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Topics - Deerslayer

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General Discussion / LiPo Factory
« on: September 17, 2018, 08:41:39 AM »
I bet that most of us are unaware of how KiPos are manufactured. I found this tour of a LiPo factory to be very informative. (It takes awhile to get to the actual manufacturing process.)

And, if you liked that one, here is one showing how propellers are made - by the millions! This reminds me of my 4th Year Engineering project (1969/70), which involved resurrecting a dormant injection moulding machine and trying to get a computer model of the process working. At that time, prior to the common use of CNC machines, the intense design, development and manual creation of the dies meant that injection moulding was usually only economically practical for production of 150,000 or more units. Tool and Die Makers were at the top of the pyramid in plastics manufacturing operations.

Sunday, October 7 will be the next great Float Fly and Swap Meet at Deseronto.

There will be food available!

If you have stuff to sell, bring it out. There is no charge and unlimited space to set up.

Bring some cash, as there will some good stuff for sale. Some of us will have floats, planes, engines, etc. on display!

There will be a  50/50 draw!

The large field is quite suitable to fly small foamies only (so hand launching is likely essential).

FPV at KRCM / FPV Video - 9 SEP 2018
« on: September 11, 2018, 09:47:11 AM »
This short video shows flying FPV with the assistance of the Eagle Tree Vector flight controller/stablizer.


There are a great many parameters, modes and display options available with the Vector. I have this particular aircraft set up to use five Vector Modes. plus OFF. Depending upon which DX9 Flight Mode is enabled, the desired Vector Mode is then selected via one of two switches on the transmitter. In Flight Mode 1, Switch E selects OFF, GYRO or LOITER; in Flight Mode 2, Switch F selects OFF, RTH TEST or WAYPOINT. Of course, Bitchin' Betty announces switch positions, in addition to the OSD presenting the actual Vector Mode.

 Return To Home (RTH) will automatically be triggered if the Lemon receiver goes into Failsafe due to a loss of signal. I have tested this on several occasions by turning off the DX9; the aircraft climbs or descends to the pre-programmed altitude and returns to Home, then proceeds to climb or descend to a pre-selected altitude and circles about Home until .. forever, or it regains signal or the battery runs down!

RTH is interesting. The Vector only sees Receiver PCM outputs, it is unaware of the 2.4 GHz reception. How does it figure out that we have lost control contact? The receiver has been set such that, upon loss of signal, it drives the Throttle channel down to -130% or such. This low value cannot occur in normal flight, since the Throttle Travel is +100%,-100% and Trim is disabled (=0), as with all my electric aircraft. So the Vector goes into RTH. Much fun the first time, as you switch off the transmitter and watch as the aircraft changes direction and heads back Home, circles around like a pet dawg and waits for you to turn the box back on! It works!

In Loiter Mode, the aircraft immediately enters a pre-set circle of approximately 60 foot radius and maintains altitude, until it is released from Loiter, or ... well, you know ...

The OSD (On Screen Display) has many options, involving which items can be displayed and where on the screen each will appear. You can even set it up to present alternate displays during flight. I am still playing around with different combinations and appearances.

There are 2D and 3D Modes, with or without Heading Hold. I have used them but neither are currently set up for this plane. I use OFF, GYRO, LOITER, RTH Test and WAYPOINT, with the latter being to perform the stored Mission.

Apart from the 2 DX9 Flight Modes, each of which enables a specif switch to associated control Vector Modes and perhaps some other Mixes, I have the TOGA (Take Off / Go Around) Mode.

In TOGA, the Vector can be either OFF or in GYRO Mode, while the Throttle Stick is now used to manipulate Flaperons/Spoilerons (and a highly exponential Throttle Curve in its lower travel. Sort of a "partial Crow", as the plane has no flaps. Being a floater, this enables steep climbouts and high angle approaches for excellent short field performance, especially in rough conditions.

At any time, I can Tilt the camera via a transmitter Knob (not particularly useful) or detach the Rudder control and use the Rudder Stick movement to Pan the camera.

This aircraft uses 10 Mixes and 3 Flight Modes on the DX9, plus 5 Vector Modes. Lots of neat stuff!

The camera is a Foxeer Monster, with something like a 135 degree field of view. As a result, there is a major fisheye effect. Also, everything looks more distant and smaller than normal. This is typical of FPV cameras. You just have to get used to it.

The camera feed is merged with the Vector display and the combined video is transmitted at 5.8 GHz. The range is much less than the 2.4 GHz used by our radio control systems, and has no error correction. this video was recorded by the ground station - an Eachine 7 inch screen receiver with internal DVR. As such, the quality is fairly low, starting at 750p and degrading during transmission. It gets particularly poor if the aircraft is directly above the receiver or if it approaches cloud or the increasingly humid air that exists well below cloudbase.

The various aspects of the Vector can be set up via USB connection to a PC, using ET-supplied software. One can also download and display flight logs, even combining the GPS traces into Google earth. As well, you can plan an install a GPS-based mission with various Waypoints, cruising altitudes, specific actions to be taken at various Waypoints, and RTH. I have done this, and it is an amazing capability. Given a suitable camera, such as Mobius, that can record internally at high definition, pointed at a suitable angle, this can be an excellent mapper or searcher. Fly a grid, analyze the video in real time or later. My next FPV-specific plane will be set up with the FPV camera for piloting plus the Mobius for high quality recording. I may do that with the Penguin, as soon as I  "get around to it"!

Some production notes:

I am a fan of cheap and free stuff!

After much experimenting, I have discovered an excellent Open Source video editor called OpenShot.

I use VLC, a free video viewer that has some additional capabilities. One is the ability to repair and/or convert some video raw feeds. The Eachine DVP, like many cameras and other video devices, can create a .AVI file. Frequently, VLC sees a problem with a source file and unlike MovieMaker or many other programs, it doesn't just give up; rather, it fixes up the file, if possible and you can subsequently view it and Export as .MP4 file which OpenShot likes.

The audio was created by Audacity, a superb Open Source audio capturing/editing system. I record, edit and then Export the audio as a .WAV file which OpenShot can integrate with the video track.

General Discussion / Debbie Gary - an Airshow Super Star
« on: September 08, 2018, 07:09:03 PM »
I came across a reference to Debbie Gary recently. I have a very minor connection to her and thought I might mention a bit about her.

Who is she? A great lady, a top notch airshow performer and, for a brief time, one of my gliding instructors!

Back in 1972, as I was learning to fly gliders, a friend and I read an article in Flying magazine about Sugarbush Soaring over in Vermont and its two female instructers - Debbie Gary and Holly McAllister. Well, this was too interesting to pass up, so we took a week of vacation, hopped in my Datsun 240Z and set out. I was not yet at solo stage, Ray had been flying solo for about a year.  We had a great time, lots of flying,
 I soloed on flight #23 (my 6th one down there). I even managed to get a flight in the mountain wave later in the week. I can remember the entire week like it was yesterday.

I had a couple of flights with Debbie Gary. We watched her giving aerobatic instruction in a Citabria on several occasions, as well as flying a Pitts Special. An amazing talent!

Fast forward to the big airshow in Kingston in 1990. One of the performances was by the Ray-Bans sponsored team of Pitts Specials. Surprise! One of the pilots was Debbie Gary. I talked to her briefly, confirmed that she was who I thought she was and she recalled her early days of instructing at John Macone's Sugarbush Soaring.

Debbie has won many awards for her flying and other achievements in aviation. As well, she has instructed some of the best aerobatic pilots in the world - Sean Tucker being one of them!

This is a great video that you may enjoy. Listen for some of the names that show up!

K-Town 3D Throwdown

The second major 3D event for Kingston is coming up on Sept 29/30 at the KRCM field. Last year's Huckowe'en event was terrific and the fellows are chomping at the bit to make this one even better.Even if you don't fly 3D, this is a great event to watch. Totally informal, lots of "pushing the envelope", and great dun for everyone. The Great Canadian HuckFest, 2018 version, at Orillia Aero Modellers was the best yet, with the new ClusterHuck record climbing to 15 planes now! Here is a video that captures some of that particular portion of the big event:

Can this record be beaten? At Kingston? This September? We shall see ...

The officlal announcement, plus registration, other details and friendly banter are to be found over on RCCANUCKS at:

General Discussion / Field Charging Station
« on: August 13, 2018, 12:40:57 PM »
Wouldn't it be nice to have charging station at our field?

Well, here is a nifty setup that the Cornwall club has. It was created by a former member (recently deceased). Pictures are attached.

The solar panel is mounted on the roof of the clubhouse. The charging station holds one or more large lead acid batteries. Like some other organizations or individuals have done, they acquired these from Bell as that company replaced them with Li-Ion technology. So, they are really heavy duty batteries. The appropriate electronics then feed 12 volts to a rather innovative arrangement up top. Two bare wires run behind the vertical backboard, one is positive, the other is ground. The drilled holes allow you to simply clip onto the pair at any available opening. Note the ceramic floor tiles in place as a fire protection.

This is a very nice setup. They operate year round and have not had any need to supply generator power to supplant the solar plus battery combination.

Something for us to consider?

General Discussion / Remote Weather and Video Stations
« on: August 13, 2018, 07:17:08 AM »
We are fortunate to have a Member, Dave Fasken, a Ham operator and electronics hobbyist in our club, who took it upon himself to fabricate our weather station at the field. This is based upon an amateur radio link to a server system on the Internet; an licensed amateur radio operator is required to be its owner/sponsor. Dave, Wilf, Herman and perhaps some other Members are such.

Over several years, some of us have wished for, and discussed, the possibility of obtaining something similar for still or video coverage of part of our field. Apart from the anticipated expense, there is the issue of how it could be done.

Here is a bit of information which I picked up at the Cornwall Fun Fly this past weekend.

A fellow flyer brought out one of his weather stations to demonstrate. There are a couple of clubs in the Ottawa area that have installed them. The system consists of the measuring instruments, a small solar panel, a small lead acid battery and the associated Arduino-based electronics. This was mounted on a piece of conduit - very compact!

The communications method is via the cellular network. You dial up the number and you get a test message with weather details. Pretty slick! He monitors his remote stations over the cellular network. The cost of this setup is $520 per year, which is affordable to some RC clubs, especially where their membership may have long driving distances. He retains ownership, looks after replacing the battery, if needed, and handles any technical issues. The predominant cost is for the cellular account.
So, "What about video?". The answer is forthcoming, but first you may find his information to be of interest:


He has done that as an experiment. The issue is cost of the "smartphone" connection, as opposed to the bare-bones texting capability of his weather station. Even if you only do still shots, perhaps updated once or twice per minute, you still need this level of service. He priced out his complete package at approximately $1700 per year - well above what would be practical for an organization such as KRCM.

Now, there may be other approaches, such as through the amateur radio community. Or, if a site put in an Internet link, along with associated support equipment (battery, inverted, solar panel, etc.), something could be set up. It could still be something worth investigating, of someone has the inclination.

A few years ago, Mike Lucas of Zycom Technology here in Kingston offered to look into this, but it was never followed up on. Mike's son was a KRCM Member and I have known and dealt with Mike professionally beginning some 20+ years ago. He is the co-founder of that company.

General Discussion / Tariffs
« on: August 07, 2018, 05:08:39 PM »
The Trump tariffs on Chinese imported products are showing up in a lot of products we buy from the US. RMRC is a well known supplier of r/c gear. As a customer of theirs, I received the following notification. Others may be hearing from companies with whom they deal. Please post any notifications you may receive.


RMRC Statement Regarding Chinese Tariff Surcharge
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            Beginning on July 6, 2018, the US Government started imposing a 25% duty on a small subset of items and components that we import from China. These duties replace the existing duties on products, which previously already ranged between 0% and in excess of 12% depending on the item being imported.

Rather than imposing a fee on all FPV and RC products we sell, we are taking a more accurate and responsible approach. We feel charging a blanket fee is unfair to the customers who may be purchasing items made in other countries including the USA, purchasing the many items that are not covered by the 25% duty, or purchasing items that were imported and on the store shelves before the additional tariffs were added. We, therefore, are taking measures to make sure the prices of items are only increased if absolutely necessary.

Instead of charging our customers an additional fee on all items, we are taking the following measures:    Closely inspecting and researching every single incoming shipment to verify that the Harmonized Tariff Schedule (HTS) codes used by the brokers are 100% accurate. Often, if it isn’t clearly stated on the shipping invoice, brokers will pick HTS codes with mildly similar descriptions just because it is easier, but that often isn’t accurate. Examples of common errors for products that should not receive the additional 25% tariffs are lithium batteries, some sizes of brushless motors, cameras, antennas for video systems, video goggles, props, hand tools, and more. Some items that do receive the additional tariffs are ESC’s, RC transmitters and receivers, antennas for RC use, and more. Many of these items already had tariffs up to around 10%. Although some of our suppliers and manufacturers import items into the US themselves and then ship to us, we are verifying every single shipment that we ourselves are importing is filed with the correct HTS codes and the correct full values of the items.    
   We will only raise prices on the items that received the additional 25% duty, and even then only when absolutely necessary and as little as possible. As previously stated, we believe it is unethical and against the intent of the duties to charge a fee on all products, which may include products manufactured in the USA and other countries. Also, we will make every effort to absorb as much of these hopefully temporary fees as possible rather than pass them on to customers, even if it means that our profits will be temporarily reduced on some small number of products. It is inevitable that we will have to increase the prices on some items, but we will make every effort to avoid that rather than increasing the price.
It has always been our goal to have the best products at the fairest prices for our customers, and we are always looking for opportunities to keep our retail prices as low as possible so more people can enjoy this wonderful hobby we all love. Going forward we will continue to do all we can during this hopefully temporary time of increased duties to maintain our low prices.

Tim Stanfield
Ready Made RC, LLC, The Best in FPV Since 2009


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Plans, Projects, Building and Flying Tips / Snipping Tool - Windows 10
« on: August 03, 2018, 08:08:07 AM »
There may be a time when you would like to save a portion of your PC screen for later reference. This could be for documentation purposes, to save an interesting full or partial view of an application or a computer's screen to assist in resolving a technical issue or, as in a particular situation that I currently have, to pick up the settings of an attached piece of hardware (Vector flight controller, with its several screenfuls of parameters), before and after certain changes may have been made, in order to figure out what differences may exist.

I recently became aware of the Snipping Tool that exists on W10. Just click the little Windows icon (the Start Menu) and type into the box: Snipping Tool. You will be presented with the tool and can decide what/how you wish to save something that is presented on your screen, in one of several forms.


Related (sort of):

But, you say, I have a tablet or phone and would like to save a screenshot. How? Well, just press the Volume Down and Power buttons at the same time, hold them for a second, and your phone will take a screenshot. It'll show up in your Gallery app for you to share with whomever you wish!

For those of us who use Spektrum systems, there is a built in function which will capturethe transmitter's screen and store it as a BMP on the SD card. From there, you can pop the card into your PC, save the file or perhaps change it into a JPG for storage as documentation or to post or send as part of a troubleshooting effort.

I have done all of the above.

"A picture is worth a thousand words".
This technique can come in handy when you are trying to help someone else set up one of more functions on their radio. For instance, you show someone how to set up something that is new to them. As you proceed, you can grab a screenshot on the transmitter. Later, they can review it and use those settings as the starting point in setting something similar on a new model - or to set things back to the way they were before you messed around with it!

Buy, Sell, Trade or Give Away / Giant Scale Custom Plane for Sale
« on: August 02, 2018, 09:00:14 AM »
This would be a good way for someone to move up to a large plane, in the Giant Scale class, at minimal cost.

The Aero 120 is large sport plane of my own design, scaled up from a series of smaller, 40-sized ones. It has a Saito 120 4-stroke and high quality metal gear servos. Standard 5 channel radio and regular flight pack are all that is required.

This plane performs just like its 40-size little brothers, it can do all aerobatics and yet is gentle and trainer-like when desired. It has been flown at the Giant Scale events several times. It has a unique aileron/flaperon configuration which, when mixed to elevator, will yield extremely short takeoffs (more like a hop into the air!) and puddle-sized landings, as well as quick roll rate. You can fling it around like a much smaller airplane, or use it as a trainer. It flies beautifully with skis. This would be an excellent float plane, as well. It could easily tow a large banner.

It has never been bruised.

Asking $300, reasonable offers will be considered.

VIDEOS and PICTURES from KRCM Events and Activities / Dormoy Bathtub
« on: July 30, 2018, 10:59:24 AM »
Check this out!

Ken Gilmour has one; however, it's just a bit smaller, more suitable for one of his giant house cats - if he can teach them to fly. A fellow near Kingston had a full size one and Ken has a picture somewhere of the two planes together on the ground. Ken's has flown a couple of times many years ago and he is now refitting it for modern radio, etc. We hope to see it within the next month.

Float Flying at Deseronto / Float Flying Basics
« on: July 24, 2018, 08:21:43 AM »
Perhaps this is a good place to store some floats information, as some of us may be adding floats to existing land-based planes, or upgrading existing setup.

Atttached is the original RCM article by Mr. Cunningham, from several decades ago.

Please, folks, do something about this on your electric models before someone gets seriously injured!

Before instructing or helping anyone, why not take a minute to ensure that your client has a proper Throttle Cut set up, or help them to set it up. Prove it before flight!

 Wouldn't this be a good time to ensure that your power failsafe works properly, as well?

 Here is the proper way to set up Throttle Cut on Spektrum radios.  If you do not understand, or if you disagree with this, please contact me and we will upgrade it.  Taranis, Graupner, Futaba are also in common use at our field; perhaps others will add appropriate procedures.

 First, decide which common switch you plan to use for ALL of your models.

Set the Throttle Cut value to -100%. Spektrum has a default of -130%, but this is a very bad idea for electrics. Why? Some ESC's "auto-learn" the Throttle channel endpoints. They are not very consistent across brands; if your ESC "learns" -130% as the new zero point, as soon as you disengage the Throttle Cut, the motor may start! This has happened to me and to countless others that I know of.

Disable the Trim (set = 0) for Throttle. That will ensure that you cannot leave the throttle Trim advanced, release the Throttle Cut and have the motor come to life. Or, have inadvertently programmed your ESC to an undesired range.

Glow and Gas:
 Set things up such that activating Throttle Cut will drive the channel to your kill point. The -130% may be OK, with leaving the Throttle Trim enabled. With our IC engines, we tend to use Throttle Trim at least on some occasions, so you may want to leave its sensitivity at the default (setting = 5?) or somewhat less.

If someone wants help with this, PLEASE ask one of the Instructors or experienced pilots. This is a serious issue and everyone is responsible to ensure that injuries do not occur due to misunderstood technology or lack of attention.

Restraining aircraft is not just for starting!

How many time have you seen someone leave a model, particularly a foamie, sitting on a bench or table outside and then get blown off, possibly getting damaged? Or, worse yet, damaging someone else's property!

If you do have to leave a plane on a table, consider lying it upside down. That way, it is less likely to take off or blow off.

Another thing that many are unaware of is the sudden, severe gust caused by a thermal kicking off, usually from the parking lot. A couple of years ago, as I was taking my glider back to the truck, THREE of my aircraft which were on the ground - 2 foamies and a 40-size balsa were suddenly picked up, lifted over our vehicles and flown around the parking lot about 20 feet in the air, then plunked down upside down. Only minor damage to the 2 foamies, none to the bigger plane. The neighbours Fun Cub was carried around a bit on the ground. It was all I could do to hold onto my glider for a few seconds, on the tailgate, until things settled down. No damage was done to any vehicle.

This has happened many times. On another occasion, a large beach umbrella took off, flailed around in the air and broke my windshield. If that thing had hit someone, there would have been blood!

PLEASE, think about this and take some precautions.

Someone remarked that they thought you would only get this kind of thing on a hot summer day. Incorrect! In both of the incidents mentioned above, it was a cool day, light wind, but the low level atmosphere was moderately unstable. When the parking lot warmed the air, a thermal formed, reached the trigger temperature and a "bubble" or "column" of air suddenly rose. Surrounding air rushed in to take its place, its speed increased by flowing between the vehicles. That's how it happens, folks!   

I have seen full sized sailplanes, weighing upwards of 600 lbs, easily lifted from the ground by this - usually because they were not properly restrained and without having their dive brakes locked open.

If you have not heard of deer ticks and Lyme disease, you should become aware of this problem. As modellers, we spend time in areas where there is exposure to the problem, particularly if we venture into the brush. As well, there are pets around at the field, which can carry the tick to you, into your yard or vehicle and into your home. At least one pet that I know of has been bitten.

During an annual medical, my doctor discussed this, as he is aware that I live and play in the countryside. He removes about a half dozen deer ticks from people per week! Studies show that about 20% of ticks carry the Lyme bacteria. He showed me a small item that he keeps on his keychain. I have ordered one each for several family members. It is available here:,51555&p=67728

There are several fellow modellers whom I know that have suffered from varying degrees of Lyme disease. Fortunately, they recovered after some miserable and long weeks. I am appending a following segment of an article that a local resident supplied to our little newspaper. This individual has suffered extremely for perhaps 30 years, having contracted the disease long before it was recognized in this area. I will not go into details, but you do NOT want to experience ANY of this!

Here is the article (the author's name has been removed, but their effort to inform and warn others is greatly acknowledged and appreciated):


 It is tick season, folks. The cold winter apparently didn't make any difference - if anything the snow cover provided insulation for the eggs. The 'deer ticks' or black-legged ticks carry the Lyme bacteria. They can overwinter or travel on migrating birds, or animals or on the pets of Snow Birds returning from the U.S.
 Walking in the woods or long grass increases the chance that one will hitch a ride on you. They'll wander about on your body for a bit, before deciding to dig in.
 Putting your pant legs inside socks, wearing a hat and long sleeves help somewhat too.
Check your body if you possibly can when you come in from an outing. Try to catch them before they penetrate your skin. If you find one, lift it out gently with a tick lifter - or anything that resembles a tiny fork. Slide it under the body and lift and twist gently. Don't use tweezers if possible, as that squeezes the mouth parts.
 Go to emergency services, with the tick in a clean container. Ask for the tick to be tested and for you to receive the results. (It might take months).
Urgently request a single oral antibiotic preventive dose. Within 48 hours that is deemed a sufficient preventative.
 Do not accept the suggestion that you wait for the 'bull's eye rash' that can result some days later. It is not a guaranteed diagnostic tool and waiting simply allows the bacteria to spread in your body.
Recent reports have suggested that the Black- Legged Tick may also be carrying the "Powassan virus. It's a rare condition that produces symptoms similar to Lyme disease, but more severe, and there's no cure. The disease can lead to encephalitis and
meningitis, and give you permanent neurological issues afterward. And it can act much more quickly than Lyme disease, giving you symptoms within
hours of being bitten by a tick." (Country Life)
 Don't panic. Not all ticks are black-legged ticks, and not all black-legs carry the virus. But take prevention seriously and take action if you find one embedded in your loved ones.
[Editor: despite continuing misinformation, a bull’s eye rash does not always appear when a tick infects a human with Lyme-causing bacteria.]

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