September 22, 2012

Scooter Accessories

In an effort to make the scooter into a semi-useful vehicle, I built a set of attachments for it.  The first step was to make a fender for the rear wheel.  In the event of me riding through water, based on the angle between the back of the scooter frame and the top of the rear wheel, water flung off the back wheel could easily end up somewhere between the back of my shirt to the back of my head.

The fender was made from a long piece of approximately 3/8" square-ish aluminum bar left over from someone's water-jetted stock and a piece of 1/8" polycarbonate.  The aluminum was bent into an arc, the ends were filed to curves, and it was drilled through to attach the polycarbonate.  Two more holes were drilled and tapped into it, so that the fender could be bolted to the crosspiece from the rear suspension assembly.  The polycarbonate was scored and broken to size, since the MITERS bandsaw is currently out of commission.  The polycarbonate was drilled and tapped, and screwed to the fender's aluminum backbone.

The second addition was a a cargo rack, because trying to ride the scooter while carrying anything other than a backpack is pretty much impossible.  The cargo holder started out as a milk crate found inside a trashcan at the Stata Center loading dock.  I went to the loading dock looking specifically for a milk crate, and I actually found one.  It was magical.  Like the rest of the scooter, the cago holder had to be absurdly overbuilt and contain massive quantities of aluminum, so I made it from a 1' long segment of 6" x 4" rectangular aluminum tubing with 1/4" thick walls.  I shaped the tubing on a mill, using the small saw-blade-attachment-that-I-don't-know-the-name-of to slice off the extra metal.

The crate-holder is fastened to the back of the scooter using a system of cutouts that fit around bolt heads and two thumbscrews, so it can be easily added or removed.

The crate is clamped to the rest of the structure by an aluminum plate and four bolts:

Here you can see the attachment mechanism disengaged:

And here engaged.  Once the bolt heads are engaged, I simply screw in the hex cap bolt with my fingers.  It fits into the hollow space where the suspension pivots:

Everything assembled:

I've been told that my scooter needs a name, unless I want people to refer to it as just Ben-scooter.  No good names come to mind under the accepted nomenclature of "x-scooter", where "x" is a word that describes the scooter (a few examples are brick-scooter, melon-scooter, and pneu-scooter), so I'm open to suggestions.

September 13, 2012

Scooter vs. UPS

To get my scooter to campus, I had my parents UPS it from Atlanta to Cambridge.  In a box.  All 75 pounds of it.

Unfortunately, the scooter did not survive its journey unscathed.  The packaged seemed to confuse the Portland UPS office, and it spent a day going in an out of the city.  By the time I got the package, the box was very sad looking.  It had no real form left, and looked more like thick, slightly torn wrapping papper than a box.  More sadness appeared when I opened the box.

The first casualty was the metal brake cable noodle, which had been completely crushed:

Also barely visible in the picture above is that the two corners of the rear suspension arm are bent inwards.  Somehow UPS managed to bend 1/4" aluminum plate in the shipping process.

The deck of the scooter must have taken some serious knocks during shipping as well, as in two spots the polycarbonate top layer of the deck managed to de-laminate from the carbon fiber bottom layer.  Functionally, this doesn't make a difference, but it doesn't look good and can't really be fixed without completely separating the two pieces and re-gluing them.  It's a good thing I did make the polycarbonate extend beyond the edges of the carbon fiber, or the carbon fiber would surely have been cracked.

 I brought the scooter to MITERS to do some repairs:

I got a new brake noodle from Cambridge Bikes, across the street from MITERS, and replaced the crushed one:

In the process of fixing the scooter, I found a few more things that had been damaged.  Somehow, the plastic guard and carbon fiber at the front of the deck got huge gouges in them, and the carbon fiber was split at the edge:

Also, one corner of the battery box was skewed, as can be seen below.  I may end up just plating the entire outside of the box in aluminum, to give the batteries a bit more protection.

Finally, here's an abridged version of a loop I did around most of campus.  Sorry about the earthquake: