To LiPo or not to LiPo that is the question

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OK returning to the hobby after a ten year absence and pulling planes out of storage, I find that a lot of things have changed with batteries being one of the most striking. It seems that the NiCad batteries that I used years ago are now very hard to come by and have been replaced by LiPo batteries.  Is that correct.  It also seems that while all batteries will explode with improper handling the LiPo have combustible materials inside that can burn my barn down, unless lots of care is taken and the use of a charging bunker is recommended.  At this time I am not all that interested in electric flight but I do hope to enter that phase sometime in the future….thoughts and directions appreciated.   Safety first, always, I will buy some kind of new batteries before taking a plane into the sky.

 

Second part of the equation, my hobby shop is a small block room off of an old dairy barn, no heat no cooling how will this affect battery storage? Years ago we were on a strict two year battery life schedule unless discharging showed appreciable decline prior to the two years and I had no problems with my NiCads

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My Journey Back to the Flightline—In Memory of Doc


Energized by the positive results of a few small baby steps to bring a fleet of aged RC planes which had been stored for ten years in an outbuilding back to the air it is time that I develop a plan centered on three basic principles, Safety First, Success and Sustainability.

The 3 S’s on 3/11/2017

Safety First…No I am not going to try flying planes with 15 year old batteries, even if they take a charge.

Success….At the end of a flying day I want my efforts focused on battery maintenance, cleaning planes and reorganizing my flight box, not repairing a plane that I crashed. That means resisting temptations to fly some of the planes with my rusty skills.

Sustainability….There is a certain amount of fiscal responsibility with any venture, adventure or journey. This is a hobby so I definitely do not perceive it ever being profitable, but it does have to remain within reason….My Go Big or Go Home attitude will have to be curtailed somewhat.

Yes it is a shame that the planes are in the condition they are in but don’t judge me, just hang with me….We are headed for a ride…..

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My Journey Back to the Flight line-In Memory of Doc. 3/6/2017

No matter how well we plan, no matter how hard we try, sometimes, not always, but sometimes, life happens. It may be that we have to take a detour away from our plans or change them all together or sometimes we just have to step away for a while and hope someday to make it back to our path. This is what happened to my RC days. They started in the Mid-90s with my father-in-law (one of the best men I have ever known) became interested in RC planes and continued until 2005 to 2006 when his health began to fail. Days we thought would go on forever came to a sputtering halt and then a stall and then the crash and most of his planes being put into a storage shed. My planes, well they were hung from the roof of my unheated, uncooled hobby shop which due to a career change became a very packed storage shed. The few time I got them out led to hard landings and my loss of interest for a while.

Like many people I called my father-in- law Doc as he was the local pharmacist, , he was already in his late 60’s, when he started, he still worked six days a week in his store, and me in my 40’s our arrangement was he would build them and I would take him to the flying fields and fly them, sometimes he would fly on a trainer box as I watched but mostly he enjoyed the comradery of the flight field. Sometimes I would crack one up and we would go out and pick up all the pieces, I felt terrible but he always reassured me that he could fix it, and he did.

In any event a couple of months ago I started reorganizing and finally got my hobby shop/ office back into shape. One afternoon a couple weeks ago I reached up and lifted my Benson Stik down. Back in the day it had been my favorite plane, stable enough for me relax a little bit with but reactive enough the I could have a few thrills. As I held the plane memories of summers we thought would never end came rushing back. The pain of Doc’s passing will never go away but the pleasant memories have begun to fill my thoughts rather than the great loss. As I held the plane it became clear what I need to do. Although now in my 60s I need to return to the flight line. I have been told that the planes have obsolete electronic components and that they are of no value. Well to me they are priceless and who knows if I change a few things polish them up maybe I and trade a few get some funds for a new project, which was our mode of operation.

 

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I’ll Suwannee

Land’s End, located at the southwest tip of England, is home of the famous First and Last House of England. It is the first house on the horizon (Land Ho, would be the shout from the crow’s nest) if you are returning from the sea or it is the last house that you see as you depart out into the Atlantic Ocean.  Land’s End is also a retail/mail order store that offers casual clothing.  The phrase “Land’s End” is also a metaphorical phrase for land does not actually cease to exist, as it is covered by the water. Land’s End is a good phrase, which stirs so many memories and emotions of facing the unknown, anticipation, adventure, and the life and death struggles that are part of ocean voyages and costal life. But it is an oft used phrase when trying to describe a place like no other that I have visited, I will start it this way…..

When you reach the end of the land that means anything, or at least to those of us who have made our way treading upon the soil, and you find places names such as Cat Island, Salt Creek, Bumble Bee or Double Barrel, you have found a unique place where the slow-flowing Suwannee River empties its dark waters into the Gulf of Mexico. Squeezed into the last little bit of land laying between the gulf and the river is the community of Suwannee Florida.  One of the few places that I know that has withstood the many influences that have overtaken the outside world, where folks talk mostly about fishing and crabbing, and fishing and crabbing, and fishing and crabbing, mixed in there is a steady conversation about the going and coming of the tides, smoked mullet and stories that start with “Remember the time…”. And of course conversations of the most important outside world influence, college football, with Florida Gators or the FSU Seminoles taking mainstage.  These conversations are carried on with such a contagious passion an outsider can momentarily forget the biting of the sand gnats while entertaining the idea, “I could live here.”

Bills Fish Camp, Suwannee Marina and Salt Creek Restaurant are the main commercial attractions, there is one little convince store and if you want anything else, even gas for your vehicle, you have to travel 30 miles back up the road to Old Town, Oh, and by the way the closest law is in Old Town, so folks generally respect their neighbors and mind their own business.

The rules,

“What happens in Suwannee stays in Suwannee.”

“Relax, go fishing and have a good time.”

I had a couple of days off so I made a quick trip with my brother-in-law to visit my cousin who has a place in Suwannee…..Yes, we had a good time….

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Cat Island

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South West corner of Cat Island….Suwannee’s Land’s End

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Fisherman’s Prayer, Lord Bless this cast.

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Suwannee’s preferred mode of transportation.

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A 28 inch long Redfish, as she was over the slot limit we let her go back to the sea.

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The allure of the enticing land of beyond.

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I have lived my life observing the beautiful sunsets from the farm, but nothing can prepare a person for the first time they see the sun setting into the ocean on the grassy flats which surround Suwannee.

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Drawn by the Sun

Drawn by the sun

Woodland/Stiff/Sawtooth Sunflowers…….Drawn by the sun……

Weeds in the eye of the camera

Some just see a weed but I see so much more in the light of the sun.

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Yellow sun

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Dancing in the light

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Ironweed in the setting sun

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A Sycamore tree

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Goldenrod in the light

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Look Around You, Look Up Here

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Down by the highway, I have noticed them for the past two evenings, when the angle of the sun gets just right the vibrancy of a little patch of wildflowers really shines. With the dark green of the hedge bushes as a background, dozens of little blooms make a resounding statement….Look Around You, Look Up Here….. Take time to make time…..Make time to be there……Look around, be a part….(Words from Little River Band, Lady)

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I am still not certain of their name, I think Woodland Sunflower, Sawtooth Sunflower or Stiff Sunflower.  They are really populous around the farm fence rows.

Cropped Bumble Bee on Woodland Sunflower 9-8-2015

Not a big attractor for honey bees however the bumble bee busies herself gathering nectar and pollen.

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From one bloom to the next the bee flies……

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