Simple Oscillating Cylinder Engine
Mar28

Simple Oscillating Cylinder Engine

 Simple Oscillating Cylinder Engine This is first in a series of articles covering small model engines built by my father in his shed. See the whole series at Model Steam Engines. This very simple oscillating cylinder engine was the first and simplest engine in a succession that increased in complexity and refinement each time. It was machined out of stock plate (no castings) and, like all the engines, was built ‘by eye’...

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Traction Engine – Air Testing

Up until this point the engine had never been run. For an engine that was built entirely without any plans or drawings and was designed (and re-designed) ‘on the hoof’ so to speak, the first test of ‘does it run’ is a major milestone. It is here that we find out if the basic design works, if the valve timing is correct, it it has been built well enough with close enough tolerances that the moving parts run...

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How I lost my DJI F550 Hexacopter on its first day!
May31

How I lost my DJI F550 Hexacopter on its first day!

(This is a repost of a blog I wrote back in September 2014 on another site…) Mine is a long and sad tale, and I recount it here that others may learn from my bitter experience and thus avoid the same tragic events from befalling themselves. It is a story of a series of unfortunate events and disastrous coincidence for which my inexperience left me woefully unprepared. These words of warning come at a heavy price – read ‘em and...

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Knowledge, Responsibility, & Control
Aug09

Knowledge, Responsibility, & Control

As you go through life you will come across many ‘magic triangles’. Ask any fireman, and he will tell you all about Fuel, Heat, and Oxygen – the three things necessary for any fire. This datum is incredibly practical because it tells you that to extinguish a fire you need take away just one of these, and the fire cannot survive. There are two more magic triangles that I have come across in the teachings of...

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Glen Nevis
Jun10

Glen Nevis

We headed north from the Lakes into Scotland and up to Fort William. The cloud came down, the rain came in, and the three nights we spent there in a tent were cold and wet and miserable! Ben Nevis, high on our to-do list, never emerged from the clag. We chatted to one couple who had been up on Wednesday and reported most of the climb in thick fog with snow and howling gales at the top. No view, and a little dangerous (other guided...

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