obriencj

is a pile of bits

Withscope and Uggo the Warrior
a tale of two projects

My Thanksgiving vacation draws to a close. It is 11PM on a Sunday night, and tomorrow morning I will haul my carcass back down to my desk and log in to work and get back to the grind. The days are once again depressingly short, and I must combat the darkness by soaking up as much sunlight as possible. It becomes difficult to see the sun at all – wake up, walk downstairs into the home office, and stay there until the workday is done.

Uggo Yesterday

As previously noted, I have been working like mad to get Uggo running and in good condition again. This effort is redoubled because Tux has had her exaust pipe off for ceramic coating for the past two weeks, rendering her unrideable.

Yesterday was Saturday, and I took her out for a ride down to Lillington. The beast hadn’t seen much real road time since I’d bought her and started tearing her apart. I really opened her up on those empty roads, and was pleasantly surprised. The new coils and plugs, the cleaned carbs, the new clutch plates all let her just jump forward with a twist of the wrist. She seemed genuinely eager to haul ass. If you can get her to 6k RPM, it doesn’t seem to matter what gear she’s in, a quick rev and she’ll jump to 9k like it’s nothing at all. The resulting acceleration is exhilerating to say the least. Sometimes a little terrifying. Not once did the new plates slip.

The new front brake was fantastic as well. A firm pressure on the lever had a very satisfying stopping time.

There’s a lot of buzzing and rattling at various RPMs – some of this I think is due to the bent-up heat shields that act as barriers between my right leg and her two exhaust pipes as they emerge from the cylinder head. Since those suckers regularly get to 500F, I can appreciate the presence of the shields, even if they make an incredibly annoying noise when the engine frequency makes them wiggle. Perhaps I should get these pipes coated as well, and then wrap them? I could probably leave off the guards at that point.

I put 115 miles on the bike before parking for a refresher at Boxcar. Much to my dismay when I went to leave, she started but idled weakly and then stalled out. I could not get her to start again. I was concerned I’d fouled her plugs, or she’d swamped, or any number of things. But then the cavalry arrived (my sister Littlebear) and with her a simpler suggestion.

Out of gas. Apparently, Uggo gets around 46 miles per gallon. Coupled with a 2.6 gallon tank… I must have arrived at Boxcar on fumes.

A quick run to a nearby station for a container of fuel, and I was on my way home! Thank goodness for cool sisters!

Uggo Today

I started today by attacking Uggo’s wiring harness, one of the few really bad bits remaining. Her turn signals had long given me issue, and the wiring in general has been a disaster since day one, almost a year ago. Sometimes she wouldn’t start, sometimes the headlight wouldn’t work, sometimes indicator lights would sporadically stop functioning.

I disconnected the entirety of the mess that was tangled beneath her headlight and took a serious look at it. The majority of the bulk was the result of a number of butt-end connectors that combined the various control lines together to be sent off elsewhere on the loom. The plug-in segment that these connectors had been sharing space with was a totally separate piece, and with some arranging I was able to move all the joinery up into the headlight bucket where it belongs. Suddenly what was once a fat nest was just a few parallel bundles, and there was plenty of room for control cables and the final outer plastic covering.

I pulled out the manual while I was at this, and pored over the wiring diagram to discern what was the issue with the turn signals. There were a few color mis-matches (possible replacement pieces, who knows) to act as stumbling blocks, but my multi-meter and I prevailed, and with a bit of electrical cleaner spray and pliers-work, all four signals were blinking as intended!

Just in time to get her inspected, since her registration is approaching its expiration point!

Withscope

With my morning cup of coffee, before I attacked Uggo’s wiring, I got a few final touches on another project of mine. python-withscope is yet another one of those odd-ball things that nobody will ever use, but which I’ve written for fun. It adds nestable lexical scopes, similar to the special form let from scheme. I’m still somewhat amazed that I could make such a feature work. I’d posted about this project before, but the first implementations were a bungling mess. It’s significantly cleaner now.