More Lazy Sunday Stuff.

 Quads  Comments Off on More Lazy Sunday Stuff.
May 112014

IMG_20140511_132239I seem to have plenty Satellite receivers, so why not use one for the Quad? After all, all you need to do is recompile the code to tell the system to look at a serial data stream and all is well. Actually, this time it was that easy. I have a Paris Sirius 4.6 board, so I updated all the software to the latest version, and things appear to be working as designed. There is also a nice App for that (MultiWii EZ-Gui), I can connect to the phone and tweak all the settings on the field.  The first in-hand tests look promising, the ship appears to be more stable then before, and even the ‘get me out of trouble’ switch does seem to work! (If I flip it on it’s back, it will try to straighten itself. Not sure if I will try, but there are nice vid’s about from people flipping the quad upside down and back again. Nice to know!

Last time I flew with the Quad I abused my batteries. Badly. Hopefully the Jeti setup will prevent that happening again, all the alarms are configured, and it will start yapping at me if I run the batteries down too far.

Now do I want to  fit a camera? Yes, I do, I need to take some pics for a p, top-secret project. Looking for a camera now in the box of discarded gadgets.

 Posted by at 11:28 am

Spring seems to have sprung a leak..

 Yak  Comments Off on Spring seems to have sprung a leak..
May 112014

IMG_20140507_160341You’d think it is October when you look out the window. Best advise: Don’t look out! Last few days I have spend updating the 30cc Petrol Yak. I sorted out some of the wiring that was a leftover from the Multiplex days, it’s all a bit neater now. I did add a ignition battery readout, the standard RX already gives me the battery volts. All set to go! Maybe I should put a request to Jeti to create a special gadget for engine-management control. (Emcotech has something like it, Throttle speed Control) Or if all else fails, make one?


  • Ignition power on/off
  • RPM / temperature(s) measurement
  • RMP control (keep it lit, min/max rpm, logging etc)

Put it on the list of Things ToDo Real Soon.

IMG_20140511_130808-1The reason why all my batteries live up-front is a tail-heavy airframe. Maybe caused by the fact I have 2 elevator servo’s, and I did add some hardware to keep the tailsection from rattling about. This is all caused by the fact that the tail-tube is too loose, and things were really shaky. Now everything is solid, and it cuts down on the noise too.  And last, but not least, I need to source a decent 3-blade prop. Looking at an Engel prop, there is not a lot of choice in this size. Presently I run an 18*10,  plenty power, good for running in, but I’m sure I’ll be happy with a bit less power/noise and good flying!

Year end note:
I did have a lot of flights with the Yak, but the more sticktime I got the more I wanted to change it´s behavior. I am now flying with a fair bit of uptrust(!) to counter the inverse pitching up. In short, the airframe might have been ideally suited for 3D, but it´s an IMAC disaster, or challenge. I have things now tuned that at least normal/inverted/vertical up/down is all straight as she goes, no pitch trims. Of course I should really change the wing-incidence, but changing the motor was easier and has the same effect.
due to the 3 blade prop, and less noise/power/rpm, I had to remove every gram of unneeded ballast to get a reasonable performance. The motor is now a bit more settled, and you can fly a half-decent schedule now, but don´t try a long upline!

Nearer the end of the season I had to stop flying. The club has been flying off a bit of land that borders on a Natura 2000 area. Someone complained about that, and we are to remove ourselves. In the end it was not about noise (you could not hear us over the noise of 1000´s of geese) but simply a technicallity, that somewhere along the line, someone did not (on purpose) issue the right bit of paper, because oringinally we were not important enough to be listed in official documents. Lesson learned, ALWAYS get your rights and presence documented, no matter what the friendly official at the council says.

Next year I´ll be flying across the border, where we have other challenges opportunities.

 Posted by at 11:02 am

A case of No_glue

 Epsilon  Comments Off on A case of No_glue
Apr 242014

IMG_20140422_142127Yeah it happened again.. Somewhere in the forums you read that the original might have a bit of a problem getting into the air when it is windstill. Yes, I remembered after launching (not hard enough) in near zero wind. Result: An unscheduled landing (to use a phrase I hear ´mericans use when they crash something). The motor sprung loose. Now it was really not a hard touch, but enough for the no-glue to give up.  During the repair , I could not discover anything that could pass for glue at a 100 yard distance.  Anyway, whipped up a bit of my magic potion, and now the motor will never break loose again!

Today I had a few more flights, no problems to report. More work on the CG, I am getting closer to the ´Right Spot´.

With the present setup I reach 100 odd meters in 30 seconds. Compared to the 3 secs on the Insider, that´s an eternity. A Plan is needed. I made a quick set of jumper wires so I can plug in the current sensor that I use in the Extra. When I know what current I use, I can try to find a better setup. (Even one that runs on 4S if needed!)

Update: A fresh new Unisense-E does the job: 61 peak, 50 Amps in climbout. It also tells me starting power is 736Watt, at the top I’m at 550 Watt. This is a plane that weighs probably 3 kg’s!

I’m pleased with the unisense thingy, it’s all you’d ever need for a e-bird.

When the weather changes, I’ll get the vario sorted, I think I’m dropping 70 cm/sec in still air, but hopefully that can be improved upon. Slow speed is not the answer here, keep it moving to get the best sink-rate. It does not really matter too much if it is not accurate, at least not until I get the hang of the sounds.

 Posted by at 7:22 pm

Gliders gliders everywhere…

 DLG, Epsilon, Insider  Comments Off on Gliders gliders everywhere…
Apr 232014

IMG_20140420_194858-1Due the the fact all noise has been banned from our field, (except of course from the geese, motorcycles, tractors, mopeds, powerboats etc..) one has to adapt to the situation. Therefore no moaning, just use whatever you can. I´m having lots of fun with my Orion/Insider. After the mishap a while ago, things seem to have settled. I´m using a 14*10 prop now, and get up there ´real fast´. Could do verticals, but it is sometimes hard to see what goes on, so simply going up at an 80 degree angle is good enough. Last time I looked at the logs, I think they show that power is switched off at 100 meters (says the Vario) but it keeps on ascending to 140 meters. Once it goes, it goes!  (For my own record, CG is at 97 at the moment.)

IMG_20140420_133811 Last weekend the poor Blaster suffered a mishap from a pretty violent wind-gust, that lifted both my small Extra and the Blaster in the air and smacked them right into the fence. Not a happy day for the Blaster. There´s some damage on the tailfeathers, so far I´ve fixed things with some tape and it flies again. I´m contemplating if I should repair,  trade up or order new parts.


I revived the Epsilon. Never got the hang of it last year, mostly due to lousy batteries. Today´s efforts were positive, we go up at a reasonable speed, but it is not an Insider! I also need to find more ballast or a bigger battery, but things are managable. I find the flaps extremely effective. You can only deploy them for a few seconds, the plane really stops dead in the air. Fun to watch, but maybe that explains why the manual says to deploy them only. There is a long thread on Rc-Network-de, basically it boils down to:

  • It´s heavier then it´s predecessor. The weight mentioned in the sales-blurb is grossly wrong. I figured that out! Think 3.5 kg.
  • People quickly convert to a 4 cell setup.
  • Flaps need modifying to be able to follow the ailerons.
  • Braking is really effective.
  • Wings are a pain to mount.
  • Mounting stabilizer is questionable
  • Soldering of the elevator wire!
  • Use decent servo´s

Pic below was taken on a Saturday, but due to the restrictions I can not tell you when it was taken.


 Posted by at 6:17 am

‘t was a lovely day..

 Insider  Comments Off on ‘t was a lovely day..
Mar 112014

..but it was cut short by something unexpected. When I launched the Insider for the first flight of what promised to be a lovely day, I got as far as 10 feet up, then a loud bang, lots of stuff falling from the forward area of the glider, unsettling silence, and then nothing.. Luckily I did have full control, and was able to land safely. My first hunch was that the prop clipped the canopy, but I can’s see any signs of the prop hitting the canopy. One blade of the prop broke off approx 2 cm from the root, it was later found approx 30 meters back from where I launched. Puzzling. The canopy support pin in the front was sheared off, so if it was not the prop, it was something on the inside trying too get out that broke it. After doing a lot of thinkings last night, I feel what could have happened, is that the motor wires got caught in the motor (there’s not a lot of space there). That caused the controller to follow the wires, hitting the on-off switch, and finally the cockpit. Altogether not good.

Or could the prop have sheared, causing some violent movements up front, that threw things around? I checked the max prop RPM, it’s rated at 9000 RPM. Not sure it I got close to that or not? Ecalc tells me I’m only doing 6500 RPM, so it’s not that.  (But I do have over 2:1 power to weight ratio)

Moral of the story:  if you ignore the little voice, that tells you to do a proper pre-season, take it all apart check, then punishment is to be expected!

Since I’m in the dark about the cause it’s going to be a try again and see what happens.




 Posted by at 7:49 pm

Two hundred twenty in 10 secs.

 Gliders, Insider  Comments Off on Two hundred twenty in 10 secs.
Mar 012014

Screen017No cheating! So with approx 40-48 Amps on the clock I get up to a very nice altitude in 10 secs. I’m sure someone will laugh at these numbers, but for me they are quite acceptable. I now need to dial in the ascent a bit, make sure it stays on track. For the rest, the weather is not the best for checking out the gliding part, but hey with 10 min plus flights on a miserable windy day, I’m happy.

Power4SLooking at the plot, you can see I have a rather soft/slow motor turn on.  That gives me a second to make sure nothing funny happens before launch. Peak power 700 Watt on launch, settling down to 550 Watt on the climb. Don’t really think I want to try that big prop yet! (Btw, the horizontal axis is not seconds, just x-number of samples)


4 Cells it will be!

 Gliders, Insider  Comments Off on 4 Cells it will be!
Jan 262014

IMG_20140126_123343Grabbed the battery by the leads, and did some radical surgery! The truth is, I did not have a 4S handy, but 2 pieces  of 2S were waiting to be used for something. It’s one of these things where the warning label says: Only do this under the supervision of a responsible adult.  Since I’m slowly converting to the yellow connectors, I went from there. My Unilog current sensor is one with 4 mm connectors. Therefore some surgery was required. The end result is a more compact unit, where one side still has my 4 mm anti-spark connector, while the other side has a matching yellow bit.  Size and weight wise I am more or less close to where I was before. The only trade-off is the capacity of the battery, it’s slightly lower of course. But since it’s a glider, who cares. I just finished charging and gave it a try.  57 Amps! Now we’re talking 😉 That’s approx 850 Watts static. Slightly higher then the previous 300 Watt. My battery is a Nanotech 2650 mAh, rated at 20-50C. 20C is 66 amps, so I am safe there. My controller is a Robbe BL 690 , which is good for 70 Amp peak. I know the motor is good for 450 Watt. Ouch!  Got another prop somewhere: 15 * 8 in stead of 17 * 8 Aeronaut. Testing again (static) I read 45 Amps or 675 Watt. That feels slightly safer for now. It used to take 15 sec’s at a leisurely pace to get to 100 odd meters.  Double the power is double the height? I’ll go for a 10 sec run first!

What happened to all the Big planes? Nothing, we are in an nature conservation area,  not allowed to fly combustion engines from Nov-April.  Never mind that my Carden makes less noise then a 1000 geese! It’s something we have to live with.


Just before the storm

 Gliders, Insider  Comments Off on Just before the storm
Jan 252014

Insider-Altitide-25Jan2014There’s a code yellow warning in the making says the weatherman. Don’t want to know what it is, but it sounds cold. I decided to go out anyway, and had a pleasant few flights. The plane must like the Jeti, since we are now finding thermal activity, when none would be suspected. I should not be surprised, but since I am still learning, I’m allowed to be surprised, ok? Seems what is happening at the moment is that the air temperature is dropping fast, and the land still has remnant heat from the very mild weather lately. So cold air above, warm land below, we’ve got thermal activity. I did find more of it in the direction of Lobith,  it could also be that the nice people in the village all turned up their thermostats 😉  All in all I was pretty pleased with my 13 minute flight, launching from approx 120 meters (I’m using a 15 second countdown timer on the motor switch, the performance is not exactly ballistic, only pulling 25 Amps from the battery. It is clearly suffering in the cold near zero temps.) Time to go for that 4S setup! Maybe if the weather is bad tomorrow?


This is the result of the afternoon. Still a bit of a challenge to get it to show up nice on googlemaps. I must write down what I do, so the process is repeatable.  The blob on the right is where I hung most of the time. Also did a few CG tests, and during the last flight, my prop did not want to fold anymore. Landed and checked for funnies, but nothing to be found. I put a fresh rubber band on the prop, and will retest soon. It’s a bit of a nuisance if you have to stall the plane, just to make the prop stop rotating! Landing with a running prop is NotGood. I also need fiddle with the vario settings, the current estimate is that the Insider has approx 50 cm/sec  still air sinkrate.  The vario settings should be so that it only sings when you enter a rising mass of air. Easier said then understood! And since I am very much in the setup phase, I know I can do better. Judging from the results of the 45 degree dive test, I need to shift the battery a bit further back. ( I think, must read G_T’s stories again.)

Taking advantage of early spring.

 Gliders, Insider  Comments Off on Taking advantage of early spring.
Jan 222014

IMG_20140119_131459Hey, you never know, better to catch it while you can. It was actually quite pleasant last weekend, considering the time of year. Finally managed to get the Jeti and the Insider into some form of happy  co-existance. (Nothing to do with the stick-wiggling meatware of course) Anyways, I did reset my CG to where most people say it should be, 95 mm or thereabouts. Previously I was flying with the CG further back, somewhere 110-ish. Not sure if I like it. It does fly a lot faster this way, maybe it’s good for cold days? So far I haven’t done anything complicated with the setup, first basics, so I can land with confidence, within 5 paces ;-).  All the fun stuff with the vario will be taken care of when the time is there.

InsiderJan2014These are just setup flights, nothing spectacular to see. It’s nice to be able to see the volts of flight-battery  (which is not the motor battery) Of course there is some special wiring involved, but who cares. It’s a leftover from the old MPX days, when I was fighting what I thought was ‘interference’ from the main battery. Turned out to be a sub-optimal Tx battery that went funny, when the beeper was beeping.. It made for some very interesting flights shall we say. Once I find my CG, I will probably go for a 4 cell setup, and will try to loose this extra small Lipo. Maybe. I hate BEC’s! I’ll think about it.

LipoVoltsAnd yes, this coming weekend looks like it is going to be very cold, so it will be back to more server-fun.

I’m approx halfway where I need to be, thanks to yet another botnet-attack. Why do they not go and attack a big bank or something?

A good days work was done..

 Gliders, Insider  Comments Off on A good days work was done..
Jan 042014

how on earth did I get all that in there?

Managed to recover another website. This one was in the medium difficulty group. Tomorrow I’ll go for the Real Stuff! In between some time to work on the Insider, it’s mostly general maintenance, checking all the bits and bobs, making sure things are working as designed. It’s amazing how much bits I managed to hide in that fuse. But no matter how hard I tried, that standard Jeti would not fit! In the end the solution was simple: get rid of the housing, it only adds extra weight where I don’t want it. It’s slightly narrower in the bare then the original ACT one, but the connectors are now in an awkward position. We’ll think about it!

Note to Self: try to get those pics lined up, there must be a plugin for that!


vario, gps, interface pcb, all hidden in the rear of the fuse