A very quiet couple of months at the field as the winter weather has put paid to flying for a lot of us, I’ll do my best to put together something informative in this Hangar Talk. It really helps if you can submit details of your latest project, photos or any other relevant information. I’m sure all the members would love to see what everyone is doing in their workshop or at the field.
2020/21 sadly saw us lose 2 members, Peter Miller and Bruce Gilham who passed during the year. Condolences again to the families of those who passed. Add to this our long term member and committee member, Geoff Hays who relocated to Queensland to be close to his family.
However, we have been fortunate to gain two new members. Adrian Hurkmans who has relocated from Victoria and is a Silver wings flyer. The other new member is Joe Murrell, who does not have his wings. Joe is a drone pilot and is looking to extend his knowledge and skills at LMAC. Please make both welcome when the weather fines up and they can get to the field.
Joe took this picture whilst at the field – quite impressive Joe!!
Club Day – July 10
The weather again played a part in the July Club Day, with it being postponed from the first Saturday, July 3 until the following week. This proved a better day although conditions under foot were very wet and boggy. MeiLin commenting that she took home half of the pits on her boots!
A reasonable turnout considering the wintery conditions with 14 members attending. Kevin S, Phil E, Mike H, Alan J, Jacques W, Danny N, Rodney K, Fred W, David M, Vince B, Max W, Mark H, Meilin H and Richard C all making the effort to attend. MeiLin did another great job of mobilising the troops to turn up and preparing some of the food. Mike H was on the BBQ tools and cooked another storm.
Rodney brought out another of his warbirds, this time the B17 “Flying Fortress” always very impressive, with the 4 engines giving it quite some realism in the air. Full specs are –
Manufacturer – Advance Scale Models (ASM B-17)
Wingspan: 120 in.
Wing area: 1920 sq. in. (13.3 sq. ft.)
Length overall: 87 in.
Engines – 4 x Saito FG11 gas
AUW – 15.1kg
Telemetry – RPM & Temp on all four engines
S-Bus servos and Futaba dual receivers.
Whilst the temperature didn’t get much past 13º, the winds were relatively light and quite a few models got some welcome airtime. Mark Holman was on photographer duties and took some nice shots on the day. He posted these on the club Facebook page and kindly let me know they were there for use on the web pages. Thanks Mark!
What used to be only available with highly sophisticated RC gear, there seems to be more and more models that have full gyro capabilities available at very cheap prices. Max was telling me about a model available on Banggood, called the “ZOHD Drift”. Max described it as compact, very easy to fly and with all the co-pilot features like, RTH (return to home), auto land and many other features, it can be stress free flying. Another I saw in the photos from the last club day was Danny with his “Eachine Razor”. Both are similar, although the “Razor” has a conventional motor in the nose.
They each have full GPS with such features as those described for the “Razor”, meaning no more lost model –
- EPO material, built-in CF spar for enhancement, crash resistant.
- Auto-launch mode for super easy hand launch and slow fly, agile and accurate control.
- With 6-axis high sensitivity Gyro, fly super stable and easy.
- Built-in high precision GPS, auto return home incase lost control, or press the RTH switch, it will fly back and hovering above the take off point.
- The Eachine Safe-FC can be turn off to reach manual mode, for those professional pilots.
- Detachable main wing and tail boom, glue-free assembly, portable for outdoor flying.
- Optional FPV dock hatch with FPV camera, plug and play for FPV flying.
- Dedicated equipment bay for Eachine Safe-Flight Control with GPS.
More information on the “Razor” can be found here and the “Drift can be found here. Both are also sold on AliExpress with free shipping Drift here and Razor here. Below is a video showing the Drift and a bit of easy slope soaring.
We have now concluded 2 auctions. The first was the items donated by the Gilham family, AXI motor from Phil Elliott and the club trainer and associated radio gear. This was quite successful, generating $1175 for the club. The winning bids were –
The second auction was provided through the generosity of Lewis Davies. I was contacted by a past member from many years ago, John Derrick. John is a neighbour of Lewis’s and they flew together on Lewis’s property. John has had ailing health and had to give it away, resulting in Lewis losing his long time flying buddy who, Lewis tells me, did all the building and repairing. Whilst some of the models were from a past era, members still snapped them up. This auction generated $490 and is also a welcome boost to the club coffers. There are a few items unsold items and these are still available. If you have any interest in them, give president Mick a call. The winners and their bids are below.
Thank you again to the donors, The Gilham family, Phil Elliott and Lewis Davies and also to all those that placed a bid and congratulations to the successful bidders.
The committee has chosen Steve’s Grill has the venue for this year’s annual dinner. The date for the event has now been confirmed as Friday, September 10 at 6:30pm. Whilst approximately 21 have indicated their intent to attend, now that we have a confirmed date, it is hoped that more will come. Whilst numbers have been tentatively booked, Please confirm your attendance by completing the form here
The committee is aware that for some this has become a contentious issue, however please remember that this should be seen as a win/win for the landowner and for the members. Mid-week fliers have stated their desire to have the fence, having made many a trip to the field and found sheep all over the strip and getting a flight in well near impossible, meaning a wasted trip. It also means the farmer will not have to face the prospect of relocating sheep from their paddock to accommodate us on a weekend. This could have adverse ramifications for us if management change or there is a reluctance or annoyance at the task of having to move sheep. Then there is the strip itself. There are currently 500 calves on the property, having been relocated from the dairy farm at Clovelly. It is their practice to grow these calves to adult steers and cows and should they find space at a premium, we could find cattle on our strip were we not to have a fence. That would be a disaster for the quality of the strip, not to mention avoiding cow pats on take off and landing.
Another factor is that we need to improve the quality of the strip by oversowing new grass and levelling out some of the undulations. To date this has been impossible as the sheep look for the new grass on our strip and eat that out, and then when the ground is wet, they leave hoof marks all through the strip. This will not be a problem when we have a fence to protect any improvements we make.
Due to the extensive rain we have had, there will be a delay in getting the posts driven in by Ron. He will keep us updated on when the ground is solid enough to prevent causing an undue mess with heavy equipment.
For the doubters, please see the positives and remember we are “freeloaders” on the property and eliminating any burden placed on the farm management and staff will help to ensure our tenure is a long one. We are very fortunate to be granted the access we have.
It may seem a long time coming but we are in the final stages of development. Stuart has completely rewritten code to ensure that the station can be accessed remotely. He says “I want to get the project finished, but I also want it to be as self-healing and stable as possible. I know “Perfect is the enemy of good”, so we need to release it at some point and we’re close enough now. We’ll run it at your place for at least a week or two using the 4GX (wifi dongle)” The unit is back with me now and we will do one or two weeks testing at my home using the wireless wifi dongle, 12v battery etc., so as to emulate everything at the field, before relocating the equipment to the field. For the technically minded –
- Raspberry Pi Zero W with camera
- Fine Offset WH2900 weather station
- “piHut” camera case
- Linux OS for the Rpi
- Proprietary weather software written by Stuart using the Go language as it was –
- simpler to operate and maintain;
- more efficient running on a RPi Zero; and
- more reliable.
- Telstra WiFi dongle to upload to the internet. 40gb 365day expiry
Below are some images of the Raspberry Pi and camera after I installed it in the piHut. Unbelievable probably 15 or 20 years ago the Raspberry Pi Zero has a 1GHz processor, 512mb RAM, a 16GB micro-SD for storage, onboard WiFi and Bluetooth. Full specifications –
- BCM 2835 SoC (ARM11 at 1GHz)
- 512MB of RAM
- On-board Wi-Fi – 2.4 GHz 802.11 b/g/n (BCM43438)
- On-board Bluetooth 4.1 + HS Low-energy (BLE) (BCM43438)
- Storage: micro-SD – 16GB
- Display: mini-HDMI
- Power: USB micro-B
- USB: 1 x USB micro-B
- CSI camera connector (requires adaptor cable)
- Unpopulated 40-pin GPIO connector (requires soldering)
- Compatible with existing pHAT/HAT add-ons
- Dimensions: 65mm x 30.5mm x 5mm
- Weight: 9.3g
In addition it has a 8mp onboard camera!
Data will be uploaded to the website every 5 minutes and images will be uploaded hourly each day from 8am to Noon. Ongoing it will be a work in progress to hone the weather reporting pages and possible include access via an app on your smartphone, but the important information will be there on the front page and look like this –
From the World Wide Web….
The huge models (really miniature aircraft) being built and flown in Europe, never cease to amaze. It seems nothing is too big to build. Take a look at this Concorde, complete with the drooping nose as in the full size jet!
Well that’s it for this month. Don’t Forget – Put a Spark in your life and fly electric!