scruffy1's blog View Details
Posted by scruffy1 | Jun 19, 2017 @ 04:52 AM | 1,444 Views
recently, for the first time ever i got my hands on a decent quantity of depron, and decided it was time to give it a go

inspired by the micro r/c kits from banggood, and reminiscing on the free flight nieuport 11 (bébé) sesquiplane model i built for a friend last century, i was taken by the colour of the grey depron being plenty silver enough to make a great choice for the nieuport

the general gist of it was initially discussed over here in a thread in the scratchbuilt indoor and micro part of the forum, where the plans and a full size baby are on view

there's some posts on my initial trials with heat gun, rolling, hot water and rudimentary oven based mould, but it was all pretty so-so, and i decided to go big and make a bespoke mould from wood with aluminium plates, sorta the depron version of a foccacia press

i give direct thanks to dan schwartz who generously sent me a copy of his original plan, which i borrowed from (amongst other sources) to make up my own version - the one i concocted was modified by necessity due to the available oven space

a quick trip to the local bunnings hardware procured the necessary stock for my take on it :
  • 400x140mm marine ply base ($2 from the offcut bin for a bigger piece trimmed for free, with enough left over for a perfect sized base for a building board)
  • 2.7metres of 11x11mm pine strip
  • 10 metres of 15cm wide 0.3mm "weatherflash" aluminium flashing
  • 5/32" x 36mm bolts with matching sets of washers and wingnuts
  • (i
...Continue Reading
Posted by scruffy1 | May 24, 2017 @ 10:21 PM | 1,565 Views
i recently bought the described product from banggood - minimum rc spacewalker; make me immeasurably richer using the affiliate link provided - immeasurably as in very small reward, but hey! i'll take what i can get

it included a motor, but not the one they showed with the kit

product specs from my measurements are :
  • motor core 16.61mm long, 21.10 overall to end of shaft
  • 7mm core diameter with 1.0mm shaft; prop hub has correct bore for the supplied shaft
  • the propeller is markedly asymmetrical (see the pics) and there are neither mounting lugs nor screws, despite the illustrated product showing both
  • overall weight 4.1gms for components, propeller is 1.2gm but will be less with required trimming and balancing, no doubt

the mounting "hole" on the (presumably) nylon hub is 2x2mm suggesting this hub is for probably a component for one of the carbon stick fuselage models; the "front" hole forward of the 2x2 fitting is 1.35mm diameter, and might lend itself to mounting in a 1.5mm carbon rod with a little "encouragement" - see pics

the tiny motor turns over nicely unloaded on a 3.7v 1s lipo

however, due to not being what i saw in the product pics, the proposed use in either a sopwith pup or minimum rc spacewalker is not going to be possible without substantial modification

all in all not a bad product, but the buying experience was somewhat spoiled by inaccurate product details - but for ~ $4 delivered as part of the job lot, i can't get too disappointed even if i can't use it as planned
Posted by scruffy1 | May 15, 2017 @ 07:43 PM | 1,915 Views
banggood has recently been selling a selection of plug in modules for transmitters that enable them to utilise other protocols than the host transmitter, although up until recently they have been limited in their variety of compatibilities

although it was possible to flash them for other protocols, this required some degree of nerd capability, the latest iteration iRangeX IRX4 utilising stm32 firmware does a whole lot of protocols that are enabled via the transmitter interface on Taranis as long as the transmitter is updated to the 2.2 firmware

for those users relatively new to taranis, this may be less painful than if you have a whole lot of stuff already programmed using 2.1, although in my limited applications prior, the model i wanted to move across did so painlessly

there's a thread to help over here , where i wrote :
things i would note for other potential owners :
  • if you want to do any internal soldering, do it before you put the module in the slot - that sucker is in there for good without some specialised removal tools
  • this video for firmware upgrading is essentially correct, but there are a few minor hiccups (like the downloaded file for the upgrade needing to be renamed with *.bin extension because windoze doesn't do that automagically), and simply loading it to the sd card as suggested didn't seem to work, whereas using companion (eventually) did
  • this page was helpful, but make sure you also check the "multimodule" box in the edit
...Continue Reading
Posted by scruffy1 | Jan 05, 2017 @ 06:50 PM | 2,793 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 | 3,450 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 | 3,066 Views
almost there !

just a teaser to encourage some further viewing over at the build
Posted by scruffy1 | Oct 31, 2016 @ 03:58 AM | 3,123 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 | 4,563 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 | 5,437 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 | 5,691 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 | 11,263 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 | 9,205 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 | 7,685 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 | 8,679 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 | 12,418 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 | 9,944 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 | 9,231 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 | 9,758 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 | 10,816 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