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Posted by farquward | Dec 15, 2017 @ 10:43 AM | 1,544 Views
My humble fleet will grow by one as I've bought another 500. This one is a Blade 500 X, big brother to my 300 and 450 X's. I reckon now I'll have to decide of the two 500's, which will stay P & B and the other power my AS 350. Common sense would suggest the Trex be for the scale build and use the X for training and be the daily flyer. From the photos, it appears to have a very nice complement of spare parts and should remain serviceable for quite some time. It would be nice (hint) if HH brought back a "New and Improved" version like they did for the old 450 X.
So for now the plan is to use my spare AR7200BX and fly it as is, later on down the road upgrade the motor, ESC and servos. When it arrives, I'll post up some "as is" photos.
12/18/2017. The nice thing about plans is they can be changed. Picked up a "lightly used" AR7210BX for this one. Also the Scorpion HK 3226-900 has my eye and I think the HW 80a Platinum Pro V4 will pair nicely. Servos, that is the question. It seems the 500X uses a slightly smaller than standard size, but I've as of yet not been able to measure them. On hand are some Align DS515MG cyclic so I'll compare them when this one arrives. Also in stock/on hand are some new Align DS525MG's, the thought was to use these in the scale build but I'm re-thinking that and considering going BL in it. That would give me the 525's for cyclic and tail.
12/20/2017. I'll use the stock servos until they die and...Continue Reading
Posted by farquward | Sep 24, 2017 @ 01:53 PM | 2,031 Views
As most wives, mine likes to keep her babbles nice and shiny. She uses a commercially available home cleaning tub in between professional cleaning. So as the last tub had become used up, she asked if I wanted it. As it turns out, replacing the solvent with rubbing alcohol and setting screws and what not in the basket is a proven winner. Let them soak for a bit, set the basket on some sort of support (I bent a piece of solid # 12 AWG wire) to drip dry, wipe off remaining solvent and it's ready for loctite.
11/5/2017. Picked up some new tools. First up is a soldering station, a huge improvement over the pencil type I have been using since the beginning of recorded history. I've yet to use it in any real work, but I fired it up and tinned the tip in preparation of some pending items needing soldered. It heated up at warp speed and the temp is variable. It also has a finer tip compared to my old iron and a reel for the solder roll, a step into the next dimension. It has the highest rating from an independent consumer group and didn't break the bank either. Very pleased.
Next is a special tool for EC5 type connectors, and will work with the XT series as well. I got this as my EC5's will need to be pressed in from the front and the tried and true method of hammer and screwdriver will not work, these press in from the front. Enter the press, a simple hand vice. Bought on E Bay, the photos show how it works, but not why it works. It came, it will work just fine....Continue Reading
Posted by farquward | Sep 23, 2017 @ 01:18 PM | 2,119 Views
For quite some time, the last couple of years anyway, it's been my goal to get to the 500 class of machines. I found an EC 135 with Align 500 ESP mechanics, a TT and Align 4 blade head. The fuselage is rough, but (some) damage was disclosed by the seller. In pictures, the EC is well, blah. I hoped I'd warm up to it, but it's just plain ugly (IMHO) and with the damage this one has, it's going to hang in the garage. With only four choices for a fuselage (fiberglass/here in the States) I decided to go with another AS 350 B. First, I have to re-configure this 500 to a pod and boom, get it tuned and flying right before I ever consider putting it in a shell. The air frame it's self needs a few parts replaced, but is in overall good shape. Need to round up the missing parts to restore to P & B.
Not having any luck finding a 3 blade head, mine will be an experimental hybrid with 4 blades on top. Now to come up with a custom paint job and graphics. The hard part will be deciding if This is next after the Cal Fire is done, or if the smaller AS is next. Picture(s) when the new fuselage arrives.
9/28/2017. The new fuselage arrived late last night, so as promised here's a photo or two. My wife likes it so "Flying Tigers" it is. MY friend with a Trex 500 has said he has the parts I need to convert back to P & B, so when those are available, I can get this thing airworthy. I need to decide what to use for the FBL, the included unit didn't come with...Continue Reading
Posted by farquward | Sep 23, 2017 @ 12:53 PM | 2,090 Views
My Blade 450 X needed a suitable fuselage to join the fleet of scale birds in the hanger. Knowing that the tail boom would have to be straight, I decided on the AS 350 B from RC Aerodyne. Not a whole lot of selection these days, here in the states anyway. Preferring the fiberglass over other materials also cuts my options. With an MD 500 E & a UH-1 C already in the fleet, the AS 350 B seems the obvious choice. The only available paint is a News 9, a red and blue color scheme. It's bright with a nice clear coat, too bad the graphics aren't under that, but a good thing too as I can repaint if I chose to. Which of course is a consideration. Leaning heavily that way in fact. After all, what's the point of having the same thing as everyone else?
This shell is nicely detailed, with the hatches for engine access and so on already relieved. Adding rivets, of course. Below are a couple choices I'm considering for paint. Besides the windows, LG and horizontal fins it comes with a nice detail kit with antennas, handles and a nice set of News 9 KRTX Sky News graphics.
It needs a three blade main rotor, no? Picked up one, minor problem in the swash plate. It's built to have the elevator control rod attached to the rear, where the anti-rotation bar and bracket are while the X has the elevator control up front, the AR behind. I have a plan. I have an extra Align 450 swash on hand to cut off the AR arm, far in enough to have some material to file into a square shape....Continue Reading
Posted by farquward | Sep 08, 2017 @ 02:06 PM | 2,256 Views
My 450 class UH-1 is almost finished and I expect to have it in the air this year. Since the 450X was un-suitable for that build, I needed something it would work in, enter the AS 350. HH offers a 3 blade conversion for the 360 CFX, but some digging shows it's not compatible with the old X. That's too bad, it would have been a no brainer for the AStar. As these size fuselages are disappearing, I went ahead and bought one, the Blade fits perfect. So what to do about the three blade head? Copter X makes one (have the 5 blade kit for another project) so that's on the way. I'll collect goodies for the AStar a little at a time over this fall to be ready for a winter project. Right now the plan is for a Monster Energy paint job, but nothing is cut in stone just yet. I'd like to do a bit more detail on this one as well.
9/11/2017. A moment of silence..... OK, I found a deal too good to pass on, there's a 500 class EC-135 joining my fleet soon. I think this will be my last heli purchase, the 500 class is where I wanted to get to sooner or later. So it looks like I'll be flying this bad boy out at the local RC park, not my little slice of heaven. More details, and of course pictures once it arrives, I suspect 7 to 10 days from now.
9/16/2017. Tracking shows the EC in Vaughn NM. Getting pumped for it's arrival on the 20th. Asked ME for some clean shots of their AS 350, no reply. There's some sort of cartoon shark on the starboard side, but can't find a clear...Continue Reading
Posted by farquward | Aug 27, 2017 @ 02:35 PM | 1,971 Views
My friend Jim (Thanks Jim!) donated a Spirit Pro for my UH-1 and it arrived yesterday. I was pretty burned out, it was hot in Woodland and didn't play with it, but today.... I have downloaded the manual and software, maybe after I do some honey dos I'll get to start setting in up. I have a pair of Spektrum satellite receivers for it, hope to at least get started and bind it to my radio today, charge up some batteries for some morning flying tomorrow, the 230 and 300 are flying like a pair of champions.
829/2017.Updated the firmware from 2.2 to 2.4.3 today and got it bound to my Gen2 DX8. I centered the servos, cyclic and rudder, so far so good. Now to figure out where/how to mount it. This bird was designed for a much simpler Rx and gyro, not the FBL and satellites. Of course the satellites will be easy with their extensions, but a space for the Spirit is going to be more challenging. I may need to make a servo extension for the rudder servo and mount the Spirit up front.
8/30/2017. After sleeping on it, I'll make a shelf to sit just above the tail boom mount, typical to most 450's. I have a big slab of the plastic stuff cutting boards are made from, DFPT or something like that, that should work nicely. It cuts easily with a circular saw. A dry fit with the mock up frame shows plenty of room in the fuselage for this location.
12/24/2017. After a long spell of den remodel and replacing the less than par universal power window kit to a model specific kit in our...Continue Reading
Posted by farquward | Aug 27, 2017 @ 02:30 PM | 1,942 Views
I needed some way to safely transport my 300 X so I built this. It's made from scarp lumber I had on hand and stained with a cherry stain.
9/17/2017. You may have noticed, no handle. I had searched the local hardware stores for "D" rings, to no avail. The stock on hand was more fitting of a large tool box, not the size needed for this. While at a crafts store, I found some of the appropriate size, but they were just the rings, no way to fix to the box. I have some AL sheet stock so I cut a couple rectangles, notched a 2 X 4 and made some mounts. An extra shoulder strap was put to use. Inside, I added some plywood for a secure mount. A carabiner now keeps the lid securely closed. Also added a pad under the tail fin, fills the gap so the LG isn't stressed during transport.
10/14/2017. Made a modification to the case, added a strut to hold the lid open. Works like a champion, should have done this in the beginning....Continue Reading
Posted by farquward | Aug 27, 2017 @ 02:22 PM | 2,027 Views
We attended the Scale Masters, hosted by the Woodland/Davis RC Club. This was a three day event for scale helicopters. There was lots to look at and the people I met with the hosting club were welcoming, nice to talk to. Hamburgers and hot dogs were available all days along with chips and soft drinks. The club facilities are nice, at the main flight line a huge shade structure with several tables, chairs and power are available. The site is large, having many control line rings and space for helicopters in addition to the main flight line. Portapotties were clean and plentiful. It was hot Thursday and got hotter each day. Please enjoy the photos....Continue Reading
Posted by farquward | Aug 12, 2017 @ 11:54 AM | 2,533 Views
8/12/2017. On the way is the Tarot kit. After way too much back and forth I decided to get the kit my 450 size UH-1 was built for and stop trying to adapt something that would only lead to heart break. I searched and searched for the Align kit to no avail. I did find lots of clones but it seems most are TT now, even the FB kits. Hours upon hours of trying to unlock the code for parts, to get a belt drive for the real deal gave me a headache. I didn't want to get a clone that would require replacing nearly everything with better parts (Align). Many folks did recommend the Tarot, saying the quality of the parts is as good, if not better than the Align, so that's what I bought. Could have gone two ways, first get the FBL/TT model and a belt drive conversion, or the FB/belt and the FBL conversion. As I wanted to do a one stop purchase I went with the latter. The frame that I have (it appears to be a Tarot) is missing everything in as the main/drive gears, main shaft, linkages, servo nuts, FBL head and rotor blades, to replace these, well the cost was as much as a kit. The silver lining, all of my electronics will work.
I had even searched the classifieds, not only here but on a few other forums, found a couple RTF and BNF, but the owners either didn't answer my questions or were too proud of their machinery. The bare bones kit is really the way to go for me, looking forward to Monday and the start of the build.
8/13/2017. The kit arrives tomorrow so I'm...Continue Reading
Posted by farquward | May 13, 2017 @ 11:59 AM | 4,175 Views
Picked this up used from the classifieds here. Came with all the cables however the cable that monitors voltage had been cut from the in line adapter. Some searching led to a replacement for 17 bucks shipped. The new cable arrived yesterday so the unit is ready for install in the Huey, I'm really interested in monitoring the battery heat and voltage while it's in the air. Install and binding looks simple enough, you just have to face south, chant the secret words as you rub your tummy and pat your head doing the one legged stance from the karate kid. Easy peasy. I will get a second unit for the Hughes if this works as I hope.
8/8/2017. Ordered the RPM sensor for brushless motors. I'll now be able to monitor voltage, battery temperature and motor RPM from my Tx.
Posted by farquward | May 06, 2017 @ 12:31 PM | 5,169 Views
I've had this 300X for awhile now, after my first attempt at flight with it and stripping the cyclic servos it sat in the hanger. The servos repaired and the anti rotation bracket replaced, it was technically ready to go. But it sat there and was soon joined by a 300 CFX. It had it's own issues that I have yet to address, but this is about the X model.
After getting comfortable with the 230 S, I decided it was time. Time to do something with the 300 X, so new servos to replace the non-stock and also replace the RX/FBL which was also not a OEM item.
Why not the CFX, you may ask, fair question. First, the X is much easier to work on and second it's lighter. I had already removed the servos, so out with the Rx/FBL and in with new Spektrum stuff. I have the H3050MG cyclic and H3060MG tail servos along with an AR7210BX. I can see the look on your face. Why not just get a 270 CFX and be done with it? Good question. Here's the answer. I don't have any aspirations for 3D. Simple as that. And, follow the evolution, first came the 300 X followed by the CFX, only to be replaced by the 270. They're all basically the same, yet each is an improvement over the last. If your goal is 3D. Sure, I enjoy watching the guys and gals dance around like dragonfly's on crack, just not my thing.
The 230 is a fine machine and has been a valuable learning tool. But I feel ready for the next step to a proper CP heli with a belt driven tail. This is along the lines of my goal for a...Continue Reading
Posted by farquward | Mar 05, 2017 @ 01:40 PM | 5,292 Views
One of the harder problems to deal with is the rear mount. The shell often times is in the way making access to the necessary screws difficult if not impossible. Or that has been the case for me and trying to fit anything into a scale MD 500 shell in the 250 class. I developed this idea and wanted to share. I would be surprised if this hasn't been done before, but I've never ran across it. Hope you may find it useful.
Posted by farquward | Oct 08, 2016 @ 01:26 PM | 6,434 Views
For quite awhile, I've wanted to get an airbrush. Every time I would look to get one, I couldn't make up my mind, siphon or gravity? Single or dual action? So I never bought one. Now, with the inter-webs, you can research and make an informed decision. It has to be dual action and another feature I wanted was to be able to set the flow for consistent width lines. Sure, lots of practice and this would be second nature, but it'll be used for the project at hand, set aside then brought out again many months later for whatever new project. But yet, I couldn't decide on gravity or siphon, so I got both. Now here's why. The gravity fed will be used for fine detail work, or smaller areas whereas the siphon gun will handle the base coat and large areas. Both have multiple tips/needles to handle a variety of materials. Also ordered another water/oil separator, a quick disconnect, adaptors and some paint. A trip to Harbor Freight landed a cleaning pot, assorted cleaning brushes and the necessary fittings for my compressor air lines.
I've been watching several videos on Youtube and am looking forward to using these for my 450 size UH-1E. I'll be "learning" on the TH-57 project which is to be a Bell 206B as flown by the Training Air Wing 5 USMC. It will get the mechanics from a Blade 200 SRX.

10/10/2016. The air/oil separator should arrive today, so I whipped up a portable stand for that. As the "booth" could be anywhere, flexibility seems...Continue Reading
Posted by farquward | Sep 21, 2016 @ 12:51 PM | 7,114 Views
Building a Bell 206. Unknown maker but it seems to be nicely done outside of the factory built mounting box that leans 4* to port as it sits in the bird. Using a Blade 450X for mechanics. Building as is, no extra details, no navigation lights, no custom paint. The mechanics are first series 450X, so upgrades are in order, parts on hand.
Started to upgrade the old girl, new servos and motor. That's when I discovered I didn't have a straight cut 10t pinion for a 3.17mm shaft. Have an 11 for a slant cut, do I upgrade the main gear? Might as well. Need another HW 50a PP ESC so will order that today. Finished painting the mounting box and insides matte black. I noticed there's no chin or green house windows, may use paint to simulate. The N numbers are where the vents would go, no exhaust stacks. NBD as I think it will fly just fine anyway.
2/11/2018. Pulled the OEM main and swapped it for a late model slant cut w/10t pinion. Gearing remains as stock, but the new motor is 3600kv whereas the OEM was 3800, a small drop in overall head speed which will be fine. The new ESC is on the bench waiting for the connector to be soldered on. I discovered that a rotary file, in a ball shape is the way to go for drilling holes in FG. Nice, clean hole w/o any chipping of the gel coat/paint.
2/18/2018. There's some miscellaneous parts coming so I can test/tune in P&B configuration before final install in the fuselage. This airframe/mechanics were pulled from an MD 500...Continue Reading
Posted by farquward | Aug 26, 2016 @ 06:06 PM | 7,125 Views
So some discussion has been going on between Jim and I about stuffing a 230S into an MD500 shell. It will work. Here's a CF frame w/servos in the shell and the pictures that have blue tape show what I will be cutting to allow linkage clearance. To secure the frame to the shell, I think I'll use some 1/16th " ply attached where the LG would and screwed to the ply in the shell. Also, I made the tail feathers from old credit cards and the vertical fin from a 200 SRX (when that was the mechanics) and will most likely do the same for this one as it's much lighter than the included pieces.

8/27/16. Later today I'll add some discussion Jim and I have had. Anyone else interested in this, please feel free to join in.

Ok, taking the easy way on this, just visit the Scale Modeling Thread in micro heli's and go to post # 1443, it's on page 97 and it's in red print, can't miss it. Thanks Jim! rcnutrc (Tim) has joined in along with Jon_PDX and nagas. We'll get this sorted and flying in no time.

8/28/16. One idea that keeps popping up is lowering the frame to prevent cutting the dog house. It just occurred to me why this isn't a good idea. Unless you're making a custom main shaft, the rotor disk will be too low and that will result in very bad things happening when the cyclic gets busy. Due to our on going re- model, I get very little hobby time. My work shop is a disaster since we've needed the space for temp storage. Yeah, you got some cheese for my w(h)...Continue Reading
Posted by farquward | Aug 14, 2016 @ 04:48 PM | 6,469 Views
Moving away from the FP and into CP. My 450X will be the mechanics, along with upgraded cyclic servos, motor and ESC. I'm doing a Cal Fire scheme even though this isn't the same model UH-1.
8/27/16. Got the rivet making "tools" from Jim, thanks my friend! I'll practice with the TH-57 project. So it seems I now have three scale projects and a pair of sail boats for the winter. Cool! Now if I can just finish the house to my wife's satisfaction, I can get to work. Oh, forgot I have 2 new bodies for the cars that need paint, trim and so on. Good thing the shop is heated.
9/8/2016. Got a few minutes this morning while charging up the 230's batteries and checked the tail drive belt against a new tail shaft and it's a perfect fit. The included tail tubes are a good fit inside the 450's tail boom so the spare will be cut up into adapters. Good news for sure so the minor issues with the tail are now resolved. I'm looking forward to starting on this.
Made up my mind to keep it simple and build this as a fun fly scale. It's really too small for extravagant detail and while the purest would notice the main is turning the wrong way and the tail is on the wrong side, why re-invent the wheel? I'll do panel lines and rivets, try to do the wipers and other cabin exterior details.
Parts ordered today include a full Lynx tail box along with other CNC bits.
9/18/2016. Parts started trickling in yesterday, nice Al pieces from Blade to replace the plastic bits at...Continue Reading

Dx8

Posted by farquward | Jul 31, 2016 @ 11:31 AM | 6,665 Views
7/31/2016. So last Monday, I traded my Stampede and DX6i for a DX8. It's a Gen 1 in new condition and came with everything box and all. It also came with a carrying case, which most likely won't get much use, at least for now. I was able to program several of my helicopters into it without any problem even though I did it the old fashioned way w/o the SD card. I did try to upload some model files to the SD card but didn't succeed. Perhaps because I hadn't registered it? Speaking of which, I tried to however it had already been registered and I couldn't right away so I contacted the fellow I got it from and we soon had that issue corrected. So now it has the latest firmware, up graded from 3.0 to 3.01 and 2 of 3 200 SRX, both 230's my 300X along with my 300 CFX. Later I'll add the 450X.

So I've discovered Expo and telemetry. Could the expo be why my two 230's had different personalities? One was a BNF, the other the RTF and the latter seemed smoother. When flown with the DX8, #1 fly's just like #2. I've since loaded them both into the 8 and am using the DXe for my nano cps. I had wanted to use the e for Phoenix, but have limited success so far. Think I'll try to get my old 6i back as it worked well with the simulator.

Here's my take on the 8. More model memory is a huge advantage, 3 times that of the 6i. You also have more programming options which equals better control. I haven't tried any mixing or the telemetry yet but as I progress I can see where...Continue Reading
Posted by farquward | Jun 08, 2016 @ 02:17 PM | 7,489 Views
Doing some research for this build.

10/5 2016. This shell is going to be the test bed for a couple of skills I want to develop. Riveting and weathering. Bought two airbrushes and this will also be the canvas for those.
I have a plan to make this a removable front section, attached with magnets to the rest of the shell. I'll cut it apart then use the front half to make a template, then cut styrene into bulkheads which can be welded to the shell halves. A couple of small right triangles should keep the bulkheads true. The magnets will then be attached to the bulkheads. I happen to have a set of broken LG, (yeah, I know) that will make a set of locator pins to keep the halves aligned. I want to do this to make battery removal/install possible. Looks good on paper....
Looking at a couple of different options for insignias and other small details. Some can be easily made with a wet transfer decal while others would be better made in vinyl, Most likely will just get a vinyl cutter and do it myself. Why don't the ink jet printers have white ink?
Tonight is the scale modelers meeting at the Jimmy Doolittle Center. I'm going.
Posted by farquward | Apr 22, 2016 @ 01:07 PM | 7,260 Views
Since we've been back into R/C, the first things we got were cars, and I've never really gone into them. So today we'll bring the blog up to speed and share our cars. We have Traxxas Slash's, the 1/10th scale stadium trucks. The basic version, no BL motors two wheel drive, but we do run them on Lipo's. 4000mAh packs. Save for LCG chassis, gearing change and street tires, they're stock. In the past two years we've replaced some parts like spindles and other related items, but they're proving to be really tough. With the current gears they run around 38 to 40 mph and run like that for the entire battery, about 15 minutes. We give them plenty of time to cool down and check temperatures with an IR thermometer. Whenever something has broke, our LHS has it in stock so there's little down time. We've also amassed a good spare parts inventory and can now fix just about anything at the track.
Our track is made of plastic soda bottles painted fluorescent orange, filled with water and glued to 4" square boards. We run clockwise and on the front straight we turn in and go around the center mark on the far side, back to the front straight and around.
The motors are as strong as ever and routine cleaning and lubrication keeps them that way, along with letting them cool between batteries.
Asphalt is hard on tires! Even with the geometry set for the best handling, the left tires get worn fast. For now we're running right side tires on the left and haven't really...Continue Reading