Tuesday, May 30, 2006

headset - cheap

jen and I found a set of these for $30 @ compusaincludes two radios, two chargers, two headsets, and the radios use an ultra small li-ion battery. who knows how the life will be, but it looks like a good cheap first pass effort for helmet to helmet comm. has built in VOX, which does actually work. not sure how resistant to wind noise it will be, but you do have to speek a little loud to get it to turn on so it does stand a chance. you can use the PTT button with the headset (can turn vox on and off) so its a pretty good all around product. no subcodes, but for $30.. i'll give it a shot.

for you paintballing gurus out there... this just might be the ticket!

Thursday, May 25, 2006

hp2 - other half

on the way home, one of the two bungee cords holding my trunk bag on snapped when I jumped a curb. I had just left the parking lot and someone honked so I turned around to see what happened. as it turns out, the person that honked is a Temp worker that just started for me, any way.... I stopped, found one half of the bunjee cord and the pulled a spare out, tied it back down and headed off for my 40 mile commute. when I got home, I found the other half in my spokes. on the way home I thought the rear brake felt a little inadequate, and it was because the rubber inside the cord was melting to the disk. it looks like no major damage done, but remember, always look for the other half!

Monday, May 22, 2006

helmet headsets

I have been doing some research on headsets for bike to bike communication and come to the conclusion that there are only two that are potentials for what I need. both are bluetooth solutions, the idea being that BT connects your helmet headset to a (FRS) radio which does the actual communication between bikes

1) Motorola HS830 pros: has intercom mode (for rider/passenger link), so you don't have to have another box to do the transfer, and can dock in general headphone pod to use for other things. Cons: suppose to have connects to side of helmet with sticky, so not transferrable from helmet to helmet, also does not include generic BT receiver to attach to the radio, so that would cost an additional $30-$50

2) Cardo Scala-Rider pros: clamps on to side of helmet so easy to transfer, AND includes BT receiver to plug into phone (or radio hopefully). Cons: read one report of the ultra thin speaker rubbing too much on the ear. looks like it only mounts on the left side of helmet.

this baby (complete headset and receiver) goes for $104 from tiger direct thats a pretty rockin deal considering for alot of the systems just the mic and speakers are $70 or more.

I'm getting close to ordering one. someone talk me in or out of it!

Wednesday, May 17, 2006

.. no boundaries....

I was riding through the capital and noticed they changed the banner across the street. the banner changes all the time, usually telling of local events or initiatives in the city. this one read "hepatis knows no boundaries" and had 5 or 6 pictures of people of various demographics, old, young, male, female, and varied race.

what better way to say WELCOME TO OUR CITY than to put a banner out like that. at least it gives you fair warning about the kit kat ranch

Tuesday, May 16, 2006

reverse engineer

found here, one firm does a little talk on the subject. if your company has has crap for documentation, buy a clue and get it documented before you fire the employee. This was why I had to do so much travel last year.. to reverse engineer for 'the sister company'. too bad it didn't influence my review or raise.

Ironically, many companies come to us not to reverse engineer a competitors product, but to reverse engineer their own designs, because they have poor or no documentation on their product, because their current design firm or manufacturer refuses to release it, or because they have lost a key employee.

Many companies learn the hard way that there is an inherent conflict of interest in using a contract manufacturer (CM) to do design work. If you retain a contract manufacturer to do the design as well as the manufacturing of the product, there is little motivation for the (CM) to give you accurate documentation, enabling you to use a different manufacturer if you become dissatisfied at a later time.

cheap VOIP

I ran across a circuit here to convert mic/speaker to RJ11 for your old crappy cordless phone you have laying around.

from mobilewhack.com


I saw this in nuts and volt magazine. for $20, you get the USB programmer in the shape of a USB flash memory module and an attached daughter board. how cool is that! if your new to micro controller programming and want something to screw around with I'd DEFINALTY start with this baby. cheap and easy.. just like... (comparison deleted) project links
hobby store
MSP430 dev boards

Thursday, May 11, 2006

Paddle HP2

The other day I was riding home and it started to rain. I was on a section of divided highway with two lanes of traffic going my direction. At about 75 MPH I look down just in time to see i'm running over a paddle that fell out of a boat being towed by a truck a few vehicles in front of me. it kicked up and flew into the lane behind me, but no damage to the bike or me.

lessons learned:
1) dont' follow the vehicle in front of your too closely, there may be a paddle in the road
2) for all those times you've followed a vehicle and wondered to yourself "what woud happen if that fell out of the vehicle", don't wonder, change lanes.

Wednesday, May 10, 2006

google reader

i'm ready to save some time, and join the modern era of pulling content. i'm finding i'm having to click alot to get the info I need and most of the time its a dead end anyway?

so... thats a long and drawn out way of saying "i'm sick of clicking on everyones blog just to find there is no new content"

the solution? google reader. for our blogs, just ad a link of /atom.xml to the end and theres the reader feed. now all I need is the RSS feed link for dan and sarahs blogs. then it will be 'one click' reading.

maybe I can share my starred items. oh wait. thats if I highlite something I like. I was hoping that would......... ah never mind....

google page creator

pages.google.com also known as google page creator seems to have gone live now. I thought I'd give it a whirl. the nice thing about google is once you have an account it lets you into most all of their stuff without having to create a new account for each service... I really like that

view my test here

can change layout independent of content, instant saving, click a 'tell friends' button and it starts gmail with a link in the body.

can't drag and drop photos exactly where I want. you can drag around, but they snap to what ever boxes you have. i'm not sure how to use the GUI to format the txt AROUND an image, but they are getting there.

where do i upload a real file? real content, not just a picture. I was really hoping I could use this to publish real data. oh well.

Tuesday, May 09, 2006

free MS

I think someone already posted about it, but I can't remember, so I'll just post about it. it seems MS is giving something away now? it was suppose to be an introductor thing, limited time, but it was so so successful microsoft is releasing 'hobby / student' versions of their compilers for FREE. dubbed the 'express' versions, it gives the average joe a reason to persue closed source offerings over open source. to note, the accompanying coding4fun website. one interesting place was the TextToSpeach site on MSDN here that said vista will have much better support. I think I should setup a service to digitize textbooks and then convert them to usable to txt to speach so people can listen to their class material on the commute

a friend at work already loaded it up and wrote a few things.. I may have to do the same.

hp2 tires

I have about 1600 miles on the stock Metzeler Karoo's. I've run them at normal street pressure off road and haven't had any problems. I haven't done any extremely rocky terrain, but have done some deep sand and I made it without crashing, so for me that means they are fine. I don't notice the nobs on the street, and cornering is fine. I really like these tires, i just wish they lasted longer. I'm not a very agressive rider on or off road, so at most i'll probably get 1.5x the miles on these that most will. maybe double.

I was talking with the parts guy at sierra, and I think I'll move to the Metzeler Tourance Tires for the next round. should be perfect for the AK trip with tread to spare (burn) when I get back.

I was also talking to the parts guy about patching tubeless and he said best to carry a 21" tube. that will fit the front and can be crammed in the back if need be. you can get tubeless repair kit and can be used for the rear (he got 1500 miles on one repair) but warned against any use in the front. just not worth the chance. the tubeless repair kits say limited to 30 miles at 37mph so the disclaimer indicates they are extremely temporary.

at this point i'm kind of torn... I know I should carry at least one tube, but to use it that means i have to bring tire irons and possibly a bead breaker?. another unfortunate difficuly in the HP2 is the lack of center stand, so road side tire repair could be very challening. hmmm....... what to do.


I was browsing through bmw dealers in 2006 and found 2 dealers in AK! cool. if we have problems (of course not with the HP2 =).. just limp to the finish line. one in Anchorage, and the other in Fairbanks. The website for the Anchorage shop links to alaska.net/~bmwclub which will probably be worth a read to put the finishing touches on planning for the trip.

Saturday, May 06, 2006

hp2 gear failure

first failure on the HP2, and i'm glad to say it wasn't because of anything I did. The gear indicator in the instrument pannel and the netural indicator light both went out. the neutral indicator wouldn't work at all, but he gear would show during up shift and crusing, but as soon as the clutch was pulled, or downshift, the indicator would go blank.

took it into Sierra BMW, and didn't want to press them, but instead of demanding immediate service ask to schedule a time to take the bike in. they had me wait a few minutes and then hooked it up to the machine. while they played with it I shopped for tires. $350 for tires.... ouch.. including mounting. i REALLY hope I can coax these tires to 6000 so I can get the next ones brand new for alaska. i'm going to go to something a little less agressive to ensure I can do the full 6000 to alaska without any trouble.

turns out, the failure was a loose electrical connection, probably both at the sensor and into the main computer. they have some name for it.. something like hspk or something.. can't remember. but they cleaned it with air, put dielectric griese on it and relearned the potentiometer settings for gear positions and its fine.

took about 1.5 hours from the time I pulled up because they were finishing some other work before they got going on mine. also got the factory update tire size sticker installed.

one other fault in the computer, something about loss of speed data, probably in line with the intermitten wiring contacts. that was cleared and i'm sure won't be a problem.

either no one noticed, or no one cared I patched the side of the valve cover with $2 epoxy. I was kind of wondering what they would say but no one mentioned it.

Friday, May 05, 2006

Thursday, May 04, 2006

$25 bmw motorcycle

anyone want a bmw for $25? seems the local shop does a raffle each year. a 1200gs went out last year and you don't have to be present to win. tempting. it is nevada, this may be gambeling I could live with.


in one of my MBA classes the instructor mentioned flikr, as in its the best place to plagarize pics for a presentation. sure enough, check out the hp2 pics

I was hoping to find some ideas for rear luggage but came up short. I guess i'll have to truly design it myself.

Monday, May 01, 2006

hp2 vs 650L

XR650L Mine has a 5 gal tank, and a soft trunk. this is some random picture of the net to give you an idea what an XR650L is if you've never seen one.

mine has the offroad kit, (plastic on the bottom of the heads) again, some random pic off the net

dad got my old xr650L up and running. I think he's going to take it to work off and on cause the starter on his truck is going out. he came by tonight and I let him ride the hp2. he had trouble even tiptoeing so all he did on it was street.

I rode the XR650L and impressions are it feels smaller than jens XT225. yup.. it felt like a pocket bike in comparison to the HP2. I was shocked how much smaller the XR650L felt. its only been 3 months since I rode it but I guesse i've grown into the HP2. I've got about 1400 miles now, and have been doing 5+ miles of deep sand on my return from work. its some work, but the bike can do it. totally impressed, the HP2 is exactly what I want

summer is here

Summer is here. and if your not sure if summer is where you are at, heres some ways to tell...

1) did you have trouble turning the sprinkler system on because the key is 2 feet long instead of needed 3 feet? when you did turn it on, did the valve shoot water in your ear.

2)did your lawnmower start on last years varnish in the tank?

3)did you refill your gas can with supreme so you could use the fuel in the lawnmower or the motorcycle?

4)did you let the lawn get so long before cutting it you had trouble pushing the mower through it?

5) does 10 minutes in the sun leave a red mark on your neck / or arm?

6) does your helmet lose visibility due to gnats, masquittos and grass hoppers?

7) have you taken a grass hopper to the the adams apple? [at speed]

8) are your winter riding gloves too hot, but your wife is still waiting to get you $20 summer ones?

9) is the liner in your motorcycle coat too hot in the afternoon AND the morning commute?

10) are you leaving your windows cracked in the car when you park?