October 2010 Archives

The ultimate indoor flying facility?

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How about flying in this building?

Big warehouse

"The $40 million research center, set on 90 acres in Richburg, S.C., features a massive test chamber as tall as a six-story building that can hold nine 2,300-square-foot homes on a turntable. Those homes can be subjected to tornado-strength winds generated by 105 giant fans. Mix in water from the 750,000-gallon tanks, and researchers can simulate Category 3 hurricanes."

It can even simulate bad weather, so if you want to try crosswind, headwind, tailwind or gail force wind landings, just spin up the fans!

New project - building my own CNC machine

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I am looking for used dot matrix printers. If you are in Winnipeg, I will pick them up. If you are kind enough to mail them, contact me (alex@flyinglow.ca) and I'll provide an address.

I have started many projects. Some I have even managed to finish. Some have been put on hold, possibly indefinitely until such time as I figure out how to finish.

A few months ago, I started to build a plotter out of Lego with the NXT Mindstorm as the brains. The goal was to try and avoid a belt drive or screw drive mechanism and see if an articulating arm would be accurate enough. The mechanical engineering process was a learning curve, and the project has seen be cannibalized for other purposes.
This week, I have started building a CNC machine.

I am following the information found on these two sites, and will probably end up with a desk top model similar to the Linux based unit.



Progress so far is the cage that holds the router.

Z-axis looking up

I have mounted a Lego NXT motor to test the threaded rod. Here's a shot looking down - note the white messy plastic where the bolt passes through the lower plate. I used a small torch to heat a nut that was threaded to a bolt and then when the nut was screaming hot, I pressed it into the plexiglass.

Z-axis looking down

Also, plexiglass is great for lining up holes when you aren't very good at measuring things...

Seems to work pretty good!

BTW, I did run a brief test with the roto tool (Dremel - knockoff) resting in the cage, however, the rubber hose that joins the lego shaft to the bolt slipped off.

2010 / 2011 Indoor flying dates and locations

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Winter's almost here. Thinking of packing your plane's away? Check this out:

Indoor flying season is starting! I have received details of at least 2 places to fly small electric R/C aircraft indoors this winter. The first is a formal MAAC approved club, and the second is a more loose gathering of enthusiasts.

The WHAM Indoor R/C Club
meets every Thursday this school year in the Buchannan Elementary School. This club requires MAAC insurance. Entry fee is $20 for new members. Flying starts at 7PM (doors are locked by 8PM, so come early or bring a cell phone). We are asked to be packed up and out by 10PM - please respect the janitor's desire for sleep.

The school is available almost every Thursday, except holidays and during school activities. Here is a list of known black out dates:

November 11

December 23, 30

March 31

The last available day of flying is June 23.

Up to date information on availability is on the school / boards website(s):



Golf Dome fun fly's are back!
Friday nights from 10PM - 12:30AM. Cost is $20 to fly (each night), free to watch. No MAAC required. Make sure you clean up any bits that are removed from your craft after a crash!

This year's dates are:

October 15, 29
November 12, 26
December 10
January 7, 21
February 21, 4
March 4, 18
April 8

See you there!