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Member postings for Peter Christy

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

Thread: Good News from the BMFA AGM
23/11/2017 18:16:59

Well, as someone who lives about 30 miles from the Cornish border (which someone mentioned earlier! smiley ), I made a trip up to the NC a couple of months back. It wasn't for a competition, but a fun-fly event (the single-channel and retro meet), and all I can say is that I had a ball, and I will definitely be going back.

Yes, its a very long drive from here (as is Barkston!), but the quality of the flying site PLUS the amenities available made for a very enjoyable experience. No, I won't be doing it every week-end, but I CAN see myself doing it a couple of times a year!

I've been away from home and unable to post much during the trip, but a while back someone made a comment about the £25K sponsorship supplied by the insurers, and suggesting it would be better spent reducing the insurance. If you look at the figures, it would make no difference! The BMFA currently has around 33,000 members I understand, so £25K split 33K ways comes to about 75p per member! Big Deal! And that's not the end of it, because sponsorship can be offset against corporate profits, so by putting money back into the hobby via sponsorship, the insurers are able to reduce the amount of tax they pay. So it will actually come out at quite a bit less than 75p per member!

Now I can understand people objecting to the PRINCIPLE of this, but the numbers make the argument against the sponsorship look extremely tight-fisted - to put it mildly!

Others have questioned why the BMFA bothered obtaining a site which was not big enough to host the Nats. Looking at the vitriol that has been poured on the BMFA for obtaining the NC - at essentially no cost to the membership (OK, less than 75p each!), can you imagine the uproar if they had proposed buying - or even leasing - something like Barkston?

Come on, guys, let's have a reality check here!

Years ago a private entrepreneur managed to run a site much like the NC and make a living from it. Remember Goosedale? IIRC it only closed because of a dispute with the local council over the interpretation of the planning permission, nothing to do with the economics. If one man could do it and make a go of it, I don't see why the BMFA shouldn't succeed too - and for the benefit of ALL of us!




Edited By Peter Christy on 23/11/2017 18:29:19

Thread: Wight Crusader v Maricardo v Aerobat
23/11/2017 16:54:38

Good Grief! Our Aerobat would only spin when told to, and would recover instantly when the sticks were released! (Unlike a certain swept-wing design I once had that would snap-roll and spin if you were only slightly over enthusiastic with the elevator!)

Are you sure you had the CofG correct? As I said earlier, ours was extremely well behaved, and a pleasure to fly, like most of Boddo's designs. It was also tough enough to survive landings in some of the (rough!) fields we had at the time. Both my son and I were quite upset at its demise through a NiCad failure. I didn't build another one at the time, as he had moved on to helicopters, but in the light of this thread, I'm tempted to build another, just to see if its a case of rose-tinted glasses or not!




Thread: Good News from the BMFA AGM
21/11/2017 09:04:57
Well said, Christopher Long. An excellent summary of my feelings, too!
Thread: Multiplex Help!
20/11/2017 10:26:30

Pete: I've no direct experience with the Tx you have, but I did have a Multiplex UHF set for many years. That Tx - and other MultiplexesI have seen - used 6-cell packs (7.2V), rather than the more usual 8-cells (9.8V). The extra voltage will probably do the encoder no harm, but I wouldn't run it with the Tx aerial collapsed for long, or you may blow the output transistor.

I'm sure someone will be along shortly to confirm whether your Tx is 6-cell or not!

For many years, servos used a 4-wire connection. The extra wire was a centre tap on the battery. The receiver ran off the usual 4.8 volts, but the servo motors ran off 2.4 volts. One side of the servo motor was connected to the centre tap, and the other switched between either the positive or negative of the battery to drive it one way or the other.

When integrated circuit amplifiers became the norm, these were designed with a "bridge" output, eliminating the need for a centre tap, but requiring 4.8V motors instead of the earlier 2.4V type.

To get your 4-wire servos working, you will need to add a centre tap connection to a standard 4-cell pack.The pinouts are usually the signal pin being out on its own, and the other three being the battery +ve, centre tap and -ve. The centre tap is usually the middle pin. You will need to work out which is +ve and which is -ve!

Best of luck!


(Another) Pete

Thread: The way we were....
17/11/2017 14:30:46

Thanks for all the comments, folks! Quite a few questions there, so I'll try and reply to as many as possible!

Percy V: Yes, it was a long time ago, and as I captioned, "Elf'N'Safety" didn't loom so large back then! Nowadays no-one would dream of taking off towards a crowd line, or so close to houses, but it was a different era, and I don't think we ever had an accident that involved anyone outside the club! No Achievement Scheme back then, either!

Martin H: Yes, the "new field" was the one at Chenies. I thought you would probably be in there somewhere, but bearing in mind all this was shot over 30 years ago, there are a few faces in there I couldn't marry up to names! Apologies!

Josip: IIRC, that Tiger Moth was powered by an HP 61, probably the most powerful motor of its era, but still barely enough to haul that Tiger Moth aloft! Mind you, the real thing wasn't much better....!

Eagle 899: Yes, I know NJ is still around! We had two of them, G-ARNK as well. That is also still flying, but has been converted to tail-dragger configuration. They both clearly survived my early attempts at landing! wink

Alan H: One of the WW club members was a fairly senior engineer at BT, and he constructed a home-made telecine machine using a stepper motor, an old projector and a webcam! He passed it on to another club member - a former BBC video tape editor - who transferred the films for me. Its a fairly slow process, running at only a few frames a second, and because of the slightly Heath-Robinson nature of it, it needs to be constantly monitored to avoid damaging the film. But it produces excellent results, auto-focusing each frame before capturing it! Youtube has softened it slightly, but the original video is pin sharp!

It does need to be slowed down in a video editor after capture, as otherwise it will run at 25 or 30 fps instead of 16.

Its certainly much better than my original technique of simply pointing a video camera at the projector screen!

There is now a factory in China (where else?) manufacturing a high end domestic 8mm telecine:


There are some youtube videos showing excellent quality from it, though some users report problems with over-heating belt drives and faulty preset focus. Also, it reportedly suffers from compression artefacts, though the youtube videos look OK. They've just announced a new (and probably more expensive) version, which has a higher resolution and can handle bigger reels. One of those is on my "must get" list, as I also have a stash of 8mm films, including quite a lot taken at the Nationals in the mid 60's at RAF Hullavington! We probably won't see the new version in Europe until the New Year, though.



Edited By Peter Christy on 17/11/2017 14:47:09

Thread: 4.8 v or 6 v receiver packs ?
16/11/2017 18:29:02

"If it ain't broke, don't fix it"!

Unless you have had a problem, stick with what is known to work!



Thread: The way we were....
15/11/2017 17:56:13
Watford Wayfarers club activities in the 70s and early 80s!
A while ago someone asked about the "Battle of Britain" models. Well, you'll see the Messerschmitt 110 in action here!
You will also spot some well known figures and forumites before they were famous!
Thread: Wight Crusader v Maricardo v Aerobat
14/11/2017 17:05:56

I'm very puzzled about all this reference to a short moment arm on the Aerobat! I recall ours being a delight to fly - no problems with either take-offs or landings, certainly no tendency to ground-loop.

As I said in an earlier post, I built it as an advanced trainer for my son, who was only about 8 or 9 at the time. Neither of us had the slightest problem with its handling - in fact, like most Boddo designs, it was a very pleasant little model in all respects!



Thread: State of the Art R/C - in 1953!
11/11/2017 22:47:29
The aircraft appear about 3'45" in!
And if you are into helicopters:
(from 1951!)
Thread: Ideas for articles in RCM&E
09/11/2017 17:46:06

Erfolg: There's a very good history of the development of proportional R/C in America at the "Radio Control Hall of Fame" website:


I found the history of the early development of RC gear - and how some big name manufacturers ended up with egg on their faces over non-appearing, but advertised, analogue sets - utterly fascinating!

It wasn't until Don Mathes and Doug Spreng came up with the brilliant, but flawed Digicon system that proportional became a practical reality at a reasonable price.

Equally fascinating is how all the "big name" manufacturers traded ideas, with none of this clap-trap about "intellectual property" that we hear so much of these days. It was this free trade in ideas that led to the rapid development of the reliable systems we enjoy not only today, but have done for the last 50 years!

Have a peruse, and enjoy! wink



Thread: RM Trainer
07/11/2017 11:59:01

I built an "Aerobat" for my son when he was about 9 or 10, as a follow on to the "Sub-Mini" (1/2 size Super 60" that he used as an initial trainer.

I found it to be a delightful little model, robust and responsive, and capable of good aerobatic performance. Ours was powered by a Super-Tigre 21, which was so docile and easy to start, that I had no qualms about letting a young lad handle it all by himself (albeit with me keeping a watchful eye from a short distance!). I don't recall having any problems getting even UHF gear installed in it.

It finally met its end through a failed NiCad cell, but by then we'd had a couple of years really good fun with it, and the lad had moved on to bigger and better things (helicopters!).

I've had a hankering to build another as the sort of model you could chuck in the car and get airborne very quickly. An electric version would make it even more suitable for a quick trip up to the field. I'm sure I still have the plans somewhere.

Hmmmm! Another one to join the queue for the building board..... dont know



Thread: What's a Watt?
02/11/2017 17:40:43

The concept of electrical power was brought home to me many years ago, when I was but a trainee broadcast engineer.

I was working on radio links - the bods who sat up at the top of a convenient hill, in a van with a pair of microwave dishes on the roof. Our task was to pick up a signal from an outside broadcast unit, and feed it, via a chain of such vans, to a point where it could be fed into the Post Office system.

To provide electrical power, we had a big flat-twin diesel generator - about the size of one of the larger compressors you see powering pneumatic drills at road works. This thing would sit chugging away, quite happily feeding the rather large amount of power needed for pre-semiconductior microwave links (klystrons are power thirsty things!).

However, as soon as the kettle was plugged in to make a brew, the generator would nearly stall! The power required to boil a couple of pints of water was enough to bring this dirty great diesel to its knees!

I learned a keen appreciation of just what a couple of kilowatts meant from that! surprise



Thread: Pushing a Spitfire
01/11/2017 14:44:23

Well, he "wheeled" it on, rather than the classic 3-point landing, so it would still have had flying speed rather than being stalled. Raising the flaps would reduce any tendency to try and lift off again as the tail lowered.

(Not that I've ever flown a full-size Spit!) wink



31/10/2017 14:58:26

That pilot was enjoying himself far too much!

Imagine! Having a toy like that to play with - and being PAID for it!!! laugh

Yes, I thought the whistle was the supercharger too!



Thread: Sharkface and dc Dart?
29/10/2017 14:34:50

Eddy: If you want something for the TeeDee 09, have a look at the Bazz Bomb - similar in concept the the Sharkie, but bigger!




29/10/2017 13:27:13

It would be a *very* brave man who put a TeeDee09 on a Sharkie! I've still got my TeeDee09 from my control-line days, and even with a muffler on, its an animal of an engine!

Admittedly all mine flew on rubber drive escapements, but I found a standard "Babe Bee"quite "adequate", thank you! disgust



Thread: Where can I get a Merco 61 mk 11 Silencer?
29/10/2017 11:21:57
Posted by Percy Verance on 29/10/2017 11:00:13:

Peter, I think I'd look at the crankshaft. It may be bent.......

Again, it's odd you mentioned your 35. I had one and couldn't get it to behave at all. Mind you, I think that stupid plastic carb might just have been the cause of the problems.....

Bit late, now Percy! We're talking about something that happened 50 years ago! wink

My Merco 35 was an early one with the metal carb. Dead easy to set up, and never had any issues with it. Sold it along with a model to a clubmate some years ago now....



29/10/2017 10:48:25

One tip for fitting silencers so they don't come loose: 5-minute epoxy!

Don't use gaskets, simply de-grease the mating halves with cellulose thinners, add a smear of 5 minute epoxy all around the mating surfaces, and do up good and tight! You will have a joint that won't leak or come loose, yet if you need to remove it anytime, all it needs is a sharp tap from a suitable implement - once you've removed the fixings of course!

That's how the silencer on the Webra is fixed on that video above, and there hasn't been any sign of leaks or loosening for two years now!

Percy: Yes, I know Mercos had a good reputation - I had a Merco 35 and it was dead reliable. I don't know what the previous owner had done to that 49, but we never did get it to run properly. Swapped it out and replaced it with the Webra, and all the problems went away, so it wasn't plumbing or fuel of such like!



28/10/2017 18:41:32

I know what you mean! I'm currently flying a KingPin with a Webra 61 that I bought back around 1967! I remember being told when I bought it that I was mad! It was £15 new, and a Merco was only £12. But my reason for buying is was that I had previously had a 2nd hand Merco 49, and had no end of problems with it! It would run fine on the ground, and you could tip the model inany attitude you liked, and it would keep going - but as soon as you got daylight under the wheels, it would lose power to the extent the model wouldn't clear the hedge at the end of the strip!

I'm not saying all Mercos were like that, but this one was, and even our club expert couldn't sort it!

Here we are 50 years later, and the Webra is pulling like a train!

Thread: Fuel Choice?
28/10/2017 18:26:56
Posted by john stones 1 on 28/10/2017 18:10:22:

They did mention Bekra fuels, as in Bekra 10. wink

Missed that! I blame a mixture of 'flu and senile dementia.......!sad



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