Friday, July 31, 2015

July 30th

No bicycle ride for me today - I have a slow puncture in the front tyre, despite it having one of the thicker section inner tubes in it.  Bugger.

In the evening I put a new tube in, with the usual struggle and cursing due to the V rims.

I tinkered around with my electronics project, but the damned RFID box only seems to put out 3V, which isn't enough to flip a relay, so I'll have to talk to the seller about it.  Maybe I'll just buy another one while I figure this out - they weren't that expensive.

July 29th

It was so hot today that on my bicycle ride, the goats couldn't be bothered to run away from me :o)

In the evening I went to the chronic pain class, and we talked about sleep.  There's a plan where you only allow yourself the number of hours in bed that you sleep for, which sounds interesting but I have no idea how long I sleep, or how many times I wake up.  The thing is, apparently research shows that 4 hours of solid sleep is better than 8 hours of broken sleep.  Maybe I'll  just figure I get 6 hours, and work from there - that'd mean going to bed around midnight, and getting up around 6am.  We'll see.

We discovered that the HTPC wasn't downloading the guide, so it didn't know when stuff was on and record it.  It seems that Microsoft had changed guide providers, and we were one of the systems that didn't catch the change.  I ended up redoing the TV setup to get it to pick up the guide, and it took... a while... to go through all the channels and strip out the stuff we don't get, or want.

Monday, July 27, 2015

July 26th

I played around with some electronics I'm trying to work into a keyless ignition system for the bike.  I've now got it to the point where (on my test harness) I'd pull in the clutch lever to wake the RFID reader, and then have 5 seconds to present the fob to power up an LED.  I've started building the harness for the latching relays that'll actually power up the bike, but I ran out of blue spade connectors so I had to stop.

I went to the airfield and sewed up one of the elastic loops that hold the spare pieces of harness out of the way.  It's, I don't know, stretched maybe, but it's definitely too big.  No longer!  It doesn't slide down and let the loose piece flap around any more.  I was going to play with the compass, but the adjusters are too stiff, so maybe next time.  I took the plane out for almost an hour and a half, and was just starting to put things away when Richard came over to ask for some help putting a Mooney away.  He'd seen me fly over while he was swearing at the electric tug.  We got the plane away, then figured out the problem was the charger built in to the tug, so we left it at that.  After putting my plane away (and filling it up with fuel), I headed home.

Sunday, July 26, 2015

July 25th

I got up on the roof and washed the solar panels - we're supposed to be saving water, but I figure that's only a couple of buckets' worth, so screw it.  I swear I have ADD.  I was walking down the garden to turn on the water to the hose on the roof... "Oh, dog poop, I'll clear that up.  Is that a weed?".

I installed an LED headlight on the DRZ - I took a bit of time tidying up the wiring and relays and suchlike, as that's another box to keep down there, and there's not that much space.  It looks pretty bright to me, but I'll have to take it out at night to really see if there's a difference.  The light uses 45W, rather than 55 or 60W, and is white rather than yellowish.

We went out to run some errands, and stopped at Roseville Honda to look at some helmets for Vic.  They didn't have the Arai we wanted to look at, but I ran in to Rich, who I haven't seen for years, on his first day working there.  While Rich and I were chatting, Vic found a Shoei she liked, and we played around with that to find it solves a bunch of problems.  I'll investigate it, as I do everything :o)

I went over to the airfield, aiming to tinker with a few things on the plane, but totally failed to do them, and the wind was blowing in almost 90 degrees across the runway, so I gave up.

We met Rich and family for dinner, and ended up standing outside until gone midnight chatting :o)

Friday, July 24, 2015

July 23rd

One of the things I've bought to try on the DRZ is a radial hydraulic clutch lever for a front brake - it fits in smaller and tidier than the one that's on there at the moment.  I took the current one off (luckily not all the way off), and offered up the new radial one.  Him no fit.  It also looks like the stubbier lever wouldn't be long enough.  So, looks like I'll have to buy another bike to use it :)

Thinking about it though, I could maybe put the levers on the other way round - it's currently throttle - switchgear - clutch - brake.  It might fit in throttle - switchgear - brake - clutch.  Something to think about, anyway.  The interesting thing is that I had to get a pressure switch, built in to a banjo fitting.  I didn't know they made those, so live and learn.

Thursday, July 23, 2015

July 22nd

I went to the chronic pain class, and learned that maybe I should be stopping before I hurt myself when doing things.  Pah, what sort of lesson is that?

July 19th

Russ headed home, and I rested the rest of the day, as I didn't sleep too well.  I'm blaming the new painkiller's interaction with alcohol.

July 18th

Russ was coming up to pick up the trimmed up wing in our garage, so I decided to just tinker with little things, rather than be elbow deep in something when he got here.  I did get an RFID reader to work the way I want it to, so I just need to get the relays and diodes figured out so I can made up a keyless ignition system for the DRZ.

When Russ got here, we went out to dinner, and drinks were quaffed.

Friday, July 17, 2015

July 16th

I managed to crash on my mountain bike ride, and I've scraped my knees and left elbow.  The left knee took most of the impact, and it's a little sore and stiff at the moment, but hey, at least I know that line through that dip doesn't work :o)

July 15th

I went to the chronic pain class, where I discovered that radio frequency nerve ablation tends to only work for a year or so.

After that, I made it over to the EAA membership meeting in time for the last 20 minutes or so.  We raised just over $8,000 for the chapter at the Tri-motor event :o)

Monday, July 13, 2015

July 12th

We watched the excellent MotoGP race from the Sachsenring.  It's weird to think there's almost a month until the next race :o(

Still on call, I decided to find all the parts for a few tasks on the DRZ I've thought about.  I ordered all manner of electronics stuff and nonsense, so now I just need to wait for it all to show up.

We watched "Chappie".

July 11th

I was on call, and a lot busier than I usually like at the weekend, so I didn't get anything meaningful done.  We did watch "Maggie" though.

July 10th

The Roomba went back together just fine, and I discovered that it'll run on a glass table, so you can check that the brushes are rotating :o)

We watched "Focus".

Friday, July 10, 2015

July 9th

I've been playing with the Roomba, as it's having problems due to a little pin dropping out - it looks like it's now damaged the plate that the pin sits into.  I tried putting some duct tape in to hold the pin in place (it's sliding through the back of the mounting), but it punched through that quickly.
While you can buy the whole gearbox unit, I thought I'd try epoxying the pin in, so it won't move any more, and the gear will spin on it just fine.  I had to take far more apart than I have previously, and I've left it to dry overnight.  Hopefully this fixes it once and for all.

July 8th

I went to my first chronic pain program meetings.  They spent an hour and a half telling us what they'll be telling us from now on, so I'm hoping it'll get better from now.  I did, however, get away at 18:30, so there's a chance I can make the EAA meetings I'd been thinking I was going to miss.  They said they'll be looking at our medical files, so I'm hoping that they'll see that there's a relatively simple procedure (ultrasonic ablation) to fix my pain issues, and I can get that sooner rather than later.

July 7th

We watched "Kingsman".

Monday, July 6, 2015

July 5th

After pottering around the house all day, I went to the airfield and tinkered with the compass on the plane - I need to try again with a non-magnetic screwdriver, as it's a pain waiting for the thing to settle down.  After that I did a circuit, but it was too bumpy to have any sort of fun, so I put everything away and went home after that.

July 4th

Today was Independence Day, when American celebrate the adoption of the Declaration of Independence by going shopping, drinking and setting fire to things.

I pottered around in the garage working on things and stuff until it was time to distract Tilly from the fireworks, and we did that by throwing the ball for her and watching "Escape Plan" and "John Wick" - both surprisingly good movies :o)

Saturday, July 4, 2015

July 3rd

I started the day tinkering with an old digital camera, and taking it apart.  Unfortunately I buggered up one of the connectors, so I gave up and threw it away.  These things aren't supposed to be taken apart, I guess.

In the evening I went over to the airfield and took the plane out for an hour or so.  It wasn't too bumpy at all.  Interestingly, I managed to forget to turn the noise reduction on with the new headset, and it wasn't too bad - I deliberately chose a set where it'd work without power, as there are some where they go completely dead when the batteries fail.

When I got home, we watched "Focus" while distracting Tilly from the fireworks that went off around 21:00.  I expect tomorrow to be much worse.

Thursday, July 2, 2015

July 1st

It's a new month, so here are the power stats...

Power billed

Power generated

I tinkered with the air conditioner a little, and managed to get the fan to come on.  No compressor though.

Vic had been freaking out about the guinea pigs overheating, so Gwen and Walter came over with a block of ice and a fan to cool the guinea pig room.  Apparently Tilly and I can just suck it up.

I took the capacitors out of the AC, and went to ye olde capacitor shoppe.  The guy there tested both capacitors, and we saw the big (compressor) one wasn't working, while the little (fan) one was OK, as I'd thought.  I put the new big one, and the old little one back in, and the air conditioner came on eventually, and cooled the house down.

June 30th

I got up stupid early and rode to the office for different scenery for a day.  After a hot (>115F) ride home, I found that the air conditioner had stopped working.  Basic tinkering made it look like the contactor (a glorified relay) was the problem.

June 29th

Tilly got in the pond again, and this time started splashing about, which probably isn't good.  We broke down and got her paddly pool out.