Wednesday, April 29, 2009

gocco a go-go

come make gocco prints with me on saturday, may 2nd! check out the facebook event

Saturday, April 25, 2009

i love the smell of two-stroke in the morning

not a whole lot of making and doing these days, but today i finally got around to cleaning the exhaust on my puch sport mkII. an hour of jet black hands later and it's 5 mph (8 km/h to my metric friends) faster... sweet. i also took apart the carburetor, but it looked spick and span, so there was no work required. now to get it registered so i can get back to the mopedery.

Wednesday, April 15, 2009


problem solved. it turns out i didn't solder one of the output wires in the correct spot. unfortunately it was going to be a really tight fit to get it all in the altoids box, plus we didn't have the proper tools to modify the box. so, we ended up finding it a temporary home in an old ipod box. it'll have to find something better, but for now it does the job... making stuff louder.

Wednesday, April 8, 2009

cmoy pocket amp

so, my buddy cameron wanted to make a pocket amplifier to use with his ipod (you can never rock too loud... unless you blow an ear drum, which is too loud). he found this well done tutorial over at tangent soft. we got the supplies and started assembling on my bread board. the problem is i haven't touched a real electronics project since university. this was one of several factors that led to a series of problems. here they are in chronological order:

1. one of the capacitors blew up when i put it in backwards
2. the volume knob (potentiometer) was a linear pot and was only for one channel.
3. the voltage splitter went all crazy when the headphones were plugged in (i.e it sounded terrible)
4. once we soldered it up the right channel wasn't working properly.

the capacitor fix was easy: don't be an idiot. the volume knob took some more work as i had to trek all over town trying to find one. when i finally did find one it was super old school with no schematic online, so i had to sort out what pin was what myself. that is probably easier for someone who knows what they are doing. cameron solved the voltage problem. apparently he has very low impedance headphones and there was a significant offset current (i.e. the amplifier needs a certain voltage range to operate and the headphones where mucking it up). so, a couple of electrolytic capacitors later the problem was fixed. we haven't fixed #4 yet, although i should have some time today. i'll keep you posted. here are some pictures of the progress:

it was one of those black capacitors that blew it's top.

adjusting the volume.

cameron trying to decide which "gain" is best.

enjoying the fumes.

Saturday, April 4, 2009


last tuesday leah and i were working on her moped. she had a leaking petcock (don't be gross, the "petcock" is the fuel valve) that we were replacing. here's the height of the action:

actually that isn't the height of the action at all. that occurred when i ended up getting soaked with gasoline... from the beginning: so, we got the new petcock on the ped (courtesy of 1977 mopeds) and then tried to start it. considering it's been sitting on my patio for a year this was not an easy task. the flat rear tire didn't help. anyway, after much cajoling we got it going. it wasn't exactly running in top form, but the tweaking is the easy part. i put the moped up on it's kick stand and let it run for a minute. that's when it all went wrong. i noticed a fluid slowly leaking out of the fuel tank... it doesn't take a rocket scientist to figure out what leaks out of the fuel tank. i lightly touched the leak, which caused the paint fleck that was apparently the only thing holding back the torrent to break loose... and then the torrent. my leg was soaked in a 50:1 mixture of gasoline and 2-stroke engine oil. the solution was for me to plug the hole with my finger while leah ran to grab a bucket. so, now i have a half full bucket of gasoline and a busted moped on my patio. stay tuned for my next make stuff/do stuff project: "how to patch a hole in a moped fuel tank"