Archive for category Recumbent Bicycling
I bought a pair of third-party 3800 mA·h batteries for the Baofeng UV-5RE Plus (whatever that means) radios on our bikes. Oddly, the packs carry the same “Model BL-5” identification as 1800 mA·h batteries shipped with the radio:
The obviously mislabeled “Baofeng” battery eliminator also sported a 3800 mA·h label:
I conjured a “test fixture” from a clamp, copper sheet, and copper tape snippets:
Which produced interesting results:
The 250 mA load = 15 hour rate seemed reasonable to simulate radios spending most of their time in power-save mode, but the packs still delivered only 2.8 A·h.
The packs also claim an unnaturally precise 28.12 W·h, but they’re still underperformers at 20 W·h:
Anyhow, I can run the radios for a week without (worrying about) running out of juice during a ride.
A reader asked how the M20 camera mount on my bike works with respect to the camera’s clock; this description explains a few things missing from the original writeup.
Do you have to set the time & date at start of every ride?
The internal clock shuts down about ten seconds after you pull the battery. If-and-only-if you swap batteries fast enough, it’ll keep time forever. Screw up once and it snaps back to Epoch Zero.
“Car mode” automagically begins recording when USB power goes on, but the manual advises:
TIP: When using your camera as a dashcam, use a car charger cable and remove the internal battery to make sure it does not die out while you travel.
That’s because the M20 continues to run from its internal battery when USB power drops. After recording an hour of a parking lot or your garage wall, the battery dies and so does the clock.
Of course, without the internal battery, the clock dies ten seconds after you turn off the car.
The internal battery has many days of capacity with the camera turned off (whew!), so I conjured the case & PowerCore battery tray to handle our normal rides. The internal battery keeps the clock alive overnight and during the rain we’ve had for the last week, the PowerCore supplies juice during the ride, and I recharge the PowerCore every few weeks.
The M20 doesn’t draw charging current when I turn it on, but poking the PowerCore’s status button also turns on its outputs, whereupon the M20 decides it should begin charging and, bonus, draw power from the PowerCore during the entire ride. The M20 finishes charging while we ride, but the PowerCore continues supplying power and, when I turn the M20 off, the PowerCore sees no current draw and shuts itself off.
Only a geek could love a lashup like that, but it works around the M20’s broken clock and removes its battery maintenance hassle.
A new-old-stock pair of pedals for Mary’s bike had wrench flats just slightly too narrow for my 15 mm wrench:
Well, that’s easy to fix:
For reasons lost in the mists of time, those are titanium spindles. They file just like steel; I’m not fussy.
Progress is our most important product:
Now that we’ve begun bicycling more regularly, Winter Bloat is transmogrifying into thigh muscle.
The hills around here become noticeably steeper during winter; we attribute the additional elevation to frost heaves …
According to its description, the Anker USB 3.0 card reader can handle both a MicroSD and a standard SD card at once:
Simultaneously read and write on two cards to save yourself the effort of constant unplugging and re-plugging.
Which looks like this:
After you get used to inserting the SD card downside-up, it fits perfectly. The Kapton tape on the MicroSD card eases extraction from the still finger-dent-less M20 camera mount on the back of my Tour Easy ‘bent.
Plugged into a USB 3.0 port, my file extractor script chugs along at 25.9 MB/s, taking about 18 minutes to transfer 28 GB of video data.
Splurging another eleven bucks for a second reader produces this setup:
After plugging both readers into adjacent USB 3.0 ports, the script transfers files at 46.6 MB/s and copies 28 GB in 10 minutes.
So, yes, the reader can handle two cards at once, but at half the speed.
Not life-changing, but it shows why I like measurements so much …
This time, I neglected to give my “We’re taking the lane!” signal, whereupon the driver behind us assumed we would all fit into the roundabout / traffic circle at Vassar’s Main Gate:
Raymond Avenue’s original “standards compliant” design has undergone some revision during the last few years:
The brace of black bollards centered on the median at the “pedestrian refuge” now replace the original quartet of illuminated, albeit non-reflective black, bollards, after errant drivers successively destroyed them.
There’s apparently no standard governing the placement or depth of drain grates along the right edge of the lane, nor the amount of gravel and trash allowed to accumulate to the right of the fog line:
Mary is just barely clearing the grate, I’m moving leftward to ensure I’m the first one to get hit. Fortunately, common sense broke out:
We got through the traffic circle without further contention and continued on our way.
Getting squeezed into a traffic circle happens often enough to show whatever NYS DOT uses as a “design standard” doesn’t include pedestrian or bicyclist safety as measurable quantities.
As we all know, anything you don’t measure doesn’t happen.
On the drive side, of course:
I’d noticed some brake drag on our last few rides, but forgot to check until I saw the rim wobble while extracting images from the rear camera.
It’s a lot easier to fix in the Basement Shop than on the road. After nigh onto a decade since replacing the last broken spoke, perhaps this is a harbinger of doom to come.
Memo to Self: spoke tension is now 20-ish on the drive side, 15-ish on the left.