Wednesday, August 31, 2011

R/C Soaring Digest september issue

The september issue has been released, with one of my pictures doing the back cover :) !
RCSD can be downloaded at the following address:

Tuesday, August 30, 2011

Making Of

I received several questions about how I did some of the video sequence of the Video I posted yesterday. So below are few pictures and some information.
I bought a 6 meter fishing rod for 6 Euros only, disassembled it to keep only the 3 first parts in order to not have too much bending. Then I built a adaptor to receive the GoPro fixation. the adtaptor is made with some 3mm plywood and is inserted in the fishing rod, then block with some hard foam. I use the Helmet GoPro which is delevered with some useful accessories. I filmed in R5 mode, that is to say 1080p with 127° angle. With the boom and the go pro accessories, I can change the orientation of the cam to look up, down, on the side. During the shooting, the difficulty is then to aim, in fact to guess what you are filming. I enjoyed doing this video. It's a sort of therapy as I have the height vertigo. I really wanted to share some emotions, and sensations ...

Courtesy from Etienne Beraudo, Stéphane Giraud, Joël Marin

Monday, August 29, 2011

Font D'Urles: THE video !

Here is the video I shooted during the competition of the 20/21 of August in the south Vercors. i used a GoPro mounted on a 3m boom, and my panasonic FZ100 bridge. I wanted to share the feeling we can have flying such extreme slope site. I hope you will like !

Wednesday, August 24, 2011

Rotmilan Flying Report

Following last week-end competition, I continue to discover the Rotmilan. After the maden flight in light wind, I finished at 105.5 mm. During the competition, I felt than I could move the CG backward again. I ended at 107 mm. The plane is still very gentle and forgiving with this CG.

I also use some ballast, starting at 2 sligs, then moving to 4, then to 6 slugs over 10. This means I was flying with 500 to 600g maximum. The Rotmilan is carrying ballast very well, and I easily imagine that in strong condition, I will need more than the fuselage ballast. Hopefully, the joiner can receive something like 400 or 500 gr of additional ballast.

Exchanging with my friend CM Cheng in Hong Kong, we shared the same conclusion. The Rotmilan, is a fast plane, stable, forgiving, that is to say you won't pay cach a mistake during a turn. Moreover, CM is performing very well with the Rotmilan with a win last week-end in a F3F competition.

The exclusive servo drive created for the Rotmilan works perfectly, and I'm very satisfied. This is simply the best of conventional linkage.

I propose 2 videos: First one is my 35.56s flight at Font d'Urles. You will see how stable and smooth is the plane, which is very good for EM turns. The second one is showing the Rotmilan doing some DS at the local slope. I found the DS to be excellent exercice to test a F3F plane, see how the airfoil behaves, and what speed and how fast you can get it depending on the wind.

F3F contest: Font d'Urles

Last week-end was the 2011 edition of Font D'Urles, a competition from the French league, but a bit apart because of the place and flying conditions. Font d'Urles is offering lot's of cliffs, facing south and working only thanks to the thermal activity.

This year, we went to a new site, called the "collet", which is a very promising site because providing a ventury effect, improving both turns.

On Saturday, we (38 pilots !) spend the afternoon on the slope witing for the thermal breeze to start. unfortunately, the light north wind won over the thermal activity, so no round was completed.

Sunday, weather forecasts were saying that we would get some south wind, so everybody was ready before midday. We startet the first round around 12:45 with slow time around 50s. But the thermal activity grown progressively, so we achieved faster time. I won the second round with a 35,56s.

Third round went to Reto Blumer, the most frenchy of the swiss F3F pilot. He did a blistering 32.11s with his Cyril before to dammage it at landing. The fourth and last round went to Jean-Luc Foucher, the designer of the Alliaj with a very nice 34s.

We were expecting bigger and faster condition, possibly to beat a record, but it remains that this site is easier to access (shorter walk), safer for landing, and less impressive because the cliff is not that high.

A big thanks to the organisers, first for obtaining the authorisations to access this site which is very controlled by the eco-guards, because of the wildlife in the area. Secondly for the logistics itself, making this contest a moment apart of the F3F season.

I will edit a short video clip with the interresting video sequences I shooted during the week-end. Stay tuned !

Zeppelin 1.7, by Eric Johnson

Hereafter are some information about a new 1.7m model called the ZEPPELIN I have developed utilizing some foreign materials nowadays – Balsa and EPS foam! Such a novelty in the foam world today.

Seriously I’m more of an old school type designer/builder but I enjoy the challenge of building light and durable primarily for the Vtpr class of aerobatics where as we know maneuvers are performed very close to the terrain. This design borrows some elements from indoor ultralight modeling for the slope. I wanted to make it easy for the average builder to be able to assemble and use common materials available at most any local craft or hobby store. And easy to repair or maintain with its exposed gear feature. The exposed gear doesn’t add any parasitic drag of consequence as this plane is designed to fly at 0-25mph maximum.

Flight control surfaces are extra large requiring more expo mix than normal. This feature is very useful in tight and close maneuvering and also serves as a safety net for getting out of trouble as can be seen in the video. Its low mass weight construction adds a durability factor that is not normally seen of this size glider on the slope. The AUW (all up weight) is 800-875 grams fully loaded. Wing is 345, fuse assembly is 528 grams. Balsa fuselage and tail feathers are carbon fiber reinforced yet still flexible enough to survive medium impacts with the terrain as shown in the video. More details can be read here:

The model will be available soon as a short kit with EPS foam cores, carbon fiber tubing, templates, wood cut list and simple plans and instructions. Currently there are 5 more models in the “1.7m PSP” line being developed and assembled for testing.

Thanks and Cheers!

Eric Johnson,
Slope VTPR Aerobatics

Thursday, August 18, 2011

Chamrousse aerial video

Another video taken onboard with my EasyGlider and the GoPro over Chamrousse. Conditions were great, and despite the GoPro on its back, the EasyGlider was thermalling well. I really love how the Go Pro is handling the light, very impressive !

Wednesday, August 17, 2011

a short DS video

I'm late on the editing of the video I took the past weeks. The following one have been shooted few weeks ago on my local slope, where I met Benjamin and Antoine Bianchi. They were visited the slope while in holidays in the grenoble area. Condition were correct to do some DS with my D60. Benjamin was kind enough to film with my camera.

Rotmilan maiden flight

I maidened the Rotmilan Monday afternoon in light wind (~ 10 km/h) on my club slope. Flying weigth is 2200gr, as mentioned in a earlier post.

I started from the settings provided by the manufacturer (i.e CG at 104mm), and started to play with the CG, the snapflaps, etc ...

The Rotmilan flies very well. It has a good natural straight speed. You see it when diving, or when doing some DS.

At 104 mm, I had to trim up a little bit. Then I increased the snapflaps but was not obtaining the grip I was expecting in the turns.

Later in the afternoon, I moved the CG backward, and reduced the snapflaps, and the Rotmilan started to rock much better. It became reactive, grippy, and was accelerating much better. Even in the light wind, I managed to get some EM turns.

Quickly I went to the dark side of the slope, still with 10 km/h of wind. The Rotmilan showed very good capabilities in light DS, with immediate acceleration, and seemed very stiff, thanks to the spreadtow fabric at 45°.

The servo drive system works perfectly on the ailerons and flap. The control is accurate, and allow the right travel, without any slop. Using the neutral position shift on the futaba T12FG transmitter, with 35% up / 65% down of travel on the MKS DS6125 servos, the crows are really good !

I will measure my current settings in the comings days and post them, and of course will continue to explore the plane.

I have some video sequence of the DS.

I forgot: the color scheme is perfect in the air. I'm sure some of you will find it a bit simple and square :), but I can tell you that the plane is extremely visible in the air whatever the position. There is always a color contrast with te background and the upper side and underside are very different.

Tuesday, August 16, 2011

Rotmilan build log #2

I finished the assembly of the Rotmilan. I used the DS6125-e (same case than the DS95) for the elevator. To terminate the elevator control tubes, I inserted and glued a small piano wire (5 cm long), then glued the M2 Treaded couplers with rapid epoxy, then pinched them carefully. On the elevator side, I used metal clevises, but plastic clevises from MpJet on the servos side.

All the universal/JR plugs has been crimped with the wire. this allow to prepare the exact length of cable.

In the fuselage, the MPX green plug is glue with cyano. then I protected the root of the wing and the fuselage with tape, and glued the green plug on the wing side with the wing in place. this gives a perfect alignment but can be a bit risky. In the past, it happened once where everything stayed glued together, too bad !

The battery is made from 4 cells Eneloop Power XX delivering 2500 mAh (2 + 2 configuration), with low selfdischarge. The receiver is the Jeti Duplex R8.

I needed 156g of lead to achieve the recommanded CG of 104 mm.

The final weight per component is:
  • Left wing: 665g
  • Right wing: 670g
  • Fuselage: 689g
  • Joiner: 90g
  • Tailplanes: 93g
Total: 2207 gr

You can retrieve all the pictures of the assembly here

Sunday, August 14, 2011

Rotmilan Build Log #1

I started the assembly of the Rotmilan by the servos mounting using the drive and exclusive drive system delivered with the kit by RTGmodel.

I used the wood servoframes from MKS, as I decided to mount 4 x DS6125 in the wings. I modified a little bit the servoframe by suppressing the connecting part of the frame in front of the servo arm.

There are 2 control rod lengths. The shorter ones are for the ailerons, and the longer ones for the flap. The difficulty of the installation of the servos is that, because of the fixed rod length, you need to position rigth the frame, when you glue it, taking into account the neutral position of the servo, to maximize the travel down for the flap, and travel up for the ailerons.

I installed the carbon control rods on the ailerons and flaps, using the long brass tool provided, to extract and insert the metal axis. Then I glue the servoframes, with the servos in place, protected by a slim plastic film. I used 10 minutes epoxy from R&G. I'm pretty satisfied with it, and had never any problem with it.

Then the servos installation with the aluminium part is straight forward. The result is very neat, clean, and without any slop.

Mont Revard, Savoie - France

Yesterday, we had a very nice weather and warm temperature. A perfect day to go to do some aerial pictures. This time I drove to the mont Revard, above Aix les Bains. The Mont Revard (1,538 m) is a mountain in the Bauges Massif. This is the place where one of the very first ski resort has been installed a long long time ago. In the past, a cable way from the city of Aix Les Bains to the summit was the skiers to reach the ski resort easily. But this cable way constructed in 1935 has been stopped in the 60s, because too old and unsecured.

I flew my Easyglider in a place called "La Sire" close to La Féclaz, another small ski resort of le Mont Revard. This is an official flying site for paragliders and hang gliders. The site is facing south and offers a super view on Chambéry, the lake of "Bourget", aix les Bains, the mountain la dent du chat. the lake of "Bourget" is the largest and the deepest lake located entirely within France. From La Sire, you can also see le Mont Blanc (4807m).

Back to the Mont Revard summit, at the arrival cable way station, which is now a souvenir shop, but offers one of the most beautiful panorama I have seen.
In addition it is a highway for full size glider, coming from Challes les eaux, one of the largest airfield for gliding activities.

I definitively recommend to visit this place if you are in the area !

Friday, August 12, 2011

iVol2G16 programming

After my first review part about the trasmitter itself,  let's have a look at the programming, thanks to the Hangar software which can be easily downloaded from the following URL.

To be honest, I was a little bit lost when I tried to do my first programming. My problem was coming from the fact that I had always my usual trasmitter programming scheme in mind and that I was trying to reproduce it with the iVol. As soon as you have understood the concept behind the iVol, then the programming is becomming crystal clear, and you touch the great potential of the programming.

The iVol programming is done exclusively on the Hangar software. The software is available in German or English, provide the usual menu to manage project file. A model project is equivalent to a RC model memory.

As startup, iVol Hangar check for new firmware to be load on the transmitter, and new software version. If one of them of both are available, Hangar proposes the upload/installation. This has no impact on the model project.

When a model project is ready for testing on the transmitter, Hangar menu proposes to upload the project on the trasnmitter. It takes few seconds, then you hear a beep on the transmitter.

I found the Hangar software intuitive and easy to use. when editing a project, you can easily copy any item to replicate it with its parameters. This speed up the programming. You have also the notion of template in order to not start from scratch. This is clearly the kind of things you cannot do with a "normal" transmitter. The exchange and archive of model project is obviously straight forward as it is consider as an XML file.

I will not go through each action/function of the software but will rather explain the possibilities of the programming in order to give you an idea about the power of this transmitter.

iVol programming is articulated around 4 mains items:
  • iVol settings
  • Mixers
  • Model component
  • signal settings

iVol settings

This menu configure the left and right controller, each controller inclunding the stick, the potentiometer and the switches of the same side. For the sticks, the configuration consists in defining which command it is, the limit values, the curve of the stick, up to 17 points, and the menu allows to define phases. Here again, the output of the controller can be changed per flight phase.The same flexibility is available for potentiometers, and for the switches, except that for switches to define if it is a 2 or 3 positions switch, then you specify switch positions, states and values instead of manipulating curves.

The sub menu define flyght phases and how they are activated, by a swich but also by a stick or a potentiometer. A priority is attached to the phase to manage potential conflict if 2 phases are active at the same time.

Signal settings

The Signal settings menu allows to select the Jeti reveiver type, them to assign a model component to a channel thanks to a dropdown list depending of the model component that have been created/configured, with the possibility to activate/deactivate the channel, and reverse the travel direction.

Model components

A Model component can be seen as a servos menu. There is a maximum of one model component per channel. but 2 differents channel can use the same model component if needed. The type of component can be an actuator (servos) or a motor.
The menu is very powerfull and allows you do define the max travel values on each side, then define the behavior of the component (the servos), which means the neutral position, the exponential, and a curve using up to 17points and attached one mixer ouput. Theses settings are for the default behaviour, but then, as you can add any flight phases, it also means that for each phase selected for this component, you can totally rethink and reshape the servos behavior.
My recommendation is to create one model component per servos in oder to have a total freedom in term of fine tuning.


Usually, mixers, when they are not preprogrammed, are proposing to mix a command with another (i.e rudder in ailerons, elevator to flaps, etc ...). With the iVol the approach is totally different. when you speak about iVol mixer, you stand at the servo level, and you look at the mixing of the inputs coming from the controllers (sticks, trims, potentiometer, switches).
By default, you always mix a stick with its corresponding trim, so both have an effect on the model component (servos). The mixer menu allows you to select any of the controllers and define for each input a curve which can be a 3, 5, 9, 17 points curve.
After you have understood the concept of mixer, you can apply it easily, redefine the usual mixers, improve them, create new ones, define crazy mixers as it is possible. for exemple, on a large glider with 3 to 4 servos per half wing, it will be easy to obtain the different functions (butterfly, quadroflap, snapflap, airbrakes).


The iVol is for sure a step forward in term of programming, bringing more flexibility and control on the servos, mixing and controllers. The counterpart is that it needs a minimum rampup. The transmitter case is very well thought, with good quality. The Jeti 2.4 Duplex is reliable and give access to a wide range of receivers. The only downside I found is that the programming can be done only from a PC, but a netbook costs almost nothing today, and most of the people owns a laptop.

Baltic Seagull Company website

Aerial Pictures: Chamrousse, France

Yesterday evening, we met with some clubmate at Chamrousse for a late afternoon flying session and a dinner in a small restaurant.

Chamrousse is a very famous and popular ski resort above Grenoble, which hosted some event of the 1968 winter olympic games. The resort is between 1650m and 2253m of altitude.

I took my EasyGlider equiped with the GoPro HD to do some aerial pictures and video.

Here are the pictures:

Thursday, August 11, 2011

FPV: the latest video from Team Black Sheep !

FORMATION PROXIMITY is the name of the new video from Team Black Sheep, shooted in the alps. Lots of actions, formation flying, etc ...

FORMATION PROXIMITY from RiSCyD : TeamBlackSheep on Vimeo.

Monday, August 8, 2011

GyLL Concepts to release electronic switches

Gyll Concepts, a newcomer on the RC onboard electronic market, just released a RC electronic switch product range including 2 different switches:
  1. Switch NG
  2. Mini Switch
  3. Switch NG Dual

They are all passing 3A and between 10 to 15A in peak. They follow the same innovative architecture where the control element, which can be an inverter a switch or a magnetic switch is not on the critical path of the switch. This means that in case of failure it has no impact on the electronic switch itself. In other words this gives a more reliable switch. The Switch NG dual add the support of 2 batteries and double connection to the receiver which give even more reliability.

I received a sample of each product and control element for review. In the meantimes, you can visit the company website for more information:  GyllConcepts Company website

Sunday, August 7, 2011

RTGmodel Rotmilan Kit Presentation

The Rotmilan is the new flagship of Milan Demčišák, the manufacturer of the well known Extreme F3F that I reviewed in these columns in 2009. the Rotmilan is a joined development between Norbert Habe (HN sections) and Milan Demcisak. This is a 3m F3F/B glider with the following specs:
  • Wingspan: 3018 mm
  • Wing areaa: 60.69 dm2
  • Fuselage Length: 1493mm
  • V-tail area: 5.72dm2
  • Airfoils HN Straak
  • Flying weight: from 2150g

Weight of the components:

Here are the weight I measured:
  • Fuselage: 302g
  • Right Wing: 570g
  • Left wing: 575g
  • Wing Joiner: 90g
  • Left tail+ joiner: 46g
  • Right tail + joiner: 47g
  • Total 1630g
  • Ballast: 896g

Fuselage is made from Kevlar and Carbon. It is 2.4 friendly. The ballast tube is already installed, as the servo tray which is moulded and painted with the same color of the fuselage. At the rear of the ballast tube, ther is a small hole to evacuate the air when putting the ballast in it. The canopy is in fiber glass. The routing of the wires coming from the wing connectors is along and under the ballast tube. It is easier to do compared to the Extreme. Elevator control rods are already in place and are made from a light metal tube. You just need to install an glue the M2 Treaded couplers at each side. The servos tray is designed to receive elevator servos such as the MKS DS95 or 6125e. Servos dimensions is about 13mm x 24mm. The fuselage is very thin, but well designed so you can install either 4 to 5 cells NiMh, but probably also Lipo or LiFe batteries.

The tailplanes are identical to the Extreme one, but a little bit bigger. They reuse the very simple and efficient aluminium control horns to be connected to a metal clevis. the tail joiners that was carbon and wood on the extreme have been replaced with carbon rod, so are much stronger.The wing are using spread tow carbon fabric. 'Spread tow' is a new development in carbon fibre reinforcement whereby a sophisticated production process spreads out each tow (bundle) of carbon fibres making them significantly flatter and wider than they would be in a conventional woven fabric. Spreading the tow in this way creates ultra-flat strips of unsupported unidirectional carbon fibre which is then carefully woven to create a biaxial carbon fabric with an unprecedented flatness and a unique appearance. The illustration below shows the structure of the fabric. The wing are strong and light as we could expect with the use of STF. The unpainted area show the nice matrix of the fabric, I like it.

The large and solid carbon joiner will allow to use brass ballast in it, to be added to the 900g of fuselage ballast provided with the kit.

The rotmilan moulding quality is absolutely premium. The fit and finish are just superb.

In addition, the Rotmilan is bringing a innovation for the ailerons and flaps linkages that is really a step forward on conventional linkage. I will come back later on it with plenty of pictures, but to make it short, the servos arm is replaced by a aluminium part that include an axis to move a carbon linkage at the exact dimension. On the ailerons/flaps side, there is another axis which is removable from the root of the ailerons/flaps thanks to a tool provided in the kit. The main avantage are that you have absolutely no slope on the linkage, and that the linkage is totally integrated in the wing.

As some exemplars have been already released, there is a couple of videos already on the web. The first one is from CM Cheng (Hong Kong) who flew it already twice and obtained a 3rd place in a F3F competition, only 1 week after maidened it !

The video is the video of CM Cheng maiden flight in a very light wind:

The second one, from Michal Mojzis, give the recommended settings and CG

For information, Milan just opened a web site with the information to contact him. RTGmodel website.

Wednesday, August 3, 2011

American VTPR, by Eric Johnson

Since coming to VTPR style and totally immersing myself into the sport and model design the journey has been the most exciting chapter in my RC soaring experience in over 20 years! While learning about VTPR two years ago I thought to myself, why is VTPR such a small and unknown sport here in the US? I learned that the dangerous “low to the ground” style and the lack of models for the style inherently made this sport very unique and minimally populated by flyers. After about a year I decided to develop the website Slope VTPR Aerobatics dedicated to just VTPR style in which there were none. The only other website carrying some VTPR and other slope aerobatic styles was Steve Lange’s In there I discovered more good VTPR articles and videos adding to my knowledge and excitement for the sport but this wasn’t enough to fill my appetite.

There are many aerobatic contests and meetings of all types of modeling including electric and fuel power, 3D ultralight, indoor electric, conventional slope aerobatics and about every imaginable thing you can think of. But no VTPR. This became very strange to me. Does everybody think a beautiful VTPR performance should remain hidden? I learned that a lot of people believe VTPR is a personal expression and should not be organized or flown in a meet setting here in the US. That it is just a fun thing to do. I thought to myself, “why not”? This is crazy to keep such a unique sport undercover. I was even accused of trying to take the fun out of VTPR from one very disgruntled individual to even think of putting together a meeting with a little organization. After counseling some close friends and speaking with a few people in the RC community about putting together a VTPR specific meeting it was decided to post it on my website Slope VTPR Aerobatics and eventually RC Groups. Steve Lange was one of the pivotal people to encourage me to do so.

With the assistance of a core group of flyers we collaborated to come up with the first ever VTPR meeting in the US to be held at Temple Hill slope in Southern California under the “SoCal VTPR” banner with “Slope VTPR Aerobatics” and “” websites as co-contributors. I coordinated and oversaw the first meeting activities with great enthusiasm and excitement to finally see we Americans can begin to bring VTPR out of the darkness of cover after so many years. This has given me great joy and a sense of adding to the RC community another great sport in the US that all can enjoy and have fun.

As a result of our first meeting we have discovered there is an Americanized version of VTPR that is unique to American flyers and our culture. It seems it’s more a free-style expression with French influences at the core. It’s hard to explain and we are still exploring all the possibilities but my instinct is Americans aren’t comfortable with being locked into a strict set of principles and uniformity we see with the pure French style. We enjoy a wide open, full throttle in your face style of expression blended with French style figures.

Future meetings are being scheduled around the greater Southern and Central California landscape with the assistance of individuals at other slope locations to help maintain and build this new direction in American Slope VTPR. It’s an exciting future we hope attracts more and more enthusiasts into the sport across the country while maintaining the great American pastime – Having FUN.

Attached are web links to the first meeting videos including the very popular “solo sessions.”

Also here is a quick link to the new VTPR Newsletter:

Regards and Good Lift -

Eric Johnson,
Slope VTPR Aerobatics

Photo credit: Steve Lange, Eric Johnson, Mike Ball, Dawson Henderson

Baltic-Seagull iVol 2 G16 review - PART 1 -


Behind this code name is a very innovative RC transmitter, designed and made in Germany by Baltic-Seagull, which I would summarize in 2 main features that are:

  1. Jeti inside
  2. Programmable via a PC
The HF part beeing Jeti, this means that you can operate any receiver of the Jeti product range, up to 16 channels. No need of external box as the JetiBox is smartly integrated into the transmitter.

What you get

The iVol2G16 transmitter case is very unusual, somewhere between a normals transmitter case and a game controller. On the external side of the case, there are 2 big rubber pieces that maximize the grip of the hands, while holding the transmitter. The prehension is absolutely excellent, and the transmitter well balanced. Sticks are smooths and precise.
the trims, all digital, are on the interior side of the sticks, and very close to each other. While holding the transmitter, there are easy to reach and manipulate.

A display is located at the top middle of the case, which has 2 main functions: Jeti box, and system display. It is not very large, but is well located, and very clear and readable, even outside, under a strong sun. A wheel and 2 buttons allow to navigate, select, enter data in the various menu, change of main function, etc ...

There is no visible antenna like on usual transmitter. The antenna is located inside the case as will will see later.

The iVol2G16 transmitter arrives by default in blue, with a basic configuration including 2 sticks, 2 potentiometers, and 2 switches (2 positions). The 2 potentiometers are very smooth and convenient to use. 4 slots allow to extend the transmitter with additional 2 positions or 3 positions switches.

On the top of the case, you have 2 connectors. The first one is a mini USB format allowing to charge the battery, or transfer data from a PC. The second one is not documented.
On the back of the case, you find 2 access trap doors, to give an access to the back of the additional switches when installing them. A mini tool is also incorporated to the case, which allow to harden, or soften the sticks.

The case is in plastic, gives the feeling to be robust, with no visible flex, which is a good point. It's weight is about 750 grams. The iVol2G16 transmitter arrives with a high quality mini-USB/USB cable, but no documentation, as the documentation is only available on the website, as a sort of wiki, which is updated regurlarly.

The internals

The iVol2G16 transmitter is a 16 channels transmitter, that integrates a JETI Duplex HF module and a JETIBox. It is relying on a ARM Cortex M3 processor, with 2.5Mb Flash and 64Kb RAM memory. The battery is a 700 mAh Lipo, USB compatible which gives up to 5 hours of batterie life. The recharge is done via the USB cable, either from a PC, or from a USB charger delivering 300mA.

When opening the transmitter case, we discover a single PCB which include everything, including the Jeti HF module, which means that this is a full integration of the JETI technology, not just a connection of a TU module on the main PCB. The quality of the PCB is very nice, using surface mounting components. The 2.4 antenna is secured in the top front of the case with some glue.

The display is a transparent LCD display, which is back illuminated with 4 LEDs. The back illumination color can be changed easily via the system menu to fit your taste and needs.

Installing additional switches

Depending of you need you may have to install additional switches on the trasmitter. To do so, you need to remove the top front color panel (4 screws on the back of the transmitter case), then place the additional switches in the slots, and finally solder them on the PCB via the back access trap door.

Operating the iVol2G16

There is no dedicated power/on/off buttons. To switch ON, you need to press simultanesouly during several seconds the 2 buttons at the top of the case. This is convenient and safe at the same time. While the transmitter is "booting" you see the "iVol" logo on the display, then it switches to the menu that you have defined as menu to display at startup.

Today, the firwmare is only talking German, even if the Hangar programming software is German or English. Baltic Seagull is of course planning to make the firmware to also speak english and possibly french, this is just a matter of time. At the moment, the menu are intuitive enough to navigate through them and understand them. I don't speak german but I was however not lost.

Let's have a look to the menu structure:

Starting from the root menu, the upper menu (Hauptmenu) give access to the model menu or the system menu.

Model menu is articulated into 3 sub-menus

  1. Modell auswahl to change of model memory
  2. Modell einstellungen which give access to the parameter sub-menu (empty at the moment), the trim sub-menu, and the servo monitor sub-menu that displays bar graphs moving with sticks, depending of the configuration, mixing.
  3. Stoppurh will allow a countdown

    • Start
    • Zurucksetzen
    • Aufwarts

System menu

  1. Setup: give the firmware version installed
  2. Jetibox: go to the Jetibox mode. Then you navigate using the rigth stick trims or left stick trims. This is very convenient.
  3. Spräche: to select the language. Only German is available at the moment
  4. Menu: allow to select what page will dsiplay at start
  5. Anzeige: allos to change contrast, and color of the display
  6. Ton: allows to change the loudness of the beep

At any time, the front right button allows to switch from jeti menu to trim menu to system menu. You don't need to go back to exit a menu.

In the next part I will cover the programming part, be patient :) !

Company website

Tuesday, August 2, 2011

Briançon F3F

I spent my week-end in Briançon for a nice a friendly F3F competition, part of the french F3F league. On saturday, we arrive on the slope using 4 wheels drive cars, at 2400 meters of altitude. The breeze was very light but in the right direction. Cumulus clouds were growing slowly but surely. when the breeze became sufficiently strong (over 3 to 4 m/s) we started the first round, but thunderstorm arrived, and also the rain, so we had to stop and drive down. Too bad for me as I had the best time with 46s at that moment.

After a very nice evening at Frederic Hours house, with all the participants, we went to see the finale of the climbing contest of Briançon, part of the world cup. Very impressive and interresting to see this guys, and how good theyr are at this excercice !

Sunday, we drove eralier to the slope, started the first round before 1 O'clock, and we managed to complete 5 rounds. Matthier Mervelet, like in Caussols, got indecent good air each rounds and won all rounds with a large margin. He flew a 37s which is the slope record.

I flew well but again couldn't fight.

A huge thanks to Alain Gallinet, Frederic and Edwige Hours for organizing, and hosting this competition.

Next contest of the league will be in Vercors, on huge cliffs, in 3 weeks.