Daily Archives: January 17, 2012

Great, now I’m a switch and 4 solder joints from being able to use my new taillight, and the Feed

What the headline refers to is I managed to cook the plastic parts of my switch, rendering it inoperable, while connecting the wires from the light units to it. So I have to go back to the store to get another switch and connect the wires to it (more carefully this time) and I still haven’t figured out how to make a secure soldered connection to those last two tabs on the battery pack. I have gone into the guts of the trickle charger that boiled SLA batteries to see if I can make it work as a NiMH charger, and if I bypass the regulators that failed to regulate the current I can get enough voltage out of the system to fully charge the 10s NiMH pack without damaging it. I have found out that C/10 is a perfect charge rate for using terminal voltage as a end-of-charge determinant, for 10s I will need to stop charging between 14 and 14.4V. Just to be on the safe side I’m wiring an ammeter as well as a voltmeter into this charger, to make sure the charge rate is as intended. Another thing I’m going to try is wiring an LED in series with the output as an indicator of complete charging. How that works is the voltage coming off the wall wart is 18VrmsAC, after going through the bridge it will be 16.6 VDC, the LED has to have a certain amount of voltage drop as well as a minimum current to light. What I have to do is figure out the resistor to put in series with the LED that allows 200ma current to flow until the voltage in the pack is equal to the voltage from the wall wart minus the voltage drop of the LED, which I don’t know yet because I haven’t measured it (it’s still in the electronic guts of the trickle charger). I might have to resort to using a clamping capacitor to hold the output from the bridge closer to the peak voltage of the wall wart if the forward bias of the LED is too high to allow 200ma of current to flow. And the reason I’m spending so much time on the charger is the charger will be out in the garage out of sight while the battery is being charged, it has to shut down or go to a really low current so that the battery isn’t overcharged when I put the charger on after a short night ride like I had to do when I was using the SLA battery in the Honkin’ Huge Taillight™ on Gigi. SLA is notorious for going bad if left in a partially discharged condition, NiMH not so much, so I might just wait until the light gets a little dim before slapping the charger on it, but the care would still be needed in building the charger. And I think you can see why I was chosen by Hephastus as a follower, I was an EE tech and an ME tech a long time ago. I used to get awards for following procedure 100% at some of my older jobs. I am that unholy combination of ADHD and OCD. I’m easily distracted, but while I’m on-task that task is done right!

Up first is more about the (lack of) bike lanes in Dallas. Dallas cycling group proposes barricades to protect bikers Unless there are drivers’ groups holding bake sales to get potholes fixed and bridges built the city needs to pay for bike lanes, not cycling groups holding bake sales and art auctions. Bike lanes are basic infrastructure like roads and sidewalks. But given the number of streets in TX that lack even sidewalks in spite of the fact that they are residential streets with children playing on them shows how committed to basic infrastructure they(we) are in TX.

An Upstate NY cyclist is hit-and-run and surprize surprize the driver was DUI. Bicyclist Injured in Hit and Run Crash The charges are pretty serious initially, let’s see what he eventually is convicted of. To avoid use hit-from-behind protocols.

Moving on to Jolly Olde a driver that went off the roads @~70MPH and hit a cyclist on a bike path gets off easy. Motorist who hit cyclist and injured passenger while over-taking two cars at speed keeps licence Only a minor fine and 6 points, at that rate he could hit another cyclist and still keep his license to drive, barely. TANJ!

Another case with a bit more justice as a half-blind driver is sued by his victim. Cyclist Injured in Hit and Run Accident wins £4 Million Compensation The cyclist went from being a national-level tennis coach to sitting all day in a wheelchair and getting fed through a tube.

The man accused of murder in an Oz cycling death has refused to enter a plea in his arraignment. Man enters no plea over cyclist death He also has not requested bail, so he remains in custody (jail). This case is so odd…

Another case of entitled drivers as a road that is unsafe because of falling rocks bans cyclists rather than slow down motor vehicles for a few miles. Death likely, warns driver You could just drive more slowly for a few miles rather than run over a cyclist…

And that’s all the links I have today, fortunately for my sanity.

Billed @$0.02, Opus