Sunday, October 17, 2021

2021 - Blog Update

 I know, I make way too many blog posts.  But I couldn't help it: I had to put this one out.

Since my last post...let's see:

1. New boss at work, so I don't have to be the boss anymore.  HUGE win for me, so I'm very excited about that.  

2. Got myself a COVID-19 vaccination in April (Johnson & Johnson)....boosters hopefully in the next few weeks?

3. Flew down to Mexico and adventured with Christian on his new boat "Aquila" in Mexico for two weeks.  We surfed, sailed, read book 1 of "The Expanse" sci-fi series, read a book on the history of world fisheries, and ate some incredible ceviche.

4. Taught my first (and second) "Outboard Motor Maintenance Basics" class at Seattle Maritime Academy.  It's a 3hr, $140 class where each person (6 max at the moment) gets their own outboard, new spark plugs, new oil, new filters, and a set of tools to perform basic maintenance tasks on a working engine with my supervision.  I'm teaching the class again this week and next.

5. Flew up to Alaska and adventured with Christian out of a 15' aluminum canoe.  We got a free ride up-bay from a nice couple, then paddled as far north as Riggs Glacier (East Arm) and then returned via McBride glacier and the Beardslee island.  Epic freaking trip. 90 miles of paddling in 10 days.

6. Had our net shed at Fisherman's Terminal broken into again.  Lost my cherished Printrbot Simple Metal 3D printer and all my Nikon camera gear (D300 body, 35mm f2, 50mm f1.4, 11-16mm f2.8, flashes, etc).

7. Bought an 18' floating platform/barge with a 15'x8' plastic garden shed on it.  I've moved most of my tools into it and recently got a heater so I don't freeze as quickly this winter.  It's fantastic to have all of this space to myself to go screw off...and not worry so much about it all getting stolen.

Lastly, My uncle (Jim Blanchard) passed away from COVID-19.  He was hands-down the 2nd most influential man in my life after my father.  He taught me how to shoot big guns, climb tall ladders, float rivers, push-mow a lawn, negotiate wages, operate a hydraulic shear, drive a snowmobile, and agreed to stop smoking if I stopped riding motorcycles (we both held up our part of the bargain for the past 17 years).  He also taught me how to drive a 5-speed....while we were test-driving my (soon-to-be) 1986 Toyota 4Runner in my junior year of high school (I don't think the dealer would have agreed to he got it off the lot then we switched).  He also had the cleanest, most organized shop I had ever seen when I was a kid.  It clearly shaped a part of who I've become in that sense, along with instilling a strong love/appreciation for trades work (he was an industrial mechanic for the Evertt Public Utilities District throughout my childhood).  I miss him, and it makes me sad that we won't share any more of this life together.  Fair Winds and Following Seas Uncle Jimmy.....Love Danny.

So below are a few videos from this past year.  It's been much better than 2020.

Shooting my first handgun with Uncle Jim while en-route to Hawaii.  Cold, dark water still...

Sailing to Hawaii in 1996.  This was the day that the water turned blue and warm.  I'll never forget it.

Saturday, October 24, 2020

Lego Azimuth Drive Experimentation

Today I made a total mess out of my hobby room, exploding Lego parts (mostly Technic gears and such) in every direction possible while trying to build a functional azimuth drive.  

After a day of goofing, I make 3 different versions.  As with most iterative processes, I'm happiest with v3, not pictured in this video.  You'll notice in the video that the propellers are huge, spin rather slow, and wobble a lot.

The wobble is due to using a vertical drive shaft to also support the pod.  Since the '90s (vintage of Lego I have), a "turntable" part was created that allows for side-loading without putting stress on the driveshaft itself.  

I recently bought a 2015 Technic Lego ship that had one of these turntables, so I pirated it to make V3 with fantastic results. 

Next, I'll work to adapt RC motors to the Lego shafting, attach these drives to a hull, and have some fun!