Eric 2014 Log

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July 2014

August 1, 2014

Velocar workshop begins!

Did part drawings for velocar.

July 31st, 2014

Finished the final piece of the carbon fiber mold for Velocar, then did the carbon fiber layup for the first velocar wheel.

Did part drawings for velocar.

July 28th, 2014

Received CNC router in the morning. Unpacked, began setup with Aidan, Yann, Jim.

Worked with Victor to create BOM for microcar and to take inventory of items shipped for microcar.

Collaborated with Jim and Devin on LifeTrac/Dozer redesign.

July 25th, 2014

July 24th, 2014

July 23th, 2014

Reinforced the welds on the LifeTrac4 side tabs as they had cracked after initial use in digging. Sharpened the cutting edge of the bucket on LifeTrac4.

Began moving dirt from the MicroHouse work site with LifeTrac 4. I found that there was simply not enough torque in the motors in the power cubes to keep from stalling when the hydraulic load became too great. In driving the tractor bucket into a pile of dirt, at least one of the power cubes would stall and die. It was really a pain to crawl out of LifeTrac4, so it was particularly annoying to crawl out every 5 minutes to restart the power cubes. Additionally it was very difficult to get a full scoop of dirt in the bucket.

In discussion with Jim, we decided a future iteration of the tractor should include a higher-torque power cube, capable of maintaining RPM on the hydraulic pump. Something like a Detroit Diesel 2-53. The problem with this being the limited availability and the high cost of quality diesel engines. Another option would be to make the diesel engine, but it would require a CNC milling machine.

Later in the night we found the rear left side wheel had sheered the retaining bolt and the wheel was working it's way off of the axle. Jim, Aiden, and I jacked it up, hammered the wheel back on the shaft and replaced it.

July 22th, 2014

Moved the brick press, the power cube, and the soil pulverizer from the workshop up to the field near the pool using LifeTrac6.

Assembled some more pool components.

July 21th, 2014

Moved the old brick press from behind the old workshop to the new one with the help of Marcin and LifeTrac6.

Ordered sand from Larry McFee at ~$300 a truckload (15 tons) for the pool and for bricks. It was delivered, we shoveled the sand, installed the wall of the pool. Tomorrow we will install the liner and begin filling the pool.

Cut half of the slots for the pulverizer attachment tabs -- could not cut other side because the pulverizer was still attached to LifeTrac 4 and the hydraulics had not been worked out yet.

July 20th, 2014

Leveled and squared upright for pool installation. Pool now ready for sand and wall insertion.

Measured link lengths of Cat commercial backhoe digger for reverse engineer process.

Welded tab attachment to LifeTrac 4 for compatibility with LT6 attachments. Worked with Aiden in implementing second powercube on LT4. Encountered problem where fluid pushes out of upper breather when upper engine is shut off.

July 18th, 2014

Finished welding backside of pulverizer tabs, prepped the LifeTrac 4 for tabs.

We tested the pulverizer on LifeTrac 6 -- initially it turned at 250 rpm at the high throttle and about 190 at low throttle. However that was without the return hose on the lubricant connected. After connecting that hose the pulverizer spun at 350 rpm.

We completed the 1/4" male/female quick-connect set for a number of hydraulic hoses.

Marcin detailed potential redesign of LifeTrac 6 -- combining the power cube output instead of having one for the drive and one for the arm/auxiliary and additionally, switching the auxiliary to motor valves instead of cylinder valves. Marcin also suggested redesigning the lifter geometry to closer resemble the LifeTrac 4.

July 17th, 2014

Finished welding the triangle-reinforced tabs on the mixer for LifeTrac6 compatibility, welded tabs on the pulverizer in a similar fashion.

July 16th, 2014

First day. Guillanme and I filled nine buckets of soil from three different piles for the purpose of testing soil brick composition. The plan being one bucket from each soil type would be used to make make two unstabilized (no concrete) bricks, two with medium amount of concrete, and two with what might be the maximum amount of concrete we would want to put into a brick.

We then worked on getting the soil pulverizer working. We replaced the starter solenoid on LifeTrac 4. My hypothesis for it's failure was exposure to the rain, as it was apparently working yesterday. Perhaps a covered area for the tractors and other machines would be a useful project one day. Additionally, the rear power cube of LifeTrac 6 would not start, presumably due to water in the fuel. Jim suggested remedy by putting a small quantity of good fuel in the carburator and letting the engine run for a while.

Guillanme and I removed a bar tube piece from the arm of LifeTrac 6 and replaced it with a longer (80") piece so that the soil pulverizer can attach to both LifeTrac 4 and LifeTrac 6. Tabs were welded on the soil mixer so that it can attach to the new LT6 bar. Next the tabs will be reinforced with triangles. The existing tabs on the soil pulverizer still need to be cut off and new tabs welded so that the soil pulverizer can mount on LT 6. Finally, square bar needs to be welded on LT 4 so that it will be compatible with the soil pulverizer tabs.

July 15th, 2014

Arrived at Factor e Farm at 10:15pm!