Sophisticated Lady Upgrades - Video???

| Comments (0)
So I'm pondering a new plane for the spring / summer and realizing I don't have a lot of cash...

Late last summer I had put the motor and radio from the Sophisticated Lady glider / sailplane back on the original donor (MicroWhiz). However, that did not turn out so good as I'm not quite ready to take on a fully acrobatic airplane. I also tried a couple high-start launches with the glider, which was neat, but again the flights are just to short for my liking. Ridge soaring off a high-way overpass is probably not the best idea either - even though I probably have a lot more skill now then I did when I first tried.


As a result, I decided to put the motor back on the glider and get it ready for summer. Along the way I took a good longing look at the little servos in the MicroWhiz and compared them to the big standard servos I put in the glider. The weight savings can't hurt and given their location, reducing the weight might make a slight improvement in the Center of Gravity.

Looking down - I use some thin plywood strips to create new mounting points at a right angle to the original mounting points.

Look at all that SPACE!

In the process of transferring the servos from the MicroWhiz to the Lady, I picked up a couple tricks. The main one being installing the EZ-Connectors.


These at the little posts that clip to the servo control arm and have a set screw to clamp onto the push rod leading to the control surface. The challenge with these parts is the grommet that holds the connector in place is a tight friction fit and needs to be pressed on far enough for the shaft to stick through / past. They are too tiny and tight to get together with my fingers, and pliers will only get the shaft flush. Scrounging through one of my many buckets of junk I spotted a simple hanging hook / hinge. It is basically a small piece of thin metal folded in half with hole drilled through for a mounting screw. The hole was small enough to prevent the grommet from falling through and the metal thick enough to provide the room for the post / shaft to come through.

Now I could use the pliers to quickly press the pieces together.

EZConnectorWorkingIt.jpgOne other snag is the control arms do not have large enough holes by default for the posts. I had to enlarge them slightly to fit. Make sure that the connector can turn when in place. Once in place, there were a few minor adjustments and of course trimming that I went through. I had to reverse on of the channels on my transmitter. Final trimming will have to wait until I get out and airborne.

Next step - Video!

I would really like to try some POV video with a plane. I bought my son a cheap (really cheap) digital video recorder and have rigged up a mount for the lady. Assuming I can get balance and power issues worked out, expect to see some grainy video this summer!

In this picture you can see a bolt with a number of nuts threaded on. This was part of the nose weight to balance the plane properly (along with a 1oz fishing lure). I am hoping that the weight of the camera (it is quite light) will be sufficient to provide the forward CG I need (the tail has a lot of glue and is quite heavy).

I am hoping I can power the camera from the main flight battery (I realize this is risky - but I'm trying to save weight and will monitor power consumption closely). It normally requires 4xAA batteries, however in playing around with its 'web cam' mode, I observed that it will run off the USB connector (once started I removed the batteries and it stayed running). A simply 7805 regulator circuit will weigh less then 4xAA batteries. I have not confirmed, but it may also be possible to simply tap into the receiver/servo power supply from the speed controller and use that.

Stay tuned!!

Leave a comment