Author Archives: Devin

Google Analytics & Sitemap

Today I tinkered on my website to verify that I have finally completed some outstanding items on my website that I have been planning to do for ages.  The only one that I really should have investigated sooner was Google Analytics as now I don’t have any data prior to the end of this week as it appears what I had done way back when broke at some point when switching themes, etc.

What I have done:

  • Updated to latest version of Quark Theme
  • Verified Google Analytics is working… using the Analytics Cat Free WP Plugin, this is a very easy plugin to use and will have to see how well it works over time
  • Using Google XML Sitemaps plugin, added my static pages, set priorities and sent off my sitemap to Google & Bing
  • Using a simple Homepage (removed in transition note as no longer in transition)
  • Google Search console has my sitemap

The only outstanding item I now have is to figure out what to do about a portfolio.

Oh yeah, also need to continue tinkering and get cracking on some personal projects 😉 .  Though I have been working hard on one personal project, that is building my plane!  I will want to contain this kind of info in a category within my portfolio, so it will not just be software development projects.

Building 4 Star 60 Day 40: Turtle Deck & Landing Gear Plate Covered

Turtle Deck Covered (Top View)

Tuesday’s building session involved finishing up covering the turtle deck, top view in the image above, side view below.  With the convex curves and having to extend back around the tail makes for one of the trickier pieces of covering I had to do.m  Last session I had already cut out the piece, ironed it to the top stringer and cut for the slots necessary to get around the stabilizer and fin.  I did need to make further adjustments throughout the process.

To start this I pulled the covering tight along one side of the turtle deck and ironed the covering to the side of the fuselage (ensuring there is about a quarter inch onto the side) starting in the middle and working my way towards the tail, then going back to the middle and working my way towards the nose.  Once that was done I ironed the covering half way around headrest.  Rotating the plane around I did the same to the other side.  I also ironed the covering down around the tail and ensured the perimeter of the entire area being covered was sealed (ironed down) so that it didn’t pull off once I started using the heat gun.

Using the heat gun I worked my way around the turtle deck making sure not to stay in one spot to long or get to close to the covering as both scenarios can lead to burning a hole through the covering, which would mean starting all over again.  I also made sure to point the heat gone away from the edges towards the middle.  This means you need to be constantly moving and adjusting where the nozzle of the gun is pointing.  The reason you do not want to apply hot air down onto the edges you previously sealed is that the heat will cause the glue to give way breaking the seam.  I continued this process until I was satisfied with the tautness of the covering and removed any wrinkles or sags out of the turtle deck.

John was over visiting so he cleaned up and got more wrinkles out of the covering down around the tail area as right from the start that shrunk into a mess of creases big and small!  Thankfully I was able to work quite a bit of it out; with first the heat gun followed by using the iron again.

Turtle Deck Covered (Side View)
Turtle Deck Covered (Side View)

Afterwords I covered the landing gear plate with one piece measured to be big enough for some overhang on the sides and to cover down over the lip and onto the bottom of the fuselage a bit, seen in the pic below, as well as down over the lip into where the wing sits (2nd pic below).  This is to ensure there is no unnecessarily exposed wood, protecting the planes structure from leaking fuel, etc.  This was an awkward place to cover and I did the right side better than the left.  Need to take the piece and angle up when folding over to allow for a tighter corner (with no wrinkles).  I still need to cut the covering where the holes were are for the landing gear and wing bolts respectively.

Landing Gear Plate Covered
Landing Gear Plate Covered
Landing Gear Plate Covering Wrap Around
Landing Gear Plate Covering Wrap Around

GoDaddy WP 4.7.3 Upgrade Gotcha

It’s been a fun time trying to get everything updated and to where I want it to be on my website.  Just recently I did a post about some housekeeping I’ve been doing on my website along with outstanding items.  One of the things that has come up was updating to the latest version of WP (4.7.3) as I was currently on 4.7.2.  I tried to do it as soon as it was available within WordPress itself, but this kept failing and so I awaited until it was available through the dashboard on my GoDaddy Windows (Plesk) hosting.

I thought fantastic, I’ll click the button and wala!  But no, for another domain it did work right off the hop, but for no such luck.  I was getting the following error:

Error: Update failed: Non-zero exit status returned by script. Output stream: ‘ (Error code 1)’. Error stream: ‘ (Error code 1)’.

So the Googling started and I came across a Plesk support article on the error I was experiencing.  The advice was to either comment out the error_log line or to set it equal to syslog.  In my hosting I do not have access to the PHP.ini file which meant I could not do this; however, for each domain in my hosting there is a .user.ini file within the corresponding directory root.  By placing the following line at the bottom of that file (on a new line) I was able to successfully update my WordPress installation through the Plesk 12.0 Applications Dashboard:

error_log = syslog

Website Housekeeping: TablePress & Huge IT Portfolio

I think I have finally managed to get some serious website maintenance and cleanup done so I can move forward with confidence.   The tasks that I have performed over the last little while includes:

  • Full backup of my domain
  • Backup of my MySQL database for
  • Deleting 2 Huge IT Portfolio Plugin tables from the database (the plugin itself I deleted a ways back)
  • Deleting 2 Unused Plugins (Aeolus Creative Portfolio and Hello Dolly)
  • Upgrading WordPress version (always trying to keep up to date for security reasons)
  • TablePress plugin update failed putting my site into maintenance mode, had to rename folder and install fresh (thankfully tables embedded into posts so they remained! 🙂 )
  • Using WP-Sweep to clean up unused, orphaned and duplicated data as well as to optimize my database tables (especially for removing old revisions of posts to try and speed things up)

I’ve used WP-Sweep once before and today was my second.  I still have one unused plug, Waving Portfolio, remaining.  I recall having issues with the plugin but am still in the hunt for how to do up my portfolio which leads me to the outstanding items on my website:

  • Update to latest version of Quark Theme… will happen soon now that I have backed up and cleaned up a fair bit, including backing up the Quark Theme folder specifically encase I loose my customizations (I should probably read up and potentially do a proper Child Theme)
  • Complete my homepage, still not sure what I want to do for the body
  • Investigate Portfolio option (quark gallery format and some manual maintenance on a portfolio page?)

This is always on going and though it may cause a little stress at times when things break as a whole I love it and enjoy the challenge which is why I need to try and get cracking on some personal project ideas of my own.

Building 4 Star 60 Day 39: Fuselage Bottom & Top Covering

Fuselage Bottom Covered

Today was a great building session and two Johns along with one other club member who stopped by for a visit today.  Peter’s place was a beehive of activity!  Through it all I chatted some, they conversed lots, and I kept working away to put in another 2 hrs on my plane.  Today was about starting the process of covering the fuselage.

The first thing I did was measure the length of the bottom of the fuselage with about an extra inch at the front and about the same for the back which will cover over top of the existing piece.  You want the front piece covering the back, which is why I started at the back and am working my way to the front of the aircraft.  This allows the wind to roll over the aircraft without hooking and getting underneath the covering to peel it back.

You can see the bottom covered in the top picture.  In this case I cut the piece tapered rather than trying to cut this on the aircraft, which I cannot imagine would have been easy or very ascetically pleasing.  I wanted about a half inch to wrap around the sides.  In ordered to get this tapered cut I did the following:

  • Measured the width of the bottom at its widest point plus some (9″ total)
  • Measured the length of the bottom plus an inch to overlay at the narrowest and excess at the top (24″ total)
  • Cut out a piece that was 9″ x 24″
  • Measured the width at the narrowest part (where it will be overlapping previous covering at the tail)
  • Marked the center of the covering that I cut out
  • Marked each side of center the width of the smaller part plus wrap around
  • Lined up the ruler and cut the angle

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Building 4 Star 60 Day 38: Rudder & Elevator Push Rods

Rudder & Elevator Push Rods Installed at Servos

Tuesday was another 2hr building session, which is about my typical.  When you look at what I got done to the uninitiated you may think to yourself “It took you that long to do what?”.  In order to install the rudder and elevator push rods correctly it takes time.

The first step is to figure out where the control horns need to be attached to the control surface (rudder & elevator).  This is done by using a combination of the plans, to get a general idea where the horn needs to go as it’ll show where the support for it resides, and attaching the push rod to the servo to see where it lines up.   The second allows you to determine the angle at which the control horn needs to be fastened to line up with the end of the push rod.  As seen in the picture at the top I already have a hook in the push rod, which is attached to the servo arm.

Ensure that when you are installing the control horn and push rod the servo and control surface is in the neutral position.

Once this is determined you drill two holes through the control surface to act as the guides for the screws using a hand push drill, not electric, with a tiny bit.  In my case it is two holes kitty corner to each other on the base of the control horn for fastening.  When drilling you need to ensure you are going perpendicular to the surface and straight through, not at an angle, so take your time as it will pay off!  I made this mistake and didn’t get it right so when placing the screws the opening on the back wasn’t lining up with the holes in the back plate causing issues.  Thank-you John for the help correcting this and getting me on the straight and narrow for the elevator!

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Building 4 Star 60 Day 37: Covering, Fuel Tank and Rudder Hinged

Cockpit Painted

On Saturday I got to work on my plane again and made some more progress on covering and installation of the fuel tank.  One of the discussion Peter & I had in a previous session was what I’d like to do with the cockpit, use covering or paint it.  I decided to go with painting it as I felt under the heat of summer with no airflow under the canopy that covering would wrinkle and be a waste, so Peter stained the cockpit green, seen at the top.

I continued where I left off last session by completing the covering of the fin in white.  I was able to utilize the knowledge I learned from John in my last session about covering.  I was impressed with the result.  I didn’t quite get it right the first time so had to switch around the covering and start again (as the glue along the one edge was no longer good after pulling up the heated covering).  Throughout the process I had to make some incisions at the top and bottom to allow the covering to come around properly, which includes removing excess when I could.

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Building 4 Star 60 Day 36: Tail Covered

Top of stabilizer covered

Tuesday was an excellent covering session and nice to get in back to back days working on my plane.  Covering is definitely a time consuming task and the tail with all its intricacies took a lot of concentration and patience.  Throughout the process I learned how to do things better, namely so that I do not get the wrinkles when rounding corners causing a jagged/rough looking edge with wrinkles in the fabric.

I started with covering the bottom of the stabilizer in orange and the top yellow to match the colour scheme of the wing (picture below and above, respectively).  Measuring the surface at its widest point and longest point to cut a piece at those dimensions plus three inches to have play and room to grab.  For each piece the process I went through was (see bottom of article for better approach):

  • Woodpecker the surface
  • Line the piece up at the fuselage
  • Tack it down starting at the centre and working my way out
  • Start up by the fuselage and apply heat from trailing edge to leading edge (width of iron)
  • Repeat moving down the stabilizer
  • Ensure all edges are fully ironed down
  • Cut excess from trailing edge and tip
  • Fold leading edge (as have excess) around the entire edge, pull tight & iron it down
    • This is where the wrinkles really come in!
  • Trim excess from trailing edge
    • Doesn’t necessarily look pretty as the wrinkles cause the blade to catch preventing a clean line and instead you get a jagged rough line
  • Do your best to iron out all them wrinkles

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Building 4 Star 60 Day 35: Tail Covering Started

Fin-Stabilizer Transition Covered

Being Family Day in Ontario I got over for an afternoon building session with Peter.  I started off where I left off, the rudder.  I used the heat gun to shrink the covering over the ‘holes’ in the rudder and then using the markings on the fin figured out where the hinge marks were hiding under the covering that was over the leading edge.  I then used the back tip of an x-acto knife to open up the hinge slots, hard to see below 🙂

Rudder Hinge Slots Exposed
Rudder Hinge Slots Exposed

After that was finished up brought the fuselage up onto the workbench as I’m now on to covering the fuselage!  As you’ll notice from the pictures I am doing the fuselage and fin white.  Because you want your seems to be such that the covering is overlapping from front to back, prevents the air from getting under and peeling back the covering, we start at the table and work our way towards the nose of the aircraft.

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Building 4 Star 60 Day 34: Covering Rudder + Hole Made

Started Rudder Covering

It was great to get back working on my aircraft after a 16 day hiatus due to being away for birthday weekends amongst other things.  Though I wasn’t able to make it Peter did tinker a bit as he got the engine mounted, fuel tank set up and the throttle connections hooked up.  I forgot to take some pictures of that.

After checking things out and refreshing myself with the project I got to work with measuring out where a hole needed to be placed in the fuselage doubler that lines up with the high speed adjustment on the engine.  Once I determined where the hole needed to be I drilled a small hole first to ensure I wasn’t to far off and then used a bigger drill bit to open up the hole more.  Testing with the same type of wire that will eventually be attached in place the hole alignment sufficed for now.  This will allow us to find the hole after covering the fuselage and not have to mark up the fresh covering we put on to measure it out.  At some point once the wire is attached we’ll run the engine to make sure the hole is positioned well enough such that the wire can move freely within the hole with the engine vibrations.

High Speed Adjustment Hole Made
High Speed Adjustment Hole Made

John stopped by for a visit to watch me work, lol.  He seems to quite enjoy this; however, I do to as tend to pick up some tidbits along the way 🙂 .  We need to remember to create another hole for a wire to adjust the low speed.

The other task for the evening, which took the majority of the approximately 2 hrs I was there is covering the rudder, seen in the featured image above.  This started with covering the top and bottom edges followed by the trailing edge.  These pieces took quite a bit of time to get done, especially along the bottom where the tail wheel wire and mount (rubber piece) are.  To cover the remainder I used one solid piece that I sealed to the leading edge and then folded over to cover both sides of the rudder and ironed down all of the surfaces and will need to go back and finish up with the blow drier to tighten up the covering over the exposed holes in the rudder.

I probably could have just summed that up to be that covering the rudder in general due to its intricacies was awkward and required a fair bit of concentration and patience 🙂