Archive for the ‘Uncategorized’ Category.

Grinder Timer for Solis Scala

I’ve built a little timer with 4 preset values based on an Arduino, Relay, Cellphone Charger.

It all fit inside the original housing. Software needs some improvement, by the time I’m only using a hardcoded delay per push button to match one of the 4 bialetti moka makers that we regularly use.

Blendwirkung V2 – The Uetliberg descent bike light

Blendwirkung V1 was a road light, that was built based on a Luxeon 1 LED (which was relatively new back then in ~2005). I have used it for a while, until I’ve decided that it was just too big and heavy.

Many years later, after I’ve moved my Magicshine from the handlebar to the helmet, and added the beautiful Lux-RC / Easy2Led Light to the handlebar. I began to think about a cordless solution on the helmet, as I really didn’t like the battery in the backpack, running a cable to the helmet. I’ve decided to go old school with this, and use NiMH, as I don’t want any LiXX battery on my helmet. This could be paranoid, but I just don’t like the idea at all.



I only use this light for the descent of our weekly Uetliberg-Run, so runtime wasn’t a big criteria.  I just wanted high output for about 20minutes on the existing 2/3 sub C NiMH cells that I’ve had lying arround. In the end I went for these components:

  • 2x Nanjg 110 Boost driver, ~950mA each – so Output is almost 2A
  • 1x CREE XM-L2 T6 4C LED – this is warm white, you gotta love it in the woods.
  • 1x TIR Optic, it’s either 20 or 25 degree, I don’t remember.
  • 2x 2500 mAh Sub-C NiMH high power cells.
  • Various Alloy sheet + part of an old heatsink

The light pulls arround 6Amps from the battery, which makes it difficult to find a good switch, since the one I initially installed was fried after about 10 toggles, I’ve removed it and don’t have a switch at the moment. It’s no beauty, but its brighter than most other lights I’ve seen on the Uetliberg, and it was most likely the cheapest as well. Have been using it many times – still love it. This light cannot be used stationary, as it needs some air flow to keep the temperature down.

BionX 250HT hub motor bearing replacement / disassembly, reassembly

The bearings in my BionX hub motor began to die at around 6500km, and now completely worn out at around 9500km. The wheel had a lot of play, and power consumption went up by about 30-40%. Surprisingly, I couldn’t find a lot of info on the web.

As always, this is not a complete guide, but I try to point out those parts of the procedure that were not straight forward to me. If you’ve done it yourself and have something to contribute, please do so using the comments function.

Tools / Parts needed:

  • Bearings:  SS 6003 2RS   Stainless Steel 17 x 35 x 10 mm
  • Strain Gauge: Mine survived
  • M8 bolts + nuts or similar, as tool (see below)
  • Freewheel removal tool
  • Spoke key
  • Hydraulic press
  • Bearing puller
  • Straight puller

I didn’t do it in the same order as I recommend here, but I think this is the best order to do it.

First step – Take the hub apart:

Remove the Freewheel

Remove the torque blocker (pressed onto the axle, brake side). Mine was just cone-shaped, but the newer ones seem to have a notch, so don’t try to rotate it, use a straight puller to remove it.



Remove the spokes on the brake side, this should suffice / I’ve left the drive side spokes in place. Mark the hub, so that you know how to align the halves when reassembling. I’ve used 9 M8 bolts and nuts to actually press on the inner walls of the hub shells. It was surprisingly easy to get it apart by doing so.


Second Step – Remove the bearings:

The bearing on the brake side covers the strain gauge, which measures torque applied through the pedals. I have read, that this will usually break during disassemble – luckily mine didnt. The bearing came off the axle / stayed in the hub shell. Getting it out of the shell was a job for a hammer + some alloy tubing.

To remove the drive side from the inner part of the motor, we have used a hydraulic press (sorry I somehow missed to take pictures). So this wasn’t easy, and I needed help from someone with the right tools. It eventually came out, and the bearing stayed on the axle.

Removing that bearing is quite difficult, as you don’t have much room below it, to actually use a puller tool. Luckily the mechanic had something like this (with barely enough room to house the cables while pulling):



Third Step – Reassembly:


With that bearing out of the way, it was time to clean the axles, place the new bearings onto the shaft. Add new silicone to protect the strain gauge, as well as replacing any heat shrink that has been removed. I then continued with adding the brake / magnetic side, but I’m not sure if it wouldn’t be easier to first push the axle onto the brake side, as there’s no magnetic involved.

Anyway, since I was back at my workshop, I didn’t have the hydraulic press available, and I’ve used my bench vice to gently press the hub halves together (lots of rotating / small steps were involved).

Add spokes, true the wheel go for a ride.


It’s running smooth again, so it was worth it. It took me about 5 hours to do it, If I’ve had the right tools from the beginning, it would have been much less. So if you want to do this, be sure that you have access to the right tools.

A new case for an old Squeezebox (v1) – The SpaceDock


When one of my V3  Squeezeboxes died recently, it meant that I’ll have to find a solution for the sticky (probably the softeners in went crazy after all those years) case of the working v1 unit, that I was given by a friend. The whole case was so sticky, I did not see any solution in reusing it (others have had the same issue).

Anyway, I have decided to draw an acrylic plate that a friend who owns a company that has a co2 laser can then cut for me. That plate with the attached Squeezebox internals + some magnets went behind a cabinet, so that only the display + IR receiver is visible.

The name SpaceDock is coincidence, it’s the name of the track that was playing.

Hugsby P31 Disassembly / Driver replacement / All flood MOD

In case you’ve ever wondered how to disassemble the Hugsby P31, here’s how it goes:
IMG_0956 IMG_0959 IMG_0960 IMG_0961

I did that because of a malfunctioning driver, and while i was at it, I’ve replaced the reflector with an all flood TIR lens. This makes the little Hugsby a perfect near field flashlight.

Eberspächer heater 24V to 12V conversion

The previous owner of our boat installed an Eberspächer Air heater, which was meant for a lorry, and therefore 24V. Our boat only has 12V Batteries / Alternator. As far as I know he used another battery in series with the auxiliary battery to power the heater, but this battery obviously wasn’t charged when using the heater – I didn’t like that solution, the heater wasn’t used for about 10 years, and now I’ve decided to build a solution.



The heater has a small controller unit + the heater itself. My idea was to find a 12V to 24V step up converter, and run everything on 24V. This didn’t work out, as I didn’t find an affordable 12V to 24V converter, the one I bought said 150W output power, but that just isn’t enough for the initial glow.

2nd idea:
I thought, why not just replace the glow plug, with a 12V version (didn’t know if it exists back than), and use a relay to switch a 12V line with the 24V from the controller unit.

Doing it:
At this point I’ve decided to unmount the heater, as i needed to find out what kind of unit I have, and which glow plug I actually needed.

What I found was even better:
There’s a huge resistor (or call it a spring) in series with the glow plug – the glow plug is actually a 12V plug, you just need to rewire it to not use the resistor, and install the relay as mentioned above (I obviously don’t know if this is with all the Eberspächer heaters, but it’s worth looking).



Open controller unit:


Controller unit with attached step up converter + relays:





Close-up of the modification:

The yellow line goes to the glow plug (already connected directly on the picture, the yellow line in the background goes to the resistor and back):

V-Zug Adora – Fehler 1 – Temperaturfühler defekt

Kürzlich hat meine V-Zug Adora 55 Geschirrspühlmaschine den Dienst mit F1 – Fehler 1 verweigert. Das Handbuch beschreibt leider nur den Fehler 8 (zugeführtes Wasser zu heiss). Meine E-Mail Anfrage bei V-Zug wurde schnell und kompetent beantwortet:
“Wassertemperaturmessung fehlerhaft” Was wiederum nicht heissen muss, dass es der Sensor ist, aber die Wahrscheinlichkeit ist hoch. Das Teil habe ich darauf ausgebaut, befindet sich im unteren Bereich, an dem man durch entfernen der Front + einer weiteren Abdeckung herankommt. Leider ist das von V-Zug verbaute Teil ohne Typenbezeichnung, die deutsche Konkurenz verbaut ein physikalisch baugleiches Teil, aber wie ich herausfinden musste mit anderen Werten. Erneut bei V-Zug angefragt, die Teilenummer ist: P59013 – mit Versand hat mich das Teil CHF 21.20 gekostet (was ich sehr fair finde).

Die Bezeichnung auf der Rechnung ist:
Temperaturfühler NTC 100K Ohm / max. 100°C Stahlgehäuse
Bei Raumtemperatur ergab meine Messung ca. 140kOhm. Mein defektes Bauteil lässt sich nicht mehr messen (widerstand unendlich hoch).

Gerne würde ich hier eine Liste mit weiteren V-Zug Fehlercodes publizieren, falls jemand etwas weiss bitte über Komentar bei mir melden.

Controlling your Sqeezebox Volume with your PC Keyboard

Now, this is something that I should have done a long time ago, as I was missing it for the last 8 years or so, that I have Squeezebox music players. The original remote is pretty weak, and if you don’t have your SB on your desk, you’ll probably have to turn yourself around if you want to change the volume using the remote (if you can actually find it on your desk), of course, controlling it through the web interface is also an option, but I sometimes prefer hardware keys.

As you might know, there’s a Squeezebox Server CLI, so it’s obvious to use it. Then, there’s the possibility to assign a “shortcut key” to a shortcut in Windows. The missing part is the Windows version of Netcat, some shortcuts, and a small “parameter” file for each function.

Step by Step, for volume Control:

1. Download Netcat, extract it to a folder, that you want to use for the whole thing.

2. Create the parameter files, my volup.txt looks like this:

XX:XX:XX:XX:XX:XX mixer volume +1

Be sure to add an extra line break, because otherwise, Netcat will stay open. Create config files for every function you want to use.

3. Create the shortcuts, my volume down shortcut looks like this:

C:\Windows\System32\cmd.exe /c "C:\Program Files (x86)\squeezevol\nc.exe" aese-02 9090 < volup.txt

4. Add a "shortcut key", like CTRL ALT +

Set it to run minimized.

It's working good and fast, I hope you enjoy it too.


Internet Explorer automatic Proxy detection not working until you opened and closed the connection settings.

Strange IE 9 behavior when using “Automatically detect setting” and a Proxy.pac that is promoted through DHCP.

When starting IE, intranet sites are working from the beginning, but internet sites are only working after opening Internet Options –> Connections –> Lan Settings, and then confirming with “OK”. No changes have to be made in the settings, it’s just about opening them, and closing again. This issue is reproducible every time the user profile is deleted.

After some further investigation with Procmon it was clear that settings are written to the registry, even if no changes are made when open the Lan Settings dialogue. The important ones are:

[HKEY_CURRENT_USER\Software\Microsoft\Windows\CurrentVersion\Internet Settings]

Setting these 2 values using a script, or in our case GPO’s will solve the issue.

Yet another Lux-RC / Easy2Led bike light

Training off-road during the colder days often also means that it’s getting quite dark. There are lots of bike lights on the market, most of them are either too expensive or not 100% satisfying. There’s however a simple solution using components from Lux-Rc and Easy2Led.

Lux-Rc light engine:

A small board, 3 leds and a boost regulator is already integrated, different configurations are available

Easy2Led light housing:

A good fit for the L33X light engine from Lux-Rc, in addition you’ll need a handlebar mount (Lupine or the Chinese equivalent that can be ordered at Lux-Rc), cables, battery, a momentary switch.


Input voltage depends on the light engine, mine is optimized for 2s Li-Ion batteries, I’m not going into detail about building a Li-Ion battery pack. This is dangerous, and you should know what you do, or better leave it. My battery pack has some additional heat-shrink tubing over each individual cell, heat shrink tube over the whole pack, and then a layer of plastidip liquid rubber on top of the heat-shrink tubing. Additionally, I’ve added some foamed rubber on the side that touches the frame when the Pack is mounted to my bike.

Oh yeah, and please use a little less thermal glue, maybe 1/3rd of what I’ve used should be enough.

Having a cold beer on a boat.

I prefer having a cold beer when I’m on our boat, but since this is usually on the sunny days, the performance of our fridge (Waeco CF-18) was too weak to cool one down in a short time (temperature in the cabin goes up to ~35° C if the sun is burning down).

I’ve been thinking about some kind of a GSM-based remote control, and actually found a nice product called microguard. The product seemed perfect, relatively cheap, easy to implement, available, but there was no time-out that could be set. Even if I have a separate starter-battery, it was key to find a solution that turns off the fridge after a given time without user interaction. Luckily, the guy who runs microguard was very cooperative, and added a timeout feature for me (and everyone else of course).

The module now turns on a relay for two hours after it’s been called from my or one of 4 other predefined phones. this is a bit on the short side, but I can live with calling twice.

This is how my installation looks:

From left to right:
Charge split diode / Rear side of main switches / Fridge fuse / Microguard module with relays, cables, mounted on an a plastic case / RedBull cup as holder for a Siemens S45.
The Cat5 network cabling goes directly to the voltmeters on the dash, this was made to show the exact voltage without loss due to load on the cabling.

As mentioned before, I have two separate batteries the starter is a traditional lead/acid battery, and the domestic is an AGM type, which allows deep cycles.

This is how the battery compartment looks:


The switches on the left are starter / jumper / domestic. This allows maximum flexibility. The domestic main switch actually doesn’t kill the microguard / fridge, so it can be off, and I can still call the fridge.

Light up your way

Yesterday, I was wondering about what I could do with this unused frog led light, and I think, I’ve found a solution:

Charging leads with magnet contacts

Some of you might have noticed that i like playing with magnets, so i did again. I’ve used neodym magnets which have hole in the middle, and used a screw, which I soldered the wires to. This makes very practical charging leads which can be attached to just about everything.

This wasn’t my idea, someone on the candlepower forums posted some similar charging leads a while ago.

Maglite 3c 3-Led Modification

It’s been a long time since I wanted to mod my 3c Maglite, which to be honest wasn’t exactly bright. Costs always held me back, but then I’ve found this:


This module is very bright, but too much of a thrower for my use, but i didn’t know that, and probably cannot change it (any suggestions are welcome). It has an included circuit to drive the led’s from 3.6 v- 9v. It also has 3 Output modes, strobe, low, full, they are very annoying, because they change every time you disconnect the power source. The Mag switch actually connects, disconnects for a short time, and then connects again, if you pusch it once. This makes it even worse. So i would not recommend this module, or at least not if you’re planning to use the original switch.

Now to the mod itself:

I’ve had to cut down the mag’s head, and sand out quiet a lot of alloy to get the thing in:


I guess this is much easier on the D mag, but i always preferred the C over the D.

Connecting the module to the switch is easy, the important thing is how to disassemble the mag, but i won’t describe this here, it can be easily found on the internet. The whole thing should look more or less like this (module installed in Mag-head, switch disassembled, wires soldered to switch contacts):


After reassembling it looked like that, the parts next to it are the leftovers from the mag minus the reflector:


Note: Three rechargeable NiCd or NiMh cells provide the absolute minimal current to run this thing, it gets brighter when running on higher voltage. Which is something I’ll maybe do i future, using 2 18650 Li-Ion or maybe LiFePo (much saver than Li-Ion) cells.

Paypal Buyer Protection

I’ve got my money back from the guy who sold me the fake Sennheiser… so it seems like Paypal Buyer Protection is at least worth something.