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Old 11-11-2012, 15:59   #16
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Re: Drones for Cruisers

Yes, Andrew, was jesting about Hindenburg II....kind of. Hydrogen go bang bang, and while I'm normally fond of explosions, not that close please!

Helium is a trace gas in the atmosphere....and if it's ok for folks to use in balloons at fairs or for divers to make funny voices with, it's surely ok for the odd cruiser to inflate his blimp?

It was the difficulty of landing that sparked the blimp idea; or was it a kite? Anyway, if it's tethered, easy enough to haul in, though if it's really rough it might get hairy, but it should have been back in already anyway.

A free roaming blimp; most useful, but the problem of grabbing it....a remotely released painter that one can grab would be the easiest. Hmm, have to investigate a cheap 2nd hand remote console like the model aeroplane folks use. Might as well cannibalise a whole model plane, it has everything one needs...motor, ailerons, rudder; just need one more channel to operate a solenoid to drop the painter. Or fire the onboard anti-seagull cannons. Wait, did I post that or just think it...oh n
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Old 11-11-2012, 16:56   #17
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Re: Drones for Cruisers

I have a nifty little toy which is a small self contained depth finder with an integrated transmitter. About the size of a large walnut. It's signal is received by a little wrist mounted display. You can clip it to the end of a fishing line, cast it way out, and reel it back and get a plot of the bottom over which it traveled. That used from the dinghy is pretty handy for exploring unknown cuts and anchorages.

It should be a very easy project to put that in a small RC boat. I've thought about it, but it's not real high on the priority list.
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Old 11-11-2012, 21:01   #18
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Re: Drones for Cruisers

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Old 12-11-2012, 05:29   #19
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Re: Drones for Cruisers

Msponer--What a great video. Best it illustrates, interalia, what a great yacht the Dana is, how well a windvane holds the yacht's course, and, a twizzle rig used to good advantage. Thanks very much for that. (OTOH, How good this might be for forward looking in fog? Not so much IMHO.)

Cheers...
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Old 12-11-2012, 06:01   #20
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Re: Drones for Cruisers

I've got a friend who does aerial photography from one of the quadcopters. He says the thing takes intense concentration to fly and that 10 to 15 minutes is his personal limit and a 25 minute battery is not a problem.
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Old 12-11-2012, 06:39   #21
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Re: Drones for Cruisers

I've been carrying a drone for awhile now. Though, I refer to it as an rc ICON A5 seaplane with a GroPro camera attached... Get's less attention from the CG..



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Old 12-11-2012, 07:37   #22
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Re: Drones for Cruisers

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I've been carrying a drone for awhile now. Though, I refer to it as an rc ICON A5 seaplane with a GroPro camera attached... Get's less attention from the CG..
...
Oh, wish I had not seen this! Last time I saw something that cool I blew $1,000 on a RC helicopter. Damn, those things are hard to fly. A pro copter pilot friend told me that to him they are much harder to fly than the real thing. After blowing hundreds of dollars on repairs due to crashes I gave it away. If I divide that by the few seconds of actual flight time I achieved the cost per second is pretty ugly.

I have friends with RC planes and have been told they are much easier to fly. How challenging is the RC ICON to fly?
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Old 12-11-2012, 08:54   #23
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Re: Drones for Cruisers

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Originally Posted by belizesailor View Post
Oh, wish I had not seen this! Last time I saw something that cool I blew $1,000 on a RC helicopter. Damn, those things are hard to fly. A pro copter pilot friend told me that to him they are much harder to fly than the real thing. After blowing hundreds of dollars on repairs due to crashes I gave it away. If I divide that by the few seconds of actual flight time I achieved the cost per second is pretty ugly.

I have friends with RC planes and have been told they are much easier to fly. How challenging is the RC ICON to fly?
Under NO circumstances should a beginner attempt to fly the ICON A5 or any aileron plane... Go to rcgroups.com and read/ask in the beginner forum for advice. AND FOLLOW IT. Get a 3ch trainer and learn to fly, Then get a 4ch trainer and learn to fly it. Maybe a simulator as well... Then, depending on how well you've progressed, the ICON A5...

IT'S NOT AS EASY AS IT LOOKS...

OR get your rc flying friends to 'buddy box' you for learning. It's much faster and less costly..

Best of luck....
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Old 12-11-2012, 12:59   #24
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Re: Drones for Cruisers

Micah: Here's my understanding about helium.

It is, as you say, a trace gas, and it's not even at the bottom of the table in prevalence, but unfortunately it's the top of the atmosphere.

Once released from captivity, it anti-gravitates to the exosphere.

(Not all scientists agree that the exosphere is really a part of the atmosphere, a few consider it to be part of space, and the troposphere to be the outer limit of the atmosphere .... so for them, I guess helium does not even qualify as a trace gas)

This escape happens whether or not it starts off in a balloon or blimp: there's no countervailing force to bring it back.

This is a long way up. Further up than, say, the International Space Station.

There is nothing else in the exosphere except for hydrogen molecules, and precious few of those. The surface area and volume of the exosphere are both enormous. It's not possible to put figures on it because it's mobile in both extent and in definition.

To all intents and purposes, no matter how much helium finds its way up there, it's like a proverbial drop of whisky in the Pacific Ocean.

Helium wouldn't accumulate up there in any case, because it gets stripped away by the "solar wind" (and presumably we also pick up a bit of helium from the same source: there's apparently some sort of equilibrium, but I'm not sure it's well quantified)


If you can think of a way of getting these helium particles back to the sealevel without expending the entire GDP of the developed world, you might be on a winner.

I say this because we're rapidly running out of helium. It's only made by nuclear fusion (ie in stars like the Sun) or VERY slowly by radioactive decay of a very small subset of rock types.
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Old 12-11-2012, 13:16   #25
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Re: Drones for Cruisers

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Micah: Here's my understanding about helium.

It is, as you say, a trace gas, and it's not even at the bottom of the table in prevalence, but unfortunately it's the top of the atmosphere.

Once released from captivity, it anti-gravitates to the exosphere.

(Not all scientists agree that the exosphere is really a part of the atmosphere, a few consider it to be part of space, and the troposphere to be the outer limit of the atmosphere .... so for them, I guess helium does not even qualify as a trace gas)

This escape happens whether or not it starts off in a balloon or blimp: there's no countervailing force to bring it back.

This is a long way up. Further up than, say, the International Space Station.

There is nothing else in the exosphere except for hydrogen molecules, and precious few of those. The surface area and volume of the exosphere are both enormous. It's not possible to put figures on it because it's mobile in both extent and in definition.

To all intents and purposes, no matter how much helium finds its way up there, it's like a proverbial drop of whisky in the Pacific Ocean.

Helium wouldn't accumulate up there in any case, because it gets stripped away by the "solar wind" (and presumably we also pick up a bit of helium from the same source: there's apparently some sort of equilibrium, but I'm not sure it's well quantified)


If you can think of a way of getting these helium particles back to the sealevel without expending the entire GDP of the developed world, you might be on a winner.

I say this because we're rapidly running out of helium. It's only made by nuclear fusion (ie in stars like the Sun) or VERY slowly by radioactive decay of a very small subset of rock types.
And your point is???

It's irrelevant what we do. In the natural order of things, the helium will run out. So.....what should we do?

It's not like we can do anything about it.

Helium use will continue, and the earth will run out. It's the way things happen.

James L
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Old 12-11-2012, 13:34   #26
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Re: Drones for Cruisers

"It's not like we can do anything about it" James L


So.... you're on a long sailing trip, heading somewhere you'll never reach. You've got a finite supply of something you can't replenish.

Do you save it for purposes for which nothing else will serve? And try to spin it out until you can work out a substitute?

Or do you let the kids use it to blow up balloons, because that's what kids do?
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Old 12-11-2012, 13:44   #27
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Re: Drones for Cruisers

When NASA use it to purge rocket booster fuel tanks, they don't recover, repurify and recycle it. Because cost accountants decide these things. Helium is CHEAP, for reasons which have NOTHING to do with supply.

And don't get me started on the Large Hadron Collider. It seems they had no plan to recover helium coolant when a single magnet shorted out. Tens of thousands of cubic metres, gone for keeps.

If helium cost what it was worth, instead of the cost of extraction, it might have a fighting chance of lasting until we reached maturity, instead of the frontier mentality "if we don't use it, someone else will"

Do you really want your children's children to inherit the scraps, the stuff no-one wanted, the remnants of what little we didn't squander heedlessly?
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Old 12-11-2012, 14:08   #28
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Re: Drones for Cruisers

Here is something I picked up that is easy to fly. You d/l software onto your ipad or iphone, Droid, etc, and away you go.

Less than 1 hour flight time for this run....
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Old 12-11-2012, 14:49   #29
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Re: Drones for Cruisers

A little stray, if I may.
What a neat plane that Icon is.
Always wanted to fly a Republic SeeBee or a Lake Amphibian.
Settled on a 172 and a Luscumbe on Edo floats in the 60s.
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Old 12-11-2012, 15:01   #30
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Re: Drones for Cruisers

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A little stray, if I may.
What a neat plane that Icon is.
Always wanted to fly a Republic SeeBee or a Lake Amphibian.
Settled on a 172 and a Luscumbe on Edo floats in the 60s.
Yes, a 1947 Republic SeaBee, as Richard Bach said in a 1973 issue of Air Progress magazine, the Winnebago of amphibs. He later wrote "Johnathan Livingston Seagull" and made good coin from that.

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