Monday, August 26, 2013

August 25th

We got the rental (really, who takes their own vehicle to the playa to be sandblasted for a week?) packed, then John and Jana headed off to meet their mob in Reno.  Vic headed off for the first day at her new job, and I worked on a few little niggles on the van.  At this rate I'll be glad to get back to work for a rest.

In the evening we watched the excellent MotoGP race from Brno.

August 24th

Once we were all awake, John, Jana and I walked the Mook to Starbucks.  Once we were home, we did a trial pitching of the tents that were going to Burning Man, and sorted out some of the supplies before we barbecued dinner and sitting up drinking.

August 23rd

John and Jana are stopping here on their way to Burning Man, and they arrived today.  They opened some of the approximately 5,000 Amazon boxes that have been awaiting their arrival, and went to do a little shopping, and then we went out to dinner.

Tuesday, August 20, 2013

August 20th

We boxed up the LED TV and took it back to Costco.  Basically I'm not that happy with the display (it looks a bit washed out), and it leans back a fair bit.  Having spoken to Vizio (the manufacturer), they said it needed a warranty claim, so I decided to just take it back.  The whole thing was an experiment, after all.  If it weren't for the stand thing, I'd have sucked it up and kept it, I think.  They can't refund your money to the debit card you use, so we then had to stop at the bank on the way home to pay the cash back in :o)  We set the old Panasonic plasma back up, and I was instantly happier with the colour it shows.  Now if the model I want would just come back into stock... or I'll end up waiting for Black Friday :o)

August 18th

I started the day washing the solar panels for the first time in ages.  I cut the grass, and pulled a bucket full of weeds to kill time, and then we watched the MotoGP race from Indianapolis.  What a great race, with me shouting corrections at the TV constantly :o)

The clock on the DRZ has reset itself a few times recently, and from what I can tell, this is due to vibration and because I'm not taking power from the bike's battery all the time.  So I took the front beak off so I could get to the battery slot, and I put a little cork pad in there to push the battery up to the contacts better.  Problem (hopefully) solved.  I also retaped one of the turn signals, that keeps turning itself - I use electrical tape to hold it in place.  I don't think there's anything outstanding on the DRZ now, which is far more than I can say for the Van, but I don't have the energy to tear into things on that for the moment :o)

August 17th

There was an EAA pancake breakfast at Lincoln, so I took the DRZ over and partook.  Dilly, the local FAA drone, showed up and talked us through how they can help (help?  This is the FAA!) with registration of new planes and so on.  It was an interesting talk.

In the afternoon, I went back over to the airfield and took the plane up to try and see what's going on with the CHT probe.  I discovered that in a shallow climb, I could hit ~6250rpm, and at that point the right hand temperature would climb quickly.  If I climbed out harder, I'd be at ~6000rpm, and this wouldn't happen.  As the "problem" had moved from the left register on the display to the right register, it's the probe, rather than the cylinder.  As the wind was getting quite unpleasant (gusty and crossy), I gave up and parked the plane and headed home.

On the way home I figured out what the problem is... what else happens when the revs go up?  The EGT goes up - I reckon that's overheating the metal sheath on the wire, and that's causing the high reading.  Of course, I need to fiddle with this to see if that's truly the case, but it makes sense.

Tuesday, August 13, 2013

August 13th

I rode the DRZ down to San Francisco for work.  Joy, there's nothing I like more than getting up at 04:30 then riding >100 miles in the cold and dark :o)

The ride home was pretty quick, but dull.  I'd filled up on the way down, and with a 3.9 gallon tank, made it home in one shot, so I was home before 20:00 :o)

August 12th

Today was Tilly's birthday, and despite her sore feet, she got a large ball.  Once that was burst, I gave her a rope toy with a tennis ball attached.  She's got part way through the rope loop, but hasn't touched the ball yet.  Give it time, and it'll be in fragments all over the floor in no time.

August 11th

Vince has been on at me to go over and look at a hitch mounted motorcycle carrier that he's built, so I took the van over there with Tilly.  Only to find he wasn't there.  The trolley thing he uses on the trike was outside, so I figure he'd gone flying, even though it was the middle of the day.  I threw the ball for Tilly until it seemed that she was starting to have sore feet, and then I took her home.  She has blisters, stupid dog.  At least she was tired out, so we left her and went out to watch the Perseid meteors.  I took a bunch of pictures, but there are no meteors in any of them.

August 10th

I pottered around the house for most of the morning, then took the van and did some shopping for Tilly's birthday (ssh, don't tell her - she thinks I've forgotten).  I ended up at the airfield, where I swapped the cylinder head probes from front to rear - my idea being that I could see the temperatures change if they're the problem.  It was pretty bouncy, but I put in 3 circuits, and didn't see either temperature go very high, but it seems that the right hand number was higher a few times, so maybe that probe is on its way out.

Interestingly, Ken's added 30lbs to the nose of the Quicksilver... I thought it was tail heavy when I hurt my back moving it :o)

Thursday, August 8, 2013

August 7th

We replaced the base board in the critter room, and re-caulked everything, so now we just have to wait for the caulk to dry so we can clean everything up properly.  Despite not seeing any more ants, I've filled the gap between the "wood" floor and the wall with ant powder before putting the board back in, and that's all sealed in now.

August 6th

The solar panel was wired up wrong - basically I wired it up following the colour codes on the wires they provided, despite thinking that was wrong, saw no charge and thought it was the lack of sun.  Just for grins, I reversed the wiring (making it correct) and saw a fault, so I made it wrong again.  When, in daylight, I reversed the wiring (making it correct again), the battery started charging.  Yay, go me.  So, it took my spare plane battery (12Ah) from 11.99v to 13V through the day, just leaning on a chair on the patio, so I'm calling that a success.

Tuesday, August 6, 2013

August 5th

I'd ordered an 80W solar panel kit, and that arrived, so I set about wiring it all up.  If course, the sun had pretty much gone down by the time I finished, but I was still seeing ~17V at the inverter, but nothing was getting thrown into the spare plane battery I've wired it up to.  We'll see what it does tomorrow in the daytime.

August 4th

I started the day playing with a radio controlled helicopter and traumatising Tilly.  She went out, so I started playing with it again, and she looked in the door and saw it flying around, and I found her cowering behind the hot tub.

We went to Costco and picked up an LED TV.  We can take it back if we don't like it, for any reason, within 3 months, so I figured I'd see if I like it.  We then spent a while pulling out extraneous wiring and suchlike to get the thing plugged in.  I need to tweak the settings and suchlike, but it seems OK so far.  It looks like it's a lot crisper than the old plasma, but that could be just that it's got more dots :o)

August 3rd

We dinked around the house doing this and that.  There have been a bunch of ants in the critter room, so we've moved the critters out of there and put down powder to kill them.  Hopefully.  Of course, this means that there's a lot of stuff being move around constantly, and Tilly's been having a ball watching everything moving around constantly.

In the evening we went to the airfield and took the plane out for ~45 minutes.  I've been concerned about the cylinder head temperatures I've been seeing, so I set the computer to tell me the individual head temperatures, and and one point one was 80F higher than the other.  I'm starting to think it's a problem with the sender, rather than the engine, so I'll look at swapping the sensors - if the "problem" moves to the other cylinder, it's a sensor problem.  If not, well... we'll burn that bridge when we get to it.

We were sitting about talking to Sean, the parachute plane pilot, when I got paged for work and had to go home.  Stupid work.

Thursday, August 1, 2013

August 1st

I know, you're waiting to know the solar stats.  Here they are:
Power billed
Power generated

I was a little bothered that this is the most power we've used since I started logging this stuff.  It must be the weather, as only the air conditioning can use that sort of power:
2012 temperatures
2013 weather

Well that doesn't look so bad, so I lumped everything together:

The interesting thing is that the high temperature average for the month is roughly the same, but the _low_ temperature average is almost 5 degrees hotter.  And there you have it - the house didn't cool down as well, so the A/C would have started earlier in the day and run longer.  Bah.

Oh, and the DMARC stats, for anybody who's interested:

July 29th

I got the cover off the rollers on the side of the van, cleaned and got Vic to help me PTFE tape the runners.  I've also put some asphalt roof tape on the inside of the cover, to hopefully quieten that down a bit too.

July 28th

I spent a fair chunk of time cleaning up the rollers and runners for the sliding door on the van, and then Vic helped me stick PTFE tape on them.  Hopefully this'll make it easier (and quieter) to open and close the door.  I still need to do the bit on the outside of the van, but I couldn't get the cover off :o(