Jeremy Z's blog View Details
Posted by Jeremy Z | Jan 27, 2010 @ 02:05 PM | 14,237 Views
My last blog entry, I was getting out of it. Now, I'm back into it. I broke my leg in a motorcycle crash a couple months ago. My wife told me: "Sell the bikes. I want you around for a while, and when we have kids, they'll want you around too."

It was pretty painful, so I have to admit she's probably right.

I got into RC trucks a while ago, so I could enjoy RC despite wind conditions. Now it is winter, winds are generally lower, and there is often a foot of snow on the ground preventing me from driving.

So, back into planes I come! Belly landers only for me.

I put a brushless system in the Easy Star. I've found that I can use my big car packs for it. They will also work in the TwinStar 2.

I've got a couple of 3S 2150 packs from hobbyking that should fly the Skimmer and Cub well.

I've got a Great Planes Slinger flying wing on the bench waiting for some parts to finish assembly. (foam safe CA and Dubro EZ connectors)
Posted by Jeremy Z | May 12, 2008 @ 12:57 AM | 16,167 Views
on ebay, as eggby1. I guess I should've tried here first, so as to avoid getting hit with fees.

I apologize for the absence, if anyone has missed me or has not been getting replies to PMs. I'm into woodworking now. With woodworking and motorcycling in a small two BR condo w/ one car garage, I'm plum out of space. The planes have to go. I'm keeping the EasyStar, my Optic 6, and two balsa birds my dad built for me.

I know I'll relapse, that's why I'm keeping the nice easy fliers.
Posted by Jeremy Z | Dec 30, 2006 @ 08:50 AM | 18,825 Views
From an email my grandpa forwarded to me; I thought I would share it:

A group of alumni, highly established in their careers, got together to visit their old university professor.

The conversation soon turned into complaints about stress in work and life.
Offering his guests coffee, the professor went to the kitchen and returned with a large pot of coffee and an assortment of cups - porcelain, plastic, glass, crystal, some plain-looking, some expensive, and some exquisite telling them to help themselves to the coffee.

After all the students had a cup of coffee in hand, the professor said: "If you noticed, all the nice looking expensive cups were taken up, leaving behind the plain and cheap ones. While it is but normal for you to want only the best for yourselves, that is the source of your problems and stress."

"Be assured that the cup itself adds no quality to the coffee. In most cases, it's just more expensive and in some cases even hides what we drink. What all of you really wanted was coffee, not the cup, but you consciously went for the best cups and then began eyeing each other's cups."

"Now consider this: Life is the coffee, and the jobs, houses, cars, things, money and position in society are the cups. They are just tools to hold and contain life, and the type of cup we have does not define nor change the quality of life we live. Sometimes, by concentrating only on the cup, we fail to enjoy the
Posted by Jeremy Z | Dec 23, 2006 @ 01:59 PM | 18,833 Views
Here's a search for all my reviews, if anyone is interested. I've had a few people tell me that they can't find one or another of the reviews I've done, so I thought I might put them all in one place for easy reference.

I'll try to remember to update these as I get more published.

In case that doesn't work, here are the direct links:

Ikarus AeroFly Professional Deluxe Flight simulator:

Multiplex MiniMag:

Electrifly Triton Jr. Charger:

GWS Formosa:

ParkZone Focke-Wülf:
Posted by Jeremy Z | Dec 20, 2006 @ 10:48 PM | 18,911 Views
Originally, I built my Slow Stick with the stock power system.

Stupidly, I cut the pushrods before I had it balanced. It was tail heavy and I couldn't fix it. So I added weight to the nose, and it would barely get off the street. Maiden flight ended in the high branches of a sapling.

So I finally bought some more pushrods and a outrunner stick mount for the Esskay 400XT I had bought for the Yak55 foamy.

Tonight, I finally got it all together, balanced, and programmed.

My wife commented, and she's right, that for such a simple-looking plane, it could sure get complicated & frustrating.

From an engineering standpoint, it's kind of brilliant. With most planes, great care is taken with aerodynamic design. With the Slow Stick, it is as if the engineers said "Why not let it all hang out, since this is going to be so slow anyhow?"

Without any more babbling, here are a couple of shots.
Posted by Jeremy Z | Dec 19, 2006 @ 08:18 PM | 19,357 Views
Wow, it is sick how this works.

I saved my pennies and bought the T-Rex. Saved some more and bought the power system, tools, and electronics. Started building the T-Rex.

Then, I had to finish the AeroFly review, so I couldn't work on the Rex for a week or two.

I Saturday morning, I bought a Spektrum DX7. It's all charged up & ready to go. My DX6 is on the for sale block. I haven't even opened the manual for the DX7 yet, and I have 3 planes (some of my favorites) on the Spektrum receivers. (HoB Cub, FunJet, AcroMaster)

I have an AcroMaster with a stripped aileron servo. (HS-55) I have a gearset ready to go. This is a 10 minute rebuild.

I have a Slow Stick that I didn't even finish building properly. (I cut the pushrods too short before getting the CoG right. By the time I added enough weight to the nose to make it fly, it could barely get off the ground.) So I bought new pushrods, an E-Flite outrunner stick mount for the Esskay 400XT I have sitting around. This is probably an hour worth of work.

The Esskay was bookmarked for the Hobby-Lobby Yak-55 3D profile plane that I picked up on sale a couple weeks ago for $15 or something.

I have a Formosa that I've decided to retire, as the BP-21 outrunner that is on it has more speed than thrust, and it needs the thrust for this plane.

I have an Ultrafly Ultimate Biplane that I'm going to strip down and either give away or throw away. (no, I won't ship it)

I also picked up some proper hinges for my...Continue Reading
Posted by Jeremy Z | Dec 04, 2006 @ 09:40 PM | 19,616 Views
Our club, the Round Lake Beach SkyKnights, has indoor flying most Sundays this winter on Sunday mornings from 10-1.

This time, I thought I'd find out if the EasyStar is too fast to fly in a gym. In my case, it was. If it had ailerons, it would have been good. But there is just too much of a delay from the time I input the rudder to when it banked and turned. I made about 2 laps, before I hit the wall at a funny angle. Then, the EasyStar slid backwards, and landed on the back of its tail. It made me kind of mad, as I had gotten away with murder in landing it when I was newer. I had the wind carry it off one time, and crashed it into some cattail weeds, which punched little holes in the wings. All this, with no notable damage.

Then, I fly it in a gym, have a minor run-in with the wall, and it falls on its tail.

The elevator and horizontal stabilizer are broken, and the control horn pulled off of the elevator. I know it's not a big deal to fix, but it is still irksome to damage a plane with such an easy crash.

Flying the Honeybee FP was uneventful, I'm happy to say....Continue Reading
Posted by Jeremy Z | Nov 26, 2006 @ 08:28 PM | 21,131 Views
When I bought this kit about a year ago, the plan was for it to be my introduction to balsa and the whole modeling aspect of RC planes.

But I never did get around to it; I get impatient when I'm spending my off-time building or repairing instead of flying. I've since found out that I don't mind working on helis, since that's more mechanical than micro-woodworking.

I introduced my old man to RC last year about this time; my siblings, his mother, and I all chipped in and bought him an introductory setup, an Ultrafly Cessna 182, Hitec Flash 5 radio, batteries, charger, etc. But I'm getting off-topic here. The point is that he likes modeling at least as much as flying. He built his .40 size Piper Cub recently.

So I gave him my .20 House of Balsa Piper Cub kit to build for me. It's not all that scale. It has a hell of a lot of dihedral, an open nose (it was designed for a tiny glow engine, remember) and no ailerons. I'm not big on Cub Yellow anyhow, so I supplied him with transparent blue Ultracote to wrap it in. Since this is my first balsa plane, I was thrilled with the idea of being able to see through the wings when it passed overhead. He did a heck of a good job, I think. The landing gear is not pictured and doesn't have wheels yet. (why they feel this doesn't need to be part of a kit is beyond me ) I've been belly-landing it.

It's got:
  • A Himax 2812-0850 (this is its fourth airframe!)
  • A couple of CommonSenseRC 8C 2000 mAh 3S LiPos
  • A couple of HS-81s for
...Continue Reading
Posted by Jeremy Z | Nov 06, 2006 @ 11:23 PM | 19,282 Views
I started with an E-Sky Honeybee fixed pitch. It has taken a beating, I'll tell you. Luckily spare parts are inexpensive, and BPHobbies has flat rate shipping of $6 for them. So every time I break a part and need to order, I order 2 or 3 of that part, so I'm ready for next time. The problem is that I haven't really been breaking the same parts.

I'm on my second set of landing gear, my second head, and my second plate thingy. (not the swashplate, the rectangular one)

Yesterday, I was packing up the helis for my club's first indoor flying session at a new, larger gym. When I got outside, it was so warm, beautiful & calm, I just HAD to fly outside for a bit first. You know where this is going by now, right?

Long story short. I accidentally left the dual rates on 70%. I got up about 50' high, and the wind took me away, even with full cyclic fighting. That extra 30% throw would've come in handy. As it is, I had to give up fighting the wind and slowly throttle down. I wound up crash landing it on a roof. Cabin parts flying and the head popped off. The only mechanical thing that was broken was one ball link bar. But I don't have any spares of that one part. I could almost build a whole 'nother head with my spares, except for that !$%^# part.

I bought an E-Sky Lama V3 a week or two ago. This is more like it. It is designed for flying indoors, and has a much quicker learning curve. I tried flying it outside too. Same result; the slightest puff of wind and it was carried...Continue Reading
Posted by Jeremy Z | Oct 29, 2006 @ 06:17 AM | 19,114 Views
Posted by Jeremy Z | Oct 17, 2006 @ 12:47 PM | 19,889 Views
This past weekend, I bought a T-Rex 450 XL CDE from my local shop. That's all the money I have free for now, but I'm researching potential motors.

Since I'm a beginner heli pilot, I'm learning on my Honeybee Mk. III fixed-pitch heli, and there's no rush to get the T-Rex together. In fact, it might be better if it remains in kit form for a while, lest I get tempted.

In fact, ordering up some spares for it is presently a higher priority than equipping the T-Rex.

Motor Choice
Right now, I'm thinking it's going to be a Neu 1105/3Y. Asking the T-Rex folks, it seems to be a good option for general sport flying, with high efficiency, and low demands on a lowly 8-10C 3S LiPo. (of which I have a few) It will probably be working hard to do 3D, but I will surely not have that kind of skill for at least a year or two. I really like the idea that I can slap a heatsink on it, since the can isn't rotating. This will let me extract the most out of it without heating it up too much. (heat = wasted power)

A lot of the folks are big fans of the newest outrunners, but they are not as efficient and not as easy to keep the field windings cool. The outrunner motor can remains much cooler, but that is deceptive. Inrunners have the field windings wrapped around the stack and they use the motor case as a heatsink. Thus, some people have the impression that inrunners run hotter.

Speed Control
I'm still up in the air about this. A high quality speed control (such as Jeti...Continue Reading
Posted by Jeremy Z | May 06, 2006 @ 07:40 PM | 20,985 Views
I started the day getting up to my alarm to go to work. They asked us to work overtime this weekend, & offered $250 per 4 hours work. (taxable, which somehow, the government gets 40% of.)

Got done with that at 11:30. Rode the motorcycle home, rounded up the wife & doglet, and went flying.

I flew the Ultimate Biplane (see my other blog). I put the LiPo on the charger and went to fly my EasyGlider Electric. Then, I flew my Micro Jet. I came back to check the progress of charging on the Ultimate's LiPo, and noticed that it had taken 2600 mAh. (It's a 2100 mAh pack) !!!! I had left the charger in NiMH mode. Now the pack was puffed up like nobody's business. Scratch $65 for being stupid.

Add in the $65 for the LiPo that I smashed up from my Overlord a while ago. And the fact that I need a receiver in order to build my MiniMag. All of a sudden, I need $190 to get my fleet up to speed again.

Anyway, I got home and it got better after that. We put some corn in the husk in water to soak for a while, and my wife and I went for a nice hour-long motorcycle ride.

Came home, stoked up a good charcoal fire and started grilling food. Shish-ka-bobs & italian sausage are on the grill, cooking indirectly. Sweet corn is gone. I don't know how you chumps can settle for gas-grilled food. There's nothing like a Weber Bar-B-Kettle, IMO.

Now, I've just had my second (import) beer, sitting on my deck with my wife's laptop and surfing RC with wireless broadband.

All of a sudden, a few hundred dollars a year on motorcycle tires, oil, coolant, and gear lube doesn't seem like much at all.

Life is good, my friends.
Posted by Jeremy Z | Apr 30, 2006 @ 10:09 PM | 20,270 Views
Expect to see more videos from me in the future.

May 4th update: Oh my God, this is soooooo great. Page-loads only take about 1/4 second.

I'm sitting on my recliner couch, just finished a Becks Dark, the smell of a Tombstone oven pizza lingers in the air. Just the thing after a hard day of work.

If there is any way you can afford it and you're considering cable internet, let me be the one to give you that final push. It is really worth it. Uploads & downloads are sooooo much faster, you get more done in less time.
Posted by Jeremy Z | Apr 30, 2006 @ 02:58 PM | 20,621 Views
I bought a MicroJet the other day When Hobby-Lobby was selling them for $30. I finished buildling it yesterday morning; haven't flown it yet, as it has been raining and 15-20 mph winds ALL WEEKEND.

Just as well, as I haven't had a chance to program it properly into my radio. I plan to do that this evening, and fly it the first chance I get. I hope I don't lawn-dart it...

I took a few construction photos and a couple of virgin photos of it. Check out my Motor Data blog for relevant data.
Posted by Jeremy Z | Apr 27, 2006 @ 08:52 AM | 21,007 Views
Motor: Himax 2812-0850
Battery: Apogee 3S 1570 mAh
  • APC 8x8E = 9.7 A, 100 W -->
  • APC 9x6E = 9.1 A, 95 W -->
  • APC 9x7.5SF = 12 A, 118 W -->
  • APC 10x7 SF = 13.3 A, 129 W -->
The little smiley indicates my favorite setup, currently, this is in my Formosa. I like the ThunderPower 3S 1320 mAh pack better than the Apogee though; higher voltage & lighter weight, and the total flight time only goes down a few minutes to about 22 minutes total. (mixed flying)

This is a kick-butt motor, I'm thinking of buying another one for the MiniMag, when it arrives...

Hacker A30-28S
Battery: Hyperion 3S 2100 mAh 16C
  • APC 11x4.7 SF - 29.6 A, 279 W
This is in my Ultrafly Ultimate. At full throttle, it will accelerate vertically. Most flying is at about 2/3 throttle.

Long can 400 (Hobby-Lobby)
  • On ThunderPower 3S 1320: Günther 6x4 prop - 22.5 A, 223 W, 10.14 V, 10,530 rpm (motor & batt. will burn up)
  • On Apogee 3S 1570: APC 5x5 - 12.7 A, 123 W, 15,700 RPM.
This one's in my freshly-built Multiplex MicroJet. I hope that it unloads a LOT in flight, or the motor & battery pack aren't going to last. The motor is supposedly rated 12 A, and the LiPo is a 13C (17.2 A) continuous.
Posted by Jeremy Z | Apr 26, 2006 @ 09:56 PM | 20,595 Views
A few days ago, I got in on a mass MiniMag from Germany. That's going to be a few weeks before I see it. (not to mention, have the money free for the power system!)

Day before yesterday, I bought a Multiplex MicroJet, despite all the launching horror stories. It was on sale at Hobby-Lobby for $30, and I couldn't resist. If it turns out to be a flying terd, it won't be the end of the world. But I think I can handle it. (famous last words, I know)

Where this all came from was the realization that I don't do much work at all to keep my Elapor planes in top shape. EPS (styrofoam) models... that's another story. If I don't light right, I have to go over everything with a fine-toothed comb. Crash? Lights-out for a while.

Not that I make a habit of it, but it's nice to get away with a bit of a sloppy landing from time to time, you know?
Posted by Jeremy Z | Apr 26, 2006 @ 09:34 PM | 18,911 Views
This plane is different from anything you've had or flown before. It is the definition of a quality slow flyer. It's about the same as the Slow Stick, but a LOT more durable.

I originally bought this plane because I was about to take a trip to Poland with my wife, (who's 100% Polish) and I couldn't bear the thought of going 2 1/2 weeks without flying. This one rolls right up and stuffs into a suitcase. The Spektrum DX6 radio goes along with it perfectly, and avoids the hassle of having to route an antenna.

I actually don't fly this one all that much, as it likes to have very little wind, like the Slow Stick. Sometimes, when I get home from work, and there's no wind, and I'm just too tired to pack up planes and go somewhere to fly, I bring this one out. Right from my driveway, I launch it up the street in my cul de sac. I'm not worried, and I don't consider this irresponsible. I could probably crash it full throttle into a kid's head, and not even knock him down. I might be able to break someone's window with it.

It flies differently than other flying wings. It doesn't react as quickly to control inputs, since it doesn't have conventional control surfaces. So if you dive it down, thinking you're going to do a loop, you might just punch it into the dirt instead. This plane can literally fly at walking speed. If you're looking for something different to add to your collection, this just might be it. The portability just ROCKS.
Posted by Jeremy Z | Apr 26, 2006 @ 09:21 PM | 17,203 Views
This plane was quite a surprise for me. I bought it well after I was done learning. This, along with the Slow Stick was the plane that received the most recommendations for best beginner plane. I had experience with another Multiplex plane before this, and had been quite impressed. (TwinStar II)

I figured for $60 + radio, I could afford to have it.

Oh my gosh, it is so much fun. I love my faster and more aerobatic planes, but they are not necessarily more fun than this one.

It glides very well. It can find thermals very well. It flies up to about 16 minutes on a humble 7 cell, 900 mAh NiMH pack. Much longer if you find thermals. Without thermals, the average flight is about 15 minutes. Going fast, it's down to about 8-10 minutes.

A couple of tips for setting yours up.
  1. Set up for a lot of throw on the rudder, so you don't have to extend it later. I used the outermost hole on the servo arm, and the second-from-innermost hole for the control arm.
  2. For the elevator, I used the second from outermost hole; this is plenty.
The rudder throw above is a bit much for powered flying, but when you shut off the motor and glide, it is perfect. Set some dual rates in your transmitter, and about -15% expo, if you can.

If you don't have a computer radio, use the second from outermost hole on the control arm, and accept that you'll need to allow a bit more time for the plane to react when in "Glide Mode".

I don't really feel that this plane has too much to gain...Continue Reading
Posted by Jeremy Z | Apr 25, 2006 @ 09:24 PM | 18,339 Views
The Multiplex planes have all found favor with me very quickly. I like them because they don't show hangar rash, and they don't get beaten up or broken easily.

The TwinStar II, I didn't think performed well on its stock power system. At least not with the stock props and 8 cell NiMH battery packs. With a 2S LiPo or with better props, possibly... Jürgen Heilig likes it on a Kokam 2S 3270 with Graupner CAM Slim 6.6x3 props. Even then, I doubt would handle wind very well.

From flying this plane on calm days, I decided that I like the plane well enough to plunk down some money to get this one flying properly, rather than buying more models. So I bought a couple of RCers Warp 4, 5 turn brushless inrunners for it. They've got APC 7x5 E props, and Align 25 A ESCs. The ESCs are mounted under each wing, inboard of the motors. The heatsinks poke out into the wind for proper cooling. I'm still using the original battery packs I used; 8 cell, 3600 mAh, NiMH packs. They work well with this setup, but the motor choice allows for 3S in the future, if I ever feel like plopping down that kind of dough.

A bit of advice: if you have a computer radio, set up spoilerons instead of flaperons. It works better, and you won't need to mix elevator with it to keep it from diving.

Anyhow, this is a great all-around plane. Not all that great at stunts, but for general sport flying, it is perfect. It is faster than a trainer, and it has large enough control surfaces to do aerobatics. Just make sure you're pretty high, if you decide to loop or roll, as it takes some room.
Posted by Jeremy Z | Apr 25, 2006 @ 09:08 PM | 17,616 Views
This plane is one of my perennial favorites. It was my first plane that was very responsive, and still is the most responsive one in my fleet.

It is equipped with:
  • Himax 2812-0850 outrunner
  • Thunderbird 18 speed control
  • GWS RD8SL dual conversion 8 channel receiver
  • (1) E-Flite S75 servo for ailerons
  • (2) JR micro servos for the elevator & rudder
  • Best prop so far: APC 9x7.5 SF. It's a great mix of speed & thrust
  • Battery pack #1: ThunderPower 3S 1320 (best)
  • Battery pack #2: Apogee 3S 1570 (good)
It handles minor damage pretty well. Once I caught a wing tip while landing. It cartwheeled, and just pulled the control horn off of the rudder.

The other day, I made an emergency landing to get the canopy that had just popped off in flight and came caught the wing tip again, but this time, it pulled all the hinges out of the right aileron. Glued them back in, no problem.

The worst damage was when I was doing a power measurement on my Overlord wing, blew the Formosa off of the box it was sitting on, and the prop from the Overlord chopped up the right aileron but good. It took a while to find all the little foam pieces and glue them back properly!

This plane is so light and it flies so well, I think I would get another one if I wrecked it really badly. But the EPP pattern plane from Hobby-Lobby looks very tempting too. More durable, but heavier too, and the motor might not quite have the guts it has with the Formosa.

Anyhow, great plane, and for a $29 airframe, it can't be beat. The only thing is that to set it up properly, you need to spend a lot more than $29 on the power system. C'est la vie.