Monday, December 15, 2008

Berlin new year

I'll be flying off to Berlin during Christmas for work (im not being a 'scrooge'). Will be back next year.

This will be my first trip to winter-land, and i'll be alone mostly. I think this will be a much needed experience and also a good time for some self-reflection before embracing year 2009.

Besides work, i'll also be doing some visits. As you can see ive been researching...

Have also 'bookmarked' some of the places im planning to visit on my E71 (Nokia Map). Will be relying on the embedded GPS for navigation.

And i'll be ushering the new year at Brandenburg Tor/Gate!

Its wet & cold in Berlin now (4°C), i actually prefer hotter weather :\
Oh well, lets hope i don't get drunk and get frozen lying on the street :P

Incase im not gonna post again within year 2008, Merry Christmas & Happy New Year to all!

Sunday, December 14, 2008

Heli 3D: Piro Tictoc

This is a continuity of my previous article on piroflip as the skills required of piroflip & piro Tictoc are pretty much the same.

Piro Tictoc can be broken down to the following 3 steps
- Controlled pirouette while wearing 45° angled spectacle (Pun intended!)
- Time the flip
- Flip

Sounds familiar? ive broken down piroflip into 3 similar steps, without the 45° angeled spectacle, haha.

Im not going to re-post the tips from piroflip article, instead, im gonna talk about the notable differents. And i'd highly suggest the reader to be confortable with piroflip before attempting piro Tictoc.

Start the heli pirouetting, nudge the elevator forward when the tail is pointing side-way.

The 'Tic' with tail pointing side-way
After half a revolution, the tail will be pointing downwards, too much downwards the heli will be dropping like rock, either that or the heli will start drifting towards right. When neccessary, nudge forward elevator or give abit more collective.

The 'Tic' with tail pointing side-way downwards

Before allowing the heli to drift too far right (normally after too many revolution), time the heli for tail-in flip (similar to piroflip), the rest of the steps would be just nuding the elevator forward/backward.

Inverted 'Toc' with tail facing side-way downwards

Inverted 'Toc' with tail facing side-way upwards
Perhaps it would be easier to visualize the flow with this video (stick movements in mode 1).
The simulation was done with speed factor of 140%, but the video was recorded in 90% to allow easier viewing of the movements.

Compared to the piroflip video posted in the previous entry, I uses more extreme cyclic & collection inputs in piro Tictoc.

Thats all for now, Fly safely :)

Saturday, December 6, 2008

Heli 3D: Piro Flip

I hope the reader is comfortable with controlled pirouette already before attempting the tips in this article, if not, do check out the previous entry on controlled pirouette.

Piroflip can be broken down to the following 3 steps
- Controlled pirouette
- Time the flip
- Flip

I'd start with the heli in upright pirouette and wait for tail-in, then give forward elevator to flip the heli. As the heli is constantly pirouetting, aileron input will also have to be given during the forward flip. This will speedup the transition of the heli to inverted in one revolution (one full pirouette).

We want to be able to transit the heli from tail-in upright to nose-in inverted in one revolution. Using only elevator input will be too slow and may take more than one pirouette to transit.

While the heli is inverted pirouetting, i'd wait for tail-in again, then give backward elevator and aileron input to transit the heli to upright in one revolution.

Ive uploaded a video which shows transition of a stationary heli to inverted and vice verse in one pirouette (mode 1).

After successfully transiting the heli in one revolution, the heli may want to drift around, just rely on your controlled pirouette skill to flatten the heli.

And heres another video which shows sticks movement of full piroflip (mode 1).

Too much drifting around?

Somehow, faster piro rate (at a rate controller to the pilot) helps in making PiroFlip easier to perform.

And try to have more piro per flip. I'd do at least 2 piro before flipping. 2 piro would normally allow enough time for me to flatten or re-position the heli.

Heli 3D: Pirouette basic

Controlled Pirouette

This should be the first piro move to start with before attempting more challenging piro stunts. It is gonna be like learning to hover all over again, but with the rudder stick held down. It is very important not to skip this 'fundamental' skill if you don't wanna crash your heli into someone. This skill will also come into handly someday when the rudder malfunctioned in the air, ive safely landed my heli few times while pirouetting (tail rod poped out).

This section will cover some basics in controlling fast piro (high piro rate) and slow piro (low piro rate).

Fast piro requires holding down the rudder at extreme end, a good starting point would be 1 full piro (or slightly more) per second, set it up on the radio/heli to achieve that.

Give only elevator input in fast piro. More inputs from other sticks would just complicate things, unless you harness the force and nothing is too fast for you. If not, you want to be able to keep the heli as flat to the gound as possible with only one input.

The heli would be drifting around, compensate the movement with abit of elevator input at the correct timing to set the heli moving back to the initial spot. I like to give only forward elevator while the heli is upright pirouetting, so i'd give elevator input only when the nose of the heli is pointing towards the direction i want it to move to.

Likewise in inverted pirouetting, i prefer to give only back elevator, thus i'd give the input only when the nose of the heli is pointing towards the direction i want it to move to.

I've uploaded a video here which shows the input to keep the heli flat upright, inverted, and abit of moving around (mode 1).

Fast piro is suitable for use in piroflip/piro tictoc and such moves that requires the heli to stay in confined spot, as the gyroscopic effect gained from the piro rate would keep the heli more stable.

Slow piro requires both elevator & aileron inputs. Pretty much the same concept in moving it around, just give abit of elevator input when the nose of the heli is pointing towards the direction you want it to move to. The aileron input here is really to flatten the heli before it completes a full piroutte.

Slow piro is suitable for piro circle and any such move that requires larger 'air-space'.

Sunday, October 5, 2008

Trex 600 Canopy

Finally decided to get new canopy for my Trex600. The previous one is quite beaten up.

Tuesday, September 23, 2008

Heli 3D: Collective Management, Rainbow & TicToc

Collective Management

This is one of the fundamental skill in 3D flying, thus I feel the need to start this entry trying to explain collective management, it is especially important in the next 2 moves that im going to talk about.

Ok, lets face it, our helicopter engine is not as powerful as we want it to be. Try to hold it at full load with high pitch over an extended period of time and one may notice that the power will start decaying (bogging). Also, you may have noticed that a particular heli with the same setup seems to be lots more powerful under the control of an expert pilot.

The experts didn't have any secret equipment/fuel on their heli, but they've mastered collective management.

So what does it mean to manage the collective well?
Think of collective management as singing or even doing sport that requires explosive power. We can't hold the high notes for long nor exert the super jumping strength continuously.
But if we give ourselves sometime to recover and breath, we would be able to perform again.
Our heli is not made of meat & blood, but they would appreciate that kind of 'respect' too.

To put into context of R/C heli, sudden punch from high RPM + high pitch = explosive power. Once the heli started shooting off, it should have enough momentum to continue traveling the intended path. Relax the throttle by reducing it gradually, and once you have reached the intended spot, the engine should be ready for another explosive power move again.

Sounds easy? haha no, timing is very crucial especially when giving 'gradual reduction' of throttle. This is the reason why only pro-pilots uses high pitch range (eg: +-13 on a 50 size heli), because they're able to time the sticks input correctly without bogging the heli.


Rainbow is good move for learning collective management.
1. Begin getting to 1st point (shown as the left most heli on the following picture) of rainbow by going from upright position to inverted via a backward flip
2. Just a second before the heli reaches the 1st point, reduce the throttle gradually (from positive to negative)
3. Once the heli reaches the 1st point, give full negative punch of throttle, this should shoot the heli to 3rd point (shown as right most heli).
4. Again, remember point '2', reduce the throttle gradually (from negative to positive) a second before reaching 3rd point.
5. Once at 3rd point, give full positive punch.

(Note: The above descriptions serve only as an example, it is not recommended to apply full stick all the time, unless you're into the 'pop' effect)

The 3 points of "Rainbow"

Tic Toc

Upright tictoc is sortof like rainbow, just that the tail is supposed to be fixed at one area.
Pretty much the same collective management skill required as rainbow, and fixing the tail at one spot requires precise timing in transiting from one point to another.

Aileron tictoc requires the same collective management skill too, the stick movements are kindof like doing half roll, rudder input would be required to move it around (tail pointing up would move the heli forward, tail pointing down would move heli backward). If the tail seems to move toward or away from the pilot, elevator input would be required to align the heli side-way.

Lastly, Ive made a video recording with stick movement (mode 1) of Rainbow, upright tictoc & traveling aileron tictoc.

Saturday, September 13, 2008

R/C heli hobby

Ive been flying radio control helicopters as a hobby for 2 years+.
And I especially enjoy learning & trying 3D (aerobatic stunts) moves.
I'll be putting up guides on some 3D moves soon in the following week, so stay tuned.

Here are some of the helis i've owned and flown over the years.

Quick Japan EP8 (build log)

Raptor 50 Titan (build log) & Trex600-Electric

Stratus 90 (build log)

Trex600 Nitro (build log)

Wednesday, September 10, 2008

Post Travel Syndrome

Ive been back for almost a month but some part of my soul is still in Vegas & Japan.
And am already searching for the next destination and travel companion too. Anyone interested in visiting HongKong, Taiwan or Australia?

The recent trip didn't make me reflect much on life, didn't really change me alot, except maybe made me more sinful .. hehe

So what are some of the signs of post travel syndrome?
For me, ive gotten the Transformers movie DVD just a week after returning home.
Because some of the shootings were done in Hoover Dam.

Transfomers DVD

Ive also gotten the PC game "Rainbow 6: Vegas" soon after Ive gotten back from last year's Vegas trip.

I guess im those who enjoys reminiscing my trip experience, and catch up on those areas i visited and say "hey, ive been there". Contrary to some who would visit some places after they've seen it on movie/tv, and they would go "hey, [insert_celeb_name] was here".

So which would you prefer to say? "ive been there" or "[insert_celeb_name] was here" ?

Monday, September 8, 2008


Bought two boxes of mooncakes for my family... Ok no, actually I was just looking for a reason to try em!

Snowy skin mini durian mooncakes from Majestic Restaurant!

White lotus paste with macadamia from Marriott Hotel!

Saturday, August 16, 2008

Tokyo 08 - Tokyo National Museum

We reached Tokyo National Museum at 940AM, got into the long queue and waited for 20min before finally getting admitted into the museum. Some special exhibits actually took place on that very day. Majority of the people are locals (Japanese), so it was quite a pleasant surprise to learn that the local support for art & heritage is this huge (see 1st picture below).

There are few halls that made up Tokyo National museum. This is the Heiseikan hall (not related to Heisinki, the capital of Finland), which normally houses the special exhibits (No photo taking of the special pieces too).

Connected to the Heiseikan hall through a resting area is the Honkan hall.

Resting area.. Zzzz

View from the front door of Honkan hall.

Honkan (Japanese gallery) hall houses mostly Japanese ancient artifacts.
And Ive some of the following to share ...

Very ancient metal shoe!

Titled "Japanese Woman".


Tachi sword!



Ancient coins.

Japanese working on handy crafts.

Next, we headed to the Toyokan hall (Asian gallery), the hall that houses artifacts from the rest of Asia. And we have the following ...

Titled "Head of lion" from Kushan dynasty, Pakistan.

"Stone Statues of Heracles (also known as Hercules)" from Parthian period, Iraq.

"Glazed Tiles" during the Iron age from Iran.

Merely visiting 3 of the halls already took us 2 hours, and we were actually rushing through the pieces. There are more than 3 halls (check but we needed to check out from our hotel soon, so we ended up missing half of the experience. So i'd recommend allocating close to a whole day for visiting Tokyo National Museum.

On the way back, we went pass National Museum of Western Art and I took a shot of "The Gates of hell".

Next stop, Singapore, back to home/work/reality.
It was quite an eventful trip, from visiting canyons, man-made marvel, cabaret in Nevada to fish markets, shrine, maid-cafe in Tokyo.
And this is where i'd end my Japan trip show and tell.

Tokyo 08 - Ueno park & Shrine

Started the 2nd day (Aug 14th) early as we should be catching our departure flight at 4PM, thus we had only the morning for some more visiting. I'd love to get the sushi breakfast at Tsukiji again but time wasn't on our side, thus it would be safer to explore places near our hotel in Ueno.

We wanted to visit the Tokyo National Museum, which opens at 930AM. And since we got up abit earlier, so we decided to check out Ueno park and the shrines in the park.

And we arrived at Ueno park at 830AM, this is a popular place for cherry blossom viewing during spring season.

Torri gates stacks! Yea I think they are kind of cool, almost wanted to run through it, think I have seen that done in one of the movie (Memoir of a geisha) ?

Big Torri, one of the gate to Toshogu shrine.

Rows of stone lanterns.

One of the Toshogu shrine building. Most of the buildings here were build more than 300 years ago during the Edo era.

Lots of wooden votive plaques (Ema). Many of the wishes written in English too!
Behind the plaques are the copper lanterns, they're used for religious ceremonies to house the 'sacred fires'.

The Flame Of Hiroshima And Nagasaki, dedicated to the victims of Hiroshima and Nagasaki.
It is said that the flame will be kept burning as long as nuclear weapon exist.

I got a mixed feeling after reading this. I always thought dropping of the A-bombs were the right thing to do, and the visit to Atomic Museum a week ago in Vegas reassured that. Maybe Im heartless? haha (the movie "Grave of the Fireflies" didn't affect me too)

The Toshogu building. A small fee required for entrance, however, we were running for time, so off to Tokyo National Musemu.