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Welcome to Stefan Vorkoetter’s web site! I’m a private pilot and model aviation hobbyist, slide rule, calculator, fountain pen, and watch collector, electronics hobbyist, Hammond organ enthusiast, and software developer living on a Fjord horse farm in Ontario, Canada. This page is a gateway to the ever growing collection of articles I like to write describing my projects and hobbies. If your interests coincide at all with mine, I’m sure you’ll find something useful here.
Many watches have a so-called “negative” liquid crystal display (LCD), where the background is dark and the digits are light. I’ve often read complaints about them being difficult to read in less than perfect lighting conditions, and I began to wonder why. I think I’ve figured it out.
In-depth tests, reviews, and discussion of batteries, chargers, computers, and gadgets I use.
DIY projects and advice for hobbyists, experimenters, musicians, and aviators.
Electric R/C Airplanes
Over 50 articles demystifying the design, construction, theory, and practice of electric R/C planes.
Aircraft, pilot gear, aerial photography, flight reports, and all things aviation!
Building a Volksplane
Follow my progress in words and pictures as I build an Evans single seat VW powered Volksplane.
Understanding, maintaining, and modifying the Hammond tone-wheel and vacuum tube organ.
Repair, programming, and use of HP programmable calculators from the 1970s to today.
My collection of slip-sticks and whiz-wheels, the calculating tool of choice for 350 years.
Pens and Watches
Vintage and modern fountain pens, inks, paper, and mechanical wrist watches.
Articles and papers on other topics that just don't fit neatly into any of the categories above.
The first time I saw the Omega Speedmaster X-33 analog-digital watch, I didn’t like it all that much. I had just started collecting Russian mechanical watches and was turning up my nose at quartz watches. But a few days later, I just had to have one.
Sadly, Omega discontinued the X-33 in 2006. Used examples are available, but at prices starting around $2000, well beyond what I’m willing to spend on a watch. So, as is my custom when something costs more than I’m willing to spend, I made my own.
The watch collecting bug first bit me in late 2012, when an elegant Russian Strela (Стрела) hand wound mechanical chronograph caught my eye. Until then, I hadn’t realized affordable mechanical watches (i.e. not Rolexes and Omegas) were still available. After acquiring a Strela, I became interested in other Russian watches, began a small collection, and picked up some watch repair skills along the way.
There are dozens, if not hundreds, of different chronograph watches based on the Poljot 3133 manual winding movement. One that caught my eye early on was the Soviet-era Sturmanskie (Штурманские), as it was intended as a pilot’s watch, and the colour scheme appealed to me.
I eventually found a used Sturmanskie that suited my budget, but long before that happened, I decided to make a wall clock based on the Sturmanskie design.
After getting hooked on Russian watches, I picked up a used Soviet-era Vostok "Generalskie" (Восток "Генеральские") with a paratrooper-themed dial. Since I prefer working with horses over jumping out of planes, I refitted the watch with a cavalry dial. To make the watch more suitable for working around horses (which often involves getting wet), I turned a one-piece nylon NATO strap into a traditional yet waterproof two-piece strap.
Disclaimer: Although every effort has been made to ensure accuracy and reliability, the information on this web page is presented without warranty of any kind, and Stefan Vorkoetter assumes no liability for direct or consequential damages caused by its use. It is up to you, the reader, to determine the suitability of, and assume responsibility for, the use of this information. Links to Amazon.com merchandise are provided in association with Amazon.com. Links to eBay searches are provided in association with the eBay partner network.
Copyright: All materials on this web site, including the text, images, and mark-up, are Copyright © 2013 by Stefan Vorkoetter unless otherwise noted. All rights reserved. Unauthorized duplication prohibited. You may link to this site or pages within it, but you may not link directly to images on this site, and you may not copy any material from this site to another web site or other publication without express written permission. You may make copies for your own personal use.