Another Nice Doggy

We’re riding southbound on the recently opened section of the Empire State Trail, just south of Hopewell Junction, and are approaching a dog walker totally face-sucked by her phone in the middle of the path:

Empire State Trail - Dog Lunge - 2021-05-12 - 0
Empire State Trail – Dog Lunge – 2021-05-12 – 0

Mary has been dinging her bike bell for the last few seconds and finally manages to break through:

Empire State Trail - Dog Lunge - 2021-05-12 - 1
Empire State Trail – Dog Lunge – 2021-05-12 – 1

The dog walker leans against the fence while pulling on the leash as hard as she can, as if she knows the dog poses a threat:

Empire State Trail - Dog Lunge - 2021-05-12 - 2
Empire State Trail – Dog Lunge – 2021-05-12 – 2

Which it does:

Empire State Trail - Dog Lunge - 2021-05-12 - 3
Empire State Trail – Dog Lunge – 2021-05-12 – 3

The leash is too long for close-quarters work:

Empire State Trail - Dog Lunge - 2021-05-12 - 4
Empire State Trail – Dog Lunge – 2021-05-12 – 4

Nice teeth, doggie:

Empire State Trail - Dog Lunge - 2021-05-12 - 5
Empire State Trail – Dog Lunge – 2021-05-12 – 5

Surely, the dog just wants to lick me to death:

Empire State Trail - Dog Lunge - 2021-05-12 - 6
Empire State Trail – Dog Lunge – 2021-05-12 – 6

Tell me again how well-trained this dog is:

Empire State Trail - Dog Lunge - 2021-05-12 - 7
Empire State Trail – Dog Lunge – 2021-05-12 – 7

Seven seconds after the first picture:

Empire State Trail - Dog Lunge - 2021-05-12 - 8
Empire State Trail – Dog Lunge – 2021-05-12 – 8

The dog also lunged at the pair of bicyclists following us, so perhaps this is how she makes sure it get its exercise during the walk.

I hate dogs.

Bafang Brake Sensor Magnet Realignment

As mentioned earlier, the Bafang brake sensors on Mary’s Tour Easy require a magnet on the brake levers to activate the switches. They arrived with disk magnets that did not suit the levers, so I used neodymium “bar magnets”:

Tour Easy Bafang BBS02 - brake sensor - installed
Tour Easy Bafang BBS02 – brake sensor – installed

That worked for a few rides, but the alignment turned out to be entirely too critical, because the magnetization is through the bar’s thin dimension, rather than along its length, making the field weakest in the direction of the switch.

Magnetic field visualization film shows the field null along the thin edge of the bar:

Neodymium bar magnet - edge field
Neodymium bar magnet – edge field

That’s a slightly shorter magnet from a different toothbrush head, cemented edgewise into a holder conjured from the vasty digital deep:

Brake Magnet Mount - PrusaSlicer prevew
Brake Magnet Mount – PrusaSlicer prevew

The field is much more uniform on the flat side of the bar:

Neodymium bar magnet - side field
Neodymium bar magnet – side field

Some double-sided foam tape snuggles the sensor and the magnet together on the brake lever:

Bafang Brake Sensor - released detail
Bafang Brake Sensor – released detail

I coated the magnet with JB Plastic Bonder urethane adhesive in the hope of filling any gaps in its nickel coating caused while extricating it from the toothbrush head.

The rusty screw head in the upper right positions the lever at the proper distance from the grip to suit Mary’s hand. An earlier version of the holder shows the alignment:

Bafang Brake Sensor - released position
Bafang Brake Sensor – released position

The switch trips (opens) with the lever roughly parallel to the grip, again with the earlier holder:

Bafang Brake Sensor - activated position
Bafang Brake Sensor – activated position

A detailed view of the gap with the lever at the tripped position:

Bafang Brake Sensor - activated detail
Bafang Brake Sensor – activated detail

The levers have enough travel to prevent accidental trips due to light finger pressure, which turned out to be a problem with the original end-on alignment.

The brake pads don’t quite touch the rim when the switch trips, so the motor has plenty of time to shut off before the brakes take effect. It also stops when the pedals stop turning, so we should not see any disagreement between motor and brakes as to the bike’s momentum.

The wider base on the new mounts makes them much more stable on the levers, although I don’t like having them stick up so far. Mounting everything underneath the levers would look better, but any problems will be more obvious with everything in plain sight.

I may affix the magnets directly to the levers with Plastic Bonder if the foam tape doesn’t live up to its reputation. Removing them would be more challenging; a shot with a small chisel should suffice.

Amazon Packaging: Grease Cartridge

I knew this would happen, so I made sure to not order anything that could possibly arrive at the same time:

Grease cartridge - casual packaging
Grease cartridge – casual packaging

I’ll apply the grease by hand, so the fact the cartridge cannot fit into a piston-fed gun doesn’t matter:

Grease cartridge - cap damage
Grease cartridge – cap damage

I recently placed one order for a BFW and another for four small bottles, all of which arrived in a single box with a thoroughly flattened air pillow strip. Fortunately, the bottles were plastic and survived unscathed, but I’m sure it got ugly in there.

Given that one order for multiple items has arrived in three different boxes on two different days, it’s exceedingly difficult to work around Amazon’s corporate-level indifference for safe packaging.

Tour Easy Front Fender Bracket Replacement

After nearly two and a half years, this happened:

Tour Easy front fender bracket - fracture
Tour Easy front fender bracket – fracture

Yup, it broke just where I expected!

The front fender on Mary’s bike suffers a bit more stress than you might expect, as she must wheel it through high grass to her Vassar Farms garden plot and the low-hanging spray flap can snag on the taller greenery.

Re-slicing the original model, printing the result, and installing it took about an hour:

Tour Easy front fender bracket - installed
Tour Easy front fender bracket – installed

Affixing the strut with duct tape and a cable tie looks déclassé, but continues to work better than anything else I’ve tried: simple, flexible, easily readjusted, totally nonfussy.

At least I now use black outdoor-rated double-stick foam tape, so life is increasingly good …

Satco PAR30 LED Spotlight Teardown

One of those LED spotlights may have barely outlasted its worthless warranty, but not by much, and has been languishing on the back of the bench with “Flickers hot” scrawled on its side.

The metal base didn’t respond to twisting, so I slit the threads with a cutoff wheel:

Satco PAR30 - thread slit
Satco PAR30 – thread slit

Applying the screwdriver removed the base to reveal a silicone rubber casting:

Satco PAR30 - thread silicone
Satco PAR30 – thread silicone

The small wire emerging near the edge of the plastic case seems to be the neutral contact to the shell, with a poor enough joint to suggest it might have been why the lamp flickered when it got hot.

Some brute force snapped the silicone off at the bottom of the plastic case and broke the two wires bringing AC to the PCB:

Satco PAR30 - thread silicone base
Satco PAR30 – thread silicone base

Digging around inside produced a debris field of silicone crumbs, broken resistors, torn caps, and various other components, with zero progress toward removing the shell:

Satco PAR30 - silicone extraction
Satco PAR30 – silicone extraction

A little lathe work converted a chunk of PVC pipe into a crude mandrel supporting the mangled case:

Satco PAR30 - base cutting setup
Satco PAR30 – base cutting setup

A few millimeters of sissy cuts released a silicone O-ring sealing the shell against the reflector:

Satco PAR30 - O-ring seal
Satco PAR30 – O-ring seal

Continuing the cuts eventually revealed the three screws holding the shell to the reflector and the two wires powering the LED:

Satco PAR30 - reflector separated
Satco PAR30 – reflector separated

Chopping off the screws with a diagonal cutter freed the shell and revealed the top of the PCB:

Satco PAR30 - electronics top
Satco PAR30 – electronics top

It really does have a surprising number of components!

Those three screws connected the LED panel / heatsink to the shell through the back of the double-walled reflector. More brute force peeled the outer shell away and released the panel:

Satco PAR30 - lens assembly
Satco PAR30 – lens assembly

Each of the 5050 packages contains a pair of white LEDs with 5.2 V forward drop for the pair, at the very low test current. They’re all in series, so you’re looking at well over 60 V total forward drop:

Satco PAR30 - LED panel detail
Satco PAR30 – LED panel detail

Note that the wiring, which nobody will ever see, follows the electrical color code of white = common and gray = hot.

Perhaps I should turn the lens into an interesting art object

Discrete LM3909: Blue LED

Once again, the discrete LM3909 circuitry can blink a blue LED while running a pair of alkaline cells all the way down to about 1 V, with one cell ending at 0.2 V and the other at 0.8 V. They started out discharged to 1.2 V each during their useful life, then blinked for a month; it’s as good a use for dead cells as I can think of.

With another pair of not-dead-yet cells providing 2.4 V, it started up again:

Blue LM3909 2.4V alkaline - 042
Blue LM3909 2.4V alkaline – 042

That’s a frame from a short video taken in subdued light, just to show it really does work.

Cordomatic 500P Disassembly

A pair of antique collectible Cordomatic reels get occasional use in the Basement Laboratory:

Cordomatic 500P reel - installed
Cordomatic 500P reel – installed

The extension cord reel didn’t latch reliably when needed, so …

There’s an obvious screw on the other side and a non-obvious screw hidden in the obvious place:

Cordomatic 500P reel - hidden screw
Cordomatic 500P reel – hidden screw

The electrical contacts were in good shape, although I smeared the grease around the rings just to make it seem like I did something:

Cordomatic 500P reel - contacts
Cordomatic 500P reel – contacts

The ratchet pawls hide under a riveted cover:

Cordomatic 500P reel - pawl cover
Cordomatic 500P reel – pawl cover

The duct tape shows I’d been in there once before, likely for the same problem, and had already drilled out the rivets.

Alas, I forgot to take a picture after removing the cover, but the general idea is to put just a dot of oil on the pivots (which, as you’d expect, are the rivets), wiggle everything around, and reassemble in reverse order.

It’ll surely work long enough that I can forget I was in there twice before …