Gone Cookin’

June 20th, 2010

Dryfuss shows his smile.

Sorry for the recent inactivity here. After 3+ years of blogging about flying, crashing, the Slough of Despond, hats, Baylands, birds, gopher snakes, my misadventures and my friends, I slowed to stall speed.

Nowadays, I fly occasionally, mostly indoors with the members of Bay Area Micros, and I still keep in touch with a number of my flying buddies, but much of my energy is consumed by two major new interests:

  • Managing and participating in a new blog about sous vide cooking: http://svkitchen.com/.
  • Walking, playing with and learning about our new rescued greyhound, Dryfuss.

Thanks to all of you who joined the party. If you enjoy food, good photos and interesting writing, please visit us at SVKitchen.

And don’t count me out yet. I’m still fascinated by our ability to remotely control tiny flying machines, and I may one day pick this site back up like I never left.

Indoor Flying Season

October 12th, 2009

During an evening of indoor flying in a large City of Sunnyvale gym, I hover my tiny E-Flite mCX helicopter at face level. Photo by Mike Bowns.

Helicopter Nose. Photo by Mike Bowns.


We kicked off the year’s indoor flying season Friday evening in a cavernous City of Sunnyvale gymnasium.

Don Cohn, administrator of the BayRC discussion forums, organized the event, which drew close to 20 flyers. Most popular plane: ParkZone Vapor. Most popular helicopter: E-Flite Blade mSR.

In this photo I’m flying an E-Flite Blade mCX helicopter, which is also quite the rage.

Each helicopter weighs about an ounce.

The mCX is remarkably stable, easy to fly even for a novice.

So my nose-high hover is hardly amazing.
Read the rest of this entry »

Tags: , , .

Pep Pills

October 7th, 2009
A medicine bottle carries batteries for E-Flite aircraft.

A medicine bottle carries batteries for E-Flite aircraft.

My current favorite aircraft are quite small, weighing just an ounce or so.

Their batteries are small, too, single-cell lipos rated at 120mAH.

As a battery carrier, I’ve adopted a pill bottle. It holds a bunch of them.

Oscar Yatco was quite amused when he saw them. “You’ve got to put this on your blog,” he said. “Just take one in the morning and you’ll feel great!”

Tags: , , .

Soldering Tiny Wires

July 17th, 2009

A wide piece of masking tape holds the wires in place.

A wide piece of masking tape holds the wires in place.


In the course of adding a brushless tail motor to a little Walkera helicopter, I had to solder three very small pairs of wires together.

The first solder joint went OK, but as I started to work on the second pair of wires, the first joint came undone.

Then I realized two things:

  • That I should immediately reinforce solder joints with shrink tubing.
  • That I got lucky the first time.

Try as I might, I couldn’t calm my shaky hands sufficiently to solder another pair.
Read the rest of this entry »

Tags: , .

The Quick Orange Fox

June 23rd, 2009

Dennis pivoted the wings on carbon fiber rods, rotated by servos.

Dennis pivoted the wings on carbon fiber rods, rotated by servos.


Many of us fly cheap airplanes, but few fly anything as cheap as the Multiplex Fox.

Looking a bit like a scaled-down Multiplex Easy Star, it’s sold as a $15 glider: no motor, no control surfaces. Throw it hard and high and wait for it to come down.

But it looks so much like a small version of the planes we fly that inevitably people began tinkering with it.

Matt Abrams had the first one I saw. His was blue, a work in progress on the day I saw it at the PCC airfield.
Read the rest of this entry »

Tags: , , , .