Kaimusailing

s/v Kaimu Wharram Catamaran

Vessel Name: Kaimu
Vessel Make/Model: Wharram Custom
Hailing Port: Norwalk, CT
Crew: Andy and the Kaimu Crew
About: Sailors in the Baltimore, Annapolis, DC area.
25 September 2016 | Fernandina Beach, FL
25 September 2016 | Fernandina Beach, FL
25 September 2016 | Fernandina Beach, FL
25 September 2016 | Wynah Bay, SC
19 September 2016 | Carolina Beach, NC
19 September 2016 | Carolina Beach, NC
19 September 2016 | Carolina Beach, NC
19 September 2016 | Carolina Beach, NC
16 September 2016
16 September 2016 | Morehead City, NC
13 September 2016 | Dowry Creek, NC
13 September 2016 | Alligator River, ICW
13 September 2016 | Coinjock Bay, ICW
13 September 2016 | North River Landing, Intracoastal Waterway
12 September 2016 | Willoughby Bay, Norfolk, Virginia
08 September 2016 | Yeocomico River/Chesapeake Bay
30 August 2016 | Bodkin Inlet/Chesapeake Bay
29 August 2016 | Bodkin Inlet, Chesapeake Bay
22 August 2016 | Bodkin Inlet, Chesapeake Bay
22 August 2016 | b
Recent Blog Posts
24 February 2018 | st marys, ga

Drone Photography

The issue of professional photography I ran into last post is probably not an issue. If people take public images off the internet and use them, why not? If you need a photographer to make an advertisement or shoot your wedding, certainly no internet photograph is going to work for you. The professional [...]

19 February 2018 | st marys, ga

Catamaran Launch at St Marys

A time lapse video of the relaunch of Time and Tide, a Fountaine Pajot Antigua catamaran, was uploaded to Flickr at:

12 February 2018 | st marys, ga

Paglia e Fieno

The superfoiler race series from Geelong, Australia happened on their Sunday afternoon, our Saturday evening on the USA East Coast. I managed to fall asleep while napping so I could follow the action from about 10 PM to midnight Saturday. I woke Sunday morning.

09 February 2018 | st marys, ga

More Flying Boats

I don’t know of many people who watch sailboat races, but I am one who will. The Superfoiler series from Down Under is similar to the 18 foot skiff racing. This is a professional sailing series with the boats funded by sponsorship and big name sailors hired as crew. The boats are light, sail on [...]

05 February 2018 | st marys, ga

i60e Action Cam

With my main distraction, the quadcopter drone, out of the way with a burnt battery charger, I had no excuse to malinger. I had an unpleasant task that I was avoiding, sponging out the bilges that were somehow collecting rainwater. It is hard for me to contort myself down under the galley table, under [...]

03 February 2018 | st marys, ga

Claude Diode

The android app that helped me so much is called quadcopter XG simulator. It is free and seems to accurately mimic actual control of a quadcopter.

Drone Photography

24 February 2018 | st marys, ga
Capn Andy/Warm Spring
The issue of professional photography I ran into last post is probably not an issue. If people take public images off the internet and use them, why not? If you need a photographer to make an advertisement or shoot your wedding, certainly no internet photograph is going to work for you. The professional who has references and a good track record will fulfill your needs. No problem.
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There is also the issue of photography is too easy now, anyone can take a photo with their smartphone and there are many such photos posted up to the internet. Social media.
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This has been going on for some time. The photography industry has always tried to made it easier for anyone to take photographs. From the beginning when it was very difficult to take a photograph and process it, to now when you can take a photograph without knowing you did it, the chemical and technical aspects have been shoved aside, and now the question is: has this cheapened the photograph or lessened the role of the photographer? Another question is: Is photography art?
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What is artistry? If I take a photograph and you take a photograph, does one photograph exceed the other in artistry? Art is subjective, an elusive thing that can change very quickly. But there are some things that most people will exclaim as art. Random shots from a camera located in the wild and shooting whenever something moves can create an image that many would define as art. But who is the artist? The person who set the camera up and programmed it to shoot, or the engineer who created the camera that could do this?
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During the recent winter I was spending time listening to music and prowling websites. I came to appreciate Joni Mitchell who is now 74 years old and out of the picture, she is a true artist. She saw things and related them to us in an unfamiliar unique way, she interpreted life for us. Another musician, Lyle Mays, a keyboardist, looked to be a good search object to find some modern symphonic music. He is known as the keyboardist in Pat Metheney's band, but he also performs his own music and it is structured and complicated, like symphonic music. What I found was an online article at MOTU about the production of the Pat Metheney Group's album The Way Up. And then I had to go to You Tube to listen to the album and live performances of it, which didn't seem possible when they first wrote and recorded in studio.
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Creating things like photographs, songs, stories, or any other thing you can create is a measure of your psychological state. I notice I have some mood swings that can be correlated to when I have to go out and photograph things or cook up a storm or just hunker away, too worn out to do much else. But what is the norm, what is normal. I know that when I am reluctant to do any of the creative things, I am in a slump. I know I will be able to participate somewhere down the line. It is important to save photos, etc., when you are doing well so that you can look back and get a boost when you are feeling a brick wall in front of you and how to break through it.
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My work on the keel bottoms was interrupted by a bug that I thought was the flu, but it only lasted a couple of days. I began gathering my epoxy tools, some of which had been stowed away since the onset of the hurricane season. It took a while to set up a work station, a work table, drawers of epoxy supplies, plastic gloves, tongue depressors, chip brushes, calibrated syringes, new 3 gallon batch of epoxy, mixing bowls, halfmoon putty spreaders, bags of microballoons, milled fibers, and colloidal silica, and I ran across a few other tools that I had been looking for.
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The mixing bowls had to be scraped clean of old epoxy. I only found two of the halfmoon spreaders and one was cracked, so I made new ones. These are flat plastic that came from a rectangular kitty litter pail. The curved side of the halfmoon exactly matches the curvature of the round mixing bowls, the other edge is straight. To make them a bowl is placed upside down over the plastic and the curve is marked with a sharpie pen. The spreader is cut from the plastic with scissors, then the edges are cleaned up with the belt sander and a knife to remove any shreds left on the edge. These work great with the round mixing bowls, the round edge can scoop out all of the epoxy mix, and the straight edge allows nice troweled application to the repair.
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The next day I did the task of priming any bare patches of wood. I mixed 30 ml. batches of epoxy. The small batches seems like a time waster, but another worker in the boatyard also took advantage of this fine weather mixed a big batch of epoxy and had it coalesce into a steaming lump. Large batches go off quicker, and if you're like me, you can't estimate how much you will need, so an overly large batch goes off and you have to throw the rest away, but small mixes are completely used up before they harden. It takes maybe 5 minutes to mix a new little batch and thoroughly mix it before applying.
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I'm just getting started, there is glass work to do, and that can be intimidating. Over the years I have run into very complicated epoxy repairs that needed a flow chart of work to be done, and then I had to make myself refer to it, or else, a missed step would be a disaster. So, I agonize about this current project, how to restore my keels and replace missing glass laminations, also how to repair the hull damage.
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After the initial coating of bare wood with raw epoxy I used my "glue hard" mix to go over any cracks in the keel so that the result would be a solid unbroken substrate for any fairing or glass work later. ":Glue Hard" is epoxy mixed with a filler made of colloidal silica and glass mill end fibers. They say to use "some" fibers in the mix, but that turned out to be a very sparse ratio, I use a 20 percent ratio of glass to silica. You can go a lot less, but for me the mix will lose it's spreadability with a higher glass content, and who knows what loss of strength there is with lower glass content.
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The next step was to sand the epoxy after it set up, then new batches of 50/50 microballoons and colloidal silica were troweled into the bigger depressions where the jetty had gouged out the keels. Now the keels would resemble their former shape but needed glass rovings and fairing before the bottom paint could go on.
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I ran across another sailing vblog on you tube at:
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https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=urGIpvxmQCY
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The sailor's name is James and he is sailing a Lock Crowther Spindrift 37 catamaran, a very nice design. Unfortunately most of the dozen or so entries in this vblog show a lot of damage and thus repair of the boat. There is a stream of attractive female sailors joining as crew and lots of underwater and some drone videos. James spearfishes and explores wrecks. The Spindrift 37 was an advanced design for its time and performance oriented. Crowther was also the designer for the first Katana catamarans which were also performance oriented.
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Some of the repairs of the Spindrift remind me of my work on Kaimu. I can't fault that captain for damaging his boat when I have done the same, maybe worse, to my boat. I don't think the Spindrift would have survived striking the jetty at St Marys Entrance. It looks like its damage happened in shoal water, anchoring too close to shore, hitting a reef, and maybe some components failing due to age. The Spindrift is 30 years old.
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I had waited 3 weeks for a replacement battery charger for the drone and it finally arrived. After about 5 minutes of charging the batteries that came with it, the charger smoked and died. Unbelievable. Of course there is warranty for such a quick failure and I had to photograph the charger's circuit board and email it to the vendor who is in China. Maybe it will be another 3 week wait.

Catamaran Launch at St Marys

19 February 2018 | st marys, ga
Capn Andy/Sunny Day
A time lapse video of the relaunch of Time and Tide, a Fountaine Pajot Antigua catamaran, was uploaded to Flickr at:
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https://www.flickr.com/photos/8728395@N03/
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The image is of the flickr page.

Paglia e Fieno

12 February 2018 | st marys, ga
Capn Andy/chilly winter easing its grip
The superfoiler race series from Geelong, Australia happened on their Sunday afternoon, our Saturday evening on the USA East Coast. I managed to fall asleep while napping so I could follow the action from about 10 PM to midnight Saturday. I woke Sunday morning.
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I was able to watch the replay on You Tube and enjoyed the racing. I think the video clip is more than 2 hours long, but you can hit the right arrow key and jump ahead a few seconds at a time and skip over some of the interviews, etc., that are inserted between the races to fill time. The races were concluding about as fast as a Ted Talk, around 20 minutes. This is a new boat design and the crews are learning how to sail the frisky beasts. This is the second venue in the race series and the sailing was better than last week. I think this will be a weekly series for a total of five weekends.
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In response to a question about fettuccine I was reminded of a dish called paglia e fieno, Italian for “straw and hay”, a dish with spinach fettuccine and egg fettuccine in an alfredo sauce and spiced with garlic and parsley, and including mushrooms and pancetta, or sausage, or diced ham, peas, and sometimes made with a ricotta and parmesan cheese to make the sauce. As I talked about it, I began to wish I had some. I was going shopping, why not get the ingredients and whip up a batch.
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I have been using Walmart’s Great Value Garden Rotini as my pasta, when I can get it, because it has lots of nutrients in it, looks great, colorful, and the rotini has lots of ridges to trap sauce, tasty. Paglia e fieno is made from thin fettuccine noodles that ball up with the alfredo sauce. The pasta and the egg noodles are very different, but I made other compromises. I found a jar of Prego roasted garlic alfredo sauce and thus did not have to make the sauce from scratch, but it would have been better, just as using fettuccine would have been better.
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A package of mild Italian sausage and a package of frozen peas were added to the shopping cart. I actually did try to buy the ingredients to make the sauce from scratch but some how missed the heavy cream on the shopping list. A box of sliced mushrooms.
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There are many videos and online recipes of this dish and variations. One of the best is Susan Bradley’s Luna Cafe website which has a lot of other delicious recipes. She writes well and reminds me of Martha Stewart, in a nice way, because she takes tremendous effort to refine her dishes.
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Because I exclusively cook on a stove top, never using an oven, a lot of restaurant style recipes are off limits to me. Many of Martha Stewart’s culinary works of art are born in the oven, so I can maybe adapt some of the recipes, but mostly they are out.
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Most of the videos show the pasta going into a pot of boiling water and the ingredients for the sauce going into a large skillet. These are stove top appliances applicable to my galley. I have two two burner cook tops, one is alcohol and costs a lot of money, the other is propane and costs very little money, from Harbor Freight. This time I cooked in the communal kitchen on a single burner electric cook top.
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First I cooked the pasta, drained it and set it aside. I used a 12 oz box of garden rotini.
Then I began the sauce. Most of the chefs are doing the mushrooms and peas first in some order, then doing pancetta or sausage separately. I prefer to cook the meat first, then use the pan and the browned bits to flavor the other ingredients. The mushrooms are cooked a bit to release their liquid and the peas are lightly sauteed.
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Traditionally heavy cream and parmigiano reggiano cheese is blended together in a skillet and melted and thickened to make the base for the sauce. Ricotta can be used together with parmigiano and sometimes a roux is started of milk, butter, and flour. If you forget the cream at the market, you may have grabbed a jar of alfredo sauce off the shelf. It’s not as good as fresh made from scratch sauce, but it is certainly very easy to dump the jar into the skillet.
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When the peas and mushrooms are cooked a bit, the prosciutto or sausage or pancetta is added, then the sauce, mixture is allowed to mingle and coalesce. Next it is mixed with the pasta and served up. Some recipes add eggs or egg yolks to the cream, some spice with nutmeg or rosemary. It is similar to a carbonara sauce.
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We tucked into the product and found that it was rich and filling. Think about cooking on a sailboat out there in the blue. You can try to balance things in the galley, but the more prepackaged items you use, the easier it is to cook, preventing unnecessary nautical language. Unfortunately most of the ingredients require refrigeration, but pasta sauce jars do not. Peas are a dilemma, you can use frozen or fresh, neither is preferred by the blue water galley cook. Freeze dried peas probably wouldn’t work out too well, as well as having this dish in freeze dried form. A carbonara would do better out at sea.
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I steal photos from the internet all the time and I also offer a lot of photography on Flickr and don’t expect any compensation or attribution. The photos aren’t much good if I take them and view them and don’t get them out to anyone else. There has been some grief raised on the dpreview.com website about professional photographers being undermined by internet sites and users who steal images and use them and don’t do anything productive for the creator of the images.
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I did not take photos while I was cooking in the communal kitchen. A fellow was doing his laundry at the other end of the room which is as small as a walk in closet. I should to a time lapse next time.
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So, I am reduced to stealing another photo from the internet, of course from Susan Bradley’s excellent blog. It is the image she uses to illustrate Paglia e Fieno, but look how good it is, a sprig of rosemary at the back edge of the dish, slices of wild mushrooms, plus she includes the recipe she used. Thelunacafe.com.

More Flying Boats

09 February 2018 | st marys, ga
Capn Andy/chilly winter
I don’t know of many people who watch sailboat races, but I am one who will. The Superfoiler series from Down Under is similar to the 18 foot skiff racing. This is a professional sailing series with the boats funded by sponsorship and big name sailors hired as crew. The boats are light, sail on foils most of the time, and have a crew of 3. It looks like a weekly event and it’s viewable on You Tube. The footage consists of action cams mounted on the crews’ helmets and on other places on the boat, plus there is aerial footage.
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My own little action cam, the i60e, was tested out recording time lapse video. I elected to use 760p as the format and left the camera running, sitting on the patio outside the woodshop. Ron the carpenter was using a thickness planer to prepare teak lumber for a big job renewing a large sailboats interior. I meanwhile got back to work on Kaimu’s starboard keel.
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I started at the stern just in front of the rudder skeg and removed any fiberglass sheathing that wasn’t stuck to the wood and faired the gouges left from the impact with the jetty. After getting about 2/3‘s of the way to the bow I had had enough of the nasty fiberglass dust. I could use a respirator and keep it out of my lungs, wear ear protection and keep it out of my ears, but it would find a way down my neck, under my sleeves, and I had to stop.
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Back at the woodshop I stopped the camera and played back the video. It was comical to see Ron jumping back and forth and the wood planks running through the planer at high speed. The video was shot a frame at 3 second intervals, so it was running about ten times faster than normal speed.
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The image is of the superfoiler Team Euroflex and is from catsailingnews.com by Beau Outteridge. In last weeks racing they won every race. This weekend’s racing is on You Tube, just search “superfoiler”.

i60e Action Cam

05 February 2018 | st marys, ga
Capn Andy/chilly winter
With my main distraction, the quadcopter drone, out of the way with a burnt battery charger, I had no excuse to malinger. I had an unpleasant task that I was avoiding, sponging out the bilges that were somehow collecting rainwater. It is hard for me to contort myself down under the galley table, under the dinette, where the bilge’s lowest point is in the starboard hull. The fluids that make it down to there look offensive, so I used the same disposable gloves I use for painting to sponge out the water. I got about 3 gallons out, doesn’t sound like much, but each drop had to be squeezed out of the sponge and it took a while.
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In the port hull there was an accumulation, not as bad, and soon both hulls were dry, more or less. It seems that water takes a while to drip drip drip back to the lowest point. I left the cabins open to help dry them out.
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The micro SD card for the action camera came in, so I loaded it into the camera and formatted it. I shot stills and some video. One glaring (literally) problem was lens flare. Also high white levels are too high. Digital video is kind of like paint by numbers, you can’t go higher than 100 percent white, there is no number for it. As a result the software has to do something to compensate. TV cameras play around with the values of the bright areas of the image. They start to reduce or compress the values as they approach 100 per cent. This action cam doesn’t do that at all, it just gets blasted with sunlight, even reflected sunlight, and also when light gets into the wide angle lens it spreads around and contaminates the rest of the image. Sailboat masts that are painted white look like flat white glowing masts, even though to our eyes there is some shading of them. A white boat with plank seams on it comes out as a white boat with no plank seams. Plus, this camera does not appear to have any attachment points for filters to help us with this explosion of light.
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It looks like this problem is caused by the wide angle lens and the relatively small sensor used to render the image. Longer lenses provide less opportunity for light to come in at an angle and bounce around in front of the sensor. Stills shot with this camera show the fish eye distortion around the edges that result from using such a wide angle lens. However, this lens was chosen for its ability to gather a huge field of view. It is not a precision lens to capture a specific frame of video, it is a shotgun of a lens to capture as much as possible, like a snowy mountain full of snowboarders. The fact that it did well in side by side tests with the Go Pro 3, 4, and 5 tell me that this is what you get when you get an action cam. Wide field of view and nuclear shots when the sun is forward of the lens.
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Shots that did not have this extreme range of contrast looked fine, detailed, coming out of a little camera. I wanted some video software to attack the extreme contrast problem, but so far I have a simple video editor that won’t do any correction. I will continue to look for something.
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I did find out that the settings for the still photos also applied to the video, color temperature, ISO, exposure, but they were inadequate to correct the lens flare, which is a physical thing happening before the light hits the sensor. Another problem is the camera weighs nothing, so although it won’t make your helmet droop to one side when you have it mounted to one side, it has no mass to dampen the jitter that action imparts to it. Some have described this as “jello”, the image jiggles as the camera jitters. Maybe this is why the Canon EOS feels like a brick, the mass keeps any jitter, even from the SLR shutter and mirror, from disturbing the shot. If you mount the action cam to a solid object it will still reflect any vibration. Normally the mounts have rubber donuts to smooth out the vibration, but these allow camera movement and at some point you have a harmonic oscillation, at some frequency of vibration the image will turn to jello.
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On the other hand it is amazing to have 4K video coming out of this little plastic camera, and if the photographer can manage the image contrast, the videos and stills look fine, detailed, accurate. I guess there is a certain license to introduce some lens flare from the sun, some jitter, some “jello”, the same way ENG video was allowed to depart from the strict rules of videography, it imparts a feeling of rawness, action, real life, adventure. I was looking at some edited videos shot with action cams of an Aussie sailboat, the Superfoiler, or something like that, an awful boat to sail, but exhilarating, and the shots were real time edited. They had probably an action cam on each sailors helmet as well as several mounted on the boat. When you’ve been watching stuff like this you know when the lee bow goes under something is going to happen. The sailors are on trapeze’s and they are hit with a sudden deceleration and they swing forward and around, the boat begins to pitch forward, water is splashing everywhere, some land in it, some are bravely trying to keep their balance, but no, they too go under. Not sailing, mayhem. There was no lens flare in those lighting conditions.
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So this sort of thing appeals to me in a basic way. Wish I would have had it long ago.
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The image is from Superfoiler.com / Andrea Francolini - First and only race completed for the inaugural series of the Super Foiler Grand Prix. Euroflex with Outterridge, Ashby, & Jensen finished first.

Claude Diode

03 February 2018 | st marys, ga
Capn Andy/chilly winter
The android app that helped me so much is called quadcopter XG simulator. It is free and seems to accurately mimic actual control of a quadcopter.
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I can't ignore my unfinished boat business and go out and fly a toy helicopter all day, mostly because it's battery takes 6 hours to charge and only lasts about 10 minutes of flight time. I will not give in to the urge to buy extra batteries, I will do what I can about twice a day for ten minutes and learn how to fly the thing.
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I can't wait till the i60e camera comes in, it will be my first real action cam. I did buy a very cheap standard def camera that recorded onto an SD card, it was very small and did work, but the video was noisy and I only used it one time. The i60e shoots in 4K, which is supposedly 4 times sharper than HD, plus it shoots in most of the ordinary formats 1080, 720. If you are uploading videos to You Tube, there is no sense in shooting higher resolution formats only to have them compressed when you upload. Some editing and post software allow reframing, so a larger format will allow zooming or cropping of the video and still have enough left to fit the You Tube restrictions.
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The next day the camera arrived in a small black box embossed with silver lettering. Elegant. The camera is very small. I am not used to Go Pro's or the other action cams, so I was surprised. It took a while to figure out how to go through the menus, how to link the camera with the android phone via wifi, and find out that there is no way to use the camera as a USB camera with a linux toughbook. There might be a way to bring HDMI video into the Getac. A micro SD card did not come with the camera so one had to be ordered. It was about 2/3 the price of locally available, so for just under 20 dollars a 128Gig card is on its way. No hurry. It will arrive in about a week. Free shipping by helping a fellow yardbird with an order that got us above the 25 dollar free Amazon shipping minimum. I am not a Prime customer.
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The ThiEYE app that is shown on the internet must be for the iphone, the one for android does not appear to be the same style, the menu pages look different, I only tried a couple of things. I wanted to see how 720 at 60 frames looked. The camera will shoot at 120 frames and then you can play it back at normal frame rate and you have slow motion. Also 1080 can be shot at 60 frames and that gives half speed slow motion. The camera can be set at various time lapse rates to shoot time lapse video. It also can shoot bursts of frames like the EOS does.
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The android app has quite a bit of lag to it, so the camera can be pointed at a new subject and it takes a while before the image on the phone changes. It might be a function of the age of my phone's android system. The 4k video will not transfer to the phone with the wifi app. To see it on the computer I'll need that SD card. The 128Gig card is the same size as the hard drives on the navigation computers.
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Some research turned up that the camera shoots 4k video in motion jpeg format, which is an old clunky compression algorithm. If you'd like to know more about video compression I recommend going to wikipedia and search for discrete cosine transform. This search for more compression without losing quality has gone on a long time, it wasn't some brilliant person popping up one morning with the answer. As compression has become more and more attuned to our visual perception, more and more data can be left out, and we see what we think is the complete picture.
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When you think about how moving pictures first developed with individual frames displayed at a rate just fast enough to look like smooth motion, and each frame was a complete photo of its own, and in 70 mm film each frame was about 3 inches across, there was a tremendous amount of detail being captured by the camera. Think about the optics and the film chemistry, the peak of film production required a huge investment in mechanical, optical, and photographic technology. That was about where I came into TV and TV was headed for videotape. The film chemistry was going out. The transfer of optical information no longer relied on an optical device at the delivery point. It was using a graphics display with an electronic input, the TV set.
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Over time we saw TV cameras increase their signal to noise and resolution, problems with dynamic range were overcome with tricks. When HD quality video became available, the cinema look could be mimicked, but progress didn't stop there. 4k became the goal, 4 thousand pixels of resolution per frame. This was impossible for a long time, but now I have a tiny camera that can achieve that resolution, something that maybe a young videographer would take for granted now, but I am astounded. Of course this is not a camera that offers a lot of the tools we would like to have, no interchangeable lenses, not a lot of control of the image quality.
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This is a camera that came out of the mountain biking and snow boarding culture, slap it on your surfboard and let it rip. Now the tiny camera can get shots that were impossible before. There are smaller cameras that shoot well, tiny tiny cameras. I was looking at a 720 camera with a built in 5.8gig transmitter that would fit inside of a small egg and it was in the 20 to 30 dollar range. I think if you go smaller the price goes up. You could place these high quality cameras all over the place, unobtrusive, and transmit the video to a receiver that cycled through the 5.8 gig channels. This technology is commonplace, and it's coming from China.
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The question was, are you going to attach that camera to the drone and fly it, well, no, it wouldn't last 5 minutes. I kept practicing with the drone. I'm not very good at video games. My goal was to hover at first, just keep hovering till my reflexes would counter the wind or the fluctuations of the toy drone's prop motors and keep it level and in one place. The problem was there was a large boat in front of the communal kitchen where I could set the drone down and fly it without a lot of wind hitting it. The drone flew up and I could struggle with flying it out into the boatyard, tweaking it this way and that to keep it organized with room around it and no crashing into gravel. And now I came upon a difficult effect that I must relate, this is critical to newbie drone pilots, think of the drone as kind of a frisbie, a disc that can catch the wind and fly up or down, whatever its attitude, when the wind hits it, it will take off in some direction. In this case it flew up and I couldn't see it, it was behind the large boat, and I began running around, searching for it, I didn't want it to fly into the North River Marsh. Here's where my baseball skills, that never were developed, come into play, bystanders pointed up and exclaimed, the same way they might at a pop fly. I was in the same condition as the ballplayer who looks up at the sun and all is lost, only I didn't look up at the sun, I looked up at the Bugs drone, lost up in the heavens, I had no way of knowing which way it was pointed or what to do about it, it was way up there.
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I didn't know what to do but my mind raced ahead of the situation, imagining the drone killing somebody innocent who didn't know the boatyard that well. There are a lot of new people coming in and asking "Where's Rocky?" or "Are you Rocky?", really. Fortunately Rocky and the main guys that work the boatyard were away at lunch when the impact occurred. I of course couldn't see it, looking up in the air on the South side of the communal building, while the drone, made of cheap Chinese plastic, was plummeting down at who knows what speed to the North where the expensive sailboats are awaiting their own launch. When I came around looking for it I hoped no one was upset or hurt. But what if I couldn't find it, I had no idea where it had landed. It could be shattered up on the deck of these many large strong boats. It came down hard, no control, like a rock, a Chinese lithium ion rock, to impact a random spot and then I would have some liability. The rules today say you have to have liability insurance when you come into a boatyard. I wonder if there is a clause that exempts coverage if a boat owner flies a Chinese drone and does damage.
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I found the drone upside down on top of a deflated fabric dinghy. Good landing, no one got kilt. Was the dingy deflated prior or subsequent to the drone's arrival?
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I brought the dremel-like Black and Decker tool to the woodshop, where the damaged drone was waiting for some help. It didn't take long to fair out the propellers, and then make sure the drone could still power up, just take it out and get it rotating, lift off, then cut it down. Enough.
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Some had seen my exploits blowing up dust as I navigated the drone down to earth, then soaring up, out of control, what do you do now, correct, correct the correction, somehow get it down and idling on the boatyard. They said you are doing better now than yesterday, when did you get it?, two days ago.
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The drone is now a veteran, cowering down in the woodshop, not volunteering for future flights. It will be harder to get the same performance from the engines that power the rotors. After the crash I just powered it up and did a quick lift off and then powered it all down. It could still fly.
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When I put the battery on charge a puff of smoke came out of the little cheap Chinese charger. The charging light came on however and I hoped it would really be charging the battery. The next day revealed the battery had not been charged and when I looked at the little circuit board inside the charger I found a diode had burned up. It is hard to find components like this any more, no Radio Shack, and mostly surface mount components are used, not like this old fashioned diode.
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I found a diode in a damaged Harbor Freight fluorescent lamp and soldered it into the charger. It did not fix the problem, we are grounded until a new charger comes in. The image is from saatchiart.com called portrait of Claude Diode, who are a techno-punk band from Sweden, and the artist calls himself Slow Pulse Boy. You never know what you will run into when you search on the internet.
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