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Messages - Gerard

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OFF TOPIC / Re: Photobucket dogging us out.
« on: January 28, 2018, 05:07:32 PM »
A quick check for satellite phone options seems to show a cost of between $6 and $9 per minute of use. Not a very practical option compared to less than $30/month for a landline.

General Airgun Forum Discussion / Re: What is everyone doing for newyears
« on: December 31, 2017, 01:08:00 PM »
Our neighbour of the last 16 years hosts an evening of traditional Japanese country cooking and various friends performing classical music on strings and winds, just mini-concerts sprinkled through the evening. We'll bring over some prosecco and maybe our gingerbread kitchen for  dessert. The kids decided to replicate our kitchen in gingerbread and candies with icing for glue, complete with portraits of each of us as gingerbread people. Mine's playing an accordion for some reason... I've never played that. But I guess a 'cello would have been too challenging to carve in cookie dough. My beard somehow came out as something more akin to Zoidberg's (Futurama dude) face tentacles too. My kids are weird.

Airgun Guild Forum Announcements / Re: All you lurkers
« on: December 12, 2017, 09:00:39 PM »
The Torrey Pines scope is supposedly coming in at about $700USD, so even more of a scary decision for rats only. But hey, compared to the prices of good thermal gear they've been using in the UK for rat control that price is a bargain. The average professional level kit in England goes for the equivalent of about $4,000, with some as high as $10,000. I've been using a heavily modified Carson Mini Aura NV-200 behind a cheap 3x scope for rats, and out to about 15 metres it's been fine. But to see the rats I have to see their eyes. If they don't happen to be looking at me, the infrared monochrome video feed often has their fur blending in with grass or other backgrounds, even up in the trees they can look like just another leaf.

But with thermal a rat jumps out as a bright spot no matter what the angle or how little of it is exposed. Even a nose is enough to get me looking for a safe shot. Though I'm not a professional exterminator, I have a strong aversion to rats taking over my house. It'll be about $1,000 Canadian when it gets here, but I earn that in 20 hours so I'm not too worried about it. And as a bonus, the Torrey Pines thermal works just as well in full daylight, so I can use it on grey squirrels! Actually the infrared setup I've built works great on those too, the illuminator turned off, as leaves turn bright white and squirrels turn dark regardless of fur variations (they range from light grey to solid black here, all variations on Eastern Greys which were introduced by two men a century ago in Vancouver) and their eyes stand out nicely, but thermal will further enhance that difference. Most thermal units burn out in sunlight, but not this TP stuff. Already the little spotter has proven very useful in finding a grey among foliage where they can often blend in.

If a thermal scope could be had for a similar price to a good optical scope, like my Burris 2-7x rimfire or Leupold 2-7x VX-1, of course I'd be happier with that. But the tech is still rather immature. Give it another decade and it'll be about the same price, and every smartphone will have thermal built in.

Airgun Guild Forum Announcements / Re: All you lurkers
« on: December 12, 2017, 04:44:54 PM »
Not a lot to contribute. My various airguns are all working well, each tuned nicely for its job. Haven't had any time lately to get out to HFT meets, nor any sort of shooting, and my rodent situation seems to be under control as I've seen zero grey squirrels and zero rats since October. When I do take the odd shot just to make sure things still work... they still work. Boring, not really worth sharing. No need for another build, as again, everything works. I'd like a Leshiy, but being in Canada that seems unlikely to happen. Whenever Torrey Pines brings outntheir newest product - a compact thermal scope with a 1" tube and optical zoom - I'll be grabbing not be of those and will undoubtedly post some stuff about how well it works, but they say "early 2018" which probably means early 2019 or later... Their T12N which I have now is nice as a thermal spotter, but pathetic as a targeting device, just not at all good for that. The specs for the scope should be more than adequate once they get it built.

I've been a member at for about 8 years, and of the buttons there the only ones I've used are the 'thanks' and 'donate' buttons. I like having that one there for at least a token expression of positivity towards volunteer developers who endlessly tweak and perfect operating system updates and other gifts. I've even made the odd PayPal donation when I feel a software developer (usually a university student) has put in huge numbers of hours and I've benefited from the results of their hard work and late nights. Buying the guy a beer, so to speak. Like and Dislike don't seem nearly so positive as the above. An 'unthank' button would be silly.

Last year I bought a Leupold VX-1 2-7x scope for about $380 (Canadian) and put it on my QB78D. I'm completely happy with it. At an HFT meet someone asked "Is that an actual Leupold or a Chinese copy?" Until then I hadn't heard of the copies, so I was intrigued and researched this when I got home. Turns out there are a lot being sold legitimately as copies, no false packaging, and there are a lot of others being sold by unscrupulous vendors who pretend they're the real thing. The most prominent complaint I found came from Leupold support, as they've been seeing a LOT of failed scopes coming in for warranty service which are in fact fakes. Quite a few posts in forums as well, many saying the copies are great, many others saying they last a while then fail badly. Seems it is a bit and miss sort of thing. Some fakes work great and just keep on working. Others fail on the first day of use, or some short time later. So a gamble. Certainly not a gamble I'd take, as with such a scope there's no warranty service, while Leupold has a legendary warranty. Mail them a fake and they'll laugh at you.

General Airgun Forum Discussion / Re: Is it me, or what?
« on: July 25, 2017, 03:22:31 PM »
One my first girlfriend's most angry reasons for leaving me was that I had to modify everything. Didn't matter what sort of product, I always found fault with, then improved upon some aspect of functionality or reliability. Drove her nuts. My wife appreciates this aspect of my personality. She doesn't generally want to listen to explanations of exactly how I make things work better, but she loves the results, so it's all good. Airguns are no exception. Even my $2000 Pardini K12 pistol was such a case. The K12 trigger is legendary, perfection, but the grip didn't even remotely fit me. Carving grips on competition pistols is if course common practice, but even at size large it wasn't big enough, so I made a new one. Fits like a glove. Absolutely stable and comfy. That grip won me a few medals at the provincial level. Well... that and a LOT of hours of practice. Modifying myself, as it were.

OFF TOPIC / Re: Photobucket dogging us out.
« on: July 03, 2017, 09:12:46 AM »
Slow, yeah, tell me about it. When I was checking into my account there the other day it took almost 20 minutes for my account page to load fully such that I could click their notification regarding changes to policy. Ads kept pushing through, as ghostly pop-ups and at least two pop-unders. Not really usable any more, at least for my old ExoPC tablet.

I've made only slight use of YouTube over the years. Think I have 8 or 9 videos uploaded there, primarily to share a few things with family or with forums. From Youtube's beginning it seemed obvious to me that the advertising model was not sustainable. For one, I refuse to watch ads there, have used an adblocking plugin since my first use of Firefox. Same on my phone; I use Android phones but have always rooted them and disabled ads right away. I've paid handsomely for the hardware and again abundantly for internet service, so it offends me that Google imagines I owe them my attention and screen real estate for their ads. I'm rooting and adblocking my wife's new phone today. Ads were one of the main reasons I abandoned television a decade ago. My time is too valuable to waste on someone else's sales pitches. So with this perspective, it has seemed that Google's business model is not endlessly sustainable. Surely the majority will eventually tire of such timewasters... or perhaps I give our species too much credit. Greed does seem the most potent of motives among us, so perhaps empathy for Google's greed, their imagined right to our time and money will win out?

OFF TOPIC / Re: Photobucket dogging us out.
« on: July 02, 2017, 08:28:59 PM »
I'm puzzled by these Photobucket reports, as images I've put on their servers for use on a couple of US-based forums are still working just fine. Videos aren't, however. I only have a few very small video files there, nothing over 5MB, but it seems they've discontinued allowing linking for those. I'll keep checking on the images, and if they stop working I'll simply delete my Photobucket account for the useless thing it is. Mostly I host my own images on a private domain for forum use in Canada, as it gives me more control of my property. Guess I can just switch to that for foreign forums as well...

I'll have a shot at very brief explanations:

RVA - Adjusting bolt/guide for the hammer spring which allows changing preload of the spring to hit harder or softer, increasing or decreasing hammer strike on the valve stem.

SSG - A 'stopped spring guide' which captures the spring, still using the gross adjustability as in the RVA but now with a positive 'stop' in the form of the tip of the spring guide. This stops the hammer on rebound, like a dead blow hammer, preventing second strikes. Also secondary adjustment built in for spring preload. At least a small gap is important such that the SSG tip does not contact the hammer while the hammer contacts the valve stem.

TSS - A 'twin spring system' uses a larger and a smaller spring, one within the other, usually wound in opposite directions so as to avoid entanglement between spring coils. The stronger outer spring contacts the hammer and is usually fixed in position, with preload adjustment being done by trimming the spring. The inner, usually weaker spring stops at least slightly shy of the hammer. The hammer hitting the inner spring on rebound damps the impact to prevent second valve stem strike.

There are of course a lot of variables involved with each of these which can change performance, with a lot of variation in how each is built, but I think the above covers the basics. The most elaborate descriptions with imagery and a lot of discussion seems to be found on GTA PCP forums, with Bob Sterne's work particularly valuable, and a lot of other airgun gurus contributing.

His link got broken for some reason. If you copy and paste the WHOLE link it takes you to the correct and very informative thread.$200-pcp

AOA is in town as well, maybe I can talk Robert into do a wide spread test across his inventory.
Oh man, that would be seriously cool.

What might be most useful to airgunners would be establishing a baseline sound pressure level chart for the most well known airguns in factory stock condition. For example a Marauder, a 2240, a popular springer such as the HW97, and perhaps an Airforce Condor. Just examples but you get my meaning. If you could set up an event where owners of a few of the more commonly used airguns could gather and test, compile a short chart showing average noise level and velocity with a given pellet weight, this could provide a very useful reference index for people shopping and trying tto decide based on loudness. If you further enhanced such a list with moderator/LDC type devices attached to the same airguns, testing a couple of the most common such as Huggett and TKO, this would provide quite a thorough illustration of what such devices deliver in noise reduction.

Not begging... just saying it seems never to have been done properly with airguns thus far. Firearms sure - NFAtalk has awesome lists of various firearms and ammunition with various muzzle devices attached and without. But the only airgun document I've seen on this subject apparently used a cheap SPL meter for the testing, as the numbers are absurdly low and plainly not accurate.

The 'sound intensity' or 'acoustic energy' doubles with a 3dB increase. This is for whatever reasons only mathematicians pursuing acoustical physics can seem to explain (and not well enough for me to understand) different from a 'perceived' doubling of noise, which is a 10dB increase in measured volume. The term 'psychoacoustics' comes into play with the latter. The former is strictly as measured by a high quality meter and matching microphone, properly calibrated on the day.

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