So the wind became very calm, and Sara and I went out to find a place to fly my plane. Most of the good fields had too many children on or around them.
We settled on a field by a mega-church in the area. There was enough room, but the field way very rough and patchy.
I did maybe 10 or so landings. Overall they went fine. Some of them were good and gentle, some were a bit.. hard… The grass being rough caused the plane to tip onto its nose pretty much every landing, and occasionally it flipped over.
Luckily the the only damage was a small chunk out of the tip of the wing, nothing that effects the performance.
Ill post a few pics when I get them from Sara.
So a long time ago (middle or high-school) I had purchased a RC place kit from some random guy. I had that kit for a long time and did some work on it, but I never had the money to come close to completing it. Eventually I sold it, but RC planes and helicopters have always interested me.
So this weekend we were bumming around and we stopped by Rider’s Hobby in Livonia. Sara let me order a plane to start flying. After talking to people and looking online, I settled on the HobbyZone Super Cub. It’s a 3-channel electric plane with a wingspan of 4ft. It’s known for being very forgiving and easy to fly. It’s also supposed to be easy to repair when you crash it…
They didn’t have any in stock, so we ordered it, and it came in yesterday. Sara stopped by and picked it up for me on the way home from work. It’s a Ready-To-Fly (RTF) plane, so everything was in the box, and it only took around 30minutes to assemble.
I wanted to take it out today during lunch, but it’s just been to breezy today. While it could fly in these winds, it’s not probably the best idea for my first flight. This evening and tomorrow are supposed to be calmer, so it should be long before I can take it out. Pic below.
So Sara’s F150 is a lease vehicle which is up at the end of June. We have been looking at vehicles for a few months now, but Sara just couldn’t decide on anything.
As gas prices have gone up, the need to get the new vehicle sooner has increased somewhat, given that the truck gets something like a whopping 12MPG…
On Monday we went out to the Chevy dealer because Sara wanted me to test drive the Aveo. I found the Aveo sedan (which was just refreshed this model year) to be fine, but I didn’t like hatchback (which Sara preferred), and the one we test drove had some serious electrical problems.
I liked the Cobalt, which my friend Chris had purchased a few months ago, but Sara had complained that she didn’t like the safety ratings. She looked again more recently and can’t remember what she didn’t like about them…
So while we were there I talked her into taking the Cobalt out, which we both liked, and it has a ton more pep (2.2L engine vs 1.6L in the Aveo). Our dealer, Bruce, told us there were now $2000 in incentives, and we told him to get a vehicle we liked from a near by dealer. When we got home we checked online, and there was actually $3000 in incentives, so we called up and he looked and confirmed that was the case. All on top of a GM supplier discount we got from one of Sara’s aunts.
So Wednesday we went to the dealer and got the vehicle (we had to sign that day or lose some of the deals). Sara had her MacBook out with Excel open in the finance guys office, making sure we could get the payment on an exactly round number. We ended up with a 50mo term (yes, 4 years and 2 months) and an odd down payment, so the monthly payment was round… You can see it below, it’s a Cobalt 1LT in ‘Blue Flash Metalic’, with cruise and remote start.
So I’ve had this house project I’ve been supposed to do for a while now. Install a dog door.
Now this may seem like a simple feat, but there is a hitch. We have a dog and a cat (indoor), so I need the door to let the dog in and out, but not the cat. Now the dog was chipped by the breeder we bought him from, so that seemed simple enough to read.
I read around a bit, and it seems it is more complicated than that. It turns out there is a bit of animosity between the various dog chip producers which has resulting in lawsuits and the such. Now a days this means that there are a number of proprietary chips out there (and a few companies make ISO standard chips), and those chips can only be read by the readers made by that company. So I decided to ‘roll the dice’ and get a 125kHz reader, which is pretty standard. SparkFun sells the ID-12 for around $30, so I gave it a go.
Today I finally got around to soldering the ID-12 to the carrier board, and hooking it to a Basic Stamp 2 I have laying around.
What you see there is the stamp, the ID-12 (it’s the War of the Worlds looking thing), and a RFID badge I bought so I could verify functionality of the system.
I threw together a little program for the Stamp (which actually took longer then the soldering and assembling the circuit) and it all works great.
Unfortunately the it doesn’t read the dogs chip. I have since found out that his chip is an AVID chip, which are 125kHz, but are encrypted. I would have hopped that I would have at least been identify that a chip was there with the circuit, but alas, no dice.
So now I have to decide how else to identify the dog. I could build my own RF circuit, which would just identify that a 125kHz chip is present, or I could so something like a scale to weigh him. Hmmm.
But at least now I have a nice, working, RFID reader setup that I can do something with.
Here is my weight tracking graph for April:
I started the month with a trend of 225.5lbs and ended the month with a trend of 216.5, so I lost 9lbs during the month, which comes out to 2.18lbs per week. My current estimage is that it will take about 25 more weeks to reach my goal of 175.