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Everything posted by CTSkydiver

  1. You can use TVs or Phones hooked up to your cameras and adjust based on that live output, or attach a laser to your helmet and point the laser at the center of whatever shows up in your camera viewfinders and then later set your ring sight based on the laser, which is probably easier; or just trust a friend to keep moving your head around until they get bored of helping (that process can be tedious). In a pinch, you can just find a mirror and do a fairly decent job of it on your own. Stand comfortably far away from the mirror but close enough you still have a good view of your lenses. Point your primary camera directly at your eyes, and adjust your ring-sight so that the frame of the sight circles your ring-sight eye and the target point (center dot or cross pattern) is centered either exactly between your eyes (or, perhaps. on the iris of your ring-sight eyeball). If you set up the sight so that if you look in a mirror, the camera points at your eyes when the ring sight is centered on your eyes, it's the same as if you were filming someone else and the camera was centered on THEIR eyes. For me, this method is quicker and easier than trying to look sideways at a monitor while attempting to adjust my sight while focused on something elsewhere. Obviously, make sure the helmet is tight and secure when you adjust your sight, and if you've got the time, take the helmet off and put it back on (a few times), and make sure everything still seems the same. Check your work by shooting some sample footage and review. If something is off, figure out if it is because your ring-sight isn't properly adjusted or you failed to account for the cameras being on a different vertical plane from your eyes. For example, if there are eight inches between the center of your lenses and your eyes; did you fly eight-inches lower and aim eight-inches below your target? (See Verdi's and Evh's comments, above.)
  2. Why not go whole hog and skip the rig, too? https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=feVQXqvBZx0
  3. And then they insist on trying them on, sweat all over them, get fingerprint smears on them, and you have to clean them again before they put them back on. Yes, I have your goggles. No, you don't need to wear them to get on the plane. Trust me, I will let you know when to put them on, and make sure they fit. Unless you use the really tiny flex-zs, they always put them on too high on their head anyway.
  4. Is there a dropzone anywhere in the United States today that still puts its instructors (and photographers) on the internal payroll? Was there ever? Seems even generating contractor 1099s has become too much a burden (or liability) these days ... with some dropzones moving instead to having a staff that is paid in cash, before every transaction, by the clients themselves. I get it. Skydiving is inherently dangerous and operating a dropzone is hella expensive. Even a small dropzone has capital resources enough to be seen as a juicy target in a civil lawsuit, and it might only take one of those to bankrupt a place. I can certainly see why a DZO would want to put as many legal safeguards and bulwarks in place between their 'business' and 'their staff' as possible; if the arrangement can somehow help get them off the hook if one of their instructors screws up and hurts themselves ... or someone else. Better for the community that one easily replaceable instructor goes down than everyone at the DZ lose their livelihood, yeah? My guess is there aren't a lot of independently wealthy folks with great health insurance plans volunteering to do this kind of work seven days a week. The rest of us know they are probably just one bad day from financial ruin — if they aren't there already. Sure, we could choose not to do it ... and go get a crappy but higher-paying job with good benefits working in some cubicle somewhere ... but that's just not the way we are wired. We all know the system sucks and that it's hardly fair to us; yet, we still choose to do the work because life isn't fair to LOTS of people, and because we recognize that on a good day, this job, at least, definitely does not suck. And should we finally opt out, it won't really matter ... there is no shortage of eager newbs salivating for the chance to take our slots. I am wondering if perhaps the move away from 1099s wasn't a DZO inspired thing but a jumper inspired one? If you aren't 1099'd, and are paid exclusively in cash, then I guess it is up to the individual jumper what he declares as his or her income when it comes time to pay his or her taxes, and secure some sort of insurance. Could be pretty sketchy ... but, after all, isn't owning your own business and being able to cheat on your taxes the true American Dream? (Sigh)
  5. Tertiary. As in Primary (1st), Secondary (2nd), Tertiary (3rd).
  6. The more relevant concern is which type of reserve deployment (terminal or sub-terminal) results in an open reserve parachute with the least amount of altitude loss from the activation point. A reserve PC (all other things being equal) will extract a bag FASTER (and with more force) as airspeed increases. But altitude loss also happens a whole lot faster at freefall terminal than it does right after a cutaway. Regardless of airspeed, a reserve PC ought to launch far enough off your back to extract some bridle; but extracting the freebag containing the canopy and stretching out the lines between it and you is going to take some airspeed — exactly how much I can't say; but I'm pretty sure there are probably a lot of variances in that figure based on the specific PC design, specific container design, if the main container remains packed and closed or not, and just how tightly the reserve has been shoehorned into the reserve container. I imagine someone has already done the testing, though; so I'm sure an answer must be out there. Anecdotally, over the past 25 years, I've seen plenty of reserve deployments on the ground, both intentional and accidental. Indoors or outside, I've never seen a reserve ripcord pull result in a freebag extracted from anyone's back. Outdoors on a windy day, though, I've seen cutaway main canopies (meaning main parachutes cutaway after a normal landing was completed) on MARD equipped rigs (where the RSL was still engaged, or somehow snagged by a departing riser) quickly and completely extract the jumper's reserve freebag, stretch out all the reserve lines, and strip the freebag from around the now fully extended reserve parachute. I don't think you'd need anything in excess of 20mph of wind to replicate that. I do think you'd need a lot more than that if you were only relying on your reserve PC. Skyhooks and other MARDs (as with RSL's in general) aren't intended to replace normal emergency procedures; but when they work as designed — using your open (or even just partially open) main parachute to extract your reserve — they will indeed save a very significant amount of altitude for you; especially after a low-speed cutaway. Does this allow you to cutaway lower and get away with it? Probably ... if it works as intended. Should you change your procedures — lower your "never cutaway below" altitude if you have one? I wouldn't. But I'd be happy to have one if I ever found myself having to take drastic action at a very low altitude. That said, I don't have a MARD on my sport rig, and I don't even have an RSL on it (though I do have an AAD). I've done fine pulling both handles every time I've needed to, to date. Because I've taken pretty good care of my rig, and it is still in really good shape (considering we built it in 1999 — before MARDs were a thing), I haven't yet needed to replace it. My next rig (which I'll jump in addition to, not in place of my current rig) will certainly have one, however. Personally, I find using a specific altitude as my "never cutaway below" hard deck troublesome; as that would require me to first check my altimeter before deciding how to act after a low-altitude collision or canopy failure of some type. The act of checking an altimeter (and processing the information learned from it) will eat up time better spent DOING SOMETHING to save oneself. Far better skydivers than me have suggested associating your hard deck altitude with a specific point in your canopy flight ... such as beginning the downwind leg of your landing pattern, for instance. That way you'll know, without having to look, if you are too low to cutaway or not. "I've begun my pattern, so I'm too low to cutaway. I'll go straight to my reserve."
  7. Doubt it. But I'd definitely recommend it to keep your sanity (and remember why you love the sport and want to share it with others in the first place).
  8. Session lenses are easily replaceable. No other protection is required. Battery life is exceptional. Nothing else comes close.
  9. I jumped a very similar ski helmet for a while after misplacing (ok, dropping from altitude) my previous skydiving helmet. It did the job just fine, and was likely the safest helmet I've ever worn jumping (with the exception that it wouldn't protect me from direct blows to the face or chin — same as any other open-face design I've jumped). The ear covers even had pockets for audibles — I have no idea why ... maybe they were for heating pads or headphone speakers or something. I started in the early '90s and never wore helmets (kids my age never wore bike helmets or ski helmets growing up, either). I realize now that going helmetless — even though I loved the sensation — was then, and still is — foolish. These days I won't ride a bike, skate, or ski without a helmet ... so it doesn't make much sense to skydive without one, either. I certainly would never ride a motorcycle without one. Have the sense to protect your common sense! That said, it took my hair significantly thinning (sucks getting old) and watching videos of myself slowly going bald to get me to invest in an 'every-day' helmet — one I'd wear when I wasn't strapping cameras to my head or teaching AFF students. Nowadays I wear a full-face. Not only does that style provide better all-over protection, but it also prevents me from getting facefuls of sinus blow-out from my tandem students, which is nice both from the 'ick' and the 'not getting sick and losing work opportunities' factors. As a side-effect, your face flaps around a lot less. If you are 20 and everything is nice and tight, no problem. If you are significantly older, it may or may not be a vanity thing for you. One funny thing though — when I first started diving out and (attempt to go) no-lift in a full-face, I couldn't do it to save my life. I simply couldn't get stable and kept wiping-out; winding up looking back up at the plane. Something about not feeling the wind on my head and face (or maybe just different aerodynamics) screwed me up and I basically had to re-learn how to swoop. I don't know if anyone else ever encountered issues transitioning like that, but I'd be a bit surprised if I was the only one (but only a bit).
  10. Are the photos rotated on your computer after import, or just on the camera's display? There is a setting under the 'review' (play button icon) section to turn display rotation on/off. Try turning that off.
  11. Here's a thought: If there is no print magazine, getting your photo on the cover would be a lot more "meh".
  12. This is outstandingly awesome news! I'm very happy today. Great job, Trunk! Ordered one of each (standard, flipped) ... AX-53, A-6300 / X3000. Can't friggin' wait.
  13. That my very expensive, under two year old powerhouse laptop (4th gen i7-4810MQ, GeForce GTX980M, 32GB DDR3 1600, 3x SSD) needs an upgrade to smoothly handle the high-bitrate 4K streams put out by these cameras. Other than that, I'm very happy with the quality so far. Looking forward to compare it side-by-side with my AX-53, if I ever get around to building a new top-plate to mount them both on. Haven't been able to work with the footage yet. Will update when I do.
  14. Shot my first 4K video with the X3000 during 40-way day, dusk, and night dives last week in AZ (POV). I also shot 1080P wide with an X1000 and some backwards shots with an AS200. No direct side-by-side comparison available to GoPro, because I only had one of those and was using it to back-up my A6300 for stills. I'll try to post some links in the next day or two. ... I'll also try checking if the old remote works with the new cameras (and vice versa). I haven't used the remotes yet, so there may be a bit of a learning curve. If weather and scheduling cooperates, and I can get out to the DZ in the next few days, I'll try a direct comparison between the X3000 with BOSS and the X1000 without in the same 4K mode. If someone has a 4K/30 capable GoPro they want to loan me, I'll shoot that too.
  15. Thank you. One for next year's calendar, surely.
  16. Don't you all miss the point of my post; which was simply an excuse to post the awesome attachment. You're welcome.
  17. I fit a harness on a student completely, and then loosen the MLW a couple inches for standing and walking comfort on the way to the A/C. My (highly experienced) peers where I worked most recently instead leave their students leg straps (and their own) full loose for the walk to the plane, and then make those and other final adjustments just prior to boarding the plane. Personally, I prefer my student and I arriving at the airplane ready to board. To each his own. I therefor am one of the folks who re-tightens the main lift web a bit after hooking up the uppers. I think the slight bit of extra slack IS more comfortable for the student during the ride up, and it certainly makes it easier connecting the uppers (perhaps my height is an issue). Also suspect the post hook-up snug down is reassuring to the student, but that's clearly not universal. I prefer a slightly shorter main lift web because I like the student higher on me than perhaps your average TI. I like keeping their asses as far away from the ground as possible; makes keeping them on my lap for butt-slide landings easier, and gives us more use of our shock-absorbing legs should the landing be more vertical without risking injury to their tailbones. With proper adjustment of the Sigma harness my students almost always naturally achieve a sitting position under canopy without need of intervention on my part (other than informing them in advance that is the goal). Not hanging them on their femoral arteries is probably the 2nd most important thing you can do to keep a student from getting nauseous... ...The first is not spiraling the hell out of people who get airsick (or carsick). Let your student fly the canopy, and make sure their hands are in the toggles when you do big turns. Have them look at the leading edge of the canopy on the side you are turning toward as you perform the spiral with them, to give them something fixed in their field of view. A crazily spinning world that doesn't match up with the sloshing fluid in their ears; with them having no control or anticipation of what's happening or about to happen — that's an express ticket to vomit city. I've only had one student get sick on me in the air; but the harness had nothing to do with it. Just before exit, he decided it was time to tell me, "oh by the way, I had like twenty beers last night".
  18. In my experience, any camera mounted that close to your hand will get way too much of your hand, wrist and arm in the shot (filling as much as 1/3 the frame depending how much inside bend of elbow and outside bend of wrist you are able to fly with). I've gotten world's better results when elevating the center-point of the camera lenses a few inches above my hand. I started with a dual-session pivot pad because I'd never done handcam and was worried about snag potential; and this seemed nice and low-profile. But the angle was shit. Soon modified the glove, and the results have been stellar. And I've found (as many before me have with bigger cams and taller mounts) zero issues with snagging, handle checks, breakaways (on the one actual I've done with handcam), or interference flying or landing the canopy (ymmv). My opinion is the GoPro glove pictured is nowhere near stable and secure enough, nor positions the camera high enough to give you good results. * Edited to add: Since I took that photo of my modified glove, I've added some small bits of industrial strength velcro to sides of the cams and the locking mechanisms of the GoPro camera mounts. After a few hundred no-issue handcam jumps, I had a couple of jumps in quick succession where students would accidentally unlatch the left-side session box as I was handing them the toggles, and the damn camera promptly fell out. Luckily sessions only cost $200, but still, it was pretty annoying, and easily fixed once I was aware of the potential.
  19. I jumped at at least 16 different dropzones in Florida in the mid to late '90s and each and every one of them used computerized manifest software (most often 'JumpRun'), regardless if they also used paper manifest sheets as a first step. The only challenge you'll have is if the dropzones still maintain records from that long ago; and if they do, how much they will charge you to access them. Changes of ownership through the years might complicate this. Probably, your 'home' dropzone (if it still exists), where you learned to jump and made the majority of your jumps will be willing to help you out, especially if there is anyone still around who remembers you (and you were a welcome guest).
  20. Um, no. Way easier than that. For example: Does it have stabilizers? Velo. Does it have tail ribs? Valkyrie. And of course, there's always the big logo outside each end cell.
  21. More than my share: 7 cutaways in 1600-ish. Compared to only 2 cutaways on over 3600 solos; and those because my highly loaded main was just plain wore out by then and opened evilly. First five happened very early, in my first 400 tandems jumping canopies of less than stellar design. A couple of those blew up (one after previously being "repaired") and the rest were tension knots or lineovers (that I did not pack). My first tandem cutaway was my first real malfunction in over 2000 jumps (I'd done a bunch of intentionals with double-cutaway rigs for fun and in preparation of my tandem course), and happened on my first weekend with live students. In 1200 jumps on Sigmas, jumping mostly Icarus canopies but also Sigma 365s and 340s, I've had two cutaways. Both because of spinning line twist on 340s at close to max weight. The first I likely caused myself by pulling while still turning and letting myself fall into the trap-door with a shoulder low; the second because one brake toggle was packed (not by me) unstowed and I didn't notice it till the twist was locked in. I was over the ocean on a very windy day, jumping in the islands, and didn't have much time to troubleshoot. C-ya.
  22. Continues at: https://blog.sony.com/press/sony-introduces-new-%CE%B16500-camera-with-exceptional-all-around-performance/