All posts by Philippe

DIY FrSky Horus X10(s) Car and Field Charger

THIS BLOG ENTRY IS UNDER CONSTRUCTION AND PROBABLY FINISHED BY NOV/2018.

For those who don’t want to read through the below, here is the short version: Connect a 12V cigarette lighter adapter to one and a barrel plug to the other side of a step up converter and your car charger is done. For those who like more details, read on…

This is the end product:

The X10s comes with a wall charger and a 2S 7.2V 2600mAh Li-ion Battery. If the battery is not fully charged, the transmitter (TX) might not get through an entire day of flying. So here is a way to charge it through a 12V cigarette lighter adapter or – if you go one small step further – through a 2s or 3s LiPo battery as well.

I chose to go this way as I wanted to find a solution without invasive mods like opening the TX, soldering, changing battery chemistry and so on. I foresee to need a car charger only when on soaring holidays or for occasions when I have forgotten to charge at home. For most days, a charged TX battery will be just good enough.

Side note: The FrSky “Wall Charger” is not a charger with all the charging intelligence and algorithms behind it but only a AC-DC converter, providing  a constant 15V 1A output. The charging intelligence is attached to the Li-ion battery inside the TX and it decides how much charging power is coming through and when to stop. In other words, all we need to do is to put together a device which provides 1A at 15V.

The main component is a so-called step up volt converter which is sold on Ebay for a few bucks. There are many models, some with a LED volt display. The one I bought is simple, cheap and small:

The step up converter I chose busts up voltages from a 3-24V input to 5-28V output and can provide 2A. It is important to note, that it can only bust up the voltage and not reduce it. So if we need a 15V output to charge the X10(s), we need to have an input between 3V and 15V not to cause any damage. In my case I will use a 3S LiPo or the car battery as a power supply, both provide about 12V.

Components used:

  • 1 Step up volt converter
  • 1 Car lighter adapter
  • 1 Barrel plug: 1.7mm inside, 4mm outside, plugs into the X10s
  • cable, shrink tubing and a couple of plugs if you want use the charger with a LiPo as a field charger.

Optional: Instead of using a new barrel plug, you can cut off the one at the standard wall charger and connect it back using a plug (e.g. XT60, but almost anything will do). That plug would then also be used to connect the step up volt converter.

Read the captions of the pictures for step by step instructions.

 

 

 


I would like to thank James Mills and Colan Casey who helped through FB. 

Edelweissweg & Wisshornweg (Trift)

Zermatt (1620m) – Alterhaupt Edelweiss (1961m) –  Trift (2337m) – Schweifinen (2503m) – Zermatt
900m ascent / 900m descent
13 km / 6 hrs

After going through beautiful houses with balcony full of cheerful flowers in the east side of Zermatt, we found a path, leading steep uphill to the restaurant Alterhaupt Edelweiss. It perches on the rock above Zermatt, its white building visible from anywhere.

After a refreshing home-made ice tea, the path follows the narrow gorge and its serene stream. Here, there is no gondola nor mountain trains, nothing but quiet nature. That is not so easy to find in an area as developed as Zermatt.

The higher we go, the valley opens up and we see several impressive peaks and glaciers.

After some serious uphill, we arrived at the pink Trift Mountain Hut. I realised that I had been here more than 10 years ago.

We hang out in the wide basin near the hut for a long time, basking ourselves in the warm sun, having our delicious self-made sandwiches (away from the crowded mountain hut restaurant), taking many photos, listening to the hut owner playing the alphorn.

We changed our original plan which was to head back down the same way we came up and continued up a bit to walk a loop.

Above at Schweifinen (2503m), we have a phenomenal view of the entire east valley: Matterhorn, Klein Matterhorn, Riffelberg, all the way down to Winkelmatten where we stay. I was very happy that Philippe suggested this little scenic detour.

From there the path was steeeep downhill!  With Zermatt visible 900m below, we started that long zig-zagging down the mountain. While descending the narrow path I slipped on a tree root and got a mountain gift in form of a blue ankle for weeks…

We were relieved to be back in town to put our feet up…

Hörnlihütte (3260m)

Convinced that Matterhorn is the most beautiful mountain in the world, Yasuko’s birthday wish was to spend a few days in Zermatt. Our friend Patrick was so kind to let us stay at his studio with a fantastic view of that magnificent mountain. We could have sat in the studio just watching that magnificent mountain from the window, but not with Yasuko, of course.

For non-climbers, the closest you can get to the Matterhorn, is the Hörnlihütte, the base camp for the Matterhorn peak ascent. That’s not something one needs to tell my darling twice. So the  birthday wish became a hike, as the weather forecast promised a sunny day. We packed the sandwiches and off we went…

 

The Hörnlihütte has been renovated a few years ago, is very modern and serves nice and simple Swiss food (Rösti and similar stuff, that is). Every hiker takes that same picture on the terrace with the Matterhorn in the background. Except us, we took many 😁.

We were a bit worried about the descent, as there are some really steep and scary parts, with a ladder, ropes and almost vertical drops of a few hundred meters right next to the secured path. But it all turned out to be quite manageable. We just avoided looking down for too long.

On the way down, Yasuko expressed a wish for her next birthday. The guess is yours…

Findeln Glacier hike & Chez Vrony

Blauherd – Stellisee – Fluhalp – Findeln – Winkelmatt

It started in the complete fog, when we got out of the gondola at Blauherd this morning….

but soon it cleared out and picturesque lake Stellisee reflected the Matterhorn in its water!

Our plan was to do the 5-lake hike but we saw the tempting glacier beyond the lake so we walked up to the moraine which is simply…

… spectacular. Rocks, stones, gravel and sand pushed by icy snow creates moraines of massive dimensions. Nature at work.

A nice stop at the beautiful and well-known restaurant Chez Vrony.

Eataly 🇮🇹

This trip unexpectedly turned into a fantastic food adventure. The best I can remember (outside Japan, that is). Ohhh… these black smoked gnocchi with truffel and asparagus were to die for and the gnocco fritto a surprising start into a  great meal.

Cagli

We stayed three nights in Cagli, which looks very much like a normal Italian town with a medieval touch, but doesn’t leave as much an impression as the amazing towns of Assisi and Gobbio. The reason why we stayed here was due to the proximity to Philippe’s favorite model sailplane flying place!

But it nevertheless turned out to be an interesting place.  Our B&B apartment, part of an old mansion owned by low-key Italian Francesco, was nice and cozy. What surprised us was Francesco’s museum-like mansion! It has a 4m high-ceiling dining room, several bedrooms with antique furniture, an enormous kitchen with a fireplace and antique plates,  and other countless rooms…. Totally amazing!

The town has a good size square where locals and some tourists hang out for coffee and chatting. We get a good taste for an Italian life, by going for dinner in this square where everyone gathers and also by going for breakfast in one of popular cafes in town where many locals seem to come for espresso and a sweet bread.

A taste of Italian life in Cagli.

Flying at Monte Morcia

The actual flying place is called “La Bandita” on Monte Morcia in Marche. For some unknown reasons, modellers refer to it as Monte Catria in Umbria (even Monte Catria is in Marche). Interesting piece of trivia.

I enjoyed two days of excellent flying conditions. This is the best place for alpine model RC soaring I know.

Spoleto

A beautiful town of Spoleto, with the hilltop fortress, an impressive medieval bridge “Ponte delle Torri” built on a Roman aqueduct, and tasty focaccia…

A 6-km walk, Giro dei Conotti, with a view of the bridge and Spoleto hilltop, gave us a good overview of this charming town.

Assisi

Assisi is an amazing medieval town in terms of its sheer size and grandness. The town sits on the hill-top and one can see its fortress and its massive Basilica of St. Francis from very far.

Going up to the fortress of Rocca Maggiore which is located at the top of the town, spoiled us with fantastic views.

We wandered around small alleys, looked at beautifully maintained stone-wall houses, peaked into delightful gardens and were amazed about those impressive churches and their interiors full of intricate frescos.

We also ate wonderful gelati, frequented our favorite focaccia shop in the Piazza Rufino for lunch and discovered those fantastic black smoked gnocchi with parmesan, asparagus and truffle at the Osteria Piazzetta dell’Erba, a truly memorable dish, according to Philippe.