Tuesday, February 24, 2015

WLToys V686G Mini FPV Quadcopter

Here's some notes on my review of the WLToys V686G Mini FPV Quadcopter. It was sent to me free of charge for review by GearBest.

The unit is available here: http://www.gearbest.com/rc-quadcopters/pp_141289.html
I don't get any money for this, but there's has a coupon code GBV686G.

Executive Summary

  • It's a good flyer and I think it will be pretty popular.
  • Video is pretty decent for the price.
  • Lights are great...  this unit looks good at night.
  • Buy some extra batteries and a charger if you don't have one already.
  • The manual is pretty terrible.  But I'll summarize everything you need below!
  • Constant Tx beeping in heading-hold mode is crazy annoying!
  • Doesn't seem to state video channel.
In the Box
  • Quadcopter, Transmitter, 1S 780mAh Lipo Battery
  • HD Camera, Video Monitor, Video Antenna, 4GB Micro SD card, USB Card Reader
  • 4 spare props, 4 prop protectors, Screwdriver, Monitor mounting hardware, Manual.
  • LiPo and Monitor chargers, manual
Note that the web page advertises a 2GB Micro SD card, but mine came with a 4GB card.

Battery Spec

  • 1S,  780 mAh, JST connector, no specification on C-rating but I'm guessing it's 25C
  • Transmitter takes 6 AA batteries (not included).
Setting Up

Setup is easy.
  • Charge the LiPo battery and Video Receiver.  Put AA's into the Transmitter.
  • Attach the Video Receiver to the Transmitter with the supplied hardware.
  • Put the quadcopter on a flat surface and plug in the battery.  The light will start to flash.
  • Turn on the Transmitter.  After a few seconds, the quadcopter light will go solid and the Tx will stop beeping.
  • Put the battery into the bottom of the compartment. The wires will fit nicely into the top.
  • Ready to Fly!

The stick controls are standard.  Special controls are:
  • Left shoulder button : video record on/off.  The blue camera light blinks while recording.
  • Right shoulder button: Flip mode. Click, hear fast beep, move right stick in direction of flip.
  • Button 1,2,3,4:  Rates: 40%, 60%, 80%, 100%
  • Button 5:  Lights on/off
  • Button 6:  Camera, still picture
  • Button 6 (2 second press) enter/exit headless mode

Monday, February 16, 2015

Notes onOneShot 125 ESC Communications

Executive summary:
  • uses a pulse with of 125-250 usec, rather than the typical 1000-2000 usec.
  • sends a pulse ("oneshot") once per execution of the flight controller main loop.

At the time of writing, Flyduino KISS ESCs and Naze boards support the protocol

Cleanflight notes. Originally put into BLHeli(?). Nice video explanation.

blogodex = {"toc" : "OneShot"};

Friday, February 13, 2015

Fixing UMX Radian Porpoising

BrownShoe at RCGroups posted a note about eliminating porpoising on his UMX Radian.

After I established the CG at 32 mm, I cranked in some negative elevator with my needle-nosed pliers; the little U-bend was almost closed. She flew kind of crazy. It was way too much negative elevator and the wind was very choppy and I came close to crashing. What I noticed was, it did not porpoise! Ha! I landed and opened up the U-bend some and tried again. She flew with nary a dip! It was the nicest flight she has ever flown!  
I performed a dive test as best I could while trying to remember what to look for. It had a nice gentle rise and not an abrupt porpoise. Nice! I flew three packs and she handled very well in spite of the very choppy air. I let it glide hands free for a good ten seconds. Finally it flies like it is supposed to and I'm having maximum joy now. 

blogodex = {"toc" : "UMX Radian", "idx" : "porpoising"};

Tuesday, February 10, 2015

Concord Model Engineers Minutes, February 2015


Tuesday, Feb 10, 2015

CALL TO ORDER:  7:30 pm


Monthly meeting, Second Tuesday, 7:30 at Concord Airport Terminal.

Friday Fun Fly, Third Friday, 7:00 - 9:00 pm.
Gym at the Church of the Nazarene, 1650 Ashby Dr., Concord

Fun Fly this month on Feb 30.


Previous Balance $2582.68
- web site fees     99.00
Current Balance  $2483.68


The club welcomes Sam, a senior at Northgate High School.  Sam will be working
on a model plane for his senior project.

Indoor flying venue.  We will continue at the prior venue.  If anyone knows
of other venues please let everyone know.  George knows a guy who knows
something about the Moffit Field hangar.

If you need a badge, let Ron know.  Needs your name and AMA number.

Christmas party, concensus reached, same time (second Tues in Decemeber),
same place (Buttercups)!


Feb 28, Wagel free flight, weather permitting.


Mike Woodring, two Flite Test Bloody Wonders.

Mike Woodring, Flite Test F22.

Mark Harrison, EZFly. More pics here. Video below.

Mark Harrison, F22.  Notes here. Video below.

Jerry, Sigg Twister.  Finished with orange rustoleum, matching the monokote.

Lee, Ubanko Contest wing, from Ukraine.  Had to order off of Facebook.


bundle of balsa, roll of monocoat, BHM Vulture combat kit, .049 Cox engine, Zap Glue, Interceptor Free Flight kit, 3D Kit Lazer Cut, Roll 0.15x52 flying wires, Solder jig, Screwdriver set, digitial multimeter.



F22 flying around.

blogodex = {"toc" : "CME Minutes"};

Monday, February 9, 2015

CME Minutes, January 2015


Tuesday, Jan 11, 2015

CALL TO ORDER:  7:30 pm


Monthly meeting, Second Tuesday, 7:30 at Concord Airport Terminal.

Friday Fun Fly, Third Friday, 7:00 - 9:00 pm.
Gym at the Church of the Nazarene, 1650 Ashby Dr., Concord

Fun Fly this month on Jan 16.


Over $1100 spent on the Christmas Party. Yippee!

Current Balance $2552.53

Several checks were made out to "CME".  Those were not accepted by the bank.  Checks should be made out to one of the signatories, Ron, Mike, or Chuck.


A great Christmas gathering.  Happy New Year!


Motion: Members in good standing will have dues waived for 2015.
We've got about two years worth of operating expenses at the present time.
Ayes: 11 Nays: 5, motion carries.  Put your money in your pocket!

A membership roster will be sent out to the mailing list.

If you need to be added to the mailing list, send Mark a note: marhar@gmail.com

A service for Bob Andrews was held on Dec. 16.  He was a good guy.

Looking for event ideas at the CL flight circle.  Suggest some!

Idea: Poker flight.  Take a flight and get a card.  Collect three cards, and two cards are drawn at the end.  Best hands get a prize!

San Jose State is looking for a faculty to set up a UAV program.


Watch Discovery Channel's "What Could Possibly Go Wrong?" First or second Saturday in February.  Some members assisted in the production.

PARADE OF PLANES (sorry, no pictures this month!)

Jim Muether: two 1/2A, Searcher and another model.  350 feet altitude in 2.5 seconds.

George Ellison, Black Hawk Polish Fighter.

Steam Boat, Crick kit.  Twin piston engine.

Mark Harrison, experimenting with a "Class C" UMX Radian.

Chuck, Sport Cub, flies nicely and takes off in about 10 feet.


Reno Air Races book, BHM P51 Mustang kit, 1gal Omega 10% fuel, 30m epoxy, 2'' spinner, 1/2'' spinner, BHM SkyMaster II.


blogodex = {"idx" : "CME Minutes"};

Saturday, February 7, 2015

Warren's Balsa Storage

The topic of balsa came up, and Concord Model Engineer Warren Delane shared details on his balsa storage bin.  He writes:

I store my balsa according to thickness in a swing-down bin that is located between joists under my loft.

Bin is made of recycled wood  and swings down from space under a loft between joists. Bottom is 1/8" hardboard. Small chain to restrain further movement. Pivot is black metal pipe, which doubles as pivot for a ladder for access to loft.
Other end of compartment is propped up by a broomstick attached as a handle as weight of compartment with full load of balsa is heavy. Once in place, wooden turnbuckles(?) lock bin from falling.

Crude but effective. I wish for a better system but it works, considering space is very cramped in this end of my Man Cave.

Loft is for storage of covering rolls in Xmas wrap boxes, tissue rolls, disassembled wings and fuselages, and seldom-needed, lightweight stuff. Access is by the ladder on left, made in two sections for compactness.

Pivots down from same black iron pipe as balsa bin. Old TV plays VHS aviation tapes, old hi-fi for FM radio and music cassettes.

Believe it or not, this is as tidy a mess as it gets! Unfinished models are stored in plastic bags and put aside until later. 

 My Man Cave.
10'x12', prefab shed. Strictly for model workshop. A smaller shed (8'x12') is off the the right (OOS) for family storage.
Last time I tried to weigh each sheet on my digital scale and marked the density  near the label, but I had to use a calculator to use in a formula (from the 'net) to get the density. Now, I rearranged the sheets according to increasing density. Of course, thus works only in full sheets. Partial sheets are merely guesstimated.

Close up view of bin in down position. Grooves sawed into top and bottom hold black plexiglas separators for 1/32" and smaller, 3/32", 1/8", 3/16", 1/4" sheets. Last space is for 4" wide sheets. 

Balsa (Equadorian Gold) was hoarded for decades, some sheets date from pre-wartime years! Much of it was salvaged when White Front closed in SSF, a whole display bin for $5!

blogodex = {"idx" : {["balsa", "storage", "workshop", "Warren Delane"]};

Sunday, February 1, 2015

Three F22 Videos

I was chatting with a friend about the awesomeness of the F22s that Andreas built for us, so I thought I would collect the videos here.

Here's the maiden flight, and some notes on how it was built.

Andreas flies his a lot, it may be his favorite plane.  Each time he crashed and broke off a bit of nose, he rounded off the tip a bit.  Shorter, but maybe flies even better!  Here he's painted it and it's a lot more visible.

I crashed mine, but glued the nose back on.  Beacon FoamTac is great stuff!

Share and Enjoy!

blogodex = {"toc" : "F22", "idx" : "FoamTac"};