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Posted by Carnifax | Jan 04, 2012 @ 12:05 PM | 6,638 Views
After getting the pedal all set up on the 3ch radio, I am attemtping to hack in a trainer port. I am referencing a thread on here on how to do it but I dont think Im receiving complete info. I posted a few requests but so far no answers. So in an attempt to resolve this, Im going to contact Hitec direct. I dont know how excited they will be to help but we will see. Results to follow...

I also started covering the Stearman. I dont think Ive ever attempted to cover a round fuse so there is a little learning curve involved.
Posted by Carnifax | Dec 27, 2011 @ 11:54 AM | 7,633 Views
Very, very good news. Thanks to my brother in law and father, I was able to finally modify my Hitec radio to use a pedal switch for the throttle. I had to swap the pot from the pedal. It took awhile to work out the details but we finally got it. The basic problem is that there was a "dead spot" at the start of the range that did nothing (i.e. if you were to move the throttle stick nothing would happen until the stick was roughly half way through the range of motion).

We also hacked a switch in as well as a plug in the cord. So now the only thing left is to hack in a trainer port. Hopefully that wont be anywhere near as tricky as the last part. I scavanged a port from an old radio and this will be next step. I am kicking around converting this over to 2.4 but that will be down the road.

At this point I feel confident enough to be ready to roll. I have a ton of people to thank and will compile a list at the end. I know I couldnt have done it without them and am extremely grateful for the help Ive received.

Now I can start to shift my focus to the plane. We had started with a GWS Beaver. That worked well for what it is. I question the durability over the long term though. I am kicking around the idea of my battle worn Easy Star or maybe even scratch building something. There are a lot of good trainers out there, its tough to choose. I have enough planes right now that purchasing one would be foolish.

I am excited about the project and look forward to warmer weather.

I also picked up a couple of rollls of microlite covering for the Stearman. I decided to go with the classic blue/yellow Army covering.

More later.
Posted by Carnifax | Dec 16, 2011 @ 12:16 AM | 6,916 Views
Im still plugging away at the Stearman. Fuselage progressing then on to the 2 wings. Not a bad build but more parts than I thought. Using CA and glue so best of both worlds. I will include a pic here.

Recently, 2 guys have been amazingly kind and generous to me. Without too many details, BrunswickJim and Mike 1484 were both kind in ways that went way above and beyond. Neither wanted anything in return so the only thing I can do is to pay it forward. SO along those lines I want to organize a "learn to fly" program at the local park. At this point its just an idea but I think I can pull it off or at least give it a try. More about this later.

Im trying to keep pace of a build a month this winter. I think Im on target with the Stearman but the Jim Young Waco might be a different story. And the scratch build Travel Air is going to be killer. I have a couple of ARF's so I might have to "assemble" some ARF's if nothing else, just to keep my average up.

I have been learning more and more about a local airplane from the past: the Great Lakes Aircraft Company. Not only do I want to learn more about it but it would also be very cool to build a RC model of one. More about this later.
Posted by Carnifax | Dec 05, 2011 @ 02:06 AM | 7,051 Views
Took a quick spin up to the Geneva, Oh indoor fest. HUGE building. I got a chance to chat with Dave from Radical RC and Dan and Diane from Lazertoyz. Don (the Don) from DonsRC was there too. He won the pylon race. I didnt get a chance to see the race but did catch the combat.

My plan for the winter is try and build a plane a month. My "warmup" plane is going to be the Alien Aircraft PT-17. I have decided to modify it a little bit though. Im replacing the flat plate style tail with a built up one instead. This is my first try with the balsa soak, stretch around a form. The first attempt was not so good but the 2nd one went much smoother. I have most of the parts I need except the covering.

Pat Tritle has a nice thread about it on his website. I followed that for the most part. One problem that I will introduce is that I also plan on using "strip caps" on the built up ribs on the tail. Hopefully this will make a neat little effect on the covering BUT it will also probably not allow the decals to sit flat. What to do? Im thinking of going all yellow.

There is no shortage of variations on the Stearman. I will pick one and run with it. This will be no scale beauty but will certainly do my best. Im not sure my total weight savings yet but was also looking at the replica radial engine. Tom Herr did an admirable job building it from balsa but Im thinking of vac forming one mostly for weight savings.

I wont spend a ton of time on it, if I cant do it...Continue Reading
Posted by Carnifax | Aug 22, 2011 @ 12:05 PM | 7,836 Views
A couple of friends were visting from out of town, Alex (IB Crazy) and Eric. They were flying some very cool FPV stuff that was amazing. They were kind enough to help get Bob flying.

We loaded up the GWS Beaver and even though the wind picked up a little, Bob flew with assist from Alex. We linked up my 2 Futaba Tx's with a buddy cord. Although it was not ideal, Bob handled it well and he was in the air. He enjoyed it tremendously and was excited to do more. I snapped a picture and shot a little video for YouTube.

RCGrouper, Glider90, was kind enough to offer a Hitec Neon radio for the project. Now all I need to do is get the trainer port and we will be all set. Im excited for Bob and look forward to flying.

MVI 7609 (2 min 30 sec)

Posted by Carnifax | Aug 10, 2011 @ 04:59 PM | 7,532 Views
In thinking about it, I dont know a lot more about Bob other than much more than what Ive already shared.

He lives in an apartment somewhat close to the field and its in a prettty rough neighborhood. Whenever he hears the sound of rc planes, he comes down to the field. Its a little like the bat signal. He has a motorized wheel chair that he makes the most of.

He has been robbed several times including once when he was pushed out of his wheel chair in the winter to rob him of his wheelchair. Thats pretty low to try and rob a guy of his wheelchair and leave him laying in the snow and slush. I can only imagine how tough it must be for him. People go through all kinds of struggles in life but Bob handles his share of life's burdens usually with a smile.

The guy is almost always in a good mood and I can count on him for a friendly laugh and a positive spirit. He is just one of those "good guys" in life that you can trust. Its because of his attitude and spirit that makes me want to help him.
Posted by Carnifax | Aug 10, 2011 @ 04:50 PM | 7,559 Views
In thinking more about the project, another "problem" is going to be the throttle. The pedal is spring loaded and not ratched. So to maintain a consistent throttle point, You would have to "hold" the pedal like a car. Maybe that coupled with a cheapie esc (with few "steps" i.e. like the old mechanical speed controls like on the tamiya frog rc cars).

Its either that or somehow mount the pot to the top of the single stick. it seems like I recall the early Kraft single stick radios used to have a knob on the top of the stick. They were a little before my time but somehow I recall this.

Either way, Im confident we can find a solution to make this work. We are not talking about a $5,000.00 sailplane after all.

Im not sure who's going to be more excited to see this work, Bob or me.


Posted by Carnifax | Aug 10, 2011 @ 08:55 AM | 7,890 Views
This will detail my efforts in attempting to construct a controller system for a friend of mine named Bob.

Bob is just a cool guy who hangs around the park that I occasionally fly at. He had a stroke that left the right side of his body paralyzed. Even though he is in a wheel chair, he zips around and really enjoys watching us fly our planes. He confided in me that he has always wanted to try it too. He doesnt have a lot of money but has tried several times flying "toy" quality planes that people have given him after they are broken or worn out.

I want to help him fly.

Last year I had an idea that I could take a single stick radio and strap it down to his wheel chair. While he could use his functioning hand to operate the stick he would still need a throttle (for 3ch) control.

I bought a steering wheel/pedal controller for a video game off of Craigs List. I cracked open the pedal device and stripped out the pot. I called Hitec and they tell me its a 10K pot so I got one from Radio Shack. It is not a drop in replacement so Im going to have to modify it and the mount to get it to align well. So I plan on wiring the pedal directly to the slide throttle. I will wire up some kind of toggle switch to switch between pedal and slide switch.

Also, in thinking about it, Im probably going to need to find a way to quickly take the controls over if I need to. In the past Ive helped kids to fly by simply sharing the controller and more or less grabbing it away...Continue Reading