Dancing Wings Fokker-E build

Dancing Wings Fokker-E box (Fokker E.III)

When I built the Dancing Wings Hobby Fokker-E (the small 420 mm wingspan version), I learned a lot of very interesting things. Well, I find them interesting. So I thought I would share them in case anyone else finds them interesting or even helpful.

Instructions

The instructions are cryptic. A single page with lots of colour pictures and some limited and very tiny writing. I needed a magnifying glass to make sure I didn’t miss important details. There are lots of comments about the instructions from buyers, so I think others have the same problem I did.

You have to read and follow the instructions very, very carefully. I missed one piece, which I didn’t find before it was too late, simply by failing to notice the tiny label on a one of the picture steps.

The instructions also don’t include what you might think is very basic information. Glue is a good example. They don’t say anything about glue. I mostly used standard white wood glue, but sometimes Superglue (CA some people call it). For example I glued in the magnets using Superglue. I guess I made reasonable assumptions, and I think I got it right, but nothing – absolutely nothing in the instructions about what glue to use and where it should be used.

Electronics

There is very little information in the instructions about electronics. The kit I ordered included a brushless motor, but the instructions which described how to install it described a different one, so I had to “figure it out”. There was nothing about how to install an ESC, receiver or servos.

The instructions do say which electronics to buy – but nothing about how to install them.

Youtube Video

There is a Youtube Video! This was a great find, and very, very helpful. There is an animated video from Dancing Wings Hobby, that kind of shows how to put the kit together. Again it doesn’t mention basics like glue, but it does show the order very well, and even gave some additional hints about installing the electronics that you don’t get in the printed instructions. I built the plane with the video open on my laptop and paused in my browser. At each next step, I would hit play, wait a couple of seconds and pause again so I could see the next step. You can find the video here:

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=MfIsc5mL2WM

Decoration – Paint, Decals etc.

The instructions say nothing about paint or other decorations. The video does show some things like Iron Cross decals and a white rudder that are not in the instructions. They look great. So I painted the rudder white and made some iron cost decals by cutting out some Cricut black vinyl. I’m not sure if that’s what I was supposed to do (there are no decals in the kit), but I think it looks great.

After finishing and trying to paint the wheels, I realized that I should have painted them before putting them on. Nothing about that in the instructions. With all of the very fine detail, such as the rigging and struts, it’s almost impossible to paint after everything is connected, so ask yourself at each step – will I want to paint this? If so – paint it now before installing it. Some things I wish I had painted first:

  • The wheels
  • The landing gear
  • The rudder
  • The frame in front of the cockpit that holds up the rigging
  • White stripes on the wings to frame the Iron crosses (see some original pictures)
  • The pilot
  • The railing around the cockpit

Magnets

There are several small magnets included and the instructions are very precise about where they need to be placed, but gives no hint about polarity. For example it says to put two magnets on the underside of the cowling. This is to hold the cowling in place. Then somewhere else in the build it says put two magnets on the brackets at the front of the frame that hold the cowling. If you don’t think ahead, you could install these two magnets so that when you try to put the cowling on it will bounce right out, rather than clicking into place. You need to get the polarity right for each and every one.

The thing is – the different pictures and sequences don’t really join this together, so unless you hunt down the “other end” of the magnet you are installing, you won’t know which end is which. So here is what I do:-

  1. Take the magnets apart in pairs.
  2. Mark each magnet with a ‘dot’ using a sharpie to show sides that need to be apart
  3. Find both sides of the magnet connection on the plans.
  4. Make sure to install each magnet with the dot (from step 2) away from the other magnet.

The magnets are also a bit small. I guess this is my opinion, but there are two hints that I am right. The first is that the holes in the balsa for the magnets are far too big for the magnets provided. Around half the size. So even with copious Superglue, the magnet sort of floats in the hole for it. The second hint is that when clicking things like the electronics hatch on the underside of the plane in place, the hatch seems very loose. It feels like it might drop out, the magnet isn’t holding it very tightly. I bought some larger magnets and replaced some of those that came with the kit and got a much more satisfying “click” and much more satisfying and firmer hold.

Continued …

I’m still building this model, so likely there is more to come. This is where I’m at so far:

Dancing Wings Fokker E.III as at 19 April 2021

Australian Racism

19 years ago I became a Canadian citizen. I was sworn in by a Sikh Canadian wearing a turban. It was one of the proudest moments in my life. Canada isn’t perfect, but I have never once heard a Sikh called a “rag head” – which I was shocked to hear when I was last in Australia, only 2 years ago. 

Racism in Australia is nasty. It’s everywhere. Implicitly and explicitly. If you are white in Australia you experience white privilege every day, whether you know it or not.

Racism in Australia is deep, widespread and affects everyone who is not white anglosaxon. Yes seriously, “Real Australians” are better than anyone who:-

  • Speaks with any kind of non-English accent
  • Uses a non-English language ‘in public’ – even a native Australian language for god sake.
  • Is not from a “white” country (Australia, South Africa, UK, Canada, USA)
  • is from non-English speaking European countries.
  • Has non-white skin or features. 
  • Doesn’t follow a Christian religion
  • Has special needs like autism, downs syndrome or cerebral palsy
  • Came to Australia escaping fascism, war or persecution etc.
  • if they were forced to escape on a boat thats even worse.
  • Even if they’ve lived in Australia for 60,000 years – not good enough, and actually – thats the worst.

As an immigrant in Canada I had it easy. I came from a “white” country – Australia. I saw what happened to other immigrants to Canada with more experience and qualifications than me but not lucky enough to be white. I experienced white privilege and I know how lucky I am. But no matter how bad it is in Canada – Australia is worse.

Australian racism is tiered. It is worse for some than for others. If you are from Europe but have white skin, you are almost ok, especially if you learn to drop your accent. Darker skinned Europeans are worse but still not too bad. Asians are probably next- and black skinned people are probably almost ok if they come from the USA, but less ok if they are from Africa or PNG or New Zealand.

But everyone in Australia knows – the Aboriginal people of Australia are at the bottom. Those who came first, who lived in Australia for 60,000 years before the whites arrived, who have their own “Australian” languages and culture, and who had their lives and land taken so that “real Australians” could have a place to live, they are looked down on by everyone else.

All Australians know; white, European, Asian, African, Middle Eastern – they all know they have someone else to put down. Australian indigenous people are at the bottom of the pile. They are abused, tortured and killed by police with impunity. They are treated with disdain, ignored, insulted, manipulated and used. They are ridiculed in public but more in private by people who should know better.

It’s Australia’s shame. I’m ashamed of it. It’s really way past time to start doing something about all tiers of racism in Australia, but especially when it comes to first Australians. 

Why not start with the most meaningful thing that needs to be fixed? Make the change first that will matter the most. 

Indigenous Australian lives matter!

101 Street at 111 Avenue

Update: The city has fixed this! WOW! Sometime in early 2012 it changed (I was away so I don’t know when), I have to give kudos for fixing the problem, but the messages still has to be – think about this in the first place, please!

If you drive north or south on 101 Street through the 111 Avenue intersection you will know what I mean.

Not that I’m saying it’s happening, but is it possible that someone might design an intersection like this to cause fender bender’s? Hypothetically it might be someone who knew someone who worked for an insurance company! Not that I’m saying that’s what’s happening of course, but just trying to figure out any kind of logical explanation for the design (I’ll try to describe it below), it just seems like it’s only purpose is to cause accidents, but not serious ones. I’m just saying …

So imagine if you will, driving in the left lane down the road. The right lane as usual has cars parked, so you usually can’t drive there except during peak hour, normal Edmonton stuff. You approach 111th avenue going South. You’re going downtown. As you approach, slow down, light is red. Ooops – whats going on … this lane doesn’t go ‘straight through’ suddenly you realize that this lane has become a left turn lane. What? Damn! Ok – and a bunch of other people have the same problem – ok now everyone is trying to merge – lotsa unexpected merging. How many fender benders here? Insurance companies- kaching!!! But wait – thats not all!

Ok – you’re merged over, whew! Ok, light changes, into the next lane going south. WHOA what the? After you get through the intersection the lane does this weird wiggle back left to where it was, as if the ‘straight through’ you thought you were on kept going straight through. If you don’t wiggle you hit the guy in the right lane. Bang!, another fender bender, because of the cars parked along the right hand side even during peak hour. Wow – way to cause damage guys.  So – what is that for City Transportation Department? Saved some money? Can’t figure that? Traffic Flow? Dunno? Might have something to do with the buses? Definitely not safety for sure!

I just think the cost of insurance and accidents should be included when ‘costings’ of road decisions go to council!

Bill C-30 Section-34 without a Warrant

Copied and pasted direct from the bill, English and French – find the word “warrant” – anyone?

Paraphrasing:

“An inspector may enter any telecommunications service provider, examine any document or  information and take copies of anything they have without exception and without a warrant.”

Don’t beleive me? It’s right here – you can read it yourself if you don’t believe me – tell me that it doesn’t say pretty much exactly that? Find the word “warrant”? You won’t!  (You can find the entire bill here at the Government of Canada website if you want to check).

Really? And that’s ok with you?

If you don’t agree you might want to sign this petition:

OpenMedia Petition

34. (1) An inspector may, for a purpose related to verifying compliance with this Act, enter any place owned by, or under the control of, any telecommunications service provider in which the inspector has reasonable grounds to believe there is any document, information, transmission apparatus, telecommunications facility or any other thing to which this Act applies.
34. (1) L’inspecteur peut, à toute fin liée à la vérification du respect de la présente loi, entrer dans tout lieu appartenant à un télécommunicateur — ou placé sous sa responsabilité — s’il a des motifs raisonnables de croire que s’y trouvent des installations de télécommunication, des appareils de transmission, des documents, des renseignements ou des objets visés par la présente loi.
Accès au lieu
Powers on entry
(2) The inspector may, for that purpose,
(a) examine any document, information or thing found in the place and open or cause to be opened any container or other thing;
(b) examine or test or cause to be tested any telecommunications facility or transmission apparatus or related equipment found in the place;
(c) use, or cause to be used, any computer system in the place to search and examine any information contained in or available to the system;
(d) reproduce, or cause to be reproduced, any information in the form of a printout, or other intelligible output, and remove the printout, or other output, for examination or copying; or
(e) use, or cause to be used, any copying equipment or means of telecommunication at the place.
(2) Il peut, à cette même fin :
Autres pouvoirs
a) examiner les documents, les renseignements ou les objets se trouvant dans le lieu et ouvrir, directement ou indirectement, tout contenant ou autre objet;
b) examiner toute installation de télécommunication ou tout appareil de transmission ou matériel connexe s’y trouvant et lui faire subir, directement ou indirectement, des essais;
c) faire usage, directement ou indirectement, de tout système informatique s’y trouvant pour vérifier les données qu’il contient ou auxquelles il donne accès;
d) reproduire ou faire reproduire toute information sous forme d’imprimé ou toute autre forme intelligible qu’il peut emporter pour examen ou reproduction;
e) faire usage, directement ou indirectement, du matériel de reproduction et des moyens de télécommunication se trouvant dans le lieu.
Duty to assist
(3) The owner or person in charge of the place and every person in the place must give all assistance that is reasonably required to enable the inspector to perform their functions under this section and must provide any documents or information, and access to any data, that are reasonably required for that purpose.
(3) Le propriétaire ou le responsable du lieu, ainsi que quiconque s’y trouve, sont tenus de prêter à l’inspecteur toute l’assistance qu’il peut valablement exiger pour lui permettre d’exercer ses attributions au titre du présent article, et de lui fournir les documents, les renseignements et l’accès aux données qu’il peut valablement exiger à cette fin.
Assistance
Inspector may be accompanied
(4) The inspector may be accompanied by any other person that they believe is necessary to help them perform their functions under this section.
(4) L’inspecteur peut être accompagné des personnes qu’il estime nécessaires pour l’aider dans l’exercice de ses attributions au titre du présent article.