Tuesday, 14 November 2017

Shhh!

What's this?

It's an out of focus picture of a toggle from a drawstring bag and a piece of foam rubber glued to a section of expired credit card. The real question is "what's it for?"

It's a removable indicator buzzer mute for the Caterham Seven sports car. The Caterham has a piercing and annoying audible warning on the indicators and it's very common for owners to silence it by sticking tape over the sounder. The problem is that the Caterham doesn't have self-cancelling indicators and that at motorway speeds (and above) the buzzer is only just loud enough to remind you that the indicators are on.

The sounder is a black 12mm cylinder nestling amongst a loom of wires under the scuttle. To find it by feel you'd need the sensitivity of a braille speed reader. To be able to see it you need the flexibility of a circus contortionist – you have to feed yourself headfirst on your back into the footwell. The first time I did this I had my mobile phone in my mouth to be sure I could reach it to call for help.

I have lasso'd the buzzer with a cable tie which hangs down above the driver's knees. You can feed the mute up the cable tie with relative ease and silence the indicators at will.

It's impossible the photograph the mute in situ, but this shows the principle of operation. The end of the pen represents the buzzer.

I'm proud of the design – which used only things that I had around the house, I'm proud of the fact that it works, and I'm unduly proud of the fact that I managed to bond a polythene ball to a credit card. I used 2-part methacrylate adhesive which melts most plastics and then sets rock hard. Of course it doesn't even stick to polythene, but I filed a flat on the ball and then sawed a series of very small dovetails which are full of adhesive.

Richard "McGuyvor" B

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