Author Archives: Aaron Ryan

2017 Diamondback Sync’r 24

 

 

https://www.diamondback.com/kids-bikes/mountain/sync-r-24

Got a sale on the Diamondback Sync’r 24 for $399 (MSRP $799)

NX groupset is worth $300 alone. Tektro brake $89 each +

 

Frame 6061-T6 Aluminum Jr-24″ Frame, Formed Tubing, Disc Specific w/ Replacable Hanger
Fork SR Suntour XCR 24″ w/ 80mm Travel, 28mm Stanchions, Magnesium Lowers, w/ Preload Adjust ($70)
Headset FSA IS-3/NO.11 Integrated Style ($19)
Cranks SRAM NX 1x, w/ X-Sync 30T Chain Ring ($100)
Bottom Bracket SRAM GXP ($32)
Rear Derailleur SRAM NX X-Horizon, 11 Speed ($67)
Shifter SRAM NX 11 Speed X-Actuation Trigger ($25)
Cogset SRAM PG1130, 11 Speed, 11-42T ($67)
Chain SRAM PC-1130, 11 Speed, Power Link ($20)
Front Hub 32h SL-7 Alloy w/ CNC Disc Mount
Rear Hub 32h SL-7 Alloy Cassette w/ CNC Disc mount
Spokes 14g Stainless Steel
Rims 32h Diamondback SL-7 Doublewall
Tires Kenda Kinetics 24×2.35″ ($35 each)
Brakes Tektro Auriga Hydraulic Disc w/ 180mm Front /160mm Rear Rotors ($89)
Brake Levers Tektro 2 Finger Hydraulic w/ Reach Adjust
Pedals DB4L Alloy Platform
Handlebar Diamondback “Pro Bar” 720mm Wide
Grips DB4L 135mm Kraton
Stem Diamondback “Shortie”, 45mm Reach, 31.8 Bar Bore
Seat DB Sync’r Jr. Saddle
Seatpost DB Alloy Micro Adjust 30.9mm
Extras Owners Manual, Assembly Guide, Tool Kit
Bike Weight 26.7 lbs
Accessories 6061-T6 Aluminum Jr-24″ Frame, Formed Tubing, Disc Specific w/ Replacable Hanger

2013 Niner EMD 9

Ordered the 2013 EMD 9 Large Tamale frame and Fox Float 29 fork from JensonUSA.com, combo deal of $689 (MSRP $1148).IMG_3723

Had to install a headset, so I got a Crane Creek 40 for about $70, and Niner Alloy Stem for $40 at the Path Bike Shop.

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Ordered a full Shimano XT groupset for $690 (MSRP $1000+) on ebay, and Performance had clearance on Sun Ringle Black Flag Comp Wheels for $240 (MSRP $450) which included Stans tubeless kit. Put on some 29×2.35 Nobby Nic Evo SnakeSkins for $115 (MSRP $180).

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Took about 3-4 hours to assemble.

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Weighed in at 26lbs 11 oz. = 26.69 lbs, calculated was 26.11 lbs.

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Modifications:

  • Handlebar was 28.5″, which is too wide, trimmed down to 27″ (same as my Camber)
  • 29×2.35 Nobby Nic on rear was rubbing frame in turns, moved to 29×2.25 Racing Ralph instead
  • Added LizardSkin chainstay protector
  • Added 3m Scotchguard scratch protection to the right of the headtube due to cable scratching

Edit 01/14/2014 (odo 571 mi.): New 2013 Fox Factory Float 100 CTD FIT Kashima Tapered QR15 fork

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I found the CTD works pretty well, though I usually just leave it in “Descend”

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The QR15 through-axle stiffened up the steering in the downhill area.

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I couldnt tell if the Tapered tube made a difference, since I changed both the QR15 and tapered at the same time.

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Upgrades 3/22/2017: Easton EA90XC Wheels, gets bike weight down to 25lbs 15oz.

Upgrades July 25, 2017: Converted to GX 1×11 with Absolute Black Oval 32t Chainring. Bike weighs 24lbs 11oz.

2016 Niner Jet 9 RDO

BUILT 5/19/2016: the orange Niner Jet 9 Carbon got a hairline crack in the rear triangle, and Niner stood behind their product and gave me a new 2016 Jet 9 RDO Large frame as a replacement.

Weighs in at 5lbs 8oz.

With a 120mm Fox Factory 32 CTD fork on the Large frame, Head tube angle is 70.5 degrees.

More info is at: http://www.ninerbikes.com/jet9rdo_archive?sc=37&category=596943

UPGRADE 3/19/2017: From Easton EA90 (21mm width,1680g) to Easton ARC 30 Custom made by statruwheels.com, (30mm width, 1805g) with Maxxis Minion DHF 29×2.5 WT on front, and Maxxis Ardent LUST 29×2.25 on the rear.

Weighs in at  28lbs 4oz.

 

 

Z-Wave Home Automation with VeraLite Controller

THE VERALITE

The VeraLite controller (Made by Vera, formerly known as Mi Casa Verde) is the central controller for my whole Z-Wave network. There are many Z-Wave controllers on the market, Home Depot Wink, Lowes Iris, SmartThings.  However, the reason i decided to go with the VeraLite, is that it has opensource plug-in modules, aka MiOS Apps. Plugin modules have already been made for integrating my existing ADT alarm system, Nest, and Rainforest Energy monitor.

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First Switch

To start it off I got the GE Z-Wave Wireless Lighting Control and Appliance Module (p/n 45603) to attach to our turtle tank light to put the light on a timer.

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This was pretty straight forward. Just paired the device with the controller. Then I setup a “Turtle Light ON” scene to run at Noon, and a “Turtle Light OFF” scene to run at 2pm. Here is what the Interface looks like on the Vera Lite (using UI7).

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Back Yard Lights:

I ordered GE Z-Wave Wireless Lighting Control Outdoor Module to control my backyard christmas lights. Again, easily pair the device with the VeraLite, and then it can be controlled by the VeraLite.

GE Outdoor Light

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Alarm System Integration:

Next I wanted to Integrate my DSC Alarm Panel so that the alarm sensors can be used to trigger Z-Wave scenes.  I found the device EnvisaLink 3, which plugs into the DSC panel as a virtual keypad, and allows it to be access via ethernet.  It also has the added benefit of being able to Arm and Disarm the alarm over the internet as well as be used to replace my Alarm service for $8.50/mo using EnvisAlarm IP Monitoring instead of ADT service. IMG_6515IMG_6450

Once I got the EnvisaLink 3 installed on the network I had to install the “DSC Alarm Panel Plugin” onto the Vera Lite.  Here is what it looks like when installed.

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Next the DSC plugin needs to be configured with the IP address and the Zones.

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By setting the Zone to “ARMED”, it means that if the sensor gets triggered, execute any events associated with the Zone. When set to “BYPASSED”, it means the Sensor is effectively DISABLED.

POOL LIGHT Integration

To use the Alarm system zones, I got a “Aeon Labs DSC26103-ZWUS – Z-Wave In-Wall Micro Controller” to control my pool light.

Aeon Labs Switch

One of the added benefits of the Aeon Switch is it reports the power usage too.

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I associated the Pool light with the switch, then made a scene called “BackDoor Close – Lights OFF” and “BackDoor Open – Lights ON” which turn on/off both the Pool light and the Backyard lights.

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Here is how the Scene configuration screen looks like:

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After setting it all up, I’m impressed with how quickly the AlarmZone->VeraLite->Z-Wave switch latency is.  Closing/Opening the backdoor takes from 1 to 3 seconds for the Lights to turn OFF/ON. Not bad!!

iPhone/iPad App

The iPhone app allows you to access all the devices and scenes configured on the web interface.  However, there is more latency when going through the internet to switch things on and off.  When first starting the app there is a 5-10 second wait period for it to sync up with the VeraLite. This can be annoying if you are trying to quickly turn something on/off.

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Turning ON/OFF lights with the iPhone app can take from 2-6 seconds, which is just feels a bit too long sometimes.

POOL LIGHT MINIMOTE

I wanted to have a faster way to turn on and off my pool light, since the LED light has different color modes, but you have to toggle the power to switch between the modes.  ( LED Pool light can be found at http://www.ledpoollights.net/ ) So I got a remote, the “Aeon Labs DSA03202 v1 – Z-Wave Minimote“.  I tried to pair the remote directly with the light, but i think it wouldnt let me since it was already paired with the VeraLite Z-Wave controller. I need to research this and see if this is true.  So instead I associated the Remote as a new “MiniMote” device with the VeraLite, and create a scene to turn on and off the POOL LIGHT only.

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The Minimote turns ON/OFF lights in 0.5-2 seconds, which is much more usable. Yay!

Whole Home Power Monitoring:

I have a Rainforest Eagle ZigBee to Ethernet bridge which the VeraLite can monitor for whole house power usage it reads from the SoCal Edison Power meter.  Here is the Veralite Forum thread on the plugin

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I havent found a good use for the Whole House energy monitoring, but if I ever do, the data is now there.

Aiden’s 2013 Specialized Hotrock 20 6-speed

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Found the bike on craigslist for $160 obo, and got it for $150.

 

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Comparing size of 16″ to 20″ bikesIMG_7566 IMG_7598 IMG_7599

Upgrading Aiden’s handlebar since it is scratched and heavy steel. Original Bar, stem and brake levers weighed 1020g. The bar was also 24″ wide.

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New Raceface Ride Stem, Bar and Avid Fr-5 brake levers weigh 541g. I cut the bar down to 21″, which seemed like a better width for Aiden.IMG_7600 IMG_7602 IMG_7603 IMG_7605   IMG_7608  IMG_7610 IMG_7611 IMG_7612 IMG_7613

2014 Niner Jet 9 Carbon – Orange

I decided to upgrade my Full Suspension bike to Carbon.  Found a good deal on Backcountry.com for a 2014 Niner Jet 9 Carbon large frame in orange, about $1450 after discounts.

The plan initially was to just move everything I upgraded on the Camber to the Jet 9, which I did when I first got the frame.

 

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2014 Niner Jet 9 Carbon – Large weighs in at 5lbs 6oz. (with PF30 to BSA adapter installed in BB)

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Took me about 5 hours to move over everything to the Jet 9.      IMG_7091 IMG_7092 IMG_7093 IMG_7094 IMG_7095 IMG_7096 IMG_7097 IMG_7098

So with Shimano XT 2×10 groupset and Easton Haven wheels, it weighed in at 26 lbs 10oz.IMG_7100

Road the bike in Hurricane, Utah at Gooseberry Mesa and it performed well.  But once I got back to LA, I ended up ordering a XX1/XO1 groupset.

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First issue was removing the PF30 to BSA adapter.  I read that it is permanent when installed in a carbon frame.  However, I found the original manual from he bracket I ordered (GXP30 Bottom Bracket Adapter), and it said the adapter can be removed with a Park Tool BBT-90. I ended up using a half-round punch and tapped it in a circle, and it looks like it was installed with grease (not loctite), so it came out easy.

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Used a BB30 press to push in the SRAM PF30 BB in with ease.

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Once the BB was in, assembly of the XX1/XO1 groupset took about 2 hours.

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Final weigh in, with a mix of XX1/XO1 groupset is 25lbs 7 oz.IMG_7513 IMG_7514

UPDATE May 2016: Hairline crack in rear triangle.  Niner warranty covered it, and replaced it with a JET 9 RDO frame.

 

Butterfly Labs 4.5GH/s Jalapeno Bitcoin miner

 

I Pre-ordered a Jalapeno Bitcoining device from Butterfly Labs back on December 11, 2012.  It has now arrived on August 19, 2013.  It came in a nice professional box as seen below.IMG_3921

So now time to try it out.

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I got it installed via USB and it’s own power supply.  I was able to get the EasyMiner software from ButterFly Labs at: http://butterflylabs.com/drivers/

first I tried using deepbit.net as my bitcoining pool, but it kept timing out getting new work, so I moved to a new pool https://eclipsemc.com/ which is the default pool in the EasyMiner software. After running it for 24 hrs I was able to average 5.19GH/s. Using a Kill-A-Watt meter i have found that it uses 15watts when idle and 30watts when active.

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I’m putting it up on ebay to see how much someone is willing to pay for one.  The average price is around $600-800, but there are instances of $1000+ that it sells, so I’ll start at the top-end. In the meantime, I’ll let it run, which is averaging 0.05btc per day, which is $5 per day at 8/20/2013 exchange rate ($120/btc).

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2011 Specialized Camber Elite 29er – upgrades

Here is a photo the day I bought it (Jan, 20, 2012)

Here are the upgrade up to this point:

  1. Wheel World in Culver City (where I orginally bought the bike) was kind enough to upgrade the wheels for me at no extra charge, when the specialized wheels were making a grinding noise in the freewheel (probably from sand), so they gave me Azonics Outlaw 29inch Wheels, more of a down-hiller wheel, heavy but stronger then the stock ones.
  2. The Specialized Rocca grips wore out, so I first tried the Ergon GP2, which were ok, but my hands felt trapped, so I moved to ODI Rogue grips instead. Here are some pictures with the new ODI grips and the original Avid Elixir 3 RL brakes.  I liked the Elixir’s until I tried the Shimano XT brakes.  The XT brakes are very sensitive, and very easy to do one finger braking.
  3. Upgraded the tires from The Captain Control 29×2.25 front and Captain Sport 29×2.1 rear to Swalbe Nobby Nic Evo SnakeSkin’s, 29×2.35 on front, and 29×2.25 on rear.

The next upgrade is the seatpost, I got a 2012 RockShox Reverb 30.9mmx420mm dropper post.

And now for the big upgrade, converting the 3×9 drivetrain to 2×10. Here is what I upgraded:

  • Shimano XT brakes (BL-M785-B)
  • XT Shifters (SL-M780B-I)
  • XT Cassette (CS-M771-10)
  • XT Chain (CN-HG94)
  • XT Rear Derailleur (RD-M786-SGS Silver) with shadow plus, which prevents chain slap.

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I got the I-Spec XT Shifters (SL-M780B-I) to mount on the XT Brake Levers (BR-M785-B).  I have now learned that there are 2 types of I-Spec “Conventional” and “New” (aka Type B), I got the new Type B, which is a bit strange, and doesnt secure tightly.  Not sure if there is an issue, or if it was designed to be that way.

I called Shimano and was told I’d need to send it in for them to fix the I-Spec loose issue, but if I wanted to put a washer in there instead, it’d be fine and not void the warranty. So I did the washer approach, maybe I’ll send it in later.

EDIT 8/13/2012: After playing around with the washers, and wiggling the I-Spec mount alot, the mount now tightens up without adding the washer – so it seem you just have to work it a while to get rid of the looseness.

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I got them all installed on Aug 8,2013. So now The Camber is mostly XT, (except for the Deore Crankset, and SLX Front Derailleur). I’ll wait on the Crankset and Front Derailleur for if/when I get a new frame.

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EDIT 08/13/2013:  Took out the bike for the first time on the Fullerton loop and had a bad shift on a steep climb, and broke the chain.  I dont like how Shimano chains doesnt use quicklinks, my next 10 speed chain will be a SRAM. Otherwise, the shifting was really clean 90% of the time. The XT Brake were noticeably easier on the hand then the Elixir 3’s. I look forward to some long decents to really try them out.

EDIT 08/20/2013: Finished upgrade to Full XT M785 Groupset. The remaining pieces that needed upgrade include:

  • XT FC-M785 24/38t Silver Crankset
  • SM-BB70 bottom bracket
  • XT FD-M785-E2 (E-Type)  double front derailleur.

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If you wonder if there is a difference between the 38 chainring on the 24/38t vs. 26/38t, the answer is YES. Here is a photo showing the difference (24/38t – AM on left, 26/38t – AK on right):

FC-M785 24/38t and 26/38t chainring comparisonThe shimano pdf shows different part numbers for them too, Y1ML98040 (Chainring 38T-AM) and Y1MK98020 (Chainring 38T-AK)

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Here it is, with the Full XT groupset installed:

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Edit 12/07/2013: New Rear Shock

Upgraded the rear shock due to leakage issues.  I tried replacing the seals on the RockShox Ario, but it continued to leak.  Found a 2013 Fox Float CTD 7.785″ x 2.0″ new take-off from the local LBS.  The rear suspension feels much tighter now, I’m really impressed with the new shock.

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Edit 01/10/2014: New Enduro FSR Bushing and Fox Evolution Float RL Front Fork

Ordered a new set of bearings from www.enduroforkseals.com for $52, and getting them installed at LBS, since a bearing puller and press are needed.

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Turns out that the 2011 Camber 29 kit comes with 4x 6900, and I needed the 4x 6800 instead.  I called enduroforkseals.com, and they said that the 2012 Camber kit would have had 6800 instead of 6900. They are sending the 4x 6800’s for free.  Camber-Enduro-6900 Bearings-too-big

I got the new bushings in and they work fine.  It turns out that the documentation is incorrect on and should be the same as the 2012 Camber…so it wasnt Enduro’s fault, they just sent me what Specialized put in the document.

Other new upgrades:

  • 2013 Fox Float 100 RL 29 Front Fork

Camber with New Fork

And a few more upgrades:

  • 2013 Specialized Henge Expert 143mm
  • 2013 Easton EC70 XC Riser Bar 685mm
  • 2014 Race Face Ride Mountain Bike Stem 31.8mm, 6-degreex70mm
  • NewStemandHandleBar

Edited 8/26/2014: upgrade wheels to 2012 Easton Haven’s for $375 (bought off pinkbike.com).

2012 Easton Haven wheels Easton Havens on Camber Easton Haven on Camber 2

 

Installing the Haven’s and going tubeless got the weight of my bike down to 29lbs 14oz. This is the lightest that this bike has ever been.  The bike weighed 31.5lbs with the Azonics wheels and tubed tires.IMG_6050

Virtual Cockpit Upgrades: Monitor Mount and Saitek Radio and Multi Panels

I’ve upgraded my cockpit a little bit.  I installed a 4 Monitor mounting bracket from amazon for $88. I cleared up my desk so I can fit more on it. I used a board to screw the yoke, throttle, trim and Radio and Multi panel to it.  This make it easily to remove the yoke without needing to clamp everything down.  I put a few rubber feet on the bottom of the board to keep it from sliding around.

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I also got a Saitek PRO Flight Multi Panel and Radio Panel

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