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:
Mary has been dinging her bike bell for the last few seconds and finally manages to break through:
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:
Which it does:
The leash is too long for close-quarters work:
Nice teeth, doggie:
Surely, the dog just wants to lick me to death:
Tell me again how well-trained this dog is:
Seven seconds after the first picture:
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.
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”:
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.
That’s a slightly shorter magnet from a different toothbrush head, cemented edgewise into a holder conjured from the vasty digital deep:
The field is much more uniform on the flat side of the bar:
Some double-sided foam tape snuggles the sensor and the magnet together on the brake lever:
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:
The switch trips (opens) with the lever roughly parallel to the grip, again with the earlier holder:
A detailed view of the gap with the lever at the tripped position:
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.
I knew this would happen, so I made sure to not order anything that could possibly arrive at the same time:
I’ll apply the grease by hand, so the fact the cartridge cannot fit into a piston-fed gun doesn’t matter:
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.
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:
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 …
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:
Applying the screwdriver removed the base to reveal a silicone rubber casting:
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:
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:
A little lathe work converted a chunk of PVC pipe into a crude mandrel supporting the mangled case:
A few millimeters of sissy cuts released a silicone O-ring sealing the shell against the reflector:
Continuing the cuts eventually revealed the three screws holding the shell to the reflector and the two wires powering the LED:
Chopping off the screws with a diagonal cutter freed the shell and revealed the top of the PCB:
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:
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:
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:
That’s a frame from a short video taken in subdued light, just to show it really does work.
A pair of antique collectible Cordomatic reels get occasional use in the Basement Laboratory:
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:
The electrical contacts were in good shape, although I smeared the grease around the rings just to make it seem like I did something:
The ratchet pawls hide under a riveted 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 …