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Posted by turboparker | Nov 19, 2011 @ 03:21 PM | 8,041 Views
Picked up a Losi Mini 8ight the other day. Here are a few videos:

First drive (stock pack):

Losi Mini 8ight test-drive - stock pack (3 min 51 sec)

First drive with a two-year-old Outrage NRG 35c 3s pack from my BSR. Picked up the wrong pack. This one hadn't been charged since early spring:

Losi Mini 8ight on a 3s LiPo (5 min 6 sec)
...Continue Reading
Posted by turboparker | Nov 14, 2011 @ 02:08 PM | 6,498 Views
I was looking to add some variety to my indoor RC options when the wx isn't fit for flying. So, I decided to pick up a Micro SCT.

After verifying that everything worked correctly, I changed the battery connector over to the UMX Beast/Sbach/Stryker 180/Gee Bee connector, so I can use my existing homebrew Hyp 240 mAh 2s packs.

I really enjoy driving it around the living room. The hardwood floors make it challenging, despite the full-time 4WD - however drifting through the turns is a blast! The surprising thing to me is how well the suspension w/adjustable oil-filled shocks works on less-than-ideal surfaces outdoors - such as rough asphalt. The suspension really soaks up the bumps. It's easy to hold a line with the stock tx even @ WOT with a 2s Hyp pack.

I plan to do the Spektrum 2.4 GHz/brushless conversion when it becomes available.

I decided to try some on-board video, using my trusty #3 keychain cam. The video is much smoother than I thought it would be at this scale, considering how bad it was on my Micro-T. Watch for the flip @ 4:20.

Losi Micro SCT - on-board video (7 min 20 sec)

Here's a hatcam clip. Watch what happens at 2:10. Sure is a fun little truck, however I am definitely going brushless when the Spektrum 2.4 GHz conversion kit comes out.

Losi 1/24th-scale Micro SCT - having fun on asphalt (6 min 36 sec)
...Continue Reading
Posted by turboparker | Oct 30, 2011 @ 06:53 PM | 6,188 Views
Here are some clips of me having fun with the UMX Beast.

First up, a clip from the club field. Lazy flying, scale aero, spins, KE passes, inverted flight, KE loops, torque-rolls, takeoffs & landings. My hatcam was pointing a bit low - but you can see most of the action:

ACRC Field 10/26/11 - fun with the UMX Beast. Scale aero, KE loops, etc (8 min 53 sec)

Posted by turboparker | Sep 07, 2011 @ 12:11 AM | 7,009 Views
Here's a hatcam clip of me flying the PA Extra at our club field. Nothing fancy - just some lazy flying. Couldn't have asked for better flying wx!

Hatcam - flying my PA Extra 260 48" at the field (10 min 7 sec)

Edit 10/29/11:

Here's a clip of me stuffing the Extra while screwing around with low & slow flat-turns. Got a bit too slow. Stalled the inboard wing & snapped right into the deck. Good thing she missed the asphalt.

Found a couple of popped joints in the starboard wing, right at the root - but the front-end/motorbox/landing-gear seem to be fine. Didn't even damage the c/f spinner. She's a tough bird, for sure.

ACRC Field - Crashing my PA Extra 260 (3 min 13 sec)
...Continue Reading
Posted by turboparker | Aug 04, 2011 @ 12:54 AM | 9,309 Views
I just had to add one of these to the hangar.

The Sbach flies much differently than the Beast, as one would expect. Similar to a more aerodynamic Sukhoi XP on steroids - but much, much smoother in the air, and with razor-sharp tracking & more precise controls. It flies much 'bigger' than it is. Even bigger than the Beast. More like a 40-size plane than a UM. In stock trim, it has unlimited vertical. It is a very capable aerobatic machine, that can perform any pattern maneuver in the book. With the SFGs, it can also perform most 3D maneuvers - however hovering is not its strong suit. With the CG at the sweet spot, it has no bad habits. Bring her in hot, or raise the nose & bring her in slow. Without the SFGs, she lands a bit hotter than the XP or Beast. With the SFGs, she can slow to a crawl & remain fully controllable - with no wing-rock at all.

The airframe really comes alive with a Hyperion 180 or 240 mAh 2s pack & a GWS 5030 prop. In my opinion, the 5043 is a bit too much for this motor. At my elevation, it's just barely faster than the 5030, and vertical performance & flight-time are far poorer. Plus, the motor was too hot to touch after a 30-sec static RPM test. With the 5030, the motor was barely warm after a 30-sec static test. Others who have used the 5043 say that it doesn't run hot in flight, however. At higher altitudes, the 5043 may prove to be the best choice.

This is another UM that has a marginal CG. Some samples are a bit nose-heavy...Continue Reading
Posted by turboparker | Apr 24, 2011 @ 08:21 PM | 7,507 Views
Here's my shake-down flight with the keychain cam mounted to the canopy of my PA Extra 260 48". I'm flying from our club field. I had the cam angled down too much. Plus, the prop artifact is really bad on this one. Need a better camera, I guess. I'm flying with the IPAs & a Hyperion VX 2200 3s pack.

Precision Aerobatics Extra 260 - on-board video (10 min 15 sec)

Posted by turboparker | Apr 24, 2011 @ 05:52 PM | 7,220 Views
My first on-board video from the ParkZone Mosquito. I'm using a 15g keychain cam on a stock plane. It's mounted under the belly at the CG. As one would expect, the extra weight is very noticeable. Power-to-weight is more in line with full-scale ships. Nevertheless, she seemed to handle the payload just fine. I was flying from the club field. I tried a few loops, but only one worked out. I also did an aileron roll. I need to work on smoother landings with the extra weight. I plan to shoot some more video soon. Hopefully, from my yard.

PZ Mosquito on-board video (5 min 27 sec)

EDIT: 5/24/2011:

This evening, I decided to take the Mossie w/keychain cam up for a cruise over my yard & woods. It was a bit more turbulent up there than I thought, and the lighting wasn't the best. I'll shoot some more video when it's calm, and when the light is better.

UM Mosquito - on-board video from the yard. (3 min 57 sec)
...Continue Reading
Posted by turboparker | Apr 23, 2011 @ 09:36 PM | 7,396 Views
Here's my first attempt at on-board video on a UM plane.

I decided to mount a fully-cased keychain cam on top of my modded Champ just to see how she handles the load. Champ is powered by a Solo Pro motor w/5043 prop & Hyp 180 'M' cell. The plane's flying weight is 47g, and the the fully-cased cam weighs 15g. AUW is 62g. I'm taking off to the north from my north yard, then flying over my east & south yards. When flying south, you can see my woods off to the left. The grass was a bit too long, so my landings aren't very pretty. I plan to shoot some more tomorrow - this time with the cam angled downward maybe 5-10 degrees. The prop artifact isn't as bad as I was expecting it to be. I need to fly much more smoothly, however...

UM Champ - on-board video (2 min 43 sec)

Posted by turboparker | Mar 12, 2011 @ 04:33 PM | 8,664 Views
For those who are flying or plan to fly the mCP X with a Futaba module-based tx + Spektrum module, here are the settings I'm using on my 10CHP. I also attached a Word doc. Should be a good starting point, at least. As always - use at your own risk.

I encourage those who try them to post their results and any alternate settings in this thread.

EDIT 4/17/11: When I set up the curves, was not aware that hover-pitch & hover-throttle were activated in 'normal' mode. Now that I have corrected the problem, I have updated the attachment & info below to reflect my new settings. Sorry for any confusion this may have caused.


D/R (switch D):
Low: 70%
High: 100%
Expo: -30%
Note: D/R & Expo on Ch 1 & 2 only

End Point

1 Aile 90/90
2 Elev 90/90
3 Thro 100/100
4 Rudd 100/100
5 Gyro 100/100
6 Pitch 70/70

Reverse: 1 Aile, 2 Elev, 3 Thro, 4 Rudd, 6 Pitc

Type: Helicopter
Swash: H-1
Modul: PPM

Gyro Sense

Idle-up: Switch E
1) Center
2) Down
3) Inhibit

Throttle Hold: Switch G Down

Posted by turboparker | Mar 05, 2011 @ 02:39 PM | 8,341 Views

I just performed a static RPM test. The motors only have 8 minutes of time on them, so they are not fully broken-in. As usual, the RPM was measured with a calibrated tach under natural light 30 seconds into the run on a freshly-charged cell. I will retest after the motors have a few hours on them.

EW: 64.52g
AUW: 72.88g
Batt: 8.36g
Propshaft to fuselage clearance: 2.25"

Battery: stock
Motors: stock
Props: stock

Elev: 910' AMSL
Temp: 70 F

Port: 6810 RPM
Stbd: 6720 RPM

Edit 5/30/11:

After ~10 hours of flight-time, I repeated the static RPM test with the stock cell. I also tested with a Hyperion 240 mAh cell.

Elev: 910' AMSL
Temp: 70 F

Stock 250 mAh cell:

Port: 6720 RPM
Stbd: 6720 RPM

Hyperion 240 mAh cell:
Port: 6900
Stbd: 6900

Cell weights as tested:
Stock 250 mAh ----- 8.36g
Hyperion 240 mAh -- 6.78g

The motors seem to be better-balanced than they were during the first test, which was before they were broken-in. As expected, the Hyp 240 mAh cell provides a noticable increase in power over the stock 250 mAh cell, with a significant reduction in weight. In this case, thrust is up by 5%, while cell weight is down by 19%. The Hyp 320 should perform even better, as the Hyp 240 gets rather warm in this app. As we have seen in the past, the Hyperions are clearly superior in the higher-current apps - and the Mossie is most definitely a high-current app!

I will also be testing the new TP 65c 325 mAh cells.
Posted by turboparker | Feb 13, 2011 @ 02:07 PM | 13,703 Views

It's 47 above here, but the wind is 20-30 MPH. Since it's a bit windy for flying, I decided to get some static RPM data on the 5030 & 5043 props with my Hyp 2s packs. The testing was done with Beast #2, so I re-tested the stock prop to establish a baseline.

910' AMSL, 70 F, 30 sec into the run on a freshly-charged pack. The GWSProps spreadsheet was used to calculate thrust:

GWS 5043:
Hyp 180 2s: 9600 RPM; Thrust=127g; Pitch-speed: 39.0 MPH**
Hyp 240 2s: 9700 RPM; Thrust=129g; Pitch-speed: 39.5 MPH**

GWS 5030:
Hyp 180 2s: 11300 RPM; Thrust=124g
Hyp 240 2s: 11300 RPM; Thrust=124g; Pitch-speed: 32.1 MPH**

Stock prop:
Hyp 180 2s: 11150 RPM; Thrust=111g*
Hyp 240 2s: 11150 RPM; Thrust=111g*; Pitch-speed: 29.0 MPH**

RemE's testing with the stock 120 mAh pack:

5043: 8574 RPM; 2.75A; Thrust=100g; 34.9 MPH**
5030: 10130 RPM; 2.25A; Thrust=99g; 28.8 MPH**
stock: 10224 RPM; 2.25A; Thrust=92g*; 26.6 MPH**

*May not be accurate, as the stock prop's t-constant may or may not be similar to the GWS prop.

**Calculated pitch-speed. Prop slippage and in-flight unloading not taken into account.


I found it interesting that in my tests, the 5030 spun faster than the stock prop. Seems like an anomaly, but I did get the same result with two packs. I'm not sure what to think about that. Going by the data, the 5030 should provide longer flight-times, a bit more top-speed, and slightly better vertical than the stock prop. Also, the data suggests that the 5043 should not...Continue Reading
Posted by turboparker | Dec 29, 2010 @ 01:27 PM | 9,973 Views
The question of which LiPo cell is the best for the UM planes & helis comes up often in the ultra-micro forums. Many of us have found that Hyperion cells outperform most of the competition, and that Thunder Power & Intellect UM cells perform as well as, or very close to the Hyperions. Objective tests back up our experiences.

Remember - loaded voltage is what determines the performance of a battery - not usable capacity. Loaded voltage is a function of the cell's internal resistance (Rint). The lower the Rint, the less power will be dissipated within the cell as heat, and the lower the voltage-drop will be under a given load. The cells with the highest voltage under load will provide the most thrust & speed in a given application. Also of importance is the voltage slope over time. The shallower the slope, the more power the cell will deliver over the course of the flight. Also, a shallow slope means that more power will be available toward the end of the flight.

It has been proven many times that Hyperion cells maintain voltage under load better than nearly all of the currently-available LiPo cells. The notable exceptions are the Thunder Power 160 & Intellect 130/160 UM cells - which perform similarly to their Hyperion counterparts. The Hyperions can be charged @ 5c for hundreds of cycles with no reduction in performance or longevity. 300+ 5c charge cycles with no reduction in performance is common. Of course, this assumes than the cells have been properly...Continue Reading
Posted by turboparker | Dec 28, 2010 @ 12:01 PM | 14,001 Views
For those who are seeking more thrust and speed from UM planes that use the 8.5mm motor/gearbox with the 1.5mm propshaft (such as the PZ Sukhoi 26m, XP, P-51, 4-Site, T-28, HobbyZone Champ, and HobbyZone's latest addition - the excellent Sport Cub S 4-channel primary trainer), the GWS 5043 prop is a great choice. Along with the prop, an adapter is required to fit the 4mm hole in the prop to the 1.5mm propshaft. Of course, you want an adapter that spins true; but the weight of the adapter is also something to consider. If the plane is already on the nose-heavy side (which is the case for the Sukhoi 26m), or is is borderline (as is the case with the XP), the last thing you need is extra nose-weight at the far end of the fulcrum, as this can make it difficult or impossible to set the CG properly. If the plane has a wide CG adjustment range, adapter weight may be of minor concern. If the plane is already on the tail-heavy side (as is the case with the HZ Champ), a heavier adapter may be just what you need.

Here are a few choices. Other vendors may also carry the items below. I suggest that you shop around.

I'm using the spinner below on the Champ. It's heavier than some of the others, but my Champ was a tad tail-heavy anyway. You get two of each: 1.5, 2 & 2.3mm:


Some people like these wooden inserts. They're very light - well under 0.1g. They may need to be glued into the prop hub:

http://www.radicalrc.com/...Continue Reading
Posted by turboparker | Dec 27, 2010 @ 03:48 PM | 20,612 Views
For those who are new to the world of purpose-built aerobatic planes, I decided to post the following information on flight-trimming:

Aside from creating an unflyable condition, CG settings are largely a matter of preference. However, many pilots find that with purpose-built aerobatic ships, adjusting the CG for neutral or near-neutral handling usually works best for all-around aerobatics & precision flight, while a slightly aft CG usually works better for 3D, and a slightly forward CG typically improves stability & tracking - which may be desirable when flying in turbulent air. Understanding the effects of flight-trimming & CG placement, plus experimenting to find the settings that work best for a given airframe and flight condition, will allow the pilot to optimize most any airframe to suit one's purpose and flying style.

The neutral handling point, or CG 'sweet spot' as it is called by some, is the balance point which provides neutral pitch stability. No pitch-change with changes in throttle or airspeed. No pitch change when rolled to knife-edge or when rolled inverted. When balanced at this point, an aerobatic plane simply goes where it's pointed until commanded to do something else. Pattern planes are usually balanced at or slightly forward of the sweet spot. 3D planes are usually balanced at or slightly aft of the sweet spot. The manufacturer's recommended CG range for most trainers & sport planes is typically well-forward of the sweet spot....Continue Reading
Posted by turboparker | Dec 26, 2010 @ 05:14 PM | 16,034 Views
Just finished making my lightweight Hyperion packs. I used two bare Hyp 180 cells, double-sided tape from a 3M window film kit to hold the cells together, the available pigtail w/stock JST 'PH' connector, a couple dabs of hot-glue between the tabs to provide some strain-relief and prevent shorting, a couple dabs of liquid electrical tape on the connections, a short strip of plastic for a tab, and a Velcro dot. I also built a 240 mAh Hyperion pack.

Weight & static RPM comparisons (RPM measured with a calibrated optical tach under natural light @ 30 sec into the run on a freshly-charged pack):

UMX Beast
Stock prop
70 F
910' AMSL

Eflite 2s 120 ----------------------------------------------- 9.45g; Static RPM: 10200
Eflite 2s 180 ---------------------------------------------- 12.92g; Static RPM: 10500
Hyp 2s 180 ----------------------------------------------- 11.84g; Static RPM: 11100
Hyp 180 'UM' cells x2 + RC-Connectors series harness -- 12.34g; Static RPM: 11000
Hyp 180 'UM' cells x2 + Eflite series harness ---------------- 13.01g; Static RPM: 10700
Hyp 2s 240 ----------------------------------------------- 14.51g; Static RPM: 11100

RPM data suggests that the stock 120 is a bit overtaxed in this application. Note the significant RPM increase with the Hyperion 180 pack. Also note the significant reduction in performance when using the Hyp 180 'UM' cells & the factory series harness - 400 RPM in this case. Interesting that there was no increase in static RPM...Continue Reading
Posted by turboparker | Dec 22, 2010 @ 10:29 PM | 8,714 Views
The P-51 motor I put in the Champ started to die at the indoor-fly last night. Not even an hour of time on the thing, and I even broke it in easy on the 5030. So.....I just swapped it for the SP motor I got from RC. After a couple of flights, brought it back inside to check the RPM @ room temp. As usual, a freshly-charged Hyp 180 cell was used for the test, and natural light was used to prevent erroneous tach readings.

HZ Champ:

SP motor/GWS 5043/Hyp 180
AUW: 47.15g

Static RPM:

30 sec: 6700 RPM
60 sec: 6480 RPM

Flight conditions:

Alt: 910' AMSL
Temp: +16 F
Wind: 0-2 MPH

The flight below used 90 mAh, or 50% of the charge.

Performance demo: HobbyZone Champ w/SP motor/GWS 5043/Hyp 180 - vertical, aerobatics, outside loop! (6 min 50 sec)

EDIT: 5/24/2011:

Here's my first attempt at shooting video of my own plane. I'm flying the Champ low & slow around my side yard & backyard. No HD - just my #3 keychain cam attached to my hat.

Hatcam - flying the UM Champ low & slow in my yard (5 min 52 sec)
...Continue Reading
Posted by turboparker | Dec 22, 2010 @ 10:25 PM | 8,566 Views
Here's my second video of the UMX Beast. Temp was +16 F, and there was no wind. The Beast is stock, except for the Hyperion 180 mAh cells. I haven't built my new Hyperion 180 & 240 packs using bare cells and the factory JST 'PH' connector, so I'm just using the shrink-wrapped Hyp 180 'UM' cells and Eflite's series harness. The Hyp cells + harness only weigh 0.13g more than the Eflite 180 pack, so I'm sure my homebrew bare-cell packs w/stock connector will be considerably lighter than the Elfite 180.

I'm flying from the road next to my north yard. I managed to hit a power-line about 2:24 into the clip. Knocked one of the wheel spats off, but that was all. The power-line was the same one that ate two of my Sukhoi XPs.

As you can see, vertical is essentially unlimited - even 3-4 minutes into the flight. After 5+ minutes of aggressive flying in cold wx, there was still enough power for extended verticals. The flight used 90 mAh, or 50% of the charge.

UMX BEAST in the snow: vertical performance, powerline hit, aerobatics, takeoffs & landings (5 min 49 sec)

Posted by turboparker | Dec 05, 2010 @ 02:40 PM | 8,231 Views
Hello again...

Looking at the 2+ feet of snow in my backyard got me thinking about flying UM planes off skis in my backyard. With its generous payload capacity and ample power, the Champ seemed to be the best candidate in my UM hangar.

After fixing some pre-shucked corn-on-the-cob, I found myself eying the packaging. Looked to be pretty strong, and the ends already had a nice radius that looked to be about right for the upward curve at the front of the skis. My first set ended up a bit heavier than I had planned. Although my gut told me that rear bungees would likely be required, I decided to try them with front bungees only.

Tried them out this morning (12/05/10). Temp was +10 F with a 2-5 MPH breeze. They worked pretty well - especially on hardpack or crusty snow. ROS takeoffs looked cool. When landing in deep fluff, she tended to nose-over on landing - unless I executed a power-on, full-stall 3-pointer. So, I rigged up some rear bungees. Heading out for a test-flight right now...

I'm also making a lighter set that uses foam for the uprights. This time, the rubber-band bungees will be incorporated into the ski design. Should weigh considerably less than my first set, and the install should be a bit cleaner.

Posted by turboparker | Nov 26, 2010 @ 12:32 AM | 7,620 Views
Here's my short maiden flight. 10-17 MPH winds, and temps in the teens. Camcorder was messed up at first - I inadvertently left it in manual mode from shooting some nature clips in low light. When my friend started filming, it oversaturated. So, I had to cut out about 2-3 minutes of good aerobatics, and some close-in flying. Nearly lost feeling in all of my fingers by the time I landed. Hope to get more video sometime soon. Need a set of skis, I think...


UMX Beast maiden flight (2 min 29 sec)