18 Mar 2013

Pretty neat new utilities

Webmaster

This post is to announce two new tools I’ve built in tandem with launching SpokeService.ca. These are my runout tabulator and spoke tension visualizer found in the utilities section at top right. I offer them 100% free for enthusiasts, industry professionals and shop customers alike.

The runout tabulator is more a thought experiment than a problem solver. The idea is uncomplicated — simply measure the runout at different points on a wheel and note the measurements of smallest and largest magnitude. The difference is a measure of alignment. But should every point on the wheel be examined or should we sample deviation at each spoke? Should any special consideration be given to the join area? How much do decals and paint finishes distort readings? And so on.

The more important tool, my spoke tension visualizer, is pretty neat. It does two jobs: it converts tensiometer deflection readings to tension values and shows a graphical view of the same. For now it only supports the Park Tool TM-1 but I can add support for other tensiometers in the future. I’ve coded an option to insert dummy values in the data collection screen so you can see how it works without faking anything (this will likely go away in the future).

I hope these tools stimulate the wheelbuilding part of your brain. I enjoyed creating them.