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Showing content with the highest reputation on 05/27/2021 in all areas

  1. 3 points
    It's a sign of how moronic the man is that I had to check quickly if that was a satirical site.
  2. 2 points
    I still have my 1983 Warp 3 by National. While it is a really poor design, there is nothing about the container condition itself that makes it unairworthy. It probably had 5-600 jumps on it when I stopped jumping it. I packed it a number of times during my rigger training in 1997. The canopies that are currently in it however are a whole other story!
  3. 1 point
    I have 4X5000W LFP batteries on board. They are 2 years old. The new ones have been out for 6 months and are 5500W. It's happening.
  4. 1 point
    I know you didn’t ask this, but, I highly recommend you reconsider using a 9-cell for wingsuit jumps. They are fine when everything goes right and not fine when everything goes wrong. If you’re going to buy a new canopy, might as well get the right tool for the job.
  5. 1 point
    LFP cells have yet another advantage over other cathode chemistries: much higher charge/discharge rate. With some chargers reaching 250kW or more, sub 10-minute charges become more realistic. So if they do solve the issue of lower energy density, LFP is a sure winner. For grid-scale batteries I think they're already taking over.
  6. 1 point
    Hi Bill, OK, you got me to do some homework. Here in Oregon I have been reading a fair amount, over the last 4 yrs or so, about the people leaving the Republican party. Usually, they leave & become independents, as I am. So, I did some looking. From the Oregon Sec of State's office I found that of April 2021, we had almost 3 million registered voters. Of those, 35% are D's, 25% are R's, and the rest are 'other,' 39%. The 'lost' 1% are simply how the numbers came up. Voter Registration Comparison by County April 2021 (oregon.gov) Page 2 of this link is where I got my numbers. I expect to see this trend continuing throughout the country. Jerry Baumchen
  7. 1 point
    Meanwhile, to get back on topic: LiFePO4 is lithium-ion's dimwitted cousin. It's heavier, lower energy density, and doesn't work well when it's very cold out. However, it is much cheaper and easier to make; like the name suggests, all you need is lithium, iron and phosphates (and often aluminum/copper for the electrodes.) And it lasts a long time - 5000 cycles or so. From Electrek: "In October 2020, Tesla started producing the Model 3 Standard Range Plus out of Gigafactory Shanghai with LFP battery cells. The move was significant because Tesla also started exporting this new version of the Model 3 outside of China for the first time." https://electrek.co/2021/02/26/elon-musk-tesla-shifting-more-electric-cars-lfp-batteries-nickel-supply-concerns/ The LiFePO4 car has a 250 mile advertised range, and an effective (observed) range of about 200 miles in cool climates. That is still way better than the first EV I got - a Leaf with a ~70 mile range. So as battery manufacturing ramps up, there will be a second cheaper option that EV manufacturers can fall back on. And of course LiFePO4 is improving as well.
  8. 1 point
    Basically forever. But it will go out of style and become obsolete over the years. Don't keep it if you think your layoff will be more than 10 years or so.
  9. 1 point
    Really? You, of all people are going to criticize him for poor typing style and hard to read composition?
  10. 1 point
  11. 1 point
    A friend still jumps a pair of Sweethogs... and they look factory fresh. (one was even retro'ed for a Cypres by SSK themselves) I'm thinking of putting my 1991 Vector II back in the air. On the other hand, I've known of some pilot rigs (same materials) that were forcibly retired by the factory after 2 years of use. ETA - these were a group of specific rigs, grounded due to condition (prolonged sun exposure) during inspection, not a categoric grounding of a make/model for age, etc... Example given to show how user treatment of the gear plays a critical role in how long they last. How old a rig I will inspect/pack for others, is a completely different question. JW
  12. 1 point
  13. 1 point
    You may find these interesting. How Long Does it Take to Charge an Electric Vehicle? What's an electric car really like to live with? Pros and cons revealed Electric cars: EV buying advice and information
  14. 1 point
    Big vote for SkyHigh at Peterlee, it isnt far from you at all and they have an amazing AFF school. Make a couplenof weeks vacation there, accomodation via AirBnB or in their bunk house.
  15. 1 point
    Which is the intention. As cartoonishly unqualified as Cyber Ninjas are - lacking any form of expertise, experience or accreditation - to focus on them misses the point. Cyber Ninjas aren't the problem. The republican state legislature that decided Cyber Ninjas were the best company to further their agenda is the problem, because their agenda is to permanently undermine the offices and processes which safeguard the practice of democracy across the state. The republican legislature want to compel Maricopa to hand over access to the routers which handle all confidential government communication to a company too incompetent to know how to properly search for files on a server. They were forced to back down from a plan to have Cyber Ninjas send contractors to people's residences to quiz them about their votes. The same republican party which in Florida says giving water to people waiting in line all day must be outlawed because it could influence their vote, wants to put Arizona citizens on notice that if they vote for the wrong candidate their details will be given to a private out of state security consulting firm who will send guys to their house. Because that couldn't possibly have an effect. The cynicism of the republican legislature in forging ahead with and giving credence to the sham is terrifyingly Orwellian. In an added Kafkaesque twist the republican election administrators who have made and honour a career in civil service by doing their jobs professionally and competently, and standing firm with the truth are the ones being targeted. Republican legislatures are attempting to either replace them with party apparatchiks, make their offices subject to overrule by the legislature, or make them personally liable to felony convictions and huge sentences if they fail to do their jobs perfectly every time with no mistakes. A tactic transparently designed to open them up to threats and coersion from the party bosses the next time they stand in the way of an election being stolen. I keep seeing people saying that the republican shenanigans in lying about the Capitol riot and opposing the Jan 6th commission are because they to sweep it under the rug and make it go away. I disagree. I think they know all their bullshit just keeps Jan 6th in the news and they fucking love it. The longer people keep talking about Jan 6th as 'that time' republicans tried to steal a presidential election the longer it distracts them from noticing that everything republican lawmaker across the country have done since then has been to weaken the laws guarding free and fair elections and cripple the ability of non-partisan offices to safeguard the results. Since January the republican assault on democracy in the USA has been stronger, more coordinated and more successful than anything they did while Trump was still president and they show know signs of stopping.
  16. 1 point
    Same story, but the title is just sooo good! LOL! Giuliani’s long quest to put himself in legal jeopardy appears to have paid off
  17. 1 point
    I used to race motorcycles, my ambition out weighed my ability and I crashed - a lot. I got injured - a lot. In one race season I had three spells in hospital. But I loved to race motorcycles so I kept getting on the start line, and kept crashing and getting hurt. My final race ended in much the same way, I woke up in hospital with broken bones and bleeding on the brain, they fixed me but I decided enough was enough, my family, and my body, had been through enough, I retired. But I love to ride motorcycles so I bought a Harley to just pootle around on. Five months after I retired from racing I was riding along a nice country road around 50mph when a startled pheasant flew out of the hedgerow straight into my face. I woke up as the air ambulance landed. I was more banged up pooling along than I was in any of my racing crashes, I was very, very lucky to survive. That accident taught me a very important lesson - life is short, you can wrap yourself in cotton wool but if it is your time it is your time, if it is not it is not. Every grave stone has two dates on it "born" & "died". Between those dates is a "dash". Life is not about the "dates" but about the "dash". We are all born, we all die the real important thing is whether you "live your dash". Fill your dash with things that delight you, fill it so full that your eulogy takes a couolenof hours and your funeral is full of people with stories of how you lived.
  18. 1 point
    We recently realized that despite our hundreds of articles on the website, we're really lacking on anything comprehensive on swooping. If you or someone you know are interesting in writing something for the website, please drop me a DM and we can discuss further. We're going to be looking for something that covers everything from the fundamentals through to the risks, the competitive scene etc.
  19. 1 point
    This article by Alain Bard is meant as a general guide. We highly recommend contacting your local rigger and instructor before using any of the information provided in this article. In the years I’ve been a rigger, I’ve often seen the results of skydivers’ gear buying experiences. Most experiences go well, but some do not, and result in the buyer having to re-sell an inappropriate piece of gear they bought. In this article, I am going to try to lay down some advice on how to go about choosing gear. I’m going to try to not go into brand specifics, but rather which components you should get and in what order, buying new or used, and sizing. New vs. Used? Let’s tackle this one first. Should you buy new or used? Traditional advice is that if this is your first set of gear: you should buy used. You’ll probably only use your first set of gear for the first 100 jumps or so. If you buy used skydiving gear, you can save some money (over new) while jumping your first set of gear, and take your time figuring out what you really want before you commit to buying new equipment. Let’s break it down though. So to put together a rig, you have to get 4 components: a harness/container, a reserve parachute, an Automatic Activation Device (AAD) and a main parachute. Whether to buy each of these pieces new or used depends on the piece. AAD Let’s start with the easy one: the AAD. Used or new does not matter, as you’re paying a fixed cost per year for these units. This fixed cost per year varies between $80-160 per year depending on which unit you choose. If budget is an issue, and you can find one used, grab it. Used AADs are rare as they expire faster than the skydiving gear they are in. If your budget allows, you can buy new. AADs are super easy to re-sell if you ever need to. Reserve Parachute Next up: the reserve parachute. For newbies, I always recommend buying a used reserve parachute, as you can save a significant amount of money here, and the benefit of a new reserve isn’t really justified over the cost of a new one. Reserve parachutes don’t get used very often, and even after 10 years, are usually in next to perfect condition. A 10-year old reserve of the same design is the same as a brand new one, it’s just cheaper to buy. Ensure the reserve has less than 5 or so “rides” and is no older than 15-18 years old. Also, ensure it has no holes, patches or repairs, or if it does, make sure the cost is much less, and consider sending it back to the factory to have it checked out first. Main Parachute For the main parachute, my advice is the opposite to a reserve. I recommend buying a main with as few jumps as possible (under 200 if possible). Buying a new main parachute is preferable, if budget allows. You will use this parachute to save your life 99.9% of the time. Its condition matters. Age isn’t really that much of a concern as much as the number of jumps. I like to make sure a main parachute still has its original lines, because you can tell the number of jumps by the condition of the lines. Trying to estimate the number of jumps on a canopy after a reline is sometimes difficult if the parachute fabric has been kept clean, dry and out of the sun. Another consideration is where the jumps were made. A parachute that was jumped in the summer in Canada or the US Northeast on green grass for only 6 months of each year will be in much better condition than one jumped all year round in desert-like or beach locations. Sand really eats away at the fabric coating and gets into the seams. If budget is really an issue, then a modern-design (last 10-15 years) used main parachute with more jumps is OK too, but make sure to have your rigger take a look and don’t pay too much for it, as it’s not going to be worth as much. Again, ensure it has no holes, patches or repairs, or if it does, make sure pay much less, and consider sending it back to the factory to have it checked out first. Harness/Container Last is the harness/container, for 80% of newbies, a used harness/container is probably the right way to go. Newbies tend not to land on their feet 100% of the time, and if you get a used harness/container a little dirty or scuffed up, it won’t matter as much. The problem is getting the right size for both the canopies *and* for your body (ie. harness size). Sizing for canopies is easy enough, but then sometimes it’s difficult to find the perfect sized harness. Having a harness that is a little too big or too small isn’t the end of the world, but it’s not as comfortable as a made-to-measure harness. If the harness is more than a little too big or too small, then resizing a harness is always an option, but it may cost more to have a harness resized than the harness/container is worth. For 20% of newbies, their body type makes it almost impossible to find a used harness/container. I’m talking about the 6’ guy who weighs 120lbs, or the 4’8” girl who weighs 95lbs, or on the other end of the spectrum, what you’ll find advertised as “big-boy rigs” for really large and/or heavy people. For these people that fall outside the average body types, while resizing a harness is sometimes an option, getting a new harness/container is sometimes a better option. Some manufacturers make basic rigs with no bells or whistles that end up costing less than a used, fully featured harness/container. I’m talking about rigs like the Shadow Racer and the Rigging Innovations Genera. These are great rigs at an even better price. Also, if you are a serving military member, some manufacturers offer incentives (up to 30% off) on new gear. This is a great deal, and a no-brainer. If you are eligible for such discounts, get new stuff! Before I move on, I want to mention that when you buy used, you will have to keep an open mind when it comes to colors. It’s the price you pay to save some money. So now WHAT should I buy, but more importantly – in what order? So you’ve been jumping a certain size main for a while and think you’re ready to downsize and get a different set of gear. Great! Let’s go through it. One of the biggest gear-buying mistakes is choosing (or buying) a harness/container first, and then trying to fit the canopies into a container that was not sized for those canopies, so…. Here’s the order in which you should think about it: Select the Reserve canopy first. Select an appropriately sized reserve. Your reserve should be big enough to not seriously hurt or kill you in the event of an unconscious reserve landing (no flare). This means that your reserve should be sized according to your wing loading on that reserve. For most people, that means I recommend getting a reserve at least one size bigger than the main you intend to jump. So if you think you want to jump a 150-size main parachute, get a 160 or 170-size reserve, and if you're a big guy that jumps a tiny cross-braced canopy, you'll maybe still want a 170-sized reserve (4-8 times larger than your main). You’ll thank me when you actually need to use the reserve. Then, pick a main, any main. Well, not really, but decide on the size of main you want to jump. You can pick the type of main later, but decide on size now. Now you can think about a harness/container! Then and only then start doing the research on what brand of harness/container you want based on the features you think are important to you. Look at harness/container manufacturers’ published volume charts to see which size container you would need to fit the reserve. You want to pick a size of container that fits the reserve and is described as “soft” or “normal” fit (if those descriptors are available). Stay away from a “tight” reserve fit at all costs. You’ll quickly notice that not all the manufacturers offer combinations that will fit a reserve that’s larger than a main. That’s really a shame. You should really ask those manufacturers why they don’t offer this. An expensive solution to this problem is a low-bulk reserve, which is marketed a being able to pack one size smaller than a regular reserve. So, if you want a container combination that fits a regular 150-sized main, and only fits a 150-size reserve, a low-bulk 160 reserve may be an option. Careful though, it doesn’t scale down. For instance, a low-bulk 126 reserve may not fit in a 113-sized container, or it may fit but be so tight that it interferes with the normal deployment of the reserve. This is bad, and should be avoided. So you’ve picked a reserve, and you know what size of harness/container you need, only then should you start looking at the classifieds to see if you can find something that has the right size harness attached to it. If you find something that you think fits, or described by the seller as fitting someone your size, ask the seller for the serial number of the harness/container. Then contact the manufacturer of the rig (even if it was made 10 or 20 years ago), and ask them what size the harness was made to fit. Most manufacturers keep data on all the rigs they have ever built, and will be happy to disclose this information to you, and discuss whether it would fit you based on your measurements. There is no need for guessing games. You can know before you even buy whether or not the harness/container will fit you. The only exception to this rule is if the harness has previously been re-sized, which is uncommon. Main Parachute 7-cell, 9-cell, F111, ZP, Hybrid, low bulk, square, semi-elliptical, elliptical, air locked, cross-braced, etc., etc… There are many mains on the market today. There is no right or wrong answer here. It depends on what you want to do. I’ll have to save this topic for another article. Refer to my comments above on age and condition. Don’t forget the AAD! The last part is to get an AAD. As long as the AAD in question is within its service life, has been maintained at the proper interval (if required), operates normally, and is approved for the harness/container you want to put it in, then you’re good to go. So there you have it. It’s not always obvious at first, so I hope this guide will help some of you out. Alain Bard has been an active skydiver since 2003. Alain holds the following CPSA ratings: D CoP, Skydiving Coach Level 2, Jumpmaster (JM), Ground Control Instructor (GCI), Skydive School Instructor (SSI), Skydive School Examiner (SSE), Exhibition Jump Rating (EJR), Parachute Rigger (RA). He is also a Tandem Instructor. Alain is a certified Hot Air Balloon Pilot (Transport Canada) Alain is a certified Paramotor Pilot (Transport Canada) Alain is a certified Paraglider Pilot (HPAC) You can find out more about Alain at his website: http://bard.ca
  20. 1 point
    Dave, I'm actually going to disagree with you there. Here are my thoughts: For rotations 450 and under it's best to use double fronts to start the approach. It ensures a higher likelyhood of hitting your max speed while still rotating by giving you a higher initial speed prior to introducing rotation since you need every bit of the 450 to hit peak speeds. For turns 630 and onwards, since the duration of rotation is longer, double fronts are no longer needed as you're ensured to reach max speed with rotation to spare. Personally I'm entirely out of my fronts about 70% through my turn as I can no longer hold them down (insert girly man jokes here). In fact I release them slightly earlier than I can hold them down to ensure the smoothest release possible vs them blasting out of my hands and wasting energy that I've already built in sudden wing deformations. Blues, Ian Performance Designs Factory Team
  21. 1 point
    I'm sorry I haven't explained my thoughts well enough, I'll try to give you a better explanation. The point is that you can hold a diving turn with only harness input for a large degree turn, but you still won't achieve the same amount of speed and power potential for the canopy in the same amount of turn by using harness and riser input. By using the front risers you're able to get further out from under the canopy to produce a harder dive and more power through the recovery/roll out from your body coming back under the canopy. --"When I die, may I be surrounded by scattered chrome and burning gasoline."
  22. 1 point
    When I started getting interested in "hook turns" back in the early 90's, everyone was doing toggle turns. Not much advice. "Just pull the toggle all the way down and make sure you are higher than normal," was about the extent of it. I'd fly a normal pattern and gradually got more aggressive on the last 90 turn. Gradually, I learned to do it higher and as my confidence built, the 90's slowly grew into 180 degree turns. No one around my DZ was talking about "sight picture" yet. I'm not sure when or where that was coined. Using my eyes and experience along with the wrist alti led to more consistent swoops. Along the way, I lost quite a bit of skin and "bounced" several times. Just dumb luck that I never broke anything......or worse. As I became more proficient, I began to experiment with front risers and began reading about more experienced jumpers recommending them as safer and more efficient. Not everyone was convinced. I took a step back when learning front riser approaches. I went a route similar to the one described by billvon above, flying a "normal" pattern and using double fronts on final. I found myself flying the whole pattern lower so that when I finished my 90 onto to final, I could go immediately into fronts and be in the swoop before the riser pressure got to high for me to hold them down. Only when I started doing gradual front riser turns onto final did I realize I needed to start them with more altitude. Cool, no pain this way and was soon doing carving 180's. All the while I was downsizing and going to more HP canopies as they started to gain in popularity, maybe around 1993 or '94. By '97 I was jumping a 136 Jedei at 1.7 and thought it would be cool to move onto 270 degree approaches. There still wasn't much available at that time in trems of advice, mostly "just do what ever you are going to do but do it a lot higher." I decided to experiment way up high. H&P from 10.5 and set up on a heading at a specific altitude. Then I experimented with turns and when the canopy planed out. I was looking for a pattern of how much altitude my canopy would loose in an aggressive 270 degree front riser turn. Then I took that information and used an approach similar to what Rhino describd above. I started out higher than what my tests had shown me and sure enough, I was finishing my 270's too high. Not being patient, I then tried going lower, about 400' as I recall. I found myself having to bail out of turns from that alti. Of course I hadn't given any thought to density altitude. Things were getting better now as far as info. Blade running was catching on and organized swoop meets started to happen. Information was starting to be shared. In 1999, I started to jump the new x-braced canopies starting with an FX. By then 360 and 540 and even some 720 degree appraoches were being used by a growing number of jumpers. In Oct of '99 I made jump number 1201 on my 89 VX and it wasn't long before I wanted to do carving 360 degree approaches, useing rear risers for the surf, and stearing with harness input. Advice from the manufacturers reps still wasn't much more than "whatever you decide to do, make sure you do it real high." Back up to altitude and do some experimenting. It did not take more than a few jumps using my wrist alti to realize that an aggressive, carving 360 front riser approach on this canopy would nead nearly 1000' of altitude. The front riser pressure was so high on that canopy that I learned to set-up in brakes. During slow flight the pressure was fairly light and it much easier to transition to aggressive fronts. What a hodge podge of experimenting, improvising, reading, researching, observing, and talking to others. Today, I advise "experienced" canopy pilots to make a lot of H&Ps up high and learn all of the flight characteristics and ranges of the canopy. Make several jumps just noting how much altitude it looses in 180, 270, and 360 turns. Once that is mastered, start with the straight in front risers and progress slowly up to what ever their goal is. That is a very over-simplified version because there is so much to learn and that really needs to start at jump number 1. alan
  23. 1 point
    I don't think there is any reason to say you shouldn't start learning the dynamics of canopy control that will lead you to swooping at 150 jumps. Now, I'm not saying on the next load go up and rip a hard 360 and hope. I started learning about a year ago at about 100 jumps or so. Reading everything I could get my hands on, getting canopy coaching, listening and learning from experienced canopy pilots, etc. A strong foundation of knowledge is key to success. Couple that with a gradual learning curve and experience and you'll have a good start. Too far, too fast = broken body or death. --"When I die, may I be surrounded by scattered chrome and burning gasoline."
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