Monday, June 25, 2012

Chromium Plating

The functional advantages of trivalent chromium are higher cathode efficiency and better throwing power. The better throwing power means production rates are greater. Less energy is required because of the lower current densities required. The process is more robust than hexavalent chromium because it can withstand current interruptions.
From a health standpoint trivalent chromium is intrinsically less toxic than hexavalent chromium. Because of the lower toxicity it is not regulated as toughly, which reduces overhead costs. There are other secondary health advantages:
  • Higher cathode efficiencies lead to less chromium emitted into the air
  • Lower concentration levels result in less chromium waste
  • The anodes do not discompose
One of the disadvantages when the process was first introduced was that decorative customers disapproved of the color differences, however additives are now used to adjust the color. In hard coating applications, the corrosion resistance of thicker coatings is not quite as good as hexavalent chromium. The cost of the chemicals is greater, however this is usually offset by greater production rates and lower overhead costs. In general, the process must be controlled more closely than in hexavalent chromium plating, especially with respect to metallic impurities. This means processes that are hard to control, such as barrel plating, are much more difficult using a trivalent chromium bath.

Further to reviewing chromium plating processes , I was minded to take Mrs N to Rudesheim Magic Bike fest.
The tagging process is somewhat like entering a sterilisation clinic
A example of a fine minimalist backend
Amstrad* retro "hifi" unit, circa 1968.
Ladybird helmet captioned "eat more flies"
Single malt whisky container thoughtfully provided by Harley Davidson  - the idea of ownership is growing on  me.
Everyone except us was sporting some sort of uniform leder uniform
These over wide tyres suffer from tram lining - I thought that was well known?
Coming soon and in the next episode, Nikos World unearths the mystery of Tin Tin's space rocket at a secret location in North Germany (Peenemünde).

*Note to non-UK readers, in the 1960s Amstrad was a premier brand of astonishingly good audio equipment lovingly handbuilt in Cricklewood or Brentwood or some dump like that near London using at least one transistor and sold without warranty at Laskys in the Tottenham Court Road.  The owner of Amstrad went on to compere a situation comedy on BBC TV. 

Monday, June 18, 2012

OFF: [road skills]

Having experienced the roads of Greece on two motorised wheels in a previous blog post (and in real life) I decided to learn some skills with the official sounding BMW Powered Off Road Skills organisation somwehere near Port Talbot by taking the Level One "trash our bikes ££ weekend course".  Naturally it mostly rained but this gave experience on Somme like trench warfare.

Of note the famous stand up comedian Ross Noble participated but the real amusement came from the less notable participants (note that for legal reasons I'm not using the real names except for Ross Noble, Simon Pavey and Jenny).

Bikes are supplied - anything GS available. When trashed a white van appears with another one.
Introductory briefing t the centre by the ever attentive and unflappable Simon Pavey. Training takes place 5 miles away on the private 4000 acre Walters Arena.
I am allocated a BMW G650 Sertao number 26.
Refuelling 40 bikes on the way to the training grounds - I don't think that puddle is petrol - more probably diesel.
Initial training is carried out at the sports arena - spot the TV celeb: Ross Noble is the scruffy filthy one: he was the professional stand up comedian - the rest of us were doing it to look good...
How to pick up a GS and look for a lost contact lens at the same time.
It's a matter of leverage, no brute strength required at all.
This is Jenny demonstrating the off road pose - main advantage it looks cool, but one can see further and allegedly control the machine better. Jenny was rather cool too.
Stand up comedians slalom riding on the arena - one of these tedious and pointless exercises that one is made to perform as amusement to others.
Kev and Jenny - instructors for the weekend for the cowards group ( group).  Following the arena we were taken to surrounding forest fire roads and rutted tracks for real off road riding.
This ordeal is the emergency stopping on a hill trick - the scrub at the bottom is the catchment area.
Back at the centre after day 1.....
Day 2 became quite eventful.  The ambulance only had to come once and that was to remove Jane to casualty - quite how she destroyed herself and a motorbike within 10 yards of exiting a track between 2 rocks at walking pace defeats me.  Francois who had confused the front brake with the rear brake on day 1 and had  performed a spectacular high side wipe out  carried on with day 2 under the heavy influence of ibuprofen and Cabernet Sauvignon .  Terry managed to perform a perfect 90 degree turn out of a deep muddy rut and rode into a bush at high speed. I spoke to Ross Noble.

I fell off once only whilst performing my interpretation of the momentum exercise:  this involves ascending a steep bank using momentum only and stopping on the top.  I managed the first bit to a degree but forgot to apply the brakes and rolled backwards down the bank again arriving in a heap at the bottom. 

I return the machine dirty but whole - unlike others.
Special Welsh mud proves impossible to remove!

P.S  Don't try this at home:

Friday, June 15, 2012

Thundersprint 2012 - the Movie

I realise that some weeks have passed by since Thundersprint but the non availability of processing power and three aborted attempts later the movie is now ready for release!

Blogerist  of renown  Highwaylass appears riding Honda Africa Twin number 277.

I'm currently working out how to add music and I had to speed the action up.


Monday, June 4, 2012

All you Need to Know About Aviation in Brazil

There are two  Brazilians particularly significant in the development of aviation in Brazil :

Santos Dumont

Iris Lettieri

Go and google them if you want or follow the links that I thoughtfully provided.

Here are a few holiday snaps of the recent trip to Rio - unfortunately I dropped the carousel on the floor and all the slides got mixed up.....

This is the shower system in our flat - Brazilians are sent to Greece for technical education by the look of it.

Here is a typical road side cafe/succo place where juices from all exotic fruits are served from a tin under the counter.
This is Copacabana beach littered with irrelevant and incomprehensible signs
This is an aircraft landing at Santos-Dumont airport
By cable car toSugar Loaf mountain to see aircraft landing
View from Sugar Loaf over Copabacana Beach - we are staying just to the left of that rock
Monkey eating a co-op cheese cracker
View over central Rio - Ronny Biggs' place marked with an X
Close up of Amazonian beauties frolicking in the surf
Ah yes, this Santos-Dumont city airport with a runway shorter than the landing deck on the Forrestal.  Also visible is the bridge linking Rio with Niteroi.
Typical Potty stop on Copacabana beach - note the crazy paving and blue wheely bins.
Mating turtles at the Botanical Gardens.
A little bird that had been attracted to our balcony.
This is Sugar Loaf taken from Corcovado (some Jesus statue thing twinned with the Eiffel tower according to my guide book).  The eagle eyed with zoom facility will see an aircraft turning onto its final landing approach at you know where.

This is that Jesus statue thing on Corcovado mountain embracing Rio
Just to prove that we were there!
Exploring Rio centre we discover the shops.
Top loaders are very popular in Brazil
This reminded me of the Barbour shop in Knutsford with its BSA Bantam parked in the window display.
Here comes the equestrian statue - LISTEN
These ever present circling birds reminded me of Pterosaurs  - the locals call them "gulls".
Copacabana fort with its mighty Krups guns
When I took this I did not notice that the pillion is carrying two surf boards!

We ventured to Petropolis, a terrifying 1 hour bus ride from Rio into the mountains to find Santos Dumont's practical house - if you are interested in SD unlike me then read below
Another "attraction" at Petropolis is this grave according to Mrs N who is a fan
The outstanding Colombo cafe in Rio
My choice - waffle with cheese, banana and rum with sugar
Mrs N's waffle.......
PS Landing at London I spot a Concorde.

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