Hey LeChat, What Are You Working On?

Postby Squidly » Wed Aug 01, 2007 10:47 pm

You are one talented SOB!
I can't wait go for a ride on the Playa in that gorgeous hunk-o-machinery.
Do you require authentic period garb, or will standard issue combat boots and sarong do the trick?
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Postby LeChatNoir » Wed Aug 01, 2007 11:03 pm

SQUIDLY!!!!!

Friends not seen in a while are just what I needed at the moment. So I take it by your comments, that you will be on the playa this year???? Hmm????

Period garb is good. Combat boots are ok too. But period garb and combat boots... now we're getting somewhere.

There's a space in the rumble seat waiting for you.

My day just got a bit better. This lighting problem will be solved and in a creative, effective way. I'm sure of it. I've not yet met a problem I can't rig something around.
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Postby Token » Wed Aug 01, 2007 11:05 pm

Hmmmm...

I have 8 AA for 12V. I thought AA alkaline were ~ 5000 mAH or in that ballpark...

Could be you have different CCFL tubes than mine which draw more current and hopefully give more brightness.

Too bad the CCFL stuff is not standardized and regulated.

If you done all the isolation and measurements to make sure you don't have a rogue dc-ac inverter, I suppose a bigger battery is in order.

To put some perspective and give you a virtual hug and pat on the back; I'll trade you voltmeter and solder time, pound for pound, for forge and anvil time, any day of the week. And I have a forge and anvil in the shop. A bigger battery or multiple small batteries ... We can hide those in the undercarriage ...

T
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Postby LeChatNoir » Wed Aug 01, 2007 11:18 pm

Thanks, Token.

It is sort of strange. I didn't want to dive into disconecting all the CCFL's, so instead tested one by itself that was another brand altogether. And still showed around the same amount. I've got a 12V AA pack for my EL wire on the bike, too. I may have to do some testing with it. Like hook it up and see how long it lasts.

I think a new volt meter might be in order too. This one has got to be 15 years old at least.

I'm gonna sleep on it and see what the next day brings.
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Postby dragonfly Jafe » Thu Aug 02, 2007 4:50 am

LeChatNoir wrote:...I think a new volt meter might be in order too. This one has got to be 15 years old at least....


Nah, volts just ain't what they used to be, what with inflation and all...
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Postby LeChatNoir » Thu Aug 02, 2007 6:41 am

AHAAHAA HA... you figured it out. I must not be conpensating for inflation.

Where is the calibrating dial for these things, anyway?

Should I be worried about the phase of the moon also? I hear it can make volts bloated (and thus weigh more) at certain times of the month. It was just full the other night.
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Postby LeChatNoir » Mon Aug 06, 2007 4:33 pm

Contraptioneers!!!

There’s news of the test run.

We slid open the bay door and out she came without any problems at all. We pushed her up to the flat spot and gave the flywheel a spin…

And quickly found a weak spot in the drive train. Two actually. The crank arm was made in two pieces to aid in installation. This was ultimately a bad idea, since under heavy load it allowed some shift (and thus a misalignment) in the crank arm, which translated to an oscillation in the drive sprocket, which threw the chain off. The second was revealed by the ground still being slightly soft from Saturday’s rain and therefore there was more friction to deal with (tires pushed into ground further) to get started and the single belt could not overcome it and slipped .


With the help of some real troopers (Chaba and The Wizard), last night the crank arm was remade as a one piece. Earlier this morning I reinstalled it. The ground was dryer, so with Karine in the drivers seat, and myself and her middle son pumping the crank, we got it to start and roll 150 feet or so.

Double groove pulleys were ordered today so that there will be two final drive belts to deal with the “slipping on takeoffâ€
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Postby unjonharley » Mon Aug 06, 2007 5:32 pm

sad decision this weekend.. i have stoped work on the ric-shaw.. it is taking up to much energy for me to conplete..

the musical moop mobile is ready to load on the trailer..

today i made a seat for the zappy..

in the morning i will build a van top carrier out of a skie rack and a toprail for chain link fence.. it will double to make an air space over the top of the van.. with an extention to tarp over the sliding door that swings out 4-5 inches..

have to put down tile floor in the bath room.. just to much stuff right now


can t wait to ride that contrapt en
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Postby bigbluedoggy » Mon Aug 06, 2007 8:51 pm

What fun! It's looking great! Can't wait to see it! Thanks!!!
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Postby gyre » Mon Aug 06, 2007 9:49 pm

Next time, Unjon.
There's never enough time.
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Postby Tiahaar » Mon Aug 06, 2007 10:35 pm

HoHo!! That's a great photo up there!! What a wonderful Contraption and Brave Engineer at the ready! I never bothered to unlock the bonus parts of my Corel photo suite, but if someone were to redo that in an old sepia toned print...ha, would take you back a hundred plus years.

So guess what I'm off to the playa this weekend, got in on the solar crew! My stuff is being thrown into the rig as-is ready or not the next few days, MadMaxBunny will have to wait till next year (Unjon you better get well and be out there!) but my trike will be there, see you all soon and travel safe.
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Postby karine » Tue Aug 07, 2007 8:38 pm

sorry about your ric shaw Unjohn.
It never feels to me.. good, I guess.... to not get enough done -
even when I KNOW my plate is overloaded.

You may have made the right decision- but it is hard, sometimes...
setting projects aside does mean it'll be better for the fun next year, though!
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Postby gyre » Tue Aug 07, 2007 8:42 pm

Is there somebody under that hat, Karine?
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Postby robotland » Wed Aug 08, 2007 4:07 am

unjonharley wrote:sad decision this weekend.. i have stoped work on the ric-shaw.. it is taking up to much energy for me to conplete..



The important thing is that you're still going.
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Postby robotland » Wed Aug 08, 2007 4:12 am

LeChatNoir wrote:








Image


HUZZAH! I'm glad that the failure was detected while still at the proving grounds! I have my elves working on your cold-cathode problem, but like me they tend to be "vernacular electricians"...I suspect that, as earlier theorized, you've got a clunker in there somewhere. I'm a happy man when I'm wiring, but turn sour quickly while debugging....Good luck to you, sir. Your achievement is nothing short of Brobdignigian! Proud to be contributing a little scrap of effort towards the greater glory, I am!
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Postby LeChatNoir » Wed Aug 08, 2007 7:07 am

The LED strings I ordered came in Monday. I hooked up a set last night to test it out and they put out as much, if not a little more, light than the CCFLs. It is blue, instead of that groovy purple, though. And I found something that makes me feel a bit better about thinking of converting to LEDs…

During the test run, one of the CCFL’s cracked. I suspect during some moment of frame flex while pushing it up the hill. It was in a place that was out of the way, so I don’t think it was hit or kicked. So… yet another thing was trouble-shot (trouble-shooted?… trouble-shat?). It would suck to get out there and find that half of them were broken during transport. So I’ll get to work on that tonight and Chaba is coming over Thursday to help get the drive train mods done. Time is beginning to wane away. Yikes!!!
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Postby LeChatNoir » Wed Aug 08, 2007 7:17 am

robotland wrote:
unjonharley wrote:sad decision this weekend.. i have stoped work on the ric-shaw.. it is taking up to much energy for me to conplete..



The important thing is that you're still going.


Yes... a VERY important thing.
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Postby Finnegan » Wed Aug 08, 2007 8:24 am

Hey LeChat, I saw a couple nice old lanterns on Craigslist; thought you might be interested..

http://eugene.craigslist.org/for/391823820.html
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Postby unjonharley » Fri Aug 10, 2007 7:39 pm

la chat, snaped over two hundred pictures of contraptions.. put em on disc for you and a couple more contraptioneers.. some thing to waste the winter watching..

old farm machines, a engine out of a stern wheeler, elliots rig and other like it, steam engines and other goodies..

keep giving us a report on your hay rake.. makes me feel a part of..

dragon fly will like the tracked machines and the naked guy will like the kinetic art forms..
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Postby LeChatNoir » Fri Aug 10, 2007 10:42 pm

Thanks for the heads up on the old candle lanterns!!

And unjon... Every time this things honks, it bleats out because of you. You are a permanent part of this here hayrake-o-matic machine.




Last night (with Chaba’s help) and this afternoon I finished up the drivetrain overhaul. She now has a double belt to the rear axle and a lower gear ratio. And the clutch is redesigned into a much cleaner approach that is much more effective… more travel and better all around engage. I’m not going to jinx it by saying it’ll do it this time, but I’m very encouraged.

And the LEDs are on and glowing just fine with a total draw of 0.6A. That means +/- 12 hours of light per charge. I can live with that.

Tomorrow is Contraption test 2.0. Look for better pictures and more details. The ground is dry and preliminary tests look promising. Keep your fingers crossed.

Edit to add:

HOT DAMN!!!

200 pics of whirly steamin' gear driven thing-um-bobs to get me through the dark time of the year?!?! Terrific!
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Postby karine » Fri Aug 10, 2007 11:01 pm

That thing moves so easy now - it's frackin brilliant.
The test run tomorrow will see if there is any proof in the pudding!

*grabs bottle of 100 proof for the pudding*

(and Does Gyre already not like my "contraptioneering" hat?! WTF?!)
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Postby gyre » Fri Aug 10, 2007 11:26 pm

No, I love the hat.
I'm glad the contraption is coming along.


Unjon, I'd love a copy of that stuff if you can crank one out.
I got to see some of Le Chat's metalwork at the regional in north carolina.
Much better live and in person.
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Postby Zulegoona » Sat Aug 11, 2007 6:56 am

I love the British expeditionary pith helmet Karine I want one and found some on line ,and considered buying a dozen to gift camp mates the remainder ( since with the addition of a pasty they would be appropriate for the bOOby Bar ) but don’t think I could get them from Vietnam in time. At least this time being a day late saves me some dollars.

Good luck on the testing today!
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Postby Zulegoona » Sat Aug 11, 2007 7:24 pm

No word yet on how the test went today,.. I can sort of picture them pumping away and having such a good time somebody decides to take it up on the road and before you know it they’re on a road trip,... a wild night of racing Amish Buggies,..... next week there will be Buggies with ground effects lighting and flame cannons ,.... Le Chat what have you done!
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Postby karine » Sat Aug 11, 2007 7:51 pm

Zulegoona- You and my 13 year old son think alike! He was just pondering what might happen if we took it out on the road & liked it...
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Postby LeChatNoir » Sat Aug 11, 2007 8:24 pm

Well…














I think I’d classify it as a success.

The lower gearing made it easier and the new, improved clutch is spot on. Even in a lumpy grassy yard with a slight ups and downs, we were able to keep it moving. It performed admirably and reliably. With numerous test runs, it still started easily and never skipped a cog. Running at a whopping 2.5 MPH (estimated) I think it did very well for a vehicle fueled by pizza and beer.

It can’t exactly turn on a dime, but the smokestack puffed just like it was supposed to. And at night the lights look mighty fine.

So without further delay, here’s the pics form test day:





A couple of side shots:


Image



Image






And one for Mozy:


Image







And nothing looks finer after a night on the town than your old barn in the headlamps' glow:


Image
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Postby karine » Sat Aug 11, 2007 8:31 pm

LCN didn't get any people pics, because when all the people are around, he's ON or UNDER the contraption & having so much fun, no one even THINKS about grabbing his camera.

But I think there are some around here somewhere....
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Postby Charlie_in_OC » Sat Aug 11, 2007 8:44 pm

LCN, Thanks for all the updates on the contraption. Everytime I think about being a BM virgin and building a art car and going solo all I have to do is read this thread to remind myself I'm almost sane :)
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Postby unjonharley » Sat Aug 11, 2007 8:53 pm

\/
you have my vote,,

CONTRAPTIONEER OF THE YEER!!!!
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Postby karine » Sat Aug 11, 2007 9:02 pm

Ah HA!

Image
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