Archive for February, 2014

µCurrent unboxing and testing

Tuesday, February 4th, 2014

I have been watching EEVBlog (Dave Jones) videos for quite a while on youtube. I think I am up to date now. At any rate when he started his Kickstarter campaign for a new batch I jumped on it. Today I finally got it. SO I will give you a tour of my new µCurrent.

ucurrent address

Starting to dig in.

return address

Pink padding always a winner.

Pink bubbles

Fudge and rulers…

fudge and rulers

Hey it’s Dave’s Signature

Daves Signature

I got number 28

Ucurrent 28

Lots of fun accessory’s

Everyting but

Nice looking µCurrent

the complete kit

I think it looks better horizontal.

the complete kit 2

The µCurrent looks good in gold!

Hello Ucurrent

The complete Early signed addition.

Mmm pretty

The first test with my new µCurrent. An indoor/outdoor temperature and humidity sensor.

one more for gd measure

Lets try it on a scope! Yes I am testing on my kitchen counter.

Lets trya scope

Testing a Garmin Glo Bluetooth GPS on my µCurrent. Look at that waveform!

another shot

Testing the draw on my Game of life display.

GOL draw

It topped out at about 1.2 amps.

Draw 2

I made a youtube video showing it in action.

1972 Super Beetle front end rebuild.

Monday, February 3rd, 2014

I got my first Super Beetle back in high school. I immediately rebuilt the front end. There was no rubber left on the control arm bushings. A number of years later I wrecked that beetle in San Fransisco. Soon there after I procured my new beetle. Slowly I have been upgrading and repairing it.
About a year ago I purchased the necessary parts for rebuilding the front end. This last weekend my friend, my friend’s girlfriend, my dad, and I set about actually installing them.
Saturday started the festivities off. The first order of business? The muffler had to go. I had been driving my car around with a dead muffler for far too long. The install was uneventful but the effects were profound. I actually was not planing on replacing my muffler. I thought I could just replace the crush rings but on closer inspection there was a hole that could not be repaired. We had to hop down to the Buggy House and purchase a replacement.
After we got back we bolted on the new muffler and we started on the next task replacing the voltage regulator. This is pretty straight forward task. We pulled out a couple of bolts. Then we positioned the new regulator near the old one and carefully transferred the wires, one by one, to their new home. Soon the old regulator was in the waste bin and the regulator was bolted in place.
We grabbed a quick lunch and then started on the passenger side strut. I loosened the 22mm nut that keeps the strut assembly together being mindful not to take it all the way off as that would result in calamity. Next I removed the top three 14mm bolts. Then we were on to removing the three 15mm bolts that secure the strut assembly to the brake assembly and ball joint. With those bolts removed we moved on to disconnecting the brake line and removing the 19mm nut that secures the ball joint to the control arm. We proceeded to separate the strut assembly from the brake assembly by carefully rocking the strut forward and back, left to right and then it finally gave way. After 30+ odd years of service plenty of rust had worked it’s way in to that joint. With the strut out of the car work began in earnest. My dad worked on rebuilding the strut while my friend and I worked on getting the rest of the suspension pieces out of the car. We carefully removed the 19mm castle nut that secures the control arm to the torsion bar. Soon we were banging on it with a hammer after we got the nut off. In the end we dismounted the entire bar and used a vise to aid us in the separation of the control arm from the torsion bar. However there was a bit of a hang up when my dad was removing the torsion bar from the car. One of the 13mm bolts that clamps the bar to the car snapped off. My dad quickly started drilling the bolt out and was soon using a extractor to try and get the bolt out. Unfortunately the bolt was having none of that. My friend and I quickly set off to find a different extractor set. We went through a multitude of them trying to find one that worked. We new finding a set of extractors would take a while so we persuaded the control arms off of the torsion bar and brought them to the only shop in town that was open on a Sunday. The bushing on a beetle control arm are press fit. So while the arms were getting new bushings we went to the mall for lunch and to by a set of extractors. We found a set and picked up the control arms after remitting a small fortune. We quickly went work on mounting the struts back into the car. My dad held the strut in place while I put the 14mm nuts back in place. Next my friend and I attached the strut assembly back on to the brake assembly with a new ball joint. My dad did not have any luck with the new extractor set so we went off to find another set. We went to Kragen. We found a set and went to McDonald’s for a quick drink and made our way back to Dad. My dad worked on that damn bolt for a bit longer and quickly decided that the bolt wasn’t going anywhere. So it was off to our favorite Chinese goods importer. We searched high and low finally settled on set of tap and dies. With new tool set in hand we very carefully enlarged the hole to the appropriate size and then proceeded to tap the hole. I thought for sure the old bolt would give way but it was so rusted in there it was able to resist the pressures of being taped. With the hole tapped we quickly mounted the torsion bar back in place with new bushings of course. Next we secured the control arm on the torsion bar with the 19mm castle nut. Then we skillfully attached the ball joint to the control arm with a 19mm lock nut. With the lock nut in place we then proceeded to put in the 17mm camber adjustment bolt. This is not an easy task… We had to push on the whole assembly to get the control arm in to position. On the opposite side we used a load tie down to help force the control arm into place. Soon however the whole thing was bolted back together and torques double checked. The only thing left was to give it a quick test run. I took it on a quick run down my street and it preformed admirably.