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Ghost in the Machine

Or when machines seem to have a mind of their own.
Being an engineer I’m always fascinated by machines that seem to take on a mind of their own, do something unexpected or appear to have it in for us. I thought it would be good to share an instance recently that occurred to me and see what else you have experienced. I’ve put it in the NAAFI so you have full reign to write about whatever affected you or comment on others. (Take the p*ss)

So if you’re sitting comfortably I’ll begin......
A few weeks ago I decided to convert my ordinary looking push-bike into an ebike. My joints are playing up and I can’t power up the hills like I used to, so I thought this would be a good way of carrying on cycling. I did my research and opted for a mid mounted motor, power assist model with a large 48v 13Ah battery. I ordered the kit, it came, I fitted it and all seemed good. Road test time, I left the estate, powered away, selected all the gears on the bike and selected each of the power settings on the controller.
In top gear and high power I was zipping along at 20mph with little or no effort. I’d covered 2 miles without noticing and came to a roundabout in the local village. I gently applied the brakes and stopped pedalling, the bike slowed as you’d expect, but then suddenly started speeding up, a high pitched whine coming from the motor, I braked harder, and harder as I sped towards the roundabout, it slowed a bit until the front brake made a popping noise and then faded to nothing, I later found out the pads had overheated.
The bike accelerated more and I took the decision to try and make the left turn on the roundabout as it was the straightest out of the two. I went around the corner on the edge of the rims, my left foot scudding on the road, I couldn’t make the bend on my side and so went the other side and went the wrong side of a traffic island, luckily nothing was coming on the other side!
As I sped up the road, a straight road out the village, getting back on the left side. The bike was maintaining 25mph, don’t sound like a lot but it felt like 80mph! All sorts was going through my mind, use the rear brake and possibly burn that out, keep going until the battery ran out, try disconnecting the battery or remove the battery, both discounted at that speed, I also contemplated the Ethan Hunt option and abandon bike, jump up, catching a passing lamppost, swing around and land on two feet, tadahh.
As I sped off into the countryside, I started thinking ahead, all was good, until I would reach the next village, this had a roundabout on entry, not too daunting as it had a straight ahead option, but this was quickly followed by a humpback bridge which narrowed, wide enough for only one car. Just after the bridge is a small grassed village green. If I could negotiate the roundabout and bridge I could get onto the green and lean over and crash in a soft and controlled manner, good plan.
I sped on for another 2 miles, taking bends, leaning in, it was as if the bike just wanted to go somewhere. As I was thinking of the up and coming obstacles and the soft landing on the grass, suddenly there was a loud clang, almost a miniature explosion. The bike bucked and I found myself flying through the air, I landed on a grassy verge, almost in a water filled ditch. I’d banged my shoulder on re-entry and was now sat dazed on the verge. The bike had come to rest a few yards further on.
After a bit of head shaking and pulling myself together I headed over to the bike. The chain had snapped and the derailleur had exploded, bits spread down the road. The battery had dislodged on landing and the motor stopped. I gathered up my bike and headed home, a 5 mile walk.
I returned the motor, got a replacement, the ebike seller had no explanation, the motor checked out as having no faults!
A bit bruised and shook up, I was fine, the bike is rebuilt with a new motor and is also fine, no reoccurrence.

C76CCC7E-94CC-46B6-BD4B-714061407458.jpeg
 
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Or when machines seem to have a mind of their own.
Being an engineer I’m always fascinated by machines that seem to take on a mind of their own, do something unexpected or appear to have it in for us. I thought it would be good to share an instance recently that occurred to me and see what else you have experienced. I’ve put it in the NAAFI so you have full reign to write about whatever affected you or comment on others. (Take the p*ss)

So if you’re sitting comfortably I’ll begin......
A few weeks ago I decided to convert my ordinary looking push-bike into an ebike. My joints are playing up and I can’t power up the hills like I used to, so I thought this would be a good way of carrying on cycling. I did my research and opted for a mid mounted motor, power assist model with a large 48v 13Ah battery. I ordered the kit, it came, I fitted it and all seemed good. Road test time, I left the estate, powered away, selected all the gears on the bike and selected each of the power settings on the controller.
In top gear and high power I was zipping along at 20mph with little or no effort. I’d covered 2 miles without noticing and came to a roundabout in the local village. I gently applied the brakes and stopped pedalling, the bike slowed as you’d expect, but then suddenly started speeding up, a high pitched whine coming from the motor, I braked harder, and harder as I sped towards the roundabout, it slowed a bit until the front brake made a popping noise and then faded to nothing, I later found out the pads had overheated.
The bike accelerated more and I took the decision to try and make the left turn on the roundabout as it was the straightest out of the two. I went around the corner on the edge of the rims, my left foot scudding on the road, I couldn’t make the bend on my side and so went the other side and went the wrong side of a traffic island, luckily nothing was coming on the other side!
As I sped up the road, a straight road out the village, getting back on the left side. The bike was maintaining 25mph, don’t sound like a lot but it felt like 80mph! All sorts was going through my mind, use the rear brake and possibly burn that out, keep going until the battery ran out, try disconnecting the battery or remove the battery, both discounted at that speed, I also contemplated the Ethan Hunt option and abandon bike, jump up, catching a passing lamppost, swing around and land on two feet, tadahh.
As I sped off into the countryside, I started thinking ahead, all was good, until I would reach the next village, this had a roundabout on entry, not too daunting as it had a straight ahead option, but this was quickly followed by a humpback bridge which narrowed, wide enough for only one car. Just after the bridge is a small grassed village green. If I could negotiate the roundabout and bridge I could get onto the green and lean over and crash in a soft and controlled manner, good plan.
I sped on for another 2 miles, taking bends, leaning in, it was as if the bike just wanted to go somewhere. As I was thinking of the up and coming obstacles and the soft landing on the grass, suddenly there was a loud clang, almost a miniature explosion. The bike bucked and I found myself flying through the air, I landed on a grassy verge, almost in a water filled ditch. I’d banged my shoulder on re-entry and was now sat dazed on the verge. The bike had come to rest a few yards further on.
After a bit of head shaking and pulling myself together I headed over to the bike. The chain had snapped and the derailleur had exploded, bits spread down the road. The battery had dislodged on landing and the motor stopped. I gathered up my bike and headed home, a 5 mile walk.
I returned the motor, got a replacement, the ebike seller had no explanation, the motor checked out as having no faults!
A bit bruised and shook up, I was fine, the bike is rebuilt with a new motor and is also fine, no reoccurrence.

View attachment 497239
Sounds like an up-to-date version of Last of The Summer Wine.
 

Dr Death

War Hero
Sounds like you need stabilisers?
But glad you are fine & yes a Last of the Summer Wine style caper!
 
The. Airframe I’m stood next to in my avatar is a bumblebee, origonally built with a 350 hp Avia radial.
The Czech’s thought this a bit scary for the wood surrounded sloping fields of Slovakia, and whilst the lucky permenant staff got ones re engined with a Walter turboprop (950 shp). Yours truly got this one which had been updated with a 550 hp Ivchenko.
once running it was a model of reliability. The snag was a combination of a very precise priming drill required at different ambient temperatures combined with a compressed air start system which if you were operating away from the hive ( home base with its compressed air trolly) gave you at best 4 attempts at a start.
i swear it knew if you were in a hurry or if the schedule was tight for that days operations. It sure as fvck knew if you had air bottles to hand.if so, first push of the tit every time. If none......!
i distinctly remember praying a couple of times ( and I’m not a god botherer) to Mr ivchenco’s spirit that I would be a good boy if he would only let his engine start and save me a morning trip away in a van to get air..
Mr Ivchenco is a cousin to the emperor I fear. The bastard.!
 
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Any machine - particularly motorcycles - has the propensity to deliberately ruin your day. I threaten my bike with the scrapyard... often.
 
Or when machines seem to have a mind of their own.
Being an engineer I’m always fascinated by machines that seem to take on a mind of their own, do something unexpected or appear to have it in for us. I thought it would be good to share an instance recently that occurred to me and see what else you have experienced. I’ve put it in the NAAFI so you have full reign to write about whatever affected you or comment on others. (Take the p*ss)

So if you’re sitting comfortably I’ll begin......
A few weeks ago I decided to convert my ordinary looking push-bike into an ebike. My joints are playing up and I can’t power up the hills like I used to, so I thought this would be a good way of carrying on cycling. I did my research and opted for a mid mounted motor, power assist model with a large 48v 13Ah battery. I ordered the kit, it came, I fitted it and all seemed good. Road test time, I left the estate, powered away, selected all the gears on the bike and selected each of the power settings on the controller.
In top gear and high power I was zipping along at 20mph with little or no effort. I’d covered 2 miles without noticing and came to a roundabout in the local village. I gently applied the brakes and stopped pedalling, the bike slowed as you’d expect, but then suddenly started speeding up, a high pitched whine coming from the motor, I braked harder, and harder as I sped towards the roundabout, it slowed a bit until the front brake made a popping noise and then faded to nothing, I later found out the pads had overheated.
The bike accelerated more and I took the decision to try and make the left turn on the roundabout as it was the straightest out of the two. I went around the corner on the edge of the rims, my left foot scudding on the road, I couldn’t make the bend on my side and so went the other side and went the wrong side of a traffic island, luckily nothing was coming on the other side!
As I sped up the road, a straight road out the village, getting back on the left side. The bike was maintaining 25mph, don’t sound like a lot but it felt like 80mph! All sorts was going through my mind, use the rear brake and possibly burn that out, keep going until the battery ran out, try disconnecting the battery or remove the battery, both discounted at that speed, I also contemplated the Ethan Hunt option and abandon bike, jump up, catching a passing lamppost, swing around and land on two feet, tadahh.
As I sped off into the countryside, I started thinking ahead, all was good, until I would reach the next village, this had a roundabout on entry, not too daunting as it had a straight ahead option, but this was quickly followed by a humpback bridge which narrowed, wide enough for only one car. Just after the bridge is a small grassed village green. If I could negotiate the roundabout and bridge I could get onto the green and lean over and crash in a soft and controlled manner, good plan.
I sped on for another 2 miles, taking bends, leaning in, it was as if the bike just wanted to go somewhere. As I was thinking of the up and coming obstacles and the soft landing on the grass, suddenly there was a loud clang, almost a miniature explosion. The bike bucked and I found myself flying through the air, I landed on a grassy verge, almost in a water filled ditch. I’d banged my shoulder on re-entry and was now sat dazed on the verge. The bike had come to rest a few yards further on.
After a bit of head shaking and pulling myself together I headed over to the bike. The chain had snapped and the derailleur had exploded, bits spread down the road. The battery had dislodged on landing and the motor stopped. I gathered up my bike and headed home, a 5 mile walk.
I returned the motor, got a replacement, the ebike seller had no explanation, the motor checked out as having no faults!
A bit bruised and shook up, I was fine, the bike is rebuilt with a new motor and is also fine, no reoccurrence.

View attachment 497239

Firstly glad you're OK - could have been catastrophic.
Secondly, I'm not an engineer but if the motor has been checked and declared sound - the problem could only be the contol system?
Thirdly, couldn't you have put the bike parts in a hedge to drive back to get them later?
 
Or when machines seem to have a mind of their own.
Being an engineer I’m always fascinated by machines that seem to take on a mind of their own, do something unexpected or appear to have it in for us. I thought it would be good to share an instance recently that occurred to me and see what else you have experienced. I’ve put it in the NAAFI so you have full reign to write about whatever affected you or comment on others. (Take the p*ss)

So if you’re sitting comfortably I’ll begin......
A few weeks ago I decided to convert my ordinary looking push-bike into an ebike. My joints are playing up and I can’t power up the hills like I used to, so I thought this would be a good way of carrying on cycling. I did my research and opted for a mid mounted motor, power assist model with a large 48v 13Ah battery. I ordered the kit, it came, I fitted it and all seemed good. Road test time, I left the estate, powered away, selected all the gears on the bike and selected each of the power settings on the controller.
In top gear and high power I was zipping along at 20mph with little or no effort. I’d covered 2 miles without noticing and came to a roundabout in the local village. I gently applied the brakes and stopped pedalling, the bike slowed as you’d expect, but then suddenly started speeding up, a high pitched whine coming from the motor, I braked harder, and harder as I sped towards the roundabout, it slowed a bit until the front brake made a popping noise and then faded to nothing, I later found out the pads had overheated.
The bike accelerated more and I took the decision to try and make the left turn on the roundabout as it was the straightest out of the two. I went around the corner on the edge of the rims, my left foot scudding on the road, I couldn’t make the bend on my side and so went the other side and went the wrong side of a traffic island, luckily nothing was coming on the other side!
As I sped up the road, a straight road out the village, getting back on the left side. The bike was maintaining 25mph, don’t sound like a lot but it felt like 80mph! All sorts was going through my mind, use the rear brake and possibly burn that out, keep going until the battery ran out, try disconnecting the battery or remove the battery, both discounted at that speed, I also contemplated the Ethan Hunt option and abandon bike, jump up, catching a passing lamppost, swing around and land on two feet, tadahh.
As I sped off into the countryside, I started thinking ahead, all was good, until I would reach the next village, this had a roundabout on entry, not too daunting as it had a straight ahead option, but this was quickly followed by a humpback bridge which narrowed, wide enough for only one car. Just after the bridge is a small grassed village green. If I could negotiate the roundabout and bridge I could get onto the green and lean over and crash in a soft and controlled manner, good plan.
I sped on for another 2 miles, taking bends, leaning in, it was as if the bike just wanted to go somewhere. As I was thinking of the up and coming obstacles and the soft landing on the grass, suddenly there was a loud clang, almost a miniature explosion. The bike bucked and I found myself flying through the air, I landed on a grassy verge, almost in a water filled ditch. I’d banged my shoulder on re-entry and was now sat dazed on the verge. The bike had come to rest a few yards further on.
After a bit of head shaking and pulling myself together I headed over to the bike. The chain had snapped and the derailleur had exploded, bits spread down the road. The battery had dislodged on landing and the motor stopped. I gathered up my bike and headed home, a 5 mile walk.
I returned the motor, got a replacement, the ebike seller had no explanation, the motor checked out as having no faults!
A bit bruised and shook up, I was fine, the bike is rebuilt with a new motor and is also fine, no reoccurrence.

View attachment 497239
Simon Cowell walt.
 

Troy

LE
With vintage sewing machines, particularly the early electric models. The foot pedal tends to deteriorate. When this happens, instead of being able to control the speed from stop to flat out. The motor just runs at full speed on it's own.
I don't thinks it's ghosts doing it though.
 

Oyibo

LE
Or when machines seem to have a mind of their own.
Being an engineer I’m always fascinated by machines that seem to take on a mind of their own, do something unexpected or appear to have it in for us. I thought it would be good to share an instance recently that occurred to me and see what else you have experienced. I’ve put it in the NAAFI so you have full reign to write about whatever affected you or comment on others. (Take the p*ss)

So if you’re sitting comfortably I’ll begin......
A few weeks ago I decided to convert my ordinary looking push-bike into an ebike. My joints are playing up and I can’t power up the hills like I used to, so I thought this would be a good way of carrying on cycling. I did my research and opted for a mid mounted motor, power assist model with a large 48v 13Ah battery. I ordered the kit, it came, I fitted it and all seemed good. Road test time, I left the estate, powered away, selected all the gears on the bike and selected each of the power settings on the controller.
In top gear and high power I was zipping along at 20mph with little or no effort. I’d covered 2 miles without noticing and came to a roundabout in the local village. I gently applied the brakes and stopped pedalling, the bike slowed as you’d expect, but then suddenly started speeding up, a high pitched whine coming from the motor, I braked harder, and harder as I sped towards the roundabout, it slowed a bit until the front brake made a popping noise and then faded to nothing, I later found out the pads had overheated.
The bike accelerated more and I took the decision to try and make the left turn on the roundabout as it was the straightest out of the two. I went around the corner on the edge of the rims, my left foot scudding on the road, I couldn’t make the bend on my side and so went the other side and went the wrong side of a traffic island, luckily nothing was coming on the other side!
As I sped up the road, a straight road out the village, getting back on the left side. The bike was maintaining 25mph, don’t sound like a lot but it felt like 80mph! All sorts was going through my mind, use the rear brake and possibly burn that out, keep going until the battery ran out, try disconnecting the battery or remove the battery, both discounted at that speed, I also contemplated the Ethan Hunt option and abandon bike, jump up, catching a passing lamppost, swing around and land on two feet, tadahh.
As I sped off into the countryside, I started thinking ahead, all was good, until I would reach the next village, this had a roundabout on entry, not too daunting as it had a straight ahead option, but this was quickly followed by a humpback bridge which narrowed, wide enough for only one car. Just after the bridge is a small grassed village green. If I could negotiate the roundabout and bridge I could get onto the green and lean over and crash in a soft and controlled manner, good plan.
I sped on for another 2 miles, taking bends, leaning in, it was as if the bike just wanted to go somewhere. As I was thinking of the up and coming obstacles and the soft landing on the grass, suddenly there was a loud clang, almost a miniature explosion. The bike bucked and I found myself flying through the air, I landed on a grassy verge, almost in a water filled ditch. I’d banged my shoulder on re-entry and was now sat dazed on the verge. The bike had come to rest a few yards further on.
After a bit of head shaking and pulling myself together I headed over to the bike. The chain had snapped and the derailleur had exploded, bits spread down the road. The battery had dislodged on landing and the motor stopped. I gathered up my bike and headed home, a 5 mile walk.
I returned the motor, got a replacement, the ebike seller had no explanation, the motor checked out as having no faults!
A bit bruised and shook up, I was fine, the bike is rebuilt with a new motor and is also fine, no reoccurrence.

View attachment 497239

God hates you
 
Firstly glad you're OK - could have been catastrophic.
Secondly, I'm not an engineer but if the motor has been checked and declared sound - the problem could only be the contol system?
Thirdly, couldn't you have put the bike parts in a hedge to drive back to get them later?
Hmmm you could be right, but the controller is integral in the motor housing, the handlebar control box went back with the motor, so I guess they checked that too.
Your third point, I had to walk so it made sense to walk with the bike and all it’s bits, which I put in the saddle bag, as it was no real effort, but believe me, I felt like throwing it all in the hedgerow and walking away!
 

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