Thursday, May 25, 2006

Das Elle Twig -- Jacques van der Lingen

Das Elle Twig is a small electric powered "Stick".
Read more...(90k pdf)

Wednesday, May 24, 2006

Some personal comments on the proposed Safety Code -- John Godwin

1. General comments:

It's a pity the idea of enlightened common sense has disappeared.

The code has moved away from the concept of Giving Advice to that of Being Prescriptive.
The proposed code does not encourage members, clubs and SIGs to act responsibly. It appears to assume that they must be told what to do. Surely the people on the ground have more insight into what is safe at their sites and what is not, than a central body? The job of the central body must be to apprise local operators of best practices, not prescribe detailed procedures.

2. There are some aspects of the proposed code that are impractical and/or incapable of being enforced. There is a danger in such rules. Members simply won't follow them, and if one rule is seen to be invalid, the whole code looses its authority. Rather have a few rules that are obeyed than many of which some are suspect. I mention again the idea of enlightened common sense.

Some impractical rules are:

Clause 1.1 7). The restriction on flying from a SAMAA registered or sanctioned field.
What about ad hoc safe flying on a private farm? Is it really practical to say a SAMAA member may only fly from a SAMAA field?
Rather re-phrase this rule to draw members' attention to the consequences and additional responsibility of flying from a non-SAMAA field.

Part 2 a). The restriction on the number of aircraft/helicopters airborne at any one time. What about the various slope soaring events run around the country? Here many more than five aircraft may be in the air at any one time.
Rather re-phrase the rule to allow the site operator to determine the number. However, suggest a best practice for conventional power sites of not more than five flying at once.

Part2 p). The restriction to one operating runway.
Strict adherence to this rule is not possible at JOMAC where power aircraft and gliders fly from the same site simultaneously. There is no absolute reason why a site should not operate two runways. It just depends on the local geography. Having said that though, for most sites this is a best practice.

3. I support the recommendation of getting special dispensation and insurance for a public display or event.

4. The code should state clearly that failure to follow it will not invalidate SAMAA insurance. Or if it may do so, the circumstances must be spelt out in unambiguous terms.

Tuesday, May 23, 2006

Converting a PC power supply -- Christo vd Merwe

The cold weather has it's advantages. One of them is that one gets time to do those things that you really want to, but put off because the weather is too nice to stay indoors.

This past weekend gave me the opportunity to do just that: to convert a PC power supply and document it for a website. I even had time to do some research on the web and found out how to modify the PSU to ensure that the output stays at 12V (or close to it), even when charging HARD. eg. I ran tests with the "mod" and also without it, and the outcome was an eye-opener. Without the mod, while charging 8 Ni-CD cells at 5A, the voltage dropped to just over 10V. With the mod, the voltage only dropped 0.1V (11.9V). Even when charging 15 Ni-CD cells (equiv. of 5 LiPo's) at 5A, the voltage drop was around 0.3V. I believe that this might be the answer to the Swallow charging problem that a few chaps mentioned, where the Swallow wouldn't reliably charge off a PSU.

Here is the link:

Best regards


Comment invited on proposed new Safety Rules

SAMAA members are invited to comment on the new proposed SAMAA Safety Rules. These are the abridged rules, which must be applied in conjunction with rules and regulations of each club, and those of each special interest group. Comments must be made before 31st July, and after alteration, modification, update and addition, these will become the official SAMAA Safety Rules.

Comments may be submitted either by fax, letter, or e-mail, to the SAMAA general manager. Fax number 011-907-4652. Postal address: PO Box 1961, Alberton 1450. e-mail address:

Link to 64k pdf with new rules.

Sunday, May 14, 2006

Rustenburg Model Flying Club

Public Flying/Display Weekend & Dance
23rd, 24th and 25th June 2006


We have a Public Flying/Display Weekend on the 24 and 25 of June 2006 and would like to invite you and your club members to come and enjoy a weekend of flying.
Caravan and tent stands will be available for sleeping over. Please see below for fee structure.
You can pre-book a stand directly at the BOOKING SITE . Only 30 stands available.

Preliminary Program:
23 June 2006 (Friday):
1) Arrivals,
2) Some music the night to keep you busy and rock you to sleep,
3) Open flying for everybody,
4) Security Guards on duty to ensure your safety.

24 June 2006 (Saturday):
1) The big day with lots of demostration flying by invited VIP guests,
2) Prize giving event,
3) Lots of singers and entertainers till late. Rustenburg Model Flying Club Runway Shuffle. (Dance)
4) Security Guards on duty to ensure your safety.

25 June 2006 (Sunday):
1) Open flying day,
2) Fly as much as you can.
3) Security Guards on duty to ensure your safety.

To reserve your stand you can visit the RMFC website and reserve your stand. Follow the links or CLICK HERE to go to the booking site directly.
You can book your stand on-line.
Select you stand number.
Stands will only be reserved once prove of payment has been received. First come first served.
Points to take note of:
1) You must have a GOLD proficieancy and SAMAA membership to be allowed to fly the Saturday and/or the Sunday.
2) You must provide your SAMAA membership card before you will be allowed to fly.
3) Pilots briefing will be held the Saturday at 09H00 and again at 13H00.
4) Pilots briefing will be held the Sunday at 09H00 and again at 13H00.
5) All radio's to be booked in at the transmitter impound on arrival.
6) PEG-ON frequency control.

CARAVAN & TENT STAND FEE (Includes Daily Entrance Fee).
If you are a member of another flying club you must produce your club membership card and SAMAA membership card and aircraft at the gate to qualify for the discounted stand fee.
Rustenburg Model Flying Club Member R50.00
Member From Other RC Flying Club R70.00
Normal Public R90.00
VIP (Invited Guests) R00.00

If you are a member of another flying club you must produce your club membership card and SAMAA membership card and aircraft at the gate to qualify for the discounted entrance fee.

Saturday Sunday
Rustenburg Model Flying Club Member R30.00 R20.00
Member From Other RC Flying Club R20.00 R10.00
Normal Public R30.00 R15.00
VIP (Invited Guests) R00.00 R00.00


Johan de Klerk
Cell No.: 082 8913912
Fax No.: 014-5974485
E-Mail :

Saturday, May 13, 2006

Report on the 2006 Aerobatic Nationals -- Quintin Schroll

I would like to start off by saying a huge thanks to all the pilots. 56 pilots entered the competition and each pilot had to fly 4 rounds, thus giving the organiser a nightmare from the start: 224 flights had to be completed within three days.
To start by saying this was a huge undertaking is an understatement. With only a couple Northwest comps behind my name and dare I forget my better half, we tackled this mountain step by step.
To take all the credit would not be fair, a lot of communication between lots of parties made this event a huge success; Andre Stockwell, Pierre Marais and Ivan Olivier, Burt Botha and Nico Erasmus (my right hand man) need to be mentioned.
Then to make a competition work I need to thank the following people:
1. Judges- Ivan Olivier, Nick Dreyer, Kas Hamman, Noel Booysen, Neels Bergh and Paul Hern
2. Scorekeepers- Roy de Beer, Andrew de Beer and Elaine Martins
3. Score runner and Mr DO EVERYTHING - Stephan Malherbe
4. Chief Official and Mr ANYTHING ANYTIME - Thys Du Preez
5. TX control - John Trethewey and Piet Malherbe
6. Cd - Danie Potgieter Snr
7. Food and Catering - Klerksdorp Spur
Then one final BIG thank you goes to the four ladies that helped tremendously during the week of the Nats: Nikki Schroll, Louisa Schroll, Phelani and Petro Erasmus. These ladies ensured the smooth running of basically everything behind the scenes.

The wonderful atmosphere and camaraderie between the pilots was present from the official practise day that took place on the Thursday, and continued right through to the closing banquet on Sunday night.
All the classes proved to be very competitive till the final round.
Sportsman class- (17 pilots) was huge with Jonathan Vosloo 1st, Mark Hubbard 2nd and Divan de Kock 3rd vying for top honours.
Advanced class- (9 pilots) saw the local boys (Stephen 1st, Siggie 2nd, Quintin 4th and Nico 5th) competiting for positions with Dirk van Rhyn clenching the third place.
Expert class- (11 pilots) saw the two young guns Josh Smit 1st and Calvin Schroll 2nd battle it out for the top two with Pierre Fouche closing the top three positions.
F3A class- (8 pilots) saw a once off class that flew four rounds of PO7 schedule and the top three were Dean Grobbelaar 1st, Walter van Huysteen 2nd and Burt Botha 3rd.
F3A Master class- (11 pilots) saw the old faithfuls taking the top three positions Andre Stockwell, Pierre Marais and Danie Potgieter with Ian Wentzel and Mark Wolfe snapping at their heels, this class flew two rounds PO7 and two rounds FO7 schedules.

Best wishes and many more flying hours till the next competition,

Wednesday, May 10, 2006

2006 Gliding Nats -- Evan Shaw

Hi All

Let me just remind everyone that the Glider Nationals will be held at BERG on the 14th to 16th July.

Time to start planning and getting you models ready. Please remember that no entries will be accepted without two frequencies per event. So make sure you get your crystals in good time.

Are we going to see anybody from the Cape Town, PE or East London areas this year? I wonder? It would be nice!
Also all you old timers! How about you lot? We have a class for especially for you guys - RES/100 (A model with Rudder, Elevator and Spoilers only or any model not exceeding 100 inches (2540mm) span) Planes like Aquila's, Olympic's, Grand Espri's, Viking's, Sagitta's, Wind Drifter's, Spectra's, Bird of Time's, etc. There must be hundreds of you guy out there who haven't flown in a comp for ages because you didn't have a class where you could fly with similar models. Having to compete with fancy molded ships all the time was always putting you off. Well now is the time to dust off those old "Gas Bags" and come and have some fun again!

It is also the first F3B qualifier. F3B will be held on the Friday with as many rounds as we can squeeze in and any spill over will be first thing on Saturday & Sunday mornings.
The main emphasis of the NATIONAL will be Thermal Duration, which will take place on the Saturday and Sunday. F3K will also be squeezed in there somewhere.
There will be no electrics at this event as there is an Electric Nationals planned for end of October at Groen Goudt.

The days are short in July with sunrise at just before 07h00 and sunset at just after 17h30, so we have to try and get as much flying as possible in about 11 hours of daylight.
Because of this we need to keep a tight schedule. We would also like to work out the program so that everyone can get as much flying as possible in a day, without having to sit around for ages waiting. We need to cater for Open, RES/100 and 2 Meter in the Thermal Duration. Open & RES/100 - 12 minutes working time with 10 minute flights. For the 2 meter - 8 minutes working time with 6 minutes flights. (Maybe)

Now for the main reason for this email:
It would help a lot if we can have some sort of indication as to how many people will be attending and who will be flying what. Open and 2 meter is pretty much a given. There will more than likely be enough pilots to fill three slots per round.
My concern is that there will not be enough pilots to make up 3 slots per round of RES/100.

So, can I ask you to please let me know what you are going to fly. Just your name and which class/classes you would like to enter.

Club Chairpersons, please gather the information from people who are not on the mgasa and SARFly groups and send it to me as well.


Joe Blog - F3B, Open, RES/100 & F3K
Joe Moer - Open & 2 Meter
Joe Wie? - RES/100 & 2 Meter

The main entry forms will be made available shortly here and in both the SAMAA News and South Easter. This is just a prelimmmery request to try and judge the entries and to help us plan the event so everyone is catered for.

Many thanks
Evan Shaw
083 254 1809

Tuesday, May 09, 2006

Friday, May 05, 2006

LiPo batteries, a cautionary tale by Andre Beukes

Many of you have seen the Hobby Trailer in which I transport my models.

My trailer stands underneath my carport, with the following planes in it:

2. 40% EDGE 540
5. 10 L Petrol
6. 2 l Moto 800 Oil
7. 15 L of Morgan Fuel with 15% nitro.

The Ultimate has 2 x expensive lithium polymer packs in it to supply the radio in the plane with power.

Yesterday at approximately lunch time, I decided to start charging all my planes. I first balanced the 2 lithium packs, and then hooked up the chargers as I always do, while the planes is still in the trailer. I went to check on the chargers @ +/- 18H00, and smelled electric fire. After investigating, I found that one of the packs inside the Ultimate burnt. Luckily for me, the only damage I sustained was to the Ultracote that was melted at four different places due to the heat.

Learn from my experience. This time I was very lucky. All my models could have burned, including my trailer. And to top this, my carport is next to my garage, where my 2 cars were parked, and all my other models are stored hanging from the garage roof.

Please charge your LiPo batteries in open space.

I had one of the best lithium polymer packs inside the plane, and I'm using decent chargers, and it still burnt.

These things are volatile. Please handle with care.


Andre Beukes

Wednesday, May 03, 2006

2006 Boland R/C power champs

Link to entry form (word DOC).
Contact person Dirk Coetzee 076 471 4617

Tuesday, May 02, 2006

Dirk Meyer acts as chairman of the SAMAA management committee

Joe Coetzer will be out of the country between 3rd and 26th May 2006.
During this time Dirk Meyer will act as chairman of the SAMAA management committee.
You can get hold of Dirk on 031 560 3111 or by email at

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