[Headline: eWeek at Triple Tree—the Electric Nall]
Y’all just need to stay away from this event or I’m not going to have it to myself! I enjoy having the finest flying site in America to share with a few friends, but it seems people insist on coming and adding to the numbers.
Okay, it’s my favorite event and favorite flying site, and despite this year’s abnormally poor weather, it was another great year at eWeek at Triple Tree in Woodruff, South Carolina. I honestly thought Pat Hartness could control the weather, but it seems he couldn’t.
It was cold, windy, and drizzly the whole week until Saturday, but there was still plenty of flying going on. I thought the number of attendees was down, but it was actually up by approximately 100 people, to roughly 400. This event is growing and I expect there will come a time when it’s the largest electric meet in the country.
I felt sorry for the vendors this year because the weather seemed to keep many people from traveling from the other flying areas to do some shopping. It was the first time in four years we’ve had poor weather, but the crew at Triple Tree did everything and then some to ensure everyone had a great time.
Saturday was incredibly busy because we all tried to fly everything we brought on the one good day. We did fly every day in between rain showers and gusty conditions, but the award for the most flights had to go to 10-year-old Evan Stone.
It seemed every time we looked out from our pit, he was flying. He’d no sooner land one airplane and he’d be out with another. Evan’s dad gets an award for being a spotter in some of the nastiest conditions around and he kept encouraging Evan to do more. Evan made us all look bad with his enthusiasm!
Scale of a Different Kind
One of the hits at eWeek was the Cartoon foamie Miss America, flown by Fred Culbertson. It seemed that everyone stopped to see this cutie fly, and it did great in the terrible conditions. The short kit is available from the fertile mind of Keith Sparks at Park Flyer Plastics.
Is it truly scale? Sure it is if you’ve seen the airplanes in the Disney movie. There are others on the way and available now.
The short kits contain everything but the foam and electronics, and there are build threads on RCGroups to help guide you. The entire electronics package can be purchased from HobbyKing and other places for less than $40, including the receiver!
Up in Smoke
That was the theme of my second AgWagon flight at eWeek. My 97-inch AgWagon from RC Guys uses two 6S packs in series and each pack has 6mm gold bullet connectors. I’m painfully careful to keep the protective caps on until I’ve assembled the packs on the mounting plate and inserted it in the fuselage.
Once secured, I remove the caps and plug the connectors in. This time I dropped a bolt into the fuselage and moved the battery tray to get it after I had removed the caps—bam! If you’ve never seen a dead short—even a momentary one—of a 12S pack, I hope you never do! I was fortunate that I only got my hand covered in black soot and no fire started.
I carefully shrink wrap each bullet and trim the covering to the edge of the connector halves so it almost takes a conscious effort to short them. The male end barely contacted the edge of the female connector, and that’s all it took. I like bullets because of the contact area, but I will now give in and use safer connectors such as the Castle Creations 6.5mm or EC5-type connectors and a series adapter.
I avoid adapters because I don’t like adding more points of resistance to a system, but safety is going to win over a small loss of efficiency. The right adapter made from the right connectors won’t harm a system that puts out several hundred watts with power to spare. You don’t need to have a 12S pack to do serious damage.
Another flier who saw the incident happen came over to see if I was okay and then showed me his finger. He had shorted his wedding ring across a 6S pack and it burned it into the bone, requiring skin grafts to repair the damage.
Wrapping It Up
The bottom line from my AgWagon snafu is to be very careful, think twice before doing anything, and then be very careful again! Err on the side of safety every time so you don’t end up in Model Aviation’s “Safety Comes First” column as a statistic.
Put eWeek on your calendar for next year and I promise, we’ll have great weather.[dingbat]
eWeek at Triple Tree Aerodrome
Park Flyer Plastics