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Mike Trautman

CCRCC Officer
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  1. There are several Night Radians in the club now, as well as other night flyers. Maybe we should start a "Dark Squadron" and have a night fly soon!
  2. No discount but Allegiant Airlines offers vets several excellent perks. The most significant is free baggage check in. Here's an excerpt from the Allegiant web site: Allegiant proudly supports our U.S. active duty military, military veterans, members of the National Guard, military reserve and their dependents by offering select free services. Qualifying military personnel and their spouses or dependents, with valid identification, are eligible for the following discounts on Allegiant: Free services offered for U.S. active duty or reserve duty and National Guard: Up to three (3) pieces of checked baggage free. Each bag must weigh under 100 lbs. No charge for oversized checked baggage. One (1) carry-on bag within Allegiant size limits, free. Free boarding pass printing at the airport. Free seat assignments, pending availability. Up to one (1) pet in cabin free.
  3. Warbirds over the Corn fly in is a fun fly in on a nicely groomed grass field. 45 E Co Rd 800 N, Mattoon, IL 61938 Check it out!
  4. The second annual CCRCC Cubs and Classics event will be on Saturday June 15th RESCHEDULED DUE TO WEATHER, Saturday July 17th Bring your Cubs, Highwings, Biplanes and Classics out for a day of casual flying and fun! Call or Text: Mike Trautman 217-840-8044
  5. One internet site says you might lose a couple hundred RPM. I certainly didn't notice a lack of power using the DLE 55 on a 105" wingspan Husky, high wing monoplane. Most planes are so overpowered these days I don't think the loss would be a problem. Of course the ultimate m*ffler noise reduction might be with canisters. That's a bit pricey and complicated for my level though!
  6. In Florida the Sarasota RC Squadron requires all planes to pass a noise level test. Once passed you get a sticker for your plane and are good to go. They measure the decibels from two positions, one in front and one to the side, of the plane. I had a DLE 55cc engine that ran more quietly than my Syssa 30cc. The m*ffler on the 55cc DLE had an odd insert in it I had never seen before. It did not seem to effect the engine's power significantly, but certainly made the exhaust note more quiet. Recently I came across the device on the internet. If you want your plane to sound better and run more quietly, for about $20 you can buy one of these... http://www.brico.co.kr/index.php They come in different diameters, listed for various DLE engines, but I suspect they would fit many standard size m*fflers. The unit comes with a silicone hose for attachment, but it's better to drill a set scr*w hole.
  7. 12v / 24v Switching for Starter Motors FIRE HAZARD ALERT!!! BATTERY CONNECTIONS ARE SPECIFICALLY PAIRED. CROSSING BATTERY CONNECTIONS WILL CREATE A DEAD SHORT AND RESULT IN POSSIBLE OVERHEATING AND FIRE. MARK AND USE BATTERY CABLES AS DRAWN! Sullivan starters that can utilize 12 to 24 volts can be useful for starting larger engines. The Dynatron motor is rated up to 40cc, and the Megatron starter can be used up to 80cc. Typically two 12v batteries are connected in series to provide 24volt operation. Sometimes 12volts is sufficient to start smaller engines. The lower power and RPM can be desirable. Also, a 24 volt charger is not nearly as readily available or as inexpensive as the wide variety of 12v chargers on the market. The best solution may be to charge two 12v batteries in parallel but connect the batteries in series when 24 volts are required. An inexpensive switch can make these connections simple and easy. You need a DPDT switch, available at any hardware or electronics store. Here is the wiring diagram you need to make the required connections. Note this diagram shows a transformer instead of batteries as the power source, but the connections are the same. (Credit goes to Sandy Thompson for the original drawing of the circuit I used for my batteries.) Happy Landings! Mike Trautman
  8. Electric Gasoline Pump If you fly gasoline powered planes, you have probably run into the issue of pumping gas from the tank into and out of the plane. Most of us have extra hand cranked pumps designed for Glo Fuel. When I have use these, they seem to leak or seize up. Most electric pumps for gasoline are expensive and require complicated plumbing and mounting solutions. Last September at the Streator Fly In, while exploring Brian's “Dynamic Balsa” hobby shop, I found a reasonably priced electric pump for fuel, or gas. For less then $25 theTurnigy pump is far less expensive then other gas pumps marketed. I used an inexpensive 4.8v NiCad battery pack. (12v will run the pump faster, but 4.8v suits my needs just fine) To cover and protect the pump, make mounting easier, I trimmed the vacuum packaging the pump came in, cutting access to hose connections and switches. The blister pack happened to have a second bubble in it that covers the battery pack nicely as well. I screwed the blister pack to a piece of plywood and I attached that to my gas tank. It works great. No more hand cranking and no more leaking gasoline. Happy Landings! Mike Trautman
  9. CCRCC invites everyone to a day of fun with our old classic friends... Come all Cubs, Highwing Classics, Biplanes, Golden agers... you know who you are! There will be prizes for: Best Cub Best Classic Best Biplane Best Scale Flight Most Exciting Flight Land on the DOT It's casual! It's Fun! Everyone is welcome! Saturday September 8th, Pilot's meeting at 9AM. If Rain or wind cancels the day, we'll move to Sunday. Contacts: Mike Trautman (217) 840-8044, Bob Miller (217) 979-2920
  10. CAUTION CAUTION! MAKING BATTERY PACKS CAUTION! CAUTION! I've been cycling batteries... per my own advice given earlier this year. The results have been equivocal at best and disappointing on several counts. My giant scale planes have large batteries. That should guarantee security, no? The Tigermoth has two 3000ma 6v NMH batteries, expensive, and often on back order. Well, the last “cycle” resulted in one accepting 3000ma and the other 179ma. That's not a good result. I'm still trying to sort out the settings on my two different charger that are supposed to cycle batteries automatically. Where's that darn manual? Meanwhile, I'm probably looking at replacing some batteries this year. I like large capacity 6v batteries. Often pricey and frequently back ordered. I am a ham radio guy. I know how to solder. I should be able to buy some rechargeable batteries cheap and make my own battery packs... right? Sure! Here's what I learned. I accept no responsibility for anyone else trying to make battery packs. Whether you burn down your house, or just crash a couple planes, It's not my fault. I'm not saying you should do anything the way I do. I'm just describing a few things that worked, and some things that didn't, in my hands, with my equipment, for my own use. Batteries: Tenergy Centura “Low Self Discharge” NiMH rechargeable batteries, 2000ma, Amazon, $32.99 for a 24 pack of “AA” size. Tenergy “Sub c” batteries are available for $5.45 each. I've seen other Sub c's available for less, but they carry a lot of of negative reviews for lower capacity or reliability. Stick with the good stuff! It's still much cheaper then ready made packs. For 4.8v you need four 1.2v batteries in series. For 6.0v you need five 1.2v batteries in series. If you don't understand the difference between batteries in series and parallel, stop now before you hurt yourself. Soldering: Connecting batteries commercially is usually done with a spot welder. The weld is strong and heat transference to the battery chemicals and structure are minimal. Prolonged, gradual application of heat should be avoided. Use a low melting temperature solder and a large soldering gun or iron so contact with the battery is brief. Test each solder joint vigorously. Connecting batteries can be done with wires or metal straps. Do not try to solder aluminum connectors. Special flux and solder are needed for aluminum and the technique is tricky. Copper, brass or plated ferrous metals can be used more reliably. Test before use! Appropriate flux (resin only please) is helpful. Cleanliness is next to godliness! Pre-Assembly: I strongly suggest assembling your battery pack ahead of time, using a strong adhesive. I have had failures with hot glue, not to mention the possibility of high operating temperatures affecting it. Your solder joints are not enough to hold your battery pack together without help. Epoxy, or “Shoe Goo” seem to work well. A linear arrangement can flex and break your solder joints more easily then a stacked “hump” arrangement. I go with a humped pack when I can. Design: Depending on your voltage requirements and the number of batteries you're using, you need to think about the path of the wiring and connectors. I like to start with one battery and add more, visualizing how the electricity will travel along the circuit through each one. A mistake here can be dangerous and costly. 6V doesn't seem like a lot, but I have suffered 3rd degree holes burned into my fingertips, just by momentarily placing a strap on the wrong two contacts. Place and hold your straps with a tool, not by hand. The brush/spark test can be useful too. Lightly touch (brush) the strap between the contacts. You should not get get any spark or heat. If you do, you have a short and that's bad, very bad. Test, test, test: Make sure you have a volt/ohm/continuity meter that you know how to use. Once you have made all your connections, you should have the expected voltage at your battery cable connectors. Go back and look for cold solder joints and loose connections before you wrap your pack in tape! I once spent a maddening hour trying to figure out how I could have the right voltage at the battery pack, good continuity from the battery connection to the power connector, and yet still no juice flowing. Turned out that... 1. My glue joint had failed, allowing a solder joint to flex. And 2. I had a cold solder joint with intermediate contact... times two!... The straight line pack had separated both end batteries due to flexing. That is why I always go with the “hump” design when I can. Do yourself a favor and provide some strain relief for your power cable to solder joint connections too. Cables and connections: Years ago I bought a good quality cable making kit from Hansen Hobbies at E-Fest. I've never regretted it and have enjoyed making my own custom length cables and connectors since then. Most receivers use a JR or Hitec style connector on 24 to 18 gauge wire. 22 gauge is the most popular and sufficient for most uses. For battery connectors I like BENTECHGO 18 Gauge Silicone, 150 strand copper wire. Amazon, $6.48 for 20' (10' red, 10' black) I have used 16 gauge by stripping it to 18 gauge, but the 18 gauge is really the largest practical size to use with the standard R/C servo connection. Seriously, if you need more amps than high conductivity silicone 18 gauge can provide, you need professional design and fabrication services. Wrap it up!: I wrap my finished packs in self bonding electrical tape for insulation and physical protection when I'm done. Have fun! Don't blow yourself up! Mike Trautman Here's some pics: "Low Self Discharge" Ternergy AA batteries: Hump versus Linear arranements Big, Ugly soldering iron, but quick! Failed glue joint, failed solder joint! Some finished packs wrapped in self bonding electrical tape. Always
  11. Mike Trautman

    Mike Trautman

    Lipo Battery discharger... 50 ohm resistor with voltage display.
  12. Weather for the Chili Breakfast this year is predicted to be -9 degrees, with a "high" of -1 degree! NW wind 9-14mph. Yikes! Don't forget a scarf or mask for your face. Maybe some Chapstick for dry lips.
  13. Hi Mike, Congratulations on the Astron 40. I've seen it fly and the coolness factor is impressive! I agree about the personal connection link to motivation. I bought a 2003 Proctor kit 1/4 scale Fokker D-VII from Tom Griffith, originally built by Fred Kouka. Between my own inept flying and some weak points in construction, it occupies prime space on my project bench most of the year. I'm gradually replacing rigging, struts, undercarriage and upgrading hardware throughout. The unusual V-twin four stoke engine is awkwardly inaccessible and the fuselage is a fragile spiderweb of wooden dowels that appears ready to explode on any significant impact. The newer Balsa USA kits with slab sides and simplified wing ribs are probably much more rugged and easy to work on. But when pilots walk up and admire the museum like construction details and comment on the four stroke twin's exhaust note, it is very gratifying. I feel more like I'm a custodian of a work of art then a toy flying hobbyist. I guess that keeps me from putting the plane on the shelf and building the NIBs I've got sitting around. I inherited a framed up and ready to cover J3 Cub from the fellow who introduced me to the hobby. It's sitting at our place in Sarasota waiting for me to complete. When it leaves the ground for the first time, I definitely feel that Bruce's spirit will be in the plane. Happy Landings, Mike Trautman
  14. Sugru - This is an interesting new “Moldable Glue”. Firm consistency, holds its shape pretty well. 30 minutes working time. Full set in 24 hours. Result is a hard rubber like part. I had a broken cowling mount on my giant scale P-47. There was enough structure left to establish the position of the part, but I needed to replace a portion of the part with complex curves and precise angulations. Cutting and fitting a wooden part would have been tedious and time consuming. The Sugru is the same light grey as the firewall. The new piece had an “L” shaped leg agains the firewall and replaces the missing piece. It's bonded to the bottom of the old support. It seems to be well bonded and strong enough. I know it's hard to believe I could make a construction mistake, but somehow while replacing the wing mounting bracket (it was a rough season) on my P-47, I misaligned the 1/4” nylon bolt holes. After I realigned the holes, the bolt heads did not fit flush. With a little (green this time) Sugru I was able to seat wooden collars flush with the bolt heads. Instant strain relief, for the bolts, (and the builder). I can see many other possible used for this material. Someone said you can buy it at Target. I bought mine from Amazon. Happy landings! Mike Trautman
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