Open Source Velomobile

Building the Shell
Merit System
Tadpole Conversion


14 December 08 - Open Source Street Navigation
The OpenStreetMap project is putting finding your way around into the public domain. You can keep your own local copy of the maps and load them into your mobile phone (works with many brands of phones, laptops and netbook computers) to use at those times when you either can not or don't want to be connected to the internet. For velomobile users there is the related OpenCycleMap project to map those pedestrian and cycling paths that are not shown on most car navigation devices. If you have a Nokia mobile phone with a GPS you can add all of those useful paths to the map database for use by other human powered vehicle pilots. Have a look at this OpenStreetMap org wiki site for help with setting up your Nokia phone to use the maps and join in with the global collaborative mapping effort.

The use of Nokia mobile phones as tools to collect "Ground Truth" map information is reasonable consistent with the Open Source ethos of the Hypertrike project in that Nokia have announce that they will progressivly release their Symbian operating system to the Open Source Developer community. Indeed the WhereAmI project is already Open SOurce, in advance on the Nokia announcement. Update! Here is a good Washington Post article about Nokia's progress with the symbian dot org project. With thousands of people adding more and more accurate cycling routes and shortcuts we in our velomobile machines will enjoy faster and faster journey times.

28 Jan 07 - Hypertrike Use and Fat Loss
Reasearch at Australia's University of New South Wales and the Garvan Institute shows that fat loss is more to do with HOW we exercise than how MUCH we do it. Specifically, intense muscle use followed by more easy muscle use triggers a fat burning process in the body's tissues. Go to this University of NSW site for details.

This is pretty much the way our muscles work when piloting a hypertrike vehicle. We do intense leg muscle workouts for a few seconds as we accelerate the vehicle from a stop, then cruise with light muscle power for a much longer period of time. The slight extra weight of the Hypertrike's body shell, plus the lower air resistance when cruising accentuates this excercise regime, compared to conventional bikes and trikes.

1 Feb 06 - Silver Solder Welds Fail
Failed weld joint on wireframe master shape is a setback for the Hypertrike body shell.

This is a photo of the failed weld end of one of the brackets that are used to attach the wire "armature" to the trike frame. (The Hypertrike design uses a recumbent trike as its chassis rather than a space frame or monocoque fibre reinforced structure). Three other joints failed over a seven day period as the wire armature was removed and refitted to the trike as part of process of checking clearances inside the body shell for leg movement (knees) as the normal access hatch will not be cut out until after the overall shape is fully deveoped.

The prototype or "plug" skin is papier mache and large pieces had to be removed before using a gas torch to make new welds.

Cause - LPG gas torch not hot enough to fully flow the melted silver. Some carbon build up in the weld because it took too long to bring the silver up to melting point.

Resolution - high strenth of silver not needed if we mechanically fasten the joints with thin tie-wire and use standard solder for simple support, space fill and to prevent rotation (twisting) of the armature wires.

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This page was last edited 10 April 2009.