Christmas Dinner

Today Dolly and I shared our traditional holiday dinner; hotdogs and marshmallows over an open fire.  It was below freezing in Florida.

Today Dolly and I shared our traditional holiday dinner; hotdogs and marshmallows over an open fire. It was below freezing last night in Florida.

Shop for 3D printed and yarn art items

Purchasing Info: To order items from the store just send an email to stating the item number, quantity and color desired. You then will receive a PayPal invoice for the purchase. All items are 3D printed or knit to order. Printed items usually ship within five days of payment. Knitted items may take more time. Free shipping on continental US orders over $20.

Oil Drain Couplings p/n 101

Collect the last drop of oil from every oil bottle. It all adds up. Oil Drain Coupling $7.00.

Ignition Wire Guards p/n 102

Wire Guards are 3d printed for 5mm diameter ignition cables used with Slick and Bendix magnetos and 8mm diameter wires used with Emags. They are available in six colors to blend with engine or air baffle colors.

The Wire Guards are 3D printed from ABS filament.  ABS has high tensile strength and is very resistant to physical impacts.ABS is amorphous having no true melting point.  The ABS glass transition temperature of 221 degrees Fahrenheit is higher than that of Nylon.

The Wire Guards installed in N50KB are installed on the baffle side away from the cylinders.  They have endured over 200 hours of engine operation without distortion or other problems.

Prices: 2 hole – $6.00 ea., 3 hole – $8.00 ea.

The Wire Guards are made to be used in EAB aircraft only.  They are not FAA approved parts for use in certificated type aircraft.

Engine Exhaust Plugs p/n 103

Seal the engine exhaust system. Sized for 2″ exhaust pipes. Includes neoprene O-rings and Remove Before Flight pendant on a two foot paracord. Price: $16

Dry Engine Components

Screw and plug caps for Lycoming 4 and 6 cylinder engine oil fill tubes are used to supply clean dry air to the crankcases. The best way to reach TBO on aircraft engines is to (1) fly often and (2) keep internal humidity low between flights. Our plugs and caps connect dryer systems to engines via 5/16″ OD flexible vinyl or silicone tubing available on Amazon and elsewhere.

The oil breather tube caps are available in two lengths, short for most engines $3.00, and long $4.00 for breather tubes with an anti-ice slot near the end. The oil fill caps are $5.50 for the 4 Cylinder screw cap and $6.00 for the 6 cylinder plug (includes o-ring).

Pen and Pencil Clips p/n 108

Clips sized for Vans Aircraft control stick or canopy lift struts, and 3/4″ tubing. Also for pencils or Pilot ball point pens. Specify what you want. Price $1.00

Repeat: To order items from the store just send an email to stating the item number, quantity and color desired. You then will receive a PayPal invoice for the purchase. All items are 3D printed or knit to order. Printed items usually ship within five days of payment. Knitted items may take more time. Free shipping on continental US orders over $20.

Aluminum Foiled the Cowl

The interior of N50KB’s cowl was starting to discolor from the engine heat. 8″ wide adhesive backed foil came from Amazon. After wiping the inside with acetone I found the wide foil wrinkled during application. It was cut into 4″ wide strips that worked much better.

Application Method: Cut a strip. Remove about an inch of backing. Align and start sticking. Grab the end of the paper backing from underneath and fold it back on itself while pressing on the aluminum side with a cloth. Slowly pull the backing while pressing with my palm. Follow the fold in its travel to the end of the tape. Burnish as necessary to seal any wrinkles.

Winter Project: Flight Simulator

Dolly and I have reduced our flight time this winter as Covid damped our enthusiasm for eating out.  Result: Fewer hundred dollar hamburgers and a new flight simulator.

I have been thinking about a flight sim for several years.  Dolly was a real motivator for getting the project started.  She loves to fly with me yet has not wanted to learn to fly or touch the controls.  When she said she wanted to try a simulator that kicked off the start of the build.

The sim sits in a space between the two halves of our China cabinet that used to house an old (2001) 52″ projection TV.  We hardly ever watch television anymore.  I avoid uncontrolled advertising and keep up to date via the internet.

The sim has three 27″ monitors that display scenery and the cockpit above the glare shield.  Below the scenery screens are two ~16″ touch screens showing Garmin G1000 Primary and Multi-function Flight Displays.  Mounted between them is Dolly’s old IPad that displays a Garmin 305 autopilot control head.  My IPad is on the right displaying instrument approach charts.  Finally, there are rudder pedals on the floor and a Thrustmaster Joystick on the desk.

All of these components communicate with the computer on the floor.  It has one terabyte solid state memory and a Nvidia 3080 graphics card. Those three blue lights are cooling fans. Software housed on the machine includes XPlane and Microsoft Flight Simulators. 

The four touch screens make the sim close to the Garmin glass touch panel instruments in our RV7.  The flight sim community is heavy into developing new sim instruments.  I hope to soon see a radio and GPS navigator like the real instruments.

Obviously the flight sim is not used 24/7.  However, the computer has all the bells and whistles necessary to make it a good bitcoin miner … but that’s another story.



Twenty two seconds of our day


Today, Dolly packed a nice lunch for us to eat during our two hour kyack paddle on the Homosassa River. (Where’s the Advil???) I took a wrong turn and instead of going to the Springs went past several waterside restaurants. We decided our food would keep; paddled back to the rental dock; drove to a restaurant; and enjoyed “Chowda”, hush puppies, fried grouper and cokes. It was great!

Social distanced of course. The breeze was coming at us from the river.


Brunch Today

Dolly and I flew down to Sebring this morning and had brunch on the restaurant porch with the Old Farts Flying Club.  The club is an informal organization run by Roger Brown who maintains an Email list and chooses an airport restaurant for lunch each winter season Thursday.  He follows up with a newsletter including photos of participants and their planes.

Today’s weather – strong crosswinds – reduced the attendance.  Before Covid I’ve seen fifty to seventy planes fly in.  Today we social distanced and masked.  Dolly and I arrived early and picked an upwind table.  The food, omelet and pancakes was delicious.

Our 3D Printer Station


Today I finally organized the area where the aircraft Ignition Wire Guards and other parts are printed.  The overhead filament spool rack is new.  The 1/2″ PVC plumbing tube is sagging a bit under the weight of the filament.  I may insert a metal rod reinforcement.

Our Hydroponics Lab

Its a ten gallon recirculating system currently holding two 60 day old bell pepper plants.  The tray has a 3D printed bell siphon with about a 15 minute fill/empty cycle that changes the water level by 1.5 inches.

The peppers have much larger leaves than those growing in our tower, and there are no insects eating holes in the leaves as did those in backyard milk bottles.  There is some red algae growing inside the sunlight exposed nutrient recirculating tubes.  Next winter I’ll use black vinyl.

No sign of blossoms yet.  We have hope.

Sterile Masks?

Worst Case:  We are going to be in this for a long time, so be prepared.  The mask-in-stores requirement will go on for months as the ramp up for the second wave occurs next fall.

Dolly and I have a handful of N95 shop masks left over from building the airplane.  They have been used during trips to grocery stores, etc.  We expect them to become contaminated, and they get set aside after one day’s use.

I found DIY advice on building a UV-C sterilizer on YouTube.  The sterilizer uses a 30 watt Phillips UV-C bulb available online.

Note: UV-C is the far (short wavelength) end of the ultraviolet spectrum.  Brief exposure is said to cause eye damage and skin cancer.  It’s not the UV-A/B ultraviolet spectrum used to light up fluorescent materials.  The light intensity will sterilize anything in the box in five minutes.

Dolly contributed the wooden box which was made some time ago by her late husband Al’s uncle Edsel.  I wrapped Reynolds foil around quarter inch foam board and stuffed it onto all interior surfaces of the box.  The shiny foil ensures the light is reflected onto all surfaces of anything in the box.

Masks are held for sterilization on 3D printed frames.  Each frame is composed of five parts that snap together solidly.  Lucky we have a printer!  I found the design for the frame on a medical website.

Family and friends who need masks sterilized are welcome to use the box.