Monthly Archives: February 2022

14 posts

Chairman’s Corner for Feb – Mar 2022

Hello Members of SEFSD, I hope all are well and all are doing fine!  How about our banquet?  Did that not turn out to be a fun event this past Friday, held at the Air and Space Museum.  We all were in the middle of the museum just about under a PBY.  It was protecting the Bar of course!!!  Special thanks go out to Quan for putting this event together.  At the last minute, Quan was able to find us a new location due to Edgewater backing out, so Quan got to work and got us to the Air and Space Museum and locked in a date for us, just that it was on a Friday and that did not seem to bother the folks who arrived.  Which sure was close to 100 people. It was great to meet our members as much as I could since I was MC for the banquet. 

The food provided by Lisa Bender was the best, from the meatballs to the roast beef and the salad and not to forget about the chocolate covered Strawberries…… it was just all amazing.   I was amazed to see how many prizes we had to give away.  Even our ladies, matter of fact, I believe all the ladies walked out with a gift which was also provided for us by Lisa Bender, wow that amount of work she put in for this was also just amazing.  Thank you both, Lisa, and Quan for all your efforts that you contribute to our club, Thank You so much!!!!

The prizes, for us guys, were also cool, however not everyone got a prize, not as lucky as our better halves that really do deserve it.   But we did have a great line-up of gifts, from Motionrc, Tower Hobbies, Hitec, Bee and from Steve Neu shops we had power supplies, chargers, and a couple of other items too.  It was fun to give out our prizes, it was fun to see the expressions on the person who won the prize, including George Sullivan who won a Hitec hat and took it in stride.  Same goes for Skip (our lawyer) who also won a hat from Hitec.  Ty won a power supply earlier but was lucky to exchange his gift when Steve Neu won which was a Timber and decided to give it to Ty.  Ty’s gift was given to a winner who won a charger. We had a couple of special gifts that were given to two people.  First one was when Claire Diffenback received a very nice set of flowers for her helping with T-28 races.  Congrats Claire, and to Brad Bender for his 12 plus years in supporting and keeping our club going in the right direction, he receives a very nice plaque that Steve Manganelli gave to him.  Thank You Brad for all you have done and congrats!    It over all turned out to be a lot of fun and was fun walking around the museum!   Thank You all for coming to our event!   The club looks forward to next year’s banquet. 

In the past couple of weeks, we had our gate tampered with.  They appeared to have cut the top bar to get the chain undone.  Since then, it has been fixed.  As a reminder, before you are the last one to leave the field, and as you start to drive away and you see someone, just go over, and let them know that they could be locked in once you leave.   Also, as a reminder that at the field, Please follow these guidelines:

  • Make sure you are always wearing your badge when flying your aircraft
  • Call out loud that you’re taking off, low fly by and landings.
  • Never fly over the Parking Lot and Pitts
  • And always fly on the north side of the fence.

As my last note for this month, I am in the midst of starting to build my Top Flite, Gold Edition DC-3 kit. As I have mentioned in my Chairman’s Corner: 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.  So let’s begin with a box full of wood turned into a DC-3.

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 Feb – Mar 2022

By Steve Manganelli

Oh what a night! The stars aligned to have our Winter banquet at the Aerospace Museum catered by Lisa Waln (Mrs. Brad Bender) this past Friday, February 18th. The food was fantastic, the ambience beautiful and the turn out awesome. I want to thank everyone whom bought tickets as early as 4 months ago, expecting a Saturday event for making it on a Friday. I had the privilege of checking people in and doling out tickets (with help from the  Mrs. Michelle M.) to what was certainly the best raffle we’ve ever had.  Congratulations to Larry (Lucky) Kosta and Mary Riney (also a pilot), whom both won airplanes!

I also need to thank the people whom worked selflessly to bring the banquet about. Our Chairman of the Board Jovi Murek did a fabulous job as Master of Ceremonies. He kept us entertained and on the edge of our seats anticipating the next airplane give away.  Jovi was also the procurer and selector of the airplanes in the Raffle (great choices Jovi!). Thanks also to Lisa Waln for procuring the Women’s prizes. Fortunately, that was long done before she knew she was also going to be the Caterer. Our Vice President and temporary Treasurer Quan Nguyen did all the arrangements with the Museum and the caterer to keep the bills straight, well done, Quan! Thanks to Steve Neu of Neumotors for providing a nice selection of chargers for the raffle at cost and to Jim Bonnardel for donating a Hitec charger and some Teeshirts and hats. Many thanks to Claire Diffenbach for drawing the tickets for the airplanes. The last person I want to thank had something to do with the banquet (there were rumors about the delicious appetizer meatballs…) but Mr. Brad Bender was called to the stage and recognized with a plaque commemorating his selfless leadership to the Silent Electric Flyers of San Diego. Thanks to you Brad, for all you did officially over the last 9 years and what you continue to do for us unofficially.

Weekend before last, we had some outstanding weather for February.  Temperature was in the 80s and the field was packed for T-28 Racing : 16 participants, and all time high. I want to recognize and thank Frank Sutton for designing the new Medals and was proud to award him the first one as medal artwork designer. Frank is our “house” photographer and put out a fabulous 2021 retrospective in January’s newsletter. It is truly our year in pictures and urge you to go back to last month’s newsletter to find the link:   Speaking of medals, they are also to be awarded to the 1st 3 places in our monthly Members Meeting/Fun Contest so even non-T-28 racers have a chance to earn one of these custom beauties. So come on out this Saturday and take your chances at the Poker fly and maybe pick up a medal!

If you are the last one out, it is important to close and lock the gate! Our permit with the City requires us to have the gate locked when we are not flying.  As a practical matter, if you are flying toward early afternoon on a weekend day and it looks you and only a few others remain, it is prudent to communicate among yourselves as to whom is to lock the gate. There have been situations that non-members are the last ones there and as non-members, do not have the combination to do so.  It is necessary and polite to warn any spectators in vehicles to be on the other side of the gate once you lock it lest they be locked in.  Most people that are there to spectate are in or near their cars to be warned to leave, but not always. The other week we had an unfortunate incident where an apparent locked in person, used a Sawzall on the gate latch fence to free his vehicle.

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.

Lastly, I’d like to call your attention to Minutes of the February BOD meeting. The most important item therein is the possibility of having our altitude limit increased. It’s going to be a long row to hoe, but for now, it is absolutely vital that we adhere to current rule (200 ft) and 50 to 75 feet when full scale aircraft are passing over.  Our compliance to the current agreement will be a factor in any decision to increase our limit!

Servo Twitching in Large RC Planes

By Mark Davis

I recently had a problem with a servo randomly twitching, and was able to solve it, so wanted to share what I learned.  It is a large plane and there are 10 feet of wire between the Rx (Spectrum 12310T) and the servo (Hitec 7950TH “ultra torque”).   Because of this, I ran 17 gauge power/ground, and used MR30 connectors (instead of 20gauge heavy duty extensions with normal servo connectors).   But even with this, the servo exhibited erroneous twitches, especially when moving.


I found the problem could be remedied by placing (near the servo) a capacitor across power & ground, or a signal booster, or both.  This problem depends on the servo also, and for example the D625MW did not exhibit the same issue, and needed no remedy.  It appears that this is because Hitec 7950TH (“ultra torque”) draws high current for brief snippets of time, and thus causes large power transients.  These will appear also on the ground, and therefore the PWM signal can be affected.    A power bypass cap by itself fixed the problem.   A signal booster by itself was helpful but not entirely reliable (Spektrum and Hitec both make them).  I believe the best solution is to use both a supply capacitor and a signal booster, based on the oscilloscope plots below.  


First, some background information and definition.  

When ground currents are present, we have to designate a specific point as “0 volts”.  In text below I treat the ground at the receiver as the definition of 0v.  The oscilloscope probe was connected with its ground near the servo, 10ft away.  So it is not necessarily at 0v, by this definition.

The oscilloscope horizontal scale (time / division) appears in the upper left of the screen next to the letter “H”.  The vertical scale for each channel (volts/division) is shown in the lower left of the screen.

When a servo was connected, it was connected without load or with light load (sitting upright on a table, or in some cases on its side, so the arm was just lifting the weight of the servo).

The capacitors I had on hand were 8200uF 10v, and 4700uF 16v.  Since my system runs on 2S LiPo, this is sufficient voltage.

The signal boosters I tried were:

  • Spektrum Signal Line Voltage Booster SCMCP
  • Hitec Signal booster HRC58496

I have grouped scope traces into 5 sections:

Section Servo Capacitor Across power/ground Signal Booster included
1 7950TH No No
2 7950TH Yes No
3 7950TH No Yes
4 7950TH Yes Yes
5 D625MW No No

First see picture 1B below.   I put a scope on the signal wire.  You can see the servo is approximately centered here, with a 1.5ms positive PWM pulse.  But you can also see frequent artifacts.  I didn’t immediately notice a very regular period, but they seemed to occur every 4-10ms.   Unfortunately I didn’t capture the power line here, but from later plots I believe it would show exactly the same artifact at double the magnitude (I’ll explain why later).   

Now consider the structure of one such glitch.   It appears the servo decides to draw a large amount of current for about 50us – 200us, depending on which glitch we are looking at. This pulls down the power line voltage, and pulls up the probe ground (servo ground).    The signal is looking into a high-impedance FET, and so draws insignificant current, and so should have insignificant voltage drop even over 10ft of wire.   This explains why we see the oscilloscope voltage go negative at the start of the glitch; the signal wire remains at 0v but the probe ground “bounces” up due to the current being dumped into it.   The voltage appears to be asymptotically approaching a steady state value (with the expected exponential shape) by the end of the 200us.   This steady state should be the current of the servo times the wire path resistance.  Then when the current draw stops, the inductance of the wire keeps pushing current for a small transient.   Thus, the opposite effect will occur;  The voltage of the local ground will dip below 0v and so the signal wire sitting at 0v appears to go positive on the oscilloscope.  Note that this positive glitch can be quite high.  This plot has 1v/division, so the first glitch captured here is around 1.6v, which I’m guessing is quite close to the detection threshold for a PWM pulse.

Picture 1B:  No capacitor, no booster

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Spot Landing Challenge Report

We are back! Yes, indeed January’s first club-event of the year was met with enthusiasm and anticipation.  With 25 competitors, it was easy to see that we are all ready to resume our monthly shenanigans.
I wanted to START ’22 with our STOPPING event, and that was met very well.  Everyone who played the game was ready to get started right at 10:00am.   
There seems to be a trait, of people not wanting to be the first competitor, and always waiting to sign up after a few people have.  Well, let me suggest otherwise!  Our first two sign ups, took 2nd and 3rd place, so there ya go… Sign up early!
Points were 5 for bullseye, 4 for the middle ring, and 3 for the outer ring.  Landing anyplace on the runway got you a single point.  There was lots of action, and people were watching the competitors battle it out with some pretty favorable conditions.  I decided to add the “Time” element to solve any ties,  and I’m happy I did, the top 3 all tied in points!
Finishing order:              First Place          Brad Bender with 13 points @1:04
                                    Second Place      Bob Anson with 13 points @1:13
                                    Third Place         George Sullivan 13 points @1:29
                                    Fourth Place       Alex Sutton 12 Points @0:53
                                    Fifth Place          Tom Baker 11 points @ 1:30
It’s always great to see new member joining in on our monthly games, but more so, having our membership participating regularly, is what makes these events fun.  This last event shows that for our events, participating is the main focus, anyone can win.
SPEAKING OF anyone can win…..  Next event is the ever-popular POKER FLY!  You have the same chance of winning as ANYONE ELSE, as long as you make the flights to draw your cards.  As usual, all club events are on the 4th Saturday of the month, sorry for the confusion in the dates!  POKER FLY is Feb 26th, 2022.  I hope to see you there.

Bill’s New Jet

My latest purchase is this Xfly T7A from Bitco Hobbies or Banana. I got a pre-purchase deal for $150 on a recommendation from Chris Wolf’s youtube channel. I love this thing ….65mm edf, fixed gear and 4s 2200 lipo.  Nicest flying jet I own. Fast very nice finish and sounds great.  I highly recommend it. Bill A.

Prop Safety is Important!

By Steve Neu

I have seen a number of cases of our club members handling and standing in very close proximity to their planes that have their propulsion systems armed and radios on.  In some cases people are standing in front of the plane turning or handling the prop. The electric motors can develop full torque at zero RPM and accelerate to full RPM in a few 10ths of seconds.  Getting tangled in a prop can easily lead to an ER visit of worse. Here are some simple suggestions:

1) Do not plug the propulsion battery to the motor controller until you are ready to fly.
2) Do not work on the prop, spinner with the battery plugged into the motor controller.
3) Do not depend on “safe or arming” switches on the controller OR the transmitter —if you need to work on something unplug the power connector.
4) If you need to test run your motor at the field do it well away from others —point the plane away from people make sure people are out of the arc of the prop is if it fails—yes it happens!

Don’t put your safety at risk by depending on a micron of silicon or a few lines of computer code to keep you safe—stay away from the blades of your prop when it is armed!

Silent Electric Flyers of San Diego Board of Directors Meeting Minutes, Feb. 2022

Date and Meeting Location : Home of Steve Neu, 03 February, 2022, 6:30 P.M.

Board Members Present : President-Manganelli, Vice President/Treasurer-Nguyen, Safety Officer-Neu.

Via Zoom : Member at Large-Cox, Member at Large-Kosta, Member at Large-Struthers, Editor-Belknap.

Not present : Chairman of the Board-Murek, Secretary-Dresser

Called to Order by Manganelli at 6:45 P.M.

Old Business

  1. Holiday Banquet : Citing business and logistics concerns, the Edgewater Grill is not holding our banquet on the 19th of February! Instead we will be at the Aerospace Museum on February 18th graciously catered by Lisa Bender’s Company. E-mail announcements have already been made and a few more tickets remain as of a few days ago.
  2. Membership renewals. We have 222 paid up members as of 2-1-2022 : the BOD thanks you for renewing! Badges for rest of 2022 will be mailed.
  3. AMA help to raise our altitude limit. I contacted Tyler Dobbs and Chrystal Pearson of AMA. The process by which a Club’s altitude limit can be negotiated is via the Safety Risk Management (SRM) Panel. The panel, sanctioned out of FAA/Washington DC, gathers all relevant stakeholders to the process. In our case, the stake holders would include Lindberg Air Traffic Managers (ATM) and probably Southwest Airlines, USCG, SDPD, SEFSD and the AMA. In general, SRM Panels have a positive outcome for the club because often, the applicable ATM and other stakeholders have no idea the model airplane club exists. We know this is not the case for SEFSD. At present the backlog for SRM Panels is 50 clubs and with approximately 2 per month taking place, our lead time is 1 ½ to 2 years. I placed us in the queue with agreement that as we neared the top of the queue, we would revisit our relations with ATM and decide to go forward or cancel. In the meantime we must maintain positive relations with ATM by abiding by the terms of our current agreement!
  4. New T-28 Medals . Seventy five Medals were purchased, (64) with the custom logo designed by Frank Sutton and (10) “Better Luck Next Time” for most cuts in T-28 Racing. The medals not identified for T-28 Racing will be provided to Jim Bonnardel and added to the Monthly Fun Event prizes. The words contained within artwork are not specific to T-28 Racing, but the medal standard casting is specific for the year 2022. Medals should be delivered in time for February’s T-28 race, Monthly Meeting/Fun Event and subsequent events.
  5. Club Officers Still Needed! A new Treasurer and a new Membership Leader, aka Badge Maker are needed! Our immediate past Treasurer, Quan Nguyen graciously stepped up as interim Treasurer as responsibility was not fully transitioned.  Please contact any BOD member if you can be of service to your club as Treasurer or Membership Leader! We need you!

Field Condition and Maintenance

  1. Field Surface Improvement. One possible improvement under discussion is application of a 2” to 3” layer of decomposed granite and compacting it to a smooth and airplane friendly surface. In past discussions, costs were prohibitive but further investigation when construction tempo “cooled” was intended. Larry Costa has been investigating and will provide near term update.

Report on Immediate Past Month’s Events

  1. T-28 Racing. Occurred before BOD Meeting, Jan 8th event already reported.
  2. Scheduled for 1-15 but cancelled due to rain.
  3. Club Members Meeting, Funfly Event. January 22th. Touch and Go, CD : Bonnardel, 29 participants! Well organized and a great time, Thanks to Jim Bonnardel, CD, Mark Davis, Carl Cox and Lisa Bender for the Hot Dogs/Brownies!

Schedule of Upcoming  Month’s Events

  1. T-28 Racing. February 12th, CD Neu.
  2. February 19th, CD : Struthers (Mr. and Mrs.)
  3. Club Members Meeting and Funfly/Hot Dog BBQ. February 26th, CD : Bonnardel, BBQ Lead : Mark Davis.  Event Type : Poker Fly

New Business

  1. Club Logo Apparel . I noticed a boon hat worn by George Sullivan with “SEFSD” embroidered on the back : I thought “Cool” and remembered our original logo is somewhat tired. BOD Decision February 02 : Explore both a new upgraded logo design suitable for hats/embroidery and/or printing on shirts and consider them both as prize awards and direct sale for field improvement fundraiser. Action : Nguyen sent existing logo artwork to Kosta for no cost analysis.  Decision to fund initial production run and/or take pre-orders will be made after design approval.

Treasurers Report

Narrative : The gift card prizes for the Monthly Fun Event have been increased to $350 per event to cover inflation. Our 2022 budget plans a deficit of $3,000 to $5,000 that will still put us even at the end of the year.

  1. Starting Balance (at the beginning of January) : [removed]
  2. Income from the Past month (January) Aggregated : Unk.
  3. Expenses for the Month (January) Itemized :
    1. Medals : $384.99
    2. Outhouse Maintenance :
    3. Badge Making/Mailing :
    4. Hot Dogs/
  4. Ending Balance (as of January 31) :[removed]

Next Months BOD Meeting : 6:30. March 2nd, Location TBD

Adjourned  : 7:24 P.M.

Minutes Submitted By :  Manganelli, 2-10-2022.

Electroglide Report for Feb 2022

  We had a pretty good time at the first Electroglide for this year. The weather was much better this time around; we had clear skies, a Northwest wind of 3 mph and a temperature of 64 degrees at first launch.

 Although the wind was light and the sun was shining, thermal lift was very hard to find. As a result, fight times on all launches were on the short side. The scoring points were being made on spot landings as opposed to flight times.

 On the first launch in the Radian class, Alex Sutton had a bull’s eye in the target circles, earning an extra 30 points. Bob Anson picked up a 20-point. landing and Scott Vance scored a 10-point landing.

In the open class, Denis LaBerge, Bob Stinson, and Derik Knight all scored 20-point landings.

 Flying in the Radian class, Scott Vance had the long flight at 2:32 minutes and Bob Stinson had the long flight of 2:12 minutes in the open class.  

 Second launch had Alex again scoring a 30-point landing, joined by Dennis flying open class. Bob Stinson, and Derik also flying open picked up 20 and 10-point landings respectively. Bob Anson, flying Radian class scored a 20-point landing, Fritz Logan (Radian) picked up a 10-point landing. The long flight in the Radian class was earned by Scott Vance at 3:27 minutes and in the open class it was Dennis LaBerge at 3:40 minutes.

 Third launch again had Alex parking his Radian in the 30-point circle, joined by Scott (Radian) and Bob Stinson (open). 20-point landings were made by Dennis and Derik, both flying in the open class. The long flight for Radians was by Scott Vance at 3:44. The long flight for open class was Dennis LaBerge at 3:10.

 Fourth and final launch had everyone missing the bull’s eye but still, there were close landings.  Alex and Fritz (Radian) both had 20-point landings. Bob Stinson (open) also had a 20-point landing. 10-point landings were earned by Scott (Radian) and Dennis (open class). The long flights were flown by both Scott Vance and Bob Anson (Radian) at 4:12 minutes and Dennis LaBerge (open) 2:34 minutes.

 We didn’t have much in the way of thermal flying this time but all the scoring in the spot landings, despite a Northwest wind, showed good skill among all the pilots. Great job guys!

 Thanks again to Frank Sutton for the event pictures. Next Electroglide will be on March 19th. First launch at 10:00 a.m.

See you there,


T28 Pylon Racing Report for Feb 2022

By Steve Neu

We had our largest turnout yet with 16 pilots with most of the usual suspects as well as a 5-6 new  pilots. I suspect the fact that our local Discount Hobbies got a fresh shipment of T28s is the cause of the increase. It was great to see so many new pilots!

With 16 pilots we conducted the preliminary races with four planes in each flight group. After the dust settled from the preliminary rounds and the results tabulated the finals racing groupings were set. There were a couple accidents putting a couple of planes out of action but most should be repairable.

The Bronze class was hard fought with Steve M and Fritz dueling for first place with Steve crossing the finish line first.

The Silver class race had some drama with Larry Kosta and Quan planes tangling near the downwind pylon resulting in DNFs for both. Brad and Alfred took first and second place.

The Gold class race was hotly contested with Otto and Alex trading places for most of the 10 laps——I was about half a lap back following the battle up front—then near the race’s end, Alex lost control of his plane for a split second loosing his line and allowing me to slip ahead of him—but Otto still crossed the finish line first but as fate would have it Otto had a cut recorded earlier while trying to keep ahead of Alex—handing first place to me.

The February event saw the debut of our new awards that sport an image of a T28 courtesy Frank Sutton—they look great!

See you at next months races! Next month we will try a new racing matrix that should save 10-15 minutes off the process of setting flight groupings for the preliminary rounds—thank you Steve M.

Treasurer’s Report for Feb 2022


Based on all the smiling faces at the end of last Friday, I think everyone enjoyed the winter banquet this year at the San Diego Air & Space Museum. My date said it felt like everyone was family, and I feel the same way too. Everyone got great prizes (except George and Skip, sorry about that guys, we’ll figure something out). Jovi really stepped up to the plate and MCed the night for us all. And also Steve Manganelli for stepping on the stage to back up Jovi. Many of us also got to pose for the rarest of pictures… being in the museum at night!
We have 242 members as of February. We have one or two individuals that have offered to step up to be Treasurer. Rest assured I will be reaching out to them very soon!
Lastly, I won’t be able to attend this month’s field meeting, as I have an in-person expo to attend this Saturday morning, but I wish you all a great time!