Heli-birds

This past week has not been particularly eventful, though the snow is back as is the cold. I even bought an extension lead to plug in the block heater for the first time since we have had it. Though we both plan on walking to work tomorrow, even though there is a forecast for a low of -30, which they claim will ‘feel like’ -42. Should be bitter.

So working back through the weekend, I rebuilt my helicopter into a new chassis, which I don’t plan on breaking in a crash. I hope that this will give me some amount of fear of crashing and thus push me harder to be better. To rebuild I had to completely strip the helicopter from the old broken chassis. The pictures tell the story better than the words, though the screws are so small. It’s hard to conceive their actual size from the pictures, but I assure you, they’re tiny.

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That bearing is the smallest roller bearing I have ever seen! The coin in the pictures is a Dollar or as it is commonly known in Canada, a Loony, after the bird on the tails side of the coin. It is about the size of an English 50p piece.

Sunday morning I happened to look out of our kitchen window upon the snow scene, when my eye settled on the tree by the stained glass place. The tree was clearly providing sustenance, in the form of the small red berries that currently adorn it and contrast so beautifully with the white snow, for a number of Cedar Waxwings (Bombycilla cedrorum). I counted between 12 and 15 of them. My pictures don’t really do their plumage justice as the windows are not what one might consider to be clear and transparent.

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Pretty aren’t they? I am not sure that I have ever observed this species before, perhaps I have not been concentrating in the past. Then again the tree has so many berries on it, that I doubt anything has been eating them at much of a rate. I would wager that if each bird weighs 30g, and consumes its own body weight of food during the course of a day, that 15 of these things could consume 450g of berries. Now I am stumped as I don’t know a, how many berries there are on the tree, and b. how much one berries would weight. So the wagers of off. Sorry.

I had my microscope out and took a picture of the LEDs which make up the computer monitor display. The three colours are actually LED lamps, you’re seeing them though the two polarizing filters which allow for reducing brightness of each individual LED.

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I keep meaning to take a picture of a snow flake through the microscope, one day soon I’ll bring you said picture. Soon.. not date mentioned..

Hannah: “Our lives are not that boring, but Brendan had a lot of time on his own this week, as I haven’t had much time off, what with colleagues being sick and holiday cover (plus teaching and attending directors meetings). We’re going to a Curling Bonspiel this coming Saturday, that should be good fun”

Brendan: “I completely fail see how this blog post could possibly construe that we have boring lives.. Just because I took the time to understand how the LED monitor works…”

Set fire to the snow

I have now fixed my helicopters’ ski using some transparent plastic that was part of some packaging from a present which one of us received from Christmas.

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I also built the Spite Fire which I was given for Christmas, it took longer than I expected, almost an hour and a half I think, It was great fun. I now plan on getting my wood glue from work and sticking a few of the parts in and on as some are a little lose.

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We got some good pictures of Tigger recently:

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On Saturday afternoon we set off from home with our snow shoes, a sledge/toboggan and headed North on Elm Street. We passed through Chelmsford and shortly before the next gas bar we spotted fire wood for sale. We bought $10 worth, loaded it into the sledge on the back seat off the car and then continued on our merry way. We arrived at Windy lake, parked up and got our snow shoes, hats, gloves etc on. We set off, me with my knife and survival tool. We walked for at least a mile to the edge of the lake, now frozen so thick that there is an ice fishing hut on the lake. We cleared an area of snow and piled up the wood in the center of it; I later discovered that what I thought was a “cleared” area, was just a hard layer of snow; there was a good 3 inches more snow under that. Soon we had a good little fire going. We enjoyed it until it burned down such that it was no longer giving off any discernible heat (at -19 I guess we might just not have been feeling it!). During this time the light had bounced off on it’s merry way to a new day on the far side of the planet leaving us surrounded by the absence of light. Luckily I knew that we had to make our way due north, so using the compass we set off following our own foot steps right back the way we came.

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When we got home we had some dinner, for desert we had a slice of Christmas cake with English custard, made in the county of Devon in England!!!

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Helicoptering

I have now broken two parts of my new helicopter, I had a collision with the wall in our bed room which resulted in a “fall from height”. this split the cannopy, since then I might have had a few other crashes causing yet more damage to the cannopy. Then on Monday I had an incident, where the helicopter contacted the wall and floor at speed, I believe that this collision broke the skid leg.

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I read on a forum that I should be practicing landing accurately  so I made a heliport, Hannah kindly provided the colouring expertise to make the logo nice and black. I also added a coke can for somewhere to land when I eventually get good at landing on the H!!

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Cat and helicopters

Got a couple of fun pictures of Tigger with Hannah. Also the snow was settling on top of the wires outside! Never seen that happen before.

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My new helicopter, that Hannah gave me for Christmas, is a Walkera (Cheap Chinese version of a better one made by another company I believe) Genius FP (Fixed pitch) 4ch, which gets some good reviews on forums. It’s only a small helicopter (32grams – my big helicopter is 230grams)), mainly for indoor use, but capable enough to use outside, which I expect that I will do when I get better at flying it. Also Hannah gave me a tiny helicopter (13grams but very compact). I have photographed the helicopters beside a loonie, (The Canadian dollar is approximately 26.5mm or 1-3/64″ ish).

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Also, I have found a couple of time recently that I have needed a knife for some reason, always when I am not at home.. So today was the final straw. We stopped in at Ramacos on our way to Killarney and picked up a small knife which I can keep on my keys, just incase…

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Hair Cut day

Both Hannah and I went and got our hair cut today, Hannah’s was a little more extreme than mine.

Needs no explanation. But she does look most lovely don’t you think?

I have fixed my helicopter, after I told them about how the drive cog was on upside down, they sent me another, which I got yesterday. It is exactly the same as the other one, so still not right. So I had some cardboard and packed the motor off the mount so that it works, and sure enough it’s fixed. I now have two good motors both of which will function with packing.

Hannah is off doing her board meeting stuff today after we have lasagna for lunch

Vets and Motors

Tigger was very good at the vets, but he didn’t make any friends with the other animals there. A puppy came in, all excited, Tigger looked pretty unfriendly, ear flat on his head, eyes only slits and hissing like a pressure cooker about to explode. But with the vet he was very chilled, let him prod and poke him, check in his mouth etc.

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Helicopter news, I get my new motor, fitted it, only to discover that the gear didn’t mesh the same, upon closer inspection I found that the gear on the motor was pressed on the other way around to the one on the old motor, I let Litehwak know, they’re sending out a new motor to me.

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Helicopter – update

I emailed LiteHawk about the purchase of the motor, they suggested that I should also check out the state the ESC (Electronic speed controller), there is a possibility that it might have damaged components. So I took a good look..

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Also while taking pictures of it, I released that I had some pictures of Hannah and Tigger:

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Helicopter battery replacement

I received a new battery for my helicopter, as I suspected that the battery in the heli was failing. I emailed the support at LItehawk, they suggested that the short flight time could be caused by battery or motor failure, so having replaced the battery I flew the helicopter, the flight time was better, but not by much. I am going to order a new motor, which will cost $9.50 including postage. Pretty cheap!

Tigger is going for a routine checkup this coming Thursday, we got him a carry case this weekend. He’s looked in it a few times, but we have not actually seen him right inside of it. We also got him one of these:

Tiggers new toy is a disk with a captive ball which travels around a track
Tiggers new toy that came with Cat Nip

 

Snow!!!

Yay, we have some fairly proper snow now in Sudbury and we’re forecast a little more for the coming days. However on Sunday coming, it’s going in the plus figures, so it’ll all be gone, but to wet and soggy.

Though I’d update you on my Aloe Vera, it’s growing well again, but not making as much growth as before, this could be down to the changing seasons or possibly the many small off shoots coming up as new plants. I think there are about 5 plants in the pot now.

The helicopter is suffering with very reducing flight time, I thought this was the battery but thought I would contact LiteHawk (the makers) and ask them, they have given a very particle answer, I need to check the brushes on the motor, they’re only small and can wear prematurely due to over heating of the motor, I should be able to see if they’re still in existence or not when I get it apart tonight.