Thursday, December 30, 2010

tiny 2.4GHz Receivers

Very impressive!

'Fly Electric' - 2.4GHz Receivers: "Technically, except for the converted receivers at the bottom of the list, all are based on the Cypress CYRF69103. The background colours in the table below indicate designs that are very similar. I have the bare PCB's"

Wednesday, December 29, 2010

Wiring multi-cell batteries

Diagrams posted by "byrum" at hobbyking in one of the battery reviews.

The power is in series.  Each pair of wires in the balance connector makes a circuit for one cell.

Park Flyer control rod: 1/32''

Control Horns Radical RC:

"These horns have holes correct for 1/32 wire commonly used in park fliers and F3P models."

And the right size for small servos such as 9g.

Monday, December 27, 2010

RC Balls of Steel, Gabriel2584 Edition

YouTube - FPV RPV na varanda - FPV on the balcony: "FPV RPV"

Greatest moments:

FPV off the balcony:

FPV through the tunnel:

Aerial RC shots of Hong Kong

Aerial Video Footage of Hong Kong - Slashdot:

"I did this in Hong Kong :) (Score:5, Interesting)
by bronney (638318) []

Here's one closer to buildings :) []"

Connector Chart

From: / Custom Connector menu

CHEAP BATTERY PACKS ( Wholesale Battery pack source search.asp()

Zinc flux and solder for lipo packs (

"Special zinc solder that when used with the special flux will stick to Aluminum. Use when building or repairing your own lipo packs."

Friday, December 24, 2010

RC Groups - View Single Post - Fans of Flite Test Corner (Non show specific)

Recommendation for starting FPV:

Camera, receiver, transmitter

patch antenna

antenna cable adaptor"

Monday, December 20, 2010



* Basic Structure of Matter
o Elements
o Atom Models
* Electrical Charge
* The Free Electron
o The Valence Shell

What you need to know in order to understand semiconductors.

Friday, December 17, 2010

[Bare PCB] Arduino ProtoShield [Bare PCB] Arduino ProtoShield [BPC004] - $2.50 : iStore, Make Innovation Easier

[Bare PCB] Arduino ProtoShield: "The ProtoShield mates with the Arduino USB board and gives the user a small soldering area, two general LEDs, access to a BlueSMiRF socket, a general pushbutton switch, and most important of all - the Arduino reset switch is brought to the top level."

[Bare PCB] Arduino ProtoShield [Bare PCB] Arduino ProtoShield [BPC004] - $2.50 : iStore, Make Innovation Easier

[Bare PCB] Arduino ProtoShield [Bare PCB] Arduino ProtoShield [BPC004] - $2.50 : iStore, Make Innovation Easier: "The ProtoShield mates with the Arduino USB board and gives the user a small soldering area, two general LEDs, access to a BlueSMiRF socket, a general pushbutton switch, and most important of all - the Arduino reset switch is brought to the top level."

Standalone Arduino mini pin mapping | Flickr - Photo Sharing!

Standalone Arduino mini pin mapping:

Nice and cheap Arduino.

Bare Bones Board Kit | Modern Device

Bare Bones Board Kit | Modern Device: "The Bare Bones Board (BBB) is an Arduino-compatible board (Freeduino) that implements the functionality of the Arduino Duemilanove/Diecimila, on a smaller printed circuit board, by removing the USB communications chip to another board."

The Basics - Very Basic Circuits

The Basics - Very Basic Circuits:

Pull-up and current-limiting resistors.

Tuesday, December 14, 2010

Monday, December 13, 2010

Vendor: ImmersionRC

Trappy's FPV system:

Products - ImmersionRC: "EzUHF: UHF Radio Control system, designed for FPV and UAV flight.

- Reliable FHSS control system
- Integration with ImmersionRC's EzOSD, for on-screen feedback of uplink status
- Built-in headtracker port, for direct connection with most headtrackers
- Bidirectional-ready"

Sunday, December 12, 2010

BEV-FY-20A II Flight Stabilization System

BEV-FY-20A II Flight Stabilization System

Lots of details on flight stabilization here.
"BEV-FY-20A measures the present flying attitude through the inertial platform which consists of three axis gyroscope and tri-axial accelerometer. when is under the balance controlling , BEV-FY-20A will control the pitch attitude through elevating rudder , the roll attitude through ailerons and stably the course through the rudder .when the flight attitude out of the level ,the balance apparatus will give relevant of auto control gains to help the plane back to horizontal flight . when is in the 3D mode , the balance apparatus induce the rolling speed of three axis through gyroscope ,to show the auto control gain through relevant control rudder and prevent the rolling of each axis .So the plane will maintain the current attitude."

Thursday, December 9, 2010

Airspace Notes

Pandemonia  has lots of other interesting and useful information about "real" flying, especially in the Bay Area.

Class A airspace is tightly-controlled, instrument flying only, and above 18,000 feet. This tends to be where the jets are while cruising....
Class B airspace surrounds the biggest airports (like SFO). Class B airspace is tightly controlled, and usually very busy. Student pilots can't fly in Class B airspace without their instructor's explicit written endorsement [which I now have... HR].
Class C airspace surrounds busy airports like Oakland or San Jose. It's not quite as tightly controlled as Class B, but still has radar, full ATC services, etc. They let people like me fly in Class C.
Class D airspace surrounds smaller airports (like PAO or LVK) with a control tower, but not (usually) radar. Often very busy. Often scarier than class B or C because of the lack of radar....
Class E airspace is all controlled airspace that isn't one of the above. Most of the US airspace below 18,000 feet and not one of class A, B, C, or D is class E.
Class G airspace is uncontrolled airspace, typically just the lowest altitudes away from airports. There's not a lot of it in the Bay Area...."

Class B airspace generally looks like an upside-down wedding cake.

Wednesday, December 8, 2010

Teensy USB Development Board

"a complete USB-based microcontoller development system, in a very small footprint, capable of implementing many types of projects." 

It has it's own software environment, but can also run Arduino sketches using TeensyDuino:
Many type of sketches are able to run on the Teensy! The digitial I/O pins work with digitialWrite(pin,value), digitalRead(pin), and pinMode(pin,mode). The PWM pins can be used with analogWrite(pin,value). Eight (8) pins can be used as interrupts with attachInterrupt(). The Teensy++ has 8 analog inputs that can be used with analogRead().

BaronPilot Arduino based copilot autostabilizer with Nintendo Wii component (tricopter, quadcopter)

BaronPilot Arduino based copilot autostabilizer with Nintendo Wii component (tricopter, quadcopter): "This is a program to stabilize a multicopter (copilot), runs on microcontroller like Arduino or Teensy and only a wii motion plus, no other electronics needed. These project started April, 2010. Supported are planes, tricopter, quadricopter ( and x config), hexacopter (penta and coaxial). The self-leveling capability helps when doing FPV (first person view)."

NerdKits -- another approach to embedded electronics.

NerdKits are arduino-based, but programmed at the ATMEL level.  It comes with a chip instead of a board.  The xylophone kit for example is programmed using timer interrupts. Seems pretty good, the video tutorials are excellent.  Here's the basic kit.

Resistor Lead Forming Tool

Lead Bender
"Okay, you can bend your resistor leads by hand. We know. We all do it. But, resistor benders are fabulous for getting the leads bent squarely enough to go easily through the holes in your PCB or perf board. Silly? No, because it helps keep your board looking neat, and keeps the resistors from sticking too far above the board. If you are populating a circuit board with a lot of resistors, this tool can actually save you a lot of time. How? By making sure that your resistors are bent to exactly the correct length, so that they go through the hole on the first try, without any fuss. This is one of those tools that we never thought we needed until we got one."  

more arduino resources.

Evil Mad Science has the Diavolino, a low-cost Aduino-compatible board.

It's a low-profile through-hole version, with a simplified design. It's based on a ATmega328P microcontroller, and comes pre-flashed with the Arduino bootloader. Open source design, with bare basics hardware.

Diavolino is sold as an easy to assemble "through hole" soldering kit. Basic electronic soldering skill is required, and you provide the soldering tools: a soldering iron and solder, plus small wire clippers. Assembly time is typically 10-30 minutes, depending on configuration and soldering skill.

Tuesday, December 7, 2010

Brushless Motor Timing

The Future is Electric:

Good explanation of motor timing.

"For a long time now, the correct timing to use for brushless outrunner motors has been a problem because of all of the conflicting information available in both the print media (magazines & instruction sheets packed with ESCs) and the Internet."

Monday, December 6, 2010

Saturday, December 4, 2010

San Francisco Bay Area - Soarheads

San Francisco Bay Area - Soarheads:

"'Soarheads' is an informal group of enthusiasts who enjoy flying radio controlled sailplanes in the San Francisco East Bay area. Soarheads fly regularly on Tuesdays at the Berkeley Marina."

Wednesday, December 1, 2010



Thunder AC6 Battery Monitor Software, and Drivers:
(This software will work on other simular type chargers)
T6 Transmitter USB Drivers:
If you are having trouble with T6 config freezing using Windows XP, Vista, or Windows 7. Try this driver.
This USB driver works on some systems.
If you lose your default transmitter settings.
T6 recalibrate is a program that recalibrates your T6 transmitter.
Digital Radio is software that programs and recalibrates the T6.
T6 Transmitter Mods

Servo Protocol Notes

  • pulse is 1ms (full left) to 2 ms (full right).  1.5ms pulse is centered.
  • pulse rate is typically 50 hz (ie, 50 pulses/sec)
  • overpulsing can heat up analog servos
  • QUESTION:  it seems digital servos don't have to be refreshed.  Do analog servos always have to be refreshed?  I tried sending a single pulse, and an HX-900 analog servo seemed to hold its position.  Perhaps I was doing something wrong?
Good Refs:

Friday, November 26, 2010

Monday, November 15, 2010

Woodland Aero Modelers

Woodland Aero Modelers: "Woodland Aero Modelers is a special interest group pertaining to the hobby of Model Airplane building and flying. We are an AMA Chartered club, which has been in existence since 1936."

Lessons In Electric Circuits

Lessons In Electric Circuits: "A free series of textbooks on the subjects of electricity and electronics
Copyright (C) 2000-2010, Tony R. Kuphaldt

These books and all related files are published under the terms and conditions of the Design Science License. These terms and conditions allow for free copying, distribution, and/or modification of this document by the general public."

Wednesday, November 10, 2010

Gyros 101: Make your model fly better | Model Airplane News | Find Articles at BNET

Gyros 101: Make your model fly better | Model Airplane News | Find Articles at BNET: "What is a gyro? Quite simply, it is a device that can sense rotation. It's handy for changing aircraft and helicopter flight and response characteristics, since the model has to rotate when it's disturbed by wind gusts or maneuvering. We can use a gyro to reduce aircraft rotations and 'smooth things out.'"

Willar ME850 AVR programming system

Micro development system for AVR. (link)

Google translation: "Most mainstream system supports 51 computers and programming AVR microcontroller and experiment, using the whole open-modular design, materials can be used with any microcontroller, very suitable for the majority of colleges, individuals, engineers and technicians to learn and develop 51 / AVR microcontroller needs!"

Tuesday, November 9, 2010

RC Newbie Rules

Newbie Rules: "7- YOU WILL NEED TRAINING GEAR. This is extra wide landing gear you attach to your normal landing gear. They reduce the chance of crashing while learning from 99% down to 95%."

Friday, November 5, 2010

AR Drone - View topic - Night Flight

AR Drone - View topic - Night Flight:

"I rigged some nice bright LEDs on my AR.Drone for night flying. It works great! Makes for a very cool 'ground effect', plus it helps the downward facing cam lock on for stabilization."

Monday, November 1, 2010

Electronics for Radio Control Models

Electronics for Radio Control Models:

Homebrew electronics, several different applications for RC.

Peak Servo Current Tests

Peak Servo Current Tests: "Measuring servo current with a multimeter or Wattmeter won't tell you how high the peaks get. For this you need an oscilloscope, which traces a graph of instantaneous voltage vs. time. To convert the servo current to a voltage, I made a current probe with a 0.1 Ohm resistor inserted in series with the servo's negative power lead. I set the 'scope input attenuator to 50mV/div, giving a display of 500mA per division. The servos were exercised with a servo tester set for slow rotation. This simulates the small movements that typically occur in flight."

Sunday, October 31, 2010

The Pantheon by David Moore

The Pantheon by David Moore: "This famous building stands in the business district of Rome--much as it was built some 18 centuries ago. Amazingly, it has withstood the ravages of both the elements and war permitting a firsthand view of a unique product constructed by Roman hands. Now, it is exposed to acid rain and fumes from passing automobiles and overshadowed by buildings of inferior taste; but, with trust in the future, the Pantheon will survive."

Saturday, October 30, 2010

Differential ailerons

Differential ailerons: "There is a simple way of accomplishing differential aileron throws mechanically, by positioning control horns away from the hinge of the control surface. On this page we provide simple charts that allow one to measure and position aileron control horns to get precise maximum throw angles while achieving the desired differential."

Friday, October 22, 2010

what is DEPRON

what is DEPRON: "Depron is actually polystyrene (EPS/XPS) plastic and the (EPS) means expanded while (XPS) means extruded. For our purposes, we’re only interested in the stronger, denser XPS Depron which also happens to be closed-cell foam."

Depron Foam - Technical Information

Depron Foam - Technical Information: "Below are links to the current Depron Foam technical information:"

Monday, October 18, 2010

Untitled Page

RP Flight Systems: "The Spectra line of unmanned aircraft have been developed as an 'unclassified' asset, meaning there are no 'dual use' or military equipment installed that would produce data that would have to be 'declassified' before distribution."

Friday, October 15, 2010

RC Glossary

The Ultimate RC Flying Glossary!: "This RC flying glossary contains some of the more common words and terms that you'll hear now and again when you're reading about rc airplanes, or you're down at the flying field."

Wednesday, October 13, 2010

Draganflyer X4 Four Rotor UAV Helicopter Aerial Video Platform

Draganflyer X4: "The small, battery powered Dragaflyer X4 gets you the same great aerial pictures that renting a plane can, but at a fraction of the cost. Avoid the hassle and expense of using a full size aircraft for projects that can be accomplished easily and economically with our Draganflyer X4 UAV."  One of the original commercial units, and a steal at only $8,000!

Thursday, October 7, 2010

Basic Servo Motion

Stick/Servo Relationship

rudder   L = CCW, R = CW 
aileron  L = CCW, R = CW 
elevator F = CCW, B = CW

Non-Reversing Installation

rudder             elev 
servo stem  horn   servo stem   horn 
----- ----  ----   ----- ----   ---- 
left  top   left   left  top    bottom 
right top   right  left  bottom top 
down  left  left   right top    top 
down  right right  right bottom bottom 
                   up    left   top 
                   up    right  bottom 
                   down  left   bottom 
                   down  right  top

Plausible Rudder/Elevator Combinations

DRR/DLB (inverted, for ezflyer)
LTL/RTT (flat, on top, 300s)
RTT/RBB (2 rights, above and below wing)
LTL/RBB (stacked, flat, around wing)
LTL/LBT (left, high, up and down)
Best configuration for RET (rudder/elevator/throttle) flyer (e.g. Blu-Baby) with push rods on outside of plane

rudder             elev 
servo stem  horn   servo stem   horn 
----- ----  ----   ----- ----   ---- 
left  top   left   right top    top

The Fleet: H-6, Nutball 17

202g (7.1oz) AUW w/ 2S 500mah
paint added 3g

Tuesday, October 5, 2010

Balancing servo throws

from: Setting up your Airplane
 Preferred servo orientation to maximize stiffness:

Linkage setup:
  • dimensions "A" and "B" are determined by what the plans call for with respect to the total movement of the control surface (up/down, left/right, etc.) and how much travel your servo has.

    set radio for normal, high-rate throws.
  • at control surface, mount the control horn so that distance "A" is as large as possible -- about 1" or so for large aircraft, 3/4" or so for smaller airplanes; commensurately larger for giant scale or smaller for park flyers.
  • deflect the control surface to the maximum the plans call for, and measure the (horizontal) distance that the hole in the control horn moves. Call this dimension "C".
  • Using radio, center servo arm.  run the servo to its extremes and measure the distance some particular hole in the servo arm moves. Choose the hole that is closest to dimension "C" that you measured at the control surface. The distance from the middle of the servo attaching screw to that hole is dimension "B".
  • fix control surface in neutral position, and measure the distance between the hole on the servo arm and the hole in the control horn with the servo in its neutral position.
  • manufacture a straight rod and attach it to those points.
  • mount the servo, making sure that the servo arm is perpendicular to the control rod, as shown, and that the control horn is also perpendicular to the rod.
  • turn on your radio again and run that channel to its extremes and measure the throws at the edge of the control surface. Now reference the plans for your model. Are the throws too much, too little, or just right? If too much, increase dimension "A" (or decrease "B").  If too little, reduce "A".
  • the throws in each direction should be identical. If not, check that the setup is as shown above, with 90 degree angles at both ends. You may have to adjust the neutral on your servo, or bend the arm at the control horn, but try hard to equalize those throws!
  • What you’re doing here is maximizing the utilization of your servo’s power. By using the entire rotation of your servo arm to cause the control surface to move its maximum distance, you’ve used the mechanical advantage of the servo to its fullest extent - all the power your servo has is being used.
  • If you merely install your servo and rod without regard to the total desired control throws, and the distance "B" at the servo is longer than at the control arm, you will have to reduce the maximum servo arm rotation allowed in order to keep the control surface movement at the correct distance. Result: poor utilization of your servo's power—you’re only using part of it, and resolution suffers as well.
  • If distance "B" at the servo is shorter than at the control arm, the opposite ensues, and you’ll most likely overdrive the servo, perhaps causing binding or other equally devastating problems, or you won’t get the full throws desired at the control surface.

EZ-Pod Kit [PT-EZ] : RangeVideo!, Wireless video solutions.

EZ-Pod Kit [PT-EZ] : RangeVideo!, Wireless video solutions.

Sunday, September 26, 2010

Simply Brilliant Hot Wire Cutter Power Supply

From user 7up on rcgroups.  Power from a 3-5A 12V wall wart, managed by a 6-10A brushed ESC, controlled by a servo tester.  Attach the hotwire to the motor wires.

Saturday, September 25, 2010

BSD Micro - Small Plane Resources

BSD Micro RC: "BSD started in 1996 with our first product, a 2 gram ESC, followed by chargers for small NiCd cells. Today BSD is the Micro RC Specialist with a full line of micro equipment, kits, and planes in the under two-ounce category. We sell state-of-the-art equipment from firms like JMP Solutions, Falcon Models, Didel, Kokam batteries, EFlight Designs and others. We also manufacture our own BSD products like our BSD magnetic actuators, prop adapters, gearboxes, foam wings, and chargers."

The Vapor - cRAsH's Photos

The Vapor - cRAsH's Photos: "Pennytech FPV with the Parkzone Vapor."

Downloadable Instruction Manuals

Searchable repository of RC instruction manuals:

A nice explanation of PPM radio signals

Interestingly, the radio transmitter and receiverr does no transformation of the signal between the encoder and the servo.

Wednesday, September 22, 2010

Vendor: RCTimer Online RC Store

"RCTimer Power Model Co.,Ltd, was established in 2003 in ShenZhen city, Guangdong Province, China as a professional manufacturer for R/C accessories of model toy's applications. As a master in hobby industry, we always do our best to improve our designs concepts & manufacturing technologies. We offer a wealth of manufacturing experience & technology with the expertise acquired over the past 5 years. We are constantly enhancing our R/C EQUIPMENT and ourselves according to the professional suggestions offered by our respect customers, in order to bring superior and innovative products to the customers from all over the world."

Notes on cutting BluBaby 33

Some build notes on cutting BluCore:
  • really sharp blade.  box cutter is fine, the thick blade makes it easy to make straight cuts.  there aren't enough tight curves where you will need a thinner blade.
  • make two bodies at the same time if you have the foam, if you want the practice
  • when laying out, flip the wing and body templates so you will have left/right sides with the good side facing out
  • lay out the wings so that any foam "ripples" run longitudinally (left/right) across the wing.
  • some pieces have an "inside" and "outside" (body, bulkheads).  cut these from the parts of the foam with lots of ugly printing, so that the printing is hidden on the inside.
  • some pieces are exposed on two sides (wings, elevator, rudder, stabilizer).  Cut these from areas of the foam that look nice on both sides.

Tuesday, September 21, 2010

Concord Model Engineers

CME: "Weekly (Sunday) Fun Flying at the end of Court Lane, Concord (Electric only)

Our Club Meetings are held currently at 7:30PM on the second Tuesday of the month at the Buchanan Airport Terminal Bldg.
(Near the Control Tower)"

Monday, September 20, 2010

Pager Motors

Here's some links about 4mm and 8mm pager motors.
  • recommending a GWS 2508 prop, with some data.
  • different models at pagermotors.
  • google for "namiki pager motors"
  • lots on ebay, seems about $15 including shipping for 10 units.

Nice online trig calculator

Perfect for calculating dihedral!

Friday, September 17, 2010

Things I'd like to try: The Simple Delta

A  simple easy to build Delta that makes a lot less noise than the more common pusher or prop in a slot Delta design.
  • WS is 20"
  • LE is 7" long
  • LE to TE (hinge line) is 14.25"
  • Elevons are 2" wide