November, 2011 Archives
Archive for November, 2011
So, that ad on the right side of my website…how much does it get me? Well, not much. In the years I’ve been running it, I’ve received one check for $100 (hey, that’s better than nothing!). I earn about $.02 a day. Here’s a screen shot from adsense:
In other words, don’t quit my day job. Wait, I really like my day job, so I wouldn’t quit it even if the blog was pulling in millions!
I’m still working on learning the cyr wheel. I haven’t spent quite enough time to really get the hang of it, but I’m starting to get a better feel for the basic “spin”.
Here’s a video from yesterday:
The best part is when I whack the edges of my carport!
This is a late post…but oh well!
Well, late last winter I got a new fireplace. I did a design in sketch up and rendered it to get a good idea of what it would look like.
It easily let me try out various materials and get a feel for it:
I decided I didn’t like the red on the inside walls, so when I repainted it I went all white (and it looks much better!).
Here’s the old fireplace, which just looked horrendous:
I took it out with the help of beer and Aaron for some heavy lifting. I had to dismantle it all to get it out:
I did the drywall and installed some new windows (that open; the prior ones didn’t open at all and were frosted)
…but a contractor (Jon Arden) did the stone work and install.
The new fireplace, work in progress.
Then cleaned up:
I got a new tool a few weeks ago. A plasma cutter!
After doing some research, I went with a Thermal Dynamics Cutmaster 52. It is awesome!
I also had to get a new air compressor to keep up with it. I went with a Husky one from Home Depot; it has a three year warranty, whereas most other ones of the same size have a 1 year warranty. Plus, there were lots of good reviews on HomeDepot.com.
So, how far can it go?
Today I drove home from a Plug In America gala event in San Francisco.
I maintained 55 mph on highway 101 and 85 — relatively flat highways. This is the path:
The car was at 57% State Of Charge (SOC), meaning it consumed 43% of the battery (depth of discharge – or DOD). That was a 55 mile trip. So, in theory, that is a 127 mile range to 0% SOC! EDIT: I originally thought it was 60 miles, because that is what the iPhone GPS said…but looking at google maps at the point where I read the SOC, it looks like it was more like at 55 miles. So, I change the range estimate from 140 to 127.
It’s an extra ~10 miles to my house, which includes highway 17 (quite a steep hill!) I maintained 50mph (the speed limit) up 17, and the power consumed is nearly 3x what it took to maintain 55mph at flat. After those miles I was at 44% SOC. I took a screen shot of the Elithon BMS output on my iPhone (yes, I was talking to Kim while I took it):
So, based on that math, it would be 116 mile range. Since I never want to take it to 0% SOC (and ideally keep it above 20%), I can probably safely say I have roughly a 100 mile range with the car at 55mph – including a trip up highway 17.. 70-80 miles if I drive more “normal” (meaning 65-70 mph, and harder accelerations).
The bug has about 8700 miles so far. I had to change the front right wheel bearing about 1000 miles ago. It started getting loose and making a lot of noise. When I took the bearing off, it was clear that it was trashed. There was lots of dirty grease inside it too. I think the brake dust contaminated it, along with the excessive heat from using the brakes so much (without any engine braking).
At about 8600 miles I also changed the front brake pads. The front pads were nearly gone. Yeah, that’s not a lot of miles! I upgraded to some ceramic brake pads from CIP1. I think they work better and are a little cooler (based on touching the wheel after driving home).
About two weeks ago I had some trouble with the car. I was leaving my house and after about 2 miles of uphill I hit the throttle really hard on a flat. The car tranny made a bad noise, and stopped moving! I pulled over and pushed the car to the side of the road. Luckily I wasn’t on highway 17 at the time! I didn’t want to deal with it right then, so I rode my unicycle home and got my gas car. I drove that to Santa Cruz and did my usual “Sunday ride”. Aaron was going to come over afterwards and help me “tow” the car home with my truck. He came over at about 5pm, and we were prepped to tow it. I figured the tranny broke, but just to make sure I stuck my head under the car and looked at the “dog bones” (Constant Velocity joint). The left one was not at all attached to the transmission! Instead of towing the car home, I got a few tools and managed to get two bolts on and drive it home.
The CV joint has six bolts. Four came loose and were hanging off. Two sheared completely off. This probably happened when I hit the throttle really hard! Yikes. I drilled out the two bolts and got two new ones from OSH and the car was back on the road a day later.
Then about a week ago the car was making some more noise and shaking on the left side during right turns. I thought it was the front left wheel bearing, so I replaced it (since I already did the right). It looked okay, and that wasn’t the problem. I figured it was the steering box, since it has always had some excessive up/down play. On Tuesday night I couldn’t do any maintenance to figure it out; I went to Cirque De Soleil to see Totem and drove the gas backup car to San Francisco. On Wednesday night I went climbing with Jason, and afterwards I took the front apart and figured it was the steering box. On Thursday I was set to drive to Bugformance in San Jose and get a new one, but when driving to work the car started making a worse noise: a big “clunk clunk” from the transmission and rear section of the car. It generally happened when the throttle was off and I was coasting. I did some research at lunch and discovered it might be the CV joint. So, I went home and took a look at the car.
The rear left wheel was shaking like made when I moved it around in my hand. Ah hah! That wheel bearing was the problem. So, I took it apart, pounded out the old bearings.
I then went to Bugformance at lunch on Friday (had to drive the gas car again! Twice in one week…geez). Luckily they had the parts I needed, and by 8:30pm on Friday the car was back together. I still got a new steering box since mine is also leaking oil now, but I haven’t had a chance to put it in.
The rear brake pads still look like they have life in them, so I’m going to let them go a while. Unfortunately, the rear left brake hose is about worn through due to some rubbing, and I need to replace it. I couldn’t do it yesterday since I need someone to help bleed the brakes. That’ll have to be a job one of the evenings this week when I can get someone to come over and lend me a hand.