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Topics - Deerslayer

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This Week at the Toyground! - Who's Flying Today? / Tuesday
« on: March 25, 2019, 06:18:31 PM »
Weather looks good.

Does anyone know if the road is clear now? Driving across the "lawn" would seem to no longer be an option, unless you have a Monster Truck or a good friend with a bulldozer or crane to extract you.

VIDEOS and PICTURES from KRCM Events and Activities / Wilf's range EX
« on: March 22, 2019, 11:43:12 AM »
Spring has sprung, and out from the Wilf's Lair emerges a new FPV plane! This one is the Ranger EX, what we think is an ideal FPV plane. In fact, Wilf forced me to order one the day after this video was taken.

Wilf has a 4K camera mounted on a gimbal system beneath the nose. As well, he hasa Runcam mounted on top for the actual FPV piloting. Soon to be installed is the iNav Flight Controller but for the initial flights, it is just an ordinary receiver in use - one step at a time, a wise approach.

This was a great Spring flying day, albeit a bit breezy and turbulent, as you can see. The iNav will take care of that for this lightly loaded aircraft.


VIDEOS and PICTURES from KRCM Events and Activities / Sonicmodell HD
« on: March 21, 2019, 06:14:41 PM »
I like flying wings! I have a few, and I have had many others during my 40 years of rc flying. A few of those have been taken out of a box, but most are of my own creation and have showed up in many forms and sizes.

 This one, obtained from Banggood at a very reasonable price, has proven to be an excellent flyer. Mine is fairly heavy for a plane that is, at least currently, not going to be for FPV use. That is because I used what I had on hand to equip it, some sort of a Rimfire motor which is probably way over-powered for this application and a heavy load of batteries at the extreme nose to set a reasonable C of G placement - as is critical with flying wings. Several have come in a box, but most have been my own creations in various sizes and shapes.

I have learned, through some bungled launches, that this plane needs a really good toss, otherwise the motor torque plus prop rotational drag will quickly snap it to the left, irrecoverably. Yes, thanks to Harold, I even have a video of one of "those" launches. However, I do not feel compelled to include that embarrassing little clip in the video I am submitting here!

In an upcoming video, I will explain and demonstrate the Auto Launch system which I developed, using the DX9's Sequencer capability. Meanwhile, I hope you enjoy this little segment:

General Discussion / What does 22ms mean? (in Spektrumspeak)
« on: March 16, 2019, 07:05:14 AM »
When you Bind a model, your Spektrum radio (most of them, I think) will show and announce (if Bitchin' Betty is available and awake) the protocol being used (DSM2 or DSMX) and a time (11 or 22 milliseconds). So what? Well, for the curious, here is the explanation of what the numbers mean and how the Spektrum folks pack the available channels into the available slots. For most of us, this would never matter. However, for something of extremely high performance, such as a jet or 3D monster, one does care, as you don't put an critical item that demands extremely quick response to commands onto one of the upper channels.

The following a response from Andy Kunz, the Lead Developer from Spektrum, in answer to a question from a viewer (like me). This had to do with converting a model from one transmitter to another.

The Spektrum protocol puts out a packet of data every 11ms. The packet holds 7 channels.

In 22ms mode, that means there are 7 x 2 slots available, 14 channels total. The first 6 of each packet are channels 1-12, and the last slot is used for the X-Plus channels (which makes it very obvious why they are up to 88ms latency).

In 11ms mode, there are 4 channels that are sent every time, and the remaining 6 channels come in 3's. It sends out 4 channels + 3 channels, then the next packet has the same 4 channels + 3 different channels. 4 + 3 + 3 = 10 channels max in 11ms mode.

The DX18 generates its data as 12 channels + 8 channels, where channels 11 & 12 are the same as X+1/2.

The DX20 generates its data as 12 + 8 also, but channels 11 & 12 are configured independently.

This is what the "DX18 Compatibility Mode" option is for. It lets you pick 10+8 or 12+8 mode.

Because the iX12 can import files from either one, or from a lower end DX, it can generate either mode as well. It's important to understand what you are getting the configuration from to know how it will behave. If you import from a DX18 or lower, it will most likely be in DX18 Compatibility Mode, generating channels 1-10 normally and using X-Plus data for 11 & 12. If you import from a DX20, if it's in 20-channel mode then channels 1-12 will be as you expected. It is done this way because the purpose of importing a file from another type of radio is to make it so that the new radio controls the old model exactly the same way. You want your new radio to fly the plane the same way as the old radio, not change channel assignments on you.

Opalix didn't understand that part and assumed that the DX8 file he imported would automatically go into the 20-channel mode. It doesn't do that because a DX8 works in DX18-compatibility mode for channel generation (but you can't get there on the menu). He's got it all straight now (we've been working with him for several weeks through Product Support and PMs).


Here is a somewhat novel use which I am employing on some flying wings to enable an easy and worry-free hand launch. The actual programming details, while not terribly difficult, are not detailed; rather, if someone wishes to see what I have done and to try something for themselves, just ask.


I have had my DX9 for 5 or more years now and gradually figured out most of its capabilities, why and how to employ them. All sorts of Mixes, Flight Modes, reassigning Channels, etc. One big mystery has been the Sequencer, a feature that is fairly common across several of the Spektrum products, such as the DX10 and DX9. Other Tx brands have similar capabilities, more or less complicated to implement. What I will describe is applicable there, too.

I have only ever seen Sequencing used or referred to in the application of, say, cycling landing gear doors and gear on scale planes (think Mustang) or on a scale sequencial startup of a 4-engine big bomber. Impressive, but I don't have either of those needs. But, I do have another problem which this may solve.

The Problem

I have owned, designed, built or bought many flying wings and deltas over several decades. They have one thing in common - they have to be hand launched (or via another of my techniques, from the arms of a lawnchair or a purpose-built launching rack - videos are posted elsewhere in the Forum). For hand launching, there are at least 3 common techniques, two of which I am comfortable with and use depending upon which plane is being launched. The common factor in hand launching is the need to coordinate Throttle and attitude of the plane prior to, during and at the end of the "fling", then to quickly get the launching hand onto the stick (in my case, it will be the Elevon stick) to follow through or sort out the tricky initial part of the flight - very quickly!

Some planes, such as the Optera or F-22 Evolution with AS3X, mostly look after things for you, provided you select its Launch mode. Here, the plane will be in self-levelling and I think that they may even hide some Elevon mixing with Throttle as well. This is nice, you hold the plane, advance the Throttle, fling it and watch it fly out and ascend slowly, allowing lots of time to get all hands on deck, release the self-levelling mode if desired and that's it!

Recently, I got a Sonicmodell HD flying wing which is a great flyer but has given me grief in launching. I have had several bad launches, minor repairs to the detachable nose and had developed a lot of apprehension regarding the plane. Then, I watched a video from a fellow in Indonesia where he had a wing that required a real hard toss - he used both hands and the Tx was sitting on the ground! He would do something via the Tx, set it down, fling the wing, watch it climb out, pick up the Tx and take over. Sweet! I think he had an iNav Flight Controller on board which has a Self Launch mode Could I make this happen with my DX9 and other stabilizers?

The Solution

Last year, I bought a couple of the BGAOLE  Flight Controllers, sold through Banggood. These are great little units which have 3 modes - Off, Balance (self-levelling) and Return To Home (RTH). As with my Guardian, AS3X, and Vector experience, the self-levelling was not of great interest, until now.

I now have what I call Auto Launch set up on my primary test wing, as well as the problematic one. Immediate success on the test wing, and immediate success later when I applied it to the Sonicmodell HD.

The DX9 supports 2 Sequencers, I think that the DX18 supports more and I am unsure how many are supported by other specific models in the product line. I only need one.

I set up a Sequence to operate the Throttle if my Launch Flight Mode is selected and depending upon the state of the "I" momentary button. I have always had a habit of giving the Throttle a quick jog, as part of my pre-launch preparation, just to ensue that things feel right, then applying Throttle during the fling. Very embarrassing to throw away an airplane, only to find that the motor is locked out or the battery is cooked.  :o My motor control has sometimes caused me problems, I think, as ideally one would carefully and consistently apply Throttle as the plane is accelerating from zero to its minimum control speed and beyond. I am a bit rough in that respect.

So, I am ready to fling with Launch Mlight Mode selected, Tx secured with my left hand and neck strap as usual. Press/Hold the "I" (Launch) button. The Sequencer activates and continues for the next (2 seconds or whatever I have set up) running through its pattern, unless I release the button. The Throttle quickly advances to perhaps 60%, then cuts off (think of a sawtooth with a ramp up and then a vertical drop). Then, there is a pause (I think of it as a 1,2 quick count) as I begin the toss. Sometime during my toss, the Throttle will again advance, smoothly, not as a jump to the firewall to whatever I have preset and then hold at that point until I release the Launch button. Have you ever hand launched something, seen things start to go wrong and been slow to cut the power before disaster struck? I have! At any time that the Launch button is released, the Sequencer chops the throttle to Zero and.and release control. Of course, you may have the Throttle stick partly advanced so that there is a smooth transition from Launch to Cruise setting.

OK, so the plane is in flight and you may be ready to take over. There is one more thing. The BG, or whatever flight Controller/Stabilizer is in use has its self-levelling mode, so use it. You could turn it on before Launch, then remember to turn it off if you suddenly feel the need to get more control during the first couple of seconds of flight. To make life easier, I set up a Mix which activates when the Launch button is pressed that invokes self-levelling as well as enabling the Sequencer. So, the launch pretty much looks after itself, controlling power and stabilizing flight despite turbulence, a bad toss, or slowness of the pilot to respond to some condition. Very relaxing!

On key thing that I learned was the technique of determining and setting the "level" reference to allow all of this to happen. It appears that for the BG, the ability of setting "level" is best use for calibrating, not for setting a very large base angle. Flying wings typically have a rather high angle of attack for slow flight, at least. So, to enable a climb, I wanted the BG to see "level" as an angle of incidence (the reference to ground) that is somewhat higher than the angle of attack required to fly and climb. I set the BG's "level" to its horixontal axis, then mounted it at approximately 15 degrees nose down on the plane. That way, it would try to keep the plane's angle of incidence at 15 degrees. I used a couple of the wedge-shaped pieces of balsa trailing edge stock (measures at about 8 degrees angle) glued together to achieve this. I had a couple of other wedges available, as the BG and the wedges are all Velcroed to the aircraft. It worked perfectly the first time - perhaps a new record for me!

I hope that this rather lengthy story may inspire someone else to look into more the the features of the incredible equipment that we have in our possession and new ways of using the features.

General Discussion / "Rocket" launching, sort of SpaceX style.
« on: February 26, 2019, 11:48:16 AM »
Some of the more fortunate amongst us have witnessed and been amused by some of Flypaper's and my attempts to create VTOL contraptions. In fact, I wasted a good part of the summer a couple of years ago on this effort. Meanwhile, Gord did much better with his Pogos. Eventually, he bought a VTOL Convergence and it worked fairly well, right up until it didn't! We then each bought X-Verts and they work very well. I still fly mine; Gord's was auctioned off to another KRCM Member to enjoy.

VTOLs, like flying wings, hold a soft spot in my heart. Perhaps the ultimate VTOL is the SpaceX launch and retrieval system. It is amazing what they can do, launching a vehicle, then returning the boosters for reuse. The navigation, aerodynamics and dynamics involved are mind-boggling.

Well, here is a completely different approach to VTOL work. I don't think that this really meets the purist's definition of a "rocket", as there is no fire and smoke, but it sure isn't an airplane or sailplane. He makes it look like one of those forehead-slapping, why-didn't-I-think-of-that things. Everything about this is simple, from the Mobius camera through to the motors and flight controller. The complex part is his ideas being transformed into firmware to control it all. Meanwhile, try this little experiment at home: Take a stick, throw it virtically up into the air, catch it with just the palm of your hand, stabilize it and lower your hand with the stick to the ground. Pretty simple, eh?

I can't wait for his updates to appear. Meanwhile, climb aboard:

Float Flying at Deseronto / DRFC 2019 Membership
« on: February 24, 2019, 06:10:02 AM »
A new float-flying year is fast approaching! Soon, the hard water will soften up and we must be ready.

Perhaps Jamie and Walter could send out a note to the current Members of DRFC noting their status and reminding any of us that 2019 memberships are due? After all, the outfit needs money to fuel up that monster engine on the rescue/retrieval ship! Not that any of us plan to really need it this year, right?

This Week at the Toyground! - Who's Flying Today? / This week
« on: February 21, 2019, 12:34:56 PM »
 I will clean this up every few days, sort of weekly. Gary

VIDEOS and PICTURES from KRCM Events and Activities / Wing Launcher
« on: January 27, 2019, 09:23:32 AM »
I just finished cobbling up a short video showing this contraption in action and being used by one of my $Tree flying wings. The launch shown here is a tad on the weak side, due to the battery being not fully charged. Subsequent launches were more dramatic.

It took about 15 minutes to create the launcher. It partially disassembles and I am a happy camper. This is an improvement on my armchair launches or hand launches and will allow sitting down for FPV launch or for someone who has a disability and may no be able to manage otherwise. Or, for folks who are just plain laid back and lazy.

I used 3/4" plastic pipe, some T's and a couple of 45 degree couplings. No glue - I just drilled holes for a small screw at each joint, except for the ones where the verticals go into the bottom support. That way, I can pop those out and shove the three sections into the car. Elsewhere, someone did much the same but instead of using the 45 degree couplings, he bent the verticals to make a 70 degree angle. I figured my way was simpler and more suitable in windy conditions, to try to prevent blowback of the wing. Regardless, everything can be easily changed, if necessary.

Announcement regarding Training Nights will be posted by our Chief Flight Instructor, Jay Kingston,  in early Spring. Stay tuned!

To fly at the KRCM field, you must either have your Wings (refer to our manual, posted in here) or be flying under the supervision of an experienced pilot.

Meanwhile, 2019 MAAC and KRCM Memberships are due.

General Discussion / Modelling in Aerodynamic Research
« on: January 09, 2019, 09:29:15 AM »
Here is an excellent NASA document which I found in another forum. If you find it too lengthy or difficult to understand, just enjoy the pretty pictures!

General Discussion / It goes One Hundred Miles Per Hour
« on: January 01, 2019, 11:53:38 AM »
Fortunately, we haven't had one of these arrive at the Toyground in a long, long time!

VIDEOS and PICTURES from KRCM Events and Activities / Pogo 2018
« on: December 24, 2018, 03:48:22 PM »
Did someone say there was a Flypaper Foamy Challenge underway? (Reg?)

A decade or more ago, my friend Gord. a.k.a. Flypaper, built an electric Pogo. It flew well but never did achieve vertical landing. I was nevertheless impressed and so I built a larger one of Coroplast, powered by a .30 or so glow engine. Like Gord's, it flew well but mine had no hope of even standing vertically long enough to take off nicely, due to engine vibration and inadequate engine acceleration compared to an electric system. Over the years, Gord produced one or two more electric Pogos, one of which even folded up for transport in the Flypaper Express. I think that Dwayne obtained the last one. Gord was quite successful in takeoffs and I witnessed the occasional vertical landing as well,

So, time marches on (too fast, it seems).

Too much idle time plus some uncommitted hardware and a new source of exceedingly cheap Depron means- what to do?
Well, a Pogo wannabe emerged and off we go to the Toyground where Dwayne was lurking beside the nice warm stove, ready to video my attempts at miniature aviation. Here is the result:

At this time, the Pogo has been revamped a bit, some lessons have been learned and we shall try again in a day or two. As for the Vertical part of VTOL, well the TO part is promising but the odds are stacked against the L part. But, we shall see ...

VIDEOS and PICTURES from KRCM Events and Activities / Two New Foamy's
« on: December 17, 2018, 02:50:05 PM »

The Flypaper Challenge is well under way. Reg now has a considerable lead. Here is the evidence!

He has to stop building WHITE flying objects for winter flying, it makes it too difficult for us to enjoy the full viewing experience. Oh well, the poor
fellow has a good time - as you can see here.

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