Foucault’s Pendulum

Both the actual item and the book.

A Foucault Pendulum demonstrates the rotation of the earth.   Dangle a decent weight on the end of a long piece of string and set it swinging and the plane it swings on will rotate 360 degrees over a period of roughly one day.   The exact time it takes to go through the rotation will depend on whereabouts on earth you are, the rotation will also change depending which side of the equator you are.   This is probably an experiment you can try at home if you are totally and utterly bored for 30 odd hours.

The book (by Umberto Eco) is pretty impenetrable. It took me several goes to get past page 200.  I would recommend that you read it in the original Italian, especially if you do not speak Italian, it will probably make more sense.    I think it is fair to say that it would make a far better beach side companion this summer than anything by E.L. James or Dan Brown.

I know, you’re thinking “what on earth has this to do with Little Project?”.    Well, the wiring loom is currently hanging in the shed (like the pendulum but with less swing and rotation and more malevolence).  Belbo (one of the main characters of the book) at one stage identifies some mystical dealings by linking text in the Kabbalah to a spark plug, so the link is blatantly obvious.   The book is big on mystical and secret societies although I do not recall a passage containing reference to a chase through the streets of Paris on a little Honda trail bike, so the CT125 owners and carers club were obviously overlooked.

Back to the wiring loom.   It looks at first glance like it is all there.  Bits of it have been cut in half but because of the ingenuity of wiring loom designers and the very sensible policy of using different coloured wires it is fairly obvious which bit’s join together.   It isn’t until you take a closer look that you get the urge to rub your chin and go “hmmmm”.

Where, for instance, are the bits that connect to the battery?   There must be a little wiring tributary that peels off and meanders down to the battery (possibly with the electrical equivalent of some rapids on the way) but if it is there somewhere then it is very well disguised (I tried looking for a wire with a false beard and spectacles with no lens but couldn’t spot it).

Likewise, the wiring loom ends very neatly (this assumes that I know which bits go at the front of the bike and which bits go at the back).   However, the neat and tidy ending seems to preclude the possibility of a rear light and indicators.  How can this be so?   There is definitely a rear light.   It is also hanging in the shed, having been de-rusted (although not by Hammerite rust remover because it is rubbish) and sprayed a fetching black colour.

Lastly (although definitely not leastly) whilst the entire loom is enchantingly embraced by a tight plastic bodysuit, parts of this bodysuit seem to have been coated in something sticky and lumpy.   Imagine (if you can) peanut butter made from marmite and the picture in your head will not be far from accurate.  I have some hopes that this will easily fetch off, possibly by using one of the many items purchased recently that do not do what they say on the tin.

I am baffled by electricity.   I can’t see it so I am just slightly unsure that it exists.  I have tried (unsuccessfully so far) to imagine each wire as a river.  Pour some electricity down one wire and it should only pour out of the other end of the same wire.   That makes perfect sense.   With the wire that makes the brake light come on there is a switch.  So the switch is a bit like a dam on the river and it can be open or closed.  When it is open the electricity/water goes through and makes the light come on.   Simple?

Following this theory I attached my multimeter to both ends of the cable and squeezed the brake.   You’d think that either squeezing or unsqueezing would make the multimeter display do something but nope.   It just gazes insolently back with nary a flicker.   This means one of three things.

  1. The brake light switch doesn’t work
  2. The multimeter doesn’t work
  3. The operator is incompetent

I’m going for option 3.   I was tempted to pay a visit to the local branch of that automotive repair store to buy a book but decided that if  the book said “How to sort out your electrics” it would probably contain a recipe for rhubarb crumble, judging by previous purchases.   I shall spend the next few nights deep in the realms of Google trying to educate myself.

On a positive side, the rebuilt front wheel should be arriving this week.   This does mean that whilst trying to decipher electrical systems on the internet I also need to get buffing on the front brake plate.  It also implies that the entire bike will roll on its own by Sunday morning.   I suspect that it hasn’t moved other than by sliding, scraping and dragging for a decade so it is sort of a momentous occasion.

There.  I’ve made it through the post without mentioning paint.  That’s worth a raised glass at least.

Thanks for popping by.   Let me know which way your pendulum swings.

Just out of interest, do you think that if I had included “Plastic Bodysuit” in my tags then I will reach an entirely different reader base?


2 thoughts on “Foucault’s Pendulum

  1. We love wiring, usually after someone has attacked it with black tape! There is usually a feed to the battery in the loom, a larger red wire. It should have an 8mm ring on it but I have seen these mssing quite frequently. The other battery cables you can make up. On your multi-meter were you checking continuity, I’ve made the mistake of setting to Ohms more times than I care to remember. Hope that is of some help!

    • Thanks Mr connectomotive. I found the batter feed, you’ll never believe it but it was on the battery! I’ve a bit that I need, it is a four way plastic connector. Would sending a photograph to you be enough to identify it?

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