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Vacuum Tube LEDs: Mogul Bulb Side Light

The knockoff Neopixel on the 500 W mogul-base bulb failed in the usual way, so I rebuilt it with an SK6812 RGBW LED in a round cap:

Mogul lamp socket - SK6812 LED side cap

Mogul lamp socket – SK6812 LED side cap

The nice 1-¼ inch stainless socket-head cap screws replace the 1 inch pan-head screws that engaged maybe one thread due to the additional spacer between the USB port and the upper hard drive platter I added for good looks.

I tried a few iterations of an aluminized Mylar (*) disk with various sized pinholes over the RGB trio to crisp up the filament shadow, because the SK6812 LED casts a more diffuse light than the W2812 LEDs:

Aluminized Mylar pinholes for SK6812 RGBW LED

Aluminized Mylar pinholes for SK6812 RGBW LED

Even the ⅛ inch pinhole made the bulb too dim, so I settled for a fuzzy shadow:

500 W Mogul bulb - SK6812 RGBW LED - no pinhole - green phase

500 W Mogul bulb – SK6812 RGBW LED – no pinhole – green phase

The firmware has a tweak forcing the white LED to PWM=0, because this bulb looks better in saturated colors.

(*) Here on earth, aluminized Mylar is nonconductive.

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Byonics TinyTrak3+ vs. RFI

Some weeks ago, the APRS + voice adapter on my radio began randomly resetting during our rides, sending out three successive data bursts: the TinyTrak power-on message, an ID string, and the current coordinates. Mary could hear all three packets quite clearly, which was not to be tolerated.

I swapped radios + adapters so that she could ride in peace while I diagnosed the problem, which, of course, was both intermittent and generally occurred only while on the road. The TinyTrak doc mentions “… a sign of the TinyTrak3 resetting due to too much local RF energy”, so I clamped ferrite cores around All! The! Cables! and the problem Went Away.

Removing one core each week eventually left the last core on the GPS receiver’s serial cable, which makes sense, as it plugs directly into the TT3. The core had an ID large enough for several turns (no fool, I), another week established a minimum of three turns kept the RFI down, so I settled for five:

KG-UV3D APRS - ferrite on TT3 GPS cable

KG-UV3D APRS – ferrite on TT3 GPS cable

Prior to the RFI problem cropping up, nothing changed. Past experience has shown when I make such an assertion, it means I don’t yet know what changed. Something certainly has and not for the better.

I swapped the radios + adapters and all seems quiet.

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Tour Easy Daytime Running Light

Pending more test rides, the flashlight mount works well:

Tour Easy Fairing Flashlight Mount - front overview

Tour Easy Fairing Flashlight Mount – front overview

Despite all my fussing with three rotational angles, simply tilting the mount upward by 20° with respect to the fairing clamp aims the flashlight straight ahead, with the ball nearly centered in the clamp:

Tour Easy Fairing Flashlight Mount - front detail

Tour Easy Fairing Flashlight Mount – front detail

That obviously depends on the handlebar angle and the fairing length (which affects the strut rotation), but it’s close enough to make me think a simpler mount will suffice: clamp the flashlight into a cylinder with a slight offset angle, maybe 2°, then mount the cylinder into a much thinner ring clamp at the 20° tilt. Rotating the cylinder would give you some aim-ability, minus the bulk of a ball mount.

Or dispense with the separate cylinder, build the entire mount at the (now known) aim angle, clamp the flashlight directly into the mount, then affix mount to fairing strut. Rapid prototyping FTW!

For now, it’s great riding weather …

The OpenSCAD source code as a GitHub Gist:

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Tour Easy Daytime Running Light: Fairing Mount

The fairing mount must aim the flashlight generally parallel to the ground and slightly toed-in toward the bike’s frame, ideally holding the ball more-or-less in the center of its adjustment range. I eyeballed a protractor for the initial estimates and got it reasonably close on the third try:

Tour Easy - J5 Tactical V2 - front

Tour Easy – J5 Tactical V2 – front

One more skilled in math than I could define a matrix transformation between the solid model’s XYZ coordinate space and the fairing’s XYZ space, then figure the reverse transformation allowing you to convert real-world angles back to the model’s space. I winged it by setting up adjustments to rotate the ball clamp ring on all three axes around its center:

Lifting the ring upward by half its OD leaves it tangent to the XY plane, firmly embedded in the blank fairing clamp plate, and, through the magic of 3D printing, looking like it grew there.

In practice, aligning the ring isn’t too difficult. Align an eyeball along each of the mount’s axes, center a protractor on the ball with it perpendicular to the line of sight, rotate it so the baseline is level / straight-ahead / crosswise, read off the angle, then type it in. Of course you’ll get the sign wrong at least once.

For a given set of those angles, the mount looks like this:

Fairing Flashlight Mount - Mount - rear view - no support - solid model

Fairing Flashlight Mount – Mount – rear view – no support – solid model

You can determine by inspection there’s no way to orient the shape for E-Z building, although putting the plate flat on the platform has a lot to recommend it.

The outside being a spherical section, the overhangs will curl upward, so (as with the ball around the flashlight) rows of fins anchor the perimeter threads:

Fairing Flashlight Mount - Mount - rear view - solid model

Fairing Flashlight Mount – Mount – rear view – solid model

The fins are just under two threads wide to eliminate any possible infill, with a simple sphere chopping their tops to fit just inside the clamp:

Slic3r built support structures under the overhanging screw bosses:

Fairing Flashlight Mount - Mount - rear view - Slic3r

Fairing Flashlight Mount – Mount – rear view – Slic3r

It also added weird little towers that don’t come close to touching the clamp’s lower surfaces, which is why I added those fins. The automatic support should extend to one thread thickness from the bottom surface, but that’s a hard calculation to make for a spherical section represented by tesselating triangles.

After a few test rides, the whole affair seems to be both holding together and holding the flashlight, so it’s good enough for now. A twilight ride around the block may be needed for better aiming, though.

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Riding With Scissors

Well, bypass pruning shears, anyway …

Although NYSDOT did cut back the Japanese Knotweed along Rt 376 north of Maloney Rd, perhaps because they were repaving that section, the overgrowth south of Red Oaks Mill continues unabated:

Rt 376 - SB at Walker - Overgrowth - 2017-07-09

Rt 376 – SB at Walker – Overgrowth – 2017-07-09

I’ve been carrying shears to deal with the most egregious offenses, because some sport inch-long thorns:

Rt 376 - SB at Walker - Thorns - 2017-07-09

Rt 376 – SB at Walker – Thorns – 2017-07-09

Unlike the NYSDOT Wappingers (a.k.a. Dutchess South) Residency , their Poughkeepsie (a.k.a. Dutchess North) Residency has no compunction about defoliation around road signs:

Rt 376 - SB marker 1117 - Sign defoliation - 2017-07-15

Rt 376 – SB marker 1117 – Sign defoliation – 2017-07-15

And guide rails:

Rt 376 - NB marker 1124 - Rail defoliation - 2017-07-15

Rt 376 – NB marker 1124 – Rail defoliation – 2017-07-15

So, obviously, different strokes for different Residencies.

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New Frogs!

Either Mama Frog picked a bad location or these little critters fell over the edge, as I found a handful in the big stainless steel bowl Mary uses for spot-watering some of her plantings:

Small frogs in bowl

Small frogs in bowl

The bowl curves inward over their heads and their feet didn’t seem sticky enough to get them up and out, so I dumped the lot of them into the flower bed. May they live long & prosper!

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Tour Easy Daytime Running Light: Ball Clamp Ring

With the flashlight firmly clamped inside its ball, a surrounding clamp ring holds the ball on the mount:

Tour Easy - J5 Tactical V2 - front

Tour Easy – J5 Tactical V2 – front

The solid model chops a sphere to a completely empirical 70% of the inner ball’s length (which, itself, may be truncated to fit the flashlight grip) and glues on a hull containing the M3x50 mm screws:

The complete ring looks about like you’d expect, although it’s never built like this:

Fairing Flashlight Mount - Clamp - show view - solid model

Fairing Flashlight Mount – Clamp – show view – solid model

The top half builds as an arch on the platform:

Fairing Flashlight Mount - Clamp - build view - solid model

Fairing Flashlight Mount – Clamp – build view – solid model

The uppermost layers on the inside of the arch have terrible overhang pulled upward by the cooling plastic, so the builtin support structure hold the layers downward. The preview shows they don’t quite touch, but in actual practice the support bonds to the arch and requires a bit of effort to crack off:

Fairing Flashlight Mount - support structures

Fairing Flashlight Mount – support structures

The ones on the right come from my (failed) attempts to build the ball hemispheres in the obvious orientation. It’s worth noting that my built-in “support” both bonds to the part and breaks off in one piece, quite unlike the pitched battle required to separate Slic3r’s automatic support structures; I think that’s the difference between the minimum feasible and maximum possible support.

Anyhow, the inside of the arch requires only a bit of cleanup with a ball mill before it clamps firmly around the flashlight ball. In the normal orientation, the space over the missing ball cap snuggles into the cleaned-up part of the arch and there’s enough friction on the remaining ball to hold it in place. If it does joggle loose, a wrap of tape should provide enough griptivity.

I started by assuming socket-head cap screws and brass inserts embedded in the clamp ring could provide enough force to hold everything together:

Fairing Flashlight Mount - Clamp - screw inserts - solid model

Fairing Flashlight Mount – Clamp – screw inserts – solid model

The head recesses into the top opening and the insert sits just below the split line on the XY plane. That turned out to be asking a lot from a pair of 3 mm knurled brass inserts, even with JB Weld in full effect, and I wasn’t at all confident they wouldn’t pop out under duress and fling the flashlight away.

Each screw now compresses the entire boss between a pair of washers and the nyloc nut won’t vibrate loose. The screws also serve to stiffen the clamp ring front-to-back, although I’m not convinced it needs any reinforcement.

I also considered splitting the ring parallel to the front, right down the middle, with screws extending through both halves:

Fairing Flashlight Mount - Clamp - Front Back split - solid model

Fairing Flashlight Mount – Clamp – Front Back split – solid model

It’d be trivially easy to build the front half face-down on the platform, but the rear would have only half the surface area bonded to the plate against the fairing, which seemed like a Bad Idea. Worse, I couldn’t figure out how to align the rear half on the plate with enough room for the nuts / inserts / whatever and alignment space around the front half.

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