About this site

This is my little site on the web, it is part blog and part traditional website. The blog posts can be found down below here, using the tag cloud to the right or the search box up above. The majority of the non blog style pages are relating to my main hobby of flying model aircraft, you can find these using the list of pages over on the right, or the menu bar tabs up above. The main homepage for model related stuff can be found here. I occassionally Geocache, a map of found caches can be found here. A few other bits can be found from the menu bar above too.

Beaver – adding some colour

After a bit of coding and a weekend away, I’ve got round to spending a bit of time with the Beaver. Next step is to add some colour, I didn’t take any snaps of it in its plain white state, but the shot below shows the wings masked up and the blue applied.

I have since removed the masking tape and left it to dry, tomorrow night hopefully I can get the blue onto the fuselage.



Dynamic-S back in the air

photo 1 (1)So about 8 weeks ago while we were down here in Wiltshire, I flew the Dynamic-S up at the White Horse and made a bit of a dumb error in reading the wind. I thought it was coming along the slope and hitting the bowel, but I learnt the hard way that actually it was coming from slightly behind the hill causing some horrible turbulence  around my normal take off and landing spot.  Well, to cut a long story short the DS had a bit of a rough landing, the nose snapping clean off, but otherwise causing no damage.  I had a good ponder about how to get her back in the air, eventually deciding that a new fuselage at £20 or so was the easiest and probably safest route.

Screen Shot 2013-09-29 at 21.40.04HobbyKing UK didn’t have them in stock in August, but they came in a week or so ago, just in time for me to transplant the gubbins and get her ready for this weekend which was our next planned trip out west.  Friday say a nice day, but with no wind, so I flew her from the flat field at the top of the hill, about an 8 minute flight with no unpleasant surprises.

Today the wind was blowing about 15mph from the North East,  swinging round to ENE at times. That meant I had to use the eastern edge of the slope, of which I have less experience. I need’nt have worried however, she was up in the air for a good 30 minutes, with still a few minutes of battery left when I landed so she could have easily flown for longer. Brilliant flight, lovely aircraft on a surprise sunny September afternoon.

I’m becoming more confident with her, rolls are nice and axial and I’m practising slow rolls with rudder fed in to keep altitude. I even managed a inverted circuit, it was a little rough, but I made it all the way round :)

I’ve included a little pic below so you can see the view I have while I’m up on the hill.

photo 2 (1)

Canard Thing

Original Foam Fing board

The editor of the magazine I take, posted on the accompanying forum a little while ago explaining that some time back there was a free plan published for a model called the Foam Fing, to celebrate this they had a few of the foam boards printed up with their logo and the name of the model. A few of these had recently been found and an offer was made of a free board in return for the recipient designing a model for it.

One of the other guys on the forum has dug out the original plans and posted them to the thread, they can bee seen here.

This wasn’t an opportunity to miss so I signed up without giving it much thought. Things began to feel real last week however, when the foam board turned up in the post!

P1160576Its 6mm foam with card on each side, the sort of stuff Hobby Craft sell in quite large A3/A2 sheets for a few pounds.

I started to sketch some aircraft on paper and sort of started to be drawn to a canard. I sketched a few canards before coming up with what looked like a pretty little thing and with proportions that might work.   Figuring that a chuckie glider might at least make me feel more confident, I set about cutting balsa. The result can be seen here, which with a little nose weight seems to happily fly the length of the garden in a nice gentle glide path.

So there we are then, I have a board from RCM&E and three A2 boards I picked up from Hobby Craft at the weekend, and a chuckie glider which sees to fly ok.I want to crack on with the Beaver first, but a plan is forming in my head :)

Saving Fitbit data


A while ago I bought myself a FitBit One to keep an eye on exactly how much I walk, it is a little expensive for a pedometer, but I liked the fact it syncs via Bluetooth 4 to a supplied dongle or to an iPhone. The data can be viewed on the dashboard on their site but also – and this is one of the things which attracted me to the FitBit – via an API. I’ve had it for a good while now and figured it was time to start looking into the API.

The first thing I wanted to do was get the historic data and save it somehow. I’ve got that bit working, I have a php script which is authenticated against my account and requests a given days data which is then saved as raw json to a text file.

I’ve no plans to do anything with this data yet, so json in a text file suits me fine. I can read it with pretty much anything and it is easy to backup.

I’ve put the initial simple code up on GitHub which you can see here.

Edge 540qq rudder servo replacement


So a while back I managed to stuff my Edge 540 hitting the nose quite hard and breaking the prop. When I picked it up I noticed the rudder was all loose suggesting I had stripped the gears in the rudder servo.  No worries I thought, how could it be to find a new servo? Well the answer is, quite tough indeed!  The official part # is EFLR7100, I couldn’t find any UK stockists and going by the USD price I figured if I could find one it would likely be 20 quid or so which seemed a little steep.

After quite a search I found the TGY-D1290P from Hobby King, this fitted perfectly, even including the little JST connectors enabling it to connect directly to the AR6310 Spektrum RX which is supplied with the aircraft.  There is a handy extension cable buried in the fuselage, so the length of cable supplied with the servo is sufficient.

I’ve had four flights since replacing the servo, all good!

Beaver construction finished

Well a little under 2 weeks after I started, I’ve finished the construction of the Beaver.  Last night I spent a good while giving it a thorough sanding to ensure there were no rough edges that would stick through the tissue, now she is ready for covering.

I’ve yet to decide what scheme to paint her in, I’ll possibly use the decals provided in the kit, but there are so many Beavers in nice colour schemes that is seems a shame not to try and emulate something a bit more colourful than the blue and white of the kit. I expect it’ll take me a while to get her covered up nicely so there is a bit of time to ponder! The picture below is her pinned together before the covering starts, I’m pretty pleased with how the build has turned out, lets hope I don’t make a mess of the covering!



ModelAir Festival of Flight at Old Warden

dsc_1097For the last couple of years I’ve been making an effort to get to as many of the shows run by Model Air at Old Warden as possible, although what with moving house and the family, this year I only managed to get along to the last one of the year, the Festival of Flight in September.

Its always a bit of a gamble with the weather in September, but despite the 5 day forecast earlier in the week predicting thunder and lightning, the weekend turned out pretty nice. Saturday was a little windy – maybe 15mph, gusting to 20+ but the rain held off and the sun shone all day.   Sunday looks to have been the better day judging by the video below.

We visited on the Saturday, again taking my 3 year old with me who seems to enjoy wandering around and looking at planes, particularly enjoying all the stalls. Only the very bravest of the free flight brigade were out, but the RC and CL boys made up for it with pretty constant flying. Sunday looks to have been far better attended, thanks I imagine to the much calmer air. I shot a few pics while wandering around, they can be seen on the gallery page here.

Video thanks to wondefulcat: