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.