Monday, July 13, 2020

July 12th

We got to the airport fairly early and met Randy, then flew to Willows Glen for brunch.  It took a while, and interestingly Flightaware don't seem to have good ADS-B coverage up there.

Vic thinks this is just over her comfortable range as a passenger, so I'll look at a higher / wider screen at some point.  The waitress thought the planes looked funny, and asked if we pedalled them up there :o)

On the way back, we went the other side of the Sutter Buttes, and I was able to spot the other missile silos that were part of Beale Air Force Base.  Again, Flightaware missed a chunk of the journey.

It was pretty damned hot, so we put the planes away and went home, where I put the new newsletter up on the EAA website.

Sunday, July 12, 2020

July 11th

I was on call today, so I pottered around the house, checking work from time to time.  In the afternoon I went out to the airport and took the plane out.  I flew up to Nevada County, and had thought about going on to Blue Canyon, but it was a bit bumpy, and I wanted to go and see the private Alta Sierra air park, so I flew past that on the way home.  I'd intended to go straight back to Lincoln (so about an hour in the air) but decided to fly over the house first, so I was up for an hour and a half all told.

Wednesday, July 8, 2020

July 8th

I went and picked Randy up and headed to the airport, where we finished up replacing labels on our instrument panels.

After that, we went out for a little flight.

Tuesday, July 7, 2020

July 6th

I went over to the airport and tinkered around with the plane for a while.  Randy was there, so we just chatted more than anything :o)

Monday, July 6, 2020

July 5th

Tilly and I slept a little better, probably because we were so tired.  People were still blowing things up, after all.

We left the house early and met Chris and Tim at Lincoln (Chris was filling an oxygen tank for a trip next weekend), then flew to Auburn for breakfast.

After breakfast, Chris and Tim headed off North in Chris' RV, and Vic and I headed South - she's never seen Cameron Park, so we flew over it so she could see the wide roads and personal hangars before we headed home.

In the evening, we watched "Quantum of Solace".

July 4th

Today was Independence Day, when Americans celebrate the end of society by blowing things up and (usually) going shopping.

Unfortunately, last night's blowing things up meant that Tilly and I hardly slept, so we just mooched around the house all day achieving nothing.

In the evening we watched "Ad Astra".

Friday, July 3, 2020

July 3rd

It was a holiday here, as tomorrow's July 4th, some sort of big thing here, usually.  So, as I didn't have to go to work, I went to the airport and met Randy.  We were supposed to meet Chris at Auburn at 12:00, but we were early, so we took off and headed towards Cameron Park with the aim of meeting Chris en route and following him.

As we got near to Cameron Park, we could hear a plane leaving, but it wasn't Chris.  I figured we should head to Auburn so as not to be late, and when we were about 12 miles out, we heard Chris joining the pattern there.  Oh well.

We met a bunch of Chris' friends from Intel, and after lunch Randy and I headed back to Lincoln.

We did a couple of little things on the gyros, and sat around eating ice cream until we figured we'd head home.

July 2nd

After work, I went to the airfield and ran into Randy. We discussed Jamie's new gyro, and how she couldn't get it to start.  Because she'd disconnected the (flat) battery, and not reconnected it properly.  We marvelled that she'd managed to get through the whole startup sequence without seeing a single light come up, or hear the fuel pump running, and still thought she had an engine problem.  Oh well, we were snapped at a while back for picking up some cigarette butts that were in the pod, so we're staying out of it for now.  It's probably just as well the engine didn't start, as she hasn't installed the battery strap to stop it falling out, either.  I believe she's going to get Ken to look at it, so I've told him what the problem is :o)

We went for a flight, as it was a nice night.  It's funny, as it was quite windy, but of course you hardly notice that in the gyro :o)

July 1st

A new month, so here are the solar stats:

Power billed
Power generated

In the evening, I attended the IMC club meeting via Webex.  I wish people would learn to mute their microphones.

Wednesday, July 1, 2020

June 30th

My regulator finally came in, so after work I went over to the airport and installed it.  Everything seemed fine, and Chris wanted to meet up at Auburn, so I took the plane up for a flight to check it out.  I was early, so I took the long way there :o)

It's funny to see how much power my landing light draws, for example, when I've never even looked at that before.  After standing and chatting for a while, we headed back to Lincoln for some ice cream before Chris headed home.

Tuesday, June 30, 2020

June 29th

Apparently my regulator was on its way back to Sacramento:
June 29, 2020, 7:03 am Arrived at USPS Regional Destination Facility SACRAMENTO

It left there soon after, for parts unknown:
June 29, 2020, 8:45 am Departed USPS Regional Facility SACRAMENTO
Your item departed our USPS facility in SACRAMENTO CA DISTRIBUTION CENTER on June 29, 2020 at 8:45 am. The item is currently in transit to the destination.

It finally arrived in Roseville:
June 29, 2020, 3:44 pm Arrived at Post Office ROSEVILLE

Looks like it should be here tomorrow :o)

Monday, June 29, 2020

June 28th

Randy came and picked me up and we went to the airport to look at a stripped thread on one of his carb tops.  He was thinking he'd need to replace it.  Peering at it, I realised we could just swap the tops (there's a nut and bolt on the other side), so we ended up doing that.  Fixed!  Even better, a slight fuel weep he'd had before was now fixed (we were checking that we hadn't made it worse) by us taking stuff apart and putting it back together, so pending a test flight, he can probably cancel the order for that hard fuel line :o)

At home, I tinkered around with the DRZ, and I reckon the problem is the filter's come off one of the fuel input tubes in the tank, and there's crap in the lines / fuel tap or whatever.  Now I just need to figure out exactly what I want to do with that :o(

My regulator is on its way somewhere:
June 28, 2020 In Transit to Next Facility

No idea where it's going now.

We watched "Ma".

Sunday, June 28, 2020

June 27th

I got a text at 03:05 to say my regulator had arrived at the post office at Corona.  So, just for completeness, here's where it's travelled.

June 23, 2020, 12:35 am Accepted at USPS Origin Facility CORONA
June 23, 2020, 1:50 am Arrived at USPS Regional Origin Facility ANAHEIM
June 24, 2020, 3:35 am Departed USPS Regional Facility ANAHEIM
June 24, 2020, 12:31 pm Arrived at USPS Regional Facility SACRAMENTO
June 24, 2020, 10:11 pm Departed USPS Regional Destination Facility SACRAMENTO
June 26, 2020 In Transit to Next Facility
June 27, 2020, 3:03 am Arrived at Post Office CORONA
June 27, 2020, 11:55 am Arrived at USPS Facility CORONA

Priority 2 day shipping my arse.

Paul was on his way back from Truckee (I'd thought it was a day trip, but he's been there all week), so we met him at Auburn for lunch - he and Chris flew in in their gyros, we rode the motorcycles.

My bike started running badly on the way home, and I think it's the gas that's been sitting in the tank for months.  I'm planning to drain that out and use it in the lawn mower, and put nice fresh gas back in, as it felt like it was running out of gas, but the DRZ usually does that for a mile or so, then runs out of gas.

In the evening I went out to the airport and watched what actually happened with my regulator so I can be sure that the new one will fix the problem. 

At around 2,100 rpm tickover, I was showing under 13v, and after a few minutes, the charge light would come on.  Revving the engine (I was on the ground) to maybe 3,500 rpm, I couldn't get the charge light to go out.  I swapped in Randy's regulator, and at tickover I was seeing 13.4v, going up to 13.8v at 3,500 rpm.  I didn't want to run Randy's plane without him there, so I put my regulator back on mine, and had the same lower voltage, but the light didn't come on.  I figured I'd take it out and see what happened, but the light came on before I'd even got to the main taxiway.  It's a shame, as it was quite windy, and I wanted to see how short a takeoff roll I could do :o)

June 26th

Having waited all damn week for the new regulator for the plane to show up, it didn't.  I've been watching the tracking, and it seems to stop for a day every chance it gets, but it was always supposed to arrive today.  When they said it was going to arrive by 20:00, I gave up on installing it this evening, and figured I could do it in the morning - it's just 2 bolts and a connector, after all.

Friday, June 26, 2020

June 24th

We watched "Ford v Ferrari."

June 22nd

I met Randy at the airport and we replaced one of his float bowls - the safety wire hole had broken, and he doesn't like safety wiring to something else :o)

Monday, June 22, 2020

June 21st

Chris invited me to fly with him in the RV-6A to Willows for lunch, so I met him at Lincoln and we flew over there.

After lunch, we flew back, and got to say "hi" on the radio to Paul Hollingsworth on his way to Truckee.

Jamie was pushing her new gyroplane back up the taxiway, so we went and pushed it back to the hangar, then tried to start it and diagnosed a flat battery.  I also explained that if you interrupt the shutdown of her EFIS, it'll stay on, and that's why she was freaking out about the EFIS not shutting down.  We plugged her battery into a tender, but with the AGM battery at 10.5v, I'm not promising it'll come back.

John was out putting miles on his new Harley, so he stopped at Lincoln for water and an ice cream, then followed me home to say "hi" to Vic before heading home again.

In the evening we watched "Bloodshot."

June 20th

I pottered around the house all day, then went to the airport to go and fly.  On takeoff, the battery charge light came on, so I just did a circuit and landed (electric fuel pumps mean when the battery's dead, you get to land regardless.)

I fiddled about with the battery, hoping to have an excuse to upgrade to a Lithium battery, but I think it's the regulator.  I texted Ken, and he also thinks it's the regulator.

Friday, June 19, 2020

June 17th

Tonight, I attended the EAA membership meeting over Webex.

Wednesday, June 17, 2020

June 16th

Tilly's face is back to normal :o)

After work I went and met Randy at the airport so we could fly two of his kids - we flew up a river he's been interested in exploring, then went back to Lincoln.  It was a really nice night, but there weren't any parachutes to look at on the way home.

June 15th

Tilly's been stung or bitten in the face by something, as she's looking a little puffy there.  We gave her an antihistamine, and she slept most of the afternoon and woke up looking and feeling a bit better.

Monday, June 15, 2020

June 14th

Randy came over and we did some work on his Honda Pilot - we replaced the thermostat, a tickover sensor and a sensor in the rear differential.  I managed to drop a gasket under the airbox, and taking that out we found the filter was filthy, so we replaced that too.  We went to get some lunch, and figured out that the cooling system has air bubbles in it (strangely never had that problem changing the radiator in the Jeep, so he'll work on that - it seems as simple as running it with the heater on for a while.

In the evening we went for a flight around Beale Air Force base's airspace, and it was glorious - warm enough, but no thermals or bouncy wind.  We even saw what looked like a Flightstar or Hurricane single seater and a couple of powered parachutes over by Camp Far West lake.

Saturday, June 13, 2020

June 13th

I'm on call this weekend, so after I'd cleared out the work stuff, I went to meet Chris in Auburn for lunch.  I was a bit early, so I puttered around getting there.

We chatted with a bunch of guys who were collecting a Bonanza, and had stopped for lunch, then went and got our lunch before they closed.  I pottered around a little on the way home, as Chris was going to do some circuits in his RV, then landed and showed him Jamie's new M-22 in the hangar.

Marty and his wife were at the airport, so we chatted to them for a bit, then Chris headed back to Cameron Park and I headed home to clear out some more work stuff.

Friday, June 12, 2020

June 11th

I met Randy at the airport, and we looked at Jamie's new M-22 which was delivered yesterday.  Eh...

We went for a flight over to Chris' house, circled it and came back.  He wasn't in, it appeared, but Jackie was and saw us :o)

Thursday, June 11, 2020

June 10th

After work, I went and picked Randy up to go and look at his pre-rotator - he'd had the bendix out and thought he'd stripped the thread on it.  Looking at it, no, he'd stripped the thread on the screw, so we replaced that.  He had a prior engagement with taking his kids to play mini-golf, so we decided against flying.

Wednesday, June 10, 2020

June 9th

After work, I went and met Randy at the airport, where we took the gyroplanes out for a little putter around the area.

Monday, June 8, 2020

June 7th

We flew to Auburn, in the wind and thermals from the puffy cumulus clouds, and met Chris for brunch.

The wind was coming from the North, so we took off on 33 and flew along above one of the streams out of the foothills to get to Auburn.  Once there, we did the usual "answer questions on the gyroplane" thing, and I let a couple of kids sit in the plane.  I also roped in Chris to let one of the kids sit in his RV-6A (he said he wanted to practice flying it, I say he was late and wanted the faster aircraft) so he could be a cool kid too :o)

After getting back to Lincoln, we headed to Costco to pick up some stuff.  Notably they didn't have any Dr Pepper, only Diet, so I couldn't get any to load up the fridge in the hangar :o(

June 6th

Sutter were having a display day, so Chris stopped at Lincoln and we took the gyroplanes over for lunch.  Bruce flew his Cardinal over too, so he could get a display day sign off, and complained and complained about how bumpy it was flying under 1600' to be below the Beale shelf :o)  I flew South of the airport to do a 45 degree join to their (right hand) pattern, and Chris did an overhead join, so he got there before me.

Chris and I spent quite a while talking about gyros, and were the last people to get lunch.  One of the Sutter organisers, Carin, asked if we'd take a look at a gyroplane she'd had in her hangar for years from her uncle.  It looks like a Bandit, and we chatted about it for a while - they want to sell it, and I also suggested seeing if the McClellan museum might take it as a donation.

We flew back along the Feather River to Bear Creek, then headed back to Lincoln.

Chris had a problem with a fuse holder in his dashboard a while back, and I jumped past it (so the line is unfused) as a test.  Well, everything's working fine now, so he bought some circuit breakers.  He brought those, along with crimping tools and so on with him, so we replaced the 3 fuses in his panel with circuit breakers.  I checked when he'd got home, and everything was still working fine, so I believe myself to be up to date with everybody else's aircraft projects :o)

Friday, June 5, 2020

June 5th

Tilly's still not thrown up, even though she's back on kibble, so I'm thinking she's healed :o)  My arm and ribs are still sore - I'm hoping I haven't cracked a rib.  Again.

I took the afternoon off so I could take our new fridge to the hangar and get that unpacked and plugged in - we'll now have soda and ice cream bars :o)  After that, I taxied the plane to the gazebo where we talked about the plan for the fly-over for Amy's graduation.  We had 8 planes, including me and Randy in the gyros, and I thought we had a reasonable plan - Randy and I, being the slowest, would leave first, then tag along behind John in his Citabria.  Well, we flew further South than I'd thought, waiting for them to catch up with us, and then Jim in his 175 and Jay in his Waiex were behind John - I saw Jim, but Jay flew under me - I'm not convinced he saw me at all :o)  Anyway, we flew over Amy's, she said "thanks" on the radio, and we went back to Lincoln.

Back at Lincoln, there was a guy waiting to get out in a Cessna somethingorother.  I said he could get out in front of me, as I'd extended my downwind to let John land, and the Cessna said he was happy to wait.  I told him we were on a 1.5 mile final with a groundspeed of ~38mph (>20mph wind at this point), so he gave up waiting and took off first.  I flew to midfield before landing, so I could pull off and let the rotor spin down, and Randy could land and get off at the first exit and let his rotor spin down too.

Randy mentioned that he was now at the point where he could do his oil change, so we did his oil change - struggling because he'd overtightened his oil filter when installing it.  It's until the gasket touches, then 3/4 of a turn, not "as tight as you can get it".  Anyway, it's all done now.

Wednesday, June 3, 2020

June 3rd

Tilly's managed to go a whole day without throwing up, and we're out of boiled chicken, so, much to her disgust, for supper we've gone back to kibble to see how she does.

In the evening, I joined the online EAA IMC club, as they were talking about a scenario where a VFR rated pilot flew into IMC conditions and was killed.  It sounds like he did pretty much everything wrong, so I'm not sure I've learnt anything from that :o)

Tuesday, June 2, 2020

June 2nd

Tilly got me up early this morning to go and throw up, and it was a small ball of rice.  She's still been eating grass, so we've decided to put a stop to that.  She's very much in favour of the rice and chicken though, and enjoyed the pumpkin baby food this morning.

I'm still a bit sore around my ribs, so I'll stay off the bike for a while.  It's supposed to hit 105F tomorrow anyway...

June 1st

A new month, so here are the stats:

Power billed
Power generated

I've had to do the calculations from my TED5000, as I can no longer read the little plastic screen on the inverter.  Still, they should be within an acceptable margin of error.

Tilly got me up a couple of times overnight to go and throw up, so I'm thinking she should be pretty much empty by now.  She threw up after a breakfast of just rice, too, poor ickle thing.  She's perfectly happy though, so we've just she'll be on a bland diet of rice and chicken, and sometimes pumpkin baby food (for the fibre) for a couple of days.  I also bought some oatmeal, for variety.

On my lunchtime bicycle ride, I crashed.  I didn't go back and see what I'd hit, as I was banged and scratched up a bit.  Still, I managed to ride home, albeit a bit slowly.  I'll probably be sore for a couple of days, and then maybe I'll try staying off some of the trails - they're always full of bloody people right now anyway.

May 31st

I went over to the airport and cleaned the plane while waiting for Randy.  We changed his rod end ball joints, and now, as far as I'm concerned, he's ready for his annual inspection - he can change his own damned oil.

We had lunch at the Spitfire, then Randy headed off home to put up his new TV.  I went back to the hangar and took the plane out for a quick flight... it was pretty windy, but there were a load of people in the pattern, making it interesting joining again to land.

Tilly's been throwing up today, and this evening she horked up a large, pinkish thing.  We're hoping that was the cause of all this, as she was instantly feeling better.  No idea what it was though.

May 30th

I started the day hacking the grass in the garden, and after pottering around, we went and met Chris for lunch, as he was in Roseville getting his guitar tuned.

After that, I went to the airport and took the plane out for a quick flight to beat the rapidly worsening weather.

There was a 172 doing circuits on runway 15 when I left, and the wind was blowing around 12mph from 250 - ie the wrong runway.  Still, I sucked it up and took off, but when I was on my way back, it was now 12mph at 260, so I called and suggested we use the correct runway, 33.  He agreed, and I said to sort himself out and I'd come in behind him.  The instructor then piped up and said it was more or less across the runway, so to use 15.  Fine, I'll do an overhead join and bitch about you later.  Oh no, as I was heading North to do the overhead join, I saw them stopped on the runway.  Then they called to say they were heading back to the hangar.  Sigh.  I did an extended base leg and landed on 33, then taxied back and put the plane away.  It threw it down on the way home, but when I got to Foothills Blvd, it was totally dry.

Tuesday, May 26, 2020

May 25th

Today was Memorial Day, when Americans remember their war dead usually by going shopping, but this year it seems to be by whining about not being able to go shopping.

I went over to the airport early, and pulled one of Randy's carbs before he got there.  We replaced the inlet, the manifold and the diaphragm, then did the other side.

I'd guessed at 2.5 hours to do this, but it was before 10am when we finished, so he suggested we do his engine mounts.  So we did.  They were a fair amount more work, but we got them all changed out and were tidying up when Chris arrived.  The Spitfire Grille was closed, so we headed out - I went and collected Vic and met them at the sub place, where we had sandwiches before heading home.

I've managed to break my thumb nail high enough to cause it to bleed, meaning it hurts when I do anything requiring me to grip something :o(  Still, it's supposed to be over 100F for the next few days, so I probably won't want to do anything anyway.

May 24th

We flew to Auburn to meet Chris, Jackie and Randy and have breakfast at the Wings restaurant.

We flew back afterwards, and rearranged the hangar to fit Randy's gyro in next to mine.

I also got around to cleaning and re-oiling my air filter, which I've been meaning to do all week.

Saturday, May 23, 2020

May 23rd

We met at the airport, and Randy took a test flight in his gyro.  I was concerned about some residue I found on the fuel lines, but he's sprayed some air filter cleaner around, so it wasn't gas.

Chris came over in his RV-6A with his friend Tim, then we all headed to Oroville for lunch :o)

We were flying into a pretty stiff headwind by the time we got there, so my landing was pretty much at walking speed :o)

After lunch, we flew back and changed the rubbers on the crossover tube and the turbo inlet tube on Randy's gyro - now we just have the carbs to redo... the inlets and manifolds, and the diaphragms.

Friday, May 22, 2020

May 22nd

I met Randy at the airport and we replaced his fuel lines, then went and had lunch, and came back and replaced his vacuum lines too.  We have some carb work to do, then replace rod end bearings and engine mounts, and he's ready for his annual at the end of next month :o)

Thursday, May 21, 2020

May 21st

Randy's fuel lines are starting to crack, so we'd talked about replacing them.  He was flying a friend in the morning, so we'd agreed to get lunch, then look at them.  I got the airport and pulled the plane out to wait for him to get back from his flight.  When he did, he'd tried replacing one of the lines, but the fuel hose I'd used was too big, so he'd put that line back on.  Tony was zipping around on his scooter, so I suggested he meet us up in Auburn for lunch.  He asked if we had a spare seat, and I said we had two, so we ended up flying both the lads in his workshop, while he flew the Cub.

It's funny, as he took off right behind me, and flew alongside shooting some video with his phone.  The thing is, he's used to videoing other fixed wings, and when he hits a thermal, so do they.  Well, he hit a thermal and bounced up, and we didn't bounce up, so it looked like we were diving away from him :o)  After lunch, we headed home, where we saw some ridge lift at Bald Hill, he was bounced all over the place - he said he was seriously considering going around (on a 6,000' runway, no less) due to the crosswind that we didn't really notice :o)

Randy's headed off to get 1/4" fuel line (rather than the 5/16" I had) and we're going to look at it again tomorrow morning.

May 20th

It looked pretty clear at Lincoln, so I took the plane and headed to Daffodil Hill in the Sierra foothills, where there was a lot of low, puffy cloud.  I took a bit of a beating, and luckily there was nothing there any more - should have come out sooner, methinks.

I decided to head for flatter ground before heading back.  I had to avoid a Blackhawk, and George in his Kitfox on the way back to Lincoln :o)  When I got home, I found that I can get a .kml file of my trip from Flightaware and drop it in to Google Earth:

That's kind of cool, no?

Wednesday, May 20, 2020

May 19th

Still quite blustery, and the puffy cumulus clouds suggested that flying wasn't a great idea, so I didn't.

May 18th

I've taken this week off because Dayton's going to be delivering Jamie's new plane, and we figured we'd get him to dynamically balance our rotor blades while he's here.  Only Jamie's postponed the delivery because she wants to order some new helmets or something.  I'm sure it all makes sense somehow.

Anyway, it's raining, so I just sat and watched TV.  I did get to wear my face mask by going shopping at Costco.

May 17th

There's a storm a'coming, so I gave up on getting much done.  We did manage to get out between showers to finish trimming the shrubbery down the side of the house, so that's finally off my to-do list :o)

Sunday, May 17, 2020

May 16th

I went over to the airfield and installed the exhaust mount on Chris' plane, and got it all safety wired up.

I hung around and waited for Randy, who was going to go and get Chris, then flew out to Cameron Park with him.  There was a fair old wind blowing from the South, so it took us longer to get there than usual, but we got back quickly.  I ended up bringing Chris back.

Having landed, Chris said he was happy with the exhaust mount, and we went and got lunch at Mary's, where a nice old guy bought us lunch because he likes to see bunches of pilots talking about flying :o)

Vic's oldest guinea pig, Jasmine, has been losing weight for a while, and hasn't been eating for the last day or so.  We looked at her and decided it was time, so we went to the vet and had her put to sleep.  The vet thought it was probably cancer, so it's not like there was anything that could be done :o(

May 15th

I made up a new exhaust mount for Chris' plane, and got it mounted on the clamp he bought.  I debated about going over to the airport and installing it, but in the end I couldn't be bothered :o)

Friday, May 15, 2020

May 14th

I went and met Chris at the airport to try and install the exhaust mount on his plane.  Unfortunately the clamp that he's got is bigger than I'd guessed at, so I'll need to make it again, but bigger.  I took the new clamp home, so I can at least test it as I make it.  It shouldn't take too long, as I'm just changing the dimensions from something I've already built :o)

Wednesday, May 13, 2020

May 11th

I spent some time in the garage making up a new exhaust mount for Chris' plane.  Here's hoping it fits and works well :o)

Monday, May 11, 2020

May 10th

We'd talked again about flying, but the wind was really gusty, so gave up and did stuff around the house.  I mocked up a new exhaust mount for Chris' gyro and sorted out the home theatre PC after they changed the over the air broadcast channels at the beginning of the month.

May 9th

There had been talk about going flying, but Chris' gyro is still waiting for new carb floats to arrive, and there was a T-38 flyby from Beale, so we met at Lincoln.  We were heading to lunch on scooter and bicycle when Mary said there was a broken light on the runway (somebody had hit it), so we went to look for that.  There was some debris that we cleared out, but no sigh of the light itself.

We headed down to the cafe and had lunch.  The flyby looked to have gone over the town, rather than near the airport, as we heard them, and saw them heading off to the South.

By the time that was all over, we were all feeling meh about flying, so just headed home again.

Monday, May 4, 2020

May 3rd

I've been tinkering with GoPro videos and trying to get the telemetry out of them - I'd thought it was in the .LRV files, but it's mostly in the .MP4s themselves.  Having managed to get that to show up, the altitude seems to be wildly inaccurate, like by thousands of feet.  I'll have to look into this further to see if there's something I'm missing.

We balanced the blade on the AC fan, so that hopefully that'll be a lot quieter now... there was a lot of vibration from when I replaced the motor, and pulled the fan off the old one.

In the afternoon, I went and met Randy at the airport so we could fly with his neighbour.  We went over to Folsom Lake, then flew up the North fork canyon and over the Foresthill Bridge, before heading back to Lincoln.

May 2nd

I got up early and went to the airport to talk to Ken.  My biennial Flight Review is due as of yesterday, and we chatted about the new 90 day waiver that the FAA have put in place - basically if I've flown more than 10 hours in the last month (check) and have at least 3 points in the Wings Safety online seminars since January, I can fly.  I had 2 points, as I'd done a runway incursion seminar a while ago, and I did a safety course in preparation for my BFR, so I went home and started doing some more classes.

While my GPS was updating with all the latest maps, we went and met Randy for lunch.  He'd intended to fly a neighbour this morning, but it's been gusty all day, so he put that off until tomorrow.

When we got home, I knuckled down and finished up a radio class and a safety class, and now I have 3.5 points since January.  I can now fly again :o)

Saturday, May 2, 2020

May 1st

It's a new month, so here are the stats:

Power billed
Power generated

I'd been intending to get more solar panels to cover the power we use with the car, but having spoken to Roseville Electric, I'm not going to bother.  It's a shame, but they've changed the way they do everything with solar now, and if I add panels, I'll get dragged into their new system.

Right now, (and I'm rounding all these numbers, it's actually worse than that makes it look), for every kWh I generate above what I'm using at the time, I get paid 9c.  For every kWh I use above what I'm generating at the time, I pay 9c.  So the grid is acting as a big battery for me.

In the new system, for every kWh I generate above what I'm using at the time, I get paid 6c.  For every kWh I use above what I'm generating at the time, I pay 9c.

So, let's throw a few numbers around to see how that works out.  Let's say I generate 10kWh a day, but I only use 2kWh during the time I'm generating, but I use the other 8kWh overnight - this seems reasonable(ish), as a lot of the electricity usage is air conditioning in the late afternoon and recharging the car in the evening.

Right now, based on the time shifting of my power, my bill is (9c * 8kWh) - (9c * 8kWh) = $0.00.

In the new system, my bill would be (9c * 8kWh) - (6c * 8kWh) = $0.24.

In the new system, it's also physically not possible to get that bill down to $0.00, as you're not allowed more capacity than you actually need.  I figure I'd need about 1kW of panels to just catch up to where I am on the old system, and I can only add ~2kW of panels.  Based on my bill last year being ~$400 for electricity for the whole year, it's hard to justify spending something ~$10,000 on panels.  If our power was more expensive, it would make sense, or if they paid what they charged, it'd make more sense.  The guy at Roseville did start to rattle on about it's not all about money, and I pointed out I knew that, as I'd paid an awful lot for panels that probably won't pay back what they cost already.  He also suggested I could charge the car in the middle of the day, and I pointed out that it was at Vic's work at that time.

Meh, they're supposed to be putting in car charger's at Vic's place, so she can charge it there once or twice a week and we won't use so much power anyway.

Sunday, April 26, 2020

April 26th

We hacked the shrubbery in the garden until the green waste bin was full, then I went and met Randy at the airport.  We decided to fly up to Oroville again, as the restaurant at the golf course there is open.

After lunch, we flew back.  Interestingly we went to the West of some hills we usually go to the East of, and there's a whole runway there that's not on the charts.  There was a King Air parked on it, so it's not like it's an unprepared strip, or anything.