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Archive for November, 2013

Adventures in RC – My first plane

Thursday, November 14th, 2013

You gotta start somewhere right?

I decided that when I started getting into RC that it will probably be a good idea to go the cheap route in case it wasn’t for me. Instead of getting a plane first I picked a simulator where I can get the fundamentals with out all the crashed plane hassle.

I spent hours in Real Flight 6.5. Totaling in thousands of dollars of destroyed virtual planes. Trainers? Crashed em. 3D? Crashed em. Helicopters? Woo boy did I crash the shit out of those, and don’t even get me started in quadrotors.

After I had the basics down, and did some research, I picked up my first plane, a GWS Slow Stick. Why that one? First, its a three channel that you can convert to 4 later if you wanted. Second, the construction of it was so simple – a stick for a fuselage and the wings/control surfaces were foam with some plastic bits holding it all together. When I inevitably crash it and bust up the wing its a simple fix, as opposed to having to rebuild the structure and recover it with film.

Another big plus was its slow flight and light weight meant I can fly it at local parks/empty sports fields. Since I live in the LA area open space is a premium. There’s a couple RC flight fields near me, but require an expensive AMA membership on top of dues for the organization maintaining the field. I’m going to wait until I have larger/faster planes to sign up for membership.

Adventures in RC

Thursday, November 14th, 2013

I recently started to get into RC. I had started to mess with Legos, mostly Technics – the Lego’s that don’t quite look like Lego’s – gears, axels, beams and what not.

But pretty quickly I realized the limitations of Lego. Not in that you can’t build anything with them, but its really difficult to build something precise and accurate. One of my first devices was a rotating camera mount for time lapse. Turns out there’s quite a bit of play between the teeth of gears which meant the camera only rotated every 3rd try.

Then I tried making an rc car with legos, and the other hurdle reared its head: you never have enough of or the right Lego pieces. I had spent quite a bit picking up certain sets just to get the parts i needed, but when putting together whatever I was making I was always a couple pieces short of being able to make what I wanted.

That also brought another problem to light: Lego’s are fucking expensive. I understand why they are and I’m not complaining, but when I can build a working flying quadcopter for less than a Lego set that doesn’t do anything but open/close doors with simple gears the answer is clear.

So here I am a few months later, Lego’s are now on eBay looking for a loving home and I have a couple to rc models to tinker with and I couldn’t be happier. There’s a certain joy from putting something together and being able to use it, break it and put it back together again.