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Steering and Barking

posted Feb 27, 2011, 7:27 AM by Chad Lester   [ updated Feb 27, 2011, 7:33 AM ]
Saturday, Feburary 27, 2011:
Today, Gianluca, Will, Nicky and James came to today's build session with much enthusiasm.

Will and Nicky hit the ground running, ready to build the second steering wheel after the success of their first. Within minutes, they had measured and cut the steel tubing and had drilled pilot holes to guide the big 5/8" bit needed to finish the job. The 5/8" bit needs a 1/2 chuck, and unfortunately the large drill press still needs some work, so Chad drilled these with a big hand drill.

Meanwhile Gianluca continued to work on the delicate electronics work for the horn with mentor Lutz. He pulled a circuit board out of a "build a bear" sound maker and began to investigate how it worked. He discovered flexible buttons with conductive backing that complete a circuit on the back and reasoned where to get the audio signal that will eventually go to our guitar amp for a loud "bark".

James, who was out of town last week for ski-week came ready to work. Will and Nicky quickly showed him the ropes - teaching him the ins and outs of the cutoff saw and setting him up to learn to weld. James was laying a nice bead within minutes and by the end of the day they had him doing real structural welds, reinforcing joints on the frame.

There was enough time to begin planning the steering linkage. Will Nicky and James were ready to jump right in and start building it - but this is a case where a little knowledge might have saved us from going in the wrong direction. Gianluca's father, Steven designs amazing non-conventional bicycles and had some good advice for how important the geometry of a steering linkage can be. We want to make sure that the left and right wheels are circling the same point as the vehicle turns so the wheels do not end up fighting each other.

So by next week, the group will have figured out the geometry of the linkage and they're going to have a plan to build it!