RickC_RCAV8R's blog View Details
Posted by RickC_RCAV8R | Dec 10, 2019 @ 03:20 PM | 4,540 Views
Gentlemen :

A bit of nostalgia on my part lately recalling my humble start in RC flying back in 1972 when I was a kid . Started with an OS Max single channel pulser in a balsa constructed plane . Learned a lot in those early days about the finer woodworking of balsa construction and was 'blown away' when I could fly a new 4 channel World Engines radio . Wing coverings like MonoKote were in their infancy but I could wager that the use of alternative construction materials and plastics was to become the norm .

As an electronic engineer , I tend to use micro-controllers in a lot of my CNC and test gear designs . I am adept at the programming of these guys and am not opposed to their use for most things . As I fly a lot of multi-rotors , the use of the flight controller is mandatory as there are too many paramenters all changing rapidly during the flight to keep track of . As for fixed wing having micro-controllers to 'soften / compensate' in flight has me wondering though . As these flight controllers more take over the functions , are they aiding the pilot ; or are more of a detriment to the pilot ?

At the peak of my fixed wing days , I was heavily involved with F3A pattern flying still with balsa constructs . Had balsa planes everywhere in the house . Nowadays , only a TeleMaster 60 and a new Scat Cat 500 pylon are the only models which have any modicum of balsa included . Most of the current models are made of EPO or other plastic foams , carbon fiber or 3D...Continue Reading
Posted by RickC_RCAV8R | Aug 23, 2019 @ 10:57 AM | 3,506 Views
Gentlemen :

When I do get the chance to fly , the Quanum Chaotic is my recent bird of choice . I have this one (of 3 owned) rigged up with a Walkera DV04 digital camcorder under the nose for some camera work . As I tend to fly this one on 4S power , I am finding that there is plenty of power to spare while even carrying the camcorder and the newly designed 3D printed motor cover pods .

The motor pods have been designed to maintain optimum motor cooling having left the center area open . Escaping airflow can easily exit here . A heavier 2mm shell thicknes printed with a 70% infill makes for a sturdy pod skin which easily handles the landing gear loads .

When printing the lower pods , I noted that there was a central support structure which was kept ! I used a milling bit in my drill press to shorten this structure by about 3/8 " . Before mounting the pod , I used a heavy dollop of silicone on the lower motor mount and the top of this support structure . When the silicone cured over 24 hours , it made a great shock mount pad between the motor part of the frame and the pod support in its interior .

And that's it . A simple and effective addition to the Chaotic which works well .

Regards to my readers and Aussie mates . Cheers RIckC_RCAV8R
Posted by RickC_RCAV8R | Apr 30, 2019 @ 12:35 PM | 4,677 Views
Gentlemen :

Those of us who use 3D printers for making model parts know that most of the plastic filaments we use pick up moisture from the air . (Agroscopic) Filament manufacturers go to great lengths in their packaging to combat this with the inclusion of a small bag of dessicant and vacuum sealing .

One of my mates was throwing out a small wine cooler fridge as it had a busted door bracket and would not seal properly . I rescued this unit from going off to the landfill and quickly repaired it . Plugged the cooler / fridge into the mains to see that it worked . This cooler uses a solid state PELTIER juction module as its cooling element and has a heatsink and fan to aid the heat transfer process . Knowing that the Peltier junction can transfer heat form its surfaces in either direction by reversing its power connection polarity , immediately suggested an obvious mod to make it either cool or heat the interior . A simple DPST relay of a 12 volt DC coil voltage was chosen for this quick mod . The relay was wired up using 2 sets of contacts and was placed into the circuit where the main power supply feeds the Peltier element . A toggle switch is used to energize this relay for the heating mode . I tested the cooler's operation with this mod in both modes to find that the interior temp reached over 40 degrees C after only an hour in the heating mode .

An overtemp safety problem occured to me which should be addressed . Not wanting to fool around with the existing...Continue Reading
Posted by RickC_RCAV8R | Jan 26, 2019 @ 03:21 PM | 21,633 Views
Gentlemen :

I have been away for far too long and much has happened since my last posting . November saw a month long trip to Cairns Australia to visit my mate Dennis (cynr100) and the club mates with CMAC . This trip was a RC flying and touring trip of a lifetime . Regards to Dennis and the 'boys' who took me in as one of their own . Although I did not fly up to my old levels of competence , I did learn to fly ACRO on the 250mm quadcopter I took along with Dennis' help . He created a monster !

Recent winter shop projects are well along their way . Rebuilds of 2 quadcopters and a Trifecta build have been completed at this juncture . The latest rebuild is of my old V22 Osprey . I always had problems with this one with regards to the nacelle tilting mechs and their setup in the Happy Sundays firmware . A new design around a pair of bargain bin (HK) buggy type 2:1 gear ratio transmissions are at the heart of this . The basic idea is to use these gearboxes to each drive an 7mm fiberglas arrow shaft to do the nacelle tilting . A heavier duty MG995 servo will be used to connect to an intermediate jack shaft to drive the inputs of the gearboxes . Simple 3D printer type GT series gears and belts make the jack shaft to gearbox connections a snap . Future expansions may see a second servo be added to drive each gear mech . For now , I have both being driven with one servo .

All parts so far have been 3D printed for this project . Quick design changes can be realized in...Continue Reading
Posted by RickC_RCAV8R | May 29, 2018 @ 02:42 PM | 29,193 Views
Gentlemen :

Been busy in the shop making cabinets lately and setting up a new garden are in front of the shop . Yardwork and gardening does not leave a lot of time for building models or their flying , but since my mate Dennis (cynr100) has laid down the gauntlet in doing a post , here goes .

The DennyCopter ! A Tcopter frame design by Dennis that uses the Rotorbits building system . The 3D print design for this frame was a collaboration effort and used the OpenScad CAD software . Dennis incorporated several features which aids in the connection of the RC equipment and polices up any interconnecting wiring . A major advantage of this frame is that it encorporates a 'break away' design which would minimize damage from any crashes . Although Dennis designed this frame for a typical 250mm sized tricopter , I decided to make a much larger 400mm frame using the central 3D printed mount . My DennyCopter ended up with an AUW of 650 grams which doesn't seem to be out of range as it uses larger motors ans ESCs .

The 400mm DennyCopter uses the Rotorbits yaw mechanism , KK2.1.5 flight controller runnning RC911 A08 firmware , RacerStar BR2216 motors and 30 amp generic type ESCs . This model will be twisting Gemfan 10 X 4.5 props as they worked well with an earlier designed tricopter in the 'YONI' .

The canopy was my design and was added onto later from a basic 'Plain Jane' design I printed earlier . This canopy has 'wrap around' interlocking slot which mates over Dennis' frame on the leading edge spars and fastens by a single screw in its rear . The missile pods of the underside of the canopy are large enough for housing any LEDs up to 5 Watts in their package sizes or a 5 volt laser module with ease .

Kudos Dennis on a great and effective design . I can see why your newbie following is requesting this one as their entry level machine .

Regards to Dennis , my readers and all who tend to push the envelope : RickC_RCAV8R
Posted by RickC_RCAV8R | Mar 08, 2018 @ 02:10 PM | 29,634 Views
Gentlemen :

One of my mates Blaine (The Iceguy) was cleaning out his shop recently and had a couple of plastic power tool cases that were destined for the dumpster . I couldn't resist grabbing these as I had a project in mind for them . A hard shell flight case !

The first stage of preparing the case is to use a cordless drill equipped with a milling bit to carefully remove the custom tool fitting structure from the outer case itself . This makes for the maximum room possible while retaining the case's structural integrity . Once that is completed , one needs only to use a new snap sharp blade to cut up the polyEthylene foam for the case interior . The foam I used was the packing from a Quanum Chaotic quadcopter . I was interested in the section of foam that dealt with the radio . Some careful cutting and planning , glueing foam parts with rubber contact cement and trimming will yield a cusomized interior that can easily handle the radio , several LiPos and some small tools .

Note that there is a protective shield for the LiPos near the carrying handle which was cut from a plastic covered notebook page leaf . The upper edge was folded in a small bar folder to produce a nice 90 degree fold . This shield is simply slipped between the foam and the outer case to hold in place .

The whole project from start to finish chewed up about 2 hours . Although not absolutely perfect , it turned out quite well and will become my 'grab and go' flight case for travelling to the club field . A second hard case is planned for the storage of 8 to 12 LiPo batteries .

Regards to my readers and my Aussie mates . And true to my motto of 'Waste Nothing' , salvage worx ! RickC_RCAV8R
Posted by RickC_RCAV8R | Feb 04, 2018 @ 01:30 PM | 39,314 Views
Gentlemen :

Since I received this model last week , I have only had one flight with it as the weather is not co-operating very much . This allowed me to read most of the extensive thread in the Electric Plane Talk forum found elsewhere on this website in the Convergence topic . There are a lot of mods posted in there , some of which are employed here . Although most of these mods are relatively simple in nature , the rear motor mount adapter seen in my previous posting was the major mod shown here . This adapter mod solves the rear motor centering with the rear duct and can only help to reduce , or negate the observed transition shuddering / shimmying seen .

The Mods Performed :

-- Add a VelCro strip in the battery bay to better secure the battery and provide a non-slip mounting .
-- Extend the battery power lead and route thru the forward hole provided for any camera wiring .
-- Use a battery voltage monitor with a high output buzzer .
Set this to trigger at a voltage level high than the
Low Voltage Cut Off .
-- Scuff up the motor shaft ends with emory paper to make for a better grip by the aluminum prop adapters .
-- Add a landing gear skid and secure with VelCro to make it adjustable for CG and overall balance .
-- Dress up the twin tails with customized markings for better visibility .
-- Remount the rear motor with the 3D printed adpter to correct the motor's centered height .
-- Upgrade the linkages with heli grade ball links and re-adjust the center-to-center overall lengths as near to 50mm as possible .

Additional maintenance related aspects were addressed like lubing the linkages and the forward motor mount bearings with graphite .

As with every modeler , performing any mods to a new model is a personal choice . For me , I decided to take the advice of the fellows that posted their thoughts and mods in the Convergence forum . Thanx to all for their experience and observations .

Regards to all of my readers , the flyers , builders and my Aussie mates . RickC_RCAV8R
Posted by RickC_RCAV8R | Jan 28, 2018 @ 03:17 PM | 29,853 Views
Gentlemen :

The posting yesterday of the rotary tool holder was the pretext for this intended project of a propeller cutter that I named The BullNoser . Although the pictures of this are in my shop's bench vise , the BullNoser is intended to be mounted on a plywood base or the bench top .

I FLY ! I bust a lot of props in the process . Learning the ACRO modes of flying for multi rotors does consume props . If I am lucky and don't bust a complete leaf off of the prop , I usually just zing off the tips in the dirt . Most times , this leaves props which can be shortened to a convenient diameter while ensuring a proper Bullnose radiused tip . This project makes that operation a snap ! Practically , it takes longer to mount the prop with an adapter to the 3mm center shaft than it does to cut down the prop itself .

A decision was made early on to have the central cross slider platform be made with a 3mm steel shaft that was salvaged from one of my crash victim motors . This shaft is press fit into the slider hole with gentle , but firm tapping with a hammer . A standard sized prop adapter is used to secure the prop to be cut down with perfect alignment . The slider IS adjustable for the prop leaf radius and has the ability to be locked into place to ensure accuracy . Future mods for this project would include a measuring rule but is optional at this point in time . Important to NOTE that the 8mm steel rods used for this project were salvaged from an old computer...Continue Reading
Posted by RickC_RCAV8R | Jan 27, 2018 @ 03:18 PM | 29,931 Views
Gentlemen :

25,000 reads on my blog . Thanx to all for this recognition mates !

As I am well into the winter build projects , the Anet A8 3D printer is working the majority of the time spent in the work shop . The project presented here is of a Rotary Tool Bench Mount for the Workmate rotary tool . The dimension of the internal sleeve is 49mm which required that I add a layer of electrical vinyl tape arount the rotary tool as a shim . This will protect the tool from the four 10/24 set screws holding it securely in place . The mount has 3/8" holes which may be used to bolt to a plywood base OR the work bench in a strategic location . Having the rotary tool mounted horizontally makes it easier for some jobs .

The project was designed in a few minutes using the OpenScad CAD program . I have included the STL printable file for printing . I hope that it will serve some of my fellow modelers well as it does for me . Any comments or feedback is always welcomed .

Regards to ALL of my readers , my Aussie mates and the builders in RC world . RickC_RCAV8R
Posted by RickC_RCAV8R | Nov 20, 2017 @ 02:47 PM | 31,154 Views
Gentlemen :

My mates Franky and Peter paid me a visit last weekend and I presented each of them with their snowsled skiers and the other gear like the radios and battery chargers . This allowed me to find new homes for some of the older radio gear that I had inherited over the years . The mates were blown away and are looking forward to racing these sleds this winter . As I want to WIN , I decided to make some mods to my frame to use a pair of ducted fans as the motivators . A test platform for an upcoming quadcopter project .

After installation , I decided to test the thrust of the DFs on the shop floor as there is not any snow on the ground outside the shop . Firing up the DFs presented a 'Holy S*#& !' kind of reaction as the sled shot itself across the room . It actually launched itself from the short cardboard box it was resting on at the time . The DF units are rated at 485 grams of thrust apiece . The AUW of the sled is 760 grams . But WOW ; what an acceleration ! Even on 3S power . 5700KV motors , I guess .

The mods that I designed were to mount the DF units and the rear stabilizer winglets . As these mods are not a part of the original downloaded 3D print model , OpenScad came in handy . The DF strut mounts are of a ROTORBITS compatible one that will be used on an upcoming quadcopter project .

The pix shown are of hte final sled , ready for racing when the snow arrives . Franky and Pete are going to have some competition !

Thanx for the blog support ! As always , comments are welcomed . My Aussie mates need not fret the fact of having now snow as this model will soon be further modified to accept wheels and floats . Regards to all of the builders : RickC_RCAV8R