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My old boss gave me a kegerator. It was an old commercial True unit from the 70's. The condenser fan had locked up so it would freeze up, so he tossed it in a storage shed and left it (this was from a bar at a golf course).

I cleaned it up, POR15'd the rusty interior, rigged up a new condenser fan, and had a working kegerator.

First keg was Boulevard Pale Ale. Good stuff. What I quickly learned though, was that craft beer doesn't last that long once you tap it (kegerator uses C02, so it doesn't go flat, but the flavor changes more quickly than the pasteurized mass produced beers). So I ended up drinking a lot of beer to try to drain the keg before it went bad (I hate waste). Net result was pants that got REALLY tight REALLY fast. Full calorie beers consumed in mass quantities will do that. I switched back to cheaper lite beers just to avoid turning into Jabba the Hut.

Then Arkansas changed the law so that kegs had to have a paper trail. This was supposedly to keep adults from buying kegs for underage parties. Kegs had to have a sticker with the purchaser's info on it, and this was accompanied by a $75 deposit (this is in addition to the $50 deposit for the actual metal keg that the breweries charge). If the sticker was gone when you took the keg back, you didn't get your $75 deposit back. So that meant $125 worth of deposits PLUS the price of the keg. Initially would suck but once you got the deposits of the way you wouldn't have to keep paying them on exchange.

BUT, the paperwork required by the state was a PITA too, so nobody wanted to mess with kegs anymore. All the stores stopped stocking them and if you wanted to special order them they priced them at a premium to make up for having to deal with all the state's bureaucracy. In the late 90's a keg of Bud, Miller etc was $70ish. After this law went into effect a keg jumped to about $125, because no beer stores wanted to go through the hassle of it all.

End result? I have an empty kegerator in my shop, and buy my Miller Lite in cans again. Thanks a lot nanny state government.
 

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Discussion Starter #102
And in the meantime while @retro is popping tops, the FBI is scheming their raid on this guy living in some backwoods place that keeps buying one-off circuit boards and enclosures...
They'd better pack along some portable x-ray equipment, their own lunches & ATVs, I got a lotta unmarked hollow trees scattered about out here, n' no marked trails through the woods! LOL :)

I'll dump a few pics in here now before I go any further, cause soon, these bits will be assembled and hidden forever.

And yeah, they've been getting awesome'er an' awesome'er a lil' bit each day, if I may say so myself! Lotta steps to them though... 'n everything being fabbed up by hand, kinda sorta almost precisely. Lotsa glue 'n wait steps too, but only got two more gluing steps left now to be patient with, me thunks.

After sleeping on it I did figure out a way to move the boards down a bit more...! Which improved the sealing clearance at the top of the window a bunch. That original .016" markout was just too scary tight... I'm sure I'd have messed that window opening up, so I'm quite happy now that I took the time to move those PCBs down a bit. I had to put back some material that I had originally removed for mounting the boards using JB-weld for filler, now I will grind a small amount of that filler back out for relocating those boards where I put the new marks. I'm gonna use LOCA to mate/seal the display to the window gapless, its gonna work! :)

In these pics you can see the mounting clamp assembly on the back cover that I made from extruded aluminum, then painted and baked in the oven. That clamp is drilled and tapped & semi-permanently mounted through the back cover using two #4-40 screws/washers and Ultra-black for glue/sealant. As you can see I have clamped a scrap strip of plastic in it so I won't knock the paint off of it while handling during the final assembly steps. The two clamp screws and nuts are #6-32s. I may swap some #8 or #10 screws in them though, if it turns out we need more clamping power. Stainless steel screws and washers would be nice to have there too, me thinks.

On the inside of the back cover you can see the 6 wires (two harnesses) shoved through 6 snug holes then zip-tied together to provide sharp bends in those wires right there, so they can't pull out... then JB-weld glued to stiffen that knot and seal them all through their holes in the cover. You can see the JB-weld filler I added back in on the mounting posts too. Those posts are gonna get ground down a bit for precisely relocating the PCB board. The PCB board will be permanently JB-weld mounted down there so it can't ever shift or move, if the enclosure ever has to take an angry blow from a fist. LOL :)

The front cover is all put together now too. As you can see, the button strips that I had to use had 4 buttons... We only needed 3 buttons properly spaced to match the spacing of the 3 momentary switches on the PCBs and those strips were the only ones that I could find on the 'net that met that spacing spec... so I trimmed off the 4th button flush with the silicone rubber strip using a sharp razor blade and then fabbed a button strip frame & display window together using some 1/8' thick smoke-grey tinted polycarbonate. The button strip was glued/sealed into the back of the cover with Ultra-black and allowed to cure first, then JB-weld'ed into the polycarb frame and the entire frame JB-weld'ed down into the inside of the cover for a 100% waterproof seal. I also used Ultra-black to seal the polycarb around the display window opening... hopefully water won't be able to seep between those parts, become trapped and be any sort of nuisance inside there. I think everything'll be just fine, regardless. Its definitely a very strong and stiff enclosure now.

Stay tuned folks, more pics are due up this week as we finish massaging the final few strokes of life into this bugger. :)
 

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Wow, thats a really messed up law Jeep! What in the world were they thinkin'... I can't figure out how can they benefit from that mess? You're dead right about the high calorie problem with most homebrews.... I can't gain any weight no matter what I consume though, so the richer homemade stuff doesn't bother me a lick! :)
 

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Nice work Retro !



If I go to a party or fair and all they got is draft , I am not drinking , I don't like the taste and the way I fell the next day , draft gives me a bad hang over ----- I was looking at prices the other day while at the store , could help too , it was posted on the glass front door , if I remember right it is $80 for a half keg and $150 for the whole one -----

I like to drink out the bottle as much as I can , and you got to rotate them in your fridge or drink them all up , cause I find they will go flat in a couple of weeks
 

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I hear that! Draft gets real mean and ugly about 10 minutes before I wake up the next morning! I like bottled a lot better than canned too while its fresh, but I don't drink very often... though some of my friends & neighbors do... so I usually buy cans and store them in a bucket with my 38 degree artesian well water flowing in/out. Every now 'n then they'll leave a couple for me, or leave some of their own distilled crafts in trade an' we'll celebrate something. During the spring/summer/fall seasons we mostly celebrate fishing & hunting tho. LOL :)

I got the wires soldered into the back of PCB today and JB-weld'ed the PCB into place on the pads in the rear cover. I'll begin wiring up the PS/relays box tomorrow. Do a final calibration on the stovetop using the new 9v power supply after that is together... then drop a dollop of LOCA onto the display to mate with the polycarb window, seal the cover onto the back and into the UV oven the tiny enclosure must go...!

Expect us! Soon! :)
 

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I've had a lot of people tell me they get bad hangovers from draft beer.

My take on that is, draft beer tastes better. I'll say that with the caveat that you MUST keep your lines and tap clean or your beer won't taste right, but if you get a fresh keg with clean lines nothing tastes better. That's why you get a hangover. You drink more, and you don't keep up with how many you've had (16 ounce pint glasses vs 12 ounce cans too)

Sorry for the hijack Retro. LOL. I like beer...a LOT.
 

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Discussion Starter #107
There is no such thing as a hijack in my threads... everyone is welcome to come as they are and talk about whatever they want to. Derails are just as fun and sometimes more interesting than a thread is anyway... especially in my rambling threads! LOL :)
 

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The sickest I ever remember getting from drinking was draft beer, but , it was green draft beer at St Patrick Day , I swore I would never drink green draft again and to this day I have not , the green jello shots that went along with that green draft probably didn't help much ----"party with the Irish they said" , I couldn't hang
 

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Well, I'm irish and I can't hang either! The most memorable days after (yes thats plural!) for me was the result of an all day/night tequila backroads tour up through the east/central mountains of New Mexico. I was working midnight shifts on a drilling rig way out in the boonies NE of Roswell and riding my dirt bike to work every night. One morning at dawn as we were going on days off my boss said lets go for a ride in my Bronco. Grab your holster off your bike, lets go plink a few coyote... :)

He pulled two fifths of tequila out from under his front seat, twisted the lids off and handed me one of them. We cruised dirt trails and backroads headed west up into the mountains, plinking at jack rabbits and coyotes until we both ran out of 9mm ammo. So he found a blacktop road and we loaded up on ammo and sandwiches and I carried out 2 more fifths. He wanted to show me where he went muley hunting, so we cruised dirt trails a few more hours shooting and drinking until we found his cabin and he showed me around. By this time the sun was setting and we were both pretty trashed, so we put the guns away and hit another liquor store for two more bottles, just in case. We got back to the rig just before dawn as guys were arriving for shift change. Neither one of us could walk very well, but I managed to kick start my bike and he followed me out to the highway. That long ride in the open air home on my bike helped me a lot. It was a beautiful, warm, sunny sunrise... the antelope were out along the highway... just gorgeous... But I got sick as soon as I climbed off my bike and I spent my next two days off in bed. That was the end of tequila for me. I get nauseous just seeing a bottle of that stuff.
 

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One tequila , two tequila , three tequila , floor !


Jose Cuervo , Patron, Top Shelf and Sammy Hagar's Wab Wab lite me up many of nights on the dance floor , but it really gets you the next day , especially if it is 90+ degrees and you sweat the smell of tequila , tequila is a terrible hangover , I think it is worst than green beer


Tequila brings a lot of happy and some sad thoughts for me , my old girl friend Pam , who was my first real girl friend when I was 13 , I never seen her for 23 years , then I meet up with her about 20 years ago now , on the dance floor of a club , we wound up living together for 7 years and danced every song , 5 nights a week = Wed-Sun, where ever the good bands were playing and the best party , we had a lot of fun , she liked to do shots of Jose 1800 Gold , she passed away at 59 years old last Thursday , she had breast cancer about 7 years ago , survived that but the cancer spread to her spline 4 years later ----if you have a spot in your prayers , wish her a better place
 

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Gin is still what gets me. I had an all day Gin binge when I was about 20. Dry heaved all day the next day. Smell of it still turns my stomach.

With the wife being preggers now I haven't been drinking much lately, but when I do drink even a small amount gives me a headache. I guess I need to build up my tolerance again!

Had ONE scotch over ice last night. Have a headache this morning.
 

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The 1st gizmo is essentially finished. It was calibrated on the stovetop today as a completed assembly, now the final sealing of each enclosure as the covers get screwed on is all that remains. I'll let the Ultra-black sealer cure for 24 hours then I may put some Wipe-New Recolor on the small enclosure to help protect the plastics from the sun and gloss it up a bit. So total wait time remaining might be about 72 hours. I'll take a couple more pics of the completed gizmo after the sealer & Wipe-new have cured.

It works great! Its built to last! Celebrate! :)
 

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Alright, the LOCA UV oven session and Ultra-black sealing steps both went off very quickly this evening, so I coated the small enclosure with Wipe-New and it is hanging up curing. This 1st gizmo is completely finished now, except for the final pics.

All in all it turned out pretty decent although I wish I had drilled the hole for the red LED window a bit closer to the display window, cause that hole/viewport is not centered directly over the indicator LED. No biggie I guess... it still works fine its just not perfect. I was bound to make a mistake somewhere so I am content to accept this little one, rather than one of my usual catastrophic screwups... :)

There are only three connections to be made on the bike for installation:

1) The red positive supply gizmo wire must be connected to a fused, ignition switched, B+ source. The White/black accessory power supply wire is an excellent candidate for that. The gizmo requires only about 110 milliamps max current (both relays engaged), so that 10 amp accessory circuit can still be used for other accessories.

2) The green negative ground gizmo terminal will bolt down to the frame using the existing ground bolt next to the CDI.

3) The black gizmo wire must connect to the Green/black wire near the cooling fan motor connector. Honda uses a natural colored 2-wire plastic connector there, we will have to snip that Green/black wire to connect our black gizmo wire.

The OEM oil temp sensor will be replaced with the gizmo's precision one. The light blue OEM sensor wire connector can be shrink tubed to seal it up and tied off somewhere along the harness in case you ever want to return the cooling system to stock.

I'll type up a PDF file (and print copies) with wiring & parameter menu setup/operating instructions for it this weekend while the Wipe-new finish is curing.

I'll be happy to install the gizmo as well, if you decide to make a roadtrip of it. We'll take it right downtown... :)
 

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@retro you never fail to impress. And it actually sounds no more difficult than a winch to install. As much as I would love to make a road trip and get this installed and tested, with 2 Littles at home and the wife feeling miserable cause 3rd on the way, I'd have trouble making it happen.

If I do end up getting the first gizmo, I'll do my best to get someone to help me get it installed right away, and report back here on how the testing went on the machine. But I'm certainly in no rush if you were wanting to put the first one on your own.

Sounds like lots of time and $$ went into this gizmo. Sad part is honda could have probably done something very similar built into already existing parts for only a couple dollars more per machine, and have way more useful functionality.
 

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Well @wheelsquad, if I remember correctly you are only about 6 hours SW of my village..? If ya'd care to have some extra hands on it from a backwoods stranger comin' to visit, I may be able to sneak away from my workloads for a day...? I'd enjoy meeting and chatting with you for sure! So thats an option, wouldn't cost ya much more than a bit of faux tolerance for a few hours, 'n I'd be gone. Shoot me an email... :)

As far as costs to build these gizmos, it really is not as expensive as it might appear to be! Development costs were quite high because $$$ was invested in parts toward one idea... and then a holy grail was discovered and it required a bunch more research time, testing time and $$$ to learn how to put that together. None of those new parts that weren't needed will be waste though... they all fit very nicely in my parts bins and will be put to work eventually. Ya just can't stock too much stuff... no such thing in my mind unless/until I run out storage space.

Anyway, I'm pretty tickled that we were able to take a cheap china ST Micro dev-board knockoff, strip it of its useless parts and make something very useful and reliable out of it! Educations are not entirely free but this one has been a bargain me thinks! I'd do it all over again just for the challenge... so its all good... those costs are irrelevant and forgotten!

As it is my personal policy... there'll be no costs for this experimental gizmo passed onto you or anyone else. I prefer to offer universe a net gain wherever possible... 'n putting folks in debt runs counter to that practice. :)

I want to thank y'all for making these explorations fun! And thanks again goes to @shadetree for donating two kick-butt chunks of brass to our project!
 

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Here is the entire completed gizmo kit ready for installation and be put to work on @wheelsquad's Rancher 400AT. :)

I've got about a weeks work remaining then I'll take pics of the 2nd one. I have made a different mounting bracket type for that one from extruded aluminum. The 2nd gizmo will mount on the left-side handlebar of my 350 Rancher and be integrated into the winch rocker switch mount. That gizmo will also be the new home for the start-in-any-gear mod electrics.
 

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Pssshhht!... what's that sound..? Why, that's the chaser for a celebratory 'shine! The 2nd gizmo is done! :)

In fact, the PS/Relays box is already mounted on the underside of my winch plate (in drilled/tapped holes) with two black oxide #10-32 buttonheads. I am burnt right out. My eyes are begging for mercy... but they both turned out well.

This will be the last of my gizmos' making until I get my head in line for round two later on in the summer, after I've waded a gazillion stream-miles. :) So gimme 'till late July at least.

In the meantime @wheelsquad and I are getting our ducks in a row for a meetup. I'm really looking forward to that day. :)
 

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