RoboShaw 2007 plans [updated
This area seems reasonably well under control; RoboShaw's "Max Max"
appearance and attitude seem to work pretty well out on the
playa. I'd still like to add some ability for the driver to
"speak" for RoboShaw w/ a microphone and speaker rig, but that'll
probably need to wait for another year. Adapting RoboShaw
completely to each year's theme is probably more work than I can
manage; I'll look for smaller customizations. For example, while
I may be able to get RoboShaw's head to fit into the Green Man theme,
larger scale changes such as electric drive aren't really feasible
given timelines this year.
What RoboShaw lacks at night is some fire effects. I think having
RoboShaw spit flames will add some drama as we motor across the playa
The fire effects should consist of a mast over the engine or perhaps
from the very front of the foward frame. I'll use a pretty
standard rig - propane tank filling an accumulator (another propane
tank w/ the valve removed), and a couple of high-pressure solenoids
that will trigger bursts of flame. I'll plumb a separate line to
provide pilot flames for the exhaust stacks.
I'm considering synchronizing the flame to the sound from the amp....
we'll have to test out that idea.
All the propane & lines will be well away from passengers so we
avoid flame hazards; I'll have to see how low the pilots can be so we
don't burn too much gas. I'd like to use electric ignition for
the pilots so I can turn them off when we're not using the flame
I'm going to rig some LED Christmas lights along the frame; last year a
reveler tripped over the front of RoboShaw. I need to consider
how these should be attached; it already takes several hours to unpack
and setup RoboShaw and adding more fiddling w/ tie-wraps to hold on
lights will just make that worse.
After seeing some of the cool bicycle lighting supplies from Rock The Bike and the
way that they mounted their CCFL tubes at the 2007 Maker Faire, it occured to me
that I could "ruggize" the cheap PC ones I'd been using on
RoboShaw w/o spending the
$$$ that the pretty tubes from Rock The Bike
cost. The PC CCFL tubes (I got mine from svg.com for $6 for 2 12"
tubes + inverter)
will break if subjected to a lot of vibration; the glass tube that
contains the gas vibrates around inside the protective acrylic tube
and eventually breaks. I simply used an old .22 cal shell casing
heated up w/ a propane torch and carefully melted holes at the end and
1/3 and 2/3 of the way along the tube. Much care should be taken
not to touch the glass tube w/ the shell casing. I then
squirted clear silicone rubber into each hole to form a plug that holds
the glass tube in place. We'll see how it works; even before the
silicone set it eliminated all the rattles from the tube.
Mechanical/functional punch list
- Rear wheels are getting new bearings from Marathon
and new balloon tires from
Schwable. [Done 1/27]
- New Horstman
drive sprocket, chain [Done 5/25]
- Add chain oiler
- Add brace to stiffen connection from seat to frame. [Done
- Add additional lightweight bracing to prevent excessive motion of
sunshade. [done 5/27]
- Need to clean up wiring under seat; it should all be fastened
down (up, that is).
- Replace broken CCF lights; replace front lighting tubes w/
"vibration proof" LEDs.
- 120 V inverter onboard to supply 120V propane solenoids and LED
- propane tanks saddle mount
- detachable+secure fire effects mast
- run exhaust up fire effects mast - improve air quality in
- install solenoids[ ordered 1/27]
- Submitted DMV application and Fire
Effects Plan [2/25].
- Ordered new sprockets, chain, from Comet Kart Sales. [5/13/07].
- Ordered spare torque converter drive belt, sprocket from bmikarts.com [5/13/07].
- Ordered more CCFL tubes, glowing red LED holders and some blue
flashing LED tubes from svc.com [5/13/07].
- touch up paint on chassis