QR Codes - Making Your Own

Here is a great site called Kaywa for generating QR Codes, they also have a program for some devices. If you do use it a lot then you probably should think about making a donation but there are many others out there, just do a Google for Free QR Code generator.

This QR Code simple contains a link to this blog but you can easily have some text, phone number or SMS.

Biker Protected Gear - How Much Does Yours Weight?

Out of interest have you ever wondered how much your bike gear weighs. Right, Me and Gear is 77Kg - Me 69K with gear removed equals 8Kg. So that's leathers, boots, gloves and lid weigh 8Kg.

It would be interesting how much a fully loaded bike of camping gear would add to this.

Installing a 12V socket to a Yamaha FZS600 Motorcycle

It has taken me nearly 2 years of saying I would do this to actually installing a 12V socket on my Yamaha Fazer. Camping by bike is what I do most for events like BMF and The Bulldog Bash which is both enjoyable and good value for money. This will now allow me to charge a SatNAV, mobile phone or plug in a pump for an air-bed.

If you are planning to do the same first look at where you want to put the socket. Think about the length of cable from the plug to the device to help you decide where. I chose to put mine under the seat which means I do not have to wire it into the ignition circuit or put a switch in to stop anyone draining my battery.

The 12V Waterproof Socket Cigarette Lighter (C) came from Amazon and was the most expensive part at £4.50. Both 10A Blade Fuse (A) £0.52 and 30A Blade Fuseholder (B) £2.29 came from Maplin which was bought in store.
Firstly strip, twist and solder the joins. One the red cable I reused the connector which came with the 12V socket hence the extra join. You will need another.

A mate let me have some spare black wire and also provided tubing which covered the joins which was then heat shrunk using a heat gun.

I decided to use black insulation tape over the top too to make sure that it was water tight.

I would recommend getting a multimeter and checking the resistance just to make sue all the joints are good and there are no short-outs. Do not install the fuse yet.

Attach the socket under the seat to a cleaned area using Velcro. This means you can move it out of the way to make more room under the seat for luggage. When positioning make sure you leave enough room to be able to plug & unplug and that the plug can sit in the socket cleanly when the seat is put back into place.

With the fuse not installed from this new wiring first connect the red positive (+) cable to the battery. I actually used latex gloves to avoid accidentally shorting out the battery or the motorcycle wiring. Clean up the current connections to the battery. I put a tiny smear of Vaseline on the connectors to ensure of a good connection.

There was enough gap to push the connector through the back of the red protective terminal cover.

Next connect the black negative (-) cable. Again clean and Vaseline the contacts.

I did not wear latex gloves for this bit as the bike is negatively earthed so this cable is normally okay if it touches any part of the bike.

Finally put the fuse in.

You can now put the 10A (amp) fuse in. I tested it by plugging in just my SatNAV cable which had an LED which lights even when the SatNAV is not connected.

Providing your motorcycle is charging the battery correctly it should be possible to have a mobile charging without the engine running. Anything like a pump make sure the engine is running or you might be push starting your bike next time. Basically if in doubt run the engine.

The other advantages of having this not connected as part of the ignition circuit are you can lock a mobile on charge under the seat (make sure no one sees you doing this) while you go get some lunch and do not have to leave your keys in the ignition.

The main disadvantage is that if you have soft panniers which lay across the seat then it is difficult to get under the seat. As they say think about Location Location Location.... and what and how you are going to use it.

History of My Gadgets so far...

My first gadget was a Psion 3 which I bought probably around 1986. This was followed by a Psion 3a about five years later. I even had my hands on a Apple Newton but with out the cables and a macintosh I kind of gave that up. The Psion 3a screen finally gave up then usual problem where the ribbon connecting to screen would wear out through the opening and closing.

I was bought a Palm IIIe by my wife (who in fact bought all my Palms) which I still have. It still works though the screen is a bit scratched by the writing part. Though the problem now is none of my PCs have serial connections any more so a bit useless now.

Next the colour Sony Clie which I later sold on ebay. I loved the colour screen but it was a little bulky.

Finally the Palm TX which broke.The power button stopped working just under warranty but I chose to not bother with the hassle of getting it repaired. Years later I tried to replace the battery which was when it finally gave up. I decided never to by a Palm again after that.

I moved away from Palm and bought a HP iPaq hx2410 from ebay in 2008. I thought I had paid a bit too much but a recent look showed that they seem to be more expensive now. I really like this even though it only runs Windows Mobile 2003 SE and is not upgradeable. The browser still works for most websites but does not cope with java. I will keep using this for a while and might even get a new battery but this might depend on my next phone....