Wednesday, April 16, 2014

Workshop Wednesday-A New Age

 Well it seems we're getting closer to the day when the average joe won't be able to do any work on his small engine equipment. At work we sell the complete line of Husqvarna small engine equipment and lately we've been seeing a lot of hi tech offerings from the big H. One of them is the "smart switch".

 This is a keyless ignition switch/info center in one. You can enter a security code to keep the kids from accidentally starting the machine. It also tells you if the pto is engaged or if the park brake is on. These things have to be in the right position before it will start. Other features include a battery state of charge indicator, reverse safety switch and headlight switch. Hell, this machine has LED headlights.
 The Briggs engine has an auto choke so all you do is press the start button and the machine will crank up to 5 seconds attempting to start. If its really cold out you can hold the button for 3 seconds and the machine will then make a 10 second cranking attempt to start. A single press of the button shuts it down. All the pretty colors make it kinda cool. I'm a sucker for this gadgety kind of crap.

Another hi tech advance in small engines is Husqvarna's "Auto Tune".

 Now when a chainsaw comes in  we can hook it to a laptop and see all kinds of info about the saw and do some tests on things like throttle position sensor, temp sensor and such. We can see things like the serial number of the saw, total run time, highest rpm (which is over 14,000 on some of these saws) and carb temperature. We can see warmest start attempts, coldest start attempts and total starts. We also get to see a bar graph of how much time is spent at different rpm levels. There is another set of numbers on there that represent fuel quality. Don't lie to me and tell me you're running premium gas when the computer is telling me you have crap gas in there.
 Auto tune seems to work pretty well. It adjusts the fuel  mixture by attempting to lean out the mix, then reading rpm and adjusting the mix accordingly. This process happens continually. There are no hi or lo speed screws to mess with. Not even an idle adjust screw. Beam me up Scotty.
 We've got a big log out back. When a customers first tries one of these saws the reaction has always been positive.

 Now if they would only come up with a way for me to find my misplaced tools. Is there an app for that?

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