Monday, August 20, 2012

Spinning ......

The last year of work has really slowed down all the fun personal projects around the shop that normally I would be doing, but on the other hand this year has been amazing for working on projects that may and will change the world.

From Meka Robotics crazy prototypes, Google madness, Boeing projects for the new 787 Dreamliner, Clorox Research stuff, USA Government projects, LightSail Energy, All Power Labs Gasifier crazyness, and now RedBull things..... Overall its a year to smile about.

I get a lot of emails asking about my projects and why I take so long building them.... That list above is the reason.... and its also the reason that makes better at what I do and think about things in a new light.

LightSail Energy is a company located in Berkeley and has a crazy green energy project that I have been stoked to help out on, I have been helping out doing some aluminum Tig welding.

The project is very neat in concept -
In a nutshell, its an " air battery"
the system runs off peak hours to compress air when electricty is cheap, then during the day when the grid needs power, the air compressor runs backwards using the stored air to turn it and it becomes an motor to turn the electrical motor which then becomes a generator of electrical power to sell back to the grid during demands.

The neat part is that all that heat generated in the compressor is captured with mists of water which can be used. Its a really rad system and very neat to look at.

I decieded this would be a perfect trade to get some help on one of my projects as a work for work exchange for my welding. The Speed Bike is still waiting on a front hub.....  So one of the machinist over at Lightsail named Liam decieded to help me out for the trade and spin the hub out after hours.

The Haas ST30 CNC lathe is perfect for the job

This is Liam doing all the layout and setup.
This hub is a tricky one....

Just hoggin the profile of the hub

sometimes you do some changes along the way

Spinning the finish profile of the hub on the outside.
Still a lot of weight reduction that needs to happen in the next few machine passes.

This gives you an idea of what the hub looks like and how it mounts

The hub makes some rad chips, which made the " Chip of the Day" in the Lightsail window

Just had to make a video of the prototype hub being made.

                          PedalFest - Oakland, CA  at  Jack London Square
This last weekend was the Oakland Jack London PedalFest
I was given a booth next to Jen at New Belgium Brewrey, so I brought the fleet of machines

There was no way that the WiskeyDrom was going to be there and I wasn't going to ride it.
This is the bike I just did for New Belgium that you will see this week after the photoshoot.

So a challenge went out via text message to Greg Minnaar to come race me....
So he showed up.... ready for the beach with his sandals and beach gear on

World Champ Downhill Mountain biker Greg tried all the bikes.... His lady Laila watching from the stairs leading in to the track.

even the kids little Schwinn from the 1960s

And this thing what ever it is.....
Pedalfest photos by Jon Suzuki

This was built by some guys up in Santa Rosa, CA with the help from New Belgium.
They call it the SpruceDeuce and its can go from land to water for a race located in northern California
Check it out - some good guys Krank Boom Clank

Friday, August 17, 2012

The Rampage begins

So Monkey Likes Shiny has been selected to add to the madness that you will see out in the desert......

I am so STOKED!

The RedBull Rampage started in 2001, I remember that first event, I read about it in the magazines, on MTBR and PinkBike. I was blown away by how big those dudes are jumping, ever since that event I have watched it every year or read about it. Its to crazy not too...

This year the plans are NBC is going to cover the contest and step it up and broadcasting it on NBC to the rest of the nation and show them the radness from a little town in Utah.

So you think you are a good mountain biker....?   Well if you recieved one of the invites from RedBull for this event,  then yes you are!  The event is completely invite only!

So what is MLS doing for it.....?

Just going to have to wait a little bit to see....  Everyone is pumped already !

Monday, August 6, 2012

Mars or Bust...

Tonight it was offical ....    I was extremely proud to be an American ......

About 30 of the smart tech ind. kids from around the Berkeley,CA area decieded to have a " Martians Party " to celibrate the landing of the new NASA Mars rover, yep a Nerd Fest ....

And if you know anything about me..... NASA and Aerospace stuff is my favorite stuff ever and yes I am a total nerd.......  So damn right I am showing up at the party dressed as an Martian from outer space!

This landing is very rad and it shows that if you put your mind to it and do the work it will work.... Good work to everyone that helped make it possible in every department big or small, it was a sucess!

I hope things like this get kids back thinking of the future without limits and that it takes a team to make a crazy thing like this work, from the grunts to the scientist.... everyone plays an important part in a future changing thing!!!

I have heard thru the machinist grapevine that the wheels have "JPL" in Morris Code so as it drives across the Mars dirt it leave the code, the origianl design with the actual JPL logo was just to much party for the dirt ... so in a last minute ditch effort they put it in Morris Code which is super bad ass and kind of top secret....

Matt from Meka Robotics and I
Matts Solar helmet transmitter he was wearing was really cool, I should have got some better pictures.

I looked more like a scrap metal hauler with a welding helmet on.... I was shooting for the Alien look

NASA live TV on the Wall for the room filled with people
Everyone was stoked !

I come in peace.....
We have landed !

Thursday, August 2, 2012

All night ... Espresso Machine Part 2

The last weeks have been crazy from designing parts for Green energy companies to getting ready to do some more concept electric motorcycle stuff in the weeks to come...

The shop is coming along and like normal the work over powers the projects so the fun stuff keeps stacking up waiting for the day when its fun time.

With a lot of new jobs and projects came the need for a bigger and better lathe, my buddy Gary Aragon helps me out getting them there sweet deals on them there fancy sweet machines, its good to know people understand that not everyone has a endless bank account overflowing and that people still believe in people and their passion, think without Gary and Uncle Ed at Pacific Machinery I wouldn't have such a cool shop filled with old beat up machines that I love, they always make sure I have the correct machine to get the job done.

A sweet Padova Lathe from Italy ready to rock.....

So I was so excited about the new lathe, I spun up all the parts so fast I didn't even get a picture of making them...

When welding copper,stainless and dirty metal, I prefer to use a breathing respirator because of the oxides and other base metals burning off, one of the major things is safety when welding.

I am a prototyper and move very fast and can be caught not always wearing my mask, I have set rules for myself, any welding over a few minutes and I will wear protection. 

You don't know what your breathing so why risk it....

Its an old welders secret that Cilantro in your food can help with heavy metal deposits in your blood.... Don't quote me on that but I have heard it a few times...

Party time.... My little Miller Maxstar is the perfect machine to get this job done...
On my new bench set up bought with T-shirt money...
Figured no one wants a Table on their arm sleeve of the MLS shirt they bought

Getting Luckey in Kentucky.....
This is my favorite job...
4:00 AM welding and still stoked...

By 6 AM when the sun came up, I was about half done....
Those are little high pressure sight glasses on top
The water level and fill tube beside that.
The pull lever and all the other stuff will go in the middle...
Theres a lot more to come so stick around...

Jen and I had to escape this weekend to go to LA for Russell Mitchel's wedding
We made a stop by to see Jim at Cranky's Bikes in Santa Barbara, CA to see what he had going,
we decieded to take the dogs out for a walk on the ridgeline near the ocean, so nice out...

The wedding was really cool in Malibu, CA on the beach.
Russell owner of Exile Cycles and Rachell had a rad wedding,
My old boss Roland Sands was even there.
It was funny to see some famous people there from various bands and getting to pretend like we had no clue who they were.