Saturday, January 23, 2010

Jay Leno’s garage – Audi R8-10

  • Jay owns an V8-R8, which he loves to bits as an manual gearbox out-and-out racer. Here he walks us through the updated V10 version
  • Mad economy, 20mpg!! Not the sort of car to go to the shops with, but great for the odd track day – if you have the money and the free time

Thursday, January 21, 2010

Ribbon Hero


  • Now that we’re well passed the beta stage of this add-in I thought I’d give it another go
  • What does it do? It’s role play tool that sets you challenges and measures your performance using Microsoft Office applications… and.. let’s you score points against you buddies and colleagues via Facebook. Kind of Mr. Clippy, but this time you win balloons!
  • In Office 2010 there will be social connectors made available at a later stage, which in theory let you connect to Facebook, twitter etc and presumably share your skills via data mining emails or.. via metrics gathered via role play tools like Ribbon Hero
  • I suspect this will end up forming part of a training platform via role play possibly with metrics linked to your job; maybe even linked to a remuneration scheme. Hard to tell how this will be routed. But there is plenty of scope for diversification
  • I’d prefer a WPF (Windows Presentation Foundation)application training guide hooked into the ribbon to smart-sense what it is I’m trying to do, then present me with a number of options and let an WPF avatar trainer walk me through the process – hell, why not do the work for me, so I can take the day off and go flying ;-) Man that’s what I call being productive, arf

Saturday, January 09, 2010

CycleOps Powertap SL Plus Hub System

  • Interesting take on a smart-hub. No this is not a powered hub, but a torque sensor that delivers data on your workout when you are training. It can be hooked up with the Garmin 705 GPS based training watch as well. Too expensive IMHO. It’s for the really ‘serious’ riders out there, who need to do their winter training off the road combined with a CycleOps Jet Fluid Pro Winter Turbo Trainer Kit

More info:

Top Features of the CycleOps Powertap SL Plus Hub System

  • Wireless 2.4 GHz transmission with Ant+Sport
  • 15mm alloy axle
  • Carbon/alloy hubshell
  • USB download
  • Coded heart rate strap
  • Hub weighs a mere 412 grams
  • Patents issued and pending
  • Displays and records:
    • Peak Power
    • Time in Zones
    • Power (current, average, max.)
    • Heart rate (current, average)
    • Cadence (current, average)
    • Speed (current, average, max.)
    • Energy expenditure (total kjoules)
    • Ride distance (miles or km)
    • Ride time
    • Programmable odometer
  • What's in the Box
    • Powertap Hub
    • Coded CPU
    • Coded Heart Rate Strap
    • Handlebar Mount
    • USB Download Connector Cable
    • Poweragent 7 Software
    • Cable Ties
    • Battery Cover Removal Tool
    • Instruction Manual & DVD

Pro level power measurement: Powertap SL+ in either Shimano or Campagnolo configurations, with various hub hole sizes, and supplied with a Powertap CPU and Heart Rate strap.

We've updated the world's first-ever wireless power meter, giving it a stiffer axle and the flexibility of ANT+Sport. Now you can choose to focus on power measurement to have your best season ever.
Power to the People: With a wide range of features, there is a Plus Series PowerTap for every rider - every ability - and a wide price range. The SL+ maintains the same standard of accuracy as our first-ever wireless PowerTap but with a lighter, stiffer 15mm axle. Which PowerTap is right for you?
The Precision of PowerTap, The Flexibility of ANT+Sport: Data can be the difference between first and second. PowerTap is the precise instrument that gives you access to real-time performance measurement, and is accurate to within +/- 1.5%. Add the PowerAgent software package, and you'll have all the tools you need to guarantee you make the most of your data.
With the flexibility of ANT+ Sport, all Plus-series PowerTaps can be paired with any ANT+Sport device. So, use the included PowerTap CPU or provide your own device to stop estimating and start measuring.

Friday, January 08, 2010

First pedelec (e-bike)

  • A short video showing my first foray into the e-bike market. I bought the Cyclamatic Power Plus a low cost CE approved pedelec. Technically an e-bike is a throttle activated only bike, whereas a pedelec is peddle assisted, i.e. you peddle and a motion sensor kicks in and spools up the brushless electric motor. Maximum speed is limited to 25kph, range >40km. I’ve added a decent lock and a set of 25W LED lights. This will be my main commute bike when I work in Dublin. I’m going to import a couple more, then build my own from scratch using a custom built carbon fibre frame and custom electronics as a basis to building a business model

Thursday, January 07, 2010

Garbage powered cars anybody?

Webcam chat at Ustream
  • This video is from the LA Autoshow 2009. After the first guy drops out, Brian Nesbitt comes on and talks about E85 (ethanol) based fuel and the difference between the European  manufacturers. Bottom line, the Yanks are dragging their heels and shouldering up to the big ‘oil’ power..

Wednesday, January 06, 2010

First e-bike setup and test


  • Posted earlier on this bike from SportHQ, advertised on Amazon for £499, but luckily for me I spotted it had dropped to £399 in the January sales. Tim at SportHQ was kind enough to lower the price!
  • It arrived a few days later over the Xmas break. I unpacked it and had it assembled, tires inflated via my car electric pump and off we went. It’s a Pedelec, which means as you peddle it engages to 250W brushless electric rear hub motor, seamlessly making hill climbing a synch! It has a 24V 10Amp battery, 7-speed Shimano SIS derailleur, rear hub brake and standard front calliper brake. The battery can be removed for charging. The handbook says to connect the battery charge plug into the battery prior to connecting the LiPol charger to the mains. You then reverse the process by pulling out the mains supply plug, a relay is heard to drop out, then disconnect the battery connector. The battery box is sealed from water, so should be rain proof. Comments on Amazon rate this bike at 4.5 stars, with one complaint about some of the bolts rusting. This can be easily remedied with a little grease or household Vaseline and general maintenance with the oil can every couple of weeks. Front suspension is average quality, but for the town/city it is adequate and you could always buy a seat post knuckle-over suspension like the SR SUNTOUR SP-NE
  • I took it for a spin around my close up and down a 10 degree incline and hardly had to use force to get uphill. Just freewheel to disengage the motor, peddle to start again and the peddle sensor detects the main chain-wheel moving and engages the motor. The split throttle can also be twisted towards you to manually engage the motor. The throttle doesn’t incrementally step up, but there is no sudden jolt, the motor just spools up, so it’s more of a switch. I will try a few more hills with steep inclines to know more of how the pedelec system performs

Product Features

  • 17" mountain bike frame (suitable for use from 5ft 5 to approximately 6ft 2) - 250 watt brushless motor
  • New Lithium-ion battery provides huge power (up to 45km range) and weighs a fraction of traditional lead-acid batteries. Also won't suffer 'memory effect' and has a very low self-discharge rate -
  • Shimano Tourney SIS-Index gears with quick-shift - Adjustable height seat raises to up to 43" from the ground
  • Servo "anti-cling" safety brakes - premium front suspension for comfort
  • Quick release battery and front wheel - Front and rear mud guards - Legal for road use - no road tax or driving licence required. Legally, no helmet nor insurance required (although we recommend both!)

Friday, January 01, 2010

Smooth pilot

  • Ralf Losemann certainly does make flying a model jet look easy. Here he is putting his new baby, the BD-5 jet through its paces. The landing was near perfect. It looks like an excellent aerobatic machine