Monday, 16 September 2019

M-DIY-BL1200 Review and Install

M-DIY-BL1200 Review and Install


Please find below notes on M-DIY-BL1200. 

M-DIY-BL1200 - Intro


The M-DIY-BL1200 is a Bluetooth receiver module. It is quite an attractive offering as it have many additional features over rivals they include:

  • Audio Input (automatically switching when audio input lead is attached)
  • Audio Output (to amplifier)
  • 12v to 25v input voltage
  • 5V connector (not sure if output or input) maybe both!
  •  Various extra connetion points for volume, and track skip buttons etc.
Video overview (terrible sounds and video quality soz). This video was made before I fitted the module / board, so is a bit light on detail.



M-DIY-BL1200 - Install


One of the most attractive things about this module is that it come supplied with detachable wires, which make soldering it a cinch. It is ideal for TPA3116 as the 24v voltage matches upper voltage of TPA3116, so that is ideal. 

Things go down hill from here.



M-DIY-BL1200 - Noise (Ground Loop)


So when I first fired this thing up there was all kinds of noise coming out of the speaker, before I had even started so I googled and I found: 


What we have is a problem with sharing the same power supply as the amplifier, which cuases "ground loop" I had a few spare components  lying around so I experimented to see what would help.

  • I used a step down convertor to power the M-DIY-BL1200 at 12v. The main power supply is a 24v laptop brick (Minger). I guessed that the convertor may incorporate some sort of filter. I guessed wrong. Ground loop noise still present.
  • I ran the M-DIY-BL1200 from a separate battery. This wasn't a fix as such, but just to try and diagnose problem. The ground loop noise went away. BUT there was another noise. . . .  .

 M-DIY-BL1200 - Noise (Buzz)

 

The other noise sounds like a amplifier when you have a lead plugged in, but no input. It is a steady hum or buzz and is quite loud. It was enough for me to abandon the project, remove the M-DIY-BL1200 module and revert to using a wired connection.  


M-DIY-BL1200 - Powered by Step Down Convertor

M-DIY-BL1200 - Intro Jingle


Whilst I can forgive design flaws as above (after all the board still does what it is supposed to do . . . .  badly), there is one feature that is unforgivable, that is the jingle that plays when the bluetooth is connected. Bling, bling BLOoOoOM. It is SOOOOOO loud, it distorts the speakers, even when the volume is turned down.

In order to avoid this, I had to mute the amp, connect / pair bluetooth, and then un-mute. This is a terrible feature, and I would avoid this board on that basis.

M-DIY-BL1200 - Conclusions


A DIY friendly board rendered unpassable by connection jingles and mystery humming noises. 

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Friday, 6 September 2019

Mix and Match Netgear Powerline Adaptors

A few notes on mixing and matching different models of netgear power line adaptors. These tests were run on a PC with a cable connect direct to the router.

Screen shots were pulled from netgear Genie.

Original Setup

From left to right media store, router (gateway) and house. Total distance about 100m. Rouiter is in shed at bottom of garden. and house access point (connected to XAV2001 by cable) is furthest point.



Test Set Up

Removal of XAV5201 and test of speeds between two XAV2001.


Newer Adaptor at Router End of Line

So by putting the XAV5201 does this make thing better. I should point out that the XAV5201 is a newer model than the XAV2001, and has higher bandwidth. 


Older Adaptor at Router End of Line


There has been an improvement! What does this mean, does the newer power line gear receive signal better than the older stuff? I am not sure, if that were the case then wouldn't we see better TX results by swapping the other way around.



AV500. . .AV 200

Does matching power networking standards help things, both below are AV500 compliant . .  no it doesn't.


Conclusions

I haven't a clue! How about you? Please leave a comment.




Wednesday, 28 August 2019

KodakOne - Image Copyright - Post Licensing

KodakOne - Image Copyright - Post Licensing


I today received an official looking email from KodakOne, demanding 300 euros within 7 days for use of an obscure, low resolution image that has been included on a lesser used page of my web site, 92 views in one year.

I am looking in to whether this legal or not in the mean time if you have any relevant experience please leave a comment below.

I have made the following enquiries, either by web search or phone.  It quickly became clear that I was entirely in the wrong, but I continued my investigations to try and find out if the fee I was paying was fair.

Ivestigations

Citizens Advice 


"A copyright owner or the exclusive licensee has the right to pursue you for compensation for copyright infringements. The letter should come either from them or from a solicitor acting on their behalf. You should check carefully that the letter is genuine"

The Intellectual Property Office 


Summary of  telephone conversation was that licensee has the right to pursue for compensation, but they could advise on how much compensation was appropriate.

Citizens Advice

Advised that it is of course legal to pursue for breach of copyright, and that the amount charged is entirely up to the copyright holder.

The 300 Euros


In this case having spoken to the photographer in question he assures me that he receives 60% of the fees charged with KodakOne taking the remaining 40%.

So this leaves the photographer taking £180 for the photograph (of a tractor). I can hire a commercial photographer in London to visit a site and take 20 photos for £100.

Legal Stuff


The Digital Economy Act 2010 has a maximum fime level of £50,000. So that is scary.

Mike Weatherley MP, IP adviser to the Prime Minister, who wrote recently: "There is currently a disparity in sentencing between online and offline crime that needs to be harmonised. This sends out all the wrong messages. Until this is changed, online crime will be seen as less significant than traditional theft."

The above linked guide states:




Although searches for official sentencing guidelines relating to copyright cases suggest that these are lacking in detail, it appears in practice that:

  • If the website is organised and making a significant amount of money (as was the case with SurfTheChannel and Flashsportstreams.com), it is possible to use anti-fraud legislation, and substantial (two+ years prison sentences) may result
  • When the operation is more amateur or “hobbyist” in nature, but still earns revenue, a guilty verdict and suspended sentence appears to be the norm (Films.com, Freelivefooty.com). Juries appear reluctant to convict on fraud charges in these cases
  • The less obviously business-orientated the website is, the harder prosecution becomes (as with Filesoup). No cases have so far been successful
  • Case law has also established that end users are not breaking the law by streaming illicit content via the web, as long as no copy is made (PRCA v NLA)

So it could be that if you are being pursued for copyright infringement on a site that does not make any money. i.e. a blog without advertising, then you would likely avoid prosecution. But of course you would have to pay solicitors to prove this, which would likley cost more than 300 euros.

What I did Get

I asked for 60 day payment terms (rather than 7) and this was accepted. So at least I have longer to pay.

Conclusions

Copyright Law is not something to messed with. Growing up through the era of Napster, and with most contemporary references to copyright being fairly light hearted it is easy to forget that it can bite you in the @$$.


Thursday, 22 August 2019

Use of a Pre-Amp to Boost Amplifier Output

Use of a Pre-Amp to Boost Amplifier Output 


I have a couple of home made TPA3116 boom box (es). I was looking at ways to connect these two up to a single source, and after trying a splitter cable, decided to try pre-amplifier to boost input signal.

The result were that I destroyed my amplifier board and had to spend £7.50 on a new one. I would guess that these cheap amplifier boards are built to deal with a certain level of input power, and although the overall power was increased, and did not sound distorted, damage still occurred.


Burnt Out Inductors - Too Much Current through a thin wire?

The TPA 3116 board used  already has a pre-amplifier built in. 2 x NE5335 chips. I decided to try pre-amping gain using a Behringer HA400 Microamp, as stated above this did increase the volume considerably, but had I checked the temperature of components on the board I would have found that bad things were happening.

No doubt this post will annoy some people as I showed disrespect for the electrical engineer process, and ignorance of basic concepts, but I just like to try things out and see if it works.

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Tuesday, 6 August 2019

Windows - Clock is Showing the Wrong Time

Windows - Clock is Showing the Wrong Time


I have had a persistent problem where the clock on my Windows PC shows the wrong time, despite being corrected on a daily basis.

I have tried sooooooo many different methods to fix this none have worked. I have listed them here because one of them might work for you. There are people on forums who have spent many many hours trying to fix this. I can fix most stuff, but I couldn't fix this "properly". Please see green highlighted below for solution.

0 - Net Time (My "Solution")

After spending around 16 hours trying to fix this problem (please see below list) I came across a suggestion to use NetTime. It is a very small neat program that runs as a service, and instantly fixed the problem. If I had the same problem on another machine I would start here and spend the saved time cycling, walking or playing nerf with my son.

http://www.timesynctool.com/ - Link

Install this and all your troubles will be far away. I was so happy I donated some money to these chaps, but it is free software.

1 - Time Syncing 


Date and Time Settings > Internet Time > Change Settings

In this window you can selected automated syncing. Now I have had this enabled since I owned this PC (10 years) and never been a problem, but I disabled to see if it was the problem. It is not. But others have reported that is could be.

If you click the "update now" button this is the quickest way to put your date and time right, don't bother setting it manually!

2 - Windows Time Service


Type "Services" in the search box, open scroll down the list of services find "Windows Time". This service runs a sync between all computer on network. Somehow a master computer is chosen in the network, and perhaps you computer is syncing time with a computer with the wrong time.

Switch this serice to disabled. If it doesn't help, then you can always enable it in a few days time.

3 - Power Settings


This problem started after I switched from a power management plan which included hibernation / sleep, back to an always on power management plan.

I have read that hard disk turning off can cause a time problem, so choose advanced power settings and set "Turn Off Hard Disk" to "Never".

4 - CMOS Battery


There is a little battery inside you PC, Laptop somewhere that keeps the time keeping elements of you computer powered when it is not plugged in. If you computer keeps time whilst plugged in, but show a weird time and date when you plug in back in then perhaps it is a dead CMOS battery.

A time of 12:00 or 0:00 on start up is a sure sign of a dead CMOS battery.

5 - Screen Savers 


Some screen savers take a "picture" of the desktop and distort it to create screen saver effect. Clock will remain fixed time whilst screen saver is active.

6 - BIOS


When you switch on you PC you will often see a little message say "Press F10 to Enter Setup" select this option, to enter BIOS settings. Be careful not to change anything.

Navigate around using the arrow keys, looking for time and date settings, check they are correct.

7 - W32tm.exe


 "W32tm.exe is used to configure Windows Time service settings. It can also be used to diagnose problems with the time service. W32tm.exe is the preferred command line tool for configuring, monitoring, or troubleshooting the Windows Time service."


Perform the steps mentioned below and see if it helps.
a: Press Windows key + X. (or open command prompt)
b: Then click command prompt(admin)
c: Now type the following commands and hit enter:
net stop w32time
w32tm /unregister
w32tm /register
net start w32time
w32tm /resync
Restart the computer to test the issue again.

8 - Change Time Zones


Change to a different time zone, apply changes, and then change it back to your normal time zone again.  

9 - Scheduled Task to Update Internet Time (Hammer Time)

I created this Windows Internet Time Update Program, which you can download here. Save this some where, and then set up a scheduled task to run it every time you start you computer, or everyday at a certain time. If the problem is very bad you can scheduled the task to run every 30 minutes, effectively updating your time to a server of your choice, every 30 minutes or less, hammering the problem in to submission. Boom.

You can also use the

10 - File Transfer Time Pause


I have heard that windows pauses time during file transfers. Is it something to do with this mechanism.

11 - Corrupt File System


You could run file checker. (Built in to windows) you dont need to download anything:

Windows 7

  1. Click the Start button and in the search bar, type cmd.
  2. Right-click on cmd.exe and select Run as Administrator.
  3. Click Yes on the User Account Control (UAC) prompt that appears, and once the blinking cursor appears, type SFC /scannow and press the Enter key.
  4. System File Checker starts and checks the integrity of system files.

Windows 8/8.1/10

  1. From the desktop, press the Win+X hotkey combination and from the menu select Command Prompt (Admin).
  2. Click Yes on the User Account Control (UAC) prompt that appears, and once the blinking cursor appears, type SFC /scannow and press the Enter key.
  3. System File Checker starts and checks the integrity of system files.
If you find corrupt files, you might try to repair them.

12 - System Error 1290

When trying step 7 above I got the below message: 

C:\Windows\system32>net start w32time
System error 1290 has occurred.

The service start failed since one or more services in the same process have an
incompatible service SID type setting. A service with restricted service SID typ
e can only coexist in the same process with other services with a restricted SID
 type. If the service SID type for this service was just configured, the hosting
 process must be restarted in order to start this service.

This post suggests using the below added underlined command line prompt:

.\net stop w32time
.\w32tm /unregister
.\w32tm /register
.\sc config w32time type= own
.\net start w32time
.\w32tm /config /update /manualpeerlist:"0.pool.ntp.org,1.pool.ntp.org,2.pool.ntp.org,3.pool.ntp.org",0x8 /syncfromflags:MANUAL /reliable:yes
.\w32tm /resync
 
You may then get It results  "Access is denied (0x80070005)"

 ..  . . the storey continues. 





SECR Carbon Reporting

Tuesday, 30 July 2019

Belkin MIXIT 6600mah Battery Pack Won't Charge Fully

Belkin MIXIT 6600mah Battery Pack Won't Charge Fully


I have noticed that my Belkin MIXIT 6600mah Battery Pack will only charge to about half way, with only two of the green indicator lights illuminating. This is rather vexing.

FIX: Use a charger rated at 2.4A. 


I have tried numerous leads and numerous wall powered chargers, and computer USB sockets, but I get the same result.

I began to think that the fix might be to use a more powerful (amps) charger. Most wall chargers are 1A (Amp) , with some around 1.5A. Most USB of laptops etc are also around this level.

The spec sheet for the Belkin MIXIT 6600mah Battery Pack says that it requires  2.4A, but I would not have thought the Amperage of the charger would make a difference.  . . . .

The huge battery on my ebike, can be charged using a 2A charger or a 5 amp charger. Its just takes longer with a lower power charger. The voltage is important but that doesn't change.

The Belkin MIXIT 6600mah Battery Pack should take around 3 hours to charge from empty, if you are using a 2.4A charger. If a 1.0A charger is used then around 7 hours.

When I leave mine of charger for 48 hours it is still only half full.

Zero Carbon Consultants

Monday, 29 July 2019

Fischer Tour 45 Dynamo Headlight Review

Fischer Tour 45 Dynamo Headlight Review  - Intro


Looking for a super cheap Dynamo Headlight I came across the Fischer Tour 45 Dynamo Headlight on Amazon listed for £13. So what is it like?



Fischer Tour 45 Dynamo Headlight Review  - Size & Weight


The headlamp / headlight is small, and light. Part of this lightness is due to the all plastic construction, and and thin mounting bracket. Its all fit for purpose, but if you are famailr with Busch and Muller headlamps. . .well it is a lot light and plasticy. Not saying its bad or anything.


Fischer Tour 45 Dynamo Headlight Review  - Quality


Quality is perfectly adequate. And surprisingly the LED "bulb" / emitter used is labelled as Osram, which are a good make. The switch on the rear feels pretty good. The metal bracket is thinner than a busch and muller bracket, but about the same as an AXA bracket.

The lamp come wired with a relatively short cable, which may need extending. I had to but I was installing mine on handlebars so probably OK for fork crown install.



Fischer Tour 45 Dynamo Headlight Review  - Lighting


The light comes on at walking pace. It flickers a bit obviously they all do that, but I was quite impressed how slowly you can push the bike whilst still maintaining a good light out put.

The light is very fierce, certainly very very visable in the daytime, the beam pattern I am not sure of, because it is summer and I haven't ridden in the dark yet. I will update in the autumn.

Fischer Tour 45 Dynamo Headlight Review  - Conclusions

A small, light, yet powerful dynamo headlight at an excellent price.  A stand light would be a nice addition but, no big deal for rural riding with not much stop start.

Update: 09/09/2019: This light is very flashy, and by that I mean blink blink blink, it could really use a standlight. You have to be going quite fast  to get rid of the blinking, probably 8 miles and hour or more. When pushing the bike this rapid flashing can be very annoying, and hard on the eyes.

The light is bright, and the LUX rating I think is accurate, it is comparable to a Busch and Muller Cyo 50 LUX light that I own (linked review is for 80 lux variant).

Fischer Tour 45 Dynamo Headlight Review  - More Pictures









 

 


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Tuesday, 25 June 2019

DIY Mountain Bike / MTB Mudguards / Fenders

DIY Mountain Bike / MTB Mudguards / Fenders - Intro


I was a little pissed at the thought of having to spend £7 on a piece of plastic, which is literally no bigger than the lid off an ice cream tub.

But here's the thing, why not buy a tub of ice cream, eat it,  and use the plastic there in to make a set of DIY mountain bike / MTB mudguards.

This design of front mudguard is a far sturdier mudguard than the zip tie offerings, and unlike the down tube style guards has the advantage of moving with the wheel when you turn around a corner.

The rear option sees you spending money on a rear luggage rack, which weighs next to nothing and using that as a mount point for salvaged plastic. A rear rack is so so handy. If you don't like handy and prefer trendy then you are reading the wrong blog.


DIY Mountain Bike / MTB Mudguards / Fenders - Ingredients


It doesn't have to be ice cream, just keep an eye out for a any sort of suitable plastic, and lets face it we are drowning in the stuff, it needs to be quite thick and rigid. The sort of plastic you might get from a 25 litre container of something (cooking oil?), or the lid off a 10 litre paint tub that sort of thing. Nearly all of the below you could probably find lying around.

Hint: Before you throw stuff away start taking it apart and keeping the nuts, bolts and screws, as they come in handy.

  • Snips or Jig Saw
  • Strip of Steel
  • Drill Bits
  • Rivets or Small Nuts and Bolts
  • Plastic (HDPE Preferentially - Number 4 Plastic)
  • Star Nut Sized to Stem
  • Zip Ties
Now right about now, you might think that £7 doesn't sound so good, if you don't have this stuff already then, the outlay may not be worth it, although it will set you up for future projects. You could do this in a community work shop


DIY Mountain Bike / MTB Mudguards / Fenders - DIY Front Mudguard

For the front mudguard will need a piece of plastic around 30cm long and  10cm wide. You cut this in the shape of a podgy wine bottle. You then place a 10cm length of strip steel, or hammered flat steel tube, over the thin under an rivet in to place. Finally you drill an 6mm hole in the end of the strip about 2cm from the outside end.




Hammer a stat nut in to lower end of your fork steerer tube. You then bolt the front mudguard to the underside of the steerer tube. Done.



DIY Mountain Bike / MTB Mudguards  / Fenders - DIY Rear Mudguard

At this point you might be thinking you don't want a rear luggage rack. . .  



But you soooo do want one: You can get a rear luggage rack on eBay for £10 with postage (which is less than some mudguards). This opens up all-sorts of options, for off-road touring etc. If you are thinking bike packing, well you can still strap trendy bags to it, that would otherwise be mounted further up under the saddle, where they will raise you centre of gravity. For practical types, you can add a pannier to store water, food, and clothing. I recently did a stretch of the south downs way (off-road) carrying 2 litres of water, lunch, clothing and tools, in a pannier it worked a charm, I can swap the same bag on to any of my other bikes, in 5 seconds. 

Any hoo. 



Simple cut a piece of plastic the same width as you rack's underside and secure with zip ties. I you had a long enough piece you could extend this down to the chain stays, but I have found the the piece jutting out at the back as shown in images is fine. 


Monday, 24 June 2019

Shimano ALTUS 9-speed Shift Lever SL-M2000

Shimano ALTUS 9-speed Shift Lever SL-M2000 

I have recently purchased this ALTUS 9-speed Shift Lever SL-M2000 shift leaver. I have fitted to a bike with a shimano XT rear mech.

The shifter is very light, likely owing to a lot of plastic components, it have a slightly hollow plastic feel in operation, that being said the action is light and accurate, and it does exactly of what you would expect of it.  

 
The indexing can be adjusted from the lever using the built in cable adjuster, this is essential for any of shimano shadow mechs, as they can not be adjusted at the mech.

Would I buy again? - Yes

Better than I thought? - Yes

Good Value? - Yes

I own various other shimnao shifters (alfine, LX, tourney .etc.) and they are all of comparable quality. I do have a saint shifter, but that cot 6 times the amount and is probably twice as "good".

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Sunlight and Daylight Assessment

Wednesday, 19 June 2019

Choosing Tires for the South Downs Way

Choosing Tires for the South Downs Way


The below paragraphs will hopefully help you choose the correct tire of the south downs way, the guide could also apply to other long ditance off road tour routes, if the surfaces are simailr.

If the weather is bone dry then you would want different tires, than if it were wet. Some talk of flints of doom, but I didn't see any of that. I rode for 9 hours in total with no punctures, and after careful inspection of the tires after by returns there were not cuts or gashes. 

A Word on Flints

Flints are a rock made out of glass (Silicon Dioxide) if they are broken in the right way, they can be used to make razor sharp cutting tools. Vast sections of the South Downs Way are covered in Flints. But that does not mean they will constantly be puncturing you tires. A few years ago I sustained the below damage to a tire and the inner tube popped out.


It was caused by the below flint that way stuck in the ground very securely with the sharp edge sticking out of the ground. It was a perfectly broken flint, held in a perfect position. Very unlikely to happen.


Now I have only ever had this happen once in 10 years of cycling. And the problem was quickly got around by cutting up my old inner tube and laying over the inside of the tear before inserting a new inner tube, and limping home. A better option might be to carry a piece of tire side wall in your repair kit, and even a tube of super glue.

The fact here is that you could run some serious rubber to protect against this freak occurrence ,and it may never happen. Better to take a repair kit to cover the slim chance of it actually happening. A small pair of scissors will see you through. You can chop up the damaged inner tube, lay it in tire 4 deep, in playing card sized pieces and it will hold the new tube in.

Tricks

Things to watch out for:
  • Green Chalk - Algae covered chalk which is very slick.
  • Cycling on Side Slope - Expose side walls to sharp flints. 
 

The side slope as described is typically found in long sections of wheel rut, so cycle on the centre ridge or off to one side if there is an option to do that.

South Downs Way Surfaces


I have included a selection of pictures below so you can make you own mind up. There were some farm track muddy sections, flinty paths, mud / flint paths, cobble farm tracks, tarmac, concrete, smooth-ish, compacted aggregate, and grass. It is a smorgasbord of surface dressings.



When belting down Beacon Hill, near East Harting you might want you knobbly tires. Wet grass is very slippery. And I would be very nervous about going down this hill on slick tires.


The flinty decent from Bignor Hill is fine with any type of tire, in wet or dry conditions. The flints are grippy.


Heading up the gentle incline west past Glatting Beacon, grass again so low profile knobbles would be useful if wet. 


The mud covered flint path ways of Graffham Down, you would probably be OK on slicks as they would bite down through mud.


 Narrow side paths of Heysott Down probably want some knobbles for that . . . . .


Another downhill grassy slope, glatting beacon would be to the left in this shot.


An image borrowed from the Petersfield Post.  I doubt it would be possible to pedal up that hill without some fairly serious mud tires. 

So if nothing else we can see that surfaces are varied. If you are racing or doing a very long stint in one day, then hope for dry weather and run something semi slick, perhaps even full slick. The care you have to take on grassy, muddy bits will likely be paid back double when you get on the tarmac or hard pack. 

If you are not racing or doing more than 30 miles a day then go for some knobbles, then you can enjoy the fun bits in the knowledge that you have good traction. Look for tires with following attributes:

  • Low Profile (but not slick) Centre Tread
  • Good Side Lugs
  • Puncture Protection
  • Side Wall Protection
  • Thickness of 2" or More
  • Size of 26" or More
  • Good Load Rating if Carrying Luggage
This would lead me to recommend the following tires, these are all based on 26" 559 sizing. Most are available in 27.5 / 650b also.

When Wet 

You may wish to try the below after a prolonged period of wet weather.  Don't go mad with the knobbles, but you will need some.

For Wet

When Damp

Unless there has been a prolonged period of dry weather, then I would suggest using something with side lugs. 
For Damp
When Dry (as a bone)

If the weather has been dry for a couple weeks, then you might optimise your performance with some of these slicker tires. 

For Dry
Sorry they are all Schwalbe, but you know you can get an idea of tread levels.

BUT I here you say what did you use? Well despite owning a pair of £80 Marathon Mondial, which are a very well made tire, I ran a pair of £15 a pair Impac Trailpac Tires, and they were fine.

Ultimate Conclusion


Just remember you can do the South Downs Way on any tire you like. If the worst comes to the worst you can always get off and push. The main thing is to just get on a do it! It is a great route.

Illustrator Devon

Energy Strategy

Property Investment Company London 



Tuesday, 11 June 2019

DEORE Rear Hub FH-M6000 Review

DEORE Rear Hub FH-M6000 Review 


Another component added to be wheel rebuild. This is a solid offering, nothing fancy which I chose based on its pitch circle diameter. The bearing are smooth, the finish is excellent. The hub has mounting for centre lock disc brake, upon which I fitted a Shimano SM-RT30 Center-Lock Disc Rotor.



So if you need a rear hub with 9mm QR, and centre lock, which has a similar pitch circle to many older hubs you may which to replace then go ahead an buy this you will not be disappointed. This hub is a direct replacement for a FH-RM30.

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Shimano Hub Dynamo DH3D32 Review

Shimano Hub Dynamo DH3D32 Review


This Shimano Hub Dynamo DH3D32 is the cheapest hub dynamo I could find that is suitable for disc brakes.  It is you typical Shimano offering i.e. perfect.  This is a 6 bolt version but thereis also a centre lock version.


The  DH3D32 has the standard Shimano connector which is easy to install, although the stripped wires need to be just the right length.


The DH3D32 dynamo will illuminate the front light at a fast walking pace. It is advisable to buy a light with a stand light, this not only stays on whilst you are stopped, but smooths the flicker which nearly all dynohub create when using a lamp without a standlight.

If you a currently using rim breaks why not buy this anyway, it will have a higher resale value, and allow for easy future upgrades.

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Suntour NEX E25 - Review

Suntour NEX E25 - Review - Intro


 Suntour NEX E25 suspension forks are a suspension fork especially designed for use on e-bikes, presumably the 25kmh standard. I am not using these on an ebike. The forks are more heavily make to account perhaps for:

  • A heavier bike
  • a heavier rider
  • harder braking  
The forks have the following dimensions:

  • Tire Clearance - 54mm
  • Axle to Crown - 738mm
  • Stanchion size - 30mm 

Suntour NEX E25 - Review - Use


The are suitable for "casual off road and paved road use".  I have used them off-road over very bumpy stuff, and I way 90kg / 15 stone.

I should note that prior to trying this fork, I was using the CR-8, a low end fork, even compared to this NEX E25 Fork which is worlds better.






These forks are slightly stiffer sprung, requiring less turns of the pre-load adjustment to make them good for riding. The lock out is a good feature.

Perhaps the most notable addition is damping, which stops the front of bike bouncing back up when you go over a hard bump.

I have ridden just 4 or 5 miles of off road on these forks, they do the job, thats all I can say.

The lock out is handy if you are stand up pedalling up a hill, but other then that I leave the forks unlocked.


Suntour NEX E25 - Review - Guts


The specs from the suntour website give all manner of variations on these forks. In fact even afetr careful study I am not sure what model I have.

If you are not sure what you have best to head over the suntour website and look at the exploded views. Fairly sure this model below is what I have, but there are 4 other models some without lockout, and some with two coils.

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Unlike the CR-8 this fork has damping which is a good feature to have! Even just for the 28" variants there are the follow models to wade through:

  •  SF17-NEX-E25-DS-15QLC32-700C-50,63-(2).pdf
  • SF17-NEX-E25-DS-HLO-15QLC32-700C-63-(2).pdf
  • SF17-NEX-E25-DS-LO-15QLC32-700C-50,63-(2).pdf
  • SF15-NEX-E25-DS-700-50,63-(1).pdf
  • SF15-NEX-E25-DS-HLO-700-50,63-(1).pdf
  • SF15-NEX-E25-DS-HLO-700C-63-CTS.pdf
  • SF14-NEX-E25-P-700-50,63-(2).pdf
  • SF14-NEX-E25-P-HLO-700-50,63-(1).pdf

Suntour NEX E25 - Review - Guts 

In conclusion these are a great set of forks, which I purchased for £30 from discount bikes de,  their retail price is about £70 at which point you could probably find any number of forks to choose from, of a similar or better specification.

Monday, 3 June 2019

Shimano SM-RT30 Center-Lock Disc Rotor Review

Shimano SM-RT30 Center-Lock Disc Rotor Review


I doubt many would bother to review such a humble piece of equipment as the SM-RT30 Center-Lock Disc Rotor , and I can hardly be bothered but here we are any way!

The SM-RT30 Center-Lock Disc Rotor is a disc rotor aimed at low end touring or beginners use, but inline with current engineering standards is over engineered to the point where it could be used by just about anyone for any purpose.

I have another low end shimano disc rotor I have been using for 4 years and it has been very good.


These discs I think are made by pressing or punching them from a sheet of steel alloy, as such these have a slightly rounded edge. If you buy a more expensive disc rotor they will have a machined surface. For the type of riding I do I notice no difference what so ever.





These discs are centre lock which means you will need to use the tool that you use to fit your cassette in order to screw in the locking ring, as illustrated below. The exception is when fitting these on to a hub with a nutted axle (Alfine for example) rather then a quick release axle, as most of these tools have a guide spindle that will get in the way when attaching to a nutted axle.

In conclusion I am happy (again) with my purchase and all is well. I would recommend these to anybody from old ladies to downhill racers.

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