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Member postings for Mike Blandford

Here is a list of all the postings Mike Blandford has made in our forums. Click on a thread name to jump to the thread.

Thread: Transmitters for DSMX indoor receiver/servo modules
21/09/2017 23:12:51

You might consider a Tx that supports a (JR style) module, then get one of the "4-in-1" modules that supports many protocols as well as DSM2 and DSMX.

Suitable, low cost, transmitters include the Turnigy 9XR-PRO and the FrSky QX7. You also then get the power of the open source firmware available, should you need it later.

You don't need to learn all about the open source firmware, when you create a model it starts as a simple, 4-channel setup ready to use.


Thread: low voltage lipo battery
21/09/2017 12:59:53


"this circuit will automatically cutoff once the pack drops to 2.95v per cell ensuring the battery will not be damaged if you accidentally leave your transmitter switched on"

So if you accidently run the battery low while flying, the battery protects itself, while turning the Tx off so the 'plane crashes!

I won't be using this sort of battery! I'd rather the battery got damaged than I lost a complete 'plane!


Thread: 2 position flaps
18/09/2017 19:26:26
Posted by Andy48 on 18/09/2017 16:51:14:

See "Getting Started" section page 22, where an example of a switch is being used. This is easier than programming a curve, . . .

I'd disagree that putting three mixer lines in is "easier" than a single mix with a single curve.


18/09/2017 16:18:37

Several ways of doing this. A quick way is to assign the 3-pos switch as the mix source, then create a 3 point curve and set the required flap positions using that.

It should also be possible to use the mix settings for weight, offset and expo to get the required positions, but this is less obvious when trying to set up.


Thread: FrSky Taranis - user chat
18/09/2017 09:45:57
Posted by trebor on 17/09/2017 22:21:40:

I'm pretty sure I did the final bind with throttle in down position. Has to be related to the failsafe as I have had warnings when getting too close to the model with the transmitter.

I'm not sure where you got this from, I've never known FrSky receivers use this method to set the failsafe.

Normally you either set the controls as required and press the F/S button on the Rx, or, for 'X' receivers, you have the option of setting the failsafe on the Tx.


Thread: Who wants a Warbird Replics Hurricane?
16/09/2017 19:58:06

I'm also now looking at the undercarriage (retracts).

First, measuring the plan, it looks to show 3.5 inch wheels, but the vac. formed wheel wells look to only take 3.0 inch wheels. So which is correct 3.5 inch or 3.0 inch?

The next question is are retracts and oleos going to be available?

I have a pair of Hobbyking electric retracts I could use, but I still need some oleos anyway.


Thread: 2013 Taranis
12/09/2017 12:38:37

No, both open source firmware (openTx and ersky9x) have full support for editing models on the radio, you don't actually need a PC at all, except for flashing new firmware. Even then, the bootloader allows for flashing from a file on the SD card.

When trying to flash the Rx, make sure you are using the Smart Port and not the SBUS port. I find the "best" way for connecting the Rx is to only connect ground and SPort signal, and power the Rx from a separate battery connected by a switch. Get to the "finding device" stage, then switch the Rx on.


11/09/2017 23:08:14

V1.1.02 is the original FrSky version of openTx, and it doesn't include the bootloader.

The only way to update the firmware is to connect the radio to a PC using USB (with the radio off), then use a DFU program to flash new firmware. I don't think there is a DFU available for the MAC unfortunately.

If you can get either openTx or ersky9x flashed once, you should then have the bootloader that will make things easier.


Thread: EASA consultation extended
10/09/2017 18:58:26

I was interested to see (as I understand it) they reckon there are 1.5 million model aircraft flyers in Europe, i.e. those who fly "traditional" style models.


10/09/2017 15:41:32

I've just had a look through some of these 2 documents. There seem to be several options being proposed, some of which are (mostly) reasonable. I notice several specific references to "model aircraft" indicating existing model flying is recognised as something that might not be impacted to much.

However, as far as I can see, all options seem to propose a height limit that varies from 30m (for "toys" up to around 150m, although either 120m (or 30m below 120m) is the most common height limit.

Personally, I find 120m (400 feet) restricting. I enjoy flying electric thermal gliders. From launch, I'm at 400 feet within around 15 seconds. What I do notice (both while flying and from examining telemetry log files) is that I seldom find any useable thermal activity below 400 feet, mostly it seems to start at 500 to 600 feet. Last time I flew I did catch a thermal at around 700 feet and spent several minutes in a dive (with flaps deflected up), to keep under 850 to 900 feet it was so strong. Once I cleared it, I dropped to 300 feet where I did find some weak lift that took me up to 350 feet, but nothing really useful. So I conclude that a height limit of 120m (400 feet) will mean no more thermal soaring!


Edit: I've made a comment to this effect, although I've now been waiting for a few minutes for it to be accepted!

Edited By Mike Blandford on 10/09/2017 16:12:04

Thread: Telemetry - do you use it? What do you think of it?
09/09/2017 11:45:19

I'm not sure a current sensor in a servo lead would work. The servo would take current as it moves, but many servos, with a light to medium load, would probably not take any current (consider pushing on an unpowered servo arm), and if it does need a holding current, this occurs in pulses rather than a continuous current.

Regarding telemetry bandwidth, you need to consider what resolution you need. For example, a FrSky 'X' Smart Port data packet holds a 32-bit value. This could be 4, 8-bit values from 4 load sensors. I would think a load value sent as -127 to +127 would be more than enough resolution.

Data logging:

erksy9x and openTx both support data logging. For powered flight, I know some uses have their Tx set to start logging as soon as the throttle is advanced, so the logging is automatic.

Regarding storage, looking at some log files of mine, if you log 30 values, once per second, you need about 500K bytes of storage for one hour of logging. Many users have a 4Gb SD card (or larger). A 4Gb card would therefore store around 8000 hours of logging data, which is nearly a year of continuous flying (24 hours a day!).

Because the 400' height limit has existed for specific areas (e.g. controlled airspace), I've had a 400' (122m) height warning in er9x/ersky9x since the end of 2011.


09/09/2017 00:25:50

I'd feel quite lost without telemetry. I've been using FrSky telemetry for 6 years, with voice output for 5 of those. While beeps were useful to start with, it was always difficult to look at the Tx display to see telemetry values, having voice means you don't need to look away from the model. (I implemented voice output on the 9X type Tx running er9x firmware, and was one of the first (if not the first) to have voice output).

I have various voice reporting controlled but switches, and the volume controlled by a pot, so I choose what I need to hear, and can adjust the volume while flying so it is low when there is not much other sound, but when a loud IC engine is running nearby I can increase the volume to hear properly.

Erfolg: Actually don't just equate FrSky with Taranis. The open source firmware (er9x/ersky9x/openTx) run on a variety of transmitters supporting both 'D' and 'X' FrSky Tx modules and the associated telemetry.

In ersky9x (and er9x) I've tried to make setting up the voice output as straightforward as possible, so there isn't a huge learning curve to be able to use it. You simply have something called a "Voice Alert" and configure what you want to be played together with the conditions under which it is played.

Adding feedback isn't to difficult, but you clearly need a sensor to monitor loads in the 'plane, and hardware in the Tx to provide mechanical feedback. Tying these together is then not too difficult. With the open source firmware, you coud very likely add a script to provide the feature, requiring very little actual software development, just enough for the script able to control the mechanical feedback, since scripts already have access to al the telemetry data.




Edited By Mike Blandford on 09/09/2017 00:31:02

Thread: S6R config app issue
31/08/2017 12:21:52

How old is your Taranis? Many of the early Taranis' (early XJT) have a problem with the S6R/S8R. They will bind, bu t only using some of the possible Rx numbers.

Try using different Rx numbers and see if some work.

I have told FrSky about this. If you have a recent Taranis, and it binds with just some Rx numbers, this is significant and I need to contact FrSky again. I have a suspicion this problem is related to the unique ID value of the XJT.


26/08/2017 00:14:44

Checking your images, they have a white area under the tabs that is pushing the blue area, with the options on it, down.

I'm using Win 10, with a 1920x1080 screen and it displays correctly.

Andy: He must have the correct COM port as he is seeing the accelerometer values, and he has used the read button as the last image shows the reading is complete.


Thread: Airborne Data Logging
25/08/2017 15:18:23

I'd also suggest considering getting the data sent back using telemetry and logging on the Tx, I've been doing this for years.

As well as logging the data, with the right Tx, you also get voice announcements of data while actually flying.


Thread: S6R config app issue
25/08/2017 15:08:40

Looking at your screen shots, your window is smaller (shorter) than I expect. Is it filling your entire screen?
If so, then the window is too large to fit on your display and the calibration buttons are off the display!

I've written a program called "SportSet" that does the same things as the FrSky Config program, and also allows configuration of the UART and RPM sensors.

You may find it here: **LINK**

Instructions for installing are on that post. Note the most recent versions only have the .exe file in the .zip files. You need to install the "original" from, then overwrite the .exe from the latest .zip.

For users with Linux, there is a version that runs on Linux as well.


Thread: Flight Time Cut in Half!
20/08/2017 20:32:13

My understanding is the "fully charged" state of a LiPo depends on temperature. I think it is that at a lower temperature, a cell becomes fully charged "sooner". What this means is that if you have a fully charged cell, then let the cell temperature drop, the cell becomes overcharged, possibly then causing damage to the cell.


Thread: where are they
19/08/2017 16:23:19

I notice on the Sarik website they are offering the plans, but currently you have to 'phone them and can only pay by paypal.


Thread: FrSky Taranis - user chat
11/08/2017 20:32:19

openTx was forked from er9x originally. er9x (and ersky9x) had, and still has, a "Throttle idle trim" option where the throttle trim only affects the bottom end of the range.

I believe this may have now been removed from openTx, but it does make setting the idle very easy. Perhaps a request needs to be made to have it put back in.


Thread: S6R & S8R Receivers
04/08/2017 16:15:58

Almost, the amount of aileron deflection, in auto level mode, depends on the amount of roll you have.


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