Wesley-Anny Wedding: Making of a Photo Shoot

This page hosts pictures taken a few weeks prior to the wedding, documenting the photo shoot session Aaron ran. Most of these are my pictures. Some where I make an appearance are taken by Elisha. I suppose you could call those pictures “Making of the Making of a Photo Shoot”. Most of these pictures turned into a slideshow for use on wedding day. See previous location recon pictures.

Making of a photo shoot - Wesley-Anny Wedding

Making of a photo shoot – Wesley-Anny Wedding

Here is the slideshow:

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Wesley-Anny Wedding: Recon

This page hosts pictures taken a few weeks prior to the wedding, as we checked out the place for lighting and layout. I haven’t used the Nikon D700 for 5 years now. I almost thought it stopped working. But as it turned out, the depth of field preview button was stuck in salt, rendering most buttons and the menu dial on the back unusable. After prying the button lose, I now have a functional camera again. I am surprised that the original lithium-ion batteries continue to hold their charges. I have never had a digital camera last for more than 8 years since I bought my first digital camera, the Sony DSC-F505, some twenty years ago. Every other digital camera I bought ultimately failed electronically. This one just keeps going, despite my soaking it in salt water in my 2009 trip.

I took pictures with the D700 as well as the Fujifilm X10, for comparison. Raw on the D700 and JPEG on the X10. I processed the raw files lightly in Lightroom. Maybe Aaron will bring remote flash on the D day. I think I’ll just go without flash. Some of these pictures will be turned into slideshows for use on wedding day. The second set of pictures are: Making of a Photo Shoot.

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HHAMS in June – HarborFest, Paintball and Field Meeting

This article exists to house pictures that I’ve turned into a YouTube slideshow. June is usually the busiest month for HHAMS. The first week of June is usually the Port Washington HarborFest where we set up a tent to advance awareness of the aerodrome among natives of this town, and to advertise our upcoming paintball event. The paintball event takes place on the second week of June. Then we have our monthly meeting at the field. You can download full-resolution pictures on this page.

Paintball event starts with advertising

Paintball event starts with advertising

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2019 HarborFest Model Boat Regatta

Your reporter has been working for at least 6 years now, as a boat retriever at the annual third-grader’s boat regatta. This is an event hosted at the Baxter’s Pond, as part of the Port Washington HarborFest. For the first time, we have photographic coverage of the event this year from a new vantage point, by your reporter and his fellow boat retrievers on kayaks.

Model Boat Regatta experienced by the boat retrieval crew on kayaks

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HHAMS Flight Tests

This is a short article on flight tests that all new members must pass, before they can fly their model planes without a spotter, at the HHAMS Aerodrome.

It is spring again. Inquisitive visitors are starting to show up at the field. They want to know what it takes to be able to fly solo. Others have gone through the motion of paying the AMA, the county, and the club itself. They have a badge with a “novice” sticker on it. But they can’t fly on their own, and must wait for someone else to stand with them to fly. On the other hand, friendly members are willing to help newcomers learn to fly, and to pass their flight tests. However, not everyone remembers exactly what was involved when they took their flight tests in their days. Thus this article.

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What on earth is SAFE® or: How I hacked AR636 from V900 to fly the Freewing Mirage 2000, with SAFE and AS3X

I wanted to teach a locked-down AR636 with SAFE, to fly the Freewing Mirage 2000 Tiger Meet, a delta wing

Flying Freewing Mirage 2000 Tiger Meet, a delta wing, with a locked-down AR636 with SAFE

Last week I was faced with a new AR636 challenge. I removed a locked-down AR636 receiver with SAFE® from V900, an E-flite speed plane. I wanted to make it fly my new EDF jet, the Freewing Mirage 2000 Tiger Meet. It would be a breeze to reprogram the AR636 today, presumably, with the advent of AS3X® firmware 2.27 made available in April 2018.

I honestly thought it would take me an hour to reprogram the receiver to fly a delta wing, given the new receiver firmware and upgraded programming apps, since I last looked into the AR636. I thought I would fire up the programming app, and change the aircraft type from normal to elevon. I thought I could then set AS3X rate gains, while keeping SAFE panic and self-leveling. Surely Spektrum documentation had caught up in the last three year, right?


In 2016 I wrote an article titled Salvage and Reprogram the AR636A Receiver from Eflite Planes with SAFE®. You’ll find it by simply googling for “reprogram AR636A”. It’s the first hit. This article on an obscure topic is read three times more than my second most popular article, on Peeled Extreme, an ordinary beef tenderloin from Costco.

I wrote that 2016 article after I failed to find clear explanations around these mysterious AR636A receivers that came with Bind-N-Fly Horizon Hobby planes. When I finally figured them out, I decided to put together a simple guide for the next person. Now everyone can learn to reprogram AS3X dual rates and expos on their AR636A, with a mobile app and a programming cable, without losing SAFE.

Similarly, I am again sharing what I leaned, after hacking the AR636 to fly my new delta wing.

Freewing Mirage 2000 Tiger Meet , a French plane, in front of a French-style foosball table

Freewing Mirage 2000, a French plane, in front of a French-style foosball table

Table of Contents


My new problem

You cannot easily take an AR636 that is pre-programmed with SAFE for aircraft wing type X (say normal aileron and tail), and reconfigure it for another wing type Y (say a delta wing with elevons), without losing SAFE in the process.

Transplanting a SAFE AR636A from V900 to Freewing Mirage 2000

Transplanting a BNF SAFE AR636A from V900 to Freewing Mirage 2000

No one has done this before. Or at least no one had clearly documented how to do this online before. It took me some time to figure out how to do this. Thus this sequel to the 2016 article.

Transmitter:Receiver Programming Cable USB Interface

USB Programming Cable

The only physical tool I needed was the Transmitter/Receiver USB Programming Cable (SPMA3065). This time I would be using the PC app Spektrum Programmer, a more powerful version of the mobile one. That said, the audio jack-based AS3X programming cable is still useful, for tweaking rate gains at the field, if you are able to find this discontinued item today. It has now been replaced by the Bluetooth programming module.

While I use the example of teaching the AR636 to fly a delta wing, the text explains basic concepts that Spektrum neglects to elucidate. I learned much from this rcgroups.com thread on Experimenting with SAFE Settings on AR636. Mark (mdmyers), SystemsGuy, Flightengr, santanig5 and many other dedicated fans reversed engineered SRM and SAFE parameters. I found the SAFE Model Builder written by Flightengr to be essential for anyone attempting similar feats. Long-running discussions on the same topics can be found on these threads: AS3X (rcgroups), SAFE (rcgroups) and AR636 (wattflyer).

Safe Model Builder for SAFE by Flightengr

SAFE Model Builder by Flightengr

If you found this article, and you have read so far, then you must be researching for a solution to the same problem. Read on.

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Anyone can Darth Maul Beat Saber with a double-bladed DIY adapter for Oculus Touch

The title of this article is not exactly wrong grammatically. You really can maul your way through Beat Saber, with a homemade double-bladed saber. And you do this on your Oculus Rift, with your Touch controller.

But first, you must 3D-print adapters for the Touch, and modify a PVC pipe to connect the two adapters. You will also install unofficial Beat Saber mods, in order to record a 3rd person view of your battle. When done, you’ll be able to make great videos to brag about online, like the one below.

This DIY tutorial is based on the Touch adapters designed by friedPotat0, which is in turn inspired by the Sith Tuber Lord, ragesaq, of the double-bladed Beat Saber fame. Saq got ProtubeVR to make a special ProSaber. If you live in Europe, you can just buy one online, and skip half of this tutorial. But if you would rather 3D-print your own Darth Maul saber, read on.

Darth Maul Oculus Touch Saber

The end product: Darth Maul Oculus Touch Saber

Here is another video recorded after I became more like a Sith Lord.

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How to master short-field landings with EDF jets such as the Avanti S

There is a real lack of information online about making successful short-field landings with EDF jets such as the Avanti S. I don’t know whether I should attribute this to search engines being saturated with merchant pages, or blame Facebook for hiding useful content from search engines. Looking for videos on YouTube for the same yields basically nothing. Last time I failed to find useful info, I wrote Learn to Skate the Two-foot Grapevine Analytically, despite being relatively new at ice skating. This time I’ll do the same without reservations on EDF jets and short-field landings, based on my personal experiences.

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HHAMS Reflections 2018

The end of the year is upon us again. As usual, it is time I try to make use of pictures I couldn’t stop taking on my phone whenever I was at the aerodrome. In 2015, I compiled them into HHAMS 2015 Field Pictures. In 2016, I compiled pictures into HHAMS Pictures of the Year – 2016 and Pictures of Planes Sighted at the Aerodrome in 2016. I was busy in 2017. Thus nothing was done, despite plenty of pictures having been collected.

This year, the club decided to show slideshows at the holiday party. Bobby Alessi and I collected pictures and videos from folks. As a result, we now have 3 photo slideshows and 1 video compilation. Pictures from 2017 and 2018 feature heavily in these, but good materials from 2015 and 2016 were also used.

The video compilation is the longest, at 13:40m. It comprises 6 segments of flying activities at the Aerodrome, each accompanied by a sound track from a scene from The Good, The Bad and The Ugly.

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HHAMS: My Girl (reflections 3/4)

This article exists to house pictures used in the slideshow HHAMS: My Girl. It is part three of a series of slideshows and compilations from photos and videos taken by HHAMS members from 2015 to 2018. Part three showcases pilots with their beloved planes.

A few pictures here were actually used not in the My Girl slideshow, but instead in HHAMS: What a Wonderful World and HHAMS: Learning to Fly.

Photo and video sources came from Andrea Watson, Tyler A Chase, Mario Goldberg, Bobby Alessi, Paul Yovino, Fred Hsu and Elisha Huang.

Music in the slideshow features: My Girl by The Temptations, My Girl by Otis Redding, and last but foremost, Seabird by Alessi Brothers – that’s our own Bobby Alessi.

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