Doug Lord

Steve and Dave Clarks Unidentified Foiling Object

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I was out sailing in CT this week with the Fulcrum guys and got a good video of Dave showing how to get your UFO on to your car roof solo.  [Sorry for the vertical video].  

 

 

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9 hours ago, Gilles29 said:

The lower nylon rudder bushing is it glued ? How can we remove it ?

When it's worn out it will generally fall out of its own accord. They are friction fit and then superglued, if necessary, in the factory, but with wear and tear from foiling both the superglue and the friction fit wear out.

If it's not coming out then it's probably still pretty tight and doesn't need replacement yet. If you can see the bushing from above you can knock it out (this depends on how tight we were able to make the top hole with latter hull numbers being nicer). You can also get a wedge under the lip of the bushing and pull it out from the bottom. But like I said before, if it's not falling out on its own then it's probably not due for replacement, yet.

-Nick

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13 hours ago, burritoughs said:

When it's worn out it will generally fall out of its own accord. They are friction fit and then superglued, if necessary, in the factory, but with wear and tear from foiling both the superglue and the friction fit wear out.

If it's not coming out then it's probably still pretty tight and doesn't need replacement yet. If you can see the bushing from above you can knock it out (this depends on how tight we were able to make the top hole with latter hull numbers being nicer). You can also get a wedge under the lip of the bushing and pull it out from the bottom. But like I said before, if it's not falling out on its own then it's probably not due for replacement, yet.

-Nick

Nick

I noticed some slop at the bottom of my lower rudder gudgeon (around 1 mm) and I thought it was necessary to replace the lower nylon bushing.

So good news, in principle, this can still wait !

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6 hours ago, Gilles29 said:

Nick

I noticed some slop at the bottom of my lower rudder gudgeon (around 1 mm) and I thought it was necessary to replace the lower nylon bushing.

So good news, in principle, this can still wait !

1 mm of slop is fine. If a big regatta were coming up, I might pull it out to replace it to get the boat perfect. But for recreational use or practice a little slop is fine.

-Nick

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"I was out sailing in CT this week with the Fulcrum guys and got a good video of Dave showing how to get your UFO on to your car roof solo"

I've seen Dave perform this at other UFO events.  Yes, its possible, but most UFO skippers are pretty friendly and I find it much easier to ask for a hand.   Even the unfriendly ones will usually help out in exchange for a beer!  I recommend enlisting the help of another person and minimizing the risk to your boat, your back, and your car.   Dave seems  to do this as a matter of principle, or perhaps it is just his favorite party trick!

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On 10/4/2019 at 12:16 PM, Champlain Sailor said:

Dave seems  to do this as a matter of principle, or perhaps it is just his favorite party trick!

Both. I'm guided by a firm principle to always be performing party tricks.

DRC

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On 10/4/2019 at 9:16 AM, Champlain Sailor said:

"I was out sailing in CT this week with the Fulcrum guys and got a good video of Dave showing how to get your UFO on to your car roof solo"

I've seen Dave perform this at other UFO events.  Yes, its possible, but most UFO skippers are pretty friendly and I find it much easier to ask for a hand.   Even the unfriendly ones will usually help out in exchange for a beer!  I recommend enlisting the help of another person and minimizing the risk to your boat, your back, and your car.   Dave seems  to do this as a matter of principle, or perhaps it is just his favorite party trick!

The parking lot beer as a bribe--excellent suggestion.

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On 8/6/2019 at 1:16 PM, burritoughs said:

Got a great tip from a customer over the course of our most recent clinic on how to get stuck mast sections apart. Learning at the clinics doesn't just flow from student to teacher. You can learn from other clinic participants as well as the coaches, and the coaches are always picking up new things from owners that we can share with all of you. If you haven't been to a clinic yet, sign up for the next one we announce.

Anyway, here's the tip on getting a middle and top sections that have been stuck together with sand/silt in the joint apart. It is courtesy of James, UFO #127. First attempt to get it apart should be to douse the join with cold hose water and have two big guys try to pull it apart by hand. If that doesn't work, see below.

Hi Nick,

I highly recommend the wrench strap trick.  When I got a few grains of sand in my upper mast connection, the mast became fused together.  I tried yanking, pulling, and twisting.  I tried with my two brothers and we couldn't budge it.  I bought some wrench straps from amazon and it worked easily.  My wife and 12 year old son were pulling and I used the wrenches to apply torsion, occasionally changing rotation direction.  It came apart very quickly.

The wrenches are rubber straps.  My idea was to attach the handles so that the normal force was not near the sail track and the rubber strap provided a large tangential load via friction.  I agree that if not done correctly, the wrench handle will crush the sail track.

Below is a photo and a sketch.  Two wrenches are needed.  Set the wrenches to oppose each other so that the mast pieces can be twisted.  While one person twists, the other two people grab the mast and pull along the axis.

Here's the link from amazon. It ships with a large and small strap.  Two small wrenches work better (I bought two packages), but it will also work with a small and large wrench as shown in the photo.

https://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B00K92810A/ref=ppx_od_dt_b_asin_title_s00?ie=UTF8&psc=1

I hope this helps.  Feel free to forward this email or post to the forum.

James

Been made aware the diagram and pictures of the strap wrench mast separation method are only visible to me on the forum, not everyone. Fixed that below.

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-Nick

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7 hours ago, burritoughs said:

Been made aware the diagram and pictures of the strap wrench mast separation method are only visible to me on the forum, not everyone. Fixed that below.

mdkicamlhmlemfmm.thumb.png.efba2cab88a251e1eed26b35742a358b.pngipnlidbnbgfhhcoh.thumb.png.6aad93a931f4619b145e54aef2589bd8.pngnhfakiaelfefifog.thumb.png.408a86f668cf5761dfbe047704baf8ef.png

-Nick

Nick:  This should be part of the "UFO Repair Kit." 

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A lightly edited version of this mast disassembly trick is now on the Unofficial UFO Flight Manual. Keep the good tips coming.

I expect I'll be using this technique later this week (when the straps arrive) :-}

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My mainfoil pushrod keeps getting bent here and there. Are there any good tricks to straighten it out without damaging it? Does heating it up help -- if so, how hot? Are there any field tricks of inserting it in something (ie: a metal profile) that'll straighten it up?

Video below, using a new mast lower -- figuring out rig tension and settings for this new mast base -- and foiling some. Wave conditions and not-quite-100% ride height control setup meant limited foiling time and height. Fun is fun though :-)

 

 

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8 hours ago, martin.langhoff said:

My mainfoil pushrod keeps getting bent here and there. Are there any good tricks to straighten it out without damaging it? Does heating it up help -- if so, how hot? Are there any field tricks of inserting it in something (ie: a metal profile) that'll straighten it up?

Video below, using a new mast lower -- figuring out rig tension and settings for this new mast base -- and foiling some. Wave conditions and not-quite-100% ride height control setup meant limited foiling time and height. Fun is fun though :-)

 

 

Where is your pushrod bending? -Also slick hiking form-

DRC

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2 hours ago, Dave Clark said:

Where is your pushrod bending? -Also slick hiking form-

DRC

Thanks! Working those abs. Rod bends...

1 - At the top - small misalignments of the crane while sailing which happen with the rod pushed down end up in bends close to the head that are hard to cure. The g10 T piece has bent the aluminum a bit open. I have to hammer the foil vertical back to being tight.

2 - at the bottom, similar to a pic posted recently, with the tip of the rod being bent 20-30degrees.

3 - random spots in the middle due to handling. These only add friction to the system.

I think #1 happens first and leads to the rod length being 1-2mm short. This causes the bottom end to catch the edge of the dimple, leading to #2. With #1 and #2 the effect is a couple mm less action, with the resulting reduced fun percentage...

There's a trick for straightening wire using a drill and a block of wood. Might try it. https://youtu.be/ewuHD6RJFdE

Was also considering heating up the rod and inserting it - hot - in the foil vertical. I'd use the foil vertical upside-down to get all the way to the head of the wire. Needs more prep than the drill method, which is code for - I don't have a blowtorch.

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Heating a steel rod can make it a lot softer.  It depends on existing cold work or and/or heat treat. 

 

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Hey team, I have an outside the box concept for flight control I want to pitch you guys.

I work in the UAV industry and have custom built quad and tricopter drones.  Much of my experience is with sensors and digital flight controllers.  I have never loved the mechanical wand mechanism that we inherited from the Mothies.  I don't care for the drag, the part count, pushrods, and reliability issues.  That said, I get why Fulcrum went with something tried and true and well understood.  I just think it could be more awesome (while being removable to do One Design racing if desired).  

I am endeavoring to create a marinized, digital flight controller (DFC) for my UFO. My thought is to use a sonar sensor(s) to detect elevation above the water and have a servo controlling the front foil flap angle to maintain elevation.  Placement of sensor(s) could also allow the DFC to understand chop or wave shape and anticipate upcoming water 'terrain'.  We also gain the ability to control the flap in a continuous manner vs. the binary manner of the current system for more accurate elevation control.  

And as always, once you put a computer on something the 'good ideas' come out of the woodwork.  So I'm sure there are a million other things we could sense, record and/or manipulate.  Good ideas welcome.

From a hardware perspective I believe this to be mainly an integration and packaging effort.  There are lots of highly integrated, cheap RC aircraft flight control boards out there with good support.  Most of the sweat will be figuring out the software interfaces, control algorithms, control loop gains, and sensor array interpretation. 

So, does this sound exciting to anyone else?  Does anyone else have a skill set and time who would want to help on the project?  If so, PM me and we can get our own thread together for development.  We can report back here periodically on progress and ask for UFO test pilot volunteers =)

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Embedded motion sensor can determine pitch as well. 

Ride height is one possible function. Automatic or electronic control of foil rake might be dumb but more useful in practice. Superfoiler had this.

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Derek, I completely agree that this is a viable project.  About four years ago, my son was looking for a senior project in high school.  At the same time, I was learning to foil with a local sailor that owns a moth.   We found that the settings that we wanted for upwind sailing and downwind sailing were very different, and the owner was experimenting with mechanical ways to transition between the right setpoints (ride height, wand responsiveness, baseline AOA etc) quickly when bearing away or heading up.  We realized that an electronic ride height mechanism may do the trick, recognizing that it would not be legal for use while racing the moth due to class rules.  If nothing else, it might make finding the optimal settings much faster, and we could then back into a mechanical way to replicate what we learned with an electronic system.

One of the impetuses for this was a local business here in Vermont name Senix that makes commercial liquid level measurement systems.  They are used mostly for water and chemical treatment systems, but I found a case study on their website that showed that Oracle had used them to measure hull height on their Americas Cup catamaran.  Looking at their website now, it appears that this has grown to be a normal part of their business.  https://www.senix.com/applications/hydrofoil-and-nautical/    At the time, the AC work was a fun, one-off application for them.  My son approached them and asked for a sample for his high school project, and they were happy to give him one that did not meet the linearity specs that they guarantee (it was off by tenths of an inch-no problem for us).

Over the winter my son bought a waterproof project box for batteries and an Arduino, machined a bracket to mount the sensor to an arm that would replace the wand pivot, and found a servo that could drive the wand pushrod.   He programmed the Arduino with a proportional control algorithm and allowed the user to adjust the offset (higher or lower) and the time constant (faster response or longer time averaged response) using four waterproof push buttons mounted in the case.  I encouraged him to implement a full PID control algorithm, but he didn't think it necessary (and didn't want to listen to dad).   He got it up and running and demonstrated that the controller would drive the servo to correct for height, while holding the sensor in the house.   We planned to add a toggle switch as well, so you could have two setting 'stored' in the controller, upwind and downwind.  That way, when you bear away, you flip a switch and the controller will adopt your 'downwind' settings,  a lower ride height and shorter time constant (you want to follow the waves as you sail down then).  Upwind you want to be up to allow lots of windward heal and a longer time constant so you can punch through the waves without the flap responding to each one.

Unfortunately, in early spring the Moth's owner was transferred to the Southern US, and took our test platform with him.   That summer my son found an alternate use for the Arduino, and by the time I bought my UFO last year, there was very little left of the control system to try to apply to the UFO.  But I haven't given up and I'm urging him to re-assemble it and mount it on the UFO while he is home on college from breaks.   Your post has me re-motivated to try to get this up and running this winter, with or without my son!

Doug

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Martin - For straightening I have used my bench vise with smooth jaws to clamp it, rotate, clamp, rotate, clamp.  It's not as fast as the drill method I suppose but it works pretty well.  I have noticed the rod is susceptible to easy handling damage as well.  I would avoid the heating method due to the potential to anneal it.  I'm not sure what grade/temper of stainless Fulcrum is using.  If you were to heat it to straighten it I would probably reheat it, after it's straight, and then quench it to put some hardness back into it.  I would also watch for any cracks in the strut if you're moving the aluminum both ways - i.e. bending it out and then back in.  You likely already are watching but unless the bulging is creating issues with it fitting in the slot I might be tempted to shim the G10 for a snug fit in the opened up hole rather than trying to squeeze it back.

 

Derek - I like the simplicity of mechanical systems and not having electrical needs on the small boat.  However, if you've got a way to make it fly easier and better, I'm game.  Electrons and I don't always get along so I can't help on the control side.  But I've got ready access to a bit of composites, a CNC, and decent manual mill if that helps the cause any.

 

BTW - Martin, I'm incredibly jealous of your weather.  The last time I tried to get out, a week ago, it was 45 degrees out at best, kinda rain/snowy, and we had an inch of snow on the surrounding mountains...  Keep posting up the videos, keeps me jazzed and willing to go wetsuit up and be cold and wet to play :).

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A small marine safe electronic module with simple ultrasonic for height along with attitude and motion sensors has been discussed in many forums for improving foiling.  It is obvious that it can work and can be cost effective. 

The UFO would be a pretty good test platform. 

Although the existing main foil should work OK for a start, there would be advantages to having the main foil flap being actuated more freely and probably being bigger.   With a main foil set up for more control, there are probably other features that would make the boat more fun and easier to learn.  For example, with a smart take off program, the foil would stay low lift until the right speed is reached and then quickly pop the boat up out of the water.   

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For folks interested in the Digital Flight Control, I have started an SA blog.  Check it out, and feel free to comment.  I will try to post at each major milestone.  

 

 

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On 10/15/2019 at 11:15 AM, Skid said:

Martin - For straightening

good stuff, thanks!

On 10/15/2019 at 11:15 AM, Skid said:

I'm incredibly jealous of your weather.

(-: -- Let it be on the record than helpful and friendly UFO sailors are welcome to drop by Miami and borrow mine. 

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Hey dgmckim, I noted you hail from North Carolina. 

I am a UFO newby in Wilmington.  Where are you located.  

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Sandwich press, pressed into pushrod straightening duty...

Drill method made things worse. I am risking anneeling the metal, but hey, might get sailing tomorrow.

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Sandwich press + drilled wood block works! 

- Drill multiple holes, as holes are worn out, enlarged, switch to an unused one. 

- If you have soft wood and hard wood, use soft wood first, then hard wood block

- Locking pliers and gloves

- You'll make multiple passes - work in both directions of the rod, and work almost always pulling . Or pull-rotate. Where you have a kink it'll have a hard time going through the wood. Grab the rod from both ends (careful! hot!) and run the kink through the wood block many times, alternating which side you pull from. In a few cases you cannot avoid pushing - careful and gentle, the warm metal bends really easy!

- You can only warm about 15cm at a time (5inch) so work in that 15cm section, and then leave the next section to warm up. I give it  about 5 minutes to warm up

- It works really well to do this near the foil vertical, and to insert the rod in the vertical while it's still warm.

 

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