On being crazy and Elon Musk almost having a nervous breakdown

You feel like a failure. You know, a failure like Elon Musk. To quote the irresponsible risk taking and brilliant Mr Musk:

“The end of 2008 was really really terrible. I never thought of myself as somebody who could have a nervous breakdown…. I came pretty close honestly in 2008 the day before Christmas…. We just barely made it.”

Q: “So you did have those experiences?”
A: “We had multiple near death experiences. Like death on the nose. Not just in front of you.'”

Q “What’s it like when you go all in and you are about to lose?”
A: “It’s quite a terrible emotion actually.”


So maybe Elon is crazy. He risked his own failure and thousands of people’s jobs. But he isn’t a failure. He rebounded pretty well it turns out. Because he was willing to face death and total failure and keep fighting. To use his words “death on the tip of your nose” and then salvation one hour before Tesla would have gone bankrupt.

One hour. One single hour away from complete devastation.



“Be strong and courageous.
Do not be afraid; do not be discouraged”
– Joshua 1:9

quadracopter update – not that anyone asked

Quadracopter update — not that anyone asked — Prototyping new landing gear with clear legs for LED lights for night flight (red in front, blue in back) and 16 centimeters of clearance for a GoPro mount below the body. 4 centimeters to spare for hard landings and leg flex. Interchangeable with lighter gear for stunt flying when the camera isn’t attached.

In this photo the old landing gear is still attached and it is just sitting on the new gear. I haven’t built the new dampening mechanism yet. Was told by an engineer friend that my springs on the current video/camera front mount “were dampening for the wrong frequency” so while I will keep those for hard landings, I am shifting mass to the landing gear to lower the COG and and putting ALL of that on the other side of several sheets of rubber/foam between new aluminum plates to smooth out the video against the electric motor generated high frequency vibrations.

The main-plate vibration dampening  sandwich  is tentatively set to look like this:

============================== <-- 1/16 aluminum sheet
~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~ <-- rubber sheet
~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~ <-- rubber or foam sheet
------------------------------ <-- 1/32 aluminum sheet
possibly counter-opposing cut-outs in the aluminum sheets to save more weight.
      /\        /\    
     /  \      /  \   
     \  /      \  /
      \/        \/
  /\        /\       /\
 /  \      /  \     /  \
 \  /      \  /     \  /
  \/        \/       \/

Not necessarily that pattern. It was the best I could do with a <pre> tag and years since I did ASCII art (kids – ask your grandparents what that was.) But you get the idea.

Anyway, the first adhesive test failed having problems with sticking to the aluminum. Although a sage friend this morning suggested cleaning everything with rubbing alcohol before joining might fix it. If not it will be size 4 or 6 bolts with rubber washers holding it all together so there will still be no metal-to-metal contact for the vibrations to pass through. I just need to be sure the adhesive won’t come off if I do a roll with the camera attached. That would be bad.

Or to put it another way, the quad is not flying this week, but will be back with new capabilities by the end of the weekend. And then you won’t see the rotors in the video like this one

So if you see a camera and landing gear falling out of the sky with no vehicle attached, please return it? Thanks!