Thursday, July 16, 2009

Kermit the Cobra

I'm afraid, friends, that Kermit has emerged from his tadpole stage a very angry and menacing creature indeed! With his frightening new jaws, I am now quite sure he is not a frog at all but a deadly cobra.

Olivier came over last night and added a rectifier to the LED circuit, which now functions very well. We had a very difficult time with it at first, and couldn't figure out what was wrong. As it turned out, in our tests of the taillight with the Edelux headlight, the circuit was shorting out on the aluminum casing of the Edelux—another reason to consider the plastic-cased Cyo! Well, once we sorted that out, everything worked perfectly!

Clive will be here Sunday. He is discussed in this article in Cleveland Scene magazine, which literally transcribes Joe Bringhelli's Italianate English to very humorous effect.

Thursday, July 9, 2009

Clive's Taillight, Kermit

My friend Olivier and I have been busy over the last couple of weeks. Which is to say: Olivier has been busy, and I've been busy watching him. He's been making the "guts" for my taillight shell.

Originally I thought we would put a whole bunch of LEDs, in a circular pattern, into the light-shell. But since the lens wouldn't come off, we needed to sneak the LED unit in "the back door," which limited us either to one large or two small LEDs. Olivier, who knows more about electronics than I do, informed me that it would be better to use two small LEDs, since otherwise we'd need to use a resistor and waste some current. (I suppose this has something to do with AC, but I'm not sure.) So we ordered two tiny Luxeon "Rebel" LEDs and one larger "K2," just in case the Rebels didn't work. Both are "red-orange," even though my red lens seems to do a good job making white light red.

The next step was to machine the body for the LED unit. Our idea was to machine a cylinder out of plastic to the inside diameter of the "entry point" on my taillight. Then we would drill a hole through the centre, which we would then tap to accept a hollow chainring bolt. Then we'd machine a little piece of aluminum to act as a heatsink and a mounting plate for the LEDs. I wish I had photos of this process, but I don't—anyway, it all went as planned.

Then last night we hooked everything up. Olivier cut slots in the plastic and aluminum to allow for the passage of wires, and he soldered the LEDs together. Then (after some difficulty) we epoxied the lights to the aluminum plate, and the aluminum to the plastic. Then we passed the wires through, and soldered a ground wire to the inside of the chainring bolt (it will ground itself through the frame.) The photos will no doubt explain all this much better than I could have. We the light up to my Schmidt wheel via Olivier Cyo front light, and let me tell you—it's BRIGHT. Perhaps even too birght—but we'll see!

Many thanks for M. Scholten for his excellent ideas, and his offer of doing all this work for me!

The plastic "body" of the light, with the headless triple chainring bolt in place. It attaches to a seattube braze-on thus.

The same piece from the other side. It's hollow, like the bolt. The slot is cut to allow the wires to make it through.

The aluminum heatsink/top, with slot.

Two Luxeon "Rebel" LEDs all wired up. (They look like a frog—thus Kermit.)

Olivier soldering the ground wire to the inside of the bolt. This required filing off some chrome plating...

The LED unit partially inserted into the light housing. I'm going to cut off at least half of that "tube."

Another shot of Kermit, still in his "tadpole" stage.

Tuesday, July 7, 2009

Slight Delay

Well, Clive's arrival has been delayed by car troubles on Dan P.'s end. So he'll be here next week some time.

In the meantime, I offer this "artist's rendering" of my fork crown. (By which I mean, I was so curious about what it would look like 'in context' that I decided to just draw it and find out.)

Also: there have been big taillight LED-ization developments, so those posts will come soon. And the proposed series on my other bikes is on hold—for much excitement is about to take place!

Wednesday, July 1, 2009

Updated Due Date

Since I have now spoken at length about all the most exciting components on Clive, I will get on to some actual news: Clive will be done on Saturday. Then he will be delivered the following Friday, July 10th. After that he'll be painted fairly quickly, and we'll have an actual bicycle to discuss! (That's Clive's medieval-looking fork crown on the right.)

Once Clive is a bike, I will talk at length about things like bottle cages, which really don't merit individual posts!

I think I will fill the next gap in Clive activity by describing my other bikes, individually. Coming soon!