Feb 28, 2011

RC Flying on the Android Phones

While waiting for a shipment from HobbyKing, I've been entertaining myself with a new application I found on the Android Market.  After flying a few RC sims for the iOS, I was unimpressed.  What makes Leo's RC Airplane sim different is the amazing graphics, ease of use, and the fact that you can add on more airplanes.  There is a free version in the market place so you can test it on your phones hardware.  To learn more or to download Leo's simulator for PC , head over to http://www.leobueno.net/

Feb 12, 2011

DX6i Antenna Repair

I, along with thousands of other DX6i users, had managed to break the 2.4ghz antenna.  The transmitter was in my backpack on a trip, and upon arriving home I found that the plastic was cracked at the hinge point.  It was still usable, so I went on using it with a little black tape wrapped around it for support.

Recently, I had to contact Horizon's customer service about another issue, and I managed to get a new antenna at the same time.  WARNING, if you own a DX6i, be careful peeling off the protective plastic stickers that are on all the switch name plates, and on the transmitters name sticker.  Mine all peeled off just fine, except the left switch tags peeled the paint of with it.  I called Horizon and was told that I would have to send the transmitter in to have get a new switch sticker.  This seemed ridiculous to me so I emailed the Horizon Hobby Service Center Manager, and suddenly it was not a problem...  The next day I was contacted by a Horizon Hobby employee who informed me that they were filling my order for the tag, and they went on to ask me to verify my shipping and payment.  I was informed shipping and handling would be $9.99, and while I was on the phone I had an idea that it might be a good time to buy a new antenna.  Upon asking if they had any in stock, I was told that they would throw one in for free!  So, I basically paid for the antenna, got free shipping and the new sticker I was wanting...  Once I got past the first line of customer service, Horizon did a great job of keeping me the customer happy.

Repairing the antenna is fairly straight forward, but their is a great how to over at http://www.chucknori.com  that will make the process much smoother if you have any questions...  Also, the antennas are now available online from different retailers ranging from $7.99 to $12.00.  Happy fixing!

Feb 9, 2011

Blu-Cub Full Fuse

After my first successful build of the profile Blu-Cub, I figured that more traditional building techniques could work well with foam.  The Blu-Cub provided me with a starting area for this project, but the result looks a little different than the original plane.

Starting with the two fuselage sides, I trimmed the foam at the tail end of the plane and glued pieces together with hot glue.  From that point I added a bulkhead about 1/3 of the distance from the tail to the nose, then I cut pieces to fit the top and bottom areas between the tail and bulkhead. And then worked my way forward from that point cutting pieces to fit as I went.

For the motor mount, I hot glued the threads of the lid of wide-mouth bottle, to the foam firewall.  The motor is attached to the bottle lid, and then the lid is threaded onto the bottle.  I did this to allow simple motor swap outs, if I'm under powered, I just get out another motor and bottle lid, and swap them out just like that :)  For access to the wiring, and for the battery, I put a magnetic hatch on the nose.

I decided to make the wing a band on wing, so I made the wing with an under-camber which matched the curve in the top of the fuse.  Adding the additional foam to make the full fuselage increased the weight, so I decided to slightly increase the wing length to reduce wing loading.   I reinforced the underside of the wing with the thinest carbon fiber rod I had which would provide adequate stiffening.  On the leading and trailing edge of the wing I hot-glued on a very tiny piece of carbon fiber rod to keep the rubber bands from working there way into the foam.  This was then covered with yellow duct tape.

Landing gears are proving challenging, I need a wire bending tool.  I hand bent my gear with pliers and a vice, I don't recommend it...  The piano wire I'm using is a little thin, so I added a cross member so they won't splay on landings.   

I'm finding that foam is a fairly simple medium to work with, and with a bit of care the results are very decent.

The plane is now awaiting electronics installation and flight testing.