Monday, July 31, 2017

July 30th

We went out and got things and stuff, and when we got back, I replaced the brake pads on the mountain bike.  The rear brake was still dragging a little, so I tried adjusting it.  That didn't work, so everything came apart and got cleaned and put back together with a little lithium grease, and now it's working OK.

I made up a battery mount for the plane, but didn't get around to going and installing it yet.

Sunday, July 30, 2017

July 29th

We swapped some furniture around in the house, and then I went to the airfield to look at the plane.  We ran it to get the oil injection system primed, then drained all the gas and weighed it for the weight and balance check.  It's slightly forward biased, which I think it probably mostly due to the exhaust system sitting further forward than it was with the old engine.  With fuel, it'll be OK, but I'm thinking I'll try and move the (~8lb) battery behind the seat and see if that makes it closer to perfect, rather than add weight to the tail (we reckon ~2lbs would do it).  It's a shame, as I had been thinking about getting a LiFePO4 battery for the plane when all this was done, to save ~6lbs :o)

When I got home, I took the wheels off the mountain bike, as I'd found a chunk of tread missing on the (pretty bald) rear tyre.  I swapped the front to the back, and installed an old directional front tyre.  I tear up rears, not fronts.  I found that the rear brake is sticking a bit, and I reckon new pads should help there (these are still the pads the bike came with).

In the evening, Jen came over and we barbecued for the first time this year.  Time flies when you're in a coma.

July 28th

We watched "Kong: Skull Island", which was pretty good but is obviously meant to be the setup for a new franchise.

July 27th

I was in the office today, so managed to lose $20 playing poker before riding home.

Friday, July 28, 2017

July 26th

I got up stupid early and rode to San Francisco for work.

I crashed at Dave's, so we watched dumb TV and ate pizza.

July 25th

We went to the last downtown Roseville thing of the year, just to look at the old cars and see what else was there.  We ran into Jen while looking at the old cars, but she didn't have either of hers there.

July 24th

I went over to the airfield after work and tied the plane to the van.  I then put in chocks and ran the new engine in.  For an hour.  Still, it was getting between 6200 and 6300 rpm at full throttle, so my guess at the prop pitch looks to have been pretty much spot on - there are a couple of things that need doing now (like safety wiring the prop), but it's basically ready to fly as soon as the FAA give me a new test area.

Sunday, July 23, 2017

July 23rd

I went over to the airfield to meet Ken, and we got the header tank installed, and wired in the engine.  We found one of the carbs was a little sticky, so we swapped in one of my other carbs (after swapping the jets), finding a crack in the one that came with the engine.  It's been like that for a while, as there's scuffing on the carb slide.  We got everything back together, and then started the plane.  It sort of ran, but one cylinder was running poorly.  We put the plane back in the hangar and went to lunch.  When we got back from lunch, we looked at the plug on the poor running cylinder, and it was wet, so we decided to swap this carb too, and found the choke body missing, so it's been running on full choke the whole time.  With that all sorted out, the engine ran fine.  I found it interesting how quiet it seems to be :o)

Ken left to go and do some stuff at his brother's, and I got the air filter fitted, and did some safety wiring.  I'm hoping to get back during the week and run the engine in, as that's about an hour's work.

In the evening, we watched Game of Thrones - we ended up watching it on the home theatre PC via a web browser, as the Chromecast really didn't want to play.  I've read a whole bunch of complaints about the HBO Now app via Chromecast sucking, so maybe the new router I've ordered won't help anyway :o(

July 22nd

I was on call, so I couldn't be away from the house for too long.  Vic and I went over to the airfield and got stuff done on the plane - mainly getting the coolant temperature probe all wired up and ready to go (that involves taking the whole EIS out of the instrument panel, which is as much fun as it sounds).

Friday, July 21, 2017

July 20th

- Dude, why is everybody upset that the lead singer of Limp Bizkit died?
- Not Limp Bizkit, Linkin Park
- Oh man...

I went over the the airfield and tidied up a few bits and pieces and some wiring to the new motor.  I figure there are only a couple of things to do before firing it up for the first time :o)

Tuesday, July 18, 2017

July 18th

Today I discovered that the fridge is leaking water.  I pulled it out, turned the water off then cleaned everything up.  It's amazing how much dust collects under these things.  I took the back off the fridge and cleaned out everything I could get to.  One of the water pipes was cracked about 3" from where it goes in to the valve, and luckily what was left was long enough to plug back in.  It looks like I'll end up having to tear the whole thing apart to replace the hose next time this happens, but for now we're good.

July 17th

When we were watching Game of Thrones, there was a lot of stuttering, so I spent a while getting the network to talk on 5GHz and 2.4GHz.  It should be easy, as the router / cable modem supports both bands, but not at once.  We have some older devices that require 2.4GHz, so I've set up an older 2.4GHz router to cover those.  Now (hopefully) everything should be working correctly.  We watched the Game of Thrones episode again, with no stuttering, so hopefully this is fixed, but I'm going to get a new, faster router and set the router / cable modem to just pass through.

Monday, July 17, 2017

July 16th

I went to the airfield and did some circuits until it got too busy, then put the plane away and started disconnecting the Rotax 503 engine.  Ken and Todd got back from breakfast just in time to help remove the prop (I'd loosened the bolts, but had been bothered about dropping it) and then unbolt the engine and take it off.  We then got the 582 installed on the engine mounts.  Ken modified one of the exhaust mounts and got the exhaust manifold installed while I tightened up the engine mounts.  When he went to meet his brother for lunch, I installed things and stuff, including running new wire for the coolant temperature sensor, then gave up and went home.

In the evening, we watched the series premier of Game of Thrones.

July 15th

I started the day picking Vic up from the Jeep dealer - it was in for a recall on the airbags.  This meant I didn't get to fly this morning, but we went to the airfield to drop off the new (to me) Rotax 582 engine and gubbins.  I had been hoping to fly the gyroplane with Don, but he had a lesson at Cameron Park (where he's based), so he wasn't coming over to Lincoln this weekend.

I tinkered around the house until it was time to pick up the Jeep again.  By this time, it was too hot to do anything, so I didn't.

The Raspberry Pi that I use as a DHCP / DNS server took a dump on Friday, so I played with that a bit.  I think it's the SD card, as the original 8Gb wouldn't install a new operating system, but a new 16Gb card worked just fine.  Now I just need to get around to configuring it and reconfigure the router to no longer do the DHCP stuff.

Friday, July 14, 2017

July 14th

I took the day off, due to a "use it or lose it" type of thing.  Obviously Tilly didn't let me sleep in, so I got up, got on the roof and washed the solar panels (after Jim posted about them being dirty on Facebook).  When I got down, Caroline and Kathy were coming past, and said they'd been concerned because the garage was open - well duh, I was on the roof :o)  Unfortunately, this distracted me from what I was doing, and I left the side gate open, which Tilly found shortly afterwards, and took herself on an adventure.  When I figured out the door was open, and she didn't come when I called her, I figured the dogs barking was where she was, and hopped on my bicycle to go and see.  I was on my way over when she came gamboling over from somebody's front garden, so I clipped her to the bicycle and walked home.

I had a guy come over to buy an old monitor from me, which was nice - more space, more money, what's not to like?

I got out on my bicycle, which is something I rarely do when I get a day off, then went to sell off an old graphics card.  Yay!

I even got time to get some work done on the EAA website.  I should take time off work more often.

Monday, July 10, 2017

July 9th

I got up early and went to the airfield, where it was quite windy.  I did circuits again (not wanting to be too far away when it starts warming up and it gets too bumpy), and chatted to Ken when I got back.

I put the toilet together again when I got home, and it seems to be holding fine now, so I called that done and headed out and changed the oil in the van.

I had thought about going to the airfield and flying again in the evening, but it was 105F and I couldn't face fighting with the hangar doors again in that heat.

July 8th

I started the day really early (couldn't sleep), putting the toilet back together and a little water in it to see if it was fixed.  I got yelled at for making too much noise, so I went to the airfield and did some circuits until it started to get busy, and bumpy.

When everybody else showed up at the EAA hangar, I cooked breakfasts until Bruce's presentation about flying his Bay tour.  As soon as that was over, Ken came and got me to go and fly the gyroplane with Don.  I set in the front this time, where the instruments are, and with a better seat belt that made me feel a lot more secure.

After that, I went home and checked the toilet to find it had leaked through one of the bolts that holds the tank on.  So I pulled it all apart again and silicone'd up those fittings too.  Again, it was to be left overnight to cure.

In the evening, I went back to the airfield and took the plane out for a flight, getting back not long before it got dark.

July 7th

I decided to use some silicone to seal the toilet up, but unfortunately the stuff I had in the garage was all set solid, so I had to go and get some more.  I said everything up and let it to cure overnight.

Tuesday, July 4, 2017

July 4th

Today was a holiday, when Americans celebrate Brexit 1776 by going shopping.

My day started with a phone call from a customer at 07:25 because he didn't understand something he'd been told by a cow-orker.  He's in Canada, and somehow isn't aware of Independence Day, yet I'm aware of Canada Day being on the 3rd this year due to the holiday itself being on a Saturday.

I got a new flapper valve thing for the toilet, and put that all together the way the picture showed, but that caused a massive leak.  It seems there's another gasket that you need, that isn't included in the flapper valve kit.  Vic went and got one of those while I cleaned everything up and to it all apart again.  We had a couple of goes getting it all together again, but it was still leaking, so we left it.

July 3rd

Tomorrow's a holiday, so obviously the fireworks started tonight.  Tilly was all kinds of wound up by this, meaning nobody slept well.

July 2nd

I started the day at the airfield, where I took the plane out for an hour of circuits until it got too bumpy to have fun.

When I got home, I turned the water off and took the hose fitting off the bottom of the toilet, and we went out and got parts - a new tap fitting, hose to the inlet on the toilet and ballcock.  Of course, it's still filling itself from time to time, so the problem seems to be the flapper valve is leaking (as the old ballcock had been hissing on and off, I assumed it was the ballcock, but that all needed replacing anyway as the washers were disintegrating).

In the evening, I went back out to the airfield and took the plane out for a flight.  It was pretty bumpy and windy, so I didn't do much, and headed home after about an hour.

July 1st

A new month, so here are the solar stats:

Power billed

Power generated

I started the day at the airfield, where I got the plane out and then it wouldn't run properly.  Ken got back from a flight as I was tinkering with it, and we checked the floats, jets, carbs etc as it seemed to be a fuel problem.  It  didn't seem to get any better, so I decided to come back later with more tools to throw at it.

Don was coming over to give Ken lessons in the gyroplane, and Todd was having a trial lesson, so I asked if I could get a trial too... no problem.  Then Bruce showed up, and he took a trial lesson after Todd got back, then Tony showed up and he took a trial lesson when Bruce got back, and eventually I got out.  We figured I'd sit in the back seat to solve the problems with the pre-rotate and everything, but that meant I couldn't see everything and didn't have as many instruments.  It was shakier than the Flightstar, and I didn't feel comfortable with just a lap belt (I'm used to a 4 point harness), but it was fun.  It seemed we had only just taken off when we went back, 40 minutes later :o)  It's definitely something I'd be interested in, if I could afford a $85,000 plane.

At home, I tinkered around with a leaking toilet, and decided to get all the parts to fix it.  Tomorrow.

In the evening, we went out to get things and stuff, then went over to the airfield with more tools.  I wanted to try new spark plugs at the very least before going home to regroup.  The plane started just fine, and ran just fine all the way up to ~5400 (which was all I could hold it to on the brakes).  Typical.  Vic suggested I try a circuit, and it ran just fine for that.  Typical.

June 30th

Whenever I left the house today, I could smell burning wood, but I couldn't see any smoke or anything so I decided it was somebody smoking fish (it happens, as several neighbours have fishing boats).  So, we were watching TV when the fire brigade showed up - Jim pointed them around the block, as it seems our neighbours over the back had their fence on fire - Kathy was directing their hose on it, but it had been tall sheets of flame.  Obviously everybody over there was oblivious to this.

There's thinking that it's the 12v landscaping lights, but that doesn't make sense to me - they don't draw enough power to cause this, and I'd been smelling smoke all day.