logo Flying High With Electric Power!

The Ampeer ON-LINE!
March 2017
The Club Newsletter of the Electric Flyers Only, Inc
AMA Charter 2354
Walled Lake, MI, USA

Editor: Ken Myers

Fly the Future - Fly Electric!

What's On This Site:
Site Table of Contents

Ken MyersRichard UtkanRick Sawicki
1911 Bradshaw Ct.240 Cabinet5089 Ledgewood Ct. W.
Commerce Twp., MI 48390Milford, MI 48381Commerce Twp., MI 48382
(248) 669-8124(248) 685-1705(2480 685-7056
Board of Directors:Board of Directors:Ampeer Editor
David StacerArthur DeaneKen Myers
16575 Brooklane Blvd.21690 Bedford Dr.1911 Bradshaw Ct.
Northville, MI 48168Northville, MI 48167Commerce Twp., MI 48390
(248) 924-2324(248) 348-2058(248) 669-8124
The Next EFO Meeting: Date: Wednesday, March 8 Time: 7:30 p.m.
Place: Ken Myers' house

What's In This Issue?

Debbie McNeely Ken provides us with remembrances of Debbie. The Ampeer Celebrates its 30th Year Ken talks about the Ampeers' beginning.
Arthur's Hatch Latch Arthur describes his simple hatch latch, with photos. Chet Lanzo's SWAYBACK Bob Aberle shares his version, with photos.
Denny's Tipsy S2 for Your Winter Build Ken suggests that this might be a good 'winter' build for you. Some Winter Fun With a Mini Quad-Copter Dave Stacer shares his experiences with teh ProtoX Mini-Quad.
The Dimwatt IV David Hipperson describes how he created this plane, with photos. Upcoming Keith Shaw Birthday Party Electric Fly-in 2017 Contest Director, Dave Grife, provides the details for this upcoming event.
The February Meeting meeting coverage with photos Hobbico Returns to the Ultimate Soccer Arenas Joe Hass announces this upcoming event in Pontiac.
PMAC & Skymasters Joint Swap Shop upcoming swap shop info The 2017 33rd Annual Mid-America Electric Flies Links to this year's flyer and map
Upcoming E-vents
Send Ken email

Debbie McNeely

Photo of Debbie

     Debbie McNeely was one of the founding members of the Electric Flyers Only of southeastern Michigan. The EFO was AMA chartered in February of 1988.

     She was our treasurer for many years.

     She and her husband Jim were always spark plugs for the group, and she was alway ready to volunteer and help in any way.

     I learned of her passing at the end of December, 2016.

     As usual, this year, I sent out my Christmas cards, which always included Jim and Debbie.

     I received a card from Jim after Christmas. He let Chris and I know that Debbie had passed near the end of November, 2016.

     Debbie was an excellent builder with flying skills that improved over the years.

     In the photo, she is standing behind a couple of the planes she built.

     Debbie will always be remembered for the great person she was.

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The Ampeer Celebrates its 30th Year

     This is the 30th year of the Ampeer electric flight newsletter. The very first issue was named the Wolf's Call, as Ken's proposed name for the group was West Oakland 'Lectric Flyers.

     The EFO founding members included; Dan Behrend, John Burt, Keith Clark, Jerry Guest, Jeff Hauser, Jack Lemon, Jr., Debbie McNeely, Ken Myers, Jim Northmore, John Revello, Richard Utkan, Jack Violes and Gus Wickland.

     Ken Myers has continued as president and newsletter editor since the founding and Richard Utkan, the vice-president, has also held that position since the club's founding.

photo of glow fuel

     The complete 1st issue can be found at;

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Arthur's Hatch Latch
From Arthur Deane via email

     EFO member, and president of the Midwest RC Society, Arthur Deane, shared his hatch design with the EFO members at the April 2015 meeting. He sent along some photos that explain its construction. KM.

     Attached are some photos of the hatch latch I use. The photos show a more compact and neater installation. The rear crossbar is not a travel stop. It is used to reinforce the 1/32 ply cover plate. The unlock stop is actually the end of the slot.

photo 1

photo 2

photo 3

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Chet Lanzo's SWAYBACK
From Bob Aberle via email

Swayback plans

     Attached, my latest for this week. A little known Chet Lanzo design called the SWAYBACK. It uses his friend, Joe Elgin's PLAYBOY SR wing and tail.

Parts photo

Power system photo

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Denny's Tipsy S2 for Your Winter Build
Recommended by Ken Myers

photo 2

Length: 36"
Weight: 2 lbs. 8 oz.
Wing area: 382 sq. In.
Wing Loading: 15.5 oz /sq. ft.
Wing Cube Loading Factor: 9.25 (calculated by Ken Myers)
Power required: 480 class outrunner. (Scorpion 3008-32 used)
Radio: 4 Channel (rudder, throttle, ailerons and elevator)
Gear Used:
Scorpion 3008-32
ESC: Castle Thunderbird 36
Battery: Glacier 3S 2600mAh
Prop: APC 10x5E

     Denny's Build Thread on RC Groups.

     His article in Electric Flight magazine also tells where to get the plans.

     Give it a try. I'm sure you will like it.

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Some Winter Fun With a Mini Quad-Copter
From Dave Stacer via email

     I received one of these little guys as a white elephant gift at a Midwest RC Society meeting. It is much more difficult to fly than I anticipated, but a lot of fun on these cold, dark evenings in the house. KM

Photo of a ProtoX

     I've not gone too far over to the dark side of quad copter's but we have been having so much fun with that little Estes Proto X.

     Flying it around in our family room with the kids has been a blast It reminds me of the fun we had in Rick basement with those little foam pusher biplanes.

     I won one at the Cards Meet in Lansing but the controller is so small in your hands.

     Estes sells (sold KM) another version Proto X SLT It works with the normal Tactic transmitter and it has a replaceable battery. I purchased one from an eBay seller for $40 - free shipping.

     For that $40 on eBay that seller includes two extra batteries I didn't even take the controller out of the box. We have been just flying it with the Tactic TTX650.

     This thing is really small, but with the two red and two blue LEDs it's easy to see in the room.

Addendum by Ken
     Dave 'updated', by purchasing me a new one with SLT computability, my white elephant model. I have it programmed it on my Tactic TTX650.

     Getting it bound to the 650 was cleared up by a video link that Dave sent to me.

     While still a bit of a challenge, it is pretty flyable now, but still quite a challenge to maneuver around the living room without 'crashing' into something. Love it Dave. Thanks so much.

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The Dimwatt IV
By David Hipperson via email
from Australia

Photo of Dimwatt IV

Dear Ken,

     A while since I wrote but thought you might like my Dimwatt. Went together as quickly as all of Tom's "Stik" models. Flies better than I'd hoped and even impresses those who only play with ARFs.

Regards and Merry Christmas and New Year,

* * * * *

     The Dimwatt III originally comes from around fifteen years ago when Tom Hunt turned out a series of electric models he referred to as the "Stik" range. These were mostly powered by brushed Speed 400 motors and during that time I built several including the Ellipstik (a flying wing) , Stikchell (a very semi-scale B-25) and a larger model, the Midiwatt.

     For some reason the urge came on me again and I decided on Dimwatt III but this time round I took the plan to Officeworks where I had it scaled up from the original 864mm (34 in) to 1050mm (40.25in) span so still not big.

     Tom's design using the electrics of the time was intended to be between 397g (14 oz) to 510g (18 oz) and I hoped my current version wouldnÕt be too much more.

     If you are used to working with balsa and cyano then this is a real quickie and the whole build took little more than a week of evenings. Tools are minimal but a balsa stripper is pretty important and all of the parts for this Dimwatt came out of my scrap box. As the pictures may show everything is very straight line and simple but possibly more important is that there are no conventional wing ribs. These were part of the whole point from Tom and so I'll spend just a few moments to explain what is involved.

Photo of Dimwatt IV parts

     Using the plan one takes the cut strips and simply follows the layout. Then a series of spars from harder material are glued in place. The main spar is actually an ÒIÓ beam so size for size although still balsa this is very strong. The ribs are then formed by using double layers of thinner strip wood which curve over those spars. This is incredibly easy and quick but I recommend stroking the wood between the fingers while gently pulling the strips through a curve. Try it yourself with a bit of balsa if you donÕt believe me. Once the first strips are glued down using cyano on the leading and trailing edges plus the spars it is already becomes robust. I then followed up with the second layer using aliphatic glue before leaving everything all pinned down overnight.

     Despite the fact I changed the wing by adding ailerons this whole wing took around two to three hours from start to finish other than fitting the servos and the covering.

Photo of Dimwatt IV wing

     Similarly, the fuselage is ultra straight forward but once again I modified it a little. Being physically larger than the original I cut two formers from 2.5mm "liteply". Everything on the fuselage is straight and the tail plane, fin and rudder are also cut from the same size material. Other little additions are the ply plates for the motor mount, for the undercarriage mounting, battery mounting and wing bolt location.

Photo of Dimwatt IV landing gear

     By this time I had a feeling for the build and knew it was likely that I'd be able to keep the weight down.

     The motor is almost my oldest brushless outrunner. This is a 23 turn HET motor from the Netherlands and is a real delight being able to turn an 8 or 9 inch prop off 3S. To this I added a 20amp Hyperion ESC and four Hitec HS 55 servos.

     Covering was from red translucent Oracover with some scraps of gold and black around the nose and cockpit cover. Some real "old school" work went into sewing the undercarriage to the pre-drilled U/C ply plate while the cockpit canopy which doubles as the battery cover is held in place by elastic bands that run under the fuselage.

     Having finished the whole thing and fitted with a 3S 1300 Lipo pack it weighed in at 512g or pretty close to the 20% smaller version at 18oz. I thought I'd steal the title of Dimwatt IV and I'm hoping that won't offend Tom Hunt when he finds out.

     All of the cyano and the very small amount of epoxy are from DeLuxe.

     As it happened the maiden flight took place on the morning of Melbourne Cup day which was calm although a little overcast. IÕd like to say it was as expected but just using an old TopFlite 8 X 4 I was taken aback when Dimwatt fairly ripped off the strip and was climbing out nearly vertical even before I put in full power. There was definitely no shortage of urge and I think I could go down to 2S if I really wanted to. However, it's only a matter of using the throttle. With my usual repertoire of loops, rolls and stall turns I found they were great but at some point I think I may add in a little more down thrust as it does want to climb even on a sniff of power.

     The glide is good and landings are light as a feather but to be fair at only 500g AUW that should not be surprising either. For a model that only came about on the spur of the moment and cost an absolute minimum this seems to be a real winner. I'm certainly glad that I took time to go back to this older design and I may have to go back to try another out of my plans archive.

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Upcoming Keith Shaw Birthday Party Electric Fly-in 2017
From CD Dave Grife via Email

     The Balsa Butchers are hosting the "Keith Shaw Birthday Party Electric Fly-In", for the 16th year, at their field near Coldwater, MI. The event takes place on Saturday, June 3, 2017. It is a one day event again this year.

     The event consists of Open Electric Flying with a "Special Guest of Honor Theme".

     Enjoy a day with the "Pioneering Master of Electric R/C Flight". 8 am - 5 pm Saturday, $15 landing fee.

     For additional information contact;
Dave Watson 517-250-6190 or flybuddy619@yahoo.com
Contest Director: Dave Grife - E-mail:
grifesd@yahoo.comor Phone: 517-279-8445
Please e-mail or call with any questions.

     The field will be open for guests to fly on Sunday as well.

Field location map

Directions: Quincy is approximately 4.5 miles east of I-69. Clizbe Road is approximately 1.6 miles east of Quincy. The Flying site is approximately 1.5 miles south of US-12 on the west side of Clizbe Road.

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The February Meeting

     Ken asked Bob Blau how he[s liking his new ISDT 608 compact charger. Bob reported that is working well, it is easy to use and recognizes the cell count automatically.

Bob with his cube

     Bob brought his recently completed and flown Ken's CAD Models Lazy Cub. That makes three in the club now.

     Bob said that it was a pretty easy build and flies very well.

     There is a build thread for this model on RC Groups.

Lazy Cub Build Guide with Plans and Video

Denny's AcroStar

     Denny Sumner shared his beautiful AcroStar biplane. He scratch built it from plans from a 1973 Radio Control Modeler (RCM) magazine.

     He had the wing ribs and formers laser cut. It is excellently covered with Ultracote, except for the black trim, which is MonoKote.

     This link is to his build thread, on RC Groups,

     Originally designed for a glow .60-size motor, his power system consists of a Cobra 4120/14 (710Kv) outrunner, Scorpion 70 Amp ESC and Castle Creations BEC. He plans to try both an APC 12x8E and 13x8E prop to see which works best.

     With a 4S 5300mAh LiPo battery, it weighs 5 pounds 14 ounces.

AcroStar hatch

     Denny designed and fitted an excellent hatch on this beauty.

Richard with his Torpedo plane

     EFO vice-president, Richard Utkan, shared his new, foam Torpedo. He sent for the plans from Model Aviation. The construction article appeared in the January, 2017 issue, p.42. When he received the plans, he realized that he already had a foam wing that would work on this plane, so he used it instead of building the one shown on the plans and in the construction article. He says that he has a 250W power system in it, therefore it should be quite a movin' machine.

Richard's little quad

     Richard also showed his new little quad called the E010, which he purchased from Banggood.com. Several folks had a hand at flying it around the living room. Ken Myers also showed how his Estes Proto-X, no longer available, worked well with his Tactic TTX650 transmitter. The small transmitters that come with these tiny quads can be hard to hold and manipulate easily.

Torpedo's hatch

     He also demonstrated the hatch and simple battery retainer of his Torpedo design.

Hank's redundency board

     Hank Wildman showed his Redundancy Bus - 10.

     He explained how he's using it to add redundancy to his Taranis radio system.

     Dave Stacer asked Hank if he'd ordered the micro switches that Hank had asked about last month. Hank said that he hadn't, so Dave gave him a whole bag full of them. Thanks Dave.

     Hank also shared a hatch that he had made for a Twister EDF. The original foam hatch was too thick to fit the fan he put in it, so he made a new, thinner hatch.

Hank's hatch

     Hank noted that he was having problems with longevity in some of his ducted fan models.

     Ken checked the IR with both the Giles ESR Meter and VollrathD Batt IR meter

     The internal resistance test results suggested that his batteries might not be up to the load that he is demanding from them.

     One of his packs was a 3S 2P wired together with the power leads, but not the balance leads. Several members suggested that he might want to separate the packs and make a parallel connector, so that each pack could be balanced charged individually. He could also wire the balance connectors together and then charge it as a single pack.

     He said that he doesn't balance charge very often and it was suggested that he might want to do that, as it might help his batteries last longer.

     To finish up the evening, refreshments were served and a lot of airplane and power system knowledge was shared.

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Hobbico Returns to the Ultimate Soccer Arenas
From Joe Hass via email

     On Monday, April 3, Hobbico will do its Pre Toledo Show visit at the Ultimate Soccer Arenas from 7 p.m. - 9 p.m. There is no admission and everyone is welcome. On April 4, during the indoor flying from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m., they will do demonstrations. There is no cost if you are not flying. Regular session costs apply to fly.

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Upcoming PMAC & Skymasters Joint Swap Shop

     On Saturday, March 4, the Pontiac Miniature Aircraft Club (PMAC) and the Skymasters are holding a combined Swap Shop.

     It is at a new location this year. It is at the St. George Church/Cultural Center, 43816 Woodward Ave., Bloomfield Hills, MI, 48302. It opens to the public at 9 a.m. General admission is $5, with women, children and active military admission free. There will be coffee, donuts, lunch and refreshments available.

     Tables ($20 mail floor or $25 wall) can be reserved at skymasters.org/register. The vendor setup is at 8:00 a.m.

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The 2017 33rd Annual Mid-America Electric Flies

     This year's event takes place on July 8 & 9. The flyer has all the information about the event, and the map and hotel list contains information of the location of the event an area hotels.


Map to the flying field and hotels list

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To Reach Ken Myers, you can land mail to the address at the top of the page. My E-mail address is: KMyersEFO@theampeer.org