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steveb

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Everything posted by steveb

  1. Sadly, I'm not a whiz nor a kid by any means, but I am very interested in all aspects of kites. I've made a few dozen kites over the years, so I have spent some time examining the different sail materials. My personal favourite is Icarex PC-31, but its price is very dear. Small ripstop grid squares and a softer feel is usually ripstop Nylon. Larger and doubled grid squares with a crisp feel is usually Icarex PC-31 Polyester. Rectangular grid ripstop with a less crispy feel is usually Texlon or Ventex Polyester. Polyester fabrics typically have less stretch than most of the Nylon ripstops and absorb very little moisture compared to the Nylon fabrics. I've found the colours don't bleach out as quickly from the Sun's UV rays on Polyester fabrics too. When backlit, the Polyester fabrics have a lovely sheen to them, making the Nylon sails look relatively lifeless in the sky by comparison. The stretchiness of the Nylon fabric can be useful for shock absorbing and often has a smoother feel than Polyester fabrics, but all-in-all, Polyester makes a very good choice for kite sails.
  2. The black panels on my kites look charcoal grey in the sky compared to the black sections on the other B-Series kites that I fly with. Is that the case with yours too?On closer inspection, I found that my sails are made of four different types of cloth: ripstop Nylon for the white centre section, Texlon or Ventex Polyester for the gold panels, Icarex PC-31 for the grey bars and a mystery Polyester fabric that I've never seen before for the black panels. It seems to have less opacity than the black Icarex PC-31 cloth. No matter- it looks fine to me.
  3. Choccy- have you tried tails on your kite in higher winds? The kite's air speed generates pull; adding drag slows it down and reduces pull, not to mention looks great in the sky! I sometimes attach a pair of 100' ribbon tails or 36' tube tails to the ends of the vertical spars when the wind picks up. The only trouble is they can easily tangle on bushes or other things on the ground and can be a handful to put away when the wind is blowing hard.
  4. Thanks for posting those pics, Choccy! That is a beautiful countryside that you fly on. I have the twins of Primrose in Vented & full sail.
  5. Re-posted from another thread: Here is a quick 'n' dirty way to repair a rip in the mesh- think of it as a band-aid solution rather than a permanent cure. I just run a fairly tight line of zig-zag stitching along the rip, catching the leading edge Dacron on one side and the untorn mesh squares on the other. My old Vented 1.5 had several tears in its mesh and I repaired them in well under a minute. Eventually I'll do a proper job and sew a new leading edge and mesh on, but this band-aid keeps the kites going until I get around to replacing it. I have flown 2 of my older Revs after this repair in winds in excess of 25 knots over the last few months without problems.
  6. I would recommend a set of Race Rods. Lighter lines and longer handles can help in the lower winds too. The SUL version is a bit lighter with its lighter leading edge material and bridle, but it's not a huge weight difference. The sail material is the same: .6 oz ripstop Polyester. You can come pretty close with a Race Rod frame in a standard sail, though a dedicated SUL or Indoor will take less effort to fly in the the lightest winds.
  7. I've got an HQ Piggie Quad and a Joel Scholz Vampire Bat Quad. The Piggie is amuisng to fly, but rather a pain to assemble. It also needs a close watch and a steady hand when it flies, as it tends to oversteer and flip out of the wind at the drop of a hat. The Vampire Bat is a very good flier. I find it does some moves easier than a Rev, plus I never seem to 'bow-tie' it, which is something I'm usually on the verge of when reversing my Revs.
  8. Vented Rev II - smaller sail, plus the vents reduce the pull and twitchiness, making it quite manageable in blustery winds.
  9. Do you have a photo of the damage? I've fixed a few dog-damaged kites and may have the same colours. Rev usually uses .6 oz Texlon or Icarex ripstop Polyester. Some sails are a mix of .6 oz ripstop Polyester and .75 oz ripstop Nylon. The ripstops sold in fabric stores isn't suitable for kites- it's far too stretchy. Are there any kite makers in your area? They might have some suitable material for you. If you live near a sailmaker, they sometimes have scraps that are excellent for kite repairs too.
  10. You fly in a beautiful spot! I'll get some pics of the animals that share my flying field as soon as the rain stops. Canada Geese are very common (and leave ample evidence on the grass) at one field, but the other beach has Bald Eagles, Grey Herons and Sea Lions. I had a juvenile Bald Eagle cruise very close to my Rev II stack a few weeks ago, but I had my hands too full to pull my camera out and get a photo.
  11. I use a Creative MuVo TX FM on the field. It uses an AAA battery, so I don't have to worry about the battery going flat on me- I just put another re-chargeable AAA in and it's good for another 15 hours. It's easy to change the music on it- just drag & drop. My model holds about 7 CDs worth of music- that's enough for a typical flying session. It has an FM radio too, if I want to listen to something else. I listen to a lot of different music, though I seem to be listening to either Reggae or Thrash Metal when I fly lately. That might explain my chaotic flying 'style'. Current albums are: Baroness - Red Album (2007) Sahg - II (2008) Wolves In The Throne Room - Two Hunters (2007) Thrash Metal Mix with Slayer, Anthrax, Sodom, Exodus, old Metallica, Kreator, Megadeth, etc. Reggae Mix with Bob Marley, Toots & the Maytals, Jimmy Cliff, Bad Brains, Peter Tosh, Desmond Dekker, Sly & Robbie, etc. Next time out, it'll be something else.
  12. "The secret to staying warm in the Winter is to not let yourself get cold." I know that sounds painfully obvious, but the reason is that if you let yourself get a chill, it's all the harder on your body to warm yourself up. You can always remove a layer or 2 if you get too hot, but once you have a serious chill, it's a struggle to warm up again. Hat, gloves, scarf, wind-proof coat, fleece jersey, warm socks, good boots, etc. Don't let yourself get wet either- that really lets the chill through. I've flown in -20ยบ. It can get hard on some materials when the temperature plummets: plastics can get brittle.
  13. I now have two standard sail Rev IIs, (one with a UL frame for 3D), one Vented Rev II, one 1.5 SLE, one Vented SLE (I never use the SLE frames though) and just picked 'em up today, thanks to Steve de Rooy & Terry!, one B-series Standard, one B-Series Vented.
  14. You have my sympathies. I've repaired a few dog damaged kites, including this Benson Box of Tricks: The worst is when the wind is dropping and the dog's owner is ignoring the dogs bothering you.
  15. It's sadly very common. There was an issue of the Into The Wind catalogue several years ago that had the vertical spars on the front of the sail in some photos.A couple of months ago I saw a guy with a brand-new blue B-Series with the sticks on front. He didn't want to believe me when I said that it flies best with them on the back, but eventually switched them. Guess what? It flew better!
  16. Good question! The last time I did it, I left it an hour or so and it was done. Maybe do it at night before bed time and it will certainly be cured and ready to fly when you wake up.
  17. I prefer the CA glue repair method. Apply some Scotch tape carefully on the front of the sail, aligning the fabric as closely as possible. Take your time to get the rip closed and wrinkle free. Do it on a clean, flat surface. It wouldn't hurt to do a few practise runs on a piece of scrap first. Now take a bottle of CA glue and run a very thin line over the rip on the back of the sail. Don't blob it on, but be sure that you run a thin bead along the tear and a bit of each side of the rip. Don't touch it, let it dry thoroughly. It's better to use too little glue than too much. Let it dry completely- don't touch it or move the sail until the glue dries. Once dry, carefully peel the tape off the front of the sail. Done right, it's as strong as new and virtually invisible.
  18. Yes, there is a lot of driftwood along the high tide line. Some is from forestry and logs escaping from booms, but quite a bit is from wind storms too. We had some brutal ones last Winter. A 600 year old tree down the road that had withstood every storm since before Columbus sailed fell last year. It does make for challenging flying when the tide is up, but it's also very good practise for depth perception when attempting to tip stand on a stump. A wise kiter once told me: "Too much scenery makes for challenging kite flying."
  19. steveb

    Revs and airports

    ^my 17" Titanium handles did raise a few eyebrows with Security, but they seemed satisfied once I explained they were kite handles.
  20. ^the park that I often fly at is Piper's Lagoon, a rather oddly-shaped isthmus with a narrow, long straight peninsula that is good for flying at low tide and a SE breeze and a large rocky hill at the other end that curves into a hook with a nice flat field, just right for a Rev. This photo was taken from the hill, looking at the SE beach as the tide is receeding. It gets sandy once the tide is fully out. The other pic was taken from the end of the hook, off screen to the right.
  21. Do you listen to music when you fly, Choccy? It can be fun to make your kite 'dance' to the music. You can make it hop on one wing and then the other, shuffle side-ways, take a few steps forward... whatever strikes your fancy. I often fly at a local beach that has lots of things to interact with- logs, park benches, sign posts, etc. plus skimming the water, but the drawback is the little weeds that like to catch the brake lines. How is the field that you fly at for Spectra-eating weeds?
  22. Both my SULs had .6 oz Polyester sails, the same as my Standards. The only difference was the leading edge for the SUL was of 1.5 oz Nylon, as opposed to the 3.9 oz Dacron used in the Standards and the bridles were made of Spectra, while the Standards used a heavier bridle material. I found the SUL's bridles a nuisance, to tell you the truth, as their smaller diameter and lack of stiffness allowed it to get caught much more easily in snag points on the sail & frame. If you compared just the sails and bridles, the SUL would weigh slightly less than a B-Series. I doubt if it would make much real world difference in its flight, except the SUL would probably be a tad easier to fly in the very lowest winds or Indoors.
  23. Nice pic, Choccy! It looks like a beautiful countryside to fly at.
  24. I use pure silicone lubricant spray, found the the auto parts department of many hardware stores. Stake one end, take the handles off and 'milk' each line by walking the length of the line while pinching it between a finger and thumbnail, to take any twists out of the lines. Then saturate a clean rag with the silicone spray and walk the lines again, re-applying the silicone as needed. Let them dry a while before winding up again. It doesn't work miracles on old 'beach' lines, but the last time I did it the lines would start to squawk and bind with 3 or 4 wraps and after treatment they were good for around a dozen wraps before starting to bind.
  25. I drilled holes in the shafts and made hooks out of TIG wire to attach the pigtails.
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