Friday, February 27, 2015

National F3B team website

The French National F3B team 2015 just opened his webpage where you will find information and can participate to a tombola to win a FS3 from Tud-Modeltechnik, or buy a Polo T-shirt. They are waiting for your support !

Friday, February 20, 2015

Tornado, a new kid on the block

Matthieu Barrabes design this new F3F plane and teamed up with RCRCM for the manufacturing. The Tornado has a 2.9m wingspan, and feature an original wing planform. Matthieu just received the prototype and should fly it soon.

More pictures and the assembly log here.

F3F model template for Taranis

I realized that I have not shared my F3x model template for the Taranis. The zip file contains the model template with the sound files in addition to put in /SOUNDS/EN/

You can download it from here.

Taranis plus and new battery

I received my second Taranis Plus today, so I'm equiped and ready for the F3F season. It will be easy to maintain the 2 Taranis excatly in sync thanks to companion TX software.

I also received my LiIon batteries for the Taranis. On the first picture you can see the original battery (NiMh, 2000 mAh), an hyperion LiFe 2S normally use in a glider, but that was fitting well in the compartiment, and the new Li-Ion battery I need to assemble.

It's a 26500 format, 3.7 nominal voltage, 3 Ah capacity, 2S. Each cell measures 26mm in diameter byr 5 cm in length. They fit particularly well in the compartiment and let lots of space. I'll will have about plenty of flying time !

RC Soaring Digest, March Issue

My review of the Rotmilan from RTGModel is in the March issue of RC Soaring Digest, among other interresting articles and reports. you can download this issue at the following address:

Monday, February 9, 2015

F3F practice LUA script for Taranis

I have posted the F3F Practice LUA scrip zip file on RC Settings

You can also download it from here

Enjoy !

Robbe Modellsport GmbH in bankruptcy

Robbe Modellsport GmbH  announced last friday 02/06/2015 that they were in bankruptcy. Problem with Robbe is that they are just rebranding goods/products coming from China. Robbe Radio are Futaba. Not sure that someone will be interested to buy Robbe, like SJ did with Graupner.

Saturday, February 7, 2015

OpenTX, the ultimate F3x radio firmware ?

After leaving the Team JR as an official pilot for 3 year, I was again on the radio market to find the radio that would fit my needs.

My requirements were quite simple: I needed a very flexible programming allowing to implement in flight adjustements. For exemple, I wanted to change the snap flap rate with a clic of trim, per flight mode, or I wanted to change the ailerons differential with another trim, change the camber with a knob, change the elevator compensation with butterfly in a trim clic, etc ... So Flexibility first, but not only, I also wanted an easyly upgradable radio, a good choice of receiver with small size for tiny F3X fuselages, voice capabilities ...

After studying user manuals, I have identify the Jeti DS/DC, the Weatronic Bat 60, the FrSky Taranis, and possibly the T18MZ . Most of these radio are high end radio, so the entry ticket is quite expensive. If you add the price of 5 or 6 receivers, then the investment start to be really high.

And the winning Radio is ?

I finally decided to give a try at the FrSky Taranis/OpenTx. I heard a lot of people talking about it, saying that it was a unique radio aith a real programming power, and at a cheap price.

to be honest, I have not been disapointed ! There is no better definition of a limitless programming with the Taranis/OpenTX ! Yes, the transmitter is a bit plastic compare to the Jeti or some other brands, but electronics is clean and reliable. Sticks are good quality and smooth.

I selected the X6R receiver as it has the right dimension for our tiny fuselages. I use the S-Bus input to power it, so I have 6 servos outputs.

I must admit that the learning curve is quite hard. In fact I spent lots of time studying, reading, watching video, exhanging with Taranis Owners who shared there template. Michael Shellim articles  and my F3F mate JB Deguelle advises helped a lot.

And one day, I just had a sort of revelation and everything became cristal clear, the programming logic was simple and obvious. Then I restarted from scratched and created my F3F template featuring the following in flight adjustements:
  • Snapflap rate per flight mode, using the throttle trim, so I can increase or reduce the rate.
  • In landing Fligh Mode, this throttle trim can modify the elevator compensation when deploying butterfly
  • Ailerons differential using the rudder trim
  • Thermal camber adjustment using one Knob
  • Elevator throw adjustment using the second knob

And this is just a start. Absolutely evrything is possible, no limit, not lock, no compromise !
I just regret that there isn't 2 additionnal digital trims, it would have been perfect because the digital trim position is per flight mode when the knob position is analog so is global for all flight modes
The Pair OpenTX / Companion TX is just perfect to program, backup, upgrade, etc ...

LUA scripting

And there is these famous LUA scripts !!!!!
Imagine that you can code (with little knowledge) everything you dream ! For me it has been the case. I wanted to develop an F3F practice chronometer simulating an entire F3F run, with the 30s to gain altitude, with late start management, or early start with a switch. Every 5s there is a vocal annoucement (I used AT&T text to speech webpage to create the vocal files). Then it chronometers the run, but you have to count the number of laps yourself. When stopping the chronometer, it stores the time (6 memories) and keep the best time since the radio has been switched on. Just the ideal tool to practice, compare settings, compare planes, and train, train, train ...
I started from another script from Michel (on4mj) for F3K. I kept some timer mgt functions, display layout. I suppressed all the F3K tasks mgt, and simplified the main function as my requirements were much more basic. (Thank you Michel for your expertise, and detailed answers to my questions).

Does it work ? Yes ! Have a look to my video below.
I will very soon publish the source code and provide the sounds files to the F3F and Taranis community.
Weather being bad, I have not flown with my Taranis yet. Hope I can do it soon.

Tuesday, February 3, 2015

Nüremberg 2015 Photo Report

Thanks to Flash-RC, here is a nice photo album about Nüremberg 2015 ! Many thanks Hervé !

According to him, disappointing edition, lots of multicopters, big brands like MPX, Graupner, Robbe had very few or no new items. However MPX should release 4 new items within the year 2015. One should have been released now, but after a problem with some parts, they decided to shift the release date and not talk at all about it.

Sunday, February 1, 2015

Hacker Model Vagabond XL

The now popular VTPR glider Vagabond is now available in a larger wingspan version and feature a full moving elevator control using pulley to reach a deflection of ±90°!
Like its little brother, it is made from EPP, printed, and covered with a laminate film. available in different color schemes, it is also proposed in electro version.

  •  Weight: from 750g
  •  Wingspan: 2010mm
  •  Lenght: 990mm

SKG Hacker Model glider range

Hacker Model announced a new model range called SKG (simple known gliders) proposing 4 well known semi-scale aerobatic gliders (Fox, Blanik, Swift, Lunak) in several colors with full-color full printing. Some of same also exist in electro version.

They are all 2m wingspan with a length between 950 mm and 1060mm, weight is about 780g. They are made from EPP, printed, and covered with a sort of laminated foil.

Home made tail protection covers

F3X competition planes are sometimes damaged during transportation, especially because we let the V-tail in place. Tail covers provi...