Dakrat's blog View Details
Posted by Dakrat | May 07, 2015 @ 07:13 AM | 10,138 Views
Been a long time since I put something in my blog so I thought I would write about my recent purchase of my favorite plane the TuffWing. This EPP wonder is the creation of Brian Christal from the small state of Texas (I'm from Alaska )

I had one of the first versions of this plane and I flew the crap out of it over the years. It was a nice replacement to my old Zagi, not as "floaty" but she likes the speed! I tried several motors in her going faster and faster. The tuffwing served me well over the years but lately when she flew, she was well... Wonky! Might have been the few fun"mishaps" over the years had taken their toll!

I decided that I was time for a replacement but this build I was going to add a few improvements and turn the tuffwing into a super tuffy! I noticed some patterns occurring from my mishaps and my friends:

- Tearing at the trailing edge to servo pocket, starting at the curve before motor mount.
- Epp hinge line would tear or get worn out over time.
- Carbon spars would pop out if glued with CA
- Control rod and ply control horn would bend/break.
- Over time nose will get floppy, soft and separate from coroplast battery bay.
- Carbon spar was shattering/breaking right at battery bay.

Along the way I had made fixes and some improvements but now I had a chance to incorporate them all into this fresh build!

I had a small dilemma, all the changes would mess up the great neon paint job so I contact Brian and asked him if I could...Continue Reading
Posted by Dakrat | Jan 20, 2013 @ 03:02 AM | 11,357 Views
I am just starting out in FPV but living in AK put my projects on hold with the arrival of winter. Well I have a great place to fly indoors so I wanted something I could fly and get some practice with my FPV gear. So this is what I came up with:

Aircraft - v949 Quadcopter

FPV Gear - Camera, 1.5 gram Camera
Transmitter, 3.3-5 Volt 10mw 1.3mHz Tx weighs only 1.8 gram

The FPV gear took a long time to get to me from Turkey(6 wks) but it is the only place where I could find gear this small. It took me just a short time to figure out how to hook up the transmitter and the camera, I had to cut the wires for both the camera and transmitter since they had different connectors and solder them together to make them work. The FPV gear was powered by directly , soldering to the main board power leads. Once I got everything connected, I did a trail run and powered the quad up.

Eureka, it works!
After turning it on, two things were discovered: which way is "up" for camera and that a separate power source for the FPV gear was needed. There was too much interference from the running motors. I checked my junk box and found a Parkzone micro battery connector. After soldering the connector and power leads together, I hooked up a 130mah battery and “poof” the interference was gone.

Now with the transmitter working, the camera had to attached to the frame. A flap hinge from Hobbyking (https://www.hobbyking.com/hobbyking/s...6mm_5pcs_.html) was cut down to just the arm and the hinge bracket. The arm was CA'd and hot glued to the frame with the camera stuck to the bracket by double side tape.

A tiny piece of Velcro to hold the extra battery and a small hole in the canopy for the antenna was all I had to do to finish her up. She seems to work well , I only have flown her a few times but tomorrow I should be able to run a few batteries and see what shakes “loose”!
Posted by Dakrat | Oct 20, 2011 @ 03:38 AM | 12,495 Views
One thing I hate about Alaska is the short summers and early winters! Past couple of times I have been out my fingers were freezing and I hate wearing gloves/liners but now I think I have a solution.

I purchased a HobbyKing Universal Heater System (USA Warehouse) (https://www.hobbyking.com/hobbyking/s...dProduct=19674 )
for my Raydiowarm (http://www.raydiowarm.com/). This thing is actually a tire warmer for rc cars but it works great for hand warmer.
The unit comes in a small box and it comes with a 2X heating pads, heater control unit and a temp probe. The heater unit comes with alligator clips and car style connector for the pads.

Hooking this thing up was very easy:

1.) I cut off the alligator clips and soldered on a deans connector.
2.) After trying a few options for mounting the pads in the Radiowarm I found out that it has sleeves on the side that the pads slide into. Then I slipped the temp probe into the sleeve as well.
3.) You have to have the probe in contact with the silver side of the pads or they may heat up too much. I used a 7.4v lipo as a 12v lipo gets waaay to hot.
4.) The only problem with this setup is that it does not protect the lipos when in use, it has no kind of shutoff for low voltage. So I bought this - Hobby King Battery Monitor 2S (https://www.hobbyking.com/buddy.asp?c...1-C43701CB76ED). This will warn me when the battery gets low with flash LEDS and an audible alarm.

I choose to use a 2s 2200mah lipo that was old, it doesn't hold up to flying loads but handles this fine. I hooked up my wattmeter and found out that this unit consumes 3.7A and at 27 watts and if use a 3s its is 5A at 50-5 watts. So a quick calculation(2s) and it looks like I can use this for about 20 minutes and give me a 40% safety buffer in left in the battery.

I think I will have toasty hands this winter!
Posted by Dakrat | Sep 06, 2010 @ 11:26 AM | 11,991 Views
I got this model at a great price but I wanted to convert it to electric.
Fun build, had to put on my thinking cap for some of the mod's to make it electric. You can see it here:
Posted by Dakrat | Jan 15, 2008 @ 04:57 PM | 14,298 Views
Since taking up this sport, I fly as much as I can. Living in Alaska has it challenges to flying year round. Unlike my good buddy Zillacapt in Phoenix who loves his winter flying I was dreading it. Winters here can last from Oct till May, so this year I have a new strategy to combat the cold.

First I am building full fuselage planes like the Darrow, Blue Cub II and my EStarter. This keeps the batteries and the servos warm, since cold air can stiffen the grease in servos and knock the juice out of the lipos.

Second I got a Raydiowarm, it is a transmitter mitt that keeps your hands warm and you radio dry. http://www.raydiowarm.com/
It is a little pricey but man I am telling you it is worth it! I bought mine from Stevens Aero model http://stevensaero.com/shop/product....0&cat=0&page=1 .

It is very well built; it comes with removable side wall stiffeners, removable cuffs to seal out the cold and a clear window to see your radio. It also has a removable neck and back strap which is a nice touch.

You do have mod your raydiowarm for your radio. This calls for you to cut a small hole in the mitt for your antennae. Then you take two small plastic pieces that snap together to seal the hole and make it looked polished. I have a Spektrum DX6 so I had to mod mine to make it fit right.
The plastic plugs come in two sizes but neither were big enough to fit my antenna so I had to use the larger snap plug instead. These meant that I had to CA my snap plug to the...Continue Reading
Posted by Dakrat | Oct 26, 2007 @ 04:23 AM | 17,920 Views
I just got a new foam cutter added to my arsenal of tools for making foamies.

Before I got my newest cutter I had been using the Super Beveller, a neat tool to belevel all my control surfaces. The Super Beveller when used correctly bevels flat foam such as Depron, and blue core at a near perfect 45-degree angle. You can get one from Charger RC for $6 or so, it really works well but it does have one flaw in that cutting a 45 into a corner is not possible. You must finish the job with an X-Acto knife or sand paper it. I also like that this uses ordinary razor blades so swapping out new blades is cheap and quick.

My newest tool is a Logan series 1500 foam board cutter. This little gadget is for making straight cuts as well as 45 deg ones. What I like about this tool is that you can HOLD it really firmly and control it with a straight edge or a tee straight edge ruler. It has a razor blade that you can adjust for depth or direction of cut. 45 deg cuts are a snap, just slide the blade opposite of the straight cut, flip over start cutting! Simple and easy to use, you can also get into corners!

You can get this tool at variety of places, I got mine at Michael’s, just remember to steal your wife's 50% off coupon before purchasing.
Here is a quick picture: http://www.misterart.com/store/image...?group_id=8199

I highly recommend both of these tools for you foam cutting convenience. They are both speedier then any X-Acto knife or sanding block.
Posted by Dakrat | Oct 09, 2007 @ 12:50 AM | 15,217 Views
After reading about it time and time again, I finally took the plunge and bought some LEDs for some night flying. I wasn't sure what plane I wanted to use or how much I wanted to spend. One of the guys on the forum boards suggested Celebration Lights. These lights are used for parties, balloons and such. You get 12 to a package for about $10 from Wal-Mart. The package says that they last for about 8hrs.

These were perfect for me since I was not sure I was going to enjoy the night flying thing nor was I sure how much I wanted to spend setting up a plane. So I got my "all purpose" EStarter and some masking tape and got to work. I used about 5 for the first test, two under the wing one on the rudder and one on the bottom by the cowling and one on the top between rudder and the wing.

Flight Report:
I had no problems getting her up to altitude, I didn't get too crazy, just high enough to avoid trees and light posts.
Orientation was not that bad but I kept her close, I had only white lights but I could see how having different colors could be helpful. I didn't fly for too long it was getting a little cold (31 deg) but I am hooked on this night flying stuff. Winter is almost here and with the days getting shorter I can still get my flying in. Now to try this on my SLofly 28 and see if I can fly a little night 3D!

I highly recommend these LED's they are inexpensive, portable between planes, and very bright. Since I have several LED's I can experiment with different configurations on plane. I probably will get a better LED or glow wire system but for the time being this is cheap fun!
Posted by Dakrat | Sep 23, 2007 @ 09:33 PM | 16,450 Views
After sitting in my closet for over a year I put together my GWS EStarter plane. I had originally bought it for as a advanced trainer plane to make my leap to ailerons aircraft. I forgot about it when I started building FFF planes and jets.
I picked up a CVS Camcorder and mod'd it up to fly on the EStarter.
The Mods that I did were as follows:
- Removed the circuit board from the camera housing
- Removed the LCD screen from the board to save weight
- Soldered a Micro Dean 4 pin connector to the board
- Made two cables, a USB cable to download movies and another that powered the camera from the receiver (5v) using the male deans connector.

Things were working well until I tried to download movies from the camera. I was able to unlock and download from the camera before I mod'd it. So after tinkering with it, I found out that the camera only seemed to work with the LCD attached. The next problem was that the camera would power down after flying around for a minute or two. It shouldn't do that since it was it powered by the USB connection. I think I have cured that problem by using LIPO batteries with a higher C rating.

Attached below are the fruits of my labor flying around my neighborhood.
Videos: https://www.rcgroups.com/forums/showthread.php?t=747248

New Entry - 28 Sep 07
After several test flights and hooking the camera up to my computer it seems that my problem with downloading with the LCD screen off maybe more my computers problem then the camera'...Continue Reading