Tag Archive: propeller


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

Easystar 10th w1142

I had my 10th flight with Easystar, a nice number it is.
This time we flew in really strong wind. I flew in constant steady wind at the sea, that is not easy but you can manage after that you get familiar with wind direction and strength. But same theory did not apply on Sunday. There was a steady wind of 6 m/s most of the time. But every now and then the wind just died to almost calm state, then we got some really strong gusts of up to 13 m/s speed. That was the challenge. Upon start and landing I had major difficulties, I am not at all comfortable with such strong wind. I did not crash the plane, but I had to fight for it several times.
Prior to flying I changed propeller. I had a 6x4e pusher on, some cheap propeller from Hobbycity. It was not really well balanced from start and then I cracked it when one of my early start attempt ended up in a very low pass over the vegetation. It was so low that I actually flew straight across some tougher grass and the prop acted as a chopper for some brief time. This cracked the last half centimeter on one blade, so it wasn’t really healthy.
I thought that I will be smart enough to try a 6x3e pusher prop. How hard can it be? It did not really work out. For some reason thrust is very low. It pushed the air backwards but just. Maybe I put it up in wrong direction, I have to check this more. Anyhow, right now I have maybe 2/3 of thrust at maximum. Maybe less. Starting the plane and flying it in that much wind was a major challenge. At some point I thought that wind is pushing it more backwards than I can get forwards. Since it was very turbulent I had difficulties flying straight, it was all over the place.
Landings were extra tricky. When descending a sudden gust can take away altitude at alarming rates. A quick descent of 3-4 meters is likely. At low height this can mean plane in the lake for instance. So I was very careful above the lake. But no matter how careful you are, some unexpected event can happen easily with such wind speeds. Once I landed already, Easystar was skidding on the grass and slowing down. Suddenly a stronger wind gust liftet up the plane from the ground, since it was strong enough to temporarly simulate much higher speed of air flow around the wings. So even though that the plane was already landed it just took off.
Another risky event happened at one of my starts. I am plainly rubbish at hand starting the plane, not much to sugar myself about it. Normally you should throw the plane into the wind. So you get more lift at low speed. Now I had reduced thrust on the propeller, my skills are slowly improving (but still being rubbish) and I had tricky wind conditions. I wanted to start, the wind just dropped, I had no good thrust to pull me out of trouble and I probably even threw it badly. So the plane just ricochet from the grass and then it could take off when the next wind gust helped it. A really chaotic takeoff it was. HaBoRC put some funny comment from the depot as you may hear 🙂
I managed to try out my brand new 35 USD camera, that went without issues. Works like a bliss. In my video you can see the difference. I have a standard definition keyfob camera on the nose of the plane. It has a 180-degrees fisheye converter lens mounted. The Wing Camera from Hobbycity is a stock item, it comes with a nice wide-angle lens from the store as stock. So ready to use. If I count the price of SD keyfob + the fisheye converter I am already above the price of the HD Wing Camera, so choosing the former is just silly. The latter is much better value. You may see a comparison chart in my post from the other day.
The footage I got with the new camera is simply amazing for me, now I can see much more detail. If I manage to fly this kit on a calm day the turbulence will not influence so much, so I can get really nice footage. Looking forward for some nice sunny and calm autumn day.
There is one issue with HD resolution. The computer power you require for it is extreme. I have an old computer that was put together by no other than my humble self. This act of brave assembly happened late 2005, I bought some proven components that were already free of childhood inperfections. So I went for stability instead of power. I used following base components:
– AMD A64 2200+ CPU
– Asus A8N-E motherboard, on Socket 939
– 1 gig of DDR-I ram
ATI X800GTO2 graphical card (a variant of X800XL) with 256 megs or VRAM.
This was quite okay up to the time when HD appeared. On SD resolution it handles all tasks except gaming. But I don’t do gaming anymore. With HD it becomes a different story. HD videos don’t play on my computer without judder. Even 720p (1280×720) resolution drops frames while the computer struggles on 100% power. 1080p (or 1920×1080) is not even worth trying. It is just some frames every 10 seconds maybe. Hopeless.
It is important to make some difference between playing an HD footage or processing it. Playing can be helped by some more modern graphical card that can take over computing. So even a low-end computer can handle playing it. But processing in a video processing utility is a different story. For that you need high power from the CPU, a lot of RAM and good data transfer on the motherboard. In short you need a modern computer.
I made the editing anyhow and had a lot of waiting. When trying to align two video tracks for a picture-in-picture layout I am checking on the preview pane if the two frames are in roughly aligned. It is no professional work, if it plays within a half second I consider it already a pass. On SD footage this operation was already difficult, since my computer is low on performace. There were a lot of dropped frames, you had to sort of “lead” the cursor, move it and wait for the result before you let lose of the mouse button. With HD this is much worse. It takes several seconds for the preview pane to update. A simple play operation is meaningless, it takes seconds without picture update, then you pop up somewhere else on the timeline. Totally useless. The only way to work with it is to move the cursos very slowly and then wait for the result. I fought with it for 2 hours to get 4 pieces of picture-in-picture shots aligned. Very time consuming.
Rendering itself was surprisingly fast, despite HD clips the 8 minutes footage rendered in roughly 1 hour. Not so bad. I render still 640×480 resolution, maybe should try 720p rendering next time. I don’t know if there is so much to win about it in my case.
What I would need is much more computing power. I read a lot of reviews and came to the conclusion that it is time to buy something that will last for some years in the future. Maybe not 6 years, we shall see how long I manage this time.
I set my eyes on the Core i7 architecture from Intel. It has 4 cores and all 4 can simulate 2, so alltogether you get 8 virtual cores. Despite being “only” quadcore it beats the respective offering from AMD by a good margin in video processing. In some test under Sony Vegas 9 it was almost 2x faster in rendering (compared to a 6 core Phenom II processor). So that is the aim, to have a really powerful CPU. I will target a lot of RAM even. Minimum is 4 gigabytes, but can extend later depending on needs. Considering the graphical card I don’t really have high demands. My favourit RC simulator shall run without glitch, that is the specification. I made some studies regarding this issue, checked homepage of the simulator and checked their recommendations. Also checked some Nightflyyer reviews about specs.
We shall see how I manage. When I will get the new system running and I tested it I will try to get some comparison.
Update 2011-10-30
I tried out my 3-blade propeller. It is a Master Airscrew, 6×4 pusher. MA0640TP is the type of it.
As a subjective feeling it gives more thrust than the 6×3 I had on during the last flight. I look forward to test it in real life. Made a short test video of it. Looks nice when the tail control surfaces get aerodynamically active at half throttle. Haven’t revved it over 2/3 throttle, it is quite loud in the living room 🙂
Best regards,
Sir Crash a Lot


I would like to write a post about how to assemble Hobbyking Magnetic Prop Balancer device. It might look easy on the picture, but when you get to it you might find this helpful. Since no instruction manual is shipped, like in case of an IKEA furniture you need good assembly skills.

You will need to align the two sheets that have trapezoid shape and connect them with the U-shaped ones. Something like this.

For assembly you will need to slide the metal inserts and bolt them on with the small diameter screws. Please observe that only one side of the inserts is threaded, so you need to insert the screw from the mating side. This way you will have clamping force.

Then you will need to do so on the other side as well. You might need to peel off the protective paper layer. Depends on how tight the metal inserts are.

After this you can insert the big metal cup on one side. Secure it with the larger diameter screws.

One side is open, the other side is like a sunken cup. Into the open one you can insert the matching big cup. It is threaded, allows adjustment.

With the threaded cup:

Then comes assembly of panels.

Now comes the difficult part. You have to tear apart the 2 magnets. They are really strong. Do it carefully. When they are apart you can insert them into the cup features on both sides.

Between the two magnets should the axle float. The axle is pointy at the ends, so friction will be minimal.

Onto the axle you can slide the 2 conical rubber features. This will support the prop.

If I am right the rubber O-ring can sit on the adjustable side of the balancer.

When ready it looks like this.

A short video of how it does work.

Best regards,

Sir Crash a Lot


I received my parts recently and started to build my very first RC airplane. First step was to do some soldering (or “soddering” if you read from USA).

I used to play a lot with soldering iron as a kid and was confident that soldering itself is going to be fairly easy. During my helicopter build I learned quickly that playing with soldering iron does not necessary mean that I get proficient in soldering, more like wasting solder wire. This time I was way better than with helicopter, although I wouldn’t consider myself any good with soldering yet. As always if you solder take precautions, don’t burn yourself, nor take risk of fire. Never leave soldering iron unattended. Safety first.

I could share some pictures of what I did this time. Basically I soldered my 25A ESC, since it comes with bare wires. This is actually good so, I am happier to do a perfect soldering myself (ha-ha) than rely on some questionable quality from factory. This way I can tell that I made it wrong 🙂

Preparing wire lead:

Preparing XT60 connector:

Using 3rd hand tool for soldering together XT60 and wire:

Not forgetting heat shrink tube!

Beautiful soldering done on connector:

Soldering other lead as well:

Soldering motor connector (heat shrink prepared)

Comparison of 40A and 25A ESC. Since this ESC will sit in air flow a slimmer design is welcome. 25A has the advantage here:

Notice how slim 25A is compared to 40A. A save a lot of drag here:

Motor came with connectors soldered already, no need to do it:

Read manual carefully and setting ESC with programming card:

A VERY incorrect way of installing propeller, this is only meant for trying out the motor. Do NOT install propeller this way!

Again, a very incorrect way of attaching your motor to kitchen chair. Do NOT attempt this at home.

I was very keen to try out my new motor along with this 6×4″ propeller. I always tend to write 15×10, but it is in centimeters. Approximately 15 cm in diameter it is, standard designation is however 6×4″ to be exact.

I attached my motor to kitchen chair, made several loops of tape around in one diagonal, then switched and looped it around in other diagonal. It sat rather good there, checked if I have good clearance from propeller. Then I asked my wife to not come in our kitchen until I tell her so even if the propeller gets loose she does not get hurt. I tightened propeller adapter earlier.

I took some distance, connected ESC to motor, turned on radio then connected battery to ESC. Self test ran through fine and then I could rev it up.

Since I never balanced the propeller (don’t know yet how to do) it is unbalanced. My experienced colleague could tell from the sound of it (!) that we have unbalanced load case. I made two silly things here:

– unbalanced propeller

– propeller is not pushed all the way to the bottom of adapter

I will correct these issues later, for the sake of this brief test I used it wrongly anyway. If you build you model don’t do so, balance it well and mount propeller as it should be (to the bottom of adapter).

I did not rev it up more than half throttle, in kitchen it was plenty loud and almost frightening. Since I am a very brave man (I am Sir Crash a Lot after all!)  I was not frightened of course, but I could think that anyone not so brave as me could get frightened indeed 🙂

A note of safety here. I was well clear of propeller. I had every screw tightened. I did not have anybody in kitchen during recording. I used common sense. Do not attempt this unless you really know what you are doing. Even at half throttle you get awfully high RPM levels. This is no toy, serious injury can occur if you do something silly.

And now the film of motor test:

As next I will need to balance my propeller, mount it properly and continue with build. Very exciting, I plan to have it ready for the good weather.

Best regards,

Sir Crash a Lot