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Topics - PonoBill

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1
Foil SUP / Rocking the Gorge
« on: August 17, 2019, 08:06:05 AM »
One of the reasons the gorge rocks for foil downwind is that if you miss a bump the next one is three seconds behind it. I hope the forecast for today is accurate. If so, hang onto your boardshortz.






2
Wingsurfing, Windfoiling, Wingfoiling, Wing SUP / Obviously photoshopped
« on: August 16, 2019, 09:50:53 PM »
Dan Taylor managed to get a shot of me up on my foil and flying, looking almost comfortable. He must have a quick trigger finger.


Today was insane. OK in the early morning, but then gusty with a lot of lulls around noon. I took a break to get some lunch and came back to nuke city. Probably 35 gusting to 40. That was a guess but I just looked at the wind graph and it was 32 gusting to 45. My pump seems to have walked away, but I had my 4M inflated and ready to go, so I went on that. Generally, I don't think harnesses are a necessity for wing foiling, but it would have been good this afternoon. My arms are now quite a bit longer. I only did three or four passes across the river, but they were nutty. It's surprisingly easy to handle heavy wind on a port tack going upwind. the foil stays up, it seems fairly easy to spill wind when a nuclear gust hits me. But on the starboard tack, especially if I'm up on the foil, I lose control easily and wind up going downwind, which is challenging. I need to let the wing just swing out in front of me, but it's hard to remember that when the little safety dude is screaming in my ear.


3
Wingsurfing, Windfoiling, Wingfoiling, Wing SUP / Holy Shmockers
« on: August 15, 2019, 09:47:23 PM »
Wingfoiled today at Luhr Jensen in Hood River. gusty and nasty early on, but smoking later. I made the stupid mistake of dropping both a wing size and a foil size. I'm going to get a tattoo that says "change ONE thing". So yeah, went back to my 4.0 wing and an M200 foil and FLEW across the river. Wow, that is so very cool. I still haven't got the switchfoot foil thing working, so coming back was a long sequence of faceplants. But then I turned around and became a golden god of wind foil surfing again. Apparently a port only god. I spent about two hours talking with Adrian who is the designer/ co-owner of Axis foils. So much fun. I learned more about foils in two hours than I've managed to put together in four years of studying them.

I think I'm going to be buying a lot of parts from them. I like my 1020 axis, but I need to get it going so fast to lift my fat ass off the water that it all feels a little sketchy. I have a bunch of new ideas from our conversation, including the basic idea that some of my foil designs are not totally stupid. I guess we'll see. Feels like a whole new opportunity to learn. What could be better?

4
Random / Testing the Solar System
« on: August 12, 2019, 06:52:22 PM »
I put this in kind of a weird place, so here it is again in a slightly less weird place.



This is my battery/solar power system test container, strategically located a long walk from my shop and the GMC motor home that will eventually get its house power from it. You might think this is excessively cautious, and if you do, I won't be taking any advice from you.



On the roof is potentially 930 watts of PV. I say potentially since I planned to connect them in series, but that triggers an overvoltage on my MMPT controller, so I'm only using two. If I get nutty I'll add a fourth panel and do 2S2P, but right now it's 620 watts at 82 Voc.



Inside are two Tesla Model S 100D battery modules and a silly number of LiFe cells. I initially planned to build my own batteries, but after dinking around with a lot of BMS's I decided my designs weren't ready for prime time and bought two big Tesla modules. By comparison, these modules look like they were teleported from 2100 while my BMS rocks like it's 1990.



Complementing the Tesla modules is an EVTV Model S controller. If you look at the cables you see I'm bringing a Vulcan cannon to a knife fight. This thing can manage 63 modules. I'm probably good with two. But that whole burning up in the RV thing seems to justify the expense, even if it is kind of eye-watering.



The big box 'o BMS's.



Yup, those are bandit Chinese 18650's, the kind that initiates cosmetic surgery on the faces of Vapers everywhere. Suitably ensconced in a fireproof safe. Of course, they don't test these things for a fire on the inside.

There's a lot more to go in here. The 6000-watt inverter, some contactors, a bit of wiring, and the air conditioner I replaced on the RV on the container roof as a load. I'll set it all up and let it rip until I'm ready to install it, which will probably be eight months from now.

I'm also building a seriously stout steel box that will go in a conveniently empty area of the frame. Total weight will be about 250 pounds, which isn't so bad for 10.6 KWH.

5
Wingsurfing, Windfoiling, Wingfoiling, Wing SUP / Hey, wait...
« on: August 12, 2019, 02:19:44 PM »
...I was out at the same time. I guess Tomo is saving my faceplants for the wacky outtakes reel. That big splash in the first two seconds is the barge, not me.


6
Foil SUP / Not me
« on: August 12, 2019, 02:15:43 PM »
I know you'll all assume this is me, Paul and I look like twins if one twin was born 40 years before the other. And one was skinny and the other was... not. I think he has hair too.


7
Downwind and Racing / Gorge Pallde Challenge--should be epic
« on: August 10, 2019, 06:00:47 PM »
Anyone coming to Hood River for the Gorge Paddle Challenge--be excited. It looks like next week is going to be epic. The long term forecast, which is generally iffy, calls for a stable offshore high pressure and heat in the desert. The primo setup for hairdryer westerlies.

8
General Discussion / Slater Trout Million Dollar Mile
« on: August 05, 2019, 11:38:41 AM »
I first met Slater at the SUP board showcase we did as KeNalu SUP Magazine (the predecessor to the paddles) in 2007. He was just as impressive then at, I guess, 11 years old as he was doing this TV obstacle ninja show. He made the crazy obstacles look easy and smoked the opposition, winning the season. The only place I've found a highlights reel is Facebook. I'd watch the show but we killed our cable.

9
Random / A little Economics
« on: August 04, 2019, 03:27:54 PM »
Lately, I spend my mornings when I'm not paddling doing Masterclass. I shifted from Kahn Academy because I'm a little tired of realizing how much I forget of mathematics when I don't work on it for a while.

Anyway, lately, I'm watching Paul Krugman's lectures on Economics and Society. Interesting stuff. I'm sure anyone who's ardently on either the left or the right will get apoplectic watching it, but the guy knows his stuff. I think anyone looking to make sense of the world could gain some technical insight from this. Reading the comments is hysterical--people complaining that he isn't answering their questions when their questions are really statements based on their particular looniness.

I've already mentioned how much Diane and I enjoyed Massimo Bottura's class on modern Italian cooking. I'm switching in segments from Neil Gaiman on storytelling, re-taking the David Baldacci class on writing thrillers, and Thomas Keller's second masterclass on cooking techniques.

Next up will probably be Howard Schulz on business leadership, Karl Rove and David Axelrod on campaign strategy and messaging, and I'm going to redo the Bob Woodward class. I'll sprinkle in a little Jodie Foster--not because I care about directing but simply because she seems delightful.

10
Random / See what mediocre wind does
« on: August 01, 2019, 06:38:20 PM »
I spent a silly amount of time today making this base for the deflector for Fritz. The deflector will continue the lines of the wing, which will stiffen the aluminum. It bolts to the side and center mounts and has a little curve to it not apparent in this foto. It was a bitch to fit, the curve is compound so I had to roll the panel lines, then wheel in the curves, then reroll the lines that got squashed by the English wheel. Lather, rinse, repeat--four times. But when I finally got it, the panels dropped onto the roof like a blanket. Good thing, I was getting ready to see how far I could throw them. I covered the areas I needed to rivet with some gooky roof seam tape, and then used sealed rivets. Should be leakproof.


11
Random / Alt Meat
« on: August 01, 2019, 01:07:15 PM »
Here's a weird thought. I think the beef biz is dead but doesn't know it yet. I just had a fakeburger, and it was good. In fact it was better than a standard fast food burger. The fake burger is going to keep getting better. Feedlot beef isn't going to. Besides being an environmental and human health disaster, burger is expensive to make, distribute, store and sell, and it represents more than 60 percent of the beef biz. It's more or less the internal combustion engine vs. Tesla. As long as EV's were funny looking. slow and range-limited they didn't amount to a popcorn fart against an IC car. Then along came Tesla and kicked ass. The future for automakers is either somehow figure out how to make EVs at a profit, or die.

I came back to the shop and started researching. It's going to be a while before these folks are profitable, but it's pretty much game over for big factory beef. They don't know it yet, but I imagine it's going to get very hard to raise money to do anything in the cattle biz. Probably the boutique, grass fed, ethically raised and slaughtered stuff will survive, but the big feedlots are doomed. General consumers don't care that beef cattle that have the blind staggers that might actually be mad cow winds up in their happy meal, but expansion investment dries up when the smart money sees the first scent of disruption. In this care it's the first taste. I tasted it. It was good. They're fucked.

12
Random / I need some beta readers
« on: July 08, 2019, 12:54:56 PM »
I need some beta readers. Some time ago I wrote a book called "Riding Sophia". It was my first fiction book, and I learned a crazy amount about what not to do in writing it. It's a coming of age story about a strange guy named Monroe.

The latest book in the series is called Riding Anouk, it's Monroe at 19/20 and I'm getting ready to publish it. I started working on it quite a while ago, but finally got back to it and polished it up a bit.

Despite spending about thirty years working in marketing, I'm not particularly interested in making a big effort to sell these, but I have at least eleven more books in the pipeline that I just need to get out of me. I'd like to get some beta readers to give me feedback on this latest book. I wrote it in the style of the late, truly great Elmore Leonard, meaning, it starts with a bit of character development and story establishment, and then takes off and never catches a breath until it's over. I enjoyed writing it, but like every writer, I don't really know if it sucks or not. It's transitional, and I like to know if it works. If you'd like to read it, say so, and I'll send you a copy in .epub format. If you go nuts and want to contribute to editing it, I'll send a copy in docx, which everyone in the publishing business says people should NEVER do, but I don't really care.

I'll need your email address to send you a copy. Just PM it to me and I'll set you up.

The idea of the entire series of books is a little weird, and probably not commercially feasible, but I'm having fun. Here's the notion--most detective/thriller books involve characters that just kind of come out of nowhere. My idea was to write a series of books that show the reader where the character comes from, and then carry on, in sort of a Spenser/Robert Parker vein, but with someone whom the readers can fully understand and care about. I plan to even write a children's book about the character--Monroe Sanborne. That book will be titled "Coming Moon?" and is written from the viewpoint of a three-year-old riding in a car, and realizing that the moon is coming with them. There will be a YA book at about age ten, and then "Riding Sophia" picks up when Monroe is 17. It's a coming of age book with probably too much sex, but hey, guys can dream. It's published on Amazon: https://www.amazon.com/Riding-Sophia-Bill-Babcock-ebook/dp/B00JPUNCM4


13
Wingsurfing, Windfoiling, Wingfoiling, Wing SUP / Well that sucked...
« on: July 06, 2019, 10:00:30 PM »
The wind in Hood River was whacky today--super flat water calm interspersed with 50 mph gusts. Insane. So I headed east to Rufus. The big benefit of Rufus has always been plenty of room and not many people. Wow, has that changed. The parking lots, which are endlessly huge, were jammed with MoHos, trailers, and vehicles of every flavor. The water was equally jammed. Hundreds of kites, windsurfers, and a few boats, all claiming their own five meters of space.

The wind was good, the swell reasonable, and the crowd was unbearable. So I bailed.

The Wall, meaning the Washington side, is generally unpopulated. Today it was jammed with vehicles--about fifty in a place that legitimately takes ten and usually has two. So no.

I headed back to Hood River to see if anything had developed along that stretch that might accommodate a wobbly newb wingfoiler. I drove along at 70 MPH, getting blasted by occasional gusts of who knows what. I looked in my rearview window, and watched my brand new, never been wet, Axis foil blow out of the bed.

I had the wing tucked under my board, which had my GoFoil with a 280 on it, with the wing up near the cab. The only thing I can think of is that a side gust lifted the board by cranking on the GoFoil, released the axis, and blew it out of the bed.

Whatever, there it was, tumbling on the pavement at 70 MPH. Not good, in so many ways.

Fortunately, it didn't hit anyone, fortunately, the road was curving so the foil wound up off in the breakdown lane. I pulled off, ran back and recovered what I assumed was a destroyed expensive wad of aluminum and carbon. Surprisingly, the damage is minor. The leading edge is scratched and split, the tuttle adaptor has a few dings, but nothing I can't fix. Still--it was new!

In a rare moment of care, I had the covers on the wing and tail. They definitely saved the brittle bits from more serious damage. I'll shoot some pics. But in the helpful, cautionary tale, don't-fuck-up-like-this, category, I'd say don't assume heavy stuff with wings is going to stay inside a pickup bed. Normally I would have taken it apart and put it in the back seat, but I didn't have the torx wrench.

Anyway, that sucked, But nobody died or even got a papercut, and I can fix it. But still...

14
Random / CNC Router for less than $200
« on: June 27, 2019, 02:24:30 PM »
How cool is this, a three axis CNC router for less than two hundred bucks. Yes, it's a toy--sort of--but I figured I'd learn about the software and use with this weeny little thing and then get real later. There's a very active Facebook group and people modifying this to make it more useful. I built it and got the software running in about five hours.

15
Foil SUP / Yay! I got a Four meter
« on: June 26, 2019, 04:16:39 PM »
Picked up my 4M Duotone at the UPS store today. One of the people who was early on the Big Winds list--Dan Hall--also had an order in with Urban Surf in Seattle but his wings were available at Big Winds so he came down for a long weekend, scored some nice wind and conditions, and cancelled his Urban Surf order. I called on Monday and they sold it to me.

Scored! Thanks Dan.

I did a homemade carbon boom by taking apart the aluminum one (easy--just drilled out the rivets) and replacing the main shaft with a KeNalu paddle shaft. It fits the leading edge boom end like it was made for it. The paddle shaft is much thinner than a typical carbon boom so I couldn't drill holes and use spring pins. I did a preliminary test with a broken shaft and the section with a drill hole failed at a little over 100 pounds--right at the hole of course. So I had to do a funky spacer arrangement with a telescoping tube I bought from Clearwater Composites. It came out great, though I'm sure the spacer thing is going to be a PITA. The stock aluminum boom is nicely made but a bit heavy at 960 grams. The 4M boom with telescoping tube and spacer is 520 g. I did another version that's non-adjustable at 410g. With some design tweaks I can get the adjustable with spacers down to about 450.

I did the 4m at 149 cm which is the middle of the recommended range. The 3m length with the spacer removed is 129cm which is the short end of the range which will offer the most power. I doubt I'll ever need to flatten the 3M to reduce power.




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