first CAD lesson

There are several FOSS (free / open source) CAD programs in linux.  The main ones appear to be LibreCAD for 2D and FreeCAD for 3d.

I chose FreeCAD and did the basic part design tutorial.  It teaches first things  like constraints, extrusion from 2D to 3D, Continue reading


Squirelly power, battery backup

The power in my area blinks out frequently in wind/weather but the outages are usually just a few seconds.  I’d been threatening to get a minimal UPS but hadn’t done it yet.

Only one of my machines really matters much in this regard (main workstation) since I remote into it regularly from offsite.

I was at a thrift shop recently and found an APC Back-UPS CS 500 for $20.  They are about $100 new so I figured even if I had to buy a fresh battery I’d still be ahead.  Turns out it did need a fresh batt so I picked up this well-reviewed one for $17.49. Works great.

I yanked the plug on the APC and it merrily ran the PC.  I won’t have the monitor on the backup since I would be either 1) offsite; or 2) sitting in the dark when the UPS comes into play.

So that’s $37.49 instead of $100.  I like that discount.

Lite-On failure –> NewEgg fail

Lite-On has a great reputation for quality and performance in optical media burners.  I’ve used them (among others) since the 90s and have never experienced a failure.

But recently the CD head of my Lite-On 24X SATA Internal DVD+/-RW Drive Optical Drive IHAS124-14 fell over after 7 months of very light use.  Maybe 10 burns total?   😦  I started a warranty replacement inquiry with the Amazon seller but figured I’d get a new one on the way.  I’ll use the replacement, if any, as a spare.

So I find the best price for a new one is on NewEgg, $19.99 – $6 promo as listed on their own page.

Screenshot at 2016-05-25 13:01:58


Coolio.  Total price (free slow shipping) = $13.99.  So I add it and check out.

The promo goes in fine and subtracts $6 as designed.  I’m happy.

Screenshot at 2016-05-25 12:48:10

I choose paypal payment and do that.  Return to NewEgg for finalization:

Screenshot at 2016-05-25 12:47:46

Umm, what?

I bailed and bought it from Amazon after all.   I’ll send a copy of this blog entry to NewEgg.

Update:  NewEgg responded and is checking it out, asking the right questions.  Props to them.  Hopefully it will help the next guy.



scooter setback[s]

Two setbacks in this little adventure that have pushed my inspection/registration back another week.


This machine uses HS1 35/35w bulbs (same wattage lowbeam/highbeam) but the more-common H4 bulbs are backwards compatible if they are 35/35w. I couldn’t find any HS1 or any low-wattage H4 at auto parts stores or Wally World. The HS1 and apprpriate H4 are available online from Amazon and elsewhere but won’t arrive until tomorrow when my 4×10 workweek has started again.


I hadn’t ordered them before because I didn’t know if the bulbs were blown or if Continue reading

a longer test run

Today I put fresh gas in the Chinascoot (gas gauge works, yay!) and took it out for a backroad run of a few miles.  Some smooth oiltop, some rougher oiltop, some dirt, some gravel.  The gravel wasn’t as much fun.

It was a good ride.  The odometer worked.  When I was trundling around slowly with neutral throttle at 15-20mph the revs dropped down to around 2500.  Under max load it it was 4500-5000.  I liked the CVT’s adjustments and may just leave it there.

I got it up to an indicated 55mph.  The variator must have been topped out because rpm finally climbed to 6000 at that top speed.  I could get a little more in that straight but just after 55mph the chassis started to feel unsettled/squirrely so I backed down.  It could have been the uneven road surface but I didn’t want to go any faster.

The tires on this thing are kind of a sporty low-profile look.  It makes for odd feedback on cambered surfaces.  When I replace the tires I might go for a more traditional round tire profile.  I had a similar issue on my street bike;  the OEM rear had a shape that made the bike want to “fall in” on cambers/turns.  When I replaced the rear with a Continental Motion that tendency went away completely.

Working on headlights tomorrow. Bulbs just cheap and blown?  Voltage too high due to failing R/R?  I think headlights are the only thing left before inspection and registration.

first test ride of the gy6

I was sick today and came home early.  The sliders (variator weights) had come in the mail but I was in no condition to mess with it.  Drank a boatload of water, slept several hours  and started feeling human again around 11pm.

So where are those CVT parts?  🙂

I got the sliders in 13g because the stock rollers were 13g. Since I hear you are supposed to go up +1g with sliders I figured it would be an incremental net lightening.

I dropped the generic eBay weights (“ForExtreme”, $14 shipped) into the cleaned-up variator.

Put some air in the tires, cranked it up on whatever gas was still in the tank from god-knows-when the P.O. put it there. 🙂 and took it for the first test ride.

Motor seems seems strong and willing. I’ve never ridden a 150cc scoot before and the acceration was surprising. Idle is too low. Ran it up to indicated 50mph which I figured was a reasonable cruising speed.  Turned it around and parked for the night.

CVT is smooth and holds a steady indicated 4k rpm on the dash tach under load and readjusts appropriately at neutral throttle and decel. The wikipedia page suggests the max HP is at 7k so if the tach is correct there is plenty of headroom. I’ll leave slider weight where it is while I learn how the rescued beast likes to run. After that it sounds like I could lighten them up. I’m not chasing performance though.  It’s for around the village and bopping around.