My New Hobby

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gpraceman
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My New Hobby

Post by gpraceman » Wed Nov 17, 2010 2:22 pm

Well, my boys have been out of scouts and Awana for awhile, so our building cars anymore is likely to be limited. So, I wanted to try another hobby that my boys and I can do together. Ever since I was a kid, I wanted to get into RC aircraft. Here's our first jump into that new hobby.



A big step up from toys, like the Havoc Heli. RC helicopters are not easy to fly, but fortunately, this one can take a beating and repair parts are inexpensive enough.

I also got us the Phoenix Flight Simulator software. Being a software developer, I am amazed at the work they had to put into it to make it as realistic as it is and the graphics rendering. It wasn't cheap (not a cheap hobby to get into anyways), but it should save $$$ in the long run with less real life crashes. Trying out the various airplanes and helos in it have been fun.

Of course, I am not going to disappear from gravity powered racing. I run races for local Awana clubs and, of course, I have my software business to keep growing. It's just that I won't be building so many cars anymore.


Randy Lisano
Romans 5:8

Awana Grand Prix and Pinewood Derby racing - Where a child, an adult and a small block of wood combine for a lot of fun and memories.

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Stan Pope
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Re: My New Hobby

Post by Stan Pope » Wed Nov 17, 2010 3:32 pm

Hmmm ... where does the wireless video cam attach?


Stan
"If it's not for the boys, it's for the birds!"

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gpraceman
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Re: My New Hobby

Post by gpraceman » Wed Nov 17, 2010 4:17 pm

Stan Pope wrote:Hmmm ... where does the wireless video cam attach?
I did a dry fit of it. It will fit quite well under the battery tray, between the skids. The camera is ultra light, so a little tape should hold it just fine.


Randy Lisano
Romans 5:8

Awana Grand Prix and Pinewood Derby racing - Where a child, an adult and a small block of wood combine for a lot of fun and memories.

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Stan Pope
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Re: My New Hobby

Post by Stan Pope » Wed Nov 17, 2010 4:28 pm

gpraceman wrote:
Stan Pope wrote:Hmmm ... where does the wireless video cam attach?
I did a dry fit of it. It will fit quite well under the battery tray, between the skids. The camera is ultra light, so a little tape should hold it just fine.
Cool! Now to instruct the yunguns what NOT to hover over and photograph! :)


Stan
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Re: My New Hobby

Post by gpraceman » Thu Nov 18, 2010 9:29 am

Stan Pope wrote:Cool! Now to instruct the yunguns what NOT to hover over and photograph! :)
Yeah. I hope none of my neighbors like sunbathing in the nude. If they hear a loud whirring sound, they better cover up. :oops:

Well, with this new hobby, my wife will probably expect that I be able to earn money off of it, like I did with PWD. I certainly will not be writing any flight simulator software! I forgot way too much of the physics and aerospace engineering that I learned in college.


Randy Lisano
Romans 5:8

Awana Grand Prix and Pinewood Derby racing - Where a child, an adult and a small block of wood combine for a lot of fun and memories.

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Re: My New Hobby

Post by gpraceman » Sun Dec 26, 2010 11:04 pm

Well, here's our second foray into this new hobby. Something that Santa brought. I've got her put together and am waiting for a good weather day to do the maiden flight. We'll be trying the key chain camera on this craft as well. Not bad for under $100.



Randy Lisano
Romans 5:8

Awana Grand Prix and Pinewood Derby racing - Where a child, an adult and a small block of wood combine for a lot of fun and memories.

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sporty
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Re: My New Hobby

Post by sporty » Mon Dec 27, 2010 12:13 pm

Nice,

The kids have 5/c helicopters and I use to build the balsa r/c airplanes. I had something like the r/c airplane you got.

Here is my rookie tips.


The r/c helicopter, we had / have issues outside. the wind, even mild make it hard for rookies, the wind want to over power the smaller electric r/c helicopters. So no wind is key. The issue is landing, the little plastic or paper tail fins, get bent and they do effect the flight and stability. So keep a eye on them

What they do not tell you also, is as the battery gets weeker, towards the end of it not working, you also loose alot of distance on the signal from the controler in the helicopter. bright sunny days also on the cheaper models, have seen them effect the ones that have led light control.


But they are fun to play with. as they video mentioned. reducing the power on the slide control is key to not loosing it or getting out of range of the controller.


R/c airplane, this thing you will enjoy, fun to play with, clear 3m tape does wonders for fixng it when you crash. I liekd the landing gear on, its fun to take it off from the cement ground, but as the battery gets weeks, you will have to toss it in the air.


overall fun to fly, just run out of room fast. the onyl draw back with the electric motor, is it looses power very fast, when you are flying it, what I mean. is that you go to high, so you back off on the controller and it falls like a rock, then you have to over adjust. Thatw as the hardest part for me at first.

And wind, I flew on a 5 to 7 mile per hour wind day and it actually took the plane, the battery was getting low and i could not fly it back. the wind took it 500 yards into the river.

extra battery packs for both are key to more flying fun.

Have fun and enjoy.

Sporty



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Re: My New Hobby

Post by gpraceman » Mon Dec 27, 2010 12:27 pm

My boys and I have been learning a lot. The flight simulator program has certainly helped. On the heli, we have broken several things, but are getting better at flying it. The challenge has been being able to have a large enough room to fly in so we can do things other than just hovering. I took it once to the church and flew it in the sanctuary before youth group started. Couldn't do too much, since there were too many bodies around. I did try flying outside a couple of times. This little bird certainly cannot take much wind at all. One flight, I got it a bit too high, the wind caught it and blew it across the street. Before spring, I may get a larger size heli, in kit form. The larger helis are easier to fly and can manage wind better.

On the plane, I had this particular plane on my Christmas list, since it is reported as a good beginner plane and one that is easily repaired. I also like that it has ailerons. Most beginner planes do not, so turns are very wide and slow. Since this plane glides well, people can get a lot of flying time squeezed in on a battery pack. I did already have to do a little fix on it. One of the wires on a servo harness had a bad solder joint, so I pulled out the soldering iron and fixed it.


Randy Lisano
Romans 5:8

Awana Grand Prix and Pinewood Derby racing - Where a child, an adult and a small block of wood combine for a lot of fun and memories.

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Re: My New Hobby

Post by gpraceman » Sun Jan 30, 2011 4:30 pm

Well, I've taken the plane out for 3 flights so far.

Maiden flight did no go so well. Broke the nose right off the plane. I did a preflight and everything looked OK on the plane. Well, I forgot to also check out the transmitter. The plane came with a cheap FM radio and the trim tabs got bumped way off of neutral. No wonder why I felt I was fighting it. Nosed into the ground and there went the nose. Well, some hot glue and packaging tape and she was ready to fly again.

Second flight was a week or so later and went much better. Made sure to check the trim tabs this time around. Tweaked the nose a bit on one landing, but not too bad. This time around I had the cockpit cover rubber banded in place to give the nose are some more support. I am sure that helped.

Third flight was today. I ditched the FM radio and used a good 2.4 GHz radio and receiver instead. It was a bit windy, but we went for it anyway. Got some altitude and did a little gliding. Was able to do some loops as well. I even let my youngest son have a go at it and he was having fun with tight turns and loops. I guess the flight simulator program has helped both of us a lot. No damage to the plane this time around, which is even better. We had more battery to stay out longer, but it was getting a bit too nippy.

At some point, when the derby season dies down, I will be building a 450 size helicopter. I got the kit itself and most of the parts in hand. I just need the time to build it.

Image


Randy Lisano
Romans 5:8

Awana Grand Prix and Pinewood Derby racing - Where a child, an adult and a small block of wood combine for a lot of fun and memories.

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