Thursday, December 24, 2015

Heading Back to South Korea over Winter Break.

I am writing this post while heading to Newark Airport in New Jersey on Amtrack train.

My plan was perfect, first of all. I planned to leave from Blacksburg on Dec 22 to Washington DC. I could take a flight from local Roanoke airport, but normally and always, that way of starting the trip is expensive. Also, I eventually need to transfer at a certain airport anyway. If I have enough time and courage to spend at an exotic area to have some adventures to save a lot of money, then I would do it.

I arrived Washington DC on Dec 22 at night and stayed at Downtown Washington Hostel, which was pretty good and inexpensive. The next day, my flight from DC to Newark was planned to leave at 9:45 pm, but its has been cancelled. I tried to get a new ticket for that, but all the tickets were sold out. Due to the severe weather at DC, the flight was cancelled. I could not stop though since I had a flight from Newark to Narita, Japan at 10 am on Dec 24. An United Airlines employee made a reservation for an Amtrack train ticket to Newark, which departs at 3:15 am. And that train is where I am currently on right now.

This train trip is actually very delightful. Very comfortable and novel. I do not think I had an opportunity to have such a luxury train trip before. For me, to be optimistic, this trip is maybe actually better than taking a flight from DC to Newark. The train is tremendously shaking, but I can still type.

Yes, I am going to get off at Newark International Airport and get on a plane to South Korea. I am expecting to arrive the airport by at least 6 am. I should be enough time to check in and use accommodations and etc.

The moments of waiting at the Union Station was just horrible. I had to sit there and somehow wait from 1pm to the next day of 3:15 am. I tried to read my new purchased book, did some internet surfings, but none of these were really productive. Just waste of time and energy!

I have not seen my family since August 2014. I have no problems with the fact that we are apart for such long time, but for my parents, they could not withstand it. Especially my father really wants to see me. I do want to see my family again. I would normally go back to home every Summer but could not for this year due to my studying. I was once afraid what if my father will not allow me to study over summer. Because he wanted to see me so badly. He did allow me without any hesitations, though.

Unfortunately, I will not be able to spend Christmas here in the U.S. That is because, I will be on an airplane up in the sky 20,000 feet altitude. Even more, when I arrive South Korea, it will be 9:30 pm on Dec 25. Thus, there is really not so much time for me to celebrate Christmas.

However, I do not need any fancy or special presents for my Christmas. I will have my family again. That is all I want for my Christmas. I am also really hoping to play the piano for my father, mother, and brother. It is something that I have been working on for a long time.

Everyone, have a wonderful Christmas and Happy New Year.
Merry Christmas. Have healthy and safe Christmas to all. Godspeeds you.

Friday, December 18, 2015

Printed a Muzzle for my MP40 Airsoft Gun

My AGM MP40 Airsoft gun has no muzzle. This fact really downgrades the quality of my gun. I always wanted to do something about this problem and finally it happened.

I acquired dimensions from my gun and made a model based on the real MP40 muzzle. The reason for me decided to make a muzzle is to give MP40 a muzzle back but also to make a colour part.

When I first bought this gun from an eBay user, he told me that he removed the muzzle because of its colour part. He was a reenactor and that colour part was bothering him a lot.

If it was something else, I would not buy the gun, but the colour part is something I can make very easily. I made a model like always, of course, and rendered and exported as a stl file. I sent this file to a 3D printer owner and asked to print like I said so.

This was the first model I gave to him. Unfortunately, his 3D printer was not so accurate enough. The 3D printer owner sent me an email describing what the problem is.
It looks a little better with the 0.25 mm nozzle. The biggest problem is actually going to be that one central groove, rather than the small ribs, as that makes me need to use some support material (black).

So I suggested to change the model a bit. I removed the central groove.
This was a bit of big loss for me since what made MP40's muzzle special was that central groove. However, I had to understand that primary reason for getting this muzzle is to have a colour part for this airsoft gun.

Then, I sent the new 3D model to the owner.

When the part finally arrived, I had to do some sandpaper works and other dimension checking. I gave enough tolerance for these muzzles, but it seemed like that 25mm nozzle was not necessarily accurate enough even with the tolerances I suggested.

Since I had no sandpapers at my home, I had to use a dial caliper's needles to somewhat cut through the inside surface of the muzzles.

I have two muzzles: one black and one orange.
I will put orange muzzle (colour part) all the time when I bring this gun outside. The black muzzle is to make the gun real and to satisfy me while I hang this gun on a wall.

Muzzles are not the best qualities I can make, but do their jobs.

Monday, December 7, 2015

Practicing the Piano a Lot

I did learn how to play the piano when I was about 11 years old I think. At that age, I was really not fascinated by the piano. My parents would force me to go to a piano academy. At least, I learned how to read music sheets; I was not good at moving fingers fast enough to perform a song that can really impress my parents. I told my parents that I did not want to continue on about half a year after I started the academy. They did not refuse it and pulled me out from the academy.

I did not regret such decision. After all, it was MY decision.

Now I am in college. A lot of opportunities I can have. What can be a good hobby that can improve my character and image? What is a hobby that I always aspired?! I had a couple of answers to these questions. Playing the piano was one of them.

It is not that I suddenly wanted to play the piano when I entered the college. I somehow started to show interest on the pianos since my middle school. I listened to a lot of pop music played with the piano. Backstreet Boys was one of them. No, Backstreet Boys was always there in my middle school time.

A song, I still remember, 'Incomplete' really made me to play the piano again. I printed music sheets first and started to study them. Wait, but this attempt soon failed because I forgot the most important thing--I did not have the piano. The piano is a very expensive musical instrument. Takes a lot of space, needs tricky maintenance, and etc. I gave up playing the piano then. Completely. Because there was no way that I can get the piano to practice.

After an unexpected journey to the U.S. and decision to enter college, now I have a full access to the university including the Music Department!

You see that the time I enjoyed Backstreet Boys was a few years ago. Meanwhile, I quickly changed my interest in a more classic and quieter way: Yanni. Actually, this was an influence from my father. He would listen to Yanni sometimes on TV. Yanni live at Acropolis was the best one I remember. I thought rather than practicing a song that only I know but practicing a song that my father would know as well as I enjoy would be a great idea.

So here I am. Last nearly 5 months, I practiced Yanni's songs only.
The following is the songs I practiced and completely memorized. Yet, may need some more practices since my fingers just would not move quickly.
- Until the Last Moment
- One Man's Dream
- So Long My Friend

Rain Must Fall is still in progress! If I master this song successfully, it will replace Until the Last Moment as my priority piece. My ultimate plan is to play all songs I practiced in front of my father, whom he will understand and appreciate my play.

Friday, December 4, 2015

Getting Ready for Christmas!

Christmas is coming.
I will be traveling back to home to see my family.
Last time I went back was last year's Summer.
They are very much excited as I am.
From New Hampshire, on the day of Thanksgiving, Nov 26th.

Bought Sword Art Online Progressive 1-3 books

I thought it would be interesting to read these Japanese books in English. The main purpose of buying these books was to give my friend back in South Korea. Yes, there are books translated into Korean, but it is always interesting to get the same books with same contents but in a different language.

I do like this series by the way. While I have these in my hand, I may read them a bit. Last time I read these books was probably about 5-6 years ago. I would normally read Korean translated books, but at this point of situation, it leaves me no choice but to read these English translated books if I want to read them. Because there is just no way for me to get a Korean translated one!

Good quality. But, some of the words are Japanese proper nouns. The books do not necessarily explain them. Even Korean translated version sometimes struggle to translate those nouns into Korean. Then, how about in the case of English? Korea has closer relation and similarity in culture and language a bit at least; I do not know about the English though.

I already encountered some of the proper nouns that I do not understand! I would simply search on Google, but that is a painful way of reading these books. However, I see no other ways for now.

Good book. Hard to read just because of proper nouns of Japanese.

Wednesday, November 11, 2015

Sold My Double Eagle M56A

Since I have my Maschinenpistolen 40, I do not need this double eagle M56A.
It is a great shotgun, but after I went to an airsoft game with my AEG, this gun does not satisfy me anymore. I already sold everything on ebay for $40.

I do think I sold too cheap. Well, I wanted to get rid of this anyway.
Good bye and thank you.

Friday, November 6, 2015

Cleaning Smith Corona Galaxie Twelve Typewriter

The first thing I noticed when I received this typewriter is that the inside was quite dirty. It was more like, there were a lot of dust and some other sand kind of particles inside. Just like computer keyboards have dust and other dirty things under the keys.

This typewriter was worse than those keyboards though since it has been used since 1960s.
I did not know if I want to disassemble or not since making even a small mistake can ruin the entire thing. It would take forever or even impossible to assemble everything back together if I make even a single mistake!

I was really hoping to break into every single part to clean them, but I decided to clean just basic parts by removing covering boards and plates. Which was still not easy.

I know, however, how to do basic disassembly now.
Hey, trust me. I am an engineer.

Here are the guidelines for you to remove the top spool cover, bottom plate, side plate, and keyboard cover.
- Remove bottom plate by removing top two bolts.
- Open the top spool cover and look in front of it. There are two bolts total, connecting top cover leg each side. Remove those bolts to remove the top cover. To remove the cover, push from both sides just like squeezing it and lift it.
- Unscrew two bolts each side of the typewriter to remove the black retractable top plate holder.
- Look inside and sides of the keyboard. There is a bolt on each side. Unscrew them to remove the keyboard cover.
- Unscrew four bolts of bottom plate and lift the entire device off the bottom plate.

I used Zippo liquid fluid to remove all gums and stains.
Why use Zippo? If you are a person who did or does plastic model making (aka, plamodel), we do understand that the best way to remove stains, enamel paints, and glues is to use a paint thinner. Now, what makes it great is that a thinner can dissolve and somewhat "melt" the gums very affectively. Also, it evaporates very quickly too! Everything gets cleaned very nice and easily...

Okay, so this is how it looks like when you are pretty done.
Just lift the device off from the bottom plate.

Tuesday, November 3, 2015

Smith Corona Galaxie Twelve Typewriter

Today, I bought this nice working Smith Corona Galaxie Twelve from a typewriter collector named Mark. He was a very nice and kind person who, for sure, had a strong passion toward typewriters.

We enjoyed lunch very much and had a discussion about the typewriter for about two hours.

I did some basic cleaning, but I cannot touch so much since I don't know a lot of the typewriters.
I will get used to it and just love the design and everything.

The machine is very durable, I think I can use this for quite a long time. The feeling when I use this is so much different than using a computer keyboard.

I am planning to do all of my writing assignments using this.

Monday, October 12, 2015

Started doing airsoft again.

I quit doing airsoft back in South Korea for the following several reasons:
          1. There are a lot of restrictions on airsoft. Government actually regulates all the guns and do not allow the guns to shoot up to certain FPS. This is because there was an accident which a young kid shot his one of eyes and lost his visual while playing with an airsoft gun without goggles.
          2. Airsoft play fields are limited. There are not so many fields available in South Korea. Even if an airsoft team finds a place, local residents may report to police due to replicate firearms.
          3. Guns are expensive. I figured that same model, same manufacturer guns sold in South Korea are at least 2/3 more expensive than those sold in the U.S. I do not understand why. Generally more upgrade parts are available in the U.S.
          4. Appropriately managed organization in the U.S. Most of airsoft organizations in South Korea are pretty... poor. I figured that airsoft players here in the U.S. are generally more honest, amiable and courteous.

Right now, I have DE tri-shot shotgun and AGM MP40.
MP40 is something that I always wanted to have! I had to upgrade the interior parts of the metal gearbox. It is more reliable and, for the most, it is classic and unique.

I already had flecktarn camouflage pants. I wore these since I very first started an airsoft.
I bought a new flecktarn shirts since I did not have one. Now, they do not go along very well since the pants are so old, the colours are faded a bit. However, I love flecktarn better. Thinking of most of people wearing multicam because they are in ROTC, flecktarn is unique too.

By the way, I bought new goggles for the airsoft, but my glasses constantly get foggy. I just cannot solve this problem. I do not want to spent money on contacts just because of airsoft.

Tuesday, September 22, 2015

Here is my thought about Police.

All police officers are nice. But not everyone is nice. We all agree upon this since there are a lot of videos of police officers punching, arresting people unlawfully--negativities of police. Police is a group consists of several, no thousands of officers. Sometimes we see a few videos of police officers doing virtues. Because that is what they are supposed to do. But like I said, we do not always expect and see virtues only from officers. Because we the human are all different. Sometimes they need to commit vice to maintain justice. And I agree that not all justice are 'equally treated' and fair, and I do not justify or defend police officers doing beyond what they are supposed to do. That is because like I said, police consists of various many people.

Also, this is very very important I think.

People DO think they are cool or better looking by resisting the authorities. And the start of the resistance is against the police. People tend to feel like they are brave and politically, socially justified by standing against the police because they just feel like they are some kind of heroes of the generation. They tend to feel as if they finally achieved or achieving their freedom by fighting against the police. I know that if that 'resistance' is legal, then police won't do anything. Just like a protest that does not cross a police line.


The police is a giant disciplined strong authority over people. Compared to them, we (unless you do not agree with me) are a bit less organized. We always want to fight off the officers and tend to think that we are in an infamous suppression of life under the authorities of police.

Why cause a trouble with them? All the people taking videos say that police officers are unlawfully arresting or hitting them. But, don't you think there is a 'reason' for doing such thing? I believe and in truth, police officers are well-trained to handle situations. They went through their own special training sessions and educations to be always prepared for certain cases. They do not just approach random people and start interrogating them.

They do not just come to you and start punching because they don't like you. There is always a reason for whomever the person getting arrested or bitten up by the police. They do not come to me and suddenly arrest me or something because I am an Asian. If they did, it is probably because I did something suspicious or did something wrong.

Let us not live in a society where we dislike the people protecting us. Treat police officers nicely. I know that they are sometimes cold and hard people to deal with. They often times ignore me or just peek on me when I say hello to them. But just say hello whenever you meet them. Show them that not everyone does not like police officers.

We need them; they need us.

Sunday, August 30, 2015

No more Interstellar TART Projects will be posted.

Because I became Sophomore, I no longer have permission to access my Freshman Lab, which was only accessible for Freshmen.

Too bad, but there is nothing I can do. Some might ask 'wouldn't there be another lab for Sophomores?' That is a splendid question! I do not know yet.

I really do need a laser cutter for my project. Seeing that small, crappy, cheap underground Freshmen lab had a laser cutter and three 3D Printers, I am sure that there is an even better lab present.

I will look for it, but for now, there is absolutely no way for me to build something. I already have all of my 3D model parts. Thankfully, I managed to print them before my Freshmen year.

Peace off!

Thursday, August 27, 2015

The International Situation in North East Asia and the Unification of the Two Koreas

I am sure a lot of people were worried about the situation happened a few days ago between South Korea and North Korea. After South Korea established a new strong conservative President, Park Geun-hye, it was the very first time ever South Korea showed very aggressive reactions toward North Korea. However, like people and media expected, the tension was limited to only the war of words. CNN predicted such result based on the previous reactions by South Korea. In this article, I wanted to explain and predict the future events. This article will examine the aspects of North Korea's land-mine provocation and the situation in North East Asia related to this recent event and predict the possible future.

The relation between South Korea and North Korea is not simply in a situation of division, but it can be also seen as the field of conflicts between S.Korea-Japan-U.S. triple alliance and post-communist N.Korea-China-Russia. Then, how and why North Korea's recent land-mine provocation happened, and what are the backgrounds to all rapidly changing global situations in North East Asia? To find this out, understanding the circumstances in Korea and the neighboring nations are important.

South Korean President, Park, mentioned the unified Korea since January 2014. Considering the time period since her inauguration, it tells that President Park had planned and designed the unification of Korea since the beginning of her presidency. Starting from the remarks of the chief of the National Intelligence Service in late 2013, the new government revealed its plan slowly.

Seeing that the government had prepared for a long time for the unification, minor war or total war was fully expected. However, currently South Korean government does not want any war. In another word, there wouldn't be a unification by force. In addition to it, the U.S. State Department spokesman John Kirby welcomed the agreement announced by the two Koreas on CNN. This means that the U.S. also do not want any war between the Koreas.

President Park's fundamental keynotes for the unification is 'firm plans, decisive counterattacks on provocations, and cooperations on talks.' This is also why the recent tension resolved without any major military conflicts. Then, people may wonder, how will President Park unify the two Koreas? Let's go over one by one.

1. Kim Jung-un's System and Major Purges

Kim Jung-un's system suddenly started after the death of his father, Kim Jung-il. Because of his sudden death, the hereditary succession of Kim Jung-un ended up incomplete. A lot of experts in the area of political sciences and diplomacies predicted that the new system would be very unstable. As they expected, Kim started to purge people in large scale in order to harden the foundation of his unstable political powers. There, he started a 'La Terreur'.

When Kim Jung-il came to power, he purged about ten executives of the North Korean communist party for the first four years. Compared to this, Kim Jung-un purged about seventy executives, which is about seven times more than his father did. Among those purged people, Lee Young-ho and Byen In-seon were the core executives of North Korea. All these purged people were the hearts of running the North Korean communist party, and Kim strengthened the foundations of his system and rose as the supreme leader of North Korea.

Another matter to come in consideration is that these people purged were 'pro-Chinese' in North Korea. All of the previous leaders of North Korea kept a very close and strong relations with China, but Kim purged all of these 'major pro-Chinese personnel.' To understand this more, even more complicated internal Chinese political situation is related.

2. Relations between North Korea and Neighboring Nations

First of all, the current relation between North Korea and China is possibly the worst ever. After Kim arose as a new power, China quickly changed their thoughts toward North Korea. Let us see why.

The three people, Xi Jinping, Hu Jintao, and Jiang Zemin, were and still in power in China. Through the dictatorship in North Korea, to maintain a fine relation with China, North Korea placed several of pro-Chinese executives in their communist party. The purged pro-Chinese executives were among them. Lee Young-ho was pro-Hu Jintao; Byen In-seon was pro-Jiang Zemin; Jang Seong-taek was pro-Xi Jinping. Eventually, all of them and others were purged, resulting the crash down of the relations between China and North Korea.

First of all, on July of 2012, Lee Young-ho was purged. Lee was a person chosen by Kim Jung-il to support and to act as a guardian of Kim Jung-un if he comes to power. Lee had a lot of closeness with Chinese high-level personnel too. However, Lee was expected to be an obstacle for Kim as his guardian and will not obey his orders. Eventually, Lee was purged, and the connection between Hu Jintao and North Korea was lost. China expressed concern on this.

Second, on December of 2013, Jang Seong-taek was purged. China showed even more concerns and started to worry about losing their influences over North Korea. In truth, China needs North Korea to keep Western Forces off their border lines. Thus, although the behaviors of North Korea were unfavorable, it was beneficial for China to keep North Korea alive. Chinese government poured major efforts to keep pro-Chinese in North Korean government. So far, the closest and the most favorable person for China in North Korea was Jang Seong-taek. Xi Jinping had a picture of developing and improving the situation of North Korea under the help of Jang, but all the plans became useless after he was purged. Moreover, Jang was a great effort made by China to keep pro-Chinese in the core of North Korea for a long time.

Third, on January of 2015, Byen In-seon was purged. Byen was a conventional military power executive who had numerous influences from Jiang Zemin since Kim Jung-il's system. He was purged because he refused the Kim's order, which was to cut all military hotlines with China and mainly focus on the military relations with Russia. Byen told Kim that as long as South Korea is allied with the U.S., the military helps from China is desperate. After the purge of Byen, North Korea slowly started to buy crude oils from Russia instead of China.

All of these prove that the relations between North Korea and China are as low as possible. Russia maybe the answer for North Korea, but Russia is also in trouble and busy to deal with decreasing WTI and the economic sanctions by the U.S. It can be said that North Korea is in a total diplomatic isolation.

3. Xi Jinping, Park Geun-hye, and the land-mine provocation.

After the inauguration of Xi Jinping in 2014, he visited South Korea first instead of North Korea. Also, he met President Park about six times at several international affairs and summit conferences. Thinking that President Park met President Obama only twice meanwhile, it is very clear that President Park is showing a pro-Chinese attitudes. Then, has Xi Jinping ever visited North Korea? He never did so far, which is a totally opposite of what all previous Chinese leaders have done.

Even more, China sent the invitation to their Victory Day parade to South Korea first in March and then sent one to Kim in April. Whether or not because North Korea had a bad relation with China, North Korean official announced that Kim will not attend the Victory Day parade. On August 20th, President Park accepted the invitation and announced that she will attend the 70th anniversary WWII Victory Day parade that will take place on September 3rd in China.

The U.S. State Department announced that the U.S. respects and understands such decision. The U.S. has made several positive opinions on President Park attending the Victory Day parade. Is this a way to show displeased feeling to South Korea? Personally, I do not think so. The U.S. has announced such statements probably to show that the relation between the U.S. and South Korea is still firm and strong even though it seems like South Korea and China are closer.

The U.S. and South Korea alliance is very, no, extremely important. I personally think the alliance between the U.S. and South Korea is more important and crucial. As blood allies, if the U.S. really was concerned about President Park visiting South Korea, the U.S. must have, at least, officially showed concerns. Then, why would the U.S. let South Korea act favorable to China? I am sure that the U.S. and South Korea already came into an agreement far beforehand.

Diplomacy is fundamentally 'give and take.' The U.S. will have a better opportunity to hold against China if the two Koreas are unified by the lead of South Korea. This will also solve the most bothering North Korea's nuclear problem. For China, South Korea is an essential nation to stand against the U.S.; South Korea is possibly the only Western side's nation that China can stay close.

At the parade, Xi Jinping, Park Geun-hye, and Vladimir Putin will be seating all together at a same platform, at a same line. As a military parade, all personnel at the parade will salute to the summits at the parade, and President Park will be one of the people getting the salutes. This will be recorded and broadcasted all over the world. What does that mean?

It potentially represents that China is no longer going to point their guns toward South Korea. In addition, it is an announcement to the world the end of the relation between China and North Korea.

This will be absolutely threatening for pro-Chinese in North Korea. North Korea had to do something to stop President Park from attending the parade. In the end, they provoked by planting landmines and firing artilleries. North Korea thought making South Korea dangerous and chaotic will disrupt the order of South Korea, and eventually making President Park unable to attend the parade. North Korea threatened South Korea by revealing their military on purpose, such as disappearing 50 of submarines, moving numerous artilleries and rockets, and dispatching several warships. In the response to the provocation, South Korea and the U.S. military prepared for any further attacks.

China, soon after, noticed North Korea's such tactic, and Chinese media (環球時報) on August 24th published saying, "there will be no tolerances if anyone tries to interfere the Victory Day parade." This can be interpreted as a direct warning to North Korea. And in the early morning of the following day, August 25th, both two Koreas agreed on agreements to stop the tensions.

4. The Future?

For sure, as long as China and North Korea do not come in interest agreement, China and South Korea may become closer and closer as 'strategic supporters' while North Korea will be isolated from the world even more. There are not so many solutions or alternatives Kim can use to maintain his system. Without China, it is a matter of time for North Korea to come to a downfall. Also, always remember that the need for a stronger relation between South Korea and the U.S. will grow even more as the time for the unification of the two Koreas is getting closer.

The peak of the current complicated and rapid changing international situation will be made on September 3rd after the Victory Day parade in China. Because there will be several unofficial negotiations under the table. No one knows what will happen in the future.

Whatever the end will come to Korean peninsula, the fact that one day North Korea will come to the end is unavoidable.

Friday, July 3, 2015

Paper Model Panzerfaust 30

My summer session will start next week. Before that, I wanted to do something that I really enjoy.
Something that is related to WW2, involving model building. But, remember that I am a poor university student who needs to save money desperately.

Plastic models always cost money and time. Moreover, I need proper equipment to build a fine plastic model. Well, I did not want to buy any of those tools for this just one-time model building. What I found on online was that paper models do not cost too much money, and those do not need any professional tools.

I went to Wal-mart to get durable and thick printing papers. A lot of people already in this area of the paper model recommended getting any paper that is near 100 grams per square meter. Higher the number, the paper gets heavier and thicker. When I went to the Wal-mart, I found several papers from 75 (normal papers we use) to 200 gpm. I chose 200 gpm because when I touched the papers, it was not really too durable that I cannot fold or anything. Instructions on online warned that if I get too high gpm papers, it will be challenging to fold or roll papers. It seemed like this paper I got will not have any such problem.

Not only following the instruction from the paper model, I also looked at other people's work.
This person made a really fine Panzerfaust 30

I decided to put a toilet tissue roll into the main body. However, I still needed something that can hold the body very strong, or at least keep the shape of the body consistent. To do so, I needed something that can fill in the body and then solidify.

So, I went to a hardware store to get a 'Foam Spray.'

This is normally for sealing any leaking holes or something by 'expanding!!!'
Employees at the hardware store said that it won't work at all. They continued to recommend me to get something like PVC pipe and simply cover it with this paper model. Well, I did not want to. I knew that this will work, and I was believing that!

As soon as I came back to home, I sprayed into failed body part of Panzerfaust 30.
This was a failure because I was trying to make this with 75 gpm papers. It could not keep its shape at all. However, when I sprayed inside of the body and sat it for about half an hour, I found that the result is amusing.

As the foam expanded, it filled inside of the body really good and brought its shape back!
Also, the durability of the foam was not so bad. I could still feel a bit of cushion when I squeeze the body. However, this was the perfect method of reinforcing the paper model.

I sprayed inside of a successfully completed main part and let it sat.
Meanwhile, I started to build a warhead and trigger set.

When I came back to check the main part, the result was like this.
You really cannot tell how much foam spray is needed to feel in the part.
Simply cut the excessive foams.

And then just assemble everything together.
Because I did not want the printing on the paper gets wet and mess up, I spray painted the Panzerfaust 30 with a clear acrylic sealer. This will create a very thin layer of acrylic on all surfaces. I can even bring this to outside when it is raining!

Monday, June 15, 2015

Spending Time in Kansas City

Oh oi!

I am spending time in Kansas City right now. Thus, I am not posting anything related to upcoming projects or events. I am having great times here in KC though. I went on two bike ridings so far, went to swimming pools, met several my high school friends and even more! I arrived here at 3 June and planning to leave at 24 June.

When I arrived at MCI, it was raining so heavily, the baggage claim system at the airport Southwest section was temporarily closed. I was surprised to hear that Kansas City had only about three days without rains.

Anyway, I thought spending a month only at the university town is going to be very boring. Why not visit KC again? Because last time I was in KC was last year!

So here I am. I had arrived about two weeks ago, but I could not get any chance to post something on my blog. Because my Surface Pro 3's keyboard is broken after my water bottle in my backpack soaked inside of my backpack. My backpack is waterproof, USMC approved one with high quality and  durability. Anyway, in the airplane, the water bottle started to leak some water out due to the change of the air pressure in the sky (you know, physics). I always prepare for any unexpected circumstances, so I wrapped my Surface Pro 3 with a plastic bag but did not for my keyboard.

Of course, the keyboard does not work. All the circuits are burned out. It was cheap product anyway, but I can barely type something if I want to. I am using host family's computer to type. It does not support Korean; not the best computer for me to surf the internet especially when I am visiting Korean sites.

Also, I am learning how to drive here. Since now I have a learner's permit, I thought why not practice a bit while I am here with experts who drove a car for several decades. I need a signature from a driver license owner anyway in order to take a driver's license examination anyway.

I came here in KC with a few objectives too, as you can see. I visited a cemetery to pray for a person whom I really respected and liked a lot.

I am very glad to be here. I am also working on cleaning a garden here with somewhat, high pay? But I do not know if I want to get paid. Because a person hired me is my host father. He offered some high pay, but I just feel like it is not a right thing. I do not know.

Also, while I am here, I decided to restart my airsoft hobby. I figured that all the equipment and guns are more inexpensive than those are sold in South Korea. I do not think I will have any problem with this. I wanted to have some kind of interests while I am spending time here anyway.

I am also playing piano a lot. Because my host family has a working gorgeous piano. I am practicing Yanni's Santorini. My father would be a rapture if I show him me playing the song--he loves the song very much.

That's the update for now.
I am going to continue talking about my projects once I go back.

The lab is still open!

Friday, May 29, 2015

Homebrew Morse Code Paddle Key

I wanted to make this all the time. However, I really did not get any inspiration to build this one. Because none of my computers has any sound cards. I am sure they have some kind of sound card, but it is probably not good enough for radio operation.

After the vintage radio exhibition, I decided to make a paddle key by myself. Becuase normally all the paddle keys are quite expensive on the internet. I did not want to spend that much money to buy a paddle key while I can build one by myself.

I designed the case through Autodesk Inventor in about 45 minutes. I considered where the keys, electric lines, and hinges will go too.

This is the case I made. Since there were a few holes in the model,
it had to go into a some kind of chemical bath to melt supporting materials.

This is the final result I have.

The input is audio jack.

I could not test this yet. Because the HAM radio shack is closed for this week. Thus, I cannot test this yet. I tried to do it with my Surface Pro 3, but it seems not working. When I tested the unit with a multimeter, I confirmed that the electricities flow the lines and paddle key perfectly.

Wednesday, May 27, 2015

Vintage Radio Exhibition

Staying on campus is such an irritating thing to do. There are nothing to do but staying on campus, seeking for things to do. Generally, I will just sketch pictures, watch movies, or play games. However, the HAM club I am in held an antique radio exhibition.

To show my faces to a few members, since I am new, and to make myself do something, I decided to spend some time at the exhibition.

At first, I thought there would not be so many exhibitions to see. Since the location of the exhibition is far from the main big city and etcetera. I was wrong. The exhibition was perfect! It had so many different collections from different collectors and organizations. Some of them were restored by the owners, they were fully operational.

I had a good conversation with the HAM club members, and one of the collectors there about his collection. One of his collections was very interesting. He knew very detailed information regarding the radio and showed how to operate it. Some of the parts came off to enhance the transmitting and receiving the signals.

It was not a radio, but there was a the very first portable laptop on display. I do not know if it was a working model, but the keyboard still worked! The feeling when I pushed the keys was very different to the ones in modern days. It was like as if typing a typewriter.

This is a real SCR-536 hand-held radio transceiver used by the U.S. Army Signal Corps in WWII.
I did not know that I can actually hold this and touch around until one of the visitors took the transceiver and started to take pictures of it.

I also took a picture of it with me. Very vintage, rare, and interesting to know how technologies have developed. Thinking of seven decades ago, people used such a massive size of the transceiver, I appreciate how the technologies have advanced today. When I get older, will new generations say same things?

This was a section where people come and try out different types of Morse Code keys.
The one with the pendulum was the most interesting unit they had.
Morse Code is what made me become an HAM radio operator.

I knew what the vacuum tubes are, but this was my very first time to actually touch them.

I think I remember the collector saying that this unit was made in 1932.
All three big dials are to adjust and set the best frequency.
The green cylinders are capacitors. A speaker would go separately.

That circular unit kind of external speaker would go with the radio.
The collector looked for the manufacturer of the radio. However, he could not find any.
He assumes that by that time, 1930s, it was such a big hit for the radio industries,
too many new radio manufacturer companies were founded and soon few of them closed.

This is the radio I had a quality talks with the collector.
The oval shape on the top is a detachable antenna that can be attached to windows to
enhance transmitting or receiving radio  signals.

This particular model was used during the Korean War.
It is also portable that can be powered by batteries that would be stored in the bottom storage.
The maker of the radio is Zenith, and it has not been restored yet, but the collector said he will.

Oh yes. So this is the very first 'portable' laptop.
But still, it costs $4,225.00 in 1984, which today equals $9,793.49.
Also, this thing weighs 30 pounds. Do you call this portable?

I loved the keyboard by the way.

This radio & record player has been restored by a gentleman who is in military.
He explained how he restored this unit. This unit actually works by the way.

These vacuum tubes are the one I had a chance to hold and look around.
Imagine that several decades ago, these vacuum tubes were used to make a radio.

These two radios above are the ones that are used during WWII according to a collector.
These units would be installed in ships or aircrafts to receive AM and CW signals only.

It was very nice to visit this exhibition.
Also, I realized that I need to pay $20 for the club membership.