Wednesday, 29 June 2011

EBay bargain?

Sitting at my desk at work on Monday I was browsing around the web looking at genuine Futaba 2.4 GHz Fasst receivers and worked out that the R6008HS was the one I needed for my good racers. The Orange/Frsky ones seem fine but I would prefer the genuine article rather than a “pattern part”. However the Futaba website confirmed that this rx has been discontinued and replaced with a R6108SB. The “SB” part indicates “serial bus” which could be a great way of eliminating wiring looms but it can be used as normal too.

A browse round the web shows it available for about £100 including postage. Pretty much the same as I used to pay for genuine 35 MHz PCM ones. The retailers on EBay were quoting the same kind of price. Except..........
I spotted one listed in the wrong category on EBay (“radio-controlled other” and not “radio-controlled accessories”). A Buy It Now price of £60 but open to offers. I offered £50 and then checked the price from Ripmax who quote £132.99. Ouch! I went back to pay the Buy It Now price only to discover my £50 offer had been accepted!

It arrived today and as advertised it looks brand new and unused.

A check of the connectors with a powerful hand lens shows pristine pins with no sign of having seen a servo/battery plug! Of course I’ll check it out in a foamie before I use it in anything less bouncy!

Sunday, 19 June 2011

Pole Hill 19 June 2011

Headed up to Pole Hill early today and met-up with Ian Stewart and his Ceres. I had brought my 2.4 GHz equipped Phase 6 to try out the new radio and to remind myself of how the model flew.

It turned out that the Phase 6 didn’t fly as well as I remembered. I think I have become so used to the high performance of the hollow moulded F3F types and balsa/ply/foam struggle to compete. The light wind conditions didn’t help much and I had to do the walk of shame to retrieve my model from the bottom of the hill.

The walk back up was instructive however. I left the transmitter on the ground at the top of the slope and several times when I was carrying the Phase 6 back up the slope the fail-safe kicked in indicating that the signal had been lost. This occurred when I was close in to the slope and well hidden from the tx. Interesting…. Range in the air was fine with no problems and control when landing out was fine too.

Ian’s Ceres was going well and he found numerous thermals and climbed well up before a long dive and a screaming high speed. Yippee!

Ian also tried some extra special ballast under the tailplane of his Ceres. I have to confess that I thought it looked pretty crap!

Friday, 17 June 2011

Two point four or not two point four?

Having seen the number of people at F3F competitions using 2.4 GHz radio I have decided to follow suit. The idea that I don’t have to worry about being shot down by another transmitter is very attractive. No need for frequency control either. What’s not to like? **

I spotted a new pukka Futaba transmitter module for sale on RCMF and quickly bought it at a very good price (£65). I then bought a couple of Frsky Fasst compatible receivers and also a couple of Orange ones and intend buying two proper Futaba Fasst ones. The problem with the Futaba ones is the £100 price tag. Gulp! The Frsky from GiantCod cost £31 and the Orange from Hobbyking in HK are £18. I can’t help thinking Futaba are taking the pi$$ with their prices. I still need to buy at least another 4 which is ok if I stick to the Orange ones. The thought of buying 8 – 10 proper Futaba ones is waaaayyy daunting!

Apart from the cases the Frsky and Orange receivers are identical. Both made by Frsky apparently. They seem to work fine and it should be easy enough to change them over with the 35 MHz ones.

** Except; I have been reading some RCMF threads about how the line-of-sight range on 2.4 MHz can be a problem when flying below the edge of the slope when the model is visible but the transmitter can’t see the model. Also landing out a long way away can give problems when the model is very low. Hmmmm…….

I have also learned that 2.4GHz is a shared (junk) band and could give problems with other non-modelling users. Maybe I’ll stick with what I have at the moment. (BIG feardy that I am!)

One step at a time. Easy glider will be the 2.4 GHz test bed initially.

Sunday, 12 June 2011

Sunday 12 June 2011 Kilspindie

After the heavy rain yesterday and the cancellation of the scheduled F3F competition I was pleased to get out for a fly today. I arrived quite early and found Ali Sutherland already there with his DLG. Hugh Barker also arrived with his Graphite so I had company!

I had a flight with my Weasel Evo which confirmed the light wind was well round to the south and the lift was variable. Hugh’s Graphite was going well but he does have the advantage of electric power should it all get a bit too low!

I flew my Vikos which was going pretty well in the light conditions; interesting to see that the buzzard took an interest in the Graphite but ignored the Weasel. Not much interest in my orange Vikos either. The lift was very variable with lots of horrible sink and I had more difficulty than normal blundering into thermal lift. Good fun though.

If the weather is any good next Saturday I’ll be heading for the Hole of Horcum and some F3F practice with the NYMRSC lads.

Sunday, 5 June 2011

Kilspindie 4 June F3F

Turned up at Kilspindie early thinking I might be first there but Ali beat me to it. It was dull and the few spots of rain quickly developed into a steady drizzle and an F3F competition was starting to look distinctly unlikely. A few more enthusiasts turned up and we hid in the cars but the rain did eventually stop and we headed up the hill to find a steady 20-25mph wind straight on the slope.

Ali flew his Strega and his times steadily improved as the rounds progressed. Ewan was flying his Sting and it was looking very promising. Ewan was obviously trying because he cut twice. I was buzzing on B when he did it the first time; sorry Ewan but you were well short of the pylon. The second time Ewan managed a fairly poor cut recovery by heading straight out from the hill before eventually turning left and passing the pylon at last!

Ian flew his Ceres and Strega and both were going well in the steadily improving condition. Dave flew his repaired Vikos and was consistently getting good times. Like most competitors ballast adjustments were frequent! Ron was flying his Hybrid old/new Viking convincingly and must have won. Not seen the results yet. Martin was also flying a Viking (ex Dave Watson) and as he got used to it his times improved throughout the day.

Robert was flying well and also improved his times but unfortunately a landing incident stripped a flap servo gear and he had to switch to his second model.

I flew my Skorpion for a change and was quite happy with the way it was going until I flew my repaired Vikos after the racing was finished and it seemed to be much quicker. Typical!

A great day out and I’m hoping for another good day next Saturday. A few of the regulars were missing today so maybe we will have a big turnout next week.