Latest Entries »

Hello,

I don’t have much hair left since I passed the age of  25. It is no point going to the hairdresser, so I use a hair cutter machine. When I moved to Sweden in 2007 I bought a very simple machine in a local general store. The machine is called Coline. This brand is rather low-end, Clas Ohlson has many type of appliances within this brand.

The machine is battery driven and has a partly plastic blade.

20141231_204126_coline

20141231_204143_coline

Coline

Coline

The battery degraded during the years, despite that I tried to take care of it. Being a Ni-MH unit I tried to deplete it before I started charging. End of 2014 it really became unstable in its operation (motor revolutions variated very much), so I decided to go for a new unit. I speak some rubbis, my wife convinced me that I should buy a new unit. Then she bought me a new unit actually 🙂

I made some research and used my “extensive knowledge” about hair cutters. None of the battery driven hair cutters convinced me, so I started to look at the ones that are driven on the mains. Much better selection. You can find some pretty serious machines with cord for much less money than the ones on battery drive.

I am partly German, so I liked very much the brand MOSER. Their products mean business, just look at them. These are machines that you usually see at the barber.

I decided to go for the Moser 1400. I really like that they even show the core of the electric motor. This is a nice touch…

Motor core

 

I tried the new machine and it is a bliss to use. You can select the length between 0,1 to 3 mm. I cut my hair to 3 mm, so no need to play around with any interface. Just select the length, lock the lever and off you go.

The machine is very silent and has a good feel and weight. The cord is not disturbing for me, not being dependent on degrading battery power is a clear advantage. The motor feals strong, no speed change when cutting hair. The unit feels very solid and stable.

20141230_210550_moser

It is easy to remove the blade and clean the unit. Video instructions.

Made in Hungary, funny.

Made in Hungary, funny.

The two units side-to-side look similar in size. But the feel of the Moser is much more serious.

Coline vs Moser

Coline vs Moser

The weight is also different. For me more weight means more metal and more quality.

Coline weight: 217g

Coline weight: 217g

Moser weight: 436g

Moser weight: 436g

As I understand on some markets this unit is sold under the brand WAHL, as well. Probably US.

20141230_210834_moser

After using this machine I have the feeling that with some maintenance and cleaning it would serve me for 20 years. The construction is solid and shines quality. The weight and the feel provides confidence, that this is a professional item.

The real bonus was the price. The Moser costs exactly the same money I payed for the “cheap” plastic Coline cutter. Quality does not have to be expensive, it looks like.

With best regards,

Sir Crash a Lot

Advertisements

2014 in review

The WordPress.com stats helper monkeys prepared a 2014 annual report for this blog.

Here’s an excerpt:

A San Francisco cable car holds 60 people. This blog was viewed about 2,100 times in 2014. If it were a cable car, it would take about 35 trips to carry that many people.

Click here to see the complete report.

Hello!

I had quite some pause in my RC activity. My daughter had priority over RC stuff, so please excuse my lack of posts.

Now the indoor season is going, so we can join in a school sports hall on Friday evenings for one and a half hours.

Outdoors flying is probably getting very problematic in the future, our club is being kicked out from our flying field by the municipality. Unfortunately there is quite some politics and corruption involved, so we don’t really have much of a chance in this game.

My 10th flight was rather boring probably. I haven’t been flying for quite some time, so I tried to freshen up my reflexes.

My latest indoor flight was the 11th flight with my Extra300. I used a new camera for recording, purchased recently an SJCAM SJ4000 action camera. It is basically a copy of GoPro3, with some attractive pricing.

The camera is rather okay for my application. I knew that it has some limitations, so I was not expecting it to beat the latest GoPro4 series. For instance it has some issues with white balance and it would not work so fine for FPV either. It cannot do 60 fps, only 30 fps. But it is fully compatible with GoPro accessories and has a rather okay picture for the price. I made some very simple reviews of it, you can find some videos below.

I look forward to fly a bit more during the winter season.

With best regards,

Sir Crash a Lot

Hello,

It was quite some time since I reflected on my Extra300 EPP indoor plane. The build was rather long and I had many questionmarks. I think this happened partly due to my inexperience in building and due to the manual being written by a very experienced senior pilot who mentioned only the most important aspects of the build. I am not even novice in building, so I would have needed a lot more detail in building instructions.

Anyhow, the plane is ready and it flies well. I tried to take a stepwise approach with flying. I knew that indoor flying would demand constant usage of rudder. While flying my Easystar I started to turn with rudder and aileron together. So I made some rudder practice to prepare myself for indoor challenges. However I knew that playing with rudder while having “the whole sky” to my disposal is rather easy. I was prepared for some crashes as I knew that indoor will be a lot more difficult.

To not ruin the plane within 10 seconds of flight I tried to practice on the ground first. That said applying a fraction of throttle and “driving around” in circles rather than lifting off. This was more difficult than I have thought it would be, since nothing was trimmed and I had a new radio system even. As result I had some occasional unintended takeoffs. These were aborted mostly, that said I crashed the plane nose-in to the floor. Like a warbird tip. I consumed propellers at some rate 🙂

Maiden flight:

2nd flight:

3rd flight, I started to enjoy high angle-of-attack slow passes. Not easy, but fun. Tried to mix directions, figure 8 and slalom flight. Very exciting to do, maybe not so exciting to watch, though.

4th flight, I tried to transition to hover.

5th flight, with hovering practice.

6th flight, more hovering and fun flight.

7th flight. I started to grow devil horns, had some “moments” of daredevil actions. Landed on the wall for instance.

8th flight, my first roll indoors. Scary but fun.

I skipped last weeks flights as I was fortunate enough to have my daughter born. She was born at 1:30 on the 20th of January 2014. A real miracle, 49 cm and 3230 grams of new life. Funny enough it is my birthday, I received the best possible present ever! I stayed home to help my wife and the baby, no flying right now. I will regain action soon, just need to sort out the first few weeks with helping around.

I am not sure what will happen to our outdoors flying. The flight club is going through a very difficult time period. The council announced that they will remove us from our flying field. As from 1st of February 2014 we are no longer allowed to use the field, we have to clear the area and cannot return. We haven’t received yet any other area to use, so the very existence of the club is in danger.
Our flight club and cross motorcycle (dirt bike if you like) club is removed from the area. The cause for this unfortunate decision is that an investment group tied to some politician tries to build a set of luxury golf flats in the area. It is rather interesting, since the golf club itself went bankrupt several times during the last few years. Besides that there are many issues around the build plans, as it seems politics and corruption got mixed up things quite a bit.

The club tried to apply for a negotiation, but the council does not really listen. So as for new it looks like that 1st of February is the end of our current flight activity.

I don’t know yet how we will do. There are some locations where I can fly, but the club itself will not be able to survive without a flying field. We will see.

An article from local newspaper.

With best regards,

Sir Crash a Lot

2013 in review

The WordPress.com stats helper monkeys prepared a 2013 annual report for this blog.

Here’s an excerpt:

A San Francisco cable car holds 60 people. This blog was viewed about 1,800 times in 2013. If it were a cable car, it would take about 30 trips to carry that many people.

Click here to see the complete report.

Hello,

I am working on an exciting project. I am converting my Turnigy 9X radio to FrSky. In my other post I wrote about what parts were needed to do the conversion. Now I am trying to give a short summary of how I managed with the actual work.

As it turned out the DIY kit of FrSky is somewhat different of the one that RC Model Review tutorial uses. He used the old module, that was available by that time he made his review. The new kit has a switch for telemetry mode and firmware update.

FrSky DIY kit switch

I had to find some space for that switch. I drilled a hole on the back of radio under the metal support.

3-way switch (telemetry and firmware update)

3-way switch (telemetry and firmware update)

I faced some complication when I wanted to use my epoxy glue to fix the small circuit board with the bind switch and status light. The epoxy got wrong it the bottle, I had to discard it. Placed an order on new epoxy from local hobby shop but it will arrive only in a couple of days.

I followed the instructions when I installed the small programming board from Smartieparts. Rather easy to do. The small board that has USB connection has perfect fit in the radio back, in the battery compartment. Just slides into a cavity without glitch. This board enables even backlighting of screen, I haven’t ordered that though. So far I haven’t felt the need for lit screen.

Smartieparts USB connector 9X board Smartieparts 9X board Smartieparts board in place

Another important part was the battery upgrade. I left the original connector in the radio and cut the wire to the AA-battery compartment. Then I soldered on a servo connector to be able to use the matching connector on the Li-Fe battery pack. I not only double-checked but triple-checked the polarity. Did not want to perform inverse polarity failure.

Polarity!!!

Polarity!!!

Double heat shrink Ready to connect

I had the most trouble with the radio antenna. In the original review from RC Model Reviews that old FrSky module does not have a small washer on the antenna sleeve. The new one has. It is there for having a better mechanical connection. However it was more difficult to push through the plastic feature of my radio. I think the reason is that my radio was already modified once by its previous owner, so some of it parts were already altered. It should work most probably fine on a brand new unit. After some gentle violence I managed to get the antenna in place.

When I made the holes on the top of the radio to be able to get access to binding switch and status light I did not use any template. I just drilled one hole, put the small unit there and marked the next hole by eyeballing it. Then drilled it. And it went all right. I did not use a battery drilling machine, I only have a big machine, so was rather careful not to drill too deep into the radio. Went OK.

I received my glue so I can finalize the position of binding switch. I need to do the most tricky part of the build, the actual soldering of the DIY kit connections. When that is ready I can proceed as RC Model Reviews shows in his tutorial and build together the radio.

Soldered and added heat shrink to protect leads

Soldered and added heat shrink to protect leads

Used velcro to secure module

Used velcro to secure module

Velcro to secure module

Velcro to secure module

Module in the middle to not block metal contacts.

Module in the middle to not block metal contacts.

Bind switch "spacers"

Bind switch “spacers”

Bind switch spacer glued into housing.

Bind switch spacer glued into housing.

When all the building part is ready on the transmitter I need to refresh the software to er9X firmware as well. That will be a major leap for the radio software interface. Then I also need to change the radio receiver to FrSky on my Easystar plane. A lot of work is left actually.

As for today I checked if the radio can be turned on. It works, I did not make any fatal mistake yet. Good news, I was afraid that the “magical smoke” might get out of the radio… 🙂

With best regards,

Sir Crash a Lot

Hello,

I was participating at Winter indoor flights earlier but never could fly for real. I made some practicing with my Lama v3 helicopter and watched the others fly with their special indoor planes.

Now the time has come for me to join as a flying participant. I ordered a nice indoor plane and some matching electronics.

The plane is an Extra 300 made from EPP material. Has 830 mm wingspan and a high visibility colour scheme.

ap-e300-epp-3_9628 ap-e300-epp-1_9626

According to the description this can take some crashes without being converted to confetti. In my case this is not only a good plus point, it is more or less a basic requirement. I think I will need to get some good practice in simulator.

I found a clip where a really expert level pilot flies such a plane indoors. Amazing piece of piloting.

I will be happy to just fly around without touching the walls or other hard surfaces.

As for the electronics I went for the following list of components.

Turnigy 19 gram brushless motor.

2S 370 mAh battery.

HXT900 servos.

10A ESC.

GWS propeller. A lot of them to have spares 🙂

I planned to use my existing Turnigy 9X v2 radio with it. I have 4 extra receivers, got them together with the radio. Then I have got some second thoughts.

I was watching a lot of reviews about FrSky radios earlier and started to be interested. Rc Model Reviews had some great reviews of FrSky. They just launched a new transmitter, it looks like a very capable piece of kit. Maybe a bit too much for me right now, but I keep it in mind as a possible upgrade for later. My current knowledge and experience does not really need such a high spec radio.

Then I came across a nice review of Turnigy 9X radios and how they can be upgraded to a much more flexible system and also software. The original firmware of 9X radios is a bit cumbersome to use. Rather illogical menu system and some limitations. The receiver is huge and heavy for a foamy plane (18 grams). However it is possible to modify it with some cheap items. The result is a very capable radio unit that still has an exceptionally low price.

With FrSky DIY kit you can actually convert your 9X radio to FrSky protocol. A more robust protocol with great range and features.

With a clever little programming card called SmartieParts 9X it is possible to reflash the radio to er9x firmware even.

This will enable unlimited swith mapping. Anything can be assigned to any switch on the radio. Also it extends model memory to 16 planes (originally 8 memories). And with er9x software you get a more logical menu system.

To be able to fly my Easystar with FrSky radio protocol I need to retrofit it with a compatible receiver. So I purchased a receiver with telemetry. A nice feature, I could for instance see the battery voltage while flying. As I understand I can set a warning even for low voltage. Will check how this works.

For the indoor plane I bought a small 5-channel receiver. It weighs only 2 grams (!!!)

5-channel

This unit is so small that I will need to solder micro servo connectors onto the servos.

To really upgrade my radio I also bought a LiFe battery specially made for transmitters.

Transmitter battery pack

This battery will replace the current array of 8 AA cells. Charging 8 pieces of Ni-Mh AA batteries takes ages and they are hard to maintain on the long run. A TX battery on LiFe will give true voltage reading for the radio and it provides 10V against LiPo batteries which would overdrive the radio circuit board.

I will have a major upgrade when everything will be ready. First I need to get hold of the packages. Chinese celebrations mean that hobby parts are delayed. Now the celebrations are already over, so hopefully next week my package will get posted and travel to Sweden from Hong Kong. Exciting it is.

Weather is turning into Autumn, so indoor flight season is soon to be started. As I understand from 1st of November we can fly again at the school sports hall. Not much time left to build my plane.

With best regards,

Sir Crash a Lot

Hello,

I need to start with an apology, my blog activity was plumeting to new depth since my last post. As you can see the title I try to summarize what happened since February.

Last time I talked about the Ladybird quadcopter. I did a maiden and several fun flights with it since. It is a bliss to fly when weather is not allowing outdoor flights. You can fly it in the flat easily. I checked whether the propellers can be any harm. They aren’t, I tested them on my own palm, it doesn’t hurt the skin. My cats are very keen on catching the copter, but I keep it a bit off of their proximity. As I know that the prop cannot hurt them it is more like a precaution for the sake of the small copter. No animals were hurt during the making of this clip:

The 16th flight of my Easystar. Some Ringebu RC style landing even:

17th Easystar flight:

18th Easystar flight:

19th Easystar flight:

20th Easystar flight:

21th Easystar flight:

↔

I am getting more and more used to the Easystar and fly it faster and lower. So far I had some hairy moments in combination with wind gusts, but did not crash it yet. I think that I am getting more and more interested in extending my flights to other models as well. Easystar is a great plane to begin with, it can show you many different flight types. It can glide, it can do loops. It can fly rather fast. It is easy to land and it has a forgiving character. Maybe this latter is its biggest weakness after all, as it lacks “the thrill” when you are getting used to it.

I will keep my Easystar, since I really like it. A great allrounder plane with high fun factor. But I will purchase some other models soon. Which ones? I will tell in my coming post.

With best regards,

Sir Crash a Lot

Hello,

I wasn’t flying too much during this year, had some issues of private matter that took my energy from flying.

Now I am back, trying to catch up. It seems that part of my club is already flying multicopters at an advanced level. And there are also some news about our flying field. Unfortunately bad news, the local council is taking it away from us, we are no longer welcome there from 1st of January 2013. So rather interesting flow of events.

The multicopter issue is worth covering in more detail. I am learning the important notions about multicopter flight, will try to get more advanced in this matter during the Spring. I plan to build one beginner model actually, that will teach me the basics.

The flying field issue is more complicated. There is a motocross track in the vicinity, it is quite loud and dirty. But hey, dirt biking is so. Anyhow the council wants to move them and also us. First they did not give anything in return, then the club protested. Now they consider to offer another field somewhere close to the city. It is not so easy to just pick an empty land. We have to process the land, make it smooth, plant quality grass, cultivate it to be smooth and also transport our tools and containers there. And build up the fences, the benches and the basic club facilities. So a huge piece of work that the council does not want to help with. Very awkward way of handling this issue.

Update. End of 2012 we received some great news, we can stay on our flying field for some time. The council changed its mind.

My 12th flight from week 17 you can look at here:

My 13th flight is also recorded:

I just had my 14th flight with the Easystar, please find the video here:

During my summer holiday we were taking care of the house of our friends. They live in the countryside, close to a lake in the forest. Very nice location, calm and peaceful. I could not resist to explore their garden with my Lama v3 helicopter. So I did. I came up with some challenges that I pursued. Some hovering, then some flying around the garden. Also some precision landing on our car.

Then my fantasy got cranked up and I came up with even more exciting plans. Why not try to fly through the car? I mean, how hard can it be? 🙂

And while I am at it. While not fly into the baggage compartment, land there? Then take off from the baggage compartment and land outside the car? It is really that hard? 🙂

During the winter I had very few flights. Two of them were recorded, these were indoor flights in Mölndal school sports hall.

I am getting more flights now. This Spring I am stepping up from the Lama v3 and will start with multicopter action. On last flight 13w07 I crashed the Lama and I do not intend to repair it any more. I had a lot of practice on it, it helped with orientation skills. Hovering nose-in and orienting at low speeds. However I am getting tired of the stupid limitations of Lama v3. It cannot fly beyond a lean angle, otherwise its control system just locks up and the heli gets in an unstoppable dive. It is very sensitive to wind and at the same time does not have the power to cope with it. Even its own turbulence disturbs the flight, so I am happy to consider it part of my past.

I am looking at a tiny multicopter called Ladybird. It is from Walkera. Helipal.com has a nice description to it, you can read it on their page.

There is a v1 version of the Ladybird. That has a much bigger radio controller with some programming possibility. And it has a 6-axis gyro system (gyro and accelerometer) instead of a 3-axis system (only gyro) of the v2. As I understand the v1 is slightly more stable, but the v2 is still very stable so if you are not looking for the nicer radio you might just as well like the v2.
Hobbyking has a detailed review of the v2 Ladybird, where they tell about the differences.

I have another project, will tell about it later.

Thank you,

Sir Crash a Lot

Hello,

Spring is here, the long winter sleep is over. I haven’t been flying for real for the entire winter, only did some simulator practice. So when time was ready to actually fly I was rather nervous.

To cure the lack of fingertip feel I launched the simulator to get some reflexes. Please find some hovering exercise with an Ultimate biplane.

I observed great interest in this plane, ArcticRC and his mate fly this model in the North of Norway. Great plane, great recording.

Nevertheless, I am still flying my modified Multiplex Easystar. I plan to learn flying more before I build a new model. Need to get more confidence in hand starting (although that it might not be needed with planned models), also handling wind gusts and of course flying more stable. I think the more practice I gather with current plane the more I can avoid some stupid mistake with future planes. Although that pilot error is never excluded, how much I might practice.

We had some promising weather during the week, so on Thuesday after working hours we drove to the field and started flying. Clouds around us were rather threatening, wind gusts came from nowhere, but overall conditions were okay.

I had some problem with one of my mini cameras, so I just have the hat cam and the Hobbyking Wing Camera recording. Anyhow it is more than enough material.

I managed to start and land without incidents, however once I did a full roll without willing to do it. I was subject to a stronger wind gust, the plane was tilted almost 90 degrees along longitudinal axis. I wanted to correct, but did not react fast enough and this let the plane do a full roll without me doing really much about it. I think I started to correct but was more amazed by the fact that my Easystar can fly “so advanced” than I was ready to act. Fortunately I was at altitude, so the plane did not lose height that it became dangerous. After this happening I was more alert and could correct wind gusts.

I did some low passes, also some gliding.

My conclusion is that this 3-blade propeller is not really god. It makes transportation much more difficult. The wings cannot be stucked close to the fuselage as you have a blade every 120 degree. With a conventional 2-blade this is no issue. The efficiency is lower, this results is loss of power. And for some reason even though that I have reasonable pitch on it the motor revs crazy high. So I did not dare to use it on full throttle for long.

I ordered APC 6x4E pusher props, will mount one when I get them. That configuration worked much better, but I cracked that prop earlier. Hence the try with 3-blade.

Here is my 11th flight, please check it out.

With best regards,

Sir Crash a Lot