HobbyKing.com New Products Flash Sale
Reply
Thread Tools
Old Mar 24, 2014, 02:14 PM
Chuck 'Em and Chase 'Em
Fly2High's Avatar
United States, NY, Plainview
Joined Aug 2005
7,810 Posts
Discussion
Question about ALES contest experience

Guys,
As is well known, I have not attended an ALES event - yet.

I have been to many F3K contests.


At ALES events, are the names auto announced like in hand launch?

I know there is launch sound. Is there a single long duration horn or 2 short horn blasts indicating the start and end of when you are allowed to launch?

Is thee any sound indicating a window time like in hand launch or when the current group should be returning? I know there isn't a 'window' like in hand launch but I was wondering if it was solely the individual's timer that is looked at.

To me, at F3K contests, you can set up a playlist/soundtrack with the names to call, when prep time is available, when the group can launch, etc. Is this done in ALES? Is anything done to keep things moving at a regular pace?

I know this sounds a little regimented but it works.

I guess are things left up to the Balker/ scorekeeper like at a TD contest or is there some level of automation like in hand launch?

Thanks in advance,

Frank
Fly2High is offline Find More Posts by Fly2High
Reply With Quote
Sign up now
to remove ads between posts
Old Mar 24, 2014, 02:42 PM
Registered User
jtlsf5's Avatar
United States, CA, Folsom
Joined Jul 2007
2,434 Posts
I'd say we (SVSS) are pretty typical. We use a tape loop for the rounds, just like any F event. There is a 3 minute prep time which has time marks at 1/2 minute intervals, then the final 10 seconds are counted down, followed by the 10 second launch window counted up by seconds. The loop continues with time remaining marks at each minute up to 9 minutes, then (only) a final mark when the round window closes.

It can be sped up a bit in the prep window if all are ready, or stopped momentarily if there is a problem. It gets reset when the entire previous group is on the ground and back in the safety zone (pits), then starts anew.

JT
jtlsf5 is online now Find More Posts by jtlsf5
Reply With Quote
Old Mar 24, 2014, 02:45 PM
powered by caffine
FredM's Avatar
Akron, New York
Joined May 2004
856 Posts
Frank all the ALES contests have had a master list of the names in each flight group. You then get a series of score cards with your name and flight groups for the day. It is your job to pay attention to what round and group you are in.
FredM is offline Find More Posts by FredM
Reply With Quote
Old Mar 24, 2014, 02:48 PM
powered by caffine
FredM's Avatar
Akron, New York
Joined May 2004
856 Posts
Polecat is set on a computer and gives you 5 minutes between rounds then announces the flight group
FredM is offline Find More Posts by FredM
Reply With Quote
Old Mar 24, 2014, 03:27 PM
Oleg Golovidov
olgol's Avatar
Raleigh, NC, USA
Joined Sep 2004
2,114 Posts
We used the same setup for our ALES event as for F3K events.

F3KScore already does ALES tasks and will generate a sound track. I added ALES window tracks to the pool of sound files more than a year ago.

I am making a modification to F3KScore right now to score ALES landing separately from the normalized score, as ALES requires. I will publish the new version soon. The last published version rolls the landing score into the flight score, then does normalization. This works OK and how things are done in F3J and F5J, but ALES wants the landing task separate, on top of the 1000 point normalized flight score.
olgol is online now Find More Posts by olgol
RCG Plus Member
Latest blog entry: DLG assembly service
Reply With Quote
Old Mar 24, 2014, 03:42 PM
Registered User
LI, New York, USA
Joined Mar 2003
23,455 Posts
Whether there are recorded announcements, or someone with a microphone would be up to the host club and the CD. There is no requirement to use pre recorded announcements.

http://ales-league.org/2013Home.aspx

The old ALES League home page has a bunch of sound files available if people want to use them.

Personally I don't see a problem with people announcing or computers announcing as long as the announcements are made and people can hear them.

Pre recorded/computer announcements seem to be popualar at the F3K/DLG events that I have attended over the years. When computer announcements were used there was a LOT of fiddling with the computer or the "device" to stop, reset, rewind, pause, announce again, oops, reset, announce again. It worked but it seemed overly complicated.

As for launch tones, our club contests have run the same way we run our ESL TD contests. A person calls the line.

For our club ALES contests calling the line consists of confirming everyone is ready, count down 5-0 - "launch" - 1-10 reading off a stop watch. If you are not launched by 10 you get a zero.

No sound files, no computers, no fuss. Works every time and no reset, rewind needed. And the person calling the line is watching the launch, the pilots and will judge any fouls or any problems with the launch. It has been rare that everyone is not off by 6, but it could happen with a larger group.

Sometimes a person works just fine. But to really mess things up it helps to use a computer.

Of course, your smileage will vary.
aeajr is offline Find More Posts by aeajr
Last edited by aeajr; Mar 24, 2014 at 05:02 PM.
Reply With Quote
Old Mar 24, 2014, 04:09 PM
Registered User
United States, PA, Carlisle
Joined Oct 2011
206 Posts
Ales

Frank,

To add to what Fred stated- This is what is normal at events that use the program. Typically, the loop is started and does not stop unless, as Denny usually advises, we have to remove a body from the field. If all has gone well and there are no safety concerns, the loop is not halted until lunch and the end of the contest. When the loop starts, the first group has 5 minutes to be on the flight line and ready to launch. A countdown is given each minute until the last minute, then a 30 second, 15 second and a 10 second countdown to launch. At zero, a buzzer (as part of the recording) is sounded and then a 10 second count to the end of the launch window. You must be airborne by the end of the window. As was stated earlier, there is a minute beep for each minute after the launch. Most of the time, your timer is giving you whatever you request, time up or time down, so I don't even hear the tape after the launch command until I'm done. The announcement "Task complete" occurs at the end of the round and the 5 minute period starts immediately after.

As Fred said, it is your responsibility to know which is your flight group. Some contests use a card with all your rounds and your timer gives a verbal report to the scoring table, while others use a bundle of tear-off cards where your timer records your time and landing score for each round, detaches, and deposits it in a box on the scoring table (my preferred method). At the Polecat, you're also given a matrix showing all participants. This makes lining up timers much easier. Barring anything major, it keeps things moving nicely.

Dave R.
dreisinger is offline Find More Posts by dreisinger
Reply With Quote
Old Mar 24, 2014, 04:29 PM
Registered User
jtlsf5's Avatar
United States, CA, Folsom
Joined Jul 2007
2,434 Posts
There is one other consideration. Seeded vs. non-seeded MOM. With non-seeded all round assignments can be done ahead of time. The Nats does this and I believe Polecat (not sure). In this scenario you know at the beginning of the event which groups you fly in each round of the entire event.

With seeded MOM only the first round is randomized. Successive rounds depend on the cumulative total score of all previous rounds, so each round must be scored then the flight order/groups determined for the next round. In this case there is more work load for contest management and the pilots have to be informed at the start of each round where they fly, and more importantly to sort out timers.

JT
jtlsf5 is online now Find More Posts by jtlsf5
Reply With Quote
Old Mar 24, 2014, 06:41 PM
Flying = Falling (Slowly)
dharban's Avatar
Tulsa, OK
Joined May 2004
2,420 Posts
Quote:
Originally Posted by jtlsf5 View Post
There is one other consideration. Seeded vs. non-seeded MOM. With non-seeded all round assignments can be done ahead of time. The Nats does this and I believe Polecat (not sure). In this scenario you know at the beginning of the event which groups you fly in each round of the entire event.

With seeded MOM only the first round is randomized. Successive rounds depend on the cumulative total score of all previous rounds, so each round must be scored then the flight order/groups determined for the next round. In this case there is more work load for contest management and the pilots have to be informed at the start of each round where they fly, and more importantly to sort out timers.

JT
Just a couple of comments on seeded MOM.

First, if you like it, do it. But it is just another way of running a comp -- not a religion.

Secondly, most of us who competed at the Polecat and the NATS using Randy's routine loved it. Knowing your flight assignments before your first flight allows everybody to sort out timers and such -- very relaxing, time to fly, time to visit with friends, time to chill out. Nothing like the many TD events I have attended. Part of what made it work very well was being handed a "deck" of personalized score cards with your name and flight group FOR EACH ROUND. This simplifies the scorers task and eliminates having to remember to fetch up your wrinkled old scorecard between rounds.

The only system I have seen which is better than the "deck" of scorecards approach was used at the recent F3J in the Desert where there were NO SCORECARDS!. Pilots were furnished with complete round and group assignments before the event and scores were entered via smartphone -- directly to the scoring program. Talk about slick!.

Many of the advocates of Seeded MOM cite the thrill of seeing the best pilots being funneled into the same flight groups -- sort of WYSIWYG comp and it works. Of course most of the guys that really like this are the guys who get to fly in the last (best group). It is not so much fun for the losers who persistently do the walk of shame to fly in the first group. At any rate, the same outcome might be accomplished by using a permanent marker to put a "L" on the foreheads of the losers and a "W" on the foreheads of the winners (or maybe even a tattoo).

For those who relish the opportunity to have the best flyers compete against each other for "all the marbles", consider that ALES is especially suited to adding a flyoff round or two for the top 10 or so qualifiers with a task more suited to the best flyers -- a lower launch and longer task time, for example. These flyoff rounds can be easily done in 30 to 45 minutes after the last "qualifying round" while everyone else is putting their planes away. And it keeps the excitement of seeded flying where you can pretty well understand the results by watching the planes land.

Happy Landings,

Don
dharban is online now Find More Posts by dharban
Reply With Quote
Old Mar 24, 2014, 06:44 PM
turn, turn, turn.
Athol, Massachusetts
Joined Oct 2005
9,704 Posts
Hi Frank...
basically, the major differences are, there is no keg in ALES contests, like there are in F3K contests...and we don't tie romans candles to our wings at night, and launch hand held bottle rockets at them, like we do in hand launch.

other than that, they're pretty similar... still lots of fun people.
Kenny Sharp is offline Find More Posts by Kenny Sharp
Reply With Quote
Old Mar 24, 2014, 07:16 PM
Registered User
LI, New York, USA
Joined Mar 2003
23,455 Posts
happen to like the random format.
aeajr is offline Find More Posts by aeajr
Reply With Quote
Old Mar 24, 2014, 07:25 PM
Registered User
United States, PA, Carlisle
Joined Oct 2011
206 Posts
Quote:
Originally Posted by Kenny Sharp View Post
Hi Frank...
basically, the major differences are, there is no keg in ALES contests, like there are in F3K contests...and we don't tie romans candles to our wings at night, and launch hand held bottle rockets at them, like we do in hand launch.

other than that, they're pretty similar... still lots of fun people.
Although if you ever fly the Polecat and linger over the one house in the corner too long, you may experience airburst fireworks near your plane, right Kenny!!
dreisinger is offline Find More Posts by dreisinger
Reply With Quote
Old Mar 24, 2014, 07:26 PM
Red Merle ALES
Curtis Suter's Avatar
United States, Mt, Helena
Joined Apr 2002
4,927 Posts
Since beginners and experts alike are reading/posting here I would like to add that all you really need to run a contest are pilots, models, timer(watch) and an altitude limiter. You could score on an iPad or laptop and a printer is not required. Everything else makes the job easier or perhaps more complex if you have not used all the equipment in an outdoor environment. Such as the laptop dying, a printer driver not installed, wind, sun making the computer device difficult to see etc...

We have our first season contest this Saturday and I will take a sun shade, laptop and leave the printer at home. I will preprint some cards and quickly fill them in at the field as I expect less than 15 pilots.

Curtis
Curtis Suter is online now Find More Posts by Curtis Suter
RCG Plus Member
Reply With Quote
Old Mar 24, 2014, 07:32 PM
Chuck 'Em and Chase 'Em
Fly2High's Avatar
United States, NY, Plainview
Joined Aug 2005
7,810 Posts
As Oleg said, having CD-ed the last 8 years of hand launch, I have come to love and appreciate the F3KScore software. With the updates ESL did, it makes importing the list a no brainer into that software.

I wanted to know about the other items to make the contest smooth. Just because this is LISF's first major ALES contest doesn't mean we shouldn't give the people what they have come to expect if we can do it. Besides, if we offer experiences like the DESS or Polecat offer, they ight feel right at home with us too.

We always want people to have a fun and familiar time. This is all good to know. I will pass this along and see if we are going to incorporate any of this at our first.

As you said Curtis, we can always do that too. Fun and a good time are what LISF is well known for.

Thanks guys.

Frank
Fly2High is offline Find More Posts by Fly2High
Reply With Quote
Old Mar 24, 2014, 07:36 PM
turn, turn, turn.
Athol, Massachusetts
Joined Oct 2005
9,704 Posts
Quote:
Originally Posted by dreisinger View Post
Although if you ever fly the Polecat and linger over the one house in the corner too long, you may experience airburst fireworks near your plane, right Kenny!!
yes, that home owner brings a whole new meaning to, no fly zone!


there is a pretty serious no fly zone at Long Island as well... But no one's guarding it like at Polecat...but it's still a pretty serious no fly zone.
Kenny Sharp is offline Find More Posts by Kenny Sharp
Reply With Quote
Reply


Thread Tools

Similar Threads
Category Thread Thread Starter Forum Replies Last Post
Contest ALES event/contest - Saturday 11/2/13 stylusboy1 Intermountain Silent Flyers 2 Nov 05, 2013 11:32 PM
Ales contest tomorrow Saturday Oct 26. aussief3b Orlando Buzzards 0 Oct 25, 2013 10:29 AM
Discussion Electric Soaring -- ALES Contests at Davis Don McCullough South Bay Soaring Society 0 Oct 22, 2013 08:11 PM
Contest SVSS Monthly ALES Contest – October 26th in Davis, CA awilmunder Electric Competition Soaring-F5J/ALES/e-Soaring 1 Oct 22, 2013 04:08 PM
Contest ALES Contest - 10/5/13 stylusboy1 Intermountain Silent Flyers 0 Oct 02, 2013 12:30 AM