Saturday, October 14, 2017

Briggs & Stratton Quantum 5HP Recoil Starter String Replacement (with spring rewind)

A few weeks ago, I implied that I would be doing more "homesteading" type posts - talking about property, improvements to property, and the equipment related to doing such.  And this week delivers!  I'm covering how to replace the pull starter string in an old Briggs & Stratton Quantum Power 5HP motor - part of my walk behind string trimmer that was given to me from the back corner of a relative's shed.

You'll notice that something very important is missing from the top - the starter handle!


Now, there's an "official" way to do this stuff, and it doesn't involve rewinding the recoil spring.  Of course, since my rope snapped, there was no way I could make the official way happen, so this post, fittingly for my blog, goes all the way down into the recoil spring and how to rewind that little hunk of evil.  So read on!


Saturday, October 7, 2017

An Adorable BionX 22.2V 6.6Ah Battery Teardown and 9Ah Rebuild

I thought I'd covered all the older BionX battery packs in my various previous posts, but I was wrong!  I recently found out that there's an absolutely adorable little pack I'd never heard of before!  This is a 22.2V 6.6Ah BionX battery, which is notable for being under the 300Wh limit that makes shipping really irritating.  I'd never heard of it before, and the capacity is as cute as the pack (not even 150Wh), but it's here for a rebuild - which requires pulling it apart first!


So, what's inside this tiny little pack?  Read on to find out!


Saturday, September 30, 2017

Driving a 1927 Willys Knight

Oh, my, my, my.  It's been one of those weeks again.  I've found myself traveling through yet another series of time vortexes, and have found myself quite in the future, in "2017."  Which, obviously, is nonsense, as the world is clearly going to end in the year 2000, when the mechanical computing devices cannot understand the year change, as the number of gears and cogs required to store a 4 digit year "cost too much," or so say the clueless carrot counters in charge of driving the engineers to cut every single non-essential component in our sophisticated computational machines.

But, time vortexes being as they are, I did find myself in what, for all the world, appeared to be some time past the year 2000, when mechanical computational devices have been replaced, almost entirely, with "transistors" and "microchips."  How these replace a proper computer consisting of cogs and cams is beyond me, but, suffice it to say, they appear to have succeeded.  Admirably.  Everything has these "transistors" in it.  Even radios!

And, again, I go on about irrelevant things.  My purpose in posting today, in the time I find myself, is to offer some advice to those who may find themselves driving "antique cars" of the Willys-Overland brand, focusing on their superior Knight - my vehicle of choice, of course, with the silent sleeve valves instead of those clattering, tapping, and generally irritating and always out of adjustment poppet valves used in inferior engines.

Fortunately, I stumbled across a group driving what, to them, were "antique cars."  And I was able to join right in and have a grand time exploring southwest Idaho with them!  Though, sadly, one of them had a 1926 Knight, before they added the rectifier - and he did, in fact, smoke like a Knight without a rectifier!


But, if you, as a modern operator of such a vehicle, desire some advice - read on!

Saturday, September 23, 2017

DJI Mavic Pro: The Missing Handbook: QuickShot Modes and Dynamic Home Point

If you keep up with the Mavic Pro firmware changelog, you may have noticed that v1.04.0000 adds a pair of new features - QuickShot and Dynamic Home Point.  These are new to the Mavic Pro, so I decided to give them my usual treatment!

QuickShot adds a few more automatic flight modes for taking videos - Dronie, Rocket, and Helix.  And Dynamic Home Point resolves a somewhat annoying issue for longer distance Active Track work related to "Where the drone thinks home is" versus "Where it's reasonable for the drone to think home is."


So, if you have a Mavic Pro (or are just interested in the new capabilities), read on!

Saturday, August 12, 2017

DJI Mavic Pro: The Missing Handbook: Comprehensive List of Menu Options

This sixth and final post in my "Mavic Pro Missing Handbook" series explores all the menu options in the app and explains what they are, what they do, and how to use them!


The main set of menus is accessed by tapping the top bar - tap the "Position" icon for the position menu, "Obstacle Detection" icon for the obstacle detection menu, etc.

If you want to change a menu item, you have to have the drone on and be connected.  Some of them will show up in the app without the drone, but they won't stick, and you won't see all the options.

All of this should be current as of the DJI Go 4 App 4.1.5 (2952) on the .0900 firmware.  If it drifts badly, please let me know.

And, with that, let's dive in!


Saturday, August 5, 2017

DJI Mavic Pro: The Missing Handbook: Wifi/Remote Only, Tap to Fly, Fixed Wing, Point of Interest, Attitude Indicator

The 5th week of my "Mavic Pro Missing Handbook" series focuses on the remaining flight modes ("Tap to Fly", "Fixed Wing", "Point of Interest"), discusses the attitude/orientation/power indicator, and covers flying without a phone or without a remote.  I finish with a few random observations that don't fit well in other places.


Other than a bit of sunburn on the Mavic Pro, everything is flying smoothly and you should find plenty useful in this week's post!

Saturday, July 29, 2017

DJI Mavic Pro: The Missing Handbook: Active Track, Follow Me Mode, and Gesture Mode

Another week, another deep dive into some Mavic Pro operations!  This week is particularly exciting - I'm talking about Active Track, which is one of the big standout features of the DJI products.  It tracks things, and can automagically follow them around!  This set of modes allows for some really interesting action shots as the drone can fly like it's tethered to a moving object.  Since they're related, I also cover Follow Me (GPS-based Active Track), and Gesture Mode (waving at the drone in a manner that convinces it to take a photo).


And, as is usual, these modes are very poorly documented beyond "Hey!  They exist!"  The video "tutorials" aren't much better (I've yet to find one that exercises the full range of capabilities in Active Track), and watching first person video doesn't do a great job of explaining how the various modes work.

So, me being me, I've spent far too long (I have over 11 hours of flight time logged on my Mavic Pro at this point) experimenting with the various modes, understanding them, and, of course, documenting them!  Interested?  Keep reading!