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Messages - Deerslayer

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Nice. Hey what's that yellow thing tail up in the water?  :P :laugh: ;D

Some guy who thought he was doing a remake of "We all live in a yellow submarine" and got a bit carried away. Stay tuned ... perhaps he will do a re-take at the next float fly.

General Discussion / Re: Need some OD Green solartex
« on: June 11, 2018, 11:24:00 AM »
I you are desperate and in a hurry, what about using some plain covering material, and spray painting it. My Fun Cub has Rustoleum Hunt Club Green, which may pass for Olive Drab, I suppose.

Talk to Martin for better ideas (at least better than any of mine!).

FPV at KRCM / Re: FPV Startup Information and Ideas
« on: June 06, 2018, 08:46:21 AM »
I posted this over in the Optera forum on RCGROUPS, as there is discussion about getting started with an Optera.

Here is another approach to FPV which could be helpful for someone who is starting out, is unable to have a spotter that can actually fly the aircraft if suddenly needed or who may wear glasses (particularly bifocals) and have difficulty in managing the transition back and forth between direct viewing and FPV.

I have a DX9 transmitter. There is a 3D-printed device, very high quality, which clamps onto that specific transmitter and which has an adjustable mount to which you attach a viewing device. Mine is a 7" flat LCD plus 5.8GHz receiver, complete with foldout sun shade. Refer below for more product information.

This allows me to transition between LOS or FPV without having to fiddle with glasses plus goggles and some lighting situations. For instance, I often have a spotter who may not be capable of taking over control, but whose job is to keep the aircraft in sight at all times, watch for competing air or ground traffic during takeoff or landing. The biggest problem I have is that my glasses darken and screen visibility suffers as a result. However, this does work and I use it sometimes, particularly for an airplane where I have a low comfort level going full FPV - such as the Optera, at least so far. As this setup results in the transmitter being extremely unbalanced, I have used a tray and some weight at the bottom end to better balance things. Because I am sitting while flying FPV, this is not a real show-stopper. The balance is a LiPo Velcroed to the Tx which provides additional capacity to the LDX/Rx internal battery, so it is not parasitic weight.

To further deal with reflections onto the screen and the dark glasses problem, I could risk looking really weird and throw a towel over my head and the Tx, like the photographers back in my grandparents' day!

Here are the items mentioned:

Deluxe Spektrum DX9 LCD Monitor Mount from - $45 USD

Eachine LCD5802D 5802 5.8G 40CH 7 Inch FPV Monitor with DVR Build-in Battery from - $125 USD

General Discussion / Throttle Cut - One More try!
« on: June 01, 2018, 06:10:40 AM »
Once again!

As several of us were sitting nearby, a fellow was working around his unrestrained electric plane on a picnic table and got a surprise - luckily, with no injury to himself or others.

Apparently, he moved the throttle stick and, although he had a throttle cut set up and enabled, the motor started anyway. His wrist was very close to the prop arc. Others were close to the plane itself.

I encouraged and helped him to set up his Throttle Cut AND Throttle Trim properly.  (Update: I forgot to mention that his Throttle Cut had been assigned to the "I" switch, the MOMENTARY button!) Then, we confirmed it by thoroughly testing it.

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!

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

 Here is a reprint of what I posted many months ago regarding proper setup, for 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. For other than Spektrum radios, 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. While you are at it, go into the appropriate Servo setup menu and disable the Trim (set = 0) for Throttle. That will ensure that you haven't left the throttle Trim advanced and then release the Throttle Cut, resulting in starting the motor. Or, 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.

General Discussion / Spektrum history
« on: May 01, 2018, 05:57:33 AM »
Many of us know of, and have received help directly from, Andy Kunz. He is the team leader for Spektrum's Development Team, that fellow who seems never to sleep!

On several occasions, like other customers, I have placed a query regarding a function or problem and received an almost immediate response -  typically within an hour! Where else can you get that kind of help?

Some of us find the product line and naming of Spektrum radios to be rather strange and confusing, especially the reuse of portions of the model names. For example, which DX7 are we talking about? What is the difference between the "Stealth" or "Black" version and the original DX9?

Well, here is Andy's summary of where we are and how we got here:

General Discussion / Re: Blue Origin
« on: April 30, 2018, 04:46:05 PM »
Meanwhile, here is a great video which shows the simplified version of the dynamics involved in launching/retrieving such vehicles as Blue Origin and the SpaceX boosters.
This fellow has a number of great ideas and models. What he has done with this "rocket" and its stability systems is pretty remarkable.
He knows how to explain things well. Enjoy!

General Discussion / Re: Blue Origin
« on: April 30, 2018, 06:03:29 AM »
Here is the mission:

General Discussion / Re: Blue Origin
« on: April 29, 2018, 08:55:53 PM »
Dang! I missed it, even though I knew it would be live streamed.

This is quite a feat, a real competition with SpaceX. I have followed both of these projects closely for many months, even get periodic updates directly emailed from my "good buddy" Elon Musk and associates. Seeing the concurrent landings of the 2 boosters from the SpaceX launch was so incredible! Blue Origin is going to be pretty amazing, also. 

Buy, Sell, Trade or Give Away / Re: OMP 60" Sbach Electric For Sale
« on: April 26, 2018, 11:15:28 AM »
Hey gary, what is looking to get for this price wise?

$300, firm.

The servos, motor, esc, receiver alone are worth that much! I was tempted to keep it for myself but it falls outside of my current field of interest. These are great aerobatic planes, suitable for any reasonably experienced sport flier and an excellent 3D machine, as well.

Buy, Sell, Trade or Give Away / OMP 60" Sbach Electric For Sale
« on: April 24, 2018, 04:54:52 PM »
I am posting this on behalf of Dan. I have the plane in storage here.

Here is a video which shows what this plane in the hands of a good pilot is all about:

Here is an RCGROUPS thread:

Note from Dan:

Ohio Model Products (OMP)
60” Electric Sbach
Converted to e-Flite Power 60 (470KV)
80 Amp ESC
Spectrum Rx
Hitec Servos
Spectrum Servo for Rudder (needs installation)
Airplane is in good shape. It had 1 hard landing that knocked the gear off and put the wheel-pants through the bottom covering of the wing. No damage to the wings at all - just the covering.

If you are interested, contact me (Gary) and I can put you in touch with Dan.

Buy, Sell, Trade or Give Away / Aeroworks Pro X260
« on: April 24, 2018, 03:31:05 PM »
This is it:

This plane of Dan's has seen less than a  dozen flights.
Ready to go, it has:
OS 55AX engine, only run twice!
High quality metal gear servos - HiTec 645MG.
Spektrum receiver.
Wing covers.

While capable of 3D and generally wicked sport flying, this plane is rock steady and can also be handled well by a low time pilot. It has no trickiness, great in high winds and turbulence, high visibility and looks good in the air and on the ground. High quality workmanship, durable, as expected in an Aeroworks plane.

This is what it can do!

Let's talk!

As you know, Walter has a new one and we were talking about them. A  small number built in WW1 and they only entered service in the very last couple of months of the war, so battle experience was low.

They were blazingly fast for the time!

Brian Coughlin built a replica twenty some years ago. It was featured inthe EAA magazine. He was a really young guy, living right near Old Rhinebeck. I saw it fly just a few days after it s first test flight. What a machine, quick and agile.

Buy, Sell, Trade or Give Away / Carbon-Z Scimitar for Sale
« on: April 23, 2018, 07:02:11 PM »
Check this out. These have had a strong following and lots of complaints when Horizon stopped production. I am willing to part with it for a very flexible, negotiable price.

This has retracts, independent rudders/airbrakes, vectored thrust. The plane can be flown with all of this stuff operational, using 7 or 8 individual channels, or use fewer channels by Y-connecting the nosewheel steering and rudder servos, etc. It is not hard to fly, yet can be quite exciting to really wring it out. I flew it on 6-cell battery.

Very nice, D!
I hope she flies as well as she looks ... and she probably will.

Interesting camouflage paint scheme on those birds, isn't it. Looks a tad "girly", don't ya think? (Of course, once that big machine gun starts to rattle away at your Englander butt, it may not look so girly, I suppose!)

I have owned the DX9 for about a hundred years (as my late friend Flypaper would say!) and am still discovering what certain things do and can be used for. Here is one situation that presented and which a simple combination of Flight Modes and Digital Switch Setup functions provided the solution. This is applicable to any of the DX-series, later generations of transmitters, which run the common Airware operating system.

The problem was, the Vector flight controller/stabilizer in my plane has a large selection of Modes. You can select up to 5 Vector modes (not to be confused with Flight Modes, which pertains only to the transmitter setup.). These can be assigned to one or more switches, commanding a specific channel which is connected from the receiver to the Vector.
Setting up 3 conditions on a 3-position switch is easy, but I wanted to use 6 position across two of my switches. As well, I wanted settings of these two switches to be mutually exclusive.

First, you need to understand the Vector's Mode protocol. They look at the Mode channel and enable 1 of the 5 possible Modes depending upon what is the pulse length. Don't worry about how you figure out how to convert Pulse width to the % values the transmitter shows, I will explain it later on.
Here is the table showing which Mode the Vector is in, as determined by the Pulse width
1 < 1250 microseconds
2 1250 - 1400
3 1400 - 1600
4 1600 - 1750
5 > 1750

Now, a word about Flight Modes. I have a very simple set of Flight Modes for this aircraft - only 3, so it only requires one 3-position switch. they are 1,2 an 3, which I call Normal, Cruise and TO/GA (takeoff/go around). Certain control mixes may, or may not, be enabled when each Flight Mode is selected. When I establish the Mixes for my two 3-position Vector Mode switches, I select which Flight Mode(s) will enable that switch and, therefore, the 3 Vector Mode settings allowable within that Flight Mode.

I use the GEAR channel for my Vector Mode. As with all my aircraft, a Channel Assign moved control of that channel away from the default A switch, as that is my Throttle Cut; I assigned the Gear channel to the F switch.

Now, I have already created the 3 Flight Modes, so it is time to set up the Mixes. 
1 = Normal   No Controls mixing
2 = Cruise    No Controls mixing
3 = TO/GA   Lots of Controls Mixing (for Crow, etc.)

Next, comes the Digital Switch Setup. Digital 2-position and 3-position Switches by default have  +100, 0, -100% as their command outputs, Digital Switch Setup allows you to change each of these individual positions to anything from 0 to 150%. I want my switches to operate in the Normal and Cruise Flight Modes, as follows:

Switch E -
Pos 0  = Vector Mode 1 = Loiter
Pos 2  = Vector Mode 2 = 3D Heading Hold
Pos 3  = Vector Mode 3 = OFF
Switch F -
Pos 5  = Vector Mode 5 = RTH TEST
Pos 4  = Vector Mode 4 = 2D Heading Hold
Pos 3  = Vector Mode 3= OFF

So, within the Digital Switch Setup, I have set Switch E to have 0, -45 , -100 as its three positions and Switch F as 0, 45,100 as its states. (I have already translated the requires Pulse widths to determine the +-45% settings.

Then, we set up two simple Mixes:

Switch E is mixed to GEAR  with its default 100,100 values,  active in Flight Modes 1 (Normal) and 2 (Cruise), disabled in 3 (TO/GA).

Switch F is also mixed to GEAR exactly as with Switch E.

Now, in either the Normal or Cruise Flight Modes with both Vector Mode (E & F) Switches in the Down position, the Gear channel is outputting  the "0" or Centered command, so the Vector is in its OFF Mode. In TO/GA Flight Mode, these two Switched are inoperative and the Vector is in OFF. This means that, at any time, pulling both E and F back will turn the Vector OFF, regardless of Flight Mode.

This is simpler than it may sound. This particular need and the specific settings of Switches is just one example of what can be done with two very powerful functions on Spektrum and other systems, once you get the basic idea. I have done a lot of Mixing, etc. across many aircraft of different types and with varying setups, yet I am still learning new stuff all the time.

If this gives anyone some ideas or questions, please let me know. I may be able to help you, or at least point you in the direction of someone who knows a lot more about it and is very patient and willing to assist.


Addendum - Translating % to Pulse Width

Spektrum defaults to Pulse Width range of 900 to 1900 as -100% and +100%, respectively.  You can set Servo Travel to as high and low as -150% and 150%, respectively. Pulse Width = 1500 is 0%, or Center, regardless of the range setting. For my Vector control example, I Ieft them at the defaults.

My test setup consists of a receiver, digital servo tester and servo attached to a degree wheel. The latter is just for interest, only the receiver and digital readout on the servo tester is required. For this test, and in the eventual aircraft setup, make sure that there is no unwanted Mix or Trim settings lurking in the background to interfere with your required operation. (Experience speaking here!)

Pulse Width = 1500 is 0%, or Center, regardless of the range setting.

I set up my test channel such that it was on the Throttle, as that enables more precise adjustments which stay in place while taking various readings. In the Trims menu, I had set Throttle Trim to "0", to ensure that I got clean readings, with only the stick movement. From there on, it is simple:

1. Go to the Monitor screen on the transmitter.

2. Set the throttle stick in various positions, taking readings of both the % on the transmitter and the Pulse Width microseconds on the servo tester. If you are really interested, as I was, plot them and convince yourself that they are linear, and/or  have your servo degree wheel hooked up and watch it wiggle around. Do not worry if the digital readout is slightly different from expected; mine read 17 microseconds high at the Center and the endpoints, I do not know why, but it is a trivial error.

3. My Vector modes required it seeing the following Pulse Widths:
1 < 1250 microseconds
2 1250 - 1400
3 1400 - 1600
4 1600 - 1750
5 > 1750
So, via Digital Switch Setup, I set Switches E and F to have "0" at their same position, pulled fully back. That gives Mode 3 on both.
Then, I set Switches E an F to be at -100 and +100, respectively, in their furthest forward positions. Modes 1 and 5 are now taken care of.
Mode 2 and 4 are the ones where you need to know the correspondence between % and Pulse Width, as these activate within narrow ranges of values. I found that +-45% values were fairly centered within these required values, so those will be the Switch midle positions.

Therefore, my Digital Switches are set up as E = 0, -50, -100 and F = 0, 50, 100.

The servo tester with a digital readout is my most valuable gadget in the shop or at the field. This is one example where it was essential. I use it to check out every new servo immediately after purchase and every servo prior to, and immediately after, installation in an aircraft, or when a malfunction occurs or is suspected. Get one for yourself!

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