Archive for category Recumbent Bicycling
The flashlight mount need not be symmetric after applying all the rotations, so recording how it’s aimed and which end goes forward seemed appropriate:
Optionally, with rounded ends just for pretty:
Because the rounding comes from resized spheres, the plate gets a ridge along the top to (maybe) lock the nylon screws / wing nuts in place:
Or discourage them from turning, which would be OK, too. After the second tightening, they don’t seem to come loose, so this may be overthinking the problem.
All in all, they look pretty good in cyan PETG:
Believe it or not, that’s aimed so the top edge of the beam is roughly horizontal to keep the hot spot out of oncoming traffic. They’re plenty bright, even on the “low power” setting.
The flashlight mounting balls produce a decorative brim that ought to be useful for something:
The OpenSCAD source code as a GitHub Gist:
From the start, the (second) J5 V2 flashlight had an erratic switch that flickered the LED at the slightest pressure. Not enough to switch modes, as it does with a half press, but enough to show something’s not quite right inside.
Taking it apart requires a pin wrench, which I have, but the deeply recessed ring required more reach than any of the tips I’ve made over the years. Introducing a pair of stainless steel 10-32 screws to Mr Grinder added two more pins to the collection:
The lock ring in the flashlight cap turned out to be finger-loose, certainly contributing to the problem. Removing the lock ring, peeling the rubber dome out of the cap, and poking with a punch sufficed to drive out the guts of the switch assembly:
Which is, as you’d expect, the cheapest possible parts that don’t immediately fail.
The (steel) tab sticking out of the actual switch (in the upper right) contacts the inside of the (aluminum) cap. I bent it slightly outward, added a trace of DeoxIT Red, reassembled everything in reverse order, and it’s all good for the first time in its brief life.
I’d rate J5’s QC as Below Average, given that the first light arrived with built-in dirt and its replacement (this one) had an alien egg next to the LED, plus this loose switch lock ring + crappy tab contact.
The J5 V2 light claims 750 lumen output, but the spot is nowhere near twice as bright as the LC40 lights on the bikes and much dimmer than the LC90 light (which is too big for the bikes), all tweaked for equivalent-size illuminated areas. Given that lumens measure total output and candela measure lumen/steradian, there’s some wiggle room for misinterpretation.
Won’t buy another, for sure.
The original ball around the flashlight consisted of two identical parts joined with 2 mm screws and brass inserts:
Providing enough space for the inserts made the ball bigger than it really ought be, so I designed a one-piece ball with “expansion joints” between the fingers:
Having Slic3r put a 3 mm brim around the bottom almost worked. Adding a little support flange, then building with a brim, kept each segment upright and the whole affair firmly anchored.
Those had to be part of the model, because I also wanted to anchor the perimeter threads to prevent upward warping. Worked great and cleanup was surprisingly easy: apply the flush cutter, introduce the ball to Mr Belt Sander, then rotate the ball around the flashlight wrapped with fine sandpaper to wear off the nubs.
The joints between the fingers provide enough flexibility to expand slightly around the flashlight body:
I made that one the same size as the original screw + insert balls to fit the original clamp, where it worked fine. The clamp ring applies enough pressure to the ball to secure the flashlight and prevent the ball from rotating unless you (well, I) apply more-than-incidental force.
Then I shrank the ball to the flashlight diameter + 10 mm (= 5 mm thick at the equator) and reduced the size of the clamp ring accordingly, which made the whole mount much more compact:
The flashlights allegedly puts out 400 lumen in a fairly tight beam. The fairings produce a much larger and brighter glint in full sunlight than the flashlights, so I think they’re about the right brightness.
The OpenSCAD source code for the new ball as a GitHub Gist:
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:
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.
Pending more test rides, the flashlight fairing mount works well:
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:
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:
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:
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:
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:
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:
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.
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:
I’ve been carrying shears to deal with the most egregious offenses, because some sport inch-long thorns:
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:
And guide rails:
So, obviously, different strokes for different Residencies.