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frob last won the day on July 27

frob had the most liked content!

About frob

  • Birthday April 18

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  • Favorite Kite(s)
    Like asking me to choose my favorite child.
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  • Location
    Austin Texas
  • Country
    United States

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frob's Achievements

Kitelife Regular

Kitelife Regular (4/7)



  1. I think it takes both kinds. Variety is the spice of life. As an inland flier used to flying where moment to moment varies by 5-10 mph, I tire of the rough stuff. Although they're many months between getting out there, I love getting to the beach with smooth predictable wind. As posted by a neighbor when we flew together: The beach with smooth, flat winds is my rare experience. Right now I'd love a day at the beach with silky smooth winds.
  2. Video and email address.
  3. Lights vary tremendously. They range from individual LEDs on elastic, to keeping the kite lit up, to LED strips to fully computer controlled color lights. Finger lights are cheap, potentially a few cents each. Northern Lights are a recent decent backlight on spars. Fancier lights are custom.
  4. Both, for now you can work on the practice part. For me, the biggest help was to break it down. I could fly up, and slowly back down. Could I back down faster? Could I back down slowly with precision? That is reverse. I could fly up diagonally, and back down diagonally. Could I back down at a different speed, or more precisely? Again, that is reverse. I could do a dive stop and back up slightly to flip around. That little piece was reverse. If you can hold an inverted hover, that is reversed against gravity. Hold it steady as long as you can. When you are ready, slowly back up more. As slowly as necessary, work to increase the height of the inverted hover. That's all reverse. I could fly forward horizontal but reverse would flip, so I did it at an angle, about 30' or 60', backing up as triangles slowly. Go super slow at first. Practice those elements. Look at ways you are already reversing and do more of it. Do it slowly with more deliberate motion. Hold on as long as you can. Try to recover when it flips, then try again to hold and repeat. For tuning, as mentioned above, more brake helps. The default Rev leader lines have a lot of forward drive built in, but reverse is the opposite of forward drive. More brakes helps.
  5. I have not seen many items I wanted to join in. For the few I was interested in, many others were too. There are many posts of people cleaning the closet and posting items they never flew, new in original packaging, or only lightly used. I don't have that, I use everything I have. I think mostly I could offer a gift card, rather than a closet full of items to pass along. Combined and for me personally the drawings don't work. Don't get me wrong, I like that they happen, but I feel it is difficult to participate unless you are already knee deep in gear and have more than you can use. There is little for newcomers or those with a small bag of gear. If there were a way to address it, a way to pass along the good will without already having a pile of gear ready to part with, I would want to participate more. Is there a way to get it more inclusive? I think of people who are able to gift equipment to those who would use it, but it doesn't work well with "pay it forward" while within the kite world. I recall some drawings where the winners offered kitelife.com subscriptions and gift cards to kite stores, that type of seeding the pot back up could help. I don't know how it might work, though.
  6. Done, signed, and now have a video up. The vented sail won't be done any time soon, I've got hours of soldering left. Sadly I have learned that while most parts hold up well, the solder joints are a weak point. They're a tiny blob of tin, silver, and copper, and are brittle. While it can hold up for most flying, too much stress or jostling can break a solder joint. I learned from prototypes that a hard crash can break a solder joint. Folding and rolling up the kite can break solder joints if it puts too much pressure on the wire. While putting on the bridle and spars I already had two break off, but they're easily soldered back on although I need to be careful not to melt the sail. It looks much nicer than the taped-down version I was using, and should be a lot more solid than before. Forecast looks good, so I'll probably get the first flight at Kite Fest Louisiane. Thanks for the help and support, and hopefully when I get back I can post a video of it in flight.
  7. Elastics and endcaps on, frame installed. With everything all together I'm at 367 grams. That's about 35 grams heavier than what I was using, but should still fly. The Rev with all the lights attached drove like a tank. Sadly it was not durable like a tank. This version feels sturdy, and also easily repaired if something should go wrong. I'm excited to get a bridle on and see how this thing moves.
  8. Two more checkmarks for the full sail. ✔ Sew on LED light strips on both kites ✔ Final soldering for joints on LED light strips on both kites (48 solder joints. Eeek.) And while I haven't sewn on the final cover/trim, the LEDs are taped into place: Remaining for this kite: ⬜ Sew on LED strip covers (bonus task) ⬜ Tie bridles ⬜ Attach bridles, elastics, and endcaps ⬜ Create kite bags for both kites
  9. It is different. I've tried them at events, but never spent the money for owning my own. Not because I haven't put it in my virtual shopping cart enough times, but because when it comes to actually slapping down the money I've decided to prioritize other kites above it. They're fun, but not my type of fun. It still maneuvers, it is still controlled in basically the same way. It has less forward drive. The Fulcrum doesn't glide as well, nor side-slide as well. While it is precise, it also feels like it has less stable flight. In some regards it is similar to the difference in dual lines between a freestyle trick kite versus a solid straight team flier. That's good if you're looking to do acrobatic tricks, something the Hadzicki wing doesn't have many of. I've seen people do all kinds of acrobatics that look more like dual line freestyle tricks than quad line flying. As you are close enough to actually fly with other owners, I recommend you ask to try theirs. Then you can see the flavor and see if you enjoy it or not.
  10. Done with the other leading edge. It only took about 2 hours this time. This bit right here has been the hardest to sew in each one, followed by the end tip: It's the reflective tape on the front, Dacron stretch strip in the back, Icarex from the body, plus 2x Dacron (4x in the overlap) for the leading edge, and the mesh which isn't difficult ... all of that tripled because it is a folded hem. 24 layer thickness. Every step I needed to manually push the needle down while turning the machine's wheel, and manually help pull it back out. Some required driving a hole through it gradually to get through all the layers. Same with the two pieces at the end with all the folded over bits to make a non-fray corner, lots and lots of layers mean I'm basically manually stitching each one of the triple zigzag. So the sails are basically complete. There is certainly room for improvement, those tiny white corners on the leading edge bug me. I think next time I'll need to make the LE about an inch narrower, which should help it on either side. Stitching isn't perfect, but should be adequate. I'm likely going to be the only person most concerned about how some of the zigzag stitches are narrow, some wide, some rather strange looking. But it should hold: Even so, that's some more checkmarks down the long list: ✔ Figure out paper prototype dimensions ✔ Cut and tape paper prototype ✔ Verify paper prototype, refine template ✔ Cut pieces for full sail ✔ Sew full sail body ✔ Cut pieces for vented sail ✔ Sew vented sail body ✔ Prepare reinforcements ✔ Sew reinforcements on both sails ✔ Sew hems on both sails ✔ Apply fray check and check all the details ✔ Cut leading edge pieces ✔ Sew both leading edges ✔ Attach both leading edges ⬜ Sew on LED light strips on both kites ⬜ Final soldering for joints on LED light strips on both kites (48 solder joints. Eeek.) ⬜ Tie bridles ⬜ Attach bridles, elastics, and endcaps ⬜ Create kite bags for both kites
  11. What do you want to know about it? Are you asking about that specific kite? Or is this a "want to buy" type post where you're looking for something visually similar? If so, what's the price range? Their ITW branded kites are typically pretty good. Not Peter Lynn good, but far better than Walmart specials. ITW fills a good slot in the beginner/intermediate market.
  12. No effects due to heat (or winter cold), but having it with you comes with a dramatically increased chance of flying. Take the opportunity when you can, even if that means stopping at a park on your way home, or pulling off the side of the road on a long country drive.
  13. Finally found the time to attach the first of the leading edges. 2.5 hours to attach the first one. The endpoints and the center were by far the hardest parts. If you look closely, the Dacron has: outside layer, folded over layer for a non-fray edge, overlapped layer to make it 3.5 inches, doubled for front and back (x2 layers), plus the Icarex which is tripled at the hem, all with a folded hem (x3 layers). That's 12-16 layers of Dacron, 3-9 layers of Icarex, and 3 layers of mesh. Each of those stitches took several impacts to push through. It might have been easier to hand-stich those bits with a sewing awl. The rest of it sewed on relatively easily. Plenty of uneven stitching as the tensions constantly changed. Each time I hit a Dacron strip the zigzag changes length, switching from a 3-layer of Icarex to 3-layer of both Dacron and Icarex really slowed things down. But at least it is all on. The reflective strip is bright. It should mix well with the LEDs when I get to that step. Hopefully the second leading edge for the vented kite will go faster, maybe 2 hours. That's for another night.
  14. That is my favorite feeling. Thank you for sharing.
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