Wayne Dowler

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Wayne Dowler last won the day on July 20

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About Wayne Dowler

  • Rank
    Hard Core Kite Flier
  • Birthday 08/04/1951

Profile Information

  • Favorite Kite(s)
    Quads, Prisms, and others (Phoenix)
  • Flying Since
  • Location
    Clackamas, or. 97015
  • Country
    United States
  • Interests
    kites of all types and lazing around with my zoo.
  • Gender

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  1. Wayne Dowler

    50# short line lengths ?

    I'd echo makatakam - learn a bit of control and how the kite works, before going short. Once you get sure of yourself, there are lots of choices on length. Personally I like 50', close enough to fit in most places, but still has a pretty big window to fly in. I really like them on my Zen. But that is a bigger kite than the 1.5. 30' is another common length, probably the most often used. I even have 20' and 15' sets for no room flying. Lots of old sets get chopped down to make more. You will see. Indoors, I fly 10' x 90# by choice. Little extra weight of the 90# helps get the lines out of the way during some tricks. My set of 50# x 120' were made by me. I bought a spool of 900' and made several sets from that. But do your math before you start chopping!! Figure out the length needed for each set, before you cut!
  2. Wayne Dowler

    The "Caller's or Leader's" radio circuit

    For those that don't have the circuit - here is one possible solution - especially on small lines: I'm looking into a voice amp, similar to those used by tour guides or professors in lecture halls. Comes with a headset ( wired or bluetooth), a small amp/speaker, and a strap. Speaker can be clipped to the belt or pocket, worn over the shoulder, or around the waist, depending on how you configure the strap. Also can be used as a speaker for your device. Many models on Amazon. One of my teams uses one and easily carries down the 4 person line, sometimes 5 or 6. Not sure how many deep it will carry ....... but it might be an alternative ....?
  3. Wayne Dowler

    The "Caller's or Leader's" radio circuit

    My only question is - even though the caller's VOX circuit is off too? I'm not 100% sure on how the radio is set up, but I don't think they are using the VOX circuit.
  4. Wayne Dowler

    The "Caller's or Leader's" radio circuit

    Only works if you can put the string through the heads of those in between the caller and tailgunner! I think this got off track: Let me get back to some ideas or at least what I know: This all was done several years ago as an inexpensive way to have good communication with all parties on a line - no matter how big it gets. We have used this in small teams, right up to the last giant grid formation of 81 (9x9) pilots at WSIKF! It is easy for a team to collectively change to a different channel, if the one selected is being used. 2 circuits open on a single channel cause feedback and neither line hears anything. So one team switches to an unused channel and everyone is happy. This also works great if you ground crew for a team. Many times I dial in the channel of the team flying and the leader can talk to me if there is a crash. Also at some festivals, the announcer can also dial in and put the radio next to the mic and let everyone listen in to the calls made. It does work effectively, I'm not questioning that. The circuit as constructed works to open the transmit function, whether you have music going through it or not. That was my original question: could we could lose the mixing part, still lock the radio in transmit, but shorten the thing down. As constructed, most of these circuits are too long, especially if you no longer use the mixing part. It's a pain to put in a pocket or let dangle - just too much. Midland radios seem to have a proprietary 2 prong plug in - I'm guessing that one is for transmit, one for receiving. The circuit as made now uses just one side. The leader only wears a headset for calling commands to the rest of the line. The rest of the line uses the channel selected and closes any VOX setting. This way only the leader's headset is live. Everyone else is listening to the calls. Because of the 2 separate circuits, Midlands seem to be the leader's radio of choice. I have Unidens, I like the limited menu tree and layout of controls, but because of the single input, the circuit doesn't work for me. I have used the VOX feature on them, no matter how sensitive I set them, they always seem to open and close and cut my commands off somewhere. This is not a good option - period. So back to the original idea - to all you electronic buffs - can the circuit as described in the original article - be altered to still lock the transmit circuit open, but lose the mixer and overall shorten it?
  5. Wayne Dowler

    The "Caller's or Leader's" radio circuit

    Undependable. Many radios have shapes that don't allow a good tight fit. Or like my Unidens that have the headset jack directly across from the transmit button. Last thing you need is your caller to have their radio go dead during a routine, because the band slipped or broke. There is nothing "wrong" with the circuit as presently constructed, just looking to see if it can be modified somewhat. Eliminate an unneeded function and shrink the overall size. As I mentioned, I have 0 electronic background, and my stroke makes me dangerous with a soldering iron in my hand.
  6. Wayne Dowler

    The "Caller's or Leader's" radio circuit

    Sorry all the Bluetooth stuff is undependable and very expensive. Not sure on battery life either or how it would hold up under the conditions usually found. Plus there is no discrimination of units. If anyone says anything they will drown out the caller, Every Bluetooth unit is open to both listen and receive. As you noted, the original circuit is inexpensive and has no power requirements. Right now, if you are "on" using the same channel, and there are 2 radios locked in transmit, there will be feedback. This is easily dealt with, by one party switching channels. What I was asking is can the "splitter" idea be eliminated, get rid of the music mixer, and enough electronics kept, to just lock the caller's radio in transmit mode? Just the plug going into a radio and a plug in for the headset, and the needed electronics in between, and make it as short as possible. Sort of like locking the VOX circuit open - but full time. See, the VOX feature on radios, leaves much to be desired. The circuit to transmit with VOX, usually opens about halfway through your command. Meaning your line mates miss out on a bunch of the commands. I know because using a different brand, has forced me to use the feature - it is not a viable solution. VOX was an example, not how it worked in reality. Having just one leader's radio locked open to transmit, with the least amount of hanging stuff, is the idea.
  7. Wayne Dowler

    The "Caller's or Leader's" radio circuit

    A couple of thoughts on this overall: I really encourage the use of good rechargeable batteries, instead of the provided battery packs. I use Uniden radios and found a 12 pack of "AAA" rechargeables and a good charger for them on Amazon. Why? I looked on the battery packs and found that they were about 1/2 the power of the rechargeable ones. Mine uses 3 "AAA" batteries, Midlands use 4 "AA" batteries. The leader of one of the teams I'm on, uses the high power rechargeables and his radio easily lasts all day calling. On the line as a listener, mine last for several days. With a 12 pack, I always carry an extra set with me - just in case mine die! Anyway my original question is-can someone shrink this circuit down way smaller to just a plug in for the radio, electronics needed, and a plug for the headset, eliminating the music mixing wire and plug??
  8. Wayne Dowler

    The "Caller's or Leader's" radio circuit

    Let me see if I can find it ... if so I"ll edit this to include the link. http://kitelife.com/2012/07/31/radio-equipment-for-team-flying/ Think this is it, if not, it is under articles, team flying - here on KL!! Link works!!!
  9. Got a question for all you experienced electronics buffs: Several years ago, we had an article on how to make a caller's circuit. Came with a diagram and I think some pix. It was designed to lock the caller's radio in transmit mode and had a plug in to mix music into it. The result works pretty well. Here is my question: Many of us have gone to using a Bluetooth speaker for the music. It can be aimed at the line and also provide a "home" for the team's movement. So - the question is: Can the circuit be made smaller, with no extra wires? Just a plug for going into the radio and a plug in for your headset and whatever needed electronics in between? Something say 6" long or so, instead of the tangle of wires we have now? Disclaimer: I have no electronics background, just experience using them with my teams. I'm looking for a "cleaner" setup over what we use now. Don't know if it is possible or ...?? ANYONE??
  10. A little note on bridles - the Indoor doesn't use one at all. There are only pigtails attached to the top and bottom of your verticals. A common mod is to lengthen the top pigtail and add knots to adjust it to your taste. Some shorten the bottom or at least add a few knots for further adjustment. Also we add some bow to the LE by tightening the bunjis at the end caps. Then remove any wrinkles caused from it, by tightening the tip bunjis til the sail is pretty smooth. Another little thing I do to an Indoor - I add small pieces of insignia tape to reinforce the bunji holes. Prevents elongating from stretching those bunjis and caps tight. Pretty much all this info is in an article by Watty on here.
  11. Wayne Dowler

    2018 04 Squad Clinic

    John - how many previous clinics have these folks been to at this type of training?
  12. Wayne Dowler

    Widow ng

    Skybond is definitely coated. LPG - ? Tighter weave might be a better word. Speed has been around a very long time, got sets nearly 20 years old and still fly them. All 3 are really about the same strength, but still kite design and pull will dictate what line works for which kite. not poundage. I try using 90/100# line on my Stranger and it breaks nearly every time. Not every kite will work best on lighter line...... IMHO YMMV
  13. Wayne Dowler

    Widow ng

    The Kite Shoppe uses smaller diameter sleeving, otherwise it is a tossup between the stores. Either Speed or Skybond will work for your dual line kites. Speed has been around longer, but Skybond is good stuff too. LPG is good too, but preferred for quads. Can't go wrong with any of the shops I mentioned, but my local store is The Kite Shoppe. Just remember to match line strength to kite pull. Sometimes you need 150# line on certain kites or the kite will break it. You just have to know your equipment. My Prism Ozone flies on 50#, but my Stranger(middle wind range) uses 150#. My higher wind kite, a Prism Alien flies in higher winds and uses 90#. Design of the kite plays into line choice. There is no "one size fits all".
  14. Wayne Dowler

    Widow ng

    Any decent lines are made of spectra, dacron is for SLK's. Several shops near to choose from - The Kite Shoppe, The Kite Connection, Into The Wind, and A Wind of Change. Almost all handle LPG and/or Shanti Skybond, you'll need to look around for Shanti Speed. Pretty sure ITW carries it in bulk, not sure about sets. Same with AWOC.
  15. Wayne Dowler

    Newbie Journey, Rev learning tips

    Pull tabs on the loops can be made from other line and added to, or make the loops long and tie them into the setup using the ends of the loops. Either way works. The only set to be fairly accurate with is the 120's if you plan on flying with others. Everything else is fair game ......