Blog: 2020

29 Aug 2020

Truing stand progress

Webmaster

A special thanks to everyone who participated in the survey in my previous blog. The feedback was really helpful. To anyone else: new survey submissions are still appreciated.

The survey indicates customers overwhelmingly prefer a bundle versus sourcing everything themselves. It’s not my preference but it’s understandable. In response I’ve been evaluating samples, looking at manufacturing processes, etc. The kit will include the brain box, digital indicators and cables — everything needed to upgrade your existing truing stand.

I decided the foot pedal will also be part of the package. The foot pedal means the interaction between the mechanic’s hands and the truing stand and the wheel are completely unchanged by the digital upgrade — everything can be managed using foot control. I couldn’t find exactly what I wanted so decided to manufacture my own pedal. I source five components from three vendors and assemble according to my own schematic. It has a 3m/9ft fully overmolded cable to facilitate long runs under and behind workbenches. The feel under the foot is the best I’ve found (and I tried quite a few).

One niche feature of my pedal is its two distinct buttons. This is exploited by a tension gathering application I call Live tensio. This app reads deflections from a connected tensiometer and converts to tension values in real time, automagically. The left pedal instructs the system to assign the current reading to the tally of readings for the left side of the wheel. Similarly with the right pedal for the right side of the wheel. Watch the video below for a demonstration.

The video is a teaser and doesn’t show everything. For example there’s a little graphic below each live readout that situates the current reading among previously recorded readings. The interface is a plus/minus bar chart that shows relative magnitude and direction at a glance. There are a few things left to implement and then I’ll film a more complete presentation.

Next steps

The system is in beta trials at the moment. This process is designed to sort out bugs and identify improvements needed to make the system more self-explanatory.

To facilitate my eventual IPO I’ve moved the product rights into a separate company, Islandix Systems Corporation. I named it Wheel Analytics to reflect the range of applications that go beyond truing. Available late 2020 — sign up at islandix.com to be notified.

07 Jun 2020

Truing stand beta

Webmaster

I’ve been developing my truing stand for quite a while now. The software has been stable for more than a year but recent changes make it the tool I really wanted. After a few hardware revisions, that part is working well too. For a peek at both check out the video below.

I’m turning my mind to how a system like this should be packaged. Below the video is a survey to get a handle on the demand for a digital truing system. If you can, please contribute! All questions are optional and the survey can be submitted anonymously if you prefer. 

(For communication purposes the “wheels” in the screencast part of the video are simulations. I have a simulation driver for testing the user interface, which lets me try wheels far worse than I encounter in the workshop. No wheels were harmed in the design of this system.)

Survey

You would be most likely to add digital truing to your workshop as


If you imagine upgrading an existing truing stand with digital controls, what cost/configuration would be justified by the expected benefits? Check all that apply if any. Figures in USD.







Would the package be enhanced by including a display at an additional cost?

What platform would you be likely to use as a display? Check all that apply.





Do you have a truing stand equipped with test indicators already?


How often do you build or repair wheels?




Use this space for additional feedback on survey questions or on the system itself.

This box is for sharing your contact information. (optional)


29 Feb 2020

Listen to your rims

Webmaster

I never know what rims will walk through my door, the freshness of the tooling on the day they were made, the chain of custody from the factory, etc. So I have a prebuild ritual that involves quite a lot of inspection. I don’t want to call it a checklist — I’m just creating opportunities to notice what’s in hand. If attention is given to each facet, anything awry stands out.

On alloy rims I like to visit every spoke hole with a chamfer tool or a handheld drill bit. This puts a subtle profile in the hole where the head of the nipple rests. Sometimes there can be a coil of drilling chaff attached to a spoke hole — a chamfering pass breaks them off and smooths any burrs. When I visit the joint I look at the internal sleeve, if any. Does it interfere with nipple fit? And so on.

Measuring is inspecting

Measuring your own ERD can indicate a lot. Use the measuring step to test fit washers if using them. Do the washers sit nicely in the rim? Measuring will tell you if your rim round or oval. All else being equal the rounder the rim, the better the expected result in terms of alignment and tension balance. If your rim is oval, take a deep breath and expect to spend a little longer at the bench if chasing numbers is your thing. Have you ever found a job difficult and doubted your skills? It could be the rim but more comforting to know than to guess.