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Getting back into it after ~40 years or so

Old 07-24-2012, 12:00 AM
  #1  
dgjessing
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Default Getting back into it after ~40 years or so

Hello all - until this week, the last time I flew an RC plane was back in the early '70s. That was a single channel balsa & tissue paper sailplane with a rubber band escapement. Launched it off the biggest hill available and managed a few turns before it went out of range and I had to watch helplessly as it glided off into the woods below...

Fast forward:

Last week I ordered a Cox "Sky Cruiser", and have successfully (for the most part) had it out three times over the weekend and today. I think I may be hooked

The first outing mainly confirmed that the motor was indeed crooked in it's mounting - it was off kilter by perhaps 5 degrees and all I could do was try to keep it from turning to the left too hard.

The next day I shimmed the thing pretty much straight and managed several flights pretty much under control. The first battery ran down and I switched to the other (I bought two). The wind was a bit stronger by then... I should have called it a day but I tried it again and quickly crashed a bit hard on the nose. The force pushed the battery forward and split the fuselage halves in front. Upon further examination it also caused the radio/servo board to move out of place a little.

Last night I fixed all that and also added a foam mount for one of those key chain video cameras (in front of the motor). Took it out this morning and promptly crashed on take off, knocking the camera out of it's rubber bands. (Did get a very short video ). I then flew it successfully a couple times without the camera. Switched batteries, but couldn't get up at all. Turned out that the elevator servo was not working. Back in the shop I fixed that, and am looking forward to trying again with the camera tomorrow.

It's fun!
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Old 07-24-2012, 01:21 AM
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It sounds like you can build also so thats a plus . I find tinkering is almost as fun as flying them but i enjoy building them the most.I just finished scratch building a toon plane and now its on to the next. Keep fixing it till every thing is straight ,well close enough and get more flying practice in then move on to a little bigger plane but still a traiiner. joe
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Old 07-24-2012, 04:55 PM
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Thanks, Joe. Yeah, I can build them (used to do a lot of that) but I thought it would be good to learn to fly with something cheap and sturdy :-)

Hey, after my "out of range" incident way back when, I'm curious - what kind of range does the radio in my Sky Cruiser have? Is that something to worry about, or am I OK as long as it's in sight?
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Old 07-24-2012, 05:03 PM
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Originally Posted by dgjessing View Post
Thanks, Joe. Yeah, I can build them (used to do a lot of that) but I thought it would be good to learn to fly with something cheap and sturdy :-)

Hey, after my "out of range" incident way back when, I'm curious - what kind of range does the radio in my Sky Cruiser have? Is that something to worry about, or am I OK as long as it's in sight?
I could not tell you how far you can go i have never owned a sky cruiser .You can do a serch of the instructions and find it out,most times in a pdf. joe BTW here is my german build i just finished up .It was easy to build and flys as fast as a slow walk. Whats its name ? slowly of course .lol When you get ready to try a build PM me for the free tiled plans and i have others. joe
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Old 07-24-2012, 06:25 PM
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Dg,
Welcome back. We've been expecting
you ! Lol I did the same thing last year except it was coming back from
the late 70's- disco.

The electric world was sure an eye opener. 14 planes in 13 months including 5 scratch builds puts me in the addict category.

Have a blast !

Hawk
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Old 07-24-2012, 07:48 PM
  #6  
Beemerider
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Originally Posted by dahawk View Post
Dg,
Welcome back. We've been expecting
you ! Lol I did the same thing last year except it was coming back from
the late 70's- disco.

The electric world was sure an eye opener. 14 planes in 13 months including 5 scratch builds puts me in the addict category.

Have a blast !

Hawk
"disco".............boy that stirs up memories! and not all of them pleasant...

DG--Welcome!

I returned after 20+ years, and having a ball. This is indeed an addictive hobby.

Best of luck!

Wayne
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Old 07-24-2012, 10:59 PM
  #7  
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I've only flown my skyranger a few times , but it seems to have more range than I could see proper orientation. I'm guessing I've only flown it about 500-600 feet out , but I'm sure it has plenty of range for it's tiny size.

Welcome back to hobby.

ps. 2 of my favorites are the flyzone sensei and the flyzone switch. They would be a very nice next step , but I'm sure there are plenty of others too. They are ready to go quickly (no building)
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Old 07-25-2012, 08:08 PM
  #8  
dgjessing
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Thanks for the welcome, everybody

Just had to try the camera thing again. This time I first found the center of gravity without the camera, then put it on and added weight to the tail to get it back in the same place. Makes all the difference in the world, but unfortunately it was kinda windy today so my flight was rough and short. But, I did prove that the thing will fly with the camera in place, and that it takes halfway decent video. I was afraid to get much altitude in the wind, so we can't see far over the tree tops, but it's a start:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=yD9oj...ature=youtu.be



After that I was waaaayyy down range so I took the opportunity to practice launching and landing on the walk back to the car. Didn't break anything!
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Old 07-26-2012, 01:04 AM
  #9  
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Originally Posted by road king 97 View Post
I could not tell you how far you can go i have never owned a sky cruiser .You can do a serch of the instructions and find it out,most times in a pdf. joe BTW here is my german build i just finished up .It was easy to build and flys as fast as a slow walk. Whats its name ? slowly of course .lol When you get ready to try a build PM me for the free tiled plans and i have others. joe
That is a very cool looking plane. Nice job.

And welcome back to the hobby Dg. Enjoy. I got hooked about a year ago and can't stop flying. Lol.
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Old 07-26-2012, 10:05 PM
  #10  
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Originally Posted by dgjessing View Post
Hello all - until this week, the last time I flew an RC plane was back in the early '70s. That was a single channel balsa & tissue paper sailplane with a rubber band escapement. Launched it off the biggest hill available and managed a few turns before it went out of range and I had to watch helplessly as it glided off into the woods below...

I had a Testor's plane with a Cox .049. If I remember correctly it was 1 punch to turn left and 2 quick punches to turn right. Or was it the other way round? I can't remember for sure.

Nice to see another old fart hanging around here.

Cliff
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Old 07-26-2012, 10:16 PM
  #11  
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Originally Posted by cliffkot View Post
I had a Testor's plane with a Cox .049. If I remember correctly it was 1 punch to turn left and 2 quick punches to turn right. Or was it the other way round? I can't remember for sure.

Nice to see another old fart hanging around here.

Cliff
You got it right 1 makes it go left and two is right. I still have my tube orbit radio .lol Thats makes three of us old farts now. joe
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Old 07-27-2012, 01:12 PM
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Road King 97!

I bet I am one of OLDEST

OLDFARTS!!

Regards
Jimmy
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Old 07-27-2012, 02:09 PM
  #13  
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Ha HA i know you probly got me in the age department ,even tho i have been flying for 35 years i started young so iam close to 60 now , lol joe
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Old 07-27-2012, 06:41 PM
  #14  
dgjessing
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Getting the hang of it Took it out this morning and went through both batteries (about 15 minutes flight time) without crashing. Practiced landing, managed to get within about 20 feet of me every time. No camera on board this time - I think it makes the plane top-heavy and prone to over-steer. I've ordered one of those key fob ones instead, which I'll be able to mount on the bottom, at the CG (that should be a lot better). This is a lot of fun!
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Old 07-28-2012, 02:58 AM
  #15  
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Try using self-adhesive Velcro to attach the keychain camera to the bottom of the plane. It's available at most variety stores. If you mount the camera inverted, Windows Movie Maker can rotate it 180 degrees. Hope this helps.
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Old 07-28-2012, 08:58 AM
  #16  
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Originally Posted by road king 97 View Post
I could not tell you how far you can go i have never owned a sky cruiser .You can do a serch of the instructions and find it out,most times in a pdf. joe BTW here is my german build i just finished up .It was easy to build and flys as fast as a slow walk. Whats its name ? slowly of course .lol When you get ready to try a build PM me for the free tiled plans and i have others. joe
That plane is adorable!
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Old 07-28-2012, 03:31 PM
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road king 97
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Originally Posted by mclarkson View Post
That plane is adorable!
The build threads and videos are here because the plans are in german they show where all the parts go. Since i fly only off of water now the last tileed plan is for the old timer floats Jurgen built for his slowly . http://www.rcgroups.com/forums/showt...0#post22098736 Here are the pdfs
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Old 07-28-2012, 11:08 PM
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dgjessing
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Originally Posted by Marc View Post
If you mount the camera inverted, Windows Movie Maker can rotate it 180 degrees. Hope this helps.
Ah! That helps a lot Here's today's setup, made possible by your suggestion:



Camera on the left, equal weight dummy on the right. Together they add about 1 ounce to the plane's 3.75 ounce ready-to-go weight, but I'll bet it will handle it just fine. I'm going to order a second camera today - might as well get two different angle videos at the same time!

Hopefully I'll get to try it out in the morning (too windy now...).
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Old 07-29-2012, 12:03 AM
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I dont mean this to sound like iam a ars but if i have never had any interest in taking pictures with my planes .I could fly with some of my friends in their full scale planes and take them but i dont do that either. I like people taking videos of their planes flying but not planes taking pictures of fields and such. The worst ones are where it has static lines from the electrict motors. I have plans for a camera platform bi plane but i was going to mount a gi,joe on it where the camera would normaly go for my son . Most times now if i start viewing a video from a plane i just click it off and read more of the thread , you can only look at so many fields trees and water with lines running through it before it gets boring.
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Old 07-29-2012, 12:07 AM
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dgjessing
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Originally Posted by road king 97 View Post
...you can only look at so many fields trees and water with lines running through it before it gets boring.
True, but if they are your local fields, trees and water, and if YOU made the video, it's fun
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Old 07-29-2012, 12:21 AM
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Not for me, if i scratch built the plane and it flys good then its fun . I know some flyers need something extra and its your planes and your trees and fields but iam into flying not sight seeing . When i was into sight seeing i rode my bike across the US and took it all in. joe
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Old 07-31-2012, 03:35 PM
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I found this platform for taking pictures or gi joes ,lol Plans and building video plus flying videos are there just follow their links. Its all built from dollar tree foam board and looks simple to build. http://flitetest.com/articles/mikeys...scratch-build/
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Old 07-31-2012, 09:09 PM
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dgjessing, Having gotten back into RC myself a little over a year ago, I know what you mean about the changes. This time around, I'm only doing electric and slope-soaring.

If your really getting back into it, be ready to spend a little/lot. There are a lot more tools and specialty items available now than before. I've spent the better part of 2k, just on equipment in the last year alone. Not to mention building supplies.

Good thing though, is there is a lot more help available now, then there was back then. The internet is filled with places to find info on what ever you need/want. With everything that's available, the possibilities are endless as to what we can build today.
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Old 08-14-2012, 10:52 PM
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Took the Sky Cruiser out in a bit of wind today (just guessing; 10 - 15 mph with some gusts more than that) and I did OK! I wouldn't have wanted to be a passenger on these flights, cause they were ROUGH in places, but I didn't crash, was (mostly) in control all the time, and managed to land nearby every time . I was afraid to get much of any altitude as the field is ringed by trees and it was more windy up above them. At times, into the wind at half throttle the plane was going no more than a walking pace .

I'm getting tired of showing up at the park only to find running dogs and/or a pee wee soccer game underway, so I'm looking for a club with a field. Went and visited the field of this club: http://www.wmaa-wags.org/ yesterday and had a nice conversation with one of the several guys there. I gotta say it was a little intimidating though - they were all flying larger IC engine planes, and doing so beautifully, too. I had the Sky Cruiser in the car, but didn't get it out . I will next time.

By the way, if you're wondering how the new guy has a five digit AMA number in his signature, I emailed them, said I'd been a member back in the early seventies, and asked if I could get my old number back. Their computer records only go back to 1990, but they took the time to look me up on microfilm! I was impressed
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