Doug Simmons's blog View Details
Posted by Doug Simmons | Sep 12, 2019 @ 11:14 AM | 1,321 Views
I lit out to build a Funcub for towing purposes that had an absurd amount of power to haul relatively large gliders, the club workhorse, and I've got strong success to report. (The reason for going with the classic Funcub was that I can toss it in the car without assembly, that it's not overtly conspicuous, it's just more practical than a giant like the Flex Cessna 170 or their RV-8 or the Funcub XL.) It's perfect. She's perfect I should say.

For the ESC I scored a Frsky 80A (link) from a buddy. The ESCs I had on hand of >80A were just too large to stuff into the airplane, I had glued the ESC on the top of the nose. This ESC has the muscle and also is small enough to tuck inside the fuse just where an inrunner motor would go. One interesting thing about this ESC, which I guess is drone-purposed, is that if you pull back on the throttle, it engages prop braking to quickly slow down the propeller to match your stick position. That way you can pull up to the flight line and make the Funcub do a little dance, important.

I went with the Leopard 4250-4.5T 960kv (link). Not only is this motor at 208g about twice the weight of a typical Funcub motor, and because you have to mount it in front of the firewall sticking out rather than tucking it inside the fuselage, and because it's long, that moves the CG forward significantly. For batteries, I went with a 4000mAh 4S (link) weighing over 400g, more than double the typical Funcub battery.

Challenges those two things...Continue Reading
Posted by Doug Simmons | Aug 13, 2019 @ 10:24 AM | 1,154 Views
Hey fellas, got a Funcub kit arriving today, going off the menu ordering parts from five different vendors. Kind of ludicrous admittedly. I'd use a giant-scale but I'm lazy for transporting. Dealing with stripping stainless steal screws in the winter with numb fingers, no thanks. So, question about building an overkill tow Funcub (about 1kW), judging from a video of one of you towing a couple gliders vertically using the setup I'm trying to mimic, and at least one of you using reinforcements with the motor mount. Is not metalsmithing reinforcements something I'll immediately regret? I'm not very competent...

Vertical funcub (1 min 13 sec)

Regarding being a reliable go-to tow man (once I've gotten more comfortable with the piloting -- not so easy), I realize charged batteries are an ingredient. This is tough to calculate, but on-hand I have four four cell four amp hour packs, maybe I'll get four minutes tops out of each, plus some extra time between tow hookups and charging swaps. Close by I'll have a briefcase with three chargers powered by a bunch of old jumbo packs in parallel. So rotating in after each depletion a pack to recharge, taking out a charged pack, three packs charging at 1C at different steps of progress, might that be about enough to keep on towing without having to take a break? Because towing is a high current operation, pushing the packs to their limits, if I need to charge faster, would charging at 2C given the abuse of this sort discharging I'll...Continue Reading
Posted by Doug Simmons | Sep 13, 2018 @ 03:11 PM | 2,611 Views
Were you as dumb as I, you might figure before buying one of these RC trucks that, because they only escape two dimensions through brief, low-altitude parabolic flight, that maintenance and necessary upgrades, as well as tempting hop-ups, relative even to large airplanes would be minimal. Wrong!

Turns out there are as just as much electronics -- heck, my car has the vehicular counterpart to rate mode gyros (and it's impressive) -- if not more and whole lot more mechanics and stress on those mechanics involved, from transmission and gear ratios to shock absorbing modifications such as oil silicone "weight." Wheels, wheel offsets, tires, pre-mounted wheel/tire combos; if you want much better grip on the wet grass in my backyard, which wouldn't be the most sinister activity when trespassing, you'll need to drop $150 on a new set with a different tread pattern, or more if you're going up from 2.2" to 2.8" "monster" tires which require bigger whatevers to handle the torque, plus stuff to raise your suspension, and maybe some different sort of gear ratio -- or after having spent four hours combing the forums on that single topic, you change your mind and go the low center-of-gravity kit route. I have no idea how much that costs off-hand but given that whatever aluminum caster blocks and steering hubs are will run you forty or fifty bucks, it ain't cheap.

Oh and rust, what a frightening pain in the ass that says hello by day two: Once you learn...Continue Reading
Posted by Doug Simmons | Jun 16, 2018 @ 09:03 PM | 2,633 Views
Tuning up the Valiant on the porch, gluing this twisting that with my little guy, wife inside watching whatever wives watch when in possession of remote.

Big old fat ass jumbo bee emerges from house crevice.

Minding his own business but a bit too close for comfort. Maybe a friendly, maybe a hornet, don't know my insects, have to engage.

Not looking forward to clapping this mother to death, but bee is armed, uninvited and hovering menacingly on private property.

That's a bad move in the Constitution State, bee.

Tell wife to get the boy inside, wife shuts the door, they stare through glass as I draw my seaplane with one hand, set the throttle mix to insecticide rates with the other hand, aim fuselage toward bee's vicinity,...

Foooop! 330W vacuum guillotine at a 7 inch pitch restores peace to the porch.

Engage throttle cut switch, locate and collect bee debris for photo, give baby and lady the all clear.

Bee squeezes out a few postmortem shakes, decapitation wounds prove fatal, debrief wife who concedes "that was cool."

Quickly explain death to three year old, son offers bee posthumous apology followed by an improvised at-sea burial. Child pulls flush lever, "Byebye Mister Bee!" as bee swirls down into the great unknown.

Judge that boy exhibits appropriate amount of empathy for bee, polish off episode with a tall, cool Budweiser.
Posted by Doug Simmons | May 20, 2018 @ 01:31 PM | 2,762 Views
Hey, so last night I was testing a string of LED bulbs, nothing too crazy, forty watts' worth, to see about how long two 1600mAh packs in parallel would keep them lit burning 40W. My nicest 1600s. Why? Never mind why. Then I'm screwing around on the laptop, up to no good, time passes, and it hits me, the LEDS are dim, oh no!, I let it run too long, packs' are probably dead! Should have used the damn power supply and a wattmeter...

Maybe you've figured out what makes you happy and are already equipped for it, but in my case, the amps and watts I need in DC from an AC source is a function of time, and for others like me, I'd say it's handy to have at least one high current AC/DC power supply. And not just for powering your chargers: If you experiment in your hangar "on the bench" with a wattmeter/thrust stand/RPM/temperature sensors etc also with, say, different ESCs, different motors and different props, or maybe you just like to lick the electricity and chart down how delightful it felt: You want a source of power that is consistent as a battery pack's voltage, and voltage sag, weakens from one ten second run to the next. Powering your plane with your power supply instead of a pack will yield better testing results. Provided, of course, the PSU can put out enough amps without dying, and without excessive voltage sag. And provided, of course, that the PSU in question won't break the bank, and the guy who sells it to you is trustworthy, based on my having bought...Continue Reading
Posted by Doug Simmons | May 13, 2018 @ 01:57 PM | 3,205 Views
I have a twin motor plane with more than its share of idiosyncrasies, a real fixer-upper with many out-of-the-box problems and many points of failure, on top of the added complexity of plane with more than one prop to spin. I also like making things way too complicated, for example using two eight channel receivers, one with a flight controller, and a dozen telemetry sensors. This particular plane, to offer it further as an example, came with two 30A ESCs when combined they can exceed 75 amps on the bench with, my opinion at least, too thin, too hot wires, and with only 2A max being fed to the receiver to power all of this and several sketchy servos. I don't even know how many hours I put into reading the rcgroups thread to find out what I needed to do and buy to fix the problems.

Well I got her airborne, and though I crashed at the end of my second flight, it was due to good ol' pilot error (excessive elevator throw), not my messing up the voltage on the BEC or bad soldering or a brown out or signal loss. That was actually comforting, messing up with the sticks, finding myself in an inverted stall too close to a tree. I put several, maybe more, hours not just into repairing it but making improvements, for example swapping out a receiver that was reporting low voltage, laying in thicker wires with better connectors, installing Durafly Tundra 40A reversible ESCs plus the Castle BEC and repairing the structural damage.

Bushmule water flight, such as it was (RC crash) (
...Continue Reading
Posted by Doug Simmons | Mar 08, 2018 @ 11:48 AM | 3,102 Views
Well with your help and Aloft's I finished revising my Frsky order and it arrives tomorrow. I'm extremely psyched, and before I even unbox the thing to decide if I love or hate it, I have to make a Yippie! post here about the money, one that my wife wouldn't exactly appreciate but maybe you would.

I learned how to make a spreadsheet just now to add a line to my resume and to figure out how much it would have cost me to satisfy my requirements to outfit my designated geek plane with Spektrum gear versus Frsky. The answer is 2.2x, more than double! And in multiple cases for inferior things, like only cumulative voltage instead of individual cells. The one thing, feature-wise, where Spektrum has the edge that I could find is that their airspeed sensor can clock my foamie parkflyer up to 350mph and Frsky tops out at 223mph. Oh well!

Breaking it down more specifically, I want a transmitter capable of 16 channels that's expandable to a bunch more should the mood strike. I want it to have a high-res super-bright screen I can see in the sun (to eyeball telemetry) with a community surrounding and developing firmware I can tweak extensively. I want to type the name of the firmware into github and get a ton of hits. On the receiver end, I want telemetry sensor support, data logging to an SD and to be able to pop in up to sixteen servos/controllers/etc, again with the option for even more. I hate having to do risky tricks to squeeze out a tenth channel functionality from my DX9/...Continue Reading
Posted by Doug Simmons | Mar 05, 2018 @ 12:40 PM | 3,001 Views
He's right, you know:
Originally Posted by dalecheek1
HAHHAHAHAHADHAHAHH Total Dust Dot can anyone even tell what planes are doing
Ideally when recording your flight you'd have a camera with a lens that when you twist something mechanical happens in the lens that results in "optical" zooming. But your hands are busy, your wide-angle hatcam doesn't have a lens that zooms, and when you fly more than ten yards from the camera, you'll get complaints that the plane looks like a "dust dot" and everyone will pound you with thumbs-down which will hurt your feelings. So here's an alternative to hiring a film crew for your next Tundra outing (you'd still get a thumbs-down anyway, for videographic pretentiousness).

Virtually no one watches youtube with a 4K screen (we spend our money on planes, not fancy-boy computer monitors), but I film at 4K anyway so that for clips where the plane isn't close, I'm able, when editing the video later on my computer, to faux-zoom in fairly deep so that the plane isn't a dust dot, while doing so without it looking unacceptably pixelated as it would had I digitally-zoomed in from video I filmed at the more common resolutions.

To demonstrate, if you flew your plane, I don't know, one or two hundred meters out, well, here's a seven second clip of my plane repeated four times, the first time in 4K but a dust dot with no digital zooming, the...Continue Reading
Posted by Doug Simmons | Feb 25, 2018 @ 08:38 AM | 3,865 Views
Well, they ought to pronounce it frisky...

I'm tired of waiting for my Spektrum transmitter to die to justify taking the FrSky plunge, I want to take the damn plunge now, today. It's been a while since I crashed anything, so I figure I owe myself a treat. I'm trying real hard to do this right with respect to what's compatible with what in order to accomplish this and that, but I need one or two of you to vet my purchasing game plan before pulling the trigger.

Of all things on which to overspend, I'd put the transmitter right up there with my ol' lady's engagement ring (bless her heart for putting up with me, for example this monetary disappearing act I'm attempting to execute). So if I'm taking this plunge I'm going with the X10S, the Cadillac of the Frsky offerings, I want to take full advantage of it. This includes (firstly flashing OpenTX in case that doesn't go without saying) having sixteen if not thirty-two channels operational, manipulating flight controller settings and indulging in a full-blown telemetry data addiction relapse. With those general requirements I have not found one site that has everything I need, so I need to use multiple vendors.:
  • I'll get the X10S from Aloft or MotionRC, probably not the classifieds.
  • I want either the G-RX8 or the S8R receiver: They both have eight channels ready and capable of more, I think each have full telemetry support, one has a vario built-in, the other has a stabilizer (I only need anti-wind/turbulence, nothing
...Continue Reading
Posted by Doug Simmons | Feb 19, 2018 @ 11:21 AM | 3,275 Views
"Woah dude I thought that was a UFO," said a local youth as I wrapped up a night float flight.

I could understand how it would make that impression, especially if he were a little buzzed on something. Night flying is so much fun and really quite easy if you're both using enough light and some coloring to maintain orientation (to know whether the plane is flying toward you or away). The only thing that makes me nervous is not landing on the water but nearby residents seeing the lights and calling the cops. But if I were the cop responding to the call and discovered it was a handsome young man flying not an annoying drone but a seaplane with a custom light rig in proper nav light formation, I would keep my lights off and enjoy the flight, you know?

RC Seaplane Night Flight (2 min 1 sec)

I'm new to the night flying scene but I've already discovered that led bulbs make a fine substitute for led strips for the purpose of night flying just with scale-ish nav lights (not for artistic creations). In terms of putting out the same, if not more, lumens per watt, they are efficient. They are small and those that I used weigh only six grams apiece. I didn't do wind tunnel tests but I'd submit that they edge out led strips in terms of the drag and weight cost per lumen.

As they are silicone popsicle, not strips with some sketchy rubber tubing, they are completely waterproof, which I know from flying off of saltwater with leds on the sides of the floats. And maybe...Continue Reading
Posted by Doug Simmons | Jan 30, 2018 @ 06:21 PM | 3,920 Views
When this missus and I announced our engagement, my late grandfather-in-law for whom talking was a struggle approached me and said, "Do not take unnecessary risks." While that may strike you as about as meaningful as any random fortune cookie, what I believe the old man meant was that I must never attempt to resuscitate dead lipos.

Perhaps you've even tried it a few times and succeeded without anything blowing up, no 911 calls. Perhaps you've taken precautions, maybe you had a jug of water beneath the battery and a fire extinguisher ready to rip. You even ordered some "resistor" thing that might help.

I imagine most of those who've tried know there's a good chance you'll bring the little fella back above 3.5V / cell without burning down the house and that, while the voltage will fall way off 4.2V as soon as you unplug it and the thing will have half its original life in the air with major voltage sag, but it's a good pack to have on hand in the hangar when you need to power up a servo tester. Or so we tell ourselves.

Buddy, I know this firsthand: When lipos self-immolate, they are angry, they are damn hot, they're spitting out flame. Maybe they're squirting out flaming acid, who knows what the hell they're doing. Meanwhile, that confidence in your contingency plans turns to panic as you try to hurl the thing out of your basement where it burns a grey scar on the asphalt and leaves your house stinking for days -- if you're lucky, something much worse could happen instead. But you won't have to smell the house as your wife will lock you in the doghouse forever, you'll never stop hearing about it. She'll tell your in-laws too.

You think I sound like I've resuscitated-and-regretted, I'm giving a little too much detail? No I haven't actually; I'm just an amazing writer. :)

Once lipos dip below 3V / cell, or, you know, all the way down to zero volts, they're compromised. Fifteen, thirty bucks, whatever, paying that figure again is worth extinguishing this elevated and unnecessary risk.

Posted by Doug Simmons | Jan 28, 2018 @ 02:08 PM | 3,239 Views
I just ordered the Flyzone Beaver and I want to go night flying off the water with it with ample light, and without using, except maybe extreme density white lights underneath the wing, goofy led strips. So I searched the rcgroups forum list and found one for Night Flying. This thread is the most fascinating and informative collection of stunning RC beauty I've ever seen, and even if you have no interest in night flying, take a look:

My wife would use a different word but I think I've spent the morning productively coming up with something for this thread that might be of use to those of you who go heavy on amps and are worried about burning up their thin balance line. Or in my case, if you split the balance line in order to use a voltage alarm in addition to powering your lights, you may see a significant drop on the voltage alarm that is well below the voltage on the main power-to-esc lines. Why is that?

Anyway here's what I came up with and it appears to work:

And in action...

So that there is a fairly thick-gauge pair of wires I ripped out of a dead battery and soldered in three balance lines (minus the two middle lines, not necessary to power lights), putting pairs of Anderson Powerpoles on either end because I'm too pathetic to solder a decent EC3. A buddy recommended these things, now I'm a Powerpole elitist. I soldered the balance lines onto the power lines carefully and strapped them down and gave the...Continue Reading
Posted by Doug Simmons | Jan 20, 2018 @ 11:49 AM | 4,334 Views
Rough day yesterday. Went down to the basement, my hangar which I never bother to clean, lots of electronics accumulated over the few years, some not cheap, some not cheap and never used, strewn about the floor... Flooded.

Called the landlady and her husband, sort of the shadow landlord who I think bought the place to give his wife something to do, then launched a search and rescue mission to get anything on the higher, dry patches of floor to safer ground, then combed the water to fish out electronics. Ouch, a receiver, ouch, flight controllers, ouch all my reels of LEDs, ouch a bunch of ESCs including a reversible Tundra esc, ouch this ouch that, DAMN a Talon 90!? Oh c'mon, not that.

Talon friggin' 90 *and* its Castle ESC programming card.

I'll try my luck with isopropyl alcohol, the finest in all of CVS, though the water spared the planes and all my charging stuff as were all the things I needed to continue to fly. Well, at least the water was clean and warm, not poopy water.

There's got to be a lesson for me to learn from this...

On the bright side, the basement is considerably cleaner now.

Posted by Doug Simmons | Jan 05, 2018 @ 06:39 PM | 4,927 Views
All I left running was a two amp / 24W battery pack heater in my Passat while I flew for an hour and it killed the car battery. Killed it dead! Froze my ass off. No one around to hook me up with a jump, I didn't have anything to wire up in parallel for additional discharge current, though I had an old 3S 3000mAh to offer assistance to the car battery, managed to connect them with my jumper cables. While it brightened the car's interior lights, no dice starting the engine.

Moving forward I won't leave stuff running, but this misadventure made me curious regarding whether there's a safe way to jump a car with our packs. So I combed the forums here (couldn't find anything on wattflyer). Not much of a consensus on this topic which makes me more curious.

The most common suggestion is to use a four cell battery (didn't know you can mix voltages) which is typically met with objections that that will fry the car's electronics and start fires. Some suggest a high capacity 3S, which sounds safer. I could wire up several 3Ss in parallel, would that do it? Others suggest batteries of different chemistry like NiCD, LiFe and A123, I guess because their voltage multiple can lie at a more conservative 14V.

Highlights I found; perhaps you may find one useful.

Originally Posted by seeingeyegod
What could possibly go wrong?
Originally Posted by mrforsyth
...Continue Reading
Posted by Doug Simmons | Dec 11, 2017 @ 11:22 AM | 4,606 Views
Oh man if I could parlay my RC addiction into something that produces enough cash to cover my rent and to replace my wrecked airplanes... I've got the hang of flying, I've got the hang of filming, I've got the hang of editing. But I've made a hundred videos and only have 49 subscribers, not even close to bother turning on ads. I'd like to shove my fledgling channel into search visibility, which might take a thousand subs after which I suspect it becomes much easier to accumulate more.

Take Flyin' Ryan. This guy makes simple RC review videos, the format generally is several minutes split in half, the first half talking about the plane or helicopter or drone (usually drones), and then he flies the thing in a small room, banging around the walls in a lighthearted, comical and endearing way.

Silverlit - Pico Falcon (2015 World's Smallest RC Helicopter) - Review and Flight (7 min 56 sec)

That video has 2.6M views, a no-budget video of a tiny Radio Shack-tier heli. No script, not much editing involved; it might take maybe, I don't know, three hours to produce a clip from unboxing to posting. However long it takes him it's definitely less than I spend on a single two minute clip. I go crazy trying to perfect everything. Here's my desk working on my next video. Overkill, I know, and proof of no return on excessive editing; but I'm a bit OCD.

If he monetized that well, that single seven minute video might have already made him in the neighborhood of five...Continue Reading
Posted by Doug Simmons | Oct 05, 2017 @ 02:25 PM | 4,770 Views
Yeah, telemetry is addictive, I know. In addition to helping you get the absolute most out of your battery before having to land, you can get the core data a pilot would need, enriching the fantasy. When many of you buy batteries, you are mindful of their weight relative to their capacity. You do this because every gram counts, particularly when you're flying planes that weigh less than, oh, 2kg. The more weight, the faster the stall speed, the worse the climb rate, the more momentum and less agility, you may lose unlimited vertical and hovering, you may throw off your CG if you're not careful and your flight times could suffer if the extra weight is significant.

So to squeeze out the last drop of your battery before landing, you drop $50 on Spektrum's TM1000 (or similar of another brand) to beam down telemetry data including voltage, and, even though it's the voltage that matters, you also lay down $80 for Spektrum's current sensor that keeps a tally of milliamp hours of your 180g 2200mAh 3S 35C that you burned.

While in your Spektrum telemetry buying spree you also grab the variometer, the GPS module, the airspeed sensor and, why not, the Gforce sensor. Well before you slap all of that into your Valiant, Timber or Tundra, check this out: I grabbed my scale to weigh some of this stuff to see if it weighed anything. The answer is yes: If you add the aforementioned Spektrum gear inside your plane, it will weigh 75g more, almost three ounces, and it will consume...Continue Reading
Posted by Doug Simmons | Aug 13, 2017 @ 08:52 AM | 5,730 Views
During an early morning flight when no one was around I lost my signal or the receiver malfunctioned barely a thousand feet from me. Failsafes kicked in which kept the plane inside the park, not sailing into town, with a pretty wild landing:

RC Flyaway: Tragedy Narrowly Averted by Failsafes (2 min 36 sec)

As for the culprit, I range tested it and on low power it failed at 15 paces. I remembered I had added a capacitor to the receiver that came with the flight controller I had been using, I guess it's supposed to mitigate the risk of brownouts from power surges. I removed it and it range tested beautifully.

But to be safe, in case it were something else, before I fly the plane normally I will instead fly at low altitude early in the morning out to sea as far as I can and just do full throttle laps for at least several batteries, including raising the flight controller rate gains to induce oscillation to shake things up, so that if there's a flyaway I only lose the plane rather than risk killing anyone. I figure the more times I do that without incident the more likely the plane is shipshape and seaworthy for regular flight.

Range test after doing anything either involving your radio equipment or after anything noteworthy happening to the plane, and for good measure every now and then. Also program your failsafes to put your plane in a gentle spiral, if you want my advice. This could have ended very badly in many different ways, as far as being in a flyaway goes, short of a smooth landing, I got as lucky as one can get.
Posted by Doug Simmons | Aug 08, 2017 @ 09:16 AM | 5,132 Views
Just got a Tundra or maybe a Timber and servos froze or stripped on your maiden? So your next move is searching the forum for mentions of alternative metal gear digital servos, you find a good deal and buy six. Along the way you pick up a flight controller and a TM1000 (telemetry). I've been there buddy. No big deal, right?

You preflight the plane, run it full throttle on the bench, wattmetering, it all seems kosher. The guys in the forum didn't report problems with the servos, the site from which you bought the stuff has a good reputation, and you range checked after installing the TM1000, so what could go wrong (other than forgetting to turn off your AS3X now that you've added a stabilizing flight controller)?


Your ESC, if it's a common type, in addition to feeding your motor power from your battery, it also feeds, and at a different voltage and maximum amperage, power to your receiver, which in turn powers your servos, your flight controller and that TM1000, all through three tiny servo pins. The ESC Horizon picked out for that plane was likely designed to be as lightweight as possible while delivering just enough power to the plane without failing.

Now when you switch to non-stock metal gear digital servos, even if they don't have higher torque and speed, there's a decent chance they will draw more power, and a moderate chance they'll draw significantly more power, and a noteworthy chance that they'll collectively spike and eat up more amps...Continue Reading
Posted by Doug Simmons | Jul 17, 2017 @ 09:49 AM | 6,458 Views
The attached picture is the latest batch of stuff Horizon product support mailed me. Two 30A ESCs, three 40A ESCs, three AR636A receivers and an AR9350 rx plus a remote satellite receiver that had a saltwater encounter. This was in response to my mailing them the same items I had broken myself, not defects, mostly from saltwater, and with the AR9350 because I reversed the polarity when plugging in the voltage sensor leads (and I noted on the form that this was all my fault, but maybe you could replace the antennas I managed to sever, etc).

That's $540 worth of stuff (well, retail) in this last package.

They've done this sort of thing numerous times to the point that I'm feeling guilty when sending something in knowing they'll most likely give me a freebie, or repair an out-of-warranty classifieds-purchased DX9 for cheap or for zero dollars, or in just one case decline to fix a motor that had glue on it but offer me a good discount for a new one. Other freebies, again all my fault, were two or three other AR9350s (all stemming from the same first purchase, I kept screwing up the replacements), numerous telemetry sensors -- I can't even keep track!

On the $0.00 invoices they write "in the spirit of customer service." Yes, though it's also good for business, securing such a reputation and customer loyalty. And it's not just free replacements: When I send in a transmitter for something like a busted switch, not only will they fix the superficial problems, they will always do a thorough radio integrity check, flash the latest firmware, above-and-beyond work for which they won't charge me. The fellas in the Tundra thread have convinced me to try Frsky, and not just because the prices are comparatively amazing. But this is a tier of customer support I have only found in Horizon and HeadsUpRC. And the tier brings a tear to my eye.

Thanks, Horizon. And my man Jesse at headsuphobby, an outfit that deserves its own, separate post.

Posted by Doug Simmons | Jul 14, 2017 @ 10:23 AM | 8,155 Views
So you made another boring twenty minute RC video, but because you're a nervous girly-man the camera was shaking a lot and before you post your perfect little clip you want to add optical stabilization (even though your camera probably already added stabilization).

What does youtube's stabilization do, how good is it? Here are two versions of the same video, the first stabilized with my phone camera's own stabilization but is still shaky, the second stabilized with both my phone's stabilization plus Youtube's stabilization, so double stabilized. The camera's stabilization I'm guessing uses its accelerometers, youtube uses optical stabilization. Click play on both fast and mute one so you can compare not just the stabilization but also the video quality, psychadelic warpiness (the "jello effect"), compression artifacts (a tad worse in the second version, but only if you're looking for it, most won't notice).

Silky smooth RC seaplane landings in Darien CT (2 min 51 sec)

Silky smooth RC seaplane landings in Darien (stabilized) (2 min 51 sec)
...Continue Reading