D25 – A Boat in the Newport Beach Christmas Boat Parade   Leave a comment

Celebrating 10 Consecutive Years of Winning

Peter Barbour, a fellow ham radio operator and volunteer of the Huntington Beach Fire Department RACES group, has been sharing his holiday cheer and enthusiasm of the Christmas season by decorating his sailboat and entering the Newport Beach (CA) Christmas Boat Parade. As this is being written, winners for 2014 have not been announced, so stay tuned and cheer for D25!

Peter combines his computer programming and hardware-hacking skills with his knowledge of sailing that result in a series of award-winning and crowd-pleasing displays.

I am proud to be one of Peter’s helpers in constructing some of his award-winning entries.

2014 marks Peter’s tenth entry and it continues the D25 tradition of “more is better.”

Here are some pictures of D25 under construction:

IMG_0756 wayne yoshida D25 light matrix 1

 

IMG_0753 wayne yoshida tech writer D25 light matrix 2

 

IMG_0751 wayne yoshida D25 light matrix 3

 

IMG_0748 wayne yoshida tech writer D25 Peter inspecting

 

IMG_0755 wayne yoshida tech writer - clock discussion

 

IMG_0766 wayne yoshida tech writer D25 mast day

 

IMG_0771 wayne yoshida tech writer D25 mast work at night

 

IMG_0775 wayne yoshida tech writer D25 mast

 

IMG_0779 wayne yoshida tech writer - computer

 

IMG_0772

 

Where is D25 Right Now?

D25 is equipped with an Amateur Radio tracking system called APRS. Click here to see D25’s real-time location and map.

For more information on ham radio APRS, the Automatic Packet Reporting System, click here.

D25’s Records
D25 2004: 2nd Place Best Use of Lights and Animation
Theme: Santa’s Sailing Sled

D25’s debut design was inspired by the idea of Santa’s sailing sled being borrowed by a mischievous elf.

D25 2005: 1st Place Best Humor & Originality
Theme: Classic Christmas

D25’s second design was inspired by a classic Christmas living room scene. A large decorated Christmas tree with presents stacked below the bows and a star atop, red brick fireplace with a roaring fire and stockings hung below a mantle.

D25 2006: Best Boat Under 30 Feet
Theme: North Pole Holiday Magic

In the middle of November, Original Productions, Inc. asked Peter to appear on a documentary on intense holiday decorations for TLC: The Learning Channel. The episode “More Crazy Christmas Lights” premiered on December 8, 2007.

D25 2007: 1st Place Best Humor & Originality
Theme: Surf’s Up – Light Wave

Surf’s Up on D25 features over 5,025 lights brilliantly illuminating a holiday surfer’s dream wave. D25’s strobe light marks the lip of the wave and a hot-doggin’ holiday penguin is in the cave catching some gnarly tubular action.

D25 2008: 1st Place Best Humor & Originality
Theme: Tropical Island Cheer – Lanterns to Lights

D25 for 2008 was inspired by the origins of the Newport Beach Christmas Boat Parade on July 4, 1908. John Scarpa, an obscure Italian gondolier, led a parade with eight fellow small boat operators. The boats were illuminated by Japanese lanterns.

D25 2009: 1st Place Best Animation & Special Effects
Theme: Joys of Christmas Toys

In 2009, D25 demonstrated one of the most complex designs in the series. The entry included a matrix of colored ornaments, made with hundreds of individual bulbs. The matrix enabled the computer controller to make an amazing array of “bouncing ball” images that danced across a black background.

D25 2010: Best Boat Under 30 Feet

D25 2011: 1st Place Best Humor & Originality

D25 2012: Best Sailboat

D25 2013: 1st Place Animation & Special Effects

Some facts and figures of the Christmas vessel D25

The boat: 11-foot dinghy with a Nissan 4-stroke, 5HP engine. Oars for backup

Typical number of lights: Over 10,000 (Peter counted them once, but now simply adds lights up to the generator capacity)

Current consumption: Approx. 33 amps at 120 VAC

Power source: Two Honda EU2000i generators providing a total of 4,000 watts at 120 VAC

Wiring: Over 625 feet of custom extension cords

Safety items: GFCIs (ground fault circuit interrupters) on all circuits and an automatic bilge pump

Communications: A 5 Watt VHF ham radio is interfaced to a GPS for reporting location, and is available for emergency

Sound system: 150W audio power with wireless mike for music and personal greetings

Computer controllers: Four Light-O-Rama (LOR) controllers 

Other items:
A masthead rotating strobe
An automobile classic “AH-OO-GA” horn
Fog Machine
Simulated flames & coals in fireplace
Chasing rope lights

 

Type 65 Coupe Update: A Correction on High Back Seat Mounts   Leave a comment

I did some measuring today and discovered the adjustable seat rails raise the seat too high for mounting in the enclosed cockpit – on a Roadster, an open car – this would not be a problem, and may help shorter drivers (under 6-foot) like me.

Stay tuned for an update as I re-modify the mounts by installing the rails on the side of the seat – as mentioned in the earlier post. Scroll to the entry by ChazC5ZX.

Type 65 Coupe Update: Re-Finishing Under Body Panels, Dry-Fitting Kirkey High Back Seats   Leave a comment

Last weekend, I decided to get back to work on the Coupe. I have to focus on getting everything ready for the engine installation. So, I started to mount the previously painted foot box aluminum.

But I ran into a problem – the oily under body paint was not adhering well in some places, and the paint surface quality varied greatly. Here is a picture of what I mean…

 

Rather than just leaving it alone, I decided to remove all undercoated parts and re-finish them with truck bed liner paint. The truck bed liner paint is more consistent, is very hard and seems to adhere better than the under body paint.

Taking off the greasy under coating was difficult, because the gooey paint clogged up the abrasive pads on my random orbit sander. So, I had to first use a wire brush on my drill to “scrape” off the greasy stuff, and then wash it down with acetone, like this:

IMG_0654 kh6wz Type 65 Coupe - refinishing aluminum

 

IMG_0653 - kh6wz Type 65 Coupe - acetone wash

 … and then sanded to bare metal with a 60 grit disc on my random orbit sander.

IMG_0652 - kh6wz Type 65 Coupe - orbital sander

I washed the panels with dish washing liquid in my kitchen sink, and applied two coats of truck bed liner paint. Now the panels look much better. The truck bed paint has a slight wrinkle finish so I am not sure how hard this will be to keep clean. It is, however, better than that greasy under coating stuff. Here is a picture of the bottom surface of the transmission tunnel cover.

IMG_0658 kh6wz Type 65 Coupe - new black paint

I will cover all interior surfaces with heat and sound barrier (Cool-It) and then put carpet over everything later.

Since I am working on cockpit “fitment,” I wanted to dry-fit the Kirkey high back racing seats so I can adjust the position for pedal actuation.

The Factory Five Racing Complete Kit provides two options for seats, low-backs for the more traditional look, and a high back option that provides more back support. I went with the high backs. However, the seats come with nuts and bolts, and the instructions say to drill the seats and use the bolts to attach them to the floor.

I checked the forums and found a better solution. Thanks to posts by Rich A and rick8928, I copied what they did with their seat mounts. Their solution adds an adjustment feature to the seat mounts. The part numbers from Summit are still valid, although the prices have gone up a little. I bought two sets so the passenger seat will be adjustable, too. Thanks guys for helping me to not re-invent the wheel on this one!

Here are some pictures of my version…

IMG_0670 kh6wz Kirkey high back seat mounts 4

IMG_0677 kh6wz Kirkey high back seat mounts 5

IMG_0678 kh6wz Kirkey high back seat mounts 6

IMG_0679 kh6wz Kirkey high back seat mounts 7

IMG_0680 kh6wz Kirkey high back seat mounts 8

IMG_0683 kh6wz Kirkey high back seat mounts 11

IMG_0684 kh6wz Kirkey high back seat mounts 12

 

The last two images above show the seat belt mounting points.

Here is a cockpit view of the pedal box.

IMG_0692 kh6wz Coupe pedal reach

I am glad I have the seat adjusters, it should make getting in and out of the car easier. It looks like I will have to adjust the seat forward in order to reach the pedals comfortably, and then I can push the seat back to get out (and in) the car.

Heel-toe should be okay, I will have to bolt the seats into the car and move the seat forward to make sure.

IMG_0690 kh6wz Type 65 Coupe - heel toe

 

Sharp-eyed viewers noticed the left side of the driver foot box is missing. Indeed it is. I made a small modification to this part – I cut the tabs off of the mating panel, and added small angle aluminum to the front piece, so I can rivet (maybe screw in) this panel later.

IMG_0687 kh6wz driver footbox side panel mod

I should probably do the same thing to the right side of the pedal box, so I can access the gas pedal mounts for adjustment, although the engine might be in the way.

Stay tuned, more to come on the Factory Five Racing Type 65 Coupe Project.

 

 

 

Type 65 Coupe Update: Some Air Conditioner Work, Re-Installing the Firewall and Red Brake Lines   Leave a comment

Not much to report on the Type 65 Coupe Project. I have been doing a lot of other things over the last few weeks. The heat has been making me lazy.

I decided to do some work on the A/C unit for the Coupe. I cut and chopped the housing cover for several hours, and then decided it might be easier to just make a whole new cover using fiberglass and resin. . . . I did some research on composites, epoxy resins, fiberglass and boat repair, and lost-foam casting. Interestingly, I am doing the same research for some stuff at work. I will try my hand at making a custom duct for the A/C unit. I have a layout in my mind, but there are a lot more things that need to go behind the dash panel besides the A/C ducts. The new cover/duct will have to make several 90- and 180-degree bends. I hope to avoid the use of too many fittings by making a single duct/top cover for the A/C unit. Maybe it should be called a “manifold” instead.

Here are some pictures of the air conditioner and the “dry fit” of where it will mount.

IMG_0597 wayne yoshida Coupe AC 2

IMG_0599 wayne yoshida Coupe AC 3

 

I also re-installed the firewall. I had to take it off and re-paint it with a higher quality silver paint. I do not have pictures of this, but it does look better than before. The paint is “harder” than the other paint I used.

Next, I removed the “bad” brake hoses originally from the Complete Kit and replaced them with the proper red hose from the third technical bulletin from Factory Five Racing. This is the hose going from the reservoir to the master cylinders. The new hose is much softer and easily slipped over the fittings. I hope they won’t leak. We will find out soon when I fill and bleed the system.

IMG_0600 wayne yoshida Coupe - BAD brake lines1

 

IMG_0601 wayne yoshida Coupe - band brake lines2

 

IMG_0603 wayne yoshida new red brake lines 1

I also started to look at engine hoist options – I want to drop the engine in SOON!

 

 

Paella on the Big Green Egg   Leave a comment

IMG_0609 - wayne yoshida paella almost done

Paella is a delicious rice dish. There was a reference to paella on a Seinfeld episode. I have eaten lots of paella, but never made it. So, after several Maker Faire events in the Bay Area, I really wanted to try making my own.

Based on a recommendation from a fellow Big Green Egg fan (Thanks Dale!), I bought a paella pan made in Spain and Bomba rice from La Española Meats, Inc. in Harbor City, CA.

My 15-inch pan would be perfect for my Large Big Green Egg – except for the handles. They are too big and prevent the pan from sitting on the grill grate. I think I can bend the handles so it will fit the 19-inch grate on the BGE. I didn’t let this glitch stop me. I inverted the grill basket used for the vegetables, and put the paella pan on top. If you look closely at the pictures, you can see the basket under the paella pan. Seemed to work OK.

Of course, my paella pan is not as big as the giant ones used by Gerard’s Paella at the Maker Faire, but my pan is large enough to make 8 servings.

I used Steven Raichlen’s recipe from Primal Grill, Season One as a starter. (“Paella Primavera (with Vegetables and Beans But No Meat.”) His version is vegetarian, using all roasted veggies and vegetable broth. I had some Portuguese sausage in my freezer, and chicken stock, so I used them in my first attempt.

Here are the grilled veggies – Onions, garlic, red and green bell peppers, tomatoes, zucchini squash. These were direct-grilled in a basket. I used extra virgin olive oil and tossed on some sea salt, oregano, black pepper and basil.

IMG_0605 kh6wz roasted veg for paella

 

Next, I direct-grilled the sausages in the basket. These were Hoffy brand Portuguese sausages. I wasn’t too pleased with this sausage. It was not bad, it was just a little too plain and mild for me. I still have several other brands of Portuguese sausages from Hawaii in my freezer. I need to test those soon.

IMG_0607 wayne yoshida sausages for paella

 

I heated up the paella pan and added some olive oil. This is the chopped onion, garlic, peppers, saffron and chicken broth. . .

IMG_0608 wayne yoshida paella simmering on grill

 

After several minutes, I added the Bomba rice. . . .

IMG_0610 wayne yoshida paella boiling

I almost panicked as the broth dried up – the rice was not fully cooked, and I was afraid of scorching the pan and ruining the dish. But, I quickly added some chicken bouillon to add more liquid. I had to add a total of four additional cups of liquid to get the rice just right. This is a total of 10 cups of broth. Not sure why this is so much more than Raichlen’s version. I do not recall how long I cooked this dish – I just cooked until the rice was tender.

Here is the dish with all the liquid absorbed. Bomba rice is nice and tender, and very tasty. Bu wait – there’s more. . .

IMG_0609 - wayne yoshida paella almost done

 

Next, I added the grilled vegetables and the sausage. . .

IMG_0611 wayne yoshida paella on the Big Green Egg

 

This would be a great one-pan party dish for a good sized and hungry group.

 

Staying Relevant by Staying Curious   Leave a comment

All of us should continuously be aware of new developments, trends, competitors and technologies in our fields of expertise. This “career maintenance” is a way to prevent skills obsolescence. Some people may call this a way to demonstrate passion for what they do, taking the time to keep their skills and knowledge well-honed. I call this trait curiosity, and one should enjoy this “extra work” not because it is mandatory or forced, but because it is enjoyable. In other words, one should enjoy the work they do, since work enjoyment benefits the employee as well as the employer.

One of the most memorable public television promotions was “Stay Curious,” a series of spots directed by filmmaker Errol Morris. In one spot, a young girl wakes up before dawn, grabs a flashlight and goes to a chicken coop. She sneaks up to the window and shines the light inside. The rooster wakes up, thinking it’s a new day, and crows. In another spot, another young girl wonders about raising fish. She goes into the kitchen, grabs a jar of caviar, and dumps it into a fish bowl.

Here’s a wildly non-job skill, non-work related example of my curiosity. Earlier this summer, I wanted to know whether or not a bunch of really big, fat, ugly worms in my compost pile were hazardous to garden plants or the compost. I could have smashed them, or I could have just ignored them. But I decided to find out whether or not the grubs were helpful or harmful to my compost. So I typed “big ugly worms in compost” into Google, and found several links to describe what these things are. In case you are curious, the worms are soldier fly (Insecta: Diptera: Stratiomyidae) larva, and are aggressive composters, a good thing.

IMG_0428 kh6wz - worms

 

We should apply this idea of curiosity and fresh excitement to everything we do, including keeping up with the latest trends and technologies in our professional field. In addition, if you can find a way to apply multiple ways of learning to your everyday activities, you will increase your expertise even further.

As you learn something new, patience is the key to success. Since this is learning for pleasure, there is no hurry to get up to speed — the idea is to get to whatever level you want. This is an important point. There are some folks who are satisfied with having as much knowledge as they have right now, and have no need or desire to expand their knowledge. And that’s okay. But consider what can happen to your career if you don’t adapt to new things, and get left behind…

Learning by Teaching Others
Did you know that when you teach others something, it reinforces your knowledge of the topic? When I was a tutor for non-native English speaking (ESL) students, I had to twist my way of thinking to understand what they were talking about. Their questions made me think about various topics in a completely different way, and I had to use my knowledge of the subjects-at-hand to answer their questions. When you have the power of knowledge, you can teach others something new. And their questions will make you think about the topic or topics in new and different angles, reinforcing your knowledge even more. Sometimes a question can confuse you, which is okay. This just means that you have to search for another expert to supply knowledge, and the teacher (you) becomes a student.

Reading and Research
This method isn’t as exciting as some other ways to learn more about industry trends or new technology, but is certainly valid. In fact, with Internet access, there is almost no limit to the information you can find. However, like a lot of things in life, there is nothing like old fashioned, hands-on experience and learning by doing.

Making Mistakes, and Learning from Them
Making mistakes is one aspect of learning. I always say, “I know what not to do in this case. . . ,” since I make mistakes all the time. But the only way to turn mistakes into useful knowledge is to learn the proper way of doing the task. In other words, if we goof, we have to find out why we goofed, fix the goof, and remember the correct way of doing something to prevent the same goof in the future.

The Concept of Continuous Improvement
Continuous improvement is the search for excellence and perfection. And since nothing is “perfect,” we should always be on a quest to improve our skills and knowledge.

Here are some helpful books on networking and job-seeking skills, there are plenty of others. Do some research and find some more good ones.

Ferrazzi, Keith, “Never Eat Alone,” a great story about the networking process

Lathrop, Richard, “Who’s Hiring Who,” an old book from the 1980s, but has some useful information and words of encouragement

Yate, Martin, “Knock ‘Em Dead,” a whole series of books for each part of the job seeker

For more posts like this, visit my LinkedIn Publish page.

 

 

Orange County Brew Ha Ha   Leave a comment

IMG_0381 kh6wz brew ha ha welcome sign

 

Went to a craft beer tasting festival today called the OC Brew Ha Ha. Amazing. According to the Brew Ha Ha website, the event is for a great cause:

“Because our first event was on 9/11/10, we continue our great partnership with the Local 3631 Firefighters Union. Most of our beer is served by off-duty Orange County Firefighters. This event raises thousands of dollars for the Fallen Fire Fighters Relief Fund, a non-profit organization that aids surviving spouses and children of Orange County Firefighters lost in the line-of-duty.”

More than 80 breweries came to Oak Canyon Park in Silverado, CA to display and provide samples to beer fans from all over Orange and LA counties. The warm weather and salty food combined to make a great Saturday afternoon outing.

Of course I had to sample as many brews as possible. Although I did not get to taste every single one of them, I did manage to taste some new beers I never had before.

The event reminded me of a Maker Faire event, but for adults only, and the “made” stuff included carbonated alcoholic beverages.

One comment: I wish the food was better. I tried some tacos and they were so salty they were inedible. I wonder of a Southern California EGGFEST can be combined with this event?

I don’t have too many pictures from this event, I was focused on getting in line for as many beer samples as possible. The Winter edition of the Brew Ha Ha — The Brew Ho-Ho Holiday Ale Festival – is on December 13

Here are some pictures from the OC Brew Ha Ha 2014:

Links to Some of the Breweries

NOTE: You must be 21 to enter these sites. . .

21st Amendment

Ace Hard Cider

Artifex Brewing

Auburn Ale House

Avery Brewing

Backstreet Brewery

Bear Republic Brewing Co.

Bootleggers

Bottle Logic

Boulevard Brewing

Bravery Brewing

The Bruery

Cascade Brewing

Cismontane Brewing

Clown Shoes

Craft Brewing

Drakes Brewing

Eagle Rock Brewing

Einstok

Firemans Brew

Green Flash

Hangar 24

Helm’s Brewing

Hoegaarden

I & I Brewing

Leffe

Monkey Paw Brewing

Mother Earth Brew

Noble Ale Works

North Coast Brewing

Ommegang

Oskar Blues Brewery

Rough Draft

TAP IT

Valiant Brewing

Wicks Brewing

Widmer Bros.

Wiens Brewing

 

 

Posted September 6, 2014 by wayneyoshidakh6wz in Beverages, Local Events

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