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Old 07-15-2010, 08:44 PM   #1 (permalink)
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Sound designer, skeleton manufacturer, EV admirer

Howdy, I'm Chris,

I was going to put this in "What's your background?" but it seemed too verbose, so I'm just putting it in the general intro stream.

I'm a sound designer, mostly for live theatre. What's that mean? If you go to see "Hamlet" on Broadway, I'm the guy that makes the sound effects and music for the show. Mostly I work on plays, but I've also done music for Intel and Starbucks.

I've worked on cargo ships in the Gulf of Alaska and the Gulf of Mexico.

I managed a small used book store.

I was the lead programmer on a DARPA funded health-chair project at Harvard for a couple years. In my off time from making music.

What I do for fun now is make audio-animatronic skeleton shows every Halloween for...well, I was going to say for the neighborhood, but since we've been written up in the Seattle Times and been on NPR, about 2000 - 3000 people come per year to see our little show. If you want to check it out, we have videos up at skeletontheatre dot com.

On the back burner but close, very close, is making an EV with one of my more car-centric friends. Just as soon as I finish making my CNC machine (it's about half done).

Chris

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Old 07-16-2010, 01:15 PM   #2 (permalink)
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Cool stuff! Welcome over! I'll venture a guess that you got a Cupcake CNC?

What kind of car do you have picked out for the conversion?
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Old 07-16-2010, 01:23 PM   #3 (permalink)
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Welcome to the site. Tell us more of your upcoming conversion.
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Old 07-17-2010, 02:32 AM   #4 (permalink)
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Don't know what car yet...

We haven't so much picked out a car yet, as have a plan for getting one cheap. Been watching in Craigslist, and the plan is to get a car that someone is selling very cheap because they've blown out the engine but everything else on it works fine. I see those pretty frequently. This may be not in the spirit of the whole thing, but it seems like a good way to get a relatively inexpensive late-model car, as opposed to one that's older.

The various problems with this idea as I see it are:

- most of the later model cars are automatic, and from what I've seen and read it's much better to mod a manual transmission
- more weight than I necessarily want (although a lot of more modern cars use more plastic, so that may be a wash)
- extras built into a more modern car (power windows for instance) that you don't necessarily want in an EV

I know there are more reasons not to get something that's less than 10 years old, but I think those general problems are the biggest hurdle. Haven't committed yet though, still researching and pricing. Frankly, this is also the first time I've brought the idea up in a forum of people who are knowledgeable on the subject, so it will be interesting to hear what y'all have to say.

And on the CNC: no, it's not a Cupcake, although I do subscribe to Make Magazine. I'm building it completely without written plans...but I'm very good at 3d autocad-ing in my head. I usually take a couple weeks or months to build something down to the last detail in my head, maybe do some math on paper, perhaps a wood (plastic, cardboard) mockup, and then just build the whatever-it-is. Also, I'm building it around an aluminum frame with crossmembers which I'm using as the table, 4 feet by 6 feet, and I didn't see any plans available for my specific size. The side rails are plumb and true and big enough to roll the gantry on, and all this was pre-welded by guys who are better at it than me. Oh, and I got it for free. Actually, I got two of them for free, and I'm cutting up the second one to be the Y-axis gantry and part of the Z-axis. So there will be very little wood, it's mostly welded aluminum.

Thanks,
Chris

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