Steinberger R-Trem or "Overlord Of Music" instructions

Preamble:

I recently purchased a headless straight-thru guitar with an "Overlord of Music" locking vibrato bridge. I assume it is "Maestro" in Mandarin, before going thru Google Translate.
This one works with single ball end strings.
It is a very good system (very sensitive, and stays in tune well), but it is easy to see why people have trouble with it.

Hardware Setup:

First of all, the bridge has a module that comes off, and a bracket screwed to the guitar. On my guitar the wood-metal interface seemed to have been routed by a Canadian beaver after a few Molson Lites. And not refinished, bare wood.
The beaver is on paid administrative leave
They did rout a monkey grip, the monkey was the better craftsman.
Also the tuning mechanism was stiff, and removed skin from my thumb.
So, like a rifle, you need to fill the gaps twixt wood and steel with cola can aluminium, or epoxy (JB Weld, put kitchen film or cooking spray or Liquid Wrench over the metal so it isn't permanently stuck.). If you fail to bed the bracket and lube the internals, something will break or wear out. Grease the knife edge.

PDF - Disassembly of a Steinberger R-Trem for cleaning.

Unscrew the bridge saddles until they fall out. You don't have to open the whole thing up.

Grease them up. Reassemble. Or at least spray some lube in there.
Don't fully remove the "Master Tune Knob", you can strip the thread getting it back in.

Tuning: 

PDF - Steinberger R-Trem Instructions

Lock the bridge, tune up. If the bridge jumps up when you release the lock, tighten the "Master Tune Knob" about half a turn. Repeat until the bridge does not jump up.
Get a skin graft or lube the tuners like I told you.

"I got blisters on ma fingas!" - Ringo with his new Steinberger

Bicycle helmet nose protector


If you hit the ground face-first on your bike, you are likely to break your nose and your teeth. Most helmets are of no help in this respect, although the airbag looks pretty good:
My Sportek helmet has a little visor, loosely attached by Velcro, which would provide a bit of protection:
Here I added a zip tie to hold it in place. When I whacked my nose I heard a noise which was probably the visor detaching from the Velcro. The zip tie holds the visor firmly in place and provides a facial crumple zone. Of course this will probably kill you in a accident, so don't do this.


Kronos replacement Rock Shox springs for my Mountain Bike

The US $44.99 EBay Kronos shock springs arrived today. My 1997 Rock Shox Judy XC shock absorbers had an elastomer (rubber) element that has disintegrated over the years. It was hard to clean out the corrosion and elastomer mush, but the Kronos springs are a drop-in replacement.
On the Internets, this seemed a difficult task, but it was just a matter of cleaning, lubing, and putting in a new spring. Actually there is just the longer spring in there, it is a 160lb spring and I am a dainty 140lb. The short spring has an adjustment feature to add extra spring force, but I don't think I need it.
I used Lucas Synthetic fork oil 5wt and Ultra Slick Synthetic teflon grease.


The lower fork innards
The other thing you have to do is open up the oil dampener black plastic tube in the right fork, and fill it with the 5wt oil. The part with the blue stripe has hole in it for the oil to flow through when you hit a bump, dampening the oscillation. It looks like there should be a piston, but there isn't. The patent has a piston. I wonder if it does anything, or is it just for show. The parts on the left fork do nothing, as far as I know.


So that was easier than expected.

Update:

Polyurethane Rubber Solid Rod Force Glue Stick PU Rods Self-defense Sticks 20mm(OD)x500mm(L) 1Pcs

A cheaper option is to buy a Polyurethane rod on aliExpress for $20, and cut it in half. I don't know if it is the same kind of polyurethane used in the original elastomers, but it might be OK for commuting thru potholes. A fork in the road I didn't take.

Yogi Berra: 'When you come to the fork in the road, take it!'



Duct taped Bicycle prototypical accessories, now with Black Ops inside!

I don't have a 3D printer, but they say Duct Tape and Cardboard Might Be a Better Option than a 3D Printer. 3D printers are copy and paste, real men use scissors, tape and wiley ingenuity.

Here is my cardboard and duct tape bicycle chain guard:
 Functional requirements:
  • protect trousers from chain
  • reduce upward splash from chain
  • allow easy access to the rear cog set and chain
  • not fall apart on the road

It is under-engineered, or 'minimalist'. But I quote:

"Contrary to popular belief, minimalism is about finding balance in your life not adhering to someone's else's set standard of how many items you should own or how you should organize and design your environment. It's a mindset that should allow you to pursue pleasure in life — within reason."

I submit that although isn't all about Asceticism, it is partly about duct tape. Here is the next build iteration, with extra stability and Black Ops stealth tape:

A stealth chain guard to go with my stealth kettle ("We searched for this product high and low," of course you did). It survived the trip to NoFrills, so testing is complete.

A Sharpie pen stuck in the handlebars with a blind spot mirror attached with Scotch tape:


It works, but the cars are a bit small. I will write "Objects in mirror are closer than they appear" on the glass as soon as I find my Sharpie.


Bike Theft Statistics in Canada

According to McGill University in Montreal, aboot half of all active Canadian cyclists have their bikes stolen. "My bike is too cheap to be worth stealing", you might say, wrongly:
van Lierop, D., Grimsrud, M., & El-Geneidy, A. (2015). Breaking into bicycle theft: Insights from Montreal, Canada. International Journal of Sustainable Transportation, 9(7), 490-501.

The cheaper your current bike, the more likely they are to steal it. That surprised me. Either cheap bikes have cheap locks, or expensive bikes don't get left in high-risk locations. Or both. 71% of high value bicycle owners used locks valued at more than $40 compared to only 47% of low value bicycle owners. Around 24% of high value bicycle owners keep their bicycles inside compared to only 13% of low value bicycle owners.

Of all stolen bicycles, only 2.4% had been recovered. Not one of the 22 stolen bicycles that were reported stolen, registered, and photographed had been recovered at the time of the survey. So don't hold your breath waiting for the Mounties to find your bike.

Locks:

Chain and cable locks users are over 10 times as likely to be theft victims as U-lock users:
van Lierop, D., Grimsrud, M., & El-Geneidy, A. (2015). Breaking into bicycle theft: Insights from Montreal, Canada. International Journal of Sustainable Transportation, 9(7), 490-501.
So that would support the "stolen bikes have bad locks" hypothesis. Since chain locks fare worse than cable locks, they must involve cheap chains with cheap padlocks. If locks are a major factor, that would be good news, since all you have to do is buy a better lock.

Tools used: (20.5%), report that their bicycle was simply picked up and moved, bolt cutters (10.3%), hacksaws (4.5%), and crowbars (2.3%). Mostly unknown.
Parts theft: Screwdrivers (8.5%), wrenches and Allen keys (4.1% each), but 51.5% of parts theft events described required only pulling the part(s) off.

There are 2 kinds of lock: "Sold Secure Gold" which is boltcutter proof, requiring an angle grinder to remove, and the cheaper locks that can be cut with bolt cutters or cable cutters.
I happen to use the ($32 on Amazon.ca) Sold Secure Gold Master Lock 8195D U-Lock featured in the video, so that is reassuring.

BBs, ball bearings, superglue and Bicycle Theft

Anti-theft hex nuts:

The headset on a bicycle holds the handlebars on and is usually held on by a hex key, so anyone can remove it and steal your handlebars. Some people suggest that you superglue in a ball bearing or BB pellet to make it impossible for a thief to remove:
This works so well that even you will have a hard time removing it, should you need to. Leaving you in a sticky situation, I'll wager.

An even more extreme solution is to fill the nut with JB Weld steel epoxy. This way it will be almost impossible for you to remove it when you want to, but super secure:
Only the top 10% is filled with JB Weld!
But... in the picture above 90% of the space is filled with aluminium foil, and only the top 10% filled with JB Weld. So you can get the small amount of epoxy out, and the foil comes out with a toothpick. But it looks like a permanent seal, and will resist casual poking with a screwdriver. This works on the seat nuts too, make sure they are super tight before you do this. Security through a cunning facade. 
To remove, I would drill a 5mm hole in the center of the epoxy, and flake off the remainder with a screwdriver.

I engraved my driving licence number on the frame too, with a Dremel mototool. It is very obvious.

How often will you get your bike stolen in Vancouver BC?

Vancouver leads the pack for bike commutes - Vancouver Sun
"Residents made 131,000 total cycling trips each day in 2015, according to the city’s survey."

Vancouver Police
"over 2000 bicyles are stolen in Vancouver every year."

With typical VPD efficiency (they can't even spell bicycle), we are informed that the number of bicycle thefts in Vancouver every year is greater than 2000, but less than infinity. So let's guess. They probably mean "reported stolen". Since homeowner's insurance may cover bike theft, let's say that 20% of bicycle thefts are reported, and 10,000 bicycles are stolen every year. This makes the math easier anyway.

So. If each cyclist averages 1 trip per day, there are 131,000 cyclists.
With 10,000 thefts per year, your bike gets stolen once every 13.1 years.

Since the number of thefts is a guess, maybe every 10-20 years is a reasonable estimate. So theft costs you $10 a year on a $200 bicycle. More expensive bikes are more likely to be stolen, presumably. However, the bikes that get stolen include bikes left unlocked, or locked with cable lock. Cable cutters cost $8.50 at Home Depot, and will go through a 1/4" cable in 1 snip. If your lock is hardened steel, you odds might be a little better.
Furthermore, some bicycles will be stolen from the home or from storage, rather than on a cycling trip. If you have a cheaper bike, and better security than average, you might go 30 years between thefts.
I would guesstimate: a commuter's bike gets stolen maybe once every 30 years.

I don't include the theft of wheels, seats and accessories in the $10 a year.

So it could be worse. (Irony update: I bought a $32 dollar "Sold Secure Gold" U-Lock lock from Amazon, it was supposed to have been delivered yesterday, I expect it was stolen)

One of my coworkers was killed cycling, which isn't statistically valid, but be careful out there!


Cycling into a grip like vice, more tails of chains, Bigfoot, and desperation in a frozen land - graphic content


Back in civilization, they have devices of torment called "Chain Breakers". That must be nice for them.
As implied earlier, here is a graphic image of the strange vice that is currently gripping my bigfoot chain, and knocking its pins out:
Bigfoot's chain is broken and it it isn't fixed, bad things will happen. So I use a vice, a screwdriver insert and a nut to do the same job of the city folk's fancy tool. It works well enough. Bigfoot was born around 2006 in Burnaby, British Columbia. She has been gathering dust of late, but now the permafrost has firmed up, it is time to ride from tree to tree, as they float down the mighty rivers of British Columbia! 

Boots, ropes and chains

Here in Canada, the weather is usually too bad to walk to the trading post to buy cleats for your shoes. And if you order cleats, by the time they arrive you could have broken your neck and been eaten by timber wolves.
So, take a double length of sled dog chain, and tie it to your boot as shown. Remember to loop the parachute cord through your laces, or you will loose the chains.
Improved Lacing

A reef knot works better than the bow in the first picture. This works well in the snow, slush and refrozen slush. On sheet ice you would probably need spikes like the commercial versions:


Advanced Heroquest with Ravenloft Monsters - Map Generator

I have created Castle Ravenloft .tab files for the AHQ Map Generator:
This allows you to generate random Advanced Heroquest maps containing Ravenloft monsters. You use AHQ rules to fight them.
Copy the zip file into the "tables" directory and "extract here". "ravenlof1.tab,ravenlof2.tab,ravenlof3.tab" will be in the "tables" directory and you load one table on the "Tabellen Einlesen" menu option.

How it works:

I added this to monster.tab, it defines the kinds of Character Monsters:

Undead-Champion
(   1D12
    1-4     "Count Strahd von Zarovich (190 Gold Crowns)"
    5-8     "Young Vampire (160 Gold Crowns)"
    9-10    "Howling Hag (110 Gold Crowns)"
    11-12   "Klack (100 Gold Crowns)" & Monster-Magic-Treasure()
)

Undead-Champion-Monster
(   1D12
    1-4     "Flesh Golem (160 Gold Crowns)"
    5-8     "Gravestorm (180 Gold Crowns)"
    9-10    "Werewolf (150 Gold Crowns)"
    11-12   "Zombie Dragon (150 Gold Crowns)" & Monster-Magic-Treasure()
)

In undead.tab (I renamed it to raven.tab) I creat 2 kinds of Character Monsters, single and double:

Specialist-Monster
(   1D12
    1-2     Undead-Champion-Monster()
    3-4     Undead-Champion-Monster()
    5-6     Undead-Champion-Monster()
    7-8     Undead-Champion()
    9-9     Undead-Champion()
    10-12   Undead-Champion()
)

Specialist-Monster-Double
(   1D12
    1-2     Undead-Champion-Monster()Undead-Champion() 
    3-4     Undead-Champion-Monster() & Undead-Champion() 
    5-6     Undead-Champion-Monster() & Undead-Champion() 
    7-8     Undead-Champion-Monster() & Undead-Champion() 
    9-9     Undead-Champion-Monster() & Undead-Champion() 
    10-12   Undead-Champion-Monster() & Undead-Champion() 
)

I add these to the Lairs-Matrix and Quest-Rooms-Matrix. Note that half the time you get one Character Monster, half the time double Character Monsters:

Quest-Rooms-Matrix
(   1D12
    1-1     "3 Skeletons, 4 Zombies (70 Gold Crowns)" & Specialist-Monster()
    2-2     "3 Ghouls, 4 Zombies (80 Gold Crowns)" & Specialist-Monster()
    3-3     "2 Skeletons, 3 Ghouls (100 Gold Crowns)" & Specialist-Monster()
    4-4     "3 Gargoyles, 3 Zombies (80 Gold Crowns)" & Specialist-Monster()
    5-5     "2 Gargoyles, 2 Skeletons, 2 Zombies (90 Gold Crowns)" & Specialist-Monster()
    6-6     "1 Wraith, 4 Zombies (100 Gold Crowns)" & Specialist-Monster()
    7-7     "1 Wraith, 2 Zombies, 1 Skeleton (160 Gold Crowns)" & Specialist-Monster-Double()
    8-8     "1 Gargoyles, 4 Skeletons (140 Gold Crowns)" & Specialist-Monster-Double()
    9-9     "1 Gargoyles, 4 Zombies, 2 Ghouls (160 Gold Crowns)" & Specialist-Monster-Double()
    10-10   "1 Wraith, 3 Skeletons (180 Gold Crowns)" & Specialist-Monster-Double()
    11-11   "3 Gargoyles, 3 Skeletons, 3 Zombies (190 Gold Crowns)" & Specialist-Monster-Double()
    12-12   "3 Skeletons, 3 Ghouls, 3 Kobold Skirmishers (200 Gold Crowns)" & Specialist-Monster-Double()
)

Wandering monsters are simply the names of the monsters:

Wandering-Monsters
(   1D12
    1-2     "3 Wolves (25 Gold Crowns)"
    3-4     "3 Ghouls (25 Gold Crowns)"
    5-6     "3 Kobold Skirmishers (35 Gold Crowns)"
    7-8     "3 Rat Swarms (20 Gold Crowns)"
    9-9     "3 Skeletons (20 Gold Crowns)"
    10-10   "3 Blazing Skeletons (25 Gold Crowns)"
    11-11   "3 Wraith (30 Gold Crowns)"
    12-12   "3 Zombies (25 Gold Crowns)"
)

Finally, the ravenlof.tab file refer to the custom files, monster.tab and raven.tab
# Castle Ravenloft 3
#-----------------------------------------
#

define ROOM-FURNISH

include raven\room3.tab
include standard\furnish.tab
include standard\hazard.tab
include terror\treasure.tab
include standard\trap.tab
include raven\monster.tab
include raven\raven.tab




Sample Adventure - "Keep the Dead in Their Graves"

Objective: (The program doesn't give you objectives, so pick one from Terror in the Dark Quest Plots) Keep the Dead in Their Graves: A Young Vampire has moved into an old tomb complex and is preparing to raise the dead as Undead. Kill him! (He is in 2 rooms, but you only need kill him once.)

 Castle Ravenloft 1
-----------------------------------------

#1
3 Gargoyles, 3 Skeletons, 3 Zombies (190 Gold Crowns)
Flesh Golem (160 Gold Crowns)
Howling Hag (110 Gold Crowns)
100 Gold Crowns

#2
Fireplace
Hidden Treasure:
15 Gold Crowns

#3
1 Gargoyles, 4 Zombies, 2 Ghouls (160 Gold Crowns)
Werewolf (150 Gold Crowns)
Young Vampire (160 Gold Crowns)
Blade Venom Blackroot (Orcs, Goblins: W +1)
50 Gold Crowns
Jewel (150 Gold Crowns)

#4
Weapons Rack:
1 Sword
Hidden Treasure:
1 Dungeon-Counter

#8
Grate
1 Gargoyles, 4 Skeletons (140 Gold Crowns)
Flesh Golem (160 Gold Crowns)
Young Vampire (160 Gold Crowns)
Elven Power Bow (R 48, DD 6)
No Special Ability
Magic Potion of Strength
Hidden Treasure:
45 Gold Crowns

#6
3 Wolves (25 Gold Crowns)

#7
Trapdoor
Crossfire (Spot 8, Disarm 6)
(3 Damage Dice)
Hidden Treasure:
20 Gold Crowns


(This is just a 1 dungeon Quest. In room 7, I assume the treasure is under the trapdoor, but there is a Crossfire trap on the trapdoor)

Advanced Heroquest with Castle Ravenloft Monsters

All the monster miniatures in Advanced Heroquest are the same. Let's add 18 new miniatures from Castle Ravenloft, and give the Villains magical powers.

The Villains become AHQ Character Monsters. The other Ravenloft monsters replace the AHQ monsters.

Placing Monsters:

  1. Wandering monsters are 3 random monsters (not Gargoyles) of the same kind.
  2. Lairs have 5 random monsters and a 50% chance of a Villain.
  3. Each Quest rooms has 8 random monsters, 1 Villain and a 50% chance of an extra Villain. The final Quest room in each Quest has all the surviving Villains.

Special Rules:

*SPECIAL RULES are on p48. Rats have *FLIGHT so they ignore Death Zones, they don't really fly. *FLIGHT is not the spell "Flight".
Rat Swarms may pass thru friends and enemies at no movement cost, since they just run between your legs. They must end their move on an empty square.
Wraiths may pass thru walls and doors at no movement cost, but may only enter explored squares. (They are Invulnerable and Fearsome since they are Ghosts, but have only 1 wound.)

Notes:

Kobold Skirmishers, Howling Hag and Klack are Sentries. The Spider has a ranged venom attack, Howling Hag has a ranged Howl and Zombie Dragon a ranged flame attack. Blazing Skeletons have the Flames of Death spell, naturally.
I made *LARGE MONSTERS tougher rather than having more wounds to keep track of. Gravestorm occupies 9 squares and has 4*3=12 Death Zone Squares. Flesh Golem and Zombie Dragon are as per p48, 4*2=8 Death Zone Squares. Gravestorm can't enter a corridor, since he doesn't fit.

Spells:

Some Monsters and most Villains get to use the spells from the Bright Wizard's Spell Book, giving them long range firepower. But they must pass an Intelligence test to cast each spell. If they fail the Intelligence test, their attack is over. Their spell components are unlimited.This means the Heroes have to come up with a different strategy for each room, which probably won't involve standing in the corridor.

Monster WS T Sp Int W DD H2H DD Range Range 1-3 Spells *SPECIAL RULE
Monsters
Blazing Skeleton 6 4 6 6 2 2 Flames of Death
Gargoyle 6 7 3 6 4 3
Ghoul 6 5 6 6 3 3
Kobold Skirmisher 6 7 11 6 3 3 Sentry
Rat Swarm 5 4 15 6 3 3 *FLIGHT
Skeleton 6 5 6 6 3 3
Spider 6 4 6 6 2 2 4 7
Wolf 7 6 11 6 3 3
Wraith 6 3 5 6 1 3 *INVULNERABLE *FEARSOME
Zombie 6 4 6 6 3 3 *CAUSE DISEASE
Villains
Count Strahd 10 8 8 8 6 5 Flight, *FEARSOME
Flesh Golem 7 9 4 6 6 6 *BERSERKER *LARGE
Gravestorm 8 9 6 6 6 5 Inferno of Doom *LARGE
Howling Hag 3 5 4 6 3 3 4 7 Flight, Sentry
Klack 4 5 6 6 4 4 Still air, Sentry
Werewolf 8 8 11 6 3 6 Flaming Hand
Young Vampire 8 8 8 6 6 6 Flight
Zombie Dragon 8 9 11 6 6 7 4 7 Dragon Armor *LARGE

I recommend my simplifications to eliminate the Combat lookup tables.

This makes a pleasant change from the single enemy skaven miniature, and Ravenloft can be had for about 40 USD, with 40 miniatures.
Substitute Ashardalon or Temple of Elemental Evil miniatures (make up your own stats) for a Chaos dungeon, Legend of Drizzt for an troll/elemental feel. You can probably mix the 4 games up for Greenskin/Chaos/Beastmen/Ogre/Undead dungeons. There are other spellbooks for your new Character monsters.

If you don't have Advanced Heroquest:
  1. Google the AHQ rulebook.
  2. Download the 2-page rule summary.
  3. Use the Ravenloft Hero and Monster miniatures.
  4. AHQ has corridors 2 squares wide and 2 sizes of room. You could use cork tiles with squares drawn on them. And make cardboard doors.
  5. Use the map generator program to create additional Quests.
Also, you can paint the monsters fairly quickly:

Comment:

40 miniatures for $40 (used) is a good deal, and you get a Vampire Castle feel. There are many different kinds of monster, most with a spell or Special Ability which makes things a little more complex, but it makes combat more interesting.