Repurposing my old Loewe Mimo TV stand…
Some time ago I had the idea to build an electric car (EV…) for my kids to ride. Something simple, but that would allow them to go faster than the typical electric toys that you can buy at Toys-R-US…
That was 18 months ago, and due to other “higher-priority” projects, only now this has reached fruition.
In the meantime, to simplify it, I changed from a car to a trike as the steering became a lot simpler. I reused most of the frame from a pedal-trike, but turned upside down.
Power comes from a 14.4V portable drill spinning directly one of the rear wheels. The throttle is a re-purposed bike brake lever and notice the “range-extender” extra battery velcroed to the back.
Missing still is a forward/reverse lever, as pulling/pushing a button on the back of the car requires some contortions. A cardboard body is in the works, too, but that’s the kids job, they have to do something, right ?
As for brakes… who needs them ?
Thanks to good friend Steve at Reanimotion, I was able to get hold of a prototype measuring block for his new Franken-CIS system. Basically, the idea (not new) is to use a pulsed injector (using a PWM signal) to define the control pressure on a CIS /K-Jetronic system. I used an injector from an Impreza, as it has to be a side feed injector with a reasonable debit rate.
From there, you can make things more complex if you want, or as simple as possible, as I did. That was my intended approach, as my 74′ 911 has one of the earliest (thus simpler) implementation of the once extremely popular Bosch CIS system.
So I proposed Steve to prototype a bare-bones approach, using a very simple controller to read the engine temperature upon startup, and from there, select a starting control pressure. Afterwards, for a maximum of 4-5min the pressure progressively rises until it reaches the desired warm control pressure.
A few months ago I rediscovered music and hi-fi…
Fed on an MP3 diet for the last 10 years, it took a friend’s offer of his old, but sophisticated, Technics SL-QL1 turntable to awake me to the greater dynamic (and expanse-ness) provided by a good quality analog recording versus lossy MP3’s. Although sometimes you get some extra background noise…
Since then, I’ve done a few additional minor investments: a used Dual 1219 turntable from the early 70’s
Some modern AKG K550 headphones…
and finally fetching my old Celestion DL6 loudpseakers from the cellar to replace my Bose satellites.
However, something was missing and nagging me for some time – an easy to use (and cheap !) way to listen to the many sound files I’ve been accumulating. On top of that, I wanted to be able to hear high definition audio, up to 192Khz/24bits. Now, audio / media servers are everywhere today and for all kinds of pockets. However, most of them still seem too expensive for what they usually are: a slowish / cheapish PC loaded with some proprietary software of differing usefulness.
I could do better. Started searching for a used small form factor (SFF) machine, of the kind mostly used in business environments as a thin client, and quickly zeroed on a Dell Optiplex 160. Outstanding build quality, smart looks, Atom powered and HD audio on board. On Ebay, I bought one for 45GBP, with 1Gb of Ram, but no disk.
I added an unused 500Gb disk that i had lying around, and installed a trusty copy of XP Professional.
Now for audio duties. For media playing and streaming, i’m using the free MusicBee. Plays everything, is upgradable and infinitely configurable.
And finally how to access and control my new toy ? Enter old VNC – a widely used, free suit of server and clients apps that allow you to remotely control any PC, from anywhere in the world. And now, you can do it (for free) through any Ipad, Iphone or Android device. Media remote control doesn’t come any more ubiquitous or easy.
Bye now… I got some listening to do.