Angelo DiNardi's Blog 2015-07-13T09:26:42+00:00 Angelo DiNardi Mustang: Rear Seatbelts 2013-07-28T00:00:00+00:00 <p><a href="!i=2661313066&k=b7q9TMW"><img src="" alt="" /></a></p> <p>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.</p> <p>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.</p> <p><a href="!i=2661312898&k=rTC9fqv"><img src="" alt="" /></a></p> <p>That almost looks like it’s supposed to be there!</p> <p>Hooray for slightly more safety! This won’t, sadly, make those rear seats any more comfortable.</p> First trip to the doctor 2013-07-24T00:00:00+00:00 <p><a href="!i=2579560685&k=N4qQPbN"><img src="" alt="" /></a></p> <p>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.</p> <p>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.</p> <p>The clutch plate had been installed <strong>backwards</strong> by a previous mechanic. Backwards. How do you even make that mistake?</p> <p>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 <em>fuck up</em> by someone in the past. Thanks.</p> <p>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.</p> <p>Lastly the shifter was tightened up and the bushings replaced. No more slopping shifting for this car!</p> <p>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.</p> Quadcopter 2013-07-14T00:00:00+00:00 <p><a href="!i=2635052227&k=QxKQSFf"><img src="" alt="" /></a></p> <p>Back in May I picked up an <a href="">AeroQuad Typhoon quadcopter kit</a> 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.</p> <p>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.</p> <p>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.</p> <p>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).</p> <p>The first few flights behind the house ended in collisions with walls and other things. I discovered the <a href="">Sunnyvale Baylands Park</a> via <a href="">BayRC</a> 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.</p> Rose the Mustang 2013-07-08T00:00:00+00:00 <p><a href="!i=2579560469&k=QWwZdhB&lb=1&s=A"><img src="" alt="" /></a></p> <p>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.</p> <p>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).</p> <p>The photo above is from one of my first trips with the car down <a href=",+-122.203889&hl=en&ll=37.324305,-122.203674&spn=0.68909,1.496201&sll=37.324305,-122.203674&sspn=0.68909,1.496201&t=h&gl=us&z=11">Skyline Blvd on the San Francisco peninsula</a>.</p> Defcon 20 Badge Pin Layout 2012-08-05T00:00:00+00:00 <p>Last weekend I was in Las Vegas for <a href="">Defcon 20</a>. The badge for Defcon was electronic and included a fully hackable microprocessor, the <a href="">Parallax Propeller</a>. Towards the end of the convention they were selling extra badges – which I grabbed two spares to use as Propeller development boards.</p> <p>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.</p> <p><img height='203' src='/images/posts/defcon_20_badge_pinout.jpg' title='Defcon 20 Badge Pin Layout' width='600' /></p> NYC Trip 2012-04-23T00:00:00+00:00 <p><a href="!i=1808329686&k=xKPNQnV"><img src="" alt="" /></a></p> <p>I finally got a chance to visit New York City (technically for work, but better than nothing). While there I took some <a href="!i=1808329686&k=xKPNQnV">photos</a>.</p> Wearing a Watch 2012-02-12T00:00:00+00:00 <p>Some folks have probably realized that for the past month or so I’ve begun wearing a watch (again). Here’s what convinced me to do it.</p> <p>My phone as been my “pocket watch” for years. I recently decided to try and “detach” myself a bit from my phone, twitter, email, and all the distractions we’ve invented. I realized that I check the time frequently and if I pull out my phone I’ll not only check the time but also read the notifications, unlock and read my email, twitter, and whatever else is demanding my attention.</p> <p>Now, instead, I can raise my arm, look at my watch, and be done. No extra distractions.</p> <p>So far I’m finding that I’m still subconsciously pulling out my phone instead of looking at my watch. I believe this is because I’m not really “checking the time” as much as checking for anything new that’s been pushed to me. I’m getting better at catching myself. When I can get to the point where I’m only consciously pulling out my phone when there’s something I <em>want</em> to do – I will have broken the information addiction.</p> 2011 In Review 2012-01-01T00:00:00+00:00 <p>I like to track things over time. Looking back over the last year I realized the path I took was, well, a bit random at times.</p> <ul> <li>February: Moved, again. So far I haven’t lived in the same town twice yet, but we’ll see how long that lasts. This was the 5th town I’ve lived in here in California.</li> <li>May: Bought a Cannon T1i to so that I could really begin to learn photography. Getting out to photograph things has been coming in spurts, but overall I think I’m improving. It has given me a new appreciation for excellent photography. In general, it’s nice to have high resolution reminders of the past.</li> <li>May: Bought a meat smoker and experimented with <em>another</em> way to cook delicious food. I’ve used it a few more times since then and have improved my methods a bit.</li> <li>June: Embark with friends on an attempt to build a 6 person “bike-car”. Although we’ve so far failed at doing so, it got us to buy lots of fun and useful power tools. I’ve learned to weld steel, which has come in useful for repairs to the Beetle. Most of the other tools have also come in handy. Having a well stocked workspace is incredibly convenient. I hope that even if the “bike-car” is a failure, we eventually do finish some sort of large-scale project.</li> <li>July: Traveled to the Washington D.C. area to see some old friends.</li> <li>July: Bought a 1969 Volkswagen Beetle. I’ve been interested in the Beetle since I was very young and have always said I’d get one “someday”. During a commute on Caltrain, I have no idea why, I opened up craigslist and looked at Beetles to get an idea of availability and asking prices. I asked myself why I shouldn’t buy one now and I couldn’t come up with a good reason. Found a great listing, checked it out, bought it. It is definitely the most random and awesome purchase I’ve ever made.</li> <li>August: Took a family trip to San Diego. The weather and the area was awesome. Relaxed on the sand, went snorkeling, read books, and took pictures. It was a great trip.</li> <li>October: Traveled to D.C. again for my friend’s wedding. It was absolutely some of the most fun I’ve had all year.</li> <li>November: Apture, where I had been working for about 20 months, was acquired by Google.</li> <li>November: Trip to Orlando with the family to see my grandparents. My family is full of silly people.</li> <li>December: Started working through a book to learn Italian. I’ve meant to do this for years. So far I’m a couple of lessons in to the book. Hopefully I can keep it up; I get distracted easily.</li> </ul> <p>I’m sure there’s more I’ve forgotten. I classify a lot of the random stuff I’ve picked up this year as a “quarter-life crisis”. I was always using the excuse of being “busy” and that “I’ll do it when things slow down”. Things never slow down. If you don’t do it now, life will pass you by. Sure, there’s more opportune times than others and you may have to plan ahead to meet financial goals – but in general there’s no better time than the present.</p> <p>I also decided this year that my single track of focusing on software and computers all day, every day was becoming monotonous. Building software products is a great, rewarding, and challenging career which I absolutely love. But to come home and keep doing that at night and on the weekends leads to burnout. I decided to primarily focus on software at work and home was for all the other hobbies. I’m much happier because of the change.</p> <p>The arbitrary measure of time that was 2011 turned out well.</p> VW Beetle Project Part 6 2011-11-09T00:00:00+00:00 <p>Recently I decided to re-upholster the seats in the Bug. Thus far I’ve made it through the two front seats. It’s been about 16+ hours of labor so far.</p> <p><a href=""><img src="" alt="The parts" title="The parts" /></a></p> <p>The process is basically:</p> <ul> <li> <p>Take out seat</p> <p><a href=""><img src="" alt="Passenger seat right out of the car" title="Passenger seat right out of the car" /></a></p> </li> <li> <p>Strip seats to frame</p> <p><a href=""><img src="" alt="Passenger seat bottom springs" title="Passenger seat bottom springs" /></a></p> </li> <li> <p>Make repairs to frame/spring</p> <p><a href=""><img src="" alt="Drivers seat back spring had broken welds/metal" title="Driver's seat back spring had broken welds/metal" /></a></p> <p>In this case I had to weld the backrest spring back together.</p> </li> <li> <p>Put new cover on spring</p> <p><a href=""><img src="" alt="Passenger seat bottom, spring cover in place" title="Passenger seat bottom, spring cover in place" /></a> <a href=""><img src="" alt="Passenger seat back, spring covering in place" title="Passenger seat back, spring covering in place" /></a></p> </li> <li> <p>Put new cushion on</p> <p><a href=""><img src="" alt="Passenger seat bottom cushion in place" title="Passenger seat bottom cushion in place" /></a> <a href=""><img src="" alt="Passenger seat back, cushion in place" title="Passenger seat back, cushion in place" /></a></p> </li> <li> <p>Cover cushion with felt</p> <p><a href=""><img src="" alt="Passenger seat bottom, felt in place" title="Passenger seat bottom, felt in place" /></a></p> </li> <li> <p>Put cover on seat</p> <p><a href=""><img src="" alt="Passenger seat bottom, covered" title="Passenger seat bottom, covered" /></a></p> </li> <li> <p>Attach buttons on backrest</p> <p>This was interesting because I didn’t have new buttons to attach. The original seats were red and the new seats would be black. I decided I’d keep a little bit of the old car in there by keeping the faded, red buttons on the black seats. It adds a bit of uniqueness to the car.</p> <p><a href=""><img src="" alt="Threading wire for the buttons" title="Threading wire for the buttons" /></a></p> <p><a href=""><img src="" alt="Completed passenger seat" /></a></p> </li> <li> <p>Put seat in car</p> <p><a href=""><img src="" alt="Left is re-upholstered, right is un-touched" title="Left is re-upholstered, right is un-touched" /></a></p> <p>The seat on the left is the re-upholstered passenger seat.</p> </li> </ul> <p>The full gallery of images is <a href="">here</a>.</p> VW Beetle Project Part 5 2011-09-25T00:00:00+00:00 <p>I’ve accomplished a whole bunch of stuff over the past month on the Bug (but I haven’t had time to post about it).</p> <ul> <li>Washed the car</li> <li>Lubricated frontend</li> <li>Checked master cylinder</li> <li>Adjusted the brakes</li> <li>Adjusted e-brake setting</li> <li>Adjusted steering wheel alignment (hooray driving straight!)</li> <li>Fixed the passenger defrost vent airflow adjustment dial</li> <li>Passenger seatbelt was attached incorrectly, causing it to be twisted</li> <li>Replaced the door window rubber seals</li> <li>Replaced door seals</li> <li>Replaced visor clips</li> <li>Fought with bent hinges on the driver side door (door doesn’t close right)</li> <li>Replaced trunk liner</li> <li>Replaced door panel attachment clips</li> <li>Replaced trunk wiring cover</li> <li>Replaced trunk rubber seal</li> <li>Replaced engine rubber seal</li> <li>Attempted to adjust the camber of the front, passenger wheel</li> </ul>