How to make the most of your first SEFF - RC Groups
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Mar 04, 2011, 09:28 AM
Blue Foam Master!!!
KFC's Avatar

How to make the most of your first SEFF

So last year was my first SEFF and I learned a lot about how the event works on my first trip. I thought I would pass along a few nuggets of wisdom to help first-timers get the most out of the event and encourage other SEFF veterans to do the same.

Here we go:

This is the fastest way to get kicked out of the whole event. Last year some guy drove 8 hours to get to SEFF and then got himself kicked out in less than 10 minutes when he emptied his ashtray on the field. Cardinal rule here guys.

* Bring something to fly
I understand that big events can be intimidating if you've never flown at one, but coming to SEFF to watch is like going to a 4-star steakhouse to watch other people eat. You don't have to bring anything fancy or expensive, but it is a shame not to fly off one of the best-maintained fields in the world. Mac's field is basically the world's biggest putting green. A half-mile long of perfectly smooth, short grass. The separate areas for sport planes, parkflyers, 3D, and helis means you won't have to worry too much about getting run over. SEFF is also a great way to get into new kinds of flying that you may not have tried before.

* Bring an EZ-UP
Or any other variety of 10x10 canopy. There are spaces marked out for the canopies near the flightline. A canopy will provide some shade and a place to relax and watch the action in comfort. It will also give you a 'home base' to keep your gear at. Make sure you bring some stakes. YOU WILL NEED TO STAKE DOWN YOUR CANOPY. Watching it blow down the field like a lonely tumbleweed is not fun.

* If you decide to camp at the field
Bring some extra blankets. It can get a little chilly at night and being cold is not fun. If you are camping in a tent, a foam crate mattress will help insulate you from the ground.

* Get to know your neighbors
The people at SEFF are some of the best in this hobby. If you have been on RCG for any length of time, you will probably meet a whole bunch of online friends in person at this event. When you get your pilot badge, feel free to put your RCG handle on it. This is a great way of introducing yourself.

* Stop by the HodgeHound and RiteWing compounds
The hound area is alongside the hobby shop. You can't miss it. The RiteWing guys usually set up on the west end of the field near the sport plane pilot stations. At night they will usually have a fire going at both camps. These guys are SEFF institutions and they know pretty much everyone there.

* Stay up late
Night flying at SEFF is something everyone should get to see at least once. This event probably generates more calls to the UFO hotline in a week than they get for the rest of the year. And it's easy to do. A couple of bucks in glow sticks or LEDs and a slow stick or cheap foamie can make for a lot of after hours fun.

* Bring a buddy
Big events can be a little intimidating, especially if you are not used to it. When I attended SEFF for the first time, I joined some guys from my local club and it made things a lot easier.

* Bring a camera
SEFF is something that you will want to have some pictures of. This is what great memories are made of.

* Don't be afraid to ask
If you have questions, feel free to ask. The guys at this event are friendly and if they can't answer your question right away, they will be able to find someone who will.

* Make friends with Servo
Servo, for those of you who don't know, is Mac's yellow Lab. He is a harmless marshmallow of a dog and will happily follow anyone for a chance to get a scratch behind the ears. He is a fixture at this event and a real sweet dog. To the best of my knowledge, he has never even growled at anyone, so you don't have to worry about him.

* Keep an eye on your kids
If you want to bring your kids along then by all means do so. The kids always have a good time at SEFF. Please keep an eye on them, though, and remind them to be careful where they step.

* Participate in one of the events
There are a number of events at SEFF that anyone can join in on and no matter what you choose, you will have a great time doing it. Combat, LMR, extreme speed, night flying, etc. are all hugely popular and a great way to meet new friends and get a lot out of the event.

* Do some shopping
Vendors come from all over the world to SEFF and this is a fantastic opportunity to check out what's new in the world of electric flight. Some vendors may be able to take credit cards or checks, but cash is always accepted. You can also frequently find some good deals on the flightline from other pilots. Even if you go home without buying anything, window shopping is still a good time.

I hope that the other SEFF vets will chime in on this thread and if anyone who is thinking about coming down to SEFF for the first time has any questions, please post them.
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Mar 04, 2011, 10:33 AM
Registered User
Jeff Meyers's Avatar
Bring something that will excel in windy conditions. We are there for a week....the weather this time of year sucks or is beautiful. When it is not will be windy.

Pay attention during the pilot meeting...the info is given so that everyone will enjoy their flying time at SEFF.

Be patient with the staff...they are all volunteers and don't always have the perfect answer to everyone's questions.
Mar 04, 2011, 10:35 AM
Registered User
Jeff Meyers's Avatar
don't forget your Tx
don't forget to bring a towel if you are camping at the field and will be using the camp showers
Mar 04, 2011, 10:58 AM
Registered User
Andy W's Avatar
Running down the flightline naked or using your friend's EDF as a blow-dryer work just fine, Jeff..
Mar 04, 2011, 10:58 AM
14s 180mah should be enough...
IFLYOS's Avatar
If this is your first big event, pack for warm and cold weather. Bring a raincoat or poncho. Comfortable shoes are a must...if you wear shoes! Bringing a trailer or camper? Pack a broom! Bermuda grass tracks in while the dew is on the ground.

Pack some Anti-Monkey butt powder or something will do allot of walking.

Toss in a spare servo or two, a spare receiver, covering iron, covering, tape, foam, balsa & never know what you might need. Don't forget the CA & epoxy, either!

Pack more socks than you think you will need. It's no fun wearing wet socks all day if it rains...

A flashlight is a must if you are flying/hanging out after dark.

I make two lists for big for planes/gear, and the other for camping equipment & clothes. I keep them in a small notebook I carry with me for a month or so prior to the event, so I can jot things down as I think of them. Then I check them off as I pack them...keeps me from forgetting something important!
Latest blog entry: Intro..a few years to late!
Mar 04, 2011, 10:59 AM
Registered User
Andy W's Avatar
Oh, there is a well-stocked WalMart in town!
Mar 04, 2011, 02:58 PM
There is Victory in the Lord!
knifeedge63's Avatar
Also we have the car packed a day in advance! so i have time to think of anything else to bring, or notice something a have forgotten. Bring a hat and sunglasses for flying, it will keep you from crashing your plane!! bring spending money, because there will always be the temptation there for buying new toys! Oh and don't forget to bring your tent if your camping.. Me and my dad did that two years ago and when we where setting up we realized that we left the tent laying up agains the garage wall! whoops bring lots of spare stuff and tools for rc stuff hmmmm, i believe we have covered it boys Cant wait till SEFF
Mar 04, 2011, 03:07 PM
End of an Era.....
Tha Hodgehound's Avatar
Bring bug spray! The mosquitos are already out down here!

AND your appetite!
Mar 04, 2011, 03:44 PM
The SEFF telescope guy.
Dave Burrow's Avatar
Bring your AMA card.

If you need any hobby related supplies, there is one of the world's best hobby shops right at the center of all the action. This is in addition to all the vendors who fill up the large building just across the driveway for SEFF only.
Mar 05, 2011, 11:51 AM
magic bill
wjkrysak's Avatar
good thread hellrazor...
Yes, to all of the above. Also bring anticipation of a great time, fellowship and appreciation of a well organized event.
Thanks to Jeff and crew for their hard work in sharing the finest electric RC event...and reminding me to bring my towel for the showers. Enjoy your flying. cheaha bill
Mar 05, 2011, 11:53 AM
14s 180mah should be enough...
IFLYOS's Avatar
Oh more thing...bring a desire to see some magic...there is this guy who will be there who...lets just say he is pretty talented!
Latest blog entry: Intro..a few years to late!
Mar 05, 2011, 12:01 PM
magic bill
wjkrysak's Avatar
Hey Tim,
Looking forward to the NC crew arriving. I have been in touch with Tony and Nathan and looks like NC will be well represented. I may have something up my sleeve
Be particular on the drive down. C'yall in a few weeks. Enjoy your flying. cheaha bill
Mar 05, 2011, 03:54 PM
Not your average DiggsyBear
Diggs's Avatar
If you need info about the local amenities, is a great source for motel info and what else is going on in Americus.

I would suggest to get there as early as you can. The event goes by so fast and you will leave wishing you had just a few more days to stay.

Along with that sunscreen, bring a big hat! My 2nd year at SEFF I learned the hair on top of my head isn't as thick as it once was after I got some nice sunburn up there.

Also, along with the 10x10 canopy, get a nice comfy chair. Chilling out and just watching what is going on is great fun.

Don't freak out if you don't get a front row spot. The Ritewing/ATTF camp is back on the second row for a reason. It is chilled out and we can still see most anything we want. And I am sure someone on the front row will gladly let you set a chair under their canopy for the noon time demos.

NOON TIME DEMOS! Make sure you get a good seat for these and prepare for some of the coolest models and most talented pilots around showing off their stuff.

Vendor Donation/Raffle - Help support the event and take a chance at winning. I had my lucky year last year, so maybe this year it is your turn. I still bought a huge stack of tickets. I find this one of the best way to support the event and get a chance to get a little back. But if you get nothing in the raffle, you really did and may not even realize it.

Buy a cheap glider and join the LMR (Limited motor run) Glider Competition. The first couple of years I watched for a few minutes and thought why would you want to do this? The last 2 years I have entered and found it to be one of my favorite parts of SEFF. It aint as easy as it looks but regardless it is awesome fun. For $150.00 you can pick up a Radian, just drop in an RX and Lipo and you are ready to go. IMO the cheapest fun money can buy.

My second most enjoyable event is the Combat. Build a little foamy or find GWS Props and pick up one of their combat specials. Again, great fun without breaking laws. If you break it, glue and tape do wonders on foam. Spend a few minutes repairing it and go do it again the next day!

Ask about unique food! Try to follow the BBQ Ninja and learn how to eat multiple meals a night. And if you get invited to eat somewhere, look for the tip jar. The South is famous for it's hospitality, but a lot of effort and some $$$ gets spent on all that great chow. Toss in a few bucks to help and to make sure it happens again next year! And nothing wrong with making it obvious you left a nice big tip, it might even help you get invited again.

I could probably go on for a while longer, but I will say be cautious of SEFF. I went down for my first visit 5 years ago thinking it would be kinda cool. I now plan a 2 week vacation around the event EVERY year. The people are fantastic, they love to fly electric just like you and it is the epitome of southern hospitality. You will leave having made several new friend if you just shake a few hands and return the respect and hospitable nature found there. We initially go to a flying event, and end up realizing it's about the people.

Come say howdy down at the Ritewing/ATTF camp!
Mar 05, 2011, 04:53 PM
ARF Annihilator without equal
Originally Posted by IFLYOS
Oh more thing...bring a desire to see some magic...there is this guy who will be there who...lets just say he is pretty talented!
Wasn't he the creepy guy on America's Most Wanted??? Just kidding.

Made my 1st to SEFF last year and despite some of my flying partners saying they had a ho-hum experience, I had a great time. The wife is the one who said we'd be going back this year....can you believe it? A wife that wants me to attend a flying event and use up our precious vacation time....what a gal. Anyhow if you are fairly close, think seriously about bringing kids and grandkids, it is something they will talk about till you go back again.

Most of all make sure you go and talk to the folks there. They are there for the exact same reason you are. I met Diggs for the 1st time and he came out and helped me find our club compound and offered to help me unload my gear.....mind you I didn't say he ACTUALLY helped me, but he offered...LOL

Look for the Hodgehouds, you've never met a group like them before. Also there are a few other "personalities" for lack of a better word, that once you've hung out with them you'll wonder why you've never been to SEFF before.

Mar 05, 2011, 06:04 PM
Chillin till SEFF
bildo baggins's Avatar
Be prepared for the best RC experience of your life and all the above/more. SEFF is by far the most fun I have ever had at any event that I wasn't completely blootered out of my mind. And who really knows what happened during that time period. Servo is the Top Dawg and will greet each and every one and establish that as soon as they arrive. He appreciates a tid bit here and there but no known dog chokin' bones.

Butts on the ground are a ticket to a quick/exciting ride as are any grass killin'/burning substances. Fireworks are also a no since some folks got a little outa hand at some point but I missed that one.

If your region is famous for something that can be consumed, bring it to the party. Food is a way to make long term best buddies in a big hurry!

If a jar comes your way, feel free to man up (after signing release of liability form) but beware of the late night golf cart snipe hunts. They're locals but they are not beyond losing their way in the dark outer reaches of the property.

Beware of the Ninja and safeguard your provisions as much as possible. That is all I have to say about that.

If you stand too close to heavy lifting and don't look busy don't be surprised if you get drafted.

If you happen upon a hyper long haired little feller speaking in nautical terms, don't be afraid. That's just Scooper and he's harmless and entertaining to say the least.

Hotels are just a short drive away and there's some great restaurants in Americus if for some reason you can't find something spectacular at SEFF. If you've never had a scramble dog, do it. Might wanna make sure you have ready access to facilities after the fact tho.

Video/still cams are a must. No tellin' what you may see at SEFF.

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