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Welcome to Magic Timers
Written by Web Master   
Saturday, 12 June 2004

History

We have been making Electronic timers for free flight models since 1993 and have probably made more than anyone else.  Our emphasis is precision timers for the FAI classes.  The standard timer we make is the Black Magic for both F1A and F1B classes. There are versions with 1, 2 or 3 servos. In addition we make the Red and Smart Magic Timers for F1A World Champion Victor Stamov.  Evgeny Gorban makes an electronic timer AirMagic that uses Magic Timer technology. Other East European professional sportsmen such Igor Vivchar, Vasily Beschasny and Mikhail Kosonozhkin use Black Magic timers in their electronic models. Note that the F1B timer can be used for any class except the glider classes. The F1A timer can of course be used in an F1H.

In addition we make a single function simple timer called Simple Magic; some people may have seen this in Jack Emery’s F1G.

 

Basic approach

The timers are based around an industrial microcontroller. This is programmed by Magic timers to provide the functionality needed to control a free flight model. The flyer sets his flight program into the timer using a Palm Pilot organizer. The timer can move 1, 2 or 3 [4 in one case] servos to control the model. These servos can release trip levers like a conventional clockwork timer, or can move the surfaces directly, or some combination of both.  It’s up the builder of the airplane to decide how best to achieve his objective. The flight program is saved in the timer, even after the power is turned off.

The size of the servos and battery are selected to match the performance requirements.  The timer will drive all standard R/C servos.

In addition to moving the servos at the appropriate moments throughout the flight, there are special functions appropriate to the start of the flight. The F1A timer has hook management features, the F1Q timer permits to motor to start before launch, while the F1B can provide an instant or delayed start. The F1Q timer uses a standard electric motor controller with BEC, so no timer battery is needed.

The time can be set to .01 of a second and the servo movements made very small so the glide trim of an F1A is easily adjusted by moving the servo stabilizer setting.

 

Why the Palm Pilot

Clearly we are capable of making an electronic timer that can be set without an external device.  Simple Magic is like this. But we do not believe it is appropriate for complex models.

The rest of the Magic range is intended for serious FAI free flight where small and accurate adjustments are very important. These days most people are comfortable with some form of computer technology; so –  in computer speak  – the user interface is moved off the timer onto a Palm Pilot, with a much bigger screen where the details of the flight program can be easily seen as a whole, read from the timer, written back to the timer, and saved while experimental changes are made. All of this lends itself to more precise flying and fewer opportunities for error. The Palm was chosen because it is relatively inexpensive compared with making a custom controller.

 

When you’re in a hurry

Because we have been doing this for so long and have many customers, we have received feed back from  people such as world champs like Victor Stamov to people just starting out. This input has been taken into account with the evolution of the product. An example of one of the features added is the audible D/T time indication.  Iit’s no use having an accurate timer if you set it incorrectly with the D/T too short. So when the timer is turned on it beeps out the length of the D/T in minutes and 15 second increments. During the flyoff period time can be very short and the organizer can change the max at a moment's notice so the D/T can be reset without needing to use the Palm Pilot – and the timer beeps it back so you know you’ve done it right.

 

What we give you and what we don’t

The first timer you buy must include a start up kit. Besides the timer you get the software for the Palm Pilot, and future upgrades, the cable to connect the timer to the palm pilot, a start button [F1B] or tow hook harness [F1A] and some connectors. The manual is e-mailed to you.

For subsequent timers you just get the timer and pay less money.

You do not get the battery, battery charger, servo or Palm Pilot. Magic timers can provide all of these except the battery charger. We can tell you where to get them from other sources.

 

Current models

Black Magic F1A, F1B, F1Q and Universal Timer [all except F1Q]

1, 2,  3, or 4 servos
Connection for Radio DT
LiPoly or NiMH batteries

 

Little Magic Universal Timer

2 servos
Connection for Radio DT

Simple Magic Single Function Timer

Uses one LiPoly battery and simple actuator
Palm not needed

 

Smart Magic- Only from Victor Stamov F1A

3 flight servos plus strain gage controlled relatchable hook servo

Last Updated ( Tuesday, 14 September 2010 )
 
Newsflash 1
Written by Administrator   
Monday, 09 August 2004

We have not quite finished our Web Site but we wanted to get it online so you could see the basic information, down laod documentation and programs for the Palm Pilot.

 

Watch here for updates "real soon now !"

Last Updated ( Wednesday, 30 January 2008 )
 

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