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  1. #1

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    The Beginner's Guide to Skydiving

    I thought this might be a helpful thread to kinda put all the info about beginning skydiving for new pilots



    Some commonly asked questions:

    ?what's an rc skydiver?

    @it's a scale version of the actual thing and is usually radio controlled. RC skydivers can simulate what real skydivers do, or they can be custom designed by experienced hobbyists to custom specs.

    ?Can one buy these things?


    @Yes, there's many online manufacturers of both rcskydivers and related products.

    *please feel free to post these websites in a new post below this and add in your own site if related to selling custom skydivers or commercial skydivers.*

    ?what's a Dirt Dive?

    @ A dirt dive is when the canopy of a skydiver fails to open. it can result in a broken skydiver, so some ground time will be required to repair your skydiver. A dirt dive for a real skydiver tends to always be fatal...

    ? How much do RC skydivers cost? They can be roughly 199 dollars (very small skydivers) to well over 400 dollars for a really well made, and established diver (midsize to giant scale) Custom divers may cost a bit more than your run of the mill skydivers with all custom heads/ bodies/ and sometimes canopies.

    ?How does a drop box work?

    @ there's several ways to create a drop box, sometimes even involving the plane itself. First type is a so called "box" that the parachute pack fits in somewhat loosely, yet allows the skydiver and pack to stay oriented while in flight. a single servo with servo extension or none *if a hole has been drilled into the plane fuse to allow a near direct hookup of the servo* allows the skydiver to be dropped on command. the servo arm either pulls a pin releasing a bungee cord slung over the skydiver to keep him in place, or is the release mechanism via a metal ring over the servo horn which slides off. The decision of dropping is left up to either the pilot of the plane, or if using a special setup, the pilot of the skydiver.
    A in plane drop box involves cutting a hole large enough in the fuse of the plane to set the pack in and strap in the figure afterwards using the servo horn release setup.

    Ensure that the drop box is as close or at the cg of the plane in particular. You're adding weight to the drop plane and it will tend to affect the overall flying characteristics.

    ?Are there ways to avoid a dirt dive?

    @There are some, but D/D are unavoidable due to: forgetting to turn on the Skydiver's RX or not doing a preflight check by wriggling his arms to confirm he's responsive to your TX. Other causes can be: a poorly packed chute, a chute that fails to open for any reason. or opening the chute a bit too late. *rare of course, as most skydiver pilots try to not open too low.. true for full size skydivers*
    You can lessen the probability of a D/D by following proper canopy packing and sometimes if the extra weight and complexity can be afforded, a back up *reserve* chute of some simpler design. Most of the time however, it's hard to tell whether you'll get a D/D or not.

    *some ideas for knowing if the skydiver RX is on: A led light up or audible rx beep that indicates power on. get into the habit of preflight by wriggling your diver's arms. if they don't move, the probability is that he's not switched on, or the rx battery hasn't been plugged in.*

    @I want to hold a skydiving competition, but I'm not sure of the proper layout for one where do I go for that info? *anyone can post a link to rules of a skydiving competition and the setup if they wish* I will post some links as soon as I can relating to this.

  2. #2

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    RE: The Beginner's Guide to Skydiving

    ? How does one control a skydiver?

    @ There are a few ways. Folks may add these to replying posts below this to add to the finer details of skydiver control.

    @ to set up your radio for controlling a skydiver, the means I used personally, was a V tail allowing me to use the right stick to control the skydiver's turns and flare. I have a noncomputer gws dreamstarter tx that the rx in my skydiver *custom built myself* works with.

    *Directions for setting up control using a GWS tx *basic four channel*

    1, Carefully open your TX *this will void your warranty if you go this route* remove the return springs from the right side joystick and save them. you can put them back in later on if needed.

    2 purchase a V tail mixer board also supplied by GWS. There will be 4 connections. Two plug into the elevator and rudder pins on your RX. The other two are three pins for negative, positive, and signal. These are also listed as elevator and rudder. Plug in each servo and position them so that the servo horns are parallel with eachother and swing towards eachother from a horizontial. there should be a left and right setup. *pictures will be posted as soon as possible, please have patience. failing that, there is a thread detailing the inside setup of a skydiver's servos and related servo horns.*

    3. Arms have a right angle to them *the somewhat simpler models* more advanced ones have a linkage setup allowing full throw.

    (to be cont as soon as I can provide pics and relating steps)

  3. #3
    JuanF's Avatar
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    RE: The Beginner's Guide to Skydiving

    Spinbotz,
    This is a great idea having a begginer's forum. We can all share ways of making RC Skydiving easier. As soon as I take some picture of my jumper and airplane I'll post them.
    Juan

  4. #4
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    RE: The Beginner's Guide to Skydiving

    Spinbotz: good idea guy this is a way to start getting people into this great new part of rc skydiving. I have plans for the Walley Gicthall chute and I have drawings for making the making wooden frames bodies and arms and legs also shows how to set up arms control how to install third servo for chute release[8D]

  5. #5

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    RE: The Beginner's Guide to Skydiving

    Glad to see your contributions, Juan and Golden Knight. I need to take pics of my skydiver setup asap for use as idea starters for someone to build just the skydiver itself, then purchase a custom made canopy, or if they are capable of sewing, also include to scale PDF files of airfoils commonly used for a ram type canopy.



    *Instructions cont:*

    cont from step 3 Arms can also be straight out, or slightly bent at the elbow for more throw. There are several ways to get plenty of proportional steering control via the arm and the trailing control riser. Depending on your particular setup, you can thread the steering riser through the rear metal loop where all the rear risers are connected and then tied to the respective control arm.
    Be sure that it's set up so as not to bind or get tangled with the other risers in the group.
    You can also do a direct canopy to hand connection where the riser is literally tied to the hand itself.
    This may offer the least amount of throw, but experiment once you get the arms working to find the best canopy trailing deflection possible. You want to have the ability to do as FULL of a flare as possible just before landing to set your diver down gently.

    4. Skydivers come in many different styles. from GI joes modified heavily to allow internal micro to inbetween micro and standard sized servos, to totally entirely scratch built creations with custom sewn diving suits, store bought or home made hands, heads, arms, and legs, and hollow or board type body. *board type bodies are merely a flat body with exposed servos and often set up so that loose clothing hides most of the internals unless clothing is removed for maintenance or battery changes to skydiver.*
    Depending on if you want your own, unique skydiver, (I certainly did, though I do respect and like the ones available all ready to skydive) or want a true tested hobby quality skydiver pre made and ready to go, there are many ways to enter this fun growing theme of RC

    5 Canopies. Ok, I know I really suck at sewing, so the best way to go, if you do too, *not saying you do if you ARE good at sewing* is to purchase a premade canopy from one of many fine online manufacturers available online. The shipping costs sometimes are included in the total price, but may also sometimes be a seperate cost as well. If you are good at sewing, then research online or try creating your own airfoil cross section as large as you may need for your skydiver's scale and weight. As the manufacturers have said before, *Dave Naylor, GoldenKnight, and Juan, among the many* it's open on what size chute and airfoil type you may need. There are both sport chutes, *faster, manueverable* and slower ones, *still manuverable, but not nearly as fast, and are unable to cut through a rather windy drop as well as a ram canopy designed for a faster fall/glide.


    6 Ask the helpful fans of RC skydiving within this forum and other forums where rcskydivers are mentioned. they may be able to provide additional helpful hints, tips, and ideas on creating or buying a skydiver.


    (Folks, definitely feel welcome to add onto this thread within this forum if you wish. The more info about skydiving, the better!)

    Some items folks might ask questions of:

    Servo extensions for drop boxes, or, cutting a hole in a drop plane, or creating a drop plane/buying one

    Recommended Engine sizes and airplanes that have tested true to enabling skydivers to become airborne

    Repairing a skydiver after a dirt dive and how to maybe reinforce weak spots or catch them during a DIY to prevent future damage

    Customizing a skydiver for personal tastes in appearance, and performance.

    Add ons to skydivers, such as smoke, night time glow sticks/batt operated lights making the skydiver itself a smaller payload carrying model and dropping streamers or even tiny parachuters

    How tos on adding on a micro camera to a skydiver, *belly mount, or head mount if possible. *the camera would be the head.*

    Padding a skydiver against a dirt dive if the skydiver design allows and what type of padding recommended.

    Packing canopies and setting up pilot chutes correctly for near trouble free openings.

    More to be added on.

    *to get really creative, even think about free fall control, and making actual Wing Suits for your skydiver. *caution, ensure that the wing suit does not interfere with the control of the canopy once the canopy opens.*

    Rocket power? If a guy can strap on minature jet engines and fly through the air via a flying wing strapped to his back, one could concievably make a model version and use model rockets to propel him through the sky for a short distance. *note: this may fall under regulations disallowing building radio controlled rockets in essence. Please do not proceed if this is at all not allowed in your area or country.*

  6. #6
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    RE: The Beginner's Guide to Skydiving

    I had posted this information before in the RC Skydiving Forum but figured it would be useful here for anyone starting out in RC Skydiving. You can use this information for planning the color schemes for your parachutes.
    "Here's a couple of really cool websites for playing around with canopy colors. You can get a good idea for some neat color schemes. The first URL takes you directly to the canopy coloring webpage. The second one you have to follow the arrows. The Para-Gear webpage has better color rendition. On the Para-Gear website when you get to "Select a manufactuer and Canopy" hit on "Flight Concepts" and then on "7-Cell". Have fun!!"

    http://www.square1.com/manufacturers/square1/p1274.asp

    http://www.paragear.com/canopy_app/APP.ASP

  7. #7
    edge_pilot's Avatar
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    RE: The Beginner's Guide to Skydiving

    Great to see these type of threads starting. Since this part of the hobby is new to most people, they need to see all the interest from many differant people. We offer skydivers, parts, and supplies to anyone wanting to try out the hobby without building or research. Best of all, we offer knowledge of the sport. If your in the Toledo, OH area for the Expo, stop by our booth and I will answer all your skydiving questions you have. We will be in booth 253-254, and we will have several jumpers, dropbox setups and information on hand. If you see them in personthats all it usually takes to start jumping. We will have a video of several skydivers as well playing all day.

  8. #8
    JuanF's Avatar
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    RE: The Beginner's Guide to Skydiving

    Spinbotz,
    From the time I made my first RC Skydiving drop I have been using a logbook to keep track of my jumpers drops.. It's a carry over from my old skydiving days. I like using the log book to keep track of changes that I've made to my jumper such as length of the steering lines, added weight, etc. The pictured logbook has 17 pages and lets you make twelve entries per page. You enter information as to where you made the drop, type of airplane and equipment used. The drop altitude, windspeed, name of the jumpmaster/pilot and a remarks section. I picked up my log books from the local skydiving center here and I think that they cost something like $2.50. Below is a URL for Para-gear and they sell them for $1.95 plus postage. by keeping a log book I can go back and see where I've dropped my jumpers and friends that I have made drops with.

    http://www.paragear.com/templates/pa...vel=2&parent=6


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  9. #9

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    RE: The Beginner's Guide to Skydiving

    Sounds like a good way to keep an organized log of each dive and whether changes to the skydiver helped or not. Also a good way to keep a log of friends you make too, and giving /recieving help on correcting skydiver problems. *be it dead batteries, broken servo gears etc*


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