Categories
General

The joys of ownership

Taillight replacement

Honda CRV misfire

How to test misfire codes

Dishwasher on the blink

Dishwasher clean light blinking 7 times

This has been my past couple of weeks.

I have no idea how we knew how to repair stuff before the internet and Youtube.

Categories
General

Old man’s fancy

In the fall an old man’s fancy lightly turns to thoughts of debugging HVAC systems.1With apologies to Alfred Lord Tennyson. Unfortunately, not only in the fall. Now it’s the heating portion. A few Augusts ago, it was the cooling portion. The resources I found then will come in handy.

Categories
General

Longboard Footstop in OpenSCAD

My local library, the Hillsboro public library, has 3D printing open labs — every Monday evening for a couple of hours, the library accepts .stl files on thumb drives and prints them for free over the next week. This is such a cool resource, it seems irresponsible not to take advantage of it.

For my first project, I decided to design a longboard footstop.1If imitation is indeed flattery, RipTide and PSD Designs should feel complimented. ;-) Earlier this week, I started researching 3D CAD software and settled on OpenSCAD.2Pronounced open ess cad. OpenSCAD is different from most 3D CAD software in that you program a part instead of manipulating objects on a screen. For example, this is how I defined the tab of the footstop:

union() {
tab_s = tab_length - tab_width/2;
tab_r = tab_width/2 - stop_chamfer;
tab_h = 2*(tab_height - stop_chamfer);
translate([-tab_s/2, 0, 0]) cube([tab_s, 2*tab_r, tab_h], center=true);
translate([-tab_s, 0, 0]) cylinder(r=tab_r, h=tab_h, center=true);
};

Designing the footstop, some of OpenSCAD’s other limitations became obvious: fillets and chamfers are not easily defined, especially along curved intersections of primitives.3I’m gathering resources that address this issue.

This is my third iteration of the footstop and I think it’s good enough to print next week so Jamison can try it out. I suspect I still have a lot to learn when it comes to getting a design ready to print. For example, how important is it that this footstop be hollow? If it needs to be hollow, what’s a reasonable wall thickness? I experimented with MeshMixer a bit, but expect I’ll need to wait until Monday.

I wonder what I should design next. I think I’d like to try some sort of GoPro mount.

Categories
longboarding

The Definitive Slide Gloves Thread

The Definitive Slide Gloves Thread. Good information that I’m going to want later. Now, where’s a legal source of road reflectors?1Based on my noontime ride, bike lanes appear to be such a source. At least, I hope it’s legal. ;-)

Categories
General

DIY Panniers

I love panniers. I just don’t like spending $100+ for a pair of ’em. When Jamie showed up at Starbucks with a DIY pannier on his bike, I knew I had to do some research. Here’s what I found:

Looks like I’ll be making more than one of these. :-)

Categories
Bicycling

DIY Portable Bike Repair Stand

DIY Portable Bike Repair Stand. Oh, this DIY portable bike repair stand looks pretty good, too. I like how the bike can be rotated about and clamped into position. The folding tripod’s just a bonus.

Categories
Bicycling

DIY Bicycle Repair Stand

Homemade Bicycle Repair Stand. Jake Khoun’s DIY bike repair stand looks easy and sturdy. Just the ticket, now that the roads are getting wet and I’ll need to clean my chain and running gear more often.

Categories
General

Another Repair

Looks like I can add garbage disposals to the ever-lengthening list of household appliances that I can take apart, fix, and put back together.

Categories
General

My A/C Works!

Yes! I got my air conditioner working. Total cost: $38 for a new 24V transformer.

A couple of bonuses:

  1. My air condition will be more efficient without a layer of “felt” on the condenser coils, and
  2. I learned a lot about how air conditioners work.

Win!

Categories
General

HVAC Debug Update: I’m Making Progress

Determined to debug my HVAC problems, I created a list of steps to follow. I planned to verify the presence of power and control signals at the furnace control circuit and the condenser.1Essentially, this is rule #1 of debugging electrical devices: is it plugged in?

Not feeling comfortable about my knowledge of how my HVAC is wired, I searched and found Thermostat Wire Color Codes and a thermostat wiring schematic.2Ya gotta love the Transonics wiki’s disclaimer/warning/license: “The following information may have errors; It is not permissible to be read by anyone who has ever met a lawyer. Use is confined to Engineers with more than 370 course hours of electronic engineering for theoretical studies.” I’m still trying to figure out how this applies to me.

First, I verified the 24V transformer’s primary is getting line voltage.3Yes, this means the breaker was ON and the furnace cover was off. If you’re thinking of using my post as a guide to debugging your HVAC system, you should read the preceding footnote. Then, checking the secondary, I found no voltage. I tried again. I pulled it out of the furnace and tried again. Still no dice. I guess I could have just measured the impedance across the secondary and discovered the transformer was bad4 and needed replaced.

Unfortunately, by the time I discovered this, the local appliance parts and electrical supply stores were closed for the week. Home Depot and Lowe’s were still open but neither has a matching transformer. Looks like it will be next week before our HVAC is working.4It was shorted.

I’m concerned: if I replace the transformer, is something else wrong that will kill the new one? Or did the transformer just die of old age? I guess I’ll find out.

Fortunately, the weather is getting cooler.