TunnFM

I’ve got many fond memories of JJJ radio in the early to mid 1990’s. Things were easier then, life was less complicated (a family and mortgage do that) and JJJ was the radio station I listened to.

One of the hosts was Michael Tunn, he hosted the Request Fest or something like that, he was very young. I vaguely recall him heading off to the UK to live for a little while and he rang in one night, apparently a little “under the weather”….

I stumbled across a site he has set up that plays just 1990’s music – I’ll have to have a listen and perhaps throw some BTC’s his way if its any good.

Benelli 750 Sei engine rebuild – Part 2

The long weekend meant I didn’t have to stay up till some crazy hour of the morning to continue the build.  The draw-back is I turned 40 and it was the first hot day of the summer (well Spring now but at 34c it may as well be summer).

Started early to try and finish the engine completely by 5pm – we didn’t get there.

Fitted the inner 4 pistons into their cylinders easy enough using the special tool but 1 and 6 continued to be a problem.  Hand fitted top and middle rings on piston 1 and 6 but the oil rings are both relatively brittle and very hard to compress (with their inner spring) so hand fitting them was not an option.  We ended up using the humble stainless steel hose clamp which was narrow enough (but only just) to compress just the oil ring and allow the cylinder to come down over the piston and the oil ring and allow the removal of the clamp again.  When I mean the clamp width just allowed the fitting of the final piston oil ring I mean just, if they were another millimeter wider there would not have been enough room to get piston into cylinder by dropping the cylinder block down on it.  I’m sure you are asking yourself – why didn’t the fool just push the piston up into the cylinder by turning the crank?  The problem is if you turn the crank to push the piston up into the cylinder pistons 3 and 4 will come back out of their cylinder resulting in a complete re-do of everything and a lot of swearing.  After about 2 hours work the pistons and cylinder block were finally finished.  If you are doing this job you need to keep in mind that the pistons will rock about a little in the cylinder while the pistons skirt isn’t available to keep it upright – this adds to the fun.

As we installed new cylinder O-rings (they fit over the base of the cylinders that poke into the crank case and seal the crank case to the cylinder block as well as a gasket) the cylinder block did not go all the way down but instead sat above the crank case by about 1 mm – this is due to the o-rings, its not till you torque the head will you compress the O-rings and allow a good fit.

On with the cylinder head, new head gasket and oil rings that continues the oil gallery running up to the head – there is no hollow dowel here continuing the oil gallery from the cylinder block to the head – just a bloody o-ring – why they didn’t fit a hollow dowel I can not understand.  After torquing everything down with our old school torque wrench both the cylinder block and the head beaded down fine, however, the head gasket split right on the end of the head next to cylinder number 1 where the newly installed o-ring allows oil to continue up to the valves and cam.  What I am thinking is that the oil ring expanded when the head was tightened and as it is contained within the head gasket its pulled it apart a bit.  We pushed a bit of red goo into the section where the gap formed between head and cylinder block just in case.  There is no knowing if the damage to the gasket is going to cause an oil leak or not till we start it up – i’m thinking we should be good but engines don’t think – they just do.  I can’t see they split running all the way to the #1 piston and given each cylinder has a metal reinforced ring part to the gasket there shouldn’t be a problem with # 1 but again – engines will do what they do. 

Next step was fitting the cam shaft and sprocket – this is a complete pain in the ass.  The crank drives the cam chain which in turn drives the cam sprocket which is bolted to the cam makes it turn, however, the cam must be timed relative to the crankshaft so the valves open and close at the right time to let petrol and air in and let exhaust out, but, at just the right time to prevent valves being smashed by the pistons.  Fitting of the cam shaft is from the right had side, first through the chain then through the cam drive sprocket.  The cam sprocket has two cut outs which allows the sprocket to drop down just barely enough for you to wiggle the cam chain onto its teeth (and I mean just enough).  The issue now is that the crank needs to be in a particular spot as does the cam shaft, however, the cam sprocket can not bolt straight onto the cam shaft in the position its was in when we were able to put the chain on – oh no, that would make life easy, its 20 degrees away from there.  As there are only 3 holes in the cam sprocket available for you to bold it onto the cam, the cam sprocket must be fitted onto the chain in just such a way as to have one of the holes in it line up with the one bolt hole in the cam and have the crank in the correct position and have the cam shaft in the correct position.  Its a nightmare to get this right and requires you to take the chain off the sprocket, rotate the crank back enough to get the cam sprocket to match the cut out to the top of the cam that allows you to drop the chain off the sprocket to then calculate where the sprocket should be when mounted on the cam to then be bolted onto the cam and have cam and crank at the correct position together.  This bit must have taken us about an hour and a half of trial an error before we had the chain on the correct teeth of the sprocket.

Now you can fit the cam box which has one huge O-ring as a gasket and around 30 hex-bolts to do up to complete it.  The o-ring will fall out if you don’t use enough grease to stick it in.  It was after this stage I found out we had set the crank in the wrong position relative to the cam by about 10 degree which translated to 20 degrees at the crankshaft as you turn it which resulted in the slow turn of the engine (after finally fitting the cam box) was meet with a sudden stop when valve contacted piston, however, it was a very gentle slow hand rotation for just such a reason.  Off with the cam box, remove both cam sprocket retaining bolts, drop sprocket and re-time again to the correct spot again then put cam box back on etc etc.  By now we had gotten a little quicker at this puzzle so it only took 40 mins.  By 6pm we were done and the engine rotated freely.  We tested the compression in each of the pistons using the starter motor 125 psi each which confirmed no damage done to the valves or issues (at this stage) with the split head gasket. 

Now all there is to do is bolt on the engine breather (sits on to of the cam box), insert the exhausts, hook up fuel, re-fit coils and fire up!

Google Wallet Update – Got it working

I messed about with my phone again tonight – I was bored.

I uninstalled the existing Wallet app and then side loaded another wallet app (in .apk format) from xda-developers.com.  Set market enabler to Verizon and was successfully able to start he app and creat a new Google Paypal card with $10 free.  Now, just need to figure out how to top up the card from Australia 🙁

By Martin De’Pannone

BMX Restoration

I’m kind of getting into restoring bicycles now days.

I “found” a mid school Mongoose BMX 6 months ago and thought it would be good for my 8 year old son.

I stripped it to bare frame, had it painted by my old man in metallic gold and am now building it back up after cleaning and polishing the bits I am keeping. Will be replacing several parts as well. Here is a snap of it as of yesterday.

Just a few more bits and a few more hours.

After restoring scooters and motorbikes bicycles are much easier and mush less complicated.

Google Wallet and outside of USA – don’t bother

I have been very interested in Google Wallet since it as announced but very disappointed that the roll out of the product appears to be very very slow with only a couple of devices supported.

Today I had had enough and in an effort to get the thing going for me here in Australia proceeded to do some “work” on my Nexus S that is now running ICS 4.0.4.

Step 1
Get Wallet installed on the phone.
There is a way you can get it on your phone without side loading but geees is it involved and basically requires you to try loading it in the app stpre then somehow foolin the thing to get it by using the web browser. It all a bit long winded but it does work.

Step 2
Unlock the phone.
Using fastboot you must first “unlock” the booloader which has a couple of consequences not lest of which it wipes everything, data on SD card stprage – everything so mack sure you backup your apps and then back up the SD Storage to your PC as after unlocking its all gone. The other consequence is that it factory resets as well so you need to set the phone up again including APN if you are using non standard one.

Step 3
Again using Fastboot flash the TWRP reovery image. Which, among other things allows you to do the next step

Step 4
Install Superuser
Save Superuser to your phones storage and using TWRP while in recovery mode install/run the superuser script.

Step 5
Install Market enabler
This will allow you to spoof a US mobile carrier which then will allow you to start up Google Wallet butthis is where it get tricky.

The issue
To run Google Wallet you have to spook a US mobile carrier, to do this you need Market Enabler but to run market enabler you must root the phone and here is the issue, Google Wallet will not allow you to creat a Google Pre-Paid card using a device that has been rooted.

So there you go kiddies, rooting your phone to take advantage of Market Enabler almost gets you what you want but you are ultimatley thwarted by the fact that you have rooted your phone.

My advise – be patient and wait/see if Google Wallet is released to the massess – till then unless you are living in the USA it may be a waste of time, let along the issues you are likely to face to be able to associate aything but a USA credit card to the prepaid card.

If anyone has a more clever idea which gets around this whole issue let me know.

Bitcoin needs to stop being a thing of specualtion.

Just read that Tradehill has closed its doors and that Paxum is no longer accepting Bitcoin funded accounts.

Wow! – I thought, I wonder how that has impacted prices as I have noticed that Bitcoin rate compared to the USD has risen fairly steadily over the last few months from its lows of about USD2. Looking at MtGox it looks like the exchange rate has softened 25% for the day ad is trading at about USD4.20.

Looks like the various policies recently being put in place to start controlling the use of Bitcoin is starting to bite (I was asked to ID myself before being able to use a particular exchange I had already used before).

My theory is that BTC will soon stop being a thing of speculation (and demand a premium because it is “l33t” or Anonymous) and will soon float with the USD at a price that reflects the cost of creation of bitcoins. Then and only then will Bitcoin become a currency/method of wealth transfer that will gain greater usage around the world.

Twitter’s Bootstrap frame work for webpages

Having recently moved all my services back to Australia after my from Amazon’s EC2 experiment I thought my old website needed a bit of a re-fresh so that I have one main page from which you can bounce around to all the other bits of my website – enter Twitter Bootstrap.

Now I am no website developer but this thing is very very simple to use. All I do is make sure I point the web page to the CSS code that resides at Twitters github repo and then just code the page using the bootstrap CSS elements e-voila and I created my home page (www.depannone.com). Dead easy and looks really really nice if I may say so.

If you are interested in using Twitters Bootstrap as well see here….http://twitter.github.com/bootstrap/

Move of web and mail servers are complete

I have finally transferred all my services back to Australia.

For a few months now I hosted my web and mail server at Amazon. Unless you use the micro instances and the limitation there of its just to expensive (for me) to justify keeping it at Amazon. Luckily a mate of mine has a huge ESX box and was kind enough to create a couple of machines on there for me so here we are, back in Oz.

The web interface to my emails in the past has always been Squirrelmail, its fast, easy and works but is lacking in the looks department. On my new mail server I have installed Roundcube. It looks nice and seems to work well but is a little slower than Squirrel – perhaps it needs some tweaking.

My new website web application.

You may notice there isn’t much of my old site left, just the wordpress blog. Now that I have commencing moving all my servers back to Australia (thanks Paul) I have cleaned up my website and installed a couple of open source services.

The first was tt-rss (tt-rss.org) which is a great little web application that you use to subscribe to rss feeds. RSS is a great thing if you like to keep tabs of new posts on a bunch of websites. I used to use Google Reader but thought it would be cool if I could own the information about which websites I subscribe to – hence tt-rss.

Second, I have always found it painful to create new pages for photos that we take on my old site, it was time consuming using something like Jalbum. To this end I have installed OpenPhoto on my website (see photos.depannone.com). Go to http://theopenphotoproject.org/ for more info. Its great – very flash and has the tagging facility which I never really considered until you sit down and think how do I find this picture again in a few years. For each photo you upload to it you can tag it with what the photo is about (say it has a photo of a dig, you would tag it “dog”) then in the future if you want to look at say photos of just dogs you can do so (assuming you have been diligent at your tagging in the first place).

The great thing about OpenPhoto is the photo’s don’t actually live on your server, when you upload them they are actually store at Amazon in one of the S3 buckets that you need to create (if you self host). Given all my photos are currently backed up to S3 this was fairly easy. If you don’t have S3 yet – sign up at Amazon, create a bucket for your photos and enjoy owning and staying in control of all your photos.

Two very cool web apps that you should check out of you run your own servers.