Archive for August, 2008

Heli Crash

Posted in Radio Control on August 29, 2008 by camarojones

Well…it was bound to happen. Although the means of it were not exactly my fault, I still feel somewhat responsible.

I was flying it from side to side, bringing it past me then up into a stall-turn, then back down to the other side, etc. After a few passes, I turned it away from me and out I went, into another stall turn. Well, it didn’t turn like it was supposed to.

On a heli like this, there are 3 servos in the rotor-head. One for front-back tilting of the swashplate (elevator), and 2 for side to side (aileron and pitch)…all 3 in a 120* spacing. When going front to back, the elevator does it’s thing, and the other 2 barely move, but in an opposite direction, in effect: tilting the swash. On a side to side movement, the elevator doesn’t move, but the 2 on the sides do, making the tilt for side-to-side movement.

Now, when I want the whole heli to go up and down rather than side-to-side or front-to-back, all 3 move up, or move down increasing or decreasing the pitch of the rotors. For a better explanation of this, go here: CCPM explanation

Well, when I went into the final stall turn, I reduced the pitch to keep the helicopter going straight up, but the Aileron servo didn’t change. It was stuck! The next thing I knew, it was twisting and tumbling around, and because I had no control over 1 servo, I had no control over the rotor head at all. It was doing what it wanted.

Need less to say, this is the result:

After it was all said and done, the electronics were still working. The aileron servo wasn’t. I swapped servo leads to check the radio, and the channel is still good. Just a bad servo.

Boredom FTL

Posted in Radio Control on August 22, 2008 by camarojones

Well…it’s been about a month since I’ve flown. It seems that every time I want to fly, I get everything ready then I just sit there and look at it.

Nice pretty red canopy. White blades. Metal rotor head. Shiny tail box. Aluminum everywhere. It looks more like a flying metal version of a plastic model car. It looks KILLER. But for now all it does is sit there. I got bored with it.

I would’ve flown it last weekend, but I was too busy replacing my cable modem and pulling out the old PC speakers to replace the stuff that the lightning blew up on Friday morning. Plus, it was still raining. This weekend, however, is slated to be clear and rain-free.

Hopefully, I’ll get past my personal wall and actually start flying the thing around. Yes, I can fly it up and out and pirouette it, but honestly I’m tired of hovering. I can fly around just fine in the simulator, but like most folks, I lock up when I actually fly the real thing. No more.

I’ve heard that one of the walls to actually learning is the fear of costs. I have yet to crash this one, and the only crash i’ve really had was on my HBK, and was an inside accident due to lack of space. I wouldn’t even call it a crash. Well, I plan on flying the hell out of this one this weekend. If i crash, I crash. Big deal. It costs little-to-nothing to replace the most-broken parts anyway, and waiting is part of the game.

Since I really don’t care if I crash it now, myabe I’ll be able to learn something. I just hope I don’t destroy it. lol

What to do now?

Posted in Work on August 22, 2008 by camarojones

Well…not sure what to do now. I’ve gotten an offer for an interview from General Electric.

About a week ago, I was talking with a friend at work. He had gone to a seminar for the local wind farm. More specifically, a seminar fore the technicians that go UP into the towers to work on the motors. Yeah, 300ft doesn’t sound like much, but the basic qualifications are within my grasp. Hours of being up in the air (inside an enclosed tower), working on electronics…and from what I’ve heard from some of the employees (a few live next to me) they are hell-bent on safety. If the wind is too high, or the weather too bad, they don’t send us up.

As far as vertigo, I don’t know if I have it or not. I’ve been up in towers before. I’ve heard folks say that after about the third climb, you get used to it. But honestly, if it puts dinner on the table, and allows me to provide for the family, I’m pretty much willing to do any job, so i went to their website, put my information and uploaded my résumé.

Yesterday, I got an e-mail from them saying that they have reviewed my résumé, and they were interested. They asked for times/dates to contact me for a telephone interview/screening. Today, I get another e-mail asking if I could come in for an actual interview if the telephone screening goes well.

What? I haven’t even done the telephone screening yet and thay’re already planning on having me come in?

Way to keep me optimistic GE! hehe

At least it wasn’t a fire!

Posted in Computers / Tech on August 20, 2008 by camarojones

Well…I was using the Laptop this morning, and all of a sudden it went out.

“OK…so I need to charge it.”

I plugged it in, and then I noticed a little red flashing thingy. The type of flashing thingy that REALLY gets your attention.

“What the hell is this? Why is my battery light flashing red at me?!”

And so began my end-of-day disappointment. Supposedly, and unknown at the time of purchase, Dell has been sending out crappy batteries with their Inspiron E1505 laptops. They are an 85Wh Li-Ion battery that usually last about 3 hours on a full charge. Usually…because over the past month I’ve been running to the power plug every chance I get. During my last 1 1/2 years of ownership, I’ve only used the mobility very little, but lately I’ve been taking it outside, to work, to bed, etc, and the run-time from 100% to hibernation shutdown was around 10 minutes.

Today, I get the notification from the laptop, that the battery is dead. And not just dead, but DEAD DEAD! It’s been at 7% and charging for over 2 hours now, and if i even THINK of pulling the plug, it just shuts off. No hibernation, not 2-3 seconds of use…INSTANT OFF.

I look online and to my amazement, EVERYONE with the laptop has had this issue. 90% of the time it is about 1.5 years after purchase. The other 10% has 9.9% that are lucky and are still warrantied, and 0.1% that it hasn’t happened to at all.

So…should I purchase a new battery? Let’s see.

http://accessories.us.dell.com/sna/products/Power/productdetail.aspx?c=us&l=en&s=dhs&cs=19&sku=312-0428&mfgpid=167679&chassisid=8438

There’s the new battery link. $299.99!!! You have to be <insert expletive> kidding me!!!! 300 bucks for a POS battery?!?! And even worse, it gets a 1.7 our of 5 rating because of the TERRIBLE life! WOW!!! Maybe I can find an off-brand one. Nope. They don’t exist. I shell out $300, or gut this one and make the laptop lighter.

Looks like it’s time to break out the tools…..

Type de famille

Posted in General on August 11, 2008 by camarojones

Well…got a new set of DVDs. The Family Guy Freakin’ Party Pack.

This box includes Season’s 1-5 (volumes 1-5) plus the “Stewie Griffin: The Untold Story” DVD. It also includes deleted scenes (some of which are HILARIOUS) and the usual commentary. So far, it’s been a great buy…definately worth the money.

On other stuff, I’ve got my resume up at several jobs. I haven’t heard anything yet, but i know it does take time. I’ve also put my name in at Bradley Morris, a company that helps military find jobs after separation/retirement.

I’ve flown the heli only 1 time in the last month. I would like to fly more, but I’ve been too busy during my normal fly times that I just haven’t gotten to it. Although, the last time I went to the field, I got to fly a .50 nitro heli. What a RUSH! Just hearing those 700mm blades spin up was a thrill. Flying it…well….Lisa is making me save my money. lol

Anthony is about ready to start school. 2 more weeks, and we all can’t wait. He can enjoy being with his friends again, and we are ready to have a break during the day. :)