Last year I decided to set myself some hobjectives. These are like resolutions but specific to the domain of hobbies: character building, life enriching sort of things rather than the usual “cut down on the booze, swear less, get a new job” sort of stuff.
How Did I Do in 2012?
- Sleep in the back of The Duke – Pass
- Learn to fly my tricopter – Pass
- Smelt aluminium at home – Fail
The first one was a resounding success. Though it may annoy the ex-military purists, the back of The Duke is now kitted out for sleeping rather than helicopter maintenance. There’s a comfy mattress, some dust-sheet-curtains, boxes of outdoor equipment and emergency rations. There’s even a flat-screen TV in there for FPV flying, though I haven’t managed to get it to work to my satisfaction yet.
I ordered my first shipment of multi-rotor parts in November of 2011 and had my first DIY tricopter up and running just before Christmas. Unsurprisingly I was a pretty crappy pilot to start with so getting better seemed to be an obvious hobjective for me. The original tricopter is hanging on a nail in the garage (victim of yet another broken servo) and I am now a quadcopter convert. I’m much better at flying, though still have a long way to go. I’ve done FPV too, which is a bit of an added bonus.
Smelting was a total fail. Partly due to the weather and partly due to the lack of a big metal cylinder I just never got the stuff together to try it. Dr Johnson is signed up as an official project partner to get this one licked in 2013!
- Smelt aluminium at home – with Dr J’s help this should be easy enough. We just need to buy some protective clothes and a few bags of charcoal and we’ll be good to go! Success will be measured on a small pile of ingots on the bench above an empty scrap bin.
- Finish the Duke’s Raspberry Pi brain – pull all the bits together to start The Duke tweeting about his adventures. Some niggles to work out around the power supply and the enclosure and some software to write then it should be good to go.
- Do some impressive FPV flights – get some long range flights done, preferably somewhere with a suitably high natural beauty rating. Capture some top-notch video footage of the sort that will make viewers raise their eyebrows and nod in mild appreciation.
- Make tasty bread in a Dutch Oven – I got a black pot for Christmas. Being able to make fresh bread from scratch anywhere in the world is frankly a vital skill. It’s a wonder I’ve managed to reach my 35th year without it!
I think those four should make for an entertaining year. Of course there are a thousand other jobs I need to get done this year in addition – The Duke’s gearbox needs looking at and I’d like to make a second ‘copter so I can crash twice before going home. There’s an FPV ground station to build and all sorts of tweaks to be made to the quad. Before I cook bread I’m going to have to do a chilli and maybe some southern-style barbecue chicken and ribs. I should really add some insulation to the back of The Duke and there’s no doubt I need to sort out the alignment of the tailstock on the lathe… you get the idea.