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Messages - Deerslayer

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1
General Discussion / Throttle Cut - Belt and Suspenders
« on: Today at 12:04:17 PM »
If you do not have a proper Throttle Cut enabled, you should NOT be flying, anywhere, and definately not at our field. If you do not know how to properly set it up, ask for help ... PLEASE!

Even with the normal Throttle Cut set up PROPERLY, some folks are concerned about having some additional protection to ensure that when perhaps their Throttle Cut switch gets bumped while the Throttle stick is partially advanced, the motor will not activate. Not a bad idea for those times when you may be working around the plane on the bench but it is not suitable or feasible to remove the prop, tie down the aircraft, disconnect power to one of the motor leads, etc.

Well, here is a very simple solution that will take you about 2 minutes to set up (specific to Spektrum but may be similar for other brands):

Choose a switch that you wish to be your secondary means of disarming the Throttle channel. Then set up a Mix, as follows:

THR > THR
Rate: -100% -100%
Offset: -100%
Trim: Inh
Switch: Switch D ( for example)
In the next line, darken whatever box(s) you want this safety cut-off to take effect.

I have also attached a screenshot of this Mix.

As long as (Switch D in this example) is in one of the positions where this Mix is active, you have disabled the Throttle stick. You should have already set the Throttle Trim = 0, via the Trims Menu, so there is no way to move the Throttle Channel away from its -100% or lowest position. Even if you bump your normal Throttle Cut switch. In order to power up the motor, both switches will have to be set in the correct position.

This secondary disarming switch can be either 2-position or 3-position. Just enable the position(s) where you want it to disable the Throttle stick.


However, none of this matters if you fail to use it!

2
Got at set of unused Fun Cub or similar length floats that you don't need?

I may even have some other floats that you would like to do a swap for.

3
Lost And Found / Neck Strap Found
« on: July 22, 2018, 07:26:26 AM »
Somehow, about a week ago, a strap got put in amongst my stuff at the field. It looks to be a neck strap from a transmitter tray. short and with a padded section in the middle.

IF I do not hear from anyone directly, I will hang it up on the bulletin board when I get out sometime this week.

4
Float Flying at Deseronto / Introduction to DRFC
« on: July 21, 2018, 07:57:59 PM »
Deseronto Royal Flying Club (DRFC) basic information can be found here:
https://www.maac.ca/en/clubs_details.php?club_id=868

This Club has just been formed and has already held two informal events. The location is open to its Members at any time.

A number of KRCM Members have now flown there, most of whom have joined the new Club. At $40 annual membership, having year round access to an excellent, quiet location within easy driving distance of the Greater Kingston and Quinte areas, this is really good deal.

Periodically, the Club expects to declare an official Float Fly, with BBQ food being available. As well, it is a good place to buy, sell and swap R/C stuff. Several of us did just that at their second gathering, quite successfully. There is also plenty of room to fly foamy land models. The large open area is not manicured like at KRCM but is quite suitable for hand-launching. There is a large concrete pad, the floor of a former fruit processing plant, which is perfect for a control line pilot to try out. There are no buildings at the site; however, there are shade trees. There is a rescue boat available to Members for any aircraft retrievals.

NOTE: You must be a DRFC Member, or be attending a Float Fly event, to fly here. All activity is done according to specific agreements with the Deseronto town council and Mohawk Airport.

Watch in here, and elsewhere, for announcements of future activities.

If your are already a Member of DRFC, or have questions, or are trying to set up a group to go out and have fun,  please feel free to post in here. Just start a new Topic, below this.


5
The wind did not cooperate, but the dozen or so who showed up had a great day anyway. Fellowship, hamburgers, those were the main ingredients. Several of us brought stuff to sell and there were a number of really good deals, with happy buyers and sellers. We plan to do it again, perhaps in a month or so.

Meanwhile, the Deseronto Royal Flying Club just tripled, or more, in size! A number of us, all KRCM Members, joined up today and got our keys to the rescue boat.

This is going to turn out to be an excellent compatibility situation with two clubs mostly equidistant from many of the existing KRCM Members, each with its own particular features.

6
General Discussion / Lemons
« on: July 19, 2018, 12:58:21 PM »
 I have bought many Lemon receivers, with and without stabilizers, going back several years now. Never had a problem with one, nor do I see any issues showing up across the very large world-wide user community (check it out in rcgroups). Range tests done by technical people have shown the Lemons to be unsurpassed, even exceeding the performance of most others. I, and many other, trust them in expensive gliders or FPV aircraft that fly at the limit of one's visual range or even (unintentionally) beyond that distance.

 The user manual for the stab versions is superb, having been written, revised, updated by a couple of true experts within the user group and fully sanctioned by the designer himself. Speaking of which, this fellow designed and enginered the products and follows the group. He has used their input to improve and develop new products. As with most gear, the manufacturer is in Hong Kong.

 Unlike many other suppliers of our stuff, shipping charges are extremely low, the true cost of postage. Typically, you order something, a $3 or so shipping charge is applied and it shows up in your mail within 1 week in a padded envelope, properly sealed in a plastic package.

I just received a 10 channel, DSMX, receiver, 6 days after placing the order. It listed at $26US. It cost me $40 Canadian, period, including postage. No phoney baloney special brokerage fee or other charges. No UPS, DHL or FexEx got their hands on it. Yea, Hong Kong Post and Canada Post!

The local hobby shop now carries Lemons. Or, you can order them direct, online. I have done both. No regrets, either way.

7
Club info, including a map so no one gets lost in downtown Des.

https://www.maac.ca/en/clubs_details.php?club_id=868

8
General Discussion / Re: Spektrum SD Cards, Backup
« on: July 18, 2018, 07:28:58 PM »
Airware is the operating system common to the dx18, dx9 and later systems.


When you go into Model Utilities, on of the options allows you to Sort models, i.e., manually  move a model to any place in the list.

As I recall, you have an old dx8. That does not run the modern software, Airware.

9
General Discussion / Spektrum SD Cards, Backup
« on: July 18, 2018, 07:51:22 AM »
I am surprised at how many DX-series transmitters there are which have an empty SD slot, or which have an SD card in there that never gets used. For folks like me, who spent their working lives working with and protecting digital information, this capability is fundamental.

If you ever get one of your models messed up, due to some suspected corruption or perhaps due to tinkering with some of the settings, the SD card is invaluable - if you used it during a less stressful time.

 I have perhaps 20 or 30 models available, some of which are simple and have remained unchanged over many years. Others are current "works in progress", with the side effect that I may have to retrace my steps to a previous stable configuration. Then, there is always the possibility that the radio could break and have to be sent away for repair, only to come back with its model memories erased. I remember when that happened to a flying buddy, he had to recreate some 30 models, some of major complexity, as he had never bothered to keep copies of the SPMs (An SPM is the file containing all of the parameters for a specific model.).

Without getting into details, as the Airware software that runs the transmitter is quite intuitive to use, here are a couple of things that I somewhat routinely do:

 If I make changes to a specific model, certainly if they are significant, I copy that particular model within the transmitter. If I have my brain in gear, I will perform that copy prior to making such changes.  Although Airware does not date stamped or version numbered for a saved file, they are stored in order of their creation. You can have a whole slew of them out there!

Another handy thing to do is to used the Model Name to help sort things out. For instance, prior to saving my Vertigo's file and subsequently messing around with it, I may alter its Name to "Vertigo 1JAN2018", then copy it to SD. Perhaps I will then rename the active model back to just "Vertigo" if/when I am satisfied with the results. This all takes a couple of seconds - time well spent!

Every few weeks, I do a Export All Models to the SD card in my transmitter.

Note that when you look at the list of models in your transmitter, they will probably be prefixed by numbers. These are not important and you can, as I always do, remove them - it gives more room for your desired name, e.g. "Vertigo & Lemon S+". Changing the name, or any other model parameter, DOES NOT require re-binding. Many people do not understand that. The only time you should ever have to re-bind a model is if you have Imported it from your SD, or if your receiver supports Failsafe and you wish to change that state. Everything else can be altered, from reassigning Ports or Channels to changing Model Type, without re-binding. I have planes that are many years old, they were initially bound to this transmitter and will remain so indefinately.

Back to the SD and its use:

 Airware supports Folders, which allows for neat and easy access to many things. To create a Folder, you mount the SD on your PC, then Create whatever Folders you want, copy files to it, return it to the transmitter and you are done. When you later try to Import a model, you will see any Folders out there and can select a model from them. The SD can have Folders that are unrelated to your models.

Some examples of how I use Folders on my system:

1. On my PC, I have a Folder somewhere called DX9. Every few months, I create a new Folder with that particular date under that one and copy whatever is on my SD card. This is my ultimate backup for everything, the SPMs, Voice files, various pieces of documentation, perhaps even some pictures.

2. When I upgrade Airware, I have it download the new file(s) onto the top directory of the SD - not into any Folder. When the SD is back in the transmitter, all you do it turn it on and the upgrade proceeds. Easy peasy! Now, there is no need to save that SPM (it gets renamed slightly by the upgrade process itself to prevent detection and re-use by the system), so I will eventually delete it anyway.

3. Today is 18 July 2018, so after Exporting all of my models, I pop the card into the PC, create a new Folder under the DX9 one called SPMs - 18JUL2018 and copy all of the SPMs from the card to that location.

I am unfamiliar with other current radio systems but they probably have similar capabilities - or should have!

Anyway, something for you to think about!

10
What are you bringing to sell, or what are you looking to buy?

I am bringing several planes to sell, along with some engines, a flock of wheels of all sizes, a Evolution radio system (Tx + 3 Rx) for multirotors, some miscellaneous items.
The planes are either already electric or convertible to electric, if desired. A couple of my own design LA15-powered flying wings, an electric Mojo 25 3D slab, all balsa and ready to just bind and fly. Whatever I can jam into the car. Perhaps a couple of kits, as well.

This stuff would not be going to the annual auction, so it may end up being used immediately by someone.

So, again, what are you bringing?

11
FPV at KRCM / Re: A loss, with a dramatic ending!
« on: July 12, 2018, 12:37:24 PM »
I have had a couple of Eagle Tree Guardians for many years. My Vector is just a couple of months old, although the product has been out for many years. ET has a great reputation, overall.

So, when I encountered this problem of the Vector "losing" its Home position, I finally got around to inserting a ticket into their support system. Within an hour or so, I got a response. I think this may clear up the mystery. The next time I get out flying, I will do some testing to find out.

The particular error I experienced is actually a "feature", I suppose! When you power up the system, it locates a suitable number of GPS satellites and records the location, Home. Now, if you simply move the plane more than 300 feet (according to the Error Message explanation) before applying power to the motor, it will decide not to use the Home position just established.
I assume this is some sort of safety feature.

This could explain why my system has had this loss occasionally, but not always, as sometimes I have been where it was suitable to power up the system and then only move the plane a few feet before taxiing. A couple of simple tests will show.

Assuming this is the answer, it looks like ET could/should change their manual to reflect a much shorter than 300 feet distance.

There is still a lot to learn!

(Latest struggle: Set up DX9 Sequencers so that one push of a momentary switch, such as I, CLEAR or BACK will toggle a channel - for Vector's Mode - 10 times within 2 seconds. There actually is a solid reason for wanting to do this!)



12
FPV at KRCM / Re: A loss, with a dramatic ending!
« on: July 12, 2018, 05:56:24 AM »
Well, Mark handed my wayward birdie over to me yesterday. Thank you, Sir!

I am trying to locate the fellow who found and returned it, to thank him and to see where the plane landed. He is a farmer, perhaps 30 to 40, first name is Kyle and may live near Yarker. Any ideas who this may be?


Apart from a couple of very minor bruises, easily steamed out, it is in perfect condition. Even the paralleled LiPos were still good, at about 3.7 volts per cell. Obviously, the failsafe shut down the motor and/or the low voltage setting in the Vector cut power to the servos. Since the plane was returned within a couple of hours of its loss and Mark immediately unplugged the batteries, all is good.

Had I been desperate (and foolish) enough, we could have popped in a fresh battery and done a flight right then.

Now, I will do a thorough inspection and testing of everything, on the bench. Plus, review the above root cause analysis and  come up with a better plan for future use.

As one of my favorite TV people, Jim Jeffries, says,
"We can all do better".

13
The folks at Deseronto have an update:

They plan to have some food available - hot dogs, burgers.

There is an outdoor Swap Meet. No fees are involved. Lots of space to set up a table, stage airplanes, etc. This is a good opportunity to bring stuff that you may not normally trot out to the KRCM auction. You may find that badly needed set of giant scale wheels, some floats, engines, electronics, etc.  You may be able to try/buy something that very day, or perhaps buy a plane and start flying it the next day at your home field!

Consider joining the club. It is a great float flying site and you will be helping a fledgling club get their "oar in the water", "well anchored" ... ...groan...

14
FPV at KRCM / A loss, with a dramatic ending!
« on: July 10, 2018, 11:41:13 AM »
"My purpose in Life is to serve as a warning to others".

Well, here is a little story which may actually have some benefit to someone else that is mucking around with FPV and perhaps other forms of RC flying.

This past Saturday, I lost my Penguin FPV plane.  :o  :'(  :'(  :'( Very disappointing, to say the least, as we watched (or more correctly, DIDN'T watch) about $800 disappear. As well as that loss, a sense of fear sets in - what if it comes down and hurts someone or causes some kind of accident due to some driver(s) becoming distracted?

In the aftermath of this loss, I did a lot of thinking and wrote down my analysis. I have now decided to share it with whoever may care to read.

Oh, by the way, a strange thing happened later that same day! ;D  ;D  ;D  ;D

 After I had left the field, a farmer named Kyle (did not leave his full name, unfortunately) showed up with my FPV plane in his possession. One of the fellows now has it and we will be reunited. I wish I knew how to locate the finder as I would like to offer some sort of reward. As well, I am curious as to just where the plane went down. All we know is that he was out working in a field and saw it land. Apparently, it was in a location where it would probably never have been observed, had he not happened to be nearby! It's a Festivus Miracle (a few months early, but I'll take it anyway).

My analysis has caused me to rethink a lot of things that I have done, or failed to do, and will now apply to this and other FPV (and soaring) flights from now on.




I made a  number of mistakes. The bottom line was - Complacency! Things had been going too smoothly for us and I lost my "edge". Perhaps that edge is a bit duller that I would like to think?

1. My Vector controller has been flaky w.r.t. retaining its GPS-based Home position. I could not figure out why. Again yesterday, after I powered up, it found the satellites and set its Home. Great. Then, just before launch, it reported that it had lost that lock. I should have stopped right then and got it reset - open up the plane, recycle power, etc., bit of a pain. Instead, I flew, knowing that RTH was not likely to work. Besides, I was only going to be flying close to home and with an experienced spotter. What could go wrong?

2. I have not been testing RTH recently, even if the Home fix was believed to be OK, as I had been keeping fairly close to the field. For FPV, this should really be tested EVERY flight. Similarly for the Loiter mode on the Vector. This would also make it more likely that, in a panic situation, I would think to use one or both of these modes. That is why you practice emergency actions in fullsize aircraft, even as simply touching any control or item which may suddenly become very important to activate.  I did eventually try Loiter, after the plane had disappeared but far too late. I never even considered RTH, even though it MIGHT have worked - I will never know.

3. The Vector is quite complex and I have been learning/trying various features over time - a rather slow learner here! I never did set up Failsafe such that it invokes RTH. There are different approaches to setting this up, and I could not decide upon the best strategy. In fact, I just figured out how to do it. I even had my little procedure in my book of field notes and was thinking of testing it yesterday . But, I got enthusiastic and Dumb! The downside of having such a capable and complex system is that you can easily lose track of the fundamentals.

4. I lost Situational Awareness during a great flight. I realized too late that I was flying too high to expect you to keep the plane in constant sight. A couple of times, my spotter mentioned having difficulty in locating it, mostly due to sun glare, but I got preoccupied with the video getting fuzzy and I locked into that problem. Note: the 5.8 GHz video link has MUCH shorter range than our 2.4 GHz control link. I lost track of where I was, becoming further distracted by the video issue while circling to try to locate familiar landmarks. We got concerned about being too far out, downwind and possibly too low. I was trying to fly back home, as I knew the general sector in which I was flying. I did not realize that I was probably in a strong thermal. the Vector was reporting about 1000 feet AGL, which would still have been well below cloudbase but near the limit of visual location. Cloudbase was likely at 3000 feet AGL or higher, but condensation can begin to form much lower, further obscuring things, especially as we get drifted downwind.

5. I completely lost video and my spotter lost direct visual contact at about the same time. I delayed much too long in giving up on the video, hoping it would return and perhaps I could figure out where I was. When I finally gave up, it was obvious that neither of us would be able to acquire the plane again. Game over!

6. As expected, yesterday was good and improving throughout the day. I had earlier done some RC soaring with my Heron sailplane. The ground wind switched to SW, which fooled me, as in my full scale days at Gan airport this has always meant the thermals get killed due to the lake effect wind. This does not really occur, or not as much, out at our field. I never really considered the possibility of encountering strong thermals at the start of my flight, as the wind had switched from NW to S quite awhile ealier.

7. When I finally dumped the goggles, I assumed that the plane might still be receiving commands, despite possibly having gotten near or into cloud. Note: Our 2.4 GHz stregth is greatly attenuated by moisture. I did briefly set the Vector into Loiter mode, hoping that we might get some glimpse. I never even considered trying RTH. Why? Lapse of thinking, perhaps, or figuring that it wouldn't work properly anyway. Worry about the plane coming down and possibly hitting someone or something weighed heavily on my mind. I had much earlier commanded the motor to disarm. I had gone through the motions of forcing it to spin. (I have done that in a full scale sailplane after having entered cloud in extremely strong lift. Initiate a spin, wait until you fall out of the cloud and then do the recovery.)

8. Identification. I never did get around to putting my name and telephone # somewhere on the plane. Inside is probably not the best place, at least for this plane, as someone might not think to look for it.


Well, that is about all I can think of now!!!!

15
Upcoming Events at KRCM and elsewhere / Deseronto Float Fly - July 21
« on: June 22, 2018, 06:52:47 PM »
Great news! Everyone is invited to another Float Fly at the ***NEW***
Deseronto float flying site. Saturday, July 21.

For those who missed the first one, come out for this one. This is an excellent site with unlimited parking and setup area right up to the water's edge.

We expect to get more info very soon regarding some special features. Stay tuned.

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