Wednesday, April 27, 2016
I did hear back from the author of BlogPad Pro and they thanked me for reporting the problems. The paragraph break is the more annoying problem and they said that Google had changed the API and it will be fixed at the next release. Until then, I will be starting posts on the iPad where it's easy to insert photos, then bring them up in the Blogger web interface to fix the paragraphs. Simple enough. The incorrect HTML style in the photos was new to them though. I guess that has been there but not mentioned before, I guess people just put up with it.
Another day, another waiting room. Though this one has better free snacks. I'm at the local Toyota dealer getting the next service done on the Prius. Fortunately, there isn't much needed as part of the service. Since it's out of warranty, I should probably start doing some of this myself. Then I wouldn't be sitting around in another waiting room. I did talk with a friend who was here getting an air bag recall done on his old Corolla. He is another airhead member and is getting ready for a bike trip to the lower 48 with his son. He said that his son may be keeping the airhead so he'll be keeping the old Honda. I believe it's a predecessor of the Goldwing. I don't remember what they were called.
Monday, April 25, 2016
No issues or problems with the Ural yet. I've added about 100 ml of oil so far but it's still in the engine break in period. Almost to the 1000 km where I'll need to torque the heads, adjust the valves and change the oil and filter.
Saturday, April 23, 2016
I'm using the new iPad blogging app again to see if there is any way to get it to put in the appropriate paragraph breaks. (It didn't and I needed to modify the html directly for the right margin of the picture.)
Some searching yielded BlogPad Pro as a possible replacement. It was originally developed for WordPress but at some point in time, Blogger support was added. I had tried a bunch of other blogging apps before settling on Blogsy and most of them worked but usually failed at picture formatting. BlogPad Pro fails less. I still needed to go in and "tweak" the html for pictures on the left. The default is to leave 1em on the left side and 0 on the right. This would cause the text to be right up against the edge of the photo. Pictures on the right work just fine. Another problem seems to be paragraph spacing. The wysiwyg editor show it fine but when posted, all of the spacing goes away.
Sunday, April 17, 2016
The portable lab is referred to as the SledShed as it is built on sled runners so it could be moved. The Rolm tower on the left is a research project currently occupying the much of the interior of the portable lab. I'm not sure what the project is but I had worked on a similar tower back in the late 1970s to study micro-meteorology. The power poles are heading out to another building called the Control Shed in the middle of the BEO. The radio I'm installing now is part of a redundant link for the control shed. I needed a longer cable to connect the new radio and will probably head out there again on Sunday. Hopefully it'll warm up a bit.
Sunday Evening Update - Here is a shot of the construction of the sushi rolls. I only needed to make the first one and the others jumped in and made the rest. They came out okay but I didn't put in enough vinegar/sugar into the rice. But otherwise, not bad.
And the new radio is installed. One of the researchers, who will be working out at the BEO Control Shed tomorrow, offered to install the other end of the link.
Thursday, April 14, 2016
One of the questions was the suitability of such electronic additions. My opinion is that while such things are fine and could make the bike safer, it would be a good idea to not learn to rely on them. Such as, know how to modulate the front and rear brakes in a panic stop. I keep hearing tales of riders who have never ridden anything without traction control, linked brakes and ABS being in over their head when having to ride something that doesn't have those features. So my conclusion was that such electronic assists are not good for an beginner and not good for the experienced rider wanting to push all the way to the edge.
I also commented that I thought that there was a lot of value in being able to fix things along the side of the road in the middle of nowhere. Pulling out your cell phone and calling a tow truck isn't always an option. I think that is the attraction to bikes such as the KLR and BMW airheads. Easy to fix and plenty of spare parts.
|Image from the Internet|
|Image from http://news.motorbiker.org/|
Tuesday, April 12, 2016
I'll be up here into the beginning of next week so no moto content for a while.
Sunday, April 10, 2016
Friday, April 8, 2016
Yesterday, there were two bikes at College Coffeehouse plus I saw Lee H. riding his airhead on Farmers Loop. Today, not very many (i.e. none). One of the bikes at morning coffee was a very nice R1200GSA on it's first ride of the year.
And, for a change, no issues with the Ural all week. No oil leaks, no oil consumption, no weird noises. Just a nice sounding engine.
Friday Afternoon Update - I'm not sure why there was so much anti-Windows 10 on the Internet about Windows 10. Just don't let it pick all of the defaults. There were a lot of preferences automatically checked that you probably shouldn't choose. Such as automatically send your wi-fi network passwords to Microsoft so they can be shared with all of your friends. I think I unchecked all of the Microsoft recommended sharing options. It seems to work just fine on this tablet including the touch screen.
Tuesday, April 5, 2016
I have been curious about the accuracy of the CHT (cylinder head temperature) gauge. The one I have is not temperature compensated so it only reads "right" at +70°F. Today the outside air temperature was about 40°F so the CHT will be reading about 30°F high. Right after pulling into the garage, the left cylinder read 355°F (or 325°F after adjusting for ambient temperature) and the right was 375°F (or 345°F).
At a distance of a foot, the spot size is a little over an inch in diameter. The temperature reading is affected by the emissivity of the surface which is a quantitative measure of the efficiency in radiating thermal radiation. The device assumed an emissivity of 0.95. A dark, non-reflective surface would have an emissivity near 1.0 and a reflective mirror would be 0. To get an accurate reading, the emissivity needs to be near 1. I'm guessing that the cylinder head isn't a perfect 1.0 but it's not far off. Not having access to a portable IR spectrometer, I could simply paint a section of the head with flat black paint and that would raise the emissivity to get a more accurate reading. But I'm thinking that this is close enough. And I can probably just assume that the temperature compensated temperature from the CHT thermocouples is a bit high.
Sunday, April 3, 2016
The only thing that has changed since my last ride was adding the plastic leg guards. How could that do anything. Upon closer inspection, I noticed that the reverse lever was touching the leg guard when in neutral. I loosened the lock nuts on the linkage and screwed the rod further into the ends shortening the link until the lever no longer touched the leg guard. The neutral light now comes on consistently. I went ahead and adjusted the upshift/downshift stop screws on the transmission before taking the rig out on a test drive. No shifting issues and no false neutrals. One more problem resolved and I learned how to adjust the stop screws.
Saturday, April 2, 2016
On Friday afternoon, we went out to Chena Hot Springs Resort. This is easily my favorite place to visit in/around Fairbanks. It is located 54 miles east of the Steese Highway. The first time I went here was in 1976 when the road was still gravel. It's was then and still is a wonderful drive. We saw a couple of moose in the brush along the side of the road about 15 miles back and something that looked like either a small wolf or maybe a coyote cross in front of us.
On Saturday morning after breakfast, we walked around the grounds. Here is the duck pond. We were told that the ducks and geese at the pond don't bother to head south for the winter. The water is warm and there must be enough to feed on.
In addition to the hotel rooms, there are rustic cabins that you can rent as well. By rustic, electicity, a wood stove for heat, and an outhouse. Plus, they have enough bunk space for around a dozen people. Pretty nice if you have a large group.
This is looking to the east from the same spot. There is a lot of old mining equipment lying around just to give the place an "Alaska" feel. The creek is warm water since it is the overflow from the hot springs. The trail leads to an aurora viewing cabin up on the hill with large floor to ceiling windows facing north. And a nice wood stove to keep you warm.
Looking towards the pool area, there is this fire breathing steel dragon powered by propane. The greenhouse in this picture as well as the next are heated and powered by geothermal from the hot springs. At the back of the property is the first ever low temperature geothermal power plant with sterling engines powering the generators. All of the electricity for the resort comes from this power plant. There is enough power to keep a large insulated building containing their ice hotel frozen through the summer. Obviously, it isn't an actual hotel but it is built of solid ice and has a bar inside serving appletinis in carved ice glasses. All of the produce served at the restaurant, including lettuce and tomatoes, are grown in their greenhouses year around.
There are a series of cooling pools and this is the last one before the water is pumped into the swimming pools. The indoor pool with two hot tubs are the lowest temperature and the outdoor soaking tub is a little bit warmer. The latest remodel got rid of the deck surrounding the outdoor soaking tub in exchange for improved changing rooms. Probably a good trade off.
By far, the nicest is the outdoor lake surrounded by large boulders. The minimum age is 18 due to the rock hazards and risk of slipping. The temperature of the lake varies depending on where you are as well as the air temperature. So you can move around looking for the ideal temperature. We've been out here when it was approaching -40° and this pool is wonderful. Especially if you can look up and see the aurora while soaking. If your hair freezes just submerge briefly.
Friday, April 1, 2016
The Ural is (still) running nice and smooth though it did die when I pulled up to an intersection. So I cranked up the idle speed when I got back home followed by re-balancing the carbs. My suspicion that the left cylinder was working harder may have been right as today, the left head temperature never went more than ~25°F above the right. This also suggests that the CHT gauge and sensors are working properly. Just to get a second opinion, I ordered a relatively cheap infra red thermometer off of Amazon.
Today was just too nice of a day to not ride around. I just need to avoid highway speeds and long grades for a while. I believe the break in time is 1500 km.
BTW, don't miss the phenomenal Alaska moto-video on AlaskaPeek's latest blog post.