Archive for category Recumbent Bicycling

Sony HDR-AS30V vs. Lithium Ion 18650 Cells

These items came near enough to produce an irresistible force:

Sony HDR-AS30V vs 18650 cells - side view

Sony HDR-AS30V vs 18650 cells – side view

How can you look at that layout and not jump to the obvious conclusion?

The front view suggests enough room for a stylin’ case:

Sony HDR-AS30V vs 18650 cells - end view

Sony HDR-AS30V vs 18650 cells – end view

You’d need only one cell for the camera; I happened to have two in my hand when the attractive force hit.

The camera is 24.5 ⌀ x 47 tall x 71.5 overall length (67.8 front-to-door-seating-plane).

The ATK 18650 cells are 19 ⌀ x 69 long, with the overlong length due to the protection PCB stuck on the + end of the cylinder. You can get shorter unprotected cells for a bit less, which makes sense if you’re, say, Telsa Motors and building them into massive batteries; we mere mortals need all the help we can get to prevent what’s euphemistically called “venting with flame“.

Although I like the idea of sliding the cell into a tubular housing with a removable end cap, it might make more sense to park the cell over the camera in a trough with leaf-spring contacts on each end and a lid that snaps over the top. That avoids threaded fittings, figuring out how to get an amp or so out of the removable end cap contact, and similar imponderables.

think it’s possible to drill a hole through the bottom of the camera at the rear of the battery compartment to pass a cable from a fake internal cell to the external cell. Some delicate probing will be in order.

In round numbers, those 18650 cells allegedly have three times the actual capacity of the camera’s flat battery and cost about as much as the not-so-cheap knockoff camera cells I’ve been using.

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J5-V2 700 lm Flashlight: QC FAIL

So I picked up a J5-V2 Tactical Flashlight as a possible bike headlight, on the basis of a 750 (“max output”) lumen LED, zoomable beam, and use of standard 18650 lithium cells (rather than USB charging). The geometry required to stick it on the Tour Easy remains a puzzle, but an az-el dingus replacing an upper fairing mount may work well enough.

Anyhow, it seems the LED in this flashlight fell on the floor during assembly, where the (silicone?) LED emitter lens picked up a remarkable amount of dirt:

J5-V2 Flashlight - LED crud

J5-V2 Flashlight – LED crud

The inside of the front focusing lens carries an array of scratches or, perhaps, a greasy fingerprint that serves the same purpose:

J5-V2 Flashlight - internal lens scratches

J5-V2 Flashlight – internal lens scratches

All vendors tell you to contact them before posting a critical review, although they often don’t provide much in the way of contact information. I sent a note with photos to J5 through their website’s contact info; having not heard anything after three days, I’ll fire up the Amazon return process …

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Road Conditions: Rt 376 Brush Clearing

This might have had something to do with my email and followup from the Dutchess BPAC leader, all with absolutely no feedback:

Overgrowth/Rt 376 SB - cropped overgrowth - 2016-10

Overgrowth/Rt 376 SB – cropped overgrowth – 2016-10

To judge from the shattered stems lining the route, NYSDOT positioned an articulated rotary mower vertically and ran it along the guide rail, cutting the Japanese knotweed more-or-less flush with the rail, then cleaning up most of the debris. Absent glyphosate treatment, the bushes will return in full force next summer.

Even though the disintegrating pavement isn’t any more rideable than before, not having weeds brush our elbows and grab for our eyes makes for a much more comfortable riding experience; now, we’re set for the peak Halloween-to-Groundhog-Day riding season.

As NYSDOT says: “Maintaining roads goes far beyond the edge of the pavement.

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More Kickstand Plates

Having recently left the last of the kickstand plates somewhere along our route, I bandsawed, belt-sanded, and Forstner-drilled a new set:

Kickstand plates

Kickstand plates

The slightly rectangular shape extracted four plates from of a scrap of 3/8 inch plywood, with almost nothing left over. The fourth plate had already found its way into the under-seat bag by the time I thought of a picture.

My can of fluorescent red paint having lost its mojo since the most recent application, these shall remain unpainted forever more; as even forget-me-not red seems to have little effect, that may not matter.

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Running Lights

New Cadillacs have thin white LED running lights along the front edges, with angular chromed trim below:

Cadillac running lights

Cadillac running lights

Their SUVs have matching vertical-stripe taillight / markers; it’s obviously a stylin’ thing. If it weren’t for the power, I’d run LED strips along the edge of the fairing & seat frame on our ‘bents.

Probably due to having read Glory Road at an impressionable age, those lights always remind me of Heidelberg dueling scars:

Adolf Hoffmann-Heyden -- Dueling scar

Adolf Hoffmann-Heyden — Dueling scar

Cannot be unseen…

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Sharing the Road on Raymond Avenue: Impatience

We recently had one of those rare “Get the fuck off the road” incidents on Raymond. To set the stage, we’re on our way for groceries and I’m towing the trailer.

The rear view shows the second car behind us veering far to the right side of the lane, trying to see around the car ahead of him, with much blowing of horn:

Raymond Ave - Impatience - 2016-09-27 - 1

Raymond Ave – Impatience – 2016-09-27 – 1

The big GMC had been following us at a reasonable distance from the Juliet roundabout as we trundled along Raymond at about 12 mph, riding out of the Door Strike Zone for well and good reason.

The GMC passed us at the end of the median, which let the impatient driver zoom up next to us. You can’t hear the horn that will blow as he pulls up next to me:

Raymond Ave - Impatience - 2016-09-27 - 2

Raymond Ave – Impatience – 2016-09-27 – 2

Our usual route takes us into Davis St, so Mary’s already leaning into the right turn. I think he intended to go straight on Raymond for at least another block to the arterial, but he made an abrupt right turn into Davis St directly in front of me:

Raymond Ave - Impatience - 2016-09-27 - 3

Raymond Ave – Impatience – 2016-09-27 – 3

Perhaps that’s to Teach Us A Lesson after all the horn-blowing?

I always ride behind Mary and slightly to her left, so that if / when bad shit goes down, I can bring it down on me, rather than her. In this case, she was safely beyond what was about to happen:

Raymond Ave - Impatience - 2016-09-27 - 4

Raymond Ave – Impatience – 2016-09-27 – 4

The wide-angle lens is deceiving, as I’m less than three feet from the car and closing rapidly; I’m obviously not turning as sharply as he expected and I’m not slowing to avoid a collision. There’s a parked car just ahead of Mary, to her right, and her path is as far to the right as it can get.

He apparently realized that Teaching Me A Lesson would produce a nasty scuff on the side of his shiny black car and, perhaps having spotted the helmet camera, a nasty loss in the ensuing insurance squabble. He also wasn’t willing to swing wide, head-on into the oncoming lane of Davis, so he stopped dead in the intersection:

Raymond Ave - Impatience - 2016-09-27 - 5

Raymond Ave – Impatience – 2016-09-27 – 5

That’s fine with me.

I continued wide past the parked car on Davis. He accelerated hard, decided, once again, not to ram me from behind, turned abruptly left into the parking lot, and proceeded to the eastbound arterial:

Raymond Ave - Impatience - 2016-09-27 - 6

Raymond Ave – Impatience – 2016-09-27 – 6

I’m stopped in that picture to aim the helmet camera backwards over my left shoulder. The car behind the white one is parked near the intersection, just to my right in the previous picture.

As nearly as I could make out, he shouted, in addition to the usual obscenities, “Roads are for automobiles!”, a surprisingly articulate word under the circumstances. Evidently, he hadn’t noticed NYSDOT’s “Share the Road” signage helpfully posted on the far end of Raymond.

Elapsed time from the Juliet roundabout to the parking lot: 45 seconds.

Maybe he had a cake in the oven?

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Too Many Deer, Twice More

We spotted a classic example of deer damage at the corner gas / repair station:

Deer-smashed car

Deer-smashed car

The undamaged bumper below the smashed grill and hood is diagnostic; the legs bounce off the bumper, while the body punches the grill back through the radiator. The airbags didn’t fire, but I’m pretty sure that car is just as dead as the deer.

Plenty of deer-colored fur clinches the diagnosis:

Deer-smashed car - hair detail

Deer-smashed car – hair detail

A few days later, a vulture overflew me on Hooker Avenue:

Vulture - 2016-09-25 - Hooker Ave

Vulture – 2016-09-25 – Hooker Ave

It was flapping strongly, powering its way up to cruising altitude, which seemed odd that far into the urban heat island. On the return leg of the ride, I saw what had its attention:

Deer carcass - 2016-09-25 - Hooker Ave

Deer carcass – 2016-09-25 – Hooker Ave

All swoll up, as the saying goes, and ready for the carcass disposal crew…

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