Corbin's Treehouse - Corbin Dunn, Santa Cruz, CA
Plug Bug

Archive for 2015

Plug Bug: charger repaired; back on the road

The bug is rolling again! About 39,800 electric miles. I asked Manzanita Micro why it failed and what I could do to prevent it from happening again. They said it “was something in the negative side of the rectifier bridge. possibly something in the ground.” — I’m not sure what that exactly means. For now, I’m going to limit charging the car at 20 amps. I had previously been pumping it up to the full 30 amps, hoping to get the rated 6kW of power out of it. I think that makes it have trouble…but I can’t say for sure. ... [read more]

Bathroom Vanity: Taking shape

My bathroom vanity is starting to finally look like something.  Here it is dry fitted before glue up: The process will be to put one side on The back, and then the other side: Then lastly the front can be slid on. It went together pretty well!   Front door glue up didn’t go quite as well; I had some alignment issues. I forgot that the last time I made glued together doors I had made a right angle jig to clamp them too. This had allowed me to get everything aligned and clamped straight. The main problem I had... [read more]

Bathroom Vanity Notes

These are mainly notes to myself on building my downstairs bathroom vanity (cabinet). Face frame construction was normal pocket hole screws and works well for the face and back frame (back side seen here): In the above photo, you can see the stopped groove for the bottom sheet of ½” plywood. I learned from prior projects to always stop the groove at the pocket hole screw locations. You can’t see the pocket hole screws, because they are on the back of the cabinet. The tongue will get trimmed these points. On the plans and Sketchup model I didn’t draw in... [read more]

Kickback! and the bathroom vanity cabinet

I started planing some wood down to ¾” thickness for my bathroom vanity cabinet:   As I was ripping one pice to width a small sliver came loose; there was a crack in the end of the wood, and as soon as it was free it caused some HEFTY kick back. Luckily I never have my body directly behind the wood while ripping, and the SawStop’s awesome splitter prevented it from actually kicking back. It pushed back in my hand about 5 inches. I am really happy with the SawStop.      I’m starting to get some of the pieces... [read more]

Bug down! Charger broken (again – 3rd time)

Sadly, the electric VW bug will be taking some time off the road. Last time it was the transmission, and this time it is the Manzanita Micro PFC-30 charger. I didn’t even get a 1000 miles before another problem came up. I was really hoping to hit 40,000 miles and it is nearly there hovering a bit over 39,700 miles.  Last Sunday I was charging the car and pulling about 27 amps. The charger should be able to pull 30, but quickly goes into a limit mode due to temperature. This happens no matter what the temperature is, and is... [read more]

chargepoint energy stats for my bug

Since July of 2011 I’ve been using chargepoint for charging at free charging stations, and at work. Prior to my work getting J1772 stations, I would use a dryer plug outlet that was provided for EVs. Here is a screen shot of the stats for my use: 10,673.912 kWh used in about 4 years. Mostly with the bug, but some with another EV (Jan/Feb ’15). This also doesn’t include other J1772 stations I’ve used that aren’t charge point (i.e.: the free stations downtown Santa Cruz), and it doesn’t include charging at home.  The large gap from August to January was... [read more]

Bathroom cabinet: Free Sketchup model download!

Here is my downstairs bathroom cabinet design in Sketchup: A quick rendering:   And placed in my bathroom setup:   Download the free cabinet sketchup model: Downstairs bathroom cabinet 2015.skp    

Plug Bug: You are only as strong as your weakest cell

I had known for quite some time that I had a weak cell in my battery pack. My electric bug’s battery consists of 48 lithium iron phosphate cells. I use the eLithion battery management system with a custom display I fabricated along with some custom ardiuno code to show cell info from the CAN bus. I would routinely see one cell (number 9) sag heavily under load.  One day I left work work (a 20 mile drive) with my pack at about 50% charged. At about five miles from work my low battery warning buzzer went off telling me that... [read more]

Photography: Nepal White Himalayas

The himalaya mountains are fabulous; I couldn’t stop staring at them. I can’t remember if this was early morning or early evening — but the mountain was just glowing from the sunlight, while myself and the surrounding area was engulfed in shadows. The moon appears on the edge. Notice how the skyline of the mountain pulls your eyes towards it. Taken 4/8/15, ISO 640, f/20, 1/60, 70mm with a Canon EF 24-70mm f/2.8 USM lens and 5D Mark III.

SF Uni Tour

Going through some old pictures on my hard drive and ran across this one that Daniel Inouye took of me on the San Francisco Unicycle Tour back in 2011: I like the composition; my head is centered in the top third of the picture, with my body in the dead center. It conveys a ton of movement. 

WWDC 2015: Improving the Full Screen Window Experience

For the past 10 years I’ve given a talk at every Apple World Wild Developer Conference (WWDC). Well, except for one. That was 2007 when I was busy working on UIKit for the iPhone 1.0. Apples is now posting our videos online without requiring an Apple developer account. So, everyone can check out my video for this year’s session #221 on their site:  I talk about how to implement Full Screen in Cocoa desktop applications, including some new tiling features in OS 10.11. Most the full screen information applies to all OS X versions that support full screen (I think 10.7... [read more]

Hacking duolingo to make flashcards with sounds using Anki

Use Anki to learn a language with sound enabled flashcards. 0. Buy a Mac if you don’t have one already 1. In Safari’s Preferences, turn on the Develop menu item (Advanced tab) 2. Visit duolingo, and go to a lesson 3. Click the menu item: Develop -> Show Web Inspector (note: this may have changed in later releases) 4. In the web inspector, expand, and you should see an “Other” section in the Resources tab: If you don’t see an “Other” section, reload the page. If that doesn’t work, hit the reload button that is shown in the screen... [read more]

On learning languages…

I’m working on learning Italian. When I was a kid, I hated learning languages, and had the terrible monopolistic language view that everyone should speak English. I have long since realized that was a really stupid opinion, and it really hindered me from learning another language. In high school, we had to take two years of a language as a graduation requirement. I wanted to take German, just because I thought it would be cool, but they stopped teaching it the year before I reached high school. So, the options were French or Spanish, and I heard Spanish was easier... [read more]

Plug Bug: Killing Chargepoint Charging Stations

Well, my bug wasn’t killing the charging stations, but it was giving them an internal error. It seems that the newer charge point stations with a large display weren’t compatible with my car’s J1772 port for some reason. There are rows of them at my work, and I’d plug in and it would give an error:  Error Code #303-RSC, RELAY STUCK CLOSED. I couldn’t find any information on this error, and both phone calls and emails to ChargePoint went unanswered. The phone people just assumed it was a problem with the station, but I told them my car caused it... [read more]

Adventures in Solo Camping: Desolation Wilderness, Lake Tahoe

I got really excited about an upcoming backpacking trip in Desolation Wilderness with Costanza and some friends, and decided to jump the gun and do a solo trip by myself a bit earlier. I drove my electric car up to Tahoe from Santa Cruz and decided to do some backpacking into Susie Lake. Even though I love the outdoors, and love camping, I had never actually been backpacking where you hike in with all your stuff and setup your own campsite. I also don’t have a proper backpacking backpack, so I sewed on some straps to my travel backpack to... [read more]

How to make a custom bee hive stand

I’ve been keeping bees for about a month now. I absolutely love the little girls! My friend, Stefan from A Jar Of Honey in San Jose, gave me a hive to get started. I needed my own bee stand, and here is what I came up with. Cut two 2x6s (2x4s would also be sufficient) long enough to hold two bee hives. Cut two more long enough for the width of the hive. Nail them together; the legs will later add strength:     The legs I made with 1.5″ metal pipe and angle iron. 1″ pipe would be sufficient,... [read more]

Nepal Unicycle Tour: Relaxing

Here is another fantastic picture of my Nepal trip by Dawa Sherpa from Himalayan Trails Adventure Travel.  I’m sitting admiring the mountains, while Michele is checking something out. Our other local guide, Ankit, is looking off into the distance. I hope to do a writeup on my trip at some point. Partially for myself to remember, and also to share my trip with others.

Nepal Unicycle Tour

Photo by Dawa Sherpa, the wonderful guide on my Nepal Unicycle Tour through the Himalayas.  

How much money does my YouTube channel pull in?

I’ve wondered why my YouTube payments never show up in my Google Adsense payments. I finally realized that it is because they have never hit the $100 minimum threshold for payment issuing (ever!). I enabled ads on my videos starting in 2012; mainly just to see if I could make any money from it. I really don’t get enough video visitors to actually get anything; although I’m pretty close to the $100 minimum! Here is a screen grab of the estimated earnings and stats for each video I have with ads:   I have gotten a few $100 payments from... [read more]

Plug Bug: Transmission / motor removal in an electric conversion

I was still having trouble with my transmission. My last post talked about how I got it back in — this was months ago, in October 2014. I drove the car about 20 miles, and while coasting in 3rd downhill it made some bad grinding noises, so I put in the clutch (which didn’t stop the noises) and pulled over on the notoriously dangerous Highway 17 by Scotts Valley. The transmission was spewing oil everywhere! I had to get towed home. I wasn’t sure what was wrong, and I took the motor/transmission back out. Oil was everywhere in the clutch, and... [read more]

Plug Bug Videos

I made a playlist of all the videos I have on YouTube to more easily find them. Here they are:

Unicycle handlebar: Inverted V

In my last unicycle handlebar experiment I did a simple T, slightly bent forward. This design was too close to my knees, didn’t feel very good on my hands, and felt a bit unstable.  I made a new handlebar with a slight inverted V, and a more forward position. I also put some comfy handlebar grips on them from REI, sort of similar to these ones from Amazon for $6. I think I paid more at REI, and next time I’ll get a set from Amazon as I can get free Prime shipping. Here are a few shots of the setup on... [read more]

Photography: House in Nepal

House in Nepal, Himalayas Nepal. April 2015. 5 exposure HDR Canon EOS 5D Mark III, Canon EF 24-70mm lens. No tripod; supported on the edge of something. HDR image made with Photmatix. Buy it on Amazon: Photomatix Pro 5 on an Apple iMac.

Downloading WordPress Content – “Maximum execution time of 30 seconds” error

I occasionally want to download all my blog posts from WordPress. This is easy to do in the web config – go to Tools -> Export and “Download Export File”. The download would max out at about 8 MB and just stop, probably because I have a relatively slow connection at home. I’d get a fatal error at the end of the file: Fatal error:  Maximum execution time of 30 seconds exceeded in... on line ... To fix this, I need to change the “max_execution_time=30”  to something higher (like 500), and then lower it back down to make sure the... [read more]

Portable solar panels

I do a lot of adventures. My last adventure was unicycling the Annapurna Circuit in Nepal. I wasn’t planning on having a lot of access to electricity, so I wanted to get a portable solar panel for the trip.  I’ll share my notes and research in case you are looking to do the same. Goals:  12 volt output (for my DSLR batteries) Minimum 5 watt output (7 watts or more ideal) Fairly durable Ideally regulated voltage (but not essential) Ideally waterproof, or weather resistant Some type of battery system would be nice Optional: USB outputs The lighter the better The... [read more]

Repairing a “Stuck Brush” error on Neato XV-11 Vacuum

I have a Neato XV-11 Vacuum that I bought quite a few years ago when it first came out. The initial version had quite a few glitches and bugs, and I had it replaced a few times within the first few years. Neato is a great company in how they support their product, and they offered free shipping and returns of the vacuum. I really liked this kind of top notch support. The XV-11 is now superseded by the Neato XV-12 and costs around $270 on Amazon (you can also find it on Ebay). Overall, I’ve been pretty happy with the... [read more]

Website statistics

Here are my website statistics: I just ran across SeeTheStats — a site that imports Google Analytics data and turns it into some cool graphs that anyone can see. I’m hoping to slowly grow visitor growth on my blog by providing some sort of useful content.  Here’s a screen grab of my current stats today:

Photography: Himalayas

Himalayas Nepal. April 2015. Taken from the air. Canon EOS 5D Mark III, Canon EF 24-70mm lens. No tripod; supported on the edge of something. For cool HDR images, use Photmatix!. Buy it on Amazon: Photomatix Pro 5 on an Apple iMac.

Photography: Nepal Mountains

Nepal Mountains Annapurna Circuit, Nepal. April 2015. HDR from 5 exposures. Canon EOS 5D Mark III, Canon EF 24-70mm lens. No tripod; supported on the edge of something. HDR image created with Photomatix Pro 5 on an Apple iMac.

Cyr Wheel Tutorials – “The List”

Here is the start of a list of some Cyr Wheel Tutorial videos; many are by other people (ton’s by Mitch!), so I don’t take credit for the videos. As a reminder, here is info on where to buy a cyr wheel.  Also, my list my become out of date. Be sure to check out Mitch’s Cyr Wheel Tutorials Playlist on YouTube.  Beginner Moves and Starts   Basic Waltz – by Mitch / freedomcaller    Developing your waltz and early coin exercises – by Kris Madden   Getting Started with the Skate Start – by Sam Tribble   Wheel to Toe... [read more]

(c) 2008-2017 Corbin Dunn

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