KristofferR's blog View Details
Archive for April, 2016
Posted by KristofferR | Apr 30, 2016 @ 10:52 AM | 4,165 Views
Lots of wind then lots of rain. I spent the windy part of the day at the bicycle pumptrack with the kids.

The afternoon was spent in the kitchen, alternating between cooking and RC-fettling.

I converted a schampoo bottle to servo covers for the Phoenix 1600. Mostly to protect servos from the ground but also to decrease drag.

When I started thinking about drag I went all out and sanded all "cast marks", glued-in wooden strengtheners etc. Finally I taped every possible edge and cavity, to use the words of the legendary Spinal Tap guitarist Nigel Tufnel "to get that extra push over the cliff". Perhaps literally.

Smells good too.
Posted by KristofferR | Apr 28, 2016 @ 03:00 PM | 5,609 Views
Today there was rain and thunder. After the thunder was done, more rain came. Eventually as the afternoon turned into early evening the tension left the sky, the rain stopped and the wind died down almost completely. I jumped at the opportunity to fly.

After my pre-flight check, including a successful range test, I pointed the nose into the almost non-exising breeze and launched. My left-hand throw still needs tuning, the tail hung a bit at first as the prop clawed for traction in the damp air, seconds later it confidently and gracefully rose through the air.

I erred on the side of caution with the CG and got it slightly front-heavy. Two landings and moving the battery pack got it right. I had only a storage charge and my intention was to just get the maiden done but it flew so well I emptied the pack.

I'm relieved that the maiden flight went well and impressed by how it flies. The "build" took a couple of evenings, but I took my time and enjoyed it. Minor issues were guessing the screws, motor assembly, carving the fuse to clear the RE servo arms, guessing throws and mix comp.

Spec: HK Phoenix 1600 ARF
Motor: HK Turnigy 2830 1020kV
Prop: Stock, folding, probably a 10x6
ESC: Jeti ECO 25 with HK 3,5mm bullet connectors
Battery: Multiplex Li-Batt 3s 2200
Servos: 4x HXT900 (Rud Ele Ail Ail /Spoilers) no flaps installed)
RX: Multiplex RX-5 light
Posted by KristofferR | Apr 26, 2016 @ 02:50 PM | 5,452 Views
Today the wind was from the East. I had a two-hour window and made the most of it at Sandsjöbacka Bräcka slope - a heather moor.

Living on the West Coast of Sweden means theres plenty of nice sea slope sites with perfect smooth wind. Eastern winds typically means rodeo and that was the case today. Hard wind, lots of turbulence and intense thermal activity. The Funglider is brilliant. At least for me. The wind direction was not ideal but good enough to get some height and small thermals came by every 3-5 minutes. The landing was not that hard but to my surprised the wings fell off. The plastic piece with a ratchet had worked itself loose.

Funglider Slope Thermals Sandsjöbacka (4 min 34 sec)

The Phoenix build got a little further and it was mostly about soldering connectors for the ESC and I did a static power test of the prop/ESC/motor combo. Using eCalc the prediction was about 19A and I got a reading of 20A which settled to 18,5A after a few seconds. The motor is a Turnigy SK3 2830 1020kV, ESC is a Jeti ECO 25, battery Multiplex 3s 2200 and the prop is the original 10x5 or something like that.

I added some black and orange tape under the wing and installed cables and setup the radio so basically it is ready for a maiden flight as soon as weather and work permits.
Posted by KristofferR | Apr 25, 2016 @ 02:00 PM | 8,040 Views
More assembly today:

The Turnigy SK3 motor needed the shaft "reversed" and yesterday I started to undo the hex screws and realized my 1.3 mm hex was not in the box! There were two 0.9 mm ones - I had not noticed before. The kit is called COCraft from Swedish hardware store Clas Ohlson. Today I dropped by after work and they sorted it in minutes. Great customer support.

So the shaft was moved, using the 1,5 mm and the 1,3 mm hex and gently tapping the motor shaft and it was ready for installation. There is a surprising amount of hardware included with the kit. I used from rear to front: Turnigy SK3, the black plastic motor mount, Turnigy screws (the ones supplied in the kit were a bit long), fuselage, steel washer, self-tapping screws. Prop collet, spinner.

Then I added the aileron servos. Again, Y-cables and straight cables included so all combinations of radio can be used (ie for full individual full house wing servo control use Y-cable but leave one end unconnected, not optimal but possible).

Links are included, the Z-bends were good but I put a little more on them to ensure they were not binding or bending. The servo horns needed a minor enlargement to accept the link.

Comments in the picture captions....Continue Reading
Posted by KristofferR | Apr 24, 2016 @ 01:36 PM | 6,941 Views
Today I started assembling my latest RC purchase, a Phoenix 1600 glider from HobbyKing.

So far I got the tail assembled and the RE servos put in. There is a tremendous amount of info on this kit online and also a lot of complaints on things, so I was prepared to do a bit of work though it seems few have bothered to share any solutions.

So here comes a partial build report with some reflections. I wrote most comments with the pictures. Hopefully, in the end, it will help me and others.

The general impression is that the kit looks pretty nice. The big brother Phoenix 2000, like the Multiplex Easy Glider, seems to be a plane that people actually buy again if they need to and I can sort of understand why in this case. From looking at the internet it seems to be good value, the size is manageable etc etc but many airplanes look good on paper and in reality the PH1600 gives off some kind of "solid yet simple" appearance that is appealing already from the start. Can't really find the words here,

As usual the documentation lacks a bit, although the manual looks impressive at first you soon have questions - which screws go where for example - and some things appear to be wrong but I leave that open for now since it might be a case of my wrongness.

The servo tray has differently sized cutouts form servos and I elected to put the elevator servo in the "well" that had the tightest fit because I felt that it is the one I want to be the most securely...Continue Reading
Posted by KristofferR | Apr 20, 2016 @ 02:13 PM | 4,472 Views
A while back, after some useless little Depron planes, I bought my daughter a small balsa glider from Aeronaut. It flies fantastic.

Today after work I felt the urge to fly so the kids and I went out on the meadow. I simply put the plane on my Magnum and managed to ascend to treetop height before it came off. The result was amazing, the little Aeronaut Pit circled gracefully, slowly drifting downwind. Eventually the LiPo was empty after several flights and two successful but quite difficult landings with the glider entangled in the rear fuselage of the Magnum.

As the LiPo was charging I cobbled together a " piggyback" with a servo and a rubber band. It worked almost perfectly, sometimes it took a few seconds and a little rodeo flight to get the rubber band fully released. As confidence built the flights got higher and longer, including two small tree landings - luckily just 4-5 meters up and the battery ran out of out before we messed it up completely ....

My daughers were really excited and joined by two friends chasing the circling glider, also being great "spotter duty", I was trying to keep an eye on two aircraft at the same time but it was near impossible!

Also it invoked great memories of a summer twenty-two years ago when we had the club airplane towing with "piggyback" and the sight of the little glider "popping off" when the releasee brought wonderful memories of my time with a balsa Blue Phoenix.
Posted by KristofferR | Apr 15, 2016 @ 01:23 PM | 3,792 Views
My Multiplex Cockpit SX 2.4 MHz - yes the old discontinued one - has a problem and that is the lack of a long heavy 35MHz antenna. It's rear heavy in its 2,4 guise. I got by with the Turnigy Transmitter Mitten but now that spring has arrived and the (transmitter) gloves are off it's time to act.

HiTec lists a neck balancer bracket but I could not get below €15 with shipping which felt absurd considering it's a little aluminium piece and a stamp. The Germans on RC-network had some nice hacks with bottle openers and such but I browsed eBay instead. Too much work to source, file and drill a suitable opener.

€1.67 secured a nice blue anodized one listed for JR/Futaba - the little silvery "bushing-ring" was too large to fit but it took just five minutes work with sandpaper and a GWS prop adapter ring to solve that.
Posted by KristofferR | Apr 14, 2016 @ 09:51 AM | 4,029 Views
I decided to be a little more "formal" lately. Like everyone I do the occasional mistake but I felt it would be nice to have some support so I searched RCGroups and made a little checklist, put it in plastic and I bring it to the flying site.

Another thing I picked up was to test my gear. First out was a half dozen of HXT900 servos. A few weeks ago I got a small servo-tester off eBay and it's really useful when setting up a model. It cost about €5 and has three modes, "center", "manual" and "auto".

Test: I put it on auto and let it run the servos back and forth for ten minutes while I did other stuff, then I used my fingers to squeeze, pull, bend the case and put load on the servo while listening for any odd sounds, jitter etc.

Next up is of course to do the same when the servos are installed. If they pass a 20 minute test they will probably do well in flight barring any crashes and such.
Posted by KristofferR | Apr 13, 2016 @ 04:25 AM | 3,294 Views
I'm bumping this as a new post. I posted on my RC facebook groups and on the Swedish forum.

Pro Modellflug - Hände weg von meinem Hobby (2 min 0 sec)

RC flying in Germany in its current guise will basically be outlawed. 100m limit EVERYWHERE. If you cant read German, use google translate and it will make 90% sense...

The two big points here are to:

1: Read the facts and arguments. You will be informed. This is a German speciality IMHO. Its very well written by DMFV and very factual. Also, it shows responsibility - not a general cry of NOOOOO but No! to some regulations, Yes we support! or "we suggest this instead" because of [facts].

So maybe you dont agree to every detail in the fact part. Get over it. Move to the next item:

2: What does the hobby mean to you? This is incredibly important. This is where you put your emotions and joy and values! Remember, for us it is obvious that this is a great and awesome hobby but the general public and the politicians are fed with sensational headlines and reports (some outright lies by omission) about increasing threats from evil, reckless, integrity-violating drone flyers. They need to understand that they are legislating against something completely different.

Right here right now at RC-groups there is a huge world-spanning community of online friends sharing their joys and passion, helping each other, every day. That is just awesome. Let the rulemakers know this.

Sign it, tell your club members, flying friends, LHS, anyone in the hobby.

Posted by KristofferR | Apr 11, 2016 @ 05:07 PM | 4,124 Views
When I first soldered the ESC and battery contacts on my Magnum Reloaded I went with MPX M6 but always felt they were way over the top - the M6 connector is a third of the size of the 2s 350 mAh cell pack ...

As I recently ordered some more LiPos that had the JST-RCY as original I decided to update the ESC and the two existing 2s packs to JST-RCY.

I got myself two 20-packs of DIY connectors and wasted a couple learning how to assemble them, topping all off with a touch of solder - even though they are solderless.

Not pictured is a few rounds of vulcanizing tape to get a grip when things get damp.

This also means I won't be using the heavy 3s 950mAh packs anymore, I like the Magnum best with the light 2s (but I admit I got one small 3s) they will be in my Funglider only.

The 20A draw of 3s with the 9x5 prop would be way too much for the JST, I'll cut the prop down anyway and see how that turns out.

I'm looking forward to more (longer) sessions with several 2s packs available.
Posted by KristofferR | Apr 10, 2016 @ 05:54 AM | 3,123 Views
HobbyKing BFG2600 slope soaring "maiden" at Vallda Sandö, Kungsbacka, Sweden. 7-9 m/s, 6 degC

The BFG had flown on the flat a few times and after burning the ESC i converted it to glider only. This was the first slope visit - "slope maiden".

This flight was done after warming up with my FunGlider. The wind had picked up a bit by now and I had a very difficult time launching the BFG. The first launch I slipped but had to let it go anyway and it tumbled, in the thick heather luckily. The next launch I did I held it just in front of the wheel and then it could sort of "dangle in the wind". Even then the launch was pretty dramatic.

It flew without motor, the 4s 2200 battery plus ~270g of wheel bolts was in the nose to compensate for the missing motor and it worked perfectly fine. I used a 5ch reciever and the flaps were locked. It would help with the roll speed to use the flaps mixed in with ailerons. No need for crow.

The BFG is very majestic in the air and the control response and harmony is good. The wings are very stiff. It is not very fast though, the thick profile and big fuselage together makes it lose its speed quickly so would probably slope better in less wind. Landing it was very easy, the size and stability is good.

HobbyKing BFG2600 slope soaring maiden (2 min 20 sec)

Aircraft: HobbyKing BFG2600 glider only
Power: Jeti SBEC & Turnigy 2200 4s
Servo: 4x Hitec HS-55 wing, 2x Multiplex Tiny-S tail
Misc: Four wheelbolts in nose for ballast
TX/RX: Multiplex Cockpit SX & RX-5 telemetry

Tools: Mobius hat cam, MovieMaker
Music: Written and performed by me.
Posted by KristofferR | Apr 08, 2016 @ 04:54 PM | 3,806 Views
Video edit from today and some from wednesday.

Multiplex Funglider Slope Soaring with some acro (6 min 0 sec)

Posted by KristofferR | Apr 08, 2016 @ 07:25 AM | 3,023 Views
Two days of slope and today the wind was perfect.

My motor-less BFG got up in the air. Launching was a nightmare but it flew well.

The FG was great fun.

While I did not use the motor it is certainly nice to know it's there just in case.
Posted by KristofferR | Apr 06, 2016 @ 03:20 AM | 4,073 Views
Germany is starting down the same route of unnecessary legislation as the US/FAA. As they are very influential in EU, anything that is decided will soon be spread EU-wide, therefore instant support to combat this is basically mandatory for any European.

In Sweden, during 2015 the RC community were taken by surprise as new EU rules were adapted and the "ceiling" was set hard to 120m and any airport control-zone was made into a no-takeoff zone. Contests and meetings had to be cancelled and several clubs who have their fields in the zones for over 40 years found that they could not fly. Imagine running a FAI glider competition with a 120m ceiling... These new rules were done to "stop the threat from drones", but instead "stops the aircraft hobby!"

Some fields seem to get a 50m ceiling - to me that sounds even more dangerous than it would be to fly at a safe altitude.

It is madness what is going on and will not help since everybody trying to do the hobby will be branded as a criminal.

The existing laws and rules governing RC aircraft are good enough as they are and should be enforced. Anyone flying a multicopter or RC plane close to an airport, risking collision with a full-size aircraft or flying in cities or over crowds are already breaking the law, the rules or at best acting against common sense and good judgement and should therefore be charged with "reckless behaviour", "creating danger" .

You can petition in the link in the Advocacy thread started by Jürgen Heilig.



Perspective: Numbers from the Advocacy section:

US/FAA in 25 years:

Two (2) reported and confirmed RC aircraft to full scale aircraft collisions. One blimp hit by a reckless pilot who "buzzed" the blimp and one large-size acrobatic plane hovering 5 m above the runway was hit by a biplane during a show. New rules not helping those cases...

>37500 bird strikes of which over 4500 caused some kind of economic damage.

Big picture?
Posted by KristofferR | Apr 02, 2016 @ 01:39 PM | 3,077 Views
In my most recent order at Höllein I added a small glider for my daughter.

We put it together and she painted it up. Flies great. I've bought her a couple of Depron gliders but they flew like crap (sorry).

This one is called Aeronaut PIT and cost under €2. Assembled in 15 minutes using CA - only because my UHU Hart and "White Wood glue" had dried out.

Flying fun, simple and cheap.
Posted by KristofferR | Apr 02, 2016 @ 05:30 AM | 3,096 Views
After doing the ESC burn I decided that I would change my outlook on this and decide it was not bad luck but a very good thing. Smoking a piece of electronics costing €30 to replace is a cheap price to trigger me to look proper into a "throttle kill switch" for the Cockpit SX.

The BFG glider puts ~650W which is good enough to seriously hurt me. I already had some incidents with transmitters in the past where the motor turned on upon accidentally hitting the stick. But only small stuff with slowfly props.

Why good? I was lucky! Nothing hurt except my pride and wallet. In the future, avoiding accidents that could hurt me other people.

1 ESC calibration
The throttle stick calibration must have a bit of a deadband at the bottom. Otherwise the thing can go off on on a temp change or as in this case, wiggling the rudder. I'm not sure if it works, but I will recalibrate all my ESC:s setting the trim to neutral then backing off later to avoid "motor on" while using the rudder.

2 Kill switch
I googled the throttle kill switch on the Multiplex Cockpit and eventually stumbled onto a thread in the German RC-network forum.

The existing button is a classic "cut a glow engine" function and I found nothing in the manual. According to the forum Multiplex had no plans to add a "toggle" feature for that switch - something that would be a perfect solution - but I guess they had...Continue Reading
Posted by KristofferR | Apr 01, 2016 @ 08:33 AM | 3,125 Views
Som months ago I got myself a PNF plane from HobbyKing, a BFG2600 glider. I experienced most, if not all, of the issues but the thing got in the air eventually and flies well.

Last time out on the slope I could not get the reciever to link up properly and that was the second time it happened. I set about to investigate by switching the plane on and checking if I could repeat the fault.

It has worked 5-6 times and today I did it again, problem is that when I wiggled the rudder to see if the thing was alive I also started the motor - with the model in the box.
I noticed immediately and pulled the stick back - it was not even above the first ratchet which in itself might be cause for investigation. I thought nothing of it since I had little power and cut it quickly but three seconds later the ESC went belly up in a cloud of smoke.

Can a plane be attached with bad luck? Like a "Jonas" in Kiplings book? I dont know what to do next, this aircraft has been a constant generator of problems and issues and I have only managed to get one decent flight in. I'm considering removing the motor and fly it as a pure sloper and see how it turns out.