Busy Body

I’m not made many posts lately as I’ve been up to my eyeballs in model planes.

That business is generally pretty easy but I’ve seen some higher volumes. I had a shortage of the little elastics for the wing hold-down which started a backlog to make things worse. Plus I am now using a “flat box” for small orders which is still in development so it’s a bit more time consuming. Had a visit from my cousin Jerry, a 3y birthday (including time for procurement of gift), did a presentation on WordPress (a whole evening gone), a power outage (see transformer) which toasted some time, plus I’ve got balsa from a different wood supplier which is jamming up one of my machines and producing a lot of waste and lost time. Some assorted bbq and socials to blast away more of my schedule.

To make it worse I’m low on propellers and my main supplier has just revised their lead time to 4 months. So I’ve been studying that problem. That toasted another 15-20h.

So it’s been just a little tough getting everything done that I want.

But I’m finally surfacing!


I’ve had this idea that a flying wing could be constructed for beginners. Lots of wing area, low parts count and simple assembly.

I cooked this prototype up out of ideas that have been floating around my head for months. I am pleased to say that it seems to have all the elements necessary for stable flight. I did not use reflex which is apparently needed for flying wing designs. I theorized that I could prop the front of the wing up instead. I raised the first 2.5″ of the wing up by 1/8th”. This seemed to work perfectly.

It flew great. Donna (shown) agreed that it would be cool to use this as a banner.

I shared this design with Micheal and explained that it could be the first flying wing without reflex. I said I had deflected the front of the wing instead and that there may not be a name for this yet in aerodynamic jargon. He immediately barked out “preflex”. There you have it. It’s preflex.

I decided to use “Voice” as the working name for the project. Not very pretty at first glance. Or aviation related. But I can’t remove the idea that the large surface area is a place for a message. A flying banner. More experiments to come, will report.

The joy of sharing

I’ve been sending planes out to schools and children in many places.

Recently I met Dinkar from India who’s been very successful at sharing them with kids (and adults).

He initially started making Squirrel model airplanes from bamboo. I’ve seen this done before in South America and other parts of the world. The difficulty is that it is considerably heavier than balsa.

He tried foam and some other similar simple stick and tissue designs (with bamboo).

With exchange rates and other economic differences it’s a bit hard for some school teachers like Dinkar to buy kits such as the Squirrel.

On the other hand for the same argument it is very easy to send small donations out to these places from Canada.

What would you send for these children? Contact me and we can collaborate on the shipping!

Unusual Dream

Unusual Dream found at http://www.instamatique.com/lindab/Unusual_Dream.html

I started a dream log a few months ago since I have lots of dreams and really like it. Right away I found patterns. I can assure you it’s very interesting to keep a dream log.

I was debating if I should make an on-line log of this and decided to keep it private for the most part.

Last night I had such an unusual dream about innocence. Here it is.

In this dream I was involved in a company with a very valuable role.

I was very popular and very well known by my colleges and other members of the company that relied on my service. I was also friends with some of them who were also in the core executive. Sort of like family actually.

One day there was a grand theft of some sort of valuable company related asset. It was something like a few million dollars of gold coins or something. It wasn’t clear who did it but it had taken a lot of inside work and planning and a great deal of skill to pull off.

A few days after the theft, there was a social for the company. This event was in a different city. So we were all out of town on some business and the social was in a hotel that seemed to be a renovated high school or something (I think we were in New York City for some reason but the area of the city around the hotel reminded me of Boston a bit).

I had done some personal business with my girlfriend in the city and we had arrived back from it fairly late. She said she wanted to retire for the evening and I would just go to the social at the other hotel/school where the company activity was. Perhaps an hour or so.

So I drove to the activity. I was very excited to go to the party and was anxious to see my friends.

When I arrived I put my car in the lot and came in with my briefcase (which was actually the one I’m carrying in real life right now with it’s actual content). Just outside the area of the social, I was stopped by security. The people who stopped me were my family like friends that I mentioned earlier. They went through my bag much like they might at an airport or something. One one hand I felt a little violated to have people going through my stuff and making a mess. On the other hand I didn’t mind this because I figured with the recent incident of grand theft the company could benefit from increased security. But they started to completely disassemble everything in my bag. I wasn’t worried about them looking in my bag since I was innocent but at the rate they were going and the detail they were going through it, it was taking longer and longer.

I went off to the side a bit to entertain myself for a bit while I was waiting. There was a mattress sort of a thing hanging from cables. Very high like 100 feet of cable. It was set up like a swing so I started to swing back and forth on it while I waited for this lengthy search.

I was starting to get a little irritated because they were taking so long and besides, I expected these family like people to trust me more than to have to spend an hour looking through my bag. They were going through specs of dust and reading everything they could find. Looking over my passport and reading personal documents such as a diary and so forth.

It was eventually getting late and I realized that when the search was complete I was going to take my bag and leave instead of going to the party since I told my girlfriend I was just going to stay an hour. Also I knew it was going to be embarrassing for the people who searched me because they will have found nothing and will have taken so long that I couldn’t go to the party and I will be irritated because of that.

Plus by then it would be clear that the people that were supposedly my family like friends didn’t trust me so I was going to be frictional about that.

While I was waiting on the swing a lady came to join me. She was an older lady. I did not know her well in the dream (in real life she is completely unfamiliar to me).  She was from the wider company that included about 1000 people or so and was not among my direct peers and friends. But she knew all about the large theft as did everyone in the company. Like everybody else in the company she knew about my value, my popularity among my peers, friendships and trustworthiness. She was not invited to the party as it was just the core of the company management and the company was a little odd that way. But she was asking why I wasn’t at the party as it was such an important party and I was supposed to be there.

I explained that upon entry to the party, they started to search my bag and it had been going on for the past hour and at the rate things were going I was going to miss the party. She was absolutely appalled to hear this. I had a discussion with her about this and how I felt about it. She was really surprised that I mentioned a  possible trust issue with my close friends of the company.

There was this idea that even though I would be mad that my “trusted family like friends” showed a lack of trust that the exhaustive search would clear my name (for them and if there was anybody else around who thought that I was behind the theft). So any who doubted me would then feel bad for having doubted me.

After my conversation with the lady it was about 2h and I could see that the search of my briefcase was wrapping up. She was with me while I was returning to the area where the search was being done. We continued our conversation. I said that I was pretty disappointed to miss the party. It was the sort of thing you looked forward to for a long time and it was really unexpected to go through so much effort to get there and then have a technical detail like a search screw it up. I knew that I’d be returning to a bunch of people who would be apologizing to me.

I also knew that the people who created this delay in getting into the party assumed that I would stay the whole night and the delay would not have been that bad for me. But they failed to check with me if there was a time constraint so I was planning on giving them an earful and then leaving with my bag after all that.

I eventually decided that I was greatly offended that my family like friends had disrupted my opportunity to join the party and decided to quit the company. It was a strong company and I knew that there were great benefits to staying in the long haul but on the other hand there was a terrible crime that had taken place and if people were hoping it would pin on me I wasn’t going to subject myself to ongoing interrogation and lack of trust. Especially knowing that the real criminal was still running around somewhere in the company and enjoying their freedom to abuse.

I was really happy that the lady was there with me because not only was she supportive but she was from the clerical ranks of the company and I knew that the details of the incident would get out before management could cover it. Somehow I also knew that the crime would be repeated after I left but before the ladies story hit the street. So the the criminal would be entrapped since they thought I was still with the company and could pin it on my with rumors or whatever their mechanism was.

But either way I didn’t care. I knew that when I told the people in security that I was not going to the party they would be disappointed.  I knew they would apologize when I told them that I would quit. My roll was gravely important for the company but I had been singled out without cause. I also knew that the security people (who were executives of the company who volunteered the security role just for the part) would be holding the bag for my resignation as well.

After the older lady returned on her way I was now returning to collect my bag and give them an earful.

I woke up. How irritating. I was so wanting to have this confrontation. Somehow in my dream these people were always elusive me confronting them in the past. And somehow they did it again because I woke up. 🙂

What was so unusual about this dream is that I woke up feeling like I was on a war path. Even after the dream was very far away and I was clearly awake and it was a dream, I still felt the urge to resolve this war on me. But what war on me?

Flat box success

Flat Box V2 has arrived with two Squirrel Model Airplanes enclosed at a destination in Ontario and as you can see here is in excellent shape after that short run.

I really like this design as it’s basically a couple of squares and the rest of the “envelope” is just straight strips that can be made pretty rapidly. Cutting the pocket to accommodate the propeller was rather tricky though. I’ll have to think about that one.

This will work for up to three units at once.

In this instance it saved money on shipping. It was only about 230g. In this example it saved about $10.00 of postage!

Android Tablet

This just in.

I tried it and it works okay.  The screen needs a bit of pressure so it’s not as nice as my HTC Raider android but this tablet was very inexpensive. I managed to scratch the screen with my fingernail by accident within a few minutes of using it. I can’t find the android market icon but perhaps there’s another way of adding software.

Pepper and business cards

I was showing off my wooden business cards I made the other day and this young lady did something I never thought of.

She put pepper on it and presto, my name in pepper on a napkin.

I thought it was very creative thinking so it struck me a bit.

Squirrel model airplane made from another kit

Here’s a cool article on how to take an AMA Cub which is the competitive model for the Squirrel and using the kit to make Squirrel. It’s a nice DIY article.

DIY 3D Wire Bender

Michael found this nice DIY wire bender.

Its along the lines of what I was working on so I can model some of what I’m doing after it.

They’re not showing many closeups or much yet so we’ll have to see how much help it it. But it’s nice to see someone got something running nicely.

Wait, I found this picture:

Injection Molding

I was looking this machine (right). It’s available for about 1600US at their site. There’s another one for 600 bucks here.

As you can see in the instructable it might be slow because you have to let the mold cool between each run.

Also I think it would be hard on your hands to run it as you’d need to press the material through the mold manually.

When I saw this video I started to see how it’s a fairly simple process:

But this video I got from MakeYourOwnStuff is really exciting.

I was just talking with of MYOS and he said the cheapest machine they have is 17,000:


On this note:

Machinable blocks.

Fan for bubble blower

I managed to get a fan motor working off 12V for my bubble machine. I got the fan out of one of those little cooling fans. The motor is from an inkjet printer.

I mounted the fan using an eyelet and a small collar with set screw. I filed the eyelet so the set screw contacts the motor shaft. Works great.

How to make a bubble blower

I’m making a bubble blower and was figuring if I cut it out of 1/8th inch acrylic on the laser it would hold quite a bit of fluid.

The one at the right is about a 1 inch circle in the middle. I’ll give it try. Once I figure out the size of the hole and groves that work best I’ll make a wheel for my electric bubble blower project.