phil alvirez's blog View Details
Posted by phil alvirez | Mar 07, 2018 @ 08:07 AM | 5,243 Views
thinking of new technology that could be used for our models, just got a link to this:
of course, has to be lots of experimenting.
but remember what happened to leds, that were so far from what we have now.
and transistors, that replaced vacuum tubes...and were way larger and costly.
and what we are enjoying like cellulars, gps,
even personal computers, and the internet!
things that seemed so far fetched a few years ago...

so, lets see how this evolves
Posted by phil alvirez | Feb 10, 2018 @ 10:15 AM | 6,953 Views
getting altitude readings and thermaling
i search for thermals, just for the fun of it. no competition.
1-i have been using a device that tells me the height (voice) at certain levels (like every 20 feet or meters).
2-and now i am getting another that tells me the height every 10 seconds (or whatever time i want).
i cant use both at the same time; just 1 or the other.
am trying to decide which way is or may be more convenient.
but i find the 1 am using very convenient for my purposes.
so far i havent been able to test the 1 that tells every 10 seconds.
i wonder if some1 with experience could bring comments about these options; if he has tried either or both.
only comments polite, positive and to the point please.
i started a thread on something related that may be of interest:
Posted by phil alvirez | Jan 31, 2018 @ 09:23 AM | 6,412 Views
i wonder why all radios manuals are not like this:
with it you have step-by-step instructions where you see the screen exactly how it is. on the other hand, with many radios the instructions seem to be written by experts for experts.
but, what % of customers are experts that can follow the instructions of all those manuals without the need for all the details?
and when you approach any forum on any radio and ask questions for details that are not explained, you get so much flak that is understandable why many dont dare to ask.
i hope some day the sellers awake and do their manuals for the people. their sales would raise a lot.
>>> recently i have been in contact with customer service of horizon, and they are very good at advice. that makes a difference. will stick to them for all the doubts i have. but feels good to have support. still, some times i dont get the answer that i need, and also takes time to get it, even if they are fast. having to ask is not he best way. better to have a manual that you can consult anytime.
Posted by phil alvirez | Jan 18, 2018 @ 12:33 PM | 5,683 Views
for many years, i never missed the Tommy Hunter show. folk music. when i was in vancouver, he was in toronto. when i went to california, he went to nashville. when i came back to canada (this time to a place north of toronto), he came back to toronto. but i never had the chance to meet him in person. it was until, in recent years, he came to windsor, where i live, that i had the chance to meet him. i liked his show because had a message of optimism. not only happy music. at the end of each show he hung his guitar and had a phylosophical talk. 1 of them was about a nearby farmer that he went to visit. he said that his wife was going to have another baby and he was out of money. his house needed roof repair as leaked all over; the bank denied a loan so his helper left due to lack of payments; the cow broke in the fence and eat all the beans; the hogs got cholera and died; the soil was so dry that you couldnt rise an umbrela on a sack of fertilizer; and his mother in law was moving in to stay. then he said: but we are still living, so everything is o k.
so, whatever you are facing, remember the philosophy of the farmer. after all, things may not be that bad, and we are still living...
(but he didnt have health problems, after all...then who knows what his thoughts would be).
Posted by phil alvirez | Jan 10, 2018 @ 05:10 PM | 5,454 Views
we were having a private discussion and i was confused due to data not clear, so i posted at a forum, but then he decided to say this, that, as he now was not polite-and public, i tried to show the reason of the confusing data:
all started with this message i got: Phil,
You asked me that this morning by PM. I told you it does. Several times. You have searched the telemetry thread using the keywords I gave you and found that it does.
Why are you needing to ask again? Do you need a plastic spoon or something?
As noted then, ALL OUR G2 RADIOS SUPPORT THE VARIO. Those with speech can speak the altitude to you as well.
from the beginning
1-here is how this started: i asked you:
Originally Posted by phil alvirez
this is the feature that i need: (from the ad of the DX6G3):
With voice alerts, the DX6 will allow you to keep tabs on important functions without ever taking your eyes off what you’re flying. They can be programmed to call out what flight mode you’ve chosen or report telemetry information on demand. If an alarm goes off, you won’t have to look at the transmitter display to see what’s happening. The DX6 will tell you. "
and i hope it can tell height too-and send beeps for climbing or sinking.
if not, this also is useless for me.
(please notice that the ad refers to DX6, and not to Dx6G3-a confusing issue i think).
then your answer:
"Those are functions from a vario, and yes, it supports vario to...Continue Reading
Posted by phil alvirez | Dec 28, 2017 @ 11:10 AM | 5,985 Views
browsing i found this:
the proportions look great: longish wing, characteristic of high performance gliders looks promising, and long fuselage makes it look elegant. besides, the style is great too. long fuselage is not the trend in gliders, but long tail moment speaks stability, and long nose provides room for the things we need to put inside-and to balance too.
i finished it and am waiting for weather to let me fly it, although where i live means 4 months, so in the meantime i will talk about whatever regarding it.
>>>please check updates at the end<<<
there are 2 threads:
and this:
so you can learn about the experience of some.
if you browse at the links you will see that just as there are comments about how good the plane is, there are also problems, like poor quality parts, some size does not match (screws to hold the wing), no availability of spare parts, lack of instructions (the so-called 'manual' is a joke), too much drag at the aileron pushrods, and so on... new products are subject to iniciation, and it is not until feedback may help suppliers to correct them, but even with these problems, the plane has a lot on its favor, so will explore the posibilities...
dec 30/2017:...Continue Reading
Posted by phil alvirez | Dec 23, 2017 @ 07:42 PM | 5,615 Views
"i now belong to the higher cult of mortals,
for i have seen the albatross..."
when i was channel surfing, found a documentary on birds. it was a film with an albatross flying. i couldnt change channel or take my eyes away!
i have seen other videos and even got into discussion on how these birds fly. some called it dynamic soaring, and provided all kind of explanations that made sense.
but, no matter what, i still am fascinated on how it flies. still cant understand how it flies without flapping its wings.
watching those videos of albatross in flight i loose my mind. does look as if does nothing and stays so close to the waves for a long time and doesnt fall.
there are videos on it in flight.
and to think that they fly all day long, day after day...with just a short stop to feed and then sleep at night. can you visualize that? for their entire life!
beyond the wildest dream!
Posted by phil alvirez | Dec 07, 2017 @ 01:05 PM | 5,728 Views
i read a report of a mystery problem found in a great airplane, that shows that even with planes that seemingly perform good, there are things that happen that go unexplained. pay special attention to the end of the article.
and things like this also happen with our models
Posted by phil alvirez | Dec 06, 2017 @ 11:45 AM | 6,181 Views
sometimes you loose radio signal, or becomes erratic. even results in a crash. checking the radio afterwards, all seems fine. and when this happens and some1 is around, or you talk to some1, frequently they say or think that is was pilot error. yes, sometimes a crash is due to that. but when the loss happens to you, with no1 around, and you did not make a mistake, you know it was not you.
then, what happens? perhaps something in the atmosphere? give a look at this report: and this:
at the end says: In summary, our study has the following main contributions:
We show that changes in weather conditions affect radio
signal strength. Temperature seems to be the best explanatory
variable for signal strength variation and has a
negative, linear effect on signal strength in general, while
high relative humidity may have some effect, particularly
when temperature is below 0◦C.
We show that correlation between signal strength and the
studied weather variables vary depending on radio channel
and link. Applying frequency diversity will alleviate
these effects.
We show that smaller transmit power results in smaller
unexplained variation in received signal strength (in most
cases) and thus stronger correlation with the studied
weather variables
i used to fly...Continue Reading
Posted by phil alvirez | Dec 02, 2017 @ 08:17 AM | 6,304 Views
i always have been fascinated with soaring. staying up without motor. like the birds!
at the beginning, and for many years, i flew free flight, as there was nothing else available. and learned about thermals. with hand launched gliders, then towline gliders, rubber powered planes. engine powered planes.
many years later, when radio became affordable, i got into thermal at will. that is, when i learned to find them.
now with vario is easier, as it tells me the height or if the plane is climbing or sinking. but always a pleasure to me.
recently began to experience some situations where i could make my plane stay longer without a thermal, and explored the slope and dynamic soaring. i found data at a forum, that was enlightening:
still, what i found by chance does not match what these guys say. what happened was that once i found my plane flying a little bit faster than the wind and decided to do lazy 8s facing it so it didnt go beyond the area where i wanted it to be, and noticed that it didnt sink for a few seconds (i have a vario that tells me the height every few seconds) and became intrigued. i have reached the conclusion that it is sort of dynamic/slope effect. except that this happens in midair-no hills/cliff.
the way i see it is this: when my plane is flying at a speed slighty higher than the wind, i do lazy 8s facing it. that is: fly across the wind, then turn facing it. when the plane raises...Continue Reading
Posted by phil alvirez | Nov 16, 2017 @ 04:59 AM | 6,049 Views
learned about these cells for umx planes similar to the radian:
eventually finished performing tests on these batteries. just in time for fall to arrive with winds and rain
i used the hobby king nano cells for comparison
1st did bench tests using a umxradian and running the motor at half throttle (stick vertical) while holding the plane on my hand, and stopping every 30 seconds and taking readings of the voltage remaining.
umx radian:
i used the hobby king cell 160 mah as a point of comparison:
and the 1st 1 from micro motor is this:
the way i did the bench tests was installing the cell in the umx radian and run the motor at half throttle (stick vertical) for 30 seconds, stop and measure volts. then again. until reached the minimum recommended.
time and volts
1: hk 160-----405----395----389-----384------380-------377-------374-----371------368------365-------359------345
3-150/45c----409----399----393-----388------383-------379-------377------373----...Continue Reading
Posted by phil alvirez | Nov 05, 2017 @ 10:38 AM | 5,617 Views
there is a point in life-and in modeling-that, as Kenny Rogers in the song, you need to know when to run.
once you have reached certain goal, or when you are satisfied with what you have or do, why try something else?
or when you no longer can do something, or dont enjoy doing it anymore

Kenny Rogers - The Gambler (2 min 54 sec)

i have reached a point where i cant find anything else to learn about modeling, or have anything to do but fly my planes.
and that is a great thing because, after all, the main goal of this hobby is flying-or whatever specialty you do-and enjoy your model.
so, life is good anyway.
Posted by phil alvirez | Nov 03, 2017 @ 08:01 PM | 5,700 Views
with early winter hitting, i am getting back to my den and paint (my other passion), instead of model airplanes, so will not hear much from me. and when spring is back (who knows when) will fly again, but still not much to talk or explore new things, as i already have everything i need for a long time, and too many planes ready to fly, so dont have an excuse to build another
so long folks
and thanks to all that have been so helpful
Posted by phil alvirez | Nov 01, 2017 @ 01:25 PM | 6,367 Views
we all are so accustomed to transistors, and could not live without them, but, what on earth are they?
there is an article at wiki:
but on it they say that: 'The term transistor was coined by John R. Pierce as a contraction of the term transresistance. '
on the other hand, national geographic provides another explanation that, to me, is more believable.
it was explained in the "100 scientific discoveries" issue/page 27: "This technology transfers current across a material that normally has high resistance (in other words, a resistor); hence, it is a transfer resistor, shortened to transistor."
Posted by phil alvirez | Oct 20, 2017 @ 03:21 PM | 6,537 Views
i have talked about this issue several times. i watch fellows that do great while in the air: all kind of stunts and whatever happily. but when another story. there is a fellow at the club that comes with a big aerobatic plane and does whatever he wants. all kinds of stunts. am flying my gliders up there so i cant follow what he does, so i dont see how he makes the approach and what he does wrong, but every time he approaches mother earth its a disaster. he returns with the plane minus landing gear. with my gliders i try to land smooth and as close as possible, but i have reached a conclusion that it is better to have a good landing far away, than a nearby crash. and again, that flare-off idea of landing sometimes is not the most convenient. approaching with some speed and a little down elevator and sweep the ground instead so there is no floating and stalling works better. just consider it.
and above all, practice. if you fear it, perseverance is the key. you reach a time when it becomes natural. is like anything: you are learning. so, learn.
Posted by phil alvirez | Oct 18, 2017 @ 04:43 PM | 6,028 Views
am starting a discussion about soaring. please bring your experience on the issue or comments or follow-up.
according with dictionaries, soaring can be considered as climbing or staying up.
gerund or present participle: soaring
1-fly or rise high in the air.
"the bird spread its wings and soared into the air"
synonyms: fly, wing, ascend, climb, rise;
2-maintain height in the air without flapping wings or using engine power.
"the gulls soared on the summery winds"
synonyms: glide, plane, float, drift, wheel, hover
"the gulls soared on the winds"
keep reading the comments below.
Posted by phil alvirez | Oct 06, 2017 @ 07:59 AM | 6,085 Views
have you wondered how bolts/screws/nuts are made?
i found this documentary very enlightening. i hope you will too:
How It's Made Nuts and bolts (4 min 29 sec)

Posted by phil alvirez | Oct 05, 2017 @ 11:16 AM | 5,884 Views
i have to tell you this: today at 8:00 in the morning, with clear sky, no wind down near the ground or up, launched my 2 meters electric power glider to 200 meters, stopped the motor and began to turn around searching for thermals. suddenly noticed a large number of small birds swarming above my plane. they were very high too, as far as i could see. flying fast in all directions, but always above my plane. if i flew it into another direction, there they went. it was not until my plane went below 60 meters that they dissappeared as fast as they appeared. every flight. i can not imagine how they came so fast on a sky that didnt show any few moments before.
perhaps they thought that i was into a thermal and decided to take a free ride? i can not think of anything else
i hope some have been in an experience like this, or has witnessed it, and could bring an explanation
as far as i have been told, they are swifts. here is more data from wiki:
Posted by phil alvirez | Oct 03, 2017 @ 10:02 AM | 7,145 Views
i am into thermaling. 2 meters electric powered. and i wonder why some birds-that are very good at thermaling-have short wide wings, and others, that are not thermal birds, have long narrow. examples of short are buzzards, eagles, haws, and long are albatross. perhaps because the short fly on the ground, and albatross over sea?
a link to short:
and here albatross:

seems that, after all, it is the way each flies. 1 using dynamic soaring, the other thermals.
read the comments; especially the latest.
Posted by phil alvirez | Oct 01, 2017 @ 10:47 PM | 5,955 Views
am starting this subject here at my blog.
i was running it on the open but got too many negative or non related posts so this way i can keep this clean.
it was here:
so, welcome all who want to follow up that thread
i said this at the beginning:
am starting a forum with the purpose of discussing the design to reduce the planes sinking speed.
the idea is that with the minimum sinking speed the plane may stay longer-and perhaps catch thermals easier.
please, only bring your experience or ideas related to the subject.
sinking speed
am bringing this from another thread, where we were discussing another subject:
"at the present time am performing tests to find out which is the optimum wing loading to stay up as long as possible for thermaling.
and building too light could make an airplane to sink faster after all. i have several 2 meters e-gliders, and the lightest flies noticeably slower, but that, even if very impressive, not necessarily means lower sinking speed. could be that it just does not penetrate enough.
the only thing that occurs to me is, besides timing them from same height in still air, is checking sinking speed and forward speed too. "
>>>after testing, i learned that the lighter, slower, sink faster, so after all, there is a limit that, if you go beyond certain weight, the plane just does not penetrate. period. but this can only be learned if you check the time from...Continue Reading