Posted Mon 20 May 2013
Posted Sun 19 May 2013
I was reading my Adventure Motorcycle Maintenance Manual last night while Emmelie De Forest from Denmark was singing her way through Only Teardrops on EUROVISION.TV in the background and I began wondering to myself by the end -
Does it matter if something goes wrong on an Adventure Trip?
I mean, it's meant to be an Adventure after all. Which means, exciting things may happen!
While I was wading through page after page of my Adventure Motorcycle Maintenance Manual, worrying about all the things that I must consider bringing, well it looked like I might need a trailer connected to the rear of the Suzuki Inazuma GW250 to drag it all with me!!
What is the worst thing that can happen?
- I get a tyre puncture?
- I turned the ignition key a bit too much to the left when I last switched off and drained the battery flat because I had left the Inazuma on its parking lights?
- The rear wheel bearing suddenly fails and seizes up unexpectedly?
- The electrics start smoking and catch fire right underneath me?
The draining the battery flat bit, at least!
It was a disaster! The worst thing of all was that I was ready to go with all my protective gear on and an important appointment to keep. It could not have happened at a worse time!
Incidentally, if you find the battery flat, bump-starting the Inazuma by running down the road, jumping on and then dropping the clutch into 2nd gear is just NOT going to work - I have tried it!
You see, I must have made the mistake of turning the ignition key too far to the left when I switched off the night before and left the Inazuma on the parking lights. But I don't think that it was the headlights being on all the time that stopped me starting the Inazuma. It was the fact that the battery was completely and utterly discharged.
Dead! Zero volts! No indication anywhere! Zero life! Absolutely nothing! Zilcho!
In fact, I only managed to get the Inazuma started after I went to a neighbour across the road cleaning his car and connected a pair of Jump Leads, that he had in the boot of his car, between the battery of the Inazuma and the battery of his car (a reminder to myself - connect +ve to +ve, -ve to -ve).
After I connected the Jump Leads, I pressed the Starter Button on the Inazuma and it burst into life! So I disconnected the jump leads from the battery and now, guess what?
The Inazuma stopped running!
So, I re-connected the Jump Leads and started the Inazuma again. The moment I disconnected the Jump Leads, the Inazuma stopped running again. In addition, I noticed that the Inazuma was sounding quite rough and I had to keep the throttle a quarter of the way around to keep the engine running otherwise it would stop. The flat battery was really affecting the running of the Inazuma!
OK. So, I will leave the Jump Leads connected for around 2 minutes. After 2 minutes, the Inazuma sounded like it was running OK (not rough at all), so I disconnected the Jump Leads and the Inazuma kept on running (yippee!), this time without needing to keep the throttle on.
A lesson there, for me! What I think is unlikely to happen on a trip, may just happen!
Consequently, I will definitely bring a pair of thick electrical wires (red and black) with me, on my trip to Spain, in case I get a flat battery on the trip and a car driver of biker might be passing by to help me to get the Inazuma started again.
But the question now for me is -
Should I bring a pair of spare Jubilee Clips - just in case the ones on the coolant hoses snap and fly off??
Well on my trip to Spain, if something does go wrong, I could, of course, just walk down the road to the nearest village, walk into an inviting cafe, sit down at a table, order a nice cappuccino coffee and just accept something -
One must stop worrying about things. One can only do what one can. Life will go on.
Posted Thu 16 May 2013
Source: Indian Cars Bikes - 2013 Suzuki Inazuma GW250 Spyshot Top
Source: Indian Cars Bikes - 2013 Suzuki Inazuma GW250 Spyshot Profile
Source: Indian Cars Bikes - 2013 Suzuki Inazuma GW250 Spyshot Front
Source: Indian Cars Bikes - 2013 Suzuki Inazuma GW250 Spyshot Rear
Further to my post last March, The Suzuki Inazuma GW250 is to be sold in India, I noted today that the Facebook page of GEARS (Goan Enthusiasts And RiderS) reports that a Suzuki Inazuma GW250 has been spotted in Goa and claim that it may have been starring in a Suzuki commercial leading to speculation that Suzuki may soon be starting sales of the Inazuma in India after long months of waiting for Indian Inazuma fans for some news of when this great motorcycle might hit their high street.
Indian Cars Bikes notes that there were 2 major giveaways that this possible Inazuma commercial may be targeted for a future Indian market:
- A number plate holder above the headlight
- The presence of a legally-required Saree guard
Readers from Europe, yes, 0.20 mil. or 2,00,000 is how 200,000 is written in Goa - don't get confused - and I haven't mentioned the alternatively-used Goan currency unit of Lac or Crore yet!
100 Lakhs = 10 Lacs = 1 Crore = Rp. 10 mil (10 million). See Rupee Nomenclature.
Anyway, for more news about the Inazuma in India, watch this space!
Posted Thu 16 May 2013
Andy has just passed by Black Inazuma Adventures to kindly let me know that the Givi SR3103 Rack, that I first mentioned about in April in my post Givi Rack & Pannier Holder, has now arrived on the market and is available from Accessori Moto Store in Italy. It is priced on the Accessori Moto Store website at € 46.50 EUR (£39.30) which is a very good price even with delivery costs added on top. Many thanks for the information, Andy!
Accessori Moto Store also stock the Givi MONOLOCK® B47 Blade Tech Top Case to fit the Givi SR3103 Rack for € 131.00 EUR (£110.66). Note that the Givi MONOLOCK® B47 Blade Tech Top Case is listed on the Accessori Moto Store website as having a maximum load limit of 3 kg (6.6 lb) despite its large capacity of 47 litres. This large Top Case can store 2 full face helmets.
Posted Mon 13 May 2013
Problem: I can't see my Sat-Nav screen in bright sunshine nor hear the audio when I'm riding.
Solution: Make a Sat-Nav Audio Mixer to pass the audio to a pair of earphones!
I have thought for some time about the problem I have of reading my TomTom XXL Classic Sat-Nav in the sunshine. I have the TomTom Sat-Nav inside the clear lid of my magnetic tank bag but even with an elaborate array of sunshine shielding cardboard pieces and the TomTom Sat-Nav brightness set to maximum, I can still barely make out the routing displayed on the screen!
At night-time, of course, there's no problem. I thought about buying a RAM mount for the TomTom Sat-Nav but I feel the cost of the parts is prohibitive and I'm not convinced that I would see the screen well in bright sunshine anyway.
What would be useful would be to hear the Sat-Nav navigation instructions in my earphones that I use for listening to the local weather reports and French Autoroute Traffic Info on FM Radio (107.7 MHz) on my Samsung Galaxy Y (Android operating system) Mobile Phone. Unfortunately, my Samsung Mobile Phone has a stereo audio output to the earphones while the TomTom has a mono audio output to a small speaker at the rear of the unit and there's no simple cable adaptor available that I can use to join the audio signals together.
The other problem, I completely overlooked, is that my TomTom XXL Classic has no earphone socket anyway!
Since the TomTom has no warranty left on it, I thought I would add a 3.5mm stereo socket somewhere inside the TomTom Sat-Nav to route the Sat-Nav audio to my earphones. The problem now would be that I would only be listening to good old 'Kate' on the TomTom telling me her navigation routing instructions but I would not be able to hear my Mobile Phone at the same time.
What I really needed was an audio mixer as well as an audio output socket on my TomTom Sat-Nav. So I set about designing a Circuit Diagram (Schematic) of a mono to stereo audio mixer using TinyCAD and my background of electronics.
Sat-Nav Audio Mixer - Circuit Diagram (Schematic)
TOMTOM SAT-NAV MODIFICATION
Next, I took the TomTom Sat-Nav apart by gently removing the label from below the TomTom, unscrewing the 2 Torx screws and then carefully prising the two sides of the TomTom apart. I found a place to the left of the USB Socket to fit a 3.5mm Switched Stereo Socket so I very carefully drilled a 6mm hole and fitted the spare socket that I had available using Araldite Extra Strong Rapid Adhesive to hold it in place.
The red and black speaker wires were then cut and connected to the switched contacts of the 3.5mm Switched Stereo Socket as shown in the Circuit Diagram (Schematic) above. Finally, I connected the red and black wires from the TomTom PCB to the 3.5mm Switched Stereo Socket (see below for a pin-out diagram of the socket used, Maplin Code: FK20W).
The speaker wires were connected to the switched contacts because I wanted the speaker sound to cut out when a 3.5mm stereo plug is inserted into the socket to pass the Sat-Nav audio to the Sat-Nav Audio Mixer.
Sat-Nav Audio Mixer - 3.5mm Switched Stereo Socket fitted to TomTom Sat-Nav
SAT-NAV AUDIO MIXER PARTS
Next I put out all the parts that I was going to use. I already had some 3.5mm Stereo Sockets, a grey Plastic Box and the LT700 Miniature Audio Transformer so I only had to buy 2 audio cables from my local electronics store, Maplin Electronics.
For anyone considering making this Sat-Nav Audio Mixer, it's best to use the components I listed above in the Parts List or get similar components from a local electronics store.
The Plastic Box 1 (N78BQ) in the Parts List is not grey but actually black but they do stock a grey one too (SC78K) and a grey one was the one I had available in my components box so I used it! A black box would have been better!
Sat-Nav Audio Mixer - Parts
SAT-NAV AUDIO MIXER WIRING
I got my 48W Soldering Iron out and soldered all the parts together according to the Circuit Diagram (Schematic) that I had prepared earlier. I cut the blue wire off the LT700 Minature Audio Transformer as it is not needed.
Sat-Nav Audio Mixer - Wiring
For those of you who might want to fit a 3.5mm Switched Stereo Socket inside your own Sat-Nav, here's a photo to show the pins to be used if using a Maplin-type socket, code FK20W. This socket is also known as PJ3024M in Asia.
Sat-Nav Audio Mixer - 3.5mm Switched Stereo Socket (Maplin Code: FK20W)
The switched tip pin and switched ring pin are used ONLY for the socket inside the Sat-Nav (shown in the Circuit Diagram above as J4). These extra pins are not used for J1, J2 & J3 so you can, if you want, just use normal 3.5mm stereo sockets for J1, J2 & J3. Since the price is almost the same, I put the same socket type in the Parts List for all of them to keep the buying simple.
In my TomTom Sat-Nav, the red Speaker wire goes to the switched tip pin of the socket, the black Speaker wire to the switched ring pin, the red wire from the PCB to the tip pin and the black wire from the PCB to the ring pin. The shell pin is not used. Most Sat-Navs on the market will be wired up a similar way if they have an internal speaker.
Note that socket J1 in the Sat-Nav Audio Mixer and socket J4 in the Sat-Nav does not have the shell pin connected.
SAT-NAV AUDIO MIXER SETUP
Sat-Nav Audio Mixer - Setup
So here's the final setup of the Sat-Nav Audio Mixer waiting to be fitted into the tank bag of my Suzuki Inazuma GW250 for my journey to Spain this June.
Well, it works brilliantly with my Sennheiser CX300 II Precision Black Earphones! I set the volume of my TomTom XXL Classic Sat-Nav to around 65% and the Samsung Galaxy Y Mobile Phone media volume from between 25% to 50% depending on what I am listening to. Obviously, if you play loud music on your Mobile Phone (safety warning!!), you will have to set the volume on your Sat-Nav louder.
The left and right stereo audio from the Mobile Phone with Sat-Nav Audio Mixer sounds as good as same as when the earphones are plugged in directly and the female voice from the TomTom Sat-Nav appears exactly in the centre of the audio sound field (ie: she's heard in the middle of the head!).
No batteries are required for anything as both the TomTom XXL Classic Sat-Nav and the Samsung Galaxy Y Mobile Phone are powered from the 2 USB Cables plugged into the Universal In-Car Mini DC to Twin USB Adaptor in the 12V Inline Lighter Socket (15A-fused) that I fitted inside my Suzuki Inazuma GW250 back in February this year (see my post Best Motorcycle Sat-Nav for more information on how to fit a 12V Inline Lighter Socket (15A-fused) to a Suzuki Inazuma GW250 or Suzuki GSR250).
If you have a specific Sat-Nav setup on which you would like me to comment on the suitability of the Sat-Nav Audio Mixer, please drop me an email. Thanks!