Radio Controlled Planes: February 2009 Archives

FPV on an R/C Airplane - eventually...

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Well, I was hoping to get some first person video off my glider, however it turns out that the camera cannot run off the USB cable (oops. Should have tried that first I guess). Via Make Blog, here is a cool site that shows some of what I'd love to get into:

FPV equipment

MAKE Magazine blog entry about FPV hobby

More Golf Dome Indoor flying dates!

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Through the grape vine I have received word of 3 more dates for indoor flying at the Golf Dome. Turn out has been very good at these events, and I encourage anyone who has not yet checked it out to brew an extra pot of strong coffee and make the trip!

Here's a map to help you out!


Flying times are 10:30PM until 12:30AM, however, the dome is open from much earlier on for those who want to practice driving or start the evening earlier at the snack & beverage facilities.

The dates booked are:

Friday March 6

Friday March 27

Friday April 17

Don't forget that the dome is booked this Friday (February 20th) for flying as well.


Sophisticated Lady Upgrades - Video???

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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.

Restoration

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.

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

SmallerServos2.jpg
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.

FinishedEZConnector.JPG

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.

EZConnectorWasher.JPG
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!

CameraFront.jpg
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!!











Tri-plane repaired!

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Remember this little gem???

TriPlane_Aftermath_edited.JPG

Back in November, this neat little Tri-Plane met a 3D head on and shattered into many pieces. I thought that was it.





However, last Friday it was BACK!

Tri-plane_Repaired.jpg

Can't really tell from the photo, but this is the one! The wings have definitely been glued back together. I actually saw it buzzing around the golf dome! So way to go to whoever owns it and had the patience to put it all back together!.