Ever frustrated by riding a bike just not shaped well for you? Ever tempted to try and build your own frame, but not sure where to start? This is the class for you!
In this class, students will learn how to build their own bicycle frame from steel tubes, using lugged construction. They will learn about bicycle geometry and handling, and what configurations are typically applied to what kind of riding applications. They will learn the basics of fitting a bicycle frame to a rider, and how to set up a bicycle frame jig.
You will come out of the class with an unpainted steel roadbike frame set up for fast city riding, commuting, or touring, It will accept caliper brakes and 28.6mm threadless headset. Extras (handlebars, seat, pedals, and wheels) are totally up to you!
Students will leave the class having built their own bicycle frame, fitted specifically for them (or for the person of their choice) from steel tubing. Students will learn about fabricating structures made of thin wall tubing, and about brazing techniques.
(Outside the scope of this class, but highly recommended: build up your bike. paint your name on the side. ride it around. impress your friends.)
No previous experience required.
So yeah. I mean, for like $700 all in including the materials, this is an insane deal. The instructor is Paul Carson who is an engineer by training and metalworking enthusiast. Go to their website and contact Jenny Walsh.
Some photos are here from a previous ‘build your own’ workshop:
Z & I built a new stereo rack out of the old record stand. I reused as much wood as possible. As a first build it’s fine. If I were to do it again I’d probably try and figure out some way to put a hidden channel down the middle for all the cables and obviously hide the access holes behind the devices better. I got a little crazy with my 1″ hole bit. Also, the LG Optimus doesn’t take very good photos. But I think the rack looks alright for no money.
The prices on high quality heat sink fans have come down. I recently converted the old Intel e5200 htpc/server into an “OSX”86 server. It turns out that you can now fill the 4 SATA drive slots with about 12TB of storage now for like $100 (I’m joking, but storage is cheap). Right now it only has a single “green” Seagate 1TB drive, but at least I don’t feel constrained any longer. In theory I could’ve continued running 10.04 Ubuntu and Netatalk, but I figured it was worth trying to get a native AFP server going. Lifehacker had a really easy to follow post and it’s pretty quick now as a 1GigE backup/media server (my original build used “compatible” hardware). Faster than the 4 year old Time Capsule when transferring large files, that’s for sure.
But yeah, Intel’s stock coolers, at least in the LGA 775 chipset models appear to be terrible. The 212+ cooler requires a backplate, so I’ll have to pull the motherboard, but once this thing is installed I should be able to run Handbrake 24 hours a day and hopefully the CPU won’t go above 50C. Currently this thing idles at 57C, as the stock heat sink just doesn’t seem to mount flush.
So, to give a little back story, the refrigerator in our house is an older GE (freezer above) full sized kitchen unit. It’s seen better days and the compressor is a bit noisy. I keep it set at “1”, however, during the heat of the summer I turned it up to “3” or “4”, but most of the year “1” keeps the fridge at 40 F & the freezer at 20 F.
We had a cold snap recently and I unplugged the noisy thing, thinking I could make ice (outdoors at night) to keep the fridge part cold and keep our freezer stuffs outside in a ice chest (but still contained from critters). Sadly (or fortunately) the days aren’t cold enough here in the mid-Atlantic. Partly, I think the fridge isn’t insulated enough to be a good ice box. Also, large blocks of ice are needed (to melt more slowly) and with nighttime lows in the 20’s or high teens, large blocks of water simply wouldn’t freeze through quickly enough. And then, to make matters worse, daytime temperatures caused the inside of the (outdoor) freezer chest to increase above freezing, thawing our frozen goods.
The moral of all this I think is 1) modern refrigerators aren’t actually that well insulated, 2) it needs to be pretty far below freezing at night to make large solid blocks of ice, and 3) it’s entirely possible to make this work if you live in a very cold northern climate but going outside to get frozen goods is annoying.
And then I found this amazing project by Paul – P^2 (via another project of his, a DIY Telecine for 8mm film footage) a hack to his unused freezer chest, which converts his freezer into a refrigerator using a “micro-controller powered temperature controller”, reducing its power consumption by a third (click the image to goto his Flickr write-up of the freezer/fridge controller):
Paul's Freezer Temp. Micro-Controller
And in a similar act of mad genius, Ben Krasnow created an entirely separate refrigeration and tap system for his home-brewed kegs of beer in his house, the entire write-up is here:
I received an email from David Hughes of Adelaide, Australia concerning his modifications to his Advent Heritage speakers and he’s graciously allowed me to post his story and construction details below:
David's Tri-Amped, Three way ported Advent Heritage
A Little History
I bought my Advents new in Perth (Western Australia) around 1987 I think. A few years later I moved to Queensland and shortly after that I took them to Papua New Guinea with me. Two years ago I moved to Adelaide in South Australia. If speakers could earn Frequent Flier points I could get upgraded to business class every time I fly.
My drivers suffered the same fate as yours. One day I noticed some quite bad distortion in the bottom end and when I took the grills off I noticed the foam surrounds were falling apart. At that point I noticed the small pieces of foam on the carpet. I am not sure how long a foam surround should last but I think if you live in the tropics you can divide the most optimistic life expectancy in half. On my next trip to Australia I bought four 8” poly cone drivers. I think they were a badged Dayton driver. I put them in and they sounded much better than I expected. Next to go, a couple of years later, was a tweeter. Then I bought a pair of Vifa D25 units and juxtaposed them in place of the originals. Again, the results were passable but I started using them less and less. Finally I built a pair of ESL III from E&R Audio in Perth and switched off the Advents until just about two months ago.
About 5 years ago I decided to get a bit more serious about speaker design and bought a few software and hardware tools in an attempt to improve my success rate. I also started experimenting with open baffle systems and collecting all kinds of drivers for future projects. One of those drivers is the TangBand W8 1772. It is a full range driver which gives the best Scandinavian units a run for their money. I decided to put them in the Advent boxes. Once the original drivers have rotted out of your Advents the only good thing you can say about them is that they look nice in a sitting room. It was for this reason that I decided to rebuild them. It is of course much easier to build a completely new box.
I also decided to build them with as much flexibility as possible. The TangBand 1772 has reasonably good bass for a full range driver if put in a vented box, but I wanted to put it in sealed acoustic suspension type box. For that reason I decided to add a woofer (not a subwoofer), a Seas P21RF/P H511-08. I also decided to add a tweeter so that I wouldn’t have a gaping hole or blanking plate in upper tower. The tweeter is a North Creek D28-06S, it’s a 28mm silk dome. Probably the best tweeter made in the US in my opinion, but no longer available. I had new aluminium face-plates made by a local laser cutting company to mount the tweeters into the rectangular opening in the Advent boxes.
The end result is a system that can be configured in four different ways:
A single full range driver
Full range with tweeter to extend the top end
Full range with vented woofer to extend the bottom end
A three way system
Two volumes, ported lower chamber
To get the two 8” drivers into two different types of cabinet (vented and sealed) I had to divide the space in two, and the only place to do this is right between the drivers. This left two unequal volumes. The upper section was around 22 Litres and the lower volume was 29 Litres. So the upper one was too big and the lower one too small. Too big is easily solved by creating an internal volume for the tweeter. I designed the tweeter space to leave a volume of about 16.5 Litres which is exactly what I wanted. The bottom driver needed about 35 Litres so I extended the internal walls to meet the volume requirements.
Reduction in upper volume with separate tweeter chamber
The original cabinets are mostly made of 16mm particle board (chip board) which was inadequate when they were originally built and after 20 years of use they were starting to show the typical problem of breaking down in its inner core due to constant micro vibrations caused when playing music. Lets face it, they were built to a price. Had they had internal bracing they might last forever. I decided to line mine with 12mm MDF. This has two major advantages. Firstly you are reinforcing the walls which are now 28mm thick, and secondly, by using two materials of differing density you are actually creating a better damped material than building a new cabinet from MDF alone. That’s the theory anyway. The pictures should fill in any gaps above.
Lower volume with bracing
I won’t be putting spikes on mine. It all depends on your type of floor. In my opinion spikes are only useful if you have wall to wall carpet on a traditional timber floor. If you have tiles, spikes will mark them and you are likely to end up with a cabinet that vibrates slightly on the hard surface. You would be better off to glue a speaker to tiles.:) Spikes on bare boards do exactly the same and scratch the timber, and spikes in little cups which stop the scratching defeat the whole purpose of using spikes in the first place. You will probably have orders of magnitude more bass colouration from the room dimensions.
My crossover is a DEQX PDC 2.6HD. Invented in Australia. It’s a DSP based crossover with quite comprehensive capabilities. Best you go to www.deqx.com to read all about it. I feed it into three NAD 272 power amps. I will probably sell these soon because I have discovered over the years that they are not well suited to low impedance loads and some of my speakers drop below 2ohms at some frequencies. This causes the NAD protection circuitry to switch off the amp. Very annoying to say the least. I will be going to Chip Amps myself in due course. When paralleled they can easily handle loads down to almost 1ohm, and most of my systems are sufficiently efficient to be driven well by 20watts. I am thinking about Audio Sector’s LM4780 kit. I will probably build a 6 channel amp. However I also have the boards from a couple of QUAD 405c II amps which I will use to drive the subs I am building. They are 12” Peerless XLS drivers in acoustic suspension cabinets using a Linkwitz transform configured in the DEQX crossover.
DEQX PDC-2.6 HD Preamp Processor
How do they sound?
According to me, they are fantastic :). Actually I have only tried them in Bi amp configuration so far because I haven’t made enough speaker cables yet. Any opinion I have is of course coloured by my own genius. But I think they are quite nice. As a full range driver they are truly excellent for acoustic music like James Taylor, orchestral, and unplugged. With the bass extension they sound great on Yes, The Who and Zeppelin. I should add, don’t bother with good speakers if you listen to over mixed studio bands like The Police, Steely Dan, or The Grateful Dead. Their live albums might sound a bit better. Using the full range and tweeter together is a very nice configuration. I have them crossed over at 8KHz using the tweeter to smooth out the full range driver’s top end.
Right now the drivers are all out while I attend to the cosmetic finish. I decided not to sand back all the little dints, preferring the old patina to an as-new appearance. I gave them a coat of Australian made Scandinavian furniture oil last night and will give them another coat in a day or two.
Cabinets minus drivers
That’s it. Other speakers around here include QUAD ESL 57s, Azurahorn front loaded 160Hz horns azurahorn.com, my own subs which are almost finished, and a couple of open baffle systems of my own design. The only other unusual thing I have in mind is a re-creation of the AR MST. I have bought all the tweeters and a pair of Seas woofers for the project, just need to finish a few other projects first. I almost bought a pair in the early seventies but bought B&W DM2As instead.
Azurahorn & XLS
With hindsight, it would have been much easier to build new cabinets. Maybe just cut the front baffle off the Advents and glue it to the front of a new box for a 40mm thick front baffle, can’t do any harm.
All the best.
P.S. For a DSP cross-over, look at minidsp.com, I may get one of these in the future.
On my EMU 0404 USB DAC I’m forced to “balun” from the TRS output into the Denon PMA-850’s RCA line input (note: in this configuration I’m using the EMU 0404 as a pre-amp as well). Sadly the PMA-850 has been blowing fuses and has started to sound muddy and as much as I’d like to pull it apart it’s full of 1970s Japanese solid state circuit technology that I wouldn’t feel comfortable playing with. The LM1875/LM3886 & LM4780 [etc] packages (aka Gainclones or Chip Amps) have a really simple circuit topology and as a result have become really quite popular over the past decade in the DIY audio community.
So I’m excited to finally do some soldering and enclosure design for this kit. Also, I was able to breadboard a slightly better power supply circuit for the EMU 0404 using a LM317 chip; I have a decent 7.5V DC 2A wall wart that I could use to feed the LM317 and then down-regulate to 5V DC 1A for cleaner audio. In my tests, using a bank of D alkaline batteries, there was a definite increase in clarity. My one concern with the EMU 0404 is whether the USB is galvanically/transformer isolated from the line outputs, as I’m sure the USB out of the Mac Mini server is not great for noise. Again, in my limited tests, the external linear regulated LM317 power supply using both USB and Toslink SPDIF inputs improved bass and high-end clarity.
Also, I’ll probably be adding some speaker toe spikes to the old Advent Heritage tower speakers. I found some cheap ones @Parts-Express, $0.48 each. Not bad.
We found a used 70″ x 30″ butcher block tabletop for free on Craigslist and figured that the industrial black cast iron pipe aesthetic might just work for a table base.
We traveled to our local (giant) hardware store and bought:
1 x 48″ long 3/4″ black pipe
4 x 18″ long 3/4″ black pipe
8 x 8″ long 3/4″ black pipe
6 x 3/4″ black tees
8 x 3/4″ black flanges (feet)
We found it’s easiest to assemble the lower half of the “H” sections, screw in the 48″ long cross piece, and then finish of the top part of the “H” supports. You don’t have to use flanges if you don’t like the aesthetic, though as far as anchoring into wood is concerned the flanges underneath the tabletop do offer convenient support and holes for drilling. With this sort of pipe (black drain, 3/4″ cast iron) there are many other fittings (and shapes) that could be created out of 90 degree angle bends, not to mention the variability in pipe width.
As far as refinishing the butcher block goes, it needs to be sanded down (starting with a coarse 50 grit then going finer upward of 200 grit) and then coated with food grade (USP) mineral oil and then sealed with beeswax. Pure Tung oil is another option though it tends to be more expensive. Danny Lipford has a page that gives some great tips on butcher block maintenance.
All told this project should be less than $100 (presuming you salvage the wood) which is significantly less than a store bought version and then there’s the satisfaction of actually building something.
Bought some Gimme! Leftist Espresso blend recently when we were visiting friends in NYC dropping off a nuptial related coffee making apparatus type gift. & Don’t get me wrong, I’ve been enjoying the Chestnut Hill Coffee Company’s espresso offerings of late & we actually rode bicyclettes all the way up that gosh darn Chestnut Hill to Germantown Ave. It’s actually quite steep coming up from Forbidden Drive (i.e. sea level) in the Wissahickon Valley to 500 feet, averages about 10% grade or more in the beginning.
At any rate, some coffee related stuff:
1) The nuptial gift was a Capresso MT500 with reusable gold cone filter. This is a pretty nice coffee making machine. The advantages over the MT600 glass model, from my research include: 1) a stainless thermal carafe, 2) fully stainless heating element system, & 3) a Portuguese temperament
I’m not actually sure if the MT500 model vs the Chinese constructed MG600 makes much of a difference, but according to Amazon reviews it does, and there’s over 300 reviews between them so I figure better to go with the older Portuguese made model.
Capresso MT500 Coffee Maker
I finally ordered my Hario Mini Mill Slim hand grinder. The nice old Pe De C’ bought me for nuptials has worked well but basically the burrs are not tight enough except for certain blends of espresso, I needed more leeway and precision on the finer burr settings. I usually don’t make more than a couple of double shots a day so I figure the Mini Mill and its ceramic burr set should be perfect and as a bonus I can travel with it.
Hario Mini Mill Slim Hand Grinder
I’ve been measuring the shots on the Gaggia Classic with an instant read thermometer. About 30 seconds after the right hand brew temp light comes back on gives the highest brew temperatures, usually in the 180’s °F. I need to either PID the machine or buy a new higher temp thermostat if I want 192 °F in my demitasse. Though the PID may get my starting brew temperature more consistent, supposedly the problem with these small single boiler machines is that they don’t have enough volume @n temperature to maintain a full 30″ shot at 201 °F (or @whatever you’re dialing in your espresso). A Swedish fellow from Stockholm managed to build his own heat exchanger / pre-heating coil using aluminum billet, to help the Gaggia maintain the temperature throughout the shot, you can read about it on Home-Barista.com. I am not sure to what lengths I’ll go for that perfect shot.
In EAC you’ll click the “Actions > Extract Image + Cue Sheet > Compressed” function using your basic FLAC settings. Also be sure to enable Accurate Rip and do the automatic detection on all the drive settings. Save a .log file. There should be three files upon final output: the FLAC image, the CUE sheet, and the .LOG. That’s it. Simple is as simple does. If you feel like embedding the CUE sheet in the FLAC you can use Foobar2000 to do such, know however that it’s non-standard as far as burning back out. Apparently it’s always handy to have a separate CUE sheet. Good to know.
UPDATE: So, two things I realized. One: XLD (X Lossless Decoder) for OS X does pretty much the same thing as EAC. However, if you’re still hell bent on using EAC and XP (couldn’t get EAC to go under Darwine) it’s important to know that it won’t easily embed cuesheets (.cue sheets) automatically as XLD does. Embedded cuesheets do make life a little easier as your playback software can look at either the .cue or the .flac file and see all the tracks from the single disc rip.
To embed a .cue using Foobar2000 right click on the .flac image file select “Utils > Edit cuesheet” a window will pop up, check “Embed cuesheet” and then “Load .cue file” from your extraction directory, click “OK” to save. Bingo bango. XLD can do this automatically. I really cannot say which is better per data integrity, YMMV. Obviously if you’re running Windows EAC is a “reference” standard.
Album art is another grey area as either the %Album Name%.jpg or simply “cover.jpg” can be used inside the album folder. Also, what about album dates? Certainly, we can agree that the album’s original release date is the important date here in metadata, and per genre conventions I tend to trust MusicBrainz. For a good read I really liked Daniel Stout’s article about simplifying down to 25 main “top level” genres and tagging comments/notes metadata with sub-genres. The moral here is you should read up as much as you can. Either EAC or XLD will do fine with rips to backup your audio CDs. Cover art and sub-genre notes I’m going to have to keep exploring.
Found a used Gaggia Classic on newyork.craigslist.org. Took the train up to Greenwich, paid the the cash to the pusher man in the back of his SUV and took home a “marginally used” single pump/single boiler w/3 way solenoid valve home espresso machine. The Rancilio Silvia currently goes new for about $600 or more, the Gaggia Classic is usually just under $500. I paid less than half of that so I feel good about it. Now the grinding, that’s another story. My vintage PeDe hand grinder goes pretty fine, but it’s still a bit coarse for the Gaggia. I had Ellen at Sweet Leaf grind me some Hairbender with their Mazzer profi grinder and it’s perhaps too fine; I’ll try less tamp. This morning it has tended towards a bit sour extraction though blonding doesn’t seem to be happening as quickly and I’m getting the full 30 seconds if not more, which makes me think it’s too fine. With the Larry’s espresso I was using and the PeDe I was getting 15 seconds max but it was much sweeter, though likely much less extracted, so it’s a fine line.
So yeah, at this point I have some cleaning to do: back flush the porta filter basket and 3-way valve, and do a full descale of the system. So far it doesn’t look like it was too heavily used though when I pulled the screen off the group head there was a pretty serious buildup of coffee soot/sludge so I’ll likely need to do a bit of cleaning around the group.
There is not doubt that you get out of MythTV what you put into it. I spent a good day, post system build, just getting things going. I upgraded to the 180.51 stable NVIDIA driver for the 9400 GT card that I have, at first it presented some problems, but I used Synaptic upgrade manager with Jean-Yves’ Avenard.org optional kernel builds with VDPAU support and the machine seems to run pretty cool. Yes that Antec 120mm fan is loud but I think I can run it on the low setting. Why Antec builds cases with fan holes that seem to be able to produce noise is beyond me. Since it’s an exhaust you’d think they might as well make it a super open mesh or just an open circle.
The Apple “mini” Remote still doesn’t work. I was able to get LIRC to recognize it via the HDHomeRun IR input, and it wrote to some .conf file somewhere, but it’s unclear exactly how to set it up from within Myth. But Apache works, I need to install Avahi and Netatalk again so I can get access to all the recordings from the other computers on the LAN. I still wouldn’t mind having a low powered server as a dedicated back-end, especially if I could run MT-DAAPD on that, ideally it’d be gigabit and something like an old Sempron 3000+ headless with say over 2 TB’s of free space.
I fixed a floor pump today that had a bad O ring using only teflon tape. Science. Also I had a double Americano using Stumptown beans at City Girl cafe on Thompson this morning. So good… wicked Sláinte.
What happens to a dream deferred? Does it dry up like a raisin in the sun? Or does it spend all weekend working out Ubuntu 8.04 command line shell commands to make a beautiful thing happen? Namely, mount an Apple Time Capsule share over ethernet via Samba/CIFS and and then serve the data via mt-daapd to iTunes and Airport Express. All from the command line baby. Yeah. Compile that package of Netatalk with libcrack2 and ssl. Talk to me dirty with inexplicable buffer writes in vi baby. And you’ll do a lot of apt-get. And if you’re lucky you’ll do a few apt-get purge(s) thrown in there for good measure.
What about mounting the Time Capsule in Ubuntu? Shouldn’t that be simple beans? You know, smbclient, smbfs, and GO right? It just works. Hah. Apple doesn’t exactly have a support page for this sort of thing. The crux of it for me was the domain=workgroup option, and figuring out that with Netatalk everything referenced .local addresses no the local IPs for some reason. Whatever. The FLAC flows now. OGG, wavpac, you name it, this little Linux machine can serve it to iTunes whole. No more dealing with that cursed iTunes XML library. Unless of course you want to put music on your iPod. I still don’t have that part completely figured out. My feeling is you copy and add music as you want it on your iPod.
So I went down to NC for a couple of days to build a welding table with my Dad. It turned out pretty nicely all things considered. We needed more practice on our MIG welds, but constructing a 4×4 foot table proved to be good exercise. We added a small 26 inch long extension off one side that will be my Dad’s cutting area where he’ll slot in steel strap for cutting with his plasma cutter and or Oxy-Acetylene torch if he ever goes that route. So that was a pretty solid few days of work. At the metal shop in Brooklyn I’ll have a slightly different tack for building a base for our kitchen counter. My plan there is to build metal brackets to go around the 3×3″ wooden legs and then finish the skirt with wood and hanging drawers. Zoe’s aunt has a bed that will replace ours as I’ll be cutting up the bed frame I build to use for the legs.