Died in a knitting accident, revisited

Finally, another reference to dying in a knitting accident - Who's line is it anyway had a do-wop song sketch where everyone but Colin had to sing about Cheryl dying in a tragic knitting accident.

Now I just need to find out if this was a new episode, and perhaps find a youtube clip


Pano Test

This is one we took on our drive along Route 101 on the Oregon coast. (Low res version)


Electric Bike project part 2

In short, It works. I actually meant to post this in August, but forgot.

Here's the pre-debug final assembly

The thumb lever is a touch far away, but still comfortable to use.

The drive side. We never actually did anything to attach the small pulley to the motor sprocket. It's just a taper press fit. We'll pin it if it has trouble, but it works so far after a few trips.

a view of the fender washer mounting method

Brian taking it out for a spin. He had some trouble, and we ended up moving the motor assembly closer to the seat to gain a small amount of tension in the chain.

The new motor position.

I don't think ther've been many problems since the last adjustment

It was alot of fun to tool around.

All in all, a good finished project. Good thing too, since I promised to buy it if it didn't work.

If I were to do this again, I might get a bigger battery pack, though range doesn't seem to be a problem. Also, Try not to have bolt heads intersecting with the chain. It doesn't work that way.

Electric Bike project part 1

Brian and I decided to build him an electric bike conversion so he can ride his bike to work. The problem with the ride normally is a gigantic hill on the way home. Our goal was to boost him up the hills, while still allowing him to bike normally (except with a heavy bike).

We based the design off of Eric Peltzer's Electric Bicycle. We modified the design to take into account a few major differences. We didn't want to weld anything, we wanted it to be cheaper, and we have access to a waterjet cutter.

Brian purchased a XYD-13 motor kit, which is a 600W motor that normally goes on a Currie Electric scooter. It came with a speed controller, and we had an option for a twist grip, or a thumb control. We also ordered a shaft, bearings, etc from McMaster Carr, and a small set of 10Ah batteries and charger. If he doesn't get enough range on the bike, the plan is to upgrade the batteries.

The motor came with an excellent one-way clutch built into the sprocket. We decided to keep this, which allows the motor pulley to freewheel while the bike is being pedaled.

Last weekend, after we had waterjet out the motor assembly frame, we spent a few hours assembling:
Full Gallery Link
The motor assembly

Preparing the output scprocket

Mounting the output sprocket

The fruits of the days efforts

Remaining items:
  • modify and mount the smaller pulley
  • get shorter bolts for the output sprocket
  • find and mount the bike rack to hold everything up
  • install the batteries, controller, and thumb control



or, the Great Internet Migratory Box of Electronics Junk. I've signed up in the box request section because you never know what you can find.

Things I may be able to add to boxes (pictures and more updates to come later):
Blank Circuit Boards (up to 15" on a side)
ICs of all flavors
Character LCDs
Old graphic LCDs (10+ inch)
Ubicom (Scenix, Parallax) SX chips

I probably have enough to start my own box.


Geohashing FAIL

So, I've been wanting to do a Geohash for a while now. Particularly a Saturday 4:00 meetup. So where is the meetup this Sat? only 0.5 miles from my house! Yay!

View Larger Map
However, I FAIL because I'm going to be in Renton by 3:00. I should find some way to leave a note or something.


Seattle Regional

We had a great time at the Microsoft Seattle Regional. We placed 2nd out of 31, and we made it to the semi-finals. We had quite a few excellent matches, and I was very happy to have my friend Mike Bastoni in town to see it. I'll write more about it later, but I wanted to share this banner made by the database of TheBlueAlliance.net, which looks like a great resource for watching match videos of the events.

Team 1318

No video yet from the seattle event, but they are posting videos from all the events that have webcasts, and are actually only a few matches behind at any given moment. Be sure the check out the events live on webcast where possible. The Boston regional has some very strong teams at the top of the list, and a few matches in Hawaii today made it clear that there were a number of teams that had won previous regionals present.

Worlds are going to be exciting.


Gas Receipts

I had a really bad habit of just keeping the gas receipts in the cupholder in our car. I finally brought them in and started recreating my old calculation spreadsheet. I even collected all the proper data on each receipt. Amazingly, I was only missing 3 receipts over the past year, and only one was damaged.

Google Spreadsheet

Yes, I had an entire year's worth of receipts in the cupholder. It was beginning to be difficult to shove more in.

Now I just need to find my old spreadsheet to recreate the first year or so of data. I think
I am missing all the data in between, though.

I am still averaging 47mpg in my 2005 Prius.