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Feb 08, 2009, 02:17 PM
Fly Smooooooooth
seerspaz's Avatar
Thread OP

Utah - POM 2009 flying and weather thread

Hey guys, starting this one now, albeit a bit late.

I know that a few of us have been talking about doing some Man On Man racing to go with the F3F stuff we have started at the Point and there are quite a few of us with LEG OneD's and other 60" foamies. So how about we get a turn light set up going? I don't really have or want to layout the cash like I did for the F3F timer I had built. I have the desire and a few ideas of how to make it work but would like to see what everyone thinks and what input there is. There is a 4 light traffic signal on Ebay right now that would make a good platform to start from. We would have to get some 12v lights/mounts or sockets and some wire and switches from Radio Shack to finish it. I have a heavy duty surveying tripod that I will donate to the cause to mount it on. I figure we could do it for around $200 total. If there are 10 of us willing to chip in then it would only be $20 each. the other option is to start from scratch and use some type of coroplast box and some flashlight type reflectors. I would wonder about the stability and getting the best range out of the lights with a scratch setup. I heard that seeing the lights at a good distance was an issue with the lights the guys use in So. Cal for the MOM races.

So what do you guys think?

By the way, I wish it would get windy, I am dying to fly again. I hate the winter inversion and I don't even live in it.

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Feb 08, 2009, 03:18 PM
I land when i CFIT!
flytrip's Avatar
Sounds like good times, I'm in.

Feb 08, 2009, 03:50 PM
hot air rises...
jfinch's Avatar
How do the races "work"? Does each plane have there own light (color)?
Feb 08, 2009, 04:01 PM
Pledged to Always Chase Wind
deputybuzz's Avatar
I'm in.

That street light is cool but impractical for setup and transport. I have access to all Commercial lines of LED truck lighting. Some 4" round LED tail lights in a few colors should be plenty visible from far. They would be very compact and light weight making set up and transport simple. Those LED lights take almost 1/10 the Energy versus regular bulbs.

I found a great place to buy spools of cable. I think it was called NPS or somthing like that. It is around 1700 s near readwood road. It is basically a junk warehouse which is completely unorganized. I found some really nice spools of wire of high quality copper wire we could use for the project.

I am interested in understanding how the lights work with others who have done this????Do the lights go at the far turn? Is there a color assigned to each plane? I assume you would still want to run an audible also?

The ideal system would be like the RC car tracks and each racer has a small transponder which is detected when you cross the line. In our case someone is clicking a button each time a plane crosses line.
Feb 08, 2009, 05:30 PM
Fly Smooooooooth
seerspaz's Avatar
Thread OP
The only concern with 4" lights is how bright they will be. I am totally for LED's if we can get something that will work. I don't envision this being hauled to the top of the north side so size should not be that limiting. The signal on sale is around 15-20 pounds. Hopefully Tauno and Marty and Ron will chime in with their thoughts on the lights from the Grass Mountain races. My idea with the signal is that the reflectors are already there and optimized to get the light out in the direction needed. I could care less what bulbs we go with, but something easily acquired and relatively inexpensive seems the smart way to go.

The lights go at the far turn( Base B), the pilots are at Base A. Each pilot gets their own colored light. The cabling would be short (<20'), just 4 cables out to 4 buttons for each turn judge, or something similar. Plane passes the turn and the corresponding judge pushed their button to let their pilot know they are past Base B. The pilots see when they are past their own turn/start point. Course is generally 2x or more longer than F3F so bigger lights are better.

The problem with transponder systems are that the vehicle/transponder still needs to pass closely to the pickup wire, ie; feet, not yards or more.
Last edited by seerspaz; Feb 09, 2009 at 01:07 AM. Reason: spelling
Feb 08, 2009, 05:33 PM
Fly Smooooooooth
seerspaz's Avatar
Thread OP
Also, for those interested in F3F I have recently put up a 'wanted' ad in the forsale section and their are some good inexpensive (relative) planes that people have posted up there. Get a plane and come race at the Point!!!!
Feb 08, 2009, 05:47 PM
Full disclosure, not sponsored
I have never seen the setup used for racing, heck I have never even seen a race. But I do know the little bit of flying I have done with the 1D would be made even better if there were 4 of us going around.

If you really want a traffic signal and that is the best option, let me know, I have alot of good connections with UDOT and the major road builders so I bet I could find a damaged unit that does not meet DOT spec for a song.

If its just a light that needs to be seen I would imagine the LED tail light setups used on heavy trucks mentioned earlier would be even smaller and very easy to see at a very long distance.

I does seem like a transponder on the plane would be super sweet, I would think there is something out there that would go off at a certain distance but would not keep with the KISS principle that always seems to work better on these type of things.

Whatever it is I say yea. I went past the point on Saturday and one look at the windmills @ Camp Williams spinning like a banshee and it got me excited about sloping again. Well that and a temperature above 40 degrees.
Feb 08, 2009, 05:54 PM
gas tires and oil
prplgoat's Avatar
sounds good chris. i am in.
the LED's are a great plan i think. the lights the Scal guys use are incandescent with reflectors that they aim at the pilot station. the LED's are definitely worth trying. i think the ones spencer can get us will work for the point. i'm thinking it will be about 150 yrds?
each light is on a separate momentary switch and each is operated by a person at the far end. so if you have three planes in the air you need three people to run the lights and three or four colors. each switch would need 15 to 20 ft of wire to keep back from the edge and stuff. a coroplast or even a wooden box mounted to a tripod is a pretty good idea i think.

Feb 08, 2009, 07:54 PM
Full disclosure, not sponsored
I dont know what the amp draw on the big LED's are, but it would be nice if they could be run off something as small, light, and easily transportable as one or two of these.

A 3S ought to do just fine as they are just about the same voltage as automotive voltage.

If you could make the whole thing nice & tidy that would be a nice touch.
Feb 08, 2009, 09:47 PM
Pledged to Always Chase Wind
deputybuzz's Avatar
We may want to do a little test to see some results. I will round up a few random lights tomorrow and we can do some tests at the point. I am not sure how many colors will be offered. I know in the 4x6" style they make Green, red, yellow and clear. They could be lined up vertically on the actual base B Flag point??

I would be curious to know what kind of power supply we need for a street light? They are well designed for visibiliy is sun light at long distance. Even if you can't see the color you can see what position on the light it is. On the other hand the LED tail lights are also designed to be visible at similar distances. The difference may be that you cannot see the position or the color as well as something the size of the street light.

Of course we can always use multiple Groups of smaller LED lights to actually be a number or a symbol for each racer. (What if your color blind? This could get expensive because the value is in the larger lights.

Those tail lights are very durable and will never burn out. It is possible to use a 3s lipo pack but since weight is of no concern we may get the best bang for the buck with a sealed 12v battery(I question if a 2200 would keep the lights running all day)? I will donate any lights if possible. If what we carry in inventory is not bright enough or I do not have enough colors then I may need to do a custom order and some dollars could be needed.

As for the buttons and number of judges....If the judge is given a keyboard configuration of the buttons they could do the judging all alone. This would be helpful when we are short handed on people. I am imagining something like the keys on the guitar hero guitar. Of course we would still want to have a way to unplug it or pull it apart for multiple judges. Just thinking out loud here.
Feb 09, 2009, 12:31 AM
Great, kid! Don't get Cocky!
HahnSolo's Avatar
Sounds cool - I'll help out where I can. I've had a fair amount of experience with circuit design and assembly over the years.

Feb 09, 2009, 12:52 AM
Full disclosure, not sponsored
If the judge controller is like guitar hero I am out. If you were the blue or orange plane there is no way I could ever hit the button to let you know you can turn.

You would end up flying out to camp williams by the time I got your button pushed.
Feb 09, 2009, 01:04 AM
Fly Smooooooooth
seerspaz's Avatar
Thread OP
I guess I wasn't so clear originally with my intentions with the existing traffic light. I was thinking that the form would be perfect as all four lights are shrouded already, stacked in a solid housing and that the reflectors were already there. As for bulbs, LED would be great but Halogen 12V bulbs are cheap and readily available and don't pull that many amps either. I bought two at Home Depot today to test but ran out of time. I was going to see how many amps they really pull compared to stated wattage. For power I envisioned a mid sized 12v lawn tractor or bigger battery to help weigh down the tripod in the wind (this was suggested from the So. Cal guys). Maybe the traffic signal is way overkill, just figured that it would be a good place to start from. I hadn't thought about the color blind issue, but it would be simple enough to make a filter from transparent covering to make white lights any color we need. I did see on the site you linked to above that they have 7" LED lights but I could only find them in red or yellow. I couldn't tell if they were the actual LED color or just a lens. The idea of multiple smaller lights in different shapes/symbols makes sense too. I don't think the lights need to be on the actual sight line for Base B, and maybe better if they aren't.

I like the idea of being able to us just one judge at Base B but having been the only guy at Base B once before it can be a bit much in a close race. Certainly easier than when we used a radio though! Being able to use just two for a 4 person heat would be good though.

Grass Mountain photos of Base B setup


and yet another

PDF of Man on Man article
Feb 09, 2009, 01:15 AM
I land when i CFIT!
flytrip's Avatar
As far as weighing down the set-up in the wind. To hold down our EZ Up Canopy, we take an old shifter kart tire, fill it with cement, and stick an eye-bolt into the center of the cement as it cures to hook the tie down to. It's cheap, weighs about forty pounds, and is small enough not to be in the way when not in use.
Feb 09, 2009, 01:19 AM
Full disclosure, not sponsored
Ok do you have it ready yet, and can we race Tuesday?????

I hope this turns out well and it sounds like there is some interest. I would wager that a if this is run well we could attract alot more of the UFO guys and others, which would just be that much more fun. The biggest worry I have is the ratio of stick time to watching time. I tried the GWS races out at the sod farm and after sitting for over an hour before ever flying was enough for me to give it up.

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