Category Archives: Uncategorized

Photos of the shack all setup

The Twisted Shack
The twisted Professor

Shack mascot Tux and Mr Bean teddy
My Pulse Jet

Tools in filing cabinet

Power tools in Filing Cabinet

Close up of my books

More books

Even More Books

Bits and bobs on display

A few more knick knacks and a dummy load project DC-1GHZ 250W

VIC Royal mail Service Morse Key circa late 1800’s

Small hand tools

More Small hand tools

Pocket Digital Scope and Function Gen from Velleman

Keyboard and mixinf desk at workstation side

Fishtank and tablet

Loose tools behind Drillpress

Storage bins

12VDC Shack battery backup

Gas storage Mapp/propane

Microscope, ultrasonic cleaner battery Charger, Pestle & Mortor and telescope optics

Flatbed scanner I get out as needed and storage draws


Labeller, tacho and camera

Dremel and Hot Snot

Gaming PC in old 19inch Rack case and Fan/heater on top under the desk 
Air COmpressor Oiless with water trap for dusting electronics

Tool Bag for field work

Inside tool bag, I add the pocket scope and sig gen when i go out with the bag

Swing out lead rack

Test leads for field bag

Network cable tester and resistor/capacitor sub boxes

2nd Dremel and drillpress stand

Air tools

Measuring and scraping draw


Metal Working, files snips reams



Hammers clamps and random tools

larger pliers, side cutters allen keys


Handmade clock from old 240VAC clock that had broken glass and burnt out Mistral Desk fan

More Sockets Taps/Dies Drifts Wad punches

Under workbench storage and solder dispensper Atten Digital iron and Compressed air outlet

Digitech 2 Chan DSO, Powertech 30VDC 3A PSU Tek 314 Scope GW Freq Counter DMM with Cap/Ind/Tran test and cordless power screwdriver

Main Shelving with video feed from driveway and frontdoor so i dont miss the postie with goodies from eBay

Atten Iron (Base under desk) Digitech SMD rework station (air and iron) and small PCB hand tools in old makeup case with USB outlets to left and Power fail torch (Comes on when power goes out)

Drill press and visitor chair with storage bins, resistors in drawers to left

Asst small parts Caps/Semis/Screws etc

Overview of workbench side

Panning to left of workbench

Workstation, Desktop PC at top laptop with 2nd screen center and tough book laptop right, all linked with synergy remote software to use one keyboard and mouse to run it all as one virtual PC

Ham radios Mindisc recorder, 10 band graphic equalizer transmatch and 13.8PSU with 24VAC for weller iron (So I can solder power etc at radio side)

Sign my son made me for Christmas, just hung it up for the pics ūüôā

The entry to the shack

Old fridge outside shack to use for chemical storage

The 2.4×2.4Mt (8×8 foot) garden shed that is the shack

The wire bin for scrap wire

Around the back of the unit is bins of larger parts and some tools

CB250N Cafe Racer The Hornet and the 5K wall

Here is a photo taken by the seller of me riding away from his house..

So now the saga..

Well I have spent the last few days rebuilding the carbs on the bike, had them off about 15 times, checking and rechecking cleaning and checking again.

A photo of my work area, I am in a small unit with no space..

I spent a lot of time reading blogs, forums and tuning guides and kept coming to the 5K wall that honda twins of this vintage had. This was the problem I was having with the CB250N it would not rev past 5k  and I now was pretty sure it was not the carbs.

Okay this led me to electrics, COOL…. I know but in a past life I did this as a job and my hobby is Ham radio and electronics so now I went from an area i was okay in (Mechanics) to an area I actually loved electrics.

I was able to get the bike running so the first thing i did was put a timing light on it to see if the high RPM pulser was triggering the advance, it was advancing but I noticed that as the bike surged and lost power it lost spark, okay so it really is looking like an electronics problem.

Okay next I pulled the wiring to the CDI on the left hand of the air box… WTF I just noticed that the frame has been resprayed with the bloody wiring loom on the bike, there is paint in the connectors, there is paint on the earth points and paint everywhere it should not be….

So out came the dremel (mini grinder) and I started to sand all the paint of the earth points for the coils and CDI. I removed some extra wire that had been spliced between the CDI and the stator and reran the loom to get an extra two inches to rejoin the loom.

A photo of the “new” rewired loom you cant see much but I replaced connectors in the harness and removed a 6 inch splice someone had added to the stator wiring (blue white CDI voltage wires) and reran the loom to allow for the shorter length

Gapped the plugs and cranked it,…. Its alive its alive it is revving to red line and just sounds heaps better.

I hosed the stator with with a dry silicon lube I use that repels water and doesnt harm wiring to protect it and stop corrosion.

So I have been over the bike and so far have a small list of things for RWC (MOT) they are as follows…

Replace Brake Lever (I broke it putting the bike in the car)
Re wire front brake switch
Plastic weld LH side cover crack
Lube Clutch and Throttle cables
Pull apart RH switch block and clean Hi/Lo switch
Replace Fuel line and add inline filter
Sync Carbs
Reweld header it has a small crack near the muffler

On the plus side the previous owner who could not get it to run well had done the following already…

New chain and sprockets
New Rear Indicators
New Brake pads and bleed brakes
Replacement seat from wrecker
New brake light

Anyway that will do for this post… but for those that didnt see the last post in the welcome section here is a rendering of what I want the bike to look like when done

My New Project CB250N Superdream

I decided I needed a project bike as the XJ is getting tired and I didnt want to do it up as it is a bit heavy for me as I have a back injury (From a stack at 18 years old on a CX500 shaftie at 186 KPH or about 115 in the old currency) and I wanted a lighter bike.

Today I sealed the deal on a 1980 CB250N for AU $800 and went to pick it up. I got an unregistered vehicle permit to allow me to ride it home, this is a temp permit for moving a vehicle to a new home or to a mechanic etc for repair.

I got 1.5km or about a mile from the sellers house and that was it the needles in the carbies got shit in them and it started flooding, what to do, what to do…. I had my wife following me in the car a Ford Falcon station wagon as she had driven me down to pick it up. I was about an hours ride from home and not going anywhere fast, top speed I could get was about 20kph.

Okay pull the bike on to the verge on the side of the road and drop the few litres of fuel I had put in to ride it home it will evaporate off the road and I didn’t do it on a drain or anything like that, I didn’t want to but had no jerry can to collect it.

Next I had to lift the rear wheel in to the back of the wagon with a snatch strap attached to the rear wheel, the strap was so my wife could pull it from the front while I lifted the bike, with my back I could not lift the dead weight and push it in to the car at the same time. Between dropping the fuel and wrestling the bike we blew an hour on the side of the road.

The tailgate would not quite close so I strapped it closed and set off home but hey I got the bike up to 100kph. better then the 20kph it was doing earlier even if it was in the back of the car.

Well now it is home and out of the car, I forgot to take a photo of it in the car, oh well you can all imagine that. So now it all begins. The bike is not in to bad condition it has an oil weep from the rocker cover, the carbs need work and the muffler weld is cracked at the headers, oh and as I found out it starts in gear so will have to sort that out.

The course of action is to repair the small things I need for a road worthy and get it registered. Then I am going to attack it and I really do mean that…. This is my mock up of what¬†I¬†want to do with the bike.

It may not be exactly the same when finished but I mocked this up as a guide of what I would like it to look like when finished, I am going to do what I call a rolling resto in that I will be riding it and taking it off the road for a week here and there to do it in stages

The first photo is how it was when I picked it up, and the second is the mockup i did

Looking forward to your ideas and input on the project as it moves along

My Swag and Hootchie Shelter

Jo-anne bought me for my Christmas present a New Oz Trail Swag the other day for when I go camping. I wanted to add to my gear and was lucky today. I was at the op shop earlier and got three hootchies (Real army ones not copies) and two aluminium snow skiing poles that i cut the handles off and used as really light weight tent poles. The two auscam hootchies are used for the tent the drab green is the floor, canvas swag with oz trail sleeping bag rated to -5 degrees C a wool blanket, pillow, mattress, nylon mattress cover. I had to buy some pegs and I already had 25m of paracord.

The reason for the extra tent coverage over the swag and extra blankets is I go camping in the Alpine High Country, -2c in November up there

I have also got some other gear for camping as listed below.

So price breakdown is as follows…

Oz Trail Wentworth Swag $100 off bought for $149 (NEW)
Oz Trail -5 degree Jumbo Sleeping Bag 50% off $59 (NEW)
3 Genuine Army Hootchies and small ground sheet $10 (OP Shop)
2 Ski Poles(Tent Poles) $6 (OP Shop)
2 x 2m Ocky Straps $5 (NEW)
10 Meters Para-cord $12.50 (NEW)
Heavy Duty Tent Pegs x 10 $7 (NEW)
Doona Cover to cover mattress $5 (OP Shop)
Wool Blanket $5 (OP Shop)
Pillow (FREE) Already Had
Sleeping Bag Liner $2 (OP Shop)
Genuine Trangia Hiking Spirit Stove Set $2.50 (OP Shop) Retails at $125
Camel back Olive Green Hydration Pack $4 (OP Shop)
Extra Mattress for swag (FREE) Already Had
1 liter Aluminium Bottle for Metho for Stove (FREE) from free box at op shop
Camp Cookware $1 (OP Shop)
1 Army issue Angle Torch (Free) from friend
4 Ever Ready Electric Glow Sticks $8 on special at supermarket
Collapsing Table Lightweight $20 (NEW)
Folding Stool $5 (OP Shop)
Cooking Utensils including 100+ year old carbon steel carving knives

I have a friend building a trailer to go behind my motorbike to carry my camping gear so am well on the way to being mobile and the bike can go most places a 4×4 can go so I will be camping off the beaten track

I also need to get a small (12 inch) chainsaw for firewood collection and a few other bits of kit

My Portable Gadget Collection

So what portable¬†gadgets¬†do you have ? I have a smallish collection of gadgets that I use when out and about as well as at home, I do not take all of them out all of the time it just depends what I am doing, so here are my go to gadgets sort of in the order of most use…

Galaxy SIII in pebble blue 16GB with 16GB Memory card

Plantronics Discovery 975 bluetooth headset for phone calls with my Galaxy SIII

Kindle Keyboard WiFi version with 3GB of storage

Yaesu VX-6R VHF/UHF 5watt Handheld HAM radio

Galaxy TAB 10.1 Ver 2 16GB WiFi with 32GB Memory Card

Bluetooth Keyboard/Stand/Cover for Galaxy Tab 10.1

Nokia Stereo Bluetooth Headset for music

Varta V Man 3 USB lithium battery pack to charge phone etc on the go

Pentax K100D DSLR this is in a waterproof tough case with heaps of lenses and  other stuff
including Memory Cards, Batteries, Filters, Remote’s,¬†Time lapse¬†controller etc
Goal Zero Nomad 7 Solar panel with AA USB battery pack/charger for
solar charging  of phones and other devices

Well I have had my Pentax Digital Single Lens Reflex Camera (DSLR) for a few weeks now and finally have my work flow down pat… This is the process I take to get from subject to final image…

 1. Photograph the subject in raw mode and usually take three photos of the same subject at different exposures so I can pick the best. One at normal exposure, one 1 stop underexposed and one 1 stop over exposed. This also allows me to create High Dynamic Range images If I want to however for HDR you need to use a tripod so the camera does not move.

When I take the photo I am only shooting at 6.1 Mega-pixels as that is all the K100D does. I take the data in RAW mode not Jpeg and that takes about 22 Megabytes per image so over 60 Meg for the three images. The 6.1 Mega-pixel image from the DSLR is far better in quality and colour reproduction then my AUD $60 14 Mega-pixel cheapish point and shoot. This is mainly due to the real lenses in front of the sensor rather then a small lens. That and the size of the CCD sensor.

 2. Transfer the images to my computer still in RAW mode with photo management software called DigiKam for Linux.

 3. Convert the RAW image to loss less PNG format with no other effects or editing, this means I can edit in PNG and not lose any of the image due to the compression used in Jpeg images. I the delete the RAW images to free up drive space. Each image is now around 8-10 Megabytes instead of 22.

 4. Rename the images so I have sequential numbering of ALL my photos stored on the computer. I have a 320 Gigabyte external drive just for photos.

 5. Create a thumbnail image of the photo say image 0000534.png to a file of 200 pixels wide with a filen ame of _thb_0000534.png. This is for my gallery of Unedited pics I have on my home server so I am not loading the full image from the server unless I need to.

 6. Copy the original image and the thumbnail image to the file server inside the house, I now have 2 copies of the image one on my external hard drive and one on the server as well as the thumbnail.

 7. Edit, crop, adjust colours etc and add my watermark in the Gimp for Linux and save to a directory called final edit and create another thumbnail of the final picture.

 8. Upload the final thumb and photo to the home server in full resolution still around 8 megabytes.

¬†9. Upload the image to my Flickr account at 1024×768 and post it to my blog or facebook. All of the renaming, RAW to PNG conversion and thumbnail creation is done in batch processing within DigiKam and is fully automatic once it is running so that is pretty easy.

I also do not delete any images as you never know what you will need. I am also working on a long term photography project the requires 1000’s of images of flowers but that will take a while although I took nearly 100 photos on this afternoons walk and about 80 of the would have been of flowers so I am getting there… Here is a final image I did for Jo-anne (Blossy)