Saturday, July 12, 2014

Big And Little Tweaks For Final Assembly Of The Velomobile

My last post I spoke of the problems that occur from time to time in any project.  With the velomobile project I have been fortunate enough to not have to many stumbling blocks that held up progress.  In the past couple of days I have finally ironed out the kinks in the signal light assemblies and got everything up and running properly.  So it looks like I am on the down hill slide as far as this project is going (I am keeping my fingers crossed).  With that in mind here are a few more photos of what I've managed to put together over the past week or so.

In the interior of the velomobile are two control boxes (one on the left of the seat another on the right) to activate the signal and emergency flasher lights. The right control box holds the battery pack for the lights that can easily be removed when need be for replacement.  

  The photo above shows all of the wiring that needed to be place inside the left hand control box along with two signal light controllers.  The 12 volt battery pack is standing next to the stool on the floor which was placed in the right hand control box.  It took me several hours to sort out the wiring, solder all the connections and test everything.  Then stuff it all into place in the velo.  I was lucky I worked out the wiring diagram beforehand otherwise it would have been a real nightmare to figure out.

From the control box all the wiring is placed into plastic conduit and is fed up to the front and rear lights.  This layout makes for a nice clean look inside the velo.  I designed the clips for the conduit to be able to mount on to the inner ribs of the body and made them using my 3D printer.  The plus side to that is if I should have a conduit clip break I can remove it and make a new one in short order.

Here's a shot of one of the front signal light just as it was flashing.  At this point I breathed a sigh of relief as just this portion of the build was one of the more nerve racking assemblies to put together.

Another assembly that I finished up today were the rear view mirrors for the project. Early on in the designing of the velomobile I knew that I wanted rear view mirrors.  I could have used them when I was driving my TerraTrike recumbent so it was a no brainer to have them on the velo.  I originally was planning on painting the velo bright yellow but opted to go with the red and white  paint scheme and in doing so the yellow 3D printed mirror assemblies (photo  above) needed to be redone. (See Sept 2013 post for more info about the mirror assemblies)

I assembled the mirrors and then used epoxy micro-balloon micture to smooth out all the seams. Once that had dried I sanded the bodies of the mirrors using 600 grit wet/dry sand paper to get them as smooth as possible. When I was happy with my efforts I painted the mirrors with primer.  Sanded everything again and got this very finished looking mirror assembly after a couple of coats of gloss white paint. The mirrors themselves are two inch blind spot mirrors that you would normally use on your car or truck.  The mirrors are angled when mounted and can be rotated to any position you like.  This will make it a lot easier to line up the mirrors once I have them located on the velomobile.

This photo show approximately where the mirrors will be mounted on the velomobile body. I really like the look of the white paint on the mirrors as they will match nicely with the white striping on the body.  I won't mount the mirrors in place until I get the body back on to the frame.  Then once I am in the driver's seat I can see where they will best be placed. 
  With any luck I will have the body back on to the frame some time this week.  Again I am keeping my fingers crossed.  Once I do get this project wrapped up I will shoot some video to show you how it all turned out and give you a better idea of how large the velo is.  In the garage it looks big but I know once I get it outside next to a regular sized car it will look tiny.  Either way with the bright paint, signal and brake lights, along with a nice loud horn I will feel a lot safer with it on the street.  Stay tuned as the end of the build portion of this project is near!  

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