Aladdin Renaissance Technology

“Don’t have a revolution, have a renaissance.”  paul smyres  

stuff happens, be ready
tools for recreation and renewal


 New Age Aircraft

Small Street / Trail bikes = cheap reliable transportation

stuff happens, be ready

Honda made a huge number of very reliable small motorbikes and scooters since the 1960’s.

These days getting around can be expensive, and many of our trips are to someplace nearby…   an appointment, pick up the mail, do a little shopping, etc.   If you get yourself a nice, single cylinder on / off road bike, it will save you a lot of money, and you’ll also have a lot of fun.   Once you own one, you’ll never be without at least some transportation.   They are cheap to maintain and insure, too.

Check out these bike models from Honda.   Passport C70, Cub, CT70, CT90, CT110, CT 125, CL series, the ST90, XL80, XL100, and many others.   They last a long time if reasonably cared for.  I own one from 1980 that has barely 1000 miles on it.   runs and looks great.

Look for them on Ebay and Craigs List.   States vary with licensing laws, so do a little research.   To go on the road you need headlights, mirror, and at usually signal lights.

In many countries scooters and small motorcycles are far more common than cars.  They make total economic sense.  You’d be shocked to see what some people carry on them, or how many people.

Suzuki, Kawasaki, and Yamaha also have made great small motorcycles and scooters.   I recommend the earlier ones from 1960’s through 80’s.   you can often find one in great condition, stored in a garage or barn.   they can last for literally decades, so you can pass them down through the family.

Electric / gas scooters and motorbikes

put a trailer on a bike

Let’s face it, many times you are better off taking a small vehicle on errands.      

How about electric motorcycles ?  or small gas powered bikes ?

Best Stuff for pilots, 1 of a series, video


Best Pilot Guide

     Pilot resource site

Hi Everyone,

Pilots need really good stuff that works like it should.    I’m reviewing a bunch of products at one time and putting them into 10 minute videos.


“Aladdin Survival Kits” ( tm )

WATCH A VIDEO… light knife fire

Ingenious selection of tools, supplies, and resources in ready-to-go packs. Basic, medium, and large. Watch the videos….

You’ll be amazed at what you can do with the stuff packed into our bags. See our YouTube section

Light, knife, fire   the basics for survival, video

Be Prepared

Compasses – they’re really important.

Sextants were once incredibly important. They enabled sailors to explore the world for centuries. Now they are rarely used.

Navigation article

Do you know how to navigate ? Click on article link above..

Compasses are a pilot’s best friend because they don’t use any electronics, for one thing.      If you do much hiking, boating, flying, driving, or biking, it’s a good idea to have a quality compass in your gear.

Get a GOOD compass. click to shop

 Compasses come in a wide variety, depending on the use.  

 See our reviews and discussion about navigation on YouTube.    Above is a good selection of samples, and below is some information about each of them.

A.  Airguide liquid fill auto or boat compass.   These may be affected by metals in the vehicle, so will show some deviation, especially while in motion.

B.   Airguide, large, for a boat.    The bigger the better, more accurate, doesn’t spin as much.   Liquid filled.    Great paperweight, but also useful.

C.   This is a fascinating hand bearing compass, with a radio receiver for what’s known as Non-Directional-Beacons, or ADF, long used by pilots but fading out now because of GPS.  many of these beacons are near shore, so boats can get a bearing on a beacon, move, get another bearing, and determine speed and direction.   It works, uses a small headphone, earbuds.     I would take it in a plane or boat.

Lensatic, vintage marching

D.  Lensatic sighting compass.    Many styles have been made, better ones are liquid filled and have pointers that glow in dark with a bit of flashlight for a few seconds.   You sight along a wire, line up a slot, look down and take a reading.   Great for hiking, rescue work, and going out into the boonies.

E.  A military sighting compass, unique design, declination adjustable, measured in degrees.   Kind of a marching compass.  very durable, this one’s at least 50 years old.

Brunton Eclipse, Vintage artillery/surveying,   clone, surveying

F.   Brunton Eclipse.  the prize of Brunton orienteering and sighting type compass.  very light, durable, has an inclinometer feature, nice instruction pack that’s attached.  Declination adjustable.   Long lasting.  increments of 1 degree.

G.  German artillery and surveying compass, measures in mills.  declination adjustable, tripod mount with level for doing angle and distance readings, calculations.    Aluminum     This will last another few decades I’m sure.

H.   Chinese clone of a very good surveying compass by Brunton and a military version, the M-2.   It’s not as good quality as the genuine, but the needle is accurate and fast to settle.  It works fine.   If you know what you’re doing, you could do some serious work with one of these or the M-2, like build a bridge or road.   This and a telescopic transit, and some measuring rods.   The Brunton surveying compass is very costly, but you can find them used sometimes for great prices.

walking compass, hand bearing for kayak

I.   Old walking compass.   back in the day….. really, people actually carried a compass, because if you didn’t, you could wander off somewhere, like the countryside of England.   This one is sealed, water bathed needle, very durable, probably at least 40 years old.

J.  Marine hand bearing compass.   You hold it up to your eye, and read off the bearing to  the point in the background.    very sturdy, for boats and canoes mainly.

Silva sightmaster, Brunton racing, simple baseplate

K.   Silva’s jewel, the  Sight Master surveying compass and inclinometer.   fine construction, site in one end to read precise degree increments, and inbetween.   Other end you sight for angle tilt.   Easy to read, for the pros.

L.  Brunton racing compass, also a good baseplate for orienteering.    very easy to read quickly.   declination adjustable, liquid filled.  has several scales with detail triangles for precisely locating oneself on a map, such as a marine offshore chart or in a forest in difficult terrain.   Take a few sightings, triangulate, place the bearings on the map, and use the small scales to precisely locate.

M.  another simple baseplate compass.  ANY compass is better than none.   but get one that is easy to read, liquid filled, declination adjustable, durable.


The Brunton brand is well known and they make good stuff.

If you buy a compass, get one that’s well made and keep it away from magnets, and electromagnets, and electric motors.

Also good..

Suunto, Silva, military compasses, and those used by surveyors.   There are many good  digital compasses including those on watches, but beware… what if the batteries go out ?

Watch video, review of types of compasses.



Best Pilot Guide…  tips, info for pilots

Aviation… join the conversation

Mini Cooper – great ride !

If you’re in the market for a car, take a good look at the  Mini Cooper.  It’s got really cool style and attractive colors.  It’s extremely economical and has a high resale value.   It’s sporty, just plain fun to drive.   The suspension and motor are from BMW, it’s quality through and through.

It handles like a dream because of the low center of gravity and wide stance.  You can get all kinds of options for it and loads of neat accessories, so you can customize it to the Nth degree.

Sure, it’s small, but that’s an advantage when it comes to parking and gas mileage.   It makes a great car for a young person, and when you’re older, get one as your spare “fun car”.    Wherever you drive, you’ll get noticed.

It has a great sound system, too.   It’s safety system includes multiple airbags, anti-lock 4 wheel disc brakes, and great road tracking ability.    The console looks like the cockpit of an airplane.