Archive for category Recumbent Bicycling

The End of Tire Liners

This marks the end of my infatuation with tire liners:

Schwalbe 20 inch tube - tire liner damage

Schwalbe 20 inch tube – tire liner damage

There seems to be no way to eliminate tube erosion at the end of the liner. I’ve tried tapering the thickness, taping the joint, and so forth and so on.

Fortunately, the tire went flat in the garage and I did a quick swap before our morning ride.

Searching for tire liner will reveal the rest of the stories, both good and bad.

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Sony HDR-AS30V: AKA-SF1 Skeleton Frame Latch Repair

My Sony HDR-AS30V is an action camera, but requires an external case / frame to mount it on anything. Here’s the camera inside its AKA-SF1 Skeleton Frame atop my helmet:

Sony HDR-AS30V camera on bike helmet - inverted

Sony HDR-AS30V camera on bike helmet – inverted

Four 1 mm tall ramps on the inside of the black base (the part just above the yellow sled) snap into 2.6 mm square sockets in the skeleton frame surrounding the camera. For an unknown reason(s) that surely involves applying forces I don’t remember, an opposing pair of those ramps broke off, leaving the other pair to loosely hold one end of the camera in place.

In this picture, the left ramps (one visible) are missing, leaving a square-ish gray scar that’s nearly indistinguishable from the reflection on the intact ramp on the right:

Sony HDR-AS30V Skeleton Mount - broken latch ramps

Sony HDR-AS30V Skeleton Mount – broken latch ramps

Surprisingly, the round head of a brass 0-80 machine screw fits neatly inside the square socket on the frame; they’re a bit more than 1 mm deep. The approach ramps visible below the sockets guide the latches on the base:

Sony HDR-AS30V Skeleton Mount - frame sockets

Sony HDR-AS30V Skeleton Mount – frame sockets

So I figured I could just shave off the remaining two latch ramps, drill four holes at the proper spots, and replace the plastic ramps with metal screws.

I clamped the skeleton frame to the Sherline’s tooling plate, aligned it parallel to the X axis, put the laser spot dead center in the square socket, then snapped the base onto the frame. The laser spot shows where the drill will hit:

Sony HDR-AS30V Skeleton Mount - laser hole alignment

Sony HDR-AS30V Skeleton Mount – laser hole alignment

A carbide drill did the honors:

Sony HDR-AS30V Skeleton Mount - 0-80 hole drilling

Sony HDR-AS30V Skeleton Mount – 0-80 hole drilling

That’s a #55 = 0.0520 hole for 50% thread, rather than the proper 3/64 = 0.0469 hole for 75% thread, because that’s the closest short carbide drill I had; an ordinary steel twist drill, even in the screw-machine length I use on the Sherline, would probably scamper away. The hole isn’t quite on the sloped bottom edge of the base, but it’s pretty close.

The first hole didn’t emerge quite in the center of its ramp scar:

Sony HDR-AS30V Skeleton Mount - hole position - interior

Sony HDR-AS30V Skeleton Mount – hole position – interior

Which made sense after I thought about it: the ramp tapers to nothing in the direction of the offset, so the hole actually was in the middle of the matching socket.

Threading the holes required nothing more than finger-spinning an 0-80 tap:

Sony HDR-AS30V Skeleton Mount - tapping 0-80

Sony HDR-AS30V Skeleton Mount – tapping 0-80

The feeble thread engagement didn’t matter, because those mysterious tabs-with-slots (possibly for tie-down strings?) just above the holes were a perfect fit for 0-80 brass nuts:

Sony HDR-AS30V Skeleton Mount - reassembled

Sony HDR-AS30V Skeleton Mount – reassembled

The screw heads extend into the sockets, hold the frame solidly in the base, and make it impossible to pull out. Although the frame still slides / snaps into the base, that seems like it will wear out the sockets in fairly short order, so I’ll unlatch the frame (with the yellow slide latch on top), open it up, ease it into position, and then latch it in place. That was the only way to remove it from the original latches, so it’s not a big deal.

I should add a drop of epoxy to each of those nuts and perhaps fill the screw slots with epoxy to keep them from abrading the plastic inside the sockets. Maybe a dab of epoxy on the heads, followed by latching the frame in place, would form four square pegs to exactly fill the sockets.

This was a straightforward repair that should not have been necessary…

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Helmet Mirror Mount: Elevation Set Screw Slide

The elevation tension adjustment on both our bike helmet mirror mounts have become a bit sloppy. That’s no surprise, because I expected the tiny set screw in the tiny square hole near the top to eventually wear a depression in the ABS plastic arc upon which it bears:

Helmet mirror mount - 3D model - Fit layout

Helmet mirror mount – 3D model – Fit layout

The only surprise was that it took four years. That’s far longer than all of the commercial mirror and their mounts lasted; this one’s definitely a keeper.

So I got to do something I planned pretty much from the beginning of the project: cut a snippet of phosphor bronze spring stock to go between the Elevation mount and the arc, then bend the ends bent inward so they don’t slash an errant fingertip:

Helmet mirror mount - elevation slide

Helmet mirror mount – elevation slide

Slipped in place, the ends look like they stick out anyway, but they’re really just about flush:

Helmet mirror mount - El slide in place

Helmet mirror mount – El slide in place

Tightening the set screw pushes the strip against the arc, where it provides enough resistance to prevent slipping and enough smoothness for easy adjustment.

While I had the mounts up on the repair stand, I unscrewed the mirror shaft and snugged up the Azimuth pivot screw by a micro-smidgen to tighten that motion.

Four years ago, those ABS parts popped off the much-hacked Thing-O-Matic’s platform. The M2 produces somewhat better-looking results, but that yellow plastic has a certain charm…

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Butt Fire!

As I rolled into the Stewart’s Shop on a milk-and-eggs run, a plume of smoke spiraled out of the cigarette butt station near the door, way off on the left side:

Smoldering Cigarette Dump

Smoldering Cigarette Dump

A closer look:

Smoldering Cigarette Dump - Detail

Smoldering Cigarette Dump – Detail

By the time I unhitched myself from the bike and reached the door, two smoke jets squirted from the top and a pall of breathtakingly foul smoke filled the parking lot. I mooched a big cup of water from the folks behind the counter and pulled off the container’s lid, which let in enough oxygen to ignite a full-up fire in the heap of cigarette packs, plastic wrappers, butts, lottery tickets, receipts, and other combustible junk atop the sand bucket in the base of the butt dump. Sprinkling the water over the blaze knocked it back; I replaced the lid and declared victory.

I always take a shower after returning home from a ride, but, this time, we also ran all my bike clothing through the washer right away.


Verily, it is written: Kissing a smoker is like licking an ashtray.


Road Conditions: Maloney Road, With Truck

Commercial truck drivers generally know what they’re doing, what their vehicle can do, and drive both responsibly and carefully. This driver waited patiently until an oncoming car passed beside us, then eased around us as we pedaled slowly up the hill from Rt 376 on Maloney Rd:

Maloney Rd 2015-07-24 - Truck 1

Maloney Rd 2015-07-24 – Truck 1

As usual, we were as far to the right as we could get:

Maloney Rd 2015-07-24 - Truck 2

Maloney Rd 2015-07-24 – Truck 2

Those parallel bar drain grates along the side of the road just add a bit more tension when the timing doesn’t work out this nicely:

Maloney Rd 2015-07-24 - Truck 3

Maloney Rd 2015-07-24 – Truck 3

Other than that, it was a fine day for a ride.

Shortly after sending these pictures to the Town of Wappingers, this happened:

Maloney Rd 2015-08-02 - Patched

Maloney Rd 2015-08-02 – Patched

A series of long, smooth patches over the worst parts of the uphill grade definitely improved the situation. With a fair wind and some money, they’ll repave the entire section from Rt 376 to well beyond the Dutchess Rail Trail during next year’s maintenance season.

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Lip Balm Holder

A bit of tinkering with the OpenSCAD code that produced the DeoxIT bottle holder delivered a place for the cylindrical objects we use just before cycling:

Lip Balm Holder

Lip Balm Holder

The tubes are 1.5 diameters tall, minus a skosh, so the cylinders stand neatly inside and don’t want to fall over. I added about 1 mm clearance and you could taper the cylinder openings for E-Z insertion, although we can eke out a miserable existence with this thing as-is.

It works exactly as you’d expect:

Lip Balm Holder - in action

Lip Balm Holder – in action

That big stick in the middle is actually skin sunscreen, not lip balm; let’s not get all pedantic. The intent is to keep those cylinders from rolling off the shelf and falling into awkward locations, which this will do.

The OpenSCAD source code is strictly from empirical:

// Lip Balm Tube Holder
// Ed Nisley KE4ZNU - July 2015

//- Extrusion parameters - must match reality!

ThreadThick = 0.25;
ThreadWidth = 0.40;

function IntegerMultiple(Size,Unit) = Unit * ceil(Size / Unit);

Protrusion = 0.1;

HoleWindage = 0.2;

// Dimensions

Tubes = [18,26];			// tube diameters plus clearance

WallThick = 2.0;

Plate = [1.5*(Tubes[1] + 2*Tubes[0]),2.5*Tubes[1],IntegerMultiple(2.0,ThreadThick)];
PlateRound = 5.0;

NumSides = 8*4;

//- Build it

	hull() {
		for (i=[-1,1], j=[-1,1]) {
			translate([i*(Plate[0]/2 - PlateRound),j*(Plate[1]/2 - PlateRound),0])

			difference() {
				cylinder(d=(Tubes[1] + 2*WallThick),h=1.5*Tubes[1],$fn=NumSides);
				cylinder(d=Tubes[1],h=1.5*Tubes[1] + Protrusion,$fn=NumSides);

	for (i=[-1,1])
		translate([i*((Tubes[1] + Tubes[0])/2 + 1.0*WallThick),0,Plate[2]/2])
				difference() {
					cylinder(d=(Tubes[0] + 2*WallThick),h=1.5*Tubes[0],$fn=NumSides);
					cylinder(d=Tubes[0],h=1.5*Tubes[0] + Protrusion,$fn=NumSides);


Sharing the Road on Raymond Avenue: Part 3

This truck driver gave us as much room as he possibly could, given the cramped conditions on Raymond Avenue:

Raymond Ave - 2015-07-17 - Truck Clearance 1

Raymond Ave – 2015-07-17 – Truck Clearance 1

Notice the street lamp in view directly above the cab? Keep that in mind.

In order to give us that much clearance, he had to put the left wheels up on the median:

Raymond Ave - 2015-07-17 - Truck Clearance 2

Raymond Ave – 2015-07-17 – Truck Clearance 2

That’s exactly what the NYSDOT engineer who designed Raymond Avenue explained to me drivers should do. Driving on the median is the intent of the Raymond Avenue layout.

FWIW, the “brick paver” median surface is actually stamped asphalt (or some thermoplastic material) painted brick red. It has marginal durability; the same material in the rotary islands began disintegrating after a few months, has accumulated many non-textured patches, and was obviously not intended to support routine travel.

After that truck passed, the FedEx driver also gave us plenty of clearance, also with left wheels on the median:

Raymond Ave - 2015-07-17 - Truck Clearance 3

Raymond Ave – 2015-07-17 – Truck Clearance 3

Notice the minimal clearance between that lamp post and the protruding driver-side mirror? You’re supposed to drive on the median to avoid cyclists, while simultaneously not colliding with a zero-clearance black lamp post.

Those lamp posts replaced the original bollards bracketing the crosswalk (just ahead of Mary in the first picture). Those bollards stood directly in the pseudo-brick area on both sides of the travel lane, with zero clearance from the inclined curb and roughly in line with those truck headlights: anyone driving up on the median at the crossing to avoid a cyclist would mow down a nonreflective black bollard.

And, indeed, mowed down they were.

A few years ago, NYSDOT removed the bollards from the “pedestrian refuges” (that’s their term for the crosswalk median area) and repositioned the remainder in the center of the median, presumably to protect them from drivers.

Share the road, that we do…