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11
General Discussion / Ideas for increasing public awareness of the Club
« Last post by General Malarky on August 04, 2017, 07:28:49 AM »
So I am wondering if it may be worth while investing some effort in to letting the public know we exist. Not only to drive up membership numbers, but to let folks know that this is a place they can bring their families for a pleasant weekend afternoon. I reckon the upcoming Giant-Scale and Warbirds events may be good ways of bringing in some looky-loo's (and additional revenue for the canteen)

I understand that there may be friction with a lot of these ideas and that there is a lot of folks still leery of letting the populace know we exist, after the break-in, but please keep an open mind. If the club is to survive, we need to maintain our growth and public awareness. I am afraid that, within 10 years, the club will dwindle in numbers and self-extinguish.

I would like to point out that our Club's name is "Kingston Radio Control Modellers" and that while an aircraft is prominent in the logo, we are not directly advertising that we are strictly an "aircraft specific" club.

Please post feedback and any other ideas you may have. I welcome an open discussion on this subject.

~ get CKWS to come out and do a segment for their 5:30 show, both prior to the event (to let folks know it is happening) and after (to let them see footage of what we do)
~ Host a regular canteen on the weekends. Nothing fancy, pop/water and BBQ fare.
~ More signage at high-traffic intersections leading to the club
~ Is there an "Official" club social media presence? (someone to post event notifications to facebook, etc? Them youngin's eat that stuff up. It is like the world outside of social media doesn't exist, to them.
~ Provide a "Google Maps" link with directions to the field, on the main page of the Club's website?
~ From my understanding, Leading Edge Hobbies' RC Car Club is without an off-road course. We could open up membership to them and provide space opposite the road from where the Drone FPV area is proposed to go in. (it would also be pretty neat to see more of them RC tanks in action)
~ Finish the FPV Drone area and start letting folks know it exists and we may get more drone-users out flying.
~ Strong-arm family members in to coming out. Host your (as in Club member) family's event out at the field, show them around and how nice it is.
~ Host "Free Trying out Flying" events. How many of us have FliteTest planes that are collecting dust and could be donated to the cause of getting folks interested in flying? Have kiosks with information about various aspects of the hobby, etc.
~ Set up a kiosk at community events at parks in town. Bring down some computers with RC flight sims installed and let folks try that out. Have other various information about the club available.
12
General Discussion / Solar-Powered Recharging Station?
« Last post by General Malarky on August 04, 2017, 06:47:51 AM »
So I got to wondering, the other day; "Could we set up a small solar panel on the roof of the club to charge a car battery to be made available to members as a means to recharge batteries?"

I do not know much about electronics (other than red to red/black to black and that blue smoke is what makes things work and if it gets out, they stop working) but would it be overly difficult and/or costly to set up another solar panel (like the one powering the weather station) to charge a car battery (or two) to act as a power bank for folks to recharge their batteries from? Maybe set up a pair of dedicated outlets?

With more folks flying electric, as opposed to liquid-fueled, I was wondering if there could be an addition to the flying lessons curriculum to cover proper Lipo handling practices?

Pros:
~ More people might come out to fly if they are able to charge their batteries at the field.
~ Ease of access to charging services may result in more planes being in the air.
~ Folks will not have to have their vehicle batteries drained, risking getting stranded (small risk, but still)
~ Possible reduction in noise/air pollution by saving folks from having to run generators (and also save them money)
~ Charging devices closer to the flight line are more likely to be heard and monitored, than those in the parking lot. (I often hear chargers ringing along the parking lot line while folks are sat opposite the clubhouse, oblivious to their chargers. No judgement, just saying it happens)

Cons:
~ Expensive and a possible theft-risk (pretty much the clincher)
~ Difficult(?) to set up and regulate.
~ Risk to the clubhouse of people leaving batteries charging unattended.
~ Over-use/output. Will it be able to supply enough power to meet demands on a busy day?

Any thoughts on the subject?
13
Plans, Projects and Building Tips / Re: Fun Cub Gear Mount
« Last post by General Malarky on August 02, 2017, 02:42:12 PM »
Marvin and I will get around to assembling one of these, someday... Likely the day after our monstrosity of a landing gear attachment dies (naturally!)

Thank you for sharing, though. We have the plans printed and ready to go, just need the gumption to get moving on it.
14
Plans, Projects and Building Tips / Re: Hinging of Foamboard
« Last post by General Malarky on August 02, 2017, 02:40:05 PM »
And bookmarked for future reference, thank you for sharing!

Think I'll try this on that Typhoon :)
15
Is the Field Available? Who is Flying Today? / Re: August 02 2017
« Last post by General Malarky on August 02, 2017, 02:34:48 PM »
Muahahahahaahha! Marvin got the Tractor from Art and we spent the morning trying to pull a stump up (with little success, that thing has some serious roots) and while Marvin was tackling the stump with the big tractor, I was doing other assorted tasks around the area at the east end of the field.

Soon... Soon we will have more space to fly and have fun! MUAHHAHAHAHAHAHAAAAAA!

Also, damned dem flies to all hell! One of them suckers got me between my toes and by golly it was a good one!
(I hum this a lot while working out in the brush)
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=f389hIxZAOc
16
Upcoming Events at KRCM and elsewhere / Halloween Event?
« Last post by General Malarky on August 02, 2017, 02:29:15 PM »
Any interest in having a halloween event? I don't know if you have done them in the past or not. Maybe the weekend of the 28th/29th?

Just have folks show up in costume. Maybe fly funny plane designs? (lookin' at you, Flypaper!) Hand out some candy, have a small canteen and BBQ some hot dogs and hamburgers? Nothing super fancy, just a silly fun-fly.


Could.. Could we do a bomb-drop with candy?
17
Is the Field Available? Who is Flying Today? / August 02 2017
« Last post by General Malarky on August 02, 2017, 05:33:48 AM »
Heading out with Marvin to do some flying and some work. We mowed the field yesterday, so no worries about us getting in your way, out there.
18
I set up my  2 Cheetah 2208-14 motors for testing. As I cranked them up and down quickly in speed, they sounded great. When I did the same thing slowly and then paused at various speeds, particularly in the under 4000 rpm range which is most critical to my use in the VTOL plane, here was no audible beat and the tach showed that they were perfectly synched! Good little fellows, methinks  ;D

This takes one possible variable out of my earlier concerns that the manufacturing tolerances in ESCs can lead to synchronization issues  ;D
I do think it is a good idea to use the same brand and model ESCs on any twin, if for nothing more than piece of mind - especially if you ever get into re-calibrating one or both of them, either deliberately or accidentally.

Incidentally, I had one good APC 8x4E prop. The other was the same but had tip samage, so I chopped off about 1/4 inch (the Flypaper Method for Propeller Modification/Improvement). Despite this disparity, all went perfectly well!

A couple of precautions:
1. When doing any kind of bench testing with props installed, make absolutely sure that your test system is totally secured and that the associated wires are kept well clear.
 
 2. As you may, like me, be operating a servo tester and a handheld tachometer  and ammeter while checking their readings, it would be very easy to get distracted or careless and ... enough said!

3. Do the testing outdoors. The 60 Hz lights inside will render your optical tach useless.

My test setup is a square chunk of wood large enough to bolt the motors onto, with about an inch or so of clearance between prop tips and clamped  in a Workmate type of stand.
19
Plans, Projects and Building Tips / Reverse Engineering from a YouTube
« Last post by Deerslayer on July 30, 2017, 04:52:37 AM »
 Have you ever seen a YouTube of an aircraft (or anything else, for that matter) and wanted study or to to build something very much like it? Perhaps this can help:

You may just want to see some detail about how the structure, or some component or subsystem, is built. Or, you may want to view various control actions in stop motion. Then again, you might just want to get some approximate measurements, such as the wing's aspect ratio tail and nose moments, powerplant placement, or to figure out what airfoil is used.

 There are several tools which can make this happen, and they are FREE! You can used them from a PC, an Android tablet or Android phone.

 One good YouTube downloader that is available is http://www.clipconverter.cc/  which takes the YouTube URL and converts the video online to your selected format (I selected MP4) and saves it to your device.

 Now that you have an MP4, you need a good viewer.

A few years ago, I discovered VLC. It is available free for PC and Android. I initially put it on my desktop PC, a laptop PC and my Samsung Note (Android) tablet and eventually on my Samsung (Android) phone. It is a terrific piece of software! My first use was to take  the videos which my Mobius camera had recorded aloft on various models and simply view them. You can alter the speed of playback, pause at any time, grab a frame as a snapshot. etc.

So, now that you have found a really good YouTube that depicts the various things that interest you, do the conversion to MP4 and bring that result up in VLC. Run it, slow it down, find suitable frames, snapshot them and print them out.

If this all works out well, you can sit down with a pencil and suitable drawing instruments and begin to mark up and scale the drawings. In the case of something I am working on right now, I wanted a plan view, side view and some details on vectoring motor mounts of a VTOL plane. As well, I ran through in slow and stop motion certain aspects of his flight to see what he was doing in the combining of elevons and motor vectoring during takeoff, cruise and landing.

Even if you are not in the building mood, this overall approach can provide some interesting information on various things. For instance, every once in awhile some "amazing" video shows up which purports to show an unbelievable action  :o. Wow! The internet goes bonkers, the thing gets passed around a gazillion times and the crowd is awestruck  :o  :o . Sort of like some of my, and Flypaper's, incredible achievements in aviation?  8)) However, if one cares to take the time to grab off said video into an MP4 and run it through VLC, the fakery can be easily spotted. One that comes to mind from awhile back is the large aerobatic airplane losing one wing and yet landing sideways :o :o :o :o (Yah, like that could really happen ...  :(


20
Let me tell a tale or two and offer something that may help someone else.

I have limited experience with twin-engined planes. My first was a Corroplast contraption, inverted V-tail, two OS LA15 engines. I created this to learn something about twins at lowest possible cost and minimal pain. It worked out very well, I spent many hours flying and hovering my effort. All I had ever heard about twins was that it was SO important that they be synchronized at all times! Well, it ain't all that easy, even if you break out 2 brand new engines, run them a couple of minutes (my normal break-in procedure), strap 'em onto somethin' and go flyin'.

In this case, the engines had very different histories. So, I fired them up and began to play. I could get them to fast idle reasonably close and even reach near synchronization at high end. I could either try to get them matched in mid-range or at the other two ends, but not across the whole range. It turned out to be of little issue, as I had designed the machine with great rudder (ruddervators, actually) authority in order to strongarm out of any unwanted yaw due to mis-matched power systems. It turned out that even that wasn't a big deal. What happens is that the engines seem to approach closer to sync under flight loading.
Good stuff!

On to electrickery! My first twin electric was/is my own design - Tailsitter Mk.1 and Mk.2 The concept is a VTOL flying wing with twin engines, not using a Flight Controller, just relying upon my DX9, brute force and dumb luck to get the job done.

In my flight testing of these 2 Tailsitters, I had very hairy vertical takeoffs, and hovering or vertical landings were way beyond their capabilities.  Hand-launched horizontal takeoffs were OK. I knew what the problem was, but not the root cause. At cruise, everything was fine and you could hear that distinctive tone of well-synched motors along with no rudder requirements. (There are no rudders, yaw is controlled by differential thrust of the motors, as mixed from the Throttle stick). Changing from a low or medium speed to higher Throttle caused severe yawing, due to unwanted differential thrust from the motors.

How do you know if 2 engines are in synch? Use a tachometer, or perhaps just listen. You will learn to detect the beat frequency when two sources are out of synch; it gradually decreases as the sources approach synchronization, and disappears if the frequencies match. On the ground, you can use a tach. Or, as I also did, mount your plane on a turntable and see how it responds to Throttle inputs. I have a turntable from an old microwave oven; an old phonograph turntable would be great, as well.


The big problem here was that the 2 engines would not respond identically as they are run up. I went through a lot of effort to to understand what was going on. ESCs? identical. Props? as identical as can be claimed.   It should have been obvious. Some dumbass had two slightly different motors on the thing! Now, I wonder who that could be?They were both 2208-14 motors and looked pretty much identical. Finally ... finally ... I realized what was wrong. One was a Cheetah 2208-24 (laser engraved onto the rotor) while the other was a BHP 2208-14T (it said so on a little sticker on the rotor). The former responded quicker  and more smoothly to power change than the latter. D'oh!


As part of this effort, I set out to test motors. In hindsight, I would do this before installation on an airplane, as I always do for my servos.

Here is the simple approach:
1. Bolt the motors down onto a piece of wood or your workbench, with suitable props attached.
2. Power the two ESCs via a Y-connection from a common LiPo.
3. Use a Y-connector to join the Throttle leads from the ESC. In my airplane(s), I avoid Y-connectors like the plague and on a twin you want/need separate channels for your throttles.
4.At some point, pull the Positive (RED) wire out of one of the connectors and tape it back out of the way. This is very important, both for the test setup and in the airplane.
5. Connect your servo tester to this common Throttle. Mine has a digital read-out of pulse width and a potentiometer to control that output. Mine can provide outputs of the typical range - 1000 through 2000 microseconds - which represent -100% through +100% on most systems.

Now, you have a means to control, hold and record RPM at any point in the power range while you check and record the two motors' RPM with your tach. As well, you can listen for synchronization (no beat frequency) or imperfect synch.  As others have discovered, even if you buy identical motors and ESCs, there may be some minor variations between the two systems. You could also measure current at various settings if you have an ammeter setup handy.

In my case, the Cheetah motor was very smooth in acceleration and held its RPMs close to constant at any setting. Not so for the (cheaper) BHP motor - it accelerated unevenly and wandered quite a bit. These motors are AC but  NOT synchronous motors.
 
The End
(at last)
   
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