RCheliguy.com Gets a New Blog

It has been almost a year since my last blog post. In the mean time I have switched from a shared web hosting provider to hosting my own websites. I have learned a lot about Apache, PHP and MySQL in the process.

While my old blog worked and looked great I had some problems with it and decided to try writing my own PHP blog scripts. After buying a new book on PHP and reading through about half of it I have created this rudimentary new PHP blog.

Clearly this blog needs work and I hope to give it a more polished look by the end of August. As if learning PHP isn't enough, I will be reading up on CSS and JavaScript which should give my web pages a better appearance and simplify any future changes.

Some links are broken and not all entries have been reposted. Check back later -- they should be fixed soon!

Cap'n Crunch Car

To keep in line with my "cheesy" touring car paint jobs, here is my Cap'n Crunch body:

Car body, angled view Car body, side view

It was fun. I'm thinking of doing a Tom and Jerry body next...?

Cheez-It Car

I finally got around to building the CEN CT4R touring car kit I was given. Looking through my collection of clear bodies I found a 200mm TC body to paint but for the life of me I could not think of a fun theme. The following day at work I went on break and decided to raid the vending machine... guess what caught my eye? My favorite snack food!

After a couple test panels to figure out how I wanted to render the Cheez-Its I ended up with this awesome body:

Car body, angled view Car body, front view

I didn't do enough Cheez-Its so it kinda looks like a soup of Cheez-Its ... but no ones perfect :)

Tetris Canopy and a Few Others

Time for a new post :) I have been busy airbrushing recently and here is what I have come up with:

My favorite so far, the Tetris canopy. Silver base, candy colors, black and white for tints/shades. Made extensive use of my vinyl cutter, total time including a test panel was around 6 - 7 hours.

Tetris canopy, side view Tetris canopy, top view

The colors on this canopy are all candies on top of a silver base. The red and orange were marbleized, this was my first attempt doing that. I like how it turned out. While not obvious in the photo, the marbleized candy red looks like blood spatter / pooling on concrete!

Swirly canopy

This canopy was a redo of the smaller 450-size canopy I did a while ago. I added two blue stripes and put an Airtronics logo in the windshield area. I'm thinking the blues don't mix well with the rest of the colors, perhaps reds would have been better...

Airtronics canopy, angled view Airtronics canopy, front view

This last one I painted a little while ago. It was kind of rushed and it too is a redo of a previous canopy I did. The original canopy was also for the Raptor but it died a horrible death when I forgot to check my receiver pack and it flatlined on my fourth flight of the day. On a positive note the canopy was the most expensive piece that got damaged during the "chicken dance" that ensued.

Checkered canopy, side view

DIY Onboard Glow Heater for ~$25

For the past few months I have searched for a low-cost onboard glow heater. The cheapest one I could find was around $35 and looked poorly built, while the next step up was nearly $70. I decided to make my own onboard glow heater, here was the criteria:

  1. Did not need to be R/C. I just want one less thing to carry around and charge the night before.
  2. Powers off of a 5-Cell NiMH receiver pack, and should not draw too much current.
  3. Very reliable and simple.

This means you need a simple voltage regulator that will take 6V and drop it down to roughly 1.2V or 1.5V. Add a switch and maybe some lights or a buzzer to alert you when it's on ... and you're done. To make it reliable and fuel resistant I decided to cast my setup in epoxy. Here is what I finally came up with:

Completed glow heater

There have been three generations of my project. Each generation got progressively better and smaller, with less weight and a neater appearance.

First Generation: Voltage regulator, switch, piezo buzzer, two LEDs with resistors, and output connections. This first one was a complete mess and I did not even bother to take a photo. I wired it very poorly, and put it in a relatively large container. Having used approximately 1 ounce of 30-minute epoxy, when the stuff finally kicked off the thing got over 300F. This significantly melted the plastic container, and the switch failed. The epoxy did not get through the toggle opening, so it must have seeped in from the sides or below.

Second Generation: Voltage regulator, switch, piezo buzzer, one LED with resistors, and output connections. While I only took out one LED, I made this version much more compact and neatly wired. Looking for a smaller container to cast my project in, I settled on the clear dome from the new plastic packaging that Hitec uses with their micro servos. This one turned out perfect, but it still occupied much more space than necessary. I also realized that once a piezo buzzer is cast in epoxy, it gets much quieter :) I covered up the hole in the buzzer so the glue wouldn't harm it, but it just can't produce the noise it does when exposed directly to air.

G2 and G3 glow heaters

Third Generation: Same as the second generation, but I ditched the buzzer and used two LEDs. This time I found some small blister packaging used to hold crimp-on wire connectors. The packaging was the perfect size, with a small ice cube shape.

Visiting Southern California?
You might like these places: