phil alvirez's blog View Details
Posted by phil alvirez | Mar 19, 2017 @ 02:50 PM | 640 Views
when you have a plane that is handlaunched, how you do it?
be power or glider, you find yourself in the position of finding the most convenient way, for safety and for comfort.
there are several ways:
1.-the most common, holding the radio with your left hand and the plane with the right hand.
2.-holding the radio with your right hand and throwing the plane with your left.
3.-if having an assistant, he launches the plane (perhaps with 2 hands) and you hold the radio with both hands.

with #1 and 2, you dont have full control of the trajectory of the plane for a few seconds, until you get back your hand to the radio. scary moments!
#3 is way better, if you are 1 of those lucky 1s that have the luxury of an assistant. here you have full control of the plane from the very moment of launch. the 1 that is recommended.
now, lets be honest, how many of you guys hold the radio without straps, hanging from your neck? from all that i see at the field and photos, it is the way.
could help if you hang the radio from your neck with a strap so you are able to do some correction sooner?
and if you use a tray, couldnt this make it easier?
still, launching with the right hand means that you have to correct the trajectory with the left you do that?
most people are right handed (90%), and use the right hand stick to do elevator and rudder or aileron. then, could you use the right hand stick with your left hand? do you? i dont think so.
perhaps if you decide to train your left hand to throw the plane, and you hold the radio with a strap and use a tray could be the best solution. this way you have absolute control of the plane from the very 1s moment.
but how many of you do this? or are willing to do it?
polite, positive messages welcome.
Posted by phil alvirez | Feb 22, 2017 @ 03:46 AM | 1,849 Views
22 feb 2017
the learning curve
there are no failures: when something does not work, you learn that. it is not that you failed. it is 1 thing that does not work. thats all. you are learning! now that you learned it doesnt, try again in a different way. until it works.
in other words: life is a series of attempts to get something. until you do.
Posted by phil alvirez | Feb 17, 2017 @ 07:51 AM | 2,441 Views
what is the ideal connector for receivers, and another for batteries/motors/esc ?
i started a discussion on this subject. here is the thread:
and if any1 wants to cooperate with ideas, or just follow what is happening, you are welcome here.
i am asking everybody to bring your ideas of the ideal connector for receivers, and another for batteries/esc/motor.
perhaps this way we may find something better, and this may influence an adventurous manufacturer to make them.

my idea is based on something like this:

1.-for small 1s that fit into receivers:
these have positive contact through a large area, and fit tight-you have to push or pull hard to get them in.
(please notice that am not proposing to use the small deans for receivers, am just showing them to see how are they designed)

2.-for larger that fit into motors, esc, and batteries, some1 like these:
(again, although these are as close as i can think to ideal, perhaps some1 may come with an even better idea
like having a grip like these: )

so, what is your idea?

with servos, the connectors that we use are weak, and can get loose-it has happened to me.
and look at the way batteries connect to the esc or esc to motor-likewise the motors . on those the area in contact is minimal and does not make much pressure. like these:
i know, there is so much money invested that it may not change. but why not try? it may work. this is the way many ideas have become a reality.
Posted by phil alvirez | Feb 16, 2017 @ 10:54 AM | 1,951 Views
comparisons and points of view
as i have been under the weather for quite some time, i have been trying to stay in good mood no matter what, as it helps (sometimes a lot).
for all that i have learned, it is crucial the way you see a situation in perspective.
i want to bring 2 examples: 1 fellow that has been beaten up gets into a place where is greeted by another and asks him "how are you today?" and he says "i have seen better days'". this way he is not complaining about how bad he is now.
another in similar situation answered: "am doing the best i can". again, does not tell how bad he feels, and with a positive mind.
but when no matter what, things are still deep under, then could be seen like in this example:
a child that is slowly recovering from a painful situation is still feeling bad, and is asked if he is feeling better and he answers: "no am not; am less worse"
so there you are. it all depends of the perspective.
Posted by phil alvirez | Feb 14, 2017 @ 06:08 AM | 1,825 Views
this is the 2nd plane am talking about. for the previous, see at same blog

finished the balsa fuselage version of Maverick. it weighs 65 grams more, but has more room for the components. with the original, that uses a foam fuselage of the dynamic hotliner, it is so tight that i have to press on to fit. i was not expecting it to be heavier, and this is another reason to use composites if chosen wisely.
also built a new wing that is covered with a stronger covering in order to make it stiffer. with the original wing, as the motor is so powerful, if i go beyond 50% throttle sometimes the wing flutters. and the gain in weight was only 15 grams.

>>>as seen at my blog when i released it:

Maverick 2: >>>nov 11, 2013: just finished replacement fuselage made of balsa to have more room, as the foam 1 is very tight for the pack, esc, and quanum. to my surprise, it weighs 75 grams more, so this places it in another category. the plane will fly faster, and will handle wind better, but will be a different plane. so i ordered another foam fuselage, as the original is beginning to show signs of wear and tear, especially after several crashes due to radio failure (false contacts in individual cells in the DX6i). once the weather improved i was able to fly it and learned that handles more wind as it is heavier, but not much difference after all. both give me a great performance-perhaps the best of all my sailplanes<<<
Posted by phil alvirez | Feb 11, 2017 @ 02:13 PM | 2,435 Views
now that i have all my planes ready until the weather-and my health-(will have surgery so have to wait until fully recovered) let me fly them, the time i have will use for things like providing details on my 2 meters sailplanes, which is what am doing, and expect to keep doing.
all started with the idea of using a nice foam or glass fuselage and designing a wing and tail for it.
1.-i found the foam Dynamic from hobby king, that fitted the dimensions and was available. it is for a wing on top, and came with the wiring for servos at the tail, which was 1 of the things i was thinking of. it was for v tail, so i modded it for t tail, which is the 1 i like best.
i named it Maverick. 2 meters built-up polyhedral wing, spars over/under; solid balsa flat stab. 35 mm diameter motor, 3 cells 1300mah, folding prop.
(more details down here). as it flew to my expectations, i ended up getting another, and made it with a lower t tail, otherwise the same.
with an already made fuselage i got a lighter and stronger plane. am pleased with the performance, and am able to thermal and stay there for a long time, weather permiting-even in near freezing temps. see pics here:
here are details from my blog.
Maverick started with the availability at the time, of the fuselage/canopy/prop/spinner of the Dynamic-s, a hotliner with v-tail
i used the prop/spinner that come with it, and found a motor that looks...Continue Reading
Posted by phil alvirez | Feb 02, 2017 @ 09:46 AM | 2,532 Views
last winter (15/16) made us think that conditions were heading down the drain. and it happened all over the world. but if we check this data we may consider that things will be better-or not as bad-as it begins to show. but you never know. still, i think that there is relief.
the so-called 'el nino' was the reason it was so bad, and the good thing is that it does not happen every year like that after all...
so, get your planes ready.
Posted by phil alvirez | Jan 31, 2017 @ 09:01 AM | 2,260 Views
as i have a hard time disconnecting the plug of the servos from the receiver, i tried modifying hemostats. they are very thin and come in several shapes. 1 of them has curved tips, and are intended for handling towels. i ordered them and made some inserts to match the connectors. to me is the most practical solution. of course, this is not for all the guys that can do without specialized tools and dont need this.
i found this:
i trimmed the tips to match the width of the connector (7 mm) and cya 2 inserts made from 1/16" plywood.
filed/sanded to fit the connector tight. now they hold the connector the way i need.
from now on, i dont expect to have any trouble removing connectors anymore.
i hope this will be of help to some who, like me, are not experts that dont have any problem doing this.
first clipped the tips to measure 7 mm (the size of the connectors when closed to the 1st step), then added 2 small pieces of 1/16" ply that sanded to fit and glued them with cya and baking soda for fill-in. the inner sides are parallel (7 mm) and grab the connector when pressing to the 1st step. this way i dont have to worry at making pressure when plugging in the connector, just fit it.
am happy with the results, and i hope whoever makes them be happy too.
i think this is a convenient tool for all who deal with radios.

i posted this at the radios forum but i think here will have more exposure.
Posted by phil alvirez | Jan 29, 2017 @ 11:23 AM | 2,632 Views
The real link between personality and well-being

if you want to be happy, consider that there is something you can do.
not only depends on how you are, but on how you face it and work on it. read this:

Which Personality Types Are Most Likely to Be Happy?
By Scott Barry Kaufman, Scientific American | January 24, 2017 07:31am ET
119 196 27 24 2726 MORE
Partner Series
Which Personality Types Are Most Likely to Be Happy?
Your personality could partly determine your well-being.
Credit: kudla /
We all want more well-being in our lives. But which traits are most likely to be associated with well-being? This is an important question because it can help inform our decision to cultivate some aspects of our being over others, and can even inform culture-wide interventions to increase societal levels of well-being.
But in answering this question there are some important considerations. For one, what aspect of well-being are we talking about? In recent years, multiple aspects of well-being have been studied that go beyond the stereotypical smiling and positive vibes associated with happiness (see here for a review). Here are 11 dimensions of well-being that have been systematically investigated based on three prominent models of well-being (Subjective Well-Being, Psychological Well-Being, and PERMA):

11 Dimensions of well-being:
High Positive emotions (high frequency and intensity of positive moods and emotions)
Low...Continue Reading
Posted by phil alvirez | Jan 20, 2017 @ 12:47 PM | 2,929 Views
considering how most electric planes have to be prepared for flying, i was wondering why we need to open a hatch/canopy to connect the battery and take chances of having the motor started by accidentally touching the throttle stick.
even many years ago, when futaba released the first radio special for electrics, it had an arming switch that you had to press just before launching the plane, so you didnt have the risk of starting the motor by accident.
then, why we dont do it this way, that is an improvement on safety, but have to go through this pre-historic routine?
when i flew small r/c elecric planes i used a plug that closed the circuit of the battery and the plane was ready for flying. but when i got into larger planes, what i saw was that all do the plug-in battery removing the hatch. then i got this idea of using a larger plug, and started a thread here:
with the input i received, i got the idea of using a connector, not a switch, that could be plugged in, as i did with my smaller planes.
but this time not to the live wire, but to the radio itself, as this way it didnt have to handle that larger capacity battery. this way electronically it does not have to be larger. between the esc and the receiver. so i did it and seems to work. will try at the field when the weather allows and tell, but to me, it seems that it is o k. this is the 1 am using: http://www....Continue Reading
Posted by phil alvirez | Jan 17, 2017 @ 03:03 PM | 2,881 Views
i was wondering how carbon, that is a particle like a small grain of sand, is available as strands, or whatevers very long fibers, or threads, so i searched and found how it is made to look so.
i hope it will be enlightening to you. it was to me:
Posted by phil alvirez | Jan 16, 2017 @ 09:04 AM | 3,131 Views
i got this and used the DX6i with it.
it worked great, so am going to bring notes and details for whoever is interested on using the receiver, be with the DX6i, or with any other radio.
keep posted and search at the end for new details.
>>>there is a thread here:
>>>by results: will start with the field test to show what i got:
weather is full of surprises-some rare times good. today was 1 of those. i noticed that there was almost no wind so was able to field test the plus with my new 2 meters e sailplane (air intakes sealed to keep the motor and battery from cooling too much). near freezing, ice on the grass, but little wind at ground level, not much turbulence, but up there was some. enough to show the difference with or without gyro. i had the pots at 2 o'clock. also arranged to have the flaps switch set to some down elevator to compensate for too much tendency at climb. climb without it at start. once at enough height tried it. the figure was 25 (about 1/16" down elevator). learned it is not enough so will increase it. switches were gear ON, mix switch on gyro at climb so gyro was ON. once at cruise as it seemed stable, gear OFF-no gyro nothing. i could notice the difference. the turbulence up there made the plane shake a little bit, but could keep without it. another day with more wind will compare again. then...Continue Reading
Posted by phil alvirez | Jan 10, 2017 @ 12:14 PM | 3,827 Views
with the increase of the use of the word "addiction" for drugs, over the past years, i decided to search for the definition(s) so we can find if it is the right word for our enthusiasm for our models (i mean, airplanes-or whatever crafts we like).
i found this:
1.- a strong and harmful need to regularly have something (such as a drug) or do something (such as gamble)
He has a drug addiction.
— often + to
an addiction to pain medication
an addiction to playing the lottery
His life has been ruined by heroin addiction.
2.-[count] : an unusually great interest in something or a need to do or have something.
(this sounds way better and closer to our hobby)

another 1:
Definition of addiction: Addiction is repeated involvement with a substance or activity, despite the substantial harm it now causes, because that involvement was (and may continue to be) pleasurable and/or valuable.

but wait: there is more coming...
enthusiastically devoted to a particular thing or activity.
"he's addicted to computers"
synonyms: devoted to, obsessed with, fixated on, dedicated to, fanatical about, passionate about, enamored of, a slave to.
(that seems closer to our inclination)
i think i will settle for: "am dedicated to model airplanes". so will not be linked to addicted to drugs, or something bad i think.
after all, if you dont have some enthusiasm for something, life does not have a meaning...
Posted by phil alvirez | Jan 09, 2017 @ 08:22 AM | 3,041 Views
once talking to a fellow about 60 years old, he said: "when i was younger"... and continued saying something.
that made me think that it is indeed the spirit.
otherwise, if you say "when i was young", that implicitedly tells that now you are not young anymore, and therefore you are old, isnt it?
and that does not help. your subconscious mind takes that straightforward, and begins to decelerate and increase your dowfall.
so, my dear fellow, never say "when i was young".
remember, you are as young as you think.
of course, you have to be aware that you cant aim at goals as ambitious physically as when you were younger.
like staying flying for so long. otherwise you may get tired and crash (i have seen so many folks doing so).
Ashley Montagu, the famed anthropologyst (who lived to 95 happy years), said that "the idea is to die young as late as possible". if in doubt, you should read his book "growing young".
here is something to consider:
Posted by phil alvirez | Jan 06, 2017 @ 04:15 AM | 2,955 Views
for all that i have seen, most guys just hold the radio with their hands. no strap nothing.
some use the strap. a few use a tray. even fewer a strap and a tray.
but those that dont use a tray, their commands are given with their thumbs.
lets analize each way:
1.-no straps: you have to use the thumbs all the time, as you are holding the radio with the other fingers.
if you want to move a switch, you have to hold the radio with 1 hand.
but if it happens that you need to correct something at that moment, you cant.
and if you try something, the radio may fall.
2.-straps: if you are using straps, it will not fall to the ground.
still, it falls out of your hands and the plane may crash.
3.-tray: with the tray, you will be able to move a switch without the radio falling out of your hands and loosing control.
and you can control the plane with your other fingers. like holding a pen when writting. you must agree that this way you have a more precise control. or you think that you can write the same if using only the thumb?
still, the radio may fall, but it is less likely, as the tray helps to hold it.
4.-tray and strap: now with the strap also connected, there is no way that your radio will fall. and you can correct anytime.
something like this:
or this:
or if you build it yourself:

and if you need to launch your plane, how you do when not using tray and/or strap?
no tray means you cant do any correction until your hand gets back to the radio.
think about it.
Posted by phil alvirez | Dec 30, 2016 @ 01:10 PM | 3,678 Views
as i started when balsa was the only material available, i have the privilege to witness the evolution to all the new materials at hand, and use them. at the beginning, you had to build an airplane. not like now, that you can buy it, charge the battery and go fly.
at that time we were modelers. now we are flyers. still, as the final goal is flying, there are 2 kinds of mentalities.
then, we had no chance but learn to build them. the easy way was with kits, that had all that you needed. or from plans. so we developed the skills. then, years later, some began to introduce new materials. plastic was heavy and not so strong, and took many years to reach a level where it could compete with balsa, and even outperform it. i began to use them just for the sake of seeing if could bring any improvement, and eventually settled to a mix of both, even using fuselages already made, because with them i got planes that fly better. its performance is improved, and sustain hardships better. best of both worlds.
but still i see that there are guys of the old guard that keep building planes from balsa. so there is room for both.
what matters is that we all like and enjoy dealing with model airplanes.
Posted by phil alvirez | Dec 29, 2016 @ 07:53 AM | 3,495 Views
as i have faced radio failure, i want to present all that i have been into, and comments from experienced fellows.
i imagine this is a controversial issue, so i ask you fellows to follow it and reach your own conclusions.
will keep adding stuff, as i have it scatered and sometimes is hard to retrieve, so please keep coming back and see the updates.
i started having problems at a field where i flew for several years. for some time it was isolated loss of signal. then suddenly the bottom fell. the field has nearby 4 towers from the local radio station.
lets start with this:
then when asking experts, i got this:
Originally Posted by SkyNorth
How is the Internet being supplied in that area.?
Where I live , WiFi signals are beamed from a central Tower to small dishes on our roofs.
Is it possible a new provider has installed in your area, or picked up a couple of customers
that would require them to "beam" across your flying area?
there is also this comment from David E. Buxton :
High gain antennas for outdoor Wi-Fi are also a concern. Lookout for these antennas and don’t fly through their beams.

more: got this:
Can you take all your systems including the good and the bad to another field? Try the following at a different field.
You may be exceeding the...Continue Reading
Posted by phil alvirez | Dec 12, 2016 @ 07:22 AM | 3,412 Views
when i was at college, at the place where i lived, when we paid the fare at the city buses, the driver handled a ticket made of sort of tissue paper about 1-1/2" x 4". we took classes at a building that was 4 stories tall and had a long aisle open. then 1 of the students made a paper plane with his ticket and launched it. as the wind blowed constantly towards the building, it created an upwards draft that kept it soaring for a long time. as a consequence, some of us mad enough kept our tickets in good shape, organized a competition and made paper planes and at the breaks between clases we launched and timed them. the average flight time was about 4 minutes. how about that! this is the best example of clift/slope draft i have ever heard!
Posted by phil alvirez | Dec 11, 2016 @ 10:55 AM | 3,507 Views
those who live in places where snows, dream of a white christmas.
problem is, it does not happen all the time.
sometimes we get it before, others after.
but man, in its arrogance, that makes him think that knows all, does not take in consideration nature.
instead trying to make nature to adapt to us (that will never happen), why we dont make christmas happen when, near that date, it snows?
years ago i had an english friend who told me that, whenever there was good weather (rare in old england), people just packed up their picnic basket and went out. that was a national holiday. (perhaps things have changed, but still sounds like a brilliant idea in a happy world).
think of it.

Posted by phil alvirez | Dec 07, 2016 @ 12:00 PM | 3,668 Views
i have seen experts doing all kinds of complex maneuvers with ease, but at landing, most of them seem quite nervous.
and its because when getting close to the ground, there is no tolerance.
when i learned to fly full size, 1 of the thing we learned was that when doing a turn downwind, the plane sank and became unstable. and many years later, when flying r/c, i remembered this.
now that am into r/c sailplanes, i recall when i got started many years ago, that there was a young man who flew sailplanes (no motor) and always landed at his feet. when watching him closely, i noticed that he never turned downwind. he did lazy 8s, facing the wind. and i have been doing this too. this way there are no surprises. so, even if i fly electric, that the motor can be started in an emergency, i always land deadstick and no downwind turns. and, if the field allows that, i do not flare-off. just push it gently towards the ground. this way, the landing is more smooth. no jumping and stalling at the last moment.
and the best advice to learn to land? practice! whatever is the most difficult thing to do, can be overcomed with more practice.
as i realized how hard was for me (and i think for everybody too), i decided to improve that, so i began to do short flights. climb for 30 seconds, then land. over and over again. so in 30 minutes i had 30 landings. kept counting until i got 6,000. by then, it was instinctive. now i dont have to think on it. is like walking: you dont have to think to move your legs, isnt it?