Here's what I've been doing with the Stratus. Here's my working
cardboard template that I'm getting into shape.
I'm basically making a basket or tray that holds the stratus along the axis of the airplane, so that I can see the status lights, and so that it doesn't slide off into my lap from the glare shield. I did this very early in the year.
A few weeks later, I put together a more precise version of the tray.
Here I've put it together.
Eventually the thought is to make the tray out of Aluminum so it's stiffer, but the cardboard will do for a short-lived version.
The green cord is a USB power cord that runs along the top of the glare shield and then comes over by the pilot to power the iPad.
The cardboard tray, cable tied into place on the compass mounting tube, with the Stratus sitting in/on it. And the power cable to the Stratus:
Here's what the setup looks like from outside the windshield:
If I park the airplane just right, I can get the car into the hangar
with the airplane still in it and shut the door:
A closer view of the above shot. You can see the oil cooler nicely here in the lower corner of the cowl. You can also see the Stratus in its mount under the windshield.
And after a couple of hours of futzing and prepping, the airplane is
ready for its trip to Texas (another post).
The weather was likely to be fairly cold the morning that we left; you can see the extension cord going in the oil door on the cowl; it's attached to the engine heater plug and comes from a timer on the other end. I set it to start warming the oil several hours before we got to the hangar. It worked great.
The one real problem I've ever had with my 2008 VW has been the wiper motor. I had the motor replaced early on under warranty, and then a couple of years later, I had the gear mechanism replace on my dime. I guess it's just under-engineered, because it started to intermittently fail over the winter, and failed completely in January (when I was loaning the car to someone--OOPS!).
It failed on me COMPLETELY when I was out shopping. I drove it home, in a bit a rain, very slowly. I do NOT recommend that. I won't do it again. That was kinda scary.
Anyway, I got it home (that was a Friday, I think) and so I got out
the big manual for the car. I decided that getting to the wiper motor
assembly didn't look too bad, so I brought that car into the garage
and tore into it. It wasn't, indeed, that bad. Here's the motor and
wiper arm assembly out of the car:
and so first thing Saturday morning, I drove down to the VW dealer in Knoxville and bought a new motor.
Pangur, inspecting the new motor:
I installed it, and so by mid-afternoon, less than 24 hours after it had completely failed on me, the car was recommissioned. So it may well happen again, but now I know I can repair it quickly for only the cost of the part itself.
Wow--March was quite a month. Even in January, March was already shaping up to be a busy month. I had significant trips/commitments early in the month and late in the month. Then I had the bright idea to stick a really busy work trip with personal travel on both ends in the middle. So March was very busy with travel; as I write this on April 6, it's just finally settling out and this week should be back to a normal-ish schedule.
The first journey was a trip up to Cincinattii to help my wife run a conference. This was an absolute committment on my part, and has been on my schedule for at least six months. The two weeks of snowmageddon at the end of February were not encouraging for this trip. The conference was Friday/Saturday. Earlier in the week, the state of Kentucky wasn't doing too badly, but it was looking a lot of the state would get snow dumped on it on Wednesday and Thursday, so us just getting to the conference was looking iffy.
Given the snow that was expected to land on Thursday, if we started heading north on Thursday morning, it was likely we wouldn't be able to get out of town. So we decided to outmaneuver the weather. Wednesday afternoon (in fine weather) we drove to Lexington and stayed in a hotel right on the north side, next to the interstate, so the roads we would be driving on would have the best snow removal possible.
That worked fine. But we did get the expected snow over night. When
we got up, the car was caked with nigh on a foot of snow:
That morning, I did the first clear-start-scrape-defrost cycle
I've done in many many years. I know people in Minnesota do that
every day in parts of the winter, but it's been a while for me. I
also backed it across the parking lot so that it was clear of the snow
piles around it. The end result was pretty good:
While we were having breakfast I made some poor attempts at bird
photography while we were having lunch.
Due to the higgledy-piggledy of the snow and its effect on the
conference schedule, the conference days itself were super-busy, so I
really don't have anything to show. One really nice thing: right
across the street from the hotel was a Joe's Crab Shack:
I think if I were reviewing that as a design for an establishment in a game, I would perhaps ask them to pull back the character a bit.
And last thing: on the way home, I saw this advertisement in a truck stop bathroom. It got me thinking more about car (and also airplane) USB chargers, which is another topic that I've been working on this past month.
So the trip to Cincinatti was the opening salvo of the month. The big trip in the middle of the month was yet to come.