Wednesday, July 17, 2019

Out on the BEO

It was kind of dreary out on the BEO (Barrow Environmental Observatory) today. This is the beginning of the boardwalk. I didn't have very far to go to check out the connection at the SledShed. In prior years, I had to venture quite a ways out and the nice boardwalk disappears into the water and mud in quite a few places.

Configured multiple radios including one that will need to be installed out on the BEO. Hopefully, UIC Science will be able to get it installed out there. They moved me into their newest housing unit that was recently remodeled.

There was a community science fair going on at the BARC so there must’ve been a hundred people running around the building this afternoon. They provided hamburgers and hot dogs and had a series of presentations scheduled this evening. Lots of people on the Internet so service is a little slow. This is just a view from the BARC looking north towards the NARL campus.

Tuesday, July 16, 2019

Up North, Again

I thought that the trip a couple of weeks ago to Utqiaġvik was the last one. I guess I assumed wrong. I’m sitting in the Deadhorse, AK, airport waiting for the next flight. There is a three hour layover. It is a warm 68°F here and I walked over to the hotel across the parking lot for a soft drink. What is nice is that there isn’t a trace of smoke. Nice, clean air.

I scheduled three full days to get anything and everything done to get the network transitioned to UIC Science and their chosen network provider, ACS. So, for now, I’m scheduled to fly back to Fairbanks on Saturday morning.

Yesterday evening, I tried to take the Ural out but the clutch was dragging again. I’m not sure if there is a problem or due to my removing the throw out bearing to look at it. I didn’t not check the clutch adjustment after reassembling it. But, I didn’t have an opportunity to check it as I had a ham radio board meeting last night.

Something unrelated to this is my iPad updated to the latest iOS beta and there is a noticeable change in the appearance. This is the home screen and you can now have widgets on the home screen. Android users have had this capability since inception but it is now available on the iPad only. Kind of cool...

Sunday, July 14, 2019

Ural Throw out Bearing

Felt good enough this afternoon to remove the throw out bearing on the Ural. As expected, it was pretty much toast. If you look closely, you can see one deformed ball from the ball bearing. Most of them fell on the floor when the pieces were removed. This assembly is located at the rear of the transmission and it engages the pressure plate by a rod running through the input shaft into the clutch. Just like the dry clutch on the BMW airheads.

There wasn't much oil there as it is supposed to be lubricated from the transmission. So I should check the transmission fluid level. I did lubricate the bearing and other components with assembly lube which is grease with a high moly content. It actually looks and feels like the Honda grease used on the transmission input shaft splines. I just happened to have a spare throw out bearing as I had ordered the whole assembly when I rebuilt the engine. The old throw out bearing still looked pristine so I used it over. Especially since it is very easy to access when needed. Such as now.

Later - Transmission oil level was fine. Test drive to the university and gas station was fine. Just like before. I still wonder why the bearing failed...

Monday afternoon - I went ahead and removed the throw out bearing again to make sure that it was getting oil from the transmission. Now that I know better, I didn't remove stuff (air cleaner housing, starter, battery, seat) to get access. I simply removed the pivot bolt and pulled out the bearing assembly. Maybe two minutes tops and that included getting out the tools. The bearing was awash in oil. Enough oil such that the assembly lube was partially washed out. So, it looks good for now but I still don't have any idea why the bearing failed...

Saturday, July 13, 2019

Smoke is Thinning

We have had a bit of rain over the last couple of days. Unfortunately, not a lot of rain and it did come with some wind, thunder, and lightning. I think it started a couple of more fires in southwest Alaska. There is a hint of blue sky overhead and this is the first time that we've seen the hills for most of the week. I've had a bad cold/cough for the last week and the smoke was not helping things at all. The rain also helped lower our miserably hot temperatures (my perspective). It is 73°F right now. I can deal with that.

My outstanding projects are finishing the porch, Ural clutch, and the rear fiberglass cap on the RV. A wonderful friend, Tim, offered to help me with the fiberglass as I had never done anything like that before. He said it's like a couple of hours a day and not a continuous block of time. I can probably finish the decking on the porch in a couple of days which includes sealing the cut ends of the board but would not include any benches or railing. The Ural clutch is probably not that difficult but it's kind of hard to justify spending the time. And, it’s looking like I may need to go back north again...