Start of Season (SoS) 2007

Day One - The Ride up,

I am crap at navigating wile I am on the bike and often I will end up taking a boring route just so I know I will get there. So I asked if anyone was willing to lead my on the way up and Inky said she was going up with a crew from Bristol.
I got a text from InkyAnne at 11:30ish telling me to meet them all at 2pm at Severn View services so I quickly packed my stuff and headed off so that I would not be the last to turn usual I was early so I bought some grub wile I waited for the other to arrive. The finally arrived with Flan turning up last, well I guess it was Flymo''s hangover that kept them.
After that we all left and had a nice ride to Baskerville Hall, there was some countryside roads to ride along and we encountered some Geese which were being very Geese like and protecting their land. We also come across a digger that was in the road, both me and Flymo looked at the gap between the digger and the hedge and thought we could make it. We never got a chance to try as the digger driver noticed up and moved the front bucket so we could get past.
Got to the Hall and started drinking and being social and ended up being one of the last few to bed, as Bubba RP etc were on good form talking carp.

Day Two - The Rideout,

Got up and had some breakfast, and then we did the search for a group to go with for the day. I decided on a group made up of Clinton, Graham, Fraggle, RP, Bubba. We headed out on some rather winding roads and I enjoyed that. We ate ice cream and looked at some studding views we also noticed there was a couple having a intimate moment on a hill side in Wales. We also came across a German Shepard (dog) that was loose on the road and it wanted to have a chew on some bikers so when it came to me I just pulled the clutch in a opened the throttle up, not in a WB way but loud enough and the dog moved away.
Got back to the Hall and I got asked by Splaticus to live up to my name and hold his bike up for him. He then decided to take best part of a week to the work on his bike. After that I went to the bar and drank some more and had dinner and but 10pm ish I was tired so just went to bed, its not like me to wimp out but I was knackerd.

Day Three - The Way home,

I woke up early and had breakfast, the I managed to find a ixie to supply a interesting route home (Thanks Ian Nichols) and I had to wake up the Chas as he was getting a lift on the back of my bike home.
The ride back was nice as we kept of any sort of major road so we only saw one cash machine on the way back. We did come across a bunch of bikers that were wobbling along. I had to wait for them to overtake some cars before I could think of overtaking them as I had Chas on-board and was not going to attempt anything silly with that kind of weight on the back. Meanwhile Ian was buggering off into the distance so I had to play catchup after I overtook them, luckily he waited at the next junction for me.
Got back to Chas''s and he mentioned the idea of a BBQ so I went home and got changed and returned later that evening. It ended up just me, Ian, and Chas but we still had a nice BBQ and later we started to play on the Wii which is fun.

And now the pictures...


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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