Earl Boebert

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About Earl Boebert

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    Anarchist
  • Birthday 09/19/1939

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  1. Earl Boebert

    Will they actually sail like the 3d animations?

    So all the important stuff is TBD. OK ... am staying tuned :-) Cheers, Earl
  2. Earl Boebert

    Will they actually sail like the 3d animations?

    Ah, thanks. I was (obviously) unaware of that. Do they specify what control loops are included? Cheers, Earl
  3. Earl Boebert

    Will they actually sail like the 3d animations?

    I have to say, to this (very) old control systems guy, writing a box rule around an FCS just seems nuts. Each FCS is going to be different but presumably equivalent, and each FCS is going to be proprietary to the individual teams. Then (for sake of argument) assume you have a crash caused by a design flaw in the Team X FCS. How do you inform the other teams of a potential flaw without exposing all the gory details and competitive features of the Team X FCS? Or assume (again, for sake of argument) that it is determined that the crash resulted from a flaw in the box rule, either by forbidding something that should have been allowed or allowing something that should have been forbidden. So then what? Do you change the rule? Is everybody now going to reset to a Rev 0 FCS at a late date to exploit the change? What if a team looks at the rule change and discovers "oops, the rule let those guys do xxx and they crashed, and we did xxx as well, so do we revise our FCS or roll the dice?" I think that if you want to eliminate the possibility of an FCS arms race then the only practical way to do it is to develop a standard FCS, put it in a tamper-evident box and make everybody use it. Any other approach just seems to me to have way too much potential for descending into chaos. Or maybe not. People do roll 7s and 11s, but not usually for extended periods of time. Cheers, Earl
  4. Earl Boebert

    AC36 CLASS RULE

    OK, thanks. Looks like roll axis control is going to be "interesting" as well. Cheers, Earl
  5. Earl Boebert

    AC36 CLASS RULE

    Agree on both counts. Has anybody figured out how you tack when flying upwind? Or is touchdown between tacks inevitable? Cheers, Earl
  6. Earl Boebert

    AC36 CLASS RULE

    Ah, OK. Thanks. Cheers, Earl
  7. Earl Boebert

    AC36 CLASS RULE

    Possibly, except that the Moth rule (I presume you're referring to 12.2) deals with actuators and not instrumentation. Upon re-reading the rule, it appears to me that somebody realized that the first clause of 22.b.3, which includes 34.100 ("yacht state") by reference, would outlaw simple compasses. So they tacked on this exception without thinking through what it implied for the other two axes of motion. Presumably this will be fixed, and then we'll see what the fix implies :-) Cheers, Earl
  8. Earl Boebert

    AC36 CLASS RULE

    Well, if that was the intent, the door appears to be open to gyroscopes and mechanical analog computers. And if they whack that mole they'll have to decide if a pendulum-and-hydrostat indicator is legal. That was doing pitch axis control on torpedoes starting in 1868. This could go on for a while. Cheers, Earl
  9. Earl Boebert

    AC36 CLASS RULE

    We still haven't figured out why that exception ("unless it contains no electronic parts") was put in the rule. If a loophole results from an omission, one can consider that it was a mistake. Since it was an explicit addition, somebody must have had some reason for putting it there. You guys are the experts on the politics of the rule. What could the reason be? Oh, and for the record, the Babbage machine is digital, not analog. Cheers, Earl
  10. Earl Boebert

    AC36 CLASS RULE

    I think they have painted themselves into an interesting corner here. If they mandate that the only legal pitch axis sensors are a crew member's eyeball and inner ear, it may not be humanly possible to control the boat in flight. If they try to limit the technology using the whack-a-mole approach a different mole may escape. The only way out that I see is to mandate the use of a standardized instrument set. Cheers, Earl
  11. Earl Boebert

    AC36 CLASS RULE

    I posited an electron-free design because I didn't want to trigger a protest whose resolution depended on deciding the difference between electric and electronic. If you're willing to accept the risk of such a protest, then a simple indicator is a done deal: just copy the C1 autopilot roll/pitch axes design and drive voltmeters instead of servomotors. It would be interesting to see if such a simple "pitch and bank" indicator (combination of an artificial horizon and the "needle" half of a turn indicator on an aircraft) would give the pitch/roll pilot enough of an edge over somebody flying by the seat of their pants (which mode is the clear intent of the rule) that the "move the control to here" analog computer would be unnecessary. Easy to find out -- just make one and play with it on some foiling cat or other. With 3D printing this would be a medium grade Maker Faire project. Cheers, Earl
  12. Earl Boebert

    AC36 CLASS RULE

    I may have missed it, but I don't see any limit on stored energy for crew indicators, so clockwork or pressurized gas would work. The latter would use a simple turbine to spin the gyro. Cheers, Earl
  13. Earl Boebert

    AC36 CLASS RULE

    I try to stay in the neutron camp :-) Cheers, Earl
  14. Earl Boebert

    AC36 CLASS RULE

    Yes, again, I have read the rule. And as somebody with a bit of experience in flight control systems (I was on the verification team for the JA37B autopilot) I think they have opened a loophole that you could fly a squadron of B-17s through. Obviously, you can't make a full authority autopilot, but you can make a highly accurate pitch axis crew indicator that never sees an electron. You can also make a mechanical analog computer, equally free of electrons, that indicates what pitch axis control input is required to bring the beast back to level flight. So now you're back to carbon-based robot mode, where a crew member has the job of manually moving a control to line up with an indicator driven by a mechanical computer. If you doubt the feasibility, I suggest you read up on the C1 autopilot (used on B-17s), the Norden bombsight, and any of the multitude of mechanical fire control computers used in WWII. I don't know if anybody will try it, but since the control system and crew indicator sections of the rule are examples of the whack-a-mole school of rule writing, it seems on first reading that this mole escaped :-) And remember, if you're building a flying machine the likes of which the world has never seen, control is your central problem (see: Wright Brothers). If you don't solve that all the lift and thrust in the world will do you no good. Cheers, Earl
  15. Earl Boebert

    AC36 CLASS RULE

    I figured out the objective from reading the rule, and the article just reinforced that. The phrase "must be incapable of measuring any part of the yacht state" supports the objective you quoted. That's not my question. I don't understand why they didn't stop there, but instead added "unless it contains no electronic parts." Cheers, Earl