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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: scale model competitions
22/01/2018 22:31:00

I wasn't aeromodelling back in the 80s/90s but wasn't there an engine size limit of .60 cu in (10cc) at one time? I've just completed a Percival Mew Gull from the Skyways Models plan pack and the engine size suggested was a .60 which seemed small to me for such a relatively large model (72" ws). It was what persuaded me to build it with electric power and it certainly flies OK on 6S.

The flying only at the Nationals was won with a foamie electric Venom. It was a very nice and fairly expensive foamie but a foamie never the less and not huge (1.6 metre ws?). However I think the rules for the top class have something about the builder of the model so you'd have to build it yourself and have loads of documentation to demonstrate the accuracy of the model which seems to me to be more of a difficulty than the size.


Edited By Geoff Sleath on 22/01/2018 22:34:58

Thread: Electric Cars.
22/01/2018 20:30:39
Posted by Percy Verance on 22/01/2018 19:30:05:

There are risks as with any car Ray. Over the years, as I've travelled around, I've come across several accidents with not dissimilar elements of risk. I've seen a crashed Mitsubishi Galant (it was 35 odd years ago) which had been rear ended. Petrol was pouring out of the tank onto the road. About two years later I passed a Hillman Avenger (again, it was a while back) which had burst into flames while being driven. Thankfully, all four occupants had got out safely. All car accidents carry risk, full stop.

In the 60s one of my brothers had a holiday job at the M1 services at Trowel (between J25 & 26). A Reliant Robin spontaneously combusted when the owner started it after re-fuelling. I think, because of the location, several fire engines attended the blaze. I saw it the day after and there was almost nothing left because the fibre glass body had completely burnt and the engine had melted. Wherever a lot of energy is stored in a restricted volume there's always a potential hazard be the energy in liquid or electrical form.

Our current car, a Mitsubishi Space Star, is about 12 years old and, although it's only done about 40k miles, we're thinking of replacing it in the spring. I dread the idea but it may be necessary. I fancy one of those cars that look like small vans with a decent amount of loading space for either planes or bikes. A hybrid or an electric is a possibility but it will certainly not be new. We already have hybrid bikes (legs and electric) now I've converted them


22/01/2018 17:05:04
Posted by Andy48 on 22/01/2018 13:03:22:
Posted by Geoff Sleath on 21/01/2018 20:22:23:

Paul, when I was a teenager in the 1950s I worked near London right by the A1. It was a single carriageway except where it passed DeHavillands in Hatfleld and I happily cycled along it on my old 3 speed hub gear pedal cycle to night school because it was so quiet in the evenings. I met and old chap who could remember when it was little more than a cart track (no cars at all., just horse drawn traffic) but look at it now. Dual carriageway, multi-lane all the way from the M25 north to Scotland. Times change and the rate of change is increasing.

Never say 'Won't happen' because it will, one way or another.


Nooo! Try driving along the A1 north of Newcastle. There's still 60+ miles of the A1 before you reach the Scottish border. A significant length is single carriageway, but then the powers that be never consider anything north of the Midlands, and dualling of this road has been repeatedly rejected. How much is being spent on Crossrail?

I was bit dubious about 'all the way to Scotland' I confess because we've always turned off at Scotch Corner and either gone across to Penrith and through Gretna or over Carter Bar and via Jedburgh though we went as far as Durham on Boxing Day.

Though I agree with your implied comment on money spent in the SE and London compared to just about everywhere else.


Thread: Balsa USA Sopwith Pup 1/6 scale
22/01/2018 10:52:50

One of the biggest bugbears of biplanes is fitting the interplane struts. It's the most fiddly part of rigging and is what can make biplanes into unintentional hangar queens. For a sixth scale model, look at the fixings of the struts used by the DB 58" Moths. The fixing is very quick and the disassembly is even quicker. It means that my DB Tiggie got flown a lot last year.

As John says, at least change the ply lugs but I'd go for fibre glass sheet rather than steel. The first bipe I built was a Flair SE5a and the interplane struts fix to steel lugs glues to a rib. The annoying thing is, they become detached. If I built another I'd make fibre glass fixing with a big area to attach them and, for security use (say) 2mm nuts and bolts as additional fixings.


Thread: C130 Hercules
21/01/2018 23:35:19

Excellent and even more aerobatic than the full size Seems you had better weather in Norway than we had here in Derbyshire where it snowed all morning before turning to rain in the afternoon!


Thread: Electric Cars.
21/01/2018 21:43:14

Mark Kettle: What a great film! Obviously my use of the A1 wasn't until around 1957 (I was born in 1940) but it really hadn't changed that much as there were few changes during and just after the war. A lot of the cars were still running when I used it. I liked that the guy filming didn't bother to pull his car ( a Studebaker?) off the road despite there being adequate space to do so.

I knew someone who happened to be visiting Stamford on the day they opened the by-pass and he said the sudden loss of traffic was remarkable. I bought my last racing dinghy, a Laser, in Stilton and I knew Stevenage quite well in the 50s and 60s (I worked at ICT for a while) but it had changed a lot by then because of London over-spill. I think recognised a stretch near to old Welwyn near Lemsford on the road to Stevenage.

Thanks for posting.


21/01/2018 20:22:23

Paul, when I was a teenager in the 1950s I worked near London right by the A1. It was a single carriageway except where it passed DeHavillands in Hatfleld and I happily cycled along it on my old 3 speed hub gear pedal cycle to night school because it was so quiet in the evenings. I met and old chap who could remember when it was little more than a cart track (no cars at all., just horse drawn traffic) but look at it now. Dual carriageway, multi-lane all the way from the M25 north to Scotland. Times change and the rate of change is increasing.

Never say 'Won't happen' because it will, one way or another.


Thread: Paul's CAP 20 L build 2018 MB
21/01/2018 20:07:45

Peter, gear cables are quite thin but I used the slightly thicker stuff for throttles when I ran glow engines because it pushes better without flexing. The difference in weight is negligible in the lengths needed.


21/01/2018 18:05:33
Posted by Paul C. on 21/01/2018 09:08:54:

Nice one Peter, I have not seen any cable for a while in my LMS will check it out on my next visit. What sort of connector did you use on the throttle arm is it something available from model shop.


Bowden cable is used for brake and gear cables on pedal cycles and motor cycles. Readily available in bike shops but some may be coated with nylon so you'd need to remove that where you solder it.


Thread: Geoff's DB DH60 Moth
21/01/2018 14:20:53

Now that the tedium of Christmas, New Year and, worse, my birthday are all over it's time to get the Moth out from under our oak settle and restart the build.

I left it with 2 wing panels part completed and the lower wing centre section built. The hard bit was trying to remember where I'd got to so took the easy way out and did the wing tips of the upper wing. They're a bit tricky but I eventually settled on a method.

The sheet tips are curved and held in place with 2 sets of brackets at the spar positions and the end are glued to the leading and trailing edges. Trouble is I'd cut short the leading edge flush with the end rib by mistake. I solved the problems of edge and end grain glueing by adding some extra support pieces which worked so well the sheet tip was firmly held even before final glueing.

wing build 3.jpg

There's a strip at the t/e and support blocks (which were trimmed after glueing) each side of the triangular supports (which just didn't glue properly end grain to end grain to the spar ends) and another strip at the l/e which supports both sheet and the added bit of l/e spar to replace the bit I cut off by mistake.

The triangular support on the main spar supplied (part # 239a) was too small, so I had to make another from scrap balsa. Not a big deal as it's a very simple part to cut and there's plenty of scrap spare to make it but it's odd that a CNC cut part should be wrong. Generally this is is an excellent kit overall as I'm sure Dwain will confirm from his own build.

Next job is to make the top wing centre section and join the top wings. Then complete the bottom wing before going on to the part that Ilike best - the fuselage.


Thread: Electric Cars.
21/01/2018 12:56:30

kc: Unfortunately, modern cars seem to need very hi-tech back-up systems to repair them so it's not likely that someone with a tools and a bit of nous will be able to keep them running like kids did 50/60 years ago. My pal's dad bought him a car back in 1958, trouble was that his dad lived in Ayr and we were both working in Welwyn Garden City. We took the bus to Scotland and it took us 2 days to drive his 1935 Morris 8 the few 100 miles back. At least we didn't have to contend with an MoT test which would have condemned the 3/4 turn play on the steering in an instant but we coped with it quite well

There was an interesting article in the Guardian yesterday about a small outfit manufacturing a car powered from a hydrogen fuel cell. Those could be re-fuelled as quickly as a conventional liquid fuelled car.


Thread: C130 Hercules
20/01/2018 22:34:30

You're a braver man than I am that's for sure. I particularly liked the wing tip touch and go Well done and I hope you have a good second maiden when you can actual turn in both directions!

Our club indoor venue is about the area of one badminton court but without enough room behind the base line nor enough height actually to play the game. It a small village hall but very cheap to rent for the evening. I wish we had a venue as big as yours.


Thread: Club subs payment methods
20/01/2018 22:15:53

It's interesting, Cuban. I used to do the admin for international cycle touring events for the UK Tandem Club. The ones I did were in either Belgium or Holland and fortunately the local organisers spoke better English than I do As you say, 90% of the people involved did it by the book and paid for accommodation or the motorised transport we organised for bikes and people but I reckon the remaining 10% took up 90% of my time .

I suspect those ratios extend to lots of things


20/01/2018 11:49:44

My wife has been the treasurer of the local cycle club (Derby Mercury) for over 25 years and, as you'd expect, she has it down to a 'T'. With over 200 members she has to. Most members pay their subs by cheque but it is possible to do it by transfer directly to the account. The main problem she has in on-line banking is that multiple signatures are required and I think that probably applies to all club accounts. She handles a lot more money than most model clubs because of club clothing, which is quite expensive. (needless to say, she's the family's - all two of us - CFO but she's very tolerant about hobby spend )

I pay my combined model club and BMFA subs by cheque and it's often the only cheque I write all year.


Thread: Lipo and LiFePO4 - resting voltage following charge
19/01/2018 21:39:09

The only way I've ever been able to solder successfully to aluminium was when I've connected to aluminium electrolytic capacitors cases years ago. Even then I was never really confident the joint was good. The technique was to move the iron to scratch the aluminium oxide that form on the surface. Not sure I'd want to trust a connection like that to a flight pack but Gordon is an modelling guru so I hesitate to criticise

Having said a one time mate could weld aluminium just using aluminium off cuts and nothing special as a flux. He was well known for ally motorcycle fuel tanks and fairings etc so he was a genius, too

All the batteries we use for aeromodelling have very flat discharge curves so using the off-load terminal voltage as an indicator of stored energy levels isn't ideal to say the least. Really the only reliable way to measure how much energy is restored on charge and have an idea of the rate of energy use so you don't flirt with potentially dead batteries in use. Having said that, I'm as guilty as anyone for checking my LiPo voltages after use to see how much there is still left in the 'tank'.



Thread: Gentle Curves - Lucas his Skywriter
19/01/2018 12:57:20
Posted by Lucas Hofman on 18/01/2018 12:46:58:

Changes are slim that will be a problem here in Norway... A good part of my flying is like this:

cub on skies.jpg

That may be so in the winter, Lucas, but you can fly all night in the summer

You live in a beautiful country. Norway was the first place I ever visited where I needed a passport back in 1966. All dirt roads north of Bergen in my then girl friend's Mini.

Nice job on the Skywriter. You'll end up with a lovely model. It's one on my list but the list is long and seems to be getting longer.


Thread: Electrifying A Junior 60
19/01/2018 12:45:57

Then perhaps it's time to invest in a new charger, David. You're unfortunate because in my experience the ones I've had have been fine for years of regular use - probably not a good thing to write

I'm not familiar with the Vislero chargers at all. I have an old charger which does cope with LiPos but has no balance feature (Constellation or something, can't remember) but I never use it now even though it still works as well as it ever did. I have a Graupner Ultramat 16 I've had a while and used (and still use) a lot without problems but my favourite is an iCharger 308 Duo which was expensive but excellent. I can recommend them both.


19/01/2018 11:51:48

I've been twisting wires together for soldering for something like 65 years and never had a problem with the wire not tinning properly. Perhaps, like I was told my mother had, I have dry skin but everyone does it without problems AFAIK.

Analogue meters are fine (in fact I have an unused one still in its box like yours) but so-called Watt meters are better because they measure and display both current and voltage. Plus some, like the HK one I use regularly, also check LiPo cell states and they're much cheaper than the Astroflight one I bought years ago. From your experiments with current draw, I'd use the 12x6 prop (in my personal experience a 12x6 seems to be the prop of choice very often!)

There's something odd about your charger problems. The easiest way to solve it is to try your LiPo on a known working charger, preferably one that can measure internal resistance (IR). If the IR/cell is significantly > 10 milliohms then the battery is toast. Then to check your charger try it with a known good LiPo.


Thread: Making glossy film covering less glossy
17/01/2018 17:16:12

Fuel proofing won't be a problem for me, Simon, unless electrons attack it as it will be electrically powered. Thanks for the useful information and the link to


17/01/2018 13:14:56

That's interesting, Simon. All the normal coverings other than Solartex are too glossy for scale models and a matt finish would improve the appearance of many models. How did you prepare the Zero? I just wondered if any rubbing down with (say) fine wire wool or applying a product like Prymol before spraying the Rustoleum was either tried or needed?

My winter build is a DB Cirrus Moth and although Solartex is the usual covering of choice for a model like that I can't help thinking it's a bit too coarse in texture. The photographs I took of the full size Tiger Moth (G-ACDC) which is the one modelled in my heading photo show a much glossier finish than Solartex but not as much as a shiny film so a good matt varnish could be the answer.


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