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Thursday, February 19, 2009

Need More Planning, Less Impulsive Building of Stuff

Just a thought today:

I think that my biggest problem with the various bike projects is that since I'm using stuff intended for a different purpose, and I'm trying to always first use it as unmodified as possible, that I end up having spend more time to make more workarounds for the unmodified parts than I would if I just go ahead and figure out how and what to modify on everything the first time.

As an example, when I was starting to use the small type of chain for the motor, I didn't have a short enough one, and the chain-tool I have can't take apart or put together the links in this small a chain. So I spent about an hour or maybe even two, to make a tensioner pulley setup that kept the extra length in-line and tight.

This tensioner made the chainline get in the way of the pedal's chainline, though, which made me have to work out a way to deflect the pedal chain around the motor chain, and also not hit the bike frame. I worked on that for at least 4 or 5 hours, and never got a satisfactory solution.

About two days later I finally just figured out, in about 10 minutes, that I could use a few other tools not intended for the purpose at all to pretty easily remove the links from the motor chain and put it back together in it's shorter form. Then I could take out both the pullley-tensioner and the deflection mess, and simplify everything.

So 10 minutes of thinking hard and about 15 minutes of actual work negated the need for the at least 5 to 7 hours of work I'd already done trying to work around the problem.

I need to sit down and plan things more, instead of just jumping in and sticking parts together just because they "almost fit like they were made to", and actually *make* them fit perfectly.

I suppose my real problem is that doing that is much more like work, and the other way is a lot more fun. ;)

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