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Month: January 2014

Cord Cutters Part 1 – Breaking the bonds of the power conglomerate

Cord Cutters Part 1 – Breaking the bonds of the power conglomerate

It’s been my hope for quite sometime that my studies would eventually be tasked to solve a real world problem.  My current day to day work has little to do with electrical engineering or micro control applications.  We simply operate like most of the general population and purchase, instead of develop.  Recently we had deployed a device that interfaces using a USB cable.  That device is in a rather harsh environment and care has to be taken to prevent damage….

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Radio Frequency Links – Seemless connection options

Radio Frequency Links – Seemless connection options

Another requirement for this quarter was to explore the different connection options available.  I did a browse of the offerings from the folks at Sparkfun and found quite of few.  There were some really inexpensive RF modules that look promising. RF Link Transmitter – 434MHz RF Link Receiver – 4800bps (434MHz) There were a bunch of other options and of course bluetooth modules.  The basic RF link looked like I could use if for both analog and digital signals.  Some…

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eBikeology Part 2- A personal account on electric bikes

eBikeology Part 2- A personal account on electric bikes

I had a bunch of problems that crept up using the 408 and the 36v 25A system.  The weight of the hub motor and battery pack on the rear wheel caused me to bend over 4 rims and break serveral spokes in a 2 year period.  Also, the bike was heavy and handled differently.  What really sealed it for me was the Pelican case, the latches cracked and broke off.  I can only guess that they aren’t resistant to UV…

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eBikeology Part 1- A personal account on electric bikes

eBikeology Part 1- A personal account on electric bikes

I’ve been operating electric bikes since 2008 after seeing Russ William’s demo his Crystalyte.  I always enjoyed biking, but hadn’t been interested in regular use or long rides.  The idea of the bike having an electric assist really sparked my interest.  I started to do my homework. Since I didn’t have any real starting point, I just looked for resellers of kits.  The best bang for the buck I found was with an outfit based out of Kansas called Electric…

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Compacting Part 6 – Final results

Compacting Part 6 – Final results

Now that the work is done, here are my impressions of how it looked and worked. The operation of the light is easy to do while riding.  I don’t have any trouble changing modes even while pounding the cranks off road.  There isn’t any bouncing of the switch.  I think this is in large part to the internal switch circuit already built in the headlamp.   I really enjoyed the quick mode changes when approaching danger spots, like dark lit road…

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Compacting Part 5 – Installation of new system

Compacting Part 5 – Installation of new system

It took a bit of effort with the BLS connectors.  Once I got the hang of it, the rest of the setup went along fine.  First I started out with putting the BLS connector and new wire on the battery pack.  I attempted to source some wire at DataPros here in Seattle, but they didn’t offer it.  So, I decided to hit the scrap heap and found an old stereo cord that did the trick.  Shirk wrapping the connector ends…

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Compacting Part 4 – Steps to make it happen

Compacting Part 4 – Steps to make it happen

The install steps shouldn’t be too involving.  It will be comprised of 4 components, these being: Headlamp with 3 wire conductor to a BLS housing. Handlebar momentary switch with 2 wire conductor to a BLS housing. Handlebar battery pack with a 2 wire conductor to a BLS housing. BLS housing jumper. I’ll need to make a few modifications to the headlamp and battery pack.  The jumper will need to be made.  The handlebar switch will be the easiest part of…

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Compacting Part 3 – Proposed new method

Compacting Part 3 – Proposed new method

Proposed new method After going through the setup a few times with drawings of the layout, it became clear that simple was better.  The original setup had so many features.  This equated to so many parts.  To redo the same setup seemed insane.  I didn’t want to get locked into commiting tons of effort and time.  The simple approach also had to be expandable.  Another words, I would want the ability to add the features back without changing what I…

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Compacting Part 2 – Removal of the goof

Compacting Part 2 – Removal of the goof

The step of clearing the way for the revamp didn’t take much time at all.  More effort was put into preparing the workspace and placing the bike. All the device and control cables terminated at a project box, located under the handlebar headlamp.  Since the control cluster, brake sensor, and momentary switch were going to stay, I just decided to cut the cables as close to the project box as possible. The cable mess was worse than I remembered.  It…

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Morning Bike Ride – Back to Basics

Morning Bike Ride – Back to Basics

This was the first ride I’ve done with some distance since late summer last year.  Been meaning to, but I kept putting it off.  I think the last real distance ride was from Preston on up to Summit and back.  That was in late July. This ride was just a humble start before the good weather rolls back into town. I have to admit that the best part of the ride was the end.  An egg, cheese, and bacon sandwich…

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