Gary Log - April 2013

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Tuesday April 30 2013

FINALLY! The suburban, and the camper are GONE!! All the trash has been hauled away and the Workshop has been upgraded from disaster area to... functional. Still have a lot more work to do, but we have some organization now. Workshop is already too small, we have 8 bays and after the organization we literally could not find places to put everything. The best we could do is have 3 dedicated prototyping bays, with the rest utilized for storage and workspace for tools, and that was being inventive with storage as well. The new workshop/storage facility in the works can not come soon enough!! Hablab is next, after this week, OSE will be operational.

Monday April 29 2013

Completed a study into gasification vrs Soild waste disposal and the pros and cons of both. If the US switched to current gasification technology for solid waste removal, we could create enough electricity to power the United States for 27 years at current consumption... in one year we could harness 87 TWh of electricity. OR if you prefer, the United States alone could harness enough energy to provide the entire worlds electricity for over 5 years, from ONE single year of the gasification of solid waste (or 55% of what is thrown in the trashcan!) Excited to get started on an OSE version! Planned the clean up and reorganization of the Workshop for tomorrow. Tractor and pickup truck have been hauled away!

Sunday April 28 2013

Continued research into gasification and Leed building certification.

Saturday April 27 2013

Finishing touches on the grounds has began. The debris/trash has been loaded and the crew did their best in picling up the small trash laying around the FeF. However, due to years of neglect, it will be a work in progress. Never the less, The change has been monumental, unfortunatly I am overly critical and would like the FeF to be spotless. Overall I would say we are at 85% readiness, which compared to where we were is significant, but we have room for improvement. Special thanks to the gentleman that helped in bringing the FeF back from the dump! Steve "Norm", Nick "Dad", Dan, Rion "Wonder Boy", Jay "Green Lantern", Chris "Gizmo", Gary "Spear Chucker", Jon, Julio "Machette" and the DJ!

Friday April 26 2013

The loading of trash has began, mine and elliots worst fear came to light in that we will need a minimum of 3 dumpsters to take away all of the debris. In total over 120 Cubic yard of debris was taken away in less than 24 hours. The difference had been dramatic. Still waiting for the wrecker to come take the vehicles.

Thursday April 25 2013

A dramatic change has been taking place, slowly but noticably. The crew has commented several times how the FeF doesnt look like the same place. MANY things were moved today and the Life trac got a HUGE workout... got great footage of the life trac only using ONE motor pushing out a stuck wrecker from the mud. 27HP and the life trac was able to get the wrecker unstuck... the crew was VERY impressed. Moved nearly all the metal to the overhang near the old workshop, moved the straw, all of the farm equipment, the HUGE oil tank was moved as well (life trac moved that effortlessly as well). Dumpsters were deployed, filled up a 30 yard container in about an hour, have another larger container and will probably require 2 more. Amazing what has been accumulated in 6 years. Someone found $30 in an old pair of jeans SCORE! getting close to the finish line with the initial FeF clean up, hopefully will be able to move onto the Workshop Monday morning. Wrecker may give it another shot tomorrow trying to remove the vehicles as well. The pile of trash should be gone tomorrow afternoon!

Wednesday April 24 2013

Crew returned to better weather today to continue the clean up. From yesterday to today, the original covered workshop was torn down along with a silo. The majority of the trash was moved out of the tree line, much progess has been made.

Tuesday April 23 2013

Clean up of FeF is in full swing, horrible nasty weather. Very muddy things went slow but made huge progress. Took some good before pictures. Created a HUGE pile of rubbish next to the HabLab to haul away, starting to be able to make out actual ground.

Monday April 22 2013

  1. Traveled back to FeF today, worked out the particulars on relocating many of the items here at the FeF to new homes.
  2. Took some before pictures to compare to the clean up afterward.
  3. Began work on the design of the Truck. File:PTTruck.skp

Issues so far that I have run into are:

  1. Gaps due to the plates on the Quick Connect axles, with current design would need spaces to fill the gaps to keep the tubes aligned correctly.
  2. The current axles width is to small to invert the springs as originally planned, and to wide to place the normally. With the current set up the leaf spring would need to be placed on a front or rear tube, placing more stress on the U joint from the moment created around the axle. Have an idea of offsetting the springs on each axle as per the drawing, not sure if its viable, but seems to be a working alternative at the moment.
  3. The width of the truck frame in relation to the shallow length depending upon the size of the joint in the middle obviously is cause concern in regards to the amount of articulation we can get for turning.

Sunday April 21 2013

  1. The Day one of the most amazing individuals on planet Earth was born....................... Queen Elizabeth
  2. My Bday as well!!!! I'm not doing anything today!

Saturday April 20 2013

  1. Lost my fight with the torch last night, received remedial training from Marcin today, apparently it is not like riding a bike, after 10 years my skills had left me.

Better by the end of the day.

  1. Left FeF for some R and R will return Monday.
  2. Created a basic sketch of the tracks for the micro tractor, Marcin and I think we have a good idea of what it should look like. Will create and upload a more detailed sketch when I return.
  3. Thanks to Mr. James Slade from Texas for his video. It helped tremendously with the verification of our original measurements.... well done sir it's appreciated!!!
  4. Need to begin work on the frontloader drawing for the micro tractor, have some ideas that I think will be simple and work well.

Friday April 19 2013

  1. The group started Planning and making arrangements to begin spring cleaning on the FeF. Many exciting changes coming! Those that have been to the FeF will barely recognize it by August. All the changes planned so far take into account the hard work and steadfast dedication those that have come before have dedicated to OSE, while propelling OSE into the future while trying to give those who dedicate their time on site the best experience possible.
  2. Looked into upgrades for the Hab Lab to include:

a new on demand hot water system to better sustain visitors Ongoing battle with the heating stove, well will WIN! Looking into expnading the heating ability of the Hab Lab by adding another wood burning stove in the back to make the Hab lab more comfotable.

  1. Elliot locked on help to begin clean up for the area for next week.
  2. Elliot locked on someone to take some of the unwanted vehicles
  3. Began plans to expand the storage capactiy of the facility to properly house the prototypes.
  4. Found what we think is the issue with the CNC Torch Table. Good news as it looks as if it will be an easy fix, someone forgot to drill a hole! COuld be up and opperating soon!

Thursday April 18 2013

  1. Traveled to the FeF. Met with Adrian, Elliot and Marcin prior to my first visit with Karien of the Shuttleworth foundation. Fantastic person and OSE is lucky to have such people behind them, very excited to be working with Karien and the Shuttleworth foundation! Mud patch on the Stove was a failure, will revisit the fix tomorrow.

Wednesday April 17 2013

Assignment for today:

  1. Download a copy of the Quick Connect Wheels from Google Warehouse - [1]
  2. Import this file into existing Power Cube - File:PTcube2.skp
  3. Create a tracked version with 2 driving wheels and 2 idler wheels as in Microtrac Drive concept. See LifeTrac Tracks.
  4. Use 20" spare car wheels for Microtrac. We can go with our standard 30" like on LifeTrac if needed.
  5. Call up Mike Hill and inquire when he can do some tube and plate cutting for us, so we can begin playing with 1/4"x4"x4" tubing geometries for LifeTrac Construction Set.
  6. Marcin - will create a Google Form to begin formalizing team and review team for OSHW-OSE-CNC Torch Table-v2 and OSHW-OSE-Microtrac-v2
  7. Marcin - will create a Howto Explainer for technical contributors.

Original frame was found to lack in length to accommodate the 20" wheel size, much less the 30". Unfortunately a smaller wheel size is not workable due to the clearance issue with the wheel and the bottom of the Quick connect module, less than 2 inch clearance would be unworkable for a tractor in any kind of soil.

There doesn’t seem to be any way to accommodate the existing designs we have without extending the wheelbase, which is what I finally settled on. When trying to modify the frame it always reverted back to a similar design to the original. Good results, could be used in either direction, still maintains the same "frame" on the what I deemed the back, as the older model. Also utilized multiple colors on the top of the frame to show different options. One would give less lateral stability but use less material and decrease weight of the build.

New build photo here along with CAD file.

Attempted to contact Mike Hill today, hopefully he gets back to me, left my contact information.

Tuesday April 16 2013

  1. I figured out how NOT to build things, so I suppose that is a step in the right direction.
  2. Built multiple cages for the current 30" power cube. Trying to utilize the dimensions given of 44”x44”x44” but the power cube is just swimming in the frame. Would need to create a frame within the frame to keep the power cube from moving. This would also make nearly half the frame empty space.
  3. Also, with the final build I made where the frame was built around the cube, ran into the issue of the frame still being too small to house two quick connect wheels. The frame would need to increase in width by (I'm guesstimating) 16” maybe more, and would still create unused space.
  4. The frame created was a good design, but doesn't accomplish what it was meant to, to house two quick connect wheels. Will revisit this tomorrow and follow up when I get to the FeF Thursday. File:PTcube2.skp
  5. Need better dimensions on the QC wheels, or at least I need to find them.
  6. Created a tutorial on how to install Ubuntu as a dual boot system on a windows computer, not sure where it will be uploaded to, but when it is I'll come back and insert the link. File:DualBoot.odt File opens with Libre office if you need it go here!

Mon Apr 15, 2013

  1. Created a short beginner video on how to build a basic tube framed box for SketchUp - see first vid at
  2. Created a new web page in the Wiki and learned how to embed files. Embedded the above Youtube video as well as a Google doc.
  3. Created an online storage medium - google drive - for OSE tech to house files to be able to access and utilize the same files instead of sending files back and forth.
  4. Started learning LibreCad. YouTube account set up for OpenSourceEcology
  5. honed my box making skills in SketchUp... I can build a 4"x4"x2' tubed pipe box consisting of 12 tubes in about 5 minutes.
  6. Found a good free video editing program called BB Flashback Express player, allows you to record entire windows, portions, or full screens, also has a video editing program that works very well for making tutorials, very user friendly and easy to learn. A+
  7. Researched suspension, chassis and drive train for the car. Looking at independent suspension vs utilizing axles. Axles would be FAR cheaper, however it may depend on what power plant we go with. The VW engine to me seems very expensive for what it is, will still need a transmission to go with it to placing the over all cost near $3,500 for a 1800 CC 50 hp motor. That is HUGE for that amount of horse power, and the old VW engines are.... not the best, rebuilt or not. Depending on weight of the vehicle... is 50 hp going to cut it, I'm fairly certain the VW engine doesn't produce 300ft/lbs of torque either or the HP wouldn't matter. Leaning toward the idea of axles and spring leafs as it would be cheaper, would like to speak to someone that has extensive experience building tube framed cars like what is used in drag cars. Think the 4"x4" tube frame is over kill and expensive, but it may make a good base for a chassis and we could utilize smaller tube frame for the cage.

Sun Apr 14, 2013

  1. Researched the differences between the Dobson Gasification unit and similar models, cross referencing cost and build. Also, did some significant research on Plasma units for a research project at Harvard, may switch to the utilization of gasification as a way to reduce local refuse and waste on a smaller scale.
  2. Re-wrote to better reflect the updated methodologies that will be in place for the work shop and individuals contributing onsite.
  3. Downloaded and became familiar with LibreOffice as well as Sketch up
  4. Created three tube box designs at 1/2" wall thickness w/hollow profile, and posted it on the wiki at Both a jpg and Sketch up file for downloading are available.