The FPV slope soaring thread - Page 3 - RC Groups
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Oct 19, 2017, 02:40 AM
Llama
Llama_FPV's Avatar
Quote:
Originally Posted by surfimp
Fun air-to-air video with my son Josť Luis flying his Weasel-pro in close proximity... sometimes too close?

https://youtu.be/TdtfheRwLlw

Question: this camera is a Runcam Micro Swift 2. The image quality is pretty bad, anyone have suggestions for improving it? Like, adjusting focus and/or settings?

Thanks,
Steve

For focus you loosen the retaining ring then find the focal point, focus on something far like a obstacle or something at the distances you need. Don't focus on the bench at very close objects. Once you get the focal point you want to tighten the lock ring down, then loosen the lens out say 1/8-1/4 turn and re tight the lock ring that 1/8 turn so its gently against the shell. BE GENTLE the locking rings are notoriously flimsy on this series of cam. Then re-tighten both the lens and the lock ring back in that 1/8 turn that really snugs it put where you want it. Once I have it where I like it, I use a dab of hot blue to lock the lock ring to the body of the cam.

For settings you probably want to start with one of the pre-sets like outdoor and try thoos see if you like one more than another. I'm really not sure about that as i'm not as familiar with them yet.

You also want to go into the settings and under the options "white balance" I generally like to set this to "atw1" but you want to do this in the field, and point the cam at one of the more brightly lit areas and press the joystick down like a button. This saves that images relative brightness as a reference or something, anyways it really helps and I do that on every fpv cam I have which supports it. I have yet to play with the swift micro 2 but it's probably the same as that was a feature in older ones. I usually point it at the large white cement of my driveway, you may want to try both doing it off the field and perhaps the ocean sun reflection.


Thanks for this thread by the way, I have been wanting to get into soaring stuff for a while and I'm going to start but I need to figure out the right plane to start on. I understand the concept of start with less control and work the way up but I really don't have the funds to be buying a ton of planes for a while here. So I'd like to start with something durable, preferably foam as I'll probably be learning sloping off my roof and the though of coming back into a window, yeah I need foam.


Can you guys recommend some plane options, I'll waiting on an anemometer so I can give you guys an idea of the winds in question.
I am looking into a lot of the dream flight line of things but also this flytrap thing seems like good option the only concern there is that will be a scratch build which is tough for a first one perhaps. I'm also guessing I'll need a few tools or tape I may not have.

Another trouble/concern is that my Taranis is setup for a left stick that does not auto center which is what I need for quads but I'm getting the feeling it's not the norm for gliding. Also I'm going to have to learn to wire the receiver and setup the transmitter, Isn't there a Taranis for soaring thread around here somewhere?

Finally for the time being I am using PicaSim, is that a pretty good one or is there another sim I should consider?
Last edited by Llama_FPV; Oct 20, 2017 at 09:43 PM.
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Oct 19, 2017, 03:05 AM
Registered User
Daemon's Avatar
Quote:
Originally Posted by Llama_FPV
Another trouble/concern is that my Taranis is setup for a left stick that does not auto center which is what I need for quads but I'm getting the feeling it's not the norm for gliding. Also
Not sure where you got that impression. No, most sailplane pilots do not have their throttle stick centering spring enabled.
Surfimp does only for a very specific type of aerobatic flying so that he can deploy both camber and reflex.
We usually have the throttle stick mixed to either deploy full span camber, or flaperons, or flaps, or crow (flaps down, ailerons up) or even just spoilerons (both ailerons up). It d epends on the model but spring centering the throttle stick is rare.
Most often the throttle in top position is "off" (all surfaces centered).

My first FPV aircraft was a Multiplex Easy Glider Pro with no motor at all.
It was durable and remarkably agile. A very forgiving flyer (was not prone to tip stalls) but also reasonably quick.
For a pure mix of slope and thermal flying I think it's still a decent choice (can see the "up high, down low" vid on first page.
Unless you need to fly in extremely light air conditions I would choose it over the Radian, and
would stay away from the Radian Pro as it has demonstrated some weird flying quirks and unimpressive performance.
Oct 19, 2017, 10:15 AM
Piscine Promulgator
surfimp's Avatar
Well, in fairness, the dynamic flap setup - either with or without a spring centering throttle - is much more common in other places besides the US, and definitely not that rare or weird. It's been around since the late 90s.

It can be easily implemented on a Taranis or most other modern radios without using spring centering - you just add some deadband to the mid-stick position. Dawson has been flying this way for years and seems to like it fine.

With that said, on the Radian it's a moot point, as it has only rudder and elevator

If you're going to be flying in and out of windows ( ) then I'd probably be looking into something small. And checking with the landlord / HOA / insurance company

A Radian is 2m and wouldn't be my first choice for such tomfoolery. I would kindly suggest practicing a LOT on flat land before going that route. Good luck!
Oct 19, 2017, 11:11 AM
Registered User
parajared's Avatar
Quote:
Can you guys recommend some plane options, I'll waiting on an anemometer so I can give you guys an idea of the winds in question.
I am looking into a lot of the dream flight line of things but also this flytrap thing seems like good option the only concern there is that will be a scratch build which is tough for a first one perhaps. I'm also guessing I'll need a few tools or tape I may not have.
-I thought my Hobbyking Reverb was a really cool sloper but ultimately I ran into problems with the fiberglass fuselage damage and the fact that the best slope soaring sites in my area are very rocky thus the need for foam airplanes.

-I kinda recommend EPP flying wings like the Tek Sumo and Bonsai which are extremely sturdy/crash-resistant but they are also very one-dimensional in the fact that it's just bank an yank, no camber/reflex/flapperons/crow, no rudder control. Bonsai was more fun in that it flew fast and agile but had a more narrow flight envelope maybe 6mph- 15mph on my particular hill, getting blow backwards after that. Bonsai quickly takes a heavy flight performance penalty with the weight of a 12 gram pan servo and fpv gear on the nose but I wouldn't say it's completely improbable to make it work. Tek Sumo could very much easier handle the weight of FPV gear but would sink out in light lift compared to Bonsai albeit perform much better in heavier winds.

-I would attribute the same one-dimensional gripe about dihedral gliders. I thought the HK "mini-dlg" rudder glider sloped great but ultimately just rudder/elevator as the two inputs made it less fun than the "full house" gliders.

-I attempted to use the "Le Fish" glider kit from Leading Edge Gliders to very poor effect. Mine flew awful but dawsonh (who posted a few posts back) has one that flies amazing.

-I got a kick out of flying my Extra 300s on the slopes. My biggest gripe about my Extra is that it flies draggy/doesn't seem to gain the energy needed for those big air stunts and it flies sinky requiring a pretty good updraft to fly proper. I am willing to bet a 3D plane with a skinny fuse would slope okay.

- UMX Radian flies like a brick with the weight of a 5 gram camera on it, there's nothing "soaring" about the thing once the weight is added.

-2 channel Radian is very floaty and will slope soar on even a very minor slope, just the slightest updraft enough to keep her aloft. It's a very solid platform but ultimately my gripe about Radian is it's top speed. Diving slightly it tops out at 12mph and cruising it does 8mph (measured on ET Vector). If the wind picks up at all the Radian is quick to end up back in the trunk of the car.

-Ultimately I like the MPX Heron the best of what I've tried, the full-house controls allow for playing with camber/reflex ect... rudder is fun but I have a few gripes about rudder authority, I think the rudder doesn't have enough "grab" to it, wimpy yaw control IMO. Gripes about harder to land in soft compared to the Radian, more bobble to it, wants to come in "sporty". Ultimately the Heron flies in almost nearly as light of lift as the Radian the advantage being that you can fly with camber (both ailerons down) and fly (almost) like a Radian but when the wind picks up you can fly reflexed to a top speed of about 32mph without motor assistance or dive (depending on your AUW).

I've heard great things about the Dreamflight's lineup but never tried them personally. My concern with Dreamflight being the affinity to accidentally dip your FPV slope plane a tinch too low behind the slope and lose signal. The solution for which is to have your autopilot motor your airplane back to saftey or be suuper careful not to accidentally dip your FPV plane a tinch too low behind the slope. Dreamflight planes aren't made to accept motors.

I think the Volanex Phoenix looks kinda cool. You can fly 1600mm wingspan for the sporty stuff and insert some foamage for 2600mm wingspan and floaty thermal soaring or light wind slope stuff. Andrew Newton seems to like his but I'm honestly not sure if it's any good or not.
Oct 19, 2017, 11:24 AM
Registered User
parajared's Avatar
Quote:
So I'd like to start with something durable, preferably foam as I'll probably be learning sloping off my roof and the though of coming back into a window, yeah I need foam.
Oh sheesh! I missed that part. Make sure to post the videos when you are done!
Oct 19, 2017, 11:26 AM
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parajared's Avatar
Quote:
Today, 02:05 AM
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Daemon
Registered User
2am lol
Oct 19, 2017, 12:54 PM
Piscine Promulgator
surfimp's Avatar
The Radian is very similar to 1970s & 80s -vintage "gas bag" polyhedral floaters, in that its penetration in strong conditions is essentially nonexistent.

On the plus side, it can carry the extra weight of FPV gear with no issue, in fact I think mine flew better on the slope with the extra "ballast" of my original FPV rig (GoPro Hero2 and relatively big / heavy 100mW VTX).

Now that I've gone to the lighter pan-and-tilt with the tiny Runcam Micro Swift 2 and Tramp VTX, its ability to penetrate in moderate and strong conditions has definitely been reduced, though it does float nicely in light lift.

Mainly I like it because it's an extremely stable platform, with relatively little "yaw waggle" as seen on many flying wings and short-coupled FPV airframes. This makes it easy and comfortable to fly, and the low speed gives you a lot of time to think about what you want to do, stay oriented, and in control. It's also tremendously fun and relaxing... very close, I suspect, to what flying a paraglider would be like, at least in terms of the perspective you have while flying above the slope, the relative speed, etc. I dig it!
Oct 25, 2017, 02:53 PM
Piscine Promulgator
surfimp's Avatar
So, totally randomly and without any foreknowledge on my part, one of my FPV videos has been featured on the RCG homepage (???)

https://www.rcgroups.com/forums/show...r-to-Air-Video

Didn't see that coming, but hey, cool
Oct 26, 2017, 11:40 AM
Suspended Account
spring centered flaps are the business. I would use the same system on powered planes if I could, would be nice to have a computer radio with an alternative throttle slider like on the old hitec neons (but preferably higher resolution)

The ability to adjust camber and reflex dramatically and quickly can do really cool things with your AoA and air speed. The speed on a down-line can be adjusted by inducing drag across your flaps and elevator.

as for slope soaring with motors, unless youre in a very lush, wet, fire resistant climate, please dont. Most powered planes use LiPo batteries and are a huge fire risk, and many slopes are at a high risk for fire. It isnt worth avoiding a hike, exercise is good for you. You will also become a better pilot if you dont chicken out with the motor.
Last edited by mr.zagi5c; Oct 26, 2017 at 11:48 AM.
Oct 26, 2017, 01:15 PM
Registered User
parajared's Avatar
-motorless flying involves a frantic "scratch-fest" as we paraglider pilots call it to exploit the last bit of lift to try and top-land if the wind dies off. Nothing to say this necessarily makes you a better or worse pilot than the motored guy other than the fact that you know how to scratch. Scratching doesn't always work because sometimes the wind dies suddenly enough that there just isn't enough lift to get back up. If you throw your plane off the Sierra Priettas here in Prescott Az your plane is a going to be a gonner even if you have the slope soaring skills of a god during a wind die-off. So you are pretty much stuck flying something with a motor or stuck flying your motorless planes on hills that you can realistically hike down for a little walk-of-shame.

-there's nothing preventing you from using nimh or SLA chemistry on a motored slope plane. It's not like you are using the motor and need the energy density per weight savings.

-Personally I find more situations where I need to find the right camber or reflex and then hold that position than situations where I want this to snap back to center.
Last edited by parajared; Oct 26, 2017 at 01:49 PM. Reason: at second glance that "fun" comment ended up being really dumb
Oct 26, 2017, 01:57 PM
Piscine Promulgator
surfimp's Avatar
I'm not really a fan of lipos on the slope, but there's a risk of fire (from crashing) with any battery chemistry. The flying site at Los Banos burned a number of years ago due to a crash from a motorized plane with a NiMH pack... the summary is that any electrical source is a potential fire hazard and we need to take precautions regardless.

With time and experience it seems the bigger fire risk with lipos comes from abusing them in the charge or discharge cycles (especially in the old days when non-balancing charges were used), rather than specifically crash damage itself.

It's fascinating to me how _infrequently_ I read about quad pilots having lipos catch fire from crash damage. Some of those quads even have bottom-mounted batteries, where the battery itself becomes the literal landing gear for the quad. It could be that modern lipos are less volatile than the ones from a few years ago, I'm not sure, but the evidence I have been seeing leads me to believe that judicious avoidance of over-discharging is probably the most important. Not because an over-discharged lipos will, by itself, enter thermal runaway, but because the cell damage and significantly increased internal resistance incurred will make the battery much more volatile upon subsequent charge cycles, especially ones at greater than 1C charge rate.

But that's just my read in the situation and it may be incomplete. One challenge for slope FPV, then, is that much of the equipment presupposes the use of lipos, and trying to get your setup to run purely off NiMH or LiFe may be more difficult. Or not. Just an added factor to consider.
Oct 26, 2017, 07:50 PM
Just Toss It !!!
MATIN's Avatar
Quote:
Originally Posted by surfimp
With time and experience it seems the bigger fire risk with lipos comes from abusing them in the charge or discharge cycles (especially in the old days when non-balancing charges were used), rather than specifically crash damage itself.
This might be a diversion from the main subject of this thread, but I think its tangentially relevant as a follow up to Steve's comment above:

For personal and professional reasons I'm interested in hearing about cases where the crash of a Lipo powered glider started a fire.
Please post links here , or PM them to me, if you know of examples.

For years we have been trying to steer fellow slopers away from using Lipos in slope soaring and have discouraged their use.
But with the dwidling supply of Nimh batteries, it is becoming more and more difficult to not use Lipos.
Sadly I think the day may come when we will have few choices.

So I like to research Lipo fires caused by crashes to see if they are as prevalent as we think, and/or are led to believe, and if so, how they can be avoided and/or mitigated.

Disclosure: I personally have a grand total of 3 Lipo battery packs in my shop.... all below 500 mah... none of them in a glider ..... only one of them in a small electric foamy.
Last edited by MATIN; Oct 26, 2017 at 09:08 PM. Reason: It's always typos!
Oct 26, 2017, 09:18 PM
Registered User
wolfv's Avatar

safer Lithium batteries


from https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Lithium-ion_battery
Lithium iron phosphate (LiFePO4 or LFP) and lithium nickel manganese cobalt oxide (LiNiMnCoO2 or NMC) offer lower energy density, but longer lives and less likelihood of unfortunate events in real world use, (e.g., fire, explosion, ...).

from http://www.bbc.com/news/science-environment-41187824
Lithium battery with water-salt electrolyte ... did not ignite - even when punctured repeatedly with a nail.
ready for commercialization in about five years. (maybe)
Oct 26, 2017, 10:01 PM
Registered User
I hate lipos for rx batteries. One of the reasons is the safety issue. Everything in my fleet is eneloops.

Having said that, I have beaten the crap out of lipos. Particularly in helis. In one example I have bent a battery so bad it was shaped like the top of a TREX 450 canopy. Never had one go nuclear, knock in wood.

Interesting the curved lipo never puffed and still had good voltage.
Oct 26, 2017, 11:55 PM
Registered User
Daemon's Avatar
Quote:
Originally Posted by MATIN
[I]
For personal and professional reasons I'm interested in hearing about cases where the crash of a Lipo powered glider started a fire.
The implication of that question is that if you don't hear of any cases of lipo caused fires in slope gliders, then you
might draw the conclusion that they're safe to use in that application.
But if the vast majority of glider pilots still avoid using Lipos, then the sample size is too small to be statistically meaningful.
Even a relatively high percentage of practically nothing, is still practically nothing.

Here's why I still generally avoid and recommend against using them in real slope planes.
1. I have witnessed crashes (my own and others) of slope planes into rocky slopes that have physically destroyed NiMh packs. The worst
I've seen from a smashed NiMH pack or battery call was a short, and bunch of heat but almost never an open flame. It's not impossible to
start a fire with a NiMH short, but even in the worst case scenario it's not jetting a flame a foot out from the pack like a Lipo fire can do.
2. I have witnessed several crashes of Lipo powered aircraft (planes and quads) that have resulted in almost immediate fires.
A cell puncture leads to short, heat, and flammable gas jetting out from the pack. Sometimes the heat of the pack is enough for ignition,
and sometimes it takes a couple externally shorted wires. I've seen it both ways, and once one cell goes up, it usually takes the others with it in sequence.
But generally these have all happened on flat ground in not particularly windy conditions (since flying most powered aircraft in big winds
is not fun) with enough people around to take care of the fire immediately.
3. Any small fire started on a steep windy slope is a lot bigger problem than the same small fire started in an open/accessible field.

When you search for "lipo fire" you'll find that the vast majority of lipo fires are a result of charging mistakes (including trying to
charge previously crash damaged lipos), but change the search to "lipo fire crash" and you'll see plenty of burning aircraft too.
https://www.google.com/search?biw=19...ipo+fire+crash
https://www.youtube.com/results?sear...rash+lipo+fire

Having said all that, I don't really have an issue with someone using a small Lipo in a Radian in light air conditions because the pack
is pretty well buried inside the middle of the fuse, and the plane is simply not fast enough to turn itself into rubble and smash
the pack directly against a rock. The same cannot be said of many other slope sailplanes.

And yes.. LiFe cells are *generally* harder to get to burn with physical damage (maybe as hard
as NiMH), although they will discharge *a lot* faster, so a dead short of the wires is much more likely to be hot enough to burn.
Good quality LiIon cells (real Sanyo/Panasonic 18650g's and such) have a bunch of built in
protection against shorts and overheating, and can probably
be made to work in a sailplane safely and will power a low amp motor.
Cheap LiIon cells will lack these protections and they will eventually burn if you short them.
These are the ones most often found blowing up in vaper's pockets and such.
Last edited by Daemon; Oct 27, 2017 at 04:11 PM.


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