Angelo DiNardi

Doin' shit on the web since 1995.

Mustang: Rear Seatbelts

28 July 2013

In the 1960‘s seatbelt laws were a relatively new thing. Until the National Traffic Safety and Motor Vehicle Safety Act was passed in 1966 there was no federal safety standards on automobiles. The law requiring seatbelts in all seats came in to effect in 1968. Cars manufactured before then generally had seatbelts as optional accessories. The front ones usually came by default and the rear belts were special order.

In the case of my ‘65 Mustang the front seats both had lap belts and the rear seats had nothing. At some point, a previous owner installed a lap belt for one of the rear seats. I’ve replaced the existing seatbelt (which was the wrong color) and installed a seatbelt for the other seat.

That almost looks like it’s supposed to be there!

Hooray for slightly more safety! This won’t, sadly, make those rear seats any more comfortable.

First trip to the doctor

24 July 2013

Just got the Mustang back this week from the shop. It had been there for the past two weeks. While I had dropped it off for what I had thought was going to routine clutch and transmission work – it didn’t quite turn out exactly that way.

For the first few weeks I have had the car, I was driving it all the time. Way more than it had been driven in a very long time. It was also the first manual transmission car I had ever driven more than just down the street. I had assumed, apparently incorrectly, that my terrible progress of learning to drive a manual had accelerated the death of the clutch. Apparently, though, it wasn’t me. And I’m better at driving a manual than I thought.

The clutch plate had been installed backwards by a previous mechanic. Backwards. How do you even make that mistake?

That, then, severely screwed up the flywheel and the flywheel bolts. Oh yeah, and the transmission input seal got damaged, most likely from the screwed up clutch. Really, all in all, a solid fuck up by someone in the past. Thanks.

Second gear was also causing problems by popping out. A synchronizer gear was to blame and so the transmission, with all this mess, needed to be rebuilt. And so it was.

Lastly the shifter was tightened up and the bushings replaced. No more slopping shifting for this car!

That car is even more of a pleasure to drive now. No more slipping, stalling, jumping, and popping. Smooth sailing all around. Knowing a good mechanic is priceless – except for the parts and labor, of course.


14 July 2013

Back in May I picked up an AeroQuad Typhoon quadcopter kit at Maker Faire. I have been interested in model airplanes and other model flying things since I was little. I frequently had a styrofoam or balsa wood glider to play with in the yard. Gliders are fun – but throwing and chasing it around the yard got old after a while.

My Dad and I also had a gas powered model airplane many years ago (probably a good 10-15 years) that we only got out to fly a few times. Due to the need for a runway and space to fly we ended up having to join the AMA and a local club. They had a field and people who could help with instruction so we could actually learn to fly the thing.

I think the downfall of that experiment was the overhead of not just being able to pick up and fly it. That was a weekend hobby that wouldn’t get “fun” until a decent amount of effort was put in.

Fast forward to today where everything in that old airplane is outdated and archaic. For me, the introduction of the quadcopter (and other multi-rotor flying things) changed my thoughts on trying again. Quadcopters are generally easier to control, more stable, and the software on them can act like training wheels, keeping it upright and in the air (unless configure the accelerometer wrong).

The first few flights behind the house ended in collisions with walls and other things. I discovered the Sunnyvale Baylands Park via BayRC and it has worked out well for flying. I got the hang of it pretty quickly – and am now able to zip around the park. We’ll see how long it lasts before the first big crash.

Rose the Mustang

08 July 2013

I recently acquired a ‘65 Mustang convertible so you’ll start seeing things about it appear here. I’ve failed a bit at keeping up with posts about the Beetle – but I’m going to give this another go.

The name “Rose” was the name the previous owner used for the car. I’ve decided to keep it for lack of any truly better ideas (and to not confuse the car too much).

The photo above is from one of my first trips with the car down Skyline Blvd on the San Francisco peninsula.

Defcon 20 Badge Pin Layout

05 August 2012

Last weekend I was in Las Vegas for Defcon 20. The badge for Defcon was electronic and included a fully hackable microprocessor, the Parallax Propeller. Towards the end of the convention they were selling extra badges – which I grabbed two spares to use as Propeller development boards.

So, to actually use the board I needed to figure out what the hell the unlabled connection points at the top of the badge were (all the I/O, etc was unlabled). I figured I’d publish the results so someone else won’t have to go through the same identification process.