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Member postings for Geoff Sleath

Here is a list of all the postings Geoff Sleath has made in our forums. Click on a thread name to jump to the thread.

Thread: Price Increases On Engines from The Far East
19/01/2017 16:57:41
Posted by John Stainforth on 19/01/2017 13:17:13:
Posted by Dai Fledermaus on 19/01/2017 12:14:22:

I wasn't aware that Sterling had lost it's value against currencies other than the Dollar and the Euro, but having just checked I can see that in Jan 2016 the pound was worth 9.3 Chinese Yuan, Since then it's gradually declined in value and is now 8.3. Nothing to do with Brexit it seems. That's bad news for the hobby I guess as much of what we buy is manufactured in China.

The pound had gone down in a similar way against all major currencies, and it has everything to do with Brexit.

Unfortunately that's true in a world where many products are priced in dollars. Lots of British exports are also priced in dollars and so manufacturers will be getting a boost as they'll be getting more GBPs for their products.

Expect just about all modelling products sourced in China (and that's a lot of them) to be around 20% more expensive. Looks like our annual trip to France will be dearer, too


Thread: PSSA group visit to RAF Cosford Museum
18/01/2017 20:52:54

You guys do know Cosford is flat don't you? Though perhaps they MAY let you soar on the lift from the hangars


Thread: LMA v BMFA insurance
18/01/2017 20:48:40
Posted by Geoff Jackson on 18/01/2017 16:00:18:

I pay £33 a month for my car insurance, I dont moan because its essential and the law. Id cheerfully pay £33 a year to the Bmfa just for insurance, for the peace of mind when my 72 inch petrol powered missile is hurtling round the sky. Lets get real guys, insurance is a must in these days of litigation. Everything else is a bonus and like breakdown cover we pay and hope never to have to use it. The NFC will be there, a bit like Goosedale was, if I fancy a visit although age may be against me.

Bit like EU referendum, its happened, stop moaning and lets get on with it, enjoy the flying!

Goosedale was brilliant. That was where I attended my first ever model show. It's only 20 miles from where I live and in 1995 (after retirement) when I was learning to fly I cycled there and had lessons from Norman Hunt and rode home. An hour in the air and 40 miles in my legs made a great day.

Sadly it was badly managed and failed for reasons I'm not entirely clear about. Hopefully the NFC won't suffer similar problems.

As I mentioned in an earlier post on this thread. My annual Cycling UK (formerly CTC) subscription is around the same cost as the BMFA (actually I think it's more but it's paid by direct debit and I can't remember) and provides similar benefits - ie insurance and a bi-monthly magazine. However, like the BMFA for aeromodelling, it has direct links to government and lobbies for cycling. Without it cycling would be worse off just as aeromodelling would be without the BMFA. To deny its worth seems to me to be mean spirited and the criticisms are often made by people who have no experience of the hard work volunteers do to keep hobby/sports on even keel.

I've served on sailing, motor cycle and cycling club committees in the past as well as editing a national cycle club magazine and I know how hard it is. I know it's an old cliche but it really is like a swimming swan - serenity on the surface and legs going like billy-oh underneath.


Thread: Spektrum Rx price hike???
15/01/2017 20:08:34

Yes, we used newspaper in the downstairs lav. The annoying thing was trying to find the rest of the article you were reading amongst the torn up squares

I've always been wary of the 'You get what you pay for' trope. It's the fall-back position for those who are ignorant, which is all of us on some topics and even those of us not so ignorant are driven that way as technology becomes more remote in its design. You only need to look at the prices charged for 'fashionable' goods to appreciate the possibility of rip offs.

I still have a few Multiplex receivers on 35Mhz and still have a Mux3030 in good working order but even that high quality piece of kit let me down twice. Once it didn't work one cold winter's morning and the RF board was replaced FOC by the manufacturer. That didn't cost a model because I wasn't able to fly. On the second occasion I did crash a model because a wire broke off the joy stick. I can't think why it did because there appeared to be excellent stress relief. It took less than an hour for me to repair it and I've had no further trouble. I still use it on the 35Mhz.

I think the kit to watch out for is the blatant copies rather than the advertised compatibles. They certainly have the real potential to be very poor and unreliable. I used several makes of 35Mhz receivers particularly those with DSP (Digital Signal Processing) and never had any problems with them at all.


Thread: Reccomend a M/R for some OLD lads to have a dabble
14/01/2017 16:03:49
Posted by Fun Flyer on 14/01/2017 15:40:41:

This thread is taking on a rather "confessional" air!!

These are the components I decided on:







Well, I'm quite a fan of Banggood, too. They've always been quick to respond to (minor and few so far) problems I've had and the time scale for delivery has been reasonable considering it's from China. I'm just idly looking but you know where that can lead


14/01/2017 15:25:08

This thread has inspired me to look around at more practical MR aircraft than the little WMtoys one I bought a couple of years ago to fly indoors - it's pretty hopeless outside if there's any wind at all.

I looked for a kit to build on the possibly mistaken assumption that it would be cheaper and came across this DJI 450 kit which seems to have most of the bells and whistles but at a price (£249). From the same supplier, the NAZAM flight controller alone is £139 plus another £42 for the PMU (Power Management Unit?) so the bare frame is around the £50 mentioned above.

Would this be a reasonable route to take? I'm very new to quads/MR and also old (77 a couple of days ago!) but I do have a lifetime's of high tech experience albeit with something of a hiatus since I retired. I'm still not sure I can justify the expense but I can't take it with me


Thread: Ebay sellers...
13/01/2017 14:29:31

So it does, John. I didn't get down quite that far embarrassed


13/01/2017 14:17:36

Another puzzle. An old unnamed 27Mhz? transmitter, receiver and servos. Not really my scene but I know some of you like this sort of stuff (like me and old valve broadcast receivers). I suspect it may be a very nicely made home-build.

Unidentified Radio Gear


Thread: **NEW POLL** - Have you passed the model flying/building bug onto anyone else?
10/01/2017 20:18:10

I started too late to be good enough to teach anyone to fly. Much as I would have enjoyed teaching, I just don't fly to a high enough standard IMO.

I was a qualified sailing instructor years ago and got a lot of satisfaction from that. I was also lucky enough to get week's paid sailing for several years on the Rolls Royce yacht (a 55' ferro cement ketch called 'Merlin of Clyde' as first mate taking an 8 strong crew of totally inexperienced trainees to sea. That was great fun while it lasted.


Thread: LMA v BMFA insurance
10/01/2017 15:53:58

I really don't know why people get so worked up about the BMFA. The annual cost is trivial compared to the total many (the vast majority?) spend on other aspects of the sport cum hobby. I pay £80/year to be a member of both the BMFA and my club. That's less than half what I paid to be a member of my inland dinghy sailing/racing club when I had to give up sailing back in 1990 - and I had to pay extra for insurance (compulsory to be a club member) on our boat to cover for accidents.

Without a national organisation to protect our interests and lobby government and extra-government organisations, and protect sites etc we wouldn't have a hobby at all. That particularly applies now more than at any time in the recent past because of the increased adverse publicity caused mostly by so-called drones but also to a lesser extent by other small electric park fliers flown by inexperienced people. Minority pastimes like ours need a single voice or our needs/concerns will be swamped by the noise. For the same reason I'm a member of Cycling UK (formerly the Cyclists Touring Club), which is the oldest touring organisation in the world, to support cycling in general.

Whilst it is good to oversee how our money is spent (that applies to all organisations) it's essential that petty concerns don't obstruct the work of the many dedicated individuals who work on our behalf. I don't have any official capacity in aeromodelling but I've served on committees in motor cycling, sailing and cycling in the past and been tearing my hair out on occasions from frustration and worry that I wasn't doing a good job. I like to think that applies to the BMFA. Those organising and working for the hobby deserve more than heavy adverse criticism for their often unseen efforts.

If the BMFA disappeared because unpaid officials and employees decided it wasn't worth their time and effort then we would all, members and hangers on alike, be far, far worse off.


Thread: Mode 1 or Mode 2
05/01/2017 17:23:25

Years ago a dinghy racing friend went on a weekend's hang glider course. On the Saturday they covered the theory and Sunday was the day for actual (solo in those days) flight. Richard commented that the class size on the Sunday was half what it had been on the Saturday He did actually take to the air but he confessed to being terrified and he commented that it was the first time he had ever flown ... and he was the pilot!


Thread: Completed Ballerina's Gallery
05/01/2017 10:46:19

Why not use inexpensive sprung oleo legs? I have a pair intended for my Percival Mew Gull from HobbyKing but I haven't tried them in anger yet.

I have the standard undercarriage as Peter designed and fly off a hard runway which I guess is as firm as ice. I find landing is (usually) fairly bounce-free and I am far from an expert pilot (especially landing).



Edited By Geoff Sleath on 05/01/2017 10:46:45

Thread: Amazon flying warehouses
04/01/2017 17:06:09

Presumably CAP 658 is analogous to the Highway Code which also isn't law but breaching it can lead to prosecution for (say) careless driving. eg driving on the left is mandated but it isn't illegal to drive on the right (to overtake) but if you have an accident as a result then you're at fault (usually).

I suppose the basic rule is don't do stupid things that could hurt anyone and that's what most club flying rules are about, too.


Thread: Mode 1 or Mode 2
02/01/2017 19:51:12

One thing being a Mode 2 flyer forced me to do when I moved to my current club (where, at least then, most were mode 1) was test fly my own models. Fortunately, Ian Redshaw flies Mode 2, so I was able to delegate my more valuable model test flights to him

I built my first4 channel transmitter (Micron) and IIRC the instructions were for Mode 2 and, as an aeromodelling tyro, having controls on the same stick as a full size seemed sensible. Because my right hand isn't brilliant I fully intended to swap over to whatever mode NOT Mode 2 is (ie ailerons and elevator on the left, rudder and throttle on the right) but realised the potential danger of that after I passed my 'A' so didn't.

There's still a lot of Mode 1 flyers at Ashbourne but a few fixed wing pilots have begun to dabble with small electric helicopters and most of them fly them Mode 2 whilst continuing to fly Mode I on fixed wing. One very good pilot at Ashbourne (Mr Magoo here) taught himself to fly helis many years ago and I think flies a unique mode for some reason or other, but flies Mode 1 fixed wing.

Obviously it doesn't matter what mode you fly but the banter is always good fun


Thread: OS FS81-a Alpha destruction
26/12/2016 11:41:38
Posted by i12fly on 25/12/2016 22:35:00:

Geoff beware, Derby bearings used to be very helpful and low cost but the last time I went the cost had risen dramatically and one I wanted they said wasn't made anymore, which was untrue so I bought online. I must say it was 2 years ago so they may have improved. I think the really helpful chap left.

It's nearer 5 years ago since I bought any bearings from them so my experience isn't recent. I know buying bearings always seemed a mystery to me. I used to buy them for my motorcycles and was usually offered them at up to a (supposed) 75% discount! I got a full set of 4 wheel bearings once for the (alleged) price of just one. Probably different now.

I buy a lot of stuff from Ian at Modelfixings (he's local, too) but never bearings. However, I would have no qualms about his service in anything he supplies so I guess his bearings will be good.


25/12/2016 14:33:19

At least you didn't lose any ball bearings to create their own destructive havoc inside the engine. When I was using glow engines I bought replacement bearings from a Derby Bearings because they are (were?) local and easily accessed. They were considerably cheaper than sources which claimed to specialise in model engines. I suppose there are local suppliers elsewhere.

If I ever went back to glow engines (and it's always possible) I'd certainly invest in a Laser. They're beautiful pieces of mechanical engineering and they certainly seem to be popular amongst the international scale fraternity which must mean something - probably a lot.

And they're British, you know


Thread: Need help with electrics?
25/12/2016 14:11:21

Well, Simon, it will draw that current if the motor's stalled Having said that, 30 ohms is a pretty high resistance for a small brushed motor likely to be used in a model boat. But you're right, of course.


25/12/2016 11:36:14

At a quick glance through this seems to be an excellent primer for the electrically ignorant (and we're all ignoramuses about something)

One thing I noticed was that the the writer attributes the number of charge/discharge cycles for a LiPo as >1000 which I would have thought somewhat optimistic in my experience. Another thing to be aware of is that models boats are anything but weight sensitive (in fact a lot of ballast can be required to get the displacement needed) so the reduced weight/increased efficiency of brushless motors and LiPos isn't an advantage and heavy lead acid batteries and brushed motors are common.

Well spotted.


Thread: Harrier Jump Jet- The aeromodelling Holy Grail !!!!
23/12/2016 14:58:38

When I first worked for RR at Derby in 1965 they were working on separate lift engines (Alison IIRC). That was the way the so-called Flying Bedstead 'flew' back in the early 1950s (I was at school just a few miles from the Hucknall site where the tests were carried out and we always knew when the Bedstead was in operation because we could hear it even in the classrooms).

RR abandoned the technique of separate lift engines after their merger with Bristol where the vectored thrust Pegasus was designed. That proved successful and hence the Harrier became operational.

I hasten to add that as a mere instrumentation/electronics engineer I had nothing to do with mechanical design directly and only very rarely with any military projects.


Thread: A New Engine
15/12/2016 13:55:15
Posted by Colin Leighfield on 15/12/2016 12:45:02:

Have you got the same problem as you have with the Wankel in determining what the true capacity is?

I remember Wankel engines were always quoted as having the capacity of one swept side until petrol rationing vouchers were based on engine capacity (ie bigger engines got more fuel vouchers) and the capacity tripled.


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