Charge of the fright brigade

Aprilia Caponord ETV1000 Rally-Raid tachometer voltmeter dashboardI had a bit of a stress-monster moment last night. After finishing off a bit of work on the Capo, I fired it up and stuffed the multimeter probes across the battery terminals – 16.1V with the lights on! My heart skipped a beat and thoughts of a toasted rectifier rumbled across my mind. However the Sparkbright battery monitor LED showed steady green and should have been flashing red/green at this voltage. A prod of the ‘mode’ button activated the tacho/voltmeter in the dashboard and it said just over 14V. What gives? Then another glance of the multimeter channelled my thoughts in a whole new direction – an itsy-bitsy low battery icon was showing. A fresh PP3 and a calming cup of tea later and the Capo was in fact charging at a healthy 14.2V all along ……. So with the stress-monster firmly back its box, I made a note to check/change batteries in all the other tools in the workshop ASAP!

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INNOVV Power Hub 1 arrives

A huge thank-you to those that have donated toward the upkeep of this website, it is much appreciated!

Aprilia Caponord ETV1000 Rally-Raid INNOVV K1 camera cable support

A couple of parts finally arrived yesterday, having had an extended holiday in Milan courtesy of customs. These have been kindly provided for review by Rock Liu at INNOVV. The first is the Power Hub 1 and the second is a bracket to help support the four cables that go into the K1 camera system.  The delivery is well-timed actually ….. we’re about to get a good old dose of crap weather, so it’ll be an ideal time to fit the hub and write a review of it and the K1 camera system.

Aprilia Caponord ETV1000 Rally-Raid INNOVV Power Hub 1

Meanwhile I’m off to the 51° FIERA DEL RADIOAMATORE DI PESCARA (Amateur Radio 2 day event) sporting my nice new Italian callsign – IU6HXL – lets hope I can bag a bargain or two!

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“And now a word from our sponsor …..”

Firstly, a new page has been added to the menu for the HAAS (Renault V6) coil and the Tech-Auto (Amrish) coil page has been updated to bring that to an end.

catSecondly, I have also added another widget in the sidebar – a PayPal donate button. Simply because for the past six years I’ve been self funding this website and won’t use advertising to clutter it up. Over that time costs have increased and it’s time to ask the Capo lovers among you to consider helping to keep the site running if you feel it is, was or will be of use to you. As they say, every little helps! 😀 

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Coils, cruise, camera – action!

Aprilia Caponord ETV1000 Rally-Raid Renault V6 HASS ignition coil - 413745171After waiting a week for the delivery from carparts4less, the Capo is happily running on four coils again! 😀 I bought the Renault V6 coil (413745171) made by HAAS. While plug’n play at the LT connector, it does need some excess plastic removing and the HT end requires a modification. I’ve seen this coil modified in a couple of ways – one simple and one requiring a bit of soldering skill. I chose the latter because I think it gives a more positive connection. New page here.

Aprilia Caponord ETV1000 Rally-Raid INNOVV K1 rear HD camera 1920x1080With the bike buttoned up, I ran the INNOVV K1 cameras again – no sign of RF issues anymore, so that’s a step in the right direction. It was about 6pm and dark inside as well as outside the barn as I stood tweeking the throttle and glancing at the INNOVV DV recorder while it captured the rear K1 camera. I watched the vapour from the exhausts to the left and right of the camera as it swirled in the red glow of the tail light. Then it all went blank and the INNOVV rebooted again – WTF!!! 👿 

However …… in that moment I saw something that was a revelation. A real game changer as they say. The fact is, I started to suffer an intermittent fault a few months ago and as any engineer knows, you’ll go bald fast if you waste time chasing an intermittent fault – wait for it to come to you. I think of these sorts of faults a little like the TV serial killers on any number of cop shows – they always want to get caught. At some point an intermittent fault will give itself away, that one clue that unlocks the puzzle. In this case, when the INNOVV rebooted, I saw a momentary flicker of the red glow from the tail light out of the corner of my eye. If I hadn’t been doing this in the dark I would never have spotted it!

This fault goes back quite a while, back to a hot summer, a long day on French motorways and a cruise control that would occasionally stop working. Sometimes it would engage for the whole 1½-2hr ride, the next it would drop out after a few minutes or maybe after a ½hr – it was completely random. However …… I did find that by turning the headlights off, the cruise could be re-engaged and would work just fine! At that point I was suspecting a fault with the headlight loom, the 6-way connector is known to burn if the Aprilia Caponord ETV1000 Rally-Raid light switchEarth (Ground) connection is bad. Unfortunately all tests and checks came up with nothing. So I sat back and waited for the fault to give me the one clue I needed to bring the bugger to justice!

In that momentary tail light flicker, all the parts came crashing together. It was the light switch all along! You see the switch isn’t just one switch but two-in-one. One for the headlight and one for the sidelight …… and this is the circuit that the MCCruise control AND the INNOV are powered from! The switch was stripped, the hard dirt-filled goo that had once been grease that was stopping the springs working was cleaned out and the contacts treated to a splash of contact cleaner and fresh lubricant. Now it looks better, works smoother and above all, delivers a constant voltage to where it’s required. 😀 Aprilia Caponord ETV1000 Rally-Raid Innovv K1 camera screenshot

And afterwards? Well a couple of days eating up the miles and clocking up the hours have been rewarding (and fun!) to say the least. Both cruise and cameras have worked perfectly and the Capo is pulling like a little train again thanks to its refreshed ignition!

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Italy earthquake 07:40 30th October 2016

Central Italy earthquake 30/10/2016Central Italy has been struck by yet another earthquake, this time a magnitude of 6.6. I’d just sat down at the computer with the first cup of tea of the day, when at 07:40 the house began to shake.

Unlike the two earthquakes last week (26/10/2016 – magnitude 5.5 & 6.1) that struck in the evening, this one set objects rocking, pictures and mirrors moving on the walls and all manner of strange noises emanating from the structure. I bolted for the door! It was most surreal to see trees, fences and power/phone lines and poles swaying and the car rocking on its suspension. Likewise, Jan had made it to the upstairs door at the same time having been rudely awoken!

As I write the injuries are few and thankfully no fatalities. Many of the villages at the epicenter were already mostly evacuated from last weeks events. Unfortunately, structural damage has devastated some villages such that they’ve almost been wiped off the map. In Norcia the basilica of San Benedetto has been destroyed. Damage has also been reported in Teramo, l’Aquila, Chieti and as close to us as Brittoli and Civitella Casanova – only a few kilometers away.

Norcia - Basilica of San Benedetto before and after.

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