GRW3's blog View Details
Posted by GRW3 | Jul 23, 2020 @ 11:32 PM | 4,546 Views
I find it very conversational. We don’t really have the kind of LHSs we used to have where we good go hang out and exchange info with other builders. Sometimes there are two builders at the flying field but not so often. So, if you want to talk about what you’re building, a Build Log is an opportunity. Better than temporary social media, where info only passes tangentially with little chance of retrieval. OK to post a link.

I also find it great for remembering what I was planning. Life can just interfere with your building and a well documented Build Log can help you get going (voice of experience).

It’s also a good way to get help. You can post a link in a forum from which you want help and you’ll probably get it.

There is no set form. Detailed or highlights. Straight through or meandering. It’s up to you.

Give it a try.
Posted by GRW3 | Jul 15, 2020 @ 08:45 PM | 13,492 Views
Between the Pandemic and the Crazy Breakdown of Civility it's time to get deeper into the hobby. If you watch the news, you'll get heartburn at best or an ulcer at worst. Put down the remote control, stay off Twitter and avoid non-hobby or non-family book pages. Go to your shop and start working.

I just listened to the latest RC Roundtable Podcast (I recommend highly). Part of the latest episode was an interview with Brian Bychowski, the new owner of DuBro. I was very encouraged by what he said. Evidently a lot of people are getting fed up with the current state of affairs and hitting the shop. He said their business has never been stronger. He indicated that it wasn't just modelers supplies but also supplies to burgeoning kit producers, like Old School Model Works.

I find this to be good news in a sea of depressing messages. I expect to see the fruits at the flying field as more people get to flying. I've kept flying all along. Radio Control is pretty good for social distancing . One of the clubs I belong to is in a County Park that has closed a couple of times but the other one is on electric gated private property. No spectators.
Posted by GRW3 | Dec 26, 2019 @ 01:01 AM | 2,973 Views
After a decade or so of marginal participation, I decided to get my flying skills back. From reviews and comments, I settled on an EFlite Sport Cub. April 2015. I flew that plane in all conditions. Hot. Cold. Facing crosswind. Tailing crosswind. Reverse pattern wind. Even too much wind. I flew pretty much every weekend I was home and it wasn’t raining or worse.

Besides dealing with air conditions, I did a lot of very basic practice. Clean patterns, smooth circles and and figure eights. Lots of touch and goes in both directions. As the routine came to hand, I started pushing the limits. Lots of low flying and aerobatics. Lots of high alpha flying. This high risk flying came with a lot of impacts and smacks. Most were just bent gear but some required repair. In the four plus years I flew this plane I had to glue the tail on twice (only one my fault) make special repairs to the wing to deal with broken mounts. I replace the tailwheel twice and the main gear wires once.

Even though I have several other planes, the Sport Cub became something of a touchstone. I tended to start any flying session with at least one Sport Cub flight. Week after week. Month after month. Year after year. The constant flying and risky behavior took its toll but paid big dividends in my flying confidence. It made four years this spring but the end was near. I wanted another one, so I checked the usual places but I didn’t find any. Then a buddy who had one indicated he much preferred his Timber...Continue Reading
Posted by GRW3 | Oct 20, 2019 @ 11:16 PM | 5,478 Views
Yesterday the San Antonio Prop Busters held our 4th Annual event for modeler built models. Our thought was that by encouraging modeling we would get people deeper into the hobby. For a small club, I think we’ve been pretty successful. This year we had great weather and 17 registered pilots, who averaged two planes apiece. In the pictures below you’ll get a taste of the variety. It wasn’t like the typical fly-in where you see same, or similar, factory built planes, one after the other.

The event is now dedicated to the memory of the master modeler Lee Moore. A mainstay of the early days of a Bomber Field and similar events, Lee spent a good portion of his last years flying with us and inspiring us. One of the delights of our club meetings was when Lee would show up with his latest creation. He was super supportive of this event and helped several members get over the hump of their first builds to be able to participate.

We thank our friends with the Tri-City Fliers who stepped up and helped us out when we lost our field (as reported previously in this blog). They have a beautiful site about 50 mi East of San Antonio co-located with a vintage aircraft museum. This distance may have cost some attendance but I als noted that Oct 19th was a very busy day in Texas for sanctioned events.

A special thanks to Jim Rice, Former AMA Dist VIII VP and recently retired chair of the AMA safety committee. He was responsible for a number of the excellent prizes we were able to...Continue Reading
Posted by GRW3 | Oct 06, 2019 @ 10:30 PM | 3,621 Views
Best Electrics in South Texas. Oct 5-6th. Just outside of of Houston. Of course in Texan speak, “just outside” means 60 miles from city center. No problem.

I’ve been wanting to go to this event for several years and it was just as good as I imagined. Super people, good, if warm, weather, great facilities.

Very relaxed flying, just the kind I like....Continue Reading
Posted by GRW3 | Sep 23, 2019 @ 12:08 AM | 3,306 Views
31st year. Wow! For the first decade or so I was a regular. Then in the early ‘00s we lost our big field and the IMAA, for which I was the local AVP, started its slide. I lost heart and family issues flew very little for a decade. I’m getting the urge to fly big planes again. This trip reinforced that urge.

The emphasis at Bomber Field’s annual event is bombers. Historically B-17s but this year there were others including a buck of B-24s, a couple of B-25s and a B-29.

You can find a lot more about this years event on Social Media . Check Bomberfield (one word), the NASA scale and, my friends, RC Roundtable pages....Continue Reading
Posted by GRW3 | Aug 18, 2019 @ 12:07 AM | 3,461 Views
I went to the one held by the San Antonio area’s Tri-City Fliers at the Old Kingsbury Aerodrome.

I ended up spending my time hangar flying with a lot friends I haven’t seen in a while. That’s OK....Continue Reading
Posted by GRW3 | Jun 06, 2019 @ 01:28 PM | 3,619 Views
We removed the last of our non-fixed assets from the field we've leased since 2005 last Saturday. I had not intended to go back but it was a duty. The biggest thing we had to remove was the tractor shed. It was a modular construction so it wasn't that difficult but it did require some exertion. We also removed all San Antonio Prop Buster signs and painted over those we could not remove. While we technically still lease the field until the end of August, it's clear we are no longer in control, so we just wanted to disassociate our name from any potential issues.

Some people brought planes to fly but not me. I flew there once after the notification but I didn't like it very much. I've already joined two other local clubs to have a place to fly, both with better facilities. I didn't join them before because I'm a loyal SAPB member since '84, so I flew there. It was no problem for me but I knew people who stayed away from it because they felt it was too hazardous to their aircraft. We sort of got this field from a (then) generous offer from a local flyer, that sort of turned into a trap, when we lost both of our previous fields. I believe we are going to take a much more judicious approach to finding another field.
Posted by GRW3 | May 11, 2019 @ 12:24 AM | 3,923 Views
Things just don’t last… The original garage door in this ‘62 house started falling apart on me. (No, I didn’t acquire it when I was 10, we bought it in ‘91.) It was a traditional four panel design with glass at eye level. It was pretty heavy. The glass had been painted over before we got it but that just provided privacy, the infrared light came right through and it could be very hot but it worked well enough. Until the end of April.

I had just unloaded from a day at the field and went to shut the door. About 3/4 of the way down it jammed. When I pushed a little harder, the bottom ripped off. Time for a new garage door. Before that could be done, I had to clear out the back half of my shop. All airplanes were moved to the TV room or stored in my minivan. The building board were covered boxes and tools.

It took a while to coordinate time with my son-in-law but we ( and by “we” I mostly mean him) got a new door installed. I got an insulated four panel from Lowe’s. It’s much lighter than the old door and the insulation is a godsend. It may be spring but a west facing garage door gets hot pretty easy.

This is my busy travel season but I finally managed to get everything back in order and working on models again. Besides putting in a new door, I have also been doing some rearranging to get more useful space that had been lost to, essentially, inertia.
Posted by GRW3 | Apr 28, 2019 @ 10:03 AM | 3,605 Views
The title to this blog post is a quote from the Propbusters movie below… I agree…

These two movies are available on Amazon Prime and I recommend them both. RC Propbusters: Untold is an intimate look at modeling in Connecticut but it could be anywhere. It will have the most appeal to this group. Model Citizen is about model railroading and while that is not a focus of this group it says a lot of meaningful things about the importance of a hobby.

One of the things apparent in both films is that modeling is primarily an adult pursuit. I have felt for decades that the AMA has wasted a lot of resources trying to return to the halcyon days when model aviation was the rage among the youth of America. It’s proba why they went so gaga over multirotors. Those days aren’t coming back. Better they spend money advertising with AARP than what they have done. I’m not saying there shouldn’t be youth outreach, just that it shouldn’t be so consuming. It should be more along the lines of EAA’s Youmg Eagles program. There - Visible - Far from the primary emphasis.

RC Modeling may actually be suffering from this overemphasis on kids by making our hobby appear childish. This is a great hobby for adults. It is a great stress reliever. It keeps your fine motor skills going. It gets you outside away from the TV. It lets you participate in man’s greatest desire - to fly.
Posted by GRW3 | Apr 25, 2019 @ 01:07 PM | 4,173 Views
I saw Richard Stubblefield in the CL Combat column in a recent issue of Model Aviation. He was a hero to me when I was in high school, when I was flying control line. I was never a competitor but I loved to go to the contests at Melrose park and watch him fly combat and people like George Aldrich fly stunt. I didn't really know about Melrose Park until I got my drivers license and could get around on my own. I knew about Ace Hobbies off Tidwell but when I was dependent on Dad, the instructions were (as we were invariably on our way to somewhere else) go in and get what I need quickly. When I could drive, I could hang out. When I was hanging out is when I learned about Melrose Park. This led to really successful control line flying.

My friends and I had been flying control line in backyards and the nearby elementary school parking lot for several years. I went through several Goldberg models, like Li'l Jumping Bean and Little Toot, with limited success. I got the basics down with a Cox PT-19 but I wanted a better experience. Hanging out at Ace Hobbies resulted in meeting some good control line flyers, who introduced me to Melrose Park as a place to fly the real thing. Inspired, I built a Sterling Ringmaster with, in a daring move against conventual wisdom, an OS 35 CL engine. There was some question about the OS instead of the traditional Fox but the running characteristics spoke volumes. I was plenty nervous when I first flew the Ringmaster at Melrose but I was surprised...Continue Reading
Posted by GRW3 | Apr 22, 2019 @ 11:09 PM | 3,768 Views
We’re supposed to have the field until the end of August but I believe the end will come much sooner. Not wishing to take a chance, the club has decided to remove all of our removable assets. We suspect the owners will be very unhappy and terminate our lease immediately. They understand we are going to take our tractors, large and small, but they may not understand we’re taking everything that is not rooted in the ground.

I’ve been a member of the San Antonio Propbusters since January 1984. It was only the third RC club of which I was a member. The others were in Houston, Jetero R/C (still going) and Sheldon R/C (long gone). I’ll stay a member as long as the club goes on, field or no field. I have to have a place to fly, so I’ve joined the Boerne Area Model Society, BAMS. I’ve flown there several times and I have some good friends in that club. It’s a little further to drive but not terrible.

The reason for the last trip to Somerset was to get a flight in with my Sport Cub as close to the anniversary date of when I first started flying it four years ago. Earlier in this blog I discussed how I got back to serious flying. The Sport Cub was my means. It certainly shows its wear and the numerous repairs. It’s been flown at BAMS several times including once when most were not flying because of the winds, a testament to my efforts to get my flying skills back online.
Posted by GRW3 | Apr 14, 2019 @ 11:15 PM | 4,241 Views
We’ve lost another field or, to be more correct, we’ losing the field at the end of the summer. The owners of the property have decided to take it over and run it themselves. Don’t know if we can recover, the clubs four decade run may be coming to an end. Just found out today. This morning, I was thinking how nice it looked with the wildflowers in the non-flight areas.
Posted by GRW3 | Nov 18, 2018 @ 07:44 PM | 5,608 Views
I’ve had this blog since 2006. One of my early posts discussed my clubs field travails. In particular, I lamented the one that cost us a lot of money. Here is the post:

Retread-Flying-Field-Daze

Yesterday, I had a reason to return to the landfill. We had done some demolition work for a room remodel and need to dump the debris. My son-in-law drove and I took it in. I felt a wave of nostalgia as we turned in the gate, the first time since 2005. Through the weigh scales, past the methane powered generators and up the old familiar hill. Even the turn off was the same one we used to use. The difference now being the giant landfill mountain where the flying field used to be.

My son-in-law and his two helpers unloaded the debris while I contemplated the fields fate. The 2020 date we were supposed to have the field to seemed a long time in the early ‘90s but not so long now. With the changes in the hobby, I wonder if we could have kept the 150 member roster that field needed to keep the maintenance up or would we be struggling now with no money to move on when they did claim the field for use. Never know.

We’re doing OK now. I think the recession hurt a lot due to gas prices but, thanks to fracking, that looks to be history. We’ve got one modest sized signature event for the fall and are trying to establish one for the spring. The fall event, discussed in an earlier pot is for modeler built models. With good weather we get about 25 pilots averaging about two planes each. We’ll be OK.
Posted by GRW3 | Nov 04, 2018 @ 12:03 PM | 6,377 Views
I went up to Flite Fest Texas with my buddy Ron Fritz on Friday. It was a two hour trip from his house ( about 20 mi east of San Antonio.). After such a wet fall in Texas, it great to see a sunny, CAVU day. There had been some rain Wednesday night so there was some mud but it was not a big deal. (If it had been a normal fall, it wouldn’t have been a deal at all.)

I flew my share but I spent more time just taking things in and absorbing the ambiance. What a great spirit, people of all ages having a great time. The combat segments are way more mesmerizing in person than in the videos. There was a streamer event that I would have participated in if I had been clever enough to read and understand the schedule. All the big crazy planes were just fun.

I did buy some Flite Test stuff. Their store was well laid out, even if the grass floor was a little squishy. Everyone working there was super nice. They had all their fast build kits laid out in separate bins, with all their power packs and batteries next to them. I bought a mini scout and a double A pack. Double because I have a balsa School Boy kit that needs the same size system. I also got a couple of t-shirts.

I did chat with Laine, of Laine’s Planes, and good naturedly prodded him about the glue caddy he’s supposed to make for me. He was a little apologetic but I told him I knew he had a busy show and rescue helicopter season so winter would be soon enough. He left most of the work to his wife as he was busy...Continue Reading
Posted by GRW3 | Sep 27, 2018 @ 12:54 AM | 6,311 Views
A couple of years ago, my trusty DX7 Acro (gen1) started giving me problems. This was after it had been accidentally knocked out of my hands. I was otherwise happy with Spektrum so I intended to stick with it. Looking at the variety of transmitters they had available at the time, I couldn’t make a decision on which one to get. About the same time, They introduced the entry level DX6E, offering a good deal with a receiver and it ran genuine Airware, so that’s what I got.

I’ve had pretty good service with the DX6E, only had to send it in once for a power switch issue. Still, with time I decided I wanted to move up to a better model. I particularly wanted to get dual diversity because I want to go to more events, like I used to, and I think it’s an advantage in a crowded radio environment. Also, the more advanced radios offer features, like talking, not available on the E model radios. So I’ve been shopping this year. I started following the big DX thread on RC Groups.

I have to admit I was attracted by the whiz bang dual computer iX12. I started following that thread too. There was a lot to like. It is very advanced in some aspects but at its heart it’s a DX with a cool interface. I got a chance to handle one at the Toledo R/C Show and I was impresses by layout and graphics. Still, it’s very pricey. I also noticed that the iX12 forum thread spends a lot of time talking about operating problems whereas the DX thread spends most of its posts discussing how to do things....Continue Reading
Posted by GRW3 | Aug 18, 2018 @ 05:51 PM | 6,553 Views
I was building a Balsa USA Fokker EIII and nearing the end of the assembly. I could have gone with the plain stock gear but I wanted that EIII look. I also had to modify it to take some Top Flite wire wheels I needed to figure out how to solder larger pieces. Low and behold, Balsa USA has a video about soldering landing gear on their website. Great, I thought.

As I watched the video it showed the prep, how to get the pieces together and then the copper wire wrap. Then he got the soldering iron. It was huge, compared to the normal soldering iron. I knew then that’s what I needed to get, a big soldering iron. As I recall, he gives a watt range to look for. I found this one on Amazon.

I got it. It works great. The only the he didn’t mention was that it takes about 30 minutes to get up to temperature. There are ones with more wattage available on Amazon but they cost a lot more money.
Posted by GRW3 | May 10, 2018 @ 07:19 PM | 6,236 Views
I was getting frustrated. I wanted to read MA on the airplane but when I opened the app, it wasn’t there. Then I noticed every time I opened it, I had to download MA again. Hmm, not happy. I knew you used to be able download and hold, why not now? I started poking around the tools but didn’t find any specific info about downloading.

I did note, however, I had two 2017 months of MA in a Download column. I wondered, if I delete these will I be able to download and hold the current issue. Well, let’s swipe left and give it a shot. I eliminated the two stored issues and reloaded the current issue. After reloading, I stepped back to the introduction screen and it now says READ (see picture) instead of DOWNLOAD. I then checked download page in the tools and the current issue is now there.

So, failing to find any other controls, I assume the iPad app allows you to keep two (2) issues of Model Aviation downloaded at a time.
Posted by GRW3 | Apr 22, 2018 @ 11:05 PM | 6,495 Views
Around 97-98, I bought an RTF from the local HobbyTown. I wanted it as a trainer for my boys, who were bracketing 10 at the time. For various reasons that didn’t work out so I started flying it as a sport plane. I flew it as a pleasant break from the various and sundry higher performance planes that accompanied it to the field. I flew it a lot. A lot, 2 or 3 flights a trip to the field.

It started with a Thunder Tigre 0.40 engine and an Airtronics radio. I wore out that Thunder Tiger out and replaced it with an OS 46FX I had available. Woo Hoo! That was an exciting upgrade. I literally flew the covering off. Not figuratively, literally. It had that old sticky back covering that wasn’t repairable. One flight led to a terrible buzzing, half the lower wing covering was in shreds. Not only that several hinges were broke. Completely removed with Monokote. It’s now on its third motor and third radio flight pack.

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Posted by GRW3 | Apr 15, 2018 @ 12:50 AM | 6,932 Views
My long time modeling pal, Jim, and I went to the Weak Signals R/C show this year. We’ve both been before. I’ve been 6 or 7 times since ‘83, he’s been a couple and we last came together in ‘06. This post is to talk about what we did and what you might do for a Toledo, or other show, trip.

Getting There

I fly a lot for business. In general, more flying as a reward for flying isn’t that exciting. Over the years, most my miles have gone to friends and family. This was a good occasion. We decided to do this trip in November so I got two round trip tickets from San Antonio to Detroit, on American for 50K miles, Thursday to Sunday. If you don’t have miles consider Southwest Airlines. They routinely have buy ahead sales and April in Detroit is not high tourist season so Toledo weekend shouldn’t be a blackout time. Jim rented a car.

Staying

The attached to the show Park Inn is convenient but not cheap. I have travel related hotel points so I got us a room at the Marriott Fairfield just inside the state line off Alexis Rd. On a Texas driving scale, Toledo is small so it was fine with the downtown cutoff being two exits down the highway. The free morning breakfast was pretty good. I use Fairfields and Hamptons for routine business travel.

Eating

I put up a post in the Toledo Show forum page asking for recommendations on where to eat, and got plenty. On Thursday, we went to Tony Packo’s. It was great. Friday we went to Jason Cole’s favorite, Shorty’s Roadhouse (...Continue Reading