Continixion 2006

Day One,

The Journey Begins

I got up at the crack of dawn to leave for the boat which is to sail at 9am from Portsmouth to Caen. I was the first to get there and later followed by Iain Lowe who cleverly had managed to forget to fill up his bike even though had told the rest of us to fill up before the boat so we would not have to go in search for fuel as soon as we are into France. Soon Derek, Rod Lowe and Richard Browning (Now known as Sweary Dick) turned up.
We got in the boat and we left the bikes to make are way towards the bar on the boat as Iain and Rod had not had their breakfast yet and were eager to start the holiday.
We were in fog most of the may on our journey on the boat and once we were about an hour or so from landing a message came over the tannoy telling us the French fishermen had blocked the ports due to the cost of fuel. Me and Derek were outside wandering the boat so we did not hear the message but we knew something was up as the boat had stopped. Iain was very funny as he was starting to go mad as he had built himself up to getting to Arromanches for his Agricultural Rum he went very red...I see how he got the nickname Satan.
We finally landed in France 12 hours after we got on the boat and Iain went off to get fuel but mistook another group of bikers as our group so left the rest of us to find our own way to Arromanches.
We got to Arrmanches just in time to miss dinner so Adrian nicely made up some toasted Pizzas for us.

Day Two,

Mont St. Michel

Got up and had some breakfast, after that we though of places we wanted to go. Derek said he had always wanted to go down to Mont St. Michel so me, Fifi, Gordon and Derek went off for the day. We were lucky as it was nice weather but not many tourists were around so we had a nice walk up to the top...I had to stop several times as I am clearly unfit. We had a nice walk around the Abbey, the site reminds me of Ministerith (sp?) from the Lord of the Rings.
It was about 80miles ride down and on the way back we managed around 100miles at times we came across wet road and we could see a thunderstorm in the distance but with Fifi/Gordon/GPS we managed to keep out of the rain. One note for bikers in France they uses the old gloss style pain for road markings so they are very very very slippery.

Day Three,

Market and BBQ

In the morning we went to the market to stock up on food to eat at the evenings BBQ. After we got back me Gordo and Derek went to the Cinema 360 which is a very nice piece of art, using old footage from the war and newly shot footage from today to show the locations in which the war was fought. All shown on a 360 degrees display. It brings home the fact that where we were staying is a large part of D-Day landings. The BBQ was lovely and I had a huge piece of steak. Iain had boasted about buying a Pigs head to have on the BBQ evening but he *forgot* to buy one at the market. Luckily the rest of had not so there was half a pigs head to eat, Iain had said he wanted to have some once it was cooked but he kept finding excuses. In the end Adrian and Fifi ate most of the cheeks from the pigs head.

Day Four,

Watching Bikes

Sunday we awake and Adrian was like a kid, happy with the idea of going to this Classic bike show to go look at SOBs and to show this BSA SOB he had been asked to show. We get to Luc sur Mer to find that as Adrian does not have the correct paperwork they would not let him in so he went off to sulk/look at other SOBs.
I noticed that the organisers had set out a short course along the promenade and I had made the assumption that it was going to be one off them ''demonstration'' rides. But the people who took part were defiantly demonstrating the bikes, as fast as they could. A lot of the SOBs had little in the way of silencing and sounded lovely. Its the kind of sound you feel rather than hear.
I took loads of pictures and I have upload them to .

Day Five,

Going Home

Depressing part, Coming home. The trip home was rather uneventful other than me taking a detour off the M27 for a bit as I needed to check my map so I would not end up going too far along the motorway.


Amber Flashers Pt1-2

Category: Electronics

Well project Flashy lights got another step closer as I found Autodesk 123D Circuits that allows you to play with an Arduino without having to break it in real life. So I made up a quick mock up of the Amber Beacon project I have. The code will make the programmers twitch as I suspect its over complicated.…/1420148-mosfet-flashing-bulb I did have issues trying to work out the correct way to hook up a MOSFAT transistor and I am using bulbs as the LEDs I plan to use are going to be 10W LED and wanted to simulate that better. Now to work out how to have multiple patterns, make it switchable, and possibly to include some PWM (Pulse Width Modulation) AKA brightness adjustment. I know this is complicated way to build something I can buy off the shelf but it does mean I get to play. Eventually the Amber Beacon on top of the vehicle will get the same upgrade with better (synced) flashing. Even thought of hooking the amber bar to the indicators so when the Alarm goes off so does the beacons, and or indication (suitably dimmed).

Amber Flashers Pt1-1

Category: Electronics

So a few more of my friends have chimed in with some suggestions, Using a microcontroller is complete overkill! smile emoticon You can do non-programmable flashing with a simple timer circuit like a NE555, there are plenty of example circuits on the web. Beware your calculations of power - 12V is nominal, it can be much higher when the battery is being charged hard in cold conditions, and LEDs aren't a simple resistive device like an incandescent lamp, so whilst 0.83A is a rough average current, the peaks may be much higher, as all LED lamps are strobed at high frequency (many kilohertz) as they are much brighter that way. Transistor switching is normally done on the negative side of the load (your LED lamp) as the electronics for that is simpler than switching it on the positive side. Simplest is to use a NPN Darlington power transistor switching the negative side of the lamp, there are many transistors available from Maplin and lots of example circuits on the web. Obviously positive switching is easier to wire on a vehicle so you need to figure out which is best suited to your needs. Search for "emitter follower" or "high side switch" circuits for some ideas if you want to use positive switching. Farnell used to stock some nice high-side FETs designed for automotive use (i.e. immune to the electrical noise in a vehicle plus the heat etc). I don't recall the part numbers as it's a long time since I used any. FETs are complicated to drive unless you get the "logic level input" type that contain extra circuitry to interface directly to a signal from a microcontroller. The switching transistor will burn a fair amount of power so it will need a heat sink. It's worth getting a beefier transistor than you think you need, so that there's margin for extremes of temperature else it'll overheat and fail on a hot day. Have you got a spec for the LEDs so we can tell if they are simply a diode or if they have any embedded driver circuit? To get the best out of any LED you need to know several things such as the maximum average power as well as the optimum over-current to drive them at. Typically you always over-drive an LED but in short bursts, as it generates far more light that way. For example if an LED wants 1 Amp average power, you could give it 1 Amp continuous and get 1 unit of light from it, but if you forced it to take 2 Amps it might give off 4 units of light, but you can only afford to turn it on at 2 Amps half the time so that the average current (power) remains the same at 1 Amp. Typically the strobing is at many kHz so that it's invisible to the eye, but the net effect is that the LED would be giving you twice as much (usually more) than its rated constant output. -Stephen Hobbs Seems my idea of a Arduino maybe overkill but might not be as hard to work out as the wiring for the above ideas. The LED chips I have are cheap from China and specifications are a little unknown. But below is the info I do have, High Power chips LED COB 20mm square 10W Warm White DC9-12V 900mA 3000K-3500K 900lm 140° 10W Amber DC9-12V 900mA 585-590nm 400lm 140° My current thinking of the layout 4 banks of 2 mounted in the grill. Not to scale mind. The chips are 20mm but have 140deg view so don't think a diffuser is needed. Might just get some clear plastic glued on unless I can find someone with a 3D printer that can print clear lenses for me. I would love to have a multitude of patterns for fun. 1 & 2 could alternate etc hence the like for the UNO which I think can deal with 8 channels.

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