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Posted by scruffy1 | Jan 05, 2017 @ 06:50 PM | 1,203 Views
my success rate for powering up things with a jst connection first "try" has frustrated me since the beginning - i generally find that by the time my fingers obscure the leads when i try and plug them, it's a 50% chance i'll be holding them in the wrong orientation as i try and connect, and then have to juggle a small plane and the battery

i have started using a permanent marker on my jst connectors to mark the negative side obviously black

problem solved !
Posted by scruffy1 | Dec 31, 2016 @ 10:23 PM | 1,837 Views
read all about it over at the build log here, or for those already watching, skip to the final instalment here

teaser shots below - more at the links above
Posted by scruffy1 | Dec 21, 2016 @ 11:06 PM | 1,460 Views
almost there !

just a teaser to encourage some further viewing over at the build
Posted by scruffy1 | Oct 31, 2016 @ 03:58 AM | 1,572 Views
due to medical problems, i am not up for discus launch at the moment, and even looking at the sunshine burns me as if i have turned vampire

so perhaps appropriately for the horror theme, it was time for a frankenplane

more about it as the build proceeds over here

oh, and it's halloween...

i already had the idea to take my 1.7m antares 'foiled thermal wing, and graft it to a tepid-liner electric fuselage... not as decidedly frosty as my canary

building the fuselage was a tiresome consideration, and balancing the components would require some careful consideration and planning, which i was lacking inspiration to do

then in a minor tidying shuffle, having dragged out as yet unattended boxes containing some of the many kits i have accumulated, i rediscovered the partially built sig riser which i had been bequeathed from a deceased estate via a circuitous association

the fuselage "box" was already done, and the fin and rudder glued but not sanded; the wing stock was incomplete, and the stabiliser lost to me

more problematically, the plans were awol, even though i could find a low res copy on line, and the proportions were too big for the wing i had to play with

so... utilising what i had, i fudged an appropriate horizontal tail, and trimmed the rudder to lose a bit of superfluous area

kudos to curtis suter for his excellent spreadsheet at his tailwind gliders site which allowed me to crunch some numbers using the fixed moment arms and wing i had to work...Continue Reading
Posted by scruffy1 | Feb 10, 2016 @ 01:39 AM | 2,918 Views
hobby king had another sale (as you do), and the binary was up for just north of $110aud - outrageous !

so i bought another one, as a spare, because that's half price, and around $20 cheaper than when i bought the first one almost 4 years ago when the pacific peso was at parity with the greenback (ah, good times )

arrived today, and there's been some changes

the "new" wing has carbon "spars" skinned, rather than inset, and the foam is now yellow - not the original hot pink - and it seems otherwise similar density, although the carbon reinforcements are wider on the left wing - maybe to accommodate launch forces, or maybe just random, given it's not a "right handers only" machine

the pod has a reinforced floor anteriorly - good, because it saves me having to do so pre-emptively, and it's lighter too by a tad already reinforced

the tail is the same as far as i can tell, except that there is now a nod to some aerodynamic rounding of the edges where previously the surfaces were all flat plate

the boom is now très slick; still rolled carbon, but the skin is way smooth, and it's lighter too, with a pre-slotted fin groove

there's a wire for the pushrod to the elevator, and some tubing to route it through the boom i guess

the wing mounting hardware and glass cloth and stab mount seem unchanged, as does the launching peg rod

i am so, so, soooooo tempted to go light and make it up as a v1 with pull string rudder and elevator,...Continue Reading
Posted by scruffy1 | Jan 18, 2016 @ 01:02 AM | 3,835 Views
well, it had to happen i guess

several thousand successful flights, and then... this

my repairs to the fin last time it cracked at the boom join (yet again) included some fibreglass reinforcement to the fin underneath the film covering, and so instead of the fin yielding, i transferred the stresses to the slotted boom, which must have cracked (again)

one launch too many, and the fin detached; there was a fierce flick roll and then lawn dart!! - but luckily after a recent period of deluge, the grass was fairly long and spongy, and the soil was still soft

i'm amazed that the canopy remained uncracked, due to clever padding to stop the pod from digging into it on impact (took me two prior dead canopies to effectively recognise a solution), although the rear of the pod has detached from the boom - unsurprising as i never sanded the boom to key it

the rest of the fuselage barring the tail tip that came off with the fin is pretty much good to go even so

the rear hold down bolt was unable to release (the "keyhole" is burred), and i had to twist off the rear mount, after removing the flaperon servos and pushrods

all in all it was a pretty clean procedure

i have already bogged up the crush area with microballoons, after splitting the top skin to facilitate peeling it back to expose the damaged foam

the spar in broken, and i shall research the best way to reinforce it

ultimately i will use finish cure to the reattach the delaminated skins,...Continue Reading
Posted by scruffy1 | Dec 28, 2015 @ 08:36 PM | 4,065 Views
help is what i will need in getting up to speed with my new toy

the original taranis generously supplied by mark bolton over at BoltRC decided to get the horrors at binding to d8 receivers, and despite the best efforts by me and then his helpful tech types, it refused to co-operate

the time was ripe to upgrade to the taranis plus, and i spent my own $ on the exchange, so any positive (or less positive) things i have to say in this thread will be entirely without pecuniary interest, although i hasten to add that having been "loaned" the original model made me no less honest in my opinions... but it did get me a very cheap introduction to the potential of this radio

thanks mark !

so, if you are new to taranis (like me) or have had one for a while but never really got to fiddling with the system, you may not already be on the 2.0 (or later) firmware

lucky for you i already got that idea - you can marvel at my instructions here

companion Tx is great, but has its own peculiarities, and the next posts will address some common issues i have discovered, and tamed

please note i will be moderating this thread to try and keep it relatively concise as a resource for new users, and i shall use my web powers to summon the expertise of nigelsheffield, who obviously has a clue from my previous contact

so, there's an intro... the next few posts i shall secure for personal lists of stuff, and edit to try and keep it tight - feel free to add to the posts, or pm me if there's glaring error or dead links, and i'll try to fix things

enjoy !
Posted by scruffy1 | Dec 03, 2014 @ 07:04 AM | 9,534 Views
i very recently received my next DLG from the czech republic

major thanks to ondrej at, for the thowt - he has been an absolute pleasure to deal with for the entire process; despite my complete lack of czech we have managed the transactions smoothly courtesy of his thankfully far better command of english than my skills in the opposite translations

the glider complete to the door, very well packaged, and with two dymond d60's that i required for completion (i already have the two d47's i also need, and the taranis gear and batteries) came in at €280, of which almost a quarter was transport half way round the planet of a sturdy 155cm long box grossing 3.12kg

by the time paypal fudged the exchange a little, i was up for ~ $418 (australian)

however, to put that in perspective, the basic glider (as supplied - closer to completion than the binary 900 when i got that all that time ago) is €183, or $267 aus

i note that the current price of a versus in australia (as a platinum member) is $223, and the 1.5 DLG composite checks in (sorry... ) at $345

sure, local shipping adds a big advantage to that deal, with delivered cost for me at $235 and $367 respectively, whereas the czech model sans servos would be $365 or so (but as an aside the installed throwing peg is $25 online alone from other sources, before postage, and then you'd have to fit it as well )

on the other hand, a binary 3 would be over the $600 mark delivered, and the IV model another...Continue Reading
Posted by scruffy1 | Sep 28, 2014 @ 12:31 AM | 7,578 Views
there's one other thread here about it, but i thought i'd selfishly start a new one to do a build log; this is the closest to the alula still reasonably easily obtainable

$34.70 (us $) delivered to australia, from korea, in just on 2 weeks using their (cheap) standard post; the cardboard box might have been a little more resilient, but despite a little wear and tear on the exterior, all the parts arrived intact and ready to go
you can buy one here if you want to, and there's another version that comes with a pair of servos and a nimh battery for around another us$20

for the money on the basic kit you will receive :

4 pieces of pre-cut foam, which looks to be hot-wired polystyrene (they say epp) :
pod - 9 grams
fin - 1.8 grams
wings x2 with pre-cut flaperon "groove" - around 24 grams each, but conveniently for this right handed thrower, the left wing is 23.9 and the right 24.4, leaving me half a gram for the peg for DLG whilst maintaining lateral balance; whether it has any use as a DLG might be debatable - but if the libelle has delusions of that role then i don't see why this foamie shouldn't try it on too

then there's two spars of fibreglass, which will get saved for future reference, as i intend to swap in carbon for the reinforcements

and there's also a pair of control horns, a throwing peg and some cord for reinforcing it to the left spar, and some 1.2mm push rods and linkage stoppers

rounding off the package is a comprehensive manual -...Continue Reading
Posted by scruffy1 | Aug 03, 2014 @ 12:47 AM | 6,127 Views
it's almost 6 months in the air, and still learning

the lesson today was don't do a fast downwind approach as the dog cuts across your flight path

although she is always very keen to chase the glider, she is also equally careful (for a dog anyway) to not step on it once grounded, but she does enjoy close passes on approach and the occasional snap at the transmitter if i am not launching fast enough for her requirements

i'm uncertain exactly what hit the (thankfully non-launch peg) wing, but there is a chord-wise crease which is more obvious when flexed, and a smaller one parallel to the leading edge near centre

managed to very effectively fix a similar delamination near the peg ages ago by injecting finish cure epoxy under the skin with an insulin syringe - but it is not easy to get it through a tiny needle for sure

presently curing under pressure (sandwich of foam and balsa over a masking tape cover of the several holes required to instil the epoxy), with similar epoxy injected under the leading edge shin

otherwise a very variable day : most of the first half hour i was lucky to get 30 - 40 seconds, and then a large patch of lift went through - see the altimeter log below

and the magpies are early onto territorial protection given spring is months away, but i had one wing strike (feathers from the bird's wing rather than a peck) that rolled me markedly; the technique reminded me of a spitfire trying to destabilise a v1 flying bomb

and i proved yet again with some evasive manoeuvres that birds will never follow you inverted
Posted by scruffy1 | Jun 15, 2014 @ 02:33 AM | 7,136 Views
it's wet and windy; flying is out for the day, and my brain is not inspired to commence teaching myself to program the taranis - shameful, but it's a day to vegetate

i have used a thunderpower tp610c for easily probably 5 years now; it has been faultless for my needs, notwithstanding the crappy chinglish instructions, but i am now able to drive it without even really thinking

one thing that has always irked me is that there is a long set of leads with alligator clips permanently poking out the left side like an umbilical cord someone failed to cut, for those times when you need to charge at the field, using an external power supply (12-18v - presumably from the good ol' days of lead acid batteries); it is asking to eventually fracture from repeated flexing unless i treat it kindly; it also makes putting it way in the box a more complicated job, and i am as lazy as possible within parameters of obsessive compulsive tendency

i haven't used an external battery for a power supply once (yet), but one day i might... i never understood why they didn't have a plug (or pair, like for the output) to use as required

that's a lie; it's obvious they did it because it lowered the production costs

i went to jaycar to source a workable plug, but they didn't have anything appropriate, and i reverted to plan (b) which involved amputation, application of an xt-60 set of plugs to allow both internal storage of the redundant lead, and also re-attachment of the alligator clips should i employ a lead acid battery - the work involved will be removing and replacing the lid (7 simple small screws)

the bonus is i can also use a big capacity 4s lipo or LiFePO4 to recharge small capacity batteries at the field as an option

doubtless this voids any warranty expressed or implied; use at your own risk, batteries not included

pictures tell the story :
Posted by scruffy1 | Jun 13, 2014 @ 10:57 PM | 10,453 Views
i have been agonising on this for a while, and suffering the infernal usb dude error

f@#& you usb dude !! you aren't my kind of dude

i know that as a prelude to communications, i needed to get the usb driver, and the one to get is zagdig 2.1.0 from here

comes with instructions, but essentially plug in your taranis via the usb port on the back with the radio switched off (did you get the importance of that step? )

then launch zagdig, go to options > list all devices, and choose stm32 bootloader and then replace driver (the big button)

stand back and live in hope

next up you'll need open companion 2.0.2 - ooh! here it is

install that one and hold your breath

now for the secret ingredient that took me a while to finally add, which got the 'dude to co-operate : go to settings > settings > radio type and choose opentx for frsky taranis
the default setting is opentx for 9x board, and it won't cut the mustard

once it is a going thing, head over and click file > download > download fw (that'll be firmware)

now we're ready to rock !

with the taranis plugged in via usb, but turned off like before, go to read/write > write firmware to radio and browse for the downloaded binary (opentx-taranis-en if you are reading this, because that's the english language version)

hit write to tx and a "dfu util" window will pop up and show progress

when it's finished there's no indication you succeeded, but if you simply...Continue Reading
Posted by scruffy1 | Jun 01, 2014 @ 04:01 AM | 8,351 Views
first a note of thanks to mark bolton of BoltRC who saw my enthusiasm and forced me to borrow a frsky taranis - although my resistance to the idea was virtually non-existent

as part of the package i also got a d4r-II receiver and a high precision variometer; i also got an x6r, but my interest lies in the small stuff really

i have been intrigued by reports of the the abilities of the taranis to allow complex and seemingly infinite mixes, but the idea of a vario for hearing the air was really appealing, and i got the itch to see if the binary 900 could accommodate the necessaries given the constraints of the pod

so i started on the path, with my google-fu leading me to the wiki here which described the possibility of achieving what i wanted

and while i confess to no electronic expertise at all, i am an established nerd who can find out things through a combination of obsessive persistence and a bad interweb addiction

long story short is that not only did it seem that can i make it do my bidding, but i have already had a few people confirm they have got it working as per this thread that i disrupted with my quest

inspired, i took out my binocular loupe and tiny tweezers, and a selection of needle nose and modelling pliers, and the trusty xacto #11... and the bright desk lamp

disengaged the red wire from the female plug of a sacrificial servo extension plug, teased open the crimp a little, prised off some insulation to make space, and re-crimped it with...Continue Reading
Posted by scruffy1 | Mar 07, 2014 @ 11:57 PM | 7,634 Views
ever so slowly i have been completing the work on this little beauty, and with the exception of some finer details on the programming, and finalising the launch peg, it's pretty much good to go

but enough redundant discussion; you can read all about it over here, or skip the earlier bits and catch up from here and onwards for the more recent work

as always, easier to look at the pictures, so here's a selection; the full thread's worth can be picked over here to quickly peruse the latter parts of build

enjoy !
Posted by scruffy1 | Dec 21, 2013 @ 05:37 AM | 8,219 Views
it had to happen some time

the surprising part was that it has been both times in the last two overly firm "arrivals" that it has been equipment, and not the pilot that takes the blame

after the mini-DLG spiralled in (and was finished off by an enthusiastic retriever living up to his pedigree), i have been slowly completing the binary 900 between distractions, and almost all my air time has been on the pitts epp, which i still love to bits as an all round fun flyer

until the elevator servo failed at around 10 metres up in a steep dive, and due to my normal response in near death circumstances being to point upwards and hit full throttle, i lacked the finesse to roll sideways and climb knife edge

despite going in hard, the only other part i think is a goner is the 1300mah lipo which took it on the nose also, and was a little inclined to puff marginally at full charge, plus the second cell is consistently a little (last charge 0.09v) under the others, despite being lovingly cared for

still, at around 100 flights i am prepared to retire it for safety; i've had my money's worth

likewise, at 250 flights as my first aerobatic full house, the pitts has served me well, and i have been eyeing the durafly hyperbipe as a worthy biplane successor (gotta build the reaktor yet too)

then i got nostalgic, and realised that between some 20 minute finish cure epoxy for all the bits that split some, and the blenderm to reattach the upper aileron and secure the partially...Continue Reading
Posted by scruffy1 | Sep 18, 2013 @ 05:01 AM | 9,270 Views
okay, so it has taken an inordinate amount of time to start to actually do the project, but on the plus side that's been time to hone my building skills with foam, and to get a feel for DLG with the (late lamented) mini DLG - may it rest in pieces

but the upside of its sad demise was that after the somewhat disappointing performance of the canary (another slow to mature project), i am really keen to have another DLG in the squadron - the mini was a great incentive to go to the park almost every day for some painless exercise

my original blog for this build is to be found here, but it's so ancient that i am starting afresh, although it is a good prelude on what is about to happen, describing my planning back in those innocent days before practical experience with foamies or DLG's - the interesting thing is that not much has changed with regard to my concept, but the details have evolved in light of other builds

i note that all the other build logs i have found seem to be for the v1 (rudder and elevator), and the aileron and elevator version (v2) has missed a detailed work log - and the building instructions supplied online by the maker are rudimentary

so, down to work

the original instructions suggest joining the wing halves, and then slotting the aileron hinges and cutting the servo holes for the aileron hardware

that seems counter-intuitive, given you need the wing inverted to get at the space for the aileron servo pits, and the dihedral will make that...Continue Reading
Posted by scruffy1 | Sep 08, 2013 @ 06:28 AM | 8,088 Views
first flights this afternoon - success

see the latest info here, or knock yourself out and take it from the top

in any event, it's a nice consolation to have a glider to play with after the premature and sad death of the mini DLG

ah well, plenty more where that came from...

up next, the binary 900, unless the reaktor grabs me first
Posted by scruffy1 | Aug 08, 2013 @ 08:09 PM | 8,225 Views
well, you can make sure you have a wingman on the field with a stop-watch and a good sense of duty

you can buy the hobbyking altimeter, and earn me some bonus points using my link; that works well on so many levels , but the gratification isn't instantaneous

however, if you own a spektrum dx8, you can select the trainer button to be a start / stop switch - but the very clever part is that if you hit the "clear" button (top left near the LCD screen) it resets the timer to zero

who'da thunk it ? not me, obviously, but someone on the dx8 thread here answered my query for "how to" almost instantly and so now my joy in flying DLG has just notched up another step
Posted by scruffy1 | Aug 06, 2013 @ 05:00 AM | 10,728 Views
what good is a mini DLG without a means to obsessively assess performance ?

actually, it's fantastic ! but the ability to measure altitude and also duration of flights is a big plus - it's really hard to go solo and manage a timepiece, let alone triangulate an altitude measurement from a single point... in fact, the last part is impossible

enter the hobbyking altimeter (cue fanfare of appreciation)

previously i was resigned to looking down at the clock on the dx8, and doing some basic subtractions after the flight ended - this required diverting my gaze from the flight to catch a glimpse of the time elapsed from initial power up of the tx/rx, and then remembering some obscure number like 12:37, then rechecking after i caught the returning plane, or touched down

clumsy, cumbersome stuff in the digital age, although i suspect i will still do it even with this baby in situ because that's how obsessive compulsive traits are, really

however, now i have this it auto-starts on plugging in the battery (gaining power from a spare plug on the rx), and records until power down - potentially for 63 hours per the included instructions, sampling once a second (with the option of 2 or 4 or 8 samples per second, programmable)

weighs in at 1.4gm per my digital scale (they claim 1.3), but there's a further 1.2gm for the power cord = 2.6gm airborne weight

the data downloads to your pc (and possibly mac with some fiddling) via usb - the software emulates a com port; the set up for win7 64bit was painless as described here...
  • install the software first (see attached zip files) - com emulator before the altimeter software
  • then plug in the connector via usb and it will autoinstall the driver for the device; mine came up as com4
  • you then need to open the software, press the FD-A<>PC icon, and make the com port setting to whatever "devices and printers" information tells you is the auto-assigned one by win7, and away you go !

    simple if you follow the directions

i'll post a sample graph once i do some flying