Category: intro


What to have for FPV?

Hello!

This is my first post that actually happens in present time. So far I told stories of my adventures with helicopters. I got into FPV and understood after a while that helicopters are not really suitable for this task. It is not impossible as Muni86 can demonstrate.

As I understand he is something like 10x more talented with his helicopter as I am so far. I need to find an aircraft that I can pilot well and provides a more manageable platform for FPV. I tried to think outside of the box and started to read again.

I found some FPV homepages and started to browse them. I would recommend to check out.

RC Explorer

FPV-Community

RangeVideo

At first I was overwhelmed by the amount of information on these sites. But with some processing I could find a trail that looked possible for me.

A very popular airplane for beginners and FPV pilots is Multiplex Easystar.

It has a wingspan of 1.3-meters. This plane is somewhere between a glider and a motor plane. It can glide quite well, if you know how to use upstream you can stay up in the air for long-long time.

What is important for me is that it is a very kind airplane, a great introduction into airplane flight for a beginner.

Another factor is its moddability. People created a lot of possible modifications for this plane. Some of these are offered as a ready pack, others you can do yourself. Like adding ailerons. Or more powerful electric motor.

A good summary of mods can be found here (petleh82 made it)

RC Explorer has a great review of this plane. If you check out his FPV videos you can see that this plane is present during many clips.

This plane is possible to glide, this has several advantages. First you spare energy and can have longer flights. Second you eliminate almost all vibrations, since the motor is not spinning. Do you remember my vibration issues with helicopter? These are going to be removed alltogether when gliding. A video from Intense Tobak, he flies an Easyglider (1.8-meters).

I colleague of mine has ordered another Multiplex plane, it is called Twinstar. It is not much a glider, more like a motor plane.

This plane has ailerons by default, you don’t need to modify it. However due to the gliding question I stick to Easystar instead. I am such a beginner that it is better to start with a beginner plane.

Easystar is going to be a good sample of both worlds, (motor and glider) so I can decide which direction I shall continue. Right now it feels like that gliding it is. I am amazed of the perspective of using the winds only as a propellant force. A nice upstream above a field in summer can give me almost infinit flight time. For safety I still have the motor. I like this combo.

My dream glider right now is Cularis from Multiplex. This has 2.6-meters wingspan, a different class already. Just look at it:

Isn’t it beautiful? ๐Ÿ™‚

Now I am doing studies to get some depth in FPV. There is a lot of reviews, mod listings and videos of how you can start. I already posted this link but it is so good that I do it again.

FPV Starting guide from RC Explorer. I am going to do a listing of what do I plan to order. Hopefully it will help those that are in same shoes as I am.

Best regards,

Sir Crash a Lot

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Hello!

How did I start radio-controlled modelling?

I happened very long time ago, I was a child when we received a remote-controlled car from relatives. It was a very nice BMW car modell, a silver colour CSL 3.0 racecar. Something like this, but silver.

It was actually radio-controlled, on some FM frequency. Analogue, of course, so occasionally we could experience radio glitch even. We were kids, no idea about radio control. We were so worried of it that we only drove it indoors with my brother. Then we became older and for long time toy cars were not active part of our lifes.

Summer 2009 I read an article about remote-controlled cars and the sleeping thoughts of controlling something from a remote location woke up in my mind. Actually this happened in a surprisingly strong way, I tried to argue with myself for some time that I cannot really play now and that I don’t really have time for this now. Then I bravely declared defeat and admitted to myself that I am back into business. So it happened ๐Ÿ™‚

As I am a very complicated person it was impossible to just walk in a store and buy some car model. No, I have procedures. I like procedures. I even follow procedures.

First I had to decide what vehicle shall I aim at. This is more important than you might think. I am renting a flat with my lady, we live on the 3rd floor in the city of Gothenburg and we don’t own a car yet. 3rd floor means that I need to think vertical sometimes, Gothenburg means that I am rather challenged from the weather point-of-view. Sweden has funny weather, there is summer here of course, but it can be rather short in some cases. No car means public transport, in my case Vรคsttrafik. So I had to pick a vehicle that is suitable considering my boundary conditions.

I hope that you are not bored yet, I will come to the main topic shortly.

As I am not an easy person I had to add one more factor to the equation. That is challenge. What drives me more, what will provide more excitement, what will be a greater achievement in the end?

The car is great fun, I know that. But it is comprimised in some ways. You drive it along the surface of the Earth in most cases. That means that you have 2 dimensions to take care of. Or if you allow me to say so: 2 axles. I don’t mean the axles of the car as a truck might have 3 or even more axles. I mean the controller axles.

On a car you can give throttle and break/reverse on one axle and can steer on the second axle. This can be challenge if you drive against yourself for example. The steering is “reversed” in this case. If you turn right it will mean that the car will turn right according to its own coordinate system. You will percieve that it turned left, according to your own coordinate system.

The car has some other issue as well. Transporting the car to some location that supports playing with it needs a real car, I don’t have that yet. So I dropped the car idea.

The airplane came next. It is more exciting, a lot more.

My grandfather was a pilot for instance (flew 29 type of airplane in total), he told me a lot of stories from WW II, I am really fond of flying and airplanes. However the same issue with transport is valid here, it is seldom that you can transport a model airplane in an IKEA plastic bag, commuting with it on public transport can be difficult. So I dropped airplane thread so far.

What is even more difficult to fly? The helicopter! Now we are talking!

The helicopter is amazingly difficult to fly, it provides me the necessary amount of challenge and it can be transported without any major investment. It can take off and land vertically, this means that I don’t need any special location to fly it.

I started to read a lot about helicopters and gathered in all the information that I could find about them. What I tried to understand was the following:

– which model to start with?

– what do I need for it?

– how can I learn to fly?

I understood that there is 3 major type of model helicopters, if I am allowed to simplify a lot of factors.

1. Coaxial helicopters. These are easy to fly, can be a good trainer. They are mostly for indoor use, cannot handle wind outdoors. They are good for beginning but get boring as you get intermediate level.

2. Fixed-pitch helicopters with tail rotor. These are great trainers, fly almost like the big ones. Can be flown outdoors, are easy to repair and maintain. They cannot fly inverted as the big ones, but almost no difference otherwise.

3. Collective-pitch helicopters. These are the big ones, the ultimate helicopter category. They can fly even inverted, can do everything that you can see in the movie Blue Thunder for instance. Well, the silent mode might not be true ๐Ÿ™‚

If you look at a typical helicopter radio controller unit you can see that we are talking real business here. You can operate a lot of things.

I actually knew that I am destined to fly these, I had the guiding light, I found the Holy Grail. I thought at least. More of that later.

So I picked the category, I shall fly helicopters. I understood that it is not a good idea to start with the most difficult, so I went for a coaxial heli in first place.

I picked a Lama, not any lama but a replica of the famous Aerospatiale SA 315B Lama helicopter.

Mine looks more simple, is made of plastic and is lot smaller. I went for the E-Sky Lama v3 to be accurate, a 2.4 GHz range RC heli. It has rotor diameter of 340 mm and is a tough little bird. Exactly what I needed to begin with.

This happened in September 2009, that was the rebirth of my radio-controlled adventure. In short this is how I began. If all goes well you can read about the details in my coming posts.

As to give you some teaser I offer some amazing clips of modelling. They give me the goose pimples ๐Ÿ™‚

Best regards,

Sir Crash a Lot

 

Hello!

You might wonder how did I fetch this user name. I try to explain in short.

One of my all-time favourit movies is Monty Pythons Holy Grail. The movie refers to Camelot, a castle that the knights try to find at some point in the movie.

As the knights are rather funny characters and the word “Camelot” is frequently used in the plot I combined together Sir+Camelot+crash.

Why crash?

Well, this is somehow part of the story. The great inevitability in the life of all modelling enthousiasts, crashing is almost like The Sword of Damocles, it happens sooner or later. I will return to this later as I unfold the story of my modelling adventures. There will be a lot of crashing.

As you can see we have all the components to my user name, the mistery is revealed ๐Ÿ™‚

Sir Crash a Lot is born.

As this blog is rather new and needs quite a lot of development I might need to think about some image that represents my user alias in a visual form. I cannot promise anything yet, need to work on this as well. Later I might get an inspirational kiss from my Muse and create one image.

I hope that my post explains what needed to be explained.

Best regards,

Sir Crash a Lot

Hello!

I would like to welcome You on my blog in first place.

What is the purpose of this blog? I wanted to tell my story of modelling, from the beginning to present. As time allows I will add stories of my exciting journey in remote-controlled modelling. Will it be exciting? I hope so, only time can tell.

Why should anybody read my blog? That is a difficult question. Could be a lot of reasons actually. The Reader might find it interesting, some might just stumble into it and read it or who knows what. My intention is to provide You with entries that might be helpful or just entertaining or just different.

Will this be a good blog in the end? Only time can tell. If I manage to entertain and people find it interesting we can create something together. After all blogging is a form of interaction between writer and reader.

/ Update 2011/01/15:

You might see some links in the posts that refer to commercial products. I will try to have as little of this as possible, I try to choose links so that they don’t seem to be commercials. I have no intention to do commercials, however it is inevitable to mention the origin of some products that I used. Please don’t consider this as advertising, I don’t intend to advertise. My sole intention is to describe how I do my hobby and that’s all. I hope I succeed.

/ end of update

Please stay tuned for more entries.

Best regards,

Sir Crash a Lot