Monthly Archives: January 2022

17 posts

Chairman’s Corner for Jan – Feb 2022

Chairman’s Corner:

Happy New Year to all Silent Electric Flyers of San Diego!  I hope everyone had a great and healthy Christmas.   Well, here we are in 2022 and we still have COVID lingering around.   With the number of new cases every day, the SEFSD board elected to postpone our Banquet till February 19, 2022 (CORRECTION, THE BANQUET IS ON THE 18TH AT 6PM).  We are hoping that the conditions greatly improve by then.  If COVID still persists we will have to postpone another month.  I sincerely apologize for having to do this, but I want to look out for the safety of our members and I want all members who are attending to feel safe.   We still have plenty of room for indoor sitting, so I urge you to get your tickets.   This will be a fun event and I hope to see many of you at the banquet.  In the meantime, we will keep you updated on any changes that may occur.  I would like to say how great it is to see both Brad and Carl are doing on their respected surgery’s.  Both are getting better each day!  Congrats guys!    Hey, where’s Alan????

Membership renewal is going very well, and I cannot thank you all enough for your continued support of our club. As of January 15, 2022, the grace period for renewing your membership has expired.  The gate and porta-potty combinations have changed and the only way to get the code is to renew your membership today.  I would like to take a few minutes to let our members know that when out at the field we are to always display our badges.  The city requires that all pilots be members and the city manager may come in unannounced periodically and checks for badges on pilots.   I have seen a few pilots who have not worn the badges and I also know a lot of members may not ask if the pilot is a SEFSD member.  As I have said in my last newsletter, we are required to wear our badges while we are at the field and wanting to fly.  Anyone may come to the field and be with us for the day, but if you have no AMA or Club Membership you will not be able to fly at all.   If you are hosting a first-time guest that is AMA insured then he or she may fly at the field, but they are required to join the club if they wish to continue flying in the future. I also ask that if a member sees a pilot without a badge, you have the right to ask them if they have a badge or please bring this up to any BOD member and we will correct the situation.

Every three years you will have to renew your aircraft registration at FAADroneZone you fly recreationally or professionally. The FAA will send you an email requesting that you renew your registration before it expires.  Be aware that the FAA requires that you add all your planes or drones, known as “Devises,” to the FAA, as you are registering for the first time or renewing.  You may call your Devises any name you choose. Cost remains the same at $5.00

The FAA also has an expectation that you will take, and pass, The Recreational UAS Safety Test (TRUST) as part of flying at our Mission Bay site since it is an AMA sanctioned recreational facility.  While the terms “unmanned aerial system” or “drone” seem awkward, those are the terms used by the FAA to describe your remotely piloted aircraft regardless of type.  Web locations for FAA Approved Test Administrators of TRUST can be found here,

These FAA requirements were signed into law in 2018 in order for the national airspace to remain a safe place for all users.  Fortunately, the test is short, easy and follows common principles we routinely use.

On other news, we need a Treasurer for the club.  Our incoming Treasurer had a little more than was feasible and more commitments than expected.  As Quan stated in a flier that went out to all members Quan is looking for someone who: Treasurer responsibilities are as follows,

  • Attending monthly board meetings and includes 1 – 2 hours of prep time to prepare statements for the monthly board meeting.
  • Writing 1 – 2 checks per month and includes 1 – 2 PayPal reimbursements for member’s club related expenses to maintain our great field
  • Maintain club accounts with QuickBooks, 1 – 2 hours is required
  • Accepting and depositing membership checks, raffles, and banquet money.

We ask that if this something you can do, please don’t hesitate to step up and join the BOD for the continuing efforts for the Silent Electric Flyers of San Diego.  Please contact any Board Member or Quan directly!

In the next few months, I will be building a Top Flite, Gold Edition DC-3 kit.  The nice thing about the Gold Edition DC-3 is that although it is a highly detailed scale model with all the goodies such as a realistic looking scale outline, built up tail surfaces, retracts and flaps.  The offset pinned hinge features the offset hinge line characteristic of the DC-3.   It is a model of a transport plane that is a stable model that I look forward to flying often!  Converting this kit into an electric airplane will have some challenges, but a challenge that will be fun!   I will also be sharing with the club the construction of this model with photos each month.   Well, this was enough for me to get my juices flowing, so time to get my other projects off the workbench, say goodbye to my significant other for a while that is and get ready to start building.  Expected date of completion could be a year but maybe by the end of the year it will make its maiden flight!  More to follow in the upcoming newsletters.

In the meantime, I look forward to seeing you all at the field and don’t forget your batteries, radio, charger, and most important, your airplanes and let’s go Fly!


Jovi Murek

President’s Corner for Jan – Feb 2022

By Steve Manganelli

I’m Back! I have been your president for several terms in the past, including the first term back in 1993 when we formed the Club. Although our bylaws nominally prevent more than a few consecutive terms, I haven’t been there in a while, therefore, I’m good and am privileged to serve again!  I’d also like to congratulate new Member at Large, Mr. Larry Kosta whom has joined the BOD this year and thank our returning veterans Jovi Murek, Quan Nguyen, Steve Neu, Steve Belknap, Carl Cox, Jeff Struthers, Ken Dresser. You guys continue to do a great job and we can’t run the club without you. These folks have their titles engraved on their badges; when you see them at the field, seek them out and thank them for their service! Were also indebted to Eric Shapiro for his service ending in 2021.

The first thing I’ve noticed during the transition is the valuable and low key leadership of our former Chairman of the Board, Mr. Brad Bender. With poor Brad in the hospital recovering from major surgery, I read over December 2021’s “Bradless” newsletter and realized just how many important things that were left out without Brad’s usual input. Brad, thanks so much for your steady and real leadership. The BOD and myself will try to carry on without you and allow you to devote your time to your recovery and your non-administrative R/C modeling endeavors. By the way, in case anyone whom hasn’t been to Brad’s house and thinks they are a competitor for “he who has the most R/C (or other) toys wins”, let me assure you, there is no contest, you may go ahead and give up now: you can’t win over Brad!

The 2nd thing I need to mention is Leadership. Although our bylaws have a magnanimous definition of term limits and what have you, the reality of running SEFSD is it takes some work and some of this work needs to be spread around to more members.  To preserve the operation of SEFSD, we need a new Treasurer as soon as possible and longer term, a new Membership Chairman. Quan Nguyen has done a fabulous job of keeping us in the black while George Sullivan has been selflessly printing and handing out badges for several years. The current office holders have honed these jobs to the minimum efforts required and will train you. Which one of you doesn’t mind paying bills with someone else’s money and printing/mailing badges? Remember folks, they/we are all selfless volunteers; once your AMA and Club dues are paid, the signal is sent to print your new badge and get it to you in a reasonably timely manner. Please, give it a least a week or two before you think your renewal fell through the cracks.  We have 197 members as of last Sunday: thank you all for renewing promptly and continuing to recognize SEFSD as the best value in San Diego area R/C modeling. One more thing: in order to renew or obtain SEFSD membership for 2022, your AMA insurance has to be paid through the end of 2022. The AMA prorates dues, but we don’t: it is simply too much trouble to have to inspect people’s badges to see when they expire. If you bought a new twelve month AMA membership let’s say in October of 2021, it will expire in November of 2022. When you go on the SEFSD Website to purchase your 2022 membership, it won’t take because you aren’t a paid up AMA member through the end of 2022, make sense? You need to get with AMA to ensure your AMA membership lines up with SEFSD membership.

I’d like to call your attention to Minutes of our first BOD meeting for the year which should be elsewhere in the issue. I ginned up what I consider a “standard” format and intend to use it for year, hopefully our Secretary can champion it as well. The purpose of it is not only to focus the BOD meetings, but to provide a concise description of the topics that are on the BODs’ agenda and what decisions we made about them. One key decision we made is to postpone the banquet anticipating a safer Covid situation and more ticket sales. Further down, you see just what a valuable member benefit this is. We essentially had 2 years worth of banquet funds to allocate and for more or less historical reasons, chose a pretty fancy venue. I can assure you that 2023’s banquet will be 1) a more austere venue, 2) lower value prizes and 3) cost more per member out of pocket and likely more yet for spouses/guests.  Therefore if you need any more impetus to get in on the 2022 Banquet, this is it! Hopefully I’ll see you there; I know a good deal when I see it and bought my tickets as soon as they were available.

Meeting and Contest for January 2022

– Jim Bonnardel will return this year as our SEFSD Contest Director. –

Welcome SEFSD club members to
the 2022 Club Event Season!
I’d like to first say that in our efforts to continue with the club monthly events, we will remain socially responsible at all times in regards to COVID, and try to maintain a schedule as advised by local standards or mandates.  With that, we ask that all members, that participate, follow current guidelines in regards to social distancing, mask wearing and any other conditions regarding using our outdoor space safely.  Thanks – Jim Bonnardel
This year we are using typical 3-cell airplanes like a ParkZone Trojan, Extra 300, Piper Cub, Apprentice, or the handful of other typical aircraft with a wingspan approx. 50″. This does not mean you will be turned away if you have something different, it means the games, events & contests we do this year will feature what those airplanes do well.  Large aircraft will not have an advantage and micro aircraft will get their own event. We are targeting smaller, cheaper type aircraft that EVERYONE can afford. There will be a scoring system for a final grand champion, and having the proper airplane type is always helpful.

What are we starting with?  For 2022, we are starting with one of the easiest games we have, the:

Spot Landing Challenge

All you have to do is touch the ground, and believe me, EVERYTHING that leaves the ground, touches it again at some point, so you got that going for you…
Saturday, Jan 22, 2022 10:00 am is when the
pilots meeting starts. 
As usual, no cost to participate for club members and
$150 in prizes!  
Be there!!
 Monthly Meeting afterward.

SEFSD Memories 2021 Video

 I gotta tell you right now, I’m very proud of this video and I hope the Pilots enjoy watching it as much as I enjoyed creating it!  Don’t even ask how many hours went into it! Ha!  I don’t know how I’ll be able to top this one for the SEFSD Memories 2022 next year, but so long as the Pilots keep flying, I’ll keep trying my best to record and preserve our memories!
     Happy New Year!
Frank Sutton

“C” Rating and Internal Resistance of LiPos

By Jim Broesch

We all know that LiPo batteries have had a huge impact on our hobby. However, even after years of using LiPos the “C rating” is one of the more controversial topics of discussion. First let’s look at the C rate, then we’ll see how it ties into the internal resistance. The C rate is basically the maximum charge rate. For example: a 1S battery (3.7 Volts nominal) with a capacity of 1000 milliamp hour (1000 mAh) and a charge rating of 1C is designed to be charged at 1 Amp (1000 mA) and should reach full charge in 1 hour. Some batteries claim they can be charged at multiples of the C rating. This is somewhat oxymoronic given the definition of the C rate. However, it is fine to charge at a lower rate than the C value. For the example above we could charge at C/2 or 500 mA. In this case it would take twice as long to recharge – thus putting less stress on the battery. I always try to charge at this C/2 rate. One thing to keep in mind is that most LiPo chargers will not charge for longer than two hours. This is a safety precaution to help avoid problems with the batteries getting too hot from accidental overcharging. More commonly, however, we are interested in how much current the battery can discharge. Again, using the example above, we might have a battery that specifies a 20C discharge rating. This (theoretically) tells us we can safely pull 1 Amp * 20 = 20 Amps of current from the battery. Of course, our charge would only last 1/20 of the time, 3 minutes to be exact.

So, to make more sense of all of this we need to dive a little deeper. If we look at the figure below, we see what engineers call the Thevenin equivalent circuit.

Despite the impressive sounding name the idea is quite simple: we can think of a real-world battery as a theoretically ideal battery in series with a theoretically ideal resistor. Why we care is that many of the key performance characteristics of the battery are defined by the value of this resistor. The resistor is what sets the maximum rate at which current can be put in or taken out of the battery. Since resistors get hot when they conduct electricity the smaller the resistance the better. And this is where LiPos shine. They have a very small internal resistance. So, we can (usually!) pull large currents from our LiPos without them catching fire.

Now, where the confusion with the C rating comes from has two sources. First, the term “C factor” has no real definition. Even the Wikipedia article on LiPos makes no mention of the term. Vendors are free to put more-or-less whatever value they want on the battery. So, theoretically we should be able pull current out of a 50C battery twice as fast we can from a 25C battery. In practice, however, this is where the link between the C rating and the internal resistance becomes important. And the reason is that the internal resistance of the cells in the battery can, and will, change over time. Thus, we may be able to pull more current out of new 25C battery than we can out of an old 50C battery.

The C value does give you a general idea of the charge/discharge characteristics of a battery. It is not useless. On the other hand, for applications where understanding the charge or discharge characteristics are important, the C rating is a very imprecise tool. Much more important is the internal resistance. Some battery chargers are capable of testing the internal resistance of the batteries they are charging.

From a practical point of view this means this explains some of the rituals we observe with our LiPo batteries: Keeping batteries at half voltage or so helps keeps the internal resistance low. An aging battery, independent of what voltage the battery is stored at, will see an increase in the internal resistance. Thus over time the C value will decline. This why many RC pilots will replace their batteries after a year – regardless of their condition otherwise. Understanding the relationship between the internal resistance and the C value provide a significant insight into our fascinating hobby.

T28 Racing Report for Jan 2022

The first T28 race of the new year is in the books. There were most of the usual suspects along with some newcomers The 3 preliminary rounds ran very smoothly with the 3-4 planes in each heat. There were plenty of tight races with planes trading positions multiple times. The scores for the preliminary round results were totaled and the 10 lap final rounds were set with the results as follows:

Bronze Cup

  1. Frank Gagliardi
  2. Alfred Ramirez
  3. Fritz Logan

Silver Cup

  1. Quan Nguyen
  2. George Sullivan
  3. Larry Kosta

Gold Cup

  1. Steve Neu
  2. Alex Sutton
  3. Bob Stinson
  4. Steve Manganelli

It was notable that there were zero cuts during all the preliminary flights or the finals—a first. There was some speculation that the absence of Otto Dieffenbach at this months race might have been a factor in the absence of cuts—after all Otto is one of the hard core racers that is often pushing the limits and others follow his example…….

There were several fresh new T28s in the flight line—now that they are back in stock at Discount Hobbies. If you have been waiting to get involved in our T28 races now would be a good time to get a plane setup and going. New pilots will need to get their race numbers assigned —-email me with your choices and I will get check to see if it is available—-numbers should be between 1 and 99. The numbers under 20 are all taken so select accordingly.  The rules and setup tips can be found on the SEFSD web site here:

Our next T28 races will be February 12th at 10am. Be ready to go fast and turn left!

Steve Neu

Fix a Spektrum Transmitter Using a Mouse

Scroll Wheel Psychosis

My old Spektrum DX6I has/had the dreaded “scroll wheel psychosis”!  I thought It was me not being able to do the simplest of programming set ups.  But, no. It was a random, faulty rotary encoder on the scroll wheel. A quick internet search zeroed in on the problem. . Thanks to all that pioneered before me I was able to fix my transmitter by sacrificing an old computer mouse! Basically, I removed the rotary encoder from a computer mouse scroll wheel and trimmed it down from 10 mm high to 7 mm high and re-soldered it back onto a small board inside the transmitter. I could have bought a new rotary encoder, but right now they are kinda hard to get unless you want a minimum order and pay shipping. Hey, I had a mouse and this whole affair took less time to do than it is taking to write it up! So here are the pictures.

An old Dell computer mouse with a mechanical rotary encoder. Note that Logitec mouses(mice?) use laser encoders and will not work.

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SEFSD BOD Meeting Minutes for January 2022

Silent Electric Flyers of San Diego Board of Directors Meeting Agenda and Minutes

Date and Meeting Location : Home of Steve Neu, 12 January, 2022

Board Members Present (not Present) (via Zoom) : Chairman of the Board- Jovi, President-Manganelli, Vice President-Nguyen, Secretary, Treasurer, Member at Large-Cox, Member at Large-Kosta, Safety Officer-Neu, Editor-Belknap, Member at Large-Struthers

Called to Order by Manganelli at 7:02 P.M.

Old Business

  1. Holiday Banquet : Postponed due to low sales/Covid concerns. Tentative new date is 19 February starting at 6:00 P.M.,  Edgewater Grill. Venue was relieved at our cancellation suggesting they had associated Covid problems as well. BOD Decision :  revisit date at next BOD meeting after analysis of Covid concerns/ticket sales.
  2. Membership renewals : # of renewals unknown without treasurer input.  Thanks to George for Badges, they look great! Any badges not claimed at the field by January 16th will be mailed shortly thereafter.
  3. Club Trailer/ Storage vs divest it : Jim Bonnardel graciously stores this for us for $50/month and is paid through the end of the year. Some research on the Internet suggest the trailer has a value of maybe $2,000 to $4,000 and hasn’t been used in some time. The trailer was purchased to store equipment for the “Mid Winter Electrics” and other large events we haven’t done since 2006. It was towed to Muncie in 2010 for the FAI F5B/D World Championships. It contains EZ up tents, folding tables, trash receptacles, extension cords, parking barriers and signs. It formerly had lead acid battery chargers and a gas powered generator all of which I believe are unserviceable/missing. If any large event takes place in the future, use of the trailered equipment creates a great savings in equipment that would otherwise have to be rented. BOD decision : continue storage and table any divest action until September.

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Pics From the 2022 Freeze Fly

Click below to see Frank’s album:

    Because of the wind, sometimes a bit gusty, coming from the south directly across the runway, there were multiple exciting take-offs and landings for several Pilots including Alex (he had near take-off crashes on his first AL737 flight and his new V1200 maiden flight!).
     A couple of additional notes……
     The San Diego FORD Model A Club went out for breakfast and a ride around the area when they spotted our planes flying, so they came over to watch!   I talked with a couple of the Model A owners and asked if I could take some photos of their beautiful cars and we’d put them on the SEFSD Website.  They thought that was great!  I told them I’d blur out the license plates, however, the owner of “LIZZEE” asked me not to blur that license plate because that was the car’s nickname, her grandmother called the car Lizzee and it stuck!  The Model A Club members thought the SEFSD Pilots’ planes were wild, and of course, we thought their cars were wild!  They were a very pleasant group and fun to talk with, and a couple of them had a lot of questions about the planes too!  Perhaps one or two may be interested in flying with us some day, the lady that owned “Lizzee” took a photo of our sign with the Website on it, and I told her to check out the photo gallery there in about 3 weeks or so to see the photos of their cars along with our planes (she is the lady in the red jacket talking with Brad in one of the photos).
     The new airplane that Alex gave to Carl is the one that he won at the Weed Wackers’ Veterans Day Fly In back in NOV2021.  It is a semi-pre-built balsa kit that required either a gas or electric engine and all the electronics/servos/etc required to make it fly.  Alex and I looked at it, but this job was something we’ve never attempted and looked to be a bit much for us, so we decided to give it to Carl.  I told Carl about it when I visited him in the rehab facility, and he sincerely appreciated it.  When Carl saw the plane he was very happy as was Alex and I too, but like us, Carl advised it was a bit too much of a job for him to put together and asked us if he could sell it.  Alex and I responded of course he could sell it because it was his now, but on one condition!  That condition was we get a photo of the three of us with the plane first (and we did!)!  He put the plane up for sale and Fritz bought it without hesitation.  Carl was so happy, he said he could use the $ more than the plane right now, and Fritz was happy because he got a really nice plane at a good price!  Alex and I were happy for Carl, and for Fritz, so this was a really big win-win-win-win for the four of us!

Radio Control Expo and SoCal Drone Fest

Radio Control Expo and
SoCal Drone Fest

March 26-27, 2022!

(All CDC Guidelines will be followed)

We are excited to finally bring you our live event at the Fairplex in  Pomona, California in early Spring!  All restrictions should be lifted and most of the country vaccinated, so we are looking for thousands of people to attend this event!.  

Exhibiting will be the latest and greatest trucks, rock crawlers, fixed wing aircrafts and the latest diecast products.  The Drone Conference and fest features drone licensing, flying and demonstrations for the world’s leading experts.

The last time we had the event in 2016 there were over 10,000 attendees!  It is a fun day and interactive day for the family both inside and outside.