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Discussion in 'Equipment' started by hilslamer, Sep 2, 2007.
ok, I do understand it. Not all of my bolts come off that easily.
I don't care to carry my full DVM and have seen the simple continuity checker with light is this a good way to go? I guess you can do everything you need to with that as opposed to the simple Voltage checker, yes?
The subframe tubes are another great place to stash things like tire levers and hacksaw blades. Hose-clamps are a little bit more secure than tape or zip-ties, and are re-usable.
That's a great idea. Almost certainly a better option than a hacksaw blade.
A fuse tester is pretty small and could be made to serve as a test-light / continuity checker, but something like a little LED light with two short wire leads would be even better. Pretty sure you can buy individual LED's with pre-wired leads, and maybe you could dip it in some kind of clear epoxy/resin to make it a little bit less delicate?
The continuity check light will only test continuity. You can not use it on a live circuit. You can test a fuse with it, but you must remove the fuse first. With a multimeter set on dc volts (or a 12volt light as described below) if you can access both contacts of the fuse, you put the voltmeter (or light) on each end/side of the fuse with power on; if the meter reads zero volts(or light does not right) the fuse is good (Because you will not read voltage across a simple conductor). If you read 12 volts across the fuse (or the light lights), that is because the fuse has blown and opened the circuit. So having the smallest meter you can find allows more versatility.
You could carry both a battery powered continuity checker as you suggested AND a 12 volt bulb (neon or LED would be best) so that you could do much more than just the continuity checker alone.
Tire plugs. You need 6 ply tires for them to work. Bridgestone ED77 (front) and ED78 (rear) work well. This is proven, not theory.
In my experience, the key thing you tend to be doing with roadside electrical repairs is checking for voltage, not continuity. In my toolbox at home, I have both a continuity checker probe with a battery and light and I also have a probe with a long ground lead and a light for checking battery voltage in various places, but I almost never use them. I just haul out my multimeter.
Speaking of multimeters, my old Radio Shack one died. It was perfect for a toolkit as it was self-contained and small. (I did hate screwing with the three watch batteries which it tended to eat all too often):
Radio Shack has discontinued selling it or anything similar. I did a little research and ended up getting a bigger Extech MN35 for the shop for about $20 which a like a lot, but it is little too big for a bike toolkit:
If anybody has any suggestions for a tiny toolkit multimeter, I'm all ears. HF has a $5 one but it is probably pretty fragile, although at this price it can almost be considered a consumable. I'd like something that you can close up and and be self-contained with no exposed display/leads, etc.
I played with the Husky set and the 1/4" adapter over the past few days. I did some minor maintenance on the bikes, and then used them for some odds and ends around the house. I bought this set with a tool kit in mind, but it never has really made it there. The adapter is OK for socket use. It is mediocre, and gets small jobs done. The adapter falls out while changing sockets, but that is a minor inconvenience. For small things, it works.
I pack tools for two hacks. A Bonnie hack and a Ural. The Ural toolkit will handle everything as stock, but I ultimately want one kit for both bikes. The Husky won't make the grade. I have a small ratcheting screwdriver kit from Northern. The ring around it holds 6 bits. I kept 2 Phillips bits, one standard, and 3 allen bits common to both bikes. I have one adjustable crescent wrench, and a set of Kobalt spline sockets. That accomplishes all the major work a hack requires on the road, and all the little crap that may come up too. This configuration will stay, and the Husky set will hang out on the work bench for light duty.
Sent from the voices in my head and transcribed by their drinking buddy...
These are still being made. They are sold on Ebay direct from China. Ebay's feedback message system helps when a defective unit arrives. YMMV.
Ahh, thanks guys, I get the useage of the two, but now I see there is more need to check for voltage than a specific wire. I'll get the light as well or LED.
Some thing like this with an disconnectable positive lead and an extension wire to were you need to test .
Yes you don't have a regular VOM
It serves double duty .
a led pencil type
picture was copy righted click link
even a trailer tester with wires with bullet connectors on it
Thanks, see something similar to the old Radio Shack one, but more clunky.
I'm going to take a fllyer on one of these for a toolkit multimeter. $9.50 shipped (from China) on Ebay:
I like that it uses AAA batteries rather than watch batteries. That was my biggest gripe with the RS one.
That's clever, gotta get me this gizmo.
As followup, I just got mine and while it is definitely a cheap/POS DMM, it works fairly well, is relatively small, and is very nicely protected with the cover on. So a good candidate for a bike toolkit DMM.
One gotcha. It ships with some cheap chinese AAA batteries which have a slightly shorter body and longer terminals, probably because this makes them $0.0001 cheaper to make since this reduces the size of the battery very slightly. As I usually do, I replaced them immediately with higher-quality batteries (Duracell) and the DMM wouldn't turn on. I finally traced it down to this slight variance in battery dimensions causing one of the batteries not to be able to spring-load up against a contact. A blob of solder on the contact to make it sit slightly more proud solved the problem.
Thanks for the heads up Mark - I just received mine today and made sure it worked but haven't swapped batteries yet.
Also have the previously discussed Radio Shack version but prefer AAA batteries so will see how this one does
If you have the same trouble, I think it is solved by pulling out the battery contact strip in the corner of the battery compartment (the one that connects the two batteries in series) and putting a blob of solder on the contact point of the bottom-most battery's + terminal. (I also used a needle-nose plier to pull the contact spring of the other battery's + terminal, but this didn't solve the problem - I think the bottom battery was probably the only one that wasn't making contact. There are some plastic bits in the compartment that could also be ground down to let the battery slide further and make contact - perhaps these could be dremeled away a bit.)
Here's the battery variance culprit, chinese battery on left, Duracell on right:
I agree wholeheartedly.
The RadioShack one I think I listed long ago takes some oddball 12v, N-size battery that it only available at RS or for some obscure shock collar for a dog...coincidence? In any case, anything with better battery options and delivered to your door for literally pennies is a great deal for a toolkit, IMO...
Instead of $9.50, why not wander into your local HF and spend half that (sometimes even cheaper) and get a small multi-tester like this (http://www.harborfreight.com/7-function-multimeter-98025.html). I've got one on each of my bikes. Yes, I agree that testing for voltage is the most common useage.
I agree, a great deal and from what I've read, they hold up better than you might expect. (Don't, of course, expect Fluke quality.) The only problem I have with this HF unit is that the leads are not self-contained so the can be separated/lost/tangled up with other gear.... and the unit is not enclosed/protected when not in use. But at $5, these are hardly deal breakers. OTOH, the one I posted earlier was only $10 shipped to my door and these features were worth $5 to me. I also prefer the AAA batteries over 9V.
I spent a few minutes filling the back of mine with hot melt glue as well - which makes these things near indestructible and a lot less prone to moisture problems.
Yes, cheap POS, but it's still a lot more accurate than a light on/off tester and as you point out, with the cover closed, tough enough to survive on the bike. And the cheap meter you have when you need it is a lot better than the expensive one left at home.
I have this one. Quality seems to be decent, and it's small. I like that you can't close the cover unless it's OFF. Nice feature. $20