Monday, March 28, 2011
After landing in Denver, I got a call from Dom who told me which gate Steve was flying out of and to look for someone wearing a plaid coat. The plaid coat was easy to spot as it may have been the only one in the airport. It was great meeting the artist who got me interested in photography again and hearing of his experience with Dom's Ural sidecar rig. Unfortunately, it was too short of a visit but it sounds like he may be attending the BMW MOA rally in Bloomsburg, PA, this summer so hopefully I'll be able to visit again.
I exited the "secure area" to the main terminal to visit with Dom. After reading his blog for so long, it seems that I've known him for years. Since my next flight was delayed due to some massive computer failure at Alaska Airlines, we had an opportunity to talk for a couple of hours. Topics ranged from sidecars to IPv6 (two obviously related topics.) I'm really looking forward to his experiences assembling his new sidecar rig. And I'm even more anxious to getting a car attached to my R100RT. With the way fuel prices are going up, I may want the rig ready by next fall. The next time I'm in Denver, I really need to add an extra day. He said that I need more ride reports on this blog and fewer whale bone arches....
Thursday, March 24, 2011
Friday Morning -This morning much of the discussion was on power infrastructure including observatory platforms deployed in Antarctica. One observatory platform uses 5 diesel engines with 6000 gallons of fuel combined with about 1.5KW of passive solar that is designed to run for two years without maintenance (visits are expensive). Data is relayed out using Iridium and Openport including all monitoring and control. Pretty slick system. Today, the presenter fo used on the power infrastructure available to support science. Another presentation had some horror stories of trying to get wind turbines up and running to support an RF sensitive antenna array. Trying to get bearings with grease that works down to -90°C and no maintenance opportunities for at least a year. Apparently, if you just need your experiment to run during the Antarctic summer, no problem at all. Just use solar and people are around. Winter is the real challenge.
Friday Afternoon - There was a long discussion about the use of fuel cells in an Arctic environment. A German system is being used in the Canadian Arctic and in Alaska outside of Toolik Lake. Overall partially successful though it is critical to manage heat and waste. Since tbe fuel cell produces liquid water as a waste product, it tends to freeze once it leaves the insulated enclosure. The interior of the fuel cell also needs to be kept above freezing.
A while back, I mentioned that this structure showed up on the beach. There was a presentation which explained what it was, what they were doing, and why it was shut down after only a couple of months. They are looking to deploy a number of these along the coast and they wanted to develop a portable, standalone module to provide power and two way data for a series of high frequency radar units. I had talked to the radar group last year but didn't realize that this power module was part of the project. 425 watts of wind & solar with backup diesel power. Pretty cool!
Wednesday, March 23, 2011
I'm on my way south again to the Polar Technology Conference in Albequerque, NM. This is a very small conference to bring together scientists and providers of technology together. Based on the agenda, I'm sure I'll learn lots. The first picture is inside the Denver International Airport. I don't get here too often and I saw a bit more of it than I usually do. The track really caught my attention as it reminded me of some sort of amusement park ride. This is the third airport of the day that I've needed to wait around in. At least there's free wi-fi. There were some great views of the mountains south of Denver on the flint out but the plane windows were really dirty. This area looks like a great place to ride.
Friday, March 18, 2011
Thursday, March 17, 2011
I keep forgetting to call the Beemershop. Once I get busy I seem to forget things like that....
Tuesday, March 8, 2011
|Denali from the Hagelbarger Turnout|
He suggested that I replace the pushrod tube seals while I had the heads off since they usually get pretty hard and brittle with age and heat. Since the pushrods are below the cylinder, they tend to leak oil after a while. This requires pulling the cylinders and he mentioned a method to do this without removing the pistons from the cylinders. With the piston at TDC, slowly pull the cylinder until you can see the piston skirt sticking out of the bottom of the cylinder. Remove the circlip holding the wrist pin into the piston and separate the piston from the rod. Sounds pretty simple and it turns out that one of the other members was planning on doing this procedure this Saturday afternoon on his R100GS. I think I know what I'll be doing on Saturday afternoon. Ted at the Beemershop also recommended replacing them and was going to include new cylinder base and pushrod seals whenever the heads get shipped back.
Still no real rush to get the bike back together as there is still quite a bit of ice on the roads and night time temperatures still drop to about -15°F when the skies are clear. March has always been one of my favorite months since it is usually clear and sunny the entire month. Great for x-country skiing.