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Posted by V-Man | Oct 03, 2020 @ 04:01 PM | 3,823 Views
Been two years since the last blog entry, and not much flyin'.

I had already mentioned that available open fields had dwindled to almost nothing on Montreal island, and now clubs are being shut down all around the city and suburbs. Pretty soon the only places available to practice R/C flying in the province (if you fly anything bigger than a race quad) are going to be rented farm fields an hour or two away.

Still, I'm keeping my equipment -- one day I'll either buy a rural place or have enough free time to drive far. Looking forward to it...
Posted by V-Man | Sep 11, 2018 @ 11:57 AM | 11,411 Views
Banggood had the Dynam Catalina for sale at a decent price ($230 Can or so, shipped). It was on back-order for months, but I kept watching it.

Last week it went live and accepted the order, whooo!

And then yesterday they sent me an email saying they cannot restock and the plane was removed from the catalog. They are refunding me and cancelling the order.

Why leave it up for months (with a tagged promise of a restock in September, on top) if you know you won't be getting the product again?

MotionRC still has one in stock but between exchange rate, shipping and custom duties, the plane may well be $500 or so. So I'll have to remain content with my Guanli Catalina...
Posted by V-Man | Aug 26, 2018 @ 03:01 PM | 10,771 Views
Montreal had a horse racetrack from 1872 to 2008, called Blue Bonnets. It was originally located in a farm field far from the city, but the latter eventually grew around it. The track went bankrupt in 2008 and was left pretty much as is.

Since it was a wide open field in the middle of the island, it soon became a haven for Montreal's R/C flyers, as well as the R/C car community (they drew large circuits in the abandoned parking lots). My group flew there every summer from 2010 to 2015, and an awesome time was had by all. Alas, all good things must come to an end. In our case, it was a double whammy of Transport Canada changing the rules (min. distance from airports went from 3 to 9km, and BB is only 3.5km away from Dorval) and the city wanting to put tax-paying residences on the field.

Farewell, Blue Bonnets -- one day I will walk the new streets and reminisce about our planes flying overhead.

If you read French, here's an article on the demolition process:
Posted by V-Man | Aug 12, 2018 @ 05:30 PM | 11,112 Views
By some miracle my schedule cleared up and I got a park flying session in for the first time in weeks. And a pretty good one, too, mixed quads and planes, over a dozen batteries altogether. Was nice to catch up with everyone.
Posted by V-Man | Jul 30, 2018 @ 04:27 PM | 12,153 Views
Don't have time to fly much these days but since we're visiting my parents (who live by a lake) a lot more, I'm building seaplanes to try and make the best of it!
Posted by V-Man | Jul 16, 2018 @ 09:41 PM | 11,067 Views
Incredibly enough, I managed to get in a few sessions of quad flying this summer. Didn't bring any planes yet, parks are too small and I don't have time to maintain both quads and aircraft (and even quads are a stretch, 3/4 of my fleet are non-flyable right now).

So instead we play in the water. The vet says the dog needs exercise but it can't be too strenuous (she's 12), so we try to get her to swim every weekend. I should get a slower R/C boat, though...

I've started building a couple of seaplanes, parts are on the way (couldn't bring myself to dismantle a quad for motors/escs!). Will let you know how it goes...
Posted by V-Man | May 08, 2018 @ 10:08 AM | 11,613 Views
Still haven't flown at all this year.

Job's keeping me busy (in a good way). Also, with the construction boom in town, R/C flying sites have been vanishing all over Montreal island, and/or are harder to access. Pretty soon we'll be left only with local parks, and that means tiny parkflyers or racing quads.
Posted by V-Man | May 11, 2017 @ 09:24 PM | 13,392 Views
2017 is not shaping up to be a good R/C year for me. I've already missed three club sessions, the workshop is still a mess from last year, and none of my models have been prepped. Too busy with work and family.

I've got some holiday time coming in a few weeks, maybe I'll be able to get flying at last...
Posted by V-Man | Jan 07, 2017 @ 10:31 PM | 13,616 Views
All the cool kids are doing it, so why not me? Especially when the quad (Eachine E010) and camera/Tx (Eachine TX02) are together less than $50Can, shipped!

Next, I need to find batteries with a higher C rating. Without the camera I can fly four minutes, the added weight makes the quad sluggish and drops me down to 2min. Yet the end voltage is 3.8, which is flyable...
Posted by V-Man | Dec 12, 2016 @ 12:46 PM | 13,394 Views
Hobby-wise, I'm in the strange situation of having more stuff to do than time to do it! Due to a conjunction of unforeseen factors, work has been extraordinarily busy in the past three months and I still have five days to go.

Things on the board:
- 4 racing quads, two being assembled and two needing maintenance
- 4 jets, 50 and 64mm EDF, low priority now that we don't have access to the largest field on the island.
- 3 balsa aerobatic planes, same as the jets
- 1 scale balsa biplane being assembled for a friend, that really needs to get out of my shop
- 1 450-class helicopter being assembled
- 1 seaplane being assembled, to fly at my folks' place
- 1 DLG, that's almost done

Posted by V-Man | Aug 16, 2016 @ 05:23 PM | 14,257 Views
The R/C club of a friend of mine just lost their clubhouse to a LiPo fire. No one hurt but it's a total loss, with no insurance.

They're not sure what happened. Most of them fly large helis with big battery packs (8-12S), so I'm guessing when one went, it was a chain reaction.
Posted by V-Man | Aug 01, 2016 @ 09:10 PM | 14,144 Views
Got four new flight videos from last weekend's sessions updated on my channel:


They're short and fun, check them out!
Posted by V-Man | Jul 25, 2016 @ 08:48 PM | 14,070 Views
Posted by V-Man | Jun 22, 2016 @ 02:31 PM | 14,492 Views
It's alive!!! Mwaaahhaaa!

Took me almost three hours last night, but I finally got the flight controller to talk to my PC for setup. Basic configuration only, was getting too late for testing. The FPV rig works, at least, and the props spin the right way. I took off the landing legs to save on weight and drag (plus, they looked like ideal levers to torque the motor arms right off in a crash).

In perfect timing, I received the required 1500mAh batteries this morning. They fit exactly in the bay, I couldn't use a 2200 in there. And turns out I forgot I bought a GensACE 1550mAh last year when I visited Great Hobbies in Ottawa, so now I have four batteries for the quad! (Though I need to locate a male Deans plug to make an adapter first... Grrr. Anyone has a spare?)

I briefly tested the quad and it hovers beautifully, the smallest of drift which I'm sure I can trim out. Might have to add some expo, though, it's very sensitive and agile!

Maiden is set for Friday morning (it's a holiday here). I'll bring a camera...
Posted by V-Man | Jun 20, 2016 @ 02:05 PM | 14,285 Views
Since we're stuck in parks and places with no landing strips, I've started building smaller planes. Then I got some money back from taxes this year and since it was sort of an unexpected windfall, I decided to treat myself...

It's a V2 E-Turbine 250 racer, with Quanum Cyclops goggles. I still need to set up the quad and remove the landing gear (don't need it). The Cyclops is Quanum's brand new (released like three weeks ago!) entry level FPV goggles. All the reviewers are raving about it, and it's just $58 at HK (I added a better antenna for $6).

I forgot to charge my transmitter so I can't set up the quad until tonight. I did try the camera and goggles, though, and the picture is pretty big and clear for something so inexpensive. And, best of all, my glasses fit in there, unlike other brands like the FatSharks!

Hopefully we have good weather this next long weekend. Can't wait to try it out.
Posted by V-Man | May 21, 2016 @ 07:20 PM | 14,814 Views
For me at least -- the others have been flying for a couple of weeks already.

Let me tell you, felt good to get some air under my wings. It's been close to eight months.

Since we can't go back to our usual field, the abandoned hippodrome (I checked today, there were two goons in a Garda SUV), we're trying other locations. Today was a park on the south shore. Nice but only for smaller planes, and no runway.

Still, any flying is better than no flyin'.
Posted by V-Man | Apr 16, 2016 @ 03:12 PM | 14,618 Views
It's mid-April already and still no flying for me yet in 2016. Combination of the loss of our usual flying field last year* and very busy days at work. Hoping to get started in early May in the local parks.

*Abandoned local race track. Administration decided to get a permanent security service to watch over the place and prevent anyone from going in.
Posted by V-Man | Dec 20, 2015 @ 05:39 PM | 15,376 Views
Work is done for the year, now Xmas shopping is done, which means that tomorrow I can get some modeling time!

I think I will either work on my DLG, or pull the Albatros from storage... Now that I have the hatch magnets, no reason to put it off anymore.
Posted by V-Man | Nov 12, 2015 @ 10:05 PM | 16,042 Views
I was hoping to get one or two more weekends this year, but... The 2015 flying season is over for me. Between chores, work (we're finishing up a big software release) and two upcoming business trips, I simply don't have any free time until the Christmas holidays (and even then). Haven't set foot in the workshop for days, and it's unlikely to change.

To top it off, construction has started at the empty field at the end of my street. I used to fly my Mini-Beaver and One-Sheet-Wing there after work in the summer. My days of park flying close to home are over, alas.
Posted by V-Man | Oct 04, 2015 @ 02:43 PM | 16,280 Views
Signs prohibiting R/C models have sprung up around the old hippodrome, our usual flying field. Looks like the best place to fly on the island is lost...

And I just bought new planes! Time to find a new field. Any thoughts?