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Posted by gquiring | Jan 18, 2017 @ 05:07 PM | 1,427 Views
I decided to take the plunge and go for the MZ-24 Pro. I am having an intermittent problem with my current MZ-24 that I think is the TX but I am not 100% sure. My aileron channel is flaking out on two models, so I have to assume it's the TX, it does not happen very often so it's hard to pin down. With the problem being so intermittent I know sending back would be a waste of time.

So since I can transfer my models over to the Pro I decided to go for the new version since it has a larger TX battery (5000mah) and some new software. With all the Tower Hobby discounts and e-cash it was a decent price at around $360 with 3 receivers (2 6ch and 1 8ch). If it turns out not to be the TX at least I have a backup TX.

I thought I would not like the red look. Tower was not offering the traditional color. But after seeing it in person I love the look.
Posted by gquiring | Aug 21, 2016 @ 05:41 PM | 2,989 Views
I got the sad news earlier today that Ed Pochinski aka Edy P passed away. It was a surprise to me, I had spoken to Ed maybe a month ago, he was his normal self. He passed away from complications due to pneumonia.

Ed was a guy full of life and always had something positive to say. He loved buying airplanes but rarely flew them. We always busted his chops and he took it well. When I moved to SC about 4 years ago Ed kept an open line with me checking in every few weeks to see how I was doing.

I won't forget him, he along with Bob Mars and Mr C were special people who always entertained us at the local flying field.
Posted by gquiring | Jun 12, 2016 @ 01:09 PM | 2,156 Views
This is a photo from my Aether sailplane that I turned into a vinyl sticker. Here is the PNG file for anyone interested in making their own.
Posted by gquiring | Jun 05, 2016 @ 12:34 PM | 2,616 Views
I finally bought my own vinyl cutter this past week. I got the Silhouette Cameo and it's exactly what I wanted. Simple and not too expensive. I made this logo from a photo of my Elegant 2.5 meter and took the letter Q and took the tail off and replaced it with the sailplane.
Posted by gquiring | Mar 09, 2016 @ 11:09 PM | 3,015 Views
When I moved to SC I took down my server that was hosting a gallery of photos from the Thomas Edison field in NJ. A lot has changed in technology these past few years allowing me to put all those photos in the cloud. Hopefully this will bring back some good memories for anyone who ever flew there.












Crash Gallery
Posted by gquiring | Dec 08, 2015 @ 06:08 PM | 3,926 Views
I had a great maiden with my Grafas MAXi 3.5 M this week. It flew great. I'm really happy it flies so well because it was not a great build. Top Model is getting sloppy and using a bad elevator design for years now that has proven to be a failure. They also undersized the wing joiners which was a challenge to get to the right size. When you spend this kind of money on an ARF I expect better quality control.

I did a complete build thread over here:
Posted by gquiring | May 08, 2015 @ 08:24 AM | 4,034 Views
I finally got my DragonFly strong up in the air this past week. I ordered the kit from SoaringUSA almost a year ago. Overall the Valenta models ARF was superior to any Top Model ARF I have built. I powered this 3.5 meter sailplane with a Turnigy GliderDrive 3858 4.6 and YEP 80 ESC. The battery was a 4s 3000 Zippy. It does about 900 watts.

The DragonFly weighs 4.48 lbs and with battery weighs 5.26 lbs. The climb rate is almost vertical with this power setup. I have used GliderDrives in some of my other sailplanes and these motors are fantastic. For ~$35 I highly recommend these motors.

The radio setup is Hitec 225MG's for the elevator and rudder and Hitec 85MG's for flaps and ailerons. I used a Graupner MZ-24 with a vario sensor and a voltage dongle to monitor the battery.

The flaps on this model are huge. When you drop them 90 degrees the sailplane comes down dead slow and can be landed in a very small area. I recommend adding more throw on the elevator than what the documentation called for.

I hope the USA vendors start importing more Valenta models. I am very interested in seeing more of their sailplanes in my hanger :-)

I did a complete build thread over here:
Posted by gquiring | Aug 28, 2014 @ 10:32 AM | 5,596 Views
I received my Graupner MZ-24 radio. I am going to retire my Aurora 9 eventually. My main reason for switching was Hitec's lack of support for vario sensors and overall the A9 has been abandoned by them. It was a good radio for it's day.

My first day impressions are mixed. The build quality is excellent. I saw some older videos knocking the quality and switches, either the radio builds were improved or someone just dislikes Graupner.

I am tad disappointed with the voltage telemetry. Coming from the Aurora 9 it's sweet spot was monitoring the voltage of your Lipo. It was easy and was built into their receivers via the SPC port. The MZ-24 has a telemetry port but no voltage sensor for some receivers. And their voltage sensor only supports up to a 4s lipo! They have a homemade solution using a voltage divider circuit for their GR-12 RX's (the L versions do not support this). Why they don't make this sensor is beyond me. It requires ordering two resistors, a capacitor and a servo extension cable. It works but it's too Heathkit like for my tastes these days. Many modelers don't even have the electronics skill to make it. Graupner screwed up on this area big time. Graupner wants you to use their ESC's which support voltage and a lot more features but at a hefty price tag. I use YEP ESC's from Hobby King mostly because they work great and more importantly they don't ding your wallet.

The gimbals are silky smooth. The two sliders that are normally on the side of the radio have been moved to the rear embedded in the grips. I think this is going to let me try and use them. In the past all the sliders on the side were too easy to move, having them in the rear makes sense. Most of the switches are 3 position. And the radio by default comes with a 1s 4000 lipo.

Past that I don't have enough time on the radio to judge it's overall features.
Posted by gquiring | Nov 06, 2013 @ 04:54 PM | 8,644 Views
I moved last year and the club I now belong to had very few sailplane owners. Once I started flying my sailplanes at the field, the interest in sailplanes skyrocketed fairly quickly. Before long the peanut gallery started making comments about too many sailplanes. Next thing you know they coined it the "Sailplane Mafia". I decided to make a logo. The sailplane is my Elegant 700 and I used a Godfather font I found online.
Posted by gquiring | Oct 10, 2013 @ 01:07 PM | 6,601 Views
I got a better video of the Elegant. This is by far my favorite looking sailplane. I love the colors. It's very easy to see.

Elegant 700 RC Sailplane (5 min 6 sec)

Posted by gquiring | Oct 02, 2013 @ 07:01 PM | 5,749 Views
The maiden went well with no issues. I used the suggested balance point on the wing joiner. It flew really nice. I had a rookie camera crew and could not get a good video. Get ready for a roller coaster shaky video

Elegant 700 sailplane (2 min 26 sec)

Posted by gquiring | Sep 28, 2013 @ 07:41 AM | 6,640 Views
I have been wanting one of these for years. I found one recently on eBay and bought it. I used a KDA 36-10XL motor from Hobby King with a 12x8 folding prop from AeroCam. The ESC is a Yep 60 with a 3s 3000 lipo. I used Hitec 125MG's for flaps, Hitec 65MG's for ailerons and Hitec 85's for rudder and elevator. The radio is an Aurora 9.

During the build I decided to use carbon rods to support the music wire for the rudder and elevator. That made it much easier than running supports down the narrow boom. I also had to replace the included horns for the flaps, they were too small (height) causing a lot of slop.
Posted by gquiring | Aug 03, 2013 @ 07:18 PM | 6,415 Views
I am 100% done with Castle Creations smoking controllers. I had an ICE 75 wipe out my heli last year and just had a TBird 18 go up in my foamy. Why is it that my cheapo Turnigy and YEP ESC's last and last. And every freak'n Castle controller I ever owned is in a landfill somewhere. I can't count how many Phoenix controllers died on me over the years. I am so worried about their crap products I am grounding the rest of my planes that still have one until I can replace them with some reliable stuff.
Posted by gquiring | Jul 07, 2013 @ 06:35 AM | 6,521 Views
To celebrate the 4th this year I decided to try and tow an American flag with a UZI XXL which Hobby Lobby used to sell a few years ago. It was a bit tricky to get the flag to hang vertically.

I used a carbon rod in the leading edge of the flag and initially attached 4 earth magnets to the bottom of the flag (both bottom ends). The flag flew horizontally which is not what I wanted. I doubled up on the magnets and it was no better. I finally stuck two pieces of those lead (14 g) to bottom leading edge and it finally hung correctly. I mounted the tow hook on the CG of the lower wing.

Towing the American Flag with a RC Biplane (2 min 2 sec)

Posted by gquiring | Jun 25, 2013 @ 06:40 PM | 6,809 Views
I found a $5 amp meter on Hobby King's site that I used to measure how many amps my quad charger is pulling. Here is the video:

Amp meter from Hobby King (5 min 22 sec)

Posted by gquiring | May 31, 2013 @ 08:17 AM | 6,649 Views
I got my Omega 2.5 meter in the air this month. This was an old ARF that my local hobby shop had acquired from an estate sale. For $150 bucks I jumped on it.

The build went easy enough except for the hinging on the ailerons and flaps. The hinge was part of the sheeting and it was very stiff. I had to score the hinge line with a knife to loosen it up. I really liked that the pushrod guides were pre-installed. Routing the servo wires was difficult in the wing, the guide the provided was a tad small to get two sets of wires in there.

I used a YEP 60 ESC, KD 36-10XL HK motor, 12x8 prop and Hitec 85 for the vtail and Hitec 125MG's for the ailerons and flaps. I used a 3000 3S pack and it balanced perfectly.
Posted by gquiring | May 12, 2013 @ 02:11 PM | 8,599 Views
This is my newest addition. I built this sailplane during the winter months and started flying it in April 2013. It flies great. I used a KD 36-10XL motor from Hobby King, a YEP 60 amp ESC with 6 amp BEC, Graupner 12x6 prop, Hitec 65MG servos in the wing and Hitec 85's for rudder and elevator. The radio is a Hitec Aurora 9.

The build went well but Top Model made a couple of glaring design errors. The elevator is driven by a large bell crank that is supported by two balsa bushings that are pre-installed for you. The balsa wears out very quickly (in my case 7 flights) and then the elevator flops around with several inches of movement! It's easy enough to fix if you know of the problem before assembly. I did not and was not going to rip out the rudder to fix it. I used some thin G10 material on the outside of the fuse to support the carbon rod which goes through the bell crank.

Another issue are the flaps. The wing is only held down with two screws which means it does move slightly. If it does move during flight the flaps are so close to the fuselage they will jam. When I hinged my flaps I went as far out as possible which created about a 1/8" gap between the fuse.

The model CG's easily with a Turnigy 3000 3S pack. The reason I used the KD motor is it's heavier than a Turnigy equivalent. I hate using lead weight to balance. You will want to make sure you have a setting for 90 degree flaps. This sailplane is a real floater and I have used the flaps...Continue Reading
Posted by gquiring | Oct 04, 2012 @ 08:23 AM | 7,292 Views
A few years ago going to the Thomas Edison field in NJ was all about watching what Bob Marz and Mr C were going to do. These two guys were so much fun you did not even have to fly your own model, they were going to provide all the entertainment. I wanted to share a video I took back then that I recently found on my computer.

Some comedy at the local flying field (1 min 37 sec)