News/Articles

2018 Annual Report

All Members:
The following members met at Genghis Grill next to Town East Mall: Wes Wynne, Michel Langlais, Jerry Ethridge, Mike Newel and Don Payne. We discussed NABGO, club business, Mike’s progress with a new design turret and we had a great lunch. I hope everyone knows these meetings are open to everyone and can be a lot of fun.

Election of Officers. Since we had a quorum of members, we nominated these club officers for 2018:

Commanding Officer: Jerry Ethridge
Executive Officer: Don Payne
Safety Officer: Michel Langlais
Technical Officer: Wes Wynne
Quartermaster: Jerry Ethridge
Treasurer: Don Payne
Communications/Admin: Don Payne
PR and Recruiting Officers: Everyone

If no one objects these officers will be deemed elected.

Christmas Party
The Christmas Party is for all members, their families and for prospective members. We propose a date of 9 Dec 2017 and a venue in the North Dallas area. In the past we have partied at Love and War in Texas and the Outback Steakhouse. Texas Roadhouse was also suggested. There are many good restaurants in the I-35 and Bush Tollway area. Please, respond with suggestions as reservations will be needed soon.

NABGO
It was agreed we had some great battles and a lot of fun at this NABGO. As hosts, Pam and I were pleased with the conduct of this NABGO and we are willing to host again, if the club wants to. We hope that everyone enjoyed themselves as much as we did. There was no damage and very little clean up after the participants departed. Thanks to everyone for helping to tidy up.

For the most part the hotel arrangement worked well. It was suggested that something similar would be good for next time, but we should still check other options before committing. Financially, this NABGO operated in the green. We ended up with a small surplus of about $400 which went into the treasury. There were about $150 of costs not included because several members donated supplies such as CO2, ammunition and ice. Rather than risk losing money on the next NABGO we suggest leaving the fees about where they were for next year.

Adjustments to our meal plan could help the hosts be a little less busy. I suggested we set up “meal managers” or “meal hosts” for each of the three meals. I’m thinking two or three people could take responsibility for a meal. They would plan, purchase, set up and clean up a meal. They could enlist help and of course volunteers could help, too. The “meal host” would only have to host one meal each. At this NABGO we had leftover food which was handy to have for the next day’s lunch. Since lunch was not a provided meal, it helped those who did not bring their own lunch. Maybe next time we can just plan on leftovers.

Garage space was a little tight. We can try to make one additional space available. Car parking was also limited. I thought we would have plenty of space, but maybe we need a parking plan.

We might benefit from more clearly assigned responsibilities for some of our functions such as fee collection, waivers, meals, battles, and safety.

A large bulletin board or easel and paper for notifications, schedules, etc… could help by making information centrally available.

Next Year
We need to plan our big events and set up a schedule for 2018. NABGO will be our biggest event. There is a lot of discussion about when to have it. Many people liked this year’s October time. It fits in between other holidays and the cooler temperatures are important since we now work outside instead of in the air conditioning. Other people appreciate the summer time because it’s easier to get time off.

That’s all for now. See you soon.

Don Payne
NTXBG Admin Officer

Convoy Escort

A lot has been said on the job of being a convoy escort in previous newsletters and in the various forums. But for all the strategy and positioning and such that goes into it and there is a lot, the single biggest part of protecting a convoy is keeping your warship with the convoy. With apologies to Admiral Nelson – “A escorting Captain can do no wrong who puts his ship alongside the convoy.” Since I’ve been the designated convoy escort more times than not, I though I’d impart some “wisdom” learned over the years.
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Electronic Firing Circuit

Most captains equip their ships to fire using mechanical poppet valves (Clippard SMAV-3) as pilots for their MPA-7 or MPA-5 actuators. Opening the pilot valve with a servo allows pressurized CO2 to reach the actuator, which in turn pushes open the main firing valve in the turret body, firing the gun. This is a simple method, tried and true. The mechanical/pneumatic operation is easy to understand, easy to troubleshoot, and very reliable. An example of this system is documented in Safe, Effective CO2 Delivery.

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Safe, Effective CO2 Delivery

Special contribution from Phil Sensibaugh, of the Midwest Battle Group

Obviously, the whole point of warship combat is to be able to sink your opponents by firing ball bearings at their ships.  Hulls are designed specifically to allow penetration, and damage control countermeasures are restricted so as to make the threat of sinking a very real possibility for any combat ship.  Even so, a weapon system that is capable of punching a hole through thin balsa sheet is going to also have the potential to inflict harm on people or animals, or damage property if certain safeguards are not built in, and safe practices followed.  While part of the fun of building models – combat or not – is in the “tweaking”, experimenting, and learning while you try to make something work, there are some aspects of warship design where it’s best to go with a proven solution.  In particular, those areas of warship construction that involve safety – the prevention of injury or property damage – should not be built by “trial and error” methods.  It’s one thing to waste a bunch of your time, trying a new and clever method of building a hull, controlling motors, rotating guns, etc.  It’s quite another when the potential consequences of error can involve serious injury.  Working with gasses under pressure certainly has the potential for causing injury and/or damage if proper care is not taken in the design, construction, and operation of these systems.

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Quick, Easy Stuffing Tube Construction

One of the early problems I had to solve when I built my first ship was the construction of stuffing tubes for the propeller shafts.  Stuffing tubes (or stuffing boxes) are needed to allow the rotating shafts to exit through the hull, while keeping water outside where it belongs.  They also serve to stabilize the prop. shafts and position them solidly where they belong.

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Radio Basics

It’s a good idea to have a working knowledge of how Radio Control (R/C) systems work. One doesn’t need to be an Electrical Engineer (EE) or Radio Frequency (RF) guru to make off-the-shelf R/C systems work. Fortunately, most of the heavy lifting has been done for us. Still, most R/C systems need to be adapted in some ways so that they can be used to operate a fighting combat ship.

Most R/C systems with enough channels for model warship combat are designed to be used with aircraft or helicopters. This is just a simple fact of life in the R/C business – that’s what the greatest demand is for, so that’s what gets built. Limited angular motions are used to control ailerons, rudders, flaps, elevators, and throttles, while landing gear is always in 1 of 2 positions. That’s really all that a R/C system does, is to convert a range of motion on an input into a range of motion on a remote device (usually a control surface in aircraft). Almost all radio systems available today are 2.4ghz, which offers many more available frequencies (allowing for more RC vehicles to operate simultaneously). The challenge is to adapt this system to a use for which it was not designed, and is not necessarily optimum.
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So you want to build a warship – Part 6

Part 6 – Skinning the Hull; Decks, and Superstructure
There’s a lot of good material out there about how to skin a ship’s hull, so we won’t go into all the details of how to do it.  Instead, in keeping with the themes of this series, we’ll discuss what actually happened, including some false starts and mistakes.

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