Friday, June 11, 2010

Weebles wobble...

My Youtube video link HOWTO here:
Here is one of my Weeble Wind Indicators. It’s made out of the toy surprise container from a chocolate Kinder Egg. The old style two-piece orange Kinder eggs work okay, but the new yellow style has a hinge, and is my preferred choice.

Poke a hole in the top, and JB Weld on a fishing swivel. A number 4 works nicely, but pretty much any size would probably work. The first ones I made I used a bit of para-line cord to attach my streamer to the swivel. Then I found an even better solution: a fishing "leader", a short 3-inch bit of wire line, with a swivel at both ends. (Available for a couple of bucks at Walmart)
Attach a bit of ribbon. to use as a streamer. I used some orange, plastic line marking tape. A piece about three feet long. Fold and glue one end to stiffen the material, or set a tiny grommet.

Now weight the wobble base with a rare earth magnet. You can salvage magnets from old computer hard drives, but disc magnets are ideal, if you can find some. I use a disc shaped magnet about the size of a nickel. Then I “capped” the magnet with a metal slug. Glued everything in place with a glob of contact cement.

About rare earth magnets. DID YOU KNOW that you can in
crease the attractive power of these magnets by putting a piece of iron (or steel) behind it. Any piece of steel the same size or larger than the magnet will do. For maximum effectiveness, be sure the steel is at least as thick as the magnet. Several layers can be used if necessary.
(Just click on the country tab in this link, and the image will open up automatically.)
In the photo above, you should be just about be able to see a steel washer I used to "cap" a disc magnet about the size of a quarter coin. Steel slugs the same size, or slightly larger than the magnet would work better, but washers work okay, and washers are easier to find. A three-foot strip of ribbon rolls up quickly and the ribbon fits inside the hollow of the egg.

Now, you can toss it down field in front of you for those variable, low-wind, forward launches, clip it to a post, or to the top of your car, anything metal. You could attach a small steel hose-clamp to the motor's aluminum cage, or a small steel ring, cut from a tube, split and epoxied on a discrete part of the top quarters of your cage ring.

Your Weeble can wave wind-direction to other flyers if you're just waiting around.

Remember, you can't have too many wind indicators on the field.

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