A philosphy for problem solving

General cycling advice ( NOT technical ! )
Geoff.D
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Joined: 12 Mar 2010, 9:20pm

A philosphy for problem solving

Postby Geoff.D » 3 Oct 2010, 6:28pm

I think the subtitle for this item could well be "Musings of a sad man who should get out more". But, I do end up with a question.........eventually!!

I've recently changed my recumbent's rear hub for an SA drum brake. I've always been happy with the performance of drums on my ex-GPO bike, and on (borrowed) rides on an ICE QNT. However, I found that it didn't come up to expectation this time round. I put this down to using a more lighweight brake lever and a standard brake cable, rather than the heavier gauge cable on the GPO bike. Try as I did. I couldn't find a source of extra long, heavier gauge cable in the cycling world. So, I cast the net further afield and found a site (www.trialsbits.co.uk) which provides every thing you should need to make up cables yourself, in a range of gauges. Hey presto!! I've got a long brake cable (2.15 mm) with no discerable stretch.

It set me thinking about "cross over" technology, skills and approaches. The rise of breathable waterproofs in mountaineering in the 70s has informed our cycling world to good effect. I've built a fnose and tail fairing in fibre glass, after a grounding in canoe building many years ago. I've read with interest, in these forums, of how contributors find solutions to one-off problems, using engineering skills honed in other contexts (such s how to customise cassettes). I've enjoyed descriptions of the building of light systems by "raids" on the Maplins catalogue, saving fistfuls of dollars in the process.

I'm constantly delighted at the solution of problems by such "cross over" approaches. The more inventive the application the more delightful it seems to me. It's the antithesis of the "discard and replace" culture that has emerged in many parts of our everyday life. I was wondering if anyone else shares my optimism in people's inventiveness, and has any favourite examples of such.

And now to my question.

I have a single leg propstand for my recumbent. The bike leans over when it's on the stand. Sometimes I've climbed aboard and set of without kicking up the stand. Could be catastrophic, to say the least. I'd like to build in an buzzer that is "silent" when the bike is on the stand, and is also "silentf" when the bike is vertical with the stand withdrawn. BUT.... it will buzz if the bike is vertical with the stand sticking out. I'll need two switches - a straightforward, spring loaded contact switch on the propstand leg, and one that is activated by the bike being on/off the vertical. It's the second of these switches that I have no experience of. Does anyone have a line of thought?

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hubgearfreak
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Re: A philosphy for problem solving

Postby hubgearfreak » 3 Oct 2010, 6:36pm

Geoff.D wrote:one that is activated by the bike being on/off the vertical. It's the second of these switches that I have no experience of. Does anyone have a line of thought?


they're called mercury switches, and are fitted (amongst other things) into the boot lids of expensive cars. when the car boot lid is opened and the tube is tilted, the mercury goes to the end of the tube that is now at the bottom that contains two contacts. you could maybe get one from a scrapyard, or search online. this product looks interesting too....

http://www.rapidonline.com/productinfo. ... 0#techspec

snibgo
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Joined: 29 Jun 2010, 4:45am

Re: A philosphy for problem solving

Postby snibgo » 3 Oct 2010, 7:07pm


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Cunobelin
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Re: A philosphy for problem solving

Postby Cunobelin » 3 Oct 2010, 7:12pm

Wouldn't a spring be more elegant (bur nowhere near as much fun!)

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Greybeard
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Joined: 1 Oct 2008, 6:48pm
Location: East Yorkshire

Re: A philosphy for problem solving

Postby Greybeard » 3 Oct 2010, 7:20pm

Would it be easier simply to adjust the stand's spring tension or fit another spring that causes it to flip up when the bike's weight is taken off it?
The only experience I've had of tilt switches was with one fitted to my Harley. Designed to turn the engine off if the bike went over, it would still allow it to tick over when on its side stand (that's the only one it had - who could lift one onto a centre stand? :? ) I get the impression that there would have to be quite a tilt to get such switches to react.
I only found out that my bike had one when it stopped working and believed the bike was on its side all the time :roll: Harley ones are 80 quid each :shock:

Steve

I see that Cunobelin has suggested the same whilst I've been typing this :oops:

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Deckie
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Joined: 8 Feb 2007, 8:58am
Location: Helston, Cornwall

Re: A philosphy for problem solving

Postby Deckie » 3 Oct 2010, 8:58pm

How about a micro switch at the base of the stand, once the bike is vertical, and therefore the stand not in contact with the ground the switch will change states. It could be along side the stand so it touches the ground rather than taking the bike's weight. You could then have a set up at the top of the stand so that the circuit to the switch is only completed when the stand is down, that would prevent odd signals from the motion of the bike effecting a tilt switch. Some form of sliding contact?
Richard & Joules JoGLE for Marie Curie - 14 to 28 May 2010
http://www.richardjoulesjogle.blogspot.com

Geoff.D
Posts: 1959
Joined: 12 Mar 2010, 9:20pm

Re: A philosphy for problem solving

Postby Geoff.D » 3 Oct 2010, 9:51pm

Thanks, guys. As soon as the phrase "tilt switch" was mentioned, it was quite obvious. It says it all, and the links are just what I need.

I'd considered the idea of a simple return spring, and I certainly agree that it's by far the most elegant solution. However, my stand isn't spring loaded. It's "notched" to retain it in it's "out" and "in" positions. I decided not to convert to spring retraction for two reasons. In the first place I feel that the stand would be in danger of retracting at inopportune moments if the weight of the bike were taken off inadvertantly, for example when loading the tail box with stuff or if someone brushed against it in a crowded place. Secondly, for the spring to keep the leg tight when travelling , it would need to have enough spring rate for the job. This would mean that the leg would clatter back as I climbed aboard, unless I always took care to release it gently with my foot beforehand. And, if I could remember to do that everytime, I wouldn't need a failsafe mechanism in the first place.

Oh........did I mention that I'm reknown for "losing" my car keys at least three times a day????? Any solutions to that one? (Yes, I know..... get rid of the car and stick to the bike)

Thanks. Appreciated.

noel.shearer@uuplc.co.uk
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Joined: 21 Aug 2007, 8:36am

Re: A philosphy for problem solving

Postby noel.shearer@uuplc.co.uk » 3 Oct 2010, 10:00pm

On the basis that simple is often best, how about using cross over technology from motorbike disc locks. They often have a springy cable between the disc lock and handlebars to avoid the BIG embarressment of trying to ride off with the front wheel locked in position - with obvious comedy results!

Something like this? http://www.amazon.co.uk/BIKE-IT-766450-Disc-Reminder/dp/B001AXLSGQ

Noel

snibgo
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Joined: 29 Jun 2010, 4:45am

Re: A philosphy for problem solving

Postby snibgo » 3 Oct 2010, 10:05pm

Oh........did I mention that I'm reknown for "losing" my car keys at least three times a day????? Any solutions to that one?


http://www.comparecom.co.uk/whistle-key-fobs.php

thirdcrank
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Joined: 9 Jan 2007, 2:44pm

Re: A philosphy for problem solving

Postby thirdcrank » 3 Oct 2010, 10:09pm

Geoff.D wrote:...Oh........did I mention that I'm reknown for "losing" my car keys at least three times a day????? Any solutions to that one? ...


Get one of these and make sure you wear it:

http://www.patrolstore.com/Securikey-Su ... 13574.html

Then get some of these - one for each set of keys.

http://www.patrolstore.com/s-biner-smal ... -8814.html

Although this firm only sell black, they are available in a handy range of different colours for key identification. Cotswold Outdoor stock them - in the Leeds branch they are in a sort of sweet jar on the counter.

Then: make sure you use them. I am a notorious key loser :oops: but touch wood, never a problem since I started this system. 8)

I did look at one of these in Maplins

http://www.maplin.co.uk/Module.aspx?ModuleNo=99293

You fit tags on your stuff and when you can't find it, you use this gadget to point to where they are. I told the salesman I had only one question and he replied "Let me guess. How do you locate the locator if you lose it?" Hole in one. Apparently it's a common question. :lol: