Akom's Tech Ruminations

Various tech outbursts - code and solutions to practical problems

Exceed Pitts S2A second flight

Posted by Akom • Sunday, September 7. 2008 • Category: Toys

The broken wing was dry this morning (see previous post) and the wind was almost nonexistent, despite the hurricane that went through overnight.

I'm off to fly! This time around I moved the servo pulls to the second hole, making the controls slightly more sensitive (I have been getting better with the simulator, and the last flight it felt a little unresponsive). I also set the elevator to fully horizontal position - I had it pointed down slightly last time, also out of caution, but this morning it didn't even want to take off this way.

It flies!

Tail pulls adjusted to second position

Again it is a little tail-heavy, but it is basically controllable, and I even did a corkscrew when it was high up enough. Once again I got about 3 minutes of flight before the plane decided to call it a day - this time the battery ran down. I heard the motor slowing down but in disbelief (I charged it!) so I tried revving up once or twice - nope, it is dying. So I brought it down as quickly as I could, but I didn't trust myself to steer it into the asphalt - so it's a nose-in landing on the grass, with the gear coming off. Works for me if there is nothing breaking.

So the battery... The day before I had it on charge for 45 minutes at least, it not being empty to begin with - so I figured that's good enough (1200mah battery being charged by a 0.8A charger). Apparently not... today the E-Sky balancing charger took at least 3 hours to charge the empty battery! I guess it drains some of the cells to balance them, so I might have actually depleted the pack when I charged it incompletely.

Mystery Super Fancy Charger

Since the E-Sky charger gives me no information besides a blinking green light (and I guess I'm a control freak) I bought the super fancy charge-anything-and-explain-what-I'm-doing charger from Deal Extreme ($50) (link)

I guess I was too concerned about exploding batteries.

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