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: BMFA SUBS|
As I understand the matter, this is the first time in many years (ever?) that we've lost our "no claims discount" on our insurance. Reading some of Manny's comments in the BMFA News, it would appear that many of the accidents would have been avoided had those concerned been a bit more careful with their parking areas.
Since the loss of the discount has been one of the major factors in the increase in subs (still good value IMHO), I wonder if introducing an excess on the policy might encourage more care. Both my car and house insurances require me to pay a contribution towards any claim (typically around £100).
I wonder if a similar requirement on the BMFA insurance might encourage a more safety conscious attitude and help regain our discount, thus keeping costs down.
Any comments, Andy or Keith?
|Thread: Returning to the hobby after 15 years - need advice!|
Ant: Flying is like riding a bicycle - you may get a bit rusty, but you don't forget! Looking down your list of previous models, I reckon one flight and you'll be away again! Get someone to do the first take-off, then hand over the Tx, and it will be like you were never away!
As others have said, there has been something of a revolution on the radio side of things, but that doesn't mean your existing gear is useless. If you still have your old radio gear, and its been kept in reasonable conditions (NOT a damp shed or garage!), simply replace the batteries and carry on using it while you make your mind up where to go next. I'm still flying some radio gear that I built back in the 80s!
The Wot-4 is a reasonable model to reintroduce yourself to flying, but personally, I'd avoid the foamy one. I've got one, and although its quiet and performs reasonably well, the tail surfaces are very floppy and this makes it somewhat unstable in pitch. Its fine for stick banging, but not much else!
Best advice is to seek out a local club, and see what's being used there, both radio and model-wise. At least then you'll have some local knowledge to call upon. However, with your history, I suspect you won't need that much!
|Thread: Solartex alternative?|
Don: I seem to recall some folks recommending watered down PVA as a substitute for Balsaloc. I've only ever used Balsaloc once, finding Clearcote worked much better!
Most of my models are still glow powered - not least because I have boxes of engines, accumulated over the years, that still have plenty of life left in them. I also have a few diesels left - the PAW 149s in particular are nearly as quiet as electric when muffled, and throttle brilliantly! The only down-side is the smell of burned diesel! The raw stuff may be nectar, but once its been through an engine.....!
Acrylic is what is used on many modern cars. Certainly Halfords "rattle-tins" are mostly acrylic and give a good finish. But while it may be petrol proof, it isn't glow-proof!
Clearcote was brilliant because it was genuinely fuel proof, and could be brushed on just like dope! I always find with two-pack that I either mix too much (expensive waste) - or worse, not enough!
<sigh!> Decisions, decisions....
Don: Thanks for the pointer to Ceconite! I'd heard of it before in the full-size context, but didn't realise they did a lightweight version. Sounds perfect for our purposes - must order a sample...
That still leaves the problem of paint and fuel-proofer. I've always used Clearcote as a heat sensitive adhesive for Solartex, and as a fuel-proofer. Solarlac was always my "go-to" choice for paint. I've never found anything to match either product, and will sorely miss them. Balsarite (USA) used to be good, but then the US regulations required it to be "watered down", and it was never the same afterwards. Clearcote seemed to be the same stuff as the original Balsarite.
I can't believe that model finishes were the only use for this stuff. It must be used for something else, somewhere. I would buy a load, but I'm a long way from Lancashire!
Martin: I do vaguely recall your "Lumpers"! Back then, Brian always seemed to be teaching someone, and rescuing models from the most extreme situations! But I don't think it was me who recommended the Lumpers - I've never had one. Perhaps it was Tony Rose? It all seems so long ago, now!
So, if Ceconite is an acceptable substitute for Solartex, where do we find a Clearcote / Solarlac equivalent?
|Thread: BT internet email|
Martin, you might want to consider one of the "free" email providers, rather than use your ISPs. That way, if you change ISP, you still have the same email.
I got an email address from my ISP when we moved house (and changed providers) a few years back. Their email service is OK, but nothing is encrypted, so its wide open to hacking. Instead, I use GMail - which has never given me any problems. I mention GMail, but there are others.
Yes, it will be a pain changing once, but you can keep your BT address open until everyone has caught up with the change, and then you will be free to change ISPs without having to worry about the change in email address!
|Thread: RC Transmitters - Retail Pricing|
I don't think the model shops make much on RC gear - their markup is pretty low. Some importers, however, are making very substantial markups on imported gear (over 100% in some cases, if rumours are to be believed!).
If you want to know how much your gear *should* cost, try looking at RC Japan's website. OK, you'll have to convert from yen, add shipping, import duty and VAT, but I think you'll find the difference in price quite staggering!
I have no problems with importers making a markup. After all, they have to support the product in the UK, but some of the markups are quite extra-ordinary!
Not that many years ago, it was cheaper to buy a British manufactured car in Europe and re-import it, than it was to buy from a UK main dealer. I suspect RC gear is heading the same way...
|Thread: TV License scam|
C8: That link is about 10 years out of date! They are talking 40 years on from 1969, which would place it at about 2009. The old analogue TV service was switched off gradually between 2007 and 2012, so you could have been watching B&W tv on an original set up until 2012, if you lived in the right area.
Mind you, 405-line tv was switched off around 1985, IIRC, so any B&W tv in use in 2012 must have been either dual standard or 625 only.
|Thread: Which Set Should I buy|
Erfolg: Very well put. As I read that, there was a certain amount of self-recognition going on!!!
MikeB: I've always found OpenTx to be quite logical. I think it only caught me out once, and that was setting up an IC powered helicopter (moving the "hovering throttle" setting upped the idle speed causing a hot start!) I started a thread over on the development forum, where it was suggested I had applied the curves at the wrong point, and sure enough, moving them solved the problem. I was caught out by following the "good practice" I had been taught in college rather than thinking logically about possible consequences!
Funnily enough, the people who - in my experience - struggle least with OpenTx are those who have never had a Futaba / Jr / whatever. The ones who find it hardest to follow are the ones who are used to being led by the hand, rather than thinking the process through logically.
Even then, as most people fly basic 4-channel aircraft, OpenTx can be used pretty much "out of the box", without any significant effort to set it up at all.
Its only when you get into complex setups - helicopters, crow braking, etc - that you need to excercise the brain cells somewhat.
|Thread: Out of trim|
Oooh! Don't get me started on that one! I was once approached by a gentleman to test fly his beautifully made Graupner Bell 212 helicopter (shows you how long ago this was!). He had been advised by Dave Nieman to remove the springs from the Tx, and had done so. I'd never flown like that before, but agreed to give it a trial hop and see what happened. It flew beautifully, and the trial hop became an extended flight complete with lazy figure-of-eights.
The owner of the heli was delighted, but it was only when I landed that I realised I'd been holding in nearly full tail rotor for the whole flight!!! If I'd had to turn sharply in that direction, I'd have been stuffed!
The problem with removing the springs is that it makes you oblivious to how near full throw you are just to keep it straight and level!
Thanks, but no thanks!
If you think an out-of-trim aeroplane is tricky, wait till you have to deal with an out-of-trim helicopter!!!
|Thread: Which Set Should I buy|
Many years ago, my first mutli-channel set was a Grundig-Graupner. It was incredibly reliable, and the club I belonged to at the time, used it exclusively. I came to regard the German radios as the "Gold Standard" for reliabilty, although usually a bit quirky! American sets *could* be reliable, but seemed to need a lot of TLC to get the best out of them.
Fast forward a few years, and I'm looking to buy a new propo set. The early Simprop sets had gained a very good reputation, so I plumped for one of their new "Digi 5" sets. It was a disaster! It crashed a brand new model on its second flight, due to poor construction (un-supported wires in the battery pack), and proved to need even more TLC than the US sets! The pots in the servos had to be cleaned weekly, range was erratic (to put it mildly).
Nowadays I tend to see 1) what I can afford and 2) what *currently* has a good reputation. I've been a longtime JR user, and was sorry to see them go under, but I'm very happy with my FrSky Taranis, plus a couple of older transmitters that I've modified using their "hack" modules. So far, they've proven to be at least as good as the JR, and at a fraction of the price.
Who knows what the future holds, or who will still be around in 10 years time? But for me, my next (and probably last!) transmitter will almost certainly be FrSky.
|Thread: Have I done serious damage.|
Ah, yes, the meter calibration problem! I have three or four LiPo checkers, and they all give different answers! But one agrees with my charger, so I assume that that is more or less correct!
I have the same problem with tyre pressure gauges for the car! Between my wife and I, we have four, and only two agree! The difference in the others is as much as 5psi!!!
I would still recommend a couple of 14 hour trickle charges, if you can beg, borrow or steal a suitable charger!
Apologies for coming to this thread late - I've been away from home, and incommunicado!
Nigel, one thing that *may* have happened is that the cells have become seriously unbalanced, ie: some cells are reaching a full charge while others are only partially charged. Your charger is detecting the "full" cells peaking, and switching off before *all* cells are fully charged.
Now, I don't normally recommend trickle charging, but its the only way I know to balance a welded NiMh or NiCad pack. Its probably a good idea to discharge the pack as far as you can, and then leave it on a 1/10thC trickle charge for 14 hours.
If your pack is 2500mAH, charge it at 250mA.
Yes, this will over-charge some cells, but at 1/10C, it won't do them any serious harm (as long as its not done repeatedly!). This should ensure that all cells will get a full charge. Once done, see how long it performs for under load. If you recover your previous flight times, you should be able to revert to peak-detect charging.
You may need to do this a few times to get everything back in balance, but its worth a shot.
Trickle charging every time is not a good idea, as it often leads to the cells being repeatedly overcharged, gassing and drying out the electrolyte. However, doing this a few times won't hurt.
You will need to get hold of a suitable, old-fashioned trickle charger, but someone in your club is bound to have one!
Best of Luck!
|Thread: Electric Cars.|
|Darwin at work?|
|Thread: Which Set Should I buy|
Eric: Don't worry too much! Flying is like riding a bicycle - you may get rusty, but you don't fall off!
Last year, I booked an "air experience" flight (full-size) to celebrate the 50th anniversary of my going solo. Despite not being at the controls of a full-size for around 49 years, I managed the take-off, climb-out and basic manoeuvres without any physical input from the instructor! Even the landing was passable! (Well, I didn't break anything!)
Models are the same. It won't take you long to get "back in the saddle"!
As far as radio gear is concerned, the last few years have seen dramatic changes in the technology. However, there is nothing wrong with the "old stuff", and many of the flyers in my club still fly on 35Mhz. Any of the major brands will serve you well. However, it is worth bearing in mind the cost of the airborne equipment when you choose. If you stick at it, you will probably want to build yet more models, and the difference in cost between receivers is dramatic! The difference in performance is not! All modern equipment is built on automated production lines - often in China - and many of the cheaper receivers perform just as well as "major brand" ones costing four or five times as much. Indeed, one of the newer arrivals has established itself as a "major brand" ridiculously quickly. This is because it works, and is a lot less expensive than the traditional manufacturers!
I would wholeheartedly agree that local knowledge is very useful, though. I would recommend avoiding any manufacturer who doesn't have at least one user in your local club! At least, until you have managed to re-gain some experience.
Best of luck! And let us know what you decide to go with and why. It may help others in a similar situation!
I'm with Dave on this one! The FrSky Taranis is well proven, and has amazing range. The OpenTx system is not the simplest to set up if you need anything special, but it is extraordinarily flexible! There's plenty of help and advice available on this forum, if you need it.
The biggest plus for the FrSky gear is the cheapness of the receivers! They are a fraction of the cost of those of the major players, making it very economical if you have more than one model. Despite the price, they have excellent performance. I've had dozens now, and only had one DOA, which was changed promptly by the importer.
Have a look here:
More expensive (and cheaper!) transmitters are also available in the range. Receivers typically cost in the £25 bracket from the same supplier.
and not just Devon & Cornwall - seems like they are ALL grounded!
But what's this about flights within 50 metres of people and property being suspended "until further notice"? Do the police have an exemption that we don't? And if so, what makes their drones magically safer than anyone else's? (Or not, in this case!)
|Thread: Altered my clock.|
But Geoff, they are much further SOUTH than we are, and don't suffer such extreme variations in the hours of daylight as we do.
Try going up to Aberdeen and suggesting we stay on summer time all the year round and you'll get a very - er - frosty reception!
I can't understand why everyone is so wedded to the clock. If anything, we should stay on GMT all the year round. After all, noon is supposed to be when the sun is directly overhead! It should then be up to individuals and businesses when the working day starts and ends!
End the tyranny of the clock, says I! Throw of your shackles and restore freedom of choice!
Einstein: "Time is relative."
Douglas Adams: "Time is an illusion, lunch-time doubly so!"
|Thread: What setting for charging NiMH batteries|
Denis: Yes, I remember hearing that theory being put forward "back in the day", and it made a lot of sense!
Something else that helped NiCad longevity was using un-smoothed, half-wave rectified current in trickle chargers. Many chargers used full wave rectification and smoothing capacitors, but as with so many things, it appeared that the simplest was best.
The theory was that the pulses of current (and resulting vibration?) also reduced dendrite formation. Perhaps a variation on the Japanese conclusions?
Mind you, it did confuse a lot of people who tried to measure the output voltage of the chargers. They couldn't understand why a charger that read below the pack voltage on an analogue meter could charge the aforesaid pack.....!
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