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Member postings for Kiwi Bloke

Here is a list of all the postings Kiwi Bloke has made in our forums. Click on a thread name to jump to the thread.

Thread: dual boot Dell laptop
14/01/2021 19:56:14

As usual, Windoze arrogantly assumes it's the most important OS... Linux's bootloader will have been corrupted - or worse. There are many, many tutorials on how to restore Grub (the bootloader). Search around for one that looks most user-friendly. Try this:

It might be worth reminding folk who want to set up a dual-boot Linux/Windoze system that Linux should be installed after Windoze, so that the Grub bootloader is installed. If done 'tother way round, Windoze's bootloader just ignores Linux. It is possible to rescue such a situation, by messing around with Grub, but it's obviously more convenient to avoid that, if possible.

Edited By Kiwi Bloke on 14/01/2021 20:02:52

Thread: Linux CNC
05/01/2021 10:21:08

Just a couple of points, because I don't think they've been mentioned yet [apologies if I've missed something].

1. If you can persuade Windoze to pack all its files, etc. tidily onto the HDD, so that it can be partitioned without data loss, it's easy to set up a dual-boot, Windoze/Linux machine. You can then cause havoc on the Linux partition(s) with impunity. [Well, that was the case, and I'm pretty sure it still is - I know nothing of Windoze post XP, which is when I dumped the ghastly OS to be 100% Linux.]

2. It's not universally known, but you can easily get the RPi, from 3B onwards (IIRC) to boot from a USB disk, so a used laptop HDD - or several - can be used for Linux experimentation, without fear of buggering up anything important. Far easier than using the SD card, in my experience.

Joe. A man of your obvious abilities should convert to Linux immediately! It's the thinking man's OS, and isn't difficult these days. Since you can have Windoze and Linux on the same machine, you can still run your favourite, expensive, applications on that bloated, expensive OS, if you really need to... Oh, and for heaven's sake retract your offer of free RPi's, or I'll be sticking my hand out. Hang on to them - they are too valuable, once the Linux hump has been got over!

Edited By Kiwi Bloke on 05/01/2021 10:24:20

Thread: TIG is harder than it looks
04/01/2021 02:07:18

FWIW, a few tips for beginners...

Watching closely the weld pool can become hypnotically fascinating. All your concentration is focussed there, but you can end up staring at it, without really taking in any useful information - there's a lot of changing information in the picture, which is challenging to take in all at once. Before you reach the stage of 'unconscious competence', you need to reach 'conscious competence' and be conscious of what is really important to observe. I'd suggest you really need to concentrate on watching three things (for ferrous welding, at least):

1. Watch the weld pool width (across the direction of travel). Aim to allow the pool to grow to the same size as the previous pool, then add filler and move the same distance as before. This gets you nearer the 'stack of coins' appearance that's so pretty. This deliberate 'stop-start' torch movement is easier to control than a continuous movement. And easier still if you can use a slow pulse technique.

2. Watch the downwards penetration of the visible leading edge of the weld pool (applicable when there is a gap or vee between the pieces to be joined). Aim for consistent depth. Do make sure the pool isn't just sitting on the parent metal surface.

3. Watch the electrode position. Keep it at the recommended distance from the work and beware sideways wandering.

Magnification really helps. Spectacles and light leaking in from behind your helmet are a really bad combination. If you can't get, or don't want a magnifying lens for the helmet, get close.

Life is easier with a gas lens, and it saves gas too.

Of course, there's no substitute for good tuition and practice, practice, practice, but short-cut hints hopefully help...

Thread: Improved performance over standard V belts?
01/01/2021 07:45:10

I'm another satisfied user of the Nu T belt - on the primary drive on my Super 7. These belts do stretch until they stabilize, but, as has been said, removing a link is easy and quick. I don't think it's been mentioned that they are supposed to run only in one direction, but, in practice, reverse running is OK. They are noisier than a sweet-running V belt, but don't seem to have the problem that some V belt drives can have, when a too-slack, vibrating belt is tightened, only to 'drum' annoyingly and incurably. This is said to be because of the link belt's higher internal damping characteristics. One might therefore expect a link belt to run hotter than a V belt, but, perhaps because of its greater flexibility (than some types of V belt), this doesn't seem to be a problem in practice. And they don't seem to degrade. I don't know whether they wear alloy pulleys more than conventional V belts though.

The rivetted Brammer belt is perhaps best regarded as obsolete. I have a sneaky suspicion that the rivet-contacting-pulley problem is because the wrong section belt is sometimes sold.

Thread: TIG is harder than it looks
31/12/2020 09:19:36
Posted by Ian McVickers on 30/12/2020 19:08:44:

Jeff the tube was toasty hot by the time I finished it so probably right when you say too much heat.

It may seem paradoxical, but excessive heat build-up in the body of the work is often the result of using too little current. More current, faster traverse and a helping of reckless abandon may prove better. A foot control makes life so much easier - but you do have to control an extra limb... Also, use a gas lens to economise on gas and get a better view of the electrode, which can stick out more.

Thread: A Certain Age
12/12/2020 04:50:35

I'm famously absent-minded. A decade ago, having parked in our local town, I 'lost' my car, with daughter inside. About half an hour's rising panic, until she found me and reminded me that I had moved the car... That's possibly the biggest 'brain f*rt' I remember, but several per day has been a life-time experience. It's not getting any worse, so hopefully I might be forgetting how to be absent-minded, and things might improve as age creeps on. (Some hope...)

Thread: Pea shooters illegal
12/12/2020 04:41:06

Ignorant bureaucrats rule the world. Imbecile presidents, etc., are largely irrelevant...

Thread: End Mill holder - Help
12/12/2020 04:37:53

The use and action of the Autolock chuck differs from what has been posted.

The collet is placed into the screwed sleeve, with driving flats engaged. The collet can float axially a little. The assembly is screwed into the chuck body, until the sleeve's flange meets the chuck body's face. It does not have to be tight. The cutter is screwed into the sleeve, until it bottoms out. Its centre is then engaged with the centre point in the chuck body. The sleeve is then nipped tight with the spanner, for security. Note, this is not to tighten the collet (read on).

When cutting torque is applied to the cutter, it tries to screw the collet out of the sleeve, whilst pushing against the centre point. The male taper on the outer end of the collet then engages progressively more firmly with the female taper in the sleeve, thus tightening the collet.

The beauty of the design is that the chuck is self-tightening, and the cutter cannot work out of the chuck.

Thread: Hacksaw blade orientation - your opinion please
12/12/2020 04:25:39
Posted by Ady1 on 12/12/2020 03:41:01:

For a human the push stroke is usually best but for a mindless mechanical machine pulling is best and causes the least problems

Tell the Japanese - and a lot of non-Japanese who understand their advantages - to push their pull-saws then...

Broaches are usually(?) pushed. It may seem strange, because pushing invites buckling, but the reason's clear, after a bit of thought.

12/12/2020 02:59:31
Posted by Steviegtr on 12/12/2020 00:55:25:

What a load of rubbish. You always cut on the push. Teeth pointing forward.

The only time i have known for a pull action is when working with the Sikh carpenters who kneel down & cut upwards & towards them. Teeth pointing backwards. Strange to watch.


Well, of course, that's a 'load of rubbish', unless suitably - and massively - qualified. As MG had previously noted, fretsaws, piercing saws cut on the pull stroke, as do jewellers' saws, many (most?) types of Japanese woodworking saws, chainsaws, bandsaws, etc., etc.

AJAX, I suggest you set the blade in the direction it works best - that's all that matters. Of course, with a suitably rigid frame, a hacksaw pulls the blade...

Thread: A Certain Age
08/12/2020 10:57:41

Retitle the thread 'Uncertain Age'?

Thread: Retro Computing (on Steroids)
08/12/2020 10:48:05

Yes, as SOD said, 'Horses for courses'. I'd imagine that most of us who will only ever scrabble around in the dirt, as far as programming is concerned; glass ceilings are never going to be a limitation. The great thing about the Maximites is the versatility of the hardware, coupled to an easy-to learn, sophisticated language, that just seems ideal for the basis of, for instance, a 'digital leadscrew' project, or similar. It makes the physical and intellectual interfaces easier than anything else I've come across.

Thanks, SOD, for the overview of some languages - illuminating. You didn't respond to my assertion that, for 'our kind of application' at least, a suitable BASIC might do the job in far fewer lines of code than something more 'proper'. We're talking quick and dirty, not a bank's financial system, after all.

In the early 1970s, I spent some time, as a student, in a MOD research lab, and had the use of a DEC PDP12 computer, running FOCAL. This was, I think, DEC's version of a BASIC-like language. Armed only with the manual, it was teach-yourself time. I rapidly realised that GOTOs, DO loops, and jumping all over the place to line numbers was a good way to create a real mess, so I broke my programs into little modules which were, in effect, called, as needed, by a very simple main program. I gather that was a rather unusual approach at the time, but it made editing and bug-chasing easy. Now, modern BASICs seem to have this facility built-in, with user-defined functions, etc.. Spaghetti code is no more?

07/12/2020 04:01:46

A couple of weeks ago, I asked Santa for a CMM2. I'm hoping to get the original Silicon Chip Magazine kit version, rather than one of the ready-mades because fiddly soldering is part of the fun. I built an original Maximite shortly after publication in SC Mag. Very impressed, especially by the BASIC dialect. 'Real' programmers are apt to sneer at BASIC, but a lot are out of touch with modern dialects, and don't like it when reminded that it can take feet of code in 'proper languages' to do what a modern BASIC can do in a few lines.

Edited By Kiwi Bloke on 07/12/2020 04:02:44

Thread: What am I?
27/11/2020 10:32:38

I have a bit of a reputation locally not as an engineer, etc., but as a Mr Fixit. Trouble is, the Kiwi pronunciation is like 'Fush and Chups'...

Thread: Bearing identification
27/11/2020 10:27:39

Well, thanks for trying to help, folks, but the mystery remains. The bearing manufacturers and suppliers publish information on the 'net, but don't provide enlightenment. Both types seem to be chrome-steel construction, and have the same imperial major dimensions, but some sources translate imperial into metric, with variable rounding or truncation, or are quote correct to the nearest micron. Impressive precision, but, of course, illusory - the work of someone who knows not what they are doing. I've even seen one of these described as a 6202 (a standard metric size: 15 X 35 X 11 mm), but with a 5/8" bore.

I still want to know what the difference is - if any!

Thread: What am I?
27/11/2020 10:12:28
Posted by not done it yet on 27/11/2020 09:29:46:


I also like it that Doctors drop that tag and become plain ’Mr’ when they become consultants. It’s only a name and doesn’t necessarily mean any more than indicating a level of learning.


In fact, the title 'Doctor', applied to the medical profession, is only a courtesy title, unless a doctorate, eg PhD, has been obtained. Medical consultants, of all specialties except surgical specialties, retain the courtesy title 'Doctor', but surgeons revert to their barber-surgeon roots as 'Mr' - or 'Miss' - when fully surgically qualified, but before occupying a post as a consultant.

Edited By Kiwi Bloke on 27/11/2020 10:13:23

26/11/2020 09:14:51

There has been reference to healthcare workers. Be glad you're not a gynaecologist - generally referred to as a 'fanny mechanic' [can I say that?] in the trade. I'm not aware of medics being referred to as 'health engineers', but perhaps it's coming. Regarding competence vs qualifications: a SEN nurse I knew cheerfully acknowledged that she was of a lower order than a SRN, but was proud that she knew how to make sure one was comfortable in bed...

Thread: Bearing identification
26/11/2020 08:53:37

Has anyone got access to more detailed bearing specs than seems to be readily available off the 'net? I'm going slowly nuts trying to discover whether there is any difference between single-row, deep groove bearings type 99502H and 1623 2RS. They appear to be dimensionally identical (5/8" X 1 3/8" X 7/16" . 99502H appears in various sources to be a 'special agricultural bearing', but why, or how, it's 'special' isn't stated. Published material spec. seems similar, although 99502H seems to be made of Unobtainium here in NZ. Detailed seal design doesn't appear to be standardised across manufacturers. One might expect an ag bearing to have better muck-excluding seals, but is that the case? I'm faced with having to replace a couple of 99502H which have failed as a result of dust ingress (ultra-fine loess clay dust), so seal performance is important.

Is this a case of manufacturers promoting illusory differences, or are there real differences - and, if so, what? If the bearings are in fact the same, why the different identification codes?

[edited to remove stupid winking face thingy - when will this bug be fixed?]

Edited By Kiwi Bloke on 26/11/2020 08:55:07

Thread: Electric vehicles
20/11/2020 22:55:18
Posted by Andy Gray 3 on 19/11/2020 12:49:50:

Re questions about emergency response:


Big thanks to Andy Gray 3 for this link. It's frightening reading. >400V battery voltage. Highly inflammable electrolyte. 10 minutes for capacitors to discharge. 300kg of battery, occupying most of the area between the car's wheels. PPE required for first responders. Need to check status of electrical power and take complex - and presumably model-specific - actions to make vehicle 'safe'.

Woe betide anyone trapped or incapacitated in a crashed EV and also any good Samaritan tempted to interfere.

No-one has responded to my worry that an EV battery dumping all its stored energy in millisecons, if shorted by tangled smashed bodywork, etc. It would be quite spectacular, I think, judging by my childhood 'experiments' putting wire wool, alloy foil, etc. across charged capacitors and the mains and accidental shorts when working on cars., etc.: just magnify by rather a lot...

Thread: Exercise for old folks
20/11/2020 19:46:16

Two suggestions.

Increase activity: get a dog. You can talk to it too, and it will listen.

Satisfy competitive urges: target shooting. It's the art of keeping still.

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