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Did I mention I race rally cars? Red Rocket Rally

Charger - Flash - Rally

Tuesday, April 12, 2011
The Red Rocket Rides Again!
by brian @ 22:18:24 - [perma-link]

Dan, Sam and I worked long into the night, then Dan came by again today. The engine is in and runs. Brakes are (probably) still good from a few days ago. It has bumpers, wheels, HotBits suspension and its not leaking.

Tomorrow it gets lights, a windshield, seatbelt, rear windows (one plexi, one glass) mudflaps, and ... an alignment, and maybe i'll fix the speedo if i don't think of something else.

Look for us at the Global Rallycross this Friday and Saturday on!

Saturday, February 12, 2011
Brewing with Bre and Jonathan
by brian @ 19:23:35 - [perma-link]

Our friends in Walnut Creek have made an accelerated foray into brewing beer. He's made 8 batches in just about 2 months. And they're pretty good.

Rebecca and I helped bottle and IPA and brew a batch of "Jamil's Chocolate Hazelnut Porter. In a few weeks it will be beer.

Saturday, October 30, 2010
Affi Loves...
by ccons @ 20:15:14 - [perma-link]


Thursday, October 7, 2010
Bunk Beds in the RV
by brian @ 02:01:03 - [perma-link]

I made some supports so we can use the couches in the RV as bunk beds. There's now beds for 10. 11 is going to be cozy.

Wednesday, August 25, 2010
Blacklight Umbrella
by brian @ 21:20:38 - [perma-link]

I decided to do another project to take to Burningman this year. The dance floor was pretty cool, but it was way too heavy, and I wanted a programmable LED array. So I made it ultra-portable by building it on an umbrella frame.

The umbrella sports 64 UV LEDs so I'll have to incorporate neon colors into everything Rebecca and I wear. Each spine has 8 LEDs connected to an 8-bit shift register. All of the shift registers are connected to each other in series, and an arduino microcrontroller (the red board) shifts 64-bit values through them to update the light pattern. I've written a few different programs to try different effects. Some twinkle the lights at random, others shift patterns down or around the spines. I'll combine them into one program that rotates through all of the patterns periodically.

It took about 6 days to build. 64 LEDs, 64 resistors, 64 pairs of wires. The fabric cover took about a day. The extra frilly stuff on top is to slightly-more obscure the nest of wires and perf board. Ping-pong balls on the tips are for safety (I don't want to poke any eyes out) and sort of an homage to the greatest LED light-show ever, the Cubatron (it's rad). I'm using a li-ion mobile phone recharger pack as a power supply. It ran the umbrella for about 3 hours on a partial charge. They're $10 on closeout at radioshack, so I'll get a few more.

Friday, August 20, 2010
Lots of LEDs
by brian @ 15:28:01 - [perma-link]

I've finally started my burningman project. I'm halfway done soldering resistors to LEDs and I have 8 already on wires. 56 more and the real fun will start.

Friday, July 30, 2010
My Rally Car Burned Down
by brian @ 22:49:13 - [perma-link]

I forgot to post these here. My rally car burned down during the Idaho Rally this year. Pat and I both got out of the car when we smelled smoke. No one was hurt. The car was a total loss.

Thursday, July 29, 2010
Giant Dragonfly in Idaho
by brian @ 10:07:11 - [perma-link]

This dragonfly was hanging out while I tunes my rally car.

Thursday, June 24, 2010
Waiting for an iPhone
by brian @ 11:04:40 - [perma-link]

Last week this seemed like a good idea. Lol. I got some shopping done, and the line is about 1/3 shorter than before, so that's something. 2-3 hours to go?

Wednesday, June 9, 2010
I pulled the motor out of the rally car today
by brian @ 17:47:21 - [perma-link]

On saturday while I was out tuning the rally car, it mysteriously lost a couple of quarts of oil and damaged.... something... in the motor. I limped it home (bad idea. should have called AAA when it died and wouldn't start again) and checked it out on Monday. Something is definitely broken.

Yesterday Dan and I towed it from my house down to the shop, and I made some room to work and disconnected all of the wiring, drained the oil and coolant, and had it mostly ready to come out. Today I took out the axles, radiator, header, and a few other things, and pulled the motor with the cherry picker.

The front end of the car was pretty high up on jack stands. I lowered the engine and transmission onto the legs of the cherry picker and a wheel dolly, then disconnected the chain so I could drag it out from under the car. It was just a bit too tall, so I let all the air out of the rear tires to pick up the front just a bit more and pulled it clear. After that I separated the transmission from the engine, and called it a day.

Tomorrow we start disassembling it to see what went wrong.


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