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Benton County R/C Aerodrome (Adair Village, Oregon, United States)

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Aug 31, 2015, 12:36 PM
Registered User

Air gates discussion

Starting a new thread here for the air gate discussion so we don't sidetrack the fpv racing thread.

As backstory, on Sunday a few of us met out at the field near Dennis' place and flew some fpv. Scottie was kind enough to bring and set up his DIY pool noodle air gates, which were a blast but a little hard to see (and sometimes, hard to fit through).

We started talking about either making or buying some bigger, better, badder air gates to leave at the field for whoever wanted to show up and use them.

Scottie posted some links:
Originally Posted by scottieusa
Here are some links to FPV gates:

These are by far the best ones I've seen so far:

New from Ready Made RC:

These look really nice too:

Just some ideas to get the wheels turning. Would be cool to have some "real" gates to set up a sweet course.
Those sound pretty expensive to me, so we also discussed the possibility of creating our own cloth air gates in the same style. I'm starting this thread so we can post our ideas, find links to other gates, and discuss sharing costs if we decide to buy or make a couple for the group to use.
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Aug 31, 2015, 12:58 PM
Registered User
I've been looking at materials to make similar gates. The ones Scottie liked best (they look good to me, too) are 70" wide by 55" tall, and look like basically a tent pole through a complicated piece of rip stop nylon fabric.

A little trigonometry suggests a half circle of diameter 70" means their tent pole is roughly 10' long. (pi*35" =~ 9.2') Call it 10'. I found tent poles roughly that long on (China) for ~$5 shipped.

For fabric, it looks like they used some kind of super tough rip stop nylon. I'm not a fabric guy so I don't know what that means, but I can see that normal rip stop nylon runs about $2 / square meter, and we would need about 1 square meter per gate. That's assuming a pretty rectangular piece of fabric 10 feet long by 1 foot wide. I bet the black rock gates use a bit more fabric than that.

To connect it to the ground we could either use stakes, hollow pvc footers, or whatever. Both are cheap, but stakes would take more sewing skill. Either way, that puts our materials at around $10 per gate, but a lead time of about a month. The season will probably be over before we could make them.
Aug 31, 2015, 01:09 PM
Registered User
Another, more expensive but faster option would be buying materials locally.

I think we could use a 1/2" piece of pvc or electrical conduit instead of a tent pole, and some rip stop nylon purchased from somewhere like Joan's fabric here in town. We could have these materials in hand the same day.

Assuming the same size gates, that would cost $2 for a piece of pvc, and ~$8 for the fabric. A piece of rebar or a pvc footer like Scottie designed would hold them vertical. We may find the gates need a piece of elastic to snug the inside of the gate into a nicely circular shape, or maybe not.

That puts our material costs at about $10-20 per gate. I don't think pvc would make as GOOD of a gate, but I think it would be good enough for now.

If we use a simple sleeve design and don't try to get fancy, I imagine we could sew all the gates in a night. For around $100 we could have 5-6 of these ready to go by this weekend.

The final design should look like a DIY version of the Black Rock gates. I'm picturing a 2d design, so without the diagonal cloth corners they use, because I don't know how to sew that well, and it would double the material used.

I suggest we all chip in $20 each and make this happen. I'm happy to put some time into designing and manufacturing these things. We could leave the finished gates at either Dennis' house or the Adair field, wherever we end up using them more often.

What do you guys think?
Aug 31, 2015, 01:53 PM
Knife Edge Software
I really like the RMRC design, and the price isn't bad either. It also looks like they are freestanding in calm weather, which would be a plus for quick-up, quick-down morning sessions. I'm thinking of picking some up.

I'd also be happy to contribute $ to a DIY approach, but I'm not sure I'll have much time to give to such a project.
Sep 01, 2015, 10:01 PM
Registered User
i think im just gonna buy enough pvc piping to make 6 10 foot pieces then i will put some bright fabric or something and put stakes on the ends and then stick each end in the ground to make a half circle
Sep 08, 2015, 11:56 AM
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scottieusa's Avatar
Sorry I haven't looked at this site in a while, super busy at work. I would be more than happy to contribute $ to the gate project. I never thought I'd say this but I have more money than time these days. Once again I'm pretty busy this weekend but I may have some time to fly in the evening this Friday or next Monday or Tuesday.
Sep 08, 2015, 12:13 PM

air gate purchase

I would like purchase some air gates, how many of us are interested in the RMRC gates, If we do a group purchase and order 5 of the gates the cost is $ 35.00 each including shipping.
Let me know and I will get some coming.
Sep 08, 2015, 12:20 PM
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scottieusa's Avatar
Originally Posted by loopit
I would like purchase some air gates, how many of us are interested in the RMRC gates, If we do a group purchase and order 5 of the gates the cost is $ 35.00 each including shipping.
Let me know and I will get some coming.
I'd be happy to put in $35 for a gate.
Sep 08, 2015, 02:19 PM
Knife Edge Software
I bought a pair of the RMRC gates last week that should be here sometime today. Once they arrive, I'll set one up and send out some pics and my impressions.

Assuming that they aren't awful (I doubt they will be), I'd throw in for another couple at least.
Sep 08, 2015, 05:43 PM
Knife Edge Software
Got my RMRC gates. The fabric quality and stitching looks just fine. It's pretty thin nylon, but I don't think that's an issue.

I'll get some pictures when I get a few minutes to set one up.
Sep 08, 2015, 06:17 PM
Knife Edge Software
Well, for $35, the RMRC gates are a good deal. They aren't perfect, though. First off, the pole pocket goes all the way across, and with the steep curvature, the poles are a bit frustrating to get in and out. Hooks would have been better.

Also, there was a fair bit of loose thread hanging off when I dismantled everything. Some of the stitching may be coming loose. I'll hunt it down and hot-glue as necessary.

Sep 08, 2015, 06:56 PM
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scottieusa's Avatar
Looks they will be easy to see FPV, can't wait to try them out. Thanks for the review and pics.
Sep 08, 2015, 07:07 PM
Registered User
I remembered them being close to square, but I'm pleasantly surprised at the shape. The dimensions on the website are a little confusing but it looks like it's saying they are 56" wide by 66" tall. So roughly 4.6 feet by 5.5 feet. It's hard to picture how big that is compared to the pool noodle setup Scottie provided, but I think that's about the same size as his smaller gates.

a) Do you think they are big enough to zip through?

b) Are the poles reasonably sturdy? The site says they might be about 80" long? I imagine we'll eventually tear them, so being able to reuse the tent poles with a DIY piece of cloth would be a plus.

edit: btw, Dennis and I will be flying some laps at his place in south Corvallis, if you feel like bringing them out for some tests. We'll be there from 5:30-6:30pm tonight.
Sep 08, 2015, 07:56 PM
Knife Edge Software
The "width" in the specs is actually the side width of the "tent". The opening is about 5.5 ft high by around 8 feet wide at the base. It hits me a bit below eye level, and I'm 6'0" tall.

The poles are a lot longer than 80". At a guess, I'd say 12-14 feet.
Sep 08, 2015, 07:57 PM
Knife Edge Software
Originally Posted by LeviW

edit: btw, Dennis and I will be flying some laps at his place in south Corvallis, if you feel like bringing them out for some tests. We'll be there from 5:30-6:30pm tonight.
I don't think I'll be able to make it this evening, unfortunately - I've got solo parent duty this week.

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