Episode 012: Getting Around

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Keep safe in traffic and on the road! This episode seems to have turned into a vehicles episode. We chat about modifying brake lights on motorcycles, trucks on skateboards, the size of a bike, and the general operating mechanics of hovercraft.

You can listen to or download the episode below or over at archive.org. Also, please subscribe to us on iTunes and if you have a minute, give us a rating!


R1 – 0:50 – A quick reference from our intro
-The Dammit Logo Jake was talking about. Since my computer died, this is the only picture I currently have of it.

Q1 – 5:08 – Flashing Brake Lights
-Here’s what jake was reading about astable, monostable and bistable modes with a 555 timer (and here’s another link with a lot more math)
-Some basic info on Logic Gates (I still think that you might be able to use one AND gate and a digital switch. Having both the brake light, and the timer going to the and gate – when the gate is high, the timer circuit could pull the light to ground, when it’s low, the brake light would go through as normal – you just need to make sure your timer never shorts to open)
-You also need to make sure that flashing brake lights are legal in your state, province or country.
-While we both laughed off the fan with the hole idea, I think if you put a bunch of holes in there, and had some light always showing through somewhere, it could make for an interesting effect. Something like this, but not for microscopes and not with pinholes (though considering I can’t find anything online similar to what I want, this is probably a terrible idea)
-I found a bunch of step by step builds covering exactly what went into their brake lights. (thank you archive.org for storing that last link!)
-I also learned about a new (to me) IC timer, the 4060. Someone used it in a build (instead of having to program a processor), and provided a video of it’s operation.
-This instructable gives you a good idea of where the wiring is going on a basic motorcycle, and where you might want to tap in your circuit.
-An excellent resource on figuring out how to deal with voltage and wiring.

Q2 – 18:56 – Longboard Modification
-Trucks and hangers seem to go for about 20-40 dollars. Tensioned for much more.
-take a look at how manufactured trucks are put together and installed, then look at poorly documented instructions by people online. Get into a local shop class and start cutting steel to the correct angles!
-Someone with a similar problem tried two different techniques to extend the trucks he already had out to compensate for the larger wheels. (Scroll down for all of the pictures)
-Someone went ahead and converted their skate trucks to tensioned trucks (check page two for closeup pictures and more details)
-Different longboard designs in case you’d prefer to adjust the longboard instead of the trucks (though keep in mind that modifying your board will weaken it)

Q3 – 28:50 – Sizing Down a Bike
-Who doesn’t want a little extra storage on their bike?
-You could build or buy a new set of front forks and attach a larger wheel
-Hacksawing any seat mount above the frame and finding a new way to mount the seat is probably a completely unsafe option…but still an option (check out the pics for mounting techniques)
-More hacksawed bike seat pics (check out the powder blue bike in the pictures and you’ll see before and after the cutting)

R2 – 36:08 -Jakes Quick Tips
-Turn most audio tracks into a karoke/instrumental

Q4 – 37:37 – Hovercraft Clairification
-Our wish seems to already have been granted. Thanks Ken for taking care of building that jet powered hovercraft!
-Turns out, there’s three different types of hovercraft skirts, though depending on who you talk to they may go by different names
-A nice short video explain how the skirt works
-Well, that took a while, but it turns out the entire Boys’ Life archive is available through google books (I also found on page 66 of the June issue from 1983 (bottom of the page), a tear away for hovercraft instructions – though I doubt this is the only hovercraft instructional that’s been offered in this magazine)
-Don’t forget there’s quite a few hovercraft instructables
-A project posted on Make’s Project page is one of the best examples I’ve found of a wall/jupe/cell skirt (I don’t know why it has so many names)
-I’m not sure why this video is so long, but they do manage to explain everything they’re doing in the span of it, it’s also a good video (Worth a watch if you don’t know much about hovercrafts – This video shows an almost identical build in less then half the time, but you also get less then half the information, you’re choice)
-There are a ton more links to hovercraft builds on the Make Blog, but since there’s no good tagging system over there, I can’t give you a link to show you them all. Sure, you could search, but this is less then ideal considering I get better results with google. Hey Make, how about some tagging on your blog posts? This isn’t a new idea, and I’m pretty sure you’ve done it in the past, what gives?

R3 – 58:45 – Loud Noises…
-That loud noise you heard at the end, yeah, we had the bright idea to end the show on a mic drop…that couldn’t have been better planned.



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