phil alvirez's blog - Page 3 - RC Groups
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Posted by phil alvirez | Feb 02, 2017 @ 10:46 AM | 8,204 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 @ 10:01 AM | 7,935 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 @ 12:23 PM | 7,802 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 @ 01:47 PM | 7,913 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 @ 04:03 PM | 7,702 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 @ 10:04 AM | 7,815 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 turned mix...Continue Reading
Posted by phil alvirez | Jan 10, 2017 @ 01:14 PM | 8,081 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 @ 09:22 AM | 6,722 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".
some examples of living young:
"Those whom the Gods love, grow young"
-Oscar Wilde-
Posted by phil alvirez | Jan 06, 2017 @ 05:15 AM | 6,225 Views
this is especially important if you launch your plane by hand:
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 @ 02:10 PM | 6,577 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 @ 08:53 AM | 6,267 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 AT THE END.
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...Continue Reading
Posted by phil alvirez | Dec 12, 2016 @ 08:22 AM | 4,893 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 @ 11:55 AM | 4,859 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 @ 01:00 PM | 4,530 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?
Posted by phil alvirez | Dec 05, 2016 @ 06:18 PM | 4,262 Views
the kind of planes i got started with, were free flight hand launched gliders of 18" span, and those were the most fun i ever had.
with them i learned aerodynamics, to trim a plane, and to feel the thermals that lift from the ground.
i held 4 planes in 1 hand,between my fingers, and another in the other and began to launch 1 by 1 and watch how they behaved.
i learned to understand the timing, when there is no wind and suddenly a breeze begins to blow; how to follow the thermal and pick up the planes as they were landing, and launch them again until ran out of field. sometimes 1 of them got a boomer and flew away. still, sometimes i could get them back. 1 of them did over 10 minutes, and another over 11 and got them back. but most of them, when got a strong 1 flew away. no dethermalizer nothing.

and these are the days...
but it is now that, with the help of modern technology, am having a great time too. r/c electric powered 2 meters sailplanes, with vario that tells me when there is lift, following a thermal, is beyond the wildest dream i could have in those days.
Posted by phil alvirez | Dec 01, 2016 @ 11:07 AM | 3,913 Views
next week we will be below freezing and soon the field will be closed so no more flying until who knows... maybe end of march-or april, as it happened this year. so its time to start building-if still there is any1 who does-or pick on whatever theory or scientific idea any1 can decide-maybe discuss it here-to keep the mind busy.
and all of you who has-and will have-good weather to fly, enjoy! and of course whoever flies indoors too.
Posted by phil alvirez | Nov 22, 2016 @ 07:00 PM | 4,536 Views
today i went flying to test a new plane and a battery too.
it was near freezing and calm, and i expected a few short flights only.
as i have a vario i installed it, mostly to learn the height, but after testing the plane for turning as if it were in thermal for some time and seeing it performing well, i decided to switch the vario to beeps, just for the kicks. it was at about 200 meters, and there was no wind, and suddenly i began to hear beeps. following the area where i heard them, i noticed that sure, there was lift. and as there was no wind, i kept turning until the cold made me realize that it had been some time. when switched to check the height, it was around 300 meters height. so it was climbing consistently. i could stay there way longer. the sensation of soaring in cold weather was a great and unexpected experience. i have heard guys telling this, but i never had it in so cold weather and so strong.- i could stay there for a longer time.
wonders of the air, that is always full of surprises! (this time a good 1).
Posted by phil alvirez | Nov 12, 2016 @ 07:01 AM | 3,938 Views
i had a problem with something i ordered and i was not satisfied and the supplier told me that i could return the parts. see:
regarding returning the parts, on post 2892 (page 193) thread
i got this message from him:

"This seller went out of his way in time and $$ by shipping to Phil in Canada, which was not my original offer to the market (shipping on me if US). If Phil wants to reimburse me for my outbound shipping costs, he can ship it back on his nickle, and I'll sell it to someone else. What a waste of time, what a mistake. Note also his posts to do custom benchmarking of motor power before shipping. High maintenance, and then some.

Kelly "

so i sent back the parts for him to fulfill his promise, but so far nothing has been deposited on my paypal account.
this is the official record on canada post files:

tracking number:
Package Summary
Status:Item successfully delivered
Signed By:signed
Customer Service:[+1] 866-607-6301
Tracking Records
Fri 9/30/2016 3:30 pm
Item accepted at the Post Office
Mon 10/3/2016 1:13 pm
International Item being prepared for export
Mon 10/3/2016 6:56 pm
International item being forwarded to destination country
Tue 10/4/2016 6:21 am
International shipment has arrived in a foreign country
Fri 10/7/2016 4:42 pm
Item successfully delivered

and he got the...Continue Reading
Posted by phil alvirez | Sep 18, 2016 @ 01:57 PM | 4,805 Views
i have built 3 identical wings for my 2 meters sailplanes.
they look alike and the only difference is that the last 1 has some spars of carbon fiber instead of spruce.
i can use them in several fuselages.
with 2 of them i have found that some times they flutter and worries me because the plane can loose its wings in any moment.
when gave them a closer look the only difference i could find was that the 1 that does fine has a turbulator at the leading edge (a piece of thread that is about 1/16" and runs at the neutral point of the leading edge).
so i added a thread at the leading edge to the 2nd and 3 threads at several positions along the chord to the 3rd and tested them today.
the 2nd with 1 string at the leading edge still had the flutters.
then tried the 3rd with 4 turbulators. no flutter!
then to the 2nd with 1 i added 3 more turbulators: again, no flutter!
so seems that turbulators not only improve the efficiency and stability but get rid of flutters too.
more tests to come.
now i got flutters again-that was with wing #3 and a short foamy fuselage. but same wing with 2 fiberglass/cf does fine.
need to do more tests. same plane flew fine after having flutters the day before. but also happens when the plane is going fast.
1 thing that i learned is that with the turbulators, the speed increases noticeably, so the more turbs the faster the plane. this may be good for windy weather, but as my goal is to thermal, are not what i need. they increase stability, but at the expense of loosing ability to thermal. you get stability in exchange of maneurability, and you loose sensitivity to thermals and the turning radius is larger. so, 1 thing or the other.

it is 1 of the things of the air, that takes some time to confirm your impressions.
(by the way, near the end of page 11 of this blog there is more on turbulators, if you want to see all that i have learned about it).
Posted by phil alvirez | Aug 27, 2016 @ 07:27 AM | 6,302 Views
all began with the Radian, a 2 meters (80") electric powered sailplane from horizon hobby. i learned about it when i watched it flying. it impressed me so much that same day i went to the nearest hobby shop that stocked it and purchased 1 and was flying it next day. no gyros nothing.
but then they released the 29" UMX, that has gyros (electronic stabilizer), that makes it fly in some wind as if were a way larger plane.
and i got 1 too for flying at the backyard or nearest park.
then came the Pro, that has ailerons and lower dihedral, for aerobatics. that i dont have 1 because my goal is thermaling.
and now we have the largest 2.6 meters (102") XL that comes with a receiver with gyros, for windier weather. and i have 1 too.
this is just the start. i will keep bringing comments on my personal experience with them, so keep posted and get into the end of this. see ya.
i will start with the impressions i got on each 1, then details and then what i have done to improve it or make my life easier.

#1: the 1st (2 meters):
this is my favorite size, and it thermals easy and is fast to have it ready to fly. handles some wind, climbs to 200 meters in 30 seconds, easiest to put together, and price is great.

#2: the micro:
flies like a big 1, as with the gyros it handles wind very well.
1.-loosing signal: if sometimes a few seconds...Continue Reading