Saturday, 31 August 2013

On A Plate 2013: 243


Friday, 30 August 2013

On A Plate 2013: 242

Bognor Regis.

Raleigh Chiltern (aka 'Barry the Bike) Restoration Update.

Update note: I've updated the original Raleigh Chiltern Resto post to correct some errors and add info I've subsequently collected here:

Raleigh Chiltern Resto

I've also added 'Raleigh Chiltern' to the title of any post relating to this project.

This Raleigh Chiltern is beginning to change my mind about what I actually require from the machine I use for personal transport.

I build all my 'serious' bicycles with the sole intent of efficiently converting muscle power into forward motion.
The position of the rider on the bike is critical to that efficiency and, if poorly adjusted, can be bloody uncomfortable.

Barry the Bike, in its current form, is not really an efficient machine and doesn't need to be either.
I thought I'd have a test run up to Goodwood House to time how long it would take Barry to get me there.
Raleigh Chiltern Resto leaving Canning Rd
On my Halfords Apollo Hybrid, on an average day, it takes: 49mins 38.2secs.
On The Dobson single speed cycle path rocket, on a good day, it takes: 43mins 18.2 secs.
On the Raleigh Chiltern on an Indian Summer's day under an azure sky, into a gentle headwind it takes:  54mins 20.4 secs

I didn't 'push' hard, just kept winding the gear until I reached Goodwood.
By the time I got to my destination I'd decided that riding Barry over long(ish) distances is probably not a good idea.
Raleigh Chiltern Resto at West Hampnett
The front basket, when loaded as seen above, affects the steering stability adversely, but over short distances this is not a significant problem.

I found my big bouncy Dutch Lepper Saddle surprisingly uncomfortable after while.
It's not fully 'broken-in' yet, though it's strange I never noticed any discomfort when using this saddle on other bikes.
Raleigh Chiltern Resto Lepper Saddle 02
During the ride I got the feeling that I was positioned just a little to far forward for comfort.
There's no front to back adjustment on the Lepper Saddle so I have to consider the handlebar position.
I was led to believe, as a quick rule of thumb, that if one were look down from ones normal seating position at the middle of the handlebars, the front wheel hub should be in line with the bars.
If I change my seating position to a comfortable one, I find the hub has moved backward from it's position.
I need to lift the handlebars a little to compensate for this which means another stem as the current one is on it's upper limit.
That's the next task.

Many Raleigh products have very passionate fans, the Raleigh Chopper or Raleigh 20 models for instance.
I haven't yet found a Raleigh Chiltern fan club.
This is sad as these bikes are reasonably easy to get hold, cheap to maintain and can handle more abuse than most, so called, Mountain Bikes.

I'm beginning to find the world of the generic 3 Speed Push Bike very interesting indeed.
There are many potentially collectable machines being dumped in Community Refuse Facilities that could be worth a bob or two in years to come if only as props in a BBC drama series set anywhere from the late 1950's to the 1990's.
These machines have changed very little in that period.

I keep finding myself considering performing a full restoration on Barry, but I don't think I will.
I like him the just way he is.

By way of compensation to those disappointed at not seeing me riding Barry the Bike 'Look! No hands'
here's a film I did the other day whist returning from playing my uke up on the prom:
It freaked me out when I first heard it as could't tell where the sound was coming from, but how cool is that?
Cool doesn't end there either.
Look at Barry with my Resonator Uke in the basket:
Raleigh Chiltern Resto + Resonator Ukulele

All of this bicycle tippy-tap-tapping leads me to the distressing conclusion that I am in the middle of a 'Nasty Attack of Bicycles' relapse.
As we all know, the first step on the road to recovery is admitting one has a problem.

Thursday, 29 August 2013

On A Plate 2013: 241

Bognor Regis.

Wednesday, 28 August 2013

On A Plate 2013: 240

West Hampnett.

Small Things (for Claire)

I started trying to put my new found understanding of the Circle of Fifths to some use today  yesterday.
By lunchtime I had a chord sequence together.
The lyric has been written for a couple of months and originally the backing had a very 'lounge Jazz' feel to it.

I recorded it during the afternoon.
Then experimented with making a video for it.

Here it is:

it's for an ex.

Tuesday, 27 August 2013

On A Plate 2013: 239

Bognor Regis

Monday, 26 August 2013

On A Plate 2013: 238


OSM Ind. Accidental Chandelier

I accidentally made a chandelier in the attic:

Sunday, 25 August 2013

On A Plate 2013: 237


Saturday, 24 August 2013

On A Plate 2013: 236


Ignorant Ornithology: The Moth.

I believe this to be a moth:

Friday, 23 August 2013

On A Plate 2013: 235

Bognor Regis.

Thursday, 22 August 2013

On A Plate 2013: 234


Wednesday, 21 August 2013

On A Plate 2013: 233

Elmer Sands.

Tuesday, 20 August 2013

Everyday Tales of a Home Studio and Biscuit Tin and Broom Pole Bass Mods.

I record many pieces of music that never actually get heard by anyone but me.
In the main the recordings tend to be experiments, usually to do with mic positions, or putting various EQ settings to the test.

Some recordings are instrument tests, some are tests of outboard equipment.

I have recorded the curtains in my back room studio.
There is method in my, apparent, madness.
My old lap-top is beginning to show the strain and the cooling fan kicks in at the slightest provocation.
If I aim the microphone away from the lap-top toward the curtains I can usually loose the sound of the fan, or at least reduce it to the point where it's drowned out by the source signal.
The curtains also help kill the 'liveliness' of the room.
I don't like a completely 'dead' room as I have to waste time adding all manner of different effects to get it to sound as if it were recorded in a 'live' room.

This mic position was jolly inconvenient as it meant I had to start the recording then race round to get in position behind the mic.
Which sometimes ended in disaster.

I now control the recording programme (GarageBand) from my iPad.
I haven't tripped over a single cable, bringing up to 15 linked items of expensive electronic equipment into violent contact with the floor, since I started using this set up.
(The app's called GBTouch BTW)

Which brings me to the Biscuit Tin and Broom Pole Bass.
(Original Posting: Biscuit Tin and Broom Pole Slide Bass Demo No: 01)

For all the test recordings, when ever a bass is needed I use the Biscuit Tin and Broom Pole Bass.
I no longer play it with a slide.
After prolonged periods of playing the instrument I've become pretty good at approximately hitting any given note more or less near enough dead on.

Truth is it would make my life easier if it had frets.
I added a contact microphone sometime ago.
It picks up every last scrape and buzz of the fretless device.

I added zip tie frets :

At this point there are three more frets to add to form a diatonic C maj scale.
No sharps, no flats.

That's if the string is tuned to C of course.
It's easy enough to tune the string one semi-tome this way or that and be able to twang along to anything.

Putting the frets on has solved so many of this instruments problems it's difficult to believe it's the same one.
I was even able to remove the damping material I'd used to remove the 'tin-canning' effect.
Linda had been looking for those t-shirts for some time apparently.

It now sounds like this:
TinBass Test-01

Notice how I attempt to play the lead riff from Stanley Clarke's 'School Days'.

I'm always doing that sort of thing....

It's embarrassing.

On A Plate 2013: 232


Monday, 19 August 2013

On A Plate 2013: 231

Bognor Regis.

Sunday, 18 August 2013

On A Plate 2013: 230

Bognor Regis.

Saturday, 17 August 2013

OSM Ind: R and D Unit: Foot Operated Finger Cymbal Tinger. Proof of Concept Model.

I'm sure that, like me, many millions of people consider their lives poor and wretched things for the want of ability to ting finger cymbals whist their hands are occupied playing a musical instrument.

It's a curse I tell you.

This device sprang into my head the other night so I built this proof of concept model to demonstrate that the idea works.
Side View
From the rear
I had to use cable ties for the links as I don't have enough appropriate Mecanno:
Colour Coded for Operators' Safety
"Does it work then?":

( N.B. It does if I embed the YouTube version of the film rather than Blogger upload.)

Not as well as it might, but this is proof of concept for me.

I wonder how long this will take me to satisfactory conclusion?

Raleigh Chiltern Resto: The Story of Barry the Bikes' New (ish) Front Carrier.

For reasons I don't want to go into involving downstairs-elderly neighbour Madge, her son Gary, rising damp, and men with very loud pneumatic hammers, we have a skip outside on the drive.
It's filled with Madge's kitchen and all the plaster from the kitchen.

I was riding Barry the Bike around the other day.
My bag was strapped onto the rear rack with bungee cords, which crushed everything in the bag.
I'd really like a front rack or basket type thing, they're much handier an' no mistake'

Truth is, although desirable, front racks are expensive for what they are so I won't be buying one anytime soon.

The following day I left the flat and, on walking past the skip, noticed someone had throw not one, but two wire-framed front mounting bicycle baskets in it.
What are the chances of that happening I wonder?

Quite high I suspect.

Anyway, the one of the two that was worth saving did once have a removable wire basket, but it had been strapped into place on the frame using cable ties.
This is not a problem.
I used more cable ties to stabilise the whole construction and then use the same method to attach the frame to the handlebars.
All this results in Barry the Bike now sporting a very versatile front mounted carrying structure.

The test ride was a quick trip to Tesco to buy a USB lead:

This machine is the best utility cycle I've owned.

I'd like to have a go at restoring a Raleigh 20.

I now have to go check what I've come to refer to as "The Magic Skip".

On A Plate 2013: 229

Bognor Regis.

Friday, 16 August 2013

On A Plate 2013: 228