February 1st

The ETB DigidashOne of the problems I've had for a a while is what to do about instrumentation. One possibility is to get one of these things here, which is a DigiDash as now sold by ETB instruments. This does a whole heap of useful stuff in one box. However, it's rather ugly and is not wonderful value for money at about £600 all in.

A further possibililty is to get the instruments out of a bike. However, this doesn't do all the really important things and it's a bit of a bodge. The really important things are, I think:

  • A shift light
  • A lap timer
  • A sodding great warning light that tells you when it's overheating, the oil pressure's low, etc.

The problem with that minimal list is that it isn't, strictly, MOTable as there's no speedo and odometer. Might be able to get away without that though.

So, a further possibility is to buy a shift light and lap timer and just do some nifty wiring to make the warning light. The problem with this is that a shift light and lap timer together would come to about £250, and the MOT problem would remain.

So, I've been thinking, and perhaps it's time to do some electron herding again. I'm actually an electronics hardware design engineer, although I haven't done anything in anger for many a year. I'm currently looking into whether I can knock up the "essentials" above fairly easily and then move later on to the clever things. In fact, I've borrowed a lap timer from someone, so all I've got to do at first is the shift light and the warning light. The current plan is to design some electronics that based around a PIC microcontroller and a bunch of sensors and lights. At first sight it doesn't look too hard to do, although whether there's time to do it is another issue.

As this thing is a dash, it's currently known as dawdle. Hopefully for fairly obvious reasons.

February 2nd

Fuel tankA couple more bits arrived today. First of all this aluminium fuel tank, which is a lovely piece of aluminium welding. It's filled with foam, for safety, and it's got the regulation filler neck and splash bowl. The two connections are for letting the fuel out and for letting air in to replace the fuel that's gone out. I'm slightly concerned that a bike pump, such as I'm getting, will not be able to suck up a tube like this. I suppose I could always mount it down low and arrange for the fuel to siphon over.

Plumbed in fire extinguisherThe other thing was this fire extinguisher. This is a proper plumbed in system in that it's got some hose and nozzles so that it squirts over the driver and the engine. There's also a couple of release cables; one for the driver and one for a marshal to use. Annoyingly, the kit only contains two nozzles though so I might have to get another one.

the build starts here