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Topics - Deerslayer

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General Discussion / NiMH Batteries
« on: May 28, 2012, 01:08:08 PM »
I am a big fan of NiMH batteries - especially now that NiCd are a rarity.

My experience with these has been great, with one caveat. If you buy a flight pack ready to go, make sure that you actually cycle them a couple of times. Put them on your cycler, let them go through the full discharge/charge cycle. Do not worry about what the cycler says at this time. Run them through a second cycle and record what the cycler now tells you, i.e., what it saw as the result of your first full charge. Check this result vs. the claimed capacity of the pack, and do not be surprised if you are, say, 10% lower than what is claimed.

I have had two dubious experiences with JR packs, supposedly brand new, where they were nowhere near what was claimed. In the first case, the label said that this was a 1500 mah pack. Even after several cycles, it consistently came out as less than 600 mah. I am convinced that this was a mislabeled pack.

Normally, I make up my own packs and this has served me well for many years. Originally, I used NiCds but have of recent years gone to NiMh. My choice, a difficult one (perhaps based upon the color of the package as much as anything?), has been the Energizer ones that say 4X  - typical marketing stuff. It is really hard to determine what the claimed rating is because the little label always seems to be on the non-visible side of the package of four - Murphy's law, perhaps? However, they are 2300 mah, or so my unused ones say. Incidentally, I think these come "pre-charged" but who knows what that really means?

I make up my battery packs, either 4 or 5 cells, according to my own specifications (Well, it works for me!).

After going through the usual discharge/charge and repeat routine, I have found my packs to be typically about 2100 mah. This is great, and it is more than enough for my flying.

NiMh are great for people like me who fly and then put the airplane away for an unknown time. Sometimes, it flies within a day or a week; sometimes, it sits for a year or two. Some end up inside the house, while others stay out in the unheated garage.

When I dust off a machine that has not flown in months or years, I cycle the battery pack and note its residual capacity after it has been stored. Just today, I hauled out my Senior Telemaster after almost 2 years of resting and cycled its pack. This is a 5-cell (6 volt) Energizer 4X NiMh that was left as is after the last flying session (I think is was off the ice in February of the last year). It showed 598 mah remaining! In other words, I could have hauled it down, fired the engine and gone flying for awhile without doing a thing.  Not too shabby, after such a long rest period. Now it gets a full charge/charge and, if it appears to be up around 2000 mah, a final full charge and we will be ready to go flying.

Regardless of when last flown, and for how long, I stick my planes on a Fast Field Charger when I leave for the field. My FFC doesn't have a digital read-out, but it does have some LEDs that show its progress. I have no personal experience, nor have I seen any qualified technical advice, that says frequent charging of this nature does any harm. Not bothering to charge, on the other hand, may cause lots of harm to something! I have never, ever, had a crash due to "battery failure".

At least once a year, I do run my packs through the cycler. If, on a couple of  successive cycles, they show significantly less that what I had noted when they were new, then it is time to discard the pack.

General Discussion / Spektrum DX7 request for help!
« on: May 14, 2012, 04:07:58 PM »
IF you have a DX7, please do me a favour:

Check your transmitter under any one of the Programmable Mix settings
to see if you can assign the GEAR switch. My Tx does not list the GEAR switch as one of those available for assignment, despite the fact that the manual (both the paper version that came with the Tx when I bought it 2 or 3 years ago, and the online version that I downloaded).

I am including the relevant section of the manual just below this.

I ask that you check your Tx and post a Reply here to let me know if this is a problem unique to my system, or if it applies to many, or all, of those sold. Thank you, in advance!

This is from the manual (the italics are mine):

Assigning a Switch
Press the DOWN and SELECT keys simultaneously to access the Function Mode.
In Function Mode, use the UP or DOWN key to select the desired PROG. MIX screen (1–6).
Press the SELECT key to highlight SW.
Use the increase or decrease key to select the desired switch to turn on/off the mix.

• ON: Mixing Always On
• MIX: Mixing Switch Toward Self
• Flap 0: Flap Switch in Flap 0 Position
• Flap 2: Flap Switch in Flap 2 Position
• Gear: Gear Switch

Plans, Projects, Building and Flying Tips / Terrific Site
« on: May 10, 2012, 04:56:42 PM »
This fellow has an amazingly detailed site. If you are a builder, are thinking about building or just like to learn about stuff, check it out. I am including 3 url's in particular.

You know the stuff - it comes really cheap on a little roll, to be found in the plumbing supplies section of the hardware store, in either 1/2" or 1/4" wide (and possibly other) widths.

 Teflon is impervious to ordinary chemicals, including acids, nitromethane and alcohol, and has an extremely high melting point. So, what could we use it for around our models? Well, I have been using it for over 20 years in 2 significant areas.

 First, you should know that I am a "slimer driver", so this is where I first discovered the magic of Teflon tape. But, since most of our world has been co-opted (or should that be corrupted?) into the e-power camp, the first application I will mention is universally applicable.

Teflon Tape Use #1:

 I have a large collection of wheels to rummage through at the end of a build, or if I ever lose one off of a plane. Frequently, I find that the wheel is a sloppy fit on the axle; sometimes, this is due to having bored it out a bit for use in some past project. So, I wrap several layers of Teflon around the axle in the bearing area. I usually wrap enough that the wheel doesn't quite fit, then unwrap a bit at a time until I have a snug but freely moving fit. Or, if I didn't wrap enough the first time, I simply put another wrap or two over the first. The plumbing Teflon will adhere to itself. The end result is a no-rattle, smoothly running landing gear.

 Bonus tip:
 I also roughen the end section of the axle with a quick swipe of the Dremel cut-off wheel so that the retaining wheel collar will bite and I don't lose my wheel. In some cases, I may have an extra long axle and since I may not want to cut it off (I might need it in the future to mount, say, skis or a larger wheel), I push a bit of fuel tubing over it; that may save me punching a hole through something like an adjacent airplane someday (Note: most of my learnings are from personal experience, much of it not having been particularly good!).

 OK, the next item is for slimer drivers only (it's too yucky anyway for youse clean-cut electrickity folks).

Teflon Tape Use #2:

 When I mount the exhaust to the engine, there is typically no gasket (or if there was, it may be wrecked or missing). I take Teflon tape and lay a strip (the 3/4" is best) but 2 overlapping strips of the narrower stuff will do. I only found the wide stuff a couple years ago, so most of my installations have been done with the 1/2". Make the strip(s) long, you can trim them afterward if you want. Hold the tape in place against the exhaust port of the engine, prick the bolt locations with a pin and, if you used the wide tape, make a little slice in the port area with a knife - there is no need to do other than slightly open a hole, to allow the engine to start, as the first flip through will blow the exhaust opening clear! Carefully locate the exhaust against the engine port, pressing firmly and push the bolts into place. Keeping the two components firmly in place, tighten the bolts. Examine the joint to ensure that you can see tape all around, then you will know that you have a perfect gasket. Voila, you are done! But wait a minute, there is more ...

Bonus tip:
 Have you ever lost a muffler? I have! Narf! I have observed that lots of others have, as well. Some of those things cost almost as much as the engine, it seems - if you can still buy one for that older engine. So, do what anyone that deals in the big boys' world of aircraft, race cars, motorcycles, etc. - use safety wire. I have a little roll of 20 gauge stainless steel wire, purchased from any hardware store. It is a bit hard to describe, but if anyone is interested, take a look at one of my planes someday at the field and you will probably see a crude example of safety wiring - it ain't purty, but it gets the job done.  I wrap the wire  half way around the engine head, over and under the exhaust header, then around the exhaust stack and do the twirly thing. Since starting this practice many years ago, the only time I have had a muffler come loose, let alone bail out in flight, was when I didn't bother to safety wire it. A couple of my rather rambunctious, high-time planes seem to love to loosen the exhaust (I firmly believe this is a "design feature" of one particular, well-known manufacturer to improve their after-market sales results). If I do the safety wiring well, that problem disappears.  Try it. Good luck with that!

General Discussion / Remarkable story
« on: April 21, 2012, 07:27:57 PM »
Here is a terrific interview with one of the U-2 test pilots.

General Discussion / Talent Hunt!
« on: March 01, 2012, 07:11:59 AM »

Perhaps it's about time that we have a Club Band? Gord is already on the case, with his quadrotor (at least he has the drum part in hand - he has been practicing "thumps" out at the field recently).

OK, just in case you have no idea what I am talking about, take a gander at this:

General Discussion / Another Aspect of Modelling
« on: February 23, 2012, 10:38:22 AM »
Unbelievable!  I could not resist putting it in here - after all, there ARE model airplanes in it:

General Discussion / Good deal!
« on: January 24, 2012, 07:02:45 AM »

Hey, Flypaper! (or should I address you as Mr. Flypaper?) - is this your collection?

Are you leaving the hobby (or at least the "non-foamy" part of it?) ;D

Plans, Projects, Building and Flying Tips / Masks
« on: January 21, 2012, 07:31:21 AM »
 I occasionally like to hack around with airbrushing, despite my almost non-existent artistic abilities. Specifically, I have done a couple of basic jobs on model airplanes, such as scallops and some lettering.

 One thing that has been a real problem is how to mask shapes.

 I have tried a couple of different varieties of liquid masking, with some success depending upon the material being masked. This still requires that I make some kind of pattern to assist with laying down the liquid mask, plus I often had to re-apply a second coating and/or make some corrections. You also have to wait for quite awhile to enable proper curing of the liquid mask.

 I tried using frisket paper. Apart form being expensive, it didn't work for me on curved surfaces without really pressing it into place; later, when removing it, the covering material wanted to pull away from the balsa.

 I also tried using some "Stretch 'n Seal" film. It works well, if you can cut the stuff neatly to begin with, but I found it too difficult to work with for anything but the simplest of masks.

Something like a Post-It, but cheaper and more flexible and available in large sheets, might be the ticket?

 One day, while covering an airplane with coloured Ultracote, I was about to throw out a big bunch of its backing material, when I had an idea. A rare occurrence, indeed, so I have the exact date and time recorded!

 This material (the white stuff, not the transparent film used to back a semi-transparent covering film) is a paper or plastic with some sort of shiny (wax?) coating on one side. Why not try making masks from it? No, it would not stretch, so it may not work for some areas involving compound curves, but I'm pretty much a 2-dimensional sort of guy, anyway!

So, here's the deal:

Take a piece of this backing and lay it out flat, shiny side down, using weights or masking tape to flatten it out, preferably on newspaper on the floor or bench. Then, very lightly mist the dull side with a spray-on contact cement, such as 3M77 or Elmers Spray Adhesive. Let it dry, at least 1/2 hour. The idea here is NOT to make a strong adhesive surface, but to make my pseudo-Post-It sheet.

After this has dried, I see if it wants to stick to a piece of window glass that I use to cut things on. If I am not completely satisfied, I may re-spray and wait awhile longer.

Now, lay this piece of masking material, sticky side down, on the glass working surface. Then, cut the required mask, using an Exacto #11. When done, the mask can be lifted off the plate. If it doesn't want to start to lift easily, stick a little tab of masking tape onto  an edge or corner to make a little tab.

Apply this mask to your target area, press it down securely but do not over-do it. Spray (or brush) your paint on. Particularly if you are brushing, go lightly so that you avoid any bleeding under the edges of the mask. I you are airbrushing, go lightly so that you don't force paint up under an edge, or cause runs. With the latter, use several very light passes (I find, but then, I am a rank amateur and therefore not into the subtleties of creating various textures!).

You should be able to almost immediately lift off your mask (if you airbrushed), or in a very few minutes (if you brushed). Be careful not to smudge your creation. You want it to look good for that first trip to the field; if it survives the day, you will worry less about minor imperfections as time goes by.

One of the nice things about this technique is that your masks are reusable. The can be easily stored, rolled up or flat with with some wax paper between them. If they lose their stickiness, just re-spray. They are tough, so you don't tend to rip them.

This is a cheap and effective way to learn and it makes good use of something that you would otherwise send to the landfill. (Another use for this backing material might be as a shelf liner in the kitchen, but don't mention that until you are sure that you will not regret giving away this valuable resource too hastily. I cam really close to making that mistake ...)


 There is a trick that Jim Thompson once told me about to avoid paint bleeding under the edges of a mask. I have not tried it, but it makes good sense. He applies the mask, then sprays (brushes?) some CLEAR paint in the area of the edge. Now, this tends to seal off the edge a bit, so that subsequent application of paint will not bleed under the mask. Any minor bleeding should be of the clear only. Sounds good - so why not try it!

Plans, Projects, Building and Flying Tips / Covering Ideas and Tips
« on: January 17, 2012, 10:23:34 AM »
For those who enjoy, or would like to try, building and covering aircraft, this Topic may be for you. Over time, many of us have developed, or picked up from others some ideas and techniques that work for us. Let's post a few!

General Discussion / Training Video!
« on: January 14, 2012, 06:50:36 PM »
For those of you who would like to improve your home situation, vis a vis your flying career, perhaps you may wish to share this little training video with your loved one:

The Perfect RC Wife

General Discussion / Year of the Club - 2012
« on: December 30, 2011, 10:04:23 AM »
Happy New Year to one and all! I hope y'all had a great Christmas.

For those of you who actually make "New Year's Resolutions", here are a couple of suggestions that would be very easy to live up to (unlike the typical, "eat healthy food", "lose x pounds", "walk/run 5 miles a day", "stop crashing airplanes", etc.):

1. Volunteer to actively participate in and help organize/operate at least 1 Club activity this year.

2. Pass along something of what you have learned through becoming an Instructor, presenting a topic at a Workshop, or just offering assistance at any time (especially on Club Nights, a.k.a. Training/Hot Dog Nights).

3. Attract, encourage, and help 1 person join in our hobby and become a Member of our Club. Follow through with them to ensure that they get the most out of their learning and flying experiences.

4. Become a better Pilot by either improving upon, or developing, a particular aspect of the hobby.

5. Have as much fun as you possibly can, while respecting the rights of your fellow flyers.

23.  Treat your Club President with respect and toleration. He's old, he can't help it, so show some pity - you may be there someday  ;D

As my hero, Red Green, says, "We're all in this together!"

General Discussion / Innovative or what?
« on: November 25, 2011, 07:56:43 PM »
 When I first watched this, I figured that he combines some of the capabilities of two local fellows whom I know - Gord and Jeff ! I have seen some creations of these guys which really fit into the same category.

This is one awesome machine, and the video is really quite funny:

VIDEOS and PICTURES from KRCM Events and Activities / Flying in Circles
« on: November 23, 2011, 08:35:13 AM »
 I am intrigued by folks who fly in circles, or more appropriately, flying in hemispheres - real 3D stuff !

 This year, Dwayne Donnely re-joined KRCM after a multi-year rest from his CL activities and I find myself observing the action with great fascination. Lloyd Shales, a long timermaster of the art, interested Dwayne in trying CL many years ago and the bug never left him.

 Dwayne is by no means a "fair weather flyer". He is apt to show up with his lines and other gear almost any time. Recently, he and I were the only ones out at the field on a rather brisk "non-winter" day. I was enjoying a warm fire in the club house between my own flights, watching Dwayne hurl his nifty-looking biplane around.

Photographing these things is not easy, plus I was using a cheap point-an-shoot camera, so my pics do not really do justice to his activity.

 We need to get Mikey, the KRCM Official Videographer, out there someday when Dwayne or Rolly or some other CL guy is in action. I can already think of the perfect background sound track, based up on that great song, Spinning Wheel, written by David Clayton Thomas. You know, the one with that great line ... "What goes up must come down" . Just the name of the band, Blood Sweat and Tears, pretty much sums up a large part of this whole hobby that we all share!

 Anyway, here are a few of my pictures:

Plans, Projects, Building and Flying Tips / Warning about Connectors
« on: November 22, 2011, 11:30:29 AM »
 Connectors are an inherent weak link for our hobby - they can be of poor design, poor fabrication, subject to abuse and simply succumb to the stresses of their life of being pushed around, yanked upon, infused with dirt, etc.

 One of the best connector types that I see around our club these days is the Anderson Power Pole:

Many of the e-flyers use them exclusively; I (a slimer driver) use them on my chargers, power supply, electric starter, etc. Recently, I encountered a problem, or perhaps even an inherent weakness in the type. I have been using this system for my electric starter and associated battery pack. Then, two of them broke. At first, one had cracked but I continued to use it anyway. After all, this is just for a starter, it is not in an airborne power pack passing large current  and it is not going to make me crash, or burn something in my airplane.

 What I am describing is in no way a criticism of this connector type, nor would it cause me to consider using anything else.

I am attaching a picture of the 2 broken connectors, plus one which is brand new. Note that this system depends upon the plastic casing to keep the 2 spring contacts in solid contact at all times. A cracked, or even broken case on one connector will not likely matter too much (at least to me, for my starter arrangement, as I continued to use it until the second one broke off). However, if this were in a power pack for an airplane, this contact area would not be very positive, leading to high resistance and causing significant heating and voltage drop.

What I am thinking is that one should be somewhat protective of these connectors in use. Check them carefully from time to time. Those who fly electrics put many more cycles on their connectors that someone like me would.

I hope that this minor annoyance to me will result in someone checking out their systems and detecting an anomaly which could spoil their day.

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