Tag Archive: build


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



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


Please find the follow-up of my build here. Last time I started with the actual build, now I shall tell you how I continued.

I intend to have an installation that does not require any future opening of the 2 fuselage halves. So I thought of using servo extension wires and lead all 8 channels forward.

I got into a dilemma: should I use one lead for the ESC even or not? I checked how the ESC lead would connect to the extension wire and was not 100% sure of the connection. So I went for directly plugging the ESC into receiver. That connection is solid. It would be a pity to lose the model do to a sloppy electrical connection.

I numbered the leads so that I can see which cable corresponds to which channel. Beautiful handmade numbering, of course 🙂

I added some ballast weight in the rear. My experienced RC colleague raised this point to me, very important indeed! As I plan to have FPV gear in the front the plane will get nose heavy. So it is better to have weight in the tail and compensate with extra weight in the nose until I replace the front ballast with FPV gear. I am not sure if I did enough in the tail but more than nothing.

The receiver is going to sit on velcro tape. This will secure it to left side fuselage half. I tested the extra strong adhesive velcro on canopy to see if it will “eat” the foam (if it will get into reaction with the foam, to formulate this nicer). It did damage it, so I used my non-adhesive velcro and epoxy.

I taped together the fuselage halves and checked if my ESC wire is proper length. Guess what: Murphy worked again and it is too long. The ESC will get too far from the motor. I had to cut the wires and resolder (“sodder” for US 🙂 )  the connectors. By-the-way I can see some marginal improvement in my soldering skills, although I am not really a soldering Paganini or similar…

There is a V-shaped cut in the fuselage, this will enable the cables to be routed in a channel. So when the canopy is attached they will not interfere. When I will have FPV stand there the cables can run behind that similarly. I hope this will work. If yes we might call this a great idea even 🙂

Using the wing joiner rod I try to test mount the tail. It should be parallel to the main wings. There is a slight angle, I will try to correct this during the epoxy hardening process.

I glued on the tail, connected pushrods to stabilizers. Mounting test, everything is put together. Servos connected, motor is NOT connected. This is quite important, a live motor can be dangerous, only plug in your motor when you are sure of it.

Next picture shows my amazingly low budget balancing stand. I forgot how much those mineral water bottles cost, but since my wife buys them anyhow I could consider their purchasing cost zero in my modelling perspective. I had to fill them up though, so some water cost is there. Water is needed to stability, the bottles sit more solid this way.

I put the model onto the bottle caps and aligned them so that the center point will get 5 mm in front of rear seam of wing joiner cover. The manual shows this very clearly, you can check it there.

The manual of this model is truly excellent, the germans did great job with the design.

I had the battery in the nose (all the way to the front) and checked if it is easy to nudge the model out of balance. It was sitting quite okay. So I could clear the preliminary balancing.

Then I took the model on my fingertips and tried to balance it so. This is more accurate since the water bottle has a flat cap and my fingers are more round. (If somebody is suspicious: I am not showing fingers to anybody, no offense meant there…)

The video recording of all this can be viewed here, please.

I will need to put some coins in the nose as well, they will be standing in until my FPV gear will get sorted out. This concludes my balancing.

Best regards,

Sir Crash a Lot


I would like to start with an announcement: after long preparations I started with the build. Or should I say “The Build!” maybe 🙂

First I glued in the motor:

Then I glued in cockpit clip bracket.

Then I extended the rudder. Bigger size, Du-Bro hinges and clearance for the elevator. Made of 2 mm plywood, “carved out” with a screwdriver and a hammer. Yes, I worked like a caveman, really sophisticated way 🙂

Notice that the rudder is not glued in place, the hinges are test mounted on picture.

Glued the tail, was very careful to have 90 degrees angle between stabilizers. I want to have a plane that is capable of flying straight.

Test mounting of radio receiver unit. Since the fuselage halves will be glued together I need a bullet-proof solution for the receiver. I thought of carving out some foam in front of it and having servo extension wires going into the front. So that when I will need the rest of those 8 channels I can just plug them in. And then I don’t need to tear down the foam fuselage.

I thought to have the ESC wires in front, slightly carved into the foam. So that when I shall have my FPV mount on place the cables won’t interfere with it. A future-proof build I intend to have.

I used a d 8,5 mm inner diameter plain washer to support wing retainer rod. So that the entry of the hole will not get sloppy with time. Epoxy glued it there.

I secured servo cables onto the wings with small blobs of epoxy. In case of damaged servo it can be removed with some dexterity. In normal use it will not allow the wires to vibrate. I left some length available so that I can connect to the connectors on the fuselage.

Rudder and elevator servos are glued in place. The cable channel could be used to glue there a 20 cm servo lead extension wire coming from the receiver. This will allow me to connect aileron servo leads coming from the wings with ease. Connector is solid fixed in fuselage, easy to connect to. I will mark polarity on the fuselage, ground wire is on bottom. As ground is usually.

Two half parts mostly done.

I even glued in the pushrod wires (bowden) along the fuselage.

Next I will need to locate the electronics to their respective location. The ESC and the receiver need a good fixation and wiring routing. I have a concept already, will develop it in detail.

This build is very exciting. I took my time with the wings and those small details that deviate from the standard build. I know that it is very difficult to have a perfect build from the start but I would like to get as few mistakes in my build as possible. We shall see how I manage.

Best regards,

Sir Crash a Lot


My time travel is taking us to February 2010. I built most of the heli, now it is time to do first spool up.

For this I completed all the steps in Mikey’sRC tutorial to part #9

At 5:30 in this tutorial you can see all the cables clamped. It is good to have attention at this step. If you get some cables loose and they get around the motor or servos you will most probably lose that cable and crash.

Important to do fine-tuning of mechanism linkages and servo horns according the #10 video.

Video #11 is important for blade tracking. It involves programming of radio transmitter, if you don’t use

Video #12 is still partly blade tracking related.

If complete this step you have your swashplate leveled, servo linkages at right position. Even blade tracking is prepared. What is blade tracking? It is about how well the two blades follow each other. If you imagine the rotor spinning and you look at it from a tangent direction you can see either one blade or both of them at some slight angle. If you see two blades like a scissor opened you have to tune your mechanism. When you see one blade only you are set. As shown in my video.

It was great to arrive to this point, now I could see what this machine is capable of. Watching it from close distance is somewhat frightening and cool at same time.

Maybe it is needless to say that if you spool up your helicopter indoors you have to be very careful. No child shall be in the vicinity, you should wear safety glasses and have good clearance.

Best regards,

Sir Crash a Lot


It is February 2010, I build my CopterX helicopter. Last time the connection between servos and main rotor mechanism has been created. Now I shall balance the blades and set up tail mechanism.

Why do you balance blades? Well as your rotor spins you want to have equal mass on both sides otherwise vibration will occur and you drive increased stress into your mechanism.

How do you balance blades? First some professional explanation from Mikey’sRC.

Then you can see how I did. I had luck actually and did not need to balance. But I needed to check, so I replicated what Mikey’sRC showed.

As this step is still truly mechanical we get closer to the electrical build. Part of the heli is made of linkages and belt/cog drives. But to really get things into movement you need propulsive force, in this case this will be electric motor. To steer things you need even more electrics, electronics actually.

Please check how to do that, how to solder and connect electrical components. As highlighted in the videos use extreme care. Better to be safe.

Still more soldering, but programming of radio is also to be done.

At this point I have to warn one more time. Be very careful with the build, always take safety first. If you have the motor and battery connected do have extra caution, if you spool up accidentaly your motor you can get hurt. Better to be safe.

Programming of radio. This step is only valid if you get one of those cheap radios that are programmed via USB port and don’t feature any onboard menu system. If you happen to have some more advanced radio gear with a real menu system you really need to dig into the manual to be able to program it. Probably it will have similar options as seen here, but you never know. Owners of a Futaba or Spektrum set might need to do research for their respective units.

In next post we get to the fine tuning of the mechanism. This is vital for flying, otherwise you crash before you know it.

Best regards,

Sir Crash a Lot


Let’s continue with the build. Still from the past, it is February 2010 that I tell of.

In previous post I made the base build, now we have an early stage. The belt drive is connected, chassis built. No electronics connected, not even the mechanism is done.

As I did earlier I would like to refer to Mikey’sRC tutorial build sequence. Great source of knowledge.

When connecting your rotor mechanism to the servos followings apply.

Also it is good to check the manual for required arm length.

I ended up with my mechanism connected. I got my radio set in the mean time, actually as a birthday present from my wife. Can you wish for a better wife? 🙂

I tried to actuate the mechanism in all sort of ways. I did not set anything in the radio yet, no limits are defined, everything is on default. Quite amazing how this thing twists and turns, even more amazing when I consider that part of the mechanism will rotate at incredible revs. As to illustrate what such a rotor had has to deal with I would like to show you a spectacular acrobatic flight video of kraigseder. Amazing.

So far I was not doing much more than followed the tutorial. Only difference is that I picked slightly different parts but this is negligible so far.

Best regards,

Sir Crash a Lot