First Track Weekend Down And No Where To Go But Up.

Well, I managed to stay shiny side up for both days of track riding with MCRA at Putnam Park this past weekend.  Out of the five that went in my group, two crashed, one bad enough that he may need some surgery on his shoulder.  Even though he crashed, he is still chomping at the bit to go to Mid-Ohio at the end of June and ride with us again.  A video of his crash is below.  You can listen to the sound in the clip and hear how fast he is going into Turn 1 off the front straight.   Simply went into the turn too hot and wasn’t able to keep it on the track.

The main downfall to the weekend was my personal performance on my race bike.  I didn’t go near as fast as I had hoped and my lack of preparation definitely showed as I wasn’t able to stay out for a full session of riding because fatigue would set in.  Because of this, I wasn’t able to ride as fast as I would have liked and got passed by more people than I should have.

My lack of preparation for the track day hindered my end result of the weekend, much like not preparing for the heat of summer can hinder your company’s performance and production.  Now is the time to be preparing to keep those electrical enclosures cool, not when they are overheating and causing shut downs.

If you would like help sizing the correct Cabinet Cooler System for your enclosures, give us a call.

Brian Farno
Application Engineer
BrianFarno@EXAIR.com 
@EXAIR_BF

Quality Of A Knock Off and Racing Motorcycles

That’s right folks, the first track day of the year is getting close.  The first for this year will be held at Putnam Park Road Course, with Midwest Cafe Racers Association.  We will be heading out on Friday, April 19th, for the weekend.  The preparations already began a few weeks ago, actually over a month ago.  This year I am not only prepping my track bike, but also my friends track bike.   The best part is, I am learning more and more about his bike, and the bells and whistles that it has.

One of the many parts to prepping the bike for the track was changing out the coolant to a non-glycol based coolant, changing the tires, removing all glass / plastic from the bike.  Not to mention drilling and safety wiring the oil filler cap, oil drain plug, and oil filter.  Those are simply the necessities, we have taken it a step further and changed out some other stock parts for nicer track ready parts.  The main obstacle has been that he elected to go with a non-branded rear set foot control.  These were copies of a very large name brand rear set foot control.  Everything seemed to fit together until I went to install the shift linkage.  The linkage length should be 9″ long, the one they sent with the new set was actually 9-5/8″ long.  Because of this it actually placed the shift lever about 3″ too low and will not work.   Luckily, I have the knowledge and ability to modify things like this.  After cutting the extra length off and re-tapping the hole, the linkage is now to the correct length on the bike, and ready to go racing.

IMG_2363 IMG_2364

The point to the story is this:  my friend went with the company who said they were just as good if not better than the big name brand, yet considerably cheaper and not made locally.  In the end the quality of the product was not what they made claims of over the internet and they don’t have near the level of support that the brand name does.  After some fixing, the units will work but it could have been a costly replacement as the manufacturer of these doesn’t stand directly behind their product.

Here at EXAIR we have instilled quality into our product and customer service.  If you were to receive a part that doesn’t work, we will be here to help figure out why, and then make the correct actions to remedy your problem as fast as possible.   So don’t always believe what you read on the internet about how great some products are when they are so much cheaper than a well established, market leading brand.

Brian Farno
Application Engineer
BrianFarno@EXAIR.com
@EXAIR_BF

Review the Tape, Evaluate, Improve

With the first track day of the year under my belt it’s now time to start looking at what I could have done better and make the next track day an even bigger success.   This will be done over the next month or so and I will use pictures, video, and even tire inspection to figure out what I could have done better.   Much like a football team reviews tape and prepares for their next game.

Here at EXAIR we offer a service which is similar to this style of review.  The EXAIR Efficiency Lab will let you send in your blowoff device and we will run it through the paces to find an intelligent compressed air product that will perform better than the previous method.  This is a free service that we offer to any and all customers.  Not only will we tell you what your unit is consuming and possibly costing you to operate but we will show you which of our products will perform the same and how much air and money you will save.   The best part is it’s all for free.

If you have an application that you are trying to improve, let us know and we’ll get you the information to send a test piece in to the EXAIR Efficiency Lab.

Brian Farno
Application Engineer
BrianFarno@EXAIR.com
@EXAIR_BF

It’s Track time yet again.

Even though we didn’t get much snow this past Winter the road courses are just now starting to open up here in the Ohio area.   As soon as I get home from work I will be kissing my daughter and wife goodbye for the weekend and heading towards a small town in Indiana called Greencastle.  There’s not much there and the only two things close are Depauw University and Putnam Park Road Course.   I know I have blogged about track days many times but with this much anticipation for the first track day of the year, I can’t help but bring it back again.

Two good friends of mine and myself have spent the last week prepping out bikes for the track day.   The main difference this time is I will have a different bike at the track.  It’s not mine unless I wreck it and it’s quite a bit different from my SV.  So of course I have went through it as best I can and think I’m ready.

All I know is I am ready to get some footage similar to what is shown below.

This track day is of course going to be interesting and a learning experience.   Much like I went through when I first started here at EXAIR and began to learn about our full selection of products.  You see as an Application Engineer here at EXAIR I not only need to know if we sell something but I need to know how it works, why it works, and what kind of applications it can work in.  So this weekend I will be learning something new much like I still am here at EXAIR.

We’re constantly coming up with or hearing about new applications for our products.   If you have one and would like to share or need help with an application just let us know.

Brian Farno
Application Engineer
BrianFarno@EXAIR.com
@EXAIR_BF

Winter time blues

So after waking up to a nice 16° F temperature outside this morning I am ready for Spring.  Ok, I have to admit, we haven’t even got an accumulation of snow yet.  That doesn’t matter to me, I am ready for some track time on the ole SV.  Everyday I have to look at it sitting in the corner of the garage all surrounded with other warm weather items and then go out into the cold to get into my car.  It absolutely eats at me every single day.  Video below is of what I can’t wait to get back to.

[youtube:http://youtu.be/aTcV8M_dqtc?hd=1%5D

Fortunately, here in Cincinnati we normally start warming up around April.  That means first track day of the season, unless it suddenly decides to start dumping snow in April now.  If it does then I guess all the propaganda is true and global warming is real.

What brought this on is he handful of calls I have received this week about sizing the appropriate Cabinet Cooler System for electronic enclosures.  This isn’t a seasonal product for us like book bags or Easter baskets are for retail stores.  We sell these year round to customers across the globe.   It doesn’t have to be Summer to be getting a heat failure in a cabinet.  The application yesterday was for a new cabinet that was located outside of a heat treating furnace and was already overheating just do to the ambient temperature being around 150°F.  This is exactly why we developed our High Temperature Cabinet Cooler Systems.

They can withstand ambient environments up to 200° F and will still be able to maintain a safe working temperature for your electronics inside the enclosure.  So if you are still operating with the panel doors open on your machine because it’s hot inside and snowing outside the plant, give us a call, email, tweet, fax, or even request a live chat on our site.  With a little bit of information we’ll calculate how much cooling you need and tell you just how we are going to keep that panel cool.

Brian Farno
Application Engineer
BrianFarno@EXAIR.com
@EXAIR_BF

Weekend Warriors

I know everyone has that list (that hangs somewhere in your house or in your head) of things that need to get done.  Something that has jumped to the top of my list to get done this weekend is installing an electronic brake controller on my brother’s 2009 Chevy Silverado.  Along with race prepping the bike for the final track day of the year.  (It’s ok if you cry.  It’s a sad time of year when we don’t get to ride anymore.)

While I am no stranger to electronics in vehicles through my experience as a MECP Installer, I am always a little hesitant to deal with the electronics which handle the brakes for the vehicle.  So I checked out all the installation instructions and wiring diagrams and found an easy “How To” video that will help me to install the unit.

Then once the unit is installed I will have to test drive with the race trailer empty just to ensure the trailer brakes are in fact working and something like below doesn’t happen.

As long as everything is good then next weekend my friends and I will be on our last trip to Putnam for the year and we will hopefully all be coming back with our MCRA Race License.

Brian Farno
Application Engineer
BrianFarno@EXAIR.com
@EXAIR_BF

Another Day Another Track

That’s right folks, it’s that time of the year and I really lucked out this time by winning a track day raffle for a day at Mid Ohio Sports Car Course and School. I had a spot for Novice class at the track day school.  I then proceeded to talk two of my good friends that always go to the track into taking off work and going with me.

They had been to Mid Ohio before and ran several times.  I on the other hand had never even seen the track.   I knew it was quite technical compared to Putnam Park but, the school that they put on for first time attendees receives nothing but excellent comments and reviews. Since I didn’t know what to expect I of course went straight to their website and  then to good ole’ Youtube.  I started my research and talked with a few other people who’d been there and was completely amped about going.  A map of the track is below.

My nerves were on high alert and I couldn’t wait to see this historic race course.  As we pulled in I noticed a bunch of large factory sponsored trailers, the track day just happened to be the day before the AMA Superbike Races started.  Because of this we got the luxury of not only pitting on hot pit, but also we go to watch all the pros get setup in the garages and even see a few of them.

Once we got the bikes ready we went to the morning riders meeting where I found out there were only 6 people total in the Novice class.  This  was unheard of, normally there would be 20-30 people, Because of the small numbers we divided up into two groups and each group had a coach rider.  My coach rider was a gentleman by the name of Dennis Myrwold.  He took us through the basics and each session we practiced different aspects of riding the track.  At lunch time he approached me and commented that my lines were looking good and lap times weren’t bad either.  He asked about why I had blown a few turns, I gave him my answer, then he said you should step up to Intermediate.  I was amazed, I had never been commented to by a Coach rider before let alone told I was good to step up my first time at a track.

Needless to say, I declined and stayed with him and the two other people he had under his group.  By the end of the day I was dragging knee on the freshly painted curbs and passing people on bigger bikes on the back straight.  My two friends and I were all packing the trailer and loading up the bikes when I saw Dennis walking down pit row.  He came up to our trailer and once again talked to me about my riding ability stating that I would really benefit from stepping up and that I should definitely come back.  My two friends were both standing there saying we told you that you’d have no problem with this track.  I thanked Dennis for everything he had taught me that day and told him I’m sure I will be seeing him again later in the year.  At this point I went straight to cloud nine, not only had I gotten to do a track day at Mid Ohio which I never thought I would get to, but I had been told by the instructor after my first time to the track that I should step up.   I realize that I am no where near the fastest rider but it took a Coach rider telling me I should do something in order to get me to do it.

The moral of the story is even though my friends and my peers were encouraging me to do something I had to have a person with technical expertise in the field in order for me to listen.  This is the case in a lot of areas, if you go to a car dealer and the salesman tells you the car has zero maintenance issues you may or may not believe them.  On the other hand if there is a service person there and you ask them the same question, if you are like me you’ll take his expert opinion over a commissioned sales person.

This is why when you call EXAIR and have a question on a product or application you speak directly to an Application Engineer.  We are not commissioned sales people and we are all experts in our field of efficient compressed air usage.  We are going to be up front with our recommendations and also back our recommendations up with a 30 day guarantee along with a 5 year built to last warranty on all of our compressed air products.

P.S.   The track day video footage is still being processed.   I’m sure it will makes its way to our Facebook or Twitter feed.

Brian Farno
Application Engineer
BrianFarno@EXAIR.com
@EXAIR_BF