18 Mar 2013

Pretty neat new utilities


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. They are 100% free for use by enthusiasts and industry professionals as my contribution to the community. Giving back is company priority. I welcome your feedback on these tools.

The runout tabulator answers one question: how true is my wheel. 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 trueness. This tool simplifies the job by taking input from a digital gauge if you’ve got one. The ideal workbench has a truing stand with a digital gauge attached to a computer with an activation foot pedal. Rotate the rim in the stand, from the hub to avoid tainting measurements, striking the foot pedal at each measurement interval. Done.

The more important tool, my spoke tension visualizer, is pretty neat. It does two jobs: it converts deflection readings from your tensiometer to tension values and it shows you a graphical view of tension. For now it only supports the Park Tool TM-1 but I will add support for other tensiometers in the future. I’ve also 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). Like the tabulator, this tool is designed to accept input from a digital tensiometer connected via computer cable where available. This way a wheelbuilder can go quickly from spoke testing to visualization.

I hope these tools improve your wheelbuilding. I enjoyed creating them.