Archive for the Uncategorized Category
Dec 01 2010
It has been a very long time since my last post…apologies, I’ve been working on other projects. However, here are some new photos from my trip to Mongolia in June. Check out the Heritable Innovation Trust for more information.
Apologies for the awkward display - please visit their site to see the whole map moving.
The Decline of Employment: 2007-2009
MyBB - lots of functionality, lots of themes, can’t beat it for the price…which is free.
Have you been looking for an interesting foldable electric scooter? This one is interesting - from MIT. Click here: http://labcast.media.mit.edu/?p=31
If you live in Morgan County West Virginia and would like better high speed Internet and/or cell phone service. Please visit, http://www.wiremorgan.com to fill out our survey.
The BugE has a fresh future/retro look that is both simple but interesting, yet is based on reliable off the shelf components. It is a human scaled vehicle that you get into and onto as well. The term “CycleCar” describes it well.The Bodywork is nicely formed and the canopy is beautiful. The tires have a neat road race tread pattern, and the wheels are powder coated cast aluminum.
The BugE is powered by a 5.5″ ADC series wound motor, a 300amp Alltrax NPX controller, and four Exide AGM lead acid batteries with onboard Soneil chargers that can plug into any 110v wall outlet .
Inside a BugE
Entering the BugE involves lifting the Fairing, which pivots neatly around the front wheels, then placing one leg into the footwell, sliding down into the seat, then placing you other leg inside. The fairing/canopy is supported by the front axle, so holding it up is fairly easy. The Test BugE had a prop to hold the fairing in any case.
This BugE also had a slider to adjust the seat for the driver, since many people try out the vehicle at shows. The seat pivoted on a hinge and rubber bumpers to absorb bumps and vibration. In the stock kit, the seat is simply bolted on, in a comfortable position for the owner, however all the options above can be added by the builder.
The handlebars are fairly well positioned, but this too is an adjustable personal choice. A thumb throttle applies the power although an optional motorcycle twist grip could also be substituted as in this unit.
The brakes are a bit unusual in that each lever operates one front brake. You can “brake steer” with this set up, and compensate for left/right traction, but if you apply both brakes together, the BugE stops straight and smoothly. There is also a rear wheel parking brake.
The headlights are also individually operated, with the right light being the “low beam” and both lights on for “high beam”. The handlebar controls also include turn signals and horn buttons.
There are no foot pedals, transmission or clutch.
A simple battery meter indicates available power, and tracks how much power you are using as you drive.
The front “trunk” holds a lot more than you might think, but the opening is only about a square foot. You can also hang a backpack off the seat too, which is handy, plus there is a little tray in front of the seat.
Visibility out is excellent, with very little distortion though the aerodynamic canopy. However the test BugE had a split canopy enabling the rear portion to be removed in hot weather. This feature however requires a frame over the canopy that interferes with the view a bit. The Fairing sides also block the view over the shoulder, so placement of the rear view side mirrors is important.
The steering column is mounted on a long tube designed to bend in an impact, but it flexes a bit too much.
Driving the BugE
Steering effort is rather high at low speeds or when turning tight, but feels much better at speed. The BugE tracks well and feels stable, but side winds can buffet the BugE around like the light vehicle it is.
Acceleration off the line is smooth but controlled, however acceleration builds quickly and the BugE pulls strongly all the way to top speed, accompanied by the rising whine of the torquey ADC Series wound motor. Lots of mid range power for traffic. Once moving the BugE is very responsive and quick.
The suspension is harsh at low speeds especially if you clunk into pot holes and over railroad tracks, much like riding a recumbent bicycle. In addition the Fairing jiggles and bounces since it is attached to the front axle. At higher speeds though, the ride smooths out and the BugE takes bumps much better. A single motorcycle shock suspends the front axle and the rear end has a rubber bumper/swing arm in a simple but clever system that pivots under your seat.
Handling is limited by the narrow tires with only so much traction which makes the BugE feels zippy and light weight but still pretty stable and very maneuverable.
The Fairing is effective at deflecting the wind and rain, and the only turbulence, around the arms and shoulders, is fairly mild. You still need to dress for the weather however since there is no heater of course.
On the road, rain beads up and streams off in the wind, with interesting special effects. RainEx works well, but drizzle is distracting in any case. Another aspect of the BugE you have to get used to.
Its not quiet inside at any speed, since the chain drive and motor noise is trapped in the cockpit with you. The sound is very kinetic, much like a large battery powered tool ( which it is actually). You either love the electro-mechanical sound effects, or you don’t.
The BugE is not for everyone, and not for everywhere.
Depending on what happens in the next few years, we can probably agree that the economy is in rough waters and the climate is producing weather patterns that we’re not used to. Right now we’re getting our water from a complex system of reservoirs, treatment plants and pipes. How can we increase our water security if things get bad? I’ve posted about rain barrels before. Large cisterns are also an option. But if you can’t get one, can’t afford one, or need something quick, why not use your swimming pool? Granted, you won’t be able to use it for swimming till you clean it out well, but in the meantime, you could redirect your rain gutters to fill the pool up. If it’s dry most of the time, catching the sporadic heavy monsoon type rains would last you for awhile. It would then be possible to use gravity setups and drip soaker hoses to water your garden, wash your car, you get the idea. If you put a little off spout in the line, you could have a separate catch basin for drinking/showering water. Just an idea that you might use if it gets rough out there.
As the economy tries to get its act together, many people are worried. Depending on our attachments, there may be certain things to worry about. If we’re able to adapt however, release , grow, and be leaders, we cannot retreat to fear. We must be emboldened in the opportunity presented by our morphing system. More eloquently:
Our Greatest Fear
“Our deepest fear is not that we are inadequate. Our deepest fear is that we are powerful beyond measure. It is our light , not our darkness, that most frightens us. We ask ourselves, who am I to be brilliant, gorgeous, talented and fabulous? Actually, who are you not to be? You are a child of god. Your playing small doesn’t serve the world. There’s nothing enlightened about shrinking so that other people won’t feel insecure around you. We were born to make and manifest the glory of god that is within us. It’s not just in some of us; it’s in everyone. And as we let our own light shine, we unconsciously give other people permission to do the same. As we are liberated from our own fear, our presence automatically liberates others.”