For those who are wondering where we have been, the hard drive on our main computer has corrupted the only available profile on Windows 10, and now we need to re-install the operating system.

This means our equipment is not operating at the moment, and it will be a few more days before everything is back in production mode.

My brother decided to take his girls to Montreal during the March break. This was quite an experience for his daughters as they have never been in another province except for Ontario. On their last day in the city, they decided to explore some of the older parts of Montreal, including the Basilica of Notre-Dame, Hotel de Ville, and a walk down Rue du St. Paul.

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This is a test to see if a video will show up in the header image

For those who know me, they will know I love to fly drones – and crash them just as often. After reading an article on CBC about how changes to Transport Canada’s regulations of drones would make recreational flying more difficult, I decided to check to see if I was flying within the rules.

As of December 21, 2016, Transport Canada revised their UAV regulations with some major changes. As a result of the new regulations hobbyists took to the news to voice their concerns and said the changes were too restrictive for recreational use. One of the major changes with the update regarded the weight of the aircraft, and the minimum distance pilots could fly from an aerodrome or populated areas. Transport Canada relaxed their minimum operating distances on July 17, 2017, which included changes were the operating distances from aerodromes and densely populated areas – from 9 km to 5.5 km, and from 5 km to 2.5 km respectively. They also specify operators cannot fly within 9 km all natural hazards or disasters – operators only needed to stay 9 km away from forest fires as stated in previous revisions.

Operators flying a recreational drone weighing at least 250 g or a maximum of 25 kg – between 0.5 lb. and 55 lbs. – no longer need to submit a Special Flight Operator’s Certificate (SFOC), however, are required to submit an exemption form to Transport Canada, which will remain valid until the regulations have been revised. For most operators, this should not be a concern as most commercially available drones weight less than 5 kg – 11 lbs.

Transport Canada provides an infographic flowchart that helps you determine whether you need a SFOC, however, there is a little bit of a grey area in explaining whether amateur photographers and videographers are exempt. After speaking with a representative from Transport Canada to determine photography falls under the commercial drone category, they informed me that unless it is being used for business purposes I did not have to apply for a special license. However, they did say I should complete the exemption form as my drone does weigh over 2.5 kg with a camera and gimbal installed. For anyone intending on using their drone for business purposes, they should apply for a SFOC since it is no longer being used for recreational flight.

For those who need to apply for a SFOC, Transport Canada provide Staff Instruction guidelines for how to review and process SFOC applications. It can take up to 21 days to receive a response from Transport Canada, so they recommend an application should be submitted in advance to ensure the certificate is approved prior to the requested date.

Personally, as a recreational pilot, I found the changes were not so restrictive that I would be forced to sell my drone, or put it on permanent display in my workshop, contrary to what some hobbiests were saying. And, since drones are becoming increasingly popular and more affordable, I believe the updated rules reflect a growing industry. Similar to the automobile and personal aircraft when their presence increased, regulations involving unmanned aircraft will be evolving as well.

Upon acquiring a used inflatable trampoline from a local business on Wollaston Lake, we were quick to find that there were indeed some reasons why they were willing to replace it. One of the reasons was that it didn’t come with an adapter to inflate, or deflate, the water blimp.

The task was simple, however, it took me two years of frustration to realize that we already had the resources to make something that would resolve the issue.

After gathering the measurements I quickly drafted a simple design that would fit over the existing hose for our shop vac, and, as usual, the first version is always a test to make sure the measurements are good. With the results only needing a few minor adjustments I printed the second version.

Needless to say, we can now inflate the trampoline in less than 4 minutes, whereas it would take close to 10 minutes with our previous method.

As a bonus the adapter fits well on both our shop vac and portable shop vac.