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Apr 26, 2009 6:45am
4 posts

Many of our sports cost some energy. People often drive somewhere to
go for a nice bike ride. There is ways and means of doing sports and
hobbies that is more energy aware than others. This is not about doing
nothing, but about finding the sport/hobby that you want.

Here are some comparative examples:

  • Flying – you can fly a glider almost all day for 10 minutes of engine time
  • Bike – Motor bike, Push bike, Places to go or time on the bike?
  • Remote control planes – R/C gliders can fly longer, can be cheaper
  • Wood work – build a table or a seat, use a recycled fence post – if nothing else you save the delivery costs of furniture
The list above is about giving you ideas. What hobby/sport do you
do? Do you think it has ways to improve energy use? Is it already more
efficient than an equivalent hobby/sport.
Good luck, and I look forward to reading your ideas.
Apr 26, 2009 11:57pm
555 posts

One of the most exciting things I’ve found is to go on a bike ride at night in the rain.  There is a reasonably good path along the foreshore that runs from Sandringham YC all the way up to Port Melbourne.  At times this track through Elwood can be quite twisty, and riding downwind in the dark with the high beam headlight is adrenaline fever.  Awesome.

I also enjoy flying R/C sailplanes from cliffs and big hills.  Whilst this requires a drive, my buddies and I are increasingly carpoolling for the trip out to the hill or cliff, saving petrol and energy, and at the same time increasing our enjoyment factor.  Its awesome fun, and great to get out in the weather – however the past time can get a little “addictive” leading to an investment in models and equipment. 

One aspect of my R/C plane building passion is that as a byproduct I’m equipped with a great workshop, in which I can pretty much fabricate anything I need to repair stuff and keep things going and going, and going.  If we can re-use we save energy at the manufacturing end, something that is counter intuitive however can make a big impact on our overall energy needs.


Apr 27, 2009 12:14am
4 posts

Gliding !

My passion for the last few years has been flying sale planes (big real ones, not R/C). I have a lot of friends who either fly planes or are interested in flying. Why do people want to fly – there is many reasons, but I think my favourite is:

“When once you have tasted flight, you will forever walk the earth with your eyes turned skyward, for there you have been, and there you will always long to return” – Leonardo da Vinci.

For me certainly, flying is about the time in the air. Gliding allows me to get a 5 to 10 minute tow from a crop duster (we call them a tug) and then spend between 3 and 7 hours flying. That is not only a cheap way to fly, it is also very environmentally friendly. As a club (http://www.glidingclub.org.au/) we are always reviewing how we can save more energy and money. We have a car pool on the web site, where members can register coming up to Benalla and choose to drive together. Tugs are always being reviewed for alternatives – e.g. using car engines or sports aircraft are cheaper to run and don’t use leaded fuel (avgas is like leaded).

Gliders themselves are relatively easy to maintain, have very few components that need replacing and have an extremely long life. My glider (http://scott.dd.com.au/wiki/GJS) is almost 40 years old and still a beautiful plane to fly. One thing that has bothered me has been the lead acid batteries. Our radios use 7 watts, and drain our batteries and in the end shorten their life. I have just fitted my glider with a set of NiMH batteries as an experiment.

If you are interested in touring around Australia in a plane, by all means investigate sport or light aircraft. But if you are interested in flight and flying planes, consider gliding.

Apr 27, 2009 12:36am
555 posts

She’s a beautiful plane Scott! 

Love those lines of the fuz, sweeping into the tail, very sweet.  http://www.piotrp.de/SZYBOWCE/pszd36.htm

Those metal hydrides should do well.  What did you end up installing, a whole bunch of Sub C’s in parallel?


Apr 27, 2009 12:59am
4 posts

Straight D cells with solder tabs purchased from Jay car. 10 of them to provide 12+ voltes – and about 9000 mAh.

Apr 27, 2009 1:27am
555 posts

Sheesh!  Jaycar are pricey for those batteries Surprised

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