29 Aug 2020

Truing stand progress


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.