The K-DF-MINIHELI-ROTOR-2 is a set of two main rotors for your micro RC helis.
These rotors are able to fit any palm size mini two channel RC helicopter, just remove the broken rotors and then press the new ones on to the main shaft. Be careful while doing this, if you push or pull them too hard, you can damage your helicopter and break the rotors.
Each rotor is equipped with a pair of small weights on the bottom of the top section. These weights help stabilize the helicopter, so you will need to replace the main rotors if they are missing.
Use this set of main rotors to replace the rotors on your micro RC helicopters if they break. It is a good idea to buy the replacement rotor set ahead of time, so that you have them when you need them.
The K-DF-MINIHELI-TAILPROP-2 is a set of two upgraded replacement tail rotors for your micro RC helicopters.
The mini heli tail propellers are an improved version of the ones included with the micro RC helicopters. Spice up your mini heli by replacing the tail rotor with a red, yellow or blue tail prop! The tail propellers are made with a more flexible plastic, which lets them survive crashes better. The increased flexibility also makes it easier to replace the propellers.
The mini infrared helicopter tail propellers fit all of the micro RC helicopters available, including the PicooZ and it’s clones. They will also fit our popular Bladerunner Black Ghost micro RC helicopter.
You can use the tail props to replace any broken or damaged tail rotors for your micro RC helicopter. Just remove the old propeller, and push the new one on to the shaft.
Product Announcements May 29, 2008
The Multiplex EasyStar RTF is a simple 3 channel electric RC plane for beginners, intermediate, or RC aerial photography enthusiasts.
The MultiPlex Ez* RC airplane now sports a new color scheme. The wings and horizontal stabilizer are gray with orange decals, and the fuselage is still plain white. This color scheme is now incorperated in every Easystar that we sell.
The MultiPlex Easystar is a great RC plane for learning how to fly. It is constructed entirely out of durable foam, so repairs are easy. Just apply some super glue and hold the broken parts together. The wing has been specifically designed to self stabilize. This means that if you let go of the controls, the plane will return to a straight and level position.
A three channel radio system (elevator, rudder, and throttle) allows for a high degree of control. You can even do tricks like loops when you are confident with the aircraft.
Read this excellent thread on RCGroups.com discussing the Easystar RC airplane.
Use the Multiplex EasyStar RC plane to learn how to fly, or just have fun flying in a local park. You can buy a Multiplex Easy Star at RCtoys.com.
Information Articles May 28, 2008
Father’s Day is a holiday celebrated around the world, dedicated to honoring fathers. Normally, Father’s Day is celebrated with gift giving and family activities. Why not combine these two great ideas and get your father something RC for Father’s Day? The RC toys on our website make really great Father’s Day gift ideas and they can also provide quality family time learning how to fly. Every item on this list is a quality, easy to fly RC aircraft, choose whichever one you like. This article will help you decide what to get your Dad for Father’s Day. If you would like to learn more about RC helicopters, we encourage you to read the many informative articles on our information site: www.rchelicopter.com
- Esky Lama RC Helicopter - The Esky Lama is a great first RC helicopter. The Coaxial (dual rotor) design guarantees stability, and the included 4 channel transmitter aids control. You can fly the Esky Lama indoors or outdoors (depending upon the wind speed). An empty gym is ideal for flying this aircraft. Crashing is almost impossible, just keep it away from walls and other obstacles. The Esky Lama also comes with a flight simulator cable, so that you can fly all sorts of models on your computer using the FMS software. Esky Lamas make great gifts for anyone interested in RC helicopters, or model aviation in general.
- Easy Star RC Airplane – Want a great electric plane that’s also easy to fly? Then the Multiplex EasyStar is the perfect choice. Anyone can learn to fly the Easy Star, because of it’s stable flight characteristics and durable foam construction. The Easy Star can be easily repaired with super glue (cyano acrylate) and has been known to sustain only minor damage in the most severe of crashes. The Easy Star is also a popular platform for RC Aerial Photography. Get this plane if your father is interested in RC airplanes, or aerial photography. The EasyStar is the perfect platform for modifications and experiments. Note: The Multiplex EasyStar now comes in an attractive silver/white color scheme. We will have an article about this change published within a few days.
- Airship America RC Blimp – With the Fourth of July so close, what could be more appropriate than an RC blimp, decorated like the American Flag? Like all of our Mach IIIz blimps, three channel control lets you control direction, speed, and altitude. RC blimps are perfect for anyone who wants to fly indoors. The Mach IIIz is un-crashable as it bounces harmlessly off of any object that it hits. Like all of our RC toys, a full range of replacement parts are available. You can get helium for the Airship America Blimp from any party or wedding supply store. Please do not fly the Mach IIIz outdoors, it will get blown away in the wind and lost.
- Vortex RC Airplane – Get a Vortex if you’re Dad is interested in RC airplanes. The Vortex is even easier to fly than it’s larger cousin, the Multiplex EasyStar. Fully proportional two channel control lets you maneuver safely in almost any park, and its durable construction helps minimize crash damage.
- FireFly and Micro Mosquito – Both the FireFly and Micro Mosquito are great indoor RC helicopters. Each comes complete with a small charging base and a radio transmitter. These RC helicopters are for indoor use only, but you would be surprised how fun it is to fly them in your living room! Land anywhere, and bug the family pets with these excellent micro RC helicopters. In the event of a crash (or a mishap with the cat) replacement parts are available on our website. Choose the Micro Mosquito if you want extra control (provided by a tail rotor), and the FireFly if you just want to fly casually around the house.
That’s a pretty daunting list, but every item makes a nice surprise for Dad. Choose something that you think is interesting, and then spend the day learning to fly it together. RC flying provides great opportunities for spending quality time with the family, so have a happy Father’s Day!
Every radio control aircraft (nitro and electric) uses an electronic system to control its flight. This article will explain how radio systems work.
Radio Control System Components
The radio system is what is responsible for moving the control surfaces of the RC aircraft. The individual components vary among different systems, but here is a list of the basic components which are common to all radio systems:
- RC Aircraft Transmitter – The transmitter sends the radio waves which control the RC aircraft. When the pilot moves a stick on the transmitter, the transmitter emits a series of radio signals which control the RC aircraft.
- RC Aircraft Receiver – The receiver is a device mounted inside the RC aircraft, which intercepts the radio signals sent by the transmitter. It then decodes these signals and moves the different control surfaces of the aircraft by telling the servos how to move.
- RC Aircraft Servos – Servos are small electric motors which move the control surfaces of the RC aircraft. Each servo consists of an electric motor, several gears, and a plastic case. Servos are mounted inside the fuselage of the RC aircraft, and attached to the various control surfaces via push rods (linkages, usually made of a plastic, wood, or flexible nylon rod).
- RC Aircraft Battery - Both the transmitter and the receiver need a power source. Normally, NiMh (Nickel Metal Hydride) or NiCd (Nickel Cadmium) batteries are used. Newer radio systems use lithium polymer batteries due to the increased capacity. Make sure that both the transmitter and receiver batteries are fully charged before flying.
- RC Aircraft Crystals - The transmitter and receiver use a crystal, which determines the frequency that they operate on. Radio control aircraft are limited to the 72Mhz (72 million cycles per second) band, but there are various sub frequencies within this main band. As long as RC aircraft are operating on different frequencies, the can be flown together. Newer radio systems use a 2.4 gigahertz freqency. The transmitter and receiver scan for an unused band, and then lock to that frequency. This eliminates the need for frequency control, and also prevents crashes caused by two transmitters using the same frequency.
Radio Control Functions
Each radio system uses a number of channels to control its servos. The term channel can refer to either the frequency that the radio system operates on or the number of control functions available. Usually, the number of channels equals the number of servos. Here is a picture showing the different control functions on a typical RC transmitter.
- Red – Antenna . The antenna is the long telescopic wire at the top of the transmitter. The radio signal that controls the RC aircraft is sent over this wire.
- Green – Left Control Stick. The left control stick controls the rudder and throttle. Moving the left control stick upwards increases the throttle, and moving it downwards decreases the throttle.
- Likewise, moving this control stick to the left will move the rudder to the left. Moving it to the right has the opposite effect.
- Yellow – Right Control Stick. The right control stick controls the elevator and ailerons. Moving it to the left will move the left aileron up and the right aileron downwards. This will result in a roll to the left. Exactly the opposite occurs when this control stick is moved to the right. Pulling the right control stick downwards will cause the elevator to move upwards, causing the pitch of the aircraft to increase. Pushing the right control stick downwards will cause the aircraft to pitch downwards.
- Purple – Power Switch. Use the power switch to turn the transmitter on or off.
- Left Blue – The left blue switch on this transmitter lets the pilot teach a student using a buddy box. When this switch is held down, the student has control of the RC aircraft. As soon as the instructor senses trouble, he / she can release this switch and take control.
- Right Blue – This switch controls an extra channel, for dropping payloads, controlling landing gear, etc.
Your radio transmitter will come with a manual that clearly describes all of these functions. Refer to it when installing your radio system in your RC model aircraft.
RC Aerial Photography May 23, 2008
Now that you know what RC Aerial Photography is and what its used for, you can begin to take aerial pictures. This article lists various tips and techniques that can help you get great results, every time.
Planning The RC Aerial Photography Flight
Consider these points when planning your flights:
- Lighting effects RC aerial photography – The Sun is the only source of light available to the RC Aerial Photographer, so the time of day and the season of the year will dramatically affect the look of your aerial photos. Generally, it is best to do RC aerial photography between 10:00 AM and 4:00 PM to avoid the shadows that are cast by the setting or rising Sun. In some cases, you can use the shadows from tall buildings to create a dramatic effect in your pictures, but it can add complexity to the final result and make it harder to read. Daylight hours change with the seasons of the year, so plan to take your pictures when the sun is highest in the sky for each season. Taking your aerial pictures early in the morning will result in a colder, more blue color while taking them near sunset has the opposite effect. You will need to choose what time to take your aerial photos, depending on the desired look.
- Weather effects RC aerial photography – Check the whether before you go flying. Winds should be your primary concern, generally the less wind there is the easier flying your RC aircraft will be. Try to fly only when the winds are 10 km/h (6.2 mph) or lower. Besides the wind, you also need to check for haze. Haze consists of water droplets, suspended in the air. It is most common on warm summer days with relatively little wind. Haze severely limits visibility, and can cause your pictures to become blurred if they are taken looking towards the horizon. Color distortion due to haze is known to happen frequently depending on the time of day. Smoke has a similar effect, and can blur an otherwise good picture. Be sure to check your flying site for any signs of atmospheric interference before you attempt aerial photography.
- Equipment for RC aerial photography – Make sure that you have all the equipment that you will need with you, before you go out flying. What you will need depends on which aircraft you are using, but make sure that you have all of the basic tools, such as screwdrivers, glue, and pliers. This RC Helicopter Field Accessory Guide will give you a general idea of what you need to take with you. Some RC aerial photographers find it useful to take a laptop computer, so you can immediately see the results of your work.
Getting Great Results From RC Aerial Photography
Angles Change The Look Of Your Image
When taking RC Aerial pictures, you need to consider the angle at which the photo is being taken. There are three common angles used by Aerial photographers:
- High Oblique - Pictures taken from this perspective are taken from an angle at about 70 degrees, relative to the vertical axis. This type of picture includes the sky and the horizon, and so it is best used on exceedingly clear days. Try to take the picture at least 10 degrees off of the horizontal axis (ground), so that you don’t have too much sky in your picture.
- Low Oblique - These pictures are taken at an angle at approximately 40 degrees from the vertical axis, so that they don’t include any of the horizon or sky in the finished image.
- Vertical – Vertical images are taken with the camera pointing straight downwards. They are useful when you need to produce a map like image.
Of all of these, the high oblique angle covers the greatest area, while the vertical angle will show the least haze.
Use Sunlight To Your Advantage
Remember that the sun is your only source of lighting. Before you plan on taking any pictures, go to the area you will be photographing and look around at different times of day. This will let you know when the glare is worst, and what lighting makes the subject look good. Try to take pictures with the Sun to the back of the aircraft, this helps to reduce visible haze in the atmosphere.
How to Avoid Reflection
Reflected sunlight can spoil an aerial photo easily. Most often, sunlight is reflected by water on a lake or river. The easiest way to avoid reflected sunlight is to simple maneuver your RC aircraft until the angle of the camera towards the ground is different than the angle of the sun to the ground. On windy days it may be even more difficult to avoid water reflection, because the wind can cause small waves on the surface of the water. Try taking several pictures in rapid succession.
Wireless Video Can Help You Aim
If you are doing RC Aerial Videography, then you can most likely configure the camera to send wireless video to a base station. This can show you what you’re filming, as you film it. If you are doing RC aerial photography, then you can add a small wireless camera to your aircraft, pointed in the same direction as your still camera. If you send the video to a small laptop or television screen, then you can see a preview of each image before you take it.
Additional Memory Is Important
Most digital cameras have memory expansion ports. Getting a large memory card will allow you to take many pictures during one flight, and then choose from the best of them. If you think that you have the aircraft in a good position for a picture, take several pictures in rapid succession. Depending on your resolution, anywhere from a 128 Megabytes to 1 or 2 Gigabytes will be beneficial. Memory cards are removable, so you can take them out of the camera and download your pictures, without having to remove the camera from the RC aircraft.
Get A Book On RC Aerial Photography
Photography is an entire hobby in itself, and a thorough exploration of it is beyond the scope of this article. If you are interested in Professional RC aerial photography, or just want to know more, get a book from the library on photography and read it. Many of the techniques used in regular photography also apply to RC aerial photography, so you should become familiar with them. RCAPA.com is an excellent resource on aerial photography, with FAA information and a photo gallery.
The final part of this article will explore professional RC aerial photography, and how to be successful in it.
RC Aerial Photography May 22, 2008
In this article, we will look at the different applications of RC aerial photography. It is important to understand what RC aerial photography is used for before learning how to get good pictures, which is the topic of the next article in this series. Here is a list of some of the most common applications of RC aerial photography.
- Amateur RC Aerial Photography - Taking aerial photographs from RC aircraft provides an easy and cheap way for amateur photographers to get aerial pictures. Before RC aircraft were as advanced as they are today, getting aerial photos required hiring or accessing a commercial plane and pilot, then flying all the way to the target location and back again. Using a regular aircraft is expensive, and this expense repeats for each trip you make. Getting a suitable RC aircraft and adding a digital camera only has to be done once, the expense after that is minimal. Amateur aerial videography is also possible, by using a camera which supports taking video as well as still pictures.
- Professional RC Aerial Photography - Many professional aerial photographers use RC aircraft to help them in their work, due to their low cost and versatility. A potential client can ask for an aerial picture of an object, and can have results in less than an hour. After taking the aerial pictures or video, the RC aerial photographer can download them to a laptop, burn them to a CD – ROM, and give them to a customer immediately.
- Getting Pictures Of Hard To Reach Locations - Conventional aircraft cannot fly below 500 ft over the target location. This requires the aerial photographer to zoom in with his / her camera, reducing the final image quality. This is not good, unless high altitude pictures are required. RC aircraft are more versatile, due to their small size.
- Photographing Potentially Dangerous Situations – There are some situations where sending a human photographer or manned aircraft would be too dangerous, like riots, fires, or other disasters. Sending an RC aircraft with a camera attached can be the perfect solution because it gets the pictures you need, without unnecessary risk.
- Usage Where The Expense Of Hiring An Actual Aircraft Is Unjustifiable – As said previously, hiring a conventional aircraft is expensive. Depending on budgets, projects like photographing traffic accidents might not justify this expense.
Part III of this series will explain how to consistently get great results in RC aerial photography, and how to get the proper angle, light, and position will be explained.