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Monday, August 31, 2009

Precipitation of Events

Yesterday, it was hot enough that the thermometer I'd laid on the workbench in the yard the night before exploded sometime during the afternoon. I forgot about it, and I guess it couldn't handle the internal pressure from the heat, so the little bulb at the bottom just crumbled. The top of it's scale was 120F, and it had another unmarked few degrees of space after that, so I guess that it was significantly more than 130F in the direct midday sunlight. Around 112F for shaded air temperatures, according to the thermal sensor I still had on the bike for the motor controller tests.

That makes the second exploded thermometer I've had this year. I need to remember to not leave them in the sun. :roll:

Today, it was hotter and more humid, then around 830pm it finally dumped a bunch of water on us, along with some gusty medium winds. Around an hour later, when I left work, the rain was down to a drizzle with bursts of showering, and it was STILL HOT; the rain was like a shower just before the hot water runs out. :( Better than nothing, but I was hoping to ride home in cold wetness.

The bike performed way better than I thought, after I'd taped clear plastic bags around the PDA bike computer and the two DMMs I still had on it for testing. The brakes pretty much don't work when wet unless I adjust them down so much that they squeak on the wheel with just a touch on the handle; then I actually get a little stopping power and if I squeeze REALLY hard I can actually lock up the wheel and make it skid (kinda fun, but scary). I really wish I had disc brakes.

I'm seriously considering taking some 5.25" harddisk platters I have and drilling them for mounting holes and vent/drainage holes, then designing a clamping/braking system for them and using them for disc brakes front and rear. I'd have to remove the media surface so they wouldn't be slick, and just have a plain aluminum surface. It should be possible to do this; I'm just not sure how well they'll work. First I need to learn more about how disc brakes are designed, as I only know the very *basic* stuff I've seen when helping change pads on a car's brakes once, many years ago.

The rest of it kept working fine even when I went thru some several-inch-deep puddles that were longer than the bike. Some of them 20+ feet long, and one at least 6 or 7" deep at an intersection where water just piles up due to no drainage. Deep enough that the pedals and my feet went down under the water at the bottom of the stroke. Glub blubblub glub. The motor kept getting very wet, so it was still pretty cool when I got home, despite riding using motor only, not pedalling (just leaving my feet on the pedals as they go round). Usually it's too hot to keep my hand on for long. It was noticeably warm, but only that, this time.

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