The Witch Doctor

The Witch Doctor
The Witch Doctor v.?

Chugs and I decided to have a drone-off, as it were. Wow, what a cool journey and pain-in-the-ass it has turned in to. First off, I can’t fly! Secondly, I still can’t fly. But, that’s besides the point. We each set a budget for our birds (boy, went WAY over on that one! HAHAHAHAHA, but I digress …). I jumped right in to body design, not knowing a damned thing about drones. Well, that’s me. Both feet and head first.

I wanted something aggressive looking, so I started there. Get a rough shape down and start making it look mean, electronic position be damned! I’d figure that out later.

The name came much later, after I realize when the doc was standing on his back legs, he looked like some tribal shaman witch doctor with one of those huge tribal masks (I might have watched a lot of Johnny Quest as a kid), and so the name was born.

Round One

Round Two

First design was a flop. I was perfectly unaware of motor mixes at the time. I just wanted to get some height. Who knew then just how fast these friggin’ things really are? Well, it flopped over and tried to land itself while I was swooping it up out of the rocks that it was kicking all over me and Moose, and thwack! Hit my thumb. Ouch. Busted the motor right through the ill conceived motor mounts. So, on to version two! COOL! IT FLEW. I learned more about Cleanflight. I crashed it into the house! hehehehehehehe

Test Flight One

Test Flight Two — Whoopsie

Round Three

Ok, wood isn’t working. When I crashed into the house, the prop sliced right through the body and arm. Nope! Time to learn how to make carbon fiber plates.

First round of that went OK with the newly acquired vacuum pump from Harbor Freight, but I determined I needed a vacuum table. So, built that and DAMN, it sucks. Sucked so hard that air went right through the particle board! Yikes. Duct tape fixed that problem. (See below Chugs doing a walk of shame after showing off how awesome he could already fly. I’ll never catch up.)

Round Something — There were a few iterations in here

Well, the body and arms got a complete redesign. It was too much of a pain to take apart the earlier, arms/computer/body stacked design. So, back to a simpler design that is much quicker to take apart. This included buying a PDB instead of using the earlier homegrown one. Not sure I like it, but like all things, this probably won’t be the final Witch Doctor.

Chugs TOTALLY Tearing It Up

Zamir and The Witch Doctor

Best friends!

Not Done By Any Means

Looking forward to future designs. A quick note about the original 20A Lumenier ESCs: they were complete rubbish. A complete waste of money that killed many of my Cobra 2206/20 motors, and them ain’t cheap, son! Looking forward to getting back in the sky.

The Deck Planter

Deck Planter and a dork
Deck Planter and a dork

I have been wrestling with what to do to finish the north-west edge of the deck for some time. Initially, I decided to build an outdoor kitchen at the end, with some kind of serving wall. However, upon further thought and consideration of our wind patterns, the kitchen is being moved. Nothing seemed quite right for the end of the deck. I knew I didn’t want more railing — how boring. So, the edge sat for a year in limbo.

The same silly thoughts of walls and additional pergolas and other bad ideas kept flowing in my sleepless brain, until spring fever set in. I knew I had to get out of the house — crappy weather be damned, I say! Chugs kept repeating, “sounds like someone has spring fever!” He wasn’t wrong.

So, in my coat, beanie, and flip-flops, I got the tiller running. I had to do something. Time to till and prepare for the garden. Yes, way too early, but who cares? Spring fever, remember? It’s during these mindless activities — tilling, mowing, watering, spraying … sleeping — when my brain tends to wander! I recalled what a tragedy herbs were in the garden area. They always seemed so lonely and were never really used. Sure, I’d snap off some fresh basil just to smell it, but I never EVER used it! It went in the compost pile at the end of that year.

Then, a light bulb turned on — DECK PLANTER! Finally, an idea that didn’t suck to me! It would close the end of the deck, be useful, and add a nice topiary feel. I’d plant rosemary and basil and thyme and marjoram and green onions and alyssum and other flowers and pretty things and smell good things and useful, delicious things, and so I ran the idea by Jules. She loved it.

Consequently, I lost about two nights of sleep designing in my head. It’s how I operate … It ticks me off. I don’t like losing sleep, but it’s how my mind works — a quiet and dark environment with my eyes shut is the perfect place to simply think and plan. So, I present the deck planter. Now, it’s time for the weather to stop frosting and allow me to get the starts transplanted.