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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: Spruce or Obechi for a wing spar?
20/06/2018 11:44:16

Agreed! I've been using spruce for spars for decades without any problems. I only use balsa spars on lightweights.



Thread: New Drone Laws from 30/5/2018
19/06/2018 17:37:39

Its a while since I took my test, but on completion, I was handed a certificate by my examiner. I think it was from one of those triplicate form books - one for the examiner, one for the examinee and the other went to BMFA head Office.

Anyone with a more recent experience care to comment?



19/06/2018 16:32:51

Actually, there's a corollary to this....

A friend who is an area chief examiner says he is now getting requests from non-BMFA members to take achievement scheme tests so that they can use these to get their commercial drone operators certificate! Some of the applications are being sent in by companies - because taking the BMFA test is free, whereas other training organisations charge!

Perhaps the BMFA should start charging non-members for taking the tests.....?



19/06/2018 16:15:41

Found it! CAP 722 para 4.10: "Unless an applicant has already been objectively assessed by a third party (such as through the BMFA certificate system) .........

And Table 5 , just beneath the above on page 47, clearly states that BMFA A and B certificates are an acceptable qualification for critical element theory and practical applications. It does stipulate a helicopter certificate for multi-rotors.



19/06/2018 16:04:55
Posted by Steve J on 19/06/2018 11:34:09:

Posted by Peter Christy on 19/06/2018 08:41:50:

the CAA's apparent decision to accept BMFA certificates as certificates of competence.

What decision to accept BMFA certs? What we have at the moment is AN(A)O 2018 and a report from the BMFA that the DfT/CAA have agreed in principle to give the associations an exemption to the 400ft limit in ANO article 94A.


I don't have it in front of me at present, but a friend of mine, who is a fully certified commercial drone pilot, showed me his copy of the CAA requirements for demonstrating "competence". Alongside holding a PPL or CPL, or a gliding license was - lo and behold - a BMFA Achievement Scheme Certificate!

I'm sure its on a website somewhere, and its certainly been mentioned on this forum before. But it might take some finding, now we're drowning in paperwork on the subject.

I'll try and locate it.....



19/06/2018 08:41:50

Posted by Erfolg on 19/06/2018 01:04:36:

As is plain to read, I would find it easier to see the relevance of the objectives of the schemes, if they were specifically targeted at safety, not personal achievement. The irony is that many clubs and event organisers use the schemes in the context of a safety license. IMO having the schemes objective and purpose, clearly defined in context of providing proof (to these groups) that an individual was aware of their legal obligations and could operate a device safely, is more useful.

Best of luck with that! I spent *years* trying to get the BMFA to recognise the purposes to which the certificates were being put. I was constantly told that the certificates were " a measure of personal achievement - no more and no less", and that if others wished to use them as some kind of license, that was up to them, and not the concern of the BMFA!!!

This despite the BMFA itself requiring a "B" cert to enter the Nationals! I was then told that you didn't need a "B" cert to enter the Nationals - you just needed one to get an entry form! Huh?!? It was then pointed out that the entry form itself stated that a "B" cert was required to fly at the Nats, but to no avail! It was like throwing snowballs at Mont Blanc - you might start an avalanche, but the mountain itself doesn't budge.....!

In fairness, that was a few years back. Since then there have been a number of changes of personnel both at the top of the BMFA and the Achievement Scheme. I believe a more enlightened attitude may now prevail - especially in view of the CAA's apparent decision to accept BMFA certificates as certificates of competence.

However, I haven't seen any change in attitude *officially* stated anywhere.......



Thread: Electric Cars.
18/06/2018 12:16:38

Statistically, six out of seven dwarves aren't happy........!



Thread: taranis range
11/06/2018 08:51:32

My own experience with FrSky products is that they are at least the equal of anything else out there - regardless of price! I've had a Taranis almost since they came out, and have retro-fitted three "vintage" transmitters with FrSky hack modules, and all have been rock solid!

One of my flying buddies builds those special camera units that they use to get amongst dangerous animals for wildlife films. They have dozens of Taranis' (Tarinii?) and the sort of range they get out of them is staggering - way beyond anything we would need for our modeling applications.

That is not to say that - as with anything mass produced - the occasional "Friday Night special" won't slip through. But so far the evidence is that such examples are extremely rare.



Thread: Difference between 2.4 module and 2.4 tx.
10/06/2018 17:48:05

The other thing to bear in mind is that I doubt if the manufacturers take kindly to people "reverse engineering" their protocols in order to undercut their own products.

Its quite possible that JR "tweaked" their module in a way that their own receivers recognise, but others may not!



09/06/2018 19:23:48

Well the Orange DSM-X module isn't 100% compatible with genuine DSM-X receivers. On Bind'n'Fly UMX models, the throttle doesn't work, so I don't see why their DMSS stuff should be any better.

I believe someone has rewritten the firmware for the DSM-X module to make it compatible, but uploading the firmware doesn't seem simple. Maybe the same people will get round to improving the Orange DMSS receivers the same way, one day....

Basically, you get what you pay for, I'm afraid!



Thread: New Drone Laws from 30/5/2018
07/06/2018 11:00:58

C8 / BEB - I did propose something very similar a while ago. To re-iterate:

"Any aircraft *capable* of sustained and controlled flight, whilst out of sight of a human pilot, is a drone".

The converse, of course, is that "Any aircraft that requires a human pilot to be in constant visual contact with it to maintain sustained, controlled flight, is NOT a drone".

Let's think about this for a minute. A conventional R/C model requires the constant, visual attention of its pilot to remain in control. Therefore it is not a drone! A free-flight model is not in "controlled flight" once it has left its launchers hands, hence it is not a drone! A control-line model is always in constant visual contact with its pilot, so it is not a drone.

Any aircraft that *can* operate out of sight of its pilot - either at long range, or hidden behind obstacles such as buildings or trees - IS a drone. That would apply whether it was following a pre-programmed flight-path, autonomously, or if it was flying FPV. It would also apply even if it was being flown in full view of the pilot, but was *capable* of operating out-of-sight.

No need for any weight limits, power limits or anything else. Its just down to the *capabilities* of the aircraft concerned.

I specified "human" pilot to avoid anyone building an "artificial intelligence" drone in a few years time!

The problem, I suspect, is that such definition is far too simple for the legal eagles, who will be keen to obfuscate the rules as much as possible in the hope of making money from the ensuing confusion!



30/05/2018 16:19:27

Here we go again! The only people who will register and/or fit transponders will be those who would respect the law anyway.

The dimwits and criminals will just carry on as usual, ignoring the regulations, which are almost impossible to enforce!

This is simply another case of politicians "being seen to do something", rather than trying to solve the problem properly....




Thread: Windows 10 - Any Advice
18/05/2018 08:37:51

Very rarely use windows, but I do have a small partition with win 10 on my laptop. The last upgrade borked the graphics, leaving a black screen! I reverted to the pre-upgrade version, but it still insists on downloading (and filling up the drive with) the upgrade and trying to install it despite all my efforts to stop it.

Luckily, I don't really need it often, so for the moment, its just a waste of disk space and might get completely purged. I've done that with my desktops and never looked back.....



Thread: Reading the wrong frequency...??
15/05/2018 16:33:02

I would agree that it sounds like a scanner fault. Most model Txs are pretty good at being on the right frequency - its unusual to find one significantly out.

Having said that, most PPM transmitters will read (usually) low on a frequency meter. This is due to the asymmetric nature of the PPM pulse train, which spends more time at the low end of the frequency range than at the high. PCM usually reads correctly as its a symmetrical waveform.

I'm surprised that a scanner is reading that far out!



Thread: Spring 2018 is here...been flying?
08/05/2018 14:21:10

Maiden flight of the Jackdaw:

The idea is that it will ultimately be flown with this:
A Grundig 8-channel "reed" (non-proportional) transmitter that I've Giga-ized onto 2.4 GHz.
Thread: DX8 range check problem.
06/05/2018 07:59:54

Have you tested the receivers removed from the airframe? ie: put them on a tray or similar with a couple of servos and a battery pack?

I ask because it seems strange that a receiver that was previously working well should suffer issues when installed in this model. I'm wondering if there is something about the airframe that is screening the signal. Worth checking before you send stuff off to Germany (or wherever).

You say the 'plane came with an Orange receiver. Was it a 2nd-hand 'plane? If so, do you know why the previous owner was selling it? Did he have problems too?



Thread: JR PCM9X11
03/05/2018 18:33:45

Slightly off topic (!) but was that you I saw on the lunch-time news about a week ago, jrman? wink



Thread: Throttle cut button - why the bad press?
02/05/2018 16:36:18

As a long-time heli flyer, I've always treated "throttle-cut" and "throttle hold" as completely different functions. With an IC helicopter, "throttle hold" is usually set to tickover, allowing auto-rotations to be practiced. Even electric helis will often set the "throttle hold" to a low RPM setting in order to avoid the slow spool up that some ESCs have to prevent shock-stripping the gears. A slow spool up can be embarrassing when bailing out of a dodgy auto-rotation....! blush

"Throttle cut" is usually reserved to completely kill the engine and stop the model doing the chicken dance following the aforementioned dodgy auto-rotation! embarrassed

I've carried these over to my fixed-wing models too, for more or less the same reasons. "Throttle hold" to avoid accidentally knocking the throttle stick whilst carrying a model, and "throttle cut" to kill it after landing. I usually also set "Throttle cut" as a pre-requisite on powering up an electric model. This is because an electric motor develops maximum torque when stalled. An IC engine stalls when, er, stalled!

If you get your fingers in a *small* IC engine, you'll probably end up with some nasty cuts, but the engine will probably stop before doing any real damage. An electric motor will keep chopping all the harder, the more you try and stall it.

Either way, its a good idea to keep the extremes of your anatomy away from whirling machinery!



Thread: I think I've fried my RX but have I toasted the battery and servos as well?
30/04/2018 16:26:46

The two Martin's are both partially right! Many switch harnesses pass the negative and signal straight through, but switch the positive from charge to Rx. This enables things like Spektrum bind plugs to work via the charge lead, and in the days of 35 MHz, some outfits offered a DSC lead. This allowed the servos to be checked via a special buddy lead without powering up the main transmitter.

Often the switches were paralleled up internally to provide a more fail safe environment.

I'm very puzzled how the OP managed to fry his receiver though. This shouldn't happen in the circumstances described!



Thread: Old paint not drying.
29/04/2018 13:01:28

I never had any joy with Spectrum paint, even when fresh! Years ago, I built a Flair Attila, covered in red Solartex, and trimmed Red Baron style. The white panels behind the crosses were done with Spectrum white, and after several years hard use, were still soft when I finally scrapped it!

The only paint I've ever had any real success with in recent years has been Solarlac! Grab some while you still can!



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