Archive for August 2004

Windy Man

This was posted to the Burning Man NYC mailing list today. I’m flying to Reno tomorrow.

Plaid just got a call from a friend who is out on the Playa helping with infrastructure.

the latest report is that is has been raining so much in the last three days that there are only about 500 people out there. It has been too wet to drive on.
bring “wet shoes” and “dry shoes”

Strong winds have been reaching up to 100 miles per hour and blowing over the porta potties..

Bring extra “tiey-Down Stuff”

100 miles per hour?!?!?!?

One hundred miles per hour?!?!?

One. Hundred.


Weird Allergy?

I was at a client’s (Ba. Wh.) yesterday and she offered me coffee with amaretto flavored liquid Coffee-Mate. After about 30 minutes and 3/4 of a cup, I felt like I had just mainlined 3 cups of coffee. I felt like I had to run around the block. My chest itched a bit and my whole body felt super-buzzy. I honestly didn’t believe her when she told me it was decaf. But she showed me that the only coffee in the house was decaf! I had so much trouble concentrating and was so jittery, I couldn’t focus on work at all. I left, walked all around the neighborhood. That helped only a tiny bit. I sat in my car for 30 minutes quietly and that helped a little. I went back in and worked on the computer for another 20 minutes but I couldn’t continue and we called it a day.

I went home, had breakfast/lunch and sat around a bit and felt better after a while. Weird.

Mostly flying the Trick 1000

That crazy plane.. I’ve had some trouble with it.

First I tried flying it with one 10-cell KAN-1050-knockoff pack. For the first flight, I tried taking off from the landing gear. Blech. It rolled. It went up, it twisted, it went down. I went to launch it again but when I held it in my hands and gave it throttle, it made a funny low buzzing sound. As I was turning it off, I felt something hit the side of my neck in my hair. It was a screw from the motor mount! That was kind of weird since I think the screw had to of hit the prop and gone in a giant arc up and then down into my hair. And I even caught it. Cool. Weird.

When I was putting it together, I had some trouble with the motor mount. See the drawing at the right. There is a mostly hollow rear motor mount (red) that’s glued to the fuselage, and a front motor mount (green) that holds the motor with the two inner (purple) screws. Trouble was (so I thought) that 1 of the 4 screws that holds the front mount to the rear mount (teal) didn’t go in tightly. I thought it would be alright. I was wrong. It is held in just with friction; the screws didn’t have enough bite, the hole was too big… whatever the problem, it didn’t stay in. So after my crash, I got out the CA glue!

It was suggested that instead of taxing, I should just toss it in the air. Gosh darn it if it didn’t work. Problem #2 & 3 cropped up. The center of gravity was way too far back and it was porpoising. Also, I only got 3 minutes of battery life out of it. But it flew!

I got it down in a hurried state, way low on battery (the problem might have been that the speed control was set to turn off at the wrong voltage. I haven’t had time to diagnose that yet… but I digress). It was a rough landing but in one piece. So I stuck 2 battery packs in parallel (I suspected I’d have to do this so I bought 4 packs, all the same :-) ). I brought it out to the field, got ready to toss it, reved it up and CRACK!

The foam forward of the motor mount (denoted in sad yellow) tore off! It wasn’t glued in well enough from the factory! So that was that for my flying day. I got it home, took out the fiberglass tape and epoxy and went to town. The nose ain’t falling off anymore! (See picture)
You’ll also notice in the picture that the bottom screws are larger than the top screws. Well, both of them had started coming loose so I went goofy on it. I drilled out the holes a little larger, cut down some long screws and screwed them in the holes and then I epoxied the shit out of them! The little circles in the fuselage are toothpicks (slathered in epoxy) I drove into it to reinforce. You’ll also notice the wear marks on the prop. It only got 1 more flight before cracking (I flew into a house… the house won)

Blah blah blah…. I got one 15 second flight out of it on Saturday morning. On board was 2 batteries, all the lighting, and the power module for the lighting. It’s a heavy plane! It took off and I couldn’t give enough right aileron to keep it up. I think the lighting was interfering with it. Nevertheless. It flew. Since I was out of time, I repaired the damage (House 1, Plane 0) and boxed it up for the trip to Burning Man. No wait. It didn’t fit in the box. I had to leave for the container in 30 minutes and I didn’t have a box big enough for the tail section!! ACK! The boxes I thought would fit…. didn’t I started driving toward the bike shop to make my own box out of a bike box…. then I turned around and started driving toward Hackettstown because it was closer, and “I would have to find something.” And I turned home with a plan.

I took a utility knife to the epoxied tail. I took a screwdriver to the landing gear. And darnit, I made the plane flat. I made it fit in the hard case I found at a junk yard in Vermont that I had gotten for this very purpose. (Well, I was going to use it for the Projeti, but the Projeti didn’t fit in it. It was only still in the garage because I didn’t have time to get rid of it (and I was secretly thinking that I had to find SOME use for it. Well I did!))

I put the Trick 1000 in a box. Projeti in a box. Tools in a box, supplies in boxes. bike in a box. I strapped the bike box to the roof of the Jaguar (finally, a good use for the Jag!) and I was Brooklyn bound!

My main piece of art, what I’ve worked on for 50 hrs+ MIGHT fly. It MIGHT light up in the air (only briefly tested!). Then again, maybe it won’t. Maybe it’ll melt in the heat of the container. Maybe it’ll rock.

Buying Last Minute Parts

Tuesday: I finished the plane! I put the batteries in. I tested the controls. ACK! One of the servos is bad! ACK! It takes 3 weeks for warrantee service! ACK! The nearest hobby store has recently proven that it regularly doesn’t have the most essential supplies (last week I asked for Deans Ultra connectors and Zagi props. No go.) I called him up and PHEW, he had them. Grumble, grumble, I had to drive 30 minutes each way just for this little 0.2 oz part on Wednesday.

Flaming Lithium Polymer Chunks

The guy at Zeppelin Hobbies told me why they don’t allow Li-Poly batteries at model car races. They don’t just burn, they throw burning chunks several feet. Cool. Imagine one battery blowing up and lighting all the neighboring cars on fire. Rinse and repeat. How’s that for adding an element of danger to models? Cool.

Becoming an international art model

PPG and I were models for an Argentinian artist in Brooklyn in the spring. She did this photo novella of us, playing out a story. The art is really quite good and it’s currently on display in Buenos Aires!

Shara’s birthday party

She had her last birthday party at her old place at Grove Street… She bought an apartment! Another fun party I went to in the last couple weeks! She’s good. Her friends are good.