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About frob

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  • Birthday April 18

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    Like asking me to choose my favorite child.
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  1. frob


    I think that's called gaining experience. Remember: Learning is fun. Before you gained the experience you only had stories and anecdotes. You seem to have known better so you likely read something about it, or at least assumed the lines could break. Now you have personal knowledge of why people say to use stronger line when gusts are possible. And of course now your story serves to guide others. Some of them will also ignore it, gain experience, and repeat the process.
  2. frob

    My first Quad and its a Rev

    The little cheater knot at the end of the loop looks like this: It gives a tiny little piece that is easier to grab when untying the lark's head knot. As for having the kite flip, as they wrote it comes with practice. 5-10 hours of practice should give basic control, many people can get it with a full day at the beach. Another 30-50 hours should give you enough control that you can put the kite wherever you'd like, and another 50 hours of practice should get all the fundamentals in place. Some skills take longer than others. For me, I kept having troubles with inverted flying. The kite would flip just as you described, or lose all power. After showing people and recording videos of it, people said I was doing everything basically right and just needed more practice. It took me about twelve hours of practice (spread across multiple flying days) focusing on inverted flying and then I could fly inverted as much as wanted. Pick a skill, then actively practice it. There is no substitute for practice.
  3. frob

    Are the lines still good ?

    Spectra line is a synthetic that degrades slowly, but it does still degrade. With nearly three decades in storage it will have lost some strength. Without actually testing it you won't know how much it has lost, and testing will probably break it. UV light, temperature, humidity, and air circulation around it would all make a difference in how well it has survived. For 100# test normally that means tying one end down, attaching a force gauge (or even a basic spring scale), and pulling until it says 100 lbs. A 5 pound dumbbell will only test to 5 pounds. Since you can reasonably expect they're not in perfect shape, if you happen to have a spring gauge I'd gently pull them to about 75% capacity. If the 100# line can pull 75#, if the 200# line can still pull 150#, that's probably strong enough. If it can't, well, that means it broke during the test and you'll need to buy new line anyway. The line is only one material in the kite. Other materials will break down much faster, particularly elastics and bungees that include natural rubber or latex. They're far more likely to have deteriorated to uselessness over the years. If you have a kite shop nearby you'll probably be best looking them over together. If you don't have a kite shop that can help you look them over, or if you aren't too attached to the cost (it's been in storage for three decades) you could fly with them if you aren't too concerned. Lines break normally, you should always have a plan for if that happens in the field. Same with the sail, if you handle the material and it feels like it is in good working order, use it, and if the kite tears or breaks down you know that all equipment gets used up and degrades over time. Enjoy it while you've got it.
  4. frob

    Looking for some rev advice

    If you don't like them they are easily swapped. You can rotate the spring spars so they're not engaged. Then you'll use the slightly wider 5/16" spars without the spring. If you prefer the variety of 1/4" spars you'll need different caps (and the alternate spars) Some stores like A Wind Of Change will swap out the end caps and spars if you ask when you buy your kite. Or you can buy the hardware yourself and replace the six caps as fast as you can retie the six knots.
  5. frob

    Mega Fly Learnings

    Isn't that what caused the 1960s?
  6. frob

    FAA Regulations

    Depends on the airports involved. I've always seen the 5-pound limit in text, but from the stories I've read about run-ins with officers the weight of the kite is never discussed. The rules as I understand them: If you fly within 5 miles of an airport, 150 feet maximum altitude. Or better yet, don't fly near airports. If > 5 miles from an airport, 500 feet maximum altitude. Never so near clouds or aircraft that a low-flying pilot couldn't react, at least 500 feet. In general it is the "don't be stupid" rule. Do you really want to be in the news for interfering with commercial flights because FAA folks couldn't figure out your intentions? Do you really want to make the news because an emergency helicopter came out of a cloud bank and crashed on your kite? If there is a chance a pilot might be distracted by your kite then don't fly there. I've skipped flying at parks that had great kite potential because they were too near a major highway for my comfort, and I wouldn't feel comfortable being responsible for a distracted driver's crash.
  7. "Brakes" are the difference between the top and bottom lines, which adjusts the kite's pitch. The greatest difference you can get is the length of your handles, that's the difference between all the way forward and all the way back. That distance is limited by handle length. If you need more drive than you can get from pulling parallel to the lines, get longer handles to allow a bigger difference in pitch. The Rev typically ships with 13-inch handles, but many stores also sell 15-inch. Common sizes run from 11" to 17".
  8. frob

    How much longer to replace this bridle?

    Thanks all. I've made equal-sized small sacrificial loops out of the old bridle for the caps. I'm not sure about the central attachment point on the leading edge. since the center has a loop that ties to another loop tied to the LE, does that loop need a sacrificial loop added? Or should I just let the little central 2" loop that came with the new bridle remain without an additional sacrificial loop, since that can be easily replaced later? That central loop was the most worn, which makes since as that's the central contact point for being on the ground. And because that extra loop is tied directly on the leading edge instead of an end cap, I assume I could replace that loop easily when it wears out (unlike the worn wingtips, which could not be salvaged). That loop wearing thin doesn't require a full bridle replacement, so I'm not sure if it could benefit from the extra piece. Would the extra length (or lack thereof) cause any issues?
  9. frob

    Kaiju video contest! (Apr 1-22, 2018)

    I've had the kite for just under two weeks. I know how to fly outdoors reasonably well, and I've seen indoor performances both in person and on video, so I thought it wouldn't be overly difficult. After an abysmal first attempt, I rewatched the setting up and tuning videos. Walking slowly through each step, I realized a critical tuning step is moving the bridle knots. After tightening them all the way it no longer felt like I was tugging on a brick, it felt merely sluggish. (It felt quite a lot like when the wind suddenly dies...) There is something to be said with the Rev defaulting to a terribly short handle leader line and strong forward drive to make it easier for beginners, it might be good to ship these adjusted for the absolute novice. The novice won't know they need to change the lengths, but an experienced pilot will instantly recognize if they need to step it back a knot. I'm now at four flying attempts and I've learned it is a serious workout and a great way to get dizzy. I could record myself but I think it would be more of a comedy routine. I'm thinking something like this: * Up, nearly over, and not quite crashing: 1 point. * Launch, most of a 360 until either tripping over feet or running out of power: 1 point. * Style: At least he made an effort, 1 point. I know I can't improve if I don't put in time on the lines, and I can't win if I don't submit a video. I'll aim to do both, but my hunch is I'll keep the video set to "private".
  10. frob

    How much longer to replace this bridle?

    Got it. No more ground flying for me, only air flying. ;-) While I understand having sand, gravel, asphalt, or even grass rubbing through the center attachment, I'm more confused about the wingtips. While I've done plenty of wingtip landings I doubt it was enough to cut through them that much. I'm inland and in 2.5 years I've only logged six beach days with that kite, cleaning out the sand immediately on returning home, so I don't think the brief exposure to sand could have done that much to them. Either way, I've learned I need to add some extra protection to my remaining bridles, and to the new one ordered through the site yesterday.
  11. frob

    How much longer to replace this bridle?

    That is an interesting idea. I thought about adding a fresh layer of 100# sleeve over the top, but getting in through would be difficult and trying to cut and tie it off cleanly would likely cause more damage than it prevents. I don't think I'd use heat shrink material (you pointed out the dangers there), but maybe finding a way to slip something similar over it. My first thought since I'm around network cable so often is some of the wrap off of that. It is somewhat thicker around, but sturdy enough to make it last a while longer. Thanks for the suggestion.
  12. frob

    How much longer to replace this bridle?

    I already put in a purchase for a new one. (Thanks JB or TK, or whoever ties them.) Now that the bridle has changed changed from heavy fraying to only having the inner core, it's time to carry one in my bag. Mostly I'm wondering how to make them last a little longer. I've only logged 71 hours on that sail plus or minus rounding my flight time in my notes, so I'm not sure how I was particularly hard on it.
  13. I've had lots of wind, which means time for repairs. The bridle in this picture is about 2.5 years old. It has cut or frayed through most of the bridle in the center leading edge and both wingtips. The lower attachments are only slightly frayed. Any guesses at how much longer it could hold out? I'm not sure if this much wear is normal, or comes from my irregular hill-country turbulence, the lack of a soft sandy beach to land on, or my flying style, or something else. Is there something I can do to help extend the life?
  14. frob

    Flying where you shouldn't

    Then don't. Many people take photographs of cemeteries for a wide range of reasons. Topo surveys, maps, documentation, and memories of those who have died, to name a few. They're legal, and you shouldn't stop someone who is doing it. If someone wanted to do it would be fine. If someone posted KAP of a cemetery writing "This is where grandpa is buried, I miss him; maybe he's watching me and can see me fly for him", they could build some touching tributes. But if you don't feel comfortable taking the photos, or don't feel comfortable flying there, that is your choice. Listen to your conscience and personal morals. If you don't feel good about it, don't do it. My most recent case of not flying due to discomfort was being asked to fly at a location right off the highway. I was concerned about potentially triggering a crash from a rubber-neck driver, so I declined for moral reasons.
  15. frob

    Kite Tail

    Agreed about using it as a narrow tail of custom length. It works well. Full price is about $5 for 600 feet, so you can get several. That can mean tying on one strip or five, a single color or a mix of colors. If you're careful cleaning up you can reuse it. If you've got the space in your bag and can handle the weight, some stakes (or perhaps several broken spars) coupled with surveyors' tape can also help discourage people from walking over your lines. I've got a set of stakes with about 150' of tape that I can set up when laying out my line. I use it when I'm in an area with occasional foot traffic and I'm set up for hours. When I land and step away I can put down my kite along the taped stakes so people are more likely to avoid them. (There are still some people who will walk through, break the tape, and trip over the lines, but they're the rare exception.)