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Posted by tuppertn | Dec 04, 2010 @ 06:53 PM | 6,021 Views
I've been dying to try the FPV thing for over a year now. I made a couple of attempts last season only to be foiled by equipment issues. I abandoned my first 2.4GHz setup because I didn't realize the interference issues would be so significant with my DX7 (I thought the digital SS stuff would choose clean channels). Then I bought a 900MHz system from RangeVideo only to have the tx dead on arrival--500mW tx would only give me about 75-100ft line-of-site in the air and it got really hot. An EE buddy of mine said it was proabably an antenna issue, but we just couldn't fix it. On top of that I bought an EagleTree OSD which arrived non-functional. My e-Logger V2 wouldn't recognize it. Emailed EagleTree, got the firmware updates, did the diagnostics, blah,blah, blah...nada. They suggested that I needed an e-Logger V3 so I bought one...no dice. Got frustrated.

Over the last year I been collection gear again a little at a time and I'm almost set to have a real, functioning FPV setup. And so far everything works.

Right now I have:
  • KX-171 camera
  • 800mW 900MHz tx
  • 11dbi 900MHz patch antenna
  • ReadyMadeRC pan and tilt antenna mount with servos
  • 900MHz digital receivers x2
  • EagleTree e-Logger V3
  • EagleTree OSD Pro
  • EagleTree GPS expander

In the mail one their way to my door right now are:
  • EagleTree Eagle Eyes ground station
  • Headplay PCS-01 video goggles

I think I'm going to start with a scratchbuilt FFF platform just because scratchbuilding is fun. I've done a couple in the past that performed well as aircraft though I never got to do FPV with them before the inability to relocate them forced them into the dumpster. I'll just re-hash one of those plans. If I get impatient or lazy I'll buy a Skywalker.

So I'm starting to get excited 'cuz it looks like this is finally going to happen sometime this winter.

And I totally think it would be uber cool to have the whole thing fit in a check-bag sized suitcase, don't you?

Posted by tuppertn | May 24, 2010 @ 04:32 PM | 6,031 Views
My FB, Flyfast64, and I had a good combat seesion this morning. Lots of cut ribbon and a couple of really good contacts. He took me out the first time then I returned the favor. Hot glue rocks.


Foamie combat 5-24-10.wmv (2 min 33 sec)

Posted by tuppertn | Apr 28, 2010 @ 05:10 PM | 6,758 Views
Started collecting for the next 3DHS project and, again, I'm going bigger and badder than ever before--a 50cc-Class electric.

The 3DHS 87" SHP.

I'll be collecting the gear over the next several weeks to soften the blow and keep Wife from noticing the checkbook too much.

The first piece of gear arrived today. A Scorpion 5545-150. Over two pounds of pure, unadulterated, electron-munching brushless muscle. It's beautiful!

The rest of the gear that will be trickling in will be a CC ICE 160HV (already on its way), five HS-7955TG's, an AR9100 rx and lastly the plane itself.

The jump from Ben's 47" planes to the 57" 330SC was awesome. From the 57" to the 68" Velox was breathtaking. If the 50cc-class keeps up that pace of wow-factor I may be struck dead from multiple RC-gasm on the maiden. I do love a good RC-gasm.


EDIT 5/19/10: After talking to Ben Fisher at 3DHS I ended up going with the 89" AJ Slick instead of the SHP. Pics in post 7.
Posted by tuppertn | Apr 21, 2010 @ 09:41 PM | 6,332 Views
I've had this one for several weeks but I've only put a few packs through it due to an unfortunately placed mudhole that ripped off my LG on the maiden flight. I've got it all fixed up now and it flies fantastic.

Power system is a Scorpion 4025-16, CSRC 90A HV opto ESC, 8s lipo, APC 18x8E prop. It's got four HS-985MG servos and AR7000 rx running off a 2s/2150 lipo rx battery on a CCBEC at 6V. Peak power is just a hair over 2000W on this 8.25 pound plane.

My flying buddy, Greg, got some nice shots while I had her in the air this morning. I love the ones that make me look like a better pilot than I really am.

Posted by tuppertn | Mar 13, 2010 @ 03:53 PM | 6,511 Views
Through self-discipline, a rigorous 12-step program and the loving support of family and friends I can honestly say that I have been cured of my blue foam addiction. Today was final proof of that for, if I weren't, what occurred today would not have been possible.

Moving Day has been coming for some time now, but today was finally it. The last of the "stuff" had to be out of the old house.

Knowing this day was coming I thinned about 15 planes out of the scratchbuilt foamie fleet several weeks ago. 20-something remained.

Now they are no more.

I did it with my own hands. Fractured the foam. Raped my beauties for their gear. Tossed their mangled carcasses into the abyss. I saw literally hundreds of hours of labor over the past 3 years become a pile of junk in about 20 minutes.

A big pile of junk and a big box of left over gear--20 motors, 20 ESC's, 40+ wheels of various size, about 70 HXT900 servos, and 30+ servo extensions.

I saved two. Two...out of the nearly 40 total planes that once made up my foamie hanger. My 150% version of Tony65x55's SE5a and my self-designed ElecroFFFreak sport/pylon plane.

The ARF's were all carefully transported to their new home. Too much money in those to waste them and I'm certainly not getting out of the hobby.

Requiescant in pace, my friends.

Posted by tuppertn | Aug 28, 2009 @ 10:14 PM | 7,014 Views
I've only ben flying for about a year and a half and most of what I've done are parkflyers and scratchbuilt foamies. Recently I put together a couple of larger electric ARF's--5 to 6lb birds in the 600-800W range.

I've been wanting to join a club for a while now. I spent all of last year's flying season in Afghanistan so I only just found one taking new members, South County RC Club in Kingstown, RI. What a great bunch of folks out there! They were extremely helpful and active in getting my membership started. Dave, Bob and Walter really bent over backwards to help me get flying.

Anyway, a few guys do electrics but almost everyone out there flies slimers. I've never flown one and they seem to be all gung ho about it (though I'd venture to say few to none of them have ever flown an electric), so I decided to give one a try. On the recommendation of several of the club experts I bought a Hanger 9 Pulse XT 60 and a Saito 100GK.

The ARF makes nothing of a build thread. It took me 2 hours to put the thing together except the engine. The hinges and control horns were already installed. You just bolt on the tailfeathers and install the servos and linkages and that's it.

I fumbled around a bit getting the engine mounted, but I think I got it right. Haven't started breaking it in yet. I still have to go invest in all the stuff for the care and feeding of the beast--fuel, fuel pump, glow plugs, glow plug igniter, starter, after run oil, etc. Coming from electrics it seems like an awful lot of fuss to go flying. What's more, I have a 40mm, 1500W Scorpion sitting in the basement that would have been awesome on this plane on 6s. But I said I'd give glow a try so I'm sticking to it.

Hoping to get out this weekend for the stuff I need to fire it up for the first time.

Posted by tuppertn | Jul 17, 2009 @ 11:43 PM | 9,693 Views
I bought the BP Hobbies EPP Eagle online a couple of months ago because I thought the bird plane thing was pretty cool. Come to find out later that the BP Hobbies/E-Aero version is supposedly a clone of someone else's idea. The guys on the EPP Eagle thread have jumped on the wagon with the guy who invented the original and they are decidedly unhelpful if you go looking for help with your E-Aero bird. I was told I was supporting piracy and to please go away.

Anyway, the BP Hobbies version does not fly like you would expect it to based on the August 2009 FlyRC review. (But then, if you've been reading RC magazines for any length of time, you know their "reviews" are more like multi-page advertisements. They always like it and they always tell you you need one.) It requires some adjustment to get it flying well. After some experimentation mine is flying very nicely now.

Out of the box, assembled and set up as instructed this eagle flew with a very nose-heavy tendency. The glide slope was nose down at about 50 degrees--more like a "dive slope". It required lots of up elevator trim for level flight which resulted in a pretty severe but controllable upward pitching tendency with additional power. My initial solution was to neutralize the tailfeather trim and push the CG back until I got a reasonable glide. This worked pretty well with the CG 1/2" further aft than recommended. I got a nice flat glide and it would fly on very little power....Continue Reading
Posted by tuppertn | Jul 12, 2009 @ 04:20 PM | 7,081 Views
This is my latest scratchbuild. I've always liked the look of the Great Planes Electrostreak so I made my own from FFF (hence the "FFFreak" bit...get it? ). This is the most powerful plane I have right now. It's 23.1oz flying on 337W from a Scorpion 2215-1860 on 3s for a power loading of 233W/lb. It's right quick too. I don't have any Doppler passes but the pitch speed works out to 98mph with the Graupner 6.5 x 6.5 Speed prop. I figure it's actually doing in the mid to high 70's.

I posted plans on its build thread and someone else has already built and maidened one of their own. I just think that's friggin' cool.

Anyway, here's the "glamour shot".

Posted by tuppertn | Feb 06, 2009 @ 09:11 AM | 8,318 Views
I saw a article in the September 2008 Backyard Flyer about a scratchbuilt balsa/ply Me-410 for brushed SPEED 400 motors. I thought it was a cool and unusual looking bird and one certainly underrepresented in the RC world. I went and found a 3-view and drew up a basic set of plans using MSPaint.

It uses Tony65x55's monoblock construction technique which keeps things simple and strong and gives lots of meat for sanding corners and such. It also features a KFm3 wing which, although not really scale in appearance (from the planform view anyway), is likewise simple to build and very strong.

UPDATE 3/30/09:

It Flies! Had a successful maiden a couple of days ago. Since it proved itself airworthy I went ahead and gave it a suitable paint job and a few scale details--spinners, barbettes, exhaust stacks and decals.

Wingspan =43"
AUW = 26oz
Gear: two Scorpion 2208-30's swinging 3-blade GWS 9050HD's, two HXT 18A ESC's, 30C 3s/1350mAh lipo, three HXT900 9g servos
Power = 28.6A total, 294W, 181W/lb
Posted by tuppertn | Feb 06, 2009 @ 08:53 AM | 7,685 Views
I was just thinking...

I think I've built something like 25-30 FFF foamies and I wanted to see if I could list them in chronological order. Let's see...

1. Blu-Baby 33 (Built June 24, 2007. Lost to a tenacious tree July 9, 2007)
2. Blu-Baby 33 (still flying...)
3. Bipie
4. 20" Wee Blu-Baby
5. 64" Big Blu-Baby
6. Blu-Baby AP1
7. Big Horton
8. Simple Fokker
9. 22" Li'l Fokker
10. Funder & Lightning
11. FastCat
12. SmartDart
13. Blu-Baby 33 profile "Blu-Endurance" 1 hour 3 minute flight time record
14. Pawnee Brave
15. 70" Big Pawnee
16. 24" Wee Pawnee (destroyed on maiden)
17. Pawnee Brave #2 (at parents' house on vacation)
18. Blu-Baby 42 #1 (at parents' house on vacation)
19. WannaBug
20. 150% SE5a
21. Pitts Challenger
22. 150% Mo-109
23. Blu-Baby 42 #2 (for my son)
24. Prototype project still in development (trouble with the CG)
25. Blu-Baby 42 #3 (for a neighbor kid)
26. 110% Blu-Hurri

*8-month break for Afghanistan deployment*

27. 42" KFm3 flying wing
28. 48" KFm3 flying wing (on vacation in Florida)
29. Blu-Baby AP1 #2 (for the friend in Florida)
30. Propjet "Blu-Angel Baby"
31. 72" KFm3 AP flying wing
33. Me-410 Hornisse
34. Longbow, aka "Big Geek"
35. Snowball
36. ElectroFFFreak!
37, Funder & Lightning #2 (destroyed in club combat)
38, 39, 40, 41, 42, 43. Foaminator combat planes
44....Continue Reading
Posted by tuppertn | Feb 20, 2008 @ 05:25 PM | 8,250 Views
Two weeks ago I got 10 days notice that the Navy was sending me to Afghanistan for 10 months. I showed up a Camp Lejeune, NC for checking in and gear issue 3 days ago. So far it's been a lot of sitting around waiting for people to check boxes and sign off on check lists. What little they've told us so far doesn't sounds very fun.
Posted by tuppertn | Jan 18, 2008 @ 10:22 PM | 8,637 Views
Here's my latest scratchbuild from Tony65x55's plans for the Mo-109. As is my typical modus operandi I scaled this one up 150% with Bill Segraves' ScaleAndTile2. This was also my first attempt at a truly scale looking aircraft. The paint is AppleBarrel acrylic thinned with windex and airbrushed on. The fuse markings are just jpeg's scaled, printed and glued to the fuse. Simple, but it works. I'm very pleased with the way this one turned out.

WS = 62"
AUW w/o bats = 33.3oz
Scorpion 3014-22
GWS 1260HD
HXT D9 3s/1700 lipos x2