Musings, Ramblings and Opinions
(I hate the word "Blog..")







Carl Goldberg Falcon 56 MkII

Colombo Andersson 38% Extra

Hangar 9 33% Cap 232

Hangar 9 1.20 Cap 232 (Bob's)

Hangar 9 1.20 Cap 232 (Bill's)

Lanier 31.5% Staudacher S600

Sig Kadet Mk II

Sterling Ringmaster

Thunder Tiger Fun Tiger


Pics of Cool Stuff


Crash Pictures


Car Stuff

1989 Jaguar XJS


Random Thoughts


Stuff for Sale





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 Hobbies..
I did buy a used Raptor 30 which I can fly around airplane style.  I am actually OK with that since I never figured I'd be able to fly an RC heli.  I am just not a natural at RC, that is, when something goes wrong I don't reflexively put in the right control inputs.. I have to process.. "Hmm.. it's doing that.. I want to do this.. that means this movement.."  With planes you actually have time to have that discussion with yourself.. not so much with helis..

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!

The next time you fly or spectate at an IMAC event, or any other model airplane event for that matter, please take a moment and personally thank those who made it happen.

On flying a "big" RC 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.
Turns out my concerns were without merit.  This plane flies like, well, like a big 25%..except that landings are much easier and it has a bunch more power.  Once you get it out on the runway, it doesn't even look that much  bigger than a 25%.  So, if you are thinking about making the jump, I say go for it.  You are missing out on way more than "8%" more fun :-)


On Saito 4-strokes....

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.

On Hi-Tec....

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...

7/21/03.. After waiting another week, I called Hi-Tec again late last week.  Nobody knew anything about my servos, except to say that they "should have shipped awhile ago..."  They were apologetic, and promised to send right away.  Today 4 new servos showed up, no charge, so I guess all's well that ends well.

On the Futaba 9ZAP....

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 general....


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 engine.