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Posted by JohnAsaPrice | Feb 17, 2014 @ 01:10 PM | 3,198 Views
Here are some notes and pictures(of the Companion9x screens) of my Taranis configuration.

I performed some basic customizations to make it "MY" radio:


  • Created custom splash screen
  • Replaced the intro soundtrack (tada) with my own audio clips

I added new audio clips for “Caution throttle Active”, “throttle safe” “mid rates” which were not available.

I also added images for each of my aircraft. Created one custom aircraft image.

I have two DSM-2 aircraft from e-Flite. A Blade MCX and a UMX-Beast (micro). To fly these, I'm using an “Orange” brand DSM2 transmitter module for my e-flite aircraft: Reading
Posted by JohnAsaPrice | Feb 16, 2014 @ 08:32 PM | 3,137 Views
A friend mentioned that he had seen RC Pilots flying somewhere near Blue Ridge Road and Edwards Mill Rd in Raleigh.

Is anyone familiar with a good site for flying electric in that area?
Posted by JohnAsaPrice | Feb 12, 2014 @ 09:09 AM | 4,232 Views
My FrSky Taranis transmitter arrived yesterday.

The online resources, especially the Taranis How-To Thread are invaluable.

Here are some initial thoughts:

The Companion9x EPROM editor is invaluable. You can do all your model setup and configuration from this piece of software. You can also simulate your setup to confirm rates, switches, etc...

Here's a good process to follow when making changes via Companion9x:
1. Read EPROM from Tx
2. Make changes
3. Write EPROM to Tx.

Why follow this process? If you don't, you will have to:
  • Re-calibrate your sticks/pots
  • Change your volume, etc....
Using DSM2/DSMx
I purchased the Orange DSMX/DSM2 Transmitter module. The JR module fits the Taranis.
NOTE: Even though the module is a DSMX/DSM2 module, you configure the Taranis as if it was a PPM module

Through trial and error, I found that the E-flite models use this channel order:
Channel 1 - Throttle
Channel 2 - Ailerons
Channel 3 - Elevator
Channel 4 - Rudder (Must be Reversed)

This works for the E-Flite Micro UMX Beast and the Blade MCX Helicopter.

I successfully flew the Blade MCX Helicopter last night. No issues.

for now, I'm staying simple:

Rates: I have 3 rates setup on Switch-A: Hi/Med/Low with about 30% Exponential on Aileron/Rudder/Elevator.
Throttle Safety: one switch as the Throttle Safety. It has to be OFF when I start the transmitter, and the prop won't start until I switch it ON.
Instant Trim: I setup the momentary switch to execute the "instant trim" function. I think this is a super-cool feature! You hold the controls for straight-level and then hit the "instant trim" switch and it adjusts the trims to match your control inputs.

so far, I love the Taranis. Can't wait to try it out on my other aircraft.
Posted by JohnAsaPrice | Feb 10, 2014 @ 08:30 PM | 2,927 Views
I ordered a Frsky Taranis from Aloft hobbies. According to Fed Ex it arrives tomorrow. I am so excited!

I already uses FrSky receivers and transmitter pack on my HiTech Optic 6, so I will be within the same technology space.

I reached the limit of my Optic 6 when I tried to have dual aileron and elevator servos. The transmitter just couldn't handle all the mixes.

I have been working with the companion9X software to build my mixes and get to know the software. So far, I have been very impressed with the flexibility and capabilities of the system.

I also purchased a custom DSM-2 module so that I can use my transmitter to control my e-Flite models (UMX Beast and Blade MCX). I really wanted a more substantial transmitter with Expo for these little models.

I will be starting with my simple Uproar. I'm very solid on this plane and feel pretty confident that I can use it to get to know my radio before I move on to my more exotic planes.

There are great resources on the web for this radio, and I'm a huge fan of open source.

Will keep you all posted of my experience.
Posted by JohnAsaPrice | Feb 04, 2014 @ 02:29 PM | 3,813 Views
Around 2012, an FPV pilot using frequencies that were NOT approved for RC use, decided it would be cool to fly his aircraft over the Charlotte Motor Speedway during a race. He flew beyond visual range. He apparently flew without a spotter.

He later posted video of his flight on the internet.

Due to his reckless action, and subsequent foolishness for broadcasting it to the world, our club lost the use of a flying site.

The owner of the site at the Charlotte Motor Speedway is also an RC enthusiast, but recognized that this sort of activity put him in financial and reputational risk.

In 2013, I was flying at Dorthea Dix park which is not an AMA flying site. The city allows flight of RC airplanes at this site.

Two RC pilots were flying FPV aircraft, without a spotter, to a distance several miles away from the site at altitudes of 1500 feet or more. They were flying over public highways, school campuses and even a large correctional facility.

In my opinion, this sort of reckless behavior puts the rest of us in jeopardy of having our hobby die of regulatory strangulation. How can we promote safe flying by folks who don't really give a darn about the AMA?
Posted by JohnAsaPrice | Oct 29, 2013 @ 12:01 PM | 3,953 Views
The flying field at Dorthea Dix is essentially a large grass field.
It is rough, the grass is high, and there are lots of divots.

take-off and landing can be quite challenging there.

My uproar does okay, provided I can find a smooth place to takeoff.

I've had moderate success flying the Ultimate 40, but the added weight (8 lbs) is a challenge. I think I need to go up about an inch on the tires.
Posted by JohnAsaPrice | Oct 22, 2013 @ 08:13 AM | 4,930 Views
I recently purchased the Sbach 342-30e from HobbyKing. This is a pilot-rc plane.

Boy is it light!

I unboxed yesterday and am planning my construction.

I'll post some notes here as I proceed.
Posted by JohnAsaPrice | Oct 22, 2013 @ 08:11 AM | 4,537 Views
I crashed my Uproar . I thought it was fatal as the break was where the wing spar passes through the fuselage. I gave myself a week to cool off, then opened her up. Turns out that the break WAS repairable. I finished the repair last week and I THINK it is ready to fly again.

I made one major change. I replaced the canopy with a flat piece of balsa. I'm hoping this will give me more side area for the fuse for knife-edge flight. We'll see.


I recently re-covered my Ultimate 40 (e-converted). I had to do some work on it because my landing gear connection broke due to my change from asphalt runway to grass strip. I reinforced the landing gear hard point as part of the repair/re-cover. She is also ready to fly. I eliminated most of the trim weight and reduced some weight on the airframe through sanding/trimming.

I may have saved an ounce or two.

Ready for new maiden flight.


Finally, I got an Sbatch 342-30e (ARF) from HobbyKing. I'm anticipating completion in the next week. this will be maiden #3.

my next flying weekend should definitely be interesting :-)
Posted by JohnAsaPrice | Sep 18, 2013 @ 10:29 AM | 4,875 Views
I have been flying my e-converted Great Planes Ultimate 40 for a while now, and am in the process of re-covering it.

First - it was a mistake to use so much of the Monokote trim tape. That stuff is really heavy! I would recommend avoiding using significant amounts of this. Monokote on monokote does fine and is much lighter.

Second - The Ultimate 40 was built for gas. Much of the reinforced structure is not necessary for an electric plane. I am sanding it down pretty heavily to reduce some weight. If I were building from kit, I would definitely give thought to what could be eliminated (or lighten) in the airframe.

as an example, the three layers at the firewall are definitely overkill. If anything else, I would probably remove a significant amount of wood from that structure. Similarly, the tail and fuse are quite heavy.

While I have the skin off, does anyone have any suggestions for reducing the weight of the airframe?

Also, any suggestions for placement of the 2.4 Ghz antennae?
Posted by JohnAsaPrice | Apr 04, 2013 @ 12:30 PM | 4,046 Views
I'm moving to the Cary/Raleigh NC area.
I was thrilled to find the MAPS section of RC Groups and see so much flying and boating activity (compared to Charlotte).

Really looking forward to the move.

Any RC pilots in the Raleigh area, I would love to hear from you.

Posted by JohnAsaPrice | Aug 24, 2012 @ 01:29 PM | 4,640 Views
I am trying to use a new Turnigy ESC: Turnigy dlux 120A HV:
  • Using 10S Lipo
  • Hitec transmitter
  • Turnigy EasyMatch 160 motor:
  • I set TX to reverse channel 3 as specified

If I power up with throttle (ch 3) at 100%, the ESC goes into program mode, as expected.

HOWEVER (the problem)- when I power up with throttle at 0%, I get nothing. If I set my sub-trim down to about -30, then I get the beeps suggesting that we are at zero. But, I can't move throttle up to get the motor to spin. Instead, I have to keep DECREASING the sub-trip to -35..-40, etc... to get the motor to spin.
This is not expected behavior. I have tried reversing the CH3, but this only puts it in program mode at 0% throttle.

Here is a link to the video.

Any suggestions as to fixing the problem?
Posted by JohnAsaPrice | Jul 21, 2012 @ 01:18 PM | 4,360 Views
I'm getting ready to start the biggest, most complex build I have ever done.

Ordered the motor, electronics and wood today.

I'll try to post pictures and thoughts along the way.

I'm happy to see a build thread.

I'm going to use a Turnigy G-160 as my motor.

I plan to use a 10S (5000 mah) battery configuration with 120 amp ESC.

Of course, I don't expect to complete the project until spring of 2013.
Posted by JohnAsaPrice | Apr 27, 2012 @ 12:40 PM | 4,161 Views
I am thinking of building a Insight V4 from plans, and needed to have the plans printed full-size.

An architect friend directed me to these folks:

Southpark Printing (704-319-5394)
Jane took the PDF, DWF and PLT documents and printed them for a great price.

They printed a 36X78 inch sheet for $3.60

This is significantly less expensive than any other printer I have found!

So, if you need plans printed, this is a great source!

Posted by JohnAsaPrice | Apr 18, 2012 @ 10:42 AM | 4,571 Views
I am so frustrated. I live about 35 minutes from my RC Flying club site, WACAMA at Waymer in Huntersville.

This is a Mecklenburg park and is locked. Members can get a key for $5.00.

I am one of the keyholders.

I went to fly yesterday at 8:00 AM and found that my 2012 key does not work on the gates.

Since I don't get to fly very often, this was one of my few chances for the month. You can imagine the grumbling and ^&*_% language that was coming from my mouth on the long drive home.

I sent e-mails to the club officers and have yet to receive a reply.

I'm hoping that I will hear back and get some understanding of what the problem is.
Posted by JohnAsaPrice | Jan 17, 2012 @ 04:07 PM | 5,176 Views
Suddenly all my RealFlight planes have turned white.

I've been using it about a year with no problems. Not sure whats the deal.
I sent them and e-mail, they sent a quick response and requested my DXDIAG file. I responded with the file, along with a screenshot.

I'll keep you guys posted re the progress of their assistance.

I've generally been impressed with GreatPlanes customer support. I hope they live up to their past reputation.
Posted by JohnAsaPrice | Dec 30, 2011 @ 01:58 PM | 4,923 Views
I am continually amazed at how sturdy my Ultimate 40 bipe is.

I built the Ultimate 40 from the Great Planes kit.

Since maiden, I have suffered two crashes. Each of them had all the makings of a "take it home in a garbage bag" type crash.

First crash. I tried to do a go-around on a bad landing approach. Gave throttle and pulled up too quickly. The tip stall resulted in a very dramatic cartwheel.

Total damage: detached rudder, hole in wing. Total repair time, about 15 minutes.

Second Crash - During takeoff run at full throttle. Aircraft was inches off the ground when the wheel pant caught a high tuft of crab grass. Aircraft did an end-over-end flip, at least 360 degrees.

Total damage. Right lower wingtip broken at 3rd rib from the end. Required re-construction of 1/4 of the right wing. Landing gear box broken, required re-gluing landing gear attachment box.

Total repair time, about 3 hours.

This is one sturdy plane!
Posted by JohnAsaPrice | Dec 30, 2011 @ 01:52 PM | 5,263 Views
While shopping at Lowes the other day, I found the perfect field box!
at $20.00, I couldn't turn it down:

This is wide enough to store props in the top tray. I have room for my transmitter under the tray, and then I divided the large storage compartment in the bottom to hold large tools on one side, and my batteries on the other.

pink foam was perfect for the dividers. It works great for my needs.
Posted by JohnAsaPrice | Oct 31, 2011 @ 01:28 PM | 5,030 Views
Here is the scenario:

During launch, I am getting up-to-speed, and the Aircraft begins bouncing on the runway. A little up-elevator solves the problem nicely.

I suspect the problem is too much down thrust.

Overall, the a/c flies nicely and seems like the correct down-thrust angle. When I cut throttle, it goes forward, then gently drops.

But the Captain Kangaroo bit on take-off is bothering me. Any thoughts?
Posted by JohnAsaPrice | Oct 27, 2011 @ 08:07 AM | 5,880 Views
A very kind soul in Florida sent us an old Cox Super Chipmunk with 2 .049 engines. Thanks Earl!

I got some fuel and a battery and ran the motor yesterday.
It has been about 40 years since I have run an .049 engine...

I couldn't get the first motor running for some reason. I'll take it apart and give it a good cleaning. I recall there is a reed valve in there or something that can get clogged.

The second motor started easily and ran great. Earl's starting instructions were spot-on.

I still have a few questions:

The fuel tank has two pipes coming out. One on top, and one on bottom. To refuel, I seal my fuel line to the top pipe and pump in fuel until it comes out the bottom. I'm not sure if this is the correct method.

I don't know how long the engine should run on a full tank. I'm getting about a 2-minute run. I'm suspecting that either I may not be getting the tank full (haven't measured), the tank is leaking, or that I'm just running it too rich.

I'm hoping we have good weather this weekend and I can take my son flying. I've been working with him on how to hold the control line (wrist firm, bend at the elbow), and how to use small motions to control.
Too bad they don't make a C/L simulator like RealFlight.
Posted by JohnAsaPrice | Oct 05, 2011 @ 02:38 PM | 5,166 Views
This is the flight log for my Great Planes Ultimate 40 e-conversion.
the e-conversion was of my own design.

Motor: 4260-06 (650KV) from headsuprc .

Battery: 5S - 4000 mAh
Prop: 12X9E

25% throttle: 18Amps
50% throttle: 50 Amps
75% Throttle: 60 Amps
100% throttle: 64 Amps
Flight Characteristics: This plane does fine at about 30% throttle. 75% throttle gives excellent aerobatic performance. 100% throttle is pretty much overkill.

My target mAh consumption would be 3200 mah (down to 20%) with 3300 mAh max.