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Archive for January, 2016
Posted by KristofferR | Jan 31, 2016 @ 04:35 AM | 4,118 Views
During my last visit to the slope, the Alula nosed into a rock at launch and cracked the black plastic "fuselage/skid".

One part was lost so I used what I could find which turned out to be Plasticard, cut and bent to shape, glued in place with UHU por. After sanding, I used Zacki filler and CA in the cracks. I'll sand again and paint it up with markers and that will be enough to look good from 2m distance.

The DreamFlight plastic is not particularly brittle but I guess the freezing temperature played a part.

Yesterday thunder, stormwinds and hail. 37 days to spring according to the calendar.
Posted by KristofferR | Jan 26, 2016 @ 02:26 PM | 3,404 Views
Today was the first day of the year with good slope wind forecast. The winter disappeared suddenly, the snow rained away and the temperature went up to 4-5 degC (40F).

I could not fit the big BFG2600 in the car today and the Funglider wasnt ready so I took the little Nano Floh on the outside of my backpack and the Alula Trek inside it and hiked the mile (~1,5 km) to the Vallda Sandö site.

There was a new deep roar from the sea, caused by the waves hitting and crushing the packed ice in the bays both sides of the peninsula.

EDIT: RAW footage, video link added.
Slope Soaring Nano Floh Vallda Sandö (1 min 50 sec)

I was concerned that the wind was too much from the north but as I scaled the last rocks I was relieved to see a few seagulls showing their superior slope skills.

The Floh was first. I had converted it to a two-servo wing and programmed the throttle stick to control camber and reflex.

Anyway, the plane and it's measly 175g (6oz) managed to penetrate the wind with energy left do some acro. It flew well as usual and I did a lot of rolls, loops and inverted flight. The reflex really helped with the inverted flight.

Some seagulls passed by but despite my efforts it would not climb to their altitude. Landing went textbook good. Sadly the cap cam ran out of storage space.

Next was the Alula and I failed the first five launch attempts, and made a few more scratches in the process. The problem is that the wind was so hard and turbulent...Continue Reading
Posted by KristofferR | Jan 24, 2016 @ 07:48 AM | 3,185 Views
Winter Magnum and Metal Memories

The cold continues and it's backed up with snow. I've made the most of the snow by going cross-country-skiing but I got a solid snow- flight session in on a somewhat sunny day! I tried to show a little of the difference with 3S and 2S power. No guitar this time, while the iPhone is a surprisingly decent piano I want to have two screens... One for each hand!

Magnum Reloaded Winter Flight (2 min 31 sec)

I also went out on an brutally cold night to record some sunset flying. I forgot to switch the cap camera on so there is only aerial photo.

The heavy metal type music here was a "challenge accepted" to record something really hard so it's perhaps not to everyones taste. A lot of what became "The Gothenburg Sound" came from the Billdal area - Dark Tranquillity to the south and At The Gates to the north and I knew some of the guys from school so it kind of fits even though my playing is much more dirty and sloppy.

Cold Magnum Reloaded - (2 min 44 sec)
...Continue Reading
Posted by KristofferR | Jan 18, 2016 @ 04:26 PM | 3,809 Views
I got my break. I have been busy with my FRSky system. My X8R reciever turned out to suffer from intermettent signal loss and I put the D8 into the BFG2600 instead and had a great flight on a blue sky winter day!

Winter flying with the Hobbyking BFG2600 (2 min 2 sec)

Soon after, on an even crisper and colder -11C winter day I set out to try to catch the sun going down over the frozen sea with the Magnum and a Mobius. More radio problems. Well, it turned out later to be another faulty reciever. Since the range was steady to about 50-60 m and the Magnum so light and failsafe set to spin, I flew and filmed.

With the range problems from the X8R in mind I could not really focus or relax on either flying or filming and the cap and rear pointing footage was useless and the forward facing provides perhaps one minute of questionable value. I attached a still instead.

The last days I delved into the Taranis XJT module upgrade and managed to get that done splendidly well. I was really frustrated by my range issues and not really thinking straight but got sorted out in one of the Taranis threads here and things are mostly back on track.

Having two out of six recievers go bad in just a month is plain depressing, but hopefully the vendors will sort it out. It's about €50-60 to buy new ones if they do not and I have not lost any models so I've decided to be pretty happy with that.
Posted by KristofferR | Jan 13, 2016 @ 01:44 PM | 3,680 Views
This belongs in the cool category. [EDIT; flight test in the comment]

Right now -5C and the gloves which let me feel the sticks makes me stop feeling my fingers after about 15 minutes. That's enough for a Magnum battery but not for thermal or slope. Also, any assembly or general fiddling with the plane quickly drains heat from my hands.

I got myself a Turnigy Transmitter Glove - I'm throwing in a Mitten for the search engines out there too:

I am somewhat surprised to discover it looks and feels pretty nice. It easily fits my FRSky Taranis X9D ( link

The mitten is black fabric and folds flat. There is a big transparent plastic flap-lid with zippers on the sides and velcro on the bottom. The flap has a small slit where the neckstrap goes through and the slit is lined with fabric.

The fabric is pleasantly soft but quite thin and the holes for the hands are - naturally - bigger than my wrists so I'm unsure how well it will keep me warm. It should be perfect as it is for future slope sessions in the 10-15 deg C range and keep the hands out of the wind. I might need to warm it up, either electrically or using as a couple of reusable handwarmers.

Until I get out to test it, some pics of the thing with the transmitter inside.

" Old man winter can kiss my a**" (Ending as started with a Spinal Tap reference)
Posted by KristofferR | Jan 12, 2016 @ 03:26 PM | 3,268 Views
I've been hankering for the Multiplex Funglider since I recently sold the EasyStar2.

The Easy Star is a truly great design in it's second incarnation - portable, top build quality, good power, exceptional motor time. I tried everything from thermalling to slope and parkstyle in my local meadow field, as well as my five and seven year old kids trying the sticks and I did some aerial photo&film too.

Some planes dont fit you, some you grow out of and others you are just finished with. I'm not entirely sure I am done with the EZ* but time will tell. I also wanted to build an Easy Glider bit there is a limit to both my wifes patience, the hangar size and bank account.

I felt the need for something more lively, still portable, a little faster and the Funglider seems to fit the bill. Problem is it is always sold out. I put my name and mail on many "notify me when it's back in stock" and I got a hit! Low stock available. Eleven minutes after the mail came it was back to zero stock but I got one and it is shipped.

"The waiting is the hardest part" sang Tom Petty and now I will wait.
Posted by KristofferR | Jan 10, 2016 @ 03:22 PM | 3,109 Views
Finally got around to matching connectors. I went for MPX M6 all around. I really like the XT60 though but I have one pair of those and five of the other so went with strength in numbers. I made a few MPX-XT60 adapters with the leftovers, could be useful when flying with friends perhaps.

The MPX M6 is a bit tricky to solder. I set my station to 440degC and plug another connector into the one I'm soldering to dissipate heat. Using the "third hand" in the middle of the pic to hold the things is great. I only used 25W fixed power sondering irons in my past and set the thermostat to something that seem to work fine so perhaps something to read up on later.
Posted by KristofferR | Jan 08, 2016 @ 12:33 PM | 3,328 Views
I went out in the cold yesterday with the Magnum.

There were some fantastic days before with great light, but of course, the flight was eventually done in cloudy conditions in a slight dusk just before sundown.

I practiced starts and landings from the ground, courtesy of a nice frozen puddle that previously served as a floats-practice ground.

Also I was trying logging altitude from the vario and some other parameters but I had made some small setup error.

I tried it again today in the snow on floats. Well, that went less well. I managed to ROG and reach 36 meters - the log worked well, but the wind gusts were really strong and unpredictable...

Magnum Reloaded on the rocks (2 min 17 sec)

Posted by KristofferR | Jan 03, 2016 @ 06:19 PM | 3,850 Views
I seem to have a hard time catching a break with the BFG.

Yesterday I flew my Alula before sundown. Perhaps 20 throws and resulting in pretty short flights. But nice to scratch that flying itch

Today i went out with the BFG. -3 deg C and a stiff wind. I dont mind the wind, it makes the start&land easier. Assembly was much improved with M6 connectors to the wing servos.

Did the a range test which turned out a bit weird. 40-50 meters is acceptable but not more.

Off I went, mid throttle gave ample performance out of my hand and I floored it for five seconds. The climb rate is quite impressive. Motor off, some trim, shallow drive, one 360 and on it again for fifteen counted seconds. Surprise to see the plane go almost straight up - an illusion helped by the wind perhaps.

Another glide and the "RSSI critical". Not again! I go round carefully, hear a faint dive whistle but do not have the mindset to appreciate it, do a very tight low motor on 360 to lose height, land slightly off angle to the wind and end with a minor ccw ground loop. No flaps or spoilers. Not pretty but effective. I do a lot of range testing and something is wrong, the connection is not stable.

BFG2600 Hobbyking glider (1 min 28 sec)

Fault bugs me all afternoon. When the kids are put to bed I go out in the cold darkness and set up three planes on the porch and start back-to-back-testing them.

After a while I realize the X8R with PCB antennas vertical and longitudinal still has...Continue Reading
Posted by KristofferR | Jan 01, 2016 @ 12:49 PM | 4,456 Views
I planned to buy some steel balls or fishing bait weights until I watched SpeedsterDEN on Youtube DS his Alula with a row of car wheel balancing weights on top. His automotive theme continued in the Diamond 2000 with a couple of black anodized wheel bolts (I could be wrong though they could be ordinary bolts).

So off i went to Biltema ("Cartheme") and sourced two packages of Stick-on weights Art No 82-352.

They dropped straight into the Alula ballast slot.

4*5g pieces = 20g ballast.