A handy tip from Colin for those beach flyers who have problems with grit in their end caps.......

Sand Caps/Seals.

When I started flying Rev's I generally flew on a sandy beach, the idea being I was less likely to break something, however I did find that the fine grain's of sand managed to work their way into the gap between the end cap and the spar, this locks the spar into the cap with a vice like grip.

 

As long as I could get one cap off I could slide a smaller rod into the spar to tap off the other end cap, this works fine for the upright spars but not the leading edge as there is a ferrule in the way and I could see a time when I would not be able to get any of the end caps off, so I needed a solution.

 

I tried wrapping insulation tape around the caps but found this fiddly and time consuming on the beach and O ring's that I tried had the habit of moving along the spar, so this is what I came up with and it has worked successfully for the last few years.

I found a soft length of thin wall plastic tubing, what I use is the radiator overflow pipe from an original Mini ( car ) the inside diameter is the same as the external diameter of a spar.

 

I heat the tubing up in some hot water to make the internal diameter expand slightly, then force about 5mm of tubing onto the spar and use the end of the spar to cut it square, then while it is still warm I push the spar into and end cap this forces the piece of tubing along the spar so that it makes a seal between the cap and spar.

 

The plastic seal if needed can just about be pushed along the spar when it cools, this is handy if I have a cap that is slightly deeper or shallower that another one, importantly they do not move of their own accord during flight, unlike the o ring's that I had tried before, and the weight added to the kite is negligible.

 

No doubt there are other ways to overcome the problem but I have found this works for me and it is inexpensive, easy and quick to do.

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A mistake made fairly often by new flyers is to assemble a kite with the uprights on the front of the sail as is demonstrated in this picture.

 

Both the sticks and the sail are reversed in this shot relative to the bridle and flying lines.

The kite will fly quite poorly when assembled incorrectly.

The Quechua Shelter.

Those that have been reading the blog's would have seen mention of a shelter being regularly erected when we go flying, I thought it was time to give it it's own write up as it is very much part of the Group and quite possibly the best £50 I have ever spent.

An inner sleeping compartment can also be added, ( this has toggle / loop fixings ) each side of the shelter has zipped vent's that can be opened revealing mesh windows that can also be fully un-zipped, the over door canopy's are very useful when joining two shelter's together side by side, with the adjoining door's open kites can easily be erected out of the wind, and more shelter's can be added, they are easy to take down and stow into the bag once you have the knack, time spent watching the video tutorial or seeing it done in person is a must, the whole operation takes about 5 - 10 minutes.

The shelter in question is a Quechua 2 Second's, Base Seconds, as far as I know they can only be brought from the Decathlon Sports chain of shop's, for some reason they do not feature on their website but are still available in store, or from Ebay outlet's etc.

 

The shelters come in either green or grey and would be best described as a pop up shelter / tent, when in the bag they are a circle shape approx 3ft in diameter by 6 inches deep, the bag has a pocket for the peg's and has two straps to make carrying the shelter in it's bag on the your back very easy.

 

I think the 2 second's comes from the fact that that is the time it takes to get it erected by undoing the securing strap, followed by a further couple of minutes to peg down the corners and guy ropes.

 

When erect the shelter is big enough for someone of 6ft to stand upright in the middle and would be able to sleep 4 people (they would need to be good friends though), it has two zip open doors each with a fold out canopy that help's to stop rain being blown in, it also has stowage pockets in the corner's and a vent in the top, a ground sheet can be purchased as an extra this is secured using velcro in the corners ( well worth the money ).

So why do we like it so much ? well it scores on all point's, we use the groundsheet every time as the grass is often damp so all our gear is kept dry, it is also used to store our lunch bag's , flasks and coat's etc, when we have a passing shower it can accommodate 6 people relatively comfortably, and act's as a windbreak for when you want to sit outside, added benefit's are that it stops us spreading our bag's of gear all over the place so that they are not a nuisance to the public and our bag's are out of the way of passing dog's that were often tempted to cock a leg!

 

The shelter basically turn's day's when we may have packed up and gone home due to the weather into full flying day's as weather system's where we fly often blow through fairly quickly, it also means we get to fly all through the winter as it gives respite from the the cold wind to have a warming drink, and in the summer it give's a nice bit of shade to keep our food cool.

 

We have had the shelter for nearly two years now, it has been erected pretty much every weekend and other days during the week, it has kept us dry through snow and very heavy rain, we did find that in very strong wind's it did have a tendency to partially collapse and bend in on itself although it would always pop back into shape again, this was however inconvenient so extra guy ropes were added to the framing rod's and the shelter now keep's it shape even when the wind is in the high 30 mph bracket.

 

I did re-waterproof it (only because I had the stuff in the shed) and the water just run's off it meaning that if we have have had a heavy shower it is often dry by the time we want to pack up, it is showing sign's of wear and tear but we have used it a lot and in some pretty tough condition's but it is still going strong and serving us very well.

 

Here is a link to the Quechua web site where video clips show it being put up, joined together with another shelter and taken down.

 

http://www.quechua.com/en-GB/2-seconds-base-seconds-video-13.html

 

We love it

xxx

Additional guy rope attachment point also a little flaking of the waterproof coating.

The Useful Stuff Page.

Line Extenders

 

Having a line break is an occupational hazard of kite flying and always seem's to happen at the worst time, the main reason's for having a line break is I think either having another kite or it's lines cut ( burn ) through your lines or misjudging a landing on something rough like a concrete wall that weakens the line or they could just be getting old.

 

We had a few line's break in a short period of time with our quads when group flying and it was noticed by Bruce that the break was always within a foot or two of the end where the line attached to the kite, we came up with a few solution's to this problem, the idea that Bruce came up with was simple, inexpensive and above all has over the past year or so solved the problem, I do not think we have had a single line break when flying, apart from when the lines were old and coming to the end of their life, we call them line extenders.

 

The line extenders are four pieces of flying line of equal length with a loop at each end, with a small loop or pig tail then tied close to the end of the loop to help detach them from the kite bridle, the length of the extender is a personal choice as is the breaking strain, mine are 30" long and are made from 100lb protech flying line, one extender is attached to each flying line, how you attach the extenders is again a personal choice, I just loop mine through the flying line loop's, a couple of spares are then made up to keep in the kite bag, when flying they do not affect how the kite handles or get snagged when doing spin's or when flying with others.

 

Using these extenders has a few benefit's, it saves having to replace a complete single line or set of expensive lines, they are quick and easy to replace if or when one does break or needs to be replaced, if you find yourself flying with others they can quickly be removed so that your lines are nearer to the same length as the other flyers, if one of your main flying line stretches the adjustment can easily be made by shortening the extender, all four main flying lines can then be equalised at a convenient time.

 

Line breaks are pretty much a thing of the past.

 

The picture shows an extender before and after being attached to a flying line

 

Colin

Small loops or pigtails.

Flying line sleeve.

30in flying line extensions

As the Haven Flyers like to fly all year round we can be out flying in some very cold weather which has been giving me a cold back so I had been looking for something to keep my back warm and came across this after seeing the company's heated gloves on the television and looking them up on the Internet.

The company is called Blazewear and this is their heated back belt.

It has two heated panels one for each side of the back with each having its own battery allowing you to heat the panels individually or both at the same time.

 

It comes with two battery boxes which each take 3 x AA or rechargeable AA batteries which give you 2 to 3 hours of heat with only one heat setting.

 

Lithium-polymer batteries are also available which have two heat settings and give you 3 to 5 hours of continuous heat (these are the heating times stated on the box) the lithium batteries come with a charger that will charge them both at the same time, and the charging time is about 7 hours.

 

The belt also has a small pocket on each side to put the battery boxes in.

I decided to go for the lithium polymer batteries and use the AA as backup.

 

So how well does it work?

 

Having now used it a few times I have to say that it works very well and I am very pleased with it, I have only needed to use it on the lower heat setting and it has kept me nice and warm.

 

Using the lithium batteries means that the heat stays the same until the batteries switch themselves off and I am getting more than 5 hours of heat.

 

Roger

Back warmer.

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