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Archive for 2011

Unicycle Tour of San Francisco 2011

There was a small group of riders that did this years Unicycle Tour of San Francisco. Gary organized the ride and produced some awesome jerseys: …and also some energy bars! (UTSF = Unicycle Tour San Francisco). Here’s a short recap of the ride, as seen on the back of the jersey: Jim cruising on the geared 24: One of the few pictures of me…mainly because I was taking too many pictures! Grace said I was very color coordinated that day.    At Coit Tower: Back to the Embarcadaro: Ashley; the only girl unicyclist this time: Aaron:


Jim on the Golden Gate

Jim on the Golden Gate San Francisco, California. September 2011.


Photography: Aaron and Mike

Aaron and Mike September 11, 2011. San Francisco, California


Plug Bug: Glamor Shots

A few pictures taken last weekend on West Cliff, Santa Cruz, California.


Photography: Jim’s Feet

Jim’s Feet September 11, 2011. San Francisco, California


Garden 2011

In this year’s garden I planted a bunch of stuff. It was going great this year, since I installed a drip system. Unfortunately while I was at burning man, the deer discovered how to hop into the garden and eventually (mainly the week I was here) managed to mow down anything that was left of it. Oh well..it was at the end of the ropes for the garden, but I was a little sad that they destroyed my luscious tomatoes before I got any. Carrots were a major success this year, and I still have a lot of them hiding... [read more]


Freddy’s Deli

On the Unicycle Tour of San Francisco. More pictures and details about the ride later. Freddy’s Deli


Aerial Cube version 2.0

A few weeks before Burning Man, I made another Aerial Cube. This time I used 1.5″ tubing, and it turned out better than the first one. The previous cube was 1″ tubing, which was a little to harsh on the body when you leaned on it. This cube feels much “softer” and people are less prone to getting bruised on it. Literally minutes after I was done with it, Taylor and Kat hopped on it and started playing around. I brought it to Burning Man for Circus Boot Camp, and it was also a big hit — people loved playing... [read more]


Burning Man (part 2)

Some more stuff! I forgot I had a few pictures on my iPhone. The temple burn: This was really cool. The temple was this massive fire, and the updraft would carry about 2’x2′ pieces of burning plywood up into the air and drop it down on the ground right beside me. Looking backwards from the burn at the night sky you could see all the embers floating down to earth like little slow moving falling stars. It was totally amazing. Here’s a close up (at home) of my top hat and glasses before I left.


Burning Man 2011

I hadn’t been to Burning Man in 5 years or so and really wanted to go back. Previously, I would camp with Pancake Playhouse (which was a total blast), but this year I thought I would start a “unicycle camp”. It turns out there wasn’t enough interest in it, and a bunch of my friends had a “Circus Boot Camp” they were thinking of doing again. So, I joined forces with them and we had an awesome time teaching people various circus skills on the playa. I initially thought I would take a ton of pictures, but in the end... [read more]


Indoor Boys

My friend Anita recently did an interview of me for her magazine type website called indoor boys. It’s apparently all about smart and sexy boys. Now I always have been a bit above average on the smarter side of things, but I never really considered myself “sexy”. So, Anita asked a bunch of great questions, and I tried to thoughtfully answer them since that’s what I do best. But I must admit, she got a bunch of awesome pictures of me at my house with my “toys” and it turned out to be a really cool article. Click on the... [read more]


Two Wheels in, Four Wheels out

Last weekend was an adventure in Tuolumne Meadows (by Yosemite, Ca, for those not around the area). It started out Thursday night; I saw the midnight showing of the final Harry Potter with a bunch of friends. I then went to work at the usual time on Friday and promptly left at 5pm for a motorcycle ride up to Yosemite. Here it is packed up with tent, sleeping bag, climbing gear and my camel back: I rode up highway 120, stopping a few times for gas. I then passed a car show at a place I think was called the... [read more]


MPYRE Strikes Back 2


MPYRE Strikes Back


Photography: B&W Box Top

Erika


EVs

I’m working on getting pictures of my car with other’s of its kind (but more modern, in general). Silver Leaf, at Apple. RAV 4 EV (in Santa Cruz, today). Ken Adelman’s car. Blue leaf, Cupertino. Chevy Volt (does that one count?)


Roue Cyr

I saw a roue cyr wheel in a performance and thought, hey that looks cool! I bet I could make one, despite knowing nothing about them and not ever have touched one. Anyone who knows me probably wouldn’t be surprised by that :). Here’s the finished wheel in my garage: And me trying it for the first time (yesterday!) I got a bender…partially for this project, and partially because I have needed one for several other things. I then ordered material from speedymetals.com — they are cheaper than onlinemetals.com by far. I spent about $170 in metal (actually a bit... [read more]


Bug at Castle Rock

…with Girlventures!


WiSnap + Elithion BMS

The Elithion Lithiumate BMS uses a serial cable to talk to the computer. That’s kind of a pain to see additional information that the SOC display doesn’t tell me. It is also nice to see how the batteries are doing “on the fly”, or when I’m charging at work. I bought a WiSnap and made a little case for it: The red/black cord is for a 9v power supply, but it doesn’t need it as it can get its power from the RS-232 input. I can now connect to an adhoc Wifi network with my iPhone (dubbed “PlugBugBMS”) and see... [read more]


Back on the road again

I got my charger back from Manzanita last thursday and put it in the car Friday night. They weren’t sure why it busted, but the bridge rectifier had to be replaced, and they did some general tune ups. Unfortunately, it was out of warranty, so I had to pay out of pocket for it. But oh well…I’m still saving money on gas! Here’s a picture of my charger’s bracket to allow me to mount it horizontally: I also got my Belktronix DC-DC converter to replace my ailing IOTA DLS-55. Good news from IOTA is that they are taking the issues... [read more]


Photography: Lemur Eating

A cool picture from my trip to Madagascar in 2009. Lemur Eating


Electric Bug: Driving and watt-hours per mile

I now have over 3000 miles on my car. Up till today, the only problems I have had have been with the IOTA DC-DC Converter. I’m supposed to have a replacement soon, as my IOTA may fail again at any moment. Now that I have some driving experience, I have a better idea of the range. It’s not good to say that an electric car gets X mile range, since X various by many factors. Those factors are: how heavy you are with the pedal to accelerate, how hard and often you brake, how many hills you drive up and... [read more]


Charger Not Charging

Today when I went to grab my car at lunch I discovered that the Manzanita Micro PFC-30 charger wasn’t charging. I looked at it, and the BMS (Battery Management System) also wasn’t on. The BMS is turned on along with the charger when I plug it into an outlet. So, I realized the 50 amp / 240VAC circuit breaker must have tripped. I plugged the car into another nearby 50 amp circuit, since I couldn’t reset the breaker and there was another charging station right next to where I was. The BMS came on, but the charger wasn’t charging. It... [read more]


Unicycle Criterium Race in Auburn, CA

Yesterday I drove a 6 hour round trip drive to do a unicycle criterium (crit) race in Auburn, CA. It was the first time I’ve had to pump gas in several months, but it was worth it! The Auburn Journal did a nice write up and took this cool picture of us starting: From left to right: me (Corbin Dunn), Stephen, Tom Holub, Nathan Hoover, John Foss, Robert, Wiley, Jim and Austin (the last three are sort of hidden in the back). There is also a thread on the unicyclist forums about it. I got first, which was cool, but... [read more]


Chickens

The house project continues! I got some baby chickens last Saturday. I got 10 of them — various kinds. Baby chicken: I’m working on running water to the old barn, which will become the chicken coop: The new apricot tree (planted last year) got pummeled by the rain this year. The heaviest storm hit right after it blossomed. It has two apricots on it right now, and I’m not sure they’ll last till they are ripe as they tend to disappear. Running water up to the deck:


Dream Box: Eka Boo

Eka Boo Erika


Plug Bug: DC-DC Converters

I’m ditching my IOTA DLS-55 DC-DC converter. The inrush limiter I use (which replaced the AC bridge rectifier) eventually dries out and cracks, and then stops working. I got ~1000 miles on my last modification (I’m at ~1700 miles right now). So, I’m doing research on what is out there to hopefully make the right choice. I’m only listing ones that I could actually use (ie: rated > 25amps, ideally higher, and have an input voltage appropriate for my pack at 154v nominal). Belktronix – $300 675W ( up to 55 amps) 120V-350V (based on application) Great support from the... [read more]


PG&E Electric Rates and EVs

I never knew much about how I paid for electricity. I didn't know if we had certain hours that were peak or not. So, I called PG&E last week and they explained to me I was on the E1 rate. I told them I had an EV, and they suggested I go to E9 A or E9 B. They are listed here: http://pge.com/tariffs/ERS.SHTML#ERS

Like any good programmer, I decided to do my homework before blindly switching. It turns out that after I did the math, a PG&E representative told me they have a comparison spread sheet on their Plug-In Electric Vehicles page (here's a direct link to the excel spreadsheet). That page seems to lump a bunch of assumptions together about energy use, but I found that page to be quite accurate in its rough estimates.

(more after the jump...)


Plug Bug: Fan on, fan off

The loudest part of my car when I turned it on was two fans for the water cooling setup on the controller. Ideally, the controller should turn the fans on and off and that will be a nice feature once Netgain Controls adds it in. For now, I needed a solution. Wayne, a fellow bug EV’er in Gilroy, suggested the a little CanaKit thermostat. I bought it and assembled it, which was pretty fun since I haven’t ever built any electronic kits before. I then made a little box to surround it out of Lexan. Sorry…no pictures, but basically I... [read more]


Dream Box – Cube Act Horizontal

A picture I took from the Dream Box show. Amazing! Tickets are still available for Friday (April 8th, 2011) and Sunday (April 10th – two shows, one early and another later).



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