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Sunday, January 17, 2010

Let's Build It Already!

Upon pondering some transmission thoughts, I think that at least for now I will setup a system to switch the motors from series to parallel depending on A) speed and B) steering. It is far easier to do this than to mechanically deal with huge reductions and shiftable drivetrains (other than an internally geared hub).

So series wired for startups and slower speeds. Once past a certain speed, will switch automatically to parallel, and not drop back to series until a couple MPH slower than that setpoint. The hysteresis will prevent the switching system from chattering and blowing stuff up. :)

I will need to learn to drop the throttle when the shift occurs, so I don't end up with sudden bursts of speed. I will probably put a light and maybe a beeper on there to alert me to an imminent shift, maybe 1/2 second before it happens, which should be enough to react to until I get a feel for it.

Since the main reason I wanted series motors was so that I could get an electronic differential for turns, it means that turning would need to be done at slower speeds in order to get that differential. For gradual curves it may not matter; have to test that. For sharper turns, such as from a N-S road onto an E-W one, I will probably need that differential.

Hmm....maybe a much better idea would be to build up the second 2QD and tweak them both to run identically when matched with their own motors, then use separate controllers with one throttle, compensated for an electronic differential by having a steering sensor that changes the proportions of left vs right motor throttle. It'd be more electrically complex, but also simpler in a number of other ways. It also leaves me with redundant controllers as well as motors and drivetrains, which is a nice feature.

I think I already have all the parts for a second one, including another metal enclosure (from an old external harddisk) similar to the Jensen inverter case I am installing the first one into.

This also means I can leave the Curtis on the CrazyBike2's motor, to which it is more suited (given that motor's short-term power capability).

I could not sleep last night (again, it's a common problem) so in between dozing just long enough to know I dozed as my head hit the keyboard, I looked up tilt-steering (leaning) trikes, all over the web.

I found a little information here on ES, which eventually got me links to links to links to a place called Jetrike, an open-source recumbent bike / trike project. The creator of it has plans and construction notes for a bike and a couple of tested trikes there, and some of the stuff looks very interesting. The most interesting part is that he has run simulations for the designs to see what would "really happen" before actually building anything. And has data tables and stuff for a few critical types of dimensions and how to work them out for a particular design. The trikes are deltas, but he started on a tadpole according to his pages there. I'd be super-interested in seeing what he comes up with.

However, the link to that project is broken, and there are no updates to the site that I could find since late-ish 2007. There is also a discussion link, but skimming thru it's archives I don't see any indication that he has proceeded with that project at all, which is very disappointing, as he did good work on the previous versions, and has hard data on why some things should or shouldn't be done, and how they might be improved to fix problems reported with various ways of building trikes (including fixes for rear-steering trikes, which are notoriously unstable and potentially very dangerous, due to flaws in layout of the tested versions, apparently).

Anyhow, I have many more ideas on a tilting trike, but I am still not confident at all that I could design something around that concept and make it work safely and reliably. Not with the stuff I just happen to have laying around, anyway.

There are others around as well, and many images and a few clear videos of some in action. I may be able to learn enough to actually design one of my own, though first I need to learn enough about the math involved to grasp the solutions in my head so I can come up with stuff without having to actually sit down and do all that math (at which I really suck).

I think I need to just build the thing first and get experience with a trike, then start working out version two that will have more features on it, probably including tilting.

I might even go ahead and build a pedal-only trike first, just so I can get that part working, and get a feel for ergonomics of the design based around my riding, and THEN work out a replacement for the front wheels/forks that lets me use the motors on there. I've been putting off this trike thing for so long because I didn't have this or that or a way to figure such and such out, etc., and I am really wanting to just get it STARTED!

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