Musings, Ramblings and Opinions
I thought it might be fun to have a page with some of my ramblings and general opinions. I figure since it's my website, I can post my opinions, right? Not looking to start a big discussion, there are already plenty of places on the web for that. If one of these topics strikes you as interesting enough to warrant sending me an email, please feel free. If they upset you or make you angry, then just don't read them!
Back in the Saddle?
Well, it's been at least a
couple of years since I have seriously tried to update this site.
I have not done much with RC except for spend a lot of money determining
that little electric helis are a pain in the arse.. I actually got to
where I could loop the Blade, but it cost a lot of trips to Viper
The last few years have been mostly about work, hanging out with the kids, working on the Jag, and Quinn's truck. I am starting to get the RC bug again.
In 2005 and 2006 I had some
mid-class finishes in IMAC Sportsman, and I did make some progress on
the 38% Extra about a year ago.. I need to post some pics of that.
We'll see what happens next..
Have you hugged your CD today?
We thoroughly enjoyed being spectators at the 2003 Tucson Aerobatic
Shootout. Take a moment and think about the amount of work that goes
into successfully hosting any IMAC event, let alone one of this magnitude:
Everything from the food, to the regular scoring updates, to the water
truck keeping the parking lot dust down, to the seating and canopies, and
on and on, was coordinated, set up, kept clean, and taken down by
volunteers. Mike Marcellin, Anna Wood, TIMPA, and their team deserve
a huge THANKS! from all of us. I know the pilots were appreciative,
I just wanted to take a moment and say that we spectators were too.
Thanks for a first-class experience!
On flying a
plane for the first time...
It was with no small amount of apprehension that I prepared to fly my 33%
Cap for the first time. The biggest thing I had flown prior to that
was a 25% Cap. What if it's too touchy? What if it's hard to
land? What if I goofed up some part of the construction? What
if the motor quits?... you get the picture.
My first (and only, so far) Saito was the 1.80. Bill has a 1.80, .91 and a
.72. The .91 is mounted inverted in the UCanDo. Once these
engines were properly broken in, they have run really well. The .91
has never had the dreaded "inverted 4-stroke flameout problem." The
idles only get slower with time, as the engine breaks in we have been able
to get all of them to really putt at low idle settings. We use only
Cool Power 30% Heli fuel and OS-F glow plugs. It's really neat when
something works this well. I have no plans to buy another 2-stroke
glow engine anytime soon.
I'm trying hard to like Hi-Tec. I have 5625s in my 25% cap.
Although generally seen as not the greatest digital HT makes, they have
been fine for me. After the crash, I sent them in for a memory flash
and general checkup. When I got them back, the rudder server was
crap. Wouldn't hold center. I sent it back with a terse note,
they repaired and returned, no charge. I sent in my 555 for a
post-crash checkup (Beat the snot out of it in the Zagi), they repaired
and returned for a nominal fee. Works great. I just sent in
my 81j's for the same treatment, no word after 4 weeks so I called.
They told me that they needed pots, which were not available, so they are
sending me 4 new servos. Should be here in a couple of days... we'll see what happens. Not sure if I will be charged or
not. I really like the concept of the programmer, and people seem to be having good luck with their high-end digitals.
Maybe I'll give them a try on my next project...
I decided to suck it up and buy a 9ZAP WC2, the thought being that I will
never have to buy another TX. It is a really impressive piece of
equipment. It seems like everything imaginable is adjustable or
programmable. It definitely takes more time to set up a new plane
than with my old 6x, mostly because you have to make
sure the stuff you don't want is turned "off". I think if I was
setting up new planes more frequently I'd be much faster at it. I
am totally pleased with the TX, it has been great. I love the big
screen, addressable switches, and the conditions. My one tiny issue
is with the frequency synthesizer.. it only "talks" to Futaba receivers.
Per Futaba, FMA and Radio South, the synth adds an extra pulse to the
signal which freaks out non-Futaba receivers. Receiver manufacturers
point the finger at Futaba, Futaba points back. Supposedly it will
work fine with HiTec receivers, but I haven't tried it...
On Engines in
I don't understand the guys
that show up at the field with old, worn-out or off-brand engines, then
spend the whole day fooling around trying to make them run. Some
of these folks are proud to tell you how they "only paid $30" for some
tired-looking .45 2-stroker, and by the way they've ordered a new sleeve
and piston for only another $15. Then they get bent out of shape
when it doesn't run. Some even attempt to fly, thinking "it will
get better in the air.." Newsflash: It never gets better in
the air! My OS engines have always run just outstanding on a
variety of fuels. When you can buy a .40 LA for $55, why not step
up and do it? I got into RC airplanes to fly, not to wrench on my