Miss brakes on the tops? Try cross levers

Remember how your dad’s 10-speed from the 70s/80s had an extra set of brake levers by the “tops”? They were for the top part of a drop style handlebar, like this:

They are called extension levers, or sometimes colloquially suicide levers because some couldn’t actuate the brake fully.

Whatever the case is, I’m still fond of them and wish they were still a thing. Bike manufactures mostly solved this problem by putting ergonomic hoods on the brake levers so you can rest your hand on the top of the bar where it curves down.

Like driving with your hands at 9 & 3 the paddle shifters are easier to reach… but I can still press the brake when I’m cruising at 12 & crotch 😎 I want the same thing on my bike. I like keeping my hands on the tops when I’m relaxing, and I don’t want to do an emergency hand move if I need to stop quickly.

Enter cross levers

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1:1 Scale Electric Car

When I was getting back into R/C for the 2nd time, circa 2003, I made a conscious choice between getting an HPI Super Nitro Rally and the HPI RS4 (electric) Rally. The music of 18,000 RPMs sounded like a ton of fun, but in the back of my head, it just wasn’t worth it. Smelling […]

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When I was getting back into R/C for the 2nd time, circa 2003, I made a conscious choice between getting an HPI Super Nitro Rally and the HPI RS4 (electric) Rally. The music of 18,000 RPMs sounded like a ton of fun, but in the back of my head, it just wasn’t worth it. Smelling like nitro fuel, tuning the engine for the weather, proper maintenance and storage were just a few reasons. Plus all my previous experience was electric.

At the end of 2020 I donated my Subaru WRX to Newgate School. It was feeling its age and had several gremlins that I didn’t want to deal with: a fuel filler neck that wouldn’t refuel at full speed, an undiagnosed misfire on cylinder #1, and a slipping clutch. Like my decision to bypass nitro, the time was right to give up the rumbly EJ motor sound for the whir of a 200HP electric motor.

Introducing the official Meatball Racing vehicle: Chevy Bolt

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Shipping your RC car, racing out of town

Our family did our first post-COVID airplane trip to Salt Lake City, Utah. We were there for a week, so I looked up Intermountain RC Raceway (IRCR) – a place I had visited before but never raced at. Their off-road club racing is Wednesday night, so I got the B6 ready to hit the clay. […]

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Our family did our first post-COVID airplane trip to Salt Lake City, Utah. We were there for a week, so I looked up Intermountain RC Raceway (IRCR) – a place I had visited before but never raced at. Their off-road club racing is Wednesday night, so I got the B6 ready to hit the clay.

It was also the first airplane trip that I wanted to bring my RC car on. Normally on road trips it’s a no-brainer. This would be a learning experience – hopefully you can learn from my (many) mistakes.

I could (and probably should) have just packed my car to travel on the airplane as it was only $30 per checked bag – I thought it was going to be $50. Instead I mailed my car to a relative at our destination for $40. If you’re looking for a good video on packing your car for air travel, check this one out by Team Associated:

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Garage Door LED Lights

TL;DR? Is your garage door remote working intermittently? Did you recently switch the built-in lights to LED bulbs? That might be causing the problem…

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(Almost) Free Level 1.5 EV Charger

It’s fairly well known in the Bolt EV community that you can plug the included 120V charger into a 240V outlet and double the charging rate. I was wondering if the PHEV Pacifica could do the same thing 🤔 I did some research and found a Pacifica forum post that says you can.

We recently got a 240V outlet installed in the garage so we could buy a Level 2 charger, so I decided to make an adapter to test it out. The adapter instructions from the Bolt site recommends 14 gauge wire or bigger. I had some 12 gauge wire leftover from another project so I used that. All I needed to buy were the plug ends. I got a convertible 14-50 / 14-30 power plug and a female 5-20 end.

Pro-tip:

If you’re starting from scratch and don’t have 14+ gauge electrical cable laying around, you could just pilfer a short 14+ gauge extension cord.

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Remember Baseball?

Remember drum corps? Remember WGI? Remember movies? Remember bar trivia? It’s been a long time, but I think we’re getting back to normal.

However we’re not completely out of the weeds yet. I talked to a friend who works in an rural school district. He was the first person I knew personally to get vaccinated. But when I talked to him last week, he said the school published the percent of school teachers & staff that had been vaccinated. It was a paltry 44%. Clearly people are making a choice to not get vaccinated. 😠

Did they not just live through what is hopefully the worst year of their life? Do they want to live like this forever? Some think the vaccine is just sugar water. If it is, it’s the strongest sugar water I’ve ever had b/c it kicked my ass. Others think Bill Gates put microchips in it

I.JUST.CAN’T. Rant over, let’s get back to baseball ⚾

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The Van of the Future

In 2019 my wife and I went to a Discovery Dinner at the local nature center. It was a presentation about electric vehicles. The presenter, Jukka Kukkonen, was an automotive engineer by trade. He switched his focus to hybrid and electric vehicles as he knew clean energy would be the way of the future. We left the dinner with one major point in our head:

If you’re going to buy a hybrid vehicle, make sure it is a plug-in hybrid.

Jukka
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Microsoft 3600 BT mouse latency in Linux

In my other XPS 13 DE Settings post, I linked to an article about mouse lag that helped my Microsoft 3600 mouse behave better.

Last week I noticed it started acting up again 😔 so I revisited the problem. My previous settings had apparently been wiped out with my upgrade to Ubuntu 20.04. But in my search I found some other settings that might help.

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