12 January 2013

KawaiiKart: December/Early IAP Update

I spent most of yesterday night working on KawaiiKart. In fact, I promised myself not to leave MITERS until the rear wheel was on the chassis. This is more complicated than it sounds because I screwed up assembling the rear of the kart twice!

My first problem was that the distance between the aluminum extrusions was too wide. Turns out you must take into every little dimension when CADding parts. Since I normally work with things that have infinite tolerance (code/math)...go figure -_- The solution wasn't too tricky; I made two plates that went on top of the extrusions that connected two more extrusions on the respective insides.

This solution introduces more torsional flex, but to what extent is unknown so far. It seems to pass a rudimentary twist and sit test, though.

The second issue dealt with how my rear wheel was installed. Since I had the wheel essentially slide into the space between the aluminum extrusions, I couldn't tighten the bolts if I first installed the extrusions onto the chassis.

Here's to hoping I tightened the bolts enough such that the wheel won't fall off during operation!

I also had a slew of smaller issues, like incorrectly measuring dimensions and not accounting for dimensions and the like.

Because the axle diameter isn't 5/8"; it's really 10mm!

Because T-nuts have finite size

Because axles have finite length and need to be secured...somehow.

That's all for now! Hopefully I can have a rolling frame (with motors!!) by the end of MLK.

01 January 2013

Happy 2013! / 2012 in Review

Happy New Year! I don't think I've made many nontechnical posts recently so here's a treat for everyone.

First up: New Years Resolutions (not in any particular order).
  • No more computer purchases unless they will be arbitraged.
  • Focus -- learn to say no.
and lastly, finish your scooter!

Next, year in review. 2012 was one of the better years. I'm bummed that I didn't pull off any noteworthy hacks, but this year is looking good with KawaiiKart. I however did manage to sneak in a cool project, my GPU ray tracer. Sadly it doesn't yet use all four GPUs or photon map or <insert cool effect or optimization here>.

The coolest thing I did was actually in the way beginning of the year: I briefly drove a Porsche 911 Carrera GTS! It was quite an experience, from the euphoric engine roar to getting behind the wheel and driving it. I look forward to signing the lease in 2018...or 2019 if necessary.

Bayley and I managed to hit a practical wall in our arms race by going to quad socket platforms near the end of the year. (pictures will be coming soon -- these things are epic!) We're still waiting for various sales on Newegg and parts on Ebay, so they'll be done sometime before junior year ends.

Working out Recreational powerlifting three (or more) times a week worked quite well, even during hectic first term junior year. I don't know how I did it (maybe by throwing a class under a bus), but it worked quite well. I'm convinced it's one of the very few things that kept me sane this term. I really only did curls, sometimes bench presses and squats, but never deadlifts because I dislike doing them. I'm well aware that MIT has a powerlifting team, but I don't think I'll be joining them anytime soon due to lack of time. 

In any event, happy new year!