DIY: toe strap doubler

i like DIY stuff, especially when it’s fairly easy to do and the results are pleasing.

here’s a DIY toe strap doubler that i put together (instructions found here). i had to go to 3 places to get all the ingredients.

home depot:
hole puncher
39th street (lots of fabric/crafts stores):
rivets
rivet tool
james (neighborhood belt guy):
sheet of leather
*i already had a straight edge, blade, and cutting mat

the original instructions called for 12 rivets for each side, but i think the rivets that i bought were just a tad larger than what was pictured so i had to open up CAD and improvise a bit. my estimations were good. here’s how it turned out…
strap-doubler

what is it for, you ask…?
a fixed gear bike requires you to pull up on the pedal as well as push down (when stopping). most of the times, a single strap will do you just fine – for example, my road bike has single straps on both pedals. but on a fixed gear, the force you exert to pull up on the pedal is much greater since you’re working to slow down or totally lock your wheels. 2 straps add security, power, and comfort. both my means of propulsion and stopping come from my feet. if, by chance, the strap were to snap or just somehow fail, it’d be bad news for me. think of it this way, imagine trying to walk joey with a kite string…then imagine trying to walk him with with a nice broad nylon leash.

seeeee :)

handle transplant

about a year ago, the handle for my guitar case broke. i guess that’s acceptable since i had literally taken that case around the world and back. but i don’t know why i resorted to buying another case altogether instead of trying to fix it. i think nowadays i tend to consider the latter first whenever something breaks. anyway, below is the handle for the case i bought to replace my original case which had broken at the handle. i wish i had taken a picture of the actual broken handle before i proceeded to tear it off the case. but whatever, i looks exaclty like the one below – just broken at one of the hinges. here, just to give you an idea.

CIMG3653

just about a couple weeks ago, it dawned on me that somewhere, there’s gotta be a place that sells replacement parts for cases. sure enough, google turned up some satisfying results and i was able to order a replacement case handle from Elderly Instruments.

i’ll spare you the story, but this was a hell of a lot more difficult to install than my tap-tempo.
check out the new genuine leather handle. it’s much more comfortable than the wannabe-leather molded plastic handle that used to be there. in fact, i think you can even see the rivet holes where the old handle was.

CIMG3654

tap-tempo make-over

one very important effect combination in my line-up of pedals is the boss dd-5 delay coupled with an external tap tempo. below is a picture of that isolated set-up back when i realized how much i liked it (think where the streets have no name).

CIMG5461

the fs-5u did its job and did it well…but it took up more space than it needed to. so one day as i was browsing around ebay for pedals i came across a seller who offered a tap pedal that would occupy a much smaller footprint – it was $20 so i snatched it up. little knobless red box below.

CIMG6718-crop

this tap-tempo served me well too, but it didn’t last very long. the casing was a rigid plastic, but not rigid enough to have the weight of a foot concentrated on the switch. the switch itself was fairly cheap too – just a standard plastic momentary switch that probably wasn’t menat for repeated tapping by one’s foot. over time i think the switch started to register inaccurate tempos from my foot. ok, so it had to go.

at some point i realized that every component of that little tap pedal (which weren’t that many) was available at radio shack. the parts include: the housing for the switch, the switch itself, a 1/4″ input jack and some wires. although i didn’t have much faith in the plastic housing i realized that the radioshack package also came with a metal plate that would go on top of the box. with this, i thought the weight of my foot would at least be distributed evenly across the surface of the box.

long story short, i bought up all the parts i needed to make a new one. after about 40 minutes of drilling and soldering, i was able to put together what you see below (knobless silver box). this version had the metal plate for added strength.

CIMG9837-crop

worked great and looked great. no issues with the structural integrity of the housing. but sure enough, after some time, that radio shack switch started to crap out on me just like the last one – started registering some dumb tempos. couldn’t have that!

fast-forward to today.
i installed a quality metal momentary switch i found on ebay. and before screwing in the 4 screws, i decided to do some decorating with some reflective tape i had lying around. below, you’ll see the results of my hard work :) this one should last me a while without any issues.

CIMG3640

wordpress app on iphone

just testing out this application :)
if you didn’t know, I got myself an iPhone a little over a week ago and have been having a blast (a few quibbles here and there) using it!

here’s a photo just for the sake of testing out this app. I just took this from inside a starbucks. it’s my bike and it’s very difficult to steal…especially with me sitting in plain sight of it!

will update more later!

Maria Sue Chapman dies in car accident

i really couldn’t believe this when i read it.
steven curtis chapman’s youngest daughter was killed in an accident on wednesday.

just to give you a little background, steven curtis chapman has been in the christian music scene for just about 2 decades now. the ministry of his music and his life has impacted people all over the world.

personally for me, it was his music that sorta broke me away from all the classical music i used to listen to. i hate to admit that at some point in my life i felt that i had “graduated” from his music and moved on to “better” things. but i find that these days, when i listen to his music it moves me just the same, if not more. recently his ministry has been very active in a place that holds a special place in my heart – china. three (one of them, maria) of his 6 children were actually adopted from china. i really have nothing but respect for this man.

i know for many of us, christian or not, there’s comfort in believing that “everything happens for a reason.” but i’ll be honest in saying that i find it kinda hard to just say that and feel better about it all. i still whole-heartedly believe it’s true, but i really wonder what God’s reasoning is for this. of course whether that reason is ever revealed doesn’t matter. i guess it just goes to show how finite i am and how much i just need to have faith.

there’s a lot going on in this world. and as bad as it all is, i’d be scared to death if God wasn’t behind it all.

here’s a short clip of maria.

They don’t make them like they used to

take a look at this vintage marvel
(click to see larger, in case you’re new to the internets).

CIMG2944

this is the sony D-25s discman. i acquired this old piece of technology years ago on ebay simply based on its sleek looks. for a few years now, it’s been at my parents’ place in “my” room (it’s really just wear i stay when i’m there), hooked up to a simple 3-piece speaker set. recently i became curious and decided to google the model # of this discman (as they were formerly called) and was surprised at what i found out.

The D-25 portable CD player is regarded by many as one of the best portable CD player ever made for sound quality. Its construction is superb and is made almost entirely of metal. Not like the cheap players of today. This player was made circa 1989 and has the audiophile coveted 4X over sampling that offers incredibly detailed and smooth sound. The headphone out will drive even the most demanding headphones with ease and the line out when paired with a nice headphone amp offers the most liquid midrange and taught accurate base. The D25s has a strong headphone out and a true Line Out on the back of the unit.

awesome! click here if you’re interested in finding out more.

on a related note, have you listened to CD’s lately? with my mp3 players being my main source for portable media entertainment (and before that, MD players), i’ve somewhat abandoned CD’s. but with the discovery of this little treasure of a discman that i own, i’ve recently started to listen to them again. and i must say, there is a noticeable difference in quality. try it out. but remember, what you hear is only going to be as good as your speakers or headphones.

music gear

i’ll let my first “official” entry be about my effects pedals…

this is new: RC-2
CIMG2488
about this little box: it really packs a whole lot into a small package. it holds 16 minutes of recording time and 11 slots to save those recorded samples to. what you do with it is basically record something you play in real time, let it play back, and then either play on top of it or overdub another line onto it. and what you put in is what it spits out, so there’s no loss in quality (at least not from what i can hear) it’s fun for sure.

this is not new: Rodenberg GAS-828
CIMG6714
but i will be sending it back to germany to have the circuitry updated! YES!
this Rodenberg GAS pedal delivers a very satisfying smooth overdrive. it also looks damn cool!

this pedalboard is sort of new.
CIMG2484
it’s a small size-upgrade from the 1st generation pedaltrain i used to have all my pedals sit on. the old one was a few inches short of 24 inches. this one is a full 24 inches long, which gives me just enough for another column of pedals :) this allowed me to place 2 phasers (EH Small Stone / Ibanez PH-7) in different ends of my effects chain and also allows me to include my new RC-2 loop station.

future upgrades will come in the form of modifications to 2 of my pedals (after the GAS-828 mod).

  • robert keeley’s TR-2 mod
  • analogman’s EH Small Stone mod

that’s it for now, i think.

good times, noodle salad…