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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: Humbrol enamel - gloss to matt
28/03/2017 20:31:08

The only Humbrol green paint more or less the right shade to match a touch-up I could get this afternoon is gloss and I really need it to be matt. I'm sure I've seen somewhere a simple way of taking the gloss off before application. Is there one? If so, what is it?

Thanks in advance.

btw Boyes department store in my local small town (Ripley, Derbys) stocks almost the whole Humbrol range and a lot of it in the larger sizes. A very useful place now model shops have just about disappeared.


Thread: Horizon Hobbies
26/03/2017 20:41:19
Posted by Tom Sharp 2 on 26/03/2017 19:07:49:

I had just about saved up enough pennies to buy myself an 'E Flite Convergence'. A new flying machine which uses a clever circuit board to convert from hover (as in quadcopter) to forward flight as a standard plane. And looks very good on You Tube.

Now after reading this thread I am running scared. As Roy Orbison used to sing.

One of our club members has one. He had great difficulty on the transition form hover to normal flight and tried getting someone to hand launch it with not perfect results - it wouldn't turn and he crashed it.

Anyway yesterday he had 2 of them. He'd managed to repair the original and apparently HH had replaced it with new. I'm not sure of the circumstances but I saw him have a successful flight with one of them and he succeed in transitions in both directions.

So perhaps the customer service still works for now.


23/03/2017 19:51:56

On valuable packages/parcels etc I always add a FROM: with house number and postcode Avtur suggests. There's little chance of receiving my own package in error.

I'm not a HH customer now though I owned DX6i for a while but sold it once I got a DSMX module for my Taranis. I certainly can't see my becoming one again with what seems to be their high-handed attitude to UK customers. In any case I was always slightly wary of their reputation for customer after sales service - I prefer not to know how good or otherwise after sales service is through not needing it.


Thread: DB Cirrus Moth build
23/03/2017 16:52:03
Posted by cymaz on 23/03/2017 12:41:53:

Coming on leaps and bounds now !

thumbs up

... but hopefully not when landing

It's certainly coming together quickly and I'll be re-reading it all together with drawings when I get to building mine in the next month or two. My building progress (on the Mew Gull) has been slightly delayed by work on SWMBO's bike - new transmission components and electrification (she didn't fancy a glow engine ).


Thread: Electrifying a pedal cycle
22/03/2017 20:42:27

We went to Electric Bike Conversions last Thursday and ordered 'the full Monty" (250 watt motor built into a 700c rim; pannier rack and 10S Li-ion 11 AH battery; speed controller; throttle lever; so-called pedal assist system). It was quite expensive at £550 but all the components are of good quality with stainless steel fastenings where appropriate.

The kit arrived by carrier on Monday morning in 2 very substantial boxes. So I got to work.

The wheel has a curious lacing pattern. 13g stainless spokes laced only 1X (ie not far off radial). I would have built it at least 2X giving more tangential spoking with the pulling spokes on the outside of the rim. As it is the 2 sides are the same orientation (ie not mirror image, as you'd expect) and all the spokes come out of the same side of the hub (motor) flange - so one side has them all on the inside and the other all on the outside. Still it's true, tight and round which can be difficult and the rim is substantial. I'm sure it'll be adequate but not as good as it could be.

The biggest problem was getting the wheel to fit in the forks without the motor catching the alloy legs. I had to ease the drop outs a bit and move washers so the wheel would spin without touching the 22mm diameter legs. That meant I had to re-dish the wheel slightly to get the rim central - only a turn on each side - one in, t'other out.

The very well made alloy pannier frame is a double decker. The battery goes on the lower deck and plugs into a connector. There's a box at the front where the speed controller fits and all the wiring goes in there. The top deck acts as a normal carrier for a rack pack or other luggage. It fitted easily on to the existing 4 point fixing on my wife's Marin.

The pedal assist needs to know you're pedalling so there's a Hall effect detector mounts behind the bottom bracket mount on the non-driving (L/H) side. Fortunately I have the special tool needed to remove the fixing. A plastic ring with 8 magnets is a friction fit on the axle behind the crank.

Making a tidy job of the wiring took a bit of time as did rearranging the well filled handlebars with the throttle and the LCD display but it all worked out eventually. Electric Bike Conversions charge £100 to do the job. If I'd charged myself £100 I'd be breaking the law as I'd be getting well under the minimum pay If I do another it'll take a lot less time!

So there it is. Not been road tested yet but it all seems to work. You can set from 0 to 5 pedal assist levels. On the workshop stand it's weird that you can switch it on and turn the pedals gently and the front wheel spins. The throttle works all the time regardless of the pedal assist setting. The display has most of the functions of a cycle computer (speed, trip and odometer, kms or miles etc).

The guy at EBC is really helpful. Perhaps it's not the cheapest option but sometimes it's worth going somewhere where you know there's back up if needed.

Quite pleased with it so far but it remains to be seen how useful it is and how reliable. However a friend of ours has had a similar system from the same supplier over a years and had no problems. Her and her husband are lifelong cyclists and were quite fast time triallists in their time and the electric assistance keeps her out on her bike at over 80 with 2 artificial hips and an artificial heart valve so it can't be bad.


Thread: redundant 35mhz ?
21/03/2017 11:37:16

Well I'm certainly not selling my Multiplex 35mHz IPD receivers or my Mux3030 transmitter despite now using my Taranis 2.4GHz for 90% of my models. They're worth more to me than I could get for them on eBay.


Thread: RC equipment reliability
20/03/2017 12:53:58

The main trouble I've had with RC equipment has been with the nut that holds the transmitter. Other than that, pretty good with the odd usually trivial problem. However, I'm always aware that our connection to the model is via a potentially tenuous link and never rely on everything working correctly (though it always has). So I never fly anything powerful anywhere near anyone or myself and tend to land or low pass far enough away that should anything fail no-one will get hurt.


Thread: Engine Guru's wanted!
18/03/2017 20:08:58
Posted by Fatscoleymo on 18/03/2017 13:26:44:

Braddock - just remembered a little more - beef up the undercarraige plate area - the supplied two piece undercart will want to spread apart. I fitted another ply plate inside to give extra strength.

I've also 'tied' the two legs together by drilling the legs, hooking in a couple of wires bent at each end and securing together in the middle with several large O rings acting as bungees...helps keep the legs from splaying too much...prop clearance!dscf2215.jpg

You did well at £80...i think I paid about £90 18 months ago. Good value.


Keep a stock of O rings handy. When they're under tension like that they tend to perish and disintegrate. I have no real idea why but elastic bands do the same. Might be better to use a metal spring if you can source one.

Glad you got the engine sorted. I may now be an electric convert but I played with motor cycle engines for many years and with model engines when I first started out after I retired so I always like to read about problems and their solutions.



Edited By Geoff Sleath on 18/03/2017 20:09:52

17/03/2017 23:30:46
Posted by Martin Harris on 17/03/2017 21:34:17:

Posted by Geoff Sleath on 17/03/2017 21:13:37:

My biggest job was editing the Tandem Club Journal which had a national (even international) circulation of around 2000 copies and it took a lot of work both writing and getting contributions.

I assume you've taken a back seat now?

No, that's my wife's seat


Thread: DB Cirrus Moth build
17/03/2017 23:28:42
Posted by Dwain Dibley. on 17/03/2017 21:55:32:

I have to work on Saturday, it's my 1 in 4, So i thought i could take a few indoor models/helis and use up my dinner hour in a pleasant way.

Then we had to put this lot in there for an exam on Monday....DOH !!

Bonus is we have an astro turf field so I will take the webbit.



That's a terrifying sight I haven't had to witness for over 50 years or so!

"Now you may turn over your papers." crying


Edited By Geoff Sleath on 17/03/2017 23:29:10

Thread: Horizon Hobbies
17/03/2017 23:25:03
Posted by Percy Verance on 17/03/2017 20:13:26:

Well Kevin, my Multiplex sets have spent precisely zero time at the service agent having their nil number of faults sorted....... smiley I've not used anything else for 27 years, so I've no idea about the others.

Edited By Percy Verance on 17/03/2017 20:15:48

Well, I've had a couple of problems with my Mux3030.

First was one very cold morning it didn't transmit at all. I returned it to Germany and they replaced the RF board and I had no more problems on that score. I didn't lose a model as It failed before I even started an engine.

Second was more serious when a wire broke connecting the joystick which meant I had no elevator or aileron. Fortunately the model (Flair Puppeteer) landed unharmed. No idea why the wire broke because the stress relief clamp meant it wasn't flexed at all. I repaired it myself and it's been working fine ever since.

Even the highest quality kit fails sometimes. I've had Campagnolo seat pins break on my bike and they've been the best for years and very expensive. I've had BMW motorcycle crankshafts break as well. Perhaps I'm a Jonah


17/03/2017 21:13:37

Dwain, I've done all those things

I thought the magazine that arrived this morning was excellent. I like to see what other branches of the hobby are doing - even free flight which is very hi-tech these days as I discovered a few years ago at the Nats when I chatted to an enthusiast in the marquee. I thought the article on the Croydon club very interesting and was surprised to learn gliding guru Derek Piggot (his book is on my workshop bookshelf) was a member and that he's still going strong.

Like Pete I've edited a few magazine in the past - sailing club and motorcycle club. My biggest job was editing the Tandem Club Journal which had a national (even international) circulation of around 2000 copies and it took a lot of work both writing and getting contributions. It was in the days before the internet was widely available and I had the use of an Amstrad PC with all the software on floppy disc drives (5.25"!!). Most of the copy was on paper and my wife typed it in for me with the paper over the screen so she didn't have to turn her head - considering she couldn't see what she was typing there were very few errors.

It's hard work. As for an on-line version well I prefer the paper. I subscribed to the digital RCME last year and found it difficult to read, mainly because my vdu is in landscape and the mag is in portrait. I read an awful lot on-line so it's not as if I'm not familiar with it.


Thread: DB Cirrus Moth build
16/03/2017 15:34:51
Posted by cymaz on 15/03/2017 01:10:14:

Something to see here....

Excellent. Useful link for Cirrus Moth builder and even for (possible) Moth Major builders (like me).


I wasn't that keen on plastic kits as schoolboy, though I built on or two. I don't think I could be bothered to make one now. I think model aeroplanes should fly (at least once!) and model cars should move but perhaps that's just me.

It's obviously essential to check motor rotation and general operation of the electrics. I recently bought a servo tester for so little money it wasn't worth making one for myself. It not only tests and centres servos but can be used to drive motors through the esc. A lot easier than getting out a receiver and your transmitter. I was really glad I got it.


Thread: Durafly Spitfire
15/03/2017 20:57:24

Looks very good. I've only ever had 2 mid-airs and one of them was when there were only two of us in the air!

I never got on very well with my Mk24 Spitfire and it's a bit sad looking now. Had a good test flight with my Dynam Hurri today though.


Thread: Dynam Hurricane
15/03/2017 20:39:40

I test flew my Hurricane today in reasonably gentle breeze (10 mph?) but it was a beautiful early Spring day with warm sunshine and daffodils and blossom in flower on the drive over to the airfield. For the first session this year I couldn't have wished for a better day.

With a 4S 4Ah LiPo installed the all-up weight is 1.75 kg. Current draw WOT is 36 amps (476 watts) so plenty of power. As the recommended LiPo is a 4S 2200 it's perhaps a little overweight. Even with the bigger battery (which is all in front of the CoG) I had to fit in a further 35 grams (including a steel prop nut) to get it balance properly.

Anyway it flew really well once trimmed out (just a little right aileron and down elevator but just a few clicks) and I think the extra weight may have helped because it didn't seem to be blown about much. Rolls and loops were OK and just a little down elevator for inverted. I didn't push my luck for a spin. Landing was a greaser with no tendency to nose over on our tarmac runway.

There are flaps fitted but I didn't try them out. In any case they weren't needed.


Thread: Electrifying a pedal cycle
14/03/2017 15:04:50

Max, yes, you're absolutely right. It's amazing how little power is needed at modest cycling speeds compared to even average models. The currents are quite low, too, helped by the higher voltage.

btw I just noticed on Facebook that Joanna Rowsel-Shand has retired from competition with load of world and Olympic gold medals to her name. A great competitor on the track and capable of generating far more watts than I ever could


14/03/2017 12:47:18


Those phenomenal power outputs from road sprinters like Sagan or track sprinters like Hoy are for very short times (and both are heroes of mine). What we're looking for as touring/utility cyclists is energy storage ie distance. As we know from modelling, power's no problem for electric aircraft but endurance once was. I was never a sprinter but I could keep going for hours. My best ever ride was just before the accident which ended with my becoming an aeromodeller when I rode 400km in just under 20 hours. I tried to emulate it the following year but blew up after only 200km.

It's surprising how little power is needed for modest riding. My current project is a quarter scale Mew Gull which will have a max output of 50 amps at 22.5 volts (6S) - ie a kilowatt! Obviously not for very long!


Nice looking bike. I'm not surprised the lugs broke on the suspension forks. My bike has carbon forks, which I've just replaced after a factory recall - I think the problem was the carbon steerer because the new ones have an alloy steerer. Not sure if they'd be OK with a motor fitted in the front wheel.

This is my wife's Marin (my Kinesis is in the background) taken in the Pecos. It's all aluminium.

avice pecos.jpg


And this is our tandem which has very substantial alloy forks. It's really stiff and is a brilliant descender at speed and feels completely stable unlike our steel 531 tandem which always felt a bit squirmy. This is the Yorkshire Dales.

tandem yorkshire.jpg





Edited By Geoff Sleath on 14/03/2017 12:48:37

13/03/2017 22:55:41

Yes, there's a charger supplied but I was hoping to be able to use my iCharger if the battery can be divided into 2 x 5S sections. A big 'IF'. I'm just hoping it's a balance charger

We don't ride off road anyway - at least not seriously. Just very occasionally if a cycle track has some loose going, like (say) the High Peak or Tissington Trails but neither of us really enjoy them.

Our old touring/camping bikes were Mercians with normal drop bars and we used them for commuting as well. We had separate bikes for the bit of racing we did (evening 10s the odd 25, that's all). Avice's racing bike is on our turbo trainer permanently. My current bike is a Kinesis I assembled about 6 years ago with straight bars and low, close ratio gears and 700c wheels. I built it because there was nothing on the market like it with mudguard clearance and eyes for carrier.

The friend, who has one from the place we're visiting, regularly does 40 mile rides through the lanes just using the battery for climbs - she's 80! But her and her husband still hold the club's mixed tandem 25 record

I certainly wouldn't dream of buying an etandem rather than converting our Cannondale. We've only had it about 5 years and it cost around £3k. It has a hydraulic front rim brake and a mechanical disc at the back and stops faster than most singles.

I usually build my own wheels. I've built them for singles, tandems and trikes and they usually hold up OK but I use DT spokes and expensive rims. Front wheels aren't usually a problem anyway, though it may be different with a front wheel motor.


13/03/2017 21:35:50

Gary Manuel:

But complete electric bikes are such inelegant monstrosities. Our local bike shop had some in stock and I wasn't impressed. To be honest, I don't think they were either as it's a 'proper' very old established shop as chaotic and experienced as 'proper' model shops are.  And with a kit like this one it will be easy to move it to a new bike.


Max Z:

Well it's bit flatter in your part of the world We've ridden quite a lot in the Netherlands and I've even organised the UK side of some cycle rallies there and the real enemy is the wind as I'm sure you're only too well aware. Here we get the wind but it's the hills that are definitely getting steeper. Those I considered a bit of a drag a few years ago are assuming mountainous gradients now.

It's the pedal control I'm interested in discussing when we visit the supplier.

We had a holiday in the Netherlands in 2015 when we stayed on a barge which moved on each day to a new location and we cycled to meet it. It was brilliant except fietspads have corners not entirely suited to long wheelbase tandems. One of the party had an electric set up on her Mercian but she never bothered to fit the battery and just pedalled. If she got tired she just sat on our wheel.



Edited By Geoff Sleath on 13/03/2017 21:37:33

13/03/2017 20:25:17

We've been keen cyclists for years and toured and cycle camped a lot, even in places like the Pyrenees and Alps but we're both now in our mid to late 70s and we're losing some power and endurance Some of our friends have gone electric and I'm looking seriously into converting my wife's Marin hybrid.

This is what we're considering and we're going to have a look and probably purchase on Thursday. It's the system our various friends have had fitted. It means she can still ride a proper bike and one she's ridden upwards of 40k miles on and loves. Not sure about fitting it to our Cannondale tandem, though

The battery is a 10S Li-ion pack 11 AH. Surprisingly the power is only 250 watts, which is a lot less than most of my electric models. The current draw looks to be a paltry 8 amps max with a 36v nominal voltage (say 40vish fully charged). The legal maximum speed is 15.5mph (25kph)

It's charging that puzzles me a bit. Unfortunately my exotic iCharger 308 Duo only goes up to 8S so unless I can access half the battery I won't be able to use it. I'm hoping the supplied charger balances the cells - that's something I want to to ask. Another thing is how safe is the charge regime. I've no experience with Li-Ion cells but we all know not to leave LiPos on charge unattended. Does the same apply to Li-Ion?

Of course I'll be fitting it myself as much out of interest as anything. Plus I like to know our bikes.



Edited By Geoff Sleath on 13/03/2017 20:27:00

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