K1200LT Rider

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K1200LT Rider

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  • 10.30.2013
  • That 60W-equivalent LED: What you don’t know, and what no one will tell you…
  • I just found another problem with LED bulbs I've never heard of. I think I just bought a 60W-equivalent bulb from Home Depot. I installed it in our kitchen. A few seconds later I see a flash! (?) The switch wasn't on. Every 5 to 10 seconds the bulb would flash again. I eventually figured out that it was because it was connected to a lighted switch that has an integrated neon bulb. The brightness of the neon light fades from bright (normal) to dim until the bulb flashes, then it goes bright again. I couldn't believe it when I first figured it out! So... now we can't use LED bulbs on circuits controlled by lighted switches?? Ugh. This is really disappointing and annoying. Are we going to have to replace all current lighted switches with LED-compatible lighted switches (if there is even such a thing!). They need to be put on the shelves next to the LED bulbs.
  • 12.10.2013
  • Thinking in math
  • So, I never knew that the many designs I drew with a Spirograph were made up of circular "curtate cycloids". Maybe a Spirograph set could be occasionally and briefly used/mentioned in math class to make things a little more interesting.
  • 02.27.2013
  • Can engineers effectively design at home?
  • There are phases of my software engineering work that could easily be done at home, but part of our work place paradigm is that us engineers are always on the hook for production-floor problem-solving any time that someone wants to walk over and bug us. It can really kill an otherwise-productive day. You can really get sucked into a problem dealing with hardware/software you've never seen before. Then of course discrepancies in documentation are discovered which have to get figured out and fixed, etc. It can be a real headache. Yet, the deadlines for our "normal" engineering tasks don't change no matter how much we've gotten sidetracked. There's no working at home for me with my current company. I would love to be able to do it at least once or twice a week just to save the 60-mile round trip through really annoying traffic which takes 1-1/2 hours away from me every work day. And then we're forced to take a whole hour for lunch, so we can't eat in our cubicles and only take 15 minutes for lunch so that we can leave earlier. We have to be here during fixed hours for "support".
  • 02.27.2013
  • Can engineers effectively design at home?
  • As soon as you said "... random face to face encounters that may spark original thoughts and chance collaborations" I realized I just read the same intention exactly in this article about Google's new campus design: www.gizmag.com/google-bay-view-hq/26440/
  • 01.30.2013
  • How about some water power?
  • I recently experienced the power of fluid inertia after cleaning our pool filter. I forgot to open the valve on the downstream side of the filter before turning in the pump. A split second after turning it on there was a pop and spraying water coming from the side of the filter enclosure. I had split it open. It is getting older and I think it has been getting weaker... but still. The split was only about 5 inches long, so I got out my fiberglass resin and cloth and put some good layers on the inside and outside. A new filter is on the way, but this one seems to be holding in there. It might be nice to have a pressure relief valve on these filter enclosures for events like this. It would be interesting to see what the pressure curve looked like between the time when the pump came on and when the split happened. I'm thinking about adding a pressure sensor and a SBC to the filter in the future so it can constantly record pressures and alert me when it's time to backwash the filter... among other things. Once that's in place, why not add a temperature and pH sensor?
  • 01.30.2013
  • How about some water power?
  • The term "water jetpacks" grabbed my attention since I tried that a few months ago down here in Florida. My wife found out about it and, since I'm the adventurous type wanting to try almost anything, she booked the room (on the other side of the state from our home) and the Jetlev reservation. Experiencing the physics of it was very interesting. But, there were aspects of the whole experience that made it come off my list of "To do again" things. That's not unusual for me. I'm very glad I did it, but I'm not so sure about having that kind of mass strapped to me while trying to master the dynamics of staying in control of it. I observed the person before me "crash and soak" several times before giving it up (even though she said she liked it and would try again someday). Also, I got a serious case of "sore crotch" by the time I was done. In their videos they show something like a big stirrup for a footrest or support. That wasn't there when I rode it. The seating situation alone would need some significant changes before I would ever get on it again. I definitely have some further tips for anyone who wants to try it. I think some automated thrust vectoring and throttle (altitude) control would greatly improve the experience and the controllability of this water jet. After a few improvements like this (and a lot of testing!) I might not mind trying it again.