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post #1 of 2 Old May 7th, 2009, 11:35 am Thread Starter
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Digital Fuel gage oddities

I've finally figured out the digital fuel gage on my MC

The fuel gauge cannot measure the level of fuel in the tank; as soon as it tries to get a reading it changes the fuel level (see Heisenberg).

The same principle can be applied to the gauge itself, if you don't look at it, it will remain full.

The thing is the gauge is "trying" to be accurate, but being a digital thing in an analog world, it has to rely on other cues than actual fuel level to figure out what to display.

It starts by correctly reporting a full tank and figures it can get away with that for a while.

Then, it notices that you keep looking at it and figures that something's up with that; you, being an analog being must know better than it how much fuel you have left, and that has to be why you keep checking. This causes the gauge to decide that it should turn the top bar off.

By now the poor thing figures it's done its job and can rest a while, but you keep checking, and the more you check, the more the gauge feels that it should indicate a lower fuel level than the last time you checked.

Of course, the poor thing wouldn't suffer such anxiety if it were an analog gauge, it could simply move the needle a tiny immeasurable fraction od an amount and feel confident that it did its job.

As it is, the gauge reads the rider more than it reads the fuel tank. I have figured out how its mind works (I knew I was a psych major for a reason...once…but flunked out when I stop taking my meds), and it's fun to mess with the digital gauge.

Remember: the more you look at it; the closer to empty it reads.

I figured I had done really well when I managed to have it flash the fuel icon at me only one hour after filling it (I looked at the thing every 2 seconds), but I recently outdid myself: I looked at the gauge so much, that I managed to cause it to indicate empty BEFORE I had even filled it up...
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post #2 of 2 Old May 7th, 2009, 1:50 pm
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Re: Digital Fuel gage oddities

Quote:
Originally Posted by Xavier6162
I've finally figured out the digital fuel gage on my MC

The fuel gauge cannot measure the level of fuel in the tank; as soon as it tries to get a reading it changes the fuel level (see Heisenberg).

The same principle can be applied to the gauge itself, if you don't look at it, it will remain full.

The thing is the gauge is "trying" to be accurate, but being a digital thing in an analog world, it has to rely on other cues than actual fuel level to figure out what to display.

It starts by correctly reporting a full tank and figures it can get away with that for a while.

Then, it notices that you keep looking at it and figures that something's up with that; you, being an analog being must know better than it how much fuel you have left, and that has to be why you keep checking. This causes the gauge to decide that it should turn the top bar off.

By now the poor thing figures it's done its job and can rest a while, but you keep checking, and the more you check, the more the gauge feels that it should indicate a lower fuel level than the last time you checked.

Of course, the poor thing wouldn't suffer such anxiety if it were an analog gauge, it could simply move the needle a tiny immeasurable fraction od an amount and feel confident that it did its job.

As it is, the gauge reads the rider more than it reads the fuel tank. I have figured out how its mind works (I knew I was a psych major for a reason...once…but flunked out when I stop taking my meds), and it's fun to mess with the digital gauge.

Remember: the more you look at it; the closer to empty it reads.

I figured I had done really well when I managed to have it flash the fuel icon at me only one hour after filling it (I looked at the thing every 2 seconds), but I recently outdid myself: I looked at the gauge so much, that I managed to cause it to indicate empty BEFORE I had even filled it up...
Thank you!...This is the first rational explanation of the intermittent peculiarities associated with my digital fuel gauge.

I believe your theory also may be applicable to the "miles to empty log" on the trip computer. I noticed that when my anxiety associated with running out of gas increases, it plays with me a little. Say I have 30 miles to empty: I slow down a little usually crouching behind the windscreen to lessen wind resistance - it rewards me by maybe showing 32 miles to go. Anxiety decreases a little but while I am still hovering in the wind shadow of my fairing, I start banging away on my GPS trying to find the nearest gas station.

If my GPS shows a fuel stop nearby the trip computer becomes aloof seemingly to respond with precision. But - if there is no nearby gas station, the trip computer apparently starts talking to the fuel gauge, both of which now working in conjuction wait until they cause and sense my panic.

At the precise moment when I break out into a cold sweat, the trip computer flat lines - It doesn't even bother to let me know if I can make the gas station that the GPS has discovered. I consider that extremely rude particularly since I always use premium gas.

Don't get me wrong, I'm not placing any blame on the GPS. As a matter of fact, I use the trip odometer function on the GPS to estimate how far I can actually go. Hmmmm....That might explain why my GPS malfunctioned in southern Nevada on the Extraterrestial Highway shortly after seeing the sign on Hwy 375 that says: "No Gas Stations for 150 miles." The deviant gas gauge and trip computer were flexing their OEM muscle. They knew I wouldn't want to be stranded there.

Jim S.
'07 SturmGrau K1200LT

“Not all those who wander are lost.”


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