Tuesday, September 10, 2013

TerraTrike Velomobile Rear View Mirrors

With the return of the hot weather to the Midwest I have retreated once again to my computer room and other tasks that I needed to accomplish for the TerraTrike Velomobile project.  This in case being rear view mirrors for the vehicle.  I needed these more than I could ever imagine while riding my Terratrike around town and now with the progress being made on the velomobile project I thought it the perfect time to design something that should work well with that in mind.

 I wanted mirrors that were small so that they did not add much wind resistance to the vehicle and so I decided on using the blind spot mirrors that most people have on their cars today. 

The mirrors are the right size at only two inches in diameter.  I worked up the design on my computer and this is approximately where they will be located on the vehicle.  I won't know for sure until I get the body near completion and I can sit in the velomobile and see what I can see with them located where they are now.  So once I was happy with the design I started making the parts for the two assemblies.

Here one of the rear view mirror assemblies has been put together.   The parts were only held together with double stick tape for these photos just so I could show you how it will look. So please disregard the poor alignment of some of the parts. That will be corrected once I permanently bond all the parts together.  I want to do some sanding on the parts also to smooth them out further and then paint the housing (without the mirror of course) so that I can get it to match the velomobile when I am ready to paint the entire body. 

 Here are all the components that make up one of the mirrors.  At the very top of the photo is the outer housing.  The first row below the housing from left to right is the backing plate, mirror outer mounting ring, and then the wide angle mirror.  The bottom row from left to right shows a 1/4 inch threaded rod connector, the mounting post which the threaded rod connector slides into, the bottom mounting plate, and lastly a 1/4 inch by 1 1/2 bolt.  

 The mounting post is made up of the threaded rod connector, the mounting post itself, the bottom mounting plate and the 1/4 inch bolt.  This assembly then will be slid into the cavity that is molded into the bottom of the mirror housing.

The mounting post is then glued into the cavity in the mirror housing.  I really like the look of the mounting post and housing together.  Nice and clean.

This photo shows the last part of the housing assembly other than adding the mirror.  The backing plate (the part in the middle) is glued on to the housing of the mirror assembly and is aligned with the inner block by the indentation shown on the part.  Once this is set then the outer ring is added to the face of the backing plate so that the mirror can be centered on to the assembly. 

This photo gives you a good idea of how small and compact the mirrors for the velomobile are.  The fact that I am using wide angle mirrors instead of flat ones should work out when when I am driving the vehicle.  This plus the mirrors are not that far away from me when I have them mounted.  
  Total time to print all of the parts for the two mirrors added up to 5 1/2 hours.  This brings the total tally on the project so far to around 185 hours.  So the time is adding up but the progress is encouraging.  Lots more to do but that is the fun of it all.  
  Once the weather here cools off a bit more I will be able to get back to the building of the body of the velomobile.  In the mean time I am also looking at setting up turn signals for the project.  Hopefully that will all fall into place soon also.  Just will have to see what I can figure out to make that part of the project come together too.  Enjoy the photos and have a good day tinkering!


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    Thank you.