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Member postings for ashley needham

Here is a list of all the postings ashley needham has made in our forums. Click on a thread name to jump to the thread.

Thread: MFA385 - A Story of Confusion
28/09/2020 18:00:43

Ah, the 540. I am not even going to start to comment on this beast. It is just too confusing.

Suffice it to say that virtually all the 540`s I use are the MFA 540/1 types of which I have experience of and buy new.

I regard any unmarked 540 with great suspicion. Motors from we all have some in the "come in handy box"??? it always seems a shame to chuck a nice shiny motor away, but that`s what we should do. I have probably half a dozen motors I should chuck (but wont, just in case....).


Thread: todays boating
28/09/2020 17:42:14

OK. I am going to spill the beans.

Richard has a hot 540 installed (the sort with adjustable brush timing) with a flexidrive and a (poss Beryllium) racy prop.

It did exceed expectations, and a test in calmer water will give us a better idea of how well it goes.

The slipper is very nose-up, and to be honest, I thought this was ok considering the novelty of the design. I squarer shelf fitted at the stern, possibly in acrylic so as not to be noticeable would/might help to keep the nose down.

Although it was going very well, some more performance might be available if Richard could get rid of the obvious cavitation that`s going on. Essentially this would call for a larger and possibly surface piercing prop (which work better than normal props when a bit of cavitation is present) but might strain the 540. A speed 600 could be easily fitted I suppose and this might turn a slightly larger prop than that fitted. all that work worth it??? It went really well considering, and was a great larf. I suggested that perhaps a bit of half-round section wood/plastic/woteva could be fitted around the `welt` of the slipper to prevent some of the spray that is causing internal wetness, but it may have been that the fairly severe weather conditions were more to blame than any shortcomings in the design.

Camera at the ready for tomorrow!!!


Edited By ashley needham on 28/09/2020 17:44:49

Thread: Cruise Ships - Dawlish Devon
28/09/2020 09:02:07

Ray. I have been lazy of late and been using my small compact almost exclusively, as it is handy and at 20M pixels, produces good photos.

However, the last crop of fast boats has seen the Panasonic LUMIX bridge camera in action again, and what a treat. For a start the zoom is so much bigger, secondly it processes pictures much faster (although it displays the pic on the viewfinder for a few seconds, I discovered if you touch the shutter button it gets rid of this and takes another picture enabling rapid shooting, unlike the compact). I also like the weight, it’s not heavy as such, but much heavier than the compact, and this combined with the larger size gives much better handling.

But best of all...the pseudo eyepiece, with the massively added benefit of diopter correction, so I can actually see the snaps on the camera in focus! And it keeps out the sun.

I gave my Olympus OM20N and all my lenses to a charity shop. Not worth selling unfortunately. All that money I spent, a lovely camera, but I would never have used it again.


Thread: Need hull cast from my plug
28/09/2020 08:49:37

Paul. Our limited experience of square rig sailing is...difficult.

It is so difficult to keep the wind in the right quarter for any length of time unless your sailing water is very long, and it is one of the reasons I used muslin for the London sails.

I even thought of somehow stiffening the muslin (whilst keeping the porosity of the material) to give that “Airfix” model full sail look all the time. As it is, the sails tend to spend a lot of time “aback” which is not the best, however the sails are deliberately relatively tight so this is not too obvious.

I have a nice period looking 60mm two blade period prop for the London powered by an MFA 2.5:1 geared 540 usually running on 9.6V (ship 48 inches hull length), and this struggles sometimes to exert authority when going into wind due to mostly the incredible bluff rear end (and mine is nowhere near as blunt as the real thing) and the likely inefficiency of the prop. Reversing is almost a non-starter due to the hull proportions. It will stop, just about, and will reverse a bit, but this is accompanied by mountains of froth from the prop going astern at full throttle.

Another thing is the size of rudder you will need to sail. Big, very big and massively over-scale otherwise steering will be the London, you keep the prop turning to provide the necessary water flow over the rudder. It is unfortunate that although in a moderate breeze the London DOES sail (go along under sail power alone) strictly speaking it is not sailing due to the light motor assistance....


27/09/2020 19:07:26

sails.....or you can cheat using muslin to create the right look without having too much of a wind pressure issue. Obviously you would need a bit of prop assistance, but on the London, this is minimal in the wind.



Edited By ashley needham on 27/09/2020 19:13:54

Thread: todays boating
27/09/2020 19:03:14

Scary, very scary.....



Thread: Need hull cast from my plug
27/09/2020 13:22:26

Could you do without the sailing bit and simply have sail-less masts? The keel requirements would be much less. In addition it will massively simplify the access requirements due to a lack of moving rigging.

As Colin suggests, a cut line lower down would enable you to have an inner rim all the way round the lower half and just sit the top on this. As I see it, the hull shape would allow this.

It is an extreme shape!

Just a thought.


Thread: todays boating
27/09/2020 08:22:04

Coats hat gloves today!

Big destroyer, saucer and ex-jet lander (now sans jet device, just an ordinary prop setup now)


Thread: Need hull cast from my plug
27/09/2020 08:17:23

Why a false keel? Make the hull deeper than it should be to add the extra weight. The incorrectness of a slightly deeper hull is better in my book than an ugly great keel dangling from a big bracket under said hull?

on my large Victoriangunboat I have mixed lead shot with resin and poured this in the bottom of the hull, which means it becomes part of the hull and thus self supporting whilst of course adding to hull strength.

If you were to do a foam hull and slice it, you would then have flat foam surfaces in either half. If you were then to indent the bottom foam layer by 1/4 inch and glass this incorporating an upstanding, the top could be pressed onto the bottom showing where the upstand needed to be. Only sufficient foam needs to be scooped out for the gear etc, the rest can stay in there where it is and will provide internal support (if you don’t use a release agent).

please pm me and I will show you some pictures.


Edited By ashley needham on 27/09/2020 08:19:07

Thread: todays boating
26/09/2020 17:51:35

On the plane....a challenge if ever I heard one. Like the step underneath, will be required to get it going very very very fast.

Will have to bring the swordfish.....


Thread: Need hull cast from my plug
26/09/2020 17:45:24

Snaps, ok, not quite 40 inches long, but showing the potential. It is very easy.

img_7590#showing removable block.jpg

img_7593#shaped plain foam.jpg




26/09/2020 17:36:05

Paul. Tricky. It might be expensive, and I cant imagine any professional would be prepared to guarantee a good hull from a customer supplied mould/plug (just guessing, but i know someone who does vacforming and he has some tales to tell....ok, not fibreglass, but using customer supplied tools....).

An alternative, just to throw one in the murky pond of what-ifs, might be to make a hull core from foam and then cover it in fibreglass (use Epoxy resin, it is almost odourless).

When cured, fill and sand to the desired finish, then cut a split line in it to create your top and bottom, then scoop out the foam, or at least, just enough to get the gear in. If the foam hull is smooth and is coated with a release agent, the foam should be quite easy to remove afterwards.

The top and bottom will match nicely just as if they were made as one


Thread: Balsa Shortage
26/09/2020 17:27:05

Damn!!! Another urban myth busted.

Like Tim, I thought....or did I? I didnt actually think, I was just parroting what is common knowledge, and if DM is right (obviously he is) then the common knowledge is rubbish.

Absolutely agree that sustainable rainforest harvesting AND using the wood for ecologically sound products, sort of, makes good sense.

Rather that than level millions of acres of hardwood just to make posh front doors.


Thread: BRUTUS MK 11
26/09/2020 17:19:13

Bob. It has, or WILL have, the ability to burn through drones, missiles and aircraft. Also can be used to target these small terrorist type launches and rubber boats.

The laser will be able to disrupt any infra-red targeting systems on missiles/planes and indeed "dazzle" pilots in boat, aircraft or of course blind the tv systems that remote operators use to guide drones.

The Dragonfire will use (i believe) several industrial cutting laser sources and combine them to the required output.

To put it in context, from my very brief research it seems that hobby or other thin wood cutting lasers may have 25-100 (ish) watts of laser power, and industrial; cutters up to the 6Kw mark. Wikipedia says that about 2.5Kw may be needed to cut 6.5mm of stainless steel, and 10Kw for the same thickness of aluminium (possible due to the good heat conductivity).

If we consider the likely thickness of a drone/missile or aircraft hull, then 50Kw is quite a bit....

BUT......It depends of course on the weather and distance. In a full downpour and at (say) 10Km, then 50Kw may only be enough to get things warm???

Ashley Paul T is an expert, having a death ray himself, he will put me right i dare say.



Edited By ashley needham on 26/09/2020 17:20:25

26/09/2020 09:06:09

Bob. Us Brits are working on an operational 50Kw laser system called Dragonfire.

The round window-on the left of the picture is the laser nozzle..nice big red LED ?



Edited By ashley needham on 26/09/2020 09:07:23

Thread: Balsa Shortage
26/09/2020 08:53:46

With global warming, we can all have our own balsa tree in the garden and be assured of a steady supply!

you can’t think that every single bit of balsa from a tree is useful for turbine blades ? But I dare say the Chinese will sell the bits on e-bay for inflated prices.

Must have significant repercussions for model aircraft builders. Don’t use the stuff myself, or at least, in very small quantities now and then.


Thread: todays boating
24/09/2020 17:41:30

Richard, then you must be Ms Monypenny with those thigh length rubber boots.....surprise


Thread: MFA385 - A Story of Confusion
24/09/2020 17:39:08

Good point. Mine are all "standard " ones(I think?). They all run without noise capacitors, mostly, and I dont have any issues with this.

At this sort of consumption I would not worry about the different current draws for a few hours boating on a 3700mAhr stick, but the seemingly much lower revs of the LN version would be a worry, and seriously underpower almost anything i have with a 385 fitted without using massive props or bigger voltage batteries.

Efficiency in the model boating world, for anything other than racing craft or items with very high current draws is something to think about.....or is it??? What benefit would a slightly more efficient drive make to one of my landing craft, for 2 hours water time???? Would it be worth the worry?

As an aside, a static wattmeter test on a "standard" 385 on 9.6V and an s35 two blade plastic prop was 2.5A. Not that this means much on its own, but The motor takes it all in its stride and doesnt even get warm with this abuse.


Thread: Discussion on Motors and Props
24/09/2020 08:59:29

I used the wattmeter on my medium lander, twin 385 can motors! S35 two blade plastic props and on 9.6V on the day, and it gave me a 5A reading.

Looking in the shed, I have measured up a few boats propelled by the humble385 motor,

largest first. Props for all mostly s35 or brass 30-40mm. All dimension in mm

LST. 1600 x 300. 3x 385 Flat bottomed so not as heavy as it looks

Titanic. 1200 x 130. 3x 385

Argus a/c carrier 900x 140 2x 385

LCT 750x130 2x385

LCT 500x130 1x 385

In addition, the Devastation (not measured),

The motor copes with 40mm props, and the motors barely get warm. Landers normally run on 6 cell Nimh, the others on 7 or 8 cell for a bit more oomph. Neither the LST or Titanic are underpowered on 9.6v. Hasto be a go-to motor if ever there was one!




Edited By ashley needham on 24/09/2020 09:02:29

Thread: Torpedo Boat
24/09/2020 08:35:08

S. Nice job, and well done, especially considering the missing parts.

Do we presume it’s untested yet? And what motor /prop/ battery combination will be used?


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