What Headset Fits My Bike?

The headset of a bicycle is, in simplest terms, the part of the bike that allows the steering column and front wheel to rotate and turn. It is, therefore, fairly important to the general running of a bike (as we’re sure you’ll agree!)

A bicycle headset generally consists of two cups that are pressed to the top and bottom of the headtube, there are bearings inside the cups that provide low friction contact between the cup and the steerer. This setup allows the rider to be able to steer and operate the bike with maximum efficiency.

Today’s bikes use lots of different headset styles, so we’ll take you through a few of the most common ones (because we’re nice like that).

  1. Threaded Headsets – These headsets are the most simple and ‘classic’ of all headsets. They were once nearly ubiquitous, but times have moved on since then. According to ParkTool.com, “The “threaded” in the name refers to the external threading at the top of the fork steering column. Bearing cups are pressed into the bike head tube. The bearings, which may be loose ball bearings, retainer ball bearings, or cartridge bearings, sit above and below the pressed races. The top most bearing-race has internal threading, and is held in place by a threaded locknut. The stem has no effect on the headset adjustment”.
  2. Threadless Headsets – Threadless headsets are actually quite similar to their threaded cousins, with one major difference (and you’ll probably see this one coming), there is no threading. According to ParkTool, “The top race uses an internal centering sleeve on the column to maintain alignment to the bearing cup. Pressure is applied to the top race from the stem. Threadless Headsets must use a compatible stem that matches the steering column diameter. The stem binds to the outside of the column, and holds the top race in adjustment. The threadless standards are 1-inch and 1-1/8 inch diameter steering column.”
  3. Low Profile Headsets – Alternately known as ‘Integrated Headsets’, ‘Internal Headsets’ and ‘Zero Stack Headsets’ (amongst others), these headsets use pressure frame cups to secure the bearings. “The cups have a flange, or lip, and sit adjacent to the outer edge of the top and bottom of the headtube. The headtube is a relatively large outside diameter, approximately 50mm, and cups allow the bearings to sit flush or even inside the headtube. The headset bearings sit “internally” to the top and bottom of the headtube. Some models use a cup that holds a cartridge bearing. The cartridge bearing is a slip fit into the cups. The cups act as a bearing holder and do not take bearing movement or wear directly. Other types have the cartridge bearing and cup/holder as a unit. These are simply replaced as a unit when it is worn out. Still another version of this type uses a cup and cone system with caged ball bearings, similar to the conventional threadless headsets”.

Of course, its up to you to decide which of these styles best suites you and your bike.

SOURCES

http://www.parktool.com/blog/repair-help/headset-standards

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Headset_(bicycle_part

What Gives Kevlar Its Strength?

You mean besides reinforcing the tyres on the Batmobile? (True Bat-Fact – look it up).

For those not in the know, Kevlar (or Poly-paraphenylene terephthalamide, to give the material its scientific name) is a very tough and durable man-made fibre. It was first developed in 1965 by Polish-American scientist Stephanie Kwolek and has been commercially used around the world since the early 1970’s. Today, Kevlar is available in several grades, which are used for different tasks and exhibit greater, or lesser, tensile strength as well as flexibility and tenacity.

Since its introduction in 1971, Kevlar has been used for body armour (i.e. bullet proof vests), army helmets/protective gear, car and bicycle tyres (I once had a set, actually), protective clothing, paraglider suspension lines, shoe tread, headphones, musical instruments (strings and drumskins), fire resistant clothing, kitchenware (for its non-stick properties), cables and ropes, brake pads in cars, smartphone casing and even wind-turbines.

According to DuPont, Kevlar’s parent company,

“It’s about resilience, strength, saving the day, and helping keep people safe from harm —DuPont™ Kevlar®. DuPont™ Kevlar® aramid fiber is used to make a variety of clothing, accessories, and equipment safe and cut resistant. It’s lightweight and extraordinarily strong, with five times the strength of steel on an equal-weight basis. Best known for its use in ballistic and stab-resistant body armor, Kevlar® brand aramid fiber has shown its own heroism in helping to save the lives of thousands of people around the world. And since its invention over 40 years ago, things have only gotten better. DuPont™ Kevlar® continues to take on new challenges, with our scientists continuously innovating and working on a range of new opportunities through collaborations with communities, industrial manufacturers, and governments. Together we’re bringing the strength and durability of Kevlar® to so much more. The result? Kevlar® aramid fiber is now successfully used in everything from vehicles and industrial clothing to fiber optics and city roads. And we’re only getting started”.

The discovery of this wonderful material is actually quite an interesting story. Back in 1964, Kwolek’s group was searching for a way to make tyres stronger, but also a little bit lighter. Apparently, the by-products of their solutions were usually thrown away, but Kwolek saw potential in one of them, as it had formed a type of liquid crystal, something that had never been seen in their polymers before. She tested the strength of the new material and discovered that it was extremely strong. The rest, as they say, is Wikipedia.

Oh, Happy New Year, by the way! 🙂

Examples of Privileged Communications?

‘Privileged communication’ is a legal term, applied in many Western countries (including both mine and yours, unless I’m very much mistaken), that applies to any interaction that is required, by law, to remain confidential.

Critically, the law cannot force disclosure in these cases and the party that initially started the communication has the legal right to stop the second party from revealing any information pertaining to the discussion, even in a court of law.

According to ‘Investopedia.com’,

“Typically, privileged communications refer to communications between attorney and client, accountant and client, doctor or therapist and patient, priest and parishioner or husband and wife (and, in some states, reporters and their sources). The recipient of the information must keep the communication private, unless the privilege is waived by the discloser of the information.

There are conditions that must be met in order to preserve the confidential status of these communications. First, the communication must be between people in a legally recognized protected relationship. Next, the communication must take place in a private setting, where the communicators have a reasonable expectation of confidentiality (like a private office). Lastly, the privileged status of the communication is lost if or when the communication is shared with a third party that is not part of the protected relationship (however, agents of the recipient of the information – such as an accountant’s secretary or a doctor’s nurse – would generally not be considered a third party that defeats the privileged status of the communication)”.

I must point out at this time that the ‘Hey, Chris’ column is NOT an example of privileged communication. In fact, in my entire life, I severely doubt that anyone who has ever had a conversation with me has ever felt ‘privileged’ about it in any way. SOB!

How did people communicate with each other 100 years ago?

Asked by Barbara from Basingstoke

 

Hi Barbara from Basingstoke (I like that, it has a nice ring to it), 

I presume you mean to ask me how people communicated over long distances, because otherwise the answer would simply be ‘they talked to each other, just as they do today’. I’ll give you the benefit of the doubt, but please be more specific in future! (Kidding!)

OK, so 100 years ago, in 1914, the telephone was still in its infancy, relatively speaking. 99 years ago, Thomas Watson made the first coast-to-coast phone call in America, so that should give you some idea of where the telephone was, development wise.

However, the invention had been patented since 1876 and 1877 had seen the first long-distance phone call placed. But by and large, telephones were not an overly common part of people’s lives the way they are now.

More common was the telegraph, which had been knocking around for a while by then. People in official positions tended to use that, but it wouldn’t have been a fixture of regular people’s houses.

Far more common than telephone or telegraph was the postal service. In 1914, if you wanted to contact a friend, relative, or loved one, you wrote to them. The working classes were better educated than at any other time in history (up to that point) and literacy was improving (although it certainly wasn’t at the near-ubiquitous level of today). Letters took a long time to arrive by today’s standards, so they tended to be longer and more absorbing than, say, a Facebook chat is today. In fact, intellectuals, authors and politicians would often engage themselves in long-winded and exhaustive intellectual contests via thorough, essay-length correspondences.

Another option would have been to speak via mutual acquaintances. Literature of the period frequently involves friends using a mutual friend in order to carry on a long-distance discussion and it is my understanding that this was quite a common practice. Interestingly, this may very well have shaped the development of certain customs in society (such as ‘good manners’ vs. ‘bad manners’ regarding correspondence etiquette). With our communication methods of today being so vastly different, it remains to be seen how our society will come to reflect this. 

Why do secret service guys wear those earpieces with the coiled wires instead of something less conspicuous?

That’s actually a pretty good question. Good quality wireless earpieces are available, affordable and would be far more inconspicuous than the classic ‘wired’ models. So why don’t the secret service make their presence a little more, well, secret?

The main reason is largely psychological in nature (though there will be a technical component later on). You see, if a potential troublemaker looks into a crowd and sees nobody there that he/she identifies with as a threat, then said troublemaker will be far more likely to start making trouble. However, if they notice secret service guys using their trademark earpieces, then they might think twice about it and a lot of unpleasantness can actually be avoided.

To you or I (assuming that you aren’t a troublemaker?), the secret service guys are just that, they usually appear to protect someone or something, so we ought to have no reason to fear them. Ergo, they stand out just enough to deter the would-be troublemakers, but not so much that they frighten the rest of us or distract from whatever proceedings we happen to be, um, proceeding with.

If you’re sitting there saying, “hang on, what happens if they want to sneak up on someone?” then my answer is still the same, expect that I would imagine that the secret service would put two or three agents within visual distance of a suspect and then ‘herd’ the troublemaker towards other agents in the vicinity. I have no evidence (or experience, I’m grateful to say), to back that up, but it seems reasonable to me to do it that way.

Now, onto the technical part: wireless communication, whilst it has improved greatly in the last few years, is still not as reliable as the more old fashioned forms of ‘wired’ communication. Wireless communication can be subject to signal interference, as well as suffering from a more limited bandwidth.

Finally, wireless communications gobble up battery power far more than their wired counterparts, so for tasks that may last for several long hours at a time, long battery life is a must.

When the wireless technology improves, I suspect that the secret service will make the leap, but I also suspect that they’ll keep the coil, for the reasons stated above.

Also, as an added extra – if you’re wondering why they touch their ears when they receive a message (much to my fellow Brit James Bond’s chagrin), well, that’s because pushing the earpiece into your ear drowns out background noise and also makes the message louder. They simply do it for sound clarity when receiving important information. 

What sorts of things do agents take with them once they’re on an assignment outside the office?

You would think that the U . s . FBI (being the United states secret service and all) would have access to an earpiece a little cooler that just the conventional ‘curly cable’ job, wouldn’t you?

If forced, I have to state that I tend to imagine some old fella, like Desmond Llewelyn in the Bond films, (or even a younger model like Ben Whishaw from ‘Skyfall’) making all the gadgets himself after which explaining them to the agents before they go out and protector the President’s life. Continue reading

Keeping Up With Current Events – 2 Way Radios in Events Management

From cultural events celebrating the diverse mosaic of British identity, to barnstorming rock n roll gigs, events management is a huge area to be involved in.

The term ‘event’ can be somewhat misleading, because technically everything is an event. Actually, when you look at it like that, maybe it isn’t so misleading after all…

When we use the term event, we could be talking about an indoor conference just as easily as a political rally. Athletic contests, art exhibitions, magic shows; if people attend it, it’s an event, and if it’s an event; it needs a manager. Continue reading

Does Wearing Headphones Increase the Amount of Bacteria in your Ears?

So, the short answer to your question is that anything you put in your ear will increase the bacteria levels present, simply by sheer dint of the introduction of a foreign object to your ear. You can consider this to also be true for cotton buds, earplugs and, of course, your index finger. Microorganisms tend to reproduce well in hot and humid environments and the ear, like the mouth and nose, certainly have all the right conditions for a germ-orgy of sorts (sorry for the image). Continue reading

Icom Launch New Training Aids for VHF/SRC Radio Instructors

Editorial – Many individuals would not know a lot about DSC technology, but it’s a safety system built into 2 way radios, mainly in marine and sea communications, as of the increase in use of smaller and individual boats on the rivers. As an island this tech is becoming more and more popular, the tech is linked to your boat in case of an tragedy, more facts can be found from this icom uk blog.

DSC technology is becoming more widely used today and it is important for potential users to see how it works and to be trained in its use. To this end, Icom UK have now added their latest range of VHF/DSC radios to their VHF/SRC training simulator range. The models now available for instructors to purchase include the IC-M423 Fixed Mount VHF/DSC Transceiver and for the first time from Icom, a Handheld VHF/DSC in the form of the IC-M91D. Both training simulators provide a real ‘hands on’ experience of both voice and DSC message sending and receiving, in the classroom without causing interference. Both models share a new easy to use interface which is easy to learn, meaning that trainees will be able to understand the basics of two way radio quickly. Ian Lockyer, Marketing Manager of Icom UK Ltd, said, ’When choosing the Icom IC-M423 VHF/SRC training simulator, the instructor will receive two fully modified radios that will communicate via the cabling so that it is unlikely to cause any interference to other users nearby . This enables the trainee to send ‘live’ distress and voice calls without alerting any other radios. Both units come with an interconnecting cable up to 20 metres in length, which is ideal for any training environment. The IC-M91D is supplied with an adapter and a cable to allow it to communicate with the fixed sets.’ To help trainees further understand the need for DSC, Icom has a new microsite dedicated to Handheld DSC radio. The new website sheds light on this relatively new marine technology. It explains what DSC Handheld VHF radios are, where they can be used and why boat owners need one. It also answers several questions about the ownership and registration of DSC handheld radio in an informative FAQ section. To go to this new site, click on www.dschandheld.com. The microsite will provide a handy resource for both instructors and students alike. Ian, said, ‘Customer reaction has been incredibly positive to our recently launched IC-M91D Buoyant VHF/DSC Handheld with GPS. However we have had lots of questions regarding where and how they can be used. So we decided to put all our information on an informative microsite.’ Icom Marketing: marketing@icomuk.co.uk

02/11/2012

 

Source – http://www.icomuk.co.uk/categoryRender.asp?r=rssFeed&categoryID=3508&cCID=17736

Are there thomson wireless headphones that could play audio from my ipad, PC, Mac, and PS3?

The Net has actually altered our lives. In fact, it is nowadays easier than ever before to talk with the rest of the planet. Though, this new interconnectivity has come at quite a steep price. In order to possess the globe at our fingertips, we tend to need to spend long hrs perched in front of a laptop.

Some days, this seems like a good trade-off and some days it doesn’t. Though, whether you are catching up about the most up-to-date streamed concert from your favourite group, or hosting a meeting call to the United states, or attending a Webinar, you no longer need to spend several hours sat on that bum and gazing wistfully out of that window. Continue reading