Month: June 2021

Och aye, the noo!

The current Mrs Masher and I decided we needed a break and so a long weekend was just had, up in that there Scotland.

Edinburgh, to be more exact.

And very nice it was too, apart from the journey up there, which took nearly nine hours  – even with Mrs M and her decidedly heavy right foot doing the driving.  So many hold ups and accidents! I would say that people have forgotten how to drive properly, during the pandemic, but let’s face it, the roads were just as bad before.

We stayed in a very nice hotel just outside of Edinbugger for two nights and then spent the third in a Premier Inn actually in the city, but on the waterfront.

The bus and tram system there is superb and very reasonably priced, but even so, we did a lot of walking. A LOT of walking.

We did a tour of the castle – of course.

And we walked the length and some of the breadth of Princes Street.

And, of course, the Royal Mile.

Which felt like the Royal Two Miles to my poor, aching feet.

And we did a tour of the Royal Yacht Britannia, finishing with tea and cake in the tea room.

Because we is posh, innit.

The yacht was fascinating: we even saw the royal sleeping quarters. Interestingly, Her Maj and Phil both had separate bedrooms, with single beds.  There was only one room with a double bed in it, which Charles had apparently installed when he was boffing Diana.
But, walking around the boat, you certainly got a feel for the very different way of life these people led/lead.

I’ve actually  been to Edinbruff several times before, but only for work and you don’t really get to see much when flitting from site to site, in a car filled to the brim with lasers and fibre optic patch cords, so it was really nice to be able to take in some of the sights and absorb some of the grandeur of this historic city.

We had a really good time.

Just a shame about all the bloody roadworks everywhere.

Let there be light… after a short while

A few weeks back, half a dozen of us took a ride up to a café, on the A10, near Royston.

It’s a popular haunt for biker’s and – on a sunny Sunday morning – it was pretty busy, even with the Covid restrictions meaning that we all had to eat outside on the limited number of benches available.

But we did.  And it was good.  And then we left.

Except that we didn’t. Because my bike refused to start.

CLICK, it went. CLICK.

I had to suffer the ignomy of being pushed, in order to do a bump start, in front of dozens of fellow bikers.

This is only the second time this has happened in the nine years I have owned the bike, but even still…

Doing some research into this problem, I learned that it’s a well-known (not to me it wasn’t!) issue, within the Triumph Bonneville community, which is generally referred to as “The Dreaded Click”.

One suggestion I found, was to fit a switch on the headlights to save on current draw when starting (I think many modern bikes aren’t fitted with an on/off switch nowadays, as having the headlight on permanently is seen as a safety feature, so they have removed the ability to turn it off). I saw several examples where people had fitted a switch onto the headlight housing.  There was no way, I was going to ruin my beautifully chromed headlight housing, by drilling a hole in it. There is a headlight cut-out relay fitted to most bikes nowadays, for this very reason, but it seems they don’t always work.

So, instead, I made a small timer board. That’s it in the picture at the top of this post. Wrapped in self-amalgamating tape to keep it dry and also to prevent any shorts against the metalwork, this fits easily inside the headlight housing and keeps the headlights off for about fifteen seconds from when the ignition is switched on.

The circuit is simple and I built it onto a small scrap of stripboard that I had lying around. The rest of the components were from my bits box, apart from the relay. I decided to by an automotive relay as they are water-resistant – a fiver from my local auto parts store. Also, they can handle higher current than the piddly little relays I have to hand – I measured the headlight current draw at 4A.

The positive connection to the headlight main beam was cut and put in series with the normally closed contacts on the relay. I decided to do it that way, so that the headlight would have power, should the circuit fail for any reason.

Power for the circuit was taken from the sidelight, using a couple of Scotchlok connectors to tap into the wiring.

Total cost?  Well, I had most of the parts, but I reckon about six quid.

On a ride up to Jack’s Hill last Sunday, it worked perfectly.

I thought I’d post the idea here for anyone else having the same issue.

Of course, I can’t be held responsible if you bodge it and blow all the fuses on your bike!

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