Originally Posted by SoaringDude
I would draw the line here and say "no" to direct ALES+TD plane competition i.e. all scored as being in the same class. Here's the reason: it's already impossible to verify a correct launch altitude that a malfunctioning or mis-programmed CAM could cause. How often do you think a CAM that is supposed to be set at 150m would be set to 200m instead? I would bet money it would happen often. How many sets of official eyes would it take to try and catch this?
And this doesn't even address the issue of e-planes that are built with the ability to power zoom way above the launch "limit."
Fact is, e-planes are simply too different to fairly combine them into a single TD contest class. Non-e gliders offer a rare opportunity for pure competition (assuming their timer is honest, which the vast majority are). Keep the classes separate.
Its actually pretty easy to verify the altitude limit that a CAM unit is set to. The start up beep sequence gives it away. After it sequences the initial ascending tones, the next tones you hear are what it is set to, ie one for 100M, two for 150M and three for 200M.
How do I know? I was out testing the CAM unit in my e-Supra to determine mA used per climb. Seemed like I wasn't getting to altitude, so when I landed I repowered up the airborne and sure enough, it was at 150M. Simple matter to reprogram to 200M and launches were as expected.
This could be a preflight check for this unit, though not sure what the other approved limiter units do, but it would be interesting to find out if they have an audible altitude set signal that could be checked.
Don, I know you have done a bunch of testing with various limiters, perhaps you could chime in on this.