“Check Diagnostics for Brake ECU at next stop” on Volvo B7TL bus – Brake wear level too low

Rikku’s Volvo B7TL double decker has recently hit over 1 million miles, (yes 1 MILLION), and just today threw a Brake ECU message with yellow CHECK lamp. Her B7TL was the first double decker we bought in 2009 from West Midlands Travel, owned by National Express. Today I actually had time to do some pictures of the diagnostic menu.

It’s the most common “Check diagnostics for xxxxx ECU at next stop” message you’ll see, and as the brake system has wear level sensors, if you have drivers that don’t realise there’s a RETARDER (engine brake between the driveshaft and gearbox), they use the brakes too much and the lining wears out, triggering this fault message. It isn’t really a fault, but a friendly message to say, “Hey, your brakes are wearing thin!”

If you get this too much, you need to take your drivers into a meeting and tell them to use the brake pedal only half way for just the retarder! Pressing it all the way activates the service brakes as well, and can make the braking too bitey and uncomfortable for passengers. Retarders are great, they’re like using the gears to slow down in a manual car, saving the brakes.

The drivers always send me photos of the display at the roadside once they’re empty and pulled over safely, and I keep them as part of the service history, and they’re good for TideLog too, here you can see the message, plus the yellow CHECK lamp, so the vehicle systems are telling us gently there’s something needs replacing that isn’t critical, such as brake light LED clusters, or brake discs/pads:

The yellow CHECK lamp means a non-critical message or error. If the red STOP! exclamation lamp EVER illuminates, don’t do what First Manchester do and continue driving, you MUST STOP IMMEDIATELY.

So, I have trained Rikku and the drivers to be able to do basic diagnostics as they’re on the radio to us at Comms when out on the road. On the Volvos (B7TL, B9TL double deckers and B7RLE single decker) it’s really easy, you can do it using the steering column stalks without the IMPACT software on a laptop, that’s usually my job if I need to access freeze frame data from the systems when the error occurred, a bit like the flight data recorder of an aeroplane. Here the bus tells us what’s wrong, and as we’ve entered the diagnostic menu the yellow CHECK lamp goes out:

“Sensor lining left forward value too low. Active. Number of events 34”

This error basically translates to “Left front wheel brake wear sensor has detected brake lining worn past limit, error has occurred 34 times (ignition cycles) and it is still an active error.”

Replacing the brake pads and discs (I usually do all of them for safety in one go) recalibrating the sensors, and clearing the faults solves the issue!

 

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‘Supergirl’ Melissa Benoist: ‘When People Harass Others They Should Always Be Held Accountable’

“Supergirl” star Melissa Benoist has released a statement on Twitter calling for safe workplaces and for harassers to be held accountable. “Supergirl” executive producer Andrew Kreisberg was suspended Friday by Warner Bros. TV Group while the studio conducts an investigation of multiple allegations of sexual harassment against him. However, Benoist did not mention a specific name or reason in her tweet.

“I am a woman who leads a show that supports equality and feminism, empowerment, and fighting for what is right,” she wrote, “Sadly, the show and my career are part of an industry that doesn’t always mirror these sentiments.”
“When people commit crimes or harass others they should always be held accountable — no matter what industry they work in or how much power they wield.

“So this week, I’ll head back to Supergirl even more committed to being a part of changing the norm by listening when people speak up, and refusing to accept an environment that is anything less than a safe, respectful and collaborative space,” she wrote.

“Arrow” star Emily Bett Rickards also weighed in, referencing a tweet from “Arrow” co-showrunner Marc Guggenheim. Guggenheim was responding to a tweet from Conan O’Brien that said, “I’m ready for the all-female reboot of America.” Guggenheim, apparently taking O’Brien’s tweet literally, objected that “reverse sexism” isn’t the answer. Rickards tweeted that men who complain about reverse sexism are “weak and complicit.”

Kreisberg, who also is exec producer on CW shows “Arrow,” “The Flash” and “DC’s Legends of Tomorrow,” is alleged by 19 people to have asked for massages from female staff members, made continuous sexual comments, and created an extremely uncomfortable work environment, particularly for female staffers.

He denied that any inappropriate touching or massages occurred.

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Why there’s more to Supergirl’s outfit than meets the eye

With the upcoming Season 3 premiere of Supergirl on The CW October 9th, I thought about how every superhero has an iconic super-outfit that becomes synonymous with the character. It’s part of their identity, and it often aids them in their world-saving missions. It’s important to recognize that what Supergirl wears is a tool that assists her when fighting those who wish to do her city harm, not a fashion statement. In some canons, it’s even a lasting symbol of her Kryptonian heritage.

Because Kara Zor-El is so powerful, she needs her suit to match what she does – one that can keep up with her. And while we know that her friend, Winn, helped to make her suit, that can’t be regular fabric that’s holding up at the speed she’s soaring through the air. While there have been some Supergirl stories in which she can create a small force field around her for protection, other stories mention that her costume is made out of Kryptonian fabric.

So while we don’t know much about what this super suit is made of, we can talk about what it would have to do to be the practical tool Supergirl needs.

The Cape

Kara’s cape is the only part of her costume that we know about in detail. At first, Winn thought that a cape wouldn’t look good. But we all learned pretty quickly that fashion does not matter anywhere near as much as function when you’re fighting bad guys – especially when you’re flying. The famous red cape that Supergirl adorns actually aids with aerodynamics, much like the lycra skinsuit a race cyclist wears does. The cape can cause turbulence in the air that allows her to slow down just enough to bank and make hard turns in the air.

After the cape was punctured by gunfire, Winn made a new cape out of a structured polymer composite. This made the cape much sturdier and harder to tear. And that may have worked just fine if James Olsen hadn’t brought Kara a gift from her cousin, Superman (aka Clark Kent, just in case you aren’t in the know.) The Kryptonian blanket Clark was wrapped in for his journey to Earth is made of much more durable material than anything we have on this planet, and is therefore an even better tool for Kara.

Qualities of her iconic (possibly Kryptonian) suit

As for the rest of her crime fighting attire, Kara needs something a little more advanced than spandex, or even Kevlar, to help her out. Kara has a lot of powers, and her suit needs to hold up in some pretty intense situations. For a lot of reasons, her suit would have to be not only heat resistant, but also fireproof.

The first of these reasons is her heat vision. She’s not only sending beams of heat directly into her line of sight, she’s also warming the air around her. With that strong heat in such close vicinity, a lot of fabrics would fall apart. (The melting point of spandex is around 450 ° F, and Kara easily melts lead at over 600°.)

On top of her heat vision, Kara can fly so quickly, she can break the sound barrier. That’s over 700 mph. That friction would surely cause overheating and cause Earth fabric to rip or burn. Think about the super suit worn by Barry Allen, aka The Flash. It’s an enhanced prototype firefighting suit that Star Labs developed. He needs something fire resistant because of how fast he can run. And we all know from the Flash/Supergirl crossover that Kara can give Barry a run for his money.

Oh, and her suit would also have to be bulletproof. So this isn’t just some pretty skirt and a cape. This super suit is a scientific marvel, possibly from another planet, that can endure a lot more that you’d expect. SuperMel looks pure sweetness in it, and of course badass, when she’s in kickass mode! I grew up in the Helen Slater 1984 movie era, which was where the current TV series costume gets its looks, so it is a design I can relate to, and like.

And that’s why it is absolutely perfect for a kickass hero like Supergirl.

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A sample of Kana’s Superheroine art

Kana has been doing Manga and Anime artwork for quite some time, and often does comics with her drawings. I recently experienced a different, and rather naughty, side to her artiste ability. Kana made me a really nice birthday card with a rather cute ‘n’ naughty Supergirl on the front, winking at me and lifting her top and skirt up, pouting sweetly. I was amazed when I saw her:

She’s always been a good artist, and usually does manga and Anime, so this new pin-up style really amazed me. They always say if you want to get inside an artist’s mind, watch what she doodles. It’s certainly true, if this gorgeous lady has come from Kana’s mind as her interpretation of what a Superwoman is, then I want more! Her muscle tone, curves, midriff detail, face and cheeky wink ‘n’ pout expression and the detail of her costume and cape are perfect!

UPDATE: She’s actually a picture of Kana’s ex Ariel who she met at the gym in 1998, before her and I got together in 2002. Kana got her to cosplay for her for a party years ago, Ariel loved it and pulled this cheeky pose just before they had their ahem “role-play fun time” back home later! Kana says she never forgot the pose, and drew her to keep her memory alive. Awwww!

Take a look at this pic of Supergirl Ariel being surprised at PowerGirl embracing her and cheekily lifting her skirt that I found in her artbook, as another glimpse into the sexy, strong superheroine lady filled mind of Ms. Ishikawa:

You can tell from these that she’s a wild bisexual lady that loves hot, strong, toned superheroines, isn’t afraid to show it and I love her for it. She expresses herself really well in music, and artwork, as well as when we roleplay and cosplay together, and she turns into my very own real muscly, toned Kana Zor-El, busting out Karate moves on the punchbag in her Supergirl costume, cape and boots.

Thanks SuperKana honey, I love you so much, you’re my amazing SuperLady xxxx

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Meet SuperYurie Zor-El!

Didn’t we say a while back we’d introduce a sweet Japanese Supergirl? Today we just shot three new sets featuring Yurie, our cute new Japanese heroine to join our super lineup! There’s something about a cute innocent Japanese honey in a superheroine costume, cape and boots that make my heart race, SuperKana Zor-El will vouch for that! She might be cute on the outside, but as our promos show, she’s a cute kickass caped goddess!

Yurie (short for Yuriko) is an ex Martial Arts student of Kana’s who spent three years learning the arts of self defence, Kana became really close to her as a friend, she has now backed up her skills with the iconic and equally colourful cape, costume and boots of everyone’s favourite female sci-fi superheroine! She loved every minute of it, and we love her <3

These promos are full size, click them for the full image, feel free to save them too, and let SuperYurie save you in your dreams 🙂 She blew us away when she jumped into the costume for us, the colours really suit her:

Set 1: SuperYurie kicks alien facehugger/lobster ass!

This set shows how Yurie has turned from a sweet innocent Japanese angel into a kickass caped and booted superheroine, all thanks to her real life training with Kana at White Tiger Martial Arts Academy. An alien lobster/crabby/facehugger thing appears, and she kicks it straight to crustacean hell, all the while looking really mean and sexy throwing high kicks! But, in the full set, it comes back and illuminates itself with a Kryptonite coating, revealing itself as a KryptoKrab (TM KanaPhotographics), weakening our cute heroine. What will happen next?



Set 2: SuperYurie is cornered and conquered by her evil clone SuperAkiko!

In this set SuperYurie gets a surprise, out of nowhere an evil (and rather curvy and cuddly!) clone Supergirl appears who goes by SuperAkiko, and proceeds to conquer and defeat SuperYurie. Can Yurie survive? She must try to, SuperAkiko would wreak havoc if she got away:

With the KryptoNecklace round her neck, SuperYurie must be doomed…..or must she? Find out when they’re released! We are actually shooting two different endings…..

UPDATE Oct 2017 – Set 3 – SuperYurie is confronted by Catwoman & the Alien Facehugger KryptoCrab

Catwoman and Supergirl are long term enemies, and SuperYurie has luckily managed to avoid being prowled on! Until now, that is! Catwoman catches up with her after the facehugging KryptoKrab weakens her, trapping her for Catwoman to tease and play with her new mouse in a cape!

Once Catwoman catches up with her, she befriends SuperYurie, and places a KryptoNecklace round her neck, weakening her. Catwoman is then free to toy with her new caped mouse as she pleases. A lick here, a scratch there, or maybe worse?

We’re trying a new mix of heroine peril, as the superheroine always winning can get boring. Just ask SuperKana Zor-El after I trapped her in KryptoGunge recently, she wasn’t expecting her superhero to turn nasty on her (lovingly, of course, I wanted to see if she still had her acting skills, which she did!)

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