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Topics - Deerslayer

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On a beautiful post-Groundhog Day afternoon, the infamous Tree Cub once again made an impressive appearance. It somehow reminds of the song, The Cat Came Back (the very next day).

There was some nice flying by both Harold and Dwayne, while I struggled to aim my Handycam in the general direction of the action. Most of time I was shooting blind, as the extremely bright day, extremely darkened glasses, and LCD screen on the camera, all conspired against me. Point and shoot was pretty much the skill portion of the effort.  Future work will be done via the new helmet cam arrangement that I just set up, it works for the Handycam, Mobius or whatever else is appropriate.

Meanwhile, here is my best effort for that day:

Plans, Projects, Building and Flying Tips / The Utimate Hot Glue Hinge?
« on: February 06, 2020, 04:06:00 PM »
I have received the occasional respectful, even curious, comments about the hinges on several of my foam creations. Here is a video which demonstrates the technique involved.
The hot knife shown here is one I picked up at Michaels years ago. Note: Before venturing into that place, go to their website and you may be able to grab a coupon to save, say, 40% or so. To make my knife more versatile, I have a standard light dimmer ahead of the hot knife itself. That allows some degree of control over the heat output. When cutting foam with a hot knife, you may choose to use a steel rule or thin plywood piece as your straight edge. Using a wooden guide, the temperature may not vary as much, especially during long cuts, as the wood is an insulator whereas the steel rule is conductive and will be cooling the blade.

VIDEOS and PICTURES from KRCM Events and Activities / Tree Cub !
« on: February 03, 2020, 07:43:57 AM »
How does this thing keep on going? No one really knows, although Harold thinks he does. The poor thing has spent a couple of months in a tree overlooking Deseronto harbour, has had more scares than a little kid on their first Hallowe'en night, has had several of its wigglers replaced, a never-ending stream of hot glue, a major fracture of its wing, layer upon layer of "cosmetic" paint, casually thrown into the back of its owner's Fix Or Repair Daily (FORD) truck, etc. Yet, it just keeps coming back for more!

Have a look:

Well, after some trials and tribulations, I really have gotten the Sonic HD sorted out. Short version is that I bought it bare bones, stuck in a motor that I had lying around that looked like it might be suitable, ended up stuffing two 2200 mah batteries up front to give a reasonable G of G and went flying last March.

This plane is a beauty to fly. As others have previously found, it can be a real bitch to launch. Same here! Many disastrous launches, with and without stabilizer, lots of repairs to nose cone (it comes with a spare, plus the clear one for FPV, if desired). I got fed up, so I hung it up in the Cave until a week ago, then I suddenly decided to either scrap it or try something completely different.

I put a much smaller motor and prop, single 2200 mah battery, a little 30g weight up in the nose and gave her a fling. Excellent! A fluke? Let's see ...
try again ... and again ... Yay! Outstanding. no need to even enable the stabilizer for launches.

Many flights later, this as become my latest declared "favorite" airplane. Another is now on order from Banggood ... just in case.

Meanwhile, I am back to doing lots of videos. Some time ago, I mounted the Sony Handycam on a hard hat and that worked out fairly well. So, what about the Mobius? I stuck a piece of Velcro onto the peak of one of the dozens of baseball caps lying around home. The Mobius lines up exactly where I am looking and the video is far more stable than any handheld arrangement I have tried. I wish there was a zoom feature, even 2:1. but you can't have everything. Alternatively, I wish that Openshot, the video editor I use, could do a digital zoom processing; there was a claim that it can, but I have not found out how, at least so far.

Here is a bit of footage of my "favorite" plane in action at the Toyground on a beautiful winter day:

Plans, Projects, Building and Flying Tips / Magic repair stuff
« on: January 26, 2020, 06:02:13 AM »
I just came up a wonderful idea! At least I think it is  original, but it could be a latent memory, I suppose. I think I deserve the Nobel "Piece" Prize for this (little pun there, in case you missed it).

I had a plane that encountered a hard object and suffered scraping and gouging outboard on the wing. Some bits of foam were missing or permanently compressed, so it would require building up with something that was strong, light, sandable and paint worthy.

Two materials: light spackling compound and polyurethane glue (Gorilla glue or other brand). Spackling has water in it; water is the accelerant and foaming agent for polyurethane glue. A perfect match.

Put a dab of spackling onto something. Add a drop of the glue. The ratio is minimal glue to spackle. Mix thoroughly. Apply to the affected area with a spatula, broken prop or credit card, squeeze it into any crack and build it up just a bit for now. Do not be overly generous, as this mixture will expand somewhat. You will have a few minutes of working time before the mixture starts to stiffen.

Wait a few minutes. Notice the expansion. Go back and press it down some, it takes awhile to become really hard.  Don't worry about getting things perfectly even. 

Now, or perhaps in a little while, make up another small batch. Apply it to build up more, if needed. Again, wait, etc.

After the repaired area is filled, it will be easy to slice and/or sand off any excess. Apart from slight colouration, the repaired area can be perfect in appearance and strength. Paint adheres to it. It is at least water resistant, if not 100% waterproof (if you dunk your plane, it should not matter, just don't expect it to sit submerged overnight and be OK).

This repair sets much quicker than spackling by itself and it is stronger than just spackling, my usual repair material, and neater than gobs of hot glue.

This is a great way to repair foam, balsa, etc. Easy to work with and quite strong  - stronger than the surrounding foam.

My first run at this restored a really nasty looking wing to virtually new appearance, especially after a little paint. Only I, or the tree monsters, would be able to see the repair.

When you have idle time, experiment a bit with this so that you are confident and prepared to use it. Or, just fly properly and watch out for those pesky trees.  ;D

Whew! What a busy and exciting time out at our favorite Toyground. The Numb Thumb Flyers really flew up a storm the other day, I collected a lot of video and finally got around to cobbling together what I think are the better parts. Here it is, even though it ended up too long for me to expect that anyone will watch it all! (Well, perhaps Reg will, as he makes sporadic appearances from time to time in the collection. The guy sure packs in a lot of activity when he shows up here.)

VIDEOS and PICTURES from KRCM Events and Activities / The Swan
« on: January 20, 2020, 06:31:32 AM »
My latest "seamonster" is the Swan, which was test flown a couple of days ago. This is a really simple and quick build which turns out to be a very nice flyer without any bad manners. If the sun ever returns to the Great White North this year, we will see how these do in their alternate environment, water.
I had a 40-sized Seamaster for close to 20 years and it spent a lot of time flying from water and snow. In fact, it became my favorite winter plane for a long time. The Swan, loosely based upon the Shrimp, certainly bears resemblance to the Seamaster (no T-tail, though) and flies much like it. Here is an attempt to produce a semi-serious documentary on the Swan. Despite the heckling from certain members of Vultures Row, this went well. I have a lot of video clips taken that day of various activities that the Numb Thumbs Flyers were up to, which I hope to cobble together very soon.

If anyone is interested in building one of these, I have a simple plan and PDF available. The latter may be publisher in here after I spruce it up a bit and encorporate a couple more details.

VIDEOS and PICTURES from KRCM Events and Activities / The Aero 120
« on: January 17, 2020, 02:27:09 PM »
Here is a sort of backgrounder video comprised of some clips I shot this Summer. I never managed to get video of the plane in flight; hopefully, we can get out there soon and do that. The Aero 120's ancestors stretch way back, perhaps 25 years. Seven 40-size glow versions emerged, each one slightly different, both low wing and high wing types. Dwayne took my plans and built the 10th one (this 120-sized one being #9 in the family) and has powered it with electric motor. He has the wing from my original plane, plus the one which he built. The latter was expanded by 1 bay to yield what he considers to be a somewhat slower and perhaps more sedate flyer. To each his own!

I cobbled together some video clips that were lurking within my Handycam. This was an perfect flying day, nice group of flyers and guests, some other observers dropped by, hamburgers were devoured. Our thanks to Jamie and Walter for arranging this!

General Discussion / A passing
« on: January 11, 2020, 07:59:42 AM »
Neil Peart has passed away. Arguably the best drummer of all time, he and Rush brought a lot of joy and fame to our world.

When he flew Challengers for the Toronto-based ImageAir executive aircraft charter company, my boy Dan flew Rush for one of their North America tours, as well as for their last European tour. Neil was quite averse to flying and, whenever possible, he travelled between locations on his BMW motorcycle, sleeping in his chase vehicle in various parking lots, etc.

Neil's book, Pale Rider, is quite interesting and depicts his early journey after losing his 19-year-old daughter in a traffic accident and then his wife less than a year later due to illness, his departure from the music scene and solo riding through North America as he re-constructed his life, followed by his return to Rush.

There are several good YouTubes out there regarding him, and Rush. One of my favorites was the time that Rick Mercer and Neil got together at the "Rush bat cave" for a drum lesson!

 Rush's induction into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame was finally achieved just a few years ago - long overdue.

At the end of a concert or tour, as the plane approached Pearson (YYZ), Dan would put their homecoming song on the sound system as a welcome back. This video explains the origin and meaningfulness to them of that particular piece:

Just in case you missed Mercer's session with Peart, here it is:

General Discussion / The Arrow
« on: January 08, 2020, 06:45:57 AM »
Contrary to specific orders and to what was believed by most folks, not all of the drawings were destroyed. Recently, the CBC did a report on the retrieval of drawings from the home of a former AVRO engineer. These drawings are now in the Diefenbaker Museum in Saskatchewan. Here is a very interesting feature on the plane from back in the late 1950's - not long before the project was terminated. (Note: the violin player was certainly working up a storm in this, per the documentary style of the day!).

As I view documentaries of all sorts from back in those days, I always wonder how that one narrator ever found the time to do them all. It sure does sound like the same guy, to me.

Plans, Projects, Building and Flying Tips / Shrimp and Swan
« on: December 17, 2019, 07:18:29 AM »
Here are the results of one of my current adventures. I came across a cheap and cute little machine called the Jupiter Swan, a somewhat replica of Canada's entry for the 1930 Schneider Trophy. The link to the location follows, below.

I built one, pretty close to the drawing but with a couple of significant differences. If anyone else is interest in this, let me know and I can provide more information. One visual deviation from the original full scale and everyone else's models is that I gave up on mounting the engine pod with skewers and made a pylon from some trailing edge stock. Not only did this work out much better, it simply slides into place and requires only a smidgen of hot glue to secure it. The overall result is a plane that has a very Spitfire-ish wing planform with a slight resemblance to a Seamaster. This one uses a KFm2 airfoil (flat, top layer extending 40 to 50 percent average chord length), no dihedral nor spar.

Now, my Shrimp flies pretty well but exhibited one nasty characteristic - it wanted to pitch over as soon as I gave it power. Handlaunching, holding it by the motor pod and simply letting it loose, went fine. I did get sort of used to the difficult takeoff from snow, impossible on bare grass. Meanwhile, I decided to evolve the design a bit, slightly enlarge it and see how that goes.

I enlarged the basic Shrimp somewhat, along with a couple of other changes which included using a KFm4 airfoil (both top and bottom layer with step back the same distance on the chord as with my Shrimp. I think this one looks nicer, a bit more sleek than the Shrimp, so I called it the Swan. This time, unlike with the Shrimp, I found a Lemon Stabilizer+ receiver in my stash.

As with the Shrimp, the ground takeoff was still a problem, despite the change of forward hull shape and lengthened tail moment. However, in the air, she is a real beauty! It flies better than the Shrimp and the stabilizer makes it pretty much perfect in the wind and at crawl speeds.

I decided that something had to be done about the nosing over situation. When I checked both planes, I found that the thrust angle of the motor was almost parallel to the fuselage. The original drawing had shown a 6 degree upthrust, overall, and I had somehow screwed up! (Not a totally unheard of situation down here in the Cave). So, I set in some upthrust on both planes, a combination of measuring and TLAR, which probably ended up at about 6 to 8 degrees. I would fly then and eventually measure it if things went well so that I could create and save a final set of paper templates.

Takeoff problem solved! Landing problem solved!

I much prefer my Swan to the original Shrimp and will probably build another variation very soon. Dwayne commented upon the Shrimp  as if he may consider building one. I told him that, if he decides to do so, to hold off and I will give him the improved design.

This plane (the Swan, or whatever it morphs into) may also be suitable for indoor flying. As soon as I get a chance, I want to try water takeoffs. Lake Ontario is too cold to take a chance on having to retrieve a plane from my bay! Any reasonably large puddle should suffice. Another approach is to do as was shown for the Seamaster: run a small tube, across and through the fuselage just ahead of the step such that an axle could be pushed through for light wheels. Instant conversion for land to/from sea.

The Swan is a great plane. Simple and quick and cheap to build. Everyone should have one!

For a number of years, almost since they first appeared, I have used Lemon 2.4GHz receivers, both DSM2 and DSMx compatible ones, some with their original Stabilizer and some with the additional self-righting capability (the Lemon Stabilizer+), in 6-channel, 7-channel and 10-channel variations. They are all excellent, have been proven in tests by skilled technicians to have equal or greater range and reliability of the common manufacturers' units. I have never had an issue attributable to a Lemon receiver itself. As I was preparing to order a couple more Stabilizer+ units, I checked into the status of Lemon's developments, learned about their upcoming units that have been a couple of years in development and the situation on the common chips that manufacturers are currently using and which are now ending of production.

OK, there is a bit of a point to all of this! Lemon utilizes real Users to assist in beta testing, feedback of experiences and suggestions, etc. The two main ones are a fellow in Australia and one up here, near Ottawa. In fact, the Lemon manuals are products of their work, combined with contributions from other users.

The Australian chap has written the following very nice summary of Lemon's and others' current undertakings in this area. Note: He mentions the Multi Protocol Module - that is what is in the Jumper which a couple of us are using to run OpenTx. Here is John's write-up:

For folks who don't have a technical background what this means is this:

Traditional 2.4 radio transmitters and receivers use a separate microprocessor which does all the decision making, decoding, outputting/inputting servo pulse and stick positions etc etc and this was received from or sent to a separate dedicated 2.4 radio frequency (RF) two way transmitter/receiver module. These RF modules have been supplied by only four manufacturers for the majority of radio systems on the market (Futaba is an exception as they have their own custom RF chips because of their background in Industrial radio control - there may be some others like Jeti, I know little about their system). Because the RF modules were mass produced in large numbers for the WiFi market, our radio sets could be relatively inexpensive .

The separation of the control microprocessor and the RF chipset is what enabled things like the popular Multi Protocol Module which plugs into the back of a Taranis or similar transmitter. It started as a DIY project which put all 4 of the common RF chips on one board and selected the appropriate one. Because the microprocessor and the RF chipset was separate, clever hackers were able to monitor the data traffic between them and reverse engineer the various proprietary protocols such as Spektrum DSMX and FrSky ACCST and dozens of others. The Lemon receiver designs were never copies of Spektrum designs but they did use the same widely available RF chipset - the Cypress CYRF6936.

The common RF chips are old and in the process of being discontinued. Specifically the Cypress CYRF6936 chipset on which Spektrum and Lemon relied is EOL.

The new approach is to use a chip that includes both the RF stage AND a powerful microprocessor such as an ARM Cortex. The radio vendors like this as it is virtually impossible to reverse engineer the protocol as there is no external data path between the two. For example, FrSky have changed protocols from ACCST to ACCESS as a result.

Spektrum have chosen the Texas Instruments CC2650 ultra low power wireless 2.4GHz chipset for their new receivers (and presumably transmitters - I haven't investigated this). Lemon have chosen a different chipset so from now on Lemon designs are not only completely original but they don't even use the same hardware as Spektrum devices.

Designing a receiver that runs entirely in one of these chips is no easy task. It is called a Software Design Receiver or SDR because both the receiver logic and RF implementation are basically defined in software not hardware. Lemon is pretty good at this, and as FMak suggests it is possible to emulate almost any RC protocol with a clever enough design.

For the moment however they are concentrating on getting DSMP right. This is the Lemon protocol that is also backward compatible with DSM2 and DSMX.
For some time Lemon receivers have been manufactured with their new architecture and it seems to be working fine.

Although it is technically possible to design firmware that would do Futaba, FrSky, FlySky etc as FMak says, it is not simple and does not necessarily mean it will actually happen - so don't get your hopes up just yet.


Plans, Projects, Building and Flying Tips / Hot Glue Tips
« on: December 10, 2019, 09:55:14 AM »
Some timeless tips for those who love the smell of hot glue in the morning (or any other time)!

Yesterday, I was replenishing my glue stick supply at the Flat Tire Store (as Harold? calls it), I was thinking about my late friend, Flypaper. He bought these things by the bushel, and he probably had a whack of them buried somewhere in his yard as post-apocalypse insurance. So, I went back and grabbed a couple of extra bundles, 'cause, ya just never know, do ya!

We must always remember the mission of the Flypaper College of Aero-nut-ical Knowledge, "Conquering the Skies, one Glue Stick at a time"/

Upcoming Events at KRCM and elsewhere / Zone Events for 2020
« on: November 27, 2019, 09:04:21 AM »
Here is the summary of Events which were known as of November 2019.

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