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Archive for May, 2014

# of swans and geese

Posted by phil alvirez | May 31, 2014 @ 05:52 AM | 8,298 Views
swan lake
with a title like this, you may think of me as a romantic.
if you do so, you are right.
but there are things that go beyond a logical explanation.
i have been to a park nearby that has a pond where geese and swans make a home during the good weather.
in recent posts i mentioned that 1 morning when i was arriving, a couple of white swans landed. they could arrive before-or after-but why exactly when i was arriving? symbolic, isn't it? silent, majestic creatures. anyway, shortly after that, a flock of geese arrived. all noisy, honking their lungs in happy celebration, even after landed, for several minutes. then another flock. and another. soon the pond was crowded with happy birds.
i have seen the swans several years at the pond. seems that it is their residence for the good weather. but once there, they don't fly anymore, contrary to the geese, that every morning leave noisily, flock after flock. the swans occasionally swim slowly around, but most of the time they just rest.
so, now that am back into micros, and fly at the lake, sharing it with the birds is a great experience.

# micro radian: how much time available for thermaling?

Posted by phil alvirez | May 26, 2014 @ 10:45 AM | 7,404 Views
am doing field tests to have an idea of how much time we have available for thermaling with the micro radian.
as there are not (yet) means to get figures or warnings in the stock plane, these are estimates based on flights measuring the time of the motor runs and flight times, and then checking how much charge the cell had and the % it had left.
if we run the motor to climb as high as we still can control the plane and see what it is doing, then stop it (and time it), and do this several times (accumulating the time) until it slows down because the cell is reaching the point where it drops, and check the charge left (and its %), and doing other flights with same (or similar capacity) cell but then stopping before this happens, gradually less and less time, and checking charge and %, we can get an idea of when to stop using the motor and still have a reserve of power for thermaling. nothing exact, but a reasonable estimate.
cells used are from stock hobby king, and horizon 25 and 45c.
from these tests i have found that stopping the motor from 4 to 4:30 minutes total time, there is still about 20% charge (3.75v), and this could give a reasonable time for thermaling, considering that it takes little power using just the servos. and if we trim the plane to circle without sinking, there is no need for correcting and the draining the cell is very little. if going to 5-5:30 minutes, the charge drops to 9-10% (3.5v), but this could be considered too low.
how long before the plane runs out of power and goes free flight? hard to say unless getting into thermals and checking the time and then bringing it down and measuring the charge left.
i got some advice regarding this, that can be of good use: Daedalus66 said: One answer is simply to use a little burst of power from time to time. If the motor shuts down or refuses to start, it's time to land. (and i add: that is, if the plane is not so far that you can see this). so there you have it.

# micro radian: the best of both worlds

Posted by phil alvirez | May 21, 2014 @ 10:49 AM | 7,461 Views
i like small planes. the smaller the better. i have been doing that for the past years, starting with the 6400 receiver, then smaller with the brick from the sukhoi, so i could fly these planes at a gym or at my backyard. the thing is, they fly only with no wind.
then i got into 2 meters sailplanes, 1 reason was that i can fly them in windy weather, so i have more chances to fly, especially with the deteriorating of the weather.
then came the micro planes with gyros. and finally, the radian. https://www.rcgroups.com/forums/show....php?t=2089760
with it i can fly not only in small places nearby, but in windy weather too.
parking lots, parks nearby. before, i had to drive 30 minutes to the club's field. now i go to the park nearby (10 minutes) and have a ball.
today, when i arrived, 2 swans made the approach to the pond nearby and landed. majestic creatures they are. didn't care about my plane. there was some wind; enough to keep me from flying if i had another plane instead of the rad. but with it i could fly as long as i wanted. it is as if i were into another dimension. if it were not for the gyros, i wouldn't be flying. yes, the plane shakes, but self-stabilizes and responds to my commands so i can fly it as if there were no wind. at landing it is a little bit more tricky, as the turbulence near the ground is way more than up there, but still is manageable.
science-fiction technology that allows us to do things we didn't even think of before.

# atmospheric layers and tiny planes (especially micro radian)

Posted by phil alvirez | May 20, 2014 @ 06:24 AM | 7,523 Views
if you dig into my 7 pages blog, you will see that i have been deep into tiny planes. from that, and my previous experience in free flight, i have learned that there are layers (even indoors in large hangers) that, like blankets, separate the air and sometimes behave different-and therefore drag the plane into that. especially the small 1s.
and with the micro radian, https://www.rcgroups.com/forums/show....php?t=2089760 that is indeed a sailplane, this is more noticeable. with it, you will see that for instance, it climbs at different angle depending at which height it is: typically at launch it climbs at 30 degrees at half throttle, then at 10 meters (33 ft) it increases its angle, and then at some 20 meters (66 ft) it increases it again. and when gliding down, the angle changes too, and when approaching the land it sinks even faster and becomes buoyant, like if floating in boiling water, to the point that even stalls. not only that, frequently the wind changes direction from layer to layer, even dramatically, like at 1 layer you see it blowing from the north and next blows from the southeast. this is more noticeable with fog, that sometimes is seen as a blanket covering a field-or at certain height-and little bit beyond suddenly disappears.
just keep this in mind and try to adjust-and enjoy the vagaries of the weather!

Posted by phil alvirez | May 17, 2014 @ 05:26 AM | 20,547 Views
you have to live it to believe it.
i have flown in COWT (cloudy/overcast/windy/turbulent) with other planes, way larger than this, but never imagined trying this 1-but i just did it, and it flies even better than larger 1s. the gyros just handle it. and this brings us to another dimension, because with this plane we not only can fly in almost any kind of weather-that other planes can't handle, but in smaller fields near home. even backyards large enough. streets, driveways.
win-win for all. the users, because it allows us to fly in conditions and places in which we could not even think of before, so we can fly more. manufacturers, because they sell many more affordable planes, that are compact, and need less space for storage, even without disassembling.
edit: now i have been able to thermal it and it does it too-and in smaller spaces.
designed with attention to detail, it flies out of your hand so comfortably, so effortlessly as if you were in a dream.
https://www.rcgroups.com/forums/show....php?t=2089760
and all that i have to carry is this: 1 case for the tx: https://www.hobbyking.com/hobbyking/...ying_Case.html, the tx inside (i have the orange https://www.hobbyking.com/hobbyking/s...y_Mode_2_.html whenever available ). this hanging from my wrist, and the plane in my hand. that's all. the cost: plane: \$90; case: \$10; tx: \$65. and a few cells (and s&h).

Posted by phil alvirez | May 05, 2014 @ 04:11 PM | 8,162 Views
i noticed that the line of the canopy is interrupted at the wing's leading edge, so stretching it beyond, looks more streamlined.
at least, i like it better. anyway, in case any1 consider doing the same, i used gloss black acrylic tamiya paint x-1, applied with a small soft hair brush.

# maverick 2

Posted by phil alvirez | May 05, 2014 @ 04:10 PM | 8,064 Views
maverick 2
finished the balsa fuselage version of maverick. it weighs 65 grams more, but has more room for the components. with the original, that uses a foam fuselage of the dynamic hotliner, it is so tight that i have to press on to fit.
also built a new wing that is covered with a stronger covering in order to make it stiffer. with the original wing, as the motor is so powerful, if i go beyond 50% throttle sometimes the wing flutters. and the gain in weight was only 15 grams.

# details on mod of DX6-DSM2 with orange module

Posted by phil alvirez | May 05, 2014 @ 04:03 PM | 7,981 Views
details on mod of DX6-DSM2 with orange module
here are some details and pics on the mod of the DX6 to take DSM2.
1st cut the wires that go to the original module (soldered an extension of about 1 ft) and removed it to make room for the orange module inside. removed the orange module from its case, and glued 2 pieces of 1/32" plywood to its back. (see pic) once dried, glued them to the back cover of the tx. used the existing opening of the bind button, just enlarged it a little bit to accommodate it, so binding is done at same spot. drilled a hole to the side for the antenna. left part of the original housing of the antenna so i can grab the support of the quanum telemetry, otherwise i would remove it too. 1st i installed the module outside, but was too bulky. ( you still can see the hole at the bottom left that was for the wires).

### Images

Posted by phil alvirez | May 03, 2014 @ 08:30 AM | 7,052 Views
1.-let's start with 2.4: DX6. it was the 1st on 2.4, and did great for me. programmable, with many features that didn't exist in the previous generation, fulfilled all my needs. it had a weak antenna hinge, that when broke i fixed it with a paper clip and a sleeve made of aluminum sheet, and has been doing fine since.
still, nicad cells didn't last very much, but at the time some1 released a 3 cells lipo and i got it and we lived happily thereafter. i was not aware how good that decision was, until several years later.
2.-so i used the DX6 for some time without flaws. but then i became interested in trying more sophisticated things, that my DX6 couldn't do, so i went to what seemed the next step: the DX6i. but it was very different. even the manual had a completely different approach. not easy to read. and i had to re-learn everything. and everything broke: antenna, roller, trims. and as there was no room for a large lipo, i kept using individual cells. but then the cells had false contacts (with the consequences that you can imagine). eventually i found a small (610mah) 2 cells pack that solved the problem, but still the usable time is short. and then the switch that does the bind went out. not a rewarding experience, after the reliable DX6.
3.-so i decided to explore other brands. got the 9x, that has another different manual, and even if can do many more things than the DX6i, was not as clear as the DX6's manual. that discouraged me and kept it in storage for a...Continue Reading

# updating DX6 radios to DSM2

Posted by phil alvirez | May 01, 2014 @ 04:24 AM | 7,114 Views
when DX6 started the 2.4 revolution, it was DSM. later, came DSM2, where we can get an assortment of high quality-low cost receivers, but they can't be used with the DX6 as it is.
then, some1 came with a way to do so:
https://www.rcgroups.com/forums/show....php?t=1818516
for this, you need to add a module: https://www.hobbyking.com/hobbyking/s...mpatible_.html
i already did the mod and it works. it is an interesting subject that will bring new life to an old reliable programmable radio that, even if not as sophisticated as the new wave, satisfies the needs of many modelers. (i among them).