Thursday, November 20, 2008

Scooter electrical problems

So I bought that charger for the scooter. It worked great.

I go outside. Turn key. Turn master cut off switch to on. Nothing.

Open up battery compartment. Everything looks good. Look underneath and remember two wires that were not connected to each other or anything else (they are terminated with those metal circular plates with a hole in it). I pull out the battery holder piece, and there they are. One seems to go from the battery post to... nowhere? The other from the bowels of the machine to ... nowhere.

Using my engineering instinct, I boldly connected the two parts going nowhere. Hey, the colors matched. Nothing.

Turned on the switches and touched the two ends ... spark and lights coming on!

Off switches, off to find a bolt and a nut. I found a bolt with a wingnut . The bolt had a square part of the shaft so that it would not turn when inserted into a square hole. I did not have a square hole, but I did have duct tape. So I made a duct tape spacer, put on the two wire ends, and another duct tape spacer for good measure.

Everything worked great after I got it re-assembled. My fuel gauge wasn't acting weird and my lights flash now.

Uneventful ride to work. The new idle is so quiet, I had to rev the engine at stop lights to prove that it was still on.

Wednesday, November 19, 2008

Scooter tweaking

I noticed that my turn signal light was solid today on the way to work. When I got to work, I found out that no light bulbs are out. I think I either have a bad flasher or a discharged battery. I lean toward the battery being the problem and I am going to try and buy a charger for the battery tonight.

Since I was looking at the scooter, I wanted to figure out how to change my idle setting. I could see this little screw, but it was tucked away in a fairly hard to get to location.

I got a screw driver bit and put it in a small socket. I turned the screw with that, and promptly dropped the screw driver bit. I couldn't find it. I shook the moped. I leaned it. I used a big powerful magnet. Nothing.

I finally decided to take off the seat. My sockets weren't deep enough, so I couldn't get it off. I decided, well, at least I can check out the battery. I opened up a compartment in the seat looking for it. I did not find the battery, instead, I found this:

My little idle adjustment screw! Outside I went and made it run at much lower rpm's at idle, it still starts, so I didn't bring it down too low. For some context, here is a zoomed out picture.

Since the battery wasn't where I thought it was, I looked around a bit more.

there it is!

Tuesday, November 18, 2008

More random pics, this time from homecoming

The homecoming football game. We had a good time, actually tailgated for the first time ever (for real tailgating, not the pre-game fake kind).

Good seats the secod half due to an incident (epic awesomeness from Adam) on the other side of the field.

Monday, November 17, 2008

Airshow pics Dobbins 2008

Some airplane pics from the airshow a few weeks ago.

Saturday, November 15, 2008

Adding a shift register to the mix

So I hooked up a shift register (SN74HC595N) (8 bits output) to the ATMega168 (avr).

I wrote code. It wouldn't work. I couldn't figure out why. It sometimes worked, sometimes didn't. The lower 4 bits would work, sometimes...

Turns out, I forgot to set the 'you allowed to send information/output stuff' (SRCLR (overriding clear)) pin to high (tie it to vcc), so it was floating. This made it work sometimes, and most of the time it didn't work.

Once I put +5v on pin 10 (SRCLR) everything worked out great. I cleaned up all of the crazy code that I wrote trying to get something to work (I thought it was a code problem, not a "I missed hooking up a pin"). I had LED's hooked up to the 8 outputs of the shift register. It just lights the last led, then the next up(with the first), and etc until it lights all of them.

oh, for the connecting of stuffs, I used this diagram

from (note: On that page, he mentions adding power to the shift register as its not on the diagram. I didn't read that until making this post, but just remembered to do it from the data sheet on the shift register. Sucks that I didn't remember to hookup pin 10!) I put the LEDS on QA -QH.

the code (blinkin.c):

#include <avr/io.h>
#include <util/delay.h>

#define nop() __asm__ __volatile__ ("nop")
#define F_CPU 20000000UL //My chip is 20 Mhz
//make sure F_CPU is after #include <util/delay.h>

send_byte_to_shift_register(int8_t bite);


j = 1;



j = j*2;
( j == 512)
j = 1;}


send_byte_to_shift_register(int8_t bite)
//should be able to use SPI instead of this way...

DDRB = 0xFF;

i = 0;

out = 0;


out = (bite >> i) & 0x01; //extract 0 or 1
//0x01 for last bit only, and >> to get location i
if (out == 1) {PORTB = (1 << PINB3); }
{PORTB = (1 >> PINB3); }
PORTB = (1 << PINB1); //clock;
PORTB = (1<<PINB2); //latch the shift register


yeah, so my sister yells out "STELLLLA" at the end of the video. Think of it as a bonus.

Friday, November 14, 2008

Random zoo pics from when we went

Panda, Otters, Gorilla, and the worst predator that the world has ever known...

Tuesday, November 11, 2008

Flashing blue lights in my mirror

I got pulled over by a mis-informed cop for driving an unlicensed scooter.
Turns out I was legal.

So I tried to complain and this was their response. (I used two browsers... its on their end)

Microsoft VBScript runtime error '800a01ad'
ActiveX component can't create object: 'CDONTS.NewMail'
/web5-2/communication/ofcemail.asp, line 49

and still broken after the vacation.

Tuesday, November 04, 2008

Election Day! (and I am missing it)

I will be happily ignorant of the outcome of the election as I am on my honeymoon.

My only regret is that I may miss the ensuing riots.


(no seriously, someone please secure my belongings)

I hope everyone is having a good week, catch you at the end of the week.

-written 1.5 weeks before the election/marriage

Sunday, November 02, 2008


update: the candy was a big secret? it seems. So I am re posting this the day after.

We got candy for the upcoming big event.

I forgot to post a picture of the non-chocolate candy. So here it is.

nom nom nom.