Amclaussen

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Amclaussen

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  • 10.28.2013
  • Toyota's killer firmware: Bad design and its consequences
  • What a bad answer Erik... to try defend the all too stoopid (ab)use of software to replace time proven mechanical or much simpler solutions. For your information, ALL steel cable throttles had TWO springs. Sorry if dumb owners NEVER cared to check if both springs were present at least in the lifetime of the vehicle. Instead. the much "modern" electronically operated throttle bodies fail miserably in a MUCH HIGHER PERCENTAGE... Go ask any mechanic about steel cable pld two springs versus the "modern ones". Last stupid "development" I discovered last week, is the incredibly absurd use of a car computer to properly display the stronger light output of a rear light to signal the "Stop" or braking lights. The newer VW Jettas depend on a stoopid computer to replace a time proven and honored TWO filament light bulb (21 and 5 watt) that worked PERFECTLY OK for SOOO many years. That is the damn stoopid tendency to use computers for everything: the "advanced" Jetta needs software to decide not to pulse the current to the single filament bulb in order to make it shine brighter to signal the car behind that your advanced P.O.S. Jetta is braking. Please refrain to tell me all the supposed "advantages" of replacing a two dollar dual filament bulb with a computerized system.
  • 10.02.2017
  • They're still selling incandescent flashlights?
  • Battery contacts are a source of increased electrical resistance, no doubt about that. There is a company called "CAIG Labs" that even produced a contact enhancing liquid which purpose was to extract more light from a flashlight by reducing resistance... and IT WORKS! Thus the contact problem is completely REAL.
  • 10.02.2017
  • They're still selling incandescent flashlights?
  • Then, would you be so kind to tell us some brands or models, so that we could try to obtain a well designed unit, please? As far as I have tried (I live in Mexico City, and in my travels to Houston TX have not found an acceptable unit in the stores there. Regards.
  • 10.02.2017
  • They're still selling incandescent flashlights?
  • As a long time user of the venerable AA Minimag flashlight, I can easily compare the old Halogen versión to the newer "LED conversión" (made by Nite Ize). The failure with the LED versión is that it cannot compete with the Halogen bulb ADJUSTABILITY of the BEAM!. While you can still slightly vary the "focus", the LED bulb will only vary a very small amount, while the halogen bulb can provide both a narrow long reaching beam (About 25 meters in a dark night at narrowest setting) and a nice and soft "Flood light" quality wide beam that reaches only 3 meters but is very wide, or anything in between. The LED versión is almost "Fixed" at a medium setting, that DOES NOT have a great reach (maximum about 5 meters), but is neither wide enough. Sort of a compromise. The reason is that the LED flashlights have NOT been correctly designed to vary the beam. On the contrary, a small Halogen bulb well placed at the proper focal point in a parabolic reflector will properly focus the light, and it is very easy to vary the focusing by moving the reflector in respect to the halogen filament. That is the reason: LED "designers" need to go back to school to study optics badly! Amclaussen.
  • 09.24.2015
  • Opinion: Volkswagen’s failure
  • Christoph; you wrote: " Daimler’s Zetsche already said they did not, and Zetsche seems to me like an honest man"... Please ask any knowledgeable engineer from Chrysler before expressing any favourable opinion on Zetche or any other Daimler idiots. Daimler was the beginning of the end for Chrysler, which seems to be condemned to disappear by the worst owners of the world... and Sergio Marchionne is not different!
  • 06.30.2017
  • Happy 150th Canada: The Companies
  • Not very important, but for the record add "Sombra Labs" in Ottawa, manufacturers of probably the finest ever 72 MHz model airplane Radio Control receivers... (now displaced by 2.4 GHz spread spectrum technology).
  • 08.16.2017
  • Whipping a cheap LED PSU into usable shape
  • On "Chinese quality". A model airplane store owner went to Hong-Kong looking for low prices. They showed him a large 3 X 3 ft display with TEN, yes 10 engines with 10 different prices for (almost) the same model engine, a 0.40 CI. He was puzzled by so many prices for seemingly the same engine. They gave him a succinct explanation: Top engine $125 USD, top quality ball bearings, run tested at factory, best surface finish, nicest anodized color on cylinder head. 2nd: $105, same but not run tested. 3rd: $95, same as before but less polished finish. 4th: $80, back plate is plastic, not metal. 5th: $70, "natural color, not anodized head, "std quality" ball bearings. 6th: bronze bushing instead of ball bearings, but nicely colored anodized head, different color from top quality engine. 7th: same but no anodizing… Perhaps lower priced ones are rejects or poor running ones! Chinese were not lying, nor incapable of producing very good quality products. The problem is other: It lies on the BUYER or IMPORTER trying to re-sell the mediocre quality levels to rise earnings. I have found many products from (supposedly) "American" brands, with quality issues. Even when the computer I'm writing on is 95% made with Chinese components, assembled in a Chinese factory by Chinese workers, it works OK. Most products can be made in China with good quality, EXCEPT for some things like precision bearings, precision measuring devices and the like. Saddest thing is that previously highly regarded "American" brands, now are Chinese enterprises that "bought" the American name, like my recently bought carpentry Router, a 2 1/2 HP variable speed from "Milwaukee". Bearings got noisy after less than two hours of moderate and careful use. "Soft-start" feature is more a delayed-action switch than a proper one. Does it work? Yes, but I will be guessing when will it start to develop play in the bearings or fail to vary the speed smoothly. Amclaussen
  • 08.16.2017
  • Whipping a cheap LED PSU into usable shape
  • If the rectifier is overheating, trying to "heat-sinking" it to the electrical box is not a good idea, a better one would be to replace the rectifier with a larger current capacity one. Plastic encapsulated rectifiers have poor heat conduction from die to case, and I know no heat sink for cylindrical rectifiers that could allow for an aluminum heat sink that is electrically insulated but heat conducting.
  • 09.06.2017
  • Beware the TO-220
  • The thinner tab is a no-no. When building high powered amplifiers back in the 70's, we preferred the old TO-3 because thanks to its TWO screws, it could be installed VERY FIRMLY to the heat sink, while the TO-220s were only partly in contact with their heat sinks because of a lack of flatness, and the fact that the single screw always deform the tab sufficiently to reduce the physical contact and thus impairing the heat transfer. And I don't care whatever the damn manufacturer says about "the same dissipation" ! Amclaussen.