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R/C Helicopter News

September 23rd, 2010

The new store is on hold until at least the middle of next week. I hope you guys will think it was worth the wait.

September 20th, 2010

It's going to be an interesting day. I want to open the new online store today but Karen and Nathan can't make it to work because the roads are closed due to flooding. I'll keep you posted one way or another. Typically, when there's this much rain, our internet at the office goes down. I have other ways of updating, so, stay tuned.

September 17th, 2010

Ace Hobbies just told us they're closing shop. Thunder Tiger will now be distributed by Great Planes.

Our new website could be operational as early as tonight. I hate to do it on a weekend but I'll be here to fix any bugs that pop up. We've tested it and there are just a few things left to do. Depending on how it goes today, it'll either be tonight or Monday.

August 30th, 2010

Bad news, for me anyway. There's no way the new store is going to be ready in time. I still have a ton of work to do and frankly, I'm not having much luck. I've had problems with all of my PCs at one time or another and this weekend the one I do most of the work on took a dump. Thanks to John, I have that one working again. Even so, it's probably going to take another week or more to get this thing ready. I'm not going to say when because when I try to save time, it always ends up costing me twice as much as I would have saved.

I could open the store in a crippled mode, but that's not what I want for your first impression. I still have about 6000 products to categorize and then I need to move the old site and link everything. It's going to take a while. I'll keep working 16 hours/7 days until it's done and I'll send out an email when it's ready. Until then ... I'm busy.

August 28th, 2010

I'm sure some of you thought I had keeled over. No such luck. I've been in seclusion, trying my best to have the new site ready for a September 1st launch. I'm a lot closer than I was 2 weeks ago. I need to keep burning the candle at both ends to make it happen. Missing IRCHA was a real bummer for me. I missed seeing all of my friends. When the site is done and running smoothly, I'm taking a vacation.

August 2, 2010

Karen decided to do the "Tweeting", which is fine with me. She's a lot better at it than I would be anyway. I've been busy working on the website. I'm trying to tweak the old site and get the new site ready. I think I've come to the point where I need to give 100% to the new site.

I've been trying my best to get people to log on before they shop. It's crazy. About half do and the other half don't. If you look at the graphic on the front of the store, it seems like you would take the time to create an account and logon. When I grew up, if you found something that saved you time AND money, you jumped on it.

I've been messing with Facebook a little. it's quite a bit different than Twitter. I can see how people getted hooked on that stuff. I like the fact that you can post short videos and pictures so easily. I don't have a lot of time to mess with it right now, but I think it might be something I'll spend some time on down the road.

July 19, 2010

In a recent newsletter I announced that we would not be attending the IRCHA Jamboree for the first time since 1994. I'm bummed, but we're going to be short handed in August and I still have a lot of work to do on the website.

You might have noticed that I've added a LOT more pictures to the online store. Just now, I made some older X-cell plans available for download. They are zipped, so if you need any help unzipping them, let me know. They are actually photographs of some old plans we have around here. Nothing is changed on them so naturally there are going to be some changes that you'll have to figure out. I plan to write an X-cell help page that should make things a lot easier.

July 5, 2010

I hope you all had a great 4th of July. I recorded a Raptor 50 with a Muscle Pipe. This sound file is in Quick Time movie format, so anyone should be able to play it. The first two seconds is at normal speed. Then I slowed it down to play at 50% speed, then 25%, 10%, 5% and finally 2%. It's worth a listen. OS 50 with a Muscle Pipe sound file. The last few seconds are silent...

July 2, 2010

The storm has passed and were are back in full swing. We got some T-rex 600 ESP kits in and we now have Stator Gators for the Zenoah 20 engine. The Stator Gators will be in the online store later today.

June 30, 2010

Hurricane Alex is getting closer. It is expected to go in south of here but we will get lots of wind, rain and some tornadoes. Right now our phones and internet are intermitent and probably will be until the storm passes. I have cable internet at my house so for now, I'm able to post updates and download web orders. We've had our 800 number forwarded to a cell phone during the current outage. It's only one line, so keep trying. I'll try to keep this up to date, but for now it's business as usual. I don't think there'll be any flying going on around here for a couple days!

June 25, 2010

I just sent an email to the winner of the Survey Kit Giveaway. His name is Lance and he lives in Burton, Michigan. More details to follow. If you'd like to get in on future giveaways like this, subscribe to my newsletter. Subscribing alone won't do it. You actually have to read what I send.

June 22, 2010

Thanks to the suggestions we received from our survey participants, we've started work reorganizing some of our categories in the online store. The Lipo Battery section is finished. Now there are separate categories for 2S, 3S, 4S, etc. The batteries are sorted by capacity with capacities starting with 1 at the top. A 900 mah battery would be toward the bottom but a 100 mah battery would be at the top. Short of ordering the parts one by one, that's the best I can do.

I had one person comment that he wished we carried Synergy parts. I think he was thinking of Heliproz in Montana.

I plan to put a results page together and share it with you all. I'll be announcing the winner of the kit later this week.

The most valuable information came from the last question where I asked for any comments on improving the online store. Believe it or not, the majority of the comments were something like this "Leave it alone, it works great". I've always thought it worked well but I think sometimes that I'm just too close to it and this survey opened my eyes. I got a lot of great suggestions that will make it a lot better.

One thing was very clear. Quite a few people don't realize that I do all of the work on the website myself. Some people thought I should fire my webmaster. Yikes. I can't do that, so that is one suggestion I'm going to ignore.

Anyone interested in drag racing helicopters should check out a little tip video I posted on You Tube here. The opening scene is a video from the 2002 IRCHA drags. I won that year.

June 19, 2010

Yesterday evening I sent a survey out to newsletter subscribers. The subject was "Please help us improve by filling out our survey". Subscribers, if you haven't filled it out, do it now. This is your chance to win your choice of an X-cell Fury 55 with an OS55 engine and Hatori muffler or a T-rex 700 or a 600 3G Combo, but you must fill it out to get a chance.

June 9, 2010

Those of you waiting on the Flybar Locks (ELRC500), they will be here some time next week. We appreciate your patience.

June 2, 2010

A friend sent me this link to an automated rotorcraft doing some really cool stuff. Before you ask...no we don't have them :-) It's Flash video so it probably won't work on Iphones or Ipads.

Watch the video.

May 20, 2010

Synergy N5 kits have arrived. This kit has been generating a lot of interest at funfly events.

Synergy N5

May 19, 2010

Align announced their new 550 size machine. Right now it's only available as a Flybarless Combo but I'm sure other versions will be coming soon. This model is between the 500 and the 600 but has the 600 motor and uses a 6S pack. I like the 500 size a lot because of it's long flight time with a 5S pack and a larger pinion. This might be just the ticket if the battery weight is kept down.

We are blowing out YS50 engines.

May 11, 2010

As I'm going through the prices I came across some Flight Power 5S - 2500mah batteries. I've been using a 5S lipo on my Dyanatron starter for a couple years now and I absolutley love the way it works. The charge seems to last forever and it turns over 90s with ease. It was a battery someone sent back, otherwise I probably would never use a 5S lipo because they're too expensive BUT I have 8 of these batteries at a very special price. Loyal customers be sure to login.

May 10, 2010

I just got back from Montana. It's a beautiful place to visit. Heliproz is having a funfly in July. They have a great place to have it and it's close to quite a few vacation destinations. It would make for a terriffic summer vacation. I think they will have tours to Yellowstone National Park for the family.

Miniature Aircraft is making progress. Fury 55 machines are in short supply but that should be fixed very soon. There will be a new mid-size electric soon. We got a peek at it and it looks like a rocket ship on 10S and a great sport machine on 6S.

I also finished updating the Hirobo prices.

April 28, 2010

Time is flying. We'll be going to the May Day funfly in Sulphur, La. Hopefully we'll have a big turnout. Try to make it if you can. Those Cajuns know how to throw a party. Today we got a nice surprise...two T-rex 700E Combo kits. They went fast.

April 16, 2010

We just got all of our Align Flybarless 3G units back. All are now updated to the Version 2 software.

April 15, 2010

The T-rex 700 Electric kit has been officially announced. Take a look at the link, then call us to get a price and pre-order a kit.

April 12, 2010

If anyone is interested in the Hitec Aurora 9 channel, call us. I know they haven't been out long, but there doesn't seem to be much interest in them. I'm ready to let them go with the 9 channel receiver for $390.

April 7, 2010

I just put a new category in the online store. It's T-rex Crash kits. When you consider the discounts for using the T-rex Part Finders and the Loyal Customer discounts, you can save a bunch of dough. I have two more kits to put up tomorrow.

T-rex 600 Nitro Crash Kit

April 6, 2010

Ron Pulls His Hair Out

Today I had occasion to call into the office. I wanted to talk to John. I was transfered to his extension and got his voicemail because he couldn't answer the phone. I hate it when that happens! I didn't want his voicemail. I wanted to talk to him!

So from now on, we aren't going to transfer you unless we ask you first. Instead, we will put you on hold, then ring the extension. If the extension answers we'll tell them that there is a call holding on line whatever. If they don't pick it up in a certain time period, the phone will ring at the original extension and we'll go find the person you're trying to reach. That way you shouldn't get a voicemail unless you ask for it. That's my intention anyway.

April 5, 2010

We hope you all had a great Easter weekend. We'll be open today and we've decided to blow out a few of the T-rex 600 Nitro Pro and Super Pro kits. So, if you're thinking about building a 600, this week is the time to buy it.

April 2, 2010

We got a few sets of Edge blades in. Nice.

By the way...According to Google, who keeps these sort of statistics, the average page on this site takes 3.0 seconds to download. That's down from 5.4 seconds in January. It's because I've cleaned up the code on many of the more popular pages and I'm still working to get all the pages updated. This is preparation for the new online store coming late summer 2010. It probably won't look a lot different, but the performance should jump quite a bit. And I will have a little more control over what shows on the checkout pages ... like a Paypal button.

April 1, 2010

I talked to a fella yesterday and he told me how much he liked my Flybar Lock/Swashplate level. Then he proceeded to ask me what the little black triangle thing was for. I think I'm going to do a little overview video soon just to clarify what it is and how it works.

March 28, 2010

As of last week, we will not be restocking any SAB products. SAB, without notice, appointed a new exclusive US distributor. This distributor requires a minimum order of $5000. While it's not unusual for us to order even more than that, there are times when we might only need a few sets. Already, blades we sold for $105 suddenly went up to $125 on the "distributor's" website. What is ironic is that SAB owner, Stefano Baiardi was lead to believe that this will result in more sales. I could be wrong, but I don't think so!

March 25, 2010

The new Hitec Aurora 9 channel transmitters are in stock. You can find them in the New Products category.

March 22, 2010

Poking around the store, I came across the "Fire In The Sky" DVD. If you haven't seen this DVD, I highly recommend it. We had it for $22, but while they last, I'm going to knock them down to $12. Not only is Mike Scoles a world class pilot, his imagination is unbelievable when it comes to ways to rig fireworks on an R/C helicopter! You'll be amazed. And, the music is good too.

March 21, 2010

I whipped up a little animation that demonstrates differential. I know I'm always harping about this, but it's worth knowing.

March 18, 2010

We finally were able to get some Futaba 520 gyro/servo combos at a little better price than buying them seperate. You'll save about $15 - $20. And be sure to check out the special we're running on the T-rex 450 Pro in the T-rex News above.

March 13, 2010

I posted the survey results this morning. I am going to do a follow up survey soon and there will be a chance to win a T-rex 700.

March 10, 2010

Last weekend, my friend "Large" visited me for a couple days. He comes down from Denver to work on helicopters because he says it is "therapeutic" . While I worked on the website, I put him to work on an old Millennium, a Xero-G and my Stratus. All three are in much better condition now. We played some cribbage too. I know that's an old man's game ( I started playing when I was 4), but if any of you play, let me know. We could have a tournament at the next rained out funfly.

The board

The Xero-G is sporting a new 8S battery pack, Castle Pro BEC and 680 blades...that's right 680s. It's a 6 1/2 pound rocket ship that autos like nothing I've ever seen. I think 600mm blades would be a better choice for aerobatics, but for now, I'm having a blast with the 680s.

The fleet

The Millennium just needed cleaning up and some TLC. It got plenty of that. Richard replaced the engine with a 61SX that we built up from spare parts. I love the Milli and the way I fly, a 61 is plenty.

The Stratus was in perfect condition but I wanted to put one of the new high speed Futaba receivers in it. I'm really looking forward to this weekend!

March 4, 2010

GGG for everyone. We now have 3G Flybarless conversions for all T-rex sizes, including the 250.

Blade SR RTF boxes showed up yesterday afternoon. We'll have them in the online store shortly. This is one of those things that we sell to walk-in customers that just can't resist. You have to see it to believe it.

Feb 24, 2010

I got to go out for a few minutes today and fly my Fury 55 (50). I also let Nathan fly it while I took pictures. He said he liked it a lot. Scott Milton of Ace Helis painted the canopy for me. Click on the picture for more.

Ron's Fury 50

Then he flew his T-rex 600 with the flybarless setup. He wasn't happy with the way the unit was performing so he read the manual word for word and discovered something he had missed in the setup.

Oops

Now it's doing much better.

Nathan upside down

Feb 21, 2010

I posted pictures of the funfly.

Feb 13, 2010

I went out to the Bishop Airport today to check the condition. More than likely, that's where the funfly will be. An old Yak took off so I snapped a picture of the takeoff. Right after takeoff, he rolled inverted and flew away. I was on my way back to Corpus Christi when I got a text message with this picture of the Yak after it landed. Oops. Somebody forgot to lower their landing gear! He actually got back on the power and tried to get airborne again but the prop was busted so he let it slide. I ended up right in front of where we were flying...and I missed it :-(

Feb 11, 2010

Our annual funfly is getting very close. It starts on February 19th. Visit the Funfly page for more details.

Follow me on Twitter. I can do this from my phone, so as the funfly approaches, I will probably be using it a lot.
Follow ronlund446 on Twitter

Monthly Giveaway

This month we are giving away a Torkit torque wrench to one of our customers. It's one of our monthly prizes. Since some of our competitors get bent out of shape when we publicize this program, we can only tell you about it on the phone. Rest assured, if you buy from us on a regular basis, you're eligible to win monthly prizes and get some pretty decent discounts.

torkitWon by Jon Day

Ronlund.com

You might have notice the new look. I've been working on the website a lot lately and I'm realizing how much I have to learn. I look at the code from my old pages and realize what a mess I've made. I'm also working on a major upgrade to the online store. It will be much faster and it will have a Paypal button. We have almost 14000 products and over 500 different categories so it will be this summer before it's ready. In a month or so, I'll be looking for people to test the new store before going live with it. Some people don't realize that there are actually two websites here. One, the homepage (this site) and two, the online store. My goal is to combine the two with all the features of both.

Old news

I'll be moving some of the items from the old news page over to this page as time goes on. If you want to access the old news page click here.

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