lauantai 25. huhtikuuta 2009

F-18 simulator on TV

They showed Finnish Air Force's WTSAT F-18 simulator on tv in "Äijät" tv show. It's in Finnish, but i think everyone understands what's the idea. See the whole episode at:

Also getting to fly a Hawk is quite cool.

torstai 23. huhtikuuta 2009

Velocity EP second flight

Today i got Velocity EP finally repaired and ready to fly. I installed the new electronics -

* CC Phoenix 45 ESC
* Ultrafly A/30/24 brushless motor
* AR6200 2.4GgHz receiver

- to the plane. My new shiny transmitter is Spektrum DX 7, which i got for discount as the shop didn't get DX6 in time. DX 7 is maybe a bit too high end for my use, but now i got it and it's really cool. Motor was compatible with Speed 400 and the mount didn't need modifications.

The flights went good. This time i didn't crash the plane and flew very carefully (no high speed passes or low level aerobatics). Performance is AWESOME. 5 seconds with full throttle and the plane is so high i don't want to get it higher. Normal aerobatics such as loops and rolls are possible with 50% throttle. Level flight requires about 30% throttle. Thrust/Weight ratio is about 1. And this is not a lightweight depron model. I flew about 30 minutes and didn't get the battery to run out. I had to quit, because it became dark and cold.

Velocity glides surprisingly well. I needed a few passes every time i tried to land it. Almost like Zagi 400. I don't think it can thermal though as it loses altitude rapidly when turning.

Sorry, no photos this time as i was flying alone.

Next time i'll try how fast it goes. My fear is that it might disintegrate mid-air. Let's see what happens.

sunnuntai 12. huhtikuuta 2009

More simpit details, updated web page

I updated my personal web page about some details of the simpit. If you're intrested, you might want to check out

torstai 9. huhtikuuta 2009

Playing C64 games with wiimote & balance board

Playing Le Mans

Yesterday we demonstrated a software/hardware combo that allows controlling any game system with Atari connector (C64, Amiga, Atari 2600..) using wiimote and balance board.

It consists of Linux pc software which communicates with wiimotes, Arduino
Duemilanove and software for it.

It's made by my colleague Dr. Dick/Byterapers (HW and Arduino software) and me (pc sw) .


The sw supports 1 or 2 wiimotes or balance boards. Wiimote controls work as you can expect, using the d-pad for stick and 2 button for fire. Balance board works by leaning your body to desired direction. Fire can be used by jumping or leaning forward (configurable). Wiimotes can be used for playing any game, but balance board is useful only for slow paced games which don't require fire button much. Our favorite on balance board was Space Taxi. We forgot to test Decathlon, but i bet it will be most fun.

The setup. C128 on left, Arduino board on center, laptop on right.

Arduino board with the Atari joystick cables connected to i/o ports.

The software will probably be released soon in sourceforge or some other location under GPL.

lauantai 4. huhtikuuta 2009

Model Expo

Today i was at Model Expo in Helsinki.

Suomen Urheiluilmailuopisto had a glider simulator at the expo. It was really popular as you can see. Built into a real fuselage of some glider.

Software was condor. Unfortunately the panel display didn't work so they had cockpit visible on visual screen.

They had (at least) working stick, pedals and brake lever, from original glider. I'm not sure about flaps. There was a commercial joysticks handle attached in the place of stick and it looked a bit weird and plasticky. If i had a real glider fuselage available, i'd use as much original controls as possible.

Here's an internal shot. The mechanics were well done, but for some reason they use TWO USB GAMEPADS linked with complex mechanical links to controls. Yes, it's a USB gamepad in the photo. There's another one not visible here which is moved in 2 directions according to control movements. What's wrong with using potentiometers and a simple USB HID board?

There were also some jets. I'll spare you from the generic expo shots, as i only had my cellphone as camera and you can find better quality ones somewhere else.

This was really interesting one. It's a PULSEJET model made in Finland in 60's. It's a control line model, not RC. Jets are lame, real men use pulsejet propulsion (this is a challenge for all model builders out there)

I also bought a new toy, but as it doesn't fly it's not anything of interest.