What I failed to mention in my posting of earlier today was that as well as losing my main computer, which had all my graphics and video editing software on it, I’ve also been having problems with my laptop. It’s an old Dell Inspiron 1501 that originally came with Windows Vista and although it has an AMD Turion 64 bit processor, it had become very slow by current standards.
I don’t want to buy a new one as I rarely have need for it nowadays but I wanted to keep it as a stop-gap machine mainly for use when I’m away from home. So with this in mind I recently upgraded it with a new Windows 7 Pro 64 bit operating system, a solid-state disk drive and an increase in memory from 1 to 4 gBs.
This did the trick and made it perfectly suitable for my purposes, but shortly after I’d transferred over to it after losing my main machine, the problems began in the shape of it constantly crashing to a BSD after being run for about 5 minutes. It seemed to me that the problem had to be heat related and as the machine has never been cleaned internally in the eight or nine years that I’ve had it, I surmised that the cooling fan was probably full of dust and fluff and in need of a clean.
I’d already checked up on the internet to see how to go about cleaning it, which involves a major, but major, strip down and rebuild of the machine in order to get at the fan, so when I got back at the end of the afternoon from posting my main PC’s disk drive controller board off to Canada and doing a couple of other things, I thought that I might as well bite the bullet and do it.
I followed the instructions that I’d seen on YouTube and in fact it wasn’t half as bad as I’d expected. It didn’t even take that long to complete and when I’d finished I was relieved that it powered up just as it should do. So I then looked forward to transferring back onto it until such time as I know whether my main PC’s disk drive can be recovered or not and enjoying sessions uninterrupted by sudden crashes.
But I was to be disappointed. This wasn’t happening before so there then followed an hour or so of my swapping hard drives and memory around while I tried to find out what was going wrong. I suspected the new solid state hard drive that I’d installed but it turned out that actually one of the pieces of memory that I’d bought direct from China was to blame.
As it’s only been a few months, I’ll see if the Chinese supplier will send a replacement gratis, but if not, I’ll just have to buy some better quality replacement memory. But at least in the meantime, although I’m now back to the 1gB that was originally installed, I’m back to having one stable machine that I can use for everything, with a smaller screen than the ‘old’ PC that I’ve been having to use in the meantime, but with screen graphics that are much more usable.
Shortly afterwards, things turned locally into something resembling a war zone as an almighty thunder-storm came roaring in. The power flashed off and on so I hastily turned both PCs off for fear of losing another machine, and then the lights went out completely. In the meantime rainwater started to come gushing through the back door of my lounge as the torrential rain was driven against it and as I grabbed a torch and lit a couple of candles, luckily the power came back on again.
Mains water is still being delivered at a pressure that is much lower than normal so I guess the pumping system must have been hit, but at least we are lucky enough to have power and light, unlike the poor souls over in the direction of Galinat on the other side of the Vézère valley, who are still plunged in an inky blackness.
But at least now that I have my laptop back, I can bring up to date the story of where I’m up to with 28AAD – well, not quite, but at least up to where I’d got to by the end of the weekend. I’ve been pressing on as fast as I can before I have to put the project on hold until the new year. The reason is that my sister and brother-in-law are coming down for the whole of December, including Christmas, and as she is disabled I must be able to keep the house as warm as possible. This means getting in plenty of wood, which in turn means that I must finish off my garden tool store to make space for it and must also do quite a bit more to my kitchen before they arrive.
So here’s where I got to by Sunday evening. First, I got the replacement tubes fitted on both sides to repair the collapsed undercarriage and also make good the main engine supports.
The following shot shows the appalling repair that someone had carried out previously on the undercarriage by sleeving an obviously broken tube. In my opinion, that had been a major contributor to a recurrence of exactly the same damage during the previous owner’s hard landing.
28AAD was previously fitted with a Rotax 582 engine, and as I’ll be fitting MYRO’s old 503, which is much lighter, I had to adjust the engine bearer plates to maintain the aircraft’s centre of gravity. It was while I was doing so that I noticed that the lord mounts that hold the engine had previously been incorrectly installed. Take a look at the following image, which shows that the rear mounts had been installed inverted compared to the front.
This is not how they are supposed to be, as the following shot of MYRO’s old engine mounts shows.
In order to counter and work against the torque of the engine, the mounts are supposed to be fitted inverted on the right as the aircraft is viewed, so someone in the past had the right idea in part but actually didn’t know what they were really doing. As they say, RTFM!!
Here’s a shot still with the mounts incorrectly fitted but with the engine bearer plates moved forward to the correct position for the 503 engine.
Finally, here’s a shot taken as the light was failing after a full day’s work showing the progress that I’d made.
Things have come on quite a bit even since then, but I’ll have to leave it until my next posting to show some pictures of where things are now at.