I spent the last two weekends in the garage, getting back to the Coupe Project. It was nice and relaxing to lay on the creeper, under the chassis and working with tools again.
I had to modify the chassis in the pedal box area to allow more clutch pedal movement. This is a known issue in the Roadster forums, but not so much in the Coupe forums. This happened when Factory Five Racing changed the Wilwood pedal box – the old version would actually break. The new and improved pedal box moves the clutch pedal arm over to the left by about an inch or so, and the arm hits a brace, limiting pedal travel.
When the modification is done before the pedal box is bolted into place, it is a simple chore to make two cuts, chopping a small triangular cut into the frame member. This can be done with a reciprocating saw or maybe power jigsaw.
However, if the modification must be performed after the pedal box is bolted into place, the tube must be accessed from below, in an awkward angle. A small grinder tool would be ideal for this, but the only tool I have that will fit the space and the angle is a Dremel tool. It took me two half-day sessions to do this.
In the pictures above you can see the half-moon shape cutout I had to make. This is a view from under the chassis, looking up from the creeper. This will be painted black later. The tube looks normal from the top, so that is good. And clutch pedal travel is doubled, so free play adjustment range should be much better.
Since the brake system is installed, filled and bled, I removed the Clekos and riveted the lines in place. I changed several P-clip anchor points so it complies with my “routing and clipping manual” from the office. Unfortunately, I followed some other builders’ clipping, and mounted several p-clips upside down. Most of them will be under the car, and might be hidden from view when the car is finished. But I know they are upside down.
Here is a picture of how the clips should be mounted. This is the X-member in the front of the chassis.
Looks like I didn’t take a picture of the riveted clips. I will post them later.
Next, I made a bracket to support the ECU for the MSD Atomic fuel injection system for my 302. This plate will secure the ECU and provide strain relief for the cables going in and out of the unit. It is on a plate so it can be easily removed if I have to work on the wiring or the ECU later. It is mounted with 1/4-20 stainless steel studs and nylon lock washers. It was raining so I was not able to paint this plate. Will have to do that at the next build session.
The passenger side footbox is on the left. Three stainless steel Allen head screws come through the wall and into the passenger box. The center photo shown the ECU engine cable going into the engine bay, and the right photo shows the MSD computer and plate inside the passenger footbox. Carpet will cover the interior, so a carpeted cover will be made to hide the ECU and wires when the car is finished.
I am also laying out the air conditioner system components on the chassis. I have to make several brackets and small boxes to mount the A/C components on the chassis.
As I was doing this work, I took another look at the battery box mentioned in an earlier post. It is installed with clecos so it can be removed. I think I want to mount the battery above the passenger footbox. Two reasons for this:
First, it will shorten the battery cables, decreasing the voltage drop.
Second, the “factory location” for the battery – in the rear center – blocks the rear axle pumpkin. So, when I have to change the oil or make adjustments, the battery must be disconnected and the battery and the box must be removed. Sounds like a painful procedure for a simple maintenance chore.
I will make a mock-up of this in my next build session. Stay tuned . . . .
Working on a CNG vehicle fuel system
Repairing and maintaining a compressed natural gas (CNG) fuel system – with flammable gas and working pressures of 3,600 psi or more, can be safe if you understand and follow the rules.
CNG pressure zones determine to depressurize or defuel.
Read the full post here. . .
Each year, I think about the helpful people in my network, and thank them for their generosity. Here are the Top Five people who rock for 2015. Ladies first, so here we go.
Liz Ryan is the CEO and founder of Human Workplace. Liz says, “We launched Human Workplace to teach the practices that I’ve been speaking and writing about for years. Human Workplace is also a global movement to re-humanize work, with over 450,000 members.”
Viveka von Rosen is a LinkedIn expert and author. She does an excellent job of researching and teaching others about the LinkedIn platform. I learned about Viveka through an offer for a free lynda.com trial from LinkedIn. Visit her Linked Into Business blog and listen to her podcasts.
Paul Banwell is a co-worker at Agility Fuel Systems, and was able to help me work through a strange, but normal glitch in the CAD program we use at work. It took me several hours of searching and experimenting, but Paul came through with the solution.
Mike Gustafson is another co-worker at Agility Fuel Systems. In a similar but different CAD scenario, Mike helped me meet a deadline for a marketing department project.
Bob McIntosh is a job search coach and LinkedIn trainer. As his award states, he is constantly writing and sharing news and thoughts about career management. His blog, Things Career Related, is filled with useful information.
For a review of previous You Rock award winners, click here.
UPDATE — See what Dennis W6DQ and I did for the San Diego Maker Faire!
This is our fourth consecutive year as Makers. The 2015 SD Maker Faire team is Dennis W6DQ and Wayne KH6WZ.
Our mission is to change the image of ham radio, making it both contemporary and chic in a hi-tech sort of way. We also want to emphasize how ham radio can be used for science and technology education and a possible career path for youngsters.
Amateur, or ham radio has always included teaching-learning-making-modifying-hacking and networking (making new friends) traditions for over a hundred years. We want to remind people this “new Maker Movement” is not really a new idea. Read my LinkedIn Publish post called “The Original Makers” to learn more about this.
We also want to show everyone that ham radio technology changes with the times, and continues to include both past and present to accomplish one thing: Creating ways to communicate voice and data over the ether, without wires.
Here are some of the projects on display – stay tuned for more stories and pictures after the event!
Live virtual air traffic control radar receiving station
APRS / location tracker demonstration
Software defined radio modules. Photo by Dennis Kidder, W6DQ
Broadband ham radio network under construction
By the way – here are 65 reasons why ham radio continues to survive – and possibly thrive – in a world of instant, global communication fro everyone:
65 Great Things About Ham Radio
CQ magazine celebrates its 65th anniversary by making a list of 65 great things about ham radio. Ham radio can be considered one of the earliest forms of “social media,” “networking” and “making.” Items in italics can be considered “life lessons.”
1. It works when nothing else does
2. It makes you part of a worldwide community
3. The opportunity to help neighbors by providing public service and emergency communications
4. Some of the nicest people you’ll ever meet
5. Some of the smartest people you’ll ever meet
6. Some of the most interesting people you’ll ever meet
7. Some of the most generous people you’ll ever meet (along with some of the cheapest!)
8. Lifelong friendships
9. Friends around the world (including those you haven’t met yet)
10. The opportunity to go interesting places you might not otherwise go to
11. The opportunity to do interesting things you might not otherwise get to do
12. The opportunity to expand your knowledge of geography
13. The opportunity to expand your knowledge of earth and space science
14. Practical uses for high school math
15. Practical uses for high school physics
16. A good way to practice a foreign language
17. A good way to keep in touch with faraway friends and relatives
18. A good way to get driving directions when visiting someplace new (with or without GPS)
19. A good way to find the best places to eat when visiting someplace new (with or without GPS)
20. Finding “non-touristy” off-the-beaten-path places to stay, eat, visit, etc.
21. A good way to learn about virtually any topic
22. A good way to bridge the generation gap
23. A good way to keep tabs on elderly/infirm people
24. People named Joe (Walsh, Rudi, Taylor)
25. How many of your non-ham friends have actually talked to someone in some remote place such as Cape Verde or the Seychelles?
26. How many of your non-ham friends might have talked to an astronaut aboard the space station?
27. How many of your non-ham neighbors might have a satellite uplink station in their basements—or in the palms of their hands?
28. How many of your non-ham neighbors might have a TV studio in their garage?
29. What other hobby group has designed, built, and had launched its own fleet of communication satellites?
30. Where else can you play with meteors?
32. Informal way to improve technical skills
33. Informal way to improve communication skills
34. Introduces a variety of career paths
35. Offers unparalleled opportunities for career networking
36. Opportunities for competition in contesting and foxhunting
37. A good way to collect really cool postcards from around the world (despite the growth of electronic confirmations)
38. Nearly endless variety of different things to do, on and off the air
41. Field Day
42. Working DX
43. Being DX
47. Double-hop sporadic-E
48. Worldwide DX on 6 meters (once or twice every 11 years) [The current extended sunspot minimum has shown that mechanisms other than F2 propagation can offer intercontinental DX on the “magic band” at any point in the solar cycle.]
49. Tropospheric ducting
50. Gray-line propagation
51. TEP, chordal hops, etc.
52. Getting through on CW when nothing else will
53. Unexpected band openings
54. Building your own gear
55. Using gear you’ve built yourself
56. Operating QRP from some remote location
57. Experimenting with antennas
58. Working DX while mobile or while hiking
59. Experimenting with new modes and new technology
60. The opportunity to help build an internet that doesn’t rely on the internet
61. DXing on your HT via IRLP and Echolink
62. Contributing to scientific knowledge about propagation
63. Keeping track of other people’s GPS units via APRS
64. Ham radio balloon launches to the edge of space, and as always…
65. Reading CQ!
Take a look at the CQ magazine website to find more interesting things about ham radio.
October 3 and 4: Maker Faire® San Diego!
Maker Faire San Diego is October 3 and 4, 2015, from 10 AM to 6 PM at Balboa Park. Our “Not Your Grandpa’s Ham Radio” theme will feature some new projects as well as some of the old, but popular demonstrations from previous Maker Faire events. Pictured below is a project under construction, I hope to have it completed for this event. It is a homemade 1090 MHz collinear (vertical) antenna that will be part of an air traffic control monitoring station using a software defined radio (SDR).
October 15 to 18: Microwave Update (MUD)!
Microwave Update, or MUD, is a yearly technical conference for amateur radio experimenters making, modifying, hacking, building, testing and using the 1,000 MHz and up radio bands. Participants from all over the world gather at these events to share information about operating techniques, radio propagation and radio station equipment. One aspect of this event is the buying, selling and trading of surplus parts and assemblies for these frequency bands, since some items may be difficult to procure in some areas. But perhaps the best thing about MUD is socializing and making new friends from all over the world to discuss common interests and goals.
Preparations for the San Diego MUD are still under way. Last weekend, a few San Bernardino Microwave Society (SBMS) members gathered at Dave’s lab to sort and package some prize and give-away items for the event.
Left to right: Dave WA6CGR, Rein W6SZ, Pat N6RMJ and Jim KK6MXP sorting and packing some microwave frequency prizes and give-ways.
I hope to see you at any or both of these events!