phil alvirez's blog - RC Groups
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Posted by phil alvirez | Mar 18, 2018 @ 12:51 AM | 1,201 Views
i have flown at thermals that start from the ground, and others at the base of a cloud.
from the ground, i have flown hand launched gliders (free flight) and watching for the breeze to flow and stop have been able to detect the cycle and launch at the right time.
from the base of the cloud, with r/c electric gliders.
from the ground, there is no doubt that they start at ground level and keep raising. some say as bubbles, others as cones.
and seem to increase in diameter and strength as they raise.
but those that are found at the base of a cloud seem to behave different.
sometimes the plane stays under the cloud. others, they get into-and disappear. that means they keep climbing.
and in the case of those that remain at the base of the cloud, sometimes getting a little bit lower there are no thermals. they sink.
so seems that they are created by the cloud itself and only at that level.
am posting it with the intention to hear from those with some experience on the subject.
please only comments polite, positive and to the point.
i started a thread here-lets see if some1 brings positive comments:
Posted by phil alvirez | Mar 16, 2018 @ 12:54 AM | 1,193 Views
i would like to buy a battery from hobby king.
besides being out of stock, they dont offer an option about shipping. there is only 1 way (ups) and is more expensive than the battery itself.
i tried to persuade them to offer the option of surface shipping and their answer was that they dont do it because everybody wants it now.
then i said this:
" shipping lipos surface also-why not?
i wonder if reaching you this way you will answer:
tried to order this:
but ships only ups so is way more expensive.
to drop the cost, isnt there a way to ship surface even if takes forever?
other suppliers do it, so why not you?
cost is $19 and shipping (the only way:ups) is $22-plus ups charges something extra for delivery. see:" posts 2596 and 2600

and then they deleted my post!
no answer, no reason why they didnt answer.
so in fact, you dont have the chance to discuss anything that they dont want to.
isnt this great?
Posted by phil alvirez | Mar 07, 2018 @ 11:13 AM | 1,217 Views
i fly 2 meters gliders. with electric motor for climbing. after that, stop the motor, prop folds, and hunt for thermals. thats all. is a way to enjoy flying models, and is all that i want. usually i have to search for thermals, and sometimes i find some moderate that i have to work out for staying up, and that is the fun of it. some days there are no thermals at all. and other days i find some that i have to fight to bring my plane back. even in cold weather. recently found myself again into this situation. cloudy, not much wind, near freezing, there was a large thin white cloud above, not thick enough to have grey under. launched to 200 meters (640 ft), stopped the motor, prop folded, and the plane began to climb. i have a vario with voice that tells me the height every 20 ft, and noticed that the plane was climbing fast. in no time it was at 300 mt, so i began to give it some 'down' elevator, but still was going up very fast, so decided to move around to find a spot where there was no lift. still reached 400 mt, 450, 500... (never been so high .). the plane was visible because it is covered in black and was on a white background, but it was that strange feeling that the sky was trying to claim my plane (it is not the 1st time . )
dont know how long it was up there. time ceases to exist in these dont even know whats your name...
i decided to move it away from the cloud, but when drifted away from it, the blue sky was not so much contrast, and was...Continue Reading
Posted by phil alvirez | Mar 07, 2018 @ 07:07 AM | 1,250 Views
thinking of new technology that could be used for our models, just got a link to this:
of course, has to be lots of experimenting.
but remember what happened to leds, that were so far from what we have now.
and transistors, that replaced vacuum tubes...and were way larger and costly.
and what we are enjoying like cellulars, gps,
even personal computers, and the internet!
things that seemed so far fetched a few years ago...

so, lets see how this evolves
Posted by phil alvirez | Feb 10, 2018 @ 09:15 AM | 2,937 Views
getting altitude readings and thermaling
i search for thermals, just for the fun of it. no competition.
1-i have been using a device that tells me the height (voice) at certain levels (like every 20 feet or meters).
2-and now i am getting another that tells me the height every 10 seconds (or whatever time i want).
i cant use both at the same time; just 1 or the other.
am trying to decide which way is or may be more convenient.
but i find the 1 am using very convenient for my purposes.
so far i havent been able to test the 1 that tells every 10 seconds.
i wonder if some1 with experience could bring comments about these options; if he has tried either or both.
only comments polite, positive and to the point please.
i started a thread on something related that may be of interest:
Posted by phil alvirez | Jan 31, 2018 @ 08:23 AM | 2,637 Views
i wonder why all radios manuals are not like this:
with it you have step-by-step instructions where you see the screen exactly how it is. on the other hand, with many radios the instructions seem to be written by experts for experts.
but, what % of customers are experts that can follow the instructions of all those manuals without the need for all the details?
and when you approach any forum on any radio and ask questions for details that are not explained, you get so much flak that is understandable why many dont dare to ask.
i hope some day the sellers awake and do their manuals for the people. their sales would raise a lot.
>>> recently i have been in contact with customer service of horizon, and they are very good at advice. that makes a difference. will stick to them for all the doubts i have. but feels good to have support.
Posted by phil alvirez | Jan 18, 2018 @ 11:33 AM | 2,668 Views
for many years, i never missed the Tommy Hunter show. folk music. when i was in vancouver, he was in toronto. when i went to california, he went to nashville. when i came back to canada (this time to a place north of toronto), he came back to toronto. but i never had the chance to meet him in person. it was until, in recent years, he came to windsor, where i live, that i had the chance to meet him. i liked his show because had a message of optimism. not only happy music. at the end of each show he hung his guitar and had a phylosophical talk. 1 of them was about a nearby farmer that he went to visit. he said that his wife was going to have another baby and he was out of money. his house needed roof repair as leaked all over; the bank denied a loan so his helper left due to lack of payments; the cow broke in the fence and eat all the beans; the hogs got cholera and died; the soil was so dry that you couldnt rise an umbrela on a sack of fertilizer; and his mother in law was moving in to stay. then he said: but we are still living, so everything is o k.
so, whatever you are facing, remember the philosophy of the farmer. after all, things may not be that bad, and we are still living...
(but he didnt have health problems, after all...then who knows what his thoughts would be).
Posted by phil alvirez | Jan 10, 2018 @ 04:10 PM | 2,878 Views
we were having a private discussion and i was confused due to data not clear, so i posted at a forum, but then he decided to say this, that, as he now was not polite-and public, i tried to show the reason of the confusing data:
all started with this message i got: Phil,
You asked me that this morning by PM. I told you it does. Several times. You have searched the telemetry thread using the keywords I gave you and found that it does.
Why are you needing to ask again? Do you need a plastic spoon or something?
As noted then, ALL OUR G2 RADIOS SUPPORT THE VARIO. Those with speech can speak the altitude to you as well.
from the beginning
1-here is how this started: i asked you:
Originally Posted by phil alvirez
this is the feature that i need: (from the ad of the DX6G3):
With voice alerts, the DX6 will allow you to keep tabs on important functions without ever taking your eyes off what you’re flying. They can be programmed to call out what flight mode you’ve chosen or report telemetry information on demand. If an alarm goes off, you won’t have to look at the transmitter display to see what’s happening. The DX6 will tell you. "
and i hope it can tell height too-and send beeps for climbing or sinking.
if not, this also is useless for me.
(please notice that the ad refers to DX6, and not to Dx6G3-a confusing issue i think).
then your answer:
"Those are functions from a vario, and yes, it supports vario to...Continue Reading
Posted by phil alvirez | Dec 28, 2017 @ 10:10 AM | 3,486 Views
browsing i found this:
the proportions look great: longish wing, caracteristic of high performance gliders looks promising, and long fuselage makes it look elegant. besides, the style is great too. long fuselage is not the trend in gliders, but long tail moment speaks stability, and long nose provides room for the things we need to put inside.
i finished it and am waiting for weather to let me fly it, although where i live means 4 months, so in the meantime i will talk about whatever regarding it.
there are 2 threads:
and this:
so you can learn about the experience of some.
if you browse at the links you will see that just as there are comments about how good the plane is, there are also problems, like poor quality parts, some size does not match (screws to hold the wing), no availability of spare parts, lack of instructions (the so-called 'manual' is a joke), too much drag at the aileron pushrods, and so on... new products are subject to iniciation, and it is not until feedback may help suppliers to correct them, but even with these problems, the plane has a lot on its favor, so will explore the posibilities...
>>>will keep adding comments below <<<
dec 30/2017:...Continue Reading
Posted by phil alvirez | Dec 23, 2017 @ 06:42 PM | 3,391 Views
"i now belong to the higher cult of mortals,
for i have seen the albatross..."
when i was channel surfing, found a documentary on birds. it was a film with an albatross flying. i couldnt change channel or take my eyes away!
i have seen other videos and even got into discussion on how these birds fly. some called it dynamic soaring, and provided all kind of explanations that made sense.
but, no matter what, i still am fascinated on how it flies. still cant understand how it flies without flapping its wings.
watching those videos of albatross in flight i loose my mind. does look as if does nothing and stays so close to the waves for a long time and doesnt fall.
there are videos on it in flight.
and to think that they fly all day long, day after day...with just a short stop to feed and then sleep at night. can you visualize that? for their entire life!
beyond the wildest dream!
Posted by phil alvirez | Dec 07, 2017 @ 12:05 PM | 3,693 Views
i read a report of a mystery problem found in a great airplane, that shows that even with planes that seemingly perform good, there are things that happen that go unexplained. pay special attention to the end of the article.
and things like this also happen with our models
Posted by phil alvirez | Dec 06, 2017 @ 10:45 AM | 4,213 Views
sometimes you loose radio signal, or becomes erratic. even results in a crash. checking the radio afterwards, all seems fine. and when this happens and some1 is around, or you talk to some1, frequently they say or think that is was pilot error. yes, sometimes a crash is due to that. but when the loss happens to you, with no1 around, and you did not make a mistake, you know it was not you.
then, what happens? perhaps something in the atmosphere? give a look at this report: and this:
at the end says: In summary, our study has the following main contributions:
We show that changes in weather conditions affect radio
signal strength. Temperature seems to be the best explanatory
variable for signal strength variation and has a
negative, linear effect on signal strength in general, while
high relative humidity may have some effect, particularly
when temperature is below 0◦C.
We show that correlation between signal strength and the
studied weather variables vary depending on radio channel
and link. Applying frequency diversity will alleviate
these effects.
We show that smaller transmit power results in smaller
unexplained variation in received signal strength (in most
cases) and thus stronger correlation with the studied
weather variables
i used to fly...Continue Reading
Posted by phil alvirez | Dec 02, 2017 @ 07:17 AM | 4,531 Views
i always have been fascinated with soaring. staying up without motor. like the birds!
at the beginning, and for many years, i flew free flight, as there was nothing else available. and learned about thermals. with hand launched gliders, then towline gliders, rubber powered planes. engine powered planes.
many years later, when radio became affordable, i got into thermal at will. that is, when i learned to find them.
now with vario is easier, as it tells me the height or if the plane is climbing or sinking. but always a pleasure to me.
recently began to experience some situations where i could make my plane stay longer without a thermal, and explored the slope and dynamic soaring. i found data at a forum, that was enlightening:
still, what i found by chance does not match what these guys say. what happened was that once i found my plane flying a little bit faster than the wind and decided to do lazy 8s facing it so it didnt go beyond the area where i wanted it to be, and noticed that it didnt sink for a few seconds (i have a vario that tells me the height every few seconds) and became intrigued. i have reached the conclusion that it is sort of dynamic/slope effect. except that this happens in midair-no hills/cliff.
the way i see it is this: when my plane is flying at a speed slighty higher than the wind, i do lazy 8s facing it. that is: fly across the wind, then turn facing it. when the plane raises...Continue Reading
Posted by phil alvirez | Nov 16, 2017 @ 03:59 AM | 4,566 Views
learned about these cells for umx planes similar to the radian:
eventually finished performing tests on these batteries. just in time for fall to arrive with winds and rain
i used the hobby king nano cells for comparison
1st did bench tests using a umxradian and running the motor at half throttle (stick vertical) while holding the plane on my hand, and stopping every 30 seconds and taking readings of the voltage remaining.
umx radian:
i used the hobby king cell 160 mah as a point of comparison:
and the 1st 1 from micro motor is this:
the way i did the bench tests was installing the cell in the umx radian and run the motor at half throttle (stick vertical) for 30 seconds, stop and measure volts. then again. until reached the minimum recommended.
time and volts
1: hk 160-----405----395----389-----384------380-------377-------374-----371------368------365-------359------345
3-150/45c----409----399----393-----388------383-------379-------...Continue Reading
Posted by phil alvirez | Nov 05, 2017 @ 09:38 AM | 4,324 Views
there is a point in life-and in modeling-that, as Kenny Rogers in the song, you need to know when to run.
once you have reached certain goal, or when you are satisfied with what you have or do, why try something else?
or when you no longer can do something, or dont enjoy doing it anymore

Kenny Rogers - The Gambler (2 min 54 sec)

i have reached a point where i cant find anything else to learn about modeling, or have anything to do but fly my planes.
and that is a great thing because, after all, the main goal of this hobby is flying-or whatever specialty you do-and enjoy your model.
so, life is good anyway.
Posted by phil alvirez | Nov 03, 2017 @ 08:01 PM | 4,534 Views
with early winter hitting, i am getting back to my den and paint (my other passion), instead of model airplanes, so will not hear much from me. and when spring is back (who knows when) will fly again, but still not much to talk or explore new things, as i already have everything i need for a long time, and too many planes ready to fly, so dont have an excuse to build another
so long folks
and thanks to all that have been so helpful
Posted by phil alvirez | Nov 01, 2017 @ 01:25 PM | 5,445 Views
we all are so accustomed to transistors, and could not live without them, but, what on earth are they?
there is an article at wiki:
but on it they say that: 'The term transistor was coined by John R. Pierce as a contraction of the term transresistance. '
on the other hand, national geographic provides another explanation that, to me, is more believable.
it was explained in the "100 scientific discoveries" issue/page 27: "This technology transfers current across a material that normally has high resistance (in other words, a resistor); hence, it is a transfer resistor, shortened to transistor."
Posted by phil alvirez | Oct 20, 2017 @ 03:21 PM | 5,837 Views
i have talked about this issue several times. i watch fellows that do great while in the air: all kind of stunts and whatever happily. but when another story. there is a fellow at the club that comes with a big aerobatic plane and does whatever he wants. all kinds of stunts. am flying my gliders up there so i cant follow what he does, so i dont see how he makes the approach and what he does wrong, but every time he approaches mother earth its a disaster. he returns with the plane minus landing gear. with my gliders i try to land smooth and as close as possible, but i have reached a conclusion that it is better to have a good landing far away, than a nearby crash. and again, that flare-off idea of landing sometimes is not the most convenient. approaching with some speed and a little down elevator and sweep the ground instead so there is no floating and stalling works better. just consider it.
and above all, practice. if you fear it, perseverance is the key. you reach a time when it becomes natural. is like anything: you are learning. so, learn.
Posted by phil alvirez | Oct 18, 2017 @ 04:43 PM | 5,437 Views
am starting a discussion about soaring. please bring your experience on the issue or comments or follow-up.
according with dictionaries, soaring can be considered as climbing or staying up.
gerund or present participle: soaring
1-fly or rise high in the air.
"the bird spread its wings and soared into the air"
synonyms: fly, wing, ascend, climb, rise;
2-maintain height in the air without flapping wings or using engine power.
"the gulls soared on the summery winds"
synonyms: glide, plane, float, drift, wheel, hover
"the gulls soared on the winds"
keep reading the comments below.
Posted by phil alvirez | Oct 06, 2017 @ 07:59 AM | 5,549 Views
have you wondered how bolts/screws/nuts are made?
i found this documentary very enlightening. i hope you will too:
How It's Made Nuts and bolts (4 min 29 sec)