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frob last won the day on October 22

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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. There is both. This was a topic about cameras, which I also happen to do a lot with. For camera equipment, the question to ask is: What is holding you back? Usually the answer is not gear, it is time behind the camera and time spent studying photos that have been taken. There are plenty of challenges where a skilled professional photographer is given mediocre equipment or even trashy equipment and asked to produce what they can. The skilled professional can produce great results even on poor quality equipment. However, if you gave a $20,000 camera rig to a novice the visual quality may be amazing but the composition and other elements will still be novice quality. In regard to that specific equipment for @Mutani, they're all good and unlikely to hold the person back. They won't produce the same quality as high-end gear, but none of it is bad equipment. The same with kites, the question to ask is: What is holding you back? For people in this forum the answer usually is not gear, most of us have a bag or two with kites for a wide range of conditions. Low wind, high wind, even no wind or indoors, the equipment is there. Similarly, usually the thing holding us back is more time in the air, and time spent critically reviewing our current results. As for ability in this field, there are professionals in kites where I think we could tie a rock to a string and they'd find a way to make it fly gracefully through the air, with just a bit of legwork.
  2. Looking them up quickly on photography comparison sites: Sensor is different. The IV sensor is slightly better in low light conditions. That's better if you don't have a flash and need to shoot at dusk, but in good light unlikely to matter. View screen has more pixels on new model. The IV view screen has more dots so it looks prettier, but consumes more batteries. Faster continuous shooting on new model, taking a burst of shots can handle a few more images per second. Higher resolution video in the new camera, from 1080 video to 4K video. And naturally the newer camera costs more. There are also the model 5 (V) and 6 (VI). The features are better than most smart phone cameras, with better glass and a bigger sensor. Still, the sensor (13.2 x 8.8 mm) is much smaller than a full frame (36 x 24 mm) so it gets about 10% of the light captured compared to a full frame. Those are only problems if they are the limiting factors. A great photographer can use a terrible camera and still get amazing shots by leveraging all their technical skill. A novice photographer using world-class equipment will still produce novice shots. Look at what you are shooting, and why. Ask yourself what limits you from getting the photos you want. If you are limited by your skill, a new lens or new body won't help. If you are limited by lighting or camera speed or sensors, you need a better camera body. If you are limited by lens speed, aperture, chromatic issues, lens flares, or focal length, you need a better lens. If one of those cameras satisfies all your needs, go for it. The major brands of Canon and Nikon are better for the high-end bodies and lenses. That camera can produce good results for hobby photography.
  3. frob


    That's a reason for having many different kites with overlapping capabilities. Fly while the wind is good, fix any damage later.
  4. frob

    Long Island Kiters? I'm new.

    Yes, three meanings to choose from. When it isn't available as a choice, I tend to choose "frobnicator" as a name, from the same origin.
  5. frob

    Long Island Kiters? I'm new.

    Has anyone ever used dowels? Yes, many people. There are all kinds of kite designs that can use any available rod, including dowels, bamboo, even straight sticks and twigs for their structure. Many inexpensive hobby-store and generic retail kites use wooden dowels for their cross bar. If you are searching for kite designs online, you can find kite plans that call for thin wooden dowels (or for bamboo sticks that tend to be lighter). Most professional grade kites these days use carbon fiber rods for their light weight, high strength, and extreme flexibility which helps them survive crash impacts. A few professional grade kites use fiberglass.
  6. I picked up a Kaiju in March, and an indoor rev later in the year. Over the past six months I've slowly built stamina for indoor flight, but still encounter a bit of dizziness or vertigo. My collection of maneuvers is still relatively small, and 360s (or 180s) are my easiest way to recover and land when trying something new. I know in indoor performances (in person and in video) the performers do relatively few 360s, more frequently walking zig-zag patterns before turning 180. Also common is slowly covering the entire gym as a large square rather than walking backwards around the center court circle. Those will require increasing my pool of tricks, but that's my goal. The tip of thinking about the gym as compass points has helped, both for orientation and for dizziness. My available floor is little more than a basketball court, nearly mirrored north/south and east/west, so keeping compass points in mind helps with orientation. But even trying those, after about two minutes of indoor flying and a half dozen spins, I need to stop, land, and hold steady for a moment. It takes one or two seconds for the walls to stop moving from vertigo, then I can continue. Any other ideas to help with the spinning?
  7. frob

    Broken stand-off

    It is normal. All parts will break eventually from use and abuse. They break most often when you are starting out and are crashing frequently. They break less often when are skilled and are cautious with your equipment. Most damage come from crashes, hard non-crash landings, and from dragging along the ground. Sometimes parts will be destroyed on impact. Sometimes they will be damaged but won't completely break until placed under stress. Parts can also break under the stress of high winds, but for beginners that is less common than impact or snag damage. Several companies (including HQ) sell the rods, clips, and other necessary parts to repair the kite. It may take some labor to cut rods to the proper length and securely attach them, or they may have an exact replacement part. Sometimes the kite vendors will send a no-cost replacement part for a newly-purchased kite. Contact them and ask. Otherwise shop around, there are many stores that sell parts for a range of prices.
  8. frob

    The unexpected

    There used to be a brand of kite line called "spider line", it was blue, made from the same stuff as today's Dyneema and Spectra names. I've still got a bit of it on a winder. I think if I knew there were spiders out ballooning, I'd call that as a good day to fly indoors.
  9. It wasn't me being a wimp that prevented me from properly attaching it. I found out the knots were tied slightly too close making them nearly impossible to come together. Moving the knots about 1/8" made the kites come together neatly.
  10. Gentler, certainly, but that's not a bad thing. Kites can have high pull and fast speeds that are beyond beginner's skill, that doesn't mean people with intermediate and expert skills will ONLY fly those kites. Not every kite day needs to be an upper-body workout. A lazy day flying kites means flying gentler kites. A kite can be beginner-friendly can can also be fun to fly.
  11. frob

    Kite buying tips

    If you are considering quad line kites, the skill sets are mostly distinct. You can learn to fly a quad without learning to fly dual, and you can learn to fly a dual without learning a quad. Quad line kites are generally slower and deliberate, far more precise with the ability to slow, stop, and reverse. Dual line kites have more options including kites with high power or force if you like a workout, kites with extreme speed, and kites capable of amazing acrobatic tricks. Some skills are transferable like understanding the wind window or understanding how air turbulence affects flight, but mostly you can learn either one in about the same time frame. With the help of an experienced pilot that can give immediate feedback you can learn basic control in an hour or two. Without an experienced guide you will need experimentation and instructional videos and it will take longer.
  12. frob

    Flight of the Octos!

    I started thinking about making the six-hour drive from Austin, then remembered I've already got a scheduled kite flying on Saturday. That's a first. I hope the octopuses / octopodes survive with all their limbs, this weekend's weather is forecast to be rather active.
  13. frob

    Full Vent with Time to Think

    There are plenty more things you can learn. For strong winds you learn the cost of spars after they break, how to patch a torn sail, and how to cut down a snapped line into short lines. You also learn the "fire drill" maneuver to rush to the edge of the wind window in heavy gusts, and the importance of stretch strips sewn into the kite fabric to slow down the eventual wear. For light/variable winds you can learn patience, learn how to read the tells of an incoming wind by watching the distance, and get the exercise of the "walk of shame" out to the kite as it repeatedly falls (or learn about "magic sticks").
  14. frob

    Travel Frames

    Yes, the one I have is exactly that. Half as long, plus a ferrule. Put two together and it is the length of a regular spar. When making a set I suspect they take a regular set of six spars (one spare), run them across a very narrow saw precisely down the center, then add six ferrules. None of the spars are double-ferrule like the center spar typically is, only one ferrule per piece.
  15. Exciting. Then we can get another vote on if they're really tight, or if I'm just a weakling.