By continuing to use this site, you agree to our use of cookies. Find out more

Member postings for Andy Blackburn

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

Thread: The 2018 Transmitter Survey!
25/07/2018 08:53:15
Posted by Julian Thacker on 23/07/2018 12:39:50:


I had no idea Spektrum rxs were so pricey. I have just bought what I thought was a very expensive rx - the R7014SB - a 14 channel Futaba FASST/FASSTest rx for £166. I only have one model that uses 14 channels and I did not want to get into SBUS.

I have been checking out the relatively cheap T-FHSS rxs this year and so far I have noticed no difference in reliability over FASST/FASSTest.


Well, no, neither did I until I started looking for a 9 channel Rx and was rather surprised by the asking prices. I had always assumed that Spektrum receivers were going to be relatively cheap, but apparently that's no longer the case. The one I looked at had AS3X so that's maybe why, but it was very difficult to find one without AS3X and I'm starting to wonder if the "normal" receivers are going to be phased out.


25/07/2018 08:47:26
Posted by Mike Blandford on 23/07/2018 09:53:03:

Andy, what is it about the "Taranis" programming you don't get on with? I'm guessing you mean openTx programming model. ersky9x open source firmware also runs on the Taranis and may be easier to follow:


Yes, it is. But the last thing I want to be doing with a transmitter is updating the firmware - as far as I'm concerned, it's a black box that has to work 100% of the time without anybody meddling with it. I don't even risk doing a normal software update because I've seen other people's transmitters that no longer work correctly after having had an update. Having said that, I'd be happy sending it to be serviced and also having a software update because then it's their responsibility and if they mess it up I can get my money back...


23/07/2018 08:34:53

Transmitters are of course very personal things. I currently use a Spektrum DX9 after years of using JR - my beautifully ergonomic JR DSX9 was retired after what appeared to be transient radio failure and to be honest the only reason that I'm using the DX9 is that I found that I could usually guess how the programming worked without reference to the manual. I don't bother with telemetry and the voice is just an unwanted feature that I've had to pay for but never use.

However, I don't really like the feel of the DX9 and I don't want AS3X, which I object to paying for in receivers, especially 9 channel receivers which are far too expensive at nearly £180. I don't get on with the Taranis programming model which is a shame because it would otherwise be - on paper - the perfect solution, so I'm now eyeing up Futaba. But I just can't afford an 18SZ...

Thread: Powered by Laser, a gallery thread
07/07/2018 07:38:43
Posted by Chris Walby on 06/07/2018 22:12:29:

Andy, Would that be the same H9 that should have a 60 size in it wink And I thought putting a 70 in a Speed Air was OTT devil.

Total respect for such a outrageous idea, just be careful in those long steep flat out dives....

Sort of... smiley

Yes, it's officially a Hangar 9 Messerschmitt Bf 109F-2 60, but since it weighs nearly 12 lb - quite a lot of which is nose weight - I think even the most powerful 60 is going to struggle. The recommended four stroke is a Saito 125, so I should reluctantly admit that it's not nearly as outrageous as it might initially appear.

06/07/2018 20:51:25

Hangar 9 Messerschmitt bf109F, spans 63", powered by a Laser 120


Turns a Master Airscrew 15 x 8 at 8000 rpm in hot weather, running on Model Technics Laser 5. The model weighs a ton (11 3/4 lb) but there's enough grunt for some really good verticals. I think it's a great motor.

Edited By Andy Blackburn on 06/07/2018 20:52:03

Thread: Versatile slope soarer
30/05/2018 09:21:28

+1 for the Phoenix Model Products kits; a mate of mine had one of these that was bought second-hand several years ago (might have been a Carrera) and it was lovely to fly, really nice in light winds and thermally conditions (<5 mph) but went like the clappers if you pushed the nose own.

Thread: 4.8v or 6.0v receiver pack
25/05/2018 09:01:58

I hesitate to add more fuel to the fire than is strictly necessary, but here's my experience;

  • I usually use 4 cell 2000+ mAH Eneloops sourced from somewhere reputable (like Overlander) and the biggest, simplest switch I can find with 4-8 standard size digital servos and have never (yet!) had a problem.
  • I've used 5 cell Eneloops on a couple of occasions and whilst there might be a small difference in servo performance (difficult to tell without a back-to-back comparison), there wasn't much difference between that and a 4-cell pack. But some servos don't like 5 cells, particularly on a full charge.
  • I've been using Spektrum receivers for years and have never had any sort of receiver failure or brownout when using a receiver battery, but
  • I've had a failure that appeared to be due to a failed BEC in a speed controller.

I think you'll be absolutely fine with a large (or very large, if you need the nose weight) 4 cell Eneloop as long as it's a quality one because if it fails it'll take the model with it. Same applies to the switch harness.


Thread: Deluxe Eze-Kote
24/05/2018 13:05:56

I have used Deluxe Eze-Kote for joining standard fibreglass wing bandage on several occasions and it's fine (the strength in in the glass, not the resin). The only thing you have to be careful of is letting the wing get too wet because the veneer soaks up the resin, expands, and then sets like that - so if you're not careful, you'll get wavy veneer on the centre section.

For that reason, what I normally do is:

  1. Give the centre section of the wing a very thin coat of Eze-Kote and then take off the excess with some kitchen towel and let it dry properly - at least an hour. This should seal the surface and limit the amount of resin that gets absorbed in subsequent coats.
  2. Apply the fibreglass in the usual way using just enough resin to make everything wet, and let this dry for an hour or two - overnight is best.
  3. Apply subsequent coats (anywhere between 1 and 8, depending on the finish required) with at least an hour between coats, possibly longer for the later coats.



Thread: Acro Wot build advice
27/04/2018 21:03:11


£43 on a motor that loses it's magnets doesn't sound like very good value to me... smiley

So personally, I'd take a deep breath and spend the extra at 4-maxx.


Edited By Andy Blackburn on 27/04/2018 21:03:47

Thread: Another Andy Blackburn PSS Canberra
12/04/2018 08:42:24
Posted by Devon Slopes on 07/04/2018 19:05:02:

The First Plank. I'm trying to follow Andy's instructions as closely as possible as this is my first from-the-plan build, and apparently there has to be a small ceremony to mark the laying of the first plank. As you can see I've managed to source a "Keep Calm and Carry On" mug, but will the build be irrevocably compromised by the use of Chocolate Orange rather than ginger nuts?


The sharp-eyed will spot that I've started with a plank at the top (not on the side), I'm not quite sure why.


I don't know about the build being irrevocably compromised, but it might get a bit messy as the ceremony does involve dunking...

There's nothing wrong with starting the planking at the top (and it's easier to do that, actually) as long as great care is taken to keep everything straight and square; the basic un-planked structure is a bit wobbly, so I advise checking straightness and squareness after adding every plank until a reasonable number of planks have been installed.

Thread: Acro Wot build advice
28/03/2018 21:23:15

All good advice. The only thing(s) I'd add are:

  1. There's no strength in the joint itself (see Bob's post above) so I usually just use a small amount of fast-drying PVA (Speed Bond or similar) around the edges of the root joints (i.e. near the veneer), held together with masking tape overnight.
  2. It's best to eyeball the tip incidences and if it looks as though there's a warp (sometimes but not always the case) then some or most of it can be taken out by angling one of the roots; it's more important that the tips are straight than the root, otherwise you'll need aileron trim for straight and level flight. Not usually a problem with Chris Foss wings though.


Edited By Andy Blackburn on 28/03/2018 21:26:12

Thread: Middle Phase 2
28/03/2018 21:16:29

Looks very good indeed, and better than mine ever did. Very professional - looking forward to seeing if fly.


P.S. - still very pink, though...

27/03/2018 21:57:59

You could just declare it flight-ready and do the maiden flights like that to see how it looks. Then if you think you need a canopy, you can add one...

Thread: Tornado GR4 (150%)
27/03/2018 09:37:10

Looking forward to this - someone (can't remember who) had an F.3 enlarged from Andy Conway's original plan in the 1990s and performance was excellent. Good luck with it.

Thread: Canberra by Andy Blackburn PSS
26/03/2018 21:53:39

What, a complete set??


Mind you, as we have seen, getting a set of printed parts absolutely correct is a significant undertaking; I think the only way you can expect to have a decent shot at it is to cut the parts and then try a test build with the actual parts, correcting and repeating as necessary. That's what Traplet did with the Jet Provost parts, and they were almost 100% correct.

I think talking to Sarik is probably the right thing to do.

Thread: Beginner builder
25/03/2018 18:05:49

I assume you mean BEC (battery elimination circuit) rather than ESC (electronic speed controller)?

Even if that's the case, I'm still a bit confused about the question; I assume that you want to know what you need (electronics-wise) to get a working model? I think it really hinges on what you're going to power the receiver & servos with, which is really about what you have available to recharge the receiver battery. The options are:

  1. 4-cell NiMh battery of (maybe) 1000-2000 mAh for a model that size (depends what will fit in the nose), and a fast NiMh charger. This has the advantage that it won't catch fire in a crash.
  2. A 2-cell LiPo of similar capacity and a separate BEC to get the voltage back down to 5 volts, and a separate LiPo charger.
  3. Some receivers and servos will run happily off a 2-cell LiPo, you'll still need a suitable LiPo charger though. This is probably the lightest set-up, but if you hit them hard enough LiPos will catch fire, so it's a question of balancing risk.

Edited By Andy Blackburn on 25/03/2018 18:07:15

Thread: Canberra by Andy Blackburn PSS
24/03/2018 21:05:40
Posted by Peter Garsden on 24/03/2018 18:43:50:

Sadly Andy, I have found another part cutting error. N4 should have a flat edge top and bottom, but the one which has been cut in the pack has a curved edge on one side. This led to me not being sure I had got it the right way up.


Oh dear. That's clearly not right.

My prototype was built using parts patterns that I had laser-cut by a third party, and everything fitted (obviously). Your parts are produced by Sarik, and the fact that there are errors that were not present in the original parts set tells me that Sarik have produced their own patterns from the Canberra B.2 plan.

I have to ask - have you contacted Sarik to let them know that there are error(s)? You should really let them know, since they produced the parts that you bought and if corrections are required, it will be Sarik's responsibility to make them.

I should stress that I have no connection to Sarik, and I have no control over what they produce.

Having said that, though, I should point out that:

  1. The plan shows the part the right way up
  2. The reason that the slot in N4 is higher than the centreline is that - cunningly, I thought - it will only fit one way
  3. You can cut or sand a flat on the incorrectly-cut N4 and all will be well.

Edited By Andy Blackburn on 24/03/2018 21:06:49

Thread: Middle Phase 2
24/03/2018 10:09:32

I'm sure you're right. But in my head, there is much wringing of hands... smiley

23/03/2018 12:56:40
Posted by Jonathan M on 23/03/2018 11:32:45:

Cheers Andy!

Fair enough on the 'approved method', I'll give you that, but I'll also raise the stakes... to something really stupid that's just come to light...

i.e. this is my sketch for a white canopy against the black fuselage:


But this is the sketch on the other side, which is bang in the way of the black switch! crying So will just have to fill and make good the lovely cutout I made earlier, and move the switch one level down!


In your shoes I'd be a little concerned at weakening the fuselage by having a cut-out so close to the previous one; I'm envisaging a hard arrival into the side of the slope (I know you wouldn't do that, but one of your lesser-skilled colleagues might have to land it for you whilst you were unavoidably detained on important business elsewhere).

Had you considered putting the switch on the other side?

23/03/2018 11:15:31

Looking good, but still a bit pink-ish

> Tailplane 'cavity' insides lined with black:


> Which was pretty stupid really, as the whole bottom was then covered in black anyway ...

No, it's not - that's the neat (OCD) and accepted way of doing it. Or if it isn't the accepted way, I've been doing it wrong, which is entirely possible.

Magazine Locator

Want the latest issue of RCM&E? Use our magazine locator link to find your nearest stockist!

Find RCM&E! 

Latest Forum Posts
Support Our Partners
Pepe Aircraft
Cambridge Gliding Club
Gliders Distribution
Wings & Wheels 2019
electricwingman 2017
Advertise With Us
Latest "For Sale" Ads
Do you use a throttle kill switch?
Q: This refers to electric-powered models but do you use a throttle kill switch?


Latest Reviews
Digital Back Issues

RCM&E Digital Back Issues

Contact us

Contact us