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  1. #1
    Moderator aeajr's Avatar
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    Eastern Soaring League ALES contest in Marlton NJ May 24/25 2014

    Host club will be www.sjsf.org

    John Jenks will be the CD

    Registration will be on the ESL Website - www.flyesl.org

    Location will be the Evans Mill Pond Preserve - Marlton, NJ

    The flying field is located at Tomlinson Mill Rd & Kettle Run. It is near the Marlton Parkway. The entrance to the field is at the sharp bend in the road. Be careful - this is easy to miss!
    http://www.sjsf.org/maps.htm

    Mapquest suggests using 225 Tomlinson Mill Rd, Marlton, NJ 08053 for your GPS
    Should get you very close. Put it in Mapquest and go to Satellite view and you will see the field.
    Long Island Silent Flyers
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  2. #2
    longsoar's Avatar
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    Just registered for a contest. Need help where to buy RAM3 limiter. Esprit Model is out of stock, Soaring USA will take too long to get - need some training time.
    Appreciate any suggestions.
    Mark

  3. #3
    Soar RC's Avatar
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    Try Graves R/C, says they have 23 in stock.
    AMA 7224-League of Silent Flight 1832-National Free Flight Society
    Eastern Soaring League-Society of Antique Modelers

  4. #4
    Moderator aeajr's Avatar
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    I use the soaring circuits CAM. Not familiar with the ram3 LIMITER
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  5. #5
    longsoar's Avatar
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    Thanks Soar RC! Got it from them. Hopefully it'll be here soon!

  6. #6
    longsoar's Avatar
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    Question:
    As I have mentioned in other posts, I did not compete since 1980. I am flying my Graphite with 3S 3000mAh 30C batteries and battery lasts for an hour easy, feeding radio, camera and solid 4-6 lifts to 200 meters.
    I plan to go to NJ and want to use smaller battery packs. Trying to figure out weather 1300mAh 3S 35C pack will be adequate for the task?
    Any help will be greatly appreciated.
    Cheers,
    Mark

  7. #7
    Moderator aeajr's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by longsoar View Post
    Question:
    As I have mentioned in other posts, I did not compete since 1980. I am flying my Graphite with 3S 3000mAh 30C batteries and battery lasts for an hour easy, feeding radio, camera and solid 4-6 lifts to 200 meters.
    I plan to go to NJ and want to use smaller battery packs. Trying to figure out weather 1300mAh 3S 35C pack will be adequate for the task?
    Any help will be greatly appreciated.
    Cheers,
    Mark
    When you are flying an ALES contest your main battery factor is the amp draw of the motor at full throttle. You only need to make one climb and a 10 minute flight per charge so duration is not an issue. After you land you turn off and recharge the battery. I always have two batteries so I have one in the plane and one on the charger.


    Do you have a wattmeter?

    * Do you know the amp draw of your power system on the bench? REcord the peak and the draw at about 10 seconds.

    * Do you know the voltage sag on that pack when run on the bench? -measure at 10 seconds

    A 1300 mah 35C pack is rated to handle 45.4 amp running at its limit, assuming it is fully charged. Note that a battery rated for 45 amps can handle that load, barely, but it is likely to see significant voltage sag at that draw which means lower RPM which means slower climb. At a lower draw, or using a higher C rated pack you will see less voltage sag and the RPMs will hold better.


    * How long does it take you to reach 200 meters today with that battery?


    Assuming you are pulling 45 amps you can use that pack, but you would be better served with a battery rated for a higher C rate so it is not running so close to its limit. Voltage during the climb will hold better and you will get a better climb.


    Will it be adequate? The above are the factors I need to know.


    For example:

    My Radian came with a 9.75 X7.75 prop. Pulls around 16 amps, as I recall. It comes with a 1300 mah 15C pack which is good for 19 amps at limit, but at 19 amps it sags a lot and life span is shortened. But at 16 amps it does fine. About 170 meters in 30 seconds

    I changed to an 11X8 Prop. Motor is pulling around 22 amps. Changed to a 1000 mah 40C pack rated for 40 amps. Holds voltage well and I hit 200 meters in about 22 seconds. I also have a 1300 mah 30 C pack, rated for 39 amps. That also works well on a 22 amps draw.

    My e-supra set up draws about 45 amps. I am currently using a using a 1300 mah 65 C pack rated for 84 amps. Voltage holds close to 11 volts which his great. Hits 200 meters in 24 seconds.

    I plan to try an 850 mah pack rated for 70C/59 amps, to see how that does.


    45 amps (45000 ma) for 30 seconds would be 22500 milli amp minutes consumed. Divide by 60 to get mah and that comes to about 375 mah draw from the pack to run the motor for 30 seconds. Let's say 400 mah.

    At pack rating I have about another 450 mah left in the 850 pack. Is that enough to handle my servos and receiver?

    Experience from pure gliders tells me I use about 400 mah/hour (about 6.6 mah per minute) in my pure gliders using a 2.4 GHz receiver and 6 digital servos.


    If I figure 20 minutes per contest flight for servo/receiver power X 6.6 mah per minute that takes another 132 mah per flight to run the receiver and servos.


    So I will use about 60% of the 850 mah pack based on these estimates.

    Naturally over time you build up practical experience by starting with a full charge and seeing what you need to put back in after the contest flight. But this is a way of estimating to see if your pack will be adequate.


    I hope that was useful.

    Do you have a wattmeter?
    Last edited by aeajr; 05-09-2014 at 08:32 AM.
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  8. #8
    longsoar's Avatar
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    Appreciate your answer aeajr,
    I flew yesterday and timed the lift. My motor pulls 25 amps max plus radio and servos. I ordered 4 x 2200 35C packs, which are smaller than 3000 30C packs I am currently using.
    Assuming wait time before start is opened and other unpredictable issues new packs should cover it all.
    I will also re-program my ESU from soft-start to normal. All above should safely give me close to 200 meters in 30 seconds.
    Did some training flights yesterday when weather unexpectedly cleared. Last flight (less than 3 minutes) on almost dead battery posted on YouTube:

    Looking forward to have a nice flight weekend May 24-25!
    Cheers,
    Mark

  9. #9
    Moderator aeajr's Avatar
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    25 amps at 11V is about 275 watts. How much does your plane weigh?

    What ALES unit are you planning to use?
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  10. #10
    longsoar's Avatar
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    Glider is 2.35 kg Graphite 2E and I ordered SCCAMA SOARING CIRCUITS Competition Altimeter for Models. It should arrive next week.



  11. #11
    Moderator aeajr's Avatar
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    Ok, so if your model is 2.3 KG, about 5 pounds then you are WAY underpowered for an ALES contest. At 275 watts, you are only powered at about 55 Watts/pound. That glider must have a fairly shallow climb angle.

    My Supra is about 120 watts per pound and may Radian is about 130 watts/pound.

    Doesn't mean you can't join in the fun of an ALES contest. It simply means you won't hit the typical 200 meters in the allotted 30 seconds. I would guess you might hit 100 meters in that time.

    Again, doesn't mean you can't play, it just means you will be starting from a lower altitude than everyone else.

    OR, the amps reading you are giving me on a 3S pack is not right. Now, if it was 25 amps on a 4S pack that would be 360 watts. Still low for a 5 pound plane but better than 275.


    Go, have fun! Enjoy!
    Last edited by aeajr; 05-10-2014 at 01:32 AM.
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  12. #12
    longsoar's Avatar
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    That's alright. I know it is underpowered - I built it that way to get better soaring time by limiting idle drain on a motor, thus the same battery last longer in unpowered flight.
    I sure will enjoy the meet and competition.
    Cheers,
    Mark

  13. #13
    Moderator aeajr's Avatar
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    Like your attitude. Hope we get.to fly together one of.these days.
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  14. #14
    longsoar's Avatar
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    aerajr, looking forward to fly anytime.
    Just got my CAM3 in a mail Today. Will be installing it and test as soon as weather permits.

  15. #15
    longsoar's Avatar
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    Stupid question but, I did not find anywhere a competition schedule as registration time, I'd assume the date is May 24.
    Last edited by longsoar; 05-12-2014 at 11:19 AM.

  16. #16
    Moderator aeajr's Avatar
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    Yes, 5/24 is the first contest. 5/25 is the second contest. This is two one day contests.

    Humm, you are right. Usual check-in time is 8 am, pilots meeting around 8:30 and first launch around 9.

    I have brought this to the CD's attention and asked that he update the listing.

    Thanks
    Last edited by aeajr; 05-12-2014 at 07:34 AM.
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  17. #17
    longsoar's Avatar
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    As far as Weather Underground and map on Google Earth - we're in for surprising rainy weekend.
    What do we do? Cancel, go ahead?

  18. #18
    Moderator aeajr's Avatar
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    Not sure what report you are seeing but I am not seeing rainy weekend.

    Just checked 3 different weather sites, including weather underground and I see a low probability of rain.

    You stay home. I will be flying.
    Last edited by aeajr; 05-21-2014 at 06:49 PM.
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  19. #19
    Moderator aeajr's Avatar
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    Middle of the night, but I can't sleep so I checked the weather again.

    I tend to use USAirnet which is the airport site:
    Philadelphia Airport seems to be pretty close
    Chance of rain = 10% or less for Saturday during the contest hours.
    McGuire Airforce Based is to the other side and has a similar report
    http://www.usairnet.com/cgi-bin/laun...=KPHL&state=PA

    Then I went to Weather.com for Marlton NJ and hit the hour by hour. During the contest hours it shows 20% chance during the contest hours.
    In my book that is low probability.
    http://www.weather.com/weather/hourb...tbeginIndex=24

    Weather underground says
    Saturday - Partly cloudy early with thunderstorms becoming likely during the afternoon. High 71F. Winds N at 5 to 10 mph

    Based on the other 2 reports I read that as late afternoon, maybe 5pm. Contest should finish by 3:30 and we will likely be out of there by 4:30

    Sunday - Sunshine and clouds mixed. High 78F. Winds NW at 5 to 10 mph.


    But there is always a chance. Many of us bring an Easy-up type canopy, a pop up 10X10, mostly for shade. You can get them from 6X6 to 10X20 but most use the 10X10. Home Depot, Lowes, many sporting goods stores carry them and many are under $100.

    If we do get a passing shower we just jump under the canopies. Lots of laughs and chatter. Like sitting on the porch as the rain comes. If you don't have a pop-up and you are concerned, bring a tarp that you can use to cover your plane during a passing shower assuming you could not put it into your car quickly. Bring something to keep the plane off the ground. A box or a chair works. Bring a few spikes or weight to hold down the corners of the tarp.

    Normally we see it coming and have time to act.

    So, the report for Saturday and Sunday during the contest hours look good to me.
    I have gone to contests where we had rain at 8 am. We sat in the cars or set up our tents and waited. Worst I can recall was a massive downpour in Birdsboro PA. From 5 amp to about 10 am it poured. We had 22 cars at the field, sitting in the pouring rain. At 9 am we had a gap - out came the tents, edge to edge and we had tent city. Then the rain came again till about 10 am. Then the skies cleared and we launched by 10:45 and flew till 4pm. It was a great day!

    But this weekend shows no sign of this. I think we are going to have a wonderful weekend.
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  20. #20
    Moderator aeajr's Avatar
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    Mark,

    It was great to fly with you today at the ESL contest in Marlton. Sorry we never got to put the wattmeter on your motor set-up. Whatever you have it climbs pretty nicely. Not ALES contest class but it gets up there quite well.
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  21. #21
    longsoar's Avatar
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    Yeah,
    It was pleasure meeting a bunch or fellow pilots in one place at the same time. Flying always great!
    Second day was an awesome experience too.
    And I did run the watts meeter Today - it's 454W @ 39Amps static - making it roughly 87W per pound. I'd assume it will drop the amperage a bit while in flight though.
    I'll be posting pictures and video in a next few days.

  22. #22
    Moderator aeajr's Avatar
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    Mark,

    it was great to fly with you. Thanks for timing for me during the contest. I always enjoy the ESL contests. The ESL pilots are a great group of guys.

    That power to weight ratio makes a lot more sense based on the climb I saw on your glider. 55 watts per pound just could not be taking it up at that angle. Thanks for letting me know.

    I hope we get to fly together again soon.
    Last edited by aeajr; 05-25-2014 at 10:13 PM.
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  23. #23
    longsoar's Avatar
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    Some photos from the field of action

    This is a small album I have compiled this morning:
    Click image for larger version. 

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  24. #24
    Moderator aeajr's Avatar
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    Those are great shots. Thanks for posting them.
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  25. #25

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    More picturesClick image for larger version. 

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    John


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