Earlier I wrote about the 3rd gen heated handlegrips. I used a “12V” battery box which as 3S2P 18650-based. Sadly it turned out to not really have a BMS inside, and, well, the batteries died permanently. Undaunted I installed a backup set and… the bike was stolen. So, gen 4. Let’s go.

For gen 4 we are taking a bit of a different approach to the energy source. I’ve got a 7000mAH 4S LiPo pouch battery.. Its meant for some remote controlled vehicle. At full voltage it is 16.8V, at nominal it is 14.8. I am going to couple this with a proper 4S BMS with balance leads.

Now, I considered a 12V constant-current/constant-voltage output buckl converter on the output. This would provide the handle bar grips a 12V supply until the battery got near empty, then dropping to 11.2V. Instead, on observing the BMS has about 1 diode drop in normal use, so the output of the BMS is more like 15V at fullish charge, and 11-14V in normal operation. This is sufficiently close to the alternator output of the vehicle these handlegrips were designed for. They have no active electronics, just nichrome wire, so they’ll run warmer when the battery is full, and cooler as it gets close to empty. So I’ll drop the CC/CV buck converter.

This means the wiring is simple: 16.8V charge in to BMS. Battery to BMS. Output from BMS to handle grips.

OK, case time. The 12V battery box had quite a nice robust case, relatively weather proof, velcro-strap to bolt to the bike. I’m going to go with a 3D printed case.

OK, printed. On to the soldering. First we hookup the BMS, have to splice the balance leads, add a deans-t power connector. Boom, measuring @ P1/P2 we have 14.6V for 15.5V out of the battery, so we should be good enough. We’ll lose a bit of voltage in the wires and under load, i should be ok. No fires or shorts! (ps, you have to be super careful with these LiPo, this one can output over 800A (120C @ 7AH). I’ve put a 30A BMS on, the hand grips draw about 4A. In hindsight I should have put a polyfuse in here, let me go rummage for one.

I was considering a trigger to avoid leaving them on by accident and having cold hands on the way home. I might still add this. There is a USB plug on the display on the bike which is switched. I could use its 5V line to drive a mosfet to enable the power. To be continued there I guess.

Add a 12V (ish) lighted switch so we can turn it off easily plus know if its on (since the on/off switch of the handlegrips are inside the bear-paws).

Do a quick dry fit of the front-panel, looks good. Time to solder up the wires inside.

OK let’s buckle it up and test. Perfect. We have an output which varies from 11V to 15V, should be ok for the resistive load in these hand warmers. Gen 4 is ready to install!

After many years of trying to make the web a proprietary thing, and some modest success, Adobe Flash eventually gave up faced with an overwhelming set of security flaws, lack of accessibility, multi-platform woes, etc. It outlived the Java Applet Dancing Duke, and its main contribution was fancy loading bars on websites of the late 90’s.

It then entered a long zombie stage of life where you could stort of install it if you worked around a set of of challenges. Why you would? I dunno, maybe you had a geocities site cached?

Well, today is the last day of flash’s life. So sayeth the Adobe Flash Player EOL General Information Page. I don’t know why I bothered linking it, I know you have the URL memorised and have been checking it daily.

So, security experts cheer, people who care about the free and open web rejoice, nostalgia freaks shed a modest tear.

Download quick and fire up that last favourite game, for today is the last day of Flash.

OK, bike #1 was the folding bike. I liked that one a lot. So did the thief. RIP.

Bike #2 was purchased for $5 online, just to get to the office. It has been passed forward and is still in action.

Bike #3 was purchased to replace Bike #1. It was a Voltbike Yukon. I liked that one a lot too, as did the 2nd thief. Thief identified and warrant out for arrest. I’m not hopeful.

So, enter Bike #4. They are pretty scarce these days, Covid made everyone take up biking. But, I found one to my spec in Saskatoon, and, it arrived today. After some assembly, the photo above.

This is the Biktrix Ultra Beast. It has 2 batteries (each 48V @ 15AH), and a mid-drive M620 Ultra Max motor.

Now I’m awaiting some locking mechanisms….

Here’s a video of the delivery and unboxing of the Region of Waterloo’s first Covid vaccine. Its a bit anticlimactic, which is good. I was saddened to see we felt the need for security (WRPS), but, better safe than sorry I guess. The numbers suggest Toronto and Ottawa got their first batch from box to arm in very short order, Im certain well do the same here.

Got a pair of 80’s or 90’s floor-standing speakers? The ones you bought because of the iconic Maxell “Blown-Away Guy’? They no longer fit the decor of your living room? Don’t despair, they make great desk speakers. Or so was my thinking.

Yesterday I did some long needed cleanup of the home office. Where does all the junk come from? As part of this I took a pair of QX900-F that dated back, well, to shortly after university. about 1.5m in height they are not discrete. O well, they’ll fit in, right?

Hmm, they look a bit out of place. Hook them up to the Sonos, hook the Sonos line-in to a USB-DAC, boom, we got a pretty significant desktop speaker setting. YouTube was predictably a more immersive experience. But it only really got weird today when I did a couple hour long WebEx (yes, still somewhat of a thing 20+ years since I first used it). And that, my friends, was a weird experience. Its hard to say exactly. Those with good microphones where there. I mean really there. I mean almost too much there, it was like they were all around me, in my head.

Anyone else ever given this a try? I recommend it! If your speaker isn’t taller than your desk, well, I dunno, you complete that saying.