Last week I succumbed to a spot of eBay therapy and accidentally bought a little OS 10FP 2 stroke. It was listed as good condition, but apparently the owner had never made it run properly. I’ve always quite liked the idea of a small glow engine and figured maybe trying to get it to run OK would be a bit of a challenge, so I placed a bid and won the auction. I think I got it for a good price considering it was essentially a non runner so if I could make it work I’d have a bargain.
When the thing arrived I was impressed by how clean the casing was and found it turned over ok, with good compression. The carb. seemed to move fine and there were no visible blockages, so I wondered what could have caused the problems the previous owner had experienced. While inspecting it I discovered both the silencer and the cylinder head screws were absolutely buggered, somebody had clearly been at them with a screwdriver and now a Philips head driver was just happily spinning in the heads. Right then, clearly some filling action was going to be needed to get them out and new ones would need sourcing. After a bit of a struggle I got all of them out, measured them and ordered new ones (M2.5 x 10mm for the head and M2.5 x 25mm for the silencer).
While inspecting it with the silencer off I noticed the transfer port in the piston was facing the exhaust port, not the matching ports in the other side of the cylinder casting! Somebody had taken it apart and put the piston back in the wrong way round which would have caused the fuel to be pushed up into the upper cylinder right next to the open exhaust port, almost certainly causing it to either run very badly, or not run at all! If I had to guess at the problem, this would be it.
New screws have now arrived, I’ve put it back together and yesterday afternoon I mounted it on my test stand and gave it a flick, I’m pleased to say the little 2 stroke now runs really nicely, throttle response is smooth, WOT sounds fine and it happily idles at a very low RPM.
Quite pleased then! Just need to find something to build to put it in.
I’ve had a bit of a rubbish weekend from a model flying point of view, it seems every time I go to fly events are conspiring to stop me. Firstly on Friday I managed to get some time in the afternoon to pop up to Bratton Camp, I was delayed by discovering a car fire on the way, then reporting it to the fire brigade and having to wait around until they turned up so I could give them a statement. Then I had to return home because I’d forgotten to take the pram out of the car, gah! When I finally got up to the hill I discovered 8 (!) paragliders in the air at once. When there are 1 or 2 of them up there, I’m happy to fly alongside them and aim for the gaps, but with so many up there at once I didn’t want to take the chance.
On Saturday morning I popped up the hill again nice and early, only to be greeted by what I think is the thickest fog I’ve ever seen. I couldn’t see the other side of the road from the car park! Oh well, maybe Sunday will be better.
The video below is of the Paraglider’s who were monopolising the hill on Friday afternoon.
Spot of progress this week, I’ve all but finished the covering. Just the front most curved section below the motor and the centre section of the wings to go. I’ve some acetate on order to glaze the windows and then she is done. The tailplane and fin are now glued on, the elevator is all hooked up and the closed loop wires are run through the fuselage ready for me to connect the rudder. After that I’ll need to install the ESC and solder the connectors to the motor and she is finished.
I am still pondering about coloured trim, I think I’ll finish her first then have a go at adding some colour.
Its been a while since I posted anything about the aquarium, I bought it in January of 2012, so we’ve had it for over a year. I’ve no idea how that year went so quick! We have a good mix of fish in there now, the four original Zebra Danios are still with us, joined bya pair of orange Mollys, a pair of black Mollys and a single orange and a white one. In addition the Siamese Fighting Fish is still doing well. I have noticed of late that with 11 fish in the tank it needs cleaning more regularly than it used to. Speaking to a couple of experienced fish keepers I know they both recommended upgrading the in-tank filter which was supplied with the original starter kit, and if buying a new filter then it was wise to go with an external one, rather than an internal one like we have.
After visiting a couple of local fish shops I settled on a Fluval 206 external filter which is capable of filtering a tank of 200 litres. This is far more than I need for our little 50l tank, but I hope to get a bigger tank after we move so this should future proof me somewhat.
The lad seemingly has always loved trains, I’m not sure when this obsession started, but it was long enough now that it feels like it has been forever. One of his favourite train sets (yes, he has 3 different sets, sigh), is the Tomy (now Fisher Price) Trackmaster sets. These are battery powered trains of a nice size for a toddler to hold with plastic track which is pretty hardy which is handy given how kids toys get quite a rough life.
Pretty much every day, we would get some of the track out, make him a little railway and he would play with it. The problems started when his baby sister started to crawl. Then she seemed to take great joy in crawling over to the track and yanking on a piece of it, the track all being connected together means the entire track was dragged towards her and we had a very unhappy little man on our hands!
The solution was decided to be a chunk of some sort of board and fix a layout to that. ‘It has to have hills’ my wife added, ‘oh and a pond’ wtf! This is turning out to be a project, not just nailing some track to a board.
Ok, first step was to decide if we had a big chunk of board, where would we put it when not in use, our little Edwardian terrace is already bursting at the seams. There turned out to be a reasonable gap under the sofa, so a bit of measuring later and I had a chunk of 12mm MDF en-route which was cut to be the biggest it could be and still fit under the sofa, between the legs. I ordered a packet of little easy slide furniture feet to bang into the bottom to make moving it in and out easier.
When the board arrived we started playing around with different layouts, trying to make it interesting given the space available. Once that was done I spent a bit of time researching how to make hills for a model railway. The consensus on various forums and Youtube seemed to suggest foam insulation board was a easy material to work with, so off to Wickes to buy a suitable bit of foam I went. The next step was pretty simple, I just hacked off cunks of the foam board and roughly shaped them to look like hills building up to the bridge bit of the track.
The pic above shows the majority of the foam in place, just need to work out the bit across the middle where the bridge section is and then crack on and carve it to shape to look like a hill. All the foam is being held in place with hot glue from a handy gun I had kicking around.
After the carving was finished I took the opportunity to glue everything down with more hot glue. The track and foam are all now safe from the little hands of the sister! Next I ripped up a newspaper and mixed up a bucket of plaster of paris. The strips were dipped into the plaster and then applied to the foam, trying to give it a nice contour and look like a hill as I went.
I found a model railway shop over in Leyton where I picked up some bags of green ground cover and some gravel, the friendly chap there giving me guidance as to how to apply it and to make sure it stays in position. Before starting with the grass, I painted the hills in mat brown emulsion and the flat area around the sidings in grey. Once that had dried, watered down PVA (about 50/50) was brushed on and then the ground cover sprinkled over the top. The same was done for the gravel effect areas. After all that had dried I sprayed a couple of thick layers of lacquer over the whole thing. Job done, toddler seems to like it, sis can’t pull it apart anymore and its easy to pack away at the end of the day. All round win then! And I can get back to the Diamon Demon which is still languishing unfinished.
I seem to have a inherent disklike of Debian and the feeling appears to be mutual. It never makes my life easy. Just this morning I needed to install it on a Dell R210 rather than our usual Centos builds. The server is 15 odd miles away, so I took my standard route of PXE installing. After downloading the netboot.tar.gz and dropping the right files in place on my netboot server, I booted the R210 and began the install. Only a couple of screens in I was presented with this most unhelpful message. So I have to drive 30 miles to plug a usb stick into this machine to continue? That isn’t acceptable imho.
In my case it was the non free firmware for the Broadcom ethernet cards in the machine, I needed this package.
Turns out there is a fix. You just need to download the missing .deb, cpio it and cat it into the end of the initrd:
% mkdir /tmp/firmware % cd /tmp/firmware % wget http://ftp.uk.debian.org/debian/pool/non-free/f/firmware-nonfree/firmware-bnx2_0.28+squeeze1_all.deb % cd /tmp % find firmware | cpio -o | gzip -c > firmware.cpio.gz
Now cat the resultant firmware.cpio.gz onto the end of the existing initrd.gz, which for me was in /tftpboot/debian-installer/amd64/initrd.gz. So I ran this:
% cat /tmp/firmware.cpio.gz >> /tfpboot/debian-installer/amd64/initrd.gz
That will overwrite the initrd.gz without warning, so might want to take a backup of it first.
Tonight I tackled the wings, covered with antique coloured Litespan. The tips were a bit of a challenge and I might yet cut them back and do them in smaller pieces. Other than that I’m pretty happy with how they turned out. Colour trim to go on later I think when the whole airframe is covered, the truth is I’ve not chosen a scheme yet!