Development Log

part two

last updated 9/22/98

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We left off of the previous log page at 60 hours, with a frame completed, and tilting, and with suspension working and with the sway bar in place. Next comes the steering, the battery supports, and the drive train… and everything else. Damn, this is a big project. I think I have discovered a modus operandum of mine: underestimate the magnitude of the job, and refuse to recognize the true magnitude until after the point where it would be just about unthinkable to quit. Self-deception: not just a good idea, it's a way of life.

July 19, 1998. Sitting and staring, and cutting, drilling, and welding up the shaft for the differential. (That means the drive train has begun, by the way.) Also, a couple of bar latches for holding the tilt trike from tilting for parking and pushing and stuff. 4 hrs.
July 20, 1998. Sitting and staring. I made two design decisions:
These items together: 1 hour.
July 23, 1998. Drive train assembly. I am using some perforated strips of steel like a giant erector set. I have to drill some holes in the frame for bolting, and I have to cut these perforated strips to appropriate lengths, but they have elongated holes every inch, and make for very convenient adjustability. I now have the drive shaft supported by its pillow blocks at both ends, and I have the motor cradle almost set. 3 hrs.

Total time so far: 68 hours.

July 27-July 30, 1998. Tilting mechanism. This involves: 8 hrs.

Tiltable. Tiltable. You can just make out the end of the garage door spring to the right of the lower right pulley.

Close-up of titling mechanism. Close-up of tilting mechanism. Notice the pedal on the left with its cable and pulley, and the cable and pulley on the right, which goes to a heavy return spring.

MILESTONE: tilts with foot pedals. You can sit about in the the driver's seat (none yet) and work the pedals, and go full tilt left to full tilt right with your feet on the pedals. Ahhh.

Total time so far: 76 hours.

This a-way, and that. Thither and yon. I'm tilting, Jerry, and I'm loving it.

August 11, 12, 13, 1998. Steering:

8 hrs.

MILESTONE: Tilts AND steers. I bet I look insane to my neighbors, sitting on this thing in the garage a-tiltin' and a-steerin'.

Total time so far: 84 hours.

August 15 and 16, 1998. Seat and roll cage: 8 hrs.

Mock-up or roll cage. Roll cage mock-up. Welding is surely more permanent, or at least harder to undo, than scrap wood and clamps.

Total time so far: 92 hours.
August 17 and 18, 1998. Miscellaneous: 8 hrs.

Total time so far: 100 hours.
August 14 and 18, 1998. The Road to Registration: 1 hr.

Total time so far: 101 hours.
August 19-21, 1998. Wire it up: 20 hours

Driveable. Driveable. A sweet, sweet moment: ready to go for a spin. Note the little switch over the driver's head: system disable.

Total time so far: 121 hours.
This seems like a good time to break to… The Next Chapter! Go to Commutamatic Development Log, part three.

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