Oct 9

October 9, 2005

Cockpit gadgets and canopy

you know the drill - click on the little picture to see a big one. Or what ever.

PETG Canopy bubble

I had previously experimented with vacuum forming PETG plastic by making a fiberglass mold from one of Garrie Hills Varna canopies. I had fairly good success and it just so happens that the canopy size and shape fits perfect for the CP1 top.

I clamped a sheet a 1/6" thick PETG plastic into the frame, then turned the infrared heat lamps on (about 12" above the surface of the plastic). As the plastic sheet heats up, I pull a tiny bit of vacuum to stop the sheet from bubbling up. This process continues for a few minutes - very slowly pulling the hot sheet down to the surface of the mold.

I had to mark the plastic sheet with a felt marker to see when it touches the mold surface. As soon as it comes in contact, remove the heat and continue to apply enough vacuum to allow the plastic sheet to contract a bit, pulling back off the mold surface about 1/8". This keeps the surface finish of the plastic nice and clear. I wait until the plastic has completely cooled, then unclamp it and pull it off the neoprene gasket.

I wanted to keep the canopy attachment as simple as possible. This would allow me to mount a half canopy, full canopy or no canopy at all depending on the circumstances. Also, it needs to come off to allow the fairing clam door to open.

I didn't get any photos of how it attaches to the fairing top. I curved a 1/2" wide strip of Sintra Plastic by using a heat gun, then bonded it to the inside of the bubble. The two ends that protruded fit into two slots cut in the fairing sides. An elastic cord hooks onto these tabs and pulls the bubble down onto the top.

There are slight openings on each side for fresh air intake. I am not sure if I will require more fresh air for breathing and cooling. If so, I can also lift up the front of the bubble slightly for additional air flow.

Cockpit coolness!!

Since I plan to be 'locked' into this baby for a while, the cockpit needs to be my home away from home.

For communications with my crew, I use a Motorola two-way radio mounted onto the left handle bar. The microphone is mounted on the over-the-shoulder bar on the right and is right beside my mouth. There is a push to talk switch on the mic, or I can move my thumb to the yellow button on the side of the radio without moving my hands off the handle bar.

And this works really slick: the radio ear phone (ear bud) fits into my right ear under my iPod headphones. I can't even feel it and if I get a call while listening to music, I can hear the call perfectly - works very well!

For in-flight entertainment, I reply on my trusty iPod Nano packed with my fav tunes and a collection of audio books.

The SRM power meter displays my speed, average speed, maximum speed, watts output, average watts output, distance, heart rate, cadence, heart rate, temperature, date and time.

There are two 3 liter bags mounted to the back of my seat - one holds water and one a concoction of liquid food (diluted hammer gel, Boost and Ensure). Both bags are easily accessible from the right hand gull-wing door opening.
Ready for blastoff!


CP1 To do:

1. Fully test seat position, canopy bubble and venting
2. Watts test on highway to make sure I am in the ball park!!!! (IMPORTANT!!)
3. Add a headlight and do a night test !!!
4. Make a 'windshield-only' canopy bubble to work with faired helmet
5. Fix landing gear retraction so it fits inside the fairing - also the hatch cover
6. Get 650 disc wheel
7. Build a new fairing mold from the new plug
8. Pull carbon fairing shells from the new mold
9. Mid-drive lightening holes (James Kenny)
10. New carbon fork?
11. Add a thin coat of epoxy to the left hand wheel disc because it is not air tight
12. Finish micro'ing rear wheel fairing attachments (wait for final fairing shells)
13. New light-weight bottom brackets
14. Dura-ace chain

Event to do:

1. Make short list of observers, timer and tech (Helen)
2. Confirm track survey OK (email to Al)
3. Confirm removable parts (lights) ?
4. Timing system
5. Shipping (Helen)

Training to do:

1. 10 hour dry run on track (this weekend??)
2. ride EVERY DAY!!


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