Welcome! Beneath this text on the main page are my most recent posts. Class projects are listed in the left column, while more personal projects are in the right column

Friday, January 13, 2012

Winter Break

MIT's Independent Activities Period is good and bad.  Its good because there are a lot of opportunities and it gives students a break from regular semester classes.  Its bad because it lasts until February so that I won't graduate until June!  Regardless, I have been making the most of my time recently by keeping busy.  I was lucky enough to spend over a week at home which my family, which included Christmas and New Years.  Despite the festivities I somehow got some work done!

First off, I had to help my dad fix the tire on our minivan.  He teaches a high school auto shop class, so its really cool to see where he works and learn from him.  The front-right tire pressure was dropping to around 15 psi just days after filling it up, so we knew something was wrong.  After a quick inspection it turned out the culprit was a huge nail the van must had run over recently.  As I learned, the way to plug the hole is apparently to coat it in industrial rubber cement and jam a sticky, jerky-like stick in the hole.  My dad told me he's been doing it that way for decades, so it must work pretty well.  Once you let it set for a minutes, you just pump up the tire again, trim the ends off, and voila!

The ends wear off as you drive. Who said car maintenance was pretty?

I also finished up the CAD for my first electric vehicle.  Its not terribly exciting, but the project is suitable for a beginner.  I was inspired by the idea of wanting to make a scooter, but not having the materials or money to make an expensive one.  I present to you.... 2x4 Scooter!

Composed almost entirely of wood 2x4s, it has two 8" wheels, rear wheel drive via a brushless outrunner motor coupled with a timing belt, and I plan on making a lithium-ion battery pack to give it plenty of power.  I'll post the build once its finished!

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