BernardW's blog View Details
Posted by BernardW | Aug 02, 2020 @ 01:59 PM | 2,673 Views
I'm happy to see that the Federal Govt. has decided to withdraw its backing for Clive Palmer's High Court challenge to the WA hard border. I suspect they withdrew because very few West Aussies would likely vote for them in the next election (I think it's the 1st half of next year) if they followed through as the bid is deeply unpopular in WA, and from the little I've heard even people in the Eastern States don't like the sound of the challenge or of the Federal govt. supporting it. I'm sure that's not the reason they'll give publicly but hey, so long as they're out of it.

If you didn't know, I make a living as a live sound engineer in Perth, operating the PA system for live music in large pub venues. That was one of the first industries to be clobbered by the virus, but we've been able to work again for about a month now. Crowds in town are very busy again on the weekends when I work there. I've been talking with more of the "punters", the patrons and general public, at and around the gigs I've been to lately. From that and the media, I gather that West Aussies really do understand that we are in an extraordinarily lucky position, being able to see the footy at the stadium, go to gigs, drink in pubs, go to the supermarket without queuing, and generally living life the way we're used to. There's also a sense that that inevitably sooner or later, the virus will reappear, with that 2nd wave in Victoria and NSW. People believe it will surely cross...Continue Reading
Posted by BernardW | Jul 28, 2020 @ 06:07 PM | 7,892 Views
THIS IS A POLITICAL OPINION, and it's far from neutral - As far as I understand the forum's rules I can post this in my blog. If this is in breach I'll move it, with apologies. It's my own views and not in response to any other post on RCGroups.

I'm disgusted with this elite, self-serving billionaire charlatan Clive Palmer. Western Australia is trading, working and SAFE - no community COVID-19 transmissions for over 100 days, which almost anyone you ask will credit to the hard border in place between here and other states, and overseas.
Mr Palmer, now facing fraud charges of syphoning funds between his business interests and his political party, is being disingenuous here. He is all up-in-arms and self-righteous over being "denied entry" to Western Australia, and is therefore mounting a challenge in a high Federal court against the border itself - not whether he can have an exemption to cross it (he can!), but to tear it down for everyone. He is not West Australian, he's Qld-based, and has business interests here including owning the lease on a magnetite mine operated by a Chinese company, from which he's reported to have earned 100's of millions of dollars.
In fact, he WAS NOT denied entry here at all, despite the wording of several articles since then. See this -
containing this series of paragraphs -
"Mr Palmer also said he did not agree to "totalitarian" conditions which may have allowed...Continue Reading
Posted by BernardW | Jul 12, 2020 @ 06:29 PM | 5,158 Views
Hi, just had a brief chat in another thread about how younger people in the hobby seem to approach it differently. First of all let me say I'm very happy that there ARE new people entering the hobby (or sport if you prefer), keeping the clubs and stores open and generally keeping RC alive.

But there are definitely difference in the way younger and older generations approach it. I really don't want to be just another older guy having a go at the youngsters, after all when we're gone they will be the ones leading the way.

This discussion actually started out as why so few young RC flyers want to use IC engines, and some of us have picked up on them really not liking IC. I'm a bit the opposite, I think engines are a nice interest in themselves and I'm less interested in electric. That's because to me, it's not just about the easiest or cheapest way to get a model off the ground to fly it, the engine is part of the pleasure (though I'm a definite 4-stroke snob... not into screamers). I believe glow engines are still a good option for people learning to fly RC - they can be a lower initial purchase cost, easy to use if someone shows you how, and perform well. But they've been thoroughly out-marketed, I guess, by electric. What's the future for glow?

Anyway, everyone's invited to add their observations. I would REALLY like to hear from someone younger... what do you see yourself doing differently to the previous generations? What would you like to see happen in the sport of RC...Continue Reading
Posted by BernardW | Mar 04, 2020 @ 09:58 AM | 8,558 Views
Hi, just saw the news today that Perth RC Models and Hobbies store on Lord St, East Perth was "destroyed" (quoting channel 7) by fire today, and that report said damage was estimated at a million dollars.
This is sad news and a bit of a shock, can anyone confirm that the shop was really totalled? First report said it was "just the roof" but later it seems to have burnt out the whole store.
Perth RC is, IMO, the equal best hobby store in West Australia. Even if insurance was paid out tomorrow, every cent needed to replace every lost item, it'd still take a HUGE effort and a long time to get that store back to the state it was... imagine the years of hard-to-get parts for so many planes, cars, kits, choppers, you name it. Perth RC had taken over Aeroflyte and put some of the kits back into production, and I must say they look like very nice kits. So the East Perth store had *large* stocks of balsa and so on to make up many model kits, that can't have helped with the fire. They had a large laser cutting table and equipment to vacuum form plastic parts, and for die cutting balsa, though the laser cutting system looked like the heart of it to me. I saw some of the kits, the plans and fully and part-completed models, it was all excellent.
I really hope Aeroflyte Australia and Perth RC, not to mention Bryan, can bounce back from this.
Posted by BernardW | Jan 26, 2020 @ 12:37 PM | 7,374 Views
Very sad to hear about this -
The 3 American crew aboard that plane had come with it to Australia to help fight the fires, and perished doing it. This explains better than I can -

It says there are 80 fires still burning in NSW and half of them uncontained. So it's by no means finished yet. It's still very dangerous fire conditions across most of the country and they're burning all the time in other states too.
I think it's incredible what the water bomber crews do. These videos have most often been about the Large and Very Large Air Tankers but there are all kinds of flying machines throwing retardant against the fires. It must be so dangerous. All those fire crews out there are doing a fantastic job against those terrible fires and some are losing their lives to it. It really moves me.
Posted by BernardW | Dec 10, 2019 @ 07:53 AM | 5,369 Views
I hear that the bushfires in New South Wales now are at a point where several of the worst of them have combined into one gigantic "mega fire", of around 400,000 hectares, which is near as nothing to a *million* acres... that's not one large area that has some fire in it, that's a million acres that is burning. That's a serious conflagration. 680 homes destroyed, in NSW alone, this season so far. Even more shocking, 6 people dead already from it. What more is there to say about that?
I heard about the fires in California this year, they were especially bad. As you can imagine, we understand and sympathise about this type of fire. We've seen the devastation and known what it can mean to people, to families and communities. It's very difficult coming back from something like that, maybe hard than just going through it the first time.
So that million acres is the worst of the fires in ONE state. Last I heard recently there were large fires, many out of control, burning in FIVE states, and we've only got 6 plus a couple of territories (admittedly the Northern Territory is very big, bigger than some of our actual states). I live in Western Australia, the biggest state, and it IS a biggie. Right now big fires are raging in W.A. but not to the extent that they are in NSW or elsewhere, but there's nothing to stop them reaching that scale. It's happened before near here because Perth, where I live, is built on the edge of a forested area and the outskirts region we call &...Continue Reading
Posted by BernardW | Jul 03, 2019 @ 10:02 AM | 5,010 Views
I'm looking for ideas to help make interchangeable engine mounts for my current build. It's just a standard ply firewall, and I'm fitting a Saito 130TD (4-stroke glow twin cylinder). That should be a good match for this model but I have 2 other engines I want to use some time too, an FA-182TD and a YS FZ91AC. The 182 is very similar in weight and dimensions but it has a different mounting bolt pattern, though they both use a similar radial-type mount. The YS is a single cylinder 4-stroke and needs a standard store-bought 2 beam engine mount, but once again that mount will have another bolt pattern too.

There isn't room to drill all the different holes in the firewall and fit blind nuts, in fact for beam mounts I could even end up with holes overlapping. It's possible I could convert from one engine to another by removing the blind nuts and filling the holes, then drilling for the 182 or another mount, but it's a one-off, I couldn't go back to the 130 again later. The model has been designed around that engine so using the 182 with it is not a priority, but that engine and the YS haven't been used yet and it seems handy to use an existing model to try them with until I can build something else for each. The YS will hopefully get a Kaos 90 made for it. OTOH the Fa-130td would be worth trying in that model too, so if I had a reasonable method for swapping either the engine mount or the firewall itself I could get more use out of all 3 of my "big" engines, and...Continue Reading
Posted by BernardW | Jun 23, 2019 @ 03:54 PM | 5,031 Views
The mutant Stik-shaped model is coming along bit by bit as I can find the time. I've been using that build like a blog, for general model-related guff, and neglecting this page so I'll try to keep in mind what each is really meant for. What I wanted to post here is my good results with new tools, for me anyway, on that build. I made a little sanding jig like a bench hook with an extra base piece sticking out one side and that works as a track to slide a sanding bar along. The top piece of the jig is square to that edge so it's easy to sand a piece square. The sanding bar is made of 50 x 30mm rectangular aluminium extrusion with sandpaper spray glued to it, and a gap at the bottom to clear the base of the jig. It works great, especially for sanding the angles on the ends of the diagonal braces in the Warren truss rear fuselage sides. I mark the angle I want on each brace from the stringers then place it on the jig at roughly that angle, first to use it as a bench hook while I saw it then to sand it to fit. It works very well. I bought another 1 metre long piece of the same hollow bar as a long sander and it's also been very handy. I've got coarse 80 grit paper on one side and 180 on the other. So far I've used it mainly to true up the edges of full length balsa sheets for edge gluing, as I needed to join 3 sheets for each skin for the wing D-tubes. It gives a nice straight edge that's properly square to the face all the way along, which isn't guaranteed using a blade and...Continue Reading
Posted by BernardW | Apr 05, 2019 @ 12:43 PM | 4,641 Views
I'm a committed Titebond Original user, I used this for RC wherever possible because I had experience with it from general woodworking and I already liked it. When I started building RC models again I had been on a bit of woodworking kick before that and I'd been using Titebond (always Original, to me that seems best suited to modelling and if I do any other woodworking that's what I prefer for that too).. My 1st completed RC model was an RCM Trainer 60 where I used maybe 10 drops of CA on the whole thing, mostly just to harden the threads for holding the landing gear on. My 2nd was a Bruce Tharpe Engineering Venture 60, I used a lot more CA on that one. The plans and instructions call for CA but I subsctituted Titebond wherever I could, though I did use CA on many of the wing joints. Admittedly I wasn't using Zap or another specially developed hobby-type CA, I was using a hardware store super-glue type, though I did try and get the best I could find. I didn't know the difference then, I've tried Zap and it really is far better for model building.
I used to be able to get Titebond at two places, one a big hardware chain that's gone out of business called Masters, and another was the specialty woodwork sipplier called Carbatec, who are now the only place I know of. It seems they've actually dropped the price on Titebond since Masters closed, Masters used to be Really Cheap, Carbatec are merely Pretty Cheap but used to be far more than Masters. It's only $AU10 for 16 oz/473 mL...Continue Reading
Posted by BernardW | May 24, 2018 @ 03:07 AM | 6,550 Views
A little matter I've been meaning to bring up... does anyone else feel like those pod shapes on the bottom of the landing gear would be better being called "wheel spats" than "wheel pants"? I never heard of wheel pants until I started reading US hosted RC sites like this one. To me I'd always known them for years and years as Spats on fullsize aircraft. I will concede that I've seen them called wheel pants on fullsize too since then, but I'm pretty sure in Commonwealth countries the term is, or at least used to be, spats. Now, doesn't using the word "pants" for an aircraft part seem slightly silly? Even uncomfortable? The thing is, these pants don't go over any legs, they're just at the foot of the landing gear over the wheel. So if anything they're more like wheel shoes (that's not too bad either). And some Stukas had what they called :"trouser type" fairings over the fixed LG legs, they could certainly qualify as pants but few others have them, and fewer RC models. Isn't Spats just a better word, and doesn't make you feel so weird saying it? So the solution is obvious. Loud and clear, say it with me, call 'em Spats! from now on. So who's with me? Let's spread the word! Literally I mean, and the word is SPATS!
Posted by BernardW | May 18, 2018 @ 04:05 AM | 6,963 Views
Hi, just a place to continue the discussion started in John Morgan's build log about servo power. Stemming from the servo calculator page at
To me the real issue is what exactly is the airspeed to plug into those equations. I've seen all sorts of estimates for different types of models but really, they're guesses. Who can actually tell us a *measured* speed for, say, a warbird of JMorgan's type size and weight, or a sports 60 model, or a trainer, or what. It's not too hard to get pylon results as they're recorded to help judge the races, but I think we'll find they're little use against other types like the above. I saw a post about a 2m J3 Cub with a stall speed of 28km/h, landing speed 35 km/h and "best speed" (full throttle?) of 64. That's not much, 64 k's is just over 40 mph. All the assumptions I've seen for model speeds were much faster than that. A reliable speed is the first thing we need to use that servo calculator page.

Anything anybody would like to add about that, go for it, right here. Help yourself.
Posted by BernardW | Oct 18, 2017 @ 03:35 PM | 8,838 Views
Let me start out by saying I'm not associated with Hitec in any way, except that I bought one of their radio sets. I'm just posting about how much I lvoe it and can't get over what a good deal I got, and that I'm surprised not to see more of them around.

I still find it amazing that almost 2 years after I bought it you can still get this deal at this price... this is in Aus. dollars so the numbers are higher than in the USA. Middle of the 3rd row of this page:

That's the same deal i got, only it was from a different supplier who has now closed down. Mine was $10 cheaper at the time. So for $AUD 499 it's the Aurora 9X (not the plain 9, the 9X is better), Optima 9 rx with telemetry, 4 servos (Hs-5484HB), HD switch harness with a charging point, Tx battery with a basic wall charger, a crappy plastic cage for 4 rechargeable AA rechargeables for the Rx (I wouldn't use it, but it's handy for charging my TV remote etc) and various hardware. The same pack without servos is $50 less... or look at it this way, add 4 reasonable servos for $50. Right now one AUD is worth 78c US, so the package I got would be about $US 390. I still think that's a great deal for all that stuff. The Tx alone is $399 AUD, and the Optima 9 I think is almost $100 these days (for a while it was actually cheaper than the 7 channel).

I've posted before how much I like this radio and I know others who know what they're talking about (eg. hobby store staff)...Continue Reading
Posted by BernardW | Oct 18, 2017 @ 08:20 AM | 7,446 Views
Hi, I sometimes really stretch the boundaries of off-topic, and something came up on Club Saito that I'd like to continue if anyone's interested, so here's a place for that. I have a neighbour who was a fighter and bomber pilot, and bomber navigator, in WW2, single engined fighters (I don't know what off-hand so I'll ask him again before I try and specify what types) and definitely Beaufort bombers. Of course I'm fascinated to know whatever he'd like to say about flying those classic types, but actually I like the guy in his own right, not just because he's a flyer. He's a genuinely good bloke. I offered to come and help out with things he can't easily do himself, such as lifting or climbing ladders. He's still pretty game and doing remarkably well for a chap in his 90's, but he knows what'd happen if he fell off a ladder so he's wise enough to ask for help when he needs it, and it's a great excuse to have a chat with a nice, interesting fella.

We stopped and had a nice quiet beer, and he likes to chat but of course I always wish he'd tell me all about aircraft (I know better than to ask him to talk about the war, like most actual vet's I've met who were expected to take lives as part of their duty, he simply won't talk about it). But he knows I love my RC planes, and I said hold on, I'll go grab my laptop and show you some videos, and he was interested to see. I showed him some favourites, like the B-25 with twin Moki radials (really screams, that one, I wonder if it's...Continue Reading
Posted by BernardW | Oct 09, 2017 @ 03:18 AM | 7,794 Views
I enjoyed flying today and it went well. So long as there's not too much cross-wind to blow the model away from the line I can land as well as almost anybody at the field now, and so I should with the practice I've had. Every session I spend most of my time just running touch-and-goes over and over, it's great practice. I guess the spring brace for the landing gear works fine but I actually put it down nice and gently every time - except for the one occasion where I would have crashed into my own leg if I hadn't skipped out the way! Cross-winds - it was quite changeable today, eventually it settled into a genuine sea breeze, one of the first of the season, stiff and steady and actually quite fun to fly with if you take advantage of it, and straight down the 2nd runway. I could just about hover in it, strong breeze now is no longer a problem for me, and so long as it lines up with a runway it actually improves landings, you get great control and plenty of time. But until I figured out to use the back strip I was getting a little difficulty with the cross-wind component and nearly hit myself at one point.

But I did have two problems. The engine wouldn't reach peak RPM if I set wide open throttle, if I backed the stick off to about 2/3 or 3/4 it would actually rev fastest. I thought maybe the throttle was going past WOT and starting to close up again so I looked into the carby while operating it, but as I suspected, Saitos don;t do that, they hit WOT and...Continue Reading
Posted by BernardW | Sep 05, 2017 @ 10:40 AM | 7,580 Views
Hi, just a couple of ideas for possible flaps to add to my RCM Trainer 60. This was to be used in a PM then I reaslied I can't attach pictures to those. First image is a simple modification to my existing wing - split the ailerons into two sections, the inboard being shorter span and will be the flaps. I'd add an extra servo in each wing panel to control them, for a 4-servo wing, meaning I can run them as separate flaps, or together with the ailerons to restore the original aileron surface aera.
2nd versions, B, I'd only use if I were building a whole new wing for the trainer, which is actually a possibility. If I had a workshop area set up and ready to go it'd be so much easier to take on more of these projects, but as it is that's a little hard. Anyway, ideally I'd like more area for the flap surfaces, this is one way I can think of to do that. I'd also take the opportunity to mount the flaps' servos inboard in the wing centre section and drive them with torque rods. The main reason for that is to keep as much mass as possible inboard in the fuselage area, rather than out in the wing panels. I've read that you want as littlle mass out there as possible, I won't bother going into the reasons here but it should be obvious at least as far as angular momentum.

In the next image, version C is a possible improvement on A, which I could do relatively easily on the existing wing. The problems I see are lack of effective area for the flaps, so they're more like air brakes than a...Continue Reading
Posted by BernardW | Sep 03, 2017 @ 05:57 AM | 7,329 Views
Hi, nothing to report just yet, this is a placeholder post. I'm test-flying all these control system mod's tomorrow and I'll report how it goes. I'm really hoping the steering system on the ground now works reliably, that was why I started all thise work. It now has a spring-protected connection from the steering control rod to the steering and rudder servo, and hopefully instead of bending the axle or steering arm, any bumps on the ground or from skewed landings will now be absorbed by the springs. It got so bad for a while I couldn't taxi it at all, had to place the model on the runway and manually straighten the wheel, and it'd still swerve on take-off. Touch-and-go's weren't possible like that as the model would slice across the runway, further straining the steering. But this should fix it.

Also now using my best servos, which happen to be micro digitals, on ailerons. They'll be much faster, torquey and with much higher resolution than the Emax rubbish I was using before - they'd wanna be for the price anyway. If these work out well I might start budgeting and planning to get a couple more high-resolution servos, maybe Hitec D-625 ir 645. My Rx. can get up to 2048 steps of resolution with these, I'd need a Hitec Maxima to get the full 4086 but 11-bit would be plenty. The 5085's should give me 1024 steps, and the old analogues were probably equivalent to about 300. They were weak, stripped gears and were starting to act strangely so it was time to upgrade, and as I...Continue Reading
Posted by BernardW | Sep 03, 2017 @ 05:39 AM | 7,373 Views
Hi, I'll use this post as a place to record the major work done on the model over time. I'll come back and edit when there's something new to show.

Late Aug. 2017, re-built control linkages and systems.
Lots of work! I took almost 2 weeks to do all this, about an hour or more each day.

I'd been having real problems with the nosewheel steering, from a few sources. Firstly the steering arm seemed to slip on the nosewheel leg, no matter how I tightened it. I thought it could also be the axle but that was pretty tight. In the end, this Du Bro arm has a dura-collar built into it and it turned out that was loose inside the nylon arm. I fixed that with some full-strength epoxy. TAs it's near the crankcase breather and the oil dripping from it, I thoroughly cleaned it with alcohol, you'll always need to do that near exhaust or oil.
I thought that would be the end of it but still every flight the steering went crooked. I know that's common but this got really bad. It turned out to need a flat spot filed on the front of the nosewheel leg to give the axle and steering arm somewhere to grip, but I decided to improve the whole system. It had other problems causing the steering to go wrong and it was only going to do it again.

I'd originally used a Sullivan Gold-n-Cable inside a sleeve. They're good but not for that job. There was a kink in it to go to the steering arm, and that would flex, changing the length of the cable and therefore steering the model. If it rolled over inside its...Continue Reading
Posted by BernardW | Aug 18, 2017 @ 08:55 AM | 7,958 Views
More thoughts and reports on the RCM Trainer 60, now I've had my solo wings a few weeks and have been flying it every chance I get. There are a few special points that set it apart from other trainers. I mentioned the two main ones, higher sink rate and higher speed, I'd like to add some detail to that. The reason for these, I think, is that it's not a high-lift wing. With an asymmetrical airfoil section and not a large wing area, it's not like other trainers I've flown. It has a higher wing loading, the basic design comes out close to 20 oz/ft^2, most of the trainers I had lessons on were on the order of 12 to 16. It makes a big difference, especially together with that lower-lift wing section. But I happen to like it.

It makes some important differences. When you're on a lighter basic trainer, turns are easy. You just roll it a little, probably under 30 degrees bank, and apply a little back-pressure to the elevator stick, and it'll come around nice and smoothly. You practice this until it doesn't balloon those turns, and soon you start adding rudder, known as a coordinated turn. That's how you turn just about any model, but this one doesn't make it quite so easy. For starters, you have to fly it right through the turn, by which I mean you don't just wait for it to turn automatically for you, you have to strictly control its attitude at all times. You'll find the hardest are exactly those slow, smooth, gentle turns. It's far easier to just throw it hard over and haul back...Continue Reading
Posted by BernardW | Jul 30, 2017 @ 06:50 AM | 8,021 Views
It must have been a good year ago, that I promised I'd come up with a picture of kangaroos as the field where I usually go. One way or another it didn't happen, and then I hadn't been there again until today, but it was a REALLY good day. I finally got my solo wings, conditions were just about perfect, and I got photos of 'roos, on the field, with a model in the same frame, and stuff like a windsock and the runways and so on. I was challenged on this but at last I can prove my word is good... presenting that symbol of the Antipodes, the great marsupial, one of which even has a full-looking pouch (sorry, no cute little face peeking out but take it on faith).
By the way, see all the little black pellets on the ground? That's one way you know the 'roos have been there (exercise for the reader)

EDIT - just to give credit to the club, these pic's were taken at the WA Model Aero Sports Centre, which is in a very nice reserve called Whiteman Park. I won't go through the other stuff they have there but it's really cool and very popular (just to say my American Brother-In-Law has one of his classic cars on display in the auto museum there, I think it's a Chrysler Newport). You can see the triangle of 3 perfect paved runways, set up for the prevailing winds (one thing about Perth is, it's just a windy place and if you want to fly RC, you better learn to fly in wind!)
This next club, KAMS, is another fine venue, with a historical family link between me and...Continue Reading
Posted by BernardW | Jul 27, 2017 @ 01:46 PM | 8,032 Views
I don't have kids, probably left my run too late for that, and I'm in my working years but my industry has just about collapsed and I need to get requalified in something. So I've got time, but few resources. If I want something to fly then effectively I've gotta build it, even in this day and age (sorry but a Hong Kong foamie isn't going to do it for me, and it's not what I'd spend the little I can get on). When my day job finished I had to wait months for unemployment benefits, right in the hard part of a classic boom and bust cycle here. I had scraps of low-grade work for the off-season part of the year so I could usually put ten, twenty dollars a week or fortnight into it, but I really wanted to build and fly model planes. Sounds like a luxury, to invest time and precious resources into basically a toy in that situation, but I think it was just what I needed. I'd built a glider and one or two other little kits in my teens back in the 80's and decided that would do me good.

And I did it, there's a long, drawn-out build thread where I downloaded some plans and built up a trainer, with lots of great support and advice from very generous-minded people, and now I'm soloing that model. It's one of the best things I've done for myself in a long time, I greatly enjoyed it, stayed positive, gained or improved my skills, and wound up with the clubs, meeting people who among other things give me a social circle that helps me make contacts to build new work relationships (gradually)...Continue Reading