Highest Average Grade in American Gov't and Economics.
AG = 90 / A
ECO = 92 / A
These cover both semesters. I am a very proud Papa!
I knew she has good grades and is on the honor roll, but I didn't know she had the highest average in 2 classes.
I will follow-up with some graduation pics after all is said and done. I have come to see all my friends here on RCG as family and that is why I want to share this achievement with you all. You will recognize Kim in my videos with the foam board boats.
Posted by circuitfxr | May 15, 2014 @ 01:14 AM | 6,750 Views
Hey all. The latest update is that I decided to try a suggestion given me by a fellow RCG member. He told me about giving the floats a pointed front to reduce the chance of "plowing" during the water tow. This will also reduce the water dam effect upon landing in the water.

I did the changes in balsa wood. lightweight and easy to work with. I have finished the additions and have added some filler and painted them. Here is the progress so far.

I added some paint and it doesn't look too bad. Gonna try and get another test run in at the lake some time this weekend. Let me know what you think....Continue Reading
Posted by circuitfxr | May 07, 2014 @ 12:41 AM | 7,090 Views
Hi all. Just a quick update to inform you that I have recreated the V tail in balsa wood. The foam board looked really cool but was very heavy. The new balsa version is 3-4 times lighter. Although I made the change for weight balance, she is still tail heavy. I haven't decided yet if I'll try to further lighten the tail or add some weight to the nose. The wing is large enough to handle a bit more weight without sacrificing flight characteristics.
A short indoor test flight showed a gentle ascent to a stall then nose dive.

To recap, a fellow rc'er here on RCG suggested I add a tail to the rogallo to avoid the side walk/nose dive I experienced on my first test tow. He is also building a Rogalla with floats to try and found that his "DOES NOT" need a tail! Sure....now that he talked me into making a tail, now he says it isn't needed.

I also caught some ridicule about using a V tail in place of the traditional T style.
I believe the exact words were " Wobblin Goblin" taken from the reviews of fighter pilots who flew the Lockheed F117 stealth fighter. The fact that my rogallo being a "delta wing" type of flyer, gives it a similar shape to the fighter. Adding the V tail made it look REAL similar to the fighter. (from the top)

So...lets look at the differences, shall we? The fighter is a supersonic flyer and the rogallo is a slow flyer. The supersonic flyer creates wind vortices that cause turbulence from the delta wing onto the V...Continue Reading
Posted by circuitfxr | May 03, 2014 @ 04:44 AM | 5,737 Views
Yup yup! Have added tail feathers to my seagull! Here are the pics of the how to and the "somewhat" finished product.

I coated the tail feathers with a thinned white glue to seal and allow a sandable and paintable surface. Will sand to shape soon.

Took a chance with using a V tail instead of the traditional T shaped elevator /tail combo. I like the shape of this V much better and it should still provide the side stability I am wanting.
I may have to add some weight to the front since she seems tail heavy in my hands.

Will do a flight test when the rain stops. I am expecting the test flight to climb, stall, climb stall because of the extra weight on the tail end.

I was recently asked a VERY good question by a fellow RCGer. He asked " What is the angle of the front corner on the frame?" "Is there a typical degree value used for this application?"

I, personally, just did a "guesstamation" and ended up at 110 degrees. My online research did not generate any definitive answer to this question. My personal observations of the photos I saw during the research, however, showed a variety of different angles being used for different applications.
I also saw that some of the frames were designed to fold up like a Chinese hand fan. These rogallos did not have a "locked" framework. The rogallo was permitted to adjust the angle during flight to accommodate changing wind patterns and loads being carried.
I am no...Continue Reading
Posted by circuitfxr | Apr 21, 2014 @ 10:12 PM | 5,069 Views
I took the rogallo out on Sunday and she took a beating. See my previous post for the carnage! LOL I have since repaired the rogallo and did some reinforcing and redesign of the floats. So, here are the pics. The complete details of what happened at the lake can be found on my thread in Dock Talk. New Foam Boat build thread.
Posted by circuitfxr | Apr 20, 2014 @ 06:15 PM | 5,007 Views
Here is the long awaited update on the boat glider tow. I just got back from a day at the lake and MURPHY was working overtime! LOL (Murphy's Law)

First, I got the boat and the rogallo setup for it's maiden tow. Just when I got the boat to speed, the rogallo took off into the air! Yippee! Then it did a hard right turn and plummeted into the lake. The downside ??? The battery on the camera died before it recorded any footage.

The rogallo landed upside down in the water and was very difficult to tow back to shore. During the retrieval process, a bunch of the fishing line I was using for the tow, got wrapped and tangled in the prop shaft and stuffing tube. Kim spent 10 minutes untangling the mess. I was busy drying the rogallo and getting the tow line re-rigged.

Once dried and reset, my helper decided to use her cell phone to record the second attempt. The rogallo went up up and away! and the boat throttle cut out. The rogallo landed on the water on its floats and promptly fell over nose first and turned upside down again. I look over to the videographer and she is standing up from bending over. She DROPPED the cell phone when she pressed the start button to record. The phone slid down the sloped bank toward the lake. Luckily she got it before the water did, but NO FOOTAGE of the flight.

While towing the rogallo back to shore, upside down again, it catches on a water hyacinth and the force of the boat pulling on it broke the joint on the wing support. The...Continue Reading
Posted by circuitfxr | Apr 18, 2014 @ 04:38 PM | 4,755 Views
Happy Easter to all of you! For us Christians, Easter is a time of celebrating resurrection! This is the day Jesus rose from the dead to conquer death and give us all eternal life.
It only seems fitting that I should use this day to resurrect this "dead" concept of a boat glider tow. Yes, you heard correctly. The boat glider tow will commence on Easter Sunday! FINALLY!

I will take the Who-Doggy, the barge,the modified glider, and the rogallo to the lake on Sunday. I may even have time to get the Northwind wet!

What better time than Easter to breathe new life into this project!
A whole day of lake side experiments and video. I am excited!

Just to bring everyone back up-to-speed, I have attached some photos of the boats and gliders as a reminder of what to expect.
Posted by circuitfxr | Apr 17, 2014 @ 03:02 AM | 5,004 Views
Hey all. I know I have been promising some boat glider tow action and nothing has been happening lately. Well, we are into spring time now and I'm sure everyone is into spring projects around the house. No exception here. Decided to patch up and paint the landscaping timers on my flower beds out front.
As usual, I have the normal aches and pains associated with being over 50. While telling my teenage daughter about what I needed to get done, she totally ignored me, nose in her tablet, chatting on facebook. (typical)
Once I mentioned that I was considering paying someone to do the work, all of a sudden the tablet went down and I had her full attention! LOL
So, when all is said and done, I got my flower beds painted, she got some work experience and some spending cash. She did a bang-up job and I wanted to share with you her success. Also will show some of the reasons (besides the weather) that is keeping me from the lake. After all, You don't think I would turn her loose with paint unsupervised, did you?...Continue Reading